All posts by Susan Clarke

Spicing Up My Palette

I am out on an Artist Date.  For those of you who are not familar with Julia Cameron’s Artist Way the concept, Artist Date, may be misleading.  I don’t really consider myself an artist nor am I dating one.  No, an Artist Date is time spend with myself exploring and discovering what awakenings my creative inner spirit.

Today I have simply been walking down a couple blocks of Whitefish.  Stepping into the stores that I usually pass by and seeing what lies inside.  It’s been quite fun.  I am always surprised the things that I discover that I have likely passed by a hundred times and never noticed.

Today I got caught up in reading those funny signs, “Follow your dog and find the meaning of joy” – love that one.  Or another – 10 Reasons Men prefer a Gun to a Woman – You can trade a 44 in for a 22 – okay so not all of these little signs are appealing to me, reason 1 was enough on that one to move on!  !  Still I went throughout the store reading all could see.

Next I visited the Imagination Station, basically a children’s store.  Loved the color and variety of possible activities.  Couldn’t help but wonder, wouldn’t offices be far more appealing to work in with that kind of color and potential for play and some fun.

Next came a few classic Montana Galleries with paintings of open space, horses, bears and the Rockies.  Wow, I do live in a great location.

I finally arrived in my favorite coffee shop and simply had to sit down to write.  I admit I often resist taking an artist date.  But once I am out and about, I find my heart sings and I am quite drawn to write.

I do indeed think Julia Cameron’s recommendation that one regularly takes time for a Artist Date is a wonderful idea.  Even for those who may not consider themselves artist or don’t think they need any new inspiration.  Taking an Artist Date in your own hometown can simply be a great way to open your heart, spice up your life and who knows may be you will decide to paint, draw, write or sing.

Honestly, I do believe we are all artist creating our own life.  We can either spice it up on occasion with some new inspiration or just keep using the same old brush strokes.  It really is our choice.  Today I am glad I decided to spice it up a bit!!

Back to the Post!

Life is busy.  I have every intention of getting regular post up on my new site.  Instead I am writing articles for 406 Magazine (a Montana magazine for women) and articles for the return of our Thrive! newsletter!!  These are exciting things but also take me away from posting blogs.

It doesn’t help my writing that we also have been experiencing awesome weather here in Montana.  That means I want to be out of my bike or paddle boarding or simply sitting on the deck.  This also makes posting blogs more challenging.

Yet I am intent to get a post done today.  Now that the sun is not directly on the porch I can be outside AND blogging!! There is hope!

Those who have been followers, I want to ensure you that even though I have been sharing the challenges of my transitional period, I am doing very well.  Indeed I love my life in most moments.  I like challenges and can re-frame and find purpose in most things.  I am sharing this because I have had a few folks who were regular blog readers ask me if I was doing okay.  Honestly it never occurred to be that folks might worry.

Let me share a few updates:

Bailey  – I have crossed paths with my favorite boxer a few times now.  He seems very happy and SETTLED (not a word I would have used to describe him when he lived with us).  I have also enjoyed hearing many tales of his summer hiking, SWIMMING (another thing he never entertained with us) and just riding through town in the front seat of Rick’s jeep.  I have to say Rick and Bailey make a great team!

Work Transition – Of course we are still on a journey to re-creating ourselves.  However, I believe we are well on our way to some very exciting and inspiring times.  As I mentioned we are both writing for 406 Magazine both a personal piece and a business focused piece.  That is fun!  We are also re-launching our Thrive! newsletter so that will be coming soon.  We have found in this transition our sweet spot in the area of relational dynamics and healthy conflict.  It is a creative time where we are finding our own voice and bringing back pieces of our work that really fit who we are.  Sure we have our moments of tension, conflict and frustration.  However, I have always believed that is a good sign of forward growth and new possibility.

Friends and Community – I won’t say there aren’t still some moments of heart ache when I realize there are some close friends who are no longer in my life.  So there is still some sadness that gets stirred up.  However, with folks having moved on, I have also discovered new friends in some wild places.  We have found new connecting points in our community here, on Gabriola and at the various spots we travel virtually and literally.  I feel quite grateful and fortunate.

I think I have shared enough updates so those who may have been wondering can feel confident that transition, though at times uncomfortable, can also be a source of aliveness and possibility.

This isn’t the most exciting post but hopefully does provide an update and a renewed commitment to blogging!  Time for that bike ride!!



Sexy, Alive & Loving at The Edge

In the past month my life has been busy, alive and very engaging.  Through the month I have also been doing my best to stay open and loving in my life and partnership with CrisMarie.  Because we have each been doing things separately that stir up our creativity and call on us to ride waves and risk falling, our day-today living as included fighting, laughing and clinging.

As CrisMarie stepped more fully into Nina and the show was such a big success.  I had both the thrill and threat of hearing just how sexy people thought she was on stage.  I watched as she bought her aliveness to the part, to the team and to each show.  I sat with her when she cried on closing night.  I listened as she expressed her fears that she wouldn’t get another part like that.  I held back my own fears of being left behind for another starring role or some sexy guy and that was simply the first two weeks of August.

I didn’t even mention my riding of the waves as I headed off to Columbus and took the lead with in a room of Presidents.  Or dealt with my demons while writing pieces for my book, that may take 10 more years to write.  I have already mentioned the various stages of transition I have been traveling through this summer. So no need to say more.

Indeed it has been a journey.  As the show ended and we boarded a flight to Toronto for a major week of work with one of our clients, we were both wondering if we would be able to rise to the occasion.

We did.  The week went quite well.  Though we had been working separately as we came back together there was a grace and ease that made the week enjoyable.  It’s what we love.  Being co-creative and working together from our respective strengths.

We then traveled to the other side of Canada to Gabriola to lead Couples Alive II, The Edge.  How perfect was that!!  We had been living at that Edge for months.  Though I would not have thought of it that way.  As we went through the week, working with a group of couples, we drew upon our own lives to reveal humanness, realness and aliveness that comes when relationships are about both being together and being each ourselves.

Loving is a verb, it’s active and fluid.  Loving at the edge is like surfing or riding waves.  Sometimes our life does feel like we are on a bigger boat and the ride is quite stable.  Other times I imagine us on a small racing sail boat – much faster and far less stable.  And there are those times when we are on individual paddle boards – riding the waves separately while staying close and heading in the same direction.  I can even imagine times when one of us is sitting stable on a boat while the other is surfing some big wave.  That to me, is loving on the edge.  Being willing to ride the waves – together.  It isn’t always easy.  I do get a touch jealous when my sexy partner is alive in her life and I am not on that same wave.  Still I do enjoy watching and know it isn’t about her shutting down her sexy self.  No, it is about me being willing to step out myself and trust that we can both ride the waves.  Meeting and loving at our respective edges!!  Sexy, Alive and Loving!!