Archive for September, 2010

The Art of Gratitude

I’ve always been drawn to photography over other visual arts.  Some think photography is unimaginative because you can’t create a photograph out of nothingness, as you can with a blank canvas and pastels or watercolors.  But there is something magical about photography: it requires that we find the beauty that already exists in the world and capture it.  We create with what we are already given.  It is an art of gratitude.

Today I want to encourage you to look through your photographs and where can you add your words and thoughts to a picture and turn it into a priceless portion of your own unique memoir.

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Our Divine human skill of artistic expression

There are three kinds of visual images: what we observe, what we imagine, and what we create. The three images are different yet overlapping, and the beauty of writing is that it combines all three.

When we write, we begin with what we observe-we capture what we see in photographs.  Then we record our deeper observations in our writing.  Our minds imagine a home for these observations, and we begin the process of creating-the powerful ability to combine inspiration and imagination, the most divinely human skill of artistic expression.

What would you like to create today?

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One of the workshops that I teach is on awareness and enlarging your vision.  So many times I find myself on auto-pilot.  I go through the motions and before I know it my day has ended.  I want to live a life that is fully aware.  Last night I had a meeting with my “tribe.”  My “tribe” is a group of 5 other women that I handpicked.  We meet twice a month and right now we are studying the book “The Fifth Agreement” by Don Miguel Ruiz.  Last night we talked about the first agreement which is being impeccable with our words.  I love it how the universe works.  If you set your intention on something you will have multiple opportunities to practice.  Today, this week, this month, and this year I want to set my intentions to be more aware.  I want to be aware of I want I say, what I think and the actions I do.  Today in your writing what would you like to be more aware of?  I want to encourage you to set your intentions today in your writing and be mindful of them throughout the day!

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Fully Present…

I just returned back to the desert after being gone for nearly two weeks.  Being a writer I find myself constantly making notes and thinking like a writer.  I usually have a pen handy and several notebooks with me at all times.  This time I spent away I made a conscious decision to do something I have never done before…to NOT write.  I decided that I would spend my time away instead of documenting and recording my journey just to be fully present.  I purposefully did not blog (as you can tell by my last blog entry date) nor would I journal or write.  I put myself on a writing fast and wanted to see if I could really do that.  The first few days were tough, I found myself wanting to document each day, but then I became aware of each day and each moment and encounter I had with those around me.  Instead I got to hear some of the most amazing stories of some women I encountered on my journey.  It lead me to believe even deeper that yes, every one does have a story to tell.  By being fully present I was able to listen to their story of their life and marvel at how wonderful it is to be alive.  Today in your writing be aware of all who enter into your realm.  Be fully present in all of your conversations.

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A map of your life

Sometimes writing takes us into unfamiliar spaces, too.  We look at photographs and try to remember who we once were.  Or who the people we loved were.  And we connect the dots, creating the border of a map of our lives.

There is something comforting about looking through our journals and pages in our family albums within our homes.  when we are consumed by what is happening right now, it is easy to forget about who and what came before, to lose the larger perspective.  But each of us has a story that extends further back than we can see, a story that began before we were alive and will continue long after we pass away.

Today take a moment and look through your photographs.  Is there a story longing to be written?

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Amherst Writers & Artists

Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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