Monday, December 29, 2008

Being Bold in 2009

Right now I am sitting in my friend Kristen's living room as we swim in the creative waters of our weekly writing group. She's clicking away on her laptop and I've moved from some fantastic messy journaling in my notebook to writing this blog post.

My fantastic messy journaling brought forth the feeling that I want to be more bold in 2009. What about you? Could you use a little spotlight shining on some aspect of your life?

It can feel risky to put yourself out there, to take a chance on an opportunity, to be, well, visible. I don't know about you, but I have always struggled with the idea of being seen, noticed, salient. There's a significant part of me that would prefer to live behind the scenes, to move through the universe unnoticed. But then there's this desire--perhaps it's more like a calling--to force open the red curtains and be center stage. I figure that there's a reason for my desire to be noticed and influential. I figure I might as well play with this energy and see where it takes me.

For 2009, I intend to play with BOLDNESS. Over the past few years I have experimented with boldness by hosting art shows, submitting my writing for publication, and generally putting myself out there to promote my business. I intend to continue these endeavors as well as to find specific ways to take risks like writing articles for massage and healing magazines, showing my work in galleries and cafes (not just in my home), and (gulp!) facilitating many more workshops and seminars.

How might you be more bold in 2009? Maybe tap dancing or dyeing your hair blue or auditioning for a play will help you embrace the shining star that you are. Or maybe you want to be more assertive with others, expressing to others how you truly feel more often. As you contemplate what bold acts might be positive forces in your life, remember to be as specific as you can with those things you intend on pursuing. And feel free to be wild and crazy with your bold dreaming. You need not actually do everything you come up with. Sometimes just freeing yourself up to imagining yourself doing some bold thing will spark a positive and life-affirming energy inside you.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Your Body Speaks: An Inner Wisdom Workshop

I have several spots still available for my January workshop! If you register by January 1, I will offer a $20 discount!

If you feel others might be interested in this day of intuitive play, feel free to pass this announcement on.


Your Body Speaks: An Inner Wisdom Workshop

Date: Sunday, January 11, 2009

Time: 1:00-5:00pm

Location: Rising Bird Healing Arts
6316 9th Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98115

Cost: $80 if you register by January 1, 2009 ($100 thereafter)
Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted.

To Register: Email Courtney at

"There exists a universal, intelligent life force that exists within everything. It resides within each one of us as a deep wisdom, an inner knowing. We can access this wonderful source of knowledge and wisdom through our intuition, an inner sense that tells us what feels right and true for us at any given moment. " - Shakti Gawain, Developing Intuition

What does it feel like in your body when you resonate with an idea, thought, or feeling? How do you know when your body is giving you important information? In this inner wisdom workshop, we will explore the power of our sixth chakra, the chakra of intuition and inner knowing. Using writing, guided visualization, sensing exercises, muscle testing, and pendulum work, we will tap into the body's hidden wisdom. Come join me for an afternoon of intuitive play! Pendulums and refreshments provided.

This workshop series is facilitated by Courtney Putnam, MFA, LMP and will be held at Rising Bird Healing Arts in the Roosevelt District of Seattle.

Courtney E. Putnam is a Licensed Massage Practitioner and Certified Reiki Practitioner, who offers a holistic approach to wellness. With a strong belief in the mind-body connection, Courtney holds a safe space for her clients to experience emotional as well as physical healing. By integrating massage, energy work, and holistic wellness approaches, she invites you to experience a unique blend of healing modalities to support your body, mind, and spirit. In addition to her bodywork endeavors, Courtney is a poet and visual artist.

Rising Bird Healing Arts
Courtney E. Putnam, MFA, LMP, CRP, RC
6316 9th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98115 • (206) 228-9124 •

Friday, December 26, 2008

Clarity and 2009

Clarity, mixed media collage, 4" x 6" by Courtney Putnam

Oh my, has it been almost two weeks since my last post? Good thing I'm sitting here thinking about what I'd like to experience, accomplish, and feel in 2009. I'll add "blogging more frequently" to the list!

I don't know about you, but each December I end up sort of slip-sliding through the new year without doing a big, fat reflection. And then in January, I intend on spending some quiet time reflecting and dreaming -- and that usually slips by, too. I have good intentions, but rarely do I get some clear meditation and dream time in.

I am hoping to change that this year. I am hoping to get a firm, grounded grip on the earth (even though it is a bit slippery--literally--in Seattle right now) and grow some lovely dreamy roots. I thought I would start with this very post. Dream and reflection time begins now.

First intention for 2009: Self Care.

Those of you in helping professions know how crucial it is to take care of yourself as you are caring for others. In 2008 I found it immensely rejuvenating to visit Olympus Spa in Lynnwood, WA for hours of warmth and healing. Olympus Spa is a woman-only spa and it costs $35 to spend the whole day in the lovely facility. You can soak in whirlpools, sit in the sauna or steam room, and feel the healing effects of the heated earth rooms. There's even a Korean cafe and juice bar, a beautiful lounge and reading room, and some refreshing "cool down" rooms. My goal for 2009 is to visit Olympus Spa on a more regular basis, perhaps once a month.

Is "self care" one of your intentions for 2009? If so, what might you do for yourself? Try to be as specific as you can with your intention because vagueness can easily turn into slushy mush and then get lost. What part of you needs some attention? And how can you respond to your mind/body/spirit in a way that will inspire, relax, and recharge you?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Snow Inside

"Let it Snow," mixed media collage by Courtney Putnam

In celebration of the lovely snow that arrived in Seattle last night, I offer this writing prompt:

Think about the nature of snow. Think about the texture, the shiny crystaline quality, the color, the sound it makes (or the way it makes everything so quiet), and how it feels as it melts on your face or tongue. Now, take this a step further: when does it snow in your very own body? This is, of course, a metaphorical snow. When do you become soft and quiet? Or cold and luminescent? Or puffy or crunchy or translucent? What does it feel like when you are having a day of internal snow? Can you think of a time when you might have told somebody, when asked how you were doing, that you were snowing inside? Let your inner critic go, and instead listen to your body. Let yourself be silly or odd or perplexed by this notion of internal snow. Write for at least 10 minutes. Go for 20 minutes if you can. Do you contain steep snow drifts inside or is the snow melting already?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Creativity, Part I

Do you consider yourself creative? Do you find yourself able to tap into your creative self on a daily basis?

I ask these questions because lately I'm encountering folks who feel a yearning for creative expression, yet don't seem to know how to start (or where to start). I hear statements like, "I wish I were more creative" and "I feel inside like I am a creative person, but I don't know what to do with that energy stirring inside me."

A few weeks ago, I was giving Reiki to a friend who was curious about her second (sacral) chakra. This chakra was drawing in a lot of energy. I asked my friend about her creative life, knowing that, on the symbolic level, the second chakra is about creation in the broadest sense of the word (it could have to do with procreation, creativity, or some aspect of manifesting or "giving birth" to something in the world). My friend noticed a desire to manifest creativity, but felt stifled by her feeling that she "isn't an artist." She expressed an interest in the arts, in creativity, but felt a block with the idea of personal manifestation. "Nothing comes out the way I envision it," she said.

Her words made me curious about how we each view creativity. I suggested that it might be interesting to feel art creation in terms of its process, not its product. What if no one saw your writing/art/music/dance/sculpture, and instead you focused on the feeling of creation? What if, for now, there is no other witness besides yourself and no critic? What if you allowed your creative self to move through the world with the intention of feeling the essence of your artfulness? What if you made a mess? What if you made something really ugly? Do it. I dare you. No one is watching.

I also wondered what would happen if daily creative acts didn't need to be art with a capital A, but rather something called artful living. Living artfully could mean that you take some time to see the world in terms of its shapes and colors and textures. It could mean that when you walk past that rusty fire hydrant on your way to the bus stop each morning, you re-name it or imagine that it is an entirely different object. Perhaps you decide to purchase flowers every week for a month to see how you feel with these bursts of color in your environment. What if you finger-painted with the condensation on the glass door during your morning shower? What if you wore mismatched socks or dyed your hair bright purple to match your shoes? How can you make your breakfast a creative endeavor?

And what do you already do that embraces artful living? Please, oh please, share what it is that you do!