I’m sitting outside on our new porch swing. One foot anchored on the ground, because as I write, the swing moves.
This swing is perfectly balanced, moves gently and easily. It is a joy.
It is a joy to sit here and write. There is a breeze pushing through the maple trees and the grove of cedars that I love. The shade these trees provide is essential here in August. I can tell this day will have heat. Best to sit here now while the side of the house is shady.
I’ve had a phrase running through my mind lately. Full frontal creativity.
It makes me laugh every time I think of it.
I’ve been deciding what it means.
‘Naked creating’ is what I keep hearing when I think on it.
I don’t mean physically naked, although you could do that too. It’s warm enough right now.
I mean naked emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Not hiding from what shows up in my life. Not hiding or skipping over what shows up in my writing and drawing. Letting it all fall into the work. Being brave. Being true and honest to who I am, where I am in life, and what I create. Holding courage.
That feels like a tall order.
Full frontal creativity is about balance. My creativity is exactly like the porch swing. Everything in life affects the balance of my creating. Pushing and pulling me, gently and not so gently.
If I keep at least one foot on the ground, I temper the effect life has on me, and on my writing and drawing. I keep my balance. I keep creating through the push and pull and contrast of experiences and emotions.
Keeping one foot, or both, on the ground means letting myself be naked and present to what is happening. When I do this, my heart is open. I am connected to life. My best creating shows up when I am present, open, and connected.
This is not always easy. I have to work at it, keep reminding myself. Catch myself when I try to hide from how I feel, or try to hide from or push away what is happening. Hiding from pain or fear or grief.
I have to remind myself. Hiding doesn’t push things away or stop them from happening. When I try to hide, I end up holding onto the thing I am afraid of rather than letting it move through me and away. I hold inside me the pain, the fear, the grief.
I am trying to not feel, but emotions and experiences are are meant to be sensed and felt. When I hold these things from moving through, they turn into anger. I hurt myself. I hurt others around me. I hurt my creativity and stop up my heart. I throw myself off balance.
These past few weeks, when I realize I am in anger, it is easy to know why. I am hiding from the grief I feel over the wildfires at my northern home, the illness of both my parents, the loss of our beloved family cat. Too much pain all at once. No wonder I am trying to hide, but hiding only stops things up and increases the hurt. I know this. I feel this.
So here I am, sitting in the shade on our new porch swing. Practicing full frontal creativity. Feeling both pain and joy. Writing with a naked, open heart. Keeping one foot on the ground. Keeping my balance while life flows through me.