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Blooming Blog

Everyday Creativity

Creative expression is the song of your Soul. ~ Deanna Pledge

Creativity does make the Soul sing. It is absolutely one of the most joyful ways to bring satisfaction and connection into your daily life. I’m sure you have heard me suggest (perhaps more than you would like to hear ;-) that creativity is not just the realm of artists, poets, and musicians. Even though I have provided general suggestions, I wanted to share a personal example today in the hopes of making creativity far more accessible, and give you a concrete strategy to get started.  Read More 
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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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Epiphanies

Epiphany probably has a million definitions. It’s the occurrence when the mind, the body, the heart, and the soul focus together and see an old thing in a new way.
~ Maya Angelou

The holidays often seem to precipitate the revelation of epiphanies - changes that allow us to see ourselves and others in a different light. Perhaps it is because many people seem to be more “open” around the holidays.

Feeling a greater connection to others often results in being more understanding, more empathic, and more generous. Try being generous with yourself this holiday season and see what differences you may notice. Not more generous in terms of material gifts, although that is often tempting when shopping for others, but in terms of a generous spirit toward yourself.

Allow a sense of wonder at this special time of year in yourself, your potential, and your future. An optimistic outlook and a sense of freedom can ensue from a change in perspective. Enjoy the magic of the season with the fresh wonder of a child and an epiphany may change your life.
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Daydreams to Reality

Nothing is impossible - the word itself says 'I'm possible'! ~Audrey Hepburn

Can you feel the joy from this quote? It exudes energy and uplifts the reader by thinking about the possibilities in life.

Looking at the possibilities in your life has been the focus in our last few blogs and I want to continue that trend today. Allowing yourself to think about the possibilities is akin to the daydreams of a child.

As we have discussed the last few weeks, imagination helps bring our dreams to the light of day. Imagination precedes reality, but of course, we have to believe first.

Explore the obstacles to your own beliefs in the possibilities for yourself. Typical roadblocks include not having enough time, not having a clear direction, or other obligations to your job, friends, or family.

Let yourself believe in the possibilities and you can realize your dreams. Write down what you what for yourself. This small task can help manifest dreams and change behavior.

You may remember the example of “logging” to facilitate behavioral change we talked about a few weeks ago. Most people’s behavior begins to change as soon as they write down observations about that very behavior.

Writing things down helps to focus your attention on what you want to achieve, which is an important key in beginning to make changes. Increase your awareness and give yourself permission to make the impossible possible by writing down your dreams!

As we begin the holiday season, I love thinking about the possibilities in life. The energy and openness to the needs of others and the possibilities in life become more real at this time of year because people become more open to hope than at other times of the year. Get involved in making dreams come true – whether yours or others.

Make possibilities come alive within yourself and feel the joy in connecting with your creative spirit and making your dreams a reality!
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Imagination, Knowledge, and Anxiety

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
~Albert Einstein

Last post we talked about the importance of imagination in manifesting your dreams. If you can’t dream it, you can’t make it happen. This week, I want to talk about following up with knowledge. Many people get stuck in the creative process when they don’t know how to proceed with the next step. Almost every community has adult education classes offered at various times throughout the year. You might even arrange an apprenticeship with a local artist or businesswoman to help you increase your knowledge. Then there’s always the local library – a storehouse of how-to books and instruction.

Imagination may be more important than knowledge, but you can’t make your dreams happen if you don’t know how to craft the details. Even though it can take more time initially to learn a skill, once you have mastered it through repeated practice, you can produce items more quickly. Anxiety has an interesting relationship with the level of skill you have developed as well. When you are first learning a skill, your level of anxiety is probably higher than when you have developed a sense of confidence in your ability to play the piano or pitch a good curve ball. Don’t let that level of high anxiety prevent you from manifesting your dreams.

Push through the initial uncertainty and you will find that that same anxiety will help you perform better after you have developed your skills. There is an inverse relationship between anxiety and skill level. Initially, your anxiety is high while skill level is lower and later the anxiety is lower when you are more proficient. Like most things in life, it is a process. Even though Einstein suggested that imagination is more important than knowledge, there is a close relationship between the two in your own creative process. Balancing that tension is critical to your ability to create.

Enjoy!

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The Power of Imagination

Imagination is the preview of life’s coming attractions.
~Albert Einstein

Einstein has captured the essence of visualization in this brief quote. I love the exuberance and joy expressed in this simple statement, because it is so true for all of us. It reminds me of the unlimited imagination we see in many children.  Read More 
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Manifest Your Dreams

You cannot see anything that you do not first contemplate as a reality. ~ Ramtha

Last week I challenged you to begin shifting your mindset. No, I didn’t use that word, but re-focusing your perspective shares many characteristics. Another term psychologists use for changing how you think about things is “reframe." If we  Read More 
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Transcending Place

When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves. ~ Viktor E. Frankl

Although the power of place and the situations in which we find ourselves are important factors in our mood, our creativity, and even our lives, none of these has to be the over-arching influence on how our lives are lived. As Frankl notes, sometimes we are challenged to make changes in ourselves.  Read More 
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Be Yourself!

The function of education is to help you from childhood not to imitate anybody, but be yourself all the time.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti

Being ourselves as children may not have required as much effort as it can take in adulthood. Connecting with your own authentic self can spark creativity and joy, not only a better quality of life, but also a greater sense of satisfaction. . Read More 
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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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