brain energy, kick ass, Observations, Uncategorized

The Oneness of Creativity

Settle in and pour a glass. I got wordy on this one…

I am at a point in my life where I am really diving into all aspects of my creativity. I’ve dabbled. Now I’m diving. I feel sorta like the young 20-something in art school, trying all the things until my voice, my particular style and my methods come together to form my own brand of creative expression. Except I’m a 40-something and I’m piecing my “art school” education together via online classes, books, observation and life experience. Why didn’t I do this when I was actually in my twenties? Hell, why does anybody wait or hold back? I had my reasons and they made me who I am. So I can handle starting brand new things even while “the voices” whisper awful things like it’s too late for me. I know enough now to call bullshit on “the voices”. Continue reading

brain energy, FTW, kick ass

Blocks – Play with ‘em

I’m a Jonathan Fields groupie and I love everything the man produces, says, teaches… If he wasn’t married, I’d stalk him. I listened to his interview with Milton Glaser twice because I was so fascinated by what Glaser had to say and it seemed that Jonathan was very open in the interview and, sweetly, a little star struck.

Glaser’s comments about a couple of New York’s great educational institutions got me thinking about what I suspect goes on in these places of higher learning (although Milton was speaking of specific high schools). I say “suspect” because my own experience with school was very brief. A few semesters at a community college in Virginia was enough to show me that computer science was a major most likely to make me psychotic as opposed to gainfully employed. Writing, I’m good with. Writing code… fuck that. As much as I hated the programing classes, I loved being in school because I love learning. Still do. I left college without a degree but I learned how to learn; how to teach myself. So I feel like I got my money’s worth and then some by about a million fold. I’ve never run across another major that inspired me enough to return to university (no, I’m not European I just like how they phrase it better so I’m adopting my imaginary mother country). That being said, art school of whatever type or some sort of degree where they churn you out a better writer has always been a temptation. Not because I wanted the piece of paper but because I “suspect” that these programs present their students with blocks of time that they must dedicate to their specific projects or honing their particular craft. They might not have been projects that students would have chosen on their own but completion was a requirement. And in that requirement, an extremely valuable lesson would have been learned and that is how to apply direction to inspiration.

A blog post authored by Danielle LaPorte, another teacher high on my love list, about her most effective time management strategy reminded me that these blocks of time I believe to be so valuable can be had without shelling out thousands going to university. (See how that just rolled off my tongue? I’ll have dual citizenship before I finish writing this!) Go read it when you’re done here; It’s good stuff!

I can create my own blocks of time. And so can you.

Purposefully decide when a block of time to do work is going to happen and map out a plan for the work that will be worked on. Show up and do the work.

And look, I know there will be some voices in your head that start chiming in with whatever bullshit story that will make you stop doing your work. Or worse, keep you from starting it. Those voices… they are actually trying to protect you in a weird, fucked up way because they don’t understand what a badass you were put on this terra firma to be. Thank them and send them away to fuck with your crazy neighbor down the street. (Not really – I just wrote that because it made me laugh. Do not send voices or anything else to fuck with your crazy neighbor down the street. Send the crazy neighbor love. Energetically. Do not engage with the crazy neighbor. Because they are… well… crazy!)

Sorry, I got a little distracted. Sometimes I’m the crazy neighbor down the street.

Blocks of time… create them. Work them. Enjoy!

brain energy, FTW, Observations, personal

Asheville for Dinner – Why not?

I went to Asheville last week to meet up with Kate McKinnon and the group of folks participating in the “Capture The Moment” workshop she co-hosted with Andrew Thornton. I wasn’t an attendee – just visiting and while I didn’t spend that much time (sadly!) talking to Kate directly, she’s such a dynamic soul that time spent in her air space is always an EXPERIENCE since one of her major talents is assembling interesting people who will ping off each other in wonderful ways. Plus she is so damn cool.

Another excuse for the trip was to meet IRL (in real life) some of the folks I chat with regularly on facebook. Ken Thomas was just such a person and I suspect we hit if off as we were soon chatting it up like old chums. When these IRL meetings happen, there is always the inevitable comparison with the person you created in your mind versus the real human being. Ken suggested that personalities were amplified on the internet and he added that I seemed to be particularly chipper. And I am. In person or otherwise. I told him that it was the result of hard won happiness.

In a flash, I was back home to attend our local, 2nd annual Muse Fest hosted by a couple of my favorite people, Tamara and Zan of the (not yet famous but soon will be) Social Design House and Gallery Up.

One of the attractions was the performance of Tennessee William’s one-act plays “Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen” during which the actress lamented her desire to simply fade away into nothingness, while listening to the rain, rain, rain…

As I stood and listened, I began to think I didn’t like the piece. The actors were very good and a better performance could not be asked of them. Of course, the writing was good. As it continued, I was struck with the realization that it wasn’t dislike that I was feeling so much as a refusal to relate to the words, as if they might transport me back in time to a part of my life when fading away would have been a most welcome option for me to choose.

The moment was an inspirited reminder of how far I have come. Of how we all have our dark times to get through. With that epiphany along with the warm, fuzzy feeling of COnNEcTiON that comes with full-on-present-moment-awareness, I was able to appreciate the talent I was experiencing and the evening segued into a fabulous weekend filled with more friends and more laughter.

So yeah, I think “chipper” pretty much nails it. Bonus: I learned what FTW means!

brain energy

Health insurance should work this way.

My beloved Saab got smacked at the Y parking lot on the evening of my birthday (my birthday, of all days!). Somebody wasn’t paying attention and backed right into the front left panel. I dreaded having to deal with the insurance company because I assumed they would give me the run around about the claim but what actually happened blew me away. First I called my company and gave them the 411. They contacted the driver’s insurance company and soon I had a list of shops who could get my Saab pretty again. I took it in, got a rental for the duration (a Camero! which was fun but awful – another post) and the customer service from everyone was phenomenal. What could have been a real pain in the ass was actually made very pleasant and the experience got me thinking.
I keep full coverage insurance on my Saab. It costs me very little because I have taken personal responsibility for every aspect of driving a car. I chose one that had excellent safety ratings. I drive well and have never been involved in any kind of accident, my fault or otherwise save the deal in the Y parking lot. I don’t get tickets. I use my bike as often as I can so I don’t put a lot of miles on my car. I don’t know what the other driver pays for her insurance but regardless, the policy did what it was supposed to do and I didn’t have to call 5 dozen people to make it happen.
I want my health insurance company to behave the same way. I’ll do my part. I eat healthfully. I exercise regularly. I don’t smoke and aside from an occasional glass of wine or beer, I don’t drink. I take very good care of myself. Therefore, I want my premium to be reflective of the choices I have made and I want the insurance to be there should I need it. Simple, right?
Wrong. It isn’t that simple but it should be. And I’m spending to brain energy trying to come up with solutions. Crazy as this sounds, I am inspired by my car… getting smacked.