I am posting a day early this week to catch the energy of the Summer Solstice today in the northern hemisphere (with a nod of appreciation for those in the southern half of the globe who are at the Winter Solstice, adding the gifts of deep dreaming in the dark to the collective.) Here in the north, it is the day of the longest light, the season of blossoming. And how do we as human beings- one of the many expressions of the sacred life force- blossom? By living fully as creative- sensual-spiritual beings. To consider what this might look like in our lives I offer an excerpt from my book on creativity, What We Ache For:
”Consciously cultivating and refusing to separate our spirituality, sexuality and creativity is the way we tend the life of the soul, individually and collectively. It is the way we unfold.
. . . . Our spirituality is our direct experience of that which is paradoxically both the essence of what we are, the stuff of which everything is made, and that which is large than us. We can call it God, the Sacred Mystery, the Great mother, the divine life force, fertile emptiness, clear light awareness, love, beauty, truth. The possibilities are endless. Some experience it through the practices of a religious tradition. For many life‘s holiness touches them unexpectedly when they attend a birth or sit at the bedside of someone who is leaving this world. Sometimes a direct experience of the sacred comes when we simply bring our full attention to an ordinary moment. . . .
. . . . Our sexuality is our awareness of the inherent juiciness of life lived in physical form, the infinite variety and vividness of colour, taste, scent, sound and touch in which we participate and from which we draw life. . . .Our sexuality is the way we live and appreciate an embodied life, which includes physical ecstasy and agony. It is the orgasmic rush that runs through the limbs when you lie on the forest floor staring up through the towering pines swaying in the wind. It is why a soaring melody is appreciated not simply by the mind, why the opening it creates for touching and being touched by what is sacred and nameless is felt in the body, experienced as a sudden and surprising ache in the chest. It’s what makes us want to sit still in the centre of the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, move and arch our back in the warm sun after a long winter, savour the taste of food prepared with care and thanksgiving. . . . Our sexuality includes all the ways we physically experience and are intimate with another, the world, ourselves.
Our creativity is the soul-deep impulse in all human beings to go beyond the perceptions of the senses to the conception of something new. . . . Observations give birth to ideas: words become a poem; sounds become music, light and colour; pigment and canvas become a painting. It is an inherent part of creation itself to produce new forms and human beings are not separable from creation. . . .
. . . . Of course, in our culture, spirituality, sexuality and creativity are often separated. This separation results in a crippling distortion of all three and frustrates the desire of the essential and sacred life force to know and express its wholeness through a particular human life. . . .
. . . . Spirituality separated from sexuality- from an awareness of and appreciation for our physical life and material reality alive with sensual detail- loses its fire, the passion that is rooted in the celebration of the beauty and gift of physicality. Separated from creativity- from the deep impulse to take what is and make new connections, to weave together new forms from the strands of daily life- spirituality runs the risk of becoming empty, conditioned rituals that lose their meaning for those who participate in them.
Sexuality separated from spirituality- from an awareness of the essential sacred life force energy we are- loses its heart, its connection to meaning and the real intimacy of knowing the other as another manifestation of the same divine presence that lives within you. Sexuality that is separated from creativity becomes mechanical, ritualized, losing its capacity for the intimacy that comes from the mindfulness and spontaneity that creativity requires and provides.
. . .creativity that is separated from the other two faces of the soul loses its vitality, is diminished in its capacity to be a path for the unfolding of the soul. Creativity separated from spirituality is reduced to advertising aimed at manipulating the longings of the soul to sell a product. Creativity separated from sexuality loses its aliveness, the sensuality and passion of life rooted in the physical world. It becomes an intellectual exercise that does not touch the heart, stir the blood or feed the soul .”*
May you cultivate your awareness of your creativity, sexuality and spirituality in your daily life, refusing to separate these three and unfolding to be all of what and who you are.
May you welcome the light of the Summer Solstice and use it to blossom!
*(from What We Ache For: Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. (c) 2005. Published by HarperONE, San Francisco. All rights reserved.)