It’s not a luxury.

When I was doing my doctoral studies, I was blessed with the opportunity to read an essay by Audre Lorde, called Poetry is not luxury. It was one of those pieces that lives with me to this day. It helped me to understand why I love writing so much. It is not even that I love it, it is essential to my well being. Through my writing, I am able to give voice to feelings and ideas that I cannot seem to express any other way. Perhaps that is why the last nine weeks have been so special for me. I have given myself time every day to journal to my soul and write to the voice of wisdom buried deep within me.

One of the things I came to realize was that depending on my mood, different things inspired me and helped me tap into my creative energy. One day it was going to the nursery in the dead of winter and sitting alone with the plants for an hour listening to the music and experiencing the warmth. Other times, it was just holing myself up alone in a room by myself and just writing. On these days, the solitude nurtured me and gave me peace. Sometimes, I would find myself inspired by what I read, an image I saw, a movie or television show I watched. The more I interacted with the creative and expressive offerings of others, the more I found myself inspired and filled with a new creative energy.

With my spiritual journaling, I have not just been inspired by what others have created, but by the offerings of the environment. Creations such as rocks, trees, snow, flowers, have all inspired me. As I take in their beauty, I am reminded of how interconnected we are. Zoë gave me a Zen garden and sometimes I just sit and rake the sand and move the stones and create images. The shells in the bathroom bring me to the water and I find myself smelling the fresh salt air. The river rocks in my drawer remind me of how we are all transformed over time. Even mud, becomes a symbol of rebirth and recreation. It reminds me that we are a work in process.

So often, my inspiration comes from my interactions with others. As I wrote about previously, it is why I do more then get by with a little help from my friends. Sitting and writing with others and sharing our works inspires me. I so often find myself humbled by the eloquence and creativity of my friends. Their words drink me in like a hot cup of tea on a cold wintry day. Surrounding myself with creative and expressive people has become essential to my well-being. They are like this vitamin, which energizes me just to be in their presence.

I hope through my creativity, I inspire others, because I know others certainly inspire me. One of the lessons I have learned over the last nine weeks is the importance of taking the time to tap into my creative energies and keep them invigorated. Doing so is about more then what I create, it is about what I learn about myself, my relationship with others and with my Creator.