I am most honored to have a post featured over at Tess Giles Marshall’s beautiful site Pilgrim’s Moon (her site is subtitled “growing older on our own terms, a counter-cultural path for woman” and she offers great wisdom there regularly, so be sure to bookmark her) on Awakening to our creative sacred hearts:
I teach a five-day workshop called Awakening the Creative Spirit, designed for soul care practitioners to kindle their own creativity and bring the arts to their work with others. I love the metaphor of “awakening” because there is a gentleness to it, a soft transition from slumber to alertness. We have all been asleep in one way or another to parts of ourselves, to dreams we have.
The edges of life
Sacred wisdom from Buddhist and Christian traditions speaks of the spiritual journey as a gradual awakening to our true nature, to who we most deeply are. Generally this truer, deeper self doesn’t really begin to emerge until we have reached mid-life. When we are confronted with the reality of our own mortality, we begin to press against the edges of life. It may be the illness of a loved one or our own, it may be a deep loss of some kind: a job, an identity, a beloved. These experiences are often initiations, thrusting across a new threshold and waking us up.
Wrestling with your inner critic
Often this calls us to go against convention which feels frightening at times, but we are lured by the beckoning of a deep joy we haven’t known before and a sense that life can’t continue in the same way. In monastic tradition, St. Benedict writes about the need for a commitment to conversion, to always showing up again and again, to continually being changed. He wisely writes in his monastic Rule four of my favorite words: “always we begin again.” This beginner’s mind is essential for how we approach our creative process and our prayer. Engaging in creative work often sparks our inner critic into overdrive. Many of us wrestle so much with our inner perfectionist that we give up even trying. And yet we may slowly begin to realize the question no longer becomes about whether we are “good enough” to be an artist, but about claiming our right to profound joy and freedom and to step into unknowing
Leave a comment at her blog for a chance to win my book Lectio Divina–The Sacred Art: Transforming Words and Images into Heart-Centered Prayer