In recent months, I’ve encountered more and more people inquiring about my counseling and creativity services who struggle either with chronic pain or illness, or with a psychological complaint for which no clear medical solutions exist.
Typically, these individuals have been making the rounds, consulting with a variety of traditional and nontraditional physicians, sometimes for years, with little or no improvement in their condition. More
It’s almost Mother’s Day and I find myself thinking about my mother June, who inspired my forthcoming book, “Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out.” This year marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of her untimely death at the age of fifty-four. I offer this edited version of a longer essay written several years after her death.
I have almost no concrete recollections of my mother. What I have are flashing impressions, a kaleidoscope of emotional memories with no beginning or end. What I do remember is how I felt about her as a child—I hated her. I hated her for burdening me with her defects, for humiliating me by allowing her terrible vulnerabilities to be visible to the world, and for letting me down again and again and again until I learned to rely on no one but myself. More
This is Part 2 of a two-part series about the challenges inherent in creative beginnings. You can read “Beginnings, Part 1” here.
1. Trust your intuition.
Be receptive to your own rhythms and visions. There’s lots of free advice out there about most anything you’d like to begin. Saturate yourself with as much research as you can. Then adapt what works. Create an approach that honors your idiosyncratic style of accomplishing things. More
Even though I have been writing for over twenty-five years, in some ways I feel like a beginner as I prepare to launch this website and blog. In opening myself to a wider world of possibilities, I feel the excitement, the hope, and the fear that accompanies all new beginnings.
I hope you will feel inspired, supported, and challenged by what you read, and alongside that hope hovers my fear that these musings will fail to capture your interest. Of course, I am not alone in this regard. Most creators fight searing feelings of inadequacy even as their passions drive them to risk reinventing themselves and their work again and again. More
Recently, I rented a movie about the painter Jackson Pollock. Ed Harris directs and stars in this masterful rendering of both the pain and genius of the postwar artist’s life and work. Upon viewing Pollock’s deceptively simple paintings for the first time, many have exclaimed: “That’s art?!! My three year old could do that!”
As the movie unfolds, we witness how creative work that might be dismissed as “unsophisticated” is actually the product of a deeply complex process. A powerful scene, in which the artist accidentally knocks over a can of paint, dramatizes Pollock’s discovery of his trademark painting technique known as “drip.” It is his reaction to the mishap that defines him as a creator. More
We met for dinner and conversation. We three woman of a certain age. Two of us are single, the other is in a relationship on the verge of … well, it sounded like it could go either way. Two of us struggle to stay open to the possibility of loving again. One of us has never really lived alone for very long, but thought it would be a good thing for her. “Perhaps in another life,” she offered brightly. More
This is Part 2 in a two-part series about making and keeping New Year’s resolutions. You can read Part 1, “I Resolve Again, and Again” here.
- Be honest with yourself. What change do you seek and why is it necessary at this time? What character strengths and weaknesses will help or hurt your chances for success? If you have tried to make this change in the past, why didn’t it work before? What can you do differently this time?
- Look deeper. What is really driving your habits? Is there an old story that needs telling? Are you angry, sad, hurt, frustrated, lonely? Use a journal to record your feelings of loss and joy as you slowly let go of old habits and make way for the new.
Did you find yourself staring into the mirror on January 1st and once again proclaiming: “This year will be different!”?
The beginning of a new year is a popular time to wipe the slate clean and think about starting fresh. With fierce determination and sincerity of heart we assure ourselves that we really do mean it this time. We really mean to become healthier; more fiscally responsible; treat ourselves or our partners more kindly. Or, perhaps we vow to improve ourselves by starting therapy, taking a class, or going back to school to complete that degree.
But no matter how great our resolve, most of us unconsciously set ourselves up for failure because we expect our initial enthusiasm to carry us the entire length of the journey. By misunderstanding the true nature of change, we are not prepared to respond constructively when our old habits and tendencies rise up in protest to oppose the new order. Even when our desire to change is entirely self-generated, we must contend with our fears of the unknown as well as the sacrifices and discomforts inherent in giving up familiar ways of being. More
Welcome to the first post in my all-new blog, Wild Ideas … musings for the mind, food for the soul. After taking a long break from writing a monthly column, Wild Ideas has been reborn as a blog AND a book.
If you’re a new reader, I invite you to search this site and make yourself at home. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. For those of you who have been long-time supporters, it will come as big news that my book Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out is now available for order on Amazon. More