"The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” — Alan Alda
When I think of being creative I think of writing. That’s just me, my take on the boldest of journeys—to hear the call of something magical stirring within and giving it form, painstakingly or lovingly bringing it to the light of day. Creative expression.
Words are my magic carpet of choice. They take me to distant galaxies and into unexplored universes within myself. Words upon the page, my own or those of someone else, do “it” for me.
What does “it” for you? What speaks so loudly in the recesses of your heart that you cannot deny its voice? What begs to be born, honed, cultivated so that when the process is done you can sit back with satisfaction, knowing that you’ve given birth to a public rendition of your most intimate self?
As human beings we are created and it is a sacred expression of our essence to extend ourselves outward, to create, and in so doing we re-create ourselves. Creative expression is what it means to be a human being—literally. We make things. We can’t live any other way. Every movement outward, a step upon the sidewalk, a word offered in conversation, is a creative expression. True, some may seem mindless, haphazard actions in a world full of billions of such actions. And then there are others: gestures and actions with intentional thought behind them, propelled by passion, fueled by desire to be something more. Something meaningful, useful or beautiful.
In that very moment, when intention and desire attach to a thought or gesture, creativity is born. And so are we. Our essence, our truest self, sparks into form, like a long-smoldering ash becomes a flame. Life is breathed into our idea and we cannot stop ourselves from giving full expression to it. And as we do, we are made anew through our unique course of action. We are creators and we are re-created when we express ourselves. Without being able to do this, we will die, emotionally and spiritually. Creativity is oxygen for the soul.
No matter what stage of creative expression, you find yourself in, or how you do so, you will find yourself in this issue of Buddha Chick Life. Our gifted writers shine brightly, sharing their unique selves with you through words and ideas that stir the soul. They want to stir yours so that you too will dive deep, grab on to your creative treasures, and bring them to the surface for all to see.
Feeling creatively stuck or don’t know where to begin?
•Linda Lyzenga offers the perfect jumpstart with “In Touch with Her Creative, Sacred Self.”
• Mary MacGown Breckman helps with “You Can Find Your Passion!”
• Lisa Erickson provides insight in “Awakening Your Creative Energy” by opening the sacral chakra.
Need some new ideas? Want to expand and explore your creative self?
• Investigate Laura Hegfield’s path, “Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice.”
• Try your hand at “Creating a Mandala” with Kate Wolfe-Jensen.
• The unborn poet in you might enjoy, “Sacred Poetry as a Bridge into Joy” by Ingrid Goff-Maidoff.
And if you need a nudge of inspiration to make that final leap, to give physical form to your creativity:
Settle in with “The Creative Journey” by Kaveri Patel who invites us to never give up—even if our creative expression is rejected by others.
She writes, “If they could not connect with the writing, I still considered myself blessed for the opportunity to explore my psyche and celebrate my life with words.When I released the need to please, my authentic voice began to sing and shout through dreams and poems.”
May it be so for each of us.
May our authentic voices rise and meld, dance and mingle, a unique resounding for all to hear. Our self-expression will re-create us. It will re-create the world.
Bowing to the Muse in You,
Jan Lundy, Editor
Note: Please be aware that this issue of BCL is a combined one for June and July. We’ll return with a new issue on August 1. Enjoy your summer!
Janice Lynne Lundy is the editor of "Buddha Chick Life." She is passionate about supporting women on their life journeys. Whether it is through online or in-person workshops or retreats, as an Interfaith Spiritual Director in private practice, or writing, her dedication to the spiritual journey is evident. She is the author of four personal/spiritual growth books for women, her newest being, Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be (Sorin Books). She is a student of Vipassana and a teacher of Metta. She calls the peace-filled shores of Lake Michigan home. Her website is AwakenedLiving.Com where you can subscribe to her daily "Beads of Wisdom."
Louise Hastings: I never knew I wanted to be a writer and only took up the pen after suffering a severe bout of anxiety and depression a couple of years ago, and that was initially just to scribble something down in a journal every day. In the process of that scribbling, I discovered a joy for wordplay and poetry. There’s something about allowing my thoughts and emotions to breathe through the power of the medium that has been profoundly healing for me. You can read more of my poetry at http://louisehastings.net/
In the practice of sacred poetry, joy is both the presence and the felt experience of that vast and holy realm of unspoken spaciousness which exists within and around us and is nearly impossible to diminish, define or name. We also call this consciousness, or God, Mystery, or Love. Ordinarily, it is hard to talk about something so infinitely large without sounding superficial or trite- or without using so many words that we become confused or tangled up in them. Sacred poetry gives us the gift not merely of the discussion of but the transmission of this indescribable spaciousness as it is a felt resonance, a kind of fragrance, and also a presence between and around the poem’s own words and lines.
Sacred poetry is not written to baffle the intellect, disgust the senses or to secure admiration for the writer. The intention of sacred poetry is one of transportation, remembrance, witness, and affirmation. We turn to sacred poetry for spiritual sustenance because it emits a resonance which speaks to the heart, and which brings us into alignment with the field of consciousness and love, the vibration of oneness, and the joy of deepening our intimacy with ourselves and the world.
Reading a poem, allow yourself to be washed in its mystery. Don’t feel you must understand it. Instead, allow yourself to feel it- to absorb some of its essence. Sacred poetry emerges from nothingness- from the unnamable, unspoken spaciousness, and also exists within it~ with an awareness and a reverence for it, and in service to it. The poet practicing sacred poetry may choose words with multiple meanings, or with roots that go centuries deep: words born of words that were born of other words which were born from the vast unspoken spaciousness. The Tao Te Ching suggests that this unknown, unknowable realm is even older than God.
Writing a poem is also an exercise in entering into this realm. Perhaps you begin with a whole pile of words, scribbles and stories that you have been collecting in your journal. Then you select one word, or a small group of words and put it over on a blank page. What surrounds that word or group of words is the realm of unspoken spaciousness- consciousness. Now, carefully, respectfully, with love, humility, devotion, reverence and surrender, you tune your heart to listen for which words might come next.
You are building a temple now ~ a sacred threshold, doorway or bridge both within this realm of consciousness and also into it. The hope is that the reader will be able to, through the gift and strength of the poem, enter into that realm, spend a little time there, raise their own awareness and experience of it, and ultimately grow their spacious and conscious heart. The hope is that we internalize and then make manifest the joy we discover in the poem.
Whether you are reading or writing sacred poetry, I hope you enjoy your practice. Take this fanciful joy. let it bloom inside you like an orchid. Let it open you like a window. Let it lift you up to ride the wind. Oh, Beautiful Soul, pitch your tent in this field of joy and adventure out from there…
Take this fanciful joy. Let it bloom inside you like an orchid. Let it open you like a window. Let it lift you up to ride the wind. Oh, Beautiful Soul, pitch your tent in this field of joy and adventure out from there…
As Good Church Lady, I’d never thought of myself as a creative – that was God’s job to create and he had finished his work and rested on the seventh day. On the other hand, Uncovered Buddha Chick is learning to live more and more out of her true self. Something awoke in me late last year–an expression of my sacred self as a creative–creative, yes, an artist? Perhaps, for what is an artist but one who creates?
This month’s theme, "Creativity: Expressing Our Sacred Selves," invites each of us here to consider that we ALL, as sacred spiritual beings, are brimming full of creativity. I now believe that as image bearers of the Creator, creativity is inherent in our sacred selves – our true selves. As a spiritual being, I want to co-create & collaborate with the Divine.
Ahh, but I’m not an artist you might say. Wait a minute! Let’s take a look at that word, creativity, and its synonyms, and see what possibilities might arise for you. (There’s noting like the dictionary and thesaurus to lend expanded understanding to words. The following definition is from dictionary.com, my best friend as a writer and one who simply loves words.)
Creativity defined: the state or quality of being creative. Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination. Creativity is the process by which one utilizes creative ability.
Now, in light of the definition, consider alternate meanings of the concept of creativity and I dare say that each of you dear readers will see that you, too, are a creative soul: Cleverness, genius, imagination, imaginativeness, ingenuity, inspiration, inventiveness, originality, resourcefulness, talent, vision.
More and more as I live into and out of my true self, inherent creativity in all sorts of mediums have been begging to come out. Listening with love to the invitation to explore my inner artist, I’m beginning to establish a creative, contemplative practice. What does this look like after my inner artist was given permission to come on out and play? I wish I could say that I create masterpieces everyday but, truth is, most days I don’t do any art.
This month’s invitation to contribute to this topic of "Creativity: Expressing Our Sacred Selves," gives me a gentle nudge to begin again. Here is a reminder to practice “beginner’s mind.” To be open to opportunity and possibility and enjoy the process—letting go of the need to create a perfect product.
Imagine…what inspires you? What mediums might you explore? Here’s an invitation for you, too– Where in the day to day do you see beauty, truth and goodness? What might ignite that creative spark - kindle the possibilities of creativity in you?
Here’s what I’ve been exploring: Butter cream frosting Creative writing Poetry Knitting Colored pencils and paints Photography Setting a lovely table Each of these is creative expression….
What inspires you?
Hanging in my sewing room is a beautiful calligraphy piece by Janet Casey which reminds me that
Creative People… Break Routine Entertain the Absurd Give up on conformity Frequently think like children Take a break leave time to dream Step beyond the obvious and the expected Pay attention to & nurture their ideas Welcome ideas from everywhere Think outside the b o x Make lots of mistakes Sleep on it
This quote by Neil Gaiman prompts: "Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art. "
When was the last time you’ve gotten in touch with your inner artist – responding to the invitation to let her explore? What is your preferred medium to express your sacred self? I’d love to hear.
May you see beauty, truth and goodness. May you be inspired. May you be resourceful. May you express your creative, sacred self with joy.
Previously know as Undercover Buddha Chick, Uncovered Buddha Chick is learning to live more and more out of her true self - to live authentically. To live simply. To live without fear – or, at least, to be courageous in the face of fear. To live with an open heart. Through mindfulness, metta and loving-kindness and self compassion practices self awareness is being cultivated. With eyes wide open to see and ears to hear what’s really going on within herself, she is learning transparency. In the process, pre-conceived notions, prejudices and judgments are being released. Her longings for authentic community are being met, in part, on the pages of Buddha Chick Life. Having come out of the shadows to live clear, calm and wise, she wants to be a better human being. She is me. Is she you?
Honoring Creativity in Motherhood: Keeping your cup running over!
In the Zone
Whether its gardening, writing, running, cooking, singing, meditating, and yes, even mothering, when we’re in the “zone,” we know it. We lose sense of time, stop thinking (about all the other stuff we have to do), become immersed in the moment, and feel in effortless control. There is no doubt, being in the zone is exhilarating. It’s energizing. It’s inspiring!
That’s why it’s essential to mindful mothering. A mindful mama knows that when she expresses her creativity, she aligns herself with the universal creative life force. This life force flows directly from her inner-source of all inspiration; her sacred self. It’s from regularly visiting this place that she fills herself up with positive, pure energy. For a mindful mama knows, she cannot give to her children what she doesn’t first give herself.
Creativity and Mothering
Our children are little mirrors of our inner landscape. When we feel happy and content, they feel happy and content. When we harbor anger and resentment, they display it in their actions. That’s why as mothers we need to take exquisite care of our emotional health. Cultivating and expressing our creativity is essential to our emotional well-being. When we create, we allow for the joy, bliss, and positive energy that flows from our sacred place to fill our hearts. When our hearts are full, we can mother wholeheartedly.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to neglect our creative instincts. “Too many women are overwhelmed by the awesome responsibilities of home, work, and relationships, and have lost touch with their creative voice” (The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, Gail McMeekin). As we attempt to accomplish the long list of daily “to do’s” and meet everyone’s needs before our own, we can inadvertently neglect our(very real) need to be creative.
Neglecting our creativity hinders our mothering. Mothers need a creative outlet while raising children because it protects her and her kids from great unhappiness and stress. “Self-fulfilled people have more positive energy available for the challenges of parenting” (G. McMeekin). Filling ourselves up through our creative endeavors makes us more effective, happier, mindful mamas.
Clearing the Way for Creativity
“To be fully creative, you must notice what fuels your creative energy… and map out your life accordingly” (McMeekin).
What energizes you? What are you pulled to create? Perhaps it’s a meal, a serene environment for your family, a vision board, peace of mind through meditation, a work of art, or a stronger body through exercise. So many different things have the potential to energize us. But we have to know what these things are and create the space to do these things in order to allow for the universal creative life force to energize and inspire us.
If it has been way too long since you’ve been in the “zone,” it’s time to get back to yourself-- your sacred self, that is! Seek some solitude, mama. Yes, it’s a rare and precious commodity in the life of a mother, but it’s also a necessary prerequisite for activating your creativity. For it’s often in solitude (not necessarily silence) that we hear the whispers of our sacred self; whispers that ignite our creativity and remind us of our passions.
Protecting and honoring our time to express our creativity is essential to mindful mothering. The investment we make in our creative ourselves is a direct investment in our child’s well-being. Every time we allow for the universal creative life force to flow to us, we allow for this infinite passion, love, and joy to fill us up and flow through us... out to our children.
Jennifer Niedzielski is a teacher, writer, mother of three young daughters, and the co-founder of Mindful Moms Network™. After teaching in the traditional classroom setting for over 12 years, she is transcending classroom walls to inspire and teach women how to reclaim their calm and take exquisite care of their mind, body, and inner-selves amidst the chaos of mothering. Through Mindful Moms, it is her intention to create a nurturing and supportive community for moms that encourages Inward Development through the Art of Mothering.
Creativity is natural. It is good to find your creative expression, the inner essence of your creative being. You will feel good, in tune with life and vibrant when you are in this mode. It’s healthy.
My recovery from serious illness some years ago was aided by opening once again to my creative side. I began to paint again, the flow across the page intertwined with colour vibrations, transformed me. I took a textile course. The lushness and textures touched my soul. I began to write, created a TV series, "Binka," for children about my two wonderful feline companions and their antics.
I’d been closed by too much left-brain activity in my educational career so now I was playing, experimenting and opening whilst luxuriating in the process.
I’ve moved ahead from those days and now write every day on my own and with female friends on line joyously and how my heart, spirit and soul lifts with this. A practicing artist and photographer, Life Music instructor, I enjoy a creative life and help others through challenges.
You may feel you are not creative in any way but by looking at what gives you enjoyment in life, you will notice what draws you creatively. Is it in re decorating your home, polishing your car, finding an accessory to go with a new outfit, something that appeals to you in nature such as the colour of the sky, the sea or flowers, taking photographs, running each day taking a different route or simply making marks on a surface while you are making a phone call. All of these tap into your creative juices.
Our sacred self knows how to be in the flow of positive energy that helps us vibrate into the truth of who we are and helps us to create the life that we want.
To open to your creative self, you may need to de-clutter your mind, relax, meditate or listen to some beautiful inspiring movement to shift your vibrations and then see what magic comes dancing onto the stage of your life.
Break away and get creative and express the reality of the divine you!
Rosemary is Creator, Healer and Mentor and helps people to transition to transformation.
Rosemary loves nature, lives in a beautiful environment and enthuses about the sea. Photography and Art are part of her toolbox and she is aware of the ‘soul touch’ of any who come into contact with her work. She strongly believes in the healing power of nature and loves to walk in the countryside and in the woods surrounding her home not far from London.
She has been writing for many years and is passionate about her subject. In her home country of UK, she studied beyond English at college, Creative Writing, Writing for Children, Children’s Fiction, Picture Book, Short Story Writing and has written a column in a local newspaper as well as theatre crits, articles and has had many poems in anthologies. She has read her work at events. Rosemary was the Creator of Binka, the children’s television series.
Currently she writes on line with women’s groups and takes writing workshops as part of her Creative Empowerment series to help people to open and to create from the heart.
In addition she has created A Book For Now and Another Book For Now which have uplifting and helpful sentences in them alongside some of her own artwork. A few of her other Self Help books are Fraught With Thought, The Magic of Life, Conscious Wellbeing and Look, Live, Survive and a Book Of Children Now. She has been working on another book.
I am attracted to this phrase from John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara: “The body is in the soul” (p. 53). I turned to collage to discover its meaning.
The body, my physical home, is not just a container or a vessel. She is in the soul. She lives in and as part of the soul. As such, she is not alone, not fending for herself, but held in the shelter and embrace of the soul.
The soul is alive and unbound, impressionable, full of vitality and fluidity, always responding to the moment. And yet, I often experience my body as bound—contained within the confines of my skin, held in and separate. What if my body, living in my soul, as part of my soul, were not bound up in this separate physical package? What if I could remember that these skin boundaries are actually porous and permeable, allowing energy to move in and out of me, to meet and mingle with others?
My body gives my soul a way to connect with others. She is affected by life and she is intimate with all of life. My soul knows physical life through my body—tastes it, smells it, sees it, hears it, touches it, feels it...mindful experiencing of these senses, being sensuous, is to be in the presence of my soul, and is to be embraced in Presence.
Blues and oranges are the colors that my husband and I (in that order) love and are attracted to. For many years, I thought orange was too bright, garish, overdone. As I have learned to appreciate it over the past several years, I feel that I am also embracing my own vitality and life force energy. It warms me, feels radiant with life, invites me to joy, passion, and sensuality.
Images echo how nature, like the soul, holds and embraces and tends to us. She is our home, out of which we arise and flourish, and back to which we return. These images reveal the life, the movement, the fluidity, the beauty, and also the solidity and presence of the body in the soul. Held in the embrace of the soul, my body is safe, grounded, able to drop her boundaries and dip into the water of life.
Katy: What I really love is to be involved in the art and practice of life—in co-creating and allowing/inviting beautiful spaces, gardens, and parts of myself and others to emerge. I am drawn to beauty, order, and balance in all things, and I find that this dance is a lifelong journey full of many deep learnings. I am an Enneagram teacher, a singer (original and traditional, celticky, and medieval music), an Interfaith Minister and spiritual counselor, a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader and life-practitioner, and a student of the Diamond Approach Work. I am blessed to share my life with my husband Dave Hall, and love to be involved with life, music, spirituality, and art in order to keep my creative, expressive, intuitive, passionate juices flowing.
Creating a Mandala – a Practice in Mindfulness and Compassion
Imagine I set before you some paper, crayons and watercolor paints. Adults do not usually greet these objects with joy. Their bodies tense and move back. "I can't draw," they proclaim. "I'm no artist."
I understand their response. I can't draw either, these days. My formerly dominant right hand is made weak and halting by Multiple Sclerosis. My left hand is stronger but shakier.Still, I feel called to creative expression. I see the colors and shapes around me and I want to respond. I feel love and grief and anger and delight and I want to communicate what that's like for me. Art allows me to do those things.
Painting has become, for me, a practice of mindfulness and compassion. If, right now, you are feeling the least little push or pull toward this practice, I invite you to play along.
1.Give yourself time and space to experiment. You may hear monster voices telling you this is a waste of time, or selfish, or silly. Take and release a calming breath. Give the monster voices an imaginary hug and tell them tenderly, "I know you feel that way. It will be okay."
2.Get some tools. Find something with which to make marks. Different tools will have a different physical and emotional feel. For me, paint is easy to apply but dangerously unpredictable. Crayons and markers allow more control but leave me feeling tight. Test drive a couple options and use whatever works for you.
If it's fun, use something new. If choosing tools will slow you down, find something handy. I used to make mandalas during my lunch break in an office on the back of paper taken from the recycling bin using ballpoint pens from a desk drawer. It doesn't have to be precious. Nowadays I use watercolor paints and paper at home and an iPad when I'm out and about.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
3.Set intention. Rather than plunging in, take a minute to be mindful of your body, your breath and your mind.
Sometimes, I say a metta blessing before I begin: May I be safe. May I be strong. May I be happy. May I be peaceful and at ease.
If I want my painting to be "about something," I bring that something to mind. Try "the sacred in my life right now."
Breathe in. Breathe out.
4.Prepare the surface. Trace something round onto your paper. Facing a blank surface can be scary. Monster voices may arise. Drawing a circle calms them down. Circular designs are found in many cultures as a way of exploring a mystical sense of oneness with the sacred.
Take a minute to consider the circle you have marked. Put on your scientist chick lab coat and investigate. Is it boldly or faintly marked? Is it big or little? Where is it on the paper? If your monster-mind starts criticizing or judging, reassure it.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
5.Make marks. Fill the circle with lines, dots and patches of color. You can start from the middle and work out or from the outside in or from one edge to another. Focus on the experience of making marks and breathing. If you find your monster-mind commenting or your monkey-mind swinging through the trees take and release a breath and return to making marks. Pause every now and then and look. Is there a color you want to add? A shape you want to include? Follow your instincts.
6.Experience your work. When you feel finished, stop. Pay attention as you clean your work space and return your tools to their homes. I sometimes cut a circle from a dark sheet of paper and place it around the mandala to help me see the wholeness of the design. Post your work where you can see it over the next few days.
When you see your work, what do you think? How do you feel? Allow the piece to tell you stories, but realize that they are just stories. I frequently dislike my paintings immediately after I have make them, but grow affectionate over time.
Making mandalas always teaches me and invites me into deeper practices of compassion and mindfulness.
Kate Wolfe-Jenson shares her adventures in creativity and mysticism at journeydancing.com. She is author of Dancing with Monsters: Chronic Illness as Creative Transformation and author/illustrator of Mac and his Monster (www.dancingwithmonsters.com).
“A woman may also give birth to her own creative work, in which she has had to plumb her own depth as a woman and labor to bring it forth. The work comes out of her and draws from her talents and experience, and yet it has its own life.” - Jean Shinoda Bolen, Crossing to Avalon
(Image: Shakti Goddess Banner - Goddessgift.net)
This is one of my favorite quotes on creativity, because it connects our creative and procreative drives. Throughout women’s spirituality writings, this is a common theme – that a drive to create in some way is essential to women. Physically, we are built to gestate and nurture a new life, and all too often throughout history, we have been solely defined by this. But our drive to create can manifest in many different ways, and when we open to them, our natural link to the act of creation can become an important foundation of our spiritual path.
From the perspective of the chakras, the second or sacral chakra is the root of both creativity and procreation, and plays a special role in women’s energy bodies. Physically, the second chakra corresponds to our womb area low in our pelvis, and within energy medicine traditions it corresponds to our entire reproductive system. In spiritual traditions, our sacral chakra is our link to the power of creation – the raw energy and inspiration that drives us to want to create something new and birth it into the world. Either way, the sacral chakra is a doorway – an entrance point for newness in this world.
This is true for both men and women, but in women the sacral chakra is ‘ground zero’ of our energy being, and so creativity plays a special role in our awakening. It is central to our sense of self and personal power, and often to our spiritual explorations as well. And it is fascinating to think of all the other manifestations of sacral chakra energy – passion, sensuality, and sexuality – all of which have been denigrated or at least seen as problematic in many organized religions. Historically, they were often seen as moving us away from spirit – as distractions at best or sinful at worst.
Thankfully, that has changed in the last 50 years, and there is a growing acknowledgement of creativity as a vital part of spirituality, especially for women. When we create, when we open ourselves to inspiration in any form, we find what is larger than ourselves, and allow it to come through us. We are humbled and empowered at the same time.
We don’t need to create a masterpiece work of art to have this experience. We may simply change the organization of our room, arrange some flowers, combine our clothes in a new way, experiment with a recipe, or come up with a new way of doing something at work or home. We have dozens of opportunities each day to activate our creative side.
The actual act of creating something involves many functions, and so it involves more than our sacral chakra. It may involve expression (throat chakra), organization (third chakra), envisioning things in a new way (third eye), or any number of other skills and manifestations of our energy. But the inspiration itself, the drive itself to do things differently or to birth something new, is pure sacral energy – pure shakti, or feminine divine. Whenever we open ourselves to that energy, we have touched Creation in its purest form.
Whenever you are feeling you need a little more of this energy in your life and path, try this little movement meditation for awakening your creative energy:
1. Stand with your feet about hips distance apart and close your eyes. Begin to slowly sway back and forth, allowing your arms to swing, and your body to feel fluid and free. Do this for as long as it feels good.
2. Gradually add a gentle twisting motion to your movement, rooted in your pelvic area – twist from this point up. Don’t stress your back, but allow your arms and body to flow with you from side to side.
3. Do this for as long as it feels good, and when you are ready, gradually slow your twisting and swaying. Return gracefully to a still position.
4. Place your hands on your pelvic area and take a deep belly breath. As you do so, raise your arms out to the side, as if they are being inflated by the air you are taking in. On your exhale, release your hands back down to your pelvic area. Do this several times, taking in more and more air each time.
5. Gradually return your breathing to normal, and rest your hands gently on your pelvic area. Visualize a beautiful orange flower bud in your sacral area. Visualize this flower opening one layer of petals at a time, until you have a vibrant open flower in your sacral chakra area.
6. Now visualize light from this flower flowing upward into your navel, heart, throat, forehead, and crown of your head. Imagine roots for this flower flowing downward through your legs and feet into the ground.
7. Stand for a moment holding the visual of this beautiful flower with roots extending through your feet into the ground, and light emanating upward through your whole being and out the top of your head. Enjoy this vision of your natural creative self.
This meditation draws upon many themes of the sacral chakra – fluidity, sensuality, openness, and the color orange – as well as the flower visual representing the nature of creativity as grounded in the earth, but extending to the heavens. Enjoy it – or a variation you create yourself! – whenever you are feeling like you need to reconnect to your inspiration and drive to create.
Lisa is a meditation teacher, energy worker, writer, and mom to three. She loves helping people heal and explore the unseen aspects of themselves through chakra (energy center) meditation and related energy body work. She specializes in women's energetics - the distinct characteristics and phases of women's subtle bodies, and the special spiritual doorways available to women through their feminine divinity. In her work she draws on many diverse traditions, including Vajrayana Buddhism, Tantra, Zen, gnostic Christianity, shamanism, yoga, astrology, and several energy healing systems, most particularly the work of Cyndi Dale. She writes on all these subjects at her blog Mommy Mystic (http://www.MommyMystic.com), as well as writing regularly on Buddhism for Bellaonline (http://buddhism.bellaonline.com/Site.asp), where she is the Buddhism site editor. She offers classes, workshops and personal sessions through The Maat Institute (http://www.themaatinstitute.com.) Lisa's column here is entitled, "Women's Energetics."
To be Human, is to engage in acts of creativity. Spiritual awareness is optional. Practice, unavoidable. ~Laura Hegfield
My blog is the place where I continuously express my sacred self.I have come to think of this space as both a healing sanctuary and a Cyber-Art-Journal where I share and process my thoughts, feelings and experiences through words, images, meditation and sometimes song. I view blogging as an art form unique to our era. Blogging combines my love for the interplay of words and images to tell stories, evoke emotions, find meaning and open to the sacred-ordinary details of living in an interactive format.
I am vulnerable. I allow others to connect with my imperfections, my fears, my joys, my pain, my longing and the beauty I see, hear, feel around and within me. This is a gift for people all around the world to discover and comment on as well as a profoundly healing, spiritual practice for me.
I greet my blog not as a blank electronic canvas to fill, but a conduit for transmitting the sacredness that flows through me. My intention is to inspire others to explore the depths of their souls, trusting that they too will rise to the surface, hearts healed with gratitude for the many blessings (sometimes hidden needing closer attention to be revealed) in their own lived experiences.
I choose to express my sacred self openly, because it is one thing I feel I have been called to do. I believe expressing our sacred selves is what we are all called to do, each in our own way. It happens in small gentle steps, this unveiling, this courage, strength, humility, playfulness, trust and faith in others, in ourselves, in the Holy One of Blessing. For most people, expressing their sacred self may be a deeply private experience. I certainly don’t post every detail of my life. There is a thin dividing line between what is universally valuable and healing for others to witness for ourselves to release, and what is to be held close to our bosoms, shared only with a select few or one or the ONE. I pray that one day all people will be free to openly express their holiness, whether the dense cloak that hides their light is stitched by a political, social or religious system or personal fear of being seen naked.
To read a raw and true story from my life that shows exactly what I am talking about you might want to view On Tuesday I Met The Bogeyman. Take your time exploring the world through the eyes of my heart on other posts. Perhaps a poem or photo will resonate and fan the spark within you to create something you would not have dared to before. I hope so, I really do.
Laurais a mother, wife, visual artist, writer, singer-songwriter and experiential educator combining art, yoga, meditation and Jewish spirituality. She is also a Creativity Coach, SoulCollage® facilitator and Spiritual Director. Throughout the past 11 years of child rearing, teaching, facilitating and eventually coaching and spiritual direction, she has also been ill with a wide variety of symptoms receiving several different diagnoses. On September 3, 2009 after an emergency room visit, she was finally diagnosed with RRMS (relapsing remitting ms). While no longer able to work outside her home, she continues to be engaged in the world through blogging regularly and offering individual services via the Internet and phone conferencing. As challenging as living with a chronic, disabling disease is she feels that in many ways, MS has expanded her heart, mind, soul and appreciation for all the things her body IS able to do. “It seems that as the neural connections in my central nervous system decrease, my compassion toward my own lived experience and toward all beings increases. For this I am deeply grateful.” Laura's columns focus on "Healing with Gratitude."