Letters of Embodiment - December 2020
A newsletter to keep in touch and inspire connection.
How do you express creative energy? Is it spontaneous? Planned? Suppressed? Do you associate creativity explicitly with the arts? Are you inspired by your dreams at night?
Something I have personally found profound over the years is the connection between solitude and creativity. When I talk about solitude, I am not only talking about being physically alone, since we know being alone can stir up all sorts of different emotions. More specifically,I am talking about the feeling one gets when they are contentedly by themselves. The etymology of the word "alone" comes from "all one". As if finally, when in solitude, you can rejoin all the pieces of yourself and feel whole, and not just when in relationship to an "other". In this space of being all one, I find that my creativity explodes. Whether it's in a daydream, within the processing of emotions, experiencing deep gratitude for the life around me, or just being still. There is a tangible force that flows, reenergizing, invigorating, and blooming up and out of me. You may be thinking, "how is being still being creative?" Well, creativity and solitude maybe a little misunderstood. As Clarissa Pinkola Estes expresses, "Solitude is not an absence of energy or action, as some believe, but is rather a boon of wild provisions transmitted to us from the soul." Solitude gives us the space for reflection, self-discovery, spiritual growth, and self-examination. All of which are creative acts. It is a creative act to raise a child, to wash the dishes, to cook, clean, and nurture. Creativity may be found in the mundane just as much, if not more than in large "downloads" of artistic expression.
I know it is difficult to find these moments of restful solitude when you have families to raise, dinners to make, bills to pay, and businesses to run. Believe me. But I can't help but think about the link between these moments of solitude, creativity, and our outward expression in the communities around us. I ponder the technologies lost or the insights unexpressed due to the grind of a job that has depleted your dream space. If only we could restructure the fabric of our daily lives just enough to allow ourselves to come back to this place of "all one". Prioritizing even just a few moments for ourselves, as well as giving space for our dear ones to enjoy intimate moments alone as well, can have a ripple effect large enough to touch the lives of everyone around us. As Clarissa states again, "Creativity is not a solitary movement. That is its power. Whatever is touched by it, whoever hears it, sees it, senses it, knows it, it's fed. That is why beholding someone else's creative word, images, idea, fills us up, and inspires us to our own creative work. A single creative act has the potential to feed a continent. One creative act can cause a torrent to break through stone." Some things to ponder... Questions to answer in a journal or around the dinner table.
What are your favorite creative outlets?
Do you find it difficult to ask your loved ones for space or alone time?
How can we create a safe container for our loved ones to ask us for alone time?
Have you ever had an epiphany, breakthrough, or "ah-ha!" moment in the shower? If so, why do you think it took place there?
A collection of highly recommended sources of inspiration:
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver - a non-fiction book by Barbara Kingsolver detailing her family's attempt to eat only locally grown food for an entire year.
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine by Robert Moore - Arguing that mature masculinity is not abusive or domineering, but generative, creative, and empowering of the self and others, Moore and Gillette provide a Jungian introduction to the psychological foundations of a mature, authentic, and revitalized masculinity.
Online Self-Portrait Workshop by Feminine Forms - Join Megan McCluer, a self-portrait artist and feminine photographer, on 12/05/20 for a workshop on posing, photography, lighting, meditation, connection, movement, sensuality, femininity, self-love, body-love, and sisterhood.
Shop local this holiday season! - Putting your dollars back into the local economy will boost it 3 times more than shopping at big chains. Support small businesses to keep small businesses.