Sunday, July 13, 2008


10000 lakes, 12 steps, 2 worlds

Pamela Yates

Decide to be Fully Alive!

Welcome, I hope you find this blog enjoyable and interesting. In it I hope to explore ideas about creativity, recovery and culture. Essentially I hope to inspire you to grasp opportunities to be free of alcohol and drug addition if that's a problem for you - and further, to nurture your desire to find the creative work that your heart calls you to do, to reclaim your natural creative nature. As part of this process I hope I can also nurture your intent to set aside cultural taboos to keep you from doing all you can to live sober, happy and free. Your life is in the balance. Once we are sober and well we move on to make deeper choices about the traditions we want to live by. First we have to choose to live. And live fully.

What does it mean to reclaim our creative nature? People apply their creativity in many different ways. It goes without saying that I'm talking about creativity expressed in healthy ways. Creativity is endless in its manifestations and expressions. If we look at the big picture from the first ochre drawing on a cave wall to a complex symphony, from snowshoe designs to mandellas, from a wedding feast to a woven blanket we can see our personal alignment with the enormous creative energy of the natural world around us. So, what does that have to do with recovery and culture? That's a very good question.

I've noticed that people in recovery yearn to express their creativity. Many of them don't choose to explore that but they yearn nevertheless. There's no convenient label to put on what we yearn for because it could be anything from becoming a better more creative parent to deciding to earn a commission to paint 30 murals, earn a high school diploma, design a beautiful garden, carve stone, build a tipi or become a t'ai chi expert, massage therapist, violin player or teacher. What's your dream? Mine was to paint again and more deeply. OK. So next, what about culture? What does that have to do with anything? Another very good question. And one that I'll answer next time on this blog.

I hope you enjoyed your visit and that you'll check back for the next issue.

Until then, nurture your dreams and happy creating!



Pamela Yates is a painter, creativity coach and transplanted Australian writing about the adventures of a creative person in recovery living in Minnesota USA. Her insights about life in recovery come from indigenous and western perspectives on healing our creative spirit: recovery and creativity seamlessly nurtured by tribal values. Her journey of healing includes 20-years as a sober contemporary artist supported by multi-cultural extended family including recovery from alcoholism, anxiety and sexual trauma. Her storytelling has roots in 12-step programs, the Red Road and teachings from the restorative Circle process. Her clients and paintings are in communities across the USA and abroad. To learn more about recovery and creativity visit Pamela's web site at and her online portfolio at or contact her via email at



Jim Aikin said...

That should be "mandalas", not "mandellas".

Pamela said...

Thanks Jim. I thought either was correct (and both different from Mandela as in Nelson) but 'mandala' wins hands down. Thank you!