Monday, July 21, 2014

Meet Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Your Magpie Girl

Meet Rachelle Mee-Chapman: Rachelle offers soul care for creative souls. 
Soul care? What might that be? 

Well it’s a number of things and perhaps not the same thing for each soul she treats. It’s not like she’s a doctor, but she kind of is. She’s got a few potent prescriptions she offers to those who may not fit the mold they once did, or those who may feel lost. There’s even a prescription for those who know exactly who they are. It’s the celebration prescription. Take three daily, or as many as needed. And it’s ok to share them with those who they haven’t been prescribed for. Her prescriptions are sneaky like that. I know, I’ve been slipped a few in my morning email, and in my evening web crawls.

So who is this Rachelle Mee-Chapman? She’s a minister. Well, she was a minister. For 15 years—having practiced the religion for thirty. Somehow, at the end of that 15 year mark, she decided otherwise.  In her time of contemplation, she happened upon nesting Magpies that were not silent. She took a page from their book, and started her own quest to fly, to find as she says, her tribe.

An artist herself, she followed her passions for all things “sparkly” and her website, Magpie Girl which was all about crafts, soon morphed into a support system for the formerly “churched”, for those who were “relig-ish”, artists, and those on the fringe. But you don’t really have to be any of those. You just might be an open-minded curious type or one who had an inkling deep inside that they were alright as they were, but maybe needed it gently coaxed to the surface where it could be celebrated; those who needed their beaks filed a little bit, so they could  crack open their shells. Perhaps they are yogis, perhaps they’re nature lovers, or commercial Artists or artists of living. Perhaps they’re buttoned up dentists. 

Rachelle is the mother of two young daughters and with her husband, they Co-parent of one “full fledged adult.” She has  two “very silly' dogs. In order to get to know her a little more, to delve a little deeper into who this Magpie girl from  Seattle Washington is, I asked her a few questions, and she graciously obliged me with a few answers. Here are a few more facets, of the many faceted, Rachelle Mee-Chapman:

1.As the intention of your website has changed from Arts and Crafts and all
things Sparkly, to something seemingly different, what remains the common
thread as your focus is now people.

[Rachelle Mee-Chapman]

“When I was transitioning out of the pastorate, I started a personal blog
called Magpie Girl. My tagline was "distracted by sparkly things." I sold
vintage, I made zines and strung rosaries, and I told stories about the
process of stepping out of institutionalized faith while still being a very
spiritual person. I sank into art and beauty, and that helped me find my

I often say, "When faith failed me, art saved me." That's the connecting
thread from pastoring to sparkly things to life coaching in the area of
creative spirituality. The whole time I was seeking connection to the
divine. Art became the conduit for that, and following a trail of "sparkly
things" lead me to the work I do now.

Now the Magpie Girl blog has turned into a website for my coaching practice
with e-courses, an online community, and events. And soon be transitioning
again from Magpie Girl: Care for Creative Souls to Rachelle Mee-Chapman:
Care for Creative Souls (*your magpie girl.) “

2. What has surprised you the most about the flock that has emerged as
you've created this space for these creative souls to fly?

[Rachelle Mee-Chapman]

“When I opened the virtual doors to Flock, I thought we'd have to do a lot of
work together unpacking anger and hurt over things that happened in our past
church-based lives. And while I'm happy to support people in the grieving
and deconstructive process, I found that the women who came to Flock were
much more ready to move *forward* than I had expected. Also, they aren't all
"formerly churched." Some are still in the institution, and some don't have
any formal religious background. So it's much healthier, more proactive, and
diverse than I had initially expected. “

3. I have a wall hanging I created that says "Everyone wants to Paint. Be
ONE." Then in a little frame within it, I have collaged, "What's your
Medium?" Do you agree that everyone wants to "paint", and can you give me your take on why so many are hesitant to exercise their creativity?

[Rachelle Mee-Chapman]

“I haven't met a person yet who doesn't want to create. Even my very "I'm not
creative" husband creates craft cocktails and gets so much joy out of the
process of fiddling, refining, and presenting his art!
( My personal mythology includes the
passage, "In the beginning, God created..." So in my understanding we are
birthed out of creative energy, and that impulse to create continues within
in us.

People become hesitant to be creative largely because of commercialism and
perfectionism. We think the only reason to create something is to sell it.
And we think that the only reason to be creative is if you want to become a
great master of your craft. But creativity is something we do naturally as
children, without fear -- until we are exposed to these ideas through TV,
school, etc. Learning to see creativity as being purposeful just because it
brings joy, helps us express our self, or is intriguing to us, helps us make
the shift from creativity as profession to creativity as life.”

4. Who are you most inspired by?

[Rachelle Mee-Chapman]

“Vincent Van Gogh. I have a huge coffee-table book of his letters and
paintings. He was a minister starting out, and after a crisis of faith and
vocation found his way to art. I go through season where I'll read his
letters in the morning. I even have a little moleskin journal where I write
letters to my "Dear Vincent..." I even entertained the idea of writing a
book called "Letters to Vincent." But so far it's a personal practice and
I'm happy to keep it that way.”

5. In the Movie "Monument Men" a team Is assembled to save all of the great
works of art that Hitler would either have stolen or destroyed. Some died in
the quest. Do you feel that it's important to know anything about classical
art to create art of importance? Or is the personal experience of Now
knowledge enough?

[Rachelle Mee-Chapman]

“I do think that knowledge of different art forms expands your vocabulary. It
doesn't have to be classical art, but the more exposure one has to art and
artists, the richer your own work becomes. For instance, reality TV is
pretty low brow -- but Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance have
been so meaningful to me! They've taught me so much about perfectionism and
the myth that we have to "be the best" and the tyranny of "only one can be
the winner." And watching the artists work and hearing how they came to
their art form is always very inspiring. SYTYCD in particular has immensely
expanded my dance vocabulary, and now I can enjoy so many different kinds of
dance in live performances. I couldn't have learned those lessons or gained
that language without being exposed art history and a variety of different
kinds of artists.

That being said, I do love art from the impressionist and post-impressionist
eras, and I'm learning more about abstract and modern art. I just went to a
Miro exhibit with a friend who is a sculptor and gained so much appreciation
for the complex and daring process. It helped me understand sculptures I've
seen in the past -- like the Rodin museum in Paris. And I appreciate the
modern public art pieces that are scattered around my city so much more now.
Much of my writing is peppered with examples and metaphors that came to me
in museums. I'm always scribbling in the blank edges of the exhibit

So That’s a small taste of Rachelle Mee-Chapman. If you’d like to know more, or feel what care for the creative soul feels like stop by Magpie girl, and see if your wings are there. They might be. Or you just might have them tucked halfway under your shirt, and need a little help unfolding them. Go see.

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