Thursday, 6 April 2017

Getting on the path

I have been listening to Carolyn Myss's talk on Spiritual Direction and she is brilliant and so challenging. But unlike any other person, she is radically to the point and I find her 'way' very clarifying- like an ice cold shower- shocking, provocative, cleansing. So many truths in what she spoke about and it's a tough process to begin this journey- as I am discovering. Which makes my admiration and respect for people who live and work close to their conscience that much more. I am beginning to understand so much better what it really means to 'belief'.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Death and rebirth

Some things have to be experienced for us to know what it really feels like and what it means. Some years back, a Gestalt guy said that 'we are all mirrors for each other'. I sort of understood it on an intellectual level but at the same time, I also found it a bit mysterious. Years later, through the personal development work I have been doing with others and on myself, I now really get the power of my projections onto people and things---I see through the lense of a world that is my construct, use language to describe what is going on 'out there' but my ability to 'see' is determined by my construct and my ability to challenge and let go of restricted ways of how things 'are'. In so far as I love or hate aspects of the other, they are reflections of the love or hate their behaviour or presence is bringing up in me---therefore I now really get what the Gestalt guy meant.

The same can be said for 'letting your old self die'. This and similar phrases are often used in personal development/ spiritual development circles. Again, not difficult to understand from a cognitive perspective yet I was mystified as to what the process actually meant. Last Friday, I felt strongly in myself that my old self was dying. I did not know where the message came from or what my 'knowing' was about- only that I had this feeling. That evening, I had really bad flu and was subsequently 'taken out' by 10 days. This period included a bout of delirium, streaming everything, coughing, full of mucus, drinking tons of water and total loss of appetite. It required a total letting go- I had no mindspace for anything but to simply focus on self-care and allowing nature to take her course. It became clear to me that all this was in aid of a re-emergence in March. In this period, I also had clarity and connected with the strength to put to an end relationships and situations that do not serve me anymore- an important aspect is putting an end to my tendency to put myself in relationships and situations where I override my instinct.

I am now in a different phase of this illness---fever, streaming nose and coughs have subsided. My ear infection is still there and although deep inside, I already feel a growing sense of wellness but there is a muffleness and foggy gap between me and the outside world. My take on this is to continue to focus inwards and to use this opportunity to hear myself. If I view this death and rebirth process as a U, right now, I feel I am at the bottom of the U starting a slow climb up. Like seeds germinating and unfolding in the soil moving towards the opening light.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Of creativity, art, painting and their importance- to me

I wrote this in 2010. I read it this morning. Still true for me.

Some say that to live is to create and that when we are fully engaged in the act of creativity we are closest to creator/ god. To me, creating is the act of giving birth to something unique; a cycle of outside<->inside<->outside.

In the business world and in organisational work, I often hear people talk about creativity and innovation as if they are the same things yet they are probably more different than they are the same. 

To me, the application or functional focus of innovation means that by definition, a degree of steering and channelling has been applied from the beginning. The more we are bothered by the need for creativity to deliver something, the more we are putting constraints on what is potentially a very free process. The effect of the need for an end result can mean that we 'waste' less time and energy in taking diversions- but the downside is that it might also mean we won't necessarily stumble upon something that is beyond our expectations and something that is fresh, new, original or unique. I feel very strongly that commercial pressures and the need for return on investments mean that there has been a movement towards innovation and design at the expense of art and pure creativity. 

As we develop as peoples, I sense that at some point there will be a need to search for meaning, to return to ways of connecting more with our spirit and to let ourselves have some free space to go to the edge of our imagination. I believe that it is at the edge of our consciousness that insights, wisdoms and new futures reside.

Having come from a background of classical dance and music and relatively recently, reconnecting with art, I am beginning to appreciate the difference between being an artisan and an artist; being a composer and a musician or being a choreographer and a dancer. In my view, of the art forms, there is no substitute for art and in particular, drawing and painting. This is because they lend themselves to allow what has been absorbed and experienced by the artist to be re-expressed and in that process, enabling what is foreign to be integrated and transformed into something else. This 'something else' will have, for the artist, particular meaning and each piece of work also holds a potential for conveying something universal that has transcendental reach. In my view, art has the ability not only to transport the viewer/ participant/ co-creator to another space, place and time but art made with energy and emotion is alive and the viewer/ participant/ co-creator meets the feeling and the spirit of the artist's source in the here and now. In that moment, something new is created within the being of the viewer. We can talk, read and imagine this process but it is not until we do it that we really understand and get to know what art is and the relationship between art and creativity until we get our hands dirty and make some art.

Why is creativity so important to us now? Real creativity is about making something unique out of nothing. Truly creative people are able to make newness time and time again. It is this type of capacity that is most needed now. It is not possible to develop new solutions unless we are able to look at the world with fresh eyes. This is very hard to do as one settles into a pattern of operation very quickly. 

Creative activities, in particular movement, sounds and paintings- any artistic medium that is relatively open (without constraints of 'form' per se) is helpful in enabling us to keep open our own creative spaces. In addition, when one is immersed in truly creative acts, one is allowing what is inside and often out of awareness to be expressed. As such, creative medium and creative activities can also reveal to us more information about ourselves, our environment and the way we are affected by what is going on. Like meditative practices, the development of one's creative capacity is an on-going practice- a continuous process of simultaneous opening, challenging and calling forth what is from the inside to give itself to the outside world. This requires a curiosity and openness to the world. Over time, development of creative capacity becomes a development of being.