Most of the times i feel secure in working at my dream to be an artist and creativity/transformation facilitator, to move out of my city studio appartment and live somewhere rich with nature. Then i have faith that my dream will become reality, and in fact see it becoming more real every day.
But sometimes, i feel i would be better of working at a life that seems more familiar and readily accessible. Like yesterday when i was pondering to become a primary school teacher; jobs available through a subsidised education program, as a primary school teacher i’d have lots of schoolholidays to do what i really want..
I asked my friend for advice and he suggested that i won’t find the key to realising my dreams by looking in the field of opportunities which are already known to me. If i would already know how and where to do what i really want, i would already be doing it.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.
So i re-aligned myself with the awareness that there are great opportunities awaiting but yet unseen. Synchronistically, in the Crash Course in Creativity we are now learning how to become more receptive of opportunities that are often hiding in plain sight.
This morning i got an extra motivator when i heard one of my favourite songs in a completely different light. The subject of love turned into the subject of dreams. Like artists court(ed) their muses for inspiration, i court my future for realisation..
You’ll never know if you never try / To forget your past and simply be mine
Do you ever have that when you (re)discover an artist and their songs are the soundtrack to your life for a while? Well that’s what i’m experiencing right now with wonderful Scottish singer Emeli Sandé
Next To Me
Today is first day of class! My good friend B. tipped me on A Crash Course in Creativity at Stanford University Venture Lab. It is a highly experiential course, designed to explore factors that stimulate and inhibit creativity in individuals, teams, and organizations.
The class is taught by Tina Seelig who teaches courses on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Below you can see her TedXTalk on the Innovation Engine.
I love her idea of innovators not being puzzlebuilders that work with pre-defined structures, but that true innovators are creative quiltmakers: leverage the resources you have around you to make amazing things happen!
17.000 people from all over the world enrolled for this course and we’ll be doing both individual and team assignments.
The first assignment allows us to introduce ourselves to our classmates and entails creating a book cover for our short bio.
The class just started and it already looks to be a thrilling and inspiring creative adventure!
One of the best movies ive ever seen..Beasts of the Southern Wild
“When it all goes quiet behind my eyes, i see everything that made me, flying around in invisible pieces”
We have it in our power to begin our world over again.
Thomas Payne, 1776
Recently i read -cover tot cover and in one go- Innovate! How Great Companies Get Started in Terrible Times by Thomas Meyer. I love myself an upbeat challenge, which the title promises and the book definitely delivers.
In this book Thomas Meyer shows that economic downfalls are no match for innovation, that ” irrepressible, ever-present force of originality within individuals”. Especially in terrible times “innovation becomes more apparent to the casual observer because during the darkness of economic panic, like a lighthouse shining on a lost ship, problems are exposed and innovation begins to emerge.”
His hope for this book is to liberate and inspire the reader to innovate at the quantum level, and to consider this book a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for your brain. Just gotta love it!!
Meyer starts illustrating his point with an extensive list of US companies that started as early as 1797 during economic downfalls and were still in business in 2010, when the book was published. A few of these companies are, in chronological start-up order:
HarperCollins, Procter&Gamble, Tiffany & Co, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, Woolworth Company, IBM, The Hershey Company, Neiman Marcus, UPS, Converse, Yale University Press, the Timberland Company, Columbia Pictures, Hilton Hotels, United Artist, White Castle, 7-Eleven, Macy’s, Fisher-Price, Revlon, Marvel Entertainment, Polaroid Corporation, Ritz-Carlton, Hewlett-Packard, Baskin-Robbins, Mattel, U-Haul, Manpower Inc. Toys “R” Us, Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures, Hush Puppies, The Jim Henson Company, Eastpak, Six Flags, Sysco, Wendy’s, Celestial Seasonings, Saatchi & Saatchi, Foot Locker, Taschen, Adobe Systems, Nickelodeon Animation Studios.
I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been. Wayne Gretzky
By discussing business cases he describes how innovation really is human work that involves perseverance, intuition, failure, pain, faith and luck. He also discusses the power of curiosity, creating your own luck, competition, moonlighting, sharing your passion..with everyone, rejection, asking for help, quitting school, and my favorite, the power or the single customer.
One “right” customer may be the link to you getting your big break, through being a big client, having the right connections, great word of mouth etc. This idea strengthens me in that fine act of building on that which makes me unique. If, in theory, i need just that one person to like what i do, that’s a good reason not to water myself down to be liked by the many.
I am a winner each and every time I go into the ring. George Foreman
Another favorite of mine are the qualities Meyer writes an innovator needs to succeed in what often is “a battle against the odds”. These are the qualities that according to him, assisted boxing champion George Foreman in his comeback: a good defense, purity of intention and perseverance with personality.
Foreman’s most legendary fight is the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle in Kinshasa-Zaire, where he lost to Muhammed Ali. This loss left him depressed for a year, and in 1977 he retired. Ten years later he announced his comeback and in 1994, at 45 years of age, he regained the heavyweight title. Before his retirement he fought to hurt, after his comeback he fought to win.
I get up in the morning looking for an adventure.
My first 12 weeks of the new year have largely been about aligning Body with Mind and Heart. With that alignment came a letting go of limiting structures, patterns and beliefs.
As i wrote in 37 to Life, the start of 2013 saw me face a new field of possibilities out of which to create a new professional life. My heart and mind had already worked hard to figure out in which direction i wanted to go so i took off running. And got called back almost immediately by a nervous twitch in my eye, the sign that i’m moving too fast.
Like so many of us, i had been thinking rather than feeling my way through Life. The use of intellect had been my preferred M.O. to get pieces of the puzzle called Life fall into place. Twitchy-eyed i decided to go through the humbling experience of actually listen to what my body was telling me.
The most difficult thing was to accept that certain parts of my life were not what i wished them to be. Accepting states of affairs was accompanied by tears and mourning. But next i felt that Acceptance actually liberated energy otherwise spent on keeping reality in a chokehold, trying to convince it to be something it was not.
After mourning came a letting go, or Destruction of my so-intently-wished-for picture of reality. On the other side of that i found new breathingspace, energy and inspiration to Create life from a position that is more empowered and true to Self.
What do you wish to Accept, Destruct, Create?
Hindu deity Shiva is the destroyer of the world. Destruction, also in the sense of shedding old habits and beliefs, opens up the path for new creation.
This weekend i participated in a healing ceremony with an entheogen, ayahuasca. Having this plant medicine show what is to be healed, heal: frightening, enlightening, and wonderful at the same time! Next to fantastic live music, Undertow and Going Home by Leonard Cohen are two of the many wonderful songs we were fortunate enough to hear during the ceremony, music does heal!
One of my intentions for the healing ceremony was, to gain insights about what to do with myself in the world, “workwise”. Using playful, creative+intuitive thinking to further ourselves to a higher, truer, more wonderful level will be one of those
One new intention for my blog is to blog shorter pieces at smaller intervals, so as to..keep you posted
Love, and feel blessed
In my blogpost 37 to Life i wrote about wanting to create something with words and images i have collected over the years.
I wanted to do this because i felt this would make a symbolic conclusion to this lifepath, or lifecycle, of 10 years i recently felt (gloriously) ended. At the same time, this creation would allow me to crystallise see, some of the things i learned in those years.
Instructional Quotes + Fantastic Images
One thing i’d do if things got complex is get my big fat quotations thesaurus off the shelf, and read about whichever topic i found on my path/in my way. This felt like opening up a box full of aunties and uncles that lived from say, 300BC till our present days.
One thing i love about this 16,000 quotations filled treasurebook is that i didn’t look for it, it just popped up in sight at a thriftshop. The best quotation is featured on the cover and by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
(and, working on my own (creative) writing is a next step)
I paired some of my fave “instructional” quotes with fantastic images from that other bible: Vogue (plus some other fashionmags). So here is, Vida101. Turn on the slideshow music and big screen. Hope you enjoy!
For more and downloadable images go to Soul and Arrow on Flickr
Seeing somebody offer their personal art, heart and soul for others to see and judge is humbling and motivational at the same time. And what this guy, Hampton Williams, does in his audition for SYTYCD 2012 gives the term “healing arts” a true spin.