"Autumn Goddess"                                                                                         CK Walsh

"Autumn Goddess"                                                                                         CK Walsh

                               I'm always thinking about creating. My future starts                                                                        when I wake up every morning... Every day I find                                                something creative to do with my life.  Musician, Miles Davis

In my last post I wrote about experiencing postpartum depression due to being in an “in between space” -- that is, the period of time after completing one creative project, but before I am inspired to begin another. I was feeling impatient and yearned for an inspiration to arise and fill that empty space. The good news is that it always ends. This time my new inspirations arrived in the form of complex, layered photographs.  I just needed to be patient with the process.  (One new "photo-painting" is shown above.) 

It did occur to me, when I was feeling rather blue, that we are all living in an in-between space.

Picture a gravestone with the dates on it, marking the beginning and ending of someone’s life, i.e. "Born in 1900, died in 1975." Those dates define the in-between space in which we all live. In order to feel fulfilled this in-between space needs to be filled with something meaningful, and only we can define what that is, and then determine how we will express it.  

                                   Everybody born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory.                                                   We come from the Creator with creativity. I think that each one                                                     of us is born with creativity.  Maya Angelou

Something is personally meaningful when it both represents and resonates with our heart, soul and spirit.

If we were to ignore the importance of this issue, when we reach old age we would probably experience regret about things we wished we could have done. I have known people who experienced this and it's sad to witness.

This is why I am currently on a mission to promote creative thinking and action in everyone’s life – no matter what your age -- because I believe the creative process is what helps us determine what resonates with our hearts, spirits and souls.

When we are born, that space in between is empty and no one can predict what will happen.  No one else can determine what will make our lives meaningful.  Only maturation, self-awareness and conscious choice-making help us do that. No matter what we choose, our most important task in life is to search for, and then fill that empty space in between. 

Can you answer these questions?

1.  What do you want to manifest during your life’s in-between space – that remaining space          before your death?

2.  What will make the rest of your life the most meaningful?

3.  What is the connecting purposeful factor between all of your choices.

My life is defined around the use of creativity, to heal others via various forms of communication. I use it in my practice as a therapist and personal coach, and also as an artist and writer. In each of these endeavors, creative thinking and action is required.

Everyone can identify the primary motivational factor in their lives, and/or the defining link between all of your important choices.  If you are really stuck, you might talk to family and friends – people you trust to give you good feedback about who you are.  Or, consult an astrologer.  But, best of all, do some stream-of-consciousness writing. That means to just write words, without thinking. Just let the writing flow.

Begin by answering these questions:

v    Who am I as a man/woman in this world, today?

v    What do I like about myself?

v    What do I see as my purpose here on this earth?

v    If this (whatever you have chosen) is my purpose, what new choices do I need to make for              myself to fulfill this purpose?

                          “A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break                                    out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the                                              unfamiliar and the unknown.”  Writer, Denis Waitley

                          “A lot of people forget how important it is to be creative. We get caught                                     up in getting ahead and in day-to-day minutiae. But creativity is a                                                 fundamental mode of expression, as is being tenacious and standing by                                       your own convictions and passions, even if it's not the 'popular' choice.”                                                              Australian celebrity, Tabatha Coffey

I have attached a beautiful meditation focusing on living your vision.  (As an aside, I just happened to find this and have no knowledge of, or connection to, the presenter.)

I hope you will turn it on and listen – even if briefly.  I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Contact me via the contact page on my website:  





We must use time creatively. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I subscribe online to the DailyOm ( There are many aspects to this site, but one is a daily horoscope, providing something to focus on for the day. When I check my horoscope, I find it uncannily accurate. Today's horoscope was significant, and part of the reason for this blog post. It suggested we ask ourselves, “What is it that would really enhance your life right now?”  It continued, “Basing our future goals on our present self keeps our dreams more closely in sync with who we really are.” When we really think about it, what else can we honestly base our goals on, but who we really are? Certainly not other people’s intentions for us.

Answering that question requires two different time references – the present moment and our envisioned future. Enhancing our lives requires us to be fully present in each moment, while also holding an awareness of our long-term vision. Only then can we make the best choices about where to expend each moment of our energy.

I love this quote by the cartoonist, Bil Keane: “Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.” Even though it is often difficult, I try to "be in the moment" with whatever I am doing, and not focus on the future.  But when I am creating something my mind easily wonders to thoughts like: “What am I my going to do this afternoon? How am I going to solve problem X?”  When I do this I’m not in either place – the moment or the future. While working on this post I failed miserably. I succumbed to reading several text messages and lost my focus. When we are not present with what we are doing, our heart and spirit will not be reflected in the work.

 Lost time is never found again. Benjamin Franklin

The need to be aware of the present, as well as the future, sounds like a conflict. Yet, there is time and place to bring each one into a state of heightened focus. When I'm working on something creative I need to be totally in the moment, while still lightly holding an awareness of my envisioned future.

When I am working on clarifying my goals and intentions for the future, I need to set aside quiet time when I am not “doing” anything, but merely “being.” That could mean meditating about my future, doing a creative visualization or stream-of- consciousness writing. During these times, the active pursuit of my creative projects needs to retreat to the background.  Then, when I am clear about my future purpose, all of my choices and creative projects will reflect this knowing.

The beginning of the New Year is the perfect time to focus on our vision for the future, particularly for 2017. Using numerology to demonstrate this, Patti Clark states in her new blog post:

“…..from a numerological perspective, 2017 is a “one” year. (In short: 2+0+1+7 = 10 = 1+0 = 1.) Numerology looks at time in nine-year cycles, in which a “one” year begins a new nine-year cycle of creativity, learning and growth. It is a time of intentions and planning for the next phase. The intentions and foundations you build in 2017 can help shape the upcoming years. A “one” year is the perfect time to set intentions and goals for yourself.” 

You can read more words from Patti at:

I will let a Steve Job’s quote end this current post:

  “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out     your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

I would love to hear about your vision for the future.  Please contact me at:                                                               

To purchase my memoir:

Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma,

go to:





The title of this photograph is “Opposing Forces”.  I took it during my recent vacation.  It intrigued me because of the juxtaposition of the brilliant beauty of nature and the dirty darkness of industry. In the photograph the opposite colors heighten both the design and the meaning of the photograph. In our creative lives, we can use opposites to heighten our creative energy.

For example, I am a creature of habit, yet I also like change. I habitually show up in my studio every morning about 9 o'clock, leave at 11:00 for a brief break and return until I stop at 1 o'clock. If I have the time and creative energy, I go back to my studio in the afternoon. Some people call that rigid. For me it feels like a ritual and an extremely important part of my creative process.

My studio is a sacred space. As soon as I walk into the studio, I experience an emotional and energetic shift. It is similar to what I have experienced walking into a meditation hall, or what people describe feeling upon entering a church sanctuary or synagogue. In these sacred spaces I feel surrounded by a strong kinesthetic, emotional and spiritual energy.

Consistently showing up at the same time and place every day of the week – – even Saturdays and Sundays – – becomes a commitment to my Self and my creative process. (Although some would say this is being self-centered, I believe that when we make, and then follow through with commitments to ourselves, we can be more energetically present for others.)

However, there are times when I need to change my routine -- when I crave a different scene to re-invigorate my creative self. This has been the case for the last two weeks when my husband and I took a trip down to an island we love. We stayed two blocks from the ocean, and while enjoying the sunny warmer climate and quality of light, I experienced an extreme shift in awareness, energy and mood.  

Although I have a small room that I call my mini studio, and still do a lot of creative work, I do not experience the same strong adherence to my daily ritual as when I'm at home.  Opening to the contrasting use of time and space is creatively liberating. 

When I bring opposite forms of energy into my life, each form heightens the other.  In turn a third form of enhanced energy is created. This was the case during my vacation, when I experienced heightened creativity.  During the two week break from my typical routine my creative vision became clearer and I could more easily decide on my creative priorities, as well as specific ideas to begin with. New ideas were created and were resting in the back of my mind, ready to spring forth. Now that I am back home, and have returned to my usual routine, I am ready to pursue these ideas with fresh creative energy.

Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash. French poet, Louis Aragon

Before you can break a routine with its opposite, you need to have a routine to begin with. I encourage you to start your new year with a creative routine. It does not have to be anything major.

Try this exercise:

v    Decide on one form of creativity, i.e. writing in a journal, ripping paper and pasting it in a collage, designing an herb garden, deciding on a small remodeling project for your home.

v    Set aside a specific time in the day, as many days in the week as you can, i.e. 8 o'clock at night for one hour or 6:30 in the morning for 1/2 hour (before the kids get up).

v    Designate a place to be your creative space and set out the materials you will need. (A small corner somewhere, or space on the dining room table, a kitchen counter is totally fine.)  

v    Show up in your creative space, at your appointed time, for one month.

v    At the end of that one month write, or share with someone, what you discovered about your Self and your process.  

Opposites generally create intense chemistry. There are more chances of fireworks when different people are together than similar personalities. Indian actress, Sonam Kapoor





If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.                                                             Rollo May, author Courage to Create

Only we can create a vision for ourselves.

One effective technique is to use the tool of creative visualization.

                "BLOSSOMING"                           photo-painting                                Carol K. Walsh

               "BLOSSOMING"                           photo-painting                                Carol K. Walsh

When I remember to mentally visualize what I want to create – – either in my art or in my life – – I have a much greater chance of success. That doesn't mean when I use creative visualization it always works.  However, I do know that the opposite is absolutely true -- if I have not visualized what I want to create in my mind, heart, and spirit, it will never happen.  I cannot make appropriate and effective choices if I don’t have an end-product/idea in mind.  

Creative visualization is a powerful tool.

When I use it, the odds are much more in favor of it working.  For example, when I envisioned my book launch party for my new memoir Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma, I pictured it in as much detail as I possibly could. I visualized the setting, amount of chairs, kind of food, color theme, how I would dress, who I wanted to come and of course what I wanted to say, etc.  And then, just like an Olympic athlete training for an event, I played the image, like a movie, over and over again in my imagination. The more I did it, the more comfortable I felt.

For me, this actively employing creative envisioning is the best way to decide on and accomplish my life’s mission.

Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission. The admitting is often very difficult.  Julia Cameron, author The Artist’s Way

To succeed I have to become my own creative visionary.

If I don't, who will do it for me?

             v    Only I can decide what’s in my soul, heart and spirit.

v    Only I can determine where to put my creative energy to express what is inside of me.

v    Only I can imagine what to paint, draw or photograph, or write, that reflects the true me.

v    Only I can decide what or who will support me and help me feel fulfilled.

Try this exercise:  Make each of the four bullet points into a question for yourself and then write the answer.  For example, “What is in my soul, heart and spirit that I want/need/crave to express?”  Be sure to write down your answers, so you won’t forget them.

I am happy to share that my book launch party matched my inner vision, and was everything I had hoped for – and more.  (The “more” part included the amount of wonderful questions asked, forming a lively discussion.)

Fortunately, the stars were in alignment. Success doesn't always happen. Olympic champions know that they don't always win, no matter how much envisioning they do.  All we can do is put our whole heart, soul and spirit into it, then give it the best shot as we can, by using creative visualization.

Creativity is always a leap of faith. You're faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage. Julia Cameron

I would love to hear about your experiences with creative visualization. 

Email me through my website:




P.S. Don't forget to sign up for -- the Creative Life Summit, to be viewed on the internet during the first two weeks of January.  My segment about "The Power of Creativity to Heal" is on January 5th.        Click here:   

It's free!!  




Creativity has the ability to heal because life's difficulties are disempowering, whereas creativity is empowering. 

 "Mindfulness on the Beach"                                     Carol K. Walsh

"Mindfulness on the Beach"                                     Carol K. Walsh

I believe so strongly in this concept, that my days are now filled with getting these thoughts out into the world. This is why I write this blog: “Creativity in Art and Life.”

Given that, I am thrilled (and a bit nervous) to share that I have been asked to be one of 40+ people to take part in James Taylor's international "Creative Life Summit".  It will be available online throughout the first two weeks of January, when each speaker, an expert in one area of creativity, will be videotaped in an interview with Taylor.  During my video-taped interview with Taylor I will discuss “The Healing Powers of Creativity”, which will be aired on January 5th. 

The Summit is free and I encourage each of you to sign up.  Considering that there will be forty areas of creativity discussed, I know you will find several that interest you.  I know I intend to “reserve my seat”, to listen to the other interviews. 
                                                                                  (More information at the end of this post.) 

A bit about the healing powers of creativity:

Based on both my professional and personal experiences with trauma, I know that creativity has a tremendous power to heal. It certainly helped me. I was fortunate to know about the power of creativity at a very young age, for its calming effect helped me emotionally survive a difficult childhood. I often say: “Creativity saved me”.

To heal we need to have a strong sense of Self – that is, who we are as a person in this world and how that defines our meaning and purpose.  It is from this self-awareness that we make our best decisions.

To access self-awareness, we must have a way to go deeply within ourselves, to connect to our soul and our inner spirit – to our essence.  It is from this space that we can develop a strong ego, and become self-empowered.

This is important because:

Life’s difficulties and traumas are disempowering: whereas creativity is empowering. Creativity is empowering because it transforms the literal into the symbolic. It converts any experience into a personal symbolic language from which we can gain new information.

Creative processes contain symbolic language.  That could be: marks on paper, colors, musical notes, rhythmic movements, photographic images and or random words, etc.  It does not matter which creative process you choose, it only matters that you make a choice. 

Once our experience, dilemma, trauma, or struggle is turned into the symbolic, it can be transformed into something new.  It is an alchemical process.  When I painted or wrote stories about my trauma (as I have done with my new memoir: Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma), new information emerged containing new insights and understandings. This is empowering.

Now, at this phase of my life, I can say that because creativity is such an integral part of every day, it always adds something special to my existence:  wonder, surprise, joy, peace, challenges and knowledge – I could go on and on.  Of course, there are days when a particular project frustrates me, but that is a part of the process – not a negative.  Even from this, I can learn a lot.

I will be discussing these issues, and much more, during my interview with James Taylor, for the Creative Life Summit.

Here is the information I promised about the Creative Life Summit:

James Taylor is an award-winning entrepreneur, creativity expert, marketer and musician.  He is the founder of the C-School of London, a creativity school.  His programs, online courses, events and consulting services have helped individuals, corporations, governments, and non-profits around the world and generated millions of dollars in revenues. Here is the link to James Taylor’s website:  

The “Creative Life Summit” will occur over a two-week period, with several speakers being interviewed each day. James Taylor explains it this way: “41 world-class experts reveal the secrets to unleashing your creative potential, turning passions into profits, and living a creative life.” He goes on to say, “I hand-picked speakers who are at the top of their game... who have created extraordinary Creative Lives... for themselves and their clients. I have the utmost respect for these creative leaders who I knew would each bring their own angle, their own ideas and relate to where you're today.”     


James has many videos on his You Tube channel, and I urge you to look them over. Here is one example: 





Painting Life book cover - very small.jpg

People need to know that they have all the tools within themselves. Self-awareness, which means awareness of their body, awareness of their mental space, awareness of their relationships - not only with each other, but with life and the ecosystem.   Deepak Chopra

My memoir, Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma will finally be out this week. What a long, and worthwhile, journey it has been. I have learned so much about my self, about the creative process, about my life philosophy – and about the publishing world!

Once again I was reminded how much our future is totally unknown and unpredictable. The only thing we can “know” is our true Self. When we know who we are, at the core of our being, that core Self provides a consistent anchor in this unpredictable world.  

To understand who we are – at the depths of our being – we must pose questions that only we can answer. Then, in order to find the answers to these questions we must access our deeper, inner selves.

This is where curiosity comes in. The path to self-awareness is triggered by curiosity. We ignite curiosity by asking ourselves questions such as:

  • Who am I as an individual in this world, at this time of my life?
  • What is the meaning and purpose of my life?
  • What must I do to manifest my deepest meaning?
  • How can each of the many decisions I must make, reflect my priorities, values and main purpose in life?

Answering these questions requires a form of meditation to help us go deeper into ourselves – to move into a state of self-awareness. There are many ways to drop into this meditative place, but what works for me, is to be engaged in a creative process such as journaling or spontaneous painting. Whatever method we choose, being in a peaceful, pensive place is absolutely necessary.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Albert Einstein

When I began my new memoir, Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma (to be published this week) I was curious. I wanted to answer many questions that were left unanswered about my traumatic experience.  I wanted to develop a stronger self-awareness about the trauma that happened to me and how I was able to recover from it. I asked myself:

  • How would I now view an incident that occurred twenty-seven years ago?
  • Is it possible to learn something new about my self and my recovery process?
  • What was my recovery process?
  • Was it related to creativity in any way?

Fortunately, the answers were all positive.  What surprised me was the new insights and self-awareness’s that arose.

Interestingly, one piece of self-awareness that occurred was how I maintained energy throughout a difficult time.  As I wrote my memoir I realized it all began with curiosity.  As one understanding led to another and I identified the energetic process of (what I call) the five C's of creative energy: Curiosity, Courage, Consistency, Commitment and Completion, and how these processes helped me on my path of recovery.

In the end it fascinated me that I came full circle – I began this search with curiosity and it ended with a deeper understanding of the importance of curiosity and the role it played in my recovery.  Sometimes the search for self-awareness ends up with surprises.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.                                             Walt Disney  



CREATIVITY ISN'T ALWAYS EASY- guest post by Patti Clark

I am very excited to have Patti Clark as this week's guest blogger. Patti is a fellow author, whose inspiring new book This Way Up is also published by She Writes Press.  Patti is an accomplished speaker and workshop leader dedicated to helping people through various life transitions.  Her work has been featured in several publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and The Mindful Word.  She lives in New Zealand but travels around the globe facilitating workshops. Bali is planned for 2017!  Patti is also about to launch a new series of interactive workshops online. Her website is:  Welcome Patti!

 "Flight of the Goddess"                                                            mixed media                                                                          Carol K. Walsh

"Flight of the Goddess"                                                            mixed media                                                                          Carol K. Walsh

                          CREATIVITY ISN'T ALWAYS EASY by Patti Clark 

 Creativity is putting your imagination to work, and it’s produced the most extraordinary results in human culture.”– Sir Ken Robinson

Some people claim that they have to create – that painting or writing or making music is as essential to them as breathing.  That is not the case for me.  I usually feel like I have to force myself to take the time to be creative. I set time aside to journal or write or just doodle because I know that that is the time when I can really connect with the source, with the truest part of me.

Other people are the opposite; instead of feeling like they have to create, they feel like they absolutely cannot create. Those people feel that creativity is only found in the chosen few.

Creativity is not found just in the chosen few who exhibit artistic talent. It is a force that flows through every single one of us, allowing us to dream things up and make them happen.  –Peggy Taylor and Charlie Murphy

In a wonderful article on Greater Good Website, Ten Things Creative People Know,  Peggy Taylor and Charlie Murphy explain that Creative expression opens the door to the inner world of our imaginations. It is here that we make meaning of our lives. It is here that motivation takes root. The more creative we are, the more capacity we have to imagine what’s possible and make those visions real.

But it’s important for me to explain, that for me anyway, it isn’t always easy.  It takes effort and determination and tenacity.  I force myself to journal every morning before I get up because I know that that is the time that I sometimes get glimpses of what is possible and ideas about how to make them real.  I sometimes get flashes of insight that lead to amazing things. And sometimes I even get lost in doodling or drawing and just love what emerges. It’s glorious to get lost in that flow.  Not that it’s anything I’d ever sell as ‘fine art’ – it’s just amazingly cool to get lost in, and to connect with that deep sense of self in the process.

In their article, Taylor and Murphy explore ten ideas about creativity and creative people:

1. Our lives have meaning.

2. We are all creative.

3. Creative expression empowers us.

4. We are good at heart.

5. Life is an adventure to be lived, not a problem to be solved.

6. Change is an inside job.

7. Diversity is a resource.

8. We thrive when we feel supported.

9. We each have the power to make change.

10. The challenges of our time require intergenerational collaboration.

We all have this potential and this gift.  It’s just that it isn’t always easy and often requires effort and determination to focus on our creativity – even if it’s only for 5 minutes before we get out of bed.

I’d like to close with a video clip with the wonderful Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. The clip is aptly called – ‘The Power of Perseverance’

Both Patti and I would love to hear about how you feel about your creativity. And as always, thanks for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.