The Heart of Creativity

One of my favorite things to do - doodling

One of my favorite things to do – doodling

My spirit is calling me to talk about creativity today.  Most of my posts have been related in some way or other to the Tarot, and I often post my artwork or a photograph I’ve taken of the card.  Until now I’ve never spoken directly about my work as an artist, but the journey to express myself creatively has been healing and extremely gratifying.  I have always been pulled to do creative things, but it took me a long time to fully embrace that part of myself.

When I was 27 my late husband, Chris, gave me a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and about that same time I discovered another wonderful book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  I know that I didn’t fully “get” everything these women were talking about at the time, but I kept going back to these books.  I still revisit them from time to time, and this is why:  Julia Cameron helped me understand that I wasn’t alone in feeling creatively blocked, and that it was absolutely possible to awaken that part of myself.  She also gave me tools that I still use.

Sarah Ban Breathnach planted the tiny seed of an idea:  that gratitude and self-nurture could transform my life.  Both of these books introduced me to the concept that there might be something truly wonderful, unique, and beautiful inside of me just waiting to emerge.  I had a lot of inner criticism and mental garbage to wade through at the time… but I had that tiny glimmer of hope that kept pulling me forward towards discovering what those gifts might be.

It took me a while to get over myself enough to be a beginner.  The ego hates that, you know.  But my creative spirit needed to emerge.  I heard someone say last week, “the pain pushes until the vision pulls” and that absolutely describes my experience.  The pain of not allowing myself to express creatively kept pushing me forward.  It pushed me into classes and to craft fairs.  It pushed me set up a studio, carve out time in my life, unplug from drama and tend to my inner artist.  I was pretty stubborn, and there was a lot of resistance to jack hammer through….but then the vision started to pull me into my creativity.  It started to feel necessary, like dinner.

For me the path of creativity ran parallel with my journey to cultivate my intuition.  In fact, one of the reasons that I was so captivated by the Tarot was that the archetypal themes went right to my creative center.  They stirred my imagination into action in a positive way.  I had become very good at using my imagination to generate worry, but now I had a productive outlet for this energy and beautiful things started to come forth.  I learned that expressing myself creatively was healing, and now it’s part of my spiritual practice every bit as much as meditation.

I had the wonderful experience this weekend of indulging in a workshop with Suzi Baum, my neighbor, friend, and all around Renaissance woman.  You can check out what she’s up to on her blog:  Sitting with a group of women writing, doodling, and sharing really fed my spirit.  We did these things just to see what would emerge.  There was no agenda, just exploration… and it occurred to me that this is really the heart of creativity ~ to explore oneself and make what you find visible to others in some way.  The little doodle pictured above is part of what I did that afternoon.

I’ll add here, that even though my own path has involved literally picking up a paintbrush {or pen} and expressing in that sense I believe that we are all creative.    Perhaps you love to cook, garden, or write.  Maybe you love sewing, knitting, or decorating.  You might enjoy the art of golf or creating a meaningful yoga practice.  Your business can even be a creative outlet with endless possibilities.

Whatever you are doing, you are creating the life you are living.  You are creating the quality of your days, the connection in your relationships, the essence of every moment you spend.  I believe that these moments are opportunities to allow our inner riches to come forth.  Whatever you are doing to give voice to your spirit is worthwhile.  It doesn’t have to have a an obvious purpose right up front.  If it lights you up in some way it’s a beautiful thing.  I’ll leave you with an invitation to explore that part of yourself in some way along with one of my favorite quotes:

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never be seen. ” ~Robert Bresson

I’ll be posting again in a few days all about The Emperor.  In the meantime have a wonderful 4th of July!! xo

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