Do Not Disturb Unless I’ve Won the Lottery or Jesus Has Been Sighted on the Old Taos Highway

There's a book I really like called Women Who Run with The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It's got a poorly designed cover (see below) and an embarrassing title.


But over the past few years, it's been my book. It's the book I go to when I'm inspired. It's the book I read in the morning with my coffee. It's the book I go to when I'm confused and feel weak.

With everything that is happening in the world right now, I know some of us feel frustrated, confused, and defeated. So, for whatever soul balm it is worth, I wanted to share some of the passages that most inspire me around creativity and making.

4 inspiring quotes for makers from the book Women Who Run With the Wolves:

On taking our work seriously
“Often the creative life is slowed or stopped because something in the psyche has a very low opinion of us, and we are down there groveling at its feet instead of bopping it over the head and running for freedom. In many cases what is required to aright the situation is that we take ourselves, our ideas, our art, far more seriously than we have before.”

On saying “no”
“A woman must be careful to not allow over-responsibility (or over-respectability) to steal her necessary creative rests, riffs, and raptures. She simply must put her foot down and say no to half of what she believes she ‘should’ be doing. Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only.”

On what it means to be a real artist
“Gifted women, even as they reclaim their creative lives, even as beautiful things flow from their hands, from their pens, from their bodies, still question whether they are writers, painters, artists, people, real ones. And of course they are real ones even though they might like to bedevil themselves with what constitutes ‘real.’ A farmer is a real farmer when she looks out over the land and plans the spring crops. A runner is real when she takes the first step, a flower is real when it is yet in its mother stem, a tree is real when it is still a seed in the pine cone. An old tree is a real living being. Real is what has life.”

On creating protected time
“I know a fierce painter I know who hangs this sign on the chain that closes off the road to her house when she is in a painting or thinking mode: ‘I am working today and am not receiving visitors. I know you think this doesn’t mean you because you are my banker, agent, or best friend. But it does.’ Another sculptor I know hangs this sign on her gate: ‘Do not disturb unless I’ve won the lottery or Jesus has been sighted on the Old Taos Highway.’”

Keep running with the wolves -- and keep making what you make for the world.

Grow Your Wholesale

A free five part email series with the most important things we know about getting your handmade products into stores.