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creative unearthing podcast with emma freeman

37 EpisodesProduced by Emma FreemanWebsite

A podcast focused on deep conversations exploring spiritual healing through art making and the medicinal powers of returning to our earth bodies through intimacy, vulnerability, play and compassion. Hosted by Emma Freeman, intuitive artist, poet, writer and healer. She works with fibers, textiles, s… read more


Ep 26: Diving into the Depths: cultivating and exploring a contemplative approach to art making and life

In this episode, I open up about my relationship to contemplation within my art practice and my life and how it has helped me and continues to help me heal deeply and find a rich, more meaningful relationship to myself, to my art making, to other humans and creatures and to nature. 

I read a poem by Mary Oliver called, "Today" and a poem by John O'Donohue called "For the Unknown Self." 

I share how through contemplation I created a self-guided visual meditation to help heal a childhood experience when I thought I wasn't an artist because I thought I couldn't draw. 

Contemplation has become an essential part of my art practice and my life. It has helped and continues to help me heal my deepest wounds, travel back in time throughout my life and find younger versions of me that were/are still hurting that were asking for my help and attention. It was through the practice of contemplation that I was able to change my relationship to alcohol, to being defensive and guarded, to people pleasing, to anger and other difficult emotions, to my role and choices in various relationships and the list goes on.

I learned to take a long loving look at myself and all of the parts of me, parts that I used to label as bad or good, right or wrong. That practice has been transformative and has rippled out into all aspects of my life.

I share poet, Naomi Shehah Nye's interview on On Being when she mentions a definition of contemplation that spoke to her which is, "a long, loving look." 

I’ve also read that it means to look at something with continued attention, to observe thoughtfully, to consider something thoroughly-to think fully and deeply about something. All of those resonate with me. 

While I am creating something-whether that is a fabric meditation book, a small weaving, a poem or a piece with nature, I move slowly-very slowly and along the way as the piece emerges, I stop and look at it and allow my wonder to unfold within it, softly.

I ask quiet questions but not in the hyper critical/polarized way of is this right or wrong but rather, what are these materials saying? What has emerged after my initial idea that got me started with this particular dance within the creative process? Do the materials want me to take a different step than my mind wants me to? How might I respond to that new information?

This all happens internally, intuitively, gently. I have discovered this way of being in my art practice through just that-practice. Practice and stillness, stillness and solitude, solitude and spaciousness.

I am in awe of the experiences I have at my art table and the new realms that invite me into them to explore and wander around inside of each piece, inside of materials, inside of my own body as I just sit and listen. 

Contemplation can be such a beautiful gift and as I have settled into a contemplative art and spiritual practice, I have felt deeply fulfilled and nourished by it.  It allows me to have a deeper relationship with myself, with art that I create, with other humans and creatures, and with this planet. It invites me to look more closely at my life in so many different ways and continues to help me find my way forward in a way that feels deeper, more true, more aligned rather than moving quickly and doing a lot of different things at once without that depth which is how I lived for a long time.

To share your experiences with contemplation, you can email me through my website, or send me a message on Instagram

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