Ahhhh. Mmmmm. Deeeelicious! The sun beamed into my heart, the soft breeze brushed my face, the birds made music, and my half-smile of gratitude found its permanent home on my lips. In that moment, nothing could have satisfied my soul more than this first evening walk in the welcoming spring air. No shivers, no bracing against the biting wind, no contracting from the cold; for the first time in months I felt as though I had the freedom to breathe. Winter doesn’t sit well in my bones, so spring is like a long lost friend wrapping me in a warm, lingering hug.
This relaxing walk was the perfect antidote. My creativity had been given over to other projects recently, giving me little room to write my monthly article, and I was feeling a little pressure to produce something soon. Pushing never lends itself to manifestation, so as I ventured out I set an intent to receive an injection of clever insight and opened myself to my quest. World-renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp, in her book The Creative Habit, refers to this part of the creative process as “scratching”: observing, scanning, combing, or digging around to find a catalyst that will jumpstart the imagination! She suggests that this pursuit for the flicker of inspiration is not only common and takes many forms, but is also essential and private. I would add that it’s sometimes unconscious. When I first read the term “scratching” I sat in both recognition and relief. I already knew that my ideas could springboard from anything that feeds my senses or my unique “creative DNA” as Tharp calls it. My writings are often sparked by my intuition, or by fitting together my various recent experiences, or by turning borrowed ideas upside down and inside out in ways that intrigue me. Yet the space I permitted myself for this creative search was quite limited. The expectation of myself was that I should be able to create on cue. Since learning that many talents allow themselves breathing room for this exploration, I’ve relaxed into greater appreciation for my own, once undefined ritual, and have given myself far more space to just play. However, since I’ve been recently nurturing my creativity with greater passion, the Universe offered me an opportunity to claim another dimension of this wisdom.
I criss-crossed the streets and witnessed the brute force with which winter had visited; twigs lay strewn like a spilled box of matchsticks, mud lay imprinted with tire tracks like plaster casts, and leaves rested in matted sheets on old, wrinkled grass. But there was more to see than the ravages of the past. Soon my attention was drawn to the spaces in between these subtle patterns and the view gave way to sparse perspectives. Without their leaves the shape of tree trunks and their thickest offshoots revealed themselves as sweeping, reaching arms, while the fine branches of others reminded me of frozen chaos. Birds’ nests vividly dotted the lines drawn against the sky, and patches of shriveled leaves that chose never to let go still clung in earnest. New paths appeared and carried my vision far up unfamiliar roads, and the views of backyards lay open to all eyes, not just the neighbor’s next door.
It was in these spaces that I found my inspiration. It was as though Spirit whispered, “Look to nature”. And then it slid into my consciousness like a majestic bird gliding into a still lake; the stark landscape is what provides all the space that mother earth needs to unfurl her strength, colour and beauty in the spring bloom! She’s creating!
My “ahaa” was no mere coincidence. It was only the exclamation point to my week of experiences. I had been teaching about the power of intention and its capacity to manifest form from the formless, something from nothing. As Wayne Dyer explains, the Universe, otherwise known as the energy of intention, is a creative force, always moving from “no where to now here”. Spring was my evidence. We are all born from this same, incredible, Divine energy – the trees, the breeze, the birds and us. Therefore, we humans are also creative. Each of our thoughts is a creation. Intention focuses thoughts. Imagination is thoughts at play. And all we need to give them is a little space, a little scratching, and wonders unfold. My walk had proven that. Indeed, I had co-created this exclamation mark!
With my heart and mind open wide, I affirmed to myself, intention is powerful and space is powerful. In its formlessness space can become many great things. Content to just allow my thoughts to softly take shape, I found myself expanding that idea. As you read this list, feel into each possibility. Space is………..
- a portal
- a sightline
- an invitation
- a path
- a container
- a runway
- a road
- an inhale or exhale
- letting go
Now read each idea again and ask yourself “What does it create?” For example, if space is “waiting” it can create anxiety or patience, if space is “a container” it can create boundaries, and if space is “emptiness” it can create a beginning.
What else can you create with space?
You now know that the next time you short-change yourself of the space you need, you are denying a vital aspect of your creative nature. It’s a God-given gift. So take time, let go of clutter, be with only yourself, and breathe deep. Maybe take a spacewalk, set an intention, do a little “scratching” and see what blooms in you. Have faith. For if you find yourself suspended in space, and it seems nothing is happening, just trust that something is. It will yield something. Open. Be patient. Spirit is present – in all places, and especially in the spaces.