Those of us in the Northern hemisphere are betwixt the starry skied wintery chill, the magic of the deep mid winter's icy breath, and the intertangling with the joviality of this time of the year.
The need to give Persephone a run for her money, and make out with Hades might be coursing through your blue royal red blood! (No?! Just me then??!! ;-))
Though full powered hibernation might not be possible for many of us, with our mingled mire of familial duties, we can sneak off and take some much needed time for some deep reflection that this time of the year asks of us.
If we are navigators of our own ship, our inner compass is our heart, our felt sense the waters of our flesh and bones, and the need to check if we are still in alignment with our chartered course or if we have veered off some time ago by barely perceptible degrees which stagger in their ability to change our trajectory anew!
You see it is in the dark times, the shadow lands, that we might be able to see most clearly. Our inner knowing gets to take centre stage. Our ears are pricked up for listening, catching the magic in the air. There be miracles to be found right now, if we are open to receiving them, and a chance to give clarity on where we have been this year, where we are now, and where we would like to set our sails towards.
Of course, life is a messy affair, and God is a trickster!! Yet still we need to show up, do our bit, be available, and wholly, if not holy, invested in doing the best that we can. Taking stock is a must. It renews the ground beneath our feet, It polishes our arrows of intent. And it gives us the opportunity to be with, in the spirit of festive presence, anything that maybe the doing times have caused us to deny or avoid.
This is the time of the year very mired in a million differing emotions, not just the happy wholesome televised or marketed ones! Perhaps you've lost loved ones this year, or this time makes you miss those dearly departed with a more striking cut. Maybe this was your annus horribilus, and you're ready to say f**k you to 2019!! Or, it could be that spending time with family is triggering for you. Sometimes life's diappointments and bows untied can leave us breathless to that which has not come to pass for us in many ways. Be kind to yourself. And to others. We do not know what lies behind or beneath the christmas ironic jumpers!!
So, I would like to offer you a little gift. Something for you to explore and play with over the next few weeks. To be honest, I see the time between the winter solstice and Imbolc (the 2nd Feb/my birthday! :-), as our winter dreaming time. Even if that's only metaphorically. There is no rush to have your seeds planted and intentions set in stone by the 1st January. Hell no!! We need to allow the fallow. We need to trust the earth. We need to stop and pause and listen. And we need to dream, imagine and envision. Remember, if we show up, so does Spirit too. Let's show up as fully prepared for Spring as we can!
In the (kinda) words of a certain Charles Dickens, and his 'A Christmas Carol', here's to the past, the present and the future. Let's take that trip now! ;-)
In that vein, here is a list of various journalling prompts, rituals, questions, and art-making tasks, that you might like to do completely, or else simply allow any to accompany you as you move through your days.
And, if you feel like you would like some extra support heading into the new year/decade, then get in touch. I offer a variety of coaching packages, as well as the fabulous and well-loved new year workshops (now in their fifth year), for your delectation and in support and service to your creative soul xx
So. Here you are. Let me know how you get on if you like. Safe travelling, and have a wondrous new year darlings xxx
(In no particular order):
*What am I appreciative of right now? What has the last year gifted me with? And have I really let myself receive these gifts fully? (Here is your chance to do so :-). Go as deep as you can with this. You might like to take a look in your diary. You may have certain memories that you can revisit.) And allow the challenges you have come through be a part of this reflection. Ask: what have I learned? how have I grown?
*What losses needs to be honoured and grieved for? This could be people, plans, dreams, old situations, changes that happened. Let yourself sit with these. Respect their passing and the ache of this. You might like to create a ritual to give these form. One thing you can do is write these down and after you have given enough space and time to them, hand them over to the water, or burn them as prayers. You may want to paint a picture, create a drawing, write a song, or make a piece of poetry. Maybe you want to tell your favourite tree. Let your own imagination help you.
*What is important to me right now? In all areas of life. Inner worlds. Family. Community. Globally. Start small. Be honest. Let these pearls form a strand to wear close for now.
*What touched me the most this last year? What was the most fun? Inspiring? Sacred? Playful? Terrifying? Challenging? Powerful? What felt like it was truly deeply madly me and my soul shining this last year?
*Is there anything I feel like I have lost over this year? And if so, what tiny thing can I start to invite in in order to reconnect with this aspect of my self and life?
*Write a confession, as a piece of art, As a prayer. Write down on it all the ways that you betrayed yourself or others this past year. Don't flinch with this, it's not an exercise nor an excuse to beat yourself into a judgement pulp! It's an exercise in the art of being human. What we don't give voice to, all the little ways that we turn away from our self and our values, get stuck someplace and rob a little of our shine as time goes by. In order to reclaim these parts we need to simply own them. (For those of you who don't know me, I'm having a lil tete-a-tete with the shadow lands these days. Own the shit! Own the mess! Own where we have been sloppy with our integrity.) Be playful and poetic if you want to.
Then read it aloud. Offer it to God/Spirit/ The sky/Santa etc. No shame. Just pure honesty.
And see if it's possible to find some forgiveness for yourself, so you're not carrying a whipping wreath around with you into the new year!
Once you have completed this one fully, you may like to do the next exercise :-)
*Write a celebration list. A scroll of fabulous fanfares. It can have the most mundane simple things on it, as well as the larger ones. All the ways you have breathed and lived and shown up over the year. All the magnificent adventures. The ordinary joys. The connections and conversations. the opportunities. Celebrate who you are and who you are becoming! Dress up in your finery (Or if you can't be arsed then maybe put on a little lipstick or a fancy hat!), and once again read out your list. Feel your words, right down to your toes. Can you celebrate yourself?! X
*Go for a Soul Walk. Wrap up warm and treat this like an artists date! Take a pad and pen with you. Or your camera and/or dictaphone. Turn your phone on silence and block your notifications if you can. Better yet leave it at home. Instead you are going to invite your senses to inform you. Of wonder. Of curiosity. Of life right now. Here. Just as it is. Before you go write down some questions you might like some clarification on. Maybe it's how to accept what you cannot change at this time? Or how can i nourish myself and care for my self throughout this next month? Or, ask what is it that I need? What kind of life do I desire to ask for and show up for and create this next year? Do I have any dreams that want to be pulled out of the rabbit's hat?? Stay present. See this as a devotion to your he(art). You can stop at any time and write/speak your findings. Keep asking the questions. And let go of having to know the answer. Give it to life, To each foot step. Each breath. Let that be enough for now. Say thank you just before you re-enter your home :-)
*Be present. Be intimate with each moment. Lean in. Feel it all. Every last minute of this year, this decade, this day. It's all we ever have!
Have a wondrous few weeks. See you soon, HH xxx
I don’t know why I love her so much. Believe me it’s a question that curiosity has asked of me many times over the years.
She’s mysterious and enigmatic, as well as vulnerable and available.
She’s fierce and wildly soul passionate, as well as flawed and deeply fallible.
She’s subject to the ever changing blowing Mexican whims and to try to pin her down is futile.
I’ve tried, but to no avail!
I was just 20 years old when I bought her diaries. The Frida cult craze was not yet in its full iconic throttle. As an artist myself, a sensitive and shy dreamer, she enchanted and enthralled me immediately.
Frida Kahlo, whose birthday is celebrated this 6th July, was a pioneer in ways that we take for granted now: The art journaling, all poured out emotion, snippets of her bruised heart’s tales, the water-coloured walking wounded impact of her accidents (she counted her lifelong love to Diego as one of them!); The ‘selfies’ she painted, in the form of idealised self-portraits, long before even the Insta-camera, never mind Instagram!
Unlike any other artist before her, she lived, and exposed, her rawness. Of being a woman in a time when kudos to women artists was not yet in favour (and is still unravelling as I type!). She dared to be a voice of a woman in pain, in the inability to carry a child, and in the many betrayals that her lover, and life, bestowed upon her.
Yet she was no victim. Hell no! And that’s a part of why she speaks to us still now, stronger than ever, when everyone from Madonna, to Tracy Emin, and thousands of artists all over the world are in some way bewitched by her.
You could say that she was a narcissist, and you wouldn’t be wrong. You could call her self-indulgent, and though that may be part of how she remained so close to the cuts to the bones of her being, she was also very publicly and proudly an advocate for the rights of the Mexican people, about politics and, consciously or not, the visibility of being a woman who was, and is, allowed to be both creative and sexual. Frida lived her life as art, and whose art was her life. There was seemingly no separation! She was unapologetic about her realness, and though she chose to clothe herself and make up her hair in the costumes of the indigenous people of her beloved country, ironically, she was not hiding behind any mask. Her flawed and imperfect persona, her physical as well as emotional scars, became the unfettered, and unfiltered, ingredients that made up the creative matter of her art. Her art became her therapy, long before such a thing was so common place as it is today.
I stare at the poster of her that hangs on the wall of my living room. Indeed I have several dotted throughout my home. I have been looking at this image for a while, asking her questions, waiting for her to bemuse my muse with some epiphany or great insight. It doesn’t happen! She just gazes back, a force of brazen presence, that won’t, can’t and would never consider backing away from my gaze.
I am not alone in believing that some part of her lives within me, as silly as that sounds. That I was born with a slight sprinkle of her cellular magic that has been brushed eternal into my soul. Over the last quarter of a century I have discovered that there are many of us out there who claim to be a little part Frida incarnate. She was and has a lot to go around!
The thing about Frida was that she bore her life, her love, her pain, her beauty. All of it. Some she suffered through her self-imposed and human choices, and some through the twisted and unfair fates of her destined hand. She bore it all with such a spirit. An unbreakable spirit. There may have been times when she was broken and brought to her knees by life’s grief and brutality, but she never gave up, or gave in. She never shrunk herself down, hid or denied any of it. I wonder if it was because of this that her fire shone so bright!?
Maybe she reminds us of this within ourselves. A Mother Mary deity, a modern day Kali, a goddess of the twentieth century, and something, someone, that we, as women, need to believe in, to look up to in awe, to embrace, to mirror back to us the fragments of our vulnerable but invincible spirit. We might live in a time of swaddling self-help sanitisation, and faux fixes for our feral spirit, but Frida didn’t seek to ‘heal’ herself, but rather to roar out in force! Her art, her creative spirit, used her.
Not for the faint of heart. Not for those of us seeking to hold our pieces together in some kind of sane semblance of civil belonging. Where did Frida belong? In a way her art and life implores this question over and over again.
And isn’t it ironic that all these years later, she belongs to all of us in some way.
A myth and a mirror. A muse and a model. A misfit and a mistress of full passion and no fucks given!!
Maybe Frida was a trickster, waking us up to so much truth. Maybe she was a sorceress, her art and voice like incantations and spells weaving their web over the world.
I still don’t know why I love her. But maybe that’s the point?! I can’t put into words something that’s deeper. It’s a feeling that stirs within my own soul. It’s a truth that runs through my wild fire blood. And truth, when we recognise it, has no words.
Happy birthday Frida. And thank you. I love you xx
Every living thing has desire running through it.
The desire for life. The desire to create. The desire to become, grow, and thrive. It is a powerful force that can manifest into rich creativity in all areas of our life, art, business, and relationships.
It is an instinctual, natural force, rooted in our innocence of being, and from our soul's yearning. Desire is the seed spark for all creative ideas, stories, art, projects, adventures, and together with commitment (see 'C is for Commitment': https://youtu.be/YMo7dOcMeGI :-)), creates a magnetic force that attracts life towards us!
Healthy desire helps us to grow, and feels satisfying, and has a fullness, and embodiment, about it. It is instinctual, literally arising from our belly, body, bones, breath, blood, and our heart. It is our truth desiring to be expressed into form!
We can hold many beliefs around desire though, and this can cause us to shrink or squash or ignore our natural desires through fear, judgement and shame. It is worth exploring your relationship with desire in your life. Is it an honouring one? An approving one? Are you able to give full reign and permission to allow desire to flow through you?
As part of the 'An A to Z guide to being a creative genius', I have created this week's video on 'D is for Desire'. Check it out my lovelies! :-)
If you enjoyed this video then do please like it, subscribe to my channel as i intend to post a new one each week, and do share with your fellow creative geniuses! :-)
So much creative rock 'n soul love to you. HH, The Creative Genius xx
How to support your life, art and creative business.
Below are some resources for you lovely, that may be of help for you in supporting your creative life. Enjoy, and let me know if you found any of these helpful! :-)
And if you haven't done so already, at the bottom of this article is a link to watch the video 'S is for Support!', from my 'An A to Z guide to being a creative genius' for more juicy tips!
XX Heidi Hinda
Do you have the psyche to live as an artist? (Written by my wonderful creativity coaching teacher Eric Maisel :-)):
How to get out of your own way/Julia Cameron's 'The Artist's Way':
How to make a living from your art:
A poignant and powerful article on what does it take to survive as an artist:
Need a little motivation?:
On how essential it is to separate one's sesne of worth with one's creativity!:
A tongue in cheek guide to marketing yourself as an artist:
To support the wild artist within you with myths, folktales, and Jungian analogy. An absolute classic book!
To inspire you to change your perspective and attitude towards your creativity, from being an amateur to a professional!
One of my favourites by the musician, performance artist, and writer, Amanda Palmer on the value of asking for help as an artist :-)
*S is for Support:
An exerpt from my latest piece of writing on what Passover means to me, from Elephant Journal (link below darlings xx)
"Do we have to have faith? (Thanks, George Michael!)
The show “American Gods” (now excitedly showing up for its second season), foretells of such prophesy, though ’twas written 18 years ago by the genius that is Mister Neil Gaiman. The falling away and forgetting of our old Gods, of nature and honour, of respect and mystery.
Where do we place our faith these days? Who do we pray to or seek to glorify?
Surely, for the masses of our Westernised living, ’tis the false gods of Kardashian, soaps stars, and footballers. Perhaps “faith” is a dirty word, muddied by war, grief, power, and corruption. Can we reclaim it? Dust it down and hold it closer to our hungry hearts? To wonder, with willingness, what it might be like to pause, and to listen to nature and our own breath. To ask the clay of our own bodies how we are, who we are, and how can we be reminded of where we once came from, and to tell those stories once more to our children, and to our children’s children too. To see with reverence the wisdom held in a leaf, the sky, our world, our breath, and our very soul.
When did we stop believing in miracles? In stories and tales? It’s never too late to still believe in magic and wonder, and in the glorious technicolour madness of it all..."
Heidi Hinda Chadwick
Creativity. Sexuality. Life. Art. Soul. Love.