Visit my show at the PSCCU Credit Union, Vashon, Washington May, June 2024 

An Unlikely Path to Humility and Mindfulness

When I taught several groups of Japanese managers near Tokyo, one of the qualities I most admired was their humility and consideration of others. It felt like a refreshing change from the US cult of the individual—with its encouragement to “look out for number one” and “climb the ladder to the top”—no matter what the impact […]

Sparking creativity with curiosity and joy

Words from a creative genius Maybe the essence of creativity isn’t complicated. Or maybe we should replace the word “creative” (to help those who doubt that they are creative) with more accessible words like  “radically curious” and “passionately playful.”  This week, I took a deep dive into the words of a creative master, who has […]

The Glory of New Growth (A Pause)

I find it a miracle that despite what is happening in the world (and thanks for the well wishes about the loss of my friend), spring comes again. Each moment of new growth comes like a celebration—so time to go wander in the garden. In the meantime, I offer you the following to catch up […]

Eight Books Someone Should Write

The uber-creative illustrator and drawing coach, Wendy MacNaughton, issued a challenge this week to the folks following her on Substack: come up with imaginary book covers. Drawing is not my forte, but her assignment put my imagination into high gear. I’ve come up with eight titles, I think someone should write. The last, I would even commission. […]

Coping with (collective) grief during the holidays

The holidays can be challenging when we’re feeling grief, especially after personal losses—even those from long ago. This year many of us are also feeling another shade of grief that can compound the personal. It’s grief for the state of the world. Recently, I googled “How to survive collective grief during the holidays” and a […]

Do you need a “mistake pass”?

A vocal coach in Australia described her method of helping the participants in her classes sing more freely: she gives them each ten “mistake passes.” She knows that when students are concerned with singing “right,” their bodies will tense, their throats constrict, and what they hear coming out of their mouths will confirm their worst […]

When clouds get in the way

Does it ever happen to you that—when things are going great—blue sky and fresh breezes—some small thing derails you and lets a host of storm clouds cover the sky? Even though you know that the sun, the light, is out there, those clouds are in no hurry to move on. The world feels suddenly dark, […]

What’s in your manifesto? (Is it time to share what you believe?)

These days, a lot of people are so busy saying what they’re against that we never hear what they’re for. Throughout history, though, the world has been changed by people who dared to stand up and declare what they believed—from Jesus to Martin Luther to Marx. I love the “Ten Rules,” a manifesto Sister Corita […]

The Courage to Be Mediocre

Does the idea of being mediocre stop you from trying to do the creative thing you’ve always wanted to do? If so, join the club. The fear of never-being-good-enough can become our bullet-proof reason to not experiment and explore a new area where we’re not going to start out being great. We forget that our […]

Overwhelmed? It’s OK to “Cry Uncle!”

I had tea this week with a close friend, one of the most kind, competent, and generous people I know. Also one of the most ill. In the ideal world, she would just have one job: her own healing, but in this world, she has to handle finances, deal with a big home repair, consult […]

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