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Clearing a Path: the magic of decluttering

With more time on our hands, we may find ourselves at home much more than we have ever been. Spending time in our homes, we notice the things we want to improve: the unfinished doorframe, the “junk drawer” in the kitchen that always seems to be jammed shut, the worn doormat that we’ve been meaning […]


Healthy Risk

Many of us have lives that are, in some areas at least, risk-free. We may have even cultivated these risk-free lives because we think we want stress-free lives. But while stress from negative situations can be damaging, stress from confronting challenges or taking a healthy risk can be energizing and motivating. When our lives feel […]


Enthusiasm over Discipline

“It must take so much discipline to be an artist,” we are often told by well-meaning people who are not artists but wish they were. What a temptation. What a seduction. They’re inviting us to preen before an admiring audience, to act out the image that is so heroic and Spartan– and false. As artists, […]


Finish Something

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As artists, we often complain about our inability to begin. If only I had the nerve to start X– a novel, a short story, the rewrite on our play, the photo series we’re “thinking” of. I would like to suggest that you start somewhere else– start with finishing something. There must be some obscure law […]


Accepting Ourselves… and our true delights

Sometimes as artists, we practice a self-loathing aesthetic that is like what adolescents do in terms of their physicality. This is a self-loathing that sets in and says whatever we are, it is not as good or as beautiful as whatever it is the other one has. If we are small, dark and exotic, we […]


The Silver Lining

“Gain disguised as loss” is a potent artist’s tool. To acquire it, simply, brutally, ask: “How can this loss serve me? Where does it point my work?” The answers will surprise and liberate you. The trick is to metabolize pain as energy. The key to doing that is to know, to trust, and to act […]


Prosperity is Free

Setting aside your skepticism for a moment, make a list of ten actions you could take, right now, that you suspect might make you feel more prosperous– and that cost nothing. Example: 1. Taking a walk in nature 2. Going for a run and taking a long, hot shower afterward 3. Cooking soup using leftovers I […]


On Clutter

Few things are as distracting– and destructive– as clutter in your home environment. It is hard to have clarity when you are living amid rubble. Clearing up your space gives you room for new thoughts. Clutter can be tackled in small amounts. Try fifteen-minute cleanups. You will be amazed at the difference in your psyche. […]


Artistry Everywhere

I went to Wisconsin for my sister’s wedding. She looked radiant! A painter who supported herself and her horse farm off of her art, Libby’s artistry touched every aspect of her ceremony. The banister of the grand staircase by which she entered was swagged with silk flowers. Each place setting featured a poodle cookie and […]


Breakfast with Beckwith

Today I did an interview with Michael Beckwith with Agape of Los Angeles. There were two musical interludes– he is married to a composer, and writes music himself. We both agreed that music is the most direct route to the human heart– that a message set to music touches the soul. I told him of […]