“You can’t be taught what needs to be caught,” said the preacher man.
Some profound truth, which I have since carried into my life, and rediscovered this past June at my annual Sabbath Retreat at St. Benedict’s Monastery.
Life with all it’s mundane and extra-ordinaries constantly change the flow or the rhythms of our lives. The temptation is to think that only things and other people change, but the reality is, we too are constantly changing, flowing.
Life refuses to be static.
Pregnancy and motherhood have drastically and irrevocably changed my rhythm.
With change, life set a new rhythm for me which I have struggled to grasp and adapt to – one of the reasons I am journeying through Post Partum Depression (PPD).
Somewhere along the way, I had lost the desire to create. Desire is what gives birth to vision, to dreaming; and without a vision, people perish.
As an artist, it is vital to nurture the heartbeat of one’s creative practice: the rhythm between routine and rest. I had always been wary of routine so having to adjust to motherhood, which requires a steadfast commitment to routine, drained me easily.
But this time at the Sabbath Retreat, the Spirit breathed new life into my creative soul, inviting me into an unfamiliar rhythm.
I was shown that the familiar need not be a drudgery but in fact. when I actually slow down as I do my daily routines, I make space for joy and fresh grace to seep into my being. The repetition of the familiar gives me the grace to get something right if I fail at it the first couple or more tries. When I slow down and pay attention to the little details which constitute daily practices, I allow enjoyment and delight to take root in my heart.
And these changes in my perception of routine, naturally flow into its necessary counterpart in the rhythm of creativity – rest.
I discovered that honouring routine, even delighting in it, gives me more opportunities to rest. Rest is when I am able to engage in creative play the best. Changing the way I perceive and practice routine had direct impacts on the quality and outcomes of creative play.
For instance, since my pregnancy, I could not create any new work that was meaningful. But since my return from St. Ben’s, I recently had a huge breakthrough in my art practice. I was able to receive a new method of creating art from the good Spirit. When I tried it out, lo and behold, I was able to connect with my creative rhythm after a long time!
Creative rhythm is something that one cannot be taught; it must be caught by an open and listening heart. Honouring the rhythms of routine and rest invariably facilitates fresh and exciting discoveries of the Spirit and of oneself, which in turn sustain desire, so essential to the life of a creative.