Friday, January 30, 2009

Secret #4: Surrendering to Creative Cycles

Before moving on to Secret 4, I want to send out some special Secret 3 love to everyone. A lot got stirred up last week. Fear, vulnerability, courage, hesitation, recognition, awareness and many more such companions made their appearance. So take a breath and a moment and acknowledge yourself. Whatever showed up, whatever you felt, whatever you did or did not do, acknowledge yourself for being on this journey with all its ups and downs.

Really do it. Deep Breath. Acknowledge you.


We've already experienced some hills and valleys. Let's use this week's look at cycles to discover more about this aspect of our creative adventure. The book offers some questions about the darker times, the void. I'd also love to know how you manage the bright spots, the peaks. Do you celebrate? Get on with what's next? Get overwhelmed? Pat yourself on the back? Tell everyone? Tell no one?

One of the joys of working through this book together is that we may see stories that powerfully reflect our own and we may also experience viewpoints that offer an entirely different view. When it comes to creative cycles, do you relate to how the book explores the question? If yes, where does it lead you? If not, what's your take? What are your questions? Fill in stories that may have been left out. Don't hesitate to respond in your own unique way. Your view is a gift.

Interview with Leah Piken Kolidas

This week Leah shares her wisdom, including the way she has come to love her creative cycles. You can hear the interview here.

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #4: Leah Piken Kolidas

I hope you enjoyed our Week 4 interview with Leah. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Leah Piken Kolidas is a mixed-media artist and creativity guru living near Boston, MA with her husband and their four fuzzy cats. Leah sells her original artwork and prints on and and also leads the month-long "Art Every Day Month" challenge every November and the year-long "Creative Every Day Challenge" on her blog,

Invitation: The Creative Every Day Challenge is a low-pressure challenge and is open to everyone looking to infuse their daily life with creativity. Check out the details here:

Offer: Enter "creative09" into the coupon code at checkout to receive 20% off your purchase at, now through February 14, 2009.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Secret #3: Following Your Fascinations

"And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more." Erica Jong

There's a lot of content in this chapter, with risk-taking, intuition and staying power being at the core of Secret 3: Following Your Fascinations. The root message is that bringing our dreams to life involves moving outside of our comfort zone and taking risks.

There are 2 things I really want to encourage you to explore this week. One is from the book. And one is from me. First, the book.

The last challenge in this chapter is "Bolstering Your Staying Power." This week, get a clear picture of what en-courages you. What helps you be brave? List anything you'd like to draw on when the journey gets tough or scary, including what has worked for you in the past. Does it help to journal? To call a friend? To have a coach? To pray? Do you like to be super prepared? To do it quickly and get it over with? To plan how you'll celebrate when it's done?

This week, by sharing what helps us find the courage to take the risks necessary to make our dreams come true, we can fill each other's en-couragement toolkit with new ideas. What a gift that will be! And once we have that to draw on, what's next?

We get to be brave. We get to take a step.
This week I'd like to offer you the challenge of taking one brave step towards your dreams. One. It doesn't have to be big - but it can be. Draw on whatever support is available to you (including us) and then, take a step. Make that phone call. Buy a sketchbook. Add red. Add chillies. Write the first sentence. Sign up for that class. Wear colour. Book a ticket. Audition. Share your art on your blog. Share your dream with your partner. Share your article with an editor. Get an editor's address. Take a step.

One step. Don't worry about making it the right step, the best step, the world-changing step. Just make it the next step. A confidence-building step not because of the result but because you had the bravery to take it. And we'll be cheering you on.

Interview with Jessie Marianiello

What a perfect week for an interview with Jessie, founder of the Be Brave project. Enjoy! You can hear the interview here.

The Vault

Each week, on Fridays, the vault will be emptied. Imagine every negative word, every spiteful thought, breaking into tiny, harmless molecules washed away by the water pouring out of the vault. A fresh start. A clear sky.

The Encouragement Box

Ina had a great suggestion of adding an encouragement box for balance. Please, share your encouragements for each other directly in as comments on each other's blogs. Everyone loves comments :) But if there's something you're aching to hear yourself, put it here. And if you drop leave a negative thought in The Vault consider delivering its opposite as a gift in the Encouragement Box (e.g. Drop off in the Vault: Who do you think you are? Drop off in the Encouragement Box: You are a goddess, a special gift to this world. Never doubt it, my love)

Have a brave and fascinating week!

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #3: Jessie Marianiello

I hope you enjoyed our Week 3 interview with Jessie. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

For pet portrait artist, Jessie Marianiello, it’s all about capturing personality. Jessie’s paintings are a heartfelt gesture celebrating the unconditional love and infinite happiness that our four-legged friends have brought to us.

Jessie’s goal as an artist and animal lover is to create artwork that honors the unique life force within each of us. She paints to tell a story. But, even more so, she paints because it causes her to experience more love than she often know what to do with.

Jessie is a full-time artist living in the wintery tundra of Minneapolis, MN with her three dogs, 2 cats, and 1 husband. She loves strong coffee, is the creator of the Be Brave Project, and believes in creating a life that fills you from the inside out.


Personal blog: Diary of a Self Portrait

Website: Stray Dog Arts

Stray Dog Arts Etsy:

Patch of Sky Etsy:


FREE shipping on all greeting card orders from my Stray Dog Arts Etsy at Please convo (or email) me and I will post reserved listings especially for you—minus the shipping charges! Be sure to mention this book club! Offer expires March 31st, 2009.

FREE shipping on all print orders from my Patch of Sky Etsy at Please convo (or email) me and I will post reserved listings especially for you—minus the shipping charges! Be sure to mention this book club! Offer expires March 31st, 2009.

10% OFF commissioned pet portraits valued at $400 or more. Be sure to mention this book club! Offer expires March 31st, 2009.

Encouragement Box

“Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, 'Grow, grow.'” The Talmud

What do you hope the angels are whispering to you?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Secret #2: Honouring Your Inspirations

Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes I even have trouble doing it.
Tallulah Bankhead (pg 34)

What have you always loved? What inspires you? Catches your eye? Makes your heart sing?

You might be amazed at how many of my clients answer "I don't know" to those questions. So many of us get caught up in the busyness, in the shoulds, in "the way it is." We decide what creativity or art is supposed to look like and if our self-expression doesn't match that, we give it up. In our lives, we take on the role of woman, a boss, a mom, an artist, a housewife, a student, a CEO, (fill in the blank), instead of being who we are. And one day we realize, we've forgotten who that is.

The beautiful thing is the real you never goes away. She is always, always inside you. So, this week, if you only do one thing in exploring this secret, I invite you to notice you, to get to know your own unique loves. Carry around a notebook and every time you look at something with love or longing or joy or curiosity, take note. If you don't have a notebook, email yourself, leave yourself a voicemail message, "Hi, me. You know, every time I shop, I always pick up the pink things: pink toothbrush, pink toque, pink tights. I love pink!"

Give yourself the gift of alone time and explore. Let go of all your preconceptions and discover yourself anew. Try every radio station on the dial and notice what moves you. Walk down the street and pick the house you'd most like to live in. Go to a movie that you want to see - no compromises. Go to a clothing store and be outrageous in what you try on. You might surprise yourself!

Make space and time to notice what you love. It is a part of knowing and honouring the wonder of you.

Our Second Highly Creative Blogger Interview: Suzie Ridler

I am so excited to share with you a creative conversation with accidental domestic diva, Suzie Ridler. Listen to the interview here.

And introducing: The Vault

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #2: Suzie Ridler

I hope you enjoyed our Week 2 interview with Suzie Ridler of Chez Sacred Suzie. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Suzie Ridler is an accidental dynamic domestic diva who found out that the homemaker's path can be fun, delicious and exciting. She is out to change our outdated ideas of women who create domestic bliss. Suzie loves creating in the kitchen and is currently turning her house into a home. She believes that homemakers can be young at heart, rebellious and anything but frumpy. Life at home is a beautiful thing.

You can find Suzie at her blog
Chez Sacred Suzie NOTE: Suzie can now be found at Suzie the Foodie.
Her user id on Twitter is sacredsuzie.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Secret #1: Acknowledging Your Creative Self

And so we begin!

Let's start by celebrating that simply by being here, by signing up and putting your name on the blogroll, you have acknowledged your creative self! You have stepped up and stepped in and said, yes, to your creativity. What a great way to start 2009!

In chapter 1, I was struck by Gail's statement, "Claiming my artistic self as a woman became the path to healing and recreating my life." So many of us are on that journey. Some of us are just starting to whisper out loud that maybe, just maybe, we are creative. Some of us are dipping our tender toes into sharing our art, maybe selling something made from our own gifts. Some are discovering that our creativity has nothing whatsoever to do with art but has everything to do with life, cooking, the garden, something unexpected. And some have been on this journey a while and have tales of triumph and challenge to share.

We all have stories to tell. I'm looking forward to reading yours. This week is a great time to post about where you are on the journey to your creative self. And I'm thrilled to share with you thoughts and stories from 12 highly creative bloggers as we go through our 12 weeks together. These audio interviews will be posted each Friday and stay up for the week. I hope you find inspiration in them and in each other.

Our First Highly Creative Blogger Interview: Jennifer Lee

I am so excited to share with you a creative conversation with life coach, artist and yogini, Jennifer Lee. Listen to the interview here.

Wherever you are on the journey, you are in the right place. We are sharing this chapter together. May it spark your creative unfolding.

Note: Just a reminder that these links are intended as a direct connection to your post about today's secret. Other links will be removed. If you just make a mistake, feel free to add the direct link. We want to hear from you :)

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #1: Jennifer Lee of Life Unfolds

I hope you enjoyed our Week 1 interview with Jennifer Lee of Life Unfolds. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Jennifer Lee

Certified life coach, artist and yogini, Jennifer Lee of Artizen Coaching empowers professional and entrepreneurial women to awaken their inner muse and live life in full color. A former corporate ladder climber, Jennifer now lives her passion and helps others do the same. She is the creator of the Right-Brain Business Plan and the Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit and is featured in two books. Jennifer is writing her first book about using art and creativity to unfold your life vision. Her faves: Ashtanga yoga, anything sweet (especially her husband, her dog and dessert!), reading, connecting with friends and doing arts & crafts.

Special offer for book club participants: The beginning of the year is a perfect time for creative visioning. Here are a few resources to spark your inner muse. In the month of January, when you purchase any of the items below, I'll send you my new illustrated "Your Life in Bloom" worksheet. Simply forward me your order confirmation and mention "12Secrets" and I'll e-mail your complimentary gift.
Contact Jenn:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Revving Up!

Happy New Year, everyone! I'm so excited that we're about to start our 12-week exploration of creativity through 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin. And to make it even more inspiring for you, each week I will be posting an audio interview with a Highly Creative Blogger. These women will stir your creative soul! You'll be hearing from:
Each of these women will share with you how they invite their creativity out to play, what challenges they face as a creative spirit and their strategies for getting over them. Between your posts and these interviews, I think we're going to start a creative revolution in 2009!

We get into action this Friday, when I will put up a post for secret #1: acknowledging your creative self. You'll be able to to submit your direct link to the post you've written with your thoughts on the chapter, your responses to the exercises, whatever you want to share on the topic. You also be able to hear my interview with the ever-inspiring coach and artist Jennifer Lee.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to be in touch. Enjoy you're reading, and I'll look forward to a fantastic Friday this week!