As a new mother, I initially felt that I had limited options that consisted of either (a) working for a physical therapy practice that would set my hours and provide monetary security but little control over the time I spent with my child or (b) staying home with my young child and being strapped financially. It seemed I could choose between security and limitation or freedom and risk. I was looking through a conventional lens that had only two options.
However, I could have approached this issue in a multitude of ways had I been thinking creatively. Eventually, an organic path toward starting my own practice opened my eyes to a holistic and creative perspective.
When I started my health practice I kept things simple by choosing a small office with low overhead. Rather than advertise, I received referrals by word of mouth. With low overhead and few expenses, it was easier than I had thought to work a financially rewarding part-time schedule while tending to the needs of my young children.
I worked one weekday and one Saturday so my husband and I could trade off covering child care; this worked well for our family and prevented the expense of day care. By being creative, I had the freedom to both earn an income doing something I enjoyed and be with my children much of the time.
Generating Your Creative Currency
Given our culture’s messages about money, many of us have limited thinking patterns regarding how to earn an income or even to assess value. Yet when we feel connected to our inner creative, we naturally access the feminine realm that generates our creative currency. This is the space where dreams are free to range, time or money concerns and other limitations fade, and you feel intimately intertwined with the energy of life. Here the linear world of limited possibilities drops away and you may “lose yourself” in this flow.
Every person should know how to embrace this part of themselves, the place where they feel alive and purposeful without even making something or needing to achieve a particular outcome. If you already know how to connect with this place for yourself, make whatever brings you there a priority in your life: gardening, cooking, meditating, walking, writing, dancing, and so on.
Making routine contact with your flow of creative currency is essential for broadening your creative bandwidth and generating new patterns of being. This is the place of raw ideas and inspiration where creative insights enter.
Creativity and creative insights can solve many problems and offer many solutions in our lives, from money scarcity to work issues to family challenges to realizing our dreams and beyond. I invite you to engage your creative flow in response to any limitation you encounter and simply make a new pattern.
What creative pursuits connect you to your creative currency and energy of life?
What limiting concepts do you hold about having a career, making an income, or other seemingly fixed aspects of your life?
How might you engage creativity to make a new pattern instead?
Claiming Greater Potential
Every person has places of creative expansion and aspects of creative limitation. In addition to working with the places of natural creativity, we can step further into areas that are fraught with challenge in order to claim more potential. For example, I am creatively challenged by cooking.
Over the years, I have worked with this in different ways. Most successfully, I have learned from several women friends how to cook a few key dishes. By learning to cook a traditional lasagna from a friend who long ago mastered this art, I feel more expansive myself. And though I still do not feel the creative freedom I would like in the kitchen, being willing to work at my creative edge has ultimately enabled me to claim more creative potential overall by increasing my comfort with creative risks and new forms of expression.
While the tendency is to avoid your limitations, try seeking creative solutions in response to limitations in order to claim more potential. Rather than offering excuses for not engaging creativity—such as being too busy with parenting, a demanding job, or the details of life—make creativity a priority and find what works at each phase in your life.
Thinking Outside the Box
Writing is an important part of my creative expression, but after my third child was born I could scarcely dress myself each day, let alone write in a consistent manner. I decided to write one line of reflection on motherhood each day. For the next year, at the end of every evening, my writing consisted of one line of writing. (One of these held the title for a future book: December 4th: Mothering from my center, I become more of who I truly am and create what it is that my heart desires.)
I found this miniature writing task both doable and newly inspiring. I savored the quiet ritual at the close of my day. The brief format meant that I had to distill my thoughts into a stream of words like poetry (and this was before the abbreviated inspiration of Twitter).
I cherish this small book, this record of one line of thought for each day, even though many lines detail a tangible exhaustion, because I stayed true to my creative practice in the midst of our first year with three children.
Once you begin to access your creative essence in the more challenging places, the overall creative flow will build upon itself.
Where do you feel creatively blocked or limited in creative expression? How might you engage this block or limitation in order to receive more potential?
Energy Session: Finding a New Creative Direction
Sandy came for an energy session to receive inner wisdom in regard to finding a new direction in her life. For more than a decade, she had been a mental health counselor for a government agency. She felt increasingly burned out from her clients’ high needs and the scarce resources available to address them. When we tuned in to her center, the energy felt weighted as if she were carrying a burden. Though Sandy wanted to move into private practice, she mentioned that she was staying in her present job for the security it offered.
I asked her to imagine a day at her job. The sense of heaviness increased in her center. Reflecting upon this increase in energy density, I suggested to Sandy that the structure of support that the security of her current employment provided was primarily a mental one. In reality, her body only felt the burden of spending her days at this particular job.
I encouraged Sandy to imagine the job of her dreams by creating a vision of the type of office she might like to have, the clients she might work with, and even her ideal schedule. Rather than limiting herself in any way, I asked her to simply imagine as fully as possible her dream work situation. Dreaming a new form for herself is the first step in actually creating it.
As she created this image in her mind’s eye, her body energy became light and responsive. The weighted feeling dissipated and Sandy noticed a sense of renewed energy in her center. She remarked, “This is the best I’ve felt. I’ve wanted to start my own counseling practice, but I have no business skills and it seems overwhelming to begin. But I can feel the difference when I allow myself the full vision of it––like I can find my way to what I imagine.”
While starting her own counseling practice would mean leaving a known work structure and trading it for the unknown of building a business and the steps that would entail, the energy shift in Sandy’s center was clear validation of a potentially lighter and more satisfying path. At first there would be the work of establishing an office and a clientele, as well as addressing the business and legal issues of her practice, but the relief in her body at being in a new and healthier environment with better-resourced clients would more than make up for the workload. Eventually, once her practice was established, her core energy would be free to expand her practice in the direction of her desires.
Sandy acknowledged the relief within herself and knew it was a signal from her inner wisdom. She had been wanting to make a work change for some time, but kept putting it off. Her new inner awareness motivated her to follow through on her plans to leave her job and begin a private practice.
A Vibrant and Strong Creative Flow
Though it was intense work, by the time Sandy returned to my office a year later, she was a new person. She was happily self-employed in her private practice and her energy reflected the health of that change. The weight in her center was gone, and the creative flow was vibrant and strong. She had envisioned a work structure that now sustained her; it provided both income and energy currency for living.
Though you may hesitate to leave the comfort of what is known in some particular aspect of life—whether in work, relationships, or your own way of engaging the world—when your energy is burdened by these outdated structures, it is time for a transition. Following the creative impulse, you can reshape or make new structures to support your robust creative health for the long range.
Using the Vast Potential of Your Heart
Love what you do and do what you love. This folk wisdom recognizes that the heart has potency and power to transcend the biggest obstacles and limiting imprints, if only we are able to engage life from the heart rather than the head. Reflect on the following questions to encourage the creative flow in the heart:
- What do you absolutely love in your life right now?
- What do you love that you wish you had more access to?
- How would your life be different if you were living from the creative flow of the heart?
*subtitles by InnerSelf
©2014 by Tami Lynn Kent. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission from Atria Books/
Beyond Words Publishing. beyondword.com
About the Author
Tami Kent, MSPT, is a holistic women’s healthcare provider with a master’s degree in physical therapy. The founder of Holistic Pelvic Care, Tami has advanced training in multiple bodywork techniques, including certification in Maya Abdominal Massage and Infant Body Psychotherapy/Birth Trauma Resolution. She received her Masters in Physical Therapy from Pacific University and her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of California at Berkeley. Tami is the mother of three boys and maintains a women’s health private practice in Portland, OR. Visit her website at www.wildfeminine.com/