As I was sitting in my office last week I noticed three doves landing on a branch just outside my window. There was something about the moment that has stayed with me every day since and has helped carry me during some challenges in recent days.
I’ll try to describe the scene and experience. It was a relatively warm day here in Portland, Oregon for early Spring so I had my window cracked open. I could hear the water tumbling in our rock waterfall and a few birds chatting with one another. There was a light breeze and the sun was high in the sky, showing beautiful shades of green on the trees that are blossoming.
I was sitting at my desk, writing one of the Daily Anchors for the coming week, and felt called to shift my focus out my window. Within a few seconds I saw three doves land together on a branch about 15 feet from my window. They stayed on that branch together for a few minutes at most and I felt drawn to just watch them as they were there.
As I was admiring them I noticed that I was filled with a sense of ease and calm and also a bit of wonder. As they flew away that sense of wonder and calm was still with me and I was guided to take a break for more mindfulness — that there was more for me to allow in, even though the little family of doves had flown away.
As I moved over to the meditation cushion in the corner of my office for reflection, tears of gratitude slowly flowed down my face. I felt several messages coming through for me in the moments following that gave me a sense of “all-rightness” within myself and in the world. It was a message I wasn’t aware that I needed as much as I did, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to experience it.
The message I received about the all-rightness in the world is that we are experiencing tremendous change but that we are still held by Mother Earth. We are resilient. Nature is resilient. The trees and animals are resilient. And, now is an integral time for us to take notice of what nature is telling us. Nature, Spirit, God — whatever you believe in — is always communicating with us, but often we are too busy to notice.
The messages I received about my own current self are ones that I will share in part, but not whole. There are parts that I feel were for me only and others that I feel compelled to share for whatever ways they may help another person.
The message that I received was that the new way of working I have had for a while now is in alignment with my higher purpose and will continue to support me on my path. The peace I feel when I have allowed time for writing and other forms of creation early in my day is what will sustain me. The message was: Yes, more of this, and thank you for supporting yourself in this way. This is how you will be better in the world.
This new way of working may seem like an obvious thing for some of you; perhaps you have given yourself the creative time you needed for as long as you can remember. For me though, I have discounted my creativity, but more importantly, I have discounted the soul-healing and authentic-voice-finding that daily creation has allowed for me. And I don’t ever want to go back to the before.
Because I wear different hats in Productive Flourishing and in my personal life, I have often prioritized the “more practical” things that needed to be done over my own fill-my-cup-up kind of work.
Although I have helped others with prioritizing their own creative and soul deep work there was something I missed for a very long time about the necessity of this in my own life. Being CFO of our business, coaching, community building, taking care of elderly animals, supporting family, and many other roles took priority. To be clear, I prioritized them over other creation making.
I know that I will likely walk away with many gratitudes for the shifts in my work and life that have come with COVID-19. That my new way of working started shortly before COVID-19 — and has become all the more important in the wake of it — is something I will be forever thankful for.
I felt called to share this particular part of my story as I think it is incredibly important for us all to think about what creation activities might be most supportive for us right now. Whether you are someone who is in touch with what type of creatively fulfills you or not, now is not the time to hide that side of ourselves. Yes, there are many practical parts of our lives that need our attention right now. Recognize that when your creative side is seen and given permission to take up space, how much more readily you can give proper attention to those practical matters.
For those who know what they can create that adds to their cup, make time for it and do it. It may be writing. It could be making pastries. Perhaps it is crocheting. Maybe it’s playing the flute. Or it could be painting ceramics.
If you’re not sure what creation activities fulfill you, now is a wonderful time to try things. You could start with any of the above or perhaps try one of these: turning on your favorite radio station and singing along, grab your kid’s crayons and a scrap piece of paper to draw, pulling together some of your favorite images and making a new vision board, grabbing all that spare lumber piling up on the side of your yard and building a flower box with it, or going on a solo nature walk with your camera and finding beautiful images to capture.
I want to leave you with this: What if what you and the world need most right now is you creating? Be honest with yourself. Think of a time when you were creating something you loved and how good it felt. Might it have also allowed you to show up as a better version of yourself? That’s what we and the world need right now: our higher and better selves shining light — anywhere we go and on anything and anyone we cross paths with.
This post is also a part of the Daily Anchor email series, which we’re sending out to help provide you support and grounding and hope during this challenging time. If you’d like to receive the Daily Anchor in your inbox each weekday, you can sign up here.