Lately, I’ve been tucking in my nearly eleven-year-old daughter at her set (early!) bedtime, only to see her pop out of her room an hour later with an energized grin.
"Can I read you the poem I just wrote? It’s three pages. I’m really proud of it."
Then, she weaves her words—descriptive and dark—connected by metaphor and hope. Leaving me wondering—uhm—what happened at school today?
I ask what inspired her to write this thoughtful and expressive piece and she reminds me of something I know, but also something I allow my rigid adult brain to resist.
"Mom, when I write a poem, I have the idea and then I just sit down and it comes out. I don’t even think about it."
After highlighting some details that stood out to me in her work and watching her smile grow, I thought, "Profound. I want that."
While I do feel those moments of flow with my writing—there’s often that editing voice I’m quieting as I go. I’m skilled at navigating that voice in my reserved weekly three-hour block—and most days, I wish that time didn’t have to end. Yet, I would be lying if I said it was always a flow or that each time I truly let go.
Even as I work through shifting my presence in my writing practice, for the past two plus years I’ve proudly made my creativity a priority in my business and my life, and that commitment has transformed who I am.
I schedule out writing time on my calendar a month in advance.
I guard that time with my life, not accepting any sessions, meetings or phone calls. OK, so I do look at emails and texts, but this is a work in progress, people!
During those hours, I gift myself the chance to observe the world, to make sense of it, to be raw and human. It’s a time to simultaneously be imperfect and whole.
And what I receive in return is immeasurable.
Points of connection with people in my life and those I’ve never met. A playground to make mistakes. A place of joy where it’s safe to practice letting go, a lesson I then bring to areas of my life where I continue to indulge my fears.
I’m reminded of creativity’s impact on who we are as humans when I bear witness to my child’s ability to go deep in a quiet place, to be a vessel and to listen without thinking. When I see who she’s becoming, the confidence she’s building and her knowledge of self that is a direct result of her practice, I am moved by what’s possible for both of our lives and the life we share together.