I just posted this over on my Patreon page for supporters, but I through it was relevant to post here. These are the revelations my visual journaling practice through up!
Hey hey hey
How you doin’?
Me, I’ve been hitting on myself hard. Berating myself for spending last week in a stupor of low energy and slow pace productivity.
The practice of ::SLOW:: accompanied with the practice of ::CARE:: was not being practiced last week.
I could start shouting, ‘Shame on you, Sheree.’ But then I’d just be repeating the no compassion, no grace, no patience attitude and treatment towards self of last week.
Do you ever learn, Sheree? Are you just circling the same old wounds and territory? Are you just right back in the same spot as before?
I’m not circling, I’m spiralling ( in a good way).
On this healing journey back to self, the pathway is a spiral. Yes there’s circling involved but with each new rotation I’m further up and further in, deeper into the exploration and becoming.
It’s like going up a mountain when you reach a vantage point. You get a better lay of the land as your vista opens up. You’ve got more data to play with moving forward/ upwards/ sideways/ and sometimes backwards. But you’re not in the same position as before because you have that experience, thoughts and feelings, events and reflections that have come to pass in the interim.
My takeaway therefore from last week is, ‘When you know you have a busy week ahead, Sheree darling, put in the diary rest and recovery for the week after that one.‘ Capeesh?!
If I schedule in the downtime, make a date with myself, then I won’t be riding my arse for not having enough energy to complete the things that might give me energy.
Instead of guilt-tripping myself,
I’d be able to luxuriate in the feeling of knowing that’s all I’ve got to do in the time and space available is ::REST::
When asked what I do, for a few years now I’ve replied by saying, ‘I’m Creatrix.‘
The bio I send out when requested reads as: “I’m Creatrix : she who makes, with a practice which manifests through poetry, storytelling, image and the unfolding histories of Black people. I engage audiences around Black women’s voices and bodies, black feminism, ecology and memory, nature and wellbeing, trauma and healing . I advocate for Black women’s voices, facilitating national and international creative workshops and retreats in the landscape, encouraging and supporting women on their journey of remembrance back to their bodies and authentic selves.”
But what does ‘Creatrix’ mean as it’s not a term that is in wide circulation? I know when I use it, it raises questions in others. Some are brave enough to ask what does mean, while others are happy the remain in ignorance and apply whatever labels to me they wish.
Creatrix: she who makes is what I call myself because the labels that others have put on me, or even as I’ve tried to define myself in the past, are just not good enough, or expansive enough. I’m more than just a writer, or artist, facilitator or teacher. I’m so much more than what I do in the world or produce. I’m more so interested in the person I am, who I be.
Creatrix originally is defined as a writer, an authoress. Therefore female. But now, the term Creatrix has come to mean, for me, anything that and anyone who is creative. My whole life is a creation, and so is yours. How I express my creativity is multifaceted and diverse. Yes I show up at the page to visual journal every day, but I’m also creative when I decide how I’m going to spend my time each day, what I wear, what I eat, and how I show up in the world.
Creativity is not the exclusive realm of writers, artists or musicians or dancers. I believe that everyone is creative but due to the society and culture we live in we are socialised into repressing it, conditioned into devaluing our natural, innate creativity and in the process move further away from our true selves. Being creative, consciously creative is being in communion with the Self, again another practice which is not really valued or taught within this culture ( white supremacy culture, I’ll add).
Me using and adopting Creatrix to describe myself to others is me reclaiming agency, it’s taking back control and power over how I’m defined, labeled or seen by others. I’m a person made up of many parts, personalities and responsibilities, skills and capabilities. And I bring them all to every situation/experiences/ activity I partake in. I attempt to be whole. I’m becoming whole.
Showing up more and more whole, more and more in my own power and authenticity is a practice. Being creative is a practice. It’s my constant reminder of who I be, not what I do, but who I be.
“A Creatrix is not simply a performer or entertainer – though these are the elements of what she does – she is a dedicated shaper of consciousness and energy, a culture weaver, a dreamer and midwife of new worlds. She is an asker of uncomfortable questions and a liver of taboos.” Creatrix: she who makes by Lucy H Pearce
This past week has been way too busy for my liking. But it was to my liking in a way as I found it stimulating and so much food for thought.
What I need now is rest though in order to process it all and at some point it did get to stimulation overload.
My creative pot over flows and I need to channel this into something. Something I produce in order to process this last week somehow. as well as how it sits with my overall practice and how I show up in the world.
Showing up at the page each day has helped; mining my thoughts and feeling and reactions onto these pages has been a support.
I just need some more space and rest now to integrate it all. Yes that’s what I’m seeking integration.
And again this is where my visual journal steps up/ in/ through me to support this journey of becoming.
Good Morning Sheree.
I sometimes write this at the top of my page on a morning in my Good Morning Vietnam voice. And then proceed to have a conversation with myself. Checking in with myself to see how I’m feeling this morning.
It’s almost like a letter to self. My voice strong and loud in my head coaxing out the different thoughts and feelings and cheering myself on.
Almost like a long prep talk, I prime myself for the day ahead at the same time savouring then moment I’m in while completing my morning pages. The softness of my bed. The sound of the tumbling washing machine. The birds singing and the silence, when it’s there, humming.
I love this time of the day, just woken up and coffee brewed. Eyes and thoughts still hazy but an excitement rumbling on my belly. I get to do this each morning. This sacred ritual which I don’t take for granted but accept as a privilege.
I do share this practice, here, in workshops, in my writings and interactions with other people because it is a powerful source for mental health, dream making and becoming a better version of self.
I’d be crazy, selfish and inhumane if I kept this tool, this practice to myself.
We could all tap into this power and it starts with saying Good Morning to yourself. Your true self and continuing to turn up for the self who you see starting to appear.
I find this card difficult to read. I think it is a warning towards becoming narcissistic as well as falling into the comparison tap. This month I returned to social media and I wonder if it was for the right reasons. I must say I’ve been happier without it.
We may look into a mirror and see ourselves, but we can also look at others and see ourselves reflected back and maybe not like what we see there. There’s being honest with ourselves as well as distorting the image. The mirror is all about self-perception and this can be a construct.
This image is a shard of a mirror, a portion which can become a trickster if allowed to gain purchase between me and my true self.
In the poem by Juan Jimenez, ‘I am not I’, the translation reads,
I am not I.
I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget;
I attempt to remember myself, commune with myself, the one inside through my creativity. The words and images I work with each day are my practice of holding up the mirror as well as letting it fall, and not relying to heavily on what I see or others see, but on what I feel, and hear when I pay attention and listen within.
I appreciate this card’s appearance more now than before because we all need these checks and balance to stay on our own path.