When the flu makes you pause…

I have had the flu – or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, the flu has had me…

I am now recovered, although it has taken more days than I was intending – viruses are careless with our intentions…

And, after the first frail futile days of burying myself in novels and tissues, it has been an opportunity to pause…

To reflect…

To re-assess and re-align…

I have been disturbed by how easy it is to drift from my ‘true north’ and to not notice that drifting in the minutiae of day-to-day…

… how easy it is to take the easy well-trod route instead of navigating by my own stars…

Time for a course correction!

Thanks to this pause, I have been able to recognise what I have doing to my dreams and goals (simple answer: not as much as I need to!) through fear, through habit, through erosion by daily grind.

And I can, and have, trimmed my sails and reset my course.

I recommend taking a pause now and again (though I also recommend leaving viruses out of yours, if you can!)

Stop, breathe, check where you are heading.

Is it truly where you want to go?

It is very easy to drift with life’s currents – even a small shift can lead to being dramatically off course over time. Best to take that moment to pause and adjust…

Big waves on the New Plymouth waterfront

Do you choose fear or joy?

Today I have a deceptively simple question for you:

Are you holding onto your stuff from fear, guilt and/or grief

or from love and joy?

I’ve asked this of myself, and found the answers to be incredibly powerful and healing. I hope it works the same for you.

I know what I want my answer to be!

Now to clear the fear and guilt-ridden stuff out of the house…

Nurturing your creative life

Something that is vital to having a creative life, but often oh-so-hard to prioritise in the daily grind, is nurturing that creative life.

As you may have guessed from my posts, this is not something that comes naturally to me. I have had to learn ways of doing it, and all too often the daily grind takes over. I suspect this is true for most of us (please tell me I’m not alone!)

So, here are three things I’ve learned (and endeavour to apply) that help keep me sparking:

* First on the list, and for good reason, is giving myself time and space to ponder and dream.

I have a journalling habit that helps me clear the dross out of my brain. I find handwriting with a nice flowing pen helps the thoughts flow through me – it constantly amazes me what rises to the surface when I can achieve that semi-trance flow state (and how fast it all comes to a crashing stop when the kids want something… only two three interruptions while writing this post!)

* Next up is making sure I have regular exposure to inspiration in its myriad forms.

I use Pinterest and my music collection for this when I’m at home – and is the reason behind my ‘Random Bits of Inspiration‘ posts. I’ll also trawl YouTube for new music and use Google image searches on whatever topic springs to mind. Out and about, I try to look around me and appreciate my surroundings. I also have a serious library habit, and I try not to limit myself, but wander all the shelves (especially non-fiction) to see what leaps out.

*Third (and where I often fall down) is getting on and actually doing creative stuff.

Right now, this often involves sitting around knitting or crocheting – I find that process meditative, and the colour and feel of the yarn is a form of inspiration in itself. I do get caught in the ‘too many ideas and not enough time to make them’ trap, but I’ll keep plugging away.

What I would like to do, and don’t get round to often enough, is to take myself to my studio space and play – be it dancing, sewing, beading , yarning, whatever. For some reason, actually getting myself downstairs into my studio is a hard thing for me to do at present. It’s much easier to stay upstairs and dream and knit. I suspect part of it is the ‘fear of my own creativity‘ thing. Another part may be my desire to have a less-cluttered space – which means less fabric and less yarn and less stuff, and I don’t want to let go! It’s (another) work in progress (and I’m never short of those 😉 )

So, that’s me. How about you?

Do these ideas resonate with you?

Do you have other ways of keeping your creativity alive and well?

I’d love to hear about them (and you)…

 

 

Randomness & Creativity

I sometimes feel like my creativity is a very fickle beast: it hangs around getting in my face when I’m trying to do other things, then is nowhere to be seen when I have time and space for it (actually, that’s a lot like my cat…)

But when I stop and consider, it turns out the fickle beast is more likely to be me. My creativity scares me, so I run and hide from it. Then, when I want something from it, I go looking for it and am surprised that it doesn’t want to know me.

Or, I’m not ‘in the mood’ (whatever that is – apart from a great Big Band number) and ignore its suggestions, and then wonder why it doesn’t turn up on demand…

I’m not yet good at nurturing my creative spark, at listening to it, at allowing its needs.

Yet, I aspire to live a creative life – to coax that spark into a blaze…

… so I must learn

to pay attention to the voice inside me

to ‘hang out’ with my spark even when I feel like running from it

to do the work even especially when it scares me

to stop aspiring and get on with actually living that creative life

It always be a work in progress – but I will continue to work for it…

Explaining the masquerade

I started drafting a reply to Jen’s comment on yesterday’s post and realised it was turning into a post in it’s own right…

My ‘masquerade’ is part truth, but part self-protection.  I am a suburban mum – but that is quite literally only the tip of the iceberg.  Yes, about 9/10 of my life lurks beneath the public surface!

Why?

The answer is complicated or at least multi-faceted (in no particular order):

Facet 1: My personal history.  I used to be an active christian and found paganism via the break-up of an emotional abusive relationship.  Many of my christian friends then had enough problems with the marriage break-up without complicating things further!

Facet 2: The area I live in has the highest number of churches per capita in our country.  Round here you navigate by denomination (turn left at the Catholics, if you reach the Baptists you’ve gone too far…).  If you tell visitors to turn left at the church you might never see them again – although I suppose that could have its uses!   So, being wide open about my own beliefs hasn’t felt entirely wise.  I do hint, and with people I know I’m quite open about it.  But I don’t walk down the street wearing a large pentagram (a discreet-ish goddess pendant, yes).

Facet 3: I don’t actually expect people to be that interested!  I figure most of us are quite busy enough getting on with our own lives, and I really don’t like to impose myself on people.  I am happy to be cheerful and friendly, but I’m not going to take it further than that without some form of invitation/encouragement.

Facet 4: This stuff is immensely important to me – an intrinsic part of my being.  Putting it ‘out there’ for public comment means I risk having something precious to me denigrated.

Facet 5: Keeping quiet has got to be a habit – this is the bit I’m really working on right now.  After all, it’s going to be hard to get work as a shaman-healer-counsellor if I don’t admit that what I am!

Facet 6: Over the course of my life, I have put a lot of energy into maintaining a reputation for being calm, etc.  The stuff currently bubbling to the service is kinda going to blow that out of the water!

There’s probably more, but that may be enough to digest for now!

Opening up to other people isn’t too big an issue for me – it’s opening up to myself I prefer to avoid.  I know once I start opening my heart, there will be no going back and my life may change quite dramatically.  That bit doesn’t scare me too much; I’ve already started somewhat through my counselling studies: a dash of feminist theory here, a smattering of anthropology there.  Letting myself really feel what I feel (instead of bottling it all) is the scary thing for me.  I know it will be a lot better for me – but it still scares me!