"I had fallen out of love with myself and with my work. I had a sense of treading water. But somewhere along the way I found my feet again and felt grounded. I came back to centre.
From the outside it probably all looked smooth. I looked like I was growing and trying new things but I felt jolted and out of control, a bad dancer at the disco! I had to find a way to sustain myself, to stop relying on others for my sense of worth, to find it in me. We took a family trip to the National Space Centre and there was a film in the planetarium called 'We are all Stars', about our place in the cosmos. It was awe-some. Such a tiny spec of insignificance, I am. Such a miracle. Such hugeness and insignificance. I will be gone in the blink of a cosmic eye. And I asked myself why I worry? Why do I question who I am and what I am doing? Why do I try to control the course of each day. I need to accept who I am, what I am, where I am."
I wrote the words above on a dark and dank February day last year. I recently reread it and found solace in reminding myself of my significance and insignificance. I am here. I am me. And that settles me. Whilst I am painting and growing and sewing, cooking and knitting, I am not consuming and destroying. I AM CREATING!
With my workshops and mentoring I get to share the act of creating. It's a profound thing to share. There's trust and vulnerability in sharing ideas and techniques and taking a bold leap of faith in trying something new. I try to create a space that is sensory, about capturing feelings and a holistic response to life. Someone said to me recently that "thinking is overrated' and it took me by surprise. There's an immense freedom in turning off your inner torrent of thoughts and creating in the moment. There is often a lifetime of unlearning to be done, especially with creativity where we were taught to draw only what we see, to compare ourselves constantly, to shape ourselves in the mold of others. I want to foster a creative environment of self acceptance, self expression and heartfelt creativity.
Last night I watched a documentary, "The 100 years show' about the artist Carmen Herrera (currently available on Netflix). What struck me was her resolve to keep on being herself.
I implore you to look at your life with your heart, to ask what makes you unique, and to honour that. We often look at others and value them more highly than ourselves. We put others' needs first and neglect our relationship with our self. We feed others' souls but are our own harshest critic. As Valentine's Day approaches, fall in love with yourself, feel with your heart, paint and draw with abandon and remember that any negative thoughts you have are overrated, are just thoughts, they are not truths. What I mean is be you, be authentic, create without question, create what is yours what is true to your roots and your experiences and your vision. don't overthink your creativity, or your process, or your destination. Creativity is mindfulness in action.
"The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently" Pema Chodron
To get me through the cosy evenings of Febraury, I am enjoying curling up with a good book. I LOVED 'The Muse'by Jessie Burton and its descriptions of what it means to create. I've moved on to read 'Feral' by environmentalist, journalist George Monbiot about reconnecting to our primal need to be wild. It's helping me look forward to spring, to reconnecting with the earth and my garden. It won't be long now....
An extract from my Creative Visualisations CD, 'I am Nature'.