Giving yourself breathing room

Giving yourself breathing room

Giving yourself breathing room:

The restorative potential of creativity + community


I hope this finds you well, grounded, and finding ways to connect/reconnect with a sense of possibilities. [Pressed for time? Resources and invitation links below.]

An invitation for next Tuesday (and beyond):

The low-key, drop-in, creative coffee hours that I facilitated in April were so energizing and fun that we’re doing it again in May.The last series ranged from people sheltering at home alone to families with three generations at the kitchen table; from Alaska to Belgium and beyond; and from ages five to 89. There was a lot of laughter, and I got follow-up comments like these from participants:

  • An oasis.
  • The highlight of a very hard week for my family.
  • Made my thinking more open-minded and less judgmental all afternoon.

Who is this for?

  • People who loathe / love / are-afraid-of / believe-they-can’t / know-they-can draw, and want a low-key, social, creative break in their week.
  • People who are holding lots of responsibilities, are finding it hard to focus, and/or are feeling a bit burned out. Sometimes letting somebody else structure an hour of your time with creative sparks and non-goal-oriented activity is surprisingly refreshing. And it turns out that low-key, creative image-making can have fantastic carry-over effects, from more creative problem-solving to greater compassion, from better focus to cheerier moods. (And even if that weren’t true, it’s engaging and refreshing in the moment, and that’s worthwhile, too.)
  • People who want to connect across the distance: In the last series, people invited friends from other states, and colleagues and cousins from other continents. For the next series, at least one person is inviting his whole team to come together for a shared fun experience from their various work-from-home settings.

If that sounds like you, I’d love to have you in the mix:


Scribble + Jot Creative Coffee Hour Series 

  • WHAT: Lightly-facilitated, fun drawing exercises to give yourself a creative break amidst everything that you (and maybe your team) are juggling. Inspired by the fabulous comic-making work of Lynda Barry.
  • WHO: Suitable for solo attendance, skills not required. And feel free to bring your ‘drawing associate’. (Can they write their name and draw a credible stick figure? Are you already sharing serving utensils and boxes of antibacterial wipes with them? They’re qualified for the job!)
  • WHEN: Three Tuesdays in May, 10:30am PST. (May 12, 19, and 26)
  • Free. Space is limited. Register HERE.

Other creative offerings and useful questions:

I’ve been heartened by the creative ways that folks have been rallying together, pooling their energy, resources, and knowledge to pitch in during this challenging time. While some of these are specific to a certain region or sector, they might be a spark of inspiration or a useful model for your community. I’ve been including a few highlights in recent notes, here’s the latest installment:

  • You’re stronger than you feel:  This interview of a father/first-responder/funeral-director by his daughter is one of an ever-growing collection of interviews with regular folks by regular folks, made possible by a remote storytelling platform recently launched by StoryCorps. The stories are short, intimate, and heartening. And StoryCorps Connect also enables you (yes, YOU!) to record a StoryCorps interview with a loved one remotely using video conference technology. The DIY resources are tremendous, including Great Questions for interviews (and meaningful conversations in general), and a thorough Teacher Toolkit for educators. The audio and a still photo from each interview goes into their archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
  • Who will you be when you Emerge?  That’s the opening question for this Leadership Toolkit: Planning Your Organization’s Return from COVID-19 by Jessica Lawmaster of Kindred Consulting. This toolkit is insightful, practical, and human-centered.
  • Six Daily Questions to Ask Yourself in Quarantine.  A thought-provoking discussion of six meaningful questions by Brooke Anderson, including “What expectations of ‘normal’ am I letting go of today” and “What beauty am I creating, cultivating, or inviting today?”

Please stay in touch:

  • I’d love to see you at any/all of the virtual gatherings that strike your fancy. (And if you have ideas for other topics/formats/etc, please let me know.)
  • If you have a resource you’d like to highlight, or an inspiring example of how people are weaving their community together in the midst of the pandemic, I’d love to hear from you.
  • If you’d like a sounding board for whatever leadership challenges you’re navigating, please reach out and let me know what’s on your mind.

Big thanks, more soon, and take care of yourself and each other.


Sara Lawson is a consultant, coach, facilitator, and the creator of Gauge Leadership Lab (Bellingham Series starts October 9th, 2020; London series starts Oct 20, 2020; Seattle series starts on March 5, 2021). She is passionate about the role that mission-inspired companies and organizations have in strengthening communities. She also knows that leadership can be fulfilling AND frustrating, even for dedicated, skilled, and creative people. You can reach Sara HERE.

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