Sailing on the River of Integration

boat1

In his book The Neurobiology of We (2008), Dr. Daniel Siegel uses the metaphor of a river of integration, flowing between two kinds of banks

“These two banks, if you will, outside of a river, of rigidity on the one hand, and chaos on the other, help us know when something is missing. And that something is called integration. And when we’re integrated, when we link different parts of our internal world and our relationships, we’re in the flow of a river that has the sense of harmony, it’s flexible, it’s adaptive, it has a coherence to it that holds together, and that’s energized and stable. Mindsight is the ability for us to see within ourselves, to dive deeply into the sea inside”.

Immersion in creative process often feels like sailing along a river, navigating the sweet spot between order and chaos. The river can be seen as the zone, or the creative flow state, where we are deeply engaged in creative process.  Sailing along the river we are in the flexible, adaptive and bounded transitional space where creative process and play emerge.  Dr. Siegel (The Mindful Brain, 2007) uses the acronym COAL: the simultaneous state of curiosity, openness, acceptance and love, to describe Mindfulness.  He says that when you have a COAL stance the rest takes care of itself .  Maybe when we are in the space between order (rigidity) and chaos we are sailing on a river of integration, where we are both intra and interconnected  through creative, harmonic and sacred process.

Hope you enjoy his his ideas about Mindsight, integration and harmony.

hope, feathers and nests

nest

Hope
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Emily Dickinson

 

Recently I found an empty nest that had been placed with great care, attention and respect on a bench.  It was starting to rain.  I left the nest and continued walking.  When I circled back, the nest had not been claimed.  I placed it under the bench protecting it from the rain.  Later that day I drove back to see if it had been claimed…it was still there. 

I made a home for the empty nest in my studio.  After imagining all the possible ways to use it in art… assemblage, painted gold, preserved in wax… the empty nest seemed to want to just be.  So I left it as is.  In a process of becoming something else.  And simply looking at this empty nest (made by an expert nest maker) inspired the making of some new work. 

Nest=making, process, building, weaving, finding, leaving and returning, egg, growth, decay, growth, cycle, lost, found, circle, center, transitional space, impermanence, nurture, comfort, protection, safety, hope = Home

“Hope” you enjoy this link to Claire Danes reading and a signing by Rachel, age 9.  Rachel’s hands capture and embody this poem in such a beautiful and moving way.

hope is the thing with feathers

Far Away Spring

faraway

Midwinter spring is its own season…
Between melting and freezing
The soul’s sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time’s covenant. Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
Not in the scheme of generation.
Where is the summer, the unimaginable
Zero summer? 

from T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, Little Gidding

January. Scientific studies on the best ways to overcome procrastination, articles about beating January blues, dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder, Positive Thinking Strategies and following through on recently made (and already broken) New Year’s Resolutions.

But what if the pull towards hibernation is actually the incubation phase of creative process, the place where everything springs forth?  Allowing a natural space or pause to emerge in creative process may be re-energizing.  Following the natural January urge to slow down may permit dormant creative energies to emerge and bloom.  Even if Spring does feel far away in this moment.

Looking Back and Looking Forward

newdirections

“…That’s why we have the Museum, Matty, to remind us of how we came, and why: to start fresh, and begin a new place from what we had learned and carried from the old.”  Lois Lowry, Messenger

The transitional space between old and new feels like a shifting energetic pause.  Time is marked by rituals of looking and stepping back, maybe even gathering up and holding on to last years moments. Review, reflect, let go….then into the New, clean slate and fresh start. A re-new cycle begins.

Part of moving forward includes looking back as a way of combining and integrating (hopefully) the best of past with future. The art of knowing where we are, includes knowing where we came from and where we plan to go.  Maybe this “looking in” knowledge is what allows us to stand in the now and direct fresh energy towards a renewed creative cycle.

Wishing you creativity, health and joy in the New Year.

Slow Muse

By Deborah Barlow

O at the Edges

Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.

TreeSisters

Women Seeding Change

KURT★BRINDLEY

writing ★ producing ★ editing

Social Health

Insights on the Power of Social Bonds

When Timber Makes One Still

"Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to the soul" -John Muir

The Heron's Path

Closer to the Spirit

Children in Limbo Task Force

Children Need Permanency

lumblogdotcom4.wordpress.com/

bernice lum illustration

Pedal Paradise

Sharing cycling joy in Paradise City, Northampton, MA

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

This is a writer's blog for authors, business people, creative people, freelancers, journalists, publishers, and poets. They will learn the ins and outs of writing for publication. Both beginning and experienced writers will profit from it.

The Whole Megillah

The Writer's Resource for Jewish-themed Story: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Design of the Picture Book

the intersection of graphic design + picture books

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: