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"As both a poet and clinical psychologist with a therapy practice, I tend to lose time in a very cerebral world. Concrete, really physical activities help me emerge from a more linear modality toward an enlivened creativity. I try to immerse myself in things like digging in the garden, exercise, cooking, or art projects like collage. I believe that if we give ourselves over to something wholeheartedly, we enable our art to emerge. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has written about creative jumpstarts from the psychological construct of flow: I highly recommend his books. I also find my voice by letting go of it for a while. I love to go to museums, galleries, even coffee shops to watch and listen to other people—not simply for observation but for empathy. I really think when we step outside of ourselves to connect with others, we connect more deeply with our own humanity. I also believe in doing hard things for inspiration. The hardest for me is visiting with my brain-injured sister who lives in a locked facility for people with dementia. Every time I am there, I think about our common desire for self-expression and validation, no matter how diminished one's 'faculties' are. After those visits, I can't wait to get to my desk and write my heart out."
—Lisa C. Krueger, author of Talisman (Red Hen Press, 2014)