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Harvesting Your Creative Contribution

Harvesting Your Creative Contribution

Gather every man, gather every woman
Celebrate your lives, give thanks for your children

Gather everyone, gather all together
Overlooking none, hopin' life gets better for the world
Harvest for the World - Isley Brothers

Here in London, the harvest of autumnal colours brings rich, ripe rewards to the eyes. A rainbow of leaves flutter from trees and mellow golden sunshine warms the cheeks of chestnuts.  Twirling sycamore helicopter seed pods and the crackling smile of a bright orange halloween pumpkin awaken us to the seasonal tricks and treats of Nature.  

Perceiving richness
Wealth begins in our ability to perceive the riches available within every moment.  The treasure trove of our experience yields its glory when we take time to recognize it.  Gratitude is the ability to find and embody greatness, even in the most challenging of experiences.  The word harvest arises from words meaning to cut, gather, pluck - and there will be chopping and peeling to do when life gives us lemons. By sharpening our focus on what can be gathered, learned or gained, we glean valuable riches from experience.

Being and bringing value
Our values determine the lens through which we focus on life.  The cultural, familial and religious values we receive from our environment during childhood shape our perspective.  We can, as adults, consciously choose what we want to value and how we wish to bring value.  For example, the value of my experiences of the natural world inspired me to write music about trees, water, which lead in turn to me joining Sing for Water and fundraising for WaterAid’s life-saving projects.  This has brought me immense value as I have met, sung, collaborated and been inspired by so many wonderful people.

The wealth of wholeness
To walk our talk is to embody our values. To act with integrity requires us to integrate and befriend the guests at the table within ourselves, as Rumi points out.  When the values we have been instilled with are not aligned with our purpose and truth our walk and talk are out of kilter, our behaviours are out of tune with our words. This requires a brave and compassionate look at ourselves to discover what we truly value and to be courageous enough to act on it, even in the face of resistance. 

Harvesting our true values changes the world
Malala Yousafzai was brought up in a culture which did not value women.  She describes facing two choices - “one was not to speak and wait to be killed, and the second was to speak up and then be killed.”  She was shot and almost killed for continuing to pursue her education and recovered in exile in the UK.  The youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize she is now making a huge impact with her message of peace and education:  “I speak – not for myself, but for all girls and boys.  I raise up my voice – not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.”

Creative celebration
Singing for Breathing at the Royal Brompton & Harefield hospitals demonstrates the power of creativity at work within challenging circumstances. Visual artist Jayne Wilton is currently working with patients, using photography and animation to create visual representations of their breath.  This process facilitated powerful changes of perspective for patients - pathology has been transformed into artistry.  One of the many insights, was just how different every breath is - the richness of textures, sound and character it contains.

When we become present to the gold within us we can gather and harvest our true value.  In doing so we contribute to a harvest for the world.

Wishing you an abundant harvest of happiness this October
Harvesting Your Creative Contribution 
Making a personal treasure map
* Map out your treasure - list and celebrate your gifts, resources, support network, positive experiences, trainings.
* Notice and list the core values that thread through your map.
* Commit to three actions you can take this month which will bring more of what you value into your life.