Soothing the Raw Edges of a Creative Life

I’m getting ready to lead my writing critique group and should be preparing my writing to share, but instead, I’m writing to you in my first post of 2012. As artists, writers, creative, and divergent thinkers, we can attest to being vulnerable, scared, and paralysed. Life alone can do this to us then we add, of our own volition, the stress of putting our tangible expressions out there, into the world to be viewed and judged.

Yesterday I was reminded, yet again, about the benefits of meditation. Disclaimer–I’ve been meditating for years–but it sure does help when someone else tells me how good it is! I’ve included an essay by Orna Ross here, it is so well written and inspiring too. Jane Friedman posted it on her blog and I learned of it through Facebook, ahhhhh the joys of sharing through social media.

My favorite line is:
“Meditation soothes those edges and creates a place of safety from where we can take risks.”

Creativity and wellness message for today: Claim your essential self.

P.S. Should I forego my shower and meditate instead?

Writing Opens My Heart to the Journey

Morning musings:
I like the place my writing takes me. It’s a drug-like euphoria that literally expands my heart.

I have to gently remind myself that if my essay wins the memoir contest or not, I felt good along the way. The process is worth it. Just like in my recently drafted essay, the ending isn’t where I thought I was going.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Stay in the moment, let your heart’s journey steer you.

Art and Vitality

I’m back to writing this blog after taking a break from it for the summer. How was your summer? Are you feeling like it was enough?

This morning while exercising I had a revelation. I was berating myself for not doing enough writing this summer when a little voice inside me reminded me that I had. I started mentally checking off everything I created or learned in my writing world. I surprised myself at not only my endeavors but my completions.

In my summer travels, one of the high points was attending the Dale Chihuly ‘Through the Looking Glass” show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Chihuly is a glass artist extraordinaire. His show knocked my socks off in its scope and creativity. Imagine huge blown glass abstract shapes in brilliant, bright colors suspended from the ceiling all around you. Imagine a 20 foot long boat (made of blown glass) filled with exotic blown glass flowers on steroids. I was bug-eyed the entire time. The energy in the exhibit rooms was palpable. It was as if Chihuly’s immense, fragile art was playfully cutting through dead spaces in the rooms, and activating them with vitality.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Let your playful parts clear out any stagnant spaces in your life, metaphorically and practically.

Poetry in Motion

It doesn’t have to be

the blue iris, it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few

small stones; just

pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try

to make them elaborate, this isn’t

a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which

another voice may speak.

~ Mary Oliver

Creativity and wellness message for today: Be open to silence.

Opposing Forces

“The self — that artificial construct that separates us from others — cannot sustain itself in the prolonged absence of conflict or strife. It needs other people and situations with which it can be in opposition, because to be in opposition to something strengthens our sense of self.” Eckhart Tolle

Creativity and wellness message for today: Use adversarial energies to exercise the muscles of balance.

Dance as if No One is Watching

Many Easters ago, my Springtime ritual was to arrive at a secluded beach alone, before sunrise, and dance my heart out. The corners of my lips still curl up as I remember those times of freedom and abandon. Now, being older, sometimes wiser, and definitely with less available time to myself, I gain inspiration from the anonymous quote, “Dance as if No One is Watching.”

Even if I am in a crowd of people, or busy with a very public job, I can imagine my bare toes in the wet sand, my fluid body twisting and swaying as the scents of sea and salt fill my pores.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Dance on, no matter what.

The Between Place

It’s that time of year, when I see winter’s harsh reality on bare branches one day and dogwood blossoms plumping out the next. Lime green leaves poke at odd angles from dry, yellow spindly stalks of hydrangea.

I’m reminded of human nature too. Until today I forgot the beauty of the between place, that point when the old still exits, the new not yet formed. So often we focus on completion, now nature reminds me to be steady with the process.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Claim patience, let yourself grow and evolve at a natural rate.

Letting Light In

In this process we call life, not everyday is rosy. Sometimes, like today for me, you just have to slog through and do the best you can. This quote by Frederick Buechner so poignantly names the feeling I am having today.

“The room is quiet. You’re not feeling tired enough to sleep or energetic enough to go out. For the moment there is nowhere else you would rather go, no one else you’d rather be. You feel at home in your body. You feel at peace in your mind. For no particular reason you close your eyes. Sometimes it is only when you happen to taste a crumb of it that you dimly realize what it is that you’re so hungry for you can hardly bear it.”

Creativity and wellness message for today: Name the feeling you are having, it’s important to not shy away from it. Sometimes naming comes from a poem or quote and the feeling cracks open and light comes in.

The Happiness Factor

Recently I lost a contest. Mind you, I’ve been submitting to contests for years. You’d think I had thick skin by now. However, I am human. Rejection still stings. By not placing in the afore-mentioned writing competition I felt a few moments of woe, but soon realized how generally happy I am writing. I wrote about the aftermath of rejection in the Fairfield Writer’s Blog but I’d like to put a different spin on it here.

When I think of tending a flower or vegetable garden my heart expands. I connect to Nature. The natural world is full of promise and patience. Seeds hidden under the soil sprout. Food for the family table is plucked at perfect ripeness to be enjoyed by all. My writing is like this. The act of writing, the art of writing, and the publishing of writing make me happy. Just like a farmer who wins a prize at a state fair for their robust chile peppers, I’m happy to be a writer and happy to write.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Take pleasure in what makes you happy, even if the world does not give you a prize for it.