Creativity: Is it overrated?

IMG_3218I was flipping through the pages of my 5-year journal . . . and of the 1,825 answers that it could contain, I have filled in 53 answers.  As I was reading and reflecting on what I had written, I came across this question:

What’s the most creative thing you’ve done recently?

My answer struck me as honest, amusing-to-me, and a little comforting:

This is scary.  I can’t think of something!  Help!  Hmmm . . . I glued pictures of some birds in my journal.  I made a beautiful, foamy latte.  I made veggie-lentil marinara.

Reading this, I am struck by a note of  (1) desperation — fearing that the Creativity Police was going to swing by and give me an F+ in Creativity if I didn’t think of something Artsy and (2) a deeply-forgiving spirit — realizing that I didn’t feel like I had to report anything stellar like painting a gallery-worthy canvas or mastering the tricky 16th-note measures of my old friend “Allegro” on the violin.  I now know that on May 19, 2013, veggie-lentil marinara felt like a creative endeavor.  This is why I love journaling so much.  It reminds us of who we are.

Gluing pictures of birds in my journal is not how I externally define creativity.  I expect from myself a more legacy-laden result when I say the word creativity.   Still, there is much to be said for celebrating the day to day.  We can’t all be fabulously creative every single moment . . . or can we?

So . . . What would be my answer to this question today?  Hmm . . . let’s see . . .

IMG_3317Two weeks ago, when my two best girl friends came to visit, we got out a stack of small canvases and we painted.  We didn’t watch a movie.  We didn’t go out for dinner.  Rather we snacked on a jumbo bag of chips and salsa, sipped wine, and painted for hours.  It was fun, rewarding, stimulating, and enlightening.  I made an enormous mess and, being the kind of friends that they are, they helped me to clean up my spatters that had followed an unanticipated trajectory across the room.

There was also an element of repeat 2013 Creativity in this day, proving to me that some things are still a priority and indicative of my preferences: I made us beautiful, foamy lattes, we went bird watching (Have you ever seen a Stellar’s jay “ant”?) and, for dinner, we ate some crazy concoction made from leftovers from the fridge that involved lentils.  Lentils, oh lentils . . . how you are a constant in my life! lol!

IMG_3318Creativity.  It isn’t what you make that makes you a Creative.  It’s the feeling you create while you are creating.  Be it something as simple as cutting and pasting images of birds or something as rewarding as nailing those last few measures of “Allegro” — it is all a symbol of how I choose to feel while I experience and savor time.  So simple really when I remove all self-imposed external expectations.

It is so easy to look at others and remark on their gifts and talents.  We think because we aren’t mastering Sample A, our own Sample B somehow doesn’t quite measure up.  But measure up to what?  If we aren’t running marathons, our 2-mile walk doesn’t seem very significant.  If we aren’t hanging our work on a public wall, it doesn’t seem like it is very good.  If we aren’t performing at Benaroya Hall, then our music doesn’t measure up (pun intended).  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s all about perception, self-perception and otherwise. Forgiveness, self-forgiveness and otherwise.  And dissatisfaction, self-dissatisfaction and otherwise — knowing deep inside that we aren’t listening to our Higher Self’s prompting to become who we really are.

Click on the aqua-blue hyperlink below for today’s journal prompt.  It is a fun question that may inspire some surprising and reassuring answers for you in how you view your creative self.

Click on the aqua-blue link below:

Creativity. Is It Overrated. journaling prompt

Life is a lively event.  Live it like you mean it.  What’s stopping you?

[Print this prompt out, 3-hole punch it, and start your journaling binder.   Take the writing journey and listen . . . you can’t get lost when you are following your own heart.  After all, you are the only one who can hear what it has to say.  The only one.  Relax, read, think, feel, listen, write.  Repeat.  And enjoy the journey.  It is a fine one, and one that is perfectly-made just for you, I promise.]

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Timshel & Epigenetics

Earlier in the week, I posted about your personality (Nature versus Nurture) and the Glory of the Choice (timshel).  These thoughts stayed with me throughout the week. . . and then I came across this TED talk today about epigenetics: “How the Choices You Make Can Affect Your Genes” by Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna.  Here is a summary of this TED talk: “Here’s a conundrum: Identical twins originate from the same DNA … so how can they turn out so different — even in traits that have a significant genetic component? Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna explains that while nature versus nurture has a lot to do with it, a deeper, related answer can be found within something called epigenetics.”

If you have 5:02 today, view this TED talk.  The information is very compelling, satisfying, and inspiring.  The way that it is explained in the talk is to “think of DNA as a recipe book.”  The narrator goes on to explain how “genes in DNA are expressed when they’re read and transcribed into RNA . . . which is translated into proteins into structures called ribosomes.”

And so the story unravels into the most intricate, yet simple, explanation as to how the choices you make in life very possibly affect your genes.  I have spoken with people who have done Genetic Re-writing work, and it now makes more plausible sense to me.  This is interesting research and, after thinking on the wisdom of Steinbeck’s timshel, it all ties together in a very pretty spiritual-genetic bow: thou mayest  + genetics play a synchronous role in how we experience Life.

Sometimes when things come together like this, Life feels both larger and smaller than I could have ever imagined.   Taking in the micro-vast world of genetics coupled with the infinite non-perimeters of the universe does a pretty good job of answering all of my questions for this week.  Sometimes I just have to sit back and say, “This is all quite amazing . . . and I don’t even need to understand the detailed intricacies to be a Believer.  I believe.

If you have a moment, please, do view this TED talk.  If you have ever wondered about Life on Levels of Infinite Curiosity, it will not disappoint.

How the choices you make can affect your genes – Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna

pencil stubYour journal prompt today (click below) is as simple and as a complex as is this topic of re-writing your genetics.  Keep your writing clean and simple and don’t go down any rabbit holes or garden paths.  Keep it easy and uncomplicated.  Listen to your Higher Self and record what it has to say.

Epigenetics and Choice. journaling prompt

[Print this prompt out, 3-hole punch it, and start your journaling binder.   Take the writing journey and listen . . . you can’t get lost when you are following your own heart.  After all, you are the only one who can hear what it has to say.  The only one.  Relax, read, think, feel, listen, write.  Repeat.  And enjoy the journey.  It is a fine one, and one that is perfectly-made just for you.]

 

 

 

 

Arise & Whistle

Greetings to everyone on this very lovely Saturday morning.  What a perfect day for music and journaling!

Below is a youtube of “Blackbird” by Eddie Vedder.  I have heard many covers of this song, but what makes this one so special is the participation from the audience and the appreciation that Eddie Vedder expresses for their beautiful whistling.  I just love it!  I don’t know about you, but this song was so sweet I had to listen to it twice.

There are clearly days when it seems as if my life’s level of Whistling Participation is at a pretty low low.  I find myself wrapped up within the cocoon of my work, my family, my laundry list of concerns, my creativity, my chores and to-dos.  I keep things close and don’t stretch in any extraordinary directions, really.  I am like a little embodied capsule of Me that doesn’t live much beyond what is required of me or what pops up in the way of obligatory energy requirements.

“You were only waiting for this moment to arise . . .”

This is not to say that I am slumping through daily life with my head down and my eyes on the ground.  I do keep my eyes and my heart open.  But still.  I know that there are “moments” when I feel prompted to “arise” and I consciously choose to ignore or sidestep the opportunities that call me to action.  I realize that we can’t be “on” all of the time . . . yet today I am thinking that, perhaps with a little conscious and sub-conscious awareness on my part, I could be making a significant difference in random moments that could do with a little bit of “arising.” How about you?  Do you ever feel this way?

If you click on the link below, you will find a journaling prompt for today . . . one that encourages you to participate and to support in a wee small way today.

Arise and Whistle. journaling prompt

Live is a lively event.  Here’s your moment.  What’s stopping you?

The First Sentence of Your Autobiography

I was reading through a journal of mine that dates back to 2013.  The journal was the type that has cute and interesting short questions at the top of the page: Who do you want to know better?  How much coffee have you had today?  What gives you comfort right now?  Then I came across this question:

June 20, 2013: Write the first sentence of your autobiography.

My response?

“I always believed that I was a changeling . . . that I had been swapped out in the earliest days of my infancy by a hearty clan of Brownies  –Brownies who were capable of hoisting a 10-pound infant above their heads and then hauling ass to deposit me in my new cradle .”

I read this now and I laugh!  Such a testimony of Disconnection to My Biological Roots!  As a very young child, I did truly believe that I was a Changeling.  But maybe we all feel like this to some degree.  Life being a curious event, it seems to be natural to wonder about the roots that have fed and grown us through the years.

How about you?  What would you write for the first sentence of your autobiography?  Click below for a link to your daily journal writing.  Have some fun with the questions.  Dare to be weird and write what first comes to mind.

The Weird Zone. journaling prompt

Just Breathe

This is such a lovely and wonderful song.  Every time I listen to it, I am reminded to Just Breathe.

Today, just breathe in the moment and “count on both hands”  your blessings of appreciation and gratitude.

Click on the link below for today’s journal entry.

Count on both hands. 10 things of appreciation.

toaster ovenWhile you are journaling, please, listen to this beautiful song by Eddy Vedder.  It is inspiring in that quiet, rich way that leads you to look a little deeper for all of the beauty that is hidden in each and every moment.  Happy journaling!

And I appreciate YOU for visiting The Unseen Words Project today.  You make such a difference in my day!

Fearless or Irresponsible? Living In the Overlap.

For whatever reason, I was thinking today about a time in my life when I was acting quite irresponsibly.  At least that is how it must have appeared from an outsider’s perspective.  To me, and with a goodly measure of hindsight, what felt to be intrepid was probably pretty rash.  And maybe even a little naive and dumb.

I was also thinking today about times in my life when I was acting quite fearlessly and how life was just one long ride of incredible excitement.  Every day was new and different and challenges abounded as a result of this fearlessness.  I was riding a big wave and somehow managing to stay on the board.  I look back and think, Huh.  How did that even work?  

Fearless?  Irresponsible?  Is there even a line between the two?  Maybe life is one big Venn diagram . . . a symbol of where we place our confidence in life, in love, in ourselves.  I don’t know.  In that we are never completely aware of the full consequences of our actions, it is unclear as to how willy-nilly my behavior truly was.  And continues to be.  Still, it seems to be true that all kinds of crazy and dumb can lead to positive outcomes.  It sometimes comes down to the question of What we are willing to do for the pursuit of love and happiness?  What kind of risk are we willing to take?

Click on the link below and print out this journaling exercise.  Do some free associating with the diagram.  I’m not suggesting any empirical outcome.  I am simply asking you to consider that what you might carry as a regret might not have been as dumb and irresponsible as you think it was or is.

Life happens.  Consider the alternative.  I’d rather be living in the Overlap or even the Outer Fringes . . . knowing that I am willing to take the risk to try.  Just try.

Fearless or Irresponsible. Living in the Overlap.

[Three-hole punch this exercise and put it in your special journaling binder.  It is so rewarding to look back over writing that is honest and that encourages you to grow.  My journaling friends all say that they are glad they have saved their writing in one binder or notebook.  They also say that they are happy that they dated their writing and recorded their location.  You might be in the park, at your desk, or on a ferry.  You might be on an exotic vacattoaster ovenion or you might be waiting for your laundry to finish drying at the laundromat.  No matter where you are when you are recording your thoughts and feelings, when re-reading your entries at a later date . . . your spatial memory will trigger the Feelings of Epiphany you felt when you were discovering your Voice and your Truth.  Happy writing!]

 

Follow Your Own Heart

Almanac Directions . . .

“From my own experience, I want to say that you should follow your heart, and the mind will follow you. Believe in yourself, and you will create miracles. Kailash Satyarthi

Journal prompt for today: It’s time to create some miracles.

Click on the link below:

You can’t get lost if you follow your own heart. Journal prompt

Print this prompt out, 3-hole punch it, and start your True Directions binder . . . or simply write your three things down in your journal.   Take the journey and listen . . . you can’t get lost when you are following your own heart.  After all, you are the only one who can hear what it has to say.  The only one.

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