Declaration of a Creative Sabbath

The light on the far side of the blizzard lures you. You walk, and one day you enter the spread heart of silence, where lands dissolve and seas become vapour and ices sublime under unknown stars. This is the end of Via Negativa, the lightless edge where the slopes of knowledge dwindle, and love for its own sake, lacking an object, begins.

Annie Dillard

The Restoration of Creative Life

The Declaration of a Creative Sabbath

To fall in love with ourselves as Humans, being.

This is my revolution.

Scroll down for the 7 Gateways to a Creative Sabbath

The full expression of individual creativity is the birthright of every human being.

Human rights, as we know them, are noble and well-intentioned expressions of hope; impassioned ideals – standards – that we legislate in the hope that humans will treat each other decently.

In truth, as wonderful as these ideals are, there are less than a handful of ‘rights’ with which a human being is born.

These birthrights – rights that are ours by birth, by definition of being born human or animal on Planet Earth – are:

The right to land
The right to air
The right to water.
 
As human beings, we inherit a fourth right – the right to Creative Expression.

 

As much as the physical body, animal or human, needs food, air and water to survive, the human spirit thirsts for creative expression.

Without it, our spirit will die, as surely as the body will die without access to food or water or shelter.

And so I have declared there must be a day of creative rest-oration, a Creative Sabbath.

Of course, very few of us wake up and change our lives overnight – so here are 7 steps that will lead you to your own Creative Sabbath, to the restoration of your truth and full expression of your magnificence.

 

The 7 Gateways to a Creative Sabbath

1. Claim it!

Not a single soul on Earth can give you the time you crave to create.

Firstly, if you seek or need permission, clearly you are not ready or willing to claim your creative expression for yourself.

And besides, even if they could, and did, ‘give’ you time, you will find other things to do with it to avoid going there . . . and you will get very annoyed with them for interfering with your life.

That longing in your heart is hope’s promise of fulfillment . . . or else it’s wishing, and wishing invariably puts off what you most desire for another day.

Creativity restores your spirits.
It is the key to your heart’s desires.
It is food for your soul. It is death otherwise.

The responsibility for its expression is yours and yours alone.

Claim it!

 

2. Decry distractions

The needs of others, both real and perceived, will always compete with your creativity for your time.

Real needs can be prioritized and dealt with methodically – they demand from us the belief there is always a solution (this is your creativity in action).

Perceived needs are simply tests of our commitment to our own lives, the ‘they can’t get along without me’ voices that rule your head and inhibit not just your creative expression, but your commitment to your own life.

These are voices of control and shame – you have no choice but to surrender them. It is time to take your hands off the wheel and let life go on without you. And it will. The stark truth is they can do without you. Merciless, but true.

This gateway is biggest and most difficult for women to pass. It is the reason the ‘great’ artists, writers, politicians etc are so rarely women.

Claim your creativity – and the time to express it – and feel the discomfort of immersing yourself in your own world, your own heart, your own spirit.

Feel feel feel feel it.

Listen to the ugly stories in your head, feel the pain,
watch the events that you summon on your own behalf to distract you,
and ask – am I going to allow these old wounds and stories to shape the rest of my life?
Because they will. Merciless, but true.

Take control of your mind, decry distractions and feed your creativity.

 

 3. Gather your tools

What is it, deep in your deepest heart, you most long to do?

Do you long to write? To paint? To sculpt or to build? To breathe quietly and alone? To plan your political career? To sew? To cook? To study? To walk? To travel?

What do you need to give your heart’s longing its full expression?

Be warned: there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ book / brush / shoes / cushion / itinerary.
Perfection is just another excuse not to start . . . or finish.

Gather your tools.

 

4. Create your temple

Everyone needs a sacred space, a place where they can be alone with their thoughts and commune with their deepest heart.

Create your temple.

Or many temples.

Your sacred space may be public space, such as an art gallery or park. It may be private space, such as a room in your home or space in your head.

You are entitled to sacred space – it is your birthright.

This sacred space is your temple.

Create your temple.

 

5. Choose your time

Here’s the thing about creativity: it is beyond the constrictions of time, dimension and the needs of others. It is quite rude, really. It is a pulsing force that comes upon you at the most inconvenient times. It will demand your attention and tug at your heart and mind until you respond – or snap, if you fail to pay attention.

If you really cannot stop what you are doing and respond, find ways to record notes or sketches. Author Jodi Picoult writes up her arm as she’s driving her kids to school – a woman to be admired for refusing to let her creative expression get away on her.

Make notes, decry distractions and commit to your full creative expression by making time.
It might be once a week, it might be once a day. It might be all day every day.

Take more time than you think you can spare.

Time is like money – there’s always enough for what really needs to be done.

 

 6. Begin!

OMG, you’ve arrived!

Welcome!

You are in a new land. Look around. Breathe the rarefied air. Smile a precious smile.

Only you can deliver what your heart is most longing to create and here you are! Finally, you stand on the doorstop of your own true life, the reason you were born at all.

Tune in.

Sit. Breathe. Dance the earth. Listen. Light candles.

Do whatever is right for you to acknowledge – and honour – your presence in your sacred space.

Look out at that clear blue horizon – that light out there is yours, calling you home.

A journey of a thousand miles begins from beneath one’s feet.

It is your time.

Begin.

 

 7. Begin again!

In many ways, this is the most difficult gateway of all.

Returning to your sacred space again and again, as if by right; honoring your creative spirit so deeply you will allow these few hours a week to inhabit your world, no excuses, no distractions.

Begin again.

Here at the seventh gateway is your glory – and your triumph.

The world awaits you.

 

Reality check:

The universe is on your side.

Send a clear signal that this is your time, and the great heaving force that drives the creative impulse of life will conspire to work with you.

And don’t be surprised if it tests you – it will! You thought you had distractions before? Try now!

And yet . . .

Commit and the world around you will commit with you.

Commit and the world around you will commit with you.

Commit and the world around you will commit with you.

 

The advantages of the Creative Sabbath

(i.e. what’s in it for you?)

Those few hours you devote to your own creativity will expand into your waking working life.

You will find that you no longer need to rush, that time itself is on your side.

You will recognize moments that are precious and love them right then and there, in the moment.

You will learn to focus; you will not allow yourself to be so easily led away from what matters most to you.

You will taste life itself.

Is a person entitled to three consecutive hours of uninterrupted life?
Grow a Mona Lisa smile. 
Of course you are.