Tuesday, June 02, 2015
How does one begin to be creatively soulful? And why does it seem so imperative at mid-life to find our creative flow?
I use the word soul the way I've heard it used in Jungian texts and psycho-spiritual books I've read to mean the animated, inner essence of a human being that appears to feed us, and also need nurturance.
What feeds the soul? Contact with nature, according to Carl Jung. Getting our hands in the dirt and gardening, for instance. Letting our love of the night sky draw us outside to stare at the myriad little dust particles of light in the dark. Swimming at midnight on a quiet lake listening to loons. All these simple and yet magical experiences touch a part of us that is non-rational, non-business like, unconcerned with the bottom line, rent due and bills to pay. It brings us a deep feeling of satisfaction, of awe and wonder. It brings us back into a conversation or contact with our feeling 'soul'.
What else feeds the soul? Beauty in whatever form appeals to you. Beautiful colours at sunset, patterns and textiles, wallpaper and carpets can feed my daughter's designer soul. My artist soul likes to play with images and photos and make collages. My poet's soul likes to play with rhyme, metaphor and juxtapositions of neat sounding words. My musician's soul loves to sing harmonies, listen to soothing music, go to Blues concerts and lose myself in the rhythms of djembe classes.
There are so many ways to feel a connection with the soul. Seeing any human being smile touches something in my soul, but newborn babies especially so. having someone on the street stop and notice me long enough to smile and say Hello is also soul nurturing, especially in the city where we tend to walk on by, striding purposefully to our next appointment.
Creative soulfulness therefore is something I am developing as a way to offer space and sanctuary for classes and retreats, so that in your busy schedule, your over-filled days and weeks, you can pencil in a little hour or two, or maybe a whole day or weekend, to feed your need for Soul Food.
the tools I use have not changed, but I am expanding my learning this summer. So far I have taken a Creative Journaling class with le journal creatif teacher Alexandra Leroux, filling up my art journal with doodles, collages, drawings and poetry; a mandala class at the Musee des Beaux Arts de Montreal with my daughter, using compass and ruler and paint and coloured crayons to find the still center in the middle of a circle; and later this summer I'm headed to Colorado to study with the author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes in a facilitator training called Singing over the Bones. I'm very excited about that, to integrate her teachings and storytelling techniques into my creative soulfulness.
Stay tuned for a website tune-up in the late summer, and new class offerings for September 2015 as well as details on a winter retreat in Costa Rica in February with myself and yoga/chi gong/shamanistic leader Brigitte Bauhart.
Namaste, and have a great summer
xxx aka Musemother