Creativity Needs Time to Gently Unfurl
A creative meditation in honor of spring equinox + a seasonal playlist!
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Today marks the spring equinox (at 2:24pm Pacific time to be exact), and I wanted to send a note to honor the change of season.
For winter solstice last year, Gale Straub and I did put together a mini-episode podcast episode of Creative Fuel, a seasonal creative meditation. By the time I thought to myself earlier this month, “that would be good to do for spring too!” it was a bit late to put it all together.
I did however write some words, so while you can’t listen to this meditation, you can read it. I hope that this helps to create a little space for reflection and celebrating of the seasonal shift.
A CREATIVE MEDITATION FOR SPRING EQUINOX
Solstices and equinox offer the opportunity to check in with ourselves—they ask us to reflect, reframe, refocus, recommit.
At winter solstice, we reminded ourselves that just like we need a slower, softer season, our creative work needs a break too. A season of rest and regeneration.
As we step into a new season and enter into spring, we are waking back up. We feel a bit more energy, a bit more spark. We come out of hibernation and start to look outwards.
We might be a little groggy at first. Rubbing the residual winter sleep out of our eyes, taking some hesitant initial steps. This shift can be a little uncomfortable and jarring when it collides with the demands of our modern-day work culture. We are asked to function at an intense pace, an almost incessant productivity, an “on” mode that’s often out of sync with how we feel and what we need.
But we can’t be in that “on” and producing all the time, and we can’t go from “off” mode to “on” mode in an instant. We are seasonal and cyclical beings. So is our creativity. If we’ve been a little dormant in the past couple of months, we need time to wake back up. Our return has to be gradual.
Creativity, art, and ideas, they all need time to marinate and come to fruition. Just like the plants around us, we need time to unfurl. The ferns don’t shoot up overnight, nor do the trilliums. They slowly come into being. They take their time, all at their own pace.
Like the plants, we too need the space and time to fully grow into the new versions of our creative selves, refreshed and energized and ready for what’s next. Creativity refuses to be rushed. It wants to be nurtured.
Spring is a time for incremental change. Small projects that build, gradual steps forward. One foot in front of the other.
There is a lightness too, in the physical and often the emotional. Think about the term “a spring in your step.” Spring is a season, but also a way of carrying ourselves, a physicality. Things slowly begin to feel new and fresh, there’s space for awe and wonder at the promise of budding branches and sprouting seeds. There’s joy at seeing green again, feeling the first warmth of sun on your face, at watching everything around us wake back up.
This is a time to pay attention so that we can listen to those inklings of ideas that have been marinating during our quieter, slower winter days. In these early spring days can start to make the connections that give us a framework for bringing them into the world.
What does this season mean for you creatively?
What does your creative unfurling look like?
What are your gradual steps?
How are you opening yourself up to joy and play?
How can you give yourself permission to move at the pace that you need to move at?
How do you open back up?
For anyone who is feeling behind, rushed, a little flat, or simply that there is too much on the plate: give yourself some grace, be kind. I need this reminder too. After all, we’re easing back in. These things take time.
Today, we welcome spring, and we acknowledge that—like the blooms and the branches, the trilliums and the ferns—we too need to gently unfurl.
A LITTLE SEASONAL MUSIC INSPIRATION
My good friend Roshni Robert, who is often my go-to source for what music to listen to, made an extra special Creative Fuel playlist for spring that we wanted to share with you here.
“Here’s a list of songs I’ve been playing as I walk lately. These are mostly upbeat songs for the awakening mood of spring. Some are about discovery, there are words about the tide and the sea, there is golden light and the scent of pine at night,” writes Roshni. “They ended up being all songs by women and I’m not sorry about it. I hope you find these songs enlivening, uplifting, inspiring and most of all a lovely companion for your entry into spring. Enjoy your journey!”
“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
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Lovely to read. I tend to find myself on the opposite dip of the scales--autumn and winter are when I wake up, especially creatively. Spring is enjoyable, but it’s when the mind starts folding back up even while my body ventures out more in the world.
Your writing inspires Anna. Thank You. I celebrated the equinox, by getting a new heart valve! And I'm absolutely intrigued by what it was that was triggered, in the mind of the creator/developer of my new valve, this particular construction. Was it a winter idea, a spring idea, a day dreaming idea? Creativity is simply, always, and in ongoing ways.... amazing and inspiring all forms. Thanks again.