“The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.”African proverb
I read this proverb a few days ago in a post about the riots in the States.
I thought it was a powerful perspective on what was happening. And it still is.
However, since the first moment I read those words, I felt there was something more in it, something speaking from and to a deeper place in me. I just couldn’t figure out what it was.
Until yesterday, when I stepped in the space created by my friend Vanessa and there it was.
If I replace the word “child” with “gift” or “need” and I recognise that I am the village, then it makes utter sense.
At least to me.
What are the gifts that I have and that I’m not embracing? What are the needs that I’m not paying attention to? What are the parts that the whole is ignoring?
It’s time to pay attention, to listen, to embrace.
Before the unheard parts burn down the whole.
Here it is, one of those days with no ideas whatsoever.
Fifteen minutes and a page to fill, where should I start?
This morning my BeTheChange card says “being creative with everything in my life“.
In the text that comes with the card, Vanessa says that “we are all in this thing called creativity all the time“.
So, it must be here and now.
My idea, the starting point must be here in this room, right now.
I just need to open my eyes wide shut and let my reality speaks to me.
Wait a minute, someone said something yesterday during a workshop.
I can’t remember the exact words, but it was something like “we are always immersed in abundance, we just don’t notice it“.
Isn’t it the same for creativity? We are always surrounded by ideas and inspirations, we just don’t notice them.
Yet, noticing is a tricky thing, because most often than not, ideas have this tendency to appear at the periphery of my vision, like the sneaky movement of my lissome cat.
Today, I’ll pay attention to the movements at the boundaries of my perception.
“He knew that any given thing on the face of the earth could reveal the history of all things. One could open a book to any page, or look at a person’s hand; one could turn a card, or watch the flight of the birds… whatever the thing observed, one could find a connection with his experience of the moment.”Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
I’ve experienced this feeling many times.
I’ve witnessed it in others.
Anytime we are in a higher state of awareness, fully present to the moment, then our attention expands, and we can see that everything is connected.
We can see our experience reflected in and through what’s in front of us.
The secret is to pay attention and then trust.
Too often, I’m so busy trying to make sense of things that I forget to sense. So entangled in my effort to understand that I forget to pay attention.
I need to slow down and pay attention.
A few weeks ago, I read an article – that I can’t find anymore obviously – saying that only 16% of our smart and creative ideas emerge while we are working. All the rest happens when we are doing something else or nothing at all.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with my creative self. Yes, I have a daily appointment with him, but it’s only 15 minutes. Most of the day he is pushed in a corner while the “get-things-done” guy is working.
Then, out of the blue, the “get-things-done” guy shouts to the “creative” guy asking for an idea.
But the creative guy is shy. He gets nervous under pressure, so he fishes something out of his memories and throws it back.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the “get-things-done” guy. When he is in the mood, he can achieve a lot.
But he has this tendency to take over the whole space.
And ideas need space to emerge.
Yep, I need to carve more idle time in my days.
I don’t know where I am.
I really want to be here and now.
I did my exercises. I tried with my meditation.
This morning, my mind is all over the place.
Everywhere but here and now.
I can’t hold a thought for more than a few seconds.
Does it ever happen to you?
What do you do when your mind escapes in all directions?
Out of habits, I open my laptop and create a new document.
And this white page before me softly pulls me in.
Like a moth towards a summer light.
One word. Two words. One sentence.
Little by little, my mind goes quiet.
Now, I’m here.