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Owning Creativity: What Wants to be Born Through You?

Anonymous's picture

finger_painting_pictureHello Pinkies. Joy here. I’ve been having lots of thoughts around creativity lately. I’ve been consumed with a deep and inexplicable desire to express myself … not just in writing (as I have my whole life), but in new ways that feel far more powerful … and a little scary.

The stirring of ideas

It started a couple of weeks ago, when I attended a retreat at Mount Madonna in Santa Cruz, CA, with the poet/author David Whyte. In his talks, David challenged us to find what he calls the “central conversation” of our lives. What is it we’re here to do? How can we address the challenges that stand in the way of fully living that conversation? How can we remain present to the joys and difficulties of being so very alive? How can we stay in fierce pursuit of that which we’re here to do?

Tough questions, and even tougher answers. As I pondered them, what kept coming up for me again and again were the words, “Create” and “Express.” Not in ways I am used to, though. I have always created peace and harmony and friendship and convenience and beauty. But my charge now, I felt – strongly felt – is to literally create. Poetry. Stories. Sculpture. Color. To use MY voice and hands to interpret both life around me and the truths I receive by way of the universe through honest-to-goodness, actual ART.

Yes. That’s it.

The truth resonated in me so deeply as the next step to take in my life, it moved me to tears. It also petrified me. Because, though I minored in art in college and have dabbled a bit here and there, this is new territory. I have to make room in my life for this, in the scale on which it’s wanting to be realized. I need to set aside time in my life and space in my home. I need to get messy. It’s going to involve utter frustration and a whole lot of reluctance. I’m going to churn out a whole bunch of ugly shit for every one piece that I feel halfway good about.

It’s going to be hard.

But it’s okay … I think I’m ready for hard. I want to see, experience, and express truth. Truth isn’t always sunshine and dandelions. It’s a range of ideas, emotion, experience. It’s strife and joy. It’s pain and healing. I want to converse with the whole picture. This is the only way I know to do it.

Making room

I have intentions for a couple of things to rock this creative boulder off its place atop the mountain and start it rolling down the hill.

  • As part of (or all of) my nightly journal reflection, I will dash off a little poem … listening to whatever is in me or wants to come through me. By keeping them in the safety of my journal, I am free to produce a whole bunch of crap, and to take that which feels true and resonant out into the world. Maybe I’ll share it on the posse blog, or put it in a card and send it to a friend.
  • I’ll re-read Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down The Bones, which contains a gazillion wonderfully freeing ideas for producing art in quantity rather than quality. I may also pick up Living Color, a book she wrote on applying her “wild mind” technique to painting and art.
  • I’m going to set up a huge folding table on some drop cloths in the basement. I’m going to bring out my watercolors and acrylics; set up my easel; break out my glue sticks and magazines and all the cardboard I’ve been stockpiling. I’m going to buy mosaic tiles and gather up all the objects I’ve picked up off the street thinking, “hmm, this might look cool in a sculpture.” I’m going to go to my table every day and make something. It might be crap and it might piss me off. I may get angry or bored. But I’ll be showing up. I’ll be showing up.
  • I’m learning the visceral, beautiful, rich and complex medium of encaustic from Lissa, who has invited me to hang in her studio and let the muse on through, whenever I felt moved to do so. (Thank you again, dear sister.)
  • I’m beginning a pottery class next Friday. I’m going to make the mug I talked about in this piece.

So Pinkies, what does the world need to hear from you? How do you keep the channel open to all that has yet to be brought forth into the world? What form does your creativity take? What might be holding you back from exploding your work upon the world? How can we help you own it?


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Joy Mazzola's picture

So interesting ...

...that this post was revived this very week. Thank you, Laurie and Bella, for your wonderful comments. I was actually talking to a friend the other night about this moment in my life, which she was actually there to witness. Since then I have toyed a bit with the visual arts, but it was a struggle - not the good, 'this is a great challenge but worth it to follow my heart' kind, but more of an energy drain. The experiment didn't last too long BUT, what I have since discovered (or, re-discovered) is that I DO have an art, a way of expressing myself that feels good and easy and has been a practice I have taken back up effortlessly and happily. I speak, of course, of writing. It is and has always been my chosen medium. I was looking way outside the box for something that wasn't me. Granted, I may still take a figure drawing or jewelry making class somewhere down the line, and I'm still all about dabbling in cooking and creating in those kinds of ways, but not surprisingly I'm not in my basement making life-sized Pollock-esque splatter paintings. And that's a-okay. So thank you Lissa and the universe for putting this back out there and compelling me to check back in and see how this particular story played out. Much love to all ... xoxo

Laurie Erdman's picture

Love this post.

First, thanks to Lissa for reviving this post via FB. It's just awesome. Second, I have to know how the pottery went? I would love to hear about your experience with clay (my soul mate of artistic mediums).

I love the idea of the "central conversation." I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my central conversation of late. It's all about creating. I create today and know that I am meant to do more - it is meant to be the central part of my life. I don't yet know how that will look, but am excited to find out and am energized by the journey.

Thanks for sharing this. Keep us posted on your visual art endeavors. I know it opened my mind and my heart like nothing else did.

Bella Cuore's picture

I’ll be showing up.

I love that part. I'll be showing up. The honest of even if the project you're working on that day pisses you off or doesn't turn out how you thought, you will still show up. I LOVE that! Thank you so much for sharing, you have totally inspired me. For me, it's going to be my candles and soaps. All packed away nicely in boxes and storage bins...gathering dust. Time to take them out and play. =o)

Dana Theus's picture

Love this, Joy. I love your

Love this, Joy. I love your comment about how truth isn't always joy and light. And I really relate to how to make room in your life. I loved pottery but just couldn't devote the time to it (pots dry out if you don't tend them!) and though I love my jewelry (rocks don't dry up!) I haven't touched my stones in 3 months. But now that taxes are done - I swear I will!

Good for you. Keep sharing your journey with us!

Love, Light and Fingerpaints ~Dana

Joy's picture

Wow, thank you all. Being

Wow, thank you all. Being involved with OP for as long as I have, it's still always a slightly surprising, totally awe-inspiring comfort to know that I'm in no way alone in what I'm going through.

Lisa - rockin. Can't wait to hear all about the workshop!

Caren baby, this is your invitation (from the universe via me) to just get messy, and to do things badly. (I'm of course talking to myself here too!)

Jessica, I so hear you on the chatter. Sending wishes for fun and joy right back at you as we learn together how to laugh at those voices (and throw paint at them).

Amanda, holy crap. Thank you for pleaping in a way that's going to help scratch the itch that I (and a whole lot of other pinksters) experiencing at the moment (no, it still hasn't quite been scratched to my satisfaction). It will be amazing and miraculous and life-changing because it's what your heart is calling you to do. Bravo!

Thank you Lavonne. I've posted a poem or two, but I have to admit to all of you, since I wrote this post, life got a bit crowded with other pursuits and things haven't exactly panned out in alignment with my intention. I know it's a process, and I'm not particularly discouraged or frustrated. It's another lesson in surrender, in things taking time, and in appreciating all the ways I AM creating ...

Liss, can't wait to see (and soon sit under) the heart. Thank you for being YOU and inspiring me in ways you can't know.

Look at that Pinkies, you've inspired me all over again. I'm going out and continue painting my mailbox. Quite literally putting it out there as a daily reminder to tap into the creative spark every day.

Thank you all, gorgeous talented goddesses. xoxoxo Joy

Lissa Rankin's picture

Amen, sister! And now I'm

Amen, sister! And now I'm going to paint. Really. Truly. I'm about to paint a painting with a great big PINK heart for the Owning Pink Center. I'll post it when it's done!

Thank you Joy, as always, for being you. I love you!

Lavonne's picture

Go for it, Joy! I'm looking

Go for it, Joy! I'm looking forward to seeing what you may care to share...

Amanda Fall's picture

High fives! Woohoos!

High fives! Woohoos! Heck-yesses! This post just vibrates with positive energy--you are about to experience a tremendous adventure and journey. Thank you for sharing your beginnings so openly here.

I recently listened to a creative nagging that had been hounding me--I'm finally taking the leap into teaching an e-course, something that's been on my mind and heart for a long time. My dear friend Natasha Reilly-Moynihan and I will be co-leading the course in mid-April. It's all about launching into creativity from a childlike perspective--finding your inner wild child and letting it play. I get shivers every time I think about it--so I know I'm on the right path!

Here's to you and your journey...I can just picture you in that basement, making a glorious mess. Dive in!

Jessica's picture

Dearest Joy, Thank you so

Dearest Joy,

Thank you so kindly for sharing this beautiful/inspirational and empowering post with us today! You spoke to my own heart and the creative energy that is trying to spring forth from it...now if only my mind and mindless "chatter" would get out of (my own) way!(because part of the creative process IS scary...but it's all worth it!) It's so wonderful to see others "waking up" in similar ways :)

I wish you joyous awakenings and mega-doses of fun and laughter as your heart continues singing with creativity! <3

Be love, be light, be YOU <3 jessica

Caren's picture

Joy thank you so much for

Joy thank you so much for sharing. I sit here in awe of you being present in your life and taking on this new and very exciting journey. It is in this moment that it is as if you are speaking to the very core of me. I have not said this to anyone yet, but I have been thinking that I want to do something creatively, I just don't know what. I was terrible in school when it came to this type of creativity. I don't even care. I just know I want to create something with my hands, I feel it. Thank you for writing this truth. The connectedness is amazing right here, right now. I wish you so much luck and can't wait to see what you give birth to. Please keep us posted. Pink Love and Creative Light, Caren

Lisa's picture

Beautiful and powerful

Beautiful and powerful post.... it certainly inspires me on this rainy day, and gives me food for thought as I head out to teach a Dreamwheel Workshop. Much gratitude!

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