Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

This month, my article focused on understanding what we want out of life and why we want it, so I thought I would share one of mine….

Several years ago I knew an important want in my life was to start painting again.  I wanted art, painting, creativity to once again become an integral part of my life.  How did that look?  At first my thoughts were to take classes, buy supplies, have a subject to paint, have a space in my home to paint with all materials at the ready

I knew what I wanted to create and the actions to make it happen.  The anchor to get me moving – was why.

For me the why is value of beauty, capturing nature, colors.  It is the need for expression of emotion and creativity.  It serves as a stress reliever for when in the flow I am calmer, more present, in another space entirely.

Do I paint every day?  No I don’t, but I have everything at the ready when inspiration or need for expression surfaces.

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One of my favorite things to do is capture nature in photographs.  It’s easier than ever with my iphone since I am never without a camera.  I wanted to share some of the photos I’ve taken recently in my yard and gardens/parks in my community:

Tree in Hemlock Bluffs, Cary

Strawberry picking in Apex

Rose from my garden

I am in awe of the colors, textures and shapes in nature.    When I see the incredible beauty, it often takes my breath away.    The beauty in nature inspires me to paint and create, it fills me up!

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Most of you know that I love painting – you may have seen some of them in the Journal of Possibility I created.

This creative journaling is something different for me.  You see, when I painted, I would always paint a picture, sometimes watercolor, sometimes acrylic.  I always wondered what to do with all of of the small paintings I made.  There are only so many I can put on the wall and I didn’t want to put them away, I like looking at them.

I had never experimented with creative journaling until a few months ago.  I started as a way to prompt me to write my thoughts and emotions, gain clarity about an issue, and a place to capture beautiful quotes or passages from books that move me.  Writing on white paper is not inspiring to me, so I began using watercolor to paint the pages of a blank journal I bought.   This brought the pages to life and made them inviting to write on.

I then started adding some of my paintings to the journal, adding more creative touches and backgrounds.  Now I am finding images from magazines that move me and adding them as a collage.

Having a journal (or now several) that I am working on inspires me to paint or create almost every day.  Here is a picture of my workspace.  I leave everything out or within arms reach.

How do you journal?

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One side of me that I am very passionate about is working with my hands.  There is something very zenlike about diving hands-first into a project that gets me dirty – and using different parts of my brain (and body) than I use in my work as a coach.

Home remodeling/organizing projects are what I love most.   You may have heard me talk about gardening and painting  (both artistically and the rooms in my home) but the past couple of weeks I finally learned how to use power tools!

My husband and I reorganized our garage and in doing so, I learned to use a miter saw, table saw and drill press.  All tools I have watched him use for years, but never tried.  I’ve always helped him with projects, but this time I took greater ownership of doing some of the pieces of the project myself – very empowering and fun!  I know have greater confidence in my abilities and can now tackle more projects on my own.

What have you always wanted to try?  Are you ready to dive in?

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My husband and I spent a tranquil and relaxing few days at this wonderful boathouse in Lake Norman.  The owners, Brenda and Rusty Covington have created a wonderful space for couples to experience peace and quiet – they even made us breakfast, brought right to our door!


For me, letting go of my need-to-do list is not easy.  But the moment I brought that float onto the lake, all of my to-do’s vanished from my thoughts. 

When not floating on the lake, we cooked some delicious dinners, explored a bit and I spent some time capturing the scenery with my watercolor pencils.

What a wonderful experience!

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To me, financial values means knowing my priorities, what matters most to me, what is worth it and what isn’t.  It also means making the most of what I already have. 

There is something about re-purposing, re-using, re-positioning what I already own into something different that really gives me a thrill.  Shopping at the thrift store is a similar thrill.  Though I am bringing something new into my space, the item is recycled which to me adds something special to its meaning, like a treasure.

Seeing such disparate items piled together on racks and shelves opens up my creative spirit.  You really have to look, touch and ponder when items are juxtaposed this way.  It brings a sense of presence to my shopping experience….and matches my other values of beauty and creativity.

What are your financial values?

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I love watching HGTV, especially the programs that showcase homes being decorated/fixed up for little money.  One curiosity I have every time I watch one of these programs is how often the homeowners say after all the work is done “wow, that was easier than I thought it would be, why didn’t we do this sooner”? 

Some of these families have been living in their home for years but “lived with” their space “as is” rather than creating a best fit for them.  Maybe they thought it would take too much time or too much money – but when all is said and done, they see what a small investment of each could have brought them.

Yes, being a TV show they have others designing, planning and doing much of the work, but that kind of support can be hired, bartered or found from some of our current network of friends and family.  All we need to do is ask, seek and commit.

So, this week take a look at your home, your career, your life and ask yourself this question:

What would I most like to see change? 

Then ask – Who in my life can help me to change it?

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In my work with clients, and my workbook, these 5 steps come up all the time.  The steps are not always linear, but they all are necessary as you reach for possibilities and tap into your potential.  Here I will share each and how it has shown up in my own growth:

1 – Gain Awareness

Awareness comes up over and over again as I move through the growth of my business.  It means paying attention to what works and what doesn’t, allowing me to make slight shifts along the way.  Awareness keeps my life in balance.

2 – Clarify Your Direction

When we made our move to NC from NY, we had to know what we were looking for to help us decide where we wanted to move.  We clarified our needs and wants; and what we wanted our new community to feel like, look like and be like.  We sure found it!

3 – Get Unstuck

Whenever I feel stuck in my business, I immediately call upon one of my mastermind partners.  They are always ready with new ideas, new strategies and new challenges.  Often I choose one idea that makes me feel slightly (or more than slightly) uncomfortable so I know I am truly growing by choosing it.

4 – Get Started

To start painting again after an almost 20 year hiatus, I attended a one day class that had me painting for several hours.  This one day got me started, and over the “someday I’ll pick it back up again” thought.

5 – Make a Commitment

This is the greater challenge I have experienced with my painting, commiting to a regular practice.  What helps me?  I converted my spare bedroom into a “studio” with space to paint and I create projects to get me painting.

Take a look at your own life and your own growth and see where/how these steps have shown up.  I would love for you to share your experiences!

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You have heard me talk of using what I have to create delicious meals and decorate my home – now it has stretched to the garden!  My husband and I transplanted some perennials around the garden, shifting them from one place to another, taking advantage of what worked best for our plants and our space.   These shifts breathed new life into our deck and porch (where we moved the plants to) and created breathing space where we moved the plants from (they were overcrowding each other).

This made me think about other areas of our life where we could shift what’s already here to achieve greater balance that suits our lives best.  To trim where there is too much (clutter, time spent, overwhelm) and shift to areas where more is needed (resources, energy, time). 

It’s very freeing to know that we don’t always have to add or discard – sometimes small shifts creates a freshness and beauty that fills our needs.  Shifting is also available to us right now, every day.

What shifts can you make in your life?

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The other day I attended a Garden Power party.  What was it?  A gathering of friends to help plant a new garden for Ira Thompson at her house in Cary.  Ira considers herself an “indoor person” but she loves to look at the beauty of nature.  So she knew that to have a beautiful garden she would need to enlist the help of others – and she did just that!

Ira offered what she is known for – amazing food and fun!  She created a spread of breakfast and lunch goodies to feed those who attended and asked that each friend just bring a pair of gardening gloves and be ready to get dirty.  One friend is a landscape designer, Mary Liljequist of Earthly Delights Landscape Design in Raleigh.  She supplied the design and layout for Ira’s garden – lots of beauty and low maintenance for this “indoor girl” and everyone knew just what to do when they arrived. 

What a great time we had, being in nature, helping a good friend, reconnecting with some and making wonderful new connections with all who were there!  Asking for help is something many of us shy away from, but it is something we all need to do more often!

What are you ready to ask for help with?

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