Okay it's been awhile and I did keep reading but then I stopped, then I had to return the book to the library. Blah, blah, blah. You know how this goes. Long ago I had written notes which I'm going transcribe here and potentially add more since the reading I did the other night sparked much pondering.
Ealy talks about women being more process than product; how when close to completion we tend to lose interest and not finish, or that sometimes we rush through the end. She offers seeing the completion before starting which seems like a good idea except perhaps I'm more product oriented but lack the discipline to get there. I imagine the end result - garment finished, fit body, renovated home but need to spend more time how to get there rather than by inspired by the end concept.
I am annoyed by the references to "gifts" women specifically have in terms of creativity. It feels just as sexist and simplistic as saying men have special abilities or constructs that allow for creativity to blossom.
Ealy begins talking about solitude being necessary for creativity. I get that and found in reading The Peabody Sisters of Salem a great example of the specific difficulty for women who have children to do their art (Sophia is the sister I am thinking of). I also get that true solitude is hard to be comfortable with in this culture. The united states is not geared that way as a nation.
Now I wrote the above about solitude about two months ago, before my trip to California where I carved out a great deal of solitude and allowed the feelings to flow, worked on staying with harder emotions and not just running back to work or finding people to randomly talk with to divert me. It was a powerful and important thing to do. It is a goal for me now to find ways to create that in the rest of my life. I have always loved being alone in my home, wherever that is, but it is not the same as being silent. Silence is something to be avoided, at least for the most part in my past.
Since retrieving this book the other days from the library I read the chapter titled, Quieting the Inner You. Rather apt given my goals, no? She talks about "creative concepts always being available but we have to learn how to listen to them" (I would change to learned how to listen for them). This is akin to conversations I had with ACL (sorry about typing that wrong last time, though with this spelling I think of the knee ligament that frequently is a source of pain. I know. My mind is a scary place. ) about psychic messages, about being able to "tune in" and hear/see things. We both believe that everyone has the ability but few people actually spend time accessing it, and actively seek to make that a stronger piece of our lives. This is parallel to what Early says. Of course accessing these powers, or flow is all part of the same process whether one uses it for design, psychic tuning in, writing, etc; it requires a silence, an attention, a clearing, a willingness to feel.
Clearing my mind is a hard task but I have learned a few things that work. Ealy references a breathing/counting pattern that is similar to things I have used. Another technique I learned is from Birthing From Within (great, great book) that is called something like focused inattention. Yes, I should look it up, maybe later. It involves focusing for a moment what you see, feel, hear and going to the next sense sensation. I find this works for helping me fall asleep when my mind likes to spin convoluted webs of stress and regret which make me anxious. Instead I let the thoughts come and ask myself to go to the next physical sensation I have: the breeze on my leg, the sound of rain hitting the window, listening to my dog pant, noticing the pull of the sheet as TGF shifts position. By the time I have done this a few times, an unrelated thought may wander in and I can cast it off using this process. The idea is not to dwell on any one thing, not to spin from that initial sensation or thought but to move as gracefully as possible to the next and the next, letting the mind float and skim, not bogging down in any thought regardless of how hard or happy.