Fall is arriving (don’t let the 96 degree days fool you). And with back to school—both as a parent and teacher—the long languid days of summer are being asked to wake up, get out of bed, put on real clothes and even (sigh) shoes, and step into the new routines. It’s been a tough transition for me, smoother for my son (always an up-with-the-sun Leo at heart)—but it’s also been nice in a way, in the way that shifting seasons are.
My birthday was this week—and it falls one day after the midpoint of the year, so it’s always a good reminder to check in with myself around my intentions and visions for the year. It’s a good time to recognize and acknowledge what I’ve accomplished, and also a good time to notice where I’ve strayed away from things I wanted to be or do. I can look gently and compassionately at where I under or overestimated my ability or the time things would take. I can reevaluate and see where my desires have changed—and I can also be conscious of where I’ve begun to self-sabotage, avoid, and procrastinate.
New Moon Creativity Ritual—June 3
Today, June 3rd, we have a new moon in Gemini. Today (or in the next day to two), perform a small (or elaborate) ritual to tap into its energy for increased creativity and communication. Below are some simple guidelines, feel free to add and innovate as you see fit!
TIP #6. Center Pleasure
So I cannot sit at my desk or even the kitchen table today, because it is spring, and the sun is sometimes shining, sometimes hiding within silver clouds, and the air is that particular combination, which only lasts a few weeks each year, of damp and warm with an occasional undercurrent splash of cold, the reminder of winter not fully passed, the last cool breaths of her before she buries fully underground for next year.
I can do the work, I told myself, as long as I can be out here doing it.
Transparency post: One thing I’m trying to do with this blog is give advice and tips while also being fully transparent (i.e. laying myself bare and being wildly vulnerable) about all the ways I am failing and flailing and falling off the wagon with my own advice.
So while I’m telling you all about routines and rituals and ways to stay productive and creative, I’m also watching my own routines and well-laid plans stumble and crumble and fall apart.
TIP #5. Daydream, Imagine, Play!
I’d like to disentangle these words: play, imagining, daydreaming, from both of these criticisms. #1 that they are not the opposite of work, and #2 they’re also not fragile, wishy-washy or limp. They are powerful, vital and crucial tools we have for making or doing absolutely anything new. For creating any change. adrienne maree brown uses the phrase “shaping change,” and I think that’s a lovely, and powerful, way to conceive of it.
TIP #4. Develop Rituals, Routines + Practices
I love rituals.
One way I like to signal to my brain (subconscious in particular) that I’m about to do some creative work is to set up some ritual elements and create a ritual “container.” I’ll gather a candle, maybe a stone or rock, a hot cup of tea or coffee, a glass of water, some incense or oils.
Yesterday I was supposed to write a post on listening to your body instead of the cis het white capitalist patriarchy. It was supposed to be about honoring downtime.
Yesterday was 13 years since my mom died.
I didn’t want to write a damn post about downtime.
I thought, oh, I can write on loss + grief + our fucked up cultural relationship to death and dying.
I didn’t want to write a damn post about death.
This is not a post on pushing through, or on showing up for the work even when you don’t want to. I did not write that post.
I decided I wanted to write about embodied creativity today, about the relationship between our creative/productive drives and capacities, and our bodies. And in thinking about this, in beginning to explore and untangle some of my thoughts here, I kept returning to capitalism and its modes and definitions of production and productivity.
What follows is a multi-part post on tips for tapping into your body’s awareness and guidance for heightened creativity and productivity.
TIP # 1. Pay Attention to Cycles
I was working with a client yesterday and we were talking about a story they have, an internal narrative that says to them: You can never finish anything. And when those voices come up, sometimes this client pulls out their diploma, and says to those voices: At least once, I did.
I share this story, with their permission, because it got me thinking about my own relationship to finishing, my own internal narratives about how I love to start things but don’t have the follow through to complete them.
Happy New Year! My main goal/resolution for 2019 is to build a business—one situated at the intersections of creativity and sexuality (the erotic)—specifically in the form of coaching, consulting and courses helping people become more embodied in their creative work/art/businesses and more in touch with and approving of their creative and sexual selves.
Part and parcel of that goal, tucked inside like a matryoshka doll, is another one: to open to being visible and vulnerable. This is simply a component of starting of business, but also, it’s a doxastic commitment for me—living my beliefs as opposed to just talking about them, implementing in my own life what I’m encouraging my clients to do.
One stone, obsidian1
One black candle (in glass container, seven-day preferred)
One swatch of black cloth
One piece of paper + pen (black ink is ideal)
Sage smudge stick (sustainably harvested)
Essential oil of your choice
2000+ years of oppressive patriarchy
Like action and dialogue, writing sex scenes can be extremely intimidating. And rightly so—it’s tricky to do and especially to do well. Add to the intricacies of craft, all of our cultural taboos, repressions, baggage, and general weirdness around talking about (little the less depicting) sex, sexuality and sexual encounters—and many authors take the easy road and avoid the subject altogether.
But you’re not an easy-road writer, are you?
There are other stories, however, where the mantel of homophobia, while not erased or denied, is thrown off, is overcome, or, perhaps a better word—is circumvented. In speculative narratives, we begin to see the story possibilities expanded; the tropes subverted; homophobia and transphobia, transcended.