Hello again, my friends.
My favorite astrology people keep telling me that the times are ripe for quiet contemplation, humility, new beginnings, and releasing the old. It is autumn, after all. Let leaves fall...
So... have you heard of sand mandalas? Tibetan Buddhist monks have these intense rituals for designing and completing their intricate and beautiful works of art...made with colored sand. One sacred piece takes them weeks to finish. And when it's complete, after all that work and all of their time, they take it apart. Intentionally and purposefully, they release all the sand back into nature, usually depositing it into a nearby river, to be carried away, downstream. There is great meaning in this: it signifies the idea that energy never dies and the impermanence of all physical things.
I'm talking about it, here, because that's what I've done with my old blog posts. It was a sacred thing, for me, the wide-open and vulnerable sharing that brought me to this point. Three years' worth. But it's time to let them go. I've saved them all, for me.
But I've turned another corner, as it goes, and have found that more and more, I'm pouring my untethered emotion and such into my new projects and creative interests. My voice is changing, the path is shifting, and I'm listening. And in my life, since I started blogging, this has happened many times. It feels like a shedding of skin and stepping into a new version of myself, gathering up everything that I'd learned, the mistakes I'd made, the wisdom I'd gained, and then reinventing myself... ever-forward. It's what I do, I resurrect. It's my namesake.
And so, with my old words and musings and ramblings brushed into the winds, I now find white space again. Neutral territory; a blank canvas. And this used to seem scary, but it's not anymore. It's invigorating. It's the start of a new journey, a new direction, a new focus. Raw essence. A brand new dance of divine alchemy.
As I finish editing through Wild Horses and Mistakes and begin narrowing down photos, I become more and more aware of the pending raw and creative potential; the wild chasm that approaches. I think of creative projects as babies, in a way. They go through a birth process, like any living thing: the idea is conceived and then steadily grown and nurtured within, until it's time to really work and push, to get the thing out of you. (I am currently in labor (with WHM), and it is taking a while to get it out.) But then, when I do... the other side of my brain will take over and work on logistics and publishing, formatting and querying, researching agents, more platform-building, marketing, and so on. The nitty-gritty stuff, the business side of things. The hustle.
And then, there will be a rising up of that... primordial cosmic creative essence... that raw energy that longs to create something new, swirling within, looking for a home. So, before I get there, I am being mindful and intentional about what I'd like to say next. What I want to experience and create, what I want it to feel like, and where it might take me, on the road of my life. What do I love?
See, I'd been meditating on death, lately. And in my mind's eye, death came to me, as it had before, in my life. And death asked me, directly... "if I were to come back for you in a few months' time... what would you like to have left behind, in this place, before moving on?"
And I blinked open my eyes and began journaling. At first, I brought up all the things that I wanted and had already brought into my life:
Have a child, check.
Write a book, check.
Go kayaking, check.
Travel more, check.
Go on a spiritual quest and write about it, check.
And there, in the pause, when I finally stopped naming things I'd done, I began to hear the things that I wanted next. The things that I wouldn't want to leave this world without trying. So, I am happy to say that I do know what's next and it's not necessarily another book. Not right away.
And once I decided...the journey started. Again. And so have the obstacles and in-my-face realizations and inner-demons and all the rest, already sticking their chins out, shaking me up. Asking me how much I want it. Another walk across the desert, another lap around the circle. Living life this way, in pursuit of a dream, of a passion, overcoming challenges, is the only way to live... for me.
Alive, lit up, inspired, and always learning.
With each new intentional endeavor to learn and grow and create something... we, the humans, the real cosmic clay of Life, evolve along with whatever we choose to make, if we pay attention. I believe... that declaring what you want in no uncertain terms will awaken the forces that surround us, at the ready, to guide us through, if we take the first step. Then another. And another. Intent, action. Intent, action. Always guided and inspired. I believe that this is just how creativity works, when we tune in. I don't think it drops in our laps, but I don't think we're alone in it, either. I think we have to work for it, reverently. Gratefully.
And if you're stuck in it, or struggling, or anxious...consider the freshness of starting again. Take on a new perspective, at least, to enliven what you're working on. And check out Joseph Campbell and the Hero's Journey. I've found it incredibly helpful in harnessing creativity in a project. Keep moving, keep making, keep creating.
And so it begins. Stay tuned. Watch this space. Starting fresh. Good things...