During the pandemic, it seems like everyone has been experimenting with creative projects. People are knitting, organizing, gardening, crocheting, baking and then posting their magnificent accomplishments online! I made one sourdough bread and that was enough. I don’t garden or sew or throw pots. My husband had a dream that I starting painting and became a successful painter. He bought me a beautiful easel and paints. I have always considered myself the worst painter on the planet so I haven't opened the paints or set up the easel and probably never will.
But creativity does not have to be about pushing oneself to make visual art unless that speaks to you.
As Mark Nepo says “Creativity is less about creating something out of nothing and more about being in conversation with life and the unknown."
When we express, we let out what’s in. Creativity is about expression and all forms of expression are meant to awaken the love that is possible in the world. You simply have to open your heart and let what’s there flow. Expression will find you. How do we ignite our expression? We are open to everything around us, we listen, taste, touch, smell and hear. We all have something in us that’s been a thread, a constant in our lives. This is the theme of William Stafford’s poem "The Way it Is": There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread, But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost, Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; And you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding, You don’t ever let go of the thread. To discover this thread that goes through everything is the main reason to be curious, use your senses and notice what lifts you into joy or throws you into sadness of pain. My form of expression has always been writing. I've written letters, toasts, stories, summations, briefs, books, memoirs, essays and speeches. But never, until last week, had I written a memorial service. The thread was undeniable. I was at my most creative, weaving together the elements of the service, the poems, the songs, the tributes, along with short but powerful meditations combining them to create a deeply meaningful service. I felt something I hadn’t felt since I was a prosecutor giving my closing arguments. There was no "I" when I was leading the event, I was in "the zone". It was exactly what DH Lawrence meant when he wrote “not I, but the wind that blows through me.” I completely understood what Steven Nachmanovich meant when he talked about "the noun of you becoming a verb." I will be now be offering life cycle events on my new website. Why? Because when something causes a "revolution in my heart", I need to move in that direction. (There also seems to be a huge need for it!) It makes perfect sense that everyone is trying out various forms of creativity during this time. We are shaken, unsure and anxious. As Carrie Fisher said, "Take your broken heart and turn it into art." Creativity brings us closer to our true essence. Ask yourself what causes a revolution in your heart? What lifts you up to joy? Where do you feel the greatest pain? We are all deeply creative people and want to access that creativity, that thread that has been your constant, by opening up to doing what brings you to life, following your fascinations, your obsessions, compulsions. When we can’t take it anymore, we need to get out of our heads, acknowledge our powerlessness but come back to ourselves by creating. As Elizabeth Gilbert asks in her book Big Magic, "Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures within you?" Say yes! We need you and your beautiful creative expression! Rainer Maria Rilke instructs: "Go into yourself and test the depths in which your life takes rise, at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create." Close your eyes and take three long slow deep breaths. Ask yourself this question: When I am my most alive? Listen carefully. Find that thread, follow that revolution in your heart, listen to the answer from within. Dance. Dream. Paint. Crochet. Play music. Whatever it is that brings you from a noun to a verb... Let what's in out. "You use your mirror to see your face, you use art to see your soul." George Bernard Shaw. Bring your soul forth, to be seen, appreciated and loved. Please forward this newsletter to someone you think would enjoy it.
With love and light, Nora Plesent Lawyer/Entrepreneur/Mom/Immersive Meditation Leader/Ripple Maker
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