The blazing orange sun was low on the horizon when it caught my eye. But this flaming ball of heat and light caught my heart and imagination, not just my attention. Like a candle that has been touched gently by a match, I spring to life, a flurry of activity and energy. Not sure where to put it, I clean the house, literally. I know where this energy is intended to go. I am supposed to be writing this morning. But there is a hesitation and an anxiety that has to clear before I can settle into the keyboard. I have stepped away from my project for a week. I barely remember what I was working on or where I was going. “Do I really have anything to say?” “Will anyone be interested in this?” “Can I pull this off?”
I trust that the self doubts and questions will subside as I move. Those nagging questions, all those versions of “Am I good enough?” and “Who cares?” will give way. This is not about me. While my writing always emerges from my lived experience, it also always meets with the wider world in some universal expression. As I dust and de-clutter, I am not “gathering my thoughts.” I am creating space for thoughts and feelings to arrive from beyond me. I am making space for wonder, inspiration, and ideation. I am making ready. Ready for whatever this creative spark of inspiration will become. Ready for whatever fire kindles to life within me. Ready to allow my own flaming energy to expand and rise to meet the flaming sun. The sun and I — we are two kindred spirits offering light and heat. In fact, we are all kindred spirits, balls of potential linked by a thread. Perhaps it is really a wick that runs between us. Once ignited, we need only to allow the energy to flow through us. We need to stop cleaning the house and sit down at the keyboard. Rather, I need to stop cleaning the house and I need to sit down at the keyboard. I am very familiar with my methods of procrastination and my self-doubt. They need to be acknowledged but I also need to be careful not to indulge them or fall too deeply into their grip.
I am meant to live in this time and place deeply, to notice, reflect, and share. This sharing is the work I am meant to offer. Gathering my thoughts, feelings, and questions into words that can be shared in blog posts, books, and poems is one way that I can cast heat and light back out into the world. I am grateful for the gifts of my life and I feel responsible for passing them on. Mary Oliver cautions, “The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” I intend to not be regretful. I will give both power and time to my creative work. To do that, I have to remind myself to value it. I have to remind myself that it is the work I am here to do. And, sometimes, I need to procrastinate a little bit before getting to work.
I believe that each one of us has a role to play in the continually unfolding story of the universe. Do you know what your role is? Do you know what you need to do to allow your creative energy to burst forth? Is there something you need to stop doing? Or something you need to start doing?
Those are big questions. Maybe they sound like more pressure and more expectations coming at you from the outside world. You probably didn’t need that from me on a Monday morning! Fortunately, these are not questions that require answers. But they are good questions to sit with from time to time.
Today, if you can, sit with them in the warmth of the sun for a few minutes. Allow yourself to open to possibility. Allow yourself to be warmed and nourished. Allow yourself to notice the heat that is within you meeting the heat that is coming from outside of you. Trust that you do know how and when to offer that heat and light to the world around you.
When you return to your day, may you return with a little extra light. And may that light kindle a flame in someone else who kindles a flame in someone else who kindles…