I’m getting ready to lead my writing critique group and should be preparing my writing to share, but instead, I’m writing to you in my first post of 2012. As artists, writers, creative, and divergent thinkers, we can attest to being vulnerable, scared, and paralysed. Life alone can do this to us then we add, of our own volition, the stress of putting our tangible expressions out there, into the world to be viewed and judged.
Yesterday I was reminded, yet again, about the benefits of meditation. Disclaimer–I’ve been meditating for years–but it sure does help when someone else tells me how good it is! I’ve included an essay by Orna Ross here, it is so well written and inspiring too. Jane Friedman posted it on her blog and I learned of it through Facebook, ahhhhh the joys of sharing through social media.
My favorite line is:
“Meditation soothes those edges and creates a place of safety from where we can take risks.”
Creativity and wellness message for today: Claim your essential self.
P.S. Should I forego my shower and meditate instead?
Recently I entered two paintings in a local art show. Mind you, I hadn’t submitted work to an exhibit in two years. Life just got in the way. Concentrating on choosing the right framed watercolors from my studio (a clean corner of the basement), I felt my excitement mounting at the thought of showing my work again. I used to eat, sleep, and breathe art before I got a real life. Yet, every time I step back in the stream of art my pulse quickens. I’m in my element again.
The art opening was glorious, and I was thrilled when one of my watercolors sold. Validation! Joy! Connection! All those feelings mixed together into a cocktail of delight. I was still on a creative high, when one month after the show ended a second watercolor sold. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing that turns into the greatest gift. The first gift of connection between artist and collector was wonderful then to have a second one follow was the tastiest icing on the cake.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Accept the gifts of recognition in honor of your creative expression, let them fill your heart.
I’m frequently asked for advice on blogging. In my programs, speeches, and recently here in the comment section of my blog, budding bloggers want to know what to do. On this Halloween day, the pumpkins are carved, candy is bought, and the costumes are complete. Today is a good day to share some new thoughts on blogging.
1. Take off your mask. Be real in what you write, authenticity is a good thing.
2. Just do it, start a blog, keep it simple, keep it fun. Don’t do it if it’s a chore.
3. Find your niche or specialty. Write from that perspective.
4. Subscribe to other blogs, learn from them. Many times it’s what you don’t like about someone else’s blog that helps you create one that is uniquely yours.
Just like a teenager going through puberty, I write in growth spurts. My rule of thumb is to publish this blog once-a-weekish or when the spirit moves me. When I don’t have anything to say, I don’t.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Risk trying something new, go out there without your mask.
At the end of my morning excercise routine I heard a little voice inside me say, “That was easy.” Smiling I realised, it was! Being on a budget currently prohibits my membership at the local Y. I miss swimming, the meditative and repetitive laps, wetness of the water enveloping my whole body, silence when I dive like a whale, hold my breath and swim very deep. What I have instead is “Mama’s Budget Stair Master and Weights.”
I live in a two-story house and being a creative-minded soul I devised a workout of going up and down the stairs and on each floor lifting hand weights as I traverse that level. I set the kitchen timer on the stove, crank up the volume on my library books on CD, and set off. It really is easy. This routine tucks nicely into my available time before work and it is right on budget.
Years ago in art school a professor commented that my rough sketches held more emotion than my finished drawings. He was right. The immediacy of my initial concept conveyed more authenticity then the ones I labored over. I’m reminded of his wise words this morning. My excerise routine came to me in a flash of inspiration. I didn’t edit or belabor it. I didn’t try to make it better.
Creativty and wellness message for today: Easy does it, let your answer to today’s problem be the one that pops up first.
I like the place my writing takes me. It’s a drug-like euphoria that literally expands my heart.
I have to gently remind myself that if my essay wins the memoir contest or not, I felt good along the way. The process is worth it. Just like in my recently drafted essay, the ending isn’t where I thought I was going.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Stay in the moment, let your heart’s journey steer you.
I’m back to writing this blog after taking a break from it for the summer. How was your summer? Are you feeling like it was enough?
This morning while exercising I had a revelation. I was berating myself for not doing enough writing this summer when a little voice inside me reminded me that I had. I started mentally checking off everything I created or learned in my writing world. I surprised myself at not only my endeavors but my completions.
In my summer travels, one of the high points was attending the Dale Chihuly ‘Through the Looking Glass” show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Chihuly is a glass artist extraordinaire. His show knocked my socks off in its scope and creativity. Imagine huge blown glass abstract shapes in brilliant, bright colors suspended from the ceiling all around you. Imagine a 20 foot long boat (made of blown glass) filled with exotic blown glass flowers on steroids. I was bug-eyed the entire time. The energy in the exhibit rooms was palpable. It was as if Chihuly’s immense, fragile art was playfully cutting through dead spaces in the rooms, and activating them with vitality.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Let your playful parts clear out any stagnant spaces in your life, metaphorically and practically.
I spent Saturday with my 89-year-old mom celebrating her birthday. At a local flower show we saw competitions for complex garden/art related theme exhibits and witnessed the Best in Show simple floral blossoms in minimalistic containers. My mom introduced me to several of her friends, we watched bees working in their hive, and enjoyed the day. Before leaving to bring her back to her apartment I stopped in the Women’s room. What greeted me was a most unexpected surprise.
A glass vase full of calla lilies sat poised on a countertop in front of a mirror, next to a dramatic frosted window. For me, this was the best display of the entire flower show! Taking out my new smartphone (a Mother’s Day gift from my sweet husband) I quickly snapped this picture. It’s a beauty I must say.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Be prepared, use your artistic eye to spot creative expression wherever it pops up.
P.S. I’m in the process of changing my website and this blog’s layout will change with it. I’m excited about the upcoming new way of communicating with you. Stay tuned!
On this cold, icy winter day I’m thinking about how my mind works. Over the years of being a creative thinker, I’ve learned that it is usually my first thought that is my best thought. Experience has proven this for three reasons:
1. There are no edits yet when a first thought bubbles up to the surface of my conscious mind.
2. That first thought (even if it is “off-base” or silly) can free up my brain enough to lead me to my next thought.
3. Action steps I may take on my very first thought often times lead me to my very best thoughts.
I’ve helped support myself and my family on my creative ideas for decades, I’ve learned to trust my first thoughts and to let them lead me to where I am going.
Creativity and wellness message for today: Allow your first creative thought to lead you to the next.