This has been a delightful Sunday, spent doing the things that I love to do. I went shopping with my sister and we chatted and had fun. I stopped by my granddaughter’s birthday party that her mom had for her at the park today. I appreciated Brittany’s gracious invitation and enjoyed the festive atmosphere and watching that gorgeous little girl. Most of the day I practiced one form or another of creativity, which caused me to reflect.
My favorite place for reflection.
Sometimes it’s helpful to look back, even though I’m not traveling in that direction, and see how my path has wound through the landscape of my life. Although I can’t see ahead, I can see where I’ve been and see how everything connects together, how directed my journey is.
From the precipice of Now, I can distinctly see where my path shifted recently. I stepped onto a fresh new trail almost two years ago, in January 2014, when I began my year of firsts, and started blogging. Oh, I didn’t know at the beginning of that year how my life would open up and change. I just knew I was ready to break out of my comfort zone, ready to create the discipline of writing daily. I had tried writing every day during the summer of 2013. I wrote for four days and quit, unfocused and unsure what to write about.
The blog provided the necessary focus and, connected to experiencing daily firsts, I had fresh topics to write about. As of today, I’ve written for 663 consecutive days, without missing a single day. That’s a major accomplishment for one who quit after only four days before.
However, here’s the truly amazing thing that has occurred. That daily habit of writing, coupled with the desire to open to more opportunities and possibilities, has awakened creativity within me. My symbol for this year is an open door and that has been very appropriate. It’s as if the door to my creative side has been thrown wide open.
I began to combine planting and tending flowers and herbs with creative expressions such as using metal containers, wooden chairs and even a vintage screen door in my garden. Indoors I found I loved creating vignettes, dragging out family heirlooms and treasures and finding new ways to use them and display them. Recently I’ve begun to color again, discovering colored pencils and coloring books for adults.
That seemingly simple activity has changed the way I view the world. I notice the way light and shadows fall across the field as I drive by, the many shades of green in a forest, the browns and oranges and yellows in the grasses waving beside the road. My artist’s eye is open again and observing, considering, figuring out how to duplicate what I am seeing.
Today I did free sketching with my colored pencils, experimenting with techniques and coloring outside the lines, literally. My first attempts weren’t astounding but it’s a beginning and something I will pursue because I enjoy laying color onto paper.
And then there’s Liz Gilbert. I placed her on my vision board in January of this year and sat in an enthralled audience two weeks ago, in Wichita, listening as she spoke about her new book. And what did she write about, speak about? Creativity. Big Magic. Creative living beyond fear. I was meant to be there. I’m reading her book now, and enjoyed the section titled Enchantment today. These events are much more than coincidences. They are the paving stones of the path that has been laid at my feet…and I am invited to journey, to explore.
When Liz spoke, she recommended a book called The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. I’ve held this book in my hands several times in the past few years and always returned it to the shelf. The time was not right. Apparently Now is the time. I bought the book and I’m working through it. Author Julia Cameron offers a twelve week journey to discover the link between the spiritual and creative selves. Considered a revolutionary program for artistic renewal, The Artist’s Way helps to overcome limiting beliefs and fears. I’m excited about this book.
Liz also shared that creativity must trust us in order to offer us her ideas. When we open to creativity and begin to practice it, in whatever way brings us joy, then we are sending out the message, “Entrust me with your gifts. I will accept them. I will develop them. I am open to receive ideas and I will DO something with them. ” After hearing her words, I realized this is what is occurring in my life. As I opened to creativity, by writing, by embracing new things, more creativity came. And then more.
My life is continuing to shift as creativity is finding me trustworthy. I am drawn to deeper writing, and drawing, and open to new endeavors that beckon. I truly don’t know what’s around the bend. I don’t need to know. I’ll just keep journeying…with creativity as my companion.