Lots of laughter, powerful PLAY, attitude adjustment, accessing artist selves, lively conversation, sharing, and wonderful connections were made at the Coaxing Creativity Decide, Design & Declare Your Writing Life for 2010 Workshop. I am so inspired by all the creativity demonstrated by everyone in the room. Congratulations to all of you for Deciding to show up for yourself, Declaring how/what you wanted to achieve in your writing life in 2010 , and Designing such amazing works of collage art as a visual representation of your journey. Thank you for allowing me to facilitate this step. The vision board is just one step…I can’t wait to find out what happens next…
January is International Creativity Month – a whole month dedicated to Creativity! Well, I know that creativity is important on a daily basis. Many will start the New Year off making resolutions and creating lists of ambitions and goals to accomplish before the end of 2010. Sometimes the list will include vows to: lose weight, exercise regularly, write that book, contribute to savings, limit spending, work less & play more, spend time with the family… (fill in the resolution I’m missing). You get the point, these things are well and good, but will they really happen?
Did you know that according to the latest statistics, 40% of us will make New Years resolutions? Those who make resolutions are more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions. Most of those folks probably took a pen and made a list, or they sat down at their computer screen. The act of writing something down is a powerful way to make your thoughts tangible. The act of making a Vision Board (or collage) with pictures illustrating the written list of your hopes, dreams, intentions and resolutions for 2010 can dramatically increase the chances your projections go from possibilities to reality.
The Vision Board is part magic and part puzzle. If you’d like help getting started, I’m facilitating a workshop on Jan 30 at 10 a.m. on the San Mateo Coastside (sponsored by the Women’s National Book Assn-San Francisco Chapter) where we’ll be creating Vision Boards for 2010. It will be a day of goal setting, brainstorming, good conversation, writing, much laughter, fun and chocolate. It’s a bargain too $30 for WNBA-SF members and $45 for non-members. Go to www.wnba-sfchapter-org to register.
Whether it’s a new concept, or an annual ritual, vision boards perform powerful magic in helping us manifest our dreams. They are a staple at inspirational retreats I’ve attended and if you saw the DVD “The Secret,” you know it played a significant part. The Law of Attraction directs us to envision success as if it is in the present and has already happened. The more detail you bring into the mental image, the better. The vision board brings life to the mental image.
A vision board may also be called a Treasure Map, or Creativity Collage. Using simple raw materials of paper and glue, a dash of whimsy along with a generous amount of your own imagination, the final result is the birth of a physical expression of your inner most hopes and dreams. The word collage comes from the French “to stick.” It is a work of visual art made from an assemblage of different forms (images from magazines, jazzy junk mail, ribbon, photo copies of favorite pictures, and sometimes handwritten quotes); creating a new whole.
This is an opportunity to have fun envisioning the 2010 you’d like to experience. We’re not just playing around. We’re Playing with Purpose! The idea is that when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live, or where you want to vacation, your life changes to match those images and those desires.
Ready to create your vision board?
I can’t wait to see how this year turns out…
October always signals the beginning of change for me with life’s routines resuming after summer’s varied schedules and crisp autumn days. The gold tones of the leaves strewn everywhere create a path of royal splendor for me – even if I’m just walking to the mail box.
October is my birthday month. It’s permission to indulgence in pretty much every aspect of my life: food (my daughter made me the most delightful pumpkin spice cake this year), wine (had a lovely glass of Riesling with our celebratory dinner) and shopping with my daughter on my birthday was great fun (found several goodies in Carmel). I am also so very grateful for the fact that my early breast cancer detection made it possible for me to be around to enjoy all these indulgences.
Shortly after my 51st birthday, I went for my annual mammogram. Later, I received a form letter in the mail with a big red X next to the line that said: an abnormality has been found on your mammogram. Two weeks later, I had my first breast cancer surgery. Three and a half years later I had my second breast cancer surgery, after a “routine” mammogram and receiving another form letter. I’ve been cancer free for five years. Needless to say, every day is cause for gratitude and celebration.
As strange as it may seem, I’ve come to view my breast cancer diagnosis as a gift. It has brought me clarity and courage. The clarity to recognize what is really important in my life (like birthday cake with the family, observing the change of seasons, and friends calling to sing birthday wishes). The courage to step out of my comfort zone to pursue dreams I have long harbored in my journals and imagination. Simple shifts in attitude have created significant changes in how I’m creating and living my hand-crafted life.
My birthday wish for all those reading this message is that you start today to nurture yourself daily. Indulge in 15 minutes of quiet time to get to know what gives you joy. (If you answered chocolate – remember this time of year lots of treats come in bite-size so you can have your treat and not feel too guilty about it. If you answered 15-minutes to myself, I’m confident you can accomplish that too!)
Yesterday I had lunch with Catherine (Kate) Farrel, a new friend from Redwood California Writer’s Club and The Women’s National Book Assn-San Francisco Chapter, and we discussed her book, Girl in the Mirror. Kate had come across the Golden Gate Bridge to meet with me on the Coastside so we could brainstorm about the workshop Kate wants to offer in conjunction with her book. As we sat enjoying our delicious food in the bustling coffee shop, I found myself nodding at all the many valid issues facing teens: poor self-image, vulnerability to dating violence, depression and disorders. But with competition from things like reality TV, peer pressure and text messaging, I knew it would be hard to get their attention unless the workshop was fun and related to the girls’ daily life. Collage accomplishes both of those criteria. Supplies are simple: old magazines/colored paper, a glue stick and a sheet of paper or a notebook. The simple hands-on activity draws in the participants because they choose the images from their favorite magazines to create the collage picture. It engages their sense of sight, sound and touch. It sparks their imagination and invites them to play with purpose. More importantly, it gives everyone common ground to start from.
Self-image is a challenge for females no matter what our age. We are all works-in-progress. Very beautiful works-in-progress; each in our own way. I’ve included an example of a collage I did with a self-image theme. What would you create if you sat down with your favorites (Glamour, Vogue, Good Housekeeping, People, Redbook, Moore, Self, Shape or W), a glue stick and your imagination to create a vision of your self-image?