As I stood on the soft, damp ground in my bare feet, I found myself immersed in the reflective and present moment experience that only an act of creativity can birth. Making what I call “Nature Art” opens me up to a level of joy that few activities are able to match. I love the process and I am unattached to the outcome. I understand Now that we are creative beings; that is, each of us carries a deep need to create.
Creating is the act of bringing thought and feeling into form – and that form can take any shape and size, including even the intangible. Such an act requires courage to overcome the fear of vulnerability inherent in sharing a raw and authentic expression of one’s self. Finding this courageous vulnerability reaps the reward of individual empowerment as one discovers a deeper knowing of one’s self, receives support from others, and integrates the knowing that one can do what one loves.
In today’s consumptive focused culture it is easy to find individual examples of the need to create going unmet within people. This longing to create is even stronger when one feels as though they are lacking any meaningful or soul-filling contributions to the world. How do we identify this need within ourselves and then shift our lives so as to fill it in a way that feels enjoyable? Perhaps if we understand the larger story we can discover our current place along the journey and find clarity for the next step.
Taking Our First Steps
We start our journey of creative discovery as children, eager and excited to explore the wondrous world of possibility with our unending curiosity. During childhood we are given the environment of support to feel free to discover our creative gifts – the processes, artistic expressions, life styles, and offerings that we love to do. We aren’t always sure why we are doing what we are, but we trust that our searching is planting the seeds for a fruitful life of prosperity.
Our creativity at this early stage is often done out of self-interest so as to nurture the full development of our individual sense of self – and our parents support such healthy exploration, holding space for our eventual coming of age and ‘spotting’ us in case we fall. This is a healthy child-parent relationship – the parents encouraging and guiding – not expecting a ‘return’ on their investment. A true example of giving without a thought of receiving. Unconditional love.
Shifting Our Focus
At some point along this journey the child finds what they love to do, and in a way that feels good to them – their heart-work. Another seed, this one in their heart, now begins to take root and require nourishment. They know themselves on a deep level but something within them has shifted. Suddenly, that which they love needs something more. They desire to be of service to something beyond their sense of individual self; to repurpose their gifts in service to humanity and the world. They start to ask, “How can I transform this creativity into service? How can I help others through my gifts?” This marks the transition from the exploration and experimentation of childhood, into the expanded service of adulthood. There is still exploring and experimenting as an adult, it is just viewed through a different lens – the lens of co-creation with the purpose of giving back something valuable to others.
The transition from child to adult is often termed a ‘rite of passage’ and cultures throughout the world have various ways to mark this change in one’s life. Our Western culture tends to associate this transition with the time when one moves out of their parents’ home, finds employment, or goes to post-secondary school. But how many of us are actually prepared to repurpose our gifts into service beyond our self at such a time? A prerequisite to such repurposing would be to have found one’s gifts in the first place. What happens when we are asked to give back and fill a role in society but find no role with personal meaning? What happens when we reach the age of adult without being ready to become one?
While I created my nature art, I found myself asking how I could repurpose my gifts – realizing that I am still a child in exploration. The last few years of my life has felt like the journey of childhood as I search for what it is I love to create and how I love to create it. Why has it taken so long? Why do we even have such a ‘time’ pressure to find one’s gifts, or, what one ‘wants to do with their life’? Always looking to the future, we feel ashamed if we haven’t chosen a life career by the time we finish high school. I can admit to being childish, not knowing how I am to give back, still needing to receive support while I ‘figure my life out’. And that is okay. We can only move forward once we learn to forgive.
Since leaving the educational system, and indeed many traditional systems I grew up within, I have discovered the expansiveness of this world – a small portion of the vast spectrum of choices and possibilities for one’s life. Our society’s systems do set people up to discover their gifts of service, however they do so only within a small box of what is really available to choose from. They teach a narrow range of subjects, in a small variety of ways, with disempowering and hierarchical feedback structures based on punishment and reward – ultimately leaving much of our imagination and creative ingenuity to wither away. For those of us who cannot find excitement, joy, or fulfillment within such small boxes, we are inevitably left behind. If your gift is to perceive energy flow, work with medicinal plants, interpret dreams, carry the stories of the people, or heal others intuitively – it is no wonder you likely finished school feeling like you weren’t good at anything. How can so many of us reach the end of our formal education with the sense that we are less creative than when we were a child?
A Rocky Start
So we reach the end of school, the time when we are supposed to know what to do next (a decision made all the more challenging if it is the first real one we are making) and how we are to give back to the world – but we don’t know. We don’t know our place in society because we haven’t uncovered who we really are yet. But the pressures of independence are too great, the expectations to decide now too strong, and so we flip a coin or just settle for something that will calm the pressures and expectations – the shitty job or the subject that we will ‘see where it takes us’. These types of decisions are toxic for long term motivation (but don’t worry – though the path may change, rivers always reach the sea).
Wearing Adult Clothes
So where does the story go from there? That is up to each of us, but for many it has led us to where we are today, still wondering why we are doing what we are, looking for something more meaningful to do in the world. A world of children playing adults. A humanity still taking from its mother, the Earth. Generations feeling the call to something deeper, whatever that is.
And so the individual experience is mirrored in the collective as we become aware of the present rite of passage we are travelling through as a species. Humanity has been playing like children, exploring and experimenting through self-interest with their creative gifts, receiving from the mother, not sure what their deeper purpose is. Now, we are transitioning into adulthood, falling in love with Lover Earth, desiring to enter into a co-creative partnership – a dance with the fluctuations of the Universal flow of life. We now are asking, “How can we repurpose our uniquely human gifts in service to the planet and the well being of all creatures?”
Start Creating Today!
Anyone can consume – only you can create through your unique expression and only you can discover what that is. Your gifts are one-of-a-kind; no one has done it in the same way before. We learn from each other but we are all trail blazers in our own right. When we come together and co-create with others in community we form bonds that fill our deep need to know and be known by others, through our gifts. Open to your creativity, find the courage to share it, and trust that you will be okay when you choose to do what you love. Take a light heart, laugh at yourself, and remember to play!
Here is a video of the piece of Nature Art that was created during this blog’s inspiration.
Skye Dreamer is looking for people ready to embark on their personal journey of creative exploration. If you are ready to empower your life and bring in more time for creativity and service through doing what you love, check out his dream mentorship offering and feel free to connect!