It Was A Summer Of Dreams

There were some dreams planted, some dreams realized…and some dreams vaporised.  In fact, I feel as though I am still waking up and am pinned in that space between what I thought was real and what lies before me.

I haven’t been here on Let ME Out!! in what feels like ages.  There were many reasons for that and at this point, I can only say that the details are yet to come.  For now, I want to share my experience in coming back to this space: this place where I have met so many like-minded people from across the world.  This blog is a piece of me; it holds my convictions, the wisdom I have gained and the questions I still have.  And coming back here, after this summer, has been a lesson in itself.

I am reminded why writing has been my life line.  Coming back here and being able to read words that have flown off my fingertips in moments of connectedness has been invaluable today.  In this post, I wrote about events in my life that “totally knocked me off my feet – only to give me wings to fly.”  Those words breathed out of me when I wasn’t even consciously looking for them; I remember that.  I remember writing that and going, “Wow, I didn’t even know that I knew that.”  And today, it’s those very words that are helping me, and even more so because they came from that place, that heartmind, that just knows.  So, even if today I have questions and struggles, I can find some peace knowing that I have been here before and I have also been to that place where I know I am infinitely loved.  And that everything will be OK.

Writing is now such a strong part of my identity that no matter what I am faced with, I seem to hear its whispers.  Even at 3 am.  Or, I should say, especially at 3 am.  I have had many pre-dawn moments engaged in an inner dialogue and I am comforted by the voice that answers back.  I give it all the crap I want, and still it loves me.  I really think my writing has been a huge part of this.  Its established a connection that I hope I can hold on to for the rest of my life.

This is why starting Let ME Out!! Releasing Your Creative Self was a project of purpose and passion for me.  I believe we all have that special something in our lives that connects us to our Self, and when we are not in sync with that part of us, it makes it more challenging to navigate the twists and turns.  What do YOU think?  Does any of this resonate with you? 

As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments or through personal emails.  I want to thank those of you who sent me messages to find out why I hadn’t been blogging.  It was nice to know you are as much a part of this as I am.  Trust that I never really went away.  Thanks for sticking by me and I appreciate you allowing me to ease my way back into this.

I have already taken deeper breaths writing this than I have in the last little while.  That’s a blessing.

 

If you’d like to inspire others with this post, please pass it on with some social media love.  If you don’t see the buttons below, click on the title of this post and they will magically appear at the bottom.

P.S.  Speaking of connecting with your Soul – my friend, Jodi Chapman from Soul Speak, has developed an amazing 6 week e-course to help you do just that.  The curriculum is invaluable and I really think it’s a steal with great content and fabulous contributors.  Free gifts, too!  Click on this link to learn more about the Coming Back to Life e-course.

 

Time To Make A Change

 

Re-Run!  I’ve had change and time and Wayne Dyer and motherhood on my mind lately and so I thought this was fitting to share with you again.

*****

Time is something I have always been conscious of.  Not just the hour of the day, but also the years of my life.  My life has always been one big check-list of major accomplishments I would like to achieve by a particular year.  I alluded to this when I talked about my unwillingness to veer from the path I had set for myself in university.  This goal-setting fetish didn’t start in university – this goes way back to the eighth grade with my first record of a chronological check-list embedded in my journal.  I had just had my thick, black hair that had hung halfway down my back chopped to just under my chin which was shorter than I had wanted.  According to my teen magazine, my hair was expected to grow half an inch each month – so I charted its anticipated growth in my journal to figure out how many months it would take for my hair to reach the desired length.  The summer before tenth grade I babysat two unruly boys and I spent many a summer evening bent over my journal charting how long it would take me to earn a decent amount of money so that I could be “financially independent”.  Later that year my parents told me that I was too young to have a boyfriend but that when I turned 18 I would be free to do as I pleased in this matter.  So I made a chain of coloured construction paper links; each link signified one month until I reached my 18th birthday.  I think I started with over 24 links and every month on the 12th day, I would remove one link thus marking the time until my significant birthday.

I am also hung up over daylight time, particularly as we change seasons.  My husband expects that every evening as we approach the winter or summer solstices I will announce the difference in the time of sunset from one day to the next.  He expects this because I have done this to him EVERY YEAR since we’ve been married!

Finally, I am conscious of time in terms of punctuality.  Maybe because I’m a Taurus, or maybe just because I’m wired this way, I believe that if you arrive somewhere on time you are actually 5 minutes late!  Being married to someone who is perpetually late has challenged me to be a little flexible about my personal concept of punctuality (which is a nice way of saying having a husband who is always late for everything often drives me crazy!) BUT there was something else significant that happened four years ago that completely threw me for a loop and still causes my head to spin at times…

I became a MOM.  And oh my goodness, I have rarely been on time for anything since then (without a major struggle or some serious luck).  Packing up to leave the house, whether it’s a short jaunt or a long trip, can take an excruciating amount of time and even then I will inevitably forget the one thing that I actually will end up needing.  Just when I think I’m ready to head out the door and make my appointment on time, someone needs a diaper change or a snack or isn’t finished playing with the Tupperware that is littered all over the kitchen floor.  In this one area of my life that I liked to control as much as possible through my checklist-making and my written records, I was utterly and miserably failing.  The lack of control over my time became one of my biggest challenges and, in all honesty, continues to be my biggest complaint.  “I don’t have any control over my own time!!!”  I say that.  Often.

For example, I had planned to write and post this blog this morning.  This was the plan I made yesterday.  I would wake up before the kids did, creep down to my studio so as not to awaken the light sleepers, and write until the first “Mommy!” was heard, hopefully an hour and a half later.  Unfortunately, I heard the first “Mommy!” when I sat up in bed at 6:45 am and reached for the glass of water I keep on my bedside table.  In that moment, I knew this post would not be written until late tonight (it’s 10:45 pm right now, past my bedtime!) and it was a conscious effort to not that let that bother me.  But it did.

We all have constraints on our time, but I was always able to manage so much when I had a certain amount of control over my own time in my pre-maternal era.  This, however, is a situation that isn’t going to change much in the very near future.  However, as renowned author and speaker Dr.Wayne Dyer says, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” and so I am going to change the way I look at this shift in control of my time and see if I can psychologically get a grip, so to speak, on a new version of this concept.  Considering it is still Monday and I am posting this tonight, then technically I have achieved my blogging goal for the day.  It may not be at the time I originally planned but I can go to bed feeling satisfied and not cranky…much better!

And you know, there are other times of the day when I do have some control over what I do with my time and perhaps I need to look at this a little more closely and make sure I am using these minutes wisely.  How wonderful that this leads right into the Try-This Tuesday task for this week.  But of course, THAT I will blog about tomorrow – it says so right on tomorrow’s list!

Creativity And The Source Of Awesomeness

We are already in February of the new year – this is about the point when I start feeling a little more settled into the year.  For me, January is still a month of one leg in the past year, 31 days of tying up loose ends and getting a sense of where I am now in time and space.  Now I feel firmly planted in this year.  This may also have something to do with the fact that I can sense Spring around the corner and all the newness that comes with it.  Last night’s dream of tulips budding and blooming was the final push I needed to embrace the new beginning that I find myself in.

As you made your commitments for this new year, whenever that year begins for you, did you look at ways to add spirituality to your life?

What’s with the spirituality business in a blog that is supposed to be about creativity?  Well, it’s like this.  You can’t drive a car well on a flat tire.  You can’t say your house is clean when one of the rooms is cluttered.  If you look at your life like a car or a house and assign the different parts of you to each tire or room, it makes sense that attention needs to be given to all the parts of you for everything to work smoothly.

In my experience and strong belief, creativity and spirituality are strongly linked.  In fact, they are inseparable.  Creativity, in whatever form it comes to you, is a gift from the Universe.  Your expression of your creativity is a gift back to the Universe. Not to use your gift is not the most gracious way to receive it, right?  Imagine being handed a present at your birthday and then chucking it aside without much thought, or telling the giver that you’re too ______ to use it.  (Fill in the blank with words like tired, busy, imperfect, non-creative, grown-up)

Fueling your spiritual side, therefore, strengthens that connection with your creativity.  It allows your creativity to be easily accessed.  You know those a-ha moments when you are “suddenly struck by a great idea”?  Those happen more and more often when you are open to and aware of them.  How do you become more open, more aware?  Deepen your spiritual connection.

I’m going to be honest.  Because the word spirituality is often connected to the word God, I know I run the risk that people who don’t like the word God will either be offended or will tune me out.  If the word God is offensive to you or doesn’t resonate with you, then change it.  What miracle do you believe in?  Nature?  The Laws of Physics?  Well, then that’s what I’m talking about.  Something awesome that can be connected with beauty and progress.

So, how do you deepen that connection?  That’s a question only you can answer.  For some people, it’s by hiking in the woods.  For others it’s by being very still on the floor or on a chair.  I know people who connect by writing in a journal.  I feel the most connected when I’m sitting in the dark with a sleeping child on me.  It’s whatever makes you aware of your Self and its part in something greater.  Imagine that every time you engage in activities that connect you with that Source of Awesomeness you are widening a channel, or de-cluttering a room, or filling up a flat tire.

I heard from several people last month who said that this year they wanted to be more creative.  It was difficult to have this conversation without bumping into topics like “spending time connecting with your Self” because it would be like trying to fill up an empty swimming pool without first turning on the tap.  (I promise, that’s the last analogy.)

Those conversations prompted this post.  There is an entire page of Writing Prompts on this blog for those of you who wish to connect with your Self through writing.  If you recall, I have also always encouraged readers to sit quietly and think about the prompts and then listen for the answers.  If that doesn’t work for you, try something else that feels right.  You probably don’t have to think too hard to find it, and  you likely don’t need a lot of props.  I’m always open to having these conversations with you so you can feel free to drop me a line, too.

Do you have a practice that keeps you connected to your creativity?  We’d love to hear it!

From Bummer To Better: Here’s How I Get There

The word of the week was “bummer”.  My 4 year old daughter learned it from her best friend at school and taught it to her little brother who also found it hilarious.  The two of them would shout the word at each other and then dissolve into fits of laughter.  I know it’s the first syllable that triggers the giggles from my daughter; my son is just going along for the fun of it.

Last night, I sighed the word to myself and didn’t even crack a smile.  Bummer.  It was one of those things, you know, when you’re hoping for a particular outcome and you realize it’s not going to happen.  When that happens to me, I usually teeter on the fence of denial, at times hanging over the edge of one side in shock and then swinging all the way over to the other side…acceptance.  And acceptance is pretty much where I always land, sometimes gracefully on ginger feet, sometimes smack on my behind with a thud.  But I get there.

I get to acceptance faster and more easily when I remember something I really and truly believe in the depths of my being.

I believe that when I ask the Universe for something, I will be answered in 1 of 3 ways:

1.  Yes.

2.  Not right now.

3.  No…We have something better in store for you. 

It sounds cliche and maybe like something you just tell yourself to feel better.  But how many times has this happened to you?  How many times have you been disappointed by an outcome only to later be thanking your lucky stars for it?  Maybe it takes days, weeks, months or years for the amazing blessing to be realized.  I can’t count how many times I’ve said “Thank God that such and such happened when it did!” or “Now I see why I wasn’t able to such and such at that time”.

At this point, I don’t know yet what the underlying blessing is to my bummer.  But remembering the above, I am landing at acceptance somewhat gracefully.  Not quite ballerina gracefully, but let’s just say I’m not quite on my toosh, either.

I think it’s helpful to remind yourself of the blessings you have received from situations that once disappointed you, angered you, or otherwise negatively affected you.  Take some time to explore these in your mind or in your journal.  They will give you strength the next time you encounter a bummer.  I’ll log this in Writing Prompts for you.

Have a fabulous weekend – in just a few hours I will be randomly drawing the name of a winner of Salt In His Shoes by Deloris and Roslyn Jordan.  All subscribers are automatically entered to win!  The winner will be contacted by email.  For more details and to find out how to earn extra entries, please see last week’s interview.

Try-This Tuesday: Play With Your Feelings

Every morning in grade 6, we would file into the classroom, sit at our desks like the perfect angels we were, pull out our journal books and write to a prompt written in that beautiful cursive that only elementary school teachers seem to have mastered.  That and “silent reading” after lunch were my two favourite times of the day.

It was during this activity that I was introduced to the Feeling Poem.  My teacher would give us a feeling and the following template and we had to spend journal time constructing a poem.

Here’s the template:

__(feeling)________ is a __(colour)_________.

It smells like ___________________________.

It tastes like ___________________________.

And reminds me of ______________________.

It sounds like __________________________.

_(feeling)______ makes me want to _________.

Here are my examples from 1990:

Joy is a bright pink.

It smells like a fresh bouquet of flowers.

Photo Credit: Taslim Jaffer

It tastes like a delicious watermelon.

And reminds me of vacations.

It sounds like a sweet melody on the piano.

Joy makes me want to sing.

****

Anger is bright red.

It smells like the City Dump.

It tastes like hot, hot pepper.

And reminds me of a kettle boiling.

It sounds like a huge wave hitting the rocks.

Anger makes me want to scream real loud.

****

Today I might write about those feelings a little differently, having gained a few years of experience with joy and anger since then.  In fact, there are endless poems about each feeling waiting to be written.  So, your task this week is to sit with a feeling – maybe the one you are feeling in the moment – and consider it with each of your senses as this poem prompts you to do. 

The benefits of this simple task are numerous.  Here are some:

  • It will give you a chance to explore an emotion that you may otherwise overlook, bury or pay little attention to.
  • Spending time with your emotions is one part of a balanced, healthy life.
  • It will bring out your creative side as you dive into that part of you that is bursting to express itself.
  • It can give you some insight into the sights, sounds, smells etc that you attach to a particular feeling.
  • It is FUN!  Isn’t that enough of a reason?

If you have a school-aged child, why not try this activity with them?  You can each write your own poems and share them.

I’ll log this task with the other Tuesday Tasks.  Have fun with it and do it often – they can be a healthy, creative addiction!

The Night I Prayed My Water Wouldn’t Break!

The evening of January 5, 2010 started off as a peaceful night.  My daughter, then 2.5 years old, was asleep, my husband was out (I think at a Canucks game) and I was relaxing on the couch in a very pregnant state.  Then I remembered something I was really, really angry about and quickly I started entering this dark and stormy space inside me.  Why would this creep up on me when I had been looking forward to this quiet evening with no distractions, no plans, and nothing to do but be with myself?  Probably because there were no distractions, no plans and there was nothing to do but be with myself!  So, from the depths of my mind and my heart tumbled these thoughts, scenarios, words, visions, people and I was mad as hell.  The last time I got that worked up when I was pregnant, my water broke hours later –  5 weeks sooner than my due date and since I still had about 7 weeks to go in this pregnancy, I knew I had to remove myself from this anger…and I had to do it fast.  Taking deep breaths, willing my heart to slow, I started to think.

What could I think about that would remind me that this particularly upsetting situation was really just a small thing in the grand scheme?  What would help me remember that my world was so much bigger than the hurts that were carelessly tossed my way?  Suddenly my mind went to Greg Mortenson.  You may know him as the Three Cups of Tea guy – the mountain climber who “lost his way” and stumbled on to a community of mountain-dwellers who nursed him to a full recovery.  In turn, he overcame mental and physical challenges to build them a school as he promised and has now built…gosh, I don’t even know how many schools, in various regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  You can read more about his books here.

He popped into my head that night because I had just purchased a ticket to see him speak at a local school.  His presentation was coming up a couple of weeks from that point (another reason I was determined to stay pregnant!) and I was beyond excited to be in the presence of someone who has done such incredible things and lived to tell about it.  I’m sure you can imagine that it’s no easy feat to set up schools, primarily for girls, in Afghanistan and Pakistan!  It doesn’t quite work the same way as it would here.  Thinking about Mortenson, having just finished reading his book, reminded me that there is so much to be done in this world and better still, that there are so many awesome, amazing, loving people in this world…and suddenly focusing on a handful of people who had such different meaning to their lives was kind of like a waste of time.

I’m not saying that something that makes me that angry should be swept under the rug (I always think that that only causes a bump to swell – something easy to trip over!).  But it did put it in perspective.  It made me feel like I am an able person who can do something bigger and better with my life than dwell on the negative things that really don’t have to affect me as much as I let them. 

This is totally easier said than done, but later that night when I pulled out my journal to work through these feelings, I couldn’t help but feel inspired.  I started brain-storming ideas of how I can give back to my local community and my night did a 180.

Getting rid of emotional clutter is a MUSTfor living a healthier, fulfilling life.  And if you come to one of my workshops, be prepared to look in the nooks and crannies of your mental attic for the grudges gathering cobwebs!  But I was in a pinch that night, more concerned for my blood pressure than for a long term solution and it was amazing the peace I found in someone else’s love for humanity, literacy and female empowerment.

This pic was taken a couple days before the night I wrote about here. I look like I'm ready to burst, but my son was still growing...and stayed in for another 4 weeks...almost term this time!

Do YOU have a go-to thought for when you really need to turn your thoughts around?  Do you have a physical practice that helps?  Deep breaths?  Yoga postures?  And what are you doing about the cobwebs?

Try-This Tuesday: Get Out There!

You’re reading this blog because you want to let your ME out, right?  Well, where do you want to go?  I know we’ve been talking about the ME that is metaphysical, as in your inner Self/Soul if you will, but the things that fuel your soul, drive your creativity and let you have fun are usually out THERE!  So do you want to go to the ballet?  Snowshoeing?  To an art exhibit?  To a fancy restaurant?  Guess what I’m going to ask you to do?  Make a list!

Make a list of all of the places you’d like to go and events you’d like to attend; a good place to look for ideas is your local newspaper.  Last week I found an ad for a coffee shop I didn’t even know existed not too far from my home that has an open stage night every Saturday from 6-9 pm.  Sounds like something I’d like to attend while grabbing a dessert and tea with my husband.  I also love reading about charity galas, craft shows, mom and pop restaurants and other community events.  I clipped that ad for the coffee shop and added it to a pile of other clippings of art studios and bookstores in the area.  My clippings are stashed in a decorative box with a lid…and yes, there are butterflies dancing all over the box.  Why not store your clippings in a box or large envelope – you can find decorative boxes at dollar stores or craft stores.  Or if you were lucky enough to buy a pair of shoes recently and still have the box, use that and decorate it with stickers and doodles.  This is “fun” territory, after all!

While you are getting busy compiling your list or your pile of clippings think about the following:

  • What stops me from getting out to fun places more often?
  • Who would I like to “get out there” with?
  • How often would I like to “get out there”?
  • Where can I get ideas to add to my list?

Here are my answers to the above questions:

  • Child care is the biggest thing.  Our pool of night time babysitters is very limited and it is hard for us to ask the same people over and over again for help on “optional” fun activities when we also have to call on them for work-related events.  SOLUTION:  We recently started a babysitting exchange with my cousin and her family so now once a month, my husband and I are guaranteed a night out for fun!
  • I am definitely excited about date-nights with my hubby!  Something I did a little of over the summer but haven’t done lately is one on one time with a close girl friend.  I’d like to do that more and I’d love to get some girls together and go dancing like we used to do pre-marriage days!
  • Once a month date nights with the hubby and once a month girls nights are probably all our family schedule can handle and I’d be happy with that.
  • I like getting ideas from other people, newspapers, bulletin boards at community centres or other public arenas.

I know the holiday season is approaching and it can be a bit daunting to take on additional commitments.  This is a good a time as any to evaluate how exactly you WANT to spend your holiday time.  Can you turn down an invite to an acquaintance’s Christmas party if you’d rather take in a movie with your spouse?  If it is too stressful for you to change patterns at this time, you can always start collecting ideas and implement something as early in the new year as possible.  That may also give you time to find solutions to the reasons why you aren’t getting out and having fun in the first place.

Don’t take on too much, either!  The point is to be inspired, not tired!  Remember the advice I heard from my Self as I was journalling and HAVE FUN!

Live The Width Of Your Life

These days I am fuelled by a quote from author Diane Ackerman “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it.  I want to have lived the width of it as well.”  Read it and let it sit with you.

This is the perfect visual for an expression we hear time and again, “Live your life to the fullest.”

For me, Ackerman’s words paint the picture of a very wide and very long highway.  There’s a lot of ground to cover and there’s me, chugging along in my cute little Mini Cooper (my dream car!), remembering to turn left and right as well as go straight.  There aren’t any traffic lights or anything else on this highway, just the characteristic lane markings,  and there is not an end in sight in any direction.  In fact, in my mind’s eye, if I fast forward along the length of the road I go so far that I actually end up driving around a sphere and I loop back to where I started.  The same goes for the other direction.  Like I said, a lot of ground to cover!

Understanding what she means by living the length of one’s life is pretty easy.

What does living the WIDTH of your life entail?  What would YOU have to do to live the width of your life?  Sit with this writing prompt, your journal and an open mind and really check in with your Self.  Don’t just spew out answers based on what you feel is expected of you, or what you think someone else would want to hear you say.  Don’t answer this question based on what you see as restrictions, whether financial or circumstantial.  Just ask your Self this question and hear the answer.  Write down what you hear.

If you want to share, your comments are always welcome.

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Do you remember when I asked you to Spend Time With Someone Who Adds To Your Self?  There are several reasons behind that.  (But, of course!  There’s a reason behind everything I say!)  I talked about a few of them in that post, but here’s one that I have been thinking about recently.

I like my comfort zone.  I don’t just like to hang out in it – I like to grab a blanket, curl my feet up under me and settle in, nice and cozy.  I like to pull in all the people and possessions that make me feel safe and plant them around me.  I will stretch occasionally but throwing that blanket off and taking a huge leap out of my little bubble scares me.  I worry about failure, about making a fool of myself, about people thinking I’m insane (ah, streeeeetching out of my comfort zone here by revealing all of this!) and I fear that I will be so different from everyone else if I actually show the world who I am that I will be alone.

But the people who shine on my list are the ones who risked those very things: failure and alienation.  They risked those things because they felt that what they had to say, who they had to be was so important that they couldn’t stuff it inside or hide it in a bubble.  One of my favourite quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr. is “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  MLK, Jr. was certainly not silent and the world owes him a million tonnes of gratitude for that.  He risked far greater things than being mocked; he spent an unimaginable amount of time away from his family who he loved and he risked and lost his life for his cause.  So, spending time with the Good Reverend, if only by remembering his words and his feat, makes me feel like I can take that stretch, step, leap out of my comfort zone and be who I am meant to be.

And that’s why it’s important to be conscious of the ways that people add to you.  Know these people.  Keep them on your radar and let them be a part of your own support system.  I like to think that the people I admire, even if we have never met, would encourage me to live my life with as much enthusiasm, courage and strength as they did.  I also like to consider the famous ones as regular people – folks who had to step out of their comfort zones, whatever they were, to do what they did.

I’ve started tiptoeing outside my boundaries, especially in the last year.  One or two things I’ve done recently can even be considered leaps.  I have to admit, it’s a little addicting.  I guess that’s a good thing because, after setting my next quarter’s goals, I have many  more leaps ahead!

They say you should do one thing a day that scares you.  One thing a day What do YOU think about that?

When was the last time YOU stepped out of your comfort zone?  What did you do?  Was it worth it?

Understanding your comfort zone, what keeps you in it and how you might benefit by leaving it once in awhile is important to your creative release.  Spend some time with these thoughts in your journal or discuss them over coffee with a trusted friend. And don’t forget to leave a comment below!

Inner Artist? Creative Self? A Bunch Of Mumbo-Jumbo??

I used to hear phrases like “inner artist” and “your creative Self” and think they were just gimmicks to promote some sort of airy-fairy workshop in which people sat around and envisioned themselves floating like butterflies in a grassy meadow dotted with buttercups.  I pictured an otherwise bored and under-stimulated group of people sitting around a strangely garbed “guru” who spouted nonsense about limitless potential and cosmic bliss.  At some point in the workshop everyone would be encouraged to dance to the rhythm of their bodies, or grab some sort of clay or paint or crayon and make a mess.  And then, THEN, the guru would clap her jewelled hands to gather some sort of collective attention and suggest a group hug.  Of course, this would be followed by placing mats on the floor for a short re-connection with the earth…or a nap…

WAIT!!  I think I just described my typical day in Kindergarten!  I think I’m on to something here!  I DID go to “inner artist, your creative self” type workshops…only it was called Kindergarten and I loved it!

I loved my classmates, I especially loved my huggy-lovey-dovey teacher who made me feel like I could do ANYTHING in the world!  My friends and I flitted about the carpet area, arms (wings) flapping wildly and then we dropped to the floor when we heard the song call out a colour we were wearing.

I had so much fun playing with play-doh and dress-up clothes and I did enjoy quiet times on my mat, too.  I used to grab a book from the wooden bookshelf and settle down on my tummy and stare at the pictures.  My favourite was when the music teacher would come with her guitar and the whole room would vibrate with song.

Really cool stuff. 

(By the way, I’ve been in a Kindergarten classroom recently and they don’t do these things much anymore; Kindergarten is really academic now.  What I’ve described is probably seen in daycare/preschool  settings – y’know, for really little kids).

So then what happened?  Well, YOU know what happened. 

It happened to you, too! 

That little kid, that *gasp* inner artist, got stuffed deep inside this grown up exterior!  And I don’t know about YOUR *gasp* creative Self but mine gets MAD, RESENTFUL and FRUSTRATED when I ignore it.  I actually forgot it existed at some point along the way and couldn’t understand why I started feeling so trapped, bored and totally uninspired.

Everything went from colour to black and white, from fun to routine and I didn’t know how to get out of the box I was trapped in…until I started feeling that crazy urge to write.  So I started writing again in my journal, and jotting down bits of story ideas and character sketches that kept popping into my head.

HERE’S THE KEY:  I didn’t start feeling those urges or hearing those ideas until I spent a little time in QUIET!

For me, that meant the times I was breast-feeding my daughter.  I was forced to sit still.

And then I found myself buying oil pastels and I found an old (and mostly empty) doodle book I used to sketch in.  I used to like doing that, going to the beach by myself and stare out at the water and just doodle.  I always thought I must have looked like I totally knew what I was doing, which I didn’t and still don’t.  Oddly enough, though, I just think it’s fun to make marks on paper.  But I stopped doing that.

Not a good idea. 

The inner artist is a force to be reckoned with.  Ignore it at your own peril!  I KNOW when I have not let my creative self play for awhile; in fact, my whole family knows.  They don’t like it when I am annoyed, impatient and resentful any more than I enjoy feeling that way.

Appeasing my creative Self takes minutes a day.

For everyone, the release is different:  What do you think is fun?  If time or space were not issues, what would you do that was purely magical fun?  Can you think of 5 things?  Write them down in your journal or task binder if you can.  Is it totally unreasonable to fit a few minutes of one such activity into your day?  If finding the time is an issue, and you would like to figure out how to solve the elusive time puzzle, send me an email.  You can still enter to win the free coaching package (11 days left!).  See rules at the bottom of this post!