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inner excavate-along: week 6, chapter 6 (and a giveaway)

Welcome to Week 6 of Inner Excavate-along! 

This week, we explore ways to invite others into our excavation adventures. As I mention in the video, we are actually already doing this through the community we've created with this read-along, so I want you to think about the small ways you can invite in connection this week and listen to what you most need at this point in your Inner Excavation journey.


In the video, I read Part 12 from Mary Oliver's poem "Flare" in The Leaf and the Cloud: A Poem.

I also challenge you to take one step toward connection. This could mean reaching out to someone and sharing a piece of your current journey. It might mean sharing a poem you've written. It might mean choosing a prompt in the chapter and asking someone to go on an adventure with you.

Over in our Flickr group, I've created a thread in the discussion board for you to reach out to one another and find a "partner" for any of the prompts in the chapter if you feel moved to do so. And feel free to create a discussion thread for things like "word lists" and other fun ideas inspired by this chapter.

And in the spirit of community this week, my publisher has two copies of Inner Excavation that we'd love to give away this week. 

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment sharing one way that you create space for connection in your life...how you gather with other creatives, ways you share your stories with others, and so on.

The giveaway will be open until Wednesday at 9 PM PST. I will announce the two winners Thursday.

UPDATED: The giveaway is CLOSED. But please continue to share your stories of creating space for connection in the comments.

Reader Comments (17)

One of the ways I connect up with artist friends is Art Camp. Every other Sunday as many as 6 or 7 of us or as few as 2 or 3 meet in the afternoon from 1 until 4 at the Unitarian Church and work on art projects. Projects run the gamut from sewing and knitting to watercolor and book binding, anything portable really. Then we work and gossip. Sometimes we do group projects.
When I go to art workshops, people at the classes often become facebook friends.
Yahoo groups and Flickr are great avenues for sharing and of course I do keep an oft neglecte blog that is a place to share adventures and thoughts.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarina

Participating in online classes is a perfect way right now for me to connect with other creatives - we are a bit out in the country (which leads to quiet spaces and solitude in a good sense). It is a safe way to practice the vulnerability needed to let someone in deeper, to see the inmost being...and the online community is so encouraging. This past weekend I participated in a small art fair, and received wonderful feedback -
I know I have chosen to not actually do the prompts as the summer is full with sweet tweener, but I would love to win a copy of the full book!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

I love to gather with other creatives! One way I connect with other creatives is at Wood Icing Studio & Gallery where I make art, exhibit art, and celebrate art with other creative friends!
Just posted about celebrating with creative friends on my blog today here .
Would love to win a copy of this amazing book!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary C. Nasser

Over the past few years, two of my dearest friends and I have gathered in my home to create. We have no set schedule, but try to meet now and then. I have to say that week 6 in this book has given me the nudge to start those little artist dates again! We share our craft supplies and either paint, or collage. There is always great conversation around whatever we do. The most powerful experience we had together was when I read something and shared some thoughts about creating before we began...this put us all in the right frame of mind for the time together and really made it special.

I also go on photo walks with a couple of friends, both of them young enough to be my daughters. We have a great time together, give each other space when needed, but we also share our photographic skills with one another, helping each other along. While I have been on photo walks with larger groups, I have found that this small threesome is the best experience for me.

I also share my words, photos, and artwork on my blog (www.deborahtisch.com). Sometimes pushing that "PUBLISH" button is scary! I really understand what you mean, Liz, when you speak of the vulnerability.

This read-along has been fabulous! I'm looking forward to going back through the book and doing more with the prompts that I have not tried. Thank you, Liz, for putting this together.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

I'm currently at chapter 5, but I looked ahead at this chapter because I will be on retreat that week in a monastery. I did an amount of moaning and groaning about this (my blog post doesn't go up until Wednesday as I already had one scheduled today) but discovered a couple of things: 1) there is somebody I could connect with and share a prompt with if she's got time; 2) this is a good opportunity to explore what community means; 3) and ditto ditto what it means to open my heart. Like you said in the video, that could be one small reaching out, or seeing what comes up after doing the compassion meditation that starts this chapter. Or all of the above :)

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeanne Shawler

i create space for connection by reaching out my hand to people who seem lonely and being a good listener. I make word toolboxes and give them away to share poetry that inspires me so much.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis

Oh Liz and other excavators, this course and all of you have SO inspired me. As a recovering perfectionist, "art" doesn't come easily to me. But what you said, Liz, in the video above about making one small movement, doing one small brave thing at a time. That seems to work for me.
Here's my next small thing. I've fallen in love with photography recently and made myself a Facebook page for my daily gratitude posts. In two weeks, my family (my big extended family) will have a reunion and I've been asked to lead a small class on photography. Of course, I just plan to do a photo walk and bring others along, but I have this little nagging fear that I'll be exposed - that I really have no idea what I'm doing. So I have the push/pull going on of preparing a presentation (which of course I'd have to research and find the correct terminology, etc.) or just relaxing into it and letting my excitement and love for photography be what I share. I'm opting for the later, but sure having a time with the voice inside that says "get it together". As the poem says, I'm hoping to "be untidy in my exuberance". Love that. New mantra until the reunion.
Thank you all for being part of this circle of excavators. You are all far more beautiful than you suspect!!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSunny

I create space for connection in my life in a number of small ways. Facebook is one of them. It's an easy, effective way for me to stay in touch and share pieces of my life and my stories with my friends, family, and other Facebook connections. Texting is another. Text messaging actually revolutionized my ability to communicate daily with the people closest to me because I do not always enjoy or feel comfortable speaking on the phone. I also find that others don't have the time for it as much anymore, but everyone can easily text and receive messages any time (for better or worse, of course!). I really enjoy my daily correspondence via texting - sometimes it's just sharing small moments or funny thoughts, and I really love that. I also still write good old-fashioned handwritten letters to certain members of my family who aren't so techno savvy. I keep a file and a Memory Box with all of the cards or letters and things they send back to me. Thanks for letting me share in this journey!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia Cotter

I have recently found a lot of ways of connecting through the internet. Through this group, other online courses and postcard swaps, through my blog (which I'm still fairly new at), and I find that it helps me feel more comfortable with sharing in other ways too. I find so much inspiration for connecting in creative ways through other peoples blogs .
Thank you Liz ,for the opportunity to win your book!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I used to teach book and paper arts for the local parks department. My plan was to teach the same classes to different groups of people over and over. It didn't work out that way. Instead, I had the same group of people who came back class after class. So after I ran out of ideas and quit teaching I invited the friends my students had become to my house once a month where we'd make and share things. As women do, we also shared our lives. Over the years the group has shrunk to two or three of those same friends and me. It has become a time where we support and nurture each other's talents and creativity. It is a rich, deep and true connection that we have.

Because of a friend in that group I was invited to be part of a small book arts group and have met about 10 to 20 new people. We meet every other month and though it doesn't have the depth of sharing and connection, we also haven't known each other for that long. I meet with them today and am going to take your book and my journal. I'm still on week two. But life has been full for me too. I'm glad you said that 7 weeks wasn't long enough because that's how I feel about it--I'm planning on going back to this for years. Thanks for creating this online community. I'd love it if there was a way to keep this going after the 7 weeks are over. It is hard to find the members of your tribe. But I realized recently that sharing who I really am is the best way for my tribe to recognize me.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandi

I connect with others through my blog: http://itchifingers.blogspot.com and through meeting up with friends. We sometimes go away together and use this time to create and set ourselves challenges that helps us connect and experiment. I have just bought your book and am loving every page. I've just joined the Facebook Page and will try and catch up on one or two of your chapters. Wish I'd known about your on line course and book before - but it's never too late! I know my friend would love your book so if I am lucky enough to win your giveaway I would share this with someone who I know would appreciate it, and can join me in the journey of excavation. Thank you for your videos and sharing.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersandie

hi Liz, Thank you for this lovely video ! it meant soo very much to me! :)
I feel that I am so ready to connect with my tribe more lately... in the mean time I share a lot of my heart from my own pilgrim's journey and inspirations that come to me and impact my journey through my fb network. I also have been collaborating with another soul friend who has become like a sister. We enjoy inspiring one another on as we find our tribe, and share stories and art collages parallel across the way, since we have not met, though it feels we have in that we are so connected on our journeys. We are believing strongly together that we will find our tribe, and helping one another find the courage to keep taking small steps to step out and share the gifts of our heart through products(our artwork) and take some more risks to be seen for who we are. I would so adore your book if its meant to be, as I feel especially lately drawn to mixed media.. I cannot wait to get my hands on fabric lately. I love poetry already and writing and art collaging with magazine clippings and sentimental photographs. Anyway, I resonate much with your video- the last one and it warmed my heart so! Thank you for expanding my view even more and staying courageous while aligning at this entry point. God bless you, Liz! Hugs! Jenn

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

I am lucky enough to have 2 other Journal Junkies in the Sacramento area who get together and play with ART, yesterday we had a breakfast picnic at Land Park, brought food. tables, chairs and bubbles and had a blast sharing, picture taking, laughing and discussing "my story matters" and what inner excavation means to us. Thank You Liz for this wonderful summertime class <3

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThesewingqueen

Earlier in the year I attended a Meet Up group of crafters. In this group I really connected with two ladies of my age and we found out that we each enjoy art journaling. We have made it a point of getting together at least once a month to share our journals. One of our members, Suzie, was introduced to your book and she has introduced us to your work. We all now have the book and have just started your Inner Excavate - a - Long. Yesterday, we all shared our "Inner" journals for the first time and discussed how the book is working in our lives. Thank you for your work as it continues to enrich our lives. We have made a pact to continue to discuss the chapters and the meanings for us. Very cathartic.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaprice

I'm going to miss these weekly videos in which you encourage and inspire us but also remind us to do so gently and with compassion for ourselves and those around us.
Ironically, I am set to show 5 paintings in an exhibit at the yoga studio where I teach - part of a themed show on Ganesha. This will be the first time I've publicly displayed my work (other than my blog) and I am nervous and excited! Like, I am finally voicing "this is who I am."
Earlier this year I organized a women's circle and we meet this weekend. I know I will be sharing some poetry with the group. A friendship with one of the women in the circle has deepened over the months and we have gone on one photo journey and I intend to schedule another outing for the coming week. I feel I have a large online community that supports and inspires me but like you, I am hoping to cultivate connections here in my community. I would love to host a group to go through Inner Excavations together ... I would love to know if anyone else has done so or is looking to create such a group. Kind of like the people who meet to work through The Artist's Way. Would love your blessings ♥ xo Lis

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLis

I am SUPER excited to share that I met (in person) someone who I befriended on my blog about 7 months ago. I feel brave and daring and so proud of myself. It fit perfectly into a post about finding community and chapter 6. Have any of you met virtual friends in reality and been so jazzed about it???

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

I am SUPER excited to share that I met (in person) someone who I befriended on my blog about 7 months ago. I feel brave and daring and so proud of myself. It fit perfectly into a post about finding community and chapter 6. Have any of you met virtual friends in reality and been so jazzed about it???

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

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