On Being Creative

When I close my eyes and consider my life, the forty years I have been alive, I can feel and recognize the deepest parts of me that have always been there.

Writing poetry as a kid in a notebook with “DO NOT READ” on the front cover, hoping one of my siblings or parents would be like, “ohhhhh… what is this top secret notebook?” and peer into my world, consider my genius and applaud my poetic prowess on beaches, summer and band concerts. This tendency is self-publishing work now, directly asking people to read. Trusting the work.

My whole growing up, I have always been ok speaking in front of people, willing to volunteer yet perhaps a little too eccentric for teachers and operetta leaders to trust with main roles: a little too energetic for them to trust I would listen.

Plus, I have always been a visionary – leaders putting me in leadership roles inherently came with a prerequisite of a willingness to be open to ideas, perhaps even challenged by innovation.

Not that I’m obstinate. If I feel remotely responsible for people’s experiences, I think about the future. I want the coolest way. Raised by a resourceful person, cool futuristic thinking builds on what is as old as time, is influenced by wisdom, it’s rooted in love.


This weekend, I am teaching a workshop on the heart’s connection to divinity which I have studied to be primarily recognizable via sensations of love, peace and joy. The workshop intends to ground these three sensations into the body, into the home, into a present acceptance that allows a person to live, move, breathe with relative ease. Or at least remember ease is a thing when things are hard, thus (hopefully) – making it easier.

Part of preparing for this workshop means coming to terms with what disrupts my own sense of rootedness when it comes to the deepest parts of me that have always been there. I think it is important to know what you have always liked about yourself. What you think you’re good at. I have met people before with wildly low self esteem yet they make amazing loaves of bread, craft intricate crocheted items, read super fast and apply loads of intellectual content. I always wonder if they know these things to be clues, keys, into esteem. Into who they are. Into roots.

What if the practice of rooting and trusting who you are wasn’t about identifying what to establish and growing roots but about closing your eyes and visualizing your full root system: deep, healthy, thriving? What if a practice of allowing ourselves our full self gave us the foundation from which to operate? Operetta cuts and sitting in the back of the class and all?

One of the things I hope for my teaching – special workshops, regular yoga classes, writings, spiritual direction – is the same thing I hope for myself in my own life: that the whole self is allowed. That I assume access to all of my might, all of the time.

I’m reading this year’s story, A Christmas Tree Story, to an intimate group of friends this evening. Mailing all the orders out, teaching tomorrow and leading workshop Saturday and reading again Sunday. After these things are said and done, next week will be all about 2023 Yoga Planning and wrapping gifts, making cookies, slowing down. It will take the next ten days to feel all the aspects of myself, is my point – but I will be my whole self within each fraction of life. Does that make sense?

In this process, I realize I am now the Operetta Director, the Sixth Grade teacher, the Executive. It is only up to me to decide whether or not I make the cut, whether I am good enough – a good enough listener, able to focus my energy. By saying I am, I am allowing the whole self.

People in your life, I think, are there to teach you the voices you need most.

Positive validation received from people teaches how to validate, critical thought received from people teaches you how to identify the opposite, positive thought – the next step – the action.

My hope for you is that you trust who you have always been and spend your days enjoying yourself. Enjoy your gifts, talents and abilities.

Seeing even tendencies like to tidy up as a gift, allows us to appreciate the moments we use them: in our own kitchen on a cozy weekday morning or in a hospital waiting room in the middle of a sleepless night.

In a way, this makes everything then more enjoyable bc it is an honor of our divine design, our connection to source energy.

And it makes risk taking feel courageous and it makes times we are wrong feel right.

The Work of Not Working

This week has been really busy for me.

I researched dog kennels for hours, contemplated what I was looking for in a dog kennel for hours, mulled through my options, made appointments with sales reps, talked with those sales reps and then bought two dog kennels. Analyst skills: check.

With the super nice weather this week in Saint Louis, I have been meeting my goal of walking three miles (with pups) each day.

Dog training skills: check.

Lent started up as mentioned in my post from Wednesday, so there has been a renewal of spiritual practice which has opened my mind to understand why some of my creative projects were stalled out… they needed a foundational practice.

This feels like an accomplishment similar to identifying the dog kennels. Analyst / Product Development skills: check.

PS – dog kennels are confusing and expensive. I ended up going with a specific brand, saving about a thousand dollars compared to the others.


Accounting Department skills: check. (Oh, I also completed our family’s February budget review… add Excel skills: check)

All of our kids are at the other parents’ this week so we have had a bit of a honeymoon week. I rose to the challenge of using up everything in our fridge and freezer and stumbled upon the creation of a carrot bisque recipe. Netflix cooking challenge champion skills: check.

It was about 4 in the afternoon, I had roasted carrots and aromatics sweating in the pot. The sun was SO pretty and I had the window open.

I didn’t cook with music as the silence in the house was golden (see aforementioned note about kids not being here). After a taste test of the roasted carrot soup left me with a sliver of rosemary on my tongue, I thought: this should be smooth. This should be a bisque.

Without multi tasking on a conference call, without thinking about how much time I had, without any tie to any thing, I pulled out a sieve and started the slow process of one ladle of soup at a time… pushing through the sieve… watching with satisfaction (again, satisfaction akin to the not spending $1,500 on dog crates) as the soup pooled up in the receiving bowl.

So simple. So creative. So strategic.

I have thought a lot this week about life as a creative and desiring progress and accomplishment to be redefined in my mind.

I notice when friends or fellow writers call me to rattle their projects around. I notice when friends reach out for perspective or just to chat.

I proofread a friend’s work, for pete’s sake. I am working all the time. Professional friend and pro bono life analyst.

The work of not working occurs when I see what I am doing or how I am doing something because I am “not working” and consider whether or not what I am enjoying doing or how I am enjoying doing it should somehow be what I do for work. Following?

Having been a part of 2020’s “Great Resignation” as I “retired from corporate life” has given me a freedom that seems to be wide open space for thoughts of “what do I do with this thing I like doing” or some kind of jolt to ascribe value or extend offering to even the simplest joys. I was a half step away from ordering jar labels and whipping up another batch of carrot bisque for my family members in town.

I am starting to want this time back, if that makes sense. I want that thinking to subside and I want to emerge different. In too many ways, that thinking is similar to how I saw everything I did at Enterprise. How do I get the right people to notice the skill and hire it, promote it, pay it.

What does it look like to just exist without wondering what something is or should be?

What does it feel like to simple operate without marketing?

Part of my Lenten practice has been to resurrect (pun slightly intended) my study of Yoga Sutra. It is not lost on me that the first couple of days on chapter one (the portion of contemplation) have brought the strong reminder of impressions of the mind as distractions.

I dog eared pages from my practice last night to investigate further today… to journal or reflect or whatever I am going to do to understand a bit more about why they got the precious dog ear fold. I know – for the most part – they got the fold because they were helping me remember that all of this work thinking, the pattern of needing to work, is likely the obstacle to the unfolding of the next chapter of my creative life.

Fascinating. Anybody else out there not working and thinking all the time about work? Is this an American thing???

For those that know me … I think this is the next layer of saran wrap to remove.

Ok… now on to it… erin

Fan of My Life

I am a fan of my life. I realized this today, as I stood in my backyard – thinking about my husband – and smiling, I am such a huge fan of his.

Everything that is hard about my life is actually the challenge of the good. The realized dreams encouraging next round dreams. The next round dreams offering the last round’s fears. The Dalai Lama wrote something in this years planner about using fear to remember a part of your story and then offer that story up to the present. I didn’t totally get it, but I have been working at it a little mentally.

Like, for starters – simply asking myself what it is that I am afraid of…

Recent answers are things like: losing control, getting ahead of myself, being too much for people and seeming dishonest.

To a certain extent, I am afraid of failure but find that simply goes away by realizing my inner success. Little wins like a perfect chicken ceasar salad and well trained dogs help me with larger concepts like “what if I don’t win a Grammy for this” or “what if I am not doing an Oscar acceptance when I’m 80”. The fun thing about it is, those questions’ opposites are visions for what I will wear and how I will thank my most loved and cherished people in my life, how I will share my belief in God and in wisdom and in what I feel is the path to true loving humanity, a truly kind world. My cultural references make me a part of culture, and this – this is humbling, exciting – and makes my fingers type fast.

But I am just sitting here. Having my smoothie and a break outside with the dog toddlers. Which, if you are tracking with that whole story, at 8 months old and four dog park visits in, I see dominance emerging. And I see themes. I see patience as a virtue.

Patience. And the success of a simple life surpasses the success of the world.

Patience. And the love of a puppy dog fills the void in the bank.

Patience. And the attention of your children, the favor of your husband ceases all worries.

Patience. And movie nights, bonfires and s’mores become every day’s luxury vacation. (It helps to have a bottle of a favorite hotel lotion, if I may…)

I am a fan of my life. I am a fan of my family. Aiming success within my heart beat’s reach; more practical to my immediate corner of the world than with American ambition.

And…. on that note, I am going to finish my smoothie, arrange my plants… write a yoga class… and get back to work on my book.

BTW. Special Editions are going to be out this Thanksgiving. Guys. Comment if you want one. LOVE. and Thank you.