I was born an artist, and I have long valued my Creative Life. I capitalize it for a reason, because for a long time I felt it was a proper noun.
At age three, I began a long training in ballet, and by eight years old the piano was added, along with choir.
In ninth grade, I met a wonderful art teacher who introduced me to various mediums of expression that I hadn’t thought of as art, but more as crafting. She brought alive a feeling deep within me when we learned the techniques of batik, enameling, stained glass work, ceramics and cloisonne.
At home, I was also exposed to the familiar arts of knitting, sewing, crochet, needlepoint and gardening, but I just thought these were things that women did to pass the time and make clothes and pretty things for their families. It wasn’t until years later, when I taught my girls these arts, that I realized their innate creative value, cultivated in a time when women had little expression outside the tight social bindings.
My grandfather was also extremely creative and worked as a master dyer, running a number of fabric dye factories in Puerto Rico, as an ex-pat from the UK. I learned my love of color and my ability to distinguish between infinitesimally unique shades from him. When I started to dye fabric myself, my heart sang and so I declared myself a textile artist, and that is where I identified for a long time.
My grandfather also passed down the gene of the green thumb to my mother, to me, and eventually to my children, especially my youngest daughter. For many, gardening is a household chore, but in my family it was art, based strongly on the principles of traditional English gardening and design. To create with green, with flowers, with trees, was, and continues to be a blessing. I remember my grandfather telling me that a girl and her spade can change the world. He was right.
I am most grateful to all the beings who taught me these various expressions of creative art, and I deeply enjoy participating with my skills and sharing them with others as well. It is in the teaching of these things that we truly hone our skill, though the action of teaching is not often thought of as a creative act.
All this creativity, all this drive for expression, seemingly went on hold when I had children and began the task of caring for a home. It appeared to me that my creative self, my creative life, came to a stop, and I experienced a limiting of my creative expression at the time that felt stifling.
I longed for creative expression, and as a freedom-seeking being since birth, it was a strong calling in me. I felt I was losing something, that it was draining away from my soul and would run out, never to be captured again. Like a vein of gold in a mine, there only seemed to be so much of it, and thus it became more coveted by my mind.
Many speak about this loss of the creative life, most especially for women, because the divine feminine is the creative energy of the Universe. The womb space is the seat of creativity, of nurturing new ideas and bringing them out into the world, but women rarely think of having children as a creative expression. They see it as a biological one and remove the mantle and miracle of creation from it. It is, in fact, the ultimate in creative expression, developing form from energy, biology and intent.
At the time of child-birthing, I did not feel that this process was creative in the least, though it was beautiful, and it was something I wished with all my soul to experience. I have to giggle now, as an intuitive, I generally thought I would have sons, but after my beautiful first daughter was born, I happened across my 8th grade diary, where I had written that my first child would be a daughter and I would name her Samantha. I had no recollection of this statement to the Universe, but I did, indeed, participate in her creation and naming.
A number of years after child-bearing, I developed ovarian cysts, and the doctors wanted to take out my ovaries. At this point, I discovered a book of spiritual and body work, the name of the author and the title of the book escapes me at this moment, though I bless them deeply for their sharing, which stated the ovaries are the center of creation and cysts are the body’s way of creating, if the woman has put her creative life on hold.
I asked my doctor if it would be possible for me to wait six months before the surgery and see if I could deal with this body issue myself. She said certainly I could wait, and if things got bad, just call up and schedule their removal immediately.
I began in earnest to explore my creative life again. I engaged in dancing, and writing, and dying and tie-dying and drawing and journaling and planting. I stuffed all the other things that I had to do to the side, into a small box of time, so that I would have tons of free time for self-expression. I created, and created and created, and slept and slogged and created some more, until I was sick to death of creating.
The joy was gone, and the flow was no longer the flow, as it had become medicine. The truth is, allowing myself to be creative was not the same as knowing in my soul that I am creative. When I opened the flood gates, the energy shifted and the cysts did stop coming, though the acts of creativity were also combined with some energy and chakra work, along with acupuncture, so I am not sure which came first, the creativity or the healing.
I reclaimed my Creative Life, and I was stressed, overwrought, dry and ridiculously unhappy. I reordered my priorities in such a way that I was extremely unbalanced, and truth be told, I began to dread creative expression as just another thing I MUST do.
I also failed to realize a level of creativity that was just as valuable in my life and the lives of others. Being a mother, a wife, a daughter, a house-keeper, a gardener, a cook, a teacher and a friend are all creative acts. Every moment spent supporting our lives and the lives of others is creative. Heck, teaching a child to use the potty is a creative act!
Separating ourselves and our time with boundaries where we turn on a part of ourselves for that time and space, and then turn it off to return to another time and space is not the truth. We give away our amazing power and wholeness by doing this.
Since that time, I have discovered an even deeper and truer truth. We are creative. There is no separation into not creative and creative. The artistic being simply expresses their creativity in a more outgoing format. They have been trained to produce and so they believe this to be true for all creativity, and that is simply habit.
Creativity just is. It is not used, it is not applied, it is not conjured, contorted or squelched. It is not a well that can ever run dry. It is just inherent in every particle of our being.
Even as we sit in stillness, thinking we are doing nothing, our body is creating via millions of processes internally active and continually at play. In any given moment, we can use this creativity to jump or run or think, or breathe or smile.
Our energy fields are constantly interacting with other energy and creating in a dance of form and flow. The predominance of our vibration, thoughts and tendencies create the next moment we experience, and the next, and the next.
There is not a single moment of existence where we are not creative. Even asleep, we are creating in our dreams, worlds that do not exist in our present reality, but exist nonetheless.
There is not a single being in this Universe that is not creative. From the tiniest cell to the biggest galaxy, each participates in the dance of creativity.
In fact, if one goes even deeper, every particle of quanta is in service to this creative dance, so all expression of energy in form and out of form is indeed creative.
There is no separation from this creative aspect within the Universe. To be, is to create, using the vast potential of the Divine Masculine, funneled through the expressive creation energy of the Divine Feminine. The Mother and the Father come together and form is birthed in every single moment.
When I truly realized this, my life and my joy came into balance. Gone was the obsessive need to have and to hold a separate space for creativity. Instead, I stepped into the space of constant creator of my own Universe. I also understood that I could direct this creation and experience what delighted me most in every moment of my being.
Doing things that did not generally delight me, took on a new light, as I realized I could apply my creative self to making them more enjoyable. The way my body moved when vacuuming became a dance. The way my hands worked with water and soap and dishes became a performance art piece. The way I interacted with people and places and things were given more reverence for the potential beauty these experiences could express.
I am deeply grateful for this process, that seemingly took the creative life away from me, only to give it back in its true and all encompassing form. When we fully embody our true selves, there is no limit to what we can create.
After all, we are beloved children of the Universe, and we share the gifts of creating with, well, the ultimate Creator. How could it be any different?
So now, when the mood strikes me to create a piece of art, or get covered in dye, I no longer have to take out my artist’s chapeau and dust it off. It remains firmly at home, on the top of my head, and in the center of my creative heart, at all times.
Written for Gaia Scenics’ View
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