Space to be - deeply creative, fully
We came across this by
J. Philip Newell - former warden of Iona Abbey - and we
like it a lot.
There is a relationship between stillness and creativity;
between resting and being more alive. There is a pattern woven
through all creation: of night followed by day; of the stillness
of the winter earth followed by the energy of spring; of long
periods of infolding followed by colourful unfoldings; of life’s
seed-force slowly regenerating in the dark before bursting forth
for conception and new beginnings.
Are we thinking that we can ignore this pattern and still be
creative? Are we thinking that we can be constantly busy, or
that we can relentlessly push our own resources and the
resources of the earth, and still enjoy well-being in our lives
If we ignore nature’s patterns of stillness, our creativity
will be either superficial or exhausted. The following prayer
points to the sacredness of rest. It names our need for inner
restfulness, as well as outer restfulness, if we are to be
As earth requires rest
and the seas need time to be replenished,
so in resting may I be made more alive,
so in stillness may my creativity be born anew.
One way to find this balance is to create a 'breathing space' in
our lives. We offer physical space as part of a network of
Places and the Yurt can be
booked by individuals or small groups.
Find out more of how we do this by
We also find meditation and contemplative prayer a good way
to tune into this pattern. It helps us to ground our lives and
to live in the present moment. Here are some tips to beginning
meditation that we found on the
- Find a quiet place free from distraction.
- Sit down, sit still and upright, relaxed and alert.
- Close your eyes lightly.
- Silently, interiorly, begin to say a single word.
- Listen to it as you say it, gently, but
Do not think or imagine anything - spiritual or
otherwise. Thoughts and images will likely come, but let
them pass. Just keep returning your attention - with
humility and simplicity - to saying your word in faith, from
the beginning to the end of your meditation (usually 20-30
This has been described as a "Matrix moment" where we go
beyond the construct of what we perceive as our
reality - what we read in the newspaper, see on the TV news,
what others say about us, what we think about ourselves -
in order to seek what is really there.
Space to be.
"In a setting where relentless productivity is
overvalued, we can forget what is needed to produce functioning human
beings. We harm our children when we fail to secure their stability and their sense
of being seen and listened to. The result is that we seem to produce people
who themselves cannot properly look or listen."