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 Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching from Jill Badonsky
Dear Creative Friend,
Bossy Tulip with Castle and Party Dog
Poet, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg wrote, “[Mary] Oliver’s writing is a gateway drug to poetry, gently and fiercely cajoling would-be readers into the wilds of the shining earth and living poem… Oliver’s poems landed on thousands of refrigerator doors and in multitudes of journals, scribbled by people at wit’s end finding solace in the questions she asked, such as ‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?’”
My poet friend, david brydges, shared that, “Much of [Oliver’s] inspiration was going for walks in the woods with her dog and observing. She even hid pencils in trees so she would not forget to write down anything.”
I’d like to complete the equation from two paragraphs above and surmise that one way this wild and precious life will come alive is to pay attention (and hide pencils in trees).
In other words, write things down!
They do not have to be the fantastic; the "normal" is filled with poetry too.

I don't know about you, but my attention is often captive to a habitual loop of required daily activities, chaos in the news, curious meanderings of social media, as well as teaching, marketing, healthy fats, hair balls, rock and roll, and the perplexing but delicate nature of relationships – and within that merry-go-round I can forget to pay attention to the creative possibilities inherent in everything. Including mundane trivial happenings.

When I amuse myself with creative inner commentary about my merry-go-round world, using humor to survive the chaos in the news, making social media a playground of prompts, stirring my passion with new approaches to teaching, and observing those nutty cats! -- I am at a low pressured vantage point of practicing paying attention to easy creative prospects. Thinking something different about the usual things in our lives is a gateway drug to poetry and art.  People put so much pressure on themselves to produce astounding works when "simple" is the place to start.

What’s right in front of our noses is art and poetry waiting to alchemize a rut into an original. We can simply start with the question:
What can I think differently about the simple things in my world?
Write Now:
Take 30 seconds and write down three things you see right now. They can be simple, mundane things but add two specific details to each of those three things; perhaps add a feeling or commentary about them.
If you’re into sketching, sketch something right in front of you, but embellish it with an attitude or a random addition.
Take away any need to be brilliant, precise, or articulate because those are expectations that keep people from trying at all. Simply be curious like an anthropologist studying the emanations of poetry and art waiting for you to notice them. Find a tree of pencils, pull one out, and record them without care that what transpires wins a prize or impresses your followers:
  • The cat lies in the light of the morning sun.
  • A silk poinsettia leftover from Christmas is watching me from underneath my dresser, laughing at my laziness for leaving it there but pleased that it wasn’t stuffed in the box with the snowman ornaments.
  • My chaotic bookshelf is my rebellion against becoming so ordered that my life is no longer an art installation of a messy human.
  • My kitten fetches pipe cleaners obsessively like a huntress bringing the booty home 100 times only to have it thrown out to retrieve again.
This exercise takes seconds, can turn the small things around us into poetry or art, (even if they are really rough first drafts that go nowhere), and is an act of healing creative transcendence. We are refusing to get lost in the blind hypnosis of routine and the fear-mongering media which erodes our creative capacity. We are choosing to exalt our existence by wrapping it in the attention of a Muse.
Instructions for living a life. 
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.

~Mary Oliver

Maintain the Merry Theme of Life, 
Jill Badonsky
Incoming Workshops
"The object isn’t to make art,
it’s to be in that wonderful state that makes art inevitable."
~Robert Henri

Retreats in Taos, New Mexico
The Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico makes that state possible.
Creative minds from Georgia O'Keeffe and D.H. Lawrence to Ansel Adams and Dennis Hopper came to there to be inspired. The placement is magical in relation to the mountains, the sky, and easy access to the dining room where the food is so good that people get quiet. Come experience the inspiration for yourself.
I'm an introvert too, don't let that stop you. We need our tribe.
Four nights, five days of immersing ourselves in writing, art, yoga for novices and connoisseurs and people who refuse to believe they are creative.
Meals, room and board, workshops, goodies, included

Camp Creative Thunder: July 16-20 2019: Last year for Camp Creative Thunder!


Remembering You Are Creative (Even if You Never Thought You Were Creative) With Simple Writing and Art
Thursday March 7, 2019 4-6pm
We-Work Space
600 B Street Suite 300 San Diego CA 92101  Parking available
Includes an introduction from Blanche Baldwin, Muse Broker,  and the book: The Nine Modern Day Muses (and Bodyguard): 10 Guides to Creative Inspiration to the first five to sign up.

$25 Early Registration/ $39 after February 19, 2019

Kamikaze Writing and Low Flying Creativity
Sunday, April 7, 2019 2-4 pm
San Diego Writers Ink
Liberty Station
Sign-up at Classes & Workshops
The two workshops above are for you if you:
  • Would like to experience the joy of creativity but hesitate for whatever reason
  • Don’t think you can draw or write with skill or creativity
  • Are an artist or a writer looking for fresh approaches and a more defined voice
  • Know creativity is one of our most coveted benefits of being alive and just want to play for relaxation and mindfulness
  • Are having trouble getting started or returning to your creativity and need a little structure.
You will experience:
  • Ways to sketch that defy self-doubt and the terror of not being able to draw more than a stick figure.
  • The unleashing of a deeper creative voice for both writing and art.
  • Generating drawings and writing so fast the inner critic is caught off-guard.
  • The accumulation of writing starters for poetry, prose, or simply the enjoyment of writing.
  • The mindfulness that comes from the attention required with drawing from the right-side of the brain.
The Muse is In Writing Club:  Going on for 10 years now, providing those who love to write with prompts twice a week to keep the practice going and to experience little infusions of creative fortification. $10 a month
Try the first month free
"Your years of prompts and support have had such a positive impact on my writing, not only on the words and how they flow from me, but in my confidence and love of the process." ~Linda Chapman

Remember the Paris trip that was advertised a few months ago? The agency I'm working continues to be having delays in securing facilities and I'm thinking it may not happen unless something dramatic transpires. ;( I apologize for getting our hopes up before everything was confirmed.

Jill Badonsky, M.Ed. is founder and director of the Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Certification Training founded in 2004, keynote speaker, multimedia artist, performance poet, yoga teacher, and author/illustrator of four books on creativity.

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The Muse is IN  •  Kensington  •  San Diego, CA 92116

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