I still remember washing dishes and hearing a loud crash outside the house. Hands still wet, I ran out to the driveway to find my husband perched atop a stepladder, boombox blaring, hurling ceramic pots he had made onto the driveway (I don’t think that’s what they mean when they say “hand thrown” pots!).
Just then he lifted a pot I really liked and as I started to shout “stop,” down it went. Crash! A hundred pieces scattered on the driveway.
Looking up into his face, I expected to see a madman. Instead, I saw the euphoric high of release and freedom.
That memory came back to me last week in one of my small writing circles. One of the women was stuck with her writing. When we explored a little more, we found that she had written something she really liked a month earlier, yet was afraid to write more in case it didn’t measure up.
She was grasping onto those precious words as if they were the last ones she had.
Many of us do the same thing. We create, and when it’s not good we are unhappy. When it IS good we are happy for a moment… and then immediately move into fear that we will never recreate that moment of brilliance.
That’s a lose-lose scenario.
So what does any of this have to do with smashing pots? As my husband Charley later explained, he had started getting stuck in his creating. Instead of trusting the universe to keep the inspiration coming, he had been clinging to what he made, fearful that the ideas would dry up. Smashing pots was a cathartic way of releasing rather than clinging, of trusting rather than fearing (In a similar vein, pots are smashed in Corfu every Easter in hopes of replacements arriving). For my husband, it opened him to fresh possibilities.
When we get too wrapped up in the outcome, our minds are already spinning scary scenarios. What will people think? Am I good enough?
But when we focus on committing to the work and creating a pot or a page a day no matter how good or bad – then we move into relaxed freedom. We are dancing with our muse rather than pinning her down and making her cough up superlatives. When that happens, she is more likely to show up… and so are we.
I’d love to hear from you – Click here, and then share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the blog.
Sunday, December 2, 2018
1 – 3 p.m. and 4 – 6 p.m.
Some people wonder what can happen in two hours? Well, come to our mini-retreat and find out! There will be spacious time to write and reflect, powerful prompts, small group sharing, poetry and dark chocolate. This is a time for creative renewal and coming home to your true self… all within the embrace of community. It’s also a chance to experience the power of the Creative Soul Community – an Austin-based tribe of women inspired to “bloom in our second half.” Mini-retreat theme and more details TBA.
Creative Soul Women’s Circles
Next Circles begin in January 2019
Although this season’s Circles are full, our next round of Circles will begin in January 2019, so stay tuned!
Creativity and Writing Retreat in Taos, New Mexico
April 7 to 12, 2019
with Carolyn Scarborough and Sharon Zeugin
More details are coming soon, but we are thrilled to announce a new creativity and writing retreat at the Mabel Dodge Luhan Center in Taos. This is a magical place, a rambling hacienda that was home base in the early 20th century for the likes of Georgia O’Keefe, Ansel Adams and D.H. Lawrence. You too can unwind underneath the big skies and tap into your most alive, inspired and creative self!
Photo Credit: Psyberartist, licensed through Creative Commons