Parallel Mind Has Moved!

Most people make a New Year’s resolution. Mine was to make my life and my work easier and more fun. This blog is one of my favorite pastimes, so I am keeping it, but it is now completely refocused and redesigned.

In the past, I took on too much: too many blogs, too many websites, and I couldn’t keep up with all of it. So I got out my pruning scissors, and as they say, a lot ended up on the editing-room floor.

It’s taken me about three weeks to totally redo, revamp, and consolidate two blogs and two websites.I’ve collapsed two websites and one blog into the new Parallelmindzz site, pictured above. If you are on my mailing list, you will automatically receive the new blog postings in your email.

Join the newsletter here.

Dark Lyrics Inspire an Animated Short

I just love this spoken song. I am convinced that the idiom “footloose and fancy free” was the inspiration for the whole thing. Many artists work this way, starting with an idea and working backwards. Here is a great animated short, “Aging Young Rebel” by Jonathan McCallum.

The Aging Young Rebel Gentle Cruelty” by Dj Food

An Aging Young Rebel
Called What’s His Name
Wanted to be different
while he stayed the same

Then he couldn’t
he just couldn’t
No matter what he would try
Told be his mother

An aging old thing
You better go see clever
You give clever a ring
Which he did
Called him up

Just so Mommy wouldn’t cry
Clever hear his story
About different and the same
You crazy
This some silly game

Oh no
Like Mommy said
I gotta straighten up my head
Clever is so clever
Is cleverness enough

Can you help this ageing rebel
Do you really have the stuff
Bet you don’t have
Bet the bread that you’ll pass the buck instead

Clever sends our hero
To a funny darkened room
Where a crowd of cunning listens
Giggles in the gloom

That’s your problem aging rebel
Don’t you really know the score
You crazy think you’re going to change this crazy world
Better see your self a shrink

Cunningly the argue about our boy
Who’s breaking down the door
Now he’s running down the dark
Diabolical awaits

Grabs him by the ankle
Ani’t it just like fate
Diabolical laughs
In an alley full of suit

Forget the same
you’ll be different now
Somewhat shorter on one side
Let go
Oh no

Would you diabolical inside
Panic in his brain pulls and gets away
Loses him a foot it’s a dark and evil day
See him running limping blood

Something soft is just ahead
Something soft is gentle
He’s fallen at her side
She comforts him with kisses
He dreams of suicide

Gentle is so gentle
Grabs the trouble by its root
Bandages his stump
Cuts off his other foot

So you see it seems to me a gentle kind of cruelty
Ageing rebels older a little wiser maybe too
Gentleness has fixed him
Does he look like me and you

Footless and fancy free
Think how happy Mom will be
Footless and fancy free
Think how happy Mom will be

New Release: Bird Seed, a rather unconventional book on social media

Bird Seed, a rather unconventional book on social media

Just released; a book on professional social media.

If you are pursued by a growing mob of Facebook friends whom you have never met…

If you are deluged with double opt-in messages when you can’t remember a single opt…

If you find yourself confused by application upgrades that downgrade your experience…

If you are unable to see the social media forest for all the meaningless trees of content…

If you are afraid that your last precious half-hour of free time may be on the chopping block of Twitter…

If you bemoan the disappearance of time, depth, and real meaning…

If you find it sad that your iPhone has replaced your dog as your constant companion…

If you suspect your wife has left you for her blog…
…then this book may be for you.

Ebook edition, soon in print.

Discover how to brand without marketing, how to promote without advertising, and how to advance your cause, yourself, or your business with professional social media.

See more here:

Paperback book $12.98

Kindle Edition $4.99

All other Ebook formats (pdf, epub, etc) $4.99

I Bet You That I Can Write a New Book in a Week


I started writing this book yesterday. I bet I can finish the entire book by midnight next Thursday. For me to win, the book will have to be finished and ready to be emailed by Thursday midnight. I won’t have time to have it copy-edited, but all the text will be finished. The cover is already designed.

If I lose, I owe everyone who participated in my bet a free copy of my last ebook, The Way of Love. If I win, then anyone who participates in the bet will have the opportunity to buy the advance copy of my new book for $4.99 (a 50% discount). The book will be available on Amazon’s Kindle, B&N’s Nook, and as a beautiful PDF.

This bet is one I placed with myself: I put together an outline and started writing it on Friday, so the book is due on Thursday, July 21st. I decided to make my bet public and see if the bet will make my deadline more real to me.


This will be an ebook; it is modeled on the style and brevity of Seth Godin’s book, “the dip.” It is about how to brand, market and work on social media. It’s a how-to, but it is not a technical book. I call it the “anti-social guide to social media;” it is quirky, and easy to read. I won’t disclose the title to you but the subtitle is:

“a really short, easy-to-read book that shows how to use social media to advance your cause, yourself or your business”

Here is the intro/backcover:

“If you feel victimized by nonsensical Ebay ads in your search sidebar; if you are pursued by a growing mob of Facebook friends whom you could have never met; if you are daily deluged with double opt-in messages when you can’t remember even a single opt; if you find yourself confused by application upgrades that downgrade your experience; if you are unable to see the social media forest for all the meaningless trees of content; if you are afraid that your last precious half-hour of free time may be on the chopping block of Twitter; if you bemoan the disappearance of time, depth, and real meaning; if you find it sad that your iPhone has replaced your dog as your constant companion; and if you suspect your wife has left you for her blog…

…then this book may be for you.”


To see my books, including your possible free copy of “The Way of Love,” go to:

To participate, send me an email with the header, “BOOK ME!” to:

(fill in my name below)

That ought to build a real fire under me!

Films on Artists Creates Inspirational Documentaries About Artists



Following the success of our 2010 International, all-medium juried art show and award of the top prize of our “Artists Exhibition Package”, FilmsOnArtists is proud to announce our 2011 competition.

40 artists will be juried by our judge David Masello for a show at the FilmsOnArtists Gallery | Chelsea.

From that show one artist will be selected to have a solo show, reception and a screening of the documentary we create about their art.

FilmsOnArtists (FOA) is a new media production company based in the Chelsea district, NYC that creates enlightening and inspirational documentaries about artists around the globe.


Current artist in focus

Assemblage Artist, Bill Georgenes, Santa Fe, NM

“I’m a happy chappy all the time.   I can’t walk.  I can’t run.  I can’t dance.  I can’t hike.  I just stay here and work, maybe 15 hours a day.”


This year we are asking artists to contribute 10% of sales from the show as a contribution to FOA’s Haitian Childrens Art Project

at the Maranatha School and Orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.

The Heart Only Wants to Be Free

Beyond all personal circumstances, beyond all social structures, beyond the politics of the day, beyond the hysteria of the media, only one thing is real: your heart wants to be free. Artists taste this freedom, because they experience it in their art, but we can, as a culture, as empowered individuals claim this freedom today.

How do I know this? Because I see it in my fellow artists work; I hear echos of that freedom in the lyrics of the music I hear. I know it because personal freedom is the touchstone of my work, because the very wind whispers of it to me.

Belong by R.E.M.


Her world collapsed early Sunday morning
She got up from the kitchen table
Folded the newspaper and silenced the radio
Those creatures jumped the barricades
And have headed for the sea, sea

Those creatures jumped the barricades
And have headed for the sea
She began to breathe
To breathe at the thought of such freedom
Stood and whispered to her child: belong
She held the child and whispered
With calm, calm: belong

Stood and whispered to her child; belong
She held the child and whispered
With calm, calm: belong

These barricades can only hold for so long
Her world collapsed early Sunday morning
She took the child held tight
Opened the window
A breath, this song, how long
And knew, knew: belong

Moby Deploys His Art to Help Save the Poor


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Here is an example of how artists can make a difference. Watch this music video, and tell me if you aren’t moved.

Moby has teamed up with by starring in and lending his new single “The Day” off of the forthcoming album “Destroyed” to a hard-hitting video that protests attacks on America’s most needy. In the “The Day — Moby and MoveOn Protest Budget Cuts on the Poor”, the artist explains why he joined over 30,000 Americans in a fast to protest against the budget cuts that could disproportionately hurt the most vulnerable in America.

The effort comes as the President and Republicans in Congress agreed to a budget that could severely impact the lives of the poor. Republicans are preparing even steeper cuts in their upcoming 2012 budget, including a proposal that would hand Medicare over to the insurance companies. The Republican 2012 budget is expected to come up for a vote in the House by the end of this week.

The fast was first launched by Reverend Jim Wallis of the Sojournors, and Ambassador Tony Hall. As word spread, more than 30,000 Americans joined thefast, as well as 28 members of Congress.

“Step Into Your Dream” Creative Brainstorming Session: Carlsbad Village Cooperative Network


“Step into Your Dream”

Do you dare to dream your biggest dream?

Aliyah will be offering group and individual Creative Caffeine brainstorming sessions at this meeting. Come with your thinking hat on! She will sign copies of her books “Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity” and “Pocket Parallel Mind” for attendees.

Monday, April 18, 2011
11:30 AM

Fresco Traoria
264 Carlsbad Village Drive Carlsbad, CA

The Baby and the Nipple

Know what feeds your soul, and seek it unerringly, despite all naysayers, as a baby seeks the nipple. It is your birthright. No one else can tell you what is right for you; at best, they can only speak of what is right for them; at worst, they will tell you of their own fears. Seek what fills your soul with light, love, and happiness.

Copyright Aliyah Marr

Dear Woman,

This video speaks volumes.

Based on the “Manifesto for Conscious Men,” a collectively-written document from a number of men who feel that a new definition of masculinity can help redress the imbalances of patriarchy and welcome a new era of loving appreciation between men and women. A group of these men speak from the heart and offer a collective apology, on behalf of their gender, for past abuses of men against women.

Real Time Delphi Global Art Project

Following is an email I am posting here on Parallel Mind for the benefit of my readers. Do I mind that they are using the same term — conscious creativity — that I coined in my book, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity. No, not really; after all, who knows who was the first to use the phrase. Check it out: this seems to be a worthwhile endeavor.

C3 Center for Conscious Creativity MastheadOn behalf of the newly formed Arts/Media Node of The Millennium Project, we
have the honor and pleasure to invite those who are experienced and interested in the future of arts, media and entertainment to participate in a Real-Time Delphi at
Please register, and then when it asks for the code put: arts

The results will be published in the 2011 State of the Future report. The results will also be emailed to you.

The Arts/Media Node plans to use the results as inspiration to create and implement existing and future art forms to address global challenges. Just as the Florentine Camerata (an arts “think tank”) invented and produced the first European Opera in the late 1500s, the Arts/Media Node seeks to help invent and inspire the future of the arts, media, and entertainment – but this time on a global basis.

So, please go to and let’s help invent the future together.

All the best,

Kate McCallum, Chair Arts/Media Node
Joonmo Kwan, Co-Chair Arts/Media Node
Jerome Glenn, Executive Director, The Millennium Project

http://www.millennium-project. org/millennium/future_arts_ delphi.html

Art Lives on Your TV

Art Live logo 5in.png ArtLive.Tv is a pilot project that offers broadcasting to artists with a service that is built on the communication and support of the art community.

ArtLive wants to help artists recognize their potential and impress upon them that it is the belief in their work’s value that creates it worth. We will also use our platform to inform our viewers about the creative process that artist undertake when crafting the final result . We want to give the artists exposure to an international audience and support the marketing potential they may already have in place.

Follow us on Twitter:

Creative Inspiration for Your Ears

Click Image or Text Link Below to Play Audio File

Aliyah Marr speaks with Rhonda Smith about individual creative empowerment and social change. Aliyah states that there are more creative geniuses on Earth now than at any other time in the history of mankind. She says that if we rallied our individual creative power, we could change the world virtually overnight, eliminating pollution, crime, and inequality.

The Secret Desire of Fear


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The doctor interrupts the clown's fun.

I enjoy watching old episodes of Star Trek Voyager. A couple days ago I saw one about people the Voyager crew found imprisoned in stasis.

They were scheduled to wake up four years earlier. The crew finds out that the minds of the people in hibernation were kept active inside a virtual reality run by a computer. Something had gone horribly wrong: instead of providing a pleasant environment for the people in stasis, the computer generated a circus filled with characters that tortured them with the fears generated by their own imaginations.

Their minds were kept eternally awake in a virtual circus-like world dominated by a clown character representing fear. The people in stasis had not woken up on schedule, and in fact, two of the five had died of massive heart attacks brought on by the extreme stress generated by the circus of fear.

To rescue her people and the aliens caught within this world, Captain Katheryn Janeway, projects a hologram of herself as a substitute hostage.

Janeway's offer is flattering to Fear

Fear doesn’t know that Janeway is a hologram, and therefore not influenceable by the environment or by the characters in the virtual circus of fear. He is relishing the prospect of torturing someone of Janeway’s caliber and is willing to give up all the others in exchange for her. The clown is highly entertained by the idea of someone “choosing” to be with him. But when he finds out that Janeway is just a projection (like him), he begins to become afraid, knowing that he cannot live without a mind to live within.

Janeway tells him that she knows his secret (desire): she knows that Fear wants to be conquered. Fear needs to surrender to love/knowledge/acceptance/recognition/awareness/consciousness. Because Fear — knowing only fear, battle, war, and separation — cannot understand the higher concept of surrender, it has to be “conquered” — as if it is in a battle — by love.

Janeway is telling us that Fear exists to be defeated; that it’s “raison d’être” is to experience love through the unimaginable act of surrender — Fear unconsciously desires to be reunited with its polar opposite; in doing so, Fear achieves its real goal of surrender in order that it may become whole.

“I’m afraid,” Fear says just before he dissolves.

Janeway whispers, “I know.”

Copyright 2011 Aliyah Marr

Can We Evolve Our Society Consciously Following the Pattern of Nature?


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Visionary, futurist and proponent of conscious evolution Barbara Marx Hubbard talks about self, social and planetary evolution on this interview. She asks, “How did Nature climb up the ladder of greater complexity when the tendency is for entropy and disorder?”

Here’s a quote from the interview: “Natural evolution is non-linear, exponential–interactive connectivity of that which is novel, mutation, innovative. If Nature has been jumping to higher order for billions of years by this non-linear, very rapid connectivity of novel innovation/mutations; what if we do that purposely. What if we learn from the billions of years of Nature to evolve a system right now that can map, track and connect what’s working.

Claudia Wells calls this ‘evo-mimicry.’ Mimicing Nature’s evolutionary process of creating a higher evolutionary order. Take part in the operating manual for planet Earth. Find a way to rapidly connect the creative gift  that is in every one of us now from the simplest child all the way up to the most amazing innovations.

Our job in the next few years is to map, track and connect in a non-linear, exponential way on internet and in person that which is creative in us.”

To hear the whole recording, CLICK HERE.

Aliyah Marr Speaks on Creative Empowerment March 20th, 2011


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I will be speaking about creative empowerment on Rhonda Smith’s “Awake! Now What” blogtalk radio show: Sunday, March 20th 3pm PST.

Please tune in; I will be holding a free Creative Caffeine brainstorming session for anyone who calls in. To participate, go to:

and listen via the internet, or call in to the phone number listed on the website.

Play The Transformational Tarot Game


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This unusual Transformational Tarot Computer Game uses words and images to read what is current in your life. Find out where you are going, clear up mental confusion, divine another’s real motives, find your true path.

Guaranteed to give better advice than a bartender and it’s cheaper than visiting a psychologist. This game is available to play on all computers. (Not a printed deck.)

PLAY A SAMPLE GAME NOW, and let us know what you think!

A Creative Use of Facebook for Social Change


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“The Scrimms” is a live 8-episode thriller uses Facebook social networking features and creative programming for an experience that is part book, part TV show, and part live-theater.

The Scrimms premieres on Facebook (in your News Feed) March 8-15th at 9:00pm EST.

The Trailer

My Adventure in Publishing: Getting a Book into Print & on Kindle


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I get many questions from authors about publishing and promoting, so I decided to write an article about my experience in the hopes that it can help other authors. I write on the power of creativity, both for individual development and for social change. I use my books as a support for my workshops and seminars.

I have now 3 books on Kindle. My first book, “Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity,” has been in print for about 2 years now. I put it into Kindle first. That was relatively easy. Here is the print version (all print books are also on Amazon and other booksellers):

Parallel Mind on Kindle.

Next, I put my recent title, “Pocket Parallel Mind,” a 365 inspirational day-quote book for creative people on Kindle. This was a formatting nightmare, both in the print version and the Kindle version, due to the design of the book — I made a page for each quote, and designed the print edition with beautiful large light gray initial caps. In the print edition, I ran into trouble because the quality of the interior pages wasn’t up-to-snuff with the default line screen (an abismal 120 ls for those design techies out there). So I had to “manually” fill every initial cap and gray text with a Photoshop-generated fill. This resulted in a very unusual and subtle effect which I like very much. Designers and other creative folks really like the look of this printed book. The final results can be only seen in the actual print, but you can get an idea here:

I was able to approximate the design of Pocket Parallel Mind in Kindle by tweaking the code of the document. Of course, it can never be as beautiful as the print edition, but it costs the user a lot less. It looks really different than any other books on Kindle, though.

Pocket Parallel Mind on Kindle.

Next, I took my blog, and made a new book out of it. This was the easiest of the three books on Kindle. All I did was design the cover (I am a book designer too) and load the entire text into an HTML document with page breaks.

Celestial Navigation on Kindle.

However, the PDF version of Celestial Navigation is taking me much longer. Why? Because I have decided to illustrate it with my artwork–a painting per article. That is a huge task, but I am enjoying it.

Celestial Navigation in PDF format

Another LinkedIn user in a different group complains that he lost “thousands” of dollars with Kindle when they allowed users to share his book with other Kindle users. It seems that you cannot turn off the share option.

However, I view Kindle as a way to sell my print and my beautiful full-color books. So, I have made two advertising pages for my website with my books on the Kindle version: a page in the front of the book and another page in the back. The ad says something like: “If you like this book on Kindle, you should see it in full color (or in print).”

The other cool thing about Kindle is that you can update your book very quickly. I recommend that authors who have something to say try saying it as many ways as possible. If you have a very expensive book, then don’t put the whole thing on Kindle: instead put an “introductory” book to your information on Kindle, and use it as an advertisement for your actual book, which they buy directly from you on your website or on Amazon. If you have made a PDF version, the profits are 100% yours!

I write on creative development, and am a creative development coach. I help authors, designers, and other creative people achieve their dreams, whether it is to create a business, get published, or fulfill some other dream.
@parallelmind (twitter)

An Interview with Trust Art by Tracy Candido

Public art is for the people. Whether object-based, performative, or interactive, public artworks are created to enhance the landscape of a public space by giving communities something out of the ordinary to reflect on, consider, and engage with. Trust Art, founded by Seth Aylmer and Jose Serrano-McClain, is an organization and philanthropic initiative that is not only invested in public art, the artists that create it, and the communities that share it, but also in finding ways to sustain the lifeline of public art projects. Trust Art has developed a three-year cycle that involves “shareholders,” community members that invest money, time, and other resources into public projects in exchange for “shares,” which are redeemed upon the project’s auction at the end of the three-year cycle. Currently Trust Art is producing and supporting the growth of 10 public art projects in New York City and around the world, all of which are invested in by “shareholders,” community members, and a network of artists. I recently sat down with Seth and Jose of Trust Art to discuss the history of the organization and their current pursuits.


JS: The idea of Trust Art goes back to our first driving question and problem, which is that there are people who have fame and social capital, and people who need it. Five years ago, when we first formed our partnership, Paris Hilton was the most notorious media story/non-media story. It seemed like we had reached a new level of absurdity with the distance between the people who had attention and the people who didn’t have attention who could use attention—people like us, people like our friends who have something to give. In a way, we started this as a documentary to create a fictional celebrity out of thin air.

SA: It’s called Fame Game now; it’s an online business and media site. It ranks people rising and falling in the media, and it has advertising, which brings in revenue. We don’t work at the company anymore, but Trust Art came out of that.


Pocket Parallel Mind Now in Print!

Check it out on Amazon or better yet, buy directly from me from my new website:
Toys & Tools for Creative People

(For a limited time the ebook version of the book is available FREE to subscribers of this newsletter. Just subscribe to get the download link.)

Pocket Parallel Mind is a book of inspirational quotes for creative thinkers and those who wish to creatively transform their lives. Based upon Twitter-like quips from the first book, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity, Pocket Parallel Mind is laid out like a calendar; one quote per day. Includes a table of contents, and a convenient index of concepts. Perfect for anyone who works in a creative field—musicians, visual artists, designers, actors, scriptwriters, mathematicians, etc. Others interested in personal development through creative development will also find this book an inspirational resource.

Tips on How to Publish a Book on Kindle



I’ve posted my first book, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity and my soon-to-be-released book Celestial Navigation on Kindle. I found it an interesting experience from a technical and marketing point of view.

Parallel Mind has been out for two years, but I haven’t even published Celestial Navigation in PDF format. Celestial Navigation is the book that I am making from the postings on this blog over the last two years since Parallel Mind was first published. (I will offer Celestial Navigation in PDF format to all subscribers of my blog for FREE. I am requesting a donation of everyone else. It will be illustrated with my paintings in full-color. Here’s a preview of Celestial Navigation–>)

I wanted to make Celestial Navigation free on Kindle, but they won’t let me do that, so it is selling for a reasonable $4.99, while Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity retails for $9.88. Both these books are available on Amazon UK as well. Subscribers of this blog will get access to the free full-color version of Celestial Navigation when it is available.

Celestial Navigation now on Kindle

Click to see Kindle version

Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity now on Kindle

Click to see Kindle version


This was an interesting exercise in retrofitting two beautiful books into an ultra-simple text-threaded HTML document with no layout, color or design, other than the cover.

For those of you who wish to publish on Kindle, I have some tips that may help you.

First, give up any idea of designing the interior. You have even less design control than you do with Word, and much less control than you do in current web design. If you are not a designer, you might not notice how constrained this medium is, but a true graphic designer may find this format pretty hard to work with. It is easier to put a book in Kindle if you haven’t yet published it as a printed book, which is why Celestial Navigation became a Kindle book before it has been even published as a PDF ebook, which is my normal practice.

If your book is in Word, you can choose to publish it as an HTML document, but Word, being a Microsoft product, puts a lot of unnecessary tags in the document, some of them proprietary only to Word(!). This will muck up your Kindle book; you don’t want to spend a lot of time taking out the code that MS Word puts in.

After much research, I found that the Mac had a simple program that served me quite well: Text Edit. I simply pasted my Word document into Text Edit and saved it as a HTML document. Then I went into Dreamweaver and fixed the code.

If you are a web designer who has worked with early web design, you will have a distinct advantage over anyone else, as Kindle is basically early web technology, a primitive form of HTML.

Here are the tags that you can use:

  • Heading tags, such as: <H3></H3>
  • Paragraph and line breaks: <p></p><br>
  • Alignment (left, right, center): <p align=”center”></p>
  • Bold and italic: <i></i> <strong></strong>

That’s about it. You can define the end of a chapter by forcing a page break in the document, which is basically one long scrolling HTML page.

The tag for the page break is: <mbp:pagebreak />


I was unable to see how I could publish Pocket Parallel Mind on Kindle with any kind of design at all. I will put it on Kindle without the design as just inspirational one-a-day quotes when I get the time. I am looking forward to publishing all three books i the Parallel Mind series on Barnes & Noble’s color Nook, which should give me an option to show color illustrations, if not to format my book. This should work great for Celestial Navigation, which has about 80 full-color illustrations of my paintings.


Here are some more links to help you publish on Kindle:

140 Characters or Less: Tweet Quotes from Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity

These same Tweet quotes from the original Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity are now in print in a new inspirational creative-quote-a-day called, Pocket Parallel Mind.

I call this new book the A.D.D version of my first book. 😉

Now taking advance orders for the print edition.  Pocket Parallel Mind won’t be available in stores or on Amazon until 2011, but I am offering it direct to my readers before publication.

To order this book directly from the author, go HERE.

I have been pulling quotes from my book and posting them on Twitter. Feel free to follow me on Twitter:

You can also retweet them on Twitter if you want or share them with your friends.


“The power of creative thought can impel you to excel in any medium, in any field, any subject.” — Aliyah Marr

“Whatever you dream is available to you; first you must know how to use your creative potential.” — Aliyah Marr

“An artist is not defined by his work, but by the power of his creative thought.” — Aliyah Marr

“Manifestation is the natural, spontaneous conclusion that follows inspiration.” — Aliyah Marr

“Art is about change, exploration, and about the courage to know yourself.” — Aliyah Marr

“If you follow a path of conscious change you are walking in the very footsteps of giants.” — Aliyah Marr

“When will you allow yourself the life you deserve?” A voice is whispering in your ear: today is the day.” — Aliyah Marr


Final Blurbs for Pocket Parallel Mind Are In

Pocket Parallel Mind, 365 Days of Creative Inspiration in Your Pocket

Thanks to those who took the time to review my book and submit an advance review. Stay tuned to this blog for the free gift that I promised way back in October (this took longer than I thought!).

Here are the advance reviews of Pocket Parallel Mind that made it into the book just before going to press:

“A stunning example of non-invasive brain surgery.”—Mark Blanchard

“Creativity Booster: Pocket Parallel Mind takes you on a walk on the right side.  Use it as  light reading to turn on the light in your creative right-brain.”—Nacho Villoch

“I think the multi-talented creative people who are my clients will love this book…if they can stop coming up with new ideas long enough to read it!”—Lisa Rothenstein, The Da Vinci Dilemma

“Consumed daily, these tidbits of brainfood will improve your creative output, all without that annoying fish-oil burp.” —Michael Plishka, ZenStorming Solutions, LLC

“Warning: this book is dangerous, now my brain is pestering me with creative ideas.” —Thornton Sully, A Word With You Press

“The better of my two minds is thinking up a storm somewhere in a parallel universe.” —Salvatore Buttaci, Flashing My Shorts

“I had no second thought’s on reading this book! Which in a parallel mind would total four. Therefore I read it twice.” —Paul Fitzgerald, Founder UGotStyle.Com

“Mr. Hyde recommended I read this book, now I’m beside myself with bizarre ideas coming from my Parallel Mind.” —Dr. Jekeyl, M.D.

“Can I have my crayons back, now?” —Thomas Sully, Portrait Painter

“Read this and you’ll have the creative, brilliant and witty brain that I originally intended for my creation.” —Dr. Frankenstein

“Day 22…There’s the rub!” —William Shakespeare

“I’d like to comment, but I’m a little pressed at the moment.” —Guttenburg

“Sautée the left brain with onions. Whip the right with cream & sugar until stiff peaks form. Serve warm.” —Julia Childs

“E=MC2 was only the beginning. With this book, you can come up with a new theory of relativity that will blast my little theory out of the (parallel) universe.” — Albert Einstein

Sybill: “I’m of two minds about this book.”
Sybill: “No you aren’t.”

“I recommend reading this book: don’t insert this book in your shoe, it’s uncomfortable.” —Dr. Scholls, M.D.

“Best book I’ve read in a very long time.” —Methuselah

WANTED: You to Review My Book


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Click to go to writing competition.

The Reviews for Pocket Parallel Mind Are Pouring In!

Below are the entries so far for the reviews that go in the book. These are not the final blurbs, so if you want to write one for Einstein or Sybill that you think is funnier, let me have it! Remember, I can take only one per celebrity (dead celebrities only please).


The following blurbs are by Susanne Riehle:

Albert Einstein: I postulate: if two sides of a brain traveling in opposite directions gain velocity, then you have one big mess.

Sybill: I’m of two minds about this book
Sybill: No you aren’t

Julia Childs: I prefer the left side of the brain lightly sautéed with onions. Whip the other with cream & sugar until stiff peaks form. Serve.

Henry Ford: I don’t get it.

Dr. Seuss: Spit your mind. Part 1, part 2. Insert in shoe. In the hole, now a sole. Ur cow does chew it, what a moo when it moos it.

Dr. Scholl: If you insert this book in your shoe, it’s uncomfortable. I don’t like it and don’t recommend it.


To get your blurb / name in my newest book, please go here:

Pocket Parallel Mind

Writing Contest: Get Published and Get a Free Gift

Pocket Parallel Mind, 365 Days of Creative Inspiration in Your Pocket

You may or may not know that I have been very busy putting together a new book that is based upon excerpts (quotes) from my first book, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity. I tweeted these excerpts on Twitter for 2 years after publication of the book.

Now I’ve assembled the quotes into a new book that is intended to be a 365 day inspirational book for creative people. (Another book is coming that is for those who want to be more creative.)

I would like to have a page in the front of the book for blurbs by people who love it– you!

The catch???

I want them to be funny, and off the wall — in the same vein as the copy on the back cover.

Here’s another clue to how to write your blurb:

In Yoko Ono’s book Grapefruit, the dedication reads:

“Burn this book after you read it.” — Yoko

“This is the greatest book I’ve ever burned.” — John Lennon

Click on the image to read the cover copy.

Here’s what I would like:

  • One or more funny blurbs in the humorous style that you see on the cover.
  • No more than 140 characters, including spaces and credit.
    • You may write them in your own name, and / or in the name of famous dead creative (scientists, explorers, artists, composers, etc.) people from history. The credit on the blurb will be as you have written it on the blurb (i.e Einstein will be Einstein, not Joe Blow, alias Einstein). If you want a blurb in your own name, submit one.
    • You can write all the blurbs you want, but only one per name will be taken, and I will have to stop the blurbs after a reasonable number since I have reserved up to two pages for them.
    • Your blurb(s) will be in the first front pages of the book, visible (and searchable) on Amazon.
    • Your blurb will also be in the description section of the book listing, available to all book distributors and book sellers.
  • The deadline for blurb submission is December 1st, possibly sooner.
  • Pocket Parallel Mind will be going to print in December and will be available for sale through this site and in major bookstores, as well as on Kindle at that time. Free books will no longer be available after the holidays this year.
  • Please go wild with these!
  • I will give you an ebook now so you can read it, and blurb on it.
  • Email me at: parallelmindbook [at]   gmail   [dot] com
  • You will be signed up to this blog/newsletter automatically so that you can receive the announcement about the final downloadable copy of the book.

Anyone who is subscribed to this blog will get an offer in their email for a free ebook, as I promised earlier. Just subscribe to this blog/newsletter (button at top right) if you haven’t already subscribed.


Here is the text from the dedication page:


This book is for those who are blessed or cursed with the gift of creative intelligence. Those whose right-brains keep them up at night with brilliant concepts; those who question everything; those who don’t respect authority; those who were never understood by their peers, parents or teachers; those who were the class clowns.

You know who you are. You never fit in, were never voted to be famous, and were not popular among your classmates at school. Your parents despaired that you might end up in the gutter, because you wanted to be an artist.

You were one of the motley misfits who sat at the back of the room reading science fiction, the art-geek who drew cartoon characters in math class, the budding scientist who experimented with potentially incendiary ingredients from your mother’s kitchen in the bathroom, the fledging drummer who just couldn’t sit still in grade school. You were the one couldn’t figure out why everyone else wanted to lead a normal life.

A Story of Love, Faith, and Healing

One of the most enjoyable things about having your own blog is that you get to post whatever you want. This story really touched me, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Freedom and I have been together 10 years this summer.

She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn’t open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places. She’s my baby. When Freedom came in she could not stand and both wings were broken.

She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vets office. From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in.

I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks.

This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn’t stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn’t stand in a week. You know you don’t want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning. She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon.

I didn’t want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn’t bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day.

We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her. I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington. We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.

In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair – the whole bit. I missed a lot of work. When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey; and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.

Fast forward to November 2000, the day after Thanksgiving. I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone.

So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn’t said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don’t know how long. That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.

I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as

Hope you enjoy this.

Here are more photos of Jeff and Freedom.

Do You Have a Creative Event? Post it on Parallel Mind.

I will post selected announcements such as workshops, exhibitions, events, etc. related to creative development. Simply leave your entry as a comment on one of my posts; if I deem it to be of interest to my readers, I will post it. Photos may be requested from you via my email response, so be ready to supply any visuals that may help clarify your announcement.

Please read this blog a bit first to see if your announcement will fit the genre of creativity, art, and personal development.

Review of Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity

New review of Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity in the October issue of Light Connection Magazine. Below is an excerpt:

In Parallel Mind, [Aliyah Marr] poses a lot of thought-provoking questions to move us forward in the art of creative living…

‘An artist is not defined by his work,” she observes, “but by the power of his creative thought.’ Then she tells us, ‘Art is about change, exploration, and about the courage to know yourself.’ (Ah, we know there was a catch!) Art is about passion! (Sounds kinda fun, no?)

The genius of Parallel Mind is that it engages us to explore our own potential and opens us up in a variety of provocative ways to consider how we want to express it. This s enlightened reading, every page packed with new ways of looking at the clay God gave us to work with.


Free Gift for Subscribers of Parallel Mind

Christmas Present by Petr Kratochvil

I’d like to offer the subscribers of this blog a free gift or two in time for the holidays. The first gift will be available by November 1st of this year, and I’d like to give a lot of gifts away, so please encourage your friends, associates and family to subscribe to this blog/newsletter before November (click on button in upper right column).

You may have wondered what has happened to Parallel Mind this year. Up until February, I posted on Parallel Mind regularly — once or twice a week, readers of this blog got an issue about creativity and personal development in their email or RSS reader.

Last February, I suddenly had an awesome creative inspiration: in the same flash I saw the title of a whole new book series, and the covers of all the books. Creative inspiration is like that sometimes. It happens in the weirdest places; this time it happened as I was riding my bike along the ocean. I had to stop to write down the titles and draw the covers.

Fast forward to October. It’s been a weird year, with a lot of false starts and stops and circling around again. From what I hear it’s been that way for a lot of people. But through all the changes I know that I will produce these books. I know, too, that they will be fun and practical as well.

For those of you who have bought my first book, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity, and liked it, you will find much new material in this new series that you can instantly use. I can’t tell you how excited I am about writing them; I plan on sharing much of the material with my subscribers as I write these books, just as I did with my first book.


It will take me a while to write these books, so I’d like to reward those who have followed this blog with a free gift or two. In turn, you may personalize the gift I give to you and give it to anyone you want, or keep it for yourself. I will be providing this gift through email to my subscriber list as a special offer. This offer will be available only to subscribers and will be ready in time for the holidays.

I am having almost as much fun planning what I am giving away as I will have creating it, and giving it away. I’m like a kid when it comes to creating something new. My mother, an art teacher herself, taught us children to make gifts for the holidays, so, even today I find it is so much more fun to make gifts than to buy them. And, of course, if you are a creative person yourself, you know that it is an absolute joy for me to share what I create with as many people as possible.

My request to you is that if you know of anyone who would enjoy what I write, to encourage them to subscribe to this blog so that they too can receive my gift(s). While there are no limits to how many of these gifts I can give out, I would like to reach as many people as possible.

My plan is to continue to give out more special offers and special product pricing for  subscribers. As I expand the offerings, I’d like for as many people as possible benefit from what I will post here.

Please share this link or newsletter with your friends, business associates, partners, family; anyone you think might benefit from more creative inspiration in their lives.

Design Your Own Website Workshop With Social Media

10am-2pm, OCTOBER 17th
A Word With You Press, Oceanside, CA

You don’t have to know any HTML, Flash or even hire a web designer to have your very own website. You don’t need software or know Photoshop. You don’t even have to pay for hosting! In this four hour workshop you will find out how you can use one of the most popular FREE platforms today to create a website.

You will learn best practices for the web, how to register a domain name, how to host your site for free, how to choose and customize the design, how to add widgets, how to make your website work with social media, and how to update the content on your site.

At the end of this workshop you will have a fully functional website live on the web, complete with graphics, menus and pages, and a blog. Bring the following materials to class: content for the first few pages – an “about” page, main page, and any other pages that you have planned. Refreshments provided by A Word With You Press.

10am-2pm, OCTOBER 17th
A Word With You Press, 802 S. Tremont, Oceanside.

Aliyah Marr is a creative director in San Diego, who specializes in helping launch and market small businesses. She is the owner of FreshAsylum, a design consultancy. She was senior art director for one of the top online advertising firms in New York City during the dot-com bubble and burst. She taught graphic design and web design at design schools, Parsons, Pratt and at the School of Visual Arts. As a writer she has written for Business Week, Create Magazine, and has produced over 100 video tutorials on web design for

$50/4 hrs

Contact A Word With You Press at:

My Secret Life In Video

In my *other* life, I am a graphic designer, and have produced more pages of websites, movies, print pieces than I like to admit. I confess that design, for me, has become almost a bad habit: I’ve repeatedly tried to give it up but I think I’ve failed.

I remember, as a child, being obsessed with grouping and fitting things inside other things. I wondered at the time how such an ability might be useful. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered that visual organization and grouping is one of the primary ways that designers process information and achieve communication.

I teach design to web designers through MediaBistro’s online learning division, and have now produced 108 e-learning videos for them. I just posted an article on my design blog FreshAsylum about this work; in it I outline my process and some of the rewards of being an instructor of design.

I am proud of the post’s title, Less is More, Even More Than the Sum of Its Parts; it’s an inside joke for designers and artists; a very oblique reference to the tutorials on Bauhaus and Gestalt featured there. I’ve cobbled two of the most popular adages from both disciplines into one arranged marriage. It may be that only art educators will like it, or perhaps only my favorite art teacher, Roy Behrens, who I hope will give me an Apple for my cleverness (or at least check my spelling).

The funny thing about being a designer is that it has made me a better artist; just as being an artist made me able to become a better designer. I just have to learn to hold my tongue now when I see a badly designed website these days. I have to be serious if I am ever going to break my habit.

Architecture for Humans

Here is a book that just came to my attention, A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander. Since my first introduction to architecture and human design in art school, building buildings to reflect a healthy lifestyle has been one of my core interests. Why not use our creativity to design buildings that enhance our energy and make our lives better?

Here is a reader review:

it isn’t about architecture, April 29, 2000
By Philip Greenspun (Cambridge, MA USA) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series) (Hardcover)
Nominally about architecture and urban planning, this book has more wisdom about psychology, anthropology, and sociology than any other that I’ve read. Nearly every one of this volume’s 1170 pages will make you question an assumption that you probably didn’t realize you were making. In a section entitled “Four-Story Limit”, Alexander notes that “there is abundant evidence to show that high buildings make people crazy…”

… Many of Alexander’s arguments are against the scale of modern systems. Public schools spend a fortune on building and administration precisely because they are so physically large [I’ve seen statistics showing that our cities spend only about one-third of their budgets on classrooms and teachers]. If we had shopfront schools and fired all the school system personnel who don’t teach, we might be able to get student-teacher ratios down to 8 or 10:1 without an increase in cost. Similarly, Alexander argues for smaller retail shops, smaller factories (or at least identifiable small workgroups within factories rather than hundreds of faceless cogs) and more master/apprentice instruction.

What if you like the depredations of modernity and aren’t interested in a utopian world where basic human needs are met? Can you learn anything about architecture from this guy? Absolutely. You’ll learn that light is everything. Your bedroom has to have eastern light so that the sun wakes you up. Your best living quarters should have southern light. All the rooms should have light from at least two sides, otherwise there will be too much contrast and you’ll just have to draw the shades. If you’ve got kids, make them sleep and play in their own wing of the house. Build a realm for yourself and your wife on a different floor. Meet the kids in the kitchen.

To avoid cluttering my apartment, I give away virtually all the books that I buy these days. I’m keeping this one and plan to re-read it every year.

Inspiration Found in Lyrics

How many times have you been inspired by lyrics? I have been working non-stop for four days now, and am exhausted. Paul Simon, Born At The Right Time, comes on my internet radio,

Never been lonely
Never been lied to
Never had to scuffle in fear
Nothing denied to

The lyrics remind me that no matter how difficult life may be, we should approach the world as if we are just born.

This is the way of the artist, to be as if just born, to be what we are, no expectations and no fear. A blank canvas. We are all “born at the right time” if we have the courage to be what we are.


Paul Simon, Born At The Right Time

Down among the reeds and rushes
A baby boy was found
His eyes as clear as centuries
His silky hair was brown

Never been lonely
Never been lied to
Never had to scuffle in fear
Nothing denied to
Born at the instant
The church bells chime
And the whole world whispering
Born at the right time

Me and my buddies we are travelling people
We like to go down to restaurant row
Spend those euro-dollars
All the way from washington to tokyo
I see them in the airport lounge
Upon their mother’s breast
They follow me with open eyes
Their uninvited guest

Never been lonely
Never been lied to
Never had to scuffle in fear
Nothing denied to
Born at the instant
The church bells chime
And the whole world whispering
Born at the right time

Too many people on the bus from the airport
Too many holes in the crust of the earth
The planet groans
Every time it registers another birth

But among the reeds and rushes
A baby girl was found
Her eyes as clear as centuries
Her silky hair was brown

Never been lonely
Never been lied to
Never had to scuffle in fear
Nothing denied to
Born at the instant
The church bells chime
And the whole world whispering
Born at the right time

Surfing The Sea of Change

Saxon Heller at Mavericks © Shalom Jacobovitz

I think that many of us are experiencing a lot of changes right now.

Change is uncomfortable, but it becomes easier if we relax. My good friend Dan tells me that the secret of surfing is to relax, and so the same is true about change. Relax, enjoy the ride, and be OK with not knowing. Not knowing where you are going, the outcome of your journey, or most especially “why.”

The two most useless words to ask at the juncture of change are the words “why” and “how.” Why me? Why does it have to happen this way? How am I going to cope? How will our family survive? How will I find a new job?

The best question to ask is “what do I desire?” Then pay attention to that little internal voice of intuition that tells you when and where you can place yourself to be closer to where that desire can easily manifest.

An artist specializes not so much in generating art as he specializes in generating desire. The secret is not trying to create what you desire; instead, you merely need to focus on the desire itself. What you desire is then pulled magnetically towards you by the energy (e-motion) of your desire.

Relaxing and accepting change is key to finding a sense of ease and enjoyment no matter where you are in life. Opposing change is like fighting the ocean — it’s pointless and it’s exhausting. Accepting change means that you can surf  the greatest wave of change effortlessly, using the power of the wave to carry you along, and enjoy the sometimes scary, sometimes exhilarating ride.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

Words of Wisdom & Humor

In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.

One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?”

“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied, “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.” ‘Triple filter?” asked the acquaintance.

“That’s right,” Socrates continued, “Before you talk to me about Diogenes let’s take a moment to filter what you’re going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man said, “Actually I just heard about it.”

“All right,” said Socrates, “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “You want to tell me something about Diogenes that may be bad, even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued, “You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “If what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?”

The man was bewildered and ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

(It also explains why Socrates never found out that Diogenes was messing around with his wife.)

Sealife Stories, The Illusion of Boundaries

Recently, I had the honor to meet J.E. Bannerman, who expresses poignant love and sorrow for her native home, the Gulf of Mexico, in her blog,,

“Nobody tells you this, but it is true: There is absolutely no place where the earth ends and the sea begins. There are no two things. To you it may seem that here there is this solid earth and there is that insubstantial liquidity called water. But the boundary is an illusion, and even the seashore of illusion is always changing. What happens here, will touch everything that is there. And what is there, far away, will someday be here, close up. Look up into the sky and breathe in the breath of all the waters of all the oceans on this little planet. By your breathing, you enter into the rhythm of tides and mists, into the world of delicate sea birds plunging into water, into the minds of prehistoric turtles lumbering back from a night beach, letting go of their feets’ need to touch bottom. . . . ”

Read more at:

I encourage you to sign up for her postings via email.

Aliyah Marr to Give Keynote Address for Conscious Living Chamber of Commerce May 8th 2010


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Aliyah Marr will give the keynote address for the Conscious Living Chamber of Commerce in Irvine, California today on May 8th, 2010.

Topic: “Trickle-up Economics: Growing the Creative Conscious Community”

Conscious Living Business Mixer

The Conscious Living Chamber of Commerce

This event will be hosted by: Brant & Andra Burnett
The event will start on: May 08 2010 1:00 pm
and will end on: May 08 2010 6:00 pm
The event will be at the Temple of Light Spiritual Community

Expand and Promote Your Business

Please come and join us for The Conscious Living Chamber of Commerce very first Conscious Living Business Mixer.

Featuring Special Guest Speaker:

Aliyah Marr – author of:

Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity

Please visit her website:

We Have Door Prizes Valued at Over $100.00 Each
Given Away Every Half Hour!

Come Mix, Mingle and Promote Yourself…….
You Might Win a Great Prize!

Participant Fee:

RSVP Participant Fee is only $5.00 -Includes 5 free tickets for door prizes when
you RSVP before May 7, 2010 ($8.00 at the door, plus
$1.00 per optional door prize ticket.)

Phone: (949) 340-7408  (949) 340-7408

The Temple of Light – Spiritual Wellness Center
23832 Rockfield Blvd, Suite 195
Lake Forest, CA 92630

We look forward to meeting you.
Aliyah Marr



Is This The Next Great American Novel?

My client, Thornton Sully (editor-in-chief of A Word With You Press) started his book tour with a party in San Diego on April 17th. I was honored to attend. I recommend that you listen to the reading of the first chapter of his book, The Boy with a Torn Hat. Tell me what you think… is this the next great American novel and is he the next great American novelist? Maybe you are. Well, you have a chance to prove it; check out his online contest, The Coffee Shop Chronicles.

Thornton’s work is amazing, but to hear it read aloud by the author himself … ahh! A good time was had by all, and Thornton sold a lot of books. See if you can host a book reading by this author. To see more go to:


Here is his announcement and a link to the reading.

Soon the author will be introducing The Boy at private parties between San Diego and Canada along the coast. We already have people excited to host parties at which they’ll invite their friends, and others who want to attend parties hosted by others.

Click here to watch video from our first reading!

The Unbearable Lightness of Creative Freedom

The creative attitude is one of limitless opportunity. Think of an open space, a clear horizon representing endless possibilities. A creative person is standing at the center of the universe, with infinite paths going in all directions; the unknown is exciting, and the path chosen is simply one of personal predilection.
— excerpt from Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity, by Aliyah Marr

© Aliyah Marr

Creativity in any form is married to the ability to make decisions and carry them out. As a creative person involved in a creative medium you make literally thousands of tiny decisions in every piece you create. The practice of art in any form is a great way to develop and refine your ability to make incisive decisions, which naturally leads to a more creative, and empowered life.

Think about the times when you felt creatively blocked — did it seem that you couldn’t make a decision or that there wern’t any good choices to make? Did it feel that you were trapped in indecision?

Now think about the times when you felt creatively empowered; did it feel as if you had incredible lightness and freedom?

When you make a decision to change your life, suddenly things that were formerly cloudy become crystal clear. You suddenly become prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve your purpose — your actions become aligned with the intent of your life’s purpose: you become what I call “ruthless;” you can make instant, unerringly right decisions based upon pure instinct and intuition. A movie editor is ruthless when he cuts out extraneous parts of the movie. Artists are ruthless when they can see a better solution in their mind’s eye, and instantly act to execute their inner vision.

Original mural image © Aliyah Marr

Recently, I made a ruthless decision: I edited a mural I had made some years previously, cutting out a full 1/3 of the picture. I knew that the painting would be better because I could “see” it first in my mind’s eye. I have probably made millions of similar sweeping decisions in my artistic life. When the decision is right, I feel it immediately; I see that the image is more powerful without the unnecessary clutter and parts that are extraneous to the integrity of the piece.

The practice of art gives me the ability to make good decisions in my life, guided by the intuition that comes directly from my heart. You can apply the rules of ruthless editing to everything that you want to create in your life:

1. decide to become ruthless and distill everything down to just the essentials.
2. focus on the freedom you will feel without unnecessary things weighing you down.
3. make sure your life and art have integrity and are aligned with your heart and your inner vision.
4. invest your energy just on doing what makes you happy, rather than in any future happiness or goal.

When your heart is unencumbered by the past, by unnecessary things, and by negative, disempowering emotions, you will find that it is the most amazing wise guide to your new life — let your heart speak and it will always tell you true. You no longer need any goal and you will no longer have to delay your happiness. Instead you will be living the life of your dreams, flying through a landscape of incredible beauty with the bird of creative freedom as your companion and guide.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

Slow Money Offers a Creative Solution to Social, Economic Problems


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We’ve all heard too much about the structural problems of our economy, and too little about a new vision, a fundamentally new vision of economic, social and environmental health. Slow Money envisions a way to transition from an economy based on extraction and consumption to an economy based on preservation and restoration… READ MORE

This year, Slow Money will host a second annual gathering June 9-11 in Vermont. They’ve confirmed an inspiring group of speakers, including Bill McKibben, founder of, Stonyfield Farm’s Gary Hirshberg, Robert Zevin, the ‘father’ of the socially responsible investment movement, and Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, made famous by Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma and the film Food, Inc.

Readers of this blog can receive a 20% discount; enter code “aliyahmarr” to register for the gathering alone or ” aliyahmarr+dinner” if you would like to attend the Friday evening farm table dinner celebration. Register with this code through the following link:

Top 7 Things to Do When Your Creative Muse Leaves You


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Photo by watch4u (CC)

If you are an experienced creative, chances are that you have experienced a creative high and a corresponding creative low. The creative high can be so amazing that we often forget that a low almost always follows.

Just as the ocean has high and low tides, it’s only natural that the depths of the low creative period should balance the height of the preceding creative high period. The difficult thing to remember is that the high will come back, but for the time being it can seem that your muse has truly flown the coop.

What to do?

There are several courses of action:

  1. Take advantage of the time to do all those pesky errands that can’t get done when you are burning with creative fervor.
  2. Use the ebb to consolidate and build on ideas you have had in the past. Don’t just generate ideas, complete them!
  3. Get active, do something —anything. The crazier, the better!
  4. Learn something new.
  5. Listen to the world, instead of looking at it (if you are a visual artist).
  6. Look at the world, instead of listening to it (if you are a musician).
  7. Accept that you are in a creative ebb tide and find other things to do. Your creative nature will emerge in other exciting ways.

Above all, don’t worry. Accept that you are naturally creative being in a naturally creative universe. Just flow with it. Your fickle muse will almost always come back when she hears you laughing and having fun.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr


New Classes in Social Media and Promotion


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It’s taken a couple months, but I’ve finally updated my website, There are still a few glitches, but finally I have a place where I can offer consulting, classes, and a range of creativity products.

In response to requests by my clients, I am giving classes and workshops on business tools and applications to make your creative promotion easier.


Master Social Media
Personalized one-on-one instruction helps you set up your social media campaign on Twitter, LinkedIn, & Facebook. We will cover as many programs as you can handle, so take notes!

Promotion Secrets for Authors & Publishers
Personalized one-on-one instruction helps you learn how to promote your book using free resources and applications online.


What is Creativity?


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“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” — Pablo Picasso

Forest Dreams © 2002 Aliyah Marr

What is your most heartfelt desire? Do you know that you have the power within you to grant any and all of your wishes? Humans are natural creators. It is our birthright to be the creative architects of our lives, not just a leaf in the wind, torn between our duties and our desires.

As humans, we are uniquely gifted magicians — we have the ability to create new things and even modify our environment. Creativity is our talent and our gift, our inheritance from an abundant universe.

Beyond the sense of personal power and control that comes with the practice of art, the fringe benefit is a life filled to the brim with riches. It is impossible to be bored when the world is a playground filled with toys and tools for you to play with and use. Everything is potentially interesting and useful; every event is a launching pad for a learning experience — a spark for a responsive, playful intellect.

Most of my lessons about how to live come from my practice as an artist. I have learned to apply the simplicity and directness of these ideas and found that they work to create whatever I want. I would like to share some of these tools I have discovered with you, so you will be inspired to seek and find your own tools to gain the life you desire.

— excerpt from Chapter One of the book Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity by Aliyah Marr (all rights reserved)

Copyright 2007-2008 Aliyah Marr

The Illusion of Enemies and Opposition


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Marvin Gaye in 1973

They say that those who don’t remember their history are bound to repeat it. Think of all the major enemies that this nation has had in the last 100 years that have turned into friends and partner, countries such as Japan, Germany and Russia.

Those who were alive during these various wars can remember how they felt about the enemy of the moment at that time. But if you make even the most cursory study of history you encounter many more examples of enemies turned friends. It makes you wonder.

Anyone who has studied history realizes that nearly every war was fought to gain territory or material goods for the very few at the top of the food chain, and that the ideological reasons were just a thin veneer to disguise the motivations of those who stood to benefit. It has been this way for the last 4000 or so years.

The people who fought and died in these wars often end up bitter and confused, they ask what did they fight that war for, after all?

There are a few things that come to my mind:

  • The memories of people are short.
  • People will easily replace one enemy for another, never realizing that they have just switched the masks of the opposition, not changed anything underneath, nor learned anything from the pain and suffering of war.
  • People are easily swayed by public opinion especially when influenced by people who know how to manipulate emotions that engage the ego.
  • There are no such things as enemies. A person on the path of individual enlightenment doesn’t have enemies, instead, he uses opposition to gain enlightenment. He uses his own thoughts as creative tools, rather than allow his thoughts to be dictated by others; he knows that when his ego is engaged through conflict he slips back into unconscious behavior. Instead of striving against an enemy or even against himself, he strives to notice his ego’s emotional engagement and use the situation to become more conscious.

So what could be the reason for opposition and enemies? I think that they are part of the creative process of the evolution of consciousness. Artists know that the presence of certain elements make better art: tension is one and contrast is another. What brings on more tension and contrast than war?

Has there ever been a time in your life when an enemy became a friend? Or perhaps you suddenly saw through your enemy to see their pain? At the base of most emotional dysfunction is a need to be accepted. Not loved, just accepted. A little acceptance and tolerance can go a long way.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

The Illuminated Man


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“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life’s about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

Creativity cannot be stopped. I haven’t been painting for a while, so I find myself writing, but this isn’t enough; lately, I have been getting visualizations that appear to my inner sight. I see things in my mind overlaid on material reality. One that has been in my mind for about three weeks now goes as follows (see if you can see it with your mind’s eye):

A silhouette of a man with light pouring from every part of his body, like rays of the sun. It is such a powerful, and beautiful image. The image embodies my vision for the creatively empowered individual.

This is true enlightenment. I mean no pun. Empowerment doesn’t mean power over anyone else, it means the acknowledgment of your personal power and of the responsibility and connection that that realization brings. When you finally dare to admit and claim your own innate creativity, you feel a jolt of energy, a virtual river of vibration that pours from every part of your human form.

A creatively-empowered individual is a form of consciousness that is like no other. At first, the feeling of freedom and power is all that we know. Then, all of a sudden, the exterior world comes alive as the blinders of material heaviness is removed from the inner sight. Everything is vivid with color and feeling.

Suddenly, you realize that there is nothing that is not creative consciousness — that there is ultimate freedom and creativity at every level of being, even in the heaviness of rocks and in the emotion of fear. Inside the heart of every cell, fueling every particle, behind every breath of air — consciousness breathes us, and fills us. Our very breath fills it when we exhale, and it breathes us as we inhale. There is no separation, no exclusion — we are part of all we see. We have to do nothing, we have to just be. It is our choice in every moment to be aware of our power, of our freedom to choose, to know how our individual light shines like a beacon to illuminate the darkest corner of the world.

Even in the face of overwhelming fear, that light is still there; just as an ember holds the birth of the blaze of fire, so somewhere deep in your heart you hold the seed of your creative power. Nourish and feed it with things that bring you joy. Others may attempt to belittle our dreams, hold us back or tell us we are not worthwhile, but as long as you hold to the image of your own light, you have the potential to overcome any odds, even your own fear. Take heart and keep the faith that you have the illumination of pure creativity even as a tiny ember, right there within you; creative power is your birthright and your destiny.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

Preface from Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity


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The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom, and joy in the universe are already within us; we don’t have to gain, develop, or attain them. We’re like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight. We don’t need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds, and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we really are. — Anonymous


Are you ready to live the life you were meant to live? This book is about how to live a creative life; not how to paint or draw, but how to think like an artist, and how to find a joyous, complete life as a result. The power of creative thought can impel you to excel in any medium, in any field, or any subject.

Many people are creative in their daily lives, others would like to be more creative, still others would like to experience the magic that they have seen only from the outside until now.

This book answers some essential questions, the most important being: what is creativity, and how can it bring me freedom and happiness?

However, the real value of this book is not in the questions that it attempts to answer, but in the questions that it poses. These questions are traditionally asked under the cover of art, but I ask these questions here so that you may ask them of yourself.

I started out as a fine artist, and entered the fields of illustration, graphic design, broadcast design, and interactive design. As I developed my commercial skills and artistic craft, I learned that there is a difference between pure creativity and applied creativity.

Pure creativity is an activity that has no predefined destination or purpose, while applied creativity is an activity that always has a goal or application in mind. Pure creativity can be seen as a kind of play, while applied creativity is usually seen as work.

Examples of pure creativity include (but are not limited to): a painter who paints from his heart, a musician who creates a symphony while toying at the piano, a writer who bases a screenplay on the people she knows at work, a scientist who discovers a new law of the universe by playing with raw materials and outlandish ideas.

Examples of applied creativity include (but are not limited to): design, architecture, scientific inquiry, technological innovations, copywriting, and business development.

One form of creativity is not superior to the other. It is just easier (and more fun!) to learn pure creativity before attempting to apply that creativity to a purpose. Applied creativity can be fun and playful too. However this particular book focuses on the importance of play to our development as a complete, creative individual, and so it is about pure creativity.

Parallel Mind reveals how you, as a creative individual, can mold your life with the power of your thoughts and how those thoughts can be used to create whatever you want in life.

Chapter One, Creativity, defines and outlines creativity: what is it, how can we use it, where does it reside?

Chapter Two, Double Vision, is about the source of creativity — our inner child — and how we, as adults, encase this pure self in a cage of fear and limitation.

Chapter Three, Body & Soul discusses the relationship of the body to the mind; how to use your mind creatively to create the body you want.

Chapter Four, Shaking the Tree explores more deeply into the mind, how to change limiting beliefs, how to overcome fear, and encourage original thought.

Chapter Five, Navigating a Sea of Emotions is about emotions: why do we have them, how to choose your emotions, and how to use them effectively.

Chapter Six, The Secret of Sex reveals how to marshal the twin forces of passion and desire to supercharge and sustain your creative vision.

Chapter Seven, The Conscious Creative shows how the practice of art brings the artist increased awareness and personal power.

Chapter Eight, The Infinite Self brings together the concepts introduced in the former chapters, and shows how they can lead the artist to creative freedom.

Excerpt from Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity © Aliyah Marr

The Coffee Shop Chronicles-Get Published & Win $100!


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Those of you who follow this blog may remember a post about a writing competition hosted by a client of mine, a literary publisher. Well, the competition is wildly successful, and I’d like to encourage those scribblers out there to participate. You could get your work published, and you could win $100 too!

Thornton tells me that he is impressed by the quality of what he has seen so far. Here is a letter from him to me.


Good morning!

The response to our competition for The Coffee Shop Chronicles makes my cup runneth over.

If you have been following our blog at , you’ll see that I have posted a few of the entries over the last week. WordPress, which hosts the site, allows me to see how many people are reading the blog.  I am discovering that only about one in ten people who read the entry of other writers actually leave a comment.

How about going back for a refill?

Those whose entries I have posted are emailing me back espresso-ing how delighted they are to get the feedback from strangers who read their work.

I will be posting randomly selected entries as the contest moves towards its deadline, and I would ask that you consider that little blank box after each blog post the tip jar.

And, there is still time for those who have not submitted their own entry.  Every one who is selected for the hard-copy anthology to be published when the contest ends will receive a gift card  for $25 to their drug dealer of choice, so please list your favorite coffee shop and location with your entry.  You could also win a hundred bucks!

And a last note:  when you are on the site, take a wander through the hallways, but mind the wet paint.  We are still under construction.

thorn sully

A Word with you Press would like to have, well, a word from you!

Do you have a story to tell?

Announcing our first writing competition!

You could get caffeinated and $100 bucks richer!

We’re putting together an anthology of one hundred best stories,

that all start or end with a cup of coffee. It can be humorous and jittery, or about a life changing event that is somehow linked to that magic brew.  Did you propose over a cup of coffee?  Meet the love of your life or discover nuclear fission?  Prime your boss for an over-due promotion and then seal the deal with a latte’? Decide having one more kid was do-able? Plot the overthrow of the Chilean government? Finish the last chapter to that obstinate novel?

Tell us about it in a paragraph or a page!

Whatever your story, we’d like to hear from you.  All published entries will receive a $25 gift certificate courtesy of A Word with You Press and your favorite drug-dealer, and a chance for $100 cash prize.  Contest closes May the first.

for complete details and to view a sample submission go to:

The Coffee Shop Chronicles

Let’s see what you’ve got brewing!

The Disappearance of Time


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Time is the substance I am made of.
Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river;
it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger;
it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.

— Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986)

“When linguist Benjamin Lee Whorf explored the language of the Hopi during the mid-20th century…he discovered that their words directly reflected their view of the timeless nature of the universe. … They saw the world as a single entity, with everything connected and happening in the present of ‘now.’…

“‘In [the] Hopi view, time disappears and space is altered, so that it is no longer the homogeneous and instantaneous timeless space of…classical Newtonian mechanics.’ In other words, the Hopi simply don’t think of time, space, distance, and reality in the way we do. In their eyes, we live in a universe where everything is alive and connected. Perhaps most important, they see everything as happening ‘now.’ Their language mirrors their view.

Surface Tension © 2005 Aliyah Marr from The Time/Space Series

“When we look at an ocean, for example, and see a wave, we would typically say, ‘Look at that wave.’ But we know that in reality, the wave we’re looking at doesn’t exist alone. It’s there only because of other waves. ‘Without the projection of language no one ever saw a single wave.’ …the Hopi…would say that the ocean is ‘waving’ to describe the action of the water in the moment they see it. ‘Hopi say walalata, ‘plural waving occurs,’ and can call attention to one place in the waving just as we can.’

“…Worf’s studies led him to discover that the ‘manifested comprises all that is or has been accessible to the senses, the historical physical universe…with no attempt to distinguish between present and past, but excluding everything that we call future.'”

— pgs 103-104 Fractal Time by Gregg Braden

“In 1909, Geoffrey Ingram Taylor, a British physicist, devised the famous ‘double-slit’ experiment… the bottom line to his investigation was that the mere presence of consciousness in the room — people — affected the way the quantum particles (the stuff our world is made of) were behaving.

“On February 26, 1998, scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science repeated Taylor’s experiment. Not only did they confirm that our world is affected just by being watched, but they also discovered: ‘The greater the amount of “watching,” the greater the observer’s influence on what actually takes place.’ In other words, the greater the focus upon the experiment by those present, the greater the influence their focus had upon the outcome.” — pg 188 Fractal Time by Gregg Braden

Time and space have long been a theme I have studied in my work as an artist; I have been exploring this theme in my work for at least ten years. When I work in visual media, I find myself expressing ideas that approach quantum physics in their scope and non-physical nature. These are things I cannot express in words, so they come out as images. Images are very powerful — as any artist knows — an image can carry many ideas or themes at once, it can hit many levels, and resonate very deeply at a non-verbal level in the viewer.

This work allows us to perceive what we intuit: at another level of what we might call a “parallel universe” — one that isn’t perceived by us consciously because of the limitations of our language and material-based society — time doesn’t exist.

Secrets of the Human Heart


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"Queen of Hearts," from "The Book of Hours" © 1999 Aliyah Marr

"Queen of Hearts," from "The Book of Hours" © 1999 Aliyah Marr

In September 2001, two geostationary operational environmental satellites (GOES) orbiting the Earth detected a surge of global magnetism of nearly 50 units (nanoteslas) higher than any than they had read for the same time previously. The time was 9 a.m. EST, 15 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center and about 15 minutes before the second plane hit. They had seen similar spikes during other global events, such as the death of Princess Diana.

“Specifically, it’s the heart-based emotion of the world’s population that results from such events that seems to be influencing the magnetic fields of the earth. What makes this discovery so significant is that those fields are now linked to everything from the stability of the climate to the peace between nations.

Discovery 1: It is well documented that the human heart generates the strongest magnetic field in the body, nearly 5,000 times stronger than that of the brain. This field creates a doughnut-shaped pattern that extends well beyond the physical body and has been measured at distances of five to eight feet from the physical heart. Data suggest that this field may be so large that we end up measuring it in miles; however, it’s beyond the scope of the equipment used to detect such fields.

Discovery 2: Certain layers of Earth’s atmosphere, along with the earth itself, generate what is now being called a ‘symphony’ of frequencies (between .01 and 300 hertz), some of which overlap the same ones created by the heart in its communication with the brain.  … In the words of HeartMath researchers, the relationship between the human heart and Earth’s magnetic field suggests that ‘strong collective emotion has a measurable impact on the earth’s geomagnetic field.'”

— pgs 193-195 Fractal Time by Gregg Braden

The examples above seem to provide scientific proof that the human heart can have influence on the Earth and on other people. If “negative” events can have so much effect, it is all the more reason to feel positive. Perhaps it is even a responsibility.

I recently had the good fortune to meet a man who was blind for much of his adult life. In that time he built several houses, had a wonderful family, grew his knowledge and helped a great deal of people. He died a couple weeks ago, but his example of courage continues serves as an inspiration to many, many people.

The word “courage” comes from the French “coeur,” the word for heart. Isn’t it odd that the ancients knew that the heart was the source of courage?

The Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz asked the Wizard for a heart. But he had it in him all along, as he learned that he had unexpected resources of courage in the face of fearful odds. When we hear of disasters and negative events, we have to have courage instead of fear, courage, which is after all, faith in the power of the human heart. Collectively, our hearts can influence the world.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

The Healing Power of Art


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Fall From Grace © 2000 Aliyah Marr

These days it seems everyone is experiencing changes. Changes often evoke fear; if you find yourself in a “dark night of the soul,” you may find it very difficult to make good decisions.

The brain reacts to fearful circumstances by shutting off the blood supply to the higher functioning parts of the brain; automatically shutting off creativity, and openness at the same time. The brain does this so that the entire person may survive adverse conditions without getting frozen in abstract thought. Anxiety generates the same reaction in the brain, preventing creative thought.

So what can one do when the brain is caught in the wheel of fear or anxiety? One of the best ways out is through expression in art. I have discovered — as have most artists — that it is best to know what is bothering you, and I use art to bring it out in the open. Once it is out in the open, it has a chance to no longer be in you.

I am a visual artist (, but, for some reason, I cannot use my art to express powerful emotions. Instead, I use poetry for this purpose. It’s a good thing that I have access to more than one medium — in fact, I think that creative people can use more than one medium, and I encourge this in my books and as a creative coach.

The expression of an artist’s feelings has resulted in some of the most poignant works of art and music ever produced…

As an artist you can choose any kind of creative activities to explore an issue, and thereby lighten your mood. In the process, the artist finds unsuspected resources that have nothing to do with what we normally associate with ourselves, with our conscious thoughts and identity. — © Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity

Art as personal therapy — like the blues in music — has the power to transform the artist: it can change his mood, his outlook on life, even his future. But beyond healing the emotional landscape of the artist and viewer, it has a direct effect on the evolution of the entire person.

Surely if you can make a life of art, why not make an art of life?

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

Aliyah Marr to Moderate Panel Discussion on Creativity (almost)

I was asked to moderate this panel discussion on my favorite subject — creativity — at Media Bistro in New York City. Unfortunately, I had a schedule conflict and couldn’t go. However, I think this would be worth going to if you find yourself in New York City this week.


Finding the Creative Spark: A panel discussion about how to drive creativity and innovation in your organization

3M had the 15% rule back in the 50’s, and Google has a 20% rule today – a rule that states employees spend 20% of their time on their own projects, working on ideas that have nothing to do with their job’s mission. The goal? Innovation – new products and services that drive growth.

Many companies are looking outside their businesses to find inspiration for innovation, and in the process are turning to design firms and creative individuals. The challenges are in finding the time to innovate, hence the 20% rule; and in allowing their employees the freedom to think like designers. “Design Thinking” is about openness, a free exchange of ideas in that lead to creative problem solving. How can companies benefit from applying design thinking to their approach?

This panel places the emphasis on driving creativity in the workplace. Special guests from design, advertising, and interactive agencies will discuss how to create an environment for innovation, processes for idea development, and how individuals can find – or, reignite – their creative spark.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Presentations begin at 6:30 pm sharp
Meet the panelists at our cash bar reception immediately following at 8:00 pm

Comix, 353 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Anyone interested in workplace management, design, creative services, business development, innovation/R&D, marketing.

$30 ($25 for )

—-> more on panel discussion


What’s Your Personal Mythology?

"Household Duty" © Kirsten Francis (color reduction woodblock)

A recent exhibit of the work of Kirsten Francis got me thinking about personal mythology. The figures of the artist’s personal mythology people her work: people, birds, cats, crows, and even a Jaguar skin that she wears in her self-portraits. Her work is riveting. I try to understand why; I think it is precisely because her mythology, although deeply personal and mysterious, somehow matches my own, but something else is apparent here, as her work also draws upon some deeper, universal archetypes.

Many artists have a direct and active connection with what Carl Jung called archetypes. An archetype is a kind of form that represents a singular aspect of a personality. It is a symbolic model or form that carries an idea that is somehow universal to all people everywhere; in this form the idea is capable of superseding culture or language. Archetypes pop up like flowers in the spring, out of our unconscious. One of the jobs of the artist is to clear their vision so they can see the archetypes in their personal experience and use them in their work.

"Catch & Release" © Kirsten Francis (color reduction woodblock)

The ability to represent the ideas contained within an archetype in its symbolic form is one of the reasons that visual art — when it no longer addresses just the issues of the day, but reaches into universal ideas and experiences through the use of mythology and archetypes — can be so powerful. Artists use personal mythology and archetypes in their work, sometimes directly like Kirsten does, sometimes indirectly, as in the work of abstract artists.

The wonderful thing about being a visual artist is that things that you experience have a chance to come out as images in your work. It’s healing at one level, when you use art as a form of therapy; at another level, it allows the artist to connect with deep thoughts and with the collective consciousness of all people everywhere. Every form of art can express personal and universal mythology, and it is through the evolution of this mythology that the artwork shows us how we can connect with each other, resolve the past, heal wounds, and discover our own power to create and evolve.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr


Kirsten Francis website

Buy Kirsten Francis work on

See her work at the Encinitas library till the end of February. Her prints are definitely better in person, with incredible color and detail that is missing in the photos here. The prices are extremely reasonable; her work is a good investment for the beginning or experienced art collector.

Tweeting Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity

I have been pulling quotes from my book and posting them on Twitter. I have found over 400 phrases from my book, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity that fit into 140 characters and stand quite well on their own as a quote on creativity and consciousness.

You can retweet them on Twitter if you want or share them with your friends.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter:


“A creative person loves the pursuit of knowledge, not its possession.” ~Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity

“A creative person does not mindlessly store data like a computer; instead he skates on the surface of information.” ~Aliyah Marr

“Creative thinking cannot live in a critical environment.” ~Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity

“In order to provide the necessary environment for inspiration, you have to allow for anything.” ~Aliyah Marr

“One of the functions of art is to bring the viewer to a different perspective than he had before.” ~Aliyah Marr

“The creative mood is one of ease, lightness and play.” ~Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity
“The best tool of the creative individual is his mind, or rather, his attitude.” ~Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity

“A creative person is standing at the center of the universe, with infinite paths going in all directions.” ~Aliyah Marr

“Creative thinking is more related to intuition than to logic and learning.” ~Aliyah Marr

“Creative insight and inspiration often requires that one has to forget all that one has learned.” ~Aliyah Marr

Polarity and Strange Attractors


“As the shadow continually follows one who walks in the sun, so our hermaphrodidic Adam, though he appears in the form of a male, nonetheless always carries about within him Eve, or his wife, hidden within his body.” — Tractatus aureus in Bibl. chem. curiosa, I, p. 417

Our society has a very polarized view of the world. I have often asked myself, “Is this polarity a natural thing or something that has come integrated in our culture?” I guess I will never truly answer my own question, but it seems that we still have to deal with a world that seems to rely on polarity. Male to balance female, good to balance bad, etc. How do we deal with the fragments of ourselves that express themselves on one side or the other of the equation? Personally, I feel that art is the perfect tool for the recognition, expression, and eventual integration of these fragmented selves. My book, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity outlines this process.

Many of us cannot accept those fragments of ourselves that we see as negative. We can find ourselves with an intolerant attitude towards those parts of us that we don’t like, worse, sometimes we ignore their presence. Not admitting to something does not solve its existence, nor does it promote a sense of wholeness; on the contrary, denying or resisting something only attracts it into your life, and makes it stronger.

In the same way any unwanted part of yourself becomes more defined and powerful the more you resist it. The Oracle in The Matrix movie told Neo that the agent, Smith, was his polar opposite and natural enemy; the machines in control of the Matrix needed an equally strong negative factor to balance the equation of Neo’s positive presence. I think that this is why we are drawn to our opposites, because we are trying to balance the equation of the question of polarity.

We are drawn to not only a vision of polar opposites, but, in no small way, we are drawn to circumstances and people who reflect negative polarity. We don’t have to go far to find examples of polar attraction to negativity: the well-documented human fascination at car accidents, an attraction to horror flicks, to TV series and movies about crime and violence, violent games which show us massive death and destruction, the list goes on and on.

Just as you cannot surgically remove part of yourself and be whole and healthy, so there cannot be emotional wholeness while one denies one part of the self.  The body needs all parts to be whole. In just such a way, a person cannot deny that evil — if he believes in evil — exists only outside of him.

Unconscious, primitive awareness cannot perceive that the totality requires acceptance (awareness of connection) first. Only when we reach a certain clarity can we finally see how we generate everything in our lives. We can see that our beliefs have a reality first within ourselves and then manifest as “reality” outside of us. When we finally reach this point, integration is not far behind.

The Ying Yang symbol shows this natural dance, and gives a sense of wholeness and rightness. The little bit of Yin exists as a black dot within the white Yang, while the Yin carries a bit of her mate as a white dot within herself.

Whenever you find yourself disconnected, disenfranchised or in tension, reflect or meditate on the Yin Yang symbol and allow it to draw you into the natural dance of polarity; remember the dance within the figure, and the figure within the dance. We can accept our polar opposite, and know that the dance of opposites creates life, and mirrors life at the same time.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

Artist Rendering of Utopia

FRACTAL UTOPIA is a project of exhibition that focuses on a better understanding of life from a perspective of Global Representation.

In a series of nine (9) consecutive rooms FRACTAL UTOPIA explores different aspects and global perspectives concerning the state of life as human being. The experience unfold with a sense of poetry, magic and contrast.

The Art, the Media and the Technology that is designing and producing FRACTAL UTOPIA invent from some of the most significant aspects and concepts of the last fifty years in contemporary art (Painting / photography / architecture / design / digital composition / drawing / installation / video-DVD / computer interactive website projection / light / text / music-sound / etc.).

The purpose of this exhibition is to provoke feelings, stimulate reflection and induce in viewers a sense of contribution concerning the factors affecting the present and long-term future of humanity, in a universe of beauty, mystery, and unfolding drama.

FRACTAL UTOPIA wants to be part of the movement for a more creative and sustainable way of life for our global civilization which is in an accelerating mode towards the future.

It is in that spirit that FRACTAL UTOPIA also aims, inherently by its culture, at touring and sharing worldwide this multimedia art exhibition exposing its Global Vision in progress.


The Saints March In, Why We Love Underdogs

Why do people love underdog stories?

As an artist I spent a lot of time studying metaphor and myth in various cultures. Every culture has an underdog story; it is the story of the hero who triumphs in spite of overwhelming odds. From the biblical David who vanquished the monster Goliath with a simple stone from his sling shot, to the city who vanquished their history of loss with a national win, we love it when the underdog overturns their limitations and our reality.

We love underdog stories because they allow us to see that anyone can create a new reality, and change; these people are the same as the heroes of the myths of old.

Underneath the work of every true creative is the heart and the soul of a hero who goes where others fear to tread.

We love underdog stories because we identify with the heros in these stories. We want to see the underdog change our reality as they overturn seemingly insurmountable limitations with unbelievable feats. We carry the image of the creative hero in our hearts, because we all have it in us to be that hero.

The underdog-hero shows us that we too can create a new impossible future, and inspire others.

Go Underdogs! Go Saints!

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

Discover (unblock) Your Creative Genius

My philosophy is that we are supposed to be happy in this life. What makes us happy varies from person to person, but what’s essential to all can be distilled into a few basic precepts:

— We need to have our basic needs met: food, clothing shelter.

— We need to be appreciated for what we know and for who we are.

— We need to feel that our work means something.

We often have a lot of pressure on us to conform to the standards and to the desires of others. This can make us feel as if we are living in a cage. No matter what we do, someone, somewhere thinks it is wrong.

But we have left the schoolyard, so why can’t we have the freedom that we have longed for for so long?

It is up to us to create our freedom.

Our innate creative talent can be developed into a fully conscious ability. This takes work because we often have self-imposed limitations and creative blocks. But this process can be and should be fun.

Being an artist — a fully developed creative individual — is a joy that I think everyone should have.

If you are already creative, I can help you overcome blocks and help you to transfer your knowledge to anything you want to create the life of your dreams. If you have always wondered if you are creative, I am here to tell you that you are; it’s time to unlock your creative genius and live up to your full potential.

I use art as a supremely adapted tool for personal development. With the skills I have, I can adapt to my circumstances, no matter what they are, and I can find joy in the doing.

I teach personal development through art, because art gives us a perfect, safe and protected environment to develop our innate creative abilities. Art is like a playpen for conscious development. As we learn the principles of being an artist, we can learn to apply these same skills to anything in our lives.

Make an art of life, make a life of art.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

Contact me at: aliyahmarr (at) gmail (dot) com

— excerpt from

The STAND FOR LESS movement is alive and growing

The Stand for Less movement is a great example of creative solutions. It seems that we are at our creative best in a crisis. (Maybe that is why we generate so many problems and crises– so we can create something entirely new!) Kudos to the Stand for Less people.


Dear friends,

We STAND FOR LESS to have more. We want a more sustainable future for ourselves and our children.

The STAND FOR LESS movement in San Diego is alive, strong and growing.

The movement is alive via Sacramento where the most comprehensive overhaul of California’s water system was passed in to law last year. The new law deals with the hard realities of water needs for humans while recognizing the value of non-human ecosystems. It is one step in the process toward dealing with our state’s water problems.

The movement is alive in outstanding organizations like Surfrider of San Diego, a local non-profit dedicated to “the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches.” Read more about Surfrider on our Web site.

STAND FOR LESS is alive on the STAND FOR LESS Facebook page where we follow local, regional and national stories related to conservation.

The movement is alive in the San Diego-based LEED for Homes program. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental design. LEED is the recognized standard for commercial buildings but is a new green standard for homes. A LEED certified home costs an average of 2 to 5 percent more to construct than a non-certified home. Those costs are recovered through lower utility bills. As more and more people recognize the need to STAND FOR LESS, the LEED certification is expected to improve resale values of homes.

By learning more about the issues impacting our environment we can make better decisions as individuals, organizations and through our elected officials. Only by being informed can we stand together for a sustainable future.

Email a friend and tell them about STAND FOR LESS. Thanks!



info@standforless. com

Time to Stop Dreaming and Start Dancing

My waking dream:

The People are in a dance, in a drama; one where everyone is wearing a mask. The drama has gone on too long, and now many of the players sleep with their masks on. Nearly everyone forgets that it is just a play, that they agreed before they started so long ago that they were going to take on their roles and put on their masks.

The People dance around, and around, drunk as bees on nectar in the summertime. They have drunk their roles, the parts they agreed to play.

They fight each other over things their characters say, the things their characters do; but most of all, they fight over the things their characters believe.

How did it come to pass, that the People believe what their characters are supposed to believe? How did they come to sleep in the skin of the roles they agreed to assume? How did they forget they were wearing masks?

Each player is now dreaming their part one hundred percent of the time, night and day they reenact the drama, forgetting that their roles are only something that they chose to play.

They forgot they are playing, only playing.

Suddenly the music stops, and the People — your boss, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your enemies, your teachers, everyone you ever knew in whatever relationship you knew them — stop dancing, they take off their masks, shrug off their roles, smile and bow to you.

The world is new, the dance begins again. Do you see? Underneath every role and mask is a role that you agreed to play.

The wondrous gift of creativity is the ability to see beyond our own creations, our own illusions to the wonder of this marvelous world and to this unforgettable moment in time, to our own power as humans. We were made to play; play is what redeems us from our own habit of unconsciousness. Play is the root of conscious creativity.

Don’t take life so seriously, little one. Don’t forget to play. Your only job on this beautiful Earth is to be happy.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

The Art of Envisioning

Perfect Reflection, Copyright 2004 Aliyah Marr

"Perfect Reflection," reversible diptych paintings, © 2004 Aliyah Marr

When I first learned the art of envisioning, I was still in art school. I learned to memorize an object from all sides and then turn it around in my mind. Later, I learned to visualize objects in my imagination. . It was an amazing skill.

When I learned to meditate, I discovered another amazing ability: as I sat in the darkness with my eyes closed, I could see my arms very clearly — as if I had my eyes open. In fact, my vision was eerily detailed: I could see tiny details that I couldn’t see except in bright sunlight — like the fine hair on my arms and the pores in my skin.

Later, while walking in the park I suddenly found myself walking with my eyes closed. I once took 100 steps on uneven ground without opening them. I could say that I used my other senses to guide my feet, but the truth is that I could see as if I had my eyes open. I had discovered an interesting fact: I could see with my eyes closed sometimes better than with my eyes open.

Those who call themselves realists scorn idealists and those who dream of a better future. How, they say, can you deny that Man is inherently violent? How can you deny that bad things are all around you?

But some people can see something else, because they have the power of envisioning. They envision a new, better world where everyone is valued and truly equal, and there is no need for strife or superiority. This world is built by many hearts, it is an equally valid potential reality. As we collectively come to believe in  the same dream, and in our power to make the dream real, the old reality starts withering away because we no longer feed it with our emotions and energy.

We are all equally gifted with the art of visualization. Collectively we can create something new when we learn to dream the same dream together. Together, we can envision a new, infinitely better world. And finally there will be a place on this beautiful Earth that the heart can call home.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

Seven Over 140, More Quotes From Parallel Mind

Nightfall in Birch © 2005 Aliyah Marr

I am now on the second round of feeding my book through Twitter 140 characters at a time. I distilled down over 400 pithy excerpts from Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity, a book over 250 pages; that’s about a quote every half page (someone check my math, please). While I won’t say that the excerpts can replace the book, collectively, they are a great snapshot of the ideas in the book.

Feel free to Tweet these, put them in an email, or in a note to a friend.


“An artist knows how to shift focus for inspiration and knowledge.” ~Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creatvity

“An artist doesn’t wait for the perfect tool or circumstances; he can make art from anything and anywhere.” ~Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creatvity

“The artist sees inspiration where others might see only a limitation or an obstacle.” ~Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creatvity

“The process of creative inspiration usually starts simple and gains complexity over time.” ~Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creatvity

“The creative person has a lifelong romance with knowledge.” ~Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creatvity

“The creative person dares to ask the simple question.” ~Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creatvity

“An artist passionately loves his subject; every detail & sensation.”~Aliyah Marr, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creatvity

Nature as a Model for a New World

One day I took a walk in the local nature center. The educational center at the head of the trail showed me how the sound is periodically flooded by salt-water from the sea, destroying some life forms and nourishing others.

I sat near the salt marsh for some time, watching the storks and egrets hunting for small creatures in the water’s edge.

I reflected on the way people have built structures that continue to slide down hills when the rain comes, how we have built retaining walls that do little good, how we built a dam at tide level in New Orleans, and others in other parts of the world. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods — we all resist the natural forces of the world, building buildings (and our whole society) in denial of the eventual disaster.

But we don’t have to continue to build in this manner. Why not take our lessons on how to build with natural forces from Nature herself? Change is part of the equation, and it doesn’t have to be a disaster, but just part of the process. As the ancient Egyptians looked forward to their annual flood, so we can build in cooperation with nature. We can build buildings that don’t resist natural forces, even the ones of decay.

Who, after all, wants to swim in an ocean filled with the concrete from the street of million dollar homes washed away in the last landslide or hurricane? Who wants to drink the water from the stream fed by the toxic waste from the landfill? Why make things to last? Wouldn’t a great economy be supported by new buildings to replace the old after they have gracefully decayed back into the environment?

Now, we can take the metaphor further, and learn how to build everything from the lessons of nature; buildings, cities, social structures, education, relationships, a nation and a world that is tolerant, resilient, and flexible to change.

In the process we will build a society of creative, empowered people who are flexible to change, and aligned with the forces of the Earth. Whether we fight it or not, we are just part of the natural system; the choice has always been ours — do we oppose Nature or flow with it?

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

Premiere of “Awaken” the Movie

Come experience an intense mystical journey of awakening on the verge of 2012 at the world Premiere of AWAKEN the film, followed by an exclusive week-end workshop on awakening led by the film’s teachers.

This groundbreaking and transforming film entitled AWAKEN documents the presence and wisdom of an array of teachers from diverse spiritual backgrounds on the significance of this crucial time of planetary shift and shares with us how the current global crisis is an impetus to awaken to oneness, as such revealing the true esoteric meaning of 2012.

The Mayan calendar refers to 2012 as a time when we will undergo a great shift and that shift has already begun. Rather than it being a catastrophic “end of the world,” it is a transition to bring us into more awareness of our deeper nature. When we tap into our creative essence we become more responsible for how we perceive and interpret the challenges and opportunities we face – both individually and collectively. The importance of this shift for each one of us, is to seize the opening to create our lives from the wisdom and integrity that is within our hearts.

To pre-purchase tickets, for more information and to view the trailer go to: or call 1-888-902-GURU

Location: The META Center New York
214 W. 29th Street, 16th Floor, New York, NY  10001
(between 7th and 8th Avenue) Tel. 212-736-0999

You will discover:

  • What the Toltec teachings are saying about 2012
  • Techniques to advance your conscious awakening
  • How to break free from fear and limitations
  • An awakening to love and oneness…
  • Premiere January 29th, 2010 – 7pm – 10pm
    Premiere Ticket: $15.00

    A Tale About Fear, Power, and a Pair of Really Rad Shoes


    I love old movies, myths and stories for the wonderful insights they can give us. One of my favorites is the Wizard of Oz.

    Wizard of Oz screenshot

    Screenshot from the Wizard of Oz

    In the Wizard of Oz, the wizard used the magic of advanced technology unknown to his people, so he could seem bigger and more powerful than others. In the end, Dorothy and her companions discover the truth about the wizard; he was just an insecure man who ruled through fear. Dorothy and her companions are destined to become wizards in their own right when they conquer their own fears. When  they were able to peer behind the curtain and see that the wizard for what he really was, his power over them waned as their personal power grew.

    I cannot underestimate the courage it takes to truly face one’s fears and insecurities. Fear can freeze you, and incapacitate you at the very moment when you should be taking action. But fear, like all emotion, is just energy. Rather than fearing fear, you can welcome it when it comes, because it can give you a boost of energy that you can channel in the direction of accomplishing any task you desire.

    “Don’t fight your fear, roll with it.”

    Dorothy thought that if she just accomplished the tasks that the wizard assigned her, she would be able to achieve her desire of returning home. She thought that the task and the power to complete that task was outside her, but her real task was to discover her own power, and that task was cleverly masked by the wisdom of the wizard who tricked her into learning.

    Many of us have been taught to be afraid to be powerful.

    We have been taught to hand over our most precious gift — our personal creativity and individualism — to remote authorities and organizations who do not have our individual growth and well-being at heart. The power that Dorothy feared was her own nascent power; she was a child who didn’t know that she could be an adult and claim her birthright of creative freedom.

    It takes a sense of personal responsibility to claim personal power. No one arrives at personal power if they have an agenda of hurting or controlling others.

    Personal power is not power over others, it is about gaining the freedom to choose one’s own thoughts.

    You can only claim personal power when you can choose your emotional reaction to what life brings you; this emotional detachment and clarity is called “sobriety.” Personal power is about sobriety, clear vision and independence of thought.

    Don’t be afraid to speak your truth; when it is truly yours, you will feel it is true and your truth will speak itself. Don’t be afraid to claim your creative power, and know that you are powerful. You need no one else to validate you or confirm your truth for you. Suddenly, like Dorothy when she woke up in the Land of Oz, you find yourself in a place of incredible vividness and color; I like to call this place “creative freedom.”

    After many trials and tribulations, Dorothy woke up to her personal power, looked down at the ruby slippers on her feet, and realized that she could get home under her own power after all.

    Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

    Chasing Ghosts

    Topaz © Aliyah Marr

    I fondly remember  the antics of the family cat of my childhood, who would often get the heebee-jeebees right around 11 pm at night. You know what how bizarre it feels and looks when a charlie horse suddenly takes over the muscles of your leg. Cats seem to experience something similar.

    Our cat might be sitting on the floor, as calm, collected and dignified as any Zen practitioner deep in meditation. Suddenly his back would start twitching — it appeared to be moving on its own. He would look around wildly for the person or animal tormenting it, find nothing, get spooked and run off in the other direction. We used to laugh and say that he was “chasing ghosts.”

    Our cat could never get to the bottom of this mystery; he didn’t realize that what he experienced was not actually outside him; instead, it was just a nervous twitch inside him. He could only project his feeling, imagine an enemy, and react.

    We do the same; we have the power to create whole worlds from our imagined fears, and forget that the solution to most of our problems lies in awareness, acceptance, and integration. We can choose to be conscious of our thoughts, and realize that we have the power to accept and integrate all parts of ourselves. We can seek wholeness and acceptance inside and without.

    We can choose to be conscious instead of unconscious; we can find the whole within each part; we can remember to understand, tolerate difference, and accept that there is a natural form even in things of human design.

    Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

    Parallel Mind Cover Revised & Now Back in Print

    The title Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity was put on hold with the publisher while the cover was revised. Those who ordered books during this period had their orders put on hold temporarily. This hold stretched out longer than initially intended.

    The good news is that the new bookcover is much better than the old cover, with which I was never very happy. I apologize for the wait, but hopefully, it is worth it!

    New Parallel Mind Review on Amazon

    Review of Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity by Thornton H. Sully, Editor-in-Chief, A Word with You Press

    Parallel Mind is not about self-help–it’s about self determination. It is immediately appealing as a motivational guide because it does what few self-help books even attempt: it treats the reader as if they had a brain.

    A right and left brain, to be more precise.

    According to author and artist Aliyah Marr, the two halves don’t always make a whole. They seem to have conflicting agendas.

    “The right brain–intuitive, holistic, and none verbal–is analogous to our definition of the inner child. The left brain–rational,linear and verbal…is the adult persona.” As long as the right and left brain bicker for dominance, we’re a cat chasing our own tail. Albert Einstein would seem to agree: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind the faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

    Through specific exercises and provocative insight, this accomplished artist/author empowers us to open up the dialogue between adult and child, left and right. With the kind of mathematical surprise that would have delighted Einstein, she helps us discover that when the two halves work in tandem, one half plus one half equals infinity, and our capacity for creative thinking becomes limitless, and, more to the point of this unique guide, joyful!

    Aliyah Marr has her own “E=Mc2” equation, and it is this: “Vision + Passion= Manifestation.” For those with a vague awareness that something is missing in their lives, she makes a compelling case in this nutritious read that personal change is possible, and the rewards immeasurable, that joy and abundance is a nano-second away.

    This ain’t for couch potatoes, but Ms Marr isn’t asking you to get to work–she’s inviting you to come out and play. “Creativity is play with purpose.” Who wouldn’t want to join her?

    Read all the reviews on Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity on Amazon

    Love is a Chain

    "The Meadow in Summer", from The Near & Far Series © 2004 Aliyah Marr

    In the movie “The Grass Harp,” Walter Matthau states that “love is a chain.” One of the characters in the film, a young teenager, is encountering difficulty in his love life. Matthau tells him, “Your problem is that you are taking too much on. To understand love, you must start small. Love a leaf, a flower, the sun on your face. Later, when you have enough experience, you can love a woman.”

    Walter’s romantic interest tells him that she has been in love since she was a child. All she has to do is take a walk outside. She tells him that the tall grass in the meadow plays a melody with the concert of the wind. If you quiet your thoughts you can hear the voices of the grass singing.

    If you look at how the wind moves through the grass, you can see that the blades of grass are like a chain, a loose chain connected by the wind that passes through them touching each blade with the next, and creating a lovely susurration.

    The grass and the wind sweetly invite us to listen to their song of love. All creation is there in that sound, all history, the whole of human existence reduced to an idea that floats upon the breeze, and, as you open your heart, the love of the eternal grass enfolds and comforts you.

    Love is the chain that connects all, it is everywhere, we are like little fish swimming in a sea of love. We can choose to swim with it or against it, deny it or think ourselves outside it, but nothing we can do will alter or destroy the chain of love, for it is the same as the chain of life.

    Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

    What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

    Listening © 1991 Aliyah Marr

    Listening © 1991 Aliyah Marr

    One day when I was fourteen years old, I decided that I was an artist. I didn’t know what kind of artist I would be, so I tried everything.

    Like most children, I was an avid consumer of culture — I was addicted to TV and read incessantly. By the age of fourteen, I was reading up to three books a day. To read that fast, one has to have learned to skim content: I wasn’t enjoying reading anymore, I was just looking for a distraction to fill my time.

    On this day, I decided to stop watching TV. It wasn’t easy, for my family was still watching. I secluded myself in my bedroom and faced my desire to make something. The blank canvas before me was myself, I just didn’t know it at the time.

    Then, about a year later, I had quit my compulsive reading as well: I replaced it with writing. I wrote several short stories and a lot of poems.

    Those two decisions changed my life; I was no longer just a consumer, I was a creative. Instead of consuming what someone else wanted to feed me, I was cooking my own creations. Of course, it took me a long time to build skills, subtlety, and confidence, but the decision that I already was an artist is what forever changed me.

    I still don’t know what I will be when I grow up, but the joy I experience as a creative is incredible. When one of my works succeeds in communicating something to someone else, maybe even to the point of changing their lives, then I am content.

    I experience everything as a creative opportunity, even limitations or obstacles. While I can no longer define myself, I know that at heart my life is simply an expression of the creative force, in whatever form it chooses to take. I have surrendered my life to this force, so that in whatever role I find myself — speaker, teacher, artist, writer, designer — that beautiful current flows through me and inspires a life rich in thought and creative opportunities.

    Copyright 22010 Aliyah Marr

    All Your Dreams Are on Their Way

    Sail on Silver Girl,
    Sail on by
    Your time has come to shine
    All your dreams are on their way

    See how they shine
    If you need a friend
    I’m sailing right behind

    — Simon & Garfunkle

    Other people may see these turbulent times in terms of loss, limitation, and the end of a good life, but I see it as an unparalleled opportunity to change things for the better. This is a very exciting time to live, because the individual has more power to create than ever before.

    Dream Awake © 2002 Aliyah Marr

    Dream Awake © 2002 Aliyah Marr

    I would venture to say that there are more creative geniuses on this planet today than at any other time in history.

    Creativity is a funny thing, it doesn’t know polarity, it doesn’t discriminate, and it is capable of destruction or construction.

    The old dream of power, destruction and greed is ending, toppling of it’s own accord. It is not sustainable to exploit the environment or people. These things are finite, and so are we. Like children who were let loose to play with powerful toys, we have almost destroyed our home. Now as teenagers, we are just realizing how powerful we are — will we create our own demise or will we create a new heaven on Earth?

    The ancient indigenous people all over the world know that we are dreaming 100 percent of the time, awake or asleep. We can choose. We direct the dream with our thoughts; and we have the power individually and collectively to change those thoughts and thereby change our reality.

    Now it’s time to wake up, and change the dream. It’s up to you. It’s up to me. Now it’s time to dream your best dream.

    Your dreams are no longer on their way, they are here.

    Copyright 2009-2010 Aliyah Marr

    Trickle-up Economics: Growing Creativity


    WorldTree © Aliyah Marr

    World Tree © Aliyah Marr

    “Everything you can imagine is real.” — Pablo Picasso

    I’ll never forget how my mother showed me that water could flow uphill, the day she emptied our little above-ground pool with an ordinary garden hose.

    Today, as I reflect on how empowered creative individuals could change the world, I remember that day in my childhood when I learned how a natural force like capillary action could reverse another, apparently stronger natural force like gravity.

    I like to see natural processes such as capillary action as metaphors for how we can model ourselves and a build a better, more equitable society, and reverse the intransigent and inequitable system that we have in place today.

    I propose a grass-roots movement I’ll call the “Trickle-up Creative Economy.”

    A reversal of the “trickle-down economic” theory, it works by encouraging each person on the planet to develop their creative potential so that positive attitudes, responsible stewardship, and creative ideas can “trickle up” to change society for the better.

    Just as many roots feed the tree, and just as it takes many blades of grass to create a meadow, so we can each fulfill our creative potential, nourish our creative freedom and build a better society at the same time.

    A movement initiated not by leaders, not by the “masses,” but by empowered individuals — what a novel idea! And one whose time has finally come. I invite you to read my book, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity which introduces some of my ideas, and is the first in a series of books about real creativity.

    Copyright 2009 Aliyah Marr (creativity at work seminar)


    Follow Your Star and Find Your Dream

    When a dream takes hold of you, what can you do? You can run with it, let it run your life, or let it go and think for the rest of your life about what might have been.
    —Patch Adams, M.D.

    A few years ago, I lived in a condo complex where I met one of the people who changed my life. A quirky elderly white woman who loved to golf, but couldn’t play anymore, a devotee of Michael Jordan (she kept a full-length poster of him on her bedroom door, just like a teenager); she and I used to have long discussions about life. One day she gave me a few simple words of wisdom:

    “Follow your star, wherever it leads you.”

    It was a few years later, after the dot-com bubble burst and the business of design was in turmoil that I sat in meditation and asked myself, “What do I want to do now?”

    I had come to New York to pursue a dual career as designer and artist. I had succeeded, and had reached the pinnacle of success in new media, but that dream was over. Where was my star?

    As I meditated, it came to me that I needed to do something that I really wanted to do, whether logical or not. I needed a new star, but I didn’t know what that was yet. I was exhausted, and I couldn’t think of a logical solution to my dilemma. I didn’t know that this can be the best time to come up with something truly new: when it is obvious that you have tried all other logical avenues. Then, you can know what you want.

    I listened to my intuition, came to California, and learned to surf. In the process, I gained more than I could have ever imagined. I found new friends, a new passion, I wrote a book, and am writing more. I found my new star.

    Finding and following your star only requires two things from you:

    1. Faith that you will find it.

    2. The belief that your star will shine even on the darkest night.

    Copyright 2009 Aliyah Marr


    The Spirit of the Season: Give the Gift of Appreciation

    “… and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” — The Beatles

    I want to wish everyone the best this holiday season. I see the holidays as an opportunity to remember that love is an energy that we can choose to have in our lives. We can choose to see everything from either the aspect of love or the aspect of fear; it is a choice that we have everyday, but the holidays give us some fine examples of love at its very best.

    Song of the Sea © 2001 Aliyah Marr (The Abundance Card, Transformational Tarot)

    I want to ask you if you see the homeless person in your neighborhood? Do you look them in the eyes, acknowledge them, give them a kind greeting? Wise people from every culture tell us that that homeless person is us, they are just in a different body, and have a different set of life experiences.

    One of my favorite sayings is, “To know yourself is to know all men.” I think that this is the source of that mysterious thing that many people call “grace,” “enlightenment,” and that other equally mysterious thing that they call “forgiveness.” It’s easier to forgive if you admit that you have the same potential for any action, good or bad as anyone else.

    Knowing yourself is admitting that you are not your bank account, your credit line, or your material assets. You are not even your thoughts or beliefs. You are not your nationality. You are not even your thoughts. You are not your circumstances.

    You are so much more. You are pure potential, and you are standing at the edge of a sea of creative opportunity. You have the ability to change yourself, transform yourself, renew yourself, create a new body, new life, and influence those around you with creative action, thoughtfulness and the example of your love.

    I prefer to replace the word “love” with the word “appreciation.” This word is especially useful because it has a dual meaning. In the stock market, if you invest a positive dollar amount in an asset, it has the possibility of appreciating.

    In the realm of emotional reality, when you appreciate something or someone sincerely, you are opening yourself up in a marvelous way; turning your attention outward, and donating a bit of energy back to the stock of the universe, in which, karmically speaking, we are all stockholders.

    The return on your investment may come from an entirely unexpected source. Do not expect or demand it from the place you made the original investment. The art of giving freely to others without expectation or strings is a sophisticated technique of appreciating whatever you have, according to karmic law.

    — excerpt from Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity, © 2008 Aliyah Marr

    If you know that love surrounds us, then help it circulate and give the gift of appreciation to someone today, and please accept my sincere appreciation for your presence in my life; for your courage, your passion and your commitment to be the best person you can be.

    Aliyah Marr


    Creative Freedom: An Idea Sent Around the World

    How long does it take for an idea to circumnavigate the globe these days?

    Let’s spread the idea of the unalienable right of creative freedom to our neighbors and friends. We can think for ourselves, and create a new world with prosperity for all, but first we have to know that we can function independently.

    It won’t happen overnight, because true change will involve a lot of introspection into our lives. Creative freedom means that one must examine every part of what is for what actually is necessary and good. We must refine and better our creative lives by stripping out the dysfunctional elements that weigh us down, and don’t contribute to a better society.

    Once everyone has the kind of self-esteem that comes with creative and mental freedom, crime and war will disappear.

    There are some incredible creative individuals today: I would venture to guess that the sheer numbers of creative genius’ today far exceeds any time in history. Imagine what would happen if we combined forces and spoke out for creative freedom, freedom from the yoke of collective fear, from the yoke of dysfunctional governments and organizations.

    Worldwide, the creative capital of this globe could be applied to solve our economic, environmental and social problems. We don’t need to support the wars or products that gain a few people more property at the detriment and death of innocent people, and that despoil the environment.

    Q. What would happen if our money and energy is instead channeled towards the good of all?

    A. We would have Heaven on Earth.

    It is in our hands, on the collective horizon, it is in our hearts. Only a few more people need to wake up to their own power.

    ~ anonymous

    (Share the idea of creative thought-freedom and let it spread around the world. Feel free to copy this manifesto, put it in an email, put it in your blog, or tweet it.)


    Redesign of Parallel Mind Bookcover

    I have long wanted to properly design the bookcover, not happy with the first cover since it was first published last year. So here it is. The rest of the book is unchanged. Check it out and let me know if you like it!

    By the way, the 2 for 1 sale on Parallel Mind is on for only two more days. Your books will have the new bookcover.

    Call For Entries: International Videoart Festival

    I usually don’t post art competitions on this blog/newsletter, but every now and then I see something worthwhile. I don’t agree with the practice of charging artists entry fees; you’ll notice that this festival is free to artists.


    Magmart | Video Under Volcano, International Videoart Festival

    From October 2009 to March 2010, will take place the 5th edition of Magmart | video under volcano, international videoart festival.

    The Festival activity will end with the screening of all videos participant along three days, scheduled for March, at prestigious house of PAN – Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, in the midtown of city, followed by the screening of 30 selected videos at CAM – Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, in a great night-event, with screening of a selection from other famous videoart festival, scheduled for April 2010.

    RULES The Festival is open to all international videoartists. Participation is free. The Festival is dedicated exclusively to videoart, and suggest one theme, that artists are invited to render:


    See the rules of the competition here. 


    A little eye-candy for anyone interested in video art. I have produced a few pieces in this fascinating medium. Here are some examples:

    "Exfoliate" a film by Aliyah Marr

    In this piece a woman who feels unattractive and unloved idolizes the faces and lives of the models she sees in the media. She believes that the answer to her problem of identity and self-love can be found in the very media that has convinced her of her deficiencies.

    "Subtitulo" film re-edit, Aliyah Marr

    Subtitulo Bergman
    Subtitulo Kurosawa
    How does one engage with a film when the plot and dialog has been removed? With only dramatic cues as guide, the viewer has to either create his own story or experience the film in an entirely new way.

    I have removed the dialogue and distilled each film down to its essence, taking out the narrative and plot, and then invented new subtitles to translate the emotions of the actors. The idea is to see if the acting skill of the actors and the art of the director can convey the sense of the film. Do you agree with my translation of the emotional conponents of these films? Do emotions translate across cultural differences and language barriers?


    The Healing Art of the Clown



    “Wearing a rubber nose wherever I go has changed my life. Dullness and boredom melt away. Wearing underwear on the outside of your clothes can turn a tedious trip to the store for a forgotten carton of milk into an amusement park romp. Humor is the antidote to all ills. People crave laughter as if it were an essential amino acid. I believe that fun is as important as love.”  — Patch Adams

    In the days when kings and queens ruled, free speech was a rare thing. Only the court jester could get away with voicing a true opinion. Dressed in absurd clothes that set him apart, the jester whispered jokes and banter into the king’s ear; because of his position and his hilarious clothes, he was safe, even if sometimes the truth was a bit too close to the funny bone. After all, he was just a fool, and who would take a fool seriously?

    No one else dared to say what they thought, for fear of reprisal, but the clever jester had an enviable impunity. Often, the court fool was an adviser that was valued above all others by the king, for his daring observations and honest opinions. The clown or “contrary” is an archetypal figure that shows up in nearly every culture. He holds up a mirror to society and speaks the truth by turning things upside-down and backwards.

    In Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass, Alice steps into the mirror to discover a world that, although appearing backwards, reveals truths about the social-political world of her day. The author’s opinions and insights were disguised under absurdity and under the cover of children’s literature; so they were published and survive to this day.

    Humor is an art form that approaches a sacred stance in different parts of the world. The “holy fool” of Europe whose words were taken as truth straight from heaven; the “sacred clown” or contrarian of the Lakota Indians was a teacher who taught people by changing their point of view. Here is a quote from Wikipedia:

    “Heyókȟa are thought of as being backwards-forwards, upside-down, or contrary in nature. This spirit is often manifest by doing things backwards or unconventionally — riding a horse backwards, wearing clothes inside-out, or speaking in a backwards language. For example, if food were scarce, a Heyókȟa would sit around and complain about how full he was…when it is 40 degrees below freezing he will wander around naked for hours complaining that it is too hot.

    The Heyókȟa symbolize and portray many aspects of the sacred. Their satire presents important questions by fooling around. They ask difficult questions, and say things others are too afraid to say. By reading between the lines, the audience is able to think about things not usually thought about, or to look at things in a different way.

    Principally, the Heyókȟa functions both as a mirror and a teacher, using extreme behaviors to mirror others, thereby forcing them to examine their own doubts, fears, hatreds, and weaknesses. Heyókȟas also have the power to heal emotional pain; such power comes from the experience of shame–they sing of shameful events in their lives, beg for food, and live as clowns. They provoke laughter in distressing situations of despair and provoke fear and chaos when people feel complacent and overly secure, to keep them from taking themselves too seriously or believing they are more powerful than they are. “

    Can there be anything more important? Humor is an art form that saves us, over and over again. What is it saving us from? From our own emotional baggage, from our thoughts, and most importantly, from our limitations.

    Humor allows us to see the rigidity and structure of the world from a different perspective: suddenly we are called upon to see how easily we can overturn even the biggest obstacle in our path. We break up this obstacle with our laughter; in the process, we heal ourselves and become more like children.

    “See what no one else sees. See what everyone else chooses not to see; out of fear, conformity, laziness. See the whole world anew each day.” — Patch Adams (the movie)

    Patch Adams challenged the medical establishment, and called upon our humanity with his creativity and humor. I challenge you to spend a little time today being a clown or fool; turn the world upside-down and make someone laugh.

    Help build the Patch Adams Teaching Center & Clinic

    Copyright 2009 Aliyah Marr


    Fun With Creative Copywriting; Parallel Mind Giveaway

    They say that people need to see an ad quite a few times before they take action, so I have been posting Tweets for my 2-for-1 book sale on Twitter until the deadline on December 7th. Here is the original offer on the blog:

    I realized that it was a chance to write some really creative headlines. I thought it would be fun to share them with you. Who knows, perhaps you will want to help me spread the word of the power of creativity. Please feel free to retweet them or send them off in an email.

    I got more creative as I went on, so the following Tweets are in order, with the first (least imaginative) Tweet at the bottom and the most recent (or yet to be tweeted tweet at the top).


    Is it possible to have 2 right brains? Maybe not, but you can have 2 Parallel Minds.

    Balance your 2 minds – give one away. Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity.

    Left brain a bit heavy? Develop your creative side. Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity.

    Know someone who is creative? Or wants to be? 2 for 1 sale. Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity.

    Of two minds? Naturally — you have Parallel Minds. Give away 1 for the holidays.

    A Parallel Mind is a terrible thing to waste, so give one of yours away for free.

    Be generous this season: give someone a piece of your Parallel Mind. 2 for 1 book sale:

    Creativity is natural. The “Art of Creativity” is a gift. Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity.

    Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity. for the right-brain or left-brain challenged.

    Two right brains for the price of one. Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity is on sale.

    Donate a right brain to those in need for the holidays — help them with a book about creativity.

    Give away your right brain for the holidays.

    Book give-away by author 2-1 sale:

    Thirteen More Parallel Mind Tweets

    Here are thirteen more quotes from Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity. Feel free to pass them along and share the gift of creativity. Put a quote at the bottom of your email, tweet them, or link with me from your blog or on Facebook or Linkedin.

    “The best tool of the creative individual is his mind, or rather, his attitude.” Aliyah Marr

    “A creative person is standing at the center of the universe, with infinite paths going in all directions.” Aliyah Marr

    “Creative thinking is more related to intuition than to logic and learning.” Aliyah Marr

    “Creative insight and inspiration often requires that one has to forget all that one has learned.” Aliyah Marr

    “The creative process is not a search for anything but an unending series of amazing discoveries.” Aliyah Marr

    “The role of the artist is to be at the forefront of conscious evolution.” Aliyah Marr

    “One of the primary jobs of the creative thinker is to question basic ideas, beliefs, and structures.” Aliyah Marr

    “It must not be underestimated how much courage it takes to question the status quo.” Aliyah Marr

    ‘In every century there will be naysayers opposing creative innovation whose interest is in maintaining the status quo.” Aliyah Marr

    “An artist practices artlessness.” Aliyah Marr

    “An artist nurses an attitude of simplicity and deliberate naiveté.” Aliyah Marr

    “An artist often asks childlike, simple questions of herself and of the world at large.” Aliyah Marr

    “Cultivated simplicity is often the mark of a great thinker.” Aliyah Marr

    Excerpted from “Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity.”

    Copyright 2008-2009 Aliyah Marr


    Dolphin Dreaming

    "Echo" Copyright 2002 Aliyah Marr Oil on Wood

    I dream a dolphin dreaming that I am one of those humans I can see on the shore.

    How long I have been separated from that powerful current, and from my playmates frolicking in the soft, soothing waves?

    When I finally return to the ocean, waking up inside the belly of that beautiful beast, I have a feeling of coming home.

    I am rocked on the breast of the sea, soothed and seduced by the warm sun.

    Nothing more is needed, nothing is wanting, nothing pending.

    Copyright 2006 Aliyah Marr

    Give Away One of Your Parallel Minds for the Holidays


    Do you love Parallel Mind?

    As a holiday gesture to those who follow “Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity” on this blog/newsletter or Twitter, I’d like to offer a two-for one deal on the printed version of the book. Keep one copy, give the other away or give both away, if you already own a copy of the book.*

    That means that at the retail price of $22.50, you get each book for $11.25; the lowest price on the internet is $14.18 — on Amazon, even if you ordered several books and got free shipping (only on Amazon-shipped books, not on shipping from 3rd party vendors) you wouldn’t be able to beat this deal.

    Email me with the quantity you wish, and I will send you a Paypal invoice via email. Shipping costs apply. Standard shipping is about $3.80 per book, with a possible discount on multiple books. These are unsigned copies.

    * NOTE: This offer ends on December 7th, as shipping by Christmas cannot be guaranteed after that date. This deal is only available directly from the author and is not available through Amazon.

    How to give away your Parallel Mind:

    Email the author at: aliyahmarr [at] gmail [dot] com


    1. Amount of copies requested.

    2. Your name and one shipping address. (not multiple addresses, please!)

    Email me at: aliyahmarr [at] gmail [dot] com

    Dreaming Big: The New Imagi-Nation


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    "Blue Skies" Copyright 2001 Aliyah Marr

    "Blue Skies" Copyright 2001 Aliyah Marr

    I have an overactive imagination.

    I dream of a nation of people who have integrity, a love for each other, and deep respect for Mother Earth.

    I dream big dreams, and they are getting bigger all the time. The one that wants to be born is the creation of a new nation, a nation of people who are all on the path of enlightenment. Like John Lennon’s song; can you imagine living in true freedom and love?

    I dream that instead of having competition, we have partners. Instead of having monopolies of power and money we will have appreciation and tithing for the value that we perceive; we will have real trade of services and products.

    Instead of having an homogenized “corporate culture,” we will have real communities and true respect for diverse cultures and languages as the expression of that culture. In order to do this a few key concepts have to change: hierarchy, superiority, and the zealot’s attitude of converting others to his way. The key is acceptance and tolerance for others.

    This new nation of individuated creative people has no borders and lives in the virtual stratosphere. It is communicated like a computer virus; after all it is virus’ that are thought to be the cause of all evolution, why not shouldn’t a virus cause an evolution in consciousness?

    So the new nation is carried by thought at the quantum level, and is communicated in the very air we breathe. It is unstoppable because it is the result of a natural evolution; the days of a few benefiting at the expense of many will be gone forever.

    Copyright 2004 Aliyah Marr


    Twitter Directory of Creative Visionaries Who Are Changing the World

    I am making a directory of creative thought leaders on my other blog, Fresh Asylum. This is a replica of the Twitter list I have started to develop called Creative Thought Leaders. I have found nearly 80 people on Twitter since yesterday whom I feel are helping to change the world for the better. I have included their bios, handles and links. It’s a very interesting and inspiring read, especially when you might feel that things may be not going so well.

    Please feel free to add anyone you think is influential or who is simply interested in promoting and creating socio-environmental change. Just include their — or your — Twitter handle in the comment area on either this blog or FreshAsylum.

    Directory of Creative Thought Leaders on Twitter

    When Was the Last Time You Felt Joy?


    "Jump" Copyright 2000 (& Creativity Card in the Transformational Tarot) Aliyah Marr

    "Jump" Copyright 2000 (Creativity Card in the Transformational Tarot) Aliyah Marr

    A few years ago, I created a Tarot card deck, called Transformational Tarot; this deck was an interactive, online game that I created with the rather esoteric purpose of randomizing the titles to my paintings. By placing images on some cards, and words on others, the game was an experiment on meaning, adjacency, and context.

    I never expected my deck to work as a Tarot deck (despite the name) and was surprised when people all over the world reacted favorably — some even told me that it was the best reading they had ever had. The game was created for a person doing their own reading, but a few years after I created the game I found myself reading my cards for people at a cafe.

    It was a revealing experience; I discovered a great deal about myself, but more importantly, I discovered a disturbing trend among the people I read. Below is the article that I wrote in response.


    When was the last time you felt joy?”

    This is a question I find myself asking people on occasion when they come to me for a Tarot reading. They may be asking about a love relationship, or about their job, but under the surface there is an essential sadness, a feeling of disconnection, of disorientation.

    I can feel the empty space that they have inside as I read their cards. And the cards reveal the confusion they have: why am I this way? Is this all there is to life? Why do I feel as if I am a leaf in the wind? Where is the meaning in my life; where is the love?

    Women in particular are taught to value relationships above all else: their lover, partner, children, etc. They are taught that their value is determined by the health of this relationship, and by the value that this person on the other end of the teeter-totter puts on them. Or rather, what they THINK the other person thinks of them. In fact, their mood for the day is based upon their evaluation of the last encounter with their loved one.

    Love in this sense is a mask for a mirror of self-reflection. This kind of love values the time spent in a relationship as an investment, and sees love as a type of keenly monitored exchange. I hear people speaking of “their needs not being met” — as if someone else should be responsible for fulfilling their needs.

    What if our happiness were not based upon these shifting sands? What if love were everywhere because joy is welling up from inside? I think that we can all intuit the rightness of this idea; even that we are all capable of feeling this way: in fact, it is our birthright.

    I have an idea that the key to finding our love — our passion — lies in redefining what passion means. The heart yearns for passion because it is what feeds our soul; it keeps us young and vibrant. The heart senses this, and so it looks for it in the reflection of what our society calls love.

    But before we can feel passion in our lives, we have to clear out all our self-hatred, our internal blocks. In order to do that we have to be still, empty, silent. We are so used to filling our silences that most of us cannot stand a moment without noise and our own internal chatter. A judge sits on our shoulder; when it is not judging other people, it is judging ourselves, which amounts to the same thing. So when I sense this longing, this emptiness in another, I feel compelled to ask: “when was the last time you felt joy?”. I have witnessed how this simple question affects people: they may not be able to remember — it is so far in the past. Or perhaps the judge that sits on their shoulder has blocked the memory. After all, it asks, what have you done to deserve joy? The judge doesn’t think you even have the right to have a memory of joy. Or perhaps the comparison of that memory to the present moment is too painful.

    But, because joy is our natural state — our birthright — nearly everyone has had a moment of joy. It may be far in the past, in childhood; it is usually masked by a kind of emotional calcification of some kind. It is my belief that what usually happens is that the moment of joy happened just before an experience of judgment; such as a child who loves to sing and is shushed by an adult or by other children, telling her she sings badly and it hurts their ears.

    So the mind in its shame and shock puts up a kind of protective barrier between the memory of the judgment and the person. I was told by my doctor once that the pineal gland — the master gland of the body that controls all the functions of the body and all the other glands — builds up a kind of crust with the experience of emotional stress. As a result, it cannot function freely, and eventually the whole body breaks down in disorder and disease.

    When I ask the question, “when was the last time you felt joy”, the heart remembers, but the mind tries to protect the person from the other memory, the bad memory of judgment and disconnection. Most of the time, the answer is very simple: we can feel joy because it is our birthright. We deserve our own love, which is the same as love for life, and passion for what feeds our soul. It doesn’t matter what it is, only that it is ours; no one can take it from us, or withhold it, because it comes from within.

    A personal passion is a kind of new kind of internal dialogue, one that is healthy instead of dysfunctional. Actually, at a high level, it is more than that; it is a way of dialoging with a higher source. I feel it when I work as an artist; I feel it when I surf; I feel it when I write, when I read Tarot. It feels like what they call channeling; it is the experience of opening up and allowing something larger to come through.

    Why is it that we leave so little time for the things that give us real joy? The bills, the paperwork, the duties, work: these all take precedent. Joy is simplicity itself, it comes from simple things, it wells up inside from a core of silence within wherein resides the speck of energy that holds our portion of spirit. Joy connects us to all the other specks and to the universe of stars. In it we lose our sense of self without losing our identity or individuality. When was the last time you felt joy? What was the cause?

    Trace it back to the beginning, and you will have discovered the secret of life and love.

    Copyright February 8, 2006 Aliyah Marr


    The Artist as Master Magician

    “We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.” Iris Murdoch

    Dream Awake © 2002 Aliyah Marr

    Dream Awake © 2002 Aliyah Marr

    We all tend to forget how incredible this world is that we live in, how nature works seemlessly, effortlessly, and without any help. So, the artist is, when he works. There is no impediment between his desire to create and the art he creates.

    As magic is in the world, so the artist in his most natural state is a magician. Whether painter, sculptor, musician, actor, writer, he uses the tools of his medium. As he creates, he reflects the magic of nature. Creative thought is natural to man, it is one of the fruits of the evolution of consciousness.

    But we no longer live in the natural world. We live in a man-made world of our own creation, layered upon and dependent upon the natural world.

    So what is reality? Is it what we see or what we envision? If it is what we see, then we are living only in the world that other people created. If it is what we envision, then we are living in the reality that we are creating today, with our thoughts in this very moment.

    Mirrors reflecting into infinity.

    Copyright 2009 Aliyah Marr


    The Persistence of Vision

    Field of Dreams © 2005 Aliyah Marr

    Field of Dreams © 2005 Aliyah Marr 5x10' mural

    There is a well-known phenomenon called “persistence of vision” that describes how films and videos create the illusion of motion.

    This visual illusion was discovered when Eadweard Muybridge successfully photographed a horse using a series of 24 cameras in 1878. The cameras were arranged along a track parallel to the horse’s, and each of the camera shutters was controlled by a trip wire which was triggered by the horse’s hooves. They were 21 inches apart to cover the 20 feet taken by the horse stride, taking pictures at one thousandth of a second. (Wikipedia, The History of Film)

    A film is just a strip of still images. When it is run through a projector at 24 frames per second, the still images seem to move. The trick is in our minds, not in our eyes or even in the film or projector. Our mind has the ability to string together the still images into an illusion that fools our minds.

    It’s amazing to me how the tools that we create can give us insight into perception and into the way our minds work. We can even examine the discoveries that they reveal to understand how we can change ourselves through art.

    Reality is only in our minds. We are really just one step behind the pure experience of being alive.

    Like a film that looks like it is moving only when run, our idea of ourselves is composed of static frames, moments in time, frozen ideas of ourselves that seem to have a reality and movement only because we believe in the illusion of our thoughts. Allow for the idea that your definition of yourself may not be a static thing, nor unchangeable, nor does it have to be the same from this moment to the next. Tomorrow, choose another image, another set of thoughts, run them through the projector of your mind, and change to please yourself. Use art to do it.

    It’s the persistence of your vision, the quality of your images that creates another work of art, or another reality, which is just a dream made real. The illusion of movement and flow steps over the boundaries of time and space into the eternal now.

    Copyright 2009 Aliyah Marr

    Drop the Rock

    Sound of Longing Copyright 2001 Aliyah Marr

    Sound of Longing Copyright 2001 Aliyah Marr

    Every now and then I get it. If I can just drop more of my baggage, there would truly be no limits to what I can do or be. It is natural for us to be joyful creators; I don’t know about you, but I can’t create a new future if I am dragging around the past with me. We all do it: we have our memories, our “slings and arrows that flesh is prey to”, and even our prized prejudices that we cannot change.

    How many of us define ourselves so well today that we don’t have a chance at changing our present. We do in in innumerable ways: I like this, I do that, I am this, I am not that. Who cares? All these things amount to is a belief system about ourselves and who we are.

    In the end, most of us end up being merely a collection of personal preferences and a storehouse for painful or limiting experiences (or rather interpretations) of those experiences. For me, most of these preferences are just academic arguments in favor of our own limitations.

    When I was in New York, I used to walk to the subway on 14th street. On the sidewalk somewhere between 6th and 8th avenue, there is a spray painted stencil that implored me to “Drop The Rock”. I have been told that the slogan references the politics of the penal system, which is certainly in line with my interpretation.

    Dropping the rock is letting go of the past. It is not about forgiveness, or even about understanding, it is allowing the ego to become fluid, to allow the mind to “unclench” its hold on our spirit. It is not denial, it is not revision; rather it is surrender.

    When you realize that no one is asking you to carry around your past experiences and preferences, beliefs, etc. you can finally drop that huge rock. Now doesn’t that make you feel light? Doesn’t that make you want to dance?

    Copyright 2006 Aliyah Marr


    Art Historians Think Some Prehistoric Art Created by Women and Girls



    An etching of a mammoth, called the Patriarch besides finger flutings by women.

    An etching of a mammoth, called the Patriarch besides finger flutings by women.

    “Most scholars have assumed that all prehistoric artists were male, but new evidence suggests women and even young girls produced at least some cave drawings, according to a study in the latest Oxford Journal of Archaeology…”

    Read the rest of the article on by Jennifer Viegas:

    Did you make the assumption that Paleolithic (and perhaps all ancient) art was made by males? I did, and I wonder now whether my assumption was made for me by male historians, and by the lingering prejudice of this culture, truly as they say, “Anonymous was a woman.”

    The Eye of the Artist

    The False Mirror, Rene Magritte

    "The False Mirror," Rene Magritte

    Is the eye of the artist a lens that simply records what it sees like the lens of a camera? How much of what we “see” is due to our filter of experiences and is subject to our emotional/ mental interpretation?

    My mother believed that it was the eye that made the artist, that if an eye from an artist were transplanted to another person, that person would be an artist. I always believed otherwise: that it is the mind, and the openness of the artist’s mind that defines someone as an artist.

    Now that I have explored the artist’s path thus far, I know now that  it is not the eye that sees. The eye is not the lens of the camera of the mind. Science has proven that the eye sees more than camera lens can, because the eye sees over time and can adjust to minute or major differences in light and focus. What we “see” is a composite image that is assembled in the brain. But more than this, we are seeing what we feel as much as, or more than what is actually in front of us.

    People who have been blind most of their lives cannot adjust to the information from eyes suddenly restored to vision. Dr. Oliver Sacks once wrote in An Anthropologist on Mars of a patient whose sight was restored after something like 30 years of blindness. The patient was unable to interpret what he saw, in fact, his brain was not adapted to receive the input from eyes blind since childhood.

    Another case study from the same book cited a painter who suddenly lost all sense of color in a freak car accident. The part of his brain that registered color was damaged. Everything looked like a black and white photograph; he was unable to eat because food looked like it was made out of concrete. Although the experience was disturbing to the artist for some time, eventually he adjusted, becoming a sculptor. The man was still an artist because at his core he was an artist. Circumstances simply had changed the type of input, when he adapted to this minor change, he actually preferred the colorless state; offered a chance to have his sense of color restored, he refused.

    What an artist actually sees is less important that what she chooses to see.

    In a way, the artist aspires only to be what any other creature is; the natural expression of who they are. As a bird sings because that is the way of the bird, so an artist paints because that is the natural expression of the artist. There is no other way to be, in my view. So the eye of the artist is the artist because the artist no longer is separate from what she views; her every action and creation is her art, no longer separate from her self.

    Copyright 2006-2009 Aliyah Marr


    Carl Jung: The Artist as Collective Man


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    “The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is ‘man’ in a higher sense — he is ‘collective man,’ a vehicle and molder of the unconscious psychic life of mankind.”

    — Carl Jung, Psychology and Literature, 1930

    The Simple Art of Happiness

    What makes you happy? Have you ever thought about it? Here are a few of the things that make me happy:

    "Cumulous Clouds" from the Near/Far Series © 2004 Aliyah Marr

    "Cumulous Clouds" from the Near/Far Series © 2004 Aliyah Marr

    The ocean sparkling in the morning.

    The way people dress their toddlers.

    Christmas lights on houses at night.

    Late night conversation and wine in front of a fireplace in the depths of winter.

    Skirts, sandals, and dresses in the summer.

    The sound and vibration of a cat’s purr.

    A dog who is glad to see me, and sits on my foot.

    A child’s laughter.

    Surfing in warm water on a sunny day.

    A good meal with people I love.

    Flirting shamelessly.

    Contagious laughter.

    Sharing what I love with others.

    What makes you happy? Share it with me, share it with those you love, and let the good news about the simple art of happiness circle the world in its arms.

    Copyright 2009 Aliyah Marr
    (Creative Commons – share with others, include ©)

    A Modern Day Thoreau


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    I found the following story very inspirational; a story about creative thinking and personal power.

    Unsung Fortune: A rich man’s secret

    March 26, 2007, Philadelphia Enquirer Unsung_fortune_ _A_rich_mans_ secret.html

    Hal Taussig wears baggy jeans and fraying work shirts that Goodwill might reject. His shoes have been resoled three times. At age 81, he doesn’t own a car. He performs errands and commutes to the office by bicycle. And he has given away millions. Given the fortune that Taussig has made through Untours, his unique travel business, and has given away through the Untours Foundation, you could call him the Un-millionaire. If he so chose, he could be living in a Main Line mansion and driving a Mercedes.

    But he considers money and what he calls “stuff,” beyond what he needs to survive, a burden, an embarrassment. In many respects, he’s a 21st-century Thoreau. “Let your capital be simplicity and contentment, ” the sage of Walden Pond wrote. “Those are my sentiments precisely,” says Taussig, who has three children, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren .

    He directs the Untours Foundation, into which he pours all his profits – $5 million since 1992. The money is used to make low-interest loans to ventures and projects that help the needy and jobless – from a craft store in Hanoi to a home-health- care cooperative in Philadelphia. “I invest in entrepreneurial efforts to help poor people leverage themselves out of poverty.”

    “In America, we worship success,” he says. “It’s a shoddy ethic that leads us to value who we are by what we are.” The motto of the Untours Foundation is “a hand up, not a handout.” It provides low-interest loans, here and abroad, to create jobs, build low-income housing, and support fair-trade products: goods such as coffee that are sold at a price that guarantees producers and workers a fair wage and decent livelihood.

    In 1999, they won an award from Paul Newman and John F. Kennedy, Jr., for having the Most Generous Business in the United States.


    The Untours Foundation provides low interest loans here and abroad. Loans are issued to individuals and organizations in order to create jobs among disenfranchised populations, build low-income housing, and support Fair Trade Certified products all through the most environmentally friendly means possible. (Fair Trade certification guarantees a comprehensive form of development including fair prices and wages to producers and workers, land farmed in sustainable ways, women holding key decision making roles, and the list goes on.) We look for projects that are innovative and replicable.

    The foundation’s interest rate on loans is one of the lowest in the world: normally the U.S. inflation rate. Most loan recipients have no collateral or track record necessary to borrow money through conventional lending institutions. By giving loans and not grants, the foundation provides a “hand up” and not a “hand out”.

    Paul Newman said of the foundation: “Untours’ giving is creative in every sense of the word. Their low-interest loans literally create jobs among the hard-core unemployed and housing in decaying urban centers.”

    Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream has said of Hal Taussig and the foundation: “What makes Hal so special is that he combines real kindness and compassion with that practical business side, and that, I think, is the key to making a difference.”

    The foundation’s portfolio is quite eclectic. Most loans are under $50,000.

    10 over 140: More Quotes from Parallel Mind

    Here are ten more quotes from Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity. Feel free to pass them along and help me spread the word that creativity is for everyone. Put a quote at the bottom of your email, tweet them, or link with me on Facebook or Linkedin.


    “An artist doesn’t wait for the perfect tool or circumstances; he can make art from anything and anywhere.” — Aliyah Marr

    “The artist sees inspiration where others might see only a limitation or an obstacle.” — Aliyah Marr

    “The creative person has a lifelong romance with knowledge.” — Aliyah Marr

    “The creative person dares to ask the simple question.” — Aliyah Marr

    “An artist passionately loves his subject; every detail & sensation.” — Aliyah Marr

    “A creative person loves the pursuit of knowledge, not its possession.” — Aliyah Marr

    “Creative thinking cannot live in a critical environment.” — Aliyah Marr

    “In order to provide the necessary environment for inspiration, you have to allow for anything.” — Aliyah Marr

    “One of the functions of art is to bring the viewer to a different perspective than the one he had before.” — Aliyah Marr

    “The creative mood is one of ease, lightness and play.” — Aliyah Marr

    Copyright 2008-2009 Aliyah Marr