28 day Practice in Presence :: week 3

detail altered book art journal, 28 day creative practicesketch in altered book art journal (Hali Karla) pages from week 3 of 28 day creative practice in presence The limitations of an effective practice are like contractions - often uncomfortable and exactly what is needed to birth our next creative expression and growth. -Hali Karla detail of intuitive page in altered book art journal, 28 day creative practice (Hali Karla)

I found myself not quite as interested in the pages of the journal I began with for this 28 day practice. A little ugh-ish about it, really. And that's perfect as long as I keep to it... I am less attached to the practice looking a certain way. There is room for a different depth of discovery in peeling back that layer. This is also a part of my personal patterns and rhythms with committing to practices and such.

The practice becomes  a little more raw in this stage - less presentable perhaps - and more honest and rich for the inner work of the process. Outwardly, it looks like scribbles and unfinished pages. Short sketch studies just because. Paint globs and 20 minute collages. Tape, crinkles and letting it be.

I am trusting more in what moves through me, rather than what you can necessarily see. More attention to the curiosity, less attention to the evidence on the page... and, ironically, in that, what shows up on the page is often even more revealing over time.

The creative energy that has been unleashed, through channels (re)opened by the practice - begins to carry on its current all sorts of morsels for my creative work and life. It's as if the limitations, of 28 days, in the morning, in this book, with these supplies and these intentions, have aroused my rebel-spirit-heart into the creative declaration of, "Oh, yeah? I don't think so. Don't put your shackles on me. There is too much in here just waiting to burst free."

So I keep to the practice, in gratitude for its ability to spark my fires - with a little less time and energy in the confines of it, perhaps - and I take that salvaged time and energy and reach for the things that my hunger is now craving. The practice has woken me from a slumber again, revealing glimpses of what is fundamental to my essence and needs, to what is of the greatest importance - what is cardinal, you might say (that page was already in the book - funny, huh?).

So the practice expands within me and echoes in my awareness and actions...

I tape the big paper to the wall and begin a prayer painting - not where I pray something specific, but where painting itself is my prayer. I wake up with directions on the outline for an offering that has been cooking in me... for a very long time... without clarity before now. I see what needs to be tweaked in my commitments so that I can continue to grow and thrive. I instantly receive the language (while cleaning) to express the feelings I had no words for before when it comes to my workshop on Calling in the Grandmother Medicine for Spectrum this year.

A lot of teachings say 21 days is pivotal to creating change or (re)forming habits. I agree - something happens, something shifts, something comes alive between days 14 and 21. Change is awakened. The dark places are revealed and truth shines in.

And also, as a woman and devotee of the moon, I will never question the power of a 28 day cycle either. It is what allows my practice to be fluid and flexible and to shape-shift and adapt to my creative truth. A 28 day cycle completes what has been awoken, in a way that feels grounding - responding with shedding and/or the implantation of something forming.

A cycle that says I am here, shining, dark and bright, like the tides - swelling, washing over, receding; I receive and I will give back.