Give yourself a break!


LA in bookstore photoI’ve been deeply focused on creativity this week. Preparing and presenting a talk that I gave on living a creative life @ Purple Vine Club in Kelowna last night. A written version of my story is scheduled to be published in the Sage-ing Journal in March. Stay tuned.

But the just of it is this: We are ALL born creative, we ALL have the divine thumbprint of creativity upon us. I believe it is true.

At the Purple Vine Club meeting last night, creative juices were flowing as guests participated in some fun exercises and also in more introspective ways. I shared my life story, and then invited the guests, at some later date but soon, to take the time to be still, listen, ask, consider and then respond to what it might mean for each of them;

… to engage in a creative way of life, a “poi-eh-ma” with God, by inspiration of this verse;

For we are God’s “poi-eh-ma”/masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:10 New Living Translation (NLT)

…to engage in a transformative lifelong process, a spiritual pathway of communion with the Creator, by glorying in the fullness of the created world all around us, through expressing our unique acts of creativity, and the resulting beauty spilling over into the lives of others.

Now this is a big ask. It is. It is difficult. For those who wonder about God, about what he is up to in this world. About his very existence. About his relevance. Or, for those who have lots of big questions that remain unanswered. For those who struggle with things that they can’t seem to make peace with. And ones like me who attempt to live in a paradoxical tension of not knowing, everything, but just enough to keep on keeping on, most days. And that is the spiritual side.

Then there’s the creative side, the difficulty of finding the time to be still and listen. Or the thought that maybe there is no creativity to tap into. Or for those who have not been doing anything creative for a long time. Maybe never. For those who forget how.

So, my post today is to encourage you with a wider scope of what creative living might be. Because I’m talking about a way of seeing, and sometimes seeing requires our glasses to be dusted off.

Here are a few words and then some images of what I mean when I say creativity has a WIDE scope in our lives. Perhaps one of these is the language of your CREATIVE life:

music, tattoo ink, concrete finishing, cabinet making, play writing, finding a cure, making a way, attacking a cliff, lighting design, designing new soccer plays, photography, canning jam, cooking, carving, baking, cleaning, organizing, ideas, decorating, gardening, writing, dancing, videography, cake decorating, sewing, knitting, scrap booking, singing, drawing, sculpting, metal work, thinking, sand castles, putting up a tent, grooming a dog, philosophizing, building lego, putting on makeup, refinishing old boats, renovating houses, architecture, engineering, electrical circuit building, dog training, interior design, propogating plants, setting out a race course,  model making, making money, building a business, investing, having a family…

are you beginning to see

DSC_0143 DSC_0364 DSC_0463_2 Love is Stronger DSC_0482 DSC_0104DSC_0067 DSC_0078 DSC_0005 DSC_0020 DSC_0032 DSC_0044 DSC_0082 DSC_0002 DSC_0026

My point is, don’t be so hard on yourself. You have something good to offer up. A creative language that is yours alone to speak into the world. Like the rest of us do. Sometimes it takes time to find it. But you will. Don’t give up.

For me there is a clear connection… Creator God, Creation, Creativity, Creating… it is simple and yet it is profound. I’m not certain I really know what it means or ever will. Please share your thoughts with me on this. I’d so appreciate if conversation breaks out!

It’s always a new year, and each new day is alive with potential. Can you see it? Hear it?

On the same way, looking…

Lesley-Anne

Just another manic Monday…


Mud bathing at the Standard Spa in Miami Beach, FL

Image via Wikipedia

What’s your biggest goal going into the New Year? What’s your biggest challenge?

I was expecting to feel excited about 2011, but I’m feeling rather ordinary about it all. Sure, Bob goes back to work and the kids back go school and I un-decorate the house, get back into a schedule, but is that it? I mean I know I have a couple of special things to keep going with, like AfterGrad celebrations and all, but what else? Sure, there’s choir… I’m looking forward to continuing with that. And, there’s the date nights that we both organized as Christmas gifts this year, and there’s the 3 birthdays that fall in January and February combined, and then there’s Valentine’s Day and before long there will be Spring Break, but what I’m looking for, what I’m really longing for is something else… something out of the ordinary… something bigger.

Do you feel it too? A certain amount of…

Boredom?

Lack of purpose?

Lack of focus?

My darling treated me to a Spa retreat for a couple of days over the Christmas Break. Our kids were happy to take care of themselves while Bob and I went to the ‘Kurspa’ at  ‘Sparkling Hill Resort for some TLC and down time. It was lovely. We enjoyed steams and saunas, and ate wonderful meals and slept in a bed with a memory foam mattress. Many of the spa treatments were for the purposes of detoxifying the body. From skin treatments like aroma scrubs, to more deep cleansing muds, our bodies were deep cleaned and felt amazing… lighter, fresher, younger, and smoother. What a delightful way to take care of our health and wellness, one we should probably do more often. I also couldn’t help reflecting on how a regular spiritual detox might be good for me too.

So when I see that I’m not heading into 2011 feeling excited and energized, that detox idea is what comes to mind again.

Or maybe I just need to get back on the vitamins? Perhaps  SAD is already catching up with me after a couple of dreary months of little sunshine? A little light therapy, or maybe some tanning, or even a new thing called ‘Hydration’ might do the trick. And making certain I eat healthy and get exercise… out in the fresh air is also a good thing.

But what I really think I need is to set time set aside for solitude and connection with my maker again… very soon. I have this need to get away with God and me to a special place up on a mountain, where I can just be still and listen. It’s something I haven’t always done, but the last couple of years I’ve started I find myself wanting to more regularly, and each time I go I am never disappointed. As I spend this intense time with God, I expose some of the wrong thinking I have inside me, I deal with the things I’ve done wrong, I get vulnerable with him, share my hopes and my ideas, and then I wait for his direction for what comes next. It detoxifies me from the influence of ungodly things in me and around me. It is such a good thing.

And I believe, based upon past experience, that my renewed focus and energy and passion and purpose will come from my time away with God. Most of all I will come back with the knowledge that there’s more to life than just this moment, or any immediate needs. I’ll come back ‘down the mountain’ with a tiny dose of eternal perspective that was given an opportunity to take root inside me.

So yeah, it might just be another manic Monday, but my planner’s open and I’m looking for a spiritual health day asap!

Out with the old and in with the new!

Lesley-Anne