Post-election Reflections

It helps to write it out...
It helps to write it out…

I had planned a very different post-election 2016 post, I allowed myself, in the last couple of days before election day, to get excited and very emotional about a woman president.

But, here we are, four days post-election, and I am still emotional but not excited. I’m not going to write about all the reasons I’m not happy with the result, but I do want to point out the most discouraging statistic, for me, from the outcome:

53% of white women voted for Trump. This statistic lifted a veil from my eyes. We still live in a white supremacist patriarchy, and the majority of white women voters are ok with that.

White women voted for exclusion against inclusion. They voted for a person and a party that are eager to shut down what little progress has been made for women’s reproductive choice, for equal pay for women in the workplace, for basic dignity rights for women not to be sexually harassed in the workplace or elsewhere. They voted for a system that has children of immigrant parents, and black and brown children waking up afraid and being bullied at school and in the community because of hate speech practiced by the candidate for whom they voted. As a woman, mother, grandmother—HUMAN BEING, I cringe and cry for these children and their parents.

What I have decided so far with this election I am so opposed to is this: I am still passionate about working with creativity and I believe that art saves, art illuminates, art opens our eyes–I am more dedicated than ever to my own art-making AND to opening the eyes of all of us through creative expression.

I hope you’ll join me. Make a journal page that expresses your sadness, joy, anger, fear and transform your feelings into a message of love and action. Write out your anger, fear, sadness and what you can do about it, figure out a way to dress that expresses your solidarity with those who are afraid or being harassed. Make dinner for a neighbor family. March or show up at a demonstration, raise money for an organization that’s threatened and/or working for change.

My hope for this website and for the classes I will teach in the future is to help people find a way to express themselves through art and through that process, define themselves and make changes to live with courage, creativity and wisdom. The world needs women and men of courage acting with deep wisdom more than ever. I truly, truly believe tapping into our innate creativity is how to reach that courage and deep wisdom.

Why Creativity is Important to Me…and YOU

Visual Journaling

 

Writing a journal and making things have been the creative constants in my adult life. I can trace their roots back to my childhood, but I want to talk about what they mean to me as an adult. I began writing a journal when I was in college, after reading the diaries of Anais Nin. I have been journaling ever since, for well over 40 years.

Writing in a journal is where i figure out what I am thinking and feeling. I don’t try to compose for others to read, I just write. Sometimes I’m dumping feelings, sometimes I’m trying to make sense of something that is worrying me. Journaling is a companion. I frequently carry a notebook with me so that if I’m alone in a coffee shop, or waiting for an appointment, I can write about whatever project I’m currently working on.

Making things, sometimes what I would call “art”, but also more utilitarian things is my other constant. Making art has always been a desire of mine, but it has been a struggle to let myself devote time and resources to it until about 10 years ago. I was at the beginning of a really difficult transition time, I read about an art retreat happening a couple of hours away. I had an overwhelming desire to go, and despite the voice in my head saying it was too much money and impractical, I listened to the desire and went.

Spending 4 days making art in classes and hanging out with women who made art making a priority in their lives changed me. Making art became a priority in my life. I connected with other women from the retreat and developed a supportive network of art making friends which has continued and grown stronger over the last 10 years. I have called myself an artist ever since that retreat. I still struggle with the inner critic saying it’s not practical, but more often I listen to the deep desire that called me to that retreat.

Making art and writing are both ways for me to examine my world. Both help me figure myself out. Playing with color, shape and pattern in a loose way while painting or making collage loosens my left brain/analytical mind and allows my right brain intuition to rise to the surface and make connections I wouldn’t so easily make with my conscious mind.

I teach classes that use the visual journal as a vehicle for exploring one’s creativity in a personal container (the journal or sketchbook). The visual journal is a safe place to play with color, shape and pattern in your own style. Even if you think you don’t have a creative bone in your body, or that you can’t draw, you will enjoy this loose and open structure.

The visual journal can become a tool for creative problem solving, allowing and inviting your deep desire to speak to you through art making or writing or both. I offer tools and techniques to help you access the answers waiting within you.

Please go to the classes and events page learn more about classes I offer, and be sure to sign up for my newsletter, so you are always up-to-date with the latest offerings.