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inner excavate-along: share your stories (chapter 5)

Welcome to our "show and tell" day where you are invited to share your responses to the prompts in Chapter 5 of Inner Excavation

As I explain in the video below, I simply did not have time to work with the prompts in Chapter 5. Instead, I went deep into my digsite and looked at work I've done in the past. I spent time looking through all the photos + words in my What Is Real photo series. I explain my reaction to this in the video. I also talk about a mixed-media painting I did this spring that feels very much like a self-portrait.

Notes from the video:

I read the poem "Shedding Skin" by Harryette Miller from the collection What Have You Lost? edited by Naomi Shihab Nye. (I highly recommend this book, especially if you are new to poetry.)

I talk about my friend Mindy Lacefield. I love her work, and I've been lucky to take a painting class with her twice so I highly recommend her as a teacher. (Her highly praised ecourse "Paint Your Story" is now available as a self-paced class. Check it out.)  

I also mention my friend artist Nina Bagley. When I saw her "Nest Builder" necklace at Artfest in 2011, I knew it was meant to be mine as I had been seeking for the right phrase to express this for months as I kept thinking about this image of me building nests (as I explain in the video). Her necklaces are often talismans for my journey.

And I reference the work of Brene Brown. If you haven't watched her Ted talks, consider both of them your homework.

In the comments: Please share any links to your Inner Excavate-along blog posts and Flickr photos that share responses to prompts from Chapter 5 of the book (or you can share links to Chapters 1-4 inspired posts). And, note that comments with links sometimes get caught in the spam filter of my website. If you don't see your post right away, it probably means it is just caught in this filter, and I will get it posted as soon as possible.

The community that is building over on Flickr is simply beautiful and real. Thank you for continuing to share your stories and photos and poems. I haven't been commenting as much as I like as I continue to let this sore wrist of mine rest. But I have been looking at every single photo you are sharing and soaking up so much. Thank you.

And again, I invite you to let go of any feelings of being behind or that you aren't "doing enough" when it comes to this experience. Soak up the inspiration and the community and keep working at your pace. All of the prompts will be waiting for you whenever you are ready.




Update: The Inner Excavate-along was a free read-along on my blog in the summer of 2012. All the posts are here on the blog, but I'm not directing a group through it with newsletters etc. at this time. I hope you enjoy following along! Find out more about my book, Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed Mediahere.

Reader Comments (11)

It's been a beautiful experience thus far. I have felt cradled in acceptance by all my new friends here.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

THANK YOU so much for your inspiring video's. I am going at the inner excavate a little slow and posting a little bit on Flickr, but I just love looking forward to each weeks video and the inspiration you send out to all of us.They are so full of meaning and hope. Thank you Liz

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer

i woke up with you on my mind this morning. maybe it was that stunning photo of you i saw yesterday on fb. thank you for building a nest for me. i cherish the souls that are connected through your vision. my creative journey always comes right back home to you. it is these beginnings that shine so brightly in my soul. the vulnerability. the sharing. i did not realize what i would become a part of. and its simply magical. a nest, yes. i feel safe here. i love you!

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindy

Thank you, Liz, for your wonderful book and words. It is a pleasure to devour each page again and again. Here's a link to my day in photos, thanks to your prompting:


Now I can't wait to write poetry and create a prayer flag amongst other delicious inspiration. Thank you, thank you wise lady.


July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica Funk

I find I am so looking forward to these little videos, Liz - it took a few weeks for me to get into the Inner Excavate groove, but now that the end is in sight, I am feeling like I am missing everyone already! Funny how that goes. Thanks for being so much "on our side"; I appreciate all the support you've gathered around us. Love the idea of making a world-wide community - a tree of nests, full of like-minded artists, sharing the Joy. Lovely image.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose

For some reason, this video resonates with me more thn any thus far. I love the poem and your bird. That in itself says much about you. This process has opened my eyes and heart once again to my creative spirit. Thanks Liz.


July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaula

OH! Don't miss the Brene Brown TED talks - start with the earlier one. They are AMAZING! You'll be so glad you watched them.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose

Liz, I love your bird, too! Deep thanks for creating such a safe, creative nest for us all. You truly are a nest builder and the world is lucky to have you.

Flickr: Journal Pages: I Am
Blog Post (from May, but apt for Chapter 5): This Girl She...

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

I was on vacation during week 5 although I read the chapter and like you had an idea of the prompt I wanted to follow but then ... well ...
So catching up now that I am home, I am grateful for your example and reminder that this process is for me and that the only rule is to follow my heart while "digging." The day before we took off, Gifts of This Moment arrived and I carried the meditation journal and your poems with me to Cape Cod. I began my mirror meditation practice that week and it was like uncorking the bottle and letting the genie out! So many threads from previous weeks (week 2 and reflections upon where I come from) and another course, SouLodge, where we were thinking about our voice and the voices of our ancestors - they all braided together that week. I looked in the mirror and acknowledged the connections with my father and then here I was in a place that was so intimately bound up with his family's history and our relationship ... I wasn't prepared for the emotions and processing of grief (my dad passed away 6 years ago) but the tools I have gathered from you and Pixie Campbell kept me anchored and able to really abide in that place of deep sorrow, loss, and acknowledgement of voices silenced over the years. It was a very healing process and a veil was lifted for me in terms of understanding my place, my story (and my daughter's) within family history but also within my own journey. So a very humble but heart-filled "thank you." I wrote poem-ish pieces (do you know the books "Ish" and "The Dot" by Peter Reynolds? I highly recommend them for all creatives and for our children) took lots of photos and some selfies (currently I am half way through a photo a day project - more an "emotional" self portrait or diary) and journaled. I feel like I really inhabited that week away and it was such a gift. Namasté - xo Lis

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLis

I didn't want to include another comment in the "giveaway" post so I've landed here to share a link to my week 4 photography prompts (I really should include them in the Flickr group) and some musings about chapters 5 and, especially, 6. Liz, I wondered through your "What is Real" and am amazed that what you felt and wrote about is what I saw in the photo. Wow. It might've been in the eyes, or the corner of your mouth, but wow. I feel blessed to have experienced just a little of what you were going through via those photos. Thank you for putting them out there. I cleaned household mirrors yesterday so mirror self-portraits are next for me.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeanne Shawler

Feels a little raw to share so many self-portraits... but there is something so freeing and delicious in that rawness.
Thanks for the wonderful prompt! I don't think I would ever have thought (or dared!) to do this otherwise.

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat

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