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Apr 01 2016

Creative Mornings PDX with Jelly Helm


“The punch line is…” he said “Ethics have shifted from the tribe to the individual.”

What do donuts, ethics, and creativity all have in common? They were the bright stars of my Friday morning a few weeks ago at Creative Mornings PDX. The donuts, however, were easily outshined by the charming, charismatic speaker, Jelly Helm (there weren’t any jelly donuts, in case you were wondering).

At their core ethics and creativity seem to go hand in hand. The key to developing a creative mind, Helm suggested, lies in empathic understanding and listening. It’s as simple as noticing the world around you. If we can be alert and foster awareness, we can cultivate a sense of what the world needs. Listening is the superpower of the universe.

According to Helm, however, our happiness cannot be fulfilled by solely listening to what the world needs. It also has to fulfill our sense of purpose. Joy is the result of balancing our obligations to ourselves and to the world. He closed the morning with a poem by the Irish poet, John O’Donohue:

Beannacht / Blessing

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.


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