Soothing the Raw Edges of a Creative Life

I’m getting ready to lead my writing critique group and should be preparing my writing to share, but instead, I’m writing to you in my first post of 2012. As artists, writers, creative, and divergent thinkers, we can attest to being vulnerable, scared, and paralysed. Life alone can do this to us then we add, of our own volition, the stress of putting our tangible expressions out there, into the world to be viewed and judged.

Yesterday I was reminded, yet again, about the benefits of meditation. Disclaimer–I’ve been meditating for years–but it sure does help when someone else tells me how good it is! I’ve included an essay by Orna Ross here, it is so well written and inspiring too. Jane Friedman posted it on her blog and I learned of it through Facebook, ahhhhh the joys of sharing through social media.

My favorite line is:
“Meditation soothes those edges and creates a place of safety from where we can take risks.”

Creativity and wellness message for today: Claim your essential self.

P.S. Should I forego my shower and meditate instead?

I Am the Spark

I’ve been thinking a lot about the creative spark lately. It all started a few weeks ago with social media. Through Facebook I stumbled on The Art Students League. When I was in high school I commuted every Saturday by train and on foot from CT to NYC to attend Figure Drawing classes at the League. I hadn’t actively thought much about it in decades but my recent connection ignited a line of thought.

Over the years I have been an artist, an educator, a graphic designer, a healer, a writer, a speaker and a consultant or you could say I have used my creative thinking and problem solving to express myself and to help pay the mortgage. As an artist my work gives people a glimmer of a different world. As a teacher I fan the flames of my students expressive pursuits as well as teaching them techniques.

When I was a healer clients and students came to metaphorically sit by my fire. My work in personal and spiritual development warmed and comforted them. It helped many go out and be stronger in their lives and encouraged them to pursue new passions.

Now I’m loving being more of a spark. I write about creativity, dreams, meditation and wellness. I also write about literature and writing and reading. Working at a library I infuse the literary, artistic and cultural experiences of my community. When I give presentations my intention is to light the fuse, not give the answer.

There is something profound and freeing about being the spark. I’m happy in my current role. What are you? Are you the fire tender, do you support the artistic work of others? Or are you the fire itself, blazing the trail? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

This brings me back, full circle to The Art Students League. At the League I learned how to be a keen observer and I was taught the importance of mastering a technique. Those two skills have served me throughout my life and the classes there kindled my desire to be a real artist when I grew up.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Consider which aspect of individual expression you support, for yourself or to help others? Is it the spark, the fire tender, are you the wood itself, the air, the match , or the  . . . and let me know.


Last night the moon was so full and bright I opened my shades and let in the light.

Memories flooded my senses — swimming under the blue glow of a full moon in the waters off Cape Cod; creating and leading Full Moon Meditation Retreats in Connecticut; writing poetry inspired by a full moon’s clarity. Then this morning I received a copy of Catherine Al-Meten’s  article in which she explores the various names and cultural interpretations of the Full Snow Moon, the largest one of the year. I’m enjoying a feeling of coming full circle.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Let the energies of the full moon pull you closer to your true expressive self.

Cross-pollination in 2010

Many years ago when I was the Founder and Director of The Center for Creativity & Wellness, I had a collaborative professional relationship with three psychotherapists. Each of our strengths was different. One of us was a therapist who specialized in substance abuse and recovery, another was a marriage and family therapist who also led Sacred Circle Dances, and a third was a therapist who was a practitioner of shamanism. I provided the healing arts of natural energy healing, dreamwork, and meditation for my clients and students. Our professional foursome published quarterly newsletters, and mailed them as a unit to our clients. We called our multi-pronged marketing “cross-pollination.”

We embraced our diversity and that attitude served us, and our clients well. Potential clients were introduced, in very user-friendly ways, to new modalities of healing and personal development. This collaborative approach can be applied in any business or walk of life.

Creativity and wellness message for today: For 2010 plant the seed of fertilization in your life. Veer off the beaten path, touch down on a new flower, try something that you haven’t done before. Let the vitality of cross-pollination be your guide.

So(u)l Space

In a world of over-achievers I am a flag bearer. Time and time again I am reminded, by a wise voice inside me, to slow down, relax, take it easy. Today I’m in my same boat of feeling overwhelmed. While I love my work and my other responsibilities bring me great joy, I periodically need to take something off my plate for me to re-balance.

After contemplating this for a few weeks, I’ve decided to take a summer break from creating this blog. I’m claiming some So(u)l Space. Thinking of Sol, the ancient sun god, I’m looking forward to some much needed breathing space this summer. I hope you will find ways to enjoy your own times in the sun, and I’ll see you in September!

Creativity and wellness message for today: Sit, close your eyes, exhale and consider what you might take off your list–for today, this week, month, season or year. You can always put it back on later. For now . . . free up some soul space, just for yourself.

Creative Meditation

Do you ever have the feeling that you are doing too much? Are your responsibilities overwhelming you? Is it pull-out-your-hair-time? If so, you are not alone. This afternoon I was hard at work, systematically producing against deadlines and I felt that familiar stretching across my forehead. That’s my signal, that I need a break. Luckily I could escape phones and computers for 20 minutes. I found a quiet place, closed the door and meditated. I used the simple TM (Transcendental Meditation) mantra that I’ve used for decades. Immediately a wash of clarity came over me.

While I meditated images and words that I’d been stuck on in my work — lifted, regrouped and crystallized. After 20 minutes in silence I stood up, with clear intention on the changes I needed to make.

My creativity & wellness message for today is: Take a break when you need to. Stop, sit, breathe and meditate. The world will still be there when you return, what will be different is you.