Incubating What Wants to Be Born, Class Offering

What is Incubation? the process in which a bird keeps its eggs warm until the young come out; the process in which an egg develops until the stage at which the young come out. Cambridge Dictionary.


The images of transformation are plentiful in nature: from the lowly caterpillar to the liberation of a brilliant butterfly, from tiny seeds in dark soil to the growth of majestic trees, from the nesting & incubation of eggs to the emergence of lively yellow chicks – we look to nature to help us understand why the long periods of waiting in darkness can help us open towards the light.


For human birth, the toughest time is often right before birth, in transition. Sometimes women get confused. They want to give up, they think it should be over. They lose faith this baby is ever going to come out!


In the creative process, there is also incubation, transition and birth – but when we are still incubating an idea or project, and not quite ready to birth it, our mind can fill us with self-doubt. That’s when we need all our patience because it’s not time to rush around, and it’s not time to give up. It’s time to dig inwards, practice listening and trust that the unknown will reveal itself. And this is the hardest thing! It often involves a seemingly dormant period when we are not quite aware of what is “cooking” underneath. Then one day the fog clears, a clear image arises of what needs to be born.


As an author and workshop facilitator, I have been there many times, in different projects. I’ve lost faith along the way. Something invisible is developing under cover of darkness, but it takes patience and courage to allow the creative force to nudge us gently into following its prompts, its lead.


The learning for myself has been about how to allow non-productive time in which to nurture what will burst forth slowly or maybe all at once, in its own timing, when it is ready. We need the courage to create protective boundaries and block off enough quiet time, and value the creative solitude we need.


Here are some wise words from Toko-Pa:


Put not your offering into the world too soon. Let it ripen in the guardianship of your trepidation. Let this fallow time be stretched For it is in this unreadiness that beauty takes its form. In preparing a class around this theme, I have been inspired by my own creative process in authoring several books, which evolved slowly over more time than I would have imagined. This class developed out of my own period of inward reflection and foggy unknowing since March last year. My dog had died, my 89-year-old mother passed in April, and I spent a lot of time resting and gathering strength. Slowly over months, my self-nurturing paid off and creative energy returned along with the plan for this class.


I know there are lots of creative people in various fields who could use some support for their own incub