While I am by nature very feminine and nurturing in my nature I was very dependent in my twenties and unempowered in my feminine aspects of self. So I set out to develop my masculine independent side in my 30s. As I exerted my truth out into the world I felt like I needed to leave my feminine nature behind.
My 40's have been about finding an empowered integration between the feminine and masculine aspects of creation within myself and I wanted to share with you what I have been discovering about the empowered feminine creative principle.
In my own life the necessary balancing of my inner masculine has been marked by outer doing, re-educating, and working full-time and in trying to move ahead in an effortful, strong, masculine principled way. Yet within my efforts I denied the needed nourishment of the feminine aspect of creation. Busyness which is an over-exaggerated masculine and is an avoidance of the deeper, more painful shadow work that we need to do from time to time. Busyness keeps us from creative vision.
Psychologist Chuck Spezzano writes profoundly on busyness:
"Busyness attempts to protect us from the fear generated by our shadow figures, the unconscious mind, and our pain. It blocks out soul level gifts, our purpose and our destiny. In our busyness we are trying to run away from feelings of guilt, failure and worthlessness. We drive ourselves onward to prove we are useful and valuable. Yet dark feelings float to the surface in any moment of respite, so we keep pushing on. Our busyness keeps us too busy for love and bonding that would bring about the same success with much less effort. Instead of moving forward to a new stage we change by slight degrees."
What Creative Life Principle are you longing to live into in the coming year? This past year after intending with all of my heart to slow down into a deeper more feminine, receptive presence I finally did. It happened after I missed my plane to Toronto en-route to an art therapy conference. I arrived late at the conference with an eye infection in both eyes. I knew that I needed to make some changes in my scheduling when I got home to deepen my creative vision.
I stopped my monthly article writing and extraneous creative activities and went within. This past year has been marked with long solitary walks and simple, extended periods of time spent deepening into my relationships with my partner Ondrea and my daughter Hadley. It has been a profound pulling back on outward creating, while still functioning fully and staying engaged with my practical life.
I have been listening to my dreams and rounding out the neglected parts of myself and with Ondrea's therapeutic help I have been doing some very deep core inner excavating. Instead of creating new things I went back and revisited and nurtured and deepened into what I have already created. I took my journals, paintings and writings in more deeply. As I stopped creating so much and just let everything sink in, I realized that I was living into the feminine creative principle.
After years of strengthening the masculine "doing" principle inside myself, I have found the urge this past year to become, as I recently wrote in my journal "hugely receptive". I saw inner imagery of open vessels and of my arms opening up to the sky. It has felt uncomfortable for me to not do, do, do as I have been prolifically creative for the past 15 years.
I has felt strange just to sit and leave an open space in my heart to receive. And sometimes it felt strange just to receive "nothing" other than the urge to become more present and more accepting of my life as it was unfolding. Yet I have come to realize this feminine stance of creativity is profoundly creative and alive even as it seems to "do nothing". The feminine aspect of creativity waits to see and hear new information from the unseen realms. The feminine aspect of our nature nurtures what has been created and senses into what longs to be created in our tangible world.
Many women develop an over-exaggerated masculine in our culture as it is highly encouraged to strike out independently and make our mark upon the world. Yet the feminine principle is holistic and it considers the entire picture. Life unfolds all in one piece and it is a feminine trait to realize that we all evolve together. We are part of larger systems and they do not all evolve according to our personal agendas. We are a part of a family evolving, we may be part of a working group evolving and we may be part of a partnership or a marriage evolving.
Indeed we are each an individual person evolving and that has it's own timing and we cannot be rushed or pressured to change before it is time. There is a flow to life unfolding that must be accepted and surrendered too. As a human beings we are an each an unfolding creation that has a masculine and a feminine aspect. The inner feminine nurtures and loves our creations in a sustaining way so that we can build the strength of the inner masculine to take take them into the world.
Creations need to be loved and acknowledged, revisited and honored in order to continue living and this incites a revitalized energy and a passion in our inner masculine to do and bring form to new creations from a nourished and revitalized place. This inner feminine nurturing is what strengthens and inspires our inner masculine to exert the energy to bring the creation into tangible form and to make it real in our lives.
The feminine and the masculine creative principle exists in both men and women and regardless of gender we usually have a more dominant leaning and we each have an imperative to balance the two. I recently for example met a beautiful art therapist online named Giora Carmi who lives into the intuitive flow of the feminine creative principle. I find his work deeply quiet and nurturing. In contrast my partner Ondrea in contrast serves as a catalyst as therapist which incites the masculine principle of action for practical, emotional and spiritual change in her work with people. I find her work exciting and thought provoking.
The feminine does the inner work to excavate what is holding us back from moving forward. This past year I explored many deep creative practices around descending into the basement of the psyche and helping the repressed selves that we tend to try to leave behind. One shadow practice that I highly recommend is the Buddhist practice called Feeding Your Demons by Lama Tsultrim Allione. This practice has been creative, revealing and deeply helpful for me around dialoguing with the darker, more hidden parts of myself that were causing my eye infections and other illnesses. We all have parts of our arrested childhood psyche that made very early decisions about our beliefs about life that unwittingly stop us from living into our biggest selves.
While my past year has not been a time of new creativity, it has been a time of deepening into what I have created. Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn writes, "To learn to live each moment in deep mindfulness and concentration is the practice. The conception and unfolding of a piece of art take place exactly in the moments of our daily life. The time you begin to write down the music or the poems is only the time of delivering the baby. The baby has to be already in you for you to deliver it. We must make good use of every moment of our daily life in order to allow this insight and compassion to bloom."
For the New Year of 2012 I wish you rich, mindful year of inner listening and ask you the question, "What Principle of Creativity are you are longing to live into right now?