“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~George Eliot
Based on reactions to my earlier writings, it seems I’m not the only one here who has tried to be perfect. In some ways, “perfect” is not difficult to imitate. In fact, it’s usually easy to imagine the requirements of “perfect” in whatever particular niche your local self is in, and put that on for the world to see. Many of us started doing that about the same time we started elementary school.
“But nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great, ever came out of imitations. The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~ Anna Quindlen
Becoming yourself IS so much more difficult. There are no blueprints, plans, YouTubes or infographics...
“The enemy of creativity is fear. We are all born creative. It takes a little while to become afraid. A surprising insight: An enemy of fear is creativity. Acting in a creative way generates action. An action persuades the fear to lighten up.” --Seth Godin
I don't often share pieces that are still in process, especially when I don't have a strong sense of how they will end up. It's a little unnerving.
However, I started this blog with the intent to share my artwork and thoughts with you...even the half-baked ones. Because the doing of that forces me to grow further. It's not very comfortable, but then growth rarely is. When we're comfortable, it's easy to just continue doing whatever we've been doing. When the discomfort becomes intolerable, that's when we are moved to action, change, and growth.
I started this piece months ago -- it was a slow-go right from the start. I still don't know where or how it will end up. And because of that, it doesn't have a title yet. I only know it's somehow about energy and transformation.
The beginning stage was something of an adventure.
When I first answered a classified ad for the Foundation for Mind Research many years ago in New York, I had absolutely no idea who Dr. Jean Houston was, nor had I heard anything at all about her work in the world. So, suddenly I became an assistant to one of the leading pioneers of the human potentials movement, and learned so much more than I had ever imagined.
Jean Houston is a scholar, philosopher, and researcher in the field of human capacities. She’s also known as a provocateur of human potentials - and a keen observer of irreverence and whimsy. Among her many gifts is the ability to synthesize a deep knowledge of history, culture, new science, spirituality, and human development as she inspires personal growth and imaginative thinking. (I never had a clue about any of that stuff.) She’s an incredibly compelling speaker and has counseled heads of state, social leaders, educational institutions and business organizations globally, bringing forth new visions to expand human possibilities.
Play…we need it, maybe as much as kids do. Play is whatever we do for the sheer joy of doing it. Play allows us to explore, test and germinate new ideas, or shift old ones to different purpose. It generates optimism and improves memory. It relieves stress, allows us to toy with novelty, be more engaged, think more clearly. Play has the power to significantly improve our physical and mental health, stretching our ability to be flexible, to adapt, create, and innovate more easily. Play is not just for kids - it’s essential in, and of, itself.
Play can transport us back to a simpler time, when life was about having fun and enjoying ourselves. It lets us make mistakes, and even break rules. Play goes a long way in boosting our
While I’m fascinated by all forms of black and white line art, the Zentangle® Method uses structured patterns to create its own style of abstract art. It allows entry into a relaxed, meditative state, making for heightened intuition, as well as a sense of well-being and timelessness. It’s been a springboard for my launch into all kinds of art and creativity.
Art has changed my life since 2014, and when the opportunity arose to take the 6-week Train the Trainer class on Healing Through Art offered by California State University Institute for Palliative Care a few months back, I immediately signed up. The fundamental concept is that there is something inherent in the creative process which makes us feel good!
This is not art therapy. It does not require a therapist. The person who makes the art, makes their own meaning. The art itself acts as the “therapist”, allowing people to find healing through the process of creation.
My thoughts on what art, or being an artist is, are still forming. I hadn’t done anything I would have considered art since I was about 10. I didn’t set out to “create art” when I took the expressive arts class during cancer recovery 4 years ago. It was a group activity within a larger program covering a wide range of topics geared to...
At the end of March, we had an opportunity to attend an evening with Anita Moorjani, author of New York Times bestsellers, Dying to Be Me, and What If This is Heaven? It was a special evening at the Seaside Center for Spiritual Living in Encinitas. I’d read her first book, Dying to Be Me, which details her remarkable 4-year journey from end-stage cancer, through near-death experience, to total healing, ...
I’m now close to completing my 5th sketch book…some of it’s pretty, some of it is not. It is a record of my journey to-date as an artist. When I first started drawing, I did almost everything in the sketch book – it was easy and convenient, and it fit into my purse, making it very portable.
I showed my sketch book to an admired artist friend, who acted as if I was sharing the most intimate secrets, “you’re letting me see your most private stuff, like your private thoughts,” telling me it was a privilege that I was sharing with her. Here I was asking for feedback and here she was flattering me for trusting her with my work, inviting me to a larger understanding of what it means to be an artist. I don’t recall the feedback so much as the comradery and a sense of a larger welcome into the world of art.
This is one of the prettier pieces. I don't have a clue what it means, it just sort of evolved over a few days when I left the book open on the table and added to it periodically.
“Every artist is a philosopher who records images rather than words.” --Jess Freher-Lyons
Movement and transformation are persistent themes in my work. I didn’t actually reach this observation all by myself. My husband, Jess, brought it up in passing one day, assuming I was already aware of it. I wasn’t exactly...
Most of us know the benefits of meditation, but can’t seem to find the time. For years, my daily practice included both journaling and seated meditation. Sometime during the past decade, both dropped out of my daily routine, and try as I occasionally do to take these helpful practices back up, I don’t seem to be able to access the state of mind which once supported them easily.
The creation of art provides another way into the meditative state.
I'm learning more about my art, and from my art, every day. It's not so much a matter of skill or practice... mostly it's a shift in perspective, a way of shaping how I look at and exist in the world.
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