As a child I hated being called Alice in Wonderland. There was something about it that I resented. I didn’t like being seen as a cute little blonde girl in a blue dress. Now as a woman I feel ready to embrace all that that name can open up for me – the mysterious, the underworld, the singing flowers and the strange characters you meet along the way.
A dear friend shared some vital wisdom with me recently. He said, if you’re going to explore the shadows you need to welcome in ‘twice as much beauty’ as you normally would! This felt like the thing I’ve needed to hear for years. If you’re going to dive into the hard stuff, you need to balance it out with lightness, beauty, awe! I responded with ‘oh yes, so I need to create more beauty,’ to which he replied, ‘no, just welcome the beauty that is already around you in.’ Drink in the sunset and TOP UP your beauty supply. Just be doubly present to the beauty that presents itself to you.
It has come to my attention that the creative realm that brings me the most unfettered joy at the moment is painting. To explore expression with colour and shape and let go of words for that time is truly therapeutic. What are the creative practices that bring you actual Joy? Not the ones that have an agenda or are part of a strategy to save the world, but the ones that save your personal world as it were?
My artist friend quotes Picasso saying, ‘if you know where you’re going, don’t go.’ I would shift this idea perhaps to… if you think you know where you’re going, go, but be open to being genuinely surprised by the mystery in the unfolding process.
Here are some simple inspirations that might open up the beauty realm for you.
DREAMING the dream is part one of a longer, deeper conversation
BREATHING is the most important creative act of the day or the night
MOVING with the instinct of a foetus is a dance we can do as adults
SINGING is the way we receive the melodies and tones of our souls
MARK-MAKING returns us to an ancient intimacy, of caves and of bodies
WRITING is a private space for every part of you to speak their piece
COLLABORATE in creative conversation, in night walking, in theatrical play
MAKE a collection of music that you play when you write or draw or walk
RETURN to the part of you that is a lit flame of love-filled awakeness
EVERY mark you make, or note you sing or play, is an expression of self trust
EVERY brilliant art work started out as a small idea – an imaginative gesture
YOU are worthy of a creative life – what if creativity is what makes us human?
WHAT ideas have you been exposing yourself to? Do they ignite your art and soul?
RELEASE the idea of what you should do, ask instead: What do you want to do?
IMAGINE that with sustained presence and inspiration your art will flourish
PERHAPS there’s a book in you that wants to be read by millions of people
STAY with the process, even when it feels boring or like a waste of time
RUSHING toward the creative orgasm is rarely satisfying – extend time
OPENNESS is what we long to experience from the artists we love
THIS is what we are inviting ourselves to inhabit – REAL OPENNESS
TAKE your natural genius seriously and commit to it until it arrives in form
NO idea is too weird or too simple to work with in creative processes
INVITE your childhood-self to the playground, to the art room, to the sea
TOUCH that part of yourself that already knows and follow that thread
HERE is a marriage that wants to be with the deepest parts of you forever