Danielle LaPorte

Summer Reading Guide for Creative Recovery and Inspiration


It’s summer and an excellent time to catch up on reading!

Although typically summer is good to read more fiction-based works, don’t neglect the opportunity to learn more about how to enhance your creativity, especially if you are striving to reach some creative goals before the end of the year.

I thought I would share a few of my favorite books that I have found to be helpful with my own creativity.  They all can be found in a variety of formats (Kindle, hard cover, soft cover or audio) and range from including exercises to help you get going with your creative work to providing motivational messages to keep you on track.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

What it is about…

From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of.

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.” http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/

The “Skinny”

The first thing I noticed about this book is how upbeat it is.  Gilbert gives down-to-earth and at times humorous testimony on the creation process in a fun and provocative way.   She provides anecdotes about personal creative triumphs and failures as a writer, as well as share stories from other artists which helps us all not to be discouraged from our own short-comings. The one-liners and awesome testimony ultimately focuses on encouraging readers to over come their own fears, whether by other people or themselves and have curiosity instead, lead the way to creative fulfillment.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

What it is about…

“The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity.  An international bestseller, it’s an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life.  Perhaps more vital in today’s cultural climate than it was when it was first pulbished a decade ago, it is powerfully provacative and inspiring work.”  The Artist’s Way

“The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills.  Correlation and emphasis is used by the author to show a connection between artistic creativity and a spiritual connection with God.” Wikipedia

The “Skinny”…

I consider this book is the “Grandmother” of creativity books and one that is most recognizable all over the world.  The book was first published in 1992, is divided into 12 chapters with exercises that can be conducted on a weekly basis, with topics such as recovering a sense of creative identity to recoverging a sense of faith.  Two important tools that Cameron shares for creativity recovery is Artists Dates and Morning Pages.

I first read this book in the early 2000s and was amazed how much it helped me to not only open my own creativity but also manifest success in other areas of my life.  I highly recommend it as the starter book for anyone who is interested in reclaiming their creative gifts at any point of their life.

The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPorte

“The Desire Map is a holistic approach to life planning that uses your core desired feelings as the guidance system for your goal setting. Over 125,000 copies sold and print in multiple languages.

Here’s the vibe of it: “With an organic elegance The Desire Mapcouples our primal desire-energy with the inborn intelligence of our feelings. The result? Optimizing our time on Earth. LaPorte’s joie de vivre is contagious. Prepare to catch it!” – Michael Bernard Beckwith I Life Visioning

And here’s why you need them: You’re a seeker who wants to get things done. You want to take your life from good to great. You want to strive less and at the same time, open up to the fortunes of life — from greater life force and passion, to cash, adventure and freedom of every kind. You’re here to design a life that’s an expression of your soul.” – DanielleLaPorte.com

The “Skinny”….

The Desire Map was a life saver for me when I became personally dissatisfied with the way my art career was moving.  The book brilliantly leads you to the core question…”how do you want to want to feel?”   That question has lead me to make a lot of decisions based on what she defines is the “core desired feelings”…the main 3-5 feelings you want to experience with whatever you are doing, the relationships you are in engaged in or the choices you are making.  Since 2016, I have been working with the Desire Map to serve as a guide regarding almost everything I do.  If I am engaged in a project that does not meet my current (annual) core desired feelings, I get out of it.  As a creative person it is important that I stay true to my commitment to my creative practice. Using the Desire Map process, I am able to identify the projects and activities that resonate with my soul rather than from an ego-based perspective.

This book is perfect for those who are defining their creative goals and need help ensuring that they choose the kind of projects and activities that support them.

How Georgia Became O’Keeffe by Karen Karbo

What it is about…

“Most people associate Georgia O’Keeffe with New Mexico, painted cow skulls, and her flower paintings. She was revered for so long—born in 1887, died at age ninety-eight in 1986—that we forget how young, restless, passionate, searching, striking, even fearful she once was—a dazzling, mysterious female force in bohemian New York City during its heyday.

In this distinctive book, Karen Karbo cracks open the O’Keeffe icon in her characteristic style, making one of the greatest women painters in American history vital and relevant for yet another generation. She chronicles O’Keeffe’s early life, her desire to be an artist, and the key moment when art became her form of self-expression. She also explores O’Keeffe’s passionate love affair with master photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who took a series of 500 black-and-white photographs of O’Keeffe during the early years of their marriage.

How Georgia Became O’Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living delves into the long, extraordinary life of the renowned American painter, exploring a range of universal themes—from how to discover and nurture your individuality to what it means to be in a committed relationship while maintaining your independence, from finding your own style to developing the ability to take risks. Each chapter is built around an aspect of living that concerns women today of all ages: how to find your own path; work with passion and conviction; express yourself; be in a relationship without sacrificing your sense of self; and do it all with an effortless, unique style.

As with Karbo’s previous books, How Georgia Became O’Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living is not a traditional biography, but rather a compelling, contemporary reassessment of the life of O’Keeffe with an eye toward understanding what we can learn from her way of being in the world.” – KarenKarbo.com

The Skinny…

This is not a how to regain your creativity book.  It is an inspiring read, focusing on one of the art world’s most talented and renown artists in the 20th Century.  Karbo takes us on a journey of how O’Keeffee became…well…O”Keeffee.  The story of the artist’s life provides a timeless testimony on how Georgia took risks and worked outside social norms at a challenging time for women artists  to stay focused on her own individuality and creative talent to produce some of the most beloved artwork that is still celebrated today.

This is the perfect book if you are looking to learn about an artistic icon and how their life can be an inspiration for your own creativity.

Feel free to add your favorite books on creativity in the comments so you can share with others as well.



Mindfully Creative Podcast has launched!


Welcome to the first episode of Mindfully Creative Podcast!

This is not my first podcasting experience, in fact, I was podcasting back in 2009 when I was the owner of Authentic Contemporary Art (formerly Authentic Art Consulting).  That podcast, Authentic Art Visions, the podcast featured a variety of people in the fine art world who shared tips for collecting and maintaining an art collection.

Fast forward to 2016, as I was considering a change in my interests and business endeavors, I felt called to start a new podcast series that highlighted art but in a different way.

Mindfully Creative podcast will explore how art is being used for personal and community healing as well as some tips on how creatives can break through barriers to make their “art” whatever that might look like. 

This podcast series is a part of my theme for 2017 (Courage)…it has taken me a lot to get back into podcasting and it is now much more mainstreamed than it was in 2009.  This first podcast was a bit tricky, learning new technology and of course a few bumps here and there….but hey, it’s now officially off the ground!

You can currently find Mindfully Creative podcast on Sound Cloud, Stitch and Google Play.


EPISODE 1:  “Feelings Get You There Faster” Featuring Michelle Wolff, Intuitive Life Coach/Artist/Healer

Creatives like myself need a variety of tools and resources to move forward with our personal and business endeavors.  As I continue my transition from fine arts professional to new endeavors, I came across Danielle LaPorte’s Fire Starter Sessions and then The Desire Map process early last year.

It was like I died and gone to heaven….for the first time someone was talking my language…one that I as a creative individual could understand without getting caught up on philosophical or theorectical mumbo jumbo !   This was a process that guided me toward a new focus based on one question: “how do you want to feel”, as my compass.

As I learned more about the Desire Map process, I was led to a number of individuals who were stewards of the program as well as had their own rocking coaching endeavors that lit my fuse.

Enter Michelle Wolff….

Michelle teaches using story, humor, and some salty language. She’s ridiculously curious with a wide variety of things she calls “jobs” only because she has to call them something. She’s a low level chronic complainer who periodically gets riled up enough about something to write about it. She holds a Master’s degree in Education, has 20 years experience and loves to help you rewrite your stories about life. She has been a therapist specializing in trauma and is now one hellacious energy worker and Shadow Walker. Her passion is geared toward restoring you through alchemical processes to a Being who lives and loves from a centered, grounded, totally in your True Power place. She uses any tools she can find to assist from chakras, cards and Reiki to cheese fries and Netflix. Her gift is guiding you to face the darkness through deep love and laughter.

Join us as we talk not only about the Desire Map process for “finding your way” as a creative, but most importantly these nuggets by Michelle Wolff:

  • “A more authentic life is art on a personal level…”

  • “If we could shift our viewpoint even the tiniest bit then it usually means a whole another door will open to a whole other room of information just by creating a little bit of a shift.”

  • “The process of sustainable change can’t be forced.”

  • “It’s important to learn to how to handle those things that enhance your creativity without drowning in them.”

Learn more and follow Michelle Wolff at




Twitter (@michellewolff11):


Instagram (@michellewolff11):




Periscope:  michellewolff11


About The Desire Map

The Desire Map is defined by Danielle LaPorte “as a holistic approach to life planning that uses your core desired feelings as the guidance system for your goal setting.”  By defining your core defined feelings (CDFs) serves as a compass to make decisions and choices based on how you want to feel….whether it is a job, a relationship, a project, and life.  The process can be learned DIY by reading the Desire Map book and going through the process or through a licensed facilitator.

Since 2015, I felt a bit unsatisfied with my work in the fine arts.  I did not feel fulfilled and was increasingly facing barriers to moving forward with that career.  As I became increasingly dissatisfied toward the end of that year, I decided I needed a method to focus on what I felt I needed to do, my purpose. I have always followed Danielle via social media and decided to participate in a virtual Fire Starter course which introduces the concept of CDFs and was hooked.  I moved to the Desire Map and worked with Michelle Wolff through the process.  It has transformed my focus, my art and a great part of my life.

I am an affiliate of Danielle’s programs, books and products and invite you to explore more about The Desire Map here.   Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss my process and how it has helped me.

Learn More About SJB Creative

Visit the website here: http://www.sjbcreativeart.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SJBCreativeArt/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/sjbcreativeart/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sjbcreativeart

Listen to my conversation with Michelle here: