Creativity During COVID-19 Part II: The Need For Creative Contributions

Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

The first blog I wrote on this website on April 18 of this year, Creativity During COVID-19, was also the first blog I’d ever written. I’ve had a great time these past three months, writing, exploring myself, and interacting and engaging with totally new people.

All super cool and amazing people. All of you are. Fun.

I wasn’t even thinking about writing a part 2 to that initial post, until I came across the picture above. I had also, however, recently been thinking and reflecting upon the state of the COVID-19 virus across the country, and the tremendously scary impact it is having on people, business, well, on everything and everyone.

Photo by Shawn Ang on Unsplash

It also got me thinking about how the country, and greater world, will need everyone, really, everyone to step up by contributing their creative potential to their communities, states, and countries. Really. Why?

Because we’ve not yet nearly seen the end of the virus’s impact, which is going to last well into the future.

And, it will take all of us, each of us contributing what we can. Contributing our passion, expertise, and especially our creativity and love to developing new ways to live and work. New ways to be.

As I’ve written about in other posts, we are all creative. All of us. Creativity is where we find our highest potential, our highest power.

Creating ourselves each day, creating relationships again and again, creating business models, financial models, education models, healthcare models, and governmental models.

The list is endless of what will need to be created and recreated.

We will need to recreate all that we previously knew; and create whole new ways to move us forward. Individually and collectively. Yep, both.

What to do?

If you are already creating and contributing, wonderful. If not, join the fray. Start creating. Today. Right now. Create what is inside of you, your unique contribution.

You are one of a kind. No one else can contribute just like you. No one. Not possible. Your creativity and passion is one of a kind. And, the world needs it. We all need it.

I’m inviting each of you to step outside of your comfort zone, and contribute as you are able. Contribute locally, create something that’s never been seen before. Create it. Recreate something that once worked well in our previous reality, which doesn’t work today. Recreate it.

If you think you can’t, don’t know how, or aren’t talented enough.

Let me be the first person to tell you, that you can, you can learn how, and you are more than talented enough. You are all of those things, and so much more.

Be well. Create well.

#collectivecontributions, #covid-19, #creatingcommunity, #creatinggovernment, #creatingstates, #creativity, #indivudalcontributions, #recreatingcommunity, #recreatinggovernment, #recreatingstates, #youareoneofakind, #youruniquecontribution

An Insight, an Inspiration, and A Quote: On Creativity and Vision 6/16/2020

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

There was a time when I thought about creativity within a very limited framework. A framework that associated creativity mostly with art. However, what I know to be true today is that creativity is an unlimited framework. There are no limits.

Within this unlimited framework, here is an insight, an inspiration, and a quote.

Insight

You are it. Look for the answers you are seeking within yourself. They do not reside outside of yourself. They are within you. Have been, are, and always will be.

Create the life you want to live into. Create the future from the future. Always look within, then look forward. Make connections between that which you know to be true, and the future state you are creating.

A vision, your vision. You are the creator of that vision. Live it today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life.

Photo by Rahul Bhosale on Unsplash

Inspiration

Visionaries don’t wait for someone to hand them a guide to life. They create it everyday. One step, once action at a time. Each day, every day.

And, guess what, you are a visionary. We all are. We just need to get out of our own way. How do you know when you are in your own way?

When you deeply want to do something, try something new – you know, that funny feeling you get in your tummy when you get excited or nervous.

Well, when we feel that, and know also that we are inhibiting our own creativity because we are concerned about what someone might think or say, we are in our own way. In that moment. And, when it passes, and we don’t act, we can also feel upset, yes, and also disempowered.

Disempowerment does not feed creating your vision, and living into it. Empowerment does. Yep. If you are feeling disempowered, don’t fear, you can also move yourself out of disempowerment and into empowerment. You can.

Here are some visionary women for you to draw upon. Creating visions, living into them, and changing the world.

A Quote

And, here are a couple quotes from that article, though, they are all awesome. Check them all out.

“What everyone in the astronaut corps shares in common is not gender or ethnic background, but motivation, perseverance, and desire — the desire to participate in a voyage of discovery.” — Ellen Ochoa

“Permanent remorse about failing to do your human duty, in my opinion, can be worse than losing your life.” — Miep Gies

“Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is the most important.” — Junko Tabei

“I don’t go by the rule book… I lead from the heart, not the head.” — Diana, Princess of Wales

“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.” -Harriet Beecher Stowe

Take action today, create your vision, live into it, and change the world. You are capable of it, and can do it.

#changetheworld, #createyourlife, #createyourvision, #creativity, #empowerment, #insight, #inspiration, #livingafulllife, #takingaction, #takingastand, #vision

The Blog + Video Series #5: Writing from the Head and the Heart

July 12, 2020

There is a difference for me in thinking about something and actually doing that something. I’ve been thinking about writing my whole life, and have only actually written during a very short period of it.

A couple of years ago I read the book by Stephen King, called On Writing. A great book, by the way. In that book King asks you to practice writing by imagining a situation taking place in a house, and you have to write the character, yourself I think, out of that situation. Out of the house.

I did that, and have started several other stories, including the one on this site, yet have, to date, finished none. So far.

Yes, I wrote in college, and even completed a thesis. Yet, that is not the kind of writing I’m talking about. Writing a thesis or a dissertation is about thinking. I’m talking about the kind of writing that comes from the heart.

Photo by Daan Stevens on Unsplash

The kind of writing that moves, touches, and inspires people. Maybe even puts people into action in their life.

Now, I am not insinuating that the book I am now working on will do that. Yet, in the book I am now working on I get to write from both the head and the heart, which is also distinct.

The difference, for me at least, is that I get to let go of the way I normally think, and get in touch with a totally different aspect of myself. Maybe this is a normal experience for those that write often. I would not know. It is, however, an experience that I like quite a bit.

As for writing, I don’t think I like it all that much. Especially the editing process. Difficult. Yet, there is a very real release in writing, which is quite intoxicating. And, it does provide that outlet for the release of ideas, which I do have many.

Photo by Juan Marin on Unsplash

For me the distinction on writing from the head and the heart is where you create from – are you creating from that thinking part of yourself, where you are analyzing every aspect of the paper or book to ensure it is reliable and valid.

Or, are you writing to write. Writing from the heart, which only really requires that you can stick with it until you have all of the ideas out of you.

Both forms of writing serve a purpose. Both are needed. For me, I have just realized in the last couple of years, that while I do enjoy reading both kinds of books, from the head and the heart,

I enjoy writing from the heart much more.

#creativity, #ideas, #inspiration, #intelligenceversusheart, #onwriting, #passion, #writing, #writingfromtheheadandheart

An Inquiry and Invitation Series 1: Imagination, Innovation, and Sociology?

Photo by Alejandro Benėt on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about how the imagination works? I’ve not considered it overmuch, yet have been considering it more recently.

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world is working to conceptualize new businesses, lifestyles, relationships, organizational structures, and staffing models.

There really is no safe haven from the need to innovate continuously right now. If you find yourself in a situation where creating new ways to conceptualize the aforementioned is unnecessary, I believe you are in the minority.

If you find yourself in the situation, like many, where the need to continuously innovate is your ever present reality. Breathe.

I’m thinking that a cursory look at imagination and innovation within a sociological context is an important inquiry. And, I think this inquiry is more important today than ever before. Why?

Because innovation is hard work. You can find yourself, as happens to me often, feeling frayed around the edges, and very tired. Yet, you must continue to persist.

Why? Because persistence inside of innovation is necessary and needed. The imagination, you ask? The imagination makes it all work.

Alright, so what does sociology have to do with the imagination?

As we’ve discussed in other posts, sociology is the study of group behavior. It is the study of how groups, and people within those groups, understand their place in a social and or cultural context. How they move, or are limited in movement, how they adapt, change, grow, work, and live.

Inquiring into imagination and innovation from a sociological perspective means taking a look at how innovation and imagination works in groups. Here are a couple of questions to get our inquiry started?

  • How do groups use their collective potential to utilize imagination in unique and innovative ways?
  • What are some strategies people can use to get the most out of their own imagination; and, harness the groups they belong to, to create innovative possibilities?
  • What does sociology have to do with imagination and innovation?

Okay, let’s start with these, and see what we get.

How do groups use their collective potential to utilize imagination in unique and innovative ways?

Though I can only speak to groups I’ve been a part of, I believe they probably function quite similarly, with some variance in the amount of creative output dependent on the members of the group.

For instance, in my current workgroup, we went from somewhat creative, to more creative in about 2 years, to very creative in year 3, and now, hyper-creative. Why the latter? Necessity.

As I’ve mentioned, the current state of reality right now demands it. You must stay on top of innovation, and your own personal and professional imagination is the gateway.

Here are some ways groups use their collective potential to imagine and innovate.

  • Share ideas with each other, all of them – often people are shy or fearful about sharing their creative potential, their own imagination to innovate. Don’t be. Share, and create, it is an awesome process.
  • Take people’s ideas further – when you are working with someone on a project, and they have an idea, take it further if you can. Step outside of timidness, and give all of your imaginative power to the project. You will get more innovation this way.
  • Step into ideas that live at the edge of what’s possible – live in a limitless space when you are imagining and innovating. Stay away from limits. Putting limits on your imagination, limits the project’s possibility.
  • Continue to reflect – even when you are not directly working on the project, continue to reflect upon the last conversation. You may get more imaginative insights, which will make your project more innovative.

What are some strategies people can use to get the most out of their own imagination; and, harness the groups they belong to, to create innovative possibilities?

There are many strategies you can use to kickstart your imagination. And, there are also various strategies to keep your imagination moving. Meaning, strategies to keep you open to more possibilities in the realm of the project you are working on. Let’s take a look at some of these.

  • Just get those ideas out – any way you can, get your ideas out of yourself, and into the world, somewhere, anywhere. Where and how matters less, than simply getting them out. An aside – once my oldest son came into my office, which was plastered with very large whiteboard post-its, and both white board walls were also full. He felt a little uneasy. He is now at a local company doing a computer science internship, and just recently shared with me that he understands the process of pouring forth your imagination in a whole new light. Get your ideas out.
  • Invite others to give you their insights – when you have your ideas out, have other people give you their insights. I find collaboration inside of imagination and innovation highly productive. You will find that they will take some of your ideas further, and then, guess what? You will take their additions to your ideas even further. A wonderful gift.
  • Let the ideas sit for a little while – one strategy I employ everyday inside of using my imagination to innovate is to let the newest ideas sit. Then I take time to reflect upon the ideas to see what other insights I get. Fun. I always get more insight after the initial creative output and collaboration.
  • Create a plan – as I’ve written about in many other posts, in order for your imaginative output to actually create innovative results, you must create a plan to bring the ideas into the world. Create a 30-day, 60-day, or 90-day plan, step 1, 2, 3, etc., to bring the project into the world.
  • Take action – once you have your plan in place, take at least one action a day. In order for a plan to actual bring forth your ideas, you will have to create time to actually work on the project. Too often projects fail, even with great ideas, because the actions to bring the project to life are not followed through on.

There are five very pragmatic strategies that, when used on a daily basis, will bring your imaginative potential to bear, and create more innovation within whatever context you are wanting to develop new possibilities.

What does sociology have to do with imagination and innovation?

How important is it to understand well those people you are in a relationship with? Yep, very. It is equally important to understand the groups you belong to just as well.

You must understand who in the group is the most imaginative and innovative. Why? Because you will know where to go for collaborative insight into the projects you are working on. Important.

And, to understand groups, it is important to understand how groups work, how they function within the greater context that the group belongs to.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

For instance, if you are on a team within a larger organization, you need to know what are the limits on your creative possibilities. How is the group looked upon within the organization? Are they seen as an innovation center? Or, are they required to work within a more strict protocol?

After working on my current team, I can tell you that a mandate for any future endeavor will have to include the ability to imagine, innovate, and create. A must. A dealbreaker for me if it is missing.

However, if you are not thinking about these questions and concepts before taking on a new job, or project, and you are an imaginative and innovative person, you may get stuck in a situation that limits your potential. Not helpful, and can feel quite limiting and restricting.

I should add here that we are all imaginative and innovative. Sometimes that imagination and innovation gets covered up with concepts like adulthood and being grown up. Sad, and unnecessary.

The most productive and timeless contributions to history are made by those with no limits. Who take on their work and their projects with a sense of play.

Creating possibilities through their imagination and innovative ideas, while also bringing those around them into the conversation to take their playful ideas even further. Wonderful, exciting, and really being alive.

An Invitation

Alright, your turn. I know well that we all think differently, and use different strategies to imagine and innovate, so I would love to hear from you. And, here is a question you can play with, or feel free to create your own, which would be very much in line with this post.

What do you think about imagination and innovation, and their relation to sociology, and understanding well the groups we work with?

#creativity, #group-behavior, #imagination, #innovation, #innovative-possibilities, #innovative-strategies, #inquiry, #invitation, #play-at-work, #possibilities, #sociology, #work-as-play

3 Reasons Why Avoidance is an Ineffective Strategy

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Avoid much? We all do. However, some of us avoid more than others. Might that be you? It was me for a long time. Why do you imagine avoidance is an ineffective strategy? Not sure. Let’s take a look at three reasons why.

3 reasons why avoidance is an ineffective strategy

1. It is not healthy

When we avoid things, we are, in effect, continuing to hold those things within us. Continue to do that, and you will be carrying around a lot of unnecessary baggage. Tiring.

You would think that by avoiding things we are uncomfortable with, do not want to do, or face, that we are creating more space within us. However, that is not the way it works. It’s the idea of the situation we are faced with that will continue to haunt us. Especially, if we believe deep down that we should be doing that thing, or facing that situation.

Let me give you an example

For a long time, I did not pay attention to my calendar. Now, in the position I am currently in, that ineffective strategy will not work for long. At that time, I knew that I should be paying more attention to my calendar, working to schedule myself more effectively, however, I ignored it. Why?

I simply didn’t want to take the time needed to work through it. Simple. Instead, I avoided it at all costs. What happened? People began to ask why my calendar was such a mess. Nice. I love when those we trust inquire, and make us think. Helpful. As was digging into my calendar and making the necessary adjustments.

Before doing the work in my calendar, it bothered me every time I looked at it. However, by organizing and prioritizing my calendar, I traded a fixed amount of time to do the work, with a continuous mental distraction. More effective.

2. It keeps you stuck

When we spend our mental energy on avoiding things, we have less mental capacity to try and do new things. Essentially, we sacrifice some of our creative potential. How much is sacrificed? Depends on how much you avoid things. If you avoid often, then your creative potential will be severely impacted.

And, being stuck is no fun. Often, people are not even aware that they are stuck; nor do they recognize that they are avoiding things. The years I spent avoiding, I was aware of some of my avoidance, most I was not.

Here is another example

As I’ve written about in other posts, there was a time when I drank a lot. Too much. I knew that there was an issue, however, I made justifications and excuses for my behavior. Sort of a double burden. As my avoidance of the real issue, which at the time I was unaware of, was compounded by creating excuses and justifications. Exhausting. Really.

And, ultimately not helpful. Not physically, mentally, or spiritually. When living this way, you end up on the proverbial hamster wheel. Doing the same thing every day, knowing you are doing it, making excuses and justifications for doing so, all the while staying in place. No movement.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

3. You cannot grow

When we are avoiding, we are not moving; and, if we are not moving, we are not growing. Simple.

Growth is such an important part of the human experience. Some growth just comes our way. We didn’t invite it, yet it shows up on our doorstep. Some growth we actively seek out. We look for the opportunity. Either way, having experiences that help us grow is one of the most wonderful things about being human.

Yet, when we spend large amounts of time avoiding things, we are limiting our ability to grow. Why? Because, when we spend that much time avoiding things, we have no capacity to seek out growth opportunities. We are too busy. Too busy avoiding, and making excuses and justifications for why we are avoidant.

Final example

When I was working in the private sector, I took on a new assignment with a new sales team, and within 6-months, I was exhausted, and heavily avoidant. I went from a top-performing team, to a team that was in need of development. As was I.

Instead of welcoming the growth opportunity, however, I avoided it, and actually ended up leaving the company within another 3 months. Why? I was exhausted. That is true. Yet, why I was exhausted had less to do with the work, and more to do with my mental attitude.

I was avoiding the opportunity to grow, and making excuses and justifications for why it wasn’t working. Well, the only thing that wasn’t working was my thinking. And, that is okay. It is not a judgement. It happens to people all the time.

The point is to become aware of these types of opportunities. Being aware of how we avoid things creates the opportunity to better understand ourselves, and all of those around us. It also provides us the opportunity to grow, if we choose to engage with ourselves, inquire into our avoidance, and do something about it.

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

What can you do?

Here are three strategies I use to get out of my avoidance, and into action.

  1. Notice when you are avoiding something, and write it down – wiring it down creates more awareness about whatever it is that you are avoiding.
  2. Create time to reflect and contemplate – create the time necessary to better understand why you are avoiding the task or situation. Until you really know why, you will probably not move forward in that area of your life.
  3. Take an action – once you are clear on why you are avoiding something, take an action. Create a context to make some progress on the task or situation. It doesn’t mean that it will be complete, or solved, however, you will have moved forward.

When we are less avoidant, we have more time, more creative capacity, and more energy to do more things. Essentially, we can hold more. And, when we can hold more, and do more, we can be more.

Remember, we are all at times avoidant. Yet, if you find yourself more avoidant than you’d like to be, try some of the strategies outlined above, and get yourself moving again.

#avoidance, #becoming-unstuck, #creativity, #growth-and-development, #health, #mindfulness, #slef-development, #strategy, #taking-action, #well-being

Writing and Life Series #3: Writer’s Block and A Collaborative Invitation

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

I’m sure countless blog posts have been written about how to “deal” with writer’s block. Though I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, I have been writing for over 10 years.; meaning that I am interested in this topic, as it happens to me from time to time. Further, I’m interested in ideas you have, and strategies you use to become unblocked.

A couple questions to guide the conversation

  • When does writer’s block affect you most?
  • What happens when you are blocked?
  • How often do you have writer’s block?
  • What strategies do you use to unblock yourself?

Alright, so in this post then, I will address these questions from my standpoint, and then invite you to comment on your’s.

When does writer’s block affect you most?

Interestingly, I’m not sure there is a pattern I can discern about the timing of writer’s block for me. I know that there are times when writing is easy. When the words just flow through me and onto the page. I once thought that “being in the flow”, was a product of feeling more inspired about a piece. I’m not sure if that is actually the case. Why?

Because there are other times when I’m not necessarily feeling all that inspired by a piece, and the words are harder to come by, yet they do come. In time. Some of it, I think, has to do with being patient. With not forcing the writing, but letting it come in it’s time.

I cannot tell you how many times in the past 10 years I’ve left a particular piece, to only pick it back up again later, with a renewed interest and insight. Often. I think this actually happens more with blogging. I’ve got at least 4 or 5 pieces that are in my drafts at this moment. When will they get finished? Your guess is as good as mine. I guess when it’s time.

What happens when you are blocked?

I’ve addressed this a little, yet will expand a little more here. When I am feeling blocked, it’s as if I know what I want to write, yet the process is not really working for me at the moment. Sometimes, as aforementioned, for several moments, which can last days. Depends.

The piece I wrote on the sound of rainfall yesterday took several days to complete; and, when I look at it, I am confused as to why that is. It’s a very small piece, yet did take more time. Conversely, the piece I wrote, which I think was my longest post thus far, about the sociological imagination, though much longer, only took a couple of hours. The words just came.

There was a time when I would force the writing. This is not a strategy I recommend. The reason is simple. Because when you force writing, like anything, you are immediately in a space of frustration, and that will make its way into your writing. Not so helpful. Instead, what I typically do is back away from the keyboard, and just let the piece sit.

How often do you have writer’s block?

It happens a couple of times a month. I should also mention that I write everyday. So, there is that. How often you are blocked might be a product of how often you write. Not sure.

Sometimes I am so blocked about a particular topic that I just let it sit. I will go back to it occasionally, yet may or may not pick it up again. At this time, I have a couple different posts that are sitting in my drafts that I may or may not ever finish. Don’t know.

I do know that I believe that if they are meant to be finished, they will be. And, if not, they won’t be. And, at this point in my life, I am okay with that.

What strategies do you use to unblock yourself?

There are several strategies that I use to unblock myself. They all depend on the context. Here are a few with context.

  • I’m having a hard time even coming up with a new idea – when this happens to me, I go on a long walk. I usually walk every other day, so it may be an extra walk I put into my week, or the one that I am already planning to take. Either way, I think best when I am away from everyone and everything.
  • Write everything down – particularly when I am blocked, yet I do this all the time, when I have new ideas, I write them down. Anywhere, on anything. Sometimes, I put them on a post-it, sometimes on my whiteboard, and sometimes on my phone. Doesn’t matter, I make sure to capture them somewhere.
  • Go through my ideas – one of my favorite strategies to use when I am blocked is to go through the ideas I’ve been collecting. Sometimes that works, sometimes not. Depends. Either way, having ideas to draw upon is very helpful.
  • Take a day off – not a strategy that I employ often, yet have done so. Taking some time away from writing, like anything, can provide more clarity, and the space for new ideas to generate.

I’m sure there are other strategies I could capture here, however, the ones listed above are by far my favorites.

Now what?

Well, if you haven’t tried one of the strategies listed above, try one, try more than one. For me, it is about trying something. Making sure to take action to provide yourself the space to ponder and reflect. And, then to see what comes.

It is actually in times when I’ve been the most blocked that I’ve come up with some of my best ideas. Some have made their way to the page, some will at some point. When? Don’t know. And, for me, that’s some of the fun of writing. The expectation of the new idea, the process of getting that idea out, then onto the page. The fun in playing with the idea until there is a level of satisfaction, and it is ready to post. Fun.

Alright, now I would like to hear from you. I am inviting you to post to the four questions above, as I’ve done in this post. A collaboration of sorts. If we can get enough people to post, I will commit to collecting those ideas, and creating a new post with all of our ideas. That would be fun. And, that is an idea that just came to me now. Creativity. Love it.

#becoming-unblocked, #blogging, #collaboration, #creative-process, #creativity, #writers-block, #writing, #writing-process, #writing-strategy

Writing and Life Series #2: You Are The Hero of Your Story

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Photo by Luke Jones on Unsplash

I love hero stories. Though I did not read much as a child, and youth, I watched endless amounts of television series and movies; and, I was always drawn to stories where the hero found trouble, yet made it through and saved the day. Sound familiar? Yep, to me too. Why do you suppose we are so drawn to these stories? Not sure. Hm. Well, let’s take a look.

The Hero is Inspirational

The underdog, the downtrodden, the person in the story that seems least likely to win the day – then does. That is the hero, and they are inspirational. We like and want to be inspired. Who wouldn’t. It feels good to be inspired; to see someone that has everything to lose, and nothing at all to lose at the same time. Someone that couldn’t possibly defeat the odds, yet does, again, and again.

We are drawn to the hero because we can see ourselves in them. And, in fact, we are them. How is this so? Because we are all human, and these fictional characters are based on human emotions, needs, and desires. These stories, and the characters in them, resonate, because we see ourselves in all of them, including the villains. All of these characters resonate with us.

There are many aspects to being a human being, and those are the aspects that writers draw upon to create these characters. We are all of them. And, they are all of us. One.

We Are The Hero

If they are us, and we are them; and, if these characters are based on human emotions, needs, and desires, then we all have the potential to be heroes. The context differs, yet the pattern is the same.

“The usual hero adventure begins with someone from whom something has been taken, or who feels there is something lacking in the normal experience available or permitted to the members of society. The person then takes off on a series of adventures beyond the ordinary, either to recover what has been lost or to discover some life-giving elixir. It’s usually a cycle, a coming and a returning.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

Can you think of a time in your life where you were acting the hero? No? Yes? There are so many heroes in everyday life. And, it is not just those that are in professions that are associated with heroism. Everyday people can be, and are heroes.

Being a hero is not solely about defeating something evil, although that is also possible. In the most basic sense, it is about being confronted with a challenge, or set of challenges that you deeply want to run from, yet don’t. Instead, you dig in, and move forward – you engage, and you commit yourself to your inner hero. Can you think of an example? No? Sure you can.

Think about the times that you have

  • Taken on more than you can handle
  • Committed to doing something that was outside of your comfort zone
  • Helped someone in need
  • Taken care of someone
  • Explained something to someone that was unable to fully understand
  • Given of yourself, when you were already depleted
  • Been there to listen to someone

Now can you more clearly see your inner hero? Yes. Good. That hero has always been there, and will always be there. Does that mean that we are heroes everyday? Maybe, however, probably not. It does mean, however, that we have the capacity to draw upon that inner hero. This distinction is an important one, as we all fall into times when the last thing we feel like is a hero. What can we do in these times?

Draw on Your Inner Hero

When we don’t feel like heroes, what can we do? We can intentionally move ourselves out of the inner space we are currently navigating, and draw upon that inner hero? How?

Here are a couple ways you can do so

  • Get outside of your comfort zone – do something you’ve avoided doing, or something that you know is needed, and do it.
  • Create something new – there are so many ways to create, and, correspondingly, so many ways to connect those creations to service. Find a need, create, and serve.
  • Lend a hand – there are tons of people on this planet that need support, and someone to rely on. You can be that person for someone.

Being the hero you already are is all about living a life of intention, instead of one of reaction. When you live a life of intention, you are creating something; and, that something, whatever it is, comes from within you, and is needed in the world.

You are already a hero, always have been, always will be.

Draw upon that inner hero. Let them out. They are needed in the world. The world needs more heroes, and you draw upon that hero more often than you probably realize. How? Continually creating the hero, again, and again. Creating the context for the hero to arise.

As we’ve discussed that context can be something as simple as being there for someone in need. That seems simple, yet can be a life-changing event for the person on the receiving end of your heroic actions. Remember, you are already the hero of your story, so keep creating that possibility, and let that hero out!

Originally published on the4catalysts.com

#creativity, #hero, #hero-of-your-story, #inspiration, #jospeh-campbell, #the-hero-journey, #your-inner-hero, #your-story

Writing and Life Series #1: On Writing and Vulnerability

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is patrick-fore-0gkw_9fy0eq-unsplash-1.jpg
Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

I’m sharing with you today a post that I wrote on one of my other sites. I like this one quite a bit, and seeing as the topic is writing and vulnerability, I thought I’d be vulnerable once again, and share it here.

I received a comment on this post from someone that talked about just how vulernable you have to be to blog. If you take the time to read the post, which I invite you to, let me know your thoughts on vulnerability in general, and more specificalluy about how you feel about writing and vulnerability. Enjoy.

Writing and Life Series #1: On Writing and Vulnerability

In the past day or two, I’ve written a couple of posts on vulnerability. I am constantly amazed at the importance of recognizing and participating in our own vulnerability. It is in those spaces, where we find our most vulnerable selves that we also find wealth beyond measure. For me, it is not money, or prestige, I’m after, it’s creativity and innovation. And, to create and innovate, you must be vulnerable.

Here is me being vulnerable with you right now. Though I’ve never really liked to read poetry, I like to write it. Not often, just here and there. And, here is one, I’ll share with you now.

The seed looked up at the sky,

and the sky said,

sow.

I’ve never before showed this poem to anyone. Actually, I don’t think anyone knows that I like to write poetry. Vulnerable. Actually, this poem can be written another way, which I just thought of, so let’s put that one in too.

The seed looked up at the sky,

and the sky said,

sow?

Writing in itself is a rather vulnerable pursuit, like any other art form. This is why creativity and vulnerability are so closely related. In order to be creative, and to develop a creative outlet through any medium, one must be willing to be vulnerable.

What I’ve recognized these past two years is that when we are vulnerable, we get back so much more by doing things that we once might have declined to do, or resisted doing. A sense of accomplishment, yes, and a visceral understanding of what it is like to live through experience, rather than through thinking about experiencing something. Experience is everything. The ultimate knowing.

What can you do? You can be vulnerable. How, you ask?

Here are a couple of suggestions.

  • Do something you’ve been planning to do, yet have made excuses and justifications for why it is not necessary, or it’s not the right time. Just do it. No pun intended.
  • When a friend asks you to go somewhere, or do something with them, and your natural inclination is to say, no, because you are too tired, or have something else to do that you think is more important. Do it anyway.
  • The next time you have a thought or insight about doing something artistic, or creative, don’t put it off, or make excuses about not being creative. Express your creativity.

Just a couple of suggestions. Whether you try those out or not, please remember one thing.

We are all creative beings, every single one of us. Humans are naturally creative.

Some say it is our highest quality. Not sure. Yet, I do know how it feels to be vulnerable, and to be creative. It feels scary and uncomfortable, and exquisite and amazing all at the same time.

So, if writing is your thing, write. If it is art, then do art. If you don’t have a creative outlet yet, do some research and pick a medium. There are many. It matters less what the medium is, than it does that you create the space for yourself to be the creative being that you are. And, it takes being vulnerable to get there.

Originally published on the4catalysts.com

#poetry, #art, #blogging, #creativity, #vulnerability, #writing

Writing and Life Series #1: On Writing and Vulnerability

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

In the past day or two, I’ve written a couple of posts on vulnerability. I am constantly amazed at the importance of recognizing and participating in our own vulnerability. It is in those spaces, where we find our most vulnerable selves that we also find wealth beyond measure. For me, it is not money, or prestige, I’m after, it’s creativity and innovation. And, to create and innovate, you must be vulnerable.

Here is me being vulnerable with you right now. Though I’ve never really liked to read poetry, I like to write it. Not often, just here and there. And, here is one, I’ll share with you now.

The seed looked up at the sky,

and the sky said,

sow.

I’ve never before showed this poem to anyone. Actually, I don’t think anyone knows that I like to write poetry. Vulnerable. Actually, this poem can be written another way, which I just thought of, so let’s put that one in too.

The seed looked up at the sky,

and the sky said,

sow?

Funny, and fun. Just a short few years ago, I did not possess the vulnerability necessary to write poems in a post like this, or in any other forum. However, as I’ve written elsewhere, vulnerability, like any trait, can be practiced. And, when practiced, you get used to doing it. For, it is in the actions we take, that we become more comfortable doing those things that make us uncomfortable.

Writing in itself is a rather vulnerable pursuit, like any other art form. This is why creativity and vulnerability are so closely related. In order to be creative, and to develop a creative outlet through any medium, one must be willing to be vulnerable.

What I’ve recognized these past two years is that when we are vulnerable, we get back so much more by doing things that we once might have declined to do, or resisted doing. A sense of accomplishment, yes, and a visceral understanding of what it is like to live through experience, rather than through thinking about experiencing something. Experience is everything. The ultimate knowing.

What can you do? You can be vulnerable. How, you ask?

Here are a couple of suggestions.

  • Do something you’ve been planning to do, yet have made excuses and justifications for why it is not necessary, or it’s not the right time. Just do it. No pun intended.
  • When a friend asks you to go somewhere, or do something with them, and your natural inclination is to say, no, because you are too tired, or have something else to do that you think is more important. Do it anyway.
  • The next time you have a thought or insight about doing something artistic, or creative, don’t put it off, or make excuses about not being creative. Express your creativity.

Just a couple of suggestions. Whether you try those out or not, please remember one thing.

We are all creative beings, every single one of us. Humans are naturally creative.

Some say it is our highest quality. Not sure. Yet, I do know how it feels to be vulnerable, and to be creative. It feels scary and uncomfortable, and exquisite and amazing all at the same time.

So, if writing is your thing, write. If it is art, then do art. If you don’t have a creative outlet yet, do some research and pick a medium. There are many. It matters less what the medium is, than it does that you create the space for yourself to be the creative being that you are. And, it takes being vulnerable to get there.

#poetry, #becoming-vulnerable-and-creative, #creativity, #innovation, #vulnerability, #writing

The Sound of Series #2: The Sound of Wheels

Photo by The Nigmatic on Unsplash

I love the sound of skateboard wheels. That tik tak sound they make as they come into contact with the pavement. It reminds me of growing up in Southern California, and of the skateboarding I did as a youth.

It is interesting to consider how sounds take us back to particular times in our lives. For me, the sound of skateboard wheels remind me of a simpler time. A time when getting up on a bright sunny morning, included having breakfast, watching a skate video, and taking to the streets with my board.

That tik tak sound also reminds me of my first experiences with punk rock, which is an often cited contributor to skate culture. Though I don’t skate anymore, I still regularly listen to punk rock. Fun.

Skateboarding also reminds me of freedom. When out skating, it’s just you and the streets, or ramp, or riverbed. Not much else there. You and the board, and the creativity that lives inside you. Creating new tricks, trying new things, pushing yourself further.

The sound of wheels also remind me of roller skating. Especially, roller skating at the local roller rink. Totally 80’s. I remember being dropped off at the roller rink as a pre-teen, hanging out with friends, and going around and around again. For hours.

Photo by Lukas Schroeder on Unsplash

Now, we are talking about the early 80’s and the music playing in those roller rinks was that early MTV mix between disco and new wave, with a splash of dance pop. Wow. I loved that music then. I listened to so much of it at that time, that today I don’t fancy it as much.

Nonstop 80s Greatest Hits Best Oldies Songs Of 1980s Greatest 80s Music Hits YouTube

The roller rink was the place where kids would let loose, and just be. Away from all of the school drama and parental pressure. Just be kids. I also loved the creativity that came inside of the roller rink. Creating different ways to roller skate, like skateboarding, trying new tricks, and new things.

Roller rinks, however, are mostly a thing of the past. When we moved to where we now live, we passed a roller rink on the outskirts of town, and it was a sad sight. Dilapidated building, rotting, and falling down. No music playing in that building any more.

Skateboarding on the other hand, is still rather present all over the country. On my daily walk, I pass a skate park, where, up until about a week ago, kids and youth were not allowed to skate, due to COVID-19. Now it has reopened, and if you walk by on a weekend afternoon, you can hear that familiar tik tak sound of the wheels hitting the pavement. I love that sound.

#creativity, #freedom, #punk-rock, #roller-skating, #skateboarding, #youth