This weekend, after a period of intensity in my life, I felt some spaciousness. I moved, I danced. I found myself in the present moment. Joy rippled through me as I closed my eyes and smiled with my whole body. Since then, ideas have begun to tumble around in my head.
A creative spark, sparking.
It’s been over two months since I’ve written a word. Longer since I’ve created anything or even felt moved to create anything. My creativity is a charred circle on the ground, the lingering scent of smoke in the air. I miss her. "If she's gone, I’ll have to change my whole life! My whole philosophy on life", I said to myself.
This spark is good news. The feeling of flatness is not here to stay.
Creative living is something I value, interwoven into all my reasons why being human is pretty rad despite the hardships and suffering. Creativity can be expressed in so many ways in life. It doesn’t even have to be about making something. I consider myself a purveyor of fine creativity, whether I am witnessing, actively creating or enjoying the moments and after-effects.
When I was a kid, I had a tickle trunk. You remember the tickle trunk, right? If you are a middle-aged Canadian, you would likely remember Mr. Dress Up, a children's television series that ran in the 1970s on CBC. Mr. Dress Up had this tickle trunk … a colorfully painted trunk full of costumes; a portal into a world of make believe. I was there for it. My mom shopped thrift stores on the regular, so my tickle trunk was full of dresses, scarves, and hats – perfect for all the “shows” I regularly performed to anyone who would oblige me. I still have a tickle trunk of sorts…a vintage obsession that's resulted in quite the collection. Colorful dresses, scarves and hats still spark a creative fire in me.
I have this obsession with rearranging my living space. On the average, I probably tear apart my living room and put it all back together every six months or so...moving furniture I have no business moving on my own. But it’s always so satisfying. I’ve lived in some pretty tiny spaces, so it definitely involves creative thinking. My son Greyson, who normally abhors change is amused at this compulsion of mine. "Momma...you did it again", he snorts and shakes his head.
I love to write and when I can overcome my resistance to sitting down at my laptop to do just that, I lose myself in the presence of whatever I am channeling. Time becomes nothing in the search to express myself in the words and sentences dancing before me.
I used to write music and perform as a singer/songwriter. The writing and birthing process was always my favorite. Sure, getting dressed up and being on stage was fun and flattering. But the writing and birthing of a song felt like soul-work before I even knew what that was. It stretched me into unknown shapes and then filled up every inch of me. I would obsess over each song, writing the verses and chorus, agonizing over the bridge. Playing and singing this new melody over and over until I was ready to demo it. And then, I’d push the record button on my 4-track (a basic recording machine with 4 tracks to play with). Sometimes I had it in one take, sometimes it took longer. I would listen to that finished recording, my heart so happy and full. And then I would play it for anyone who would listen. No matter what reaction I received (praise or indifference), I understood instinctively the process of birthing this song, was mine alone. I was the only witness to the intimate power of creation.
I know this isn’t supposed to be what meditation is for, but a lot of my creative ideas appear when I am meditating. They just come floating in, and I can’t stop them. That has me thinking about how creativity and spaciousness need each other. Creativity can be like a roaring fire, a grand, sweeping gesture. But it can also be a warm glow held gingerly in the palm of your hand…a glowing ember.
In my personal recovery and when teaching yoga and dance, I am intimate with and love talking about the concept of “creating space”. It’s foundational for me. And yet, I haven’t had much of it lately. Between an ailing father, a household move, a high-needs teen transitioning into adulthood, and a busy work schedule, 2023 feels tight and on the verge of cracking wide open. A lack of consistent movement over the last few months isn’t helping. My body is stiff like a window stuck in its frame. Spaciousness and softness are calling.
Experiences though - the myriad of highs and lows, spacious or cramped - they may all be considered expressions of creativity. I remembered myself dancing this past weekend. I know creativity has not left me. It will show up again, perhaps in a different form. Every year is a creative, artistic endeavor in living. A good exercise for me would be to reframe 2023. As I think about that, I have no idea where to start. I can’t even think of a question that will get me going. Not yet, anyway. I think my job is to keep my eyes open. And as with the requirements for all good creative processes, I probably just need to spend time with it.
Thanks for being at the other end of this little spark. I’ll be back in November with more musings and more ideas to share!
P.S. I've been on hiatus from my membership and teaching since summer. I will be back soon with some offerings. In the meantime, I invite you to join my Facebook group, Expand Beyond Recovery, a place where I share tips & tools (meaningful astrology from my favs), resources and inspiration for women on a journey of recovery. It's a place for us all to share and support each other. Give me a holler and let me know you are there!