Archive for ‘June, 2015’

Self-Compassion Revisited


Not long ago, I found this painting in a box!  It was unfinished from 2011 and I’d forgotten all about it.  I’d considered it a failed attempt, along with Protect the Emergence, for what would later be Wrestling with the Angel.


But when I rediscovered this third drawing, I knew it was time to revisit my “failure” and finish the painting.  I added the wings, the background, and most importantly, the halo on the wrestling figure.  Four years ago I didn’t understand as well that our struggles are just as sacred and holy as our successes… so I’d left the wrestler bare.  Now in 2015, she feels honored and held in the embrace of self-compassion.

What challenges might you have put away in a closet and judged harshly?  What wise or spiritual part of you might offer your struggles a compassionate and healing gaze?


May it be so.


Original Art for sale

Art prints available

See Gallery Page



This Gift Left Me Speechless

A few weeks ago I received a gift that left me speechless.  One of my workshop students, Lois Trusler, mailed to me a gorgeous book of photographs she’d made on the last afternoon of our New Year’s retreat at Pendle Hill.

Although I’ve tried for years to describe my workshops in words, this beautiful book literally showed the powers of spirituality, creativity, and community in action.  Lois’ book taught me all over again why I lead these studio workshops, and what a miracle we make together every time.

Take a look.

And then come join us.

(Click the photos above to enlarge them)

See more workshop photos.

August 7-9 : Mindfulness at Play, Weekend Workshop – Register ASAP!
August 9-13: Treasures of the Inward Journey, 5-day Workshop – Register ASAP!
December 28, 2015 – January 1, 2016 : Creative Reflection, New Years’ Retreat.  Mark your calendar– info coming soon.


 Other workshop students say:

Melanie– I want you to know how much I have loved your workshops.  They have made a difference in my life.  I learned to play with art in new ways without judgment in a safe, fun atmosphere.  You made it all possible by being your loving, nurturing, listening, understanding, artistic self for all of us.  Many thanks.

This is a safe space to risk deep honesty, and to let yourself be seen.

It was a creative visual pilgrimage toward my center.

Melanie guided me into my creative self.

There is nothing better you could spend your money on.

Go to Pendle Hill, restore your faith in community, make everlasting connections, and soothe your soul.

Come and experience freedom and play framed by Quaker simplicity and spirituality.

I learned to risk and play and create.  It was more true, more real, and deeper than I could have hoped.

It will open your heart and mind.  You will have fun.  You will be glad you came.

Can’t wait to come back!

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Build Bridges

I’m thrilled for all of us who will be empowered and recognized by today’s Supreme Court decision on marriage equality.  And I continue to care for all those who will be fearful of or angered by these changes.  As President Obama said this morning, it is every generation’s project to build bridges between our best principles and the changing times.  May my prayers, actions, and votes work toward healing the hatred, injustice, violence, and oppression that we see each day in the news and in our own hearts.  May my life– and yours– help span the gap between fear and love.

4 R

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