Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Reflecting on Loss, Joy and Creativity


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Loss. I miss painting. (And collage, and crochet, and cooking, and lots of other hands on activities that are just beyond my energy level to enjoy right now…the prep…the eye-hand coordination that is unbelievably frustrating because my eyes now move at slightly different speeds…the clean up…the fatigue that can only be understood by others who live with it day in and out). But still, there seem to be paintbrushes all over the house, dwelling in cups near every sink. It is good to see them there, my old friends, something familiar from my life “before” the big changes that have required gentle surrender to what is true and realistic for me now. And while I miss creating with my hands the way I used to, my heart is glad, knowing my old brushes are still loved and played with. Rosie's hands are never ever idle. Her affinity for bright colors and her creative spirit keep the vibrant life flow of art making alive in this old house of ours.
And that 
Is 
A
Joy.

My creative flow has just turned a bend... creeks, streams, rivers, do that. I write nearly every day now. I haven’t written this much in…. ok, ever. I witness the world through my little Kodak Easy Share and discover light and shadow, form, movement and stillness right outside the windows of my home. I have always been a keen observer of the world around me, but the physical limitations I live within due to MS offer an opportunity to really slow down, pay attention and fine tune my skills in seeing and being with what is present moment by moment.  A gift I treasure.

I am learning daily to weave the images between the words or to allow them to awaken ideas. This is a whole new way of playing, praying, and opening to joy as an artist for me. Clearly "the artist" has not left the building-this body. I am still a vibrant resident, but my medium has shifted.  I’m a blog artist... a photographer... a writer... a butterfly with iridescent wings that reflect the situation I find myself in moment by moment. 

I find that it takes tremendous creativity to constantly re-frame the way I see myself in relation to the world as I navigate my inner lifeboat through the waters of my ever-changing body. NOT to mention the ingenuity that is continuously called upon in every conversation with a teenager (or two teenagers); there’s a lot of imaginative negotiating that goes on in these shifting relationships too! And then there is helping Gordon to figure out ways to integrate everyone’s schedules with his, as the sole driver, and primary caretaker of the household.

I am creative each week as I develop an “invitation” and a guided meditation for the Khanti Healing Circle at Dharma Sister’s Circle. I’m creative when I engage with a client in a coaching call.  I am really creative when I worry about stuff! (Aren’t we all?)  Oh the stories I can invent inside my mind, wow! (Perhaps I am an undiscovered screenwriter or movie producer… I write from direct experience here on my blog, but my imagination is full of fantasy: “what if…” “If only…” “Yeah, but…”

And so, yes there is loss. There is joy. There is a discovery of a vibrant part of my being I had not explored before MS slowed my life down. It is difficult and wonderful these are the both/and's of living.

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I was looking through old posts and found I had written what is below as part of this back in October of 2009 (before I changed my blog title to Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice):

I feel content in knowing that re-visioning what it means to live in my altered body with courage, compassion and dignity is actualizing the original intention of this blog "Creativity as a Spiritual Practice," in a way I never imagined! Imperfection is truly an opening to worlds of possibility. It is surely a doorway to creativity that unfolds as a spiritual practice.

I'm still the same me, with similar thoughts, though I know I've grown and evolved since I wrote that post...and I have so much more to learn.

40 comments:

  1. It's amazing how life's challenges can twist and turn themselves into something beautiful. Clearly - you have done so..and are continuing to do so daily!

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  2. Marcie has echoed my thoughts. Your situation is not one that anyone would choose but since the first time I read your blog I am aware of how you continue to blossom spiritually and I know that if ever I were to experience similar challenges in my life this blog is where I would come for comfort.

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  3. and you know...
    I love how you share the writing of your beautiful story with us.
    Always a gift. It is who you are to the core.

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  4. Thank you for bringing me comfort this morning before I head out to therepy. I need the constant reminder of your words and I appreciate reading the truth. (((Laura))))

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  5. When so much of what has defined one is taken away, it is interesting, if not essential, to ask, who is the me who still exists? Clearly, you live out your response to that question by finding alternative ways to manifest your creative spirit. The world is better for your efforts, Laura, and I suspect so are you.
    Judy

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  6. i love you, your honesty , the flow of words that create images far more beautiful than any painting
    i hear your frustration and i hear your deep listening to that frustration adn reframing it through the very act of hearing
    you are an inspiration....

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  7. You can't keep a good girl down. Or a creative one either!

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  8. for some reason i'm thinking of monet. of how he continued to create, to be an artist, even while he was slowly going blind. his paintings changed dramatically, but were no less beautiful. in fact personally, i find them more beautiful. i don't think an artist ever stops being an artist. the art is simply expressed in different ways...

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  9. Oh Laura, I can so relate. I was a painter for years. At one point I made my living painting. My granddaughter uses my brushes now, she thinks she wants to be an artist when she grows up, or a princess...she's 6.

    Since the MS, I too am finding new ways to channel my creative flow, and for now that is photography. My camera is my paintbrush.

    I love your photo :)

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  10. I'm so glad that you write. I find so much wisdom here.

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  11. You paint plenty a picture with your thought-provoking words. Our souls see the colors you paint...

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  12. creativity flows from every pore, like the river finding ways around every obstacle, that can not be stemmed. LauraX = Creatrix (((hugs))) x

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  13. SO MANY KIND RESPONSES to this post and yesterdays...oh my. I will slowly make my way through visiting you all. I am needing to tuck in a bit in do some self care today...all with the backdrop of the latest snow scene out the window. Lucky me.

    xoxoxoxoxo

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  14. Laura, while it's not immediately apparent that there is something found inside of loss, you have discovered that. It's a beautiful thing.

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  15. Glorious composition in that photo! Seems to be a theme in almost every photo I view on blogs today... And I love how you put it that "it takes tremendous creativity to constantly re-frame the way I see myself in relation to the world" . . . sweet and insightful. Blessings!

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  16. Nice composition, and lovely sharing of thoughts on that post... Thanks !

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  17. You are such an inspiration, Laura. I feel you are growing spiritually more beautiful every time you post!

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  18. You are indeed an inspiration to us, Laura, and I too, feel you are growing more spiritual, more beautiful each day! Love your reflections for the day and your ability to see beauty in so many places and things! Have a lovely weekend!

    Sylvia

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  19. Wonderful image and words.
    Keep on keeping on Laura.
    I'll come back to read your post. Its past bedtime. My eyes are hurting.
    xo
    Regina

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  20. I smiled the whole time I was reading this post. That you see the change of medium as a gift, and embrace the creative you so whole-heartedly, is a blessing to witness. And always such an inspiration. A life lived in "both/and" instead of "either/or" is a life of freedom and a constant moving toward the deeper mystery.

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  21. You're an inspiring soul! You are living proof that strong mind can get through the hardest time!

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  22. Once again you touch my heart and soul, dear Laura. I have so much more I could say ... but this isn't the time. You make me think about what's important, what's not important ... and in doing so you are helping to sculpt a part of my life that I have been neglecting. Thank you, Laura, for all that you are.

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  23. I love this post and the photo that goes with it, how the plant has wrapped itself around the brush, growing around as your crativity has grown and found a way around your challenges. SO very well done :o)

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  24. Beautiful reflections...
    Both the words and photo!

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  25. Wonderful expressive writing. I'm in awe...so much depth and insight here. I've been busy trying to uncover my own way to make art since my recent retirement. It's not been an easy task...I do SO miss my design work. Perhaps I'll find my way as you are doing. Thanks for the inspiration, Laura.

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  26. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your words. You are clearly an inspiration to many.

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  27. Heartful and inspiring post. Thank you.

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  28. You write so beautifully and remind me that so many things in life come with conflicting emotions. I know all too well the story teller who weaves tales about what might have been ~ I am learning to nod politely and remind her that I have only today to live today. The past has passed and tomorrow will be here tomorrow.

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  29. I echo others, you are an inspiration. you have taken an unexpected occurrence in your life, one that would make many of us downhearted and sour, and found the blessings in it for yourself and thus, as you write about them, for us. You are truly a creative shining spirit. blessings, suki

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  30. 'I’m a blog artist... a photographer... a writer... a butterfly with iridescent wings that reflect the situation I find myself in moment by moment.'

    I return to blogging to revisit artists such as yourself. Your flexibility, creativity, and passion for living teach me how I, too can be a great artist in any situation.

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  31. Hi LauraX,
    Your photo and words give me a lot of encouragement and inspiration!!
    I realize deeply if we change our view of our lives, we will see more positive world.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  32. You've found a special pair of wings, Laura. Beautiful reflections.

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  33. Laura, u are such a beautiful writer, and obviously a deep old spirit who "owns" her truth, vision and voice. power. You are beautiful--shining through difficulty!

    blessings.

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  34. You have the vision and the blessing of finding the gift within the circumstance, and being grateful. That takes a very wise heart. I, too, live with constant fatigue. I, too, have discovered the joys that accompany having to take life slower, with wider-open eyes. I think we see more deeply when we are not rushing. Beautifully written. Thank you!

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  35. L-Fiona and I were just discussing a few days ago how we might deal with the loss of the capacity to create in the forms we do today. A friend of ours is loosing the use of her hands and can't do any of the work she did in the past or planned for the future. Your thoughts about how we are creative in many ways is true; but I also love your courage to leave behind what your were recognised for and find a new way to be creative - through the lens. Go well with this and enjoy the great images you will capture and share. B

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  36. Very creative shot. I wish you all the best, Laura.

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  37. this is an inspiring post, thanks for sharing

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  38. Laura, Your post is so deeply alive and pulsating with your creative energy. I think that you offer a lifeline to many of us who struggle with illness, both as receivers of love and care and givers of the same. I thought of you earlier this week when I was working with a young girl who has a chronic illness. She railed against the disease and its limitations and I wished you were there so that she could meet you and hear your words which offer so much hope. Instead, I had the memory of your words and offered those to her--please know that you are reaching many beyond this blog:)

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  39. I too miss painting dear Laura. For me it is simply not having enough time. Working long hours and when I am free, I need to tend to my house and blogging takes almost all my spare time - not that I mind.
    I am hoping that one day, when old age sets in and I find myself with so much spare time, that many of my old hobbies will keep me occupied.
    As always, your gentle and contemplative writing is so very touching - every sentence tells a story of great insight, great pain, great love, great strength and complete integrity.
    xoxo

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  40. Nice shot! I like the composition!

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