Inspiration, what we love, creativity, insight, curiosity, what gets us out of bed.
Inspiration, what we love, creativity, insight, curiosity, what gets us out of bed.
Notice the Winter Moon
February 9th is the Winter Moon.
For those of us in snow country, or states, it’s important to celebrate the mid-way point of winter. The winter moon is after the mid-way point, Feb 2nd, so it’s another benchmartk along our journey through winter..
How are you feeling about winter?
Our western culture is busy, distracted, and filled with activites that aren’t related to the natural cycles of the seasons.
With the awareness of the winter moon, it’s an opportunity to slow the pace down and look up at the moon. It’s full at 2:30 am, but you don’t have to stay up or get up to gain benefits of seeing the super moon or winter moon.
Indigenous cultures consider the winter or super moon an auspicious time.
Why not take the opportunity to practice a positive aspect, such as; gratitude or generosity as you gaze and bask in the light of the winter moon.
Not only is it beneficial for you and others to practice a positive viewpoint, but the winter moon is very big and beautiful!
I was leaving my job yesterday morning on a cold January evening in Northern New Mexico, when I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen for 6 months.
After being at my gallery job for 8 and half hours I was tired and fried, and on the irritable side.
My friend was her usual upbeat and positive self. She was my boss at a museum we both used to work at. In spite of the fact that she was involved in a severe train wreck, after receiving a concussion that put her out for about an hour, she didn’t complain and was pleasant in her workplace.
She has turned her lemons into lemonade, and continues to do so.
She is doing much better now after more than a year since the accident.
She is a role model, as so many others I meet on a daily basis who continue to move forward in spite of tremendous challenges.
I had to ask myself, how do I deal with small annoyances, inconveniences, and U-turns?
As I practice being MINDFUL of my mindset at any given moment, the concept of taking my “lemon” moment and creating lemonade gives me the opportunity of being aware and grateful.
I’m grateful because I can do the practice to calm down my thinking, and reframe the lemon moment. It’s not always without resistance, but having the intention takes me in the right direction.
As an artist and creativity coach, looking at situations differently so that the outcome is lemonade, I have been able to enjoy pursuing a creative and artistic calling.
We all can embrace the idea of being a lemonade kind of person.
As we enter a new decade the excitement of our positive intentions is helping with the transition.
I can feel it. Can you feel your own excitement as we approach 2020?
In the US we will have a hotly contested presidential election, which adds to the intensity.
Consequently, we will all need to watch how we are thinking and take a MINDFUL path to weather the ups and downs.
I invite you to pivot and redirect your thoughts, so that you are AWARE of what is going on; internally and externally. Finding the space to be creative in the new year will help to enliven, support and encourage positive thoughts. Taking very small and simple steps is key in developing a kind way to view your creativity. Lowering the pressure to get it perfect, and instead saying, “it’s good enough” will open your heart and mind to a beautiful creative experience.
As you pause, and take a break to calm your thoughts, even though anticipation is high, you will open the possibility of having creative thoughts. Taking a break means clearing your mind, eliminating distractions, and relaxing so that any creative thoughts can enter. There is a saying that when you are open to creative thoughts, they will find you. As ethereal as it sounds, ideas are out in the cosmos, circulating looking to find a human! This is a somewhat poetic concept, but widely recognized in the creative fields.
As you pivot and pause, you can then use the opportunity to pursue your creative passion.
You are actually creating space so this will occur. While you are engaged with your present moment, your creativity as space to breathe and expand.
When you practice pivoting, pausing and pursuing, you will find a refreshing and adventurous creative reality will be possible.
Closing 2019, and wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous NEW YEAR!❤️
What do you think, see, and feel when you wake up in the morning?
Sometimes I need to re-direct my thinking to postive thoughts, if I have a morning filled with mundane chores, and various tasks.
If there is something that makes you happy when you wake up in the morning, do follow that thought or action. It could be as simple as savoring that first cup of coffee. For me, the thought of having a cup of coffe gets me out of bed!
Another morning routine is checking for the birds in my backyard. I grew giant sunflowers in the summer, and cut off the heads and put them on a wire fence. Now the birds have easy access to the seeds. It’s a joy to see the birds scamper and fly around, then landing on the giant sunflower seed heads.
When you start to notice and cultivate an awareness of what surrounds you; birds, cloud shapes, sounds, the way the sun angles from a window; you are tapping into that creative energy that is always with you. Taking time to be aware, being still, and holding the space for being in the moment, you can access the default thinking mode in your mind that activates your creative thoughts.
What kind of thoughts, actions, and musings do you have in your morning?
What are you thinking? Do you find yourself with harsh thoughts toward yourself? This harsh thinking is the inner critic speaking up.
I have gotten better at dialoging and working with my inner critic.
She likes to challenge me frequently with comments like, “Do you really think this will work” (when I think of something new and creative), or “Why are you trying this, it’s never going to happen”.
We all have an inner critic. Many times the inner critic mirrors the outer critic that we experience in the world.
One of the ways of “being with” your inner critic is to first have an awareness of what she is saying. This is your cue to take note, and really listen. After listening to her, you can move on and say “I don’t agree, thank you!”
One of the muses named “Marge”, from Kaizen Muse Creativity coaching, usually says; “So what I’ll do it anyway”. This affirmative statement is an antidote to the doubt, negative self-talk, and starts to unblock, dismiss, and blow away the harsh speech
When you practice self-compassion, kindness, and love toward yourself, you may find a softening of your thoughts. Instead of beating yourself up, which I have experienced, practicing “soft thinking” will take you down your path to your creativity and joy.
This softer, slower, way of being kind to yourself, will also lighten the ever present burden of perfectionism, something most women have.
Allowing kinder thoughts to replace harsh speech, puts your inner critic on the back burner to simmer on low boil!
What do you think? Do you have an inner critic that seems to get in your way?
The holidays are coming, and all the fun, fast shopping, and festivities that are part of the season.
I sometimes find myself caught up in the high expectations, activities, and perfectionism that can be part of the season.
I like to be part of the excitement, but with an awareness of what I'm thinking and feeling. I like to focus instead on the natural rhythms of the coming season in celebrating the WINTER SOLTICE.
Throughout history ancient peoples have universally celebrated the return of light. It is a beautiful way to become connected to the season, I believe
We descend into the approaching winter soltice, and ascend after the 22nd of December.
If you really pay attention you can notice the longer and lighter days.
When we focus on what we are feeling during this busy time, it helps us to slow down.
It's important to remember to rest, relax and as a result we revive our energies.
Having an awareness of the light and it's return gives us a way to kind of calm down in the midst of the frenzy.
When you notice the light, you can also start to notice other elements in the natural world. Things like birds on trees, the muted colors of the trees, the silhouettes of the branches, the first snow!
When you have an awareness of your feelings, it can open your heart and soul to your inate creativity.
So much of the news is filled with sad stories and images of migrant families and their children walking through Mexico from Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
It’s heartbreaking for me to see these people who have so little, walking with their small children, or carrying them in their arms. They literally have only the clothes they carry on their backs or in garbage bags. I actually tear up most of the time when I see these Central Amercian people fleeing their countries trying to find safety in the US.
There are candidates, like Beto O'Rourke, who speak directly to this humanitarian crisis.
This issue should be top of mind for all the candidates..but sadly it’s not.
In our fast paced fragmented technologically saturated American society, we overlook these types of issues; probably because it’s so hard to watch these young families struggle.
The oppression, crime and violence in Central America would not be as severe if the drug cartel had no demand for their drugs.
The demand for illicit drugs is coming from the US.
Can we ask the most important and relevant question; why?
Is it because people have lost their jobs in the new digital economy, and have no place to go and find a job? Many commentators say this is the reason. Lack of employment creates hopelessness, and depression..so they give up, and end up on drugs to numb the pain, depression, and lack of self-worth.
Whether it’s lack of jobs, the ensuing sense of poverty, or boredom in life, people are using and buying drugs to numb themselves, and in return keeping the drug cartels in booming businesses.
This leaves the families in Central America at risk for violence, corruption, and fearful for their own lives.
How can we, as a nation, be so jaded, ignorant, and callus?
How can we, as Americans, with all our resources and wealth not find CREATIVE SOLUTIONS
To help the people who are supporting the drug cartel industry?
The opioid epidemic is the result of drugs being the way people cope with their lives.
Really, when will we get the picture, and go to the root of the problem of why so many Americans are actually funding the drug cartel?
If depression, lack of jobs, low self-esteem (an American epidemic in itself), fear of the unknown, shame based thinking, family dysfunction, and other mental health problems, are the root cause; lets go to work helping people here. Let's help the people lying in the streets overdosing, and the people in wealthy suburbs who are bored and need drugs to distract themselves from the monotony of their lives.
I truly wish we could create a branch of the government to address the real culprit with the US as a funder of the drug cartels.
This branch would bring together very creative people to implement programs to uplift, teach and encourage people to come together in community, share their challenges and struggles with one another, while caring mentors would be guides.
I’m a true believer in the ability of the arts to heal the psyche.
When we follow our creative dreams, we become more gentle, open, and creative people.
Having an open attitude gives us the opportunity to look deeply into our own challenges, as well as those facing our communities.
This new branch of government could be called; The Department of Humanities for Healing.
This is wishful out of the box thinking!
Our country was created and founded with a community of leaders coming together, discussing, brainstorming, and sharing a vision to benefit the new citizens of our young and idealistic country.
When we lose this idealism and compassion, we are allowing a weakening of our democracy.
Creative thinking and solutions must rise to the top of our collective list, as we pursue and maintain a just society.
I belong to a Buddhist group. We honor the teachings of the Dalai Lama.
Yesterday a long time friend and member of our group suddenly passed away.
Her name was Sherie and she was only in her early 60’s. A lovely woman with long beautiful hair. A sad time for us, and her family.
What this brought to mind for me, is the absolute fragility of our lives, and how death can occur for any of us, at any time.
As someone who values the creative process, the reminder of how little time we have to experience what we enjoy doing, and how we can share this with others.
So often we are hard on ourselves, and the inner critic shows up to thwart our creative voice.
This hard on ourselves is the inner critic.
When we stop and give in, to-this-hard-on-ourselves voice, we are not being courageous and are letting the egoistic negative self-talk take over. This does not serve us well.
However, when we practice and listen to our caring voice, we become courageous, and caring towards ourselves. The hard-on-ourselves-voice is quietied.
We really do have so little time on this earth plane.
Having self-compassion, and compassion towards others opens the space to be creative beings.
When we take a stand courageously against our own inner critic and negative self talk,
And just say, “so what I’ll do it anyway” we embrace a sense of clarity, self-compassion, and
After watching a video, with the Dalai Lama at the Gandhi Interfaith conference in India, I felt deeply his concerns with climate change, pollution, and the decline of our environmental regulations. I am a follower of the Dalai Lama and respect his viewpoints.
One thing HHDL emphasized in his talk, was the recognition of humanity’s shared home; mother earth. This is all we have as collective stewards of our planet. When we disregard and do not protect the earth, we all suffer. Every country. We are not disconnected from one another, but connected through the winds, sun, clouds, and the moon.
Scientists have documented the rapid melting of the polar ice caps. This is an unprecedented phenomenon occurring in our lifetimes. The magnificent polar bear’s ice islands are diminishing, as well as his food source.
What climate change is, is a canary in the coal mine.
How does this subject relate to creativity?
It relates to the subject of your creativity, because we need to gather together, recognize this ominous event, and think creatively on how to help solve it.
Being creative changes how we think and respond to inner and outer issues.
Thinking creatively, as Albert Einstein did, moves us closer to a more enlightened and wholesome existence collectively.
Thinking creatively, we are not closed to the possibilities of innovative solutions, and alternative ways of solving problems.
It is essential that humanity protects our mutual home for ourselves and future generations!
I welcome your comments. You can comment below.
Do you have time to pause in your day and simply look out the window?
I find when I sit still and look out my window, I can appreciate the moment and relax into it. Because I'm a visual learner, and a right brain being, I scan the scenery and follow the lines, colors, shapes and shadows.
Simply looking out your window is a way to slow down, and open up the possibility that creative ideas will find you.
Looking out the window is something we all do every day.
When you actually pause, sit still and look, it slows down your thinking mind.
So often our thinking mind fills us with discursive and negative thoughts. Taking a break from the negative loop, and finding your space while you look out the window, can bring about a sense of calm. It's also a way to be mindful and re-align what you are thinking, so that a sense of well being can occur.
So, you can take the time when you look out the window to pause, be still, and bask in the beauty of the outside world paired with the wonder and beauty of your inner world.