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Blooming Blog

Layer Your Transformation

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. ~Vincent van Gogh

As we begin the New Year, many people may have already dropped their “resolutions” by the wayside however Van Gogh captures the essence of change in this revealing quote. It is not the rapid change that creates lasting results, but rather the adding of one small change on top of the next. By changing a number of small things over time, you are more likely to maintain the changes.

Lasting change is created by layering behavioral, intellectual, and emotional changes. This triad strengthens the change and helps you incorporate it across many areas of your daily life. The phrase “intellectualization” or “rationalization” as one of his defense mechanisms. Although much of Freud’s theory may be out of vogue today, his descriptions of defense mechanisms still ring true.

So if you have “rung in the New Year” with the intent of change by only using your intellect, you are more likely to fail than to succeed – and that may have already happened in these first few weeks of the New Year. If we were able to make lasting changes by only thinking about them or developing insight (understanding) into the “why” of our behaviors, everyone would be able to make lasting changes quite easily. But that is not the case.

To be successful, we also need to address feelings, beliefs, and behavior. Logging is an example of a tool that can be used to facilitate change. It is a simple mechanism of writing down observations about the behavior you want to change. Many studies show the positive impact of change that come from simply writing things down. The mechanism of that change is in its ability to foster transformation across all three areas.

Build up change by addressing small changes and redefining your view of success. Success is built on the foundation of layers and layers of small changes.
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Creativity: Getting Started

"Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity."
— Chuck Jones
Warner Brothers animator

As this week’s quote suggests, discomfort is often part of the creative process. Not only do we have to give ourselves permission to create, but we have to be ready for the uncertainty that accompanies the process. Part of being creative includes not knowing exactly what comes next.
For many in our culture, particularly as women who maintain order and structure in family schedules, this uncertainty is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Learning how to move forward without knowing what comes next can be an important life skill as well as an important factor in allowing yourself to be creative.

Think about the last time you felt anxious, nervous, or uncomfortable…what did you do? If you are like most people, you probably tried to move away from those feelings as quickly as possible! Being able to “sit with” those feelings, however, allows you to move forward in new ways. Responding quickly to get rid of uncomfortable feelings actually limits the options available to you and reinforces old habits. Old habits often move us toward the known rather than the unknown. If you are at a point in your life when you are ready to explore new paths, thinking of these feelings as excitement about the changes may help you continue to move forward. Re-framing how you label your experiences as “good” or “bad” can give you greater potential to try new activities.

Try starting your creative process by thinking about what excites you. Make a list and figure out your best starting point. Possibilities include beginning with what requires the least amount of effort or if you thrive on challenges, try the opposite end which may include signing up for classes or working with a buddy to help you continue moving forward. Get excited and get started!
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