5 Step Creative Ritual for SpringApr 06, 2022
By Courtney E. Morgan
Some people have so much imagination and flair for play, but lack the discipline to catch and contain and manifest this; others get so caught in their critical, logical minds, they struggle to soften into the game and pleasure of creation.
It’s more than just striking a balance though it’s really about combination, finding a symbiotic relationship between the two, integration. Finding the in-between, the liminal spaces where these two drives merge and co-exist. Or better yet, building those spaces to allow the two forces to meet and mingle.
1. Ready your soil
I find fall and winter to be important times to build up our soil. To read, look at art, watch movies; to rest and meditate and focus inward; to release beliefs and practices that no longer serve; to let go of projects that have faltered, stalled, or failed (and to recognize how the carcasses of dreams relinquished decay into food for our future visions).
These cycles happen in small versions throughout the year, new moon to full moon, for example—and happen on a larger scale over our journey round the sun. Tapping into this inherent energy in the seasons helps your projects evolve and grow much easier and more organically.
If we’ve done this, our compost should be fresh and ready for planting in the spring.
Spend some time turning the soil over, mucking up in the mud, getting dirty. Dedicate at least twenty minutes to daydreaming and freewriting on possibilities for the next six months, for things you’d like to build and accomplish, for what your personal and the larger collective world could look like. Things you want to try, learn, experiment with, build. List what ideas and ideals you’re ready to let go of, and which ones feel nurturing, true, and vital for you right now.
2. Choose which seeds you want to plant
Six months from now, come fall, what do I really most want to harvest?
what do I want to look back on ?
What do I want to see around me?
What do I want to have accomplished, built, created, connected with?
(This can be part of a longer project, but make sure you have a specific vision [plant] in mind for six months.)
If it’s less of a specific project and more of an ideal, like I want to feel and be more creative, then think specifically about what that would look like. How would you quantify being more creative? Spending twenty minutes a day doing creative activities? Going on a creative outing (museum, show, author talk) once a week? Making a creativity room/corner in your house? It can be a combination of things, but be as specific as possible.
Allow yourself no more than three things on this list, and put them in order of priority.
3. Select your container
What steps would I need to take between now and autumn to bring this vision to life?
What time and space can I dedicate and commit to this vision?
What can I commit to doing in the next day? In the next week? In the next month?
Make these lists. Make this promise. Write them down! Put them in your calendar! Do it NOW!
4. Nourish daily with water, sunlight, conversation, movement, song
And give it love. I’m sure you know the studies that show plants grow better when spoken to, sung to, loved. So it is with our creative process and projects.
Give your creativity love. Love your practice, fiercely. Show up to the page, the easel, the instrument even when you don’t want to. Even when you hate it, even when it’s the last thing you want to do. Let the movement of it, the work of it, bring you back to the love of it. (And if it doesn’t today, come back tomorrow.)
Completing Your Creative Spring Ritual
This step is not optional, not superfluous. In fact, this is the most important step. To return to and retain pleasure.
When something gives us pleasure, we will do it, we will come back to it, again and again, even when it gets hard. Pleasure is not the absence of difficulty. It is taking joy in the work. Standing in awe at what we have made.
Pleasure is to remember, to prioritize, the fun and play and life-giving, erotic thrill of making. The joy of discovery. The twinge of excitement in getting it wrong, destroying, composting, beginning again. The fear-tinged bliss of connecting with the images and sentences that hover just beyond the veil, that you pull into being with only your intention and humility and faith.
Lean into that, depend on it, hold onto it for dear life when everything else feels like it's going to shit. (Then gather that shit and add it to your compost.)
Above all, for creation’s sake, ENJOY the beautiful, brutal, lusty, bloody process of it all. Have fun.
Courtney Morgan is an author, writing teacher, and creativity coach, dedicated to helping people discover and harness their creative power, vitality, and expression. Learn more about her work at www.courtneyemorgan.com
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