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Creative Juices

Where do creative juices come from?

This is my question as I plod along a very familiar path. Foot by ever-loving foot, sneaker meets pavement. The feet move slower than molasses but the brain is another story. Literally.

My brain whirrs with ideas, putting things together that I never thought knew each other. Suggesting solutions. Sketching plot. Outlining. Organizing. Energizing. What had no life when I stepped out the door now seems like the best idea ever. Strategy meeting serendipity all along my way.

If this only happened once, I’d dismiss it as lucky and be on my way. But it always happens. It’s as reliable as the sunrise and as remarkable as stumbling on an old friend you haven’t seen in 30 years. It emerges out of nowhere, but yet it doesn’t. And the odd thing, and this honestly seems unfair, is that calling it up is entirely within my control — even as it has a mind of its own.

This creative swirl waits for me … to let it. To let it in. To let it happen. To let it dance and sing and have its way with me. All I have to do is move. To take this old body out for a spin and see what shows up.

No equation for success here. No requirement of “this many minutes before the endorphins kick in.” No exclusion clause stating “only works after six weeks,” or “must be fit to apply.” No, this is not an exercise device; this is a bodily device. A gift my body gives me when I love it enough to take it out of the box and play with it for a while.

It plays back. And we have a fine time. Let’s do this again, we say, and then we do. And whatever I’ve brought with me sorts itself out. Creatively, with all the juicy parts included.

So juicy, in fact, I run for pen and paper the minute I hit the door. Don’t even bother finding my reading glasses, I’m in such a hurry to get things in writing before they disappear into the distraction of the rest of my day. If my scribbles are a bit hard to decipher later, well, that’s part of the puzzle of fun, too.

If you’re ready to let your creative juices flow or maybe give ’em a bit of a kick start, my book, Made to Move: Loving God through our Bodies will give you 6 weeks of mind and body activities to get you going. (Find it with practice videos here Upper Room Books or here on Amazon.)

It’s NOT an exercise book. It’s a movement opportunity. See you along the path!

Three’s not a crowd, it’s just right

“Oh, but it’s your passion, Wendy.” Well, yes, I do like to exercise and be outdoors and eat healthy foods and generally take care of my body. But that’s not actually the point. Don’t lump me with those ‘world’s biggest loser’ fans or those ‘organic everything’ fanatics or those ‘Xtreme sports’ folk. I am really just a regular soul.

The thing is, that soul is in a body. The two are right there together. Like Siamese twins, never separated at birth. One feeds the other. One comforts the other. One supplies the other. One supports the other. And the One and then the Other are reversible. Like a jacket you can wear either way, inside out or outside in. Either way works. Not meant to be separated.

Nothing, for me, is strictly a mind issue. Nothing is simply a work of the spirit. Nothing is ever just about the body. The three come with me wherever I go, whatever I do. When I’m still and thinking or out and moving. When I am sad and crying or happy and rejoicing. When a problem needs solving or a lesson needs teaching. I bring the whole kit and kaboodle.

So, of course when my husband said, “Let’s grill burgers,” I was undaunted by the many inches of snow remaining between back door and grill. The forecast said warming and a bit of sun. Well then, shovel I will. Can’t get quite to the wood slats, still a bit of ice under that snow. Could be slippery. But somehow, knowing the sun will enter in with its diligence to do its part, the shoveling will not be for naught. That hope inspires, strengthens and makes sense. We’re a team, me and the sun.

I’ll tell you a secret: I love shoveling and have since a very young age. Sealed the deal that night when my dad and I cleared away the 4 or 5 inches together. He proclaimed us done, for after all, it wasn’t a “snerious snow.” Next morning, the 26 inches piled on our deck spoke otherwise. So we plowed through that, too.

I shoveled and the sun did the rest. I shoveled and the sun did the rest.

Nope, I don’t do it for the exercise. Not the calorie burn or the upper body strengthening. Not even for the sense of accomplishment. I suppose you could call it a passion, but to me, making a path just seems a reasonable way to go through life. I do my part. The sun does its part. And my husband pitches in.

A three in one effort that brings us to dinner.

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