Being present in my center is the only way I am able to be abundantly creative in managing a multitude of regions in my life: mother, writer, healer, entrepreneur, partner, and homemaker. Rather than attempting to be creative in all areas at once, I follow the creative flow to the priority at hand.
If I tried to make a list of everything I did and cross it off in a linear manner, I would accomplish much less and with less creative insight. Instead, I live each day from the presence of my center and take direction from the guidance that arises naturally.
Maintaining presence in your center means having the willingness to acknowledge the challenging feelings that arise amid the energizing ones. If I wake up feeling overwhelmed, off-kilter, or lacking a clear flow in my creative center, I clean and organize the house and attend to my body. I take a walk, do a sauna, spend time free writing, create a ritual, or read something that inspires.
Aligning with Your Creative Channel: Sense the Energy of the Day
Though it’s natural to try to fix or solve a given situation when you feel off kilter or encounter difficulty, pausing and receiving guidance from within is the way to align with your creative channel. Sometimes a person’s best creative periods arise after a period of stagnation, as if the process of clearing the way allows for a new wave of energy to come in.
At any given time you may have several creative projects percolating or directions calling to you in addition to your other commitments. From the guidance of your center, note the top priorities that come to your attention and address them first. Sometimes they are in alignment with your to-do list; at other times, spontaneous activities may appear that you can incorporate without hesitation when they harmonize with the overall flow pattern.
To hone your creative edge, take the time to sense the essence of the day. From the center, ask yourself: Is this a day for a creative project or running errands? Does the day have an open-ended quality or a more focused task orientation? Is this a day for family or business infrastructure or both? Is something else rising to the forefront? Is self-care a priority? In that way, tasks are accomplished by following the creative flow and guidance of the now, the present.
Sometimes the creative priority is to address a personal need (including the need for fun) before having the creative space to be able to work. You may have a project that needs attention but wait until you feel from your center that it is time to turn your focus there. Being present in the center allows you to navigate an organic pathway through what otherwise would be overwhelming. Simply follow the flow.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
Learning how to feel the flow of energy through your center in a given moment maximizes creative efficiency. It assists you in knowing when to say no to a project that does not resonate in your center, either because it is not quite aligned with your creative intentions or because it is simply not the right time for it. Then you are ready to step fully into a yes when you sense the energy building within. Creative direction and creative timing are less mental decisions than a practice of trusting this inner awareness. Ultimately, following the flow from the center aligns the whole creative field and the energy for each creation.
Using Earth and Spirit Medicine to Return to Your Center
If you find it difficult to return to your center and maintain your presence there, I recommend spending time in the natural world. It is true that we are facing a “nature deficit disorder,” the term Richard Louv uses in his book Last Child in the Woods, which explores the growing trend of children (and adults) spending less time outdoors, and the problems that entails. This lack of time in nature and the over-busyness of our lives affect our very well-being.
In a wild place, there is a silent and richly layered energy that is palpable if you take a moment to feel it with your senses. Go to a wild place and listen with your body. Breathe and notice the quality of air compared to a cityscape. See the intricacies of shadow, light, color, and texture. Let your skin feel the sensations of exquisite coolness in such a place, and notice how your body becomes alive to an ancient knowing as you attune with this wild. Sense the pulse around you, a current of deep aliveness. This is the channel of the creative essence that moves through all living things.
We are a part of this flow, but we may hardly recognize this current within ourselves when we hurry along in the linear quest that defines our modern lifestyles. The wild holds medicine for the whole community with which we can realign ourselves.
Attuning with the wild, we can reorient ourselves and make structures that incorporate this creative channel as the central flow. Making a life from this place is akin to returning to a natural spring and building our community there instead of heading off to the desert and spending all our time in search of water.
Being in the wild provides a natural attunement of your energy field—aligning and nourishing your energy, bringing you back to your core and the knowing of what matters most. This poem by David Wagoner says it well:
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
If you don’t have time to go to a wild place, take a walk outside, gaze at the sky, or move your work outside into the sunshine. Put your feet onto the earth. Notice your energy field before and after you spend time with the earth’s energy. Simple daily doses of earth medicine do wonders for your energy field and well-being. Touching the earth without shoes allows the pent-up energy charge from electronics to release down into the ground.
The next time you use a computer for an extended period, take a break to touch the earth with bare or sock-covered feet and feel the release from your body (this is an old cure for insomnia) as you discharge the excess energy. This is a way to ground your energy field and clear the charge from your body that builds up from using the electronic devices that are increasingly a part of our lives.
Exercise: Making a Spiritual Bath
There is earth-spirit medicine in the next exercise: a ritual of water blessing from traditional healer Rosita Arvigo, based on the Maya tradition. The power of ritual is that it works at the spirit-body interface to heal that which is difficult to name. This ritual brings the wild essence of plants, water, and spirit together into a blessing akin to holy water that can clarify the energy around your body and home, restoring the radiance of your center so you can better go there.
- Fill a bowl with water. Gather some leaves or flowers, particularly from plants you are drawn to—aromatic herbs and roses are ideal. As you gather the plant material, say a prayer, asking in your own way for divine assistance. Place flower petal or leaves into the water, one at a time. When you have finished, notice the beauty you have created in this bowl.
- Using your hands, squeeze the plant material into the water while saying a prayer. Ask for the healing, protection, inspiration, or blessing you need. As Rosita says in passing along the teachings of Maya healer Don Elijio, “Trust—with all your heart—that blessings will come to you.” Notice the quality of air or energy that surrounds you.
- Leave the bowl outside for an hour to receive the earth blessings that create a natural alignment of energy flow.
- Return to the bowl and squeeze the plant matter once more with thanks and prayer. Place the plant matter on the ground. Then clarify your energy field by splashing water into the air around your body, like a bird taking a bath. Imagine the blessing of this water extending into your whole creative field to brighten all the energy that comes into or radiates from your center.
- Continue to bless your home by sprinkling water around it. Clarify the energy field of each doorway and room. Sprinkle the blessing water around the energy fields of other family members (or invite them to splash themselves). Include your animal companions as well. When you have finished, pour this blessing water onto the earth with gratitude. Notice the radiance of your blessed and tended energy field.
Savor the Moment
One morning I was rushing off to work at my office. I had many things to do, but knowing that I wanted to carry a sense of inner stillness with me, I made an intentional pause. I stopped at the car door and, instead of driving off, turned to look at the striated clouds lining the sky. Bare winter branches were moving in the cold wind; I felt my own breath. A line of geese traveled across the horizon. Then a blue heron flew low, right over my head, like a quiet blessing of the wild over the urban landscape.
I let myself sink into the spaciousness of the moment in order to see what was there: the slow up-and-down beat of the blue heron’s wings, the open sky before me, the potential of the day. It is in moments like these, intentional pauses, that I make a practice of inhabiting where I am. I take root in the place where I reside and sense into the longings of my heart. I pause, take note of my senses, then begin to move again.
Slowly, I turned away from the sky and climbed into my car, carrying the quiet with me.
Being where you are ensures that you align with the energy of the moment to receive what it contains.
*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/