Enneagram Creativity Workshop! (Tickets now available)

I'm teaching a brand new workshop on August 11th in Shreveport! Here's why:

It breaks my heart to hear people say, “I’m just not creative.” It actually pains me. 

I’m tired of hearing the Enneagram 6s in my life (all of whom perhaps are more talented than I am) say “I’m not an artist,” and hearing 9’s say they’re not creative when they have some of the most natural creative gifts of us all. Or 3’s wanting excellence in their work but being unwilling to risk vulnerability in the process, or 7’s with brilliant ideas left unfinished, or 1’s too afraid of making mistakes to even start. The list could go on with an example for each Enneagram type (and will at the workshop).

In a basic sense, creativity can be thought of as a way to express who we are. So knowing who we are with the help of Enneagram wisdom can allow us to better express ourselves, which can lead into being known more fully by others and ourselves! Creativity isn’t ever only about expression, but also about discovery. We learn about ourselves, others, and our world in the process of creation. To me, creativity is the art of knowing and being known.

I believe that creativity is an innate human capacity, and we are better off when we’re using it. As Brene Brown puts it, “Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgement, sorrow, shame.” In other words, neglecting to use our creativity is not without consequence. It affects our overall health and well being, the quality of our relationships, and the ways in which we contribute to the world.

In this Enneagram Creativity workshop, we'll look at Enneagram basics with an emphasis on how personality influences creativity for each of the 9 types. 

  • Why is it important to make time and space for creativity in our lives?
  • What sort of content do you naturally gravitate toward making? 
  • What are the gifts and challenges that your personality brings to the creative process?
  • How can self-awareness help in overcoming creative obstacles and freeing you up to make the work and life you envision? 

This is just as much for anyone who has ever said I’m just not creative or I’m not an artist as it is for working artists looking for tools to help get past creative blocks and discover new aspects of your work and talents. Prior knowledge of the Enneagram is not required, but familiarity with your type would be helpful...click here for a brief overview of the 9 types.

Want to come? Grab your ticket now...

There will only be 50 seats available, so make sure to reserve yours early!

Enneagram Creativity Workshop
Purchase Ticket

When: Saturday August 11 , 10am-5pm

Where: The Agora Borealis

Ticket Cost: $55 (Artists of Agora, use your discount code for $5 off.)

*Ticket price includes a local vegan lunch by Go Greenly, a class workbook for note-taking & further study, and discounts on brand new Enneagram products.

**BYOB to enjoy throughout the day!

Hope to see you there!

More info at sarahduet.com/enneagram or feel free to shoot me an email!

Artful Living : Put the Phone Down, Kid

Some thoughts on responsible relationships to technology


It seems that the busier we get in our household, the more our addictions to technology flare up. We technically have less time to be on our phones, yet they become the easiest “go-to” for winding down, waking up, or just getting a jolt of dopamine to keep the energy levels up. So we end up alternating between getting things checked off “the list” and staring into a scrolling screen. This leaves very little room for real presence, contemplation, and living into one of our core values in this house – creativity.

In their book Wired to Create, co-authors Kaufman and Gregoire claim that, “A connection to our inner selves and our stream of consciousness is undeniably what makes us creative.” How do we then foster this connection to our inner selves that fuels creativity while carrying around these always-available distraction devices in our pockets? How do we shift our attention away from what draws us compulsively and toward what we more intentionally choose?

Paying attention is a lost art. It is a skill that we now must develop – like a muscle that tends to atrophy in our society of “constant semi-attention” (as Thomas Merton put it), or in the midst of what neuroscientist Richard Davidson calls our “national attention deficit.” We go to bed with our phones in our faces, and they’re the first thing we reach for upon waking. The average American is spending approximately 11 hours interacting with digital devices, smartphone users check their devices about 150 times a day (or every 6.5 minutes), and someone just invented a flashing nightlight that will alert us to any notifications we might receive while trying to sleep. Great. The busyness of our brains and the pace of our lives is affecting us in every way imaginable, including our physiology. Brain scans show that interacting with our devices activates the reward centers of our brains connected with addiction, and that the same withdrawal symptoms a smoker experiences when quitting cold turkey are present in students who abstain from using technology for only 24 hours.

The access to the mind space we need to create is denied when we’re constantly distracted. Our ability to fully concentrate or connect deeply with much of anything is compromised by our endemic “multi-tasking” – which is actually just alternating our focus rapidly, as it is neurologically impossible to do two things at once. We act mindlessly, often unaware of exactly what we’re doing and even more often unaware of why we do the things we do. We can barely attend to those things outside us without interruption, much less the deeper realities within. 

So how do we re-learn this art of paying attention?

One way is cultivating more responsible relationships with technology. 

I promise I’m no luddite. Our technology makes amazing and important things possible like staying connected with loved ones, connecting with a tribe, creating and sustaining businesses, garnering a group effort for massive social change, pure enjoyment, and making absolutely beautiful, life-enhancing art. But it is a neutral tool in and of itself (and a very young tool relatively speaking) so we must be mindful about how we’re using it and how it’s shaping us. Used mindlessly or for ill will, our devices are just as capable of isolating us to no end and being agents of our destruction as they are of making the world a better, more beautiful place to live. 

So here are a few ideas of how to foster a responsible relationship with the technology at our fingertips:

Maintain screen-free zones. Maybe it’s the dinner table. Maybe it’s your bed. But what will I do for an alarm clock?! (That was my first thought anyway.) Apparently people still sell real alarm clocks. Who knew? Maybe it’s the car. Maybe it’s the shower. There needs to be at least one zone––be it physical or time-based––that is kept screen-free as a ritual and reserved for direct connection unmediated by a device. It’s a built in element of rhythm that requires you to interact with your own thoughts, feelings, and impulses apart from the crutch of the device, reminds you that you are in fact not a machine, and returns you to the human zone of connection that requires observation, conversation, and empathy. Here’s an idea: Remember when phones were in a fixed location, corded into the wall? What if you made a “phone station” at home where you used and charged your phone, and the phone stayed there instead of being an extension of your body at all times?

Screen time limits. These are popular with children nowadays, but adults can incorporate them as well. Dealing with devices that can be addictive, we can’t rely on sheer will power. We have to set up parameters that help us to thrive, and then abide by them religiously. As someone whose vocation requires ample amounts of screen time, I’ve had to get creative with this. I’m moving as many tasks as I can over to paper that I used to do on-screen––like making to to-do lists, calendaring, and writing outlines or early drafts of a project. 

Blue light reduction. This has changed my life. Apple, Google, and other companies have created features that reduce the blue-light being emitted from your devices. Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum that has a very short wavelength, produces a high amount of energy, and reaches deeper into the eye than some other forms of light. It is being connected with damage to the retina, early development of macular degeneration, and reducing the production of melatonin––the hormone that signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. Using “night-shift mode” (Apple’s name for this feature) or wearing glasses that filter out blue light after 8pm may make your screen look more orange than usual for a few hours, but you’ll cause less strain on your eyes and sleep more soundly. Sometimes I just leave it on all day if what I’m doing doesn’t require accurate color matching.

Breathe. Did you know screen apnea is a real thing? Tech expert Linda Stone describes screen apnea as “the temporary cessation of breath or shallow breathing while sitting in front of screen, whether a computer, a mobile device or a television.”* Breath-holding is associated with all sorts of health problems like decreased effectiveness of the immune system, increased pain, higher heart rates, and higher inflammation levels contributing to obesity, depression, and a myriad of stress-related illnesses. It’s amazing how off our breathing gets during screen use. Just pay attention next time you’re on a device and see what happens to the rhythm of your breath. The good news is we can train ourselves into better breathing habits.

One practice that helps with this is contemplative sitting.

The 20 minute sit is a standard meditation practice encouraged by many teachers and spiritual leaders in varying traditions. There are many ways to approach your sit, but here are two of the most basic options. Firstly, you can focus attention on your breath by finding a comfortable position, feeling your breath as it enters cooly through your nostrils and exits warmly seconds later, noting when thoughts or feelings arise, and each time they do, gently returning your attention to your breath. Or secondly, you can engage in the same process by centering your attention on a sacred or meaningful word rather than simply the breath. Some common choices might be mercy, love, God, gratitude, peace, unity, etc. The great news here is you don’t have to begin with a full 20 minutes. You can work up to that in small increments. Try 5 minutes for a week, then 7 the next week, then 10, 15, and eventually 20. It’s important to remember you can’t be “bad” at meditation! It is far more difficult than it might sound at first, and it is challenging even for experienced practitioners. “Success” is only found in strengthening your muscles of attention by returning constantly to your breath or word, and in what you might discover as you notice what arises in you without judgement.

As we strengthen these muscles of attention we gain the power to more freely choose how and when we engage with our devices, and how and when we don’t – making space for attending to the moment at hand, our inner lives, and the creative work that is ours to do each day.

The above text is an edited excerpt from my in-progress manuscript about artful living through the lenses of creativity, connection, and community. More excerpts to follow in this blog series titled "Artful Living."

BIG MAGIC Giveaway!

Here's the Deal

I love reading this book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert, to kickstart a new year with extra doses of bravery, curiosity, & creativity! I love it so much that I want to share a copy so it can hopefully offer the same to you as you embark on your new year...


This is so simple. Just subscribe to my email newsletter list before January 28th here:

Subscribe to my email newsletter. #BigMagicBigYear


I've recently made some adjustments that have opened up a whole lot more time for creative work. It'll be a big year ahead, and I've got lots I want to share with you. To that end I'm reviving this monthly newsletter, which I've been away from for about 2 years. I can't wait to reconnect with those of you already on the list and to welcome new folks into the  fold. Writing these used to be one of my favorite things to do, and I'm stoked about getting back to it!


As a part of my list: You'll be among the first folks to hear about new projects and have access to perks like free resources, new music, early pre-orders, discounts, and exclusive material sent just for you. And best of all, you get priority access to my inbox...I look forward to the conversations we all might have this year.

You'll hear from me once monthly at minimum (the last Monday of each month) and occasionally about special happenings in between. I promise I won't waste your time...I know everybody gets too many emails these days, so I'll only send you what I think might be most valuable for you.


  1. If you're already on my newsletter list, you're automatically entered into the drawing!
  2. I'll announce the winner on Monday Jan. 29 via that day's email.
  3. BONUS CHANCES: If you really want the book (or you just really want to help connect me with folks who might be interested in my work...which I greatly appreciate, by the way)...you can get your name put in up to 3 times! Here's how. After subscribing...
    1. LIKE my new business page on Facebook at: facebook.com/sarahduet. (It's under construction but will be fully up & running later this month.)
    2. SHARE a photo on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook talking about the giveaway with the hashtag #BigMagicBigYear in the caption. (Feel free to copy the one at the top of this post or download one here or here.) 
    3. **#'s 1 & 2 each get your name put in the drawing 1 more time, up to 3 total.

Thanks for playing! Here's to a curious, brave, & creative 2018...



Influences: Lisa Congdon / Art Inc.

Lisa Congdon's new book has officially been added to my  Arts & Creatvity Bookshelf .

Lisa Congdon's new book has officially been added to my Arts & Creatvity Bookshelf.

Visit Lisa's website:  lisacongdon.com

Visit Lisa's website: lisacongdon.com

I've recently discovered Lisa Congdon, fine artist, illustrator, and author, and she's quickly becoming a big influence on my work. Lisa found her identity as an artist in her 30's and has built an amazingly successful career in the last 10-15 years or so through smart, hard, and dedicated work. 

She shares in-depth details of how you can make a living by making visual art in the book Art, Inc. (The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist)There is more practical guidance in this book than in most resources of a similar sort, which I expect I'll go back to and reference as needed. The design of the book is also excellent, which I appreciate as the book is indeed about art/design. (It only makes sense I suppose, but this is not always a given.) There are other books in the "Inc." series including Creative, Inc. , Blog, Inc. , Craft Inc. , and Mom, Inc.

Hear/see more about Lisa Congdon's life and work in the videos below:

Playing Producer

I had the pleasure and privilege of helping my friend/collaborator Caitlin Milam record some of her original music last month! I've wanted to help produce her work for quite some time, and the opportunity finally arose. We made some simple acoustic recordings of 3 songs, designed some minimalistic packaging, and put it all together for a few lucky folks to receive for Christmas presents. You can listen to one of the tracks titled "King of Glory" in the player below!

Also, you can hear these songs live on January 24th in West Monroe. Details about the upcoming gig can be found here.

Influences: The Bookshelf (Part 1)

I appreciate when other artists give us glimpses into the influences that undergird the work they're making, so I've decided to periodically offer you those glimpses of the things that comprise my creative process. Hope it's interesting or helpful to you in some way!


There's no way around it. What I read highly influences the way I'm thinking and whatever work I'm making. Whether the content is directly related to art and the creative process or it seems like it's from somewhere out in left field...in some way or another I'd say just about all of it makes it into the work I'm doing (or will eventually). Because nothing is actually out in left field when we're talking about art and creativity. Everything is fair game for material, and some people even land on a definition for creativity as something like: making connections between things previously unrelated to create something new...

Of course, the reading material doesn't only affect my tangible work, but it also & just as much influences my conversations & relationships. I had a couple of friends ask for book recommendations last week, and I realized that those are some of my absolute favorite questions to answer! So I thought hey, why not "answer" those questions for anybody who might be curious?! If you're one of the curious, AWESOME! I hope getting a glimpse of my bookshelf might point you to some valuable reading of your own. 

In compiling the list, I've realized that we're working with a pretty large bookshelf...so I'll break this up into a few posts divided by category. Today's: Art & Creativity. Upcoming categories will be: 



Hope this points you in the direction of some good information and inspiration to undergird your work and relationships! Next in cue for part 2 of this mini-series, Influences: The Bookshelf, will be a list of books roughly centered on Social-Psychology, Personality, & Connection...

Until next time,


Art, Fear, and Sensitivity...

These are the 13th & 14th of 25 books I have committed to read & review this year for a project I’m calling “25/25.” Follow visual updates on Instagram (& Twitter) with the hashtag #read25in25.

Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland

I've read this book a couple of times now over the last few years. It's a staple in my library of books on life as an artist and the creative process. It is one of the ones that sends me straight back into my work reenergized and refocused. One of the best parts of Art & Fear is how is de-romanticizes artmaking, centering the conversation in the practical world of life and work without discounting the element of mystery involved in finding and making the work that is ours to make. 

It is said to be an "artist's survival guide" that addresses the following 3 questions that recur at each stage of an artist's development:

  • What is your art really about?
  • Where is it going?
  • What stands in the way of getting it there?
...you must first learn that the only voice you need is the voice you already have. Art work is ordinary work, but it takes courage to embrace that work, and wisdom to mediate the interplay of art & fear...Your art does not arrive miraculously from the darkness, but is made uneventfully in the light.
— David Bayles & Ted Orland

The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph. D

When reading Susan Cain's book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, I learned of a trait called "high-sensitivity." It's a trait that merely describes a person with a more sensitive nervous system than the average person, and it is estimated that 15-20% of the population are highly sensitive persons (HSPs)–that makes approximately 50 million in the U.S. Cain referenced the work of Elaine Aron repeatedly, and it led me to purchase and read this book by Aron. It was valuable to get a more in depth look at the nuances of living as or with an HSP, but as a starting point, I'd really recommend reading Cain's book first.

Dr. Aron explains that in the past HSPs have been called “shy,” “timid,” “inhibited,” or “introverted,” but these labels completely miss the nature of the trait. Thirty percent of HSPs are actually extraverts. HSPs only appear inhibited because they are so aware of all the possibilities in a situation. They pause before acting, reflecting on their past experiences. If these were mostly bad experiences, then yes, they will be truly shy. But in a culture that prefers confident, “bold” extraverts, it is harmful as well as mistaken to stigmatize all HSPs as shy when many are not. In The Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Aron reframes these stereotyping words and their common application to the HSP in a more positive light and helps HSPs use and view these aspects of their personality as strengths rather than weaknesses.

Sensitivity is anything but a flaw. Many HSPs are often unusually creative and productive workers, attentive and thoughtful partners, and intellectually gifted individuals.
— http://www.hsperson.com

Some gifted individuals indeed, and important figures in our culture, including: Albert Einstein, Carl Jung, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Thomas Alva Edison, Jane Goodall, Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, William Butler Yeats, Virginia Woolf, E.E. Cummings, Allen Ginsberg, James Baldwin, Kahlil Gibran, D.H. Lawrence, Henry David Thoreau, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Tennessee Williams, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van GoghGeorgia O’Keefe, Picasso, Frida Kahlo and Frank Lloyd Wright, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Neil Young, Judy Garland, and many others. To be fair, the trait certainly does not always lead to positive contributions as  Adolf Hitler and Osama Bin Laden are also thought to exhibit the signs of being HSPs.

Some questions to ask yourself...if you answer yes to the majority of these you may be an HSP:

  • Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
  • Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
  • Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
  • Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
  • Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
  • Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
  • Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
  • When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

High-sensitivity is not the same as introversion, however many introverts are also HSPs. And both of these traits–introversion and high-sensitivity–can get confused with shyness, but these are misconceptions. Watch the TED Talk to the left from Susan Cain to get a bit more of an accurate picture of what introversion truly is, the value of it, and a look at how the bias of our current culture is toward extroversion in a variety of ways...

If you know me at all, you know I fit into both of these categories–HSP and introverted. I'm grateful for the language people like Susan Cain and Elaine Aron are developing and that it is gaining a place in the public discourse. This is good news for all of us I think:)