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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Creative Faith: How to Dodge that Pesky Demon of Doubt.

Creative Faith: How to Dodge that Pesky Demon of Doubt.

Creative faith blog Danielle Raine Creativity Coaching

#29 in my Tonics For Your Creative Spirit email series: Sharon Salzberg

 • • • 

Have you ever been surprised? 

I’m going to guess you answered yes, maybe even that question was a little out of the blue.

So you know things can happen that you weren’t expecting, or could never have imagined in your wildest dreams.

In fact, how often does anything ever go exactly according plan?

This is the nature of life; unpredictable.

And unexpected twists and turns are also a feature of the creative process. In fact, they’re sometimes part of the fun.

This is the realm of serendipity, strokes of luck and flashes of inspiration.

So the uncertain and unpredictable nature of creativity can be a good thing; leading to happy accidents and pleasant surprises.

And yet….

Most of us creatives are more familiar with the darker side of uncertainty; The Pesky Demon of Doubt

We let fear of the unknown stop us in our creative tracks, scuppering our goals and dreams.

Or we cling to the idea that we must know how things will happen before we allow ourselves to believe that they will.

Admittedly, it’s much easier to believe in something if we can see a clear and smooth path to a successful outcome.

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?

This is where faith comes in.

 

Faith is the powerful force that leads us to act in spite of uncertainty. It’s the key difference between those who keep striving towards 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.

Whole belief systems have been built on the idea and power of faith – trusting and believing when there is no certainty or proof.

It’s powerful stuff. Strong enough to move mountains.

But…

It’s not easy!

At least in creative terms, building and trusting faith can often be the hardest part of the creative process.

To invest time, energy, passion, heart and soul into a project – with no guarantee that it will be worth it – that’s the risk of any new venture.

There always comes a point where you just have to trust.

And since this can be incredibly difficult, it can be a real stumbling block for many brilliant and talented creatives.

• • • 
 

So, given that faith is an inescapable part of the creative mix…
are there any ways to make ‘keeping the faith’ a little bit easier? 

 

Happily, I believe there are…

 

How to Keep The Faith during the creative process

I’ve been exploring the idea of faith for the last couple of  years. (I’m convinced it’s the secret to great and wonderful things.)

And in my mission to support you in your Great Work, I’d like to share my findings so far…

• • • 
5 ways to make keeping the faith easier

  

1. Become more comfortable with risk

Get used to moving forward without any guarantees of success.

Practice with small things, where the stakes aren’t too high.

And realise that much of life involves risk – and you’ve survived so far! Each day has its own risks, however small, and yet how often do you get through the day safely?

When you get comfortable with an element of risk, you feel less need to be certain of things.

So, a) you’ll relax more, and enjoy life with less worry – not a bad side effect.

And b) you’ll be less likely to dismiss things just because they have no guaranteed outcome. (I.e. all the amazing adventures that live on the other side of risk).

• • •

2. Build up your Surrender-&-Trust muscle

Practice trusting your gut, your intuition, the universe, the Divine, or whatever you call the invisible force that supports you. (I refer to all my spiritual support as ‘my muse’).

When you learn to trust in positive outcomes, it becomes easier to surrender, to let go of your vice grip on the need to be certain.

Again, start small. Experiment and play with minor outcomes.

Retrain any control freakery to allow for more chance, luck, and going with the flow.

• • •

3. Tune in

Check in with how you feel.

Are your doubts laced with nervous excitement? (Keep going.)

Or do you know, deep down, that you’re off track? (Re-assess.)

Learn to recognise which are intuitive nudges and which are fearful ego voices.

You learn best through the trials and errors of your own experience, being aware and keeping track of your results – but there are also resources to help you master this skill. (This one has some rave reviews… 😉 )

If something just feels good – despite a lack of logic or evidence that it will work – this is an internal force that can power you through any doubts and dilemmas.

• • •

4. Brainstorm all the possible routes to your goal

Make a list or mind map of any ways or steps to your outcome – however outlandish, wild or unlikely.

In fact, the more obscure and fanciful the better, as this sharpens your ability to imagine. (Which Einstein claimed was more powerful than knowledge.)

Once you can see a single possible way, the goal can no longer be classified as impossible – which is a huge boost to your ability to believe in it. (Which is a huge boost to the likelihood that you’ll pursue it.)

You don’t need to know which of these routes will be your path, possibly none of them or a combination.

What matters is that you’ve now shown your brain that it is possible.

It may seem a subtle detail, but the subconscious mind speaks in subtlety and is hugely influential in inspiring you to keep taking action.

• • •

5. Keep a Success Diary

It takes courage and confidence to take leaps of faith.

So a strong and secure self-image will support you in taking risks and trusting your ability to make things turn out well – or survive and bounce back if they don’t.

Keeping a log of all your wins, triumphs and successes – large and small – will do three things:

• It will provide proof of your ability to succeed, which creates a powerful and positive sense of self.

• It will boost flagging spirits during the inevitable wobbles, shoring up your self-belief when you need it most.

• It will train your brain to look for more evidence of you as an achiever, a success – which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as you take actions aligned with that self-image.

When you build up your faith in your own power and ability, you naturally expect more successful outcomes in your endeavours – both in creativity and in life.

• • •

So I hope these steps will help you find more fun and less anxiety in the creative process, as well as some enjoyable side effects in the rest of your life.

Because when you strengthen your faith-muscles, an exciting world of possibility opens up to you.  twitter aqua

You’ll see new opportunities and take new actions – which are proven strategies for increased good luck and the likelihood of success.

You may even discover that magic and miracles happen when you start to believe everything will turn out for the best.

And even if they don’t, take heart that optimists live longer – and have more fun along the way. 😉

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Danielle

Faith Sharon Salzberg

PS If you’re as fascinated as I am by this whole concept of faith, I highly recommend this beautiful book by Sharon Salzberg, which is the source of this week’s quote.

PPS If you would like some expert support and guidance in strengthening your intuition, boosting your confidence and relaxing into the flow of life, my new Muse Spa programme is designed to do precisely that.

I’d love to support you in keeping the faith and making your creative dreams a reality.

More details here, if this sounds like bliss for you.

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On yoga, chakras & creative flow

On yoga chakras and creative flow Danielle Raine Creativity Coaching blog

#28 in my Tonics for Your Creative Spirit email series: Maya Fiennes

• • •

Welcome to another dose of wordy wisdom to keep your creative spirits up. 

I’m always on the lookout for inspiring ideas to ease the bumpy creative journey and quite often these appear from outside of the creative industry. 

This week’s gem comes from the beautiful world of yoga, in particular from the multi-talented yogini extraordinaire, Maya Fiennes; 

Maya Fiennes Creativity Quote

 

I find this idea such a soul-soothing reminder that being creative is our natural state. 
 
As humans, we are innately creative, we are born with more creative potential than we could ever use. 
 
So why don’t we always feel creative? Why do we sometimes find it hard to express our creative self, or to ‘get in the zone’? 
 
It’s not because of what’s missing – not a single one of us lacks creative ability. 
 
It’s because of what we’ve allowed to get in the way. 
 
Blocks, in other words. (Ever experienced those…?) 
 
So to enjoy a happier creative flow, maybe we just need to get curious about what’s stopping our natural genius from shining through. Maybe we just need to explore and discover what’s getting in the way. 
 
Admittedly this is not always easy! (Which is why I’m an advocate for getting support 🙂 ) 
 
But I find this idea much more encouraging than the prospect of not being creative enough, or being no good at creativity. (Which is never the most productive or enjoyable mindset.) 

 

yoga for real life by maya fiennesMaya’s wise words in this week’s quote come from her book on Kundalini Yoga;  

Yoga for Real Life

In the book, she explores the link between creativity and our chakras, in particular the second chakra, the Sacral Chakra. 

And if you’re intrigued by the idea of working with your chakras to find more creative flow, I’ve written a more in-depth review of Maya’s book here

It’s a gorgeous read – all beautiful pictures, inspiring stories, smoothie recipes and yoga poses to encourage even the weariest soul onto the mat.

And if you’d like to see Maya in action, she demonstrates how yoga can unblock and balance your chakras in her Journey Through The Chakras DVD series – which I’ve also reviewed here. (Can you tell I’m a fan?) 

In fact, the design of this week’s graphic is my homage to the minimalist beauty of Maya’s DVDs. And the orange is a a reflection of the Sacral Chaka – the seat of our creativity. 

 

So I hope you find this helpful, and that you’ll consider yoga as a tool to enhance your creative flow. 

(It also has the bonus side effect of building the physical health, stamina and mental strength you’ll need to bring your beautiful creative dreams to fruition.)

 

Wishing you a peaceful and creative week,  

Namaste,

Danielle

 

 • • •

 

spectrum of creative stuckness danielle raine crop3

 

 

Praise for Danielle Raine | Creativity Coaching;

 

“I totally notice the difference in the way I create now!! 

It’s so much more enjoyable and spontaneous!

Rhoda Jordan,  rhodajordan.com

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3 meaningful reasons marketing is good for creativity

3 meaningful reasons marketing is good for creativity

#26 in my Tonics For Your Creative Spirit email series: Marc Zegans

3 meaningful reasons PIN

 

{NOTE: this post is a little longer than the rest of the series, but I think it can really help solve a dilemma that runs deep through many a creative heart. So I hope you’ll feel it’s worth taking a little time out to make peace with any marketing demons…}

 

It’s time for another pearl of inspired wisdom from my creativity quotes series.

But before we get to it, I have a question for you…

Have you ever read something that made you sigh with relief? 

(Or, if you’re a bit of a softie like me, burst into spontaneous tears of happy realisation.)

Have you ever been jolted awake by a line in a book, hit by a deep recognition that you feel the same way?

This is what happened to me when I read the source of this week’s quote – a short but powerful book by fellow creativity coach, Marc Zegans;

Marc Zegans Intentional Practice book

Intentional Practice & the Art of Finding Natural Audience

 

In the book, Marc helps us to find our ‘natural audience’ and to:

“communicate with it in perfect accord with your artistic vision and with your professional integrity.”

Can you imagine that – marketing you can feel good about?!

(Cue a collective sigh of relief from commercially-torn creatives the world over.)

If you’re like many (most/all) artists or creatives, the prospect of marketing induces a slew of uncomfortable feelings, ranging from lethargy, repulsion, fear and dread, to an overwhelming desire to hide under the duvet.

The issue of marketing, income and commercial pressure in creative work is an age-old dilemma.

Do we compromise our artistic integrity by pandering to market forces? Or commit to heart and soul driven creativity, even if it means a life of poverty?

With the recent rise of Creative Entrepreneurs, this debate is as alive and relevant as ever. 

 

But what if….

What if there was a third alternative, a happy middle ground?

Thankfully, this is the essence of Marc’s book.

It explores the roles that selling and marketing play in successfully earning a living from your craft, and how to embrace them with your soul intact. (And, breathe….) 

It also makes a compelling argument as to why you should still aim to reach your right audience, irrespective of those pesky financial pressures.

Marc argues that there’s an aspect of creativity that involves getting the work out there, to be seen and enjoyed by other people – and that this appreciation is an essential ingredient of the work’s place in the world.

Whether people pay for it or enjoy it another way, the ‘being seen’ aspect plays a crucial role in the life of the work and the creator.

Or as Marc puts it:

 

Marc Zegans creativity quote

 

 

Of course it can be possible and enjoyable to create purely for the thrill of self-expression, and I’m all for that.

But in showing our work, in sharing it with the world, we elevate the whole experience and enrich it with aspects of meaning and purpose and the unique impact that we can make with our talents and time on this planet.

It’s an inspiring approach to marketing; that connecting with your right audience is a vital part of creating impactful, meaningful work – not an act of selling out.

And if reaching the people who will love our work is part of the game – why not embrace it as just another stage of the work? A stage that, done well, can support future work and the creative lifestyle we love. (And what creative would say no to that?)

If we can embrace this idea – that part of our creative brief is to find our audience – it makes marketing (or Reach, as I prefer to call it) so much more palatable for us artistic types.

We don’t need to feel we’re selling our soul by bowing to commercial pressure, we’re simply completing the cycle of the work, helping it find its home in the world.

So if you’ve ever felt torn as to whether to create from the heart or compromise to meet market forces, I hope Marc’s idea will ease the agonies of that particular dilemma.

Even if you create from the heart, you still need to seek an audience for your work if you want to reach the ultimate level of fulfilment.

 

So we can wave goodbye to the old either/or dilemma.

A thriving creative life needn’t be a case of: Joyful Expression vs What People Want.

It could be: Joyful Expression + Attention to finding the people who want that.

Or even: Joyful Expression + Consideration of what you know is well received.

Personally, being one for unrestricted creative expression, I’ve ‘had issues’ with many of the conventional marketing theories. However, the more I embrace this final step of my creative work – this completion of the creative cycle – the more satisfying the work becomes.

This connection stage can actually make the work more enjoyable!

Not only that, the prospect of considering others’ opinions can help to shape the work in a positive way.

For example, if I get stuck in a creative dilemma, considering potential customers (aka Raving Fans) helps me to make decisions that I feel good about AND allow my work to be more valuable in the market place. It’s a happy, creative and lucrative win-win.

Of course, there will always be tension between opposing forces of freedom and limitation – but isn’t that what creativity is all about? Finding new solutions to the ways things are.

And it may well be that no limits, no expectations and no intended audience can actually be paralysing – too much possibility, making it hard to know where to start and in which direction to go.

As ever, it appears that balance is the most productive route. Happily this balance can also lead us to making a viable living from our art. 

So a huge, HUGE thank you to Marc for his inspiring words, not only showing us exactly how we can find our right audience – but also why we ought to embrace that idea; for reasons of our own stability, satisfaction and fulfilment.

 

This feels like the final piece of the Marketing For Soulful Creatives puzzle that I’ve wrestled with for some time.

Marc’s book, along with Deepak Chopra’s Spiritual Law of Dharma, Marianne Williamson’s idea of Business as Ministry, and Marie Forleo’s Sweet Spot theory, have all helped me come to the following realisation :

 

There are 3 meaningful reasons why marketing is good for creativity.

#1 The Creative Reason: To complete the cycle of our work

(See Above)

 

#2 The Spiritual Reason: We can only effect the lives we reach

Our creations can’t influence or help or entertain anyone that doesn’t discover them.

So it’s part of our role as creatives to help the right people to find us, to reach the ones who can enjoy and benefit from our work.

And when we do this, we find that all-important meaning that makes life worthwhile. We’re living our unique purpose, making the difference we’re here to make.

This is living in ‘flow’, and it’s a powerful way to connect to the source of all creativity and inspiration.

When we become aligned with purpose and meaning, our creativity flows more easily, spontaneously and joyfully.

And, as a bonus side-effect, life gets much easier too. (There’s more about how this happy upward spiral works here.)

Plus, when marketing become less about ‘How can I sell more units?’, and more about ‘How can I touch more lives?’, we lose the ‘ickiness’ and self consciousness that make us want to run screaming from self-promotion. 

 

#3 The Financial Reason: Let your creativity support you

One of the best ways to continue to do the creative work we love, is to find a way to get paid to do it.

If we can find the sweet spot – where our unique expression finds our right audience – we can find success in the marketplace.

Marketing, or Reach, is the key to this happy mix of integrity and commerce. Or as Deepak Chopra puts it; when unique needs are matched with the creative expression of your unique talent, that is the spark that creates affluence. 

And even if money is not your driving force, earning a living from your work just makes it possible or easier to spend more time doing it.

 

In other words:

1. To do justice to your work, get it out there.

2. To live aligned with your purpose, find your right audience.

3. To fund a life of joyful creative expression, master the skill of reaching the people who will value your work.

 

I find these ideas help to soothe the marketing demons in my creative soul, and I hope they will do the same for you – so you can make peace with the commercial aspect of the creative process, and devote more of your life to the bliss of joyful expression.

And if you ever feel torn between your creative calling and your need to pay the bills, I highly recommend Marc’s wonderful book.

And of course, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the marketplace vs freedom issue.

Do you long to create purely as inspired? Or do you find the commercial aspect actually adds to the process?

If you’ve found a compromise or solution that works for you – we’d love to hear it!

 

Till next week, 

Danielle

 • • •

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The Ultimate Creative Project : Life

#25 in my Tonics for Your Creative Spirit email series: Felicia Bender

 

Have you ever wondered about the ideal conditions for your creativity?

In my quest to discover the Joy, Fun & Ease route to creative success, I’m always on the lookout for ways to smooth the bumps of our creative journeys.

So I wanted to share this gem that I found in a recent read…

 

Felicia Bender creativity quote

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Though I’m an advocate of creativity as the solution to many of life’s challenges, (you may have noticed…) – it can be a two-way thing: we can make changes in our lives that will boost our creative efforts.

One such change is to create the fertile condition above.

By pursuing inner calm and a strong self-image – a sense of safety, self-esteem and self-assurance – we create a safe space for our creative spirit to emerge and blossom and thrive. (Ie., without all the soul-sapping self-doubt and time-consuming dilemmas.)

As an added incentive, a strong sense of self also makes life feel more like a ‘daring adventure’ than a series of battles to be fought.

This is just one instance of how both our life and creativity can be powerfully enhanced by the art and science of Life Design.

Maybe it’s my design background, but I’m increasingly approaching life as the ultimate creative project. With recent discoveries in human potential, I see no good reason why we can’t write our own brief and even be that high-calibre client that always expects and demands the best.

We’re all creating our lives as we go along, but the more intentional we are about it – the more we craft and shape and design the journey in line with our preferences and goals – the more likely we are to create the ultimate version of our life.

Not only that, we’ll also have a lot more fun en route. (And who would say no to that?)

Of course, we all have our own brand of limitations and challenges to be solved – but this applies to all design projects. There’s still room for us to fashion creative, inventive and enjoyable results within those restrictions – so why not?

Why not craft a life that supports and enhances our creative dreams?

All it takes is time and attention and a mind open to possibilities – but can you think of a better return on your efforts than a life you love?

And the more creative we become, the more we’re able to apply our blossoming skills to improving every aspect of our life – even beyond our creative work.

It’s a virtuous cycle – we can shape our life to boost our creativity; and we can use our creativity to enhance our life.

Taking the time to assess where we are and where we want to go – as well as potential steps to getting there – can reap rich rewards in our creativity and the quality of our lives.

If you like this idea of life design, please let me know because I’ve got loads to share on this and would love to hear if you want more of it.

And if, like me, you’re interested in numerology as one of your Life Design tools, I highly recommend the source of this week’s quote;

Redesign your life book felicia bender

Redesign Your Life;

Using numerology to create

the wildly optimal you

by Felicia Bender

  

Felicia is my go-to resource for all things numerology and her book is an inspiring read.

She uses the analogy of remodelling your home to guide you through the steps of remodelling your life.

It’s human nature to want to make our homes our own, but why stop there? We can apply the same process to make our lives feel more ‘at home’ too. We can be the architect and designer of our own life.

In the book, Felicia uses our unique numerical imprints to guide us to the most effective and enjoyable route to ‘the wildly optimal you’.

(She also explains a lot about why we are the way we are, so if you’ve ever been baffled as to why you do that thing you do, numerology can provide some comforting and eye-opening answers…)

So this week’s tip, inspired by Felicia’s wise words, is to approach your life as the ultimate creative project and bring all your skills and talents and creative gifts to making it the optimum experience for you.

And if your creative muscles could use a bit of support to get going, make your first ‘redesign’ a sense of inner security and confidence.

(If you could use some support and guidance with this aspect of your Life Design, we focus on this very issue in my Creative Thriving programme. I’d love to help you create an atmosphere of flourishing creativity.)

Then see what fabulousness you can unleash from that space.

Good luck and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Wishing you a wildly optimal week, 

Danielle

 

• • •

 

Praise for Creative Thriving;

 

“I have been working with Danielle for a few weeks now and she has been a great inspiration.

I have somehow managed to fit in time to start painting and journaling without sacrificing time with my family.

Feeling accountable to providing updates to Danielle has made me accountable to myself and my ME time.

Thanks Danielle, you’re lovely! xo”

-Tracy Ryan Jastrow

 

 

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What is creativity? (& How to make it easier.)

#24 in my Tonics for Your Creative Spirit email series: Eric Maisel

 

It’s time for another dose of creative wisdom to inspire you in your adventures.

And here’s this week’s offering…

Eric Maisel creativity quote

I truly believe that every human being on the planet is creative – or at least has the potential to be.

And I love how this quote makes becoming ‘a creative’ as simple as a decision to do something meaningful.

This quote is from a book I’m reading called;eric maisel creativity coach book

Become a Creativity Coach Now!

by Eric Maisel

 

It’s available to everyone on Amazon but it’s actually part of a course I’m taking with Eric Maisel – the undoubted pioneer of creativity coaching.

Eric is an absolute fount of knowledge on the creative process (my pet topic), and I’m training with him to tap into his many years of doing this work.

I want to improve my skills in helping lovely creatives and the inevitable struggles we face, because I’ve recently decided to do more one-to-one work.

This has lead to my brand-spanking-sparkly-new service called Creative Thriving.

It’s a six-part 1:1 email coaching programme where I share all my hard-won wisdom, and guide clients to finding more joy, fun and ease with their creative work – there are more details below if this sounds like the kind of support and inspiration you could use.

Back to Eric’s book!

Even though the book is aimed at people training to become creativity coaches, it’s packed with insightful tips and solutions for anyone brave enough to play in the realm of creative endeavours.

So it can be used as a manual for self-coaching – i.e. learning how to support yourself through the inevitable doubts and creative wobbles. And I’m certainly learning a huge amount to help with my own creative projects.

The struggles of finding time, space, clarity, confidence, perseverance and support are common to all of us on a creative journey – whatever the discipline. (Including coaches!)

And the tips that Eric shares in reducing or even eliminating these obstacles can make the whole process easier, more enjoyable and more successful.

(Can you see why I’m a fan!)

So, I heartily recommend Eric’s book, even if you have no interest in becoming a creativity coach.

And of course, if you ever feel the need for a virtual cheerleader / mentor / sounding board, I’d love to support you more individually on the bumpy road to your creative dreams.

Wishing you a smooth and creative week,

Danielle

 

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Creative expression: a drive to make you feel alive

#23 in my Creativity Quotes email series: Brendon Burchard

 

It’s Creativity Quote time again and this week’s gem is from the inspiring and irrepressible champion of entrepreneurs, Brendon Burchard.

Brendon Burchard Creative expression quote

I culled Brendon’s thoughts on creativity from his latest book;

Brendon Burchard The Charge book The Charge 

Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive 

He cites creativity as one of the essential ingredients of a rich and fulfilling life, and makes a passionate case for being more creative in both your work and personal life. 

There’s a whole chapter devoted to the vital role creativity plays in human flourishing. And some of the other drives he explores are also useful in helping us find more ease and fulfilment in the creative process, e.g., change, challenge and contribution.

It’s a great read and an inspiring manifesto for Brendon’s High Performance living philosophy. You can catch more from Brendon here to see his enthusiasm and energy in action. 

I’ve been a huge fan of Brendon’s ever since I read The Millionaire Messenger a few years ago. If you’re ever in any doubt that what you have is unique and valuable and worth sharing with the world, take a look at any of Brendon’s books. His enthusiasm for life and for sharing our stories is infectious. 

So here’s to the creative drive and more satisfying expression! 

 

Till next week, 

• • •

 
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The ‘Pro’ route to the Muse

#22 in my Tonics for Your Creative Spirit email series: Steven Pressfield

 

It’s Creativity Quote time again and this week’s offering is from champion of the creative spirit, Steven Pressfield.

I spotted the following gem in his brilliant, insightful, empowering book;

Turning Pro

I love this book. Steven Pressfield Turning Pro book

I have to admit, though – I didn’t think I would. I actually resisted it (!) for a long time, even though I kept hearing how great it was. 

But it kept popping up on my radar – those Book Angels are pretty persistent! And thank goodness they are because, as always, they were leading me to straight to some answers I’d been searching for. 

You may be aware by now that I belong to the Joy, Fun & Ease School of Creativity. I’m not a huge fan of force, discipline or pushing through resistance. 

Not so surprising then, that I’d avoid a book about using such strict measures to battle self-sabotage. 

But I’m also a keen advocate of balance. (It’s a Libran thing.) And I’ve learned that extremes of anything are rarely the best solution. 

So, eventually, I wondered if Steven’s book might actually be the perfect foil to my laissez-faire approach. (Which, I’ll admit, does have room for improvement in terms of speed and output.)

Just a few pages in, I realised I’d been wrong about the book. 

I’d thought that a disciplined, rigid approach would kill spontaneous creativity and repel my beloved Muse. 

But Steven explains how this is not the case. 

In fact, the ‘pro’ mindset of ‘order, regularity, discipline and a constant striving after excellence’ are actually a route to the Muse

As he puts it: 

The monk glimpses the face of God
not by scaling a peak in the Himalayas,
but by sitting still in silence. 

Yoga, meditation, and the martial arts
access the soul by way of the body. 

The physical leads to the spiritual. 

The humble produces the sublime. 

It seems counterintuitive, but it’s true… 

Steven Pressfield creativity quote

So, inspired by Steven, I have incorporated his wise words into my new creative strategy, a more productive blend of pro and flow:

A Healthy, Happy Hybrid of the Ho-hum and the Heavenly

Whenever the inspired magic is eluding you, try tackling the more mundane and ‘mindless’ aspects of creative work; tidying the studio, organising documents or paintbrushes, reviewing notes and scribblings, planning, researching, organising loose ends.

Show up and show willing, whether you’re feeling inspired or not. In ‘turning pro’, you make a start anyway.

(In many ways, it’s actually easier than the angst of not doing it.)

This can also take the pressure off yourself to be ‘in the zone’, which is sometimes all you need to get the creative juices flowing.

But even if the Muse doesn’t show up, you’ll have made some progress and restored some order.

You’ll have prepared the ground.

So when the magic does begin to strike, you’ll be ready and free to flow with it.

 

What do you think? I’d love to know where you stand on the Disciplined Vs Spontaneous quandary?

And if you try this approach, let me know how it works for you.

 

Till next week, wishing you much flow and magic,

Danielle

 

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Why housework is good for creativity

#21 in my Tonics for Your Creative Spirit email series: Agatha Christie & …. me!

 

It’s Creativity Quote time again and this topic is one very close to my heart, so I’ve got a double-dose for you.

This week’s source may seem a strange choice for a series on creativity, but I’m guessing that most creatives have homes, many have housemates and a fair proportion may feel (as I did) that they were put on the planet for more important work than dusting and laundry.

Also, you may recognise the author… 😉

housework blues creativity quotes

The above words are my own, taken from my first foray into the publishing world;

Housework Blues – A Survival Guidehousework blues danielle raine

Although I’ve moved on from my days of domestic overload, there are still a good many ideas from the book that I employ on a regular basis, including the idea above.

One of the aims of the book was to highlight the potential benefits to be found in the domestic realm, (it’s true – there are some!)

And I’m sharing this here because many of these benefits are particularly valuable to creative types.

For example;

• the link between boredom and creative genius.

• the effect of repetitive, rhythmical actions on your brain waves.

• the monotonous daily tasks that can act as magnets to the elusive muse

There’s even a whole section on creativity. (You can read that section in full here.)

So, if you ever use domestic overload as an excuse reason for not getting round to your creative dreams, I think you’ll find some useful tips and insights to dispel that particular demon.

And to back-up my claim that the mundane and domestic can be good for your creative life, I offer you these famous words from a writer who knew a thing or two about getting her great work done and out into the world:

agatha christie doing the dishes quote

 

So, if you’re a creative with a home to keep, I hope you find this week’s words of wisdom helpful.

And since the feng shui of clean and tidy spaces will uplift your creative spirits, I’ll leave you with a few more words from Housework Blues, in the hope that it inspires you to show your creative temple a little TLC… 

 

“Rhythmical, repetitive actions, especially if carried out on auto-pilot, lull your brain into a meditative state.

This alpha rhythm is highly conducive to creativity – when you are most likely to be struck by inspired thought, right-brain insights, brilliant ideas and intuitive prompts.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of your chores and the solution to a recent quandary ‘mysteriously’ popped into your head?

When your brain is in housework mode, it quietly deals with complex problems without you even noticing.

So you’re not just vacuuming, you’re channelling your creative genius.”

Till next week! 

 

 

PS. If you have a particular book project that’s calling you – and you want to make some lovely soul-soothing progress with it – I’ve got a free mini-course to help you. 🙂

5 days, 5 emails, 5 questions – to help you #writethatbook. (You know the one…)

More details here – good luck!

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Constraint vs abundance: which is better for creativity?

#20 in my Tonics for Your Creative Spirit email series: Jonathan Fields

 

How are you this week? Hope life is treating you kindly.

I have another dose of creative wisdom for you, this time from author Jonathan Fields, though I actually found the following gem on his blog.

The blog post was called: Can abundance kill creativity? and it explored the idea that….

Jonathan Fields creativity quote

Jonathan goes on to say; 

“…constraint in one area of work or life makes you more creative in all areas.”

It’s an interesting idea and one that may bring some comfort to any creative who is up against constraints of time, money, support, etc… (Ie., most of us.) 

In addition to his blog, Jonathan also has a fabulous resource called Good Life Project where he interviews Change-Makers and asks them all One Simple Question:

 What does it mean to you to live a good life?  

He has an impressive array of guests, including last week’s featured author Pam Slim, as well as the likes of Seth Godin, Danielle LaPorte, Kate Northrup, Kris Carr, Dan Pink, Marie Forleo, Brene Brown and Chris Guillebeau.

It’s a great place to go when you need to procrastinate be uplifted, inspired and informed. The interviews are also available as free podcasts on iTunes. 

Jonathan Fields Uncertainty book

Jonathan has also written two books; Uncertainty which I have read and loved. (It may well be featured later in this series with a quote from the book). And Career Renegade which I haven’t read yet but I think I’d enjoy, given the subtitle; How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love. (This is my recipe for a Good Life.)

So I hope this week’s quote inspires you to shift the focus away from whatever’s lacking and use any enforced boundaries to strengthen your creative muscles. 

Besides, there are so many decisions to be made during the creative process that a degree of limitation may actually be a good thing. (Starting with a brief can often be so much easier than a blank canvas…)

Wishing you a fun and creative week!

 

Danielle

 

 

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The Story of You: crafting a creative legacy

#19 in my Tonics for Your Creative Spirit email series: Pamela Slim

 

I’ve got another dose of creative vitamins for you – to keep you and your muse in tip top shape.

Yes, it’s time for this week’s Creativity Quote…

Pamela slim body of work creativity quote

The picture above shows the very first copies of my very first book. (That was a thrill!)

Being semi-autobiographical, my book quite literally told my story, or at least the tale of my biggest challenge at the time. (Happily I have since conquered my domestic demons…)

But whatever we create – whether it’s a painting, a novel, a lyric or a photograph – our personalities, our values and our uniqueness all shine through. 

Obviously no single creation can tell the whole story. We humans are far too complex, changeable and multifaceted to be summed up by a piece of work, however great. 

But all the subtle decisions made during the creative process leave clues, they reflect the heart and mind of the creator. 

This is why we can feel so vulnerable and exposed when we create. We’re baring our souls and presenting them to be judged. (It’s no wonder that criticism can sting so much.)

But it seems that the more of our story we put into the work, the more powerful and inspiring the work tends to be. And it’s these honest, authentic and heart-driven creations that also tend to be the most long-lasting. 

So we’re not just telling our story, we’re creating a legacy.body of work pamela slim

This idea of legacy – building a meaningful body of work – is what Pamela Slim’s new book is about.

Body of Work is where I spotted this week’s quote and it’s an inspiring read.

Pamela has an interesting story herself, from community projects in Columbia, to teaching martial arts, to coaching entrepreneurs and becoming an author.  

This eclectic career path has resulted in a unique blend of experience and knowledge, which Pamela shares in her book. It’s a collection of practical tips and strategies for building a body of work to be proud of.

So if you feel called to tell your story, or if you like the idea of leaving a glorious body of work as a legacy, then I highly recommend Pam’s book. 

She also has some brilliant advice on the creative process – especially how to deal with the inevitable fears and self-doubts that seem to lurk at every turn. 

(It’s certainly not for the feint-hearted – this creative life…)  

Till next week!

Danielle

 

write that book 5 day ipadPS. Do you have a book idea that’s calling you?

Writing a book can be a life-changing and exhilarating creative dream – but it’s a unique challenge!

I’ve created a free 5-Day Kick Start programme to help you make room in your life for your book dream, and get clear, inspired and organised. (Essential ingredients for enjoyable book-creation. 😉 )

More details here if you’d enjoy some support in getting your book into the world. 

 

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The playful route to creative success

#18 in my Tonics for Your Creative Spirit email series: Anodea Judith & Lion Goodman 

 

Hope you’ve been enjoying a fun and creative week.

Here’s another Creativity Quote to keep your creative spirits up and, speaking of spirits – we’re turning to the world of metaphysics with the source of this week’s inspiration.

First up, though, the words of wisdom:

creating on purpose creativity quote

 

This quote is taken from a book about the ultimate creative act; living our whole lives by intention and design.

The book is called Creating On Purpose and it’s written by two luminaries in the spiritual field; Anodea Judith & Lion Goodman – and if you’re interested in metaphysics and the power of invisible energies, I think you’d love it.This quote is taken from a book about the ultimate creative act; living our whole lives by intention and design. The book is called Creating On Purpose and it's written by two luminaries in the spiritual field; Anodea Judith & Lion Goodman - and if you're interested in metaphysics and the power of invisible energies, I think you'd love it. It's a fascinating and practical take on the idea that we shape our own realities. But what makes this book different is how it explores the fine art of manifestation, step-by-logical-step, in line with the 7 main chakras. For example, our initial ideas begin in the invisible realm of inspiration (Chakra 7). They then progress through the processes of vision (Chakra 6), communication (Chakra 5), and cooperation (Chakra 4) until we bring our idea into the material realm of the lower chakras of power, pleasure and matter. It's a compelling strategy for manifesting and makes even the loftiest life dream seem very do-able. But the process works just as well when applied to creative projects on a smaller scale. The book is full of inspiring insights on the creative process (such as the playful gem above) and happily there's an emphasis on how the journey can be one of fulfillment, synergy, altruism and (my favourite) joy. And, as Anodea and Lion put it: "If you bring the joy and enthusiasm of your inner child into your activities, life becomes a playground." Fun, success and fulfillment - not a bad roadmap to follow. (I love this idea. Why do we always assume that creating anything great needs to be hard work...?) But if you still need persuading that 'time off' for play will actually benefit your creativity, just watch any young child - children live to play and are effortlessly creative. Or take a look at how Google fosters a culture of playfulness and fun to spark innovation and ingenuity. So I hope you'll be inspired to build the productive practice of play into your creative schedule. Or at least play with the idea... ;-) Of course, if you're already use this idea to keep your creativity flowing - I'd love to hear your tips. Till next week - have fun at playtime! Danielle PS One of my favourite muse-magnetising playspaces is Pinterest, where I give my imagination free reign to pin how I'd like my life to look. (It may be my design roots but life-designing is my idea of play. Plus, if Anodea and Lion are right, this playtime can actually serve to bring about my Dream Home or Travel Wishes. Even more proof that play is productive!)

It’s a fascinating and practical take on the idea that we shape our own realities.

But what makes this book different is how it explores the fine art of manifestation, step-by-logical-step, in line with the 7 main chakras.

For example, our initial ideas begin in the invisible realm of inspiration (Chakra 7). They then progress through the processes of vision (Chakra 6), communication (Chakra 5), and cooperation (Chakra 4) until we bring our idea into the material realm of the lower chakras of power, pleasure and matter.

It’s a compelling strategy for manifesting and makes even the loftiest life dream seem very do-able. But the process works just as well when applied to creative projects on a smaller scale.

The book is full of inspiring insights on the creative process (such as the playful gem above) and happily there’s an emphasis on how the journey can be one of fulfillment, synergy, altruism and (my favourite) joy.

And, as Anodea and Lion put it:

“If you bring the joy and enthusiasm

of your inner child into your activities,

life becomes a playground.”

Fun, success and fulfillment – not a bad roadmap to follow.

(I love this idea. Why do we always assume that creating anything great needs to be hard work…?)

But if you still need persuading that ‘time off’ for play will actually benefit your creativity, just watch any young child – children live to play and are effortlessly creative.

Or take a look at how Google fosters a culture of playfulness and fun to spark innovation and ingenuity.

So I hope you’ll be inspired to build the productive practice of play into your creative schedule. Or at least play with the idea… 😉

Of course, if you already use this idea to keep your creativity flowing – I’d love to hear your tips.

 

Till next week – have fun at playtime! 

Danielle

 

PS One of my favourite muse-magnetising playspaces is Pinterest, where I give my imagination free rein to pin how I’d like my life to look.

(It may be my design roots but life-designing is my idea of play. Plus, if Anodea and Lion are right, this playtime can actually serve to bring about my Dream Home or Travel Wishes. Even more proof that play is productive!)

 

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