West Coast, Here We Come!

Teahouse Studio presents

Steady Burn: The Art of Creative Wellness

March 24-25, 2012: 10:00am-5:00pm both days

Location: Teahouse Studio, Berkeley, CA

Registration: $385, including catered lunches and beverages throughout

Early bird registration: Register by 2/01/12 using code BURNEARLY to receive $20 off

Steady Burn: The Art of Creative Wellness

There are all kinds of classes and books about how to do your art. How to write a paragraph or mix paints. But there isn't as much wisdom available about how to be a thriving creative--how to keep the fires of inspiration burning, steady and strong, as life and relationships and careers ebb and flow all around. All the know-how in the world doesn't make a difference when you're overwhelmed, burned out, unsure of where to start or when to stop.

In this two-day workshop, we'll explore the terrain where self-care and soul care overlap for artists and creatives of every medium and background. Uncover deep wells of restoration and rest, tap into hidden sources of power, and discover access points for stamina and rhythm.

The creative fires don't have to consume you and rage, and they don't have to dwindle and die. You can learn to tend this flame, to kindle your own steady burn.

This workshop is for:

  • Those who long to nurture their creativity and make space for it amidst the bustle of daily life.
  • Artists of every medium who seek to break the Burst-Burnout Cycle and find their way into steady productivity.
  • Accomplished creatives who may have experienced success-induced difficulties, and who are learning the art of creative wellness in the presence of velocity and opportunity.

March 24-25, 2012: 10:00-5:00 both days
Registration: $385, including catered lunches and beverages throughout
Early bird registration: Register by 2/01/12 using code BURNEARLY to receive $20 off

Note: class is limited to 20 participants, early registration is encouraged.

Coming in from out of town? Find travel tips and nearby lodging here.

About the Instructors:

Jen Lee is a voice recovery specialist, independent media producer and a beloved performer in New York City’s storytelling scene, including The Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour and The Moth Mainstage. Jen is a sought-after mentor and guide for workshops and retreats unleashing creative expression. She is also the creator of Finding Your Voice, a cutting-edge personal breakthrough course, and a contributing author of Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing.


Phyllis Mathis is a long-time spiritual leader, an ontological coach and licensed professional counselor who has been practicing for over 30 years. A seasoned writer, retreat facilitator and a beginning potter, she is the co-creator of a forthcoming course called The Iconic Self (January 2012). 




Caren Gazley is a soul care specialist and human rights activist whose work has led her to places like Mauritania and Albania. Still an L.A. girl at heart, Caren has deep wisdom drawing from her rich personal experiences about caring for yourself in the midst of parenting, partnerships, community and passionate work. She is the author of Ritual and Rhythm: A Guide for Creative Self Care (March 2012).


What people are saying:

"It was nothing short of magical, what transpired in those three days, and I would go back in a moment to experience it all again if I could." --Dana Fontaine

"Being at the Integrate Retreat was like being wrapped up in a warm brown blanket, with Jen and Phyllis telling stories you could listen to for hours, threaded through with wisdom and friendship. There was a lot of beauty, fun, and warmth there. The pleasure of it stayed with me for a long while, and the friendships started are still going strong." --Sandra Flear

"Jen is like slipping into a cozy chair with a cup of hot cocoa.  Her Integrate Retreat was a gift that continued to give for weeks on after . . . her storytelling is mesmerizing and she provided thoughtful writing prompts and food for thought.  I continue to peel the layers as I continue to discover the various voices I am integrating.  The women I met at the retreat continue to be my daily touchstones, soul sistas, and kindred spirits.  I look forward to attending future retreats!"  --Amelia Maness--Gilliland

"The weekend was very transitional for me, being in a space of such love and acceptance was unlike anything I have ever experienced.  The stories I held and that others held for me were so powerful. The way your voice spoke to us in story and also in lessons was a true gift." --Stefanie Renee

"Jen teaches and guides in such an entertaining and intuitive way that it hardly feels like 'learning'. If your soul is after rest and nourishment, and your spirit yearns for encouragement and validation, then you won't regret signing up for one of Jen's retreats. You'll return home inspired and with new horizons stretching before you . . . and with the support of a group of incredible, like-minded women. Be brave. Go for it!" --Helen Agarwal

"It was an amazing weekend--catalyzing and replenishing at the same time. You created an atmosphere that was both new and familiar, and I left feeling thoroughly listened to, acknowledged, and understood. I can't say it enough: thank you."  --Kate Godin

Squam Snapshots (2011)

Diana+ camera with medium format film. Photos of me taken by Jolie Guillebeau. Hammock: Jolie & Jenica. Also pictured: Carol Michael, Program Coordinator

Favorite Squam 2011 moments:

  • Dreaming up new possibilities with Maya and Jolie on my cabin's porch while Jolie painted the view.
  • Meeting fellow teachers like Helene, Shari, and Penny for the first time, 
  • and spending soulful sessions with my oh-so-gifted students.
  • Stealing long chats with Flora
  • and receiving a much-needed dining hall intervention from Linda about the value and worth of my work.
  • Sharing a cabin that was both a quiet, sacred space, and a place of celebration with Pixie and this Maya.
  • Dancing in front of the fire, letting myself party and play with my peers in a way I don't get to do often.
  • Meeting, as always, the people I'm meant to meet.
  • Being entrusted with the stories of others and reveling in the ways we intersect and find one another.
  • Letting myself receive as much as I gave.
  • Savoring a soy hot chocolate and a morning of refuge at Mocha Rising,
  • and teaching the cute kid at Holderness General Store how to make one of the same with the kind of authority that New Yorkers in particular can summon.
  • Kate in all her wild honesty, turning the drive into a sacrament.
  • Watching dear ones take their place behind the microphone, or tell a long story for the first time on a stage.
  • Being among friends in a place in which only two years ago I was a stranger.
  • Truing up my heart in a simple conversation or embrace with touchstones like Mary Beth, Cal and Sarah.
  • Getting to show up, give my humble offerings, and find myself--welcome, loved, home.

Squam Essentials, and an Art Fair

I'm bustling away over here, gathering and packing up all my essentials for Squam Art Workshops on Wednesday. I'll be bringing everything from my new lip balm and favorite slippers to other must-haves like these:

A sweet blue mini-cardigan, which I just finished knitting, that was inspired completely by (aka shamelessly ripped off from) Jolie Guillebeau when I was with her this summer in Portland. I love the glazed buttons I found for it here in my neighbhorhood. She'll have one just like it, but better.

My dreaming of the sea necklace and earrings by Liz Lamoreux, which pair perfectly with the above new mini-cardigan, and always remind me of the rhythm of the waves, the great mirror of water and sky at the shore.

The next knitting project to pair with the rocking chairs all over the campgrounds--on the porches, in front of the fireplaces. These socks on size 0 needles are super portable and so soft to work with. My thoughts fall right in line as the stitches do the same.

A train case for my camera gear has been on my wish-list for over a year now, and when I found this one for a song at a boutique near my sister's home in Colorado, I knew it was the one I was waiting for. Can't wait to nestle in my cameras, films and more.

Boxes, boxes, and more boxes of good things are arriving every day. One more visit from FedEx tomorrow, and it will all be here. (Those lucky Squamsters get the first peek at everything.)

Are you Squam-ward bound? What essentials are you bringing?

If you're in the area on Saturday night, I'd love to meet you at the Art Fair, and you can be among the first to see what's coming this fall. It's an amazing celebration of creative work--join us if you can.


Instant Magic and So Much More at Teahouse Studio

I would be remiss if I didn't follow up the previous post by telling you that you can experiecnce Hula's magic for yourself on September 17th at Teahouse Studio. She is an instant photography expert, and in this amazing workshop you can capture her wisdom about cameras, films and techniques for yourself--helping you make your own magic with that precious instant film.

I am so excited about all the upcoming workshop offerings over at Teahouse--featuring some of my favorite favorites, including Mati Rose McDonough, Alessandra Cave, Maya Stein with Christine Mason Miller and more. Check out the workshops to see which one is made for you, and make sure to join their mailing list so you can be among the first to hear about who's going to be there in the spring. (Hint, hint.)

The Moth GrandSLAM

I had such a great time performing at The Moth GrandSLAM Championship XX on Thursday at The Highline Ballroom. It is always a pleasure to be with The Moth community and staff, and it was great fun to have friends at the show, some seeing The Moth for the first time. It was an incredible lineup of storytellers with fantastic stories--I was honored to be in their company. This is one of my great loves, and sharing such an exciting night with so many of my dear ones meant a lot to me.


photos by Justin

Justin and I rode the subway home, and as I looked at the lit-up city through the window I just felt like, Pinch me--I can't believe this is my life. I feel so grateful for all the ways, big and small, that the New York City storytelling community has changed my life and been so good for my soul.

You can see more photos from the GrandSLAM here. I'm also a guest of Ali Edwards' today: We Are Not Alone