There’s a side of me that loves to be creative. Let’s call her Ms. Creative. She’s passionate about writing, poetry, and music. A passion that dips, slips, and feels into the smallest canary-lined tunnels seeking creative air to breathe.
On the other hand, there’s a side of me that’s extremely practical. Let’s call her the obvious. Ms. Practical.
She has a clipboard (old school) with a schedule and lists. There’s a list for work, home, groceries and even a writing list of ideas that she somehow starts, then stops, and pushes those ideas aside.
When Ms. Creative and Ms. Practical meet up, it’s not always pretty. Ms. Creative is flowy. However, Ms. Practical must have order. The only flow, for Ms. Practical, is in her Excel charts.
“Pies are not for eating but for graphing!”
Ms. Practical is also demanding.
“Ms. Creativity, what is your end point?”
The other evening, I was washing the dinner dishes and I glanced outside. What caught my eye was the colors of the sky when this ditty of inspiration came through.
“The clouds are ancient this evening. Alabaster and pink on a slate-gray sky. They stopped to say, hello. Are you okay? Close your eyes. Let’s stay here for a few and hold onto a piece of quiet. Just you and me and the earth, soaking up needed soul rays so you can stay close with the heartbeat of love and truth.”
Some of my best thought streams, come in when I’m doing the everyday stuff.
It’s a wide-open zone of receiving limitless ideas, without walls and rules and it flows freely.
Some of those ideas work and others don’t. Some pieces feel too way-out-there but some are exquisitely juicy. So much so, that I get goose bumps.
Sometimes, I’ll know exactly what I want to write and other days I struggle. Ideas aren’t always neat little entities.
Of all the seasons I’m most connected to, it would be autumn. This association has changed over the decades. I’m in my 57th circle around the sun and autumn calls me home over and over. The subtle changes in the weather where those dog days of summer recede brings an appreciation to the transparency of autumn.
Aging isn’t only chronological; it is also soulful. I’ve rediscovered my true self in my emotional aging. Life’s tutelage has given me wisdom to see how I won’t accept any strikes against my being.
I stand without any leaves covering my silhouette. There’s less and less to hide and my autumnal self stands stronger as each season has led me to self-understanding. My symbolic leaves are frequently changing.
Life has changed me.
My hair is greying at the temples, where my thoughts dwell in a sea of clarity. All I feel are the zeros inside of circles. Such as the seasons, time, and earth, turn me into a Tree, I am.
Skies see me and blink in earnest, nodding as I walk my way.
I’m learning to understand who I am.
Mistakes are my wisdom. Unknowing what I thought I knew teaches me more than pretending. Asking for help to reach what I am unable to do, isn’t weak.
Sensitivity crafts me a vessel, and we sail over the seas not only to think but to weep. I’m not alone when the answers are few. More have come before me.
That’s why the oceans are so salty.
And so, with this bit of overthinking, I can still smile and laugh with myself, which leads me to poeticness too.
Let’s turn down the sun, and let’s turn up the moon. Let’s trace the stars with our eyelashes. Let’s listen to the circles together. Let’s dream a vast dream.
Because we are all intrinsically interconnected — equally belonging to the circle of loving, living, and dying.
Let’s make this world more true.
Originally published in Get Inside: Highly Sensitive for a Reason: Overthinking and overprocessing led me to a beautiful discovery.
Have you ever felt there are too many sides inside of you? Have you ever felt you don’t fit in and the requirements to be so-called normal are impossible?
What if our imperfections are absolutely perfect?
For instances, there’s the quiet side who speaks softly and there’s the vicious side that can inhale the sun and spew fire if need be.
There’s the fearful side, likened to a fierce wild stray who sees others as the enemy. We might growl to keep someone away.
As for me, one minute I can speak rose and turn the petals into magic but push me too hard and I will scratch you with my thorns.
My creative side carries me in between here and there and sometimes, I can’t figure out how to return to zero.
So, I stay there. It’s usually a mystical space where candles burn upside down and clouds become the ground. I swim far and deep because I breathe better underwater than in the air.
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also an author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."