Category Archives: The Artist’s Way

Dream Big: Dream with G-d

What does a woman do when it’s Saturday night and suddenly, for the first time in longer than she can remember, she’s alone?  No Ben.  No baby.  Just the summertime sound of the neighbors socializing over margaritas in their adjacent backyard.

And the sound of silence.  In the quiet that permeates the house I find I hear odd things.  Like the hum of the fridge.  And the sound of my own breath.   I bask in this quiet although it’s tinged with loneliness.  In this pause I didn’t know I needed, I still miss my boys.

I eat a simple meal and leave the dishes unwashed.  Let the water run, fill the bathtub, and slip into the comforting warmth of it.  I want to listen.  G-d as I lay in this water and stare at my toes, I want to offer up my life to You once again.  All the dreams in my heart.  Dare I to dream all the dreams that You might dream through me?   For the first time since I can remember, I believe that You want me to be me.  Just me.  It’s a really wonderful feeling.  To think that You just like people for who they are.  Does anyone out there besides me ever struggle to lay hold of that?

If there’s anyone out there reading and you ever struggle with being OK with yourself, I want you to know that I do too.  I have for most of my life.  But I think it’s a terrible waste of ourselves.  I think if we could only grasp how much we are loved and how much we have to live for and how unique each one of us is, we’d be unstoppable.  We’d be boundless. Forces of love and light in a cold dark world.

So here is my heart’s prayer, here in the wonderful quiet of this lonesome weekend: dream BIG. Sketch and write down what’s in your heart.  Dream and invite G-d to dream with you.  Invite Him to breathe life into you so you dream again.

My dreams come from G-d and G-d has the power to accomplish them.

–Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

Dreaming with G-d is like play ... I learn a lot from Aaron's unbound laughter

Dreaming with G-d is like play … I learn a lot from Aaron’s unbound laughter

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Whistle While You Work

How do we rediscover joy in our work?  Whether we work at a public space, in a cubicle, have our own office or work at home, I believe taking time for the adornment and regular updating of our physical environment is key.

I have for years wanted my workspace to include the following:

  • a red-orange desk or a desk alongside and accent wall painted peachy-red/orange
  • Framed artwork by artists I love, including child-artists
  • Framed photographs of places or people I love
  • A hint of things from other times, places & cultures (i.e. French decorating magazines, small objects, maps)

In fact, the inspiration for these elements came through an exercise in the touchstone book for creative recovery: The Artist’s Way (you can order the book on Amazon or click here for a link to author Julia Cameron’s online course).  Here is what I wrote in one of my morning pages (an foundational daily exercise explained in the book):

November 12th 2009

In my ideal environment the house…has an accent wall that is a luscious salmon-orange color.  It has loads of color and fabulous real paintings on the walls.  It is neither cluttered nor bare, it is calm and yet vibrant…

What is so lovely is the way this exercise really did ignite the process whereby my husband and I moved from our dull, drab, dreary, lackluster environs in a taupe-colored townhouse in a boring suburb, to the south facing, light-flooded, funky, airy, palmed tree-lined, centrally-located and creative apartment we now occupy.  With the help of some of our brilliant artist friends, we do have real, large-scale oil paintings on the walls.  And, as the following photos attest, I did set up a little work space for myself that includes a red-orange desk and the other items listed above.  The result: one happy Mamma who is beginning to connect with her “writer within.”

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