“We don't respect the inwardness of the things we study, and we therefore do not respect the inward learnings that those things have for us.” ~ Parker Palmer
If you’re reading this, thank you. It means that intentionally or accidentally you’ve come to my site. Either way, I am grateful.
So what have you found? Well, ultimately only you can decide that. But I can tell you of my journey and my intentions.
About six years ago, I made the decision to move from practicing law full time and writing and coaching creatives part time to just the opposite. In 2012, I hung up my website “shingle” full time and began to practice law one day a week. It has been an incredible time both in terms of experiences and in learning. I’ve had many clients with whom I’ve worked and, to be honest, who have taught me as much as I have taught them. ‘
During this time, I’ve continued to learn more about me and my creativity and I continue to learn that a lot of my experiences are relatively universal.
I believe we are all creatives. We all were born to create. I also believe we are all storytellers.
See, storytelling is just a manifestation of our creativity. And our art is a manifestation of our storytelling.
As children, we love to hear stories. For those most fortunate, we begin life having stories read to us. In turn, we love to tell stories. We come home from school and share the story of our day.
As we grow, we learn to express our storytelling in different ways. We learn to find stories in the every day events of life. Stories help us to understand life whether literally or metaphorically.
We are finding examples from ancient peoples of their paintings and thousands of years later, we get a sense of who they were and what their days were like. We see drawings from inside of pyramids and carved on sarcophagi and learn how people perceived the afterlife.
We have writings and statues, paintings, castings, photographs, blankets and singing bowls, each an express, each a story.
And so it is one of my passions to work with people to first, help them to embrace that they are creatives and second, that they can incorporate that into their lives.
About two years ago, I knew I needed to revamp my website so it would better reflect what I was trying to do and so I began to work with Kelly Powell of Flight 9 Creative and, initially, we came up with a plan. A good, solid business plan that would provide me with a website that would describe my offerings and provide a way for people to access my services.
But neither one of us was fully happy.
I’m a creative. I wanted something different.
More so, Kelly is an amazing creative. Initially, she was trying to do something to make me happy. But I knew that for me to unleash her talents I had to give her a blank canvas. And her instincts told her that before she could create something authentic to me and what I’m trying to do, I would have to have a better idea of what that is. And for this, among other things, I am forever indebted to my friend, Kelly.
And so we began a journey in which I wrote, and mused, and dreamed, and dug. I experienced exhilaration and exasperation. I had moments of euphoria and bouts of being stuck in the mud.
But through each and all, I learned something and I continued to get closer and closer to who I am and what I want to do. And, with Kelly’s help and the help of another creative coach and my friend and co-workshop facilitator, Charlotte Rains Dixon, I rediscovered some valuable lessons including the fact that we are constantly changing and becoming closer to who we are. So this notion of knowing who I am and what I want to do went out the window. Charlotte is amazing and I am grateful to her.
So I learned that to be authentic, I have to be dynamic. Life is a dynamic process. I am not the same as I was when Kelly and I began to work together. In fact, I’m not the same as I was last month or last week. If we’re lucky, we’re closer to who we are today than we were yesterday and we’ll be even closer tomorrow. If we’re willing to take the time to meditate, to explore, to try and fail, to try again and succeed.
I learned that to be a creative, you have to own it. You can’t wake up thinking that you want to be or hope to be. You are a creative. Say it. Live it. It doesn’t necessarily mean you abdicate what you’ve been doing and paint all day. Creativity can infiltrate anything and everything. You can bring good Buddhism to any religion and to any activity. You can do the same with creativity. Whatever fills your day, bring creativity to it. How?
I can’t tell you. You’ll have to be creative. Try something new and different. Be fearless. But mostly, be you. Be something new and different.
And that leads me to the fact that you have to be vulnerable.
Uh oh. We don’t like that.
We spend our lives trying to insulate ourselves from everything uncomfortable and scary. Conformity is a form of insulation. But if we are conforming we are not creating.
Being me is scary. It means some won’t understand but it also means that some will. Regardless, there is an energy that emanates from those who live authentically.
We live in a time where others are quick to criticize, to name call, to bully. It’s a hard time to be unashamedly one’s self.
But let me tell you, it’s a lot harder to not live a life true to one’s self, to one’s calling.
So as I moved through this process to my website, I knew that I’d have to provide a place where creatives could come and feel safe, could be themselves, and could be vulnerable.
With my co-facilitator, Dave DeGolyer, I lead creative retreats in New Harmony, Indiana where we put an emphasis on play, just simple, childlike play. Because we believe to be authentic, we have to return to a time before you were self-conscious about things.
If you go into a class of five year olds right now and ask who can sing, they will all raise their hands. Who can draw? Everyone. Who can dance? Just watch. But as we grow older we are told that some are gifted and some are not and more often than not we’re taught we’re in the latter group. And we believe it.
As Kelly and I worked together and as I continued to learn more about myself and what I wanted to provide, I knew it needed to be fun and expansive. It needed to be safe, nurturing, and encouraging. Did I say fun? Okay…
So here is the Creative Playground. Come here and play. If you ever decide to work with me or attend one of my workshops, classes, retreats…great. But that’s not the essence of the playground. It is open and free and designed to give you a place to come to when you need a recess.
What will be in the Creative Playground?
Well, like me, it’s a work in progress. It will change as I get new and better ideas. It will grow and develop. As for now, I’m putting in some resources such as books and blogs, websites and podcasts for you to explore and enjoy. There are a lot of wonderful creatives and teachers out there and I want to introduce you to as many as I can. And I want you to send me names and sites of others whose work fits with my quest. I’ll add them. There is no ego in the Playground and there is plenty of room.
There will be photography which is one of my passions. I love to cook and will share stories and recipes. As you are reading, there will be blogs. I am lining up interviews with other creatives and will be hosting a podcast so you can learn from the journeys of others.
Need a little inspiration? I’ll be adding quotes to help fuel and encourage as you move through your creative journey.
Are you familiar with the labyrinth? I am a facilitator and love spreading the word about how you can walk labyrinths and use your walk for spiritual and creative purposes. Plus there’s a link so you can find a labyrinth pretty close by anywhere in the world.
So welcome to my creative journey of which this website and the Creative Playground are manifestations of. Understand that I’m learning and changing and both the site and the Playground will change as well. Give me feedback. Give me your hopes and dreams, your impasses and logjams. We’re all on this path together, even though we’re all different.
Here we are. Want to race to that tree and back?
Let’s go, friend.