NAOMI ROSE CONTACT DETAILS: Location: Oakland, California, USA / Phone: (510) 465-3935 Pacific Time / Email: naomirosedeepwrite (at) yahoo.com / Consultations: in-person, by phone, or by Skype
To write deeply is to have a deep conversation with yourself. There is, at first, the listening — that kind of extended attention that pulsates with presence but is empty of content, to begin. And then, into this lovely waiting net comes — something. That "something" is the response. If the listening is deep enough (see the "Deep Listening" page for more on this), then a conversation ensues.
One morning I awoke with a desire to participate in deep conversations. To engage subtly and meaningfully with people whom I respected and wanted to learn about, and in so doing find ourselves in some shared but unexpected territory, some harmony not entirely of our own making. Not an "interview," so much as a deep conversation.
The distinction here is that, unlike an interview, there is no hierarchy, no “insider” and “outsider,” no “expert” and “questioner.” There are, instead, two beings who are available to hear themselves and one another. Out of this mutual exploration, something may emerge that goes beyond what either person was fully aware of beforehand, and that brings both of them to an experience and realization of wholeness.
Following my bliss, I reached out to people whose being (as well as work, ideas, lives) called out my wonderment and gratitude. On this page are the fruits of this inspiration.
“The Courage to Keep Our Creativity Alive”
A CONVERSATION ON CREATIVITY with RISALA MARY LAIRD and NAOMI ROSE
“It takes courage to keep our creativity alive, [but it’s worth it] because it will keep us alive.” So says Risala Mary Laird, an artist, letterpress-book printer, and spiritual teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area during our deep conversation on the subject of “creativity.” Risala is not only a vastly creative being, herself, but also an encourager of others’ creativity (including mine).
“Encouraging other people to embrace their own creativity,” she muses. “Isn’t that the whole seed of spirituality? That well doesn’t go empty.”
This intimate exploration between us in the recording below is for you. Slow down, enter a kind of hammock of the mind, and let yourself have the nourishment of whatever bubbles up from this reflecting pool that speaks to and sparks the creative spirit in you.
NOTE: Risala’s art is on the cover of my book, Starting Your Book: A Guide to Navigating the Blank Page by Attending to What’s Inside You. To me, the image (a detail from a larger painting) evokes the lifting of the veil that separates us from true inspiration and the awareness of our true being. When I look at my book’s cover, I begin to see behind that veil (as I trust readers will, in reading the book). (You can see this painting on the “Rose Press / Starting Your Book” page of this site.)
You can learn more about Risala by going to her website, which features her teaching and printing of fine letterpress books, and the meditations and retreats she leads as a Spiritual Guide in the inayati Sufi Order.
“The Journey of Creativity”
A CONVERSATION ON CREATIVITY with COLETTE LAFIA and NAOMI ROSE
“I think what matters is who you become, as you are willing to take the journey of creativity.” — Colette Lafia
Colette Lafia is a spiritual director, currently as adjunct staff at Mercy Center, Burlingame. I first met her when I did a one-day local retreat with her because the topic (which, I confess, I now don’t remember) drew me. But Colette — her, I continued to remember over the years. Her depth, wisdom, approachability, warmth, humility, and sincerity of spiritual devotion made a lasting impression on me.
Colette also brings in the creative side through painting and writing. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, where she started a small magazine called If Poetry. Her books include Comfort & Joy: Simple Ways to Care for Ourselves and Others, and Seeking Surrender: How My Friendship with a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life.
When I recently received her newsletter on her own experience of the connection between creativity and the spirit, I asked her to have a deep conversation with me about that subject. Graciously, she wrote back, “I would greatly enjoy and appreciate being interviewed by you. Let’s make that happen.” And so we did.
Here are a few treasured moments from Colette’s contribution to our conversation, to kindle your interest. (You can get the full experience by listening to the audio, just below.)
“We’re the ones who can say, ‘This is important. This matters. This makes me my true self, my full self. The self God has created and wants me to be.’”
“I found that judgment, or criticism, or ‘it doesn’t make money’ – those have all been painful traps within me, and even closed me down for quite a while in my creative journey. And finally I came to a point where I was like, ‘Just claim it! Claim it as part of just being.’”
“Where one orients, or where one positions oneself, where one places oneself in relation to these things — writing, painting, prayer — is really the heart of it. The kernel.”
“It takes courage, commitment, and shifting how we’re seeing ourselves in relationship to our creative life. Do we see it as a journey? Roads and curiosities and seasons and weather – or do we just see it as a place, where I just arrive?”
“It’s who you meet in the writing. And who you’re invited to be meeting, in the writing of your book. What is it that writing this book wants to teach you and tell you about what it means to be you on your journey, at this time in your life?”
“Through what I create, I just want to claim my voice and my experience. And the person that God has created me to be, and that God knows me to be, already – that I am. I want to live that person. I want to know her, as much as I can.”
“How healing creativity is!”
Listening to this deep and potent conversation will likely bring you to a kinder, more courageous, renewed relationship to your creativity. It did so for me! I arrived in person at Colette’s home expecting to be present, but not necessarily expecting — as happened — to come away glowing with an enlivened spirit, like an actual transformation had taken place. What she said echoed much of what I say about creating on the pages of this very website — and then she took it much further and deeper into a direct relationship with the divine. From here, my creative engagement with my own writing will enjoy the fruits of what she made known to me.
May you receive as much from this conversation with Colette as I did. May you meet your real self through the process of your writing.
If you would like to read the transcript of this conversation, click here to download it.
You can learn more about Colette Lafia by going to her website, where you can also buy her books, Comfort & Joy: Simple Ways to Care for Ourselves and Others, and Seeking Surrender: How My Friendship with a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life.
TO HAVE A DEEP CONVERSATION WITH ME TO BRING YOUR CREATIVITY AND WRITING TO LIFE,
click on my “Work with Me” page, and find the option for working together that fits best for you.