Elemental Balancing Ritual Creativity Month 2


11-22-2018 I’ve been reflecting on my work with creativity so far and I realized part of that work isn’t just around the obvious expressions of creativity, but also around the not so obvious parts. For example I realize how much I haven’t believed in my own creativity and how right now that’s exactly what I’m being challenged with. Can I believe in my creativity and trust it and myself? I guess that’s as much as what this year is about as anything else.

11-24-2018 I still feel angry at myself about last year. I realize I had to make some tough choices and ultimately I made the right call, but there’s still that feeling around failing that I’m working through. I feel this creativity work will help me with that process, help me come to a place of forgiveness with myself or something along those lines.

At the same time, one theme I’m finding with my creativity is the importance of taking breaks and not working myself to burnout. That was a huge problem for me when I was self-employed, and now that I’m employed I find it easier to take breaks, to recognize when I just need to do something fun for myself instead of always being on. Or finding a different way around the block. Last night I felt blocked and instead of trying to force myself to write I stepped back and took a look at the problem and realized I needed to start organizing my research for the new book. When I approached the problem that way I got inspired and started getting the research put together in my mind. It reminded me that working on a book isn’t just writing and that I can make progress in other ways as well.

11-25-2018 I’ve been reflecting on the feeling of anger I have toward myself and I realize part of it masks a deeper fear about whether or not I can make it as a writer. And that fear originates from people telling me over the years that writing isn’t a career and that its hard to be a successful writer. I bought into that on a subconscious level which was why I tried various other paths to “support” my writing. I see now how much that actually didn’t support my writing. And now I’m in this place where I really have no other choice but to believe in my writing and fully commit to it or just disappear altogether. The latter isn’t an option, but I realize to believe in myself as a writer I need to let go of that narrative and false belief about writing not being a successful path. There’s certainly enough evidence to suggest otherwise.

11-27-2018 I’m reading Dare to Lead by Brene Brown and she talks about leading from hurt as opposed to leading from heart. She mentions that leading from hurt includes feeling no value, so that you end up focusing on trying to be recognized. And I recognized that in myself because at times that’s exactly where I’ve operated from. I think what creativity is giving me the opportunity to do is change that because at this point the writing isn’t about being recognized anymore as it is simply writing from the heart and letting that speak its own truth. Its taking the hurt and pain and doing something constructive with it, regardless of whether I’m seen or not seen. I still struggle with wanting to be seen, but not as much. As I accept the writing path and work through it, it feeds into the prior lessons I learned from stability, helping me to continue creating a foundation that supports me in my endeavors.

11-28-2018 Tonight I finished up the work of creating the Alchemical Elevations, both wet and dry. It’s been and interesting process for the better part of a month and it makes me appreciate how work can go into developing a connection…not that I don’t know that, but when you do something you haven’t done before, it brings you back to that space of newness and challenges what you know. Doing this work has been helpful for taking me deeper into a tradition I identify with, while also continuing to learn about a subject I hold dear. It makes me grateful that I can have this experience.

Something I’m working with a lot right now in relationship to creativity is my issues around wanting to be recognized. When I look back at some of my business decisions, they were based on wanting acknowledgement, wanting to have a position of authority, for lack of better word. I see other people who have that and I see how the people following them comment on what they say and just seem to effortlessly cultivate a following and I wanted that. Sometimes I still do. But I’m not good at that. I’ve come to realize that the hard way because for the most part I find it to be an awkward fit, trying to be an authority. My way of being runs counter to it. I am so singularly focused in some ways and it has its benefits, but it also leaves me feeling disconnected in some ways. And instead of trying to force a connection maybe I just need to focus at what I’m good at and trust that. So creativity is teaching me how to do that.

12-2-2018 We decided to move. I’ve lived where I’m at for exactly a decade and its been a good place to live in, but now its time for something new. We made the decision on Tuesday and within half a week we had already found a new place and now we’re clearing away this place, returning it to a blank canvas for the new people to live here. In its own way this is another lesson of creativity and I look forward to seeing what that lesson reveals to me.

12-3-2018 I’m really struggling with my need to feel recognized. I did something stupid and made an assumption about an event and that assumption was wrong, but at heart of it, when I really sat with it, was me wanting acknowledgement, wanting to be recognized, wanting validation. I need to get to the heart of that, for my creative work, but also for my own well being. When I let that drive my work it doesn’t allow me to fully serve my community or the magic.

12-4-2018 I’ve been reading The Courage to be Disliked which is a book based on Adlerian psychology. It’s interesting because the essential thrust is that its not the experiences we’ve had which give us trauma, but the meaning we associate with those experiences. As a result a person who has negative experiences is essentially choosing for those experiences to be negative because of the meaning they associate with the experience. I’m keeping myself open to exploring this perspective, because it is unusual and it provides a different framework for relating to the world. It does remind me of some of the business books I’ve read so I can appreciate that perspective.


I walk in the space and time between, not exactly here or there.

I walk on the edge of zero and 1, the infinite and bound.

I don't belong because there is nothing about me that could belong.

I observe, watch, explore and experiment.

I am all things and none, in all places and times, yet none.

I am the outside looking in and the inside looking out.

I am that I am.

12-8-2018 - Getting ready to move has brought up some feelings for me. I’ve lived where I’m at for a decade and so I’m feeling uprooted. It’s not even leaving this place, it’s leaving this area I know. But as I often remind myself adjust and adapt…life is change.

I’ve been continuing to read Dare to Lead and the Courage to be Disliked. Dare to Lead continues the work of helping me be more present with not just my own vulnerability, fear and shame, but also the vulnerability of other people. Being present with the emotions underneath a given experience is hard, but the resulting closeness and clarity is worth it. The courage to be disliked reminds me that the meaning attributed to an experience is shaped by the person making the meaning. The experience has power over you because of the meaning you provide it.

12-9-2018 As we’re getting ready to move I’m having some reactions to the process. It’s a change in identity really. When you become part of a place for a long time, your embodied in that place. It surprises me, perhaps because until this place I moved a lot. At the same time I’m filled with anticipation about the new place and putting roots down there and connecting to another part of Portland.

12-10-2018 In the Courage to Be Disliked make the important point that its not what you’re born but what you do with what you have that matters. They further go on to explain that a person’s outlook on life and personality is a choice the person makes. I find this relevant as I go through some identity work in this move. Who am I choosing to be and how am I setting myself up with those choices are things I reflected on today as I read and considered that my perspective could either be based on reaction or consciously making a choice about how I want to show up for any given situation.

12-15-2018 As I’ve started writing fiction again I’ve been comparing it to how I write non-fiction and there’s a significant difference. I’ve written enough non-fiction now that its become very easy to get something completed within 3 drafts. Fiction, at least for now, isn’t so smooth. Its harder because I haven’t written it for a long time. It makes me appreciate my journey as a writer all over again, because at one time nonfiction was just as hard.

12-17-2018 Yesterday we started moving to the new place. I feel nostalgic about the old place. I lived there for a decade, just about a quarter of my life (at the time of this writing). I have mostly good memories there and it was the first place which really felt like a home. It’s something I’ll always carry with me. But I’m excited about the new place as well. There’s lots of windows and its airy, perfect for a creative space. Change is part of creativity and so I honor where I’ve been while moving forward into the future.

12-20-2018 I’d forgotten how chaotic a move could be. I’m cleaning the old place physically and spiritually while also trying to fit into the new place and having to change my paradigm because this is a new space with new rules. Nothing fits exactly the way it used to, which is both refreshing and discomfiting. Still this is part of creativity, part of this work I’m doing, where I embrace the new and let go of the old.