It’s cold as I sit, early in the dark, confined to the couch. The bright glare of the screen burning through to my sticky, sleep-ridden eyes. Jeff Goins tells me…500 Words a day for 31 days, how hard can that be? Wait…stop…let’s just focus on the words TODAY, allowing the wild, crazy child to unleash his fury upon the keys of the laptop – direct connection from heart to page, but oh…so sleepy. Let’s just focus on this present moment, then the next, then the next.
I’m looking for that warm feeling of exquisite flow again, thanking heaven for auto-correct and the welcome ability to be able to read these words on the screen, instead of freestyling a word while sharing out loud, a word, a sentence that my writing at that moment apparently deemed to be unworthy of taking the time to make it intelligible. Sometimes the free-flow worked better, being present, reminiscing over that feeling of joy, wonder, awe, melancholy and simply uncaging that monkey to run riot in the wild forest of my mind.
The juices of creativity flowed so freely over this last miraculous week. The young, excited essay writer and poet, who didn’t even know it, reminisced at first of those enjoyable times writing what he imagined. From the dark chamber, all the way down in the pit where he had been buried, corrected, critiqued. “Needs more work, spelling not great, lazy writing” – such encouragement from those that should know better, directed without thought, towards that already weakened, continually bullied, hurt, crying and beaten child.
I want to acknowledge all the fantastic teachers from the last week or so and the wonderful gifts they gave us to take home to put under our creative trees.
My self-confessed lazy teacher this week, Clive Matson, awoke the Crazy Child within to play with that riotous monkey. Nobody puts baby in the corner, so I’ve heard, but that is where the crazy child chose to sit and exude, his often-divine, guidance to us. Simply being next to this giant, yet willowy man was clearly intuitive guidance from the universe for me. To absorb, at close quarters, this amazing, quiet, skillful, almost lethargic yet energetic man – who knew so much could be said with a smile, a slow shrug, a bushy, darkened eyebrow raise – even the holes in his socks had so much to say about his journey, the writing comes first, always the writing.
This wonderfully calm, still, man only had to quote a line, a phrase, to inspire us all to great heights, beyond ourselves. Reminding us of the details…what were they again? Oh yes, small, odd, dissonant, related to the body, sensory, particular – not too much to remember after all, and to be present, for me that is everything, live in the now, feel in the now, be in the now and don’t be afraid to get the duct tape out on the inner critic, the adult, the teacher and let that adventurous, young spirit roam free across the forests, in the sun, in the sea, through time and space we traveled.
I knew this soulful man was someone to pay very close attention to when he uttered the shuddering line, “We are all geniuses of our own creative consciousness” – BLOWN AWAY!
You can read more about Clive here -: http://matsonpoet.com
I also knew that there was a reason why the universe had guided me to enter a competition to win a place on this “Spark of Creation” workshop, put together by one of my many teachers – the clown-like, self-confessed joker Stephen Mulhearn from Lendrick Lodge, who has helped me find and guide me along my Shamanic path, such a huge part of my personal spiritual journey. His documentary film, “Transcending The Storm” spoke to me – for me it was any drugs, any drink, the dark, spiral downwards and the emergence from the cocoon to fly, like the butterfly, wild and free again. I owe Stephen so much, but also all the other facilitators, volunteers and course participants at Lendrick over the last few years who have lifted me up, encouraged, inspired, loved and allowed us all to live from our expansive hearts in a place of safety. The world, and so many more of its inhabitants need to embrace that approach to life. How did I win that competition and what does Lendrick Lodge mean to me, ok…here was my winning entry?
Oh, and note to the editor and inner critic – fuck spelling, fuck punctuation and I'm also pressing the “fuck-it button” on getting everything perfect – it’s an ideal that doesn’t exist so stop searching! Editing, can wait and judgement can simply "Do one!"
You can find out more about Lendrick Lodge via their website at https://lendricklodge.com/
“Despite being thousands of miles away in Thailand, for a few moments I was right there, present, filled with love at Lendrick. All the courses and workshops flashing before my eyes, filling with tears of pure joy, love and laughter
I felt the drumbeats vibrate through my heart , full of wonder, howling like a wolf at the top of Lendrick hill, connected to the grounding energy of the earth ?
Bathing in the clear, cleansing waters , washing away that which no longer serves us, emerging with feelings of gentleness and stillness.
Feeling the fire burn energy and courage into my soul through my feet and filling my heart with courage, purpose and belief that anything is possible.
The freedom of the clean, clear air through my hair with Goosebumps of pleasure on my skin.
Most of all, the glorious souls who have been part of my own personal journey and transformation, every one of you part of a glorious tapestry of love, hope and support and inspiration.”
A shared Allen Ginsberg quote really helped me keep on track with my writing through the week, the full quote being, “Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what the poet does” – Wow, so simple…make the private world public – OK, I can do that and so I did – I have almost too much material for my first book but at least I know where to start – making my private world public, more of that later and the names will be changed to protect the innocent, although they will know who they are and what a magical and mystical part they played in my life journey these last 6 months of travel.
We were also gifted the inspiring work and wonderful calm, mindful presence of an amazing creative spirit in Diane Main, an extremely talented, quirky and funky artist who oozed authenticity. The self-critic voice, “You can’t draw, you can’t paint” raised its voice again but Diane was literally awe-inspiring to me, not only to turn that critic volume down, but hit the mute button on it. I eventually created a heart-felt Mandala which personalised my account of the morning spent in the comforting forest, with the floating swans, the powder-blue sky and I amazingly brought that to life with her encouragement and guidance, as did all my other fellow artists who created their own unique pieces of art – my mouth was open at our combined talent as I moved from mandala to mandala…a circle of art within a circle of creative artists. Thank you Diane – it’s speaks of the woman that I cannot find barely a trace of her on social media!
Dr David Hamilton spoke to use and spoke of compassion, kindness, connection – he is a very engaging speaker but the main thing I took away from him was to simply deepen my mindfulness and meditation practice, through all the things I that I already know that keep my mind and body well – yoga, pilates, movement, meditation, Qi Gong, being kind to myself and others, being in nature. These are not difficult things, all we need to do is structure them into our life, take a “Lazy Day” once a week to rest and recharge, take naps, active rest and the other times will be filled with creativity, desire, inspiration, momentum and flow, however we choose to direct that energy.
You can read more about David’s work on his website -: http://drdavidhamilton.com/
We also heard from a supremely talented, photographer and cinematographer, Alan McLaughlin who has already got a Bafta under his belt, before he even hit 30, for his wonderful short film “Lost Serenity”. To hear of someone achieving such recognition and possessing such talent behind the lens really encouraged me to delve deeply to learn and experiment with my own photography and to use that as part of my own, personal creative process. His dedication to his craft and sheer will and determination was really quite uplifting.
You can read more about Alan and his work here - https://www.acmdop.com/
Lucinda Drayton not only spoke to us but encouraged us to speak, sing, dance and move from our heart – another voice that had been silenced within me was given permission to shout, scream and eventually sing, even if so briefly but without lyrics, just from the heart and from the soul – the transformation I saw from people just letting go, literally of the weight that they felt was holding them back, was a joy and a privilege to bear witness to. Lucinda has a remarkable talent to get to the heart of what might be preventing us to shine our whole light and cut those ribbons. She literally has 100,000 angels emanating from her very being.
Lucinda can be found on here website here and I look forward to participating in one of her future workshops http://www.lucindadrayton.com/
So, what of the future, or rather, what of this present moment? More creative writing, I’m going to be following Jeff Goins “My 500 Words” prompts each day, scheduling, prioritising creativity and active rest but also allowing time to take pictures, to draw, to dance, to sing and to simply be. There you go…over 1600 words and not a drop of sweat spilled.
So, the question remains for you to answer, however you please...
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