Creativity As A Spiritual Response – Stories from the Heart

July = Story

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We have come to the end of the month of July, as well as our current focus on stories.

However, I will continue through this blog to tell stories, and to reflect upon stories, although with a slightly different focus.  Tomorrow, I will announce the topic for August.

As we move forward, I encourage you to continue to use your journals to listen and record the stories around you, especially the stories in your heart.  The heart is one place in which creativity, spirituality and service as response come together.  From this particular heart meeting, story always emerges.

Some prompts for further reflection on the topic of stories:

Are you a story-teller, or a story-listener?  Which do you choose? And, when?

What are your favorite stories?

What means of expression, or combinations of expression, best tell your own unique story:

  • words as verbal expression
  • words as written expression
  • creative arts
  • music
  • dance
  • photography
  • signing
  • gardening
  • cooking
  • being a care-giver
  • being the “bread winner”
  • other?

How does your story connect with other stories, both past and present?


Where is the Holy One in your story?









Creativity as a Spiritual Response – Stories of Service Challenge.

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July = Story

The stories that most draw me in emotionally are stories of service.  How about you? The stories are seldom told by the person or persons doing the service.  Rather, they are conveyed by the recipient (s)  or the observer (s) of the action.  This creativity of service chooses to meet ordinary human, animal, environmental etc. need, and to make a difference.  These stories inspire me.

Our news broadcasts and posts most often report tragedy.  It is easy to think that tragedy is the story that drives our imagination.  And yet, over and over again, people reach out and do more than than they themselves think is possible.  These inspirational stories receive less press, but are no less real.

As I write this post, I am aware of huge fires up and down the state of California.  I know that men and women are putting their lives in danger, responding to the fires, and to people, animals, and the environment and in the aftermath of the fires, some of these people won’t stop after the fires are out.  This is just one example.

Twice a week, I work at a residential facility for elders.  I am able to witness the actions of care staff as they go about their duties.  So often, I am able to witness actions that go beyond duty, to genuine service as one individual with another – and that service is reciprocated as fragile elders receive, and also give from who they are.  I am always touched at the depth of these graced exchanges.   This is another example.

There are many other examples.  I know you have your own.

I am encouraging you to as a recipient, or an observer, please share your stories of service in 99 words or less.  Please add them to the comments section, or provide a link from your own blog.  Lets talk about story – stories of service.




Creativity as a Spiritual Response – Spiritual Coaching

bright burn burnt candle

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July = Story

One consideration in blogging about story is that the topic is complex.  Story is one way in which we connect as human beings, build memories, pass down traditions and other needful things.  However, story can also be used to destroy, oppress, and control people and communities.  Stories can be told with a keening wail, shouted in celebration or in anger, sung or whispered.  This is not something new.  I imagine it has always been this way.

As we gather together, what stories do we hear?  How do they make us feel?  Do they draw us further away, or closer to, others? Do we listen to the stories told by others?  How, and to whom, do we share our stories?

As a spiritual coach, what I listen to is story.  I cannot magically fix wounds, deep or superficial.  I can, often imperfectly, create a space in which the Holy One, my client, and myself are present to what the client expresses in his or her own way, his or her own story.  Most often the light between us is one of a candle rather than a campfire or hearth, as a symbol of the Holy One who is with us.  It is a graced privilege to listen to story.

Creativity as a Spiritual Response – Fire Pits

night fire flame fire pit

Photo by Bob Clark on


July = Story

We began the month with the image of ancient story-telling around a campfire or hearth.

I have recently observed that sales of out-door fire pits installed in United States is a trend that has been steadily increasing.  Have you noticed this?  If this trend is is true, then perhaps there is a need for something that spiritually reminds us of campfires, or hearth fires.

I wonder if these current trends regarding the installation of fire pits reflect something spiritually deeper than a desire to upgrade to one’s property.  Perhaps a greater need is to create a circle, to gather together in the dark, as people have done through the centuries.

Gathered around fire, we can both speak and listen while watching the meditative motion of the flames.  What will we say in this circle?    What will we hear?  What stories will we tell?



Creativity As A Spiritual Response

July = Story

Do you have a Creative and Spiritual Tool Box?

A Creative and Spiritual Tool Box – what’s that?

That is, an actual box – I use a clear sweater box – in which you put your own individual items that assist you in creating space, feeling creative, or working through “stuff”.

I know, I know – I love the abstract, but this is not that…I began using this kind of box, when I was a single parent, working full time and also tracking the needs of an aging parent. I was full time on remote – doing what needed to get done – sleeping – and getting up and doing it again.

So what is in a creative and spiritual tool box? The beauty of this is that each one can be totally unique – just as you are. Some suggestions are:

  • a journal
  • a picture of walking shoes (I don’t suggest keeping actual shoes in your creative and spiritual tool box). This is to remind you that walking, moving, can be one way to chill out.
  • a magazine with pictures
  • glue
  • scissors
  • an art pad
  • watercolor pencils
  • an adult coloring book
  • glitter
  • a list of favorite affirmations
  • a Bible or other religious reading
  • a thank you note that someone wrote to you
  • a piece of chocolate.
  • etc. etc.

The purpose of the box is to give you a contained place to keep some tools which may assist you in creating a little space, a little relaxation, and a little more focus in your busy life.

What do you think? Chime in – let me know.

With much love,


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