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Jan Phillips
Jan is the author of eight award-winning books on creativity, spiritual intelligence and social activism. She speaks and leads workshops around the country.

Entries by Jan Phillips

Memories of a Gay Childhood

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 11:34 PM

This past weekend being Pride Weekend in San Diego, I went to the GLBTQ Center to volunteer my services. I told the two men at the reception desk that I was an author/artist/activist who mostly worked nationally, but that I wanted to do something in my own community for gay...

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Memorial Day 2014

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 9:19 AM


In memory of all the dead
who gave their lives in any war.

In memory of those who survived
but remain broken in body, mind, or soul.

In memory of a sermon on a...

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Tribute to a Photographer Who Rocked Our World

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 9:54 PM

I co-authored a coffee table book with a friend last year and we just found out it won the 2014 Nautilus Award. The announcement came when I was in the middle of a chapter on a new WHY-TO Creativity book. I'm trying to remind people WHY it's important that they...

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Paschal Mystery 2014

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 12:27 AM


It's Easter weekend and I'm agitated as always, torn between a desire to listen to the Hallelujah Chorus being sung by a choir and contempt for a priest who will say we are sinners redeemed on this day. Hundreds of thousands of people...

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When I Die

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 7:34 PM


Yesterday I spent an hour in a rose garden. I photographed some of the most beautiful roses I had ever seen. It was breathtaking, and I was so grounded in the moment that I never noticed the passing of time. The...

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'Jew' Is Not a Verb

(4) Comments | Posted April 13, 2014 | 8:37 PM

My plumber was here all weekend putting in a new hot water heater. At the end, when we were settling up, I told him how grateful I was for the discount he gave me on his labor. "That's because you didn't try and jew me down," he said. "If you...

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Notes From a New Widow

(4) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 3:22 PM

My soul mate of 24 years died in my arms two weeks ago. She had throat cancer and hadn't been able to swallow much for four months. Got her calories through a feeding tube. She weighed 80 pounds at the end, but the wisdom she went out with was solid...

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Gay Pride and What It Conjures

(1) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 5:02 PM

Thoughts after the 2013 San Diego Pride Parade:

Thinking back, forty years and more
back to when gay was not a word
that described a people
exiled, but proud.

Thinking back to my early tears
at being born a sinner,
wrong for who I loved

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Women's Voices for (a) Change

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 8:33 PM

Fifty years ago, Betty Friedan's book, The Feminine Mystique, sparked a women's movement that rocked the world. It was about "the problem that has no name." They didn't know what to call it back then. But today, ask any woman if she's ever felt silenced, and chances are she'll say...

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Is Anybody Listening?

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 2:23 PM

You're a story-teller. Face it. You have experiences all day long and you turn the big ones into stories that you try and share with anyone who'll listen. As a person who's been leading workshops for twenty years, I've listened to my share of storytellers and I can tell within...

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The Power of Our Creations

(1) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 1:17 PM

It's not easy these days, making time for our creative work. Voices call us from everywhere demanding our attention, our energy. And many of us, somewhere along the line, got the message that making art is self-indulgent, so we relegate it to the bottom of our list. It becomes the...

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If I Were Pope

(4) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 11:50 AM

If I Were Pope

If I were pope
I'd proclaim the end of my infallibility
and banish the word sin from the doctrines of faith

I'd ask half the bishops and cardinals
to replace themselves with a thoughtful woman
and complete their ministries...

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How We Create the World

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 11:02 AM

Whether or not we consider ourselves artists, we are all in the business of creating our lives. Each of us is here to bring to life that something that's unique to us. None of us is aiming for triteness, in pursuit of the shallow. It's greatness we're after -- and...

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An Uplift for the Human Heart

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 10:18 AM

As we weep and mourn the losses of Newtown, there are stories of resilience and good news abounding. Here is one of them:

Landfill Harmonic film teaser from Landfill Harmonic on Vimeo.

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A Video for Newtown

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 4:30 PM

This is a song I wrote after losing a dear friend whose time had come. I haven't known what to do with my grief over Newtown, so I made this video, using the song "Candles in the Night" from my new CD.

The images are all public, what I...

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A Note to Virginia Woolf

(4) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 1:49 PM

Women have sat indoors all these millions of years, so that by this time, the very walls are permeated by their creative force, which has, indeed so overcharged the capacity of bricks and mortar that it must needs harness itself to pens and brushes and business and politics.
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Giving Up God

(10) Comments | Posted October 29, 2012 | 5:40 PM

The 80-year-old nun, her cane at her side, said to the circle of women gathered around her, "It was hard to let go of Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny -- but letting go of God was the hardest of all." Every one of us knew what she meant,...

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So Jesus WAS Married -- Oy Vey!

(1) Comments | Posted September 27, 2012 | 1:08 PM

I was thrilled to read recently that a Harvard professor had in her hands the very papyrus that had on it the Coptic words: "The Gospel of Jesus's wife" and "Jesus said to them, 'My wife she will be able to be my disciple.'"

How timely, that it coincides with...

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So Jesus Was Married?...

(1) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 4:33 PM

I was thrilled to read today that a Harvard professor had in her hands the very papyrus that had on it the Coptic words: "The Gospel of Jesus's wife" and "Jesus said to them, 'My wife she will be able to be my disciple.'"

How timely, that it...

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Republicans and the Christian Vote

(62) Comments | Posted February 19, 2012 | 8:18 AM

I grew up Christian. I believed in Jesus as a miracle worker, a master teacher, a son of God. I treasured his three messages: whatever works you see me do, you can do as well, and even more; the kingdom of Heaven is all around you; whatever you do for...

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