Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished - Neil Gaiman
I am perpetually amazed, year after year, how we can overlay any of the human experiences onto the seasonal cycles to trace, feel and know, deeply in our bodies, how everything abides by the same natural laws.
I've been exploring the creative process since the spring, and looking through the lens of the seasons has given me incredible insights. To recap for those of you just joining me:
Winter represents the quiet internal fallow state needed for the artist to hold within them the unfertilized egg, which is then seeded in Spring, bringing forth the sprouts of inspiration from the balance of inner quiet and outer exuberance. Summer is the heat and the rain of motivation - the willpower to stick with the development of your artwork even when it looks like it's not growing or worse, sick or dying. Late summer early fall brings the clarity of intention - a heart-space for the artist to truly, with presence and self-esteem, determine the nature of their work. This is when we see profound growth and maturation of the creative fruit and the development of a work of art - when it becomes a magical and powerfully potent piece that will nourish those who 'consume it'.
Now, look out your window. Yes, we have arrived at the final stage: MANIFESTATION.
Autumn and artistic manifestation are bittersweet 'seasons' - the memories of glorious summer bursting from crisp apples, ripe grapes and rich squash, the celebration of the fulfillment of a another successful growing season and the heart-space of gratitude for mother earth, the great provider. The leaves mirror our ecstatic joy, and teach us that death can be an ally - as they release their leaves to fertilize the soil below, and draw their energy inwards in anticipation of winter, we too reluctantly face the impending cold, but also revel in the spectacular beauty that is the final culmination of the seedling of spring.
As artists, this is the time to pull together all our laborious art-making and harvest the fruits of our creative labors, which means both the celebration of the completed work of art and the grief of letting it go.
At this stage in the game, the artist becomes the farmer doing their most laborious task. We have listened to the signs, worked with the unpredictable weather of life and our mind and at the end of the year, sinking down into the dirt, knees cold from the impending frost we pull up the sugar beet, turning it over in our palm, brush off the soil and bear our teeth (in a smile not a bite!), knowing this is the moment we live for - the great mystery of the yield, what is offered freely from the conditions of the earth (inspiration), sun (motivation) and water (intention).
Just like the harvest, completing a piece of art is extremely hard work. The first yogic practice I recommend applying at this stage is Tapas. Below, is a short video on how and why to incorporate Tapas into your yoga and art practices to help you harvest your vision and manifest your work of art out in the world.
I've also written a very detailed article for you on Manifesting with Tapas as the final of a 4-part series on the creative pillars for YOGAANONYMOUS and Wanderlust Yoga. Here's the link to the entire series, for whichever stage you find yourself currently working at:
Inspiration: Where do our ideas come from and how can we encourage them?
Motivation: Our natural desire to nurture and grow something and to play.
Intention: Choosing what we want to encode into the genetic fabric of our art.
Manifestation: What really separates the artistic grains from the creative chaff is commitment and follow-through.
Remember, the end is simply the beginning of the next work of art, season, or stage in your evolution. And so continues my work. I will be looping back to give you deeper insight into each of the 4 creative pillars, (stages of the art-making process) via words and video over the winter.
Wishing you abundance and completion this Autumn,