An Excerpt from Wild Women, Wild Voices
by Judy Reeves.
Claiming your authentic wildness through a conscious action each day is a way to give nourishment to your soul. My List of Intentions is another. Scores of books, blogs, newsletters, and creativity coaches offer even more ideas for living a creative, authentic life.
For this Exploration, create your own set of intentions or guidelines to nourish your artist/creator. You may want to develop your own Artist’s Creed, as Jan Phillips did in Marry Your Muse, or write an Artist’s Prayer, as Julia Cameron did in The Artist’s Way. In Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estés provided a list of ways of “Taking Back the River.”
After you’ve completed your notions of how to nourish your artist/creator, print them out and post them where you’ll see them every day. Create a collage or vision board that incorporates your vision. Read your ideas aloud every day to remind yourself what a precious and powerful creative being you are.
Continuing the Journey: Further Explorations into Artist/Creator
1. Write your autobiography through your creative expressions. You can begin by making stepping-stones of in-
stances or moments or physical manifestations of your creativity, listing them as they come to you, and then creating a chronology from which you write a narrative.
2. Each of us needs a sacred place for our work. The “Maps for the Journey” chapter suggests creating such a space of your own. For this Exploration describe the place you created. If you have in mind a more ideal space, describe what it would look like, what furnishings you would have there, where it would be situated. Write your dream; this is how we begin to manifest.
3. Eleanor Roosevelt told us we must do the one thing we think we cannot do. From the perspective of Wild Woman as artist/creator, what have you done that you thought you couldn’t do? What would you still like to do?
4. Write about something you created. Write the story of its birth.
5. In My Wicked, Wicked Ways, Sandra Cisneros wrote:
I chucked the life
my father’d plucked for me.
Leapt into the salamander fire.
A girl who’d never roamed
beyond her father’s rooster eye.
Winched the door with poetry and fled.
For good. And grieved I’d gone
when I was so alone.
Write what you gave up for art.
6. In A Writer’s Book of Days, I created a list of “Ten Daily Habits that Make a Good Writer.” One of the habits, which isn’t just for writers but for all creatives, is to “cross-fertilize.” By that I mean we need to experience other art forms to stimulate our own.
Each day, bring some expression of art into your world. It may be as simple as keeping an art book open near your desk or listening to music as you work. Take time to visit a local gallery, notice the art on the café walls, have lunch in a sculpture garden. A busker in the park, a kids’ puppet show, even a drop-in at a flower shop or an open mic poetry night could be just the thing to evoke your own artist or dancer or poet. Doing creative work empties us; this is how you fill up again. Go!
Notes from the Journey
1. Have you found a way to keep all the lists and prompts from the various Explorations in each chapter alive and interactive as you continue filling your Journey Notes with new writing? Some of my notebooks look like they’re wearing a goofy party hat with all the colored tabs poking out the top. Lately I’ve taken to writing brief notations on the tabs so I know why I marked the place. This is much easier than thumbing through all of them every time I’m looking for something.
2. How did you claim your authentic wildness during this past session? Have you found it difficult to give authentic expression each day? Or has it brought you joy? Have you found a deeper understanding of some of your needs or wants with these regular check-ins? Have you added more ways to make the claim, discarded others?
3. Did you remember to bring a token for your table or altar that represents you as artist/creator — something you created or that speaks of your creativity? My memento as I wrote this chapter was a copy of the chapbook I created from the 2006 Wild Women Writing Workshop. Somewhere I’d found a rolling rubber stamp of animal footprints that I imprinted throughout the booklet. This brought a smile as I remembered our Wild Women footprints being made all over clean, blank sheets of paper.
From the book Wild Women, Wild Voices. © Copyright 2015 by Judy Reeves. Printed with permission from New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com.