Space Clearing and Creativity

I am in awe of the magical power of books; how one line, concept, or idea can permanently shift my perception like a key that unlocks meaning that had always been there, but I had been unable to see. This is the case with one of the books I’m reading now Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I started this book several times over the last five years, never getting past the introduction. It is clear to me now that I just wasn’t ready to read it, and now I am. This book has given me so much insight into my life by providing me with a key to unlock an amazingly vibrant element I had no idea existed.  It is as if I had been living in black and white, and when I put the key in the door and opened it, my life exploded into vibrant color. The book has helped me uncover a wealth of creativity that was lying just under my skin patiently waiting for me to acknowledge it. As I read, certain concepts Estes discussed awakened a part of me that had been dormant and this awakening triggered a kind of recognition within me. In this book, Estes provides the thread, that if followed, leads to one epiphany after another. Things that had no meaning to me previously, things that just were, are now filled with meaning and make sense on a much deeper level than I ever thought possible. The message I’ve gotten so far is to pay attention to everything, that there is meaning in the things that I do and the choices that I make even if I believe at the time they are benign. I am able to look back now and see clearly the meaning behind my actions.

There have been so many threads to follow so far, but one I want to discuss today is Estes’ discussion on the importance of space clearing for women. She says:

Sometimes women become confused about soulful work, and neglect its architecture till it is taken back by the forest. Gradually the structures of the psyche are overgrown until they finally are but a hidden archeologic ruin in the psyche’s unconscious. A cyclical and critical sweeping will prevent this from occurring. When women have cleared space, the wild nature will better thrive (93).

Looking back, I can see a distinct cycle of urgent space clearing in my life. It is as if I reach a certain point of overgrowth, and I can no longer tolerate it. Then I purge as much from my life as possible usually in a panic. What usually follows is an increase in creativity and creative ideas, but then the energy gained from the purging begins to wane, and the beginnings of weeds emerge casting their shadows until there is nothing but overgrowth again. Now I can clearly see the cyclical nature of this in my life. I can see how I clear space for creativity in gigantic, but short-lived bursts – a kind of binge and purge. I now know that the key to getting out of this too-long cycle is to work on sustainability and the creation of a personalized ritual for space clearing both mentally and physically that I can perform regularly and not just on the cusp of spring.

This idea of space clearing reminded me of something that happened many, many years ago. I had just started taking classes at the local college and was in need of a computer. I was watching an episode of Oprah with Suze Orman, and they were discussing the idea of creating space for what you wanted in your life. The idea was that if you did not have any space in your life for those things you wanted, there was no way they could manifest. So, as a kind of experiment, I cleared off a desk in my living room and made sure it stayed empty as if the computer were already there. In a way, I nurtured that empty space by keeping it clear of clutter. Shortly thereafter, I was made aware that my credit union offered a personal loan for the purchase of a computer, and even though I had terrible credit at the time, I went ahead and applied for the loan. A week later I received notice that I was approved for the loan and the funds for the computer were directly deposited into my bank account so that I could purchase the computer of my choice. Within another week, the computer I had wanted was sitting in the empty space I had created for it. It was a powerful and positive outcome to the experiment, but in the chaos of life, I lost the lesson I had learned about creating space for the things that I wanted to come into my life.
With Estes’ reminder and the epiphany that followed, I realized that I needed to clear space to create in, but also for those things I wished to create. I cleaned up my writing room that had become overgrown with papers, books, and all sorts of excess junk from other rooms in the house. I made the decision to treat writing as a job and cleared time in my daily schedule specifically for writing. The results have been nothing short of astounding. After not having written anything in three 20170314_153226252_iOSmonths, I have written several blog posts, three manuscripts for children’s books, and five chapters of my novel in the last two weeks. I do realize, though, that to keep this momentum going, I must continue to look for ways to prune away the clutter in my life. One such way emerged on Sunday evening. I realized that the bookshelves in my writing room (six of them) are filled to capacity with books and magazines. It dawned on me that I had no empty space in which the things I wish to create – books – can manifest in my life. So, this week I cleared off a shelf of books as a way to create space for the books I wish to create. In doing so, I am making room for these books to exist here in the physical world and in a way, I am giving the ideas in my head permission to emerge into that empty space and as such, clear the space in my head for new ideas to emerge. I imagine, at some point, as I nurture and grow my own ideas, I will be able to clear an entire bookshelf to allow for more manifestations of my own creations in this physical world as I move away from a sole dependence on the ideas of others towards a trust in the power and authenticity of my own.


What Inspires Me to Be Creative and to Live a More Beautiful Life

  • Watching the sunrise each morning as I walk in the park with my four-year-old son
  • Reading a book whose words leap off the page and come alive in my head
  • Taking time to see and photograph the beauty that is all around me
  • Someone who offers positive advice rather than negative especially in regards to writing
  • A pain-free day
  • Listening to Hay House Radio each day at work
  • Listening to Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer affirmations on my iPhone
  • Writing my morning pages
  • Requiring Fridays off from work so that I can focus on writing
  • Reading inspiring blogs that encourage participation from readers such as Inspiration Art Flirtation and Soul Food Cafe
  • Reading poetry
  • Eating healthy, organic foods
  • Attempting to draw even though I don’t know how
  • Meditating
  • Visualizing a beautiful future
  • Volunteering
  • Watching miracles occur in my life every day
  • Being alive
  • Writing an “I am grateful for” list every day with my four-year-old son
  • My son and I raising our hands towards the sky each morning and saying “Thank you for this beautiful day, thank you for this beautiful life, thank you for this beautiful mommy/son” and then giving each other a great BIG hug!
  • Reading, writing, reading, writing, reading, writing…..
  • SLEEP 🙂

This post inspired by Inspiration Art Flirtation

Read these fabulous inspiration lists from other creative souls: On the Wrong Side of the Mirror & Into the Blue

Book suggestion/review, Writing

SARK’s Juicy Contest!

SARK author of Juicy Pens Thirsty Paper and many other fabulous books has a contest to win a ½ hour Living Juicy Couching with SARK session. To enter the contest, place an announcement about the contest on your blog and then e-mail LivingJuicy@PlanetSARK.com and include a link of your blog. The winner will be announced in SARK’s June e-letter. Click here for more information on Couching with SARK.


Repairing a Broken Heart

Repairing A Broken Heart

“My heart is broken,” she said.

“It’s okay,” he said, with the eyes of someone who understood,

“I have some glue.”

Inspired by Inspiration Art Flirtation and StoryPeople.

This StoryFlirt now posted on Inspiration Art Flirtation.


The Southeast Review Writing Regimen

So, I signed up for The Southeast Review Writing Regimen and it is spectacular. I really love having the writing inspirations e-mailed to me each morning. When I wake up it is the first thing I read and it gets me in the mood to create. The first RIFF word they gave us was SPRING on March 1st. Below is my stream of consciousness from SPRING. I think it led to some really interesting insights and definitely towards a deeper part of me at the end. I hope you enjoy. Beware, though, it is completely unedited.


Rebirth, reborn, warm breezes, green leaves, beauty, non-depressed. Springing forward in time and in life. A time for starting new things and letting go of old clingy things. Spring cleaning. Spring to life. I need spring it is one of my favorite times of year. A time for carelessness and diving in thoughtlessly where fall is a time for contemplation. Winter is the death of the mind and the soul. Hibernation. Spring out of hibernation. Spring forth with a new body, a new outlook on life, a new life. Revamp the old and tired. Becoming new, a new person, a new life, a new entity. Starting over, letting go, airing out, the house, opening the windows, letting the sun into the shadows of winter, chasing out the winter death and dust. Parks, glistening green grass, the sound of squeaking swings. Love, renewal, a second chance. Children playing, released from the winter trap. Abundance of energy and sunshine, warmth, Vitamin D, tanned skin, happiness, freedom from winter chains. More public, less recluse. Short sleeves and shorts, breezes against my legs, into my shirt, into my shorts. Airing out the old and decrepit. Rain, cleansing, flowers blooming, windshield wipers, cleaning salt off of the car. Clear blue skies with warmth to match. Dreams of second chances. Dreams of the unimaginable and unattainable in winter. Bringing forth new life, new chances, freedom. A time for letting go of limitations, of breaking free from degrading thoughts. A chance to air out the ego. A chance to start over once again, to repair all the damage that has been done in winter. Bring forth newness, new chances, new life, new everything. Air out the old musty home breeding germs, sickness, reclusiveness. Step out in to the sun-filled world with warmth, breeze, the smell of new flowers, the rainbows of colors, the cleansing rain, the brilliant green grass, bare feet, reading in the lawn chair, life renewed, hope renewed, old dregs of winter packed away. Nakedness, vulnerability, putting myself out there. Connections with others, connections with new life, connections with renewal of life. Smell of impending rain, softness of grass, smell of freshly cut grass, grittiness of feet on driveway, multi-colored umbrellas, smelling roses and fresh cut flowers, smelling the gardens, the animals, the cat urine. Shedding of skin, a renewal. The smell of all that is fresh and new. Sundried laundry. Rainfilled clouds. Fresh dew in the early dawn. The smell of new life being formed, forced into existence. The smell of fruits, fruity smells. The need for supple, soft, skin, to slough off the harsh winter dried flaky skin. An unveiling of the face to the brilliance of the sun and the cleansing rain and the warm inviting breeze. The sounds of birds, returned, reinvigorated, singing love songs to my ears. Waking me at dawn to catch the sun rising over the horizon in brilliant oranges, pinks, blues, yellows, purples, a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, smells, intertwine to create Spring. The spring, the spring in my step, the spring in my mind, the spring in my hope, the spring necessary to move forward and let go of the darkness I came from. Rebirth, renewal, re: new all.

I spend my life asking: what can I cut out, what can I cut out? What would make me simpler, less of the complicated person that I am. What memories can I cut out, what experiences cut from the pages of my life would make my mind sleep at night, would make my life bearable. Could I cut out a new silhouette, a new me, with a new body, new mind, new heart? Maybe I can cut and reshape who I already am, removing all the excesses – the food, the drink, the sex, the cigarettes, all those things that made life bearable. Without all the memories, would I need all the excesses? Ah, to cut, to make new, to remove the dead weight from my thinning bones. Ah, to cut away the pain and the shame to bring forth a new, revised version of the me I loathe. Ah, to cut away at the loathsomeness of my self would be to free the imprisoned child that lurks beneath the surface waiting patiently for the permission to speak, the child who has never spoken, the child who was silenced before she could ever speak. Ah, that kind of freedom. What would I cut away to find that kind of freedom. What can I cut out, what can I cut out to bring about that kind of freedom?