• First off… walking and being present in nature is one of the greatest inspirations we can have… even if it’s a small corner of green or walking through streets and paying attention to trees, birds and the changing seasons. Nature is a wonderful resource to help ground and inspire us. And we can always offer thanks, by picking up any rubbish we spot and taking care of/around nature areas.

  • One of my favourite forests in the UK is Grizedale Forest in the Lake District. Bill Grant (OBE/MBE), who headed up the Forestry Commission there in the sixties/seventies was inspirational. He was the driving force behind the Theatre-in-the-Forest (sadly now closed) and the innovative arts programme, where the first ever sculpture trail was created through the forest. This arts trail still exists today and has surely inspired the growing number of outside art and sculpture parks we can find today in the UK.

  • The Book of Symbols offers reflections on archetypal images for explorers of inner life. This is a wonderful, evocative, collection of thought-provoking essays using myth and history to explore key archetypal images, often from nature. Not to be used as a simple check-list for meaning of images, but more as a gateway to “amplify” some of the images that come to us. Beautiful.

  • The Artists Way by Julia Cameron – getting in to the daily habit of creating art for the sheer joy of it. Many people, including writers and artists, swear by this book – saying it saved them at various stuck points in their life

  • Letters to a Young Poet by poet Rainer Maria Rilke – bit rich and heavy to digest in one go, but deeply insightful, thought-provoking and inspiring in small chunks. Jung apparently loved him and there are real treasures to be found here. Rilke was way ahead of his time. An absolute advocate of the importance of developing an inner life.

  • Painting from the Source by Aviva Gold – wonderful book that helps you connect with the creative source and soulful flow of art-making.

  • Women Who Run With the Wolves by  Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Apparently, it took her 20 years to write, can take 20 years to read in full, but incredible, rich exploration of how stories and myths can open up the female psyche. Lovely to dip in and out of, almost like a reference book.

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