"Stories are medicine. I have been taken with stories since I heard my first. They have such power; they do not require that we do, be, act anything - we need only listen."
-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
366 Days of Building Creativity Week 44 in Review: October 28th-November 6th
"May you let yourself off your own hooks,
and spend more time playing hooky
and spontaneous dancing in daylight."
Those words were sent to me today by Shiloh Sophia and are from her poem entitled "The Glitter From the Grit."
I had a very different blog draft started from what you are reading. It was one that was going to be about courage with our country's current events, but it wasn't right. I felt worse after writing it and didn't have any clue how I was going to edit the many words I had rambled and, I think possibly, ranted on the page.
It was vulnerable and authentic too, and I liked those pieces. The pieces about how there is so much I don't know, and how even if I think I know something, I can never be sure what I think I know is the actual truth. So I worry about speaking on a topic that I'm not the best informed about and how others will possibly judge or find fault with me. It was honest about how, in past seasons, I have avoided the news and updates from animal and human abuse help organizations because it overwhelmed and made me want to numb and shut down. It shared my doubts about how, even though I buy 7th generation dish soap, I truly worry about the state of our world for future generations with all our stuff, trash, chemicals, factory farms and habitat loss. So much so that I think it is a big reason I haven't wanted to bring my own children into the world and I'd rather adopt and love someone already here.
And then it got harsh. I got harsh on myself. I had myself on those aforementioned hooks Shiloh wrote about. I started with my "shoulds." Then I progressed to how I wasn't doing enough. I started telling myself I had to do all the things. My hooks consist of going to extremes. I either want to know nothing or I need to go and give up everything and be on the front protest lines. And maybe sometimes that is the solution, but for me, it's usually just another escape. Another escape from feeling and using the tools and creativity I now have (thank you God, Brené Brown, yoga, meditation) to come up with a new creative response path.
Shiloh's poem ended with these lines:
"May you have the courage
to sort the glitter from the grit of life
and revel in all the sparks of desire."
In preparation for a Magical Play Workshop, here's a self-portrait I just did. I added the glitter on the eyelids unexpectedly (I actually used to put this white glitter on my eyelids as a teen), and I'm so glad I did.
Creativity has given me permission to have glitter in my life.
I'm not going back.
I'm going forward and I'm forging a new path.
Reading Shiloh's creative poem brought me back and released me from my hooks.
And I just realized that this is the same women who wrote an article about Justice for Standing Rock that in part ignited my first blog draft and my shoulds. You know I'm not sure I even read that article. I must have already been on the hooks and seeing only what I thought I should because in re-reading here's what I just read:
"If we go down, I will stay awake, watching. We must continue to watch, to act, and to not shut down our feelings. We must practice as a global community the energy of witness and activist. The trees, the oceans, the waters, the creatures, all respond to OUR presence, our intentions. So even as we stand, we shall love."
"There is a lot to be done and it is hard to know how to take and make impactful action. We are creating a weaving of social justice actions and energy actions across the web and the fabric of creation. Note: This list was created from what we could find – it can be added to and subtracted from as we learn more. You must go where you feel called – just choose a few things and do them each day. Consider this an unending vigil until justice is served."
So I will use creativity to help me stay engaged. Instead of wanting to numb, I will say, "How can I respond to this with creativity and fun and love?" And maybe that's just consistent prayer, tonglen meditation practice, maybe it's making art, maybe it's writing this blog post, maybe it's engaging in the conversations I can, but I commit to using creativity, and glitter, lots of glitter.
"But all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well. No matter what."
-Lady Julian of Norwhich
"God's will for our life is wherever our skills meet our passions and burdens."
"Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer resistance."
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
-Robert F. Kennedy
"I see many new painters who don’t push through their awkward phase. Instead, they give up. What a loss of possibility and potential! I am living proof that beauty can emerge from the ugly phase. So friends, embrace those ugly phases and ugly paintings. CELEBRATE them as one more small step toward your creative potential, your LIFE’s potential."
-Kelly Rae Roberts
"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."
"Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work."