By Jenn Stanley for BCN #134
April 10, 2021
In March I celebrated my second birthday as a Covid shut-in. The previous year we were just a few days into hunkering down, and my partner returned from what would be his last trip outside in weeks with a melodica from Allston’s Mr. Music. That perfect pandemic birthday gift shifted the space, cut through some of our uncertainty and stress, and invited a playfulness to seep into what was otherwise looking like a bleak year ahead.
As we begin our second year of Covid I find myself hitting all kinds of walls, depressed about my lack of productivity and the exploitation of the little creative energy I do have. I figured I’m not alone, so I reached out to createress and creativity consultant Morgan Mitchell for some tips on how to get unstuck when late capitalism in a pandemic has you feeling like there’s just no point in trying anymore.
“The mainstream bumble and bristle of capitalistic culture is often not conducive to the rise of a flow state,” says Mitchell. “That’s where intentional spaces of meandering exploration come in.”
I first encountered Mitchell’s work in February at Naomi Westwater and Nan Macmillan’s Song & Sanctuary virtual retreat. After days of learning, writing, and sharing work, Mitchell set us up with a meditation and about 45 minutes of structured, unstructured time. We were instructed to do whatever was in our gut. It wasn’t about being productive. She gave us permission to be tender with ourselves, take a nap if we needed it. Step away from the screen if we wanted.
“Against the velocity of the zoomscape within which we are currently living, to rest is an act of resistance,” says Mitchell. “To create for creativity's sake is radical, to say no is counter cultural, to slow down is a rebellion.”
Michell paints wearable art pieces, and helps others tap into their innate creativity as a flow coach. She runs BeMobius with her soul friend and business partner, Peejo Sehr, where they offer “individual coaching, seasonal retreats, and weekly circles to practice presence, be witnessed and explore your own creative curiosities.”
She rejects the idea that “artist” is a word set aside for the special few, those cherry picked by elites to encourage obedience and consumerism. She believes that creativity is innate, and it’s on our side. It wants to move through us, but the circumstances of our lives and our society block it. Her advice to start breaking through is to claim space, be playful, and embrace the process.
“If everyone was boldly embodying their creative power, capitalism in its current form would seize and sputter,” says Mitchell. “There is a reason why the poets, philosophers and artists are often jailed or killed in totalitarian regimes. We are dangerous.”