Tag Archives: Creativity

Memoir Project: Dusting Myself Off, Putting my High Boots on & Going Back In!

After a lot of procrastination I have published three excerpts from my memoir in revision. I’ve also shared several writer’s notes over the last few days. You can find Memoir Project entries HERE and a couple Writer’s Notes HERE

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I had full intentions this morning to continue to write and revise my memoir’s manuscript this morning but I was stopped in my tracks by an event yesterday that kept me awake last night. It all started with:

You Should Have…

After tossing and turning in bed and making every effort to disavow what is roaming around inside of me I decided to put my high boots on and step back Into the arena. The arena where I bring my vulnerability and courage.

Vulnerability is the most accurate measure of courage. ~Brene Brown

I realized this morning as I sipped my coffee that I have been in that same arena immeasurable times in my life and that over the last few days I have been standing naked and left my armor behind. 

I’m showing up in a big way.

and so are all of my anxieties and concern about being killed on the field as I share my story and who I am. The real deal with no armor to shield me.

Yesterday I stepped out and was hit by the the same criticisms and shame that have kept me from writing and sharing what I am creating over the course of my lifetime. I asked myself this morning,

How is this critic similar to other critics that have voiced their disapproval of how I look, act, what I do, who I am??

I came across a photo of Mary Alice (circa 1954). I am just over a year old, standing with my Easter bonnet, dress, and coat. Looking ahead in a focused way. Even then I had a sense of who I am suppose to be and started to give away the parts of myself that didn’t fit that ideal.

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Today I’m breathing deeply in a fetal position on the floor, dusting myself off, and continuing to create and share. On this Autumnal Equinox I feel like I am falling, breaking down. As I continue to play and create my life and life’s work I give myself permission to stay home for stretches of time and also to explore outside the edges of my experience.

I will continue to create and share here, on the Play=Peace blog, and on Medium knowing that as, Brene Brown, says,

if you step into the arena, you’re going to get your ass kicked

Every one of you has a Critic’s seat reserved in that same arena. See you there. Will you be fully armored or nakedly sharing your vulnerability and gifts with us all?

Memoir Project: The Next Chapter

Summer has brought with it attention to healing and recovery. What supports me is injured. I’m keeping what benefits me and letting go of what no longer serves. I’ve been artificially holding up my upper torso. Dropping into my natural stance and walk makes me feel much more at ease.

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I’ve been holding on for almost 30 years. Three decades reminding me of the mantra of the rosary–a prayer.

I’m praying, my prayer is one of release.

I am writing in two columns as I journal. The second queue includes feelings and body intelligence that I note as I write freely.

Blow out as you push, don’t hold your breath

Holding myself up

Can you imagine holding something up for almost 30 years? Well, I did just that. That kind of holding can eventually show up as pain in the hips and legs. What supports me started to break down.

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Dropping Down & Pushing

Walking nearby our campsite my hips dropped and I felt a release. An awareness washed over me of just how long I have been moving ahead in a way that injures

Since the moment when I passed my newborn son from my arms into the arms of his adoptive mother I have been…

  • holding myself up
  • holding myself back
  • unable to settle into a position that allows for ease of birthing.

I was not going to relax and move into a position where I was likely to give away so much of myself again.

Giving Birth

I am in another 7 year cycle. Exploring patterns:

1-7: childhood, play!

7-14: adolescence, play!

14-21: marriage, birth of my daughter

21-28: birth of my son and daughter, back to school

28-35: surrogate pregnancy, masters program

35-42: birth of my surrogate son, doctoral program, new relationship, kids leave home, move, play!

42-49: play! move, breast cancer, Mom’s breast cancer, re-marriage

49-56: play! move, Michael’s cancer returns, surgery and treatment; Mom’s death

56-63: play! Dad’s death, gave away my son at his wedding

63-70: play! new chapter!

My ability to hold on is amazing. Will I be able to release what has been holding me back? It’s exciting to think about a new chapter in my life.

What’s next?

for me? for you?

 

Saying YES to my KID + Ready to GO!

Slow Down, Kids at Play–

that’s YOU and ME!

Lets say YES to our KID and Play on…FullSizeRender

Bailey’s Cold: Came home from my week with three of my grandchildren blessed with Bailey’s cold. Body Time. Stopping and Listening…

Labyrinth

On Labyrinth Day I walked my playful journey at Pam’s Labyrinth in Sequim. I noticed that I had the impulse to leave my path again and again. I heard a voice say, If you leave the path you won’t complete your journey. Aha! BIG STUFF!

I returned to where I began my walk focused on fully moving in the Experience and Completion.

Going Analog: I’m playing with slowly weaning myself of what no longer serves me. I’m not going to throw out as much as re-arrange, put aside, and shape what has importance & meaning…

Parents often tell me they have a hard time playing…These parents inspire me to keep sharing the importance of play to help parents, grandparents, and their children create lives that are heart-based and en-JOY-able.

What are or could be your playful inspirations today?

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Saying No, Means Saying YES!

Saying no to one opportunity

brings open space and creativity.

Saying no to some one else’s want

brings flexibility and self-respect.

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Saying no to fear

brings en-couragement, openness

vulnerability.

Saying no to judgment and criticism

brings playfulness and receptivity.

Saying YES to my Swing! Nature

Playing in the Everyday with some New Things and Growing what I’ve already started:

  • Global Play & Local Collaborations
  • Contra Dance, Learning to Play the Fiddle
  • Musical Inspiration with Army Jazz Band, Janiva Magness, Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts, PoetryMusic
  • Playing with my Grandchildren at the Beach & Pool, always a De-Light!
  • Creativity Calls, New Creative Adventures
  • Spending time with Friends
  • Producing–Arranging a Special Showing of Michael’s Watercolors
  • Bird Watching
  • Facilitating Full Moon Earth Day Ritual with our Drumming Circle
  • Soul Motion
  • North Olympic Land Trust Crew
  • Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge Volunteering
  • Hiking and Nature Photography
  • Drawing & Painting
  • Writing with a Partner, Singing, and Recording Children’s Songs
  • Singing out of Key
  • Swing!

Are you saying NO, so you can say YES?

I’d love to hear about it ALL! Comment or write to me, share your story! (its been proven beyond a doubt that when you SHARE your story you GAIN BEYOND MEASURE!)

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The Child Within My Heart: I Did It!

Can the child within my heart rise above and feel at home with herself?

It took a while for me to rise to the occasion. I sent an email to a musician who I have collaborated with during ‘archival memoir project‘ performances and recordings.

Ken, would you like to explore a possible collaboration?

I did it! [I love when kids say that!]

I reached out, asked for help, and it turns out Ken is enthusiastic about the idea as well…he’s in!

Joy!

We are now planning to record songs  that I have been creating while taking my daily walks and playing in my studio. I’ve recorded some of the melodies and lyrics on a small tape recorder. Other lyrics are saved as notes in my journals. There are many more melodies and lyrics that keep popping out. Plus+ I would like to add bits of where I play on keyboard, guitar, and fiddle *as I learn. Ken is versed as a string and keyboard musician and plays with a number of improvisational groups. I can’t wait to see what the combination of Ken’s musicality + Mary Alice’s playing will sound like!

As Ken and I talked by phone a recognition came over me that he understands that my collection of melodies and lyrics [both recorded on tape and stored in my body] are additional chapters of the postpartum of my story and will be included in my ongoing archival memoir project.

Sounding Bowls

A place that is natural

Last night I was playing with sounding bowls at our local healer’s circle gathering. The throat chakra bowl seemed to play even more vibrantly when I sang. As I chanted and sang a word came to me

authentic

The last sounding bowl I played was the solar plexus bowl. It sounded a bit off to me and I really didn’t want to play it. What I resist, insists…

so I started to play and realized that this bowl represents my Shadow and my resistance. It’s the bowl I need to play first before I play the throat chakra bowl or the root bowl…both of these bowls sang for and with me.

Similarly, I’m moving past my resistance to sharing the melodies and words that I have stored for so long. Moving ahead and sharing my stories with others. Stepping up and giving it up!

singing, writing, painting, fiddling around….

I’d love to hear what you have stored away in your drawers, computer files, cupboards. What do you resist sharing?

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Intimate Sharing + Meaningful + Courageous

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My dreams inspire me. Last night I dreamt of a new school opening. Other dreams come to help me see both where I am off-balance and where I sing!

My creator has been cranky demanding more time as I step into my play-based work and the art of playing in the everyday in new ways. So important to me! its real! Natural! I’m passionate about my work and committed to the call I feel to share the importance of our imagination, play, and creativity.

I’ve been journaling, making notes, diving into ‘ways to play’ with imagining and concrete planning (making some decisions about what to say YES to and what is a not-always-so clear NO). I’m stepping back again and again as I re-play old themes and rejuvenate them for a better fit.

Play in the Everyday: tiny inspirations fly in! 

In late October I set out to Connecticut to perform another version of my archival memoir story. This time round the images from my archival memoir project were in the backdrop as I shared the many stories within the story of my experience and its ‘postpartum’ [what I’ve learned from my experience and its ongoing treasures and gifts]. David Cherniske, improvisational musician, played a variety of instruments during the collaborative performance. As the stories I shared unfolded, Dave and I experienced a running conversation. A call-and-response. Story-Sound-Images.

Copy of Play=Peace Logo-3Three months later, I have the sense (and my dreams support my gut instinct) that I am moving into the second trimester of yet another pregnancy. I’ve been carrying the memories of my experience and all that I have written and dreamt since beginning the process of unraveling began. 1987. 1998. 2004. are important dates.

I am committed to completing and sharing the written memoir that is one part of my archival memoir project in 2016. I’m playing with sharing my memoir in a variety of forms. A handcrafted book with photos, a playful journal with decorations. Sharing parts of my memoir online as I re-vise and then publishing my memoir as a whole.

The process I am in as a play-based, depth-oriented writer is filled with promise.

Everyday there are challenges and good reasons to not write. I am trying out a few approaches to counter all the good reasons that keep me from what I love.

Play in the Everyday: Walk upstairs to my home studio. Its amazing what that does. Works like a charm!

Play in the Everyday: Take a walk to breathe and reflect. Physicality. I return to my home studio renewed and with many inspirations and more ideas! [choosing what idea to roll with is key here!]

Play in the Everyday: Pick up a book for inspiration. I have a whole library to choose from. I let my intuition guide me. Poets. Dreamers. Memoirs! Novels. Art books.

Play in the Everyday: Find new inspirations to tap into. There are so many people–those I know, those I don’t know, those who have passed on. Non-Human Animals, Nature. Characters in Stories that I Love. Films.

Play in the Everyday: Listen to my dreams. Dreams are an ongoing SOURCE.

Yep, everyday there are challenges and good reasons to not write. imagine that!

I’m on it!

Work with Me & Enjoy Your Playful Journey

Contact Me & We’ll Set Up a Time to Meet!

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