Personal Thoughts to Help Bring Grace Into Your Life

“Grace has to be the loveliest word in the English language. It embodies almost every attractive quality we hope to find in others. Grace is a gift of the humble to the humiliated. Grace acknowledges the ugliness of wrongdoing by choosing to see beyond it. Grace accepts a person as someone worthy of kindness despite whatever grime or hard-shell casing keeps him/her separated from the rest of the world. Grace is a gift of tender mercy when it makes the least sense.” –Charles R. Swindoll

I remember the start of any school year and a teacher telling our class, “Today you all have an “A”. It is up to you to lose it.”

You didn’t earn the “A”, you may not even feel like you deserve the “A” but you have it and it is precious.

We are born. We didn’t deserve birth, we didn’t earn the right to be born, it wasn’t “our turn” but somehow we are here and we have an unknown amount of time to use what we have been given, life, to the best of our abilities. The grace of life is like the universe saying: “Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t be the same without you.” –Frederick Buechner

We were given DNA passed down to us from eons of generations and yet there is one thing we are all given at birth that no one can take away; Grace.

 “Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day’s chalking.” –Frederick Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace

I sometimes look forward to sleeping simply because I have a need to put this day to an end and to give myself time to restore hope for tomorrow. Every day I am given is like the universe saying, “Here is another day to make the most of you, for yourself as well as for others.” Every morning is like a rebirth into a life I was not deserving of. The awe of that thought is humbling.

To be sure, there will always be a need for grace and therefore also for gratitude. Gratitude and grace go hand in hand. Grace whispers breath into my soul and gratitude takes that breath and turns it into words and expressions and gifts to be given. “Grace is a very strong, mighty and active thing. It does not lie asleep in the soul. Grace hears, leads, draws, changes, works all in man, and lets itself be distinctly felt and experienced. It is hidden, but its works are evident.” –Martin Luther

In his book, Grateful for Everything, author Skip Johnson writes, “When we diligently study, learn, and apply skills of being grateful for everything, our day-to-day experience shifts from trying to stay one step ahead of problems to consistently trusting and appreciating life and all the lessons that are presented to us.” We were given life by grace and we maintain a graceful life through gratitude.

One of the hardest life experiences is to lose a loved one. That experience tests grace, gratitude humility, reverence and a host of other values. When my father passed away at the young age of 63 I was inundated with all of these feelings. He had been very, very sick with complications from diabetes among which took his essence from his family long before the disease took his body away and I remember the feeling of relief that washed over me and through me when my brother called to tell me he died. I remember the feeling of gratitude and grace that came over me in that moment. No more suffering. No more hardship in dealing with this disease. No more anger. No more fighting. No more tears. It cleared the way for me to remember him as my dad, the tall, sensitive, hardworking man that loved me like no one else could. Keeping his grace and gentleness inside of me, feeling grateful for having had him in my life at all, helps to insure his legacy will be strong and eternal.

It’s a given that we will stumble, fall, fail, make a mistake, err, slander and do wrong. We are human and we are at the mercy of our own evolutionary level of emotional intelligence. No two people are the same and no two souls grow and learn and evolve the same. What I may have learned at 15 may be something you are learning at 50. No worries in that because in our own time and at our own pace the lessons we need to learn will come and with it will be the emotional attachment that helps the lessons stick for good. That is grace.

I can remember many people who I have felt did me wrong in my life. I can also remember people who have shown me kindness and mercy and consideration simply because those character strengths were a part of who they wanted to be. At some point in our lives we all feel undeserving of kindness but the reality is we are all deserving of kindness especially at those low moments. That is grace.

When someone joyfully notices something about my character that I myself am in denial about that is grace; when a stranger can systematically list all the qualities about me that instantly attracted him/her to me that is grace; when a spouse can love you no matter what mood you are in, that is grace.  It is a persons’ unique, inherent ability to see goodness that makes grace unattainable through deeds. We are all born with grace and it is how we hold onto it and use it and grow with it that makes grace something to behold in spirit.

Grace is unconditional love, unconditional forgiveness and unconditional rebirth. You do nothing to earn it and it yet renewal is its life force.

How can we honor the undeserving gift of Grace:

  • Exist in a constant state of consideration and thoughtfulness. “You listen first with ears, then you wait and listen for what your heart feels, then you consider what they’ve said, then, you reply….” – John Geddes, A Familiar Rain

 

  • Express decency and mercy whenever possible, to yourself as well as to others. “When you are lying in bed at night and regrets from the day come to steal your sleep….’I should have’, ‘If only I’, ‘I wish I,’….grab one of them and turn it into ‘I will’ and sleep peacefully knowing tomorrow will be a better day.” –L.R. Knost

 

 

  • Act with grace in kindness, courtesy, gratitude and clemency. “Growing into your future with health and grace and beauty doesn’t have to take all your time. It rather requires a dedication to caring for yourself as if you were rare and precious, which you are, and regarding all life around you as equally so, which it is.” –Victoria Moran, Younger by the Day

 

  • Offer reprieve to those in need. Be helpful. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” –Charles Dickens

 

 

  • Take grace on like a second skin. Let the evolution, spirit, charm and pleasantness of grace become part of your everyday character strengths.

“Poem by Howard A. Walter”

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;

I would be pure, for there are those who care;

I would be strong, for there are those who suffer;

I would be brave, for there is much to dare.

I would be friend of all, the foe, and the friendless;

I would be giving, and forget the gift;

I would be humble, for I know my weakness;

I would look up, and laugh, and love and lift.”

Call to Action

Where does grace live in you? Is it in your heart, your head, or maybe in your soul?

How can you express your unique grace to others today?

What does grace feel like for you?

Please share your stories. Your story could make all the difference in someone’s life.

 

If you would like to explore more about personal growth, building character strengths, or discovering what more you have inside of you please call for a free discovery session in my Art of YOU coaching program. You can reach me by calling 203-560-3061 or send an email to: lisa@journeyoncoaching.com.

 

5 Questions to ask that just might help you say NO

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When I left my job mid October 2012, I had come to a breaking point within myself as well as with the job. I had had enough of the bullying from the higher ups, I was done with the realization that I was getting nowhere, and I was finished with the drudgery of the routine. I wanted more for myself and my life and I wanted to stop showing my children that work was an awful thing that only deserved complaints and misery.

I left my job knowing I was simultaneously embarking on a new career. I never have been the type of person to just stop something without having something else to go to or to do. To say I was happy to be making the career change would have been an understatement. It had been a long, long time since I had felt excited about anything but I was nervous too. While I had the money to get me through for a while on this new career path, I also knew that one day the money would run out because I did not have another income to sustain me. That time came a few months ago and so I started searching for a j.o.b. The thing about searching for anything is that if your heart isn’t in it you are very likely to miss what you are looking for. I often tell my children to look right in front of their noses if they are trying to find something they lost. Most likely it was right in front of them the whole time.

Last Wednesday I got called to interview for a j.o.b., the first interview in over 10 months. Deep inside I knew I would get the offer. I interviewed well, I knew what I was talking about, and I knew this position would be an easy one to fill. The position wasn’t asking too much of me and the hours worked out well enough that I could keep working at building my new career. On Thursday there was a message on my phone with the offer. I have to admit I was flattered and I liked the momentary feeling of being wanted.

Have you ever become aware of something that you didn’t realize until it was too late or didn’t realize until right before you jumped? That is precisely what happened. I could have returned the phone call that came announcing the job offer. I could have made a decision right then, in the moment, without thinking it through. I certainly had enough time to think it through right from the moment I was taking the time to fill out the application for the job. I could have denied what I had been doing all these months toward my new career and sold myself for the very slight income this new job offered; it was the money after all that made me apply in the first place, not the need to get back into a type of job I had left behind back in October. I could have taken all that I have learned about myself and thrown it out the window simply because I was afraid to stand up for myself. But I didn’t.

Instead, I allowed the rest of the day to pass. I talked to many important people like my mother, my daughter, my husband my sons and I weighed the pros and cons of taking this job. What I realized was that it had nothing to do with pros and cons. It had to do with the fact that I was still so wrapped up in doing the right thing for everyone else that I was willing to sell myself out yet again in order to make things “right” in everyone else’s’ life. What I realized was that I was afraid to say “no”. I was afraid to say “no” to all of these important people, I was afraid to say “no” to the person offering me the job, but most importantly I was afraid to say “no” to myself.

There are 2 types of “no”.  The first type of “no” is about saying “no” and knowing you are letting people down. The second type of “no” is about saying “no” to myself.  Saying “no” to myself was about saying “yes” to something that wasn’t right for me while at the same time saying “no” to the things that were right for me.

I took a stand for myself way back in October of 2012 and since that day I have been on a mission to change my life, to change my perspective, to champion my goals, to make a difference and to show my children that when you believe in yourself and your purpose your life can have meaning and you can enjoy the work you do because it doesn’t feel like work at all.

If I took that job I would be saying “no” to everything I have accomplished so far and saying “yes” to putting myself back in a box and back in a place and space that didn’t fit me. I knew at the job interview that the position was not where I belonged. I knew I was putting myself in a position of acquiescence. It was a habit and a very big part of what I was so desperately trying to get passed and get through.

I had decided that at 9am on Friday I would call and decline the job. I felt like I was going to the hangman’s noose. Was I crazy to give up on the only job opportunity that had come along in a while? After all money is money and something is better than nothing?! At 9:10am I made the call and it felt so strange to know that even though the person I was about to speak to was in a meeting she was going to take my call. What a rush and what a let- down knowing I was about to make her day harder. I realized while waiting on hold that we had not discussed how much the job would pay so when we connected I asked her that little detail. I knew the number I would accept and acquiesce to if it was offered. The number came in much less than my bottom line but instead of getting it over with I told her I was considering another job offer and I would call her right back. What a freakin` coward I was. Embarrassing isn’t it? I played with the numbers, I bought myself some more time, I held off saying “NO” for as long as I could. At 10am I made the final call and graciously declined the position.

I realized that I just couldn’t turn my back on what I was doing now. I have come so far and seen so many small steps of success and have been welcomed into a community of acceptance and encouragement and belonging. Why would I want to take so many steps backward into a world I had left behind? The greater damage would have come in me slipping back into the person I am trying to leave behind all for the sake of a dollar. The answer was right in front of me the whole time but I chose to not The truth is the bigger picture is what was right in front of me.

I posed the question, “Why do we get nervous when we find that we have to say no” to a personal development group I belong to. Keith Vandermark said, “The moments we say no is what defines us.” The moment for me was more in the “why” I said no than the actual moment of saying no. My “why” is what gave me the courage and that courage is what defines me. Ask yourself these questions the next time you are facing your “no” moment:

1)      What is my reason for saying no; what is my “why”?

2)      What are my fears around saying no?

3)      What possibilities will exist after I say no?

4)      Who will I be for saying yes and do I want to be that person?

5)      Who will I be for saying no?

Since that return phone call on Friday I have had flashbacks of the moment I said no. Since that return phone call I have thought about how I would feel right now if I had said yes. Honestly, I would have been so sad and angry with myself for not standing up for who I have become and the purpose I am seeking in my life. I feel so much more empowered toward my goals and my destination. That moment of saying “no” has redefined my life purpose; it has brought deeper perspective toward my new career and renewed strength toward my outlook. I thank Keith for so plainly and so strongly putting those words out there.

I’d love to hear from you. Take some time to share with me how you have faced your “NO” moments and what it did for your life so far.        Journey On……

 

Lisa has been featured in Parent Magazine and in the book Stay-At-Home Mom’s Guide to Making Money by Liz Folger. Coaching is a great vehicle to help navigate through those sticky tough, tumultuous times of parenting, career and life itself. If you would like to see how coaching can supercharge your spirit please call or write to me and let’s chat in a judgment free, empowering, uplifting space. You can reach me at 203-560-3061 or lisa@journeyoncoaching.com. Your personal discovery awaits….

 

8 Ways to celebrate the unofficial New Year

8 Ways to celebrate the unofficial New Year

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“Most of us lead far more meaningful lives than we know. Often finding meaning is not about doing things differently, it is about seeing familiar things in new ways.”—Rachel Naomi Remen

I don’t know about you, although I would really like to, but I have always felt that the start of September has been more of a symbolic start to a new year than the one the world has established at the end of December. Maybe a lot of it has to do with the start of a new school year? But think about this, most vacation time ends and schedules kick in with renewed vigor, kids do go back to school starting a new grade level and/or a new school, we tend to buy new clothes for school and work, a new season begins in September, for some people new jobs start in September, in some religions it truly is the start of a new year, new cars are debuted in September, and the new season of football starts in September.

Although September is not the official New Year on the calendar why not make it one for yourself. Think of it like fourth quarter with 30 seconds to go on the 20 yard line and you just know that this time a touchdown is going to happen. Think of it like your last chance at a do over, a chance to right some wrongs before the year officially closes or before your New Year resolutions really do run out, think of it like putting all the leftover ingredients into a stew pot and making the most amazing dinner you have ever made, ever, with brownies for dessert (just in case). That is doing something different with familiar things.

Today I was thinking about the fact that my youngest, my baby boy, will be entering his final year of formal education. Unlike in years past, this momentous event takes place early September this year. Although he feels his final year starts tonight with the official start of football practice I still have yet to buy the all-important notebooks and school supplies and the one first day of school outfit he has become accustomed to, so for me I have some time until the school routine really kicks in. I did however fill out all the medical and contact paperwork that is required each new school year and yes, of course, I cried. Why does time go by so fast? When the universe asked me to be my baby’s’ mom I said, “Yes, of course” but I was never asked if I was ready for him to be a senior in high school.

The thing about doing something familiar but finding new meaning in the familiar is that it changes our perspective on what we seem to take for granted. Even though another school year is about to begin and that in itself is so familiar, this year, besides the fact that it is a new school grade level it is also the last official school year for our family, it means filling out new paperwork so  that my son will get to drive to school for the first time, it means that the football year he has been looking forward to all his life is finally here, it means that he will enter this last school year looking like an underclassman but will walk out of school in June looking like he is ready for college or ready to join the real world, it means that every single day is his last day in the world he has become so familiar with, this year it means a new school principal and it means that he will have to, for the first time really, think about  and plan for his future once he becomes a high school graduate. There are also some firsts that will happen for him that could not have happened at any other time for instance his prom, being honored as a senior on senior football night, winning the pep rally for being the loudest class in the school gym, simple rites of passage that although we all tend to take for granted really should be honored and celebrated. There are so many opportunities each day to take notice of what we think are so mundane and really turn them into something special and meaningful.

So how can you take the familiar things and turn them into something special and unique and meaningful?

1)      Make the days stand out for their own merit. What can help make today meaningful? What would you like to do to make today meaningful? Don’t wait, do it.

2)      Choose simple pleasures like baking a cake for dessert simply because you want to or because you know your family or neighbor will be so happy that you did. A “just because” action makes an ordinary day and you feel special.

3)      Create a picture diary for the day, the month, or the year. If, like for me, this new school year is a milestone, then create a picture diary of every last day of this milestone year.

4)      Create a new habit. Work on changing one thing that you don’t like about your day or yourself and with this “New Year” start to make changes that will better define who you want to be. For some help with creating a new habit go to tinyhabits.com. I have used this website and it really did help me create a new habit.

5)      Add to your to-do list only ONE item that you really want to do that day and make sure you do it, no matter what. For me I enjoy making time for reading romance novels. Even if I only get 30 minutes at the end of my day I make sure it goes on my to-do list so that I don’t neglect what makes me happy.

6)      Listen closer, see deeper, or taste more. Use your senses to create a moment that means more. “Stop and smell the roses” as the saying goes.

7)      Clear the clutter. Clutter accumulates not only on our desks but also in our heads. Clear the clutter by writing it down in a journal or a daily diary, talking about it with a partner, friend or coach, or by putting it in a virtual file for later. Stop paying attention to the worry. The worry is only your energy going toward what you don’t want to happen. Create meaning by concentrating on what you do want to happen.

8)      Use your words. Say “I love you” more today, tell a joke, repeat a joke, remember who you spoke to today, compliment someone, say thank you” more often today, create possibilities, and create beginnings.

I always felt a renewed sense of purpose and energy with each new school year. Now that I work I still find myself looking forward to the change that the new school year brings. There seems to be a more electric charge in the air at this “New Year” time than at the end of December. I can still take advantage of the nicer weather and look forward to wearing sweaters when the cooler weather comes along but knowing that I don’t have to wear a heavy coat yet. I can take pictures of the changing leaves and really take advantage of the visual meaning of appreciating something familiar in a different way, I can enjoy watching my calendar get filled up with my children’s activities and to-do’s and I can relax in the comfort of knowing that I still have some time left to get to work on those long ago New Year resolutions that I have been putting off facing.

So what will you do this “new year”? How will you create meaning in the familiar by doing something different with it? I’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts with me here.

Remember that we set our own conditions to the events of our days and our lives.

I wish you strength, resolve and a wholehearted Happy New Possibilities Day.

Lisa has been featured in Parent Magazine and in the book Stay-At-Home Mom’s Guide to Making Money by Liz Folger.

Coaching is a great vehicle to help navigate through those sticky tough, tumultuous times of parenting, career and life itself. If you would like to see how coaching can supercharge your spirit please call or write to me and let’s chat in a judgment free, empowering, uplifting space. You can reach me at 203-560-3061 or lisa@journeyoncoaching.com. Your personal discovery awaits….

Spring Clean Your Creativity

 

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Spring Clean Your Creativity

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Walt Disney Company

Does your mind runeth over with ideas and creativity? Do you ever find that your creativity is blocked and you feel lost as to what to do next? Sometimes when I’m writing I feel lost in either too much to write about or not enough topics to choose from and I freeze.

In those times I wish I could take a vacation from my mind, just leave it home and just breathe without wondering about everything there is to wonder about. It’s not really a good idea for me to do this because I’d lose a very important part of who I am. BUT…. What if I could spring clean my mind instead?

According to the gurus of positive psychology, the late Dr. Christopher Peterson and UPENN professor Martin Seligman, the act of creativity falls under the virtues heading of “wisdom and knowledge.” In their book Character Strengths and Virtues they write that “creativity is a cognitive strength of thinking that is used in novel and productive ways to understand and accomplish things. It is NOT limited to artistic expression alone.” In other words, you don’t have to be a musician or a painter to have creativity or to be creative.

Recently, I volunteered to do something creative that I’ve never done before: work with a colleague to produce a virtual-workshop to present to our coaching community. Our workshop was on the topic of home business loneliness and we specifically centered our presentation on loneliness prevention strategies that exist with regard to the mental isolation and geographical isolation of running your own home business. This was very challenging for me because I had high expectations for my presentation and also had certain content criteria I had to meet. I got clear in my mind about what I wanted to present and gave myself a pep talk. My mind, my brain, my spirit, my creativity were all challenged and as a result raised in consciousness.

The short story is that the workshop was a huge success filled to the brim with giveaways, resource lists, hope and passion. The long story is that it involved a lot of research, practice time, re-writes and a spring cleaning of my own personal doubts. I found that anxiety and perfectionism are the enemies of creativity. I stayed with my objective to meet my participants’ needs as well as maintain my passion for this subject. I needed to stay focused, creative and empathetic and curious.

The take away for me after stretching myself with this workshop is that everyone has the ability, capability and tools to be creative. We just have to clean out old notions of what creativity means and open our minds to what we can discover when the clutter clears away and we allow ourselves to explore the depth of our imaginations.

Where To Begin

“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”
Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

Where does one begin to spring clean the mind to discover creativity? I think it’s important to know that at its core creativity is valuable. This means, “The created product and its creator have brought beauty, elegance and/or function into the world”, so says Drs. Peterson and Seligman. They go on to say that “creativity is trait-like, meaning it’s an everyday creative who can use objects to create something new from something old.” For example: someone who rearranges furniture to create more pleasing aesthetics to a room and create better function, or the person that changes an ingredient in a recipe to make it their own dish. Creativity is and should be fulfilling. Creation on any level just feels good.

Just like when you get ready to spring clean your garage or attic, spring cleaning your mind to allow for expansive creativity opens emotional doors to worlds you’ve yet to discover.

Tina Turner said it best when she said, “Sometimes you’ve got to let everything else go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything….whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it, because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.”

In order to gain perspective, ask yourself:

1)      What is possible?

2)      Who will this affect/benefit?

3)      If this doesn’t lead to the result I want, would I still be glad I took the time to work on it?

Your answers should be personal because after all, creativity starts within your heart, mind, environment, soul depending on where the influences are allowed to flow from. If you are going to benefit, if you are going to be positively affected, if this is important to you, then everyone around you will benefit as well.

Every day “creatives” leave room for curiosity, open-mindedness and critical thinking. Are you an in the box every day creative meaning you only seek creativity within the structure of your daily routines or an out of the box everyday creative meaning that you follow where your thoughts and ideas lead you whether it is on the t0-do list for the day or a stimulus in your environment that caught your imagination? I am learning to be an out of the box every day creative by practicing it. I stay present in my daily agenda and goals but within those goals I let myself stay with a thought a lot longer than normal; I try not to only stick to my agenda, I do the creative things that I feel passionate about and allow myself to explore more deeply the things I am curious about, and I allow myself time to breathe and get clear so that I can be ready for the next idea to wash over me.

As scary as it was to create and deliver my workshop presentation, I allowed myself to enjoy the time spent on the research. I enjoyed the collaboration process with my colleague. The feedback from the participants was so much more than I could have ever imagined. The content was something I really resonated with and, therefore, it allowed for my own richness and passion to come through. Participants used words like empowering, uplifting, over-flowing. Passion and curiosity created content, content created interest, interest created exploration, exploration created creativity for out of the box research and open-mindedness.

Best- selling author, Michael Neill says,

“If we treat whatever stands in our way as an obstacle, we can bring the full creative resources of our mind to bear on the situation and find ways to get over, around, or through it.”

Being scared was my obstacle and I am so glad to have found a way to get over it and through it. I am armed for next time. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best when facing your creative block or fear of being blocked creatively,

“You must to the thing you think you cannot do.”

What are some ideas we can all practice toward becoming more creative? To free our minds; to spring clean what we know and allow for the unknown to propel us toward new discoveries?  

10 Stepping Stones to Becoming more Creative:

1-      Meditation breathing: This allows for you to begin the positive open-minded flow of ideas

2-      Visualize: What do you want? Get clear, see your ideas. Make a vision board that shows in pictures, drawings and writing all that you intend and hope for.

3-      Stay present: Don’t spring too far ahead of you ideas that you start to feel overwhelmed or try not to fall too far behind that you become overwhelmed with trying to catch up.

4-      Don’t forget your funny bone: According to Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher of the successful book, “The Levity Effect”, incorporate fun and humor into your agenda and project. Bring fun snacks, spin around in your chair while brainstorming, tell a joke, keep fun toys nearby like silly putty, paper airplanes, etc., play great music. Lightening up and approaching from a fun point of view allows for out of the box thinking and powerful creativity.

5-      Journal your journey: This will allow you to keep moving your thoughts and creativity forward and to remember what you want to achieve without the pressure of cluttering your agenda or goals.

6-      Get physical: Use warm up exercises to get you ready for the days’ tasks even if it’s physical tasks. This gets your mind, your heart and muscles determined and ready. It lets your happy cells and happy chemicals (endorphins) flow through you to feel energized toward your accomplishments. Physical can also mean taking a trip to a library, museum, park or perhaps a show to help you see even more of what your imagination needs to propel you toward your creativity.

7-      Recruit: If your task is too big for just you, ask for help. “The more the merrier” cliché applies here.

8-      Time Out: Music breaks, food breaks, journaling breaks, walking breaks. BUT…. be mindful of your break time. Taking too much time could cause your momentum to suffer.

9-      Step back, take notice: Allow for perspective and evaluation. Allow yourself to feel grateful for every tiny step you take toward your goal. Allow gratitude for your interpretation, your voice, your spirit.

10-   Celebrate: Acknowledge your success by celebrating your every accomplishment. Creativity is a celebration, a great and wonderful, out loud reflection of YOU. Be proud and celebrate.

Inspiration To Get You Started

I recently came across a story that I think gets to the heart of creativity:

An Old Sioux Legend

In ancient times, the Creator wanted to hide something from the humans until they were ready to see it. He gathered all the other creatures of creation to ask for their advice.

The eagle said, “Give it to me and I will take it to the highest mountain in all the land,” but the Creator said, “No, one day they will conquer the mountains and find it.”

The salmon said, “Leave it with me and I will hide it at the very bottom of the ocean,” but the Creator said, “No, for humans are explorers at heart, and one day they will go there, too.”

The Buffalo said, “I will take it and bury it in the very heart of the Great Plains,” but the Creator said, “No, for one day even the skin of the earth will be ripped open, and they will find it there.”

The creatures of creation were stumped, but then an old blind mole spoke up. “Why don’t you put it inside them—that’s the last place they’ll look.”

The Creator said, “It is done.”

In the very popular book “The Artist’s Way”, author and teacher Julia Cameron lists 10 basic principles of creativity. The one that resonates with me the most, the one that inspires me is her #4 principle: We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to create.”

The Vietnamese Zen Buddist monk, teacher, author, poet, Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Every thought you produce (create), anything you say (write, sing, etc…), any action you do, it bears your signature (creativity).”

Deepak Chopra writes, “The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.”

To all of these great and wonderful inspirational thoughts and words I say, never stop creating who you are and who you want to be. No one suffers for your intuition, your courage, or your curiosity.

Spring is a great time for renewal, regeneration, release. Clean out what is holding you back and get your creativity on.

Call to Action

What did you take away from the Old Sioux Legend?

How can you use this legend to spark your creativity?

What would you like to explore this year, this spring, that you have been holding yourself back from exploring?

I challenge you to spring clean your mind and explore the endless possibilities of what you can allow yourself to see and what you allow yourself to find. All it takes is one thought, one idea, one spark and your big deep breath to say “I can do it.”