This week, we take time to celebrate St. Hildegard on the anniversary of her being named a Doctor Of The Church (October 7th, 2012). St. Hildegard of Bingen was a remarkable abbess in the 12th century who was truly ahead of her time – birthing many new creations into the world even if it wasn’t quite ready for them yet. She was a renowned mystic, healer, scientist as well as a writer, artist, composer, architect and visionary.
Some people consider St. Hildegard as the patron saint of creativity. Although this isn’t an official title, I can understand why! Her creative contributions were numerous, and they inspire us even today.
Today, I am going to share with you 4 powerful lessons we can learn from St. Hildegard’s contributions to the world in honor of this anniversary. May they inspire you to tap into our own creative power today!
- Be Inspired by life.
One of St. Hildegard’s creative contributions that remains important today is her idea of viriditas. Translated as “greening power,” viriditas can be described as the divine life force that lives and breathes within all living beings. This potent force is full of vitality, moisture, and fecundity, able to bring creativity and healthy abundance into the world. It makes all things grow, expand, and thrive. And it is the force that returns, after being absent, when healing occurs after an illness. We experience it in the dynamic growth of plants in nature as well as our own sense of health.
“The soul is a breath of living spirit, that with excellent sensitivity, permeates the entire body to give it life. Just so, the breath of the air makes the earth fruitful. Thus, the air is the soul of the earth, moistening it, greening it.” – St. Hildegard of Bingen
- You are a creative being with a purpose.
St. Hildegard needed to access courage to bring forth her visions into the world at a time when there were many obstacles in her way. One of her greatest visions was when she was called to leave her home of 40 years and build her own abbey. St. Hildegard’s commitment to bring this project to fruition was fueled by the inspiring work she saw from St. Rupert in the 7th century. Her song, O Jerusalem, is a celebration of this new creation, her abbey, and the respect and even kinship she felt toward St. Rupert.
3. Discover your inner strength and trust in the Divine.
A favorite image of mine is of St. Hildegard holding her abbess staff. Her strength and power from within radiate out to the world as she speaks, “God created me… God is also my strength… Through God, I have living spirit. Through God I have life and movement. Through God I learn, I find my path…” St. Hildegard found her strength through connecting with the Divine within.
4. It’s possible to manifest your soul’s creative purpose even through obstacles.
St. Hildegard lived to the ripe old age of 81 following her calling in a time where a typical lifespan was half that! She worked with determination to bring her gifts into the world despite many obstacles including even her own limiting beliefs about women and herself.
When she was 52 years old, she felt called to leave her home of 40 years and take the bold step to build her own abbey where St. Rupert’s church on the Rhine River had been destroyed.
She was faced with many obstacles along the way. The monks at St. Disibod strongly objected that she was leaving. Understandable, as several sisters leaving with her meant that the monks’ financial support would too.
Yet, she continued to find her courage to do what she felt called to. And she moved forward. She built Rupertsberg which was a place for her to manifest the Power of the Living Light.
The early years on the Rupertsberg were difficult ones. Some sisters even left. Still she persevered with the passion she had for the project. And then at the age of 67, marching forward, she even created a second abbey!
The world is calling us to become creators who bring healthy change into our communities. New and courageous ideas are needed! What are you being called to birth as your creative contribution to this world?
Want to join a community of spiritual creatives? Check out my upcoming online 5 Day Mastering Your Creativity Workshop and be further inspired by the patron saint of creativity. Find out more here.