I’m at the end of a 6 day virus from hell that nailed me to the inside of the unit for days and made me run so many fucken circles around my head if it wasn’t for the love of my mother and the grace of good friends I might be in a worse state by now.
As luck would have it I woke up feeling human again this morning, still sick enough to qualify for a day off work, but well enough to journal, and meditate, and even wander through the nearby forest and down to my fave beach cove to read some empowering feminist lit wrapped in my blanket in the sand.
As usually happens at these pivotal moments in my little cat life, I opened up to the exact chapter that I needed to read right at that moment: What happens to the wild woman when she loses contact with her creativity. (Not good things – usually death at worst or some terrible maiming incident at best).
This blog has been bubbling for the past few days of my illness, demanding to be written. You see, what this bout of womanflu has forced me to reckon with is this: my stifled creativity. Yes. The creativity coach’s very own creative block. Laryngitis; my lost voice. You don’t need to have a doctorate in Louise Hay to know what that means.
But how did I lose her? Where did she go? Did the Big Bad Wolf hunt her down and eat her?
The downward spiral to muteness
The last 6 months have been somewhat rocky (to say the least). (Which also makes it hard to differentiate them from previous 6 month periods which were probably just as rocky. Life as a (suburban) rockstar. Rocky.)
In March I moved back to the Gold Coast from Byron Shire and in with my boyfriend. In April we broke up. I’ve moved twice since then and will be moving again at the end of this week (a fortuitous move this time, into my very own cat pad – I am now an independent woman/ happy home-owner/ debt slave – another awesome creation story in its own right that’s been manifesting alongside the rest of the chaos).
Meanwhile I’ve been hospitalised twice with a recurring issue that caused me weeks of pain and suffering (unable to walk at the worst of it), completed and released and toured a new album, worked 4 days a week at an awesome but challenging mental health organisation, and generally tried (somewhat successfully) not to go mental myself.
During all this hogwash I guess somewhere along the line I decided I didn’t want to reveal these shitty parts of my journey willy nilly with the world. So I shut down and shut up. Didn’t want to write another break up song. Didn’t want to whinge and complain. Didn’t want to broadcast the hurt and the disappointment and the shame and the failure and embarrassment and harp on about my first world problems.
Also, I needed a break. My creative output has been pretty much on HIGH for pretty much ever and I know from experience I need fallow periods in which to rest, recuperate and recharge. The trick is… my creative expression is the very thing that recharges me. Tapping into the creative flow allows the creative flow to flow through me and heal me, charge me up and light me up.
The refusal to write, to share, to create was tantamount to a tantrum against this cruel God who kept hurling me curve balls, against life’s incessant suck and flow, against art incarnate, but ultimately, against myself.
Gold stars go to my awesome parents who have kept a watchful eye over their third-born during yet another break-up and accompanying set of house moves, hospital visits, frozen food care packages when I couldn’t be fucked to cook for myself, daily phone calls and endless encouragement.
And to sunrise surfs, best girlfriends, baby cuddles, the ghetto pad, the penthouse, my awesome job, music and my bandmates, organic home made juice by the gallon, the Thai restaurant at the bottom of the staircase, and the paramedic who teased the shit out of me while injecting me with morphine.
Diamonds in the rough, aplenty.
The pain of not-creating
It’s been uncomfortable, the not-creating. It’s left me flat, boring, uninspired and unhappy. My voice is my gift, whether I’m singing or writing. How good or bad it is, the quality of my story, doesn’t matter. What matters is that I exercise my voice and tell my truth. It’s not about ego or getting attention. It’s about flow and letting go and my own sanity and vitality. And, oh so poignantly, THIS (which I read today by the creek):
Creating one thing at a certain point in the river feeds those who come to the river, feeds creatures far downstream, yet others in the deep. Creativity is not a solitary movement. That is its power. Whatever is touched by it, whoever hears it, sees it, senses it, knows it, is fed. That is why beholding someone else’s creative word, image, idea, fills us up, inspires us to our own creative work. A single creative act has the potential to feed a continent. One creative act can cause a torrent to break through stone.
For this reason, a woman’s creative ability is her most valuable asset, for it gives outwardly and it feeds her inwardly at every level: psychic, spiritual, mental, emotive and economic. The wild nature pours out endless possibilities, acts as a birth channel, invigorates, slakes thirst, satiates our hunger for the deep and wild life.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman
Creativity is not a solitary movement
By blocking my creative flow I am blocking the creative flow to all the creatures downstream. This goes for all of us. This is why we must create freely, courageously, generously, daily. For our own health and the health of our ecosystem. To be sacred channels for the life force that surges to us and through us (if we let it) and then from us and between us.
Laryngitis can go suck a lemon drop. I got my voice back and no amount of shame or game is gonna keep this kitty quiet for too long. It’s meow time.
Oh, and I just got a feeling growing, good things a comin’… The river springs eternal. Life is ultimately beautiful. We gotta hold on through the hard bits.
In the meantime, in the darkest, lightest, sweetest moments… Shout it. Sing it. Knit it. Paint it. Telepath it. Cook it. Dance it. Love it. Whisper it. Magic it. Manifest shit. Let the creativity flow right through you sisters and brothers. The power is ours and we are not alone – together, we got this. The sacred river of creativity and life force is available to all of us. Tap into it, drink of it, alchemise it into your own special gemstone of you-ness.
On with the flow…