Closeted & Chained
What keeps us closeted, chained and afraid to be our fullest, most joyful, most orgasmic selves?
What keeps us from being fully expressed?
We can only answer these questions for ourselves, but I have a sense that fear of failure, or looking bad, or succeeding wildly, might in some way be at the center of this.
And, at that center of it all, what might really be holding us back from true creative joy is the fear of fully feelingâ€¦period.
Fully feeling our range of humanness and our sacredness, and the intensity of those feelings may just be at the heart of why we stop ourselves from knowing creative joy.
I know from my own life experience, Iâ€™ve only been able to feel deep and profound joy because Iâ€™ve felt deep and profound sorrow. The heart doesnâ€™t judgeâ€¦ it feels the totality of experience.
A while ago,
perhaps six years or so, I took a class called mess-painting. Mess painting is a kind of process painting, where you use tempera paints, brushes and wall street journal pages to burn through layers that keep you from your deep creativity.
In the six-week process, I painted in my own apartment, in a tent of plastic sheets that I hung from the ceiling. This is a very messy process. I painted six days a week, at least twenty paintings in a session, where each painting was created in the span of two minutes.
When I mess-paint, I come alive. I canâ€™t wait to pullÂ out the colors and begin. When I am painting I am totally engrossed. I love to see the colors mix together on the paper, to see what transpires in a given session. I find I canâ€™t get enough of me into the mess â€“ hands, fingers, fingernails â€“ I am so taken with the paintings that I keep watching them as they dry, dying to see what beauty is there. What are the qualities of my painting? There is an energetic pulse to it. I can feel my soul coming through me. Does it come charging through me like a tiger? Does it spread itself on the paper with love and softness, or even reckless abandon?
It is akin to intimacy â€“ when there are no longer any barriers between another and me: when clothes are off, small talk is quieted, distractions are gone, and there are only the two of us in conversation. The language is intimacy. The â€œwordsâ€ are infused with love and deep meaning. There is a direct channel open where truth and soul are shared without reservation, without holding back. Passion, desire, and love all come pouring forth into this conversation between two beings. That is the incredible connection and intimacy that I long for. That is the juice I find in painting. When I create art, it is an individual act. It feels like connecting with myself in a deeply intimate way.
After writing this, I felt a peace I had never known. I felt no fear. None.
As I read again what I wrote then, I can feel the joy I felt in the liberation of this fiery, orgasmic, instinctual self. I can feel the love and aliveness, and my soulâ€™s desire for connection and expression. The direct connection between creativity and sexuality is right there and so plain to see.
So, when it comes to being creative, ask yourself these questions:
What will you do knowing you will fail (not that you are NOT going to fail) that you will fail?
In some way, no matter what we try, we failâ€¦and in some ways we succeed. Itâ€™s a both/and. In order to know one, we must know the other.
What are you afraid to feel fully? Where do you stop yourselfÂ from fully feeling?
If your creativity was an orgasm waiting to happen, what would bring you to that orgasm?
Sit with these questions. Allow them to run and swim and jump through your body. Let them loose to follow their own flow. See what shows up.
A wonderful friend and colleague, Chris Zydel, recently shared this:
There is nothing in this world that you can’t do as long as you are willing to begin by taking the risk of doing it very, very badly.
I wonder. I wonder what kind of creative joy we would know if we let loose this much? Let loose to create exactly what we desire to create REGARDLESS of how well (or badly) we do it, or whether or not we fail (or succeed).
All of our expectations keep us so locked up. IF something is really creative, it is new. Brand new. Meaning, we have NO IDEA what will happen and what will transpire because of our creation.
Can we stand on the threshold of this ‘not-knowing’ and let go? Can we feel what comes without blocking or stopping or containing ourselves? Can we experience this fiery joy?
As I tell my clients, the energy of creativity and sexuality are the same. The rise up from the same place in the body. They are our life force. That’s why we feel so alive when we allow ourselves to let go. I suggest to my clients, especially if they are feeling blocked, to have sex, to experience orgasm, to let go into this experience, so they can explore what creative orgasm feels like.
And, I offer this to you. Will you let yourself open to orgasmic creativity?
This post is an offering to the profoundly creative and sumptuously sensuous women whose work I love:Â Jen,Â Marianne, &Â Susannah.Â They invited some of their fellow creators to write on Creative Joy and I’m honored to do so here.
Download and enjoy this beautiful compilation of writings on Creative Joy.
Check out and register for forÂ Jen, Marianne & Susannah’s retreatÂ in July so that you might discover your Creative Joy.