Creative Transformation: No Guru, No Method, No Teacher
One of my first big creative adventures came in 1994. I was living in Chicago and had just received a fellowship for a Master’s program in Interdisciplinary Arts at Columbia College when I got the call. The intuitive calling, which came through my morning writing practice, was to leave Chicago and move to LA.
I had no rational explanation, no job, no place to live in LA and only one friend there. I made my living as a writer, but the calling was not to write in LA (though I later did so). Still it was so clear and true that I knew I had to trust it. So I responded. I gratefully declined the fellowship, packed my car and set out.
A friend of mine, who agreed to make the cross-country trip with me, gave me a recording of songs he had compiled. My favorite was “In The Garden” by Van Morrison. In this haunting song, Morrison sings about a young woman who returns to a garden transformed; the refrain of the song is:
“No guru, no method, no teacher
just you and I and Nature in the garden.”
I remember at that time feeling how deeply true this was for me, as I set out on the journey that would transform me.
What I was doing did not make sense at all. It was high risk and the outcome was highly unpredictable. Strange things happened from there. The place I was to stay fell through. My car was broken into and later stolen. Someone offered me a gorgeous home with five cuddly kitties. I got the first TV writing job I applied for. I found a community. I made a new life. Life itself took me out of all that I knew, made me very uncomfortable and then transformed me. And that was just the beginning.
A couple of years ago, I met someone at a party who’s become a good friend of mine since. She asked what I did, and when I told her she replied, “So, you’re a guru!” “No,” I cried, “Not that word, please!” Definitely not a guru.
Ever since my Chicago days, I have felt that when we look to gurus or we name people as our gurus, we often give them responsibility for our own path. Of course there are many things that we can learn from other people. There are many, many people ahead of us on any path who can guide us. But the truth we must live will always be found deep within ourselves through our own connection with Life.
We listen. We live. We learn. The path of truth, as the mystics have always known, is personal experience, validated by Nature in respectful relation to the rest of life.
The Hero… You
Each of you has a unique journey to make in life. There is no one who can teach you what direction you should go, because the path is yours alone. This is why the Hero is an archetype present in almost all stories and myths around the world. You make the journey, and the journey transforms you. This is what it means to…
With love always,
To learn more about my experience and the key stops on your life’s creative journey, check out my book, The Wheel of Creativity: Taking Your Place in the Adventure of Life, on Amazon.