Getting creative with life’s dramas

Today I have a little story for you – how I got creative and turned a frustrating mini-drama into a very happy ending…

 

Creativity: a tool for life

Now, as you may know, I am obsessed with the creative process – how to find the time, inspiration and energy for more expression, and how to enjoy more flow and ease as we go along.

Because I love creative people. I have so much admiration for the brave-hearted souls who are facing the bumps and challenges that arise when you answer the call of your art and spirit.

And I know the powerful life-enhancing benefits that arise when you do manage to live the creative life you were meant to enjoy.

So, I’m a big advocate of creative expression – whatever that looks like for each of us.

But did you know that honing your creative skills can make for a happier life, even beyond the writing room or studio?

When you actively build your ‘creativity muscle’, it can help you in so many areas of your life. 

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It can help you with work challenges.

It can help with relationships.

It can help with health issues.

It can even help you with cooking – transforming basic fuel into a delicious experience.

And cultivating a creative response can also help with the little (or big) dramas of life, that seem to be an integral part of our human journey.

• • • 

For example, yesterday evening, at about 9pm…

My son was packing his cricket kit in preparation for his first match for his new school.

This was the high-school event he’d been waiting for – a chance to finally shine in his favourite sport.

We were chatting happily about his debut in the morning, until…

He discovered that his cricket trousers – optimistically know as ‘whites’ – had somehow been left in his bag at the end of last season.

This might not have been too bad, had the season finale not been quite so wet.

And muddy.

As you can imagine, chaos ensued.

How to turn a pair of brown trousers white in just a few hours….

 

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Time to get creative. Part I.

After some ‘discussion’, we decided that the offending trousers were a write-off.

Instead of staying up all night to get them clean, we agreed on a simpler option: Mum’s Concierge Service would make an early morning trip to the sports shop and then drop off a new pair at school.

Problem solved.

(This seems like an obvious solution in hindsight, but in the heat of bedtime panics, it took quite a long (and noisy) time to find.)

However, this particular Mum Concierge was less than thrilled with the solution, having made other plans for my Friday.

Time to get creative. Part II.

Instead of heading down the (admittedly tempting) path of begrudging frustration, I decided to think about how I could mitigate this annoying drama, maybe even turn it into a good thing.

I got creative.

I took the ‘given’ – a reluctant trip into town – and did all I could to make it a more positive experience.

And I had the best morning!

I walked across the beautiful Harrogate Stray…

I stopped off at my favourite cafe…

 

I spent very happy 20 minutes in the local bookshop, treating myself to a book I’ve been wanting for a while…

I even acquired a new Tiffany Blue notebook. (Tiffany Blue anything makes me so happy…)

I was enjoying my enforced ‘inconvenience’ so much that I almost forgot to buy cricket trousers.

And as I walked back to the school to deliver the all-important debut-standard whites, I wondered…

How many other mini-dramas could I have turned around, with a more creative approach?

But not to worry, given the roller-coaster of family life, I know I’ll get plenty of opportunities to practice my skills. 😉

• • •

So, I share my mini-epiphany in the hope that it inspires you to cast a creative eye over your next mini-drama.

Imagine if we all got creative with our problems and somehow managed to always find the diamonds in the dustheap…

It may not solve every problem, but I’m sure it would make for a happier planet overall.

Creativity as a route to world peace – and we can begin with all the little hiccups at home.

 

Let me know if you give it a go!

 

Wishing you a creative, inspired and drama-free week,

 

Danielle

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EMAIL COACHING FOR CREATIVES

A single, powerful month of creativity coaching by email.

Subscriber Showcase – Meet Sally!

Welcome to a new Subscriber Showcase.

I hope you’re enjoying this series of virtual meet-ups with your creative peers. 🙂

I’ve been enjoying the the diversity of my subscribers! It’s such a joy to discover the many different ways of living a creative life.

And this month we’re exploring a form of creative expression that’s a new one for this series – public speaking.

Allow me to introduce the inspiring and empowering work of…

Sally Koering Zimney

Tell us about yourself, Sally. 

• • • 

SallyAndyHS45Hi! I’m Sally.

I’m a presentation coach and consultant – and I have the awesome privilege of helping speakers (and people who are convinced they’re not speakers) to bring their voice and story to the world with more authenticity, courage and clarity.

After some formal training in the speech world (trained by some of the finest speech coaches in the country), and a decade of being on stage in the theater world, I found myself bringing these worlds together: taking the technical skills of speaking and applying them like an artist, because being a good speaker – like a good artist – requires us to really know ourselves as humans.

Most presentation training applies a kind of formula and aims to short-cut the process.

But the artistry of creating a moving talk takes intuition, creativity, and a willingness to dig a little deeper.

And in my view, speaking is something that is available to – and needed by – any creative leader who wants to make her mark in the world!

So I make it my deal to make speaking both a higher calling – and a lower hurdle to jump over.

• • •

Tell us a little about your creative life, and why it’s important to you.

• • • 

I myself love being on stage!

It has always fed and challenged me creatively. I remember the first time I made people laugh on stage – I was hooked! And for a decade or so – that’s what I thought my life was moving towards.

But life kept offering me opportunities on the other side of things, as a coach. And I quickly realized that maybe even more so I am built to empower and illuminate.

I *see* what’s possible – and have learned how to help you get there. (Only after stumbling at that last part for a bit…)

Now my creativity is nourished as I wrestle with the possibilities that exist in each of my speakers.

One of my most cherished mantras is that We Start with an A – an idea that I had been living out as a coach, but which was given a name and explained in the amazing book by Ben and Rosalind Zander called The Art of Possibility.

art of possibilityThe basic gist is that as a coach (or a teacher, or a boss, or a parent…) my job is to give you an “A” – because the masterpiece is already within.

As the student you just have to believe in it and behave as if this masterpiece is there – and I have to help you chip away the other stuff that is covering it up.

I think, perhaps, this is the most accurate description of the process of creating a talk. It’s a chipping-away – not only at our ideas and our words – but all the things we hold on to that get in the way of really revealing who we are.

Great speaking reveals the masterpiece that is hiding inside.

I am most moved creatively when I can create that moment when a speaker experiences the joy of sharing something real – and having that connect with the audience.

It’s a liberating and empowering experience that I feel privileged to be a part of.

I’ve seen it turn a light on inside people because there’s nothing as powerful as standing in your own truth and having that truth be heard and appreciated.

I want to bring more of it into the world, not just for the empowerment of the speaker, but for the good of the world.

• • •

Tell us more about your current creative adventures…

• • • 

I just launched a new service called Quick Coaching – quick, personalized virtual coaching to help you take your talk to the next level.

TMM Quick Coaching Banner

It’s a great way for speakers to get a little guidance and feedback on what they’re doing without breaking the bank or investing in a long-term coaching partnership.

I have devoted much of my life studying not just what works, but how to communicate to and uplift people in the process of doing what works – and it’s a real passion of mine that I think can be surprisingly helpful.

And, I’m building my way towards an in-person workshop experience called the Movers Lab. Bringing a handful of experts who are building their signature talk together to workshop them, give them support and feedback in the process, and build some powerful connections amongst the group.

It’s a dream of mine – and I hope to bring it to life in the next year! (Along with, like, a billion other ideas! Help! I am drowning in hopes/dreams/wishes/ideas!)

• • • 

Thank you, Sally!

this moved me podcastSo, I hope that you enjoyed meeting Sally and her fascinating world of public speaking. If you’d like to hear more from her, she has a brilliant podcast series over on iTunes – it’s called This Moved Me.

Or if you’d like Sally’s support in telling your own moving story, please head over to her website where you can find more details on how to connect, as well as a free download:

7 Costly Myths of Public Speaking

• • • 

And if you’d like me to feature you and your creative projects in a future Subscriber Showcase – please just let me know.

Here’s to the power of telling our stories. 🙂

Have an inspiring and wonderful week!

Danielle

 

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Creativity &…food? Introducing: The Muse Diet


We are what we eat.

Literally. Our cells our made up of whatever we put into our bodies.

We all know that our food choices affect us physically.

But what’s less obvious is how food can affect the invisible aspects of our selves and our lives; 

• our energy levels,

• our emotions

• our powers of concentration

• our access to inspiration.

And these invisible aspects greatly impact our creative output, not to mention our lives in general.

So, is there a way to eat that can support our creative dreams?

Are there foods that can help us be more inspired?

Is there… a Muse-friendly diet? 

Yes, yes and yes!

But here in The Muse Spa, there are no recipes, shopping lists or food plans.

Here, we focus on just two ingredients:

Intention and awareness.

Intention

Making positive changes to what you eat can change your life.

Eating well is undoubtedly a vital ingredient of living well.

So one powerful way to improve the quality of your diet is simply to declare an intention to eat well.

Make a decision, or rather develop the habit of remaking this decision, as the habits of a lifetime may take a while to replace.

Of course, this is quite a challenge. But fortunately, there is help available in the shape of…. Your muse.

Your muse is cheering for the healthy, vital and beautifully nourished version of you.

It’s the You she most wants to work and play with, so she’s ready and willing to be your internal support system.

Once you decide to set this course – just this simple intention to eat well – your intuition and subconscious mind will be on the look out for the perfect resources.

• The books you need will find you.

• The perfect expert will ‘just happen’ to be on TV when you’re watching.

• Relevant emails will just pop up in your inbox.

• Chance comments with friends will lead you new cooking ideas, places to eat and foods to try.

In declaring your intention, your radar will shift to notice the things that support it.

This is your muse in action.

No willpower required.

Expect inspired new attitudes towards what and how you eat.

Don’t be surprised if your tastes begin to change, as you naturally begin to prefer quality food and purer, more natural ingredients.

You may become fired up with enthusiasm for a new eating regime, or changes may be more subtle; gradual improvements to daily choices.

Of course, there may be lapses – allow for them, forgive them and then begin afresh.

Remind yourself of the benefits of looking after your body:

• vibrant life energy

• glowing skin

• formidable powers of concentration, memory and focus,

• quality sleep

If possible, surround yourself with visual reminders of the glorious side-effects of a nurturing diet.

Choosing to eat well is a lifelong affair.

Even though rapid change can feel like a breakthrough, a more gentle pace could prove to be the most sustainable.

Either way, be kind to yourself and stay calmly focused on your intention.

And, as always, stay tuned into the messages from your body.

Which brings us nicely onto our second Muse Diet ingredient…

Awareness

The feast of dietary advice available today is bewildering.

So many systems and regimes.

So much conflicting advice or outdated information.

So many experts and celebrity endorsements and scientific discoveries.

How on earth are we supposed to know which one is right for us?

Luckily, there is one source which has your optimum health at heart, knows you intimately and is available for consultation 24 hours a day.

Your body.

Your body knows.

Your body has an intelligence and it communicates its needs to you – or at least it tries.

In modern life, many of us have lost touch with this inner source of dietary wisdom, but we can tune back in.

And not only will listening to your body’s signals help you find the right eating regime for you, it is also good practice at tuning inward.

The source of your body’s wisdom is also where your Muse lives.

Further in the course, we’ll explore how the Muse may be speaking to you via your physical body, so any steps you take to listen more closely will help you strengthen that line of communication.

• • •

So, how to begin?

Easy; just watch, listen, notice.

No need to make any changes at first, this is just an observational exercise.

Become conscious of your eating habits.

Be more aware of any cravings or unusual appetites.

Ask questions.

After a meal, assess how you feel.

Play food detective; if you notice a stomach ache or bloating, ask yourself what you ate recently; how you ate it – rushed, standing up, angry?

Monitor your bodily functions. Is there any pattern to certain problems?

Do you have energy dips at certain times of the day?

Do certain foods effect your concentration?

Are you more focussed before you eat?

Do you eat because you’re hungry? Emotional? Stressed? Bored?

Are you actually enjoying each mouthful?

Do you notice when you’re full?

orange chocolate fruit face

If you’re going to indulge in a ‘guilty pleasure’ – try to taste every mouthful and either savour the experience or learn exactly what need it fulfils. (Or doesn’t).

In Ayurveda, the ancient science of holistic health, the theory is that all health – or ill-health – can be traced back to the quality of digestion.

So it can help to also be mindful of how and when you eat, as these factors can have a bearing on digestion and, as a result nutrition and the after effects of food.

For example, eating when stressed compromises digestion.

As does eating while walking. Or jumping straight into another activity immediately after a meal.

Eating late at night or just before exercise can also cause problems.

See if you can pin-point any eating habits that are causing you unnecessary issues.

Keeping a food diary can be enlightening.

It may be a time-consuming practice but if this is a potent issue for you, the results can be surprising and may help to make simple changes that will last a lifetime.

Even doing this for a short time can train you to notice what you eat, and its effects.

A habit of awareness will recalibrate your relationship with your food and your body. 

It will also move you closer to your intuition and internal wisdom, aka; your muse.

This attention to what you eat is less about fitting a certain dress size and more about how you feel in your body.

It’s a journey towards increased health and wellbeing and the myriad life-enhancing results that naturally follow.

The Secret Ingredient

There are actually 3 ingredients to the Muse Diet…

Whilst the above information is vital if we are to stay healthy and live a life where we are poised to reach our potential, there is one vital element that will not only keep your dining habits muse-friendly, it will also ensure that your life retains an essential pleasure that’s meant to be a part of the human diet:

Joy.

The joy of food.

The sensual indulgence of good food – food that nourishes us, body and soul.

The pleasure of eating, and eating well.

What’s the point of losing weight and looking great if we have to remove all the things from our life that give us pleasure?

Could stressing about your diet actually be worse for you than poor nutrition?

And how good can we look or feel when living a life of deprivation?

Yes, nutrition matters but stress can make us gain weight, whereas happiness can help us lose it.

The key is balance, to follow a nutritious diet we can enjoy, without stress.

How we feel about what we eat – our thoughts and emotions – these are important for our enjoyment of life.

But did you know that they can also effect us on a deeper level – even on a cellular level?

(I was blown away by this idea – that what we think and feel about the food we eat, can influence its cellular breakdown in our bodies. See The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton if you’re interested in how this works).

So don’t forget that as much as your body craves good health, it also thrives on joy and pleasure.

Aim for a healthy balance of quality nutrition, mindful awareness and the delicious enjoyment of eating well.

You may find that the more you pursue foods that support you, and the more you tune into what you actually want and need, you’ll begin to savour and relish your food more.

This level of mindfulness usually results in getting more satisfaction from less food, as opposed to what popular health coach Brook Castillo calls ‘fog eating’.

And waking up from the fog of unconscious living is a powerful step on the road to inspired living – the route to your muse.

The Muse Diet

So with a starter of intention, a main course of awareness and a sweet serving of pleasure to finish – et voila! 

A recipe for a healthy, balanced, emotionally-satisfied you.

Which just happens to be the version your muse most likes to visit.

And when you’re working with your body, rather than against it, you’ll need less time for ill-health, excessive exercise or time-consuming food plans.

Which just might open up a little breathing space in your timetable to focus on the new creative ideas that are beginning to flow…

• • • 

Obligatory Disclaimer

Though I can’t imagine there is a doctor in the world that would advise against eating well, it may be the case that you need medical advice on exactly what that means for you.

If you have any health concerns that require a professional to supervise any dietary changes, make sure you seek the support and guidance you need.

However important your creative goals, your basic health and wellbeing always take top priority.

 

• • •  

The Muse Spa Recommendation: Eat well.

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The Muse Spa SSC Muse Diet cover small

This post is an extract from The Muse Spa – a 6-week ecourse for creatives with a focus on health & wellbeing.

The Muse Diet is just one of a series of digital ‘treatments’ – articles, workbooks and exercises designed to help you rediscover to your innate wellness and reconnect to your creative spark.

If you’d like the workbook that supports this post, just let me know – I’d be happy to email it to you. 🙂

 

 • • • 

Discover the life-enhancing connection between creativity and wellness…

Creativity & writing tips for bloggers

Writing does look easy!

But ask any writer – however much they love to write, it can be a bumpy journey.

And if you’re a blogger with a post (or 10) to write, the struggles can sometimes make you forget the Joy of Blogging.

So, in my role as Ambassador for Joy, Flow & Ease in the creative process, I’ve collated a few of my favourite creativity coaching techniques – especially for my fellow bloggers.

Enjoy!

MAKE-IT-EASY PREP WORK

Make notes

Keep a notebook or file of ideas.

Whenever ideas occur to you, write them down as soon as possible,

Inspiration often strikes at unusual times, so to make sure you don’t lose these gems, acquire the habit of making notes.

Use whatever you have to! (Napkins are a notorious favourite of millionaires… ;-))

If it’s inconvenient or feels like a chore, be motivated by how easy it will make your writing process.

I find the Notes app on my phone is usually the most convenient and close-to-hand, as well as a physical notebook and pencil at home. I then transfer my notes to the relevant homes in Evernote.

• • • 

Sow the seed
Give your blog post some calm, relaxed attention, as early as possible.

Just begin pondering it a few days before you plan to begin writing.

Jot the title or a few words down on the blank page a few days before you need to start, and pin it to your board or wall.

In the days before you plan to begin, write the blog title or idea on a sticky note and put it where you’ll see it before you go to sleep.

You could also keep a note on the dashboard of your car – driving is a great time to ponder new ideas.

(Just make sure you pull over safely if you need to write things down!)

If you’re heading out for a run/walk/workout etc – write down the blog title and keep it in your pocket.

Physical exercise can be very inspiring, so make you have your notebook ready for the downloads.

• • • 

GETTING STARTED

When you’re ready to sit down and begin writing…

Explore your notes

Hopefully, you’ve already got some notes and ideas to begin with. Just explore these to see which ones naturally grow and evolve. If any feel difficult or confusing, move onto the next.

Build on your notes, adding any new thoughts and developing your favourite ideas.

• • • 

Create a mind map

Mapping out key points or the intended structure of the blog can help you stay on track and keep your writing clear.

However, if you feel inspired to go off in another direction, go with it. If ever the words come pouring – don’t stop them!

Then afterwards, you can assess whether the new material is relevant, or perhaps for a different post.

Use your mind map to check back in to see if the new ideas fit with the original intention.

If they don’t add to the clarity or flow of the blog you’re working on, file them for later use. (You may have just written the next blog post instead!)

• • • 

First draft first

To get words onto a blank page – just focus on producing a first draft.

Aim to simply get the words out of your head onto the page – in any order.

Don’t worry about structure – that will emerge as you review your notes and ideas.

You can polish and edit and refine once the core material is in place.

• • • 

WRITER TIP:

Writing is essentially a two-part process of downloading ideas, then refining them.

It can feel like a struggle to do both tasks at once, but there are different techniques of switching between the two modes.

Writers vary – some like to do nothing but composition for a long time, then edit days later.

Others like to switch back and forth between the two modes as they go along.

Experiment with which method feels right for you.

• • • 

KEEP GOING

If you feel stuck or run out of ideas…

Use prompts

You can often bypass your resistance by using sentence prompts such as:

I want to write about…

Or:

If I knew what to write, I’d write about…

• • •

Move

Try changing your location, working in a different environment. If possible, choose somewhere inspiring, beautiful of refreshing.

Moving your body also helps to boost your creativity.

Can you take a break for a short walk or a few yoga poses?

• • •

Lights & sounds

To stay calm and inspired as you write, play some music designed to enhance the creative process. (Spotify is great for these kind of playlists.)

If you love candles, keep one on your desk and light it as a symbolic gesture that you are ready for some focused creative work.

It can also serve as a meditative focal point when you need to think through an idea or phrase. (Gazing out of the window is also great for this.)

 

Take a breath

If you feel yourself getting frustrated with your writing, just take a few moments to close your eyes and breathe deeply.

When you focus back on your work, you’ll have a clearer head and feel less of that creativity-sapping frustration.

• • •

Tidy up

Whenever you hit a block or feel confused about what you’re writing, a great trick is to stop for a few minutes and have a short tidy-up.

Clear the papers on your desk or tidy your workspace.

Doing a mundane task that you can do on auto-pilot gives your mind a chance to rest and percolate ideas.

And creating physical order can lead to clarity, helping you find more order in your writing.

• • •

Use your sleeping mind

If you can, review your notes/draft before you go to sleep, with the intention that your subconscious mind will take over and work on it.

You’ll be amazed by the new ideas that ‘mysteriously’ pop into your head the next day.

You may even wake up with the perfect phrase or structure – so make sure you have a notebook by your bed.

• • •

GETTING FINISHED

You’ve written your first draft, you’ve edited and polished – but it’s still not quite finished.

Here’s what to do to get that blog post ready for the world…

Leave & return

When you leave a piece of writing and return to it later, it’s much easier to see any muddled sections or clunky passages.

After working so closely and intently, we get word blind and don’t see inconsistencies or glaring errors.

So, your writing will always be better for a rest.

When possible, plan to finish at least the day before the deadline so you can sleep on it.

(This also trains you to not leave things to last-minute which is stressful and saps the joy from the creative process.

• • • 

Know when to stop

This is tricky! We naturally want to keep tinkering.

But there comes a point when we need to let the work go and do its work in the world.

Practice tuning into your intuition for help with this. Is that inner voice urging you to make some vital improvements? Or are you just resisting the decision to stop?

This is a difficult skill for all creatives, so go easy on yourself and be prepared to practice and gradually get to used to knowing what’s right for you.

• • • 

Get a second opinion

Ask someone else to take a look at your writing. They’ll spot things you’ve missed.

They may also have some suggestions that inspire you to make the post even better.

• • • 

Rescue your darlings

As you edit your posts, get in the habit of keeping any of the good writing that you cut.

It may not have been right for that particular blog post, but it could find a home elsewhere.

It may even spark a whole new post of its own. (I’ve written a blog post about this idea if you’d like to explore more.)

• • • 

Hopefully these tips will support and inspire you with your next blog post, as well as make it ever-easier to create further posts in future.

(Because relaxed, calm and happy bloggers make for better blogs. 😉 )

 

Happy blogging!

Danielle

 

PS I’ve got a whole series of these Make-It-Easy tips for the many aspects of the creative process.

So, if you’d like to find more joy, flow and ease in your creative adventures, sign up for my Tonics For the Creative Spirit email series.

Details below!

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Subscriber Showcase – Meet Dana!

Welcome to a new Subscriber Showcase!

And to align with all the New Year New You energy, I’d like to introduce you to a beautiful soul who is pouring her heart and creativity into an inspiring message of health and wellness.

Introducing…

Dana Dinnawi  

 

Tell us about yourself, Dana. 

 

dana-dinnawiHi, I’m Dana Dinnawi.

As a Health Coach certified by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I’m in the business of showing strong, smart, independent women how to take back control of their lives from what they eat and how they look, to what they do and how they feel.

I help them break out of the cycle of yo-yo dieting so they can shed the last stubborn kilos, and learn how to eat for life so they can regain their energy and self-confidence to refocus on themselves and create a guilt-free lifestyle that fills them up daily.

As the founder of Empowered Wellness and Living, I’m passionate about helping women discover what serves, energizes and fuels them.

Because once they realize that it’s the choices they make that hold them back or fuel them forward, the possibilities are limitless.

I am half-Egyptian, half Lebanese. I have lived in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, England, Canada and now Egypt. I’ve been happily married for 22 years and have 3 kids; Malak, 20; Nour 18 and Youssef 9.

I love good food; eating out; shopping and travelling whenever I can?)

• • •
dscf0829

Tell us a little about your creative life, and why it’s important to you.

Growing up, creativity was a part of my life in a very big and natural way. I played piano and flute and was on the school band; I loved acting and was in every play through university; I did tap and jazz dance and drew and painted for fun constantly.

Life, however, as it does, got in the way and since university, I haven’t nurtured a single one of those creative outlets at all as I got married and had my children and then went back to do my MA and then went to work and so on.

It was only in the past few years, when I discovered my passion for health coaching and really re-tapping into my true self, that a need for self-expression and creativity made itself abundantly clear to me, although I had no idea how.

Last year, I launched my online Empowered Wellness and Living Magazine as a way to infuse my business with creativity and give myself something work-related that wasn’t monetized and wasn’t about getting clients, but simply a beautiful way of communication. And I have loved it.

 

• • •

Tell us more about your current creative adventure…

And so my big creative dream NOW is re-launching, rebranding and creating the best version of this magazine that I can.

Although I loved creating it this past year, intuitively I knew that it needed to grow and evolve. My vision for it is an online global wellness magazine for the strong, smart, independent woman who wants to create a guilt-free, vibrant life that fills her up daily.

empowered-wellness-magazine

And in order to do that, I am creating a team of international women to create this vision with me—women who are just as passionate about holistic health as I am, and who are on a fierce mission to transform women’s lives.

If you’d love to get the magazine – please sign up here.

• • • 

Thank you, Dana!

And I am honoured to be a part of Dana’s new labour of love as the magazine’s Creativity Editor.

I’ll be sharing monthly tips for enjoying more creativity, inspiration and wellbeing – you can catch my first post here; A Creative Route To Wellness.

My obsession with the the creative power of self care feels very at home in an Empowered Wellness movement.

And since health and wellness are always high on my agenda, I look forward to following Dana’s inspiring journey over the year ahead. 🙂

• • •

So I hope you enjoyed meeting Dana and learning more about her creative dream and empowering message. You can find more about her here.

And if you’d like me to feature you and your creative projects in a future Subscriber Showcase – please just let me know.

Here’s to health, happiness and a wonderfully creative 2017.

 

Danielle

Subscriber Showcase: Meet Rhoda…

Welcome to a new Subscriber Showcase!

And this month’s featured lovely is a fellow mother of two boys, balancing the busy family years with an unstoppable yearning to create.

Introducing the beautiful and inspiring…

Rhoda Jordan.  

 

Tell us about yourself, Rhoda. 

 

Rhoda 1Hi there!

I’m Rhoda, and I’m a writer, filmmaker, and tantric meditation teacher. I work with my husband here in California, writing and making films.

Our most recent film Living Things is centered around the topic of animal rights, and was endorsed by PETA.

I’ve also helped my husband run his ghostwriting business for the past 12 years; we write books, scripts, speeches, and articles for clients all over the world.

We meet so many fascinating people who blow our minds every day with their stories.

I also teach online tantric meditation courses.

I show people how to wake up to who they are, to transcend the ego and plug in to more fulfilling and authentic ways of being.

• • •

Tell us a little about your creative life, and why it’s important to you.

My creative life is everything to me. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to breathe.

If a day goes by without me having a chance to create, I feel stale inside. Creativity is the stuff that our life force energy is made up of.

As human beings, we need to create. Creating helps us to connect, to express, to liberate what is within.

Living-ThingsIt’s a divine merging of emotions, energy, passion, presence, and aliveness.

Creativity is a bridge that not only connects us to the deep, primal parts of ourselves, but it connects us to others, as well.

And when I say I need to do something creative every day, I don’t mean that I have to write a chapter of a novel or be shooting a movie constantly…

There are so many little ways to be creative.

When I redecorate my room, or paint with my kids, or shoot a YouTube video, or dance, or spontaneously come up with a new recipe, I’m being creative…

The opportunities for daily creativity are endless!

 

• • •

Tell us more about your current creative adventure…

 

One of the most recent things I created is a Tantric Training Series!

It’s a 3-part video series where I share a bit about starting a tantric practice.

I share ways how you can use the breath to feel more orgasmic in every aspect of your life — in your work, your creativity, your sex life, your relationships.

It’s about waking up the body’s innate energy and bliss.

The breaths I share are intense, and they will spark your creativity very deeply.

If you want to sign up, it’s free and it starts on Monday, September 5th.

 

Rhoda beach 1

 

Thank you so much Danielle for featuring me in your Subscriber Showcase!

You have inspired me so much, and my creative journey has been deeply enhanced by working with you!

 

• • • 

 

Thank you, Rhoda!

Rhoda was one of the first brave souls to trust me with their creative dreams when I began my coaching service, and I have been inspired by her energy and passion ever since.

So I hope you enjoyed meeting her and discovering her important and powerful work. You can find more about Rhoda here: rhodajordan.com

And if you’d like me to feature you and your creative projects in a future Subscriber Showcase – please just let me know.

Wishing you a wonderful, inspired and creative September!

 

Danielle

 

• • •

Subscriber Showcase! Meet April…

Welcome to another Subscriber Showcase!

If you enjoy adventure, courage and beautiful Italian architecture – you’re in for a treat.

Because this month’s inspiring creative is…

April Lee.  

 

Tell us about yourself, April. 

 

me. 7. 16. filter.Hello!

As a holistic life and wellness coach, I’m passionate about helping women rediscover their essence as they follow the path to their dreams.

I realize that may sound like a slick piece of marketing, but I mean it sincerely.

I recently changed the whole focus of my business to highlight the importance of dream-chasing-and-catching, because I myself am currently in the midst of fulfilling a long-held dream of my own. (More on this below.)

Previously, for some 20+ years, I’d counseled women with eating issues ranging from full-blown eating disorders to yo-yo dieting struggles and everywhere in between on the continuum.

My husband and I will soon celebrate 28 years of marriage. We have 2 fabulous sons (who are now 23 and 18).

One thing that has kept our union lively and healthy is our determination to avoid stagnation. In fact, we are getting ready to embark very soon on our biggest adventure yet.

• • •

Tell us a little about your creative life, and why it’s important to you.

My creative life primarily revolves around my writing. I simply cannot process the world without pen and paper.

I keep a daily journal and a weekly blog, and I write a lot of poetry. I’ve also begun the process of writing my first book (about the dream mentioned above).

THE-ARRIVAL-August-1-e1467156429627My latest creative undertaking has been my signature e-course, THE ARRIVAL: the quintessential essence7 journey to making your dreams come true, which I am offering again on August 1.

My all-encompassing goal as an adult has been to understand, to connect to, and to embody my essence. My company, essence7 wellness, arose from this endeavor.

This course introduces and explores the 7 essential elements that make up my personal philosophy, my driving force.

I think existing in a curious, adventure-filled, dream-seeking manner is creative living at its finest; continuously coming up with creative solutions to whatever life presents.

I’ve applied this theory in many different ways throughout the years, such as: decorating different homes we’ve lived in, homeschooling my sons, handling situations involving conflict, traveling nomadically throughout the world, designing and running my own business, taking risks.

I enjoy leading a novel and vibrant creative life in whatever I do.

• • •

Tell us more about your current creative adventure…

My husband and I are moving to Italy in September and refurbishing a 1920s Tuscan villa, which will serve as both our primary residence and also a retreat destination for my clients.

villa magnolia

 

We have been loosely planning this move since 2012, and are finally getting close to seeing the dream become reality.

It will actually be a combination of several different dreams coming together – living in Europe, opening up my home for retreats (which I call ARRIVALS), and renovating a large older house.

When I was a young girl, my mom and I would drive by stately homes that had been abandoned or neglected.

We’d gaze admiringly at the crumbling facades and imagine what once took place inside those walls.

I would often proclaim that when I grew up, I would “buy a big old house and fix it up.” I dreamed about lovingly restoring it to its former grandeur.

It became a theme in later years, and my husband even labeled our boxes “big house” the last time we stored our belongings.

Fast forward many years to 2015 . . . and house hunting in Europe!

After looking at hundreds of options (in several different countries, online and in person), we put an offer on a house in Portugal.

But after four long frustrating months, the deal fell through. It was extremely disappointing.

Then last August, the night before our 27th wedding anniversary, my husband found a house in Italy online – in our price range and in the architectural style we both love.

Italy had always been our first choice (and it is the country of my roots).

Up to this point, however, we hadn’t been able to find anything we liked that we could afford.

Until now.

 

villa magnolia entrance hall in the sunshine

No one has lived in Villa Magnolia for four years.

And this inkling of an idea began four years ago.

I like to think we started making our way towards one another at the same time.

Synchronicity.

In my most overwhelmed moments, as I prepare for this monumental move from the United States to Italy, I imagine my strong beautiful villa waiting for me.

 

villa magnolia portico

 

Only two more months until we are finally together. (I just wish my beloved mom could see it too. She passed away in 2002.)

There are so many other parts to this story, but I’ve taken up enough of your space and time.

I definitely need to finish that book . . .

• • •

Thank you, Danielle, for this opportunity to share my creative life.

And as I step into the vast unknown territory of my Italian adventure, I embrace these wise words of yours:

“But what if we can’t see a sure way, or we have no guarantee that things will work out as expected and make our precious efforts worthwhile?

twitter aqua

Faith is the powerful force that leads us to act in spite of uncertainty.

It’s the key difference between those who keep striving toward their goals and dreams, and those who give up – or never even begin.

Many of the world’s great creations, achievements, advances, and successes only occurred because someone took a leap of faith.”

Here’s to my leap!

 

april hugging villa magnolia

• • • 

 

Thank you, April!

I hope you enjoyed discovering April’s work, and please do check out her new ecourse.

She also has a blog post here with more on her exciting (and brave!) Villa Magnolia story.

(I’ll let you know when her book is ready!)

And if you’d like me to feature you and your creative projects in a future Subscriber Showcase – please just let me know.

Wishing you a wonderful, inspired and creative week,

Danielle

 

• • •
The All-Year Resolution: Intention vs Force

The All-Year Resolution: Intention vs Force

All Year resolution

 

It’s New Year time again.

I love the energy and optimism of this time of year. We’re so hopeful for the future, we’re determined to improve things, to live better, to be better, to finally do those things we’ve been saying we will do.

It’s the perfect time to resolve to actually make it happen this year.

And yet…

New Year Resolutions don’t have a great success rate.

Instead of an inspiring opportunity to harness the wonderful New Year energy, they’re more often associated with forced denial, failed attempts and fractured self-esteem.

But I don’t believe the New Year resolve is to blame for the high incidence of abandoned hopes and dreams. I believe there’s another culprit that can be an insidious saboteur of the human spirit:

The All-Or-Nothing mindset.

When our New Year Resolutions fail, often it’s not because we’re weak-willed, or ‘just not meant to do it’, but simply because we’re humans, not machines – when making powerful changes, it may take many, many attempts and re-attempts before these new practices become established.

What would happen to our success rate, if we removed the pressure to enforce our New Year changes without fail every day, from January 1st?

 

What if we accepted that it may take time to adjust to these changes, it may take weeks, perhaps months for new habits to form?

After all, humans have limited supplies of will-power, we have finite reserves of discipline. There’s only so much force and steely-willed determination we can summon before we become exhausted, disillusioned or unpleasant to be around.

Is this really the best way to craft our dream life?

If our New Year changes are meant to increase our success and happiness, how does being miserable and set up for failure support that goal?

And isn’t the quality of life en route to our goals just as precious and important as the (fleeting) moments at the Finish Line?

Whilst it’s true that 100% commitment can work brilliantly for some, (at least for a while), for the rest of us, there’s a more spirit-friendly alternative to the strait-jacket of All-or-Nothing Resolutions…

 

Christmas candles

The Power of Intention.

Intention is powerful.

Intention is a fuel that will never run out. No matter how many times we may lose our way, if we hold fast to our intention to get to where we want to be, the odds are good that we will get there. Eventually.

There may be detours, but if our intention is strong, we will soon recover our path.

There may be failures, but if we ditch the pesky and unhelpful All-Or-Nothing Mindset, we’ll find it so much easier to simply try again.

Intentions don’t require deadlines; they allow you time to just begin playing with these ideas, they allow you space to gradually incorporate these changes into your life.

Intentions are lighter and less demanding than the Must Do mentality, meaning you’re far more likely to shrug off any slips or blips and have another go.

So if a day or two or more goes by, and you’ve missed or forgotten your new practices – your intention is still there, as strong as ever, ready to shore up your resolve.

You can tap back into your intention, revisit your reasons for making these changes, and begin again.

This approach to creating anything will carry you much further toward your vision than any number of failed All-or-Nothing attempts.

New Year ‘Intentions’ are undoubtedly a less dramatic, less aggressive route to ‘getting results’, but for many of us, they can be so much more enjoyable, not to mention easier to stick with. And when the journey is easy and fun, that way success lies.


So this New Year, instead of giving up on resolutions altogether, perhaps try the gentler, subtler tactic of The All Year Resolution.

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Simply intend to create the fabulous New You that’s calling you.

No unrealistic deadlines. No forcing of will. Just an intention to devote this new year to working towards your vision.

And when you’re not chasing a fixed result by fixed time, there’s no failure. You’re just making changes, gathering feedback, adjusting and re-adjusting.

Less urgency = Less stress. (A significant health bonus even before you start.)

Even if it takes all year, you’ll still be closer to your vision than if you go all-out for a few miserable weeks in January, then abandon it for another year – or even worse, never attempt those life-enhancing changes at all.

And imagine how lovely life could be this time next year, if you make your resolutions an all-year focus.

 

Cambridge tree

 

So this year, why not play with the idea of The All-Year Resolution. It’s a kinder, more sustainable route to the improvement, success and happiness that you’d love to create in the year ahead.

As an added incentive, the more your reaffirm your intention to do something, the more you’ll find it ‘mysteriously’ popping into your head, or occurring at the perfect place or time. (This is the muse’s handiwork. 😉 )

It becomes ever-easier to live and act in line with your intended goals.

So I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the promise and potential of a fresh and sparkling New Year, with a yearlong intention to make the most of it.

No struggle. No force. Just a resolve to evolve.

Allow the phenomenal power of intention to fuel your hopes and dreams, and make this new year the magical success it’s waiting to be.

 

Wishing you health, wealth, peace and joy – in the New Year and beyond,

Danielle

 

 

• • • 

 

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Resilience – A Creative Superpower

Resilience – A Creative Superpower

Resilience A Creative Super-power - Danielle Raine Creativity Coaching

#33 in my Tonics for Your Creative Spirit email series: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

• • •

A little (big) magical something for you this week!

I’ve got another dose of soul-soothing creative goodness, and for one lucky winner, I’ve also got a copy of the book where I found it.

And that’s especially good news because this week’s featured read is…

Big Magic Elizabeth GilbertBig Magic

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Now, even though Big Magic promises inspiration and comfort for anyone on the creative path, I actually resisted it for a while, for many of the reasons Liz explores in the book.

(It’s always heartening to learn you’re not alone in your worries…)

For example, I’m currently writing a book about the creative process, and so I was a little nervous in case I found that my ideas had already ‘been done’.

This is apparently a very valid fear, and actually happened to Liz herself, when her book idea was created by another author before she could write it.

Also, since I’m still shaping and forming some of the theories for my book, I worried about being influenced, both consciously and unconsciously.

(We creatives can be unwitting magpies, merrily adopting any shiny gems we discover along our path.)

However, despite my resistance (or maybe because of it…), those book angels were covering all their bases and I actually ended up with 2 copies for my birthday.

Naturally my first reaction was to give the extra copy to one of my lovely blog readers, so, I have a beautiful hardback copy of Big Magic to give away. (Details below.)

But first, this week’s words of wisdom from the creative trenches;

Liz Gilbert creativity quote

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Of the many snippets of wisdom that I jotted down from Big Magic, this is the one I love the most.

In these words, Liz sums up an idea that has been gradually dawning on me over the last few years, particularly this last year as my study of the creative process has deepened.

It’s the idea of resilience. Or, as success coach Lisa Nicholls joyfully calls it; bounce-backability.

Admittedly, it’s not the most glamorous aspect of the creative process.

It doesn’t have the sense of mystery and miracles that accompanies Inspiration.

It doesn’t have the sparkling buzz of Creation, when the work pours forth effortlessly in a rapture of creative bliss.

It doesn’t even have the smart and savvy air of confidence that Productivity delivers.

It’s much more subtle. It’s quiet and unassuming.

It’s barely even noticeable during much of the process, yet it’s the quality that will make a crucial difference when you come up against the inevitable creative challenges.

• • • 

When everything’s going wrong, when it feels too hard, when you’ve had enough and you want to give up – it’s Resilience that whispers, Let’s try again.

• • • 

It’s a tenacity, an imperceptible core of strength, that enables you to redouble your efforts in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

It may be born of resolve or will, or it could be sparked by an innate purpose.

It can appear as sheer bloody-minded determination. Or it can simply be a calm refusal of defeat.

(It’s summed up perfectly in the clichéd-yet-profound wisdom of Keep Calm & Carry On.)

But for all its low-key subtlety, there is a quiet fierceness to resilience – and it’s a true creative superpower.

In one of my favourite films, Tristan & Isolde, there’s a scene featuring King Marke, (played by the rather lovely Rufus Sewell).

The scene shows King Marke returning to his medieval village which has been attacked and destroyed in his absence.

His people turn to him, asking him what they should do. He surveys the smouldering remains, sighs sadly and offers one word in response. “Rebuild.”

That’s resilience.

And cultivating that inner steeliness, as Liz Gilbert so beautifully describes in her book, is very often the real work of creativity.

So I hope this idea of resilience will inspire you to hang in there, whenever you’re feeling bruised by the creative process.

Because mastering, instilling, even faking resilience strengthens your creative courage – making you an unstoppable force in the direction of your creative dreams.

And that way, magic lies.

Danielle

PS Also in my birthday book haul was Rising Strong by Brene Brown which also focuses on the superpower of resilience – so stay tuned for more on this important topic.

• • •

: : :  GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED  : : : 

Liz Gilbert Big Magic giveaway cropWin a hardback copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic

To enter:

1  Leave a comment below describing either your Big Creative Dream, or your idea of Creative Heaven.

2  Make sure you’re on my magic list, as I’ll be notifying the winner via email.

3  If you’d like to spread the magic, please share this post with any friends who could a boost to their creative superpowers. (Buttons below.)

I’ll select the winner at random on Monday 14th December.

Good luck! May the Big Magic be with you. 😉

: : :  GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED  : : : 

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12 ways to survive (and enjoy) NaNoWriMo

12 ways to survive (and enjoy) NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

twitter aquaLike most great challenges, the secret to a successful NaNoWriMo is in the preparation.

A little forward planning and consideration can make an amazing difference to your results and your experience.

So here are some suggestions for a few lifestyle tweaks and preparatory efforts, to help you not only survive NaNoWriMo  – but actually enjoy it…

1. What can wait?

Unless you’re lucky, it’s not every month you spend intensively working on a novel.

So November is going to be an unusually busy month!

If you plan for that, ahead of time, you can create some lovely breathing space in your schedule. (Doesn’t that sound good…)

So, what can wait?

What can you let go, for now? Give some thought to anything that you can put on hold – just for the month.

Are there any things that you normally do, but aren’t essential to the smooth running of your life?

Can any other hobbies be put on hold? Can any responsibilities be temporarily delegated or scaled back?

Are there regular activities that can wait for a few short weeks? For example, dinner parties, shopping, getting lost in a book…. They’ll all still be there in December! And you’ll be free to return to them with a new appreciation, and a sense that you fully deserve to indulge and enjoy them.

The run up to NaNoWriMo is a great time to simplify, but this is actually a great thing to do at any time of year, as you might discover that a number of things you ‘just do’, aren’t actually worthy of your time and attention, and you’re ready to let them go for good.

So cast an enquiring eye over your timetable – without panic or urgency. Just assess. No drastic action. No drama.

Simply review how and where you spend your time – what serves you, and what can be suspended as you devote November to your writing goals and dreams.

• • • 

2. Look after your main asset: you

To simplify is good – but if you have a healthful and supportive daily practice (e.g. exercise, meditation, journalling, inspirational reading etc…) – now is not the time to let that go!

You will need both internal and external strength to help you navigate the challenges of the month ahead.

And if you don’t already have a daily practice?

Since you’re adopting a new regime for this month, you may like to include something small and relatively easy to implement that will support you on a daily basis.

It may seem like another task for a busy month, but it could be a wise investment of your time if it increases your energy and productivity.

• • • 

3. Special measures

Now is a good time to call in any favours.

If you are always the one helping out the other parents, team-mates or workmates, now is the time to ask them for help. They’ll probably be thrilled to have the chance to give back.

“Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.” 

~ Proverb

Besides, people love to help a person who is up to wonderful things. So, if you explain your plan, you may find they’re not only willing to step in and help out, they may be cheering you on from the sidelines, too.

And a little social accountability can also be a motivating force. For those days when you’re tempted to let things slide, the prospect of facing a supportive friend or colleague may give you the nudge you need to get over the resistance hump.

• • •

4. Stock up

Stock up on supplies. Unless you find cooking therapeutic, relaxing or ideal for pondering tricky plot puzzles, plan ahead for your basic maintenance.

Stock your freezer and cupboards for the month, so that you’re not drawn away from vital book-pondering to spend precious concentration units on; What’s for tea?

(By the way, if you’re a snacker – blueberries are supposed to be good for creativity.)

• • • 

5. Join a support group

Being in a group of like-minded people with a similar goal is a proven tactic for staying the course.

In-person weekly meet-ups can be an inspiring boost. Or daily check-ins online can also help you feel less alone in your challenge.

Do whatever works for you, but notice the effect of the groups or networks you belong to. How do they make you feel?

If they leave you feeling energised, motivated, inspired and confident – check in with them on a regular basis.

But if you feel drained or prone to Compare & Despair – give them a miss for a while.

• • • 

6. Get to know your muse

In the weeks before NaNoWriMo, spend a little time monitoring when and where you get your best ideas.

These are your Muse Magnets.

If you always come back from a run full of new character ideas, you know what to do when you’re stuck with character problems.

Or it may be that driving, gardening or showering work for you. Any mundane chores you do on autopilot can give your subconscious mind the rhythm and quiet to suggest some new plot twists or solutions.

Get to know which activities calm your busy mind and enable your muse to make contact.

This is priceless info for any creative and will really help you stay inspired during the demanding weeks ahead.

• • • 

7. Keep notepads everywhere

Whenever you lean into a creative project, it begins to grow and take over more of your thoughts and attention.

So when you dive in head first during NaNoWriMo, it’s an almost total immersion. You flood your conscious mind with your story, and as a result your subconscious mind will very helpfully keep working on your story even when you’ve had enough.

So keep notebooks handy to catch all the new ideas and insights and solutions that will keep floating up to your consciousness as you go about the rest of your day.

• • • 

8. Get sleep

It’s tempting to think that coping with less sleep will give you more time.

But what you need for this month is quality energy; not just time at the page, but quality time where you can concentrate, plot, imagine and string a half-decent sentence together.

So skimping on sleep is counter-productive. (<<< and I don’t use bold lightly!)

Ensure you maintain good quality sleep, and you will reap the benefits in terms of energy, focus and concentration.

If you want the best version of you – fit, well and ready to write – getting enough sleep is essential.

And your loved ones will appreciate this one – a cranky, stressed, overtired writer-under-pressure is not often a joy to be around.

Besides, if you’re clever, your sleeping time need not be unproductive downtime….

• • • 

9. Utilise your sleeping hours

With a little forward planning and intention, you can actually make productive use of your restorative sleeping hours.

By reviewing any daily quandaries just before you go to sleep – posing a clear question to your subconscious mind – you can hand over the puzzle to your mind as you sleep, very often being rewarded with the solution as you wake up, or during the course of the following day.

It takes a little practice to harness this powerful creative source, but if you’re planning to sleep every night anyway, why not begin to practice?

• • • 

10. Balance input with output

NaNoWriMo will call for a considerable amount of creative output.

To keep your creative spirit balanced and happy (rather than drained, spent and exhausted) don’t forget to do the things that inspire you.

Remember to play, have fun, relax, spend time with people (real ones) – do the things that fill you up.

These simple daily pleasures may seem superficial, and candidates for stripping back from your timetable, but these are the valuable sources of life that feed your creative spirit – and it’s going to be hungry over the coming weeks!

So you may even need to replenish these vital stores more than ever.

• • • 

11. Visual aides

Before you begin NaNoWriMo, spend some time getting clear on why you are doing this.

It’s not an easy thing to do!

It will challenge you. It will take over your heart and mind for the coming weeks. You’re planning to devote large amounts precious time and energy to this project.

So why do it?

You may not know why exactly, just a sense that you want to do it – and that’s more than enough.

twitter aqua“I want to do it because I want to do it.” 

~ Amelia Earhart

But if you can imagine the benefits, the fuel behind the desire, it can be a powerful tool to keep you going through the inevitable wobbles.

And if you can create a visual representation of your Why, and keep it somewhere you’ll see it daily, it can really help you to stay clear, focus, grounded and on track.

So, what’s your Why? And how can you represent it?

Maybe mock up your favourite bestseller list to see your name on the top. Or a picture of the TV show you’d love to be featured on with your new book. Or maybe it’s in honour of a loved one, or a long-held dream.

Whatever the reason, find or create and image that you can glance at and know instantly why you’re doing this.

• • • 

12. Pre-empt The Wobbles

The Wobbles – those thoughts and moods that make you doubt your dreams and goals, and your power to achieve them.

We all face them, they’re part of the creative journey.

They may be unavoidable, but it’s possible to limit their power to throw you off track by pre-empting them.

Anticipate the usual suspects; e.g. thoughts like; what’s the point?… I’m no good at thisIt’s a waste of time…. (add any more that regularly come up for you.)

Then, when you are feeling calm and confident and capable: Go through each one and argue the opposite.

You can do this.

The human brain loves questions, so ask things like: Why is this a good use of my time? …Why am I good at this? … What are some really good reasons to do this?

Tap into your Why (see above) and the reasons you’re taking on this incredible challenge.

Get all your ‘arguments for’ in writing, where you can refer to them during the upcoming weeks.

So whenever a doubt pops up during NaNoWriMo, you can calmly say; Hello, I’ve been expecting you – and I know just how to deal with you…

• • • 

So there you are! I hope you find these tips helpful.

If you have time before November, play around with these suggestions to see which ones work for you.

And if you’d benefit from more comprehensive support, please do get in touch. I’d love to help you get your book into the world.

Enjoy NaNoWriMo!

I look forward to hearing about your new novel.

May the muse be with you. <3

Danielle

• • •

PS. If you’d like more goodies for lovely writer types – sign up for the free Writers’ Corner email series. Or join me for a free mini-ecourse designed to help you #writethatbook.  Details below!

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Creativity Lessons from Life : The Power of Whim & Fancy

This week, I’d like to share with you a lesson I learned from my recent month of non-stop decorating. 

(We’re finally selling our house, after buying it as a 2-year renovation project. In 2002. So much for the best laid plans…)

Although I had a huge amount of work to do over the last month, I was actually a very happy bunny because I had complete and utter freedom with my timetable. 

This really suits how I love to work; Planning, organising and creating a comprehensive To Do list – then doing whatever I feel like, without pressure or urgency. 

And boy, did I get stuff done!

(Here’s a little evidence of my labours….

Dining room

I was a Decorating Dynamo! 

Armed with my vision of the end result, I harnessed what I’ve come to call; 

The Power of Whim & Fancy.

I noticed that I was far more productive, efficient and happy, when I did whichever tasks felt the most appealing or inspiring.

The work just flowed. Things went my way. People and events ‘mysteriously’ lined up to meet my plans. 

Even though I was busy, the work felt effortless. So I was able to do far more than if I’d forced myself to stick to an uninspiring schedule, which can be so draining and depressing.  

 

So, here’s my tip for happier productivity; 

If you have a major project that you’d like to get moving on, and you also want to actually enjoy the process: 

Can you harness The Power of Whim & Fancy? 

Can you create a degree of freedom to do whichever tasks appeal the most? 

Can you spend some time on general planning and organising and envisioning, but without setting concrete deadlines and schedules? 

This leaves room for you to tune into whatever you feel inspired to do, helping you enjoy the work and build momentum, making you far more likely to complete more and more of the required tasks. 

There’s less need for discipline and will power when you feel naturally inspired to do a task.Twitter icon

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(I believe the carrot is far more powerful than the stick. 😉 )

So, if you have a project in mind that you long to do but can’t seem to get moving with, I invite you to play with the fun and freedom of just going with the flow, indulging in whims and following whatever task takes your fancy. 

I realise this kind of freedom is not always an option. But the more you explore this approach, the more you’ll see areas where you are free to tap into your natural tendencies – which makes any task so much more enjoyable. 

 

So there you have it – my tip from the decorating trenches. 

I hope you find this helpful, and if you’re tempted to try it, I’d love to hear your results. 

Wishing you a lovely week of whatever takes your whim and fancy. 

Danielle

• • •

PS Speaking of fanciful whims, I’m planning another writing retreat to work on my next book. (Bliss!) 

But if you’d like some help in finding your own creative bliss, my Creative Thriving programme is still available for a short time, before I disappear to my creative cave. 

I’d love to support you in finding more flow and fulfilment in the creative projects that are close to your heart. 

Because life gets really magical when you do. 😉

• • •

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Who is the muse?

Something a little different on the blog today…

An idea I’ve been developing for the last couple of years,  along with the story of my latest creative project. 

Who is the muse

Introducing… The Muse

 

Throughout the ages, great artists and philosophers have discussed and debated the existence and nature of ‘the muse’.

She, (muses are invariably feminine) has intrigued, puzzled and fascinated creative minds the world over.

But who is she?

The commonly accepted definition is that the muse is a capricious force of inspiration, an ethereal goddess, that appears – if you’re lucky – but only ever on her untameable, unpredictable terms.

A celestial being that deigns to visit, in bursts of creative inspiration, but only to the very hard-working and usually at the most inconvenient time and place.

 

But what if the mysterious power that we call The Muse is less of a contrary psychic visitor and more of a line of communication? Twitter icon 

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When we feel lit up, on fire, in the zone, in the flow i.e. in the presence of the muse – could it actually be that we have simply opened up are to the source of inspiration – a force which is there all the time?

I believe so.

I believe that the muse is just our connection to this force, whether your label for this silent, invisible power is the universal field, source energy, the divine, the god-spark, your true nature or higher self.

In this light, the muse is not an external force, but an aspect of ourselves. The muse is simply the connection to the innate genius we all possess.

And under the right conditions – when our spirit, our heart and our soul are aligned – we can access this internal resource.

The channel opens. We are connected. The muse appears.

Universal spirit mingles with our own creative spirit and the result is inspiration. We are inspired.

(The origin of the word ‘inspire’ actually relates to the inhaling of spirit.)

 

So, contrary to the idea that the muse comes and goes according to her fickle whim and fancy, could it be that the source of our inspiration is always there – it’s only our access to it, our connection, that falters?

 

And it’s the choices we make in all areas of our lives that affect this vital and powerful connection.

Certain daily actions, habits, emotions and beliefs help us to live and work more closely to this source, whereas others leave us cut off from it.

So it’s the way we live that determines how often the channel is open – which would explain why some days the muse is so elusive.

This is what I’ve experienced in my life and everywhere I turn I find more evidence that this could well be the case.

I’ve learned that when this channel is open, life flows much more joyfully and effortlessly than when we are cut off from our genius, our inspiration. Our muse.

And yet this source is ever-present and freely available!

Imagine armies of creative, brilliant, genius muses just sitting and waiting for us to craft our lives in such a way that allows them to reach us.

They are always there – and it is us who controls the access!

Imagine that – being able to summon inspiration at will.

Imagine being able to access our genius and universal intelligence – the all-knowing source of past, present and future.

Imagine being able to tap into this power – on demand.

I believe it’s possible – and not even that difficult – to live in such a way that the muse is an ever-ready source of creativity, guidance and inspired intelligence in our daily lives.

• • • 

 

Introducing… The Muse Spa

 

The more I questioned and analysed and monitored the visits from my own muse, the more I saw a pattern which was related to my actions and habits, rather than unpredictable, chance encounters.

I discovered certain ways to live that appeared to be irresistible to my muse, and not only did my creative life take off like never before, the rest of my life became truly magical, too.

Everything becomes so much easier when your muse is on board.

And the genius behind the design is that the ways to be more attractive to the muse are the most fun, exciting, healthful and enjoyable too!

So, after studying my own results for many years, I created a map of this muse-friendly way to live.

I developed a 6-part process to shift life into the flow of effortless inspiration and creative ease.

I call it The Muse Spa.

My vision is that simply by making small adjustments to lifestyle and mindset, we can enjoy a life-enhancing love affair with our muse – our connection to inspiration.

It’s a theory that I am living and exploring and sharing with my clients, who are also finding the results to be powerful and thrilling, bringing an air of magic to both their creativity and their life.

(It’s also highly entertaining – the muse has a fabulous sense of humour.)

The Muse Spa programme guides you in crafting a life that encourages these precious and powerful alignments and connections.

There are simple things we can do, small tweaks we can make in our daily lives, slight changes to our habits, that increase these connections to the source of all ideas and genius.

And this work is designed to help you make those changes, to re-open the channel between your conscious mind and your creative spirit, aka your muse.

 

the muse spa

 

CREATIVITY

The material is not only designed to help you to access your creative spirit, but also to express it.

We do this for 2 reasons;

1. For the sheer joy and pleasure of creative expression (and all the healthy, happy ripple effects of that)

2. Because it’s what we’re here to do.

It’s how we make our unique mark on the world, our personal brand of contribution to the planet and the human race.

We’re even incentivised to do this by the fact that doing so is the key to health, happiness and a core ingredient of a fulfilling and meaningful life.

It’s almost as if some infinite omniscient power has designed all this…

This is creativity as purpose and contribution, your soul’s expression as a spiritual practice.

 

WELLBEING

But The Muse Spa is also concerned with the physical as well as the spiritual – because the body is part of the process.

Our physical selves effect our relationship with our muse.

The state of our bodies effects how open we are to the whisperings of intuition and downloads of inspiration.

Taking care of our physical forms effects our spirit, heart and soul – the channels of the muse. 

The body is also a means of communication, an ingredient in the muse’s makeup.

The muse speaks through the body, or at least that can be one mode.

So The Muse Spa has a core element of physical self-care and wellness.

 

INSPIRATION

Even though I believe this power is an aspect of ourselves – like our memory, imagination, optimism or consciousness – in The Muse Spa, we play with the idea of the muse as a separate personality.

This is because is can be comforting to feel we can turn to a supportive life force that knows everything and sees everything and has all the answers – especially during the inevitable creative challenges.

In this light, the muse can act as a bridge between our mortal struggle and the universal consciousness (who knows what’s going on).

And by giving this magical, creative aspect a name and a personality, we can explore it more freely, without getting bogged down by the existential and philosophical intricacies and meanings.

It makes it easier for us to harness this complex, universal force – leading to more creativity and those priceless flashes of insight and genius. 

This is a new perspective on inspiration, a system of wooing what we call The Muse to set your creative world alight.

 • • •

So The Muse Spa is a programme of pampering and nurturing your innate creative spirit, to enhance the quality and quantity of your creative output, and lead a more inspired and effortless life.

It’s a process of shaping your life and creativity in ways that benefit your health, your relationships, your happiness, fulfilment and wellbeing. 

And I would love to help you discover the unique and brilliant power of your muse – because this is one relationship that could change your life forever.

 

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! What’s your take on ‘the muse’ and the magic behind your creative brilliance?
 
Danielle

• • •

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Is time to discover your muse? 

The Muse Spa | Self-study course

the muse spa self study course

6 weeks.

6 powerful modules.

6 steps to rediscovering your brilliant creative spirit. 

 

> > > CLICK FOR DETAILS

 

 

 

 

 

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