Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another Facebook Friend

I'd like to introduce you to another of my new Facebook friends, MarkDavidGerson. He's an inspirational speaker, artist, life/spiritual mentor, writing coach and editorial consultant. He contacted me recently and suggested that since our ideas and work are so closely aligned, we should exchange blog links.

Mark David is the author of The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write and The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy and creator of The Voice of the Muse Companion, a 2-CD set of guided meditations for writers.

He writes several blogs and has a passion for inspiring others, as I do! The link for The Voice of Your Muse will be permantly posted on my sidebar.

(If you visit him, tell him I sent you:)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Courage to Create

A number of years ago I was struck by a comment made by Carole King, the great sixties songwriter. I can't remember it exactly, but it was something along the lines of "to be an artist one has to allow themselves to be vulnerable ... they must be willing to reveal their insides for the world to see."

There seems to be no end to the ways in which an artist/creative can be described. But one thing is certain, the truly creative spirit who is living their life from that vantage point, must be willing to be considered eccentric, daring, outlandish, odd, etc.

Einstein said, "If at first and idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." Philosopher Bertrand Russell offered this advice: "Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric." And might I add, those "once eccentric" ideas include the wheel, cars, planes, democracy, computers, the list goes on and on.

It takes great courage to express original ideas. Those who dare to be daring are certain to meet with opposition and criticism. The German philosopher Schopenhauer wrote, "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

Artists go where others fear to tread. "It's the artists who find ways to express what the rest of us feel but cannot say or even imagine. If you ever wondered what artists are good for, this is it: they make us fuller and better human beings ... Art answers a basic need to find meaning in our lives ... Words, images and music can move the soul, and when souls are stirred mighty things can happen ... Art speaks of freedom, risk and the triumph of the individual."

- - Matt Schudel, Arts Writer, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Sunday, June 15, 2008

heARTmatters - - The Group

Back on May 9, I wrote a post that I entitled The Artist Within. In it, I mentioned a woman I had recently connected with on Facebook. Her name is Sheryl Brown and she is an artist and marriage and family therapist. Anyway, as the result of our connection, I displayed my artwork for the first time ... to the whole entire world. 

Well, now Sheryl has been kind enough to blog about me in her most recent post that she entitled heARTmatters. You can read that post at Sheryl was also one of the first people to sign up to my new group on Facebook that I have also entitled (what else?) heARTmatters - - Reclaim Your Creative Power.

I created the group only 1 week ago ... last Saturday night to be exact and get this ... we now have 131 members!!! I am absolutely blown away by the response. I'm getting incredibly positive feedback on the idea and energy.

One member, Steven Zimmerman, posted 3 of his photographs and that gave me the idea to invite all of the members to post their work ... To create a heART gallery. Now, only a week later we have a total of 13 pieces in our gallery. One of our members, Karen Gabel posted 3 pieces to the gallery. She shared that she had gotten away from doing her art and now was feeling "inspired by all of you to get back to it!"

I want to share one more thing that I thought was really funny ... in response to something Steven Zimmerman had said about not being a poet or artist ... I responded with the statement that there is alot more hidden within us that doesn't always reach the light of day. Steven's response that that was, "As to creativity, yes there is a lot that doesn't see the light, or sadly, 'till its too late ... But being from Jersey (he didn't even realize that I was from NJ) ... You know that's why God made Jesus a carpenter ... to build the closets we hide our true feelings in."

I don't know if you have to be from New Jersey, but I thought that was hilarious!! Anyway, that's where things are at the moment - - Check out the heARTmatters group You don't have to be signed up with Facebook to visit - - only if you want to join!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Making Your HeART Sing

My friend and shamanic practitioner, Michele Lessirard, used to always say "What makes your Heart Sing?" I don't know about you, but I find the question extremely thought-provoking. What is a Singing Heart anyway?

Close your eyes for a moment and visualize a "Singing Heart." What do you see? Someone on American Idol dressed up in a Heart costume? (That’s supposed to be funny ! ! )

I see a heart, vibrant with life, surrounded by dancing musical notes. How about you?

As I was journaling yesterday morning, and pondering this idea of Singing Hearts, I thought about the word heARTmatters and the next thing that popped into my mind was "An idea whose time has come." (Now where did that come from? And what did it mean?)

The word heARTmatters first dawned on me four or five years ago. (You can read that entire story on the Welcome to My World tab above) I just loved the way the words looked and what they conveyed to me. It seemed like the perfect word to describe my basic philosophy: We are all Creative ... We each have something unique to share ... Since no two of us are alike, whatever we create is one-of-a-kind and has its own distinct value ... It matters ... We matter!

I used heARTmatters in my work with children a few years ago and they really could relate to the idea that There’s ART in Every heART - - Every one has a heART - - So every heART matters! (See heARTmatters tab)

In her best-selling classic, If You Want to Write, renowned teacher and writer, Brenda Ueland states, “Everybody is Talented, Original and Has Something Important to Say.” As humans, we all have something to express ... We NEED to express. Think about this ... Try NOT expressing yourself for 24 hours and see what happens ... You might just explode~!

So what’s the big deal, you may think. What’s so important about putting our creative power to use? Again to quote Ueland:

”Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money. Because the best way to know the Truth or Beauty is to try to express it. And what is the purpose of existence Here or Yonder but to discover truth and beauty and express it, ie. share it with others?”

What's your take on the subject?