Creativity is not about being Perfect

Taking risks and the willingness to be “wrong” and “look bad” are a part of the process of creativity. If you are not willing to fail you will never try something new. You may never rearrange the the words on a page to see how it might read. You will never try different colors in a painting or new spices in a recipe. You will never put on the dress that just isn’t you or sing a song that might be beyond your range. Creativity is about putting together things in new and different ways. When you do that sometimes in may not look that good, taste yummy or sound nice. When you are taking part in the actions of creativity, perfectionism has no part in the process. None at all.

Perfectionism can show up in many ways. Many times we get so hung up on what the final product will be that we don’t finish or don’t even start. This type of perfectionism occurs when we hold an image in our heads of the final output and if it doesn’t look exactly like we think it should – out it goes. It is judged as “bad” or a “failure”.  There is no room in the process for deviation from the image.  Another challenge for the perfectionist is that they can only see the flaws in there work. They never see when and where the process is working. They never see the beauty of the piece. There are only flaws and that is all they see. The more flaws they see in their works the less likely they are to begin another. A more subtle from of perfectionism is more along the lines of image we present to the world. When this type of person looks at one of their creations, they immediate decide what other people will say or think about it.  They judge it as “different” or as a piece too “out there” for others to enjoy. This person believes that they be “wrong” or the piece is “wrong”. So it is never seen or never created. This type of perfectionism is when we want to appear perfect to the world, when someone will only present a flawless image to others.

We are not perfect. Thomas Edison said “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward”. There is no failure. Everything you create teaches you. Everything you create expands you. Everything you create allows you step into the great amazing realm of the endless possibilities that exist. Yeah, I get that and how to I get over it? In the end, every type of perfectionism comes down to a fear – a fear of not meeting some type of expectations. So look at what you afraid of. Is your fear more important than your desire to create? If “no”, then go create something. If you feel like “yes” is the answer, then stop taking the process so seriously. Find away to make the whole thing fun. Find a way to play with it. One thing that worked for me was getting some crayons and drawing a picture with them. Another thing I would do was just scrabble or paint different colors next to one another to see what would happen. Create a fun jingle and sing it to some kids. Try to make the strangest color cake out there. Go find some children and spend some time with them just being “silly”. Just play. No pressure. No expectations. No demands. No one will ever have know what you created. It will be our secret. Promise.

Excuse me, I hear my crayons calling me. How about you?

In love and light


Where In Your Life Are You Settling for Less?

Snow, snow, snow! Snow is everywhere you look around here. Last winter season we got pretty much nothing for snowfall. So far this season we have gotten a few good storms. Thus snow is every where. I love snow. I guess you could really say I love snowstorms and falling snow. The whole shoveling, icy roads and sidewalks, and really narrow streets I could do without. However, since that is a part of snow storms, I will live with them. For me the beauty and peace that I receive in a snowstorm outweighs the nuisances that accompany them. At least in January it does. When March comes around, the annoyances of a snowstorm may outweigh the joy I get from them.

As I was thinking about snowstorms and how I take the annoyances of them because I love the beauty of them, I got to wondering where in my life am I settling. There are benefits and consequences to everything that we do. I understand that. I also know from my own experience that sometime that “benefits and consequences” logic can be used as a means to settle for less that what you want. You like your job. You do something that you enjoy (but might not love), it pays you well, and you like the people you work with. So you stay. What you really want to be doing is something else. This is a case where the benefits of staying may outweigh the consequences of getting another job. Yet you are settling for less than you want (and deserve). You are asked to commit to a romantic partner who you love, treats you amazingly, and thinks the world of you and yet you have no passion or chemistry with. If you say yes, you are settling for less than what you may want.

Is settling for less really all that wrong? Yes and no. For me, the question really becomes are you even aware that you may be settling for less. Most of the time we think what we have in our lives is good enough that we forget that we ever wanted more or different. More often that not we have been so beaten up by life and kicked around and stomped down, that when we get something that is “good enough” we are not aware that we wanted “fantastic” and “amazing.” So ask yourself the question “Where in my life am I settling for ‘good enough?’ ” and sometimes that may be where you want to be at this moment. As long as you come clean with yourself and figure out what you really want and desire. Hold the vision for yourself. You may be willing to be in “good enough” for now and yet know that “fantastic” is out there for you also, someday. Look at what you are settling for in your life and allow “good enough” to grow and expand into the “amazing.”


In love and light

What Are You Fascinated By? What Are You Not Seeing?

Because people become fascinated with pictures and words, and wind up forgetting the Language of the World. from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

In this part of the book the alchemist is thinking about why it is that his teaching must be given to his students orally. He has always taught his students, master to apprentice, one on one. He does this so that there will be no chance of a misinterpretation or a shift in the teachings. Language is an amazing invention, and the written language allows tons of information to spread across the globe daily. We live in an age where information can be easily obtained and pretty much anyone can find just about anything on just about everything. All of the dissemination of information would not be possible without the written word. This gives humans a means of communication. The wriiten word is truly an amazingly powerful tool.

We use this tool so often and so effectively that we have forgotten that it is just a tool, and that it has its own issues. Words, although they have an agreed upon common meaning, are still open to interpretation by the person who reads them. Words are only a presentation of something. The word “tree”  in no way tells you about the specific tree that is growing in your front yard. You can go ahead and add more words to better describe the tree in the yard. This will help give someone a better mental picture of that tree. However, no matter how many words you add to the description, those words will never actually be that tree. They will never give another person the true experience of that tree. Words can describe the world but they will never be the world. People can become so fascinated and engulfed by the words and the pictures that give them information that is new to them that they forget that the words are not the experience. The words are not the truth of the thing. You can read everything there is about a beach, but until you walk on it, see it, feel it, and experience its many aspects you will never know the beach.

To understand the Language of the World you must experience the world and not become engulfed by the written description. Words will never be able to tell you how the wind feels on your face. Words can describe and words crafted together in amazing ways by amazing writters can cause you to almost feel like the wind blowing on your face. However, only you will know what the wind feels to like to you. Another person’s words will never be able to convey the truth of your experience. Words written on a page will always tell you what to think, present another person’s ideas, say how things look, and what to experience. Only you can decide for yourself the truth of those experiences when you experience the world. That is why some lessons cannot be read about. The words can distract you from your own interpretations and your own truth. Your experience is unique, and how the Language of the World speaks to you is unique. Getting caught up in the words, getting caught up in the information, can distract from how you speak to the Soul of the World.


In Love and Light


Lots of Ideas – Creativity Sapper?

At first “Lots of Ideas” would seem just the opposite of a creativity sapper. “Lots of Ideas” would seem like an abundance of creativity. Remember sappers usually deal with the act of creating not necessarily the ideas of creativity. So while having lots and lots of creative ideas is being creative, sometimes it also prevents people from acting upon those ideas.  Sometimes having an abundance of choices paralyzes and the person ends up picking none of the choices. Instead, they do nothing. Another way this sapper could manifest is moving from one idea to the next and never finishing things that are started. A person jumps from one thing to the next never actually completes any of their brilliant ideas. I believe these are both aspects of the same sapper. This is one sapper that I am very familiar with.

How do you know if this sapper is a part of your life? Big clue is if you have many different have started projects in your house. The energy rush of starting a new brilliant idea is amazing and yet the tedious follow through of a project may not be so.  So, as a result, your house is filled with lots of unfinished, started projects. Guilty as charged! Another clue would be if you find yourself saying things like “That would be wonderful to try” or “I would love to create ….” on a fairly regular basis. If you look around at the world and see possible paintings, unwritten stories, amazing designs, potential jewelry and other possibilities and yet really don’t do any thing with those ideas then this sapper maybe a part of your life. Cheer up! Having ideas is a good thing.

So how to unsap this sapper? As one of my coaches suggested to me, get a brilliant idea book. Every time you have an idea put it in the book by taking a picture, jotting a note, making a sketch, do something to get the idea out of your head onto the paper. Once it is out of your head, the energy is free to move. You are free to move. When you’re ready you can now come back to the idea. Another way is remove this sapper is to share your ideas. Give your ideas to someone else and let them run with them. This will energize you and support someone else. You have an amazing amount of ideas so you are not going to run out! Spread the wealth! Another way is to finish something. The satisfaction of finishing a project is as much a rush as starting. Get a feel for that satisfaction. Commit to either finishing the unfinished projects or throwing them out! That energy is stuck right now – get rid of it or finish it. Release all that stuck energy so it can move and flow into something new. Just do it as the Nike commercial says.  Start small and do one thing at a time. If you have a great idea during the process and are tempted to do that instead, put it in your book and vow to get back to it when the stuck energy is released.

One thing I would like to mention is that sappers work really well as a team. So where there is one sapper there is probably more. The “lots of ideas” sapper works really, really well with the “perfectionism” sapper. I will talk about that one next week. It also has another teammate that goes by the name of “overwhelm”. Those three love to work together and are usually very effective as an energy drain.

If this sapper is familiar to you I would love to hear what has worked for you to unsap the sapper!

In love and light


Creativity Sappers – What are they?

When I speak of creativity, there are two things that I can be referring to. One is the creative inspiration, that spark of an idea that comes to you. The second thing I may speak of is the act of creativity. This is what someone does to manifest the spark of inspiration into physical reality. More often than not when someone talks about being creative, they are speaking about the act of creativity, the doing and shaping of the spark of inspiration that has come to them. When I speak of creativity sappers I refer to the act of creativity and not the spark of creativity. I don’t believe that the spark of creativity can be truly sapped.

I believe that, by nature, human beings are creative beings. Everyday we are constantly taking past experiences and learnings and rearranging them in new things – different than they were before. This is creativity. We do this naturally and really without much thought. When you add some new ingredients to a old recipe, that is being creative. Created a new outfit for yourself – that is also creativity. Human beings are so creative that we don’t even think about it much and have delegate the word – creative- to only mean a few special people such as artists, musicians, writers, etc. We tend to think of people in those professions we think about someone who is creative. However, we are all creative and are being creative constantly. That, I feel, can never be truly turned off.

So, when I speak of creativity sappers I am referring to those things, events, ideas, philosophies that sap energy and prevent people from engaging in the act of creating something. The ideas, the sparks, are still there and yet, when the sappers are about, these ideas never seem to manifest into the physical plan. There are many different types and some them are very old friends of mine. You will probably recognize some of them yourself as I bring them out and introduce them. So, to be clear, a Creativity Sapper is any feeling, situation, person or action that, on a continued basis, prevents someone from engaging in the act of manifesting the spark of there inspired idea into physical reality. The sap the energy to doing anything right out of you. Goodbye. Nice to know you.

In the next few weeks I will be taking on the sappers one by one. I will pull them out and introducing them to you. I hope to make you aware of what might be preventing you from engaging in your acts of creativity. These are only some of the ones I see, felt or experienced in others. If you have a sapper you would like to talked please let me know. What is sapping you is probably sapping someone else to! Maybe, just maybe, an answer will come on how to prevent that sapper from working it’s ugly magic on you.  I hope to support us all in getting back to manifesting our unique spark of inspiration into the physical world. Beware Sappers, beware. Your days are numbered!

In love and light


When To Stop? When Is It OK?

How do you know when enough is enough? How do you know when to continue on and when to stop? In our society we give great praise and admiration to those that continue on when everything says they should stop. It is the athlete that keeps running with a torn muscle, the salesperson that stays late all the time to make those extra calls, and those people that push on (through pain, uncertainty, and forces telling them to stop) to make it happen that we put up on a pedestal. We make movies about it. We tell stories, give praise, and hold these people as the ideal of what we should strive for. They are the dichotomy of commitment, focus, and determination. They show what a human being can do when they set their mind to it. They are the role models we cling to when we need inspiration and strength.

and yet…

Is it worth finishing a race with a torn muscle if you will never be able to compete again? Is it worth those extras calls and late nights if it costs your family and marriage? Is it worth causing permanent, irreparable damage, physically and emotionally, to cross the finish line, make the grade, and achieve success? Where do you draw the line? When do you push on, press on, and continue and when do you stop, knowing that what you are doing is not working and it’s time to try something else?

I have no answers. I have no insights. I work with this concept daily. It was brought home to me this week as my physical body had challenges that needed to be addressed and now must take time to heal. When do I push on and finish what I said I was going to and when do I stop and rest? I think for each one of us this question is intensely personal. What you are doing and why must be weighed against what the potential costs will be. In the end we must all follow what our heart tells us to do, even when those around us are telling us to keep going or telling us to stop. Sometimes, until you strive for something with all your heart, you don’t realize you aren’t willing to pay the price it will cost. Despite what everything around you is saying, that’s OK. Really it is. Sometimes it isn’t until you fully commit to something, throw your heart completely into the game, that you realize you really didn’t want to play in the first place. That doesn’t make you a loser. That doesn’t mean you are uncommitted. It doesn’t mean you are unfocused. It just means you didn’t think the gain was worth the price you were going to have to pay. You decided it was better to rest, go home on time, to take time off, or change what you were focused on.

Guess what? That’s OK. Really it is.

In love and light

What Do You Appreciate in Your Life? Why?

Maybe God created the desert so that man could appreciate the date trees, he thought. from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Although I don’t subscribe to the belief that somethings were created so we could appreciate other things. I believe that all things are created because the Universe is endlessly creatively expressing itself in an infinite number of ways. Just as an artist may have some paintings they feel are sell-able and some are worthless, the Universe may have things perceived as “good” and “bad.” Yet all things are from the Universe and all are expression of that Self. I also believe that we human beings have an active place in the endless creation of the Universe. That we are not passive in response to the creativity around us. I believe we can influence what occurs and how something will flow.

I also realize that there are things that happen in our lives that we don’t like. We are hurt physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and we rail against God and the Universe thinking “WHY ME?”. We look around at our world and see “good” and “bad,” “right” and “wrong,” god and the devil. When we are caught in this viewpoint, it helps to step into gratitude and appreciation. The phrase “you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone” was created for a reason. We forget how lucky we are. We forget the beauty and wonder around us. We forget how amazing it is to have people smile and say hello to one another. We forget until it’s gone and then, once gone, we appreciate what we had. Appreciate what you have. Be in gratitude for the gifts and blessings around you. Don’t wait until you are in the desert before you appreciate the date trees.

In Love and Light


What Is the Nature of Belief?

He (the Master) never expects results; thus he is never disappointed.

Verse 55 from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Ask. Believe. Thank. Receive. These are the four steps from the movie The Secret on how to manifest what you want into your life. Nowhere does it say expect. Believe – yes. Expect – no. There is a difference. They have a different energy to them. They have a different vibration to them. Believe is defined as “to have confidence or faith in the truth of or to give credence to.” Expect is defined as “to look for with reason or justification.” Expectation has in it an energy of “owning” or “deserving.” Expectation has a logic to it. It has a plan. Expectation has a way in which everything will fall into place and you will get what you want. Expectation is about a step by step process. Belief is different. Believing is about the unexpected. It is about being in the flowing. Moving when you feel it’s time. Stopping when you feel it’s time to stop. Belief is about a check in the mail out of nowhere. It is about someone reading your blog, seeing your design, tasting your creation and then contacting you – unexpectedly. Belief is about miracles and “Hail Mary”s. It is about prayer, trust, and a deep abiding knowing in the Truth of the Universe. Belief is about allowing the Universe to reveal in its own time and its own way. It is about not holding on to those dreams too tightly and allowing them time to breath, grow and develop.

When you are fully immersed in the Tao, the world flows around you and you flow with it. There are goals and commitments, wishes and desires and there is also a knowing that all things have a time and place. You know that what you want will flow to you and yet you place no time frames, no expectations, and no hows on those desires. They are a part of you and a part of the Tao; therefore of course they will occur. Yet each day is allowed to move around you without you looking for or forcing those desires into place. You adapt and interpret what occurs. You shift and change and flow all the while knowing that what you desire will come.

Without an expectation of what has to occur and what has to be, the Tao can use all it resources available to send what you desire to you. Expectation is a dam in the river. It is a stone the Tao must flow around. If you expect how something must be, you limit the possibilities of what can occur. It must so up in a certain way. If it doesn’t you are disappointed. Without expectations the possibilities are endless and you are always surprised and grateful at how the Tao has sent your desire to you.

In love and light