Author Archive

Creative Practice-Caty Carlin 1-12-14

After a wonderful morning walking in the orchard on the first sunny day in a week, I made my way to find paper and oil markers and colored pencils. After sitting down with them, I decided that the practice would be to create a mandala with the idea of remembering a beautiful place. The council to myself was to “not look” outside, or at anything for that matter, but to simply be with what came up from an inner experience of that beautiful place I was remembering. At first, I felt a bit of anxiety over “doing” rather than just “being.” After about 30 minutes into the experience, I began to relax and feel the colors emerge. I added water to the watercolor pencil marks, and felt myself begin to feel completely relaxed and in the flow of painting. At that moment, I was beginning to feel the landscape that I was painting as a part of me, and I did not want to end the session of painting. I allowed myself and hour and a half because of all of the other life tasks that required my time.
I decided to send the mandala to myself this week as a reminder to remember the creative practice. Working on a creative practice gave me a sense of wonder that frequently is missing these days in my life. I was also surprised to feel joy at the end of painting. Joy that was not attached to outcome or having to create a certain object or piece for sale. The words that identify the experience are: joy, flow, completion and relaxation.

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picture of the beautiful place


Breast Cancer Awareness Art- Sal Brownfield

    There are few ways to give a breast cancer picture of individual cases and individual stories Breast cancer stories are unique in the way that they arise in different people’s lives, how they manifest, what people do with the diagnosis, and how they deal with breast cancer.  Breast cancer and art are interwoven in many facets of arts in medicine. In my journeys to different places, hospitals and clinics, I re-connected with a fiber artist from years ago, who is working with breast cancer patients in Buffalo, New York. I will share her name and story in another post. She is working with patients who come into the clinic for chemo in a way that is both empowering and inspiring. In the lobby of the clinic, she assists women in painting their silk scarves with their own unique brush strokes, and  while the women are in the clinic for their appointment, she sets the dyes, irons the scarves, and sends them home with their beautiful creations. Her name is Barbara for future post searching.

In 2008, I re-connected with a woman named Eve Hoffman in Atlanta at a show that I was participating in in Marietta.  Eve is a poet who has several books out, “Red Clay,” and now “A Celebration of Healing” with artist Sal Brownfield. When we re-connected, Eve told me about Sal’s work, and a project that he was working on with people who had breast cancer. Sal Brownfield is a painter in Atlanta who began to paint women, (and men) with breast cancer. It is a powerful project that is still reflected in the paintings that Brownfield painted of each person who consented to be a part of this project. “A Celebration of Healing” includes Brownfield’s paintings, along with Eve Hoffman’s  stories of each person. I asked Eve if I could come to Atlanta and document the project with recordings and video. At the time, I had returned to school with a focus in “Arts in Medicine.”  What resulted was a wonderful connection with Sal and Eve, as well as a real glimpse into the power that art has to heal, to reveal, and to expose what is hidden. After 4 years, Sal and Eve have published the book, which is available on Amazon, and I am dusting off the audios and videos that give a real glimpse into how Sal Brownfield’s project came into fruition. I feel so grateful to know them both, and will share videos and audios as I put them together. Go now and order their book, “A celebration of Healing.”

Please note: If this video skips a beat, then put it on pause and allow it to load a bit before continuing.



Arts in Medicine

The arts have been an essential part of medicine for thousands of years. The earliest cultures on the planet embedded art within their healing practices and within their beliefs. Arts in medicine is now returning to institutions of healthcare, with the understanding that they assist in healing the whole person. Below is a video that I created several years ago. I will be posting more videos on arts in medicine, including stories and places that have extraordinary arts in medicine initiatives.


Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

Many people think that good ideas belong to a select group of people who somehow have the winning ticket to “inspiration.” Inspiration belongs to all of us and comes in sparks and moments of ideas in the making. I recently witnessed the wonderful video below that presents ideas in the true way that they are created. One small piece at a time, ideas are constructed like sparks that eventually make a fire. We are so enamored with our devices these days, I sometimes wonder if we are going let the sparks that ideas evoke, fizzle out as a culture of the 21st century. Einstein said, ” I fear the day when technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

Where do you think good ideas come from?



How Do Shamans Heal?

As a seeker, I have always been curious about every form of healing. One of the quests has been to understand vibration and to explore the question, how do shamans heal? What are the mechanics or processes that a shaman goes through to heal people? Fred Alan Wolf is really great at explaining the mechanics of shamanic healing, and how the processes correspond with quantum physics. Watch this video to better understand the processes of how shamans heal.


Changing Your Vibration

This is a great video by Sonia Choquette, intuitive, who speaks about changing your vibration in the way of surrender. Vibration can be changed by doing many different things. Moving, dancing, singing, chanting, walking, hiking, praying. Changing your vibration is to let go of the same patterns that repeat themselves over and over again. Sonia Choquette tells many funny stories that illuminate the processes that are essential to changing your vibration. She says that changing your vibration has to do with allowing the vibration to emanate from you outward, rather than having it come to you. This means risking change in your life, and embracing your own vibration and gifts, and giving those gifts to the world whatever they might be or whatever form they might take. Watch this video. What are you doing to change your vibration?




What is Consciousness?

Is the world a reflection of our beliefs, ideas and thoughts? Is the universe a result of what we are doing in our lives? The idea that we are participants in creation and what is occurring in the universe is not a new idea. Ancient people developed technologies of the spirit that were in continuous communication with the world unseen.

Below is a wonderful video by Gregg Braden. Watch it and write a comment on your idea of the fabric of creation.



Seeing the World Through Einstein’s Eyes

Einstein was an amazing man that possessed a unique ability to combine creativity with his Scientific discoveries. Curiosity, and a willingness to explore, propelled his genius into form. He was a great admirer of Gandhi, and was animate about protesting militarism. Seeing the world through Einstein’s eyes is a glimpse into a man that was brilliant, creative, and intuitive.

Watch this amazing video of Einstein’s life.



Soul and Culture in New Caledonia



I’ll have to admit, New Caledonia is not a place I had ever heard of, much less to know where it exists in the world. Soul and culture there is rich and intact. While researching a story for my cultural travel news blog, I discovered this magical little gem of an island that is located 930 miles east of Australia. Everything you could imagine about paradise exists in Caledonia. So compelling were the pictures that I fell into, I found myself feeling the cool of the clear crystal fresh water pools, and the lushness of the flora and fauna, which is one of the most diverse in the world per square kilometer.

While I have never traveled there, I was also drawn to the history of the place, and the Indigenous people there. This compelling picture of Kanak warriors taken in 1880 in their attire with penis gourds made me take a second look. In addition to the history of these Indigenous people, the women also compel me to look into this culture, in their beautiful, colorful clothing. Soul and culture in New Caledonia exists because the rest of the world has not fully penetrated it’s ocean borders. But that will not last long, as cruise ships landed there about a month ago. This will be great for their economy, but the virtually untouched culture will be touched by the rest of the world.

soul and culture in New Caledonia


Soul and Creating

Soul and creating are a part of being human. It doesn’t matter if you are creating a beautiful dinner, working in the garden, or gathering friends together. Creating is a birthright that we are all endowed with, however, many people choose not to use it. In the west, when we think of creating, we think of art, or artists, which brings forth a plethora of perceptions that our mind produces. Right now, we are in one of the most exciting times on the planet for soul and creation. Why? Because humanity is going through tremendous perceptual changes about life, living and creating from a soul point of view. Bruce Lipton talks about creation in this video. To see it, click on this link.

To experience the soul and creation, one must listen to the inner impulses that come through nature, people, animals and the elements. For thousands of years, traditional people of the world have honed the skills to listen. This is what we have forgotten. To listen to the soul, and the call of the soul, takes repeated practice and a daily commitment to learn. While there are many healing technologies to learn from, one can gain tremendous peace and develop intuitive wisdom by committing to learning for an hour or two a day. Disconnecting from technology, and listening to nature, or being still in the city, or going to a park for time alone are all ways to access the soul and creation. In those reflective moments, it is important to identify what you are passionate about. What is it that gets you excited about being alive? If you can name that, and access it, then you can begin to nourish and feed the creative impulse that many times lays dormant within us.  Try this for a month, and I assure you, things will change in your world. Once you identify what you are passionate about, begin to learn about it, practice it, and use your gift for creation. Your soul will be glad you did.