I was reflecting this morning that it was three years ago this month that my book, Lessons from Nature, came out. I still remember the feeling of holding a copy in my hands for the very first time. All the hours of writing and editing, listening for what wanted to be part of the book and what needed to be left out, asking others for help, and wrestling with doubt, inspiration, and fear…all of this had finally distilled down to the small gathering of pages I held in my hands. I had no idea in that moment, the lives the book would touch and how many people would share with me that the words gathered in these pages touched their hearts and changed how they relate to nature.
It had taken years to compile this short book of reflections about encountering the sacred in nature. I value the lessons it taught me about working with inspiration and creativity. Most valued is the awareness that from the moment the seed of an idea is planted in our heart, to the moment of fruition, can span months and years and it will require us to grow and expand into the person who is capable of birthing this new thing into the world.
The process of creating this book taught me many more things about creativity. I thought I might share the four most prominent ones with you today, as I know that many of you have creative ideas knocking on the door of your heart. There is something that wants to come through you to be offered to the world, something that is needed and necessary.
When I harvested what I learned from writing Lessons from Nature, it came down to this list. I hope that something here might be of service to your creative life:
1) You do not create merely for the end result. You create for who it helps you become.
The project or idea calling to you holds within it the seeds for your own personal growth. You will be changed and transformed by the process of creating. What a tremendous gift this is.
2) The thing you are being invited to co-create with the Divine, has a job of its own. There is a purpose behind what you are being invited to create that is larger than you. You most likely won’t even be fully aware of what it is until you look back in hindsight.
3) Every. Step. Matters.
I cannot emphasize this enough. Every step you take towards this endeavour, it matters. No matter how small the step may be. Take it. These small steps will add up. This is how creation works. It is an evolution of small changes, small steps, small birthings that develop into a larger whole.
4) Resistance is part of the process. You will experience resistance in many forms. It will often come from that inner voice telling you that what you are creating doesn’t matter or that you don’t have what it takes. Resistance pushes back and tries to get us to doubt ourselves. Some call resistance the inner critic, or the saboteur. We all have one and we all must find our ways to work with it. This takes courage, trust and the ability to listen to that still, small voice within that is calling us forward. The most helpful book I have read about working with resistance is called The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. You may want to add it to your library.
I hope in sharing some of what the creative process has taught me, will help you open the door to whatever project, idea, or initiative is there inviting you into creative partnership. I believe, that in our world today, we need to embrace our creative ideas because they are necessary for our collective growth. As Rainer Marie Rilke said:
“You must give birth to your images, they are the future waiting to be born. Fear not the strangeness within you. The future must enter you long before it happens.”
What is longing to be birthed through you may be exactly what will give another hope, or the gift of laughter, or encouragement. May you be willing to be surprised by what awaits you as you accept the invitation to dance with the energy of Creation.
With creative blessings,