Creativity Pathway #120: Chautauqua Summer

In last week’s Wellness Pathway , Bob made mention of the place I refer to as “the best on earth,” the Chautauqua Institution in western New York State ( At this point, I have been going to Chautauqua each summer for more than half of my life. It is in this place where each year I rediscover peace of mind, stillness of spirit, and a joy that comes from having creativity honored.

So, what is it about Chautauqua that gets me in such a state of bliss? The people? No, I go with my family, who all live within 15 minutes of my home here in Ohio. Is it the music? No, I am surrounded with musicians all year long. Is it the intellectual challenge through lecture and discussion each day? No, the people in my life engage in the same level of intense reflection and debate on a regular basis. 

No, it’s not the place that makes me so joyful, it is me. It is the shift in my perspective each time I walk through the main gate and onto the grounds. I can literally feel my body allowing itself to relax. My mind releases the To Do lists, the unresolved issues, and the stressors of home in order to become fully present to its surroundings.

What a glorious revelation this has been for me! I do not have to settle for a one-week vacation at Chautauqua. I can have a Chautauqua Summer simply by intentionally applying the same shifts each day:

  • Scheduling time to play and for creative joys
  • Being present enough to enjoy things like the variety of colors on a single flower petal
  • Setting non-negotiable boundaries for work time
  • Honoring my body with gloriously healthy, fresh food
  • Remembering that what is meant to be will come with ease

Make yours a Chautauqua Summer too!

Coaching Inquiries: What do you allow yourself to do while on vacation that you could bring back with you? In what ways will you renew your spirit today?

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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Erika Jackson (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH  •   U.S.A.

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