By Deb Matlock

“To speak of creativity is to speak of profound intimacy. It is also to speak of our connecting to the Divine in us and of our bringing the Divine back to the community. This is true whether we understand our creativity to be begetting and nourishing our children, making music, doing theater, gardening, writing, teaching, running a business, painting, constructing houses, or sharing the healing arts of medicine and therapy.”
Matthew Fox


The changing of the seasons makes me think of creativity in all its forms and how the act of making art, however that looks for each of us, is a deep, beautifully powerful, and intimate way to explore our connection to wild nature.  Whether we are painting, writing, dancing, taking pictures, arranging plants in our gardens, decorating our homes, or designing a birthday party for a child, honoring our creative self has so much to offer the world around us.  And our creativity is so very often inspired by our relationship with the more-than-human world.  After all, how many kitchens around the world are decorated with roosters or fruits?  How many bathrooms boast floral themes?  How many poems have been written under the stars?  Wild nature and wild creativity may well be one and the same. 

Several years ago, I started an arts program at the local open space municipality where I was working as an Interpretive Naturalist.  This program brought local artists who found their inspiration in the wild lands in our community together with interested members of the public.  We offered a wide array of outdoor workshops all focused on the deep, intimate connection between people and place.  Art was a part of these programs, but it was not the priority.  Art was the window, the door, the bridge, the threshold into a new way of being. The priority of these workshops was creating opportunities for people to sense the wild land and wild beings around them differently than perhaps they had before, to see with new eyes, to explore how their wild relationships inspired their creative impulses.  That being said, the beauty of what people created was truly inspiring!

The experiences of these workshops taught me so much as a nature connection practitioner.  When we step out of our linear minds just a bit, allow ourselves to focus on color, shape, light, texture, patterns…we can often engage a deeply wild part of ourselves and see ourselves and part of the wild world around us.  When we allow ourselves to find our own creative rhythms in the world around us, it can help us to truly realize ourselves and eco-spiritual beings participating in a wild, rhythmic, and creative cosmic dance.  When we understand our creative selves as our eco-spiritual selves, we can deepen our spiritual journey on this earth.  So…let’s get creative!

Deb Matlock grew up in the mountains of Colorado and is deeply committed to nurturing the connection between people, animals, earth, and spirit.  She has spent twenty-five years working as a professional environmental and humane educator and naturalist.  Additionally, Deb offers nature-based spiritual guidance, nature connection trainings for practitioners, animal communication, nature connection workshops, and retreats through her business, Wild Rhythms.  She is passionate about helping people find connection and deep spiritual meaning in their lives and in the places where they live.  Deb holds a Master of Arts in Environmental Education from Prescott College and is pursuing her doctoral degree in environmental studies at Antioch University New England. 

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