from the blog

Flowers and Creativity

It is February— that funny in-between time in the winter when the weather can do all kinds of crazy things.  Here in Northern California, it has been raining off and on.  It has given me some time to go deep with some things that have been inspiring me, and I wanted to share them with you.  

I have gone on a crazy deep dive into the mind of Rick Rubin (legendary music producer and inspired teacher of creativity) since I bought his book The Creative Act: A Way of Being.  The book is incredible, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.  Rubin puts into words many ideas that have been floating inside me for years about creativity, and I find it so amazing to read thoughts I’ve had (but never expressed) on a page in black and white.  I’ve also learned a great deal from someone who has dedicated his life to creativity.  

As a result of loving that book, I’ve listened to Rubin on many podcasts talking about the book (this was one of my favorites), watched him on 60 Minutes discussing creativity with Anderson Cooper (that interview encapsulates a lot in ten minutes), and watched a four-part documentary on Showtime about Rubin that he helped produce.  I’ve done a DEEP DIVE and have enjoyed it thoroughly.  

I also loved the We Can Do Hard Things podcast interviewing Sonya Renee Taylor.  Taylor wrote the book The Body is Not an Apology, a book I’m now reading and thoroughly enjoying.  The idea of loving one’s body is a revolutionary one in our culture (particularly as a woman), and I am loving Taylor’s inspired book on this topic.  

A friend from my poetry class recommended the book Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg.  I knew it was on one of my many bookshelves somewhere, but I couldn’t find it, so I downloaded it with one of my available Audible credits, and what a gift it’s been!  Goldberg reads it herself in her thick New York Jewish accent, and it makes you feel like she’s sharing her writing secrets directly with you (because she is).  I am loving listening to it, and I highly recommend it!  It is a great thing to do while you’re cooking, for instance, and my husband has gotten into it too.  

Goldberg also talks about her meditation practice and how writing and meditation are similar.  Because these are two things that fascinate me, I love hearing about them together.  

Speaking of which, I led my first day-long meditation retreat a few weeks ago, and it was a really wild and lovely experience.  One of the best parts was spending a day with an incredible group of people who were willing to share about their experience openly.  To look around the room and realize that I was experiencing community the likes of which I dreamed about during the pandemic really moved me.  

Our meditations that day were inspired by the poetry of Mary Oliver and by nature, so I thought I’d share with you a meditation inspired by trees– the way they teach us to be grounded and to reach for the sun, the wisdom they hold and transmit, their sturdiness and beauty.  You can find that meditation here. If you’d like to join me live, I will be doing a meditation this Friday at 10:30 am Pacific/1:30 pm Eastern on Opening to Life as It Comes.  I would love to be with you live! Set a notification reminder when I go live on YouTube and Facebook.

Finally, are you as obsessed with Miley Cyrus’s new song Flowers as I am?  I love it so much, and because I am also obsessed with Rick Rubin, the first thing I did after I heard it was look up whether he produced it (he didn’t, but it’s rad anyway). 

Wish you a wonderful week, full of creativity, inspiration and flowers!