“I have an insatiable need to express myself, to put down what is going on for me or flowing through me. To suppress it would be unhealthy and ultimately damaging.”
1. Describe your current family situation
I am blessed to be in a happy, healthy marriage of 13+ years. I have two sons, aged 10 and 7, and a daughter, aged 3. Our family lives off-grid in rural Portugal, having moved from Brighton, UK in 2014.
2. In your eyes, what does ‘creativity’ mean and why is it important to you?
For me, creativity is profound. It is the act of manifesting something tangible from pure consciousness, a process that connects me to my own divinity. It is also the gateway through which we each express our unique perspective on our experience and existence. It brings meaning and diversity to the world.
On a personal level, it keeps me sane. I have an insatiable need to express myself, to put down what is going on for me or flowing through me. To suppress it would be unhealthy and ultimately damaging.
3. How do you carve out time and space within family life for your creative practice?
My approach to this used to be haphazard, but as of about two years ago, I started to take my weekly ‘creative time’. For two hours on a Sunday, my partner is committed to keeping the kids away and occupied while I focus on whichever creative tasks I choose. It has been revolutionary for my creative practice. For example, having had a real block around making visual art, I began to make series of collage, lino prints, charcoal drawings and paintings during that sacred two hour period. I was amazed how productive I could be when I had the focused time.
For several years, I have been part of a monthly writing group, first in the UK, now in Portugal. Sitting in the company of other writers, sharing exercises and our work, enriches my own writing and is a clear, boundaried time to dedicate to that process.
4. What kind of creative activities do you feel drawn to again and again?
Writing is my first love and it is the medium I return to over and over, continually appreciating the magic that happens when I put pen to paper. This is in the form of personal writing in my journal, prose, poetry and non-fiction articles.
I also love to sing and have been composing my own songs since 2001.
Making pictures is another activity that has followed me through life. I like to observe how my writing feeds into my visual art and vice versa.
Outside of the ‘artistic’ sphere, I express my creativity through facilitating experiences and workshops in my community and in my mentoring work.
5. How do you get inspiration flowing when you feel stuck?
One of my fail-safe methods for generating ideas is to write one or several streams of consciousness. This type of free or automatic writing helps me access layers of the mind that are hidden in the rational and everyday. Imagery and language arise that come from a deeper, more intuitive and innately poetic state. I can then use these as springboards for new writing.
And sometimes, I just have to ride the plateau. I don’t always find it easy but, if I am patient, the inspiration often starts flowing again, usually transporting me head first in its torrent.
Spending time alone and in nature helps too. Away from the busyness of family life, I can more easily tune into the stirrings of my spirit and listen to the quiet voice of inspiration.
6. In what ways do you sabotage your own creative life?
If I don’t honour my weekly creative time and instead put other social and family activities first, I start to feel the lack of connection to my creative self and get more drawn into the mundane world.
I am very good at starting projects but not always completing them. I have been improving in this area over the last couple of years but I am sometimes lazy in bringing my work to a finished state. This is one of the ways I stay within my comfort zone and limit my growth as a writer and artist.
7. Who or what are your creative allies or mentors?
My journal! I always have a notebook on the go where I record my thoughts, feelings, reflections and frustrations as well as ideas and new projects. I find it valuable to look back through old journals to revisit my past self and to dig out forgotten treasures.
My husband, Prem, is definitely my greatest human ally. He has given me so much support and encouragement over the years and never seems fazed by my peaks and troughs.
8. How would you describe the relationship between your creativity and your mothering?
I am a much better mother when I am making time for my creative life. I feel more fulfilled and balanced when I am nourishing the inner me and giving a regular outlet for my expression. And it helps me be more fun and creative, not to mention patient with my children.
I think it is important to model this for my kids so that, when they grow up and have their own families, they strive to find a balance between their own needs and those of their loved ones.
There can be conflict as well, of course. When I am in the midst of a creative project that keeps calling for my attention and input, I feel torn and preoccupied by the responsibility and commitment of childcare.
9. To what extent does your creative work generate a financial income for your family? How does this reality compare to your aspirations around this?
I have recently returned to the ‘world of work’ after ten years of intensive mothering and full time home-educating (immense work in itself). Now that I have more time, I am determined to make a substantial contribution to our family’s income doing what I love, which centres around my own creative work and supporting others in their personal and creative journeys.
10. What would you say to a mother who is struggling to express herself in the midst of her family commitments?
Find a regular time slot in your week when you can dedicate yourself to your creative process, even if it is 15 minutes to scribble down a few words or a picture. Honour it and stick to it. It will support you to thrive and flourish.
Start practising the art of asking for what you need – space for yourself, help with childcare etc. It is easy for us mothers to live out of balance, taking care of others first. Your creativity is an essential part of who you are, it deserves your time and focus.
11. Big yourself up, sister – share your current / most exciting projects, web and social media links:
Voices from the MotherVerse!
You can read my poetry and prose on roshnii.net
And you can read my (mostly) non-fiction musings on Medium.
Born and raised in London, I left England’s cities for a quieter life in closer connection to the cycles of Nature.
I am passionate about creativity in all its forms, as a means of personal expression, transformation and spiritual practice.
As well as being a writer, artist and musician, I support families through the journey of pregnancy, birth and parenthood as a doula and birth mentor.