This summer my friend and colleague, Lorie Carson, invited me to commit to 100 days of creativity. Creativity is one of the most potent doorways to pleasure. So this invitation made me say YES immediately. The only instructions were to do something creative for each of the next 100 days and to try to contain the practice to specific activities.
I started on July 15th while on holiday at the lake, canoeing and camping with my adult daughter. A few weeks into it now, I want to share snippets of my creativity journey with you.
The first challenge was to find my focus. Being on holiday allowed for plenty of ‘sink into me’ time. My meditation sessions were devoted to exploring why I wanted to take up this challenge – to find a strong intrinsic motivation beyond “I want to be more creative” – so I could sustain the 100 days.
I’ve always believed our lives are our greatest art form and I admit I’ve led a pretty creative life. Cookie cutter molds have never been my thing. I’m an Aquarian and we live for the unique and original. So I wanted to be wide open to learn what this creative challenge would call from me.
I realized this creative exploration had to be done hand-in-hand with my connection to spirit. Creativity and my spiritual connection are inseparable. In these 100 days I’d have to find a way to walk the two together.
So here’s the intention that’s guiding my 100-day challenge:
I want to deepen my capacity to live a deeply spirit-led life, and to be open to following the guidance of my spirit so I can express it creatively though my daily living and specifically through my writing practice. I commit to giving my creative self at least one hour each day to play in the things that are creative for me – journaling, focused writing, gardening, making things with my hands, and on any off day to just find the creative juice in my moment-to-moment existence.
So far this has manifested as days of journaling and meditation that turn into focused writing on the things that interest me – pleasure, nature, relationships and the creative process itself. Some days it’s meant going out to concerts and films, downloading new music and using it to start my day with some movement and dancing, lovely bike rides when the sprit moves me. All round it’s accomplishing what I had envisioned on day 1 of the practice – to just feel and live more deeply in tune with the call of my creative spirit.
Along with that I’ve been saying a blessing prayer for my artist self from one of my favorite poets and authors, John O’Donohue. If you’ve not familiar with his work, his book on beauty is a great place to start. You’re in for a treat!
A Blessing for the Artist at the Start of Day
May morning be astir
With the harvest of the night;
Your mind quickening
To the eros of a new question,
Your eyes seduced
By some unintended glimpse
That cut right through the surface
to a source.
May this be a morning of innocent beginnings,
When the gift within you slips clear
Of the sticky web of the personal
With its hurt and its hauntings,
And fixed fortress corners,
A morning when you become a pure vessel
For what wants to ascend from silence.
Now, your turn. Share with me what creativity means to you and how you encourage and nourish your creative self.
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Madeline combines her experience as a gifted teacher and facilitator with her exquisite sensitivity to guide us into unlocking pleasure. In her gentle way she helps us to make friends with our bodies, softening the places where we feel resistance, shame and pain and learn how to tune into the myriad sensations of pleasure. She embodies her teaching and the expression of her own pleasure is contagious. Madeline creates a safe space to (re)discover that we are wired for pleasure and can overcome the negative conditioning of fear, trauma, and messages of “not good enough”.