As I write you, the third nor’easter in as many weeks is bearing down on us here in Southern New England. With the first, we were doused by rain, flooding and heavy winds. With the second, we narrowly avoided two feet of snow. For the third? No such luck. We’re getting a foot or more of the white stuff today.
And to think, as I returned to Rhode Island a few weeks ago (after nearly a month of travel to Seattle, Peru, and Colombia), I was hoping that an early spring would find us!
Since I was young, I’ve always maintained this image of springtime as a sign that winter was finally over. And with the end of winter came the promise of color, rebirth and renewal. My memories of springtime growing up are fixated upon bright Easter-themed pastels, budding tulip flowers, and a higher-arcing sun illuminating a palette of greening grasses and young red maple leaves.
And yet, friend, the actual reality of springtime in New England is that the season is a very unpredictable, moody, and often ugly period of transition.
I’ve omitted from my childhood memories all the March and April snowstorms; how rains often hound us for weeks, right into June; and how peoples’ collective excitement for slightly warmer temperatures in February quickly shifts to impatience and frustration by March.
Within just a few weeks, the springtime promise of rebirth and renewal is met by a helpless yearning for the certainty of summer.
And all that’s left outside our windows is the uncertainty and up-churning of spring.
As always seems to be the case for all the spring seasons that I’ve lived here, nature is yet again reminding me of what any “season of creation” really requires.
No matter what the spring season is like for you in your corner of the world, springs here in New England have taught me a pretty invaluable lesson about any “season of creation,” and that’s what I want to share with you today.
Because there is a vital distinction to make between the process of being created and having been created.
My childhood memories only associate the springtime with what had been created: the flowers, tree leaves, colors and birdsong that only comes after the muddy, murky, ugly transformation after winter.
As for the transition itself? The spring snowstorms and up-and-down temperatures? The impatience and spring fevers, the longing for rebirth and the aching for certainty in the forecast?
That is the reality of a season of creation.
Every season of creation is a time of upheaval and churning. Promise and hope of what could be rub up against what already is. Emotions and uncertainty stir. The muck of old, self-protective narratives that we’ve subconsciously clung to for ages rises to the surface of our awareness; we wade through the mire of an ugly, inglorious process of rewriting the proverbial “winter” of what was as we aspire toward a vision of the “summer” of what could be.
You already know that a lot of my work fixates upon creativity, writing and storytelling: tools of self-expression that help us unearth our soul-code — our deepest, dharmic self-knowledge — so we may embody it out in the world. This is what I believe to be the key to living as leaders of love and compassion in an age that desperately needs us.
And yet, friend, whether or not you even consider yourself to be a “creative person” or “a writer,” I want you to consider that you are a creator, all the same, in your own ways.
With your everyday decisions, actions, choice of words and how you respond to others, you create the energetic fabric in the world around you.
We make so many thousands of choices every day that it can be easy to forget that, altogether, our choices make up the reality of the experience that we (and that those around us) live, every day.
We’re all creators, in essence.
Even if we’re not making a “thing” like a book, a blog post, or a painting.
And when we find ourselves in a season of creation — creating a major change, recreating the story we’re living, creating a lifestyle that embodies our innermost values — you’re likely to feel the springlike uncertainty, and muck, and mire, along the way.
It won’t last forever.
The tulip buds are coming. The birdsong is rising. New colors will make themselves known.
It’s just that every season of creation does contain within it uncertainty. Discomfort follows. It can be ugly, and feel frustrating. It can make you long for the certainty of the “summer” of your heart. Don’t fret. Don’t try to jump too far ahead. This is what creation demands. Creation is a phase of transition — the struggle of uncovering the full potential of what could be. To tap the abundance that resides within and all around, we need to do some digging.
Through the mud. Into the muck. To the rich soils that birth beauty.
Before the blossoming, a churn of darkness.
P.S. — I still have some client spaces available in my rolling mentorship and coaching program, Writer’s Group of Two℠. But I only work with a few folks at a time. If you’re a writer or creative who could use long-term support and bespoke teachings to keep your relationship to self-expression as open and vibrant as possible, this may be for you. Starts at $156/week. Learn More »
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