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?
I’ve loved Pablo Picasso’s art since I was in high school, and a reproduction of his painting of two hands clutching a bouquet of colorful flowers graced my wall. In college I studied him in art classes and hung a poster of his painting Guernica in my dorm room. His spunk, individuality, and creativity continue to inspire me. Recently, Irene, a former member of my Writing Critique Group shared this Picasso quote: Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Let art wash your soul.
Earlier this morning I was racing against a deadline to finish an essay, and I was overwhelmed by my task. The theme of the publication was “Love,” the big picture Love, the spiritual, oneness, vastness Love. Maybe if it had been the romantic kind I would have found it easier. I could have related humorous anecdotes or memories of heart-felt woes. But the topic of “Love,” the big kind and how it can help a person find their purpose in life, that was daunting.
I previously wrote what I thought was going to be my submitted essay, but my writing critique group told me in no uncertain terms that it was not up to snuff. Hence my racing against the clock this morning. I finally solved my creative dilemma, on what the heck to write, by simplifying. I stated how big the topic was in the essay’s first sentence. Then I went on to say that I was going to pare it down to three thoughts. Once I simplified, my fingers flew across the computer keyboard.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Simplify.
It’s a snowy day here in New England. I have a few minutes before I head out to work so I’ll share some cross-pollination news with you. Have you heard of the international project, “This I Believe?” It started in the 1950’s and since then has engaged people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives. I’ve listened to it on NPR for years, and I’ve often heard my quiet voice say I’d like to do that. Last summer I got my wish in a very creative way.
An invitation came from the Unitarian Church in Westport, for speakers to contribute to a lay-led service filled with closely held convictions and jazz. How could I resist? I spent several weeks and many drafts creating my essay. My writing critique group inspired me to strip away the layers until I got to the heart of my message, and members of the church committee guided me to clarity. The results were that I gave back to my community; met new, bright and articulate people; modelled for my critique group that writing can take a long time; and after a few minor changes, I submitted my essay to “This I Believe.”
Five months later I heard back from the international project — my essay “I Believe in Dreams” was selected for the permanent collection.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Just do it. Show up for your life and the rest will follow.