Everyone is creative
You don’t have to definite yourself as an artist to acknowledge your power as a creator. All life forms are inherently creative- that’s how we exist. Our cells are constantly multiplying, and we create realities when we feel, think, then speak, write and act on what comes up from our inner world. Creative awareness can enrich our lives in the ways that we communicate with one another, address our societal issues, and address the traumas that we have experienced.
You also don’t have to be an artist to use the creative arts in your work. A big part of my facilitation approach is to bring creativity into big conversations- about racism, oppression and the systems which we live in. In order to create a different reality for ourselves, we’re gonna have to be imaginative. All life emerges from the realm of the imagination, so I feel that it’s a good place to start in our activism.
Exploring my creativity is a practise that connects me deeply to the source of life.
All life is deeply connected and interdependent. It is an understanding of spirit, and also quantum physics, that all life is energy or particles vibrating in the conscious space which mysteriously holds them together. That is what we are all made of.
You hydrate yourself with the same water that ran through the bones of the dinosaurs. We share ideas and practises which have been passed down or evolved through generations. No creation or thought exists in a vacuum…we are products of our context. This also means that we have the responsibility of creating the future.
The shadows and traumas of our collective human ancestors and also our more recent family lines will continue to manifest in our lives unless we consciously intervene. Our global and extractive system which pollutes the earth and leaves some people at a massive disadvantage harms us all.
We are all entangled
"The function of freedom is to free someone else"
- Toni Morrison
"The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free."
- Maya Angelou
Sensitivity is a superpower
Sensitivity can help us live in the truth that we are all connected. It can be life affirming and powerful, but also really difficult to feel.
In our capitalist society we have been conditioned, or even forced, to rush and be productive in order to be profitable and deem ourselves as worthy. This rushing takes us out of the moment, out of our bodies, feelings and needs, and centers us achieving goals and ideals that often do not serve us and were not even created by us as individuals…Our culture promotes unconscious numbness so that we will continue hurting ourselves, each other, and the planet without noticing. We live in a toxic culture that makes insane injustice seem commonplace and robs marginalised people of power. The process of literally killing people and land (often out of sight) for our clothes, phones, food, wealth so that some people can profit and "thrive", depends on this strategy of numbness.
The body holds immense wisdom. The body is always in the NOW…with the senses and the collaborative wordlessly intelligent pulse of life which manages our bodily functions. The word somatic means of the body. Somatic practise explores the sensations, emotions, stories and thoughts which are held in our physical and energy bodies. Moving through life with somatic awareness can be a key to being compassionately aligned with our values, truths and capacity. It can be so difficult to open up to feeling, because there is so much pain in our personal and collective lives; but in my opinion (and experience), it is the key to creating all healing.
Empathising with another person's experience can be a gateway to compassion which leads to acting with Eros energy- love in action... from a deep and genuine place of mutual prosperity rather than obligation and ego. We must love ourselves into who we want to be.
We all have a valid desire to be seen and heard
We all have a valid desire to be seen and heard by our communities- however we define that. In his book Tribe, Sebastian Junger shares his findings about what human beings need to be content, alongside Self-determination theory.
We need to feel competent at what we do
We need to feel authentic in our lives
We need to feel connected to others
When a baby or young child makes a sound or movement, adults will often instinctively mimic the sound or movement back to them. In an ideal situation, emotional attunement will work in a similar way. Before we understand what is going on inside of us, or know the meaning of the words "happy" or "sad", if a person near us can notice that we are experiencing an emotion and talk to us about it, we can develop emotional intelligence and a deeper understanding of who we are. A lot of African, and other, cultures have songs and dances that use call and response or harmony to a similar affect. A profound message is received when we move, feel and mirror in community like this: what I do is noteworthy. I am accepted and valued for what I bring. This attention and connection can give us the trust and self esteem to know that what we do matters, can affect others and even enrich their lives.
Diversity is a gift of life
The word diversity gets used a lot currently, specifically in the context of calling more black and brown people, queer people and disabled people into organisations. Whilst diversifying working spaces and communities can be healing and positive, diversity is about so much more.
Diversity is a necessary feature of life and ecosystems. We see this in the variety of trees, animals, plants that interact with one another in natural habitats. When one life form- no matter how small- is extinguished, the whole ecosystem suffers. Biomimicry is the study of nature and natural systems to inspire development within our human systems and communities. We are learning from the diversity of life all of the time. The experiences, cultures, practises and even lessons through trauma that we learn from each other can transform our lives.
Rather than diversity being thought of as an obligation to fulfil in order to be politically correct, can we treat living and connecting with curiosity so that we learn from those who have lived life far away from our own experience?