• An Artist's Journey,  Applied Creativity

    Clarity In Chaos: How to Be Confident In Uncertain Times

    With my partner still out of work and unemployment benefits about to run out, I am wondering we will heat our home for the winter.   I am one of the lucky ones, and I know it. At least I’m not wondering where home will be.  Here in the United States, not only are we dealing with a pandemic that has shut down life as we knew it, but our politicians are so busy playing partisan games that there is still, after months of talks, no relief in sight for Americans facing joblessness, homelessness, and worse.  We may wish to make a plan, but the variables are overwhelming: How long will the pandemic last? How will the election impact…

  • An Artist's Journey

    The Art of Allowing: Crazy Quilts, Sticky Notes, and Morning Stretches

    The unblocking was unexpected. It began with The Red Shoes as retold and analyzed by Dr. Clara Pinkola Estes in her seminal study on feminine archetypes, Women Who Run With the Wolves. In particular, it began with this paragraph: Too too many women made a terrible vow years ago before they knew any better. As young women they were starved of basic encouragement and supports, and so filled with sorrow and resignation, they put down their pens, closed up their words, turned off their singing, rolled up their artwork and vowed never to touch them ever again. A woman in such a condition has inadvertently entered into the oven along with her…

  • Applied Creativity

    Compassionate Witness

    One of my favorite items is a small tooled leather notebook cover by Oberon Design*. It holds a tiny Moleskine book that has become a core part of my creative practice, moving it from the mundane to the spiritual, and augmenting the resilience I draw from it. I call it my “Witness Book”. Within the body of practice known as Intentional Creativity, we commonly refer to the legend of the Red Thread, which says that we are connected from birth by an invisible red thread to all those whom we need to meet in our life on Earth. This thread can stretch and tangle, but it can never break. When…

  • In the Studio

    Council of Muses, October 2019 Creative Practice

    For the month of October 2019, Council of Muses explored the theme of “Courage” as it relates to accomplishing our goals. Courage is certainly a necessary component of challenging the narrative of your Inner Critic. In this short, 6-minute video I share an #IntentionalCreativity art journaling practice to help you courageously claim your experiences and skills in service of your dreams. Program members also enjoyed a wonderful discussion on the theme of Courage, as well as a report out where we shared our accomplishments for October and our commitments for November. If you would like this kind of accountability and support, email me at tara@taraerin.com for more information about joining…

  • Under the Miriam Tree

    Message from the Muse, 10/28/19

    Today begins “Secret Friend Week” at work: a time to share a bit of inspiration or encouragement with a colleague daily. There was a time in my life when I thought stuff like this was rather silly – too forced to be taken seriously. Now I know that play is serious business, and that when my Muse offers a message, I had better listen and share what she has to say. Today, she wanted me to share this simple reminder: Remember to slow down and savor each moment as it comes. Smell the coffee. Taste the bread. Relish the lingering aftertaste while it lasts. Release the moment as a good…

  • In the Studio

    Pillars of a Creative Life

    Several years ago, when I first embarked on the Intentional Creativity journey as a member of the Red Madonna “Queen of the Cosmos” yearlong creative practice group, our teacher Shiloh Sophia asked us to contemplate what she called the “pillars” of our belief. Of the many inquiries we initiated that year, this one has had particular sticking power for me, perhaps because it was one of the first times I began to seriously consider my own inner knowing as a source of authority. More recently, I’ve found myself revisiting the seven pillars I chose at that time and, much to my surprise, I find that as creativity has moved to…

  • Under the Miriam Tree

    Musing on Compassion

    Last night I sat with darker passions – resentment, anger, and pride. I neither denied them, nor gave them free rein, but acknowledged them and allowed them space within myself to be expressed. This morning, for my birthday perhaps, they returned to me a gift of understanding. Take no action in haste, and speak not in anger. Rather, sit with yourself in compassion. Com-Passion: together with passion (1). Allow your passion to be, and like a good friend, ask what it needs you to know. Your darker passions are like winds under your command. You can let them swallow you up, like a tornado, blinding you with the detritus it…

  • Allegories, Fables & Fairy Tales

    Rhyme and Reason in the Kingdom of Being (an Allegory)

    A long time ago and very far away lived the Queen of Being and her twin daughters, Rhyme and Reason. Both were beautiful and bright, and as they grew, their mother envisioned them as her advisers and, ultimately, the future rulers of the kingdom. Despite their equal gifts, it seemed when they were very young as though Rhyme was clearly the Queen’s favorite, and all the court shared in adoring the delightful child. When she sang, everyone would stop to listen. When she danced, everyone turned their heads to see. Although there were no refrigerators to put them on in those days the Queen, like any proud parent, made sure…

  • Under the Miriam Tree

    Becoming the Ancestors

    The Creative Now So here I am, finally, in my new blog about creativity. To be honest, I feel a bit lost. In such a vast territory, where do I even begin?! The “question of creativity” is enormous, and seems detached from my everyday experience. Then, in the very act of pondering the question, I see it shift under the light of my present consciousness: for these very words on the screen, appearing before my eyes, are an act of creation. I cannot experience creativity in the future or in the past, but only in the NOW. It seems as promising a path as any other, so I tend it further…

  • Applied Creativity

    Creativity and the Change I Want to Be

    I love Gandhi’s teaching to ‘be the change we wish to see in the world’. In practice, though, it often feels overwhelming. There is too much that needs changing: no one person can ‘be’ all of it. Systems of finance, government and education seem to conspire in teaching that change comes at too high a cost; and we are socialized to know that being different carries a heavy penalty. For those who have the resources to effect significant change, there is tremendous incentive to maintain the status quo. We can choose to be the change anyway. We must be gentle with ourselves, especially at first: just pick one. We must…