January 31,2013
Morning Time

Perhaps the most important part of my creative process is what I call "morning time." I have often thought that I am not a "morning person" because I am not one of those people who bound out of bed with enthusiasm and race out the door to the gym or other activities. Instead, my morning is devoted to quiet time. I need my coffee and time to reflect and plan. I write in my journal; I reflect. I need my morning time. Perhaps this grew from reading "The Artists' Way" by Julia Cameron many years ago, when I put into practice her suggestion of writing three "morning pages" first thing every morning ... three pages of stream of consciousness writing. I have journaled almost every morning for more than fifteen years. It helps me to get in touch with what's on my mind and to reflect on my work, life and art. It helps me to focus and to be calm. I often read meditative or spiritual books during this time to stimulate my creativity. Setting aside some quiet time at a time of day that suits your schedule is helpful to stimulate your creative process.

Carla Weaver 2013


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January 31,2013
Forgive Yourself

In order to move forward in life, we must forgive ourselves for past mistakes. We can sometimes hold ourselves in contempt for past mistakes, yet, everyone makes mistakes in life … that’s how we learn and grow. That’s how our species evolves.

Today, think about what mistakes you may still be regretting or holding onto. Are there any things for which you are angry or disappointed in yourself? Make a list of them. Tell yourself that you are sorry about these errors or decisions or actions and that you know that you did the best that you could at the time. Go to the mirror and look yourself in the eye when you do it. Then, accept your apology, and forgive yourself. Again, in front of the mirror, say, “I accept your apology and I forgive you and I love you.”

We can be so anxious to accept and forgive others’ transgressions, but what about accepting ourselves fully? Letting go of resentments against ourselves frees us to move forward and make better decisions in the present in all areas of our lives " relationships, finances, health, nutrition, career, creativity, etc.

Forgive yourself.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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January 31,2013
Friends and Support

Yesterday, I had a really wonderful day, and as I reflected on my day, I realized that my day had been blessed by having time with special and supportive friends … some of whom have been in my life for 20 years or more. I started my day with a walk with a beautiful, brave and creative woman who I always enjoy and admire; she’s smart and fun and a free spirit; she has expressed her creativity through writing and teaching.

Later in the day, I went to the beach where I visited with a group of friends whom I have known for various amounts of time, but most for 5 years or more…a group of people who are kind and supportive…”prairie people” mostly " people from where I grew up who share a similar history and set of values to my own.

I then attended an artists’ group where I participated in a discussion about art and being an artist. I have known everyone in this group since 1994, and learned much of what I know about being an artist from this mixture of painters, writers, weavers and other creative spirits. I heard one woman speak about the importance of artists spending time with other artists and how we “get each other.” How true that is.

Then, I went to dinner with two long time women friends … friends “through thick and thin,” as the saying goes.

These relationships have supported me and encouraged me and I feel loved when I am with these people.

In years past, I struggled to maintain some relationships with people who constantly judged my actions and words. Even when judgemental people don’t say it out loud, we feel the disapproval and judgement through their energy and body language. While I deeply mourned the losses of some of these relationships, I must say that life is better when we spend time around people who love and support us. How can we be truly ourselves and express our creativity when the voice or look of disapproval is constantly in the room? How can we feel good about ourselves, our ideas and actions when there is someone criticizing or questioning or suggesting that we are always wrong or at fault?

Consider your healthiest and most supportive relationships and focus on them.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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January 30,2013
The True Source

As artists, many of us struggle with trying to earn a living from our art. Our economy and system seem to be set up to make “stars” of some artists while not fairly compensating those who don’t receive star status. But we cannot let this be a barrier to making our art. We must realize that the true source of prosperity is God or the Universe and that the Universe will provide for us. Our art is only one channel through which our income may flow, and our art may lead to many more channels than we are aware. We must remain open to new ideas. For example, we may be able to earn income from teaching our art, reproducing it, demonstrating it, or writing about it. Remain open to opportunities and intuitive ideas knowing that the true source of income is the love and energy of the Universe, the same creative energy that we use to create our art.

“I do not depend upon people or conditions for my prosperity. God is the Source of my supply and provides amazing channels of supply to me now. I am careful not to confuse the channels of my supply with its true source, God (Unity of Vancouver, 2012).”

Reference:

Unity of Vancouver. (2012). Forty Seven Day Prosperity Prayer Program.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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January 29,2013
Upcoming Workshops, Group Sessions and Counselling

This spring, I will be offering some workshops and weekly group sessions on Creativity. The workshops will be two day intensive weekend workshops that focus on expressing creativity and removing blocks. During the two days, attendees will learn about the creative process, discuss their own processes, set creative goals and work on a creative project. Exercises to stimulate creativity will be used, and will not be specific to one creative expression " we will use art, music, writing and sport examples to stimulate our creativity.

The weekly sessions will be 90 minute group sessions to discuss creativity, blocks, struggles or other issues related to expressing creativity. The sessions will offer a safe environment with a small group and will include eight 90 minute weekly meetings.

I will also be offering some individual one-on-one sessions to coach and support your creativity.

These events are part of the completion of my doctorate in counselling psychology. I will publish specific dates, times, costs and descriptions shortly, but this BLOG is intended to get the word out. If you are interested in any of these three types of sessions (weekend workshops, weekly groups sessions or individual counselling), please respond to this BLOG, as attendance will be limited. If you respond, it will be confidential; I will not publish any responses on the BLOG. All sessions will take place in the April to July timeframe. I anticipate that the workshops will take place in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, but if there is demand in another geographic area, that could influence scheduling. An online group session may be facilitated via Skype if there is demand and individual sessions could take place via Skype or in person in the lower mainland area. More information to follow.

If you know of others who may be interested in these sessions, please forward this information.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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January 28,2013
If You Feel Like Dancing, Dance

I used to think that it was pathetic to see women dancing with each other or by themselves, but in my generation, it seems that many men don’t dance, and so, now, I say, if you want to dance, dance by yourself. Who cares if someone else thinks it’s strange or pathetic? Have fun. The other night, my three friends and I danced by ourselves and with each other and enjoyed the music. Who cares what other people think as long as we are honoring ourselves? We just got up and started dancing and pretty soon a couple of men joined our circle and asked if they could dance with us.

Dancing by yourself can be a metaphor for life and art. If you have to have someone else with whom to do things all the time, then you would never express your unique ideas. You have to be able to step out and “boldly go where no one has been before (Star Trek).” Follow your inspiration. If you feel like dancing, dance!

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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January 28,2013
Don't Give Up

It seems that some people decide at some point in their lives to just give up. We see many people who have made this choice " consciously or unconsciously. Their light has gone out. They have no energy. They become couch potatoes or inflexible or uninterested. They have no spark in their eyes, no enthusiasm. It is tragic to live a life like this in the dark. I believe that it results from hardship, failure, abuse, illness, addiction, rejection, boredom … Whatever the cause, they lose their path; they fall down and can’t’ get up anymore. As artists, it would be easy for us to give up and stop making our art. But, we must not. We must continue to fuel the fire in our souls to create. “Where there is a will, there is a way,” and we must use our connection to the Universe to continue to be motivated and interested to show the world the art we make that is uniquely our own expression and no one else’s.

Use the fire that is in your soul to stoke your creative embers and create, create, create!

© Carla Weaver 2013


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January 25,2013
What is Your Life Purpose?

Yesterday, a friend sent me a link to read an article in the Huffington Post called “The Myth of Finding Your Purpose” by Kris Carr. The article suggests that our true purpose is really about finding ourselves and taking good care of ourselves and it is not about a vocation. I believe that too, and it has been a long journey for me to come to that belief.

Carr poses some thoughtful questions in her article, such as, “What if your purpose is to build an everlasting relationship with yourself?” or, “What if your purpose is to forgive yourself and others?” or, “What if your purpose is to speak kindly to yourself so that you elevate your energy and the world around you? (Carr, 2013).”

For many years, I searched for my calling thinking that it was something elusive, but when I found it, I would be free and at peace. After a long journey, I realized that it is an internal journey that has nothing to do with the external. When we focus inward and connect to our Source, we discover many things about how to heal ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually, and we can come to a place of love and acceptance of ourselves first and then of others. The revelation that I had some time ago was that my purpose is to let my inner light shine. When we can do that (not always - we’re human, after all), then we express and live our purpose. Then, we create our art " whatever it is " running a store, practicing medicine, painting, writing…

Reference:

Carr, K. (January 24, 2013). “The Myth of Finding Your Purpose,” Huffington Post.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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January 24,2013
Creating With Love

Earlier this week, I wrote that I believe that the higher energies of the Universe, such as healing, creating prosperity and abundance, giving, and creativity are expressions of love. Following up on my thoughts about this, I began to read about love and came upon a wonderful essay by Anthony de Mello in which he defines four qualities of love. He says that it is indiscrimate, gratuitous, unselfconscious and free (de Mello, 1992). In other words, true love is practiced and given freely and unconsciously to everyone with no expectations. It is unconditional. We are used to reading and hearing about practicing unconditional love in relationships with people and animals, but what about practicing unconditional love in our creative pursuits? That would mean giving our creative gifts to the Universe freely and indiscriminately for all to enjoy and having no expectations.

Give feely and indiscriminately of yourself and your work.

Reference:

De Mello, Anthony (1992). “Love One Another,” The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., New York, NY.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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January 23,2013
Speak For Yourself

Sometimes, others speak for us, or we speak on behalf of another, assuming that we know what they are thinking. I often catch myself doing it in a restaurant when the waiter comes to check on our table. “Everything is fine,” I’ll say. But, how do I know that? Maybe someone sitting with me is waiting to ask for the ketchup when I speak up and send the waiter away. Lately, someone has the habit of speaking for me … of making an assumption and speaking on my behalf or of implying that my opinion is the same in order to use me as an ally to influence others’ decisions.

When someone is making assumptions about what we think or want, if we don’t want them to continue to do it, we must speak our truth … either in the moment by disagreeing and stating our own opinion, or by speaking to the person to let them know that it is not okay for them to speak for us.

Speak your truth, for it is not fair to have to be responsible for what others say on your behalf. They may be creating an inaccurate impression of you.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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January 22,2013
Brilliant Ideas

How many times do you have a brilliant idea and not follow through on it? Either we doubt the brilliance of our ideas, or we set them aside to think about them and they slowly die in the backs of our minds, or we don’t know how to bring them to fruition. But, brilliant ideas are gifts from the Great Creator " something that we’ve been guided to pursue.

If you don’t know how to pursue your idea, make a list of questions to ask the Universe and then meditate on them. I have read that Archangel Uriel supports bringing ideas to fruition. Ask him for guidance.

If you question the idea, know that it’s a gift and discuss it with a trusted friend.

If you don’t have time, make a plan and fit it into your schedule over time.

“Your idea is an answered prayer. Even though it may push you past your comfort zone, know that God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. Ask for, and be willing to receive, all of the support that you need to bring the idea to fruition (Virtue, 2004, p. 23).”

Reference: Virtue, Doreen. (2004). Guidebook for the Archangel Oracle Cards, Hay House Inc.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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January 21,2013
Pure Love Drives Creativity

Injury or illness can interrupt our creative practice and frustrate our need to express ourselves creatively. When we are ill or injured, we cannot expect to be able to focus on our work. Then, our creative energy must be directed toward healing. While I have no scientific proof of this, I believe that the spiritual energy that heals the body is the same basic energy that God used to create our Universe and the same energy that we use to create our art. It is the energy that healers direct toward their patients. It is the energy that we use to procreate and it is the energy that many write about in discussing creating prosperity and abundance in our lives. It is the energy of Pure Love.

“Holiness is not an achievement, it is a Grace. A Grace called Awareness, a grace called Looking, Observing, Understanding. If you would only switch on the light of awareness and observe yourself and everything around you throughout the day, if you would see yourself reflected in the mirror of awareness the way you see your face reflected in a looking glass, that is, accurately, clearly exactly as it is without the slightest distortion or addition, and if you observed this reflection without any judgement or condemnation, you would experience all sorts of marvelous changes coming about in you. Only you will not be in control of those changes, or be able to plan them in advance, or decide how and when they are to take place. It is this nonjudgmental awareness alone that heals and changes and makes one grow. But in its own way and at its own time (de Mello, 1991, p. 194).”

“…True holiness, the type that is not achieved through techniques and efforts and repression, true holiness is completely unself-conscious (de Mello, 1991, p. 196).”

Reference:

De Mello, Anthony. (1991). The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, New York, NY.


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January 17,2013
Doing What's Right For Ourselves

Energy - everything is made of it and we are all vibrating. It is life, so how do I align myself with compatible energy and protect myself from non-compatible energy? How do I live in community and be accepting of others' faults? How do I demonstrate compassion for those whose energy is not compatible? Life is all about sensing and responding to energy. It is not even about good and bad energy…it is about making positive choices based on what is good for us in the moment. It is about being alert and mindful and in the moment and responding with that alertness and awareness to take the right actions, to respond to the most inspirational ideas, to make the most intuitive choices, to do what's right in the moment without judgement of others. When what another is doing, saying or expressing is incompatible with how we feel, it is difficult not to judge them as bad or annoying or less enlightened or incompetent. But, in God's Universe, they are doing what they are doing on their paths and it is none of my business how, why, or what they are doing. If I don't like it, I need only make my own choice about what's good for me.

Carla Weaver 2013.


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January 16,2013
Blessings

More than a week ago, I had an accident and hurt myself. The injuries have been painful and I had some difficulty coping even though I was grateful that I had not broken any bones. On my lowest day, I encountered two “angels” who shared their tragic experiences with me. The first was in the morning. I walk by that place every day, yet I had never seen this man before. He asked what had happened to me. When I told him I had fallen, he shared his own motor cycle accident story with me. It was much worse than mine; he had broken his wrist and his jaw and lost several teeth. He also broke several bones in his face and pointed out his scars. I was reminded to be grateful for blessings. I could have been injured much worse than I was.

However, as the day continued, I continued to feel down, and I can only attribute that to pain. Later, I was walking my dog, and I encountered another “angel.” This man asked me what had happened to my hands and then he shared his experience and said how grateful he is to be alive. He had been sitting at a sidewalk café when two cars ploughed into it. Several people were killed, but he survived. He had a badly deformed arm and has had several surgeries to repair his leg and hip. He lost several teeth and he has more surgeries to come. He said that he is in constant pain, but feels blessed to be alive.

I can only say that these people were put in my path on that day to remind me that life is a blessing and to be grateful for the good. When we feel sorry for ourselves or dwell on the negative or the pain, we must remember that there is usually someone somewhere who is suffering more and remember to be grateful for the blessings in life.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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January 13,2013
All in God's Time

Many of us have been influenced by today’s work world with its focus on deliverables and deadlines. Everything must be produced according to a schedule and sometimes the schedule becomes more important than the quality of the output. But this is not how creativity flows. For many artists, creativity is as much or more about the process than the finished work. And, most of us care deeply about the finished work " often never feeling truly satisfied that the work is done.

It can be challenging to work in the work world where its demands are great for the finished product, while also trying to work from true inspiration. This requires balance and devotion. We must take the time daily to devote ourselves to the source of our inspiration and creative energy. All of us must decide how we best accomplish this " a walk in nature, journaling, meditation, yoga, prayer, reading…

We must balance our time between connecting to creative energy, working and playing.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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January 11,2013
Journaling

Lately, I have returned to daily journaling. I have journaled for many years, but it began again most regularly when I read “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron about 15 years ago. In that book, Cameron suggests writing three “morning pages” each day as a way of stimulating creativity. She instructs her readers to write whatever comes to mind until 3 pages are filled " a stream of consciousness method of writing. I have done that for many years, but in this last year since starting my BLOG, I shifted to writing what I have published on my BLOG.

In the past several days, I found myself really out of sorts and feeling somewhat discombobulated (probably not a real word), so yesterday, I pulled out a notebook and started to journal for myself. Writing down my thoughts has always helped me. It seems to accomplish several things. First, it gets them out of my head where they may be rolling around repetitively like a few phrases from a song that gets stuck in your head. Once out on paper, I can see them and examine them and process them " perhaps relate them to other thoughts that I have written down. Then, I am able to learn something or let them go and leave them there on the written page and move on. Sometimes, the processing of these thoughts written on paper turns them into new ideas or inspirations. Sometimes, I draw conclusions. Whatever the case, usually the thoughts are no longer in that circular motion in my head. My mind is still, the thoughts are written down and there is some resolution " an idea, inspiration or plan that I can act on or a new understanding that allows me to move forward.

If you have not journaled, I highly recommend it. Get out a notebook and try writing three morning pages everyday before you leap out of bed or while you’re sipping on your coffee. You can even do it while you’re sitting at your desk at work and it will improve your day. I say that the time you spend writing these pages will be recovered tenfold in improved productiivity during the day.

If you don’t like the idea of stream of consciousness writing, try something more focused like writing about the kind of day you’d like to create.

Reference:

Cameron, Julia (2002) The Artist’s Way, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York, NY.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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January 08,2013
First Anniversary!

January 8th! This is the one year anniversary of my BLOG! A year ago today, I was inspired to start a BLOG, although I didn’t publish my first entry until January 11th. I didn’t really even know what a BLOG was at the time; it took me a few days to figure that out. This morning, I looked back to see how I introduced the BLOG, and I was a bit loose and vague about it, as I did not really know how it would unfold. I said the topic would be about Living a Creative Life, and I did not commit to write every day because I didn’t think that I would be able to. I am proud of myself for having written regularly over the last year on the planned topic and amazed that the first month there were fewer than 500 readers and that the hits steadily grew to over 21,000 a couple of months ago. It gave me the impetus to keep on writing because I could see that people were reading. However, really, we should be able to create whether anyone is reading or looking because it is about our own creative expression and not the ego. Still, it is gratifying when others appreciate our work. I always strive to touch the heart of another when I paint or write, so if that is what causes one to come back to my site to look at my art or read my BLOG, then all is good. So, thanks for reading my BLOG today on this first anniversary. Please come back again. I plan to continue BLOGGING.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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January 07,2013
Self Discipline and Planning

Many of us are not able to quit our day jobs to devote ourselves full time to our chosen creative expressions. However, we can still set aside time to make our art or do our creative activities. We can set aside an hour a day " perhaps by getting up an hour earlier or by staying up an hour later to paint, write, garden, sew, etc. Or, we can attend a weekend workshop or weekly night class to pursue our creative work. We can take some courses in anticipation and preparation of making a career change that more closely aligns with what we love to do. It takes some self-discipline and planning to achieve our creative goals.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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January 06,2013
Compassion or Complaint?

The other day, I was so irritated by someone else’s negativity and constant complaining that I found myself interrupting my own walk for relaxation by complaining about the complainer. How crazy is that? I realize that I was once in a space when I was unhappy and I saw the negative in things, too, and I am so grateful that I no longer feel that unhappiness and negativity on a regular basis. I am still negative sometimes, but it is not a way of life, and for that I am so grateful. So, instead of being angry at other complainers, I will try to feel compassion for their unhappiness and leave them to complain to someone else. It is not that I won’t listen compassionately and supportively to a friend’s troubles, but I will not become a prisoner to constant negativity and complaining.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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January 04,2013
Introvert or Extrovert?

For the last few days, I have struggled to write something for my BLOG. I have felt a little restless, a little negative. And, I do not want my BLOG to have a negative message, so I have remained quiet and tried to resolve my negativity. It has been a dilemma. On the one hand, there is that saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” On the other hand, there is plain old simple honesty…I felt negative.

Sometimes, our creativity is blocked for various reasons, and negativity can be one of those reasons. How do we get out of feeling negative? I am an introvert and I need time alone and time to reflect. Time to rest, read, meditate. If I don’t get that time, I start to get irritated by others and impatient. Yesterday morning, I ran into a friend who reminded me of my introvert personality, which was the first step in digging my way out of the negative state of mind. I spent the rest of the day alone reflecting and suddenly I felt better. If you are an introvert, you may need more quiet time for reflection to support your creativity. If you are an extrovert, you may need more time mixing with people to restore your creative energy. Which are you?

© Carla Weaver 2013


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January 04,2013
How Do You Sound to the World?

Listen to yourself. How do you sound to others who hear you? Are you yelling at your children and pets? Are you nagging your spouse? Is this how you want others to see you? Are you aware that this is how you present yourself in the world? Or, do you speak with kindness, gentleness and love to your family, friends and pets? When we are unhappy or impatient within ourselves, we often express it unintentionally to those closest to us.

Do you nag? Why do people do that? Deriding another person to do things. Reminding constantly. Telling another what to do. It is arrogant, disrespectful and demoralizing. It is definitely not supportive or loving behavior and discourages creativity.

A respectful approach would be simply to directly ask the other person, “Will you take out the garbage?” and then wait for a response. Yes or No. If the answer is Yes, then know that it will be done, and if the answer is No, then find someone else to do it or do it yourself. Constant nagging is demeaning … it is an assumption that another does not know how or won’t remember to take care of their responsibilities.

What response can one give when being nagged? “I said I would do it,” or “I don’t need to be reminded. I agreed to do it.” Or, to constant reminders about what’s not the other person’s business… “Thanks for your concern, but I am able to manage my own affairs.”

How do you sound to the world? Are you satisfied with this image, or can you change it?

© Carla Weaver 2013


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January 04,2013
Reconnect When You Are Discouraged

There is no question that many of us become discouraged from time to time and it affects our ability to create new work or complete work projects already started. We may have burned ourselves out or found that our work was not well-received. We may be bored with our current projects or the media in which we work.

Whatever the cause of our discouragement, we must know that the Universe supports our creative endeavors. Pause and reconnect with your intuition or the universal flow. Ask for guidance or inspiration and support. Then, continue to work knowing that the rewards will follow. Rewards come in many forms " self-satisfaction, feelings of accomplishment, meeting new people, making new connections, finding new inspiration, recognition by peers or others, or monetary rewards. Rewards often come from unexpected sources or through different channels than before.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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