Archive for December, 2010

Blessing Your Surroundings with Your Soul’s Creation

The title of this post may sound a bit dramatic; however, it is the opposite – it is more about simplicity in your daily routine.  On an earlier post, I talked about creation for and with love.  Blessing your surroundings with your soul’s creations is related to that love.  Doing things lovingly for you, your family, and everyone who will share your surroundings is part of that love.  However, there are many ways in which you can enrich your surroundings, and one of them is by being creative in what you do.

We live hurried lives, and many times we function on the auto mode.  By minding the moment and giving it your own touch (creativity) you will enhance the mood, the moment, the task …  When you do this you operate from simplicity, and you bless your surroundings thru your creative spirit.  A simple task of washing dishes (or loading the dishwasher) can become significant, as opposed to being a menial task.  Creativity comes in many forms, visual and non-visual, as a colorful arrangement of fresh-cut flowers at the dinning table or as a gentle breeze flowing thru an open window.

As you continue to bless your surroundings with your creativity, inspiration will continue to flow.

The Reason to Create

Barnstar Creator

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Why do you create?  For whom do you create?  Approaching our craft with this question in mind can help focus our work.  It also helps set the mood for the day, even when you are not in your best mood.  It helps discern the goal – for what you work for or towards. 

When you approach your craft with Love, you are in for a great day at what you do best.  When you approach your craft with love for your Creator, then it makes all the difference.  You are gifting something to others and to your “God” or however you happen to call him/her/it.  Assuming this attitude will not only get you thru your daily task, it will improve it, make it better, because you are offering it to your Creator.

Next time you are about to paint, write, or do what you do best, answer this question.  The answer will set up the mood of the day.  If your answer is – for the agent or publisher, for the pesky boss … then maybe you should go back and reexamine your reasons.

If you don’t believe in a spiritual level, then the answer should be for you – for your contentment and happiness.

We all have to work to pay the bills, care for the family, and many other commitments; however, it is how we approach our craft that makes the difference.

Censor Yourself

This was a frontispiece of Voltaire's Candide,...

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I made one of my goals not to entertain negative talking of any kind.  Negative talking just sucks your energy out – energy that you need to be creative and get better at what you do best.  With so many people around you exuding negativity or not into positive talk, how do you do that?  It is simple, by making the effort.  You may catch yourself giving in into negative thinking or negative talk – and when you do, change the tune, change the channel, reverse the process.

If other people start talking negative around you, excuse yourself if possible, if not, change the conversation.  If changing the conversation does not work, then kindly and in a friendly tone say that you have made your personal goal not to talk about anything that is not positive.  This will put the ball on your court, as your personal project, and the other person will not be offended.  In addition, you are not mentioning the word negative, you are just saying “anything that is not positive,” so the person doesn’t feel attacked.

It may be difficult in the beginning, but I have found that when I am around any type of negative talk, I feel drained and sad, so I decided to cut that issue.  This does not mean that you cannot lend a friendly ear to a friend that is going through a hard situation.  This is different; it means the kind of talk that does not edify, puts you down or anybody else, and has no true meaning.

I have found that when I am around negative people my creativity suffers.  You can find negative people anywhere – post office, supermarket, work … sometimes even making small talk while waiting on line at the store.  I remember this line from an episode of the old series Kung Fu “When words are not better than silence, it is best not to pronounce them.”  I was a kid when I watched the series, but for some reason, that phrase stood with me until adulthood.  It is good advice.

The Blessing of Each Day

human skull

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We are by instinct, a species that will do anything to survive.  We survive the Ice age, and the human race continues to evolve, learn, invent, create, destroy, love, hate …. and survive.  In tragedy or hardship, we seem to bring the best and the worst of us; we help others, injure others … and we keep on going – surviving.  The survival instinct is ingrained in us very deeply; however, one thing puzzles me – we fail to live every day.

We live daily, sometimes in a daze.  We go thru the motions, like zombies in a hurry.  We wake up each day, sometimes in a frenzy.  We fail to acknowledge the blessing of each day (me included).  Why (as species who will fight for survival) we seem to forget of everyday living?  Do we take living for granted?  How can we be sure that when we go to sleep, we will wake up the next day?  There is no guarantee to that, we know it, we ignore it.  Each day is a huge blessing – no matter what it will bring.  If you opened your eyes today, you were given life.

Listen, Watch, Wait

Method for learning and education.

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Yesterday’s post was about the need of every artist or creative person to Trust, Be Still, and Listen.  Today’s post is about the importance of continuing with the process – Listen, Watch, Wait.

For many, this might seem stagnant – lack of action – and not too goal oriented.  However, it is just the opposite.  As we listen to Spirit, we learn to see opportunities in a different light, we train ourselves to Watch, to be vigilant for the many blessings that await us as creative beings. 

When we watch, we know that we are watching with positive eyes, and learning to wait – learning to receive.  Many times, waiting is the hardest part, especially for artists and writers who want to see their work in print, published, or on exhibit.  This waiting becomes worry, and worry takes us far away from receiving – receiving all that is already ours, what we have asked for in the beginning.

When we are capable of listening, watching, and waiting, we attune ourselves to our goals.

Trust, Be Still, Listen

Now Listen

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We live hurried lives, and at times, we think that multitasking and 24/7 doing is the answer to moving on, moving up, or getting it right.  Doing is good; goals without a plan and a purpose stay stagnant.  However, there are times when we must trust, be still, and listen to what Spirit – God – or what you want to call it – has to say to us.  All we have to do is ask, trust, be still, and listen.  Many times, the simple things are the hardest to do.

Monks have mastered the art of meditation and listening.  We think that it is impossible for us to master such high art; maybe, because we are approaching it from the hardest point of view.  When we slow down and learned to trust the divine voice inside us, learn to quiet ourselves down, and listen to it, there are new insights to our situation, question, or concern.

Maybe the hardest part is for us to trust.  To trust that what we have asked, pondered, or dreamed is just around the corner if only we would be still and listen to Spirit.

Focusing Effort

G26wHXST normal target focus

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I have found thru my experience that effort without focus is just hard work without results.  We are raised thinking that hard work is all it takes, coupled with effort and dedication.  Although those are very important ingredients, those have to be focused, directed, and sometimes redirected to accomplish what we want. 

It is easy to get distracted into a ton of effort – I am guilty of it – and forget our focus or take our eye from the target.  It can happen while we are pursuing the target or it can happen without even noticing.  One day, the target gets blurry, and the vision needs to become clear again.  If we are lucky, or in tune with Spirit, we recognize that we need to clean our lenses and re-focus.  This time it becomes a bit easier, because you know how easy it is to lose focus while working hard.  In the end, you emerge a bit wiser, more alert, and thank God for waking you up.