I’ve been curious about the word agency; curious about the internal impulse from which a person’s agency springs, and what happens to that impulse in so many of us.
One of the definitions of ‘agency’ is ‘the ability for a person to act for herself or himself. A person who is not allowed to act for her/himself is lacking in agency.’
Under what circumstances would an adult who is free to act however she wants not be allowed to act for herself? Only if she doesn’t give herself the permission to do so!
Somewhere within a woman’s psyche, there is a stern inner-patriarch who is just waiting to let you know you don’t have that power, waiting to revoke your permission. Often this inner-patriarch is hidden. We don’t see it. We don’t hear its messages. We just believe we need permission. As adults, we know it is ourselves that is keeping us waiting, but it isn’t logical that we would do this to ourselves.
Ultimately, this feeling of agency must come up out of the soul, out of the strength and will of our essential nature. When we take responsibility for our creativity and act on the inner impulses that arise out of our own life force, we honor soul and we honor our lives.
To do so is also exhilarating because it means we are beginning to live our true autonomy. It means we are honoring that which must be lived and those qualities which bring us alive.
To stand fully in your life as a creator, know that
1) Creativity is not simply art; it is Source expressing through your humanity.
Often we can believe that creativity only shows up in art, but that’s because most of us were taught that creativity is only expressed through artistic endeavors. Creativity is the language of soul. It is the language of change. Creativity is not rational, logical, or linear. And, it is not irrational. It is the intelligence of life itself coming into being in the physical world. It is how we navigate and create within a world that is inherently unknowable. Creativity is Source expressing through your beautiful human self.
2) Your soul longs to express through your human self.
You are naturally, organically, and inherently creative. You have everything inside you to live what you must live and to create what you must create. As Neruda wrote, “I want to do with you what Spring does with cherry trees.”You are the cherry tree and life coming through you is the creative force. There is an internal desire within you to express, a longing to express.
3) You must find, and act from, your own agency.
You are your own agent of expression and will always be the only agent of expression that can come through you. You have sole the power and authority to bring your creations into the world. No one else can give you permission. When we stop looking for someone outside of us to give us what we believe we need, and when we stop attempting to trade our own power for something we believe only others can give us, we can then find the root of this personal agency, the root of Being that is the light within us.
4) The Voice of Judgment is powerful, but not as powerful as your creativity.
There is a force at work, both within your own psyche, and in the overculture at large, that wants to keep you from standing fully as a sovereign human being and expressing your unique creativity in this world. It can be the inner patriarch. It can be the inner critic. I call it the Voice of Judgment where judgment comes from yourself, others, the culture. Know it is here. Learn what it says and how it attempts to keep you from creating. Do not believe it when it says you need it. You don’t. It will only keep you silenced. Yes, it is doing so to ‘keep you safe’. But staying with yourself (see #5) ultimately brings more strength than the Voice of Judgment ever could.
5) Stay with Yourself, no matter what, through the act of remembrance.
The essential root of your creativity, and the courage required to live it, comes from and through a deep, honoring, and conscious relationship with yourself. No matter what, stay with yourself and when you leave yourself, come back to yourself. We can leave ourselves many ways. I leave myself most often when I worry what someone else might think of my creation, my idea, my work; or, when an old pattern pops up wants me to believe that someone else has authority over me and I must acquiesce to their desire (or implied desire).
Remembrance is the act of remembering what you really are. It is the act of coming back to the center within your own being. When you come to see you’ve left yourself, remember the Source of your life.
6) Your relationship with the creative unknown requires trust – deep, solid trust.
The one thing I hear from almost everyone I’ve worked with on creativity is that they fear the unknown. This has been true for me, too. In fact, it’s been the biggest thing that keeps me from creating. But, I’ve come to see that what we are fearing is not really the unknown itself, but what we are projecting onto the unknown. And what we are projecting (usually judgment, abandonment, etc.) come out of our early life experiences.
Listen, deeply, to the unknown. It isn’t what our minds tell us it is. It is the alive, intelligent, creation from which everything is born and into which everything eventually dies.
The creative unknown is love.
7) You are the only one who can create the creations naturally within you.
Your soul is the manifestation of Oneness into the form that is you. You express qualities of essence that are unique and that uniqueness underlies all of your creations. Therefore, no one other than you can bring them forth. If you do not bring them forth, they will die within you.
8) When you honor that which longs to be expressed through you, you honor your Soul.
Your works of expression might never be respected, appreciated, or loved by another human being. They might be. And they might not be. But, when love is the guiding force of all of your creations, whether artistic or business or parenting, or any other area of creativity, the love that moves through you loves the creations it creates. The intrinsic worth of your creations can only come from your own love for yourself and your creations. Then, once your creation is offered into the world, each person receiving it gets to decide how they wish to respond to it. How they respond to your creation is how they respond, and how they do does not change its intrinsic worth.
Know that the Source of your creativity loves you. The Source is love itself.
To stand in your own authority and act with your own agency takes courage. It is important to have an alive, available relationship with soul. To know that you are being held by soul and that you are the only one that can, and will, bring soul forth is to fully come to know, through lived experience, the absolute love of this relationship.