I had the pleasure today of attending a Goddess workshop facilitated by Maryanne Savino and Leslie Zehr. Having buried two of my family matriarchs in the past two weeks, I felt in need of community with women. Besides, one of my goals in this new year is to incorporate more dance and movement in my life and in my practice.
Our discussion turned to the topic of embracing the chaos in our lives. You know, so often we are told (or coached) that what we really need is to get organized, get disciplined, get on a schedule, get on a plan. And then we somehow expect to be creative.
Our most creative moments come when we are in the flow, allowing the wild energy of the Goddess to take us on her crazy ride. This is why when we think of our creative impulse, it is as a feminine force–our Muse.
Many traditions focus on creating sacred space in order to do healing or spiritual work. When it comes to incubating creativity, we women need to focus on the womb area, our sacral chakra. Sacred and sacral contain the same root word.
1. Visualize–Place your hands on your abdomen with your finger tips pointing toward your pubic bone. Chakra is a sanskrit word meaning wheel, so imagine you feel this energy center at the center of your body under your fingertips. Feel the energy circulating. The color of the sacral chakra is orange. Imagine this energy spinning a beautiful orange color, whatever color orange you like best. As the energy spins, visualize any dark spots, heavy energies or blockages spinning off to leave the chakra clear, unblocked and activated.
2. Massage–There are many types of stomach, belly or womb massage practiced by professionals, but you can do your own at home. A simple technique is to start with a little massage oil at the navel (our connection point with our own birth and matrilineal ancestors), circle your index finger in your navel in a clockwise motion, allowing the circle to expand around your navel, around your belly. Then replace your finger with the fingertips of one hand moving in a circulation, then your whole hand, then both hands.
When this area feel activated, you can place your hands on your abdomen with your fingertips touching your pubic bone. Stroke your hands upward toward the belly button. You can do this a few times, then stroke your hands diagonally from one hip toward the belly button. Do the same for the other side. You can alternate these stokes for a few more minutes. (If you are on your moon cycle, stroke downward from the Xiphoid Process to the navel to help draw down the energy of your flow.)
Make sure to use enough oil so that your skin is lubricated and not being tugged or aggravated by the motions. To end, simply place your hands over your womb and enjoy a few minutes communing with this energy. (Thanks to Maryanne for this practice.)
3. Move–You don’t have to be Shakira to get your hips shaking and moving in a way that promotes sacral health. Belly dancing was originally womb dancing, designed to prepare women’s bodies for the demands of child birth. Moving your physical energy also stimulates your creative and spiritual energies, as well. This is the reasoning behind such practices as Tai Chi and Chi Gong. Chi, or energy, moving along with physical movements.
So put on some exotic music and let your body move. Some movements to focus on: sliding hips from side to side, front to back, figure eight and shimmy. Let your arms move in fluid patterns flowing from the shoulder blades. Close your eyes and let the rhythms of the music guide your body. The trick is to feel self-empowered not self-conscious.
The next time you need a boost to your creative juiciness, try one of these tactics. Let us know how it goes for you. And if you have your own tip for working with your Muse, please post it below.