1/30/13

Serendipity

Sometimes happy accidents come along that bring usefulness that we weren't searching for. What might at first appear to be a failed experiment or result, might turn out to be the solution to a different project or an entirely different problem we didn't know we had. 

After my morning shower, I recently stepped outside to walk my dog. 
It was unusually cold and windy, and I felt something a little odd. 
I reached up and realized my hair had frozen solid. 
I tousled my hair and shook out all the ice, then stepped inside to 
discover I now had a perfect, freeze-dried hair style. 
Could this be the start of a new invention? I can see it now, a simple device that gets held over a wet head, and instantly freezes one's hair. Just think, no more frizz, no more heat damage! Not only that, it would simultaneously give a dose of powerful icy Yin energy. Maybe I'll do some market research and hop onto a plane to China to see who can manufacture this for me. 
Hmmm, on the other hand, maybe one could just stick their head in the freezer. 

After evaluation, all serendipitous ideas aren't going to pay off. However, if we're attentive and learn to capture these surprises and random thoughts, perhaps in time 
something really novel and worthwhile will result.

Here's hoping you have a day filled with creative serendipity.

1/23/13

Do It

To some, creative possibilities come so quickly that little actual creating gets done. This is fine if we have a team working the execution end and our job is ideating, or if we're in an incubating phase. Otherwise, we can get lost in a sea of "gonna do's,"  "gonna makes," and "to do's," losing our best inspirations to cloud nine. Also, if unfocused, energy can get lost on lesser parallel tasks, fixin' to work rather than sustaining meaningful effort on something larger.
 It's wise to have a system to capture ideas quickly when the muse comes. I love paper, you can fold it, cut it, color it, paste it, mix it up, crumple it, toss it, and otherwise jot things quickly. I often capture sketches and thoughts in small unlined journals, which I keep by my bed, in my purse, in my car, and on my desk. I also carry a camera since you never know what you might find as you go. Others find it easier to capture things directly to their smart devices. One day a week, I filter through my journals and photos, delete what's not useful, and capture the best either in a project binder or in a google docs file. Even if much of this won't get used as is or ever, it creates a great idea file towards future inspiration and development.

The rest of the week, I schedule time to actively focus on my next blog entry, yoga class, painting, or whatever I'm actively creating today. I also always have at least one worthwhile long term creative project that I'm focusing energy towards daily. This way, it may only be a banana bread that I complete today, but with time, I'll create something more substantial to share. 
There's a time to muse and a time to do. Now go do that thing you dream of doing.

1/9/13

Row Your Boat

What if we were to struggle every time a chore or challenge confronted us? 
What if, instead, we learned to move from our most positive attitude and with ease, 
even when it feels difficult?

Getting to the essence of wisdom in a playful or simple way doesn't make us simpletons. Profound truths don't need a lot of verbiage, they just need to stick in our hearts. 
Maybe "Row Row Row Your Boat" is just a silly child's song; or from it, perhaps we can teach ourselves and our children a better way to travel the stream of life: flowing and merrily, one row at a time.

This is it. The life we're living is our stream and our actions are our boat. It's not helpful to look around envying others' boats. Within the boundaries of our circumstances, we can paint our boat however we prefer, and aim it wherever we'd like. We're only asked to row our own boat, merrily and with ease, so we can live our dream. 

Next time you're in a funk over something, I invite you to try getting 
silly singing this song, and carry on from there. 

1/4/13

Recreating the Heart of the Home

 After 25 years in our budget-built home, and with things breaking daily, we decided it was time to upgrade to a quality kitchen. Though we still loved the overall look and feel, 
we were tired of avalanches, leaks, and permanent stains. There was nowhere left to duct-tape, glue, staple, or screw our particle board drawers. Hardware had come undone, our appliances were semi-dysfunctional, and it was time for an overhaul. 



Sticking with the existing footprint, we obsessed about choices of contractors, colors, and materials. The more we looked, the more possibilities we dreamed up. At some point, it became clear that we'd have to stick to a budget and go with our gut to get this project completed. We decided a modern, earthy, artsy atmosphere would fit us well and hopefully any future owner of this house. A little nervous about getting away from the bright almond color, I finally realized the choices we make would be the only ones we would know for now; besides, it's just a kitchen: important to be functional; preferable to be beautiful; and mostly a space for nourishing the heart of the home. 
 The kitchen itself is not the heart. Our family and friends bring the heart as we share meals.
There are lots of nice kitchens, and I wish we could have seen all the options we imagined, but we really like our new one. We are now enjoying filling it with lots of love.