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Why is creativity so important?

Mid last year I wrote down the words - vibrancy, creative expression, self-care. I was sick of the big aspirational goals that I never seemed able to meet, in fact they had become demoralising. So I set myself up with some ‘feelings-based’ goals. I wrote the words down, stuck them up in my office and made an off the cuff decision to create a pilot course called Gift Goals. It was an adapted framework from Tara Mohr’s book, Playing Big with some nuggets from James Clear’s, Atomic Habits slapped in and a splash of Bill Plotkin’s, Wild Mind and voila, four friends signed up to do it with me.

Around six months prior to this I’d reluctantly started to apply some self care practices, despite feeling bad about having baths in the middle of day, I did it anyway. Using Yin yoga, writing, baths and cups of tea in the sunshine, I was feeling the early stages of gentling permeating my life, and my body.

But something was niggling at me. Halfheartedly moving my body through some stretches one morning the word jumped out at me - strength. I knew I needed the counter-balance to the softening, I needed the fire to match the gentleness, the moisture. So I signed up for a ‘core play & preparation for handstands’ course on line. LOL. So me, to sign up for another course (cue me eye rolling at myself). But it was fun, and while I may have injured my shoulder in my impatience to ‘get strong’, I felt a little slither of the spark I was looking for.

Jungian analyst & author, Marion Woodman said that in her work she’d seen many people, ‘…quite dead below the neck. The body is functioning but there is no consciousness below the neck. They just lug their flesh around.’ She goes on to share that ‘some people can weigh 300 pounds and they appear quite light because the light is in the body, there is consciousness in the body, other people can weigh 90 pounds and there’s a heaviness about them because the body is unconscious flesh.’

When I first started drawing again, one of the early images I shared was a ‘talking head’. It was a reflection of how I was feeling much of the time. My breath and voice stuck in my throat, in the back of my head. A constant tightness down my neck and across my shoulders. I knew the heaviness she spoke of and also knew that for decades I’d been ‘lugging’ it around.

Listening to her speak I felt immense resonance, someone had finally put words to what it was like to live in my body.

Marion sees soul as being very much the animator of the body. She describes how Russian Ballet dancer Nureyev, ‘prepared his body as fully as he possibly could, when the music came you could see the opening of soul and the body opening to receive spirit. And when spirit touched in, that man could leap like a bird.’ For her, ‘spirit is that winged thing that touches in, impregnates soul and brings something new to birth.’ This way of seeing the world feels nourishing to me.

Looking back I see glimpses of feeling that soul / spirit union; as an 8 year old watching Swan Lake in the pearl-buttoned dress Mum made for me, at a sweaty music gig watching Perfume Genius perform his song ‘All Waters’, walking through Kings Park, pregnant with my first child and immersed in Boora Waanginy: The Trees Speak. And not just as a spectator but in creating too, at a midnight writing retreat, dancing my way wildly along a gravel track, losing myself for hours recording music, in a jazz bar singing and even in short bursts while drawing.

When body/soul is limbered, strong, prepared and meets with spirit, that’s when something new is birthed. Am I making you want to break out the paints and dance yet!?

Without realising it, 12 months ago I was seeking out how I might bring consciousness (vibrancy) to my own body. Those feelings-based goals and the experimental habits have been like children delighted at throwing pebbles, casting ripples and waking up a still lake. It’s not been a direct route, not for want of trying! The lust for linear progress takes a long time to shake (if ever). There are wobbles and dips, circles and spirals. I love them all, even when I’m hating them. What feels exciting, what I welcome, is what’s emerging as I slowly come back to life.

If I've peaked your interest and you want to try it out for yourself you can click here to download ‘A beginners guide to Gift Habits’. Big Love x


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