Green with Delight by Eila Carrico

unnamedWritten by our full moon contributor Eila Carrico.

The entire neighborhood is painted in autumn; red leaves on the maple tree across from my front window, loads of orange pumpkins in front of the Berkeley Bowl Market, and long, dark sunsets increase the night’s thick blanket of velvety blackness daily. But in the midst of all these warm, seasoned colors, I am feeling green.

I am a complete beginner in so many arenas of my life right now: I’m a new mom, a first-time author, an aspiring visual artist, and I am on the hunt to become a first-time home owner. It’s exhausting learning so much constantly. And, it is also beautiful.

The way we describe ourselves as “green” when we are not yet seasoned experts provides a reassuring image that inspires me to embrace this phase of tenderness. There is a small lime tree in my backyard; it has already burst from its seed, pushed its way from darkness through the soil, emerged into the light, and set itself up as an organism that lives directly from the elements of sunshine, fresh air and water. This tree has all of this experience behind her, and yet she is still completely green.

This green being extends roots down into the dirt and reaches constantly toward an infinite sky. As a young tree, she does not have a lot of structure, and she has very few protective layers on the outside.

But even when her bark turns brown, her leaves will remain green, and when her fruit finally ripens, green will be the color of readiness. Green is a sign of life, vibrancy, and fullness. She is bursting with potential and fresh with ideas, even as winter approaches. And her timing is all her own, which makes her brave.

I am working on a monochromatic art piece called Fifty Shades of Green that helps to express this spectrum of feeling. There is nothing wrong with being green. It is simply a moment in time between being a young seed of a tree and a full elder tree. Next time I catch myself being critical of my lack of experience, I will remember the young lime tree in our back yard and stand a little taller; embracing the inexperience with pride.

More About Eila:

Eila Carrico is a weaver and wordsmith who delights in the mystery and magic of landscapes and memory. She grew up in rural central Florida, and was inspired by her studies in journalism, anthropology and religion to travel around the world and teach in Paris, Ghana, Thailand and India before settling in the Bay Area in 2008.  Check out more of her work at:   http://www.eilacarrico.com.  The italicized quotes within this piece are from Eila’s upcoming book, The Other Side of the River debuting in 2016.

Meet Lucy H. Pearce….Mother, Author Multi-passionate Creative

1-LucyheadshotJune2015Lucy H. Pearce is a multi-passionate creative and mother of three. She is the author of numerous life-changing non-fiction books for women, including Moods of Motherhood; The Rainbow Way: cultivating creativity in the midst of motherhood and Moon Time which are Amazon #1 bestsellers in their field.

Lucy’s work is dedicated to supporting women’s empowered, embodied expression. She is the founding publisher at Womancraft Publishing. Former co-editor and columnist at JUNO magazine, she blogs at Dreaming Aloud.net on creativity and authentic living. She is a vibrant painter of lost archetypes of the feminine.

Wildly Creative:  Creativity is…

There is a juiciness to creativity, a succulence that comes up from within, a sensuality which both produces and is soothed by the act and product of creativity. Creativity is pleasing to us on a deep level. Be it the feel of clay in our hands, the colors that make us feel alive as we knit or paint, the meaning that we find in the words that we write or sing, the energising feel of movement as we dance and the music moves through our bodies.

I often refer to creativity using the metaphor of wild horses:

All is quiet and calm on the horizon of the desert mind, a dust storm here, a vulture here, then suddenly over the horizon there thunders a herd of wild horses. Where they came from is not known, nor where they are going. If you spot them you can follow them on foot, running fast to keep up, you might get a sense of their size, their energy, their number and color, and then they are gone, as quickly as they arrived. You are left with the bones, the bare bones in the desert. Your expression will never be the horses, it can never match them, it will be your impression of the horses. You will always be matching it up to that illusive, fleeting perfection of their vision when you saw and felt them. No one else saw them, so no one else can really know. Only your expression can, in some way, communicate these wild horses to the world. And if you choose not to chase them, because you’re too busy, you didn’t know how or you weren’t ready, the image of these escaped horses may haunt you, lurking in your creative mind forever more – you will see other horses, other landscapes, but those horses, that desert, that day, are gone for good.

Wildly Creative:  When did you start nurturing your creative life and why?

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There seems an innate nervousness to calling ourselves creative. I was gobsmacked that most of the women I spoke to when writing my book, The Rainbow Way, really struggled with defining themselves as creative, let alone “artists”. And yet they painted pictures, wrote books, presented TV shows, sang or sculpted, or sometimes all those things and more! To the outside world it was what defined them… but they could not own this label themselves. I was that way too.

Many years ago at the opening of one of my father’s painting exhibitions an older woman asked if I was creative. “No”, I heard myself answer, in all seriousness, “I’m not creative”.

You see to me my father was Creative. He was an Artist. He had made his name as a renowned potter, now he was branching into design, sculpture and painting. Whereas I hated making pots and I’d never had a painting exhibition…

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Art by Lucy H.Pearce

And I really meant it, I wasn’t just being humble – I didn’t value my creativity because I wasn’t a money-making Artist. In that moment I kind of forgot the A Level in art; all the oil paintings; the plays I had written, directed, adapted, translated, acted in; the dance classes I loved; my fervor for cooking; singing in numerous choirs; the crafting. Oh yes, and the poetry, novel chapters and journals full of writing stashed away in drawers. It was all hobbies, just silly stuff!

I felt great shame about not being properly Creative. I became less and less artistically creative over the next few years and didn’t paint for almost ten years. It was only when my first child was born that suddenly that there was this reawakening of creativity a strong desire for self-expression something other than just being a mother.

I thought I was alone in this, until I started talking to other mothers about their creativity and whether for them there was a renaissance of creativity after motherhood and the vast majority said yes and it took them by surprise as it did me. There was this surge of creative energy, power, and a desire for self- expression, a desire for a voice which came through so strongly and took them by surprise and then they had this real challenge of balancing the demands of motherhood on their time and energy with this strong urge to create. Of course creativity can re-emerge at any time in people’s lives, it is not just to do with motherhood. I had just never heard of creativity being linked with motherhood.

Wildly Creative:  What is the advice you wish someone shared with you about pursuing your passions and feeding your creative self? 

I believe that we all have a creative spark in us, but in some it has just never been kindled, and in others it has been prematurely extinguished. Most of us are taught that creativity is a treat or a hobby, something for the gifted few, an optional extra. Like dessert we get to have it after we’ve eaten our greens – after we’ve done our “proper” work. But no. Creativity is IT.  It is the life force coming through us, it is, it needs to be up front and centre. You need to devote yourself to it. It’s longing for you as much as you’re longing for it. Creativity is the point. Stop putting it off. Stop telling yourself you’re not good enough. It takes courage. Never underestimate the courage it takes.

Creativity is a process which is innate to humans, and one which we engage with, usually unconsciously on a daily basis. The creative flow is everywhere, just waiting for us to dive in. It is the underlying principle of life: we do not need to make it happen. By aligning ourselves with the creative processes arising naturally within us, and in the world, rather than feeling isolated from them, we can begin to co-create. The more aware we become of the process and how it feels in ourselves, the more we can align ourselves with it. The more we can heighten our senses, and refine our skills, the more accomplished the products of our creativity. Creativity is not about product, it is always about process. And we are always having to relearn that.

Wildly Creative:  What drives you wild with inspiration and passion?  What is whispering to you that inspires you to create? 

Creating in itself. It is always terrifying and thrilling. Like diving into icy cold water: in the same moment you fear it will kill you, you feel more alive than you ever have.

For me creativity is a path of devotion, a path of extreme vulnerability and one which has immense gifts both for me and for the world. As I have the courage to look deeper and deeper, to explore that which I have left hidden in this life time or other lifetimes, as I dare to look and paint and write the voices which are not allowed in our world, I become more fully alive, more fully myself, and more deeply connected with others and the world.

I am not a religious person but for me it is an exploration with the divine. When the muse comes to me, I am in a scared agreement to drop everything and serve: to race to my journal or my computer and write and write as the stuff comes through me. It’s like having afternoon tea with God. Afternoon tea is my favorite thing, it is a very British thing you have your little pretty sandwiches and exquisite cakes, in the sunshine on the lawn and it’s as close to heaven as you can get on earth. And you get to have it with God with the divine, as your personal guest. That sensation pulses through me when creative flow is there with me. And the only reason it isn’t always is that I block myself, or forget, or get busy or distracted, or try to be too clever. But it’s always there.

And so my passion is both in living my life so that I can become more and more immersed in creative flow and allowing it to infiltrate every aspect of my life. My mothering, my friendships, my work, how I earn my money, my leisure, my pleasure – my creativity infiltrates everything. So my journey really is in exploring different tools, different approaches, different ways and methods of allowing myself to stay more and more in connection with flow, with creativity with the transcendent and then sharing what I have learnt with people. It’s a kind of apprenticeship or discipleship, and it’s one that I feel very, very lucky to have. It’s one that I think we all can have. Creativity is our birth right is our gift in this life.

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Art by Lucy H.Pearce

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The Suit, The Free Spirit and The FOMO I Feel by Bailey Mezan

*A piece by Widly Creative contributor Bailey Mezan.  Bailey is originally from San Diego, California and now living in Tel Aviv.  She is also the content producer for Dreame, and the Editor and Chief of Dreame Diaries. I love reading abstract fiction novels, swimming in the gorgeous Mediterranean and playing the piano. *

Since reaching my mid-20’s, I’ve felt a personal responsibility to align myself with one lifestyle and pledge my allegiance to one chosen path with its specific discipline, mentality and aesthetic. To march within one of two camps while spouting their long and proud legacy to anyone who will listen. I am speaking, of course, of the free-spirit and the suit.

The free-spirit may be found in cozy coffee shops, hugging steaming mugs of Brazilian coffee, passionately discussing the failures of our university system – ‘It doesn’t teach, it stifles.’ They argue rigorously that seeing the world is the ONLY way to learn. A spirit works for a few months in a bar, a restaurant or doing chores for their parents around the house for cold cash. They save $7,000 or so, suffer slightly while living at their childhood home and then, following a long farewell Facebook post, they pick up and leave again.

Suits, on the other hand, spend their time nestled against the mahogany walls of wine bars and at artisan restaurants where they comfortably spout words such as ‘venture capital’ and ‘javascript.’ They start at entry level positions right out of college – accounting firms, hedge-funds or marketing companies. They proudly pay their own rent and are always creating, joining or investing. They thrive in cozy little urban bubbles where ‘make ends meet’ is as unutterable as it is unfathomable. They have made a collective hobby out of accumulating trendy items and publishing them across their social medias.

Josephine Wall
Josephine Wall

I know what your thinking, to reduce an entire species of 20-something-year-olds to two camps is a gross over-generalization. And I’m with you. Take my personal story for example. While my life has admittedly been sullied by capitalism, my story is not so straight forward. After traveling for a number of months, I met a guy and settled in Tel Aviv – the city where I currently work and live. I have friends here, family and a life – yet it is not home. Take the practice of making a bank transfer. To complete the simple task of sending my roommate rent money, I sit with Google Translate open in one tab and my bank information in another, translating each detail line for line. In other words, I have to transcribe a language, just to send my roommate the rent. I am living in a perpetual state of ‘tourist’ while still maintaining an entire existence and livelihood.

Yet, I too experience intense pangs brought on my fear of missing out (FOMO) when I scroll across a heavily bearded man and his sun kissed girlfriend or his crusty comrades on their trek across Europe. Their hair perfectly matted and falling across their grungy faces – they look totally and unabashedly free. When I see these pictures, I begin to worry: ‘I’m in my peak years. Yet, I have already conformed.’ I feel guilt over my ‘corporate’ job and my older-than-me boyfriend. I have surrendered to the hum-drumness of adulthood and I am living the quintessential post-grad life. My childhood friends would call me a free-spirit, but I know that I am surviving as a suit.

The truth is that the free-spirit and the suit live to make each other feel the sting of the choices they’ve made in their lives thus far. The 20’s are a specific moment in which everyone divides and fractures and this causes our hyper-paranoid sense of darwinism to kick in: who will survive and who will perish? Who is living the ‘right’ way? Social media is the unrelenting catalyst to all of this friction. Instagram was invented by a sadist who wanted everyone’s idea of ‘living,’ to be filtered in Juno and then quantified and heavily weighed against the masses. With constant reminders of each landmark seen and every promotion awarded by every person between the ages of 18 and 30, how can anyone relax and just live? How do you prevent the pangs of dread when scrolling through sunny photos of Vietnamese beaches or company bus rides to the Hampton’s?

While the differences are outstanding, the important thing to remember about these two distinct camps is that they are each just being born. We, in our early 20’s, are all confused, unsure of our choices and constantly grappling with the decisions we have made or will have to make one day. Will I be happy spending the rest of my life with one person? Will I regret not being more spontaneous? Am I meant for this career? I would argue that the 20’s are for nothing more than feeling as though you’ve done everything wrong. That you will spend the next 60-80 years on this earth repenting for all of the majors you mis-chose, or the job opportunities you let go, or the bridges you burned – all of the imagined obstacles preventing you from doing what you should be doing or being where you could be thriving.

This is, of course, the part where I offer a solution, or my idea of one. The truth is, I have never heard of a cure for FOMO, or a way of turning off the crippling pangs of guilt. What I do know is that I am privileged to have these problems, to be able to struggle though my options and I know that they are right (for the most part). I am young – I still have time.

Read More about Bailey Mezan in her Wildly Creative feature.

Wild Musings: Something About Jimi

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The following is taken from the Dick Cavett show aired July 1969 featured in the documentary Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin, Jimi Hendricks is answering Dick’s questions about his reactions to compliments regarding his musical talent,

Dick:  “What do you hear if someone comes up after a concert?  What kind compliment do you like to hear?”

Jimi:  ”I don’t know I don’t really live on compliments.  Matter of fact, it has a way of distracting me.  And a lot of other musicians and artists who are out there today, they hear all of these compliments, they say ‘Wow must’ve been really great’  so they get fat and lost and satisfied and they forget about the talent they actually have and they start slipping into another world.”

The conversation continued with Jimi talking about compliments as corrosive to the spirit and hunger of a creative.

Compliments or Cheerful Validation:  A Possible Threat to Creativity?

There are always various tightropes to walk as an individual in the world.   On a basic human level, all of us struggle with balancing between feelings of confidence  and ego.  Many of us playing a balancing act along the continuum of seeing ourselves as we really are and along the way…..we sometimes inflate or at other times, we don’t give ourselves enough credit.

If you are unzipping your creative passions on any level in your daily lives, you understand this struggle well.    In the opinion of Jimi Hendix, compliments or praise allows one to rest upon laurels.  The need or want of validation plays an important role in the recognition of the work and courage it takes to share a creative endeavor with the world.   Of course, it also presents a challenge for one to stay motivated to create while feeding the fire to continually improve.

Compliments are great but perhaps well worth keeping at a distance as you carve our your wildly creative.  Well, at least that is according to Jimi…

 

 

 

 

MEET BAILEY MEZAN….CONTENT PRODUCER, EDITOR & CHIEF OF DREAME.ME

unnamed (1)Bailey Mezan, is 23 years old  originally from San Diego, California and now living in Tel Aviv.  Bailey is the content producer for Dreame, and the Editor and Chief of Dreame Diaries.   “I love reading abstract fiction novels, swimming in the gorgeous Mediterranean and playing the piano.”

Wildly Creative:  What is the advice you wish someone shared with you about pursuing your passions and feeding your creative self?

The greatest perk about being a creative is that it only gets better with age. By constantly creating, we are exercising every part of our existence – our humanness is being flexed. A great piece does not have to be mature or seamless, a great piece is the purest reflection of who you are at that time.

Wildly Creative:  What drives you wild with inspiration and passion?  What is whispering to you that inspires you to create?

I am inspired by the shared human experience. By putting my words and thoughts on paper, I am solidifying my place in a world of people searching for meaning and understanding. By immortalizing my own thoughts and reading the thoughts of others, I am not just adding to the larger cannon, but I am growing by indulging in it’s depths.

Wildly Creative:  What keeps you wild and daring to create?

The drive to create comes from having something you ‘must’ say. While many people experience this urge to share and transpose thoughts, being a creative means that my urge takes me to paper, pen, canvas or music. I dare to create because my need to speak and be heard leaves me with no other choice.

Wildly Creative:  Creatives are usually the ones breaking the rules and little bits of misfits. How are you making sure to hold true to breaking the rules?

As soon as I finished college, I decided to never compromise my creative side to accommodate the expectations of others. This means that if  I ever were to find myself on a career path or at a job that does not suit my creative passions, I would move on. While this way of life may seem frivolous or fleeting, it actually puts pressure on me to find new ways of enjoying what I am doing in that moment.