- Michelle Sterling
Quick Reminder: You Have the Power to Create
I had a birthday this week, which in normal years (or should I say, formerly normal years) would be a weeklong celebration of life and living and everything and everyone I love. Instead, this year, I have been feeling more low-key. Which is also fine, I might add. There is a lot of joy in low-key.
My birthday falls on what is now the anniversary of George Floyd's death, which only adds to my recognition of life's uncertainties and increases my urgency to help people find less violent ways to coexist by learning to understand and love and fully accept themselves first. You know, those important life skills that don't make their way onto any formal education curriculum.
Reminder #1: Stress impedes our ability to create
But then the news continued to overwhelm this week: war, mass shootings, monkey pox... I don't really need to go on, right? You're here; you know what's going on.
Suffice it to say, words have been escaping me and my mind. Plus, at times like these it feels almost selfish to create, selfish to go to a place I find joy when others are suffering.
Reminder #2: You are always creating your experience
But then I remembered something I teach all the time: We are always creating. And so if I'm going to be creating something anyway, I might as well make sure whatever it is that I'm doing, I'm doing with love. Who knows? Maybe it will be contagious.
Reminder #3: Start with small actions that move you in the right direction
And so I baked a rhubarb pie. Which was delicious, I might add. (Barefoot Contessa's pie crust recipe is the absolute best.) From there I arranged some flowers in a vase. And then I looked through the latest issue of one of my favorite magazines....And finally, refueled, I was able to get back to pen and paper and write. Without guilt. With compassion.
Reminder #4: It all matters. What you create matters.
What landed on the page is posted below. It ended up being a creative exercise in taking a run-on sentence, and instead of using punctuation, starting a new line. For me, it was an outpouring of exploring what is possible, should we all so choose.
What might happen if you follow your heart, and break free from limiting thoughts and beliefs put on you by others? And I think that's where I've landed with my birthday wish this year: May we all remember our unique individual power to create and choose wisely for the benefit of all of us.
The World We Create
Sometimes I want to bake something
but I haven’t been to the store
so I dig around my cupboards looking for ingredients I already have
to measure and mix and stir into life
filling my house with happy smells that bring me a sense of joy
and of being complete in that moment
with my goods I baked
grateful for my cupboard and my baking skills
and the ability to create.
Writing feels very similar to me
digging around my memories
looking for ingredients I already have
finding words and thoughts and ideas to cobble together
like stones on a path
leading me somewhere I might feel complete
with my hopes and possibilities in tow
grateful for my dreams and my writing skills
and the calling to create.
And then there are times when it’s all laid bare
jolted empty by an earthquake
humanity destroying humanity
as wolf in sheep’s clothing weave
with an angry thread
longing for significance
in a space of no peace
and in the raging they create.
I don’t know where this darkness comes from
or if it even has a name
but perhaps it all began when
choosing to eat the apple
we started running
shifting away from ourselves
and our true nature
while silently longing for Eden
and ever since that moment
shrouding what’s innate
and our power to create.
I do know we have the ingredients we need
an earth rich with resources to fuel and feed
minds to envision and bodies to build
able to love one another
as we crave to be loved
and if ever we so choose
launch a tsunami of compassion
restoring the true freedom we’ve sought all along
gratefully living out each moment together
complete in our Eden of Peace
relishing that we create.