The Art of Convivial Living

Redefining Art, one convivial word at a time

Last year, The Convivial Woman and my efforts with The Convivial Supper Club centered around the general experience of being a woman- the things we go through, struggles we face. As the year passed, I found myself needing to narrow my focus a bit further, so I sought time alone to do some inner searching.

That inner reflection gave me the courage to switch gears and realize that my purpose here is not only to share my experience and struggles as a woman, but ultimately as an artist, a creator, a dreamer, a doer.

The convivial shift has gone from the feminine to the overall experience of the ever evolving, artistic homosapien. Sounds very Planet of the Apes, but you get my drift.

When you think about the word “art,” what comes to mind?

Someone standing at the easel, ready to paint as Picasso and Dali once did? Someone sitting at the kitchen table ready to write the first draft of a great story as Stephen King still does? Or do you envision the Mona Lisa and all other world masterpieces lined up on the museum walls of Le Louvre in Paris?

Those impressions are pretty common, and it tends to cause people to feel isolated and discouraged from pursuing any creative endeavor simply because they find it hard to view themselves on the same level, in the same light.

Here’s the truth: I’m no different than the Greats and neither are you.

A work of art resides within you, within us all- its simply a matter of time, awareness and effort before an awakening can occur to express the creative genius in you.

Once you see yourself as an artist, a creator in your own right, it is only then that you can pursue it and attract who and what you need to create a life around it.

To bust through any glass ceiling of creative self-limitation, you must consider and question the definitions of art.

Wikipedia says…

Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect…

Britannica Online defines art as…

the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others.

Goethe defined art as…

a second nature.

I want you to consider a more expanded version of what the “A” word means, what that encompasses so much more.

The Convivial Woman’s definition of Art is anything you… (more…)


The Full Circle Experience, Artistic Achievement & Bradley Cooper’s Tears

The actor, Bradley Cooper. You’ve seen him play the a-hole preppy boyfriend in Wedding Crashers. If you’re a woman, you’ve definitely noticed his blue eyes, and would bypass an autograph any day to run your fingers through his dirty blond, wavy hair instead…right? Riiiiiiiight. And I have no doubt that you really became familiar with this actor after his brilliantly raunchy performance in the blockbuster hit, The Hangover. After that film, his star, um, shall we say, skyrocketed?

On a drive back home after visiting my grandfather in Odessa, I came across a video of this handsome actor making his first appearance on The Actor’s Studio. I’ve watched the likes of Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie, and Steven Spielberg walk across the stage and share their experiences as actors, as artists, but more so, as the people they are deep down inside. So this is quite the accomplishment for the young, talented, still very much up-and-coming Bradley Cooper.

Host and creator of The Actor’s Studio, James Lipton covers the actors’ before and after stardom experience, insight into each person’s unique take on the creative process (which if you notice, many answers can apply to various aspects of life and art); he also inquires about the struggles and moments when the actor was simply like every other aspiring artist…committed and determined, many times uncertain…seemingly unrecognized, without fame, merely trying to find their way, their place, in this sometimes chaotic, constantly changing world.

We all want to hear these stories, because they humanize the artist and give us hope and motivation to tap into our own genius and push forward with our dreams.

I’m not an actor, and you may not be one either, but you are a creative human being who desires to create…something, for yourself, for others, for money, for nothing…you simply want to express the life and beating heart within you…to feel that you’re alive. By pairing that desire with outrageous self-belief, unstoppable will and a vast resourcefulness in your efforts, you can create any life, and accomplish anything.

The desire to create, to understand ourselves, the world, and share that openly with others is to understand life, to figure out our way in the world is fundamental to being human…

and I have no doubt that we can find inspiration is everyone’s experience and all learn from one another no matter what form of art they may be pursuing.

Watch Bradley Cooper’s full circle experience in artistic achievement come to life

He is overcome with emotion about his obvious success, in disbelief about where he is sitting, who he is talking to, and it is simply inspiring, endearing, and humbling to witness his pinch-me-’cause-this-can’t-be-real moment in time.

Bradley Cooper’s emotional return to the place where he learned to act. From March 14, 2011

Follow your heart…commit to your art,

P.S. The video is part I of a series of videos, so if you’re intrigued enough, just click through the sidebar afterward to find the rest. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did! I just love this sort of inspirational stuff. Real life!


Rethinking The Word: Commit

Once upon a time, I had a Sacred Sexy session with Lisa Carmen and we decided to embark upon a little something called a “blog challenge” to see if it would encourage us to be more disciplined with our writing. But I soon realized that

Writing to have a presence is not the answer

We came to the understanding that blogging every day for a set number of days wasn’t the lesson to be learned. We found comfort in knowing that it was okay not to fulfill this commitment, because this commitment was not fulfilling us.

Deep down, I felt putting words on the screen just for sake of putting words on the screen didn’t feel right. Gotta love the genius Seth Godin for enlightening me when he said it is my duty to find words for my readers, not readers for my words.

The words I choose must come from a place that is natural, wild, convivial, and sometimes, undisciplined. And I’ll add that the timing can be unpredictable for such results. The way I see it…

It’s better for me to view my commitment to writing as this:

to write when I feel like it, when I am moved to do so, when I am called to pick up the pen, or ecstatic to share something, and compelled to transform emotion to the paper. Simply, do and write what feels right.

Art/Emotion/Communicating/Feeling- all synonymous words when it comes to the art of convivial living, I’d say.

Many times, we get bogged down with keeping commitments that aren’t serving us. We feel the resistance within, yet we ignore it, because it’s what we’ve been conditioned to do- ignore the gift of feeling and go with logic. The body is your guide and won’t steer you wrong.

Artists inspire other artists, no doubt, so here’s my way of letting go of anything that doesn’t bring me joy, doesn’t inspire me to be fully present with my words.

Here’s a great parting statement to bid farewell to my blog challenge, or any commitment that isn’t honoring you. The words of the unforgettable Anais Nin…

One word I would banish from the dictionary is ‘escape.’ Just banish that and you’ll be fine. Because that word has been misused regarding anybody who wanted to move away from a certain spot and wanted to grow. He was an escapist. You know if you forget that word you will have a much easier time. Also, you’re in the prime, the beginning of your life; you should experiment with everything, try everything…

We have created false dichotomies; we create false ambivalences, and very painful ones sometimes- the feeling that we have to choose. But I think at one point, we finally realize, sometimes subconsciously, whether or not we are really fitted for what we try and if it’s what we want to do.

You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking.

I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things…

-Anais Nin

How do you feel about letting go of commitments that aren’t serving you? Do you always seem to be taking on too much, giving too much (is that really possibly a bad thing?)? What changes can you make right now to put your attention where it needs to be?

Be brave enough to go first,


Embrace Your Inner Girl

Source: Uploaded by user via Kaylan on Pinterest

I’m capable of telling it like it is and capsizing boats that merit sinking, but I haven’t always gone “there” for fear of how I might be perceived or no longer received. GASP. An image-conscious, convivial woman?

I wish I could say it isn’t so, but it’s one of the biggest challenges for women (raising my hand) to overcome before reaching

The convivial promise land of “This is who I am, this is how I live…take it or leave it.”

Thankfully, we have a TED talk like the one given by Eve Ensler, creator of The Vagina Monologues (pictured above) to remind women how important it is to (more…)

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