SkyBlue -- The Ways of Imagination and the Quest for Creativity
Yesterday was the last summer day here in the Italian countryside:
I could sense the seasonal weather shift, as the pleasant September sun gave way to the cool breeze and the first scents of autumn.
I visited a nearby lake with some relatives I hadn't seen for years. We strolled along the village, which is a long tongue jutting into the lake. In the outskirts of the village, you could see overgrown spent grass on the sides of the path; as we progressed towards the village centre the grass gave way to smooth stones cut in squares, from the Middle Ages.
The few inhabitants left from the summer spoke in hushed voices.
The silence was the true voice of the place, and its soul. Not the lonely kind, but the restoring, nurturing silence of nature, of trees and bushes and greenery contemplating their reflection in the blue mirror of the waters below.
And today the weather in this corner of the Italian countryside has been decidedly autumnal: a subtle mist has enveloped the valley and steady rain has swept away the summer for good.
Here we are, at that time of the year when day and night are of equal length. A place of balance, a place of rest, of taking stock, of quiet reflection.
I love autumn. It resets my biological and mental clocks. It makes me pause to listen to what matters to my soul after the summer buzz.
A new creative season starts today. Time to attend to inspiration and creative incubation. Time to go through a gentle process of purification, shedding what is no longer relevant, observation. Time to lay the ground for new creations.
I am glad to announce that on August 27, Routledge is releasing Inside Creativity Coaching: 40 Inspiring Case Studies from Around the World.
It is a unique book in its genre: it is edited and introduced by pioneer Creativity Coach Dr Eric Maisel and features 40 contributions by Coaches located all over the globe, including me.
Each case study engagingly describes the manifold practices and tools of Creativity Coaching and provides main learning points and self-coaching questions, together with short biographies and contact details of the contributors.
The Appendices are on such illuminating topics as what is Creativity Coaching, what is involved in a coaching session, information for prospective Creativity Coaches.
The book also contains an invaluable bibliography and a handy index that makes it easy to locate any relevant subject.
A great reference book, full of tips, techniques and useful information for all of you who want to be more creative!
Check it out here.
What does it mean to be free in today's world?
Is "freedom" just another catchphrase used by demagogues, influencers and politicians of all stripes?
Surely, everyone means something different.
Yet, if only we human beings could approach the issue from a higher standpoint, and realize that to be free can only happen when we are fully conscious and fully awake, then the word "freedom" would take on its deepest and best meaning: freedom as a right for all of us, in so far as it allows us to self-actualise within the confines of authentic respect for ourselves and others, who in their humanity are our equals.
A sense of authentic freedom can be cultivated in our lives and encouraged in the lives of our communities through the practice of intentional creativity.
By intentional creativity, I mean a creative endeavour or practice of any kind tackled from a mindful, authentic, aware, respectful and, at times, even visionary attitude.
We desperately need to bring creativity in our lives: in schools, in board-rooms, in community centres and other public places, as well as in our private spaces. However, we need diverse kinds of creativity: not only functional but also outright irreverent, playful, process-oriented and open to insight.
We don't need creativity only to increase production and devise new products, but to solve the many thorny environmental and social issues we live with, the injustice and the pain of the world, the deadends of many of our daily routines and relationships, as well as, at a higher level, to envision whole new ways of life, more just, kind and fulfilling for everyone.
Thus, let us uphold creativity at all times, especially when someone lies and says creativity is futile, in the face of current emergencies.
Conscious creativity starts with a clear and calm mind and a balanced, compassionate heart, two attributes so much needed in our lives...
Over the past few days, life has intensified.
Amid March wind blasts, and the inconstant heat of the sun came the Spring Equinox.
I have felt it in my body, as I sat in the warm train wagon, watching the silhouetted mountains pass by.
A movement towards expansion, a deep breath animated my body and propelled me into pure joy, as I got off the train in expectation.
I was about to be reunited to a friend I had not seen for many years.
Spring clean air, the cheerful bright sun, and the wind made me even more aware of my feelings. My joy was tinged with the hopeful nervousness that accompanies reunion to what we love most.
A cup of coffee sipped in the meaningful silence that fills the gaps between the years, a slow walk along the green river bank, a conversation held on a wooden bench, stretching the soul backward and forward into infinity.
Does it matter that our lifespan is limited?
In such moments, I know beyond any doubt that our time in this life escapes from the circling of the clock arms, from eight to four routines, and the ticking of linear logic.
We don't need a universal clock to keep track of our existence.
We only need a heart...
Desires, hopes, loves, aches: the heart keeps the score. Through pain, longing, solitude, misunderstanding, and discomfort, if we are brave enough and have pure intent, the heart will lead us to rebirth and resurrection.
Meanwhile, Spring comes; blades of grass are glistening in the sun.
According to Jungian psychology, archetypes are inherited symbols, patterns, images, motifs that are contained in the Collective Unconscious. They are autonomous forms that get actualized in human lives when they enter an individual's or culture's consciousness.
Thus, saying that Goddess is an archetype is not a reduction of her beingness. On the contrary, it means recognizing that she has both autonomous existence in the imaginal realm and multiple manifestations in human cultures and societies.
We can infer the existence of archetypes from their recurrence in art, literature, fairytales, religions all over the world. They also populate our most significant dreams.
The Universe being a mysterious and wondrous place, there are times in history when some archetypes become more prominent than others.
The resurgence of the Divine Feminine and its connected values is a case in point.
Nowadays, many traditional institutions are going through a crisis and have become ineffectual.
More and more women and men are recognizing the importance of upholding feminine values of empowerment through sensitivity, intuition, nurturance, creativity, cooperation and community-making. Masculine and Feminine need to be balanced in order for our world to be renewed.
There are several authors in the Goddess movement giving advice on how to contact specific Goddess archetypes we feel attuned to. However, I believe the bottom line is finding the Divine Feminine within.
Some ways we can cultivate inner knowing are self-observation and meditation, journaling, recording our dreams, intuitive art, spending time alone in nature, silence and solitude.
Both men and women need to retrieve the gentle voice of intuition and inner knowing for, as The Charge of the Goddess states, "if what you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without."