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Finding Our Way Photo Exhibit (October 8 & 17 - 18) Improv with Comedians (October 8 - 29) Voices of the Spirit (October 10) Bach-n-Breakdance (October 17 & 18) Art Times Three (through December 19) SPOTLIGHT: Marti Ewing Yoga Therapy WORKSHOPS & MORE About SPIRIT PICKS About GISH CREATIVE
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Welcome to SPIRIT PICKS: A GUIDE TO INSPIRING ACTIVITIES IN HOUSTON! You are receiving this email either because you signed up for it or because it’s something I thought would be of interest to you. If you would like to unsubscribe, please do so using the link in the footer of this email. And if you’re in Facebooklandia, please sidle over there and LIKE our page and please share it too. Make sure you don’t miss a single post: click on the drop-down LIKE button and then check “See First.” Thanks!

Each month I cull through HUNDREDS of events in Houston and curate the best for you by highlighting six inspiring events (“PICKS”) and one “SPIRIT SPOTLIGHT” (an inspiring person or bricks-and-mortar place) as well as products, classes and workshops, and services. I focus on culture and art, meditation, spiritual events, healthy living, one-of-a kind moments, and organizations that enlighten and inspire Houstonians. I’m so amazed by this city and I want to share my delight with you!

SPIRIT PICKS will always be free to my readers so I’ll need advertising support to offset the cost of researching, writing, and designing it. If you are interested in advertising, please contact me. And so that we can spread the news of these great happenings in Houston, please share this information far and wide via email and social media with your friends and family members that might be interested -- or send them this link:

As I write this, I am on a plane headed to San Francisco to gather more photos for my IGNITE YOUR LIFE! art project. I’m reflecting on things and realize that I overwork and overplay so I plan on slowing the pace a bit while enjoying myself making art. I look forward to it and am so grateful to my fiscal sponsors that helped make this dream come true! I’m looking at this trip as a combo me time/work time thing, which was inspired by this recent article about taking better care of ourselves. That article, and this one about sleep deprivation, drew me up short because my work has taken a toll on me lately. I look forward to regrouping in the birthplace of my parents and brother (which is part of the reason I’m heading to Cali: one of my IGNITE-ing tips is to know your family history).

Since I’ll be out of town, my “First Saturday Community Labyrinth Walk” that would be tomorrow, October 3, is a “Walk on Your Own Day”– choose a labyrinth you’re curious about (or one you’ve walked already) and go for it without me. If you need ideas for places to go, click on my handy dandy list of labyrinths here. On another topic, if you’d like the skinny on indie and art films, check out my monthly column, GISH AT THE MOVIES in Local Houston Magazine. This month’s article, here, focuses on the newly revitalized Southwest Alternate Media Project/SWAMP.

A terrific way to support the cause of mental health is to join the annual Walk for Mental Health Awareness, a labor of love organized by my friend Patrick McIlvain that is on October 10. It’s actually three days of healthy fun, so I hope you’ll check it out and support this very important cause.

Music is a doorway to mental health as well as to harmony and connection among all people and the Daniel Pearl World Music Days is a terrific homage to that. It’s an online and in person festival that has featured 11,000+ concerts in over 129 countries since its inception in 2002. Check it out and submit your own music!

This month’s VIDEO PICK is a guided meditation to reduce anxiety and worry by “The Honest Guys – get your headphones ready to start relaxing! But before you click on that, check out this wonderful meditation room designed by Dag Hammarskjöld, a Swedish diplomat and the second Secretary-General of the United Nations. It’s in the United Nations headquarters in New York City and I just love it! And now, that video:

Click to view video
Click to view video

Have a great October, hug those you love, and happy PICK-ing!

Picks for the Month of October, 2015

Finding Our Way


Finding Our Wayis a photographic installation by Houston artists Mary Margaret Hansen and Patsy Cravens opening at Silver Street Studios (2000 Edwards Street) on Thursday, October 8, 6-8pm. The show was curated by Catherine Anspon for “This Side of Paradise: New Photographic Work by Texas Artists” presented by FotoFest and Houston Center for Photography. To complement Finding Our Way five FREE public discussions on women and photography as self-discovery are scheduled the weekend of October 17 and 18 at Winter Street Studios (2101 Winter Street). Panelists include Akasha Hull, Sarah Sudhoff, George Krause, Gloria Feldt, Jill Carroll, Sarah Rodriquez, Nan Hall Linke, Shanedria Wagner, Muna Javaid and Teresa Munisteri. Panels include “Confronting Life Transitions with Photos”; “Cross-Generational Conversation: Women Visible/Invisible,” and “Unclothed Freedom: MMH and PC in Candid Conversation with Akasha Hull.”

See full conversation schedule and make your reservation on Facebook. Follow the buzz at Instagram and #findingourwayhouston and #FOWH.

Station Theater


I love this! Throughout October, the Station Theater is presenting an improv version of “tap out” featuring their revolving cast of talented improvisers performing “The Slacker,” an improv form developed by Beer Shark Mice of iO West. All scenes are connected to the previous scene through the colorful development of characters who quickly move in and out of each scene to tell a story like no other. The cast is Ben Hebert, Monica Marcha, Chism Cornelison, Danny Nuemann, Neil DuRoss, Holly Kuchera, David Toscano, Brian Metz and each week a different comedian or comedic project opens.

Tickets are $6 each at the door and shows are October 8, 15, 22, and 29 at 8:30pm. The Station Theater is located at 1230 Houston Avenue.

Voices of the Spirit: A Visual Poem


Folklore Films and the Houston Arts Alliance’s Folklife + Traditional Arts program present a free premiere of the short film “Voices of the Spirit: A Visual Poem on Saturday, October 10 at the Folklore Film’s studio, 4118 Fannin Street #214. The evening will feature two screenings at 6:30 and 7:30pm, punctuated by live music performed by the artists in the film with a reception and cross-pollination mixer.

The subject of this film is the 2015 “Voices of the Spirit V” concert, presented by HAA’s Folklife + Traditional Arts program in partnership with Asia Society Texas Center. Produced annually, “Voices” shines a light on Houston’s diverse cultural landscape through the devotional music of the city’s faith communities. “Voices of the Spirit V” featured The Cortez Family singing a cappella gospel; Cantor Daniel Mutlu performing repertoire from the Golden Age of American Jewish religious music; Chandrakantha and David Courtney playing Hindustani songs; and a spectacular finale featuring the chinelos tradition of devotional dancers and banda music by Chinelos de la familia Lopez with Banda Viento Morelense de los Hermanos Campos. Although the Voices of the Spirit V concert is central to the film, “Voices of the Spirit: A Visual Poem” is neither a recap of the concert nor a documentary. Instead, it is a visual poem. Also included are interviews with each of the artists by Folklore Films artistic director Marlon Hall, producer Danielle Fanfair, and technical assistant Shelly Travis who worked with the staff of the HAA Folklife Program to interview each artist in a setting special to him/her or them.

How I Learned To Drive


Red Bull has done a great job of stretching the parameters of art once again, this time combining Bach and break-dance! Red Bull Flying Bach” is on October 17 and 18. If you think Bach and break-dance don’t go together, check this out: the four time World Break-dance Champion Flying Steps and renowned opera director Christoph Hagel prove otherwise with their fascinating performance of Red Bull Flying Bach.” This one of a kind, innovative adaptation of Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” breaks down the barrier between high society and urban culture note for note, step for step, with piano, cembalo, and electronic beats with head spins, power moves, freezes, and awe-inspiring visuals. It’ll be an amazing show and a great way to bond with different generations over art.

The show is on at the Wortham Center Cullen Theatre, located at 501 Texas Avenue. Tickets are $35-$65 and can be purchased here.

The 10th Open Call Show: Reincarnation


There is always an abundance of art shows in our city but this month I wanted to highlight three for you in one PICK (lucky you!) because they’re similar and funky and their democratic spirit makes them fresh and unique.

Reincarnation is the theme of this year’s open call show at the Art Car Museum, which (as always) has brought out a bevy of unique creations. I’ve got a piece in the show and am proud to have it on the walls. The show will be on view until December 19.

The first installment of the annual Houston Mural Festival is happening October 17-24. The seven-day festival is produced by my buddy GONZO247 of Aerosol Warfare and will feature 70 artists from around the world whose murals will cover 17 walls throughout EADO, The EAST END, and the Washington Avenue Arts Districts.

It’s time for the Lawndale Art Center’s annual Día de los Muertos” exhibition, a celebration of the art, music, and folklife of Mexico through an exhibition of artist-made retablos, student installations, workshops and performances. The celebration is from October 17 through November 7; for a complete list of related events, check the website.

Spirit Spotlight

Marti Ewing Yoga Therapy


Are you are you tired of being in pain, recovering from illness or injury, or simply want to feel the relaxation of a gentle practice? Then book a class or private consultation at Marti Ewing Yoga Therapy, and see how Recuperative Yoga can help you find balance for your body, mind and spirit. Marti will work with you to identify your greatest strengths and weaker areas that will benefit the most from a yoga practice. Through classes (private or group), you will learn what works best for you and how to make your practice sustainable. Together you and Marti will develop a plan that meets your specific needs, focusing on the areas you want to affect the most. In this way, you can work with her to create a yoga practice designed to build muscle strength, balance and improve flexibility.

“The breath is your body’s internal medicine,” Marti once told me and she lives out that philosophy. Her practice is dedicated to teaching people to find their inner sources for healing through movement, breath, and self-connection. Marti teaches Ha-tha Yoga in the Recuperative Style, which is a gentle yet athletic yoga focusing on balance, alignment, breath, and posture. In her classes, you’ll experience a time of balance for your body, mind, and spirit while working together to balance every joint in your skeletal structure. I leave the studio blissfully peaceful every time!

Marti Ewing Yoga Therapy is tucked away in an historic Montrose building at 1128 W. Pierce. Classes are offered Tuesdays, 7:30-8:30pm (Beginning and Intermediate Recuperative Yoga, mixed levels); Wednesdays, 8:30-9:30am (all-level Recuperative, Morning Stretch); and Fridays, 10:30–11:30am (all levels, even those with limitations). Classes are also offered offsite on Mondays, 7-8:15pm (all level Ha-tha Yoga) at Congregation Brith Shalom, 4610 Bellaire Boulevard.

Group, private, and semi private lessons are available based on ability and vary in price, depending on need. Those with serious physical limitations should schedule a consultation before beginning so the appropriate modifications and a specific plan can be made. It’s recommended to schedule a private lesson before attending a group class and thirty minute introductory lessons are available upon request.


  • Tuesday, October 27, 11am at the River Oaks Country Club: Archway Academy, the nation’s premiere sober high school, is hosting their 8th Annual Luncheon featuring Amara Untermeyer and Dan Ramirez who are currently producing the feature length documentary, GENERATION FOUND, scheduled to be released in 2016. This is a community story about the people of Houston who are fighting to save young people from the leading cause of death of their generation: addiction.

  • Friday, October 30, 11:15am at the Hilton Americas - Houston: The newly renamed Council on Recovery hosts their Fall Luncheon featuring guest speaker Paul Williams, an American composer, singer, songwriter and actor who has been sober since 1990.

The purpose of SPIRIT PICKS is to make you think and to ignite your life. It is a friendly portal of information for those who affiliate with an organized religion, for those who call themselves spiritual, for those who are “free-spirited,” and for those who are agnostics or atheists. This monthly list of events, places, workshops, and more will be varied enough so that everyone, no matter their beliefs, can find something of interest. If you see anything that you think would be good to include in SPIRIT PICKS, please email me.

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For more about my personal, family, and business enrichment company, Gish Creative, and the services we offer, please click here. You are on this list because I thought this e-newsletter would be helpful to you or because you signed up for it. Please feel free to tell your friends to subscribe by clicking here. My goal is to serve as an information resource for Houstonians through my various endeavors, including:

  • GISH PICKS: A GUIDE TO CULTURAL ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES, which is online and emailed out to thousands of parents and caregivers;

  • SPIRIT PICKS: A GUIDE TO INSPIRING ACTIVITIES IN HOUSTON, which is online and emailed out to seekers all over Houston;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE, a searchable database of over 200 Houston day camps and classes for kids and teens;

  • IGNITE YOUR LIFE!, my art project and community campaign whose goal is to inspire everyone around the world to light a fire to their own passions and to create connections among people;

  • INTUITIVE GUIDANCE SESSIONS, which are one-on-one consultations with me at Body Mind & Soul on personal and/or work questions. Sessions are one hour or thirty minutes;

  • Bi-monthly “WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE?” workshops at Body Mind & Soul, check the store’s online calendar for dates and more information; and

  • OTHER SERVICES including SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS, MARKETING, PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS, GUIDANCE SESSIONS FOR FINDING YOUR PURPOSE, and ART PROGRAMS. Talks and workshops cover topics such as summertime fun, passion-finding (for adults, children and families), marketing, historic preservation, art classes, activism, and more. All of these services can be tailored for any audience and budget.

Sarah Gish
Sarah Gish
(Photo: Two Birds Photography)

Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone: 713.492.1173

© 2015 Sarah Gish

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