September beginnings

So, so bazaar but somewhere in my dreams last night I came up with my plan.

Tim Minchin’s concept of art work being “an artefact (I have uploaded link to face book) of the time you are in when making it and the time you have to make it” reminded me that I need a time-line.
I am sure you have no interest in hearing about my time line!? But sometimes reading other people’s ways helps us find our own. So I am putting it out there just in case it might help you, if you are “lost in living” (another link I have uploaded to face book) like I get…
Feel free to share your own ‘creative rituals’ in the comments section of this post, or email me – no doubt it will spark further thought and ideas from myself and other readers (if anyone is reading this!?).
Making this plan public is also about accountability for me.
I have a few personal hurdles at the moment that are taking up a lot of time and energy – they are quite stressful and do make my creative heart feel a little guarded.
So I give permission to myself to go gently.
One foot at a time.
I am also a solo mama, so I don’t have someone to ‘look after the kids’ while I go for a walk let alone head to the studio.
My son is essentially on the walk with me (which is a beautiful thing – but does make your focus different to if you are on your own during the walk).
So I give myself permission to not just go gently, but to take it when I can.
Each day, for the month of September, I will:
– Catch a moment to do 3 pages of ‘daily page’ writing (an idea of Julie Cameron’s that I have been doing for years – less so as a Mama- I find it helps me calm my mind, organise my day, declutter my brain, if you like, so that creative ideas are given space to unfold). I usually do it with a cup of tea. I will catch a moment to do it either: a. when my son sleeps in b. when my son is engaged in independent play c. alongside my son as he draws.
But I must do it by 10am.

Stretch and move for 10 minutes , also by 10 am. While my son plays around me, climbs on me, stretches with me. I must play inspiring music at the same time to help me dream like I used to.

Dance with my son for 5 minutes to inspiring music in the pre-bed night time to shake off our day, connect, be spontaneous, brave, laugh, play, release.

Meditate for 5 minutes a day (obviously this can only happen when…if my son sleeps). This may seem irrelevant to being an artist (all of the above might!?). And in fact at a talk that I went to recently which was by a panel of 4 mother artists, a joke came up about one mother artist saying to herself “I should be meditating right now” (when she found the time to write). And that things like meditation or exercise had to go out the window given the time was limited. The priority had to be the art. I think of though, how I used to go to sleep dreaming up dance pieces and perhaps I need to do that again. Also though, I need to find presence, space, calm, and build my sense of self confidence and even sense of self identity right now. And I have a feeling meditation will help me to do this.

– Exercise is the same. In her book ‘Walking in the world’ Julie Cameron talks about how an artist’s practice should include a 10 minute walk. I might throw that in too!

All of the above might sound so simple, amateur etc….but it is me staying gentle, being realistic (financially, time wise).
It also allows me to be Mama Bear and slowly work the creative rituals into that.
One foot at a time.
On one hand I know that being the best Mama I can be means fostering my artistic self.
On the other I appreciate the simple pleasures of motherhood and want to keep the balance.
I also need to work to pay extra bills – so this is another layer in the life of the mother artist who does not earn consistent money from the art work or is trying to find ways to earn money from the work.

– Along side this I need to find 10 minutes a day to read. I am reading a few books at the moment (about creative practice) and will try reflecting on them through my blog….oh dear, that might mean another 10 minutes!?

– Eiks!?

The last thing…the scariest….the one I am really going to struggle with:

This one came up in my dreams.

Some mother-artists talk about how their art practice is now ‘tiny’. Tiny sketches or short stories. I wondered in my sleep how you do this as a choreographer? And I came up with a plan.

One movement a day. A gesture, a travelling movement, an action. One movement that I refine through the day and eventually capture in memory, drawing, words and/or video. I may eventually share with you occasionally as an offering .
That one is massive to me – that’s really doing the work. And like I said, my current guarded heart makes it more challenging. But perhaps this is what my movement will talk about. Perhaps I will find movement vocabulary to express a story that is locked up and needs to be danced.
Here I come September, the little rain dance begins with spring….



Where is that brave young girl who didn’t worry so much about what other people thought?

Asked, while also valuing the adult in me who cares about what other people  think – in the sense that, they leave with something worthwhile.

It’s a fine line.

…taking risks, trusting instinct-the creative process, being honest-vulnerable, open


…not over indulging on your audience, reader, listener, self.

I’ve been told by mentors that if I am fascintaed/busy in the moment, others will be fascinated too.

Is this true?

Brave young girl tells me I need to lighten up and just put the work out there, f@&k ups and all.

Vulnerable adult woman doesn’t want to have her audience, readers, listeners, others leave without something in their heart…

So, I will attempt to make offerings. Because, without offerings, I am neither brave nor will others have a chance to leave with something.

Step one of my little rain dance.

An offering.

trauma, creativity, the artist’s block, or self sabotage – Act 1

From when I can remember, I created dance work.

We lived in a little town outside of Geneva for three years from when I was 5 years old. There are photos of me dancing in the open space of the house dressed up and free. Apparently I used to put on a different costume each night and do a performance before my family ate dinner. Usually, from my memory, it was to a crackly record blaring the song “Born in the USA”!?

This continued on our return to Australia. I would rope friends in and choreograph entire three act performances on them, which were then performed to our families in the rearranged lounge room. I wonder if they were entertained, or bored, or fascinated, or chuckled lovingly at it all when we weren’t looking.

I’d escape in the lounge room and climb into music, costumes and creative dreams for entire weekends.

I put myself to sleep at night, by listening to various pieces of music and imagining the dance that went with them.

When I was a teenager I enrolled into the subject ‘dance composition’ at my ballet school. These Monday night classes were mind blowing for me. Our teacher set tasks and projects to support our understanding of the composition process. She saw something. And believe me, that was the first time she ever did really see something in me – because my journey with her outside of that room confused my self esteem in most other aspects of dance.

I was a dance rebel at age 13.

I was brave.

I made political statements about issues of concern to me, through dance.

Discrimination. The recession. Eating disorders. Grief. Mood swings. Identity.

I would commit to hours, days, weeks to find the movement language and to put that language into sentences and to then create paragraphs and to frame these statements with the space and music.

No one seemed to stop me. So I just went with. I trusted my gut. I didn’t fear rejection. Or being ‘too this’ or ‘too that’.

I am now searching myself for that brave little girl inside of me.