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Posts Tagged ‘stuck’

Crooner Break: Elizabeth Gilbert and Big Magic

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Aloha gang!

It’s time for another Crooner Break!  This time I’m checking in from the street after watching the always lovely and eloquent Elizabeth Gilbert at a taping of the Dr. Oz Show. Liz was there to talk about her book Big Magic as well as share some of her tools for living a creative life.

After receiving an advance copy of the book a few months ago, I’ve read it several times and highlighted the heck outta my copy. I keep it within arm’s reach while working at my desk. I’ve even downloaded the Kindle version so that I can take it with me everywhere I go.

It’s probably one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read.

My favorite part about the book? It’s a mix of magic and pragmatism, both of which you need (in abundance!) while pursuing a creative life.  She writes about ideas and how she believes them to be something that seeks out the individual who will help bring them into being. But then she writes about “working like a farmer” at whatever creative task/project is consuming you at the moment and sticking with the work until it’s done. (As Pops says, “We work until it’s pau. That’s how.”)

AND… she writes about how she went from being a “scaredy cat” kid to the person she is today, one who has a healthy respect for and relationship with fear–without letting it rule her life.

(I know, right?  Each time I’ve read it, I’ve asked myself, “Do you know me, Liz Gilbert? Did you write this book for me?”)

Because I’m always working on Project Natalie and new songs, I know I’ll keep this book close to me for a long, long time.

Please check out the video above.  And please check out her amazing book by clicking HERE! (You won’t regret it!)

Right on.

With warm Aloha


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Aloha, gang!

I’ve been open about my struggles with being “stuck” when it comes to writing.  And the more that I’ve look at other areas of my life, I see that I’m “stuck” in a lot of places.

So what do you do?

You find a way to deal with it, to break through the stuck-ness.

I took a HUGE step this year and signed up for an online art class, 2015: Year of the Spark!, lead by two creative art-geniuses, Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple.

I am a very timid (reluctant?) visual artist.  As a kid, I had a traumatic experience in an art class that lead me to put away the art supplies for nearly 30 years. (You can read about that by clicking HERE.)

Right before the new year began, I read about this awesome online art class and I had a crazy reaction, a mixture of feeling terrified and excited at the same time.  Kind of like when you look at a roller coaster.

And a little voice inside my head said, “THIS is something you need to do.  You can use a different medium to challenge yourself.  You need to learn to let go.  You need to learn to play.  That’s how you’re going to get UNstuck.”

I took the plunge and signed up.

And I’ve loved the online classes.  I’ve loved being a part of the supportive online community of artists all over the world.

The other night, Carla and Lynn (and Carla’s husband, Steve) came to NYC and hosted a “Spark Get-Together” for the NYC-based members of the class.

The other artists were brave and shared their sketchbooks.  I wasn’t quite ready to do that.

I did something else:  Before the get-together, I emailed both Carla and Lynn and asked them for the first 5 words that came to mind when they thought of the word ART.  Then using those words for inspiration, I wrote a song, We All Need The Spark (The Spark Song).  I was still writing the song up the last minute before the get-together.  In fact, I finished it on my trusty ‘ukulele while sitting in a karaoke room near Grand Central Station, where we all met up.

After pizza and art-sharing, we headed into Grand Central Station, right in the historic main terminal, for our Group Art Exercise. (Note: the thought of creating visual art–on-the-spot and in front of other people made me want to hide.)

But I was spared from the drawing.  Instead, they surprised me.  They asked me to sing my song.  And while I strummed and sang, the other artists used their “wrong hand” (their non-dominant hand) to draw 2 portraits of me, one of my head and torso and one of my full body.  (What?!)

Wow!  Talk about a surreal experience!  Singing a freshly-penned song in Grand Central Station while artists draw pictures of you!

Steve, who’s an amazing artist himself, captured the whole thing with his camera and put together one heck of a video.

I dare you to watch it and not smile.

When you see how much fun these incredible art adventurers are having, you’ll wanna join in.

And you can!  Spots are still open in the class.  You can find out more by clicking on the link HERE.

We all need the spark of inspiration to help us break through our stuck-ness.  We all need to play.  And we all need to remember to have a little fun.

Right on.

**How do YOU break through your own sense of stuck-ness?  Drop me a line.  I’d love to hear from you.



Aloha gang!  It’s time for another video blog!

In the middle of feeling creatively STUCK, I remembered an image of Pops standing knee-deep in the river in Hālawa Valley, moving the rocks so that the river would flow freely again. A metaphor for the creative experience, for sure!

Happy Aloha Thursday!