Ignite Your Creativity | Spark 4: The CRAZIES

pf_crazyheadSo I’m behind on my Ignite Your Creativity series… BUT… lucky YOU, because now you’ll get two “Sparks” in one week! Yahoo!
See how I did that? I just turned lemons into lemonade. So satisfying.

The last several weeks have been pretty crazy with the end of school, work and preparation for our two week jaunt across the country. I am so looking forward to traveling, sleeping in and just doing whatever the heck I want while my kids run barefoot in the backyard and the grandparents dote on them from morning till bedtime. One of the things I plan to do is blog more, that is, if I have enough time.

Rut roh. There is that crazy voice again. (Crazy voice: you suck.)

Which brings me to Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark: 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity. I am highlighting a way, or “Spark”, each week for 30 weeks, and this is week 4 (well really 5 because I’m a little tardy.) The fourth “Spark” Carrie mentions is what she calls “The Crazies”, or rather, the letting go of them.

You know when you get a really good, creative idea and you start to work on it/implement it/explore it and halfway through you start saying to yourself, “Why am I doing this?” or “This isn’t good enough.” or “I could be doing something more practical right now like grocery shopping or dusting the blinds.” Well, all of these things are barriers to the creative process. Sylvia Plath said “The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt.”

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And we all do it, don’t we? So, what should we do? Carrie has a nifty idea. She recommends writing these self-limiting thoughts down on paper so they become physical objects that you can see and touch. Each time you have a case of “The Crazies”, write it down and store it in a container on your desk or work table. Then, the moment you have a sparkly, creative session reach in there, tear up a piece of “crazy paper” and watch how they slowly disappear. Crazies gone forever. Creative You, here to stay.

So I did just that. It’s a wonderful exercise in mindfulness as well. Only when you truly pay attention and reflect on what you are thinking do you realize how much you are thinking about something! And as my yoga teacher says… “Where the mind goes, energy flows.” Ponder THAT today.

See you this weekend… On the Road.

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Surround yourself with inspiring stuff

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If you are like me, your life is busy… or “filled” is a nicer way of saying it. It is super easy to realize its 9pm and you still haven’t finished the dishes, the work, the field trip forms, the book, the relaxing before bed! It can feel overwhelming and downright annoying. Then we crawl into bed, hopefully sleep without intruders, and wake up to do it all over again. Just while I’ve been writing this my youngest has come into my office no less than ten times. How do we do what we want to do without losing our minds over unexpected obstacles?

One way, I’ve discovered, that helps me keep things in perspective is to decorate with inspiring reminders. Of course this isn’t a new idea, I just started doing it out of desperation and lack of time. Like today, I got all dressed up in my yoga gear with full intentions of going, but got tied up in other projects and to dos and didn’t make it. So, I decided to hang a funky, typographic picture I made instead that reads “One With Life.”

I hung it on the wall right outside my bedroom so it is the first thing I see as I start my day. The idea of being “one with life”, otherwise known as “being present”,Β  “going with the flow”, “in the moment” or however you would like to interpret it, is one of those things that is so easy to forget when you are just trying to get it all done. I am guilty of this every day. I love the idea of just riding those waves of life that crash upon us constantly, but it definitely takes work to learn how to do it gracefully.

I also write down little notes in the bathroom, on my dashboard, on my computer β€” all that give me some extra wisdom based on what is going on in my life. And of course there are the photos of family. I confess, we have lived here now for almost three years and I do not have many family photos hanging up but mostly because I want them to be what I envision in my mind: big, artful, goosebumpy, inspiring! Not much to ask, right? So I started that too. Seeing people you love looking back at you around your home just reminds you of what really matters.

So what about you? Do you have inspirational ‘stuff’ hanging around your house or workplace? Let’s hear it.

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