Tempest tamers

As an artist and writer I'm always trying to capture emotion in my work. In a way, I'm aiming to create tempests (good ones and bad ones); I'm aiming to amplify wonder, joy, fury, fear, excitement and/or pain.

Picture taken last November in Seattle.
That being said, too much tempest in an artist's life makes for that age-old melancholic-tortured artist cliché.  I kind of hate that cliché.  I just don't think for most of us it's sustainable to live life feeling tortured all the time. Maybe it's the Minnesota farm-girl emotion of my mom coming out in me. It's just not practical. So anyway, I'm always curious to hear how artists and writers capture lots of emotion in their work without becoming drama queens or kings. If you are an artist or writer, how do you do it?

One year ago today (pat on the back for me -- I've kept it up for a year!) I started doing yoga everyday. A few days later I started writing 5-10 things I was grateful for everyday.

These daily centering practices have been like small candles lit on dark days. They have been like boosts out into the sunshine or into the studio when I felt like couch-potato-ing. They've been gentle nudges when I'm lazy or (literal) deep breaths when I'm working too hard. They are a small reminder that I have a heart. And that there are always things to be thankful for in life. And I can use them both for good.

P.S. I realized after letting this post sit for a bit before I put it up that this subject has kind of already been blogged about today! Funny. But if you are interested in the subject, you might want to go to a better known blog than mine.