How to Hug a Lion


Premise: Lust.

Premise: You can’t hide your animal body for very long at a time.

Premise: Lust.

Premise: Your body needs a hug more than it needs to be responsible or sane. Or safe.

Promise: Lust.



Dear Reader,

Why are you reading this instead of making art right now? What is it you are looking for… or avoiding?

Would you like to learn how to hug the literal and metaphoric beasts that keep you from an entirely satisfying art practice? Would you like to embrace your experience—from which your art comes? Do you want to make better art?

If so, I’m your virtual art coach. I have years of experience supporting my in-person clients to hug real, in-the-flesh lions so that, as artists, they can learn to face the abyss (destruction, lust, passion), improve their confidence, and make the radiant, exquisite art they dream of making / do not want to die without making.

I offer you this advice column as a portal through which you can ask your innermost questions about your spouses, fears, addictions, delusions, and everything else that gets in the way of your art.

My answers are not kind. They are compassionate. And rude. And heartfelt.

My method aims to point to the multidirectional spectrum of passion which drives our relationships, governments, families, corporations, hate crimes, institutions, wonder, and awe. Noticing where on this wild-eyed spectrum our creative blocks lie, we become more able to make our art. Because art is cause and effect. Which is to say, art is lust.

I look forward to your questions. With gratitude and love, I look forward to helping you unleash your soul into art. I am honored to help you stay on the path of your art, holding you to the fearsome and beautiful imperatives of your heart. May you make your truest art.

I believe in you,




How to Hug a Lion

[From M. Hayertz’ forthcoming novel, How to Hug a Lion]


Step One:

Name the wildness in you. Or outside you. What is this beast, creative block, or asshole who is imprisoning you in a place outside your art?


Step Two:

Offer the lion (or “lion”) loving kindness. Meditate:


May this lion feel beauty.

May this lion feel safe.

May this lion feel loved.


Step Three:

Approach the lion.

Can you hug it?


Step Four:

Receive the lion’s paws, claws, tongue.

Death or life.


Step Five:

Record what the lion has stirred up in you.

This is art.