De-clutter to Free-create

If you're anything like me, it could be your To-Do List gets longer and there's seemingly never enough time to create all that you'd like. I've recently started eliminating clutter to free up more time and space for what's most important. 

To chip away at it in focused spurts, I've begun with the attic, as it seems to be filled with stuff I don't need and can't even recall. The result so far after 1 hour of attic cleaning is I've freed up about a third of the space and thrown away many non-essentials that once seemed important, including things ranging from 8th grade swim-meet awards to patent plaques and mouse-nibbled sundries; I've gathered a burn pile of old bills and tax records (in pre-digital years we needed to keep these papers for 7 years; in my case, it's been closer to 37 years); And I've set aside a smaller interesting pile to look at more closely. These include my very first book that I wrote and "published" when I was about 9; a copy of my medical school application which made me sound ever so focused (when in fact I didn't even want to go and left after a year in good standing); and some notes from my grandmother and children. 

I've suffered a few side effects since my de-cluttering kick began. 
One is that I can't help but wonder why I kept all I did, 
and am very curious as to what other people keep. 
What sort of junk would come flying out of my 
neighbors' homes if all the roofs blew off?

Another side effect is that I feel re-energized and want to free more space for my current creative projects. Admittedly, filtering and clearing through years of keepsakes will be an ongoing process, but beginning is the first step. I've been asking, "Is this important? If so, why? And, do I need or want to keep this?" 

My big take away from looking at mementos accumulated along my weaving path is that all the little sidesteps were what have brought me to who and where I am. It's not the stuff we keep, but how we move along our path that helps us create our best today.

What can you let go of to make more space to focus your creative dreams?


Set, Go!

What is waiting for you if you'll just go for it? 
When we were children, we didn't let anything interfere with what we were doing or creating. 
We didn't over think each move, but took what came with spontaneity, enthusiasm and a spirit of exploration. 
We learned and created by making a move, seeing what happened, integrating what we learned towards the next idea, and moving again. 

Here's wishing you lots of momentum towards moving creatively. If it doesn't work out, try a different move. Most importantly, don't let anything get in the way of your creative dream.


Your Way

While driving west on I78 to visit my daughter recently, I had a close encounter with Vanadu. With a little searching, I learned that this pimped 1988 Ford Ecoline Van is an evolving assemblage of any number of odd parts, from moose antlers to religious icons. Clark Bedford, the artist owner, used the inspiration of a Maine cabin to begin creating this always changing art van. Though I didn't get a glimpse of him driving the van, I projected his artwork to form an image in my mind of an individual who is not afraid to do things his own way. One could argue the art quality of his Vanadu creation, but to me it's an awesome reminder that we don't need to lead cookie-cut lives.
The creative work of an individual certainly hints at the spirit of the artist. We can be inspired by others' work, but when we move in our own way, we become original and authentic. We don't need to be outlandish and step far outside of anyone's box. All we need to do is step into our own box, whatever that may be, and move from there. 



There's something about reflections that always inspires me to take a step back and wonder. When my friend shot and shared this photo, the artist in me was drawn in; the nature-lover in me was transported to this beautiful spot on the Muskanetcong River; the scientist in me remembered why a smooth glassy surface reflects light; and the yogi in me just breathed in deeply, expanding my senses. 

My attention came to the rising mist, and the sun shining and reflecting off the water. I wondered about how we perceive things. I looked at the photo at 90 degrees, and then again upside down, questioning for a moment whether the light was emanating from the sky or from the water or both, and then noticing the interplay between them. 
Seeing, sensing and wondering in new ways can nourish our creativity by helping us discover what we'd like to reflect more of in our lives. Watching our thoughts and responses can help us then shine forth and create in a way that resonates from deep within us. 


Support Others

We can work together to support one another and help implement others' ideas.
How do you use your creativity to support others? 

We can contribute our creative energy by donating time, talents, or resources to causes we care about. Always rewarding to spend our energy creating something new, I'm finishing building a website to support a nonprofit yoga service organization called the Shanthi Project. Through the Shanthi Project, I teach yoga at the county prison, where it's rewarding to feel the ladies' genuine gratitude and their openness to doing something to create improvements in their lives. It's been fun to learn the web-building program and to create this site, and now I'm getting refocused to concentrate my head, heart, and hands on something I've had incubating for some time. 

Feel free to give feedback on how to improve the Shanthi website or to forward this to anyone you know who might like to help support our project of sharing yoga in traumatized populations. Thank-you.


Build on Other's Inventions

Have you noticed that creative ideas, whether yours or mine or someone else's, almost always start from an inspiring seed? When someone creates something new, it's often by building on something someone else has invented or by working together with others to bring forth something better. 

Traveling recently, I found this at a rest stop:
What a fun idea and a solution to make life a little easier for parents traveling with young ones. 

What have you seen lately that was a creative build on the commonplace? What can you tweak in someone else's invention to expand and improve it? When we look for inspiring seeds and plant and water them, who knows what will grow. Floral toilets, and then what's next? 


Turn the Picture Around

Things thought not to be feasible can sometimes come to life in new ways when we approach with openness and creativity. 
Sometimes when we turn the picture around, we may discover a way of seeing that gives us new insights. We may find a way of doing something previously thought to be impossible. Whatever weighs upon us may suddenly lighten as we get a new handle on it. 

Nest time you revisit something you previously couldn't accomplish, see if there's a new angle you might have overlooked that may lead to promising possibilities.