During the Creative Process
An olive tree is well pruned only if a swallow can fly in its branches.
~ Old Tuscan Proverb
In nature, space is important.
When it comes to delivering amazing fruit it’s everything.
Real results lie not only in the decision of what is left to grow but, perhaps more importantly, in what is removed.
Looking through the eyes of Mother Nature, we see how well this culling and pruning thing works out.
Rich, ruby grapes to make the finest of wines and green gold olives to make the most delicious of olive oils. All because someone cared enough and had the courage to cut away the extra, unneeded growth.
When it comes to our own lives though, we’ve come to believe we can hang onto it all and arrive with bountiful results.
As life moves along, we keep adding, rarely subtracting.
A hoarder of sorts.
We bring more and more on board in our lives.
We find we have less and less to support the growth of the things most meaningful to us.
Just reading this, you probably know where I’m headed 😉
Pruning is one of those things we’d like to believe we can get by without doing.
We fear it may be messy and confusing. Potentially involving the need for action once we see where the ‘suckers’ are 😉
What if we just picked one ‘limb’ and had a look, asked a question?
Starting with the obvious one first.
Is this ‘limb’ leading me to or away from my heart’s desire?
A definite ‘yes’, it’s leading me away?
Noted author Martha Beck has a shackles on, shackles off way of asking that I’ve used often.
Does this feel like a shackles on or shackles off item?
Asking the simplest of questions can deliver the easiest of answers.
None of us, not you, not me, are as confused on what we want (or how to get it) as we might sometimes believe we are.
We must prune out the undergrowth and overgrowth, the suckers and the deadwood.
What we receive in return is
a beautiful space
an unencumbered place
for our dreams to take wing.
P.S. I invite you now to simply let your mind play with that idea. What would it feel like to have the space you need to do the work you are born to do? Pruning won’t feel so hard looking at it from that sense of freedom.
Space is a good way to look at it, and pruning. But pruning and weeding is sometimes hard to get up and under and out of. Another way to approach it is to just say to yourself quietly “yes” or “no”, The one that feels better is the right one every time.
Thanks for your e mails. I enjoy your philosophy and paintings.
After decorating cake for 30 years, I retired. Through the winter I uncluttered the house. Now I need to unclutter my life so I can create some art. Thanks for your message. Now I must get busy by not being so busy and take some time to be me
Thank you so much for the inspiration you are sending via email. I particularly needed the “When we fear we are not enough” and ” Is this leading me to my hearts desire – pruning”. I have been “in a rut for so long” overwhelmed by so many things out of my control. But always truly yearning for more creativity in my life. Your emails are helping me to think through it all.
Thanks so much for the inspiration!
P.S. I love your art!
I’m getting better at pruning .., relationships included — it’s always best to surround yourself with those that enhance your spirit !! Thank you for your inspiring words and work
I admire it so !!!
Thank you Dreama. This message really hits home!
Great timing again Dreama, I love your posts! Whether it’s spring cleaning clutter or simplifying a composition, or evaluating ones tasks. I find it difficult to find the right words when addressing folks who have asked me to do something that I find shackles attached OR when culling those in our lives who bring shackles with them everywhere they go. I welcome new friends and old acquaintances I treasure, but there are a few who I just don’t know how to tell them they are shackles! Peace and kindness dear Dreama you are one who’s treasured!
This sure gives me a lot to think about. I feel like my space gets very cluttered.
I totally agree with pruning. It’s just the physical completion I have trouble doing. It’s a great reminder and I’m acting on it now while I’m motivated.
Such a good, healthy thought for today! I’ve recently been using this very concept without calling it “pruning” – but I like it! Circumstances and life had brought me to a place where I just don’t want to spend/waste time on things that are not important to me. Its easy to say “life is short” but when you really grab hold of that thought and think – “OK – so what am I going to do with my ‘short” life” it takes on new meaning. Forget the shouda, woulda, coulda’s and make a commitment to actually DO what you value and love. Age or time have allowed me to grant myself permission…every day… to look at those shackles and think … hmm – on or OFF? Thanks again Dreama, its always so nice to hear from you! My paintbrush and I are still very much enjoying our “journey thru Provence1”
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