Quote of the Day:  from the song Come to Us, Creative Spirit
Come to us, creative Spirit, in this holy house;
every human talent hallow, hidden skills arouse,
that within your earthly temple, wise and simple may rejoice.

Poet, painter, music-maker, all your treasures bring;
craftsman, actor, graceful dancer, make your offering;
join your hands in celebration:  let creation shout and sing!

JeMA and I led journaling and art at Mount Carmel this weekend for a Women’s Retreat.  As the women were gathering at this place, we were gathering pieces of Mount Carmel to embed in our canvases.

First, we reminded the women how fluid and free we were as children in our art.  We were like the Kindergartners who shout, “Yes, I’m a dancer! Yes, I’m a writer!  Yes, I’m an artist!”  Then, they begin singing and dancing and letting their creative spirits soar.  Somewhere along the journey, most people become crystalized in their art.  They might have had “art trauma.”  We heard a few stories this weekend of when and where, even what the child-self was wearing on the day, art died.  They might suffer from comparison disorder.  The “I’m not good enough” disease.  Our hope was to help these women release their inner creative spirit.

I started our session by reading The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood, a beautiful picture book about all the gifts that God gives us in nature.  I held it up the way your favorite teacher did, and I felt people relax into the poetry of the words, the comfort of a story book. We sang, This Little Light of Mine.  JeMA and I squirted paint on their papers for fingerpainting.  Then, the giggles started.  The smiles spread across glowing cheeks and our handiwork became our journal covers – after they dried and we cut them into the shapes we imagined.

I do believe these ladies are exploring the art of “playing off the page!”

So much of who I am comes to life at these retreats.  I’m in community with loving and welcoming women.  I share the gifts and talents God put in me, and my creative spirit soars.  I took many photos and gathered experiences to share.  This is just your first glimpse.  Come back later this week as we explore a creative path.  It may not always be clear, but it is beautiful.

Journaling Prompt: (that I used this weekend)What did you do as a child to express your creativity?  What do you do now? And, what would you like to be doing?  Is your creativity in the arts, or cooking, gardening, sewing, planning, organizing, decorating?