This month’s featured art represents transformation on the deepest level. It can also be interpreted as a simple, creative path to self-transformation.
The materials that describe this month’s art include “bone.” Living in nature provides countless opportunities to watch the earth continually regenerate, both in the plant and wildlife world. I have always “seen” branches as outstretched arms and legs, and have used this metaphor as I can remember. It was on an autumn hike last year that this vision became my reality.
One day, as I entered the woods on my regular path, I was saddened to see a beautiful fallen deer at the opening to the woods. Clearly, this babe had been shot, run some distance with its injuries, and passed into the next world on our property. I buried it daily with sticks and rocks (and a blessing), only to find it uncovered by animals the following day. Eventually the snows came, and I forgot about this beautiful creature.
The thaw came in late April, and, as I once again entered the woods, there was a beautiful gift: the dried-out bones of this animal that had becomes so sacred to me. I quickly gathered all I could find, and was moved to cleanse them in a ritual bath in the creek just beyond where they lay. I set the intention to transform the violent demise of this woodland creature into something of everlasting beauty and remembrance. “Quickening” is the result.
By now you may be wondering what all of this has to do with a simple and creative path to your own transformation. Creativity is divided defined in many ways, beginning with a creative approach. It was never in my consciousness to integrate real animal bones into my art, yet the shock of seeing something so beautiful in a lifeless form opened a new creative pathway in my brain. In other words, without being open to exploring different paths, you may never step on the one that could result in the deepest transformation. This is easily achieved in a simple practice known to neuroscientists as, “neural disruption.”
By disrupting normal routines and thought patterns, we create new neural, creative pathways. According to Dr. Simone Ritter, a researcher in BBC documentary, The Creative Brain: How Insight Works, “Unexpected experiences can temporarily up creativity scores by 10 – 15%, generating insight and innovation.” Hence the term, “Thinking on your feet.”
Applying the Practice:
- Allow yourself 3 – 5 minutes to quiet your mind, simply by closing your eyes and connecting with your breath.
- Bring to mind a challenging situation, big or small. Speak it out loud, record it on your phone, or write it down – the point is to document it differently than you normally would. Then, let it go.
- As you begin to move around your environment, look down at your feet. If you are wearing shoes, remove them, switching the left with the right and putting them back on. If you normally sit behind a desk to work, switch your desk chair with some other form of seating (even something like a round exercise ball). Or, remove the chair completely and remain standing. If you normally put peanut butter on one side of your sandwich, instead, put it on both. The object is to do at least three things completely differently then you normally would.
- Now, return to your challenge, either playing the recording of it or repeating it again out loud. Close your eyes again and really visualize itm seeing if you notice any accompanying sensations that arise in your body when you bring it to mind. Now, open to your newly increased creativity level, and see if you can come up with at least three new approaches to what was weighing on your mind.
- Document your solutions verbally or in writing, and repeat daily.
While this boost in creativity may be temporary, it may last just long enough for you to come up with approaches for a long or short-term challenges that you may never have thought of without exercising your brain. At the very least, integrating this kind of “play” into your life through this practice is guaranteed to diminish the charge on any challenge. Happy neural disrupting!
Next month I will share the wisdom of pairing Ansuz, the Rune of Signals with Berkana, the Rune of Blossoming and Growth.
Meanwhile, let Dagaz and Sowelo remind you that reserving your own energy is key to growth and transformation.