Have you ever felt a bit… flat? Not disastrously so, like terrible things are happening. More like tiny things are happening and you feel fine, but not fully alive. Not inspired. Not excited.
That was me about 6 weeks ago. Everything was okay, yet my days were somewhat forgettable.
Then a barred owl changed everything.
I was walking my dog at dusk and heard the owl hooting in the opposite direction from where I was going. I kept trying to stay on the efficient path – this was my dog’s favorite direction and where, erm, there were predictable results in terms of “output.”
Yet with each step away from the sound, I felt an irresistible, almost unstoppable, call to turn around. Finally switching directions, we walked quickly toward the persistent creature. I spotted it in an oak tree just a few yards away from me, its body bigger than my small dog. Instead of flying off, it looked right at me and loudly hooted, its whole body pumping with the effort of its vocalizations.
I had the strangest sensation of leaving my world and entering its world. All sense of time disappeared as we locked eyes. Outside noises disappeared, my self-focused thoughts evaporated, and it was just this yellow-beaked messenger and I in wordless, wonder-filled conversation.
Eventually the spell broke and I left, almost dazed from the encounter.
Around midnight, I heard it again. This time, it brought a group of owls with it. The noises they made outside my tidy little window weren’t the hoot-talk of earlier, but a surreal, almost uncontrollable caterwauling. It felt like a powerful, primitive ritual was happening. They were unrestrained. Fierce. I lay there wide awake, transported, enchanted, even a little scared as I thought of my beloved squirrels who nest in that tree.
I woke up the next morning zinging with energy. It felt like someone had connected an electric cord to me. Just like Scrooge the morning after his encounters with the three ghosts, I felt light and gleeful.
I think as humans we tend to get stuck in our familiar world. In order to escape, we think we need that vacation to Cancun. Or the fancy new car. Or the big adventure. We think that’s what will jumpstart our creative juices and bring us back to life.
However, it’s much simpler than that.
All we really need is to escape our own habitual thinking, if even for a few moments. To slow our inner chatter and let curiosity lead us to the other worlds right under our noses. As John O’Donahue says, “What happened to our wildness? We covered it over and got lost in our minds.” Thankfully the owls shook me out of my trance and opened a window, reconnecting me with something much bigger and wilder.
“The space in-between is where whispers speak and silence sings and mystery threads its way along your edges, whispering: hold on, breathe, pause, and be.” – Molly Remer
That sense of inner wildness, passion and possibility has stayed with me ever since. And while I’ve always been a nature lover, every day I seem to peel away more conventional layers and release into a vaster, more enlivening mystery. My creativity is looser and more expansive as I let go of the reins and let awe take me away…
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences — please go to the bottom of this page to comment…
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Monthly Inspired Women’s Mini-Writing Retreats (Virtual)
June, July and August 2021
I know how it feels sometimes – launching the momentum to get back into writing after a day or 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.
Creative Soul Seasonal Women’s Circles
via Zoom, open to women wherever you live!
August through November, 2021
Imagine Circles with spacious time for recharging, self-exploration and deep connection with other conscious, creative women? Imagine entering the Circle frazzled or flat… and leaving refreshed, inspired and with a pocket full of personal ahas? All this is ahead in our Fall Creative Soul Women’s Circles. Registration opens soon – to see details or get on the waiting list, go HERE.
Fall 2021 Writing Retreat in the Texas Hill Country
Spring Retreat in Taos: Greening the Creative Spirit
Mabel Dodge Luhan House
April 3 to 8, 2022
with Carolyn Scarborough and Sharon Zeugin
Unwind underneath the big skies and tap into your most alive, inspired and creative self at this retreat in Taos, New Mexico. It is an inspired place that calls the weary spirit to rest and revitalize. Amidst the mountains and vast skies, essential pieces of your creative soul return. And as you move deeper into presence, creative energies begin to percolate. You pick up a paintbrush and what is true begins to flow through it. You sit under a cottonwood tree and your pen beckons with inner stories waiting to be told. Soon, your natural creativity is flowing again as you rediscover yourself as artist, writer, free spirit, inspired human… For more details, go HERE.