A few years ago, I was attending a writers' conference where one of the keynote speakers was asked a question about her writing career. While I do not remember the question, I remember that she answered that she did not want to split her intent. In other words, she wanted to remain focused on her vision and not lose her intent to achieve it.
An art instructor once told me that it is important to finish every painting that I start to practice intent.
Whatever vision we have, whether it is a painting, a book, a poem, a song, a new home, a new job, once we can visualize it clearly, then we must intend to achieve it and move in that direction.
"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau
Earlier today, I was looking at some notes that I wrote in 2005…"Everything begins first as an idea. All things in our lives are a reflection of our consciousness." That feels true to me. So, if my life is a reflection of my consciousness, then I must be careful what I think and make sure that the visions that I create and hold are indeed what I want to create. When we focus on negatives or worry and are fearful, then we can create some negative visions that we surely don't want to manifest in our lives. We must be very conscious of what we think about and envision.
If our lives have become something that we didn't want, we must take a look at how we've been thinking about our lives. Is life happening to you, or are you making life happen?
If your life has taken a turn different from how you'd hoped, then take some time to reflect on where you are and where you've come from? How might you have created this situation? What do you really want? Take some time to reflect and correct your vision to reflect your true dream. When you get clear on your vision, write it down, visualize it and feel it with all of your senses. Then, intend to correct your course with faith and desire.
"In the universe there is an immeasurable, indescribable force, which shamans call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link." (Carlos Castaneda)
July 31,2012 "Whatever you can conceive and believe…"
"Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve" is the most often quoted phrase of Napoleon Hill, author of "Think and Grow Rich." Think about what this statement says … it says that if you can give birth to an idea or thought and believe in it, you can make it happen. It sounds easy enough and I believe it to be a true statement, but if it is true, why don't more people achieve their dreams and have everything they want? It is because many of our ideas are not complete. The idea or vision must be very clear and specific … imagined with all of the senses and fully developed … no "half baked ideas." Secondly, Hill says you must believe in your conception to achieve it. But how many of us are filled with doubt, lack of faith or a sense of unworthiness? Hill speaks in his book about having faith and desire. If we truly believe in something, we do have faith that it can be achieved. But if we are carrying around unresolved issues or old baggage packed with doubt, unworthiness and lack of faith, then we cannot fully believe in our idea enough to achieve it. In other words, have a clear vision and the unwavering intent to achieve it and you will.
"All thoughts which have been emotionalized (given feeling) and mixed with faith begin immediately to translate themselves into their physical equivalent or counterpart. The emotions, or the "feeling" portion of thoughts, are the factors that give thoughts vitality, life and action. The emotions in faith, love, and sex, when mixed with any thought impulse, give it greater action than any of these emotions can do singly (Hill, N., 1937, p. 41)."
Hill, N. (1937). Think and Grow Rich, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, New York, NY.
On Sunday morning, a long time friend of my family passed away. She and my Mom were close friends for over 60 years, and I have known her my whole life. What a blessing to have a friend for a lifetime! Today, that is rare … people move often and it seems that we don't keep in touch, even though our technology makes it more possible, although less personal than a phone call, a hand written letter, or personal visit.
My Mom and her friend shared many things … they laughed, raised their children, curled, played ball, played bridge, played the piano and sang, cooked, belonged to the same organizations, ran businesses on the same street in our hometown. They were kindred spirits.
Friendship is a gift from God. It also takes a friend to have a friend. Our friendships do not happen without caring loving attention and acceptance of each other's faults. I like to say that friends love each other "warts and all." They accept each other as they are, love and respect each other, develop trust and forgive each other when they make mistakes. No one is perfect, but when we find a friend that we can share our experiences with and laugh with and trust, it is worth preserving.
So, here's to Louise! My Mom and I drank a quiet toast to her last night. Bless you until we all meet again!
"A friend is one who knows you as you are and understands where you've been, accepts who you've become and still, gently invites you to grow." (Anonymous – from p. 179, The Fabric of Friendship by Joy Carol).
We must also have vision and intent in our education pursuits, just as we do in our art and in our organizations (business or otherwise). Perhaps having vision and intent in education is somewhat easier because of the way educational programs are set up with curricula or programs or milestones and gradable deliverables. Once you've decided that you want to pursue a certain vocation and chosen a school, the program is usually clearly set out so that you meet the requirements for the degree or diploma. Therefore, holding vision and intent can be a little easier. However, it is the same principle…have a vision of what you want the outcome to be; hold the vision of yourself as a qualified and experienced auto mechanic or psychologist or teacher or doctor or lab technician…whatever your field; hold the vision of what it feels and looks like and sounds like when you've achieved it. Hold that in your mind, believe that you can achieve it and pursue your dream. Follow the prescribed program, all the while holding your vision and believing that it is achievable. And, one step at a time, one assignment at a time, one course at a time, you achieve your dream.
"Let me first be sure what I intend
and the reasons for my choice; this
will guide my thoughts into constructive
channels, and keep me from attempting the
impractical or impossible." (Celebra Tueli)
"Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve." (Napoleon Hill)
I was recently reminded about how important it is to revisit vision and intent in an organization. It is important to continue to develop a clear vision and intent, as management and board members change, employees change, time passes. With many different committees or departments and individuals working on different aspects of an organization, we need to be united by a single clear vision so that we can all hold the intent to achieve it as we carry out our individual and team responsibilities.
Vision drives everything else and if there is no vision, then you are off in too many directions because everyone sees a different dream. Out of the vision and mission come direction to build the plans for achievement and creativity. A strategic plan, business plan and marketing plan provide the map to hold the intent to achieve the vision.
"Vision is a consciously created fantasy of what we would ideally like the organization to become, a waking dream. This idea is not new to many organizations. A vision statement is often another name for "guiding principles" or "core values." What is new, is that in the cutting edge organization of the future, leaders have to make sure each and every employee, on some level, is involved in creating the vision. The task of each employee is to create his or her own vision which, in turn, ties into and supports the team, division and organizational vision (Mapes, 1998).
Mapes, James. (December 1998). "A Vision Throughout," Innovative Leader #376, Volume 7, Number 12.
Before something can happen in our lives, we must believe in the possibility. We must have a vision. So, for example, if we want to own a home, we must believe in that possibility for us, or we will never be able to make it happen. We must have the vision and maintain the intent. The vision must be as clear and specific as we can make it. Do we want a condo, a city home or a house in the country? How big is it? What does it look like? Imagine it with all of your senses. Can you smell the ocean? The smell of a new home? Wild flowers? Freshly cut grass? See it … what color is it? What are the sounds associated with your vision? Is it in the country where you can hear the crickets? Can you hear waves lapping against a lake shore or stronger ocean waves breaking on a rocky beach? Is it in the city where you can hear the bustle of people and traffic? What are the textures? Can you feel the warm smoothness of a hardwood floor? The coldness of a tile floor? The warm sun through many windows? Clarify your vision with all of your senses. Use your sixth sense….what does the energy of the house feel like? Some writers, such as Rhonda Byrne in "The Secret" suggest making a vision board. This is all about creating the idea, which is the first step in creating something. The idea must also be created with thoughts of love …. Create something you love. Don't create something on a whim or without loving thoughtfulness.
Along with this idea or vision, you must believe that it can happen for you. You must not have any blocks that will stand in your way. Ideas such as feeling that you are not worthy of owning your own home, or not believing that you can afford it, or not really wanting it on some level, or believing that the housing market is going to crash, or believing that you can't take on the responsibility of a mortgage will all stand in your way of making the vision of your own home come into reality. So, before you go any further or waste any time … work on truly intending that this can and will happen for you by eliminating these negative ideas, which will block your vision. Identify what they are and work on eliminating them because you must truly and deeply intend to make the vision (or possibility) become a reality.
Working on removing these blocks can take some time. Sometimes, we are not aware of the obstacles in our way, but we can be open to uncovering the obstacles that we cannot yet see, and we can ask for help. If you believe in a higher power or angels, ask them for help. If you have a friend….say a real estate agent or someone who has bought a home…ask them how they bought their first home, or if they worried about the responsibility of a mortgage. Do some research to learn about the things that cause you fear or worry.
"Our thoughts about the future go far toward creating it; our minds and hearts are like filaments that connect today to tomorrow, they are conduits for either the status quo of the emergence of different, hopefully more loving, possibilities. How we think and how we behave determine where we are going." (Marianne Williamson)
This week, I am planning to write about the creative process. Many writers about creativity describe it as a fixed linear process, but I do not see it that way. The Universe does not work that way, and I believe that creativity cannot work that way either. I believe that creativity may happen spontaneously and instantaneously with an "aha" moment, or it may result from a problem that needs a solution. Necessity is, after all, the mother of invention. Some believe that creativity comes as a result of practice or habit. Some creations are created by a series of steps such as first having a problem to solve, then generating ideas or potential solutions and considering them, and then finally selecting the best alternative. But, I believe that if there is a process, it must be an iterative process so that if the ideas or potential solutions don't seem quite right, you go back to the vision to try to clarify or refine the vision or remind yourself again of what it is, or you can go back to generate additional and better potential solutions.
The creative process may be different for every one or every organization - it may be very personal. It may be different for different kinds of creations or problems. It may be purely a spiritual process. It may result from trial and error.
Creativity involves motivation and there are some who are easily motivated and driven toward a goal. Others are more challenged to motivate themselves.
Abraham Maslow defined a hierarchy of needs that demonstrates that we are first motivated to meet basic needs before pursuing other higher needs, such as self-esteem or self-actualization needs. So, depending on what it is you want to create and where it sits in your hierarchy of needs, it will affect your motivation.
I invite you to comment on these posts and to share your own creative process.
"Creativity is not a gift from the gods, says Twyla Tharp, bestowed by some divine and mystical spark. It is the product of preparation and effort, and it's within reach of everyone who wants to achieve it. All it takes is the willingness to make creativity a habit, an integral part of your life (Tharp, T., 2003, cover flap)."
Tharp, Twyla. (2003). The Creative Habit, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY).
Recently, I attended an evening where a woman channelled spirit guides. I was drawn to the event by a poster that caught my attention. A few years ago, I read an interesting book by a woman who had always had a close connection to a spirit guide since her childhood. I remember thinking that it would be great to have some life guide who would give me advice and show me the easiest way through life so that I could come out of it relatively unscathed. I wondered how I could hire or attract one of those spirit guides. Well, since then, (and even before), I have been on a spiritual journey, but no spirit guide has shown up in my consciousness to show me the way or talk to me when I'm lonely or confused, so I asked the lady who channels spirit guides, "What beings are with me and if they have any special guidance for me now?"
I was told that I have five spirit guides supporting me … all the strong silent type, I guess. But, there was a message from one of these guides … I was told that I am here to teach kindness. In one way, that rings true for me, as I am always so baffled by those who can be blatantly unkind. And, the interesting part is that the spirit guide said, "Being kind is so important to you but when you hear negative or harsh words you recoil and you do not understand why people act in this way." This is so true of me, which is why I believe that it was a genuine message. Whatever …. It's useful information anyway.
I looked up kindness in the dictionary and it said gentle, tender and good; based on consideration and thoughtfulness. Sometimes, when we aren't treated with kindness ourselves, it's hard to be gentle or tender. God knows, I've lived with two alcoholics, been harassed and bullied at work, had other trials I won't share here … sometimes it's hard to be gentle when you've had to defend yourself and keep yourself safe. But in my heart, I am gentle and I believe that gentleness is the true nature of our Universe, so all of us, should work toward gentleness. Consideration … well, that requires thoughtfulness, deliberation and empathy … how do I want to be treated? The Golden Rule comes to mind, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
I am reminded of Wayne Dyer's question, "Is it better to be right or to be kind?" and I use this question to keep myself in check. Or, there's Ellen DeGeneres' closing comment on her daily talk show, "Be kind to one another."
Several years ago after my husband and I separated, I felt like going out to dinner one night, but I had no one to go with. I decided right then that I wasn't going to sit at home alone if I felt like doing something…I was going to do things alone or not…but I wasn't going to allow myself to sit at home just because I didn't have a spouse.
I dine out frequently … with friends and alone. But, the service I receive when I dine alone is appalling. Absolutely appalling. I live in the White Rock area, and frequent the Marine Drive beachfront restaurants ALL YEAR 'ROUND. In the summer, after working all day alone from home, I often attend these restaurants to get a little people contact and sunshine at the end of the day. These are the times when I'm most often alone, and it disappoints me how I am treated. While in July, the restaurants are popular and can choose their customers, in November when it's raining out, I bet they'd be mighty glad to see me and the friends that I dine with when I'm not alone.
I'm like the elephant that never forgets. I remember that almost every time I walk through the doors at Whitby's or Jimmy Flynn's or Cosmos or Uli's or Le Vol au Vent or Deluxe, I am greeted with a warm and welcoming smile. I also remember that Cielo's, Five Doors Down and Charlie's only love me when I am more than a table for one. When I'm alone, they give me the worst possible table and if I want to see a glimpse of the ocean, I have to beg, even though they have tables available. What I can't possibly understand is what's the difference between giving one person (a local at that) a table for two (begrudgingly, I might add) on the patio or giving two people (happily) a table for four on the patio? When you give one person a table for two, you have one empty seat. When you give two people a table for four, you have two empty seats. But, that cute little blond hostess at Five Doors Down just doesn't get that. I've been told there that I can have a patio table, but if a larger group comes in and they want it, I'll have to move. WHAT? She's also told me that the two tables for two that are pushed together to make a table for four can't be separated into two tables for two because there isn't room, and then after I was seated, I watched the server separate the tables into two. Don't expect me to be back there with friends or alone….no matter how good the food is.
All of us, alone or in a group, deserve respect. And, while maybe these restaurants think that it's a good business decision to serve the many and ignore the singles, they don't know which of those alone customers may have influence in other circles or be regulars in the area. Let me see, if one local person eats out once a week x 52 weeks in the year, that's 52 meals, whereas if a group of four visits White Rock once a year in July that's four meals. HMMMM……….
Well, these restaurants may not care, but I have my dignity and I will take my business where it's appreciated. This elephant remembers the restaurants that I listed above that appreciate my business and the ones that don't. All of us have the power to demand the respect that we need as human beings, whether alone or in a group.
Go with the flow. Let the day unfold. Throw away the "to do" list today. I know. That's not always practical. But, if we remain focused on a "to do" list or someone else's priorities for a lifetime, we won't accomplish what we are here to do. I look at my daily list and sometimes none of those things on that list are what I really want to do today. They are things that need to be done to meet deadlines, pay bills, meet my clients' priorities, take care of the dog or family. So, indirectly, I want to do those things because they take care of my responsibilities. But, some days, we just need to get up and go to the beach or read a book or paint or garden or go to a movie or for a hike. Or, just go out the door and see where our spirits lead us. Let the day unfold.
I recently spent a day in Montreal after a business conference. I followed my nose – one place led to the next – from a quaint sidewalk café and a café au lait to a comfy spot in the shade at the jazz festival to another sidewalk café on Crescent Street for a glass of wine and a salad with a little shopping and viewing of old architecture and Canadian history in between. A perfect day in a friendly warm city with the sun shining.
Of course, it is always easier to be free when we're travelling. The "to do" list is at home on the desk and we can forget ourselves and go with the flow. My friend and I often speak of how we are able to truly relax when we are away form home. But, we should be able to do it when we're home, too. Just lay down on the couch in the room that needs to be dusted and vacuumed and eat a bag of Doritos and watch a movie or read People magazine all day. While the day may seem unproductive, what 's really happening is we are resting and rejuvenating and maybe a photo in the magazine or a scene in the movie or a line in the book will inspire our next great creative project. Kick back and relax in the dust!
July 13,2012 Be Awake, Aware and Ready to Take Action!
The Universe is shouting at me … MOVE ON! MOVE ON! I know it and I am digging in my heels. The time doesn't seem right. It's a lot of work to move. It's uncomfortable to change. I'm fearful of the uncertainty. I don't know what I'm supposed to do.
As humans, we get comfortable in our routines and surroundings, and we do the same thing over and over again. That's not always what the Universe has in mind for us or what we came here to do. We all seem to resist change because it's scary. But, change we must.
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom" (Anais Nin)
We must blossom to continue to grow. We must be awake to seize opportunities. We must not hesitate when the opportunities present themselves. Sometimes, these opportunities or changes are more clear because they are thrust upon us … a job is lost, a spouse leaves, we're promoted or transferred, given a raise.
For those of us who are free spirits, artists, small business owners, self-employed, self-directed, self-managed, … our transfers, promotions, and shifts come to us from our inner voice or other more subtle messages from the Source, so we need to be Awake, Aware and Ready to Take Action. Don't sleep through your next promotion … listen to the messages and follow the guidance. The more we practice listening, the better we get at hearing the messages.
"You'll need to be dead before your art sells." How many times has someone said that to you? Even our supposed loved ones and friends say this to us sometimes. Would anyone ever think to say to a business colleague, teacher or engineer … that their work won't be recognized or valued until after they're dead? If someone did say that to them, they would be deeply insulted. Well, frankly, it insults me every time someone demonstrates their ignorance with this statement. It is not loving, compassionate, supportive, accurate, kind or true. So, why say it? I can only assume that they either don't know what to say, so they make this stupid negative clichéd statement, or that they're being mean.
It is true that it is challenging for many to make a living from their art. However, many are very successful at it. It is also challenging to make a living running any small business or acting or in any new endeavor. So, I suggest that the next time someone tells you that they're an artist, say something encouraging. How about, "Good luck," or, "I'd love to get an invitation to your next show," or "That must be very satisfying work."
And, if you're an artist, the next time someone suggests that you'll need to die so that your work can be valued, say something like, "Could I offer you a painting for $1000 as an investment for your children?" or "I intend to succeed while I'm alive." Don't let them get away with that negative and unsupportive comment.
Dare to be different! In this world of branding, large populations and standardization, the free spirit is not always validated or valued. Some generations seem to strive to be all the same, but, we are not all the same. While we are all connected, we are all unique and we must honour our uniqueness. It is easier for large organizations, such as governments, employers, and educational institutions, to manage people if they are all indoctrinated into their organizational culture and behave in the prescribed way, but it can also lead to the decay of society if everyone becomes a follower. We need "artists" and free spirits to dare to be different even though it may be uncomfortable to do so. I do not mean that you should break the law or be disrespectful to the norms that apply to the groups to which you belong, but dare to express yourself.
Organizations also need to look at themselves. If they want to survive and innovate, they must develop cultures that nurture free spirits, uniqueness and creativity.
We often hear the phrases "the struggle of the artist," "the struggling artist," or "the starving artist." What do they mean? And why are the words "struggling" or "starving" attached to the artist and not the teacher, the fireman, the business person? It is as if it makes the artist more noble if he or she struggles or starves.
I checked out Wikipedia to see the source of this description. Here's what it said:
"A starving artist is an artist who sacrifices material well-being in order to focus on their artwork. They typically live on minimum expenses, either for a lack of business or because all their disposable income goes toward art projects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starving_artist , retrieved July 10, 2012)."
"Some starving artists desire mainstream success but have difficulty due to the high barriers to entry in art such as visual arts, the film industry, and theatre. These artists frequently take temporary positions (such as waitering or other service industry jobs) while they focus their attention on breaking through in their preferred field (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starving_artist , retrieved July 10, 2012)."
I then checked the dictionary definition of "struggle:"
"1. To contend with an adversary or opposing force;
2. To contend resolutely with a task, problem, etc.; strive: to struggle for existence;
3. To advance with violent effort: to struggle through the snow (www.dictionary.com , retrieved July 10, 2012)."
Isn't that disturbing?
What is the struggle for the artist? Is it for money? For inspiration? For time? For acceptance? I sometimes think the struggle is to find storage space for all of those paintings that haven't yet found their homes.
All of us are artists at heart … we may not all express ourselves through the arts, but at some level, all of us are creators wanting to express our authentic selves. Perhaps that is the true struggle…working and growing toward expressing our authentic selves and being the best we can be. However, do we want to look at it as "contending with an adversary or opposing force," or "striving to struggle for existence?" This seems extreme, although I believe that we do not really live if we don't express our true selves, so perhaps it is a matter of life and death. Maybe a gentler word than "struggling" would be more positive … something like "the transformation of the artist's soul," perhaps?
Commitment To Our Art (By Linda Coons)
"To bring our art to full expression, there is much more involved than simply envisioning or imagining it. To imagine our art in its completed state is merely one of many, sometimes complex, steps, perhaps the beginning of which is becoming open to the idea (Coons, p. 159)."
"Many artists find that in bringing our art to full expression, we need to become committed to its evolvement. We need to make necessary investments of time, energy, sometimes money, sometimes other things. We need to make spiritual commitments. We need to believe in our souls that we are capable. We become open to guidance by our Higher Power to complete our endeavors. We establish priorities that will encourage us to fulfill our commitment to our art (Coons, p. 159)."
"We may also need to learn to be patient with the process of our artistic expression. Commitment does not imply that we rush to completion at the expense of doing our best work. We remember that our art evolves in God's time, not ours. When we learn to trust in God's timing, many artists learn, our work evolves peacefully (Coons, p. 159)."
"God, please guide me to accept my honest wants and needs as a realistic part of who I am. Teach me to ask for what I want from those around me and by prayer and meditation, trusting in your way and time. Then grant me the patience to wait for my life and my art to unfold according to your will for me (Coons, p. 95)."
Coons, Linda, (2000). "The Artist's Soul: Daily Nourishment to Support Creative Growth," Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York, pps. 95 and 159.
www.dictionary.com , retrieved July 10, 2012.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starving_artist , retrieved July 10, 2012.
What does Spirituality have to do with Creativity?
When I write about living a creative life, I often include information about being connected to a Higher Power, which I refer to as God, the Universe, the Source, or Nature. It can be any Higher Power that you choose. But, I think that it is a critical element of being happy, creative, content and joyful in life. I believe this because humans are spiritual beings having a physical experience in this life. So, if we are spiritual beings, then I believe we must stay connected to spirit to be whole and who we are.
It does not mean that if you don't believe in a Higher Power that you can't paint, draw, sing, garden, write, etc. However, I believe that evolving and growing in anything that we do will be helped by belief in a Higher Power. The Higher Power could be your higher self if you have trouble believing in God, Nature, or the Universe. Think about how many times you hear actors or musicians thank their Higher Powers when they win an Oscar or Grammy! They acknowledge their Sources.
I also want to add that when I speak of God, the Source, the Universe, etc., I am not referring to religion, which is facilitated by man. I am not against religion, but the point is that it is a facilitated communication with spirit and therefore subject to all kinds of different interpretations, as well as dogma and ritual. Many wars and misdeeds have taken place in the name of religion.
"Today I will stand aside and let the Higher Power work through me. I will no longer try to block my Higher Power by my own efforts. Today I will put my ego in the background and allow my inner voice to show me the way."
"I will not interfere with the working of God's spirit in me and through me."
"Sometimes my mind gets so cluttered that I feel like a rubber ball … bouncing with no direction. When I feel this way, perhaps I am running form something I must do … look at … or feel. I know there is a direction for me, if I can only get quiet enough to listen."
"Today I affirm my courage to look inward, to seek out that internal and eternal source of wisdom. Today I will not get in my way (Lerner, R., 1985, p. 72)."
Lerner, Rockelle (1985), Daily Affirmations, Health Communications, Inc., Pompano Beach, FL.
Some days, I wake up and do not feel the positive energy of the Universe. I feel the sadness of lost friends and loved ones, the worry for a sick pet, the uncertainty of the future …, and it is hard to set those aside and go forward in the day with a positive attitude to create a positive day. These are the days when I must most focus on the creativity tools that I have. I have several books about creativity and inspiration, and I can read from them. I can write in my journal and create a positive day. I can go for a walk. I can paint. I can call a friend. I can say a prayer or a positive affirmation. I can do something completely different. I can make a plan with a friend for later today or tomorrow. I can pet the dog. I can meditate. I can be grateful for the positive things in my life.
This morning, I needed to use many of these tools. I called a friend, I said some affirmations, I wrote a thank you card to someone to express my gratitude, I wrote in my journal, I said a prayer. I petted the dog. And, I consulted a favorite inspirational book, "The Artist's Soul." Here's a part of what I read to inspire myself:
"We learn to "do the best we can with what we have where we are" and trust the rest to God's care. We work earnestly at establishing and nurturing our connection to God, as we understand God to be. And we follow God's lead, as we feel it by our attention to our feelings, choices and healthful desires. Many of us find that when we learn to be more honest about who we are, our art seems to express itself spontaneously. We serve as a channel for the spiritual energy that lies in waiting within our souls."
"God, please guide me as I examine any discouraging expectations, limitations, and fears that have become attached to my creativity. Help me to connect to the courage to change the things I can so that I can become a willing channel for your artistic gifts to me. Thanks for caring (Coons, p. 207)."
Now, I think I will go out into the beautiful day and garden!
Coons, Linda, (2000). "The Artist's Soul: Daily Nourishment to Support Creative Growth," "Opening Our Creative Channels," Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York, p. 207.
Often, in the mornings when I journal, I write about the kind of day I'd like to create. I start my writing with phrases like, "Today, I create a day filled with love and joy," or, "Today, I create a day where I am surrounded by healing energy and love." I can create any day I like in my journal. If I'm worried about something, I can create a day of calm and serenity. So here's what I'm hoping for today…
Today, I create a day filled with love, peace, joy and guidance from the Universe. I create a day of healing for my dog, who had surgery yesterday. I invite healing angels to surround him and guiding loving angels to surround and guide me today. I create an atmosphere of peaceful, calm, and serene energy in my home today that will support my dog in his recovery and will support me in accomplishing my day's work. I create positive energy and enthusiasm for my work and I approach it joyfully. I create a day that is financially prosperous for me, knowing that the Universe always provides for our every need. I create a day that provides opportunities for my work and art, and I create the energies of passion and enthusiasm that I can use to accomplish all of the items on my "to do" list. I create time for fun and time for exercise. I invite angels and the Universe to help me to eat healthily. I create a day filled with the love of friends and family. I create a day of peace and healing in the world. And, I create the opportunity and ability to understand what the "God particle" is.
Today, I practice gratitude for friends, family, a healed dog, the veterinary team that took such good care of him yesterday, financial and physical wellbeing and unlimited opportunities.
The God particle? Doesn't that sound like "Breaking News," or "Just in from Science Central," or the most awesome discovery of the decade….maybe the 21st century? When the headline crossed my yahoo page, I immediately wanted to know more. CNN spent the day on Obamacare and Romney talking about whether Obamacare is a tax or not, and the CNN pundits spent the day analyzing who said what about that and what they think it means. CBC was concerned about some guy getting a ticket in Quebec for running on the highway. CBS's lead anchor took the day off and didn't feel this was important enough to come in for, while his stand in reported on the fact that some cities cancelled their July 4th fireworks due to the impacts of the weather and power outages across the US (don't get me started here … wasn't there a better angle on severe weather and huge power outages than cancelled fireworks?). Oh, and the best … I heard a local radio announcer say something like, the God particle doesn't really change our lives; it only advances our knowledge. HELLO!! This is the most significant discovery since the big bang theory, which was really a Nobel Prize winning discovery, but many think it's a phrase with sexual connotations or a popular TV sitcom (which I love). I know; the news is not the news anymore. It's a tool of manipulation. I rest my case. Oh, I know. They all mentioned it. But they didn't give it the time and attention it deserved.
I'm going to figure out what the significance of the God particle is in layman's terms and I'll report back here on my obscure blog about leading a creative life. Stay tuned. I know it's going to apply to creativity somehow. I just haven't figured out how. But, 10,000 scientists have spent billions of dollars working on it for years, so it has to be more significant than Obamacare, cancelled fireworks or laws about running on Canadian highways. Maybe I should have checked the BBC? They're usually a little more forward thinking.
Stretch yourself. If you paint in oil, try watercolour or acrylic. If you write prose, try poetry. If you garden outdoors, try planting some bulbs indoors. If you build furniture, try building a playhouse. When we challenge ourselves to something new, we expand our thinking. I am an oil painter, but I recently attended a watercolor workshop. The paintings I created at the workshop were not very good. I let them sit for a few days, and then when I looked at them, I realized that what I had learned about drawing in the workshop could also be applied to my oil painting. I transferred the two drawings to canvases and painted them again in oil using the techniques I'd learned in the workshop. I am pleased with the outcomes. If we don't try something new, we get stuck.
I almost walked by. It was around 6 PM. I was in a strange city on a business trip walking down the street looking for a restaurant to have some dinner when I passed a young man sleeping on a piece of cardboard in a doorway. I walked by. Everyone walked by. But something told me that he needed dinner too. I walked into the next take out restaurant and ordered the most nutritious items I could find on the menu. I walked back. As I approached, he turned over. I was startled. I thought I could leave the food anonymously and walk on. But he looked right at me. I said to him, "Are you hungry?"
"Yes I am," he said as he looked me directly in the eye with such an intense gaze of pure appreciation. Had I walked by with all the rest, I would have missed the look. The look of love. We must not walk by.
"There but for the grace of God go I (proverb)."
Don't walk by. Help one other being today – a dog, a cat, a bird, another person…we are all connected.
Wayne Dyer speaks of the "I am" statement in his latest book. He says that we must recognize and know ourselves and define ourselves by the phrase, "I am ______." This is consistent with what I saw in the documentary film, "3 Magic Words," in which the magic words are "I am God." These words are a prayer and affirmation. When we recognize that God is within us because we are all connected to each other and to the Source, then we live in harmony with the Universe and all that is in it, and we experience synchronicity in our lives. We must be careful what words we append to the phrase, "I am" because it's a prayer and affirmation. Try not to say things like "I am sick," or "I am broke, " or "I am worried." Rather, say, "I am healthy and well;" "I am loving and compassionate;" "I am prosperous;" and "I am God."
"The fastest way to realize God is to see him in every thing and every one." (Sai Baba)
Last night, I was searching the video-on-demand movies available through my cable TV company, and I came upon a documentary called "3 Magic Words." This documentary featured a number of scientists, spiritual gurus, artists and others all attesting to the fact that we are all connected to each other and to God, The Source of all that is. The film distinguished between a philosophy of separation and one of connectedness, and said that in the beginning of human existence, human spirituality and religious beliefs were of connectedness, but that over time, we have moved toward the idea of separation and the evolution of religions has led to further beliefs in separation and therefore, the practice of judging others because we see them as separate. When we realize that we are all connected to each other and to the same Source, we look at others as part of ourselves and we feel love and compassion for them. This leads us to living in peace and harmony. The 3 Magic Words that each of us must realize to reach enlightenment and awaken humanity to living in love and compassion are "I am God." (3 Magic Words, Ozark Publishing & Starseed Films).
"The day everyone accepts the responsibility of being one with God is the day we make our world more peaceful and loving and spiritual." (Michael Perlin).
"I am endeavoring to see God through service to humanity, for I know that God is neither in heaven, nor down below, but in everyone." (Gandhi).
To view 3 Magic Words, go to
Who Is God?
Trust in God
And trust in yourself
And things will go your way!
Accept responsibility for your actions
And God will watch over you
To the extent of that responsibility.
We can only be connected to spirit in the present moment. If we are thinking about the past or the future, we are not "in spirit," and therefore, as Wayne Dyer would say, we are not inspired. Rather, we are thinking about what we could have, should have, could or would do. Replaying the past in our creative practice can help us to work out past issues. Thinking about the future in the proper context can help us develop plans and goals to achieve our dreams. But, we must monitor our time in the past and future to ensure that it is healthy time, and we must stay mainly in the present moment to be inspired and in the creating state because when we are in the past and future, we are generally not creating.