Creativity As A Spiritual Response

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July = Stories

Welcome to the month of July.

In the United States,  July is most often a month in which there are vacations, the weather is generally warm, if not hot, and there are gatherings, small and large ones around tables of food, music and even campfires.  It is a time to tell stories.  However, it would be an overstatement to say that all people in the United States have had, or will have, experiences of tables of food, music and campfires.  However, each of us has a story.

I imagine that for readers in the Southern Hemisphere who may be encountering wintry weather rather than summer heat.  The winter may also be a time to tell stories.  What stories will you tell?

  • What are stories?
  • Why are they important?
  • What stories do you tell?
  • What stories do you carry?
  • What stories were you told as a child?  Who told them?
  • What stories have you had to piece together from fragments of family history?
  • Where are you in the circle of listeners?
  • Where are you in the circle of story tellers?

After the month of June and its focus upon keeping a journal, we now will spend an entire month of looking at stories.  Please use your journal to record any stories that emerge as you reflect on this topic.  I also welcome your comments to any of these posts.

I personally believe that stories are at the core of our expressions of creativity in any form, as well as our spirituality.  They are also at the core of who we are individually as well as culturally.

I also believe that our stories are endangered, and therefore precious. Many of us don’t tell our own stories, and don’t expect to do so.  And, we don’t know well the stories of others.

It is true that I do not know your stories, but I trust that you have them, many of them.  While I can’t hear them all, I can affirm the importance of story, of your story and encourage you to find others who will listen, for you to collect the stories of your family and culture and share them, and for you to write them down.

Let’s explore this important topic together.

Welcome to the circle!

Paying Attention As A Spiritual Practice

I began this week with a question: when I pay attention to my heart, I choose to_________________________.  I have many thanks to those who risked commenting on this question. I loved reading each of your responses.

The question originated in a desire to move attention from what is often a visual experience toward an experience of listening.  And, not listening to just anything but to what our hearts wish to say to us.  If you are like me, this isn’t something that happens often.  My attention is often visual, often intellectual.  This has its place, but so does heart listening.

We have the privilege of listening or choosing to not listen.  We have the privilege of paying attention or choosing to not pay attention.  We have the option of listening to our heart, listening to a creative source, or shutting it out.  Which do you choose?  Why do you choose it?  How is paying attention with your heart part of your creativity, your spirituality?

I am suggesting two practices today.

In the first, I invite you to simply sit in a quiet space and listen to your heart for five to fifteen minutes.  If you find it helpful during this quiet time, place one hand or both hands on your heart. Invite your heart to speak to you.  What does it say?  What do you imagine it saying?  How does it feel to pay attention in this way?  Please use your journals to write down anything that emerges from this reflection.

In the second, I invite you to find one heart centered action that you can take today.  It may be something that responds to a favorite cause, an individual in need, or whomever your heart sends your way.  The world has always needed heart centered creative action.  What is one thing you can do?

With much love,

Meghan