CreativeMornings Cleveland Serves a Dose of Good Medicine with Claire Campbell

Some times we hear creative and we think that’s not me. A feeling of inferiority takes over. We think I don’t sing, or act, or dance, or paint. But when we put ourselves in an environment that supports, promotes, and nurtures creativity we realize we are all creatives – whether we’re designing a website, tending to our garden, writing a thank you card, or experiencing what another has created at an art museum or concert.

Nearly a decade has passed since Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swissmiss) first brought together like-minded, friendly creatives in her New York City community for some free coffee and a short chat. And thus began CreativeMornings – a place for creatives to nurture, network, and grow within their local communities.

CreativeMornings is exactly the type of event I love to seek out when traveling alone and am in the need to talk to another human being – a laid-back, free breakfast lecture series for the creative community. Over the past decade this creative community has spread around the world to 180 cities – from Auckland to London to Minneapolis to Mexico City.

The structure is simple, one Friday a month creatives come together for a free talk geared around a global theme. Global themes are selected by various chapters throughout the year, and each chapter coordinates a short talk and Q&A.

Get Inspired by past themes such as: Content, Compassion, Death, Transparency, Weird, Minimal, Freedom, Money, and Space at

I found myself walking with a friend in the blistering cold outside Tyler Village on the Eastside of Cleveland between the refurbished Warehouses that now house a coffee shop, high school, and design firms, on my way to my second CreativeMornings talk. As we made our way through the building to Balance Innovation & Design – this month’s host site – more people began to appear until we entered a room filled with Cleveland creatives laughing and talking – some meeting up with new friends made at past talks – while checking in and grabbing a cup of coffee and bagel.

This month’s popular global theme Anxiety – chosen by the Bucharest chapter – sold out (its free, so basically registration was filled). Host – Thomas Fox – and other volunteers brought in speaker – Claire Campbell. An artist, Licensed Clinical Counselor, Art Therapist, Clinical Director and faculty member in the Clinical Mental Heath Counselor Education Graduate Program at Cleveland State University, Campbell provided creatives with a holistic approach to calming anxiety in her talk – Good Medicine.

With a soft soothing cadence to her voice, Campbell guided us through a flow and short breathing moment to center ourselves. I say moment, because it wasn’t an exercise or mediation per say, but just a minute or so to catch our breaths and center ourselves. And it was this calming tone that carried us through her short talk.

Experiencing nerves about presenting a talk on anxiety, a not-forgotten childhood memory of learning to swim and feeling as if she was drowning, and struggling with anxiety after the events of September 11th, Campbell stood infant of us as another human, another creative struggling with the pain that is inevitable in life.

The struggle to experience our feelings – to acknowledge the pain and darkness that is unavoidable in life – is at the crux of our anxiety. Working off the teachings of Tibetan Buddhists, Campbell discussed the need to stay in the dark and pain in order to heal. We have the power to provide ourselves mindful prescriptions to heal our minds and bodies, and she gave us a few daily doses to take with us.

Daily Doses:

  • Noticing – pay attention to what gives you joy and good energy
  • Keep noticing
  • Grow fully – give yourself the time, nourishment, and patience to grow
  • Stay rooted
  • Move upward & forward
  • See oneself
  • Pride – have it in yourself

As she started the meeting in Flow, Campbell also ended the meeting with a quiet Flow reminding us to stay intentional and mindful of what gives us good energy.

The next Friday you find yourself home or traveling to a new city in need of some free coffee, thoughtful discussion, and creative inspiration look for a CreativeMornings talk – you’re bound to be near one!

CreativeMornings Cleveland talks take place the third Friday of each month at various locations around the city. For more information on Cleveland talks go to

  1. Finally had time to sit and read this. I never rush through your posts. Reading them helps me slow down and focus when a lot is going on in my life. This one was exactly what I needed to read! Stress about my mom often makes us feel like so many things are out of our control. Anxiety hits you at any age but knowing it’s universal is calming in itself. Keep writing, Mo! You’re like a little oasis of calm!


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