TIA Method Workshop This Saturday!

TIA Method JournalMark this date! Saturday, February 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

That’s the time I would love to have you join us for the TIA Method Workshop. The TIA Method is a daily practice for seeing more of the goodness all around us and in us. It is not a trick or a wish or a hack or a vague hope—it’s a dedicated practice for seeing and experiencing the extraordinary beauty of the world.

The TIA Method (thank-intend-ask) offers a practice for inviting happiness, groundedness, and personal accomplishment into your life. The great wisdom traditions have long advocated the value of gratitude as both a spiritual and an ethical practice. Modern sciences now affirm the benefits of cultivating gratitude and positive thinking as a way to re-frame our attitude about and response to experience. What we are delivering here is old news—ancient traditions wrapped up in contemporary scientific insight.

Gratitude practice is one leg of the three-pronged TIA Method. After gratitude, the TIA Method advocates clarity of intentions and surrendering problems to higher intelligence. Together, these three parts of the TIA Method offer skillful means for cultivating the life we want to live—one of joy, grace, purpose, and equanimity.


  • You’ll get a refresher on why gratitude is so important, and you’ll learn how a daily intention practice can help you manifest the joys and accomplishments you most desire.
  • You’ll receive a copy of the brand new TIA Journal, and a full description for using this new journal.
  • And, you’ll get Bulletproof coffee and Bulletproof protein bites for your pleasure! They will super-power your brain!

You can register right now.


If you answer yes to any of the statements below, this is the workshop for you!

  1. You need a beginning-of-the-year jump start on maintaining your gratitude and intention practice.
  2. You need a reminder of how powerful keeping a gratitude journal is for manifesting intentions.
  3. You have forgotten the kinds of shifts that can happen in your moods, attitudes, and energy when you practice gratitude and intending.
  4. You want a template for practice that represents the very core concepts of LifeArt Studio.
  5. You want to see the beautiful art work of Nina Chatham throughout the journal. (And Nina will be with us, too!)
  6. You need to be in the company of inspiring and flourishing women.

I know you will find the TIA Method inspiring and practical.  Please join me on Saturday, Feb. 17, for a “working” coffee klatch / jump start / joyful gathering!!! Register here.


“With a Mind as if Empty”

OdTBqLAD0AZ0A9L7euDrz_0TrLLk84_1QeuDnWowrl8Last Saturday, a group of art lovers gathered in one of the galleries of the Orlando Museum of Art to write about what they were seeing or feeling or reminded of as they stood before a work of art. Some amazing writing came out of that morning. And I like to think part of it was the preparation we did prior to writing.

We first examined a chapter from a book of writing prompts called Twelve Doors:Writing for Pleasure, Self-Expression, and Insight, which begins with a quotation from Henri Matisse. About painting Matisse said, “It is necessary to present oneself with the greatest humility: white, pure, and candid with a mind as if empty.” We talked about the importance of dropping thought when plunging into any creative process. Psychologist John Welwood says that the deepest creative realizations emerge out of what he calls an “alert empty-mindedness.” And we also talked about “self-arising wisdom,” a notion from the Buddhist tradition that suggests that innovation and insight emerge out of silence and mental openness.

Many artists share the belief that any practice that helps you tap into empty mind is beneficial to a creative practice, whether it be painting, writing, composing, or performing music.

Such practices include meditating, chanting, dancing, listening to music, walking in nature, praying—and looking at art. And that’s exactly what we were at OMA to do on Saturday. Give ourselves over to looking deeply and quietly at one painting, and see what arises. As John Welwood says, “It helps to let ourselves not know before we can discover anything new.”

Before exploring the gallery, participants were told not to think too much about what they were “supposed” to create. They were invited to remain open to the inner space that houses the unique impressions of awareness. They were encouraged to let come out what wants to come out— ideas, images, stories, or memories. It was an opportunity slow down, get quiet,  experience their unique wisdom.

And so without any knowledge whatsoever of  artist biography or technique, participants got quiet and looked; they really looked. And finally, they wrote.

w-Wq7L2obPB4WitJXs1vqLO2pORJQ3XV8-vy-8qKjnMAnd boy did they write.

What they created in our short time together was quite remarkable—thoughtful, observant, and moving. I think a few of the writers were surprised with the words that came out of them so quickly.  And that is the miracle of empty mind.

If you, too, would like to experience the joy of letting your unique wisdom spill out onto the page, join us next month on February 3 when, once again, we’ll use art as a form of meditation that leads us to writing that is pleasurable, expressive, and insightful.


So join us on Saturday, February 3, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., at the Orlando Museum of Art. Easy registration here.




“self-arising wisdom” – Buddhist tradition


Writing in the Galleries

images-2On one of the last years I taught English at Rollins College, maybe the very last year, I had the pleasure of having David Matteson in an editing course required of all English majors. He was a senior, and had somehow slipped under my radar, so I was delighted to get to enjoy his keen intellect and his subtle sense of humor over the course of the term. He was an unusual English major, however, because he was completing a double major in English and Studio Art. As you may know, it’s fairly hard to be an English major, and it’s also hard to be a Studio Art major, but to be both of them at the same time is quite a feat. I was more than impressed with this fascinating young man.

At the end of the semester I went to the senior art show at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and saw the large work of collage and mixed media that concluded David’s art major with honors.   There on the wall of the gallery was evidence of a creative mind consumed with words as well as with color, design, and texture, an installation based on his altered book called The Couple.

I thought it was stunning—and again, I was way more than a little impressed with David Matteson.

cover_2And soon after that, David introduced me to the world of art journaling when I read his altered book called The Couple. I want to do that, I told him! And before I knew it, I was taking a course with art professor Rachel Simmons at Rollins on creating an art journal. I can’t remember having so much fun, or being so in over my head.

A big part of the fun of that course was that David Matteson was assisting Rachel, so the tables turned and I got to be his student. I got to learn techniques from him. I got to watch him paint. I sheepishly asked him to look at my very primitive attempts. I got to see how the whole process of art journaling works through the eyes and the talents of my student. I can almost cry just writing these words. Truly. It was such a wonderful experience to be the student of someone who just weeks before had been my student. The roles reversed, and the joy and admiration continued.

After his graduation from Rollins, I saw David often because he had taken a position at the Orlando Museum of Art, a place I frequent. I took a class on abstract painting from him, and hugged him at all of the OMA openings. And I celebrated him when he was promoted to Associate Curator of Education at the Museum and watched him bring his signature energy and enthusiasm to the educational programming at the museum.

So folks, for a teacher, it doesn’t get better than this. To work with a talented young person and then get to watch his trajectory toward success in his chosen field—that’s what we live for!! It is SO-MUCH-FUN!

But wait, it does get better! Here’s the next part of the story.

Last month, out of the blue (cerulean blue I believe it was), David Matteson wrote me asking if I would be interested in teaching a class with him at OMA, a class on writing about art. “I know you’re busy,” he said, “but I thought I’d ask anyway. Would you be interested?”

WOULD I BE INTERESTED? Are you kidding? How amazing would it be to actually teach with a former student on a topic both of us absolutely love? This was a no brainer.

Which brings me to the reason for this post—I know, I tend to have a long wind up.

I want you, my subscribers, to be first to know that David Matteson and I are teaming up to teach Writing in the Galleries, four sessions offered monthly January through April in which we examine a work of art, look at it really hard, be with it, sit in silence with it, walk around it, and sniff it if we want to. And David will help us see what the artist was up to.

After that, I’ll give participants a prompt from my book Twelve Doors that will help find the story 61cExKlHfaL._AC_US160_or the angle or the feeling that bubbles into your consciousness during the looking part of the session. We’ll write for about 30 minutes, without pressure to produce a finished product, of course, but with encouragement to write from the heart and to express what most deeply wants to be expressed about how the art was meaningful to you. And then we’ll share what we produced.

If this sounds like fun to you, I would love to have you join our first session on Saturday, January 13, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. I will have copies of the book Twelve Doors for purchase, but if you already have one, please bring it with you. I can promise you an inspiring experience. And you get the added bonus of seeing an unusual learning collaboration between me and David continue.

Here’s the OMA link for registering. Do it now!

I hope to see you on January 13.