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Space to be - deeply creative, fully alive

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 and relationships?
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 deeply alive.

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 Small Pilgrim Places and the Yurt can be booked by individuals or small groups.

Find out more of how we do this by clicking here.

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 WCCM website.

  1. Find a quiet place free from distraction.
  2. Sit down, sit still and upright, relaxed and alert.
  3. Close your eyes lightly.
  4. Silently, interiorly, begin to say a single word.
  5. Listen to it as you say it, gently, but continuously.

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 minutes).

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."
Rowan Williams