Reflections

The Importance of Creativity & Self-Expression for Survival.

My first seedlings have begun to emerge and with this exciting visual, I can’t help but briefly reflect on my journey so far.

It seems that there is always room for growth and self-discovery. This past year, or even perhaps the past few years have really highlighted this to me. I know that I am not alone in this and that there are many others who have experienced this darkness, this wondering if it is ever going to be possible to emerge again. The soil that surrounds is dark and unfamiliar but there is no option but to trust that it contains all that is needed for one to thrive.

The world around has suggested, repeatedly, that it is only survival of the fittest that counts but I’d like to contest that. It seems entirely ableist, reductionist, individualist and elitist to imagine this is the case – not a world that is inclusive, caring, nurturing or supportive to those in need. I wonder whether survival links more to solidarity, to supportive social structures and ability to adapt to the prevailing external culture or else creating a new culture altogether. Just a thought.

One of my favourite poets, Audre Lorde discusses internalised oppression and suggests the need to locate & challenge this. It is the notion of having aspects of ourselves that reinforce negative, unhelpful, hateful and often toxic thoughts, feelings and opinions for ourselves as well as other.

She states,

If our history has taught us anything, it is that action for change directed only against the external conditions of our oppressions is not enough.  In order to be whole, we must recognize the despair oppression plants within each of us…  But we can put our finger down upon that loathing buried deep within each one of us and see who it encourages us to despise, and we can lessen its potency by the knowledge of our real connectedness, arcing across our differences.

– Audre Lourde, 1982.

Challenging these internalised constructs can help a lot, as far too much time can be spent in consequent fear and self-doubt. It is easy enough to feel inadequate in the world around us: there constant messages from the media suggesting that there is less and less space for people who are queer, women, of colour, physically disabled, have poor mental health, have low income etc.

For me, as a queer woman of colour, I have found it felt essential to return to my self, and to stand boldly and courageously in my truth. My artistic expression has been and is a huge part of this, as a visual artist, writer, and performer. These forms are pre-language and can be made very accessible. Again the main barriers are often our own internalised constructs/self-beliefs, which tells us that we are not good enough, but of course we are.

Within my own process, I have used the countless powerful & transformative tools that I have gained throughout my training as a Creative Arts Practitioner, as well as being informed by my engagement in practices such as Biodanza, Creative Writing, Spoken Word, Kundalini Dance & Movement Medicine. These teachers & mentors have helped me to access my own inner resources for healing and remind me of my own power & capacity to do so.

These rich experiences have catalysed my practice and I look forward to sharing the tools and techniques, that have also played an integral part of my transformative journey. This will be through a variety of workshops which will include exploring, expressing and embracing different aspects of self, with a focus on inner truth, feminine empowerment and unity.

So as I tend my seedlings and as they begin grow, I’d like to set the intention that they will have every chance of not only surviving but also thriving. I have every faith that through time, nurturing and care, that they will.

 

Em x

 

 

Past Workshops & Events

International Womens Day: Reclaiming Our Feminine Power

IWD Workshop3

The ‘International Womens Day‘ Festival in Derby, is a much anticipated annual event that is totally free. It is guaranteed that if you head down to the market place whilst the festival is running, that you will meet and be surrounded by talented, creative, determined & inspiring women. There is a strong sense of sisterhood which is a truly satisfying to experience to say the least.

It was a great honour to invite many of these women to attend my workshop ‘Reclaiming Our Feminine Power‘. The energy in the room was breathtaking as I hadn’t known what to expect: it was filled with women that stood firmly in their truth together, which is a powerful act in itself.

The motivation for me to run such a workshop came from simply feeling that as women we need to be able to come together in order to reconnect with our sense of femininity and the power that we undeniably hold with this. It feels important to create a space to reinforce this notion, as feminine qualities are often undervalued and underappreciated.

With the time limit of 45 minutes, I had to keep a steady pace so that we could have enough time to have a brief discussion and engage in a taster of ‘Creative Meditation’. The discussion was useful as it set the tone of what the overall feelings, opinions and thoughts were surrounding ‘Feminine Power’. It was so good to hear all of the comments that were made collectively, whether verbally or written. Ideas shared surrounded qualities such as; authenticity, determination, warmth, nature, empathy, nurture, fierceness, gentleness, caring, intuition. These were then the qualities we focussed on within the ‘Creative Meditation’. Here was the space to engage with creative expression and visual exploration of any thoughts, ideas or feelings that may have come up.

It was at this point that I truly appreciated how essential creativity is to us as women, in whatever form.

In no time at all, the session had very soon come to a close and to me it had felt very much like we had just begun! I look forward to inviting these & other women to attend future sessions, which will allow more time to go into it in much greater depth. It will be wonderful to further reveal the ‘Feminine Power’ we had started to collectively explore and embrace.

My deepest gratitude to the women that had shown up, participated and stood together in solidarity to ‘Feminine Power’.

Big Love,

Em X

Past Workshops & Events

City Zen Skill Share: Discovering Your Feminine Power

It had felt fairly urgent to me to hold a workshop on ‘Feminine Power’. It felt important that this allowed people to explore this concept within a personal, social and global context, express thoughts & feelings around it and finally to be able to embrace these necessary & essential feminine qualities.

The discussion was fruitful, it was good to hear the different perspectives and ideas around what ‘Feminine Power’ is and what it means. There were moments we struggled with how gendered femininity and the problems this brings in both making it more accessible to all genders but also in how strongly women are shaped to be feminine in our society.

For me it was beautiful to discuss ‘Feminine Power’ as nurturing, being, peaceful sustaining and in abundance. From here we discussed the link between femininity & nature and the parallels we face in how the environment is currently being treated: both are arguably undervalued, neglected and forgotten. Is it time for this to change?

Following this, there was the option of a ‘Creative Meditation’ activity, which involved stillness, movement, connection with self, connection with other and an opportunity for creative expression.

This was so informative and feel that there is so much room for this to evolve and progress further in the future. To me, this further validates that this dialogue is certainly worth having as well as the practise itself of embodying ‘Feminine Power’. My aim is to continue developing this and to share it again. This is the nature of these workshops, they will be organic, natural, adapting and changing much like the very qualities of ‘Feminine Power’.

It really was an honour to hold this space, although very briefly and for people to engage with remembering, reconnecting & reclaiming ‘Feminine Power’. Thank you those wonderful souls that joined!

Someone in the group shared that you can not stop nature from growing beneath the cracks/concrete, and it has led me to reflect on resilience despite challenging external environments.  So I shall end this post with that as an analogy of the times that we are facing, with the intention that it should serve as a reminder of the gentle power which surrounds us.

 

Big Love,

Em X