Creative Courage

As hard as it is to admit it, I’ve been stuck.  Several years ago, I lost my “virtual” voice.  My writing, blog posts and social media pages came to a halt.  I found myself in the middle of an unpredictable storm.  At times it was hard to walk through it.  Eventually the storm passed and the skies cleared.  Emotionally, it felt like my foundation had been cracked.  I needed to rebuild.

Since then, a part of me has been caught in a cycle of overwhelming fear when it comes to writing.  I have allowed the fear to hold me back. The ideas and words have continued to come to me every day.  This is nothing new.  Some people feel an urge to exercise, shop, eat, paint, dance, etc…  I feel the urge to write.  Then morning turns to night and nothing is released. Oh how I’ve longed to pick up the pen or type on my keyboard once again. 

As far back as I can remember, I have been creative.  Writing has been my passion. When I was a teenager, writing was my form of therapy for quite some time.  Before I was able to speak my truth, I wrote my truth.  It felt so freeing.  It filled my spirit and gave me purpose.

Through this experience, I’ve learned that my creativity and “inner-writer” never left me.  Somehow, the fear crept in and kept us apart.  It deflated my courage, sense of security and self-worth.  My inner-writer has been patiently waiting to reunite.  My creativity was not as patient and took another route.

When the words were unable to find a way out, my creativity connected me with Coloring.  About a year ago, I bought a couple Meditation Coloring Books as a different way to get back into meditation.  I loved it!  I ordered dozens of coloring books, packs of markers, gel pens, and when the creativity was really flowing, Prismacolor pencils.  Coloring gave me a chance to put the pen to the paper again and create.  What a beautiful process it has been.

I have felt a shift from within.  I started working with a Life & Business Coach a few weeks ago.  It reinforced what a powerful process coaching can be when I’m ready to change.  One of the “ah-ha” moments came when my Coach helped me see how much my creativity was connected to my authentic-self.  By tapping back into my creativity through coloring, I reconnected to a place within where my inner-writer was waiting.  It was time to reunite.

I took a deep breath and asked my Higher Power to take the fear away.  I felt love in my heart.  I let go of the false beliefs.  I felt the courage and inspiration come back to me.  I released the negative thoughts and doubts.  I gave myself permission to live in my truth.  I embraced my creativity.  And I wrote this blog post!

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Growing and Surviving in the Garden of Life

Before I started growing my own plants and vegetables, I used to think gardening was boring.  I didn’t get how people could spend so much time in the garden playing in the dirt.  I never gave it a chance because I thought that I was too busy.  But when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, things slowed down.  My outlook changed on so many things, including gardening.  Watching the plants blossom and grow right before your eyes is amazing.  Nature is fascinating to me.

My introduction to the inspiring world of gardening started on my balcony three years ago.  I was going through a difficult time in my life and being treated for thyroid cancer.  I needed something to feed my spirit and knew that nature would lead me to a better place.  My thyroid cancer treatment was with radioactive iodine, which meant I had to be in isolation for at least three days.  I could not be within three feet of any animals or people.  I was literally radioactive!  So I planned ahead and bought lots of plants to repot, potting soil, gardening gloves and pots.  The first day of isolation was long and emotional.  By day two, I grabbed my gardening gloves and headed out to the balcony. 

I had no experience with gardening.  I started off with the status of “black thumb.”  I was too self-centered to spend time taking care of the plants in my home, so they never lasted long.  After my cancer diagnosis, I began to see all living things as miracles.  Each day of life became a gift.  I realized that I did have time to give.

Back to the balcony…I started with about a half a dozen plants of all shapes and sizes.  I repotted each one with my gentle, radioactive touch.  I could feel the connection to the living energy within each one.  The shapes of the buds, sweet smell and magical colors made me forget that I was in isolation.  I forgot that I had cancer.  Nature’s healing power took over and I started to feel alive!

Last season, a good friend gave me a packet of sunflower seeds.  I never grew anything from a seedling before.  Since most of the plants from last year survived the entire summer, I was up for the challenge.  I to made it through and was in remission.  I’m grateful to be a cancer survivor.  Things were getting better.  My black thumb had changed to a brownish green.  I planted the seeds.  Each day I went out and sat on the balcony with the other plants and pots of soil where the sunflower seeds were planted.  (I even talked to the little sprouts beginning to grow.)  A few weeks went by and I wondered if I planted the right seeds.  They resembled long weeds, not sunflowers.  I wanted to rip them out, but held back on the urge.  Instead of, I gave them more time.  A couple of weeks later, I was filled with joy to see sunflowers had actually blossomed from the top of the “weeds”.  I did it!  I was very impressed with my gardening skills.

This season my gardening confidence has grown.  I decided to buy organic tomato and green pepper seeds.  Yep, I’m gonna grow some organic veggies!  Tomato seeds are so tiny.  I could barely see each one that I planted.  I started indoors.  It took a couple of weeks before they started to sprout. 

I have found that nurturing nature in turn feels nurturing to me. 

Last week, I moved my veggies outside to the balcony.  It will take a couple more months of watering, repotting and tender loving care before my veggies are ready to be plucked.  And they will need to survive the outside elements before that time comes.  This falls in line with one of the main lessons that I’ve learned through my battle with cancer and gardening experience.  We never know what tomorrow will bring, so live life and enjoy every moment.  Be grateful for your health and existence.  It is the little things like watching flowers bloom and veggies grow have become so meaningful and fulfilling to my spirit these days.

The Ten Rules for Being Human

Rule One – You will receive a body.
You may love it or hate it, but it will be yours for the duration of your life on Earth.

Rule Two – You will be presented with lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called “life”. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or hate them, but you have designed them as part of your curriculum.

Rule Three – There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors and occasional victories. The failed experiments are as much as a part of the process as the experiments that work.

Rule Four – The lesson is repeated until learned.
Lessons will be repeated to you in various forms until you have learned them. When you have learned them, you can go on to the next lesson.

Rule Five – Learning does not end.
There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

Rule Six – “There” is no better than “here”.
When your “there” has become “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that will look better to you than your present “here”.

Rule Seven – Others are only mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

Rule Eight – What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you.

Rule Nine – Your answers lie inside of you.
All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

Rule Ten – You will forget all this at birth.
You can remember it if you want by unraveling the double helic of inner-knowing.

From the book If Life is a Game, These are the Rules by Cherie Carter-Scott