I’m tremendously honored to see my writing over on Carrie-Anne Moss’ site for sacred motherhood, Annapurna Living. (While you’re there, poke around–it is rather like a virtual Red Tent and it is splendid.) My writing there is about how I parent my children in the night:
“What Dr. Sears didn’t say and what every book, pediatrician and therapist says you shouldn’t be doing but you do it anyway and so do I is this: this whole thing of kids sleeping nearby—those warm, soft bodies so close—it is the loveliest thing. And they are mama-tropic. And you are them-tropic … kid-tropic. And so we seek each other in the night and we hold them in our arms and rub shins and breathe so close to their faces that we feel the heat from their cheeks, and no matter what any books say, it is the greatest and most wonderful physical pleasure and delight to feel them in the dark—warm bodies made of stars and love—seeking us for the same reason we are not supposed to seek them.” Read the full article here.
I’m going to guess that not all of you will agree with my choices and truth be told, I probably don’t share all of your opinions on the subject, either. But I respect you, nonetheless. We all have our own way that works for our particular sensibilities and family.
This innate and deep knowing of the self is yet another manifestation of our wondrous CREATIVITY.
So long as the voices in your head aren’t conventional, fear-based, critical or preoccupied by some perceived gaze/judgment from others…and so long as your moral compass always points due North…and so long as you honor your own beautiful, unique wisdom and value it first (above most others) except maybe for God, esteemed loved ones, trusted elders or spiritual teachers, then you will always find yourself washing up on the beach of LOVE–guided by your Soul and highest self. Then your life can be your laboratory–for discovery, experience, play, sharing, and being perfectly imperfect–YOU–and you can live a truly creative life. While there may be flavors of people just like at Baskin Robbins, each combination of flavors is unique. And your flavor might be largely strawberry but with some peanut butter and even salted caramel thrown in.
And so I say this–don’t ever temper your salted caramel just because you don’t think it goes with your strawberry. We are unbelievably complex creatures and our expressive, emotional, experiential selves are no exception.
I will share here from my book and tell you my most favorite line in The Little Spark:
“Creativity is not something we do; it is who we are.”
You see? Creativity is not just manifested in your sewing, quilting, painting, dancing, cooking and all of the other arts and crafts you create with your hands. Rather, creativity is living in your very skin in an open-hearted way and lovingly, purposefully occupying your life. Creativity shows up when we are parenting and shopping and getting dressed and making dinner if we allow ourselves to surrender to the moment.
I describe it as the beauty of a wheel moving from the axis of its own center. If a wheel looked outside of its circular self and placed its axis here or there…it wouldn’t roll…it would ker-thunk, ker-thunk, ker-thunk. Sure, the wheel would move in its herky-jerky motion–but it wouldn’t be graceful and fluid. It wouldn’t be a wheel.
And we are just that same way. If we align our compass–the seat of the self–our Soul and our highest knowing with some external axis (like a critical spouse or parent, self-limiting beliefs, what all of our friends think or worse yet, what the Joneses think) then we are just ker-thunking our way down the street of life.
One of the most wonderful gifts we can give ourselves is to shed attachments to a perceived external gaze and just BE. Just be you. That is the heart of creativity–that exact moment when we surrender all fear and just sink into the lovely water of the self and think, feel and act from our heart. Who is your life for? Is it a big performance that you have rigged up with hidden strings and edited with Instagram-style filters to make you seem beautiful and perfect all the time? I did that for a long time. The years I Photoshopped my life into perfection and managed my image for some perceived gaze were some of the least creative of my life. This isn’t a show. Perfectionism is the enemy of the creative act.