“Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing.
That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox. To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With The Wolves
In the late 90’s through 2001, I led intuitive painting workshops and designed the teacher training for one of the founders of The Painting Experience.
During one of the trainings in San Francisco, I was asked what my favorite books on creativity were. Since the training was happening in my home town, I had the luxury of going to my bookshelves that night to take a look.
I was surprised by what I found and brought back to my students.
There were a few books on creativity in my stacks: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (who I studied with in Chicago in 1989), writing books by my writing teacher Pat Schneider, as well as Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg.
But the books I relied on most to support my creative practice were (and still are)
- spiritual books from all traditions,
- books about myth, mythology, stories from around the world
These genres remain soul food for me, along with memoir, and I suppose that’s why I always used quotes, and snippets of stories and poems in my teaching.
Women Who Run With The Wolves manages to encompass all of the above and more. It was the book that set me upon so many adventures when it was first published. I still have my well-worn, heavily marked up first edition hardcover. I even hauled it all the way to Mexico with me when I moved here from California. It’s the book I’ve given to friends most (even men) when they are looking for ways to express themselves, heal, grow, and do more art.
Since that training in 2000 where I was as surprised as my own students about the “creativity” books that have meant the most to me, there have been many more books on creativity written. At some point I’ll make a round up of these. I’m proud to have contributed my own books to this genre — a dream come true.
For now, this post feels like a deep bow to the teachers, healers, artists and writers whose books I rely on for so much nourishment. Thank you for helping my creative river flow, with clear moving waters. Thank you for your part in making my creative dreams come true.
The FLOW: 30 Day Journal Project is one way I am inspired to pay these blessings forward.
Today’s Journal Prompts:
If I invited my wildness out to play, she would take me…
If I were willing to be stone stupid, I would make…
If I weren’t afraid of being called stone stupid, I would…
I could stop censoring myself here:
The Journal Prompts in this Post Are Included in the FLOW: 30 Day Journal Project Printables
When I offered the first 30 Day Journal Project, I found that having the prompts printed out in advance helped me get right into my journaling for the day.
I think of this as lazy journaling. 🙂
Fill in the blank, and you’re done!
After I made these for myself, I prettied up the design (and added another layout) so you could use them, too. This is what I’m using for my own journaling.
There is another layout for cutting and pasting into an existing journal.
Get ALL of the FLOW 30 days of prompts & quotes (plus one bonus day) with 2 different layout designs.
FLOW: PRINTABLES | $18
No more blank page. No more writer’s block.
Whether you are brand new to writing or journaling or simply want to break out of a rut in your creative practice, these printable prompts make it fast and easy to get going.
See All 30 Day Journal Printable Designs
There are four different sets of 30 Day Journal Project Printables, beautifully designed, each with a different theme.
Use the printables on your own, or with The 30 Day Journal Workshop
Come on over to my studio in Mexico (via video!) where I’ll show you how to journal with intention and focus as we create two different kinds of handmade journals. It all happens in The 30 Day Journal Project Workshop, designed for experienced and brand new journalers alike!