Creative Detox 101- Day 2

Trees

Reflections of day 1: The day started off slow which was a much needed change. I slept in late (had the day off due to the holiday), and woke up naturally. I braided my hair and put together a comfortable outfit with comfortable tennis shoes that I could walk the woods in. Brown was my inspiration color. I headed up to Lake Merwin, one of the most secluded parks I know of which is also mostly unspoiled by man. On my way up I passed several log trucks. I couldn’t help but think of times when even putting the plow to the earth was considered a disruption. I wondered how much of this forest removal is actually necessary and how much is wasted. ‘Supply and demand,” I think.

As I get out of my car I feel almost trance-like. I know what to do. I walk the park and almost straight up to one of the largest standing cedars. It’s trunk must be 8-10 feet in diameter. I lay both of my hands on the trunk and close my eyes. I thank the tree. I thank the earth. I think to myself, ‘Surely God knows I thank Him as well for his creation.’ I stay there for several moments taking in the tree’s energy. I can see in my mind’s eye my own energy intertwined in an embrace. These words come to my mind.

Oh, beautiful sister

I hear your cry

My heart breaks

I’m sorry

Do we know what we do? 

No reverence. No regard. 

You’ve seen generation pass. 

Your strength. Your majesty. 

I hear you sister (your call for help). 

Please answer my question. What can I do? 

My answer was to start with being a voice. I was to trust in my journey.  I sat in the sun and felt the unusual warmth that February day. The wind blew strong enough to make noise and I realized that each element was present in that park. I wondered if that was part of the power I felt. My body drank it in. I remembered the task for one who hears the call of the mountain. ‘Bring home a stone.’  The rock I found was round and smooth. I wondered if it had washed up from the reservoir because of how smooth it had become.  I ended my fast later that evening with a kale salad and lentil curry soup. I remembered to thank Mother Earth in my blessing for the abundance provided through Father’s creation.

DAY TWO: Being Mindful of Your Body- Whole Foods & Moderate Exercise

Wear something red today. Dedicate the day to eating fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole foods. If you eat meat on this day, make sure that it was treated humanely (free range and organic).  I’d also suggest to save it for dinner time. Treat yourself to fruit and vegetable smoothies. Continue drinking plenty of water. Go for a walk. Move your body. Tell your body how much you love and appreciate it. Ask your body out loud if there is anything it wants from you. Write it down. Place it in an area you will see each day as you wake, prepare and set your intentions.

Creative Detox 101

With the coming of the New Year, many people set their resolutions to diet and exercise. I’ve heard a lot of criticism about this practice. What I’ve come to believe is that the word resolution has come to mean a complete change with no going back. Before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, it seems to me that we should take a look at how truly positive it is to stop, reflect, and reassess our path and goals to make sure we are still moving toward our purpose and vision. New Years may be one of my favorite times of year because I have developed a practice of mapping out my goals for the year. I have found this to be a great way to stay focused as well as a way to look back on my progress.

I also pondered why diet and exercise is always in people’s top resolutions year after year. I believe they are responding to what their bodies are asking for naturally. A time of cleansing out the old, unhealthy excess. They are desiring a new start. Even a fresh start. In fact, I would assert that we should do shorter spurts of these healthful activities until we are strong enough to make them life habits and patterns. Let’s not become discouraged that the healthy eating routine does not last for more than a couple of days. Believe me, your body thanks you for whatever health and wellbeing you are providing it with. Focus on that. Not on failing at your intention.

I believe those short spurts (maybe the best some people can give) are healing and act as a reset. Listening to those messages is healing. Your body is begging you. Don’t get discouraged-do take courage.

I believe your being is happening at many levels. You are a complex presence. Some say the human is like a machine, but that is an incomplete metaphor that although has interesting similarities, has shifted into an inaccurate paradigm on a societal level. I believe it is more like a echo-system. It has many living, intelligent facets working together affecting and relying each other. In fact, on an energetic level that system is interacting with the environment outside its body as well. Optimal system functioning encourages overall health and wellbeing.

Lately, we’ve been hearing the concept of detox or cleansing. What are the benefits of a detox? What are the benefits of a cleanse? Consider taking a bath. How do you feel once you have cleared away the old cells, dirt and bacteria from your skin. Consider how you feel when you have cleaned your environment. How do you feel in a clean space as opposed to one full of clutter and grime? Perhaps it is removing what is really not yours and/or no longer useful. Perhaps it is being able to discern what makes up you. Maybe that is why coming away “clean” feels so wonderful.

So, how would you like to feel clean and new on many levels? I created this 10 day creative detox for those specifically working on being more creative and connected with their personal creativity more fully. Many times, we practice creativity from a position of matching others styles-imitation. We learn by adopting from others techniques. We may not have sight of what is now ours. Even seasoned writers and artists feel confused at what is uniquely theirs. Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is learning to hide your sources.” Although, I revere his creative genius, I wonder if this quote is somehow taken out of context. We are each unique even though we are in many ways similar. Each of us has a unique voice and creative contribution that only we can offer.

This can be a challenge because we are all energetically connected with the earth, each other, and the heavens. Sometimes we are in hiding. We are afraid if people knew the true us we wouldn’t be accepted any longer. Perhaps we feel we’d lose our place in our family and even society. Other times, we just aren’t aware of what makes us uniquely us. This ten day work can help you become more aware of where those outside connections end and where you begin.

For the next 10 days I will be posting a detox focus and activity. Please let me know if you are following along and/or participating. I would love to hear your reflections and experiences.

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DAY ONE: Being Mindful of Your Connection with Earth

Wear something brown today. If you are in good health, start this day fasting from food. Wait until dinner to have your first meal. Drink plenty of fresh water. Go outside, breath in fresh air. Pick up rocks, seeds, moss, or something in nature. Place your feet upon the ground and imagine roots growing into the earth. How deep do they grow? Do you feel tingling or some other sensation in your feet? Bring a token/tokens home with you and place them in a sacred place. For your first meal, eat a meal free of meat and/or meat products. Make sure to plan your meal before so that this can be a special breaking of your fast.

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Rediscovering Me

Week 3: The Artist’s Date

This week my inner artist was screaming for supplies, but I decided that even though I went to find the list of items needed, I wouldn’t settle for less than a magical date. I decided to go down to the shops in Old Town Battle Ground to see what was new. I parked my car at one end of the strip and planned to walk down one side of the street and back up the other. I didn’t get far before finding a great vintage shop called Rusty Glamour.

I hadn’t been shopping for old/new finds for quite some time, so coming to the vintage clothing section was a pleasant surprise. They had unique pieces of clothing perfect for any one with a sense of style. I found a flowing skirt and a couple of scarves so reasonably priced that I couldn’t leave without them. If the other pieces that I loved had been my size I would have went home with a lot more. My inner artist has been nagging at me due to how drab and boring my own wardrobe is, so how wonderful it is to have found a little shop that has a fresh idea, yet is affordably priced. I got a skirt and two scarves for only $30. To me these were a bargain. How often when you go looking for a bargain you find stuff that looks like it was a bargain? This wasn’t the case for me today. I expected the prices to be much higher on each item.

I ran into an old friend and caught up with her for several minutes until her daughter started getting impatient. The cashier/owner was also more than helpful and gave me the rundown on all of the other vintage/antique shops in town. She didn’t mind me taking a picture of my favorite corner of her shop either. It is a great feeling to have a clerk that is not rushed and is there to connect for a moment as a fellow person (something that department stores or online shopping cannot and will not offer).

Something that I realized after my time walking up the old section of town is that I am a country girl at heart. I love the feeling of being connected with the people and the spirit of the community. I also love the products and essence of what comes from that area. Those country finds help me remember where I come from and what makes me unique.

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Taking Care of Me

Week 1: Morning Pages

Although I am only five days into my Morning Pages, I have noticed a gradual shift occur.

On day one, I was crabby and just plain inpatient all day long. Feelings of resentment started to bubble over. I couldn’t believe how these pages had thrown my entire day off! I woke up early just to write and meditate and dog-gone-it, they had some how sucked every free moment from my allotted time. Somehow pressure from all angles seemed to be closing in. I felt almost stollen from. Doubts were creeping in. ‘How could I be so silly to think that I could keep up with all this?‘

The next morning I continued with my pages as I had committed to do for the year still with doubts that I could keep up with everything that I had added to my already overflowing plate. I complained just as I always do when beginning. I also realized some by that second day that I had the same things on my mind that hadn’t been resolved for three months. For my meditation, I chose a guided meditation called Positive Under Pressure by Alkimea   http://www.alkimea.co/1181-2/ . This meditation helped me to put my stress in perspective and showed me how my own thoughts were adding to the pressure that I was feeling (and of course the meditation also helped me to take on fresh energy).

By the end of the week I began reflecting on the shifts that I had noticed. I got ready earlier each morning and felt prepared for my days. The biggest change that I noticed was how focused I had been on self-care. Like many creatives, when I am in “the zone,” just about nothing else besides my creativity seems to matter (not even my hair!). I felt pretty this week because I was dressed to my shoes before logging on to my page each morning. It felt good!

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Openness

Over the last 19 days my creative community has been participating in a creativity challenge. This was actually the request of one of my favorite Mused “fans.” Though I really don’t think of her or many others as fans, but more truthfully as fellow creatives. She liked the idea of having a daily activity that we could all work on together. Throughout the event as people consistently participate, I am noticing individual themes emerge with their submissions. Today a new page was formed by one of the challenge participants. It is hard to explain how heart warming this is. While working on Mused, I have watched several pages get started. In fact, one page has more that 18,000 fans to date! I believe that most of us just need a little encouragement to be ourselves in order to share our creativity with the world. We are doing an important task by nurturing our inherent trait of making, doing, creating. Carry on!