To Create is to Destroy

Earlier today, workers pounded away at the side of our house. The jarring sounds of demolition echoed through our living room as men hammered at the stucco. We had some water damage that got worse from the last rain storm and it was time for some repairs. I couldn’t stand all the racket, so Brian and I went out for a lovely lunch.

The theme of destruction showed up several times this week. On a call with my coach, I explored parts of myself that I have trouble being with. That side of me that can get really angry and cusses like a sailor. That side that feels like it could get out of control and could decimate what is peaceful and serene. I know, though, that this part is very powerful and it actually helps me honor my boundaries and helps me stand up for myself. When I consciously connect with that energy, I can actually take better care of myself. It’s part of fully owning all of me.

In painting class, Goddess Kali emerged with her unruly hair and blood-thirsty boldness. I was completely engrossed adding all of the gory details in this focused section of my latest large wall-sized painting. Allowing myself to just let the images of destruction flow on the page helped me to claim that shadow part. Before I was ready to move on to another section, I felt compelled to include a wolf, too. I looked it up later and the wolf can symbolize our shadow. I love how the intuition works in mysterious ways!

Following class, I had a coaching call where a client and I screamed together and cursed into our hands to help her move through some anger. We both felt so alive and lighter afterward. I highly recommend it! Connecting earlier with Kali helped me to call on her energy in a productive way.

The act of destruction can be quite empowering. I know that this summer, I had a blast wrecking my journal! That exercise really helped me to have fun with the process.

And with destruction comes rebuilding. The workers will be back at the house tomorrow (I’ll have my earplugs handy!). Now that the rotting wood is exposed at the side of our house, they can replace it with strong, new wood. As Keri Smith says in Wreck This Journal, “To create is to destroy.” And to destroy is to create!

How does destruction and creation show up for you in your life? What pieces of yourself do you need to fully own?

P.S. – If you’re interested in experiencing intuitive painting for yourself, my mentor Chris Zydel is leading a week-long retreat in January in Northern California.

5 thoughts on “To Create is to Destroy”

  1. Destruction is showing up in my HOUSE! Every time it is almost finished, something else breaks! Plus where I work is now a building site and starting tomorrow they begin a parking lot in the field outside of my house! Hmmm… writing this and reading your post I see a definite pattern in my world. This deserves some real thought!! I think Kali and I need a date!

  2. Uncanny (or maybe not)! and I would love to talk.

    I too have had water damage in the living room (mold got on both the wall and the carpet) which has caused quite the turmoil on the home front in Oct. The whole last three weeks has felt like i ‘had the floor pulled out from under’ me. (!) At work too. When I spoke with my coach, she reminded me of creative destruction. This energy has finally come home to roost with me! She said it seems that it would be “foundational’ but… because the new structure for my heart-based life and vocation won’t emerge unless there’s some room by knocking out the old structures. Isn’t that cosmic cool? Its helped me be alot less freaked out about it and try to own that i) my home is inside me; that’s the home that needs my attention and ii) i need more room (perhaps to be who i am and for my heart?) I love the Kali reference, a friend just brought her the other day so this makes two. Being a Hindu, I am marveling at our holy trinity of birth (Bhrama), preservation (Visnu) and destruction (Shiva) with more appreciative eyes. You’re creativity is vibrantly inspiring. 🙂 and now I am inspired to send you an email!

  3. Wow, I saw you’re painting and had to call Chris over. “That’s Oliver!”
    Oliver is the puppy that showed up at our gate a couple months ago. (see: Now that he’s a bit older he totally looks like the dog in your picture.

    And now that I’m looking at Oliver in your picture he totally looks like Anubis.(Egyptian god of mummification and the afterlife) Anubis in the background of Kali (maybe to come clean up?) is actually pretty interesting symbolism! Was that in any way intentional?

  4. I’ve been dealing with destruction as well. I did a oracle card reading the other day (I use a Leonardo DaVinci Set) and the first card I turned over was the “death” card. Death to me really just means an enormous change. A change that leaves you void of something you didn’t need but also leaves part of you open to gain something else.

    Great article and great painting.

    Talk to you later.

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