Creativity for the Rest of Us
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The Future is Bright

Each generation thinks the one coming behind it is going to the dogs.  For my parents it was rock music and hippies.  For us it’s social media, reality TV and texting. The younger generation brings with it a rejection or reinvention of the values, work ethic and culture of their parents.  It’s part of the natural order. This is graduation time.  I’ve been to two recently that have re-ignited my optimism about our...

Find Your Own Way

When our daughter was young it was agony getting ready for school in the morning. Dawdle and distraction were constant playmates.  I wish I could say I was the picture of the cool, calm and collected parent but many days the sight of my hair standing on end would indicate otherwise. One such morning after the endless refrains of:  “Grace, are you dressed yet?”, I went to see for myself.  Charging down the hallway,...

Look Up. Look Down. Look All Around.

It’s confession time.  Occasionally when there is something tasty in the fridge that I want to savor before the family devours it, I hide it. It’s easy enough.  Depending on who I’m hiding it from, I stash it on the higher or the lower shelf.  Daughter doesn’t look high.  Partner doesn’t look low.  More for me. Let’s leave my trust issues aside for the moment.  There’s something to learn here about how we see...

What Are You Arguing For?

In case you missed it, I am on a crusade to fire up your natural creativity.  What finally set my torch ablaze to take up this mission was hearing yet one more person state with conviction, almost with pride, “I’m not creative”. “I love what you do but I can’t draw.” “My sister/brother/parent/friend is SO creative.  I’m just not.” “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.” “I can’t draw a straight line.”  (Uh, no...

A Blessing For the New Year

              As we draw the curtain on 2011, I give gratitude to you, the readers of these posts.  I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to practice consistency in this new vehicle of self expression.  Without you, there would be no motivation or accountability — key to my creativity.  For those of you who have offered comments either here or privately, your words bless...

3 Tools to Build Personal Resiliency

In times of uncertainty – stress, breakdown, crisis, upheaval or even disaster our natural inclination is to rush to action and answers.  Rushing inhibits access to our higher reasoning skills.  When physically rushing we have less motor control.  This is not a personality flaw; it is how humans instinctively function in highly stressful situations. These 3 tools will help build personal resilience, provide more...

Play Time

I’m a sucker for flash mobs. The (seemingly) spontaneous eruption of creativity, imagination, community and generosity get me every time.  When I watch one of these I often weep with joy.  Granted, some of them are staged marketing events but that doesn’t matter.  I love the way it makes me feel.     What I love is watching people of all ages, colors, aptitude and backgrounds perform some whimsical...

Celebrating Creativity

In teaching the Creativity in Business program, we often start by asking people to rate themselves on how creative they think they are.  It’s always fascinating and informative to witness. It is the rare bird that claims the high end of the spectrum without equivocation. For many people, the metric they use for assessing their creativity is comparison. If we don’t know the people we’re comparing ourselves to, we...

Lessons From Building Birdhouses

With the first cut of the wood, the idea for building birdhouses was out of my head and into the universe.  Never mind that the initial foray was a mess.  Ideas, resources, tools, solutions, and allies came flooding in once I took action.  I did it for fun and the pure joy of self-expression.  My only plan was how to get more materials and get my “real work” done faster so I could get back to the workshop –a.k.a....

Feel the Awkward and Do It Anyway

I’ve been blessed to work in what some would call exotic places around the world. When I travel so far from home (and the client is paying for my flight), it seems downright negligent not to extend the trip to explore a new place.  I love to travel and take great delight in learning about cultures different from my own. I have had some wonderful adventures and they all come with a good story.  Anyone who knows me...

The Poison of Comparison

What do you do when you see that someone else has written your book, is marketing a workshop you could teach in your sleep, is making art that you could do (maybe better), is humming along in a health groove that leaves them glowing and you seething with resentment? You know what I mean.  When someone else has the audacity to create art that is so close to what you’ve been dreaming about and actually put it out...

I Don’t Wanna

This week I didn’t feel like writing a blog post.  I was feeling kind of funky – not a lot of energy and a vague sense of empty after the completion of a run of juicy teaching and coaching that I was really fired up about.  It got me thinking about what to do when I don’t wanna do. One of the reasons I started this blog was I wanted a reason to write on a regular basis. Things have been hummin’ along until I...

Sharing the Seeds

Last week I had the privilege of witnessing a circle of elders in a soulful conversation discussing what they are learning about life as they come face to face with death.  There is no way to capture here the sacrament of that experience.  Because it touched my heart so deeply, any story I could tell feels inadequate to describe how their words landed in me. The very dear Mary Brady counseled me once not to “spend”...

Fire

          Fire What makes a fire burn is space between the logs, a breathing space. Too much of a good thing, too many logs packed in too tight can douse the flames almost as surely as a pail of water would.   So building fires requires attention to the spaces in between, as much as to the wood.   When we are able to build open spaces in the same way we have learned to pile on the...

Bakesale Betty, Take 2

A tragic thing happened last fall.  Bakesale Betty decided to close on Sundays – the day that I frequent Oakland.  I am heartbroken – as is my mother who, now in her eighties, has developed both a dislike for cooking and a hearty appetite for Betty’s chicken potpies. As fortune would have it, I was in the neighborhood one Tuesday afternoon and managed to scoot in just before closing to snag some goodies for...
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