When Nature Supports Your Creative Journey

Transitioning Leaves. Photo by Jennifer Sando.

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” -John Muir

If you have ever felt lost and disorganised and unsure of the next step in your creative journey, have you considered that clarity awaits in the great outdoors?

I’m going to admit that deciding to write about self-empowerment on my new blog was a bold move for me. It’s a very grown-up topic. (I still see myself as the zitty teenager spending hours holed up in my attic bedroom writing my first screenplay just for myself.) I wasn’t sure if that type of blog was the right step for me to take. I knew that if I put Self-Empowerment in my blog’s tagline, I needed to be sure of what I was bringing to the table. Was it even the right term? A friend of mine had said she found the word empowerment too strong and too emotive…

Back to the great outdoors. I’m certainly not a hiker or a camper. I don’t have dreams of being a deep-sea diver, or willing to throw myself into some other crazy-adventurous activity so I can flood your instagram feed with pictures of me trying to prove a point. But simple walks in my neighbourhood? Yes, please.

I always underestimate the power of a simple walk. It never fails to be the right course of action for me when I need to clear my head, get some inner quietness, seek inspiration, or (as was my case this morning) get the restless toddler out of the house. Within minutes of my kid sitting in his stroller, and me placing a leaf in his hand, he was calm. A different child.

We walked on, and I found more leaves with striking colours that began to speak to me. As I was showing them to my boy, I began to analyse what I liked about them. The gradience in the greens, browns, yellows. The way the colours ran into each other, yet each section still visibly separate. I recognised that each patch had a different part to play in their contribution to the physical form of the leaves.

These leaves were moving on, too. Transitioning. And therein lay my a-ha! moment. I am transitioning creatively. “This is what you need to take your writing to the next level,” the leaves said. (Okay, they didn’t, but that is what I felt.)

I realised that even though blogging about self-empowerment through creativity is close to the kind of tales I want to tell, I don’t need to put a Self-Empowerment label on my blog.

Creativity is a powerful tool, state, and gift. I’m going to leave the feelings I’m hoping to invoke up to the readers. With that in mind, my new tagline for my blog is simply: For Creatives & Creativity-Seekers.

It were as though I had subconsciously asked nature to show me where I am in my creative journey.

The photograph that I took of the leaves mirrors the colours of my transition. It were as though I had subconsciously asked nature to show me where I am in my creative journey. After that walk, I felt a block lift within. We all have blocks we need to lift otherwise we remain stuck. We don’t grow–as creatives, and as people. There’s nothing inspiring, glorious or empowering about stagnation.

If you want to spend more time outdoors, it doesn’t have to be strenuous, challenging or costly. Consider a trip to the beach, a couple hours of fruit-picking, Tai Chi in the park, camping in your backyard… (I’ll stick to walks around my neighbourhood if you don’t mind.) Whatever you choose, you may be surprised at the sort of answers or thought-seeds that nature can plant in your mind. It seems far-fetched that nature can offer a helping hand when it comes to our creative thoughts, or that it can whisper affirmatives into our ears when we have questions about our next creative step. I continue to be surprised by it.

Sometimes, you can’t explain how nature plays a part. An unusually beautiful butterfly crosses your path, or sunbeams pierce a cloudscape right when you are feeling down–and you suddenly get a knowing feeling that what you are doing is the right thing. You know the feeling I mean. Your intuition kicked in. If you then try to explain to someone that the butterfly or the sunbeams support your choice, they’re probably not going to go for it. That’s okay, because the only person you need to worry about when going for something–hitting that next creative goal–is YOU.

Can you remember a time when you felt you were transitioning creatively? Or if you’ve experienced a time when nature bailed you out of a creative rut? Please share a comment.

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About Jennifer Sando

I am a writer and photographer, and author of the book, Picture In A Frame.

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4 Replies

  1. Oh, yes! One winter, snowy afternoon was my inspiration for a short story that led me to my husband!

    1. Hi Mariella. I would say that it is a very productive walk — a written piece AND a husband! Double jackpot! Haha.

  2. Getting outside into nature is a great way to boost creativity. When I’m stuck on a project I try to squeeze in a run or walk to flush it out. Some of my best ideas have come while on a run.

    1. Hi quilty, thanks for visiting. Actually, running is something that I’d like to take up this year. I haven’t run (more than 100 metres) since… high school. I know that to start running there is nothing to it, but it’s been so long and I am so unfit that I always feel like I am late for a pretend bus. Ha.

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