Artist and Life Coach Bella Mahaya Carter ’83 Shares Creative Practices for “Living Your Best Life”

Bella Mahaya Carter '83Poet, author, and life coach Bella Mahaya Carter ’83 brings her creative energy to Scripps College from February 26 to March 4, 2011, as the 2011 Lois Langland Alumna-in-Residence. She will offer workshops and conversations that draw on her lifelong passion for dance, literature, and psychology, on the theme “Body, Mind, Spirit: Transformational Creative Practices for Living Your Best Life.”

The week begins Saturday, February 26, at 1:00 p.m., in Garrison Theater of the Scripps College Performing Arts Center, with a panel discussion by women artists and healers, who will discuss how creativity and consciousness impact health and healing. Moderated by Carter, the event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the Office of Alumnae Relations, Lois Langland Alumna in Residence Program, and the Alexa Fullerton Hampton Speaker Series “Voice and Vision.” Books by the panelists and moderator will be available for purchase, with a book signing and reception following the discussion.

Panelists include: Judith Orloff, M.D., psychiatrist and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, and author of the bestsellers Emotional Freedom, Positive Energy, Dr. Judith Orloff’s Guide to Intuitive Healing, and Second Sight;Deena Metzger, poet, novelist, essayist, storyteller, teacher, healer, and medicine woman, and author of several books, including Ruin and Beauty: New and Selected Poems, Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing, Tree: Essays and Pieces, and Writing for Your Life; and Camille Maurine, writer, performing artist, and educator internationally renowned for her innovative performance trainings and integral energy practices for women, and author of the top-selling Meditation Secrets for Women and Meditation 24/7, co-written with her husband, Dr. Lorin Roche.

During her week on the Scripps College campus as the Lois Langland Alumna in Residence, Carter will work with students, alumnae, and other members of the Scripps community in various creative and transformational endeavors in order to help participants discover how to live the best life possible.

Carter is the author of Secrets of My Sex, a collection of 71 narrative poems in four sections: Girl, Woman, Wife, and Mother. The collection reads like a memoir or novel; in it, Carter articulates thoughts she was taught “good” girls do not express aloud, but she has redefined “good” to mean that which is truthful and authentic—that which inspires growth and heals. She is currently working on a new collection of poems, as well as a midlife healing memoir, The Raw Years, which explores, among other things, her five years living exclusively on raw, vegan food.

Carter’s movement background includes ballet, modern, jazz, and flamenco dance training with some of the best: choreography and composition at The Juilliard School, The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, and American Ballet Theater, among others. She has practiced yoga for more than 20 years and studied moving theater with Camille Maurine; The Halprin Life/Art Process at the Tamalpa Institute; jungle gym at Continuum Studios; and medicine dance with Fred Sugarman.

As a coach and teacher, Carter works with clients on diverse writing projects and on life/creativity issues. She also teaches private workshops and classes.

At Scripps College, Carter majored in dance and British and American literature, graduating in 1983. She earned an MFA in film production, with a screenwriting emphasis, from USC, and an MA in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica. She lives in Studio City, California, with her husband, Jim Carter (Harvey Mudd College ’82), and their 13-year-old daughter, Helen.