Helping You Create Your Best At Home, At Work, and in Life

9/14/21

Capture Your Ideas


Ideas can be fleeting, so it's a good idea to carry a notebook or keep a digital idea note on your phone. As you see interesting things and get thoughts about your next steps and possibilities, take photos or capture them in a way that will jog your memory and ignite your creativity. Don't filter, just gather. Sometimes partial ideas come, jot those down as well. Ideas may not be complete or fit together, but in time as you sort them, you may get a clear idea of what looks worth following up on, what keeps coming back and begging for your attention, and ways to combine your ideas. In time your jottings might just give you enough inspiration to help you create something new and worthwhile.  

9/7/21

Ask Questions

How many times a day do you stop and ask questions? We can get used to our environments and cultures and accept how things are, and we can question whether we want to carry on in the same way and how we want to make changes. Why are things as they are? How does this work? Who could make an impact on this? When should I move on? What am I doing this for? These are just a few of the starting questions you can ask. 

The more we ask and understand, the more it fertilizes our creativity. We don't want to get stuck in loops of indecision from too much choice, but we can use our curiosity to inform us and make creative leaps by trying new things. 

Being curious, the questions keep coming as we look for understanding and solutions. Try going out of your way to be curious today, see how many things you can ask about, and see if it impacts what you create today. 

8/31/21

Take Time to Create Connection

Sometimes making new connections is a great way to stoke the creative juices as you play, eat, walk, talk, and create joy together. Recently I wrote a similar post about the joys of being a friend and creating with old friends. When I painted these wolves, "Be a Friend" came to mind again. Lately, since Covid and distancing, I'm remembering how much fun and joy comes from nurturing friendships and staying open to meeting new friends. 

Remember, every stranger is a potential new friend, so take time to talk to strangers. You never know how they may inspire and add to your life, or how you may do the same for them. 

8/24/21

Feed Yourself

Sometimes it's important to take down time and recharge. For me, that looks like changing my routine, maybe going on a short trip, heading to the beach, or attending a yoga retreat. Other times, it looks like clearing my schedule and not doing any "To Do's," and instead connecting with the moment in whatever way feels best. I'm off to do that now, and when I'm done, hope to get back to painting and finishing up some current projects.  

How do you refuel yourself? 

 

8/18/21

Be Juicy

Being creative is a little like biting into a fresh-picked ripe tomato. The more you sink your teeth in, the more good juiciness and seeds pop out. 

Creative juice comes from creating. The more you create, the more idea seeds you get and the more zest to create some more. Creativity can be inspired by what we see around us and from learning what others are doing, but our creativity comes from inside of us. Capture your ideas, then let them grow, find your flow, sink in, and be juicy. Try creating more and thinking about it less. And see if you feel more alive as you manifest your creative dreams. 

8/10/21

Finish What You Start


I love watching people excel at what they do. Watching the Olympics for the past 2 weeks, I'm reminded of the importance of continual practice to get to where we want to be. It's so inspiring to see athletes who have dedicated years of their life to excel and become the best at their sport. If they quit their sport before they get there, then they have no chance of manifesting their Olympic dreams. 

Whatever it is you want to create, dedicate yourself to it and carry on, learning, practicing,  excelling at, and completing your efforts. It may take hours, weeks, or years before you achieve your goal, and that's ok. Give yourself a gold medal whenever you finish what you've set out to create. 

8/3/21

Improvise

In a perfect world, all our wonderful ideas would work out great the first time, and all would go according to plan. Of course, the world isn't quite perfect, sadly, sigh. 

So what to do when your creative brainstorm isn't working out? We can learn from great teachers, who veer off their lesson plans to meet their students' needs in the moment; Or the musician, who loses their place and decides to "fake it" till back on track or maybe even makes up new lyrics; Or the artist, who drips some paint that can't be removed, and needs to shift their vision to incorporate the "blooper." 

When things go wrong, as they will, we need to stay attentive to the moment, to the new challenge, and meet it without panic but with presence, our own expertise, and our intuition. Sometimes, we just need to wing it and carry on, flying a bit by the seat of our pants. You never know where it may lead. 




 

7/27/21

Enjoy the Process

Life and work at times feel rather heavy. Creative deadlines can help us complete things, but can add pressure to our busy lives and weigh us down. It's important to meet our goals, and it helps if we can keep a relaxed mindset and stay playful and light during the creative process. 

Today, try pausing often to relax and smile. Try setting an intention to keep a playful spirit and a light, joyful heart and see how this better helps you to create. 

7/20/21

Trust Your Inner Voice

When we get still and listen deeply within, we can hear and connect to our deepest selves. Then, while attentive and moving from the inside out, we can stay connected to, trust, and follow our inner voice. Often this is when we'll find our creative solutions and eureka's, and our art and inventing will flow. 

As you create today, check in with yourself often. You can sit quietly and calm your mind, or you can take some slow breaths, or do other mindful movement. Attentive to your inner voice, you can create and dance to your own tune and bring your best forward. 
 

7/13/21

Keep it Effortless

One of my favorite books on the creative music process is Effortless Mastery, by Kenny Werner. He teaches us to get out of our way, to let go self-consciousness, self-doubt, fear, distraction, and the associated stress we create by these hindrances. He encourages us to let our creativity flow as freely and effortlessly as possible, and as simply and naturally as drawing a breath. He also teaches that to perform effortlessly, we need to always practice with presence and as much ease as we can.

In Yoga, we learn to move with our breath and with as much ease and as little effort as possible. The entire practice of Yoga is to help us move in our best way now and in each moment. We move in unity with our highest self, with our heart, mind, and all parts of our body in sync and present to each breath. To do this takes letting go of anything that feels like stress, anxiety, anger, pain, constriction, competition, or effort.  

Watch any master of anything, and they too will make it look effortless. For example, watch Simone Biles perform the seemingly impossible Yurchenko Pike Vault, which appears to be as easy for her as walking. Though years of practice and training got her to this place of automaticity and excellence, her perfect practice and focus certainly contribute to what looks like effortless mastery and ease.

As you move and create today, stop often and see if you're moving with effort or ease. Then release any unneeded effort and see how easy you can make it. 

7/6/21

Make a Bang

For me, the best part of creating is having fun and enjoying the process. Whatever you create today, have a blast, make a bang, and delight in what you've made. Then, if you like, you can make a bigger bang and create more joy by sharing!

Have fun!

6/29/21

Be Alive

When we see the vivid colors of nature, it helps us feel more alive and vibrant. Vibrant, from Latin roots meaning "shaking to and fro," means to be bright and full of life, energy and enthusiasm. The word "enthusiasm" has Latin and Greek roots meaning "God within." Regardless of your preferred name, beliefs, or disbeliefs for God, maybe God as Supreme Being might resonate. The feeling of enthusiasm is much like the mingling of excitement, joy, and love, and perhaps could be called "supreme being within," or living our highest and fullest. So vibrancy feels expansive, and helps us to move, create, and fully alive with our highest energy. 

Our creative "babies" are also kept alive by keeping enthusiasm and positive energy or good vibes around them. Believe in what you're creating, and be positive about your work while thinking about it, while speaking about it, and while creating. 

Try living and creating with an energy of vibrancy today. 

6/22/21

The Power of Creativity


That we are creating matters. What we create matters. I love to create because I love inspiring creativity, positive imagination, and mindful movement. When we create, we can do our part, no matter how large or small, to brighten lives and contribute to making the world a better place.  

What and why do you create? 

6/15/21

Dream Dream Dream

A dream can become a wish, and a wish– with intention and a plan behind it– can become a goal. A goal, with applied energy, willpower, and time, can manifest your dream and make it come real.

Go ahead and dream, dream, dream. Then choose your highest dream, make a plan, and see it through.

What do you dream of?

6/8/21

Be Authentic

We inter-are, and we are each unique. One of the most creative things any of us can do is to create a joyful life, happy with who we are and accepting others as they are. 

We can imitate others while learning and growing, and along the way, we can help build one another up. We can practice, inspire, and be encouraged. Ultimately, as we build skills and confidence, we forge our own style and live our own creative path, no matter how different that may look for each of us. When we harness what we've learned and add our own heart and imagination, then we're being authentic, not trying to be anyone else and not needing anyone's permission or approval. As we live our creative paths, one movement at a time, the bonus is we get to know and love who we are and can create our best lives.

You do you, and I'll do me, and let's enjoy being ourselves. 

6/1/21

Make Informed Choices


Sometimes it's fun to create spontaneously and with not much in mind. For more focused creativity, it usually requires a series of decisions, taking chances, and being comfortable with uncertainty. To make informed choices while creating, know what your goal is, stay open to shifting when surprises arise, and have a positive mindset. It's also wise not to compare yourself to others, to do what you know, and continually expand with new approaches. To be creative, do it now, and make what's best for you and for others.
 
See if creating in a creative-wise way might lead you in new directions or to new heights.

5/25/21

Blend Together


We often let our differences build fear, tension or conflict instead of using them as points for more understanding and better solutions. These days our world can feel very divided, with people often taking opposite stances and with political parties in discord instead of creatively coming together to bridge differences. Often all it takes is a difference in opinion for managers to deem an employee "difficult" or let them go. Yet, we don't live in a unison world; and if we did, it would be pretty monotonous. What would it be like if we could appreciate our differences and use them to create harmony?

When we harmonize, we're at peace with ourselves and others. We can create with others by blending our talents, knowledge, and ideas and by respecting and celebrating our diversity. Products and services can be more meaningful, successful, and appeal to a wider audience. 

When our individual hearts, minds, and hands are in sync, the more we can feel united within ourselves, and the less divisiveness and more harmony we can find in our relationships, work, and all we create. Harmony is a worthwhile creative goal. 

5/18/21

Take It Easy


Sometimes we progress when we take it easy and let things be. When we stop paddling and allow ourselves to completely relax, to surrender, to let go and float, it can be surprising to feel the ease and support beneath us. Try lying on the floor or sitting back in your chair, and allow yourself to let go and completely relax your entire body and mind. Allow yourself to float, supported, doing absolutely nothing, trusting, and see what comes up for you and where it takes you.

5/11/21

Make it Look Easy


Ducks may appear to float along, but under the water, they might be paddling vigorously. 

When I look at others creating, I often aspire to their effortless mastery. Yet, it's years of accumulated practice that lead to the ability to perform with comfort, or to give a confident presentation, or to make and share our art or product. 

Sometimes it's ok to fake it a little. We can give the appearance of floating along without paddling much, even while we're working hard towards it. What's important is to stay above the water and keep going, and let it get easier with time, practice, and trusting our own creative process. 

5/4/21

Find Strength in What Scares You

It often terrifies people when they try going upside down in a yoga class. We might land on our heads, break our necks, or otherwise hurt ourselves. Or, thinking we're not capable, we may not manage to get our feet up far enough from the ground to give it a real go. 

Of course, it would be reckless to attempt something like this without support or before we have the strength and balance. When we do try it, though, we get to see the world from a new perspective, and to feel gravity's hold on us in this upside down direction. 

Artists, too, often turn their canvas upside down to better see, make adjustments, and improve their art. If we always go at things from the same angle, we can get stuck where we are. 

The unknown is always scary and uncertain. When we only stick with what's safe and known, we miss out on what might be. Sometimes it's the very places that scare us where we find new strength and courage, which helps us go further in our arts, work, and lives. If there's something you're avoiding because of fear, why not find a safe way to give it a try? See what it opens and how it creates new strengths in you and your work. 

4/27/21

Create a Happy Outlook


Victor Frankl said our last freedom is to choose our attitude.  By watching our thoughts and feelings with deep awareness, we can discover how our feelings affect our thoughts and how our thoughts influence our feelings. 

We can consciously create a happy outlook by thinking happy thoughts on purpose. Happier, we can create more joy in our lives. Try getting still for a few moments and pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Then think about someone or something that makes you very happy. Notice again how you're feeling. Repeat as needed to cultivate a cheerful attitude, and see how that inspires your creativity. 

4/20/21

Leave Space

Some of us like room in our shoes to wiggle our toes. 
No space? Then it can be more difficult to move with agility and balance.

Artists use their canvas to capture ideas, and the skillful use of unfilled space often breathes life into art. 
No space? Then the message may be unclear or appear busy, overdone, or contracted. 

Musicians use notes of different lengths and pauses between the notes to turn sound into music. 
No space? Then it may sound like noise instead of music. 

We take pauses between inhalations and exhalations, and hearts leave a little space between beats. This allows the heart and lungs to reset and continue giving life. 

Sometimes we need space between projects. When we're stuck in our current project, we can give ourselves some down time. The greatest progress often is made in the pauses, in the spaces between, and in what we leave out. How can you leave a little wiggle room in what you're creating today? 

4/13/21

This is It


Spring is my favorite season to look deeply and enhance my sense of wonder. I love feeling the warmth of the sun as I walk along, watching the buds blooming, seeing the colors unfolding, listening to the birdsongs, smelling the fragrant flowers.

Though too soon we say good-bye to the crocuses, daffodils, and cherry blossoms, there's so much more life unfolding daily. Before long we'll have dandelions and daisies and roses, and our vegetable gardens will come to life. 

Life is short, and this is it. Enjoy your one brief life, one day at a time. Alive now, this day is it, and now is always the best time to create. 

4/6/21

Birth Your Creative Babies

The process of creating can be almost like birthing. Just like having children or growing a garden, we need to first conceive and fertilize our ideas, then let them grow until we can birth our babies.

One of my first managers used to say that the purpose of life was "to make little ones out of big ones." At one level he was talking about procreation; on another, about leveraging the technologies we already owned to make spin-off products. More importantly, his point was that when we create, it always starts small, and then we see where it grows. 

We grow whenever we're intentionally thinking or doing things in an expansive rather than contractive way. It's when we move without fear and in new ways that we can grow, as humans and creators. 

How are you growing today? 

3/30/21

Fuel Belief with Fire

Once you start believing in unicorns, it's important to follow up with dragons. 

Belief alone won't create much. It's when you put some fire beneath it that you'll progress and manifest your creative babies. 

Do you know what you want to create and believe you can? Use your fire and go do it! 

3/23/21

Harness the Creative Power of Belief


Ok, so unicorns aren't real. (Yet? Hmmm...)

Not too long ago, neither were cellphones, computers, airplanes, or any of the modern and technological conveniences we take for granted.  

Creativity usually starts with a question, 'What if...."
A good dose of belief helps propel and fuel the process. 

If you set off with curiosity and belief in yourself, then the blank page begins and becomes. And, the opposite is also true, if you believe you will ruin the blank page, you probably will.

The same holds with any creative process. Once the idea and intention is set, it's belief that drives gathering the right team and resources to test, develop, and eventually create your product, whatever it is. Once the belief turns to "it can't be done," then it won't be, because all effort will stop. 

When you believe with your whole being, you harness the creative power of belief. Do you want to create health? It's most important to believe you will be well. The placebo effect has been well proven, as has the power of belief in healing. Yes, you might need medical help or therapy, but with belief and time, you can choose positive thought patterns and habits to contribute to creating your healthiest self. 

What do you believe is worth creating in your life?

3/16/21

Let Go


Sometimes, we just need to surrender to what is, accept, and let go. Other times, we can work through mistakes and challenges, find new solutions, and overcome obstacles. Either way, surrender to what is starts us off, and can be a powerful springboard for our creativity. We accept what is, imagine what could be, and create from there. 

Have a happy today, enjoy creating your best from wherever you are, and let today's learnings,  guide and propel your imagination and creative pursuits.

3/9/21

Create an Abundant Attitude

When we're happy and fulfilled we feel like life is abundant. If we're constantly wanting more and thinking negatively, we create a scarcity mindset and feel like we're lacking. When we practice feeling grateful for what we and others have, it helps us see that we have plenty and there's enough for everyone. 

One of my yoga teachers, Tao Porchon-Lynch, encourages us to see the beauty and would often say "When I wake up in the morning, I know that it's going to be the best day of my life. I never think about what I can't do. Make sure positive thoughts are the first ones you think in the morning. And never procrastinate." She was an inspiration for abundant living, someone who took advantage of life and lived fully for her 101 years. She was a model, actress, wine expert, active in the French resistance during WWII, renowned yoga teacher, writer, and winning ballroom dance competitor in her old age. 

How can we create more abundance in our lives? Simply set the intention and then add positive thoughts, gratitude, smiles, and actions. Try starting and ending each day with positive thoughts, and take advantage of opportunities and build on them. Do what you love, and before long, you may feel you're living more abundantly. 

3/2/21

Creative Friendship

Many of my best friends over the years are the ones I've created with. With my childhood friends, we created fun and played out possibilities, growing together. With my husband, we created a family and happy life together. With my friends at work, we created art products for children. With other good friends over the years, we've run activities at a student union, studied together, taught, made art, music, crafts, and books. Friends encourage and support one another in goals and life journeys. Most importantly, with friends we create joy. 

Good friends are everywhere, they can live next door and across the world. To be a friend, all we need to do is be open, caring, and curious about others. We start with a hello, a common interest, or invitation. Then we enjoy and share our best.

Though not easy while distancing, it's always fun to be a friend, to spend time with friends, and to remember our good times together. When and what did you last create with a friend?

2/23/21

Add A Little Color


Colors affect our psychology, moods, and decisions. For instance, yellow tends to give us confidence, red grabs our attention, and blue can evoke peace and calm. 

If a drawing or painting is falling flat, we can add more color. We can use whatever colors we like, whether realistic or not, to express our emotions. We can splash, drip, swab, pour, spritz, brush, or apply it with brushes or improvised tools like feathers and sticks. 

Maybe you're not painting. Maybe you're knitting, inventing, teaching, writing, cooking, healing, or something else. "Adding color" can also mean adding details in some way, maybe with light, texture, spices, or 
descriptive word paintings; Or by blending ideas or adding playful activities.

What's your favorite way of adding color? How can you add a little more color to your creativity or your life today?



2/16/21

Take Advantage of Creative Ideas

 

Sometimes we just need to move on our ideas and give them a try. Exploring possibilities is great. Yet, how often have you come up with an idea and let it go, only to soon find that someone else has implemented what you were contemplating? 

Rather than setting it aside and later thinking, "I could have done that," if it's something that feels worthwhile to create and you're passionate about it, keep going. Pouncing on our best ideas and polishing and completing them helps us harness our creative muse, take advantage of timely opportunities, and see what happens when we share our work. 

What creative endeavor have you been procrastinating on that you can you pounce on today?

2/9/21

Be Outstanding

Not a reliable info source, but sometimes entertaining, is Urban Dictionary, where it says this about grapefruits: 
    "The best living thing ever to have existed. Grapefruit is the Alpha and the Omega. It can never be called a "he" or "she", for the Grapefruit is an "It". Grapefruit is powerful, sexy, charming, seductive, outstanding, astonishing, unique, etc.The ultimate god of the fruits, Grapefruit is the most powerful fruit on earth and overpowers all veggies. It cannot be defined or explained, for Grapefruit is the unexplainable. The invincible. The almighty fruit of all time. Grapefruit has been, is, and will be. A veggie is a Grapefruit's enemy. It bows down at the throne of Grapefruit. Grapefruit is the most powerful thing in the world." 
Just for fun, try replacing "Grapefruit" in the above paragraph with "I." Most of us don't usually feel "powerful, sexy, charming, seductive, outstanding, astonishing, unique," and "invincible." But all of us can assess our weaknesses and strengths and move towards making choices that will lead us to best live our one unique outstanding life. 
Enjoy today, find a small way to feel and be outstanding, and celebrate even small successes. 


2/2/21

Use Your Energy Where it Matters

Most of us are dedicated and committed to our families, friends, coworkers, or whoever is most important in our lives. We can also devote ourselves to our work, art, social justice, environmental issues, animal welfare, or any other activity that's worthwhile. It's a good habit to examine our priorities often to be sure we're devoting our time and effort where it's most important and feels truest to us. 

There are specialists and generalists in this world, which are you? If you're a specialist, you've probably already devoted yourself. If you have many areas of focus, you can still give full devotion during the time you spend on each. Choose what's most important right now, focus deeply, and spend your time and energy doing what you believe in, with full presence and devotion, towards creating what you desire. When we're devoted and commit ourselves, that's when it's easiest to enjoy each step along the process and to follow through, completing and creating something new. 

See how you can devote yourself in your creative pursuits today. 

1/26/21

Get Excited

How often do you pause and notice your deep feelings? What gets you feeling really excited, enthusiastic, angry or irrational? 

Good news: As it turns out, research has shown that people who are the most open to their full range of emotions- from positive to negative and including extreme emotions- often measure high scores on creative capacity tests. 

Next time you "go bananas," remember that energy can't be created or destroyed, but it can be transformed. Use your deep passionate energy and channel it into your creative endeavors, and see you what you can create from there. 

1/19/21

Let Change Fuel Your Creativity

With the upcoming US presidential inauguration, there's been much anticipation and unrest, with many questioning what will happen next in these times of challenge and disunity. I'm hopeful for peaceful, positive change, yet am aware that some problems may intensify before they improve. 

One of the few constants in life is change, and change can feel anything from exciting to very uncomfortable or uncertain. Some of us tend to dig in our heels or otherwise clench and resist change; others flow more comfortably. When we're not open to change, we can get stuck in the past, fearful and not open to what is and what else can be. When things are changing in your life, in your work, or in the world at large- which they always are- try noticing and naming your feelings about what's happening. If you feel anxious, angry, sad, or afraid, try to name the emotion, see if you can feel where you hold tight feelings in your body, then try to consciously invite in relaxation where needed. When we name our emotion and relax our bodies, we can better move through whatever we're presented with. Instead of fearing change, we can come to accept and embrace it and all its creative possibilities.

And sometimes when presented with change, it can inspire us to look carefully at our habits, attitudes and beliefs. It can be threatening to challenge our own biases and points of view, yet it's a very creative process. We may grow more intelligent and compassionate by listening, learning, opening, and coming to better understand the change around us.

How will you embrace change today, and how will you use it to fuel your creativity? 

1/12/21

Connect with your Inner Child

 

When did you last let go and play?

George Bernard Shaw said, "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." Though we mostly need to let go of being childish, we can continue positive
childlike traits as we grow up. Children tend to laugh more, to take life lightly, to be completely in the moment, and to be silly and spontaneous with what comes up, especially while they play. We've all met people who age playfully, and others who seem to lose touch with their inner child. 

Play involves engaging the imagination and trying new things just for the fun of what might happen. The scientific process is similar, starting with a question and thinking and imagining what might happen, then experimenting and making observations to find out. The creative process, too, is about getting ideas, and exploring different ways to implement them. We try one thing, see what happens, and then try another till we create what we want. As long as we don't let our inner critic in, it can be almost like play.

Playfulness is one of the most critical attitudes for innovation. To be more playful, we can play games, play with our children and families, and play with ideas. We can play while we work, play while we create, and play while we exercise and move our bodies. We can almost make a game out of life, stopping to notice humor that feels stitched into our cosmos. 

There's plenty of time for being serious, but as you remember to get out of your thinking/analyzing brain and have some fun each day, see how that expands your creativity. 

1/5/21

Reach a Little Further

 

Happy New Year!

These days you may feel more like hibernating, but I say give yourself a good stretch daily. 

To keep your body open, you can move often, in new ways, and in ways that are best for you. When we keep moving, we stay balanced, get stronger, and become more flexible, creating more well-being. Do yoga, walk, swim, bike, run, hang from trees, hop, get upside down daily, or move in any other way that feels great. Simply standing up once an hour instead of sitting can also help keep us healthy. 

We can also stretch our minds, by taking time to get still and feel inside ourselves; by trying new things and techniques; by opening to new points of view; by reading something outside our normal comfort zone; by keeping a can-do growth mindset; and by learning anything new and doing something differently. 

All these ways to stretch help us make new neural connections, which will steep into our creativity. How might you stretch in 2021? Give a stretch each day, reach a little further in your art, and see how it helps you create.