About Jude...artist/writer, educator, garden-variety mystic/seer, inner-world explorer...
I love seeing what happens when the mind liberates from its own traps, blinders and impersonations. (Endless creative opening. And laughter. What's not to love?)
I've seen chronic patterns of suffering vanish that I'd thought were a permanent part of me. I've found myself effortlessly living out of truths that used to be only theoretical ideals. I know from my own unfolding experience how transformational self-inquiry can be. It's alive and evolving in me and those I am privileged to work with.
My idea of a good time: to accompany people as they get out of their own way and dive fully into the creative current of their life's work, or find out what that meaningful vocation might be for them now. To aid and witness as they discover the treasure of their own fulfillment, ease, and self-love, already present, regardless of circumstances and outcomes.
Art is inquiry, too
detail of doe's eye, fabrics
More than 30 years ago, I originated a fabric collage technique that still teaches me meditation. Starting with the smallest details in the center--for instance, the bit of light shining off a deer's eye--I'd work outwards, adding fabrics piece by adjacent piece like a jigsaw until finally finishing with a backing, a boundary for the picture.
This process nourishes curiosity about how parts and wholes, movement and stillness flow into each other, how colors, patterns and associations align to clothe a image in light. Every piece somehow contributes to the Essence shining through a form, just as every cell, every mood, every thought and everybody contributes to Creation's dance.
Nothing left out, and working from the inside out are principles of Truth and Dare coaching that I keep learning more deeply.
Making a living as an artist
There were periods when I supported myself (albeit sparsely) entirely from selling artwork.
I had some success: I got portrait commissions; my work was licensed for posters, cards, calendars and datebooks; I was given a prestigious award by the University of Maine. Rosa Parks wrote me a thank you note for my picture of her. A woman used a moon mandala I'd made as a focal point while giving birth; sincere people, sometimes in tears, told me that my work had touched them.
I also met with some big belly-flops and humiliating fizzles--failures of enormous value to my spiritual and practical education.
Some jobs gave me experience of obvious relevance to coaching: teaching art, creative process and other subjects (in schools from elementary to university level and in the many workshops and courses I designed and promoted myself). Also editing (for magazines and freelance).
I also learned plenty from day jobs like housecleaning, retail clerking, landscaping, entry-level mental health counseling, housepainting, waitressing, and door-to-door fundraising, along with the challenge of how to keep a creative fire lit while doing them. Giving intuitive readings as a phone psychic showed me I could tune in and connect with only voice almost better than in person.
Early writing training
I grew up in academic family, the only child of two prolific authors. Full bookshelves towered up to the high ceilings of the living room, where we'd sometimes all sit editing each other's pages.
At three years old, I'm told I came downstairs in tears, saying,"I don't want to get my PhD!" And I didn't. I invested (a lot) in other modes of learning after graduating from Yale. I'm still an omnivorous reader who can be fluent in academese when it will help a writer find a bridge to their own voice.
I play and philosophize (with illustrations) online at www.stinkwanink.com. I'm working on a wordy picture book about The Innocence Trip: How to Kiss and Make Up When You've Been Fighting Inside. I'm still arting around with paint and fabric. And I love a good cosmic joke.
I'm grateful to so many generous teachers. A few are: Gangaji, Sydney Banks, Byron Katie, Papaji, Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, Rumi, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hahn, Sandra Maitri, Almaas, Carol Anthony, the I Ching, The Course in Miracles, the Tao de Ching, Molly Gordon, Kathleen Hannan and my cat guru Wilda, asking "Who are you?" above...