Kathleen O'Neill – Creative Catalyst


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Lazy Hazy Days of August

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”

Sam Keen, noted American author, professor, and philosopher

I couldn’t agree more and yet, it seems to me we have lost the ability to thoroughly enjoy our laziness – the lazy hazy days of summer in August are so important to our well-being and they are upon us!     

I have to confess I still have not indulged the virtue of laziness. So much going on and I get caught in that “THERE ISN’T ENOUGH TIME!” syndrome. I know how important it is for me to do nothing. Still, there is always something to do, especially in the age of electronics. I’m watching the news as I write this – how bad is that! – I am so busted!

So the TV is now off and the quiet releases the Creative Catalyst.

I believe strongly that until I can center my self in quiet, turn off the mind noise and lower the volume on the world chatter I can’t really access my creative core. Meditation is a daily practice for me, I am talking about more than that. I am talking about giving myself the gift of being lazy. The gift of hanging out in a hammock staring off into space, ignoring the lists of things to do and take the elevator instead of the stairs like I know I “should”. Shutting down the “shoulds”.

So before the back to school days and the new beginnings of September I am giving myself the rest of August off! I am putting away deadlines and going to the park and a picnic blanket, to Coney Island and the sounds of squeals of delight and the feel of sticky fingers from cotton candy. I am going to regenerate and discover and ignite my inner core. It is a long winter in the northeast and I want to be ready for it with the warm memories of those lazy hazy August days. Join me?

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July – My Personal Story

Welcome to Creative Catalyst’s first blog entry!  Before we delve into other topics, I think it’s important, and fun, to get to know each other a little better.  Here’s a bit about me:

My early years were spent in the mid-west – Wisconsin – on a lake in a large Irish Catholic family with 6 brothers.  Doors weren’t locked and everyone knew everyone’s business.  Adults were adults and children wanted to be adults.  An interesting world.  As a little girl I would play dress up and tell stories and play all the characters.  The dining room table could be opened to make a puppet stage, stairs became the grand entrance, pillows made strong walls for a fort – to protect or defend or attack!  There were summer evenings on the porch listening to my dad tell us stories, or recite poetry.  I was able to go out the doors of my house and explore the world freely.  My bike took me further than my feet and eventually the car further than the bike.  The richest journeys, for me, were into the world of books and my imagination.

Why write about this?  Because the past and my experience of it are the riches that I dive into to do my art.  Today I am a director and an actor because of my rich history and because I believe that is what makes me alive and passionate.  I go back to my history, not to blame or feel put upon, oh no!  I go back to expand my creative energies, to express and explore and be greater than any of those memories.  For they are memories and only memories.  Today, I want you to think about all the wonderful mysteries and secrets you may hold from your history.    I believe that, like me, you can draw on this history and make your life rich with creation.

Following is an exercise you can try:

  • Write down 3 vivid memories that bring you joy
  • Write down 3 vivid memories that make you uncomfortable
  • Tell the story of one the above – as long or as briefly as you choose.  Use any format you want to – writing, painting, song, poetry, collage………….

Remember that the above work is done quickly – trust your first thoughts.  Just write them down, no judgment just write.  See what happens.  Would love to hear from you about your discoveries.  Share your stories in the comments section below.

See you next month!