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Ego, Fear and Humility

It is the ego’s dicey proposition that as artists we should always be “special” and different. The ego likes to be set apart. It likes to look down its nose at the rest of humanity. Such isolation is actually damaging. It is like the reverse of the Midas touch turning everything golden into a problem. […]


Morning Pages: the beginning

I have a daily practice of three longhand pages done first thing on awakening, hence, “Morning Pages.” The pages clear my head and prioritize my day. I think of them as a form of meditation. There is no wrong way to do the pages. You simply keep your hand moving across the page, not pausing […]


Begin at the Beginning

I’ll begin at the beginning, with a blank notebook whose pages beg, “Fill me.” It’s four o’clock in the afternoon on a bright spring day. I have taken Lily for an extra long walk, and now I am settled in my leather writing chair and I am— yes— writing. It feels good to put pen […]


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 […]


Risk: Leap and [then] the net will appear

I belive in risk. I don’t believe in luck. I do believe in synchronicity. You may call this semantic quibbling, but I don’t think so. Luck is something that happens to us. Synchronicity is something that begins in our consciousness. Risk is something we undertake. Luck is passive. We trigger synchronicity. We trigger it through […]


Keep on keeping on…

Very often, it is perseverance– not talent– which wins the day. Too often, we become discouraged by a single rejection. We forget that negative criticism is only one person’s opinion. Discouraged, we fail to go forward. This is where we often need the help of a “Believing Mirror”– someone who sees our potential and the […]


Sane and Happy

So much of being sane and happy begins with the doing of things that are sane and happy. This means that we must train ourselves to think small rather than large. We become frightened because we have “big decisions” to make. But big decisions can be made gently, a small step at a time. But […]


“Mourning” Pages

I sometimes think Morning Pages should be called “Mourning Pages.” “Julia, my pages are so negative,” some people say. With morning pages, we end our denial. If something is bothering us, we put it on the page. Often, many things are bothering us, and our pages seem filled with negatives. It’s important to note that […]


What next step are you evading?

I have said before that creativity is a spiritual issue. Any progress is made by leaps of faith, some small and some large. At first, we may want faith to take the first dance class, the first step toward learning a new medium. Later, we may want the faith and the funds for further classes, […]