Let Others In

January 30th, 2010


Yesterday I finished this art for a project that's due shortly, but I thought it made a fitting image for the end of the body theme and beginning of the home theme. The theme for this piece is: "Let others in."

I think in many cases we use our body, either through body language or weight or attitude to keep others out. It's a safety mechanism meant to protect us from getting hurt. But these same safety mechanisms can also hurt us by not allowing us to get close to or get support from others. Have you ever experienced that? I know I have.

Doing this image has had me musing on the idea of letting others in, whether through an open embrace, sharing what's in our hearts, or welcoming others into our homes.

What are some of the ways you practice letting others in?

Update: A bit last minute, but this morning at 10am CST I'm going to be on Liv Lane's radio program, Get Real, in St. Paul/Minneapolis for about 15 minutes. The station is 107.1

*You can now listen to the podcast of the radio show here! I'm at the very beginning of hour 2. Enjoy!

33 Responses

Hi Leah,

Love this picture! You are such an inspiration to me – thank you.

Hope you have a great time on the radio show.


I really love this piece. It’s so….friendly! No gloomy blues! You alwats get such nice movement in your art. Good luck today. You’ll knock their socks off!

Great work Leah–and interesting thought to ponder. I know that I have a hard time letting people into my world. It’s something I’m trying to change. Actually through my art, I’m able to share a million things more than I would ever say or share otherwise. Kinda interesting thought….

this is beautiful leah and good luck with the interview – though you don’t need it, it will be fabulous ;)

the last few years have been huge for me in terms of letting people in, really letting them in – learning to live with an open heart in spiritual community with others has not definitely been easy but absolutely worth it. i see our whole world moving towards that, as people stop isolating and protecting and learn to open up and love.

What an apt post. I posted something late last night about a very sad incident yesterday, and then I thought, wow, that’s kind of raw, maybe it’s too dramatic, I wonder if I should change it. Is it appropriate? But it’s how I was feeling and reacting to a former student’s death, and I decided to leave it. But letting others in can be uncomfortable and I suppose that’s why I had all those feelings. Lots to consider – because there are times when others don’t need to enter – or we feel we’ll look needy if we do let others enter. Wouldn’t you think that by my age (63) I’d just be sailing through these concepts, letting others in, and have them figured out? I guess we never completely have things figured out, or else where would our growth come from?

This is something I can really, really relate to right now! Even in a literal way – I have started to be more open and let people come visit me more without being all self-conscious…

Great piece and it’s such a great topic…and thought that we have to remind ourselves. To let others in. I think we can be closed at times for fears…in attempts to have security…only because we don’t realize that opening up can make us feel better in the end. Definitely something to ponder…

Another beautiful one, Leah. It is so intriguing. It really draws me in, wondering who those on the other side of the door are, why she is peering around. Such mystery.

Love this. Reminds me of the intuitive painting I’ve been working on with the door in the middle. It is an interesting balance between self-care and connection. Hope you had a blast doing your interview.

I loved this peace! Really! The colors are so bright and ‘alive’ not to mention the *drawing* itself…so meaninful and sweet. Wonderful work! <3

Oh I love this piece of art. I love that the woman are all larger than life tall. That what I like to think I am although I don’t often act like it. This gives me an idea to strive for.

LOVE THIS LEAH!!! This painting could not be more perfect for my life right now. YOU are such a wise, wise, beautiful woman. Love you big time!

I absolutely love this painting, Leah, it’s so evocative and heart-opening. Beautiful, lifts my spirits to look at it.

So far this is my favorite,I tend to keep my door closed.
I started my blog to make me open up,It has helped alot but I still need to work on it more.You are so inspiring,and I enjoyed the radio segment.I never thought of my safety mechanisms before,that is so interesting.Thank you.

I love the way that you were able to transition between the two topics!

First off, I’m absolutely smitten with your work. As far as letting people in, that is a continual struggle for me. Like Maria-Thérèse, I must be less self-conscious of what other people think and more open to the possibilities of being transparent.

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by leah_art: New post and art: Let Others In: http://bit.ly/dq9P75 #ced2010…

OMG Leah, I love this piece; and yes, very fitting for “closing” Jan’s theme and “opening” for Feb’s. You strike a good question: How do you let others in? I imagine we all ask this of ourselves and those we love more often than we realize. The wheels are turning for me, pulling me closer into my creative outlet I put down just before my son was born. To hold that pencil/charcoal/brush in hand, to touch it to the canvas/paper/etc….one of my ways for letting people in.

Hi Leah,

I wanted you to know how much you inspire me. Your Art Every Day Month began my journey as a blogger. I gave you a public thank you in my latest post.


Wow Leah.. I can’t tell you how synchronistice this post..and your question is. I’ve spend years not letting some people in, although it’s not always apparent to me. I realize more and more, especially this weekend I need to learn to let in, tnose I’ve not. So, I don’t have an answer to your question right now…but I do appreciate the heightened awareness…and yet another remidner.. of needing to do so. Thank you

This is such a good point. And I really like the painting. I’m going to consider the question of how we let others in…or keep them out with our bodies… very interesting.

An eye catcher – Beautifully depicted!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Leah Piken Kolidas, Jamie Ridler, Jennifer Lee, Thais Gisele, Emily Long and others. Emily Long said: RT @leah_art: New post and art: Let Others In: http://bit.ly/dq9P75 #ced2010 <–love this. [...]

Lovely piece of work Leah… as for the question:

What are some of the ways you practice letting others in?

Home is sacred space to me. I cherish its safety and privacy. Still, I enjoy sharing my home with others.

Being that we live on an island requiring ferry travel to see us, we invite friends and family – to stay over. We make it a practice to have people visit every month or two.

My Creative Potager blog is also a practice of letting others in. This month I am going focus my creativity on our home – la casa de inspiracion (which as a strawbale timberframe house is a work of art in itself) and sharing what is “home” to me.

Thank you Leah for your Creative Everyday Challenge.

Hi Leah,

I love this painting, it’s so welcoming and warm. The question you asked, it is a good question to ask myself. I have been self-conscious being around people and meeting new people. I am usually quiet and judgmental. Thinking of that question really makes me ponder. I really want to change that but at times I don’t know how or what ways I can practice letting others in. I could really think about this for this month, it’s a perfect theme along with good question. I am going to try to be creative on finding ways to let others in.

I love this piece. And I totally know this. It’s how I gained the weight that I am now waiting to lose .. though I didn’t know I was gaining it to protect myself at the time. (Ah, hindsight.) That is a good question; I will ponder it ..

Leah, your artwork is so amazing and inspiring! I love it so and was fortunate enough to have stumbled upon your work. As you know, I featured one of your sold pieces, “Memory Tree” in my recent blog post on Alzheimer’s disease. Your picture was inspired by your Grandmother who had the disease.

Thank you for being an inspiration to so many people. Your picture and the article can be found at The Holistic Diva: http://essensu.blogspot.com.

Thank you.

I love this, how the people at the door look both like they are right there about to step across the threshold, and yet quite far away.

Leah – You and Creative Every Day are such an inspiration for me. This wonderful gathering place that has grown here feels like home <3

This art piece is a wonderful transition from body to home. Probably my door is half open… wanting to let people in with a little holding back. As a kid I was shy and have managed to hide and somewhat overcome that as an adult. It is easy to isolate, especially in winter, so I make an effort to participate in group activities and events locally. Of course the tone and feeling of the group, whatever the focus, makes all the difference, so I go places that feel comfortable.

What a lovely piece!

How cool – I’ll have to listen to the podcast. Home is a topic that’s been on my mind a lot, the last couple of weeks. The painting is lovely, Leah!

I just joined your Creative Everyday ~ I did something like this last year myself on my blog ~ entitle “One a Day Art” ~ It really motivated me ~ Now I taking oil painting lessons & look forward to creating with your group ~ for February ~ House~ see you soon. namaste, Carol

Oooo, beautiful! I seem to have little trouble sharing a lot, but I have a very difficult taking in people’s sentiments…well, the positive ones…the negative ones seem to be fast-tracked! A wise woman once suggested I visualize an eye-dropper…could I take in one drop (of kindness, love, concern, etc)…just one drop at a time.

I love your painting…it really resonates. Thank you for sharing it!

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