Stepping into the Creative River
Updated: Sep 13, 2022
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Creating a blog has been in the back of my mind for some time. The one thought holding me back from creating this space was the thought that it was, well, chutzpahdik (cheeky, self-indulgent, ego-driven). I am training myself, slowly, that whenever I think I am being chutzpahdik or 'selfish' it means I am doing something right and I should go for it. For I, like so many of us, shy away from expressing my voice and carving out space and time for my own needs. Indeed it has take me years to even understand I have needs, to work out what they are and then finally to express them.
The second thing holding me back was the usual line 'there's not enough time'. A mantra I stubbornly hold onto despite the exhaustion that follows. But of course there is always enough time. That mantra comes from a place of scarcity - of fear - of less than. I know I have the choice always to find time, to find the space which will in turn nourish me and help me to experience abundance rather than scarcity.
So this online scrapbook is a commitment to my life-long spiritual journey, shared with so many others, to carve out time for myself, be creative and find my voice. It is a space with no expectations, no agenda and no judgement. It is curious, loving, compassionate and agitational. It is as powerful and freeing as a river - meandering but purposeful - calming and terrifying.
It was Clarissa Pinkola Estés' book, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman, which allowed me to see the danger in not finding my own space and voice. I will keep coming back to this book. For now, let me share this quotation:
“I've seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write... and you know it's a funny thing about housecleaning... it never comes to an end. Perfect way to stop a woman. A woman must be careful to not allow over-responsibility (or over-respectabilty) to steal her necessary creative rests, riffs, and raptures. She simply must put her foot down and say no to half of what she believes she "should" be doing. Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only.”
Oy! Over-responsibility. So much of this quotation rings true. It is so easy to habitually do and attend to everything before attending to creating a space in which I can step into. In essence I dishonour myself every minute that I ignore my yearnings or my inner voice. I know that if I don't hold this creative space as sacred, part of me dies for I am not giving life and I am not growing.
I also remember the words of my ancestors who taught that holiness lives in these spaces - specifically Shechinah (the female divine presence and manifestation of G?d). As it says in Pirke Avot 3:6, Shechinah (known to particularly be with us in exile) rests even when one person studies or enters this space and they quote Exodus/Shemot 20:21 - “In every place where I cause my name to be mentioned I will come unto you and bless you”.
I'll end with this quotation which is currently stuck on the inside of my office door so that I remind myself of the commitment I have made, the journey I am on and the blessings that await as I step into this creative river.