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Authenticity

Authenticity, Creativity

Life, Art and Creativity: Getting Stuck and How To Find Our Flow Again

“I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art.” ~ Helena Bonham Carter

Along with art being present in everything we do and who we are, comes the need for creativity, fresh perspectives and inspiration – as it applies to all this day-to-day stuff. Whether we’re plugging away on an assignment at work or staring at a blank canvas with a paintbrush in hand, we need to plug into our creative nature to move forward. But sometimes, we just get stuck.

I can’t possibly recall the multitude of times I’ve sat in front of my laptop, staring at an open Word document, trying to squeeze something out. Just a paragraph, sentence or even a completely random thought, hoping to spark an idea and a narrative thread only to find myself completely uninspired.

But in these cases when we feel like we’re creating something – some concrete form of output – we often assume that these are the only times we need to tap into our inspiration or creativity. But what about the other times we need to get creative and fresh in our thinking?

I was in the grocery store the other day wandering around the produce section when I realized that I’ve been cooking pretty much the same stuff, with the same ingredients on rotation for a long while now. We can often stick to the same old, same old because it’s quick and easy. Couldn’t that use a fresh perspective?

Then there are the times that I bump into a difficult situation with someone. Disagreements and issues are inevitable when we’re dealing with other people but sometimes we get stuck on what to say, how to broach a difficult subject and what really bothered us about it all in the first place. Sometimes we can’t see what’s really bugging us and what we can do to communicate clearly and fairly. Couldn’t that use some creativity?

Here’s the thing though, when we get stuck on something – be that a creative project, a mundane habit or routine or even sticky situations with other people – the more we try to force an outcome or solution, the more we’ll find ourselves stuck.

Inspiration often hits us when we least expect it and when we aren’t replaying details in our head, overthinking every last detail.

We paint the most beautiful pieces of art when we literally turn up the music and get lost in the vibe or find that silence between thoughts where we’re not worrying about things and let that energy take over. We get inspired when we sit back, take a deep breath and just paint, letting the composition reveal itself to us.

We get inspired to change things up when we’re open to it. More often than not, when we set the intention to change something in life, we’ll see things pop up in our days that would suggest how to go about making that change. We might get ideas of who to reach out to, what to do differently and which options are available to us.

We understand how to deal with hiccups in our relationships with others when we step away from a problem and stop trying to ‘figure it all out’. When we gain some distance from our troubles, it’s often easier to see the crux of the issue and get a better handle on what’s what.

Getting creative and finding our flow happens when we open up to possibilities. It happens when we decide to surrender the thinking that we can dig up a solution to every problem as long as we think long and hard enough about it. Getting creative and finding our flow happens when we let go and let inspiration find us.

And sometimes (a lot of the time) getting creative and finding inspiration is about making progress. Sometimes it’s about uncovering a way to move ahead (not finding a way, but revealing it). And sometimes (a lot of the time) progress is about compassion – about being gentle on ourselves and the process. It’s often through this compassion that we begin to move forward and find our flow again.

Painting cred: Patrice Murciano.
Authenticity, Relationship, Spirituality

Letter From Your Future

Dear Human,

Remember how your entire being ached after you lost in love? You vowed you couldn’t possibly ever open up again in the same way. You guarded yourself and tread carefully with matters of the heart. But I was there to give you time to heal, distance to gain perspective and strength to move on.

Remember when you would wake up restless in the middle of the night, your mind racing as you worried about your mounting bills? You felt like you were missing out, lacking something and struggling to survive. Yet you always had a roof over your head, solid ground under your feet and food on the table. You may not have had the biggest or fanciest house or lavish gourmet bites but I was always there to protect, support and nourish you.

Remember when you doubted that your body intuitively knows what it needs? When you dismissed how energizing it can be to stretch your muscles, walk, eat healthy, and breathe deeply. When you could see sickness and lethargy creeping in and instead of heeding the signs, you moved through your days as if nothing was wrong. When you could feel your thoughts reflecting your scattered energy. Yet here you are. You woke up this morning, you walked to work. You didn’t have to ask your body to get you to where you needed to be. You just got there.

There was a time when you felt like you had to have everything figured out. Here’s the thing: you can’t possibly have everything figured out and you’re not supposed to. Your experiences, the things that happen to and around you that make you feel something in the moment, and how you move through them all – that matters.

There was a time when you were obsessed about “finding your passion and purpose” in this world. Passion. Purpose. Those are just labels you use that actually complicate things that can be so very simple.

Does it feel good? Does it light you up? Does it make you spring from bed in the morning to check in and work? Do you fall naturally into flow and lose track of all time as you dive into it? Do you love it? Then go do it.

You don’t need to “find” anything. Your passion and purpose aren’t elusively hiding under a rock. You just need to be and allow things to unfold naturally. Recognize what feels right and trust that the more you make choices based on how you feel, the better you’ll get at knowing where to focus your attention and what to let go of. Don’t try to figure everything out. Just feel everything. Be. Love.

There will be times when you break down and question it all. There will be moments when hearing that ‘everything happens for a reason’ will positively infuriate you in the face of death, loss, sickness and struggle. But I promise you – in even your lowest moments and darkest times – when you think that you’re alone and there’s no rhyme or reason, there’s an invisible thread connecting your experiences resulting in the person you are today. And you’re fucking beautiful.

The point is to try not to busy your mind with over-analyzing and worrying about possible outcomes. Experience your unique experiences. Sit with the emotions. Refrain from judgement. Move through it all. Do everything with love.

Comparison will only rid you of your own personal growth and happiness.

And then.
One day.
You’ll find yourself in some place new, doing something that feels like home. And when your mind is at peace with yourself, your choices and your surroundings, I promise you that you’ll begin to see that invisible thread. And it won’t be about understanding it but rather, accepting it. Being thankful for it. And knowing that the less you try and the more you just be yourself – kinks, contradictions and all – the more things will continue to fall into place.

With mad, mad love,

The Universe XX

Authenticity, Creativity, Learning, Lifestyle, Relationship, Wellness

Join us on March 5th for My Epoch

Grab your tickets! A chiropractor, an actor, one clinical psychologist, a reluctant extrovert and an aspiring entrepreneur come together to bring you My Epoch.

There is an emerging desire for authentic connections through quality conversations.

This series of events was created to free ourselves from cognitive and emotional rigidity thereby enhancing our sense of control, focus and pleasure.

Learning, sharing and celebrating in a novel environment will be the catalyst for better choices and behaviours.

The inaugural event is a balance of coherence, intrigue and provocation that is beautifully curated.

Welcome to My Epoch.

epŸ och: /epək/

A moment.

A process.

An attitude.

A period of time in your life marked by a notable shared event. Engage in an opportunity to network, not work.

Stay a Seeker.

The Evening’s Speakers:

Dr. Mehran Tabrizi. Chiropractor & Osteopathy. Movility Founder. A Brain New Way To Be.

Dennis McCormac. Scientist/Creator. Converging art and science to open minds and educate the public in an accessible way. Genotype – Phenotype – Denotype…Are you my type?

Dr. Stacy Thomas. Clinical Psychologist.  Design Your Life.

Greg Hum. Student Affairs Practitioner. Adventure seeker. Geek. Adventures Of A Reluctant Extrovert.

Corinne K. Change Catalyst. Content Creator. Embracing Imperfect Success.

Zach Smadu. Professional Actor. Freelance Athlete. Maker of things both tangible and elusive. Life-Hacks From Acting.

Complimentary appetizers and drinks.

Dress Code: Look good. Feel good.

 

Authenticity, Learning, Wellness

The Ever-So-Fine Art of Not Giving A F**k

I’m not sure if it’s the breadth of experiences I’ve had in the last couple of years or the fact that I’m getting older (I surmise that it’s a combination of the two) but as time goes by, I’m really starting to understand the concept of not giving a f**k. I mean, I’ve always agreed that you can’t please everyone all the time on an intellectual level but now, I feel it deep in my bones. The very cells of my body delight when I recognize that I’m actually implementing this attitude in my daily life.

I am hands down a people pleaser. I’ve always been one to be sure that the people I interact with are taken care of in a situation. While this empathy has served me well in life and work, it’s also contributed to a lot of my unhappiness. I’ve said yes in cases where every inch of my being was screaming no, only to look back and think, “I knew that was a bad idea”. I’ve taken on more work than I was able to handle and found myself waking up at 2am tossing in a cold sweat worrying about my insurmountable to-do list and unattainable deadlines. I’ve replayed past conversations in my head, rehearsing what I would say the next time the same situation arose, wasting precious energy and time on things that I can’t change.

So what’s a people pleaser to do?

I’m not saying that I now run around being a jerk to everyone, tossing expletives in refusal whenever I’m asked to do something I’m not really interested in. However, I do think there’s something ridiculously gratifying and freeing in caring less about what other people think and more about what I need personally.

So instead of always putting others ahead of myself and caring more about people’s opinions than my own needs, I check in. A lot.

I check in with myself when I’m feeling anxious to see what’s really going on. Am I having a private conversation with myself about a situation at hand? Am I worrying about stuff that hasn’t even happened yet? Am I having second thoughts about a decision I’ve made because perhaps I clung to a choice in haste, without reviewing all the angles? Am I creating mountains out of molehills or is there something I can do to alleviate my anxiety in that space and time?

I check in with myself when I feel tension in my body. Is there something around me that’s making me feel uncomfortable? Is there something I can change in that moment to feel better and reduce the tension? Can I make a mental note of what I can do differently another time to reduce my discomfort? Our bodies are amazing gauges for the things that we might not be dealing with head-on. Those things manifest in sickness, muscle tension, aches and pains.

I check in with myself when my mind is going 100 miles an hour and I can’t seem to focus. Is there something I’m missing? Am I getting lost in details and not looking at the big picture? Am I losing sight of the good things happening and instead, focusing on the negatives?

And finally, I check in with myself when I’m feeling good. I check in when I’m feeling uplifted, inspired, enlightened and amused. And those times?

I make a mental note of the things that make me feel good – the people, places, things and situations that I know I need more of in my life. I check in and give the universe a nod and say aloud or to myself, “I’ll take more of that please!”

Because not giving a f**k is about letting go of the things that aren’t working for us, worrying less about what other people think and having honest (and sometimes awkward) conversations where we express our true feelings and intentions.

But not giving a f**k is also about embracing the things that we love and going out to do more of that stuff. It’s also about recognizing that those awesome things might not work for other people but that doesn’t make them any less important or vital to our own happiness.

Not giving a f**k is about knowing that we all have our own path to trod, on our own time, in our own space.

Not giving a f**k is about knowing that only we know what’s right for us and that we owe it to ourselves to do more of that stuff.

And the people, places and things that fall off on the way to becoming more of who we are? They weren’t meant to be. The people, places and things that support us through it all? They’re gold. Magic. Love. Worth investing energy and time into. Worth giving a f**k about.

xo