Wild Women, Wild Voices
Wild Women, Wild Voices : Nurturing Your Artist/Creator

Artist/Creator

Nurturing Your Artist/Creator

By Judy Reeves | 5/14/15
a selection from Wild Women, Wild Voices

When we are at one with our creativity, and by that I mean with our responsiveness to the world, we are at our most authentic. It is pointless to say, “I am not creative.” If you are alive, you are creative. Consider it a gift you’ve been given by a generous and loving creator. Consider it a fact of your being, the same as the color of your eyes or the shape of your feet. But unlike your eye color or the structure of your feet, your creative beingness is active, alive, a vital force that can change the world. In your authentic wildness, you are a creative force!

I’ve told the story for years of how my grandmother said that when we’re born, God puts a thumb right in the center of our foreheads, imprinting us with our special gift, and says, “You’ll be an actress” or “You’ll be a dancer” or “You. You’ll be a writer.” I’m not sure if my grandmother really said this or if I made it up, but I know I believe the fact of it — that we’re all given special gifts that we bring into the world. I also believe that we have a responsibility to use these gifts, and that if each of us honors the responsibility and uses the gift, the whole of humankind will be lifted to a higher plane.

It’s not always easy to live up to this responsibility. The world echoes with the sigh of “not enough time.” But if we are to live an authentic life, if we are to keep our wildish nature healthy, if we are to experience all our joy, we must take care to protect our creative time and nurture our creative souls.

One year, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I created a list of intentions and sent them out to whatever benevolent presence might be listening. These spoke to my desire to honor the gift of creativity that I’d been given and to keep it alive in my daily life:

  • To honor my creative urges and listen to my deepest longings.
  • To be open to wild imaginings and receptive to the charm of the ordinary.
  • To keep a place prepared for the muse and to be present so she will know where to find me.
  • To find courage to write what wants to be written and patience to give whatever time is needed to write it.
  • To acknowledge that what I create is a way of giving back to the Universe.

Exploration: Nourishing Your Artist/Creator

ExplorationClaiming your authentic wildness through a conscious action each day is a way to give nourishment to your soul. My List of Intentions is another. Scores of books, blogs, newsletters, and creativity coaches offer even more ideas for living a creative, authentic life.

For this Exploration, create your own set of intentions or guidelines to nourish your artist/creator. You may want to develop your own Artist’s Creed, as Jan Phillips did in Marry Your Muse, or write an Artist’s Prayer, as Julia Cameron did in The Artist’s Way. In Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estés provided a list of ways of “Taking Back the River.”

After you’ve completed your notions of how to nourish your artist/creator, print them out and post them where you’ll see them every day. Create a collage or vision board that incorporates your vision. Read your ideas aloud every day to remind yourself what a precious and powerful creative being you are.

Journey

Continuing the Journey: Further Explorations into Artist/Creator

1. Write your autobiography through your creative expressions. You can begin by making stepping-stones of instances or moments or physical manifestations of your creativity, listing them as they come to you, and then creating a chronology from which you write a narrative.

2. Each of us needs a sacred place for our work. The “Maps for the Journey” chapter suggests creating such a space of your own. For this Exploration describe the place you created. If you have in mind a more ideal space, describe what it would look like, what furnishings you would have there, where it would be situated. Write your dream; this is how we begin to manifest.

3. Eleanor Roosevelt told us we must do the one thing we think we cannot do. From the perspective of Wild Woman as artist/creator, what have you done that you thought you couldn’t do? What would you still like to do?

4. Write about something you created. Write the story of its birth.

5. In My Wicked, Wicked Ways, Sandra Cisneros wrote:

I chucked the life
my father’d plucked for me.
Leapt into the salamander fire.
A girl who’d never roamed
beyond her father’s rooster eye.
Winched the door with poetry and fled.
For good. And grieved I’d gone
when I
was so alone.

Write what you gave up for art.

6. In A Writer’s Book of Days, I created a list of “Ten Daily Habits that Make a Good Writer.” One of the habits, which isn’t just for writers but for all creatives, is to “cross-fertilize.” By that I mean we need to experience other art forms to stimulate our own.

Each day, bring some expression of art into your world. It may be as simple as keeping an art book open near your desk or listening to music as you work. Take time to visit a local gallery, notice the art on the café walls, have lunch in a sculpture garden. A busker in the park, a kids’ puppet show, even a drop-in at a flower shop or an open mic poetry night could be just the thing to evoke your own artist or dancer or poet. Doing creative work empties us; this is how you fill up again. Go!

Next: Wild Woman, Wild Voices Interview »

From the book Wild Women, Wild Voices. © Copyright 2015 by Judy Reeves. Printed with permission from New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com.

Judy ReevesJudy Reeves is a writer, teacher, and writing practice provocateur who has written four books on writing. More »
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