The past ten days have been a whirlwind of nearby travel for me, including a big family reunion in the mountain states with four generations, ages ranging from brand new to ninety-three (I hadn't seen a few of those people for years); a trip to the Oregon coast with some of the family; and a lot of catching up—shopping, eating, drinking, talking. Whew. I'm tired, but it's been an excellent ten days.
I hadn't thought about it, but these kinds of concentrated interpersonal experiences are loaded with creative possibility, not only from intense feelings that always come up with families, but just opening up your mind to worlds you don't normally consider as real and immediate in your own life.
I came away with a renewed sense of the value of knowing others on a deep level, and of knowing myself, even though I've been close to most of these people (and me!) much or all my life. Simple as that. It's the sort of thing we think we already have nailed, until we come face-to-face with all the layers people have that we haven't explored. Peeling that onion—it's an endless source of creative energy.
Psychologists say that virtually all personal growth is relational. We understand not only others, but ourselves, through relating to others who are important to us (especially loved ones—isn't it amazing how much you learn about yourself through raising a child, for example?)
Have you noticed this sort of growth in your own relations? Has it been a source of creativity for you? Does it feel like learning and finding a more authentic voice by doing what comes naturally?