Kneeling Youth at AFI


What are we to make of Belgian artist George Minne’s solitary kneeling youth and how might contemplating this work illuminate something of our own condition? 
You notice the little card doesn’t help us much. 

Let’s discover together at the next Art for Introverts (AFI). Get your tickets here!

See you at the museum!

Art Balances Us


Rise and shine art lovers! 

There’s still time to register for my class on Saturday at the Art Institute of Chicago, in which we might figure out how this piece of art, this lovely painting of a young woman with a book, sitting quietly might help us ourselves to find a way to be rebalanced from the stresses of everyday life. 

Perhaps she reminds us that it’s good to sit down and step away from the news, to turn off our digital media. 

The directness of her gaze might indicate that she’s speaking straight to us, inviting us to enjoy even a moment of solitary contemplation perhaps with a good book. 

Because certainly with the work schedules that we all keep, the challenges of trying to strike a work/life balance, we could use a little help seeking balance. Couldn’t we? 

I hope you’ll join us. 

Here’s the link for tickets.

 #artastherapy #artforintroverts #artinstituteofchicago #ArtInChicago #ArtAsTherapeuticExperience #learningtosee #alaindebotton #chicago #LadyBoss #entrepreneur #carpediem #ilovemuseums #chicagocreatives #artbalances

NEW CLASS! Art for Introverts OR How not to Feel Stupid at the Museum


 

This class is for anyone who ever went to an art museum and felt like they didn’t quite get it but were afraid to admit this. Sign up here!

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Next date: Saturday April 29th from 1-3pm!

  • Do you ever find yourself going to a museum because you think you’re supposed to go look at great art and you want to feel something but then nothing happens?
  • Do you sometimes find yourself standing there in a room full of art and wondering what all the fuss is about and at the same time being a little afraid to confess that to the person standing next to you, even though that’s your friend/partner/spouse, who came to the museum with you in the first place?
  • Do you think, holy crap, these things are here but I’m not sure what to make of them! (HELP!) Very often reading the little cards pinned to the wall next to the pieces of art don’t really help do they?

Perhaps it all makes you feel a bit stupid. I’ve been there. I know how you feel.

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And so you wander out of the museum, unsure of what to say or do, maybe head to a movie or grab a drink, relieved to be off the hook of CULTURE, hoping to silence that little voice in your head which says this would’ve been much more fun and interesting if only I wasn’t such a dope.

By the way, YOU’RE NOT A DOPE. We could all just use a little help on figuring out how to look at all the stuff in a museum or an art gallery. Seriously.

So- If this sounds like you, you’re going to love this class.

We’ll visit a museum and talk about how to see, how to engage with the work in a way that involves all our humanity, our hearts, our minds, even our bodies.

I promise that you’ll have a good time and you’ll realize you can form your own way of making sense of the art that fits rather intuitively with your own experience of life.

We’ll talk about what art does for us.

Like: how coming into contact with art can allow us to feel moved and connected with the divine.

We’ll start to see that art can help us remember what is precious to us, help us establish and cultivate hope, even in very challenging times; deal with our sorrows, and so forth.

You’ll leave this interactive class able to enjoy not only art in the museum but to see differently in your everyday life.

To appreciate the art and divinity in every moment, every breath. To see that each moment of seeing and perceiving, listening, touching and tasting is a moment to respond differently, from a place of an expanded sense of our own potential for the adventure that is our one and only life.

If this interests you please sign up now. I highly recommend this for loners, friends, first dates, non-dates, adventurers of all types. Introverts. Extroverts. Non-dualverts. IT specialists. Humans. I really hope to see you there, and please tell your friends and bring them with you.

We’re gonna have a blast. 

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You will need to pay your admission to the museum. Please check coats, backpacks etc. You may bring a pencil, not a pen, into the museum and a sketchbook. You may bring cameras but no flash. Depending on the size of the group, admission price may vary. Once you register and we get closer to the date, I’ll send complete details about admission fees and other essentials. You may not bring food or drinks into the museum.

  1. Looking at art can make us feel happier and more connected.
  2. Art helps us remember what we love and may have lost or fear to lose.
  3. Connecting with art helps us feel more hopeful.
  4. In challenging times art can help us deal with inevitable sorrows.
  5. Art can help us feel centered and more peaceful.
  6. Art helps us develop compassionate understanding of self and others.
Materials to bring A note book, blank, lined or squared and a pencil to write/sketch with. No pens allowed in the museum. Admission to the museum paid separately. Members enter free. Museum admission variable based on residency.
What will be provided Supporting handouts, before and/or after class.
Location
The Art Institute of Chicago

111 South Michigan Avenue,

Chicago, IL, 60603-6404

QUESTIONS? Ask away!

What Holds YOU Back? Request for questions


“If we become addicted to the external, our interiority will haunt us. We will become hungry with hunger no image, person, or deed can still. To be wholesome, we must remain truthful to our vulnerable complexity.” (John O’Donahue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

Maybe you’re feeling a little disconnected from your own self. Maybe your own complexity feels terribly overwhelming sometimes. 

It happens. No harm. No foul. 

But now that you’ve seen that about yourself…you can never un-see it. We all know how that is.

So, what’s a person to do? 

There are so many good Ways, so much wisdom to help us back to the whole self. 

And lots of ways to get side tracked or confused.  


I plan on writing a weekly blog that addresses questions and concerns that you all have in addition to my own musings and journey for cultivating ongoing wholeness and health, the fullest integration of my various aspects I can muster. 

So I really want to know, what do you feel gets in YOUR way? 

What holds you back? 

What would YOU like to change, want support in changing? 

What questions do you have about how to proceed on the path to remaining true to your own vulnerable complexity? 

What confuses or perplexes you? 

Do you try to establish good habits and then feel them fall away and wonder how to maintain them? 

Do you think that meditation is an act of DOING, just one more pesky thing to cross off your already very full to-do list? 

Do you feel a certain tyranny that your cell phone holds over you and sometimes wonder where all your time has gone? 

Have you read every self-improvement book on the shelf and still wonder why things feel kind of fucked up? 

There are no small or stupid questions. The only bad questions are the ones that go un-asked. 

Please send me your questions here in the comments or if you want a more private communication, send me an email or private message. 

Your questions will be the fuels that inspires new articles in my website and for a new weekly project on Medium

Make an amazing week folks! 

I can’t wait to see your questions and hear your thoughts. 

May you all find peace and fully become the artists of your lives you truly are.

 🙏🏽🙏🏾🙏🏼🙏🏿🙏🏻🦄❤🎈

Hillary 

4 Ways Meditation Changed Her Life 


Something that makes me super happy in working with my coaching clients individually or in groups, is when people are able to identify for themselves the many positive influences and benefits that formal meditation and (less formal) mindfulness practices, bring into their lives. 
It’s so exciting when people can see for themselves the many profound changes that they’ve experienced. 


Today one of my wonderful clients was able to identify for keyways and what her life was better: 

1. Able to deal in healthy ways with school and relationship challenges 

2. Able to remain more focused and less distracted by worry or anxiety 

3. Increased overall social engagement and wellness 

4. Emotional intelligence has increased significantly, resulting in much more emotional control and resiliency. 


One of the things that I think is so important to keep in mind, and I feel like it’s a niche that my work really occupies, is that frequently people think mindfulness is another item to check off a to do list. 

It’s not! 

It’s something that can be a seamless part of everything we do enhancing our happiness and appreciation every day of our lives. 

There’s only one thing we can control in life and that is our reaction to what’s going on. Mindfulness can help us to drop the catastrophe brain and be happier no matter what.

Wishing smooth sailing to all.


#Mindfulness #Meditation #Happiness #EmotionalIntelligence #Resiliency #Chicago #HappyChicago #onelife #CalmChicago #metta #eyeoftheheart #everydaygratitude #ChicagoCoaching #ChicagoLifeCoach #ChicagoCreativityCoach #SpringTimeReboot #SelfCare #SelfLove

Writing Advice: Ann Patchett


Here’s today’s writing inspiration from the delightful and brilliant novelist Ann Patchett:
  • Don’t be afraid to make money writing the kinds of things you’d never write for the fun of it. There’s no shame in earning a living, and whatever you write, even catalog copy or fluffy magazine articles, makes you a better writer.
  • Writing about my happy marriage is alot more difficult, a lot more intimate, than writing about the unhappy stuff. But it’s my story to tell, and if I think I can learn something important, or share something important, I’ll tell it.
  • Staying focused, sitting at your desk, is your number one job as a wr iter. There’s always something else to do. Don’t do it! Remember, time applied equals work completed.
Why do you write?
Happy Writing!

Hillary

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves


The stories we tell ourselves are so interesting.

It really is true that our focus determines our reality. If we tell a negative story, we tend to see how things are sucking and that quality of suckiness proliferates.

If we can see the good that is there, for real, not in a false, pollyanna way, we tend to write very different life narratives.

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The more we cultivate lovingkindness for ourselves – simple acceptance of who we are right here and now, given the complexities of the ten million things, the causes and conditions which have formed us, the more we can breathe greater space into our heads and hearts allowing for greater potential and possibility to arise and be present.

The way opens to us for love of self, of others, for our work.

I think that I try and work with these ideas in my writing too. Seeing in my fiction, my characters for who they are, warts and all, accepting them as they are and knowing that they too in their own way, wish for freedom, for awakening, for that freedom shift that allows them to see that they are not defined by their past lives no matter how much suffering was there.

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Like I have this one character, Louis. He’s a funny one. He tells a terrible lie in a moment of social/moral weakness, arising from his craving for a sense of connecting to community or something…still digging into that one.

Anyway, by the end of the story he has a serious and subtle but profound epiphany. But he hasn’t quite earned it yet. I have to walk with him further into the dark night of his soul and survive getting called on the carpet for his lie. He must face himself to earn what he comes to at the end.

This is one of the stories I want to work on in my writing retreat. I hope it will prove a useful process of growth for me as a writer and I hope it might be of benefit to future readers too. A kind of mirror. Or a bridge.

If this is something you can get behind, I ask if you might consider donating to my crowdfunding campaign to get to writing retreat.

I wish you happy reading and writing you glorious human beings you. We are all in this together dear ones. Let’s enjoy the embrace of the community, of the air around us, the sun, moon and stars.

Blessings,

Hillary