What does it mean to be “grounded?”
The simplest way to describe it, is being fully present in your life as opposed to being distracted by past or future events. When we are “in our heads” and thinking about anything but the current moment, we lose the ability to operate from or with, our fullest mental capacities. You can think about this like the RAM on a computer. Whether it’s a computer or our brain, give it too many tasks to process at the same time and it will ultimately grow sluggish.
You don’t need to take a lengthy or expensive vacation to a remote island or mountain top to do this. One of the easiest ways to reconnect with your full creative self is just by taking a quiet walk in nature.
Try this: First find a quiet place to take a walk. If you have to get in the car or on a bus to get to such a place, do it – it will be worth it.
Next, turn off technology for at least an hour.
Then, start walking. Try to be fully aware of placing one foot in front of the other and not thinking about anything else. Breathe deeply. Notice the sights, sounds, and smells around you. If your to-do list pops into your head, gently place it to the back burner while you bring your awareness back to one foot in front of the other.
If you have the opportunity, try taking your shoes off and allowing your bare feet to touch the earth – if only for a moment.
It was five years ago this month that I first started writing for Rhodia Drive, and it will be 6 years in November that I made the overall decision to become self-employed. Aside from penning the Rhodia Drive blog, I make and sell art from my private studio at The Banana Factory – an arts and education center located in Bethlehem, PA. (Contact me if you’d like to visit!) I teach private students, offer workshops and do motivational speaking engagements on creativity. Continue Readering »
Today’s creative prompt is going to be a little bit different. Are you ready?
If you are anything like me, and often travel the same route to get somewhere, you might occasionally notice a road that appears to lead somewhere interesting but isn’t able to be explored in that particular moment.
My challenge to you, is to take the time to go back to that location and take that road not yet travelled. Notice everything you can about the surroundings. Be playful and explore.
The when you get home, take just a bit more time to write down a few words about your experience. What did you see? What new things did you discover? Is it a place you’d like to go back to, or one that you never wish to visit again?
Please feel free to comment with your experiences. We’d love to know what you find.
Affirmations are a form of positive thinking and self-empowerment. They are carefully formatted statements which may be both written and spoken aloud. For an affirmation to be most effective, it should be crafted in the present tense, be positive, personal and specific. I will also always write an affirmation acting “as if” the desired circumstance currently exists. This is in response to techniques I’ve learned from reading the book, Creative Visualization.
Do you use affirmations? What are your favorites? Abundance is always at the top of my list.
Have you ever taken a staycation? As in, scheduled more than a few days off with no specific plans? That’s just where I’ve been for the last two weeks- nowhere but here, and it was great!
Granted, it is somewhat a challenge for self-employed folks like me to ever really “stop working”, but I did what I could to clear my plate and free myself up to do as little or as much as I wanted on any given day. I spent time reading, resting, working in the garden, writing in my journal, and painting. I walked around a local music festival, watched a few movies and cooked a few really tasty meals.
Taking time for oneself doesn’t need to be complicated.
After seeing this post on Buzzfeed: 37 Books Every Creative Person Should Be Reading, I noticed that I’ve already read several and will probably want to eventually read them all. Do you have any favorites from this list? #25 is an all-time favorite for me.
3. Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott: Read this a long time ago. Remember it being sweetly encouraging.
4. Steal Like An Artist, by Austin Kleon: Read recently. Good info, but nothing that was really new to me
7. The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron: This is a classic. Excellent info to be found here. Do the work if you want to experience transformational growth in your life. (It’s not just about art)
15. Just Kids, Patti Smith: This has been sitting patiently in my Kindle for over a year…
19. The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White: Great info. “Omit needless words” is a classic.
21. Art & Fear, by David Bayles & Ted Orland: I’ve never read it cover to cover, but every time I crack it open and read a few pages I find something totally relevant.
22. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards: Just recently bought a copy.
25. The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield: One of the BEST books I’ve ever read. It’s about resistance. You do not have to be an artist to get a lot out of this book. It’s tiny – read it in an afternoon.
29. On Writing, Stephen King: I owned this a very long time ago. Can’t remember if I read all of it. The one thing that sticks with me is his mantra of “Write every day:”
Are you a doodler?
By allowing yourself to be creative in a way that is not dependent on any particular outcome, you can focus on the process itself and simply appreciate your hand moving the pen across the surface of the paper.
The next time you find yourself waiting at the doctor’s office, the DMV, or when picking up your children after school, I’d like challenge you to reach for a paper and pencil and allow yourself to doodle. If this is something you don’t normally do, I think you might be surprised at how calming and meditative the process may be.
Image courtesy of butch_gordon on Instagram
Back in December, I wrote a post about how I’d been interviewed in my art studio by a local television lifestyle program called “Save the Kales!” The segment was about using Vision Boards as a tool to being about a desired situation. Simple to create, the primary component is intention followed by collaging images and words that support your goal.
You can watch the clip on YouTube at this link. (Filmed in one take, I was a bit nervous.)
I started reading The Goldfinch on Christmas Day and just finished the 800 page novel last night. While the concept was interesting, I found this book to be mind-numbingly looooong.
Contemplating what to read next: Dr. Sleep by Stephen King, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, or something else that you will tell me is wonderful and is a must read.
So… what are you reading right now, or what have you read lately that you really enjoyed?
Last night, I was interviewed for a segment on creating vision boards for “Save the Kales” – a local TV cooking show hosted by the magnificent Jaime Karpovich. (Keep your eye on this girl – she is Food Network bound for sure!)
Vision boards are used a creative visualization process to manifest some aspect of change in your life. Made simply by collaging inspiring images and words cut out from magazines, these boards can be used to inspire, maintain focus, shift perspective, and attract abundance into your life.
Have you ever created a vision board? What did you think of the process?
This episode will be aired in January and will be able to be viewed online as well.
Unsure of how other creative people (artists, writers, etc.) work, I seem to be at my best and most productive when I able to work when inspired. I had a friend that encouraged me to simply keep “showing up” as in, sit at the typewriter every day or in front of the easel every day, and creativity will eventually flow. I’m not sure I agree with that because it seems (for me) to generate a lot of wasted time and a lot of sub-par work.
As frustrating as the “showing up” felt to me, I’d feel an equal amount of fear if I didn’t do it because if I allowed myself to become distracted, I might never be able to tap back into that creative stream again. Ironically, I’ve since discovered that as soon as I have that thought and am able to push it away, I find myself right back in the creative flow. I guess for me, it’s all about having faith that the creative source is always there and is just waiting to be tapped. (Maybe if you look too hard for it, it just vanishes- like something from a Douglas Adams book.)
Image courtesy of cvg22 on Instagram
Have you ever considered taking a creative retreat? I’ve been going to one in central Pennsylvania for the last seven years that includes a variety of expressive options such as hand drumming, African dance, writing, and mandala making. (Guess who teaches that class.) People of all skill levels have the opportunity to try new things in a safe environment- and speaking from experience, it can be life changing to do something you always wanted to with 100 people cheering you on.
If I may, if like to share a little something with you about art that might make it more accessible to you. Children are able to create art without fear. Put any variety of art supplies in front of the average child and they will have a blast. Put those same supplies in front of the average adult and your likely to hear something like, “No thank you, I don’t draw because I’m not an artist.”
Here’s a few things that might help you warm up to the idea of making art. Continue Readering »
Three Good Things at Little Flower Petals
Journaling Through Your Injuries at Creative Write Now
Where do you get creative? at Lifehacker
List It Tuesday: Been There Done That at Daisy Yellow Blog
Packing for India at Urban Sketchers
Marker Review…..2nd Edition at Draw Doodle Decorate
Name that Pen at PENS PAPER INKS…WHATEVER!
This Old Notebook at Patrick Rhone
You Can Have my Notebook When You Pry it From My Cold, Dead Fingers at The Digital Reader
The Post Office at Collage Journeys
Pen Shows: The 2013 Philadelphia Pen Show Review at Anderson Pens.net
Robin Quivers gives Howard Stern a $1700 pen at Examiner.com
F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Secret of Great Writing at The Passive Voice
51 Examples Of Matching Ink To Pen To Paper at Inkophile
Lisa Cargile’s Pencil Photography. at Pencil Revolution
Waterman Early Crusader at Fountain Pen Restoration
The Power of Handwritten Notes and Reminders at Journal in a Box
Myths About Our Right and Left Brains at Psychology Today
It’s not the first time I’ve heard this – and to be truthful, I’ve said it a few times myself. You see, touch, or smell a fine new stationery product and all of a sudden you get this feeling that nothing you could possibly have to say is important enough to mar a single pristine page. But that’s just our inner critic trying to get the best of us.
Having the courage to put pen to paper is to be commended because many people don’t share the belief that everything we could ever wish to write is important. But I believe it is- at the very least, important to us in the moment that we are writing it.
In the art workshops I teach, I tend to focus more on the process of creating than on a finished product- because for many, the need exists to simply express themselves via art, writing, music, dance, without needing to be judged on the quality of their efforts.
Now go ahead and take the plastic off that fancy notebook sitting in your desk drawer and just write. Or doodle, scribble, draw… It’s all good. (Plus, you can always buy more.)