Saturday, August 10, 2013

                           DEPRESSION HURTS

In this post I am addressing you creative people. The following is an article by Kathleen Pasley about the writer and depression, but this is also apropos for all creative souls. I will do a little series on depression in this blog because it’s something with which I am quite familiar, and something I deal with all the time as a therapist. Kathleen’s article below is a good start.
Love and beauty, Marie
“Depression is more likely to occur in people who have a larger measure of life’s gifts, who tend to be more sensitive, more driven, more intelligent, more empathetic. And these very attributes are part of the vulnerability. They feel life more acutely.”
- Dr. Frederick Goodwin, Former Director of the National Institutes of Health

"As Scott Peck says in the opening line of his book, The Road Less Traveled, “Life is difficult.” And it seems, much of the time, it is even more so for writers. It is well documented that creative people tend to be more susceptible to mental illness. In fact, authors are in one of the top ten professions in which people are most likely to experience depression. So it’s not just the high profile writers like Virginia Woolf, William Styron, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Ernest Hemingway, and Emily Dickinson who have suffered with bouts of depression, but also many of us who are engaged in creative pursuits without enjoying fame or fortune. Four of the writers from the above list of six actually committed suicide.
In his book, “Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness,” William Styron describes his personal descent into the despair and turmoil of a depression that included fantasies of killing himself and, ultimately, hospitalization. Sylvia Plath put her head in an oven, Anne Sexton used carbon monoxide poisoning, Hemingway a gun, and Virginia Woolf drowned herself in a river. Despite the sometimes fatal outcome of depressive illness, many of us still harbor a romanticized image of the depressed writer, scribbling in his garret, creating works of profundity and great meaning.
Because of the solitary nature of writing and the lack of available feedback, many writers are plagued with negative thoughts about the quality of their work. “Am I really good enough to be published?”, “How can I call myself a writer when I’m feeling so blocked?”, “Can I really make a living at this?” are some of the old tapes that can easily play in a writer’s head. The very nature of the work of a writer tends towards isolation, economic insecurity, self-doubt and lack of exercise – the “perfect storm” for experiencing depression – either mild and situational or clinical, serious and worthy of a doctor’s intervention. When you spend long hours sitting on your own, digging deeply into yourself to create a work of art, self-examination and self-doubt can easily lead down the path to clinical depression and anxiety.
On the other hand, it seems that creative expansion, spiritual depth and increased emotional sensitivity often entail a journey through fear and pain on the way to genuine growth. Therein lies the dilemma – can depression ever be a good thing? While a writer’s gifts often include heightened intellect and creativity, we must be careful not to glamorize the illness of depression or assume that every creative or dynamic person is going to go through the agonies of serious mood swings. There is nothing productive about being miserable and hopeless, and speaking from experience, most of us in a depressed state of mind do not have the motivation or the energy to get out of bed, much less write a great novel or poem. So what can you do if you find yourself slipping into a mild or even severe depression? Here are some suggestions that can help:
• Sit down at your computer and write, even though you don’t feel inspired. There is nothing like constructive activity to distract and elevate your mood.
• Read an upbeat book or watch a funny movie to feel relief from dwelling on yourself and your woes.
• Write out a list of positive affirmations (positive statements about yourself or your situation written in the present sense as if they are already happening).
• Write down ten simple things in your life that you are grateful for. – it is difficult to hold onto fear and anxiety when we are in a thankful state.
• Reach a hand out to somebody else in need – witnessing someone else’s difficulties or pain and doing something to support them can release you from dwelling obsessively on yourself and your own problems.
• Get a massage, take a walk in Nature, listen to your favorite music – do anything that inspires you and makes you feel spiritually connected to something bigger than yourself or your mood.
Don’t be misled to believe depressives have some mystical insight into creativity or that depression (or bi-polar illness) enhances the creative process. On the contrary, for most of us, depression leads to writer’s block, diminished courage, less motivation, less imagination and less resilience to everyday life. Finally, if you experience inordinately long and serious bouts of the “blues”, don’t pick up your pen…pick up the phone and get the professional medical help that will put you on the road to recovery."
Please feel free to share your own experience as a writer with depression and how you have constructively dealt with it.
Kathleen Pasley is currently at work on A Hurt in Your Soul – Depression and How to Heal It: A Practical & Spiritual Guide.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Thirsty Summer ...

Here's a poem by Mary Oliver I think fits the moment ...

Another morning and I wake with thirst 
for the goodness I do not have. I walk 
out to the pond and all the way God has 
given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord, 
I was never a quick scholar but sulked 
and hunched over my books past the 
hour and the bell; grant me, in your 
mercy, a little more time. Love for the 
earth and love for you are having such a
long conversation in my heart. Who 
knows what will finally happen or 
where I will be sent, yet already I have 
given a great many things away, expect-
ing to be told to pack nothing, except the 
prayers which, with this thirst, I am 
slowly learning.
Such subtle and loving language to greet the day. I find myself loving summer so much and loving the God of all seasons, I feel like I'm taking a small journey into something deeply beautiful and new this year. Maybe it's the new book I'm writing, maybe it's the air, but everything feels so new and fresh -- like love. Yes, that's what it is -- it's love. His love. Can you feel it?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

                        ALL DAY SEMINAR
                  MARIE CHAPIAN

                         Worship by Damon Stuart

                    April 13   9:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Registration entitles you to a Body Works “Know Your Body” Spirit-Soul-Body Workshop with Marie on Monday, April 15th

This first incredible all-day experience with Marie Chapian and Damon Stuart will change your life. Marie’s revelatory teaching and ministry brings new understanding and into the body, soul and spirit of the believer.   Damon Stuart’s music brings healing and beauty to thrill your heart. Marie Chapian is known as a pioneer in the arena of the Holy Spirit’s revelatory ministry, and you will want to take this advantage of this opportunity to experience an entire day engulfed in anointing teaching and ministry. Marie has thirty years of Bible College and seminary training and teaching, and holds a doctorate in psychology, Master’s degree in writing an AA in studio art and a lifetime of professional dance and fitness training with her specialty in neuro-linguistic body-brain research. Her books appear on the New York Times Best Seller List, and she speaks to audiences around the world in both intimate and large conference settings.

 Damon Stuart has ministered throughout the U.S. and internationally with his anointed music. As a worship leader, his desire is to bring people into the deeper realms of God's glory through worship. As Damon leads worship and ministers, an atmosphere for healing, prophetic anointing and the manifested presence of God takes place.
Don’t miss this powerful and anointed day with the Lord Jesus on April 13    or the Body-Works “Know Your Body” Spirit-Soul-Body Workshop April 15th

Saturday April 13   9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Grace Lutheran Church
950 South York Road
Bensenville, IL 60106
Registration fee includes all materials and
            a fabulous pot luck luncheon

                                   "BODY-WORKS KNOW YOUR BODY" Spirit-Soul-Body Workshop
Monday, April 15th 9 AM -1 PM
O'Hare Comfort Inn, 2175 Touhy Ave, Des Plaines, IL 60018
This one-of-a-kind fitness, weight loss, healing and understanding your body workshop is  free with STAYING HAPPY IN AN UNHAPPY WORLD seminar registration. ($20.00 Body-Works alone)

 REGISTRATION   Clip here)
        April 13, 2013 ALL DAY SEMINAR 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
              $35.00 for both days.  $20.00 Body-Works Workshop only
Fill in and mail with your check(s) to:
Judy Bozman, Seminar Coordinator
2038 David Drive
Des Plaines, IL 60018     email:
Check here if you will also be attending the Body-Works
“Know Your Body Workshop”  YES___ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Address(es____________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Those attending the Staying Happy in an Unhappy World seminar are entitled to attend: Marie’s  Body-Works  “Know Your Body” Workshop FREE
Monday, April 15th  9:00 AM- 1:00 PM
at the Comfort Inn O’Hare, 2175 E Touhy Av,  Des Plaines, IL 60018

Dress for comfortable movement and bring your Bible, pen and paper, a workout mat or blanket & wear sneakers or stockings or be barefoot. Your body is going to be blessed.
For more information, email:

                                              LET THE MIRACLES BEGIN! 
Don’t miss these powerful and anointed days with the Lord Jesus.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Bodies Store Emotions

Here’s something interesting to think about. I’ve taught about the body-soul-spirit connection for some time, and today I had an experience that brought the importance of this need for awareness to me once again. Let me start by asking you to imagine you accidently hit your head on the door frame of your car and you experience a stabbing, searing pain. What you do about it is as important as the blow itself  because if you snarl, frown, cry, curse or get mad your body stores not only the blow on the head but your reaction.  Naturally, your soul is affected too, (your intellect, emotions, will) but at the time of sudden pain all your reasoning power shuts down.  When you feel sudden physical pain your response is strictly emotional. (Just note what your fists and toes do at the dentist when the Novocain needle hits your sensitive gum.)

Our bodies store not only the memory of the prick of the Novocain needle or the blow on the head, but they store our accompanying emotions. The body remembers and the soul remembers.

The body stores trauma, both physical and emotional. 

You probably guessed that I’m the one who hit my head on the door frame of my car today. I sat in the front seat doubled over waiting for the pain to subside with thoughts twirling. “Why did this happen?” “Why wasn’t I more careful?” “Will I have a lump?” “Oh Jesus, take the pain away.” And because of my teeth-gritting emotional state I didn’t think to say a sweet, comforting blessing to my head.  

Later I reminded myself that my body requires resolution just as my mind does. I put my hands on my head and said a blessing over it in the name of Jesus.

What I want stored in my body is not the trauma of life with its accidents, trials, abuse, sorrows and blows, but the blessing of God.  I’m going to talk more about the total person in this new weekly blog. Next time let’s look more at how our emotions  get stored not only in our inner emotional bank, but our bodies.

Meanwhile, I hope you’ll read my two new books published in 2012, THE OTHER SIDE OF SUFFERING (John Ramsey’s incredible story) and THE EMANCIPATION OF ROBERT SADLER (you’ll never forget this story—how I loved this man.)

And I love you too –

Monday, January 28, 2013

Do you love the rain?

"Work but don't forget to live," someone said. Well, isn't that the silliest statement --  Jesus came to give us life and more abundantly. I love that. In work and in play we have life abundant. I work therefore I live, haha.
I'm working on a new book series -- fiction.  I haven't concentrated on fiction since my novel, "I Love You Like a Tomato" was published.   Nothing like writing to the sound of rain on the roof, rain dripping down windows -- I'm writing to the sound of rain. Do you love the rain? I don't mean the torrential sort, the damaging storms, I mean the rain like what's outside my window now, steady, cool, silvery --  You can almost hear the call of Heathcliff across the moor --or the merry songs of Brigadoon-- Rain and poetry seem to go together.
Thoreau liked the rain because it beat down the mosquitos. -Not too poetic.
Charlie Chaplin said he liked the rain because it hid his tears. Crying in the rain actually isn't such a bad thing. It washes our face at the same time. Much poetry is born in tears.  Why not be creative with our tears?
Rain makes me happy. Makes me grateful to be alive.
If you go on a happy family vacation and it rains all week at the beach,  what you remember in time is not the rain but the rainbow.
Thought for the day: Without rain there's be no rainbow.

Love & hugs & John 10:10

Monday, July 16, 2012


The artist's reception for my exhibition of paintings was a wonderful experience. I felt so
-- well, so-- maybe "loved" is the word. I was amazed at the number of people who showed up and so encouraged by it all. (A couple of paintings actually sold!)
We rented a truck and brought in my big panel screens for the reception and thenbrought them back the next day because they could get damaged during the month since the show is in a country club with lots of activity.  The large oil painting here of horses charging is about life charging at us -- it's surreal in a way, yet not. I wanted to paint my purple horse which I wrote about in my book, "Angels in Our Lives," and this is how it turned out.
It's an amaing world we live in with all its colors and movement, brightness, and surprises-- I'm grateful every day. Like falling in love for the first time over and over again.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Solo Exhibition

Getting ready for my solo art exhibition's reception this coming Saturday. I wish I didn't always wait
to the last minute to do things because I'm just now getting invitations out, canyoubelieveit. (I wish my
mom were here. She'd show up for sure. haha) Anyhow, it's an exhibition of about ten or 12 paintings with some of my panels and screens and the reception will be lovely. You're invited, of course.  Here are the details:  When:  Saturday, July 14
             Time:   4:00 - 6:00 PM
              Where:  El Camino Country Club
                           3202 Vista Way, Oceanside, CA  92056

I'm a writer and so painting for me is a deep passion that extends into a place of wordlessness, which I find intoxicating and wondrous. I've never actively tried to sell my art but I've shown paintings in galleries and  restaurants and even on TV, and of course, I've illustrated many books --  but I make my living as a writer
and so painting has been somewhat of a private love affair.  Something I turn to on a daily basis that expresses another side of the writer person. I think back on the happy days in art school when we'd have shows in abandoned houses and barns and do poetry readings on bookstore patios --