Bari Tessler: Healing Our Money Stories

Money.

For creative people, just the word alone can make you squirm a little, whether you have it or whether you don’t. With Bari Tessler as your money liaison, money does not have to be scary or the giant elephant in the room that everyone is afraid to talk about.

She points it out.

Calls to it.

Brings you face to face with it with compassion.
I first heard of Bari through her husband Forest. Forest and I had gone to Vermont Colllege together for a few semesters and when Facebook became popular, we were friends on there (By the way, you can find him at his Clarity Lab). Naturally, he posted about the cool things his wife was doing, and intrigued, I followed the path she was taking with money.

Bari’s approach to money is more than just creating a budget. There are a hundred or more people to tell you how to do that. Instead she brings gentleness, compassion, and healing towards each persons money story. What is a money story? It is our history and relationship to money. We all have one. For many of us there is a fair amount of shame and secrecy attached to money. For others, it may be how they define their life. Each money story is as unique as the individual telling it. Bari, with her kind spirit and intelligent work, allows each person to work through the blocks of their money story in order to reach their full potential. She works one-on-one as a financial therapist, meeting the individual where they are and working with private sessions or she has created The Art of Money, a year-long course that works with emotional and practical aspects of money.

In her interview we talk about the origins of her money learning quest and how it changed the course of her life, how she decided to create The Art of Money program, and her beliefs about money.
Bari is my first audio recorded interview and I was delighted to spend some time talking with her. She is a wonderful storyteller, weaving her money beliefs through examples of real life money stories. A few times, I got lost in listening to her tell a story, that I nearly forgot I was doing the interview. Click the link below to be taken to the interview.
PS: there was a storm the day we interviewed so towards the end, I cut out a little but she comes through. I hope you are as enchanted by her as I was.

Interview with Bari Tessler.

headshot-favorite-500-200x300Bari Tessler Linden, M.A., is a Financial Therapist, Mentor Coach, Mama-preneur, and the Founder of The Art of Money. She has guided thousands of people to new, empowered, and refreshingly honest relationships with money through her nurturing, body-centered approach.

Bari earned a Masters in Somatic Psychology from Naropa University and worked in body-centered therapy for over a decade before unexpectedly falling in love with bookkeeping systems and money work. Her unique methodology integrates these two worlds into deep money healing that honors all the facets of our money relationships: body to spirit, lineage to career, smart practices to deep visioning, and much more.

Bari is currently leading a global conscious money movement via her year-long program, The Art of Money, which weaves together personal, couple and entrepreneurial money teachings. Bari is also the Author of her upcoming book, The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness, published by Parallax Press on June 14th, 2016. To learn more about Bari and enjoy her: Pocket Map for Your Money Road Trip: A 7 day journey into The Art of Money Method: http://baritessler.com/

 

Jim Steinberg: Following the Scent of Story

On a writing retreat a year and a half ago in a place called the Lost Coast, on the Mattole River, I met writer, Jim Steinberg, author of two short story collections and the novel, Boundaries. Jim is a quiet man with a friendly disposition. He is warm and welcoming and was always up early writing away, drinking coffee with one or two of us early birds. This last year at the retreat,
as we were chatting while I was laying out all the breakfast stuff, he said to me that he was just going to have his coffee. “Breakfast is a social affair,” he told me.
That to me, sums him up well; friendly, thoughtful of others around him, and when writing, his nose is to the keyboard, following the scent of his story line by line, scene by scene.
Why do YOU write? What motivates or inspires you to write?

I write to scratch itches. I feel the impulse rising from within, wanting attention, so I want to scratch it. I follow impulses telling me there is a story that is waiting.
In my writing, I follow the words of Richard Ford, author of Independence Day, “I want everything I write to be useful.” My writing is serious fiction; I want to say something useful to my readers. I want to connect to them.

Writing is how I communicate with the world, like a long-term conversation between writer and reader. In writing, it is my hopes that I may also inspire others to have the grist to be creative and find their story.

As a teacher, I was getting by but knew it would to learn more about storytelling. I enrolled in a summer institute at Humboldt State University: the Redwood Writing project for teachers who teach writing.

During the course, I fell in love with writing stories. Eventually I turned one assignment into a work of fiction that now appears in my second short story collection: Last Night At The Vista Cafe, Stories.

2) In discussing “the genesis of a story” you said it is something “seeking a place of greater repose?”

a) What does this mean to you?
b) How do you begin?
c) What is it to “follow your nose?”

When I am responding to an impulse, it is a chance to visit, or revisit, memories. In this way, I settle them. I put them to rest within me, in a better relationship, making my peace with whatever emotional or psychological aspect that came to the surface. I pull the essence of the failed marriage or relationships, childhood experiences, or from mediation experiences, to spring into the fictional story. It never looks the same as the real experience, and the fiction does not rely on the actual account, but the greater truth that needed to be settled, is allowed to be expressed and peace made.

Let me give an example of “following my nose.” In my short story collection Filling up in Cumby and Other Stories, there is one titled “Highway 47.” It began as a story of a man unhappy in his marriage about to get stuck on a highway in a snowstorm. Inside a cafe, a young boy sets the table for the man. His mother owns the restaurant. The mother reluctantly offers up her hide-a-bed, and the story turns toward two strangers deciding whether they are going to have an affair. However, the story takes a turn when he begins talking to the child, who had no father, during the evening. The friendship that develops between the man and the child, rather than the dreamed about affair, becomes more important for the man than what he was dreaming of.

Character, setting, a conflicted situation, or the emotions from real life become a springboard into entirely fictional people and storylines. I want to give free rein to my imagination. A once famous writer, I forget who, said “write your stories as if everyone has been dead for one hundred years. Good advice for discovering the emotional truth of a story. I find the emotional truth by pulling the fiction from my imagination.
This is what I mean by following my nose. I allow the characters to determine and change the path of the story. It’s their story.

If you ask how I begin, I sit at the keyboard with my impulse, start writing and see what comes. I don’t outline, write a synopsis or do character sketches. I give the story the room to breath as it needs to.

My novel Boundaries is a blending of two stories that decided they needed to be the same book. They are incidents from from two different experiences. The first was a law case I had when practicing law in the 1970’s in Colorado Springs, working for a legal service that served impoverished clients. The second was a chance encounter I with a woman I met in a restaurant on the north coast of California during unusual circumstances in the 1980’s. The client in the first experience was very powerful and influenced me greatly in the case and in my practice. The woman in the restaurant really got my attention. I combined them into a single character. In doing so, I created a story about a lawyer and a client having a very unusual relationship.

3) Please tell me a bit about your video series on your blog. 

There are twelve videos in total. Ideally one comes out each week but son has graciously been helping me during his free time, so we do our best to get them out. They are conversations between myself and poet Bob Davis. They are conversations on what it means to be human, meant to bring the writer and reader together on the same conversation. We talk about the genesis of story, writing to explore the story, revision, and allowing the story to happen. Here is the list of topics:

1. Genesis Of A Story
2. More On Genesis Of A Story
3. Take A Ride On Your Work
4. I Love The Exploration
5. A Theme Discovered: “Highway 47” – (a short story)
6. A Theme Discovered: “Uncle Eno’s Bad Day” – (a short story)
7. Always Fiction, Always True: “An Apple Totem” (a short story)
8. Genesis Again: “Boundaries,” A Novel
9. A Crystal Memory
10. Revision
11. Reading Stories Aloud
12. Writing Or Reading? What Do You Prefer?
4) What kind of conversations would you ideally like to have with writers and readers?
What are your favorite topics of discussion with other writers and with readers?

I want to create a virtual salon or cafe for writers and readers to discuss fiction in the same way you may sit in a coffee shop with a writers group or a readers group and discuss topics related to story. Writers and readers are all storytellers, and we can give and take from one another in a conversation that includes both. I want conversations about the flesh and bones and bumps and scars that I think serious stories should include.

5) What is it for the story to have “real flesh and bones with bumps and scars?”

It is to examine what really hurts people. I write about characters who struggle with misfortune and difficult experiences. For example, characters who dwell on a moral edge, making the wrong choices for perhaps honorable reasons. I stay away from stereotypes, writing instead from the perspective that not everything is pretty. I want to expose their wounds to the reader, allowing them to watch how the character deals with them. It is my hope that readers will see the characters with an “unconditional positive regard”, keeping them open to compassion and empathy towards the character.

6) Tell me a bit a you next novel, Third Floor.

Third Floor is the story of fraternal twins, Rachel and Joseph. It begins when they are seven years old. There are issues between the two parents, and in an effort to escape the nighttime fights, Rachel creates a retreat on the third floor. One night Joseph joins her when he discovers she isn’t in her room. They continue to hide out there. Rachel is very strong, and Joseph relies on her strength. I am hoping to tell it in seven-year increments, but in following my nose, that may change. Eventually the twins will be separated and will come together when their father is ill. At least that’s what I expect thus far. I never know for sure! To know the rest, you will have to wait until it is published next year.

7) What is your favorite, no holding back meal, and where is one place in the world you would like to travel to?

Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and molasses and green beans. That’s comfort food for me.

Once I wanted to travel to Kiev or Lithuania where my family is from, but now I want to go to the Scottish Highlands. It’s a landscape with a history that fascinates me.

 

coffee with Jim on the SquareJim Steinberg has been a lawyer, blacksmith, middle school teacher of English and Social Studies, college teacher of Criminal Justice, hippie, and director of basic law enforcement training at a community college. He now divides most of his time between his loved work as a mediator (thirteen years in a small private practice in his home and in tribal courts in Northern California) and his greatest love of the last two decades, writing fiction. He has published one novel, “Boundaries,” and two short story collections: “Filling Up In Cumby And Other Stories,” and “Last Night At The Vista Cafe, Stories.” His current project is a second novel – “The Third Floor,” a story about twins, a brother and a sister.

Jim’s stories have appeared in Clapboard House, The Greensboro Review, The New Renaissance, Sensations Magazine, Cities and Roads, The Lone Wolf Review, The Bishop’s House Review, Voices From Home – A North Carolina Prose Anthology, and Best Of Clapboard House. He writes his stories to scratch the itches that rise up from within him, to answer the impulses that ask him to visit and lay them in greater repose. When these impulses arise, he finds himself at the beginnings of trails he knows he will follow with minimal planning and no synopsis, plot, timeline, or character description. He jumps right in and finds the stories, making each a discovery for him, the first reader.

Jim is a Fellow of the Redwood Writing Project of Humboldt State University and a founding member of the Lost Coast Writers’ Retreat, a week-long gathering on the Mattole River on the remote Northcoast of California. For the last fourteen years he has described this time in a close knit writers’ community as his best week of every year. He believes that writing stories is the best way he can get his hands around experience. He believes that the world would be a better place if everyone wrote stories because they all have them, and they are all worth passing on.

You can talk with Jim about writing stories on his blog: “Follow Your Nose Fiction, A Blog About Writing By A Guy Who Writes.”

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Debra Clark: Bowl-me-Over with Kindness

I met Debra of Bowl-Me-Over about two years ago online during a Facebook page exchange. We quickly discovered we are nearly neighbors, love cooking and writing. Debra’s heart is as generous as her cooking style. She often contributes time to causes that involves her love of animals and supports the cause of her friends and family. When I met her in person about a year ago, at a Christmas party, she was involved with her friend to donate clean washcloths and towels to St. Johns Program for Real Change, a women’s shelter. Before moving to Fresno, she was on the board of CCHAT, a school that helps deaf children to listen and talk, where she organized an annual wine tasting fundraiser for the school…and of course, she provided delicious food! In Fresno, she volunteers for Elder Paws Senior Rescue. Her commitment to community as well as great food are a natural part of her generous spirit.
Her recipes are an expression of her excitement about good tasting food. Her writing style brings her enthusiasm for tasty dishes alive on the page. Every dish has a story, a connection to friends or family. Often, they too are included her musings, as are some of her adventures through beautiful California.

1) What inspires your passion for cooking?
Cooking and sharing food makes me feel good inside.  I love to cook and watch people enjoy a great meal. What inspires my passion for food – well I’d have to say it’s in my blood!  My Grandparents – Maternal and Paternal were both fabulous cooks and I’d like to think I take after both those great women!

Food has brought me such passion in life – I’m from the Pacific Northwest and living in Oregon it was fresh fabulous seafood and delicious salmon. When I moved to Washington DC, soft-shelled crabs. Southern California brought a whole new cuisine and moving to the midwest was quite the experience. I moved from So Cal to Green Bay Wisconsin on Super Bowl Sunday, when I got on the plane it was 70 degrees, when I got off the plane 30 below zero! Whew!! But in Green Bay I learned tailgating and all of the wonderful food that went with that! Now here in California produce is abundant and we enjoy all that the Central Valley has to offer. Food to me is not just substance, but life and experiences! I share my love with food.
2) How long has cooking been a creative outlet for you?

Although I’ve been cooking for years, I’ve really only used it as a creative outlet for the last couple of years.

3) How did you decide to go from part time to full time food blogger? What else do you talk about on your blog?
I’m in a very good spot in life and I have the opportunity to grow my business from the ground up.  My husband suggested that I devote my time to blogging full-time and really take the time to learn and grow my blog; I jumped at the chance!
I also talk a lot about family & friends. I think your support system is the most important thing in life and I like to share when applicable.

4) What are some of your other passions?
I love dogs and cats! My husband and I married just over two years ago -(matched up on eharmony).  He had three dogs – I had three dogs and a cat (I’ve always secretly suspected that’s why they matched us, LOL!) So we are now the Brady bunch, except with dogs!  I volunteer for Elder Paws Senior Dog Rescue in Fresno.  Giving back to the community is important to me.

5) What do you bring to the food blogger community?
Lots of life experiences.  I’ve lived all over the United States so lots of different types of food – funny how a story for me always relates back to food, LOL!

6) Do you have any advice to bloggers that want to make the jump from part time to full time blogging?
When you choose the focus for your blog it needs to be something you’re passionate about because it will show in your writing.  Blogging isn’t easy, it’s something you really need to work at.

7) What are some of your favorite types of recipes to share with people?
As you may have guessed by by the name of my blog, Bowl Me Over – I share a lot of soups – especially during the winter months.  As I like to say – Soup is good food!

8) Do you have any advice for the novice cook?
Yes!  Try new recipes, the best recipes are simple ones and don’t be too hard on yourself – have fun with it!

9) What are your favorite recipes to cook?
Simple ones using fresh local ingredients.

10) What is your favorite all out no holding back meal?
Paella – with all kinds of wonderful meats & seafood; clams, crabs, shrimp, chicken & pork – so fabulous!

11) Where is one place that you would love to travel to?
In the United States New Orleans – my brother just visited and shared so many wonderful pictures of all the food – they ate their way from one side of the city to the other and outside the US – I’d love to take a food tour of Italy, that’s been a dream for years!

Check out four of Debra’s delicious recipes. Click the link below the pictures to see the recipes.

Crunchy_Thai_Wrap_3

Red Rice Thai Wrap

fall harvest salad

Fall Harvest Salad 

twisted peanut butter sandwich

Twisted PB and J

broccoli and cheese soup

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

debra clarkWelcome! My name is Debra and I love all things food! Known as the go-to girl in our family for years. I’ve catered weddings and anniversary parties and in the summer help cook mountains of food for our family reunions. Often times things I create end up in a bowl, hence the name Bowl-Me-Over! I strive for good health, but food has to be full of flavor. A calorie is a calorie, but it’s more satisfying to eat when the food is delicious.

Jeanette MacDonald: Painting from Her Soul

This week’s interview is with the lovely and whimsical, Jeanette MacDonald. Jeanette’s belief of being an artist is a living expression of Goethe’s quote,”Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” Her imaginative art and storytelling are full of whimsy and universal truths that touch the very center of an idea. I first met Jeanette through a Facebook group, and began following her when I hear about her collaborative project with Laura Probert. Jeanette writes and creates straight from her heart and soul. She wears it all on the page before her. I find her honest, whimsical art and writing to be inspirational. 

You have a wonderful, unique style of artwork. Have you always been an artist? 

Well, I believe that question has two answers. First, I always aspired to be an “artist,” yes. The second part is that I come from the school of thought that we are all “artists.” I believe that being an “artist” hinges merely on whether we can, or cannot, be open, and awake enough, to see how we all have equal access to Creative Potential. And I adore how we all express our creative connection so diversely.

What inspires you?

Really, I’m inspired most by the life I am blessed to get to live. I am inspired by how infinite the universe is. We really can do anything we desire to do in this life, we merely have to start. Beginning has its own powerful magic. That inspires me to bits!

Which artists inspire you? 

I am inspired by many whimsical artists like Kelly Rae Roberts, Jane Davenport, Sunny Carvalho, Tamara Laporte, Leslie Wood (I just recently discovered her, and love her style), and a few other artists that are close to me; like Marleen Vermeulen (amazing!) and  Gigi Hollier (love). I also have a new love, and profound appreciation for an artist from the last century, Walter Russell (1871-1963), who believed, and demonstrated, that we can all be accomplished at whatever we desire to be. He believed that all we need do is connect to Source and start. Beginning IS where the magic is born. He sculpted, painted, wrote, did architecture (unschooled), and started figure skating in his fifties! I’m not as inspired by his art as much as I am his attitude.

What types of materials do you like to use?

I use mostly acrylic paint, but I LOVE mixed media: watercolour, pencil, collage, Gelly Roll pens, gesso, charcoal, ink, pouring medium (new love) and whatever else gets in my way!

Do you know what you are going to design before you start or have an idea of a theme in mind or does it sort evolve as you put down your layers? Also, do you use your own stories or experiences in your art? 

Inspiration visits me when I least expect it, but sometimes I just begin and it evolves. I do see ideas when I am not thinking about anything in particular.

My art always has some aspect of my present experiences within it. I find that I am happy most of the time (now), but I have been known to paint out my angst as well, which has resulted in the creation of a few darker pieces. Using my art as a therapeutic practice has really helped me to heal my own inner pain and stuck-ness. I find that I don’t carry around as much emotional baggage today, and that tends to make my art more joyful.

Tell me about your philosophy of collaboration. Did that influence your work on the Warrior series

I LOVE collaboration and sharing my art! And I just happened to be in the right place at the right time with the Warrior Journal trilogy.

I met Laura Probert on a Facebook group, hosted by another soul-sister Christa Thompson, of Wild and Wise Women. She had a discussion night, and I was interested in a dream interpreter on there. I had a really crazy recurring dream from my childhood, and I shared it with this gal on Christa’s discussion night. Turns out that Laura had the same dream!  I think, in a lot of ways, Laura and I are a lot alike. Anyway, Laura friended me on Facebook, checked out my art, loved it, and the next thing I knew, I was submitting art for her journal…lol! It was a whirl-wind connection. I’m truly grateful for our friendship.

I would love to hear about your book, Shoo Shoo Shoo Sha La La. What inspired it? 

Ahh…my book! It was inspired by a real-life experience that I shared with my sister, Julie. Julie is a year older than me, and she and I were very tight as little girls. The story is actually about a kind of scary time for us. We really did believe that we had met a real dinosaur (we had visited Cochrane, Alberta’s dinosaur park with our dad). My sister was always a story-teller. We shared a lot of bed-time-adventures, travelling deep into our imaginations, through the elaborate stories she told.

About eight years ago I started to paint these pictures of that particular dinosaur adventure, with the idea that she would write a story, to go along with my art. Turns out that I ended up writing the story, using poetry, all by myself.  Laura encouraged me to pick it up again and to finish writing that story. With the help of Laura, my wonderful hubby Barry, and Jane Covernton, my editor, I rewrote it. Atousa Raissyan generously designed the book for me. So, even my little book became a collaborative effort.

Shoo Shoo Shoo Sha La La was based on an old lullaby, by Wilf Carter (that’s actually where the name for my book came from), that my dad use to sing to us as kids. Wilf Carter died in the 90’s but his  family generously gave me permission to use the lyrics in my book. Wilf Carter’s daughter, Sheila, even purchased some books for herself and her family ( I was tickled by that). I think it was as much as a memory for Carter’s family as it was for my family.

You recently attended the Hay House Workshop, has it inspired any new projects? 

The Hay House Workshop opened me up in a big way to my purpose. I had a light-bulb moment when I was lying in bed on the
last night before I flew out (as a matter of fact, I never slept at all that night, which only added to how exhausted I was when I got home, but it was so worth it! I decided, that night, that I was going to use the writing of my book to encourage children to find and recognise the artist their inner-artist. I believe this will heal a lot of pain that children feel about not being good enough. So, when I get all of my chores done (ugh!), I will be putting the finishing touches on my free workshop. I am really excited about this.

(I can’t wait to hear more about your workshop. It sounds delightful!)

Time for some fun questions. What is your favorite all out meal/date?  

I’ve become mostly vegetarian, but we have a really healthy, and quirky, restaurant on the coast, where I live. It’s called The Gumboot. I LOVE the Buddha Bowl, it has really yummy rice, steamed veggies, tofu, grated beet and carrot, avocado, sesame seeds, and peanut sauce. It’s served with chopsticks. That’s probably my fave date place, and it a spot we frequent quite often.

Where is ONE place you would love to travel to?

Honestly, I am not much of a traveller. We lived on a boat for a couple years and cruised around a lot. Barry’s daughter and grandsons lives in Mexico, so we will be going there in the winter for about a week. I’m off to New York to do a writing workshop through Hay House with Laura next week. We move that weekend as well (eek), so I am anxious to come home to our “new to us” home and garden. To me, there is no place better than home!

Thank you for allowing me to interview you. 
Thank you, Susan. I really appreciate you giving me this wonderful opportunity, by highlighting what I do!

Jeanette MacDonaldJeanette MacDonald has three grown children, and ten grandchildren. As
well, she has worked with children, in many capacities, for most of her
life. As a result, children’s imaginations and their honest art, have
always been a source of fascination and inspiration for her. Lately, she
has been using her whimsical art to connect to her own innocence, so she
may explore her life from a more simplistic and joyful perspective. This
has opened her up to the realization that we all have art in us that we
can use to help to heal world. At this time she is in the throes
developing a free workshop for children, using her children’s book to
teach children that “we are all artists”. This is in keeping with her
philosophy that we have a responsibility to share our heart’s messages,
and to help others. It is Jeanette’s greatest wish that her art and
writing may somehow assist others in finding their own inner-artists, and
“child-like” joy and inspiration.
She is presently semi-retired and pursuing her passion as a visual
artist/illustrator and writer at www.jeanettemacdonaldart.com and on
https://www.facebook.com/jeanettemacdonaldart

Christine Musser: The Wandering Writer

I first met Christine nearly fifteen years ago as we both entered Vermont College in Montpelier. She came with a big smile, and a bubbly personality that lit up the room. Her love of history was so deep that she would sleep with history books stacked on her bed, reading until she fell asleep. She lives life full of passion and brings that passion to her writing, her photography and now her teaching.

Christine can often been found wandering through her favorite places in Pennsylvania. Her camera is her companion; she always has it on her. Her pictures often posted on her Facebook page of the beauty she discovers. Let me tell you what makes her so special. She is a great friend. Always there to talk to and willing to fly to California to surprise me for my 40th birthday. Friends, and such passionate people as her are priceless.

How did The Wandering Pen came to be?

I have wandered since I was a child and still enjoy doing it. I like to explore and learn new things. I like to write about places I’ve been; I mainly did this in my journal then decided I would blog about the places I’ve been to.
What inspired you?
It was probably growing up on a 92 acre farm where roaming was endless.

Where do you wander? What are some of your favorite places to wander for photography and/or writing?  

I wander often to rural areas; I love the country & the mountains. I am also drawn to water; such as the Conodoguinet Creek (Native American name means water with many bends) or the Susquehanna River; named for the Susquehannocks who lived in South Central PA in the late 17th century. These are places I like to photograph, as well as old barns and rustic looking buildings.

Where does your love of history come from?

My love of history comes from my love of family. I am a believer that history needs to be told or learned in order to understand who we are. I believe that family history is important. And in learning family history you can’t help to think about the periods of time our ancestors lived in or their struggles during those periods.

Where do you see your path leading you in the future of writing and teaching?

Both. I believe they are intertwined, at least for me they are. For me writing is teaching. I believe teaching will inspire me to write.

I know you were a history major and love history but did you also always want to be a writer? 

I have always been a writer. At times I feel cursed because writing is something I have to do. I think it picked me rather than I picked it.

Was writing something you fell in love with later?
No, writing and I have a love- hate relationship.
My love-hate relationship with writing is because there are many times I want to call it quits with my writing, but like a stalking lover, it won’t let me be. I have to write, even if it’s just writing in my journal. Writing is in me. I am always thinking about writing and what to write.

What influences your writing and your photography?

Everyday living really. The media, family, and people. My photography can influence my writing, but it’s not at the foundation of it.

 I notice a lot of your photos are local to you. Is this where your heart is?

A lot of my photos are taken within Pennsylvania; mainly because that is where I’m at most of the time. I do have places I really enjoy shooting like the Susquehanna River along Fort Hunter and the Rockville Bridge.

What are your current projects?
Currently, I am working with Silver Spring Township on their own book narrative. This will be different from what I published with Arcadia,  which was more of a pictorial history with photos used from private collections. The new one will be mostly narrative with some photos of historical buildings in the township.
The book, Silver Spring Township, can be found at here.
It can also be purchased via Arcadia, Whistlestop Bookshop, & Amazon.

I am revamping my website, and in October I will start substituting at local schools. I am also working on another book of my own.
I’m keeping the subject confidental, but I found the topic while working on my book for Arcadia.
Where does the love of history come from?

My love of history comes from my love of family. I am a believer that history needs to be told or learned in order to understand who we are. I believe that family history is important. And in learning family history you can’t help to think about the periods of time our ancestors lived in or their struggles during those periods.

Where do you see your path leading you in the future of writing and teaching?

Both. I believe they are intertwined, at least for me they are. for me writing is teaching. I believe teaching will inspire me to write.

Do you think the Bosler story was a spring board into your other projects? That it was a good place to begin this journey?

The Bosler story took me out of my comfort zone. My drive to tell the Bosler story took me to Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota; where otherwise, I probably would never have gone to those places. The one hold up with the Bosler story I need to do further research and that needs done in Sioux City, Iowa and I am just not sure when I will have the opportunity to go there. I will more than likely need to spend a month there. Back to your question about the Bosler story being a spring board, yes, it was a catalyst to where i’m at now.  I haven’t completed the Bosler story, but it’s always on my mind. Just the other day i received an email from someone inquiring about the Carlisle Boslers. I go back and forth with whether or not to move forward with the Bosler book

The last questions are just FUN ones. What is all your all time, no holding back, favorite meal/food and where is One place you want to travel to that you haven’t yet?

It has to be something that has black beans, salsa and hot peppers and really messy – like Mexican Quinoa.
Petite syrah (thanks to my friend Laura bringing the wine in September to Vermont) with pepper jack cheese.
Where to travel to? That’s an easy one – the south of France.

Below are a few of Christine’s beautiful pictures. 

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2015-10-01Christine Musser holds a bachelor’s degree in American History from Vermont College at Union Institute & University. She has also taken history courses at Shippensburg University towards a master’s degree in Applied History. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) approached Christine in 2011 to use her article, “Preserving Memory: National Holocaust Memorial Museum Controversy”, in the Advanced Placement (AP) exam booklet. In March of 2013, she was approached again by ETS for permission to print additional copies of the article. Her article is currently referred to in AP English classes. Christine published Silver Spring Township for Arcadia Publishing “Images of America” series ; a pictorial history of Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. She has published several articles online and in print. Christine has participated in various historical events and an archeological dig at the Ephrata Cloister in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Currently, she is a member of the Silver Spring Township Conservation & Preservation Committee. Besides her interest in history, Christine also loves photography and to travel. Contact information: the_wandering_pen@yahoo.com
You can also find her at the following:

Author: Silver Spring Township
Facebook Page: The Wandering Pen
Twitter: The Wandering Pen
Blogs: The Wandering Pen, Happenings Around Cumberland County, PA, Happenings in Christine’s World
Photography: The Wandering Photographer

Lisa Miles: A Creative Rebel!

Let me tell you one reason (of many) why Lisa Miles is one of my favorite creative rebels. Her and her husband have fostered over 35 foster kids! This energetic woman doesn’t stop there either. She is a writer, angel card reader, runs a business, and is the mom of two of the cutest boys. Recently she has added founder of Creative Rebel Studios, home of her life coaching business and founded the Creative Rebel online magazine to her fabulous list of talents.

When I met Lisa a year and a half ago, I knew she was this fun bundle of energy. A woman who follows her heart and puts it into everything she does from homeschooling to writing to leading a rebel tribe into the field of creativity, is a person that the world needs to know. Her joy from reaching out to others is visible in the words she uses and light she brings into a conversation. Lisa offers reliable insight into the lives of those who are stuck and need to little nudge and inspires others in her pursuit of her own rebellious dreams.

What is the Creative Rebels Tribe? Who is a typical “Creative Rebel”?

The Creative Rebels Tribe is a group of creative women who support each other through creative endeavors and life in general. We share the projects we’re working on, give advice when asked, and help each other through difficult times.

A typical creative rebel has an sensitive soul, creative spirit, and a wild side.

They’re open to trying new things they didn’t think they could do, and are supportive of their fellow creatives.

How does one join the Creative Rebels Tribe? What does supporting each persons creative projects typically look like?

You can join the Creative Rebels Tribe group on Facebook. I also run a secret Rebel Writers group on Facebook that you have to be invited to be added. I keep it secret because the writers like to have a safe place to share their work without worrying about it being copied.

When I say supporting each persons creative projects, I mean women post what they’re working on and we give feedback. It’s usually good feedback since the women are so talented. But sometimes they need a confidence boost, or need help brainstorming ideas for a story. We also promote each others’ work by sharing on our personal pages, or buying products from each other. It’s a very supportive community that I don’t even have “rules” for since we’ve never needed them. I, along with a few others, also offer free angel card readings once in a while on there.

I know you are a writer and creativity coach. What do you write? Feel free to talk about any published writings.  What current creative projects are you working on?

It took me a while to find my writing niche, but I love writing young adult novels. I currently have two in the works in different stages. A few years ago I co-wrote a short screenplay that was filmed and played in a local film festival (my first big paying writing gig). And I also wrote and directed my own short film.

I actually have links to the films on the right hand side of my website (way down at the bottom). It’s funny because looking back at what I wrote, I sometimes cringe. I think that’s normal with a lot of writers. We get better the more we write
The titles of the movies were Thanksgiving and The Drug Dealer.

Why did you choose creativity coaching over other forms of coaching? Does your coaching influence your writing or how you write or does writing influence your coaching style?

It took me a long time to figure out my coaching niche as well. I studied coaching through Anthony Robbins a few years ago. He is amazing and the training was intense. When I was still studying and doing free coaching sessions, I was stressing myself out trying to be like him…which if you’ve ever seen him, you know is impossible. I felt like by trying to coach that way, there was no room for creativity to be included in what I was doing. I was trying to memorize his teachings and apply them, and I was miserable. (As a side note, I know many coaches from his training that are incredible at what they do. He is a genius and I learned a ton, but that style of coaching just wasn’t for me.)

Then I tried relationship coaching (using Tony’s methods) and it was definitely a better fit, but it still wasn’t IT. I read a lot about finding my passion and every single time it came down to the same things: writing and creating. So, I began coaching for creative people who were stuck.
My coaching definitely influences my writing. I read SO many book on writing, creativity, manifesting, time management, etc. I am constantly reading one or two books at a time. I apply what I read to my own life before sharing it with anyone else.

Do you apply some of your skills from his training to your creative coaching? Can you give me a quick description of a typical client?

One of my favorite things I learned from Tony was the Six Human Needs. They are six basic needs we have as humans that drive us and make us tick. We all have the same needs, but how we value those needs and in what order determines our life direction.

A typical client is a someone who has a desire to create but doesn’t know where to start, or is in the middle of a project and stuck on where to go next, or has a hard time managing her time to create.

What is your personal favorite form of creative expression? What creative pursuits do you do for fun to unplug? Also, I know you and your husband have been foster parents to over 35 children, how has that influenced your ability to be creative? How did you find time?

My absolute favorite form of creating is writing. I’ve been doing it since I was little and it’s just “me.”

To unplug or wind down I usually read about creating, coaching, or writing. I also keep a “character” notebook and love to create characters for stories. Then, when I’m working on a story, I flip through it and see who I can use. People-watching is another favorite thing…I get some great character sketches that way.
I admit it wasn’t always easy to be creative being foster parents. We did it for over ten years and recently quit. For the last year we did emergency care for ages 0-12, and we’d get kids at all hours of the day/night. What I would do to keep being creative is include the kids. Since I also homeschool, I have a lot of arts and crafts supplies. I’d bring out age-appropriate materials and let them go nuts. Then I’d  sit with them and write or create along with them.

Who inspires you? Who/what are your go to resources when you are stuck?

My two biggest inspirations right now are Steven Pressfield and Steve Chandler. They’re both motivational experts (I think they’re experts) and if I’m ever feeling unsure of myself, their books pump me right back up. And I use their teachings in my coaching. I also love other creative women like Leonie Dawson – she reminds me to be myself and not to succumb to pressure to be like other coaches/creatives. For example, I get flack for this from other coaches, but instead of offering a free 15-30 minute “get to know you” session in my coaching, I offer a free 1.5 – 2 hour conversation. It’s really important to me to connect with a person who is having a difficult time.
My goal is to help people right THEN, during our conversation.
I feel like if I can help someone when I’m first meeting them, they’ll come back if something else comes up, or they’ll want to continue on a bigger level. Then we can discuss payment, etc.

That’s a good philosophy to have. Do you find typically that a person engages in coaching sessions once or twice or maybe a month? How do you typically set up a program or is it very individualized?

I like to individualize programs for people. Some people need/want a lot of communication between sessions and I’m totally open to that. And others just want our monthly (sometimes weekly or bi-weekly) sessions.
I like to include challenges (a better word for “homework”), get their goals in writing, and have the open communication for accountability purposes.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a new Creative Rebel?

Be free. For so long I’d worry what other people thought about what I wrote or attempted to draw. Let yourself go and just create. And if you feel that strong urge to create but don’t know what to work on, try sitting and being quiet for a while. It’ll come to you.

Switching topics. You have 2 big adventures coming up: traveling and an online magazine.

Please tell me about your adventure to sell your house and travel with your kids? What inspired this? (To me it is a TOTALLY creative rebel thing to do)

It’s crazy because for so long I wanted the big house, lots of room, and a yard. And after having that, now I want the total opposite. I am addicted to listening to podcasts and one of my favorites is about homeschooling by two roadschool moms. (Families who RV full time). Last October I said to my husband, “We should totally sell everything we own, buy an RV and travel with the kids,” and he said, “Ok.” It was that simple.
As of right now our house is up for sale and we’re basically waiting for a buyer. We’ve gotten rid of about 75% of our stuff (and that feels SO good!)
I’m most looking forward to not being tied down and living with much less. When you’re paring down to live in a 30 foot trailer, you realize how much crap you hang on to. We’re only bringing what we really love. Not to mention the experience for us and the kids to see our country.

As a homeschooler already, that is the ultimate schooling. The Doing instead of reading about.

What inspired you to start an online magazine?

I was reading an online magazine on coaching, and at the bottom of a page it read “Start your own e-magazine!” That sounded like fun, so I looked into it more, then contacted an acquaintance, Shai Ford, who is the co-ceo of an online mag and got some great advice from her. I knew the women in my tribe would tell me if it was a crazy idea, but within a few days I already had submissions coming in. (I remember you posting about it. It is a crazy idea, but a great crazy idea and I Love it.)

 What will the focus of the magazine be?

The magazine focuses on creativity, and whatever that means to you. The contributors vary from writers, artists, bakers, musicians, public relations, and more. My goal is keep creativity alive in ourselves, especially when we’re feeling stuck or blocked. I love learning how other creatives deal with their fears, and we can learn from each other.

 How can people find and subscribe to your magazine?

It will be on my website. The first issue is free.

Who/ What surprises might you have in store for your readers?

Some of the biggest surprises so far are the “big” creative geniuses that I have agreed to contribute to the magazine in the form of articles and columnists. I’m loving the excitement and participation of those working with me on this project.

What is your favorite all out, no holding back meal or date? What is one place you would love most to travel to?

This will sound lame and terrible because I’m vegan, but my favorite meal has always been cold cuts (ham, turkey, salami, cheese on a roll), chips, and Coke. A favorite date will always be a movie, and I’d love to travel to Italy and meet family.

lisa milesLisa Marie Miles the owner of Creative Rebel Studios offering her talent and skills as a Life Coach for rebel creatives, writers and artists. Lisa is also the founder of the magazine Creative Rebel. She is an explorer and adventurer that loves to create life-changing coaching sessions by having long conversations with women who are ready for a change and writing for the creative rebel in everyone.

Creative Rebel Coaching     Creative Rebel Tribe

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Laura Probert: Fiercely Alive Writer

My Friday interview this week with with the energetic Laura Probert. Laura reminds me of a bundle of positive energy, spinning around and casting off good vibes where ever she goes. I was surprised to learn she had a black belt in Taekwondo when I first met her. She is truly a sincere, kind hearted person who loves to reach into the depths of the soul and bring about healing in multiple forms. She has published several books, among them two journals, Warrior Joy and Warrior Love, Journals to Inspire Your Fiercely Alive Whole Self. You can find them here.

I briefly introduced you to Laura in this blog post. I was privileged to meet Laura through a writing group on Facebook and she has inspired me to keep writing even when I felt like I couldn’t. She may not even know it. Her enthusiasm for the written word, and especially poetry, is contagious. So even in my darkest, most stuck moments, her energy seeped through the vast internet and inspired me to keep writing along. Without delaying anymore, let me introduce you to fabulous Laura Probert!

What or How were you inspired to write your first Warrior Journal?

I attended a John F. Barnes Myofascial Release class back in 2/14 called Quantum Leap. ON the way to Sedona on the plane, I had what I can only describe as a moment of divine intervention.  I wrote a poem on the plane which I would later read to over 200 people at that class. I had been writing poems all of my life, but after this event, 48 of them came rushing out. I started thinking about what to do with them, and the Warrior journal idea was born!

Please explain to me a brief introduction to Myofascial Release.

It is a profound and powerful hands-on mind body soul healing technique that combines pressure and stretch with the practice of awareness. It addresses the fascia – a 3D whole body web of connective tissue that makes up and surrounds everything you have on the inside of you.
The fascia is a super highway for light, energy and information…. it was ignored in my anatomy class 20 years ago
They are starting to research it more now and find it to be the place where consciousness possibly resides.
Ive been practicing for over 20 years.

How does your physical therapy practice and myofascial practice affect your writing and vice versa? DO they influence one another?

Yes, definitely! My whole life has been about this healing journey. And it’s no surprise to me that I picked a healing career. I started journaling when I was 15. I wrote and published my first book in 2012, based on the healing journey I had been on. The book was Living, Healing and Taekwondo; It is an inspirational memoir about my healing journey, including the span of six years when my son and I trained and earned our black belts together. It was all meant to work together. Writing has been an incredible healing tool for me.

What philosophy of life have you developed by incorporating both your practice and you creative self in your work?

For me the journey has been about uncovering/rediscovering my self-worth. That was my thing, my key It was my shit.

Who are the artists involved in the first two projects? What was it like working on a collaborative project like this?

Jeanette MacDonald, Atousa Raissyan, and Mary Claire, and Phil Tavolacci was involved (art) in the second journal.
Working collaboratively was FANTASTIC! AMAZING! MAGIC!  I am still pinching myself. The journals are a source of inspiration. So reading the poetry or looking at the artwork will hopefully light a creative fire in the reader and inspire them to make their own magic on the pages. I want people to wake up and be brave about being themselves and I hope the journals help them do that.

How does each Warrior Journal differ? What can we expect from the new Warrior Soul Journal?
Warrior Love was the first baby and it’s a combination of poetry with artwork followed by blank journaling pages. It is a collaboration between myself and three artists. Warrior Joy is basically the same with the addition of one more artist.
Warrior Soul will be a bigger collaboration and include over a dozen artists/poets!

Do they have to be done in order?
no, you can start in any of them!

What will someone take away from working through each of the journals?
The thing you’ve now seen on my stuff:  Wake up. Be Brave. Heal your shit. Do what you love.   I love this because it’s what I had to do and still have to do to live in a way that lights me up every day.
It’s ALL about awareness.

When can we expect Warrior Soul to be available?
I am hoping it will be ready for the holiday rush!  LOL

Do you see other types of collaborative projects in the future?

I love collaboration. I run a collaborative workshop now, called The Healing Moves Workshop where 6 expert healers come together to give people a taste of the healing options they have. The workshop is totally fantastic. The next one is in Bethesda on Sept 12th. And I am cooking up a different sort of collaboration for 2016 healing retreats where I hope to partner with artists and healers to bring people more “Healing Moves” in a smaller setting over a two day period.

If someone wants to work with you in person what can they expect?

Working with me in person means that they will be evaluated and treated holistically, by someone who cares about them and is truly interested in the integration of mind body and soul. It means that they’ll get an expert that knows how to deal with complex pain and dysfunction and that I will teach them tools they’ve never seen before to address those issues. It also means that they will leave (usually) with more hope than they left with and a new definition of healing.

Just for fun, What is your favorite all out meal? Where is one place you would like to travel to?

Meal would have to be along the lines of what I used to enjoy in my Italian grandmother’s kitchen. Fresh focaccia , homemade ravioli, and cannoli for dessert.
One of these days, I am going to get my butt to Australia!

laura probertLaura Probert, MPT is an expert healer, teacher and writer for people sick of pain and fear getting in the way of their joy. She’s serious about integrating mind, body and soul as a path to healing and she’ll show you how. She works with people who are ready to take action toward their dreams by waking up, being brave, healing their shit and doing what they love so much they lose track of time. Laura’s a regular contributor for The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen and Wild Sister Magazine. Her blogs have been featured in Tiny Buddha, Black Belt Magazine and The Elephant Journal. Her thought-provoking challenges, classes and workshops will help you redefine healing and take your journey to the next level. When she’s not igniting transformation in her clients you’ll find her writing, hanging with her kids, dogs or a horse, or taste testing dark chocolate. Find her at www.LauraProbert.com and www.Facebook.com/KickAssWarriorGoddess

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Lamisha: A Life Once Dreamt

It’sFriday! Here is the second of my six week series of interviews.

Today, I have Lamisha Serf- Walls of Life Once Dreamt coaching.

Lamisha is in LOVE with helping women pursue and accomplish their business and life goals. I mentioned her here in another blog post of people who have great blueprints to follow. She has a vibrant and positive energy that she brings to each conversation. I totally believe she is smiling, even in serious conversation, when she speaks due to her of passion of helping others.

Limit has helped me a few times with getting unstuck about some of my artwork goals. She was able to get directly to what needed to be focused on and gave clear ideas on how to do it. Her excellent intuition and organizational skills reach to the core of an issue and help someone become “unstuck” and move forward with their goals and dreams. Your “Life Once Dreamt” works to become a thing of the past as she leads you to your dreams. Lamisha is no stranger to taking the leap from the daily 9-5 world and plunging into her dreams. SHE HAS DONE IT. She is living it. Her passion is to help you do it too.

1) What was your “Ah-ah” moment that turned your path?

Everything changed for me when I realized I had been waiting to begin doing the thing I absolutely knew I was meant to do for about 2 years.  I had a phone call with a co-worker at the time and she said “Sometimes you just have to take the leap.” and shortly after I did just that!  I started a blog and trusted that my path would be laid out before me and it absolutely has!

2) You talk about taking a “leap”, what did that mean for you? Can I you tell me a few specifics about what it meant to take that leap?

My leap was essentially a leap of faith into my work.  It meant that I would finally stop waiting for the ‘right’ time to start coaching (which at the time I was delaying because I wanted to get into a coaching program first and could never find the right one), and just begin.  I had no expectation of what would happen or how it might work out when I took on my first guinea pig client, but I can say now looking back, it was exactly what I needed to do to begin.

3) Though your path was laid out when you took the leap, did you run into any bumps along the way? How did you handle them?

I’ve run into TONS of ‘bumps’!  This road is full of opportunities for learning more about myself and they usually come in the form of a bump.  For example, for about 5 months in 2014, I really questioned if I was cut out to run a ‘business’.  I wasn’t making much money, had been laid off of my FT job months before and was struggling to find clients.  I KNEW I was meant to do this work so I kept going.  I kept learning, reaching, dreaming, and taking inspired action which eventually led to getting help from someone who was much better at the business side of things and things started to take a turn for the better.  The best way I’ve come to handle the bumps is to listen to the message within them.  There’s always a message (even if I’m trying to ignore it) and then surrender.  When I surrender, things start to move forward again, and the path smooths out a bit.

4) What kind of support did you have when you decide it was time to switch career paths and follow your dream?

I had the moral support of my wife for sure.  When I started my business I was still working full-time, but within about 2 weeks of ‘launching’ (and by launch I mean email my friends and family members letting them know I was taking clients), I found out my position was going to be eliminated within a few months.  The Universe had big plans for me that I wasn’t even sure I was ready for.  Since then, I’ve been working in my business full-time and if it wasn’t for my wife I wouldn’t have made it this far.

5) In coaching women, what do you focus on in trying to get them “unstuck”?
It’s usually mindset.  Everything we experience in our lives is in some way of our own making so when we are feeling stuck, I like to get into the mindset of it all.  I have this sort of super power that allows me to see very clearly what is blocking a client from their highest potential and I am generally guided to ask questions that lead us to the very thought pattern or issue that is holding them back.  From that point it’s all about setting new mental pathways to build positive life-affirming believes etc.

6) “From that point it’s all about setting new mental pathways to build positive life-affirming beliefs” How do you work with a client to do this? Can you give a brief description of your coaching style and what someone may get when working with you.

When we start building new beliefs we might do that by using affirmations, mantras, or developing what I call a ‘high vibe practice’ that literally raises your vibration and shifts your mindset.  Depending on the client we might do something like repetitive visualizations or continually talk through the new beliefs to get a bit more practice and really develop those new pathways.

My work isn’t a one-size fits all approach and the ‘programs’ I use with clients aren’t necessarily designed ahead of time.  My work is highly intuitive so I trust the messages, insights, and ideas that come to me in regards to working with a client.  My goal is to empower women and to give them tools and tips they can use long after our work has stopped.  I don’t want to necessarily have to work with a client for 6 or 12 months (though I’m happy to if they choose), because I really want clients to feel the support and power I offer and move forward armed with the tools they need to continue to fly.  Since everything is specific to the client, each client may get a mix of things like affirmations, recorded calls, videos, and other tools along with our coaching calls.  It really just depends on what they are after.

6) What led you to choose to work (usually) with women?
I think I’ve just always felt more comfortable working with women.  My strategy is very feminine and gentle and while I’ve worked with some men, it seems women respond better to how I work and it just sort of organically happened.  With that said, if I felt like we were a good fit, I’d never turn down a male client just because of his gender.  I’m an equal opportunity coach 😉

7) What is your best piece of advice for someone who is “missing something” from their current working/life situation?

Get back to what you love.  Make a list and start there.  When we start doing more of what we love in whatever capacity or shape that takes, it changes everything.  Doors open, people reach out and before you know it-it seems you’ve got all the pieces you want and you are much happier for it.

8)  I know you have a love of writing as well; Does the writing influence coaching or coaching influence your writing? What other type of writing do you enjoy?
I’ve always been a writer.  I can remember writing a letter to a local newspaper editor when I was in school about divorce and feeling really passionate about the topic.  I’d say the coaching and writing typically go hand-in-hand.  When I’m working with clients, I tend to get inspired to write articles based on situations they are going through and then occasionally I’ll remember something I wrote about in an article and pass that info along to my clients.  Before I started my coaching business, I began submitting inspirational poetry to be considered for greeting cards.  I’ve had several greeting cards published with Blue Mountain Arts and some poems in a few anthologies with them as well. Poetry is a big one for me.  I hope to write a book or a few someday soon too.

9) How do you unplug? Coaching and writing require a lot of energy from a person, so what is your preferred method of recharging in this hectic world?

I try my hardest not to work on weekends.  I don’t work with clients at all during the weekend, but I have to be very conscious about not checking my phone 100 times a day or logging onto Facebook.  I really enjoy getting outside and spending time with my wife and son.  That is really what brings me joy.

10)  Who is one of your biggest influences/inspirations? why?

Oh wow, there are so many.  I follow a lot of spiritual teachers like Abraham Hicks, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and people like Louise Hay, but I have to say the book that really changed my life my first year in business was by Tama Kieves called Inspired & Unstoppable.  It’s a book that described everything I was going through and gave me hope and inspiration when I wasn’t sure what to do to move forward.  I love that book!

Tell us about your coaching services and programs. 
I like to set up various ways for clients to work with me.  I have 2 1:1 programs and a membership program that offers group style coaching for women.  I want my work to be as accessible as possible to the people who need it most so I have created a few different options.  If anyone is interested in learning more about how I can help them, they can sign up for a free 30-minute consultation here: https://lifeoncedreamt.acuityscheduling.com/

FUN Questions:

What is your fave, all out, nothing held back meal?

Pizza!!! I love carbs, cheese and veggies so it’s the perfect combination. 🙂

Where is one place that you really want to go?

Australia!  I’ve worked with some amazing people in Australia and I’d love to visit or host a workshop there one day.

headshot2Lamisha Serf-Walls is a life coach for women who are ready to live an amazing life on their own terms, but feel held-back and frustrated in how to make that happen. Her mission is to create a community of empowered, free flowing, lovers of life who live a life of freedom with ease and inspire others to do the same. You can learn more about Lamisha and what she offers by joining her free community, visiting her Online, on Facebook, or Twitter or grab her free audio 5 Ways to Break Free From Stuck.

Life Once Dreamt Life Coaching
www.lifeoncedreamt.com
www.facebook.com/lifeoncedreamt
                                  www.twitter.com/lifeoncedreamt
                                  (Online scheduler) https://lifeoncedreamt.acuityscheduling.com/

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Tery Brouwer: Creative Soul Poetry

I am starting a new series for the next six weeks. I will be featuring interviews with some of my favorite coaches, writers, and creative souls. These are the people that inspire me constantly. Their honesty, creativity, soulfulness and good spirit are infectious and motivating. I am sharing them with you so that you too can be inspired by these amazing people.

My first interview is with Tery Brouwer from Creative Soul Poetry. Tery has been an inspiration for me since I first met her online two years ago. She knows how to get to a person’s creative center and help them focus. Her intuition, insight and kindness are her best qualities when working with people. She gets to the heart of the matter, finding the place where one needs to become unstuck in their creative process. While working with Tery she was helped me to focus on my creative goals and inspired me in new directions. Through in-depth phone calls and e-mails, she helped me get on track with my ideas.

Tery has the experience of using art and the creative process for her own healing and uses the same ideas and techniques with others. Her artwork is beautiful and serene, creating a sense of calm in her shell and beach inspired designs.  Her love for the ocean inspires her work and is an integral part of who she is. Her many talents include being a Reiki Master, a Healing Arts Coach, and a Holistic Health Practitioner. She finds ways to use her diverse skills in her healing and coaching.

1. Tell me about the birth of Creative Soul Poetry?

Having battled with depression and domestic violence, I have always turned towards creativity and spirituality as a healing modality. Through my healing process , I have embraced a spiritual practice and in turn became a Reiki Master and Healing Arts Coach. At first, I had a blog called Willow Creek Studio where I shared my journey and process with becoming a Reiki Master and Healing Coach. Willow Creek Studio was more of a journey that I shared rather than a business. At one point, I was so stuck and lost with how and what to do with my dreams; I took a huge step back and let it all go. I ended up creating a Facebook page called Gypsy Bleu Persuasion where I decided to simply have fun. One night, I was meditating and asked the Universe and Angels to please help me with my direction; to give me the answer that I am looking for as I’m truly a Creative Soul who just wants to inspire others to heal. Creative Soul Poetry came screaming at me loud and clear! 

2. What are your personal preferred forms of creative expression? For Fun and Healing?

My personal form of creative expression is through the written word. Between writing articles and journaling, I love to express myself. For fun, I love to fingerpaint and dive into shell crafting. As for healing, I have embraced the love for photography, meditation, cooking and nature.

3.  I love your Mermaid Tales Project. Can you tell me what inspired the Mermaid Tales?

I created a Mermaid Template many years ago and it basically just sat there: I had no idea what to do with her. After reading the book, Women Who Run With The Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’, it came to me. Battling with depression and wanting to be the Wild Soul that I am, I wanted a creative way to self-express myself; then it hit me! Using the Mermaid Template as my wild expression through art journaling. I chose not to give the Mermaid Tales a face as she experiences many moods and emotions. I wanted each Mermaid Tale to reflect what I was going through at that time. I have even dedicated her look/design according to projects I work on. Before I knew it, she was growing and each Mermaid Tale had its own look; she became my Inner Goddess. Now, I created a Mermaid Tale Workshop to help others get intouch with their Inner Goddess. 

4. What coaching approach do you use to help your clients?

My coaching approach is listening and just keeping it real as well as offering workshops. I am more of a creative facilitator and writer. I love to inspire others through the written word, ecourses and always share my story and experiences. 

5. What is one of your typical clients/students?

My typical client/students are honestly those who want to heal. We all have the need to heal for different reasons. Whether someone is grieving, battling with depression, a mental illness, domestic violence, abuse, feeling unfulfilled in their lives, wanting more out of life, feeling stuck, lost, confused, sad, angry, wanting to embrace a dream that they are hungry for – my services provide tips, tricks and guidance towards a self-healing practice. The truth is taking care of ourselves is the number one thing many of us lack; we need to embrace self-love and we always need a helping hand.

6. You mention battling with DV, Chronic Pain and Depression? How have these influenced your creativity? Did a creative practice help you to survive these issues? How do they shape your coaching?

Creativity in itself is a form of meditation. When I am creative, I am lost in my own creative world in which takes my mind away from my chronic pain. Once I am absorbed in a writing piece or artwork, I don’t feel physical pain. When I left my EX abuser, I embraced writing and shared my story. Writing is a form of creativity and I ended up writing for a Women Abuse Column in which I received an Award. Creativity is truly my choice of drug. My life experiences and journey shapes my coaching by utilizing the tools I’ve learned to heal. I help others create their own tools as we all know deep down in our hearts what makes our soul sing. Our pain, desires, dreams and emotions truly are our Soul’s Poetry.

7. When talking about self-healing, what do you mean by that? Does it mean I don’t seek out professional, therapeutic help or other medical help?

We are all healers and self-healing is about nurturing the soul. I believe in seeking out professional help as I went through counseling myself for seven years. I believe in medication as well if you truly need it, but I also believe that we have more power than we realize. We have the power to heal and nurture ourselves and we deserve to make ourselves top priority. Self-healing to me is more than just giving yourself Reiki or embracing meditation – it’s about honoring yourself, your emotions, your needs, your desires, your passion and your dreams. 

8. What does it mean to be an intuitive empath?

A person who is highly sensitive to other people’s emotions and who is a good listener. They are an observer of life and others. They take on people’s pain and confuse it with their own. Even as a child I knew what people were thinking or going to say before they said it. I know a person’s actions before they act. People will ask how did you know that: it’s like a knowing, but you don’t know why. All my life, I have battled with this, but never had a title for what I was feeling or what I knew. I have come to the acceptance that this topic is so sensitive in itself. I don’t have the answer. You just have to believe.

9. What will someone get from your coaching or your courses? 

They will embrace a self-healing practice, gain self-love and be inspired to make themselves their first priority. They will nurture their souls and gain strength to go for their dreams. Their true authentic selves will unveil as I ask a lot of questions and provide fun, inspiring activities for clients to do. Most of all, they will walk away inspired and realize that regardless of their ups and downs, depression, turmoils, doubts and fears – these things have absolutely no power over them; that they have the power to move forward and make their wildest dreams come true!

10. I love to know fun facts about people, so tell me what is your go for broke all out favorite meal/date?

Pizza and beer.

11. And where is one place you want to travel to?

Italy

You can find Tery at the links below! Her blog is a must read, inspiring place to begin.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/creativesoulpoetry

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/terylynne/

Website: www.creativesoulpoetry.com
Tery Brouwer~Creative Soul Poetry
My heart and passion is through the expressive arts and spirituality. Having battled with domestic violence, depression and chronic pain, I utilize creativity and a spiritual practice as a healing modality. I inspire others to create their own self-healing practice and self-care ritual. I truly believe that when we tap into our creative selves, our dreams unveil. artme