Self Mastery

All things related to Karen Kohler’s life arts training, specifically as regards self-mastery (self mastery), life artistry and personal growth.

Message in A Bottle: “Don’t Put Anything Off”

By |2020-04-29T20:11:27-04:00November 3rd, 2016|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

"Don't put anything off," is the advice of a dear friend who recently lost his wife to cancer after a long battle. Together they had been grand patrons of art in my community. I pause to assess my life. It's rich with all that I hold dear - my marriage, family, singing, directing, coaching, traveling, gardening, reading, learning. Still, I [...]

Seed Your Soul

By |2020-04-29T20:09:45-04:00June 13th, 2016|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

If you search for your soul you won’t find it. Search for anything — power, talent, time, romance, riches, God — they will elude you. Instead evoke them. Call them forth. In the case of your soul — recall it and then seed it. Uncover who you already are. Bring forth who and what you already possess. Who you are at birth is given. There [...]

Leave Breadcrumbs

By |2020-05-02T18:59:57-04:00April 2nd, 2016|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

I believe in breadcrumbs. Since the night I snuggled up to my Oma’s bosom to hear her read Hansel and Gretel for the first time, breadcrumbs have fueled my imagination. Haunted and yet mesmerized by this tale of witches and evil stepmothers, it was the breadcrumbs I remember most. And I began leaving them too. I didn’t do it consciously, but then neither did Hansel [...]

Love Letter to Fear

By |2020-04-29T19:15:33-04:00March 3rd, 2016|Life Arts, Prose & Poetry, Self Mastery, Writing|

Dear Fear, It has taken me some time to get around to this, but with Valentine's Day having recently passed and the world evolving the way it is, I've been thinking a lot about love, affection and their opposites. It's high time I wrote you this letter. The world is full of teachings that would have me confront you, tame you, control [...]

Harmony is for the Birds

By |2020-04-30T16:29:50-04:00January 23rd, 2014|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

Let's face it: some music is really hard on the ears! I don't mean the noise that's out there, I mean the real and serious music. What makes music rough is this beautiful, unstable and highly useful thing called dissonance. In a dissonant chord, the notes aren't aligned harmonically and so the sound is tense and unpleasant. But dissonance [...]

The Seed Within

By |2020-04-30T16:29:59-04:00January 4th, 2014|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

Within us all there is a seed of resplendent life force. We artists feel it especially. This seed lies in its casing, a hard exterior shell.  We have to let the flowering take place. For an artist this is always a necessity...this having to bloom. We cannot help it. We can hinder it, prevent it, stifle it, go another way. It does not go [...]

On Being a Towering Figure

By |2020-04-30T16:30:13-04:00December 6th, 2013|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

The towering figure called Nelson Mandela has died. This is the poem that got him through prison: Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of [...]

On Waking Up and Walling Up

By |2020-04-30T16:43:51-04:00April 16th, 2013|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

My life happens first and my art imitates it. That's the usual way. What I experience becomes my authority in what I bring across on stage, in a scene, a song, a mood, emotion, sentiment, argument. I admit I'm an adventurer, happier on the edge than in the center. Yet anchored in the center with at least one foot, [...]

Emptiness and Origin

By |2020-04-30T17:38:21-04:00February 8th, 2013|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

Emptiness is the void. Silence is the void. The place of origin from which all comes and to which all returns. Silence is key. Without it there is no music. Claude Debussy said, “Music is the silence between the notes." Think about that. Music is the silence between the notes. Silence is space, space is physical – the earth, [...]