I was raised in a housing community for research scientists in Mumbai where art, music, dance, beauty, and spirituality were cast aside as nonsense by my father, in favour of the pedantic breath of academia. The dry and arid winds of pure academics that blew here, parched to poverty the delicate sensitivity which nurtures exquisite artistic detail and creative richness into being. Even though I won art competitions in school, I could not see that I was an artist. To make matters worse, as a young woman in India, I was taught to live in guilt and self-denial, suppress any desire for dreaming and romanticising, individuality and independence; and instead, make myself useful in marriage and ‘duty’ to my husband. As I write this now, I can see how absurd and demeaning this view of life is.

From a very young age, my sensitive disposition extended to my health. However, the circumstances of my upbringing convinced me that my sensitivity was a punishment for being a bad person – a belief which prevented me from being receptive to creative sensitivity for many years.

Life can be an unrelenting, ruthless sacrificial pyre where we are taught to treat ourselves with shallowness and negligence by a harsh inner critic that says, you don’t matter

Are you willing to do it differently? Are you willing to see the creative resplendence that lies deep within you, that is longing to shine its radiance through you? Can you feel its longing, hears its gentle whisper? Can you commit to this part of you - the sensitive, essential and creative you - which evokes an emotion so moving, that once felt, it will not allow you to live with yourself if you ignore it? Can you get lost in its romance as it meanders through the wilderness of your heart? Are you willing to give your creative self a chance to show you its magnificence? Can you accept it, even in its imperfections?

Can you see your creative purity, potential and power or has it been obscured by a perceived obligation to a life which is adhered to simply out of fear, and which doesn’t see your truth? And which doesn’t acknowledge your deeper needs? Has the spark of your creative gift been hushed into timidity by the taunts of the ego? Have you lost touch with life’s subtle, romantic, transcendent realm of feeling and being, from where the seduction of creative magic is born? 

Creative inspiration is felt in the stillness within the movement, and seen in the spaces between the leaves. Its important to look deep within and ask ourselves some significant questions.

Sonali Johri Ⓒ Copyright 2018