July is Social Awareness Month, which has nothing to do with social media and everything to do with empathy, friendship, and compassion. Today, seek harmony in your environment beginning with yourself: smile at your reflection in the mirror, reward yourself for completing a difficult task, soak up some sun on a park bench, or go to bed early. Be aware of what keeps you humming with harmony and pass the feeling on…
Ah the 4th of July – this mid-summer celebration means parades, picnics, and popping eardrums! I remember parades, church picnics, and carnivals growing up. Our little Coastside town hosts an old-fashioned parade every year where practically the whole town turns out to march down Main Street, little kids decorate their bikes with red, white, and blue crepe paper streamers, and big kids shine up their hot rods. While some light a sparkler or two in the twilight, crowds wait impatiently for the fireworks guaranteed to light up the sky with dramatic displays of color along with the sonic boom explosions. Perhaps you will take a picnic to the beach, to a local park, or to your backyard. I hope you have a chance to spend the day with family/friends expressing gratitude to our ancestors for this Independence Day.
Enjoy ice cream today – Coaxing Creativity Tuesday Tip June 22, 2010
Eat ice cream today – Last week’s trip to the county fair got me thinking about the treats and since June is Dairy Month (since 1939) I’ll encourage you to indulge in a frozen goodie today. What’s your favorite? Chocolate? Vanilla? Rocky Road? Maybe it’s something you only let yourself have on special occasions. Yesterday was the Summer Solstice and the official beginning of summer. That’s pretty special. Or, create your own special occasion…Care to join me in celebrating?
Rebuild Your Life This Month
Rebuild your life? June is Rebuild Your Life Month. Depending on your point of view, that could be a very odd phrase, or an exciting challenge. In some ways, we rebuild our life getting out of bed every morning. Each small decision builds upon the next, until you’ve chosen what to wear, what to eat, where to live, which career to pursue and who you want to spend time with. Sometimes those decisions are the direct result of random events in your lives.
After my first breast cancer experience, I bounced back into my old routine so fast I think I left tire marks in the hospital parking lot. Well, no. But, while my physical self regained normalcy, emotionally I was in a state of shock. Pretending it had never happened made it quite easy to get on with my life. My family was also anxious that I return to “normalcy” as soon as possible too. That way they could feel nothing had really changed in their world. After all, I looked the same, so it was a couple of days of bed rest and back to the usual routine. Putting the whole diagnosis, out-patient surgery and recovery into the recesses of my memory seemed to work quite well – for a time. It worked until I was diagnosed with D.C.I.S. again in the same breast 3½ years later.
This time, rebuilding my life meant taking part in my healing process and choosing to not jump back into old habits as if programmed, or just because it was expected. Instead, I followed my own path to exploring creativity and all the benefits of hands-on activities. I wrote in my journal about everything I was thinking and feeling. I gave myself time and space to explore what my body, mind and spirit needed. I’d always been drawn to many forms of crafts such as sewing, beading, collage, decoupage, and stamping. But never thought of myself as an artist. Artists had paintings and sculptures in museums; I liked to make distinctive beaded jewelry. I made dance and ice skating costumes, slipcovers and window treatments, and embellished journals with whimsical collages.
In the process of rebuilding my life, I have reinvented myself. I now claim the mantle of Artist of the Everyday because my works-of-art are to be used and enjoyed in day-to-day life. As a self-proclaimed Creativity Mentor, I encourage everyone I meet to claim your creativity to rebuild your life in whatever method, means or sector beckons you.
Do you remember the fun you had going to the County Fair? The excitement of wondering if there would be a new ride to thrill you on the Midway, anticipation of discovering new treats to add to your favorites (mine were Tom Thumb doughnuts milkshakes at the Dairy Building), and the pride in participating in the 4H competitions. Attending a full-blown fair to see the cows, ducks, chickens, goats and pigs; climb aboard the magic carpets that spun, gyrated and rotated, and indulge at the concession stands offering various delectable delights on-a-stick is a way to relive your childhood. Or, perhaps you liked to listen to the “live” infomercials under the grandstand where the Veg-O-Matic and the Amazing Ricing/Dicing/Spliccing machine was being demonstrated (also a good source for free snacks). And if you didn’t get to do those things, keep your eyes and ears open because every summer weekend the newspaper or radio will advise you where to go to get in on the fun. Tonight, I’ll be speaking on Creativity 101 on the Literary Arts Stage at the San Mateo County Fair – so come on down to the Fiesta Bldg at if you’re in the area at 8 pm. We could share some cotton candy afterwards.