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The Sylvia Plath Pattern Of Creative Flow
By Silvia Hartmann, 29 May 2013
* Sylvia Plath teaches a valuable lesson about the Even Flow—opening the channels for creativity, regardless of this is for poetry or not.
Sylvia Plath was a poet and that was her job and her life.
She would every day no matter what, as soon as breakfast was over and no matter where she was in the world, sit down with her notebook and just start to write—about absolutely anything at all.
As she explains, this was NOT in order to create a wondrous new poem, but ONLY in order to keep the channels open, keep in the flow.
It wasn’t about practicing either, but simply an exercise in FLOW—and she was very adamant about doing this, put it before many other if not all other things because she considered it so very important.
Because if a good idea came along or an insight at any time of the day which was to come afterwards, the channels would be open and a super poem would just simple glide out and through and become, there and then.
So she would write about anything whatsoever, no holds barred—a shadow on the windowsill, a bit of lettuce, an old mushroom she'd found on a walk and brought back to her room. About the table cloth, about her hands, about a little pool of light on the carpet or about her feelings of having nothing whatsoever new to say—and just let it go from there for her “morning exercise”—no expectations of it other than knowing the ACT of doing it was what did the trick.
I read her biography and this really stuck with me. I understood it right away and I implemented it right away too. Switch on computer, call up blank word document and just start writing.
Often, I would start with the words, “What shall I write about today?” and sometimes it would go on like this, “I really don't know, everything seems a bit far away and nebulous, jeez I wish I was somewhere else, somewhere fresh and breezy, with a wide blue sky…”
As you can imagine, from there you can and most importantly, you DO automatically get into all sorts of places, all sorts of states and the flow really does come, it just happens and Ms Plath was absolutely right, it really does open the channels.
Now as to application of this.
They are veritably endless.
What channels are the most important to you, bring you the most rewards, carry the most important things like poetry was to Sylvia Plath and story telling to Silvia Hartmann (me) in their respective times?
Creative music? Painting?
Now that’s an interesting idea, isn't it.
You could have your breakfast and immediately afterwards and as a part of a routine just like brushing teeth, find something to love in your environment—a toy or knick-knack, a shadow, a curtain, a house plant, a table top—like in the original usage of the pattern, it is NOT about the object or the outcome but simply to open the channels for the FLOW.
It might be more urgent to you to *be MORE loved* instead and you might want to practice receiving with the brushing of your teeth instead—receiving energy from the same toy or knick-knack, from a shadow, curtain or a house plant, anything in your environment at all, and letting it into your heart.
And as the Sylvia Plath exercise was NOT about making a poem to be sold later, this is not about making you be healed but only about opening the channels and practicing the FLOW - because when it flows, it flows and you get all these other benefits naturally and as a side effect, of course.
This is a truly superb pattern to be applied to all and everything which may be important to you at any particular time; what makes it so superb is the insistence on the FLOW as opposed to the PRODUCT.
Bringing in the PRODUCT disturbs the flow—of course!—and that is a fantastic reminder that there are certain things that, if done for their own purpose and aim, are the true building blocks and pre-requisites for the products which may follow—be they paintings, or stories, or poems, or our abilities to give and receive this and that.
These products are a result of a well established Even Flow and that is something people tend to forget in their hurry towards and focus on the “end result”—when the products are in truth, nothing more than the wake left behind a ship which indeed, contains all the valuables.
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