Be Present In Your Creativity

June 28, 2016

Hello friends, how are you today? I’m sitting alone by the window, sunlight on my face, reflecting on my recent journey to Gotland, Sweden. What was only to be a photography and styling retreat (at least in my mind) turned out to be one of the greatest, most personal journeys of my life that took me far beyond my work – quite unexpected! I learned that the magic of styling and photography goes much more deeply than our personal taste, our placement of objects, the lighting or angles… Styling and photography comes alive when YOU are present in the work.

Be Present In Your Creativity

In order to get to that place of presence, you have to allow yourself to be seen and for your deepest expressions to come to the surface. It was such an awakening for me, I always saw myself as so open and very honest with everyone about who I really am. In my eyes, I was. As we explored some deep topics in this workshop, I learned that I’m just scratching the surface and for me to be able to marry my photography and styling with words, I need to peel back many layers, and then see how much my work evolves.

It makes me think about how we are quick to say we are in a creative rut at certain points in our process. I finally know what this means. We are emotionally blocked. We need to pull out the emotion and then the creativity can flow again. It’s really that simple. Work on the emotion and the creativity will return.

Our retreat was beautiful. Our teacher/guide Dietlind Wolf was transporting at times, uplifting during others, a real light, magical, sensitive, caring, altogether a beautiful human being. I was more or less away from the modern world for 5 nights and it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on. I was allowed, and even encouraged, to be raw, open, freely myself. It took courage! It was hard! I cried!

It’s amazing how so many of us just put our heads down and go through the day-to-day with the goal to get what we need done and not much more, isn’t it? Or, some of us pride ourselves on being so free, courageous, strong or open and we are not fully any of those things – we want to believe we are, but at our core, we’re not. And this is what we need to see, admit and work out. Then our art, craft, design work or whatever else we pursue becomes SO MUCH STRONGER. And better. More meaningful too.

I won’t write much about the retreat, to protect the feelings of the others involved, and also to preserve the time capsule my teacher so lovingly handed to me that I want to store away for now… But I will tell you this. If you sense anything about yourself that needs work, begin that journey. Please. Find the right people to guide you. Some good friends. Save the money you need to get the best care that you can. Our life is so precious and meaningful, we each have gifts, explore what yours is and have the courage to make your gift known to the world. Don’t wait.

I have nothing else to blog about today. I’m still so caught up in the magic of my retreat in Sweden. I need the fairy dust to settle a bit so I can get back into writing in this space again… I am sitting with so many feelings right now, stirring and swirling in my mind down to my core and back up again… So much to process and more than that, so much to DO! Because knowing and doing are two separate things.

See you tomorrow. xo


(Photography: Holly Becker)


  • Reply Tracey Ayton Photography June 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Oh my goodness! I know exactly where you are coming from. It’s amazing when those flood gates open and the creativity comes pouring out. It really is a gift when you find it. Hold on tight and run with it ~ as far as you can. Accept that it may evolve but it’s the natural thing that happens and just know it gets even better! It is in some way a release and crying is definitely a part of it. xo

    • Reply Holly Becker June 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      You are so right, to just run with it! I am running with it now for sure. And yes, the tears are an essential part of the process for sure.

  • Reply Conny June 28, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    That sounds really inspiring, Holly! And I hope you can transfer all these rich feelings and deep thoughts into your ordinary days work. I think probably some times we all suffer the gap between freedom of creativity and jobs we are commissioned to do. To be honest I envy you for having been there since I planed to attend the same workshop with Dietlind Wolf. At last I did not for some reasons but your words encouraged me to make it possible next time. It may sound a little wierd, but if I would have to face the fact I had to spend the rest of my life being caught in a picture – I think I would choose one of Dietlind’s motifs. I admire her work as long as I know it. But nevertheless I have to find my own creative approach and I am one my way. I started the journey a few years ago, as you did. And as far as I know now this journey won’t come to an end.

    All the best for you and your future plans!

    • Reply Holly Becker June 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Conny hello! I believe that everyone comes to the table when they are hungry. This wasn’t your time for this workshop, but soon, it will be your time and when you do arrive you will have an abundance prepared for you. Timing is everything. When it’s right, it’s right, you cannot force it. You didn’t attend for a reason, that reason is the right reason today. But when you are in a different place in life, and you have another chance, if the timing is right you will be a part. Don’t regret not being present, delight in that your time is coming and how much you have to look forward to! :)

      • Reply Conny June 29, 2016 at 4:59 pm

        Thank you, Holly, I am sure you are right. All the best for you!

  • Reply Kristina Paustian June 28, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    It sounds so wonderful. Thank you for sharing her amazing talents and encouraging others to grow. I love your blog and decorating style.

    • Reply Holly Becker June 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Thank you so much, what nice words to hear.

  • Reply Sheila E June 28, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Love these words. Thank you.

    • Reply Holly Becker June 29, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      You’re welcome Sheila, thanks for stopping by to say hello and leave your comment too!!!!

  • Reply bethania lima June 28, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Holly, so glad to hear it all. Don´t rush to surface. I am sure those things will mature and bloom in marvellous venues to come. But those things need time to mature. And we all will benefit from that huge investment. Best.

    • Reply Holly Becker June 29, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      I like that thought, “Don’t rush to the surface”. I will write that in my journal, it’s beautiful!

  • Reply iamartisan June 28, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    I’ve been experiencing creative rut lately and didn’t realised until I read this that you’re right. It’s our emotions that are blocked that why say we’re in a rut. And that I need to do something or at least do something about it so I can fully maximise my creativity.

    • Reply Holly Becker June 29, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      It’s something to think about right? That creativity is born from emotion and emotion, if in a rut, causes the creativity to be in a rut…

  • Reply Niki June 29, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Beautiful, thought provoking piece Holly. I am so happy to hear you had a magical, inspiring and enlightening visit to Gotland / Niki

  • Reply Lucio Bovolini June 30, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Fabulous art.. It is just awesome.. Kudos to your creativity.

  • Reply Kreetta June 30, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    You are so right Holly! So happy for you! I had a very similar experience and so strong feelings – urge to do things now! but a bit differently because of Dietlind’s gorgeous workshop. Amazing lady who is truly gifted in so many ways. I feel the luckiest girl in the world that I had a chance to be in her retreat in Gotland. It was hard and challenging for me too but I just loved every second of it. I found new things in me but only because they already were there – I had just lost the connection. If you are a creative – who ever you are and reading this – that is the ultimate workshop you should take.

  • Reply Diana Strinati Baur July 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Holly, it sounds like it was a magical experience. Somehow, Sweden is the perfect location to free up energy. What you write resonates for me in many ways. I am especially touched by the notion of the connection between emotion and creative energy – how touching emotion and feeling it can put us in creative flow. I have long thought there is no place better to be than Sweden during mid-sommar, and I am happy you were able to be there at such a beautiful and special workshop. xo

    • Reply Holly Becker July 4, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Thank you so much Diana… If you ever get to take a workshop with Dietlind, you must! She may be doing more in the future, in Gotland and in northern Germany, so perhaps you can get a chance to tap into some of this magic, too. She’s an amazing teacher and guide.

  • Reply Wrenaissance Art July 9, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    So very happy for you that you’ve had this amazing experience! A creative retreat is such a direct path to reconnect with your inner vision and clearing out the mental & emotional blocks that keep one from growing as an artist/writer.
    Taking a week or more where the only responsibility is to create and learn renews the heart and mind.

  • Reply tania muser August 18, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Hi Holly, I’ve just finished reading your post. It’s incredible how it resonate with me in this particular moment. i was doing sort of brain stormin and planning for next months and I came up with your post. So inspiring, so truthful. thanks to putting your feelings in words.

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