What Feeds Your Creativity?

I haven’t written a blog post in ages, let alone revisited the fiction short story I started last summer. And forget the memoire/self-help book I’ve been writing in my head for the past 15 years!

This year seems to have flown by like so many United Airlines jaunts I’ve found myself on in the past few months.

My summer started shortly after the Solstice on a Vision Quest as part of my year-long Four Fold Way training with Angeles Arrien.

Although I’d planned to have a deeply spiritual experience,

I basically felt like from the moment I set up my tent in a little grove of trees,  someone had clubbed me, drugged me, dragged me into the tent and left me there to die.

I slept for nearly three days straight, only getting up to drink water and pee.

I had a dream that my bones were disintegrating into the earth as my decaying body rotted into the ground. Some may say this was a powerful shamanic experience.

For me it was an indication that things needed to change! I was de-toxing from too much caffeine, I was out of shape and exhausted. I'd been working non-stop and it was taking a toll.

The only thing that saved me those three long days was the constant drumming from base camp where the Angeles and her team said prayers for us every hour on the hour. Without them I would have felt desperately alone.

But I knew that even in my comatose state, healing was happening on a very deep level.

When I climbed out of my tent on the last day, I felt renewed and decided I would have a more fun and spontaneous summer.

I spent July 4th at the County Fair with my 10-year old niece where we rode something called the Viper, which made me dizzy and nauseous after all that spinning and twirling. Her sheer joy at me screaming my head off made it all worthwhile. (An additional vow is not to be one of those Auntie’s who always says “no I don’t want to mess up my hair…”)

 

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Later that week I took off for Portland for the World Domination Summit where I joined 3,000 others to gather and explore:

“How to live a remarkable life in a conventional world”

I was inspired by the likes of Nancy Duarte, who has analyzed and studied speeches from some of the world’s most inspiring leaders to see what “Resonates.” I met with dozens of online friends for the first time and danced Bollywood late into the night.

 

 

 

Most importantly, I was reminded of how essential creativity is in my life. In my state of perpetual busy-ness I had not only neglected my body, but the creative urge to write and express myself, essential nutrients for my soul.

 

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When creativity eludes me, I know things are off kilter in my life.

My creative urges don’t come from a blog writing schedule or an editorial calendar or even, frankly a deadline. They come from deep within, when I am rested and calm.

When I returned from Portland I took long hikes with my dog and went back to the gym. I signed up for a Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga class. I had never even been on a Stand Up Paddle board and my yoga was rusty, but doing a downward dog on the water with the sea and sky all around is an amazing experience. I could feel new brain cells forming.

Last week I visited family in Upstate New York. This is where I get my fix of Buffalo wings (the real ones) thunder and lightening storms, rain pouring down in buckets, leisurely time with family, reading the New York Times over coffee and dipping into chilly spring-fed lakes.

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I’m hoping from this place of relaxation something will emerge from my soul. Some whisper or yearning for expression beyond a three-line Facebook post or a client update. Something meaningful that helps me further my quest of living a “remarkable life in a conventional world.”

How’s your summer going? What are you creating?