you do hereby swear to engage in acts of creative rebellion




“Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence.” — Osho

I [state your name] hereby declare that I am a Creative Rebel, also known as a Creative Badass, and that I am either Female or a great friend of the Female or in touch with my inner Feminine, my Soul. As such, I believe the following:

My creative ambition, however it chooses to express itself, is my birthright. It is central to who I am. It involves the need to play, to experiment, to make a mess, to embrace the great beauty of imperfection, to understand that there are no mistakes. It requires that I wander and dream and expose myself to interesting things and follow up on what catches my fancy.

Thus, it might not always seem that I am quote-unquote “being productive”, but I shall trust that deep forces are at work, even when it appears said forces have gone to Tahiti.

Creativity moves through me and happens in the spaces between myself and others, myself and my materials. It is my job as a Creative Rebel to find those persons and materials that light me up, and to steadily extract myself from relationships and situations that are eating away at my soul. I have only one soul, and I do not wish to lose it, trade it in or misplace it.

Putting a dent in the universe is all very well, assuming the universe is some steely mechanism, but I am not into swinging a sledgehammer. I wish to track my deepest nature and be a point of light in the web that connects us all. I will help keep the darkness at bay.

I reserve the right to excellent footwear, and fine chocolate when necessary.

I recognize that I have both a Soulvoice and a Worldly Chorus. My Soulvoice would have me reveal my innate genius by becoming exactly who I am. It guides me to my unique and sacred purpose. The Worldly Chorus would have me slice off pieces of myself to fit someone else’s agenda. My challenge is to listen to the one and navigate the other, preferably with wit and savvy and the occasional shot of tequila.

I acknowledge that my creative life is the shifting accumulation of the choices I make about how I use my time and energy and engage, or fail to engage, in the radical acts of self-care. Each decision leads me away from or toward what I want, even if what I want is a better understanding of just what the hell I want.

I shall henceforth feed my head all sorts of wondrous and inspiring images on a daily or near-daily basis.

I understand that for all my attempts to plan, predict and control things, I live and work against a backdrop of mystery. Our actions ripple out along the invisible lines that connect us: our friends and our friends’ friends and our friends’ friends’ friends. By saving myself, I can also save others.

I understand that the universe keeps secrets much bigger than I am. I shall find my work, and do my work, and let go of the fruits of my labor. The universe knows what to do with them. I shall move on, turn the page, begin again.

I acknowledge that the influence a Creative Person sends into the world isn’t measured by how famous she is or the wealth she accumulates or the amount of wild sex she is having. People become icons when they embody some aspect of the zeitgeist; their very identity tells a story that the rest of us need to hear, that eases some anxiety inside us. Some people have a flair for this. It’s their gift. I might have different gifts. My story is also worth telling.

I acknowledge that failure is a part of all great stories. In order to overcome something, I have to have something to overcome. The meaning is in the struggle: how it forces me to change and deepen and grow in the ashes. The old self must die, so the new self can rise and turn pain to power, wounds to light, however much this may suck at the time.

And now, because it is time to end this thing and go have the Coffee, I [state your name] do hereby swear to Own It.

And also to Bring It.


May 17, 2013

6 comments · Add Yours

I read this on the morning of my 39th birthday. The 18th of May. Thank you Justine for bringing this gift to all of us.


You had me at “Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence.” It reminds me of my other favourite: “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” (Camus) Bring it.


I hereby declare this post my favorite one yet.


Rebellion seems to me to be the point at which the real self confronts the person who’s been performing in the world and thereby betraying its authenticity. I’m on a rebellious streak these days and so, Justine, I loved this. You brought it.


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