Ego-Honored Creativity


DSC01927Are you feeling alive to new creativity?  Enthused with the new year of new beginnings, opportunities?  Are you gracing yourself with time and opportunity to dabble, create, have fun, try new things?  We are a few weeks into renewed enthusiasm; how is it working for you?

I am hearing from some that they are experiencing a block, their interest is there, their desire is there, and when they sit down to write, draw, create – everything goes blank.  Someone else recently shared that she has this dangling desire but she doesn’t know what to do – she doesn’t know where to begin.  One other person said, (like I deal with so often, as well) that she battles the perfection issue and therefore does nothing.

Oh, blessed ego.  I have no intentions to exposit on ego, to dis it, or to tell you to thwart it, or rid of it.  In fact, I think the opposite is true.  Let me explain.

We know the ego is not the innovator in our lives.  It governs the safe aspects of us.  It needs validation, approval, rightness.  Our ego dares not to be ok, just ok, it wants brilliancy.  So many veins of thought lead us into the practice of getting rid of ego’s power for the good of the commonality of humanity, for the practice of oneness, for the betterment of our souls.  Do you ever find though, that when you move in to “work” on things, or attempt to override the ego, there is more failure sometimes, and a greater ego-battle?

Instead of trying to lessen or get rid of the ego’s influence or domination, maybe we should embrace it.  Move into it, acknowledge its purpose, appreciate how it has helped, protected, kept us safe throughout the years.  In fact, perhaps we should take a different approach with our own self care in acknowledging the ego as brilliant.  Hmmm.  Brilliant.  Yes, brilliant to help with resiliency, management of experiences, (t)raumas in our lives, (T)raumas (if there were those), and relationships.  Our egos protect us from hurtful words, interactions, and patterns.  Our esteem is our management of our self in this world protected by our ego.  Our view of our self-worth or value is not just based on external influences, it is based on our egos protection of our self in relationship.  Protectively we position ourselves better than in some situations, worse than, in others, over powering at times, victim-like at times, but we don’t do that because it is fun, or we have time on our hands.  Our ego brilliantly protects us in relationship to the world.

Homeostasis.  Balance.  Acceptance.  Validation.  Normalization.  No matter what we are experiencing in our lives, these words are the intentions, as is true with creativity, our ego, and its role in protecting us.  So when we look at being free and balanced in our energies, and when we desire to allow our creativity to flow, it is good to bring acceptance and appreciation for the role of protectiveness of the ego so that homeostasis frees up our creativity.

I recently have been working through Julia Cameron’s, Sound of Paper, and in one of her contemplations, she spoke about an “ego-free art” experience.  I dabbled with that in the context of living with acceptance, and thought the way we can move towards an ego-free art experience is to accept the brilliancy of the ego.  When we are able to be ok being ok, then we are able to open up and stand in the power of our creative nature, giving that freedom as well – freedom from judgment, externally or internally, freedom from perfection, freedom from should’s.

I continue to be blessed, mightily by those who live in these freedoms in their writing, creativity, art, journaling, and who model these freedoms by sharing with the world.  If you are being strangled by the need for perfection or the feelings of “I am not an artist”, or “I can’t write”, perhaps you can take something from these thoughts and integrate them into your life . . . and then perhaps you will bless the world with your creativity.  So too, I dabbled in my ego free art zone where I acknowledged the brilliancy of my ego so that I could dare to create . . . and when I dared to create, yes, the ego took some pleasure in the creation when she was invited in – smile.)

(Special thanks to an artist lesson on YouTube of which I integrated their ideas into a project for the sake of learning.)

Advertisements

Go In


 

Go In

 

look beyond the knowings of your mind

go in

look at the ancient, timeless truths

drawn on the walls of your soul

don’t let darkness shroud your knowing

go in

it is there that the eyes of your soul will adjust

sit, listen, wait

for the walls will speak

of stories, truths that transcend

man’s need, attempt to control truth

feel

the energies of endless time

generations, lives, civilizations before you

ripples of knowing

as endless as the drops in the ocean

don’t move

let the vibrations of knowing move in you

let it pulse that you may become one

with every reverberation

now move

touch, taste, feel, see

explore the remnants

the artifacts, the truths

touch the stones of sacredness

the voluptuous beauty of her power

left for your knowing

stories inscribed in stains

uncorrupted by the feebleness of man’s tainting

now bathe

bathe in truth

cleansing the lies, beliefs

and crustings of pain

yours, of the times, and lifetimes

adorn, now

the fragrance of all that you are

clothe yourself in the power and majesty

of grace, light, love

but don’t stop there

take the hand of the person next to you

dance for them

celebrate you that they may see

the eternal being that you are

take them to the entrance of their soul

hold the door, invite them to go in

embrace them with hope and courage

invite them to learn the sacredness of who they are

that they too might dance

lastly, resume

delight in you, eternal you

yes, you

dance

© Kristin Kennedy, 2012

 

Be Ok Being You


I watched these cattle for months observing how they cluster together, and most often face the same direction.  (Actually in this picture they are not as clustered as I have seen them when I didn’t have my camera with me.)  I philosophied (my word) and spiritualized their actions, their energy, and a greater purpose.  I even researched (googled) their behaviors – clustering and standing in one direction, only to find that there is no such commonality or patterns with cattle.  Honestly, I was disappointed.

I wanted to say that we have much to learn from cattle – that if we cluster together, share a greater commonality of energy, support, mutual care, we will be protected, safer, healthier, in greater unity, but I can’t do that.

And…the funny thing is since I captured the above picture of the cattle facing the same direction (and somewhat clustering), I have not seen them like that since.  As you can see in this next photo, they are scattered or more spread out and facing different directions.  So there goes my theory.  My spiritualizing was scattered across the field.  As time has been passing, in a way, I am grateful for my disappointment because I think there is even a greater truth in what I have been observing.

Life is not about conforming.  It is not about “doing the right thing”.  It is not about fitting in (or not fitting in).  Conversely, it is not about being independent, not conforming, or purposefully trying to set yourself apart or be unique.  Life is whatever you want it to be today, this moment.  Life, this moment, is about being you.  This moment you get to choose what you want for you…and the next moment you can make a different choice.  Someone recently encouraged me with this: “Today, you may want to dye your hair pink, and tomorrow you might decide that you want to try it out as blue…and it doesn’t matter…there are no rules.”  If you were a steer, today you might want to stand in the center of the herd, facing the same direction; tomorrow you might want to be off on your own; the next day you might want to face a different direction…or lie down when all the other cattle are standing.  There is no “right” way of being.

So if you see me today and my hair is pink – don’t judge me and I won’t judge you.  Celebrate my growing in freedom, and I will encourage you in yours and celebrate with you.   If I am not in the herd with you, it is ok.  If I am off on my own, it is ok.  If I am facing a different direction, it is ok.  However, if I am donning my hair in pink, and am off on my own, standing facing a different direction, you might have a reason for concern.  Just kidding.

I think the greater lesson from these cattle is just: be ok being you!

Writing with a Friend


Blue Marsh Lake
Blue Marsh Lake (Image by Jeff Cushner)

Had a fun weekend…went to Blue Marsh Lake with a friend and wrote…we sat and looked out on the ice melting on the lake, the bare trees, and horizon of pine trees…and encouraged each other in poetry.  It is always fun to write with others…if you write and ever want to write together, let me know…there is a sense of camaraderie and fun in the practice.

I thought I would share some of our work.  Enjoy!

She wrote:

Emergence in the distance

Under the ground

Flowers await to show their brilliance

 

Trees without leaves

Reach up to the heavens

Pointing to all the twinkling stars

 

Ice, frozen water, no movement

Underneath life forces awaiting the thaw

Movement of orange and white

A koi pond comes to life

 

Winds howling, trees swaying,

Leaves blowing, windows rattling.

The force is powerful.

Then stillness appears.

 

I wrote:

 

The solitude of transition

Ice remains

The silhouette of limbs are like veins in the horizon

Stillness, purity,

A sense of nothingness.

Life awaits,

Dormant, ready,

Waiting for the synergy

Of light, warmth, water.

Emergence

New life

There is new life in this moment.

Always in the moment

Life may look different tomorrow,

But it is always new now.

 

The ice canvases the lake

Imperfections hidden

Smooth, sheen, serene

 

Peaks of green life

Arm skyward

The scent of pine

In the midst of brown dormancy 

I find it interesting how similar thoughts emerge.  Even if you don’t put your thoughts to writing, take time to be creative with your thoughts about what you see around you…it would be like having a moment of joy…you are always welcome to share.

 

 

 

 

 

Satisfaction in the Small


Houseworks
Satisfaction in the Small Things

I don’t know about you, but I have days where there is nothing there – no inspiration, no creativity, no ah-ha moments…I am just there (here).  For some writing and creating is a practice; for others it is an inspiration; for others it is a let-your-fingers-type-and-where-did-that-come-from-experience.  Most writers would say that you have to develop a practice.  Believe me, I understand the theory, I even understand the practice, but I don’t function that way…perhaps that is true for you as well.  What also may be true is the grappling with the knowing of the how-to’s and the actuality of how it is in reality…then in comes the “should’s”…talked about that before, remember?

So this morning I sat down to practice.  I honored the process for a few minutes and then I moved on in order to not beat myself up with the “should’s”.  I began a chain of doing the small things…organizing my scarves, hats, and gloves – something I have been wanting to do for months…sending a thank you note – something I am usually fashionably late about doing…cleaning the water tray in the refrigerator water dispenser – sadly I admit it was brownish.

I remember hearing Patsy Clairmont, a motivational speaker with Women of Faith.  She said in the midst of her depression and agoraphobia (fear of going out)…she started to be thankful in the small things – making her bed. Eventually her strength and abilities grew and her fears lessened.  That one point though has stuck with me…when I feel like I am not “accomplishing anything, I remember her being thankful for accomplishing her making the bed.

Back to my “small things”…I sat down for a moment and realized that there was satisfaction in accomplishing the things that I mentioned.  It felt good to do things I have been wanting to do.  It felt good that one thing led to another and I didn’t follow a list.  I didn’t succumb to the should’s.  If you were a fly on the wall, you probably would have laughed at me because it wasn’t as smooth as it sounds, but hey, things got done in the funniest of ways. 

Ok, I will tell you, I opened the closet, the hats, gloves, and scarves fell off the shelf…so I started to organize them…then there was a bottle of soap in there that I wanted to get out (peppermint soap for the holidays).  I took the soap to the powder room and saw that they mirror was dirty…I went to the kitchen to get the spray…and I was thirsty so I went to get a drink of water from the refrigerator and saw that the tray was dirty…I went to wash that and then sat down to check e-mail and thought, “ok, I need to write a thank you note”…I did and I looked up and saw the hats, gloves, and scarves on the floor and returned to organize that…the bathroom light was on and I remembered that I was going to wash the mirror…and so I did.  Tasks completed…full circle.  There, I told you.  Sorry I bored you with the details, but, I bet you have had those very same experiences. 

No, these little accomplishments are not writing the next great novel; no they are not impacting the world with my “gifts”; no they are not creating, being productive in the world’s eyes, or even those around me; but, the small things are satisfying inside, for me…I needed to take a moment to appreciate that today.  I am grateful for the ability to do the small things…

…And then I sat down to write…and I could…hooray, I am grateful for all things.

Integrative Thought: Big things, small things, they are all the same…take a moment to be grateful for and in the small things. 

Before I close, a great big hooorrrraaaayyyy for Susan Dennard.  Susan is a writer and blogger. 

Susan has answered questions about writing and has been an inspiration through her blogs (she has several)…she has commented on my blog and I feel like I know her…and…she signed a three-book deal…can you imagine.  Fellow writers, check out her blogs: www.susandennard.com.  Congrats Susan!

“I Am Ok Being Ok”


Reading's Pagoda seen from Skyline Drive
Image via Wikipedia

If you are not from the area, I want to tell you about a great environment that you should visit in the Reading, PA area, Goggleworks Center for the Arts. Yesterday was Second Sunday when many of the artists are in their studios and much is going on throughout the building. There were art talks, glassblowing demonstrations, lamp work demos, pottery classes, artist talks, galleries to peruse, films, and lots of people everywhere…a feel good, inspiring environment.

I had the privilege of having a writing critique with Mickey Getty, author of Junk Lottery. It is always good to have your writing critiqued with constructive input and I received good input…so Mickey Getty, thank you…it was a helpful experience.

Today in the blog world and twitter there is much written about destructive/harmful critiques…and yes, they can be painful. What I have learned, though, is that no matter what someone else says or how destructively critical he/she is, I have my knowing inside of the purpose of my writing and the personal satisfaction of getting my thoughts on paper. I also try to remind myself that “every person pulls their pants up the same way I do”. That has been my filter through which I have tried to experience critiques. Actually that is the way I try to experience life. “I am ok being ok.”

A thought to share: Whether it is writing, talking to family/friend on the phone, interacting with people at a store, or dealing with an uncooperative customer rep on the phone, remember “they pull their pants up the same way as you do”, their “power” doesn’t have to penetrate your knowing of who you are, and “it is ok being ok”. Have a great day.

Anywhere is Inspiring


This morning , after voting, I had to get my car serviced.  Another task in the day.  I arrived at the service center and of course there is a wait.  There are five chairs and there are five people sitting in those chairs.  The observant man behind the desk said, “Have a seat, we will be right with you.”  I wasn’t in my cocky mood this morning, so I didn’t respond with, “And whose lap would you like me to sit on.”  I smiled instead and walked away.

It was in the 40’s outside, but I headed out to find a step to have a seat.  It is funny how you can convince yourself that 40 degrees is warm and that you love being out in the cold.  Truth be told, it actually felt wonderfully good. 

I am reading Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the writer within, by Natalie Goldberg (1986, 2005).  I was reading about writing in different places, under different circumstances, with different people, and moving out of the “box” of writing for 60-minutes everyday as a task to be completed…the good girl/boy approach.  What better place to walk the walk.  I grabbed my pen and notebook…and began writing. 

I don’t always know about what I am going to write.  I don’t know what is going to come out either.  But I did know that I had strong emotions today.  Writing is much like an adventure and today was no differently.  I have been practicing the art of surrendering in emotions…being ok with having multiple emotions; being ok in the emotions without judgment; normalizing and validating the feelings, and writing has become a part of that practice.  And so, I took a few moments to breathe, to look around and be present with my senses, to surrender and lastly to invite…and the words began to flow.  Haiku that is.  Separation, aloneness, lost, disconnectedness poured forward in Haiku.

There I sat, on freezing cold cement, outside the auto service center, in the middle of a suburban neighborhood, looking at signs of life, Fall, leaves, beauty, writing about the aching pains of not feeling connected, learning the lessons from my own words…we are always connected, there is no separation, and I can rest in that knowing.

“Miss, your car is finished.”  I returned in thought, put the pen and notebook away, and had a moment of gratitude for the solitude, the cold step, and the words.  I always learn from my words.

I hope today that you can find such a sacred place.  Don’t be surprised at where that place is and what that place inspires.