‘Droughts are a necessity’

Dearest reader – I’m back! Thanks for waiting. It’s been nearly 3 months since my last posting (crikey!) and I’ve had to ask myself “have I simply gone off the boil – forever? Maybe the blogging mojo has just evaporated (inexplicably) and I need to move on?” But something inside of me said ‘No – this is temporary – stick with it.’ I know to listen to my instincts but I have to say it was a weird feeling, suddenly switching from weekly posting to nothing, zero, zilch. What was with that?

To be frank, I don’t have clue why I dried up. I was busy but that’s not been a problem before. All I can do is shrug my shoulders and believe that this was meant to be.

We’ve all heard of the metaphor of a field that needs to lie fallow for a growing season in order to replenish itself. Maybe that was what was going on?

My friend Nancy told me today that she saw these times as a gift – an opportunity for silence and to go deep within ourselves.

Julia Cameron (she of  The Artist’s Way) talks about it in terms of a drought. “Droughts are a necessity,” she says. “The time in the desert brings us clarity and charity.’ She adds:

… as painful as they are, they deepen us. When we feel we have “nothing to say” as artists, we are grappling with what it is we do want to say. In struggling to find our sources of inspiration, we find ourselves.

Another thing: drought doesn’t disqualify you as an artist. Rather, it is a rite of passage, an initiation period that while it pains us also makes us better…  we experience a deepened gratitude for those times when art comes to us more easily.

In other words, droughts make us appreciate times of flow. As much as anything else, droughts teach us compassion for ourselves and others. Can this be anything but a blessing?

It’s true – I do feel renewed. Renewed inside of the ‘Why?’ of this blog and what the writing of it gifts me with – conciousness, connection, curiousity and celebration.

I’ll leave you with a couple of snowy pictures from the Stroud Valleys taken today. Just because… !

Edge in the Snow 1 Randwick Woods2

Meeting ourselves, meeting our self-expression

I’m rather proud of this photo I took yesterday down by the canal in Frampton-on-Severn.

It reminds me of what Julia Cameron (author of The Artist’s Way) says about paying attention to the details in our life:

People frequently believe the creative life is grounded in fantasy. The more difficult truth is that creativity is grounded in reality, in the particular, the focused, the well observed or specifically imagined…. it is there, in the particular, that we contact the creative self. [Creativity] lies in the moment of encounter; we meet ourselves and we meet our self-expression.

 

How to be creative

Just came across this from Neale Donald Walsch about creativity and consciousness – very apropos at the moment!

Creation is the highest form of Divinity, and your birthright. Truth is, you are creating all the time. The central question in your life is whether you are doing this consciously or unconsciously.
I’m enjoying my new Artist’s Way workshop immensely. Just by being on the course we are all paying more attention to how creative we are allowing ourselves to be.
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Here’s another wonderful piece on creativity this time by Sark. I’ll be handing out copies of this to my participants tomorrow.
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HOW TO BE CREATIVE

 Stay loose.

Learn to watch snails.

Plant impossible gardens.

Invite someone dangerous to tea.

Make little signs that say YES and post them all over your house.

 Make friends with freedom and uncertainty.

Dare to dream. Cry during movies.

Swing as high as you can on a swing.

Cultivate moods.

Refuse to be responsible for a day.

Do something for love.

Take a nap in the sun. Give money away.

Believe in magic.

Laugh. Celebrate every gorgeous moment.

Take moonbaths. Have wild imaginings.

Draw on the walls.

Giggle.

Open up.

Bless yourself.

 Get wet.

Hug a tree.

Write a love letter: to yourself.

-Sark-

www.planetsark.com

The White Room

So, following on from my last post and all that I’ve been exploring recently, I wanted to tell you about what I’m calling my ‘White Room’.

It turns out that the most alive and free we can be is from a place of space. Nothing. Zilch. Just space. If you are an accomplished meditator then you know this place well. But even if you don’t meditate you might have had a wee taste of it in those moments when we find yourself staring out of the window, mouth slightly open, eyes glazed over, in a kind of daze. No-one at home – just you, unaware of anything. These moments are fleeting but it’s something worth cultivating. Because it’s in these moments that we are completely FREE!

  • No assumptions
  • No past
  • No future
  • No doubts, fears, judgements….

Just ….. nothing.

This is what I’m calling my White Room. If I can go to my white room then I can sit and calmly decide, in my own time, and only if I want to, how to furnish my room. In other words I get to choose exactly what I create in this space. And because it’s empty – there is no end to the possiblities. The sky’s the limit!

I’m trying a new practice of going to my White Room whenever I can – particularly if I’m starting to feel mentally and emotionally overcrowded. Today was a good case in point. I was stuck in the x-ray department of the local hospital (Sasha’s getting braces) and watched as the waiting room filled twice over with people who all got seen to before us. I complained twice but to no avail. I was fuming! But then I remembered my White Room. I went in their and felt it all drop away. I didn’t stay in there for more than a minute or so but it helped me calm down enormously. Most importantly it helped me decide: “Now that all this frustration and everything to do with it, is stripped away – what is it I really want to create here?”

Try it yourself. And don’t forget to let me know how you get on. I’d love to hear!