CREATIVELY USING TWO FORMS OF TIME

 

We must use time creatively. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I subscribe online to the DailyOm (www.dailyom.com). There are many aspects to this site, but one is a daily horoscope, providing something to focus on for the day. When I check my horoscope, I find it uncannily accurate. Today's horoscope was significant, and part of the reason for this blog post. It suggested we ask ourselves, “What is it that would really enhance your life right now?”  It continued, “Basing our future goals on our present self keeps our dreams more closely in sync with who we really are.” When we really think about it, what else can we honestly base our goals on, but who we really are? Certainly not other people’s intentions for us.

Answering that question requires two different time references – the present moment and our envisioned future. Enhancing our lives requires us to be fully present in each moment, while also holding an awareness of our long-term vision. Only then can we make the best choices about where to expend each moment of our energy.

I love this quote by the cartoonist, Bil Keane: “Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.” Even though it is often difficult, I try to "be in the moment" with whatever I am doing, and not focus on the future.  But when I am creating something my mind easily wonders to thoughts like: “What am I my going to do this afternoon? How am I going to solve problem X?”  When I do this I’m not in either place – the moment or the future. While working on this post I failed miserably. I succumbed to reading several text messages and lost my focus. When we are not present with what we are doing, our heart and spirit will not be reflected in the work.

 Lost time is never found again. Benjamin Franklin

The need to be aware of the present, as well as the future, sounds like a conflict. Yet, there is time and place to bring each one into a state of heightened focus. When I'm working on something creative I need to be totally in the moment, while still lightly holding an awareness of my envisioned future.

When I am working on clarifying my goals and intentions for the future, I need to set aside quiet time when I am not “doing” anything, but merely “being.” That could mean meditating about my future, doing a creative visualization or stream-of- consciousness writing. During these times, the active pursuit of my creative projects needs to retreat to the background.  Then, when I am clear about my future purpose, all of my choices and creative projects will reflect this knowing.

The beginning of the New Year is the perfect time to focus on our vision for the future, particularly for 2017. Using numerology to demonstrate this, Patti Clark states in her new blog post:

“…..from a numerological perspective, 2017 is a “one” year. (In short: 2+0+1+7 = 10 = 1+0 = 1.) Numerology looks at time in nine-year cycles, in which a “one” year begins a new nine-year cycle of creativity, learning and growth. It is a time of intentions and planning for the next phase. The intentions and foundations you build in 2017 can help shape the upcoming years. A “one” year is the perfect time to set intentions and goals for yourself.” 

You can read more words from Patti at: http://bit.ly/2jdEEhX
 

I will let a Steve Job’s quote end this current post:

  “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out     your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

I would love to hear about your vision for the future.  Please contact me at:                                                                         http://bit.ly/2i6Zocl

To purchase my memoir:

Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma,

go to: http://amzn.to/2cHbHZu

 

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USING OPPOSITES TO HEIGHTEN CREATIVITY

The title of this photograph is “Opposing Forces”.  I took it during my recent vacation.  It intrigued me because of the juxtaposition of the brilliant beauty of nature and the dirty darkness of industry. In the photograph the opposite colors heighten both the design and the meaning of the photograph. In our creative lives, we can use opposites to heighten our creative energy.

For example, I am a creature of habit, yet I also like change. I habitually show up in my studio every morning about 9 o'clock, leave at 11:00 for a brief break and return until I stop at 1 o'clock. If I have the time and creative energy, I go back to my studio in the afternoon. Some people call that rigid. For me it feels like a ritual and an extremely important part of my creative process.

My studio is a sacred space. As soon as I walk into the studio, I experience an emotional and energetic shift. It is similar to what I have experienced walking into a meditation hall, or what people describe feeling upon entering a church sanctuary or synagogue. In these sacred spaces I feel surrounded by a strong kinesthetic, emotional and spiritual energy.

Consistently showing up at the same time and place every day of the week – – even Saturdays and Sundays – – becomes a commitment to my Self and my creative process. (Although some would say this is being self-centered, I believe that when we make, and then follow through with commitments to ourselves, we can be more energetically present for others.)

However, there are times when I need to change my routine -- when I crave a different scene to re-invigorate my creative self. This has been the case for the last two weeks when my husband and I took a trip down to an island we love. We stayed two blocks from the ocean, and while enjoying the sunny warmer climate and quality of light, I experienced an extreme shift in awareness, energy and mood.  

Although I have a small room that I call my mini studio, and still do a lot of creative work, I do not experience the same strong adherence to my daily ritual as when I'm at home.  Opening to the contrasting use of time and space is creatively liberating. 

When I bring opposite forms of energy into my life, each form heightens the other.  In turn a third form of enhanced energy is created. This was the case during my vacation, when I experienced heightened creativity.  During the two week break from my typical routine my creative vision became clearer and I could more easily decide on my creative priorities, as well as specific ideas to begin with. New ideas were created and were resting in the back of my mind, ready to spring forth. Now that I am back home, and have returned to my usual routine, I am ready to pursue these ideas with fresh creative energy.

Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash. French poet, Louis Aragon

Before you can break a routine with its opposite, you need to have a routine to begin with. I encourage you to start your new year with a creative routine. It does not have to be anything major.

Try this exercise:

v    Decide on one form of creativity, i.e. writing in a journal, ripping paper and pasting it in a collage, designing an herb garden, deciding on a small remodeling project for your home.

v    Set aside a specific time in the day, as many days in the week as you can, i.e. 8 o'clock at night for one hour or 6:30 in the morning for 1/2 hour (before the kids get up).

v    Designate a place to be your creative space and set out the materials you will need. (A small corner somewhere, or space on the dining room table, a kitchen counter is totally fine.)  

v    Show up in your creative space, at your appointed time, for one month.

v    At the end of that one month write, or share with someone, what you discovered about your Self and your process.  

Opposites generally create intense chemistry. There are more chances of fireworks when different people are together than similar personalities. Indian actress, Sonam Kapoor

 

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USE CREATIVE VISUALIZATION AND BECOME YOUR OWN VISIONARY

If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.                                                             Rollo May, author Courage to Create

Only we can create a vision for ourselves.

One effective technique is to use the tool of creative visualization.

                "BLOSSOMING"                           photo-painting                                Carol K. Walsh

               "BLOSSOMING"                           photo-painting                                Carol K. Walsh

When I remember to mentally visualize what I want to create – – either in my art or in my life – – I have a much greater chance of success. That doesn't mean when I use creative visualization it always works.  However, I do know that the opposite is absolutely true -- if I have not visualized what I want to create in my mind, heart, and spirit, it will never happen.  I cannot make appropriate and effective choices if I don’t have an end-product/idea in mind.  

Creative visualization is a powerful tool.

When I use it, the odds are much more in favor of it working.  For example, when I envisioned my book launch party for my new memoir Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma, I pictured it in as much detail as I possibly could. I visualized the setting, amount of chairs, kind of food, color theme, how I would dress, who I wanted to come and of course what I wanted to say, etc.  And then, just like an Olympic athlete training for an event, I played the image, like a movie, over and over again in my imagination. The more I did it, the more comfortable I felt.

For me, this actively employing creative envisioning is the best way to decide on and accomplish my life’s mission.

Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission. The admitting is often very difficult.  Julia Cameron, author The Artist’s Way


To succeed I have to become my own creative visionary.

If I don't, who will do it for me?

             v    Only I can decide what’s in my soul, heart and spirit.

v    Only I can determine where to put my creative energy to express what is inside of me.

v    Only I can imagine what to paint, draw or photograph, or write, that reflects the true me.

v    Only I can decide what or who will support me and help me feel fulfilled.

Try this exercise:  Make each of the four bullet points into a question for yourself and then write the answer.  For example, “What is in my soul, heart and spirit that I want/need/crave to express?”  Be sure to write down your answers, so you won’t forget them.


I am happy to share that my book launch party matched my inner vision, and was everything I had hoped for – and more.  (The “more” part included the amount of wonderful questions asked, forming a lively discussion.)

Fortunately, the stars were in alignment. Success doesn't always happen. Olympic champions know that they don't always win, no matter how much envisioning they do.  All we can do is put our whole heart, soul and spirit into it, then give it the best shot as we can, by using creative visualization.

Creativity is always a leap of faith. You're faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage. Julia Cameron

I would love to hear about your experiences with creative visualization. 

Email me through my website: www.ckwalsh.com/contact

PLEASE WATCH THIS AMAZING 5 MIN. VIDEO.  IT WILL MOTIVATE AND INSPIRE YOU.                                   "EVERYBODY DIES: BUT NOT EVERYBODY LIVES"

 

 

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for -- the Creative Life Summit, to be viewed on the internet during the first two weeks of January.  My segment about "The Power of Creativity to Heal" is on January 5th.        Click here:  http://bit.ly/2gzo6ya   

It's free!!  

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