I was exploring creative expression
and a lack thereof
with my EMDR therapist on Monday.
And it came to me suddenly…
If I could simply start doodling,
just to get the creative ball rolling,
eventually the momentum would pick up
and I could flow along with it.
Right after the session,
I went down to my car
and took out of my purse
a fine point Sharpie and a blank index card
and I wrote the word
M O M E N T U M
and some wavy lines all around it.
I got my watercolors out
and worked on two paintings.
The next night and the night after that
my kids and I drew together.
Same for the next morning.
That afternoon I worked on a mandala,
gel pens on black paper,
and it felt good to create,
and I realized, yes,
momentum is real.
If you are feeling creatively blocked friend,
just begin something.
Just get that ball rolling and you’ll see…
MOMENTUM is your friend.
The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.—Marcus Aurelius, 121-180 c.e.
I sit down to write and feel blocked
because my open and honest expression
might be twisted and used as evidence
by the one I formerly trusted with my heart
that there is something wrong with me.
(That something wrong being that I’m a human
going through a particularly tough time.)
And so I embrace a sort of forced positivity,
which cannot be all bad, right?
I mean, for God’s sake,
I have clean drinking water, on demand,
water to bathe with, a toilet inside my house…
This puts me in the top 20% of the world’s population.
I have voting rights.
I have my health.
I have my mind.
I have a college education.
I have work that I love
and two beautiful children
and an opportunity to start over fresh
every single blessed day.
In essence, I’m being blocked from complaining,
and this impediment to complaints
advances my ability to celebrate what is working.
This open and honest expression
might also be twisted and used as evidence
that there is someting wrong with me,
but if this is the case,
then it only reveals what is wrong
with the reasoning faculties
of the person doing the twisting and judging.
Therefore, thank you, dear soul,
for giving me cause to pause
and go on a negativity diet.
I shall grow fat with gratitude and grace.
There is a struggle
between the old way
and the new,
an attachment to familiarity
and a yearning to break free.
My body is tired
and my mind is weary
but my soul knows
this is the only game in town,
and so it says,
some blessed quiet time,
a candlelit bath,
soft music playing,
then resting and reading.
A walk in the woods,
finding a perfect spot,
setting up the hammock,
resting, reading, musing.
Staring up at the trees,
breathing deeply, swaying,
writing out my heart’s desires.
A nourishing meal
and more writing.
moving every part of my body,
a shared experience in Nia class.
Back home, a shower,
and here I am, tired and calm.
It was a good day,
a full day, a day of self-care.
It occurs to me that many
such fulfilling days
will lead to a fulfilling life.
I keep writing these poems
because it has become a habit
to write one poem every day.
It has become part of my practice
to concentrate my thoughts,
to choose a few words,
to express a sliver of what is alive in me.
Sometimes a sliver is all that is needed
to let in the light the world needs.
Just do it.
It doesn’t have to be perfect.
It doesn’t even have to be any good.
It’s the act of creating that matters,
unleashing forces that have lain dormant,
awakening to your self, your voice…
You don’t even need to show your creations
to anyone else,
just let your Self be seen by yourself.
Getting lost in some creative endeavor
is an act of prayer and a blessing.
Tuning into what you have within you
waiting to be expressed
and having the courage to express it–
this is an act of salvation.
And as you save yourself,
as you honor yourself
you inspire others to do the same.
As we join together in our
individual acts of creation,
we strengthen the web of life.
As we allow ourselves to be vulnerable
our true courage shines forth.
Create, or let your destructive thoughts win.
The creator and the destroyer
both live and breathe inside you.
Which do you choose–
saboteur or muse?
Do it now.
Draw a picture,
sing a song,
do a little dance,
tell a story.
Plant a flower,
This life isn’t just about toil and strain–
it is also about connection
and simple moments of clarity
There is an essence in you
that is unique to you,
and we want to see it.
Do it now.