Saturday, June 05, 2010

Creative Circle Recovery Minnesota USA

10,000 lakes, 12 steps, 2 worlds

The Art and Grace of Summer
by Pamela Yates

There are many challenges in the world, my head is spinning despite the photograph of my smiling face. What are we to do in the face of these challenges? I think we must do what we always do, try to keep reaching for our enduring "can do" attitude while we are ever so gentle and patient with those around us. Perhaps my husband, my friend, my sister or my neighbor is feeling deep emotional trauma at this moment because of the troubling events in our nation and in the world -- the gravity of the oil spill, nations in conflict and at war. So, what can we ordinary Jane's and Joe's do? Here's my naive simple plan. For a start, we can try to give everyone a break; we can try to be extraordinarily patient with each other. We can try to keep critical and judgmental ideas to ourselves for a change. We can simply pray for the health and happiness of all people. We can try to listen more and talk less. We can look for ways to shed some kindness on those around us. We can aim for a dozen small acts or words of kindness a day. This is a perfect time to "pay it forward."

There I go again, being naive. Let's do just that! Let's be naive in our forgiveness and patience. Let's be resilient warriors for peace. Recovery in any sense of the word requires an enduring sense of acceptance that change takes time. Time is organic (that's my sense and belief) and as such it is ever-renewing and -recovering. If we maintain our focus in a good way, time will compost that good energy into health and happiness for the people. In my lifetime I may not see the outcomes I pray for and dream of for all our children but my recovery and healing as a woman and as a human being ensure that I am more likely to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. I'm grateful for that role and, just for today, it's enough.

Nurture your dreams.



Pamela Yates is a transplanted Australian painter and personal coach in the areas of creativity and meaning-making. She writes about the adventures of a creative person in recovery living in Minnesota USA. Her insights about creativity and life in recovery come from indigenous and western perspectives on healing our creative spirits: recovery and creativity seamlessly nurtured by tribal values. Her journey of healing includes 20-plus years as a sober contemporary artist and recovery from alcoholism, PTSD, anxiety and sexual trauma. Her storytelling has roots in the 12-step program, the Red Road and teachings from the indigenous Circle process and the support of multi-cultural extended family, elders and friends. Her coaching clients and her paintings can be found in communities in the USA and abroad. To learn more about meaning-making, recovery and creativity visit Pamela's web site at and her online portfolio at or contact her via email at


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