Isn't it time to give yourself the one thing you most need?

The Care and Keeping of Creative Souls: A Manual

Now Available!

When I think about creative work, I often remember the story about the hen who laid the golden eggs. We are so product and results driven in our culture that we want to ignore the hen and just get to the gold already.

You are the hen that lays the golden eggs.

It’s time to feed and nurture yourself, to revive yourself, body and soul. Enough of surviving it all.

Nurture. Thrive. Flourish.

Paperback, full-color, 24 pages
US $22, ships free worldwide.



Video: Jen Lee on The Care and Keeping of Ourselves

What People Are Saying About "The Care and Keeping of Creative Souls":

"I need to tattoo the entire content of the book up and down my arms."

--Pixie Campbell, SouLodge

"I had my hands clutching the manual you wrote and gave me Saturday morning when I left to the point where TSA had to remind me I had to let it go to go through security. I listened to the sign. I opened it up and read it on the flight home. How you knew I needed to hear your voice and read your words at that exact moment is mind blowing. But you saw it. The worry of the re-entry, the worry of the work week ahead and like a gentle friend you placed your hand on my shoulder and gave me the tool I needed to take care of myself so I would be able to take care of and nurture the creativity inside. The manual is beautiful Jen. Bravo."

--Helene Dujardin, Tartelette

"Two years ago I left my job in finance and became a photographic artist and I give a huge amount of credit to Jen Lee in giving me the tools to be able to hear my heart's desire when it was so far away from where I was. She is truly one of those rare people who can draw out of you the things your heart whispers softly, the secret wishes that often go unacknowledged. The Care and Keeping of Creative Souls Manual is like a guidebook to bring you back to yourself when you've got lost in the stress and busyness of modern life. Jen's gentle words and nourishing practices have helped me on numerous occasions when the habit of self criticism has kicked in. When I speak to myself in harsh words and judgments and I can't find my way. She reminds me to stand still, to take care of myself first and the answers will come. And, believe me, they come. "

--Nicola Taylor, photographer

 The Care and Keeping of Creative Souls

Paperback, full-color, 24 pages
US $22, ships free worldwide.

Checking In and Catching Up

I'm posting this picture today because I imagine us sitting in this lovely spot, just checking in and catching up. Nothing too profound or heavy, just a "what's new since last time we talked?" situation. We might admire this cool piece of art on the wall and I would sip a cup of hot water or peppermint tea. I love watching the people. I wish I knew what these two were talking about, and what point of connection brought them to this place, on this day, together.

I'm feeling better and better all the time. Partly because I'm having big breakthroughs in the health and wellness department, a subject on which I usually experience a lot of resignation--you know, putting up with things because I think they must just be my lot in life and not really having hope or an expectation that I could feel or be better. The resignation and the symptoms are both so nice to say good-bye to. My appreciation for the healers who care for us, mind, body and soul, is vast and deep.

It's also made such a difference to read this book on Jolie's recommendation and realize that some things I struggle with could have an explanation other than being straight-up character flaws. It's like finding a way into a new level of kindness toward myself that I was in sorry need of, and having someone bulk up my self-care tool kit even more.

I especially love what Elaine Aron had to say about the struggle to share new work that I shared about recently:

The difficulty, I believe, is that normally we artists work alone, refining our craft and our subtle creative vision. But withdrawal of any kind increases sensitivity--that is part of why one withdraws. So we are extrasensitive when the time comes to show our work, perform it, explain it, sell it, read reviews of it, and accept rejection or acclaim. . . . Much of the suffering of sensitive artists could be prevented by understanding the impact of this alternating of the low stimulation of creative isolation with the increased stimulation of public exposure which I have described.


It's hard to know what else to say about this right now because I'm still processing it pretty deeply, but it has made a big difference to do interviews around the web lately. It turns out that I have things to say, but I'm so close to new work by the time it comes out that it's hard for me to have the distance required to anticipate what others might wonder or ask or want to know about it. (Another one I loved doing was for Karen, who is graciously giving away Finding Your Voice to one lucky commenter.)

I am racing a bit against the looming summer vacation, trying to see how much I can get done before the girls are home for ten weeks and my solitude shrinks to a trickle. I'm working on the next Voice and Story Course, and cooking up all the good things I can for my students and friends at Squam in September.

So, that's what's happening over here. I'm dying to hear what's going on with you--jump on in the comments and tell me, and it will completely make my day.

More soon...

Update: I keep forgetting to mention that you can now find site updates on Facebook.


Giveaway: The Beauty of Different

I was excited when my friend, Karen Walrond's new book arrived in the mail.  As a photographer, she has an uncanny ability to recognize beauty, and in this book she takes us along on an inquiry about how our differences are related to our beauty. In The Beauty of Different, Karen shares her facination with people who embrace their differences with confidence and then shares their stories in a way that helps us uncover a new level of confidence regarding our own.

Today we're giving away a copy of The Beauty of Different to one lucky commenter.  To enter, just leave a comment about what makes you different (and beautiful).

(I'll start: I get teased about my intensity--and I can be really self-conscious about it--but I suspect that my intensity is perhaps a gift.)

We'll announce the winner tomorrow.

Perfection isn't true.

Perfection isn't true--my sign is almost completely washed out by my analog flash. Wonderfully imperfect. Diana InstantIt's been a fun week of celebration with my friend, Brené Brown, and the release of her new book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.  Brené's writing is always a good companion in times when authenticity is a struggle for me (and there are many such times).  Her thoughts are somehow challenging and comforting at the same time, as if to say, It's not an easy journey, but we're on it together.

Her latest book is giving me a new understanding of the way I lose belonging when I don't bring my true self to the table.  And it's teaching me that some of the things I confuse with belonging (like fitting in or pleasing people) are really just poor, pale substitutes for the real thing.

We want to share the celebration with you, so one lucky commenter will receive a free copy of Brené's new book.  The giveaway will run through the weekend, so tell us in the comments what you'd like to let go of or embrace for a chance to win. (I'm letting go of Doing It All and embracing my limitations.) I'll announce the winner next week.

You can read more about Brené's Perfect Protest and her work at Ordinary Courage.  Her new book is available now on Amazon.

Squam Art Workshops: The Journal

I am so excited about The Journal, Volume One from the talented souls at Squam Art Workshops.  Chock-full of beautiful art, luscious photographs, inspiring words and even actual journal pages--this has got to be the next best thing to being there to soak in the magic in person.  I wrote a piece for this project, and my beloved friend, Jen Gray, has been weaving all the goods together--I can hardly wait to get my hands on it.

Regularly $25.00, you can get it for $19 when you pre-order before 7/23/10. 

Is anyone as excited about this as I am?

Lucky Me, Lucky You

What makes me feel lucky? Knowing Katherine Center.  Just thinking about Katherine is enough to make me tear up.  And when I read her latest book, Get Lucky: A Novel, I'll be honest--I cried.  Who she is really moves me.

Here's something about Katherine that you won't read on any book jacket or in any bio: this woman is intimately acquainted with love.  She's lost her heart to it, tended it day after long day, smelled its breath in the morning.  She's been lost and found and wrecked and saved--all by love.  She's put all her chips on that number.

And when she tells you a story, it is infused with this knowledge.  And when you read her words, you know that she is telling you the God Honest Truth.  She's not going to sugar-coat it and tell you it's all sexy underwear and getting along and bliss and always knowing what to say.  She'll tell you every side of the truth, and when it's your turn to go all-in, you'll know the stakes.  You'll know the cost. 

And you will never have been more hopeful.

I'm giving away a copy of Get Lucky: A Novel to one of you lucky readers at midnight on Sunday (4/11).  Just leave a comment and tell me this: what makes you feel lucky?