Catalytic Musings

“Catalyst for Beauty,” collage, 4″ x 5″


1. Chemistry. a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.
2. something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected.
3. a person or thing that precipitates an event or change.
4. a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic. Source: Dictionary.com

Have you seen the movie Amelie? This film is on my top-ten list of favorite movies in large part because of the catalytic actions of the main character Amelie. Through her deliberate actions she ignites an artist’s creativity, teaches a grumpy man a lesson, sparks a reunion of once-estranged family members, and helps repair a widow’s broken heart. And she does all of these things with curiosity, compassion, and hint of mischievousness.

In what ways have you been Amelie-esque in your life? In what ways have you been a catalyst for change of some kind?

Try this:
Freewrite about your feelings about being a catalyst. Is this a comfortable place for you to be? Or do you feel awkward or uncomfortable in the role? Perhaps you’ve been the recipient of some catalytic intervention. What was this like? Write for 15 minutes without stopping and see if you can write fast–like you’re sprinting on a track. Keep the pen moving as much as possible and allow yourself to be messy.

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About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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