Untamed But Not Unnamed

Dancing on the beach, photo by Liz Lamoreux

Dancing on the beach, photo by Liz Lamoreux

I am the sun to two little girls. 

I am a quiet moon on the rise to light your night. 

I am whispers and wonder, I travel through mysteries and say "Let's go together." 

I am a witness, I am calling. I am here to testify

To love--love that holds us and mends us. 

I am untamed but not unnamed  

I am the turning of the tide. 

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I wrote these lines in one of Liz Lamoreux's workshops at our Story Excavation Retreat on the Oregon Coast. If you're ready to excavate YOUR STORY, join Mindy Tsonas and me next month for a one-day retreat in MA and we will discover the alchemy of everyday stories together.

The "Telling Your Story Sound Studio" Arrives!

I've been crazy sick this week--the kind that makes you stumble down the street when you're not laid out flat in bed--but even in this compromised state I managed some serious excitement yesterday when the Telling Your Story Sound Studio CDs arrived.

The three disc set, featuring extensive interviews with Peter Aguero and Ophira Eisenberg, is packaged in a beautiful 8-panel digipak designed by the amazing Liz Kalloch. To be able to hold these exquisite objects in your hands helps the possibilities they hold seem even more tangible and real. It's not just in your head or on your computer, it's in your car and your kitchen and on the little stand next to your bed--always reminding you of the path and all the possibilities it holds. Giving you permission to be a new way in the world--you own it. Your stories are just as worthy of being told as any of ours, and these physical manifestations of so many powerful truths will not let you forget it.

The Telling Your Story course starts shipping tomorrow. Be bold and audacious--be one of the first in the world to hold these treasures in your hands.

The other thing I was so thrilled to receive yesterday was our first, full-color four-page Jen Lee Productions catalog, which will go out with every order this winter. It's so amazing to see all that we're up to, all together. There is so much to celebrate with you.

What ARE these new resources, exactly, and when is your next retreat?

My next live event is in March at Teahouse Studio in Berkeley, CA. I'm bringing a whole bunch of my friends--amazing, inspiring women are gonna be in the house--and I hope you can come join us. I'm looking forward to the workshop format, which is more affordable for locals and still convenient for us out-of-towners to come in and stay at the hotel across the street, or in town with friends. The conversation we'll create about The Art of Creative Wellness is one I am living and breathing over here--one that makes us or breaks us. Read more and claim your spot here.

As for the next retreat, I'm really not sure. I'm doing a limited number of live events right now. In terms of presence and community, it's an ideal way to be together and interact with these powerful conversations. But in terms of tuition and the limited spots available for attendees, it's not so ideal. That's why I'm in the midst of a long season of producing resources that make the content of 12-week workshops or 5-day retreats available, for a fraction of the cost, to anyone in the world. No plane ticket required.

If you've been looking for opportunities to work with me, or suspecting that our paths are running in kindred directions, these courses are for you. I have so much to share (with more coming very soon)--this is the best way to make these conversations available to the most people, in a form so personal and intimate that it's the next best thing to being together live.

These practices, insights and conversations have changed my life, and they can change yours, too. Join me: find your voice. Tell your story. Share this work with those friends who are looking for Just This.

West Coast, Here We Come!

Teahouse Studio presents

Steady Burn: The Art of Creative Wellness

March 24-25, 2012: 10:00am-5:00pm both days

Location: Teahouse Studio, Berkeley, CA

Registration: $385, including catered lunches and beverages throughout

Early bird registration: Register by 2/01/12 using code BURNEARLY to receive $20 off

Steady Burn: The Art of Creative Wellness

There are all kinds of classes and books about how to do your art. How to write a paragraph or mix paints. But there isn't as much wisdom available about how to be a thriving creative--how to keep the fires of inspiration burning, steady and strong, as life and relationships and careers ebb and flow all around. All the know-how in the world doesn't make a difference when you're overwhelmed, burned out, unsure of where to start or when to stop.

In this two-day workshop, we'll explore the terrain where self-care and soul care overlap for artists and creatives of every medium and background. Uncover deep wells of restoration and rest, tap into hidden sources of power, and discover access points for stamina and rhythm.

The creative fires don't have to consume you and rage, and they don't have to dwindle and die. You can learn to tend this flame, to kindle your own steady burn.

This workshop is for:

  • Those who long to nurture their creativity and make space for it amidst the bustle of daily life.
  • Artists of every medium who seek to break the Burst-Burnout Cycle and find their way into steady productivity.
  • Accomplished creatives who may have experienced success-induced difficulties, and who are learning the art of creative wellness in the presence of velocity and opportunity.

Registration:
March 24-25, 2012: 10:00-5:00 both days
Registration: $385, including catered lunches and beverages throughout
Early bird registration: Register by 2/01/12 using code BURNEARLY to receive $20 off

Note: class is limited to 20 participants, early registration is encouraged.

Coming in from out of town? Find travel tips and nearby lodging here.

About the Instructors:

Jen Lee is a voice recovery specialist, independent media producer and a beloved performer in New York City’s storytelling scene, including The Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour and The Moth Mainstage. Jen is a sought-after mentor and guide for workshops and retreats unleashing creative expression. She is also the creator of Finding Your Voice, a cutting-edge personal breakthrough course, and a contributing author of Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing.

 

Phyllis Mathis is a long-time spiritual leader, an ontological coach and licensed professional counselor who has been practicing for over 30 years. A seasoned writer, retreat facilitator and a beginning potter, she is the co-creator of a forthcoming course called The Iconic Self (January 2012). 

 

 

 

Caren Gazley is a soul care specialist and human rights activist whose work has led her to places like Mauritania and Albania. Still an L.A. girl at heart, Caren has deep wisdom drawing from her rich personal experiences about caring for yourself in the midst of parenting, partnerships, community and passionate work. She is the author of Ritual and Rhythm: A Guide for Creative Self Care (March 2012).



 

What people are saying:

"It was nothing short of magical, what transpired in those three days, and I would go back in a moment to experience it all again if I could." --Dana Fontaine

"Being at the Integrate Retreat was like being wrapped up in a warm brown blanket, with Jen and Phyllis telling stories you could listen to for hours, threaded through with wisdom and friendship. There was a lot of beauty, fun, and warmth there. The pleasure of it stayed with me for a long while, and the friendships started are still going strong." --Sandra Flear

"Jen is like slipping into a cozy chair with a cup of hot cocoa.  Her Integrate Retreat was a gift that continued to give for weeks on after . . . her storytelling is mesmerizing and she provided thoughtful writing prompts and food for thought.  I continue to peel the layers as I continue to discover the various voices I am integrating.  The women I met at the retreat continue to be my daily touchstones, soul sistas, and kindred spirits.  I look forward to attending future retreats!"  --Amelia Maness--Gilliland

"The weekend was very transitional for me, being in a space of such love and acceptance was unlike anything I have ever experienced.  The stories I held and that others held for me were so powerful. The way your voice spoke to us in story and also in lessons was a true gift." --Stefanie Renee

"Jen teaches and guides in such an entertaining and intuitive way that it hardly feels like 'learning'. If your soul is after rest and nourishment, and your spirit yearns for encouragement and validation, then you won't regret signing up for one of Jen's retreats. You'll return home inspired and with new horizons stretching before you . . . and with the support of a group of incredible, like-minded women. Be brave. Go for it!" --Helen Agarwal

"It was an amazing weekend--catalyzing and replenishing at the same time. You created an atmosphere that was both new and familiar, and I left feeling thoroughly listened to, acknowledged, and understood. I can't say it enough: thank you."  --Kate Godin

Current Inspiration: Hula Seventy and Mati Rose

I'm usually pretty unconscious when I'm collecting things that are currently inspiring me.  It's not until I have stacks of new prints around, really not until it's all up and rearranged on the walls that I even notice themes or patterns emerging.

I rotate what's hanging in our home and in the studio.  I want to see things that feel fresh, true to the present moment, but things that are also calling me forward into a coming future.  If you were in my apartment today (which is getting a lot of attention as I move into a new season) it wouldn't take long to realize that my main sources of visual inspiration these days are the work of these two artists: Andrea Corona Jenkins, aka Hula Seventy, and Mati Rose McDonough.

Here's the trio I see when I'm working at my desk and looking out the window: two of Hula's new polaroids (You Are Beautiful and Love Always Wins) and my beloved Bicycles Are Nice.

 

A set of polaroid prints shine in my twinkle-lit dining room, including the popular Vintage Brooches.  This series is a perfect example of the way Hula recognizes the beauty in things that most people's eyes pass over.  Where some see the ordinary, she sees whimsy, and not just behind the camera.  It's in every nook and cranny of her treasure-filled home, in every gesture of love and color that make up her family's festive and tender moments.

Look and See is the first thing we all see when we walk into the kitchen, and this sweet inscription makes me smile. Every time.

Mati's work makes up the heart of this inspiration wall in the studio: Speaking 1,000 Languages and Flower Power in Rose.  Something about Mati has always felt kindred to me.  Her optimism is not the stuff of cotton candy and denial spun around a stick.  It's the strength of a woman who is intimately acquainted with the dark and still finds her way back to the light.

Dreams of Venice is in the kitchen--it's what I look at when I'm chopping vegetables and making meals.  It is a really important image to me right now, something about sailing into the dark and still singing.  Quiet Treasure is next to my kitchen window, above the coffee maker and next to the sink where I spend a good amount of time doing dishes every day.  This is my first Mati Rose original, and I love how it reminds me that there are treasures waiting in quiet, gentle spaces.  (Like this winter, especially.)

I ordered Show the World Your Magic for my girls, specifically for their reading corner in our living room.  It's hung low, at their eye level when they are sitting in a cozy spot and reading, and where grown-ups on the sofa can be reminded of their own magic, too.


Meet Hula and Mati and soak in their magic for yourself--you can find them both at Joy: A Be Present Retreat in March.

When Strangers Become Friends

Our view from the back porch, Horizon Perfekt

Things I will always remember from Integrate in the Rockies:

  • Relaxing in the hot tub while snowflakes fell and melted on my face.
  • Watching light, pretty snow falling nearly all weekend through a wall of windows and feeling like we were inside a giant snow globe.
  • Dancing in the kitchen.
  • Sitting close on the couch.
  • Coining a community line of Tshirt slogans.
  • A British tea service fit for queens.
  • Seeing the falling snow through the delighted eyes of a woman from New Orleans.
  • Watching everyone arrive as strangers and depart as dear friends.
  • Holding space together for all that comes next.

Below is a photo recap from an amazing weekend, and you can see our group Flickr pool here.

To read more, check out Amy Blum's post, Afterglow.

To receive updates regarding future Voice and Story Retreats, email me at jen (at) jenlee (dot)net with Retreat Updates in the subject line, and I will keep you posted.

Important Updates

The Common Man Store, Ashland, NH. Horizon Perfekt with cross-prossed Lomo 200 film.

#1: Merch

I have a few apparel items left from the Squam Art Fair, now available online.  It's not a full inventory--there are limited quantities and sizes of many styles.  But, there is a new color (Just Be True in black, or as I call it, NYC-style) and a few plus-size shirts available this time around.  Also, big sales on two of the items and an international shipping option, so head over to the Merch page and check it out.

#2: Integrate in the Rockies Retreat

After making a rearrangement with our accommodations, we're now able to offer a discounted rate on the Splurge Suite and a new rate for individual rooms.  So if you've been hoping and praying for that option, this one's for you.

#3: Local gathering and resources

I was originally planning on trying out some course work in NYC this fall with a handful of locals.  Unfortunately, the workshops and retreat that I have going every month this fall are taking all the in-person juice I've got, so I'm having to let that local gathering idea go for this season.  But, on the plus side, I've resolved my questions about the courses in question and I'm moving forward on completing some new resources sooner than I expected to be.  So stay tuned for an upcoming series of Voice and Story Resources.

I'm so happy to be back to working in my studio and making things.  Trust me, good things are a-comin'.