My own mind was the scariest thing I have ever experienced.
Creativity is not reserved for a select few. It’s available for anyone who has the courage to take it.’ Why is leaning towards creative outlets often met with fear?
There is an accepted widely held belief in our culture that creativity is not economically viable for most people; that belief suggests that if you are going to be creative you need to be “good” and only a few are good enough to be lauded and paid. So if you aren’t “good enough” to make money from it then don’t bother. And our whole education system is geared towards creating tax paying, economic units who uphold capitalism.
We are conditioned out of creativity young by the patriarchy that want us to learn how to make the wealthy wealthier, not express ourselves or be at peace with our lives.
Religion and the old order of hierarchy valued intellect and ascension over embodied and earthy spirituality thus to be creative carries the ancestral whispers of women burned as witches and contains all matter of sinful things like sex, blood and emotion. To be creative is to embody the Creatrix, to embrace our divinity which goes hand in glove with embracing our femininity; it involves an expression of Self that is risky, really, to the scared parts of us that want to be liked, safe and not unsettle anyone.
Worthlessness, lack of self-belief, perfectionism – there are many blocks that prevent us from leaning into vulnerability. How do you move past them? What do those blocks & blurts look like for you? What do you think we can do to make them less controlling/dominant?
I think this is a trick question! Those traits ARE my vulnerability. I developed perfectionism as a coping strategy and it is the shadow of my desire to do a good job of what I do, worthlessness is the shadow of a belief that such a thing as being worthy exists, lack of self belief the shadow of my confidence – they are not blocks, bless them, they are an evitable part of my dualistic human mind. When I name them to myself and others I no longer identify wholly with them but place them with perspective in their rightful home amongst the myriad of other feelings that do not define me either. The only way to really move beyond these feelings is to practice being in a space and place where worthiness, confidence and quality are also irrelevant. This is a place and space accessible right here, right now when we surrender to the reality of what Is and release our attachment to the glamour that we are worthy or unworthy; it’s all drama, for better or worse. Practicing present moment awareness and blessing and loving our human foibles is perhaps all we can do.
“When you breathe into fear it becomes adventure.”
What was one of your most terrifying/rewarding experiences?
I reached a point in my life where I hit a wall. I was working long hours in a demanding public sector job, I was fostering young people in my home, I worked and worked and worked. I was drinking too much, stuffing myself with food and then purging. I believed myself largely content until my body and mind started to “let me down” and I was forced off sick to sit in my home, look at the unopened mail, the dishes in the sink and I began to crawl in my own skin. I found I couldn’t bring myself to abuse my body any more and this started a downward spiral of my mental and emotional health so deep and cavernous that I was consumed with an existential terror and became obsessed with killing myself. I was taunted with waking visions of demons and I would just lie in my bed shaking. Historical family shame around mental illness prevented me from seeking help until it got to the point where I found myself entering a recovery programme for eating disorders at the same time as finally asking for medical help. In parallel I was undergoing psychiatric assessment on the one hand and attending these meetings where I was encouraged to get on my knees and surrender on the other.
I remember kneeling and what terrified me most was a sudden wave of gratitude for all I had and had ever had. I was so ashamed that I still felt so wretched despite my great privileges; I felt if I surrendered I would surely be punished for such sacrilege. But, at that moment, I was between a rock and hard place: the rock my suicide and the hard place surrender to my God. And I surrendered, fully. It was as if I had dived into a warm pool of infinite peace. My mind went beautifully still and all there was was Love. This was the beginning of a process of healing but I was saved from the brink. Looking back now the scariest thought was that I was making it all up, imagining it. And that I would be exposed as the greatest melodramatic fraud. Which makes me smile now – because with time and distance between me and this experience it all seems so mundane in the telling. At the time though, my own mind was the scariest thing I have ever experienced.
Alexandra Wilson offers bespoke spiritual ceremonies. For every great threshold of Life: births, deaths, marriages and all the rest; feel the steady presence of peace, feel held, feel loved. Celebrate your life (and your beliefs) your way! At the end of the day… we all bleed red and we all need Love.
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