I have been back at the beach for three weeks and I hear myself chastising my writer self, “Why haven’t you started writing your book proposal yet! You created this space and your wasting time!”
I tell myself it’s only been here three weeks, that I needed to acclimate, settle in. And that I had a big Mac course to launch and begin.
Still, I am having trouble getting started.
So I have been listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons Podcasts. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Gilbert wrote Eat, Pray, Love, and has just published a new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.
In one of Gilbert’s podcasts, she is talking with a woman who is stuck in her writing. Gilbert invites the woman to have an affair with her writing, to keep it secret and sneaky and exciting, to counter how open and generous she is with everything else in her daily life.
The energy of a sneaking around affair didn’t resonate with me, but I loved the idea of growing a new relationship with myself, to woo my creative self back into the spotlight. Not just the writer in me, but also the board game lover, the conceptual artist, the hill-roller and the hunter of old junk whose heart skips beats when I find that special something that can become something else.
And when I pull my focus back even further, I can see that my deep longing for new relationships and friendships is really so much about my relationship with my creative self.
No wonder I have been feeling such lack and lowness and emptiness.
So on Saturday I took myself into Morro Bay and checked out two thrift stores – one of my favorite things to do. Except I’ve been denying myself the delight for the last four years because I kept telling myself that I have no space in the RV to collect potential art supplies.
But on Saturday I changed that story and I had such fun poking through the pile of office supplies, scavenging though the back corner shelves of hardware and plumbing parts. I even bought a few things and, of course, I found a place in the RV to store them.
I am noticing that everything I am choosing these days is calling to my creative self to wake up, step up and come back to living.
Which is why I am going to Santa Cruz next month to attend Gilbert’s Big Magic book signing event. This is something I never would have done before the Heart Sparks Road Trip, but a whispering voice in me made it happen. I contacted a Facebook friend who lives there and she got our tickets so we can go together. I found a campsite in the Redwoods so that I can bring Cody and leave him in comfort, and the event has turned into a full-out adventure.
And this week I am heading up to the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA to reconnect with the amazing community that is Patti Digh’s Life Is a Verb Camp. It’s a camp for adults that focuses on Community, Creativity, Courage and Compassion. I attended two years ago outside of Atlanta and have marveled at the connections I’ve made from and since then. So many of the people I met on the Heart Sparks Tour were directly related to Camp. No wonder my creative self can’t wait to be enveloped in all of that energy again.
I almost didn’t register for camp because of the cost. But my friend Frannie reminded me, “You are investing in something bigger and it costs money to do this – you are worth it and you have continual signs that you are where you are supposed to be right now. Keep trusting the process dear friend.”
And so I am. Because if I don’t honor my creative self, it will keep calling me, showing up as feelings of less than and not enough. But when I re-connect to those feelings of delight and aliveness, all kinds of things can change.
How do you woo your Creative Self?
What does she love to do?
How does she like to move and play?
What are her favorite foods?
What would tickle her and delight her?
Where would you take her on a date?
Please share in the comments below!