Unravel Foundations is now open! Enroll today

Filed under: Life

Dispelling the notion that creatives are always "on"

and what that looks like in the everyday.

On Honoring Our Contractions

During this time, I'm still productive and working, but I lean more into the in-between moments. 

I simplify things, so my days have more give in their cloth. 
I pause from social media. I say no to casual outings. I stop filling my ears with information. I drop unnecessary errands. I let non-urgent messages grow weeds, knowing my friends will understand. 

Through this simplicity, the space of being widens. 
I brush against the rattling bones of old stories that have held me captive, but weren't mine- stories as simple as Monday.
I take off timelines that have been unknowingly tacked onto my back.

I find joy in discovering new recipes and cooking again- one that has taken a backseat from the beautiful and intense building over the years. 

I savor the tending of my Unravel community, one that always nourishes my soul.

I pull up a chair for my emotions and let them speak. 
I allow the pressure to do its thing.

There will always be times in our lives when we need to move through a threshold- this is called maturing. And unlike birthdays, these thresholds appear mysteriously- you just feel it in your bones that it's time. 
It's time to allow, the way a mayfly allows, the way a volcano allows. This entails giving yourself silence and space to honor your inner processes. 

I know, I know. It is hard to slow down in this world. And it's not your fault. The structure of our machine-like society makes it so, failing to support our human-ing at the most intrinsic level. 
But, I think we can always knead out a crust of extra space in our days- which is usually more life-giving than a mountain of to-dos. 

Rumi puts it beautifully: 

"Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open, 
you would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence
is in every small contracting and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birdwings."

Like Rumi says, life includes both expansions and contractions. In answering your inner needs, it doesn't have to be grand. It can be as simple as drinking a cup of silence after lunch, sitting under a tree for an hour, or letting your tears fall in the belly of night.  
Putting this off will just rob you of the most important growth in your life. 
It is worth slowing down your dream building for this, as it will just serve to empower it in the end. 
And what's the point of arriving, if you lose yourself along the way? 
What's the point of arriving, if you haven't been able to enjoy the journey? 
Thank you for receiving today, 

PS: If you're looking to balance your inner growth with your dream building, check out my Unravel Mastermind. It's made of beautiful path builders from around the world. We have weekly live gatherings, monthly transformative creativity workshops, and a vibrant forum. Join us!  

More than how are you?, sometimes, I like to ask: what's been alive for you?
So for this month's studio newsletter, I thought I'd share what has been alive in my sphere. 

I'm now writing on my kitchen table, my mind settling like silt, with the champagne-colored sky gathering the sun, about to pour its last molten light into the sea. 

These past weeks have been turbulent, with lots of tossing and turning in my days and nights. There is a knowing in my bones that I'm on the edge of a new stage in life. As you may know, these times are usually laden with anxiousness and anticipation. 
Pressure gathers the most before a significant transformation, whether that is a bud about to bloom or a crust of the earth crystallizing into feldspar. I'm feeling this pressure build up in my being. 
Before, I would have fought this. I would have stepped onto the gas pedal to ease the pressure or pushed myself into creating. Now, I know better and just allow. I hold the discomfort, the ambiguity, with a curiosity to discover what's on the other side. 
Silence, simplicity, space. This is the prescription for these times from the medicine woman in my heart. I laugh at how I used to do the opposite: noise, complexity, and filling up. I finally bow and listen. 

Creativity still beckons me with idea after idea, but these ideas have the taste of a weakened broth. I know this is not the time to pursue them or push. 

Instead, I know the main work here is to allow and to grieve. I have gotten to know grief as the tough and tender gatekeeper, the one who stands before the door and asks you to release anything that won't serve you in the next phase. 
Whereas we usually associate grief with the loss of someone dear, there's always a loss that accompanies our life transitions, including: the loss of our old identity, the loss of life as we have always known it, the loss of our unfulfilled hopes for that chapter.
These deserve our care, so they can fully move through us. When we do not tend this grief, we get stuck and don't move fully onto the next phase. Unprocessed grief then churns into anxiety, noise, and static. Our days start to feel like a shrunken scratchy sweater.
So this is the place I find myself.

The Journal

The Journal

Simplicity will always lead you home.

What My Days Have Looked Like

Explore Unravel>

Discover More

Close In

Widening Circles:
Evoke the Awe of Living

The Desire Conundrum:
Should I Follow Them?




Ready to live your truth? 


A 12 week journey of self discovery for those who long to live life as their unique work of art. 

Join us for this playful, creative, and embodied pilgrimage through uncharted territories of your inner landscape. Unlearn the biggest barriers to your dreams and reclaim parts of yourself that have been lost along the way.

Discover your next steps alongside a safe and nurturing community of people finding their way home just like you.

Wake up feeling in awe of your life


© Dandan Liu 2022. All rights reserved.

back to top