My experience of living creatively is that most of the time I feel like I’m walking around naked, where most of the world is walking around fully clothed.Lucy H. Pearce, Creatrix: She Who Makes
If you want to be a poet, then I would ask you how naked you’re willing to get, how much of your soul you’re willing to expose to a world that isn’t too comfortable with unabashed truth. Poetry doesn’t undress slowly over 350 pages of exposition, plot, climax, and denouement. It rips the shirt right off, or to be more exact—it never had the shirt on in the first place. Poetry is a wild and natural Eve before fig leaves.
In my previous post, I talked about the feeling of awen and how divine inspiration is a lot like having a lover. In this post, I’m diving into the relationship between sexual energy and creative output and more specifically, how the womb is connected to the voice. Because for a woman writing poetry, this connection is everything.
My tagline is Free Your Feminine Voice, but what does that mean? What locks up a woman’s voice, her expression? What sort of magic happens when she kicks open the cage door and spreads her wings all the way out?
The whole time I was in graduate school studying the craft of writing, no one mentioned exactly why writer’s block happens. We just knew that it did. We discussed it as incontrovertible fact. We talked about how to work through it and trick our brains with exercises like freewriting, brainstorming, house cleaning (seriously), writing in a different location, writing with a different tool, and so on. But the actual source of creative blockage? My professors never went there.
Because if they had gone there, they would have had to talk about sex or at least about the sacral chakra. They would have had to talk about appetite, choice, desire, needs, boundaries, and how the voice is the vehicle for expressing all of this. They would have had to talk about how energy flows from the womb to the heart to the voice to the world. They would have needed to mention feminine cycles of creativity and how we get our best ideas at ovulation or on full moons. They would have told us that not getting our true needs met—and not even being aware of them—is how our work stays small, predictable, tame, unremarkable, and fully clothed.
Personally, I don’t believe that a masterpiece comes from starvation, deprivation, and being completely disconnected from what we desire. I believe it comes from allowing ourselves to be rooted and nourished. I believe that women are at our best when we’re properly satiated and practically swimming in our creative juices, but our culture prefers that we be at everyone else’s service.
Rather than teaching us about how to overcome writer’s block, I feel that schools should have been teaching us about how to avoid becoming blocked in the first place, about practices that keep the fire continually stoked, about how to process and transmute the emotional pain and trauma that shuts us down, and about how to prioritize ourselves and our art.
If a woman tells me that she feels uninspired, I won’t recommend that she take out a sheet of paper and start freewriting. I’ll tell her to close her eyes, put her hands on her lower belly, and feel her power. I’ll tell her that every answer she is looking for is there and that if her energy isn’t flowing, her womb knows how to fix the problem. All she has to do is trust herself and her innate wisdom, which has always been inside of her no matter how much the outer world tries to sever that sacred connection.
As Azra and Seren Bertrand note in Womb Awakening, “By tuning in to the womb space every day, placing your hands on the womb and breathing deeply, dropping into the black velvet silence, and allowing any feelings, insights, or sensations to arise—we can switch the line back on and receive guidance for every aspect of our lives. Even if we only feel boredom and agitation when we drop down into the Womb, with patience, commitment, and self-acceptance we can begin to untangle any blocks.”
And there it is. The part that was left out of the university curriculum. The part that I had to learn years later through my own explorations into a world outside of male-centered religions and perspectives.
For me, freeing the feminine voice and learning how to be a naked poet in a buttoned-up world started with healing the womb and becoming at ease with the “black velvet silence.” I learned that creating begins with allowing and especially with tending—careful, gentle tending of that space where the sacred flame of the Goddess meets my own.
Jen Miller is an inspirational writer, sacred circle facilitator, and ovate-grade member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Her passion is inspiring others to reconnect with their own power, magic, and creativity. Jen explores themes of earth-centered spirituality, women’s empowerment, transformation, nature, and healing in her poetry and prose. Her work has appeared in Rebelle Society, SageWoman, The Tor Stone, and others. She posts regularly on Facebook and Instagram @quillofthegoddess.