The Creator in all of us

Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you express this creative potential, you can start changing the world. -Paulo Coelho

Last night I attended a Creativity Boot Camp, which was a fun creative outlet that led to this post. I do believe we all have creators within us and I want to bring that to the forefront of anyone questioning their potential, their ability, their purpose, direction, etc.

Lets think about a great creative—off the top of my head, I go to Mozart. There are stories about him walking outside and his mind being filled with inspiration, complete musical pieces swirling around and landing within him to bring into this world.

He also had a bit of a muse…a starling bird he named, “Star.” According to Linda Lynn Haupt & her new book, Mozart’s Starling, On May 27th, 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart met a flirtatious little starling in a Viennese shop who sang an improvised version of the theme from his Piano Concerto no. 17 in G major. Sensing a kindred spirit in the plucky young bird, Mozart bought him and took him home to be a family pet. For three years, the starling lived with Mozart, influencing his work and serving as his companion, distraction, consolation, and muse.

I genuinely love the beautiful idea of inspiration simply flowing and being readily available to someone who invites in creativity, whether it be bird or man. What an incredible gift. I do believe we all have the ability within us. We just have to be available and willing to be inspired.

TIPS that I CREATED from my Class:

Happy Brain. Happy Life.

UTILIZE YOUR BRAIN and its POWER: begin by taking care of yourself and creating a high performance mind. Get enough sleep, Eat great foods, Exercise, Take time to meditate, walk or wander, Continue to always learn and surround yourself with people smarter than you.

TIPS for your BRAIN According to Harvard Health:

Mental Stimulation: Any mentally stimulating activity should help to build up your brain. Read, take courses, try “mental gymnastics,” such as word puzzles or math problems Experiment with things that require manual dexterity as well as mental effort, such as drawing, painting, and other crafts.

Exercise: exercise regularly increase the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the region of the brain that is responsible for thought. Exercise also spurs the development of new nerve cells and increases the connections between brain cells (synapses). This results in brains that are more efficient, plastic, and adaptive, which translates into better performance

Also suggested good nutrition, lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar and cholesterol, avoid tobacco and alcohol, and care for your emotions and build your social circles. All good things for better brain health. 

LEARN FROM MASTERS: Whether that is reading a good biography, talking to people online who are experts in their field of study, joining a group of some kind or merely reaching out to someone who is doing what you desire to do and learning from them by asking questions, inquiring on how things are done, etc. DONT be afraid to reach out—they are just people! I was trying to create a musical screen play & who better to ask questions than the screen writer from the movie Mamma Mia. I literally did my homework and found a way to get in touch with her for her thoughts and advice on how to move my idea forward. She was an incredible human being that was open and willing to help share direction. It was a wonderful and meaningful exchange. Remember: they are just people and people usually love to help, if possible. Learn from the masters.

CONTINUOUS LEARNING: “Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”- Marie Curie Learning: taking the time to get even better at something. They say if you do something for 15 minutes a day, some say 10,000 hours to become an expert, some say that it is the quality of time practiced over quantity, etc. I believe if you want to get good at something—begin. You will not learn anything if you don’t begin. Begin. Practice. Become.

“Play is the royal road to childhood happiness and adult brilliance.” -Joseph Chilton Pearce

PLAY: Creativity opens a space of opportunity. We often live in schedules and rigid deadlines, so offering a space of time to just let go, get creative, play in some way is incredible nourishment for the soul. Play is so important as a child, so why or how does that change so much as an adult. It doesn’t. It is just worked out of us or responsability works it right out of us & the spontaneity and play we seek gets lost in the day to day. When play is part of the day to day, then everything is better. Creativity becomes part of the equation and a bigger part of a greater solution to a better, balanced, happier life.

A creative exercise I found online: Tim Brown’s amazing 2008 TEDTalk Tales of Creativity in Play in which he talks about this next exercise. Created by Bob McKim of the Stanford Design Program, the 30 circles exercise is simple in practice and quick to complete. Each participant is given a piece of paper with 30 blank circles on it, a pencil and 3 minutes on the clock.  You are challenged to fill in as many circles as possible- with the aim being quantity, not quality. Maybe all your circles are variations on a theme, perhaps they are all emojis … your one goal was to fill out as many as possible. Then, after the exercise, share and reflect what similarities there were and encourage collaboration. The motive behind the 30 circles is to stop yourself from self-censoring. When you go for quantity, you don’t have time to think your idea is bad, you can edit later. This is the stage where creativity flourishes.

Real life example of work, play and the benefits: Look at Google and its foosball tables and beach volleyball. Having fun and playing around engage the creative side of the brain, helping people work better. A Stanford study found that getting up and walking around unleashes creativity, and even something as simple as zoning out and daydreaming can set the creative fires ablaze, according to neuroscience. -Inc

CONNECT: “Creativity is just connecting things.” – Steve Job Your mind needs to learn how to connect ideas, senses, emotions, a collection of experiences to take you to a new way of thinking. Creativity is an extension of everything within you.

A creative exercise from the class: You find a picture online that you are drawn to—aka a room that tells a story, a person in an old photograph, a scene, etc. You then begin to create a list. The list begins telling the story, creating characters, touches the senses in some way…the story of the picture begins to have pieces that then fit together and connect in some way. It comes alive.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” -Albert Einstein

CURIOSITY: See where the ideas land. Make lists of brainstorming ideas as a starting point. The leader talked about Mindmapping in various ways. Whether you are creating characters for a story, creating an interior design project, contemplating a new way of doing something….begin with a map of ideas. Get curious. Think outside every box, come up with crazy, imaginative and over-the-top out there ideas and then begin to build your creative directions.

A creative exercise we were given in class–“Driving with Ben” the idea was to get curious and see things from a different perspective…a car ride with Ben Franklin. The premise was that Ben just popped into this time period and you were showing him around town. What would you show him? What would he wonder about? What would he be curious about? Objects, inventions, spaces, architecture, cars, textures, etc.

“Variety is the spice of life. We all want surprises.” -Tony Robbins

VARIETY: You have heard the old saying, “Variety is the spice of life.” Well, it is, especially if you are desiring growth, creativity, you want to step out of your norm or the daily grind of life. Begin trying a variety of things that challenge, inspire, push you beyond your current state and help you stretch to various parts of you. Whether you want to challenge your body and desire to enter a fun run or maybe you want to enter a piece into an art show or maybe you want to explore a new town for a possible photo shoot—variety is the spice of life. When you chase new experiences there is only space for personal growth and creativity.

A creative exercise I found online: Go to a bookstore or library and explore a section completely unrelated to your job or the books you normally read. Choose a book and read it to see what new knowledge you can glean. Learning about disciplines that are different from your own can introduce you to new ways of managing your work.-Indeed

“Some wander to get lost and some wander to find themselves.”

WANDER: Wandering to me is simply just letting yourself explore, seek, find, spend time mostly alone, for the sake of just simply being. Seek and find your inner creator. Notice details around you, fall in love with the quiet steps in all you do during a good wander. Use your senses to instill the sights and sounds you experience. Be present to the gifts that abound around you.

A creative exercise I found online: Go on a field trip out of the office. Explore a local garden or walk around downtown to see what new ideas or concepts you discover through a change of scenery. Even the act of having a meeting in a new place can spark original ideas. -from Indeed

KEEP THE MIDSET of BEYOND THE IMPOSSIBLE: OR better yet, “I’M POSSIBLE” It is a view point. You can look at obstacles, growth, change and say it one of two ways—IMPOSSIBLE or I’m POSSIBLE. It does matter what you believe. You can tell yourself many things. What are you telling yourself. Are you saying you don’t know how to be creative…you are not smart enough to start something…you don’t have the skills, etc. Evaluate those ideas and statements that you are telling yourself. Get your ideas flowing with positive talk…I’M POSSIBLE thinking…

Think about this–how can you truly begin to create and imagine and brainstorm IF you are only thinking small thoughts and ideas OR even worse, negative thoughts and ideas. Nothing creative comes from a small, inner creative critic. The very definition of To Create is to bring (something) into existence OR cause (something) to happen as a result of one’s action.

HOW can you bring anything into existence IF you cannot see the impossible, the bigger dreams, the ideas that desire to be brought into this world because you are stuck in a small place within your own mind. Free the ideas, bring out the I’M Possible and create possibility in all you do.

A creative exercise we were given in class: “10 Ideas a day”. Write down 10 ideas of something you want to create, learn, adventure into, inspiration, anything that gets your ideas bubbling.

CREATIVITY COMES IN MANY COLORS & SPACES FOR EVERYONE: Sometimes you need to step away for the creativity to come. Inc did an article on people finding creative moments and these are some of the many situations shared: “So I take a three-mile walk, and it’s during that hour away from my desk, when I have my best creative ideas. My head de-clutters and I start thinking clearly, and coming up with ideas.” “I find I get my best ideas when I’m making food! I think it’s because when I make food I tend to forget about everything else. I get lost in the process of the making and I think that gives my brain a rest. When it’s resting, my brain gives me its best ideas.”-Kat Quinzel. “I solve problems for my business under water. No phone. No internet. No talking. No noise pollution. Just the sound of breathing through my regulator, the calming lull of the ocean and my thoughts. The deeper and darker I’m able to go (safely, of course), the more hyper-focused I must be of my surroundings and actions, and thus, the more hyper-focused my thoughts become. There’s nothing like going down to 120 feet, looking down past the drop-off into the abyss, and thinking of a solution to a problem I’ve been struggling with for a while.” -Brain Li. “My best ideas generally take place when I’m at a quiet milkshake shop late at night, with an excellent-tasting milkshake and a comic book. It sounds odd, but it always works! I love milkshakes and I love comic books, so the combination of both definitely gives a surge of all kinds of positive energy and motivation. And I’m sure the giant-size carb boost and creative reading material help. The more chocolatey the shake, the better!” -Michael Freeby Photography. Other creatives mentioned while walking their dog, listening to music, mowing their lawn, swimming and I would say in the shower or the 3am magic hour.

Hope these ideas help instill and inspire your inner, creative greatness. Just begin. Move towards your own brilliance and shine.

Peace. love and light. -H

The Ups and Downs

My beautiful daughter is experiencing her first year of college and the past couple of weeks has been a genuine ride of emotions. So many firsts in this first year—that I could truly understand the quote, “Life is a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs, its thrills and terrors, and every once in awhile it just randomly breaks down.”

My daughter has been in tears multiple times in the last couple of weeks. She is in tears without knowing why she is feeling so down. It breaks my heart and the mom part of me just wants to take her off the roller coaster and give her a needed break.

Emotions are a real thing, so when I was reading the book, HEAL, by Kelly Noonan Gores there is a part about depression and anti-depressants: “Its true for antidepressants and other psychiatric medications, which we now know can actually promote long-term experiences of depression.”

It is a crazy thing to think about—our body may get a natural dose [or lack of something that causes] depression, so society goes to the doctor & they prescribe an anti-depressant. The body COULD naturally create a solution on its own through balancing natural chemicals that come from being in nature, exercise, service, etc. [granted not all situations can naturally, but…]I thought it is interesting how because the body takes the anti-depressant it almost becomes dependent on the person taking it, so it promotes depression in the body, so the med has something to fix. It begins an inevitable cycle of depression that stays in the body. Wow!

Something inside me clicked. I have been reading about Oxytocin (Kissing, love chemical) because my daughter has been recently experiencing her first real relationship that involves kissing, so another aha moment chimed in to how this chemical is playing in her system. Then she is a week before her period, so she has her usually monthly hormone cycles kicking in and then you throw in additional stress hormones into the mix and my poor daughter is going up and down with cycles of emotion and internal chemicals. No wonder she is a mess. Her body cannot keep up with everything.

This got me needing and wanting to figure out some solutions to find natural ways to help balance out the body in times of stress, emotions, the ups and downs of life.

I have been telling my daughter to do those things that are going to help balance her out—Get outside and into nature. Do some body movement, exercise, even yoga. Eat healthy foods, primarily fruits and vegetables. Get outside of yourself and serve someone to receive the natural, endorphins of chemicals in the body. Listen to upbeat, mood lifting music. Read something positive like affirmations. Take a warm shower, be in water. Be still & meditate.

DIET: In the book, HEAL, Lifestyle medicine expert Dr. Mark Emerson explains how, through diet, many Americans are poisoning themselves into disease…we are ingesting things we are just not designed for, such as genetically modified foods, chemical pesticides, processed foods, preservatives, refined sugars and factory-farmed animal products, to name a few. All of these kill our microbiome, disrupt our hormones and inflame our gut. Our body deals with these offending items as best as it can, but there’s going to come a point where chronic, repetitive bad behavior catches up with us. That’s what he calls the tipping point. “Cancer doesn’t happen overnight; its a progressive, decade-oriented thing. It takes awhile to get cardiovascular disease. It takes a while to develop diabetes. Its just the sum of the parts of all the harmful things we are exposed to or doing to ourselves. It’s a toxic environment that we’re introducing to the inside of our bodies, and that’s manifesting in different diseases.”

He recommends eating a whole-food, plant based diet. “A whole-food, plant-based diet means eating unprocessed, predominantly plant-based food. That means vegetables and fruits and whole grains and legumes, essentially all the foods that are nutrient rich with phytonutrients and antioxidants. Eat food as grown: eat it how it comes out of the ground.

The PHYSICAL BODY is also meant to help us process emotions

Remember: Your body needs to be your best friend. Act like that. Say kind words, think positively about how it works and is able to process, play, work,

“The truth is, the body never attacks itself, and the body loves itself unconditionally. It’s working for you all the time, no matter what, and it’s your best friend.” -Anthony William

Occasional FASTING: “They are finding that seven days of fasting can result in a year’s worth of repair on the digestive tract. According to Kelly, scientific research has shown that after three days of fasting, all of our major organ systems start self-cleaning. Your liver will dump all its old bile and regenerate fresh bile, and your heart will clean itself. The reason fasting works is that we spend so much energy every day digesting food. When we remove that task from the daily agenda, our body’s natural intelligence immediately uses that freed up energy to repair any damage to the tissues of the body and reset itself by dumping toxins in a big way.” -Heal

NATURE: Seeing nature has healing effects, but getting out into is even better. “The actual contact with the great outdoors is even more remarkable. Earth’s surface possesses a limitless amount of free electrons of a negative charge. Many studies have shown that when our bare feet come in contact with the earth’s surface (also called grounding or earthing), we absorb a large amount of these antioxidant negative ions through the soles of our feet; these ions have the power to neutralize free radicals and thereby reduce chronic or acute inflammation. -Heal

Studies show that grounding for as little as twenty minutes a day can impart tremendous health benefits, which include improved sleep, faster wound healing, reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, reduced pain, and of course, reduced inflammation.-Heal

“Forest Bathing” or taking a walk outside while tuning in to nature. A study concluded that the practice is linked to stress relief, lower anxiety, lower blood pressure and more. -Heal

Spending time in the mountains in higher elevations our blood actually becomes more alkaline. The alkalinity is a key factor, because we know when our bodies are alkaline they are less hospitable to opportunistic viruses, bacteria, colds, flus, things like that. -Heal

Water, whether swimming or soaking is also good for us. The minerals in the water, such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, bromide, iodine and sulfate all get absorbed into the skin. They have a detoxifying effect and have been known to speed up wound healing, reduce pain, increase circulation, reduce inflammation, stimulate lymphatic drainage, and alleviate skin disorders. -Heal

Even being near water, “Our brains are hardwired to react positively to water…being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken.” -Heal

Young blonde woman meditating in the park

BE STILL: “Ancient practices such as yoga and meditation are two ways to help bring our bodies back into balance. Science is now proving that these aren’t just spiritual practices; they have real, quantifiable, beneficial physiological effects on the body as well. Yoga improves balance, endurance, flexibility, circulation, and strength, as well as greater body and breath awareness. Meditation relieves stress and anxiety, strengthens your immune system, and releases healing chemistry in the body.” -Heal

Life is an ebb and flow of so many directions, feelings, emotions, not to mention that we are each individuals with very different paths, chemicals, experiences, stories. We need to be gentle with ourselves and do those things that are going to call on a higher place within us to help us break through barriers of depression, anxiety, stress and fear. A place that can lift us spiritually. A place that can feed and nourish our bodies and souls with what they need on every level.

Life will have its ups and downs, but it is how we handle the journey that will truly matter in the end. Make it a path full of good things that will truly fill you up with what you need. xoxo

-Peace, Love and Light to you today. -H