Knowing Your Self is Knowing Your Creativity
No one can teach you how to be creative.
You can copy others. That is not your own creativity.
I have written a few books and each time I start that process I see more about myself, my own journey. Each time I reflect on how I make things, or how to do something, it boils down to the individual.
I can tell you every step of what I do. I can walk you through each tiny nuance of my process, but without the desire to know the self, you will only copy me. And that is okay. However, if your goal, like mine, is to look at what you’re made of, what is inside of you, and then express THAT, it will take more than reading my work. It will take more than making soaps like mine, by your hand.
It will take some soul searching, investigating what moves you. What compels you. What you are attracted to and what inspires you.
To discover these things, I have found I needed to uncover my fears first. I named them, labeled them, and discovered the reality of those fears.
These fears still come up, even after a lifetime of observation. Now, when they raise their heads, I see them differently.
I hope this helps you to understand what I’m doing, what I’m about and aid you on your journey.
Cave of Forgetting
Bhakti Iyata 2013
I went into the cave of forgetting where my monsters live hoping you would stand guard.
I needed you to stand guard, to protect me from completely forgetting who I am. I needed you to witness my journey. My Heroines journey. I knew I would forget who I was: my strength, my power, the very courage it took to go into that cave. I was afraid to disconnect from all that I am. I went into the cave believing you would stand guard as the reminder of all that I was, all that I am.
I needed you to yell from time to time, or whisper, “I remember you. I will not forget while you face your fears.” I wanted to hear your voice tell me who I was with you. I wanted you to be bigger than the monsters I was going to face. I wanted you to be more clear, more stable, more honorable. To stand there in the light, holding the tether that kept me bound to you, giving it a tug from time to time to make sure I stayed connected. To make me remember in the cave of forgetting, who I was, to that world and to you.
In that darkness where my soul forgets who I am; where I forget so easily the second the light is no more and the darkness is all there is, I needed to be reminded that I am courageous, bold and brilliant and that I am made from light.
The pressure of the darkness was so great that my heart hurt profoundly, my chest grew tight and small, squeezing you from me and all the love with it. In that darkness, where no light exists, I craved the experience of light. I craved you.
The deeper I went, panic began to envelope me. I feared I’d never find my way back to you.
I believed the whisperings of my monsters, that I was not worth standing guard for, that I was on my own, alone with them. They were my truth in that darkness.
My monsters told me many dark things. They told me you were not strong enough to remember for both of us. They told me they would be with me forever. They told me the only thing real was fear, not love, not commitment, not honor. Not you. They told me that you did not care enough to tug on the rope. They told me you had walked away… And then, they said the thing I feared the most, that you never existed.
I wanted a simple act to remind me I was connected to the world, connect to you.
The darkness engulfed me and was my reality. My breath, my love was squeezed from my body and I believed them.
I grieved you, feeling my heart was broken forever. I embraced them, the monsters. If fear is all I have I will learn my fears. I will become the best at understanding them, mastering them and ultimately befriending them. What else is there? You are gone.
In that cave where no light exists, when I sat still and quiet, listening to my breath, the cold wrapped its arms around me. I sat still in acceptance.
Then, I felt something. A flicker in my chest. It was not a feeling for you. You had abandoned me. You let me go and I could feel your lack of presence. I sensed the flicker in my chest that reminded me of love. I let the flicker course through my body and remembered the feeling of light on my skin. I remembered what love felt like in my heart and my belly began to burn.
My skin grew brighter. I grew brighter. The monsters shielded their eyes and ran deeper into the cave. I chased them. I had to chase them as far as necessary to tame them or kill them.
I ran hard into the darkness. The farther I ran, the more they morphed into various forms confusing me until I dropped to my knees, heaving and exhausted, tears flooding my eyes and sobs wracking my body. My knees hurt from the hard rocky floor.
I heard them stir. I could see them return, begin to take shape. As they came closer many vanished like vapor, and the steam of them warmed me and kissed my skin. I felt hugged from a deeper place than I had known.
Those that were left came up like beaten dogs wanting to be tamed. The wolf-like monsters approached me with heads and tails down and put their muzzles on me. I petted them and told them they served me well.
I fed them from my hand, and they grabbed the gifts and ran off into the darkness. I could hear their teeth snapping. I knew they could tear my flesh and dig into my chest after my light, but we had made a truce.
I amplified my courage and allowed my shadows-emotions to dissipate, stood and walked in the general direction, back along the trail, where I remembered the light. I walked and walked over rocky ground, feeling the loss of the rope I thought had tied us together.
I smelled the air for a sign of you. Coldness filled my nose but not your scent.
I stumbled and fell down. When I stood I saw the dimmest of lights and moved toward it.
I got close and took a big breath and stepped into the painful light. Through squinting eyes I saw you. You had not left your post. You stood holding the limp rope with the cleanly severed end in your hand. You thought I cut it. You thought I wanted to be free of you. You were scared for me but wanted to support me on my journey the only way you knew. So you waited, holding the severed rope.
I was shocked at the clean cut end of the rope. Was it my monsters who had cut it before I tamed them? No matter they were mine to train, I hold myself accountable. I didn’t conquer them soon enough before I lost you. It was my responsibility to keep them in check, to protect my end of that rope.
My journey had nothing to do with you. You were the catalyst. You where the movie screen of my projection, and for that I am grateful. Even if you are now gone.