How to Be a Creative Tour de Force

May 5, 2015

The lovely Michael Margolis recently wrote in a Facebook group I’m part of:

“Every community has a collective core wound that’s a mirror of its leaders’ shadows. What do you see as the collective core wound/shadow of your own work? And the communities you cherish? As in we teach what we need to learn most.”

This made me sit up and take notice. I immediately wrote:

“One core wound of my community is not following their desires, specifically their creative desires.”

Michael commented:

“Jen, that’s a fascinating insight for me to hear, in light of how I see you as a creative tour de force.”

I laughed out loud because I know – oh so intimately – that my biggest wound has always been around listening to my creative desires, struggling to grant myself the agency to be devoted to them. Struggling to give them a voice. Struggling to stay true to their truest expression.

Michael also said,

“It’s less about the core wound itself (static – this happened to me) and far more about how this shadow plays out in your work, and being in relationship with it (dynamic – this is how interact with it), sort of how a story can be a noun or a verb. The noun of story is just an artifact… The verb of story is far more interesting – it’s alive and transformational. That’s where the magic to restory your life and world exists, and part of why you’re called to do your important work. It’s the calling.

There is a way that our deepest desire works with our biggest wound to help us grow into our calling. But only if we work with it.

You may know one of my favorite quotes is from Girl to Goddess by Valerie Estelle Frankel:

“While the hero journeys for external fame, fortune, and power, the heroine tries to regain her lost creative spirit… Once she hears the cries of this lost part of herself needing rescue, her journey truly begins.”

When I read Michael’s words, I saw more clearly that part of my calling is to help women find their lost creative spirit and part of my wound/shadow is the ways I haven’t and don’t follow my own quest, again and again, to find and give expression to my creative spirit.

I have to learn, again and again, to leave the email and the envy and dive into the well of creating. When I don’t do, I get preachy. I get envious. And I can’t be the teacher/leader I want to be.

How about you? How does your wound/shadow play out in your teaching and leading? How do you work with your wound to turn it into a verb that’s alive and transformational?

I don’t have any answers but I leave you with these rich questions. They are good ones to live into, me thinks.



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