Ah, the holidays. A chance to let go, unwind and too often fall into a lazy comfort that can be hard to arouse oneself from. I started the holidays busy, busy, busy… and by the end it was trashy novels and Christmas cookies. Sigh.
There’s nothing wrong with this – I need that mindless downtime as much as the next person. And I’m more than grateful that I have the luxury to do so. But when it’s time to start percolating again, the weight of lethargy can be daunting.
I knew I had some creative deadlines ahead, but all I felt was resistance. Perhaps I’d be more inspired after reading 50 more pages of my novel, I rationalized? Or a nap? However, nothing seemed to rouse my inner sloth.
The good news is that I’m skilled at working with resistance… perhaps because I meet such an abundance of it in myself and my clients! I was determined not to let my inner loafer win…
As I pondered how to generate a more creative mindset (at the same time I fought the urge to sip just a wee bit more eggnog), an idea arose that actually grabbed my attention. Instead of going to write, I thought, I’d go and have a “Listening to Me Creative Hour!” The more I thought about it, the more excited I got.
That made it an hour not of “trying” to do something, or of eking out wisdom or brilliance, God forbid. No, it was an hour all about ME, which was something that had been in short supply over the holiday with focusing on the right gifts, making meals, sharing space with my beloveds (really dears, that glare wasn’t meant to get you out of the room). MEMEMEME my heart almost sang. I could sit in a room ALONE, have a good reason to do so, and listen to what I really wanted.
So, I grabbed my holiday orange-flavored coffee, my computer, a few poetry books, a blanket, journals (okay, I pack for a creative period with more stuff than can fit in a U-Haul) and skittered off to listen to myself.
First I rested quietly and offered myself compassion and acceptance for exactly where I was. Then I moved to a shaft of winter sunlight and enjoyed the warmth on my skin. I sighed and stretched my arms because it felt good. Then I cranked up an inspiring podcast that alternated talking with silence to respond to writing prompts. As I lazily wrote, I remembered that writing is not about the product, but the journey.
Before long I had shifted to my writing projects and was typing away, in my happy zone, a quartz crystal lamp glowing along with my heart.
What I forget sometimes (until I don’t), is that we all need regular “Listening to Me Creative Hours” (or 10 minutes, or whatever time we have). This is time for us to really nurture ourselves, and if creativity springs from that (which it often does), all the better. If not, that’s okay too. Just sitting down with the intention to give ourselves space builds trust that we are worth it. When we believe that every time we sit down to create we MUST produce something good, then we are not honoring the tender creative beings we are.
In fact, the thing that has surprised me most about my ongoing creative and writing circles is that women say they show up because it’s sacred creative time just for them. No outside demands, no pressure to perform, but a place to hear themselves in a deep way. In other words, a “Listening to Me Creative Hour…” with others.
Right now it is cold and raining outside, but my heart and creative spirit are warm and alive. The feeling I get from a creative session with myself is something no amount of trashy novel reading can replicate. At least on most days…
How do you emerge from a slow creative period, whether post-holiday or vacation? Please jot your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
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Creative Soul Seasonal Women’s Circles Starting Soon!
January 14 to April 22, 2020
via Zoom, open to women wherever you live!
I don’t know about you, but the longer the pandemic drags on and my social circle shrinks, the more I long for meaningful connection. There is something so reassuring about getting together with kindred spirits, sharing my heart and seeing theirs as well. We all need tethering through these times. And laughter, too! For details, go HERE.
Monthly Inspired Women’s Mini-Writing Retreats
January 15, 2021 from 10 to 12 CST via Zoom
I know how it feels sometimes – launching the momentum to get back into writing after a day or a month or years can be daunting. Yes, we can go it alone, but it’s so much easier to let motivation spark almost effortlessly with inspired support. That’s what these mini-writing retreats are all about. Whether seasoned or a newbie, this is a safe space. Gatherings start with creative renewal and prompts to get you focused, followed by decadent solo retreat time and wrapping with “sharing optional” small groups. For all the details or to register, go HERE.
Update on Spring Retreat in Taos: Greening the Creative Spirit
Mabel Dodge Luhan House
April 3 to 8, 2022
with Carolyn Scarborough and Sharon Zeugin
Good news and bad news. The bad news is that the Mabel Dodge Luhan house has officially closed for retreats through at least May of this year. So the 2021 retreat is cancelled. The GOOD news is that we are all set for 2022. Yes, it’s a long way off. But we will get there eventually and it will be all the sweeter. Meantime, there may be other retreat options for fall of 2021… we’ll keep you posted…