Lucy 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?
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…
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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