your eyes on the gold

and silver of the morning

light in these trees,

your ears

on the rhythmic drumming

of the woodpecker, the funny laughter

of some little bird

snickering like a mischievous boy.


This is the balm of morning,

its healing salve,

everything in cahoots:

the dark purple

petunias shuddering

to the same pulse

as the clack of insects,

a persistent cheep

from the canyon below

punctuating at

precise intervals,


and when the leaf lets go

the branch, when the neighbor

sings out to his dog, the way

someone’s radio makes

a low undertone, or a cloud drifts

like a high soprano

over the whole arrangement,

even the infinitely slow

bass carillon of new

growing trees is part

of this harmony; nothing mars

the perfection

of the score, nothing

dampens the day.

©Maxima Kahn, previously published in Westview and The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry

Happy Inter-Dependence Day!

holding hands on beachI am celebrating our beautiful interwoven-ness today. Every day in every thing we do, we are dependent upon thousands of beings, seen and unseen, past and present. We are held and supported by thousands of hands. How beautiful it is to be a part of the web of all life, intimately related and connected.

When we touch that sense of oneness, a deep peace and freedom comes over us. We throw off the limitations of the small self–our past, our beliefs–and enter an infinite field of possibility, inspiration, creativity, love and wisdom that is so powerful.

This is available in every moment. Ah. Take a breath now and let yourself feel that, simply by opening to it, even if you feel just a glimmer. That is enough.

Today, I invite you to play with me. Enter the inner sanctum of my playground…Here’s how:

Become a Brilliant Playmate!
Keep Your Creative Fires Burning and Your Dreams Alive!

threewomentoastingWhat is it?

♥ Expert teaching, proven tools and loving guidance every month to foster your creativity and cultivate your heart’s dreams.

♥ Creative community with like-minded souls where you connect, learn, grow, dream and create, to keep you inspired and empowered.

♥ The nourishment and support every artist and dreamer needs to thrive and stay the course

.…At an incredibly affordable price

What You Get

  • Access to a monthly teleclass to ignite your creativity and your heart’s dreams and keep you on your path of fulfillment and joy. Featuring a monthly theme with guided processes and an open Q&A session where you can get my expert mentoring. Priceless!
  • An audio recording of the teleclass to listen to whenever you need inspiration and direction.
    Homeplay suggestions and sparks delivered to your inbox once a month to give you powerful tools and clear steps to create your brilliant, artful life.
  • An mp3 of one of my inspired guided meditations each month (folks rave about these!) to access the wisdom and brilliance of your creativity and your heart and open the way to manifesting your dreams.
  • An online forum to connect with other Brilliant Playmates. Share your dreams, find collaborators, friendship and support. The power of a co-creative field like this is extraordinary for catapulting our dreams forward in our lives and helping us stay the course when the going gets tough.
  • Bonus gifts, sweet deals and special invitations throughout the year just for my Playmates! Once you enter this inner sanctum of the Playground, you are one of my special peeps and gifts and goodies will keep coming your way.

The totally, outrageously awesome thing about this is:

It’s only $27 a month. Whoa. Look at all you get for that!

There’s no commitment. You can stop at any time. And you can start again at any time.

But wait! Even more outrageous and amazing:

hummingbird-at-a-hibiscus-flower-thumb24086491If you sign up as an inaugural member by July 15, you receive:

A special bonus price of just $18 a month for the first six months.

And, I’ll even send you a photo of my perfect feet and a copy of one of my gorgeous poems to inspire you to walk your heart path. Wow!

Help me reach my dream of 30 members by July 15 by joining now!


Why Join?

two women friends laughingBecoming a Brilliant Playmate is one of the easiest, surest and most affordable ways to keep your creative fires burning and your dreams alive.

Learn extraordinary tools to ignite your inspiration, passion and spark and keep those fires burning for a lifetime of creative play.

Discover your heart’s dreams, and learn elements of my potent, proven, step-by-step process to have your dreams come true. Become an artist of your life, empowered to create what you desire.

You’ll have the encouragement, guidance and community that every artist and dreamer needs in order to create an extraordinary life. You’ll be accessing the magic power of that community and having deep resources to turn to when you need them.

It’s ridiculously inexpensive and there’s zero commitment.
Try it for a month and see if you like it.

By joining this community you are saying YES to yourself, your creative spark and your heart’s dreams, and ensuring you have the ongoing support you need to thrive.

To join us now, for just $18 before July 15 (or $27 after that), or to find out more, click here!

The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 3: Autumn

The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 3: Autumn

This is part 3 in a 4-part series on The Seasons of a Creative Life. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Just as the season of summer does not last all year, neither does the summer of our creative life.

Autumn comes and, with it, a period of harvesting and then pruning.

In the natural world, we see things fall away, die back and turn colder during this time.

In our creative lives, this is the time for bringing projects to completion, revising, refining, and also honing our skills. A priceless time.

Autumn: A Time of Learning and Discerning

The autumn of our creativity is when we have the energy for studying new tools, looking with a discerning eye at our works and seeing how they can be made better. You may not feel the inspiration of new ideas flowing, but it is just as valuable and important to go over your first and second and third drafts and make improvements, learn from your mistakes, and practice new skills, to grow as an artist.

Autumn: The Final Harvest

In the harvesting phase, we have the focus and discernment to refine our projects and bring them to completion. Letting ourselves complete a project is necessary to make inner space for something new in the next springtime cycle.

In the next post, we’ll talk about the winter of our creative lives and how it paves the way for spring. Stay tuned!

If you want ongoing support, guidance and community to help you navigate the seasons of your creativity so you can really thrive and shine, join me here.

The 6 Essential Ingredients of a Brilliant Life

ladypainting_123rfYou know that moment when you are consumed in the act of creation, doing something that you love? Inspired, you forget time and place, you forget self-consciousness. You feel powerful, lit up. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.

The next day or a week later, you struggle to even get yourself to begin that same activity. You avoid it and make excuses and procrastinate.

You blame yourself as lazy, weak-willed, lacking in some essential quality that “other creative people” must have. You question yourself, what you are doing, your life. Ugh.

The same thing happens with our big life dreams. One day we are so empowered to move towards them, feeling on top of the world. The next, we are crushed, hopeless, feeling like “What’s the point?” or “What’s the use?” or “Maybe I’m just being ridiculous to try for this.” or “Maybe I don’t even want this.”


What I have found, again and again, is you are usually missing one or more of the 6 essential ingredients for all artists and dreamers to be able to live a brilliant, beautiful life:

group of friends_s1) Community: Other creative, interesting people you trust to share your process with, your ups and downs, get feedback and encouragement, where you can be vulnerable and real and feel understood. Dialogue that keeps you inspired and believing in yourself.

2) Focus: A do-able project, goal, performance, deadlines–something concrete and specific to work towards that motivates and inspires you and ultimately gives a sense of completion and satisfaction. That way, you aren’t facing the blank page or empty canvas or your whole life with nowhere to begin.

3) Audience: As terrifying as this is for some, we all need a way to complete the circle of creation by sharing our work and seeing its impact, even if it is just with one person or a few people. (You might also call this Appreciation.)

Waterfall_123rf4) Inspiration: Many creative people neglect the need to take in regular doses of inspiration. We get caught up in the busyness of life and don’t make time for reading, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, engaging in things that inspire us to create and fill us up with great ideas, images, experiences from which to make our brilliant creations. You have to keep re-filling the well, not just emptying it into your art and life.

5) Structure: Regular habits, a schedule, an outline, a map of where you are headed and how you are getting there, some way to keep track of your progress. Creative people often resist structure, and have a very hard time creating it for themselves and sticking with it. Yet without it, they do not thrive. They often feel frustrated and guilty, watching time go by and not much getting done towards their dreams. A look at the lives of successful artists will show you how helpful structure can be.

2015-02-21 17.12.326) Mentorship: Most, if not all, great artists and accomplished people rely on this throughout their lives (not just as something to have in college and then you’re on your own). This was a great surprise to me when I discovered it. You need someone who knows the way, to point out the pitfalls and steer you around and through them, to inspire and encourage you, to help you with the major obstacles of self-doubt, self-judgment, with your inner demons, as well as life’s outer challenges, to see your blind spots and gently point them out. Someone who has a system, method, tools that work and can guide you.

When I share these ingredients with my students, and they start to have them in their lives, amazing things happen, and they say, “How did I not know this? How did I ever live without this?”

Yet, it’s so easy to forget and to let these slide and, pretty soon, find yourself in the doldrums again, wondering what went wrong.

Now I have created a way for you to have these vital ingredients in your life, so you don’t have to spin your wheels, struggle alone, blame yourself or make it all way harder than it needs to be.

It’s called Brilliant Playmates, and it’s a monthly membership program. I am opening this up to you and inviting you into my inner sanctum.

threewomentoastingBecome one of my Brilliant Playmates and get the essential ingredients of a brilliant life now and for as long as you want them at a ridiculously affordable price.

This won’t give you absolutely everything you need (nothing will), but it will give you a good dose to help you really blossom and thrive, and, over time, I will show you to how to get more of each ingredient in your life.

This is designed to be easy, inspiring, fun and to fit into your everyday life. So you can be brilliant, real, and walk your path of heart.

Join me now! I have a very special offer for those who sign up by July 15.

I created Brilliant Playmates for you because I truly care about you and your heart’s dreams. I care about them because I know what happens inside of you and what happens in the world around you, when you follow them. And there is nothing more important than that, dear ones. Nothing!

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
—Howard Thurman, philosopher, educator and civil rights leader

So, please do yourself and me and the world a big favor and give yourself the support, structure, guidance and friendship that you need to shine your light. Become a Brilliant Playmate.

To your inspired life,


P.S. What would become possible for you if you had more community, inspiration, mentorship, structure, focus, and appreciation in your creative life and in living your dreams?

It’s time to become a Brilliant Playmate and find out. Play With Me Now!

The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 2: Summer

The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 2: Summer

This is part 2 of a 4-part series of the Seasons of a Creative Life. If you missed part 1, read it here.

Following the period of initial inspiration, the Springtime of your creative cycles, comes Summer.

Summer is a time of tending our new shoots and watching them grow, watering, feeding, and weeding.

This is the period of working on our creative projects with devotion, logging the hours it takes to bring something from seed to fruit. This is where you put in regular “studio time” so those precious, bright ideas can become actual finished pieces.

Summer: A Time of Sustained Growth

The summer of our creative life is the middle of writing the novel, making the painting, choreographing the dance piece, or building the house. You are riding the current of the initial ideas and sustaining the growth to bring your project or dream to completion.

This is the phase in my IMAGINE Dreamtending process that I call GROW. This is when you grow your dream from its first shoots into a full, healthy plant.

At this cycle, you need structure, a map or plan, a way to break your big goal down into do-able steps. You need support, feedback and regular doses of inspiration, so you can keep going.

Summer: A Time of Sharing

Summer is also an expansive, outward-focused time in the natural world. We tend to be more playful and more social in this season. In the summer of your creative life, this is a time to put on shows, give readings or performances, send your work out in the world or find ways to share it with others, even if it is just a few others. You might want to collaborate on a project at this time.

PeopleTalking_123rfOur creative lives need this sharing of our ideas and creations in order to feel meaningful and complete, in order to keep generating energy and enthusiasm to create. If you are lacking in creative community or places to share your work, you are missing a key, essential element in a creative life. (See my book 6 Essential Ingredients of a Thriving Creative Life.)

If that is the case for you, take a class, join or start a group, rent studio space in a collective, host a creative salon in your living room, find like-minded people who are up to similar things that you can be in creative conversation with.

In my next post, we’ll visit the creative season of Autumn and learn how valuable and essential that season is.

A way to have what you need

A way to have what you need

I am writing to you to respond to a core challenge I hear from so many of you.

I hear from many of you who:
have done my programs over the years, and also
those who keep longing to sign up but never quite get around to it.
First of all, I want you to know: I love you and I love hearing from you.

Here’s what I hear:

Man Singing_123rfSCENE ONE

You take a class with me, you love it. You have big openings and shifts. You are fired up, inspired—writing, dancing, painting, creating big dreams. You are experiencing synchronicities and support showing up in miraculous ways. It’s thrilling.

Then the class ends and time passes. Some of you feel a bit like the bottom has dropped out. You find yourself struggling on your own. It’s hard to maintain the momentum, the focus and the faith in yourself. You aren’t anchored enough in the practices and perspectives and you don’t have enough support around you in your daily life.

Once outside that circle of support, focus and guidance, you begin to feel lost, confused, overwhelmed and under-supported. You struggle to hold on to the dreams you were working towards, when there is no one around you who really believes in them. Life starts to take over and your fears and doubts rise up. You start to compromise on yourself, get distracted and off course.

Or you are actively working towards your dreams and creative aspirations, and you run into your next level of challenge, your next opportunity to grow. It feels scary, confusing, hard. You really could use some help.

I want you to know:  That’s normal! There is nothing wrong with you.


busy-personYou keep wanting to make time and space to get support around what you love to do, what you dream of doing, what would make your heart sing. You keep wanting help with bringing more play, fun, hope, inspiration into your life. You keep intending to do it some day. But the time is not convenient, and you don’t want to spend the money. And so the years roll by, and you are in essentially the same place.

Many of you tell me things like, “I only stay motivated when I’m taking a class. Why do I need that?” There are very good reasons why you need that. I’ll get into that in my next email.

I have created something beautiful and exciting and most of all, I believe, wildly helpful for you.

I have created a way for you to have ongoing support, guidance, inspiration and structure to foster your creativity and your heart’s dreams inside of a creative community of like-minded souls. Sound good?

And I’ve found a way to make it so that money and time are not an obstacle. Sound even better?

I invite you to become one of my Brilliant Playmates. Find out how here!

I’m going to let you enter the inner sanctum of Brilliant Playground and have all the juicy love, community and inspiration you need to thrive and blossom in your gifts and dreams and creativity. This is the answer to what you’ve been needing, and I made it just for you.

So check it out and join me now.

To your brilliant life,


The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 1

The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 1

Below I share with you the beginning of a series of posts about the seasons of our creative lives and how we can recognize and make the most of each of these seasons.

First a little acknowledgment of the turning of the seasons.

Turning to Summer

This Sunday, June 21, marks the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice, a time that human beings have honored with ritual and celebration for thousands of years.

Take some time to mark this seasonal turning in some way, large or small. Honor the gifts of the life-giving sun that brings energy, warmth, growth, light and power. Welcome these gifts into whatever area of your life that needs them and honor those areas of your life that are beginning to, or longing to, grow and expand at this time of the beginning of summer.

mix of 6 sunflowers - isolated on clear white background

This is a good time for setting intentions for the season ahead.

Allow yourself to get quiet and tune into your heart. You might sit in the sun or light a candle and connect to its light.

Ask your heart what is wanting to grow in this season of summer, what is wanting your care and cultivation? Create a life-giving intention around this and write it down where you can see it and be reminded of it throughout the summer.

Commit to your intention but allow it to unfold as it needs to, perhaps in surprising ways or taking unexpected directions. Be committed but not attached. This is the most powerful, creative stance to bring forth our dreams into reality.

The Seasons of a Creative Life — Part 1: Spring

Here, I talk about the springtime of creativity when we are flowing with inspiration and new ideas.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYour creativity moves in cycles and has its seasons, just like everything else on earth.

By becoming aware of these seasons and learning to move with them, we can make the most of them and foster a healthy relationship with our creative life that helps to ensure we can keep being creative, passionate and inspired for a lifetime.

So, let’s take a look at the seasons of every creative life.

Remember that these seasons move cyclically, repeating over and over throughout our life. They probably won’t coincide with the seasons of nature.

Your creativity has its own rhythms and is influenced by more than just the movement of the planets and the sun.

Some of your creative seasons may last a few weeks, others may last many months.

If you are not experiencing any creativity, you may need some help getting flowing again. My classes and individual mentoring can help you with that. Visit the Play with Me page to find out more.

Springtime: A Burst of Inspiration and Energy

In the Spring of our creative lives, we are bursting with inspiration, fresh ideas, enthusiasm and energy.

We are eager to try new things, begin new projects, take risks, reach out and express ourselves. We may have more ideas than we can possibly follow. We may feel we are flowing with life force energy.

Carve out as much space and time for your creative life as you can when you are feeling this way. Make use of this blessed time of inspiration and capture those good ideas somewhere where you can access them later. Keep notes, post-its, images, recordings—whatever helps you remember and build on all that inspiration flowing through you now.

coloredpencilsSet things in motion. You’ll need to choose one or just a couple of your grand ideas and start working on them.

Don’t get distracted by all the possibilities or try to do everything at once. Pick one idea and plant that seed, get into action while you have the inspiration and energy.

Spring is the time for planting seeds and starting gardens. Make the most of this time. If your creativity is waking you up early or in the middle of the night or keeping you up until all hours, go with it as best you can and use this precious time. It doesn’t last forever.

It is important not to squelch the enthusiasm of this springtime in your creative life. Be careful not to get too “practical” or “realistic” at this time, trying to figure out if it is reasonable or possible to do what it is you are feeling inspired to do.

Don’t squash your enthusiasm with “but that will never work,” or with doubts about your capacities. If you are feeling inspired to write an 800-page historical novel, let yourself dive in. You may find yourself later altering your course in some valuable way, led to some other path you never imagined, or you may find yourself having completed a wonderful novel. Either way, it’s a win.

Be careful with whom you share your good ideas. Notice which of your friends, family members and associates tend to be a wet blanket to your inspiration and which of them encourage you to “go for it!” Stop trying to get approval from others. Keep your bright ideas close to the chest, as they are still young buds, needing tender care.

In my next post, I’ll introduce you to the creative season of Summer and how we can make the most of that time.

Until then, keep creating!


The Healing Presence – Rumi, May 29

The Healing Presence – Rumi, May 29

“Pure quiet,” Rumi writes. My own soul is restless today, angry and torn. All of this is “you,” says Rumi, meaning me, us, soul, the One. Even this terrible tumbling.

He writes of a great healing presence. Call it Shams of Tabriz (his teacher and friend), call it God, call it the Heart. I long to take my hundred flaws to that river of being and be healed. I keep trying, and coming up wet and troubled.

When do we get torn asunder completely, so we can dissolve into pure quiet? This cacophony inside is hard to bear, like being in the midst of a loud party full of people and music you don’t like.

The healing presence is hiding inside, I know, and here with each breath, but when Life presses on me like a thumb crushing an ant, all I feel is my exoskeleton breaking, everything that has held me up shattering, my legs giving way under me, the old me being squeezed out. I don’t feel the life I’m about to become.

This post is based on the poem by Rumi for May 29 in A Year with Rumi translated by Coleman Barks. To read the poem you can visit:

The Tyranny of Originality

The Tyranny of Originality

Some students recently wrote to me about their concern with being original in their art, their need to be original. They said that if they have a great idea that they love and then someone else mentions a similar idea, it kills the idea for them. They can no longer make that piece of art, even though they were really excited about it before.

This is one of the myriad ways, subtle and not-so-subtle, that we can block ourselves as creative beings, throwing water on our beautiful creative fire. So, I want to take a few minutes to address the question of “originality,” which can be so deadly to artists.

As I wrote to my students, their reaction to other people having similar ideas to theirs likely hides some false beliefs that don’t serve them and make the process of making art less fun, free and inspired than I believe it is meant to be. If you harbor fears of not being original, it is helpful to uncover exactly what those beliefs are and write them down. For instance, you might have a fear/false belief, “I don’t have anything original to contribute” or it could be “All the good ideas are already taken.”

Writing out our beliefs is a first step in bringing them to the light of consciousness, so we can begin to question those beliefs and see through them, no longer letting them stop us from being the joyful, creative beings we can be. In my classes and one-on-one mentoring, I guide people through a process for powerfully transforming these limiting beliefs and setting ourselves free. Begin by bringing them to light and questioning them. This can sometimes be enough to release their hold on us.

Here are some thoughts of mine on the topic of originality, which might help you give up limiting fears and beliefs about this:

ButterflyI believe that originality is a fiction. We never do anything that is not influenced and made possible by literally thousands of other beings, including ones we don’t even know about. We are so deeply interconnected in the web of all life, who can say where our ideas come from?

The whole history of art and humankind is behind each creative act we take, and a whole lot more is behind it than that. The influences and experiences of our entire life are inside of us, informing each act of creation. The movements of the wind, the stars, the trees and animals also are all speaking to us every day. Understanding this interconnected nature of life and our indebtedness to thousands of others is part of acknowledging that ultimately our creations come though us not from us.

If we can start to be willing channels of that amazing creative flow and get out of our own way, we can also trust that “just being me” in my art, and in my life, is enough. I do not have to try to pretend to be someone else. I am me, and there has never been another like me. That is originality enough, and yet I cannot take credit for that either, because I am a creation of the Divine.

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” — Martha Graham

paintbrushesSo we hold this beautiful paradox, we are completely unique, yet our creations are a blend of thousands of beings. I believe it is essential to acknowledge this debt in all our art works, all our creations, all that we do—not to take the whole credit for any idea or invention. We are tuning into collective forces at work, tapping into creations that yearn to be born, opening ourselves to be available to them, and giving them life.

I like to use the metaphor of a stained glass window (and by the way, I heard this metaphor from someone else, but I can’t remember who!). As an artist I am like a stained glass window, and my creations are the colors and patterns that are created on the floor, when the sunlight comes through me. My creations look uniquely like me, the stained glass window. They unmistakably bear the mark of me, having come through my form, my experiences and personality, but the light itself that makes this art possible comes through me from a much greater source. Without it, no art.

Inspiration works like that, in my experience. It comes through us from somewhere beyond us. As it moves through us, it takes the form of us, we shape it with our craft, our abilities, our experiences as best we can. But the original source is not ours.

man_writing_journal_benchT.S. Eliot said, “One of the surest of tests is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.” In other words, if you imitate, you have failed to truly make it your own, put your own stamp on it. Then it feels inauthentic and half-baked. When you “steal” a great idea, you integrate it into your being, your style, and modify it to meet your needs. This act of “theft” is part of art—learning from the masters and from our contemporaries, being in dialogue with them—but a transformation takes place as it comes through you.

So go on out and be your completely unique and original selves and stop worrying about being original in your art. Acknowledge your indebtedness, celebrate your interconnectedness, and let yourself be a conduit for the amazing forces of the universe creating through you.

Some Song or Something

Some Song or Something

Rumi writes of ecstasy, of being used by the Divine, being sung through, the longing to be used in such a way, to praise the Divine. I am not in ecstasy, but I long to be used nonetheless, to be sung. We all do. To feel something greater than the small, worried ego, motivating our actions, thoughts, being. To feel purposeful, inspired, part of some greatness.

This moves us to do stupid things sometimes, like joining some nationalistic cause and killing or condemning others. But it can also move us to beauty, kindness, giving, to our best selves.

The bird’s song calls us home to simplicity, joy, the music in all things. The wind in the trees reminds me of effortlessness and being danced. And, yes, I have a great longing for that.

Please, Beloved, use me for some great purpose, or better yet, just some simple, sweet song. Please make of me a song, so that my cells become notes, my bones rhythm, my nerves melodies, my blood harmony, my skin orchestration. Let me be Your song and nothing else, dissolved completely in the One Being.

I can come to you with my sadness, my hatred, my depression—and You can transform them into light or beautiful darkness, the singing void, womb from which creation comes. I don’t have to be ecstatic to reach You or be worthy of You. Take me as I am and use me. I am willing. That is enough.


This musing is a response to today’s poem in A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings, translated and assembled by Coleman Barks. I cannot print the poem here because of copyright, but you can read the poem at:


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