Saturday, May 11, 2019

It's Been A While...

It's been so long since I posted here on my blog. I've missed it, but the time of silence has been good. I have been in a place of drought creatively and it has impacted art journaling as well as my words. My words are such a big part of my creativity. 

This creative slump has been building over much of this year. It's not as if I haven't made art, it's just that I seem to have been on something like auto-pilot. I want to make art and write blog posts and interact on social media, and in my art groups. I have the urge and the desire to be creative, but the spark is just not there. I find myself losing focus and interest soon after I begin to make art or write. I sit and stare blankly at the page. So, I pushed through my Lent Words challenge, making pages for the words, but not really feeling connected to it. And I almost made it...but in mid-April even auto-pilot stopped.

It's frustrating when creativity - art and writing - is the thing that gives you energy, yet it is the very thing that eludes you. I've done the things that usually jumpstart my creativity: I've made a journal, made a bunch of background pages, tried painting papers, even tried cleaning my studio. And now it's May. May is always busy with the end of the school year. And busy is usually the enemy of my creative energy. So as I was writing in my journal the other day I was reminded of a word I explored a number of years ago. Liminal Space. (I wrote about it back in 2013: Here)

I have this habit I do periodically called "looking back in order to move forward". It's one of the benefits I find from writing regularly in journals. I look back over a few months and try to see if there are any patterns. Is there something that keeps popping up that may be an indicator that God wants to use it to form me in a deeper way. I tend to think of the spiritual life, and God's formation of us, like an onion. The layers are peeled back and the growth and the forming goes deeper and deeper as we mature spiritually. So while I may get frustrated at first when it seems like I'm going through something I thought I got through, it helps to remember it may just be a time that this particular issue or life lesson is forming deeper within me, enabling me to grow more in Christ's likeness.

This is where liminla space comes into the picture. From my blog post back in 2013:
"Most of us have not had much training in waiting...Richard Rohr calls this waiting place "liminal space"; liminal comes from the Latin word limina, which means threshhold." (Ruth Haley Barton) Quoting Richard Rohr:
"Liminal space, the place of waiting, is a unique spiritual position where human beings hate to be but where the Biblical God is always leading them. It is when you have left the tried and true, but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else. It is when you are finally out of the way. It is when you are between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer..."

Late last month I simply decided to embrace the liminal space, knowing that this too shall pass. I won't always be in this place of silence in between the comfortable and the not knowing. Embracing it allows it to become sacred space. It is in the silence that we can best hear God's voice.

And you know, as I have released struggling against the silence over the past few weeks, I'm feeling creative again - the words are returning and finding their way back onto my art pages and this blog.

Due to this creative slump I fell behind on a few letters in our A - Z inspiration challenge in the Living Your Word group. Here are my H and I pages. Bernice, Valerie and I all chose to use the word "how" for our H word and explore how we are doing with our journey with our Word of the Year. My word this year is sacred, and the main focus for me this year is restoring health ~ eating better, losing weight, and moving more ~ seeing my body as sacred as well as my heart, mind and soul. 

Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group: Living Your Word of the Year
Bernice Hopper, Valerie Sjodin and I facilitate a Facebook group about Living your Word of the Year. In it we share insights through blog posts and connect with other like-hearted and like-minded people who want to live out a word focus throughout the year. We offer participants a bi-weekly A-Z Inspiration to help prompt reflection and creativity. as well as other inspirational ways to connect with your word of the year. If you would like to connect with others in creative ways about living your word throughout the year, explore new ideas, record thoughts, prayers, and events, you are invited to join our Facebook group.

Please use #livingyourword2019 on social media.

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