Creating Every Moment

Creative_woman
People come to me for creativity coaching and say, "I should do more creative work.  If I spent an hour a day making art, that would be great."

But creativity doesn't only have to happen when we sit down to write or paint.  It can be part of every moment!  Have you spent time with those people who seem to make magic out of every moment?  People who invent a game out of jumping into their car, dance their way through the supermarket, belt out their favorite song at work, and create entire theater pieces with inanimate objects.  Your creativity is a muscle, and it wants to be pumped!  Try the following creativity exercises and incorporate them into your day to get your creative juice flowing.

  • turn your socks into sock puppets while you're getting dressed
  • think of a song you don't like, and write new lyrics that express the opposite sentiment of the song
  • write down all the excuses you make for not making your art in bullet points.  in a second column, write what you did instead of making art.  then, choose a silly accent, and read each of them aloud to yourself. 
  • take one day and invent life stories for each stranger you see on the street
  • wear a unique piece of clothing that people will comment on, and then make up a different story for each of them about where it came from

For added synergy, fill your well with stories of others' art and life to inspire you even more.

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"The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to
leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your
intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover
is yourself."

-Alan Alda

Compare and despair? Or just be you.

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It's so easy to look at others who have "succeeded" in their careers or their creative work, and compare ourselves and feel like we're not good enough in comparison.  But hindsight is 20/20.  Look at how each of your hero's choices brought them closer to their goal.  Where they are today shows how obvious and clear their path was.  And yet, at the start (unless your hero is Arnold Schwarzenegger) they had no idea where their path would take them.

I like to look at Woody Allen, for example.  I love the trajectory of his career.  He began writing for television, then did standup comedy for a few years, then he began writing, directing, and acting in his own films.  He's in his 70's, and he's still making a new film every year.  But I don't compare myself to him anymore, because I've realized I want to carve out my own path. Each of us, especially people whose creativity is at the center of their lives, makes a beautiful and unique meandering toward our deepest truth.  And we do it without knowing if or when or how it will "all come together".  This reminds me how we're part of the great mystery of life! 

I'd like to propose that the people you admire were not actually aiming for Success or Getting Things Right or Looking Good so much as really being curious about and exploring themselves and the world around them.  They were becoming themselves, and the opportunities that arose came out of a willingness to take the risk of really knowing who they are.  And things "all come together" at exactly the moment when you decide you're ready for it, and when you decide you really really want it.

So, take a moment, look around, and recognize that you have chosen (consciously or unconsciously at a deep, soul level) exactly who and where you are in order to learn something at Earth School.  And relax into the knowledge that you are exactly where you need to be on your very own path.  And then, make some new choices.  Take some new risks.  Make some new mistakes!

     "The Path that leadeth on is lighted by one fire-the light of daring burning in the heart.  The more one dares, the more he shall obtain."

     -Helena Petrova Blavatsky

The Possibility Tree

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So, you've got a clear vision and a CPR (a statement of the results you want from your work , what your purpose is, and the context you'd like to pursue your results in.) Now, what, Ms. Creativity Coach? If you're at all like me and like to create big visions for yourself, you can get awfully excited and awfully overwhelmed by it all.  Questions arise, like, "Where do I start?" and "Which is the best, most effective task to perform at this moment?"  The intensity of the wonderful vision you have created for yourself can become another block to having what you want if you let it overwhelm you! (It's easy in moments of overwhelm to lose sight of goals and get lost in distractions like over-checking email…)

So, take some time to brainstorm the steps that will bring you from where you are now to where you want to be breaks everything up into manageable chunks.  And if you are someone with a lot of different goals and a lot of different projects all in play, drawing a tree of possible courses of action can be really helpful in visualizing what steps you need to take to arrive at your aims.  Then, you can choose which "branch" you want to focus some time on, take specific actions, and see measurable results.  And whenever necessary, you can re-assess.  Perhaps you're a violinist, and you know you want to get more work playing the violin.  One possibility branch for getting more work would involve networking with other musicians at parties or at the symphony…  Another possibility branch would involve building a website, posting examples of your work online, and attracting customers through internet searches.  Yet another possibility branch could be learning new pieces of music and auditioning in different cities.  Of course, the knowledge of your tree branches will evolve as you grow, but you will create a great picture of how to achieve your goals.  And then you can build a treehouse.

"Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."  -Les Brown