For the past 8 years I have lived in very small spaces. Before that, I painted all the time, made jewelry, and couldn’t be found without my sketch book. What happened to this pixie?
First I got a doctorate. That sh*t took all creative energy out of me, lemme tell ya. I don’t regret it – I did, after all, make some awesome anatomical sketches- but I don’t know that I would do it again if I knew how depleting it would be. Meh, hindsight is always 20-20, right?
After school, I moved into an apartment 15 minutes from the chiropractic office I was working in. There was room-aplenty for art, but nothing really happened. I didn’t have the energy-space for it. All my energy was going into survival, into making a name for mySelf as a chiropractor, and struggling mightily. No room for art there, is there?
Then, I moved back in with the pixie-parents, and while I claimed a spot in the basement for art-journaling, I never really used it, because it was still their space, and I didn’t know how long I would be there. A Pixie likes to know she can settle in safely, before any real creative juices flow.
Then, I moved in with my darlin’, and miraculously, most of my stuff fit…except for my easel. Which meant no painting. The Sage-Husband told me to claim space for my art…and so we converted half of the kitchen table into a make-space for me. I had all my tools out, and a spot by a window to sit, and yet…it was crowded with kitchen-stuff, and I was never alone…or I never felt alone. And when I am in creation-mode, I am not fit to speak to anyone else, or pay attention to anything else. I just need to let go of everything around me, and focus on my medium/media, and what my internal Self yearns to express as.
So that didn’t work for me either.
Now, oh….bless the Now we have been creating for so long… I have set up my easel, my charcoals, my artist’s board and all the rest, in the loft space of our new pixie-nest. My papasan chair nestles in a corner surrounded by books and a lamp, along with a heavenly blanket or two, some extra floor pillows, and all of my yoga props.
Oh thank Goddess… this is a space I can BREATHE in, and FOCUS in, and…I am sure that after I stop frantically unpacking and organizing, I can CREATE in. I have already started using the reading-nest, and ideas for paintings are niggling at the side of my brain, and I am allowing the excitement to build. It’s a delicious and long-missed part of mySelf, coming back to the surface. I feel mySelf expand, and exhale: home is where I can really make things.
I believe we are all inherently creative Beings. Everyone has something in them, that wants to create something new, and the ability to do so. I believe that we only need the right environment, teachers, and energetic resources to let these creations evolve out of us into the physical world.
For me, the teachers happened in high school. I went to a pretty run-of-the-mill high school, but I had some gems of instructors, who saw my potential and helped me cultivate it. These voices look different for each of us: parents, friends, niggling voices in our minds, strangers on the street occasionally spouting wisdom (does that happen to anyone else? When I really need to hear something, the universe uses strangers to tell me things I have been ignoring. It’s amazing and surprising each time.) We can glean inspiration from other folks’ lives and work, or we can have formal training. It doesn’t really matter.
But in order to truly get into the Flow of Creation, we need plenty of space, both energetic and physical.
We must feel Well, as one cannot lose oneself in the Flow, if the bodymind is aching or dizzy or tense. So I recommend yoga…or anything…that keeps us limber and cultivates strength.
We must feel safe. If we are on high alert, worrying about ANYTHING, we are restricting access to our Creative Source and Flow. Anxiety, stress, listening for the phone to ring…anything like that…all limit our ability to be present with the work. So turn off the phone, and maybe put in some earplugs, and do a bit of meditation, to calm the thoughts and rest the mind.
We must have Room: enough room to spread materials, make plans, walk away from the mess, and come back after some food or a nap. I find the best creative spaces do not need to be cleaned up right away, as most Deep Creation Processes take more than one session to complete. If you want to make things, make sure you can leave the mess until you’ve completed your process.
We also need room to feel our feelings and to commit to our own Inner Self. If we are painting about anxiety, but are stifling the anxiety or tears because we don’t want folks around us to know what we’re going through, guess what? Nothing gets processed, and nothing is healed. Creative processes are deeply healing, but we need to go THROUGH stuff as it comes out onto a journal, canvas, or lump of clay. Let the catharsis happen! Find space for that!
So what do you want to create, duckies? Where can you make it? What do you need? Oftentimes, when we open the door to ourselves to Make Stuff, our energy increases and we become more effective in many areas of our lives. Why? Because in the act of Creation, we are letting go of old patterns, and letting our connection to Creative Source expand. And it needn’t be something “artsy”. You can create spaces, or paint model airplanes, saw pieces of wood or clean a spot until you are satisfied. We create relationships with other people, with food, with how we look, with our health and vitality. All of these creations need space.
Where is your’s?