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Archive for August, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I dusted off our copies of Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind, and headed to a local cafe for some coffee and timed writing exercises. Sometimes these exercises yield fully-formed surprises, and sometimes they just clear they cobwebs from our minds. I was surprised to meet a new character in the first exercise we did called “Legs,” and have a some working notes for a poem about mushrooms that I am sitting with from the second exercise we did. By the third exercise, we were both burned out, but happy.

I am reading Goldberg’s new book now, The True Secret of Writing. She’s pretty adamant that everyone should include writing as part of their spiritual practice. While I would definitely suggest trying it and seeing if it resonates with you, more importantly, I want to encourage you to find a way to consciously connect with your own creativity in whatever way speaks to you.

Creativity is Spirit’s breath. It opens the space for new experiences, new creations, new ways of looking at things – whether you connect through the arts, taking a different turn down a road, designing a new car, experimenting with a new different spice while cooking dinner, or changing an habitual pattern to not stay with anything for very long and deciding to persevere with something that’s important to you. “Creativity” isn’t just about painting or writing or singing – it’s about a connection to heart, a consistency of practice, and honoring your connection to Spirit.

Find your passion. What makes your heart sing? And appreciate others’ creativity – their flair for organizing their office space or helping their neighbors. Gratitude for others can be a doorway into your own creativity.

Writing is a great practice and is not mutually exclusive with other creative or spiritual practices. Natalie Goldberg’s books are a great place to start exploring if you feel drawn to exploring that path.

I’d like to share the “Legs” piece I wrote the other day. The character came out so fully formed and heart-felt, I want to share her. Many blessings on your own explorations!

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“Legs”

From one end of her body to the other, feeling the pull of age, the dimples of days, the difference in the mirror. She still dances, but the steps are different, and when she wears short skirts, men look at her for different reasons. She was twirling on the street the other day, happy, her favorite red shawl swirling around her, her short layered skirt billowing up and down as she let the music in her head gust and subside, when she felt a tap on her shoulder.

“Ma’am?” the adorable young man said.

She reached out her hand, ready for him to move into step with her.

“Are you ok?” he asked.

Her head dropped as quickly as her hand, and she walked in the opposite direction from him, the music silent.

But her legs felt so strong. It didn’t make sense. She passed a plate-glass store front and caught her breath. The woman in her head and the woman in the reflection were not the same person. The sunlight was playing tricks again!

She rubbed her eyes and swung her head back and forth a few times until the music started back up, then bent over and looked upside down between her legs. Peek-a-boo world beautiful world my beautiful flexible legs holding me here – how many other women my age can still do this? Ha!

A dog ran up and licked her face. She giggled and started coughing, her upside-down phlegm catching her off guard.

“Rocky, come here!” the voice called the dog away, snapping on a leash and shooting a fearful face in her direction as she righted herself on the sidewalk, stretching her legs out in front of her.

Plank pose. Was that what they used to call it in yoga class? She took a deep breath, straightened her spine, elongated her arms, closed her eyes, let the footsteps around her morph into beautiful drumming music, a kirtan to which she chanted back “Om” over and over and over, her legs strong and flexible and beautiful even on the stretcher as they carried her like an Egyptian princess to somewhere she could get a good rest.

“Om…”

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