Walking the Artist’s Path

I met last night with a group of 11 women to start working our way through the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I read this book about 20 years ago with a couple of friends. Reading it got me back into the theater – first teaching it to kids. That lead to getting back on stage. Then I started writing for the theater, and now I’m writing, directing, and running a theater group. All good. All high energy!

What I like about The Artist’s Way is that it assumes that creativity is part of everyone’s nature but that it can get lost in the day-to-day shuffle of life. The book has fun, simple exercises that help you remember who you are and get you back to practicing “the art of creative living.” Continue reading

Free Meditation Challenge with Zen Master Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg offers a 28-day meditation challenge each February. If you’ve been thinking about starting a meditation practice, Sharon’s prompts cover a lot of territory which is a great way to find something that works for you. Recent studies show short-term and long-term benefits from meditating even for short periods of time each day. Meditation helps you be calm. It helps you focus. It helps you detach from the day-to-day crazies. And it helps your body heal itself. What’s not to love!?

And when you do something for 28 days, guess what? You’ve formed a new, healthy habit. Yay!

I met Sharon over a decade ago at a weekend retreat in NYC. The irony of having a meditative retreat in the heart of NYC is not lost on me. :). When I signed up for Sharon’s meditation challenge this year, I remembered why I like her so much. I’ve told you this story before, but here it is again.  Continue reading

Looking back at the path you’re on

December is a great time to look at the path you’ve been on over the last year. If you want to shape the direction you’re headed, it helps to look back at where you’ve been.

If you can find a quiet moment this week, take out a clean sheet of paper and jot down the big events that happened to you this year. Brainstorm first, then think month by month to help spur your memory.

What events did you experience this year for… Continue reading

The Joy of Color

I’m reading a great new book: Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee. Lee opens the book with studies and thoughts about what makes a moment joyous and settles in on something quite simple: color.

If you want to change a drab day, a drab building, or a drab party, add bright, warm colors and you add a pop of joy to the world. Think birthday party balloons. Chinese dragon parades. Maypole ribbons. Hot air balloon festivals. Fields of wildflowers. Can you picture any of these in black and white? No! Just thinking about these colors brings up a bubble of joy.

“Color is energy made visible.”

Lee believes that energy is all around us and that bright colors have high energy that’s contagious.

If you need a little pop of energy, you could try something as simple as… Continue reading

Standing firm in a time of change

From your first breath as you emerged from the water of the womb to your last sigh as you leave the earth, each breath connects you to nature, to your work, and to fellow human beings across the world.

Can you tell I just finished reading a book on Wind work? 🙂

Author and shamanic healer Renee Baribeau’s book, Winds of Spirit, blows you around in all manner of directions. Here’s my #1 takeaway:

If you’re feeling disconnected from your work or your life, take off your shoes, step outside, and take a “wind bath.” Start off with a few deep breaths. Then ask yourself a question. Continue reading

Is singing the new exercise?

No matter what type of work you’re doing, finding a “like” community can help you accomplish more and have more fun with what you’re doing.

In Daniel Pink’s book, When, he writes about the benefits of choral singing – a unique kind of community. If you’ve ever sung with a group, you know how it lifts your spirit even more than singing solo. “Happy” countries, like the Netherlands, have regular gatherings where everyone sings. And I think group singing is why so many of us love theater – both participating in it and being part of the audience.

It’s not a stretch to think that singing makes you feel good. But check out the other benefits Pink lists for choral singing: Continue reading

Stay humble. Stay grateful.

As you may remember, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how important it is to take breaks and how hard it is for me to take a break. And if you saw my post from last week, you know that my refusal to take a break resulting in the Universe knocking me flat with a broken ankle. Won’t take a break? How about a nice, quiet week in bed?

I’m going to take a risk here and admit that as bad as I am at taking breaks, I’m also terrible about asking for help. I love being efficient and independent. I’m the one who is here to help you! You do not need to help me.

Except that I’m in a cast for 8 weeks and can’t drive!

Here are my organizational lessons, and lessons in humility, from the past two weeks: Continue reading