March 31,2013
Seekers

Every so often, I am blown away by the synchronicity of a situation or by a profound experience. I know that some would say that coincidences happen and that it is nothing more than a meaningless coincidence, but I believe the opposite. I believe that coincidences are always meaningful and that they are not chance happenings. The universe is a complex system alive with vibrating particles. I believe in free will and infinite possibilities; I believe that thought and God and spirit and the power of Love and angels cause things to flow synchronicitously. People are bought together to accomplish or learn things or bring about change. Sometimes, a team of people comes together in a specific time to effect change or bring attention to a cause or issue, or to further human knowledge or experience. How do these situations occur? Through the power of thought, the law of attraction, the Power of God, the assistance of angels, the flow of the Universe, quantum physics… We don't have all the answers, or we would all be flowing joyously along on a synchronicitous path toward our dreams. But to seek the way and try to align ourselves with that flow leads us to creativity, harmony, joy, peace and love.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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March 30,2013
Commit to Creativity

Creativity requires some commitment. Whatever the project … a book, a cabinet, a renovation, a garden, a relationship, a piece of embroidery … one must commit to it wholeheartedly. One must put in the required effort to complete the project. For example, I am planning to teach a series of workshops on creativity starting next week. A potential participant said to me, "10 to 4 is too long for me," to which a friend said, "Oh, you don't have to stay all day." I disagree. If one wants to be creative, they must want it and commit to it. Someone who decides not to attend the full workshop before it even starts is not committed. Similarly, the person who wants "a deal" on the price is not committed. Those people will bring the wrong energy to the workshop. It is like saying before you start to write your book or renovate your home that you don't have to complete the job, or that you can do it with shoddy materials or cut corners to save a few dollars. These are two ways that we sabotage our creative projects and how painters end up with a studio full of unfinished paintings and how carpenters can go broke if they cut corners or never complete a job.

I am not saying that we can't abandon a project that we think isn't working. And, I am not going to bolt the doors to my workshop and not let anyone out before we're done. It's okay to hire someone to edit the book we write or hire an agent to sell our paintings, or subcontract the renos to sub trades … but, what I am saying is that we must be committed to the project and have a positive outlook. We must start out with enthusiasm and the intent to finish the project successfully. If we start out without the commitment and intent to succeed, then why bother doing it at all, for surely this attitude will lead to failure.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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March 28,2013
What is Freedom?

What is Freedom? It is a gift that is given to all of us from God – the choice of free will – to make our own decisions and choices. When we can exercise our power of free will, we feel free.

Sometimes, that freedom is taken from us – by governments, conquerors, abusers and bullies, or strong controlling personalities. We can set boundaries and use our free will in some situations; in other situations, we have less power to do so. But, we always hear of stories where the human spirit cannot be broken and is able to exercise freedom despite extreme adversity. Take, for example, the case of Messiaen, a man in a concentration camp during World War II, who was able to compose a symphony, "Quartet for the end of time," while living in such abhorrent conditions. Or, think of the movie, Papillon, about a prisoner who was able to grow and tend a garden despite being imprisoned.

Creating Our Own Choices
"As we grow in spirituality and learn to trust our unique inner voice, we become open to envisioning more choices available to us. By letting go of limiting beliefs and discouraging attitudes, we encourage creative thinking. We expand our awareness to more and more possibilities. We learn to trust in a capacity that is greater than our current reality (Coons, 2000, p.87)."

"For some artists, creating choices becomes a way of expressing ourselves. We may be around others with limited concepts of reality. They may have a need for us to fit their expectations of who we should be or what or how our art should be expressed. We can learn to set creative boundaries that respect both who we are and respect others' boundaries as well (Coons, 2000, p.87)."

"We can open ourselves to fresh awareness, new variations of old or traditional themes, inventive applications of ideas as we feel them, and openly combining our choices to best express ourselves healthfully (Coons, 2000, p.87)."

Reference:

Coons, Linda (2000). The Artist's Soul: Daily Nourishment to Support Creative Growth, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York, NY.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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March 21,2013
Creative Process

I see my creative process evolving and progress is being made. I have taken some time away from my work to rest and have some fun, to complete some education, and to do some creative projects. I seemed to need to make rest and fun my priorities, and that's how I have spent three quarters of my time off. I have struggled with "not being productive," and some days, I have chastised myself for not painting, working, studying…

Yet, while I have been resting and having fun, I have also been percolating and planning my educational work, scheduling some paid work, teaching and writing. As my "retreat time" is coming to an end, I started to ask myself whether I had accomplished what I intended.

Well, most importantly, I am rested. I have eaten healthy foods and I have exercised every day. I have laughed every day … sometimes, until my sides hurt. I have treated myself to some massages, manicures and pedicures. I have planned a schedule of creativity workshops that start April 1, and are scheduled through to July. I am energized and excited about facilitating these workshops, and hope that some of the readers of my BLOG will be able to attend a workshop or group.

I have continued to write my BLOG during this time off, and have also written some papers – one to be presented at a conference next month with a colleague and others to form part of my PsyD course project.

I have been stimulated by attending a weekly arts group that I have been part of for almost twenty years. It is always good to spend time with other artists.

And, while I have been resting, having fun, planning work and spending time with friends and artists, I have been incubating some ideas for creative projects. While I thought that some of those creative projects might have been completed by now, I am reminded that things don't always happen in my time schedule and that I must flow with the Universe.

This has been my creative process for the last three and a half months. Upon looking back, rather than chastising myself further for not being productive, I am satisfied to see that I have been quite productive in a way that wasn't exactly how I planned it, but a better way, thanks to staying open to the universal flow.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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March 15,2013
Work and Play

Sometimes, it is overwhelming to keep up with all that we try to do in our lives. We have work, school, family responsibilities…. We may travel and have outside interests. We want to be creative. We may find ourselves juggling too many balls in the air with too many projects demanding our time, creativity and attention. This is one of my biggest challenges … too many ideas and not enough time to execute them all well. At a certain point, I burn myself out and can then accomplish nothing.

I have just taken almost 3 ½ months off. I feel guilty for not being productive in that time. Some inner drive tries to keep me going like the Energizer bunny … going, going, going…but we can't do that. We must have some balance in our lives and, whether it is keeping a schedule to take one or two days a week for rest and recreation, or ensuring that we take an hour a day to go for a walk and get in touch with the nature around us, or working flat out on a project for a few months and then having a few weeks off to rejuvenate … we must balance work and play. Even when we love our work, we still must have some play time, and we can't feel guilty about that play. It gives us time to rejuvenate and allows our ideas to percolate and take form. It is most likely after taking a break that we will be better able to approach our projects with renewed energy, enthusiasm and creativity.

Is our art work or play? That is another question. Some have a day job to support their art, so then when there is time away from the day job, the art becomes play. It can be frustrating to want to get to the creative work, such as painting and writing, when we have responsibilities associated with another job. We often learn that we must complete our work tasks before we are allowed to play, and this may interfere with creative time.

Consider whether your art is work or play. Make time for both.

© Carla Weaver 2013


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March 12,2013
Remembering Dad

March 12….a day to remember my Dad, who was born March 12, 1921 and passed over on March 12, 2002 on his 81st birthday. This is a day to honour him and to keep his contributions to life alive. He was a war hero in the Second World War. He was a good and loving son and brother to my grandparents and his sister. He was a loving husband to my Mom and a good father to my brother and me. He had many friends who loved him. He taught our family many things…honesty, loyalty, kindness, generosity and how to run a good business. He showed us the struggle of the disease of alcoholism, which made our family strong and compassionate.

Hope all is well on the other side, Dad.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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March 11,2013
Express Deeply

For those with a well-developed "sixth sense" or deep sensitivity, feelings can be intense and deeply felt. This is what helps us to be good artists … we feel deeply and can express what many may not be able to feel.

The difficult side of this ability to feel deeply is that the intensity of less pleasant emotions such as loneliness or sadness are also intense and deeply felt. It can be lonely to feel deeply and not be understood. Many people stuff their feelings and don't feel them at all; others feel them less intensely, but some have intense feelings or even a strong sense of empathy and can feel the feelings of those around them too, and it can be difficult to separate others' feelings from our own.

These deep intense feelings can often deter us from practicing our creativity, but we can use them as inspiration. For example, when we feel sad or lonely or separated from our Source, we can paint or write about that very feeling and express it deeply through our art. It requires us to stay in the feeling, as we express it, but often the output is meaningful and expressive. Take for example, the painting called "The Scream," by German Expressionist, Edvard Munch. This painting has become an iconic image for despair and angst because the artist was able to so aptly express his deep feelings.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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March 10,2013
Take A Creativity Inventory

Creativity can mean many things to different people, but to me, it is a lifestyle. I choose to live a creative life, which includes finding ways to live my unique life to support my creative inspirations. Sometimes, this is challenging because not all of our society is built to support creativity, independent thinking, or free spirits. But, that's okay. Part of living a creative life is finding a way to exist creatively by finding organizations and people and practices that support our creativity. We can create our own creative space in the world to honor our uniqueness. We can work for companies that honour and support creativity. We can choose friends and acquaintances who do not squash our creativity, and we can arrange our homes and our personal routines to support our creative endeavors.

Sometimes, it is a good idea to take an inventory of the people, places and things in our lives with respect to how they support or distract from our creativity and then make adjustments. Perhaps we can reorganize our living space to make room for painting or meditation, or rearrange our schedule to make time. Perhaps we can set some boundaries with others so they don't interrupt our creativity. Perhaps we can approach our employer to help support our creativity better or find an organization that has a more compatible culture for creating.

Take a look at your life and consider where your creativity is supported and where it is not.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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March 09,2013
Using Tools to Stimulate Our Creativity

I start each day with quiet time alone except for my dog. I sit quietly with my coffee and journal, read, meditate, pray or write my goals and responsibilities (i.e. "to do" list) for the day. Sometimes, I spend 2 or 3 hours on these activities and I question whether I am wasting time that could be better spent getting the things done on the "to do" list. However, I know without doubt that when I take the time to center myself and focus on what's important, my days go much more smoothly. This quiet time helps me to re-evaluate and reflect on what's most important to me, to let go of distractions or upsets and to prioritize what needs to be done so that I stay focused on my goals, which mainly involve staying connected to the sources of my creativity and helping myself on the path toward my highest good.

Meditation, prayer, journaling, reflecting…these are all tools of the creative individual. Use them to get in touch with your creative self. Take some time each day to be quiet and get centered. Reflect on what it is you want to do and how you will do it, and then proceed.

© Carla Weaver


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March 08,2013
A Bridge to the Divine

"I am united with the source of all goodness, love and creativity.1" That is the affirmation connected to Archangel Metatron on the website www.angelsweek.com. Several months ago, a dear friend gave me some angel cards by Doreen Virtue 2. I consult the cards from time to time, and I am struck by how many times the cards for Archangel Metatron come up. According to the angelsweek.com website, Metatron "acts as the bridge between the Divine and mankind 1," and we can call upon him for guidance in all that we do. "At one level this means helping us find the balance between what we give out and what we keep for ourselves. This enables us to maintain well-defined boundaries and thus keep a clear sense of self, so neccssary if we are to succeed in fulfilling our potential within the world of form. 1"

Keeping a sense of self is indeed important for us as we practice our creativity, for if we are not focused and centered on who we are and what our goals are, then we become distracted from our creativity. We lose our direction and our connection to the Universe. I believe that we do our best work from the point of both its subject matter and the smoothness of the process when we are connected to the flow of the Universe. To remain connected, why not try invoking the help of Archangel Metatron? By doing some research, I found the following prayer to ask for Metatron's help:

"Archangel Metatron, wise counselor and genuine friend of humanity,
I speak to you now to forge a connection with you,
A connection I hope to make stronger with each passing day.
I hope to know you better.
I hope to open my eyes, ears, and heart to your knowledge and wisdom.
I hope, with your help, to become the person I am meant to be.
Please know that it is my sincere desire to be of service to God and humanity as I forge this connection,
And help me to understand how I may best serve God's plan.
Thank you and bless you. And so it is, amen.3"

References:

1. Angelsweek.com. (2013). http://www.angelsweek.com/archangel-metatron.htm), retrieved March 8, 2013.

2. Virtue, Doreen. (2004). Archangel Oracle Cards, Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad, CA.

3. Vanden Eynden, Rose. (2013). Who is Metatron? Beliefnet.com, (http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/Angels/2009/02/Metatron.aspx?p=3 ), retrieved March 8, 2013.

© Carla Weaver 2013.


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March 02,2013
What's Your Process?

Sometimes, it is overwhelming to be creative. When we start creating … projects, art, music, plays, gardens, relationships, children, homes, income, or all of the above … how do we get it all done? How do we maintain our focus to bring these creations to fruition?

Some of us try to multitask and work on many things at once. While this approach may work for some, for others it may have the effect of dividing our intention, distracting us, or interfering with being a clear channel to create.

Evaluate your process and consider whether working on many projects at once enhances or detracts from your creativity. How can you most effectively complete your creative projects? One at a time? Or, many at once?

© Carla Weaver 2013


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