Creativity for the Rest of Us

These Times, They are Uncertain

It’s a popular phrase – “these times of uncertainty.” Implicit in this phrase, at least for me, has been an unconscious belief/wish/hope/expectation that at some point the times will become more certain. When I look around at my life and the world from the vantage point of my sixth decade, I realize I’ve been engaged in magical thinking in waiting for the arrival of this illusive moment. There are times when we...

Preparation for Departure

The day you start out is not the time to start one’s preparations. – Nigerian folk saying It’s not uncommon, especially when I am embarking on a special journey, to experience a heightened desire for my basic needs while traveling to be set. In the early stages of preparation it can feel as if there is something more I need that I don’t currently have – an example of the inner nature of pilgrimage playing out in...

What Do You Do When the Bridge Goes Out?

  A footbridge is out on my favorite walking trail. I don’t know what happened and I didn’t believe it at first. Ignoring the “trail closed” sign tacked to the post I forged ahead to see what was up. Often it just means there is some brush clearance underway which I can easily walk around. This time the trail was blocked off with thick orange plastic mesh to protect hikers from the gaping void left behind by the...

The Call – Awakening Possibilities

I am gob smacked by spring this year. After all the rain and storms we’ve enjoyed this winter, existing creeks are rushing beyond their banks while dry ones have surged back to life. For the first time in over a decade I can see the actual waterfall that my favorite and most frequently hiked trail is named for. Wildflowers spray the trails and fields with gleeful ecstasy. I don’t know why I continue to be surprised...

The Longing

Pilgrimage is an ancient term for journey. Often associated with spiritual journeys, many of us set out without knowing that’s what we’re doing. Catching a game at all the major league baseball parks, walking the Inca trail, standing in the ancient home of our ancestors, or visiting the birthplace of an organization like the famous Hewlett Packard garage, are all forms of pilgrimage. It can either be a casual and...

DeMaskifying: Being Real

photo by Michele Feher I start a new project by plucking my eyebrows. Working from home makes this not quite as peculiar a ritual as if I were in an office working among other people. We all have our little (or not so little) idiosyncrasies that are the beauty of what make us who we are. Sharing about my eyebrow ritual is a harmless example of the opportunity we can create for others when we tell the truth about...

Good Vibrations

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” is one of Einstein’s more popular quotes. The quote, often referred to when talking about creativity and innovation, calls out the shift required when we desire for something in our life to be different than it is now. It can be a shift in thinking, mindset, attitude, or behavior. Whatever we call it, it requires a different energy,...

Be the Light

After a recent program in Florida, a group of us went swimming in the ocean at midnight. The safety of the group allowed me to relax into swimming in the darkness. We were in the cycle of a new moon and it was very, very dark. Stepping into the shallow surf, I looked down to see a shower of tiny lights in my wake. As I submerged and began to slowly swim through the water, fireflies shot out the tips of my fingers....

The Fire of Vision

I’m a big believer in vision. Since my early twenties when I first learned I had a choice and the power to effect the outcome of my life, having a vision to work towards has energized me. I’ve accomplished many of the things I set out to do and changed course on others. Surprises were incorporated and obstacles overcome. The really fun part was getting out of the way to let the Mystery do its thing as I learned...

As I Walk with Gratitude

As I Walk With Gratitude As I walk, as I walk The universe is walking with me In gratitude it walks before me In gratitude it walks behind me In gratitude it walks below me In gratitude it walks above me Gratitude is on every side -Adapted from the Navajo prayer  As I Walk with Beauty   Today as I walk with gratitude my heart is filled with love and appreciation. Thank you for your presence in my life. For all...

Slow Work

The Slow Food movement began in Italy in 1986 as a protest against McDonalds moving into Rome. Slow Food emphasizes local production and sourcing of ingredients, mindfulness in preparation, and community sharing in the fruits of the labor. It now has over 100,000 members in 150 countries. Under the umbrella of the Slow Movement, Slow Food has  spawned everything from Slow Cities to Slow Ageing, Cinema, Fashion,...

In the Steps of the Ancestors – The Story Continues

Last weekend I participated in the Way of the Teacher – the concluding weekend in the four part, yearlong series of the new Four Directions program. Developed by Patrick O’Neill – long time student, collaborator, and friend of Angeles Arrien – the new program builds on and deepens practice in the pioneering work of Angeles’ Four Fold Way. We began the Way of the Teacher work by calling in our ancestors through...

In the Steps of the Ancestors

Most of us know Halloween as the time of year for carving pumpkins, kids (young and old) in costumes and lots of candy around to enjoy or tempt us, depending on the relationship we have with sugar. This is the time of year that the Christian traditions celebrate All Saints and All Souls. Living in San Francisco, it’s hard to miss Dia de Muertos – and I wouldn’t want to – a lively celebration that includes parades,...

Coming Out of Hiding

In high school I was so afraid to speak in front of people that I badgered Sister Petronella into letting me drop public speaking (a required course) and take an elective instead. I withdrew from theater appreciation class in college when I read on the syllabus that our course work required performing a scene in front of the class. In my first real office job, I called in sick the day my boss asked me to present a...

Re-entry

I’m just finding my feet again after two back-to-back retreats. The first was a heart opening experience at Mending in the Mountains – a retreat for women who have experienced cancer. The second was Patti Digh’s Life Is A Verb Camp – a summer camp for adults focused on creativity, courage, community, and compassion. They both took place in beautiful, natural surroundings – a Montana ranch just west of...
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