Embracing the Fallow Times

Some journal spreads I have been working on while visiting my family

I read a blog post recently written by my new inspiring friend Tara Leaver. It was a part of a blog hop for which I actually nominated her about the creative practice. Her answers all resonated with me deeply, but one in particular really got me thinking. It was about the ebb and flow of the creative practice. 

Reading her words kind of brought me to my knees. She reminded me of the importance of giving myself space to breathe and permission to embrace that ebb and flow. I have had the consistent experience of ebb and flow throughout my 20 years of making art, yet when the ebbs come, I undoubtedly feel like there is something “wrong” with me, and like I should “do something” about it. The way that Tara talks about it re-framed that for me and helped me to see those ebbing times as necessary and sacred periods of creative fertilization and rest.

I just recently came off of the longest ebb in the history of my artistic ebbs and flows. Rupturing my Achilles tendon and the ensuing recovery was the catalyst and the great gift of bringing me back to the flow. Before that, for months, I would walk by my art table and feel like I "should" be making art. That would then of course, start a barrage of self-critical thoughts about not being or doing enough. Then the cycles of guilt and shame would kick in. We all know how productive and motivational those thoughts are...ha! All joking aside, I wish that at that time (and so many others) I could have lovingly reminded myself that it was okay (and even productive) to be in a fallow period. If I could have seen then what was coming next, I would have bowed down and worshiped that ebb. Lesson learned....I hope! I am now profusely thanking that hiatus and embracing the fierce flow of creativity that is currently coursing through every facet of my life. I am also aware that it wont last forever and I am preparing myself to welcome the space of another ebb when it comes. I feel so grateful!