The Gift of Creative Time

by Julie Claire on December 18, 2014

two hands copy lighterDedicated space and time for creative wandering keeps me sane. Whether it’s time in my painting studio or time in my sunroom with my journal open and the door closed, creative engagement brings me “home”, center and makes life “right” again. It has always been this way.

It isn’t always easy to find the time to create. I’m self employed. I”M SELF EMPLOYED….emails, projects, communications, finances, driving over an hour to my Santa Fe studio, taking care of two art studios….And I’m married. We have a house to take care of, meals to cook and a dog to walk. etc. etc.

Does this sound familiar?

I also see how this plays out in the lives of my coaching clients. If they leave their creative time to the margins of life, it usually just doesn’t happen. Something else will fill in the open spaces, the spaces in the day.

How do you reclaim your creative voice in a busy schedule and an overwhelming life?

  • In my experience, committing to your creative self is the most important first step in making it real. When you commit you are making a declaration and standing behind your intention to create.
  • And then, with your new commitment alive and well, consciously work with your schedule and begin to re-prioritize. Small steps, little “no’s” are powerful.
  • Find a class or an environment in which all you have to do is show up and you know you will have creative time.
  • Ask for help, have conversations with your friends, keep your intention alive by revisiting it often.
  • Most importantly, look at your conditions of satisfaction and give yourself a break, forgiving yourself for how much it hasn’t happened in the past. Please be gentle with yourself, allowing for your creativity to be a journey not a list to check off.

No matter how you find a way to include creative time into your regular life, I am here to encourage you to do so.

57 CHRISS PAINTING reworked The gift of spending just five minutes with pastels in the course of a day can be magic. And the gift of spending a couple of hours a week painting can be life changing.



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Living Beyond Apology

by Julie Claire on December 2, 2014

I have a strong voice.  When I was singing professionally, it was a gift—to be able to be creative and express myself in music–with strength, connection and volume.

I was never dinner music/background music.  That’s just the way it was.  My voice was a little more of a wake up call then a lullaby.

Many times in my life I have not experienced my voice as a gift.

I have wished I could have been a little more diplomatic, or a little softer in a response or a social situation.  And in many of these uncomfortable situations, I have felt the need to apologize, to make things “okay”.

Now, I’m very aware that this may very well be a gender issue in our culture; as a woman I am not unusual in not wanting to be “too much”.


What I’m most interested in are the ways in which we women and men stay connected to our vital, undomesticated selves and the ways in which we succumb to self-evaluation and playing small. 

It’s so easy to get lost in trying to make yourself socially correct or thinking you can make something okay for another. For the sake of staying connected to your playful, essential vitality, what if you let your voice be as it is? 

What might happen if you let yourself be a little too much for some situations without apology?  And, hey, what’s “too much” anyway?  Too much for whom?  And where did all this self-evaluation come from?

You want to be yourself.  You want to be sensitive.  You want to be kind.  But what happens when your being kind is not actually what you’re being—what you’re really being is overly concerned with what others might be thinking of you?  What if your self-monitoring is actually preventing you from speaking up and into the world, and is instead separating you from the flow of life?

What if you are spending way too much time looking in the rear view mirror?

Why not check in and see?

  •      How often do you apologize for what you have said or done?
  •      What do you feel like when you apologize—more yourself or diminished?
  •      How do you respond when someone is challenged by your words/actions?
Becoming aware of how we move in the world is 80 percent of the work needed to change.  From there we can begin to find new ways of responding and moving forward. From awareness, we have choice.
I truly believe that when we open ourselves to this kind of change, life does everything it can to help us on our way.   

This territory of unleashing your courage and your ability to show up and speak up in the world, not letting fear stop you from acting and responding to life naturally with your own inner authority intact—this is the transformation some of my coaching clients are experiencing.

If you’d like to try life coaching for yourself, contact me for a complementary coaching session.

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Creative Play Opens Doors

October 29, 2014

When signing up for a workshop, people often tell me they want to “play”. Helping people rediscover “play” is one of my favorite things to do as the facilitator. It is something I care deeply about and influences my intuitive painting workshop format, the materials I use and the kind of feedback I give.  What […]

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Acceptance doesn’t mean you like it.

October 16, 2014

A couple of weeks ago I gave a presentation to a group of Georgetown leadership coaches on ways to bring creativity into their coaching practices. I had two hours. It was the first time I was bringing pastels into a professional environment. I was nervous. Very nervous. And two minutes before my time to start […]

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From the Inner Critic to the Muse

September 25, 2014

This past weekend, I led a two day intuitive painting workshop entitled: Finding Your Creative Flow. I had a blast. It was a beautiful gathering of six painters and me, everyone asking for greater connection to their innate creative energies. Most everyone wanted to let loose and some participants particularly wanted to jumpstart their creativity […]

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The gift of a little dream

September 15, 2014

Sometimes I distance myself from ideas of what my dreams are in life, because I want to be present to what is already magnificently showing up in my life.  At these times, the talk of “dreams” turns me off.  So often, so quickly, the conversation about dreams becomes too externally oriented–too “thingy”, too disconnected from […]

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You’re half way through your painting and you don’t like what it looks like, now what?

January 6, 2014

You’ve always wanted to express yourself creatively.  You decided to try intuitive painting.  You’re hoping something beautiful might somehow come out of you and become a painting. At first it’s a blast.  You’re using a big paint brush; You’re following your body’s rhythm; You’re painting! So much color, so much beauty.  It’s everything you thought […]

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The gift of allowing emotions in a painting session

September 27, 2012

                  Sometimes intuitive process painting is simply about having fun, putting color on a page; sometimes it is more about healing, self expression, or perhaps  an experience of jump-starting creativity.  It’s amazing at how many different experiences we can have when we invite our selves to a […]

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Exposing the Painting Process: My thick yellow authentic painting

August 14, 2012

One of my paintings. A unique experience. One that I know if I tried to repeat today would give me a completely different painting. I think of this one as my thick yellow authentic painting. Some months ago, I was in my Santa Fe studio and I decided to “go for it” with a painting.  […]

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Exposing the Painting Process: One Woman’s Painting

July 30, 2012

A process painting takes shape.  This is one woman’s process in a recent “Summer Saturday”.  We painted from 10am to 5pm with a nice lunch break, and lovely conversation and sacred circle. We were a group of five women, all willing to see what would happen if we brought ourselves to the paint and paintbrush. […]

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