On the Road to Saying “YES”!

Note: I don’t remember how many years ago I first stepped into the True You Creativity Studio run by Cherie Ray. However, I remember I was taking a workshop on Intuitive Painting. I have taken many of those workshops since and always learn more and more about the creative process. I have spent many hours in Cherie’s studio staring at a blank canvas until I took up a brush and dipped it into paint and started making lines and dots of all different sizes in all different colors.

As an international consultant and coach, Cherie works with individuals, couples, and families to help them thrive in their home and work lives. She can be reached at www.cherieray.com.

Thank you, Cherie, for this powerful blog post!


From “No” to “Yes”!

By Cherie Ray

For the last 10 years, I’ve been consistently surprised by what life offers me and what my mind makes of these offers. When I speak of ‘offers’ I’m referring to invitations and inspirations that reach me through other people or fresh ideas that come into my mind. You know the ones that kind of shake your reality? The ones that you immediately say NO to in your mind but then they don’t leave you alone. Those are the taps on the shoulder from the source of all life saying, wanna play a bigger game?

Recently, I’ve received a few of these intense taps on the shoulder and watched how my mind quickly determined what was possible for me. And just as quickly, I believed what popped into my mind as a GO/can’t GO. As if the TRUTH police or Judge Judy made a determination. More times than not, my mind says NO, nope, nada, it can’t work, not possible, etc.

I can trace this conditioned NO response to an upbringing that embedded in me the answer to every invitation to do something ‘unnecessary’ came back with a NO. I laugh out loud when I think of my dear father’s response to me asking if I could spend the night with my best friend. His response was, “no, you have a bed”. Seeing the cause of this historical NO habit doesn’t help. It still looks and feels true.

It’s at this point of the self‐talk conversation where I would live with the answer NO and move on. Now, after the initial NO response, a whispering curiosity comes on the scene, “Could I do that?”

Recently, I received an invitation to attend an event in the Pacific Northwest. Immediately my mind said NO! My internal monologue continued with a litany of, What? Go all that way for one night? Ridiculous! Get a plane ticket, rent a car, secure a hotel room and what to wear? The idea really did look absurd to some part of me but another part was answering, why not?

This time I said YES! With YES, the ball began to roll and the adventure began to unfold. By saying YES, a rich sense filled me! I was delighted and amused by staring absurdity in the face.

Within moments the entire adventure was planned. It was simple and easy. Who knew this was possible? Not me! I marked my calendar and boarded the plane.

The gifts for me in saying YES to the concept of ABSURD:

  1. While deplaning upon arrival, my phone alerted me to check‐in for my flight to Houston the following day. LOL!
  2. Participating in an event that was filled with joy and celebration.
  3. Connecting with people that I don’t usually get the chance to have lengthy, rich conversations with.
  4. Experiencing the Tulip Festival! A vision that compares to Holland and Belgium in magnificent beauty, I’m told.
  5. Standing solo in the tulip fields at sunrise. The vibrancy and vitality from Mother Nature was palpable.
  6. Seeing I really do love an idea that engages a, ‘why not’ response!
  7. By saying YES, so many concepts of limitation fall away.
  8. Having the opportunity to see that NO is a habit, not life informing me of what’s TRUE.

Looking back with immense gratitude for this learning opportunity, I see how much I would have missed by living in my habitual NO. I see that by following feelings of delight, inspiration follows.

I encourage you to face absurdity head‐on and to partner with delight. Your experience of life will grow as naturally as the tulips!

More Reasons to Celebrate and More Creativity!

For starters.……Good News! A personal essay I submitted has been accepted by Story:Color 2019. This will be an art exhibition, reading, poetry slam, etc. sponsored by some of the artists from the Silos at Sawyer Yards, Words & Art, and WriteSpace. They asked for some poems and essays from writers that artists could use for inspiration to create visual art. I am honored and delighted my essay was accepted. The Opening Night Reading and Art Exhibition will take place on January 12, 2019. I will be sure to share more details as I have them.

As for the journeys I took this past week, I spent Saturday afternoon in a Process Painting retreat facilitated by Cherie Ray of True You Creativity. Ah, yes. Another internal journey!

For starters, this studio is located in a relaxing embracing environment. Here is the outside of her studio filled with plants, trees, art and bird houses.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure to experience Process Painting, I will give a very brief explanation. This is a process of painting where the end result is not the picture that is painted. Rather it is the process of creating that is the focus of attention. The purpose is not to paint a pretty picture; rather the purpose is to put paint on paper and see what the process of painting can tell you. It is great for unleashing creativity and creative potential.

Here are some of my painting samples as they were in process of being created:

There was no right or wrong with these pictures. They just were. I observed what came up for me as I painted. I considered what the colors told me. I loved my spot right by the window, because I was visited all afternoon by cardinals, turtle doves, and other birds as they snacked from the bird feeder and tried to figure out what the silly humans were doing.

This process reminded me of writing. I can’t write the “great American novel” in one sitting or in one draft. However, I can write by sitting down and putting words on paper. You can’t write a book or a short story without trying out ideas, putting words together in different arrangements to see what works. As my wonderful writing coach, Max Regan, frequently tells his students, just write something that is really crappy. Then if you like your draft or idea, you can begin to work with it. If your goal is only to write things that are good and meaningful, then you won’t get much done. Just write and then write some more. Whether you are putting paint on the paper or words, let the creative juices flow freely.

Thanks to the guidance provided by Cherie, I went home Saturday afternoon inspired and ready to continue creatively with both art and writing. As I walked out of her studio, I saw one of the universal signs that everything was going to be okay.

If you are interested in Process Painting or any of the other classes and retreats offered by Cherie Ray, please check out her website at Trueyoucreativity.com.

Then after a great weekend, I ended my day on Sunday by going to see the play, The Mouse Trap, which is currently being performed at the Alley Theatre. This play was written by Agatha Christie and is a good entertaining mystery for a late summer evening. I won’t give away the surprise ending. You’ll have to go see the play yourself and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The stage design assures you of mysteries and murders just waiting to unfold!

I am looking forward to more writing this week and beginning an Art History class at the Glassell.

More details to follow!