Until that day, I couldn’t imagine that an estate sale could become a catalyst for a revelation that, years later, still inspires me. The sale was advertised online and promised treasures that I had to see. I drove to an unfamiliar part of town and followed signs to the sale site. I entered a house I’d never visited before and was greeted by the owner, a woman I did not know. She welcomed me warmly and as I began to look around at the items displayed for sale, she returned almost immediately and said “I have been waiting for you” and then “this is yours.” She removed the price tag from the plaque in her hands on which was mounted two embroidered beaded shoes from India called “juties.” She said it was a gift for me. The plaque had hung for years at the entrance of her meditation room and to her it signified walking a spiritual path. Of course I was speechless—and grateful. (And confused)
It was a memorable connection that didn’t make sense but I knew there was a deeper encounter unfolding. Although I never saw my benefactor again I began to understand the symbolism of shoes. Soon afterwards, my mentor Shiloh Sophia McCloud, recommended getting a new pair of shoes to start the upcoming new year, reflecting on taking the first steps into that year with intention. More shoe magic!
So why discuss shoes in this inaugural post of “Creativity is Calling?” What do shoes have to do with creativity? Shoes not only walk on common ground, they are common ground. We all have different pairs for our many activities, wants, and needs. Sexy heels and flip flops, slippers and work shoes, boots and athletic shoes. They each have a history and a voice if we’d listen closely. And all of us and all of the parts of us have distinct voices as well.
Our stories are told through our creative moments. They can be translated into art, writing, music, dance, cooking, gardening, decorating, and even relationships. Walk into any large shoe store and notice the almost infinite variety of colors, shapes, and styles. Just like us and just like our unique expressions of creativity.
May 3, 2013 was actually “National Two Different Colored Shoe Day.” No kidding! The day was created by Dr. Arlene Keiser to recognize and celebrate human diversity and proclaim individuality. She is modeling creativity in action!
This blog site is dedicated to excavating our unique creativity and also putting it into action. Perhaps you acknowledge and celebrate your creativity or maybe you don’t believe it’s one of your gifts. It is! Just like the shoes in our closets, our creativity takes many forms and leads us to many places. In the movie “Cold Fever,” a character muses “I learned that sometimes a journey can take you to a place that is not on any map.” That is where we are going from here!
Thank you for beginning this adventure with me. I hope you’ll join in the unfolding of this exploration. And I have your first Creativity Challenge: Celebrate your creative beingness today by following the lead of Two Colored Shoe Day. If different shoes are too much of a stretch, how about wearing different earrings or putting together clothing pieces that portray you in an unfamiliar way? Every small creative step we take helps us survey the landscape of self-expression and find our way home to ourselves. I invite you to post a comment below about your creative “stepping out” to inspire us. Have fun pondering the possibilities of showing the world your creative self found within!