“A major obstacle to creativity is wanting to be in the peak season of growth and generation at all times . . . but if we see the soul’s journey as cyclical, like the seasons. . . then we can accept the reality that periods of despair or fallowness are like winter – a resting time that offers us a period of creative hibernation, purification, and regeneration that prepare us for the births of spring.” (7)
-Linda Leonard, from Call to Create : Celebrating Acts of Imagination
One of the greatest gifts of the seasons to me as a writer and artist is this profound wisdom of cycles, how everything rises and falls and then rises again. When we are in a dry spell we may panic because the words or inspiration seems absent, but often it is a fallow time, a winter time of the soul to enter into some rest both inward and outward and allow time for the seeds to sprout again.
We live in a culture that demands continual productivity. There is no room to honor these natural rhythms and we may begin to believe that our worth is determined by how much we can produce, how many books or painting or workshops we can create, or whatever it is that haunts you. I sometimes wonder if all of the "creativity" titles that have been published in recent years feed into this phenomenon offering valuable inspiration but forgetting to honor the rhythm of the creative process. Yet, the winter periods will come and we can expend lots of energy resisting them at every turn, or we can gently surrender into them listening attentively for spring budding.
The Hours of the day offer similar wisdom as the seasons, the rise and fall of each day from sleeping to waking and sleeping again. There is a time for awakening and rising and embracing the work of the day. There is a time for slumber and dreams and renewal.
Which time are you in right now?
Do you resist the cycles of creativity?
When you enter a fallow period are you able to offer room for your soul to truly rest and renew?
(c) Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts
(Mandala collage above created from an expressive arts process)
** Our next Poetry Party will return on Monday, January 19th! **