Friday, April 10, 2009

Want to participate in The Next Chapter?

Our 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women journey is now complete. If you are travelling through the book on your own, please feel free to visit the posts below for inspiration and encouragement.

The Inspiration Continues: Your Creative Spark

If you are interested in the amazing interviews that were a part of this session, I've pulled them together in a super-charged inspiration e-pack of almost 3 hours of audio materials and over 100 page of transcripts and bonuses. Unleash your inner artist at Your Creative Spark.


Join The Next Chapter

If you're interested in participating in future sessions of The Next Chapter, be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you'll be among the first to get the details! I'm looking forward to sharing more adventures with you.



Friday, April 3, 2009

Celebration!!!

The Celebration!

The celebration call was a rousing success full of warmth, laughter and, yes, celebration! For those of you who couldn't be there, you were missed. But I wanted to be sure you didn't miss out, so I recorded the call so that you can take part in your own time. But if you're going to listen, I have one request: please, wherever you are when you're listening, do the happy dance along with everyone! And thank you to everyone who made the call. It was a joy to share the hour with you!


The Celebration Call Recording

Your Creative Spark...

I also have some big announcements and lots of wonderful news. First, I'd like to officially announce the release of Your Creative Spark: Inspiring Interviews with 12 Highly Creative Bloggers.


This is a collection of all of the interviews from our 12 weeks together - plus additional bonuses from the interviewees and complete transcripts. There's almost 3 hours of audio and 122 pages of text! I'm offering a special price until Sunday, April 5th at midnight! For more details and to order, go to www.yourcreativespark.com.

The Winner...

You may remember that people who participated in The Next Chapter survey were eligible for a draw to receive this collection for free.

And the winner is (drum roll please...): Boho Mom!!!
I'll be in touch with you soon about how to pick up your prize.


Our Next Book...

I am thrilled to announce that our next book is going to be playful, lively and a big stretch for some of us:




We'll be starting on Friday June 5, and I hope you'll play along. I will be creating a new blog home for us at www.tnc-wreckthisjournal.blogspot.com. There's nothing there yet but feel free to bookmark it or add it to your Google Reader. I'll be getting it started and opening up sign ups next week.

And this week, if you'd like to share your celebrations, intentions or reactions, or anything else for that matter, I've added one final Mr. Linky for The Next Chapter: The 12 Secrets edition.

My love to you all,

Jamie




Friday, March 27, 2009

Secret #12: Planning to Achieve Your Goals

video

12 weeks dedicated to your creativity - Congratulations!
Every step you took, whatever the size, was a gift to your creative spirit.
(I'm sure she's creating a thank you card for you right now!)

We have one more secret to cover and I'm jumping to the end of the chapter and inviting you to celebrate! I hope you'll join us on the Celebration Call and mark being a part of this magnificent, creative, sensitive, courageous group of remarkable women. Just add your name to the sign-up box above. And if you can't, I hope that next Friday at 2:00 EST you will take a moment to celebrate the group, your muses and yourself as a creative being. Give yourself a gold star. Smile at the sky. Take yourself out for coffee. Call up a friend and celebrate how amazing you both are! And stop by here later in the day. I'm going to record the call and will post it as soon as its available. (There's also going to be a special offer on Your Creative Spark, the collection of interviews, so you'll want to check that out)

Now to the first part of the secret - planning to achieve your goals. I love how Gail starts out the chapter with asking us to develop our own creative creed. It feels like such a wonderful culmination, a chance for us to come up with a collection of our own secrets as highly creative women. This whole journey, we have been doing that. You have shared your wisdom, experience, fears, humour, vulnerability, creativity and courage - and it has been extraordinary. Thank you for so generously sharing yourselves.

The video I'm sharing with you today is one of the ways that I plan. It holds my vision for this year and reminds me each day to stay focused on my goals and my dreams. I wonder what creative goals you will set for yourself. I hope you will share them not only this week but in the weeks to come, that we will stay connected and continue to grow together, making the world a brighter place by being the stars we are.

With love and deep appreciation,
Jamie




Highly Creative Blogger Interview #12: Laini Taylor

I hope you enjoyed our interview with Laini Taylor. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Laini Taylor is a writer and artist living in Portland, Oregon. Her first novel, Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer, was published in 2007, and 2009 will see the release of its sequel, Silksinger, as well as her third book, Lips Touch, a trio of supernatural tales about kissing!

Though Laini had always wanted to be a writer, a patch of *writer's block* after college (a symptom of staring at a computer screen all day at her first *real job* as an editor) led her on a winding path to art school in her mid-20s. She now designs a licensed product line, Laini's Ladies, that is sold throughout the country and beyond. She lives with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their old dog Leroy, and spends her days writing and designing.

More about Laini...

Website - Laini Taylor
Blog - Grow Wings
Blog about writing - Not for Robots
Along with the magnificent Megg, Laini hosts - Sunday Scribblings

The Vault ~ Week of March 27

Over the course of this journey, you'll be claiming, exploring and expressing your creativity. You're going to grow and share and stretch. And we know when that starts happening all those inner voices come out. You know the ones. You're hearing them already. "Who do you think you are?" "You'll never be an artist." "Grow up." "That's not really creative." Ouch!

So, here's what I want you to do. Over the course of our journey together, any time you hear one of those soul-sucking, creativity-thwarting, heart-hurting phrases in your life, your mind or your memories, come and put it here in the vault. Leave it in the comments and let it stay there. Put it in every time it shows up. Leave it anonymously, if that's easier. Put it out of your mind and into the vault. Know that when you put it in the vault you are saying that limiting belief is GARBAGE and you don't need it anymore!

Let all these trouble-making thoughts keep each other company while we get on with loving up our creative selves!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Secret #11: Subtracting Serenity Stealers

"The first step in starting an enterprise is to clear the space for it or till the ground."
Barrie Dolnick, Simple Spells for Success

I love that this particular secret is coming up just in time for spring! Let's make way for yumminess to bloom into our lives. This week Gail's encouraging us to "get rid of everything you neither need or want in your life." What disturbs your serenity?

Some places to look:
  • clutter
  • toxic people
  • toxic situations
  • limiting beliefs
  • activities you dread
  • over-committing
  • over-scheduling
  • over-stimulation
  • perfectionism
  • the outdated
  • the "undone"
  • habits that aren't serving you
In service of your joy, your art, your heart, your body, your serenity, your dreams and your spirit, pick one stealer this week make the cut. You can do it!

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #11: Sunny Schlenger

I hope you enjoyed our interview with Sunny Schlenger. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Sunny Schlenger is a professional organizer, author and mentor with over 30 years of experience as a pioneer in her field. She helped launch the “custom-tailored” approach to getting organized in the 90’s with her best-selling book, How To Be Organized In Spite Of Yourself, whose approach was licensed by Harvard University’s training and development program. She then took the concept of organizing to the next level by integrating it with spirituality. The result, Organizing For The Spirit was published in 2004.

In addition, Sunny has also been named as a “flow master” by Charlene Belitz and Meg Lundstrom, authors of The Power of Flow (New York: Random House, 1997). The title designates someone who is one of a group of people “highly engaged in the natural, effortless, unfolding of life in a way that moves them towards wholeness and harmony.” As a consultant, author, coach and mentor, Sunny has worked with thousands of people, assisting them in their quest for self-realization, productivity and peace.

You can find Sunny's website here and her blog here.

Sunny is currently offering a new course: My New Year How to Set Intentions That Stick
From the Big Picture Scrapbooking introductory page:

"We know that January is long gone, but 2009 is still fresh and new and with Sunny's techniques, you could even start a new year on December 31st! Regardless of what the calendar says, this could be the first day of a new year filled with potential-just like you! Come take part in this fascinating and FUN process and make this the year you feel like a winner!

Sunny's class includes: Five voice messages available as streaming audio, downloadable MP3 files and transcripts Inspirational and instructional messages and handouts to coach you through the intention-making process Bonus handouts with layouts by Big Picture Scrapbooking's Featured Teachers: Georgana Hall, Lisa Damrosh and Elizabeth Dillow Email access to Sunny Gallery to share your work and view the work of your classmates

Registration

The Vault ~ Week of March 20

Over the course of this journey, you'll be claiming, exploring and expressing your creativity. You're going to grow and share and stretch. And we know when that starts happening all those inner voices come out. You know the ones. You're hearing them already. "Who do you think you are?" "You'll never be an artist." "Grow up." "That's not really creative." Ouch!

So, here's what I want you to do. Over the course of our journey together, any time you hear one of those soul-sucking, creativity-thwarting, heart-hurting phrases in your life, your mind or your memories, come and put it here in the vault. Leave it in the comments and let it stay there. Put it in every time it shows up. Leave it anonymously, if that's easier. Put it out of your mind and into the vault. Know that when you put it in the vault you are saying that limiting belief is GARBAGE and you don't need it anymore!

Let all these trouble-making thoughts keep each other company while we get on with loving up our creative selves!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Secret #10: Living in Abundance with Positive Priorities

This week's secret is full of deliciousness. We consider our personal definition of abundance and what it means to live according to our own unique spirit. Gail points us to the role that gratitude plays in prosperity. She encourages us to identify our scarcity thinking so that we can move beyond it. We're to pay attention to our self-care and identify what lights us up and energizes our spirits. Yes! What if we did this every week?

Are you looking forward to this one? I hope this will give you even more to look forward to: an official invitation to the first ever The Next Chapter Celebration Call. It will be a time for us to acknowledge ourselves and each other for all that we've accomplished and enjoyed during our time together.

You are invited to... The Next Chapter: 12 Secrets Celebration Call

Date: Friday April 3
Time: 2:00 EST
Special Guests: Jennifer Lee, Melba McMullin, Jessie Marianiello, Suzie Ridler, Darlene Kreutzer, Sunny Schlenger, Leah Piken Kolidas and Andrea Scher!
RSVP:


When you sign up, you will receive an email with the all the call-in details. The call is free but your long-distance charges apply.

During the call I'm going to share a special offer for those of you who want to purchase the collection of amazing interviews with highly creative bloggers. Plus, I'll be announcing the winner of the survey draw. Plus, I'll be announcing our next book! I wish I could give out cupcakes too but I haven't quite figured out how to transport them through the phone line.

In this week of living in abundance and positive priorities, take the time to celebrate all that you have and all that you are. We'll celebrate together soon!


Highly Creative Blogger Interview #10: Darlene

I hope you enjoyed our interview with Darlene. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Darlene J Kreutzer is a published photographer and poet who lives with her musician husband and sports minded son in the diverse landscape of Western Canada. When she is not scribbling in her notebooks or playing with light, she can usually be found playing with paints, twisting up jewelry designs, creating culinary vegan delights or puttering in her garden which is currently sleeping under a few feet of snow.

She has an English Literature degree and a Secondary Education degree and works full time as a project coordinator in the healthcare sector. She and her husband also started a photography business in 2008 which specializes in artist, lifestyle and wedding photography. She continues to take art, writing and photography classes and workshops when she can and hopes that she will continue to learn, grow and change as the years go by.

She is grateful for: family, the light that casts beauty across shadows, music that lifts emotions, a little house and garden filled with colour and love, friends and inspirations, the beauty of nature, the ocean's cold spray, the soft barnacle skin of the grey whale and the possibilities that exist in life.

Darlene can be found at:
business sites:
http://www.dpartistry.com (photography portfolio)

collaborations
http://www.pluckthepetal.com/thefour (this site is a collaboration between four canadian blogger photogs and will be going live this monday :)

Offer for The Next Chapter participants: Free shipping on all items in my etsy store starting the day my interview airs and for the following two weeks.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Secret #9: Transcending Rejection and Roadblocks

I'm so glad we spent the last 2 weeks looking at our guides and alliances before heading into rejection and roadblock territory. One message seems clear in the blogosphere - the tough stuff is easier when you know you're not alone.

And I want to acknowledge those of you who have been feeling alone. Thank you for showing up and being here even when it's been tough. Thank you for your vulnerability and your courage. Know that whether you have 50 people visit your blog or 5 or none, you are not alone. Your energy is a part of this group. Sometimes things as simple as not posting a direct link can impact whether people find your post. So keep knocking on doors until the right ones open and in between knocks, be gentle with precious you.

And for everyone, as we journey through the last leg of this particular adventure, here's what I'd love each and every one of you to do:


Create!


Let's remember why this creativity stuff is important in the first place. Over the remaining 3 weeks, spend time doing your art or exploring a new one or creatively playing. This week, as we talk about roadblocks and rejection, let's plug into the juice of what brings us alive and makes it worthwhile to get to the other side!

Dance with abandon. Write a poem. Scribble. Play your music and sing along - loud. Buy a colouring book. Get some Playdoh. Go on a photo adventure. Read a sonnet out loud to your honey. Make up a recipe. Call that ally you posted about and make a playdate. Write the first sentence. Play the piano - badly. Bead a necklace to celebrate the season. Scrapbook this moment. Make a card and send it to a new friend. Create the most beautiful day you ever had.

Let's fill March with creative joy and finish The Next Chapter off with delight.

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #9: Jen Lemen

manzanita jen

I hope you enjoyed our interview with the the wonderful Jen Lemen. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Jen Lemen is a writer, artist and independent publisher with a passion for creating community and friendship wherever she goes. Whether she’s telling knock-knock jokes in the kitchen with her two kids Madeleine and Carter or trekking across the Rwandan hillside collecting stories of confidence and hope, Jen believes that ordinary people can do amazing things with whatever they have, wherever they are. You can read more about Jen, her life and her work at jenlemen.com.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Secret #8: Selecting Empowering Partnerships and Alliances

This week's secret is Selecting Empowering Partnerships & Alliances.

There are some powerful words in this secret. One of them is 'selecting.' We get to be selective about who we are going to trust with our precious creative dreams. Many of us have had and have shared our experiences of being hurt by a thoughtless remark, shutdown by an insensitive teacher or discouraged by feeling unseen at all.
Maybe we couldn't choose who are grade 8 art teacher was but we can choose now. Who do you want to connect with, to be amidst, to partner with?

Realizing that you are at choice in your relationships is empowering in and of itself, and even more so when you start to consciously cultivate partnerships and alliances that support and encourage you. We are each unique and it's important to know what you, yourself, find empowering. Does it inspire you to be challenged by others or do you work better with encouraging words? Does it depend on the stage of the game? Does working with people with similar ideas get you excited and raring to create together or are you stimulated by entirely different viewpoints?

What's an empowering partnership look like to you? If you were to make a list of 'characteristics of the dream support team' what would be on it?



Highly Creative Blogger Interview #8: Leonie Allan

I hope you enjoyed our interview with the lovely Leonie. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.


Leonie Allan is a Goddess living in Canberra, Australia. She believes that inside each of us, there is a Goddess - a woman of wisdom, beauty and deep soul. Leonie creates art & events to help women discover and celebrate this Goddess inside each of us. She make artworks to celebrate your Soul Story and the Goddess In You. Leonie has photographed women as Goddesses from the desert centre of Australia to villages in India. She create e-courses and retreats for you to help experience the creative and spirited Goddess inside you. And she also runs Goddess Guidance coaching & oracle reading sessions for gorgeous women all over the globe, to help them find clarity, guidance and spirit on their journey.


You can find Leonie at Goddess Guidebook.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Vault ~ Week of Feb 26

Over the course of this journey, you'll be claiming, exploring and expressing your creativity. You're going to grow and share and stretch. And we know when that starts happening all those inner voices come out. You know the ones. You're hearing them already. "Who do you think you are?" "You'll never be an artist." "Grow up." "That's not really creative." Ouch!

So, here's what I want you to do. Over the course of our journey together, any time you hear one of those soul-sucking, creativity-thwarting, heart-hurting phrases in your life, your mind or your memories, come and put it here in the vault. Leave it in the comments and let it stay there. Put it in every time it shows up. Leave it anonymously, if that's easier. Put it out of your mind and into the vault. Know that when you put it in the vault you are saying that limiting belief is GARBAGE and you don't need it anymore!

Let all these trouble-making thoughts keep each other company while we get on with loving up our creative selves!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Secret #7: Consulting with Guides

This week's secret is Consulting with Guides. I just love when it's a secret that I know we're already rocking out! As we listen to each of the interviews with Highly Creative Bloggers, we are consulting with guides. As we visit each other's blogs and take inspiration, we are consulting with guides. Let's expand our reach even further by sharing with one another guides that have helped us along the way - books, singers, websites, writers, poems, coaches, maps, videos. Let's spread the love.

And know that every time you post to your blog, you are being a guide. Trust that. Know that. When you shine your light, the path is lit for others as well as yourself. Shine, beautiful you. Shine.

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #7: Melba

I hope you enjoyed our interview with marvelous Melba. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Melanie (Melba) McMullin loves...to write in her journal...to create collages with scraps from her life...to read...to be alone...to be present with her family...to think...to meditate...to listen to music...to share stories...to drink coffee, tea, or cocktails...to eat...to dream...to consciously create...to feel connected. Melanie lives with her loving husband and two very imaginative young children in Cape Cod, MA.

Melanie shares her art for sale in her newly relaunched etsy shop. Just until the end of February Melanie is offering all of her original collages for $25 with free shipping for her fellow Next Chapter participants. To receive free shipping enter the code "next chapter" in the notes section when you make a purchase and then wait for me to send you a revised invoice before paying.

Melanie shares her journal pages on her (very) personal blog an eager soul's journal.

Melanie shares her latest collages on her creative blog creating in the midst.

Melanie shares her love for connecting with other creative bloggers on her collaborative blog justBeConnected.

You can connect with Melanie at melbamcmullin@comcast.net

Friday, February 13, 2009

Secret #6: Conquering Saboteurs

How fascinating that after committing to self-focus, we prepare to deal with saboteurs. As you take time for your self and your work, are they starting to show up? What do yours sound like? I have some personal favourites. Let me introduce you to the "Who the Hell do You Think You Are?" gremlin and his cousin, the "You Are SO not Ready for That!" gremlin. Oh, and then there's the ever-articulate "You Suck" gremlin. Are they friends of yours too? Maybe we can throw them all a gremlin social in the vault this week!

This chapter offers some strategies for dealing with these pesky critters and I hope you'll share your own. Andrea Scher has some awesome gremlin-busting tips in this week's interview. By next Friday you are going to be well-set to outplay, outwit and outlast these opponents!

One thing is for sure: saboteurs are a part of pursuing your aspirations. In fact, their appearance is a brilliant clue that you are in the territory of your dreams. They don't waste their time on the piddly stuff. So if they're starting to show up, celebrate the fact that you are stepping towards something magnificent.

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #6: Andrea Scher

photo credit, by Denise Andrade

I hope you enjoyed our Week 6 interview with Andrea. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Andrea Scher is an artist, mom and life coach living in Berkeley, California. Through her company Superhero Designs and blog Superhero Journal, she aims to inspire other creative souls to live authentic, colorful and extraordinary lives.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Secret #5: Committing to Self-Focus

As I read this chapter about self-focus, I found myself engaged in intellectual debates with various assertions, vigorously nodding my head along with others. I rolled the word "self-focus" over my tongue several times to see how it tasted. I revisited my personal history with balancing intimacy and independence. There's a lot in here to explore. I look forward to seeing what catches you about self-focus and what you're inspired to share.

And I'd love to celebrate with you that we are already taking on the final exercise of this chapter. Gail challenges us to help other women commit to their creativity. And here we are, doing just that! We're in this together, and it makes a difference. Sharing your story matters. Every encouraging word, shared experience, shed tear, heartfelt smile is a part of what we are creating here, together.

And since we've got one challenge down already, I hope you won't mind if I sneak in one extra. This week I invite you to not just think about self-focus but to experience it. Commit to some time for your self. Put on the answering machine. Ask a friend to babysit. Wake up a half hour early. Say no to washing dishes. Show up at the page. Take time to dance. Chisel out some precious space and time for your self and your creative explorations. Experience self-focus.

Enjoy!

Interview with Christine Mason Miller

This week Christine is here to inspire us. You can hear the interview here.

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #5: Christine Mason Miller

I hope you enjoyed our Week 5 interview with Christine. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Christine Mason Miller is a Santa Monica based artist with nearly 15 years of art, design and illustration experience. She is the creator of the internationally recognized brand Swirly, and her work has been inspiring people of all ages worldwide to follow their dreams and passions since 1995. Her work as an artist has evolved far beyond the Swirly world, with collections of paintings and mixed media creations being sold and exhibited nationwide. Christine's work gives viewers a peek into a variety of details of her life, from travels around the globe to memories shared with her grandma. Using materials as varied as acrylic and oil paints, pastels, ink, vintage photographs and other ephemera, Christine's creations are full of color, texture and hidden stories.

Her latest creation, Ordinary Sparkling Moments, is a full color self-published book that combines her mixed media work and writing, all aimed at exploring the joys of finding wisdom in everyday life. Ordinary Sparkling Moments was released in August 2008 and can be purchased on this website, Etsy and Amazon.com.

Main Website: http://www.christinemasonmiller.com
Blog: http://www.swirlygirl.typepad.com Swirly Website: http://www.swirlygirl.com
Etsy shop: http://www.swirlygirl.etsy.com
A Year of Inspiration: http://www.sparkletopia.squarespace.com
You can reach her at christine@swirlygirl.com.

* Special Offer for Listeners: Order my book on Etsy through March 1st and enter the code SPARKLE for a free postcard set.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Secret #4: Surrendering to Creative Cycles

Before moving on to Secret 4, I want to send out some special Secret 3 love to everyone. A lot got stirred up last week. Fear, vulnerability, courage, hesitation, recognition, awareness and many more such companions made their appearance. So take a breath and a moment and acknowledge yourself. Whatever showed up, whatever you felt, whatever you did or did not do, acknowledge yourself for being on this journey with all its ups and downs.

Really do it. Deep Breath. Acknowledge you.

Namaste.

We've already experienced some hills and valleys. Let's use this week's look at cycles to discover more about this aspect of our creative adventure. The book offers some questions about the darker times, the void. I'd also love to know how you manage the bright spots, the peaks. Do you celebrate? Get on with what's next? Get overwhelmed? Pat yourself on the back? Tell everyone? Tell no one?

One of the joys of working through this book together is that we may see stories that powerfully reflect our own and we may also experience viewpoints that offer an entirely different view. When it comes to creative cycles, do you relate to how the book explores the question? If yes, where does it lead you? If not, what's your take? What are your questions? Fill in stories that may have been left out. Don't hesitate to respond in your own unique way. Your view is a gift.

Interview with Leah Piken Kolidas

This week Leah shares her wisdom, including the way she has come to love her creative cycles. You can hear the interview here.

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #4: Leah Piken Kolidas

I hope you enjoyed our Week 4 interview with Leah. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Leah Piken Kolidas is a mixed-media artist and creativity guru living near Boston, MA with her husband and their four fuzzy cats. Leah sells her original artwork and prints on http://www.BlueTreeArtGallery.com and http://leahart.etsy.com and also leads the month-long "Art Every Day Month" challenge every November and the year-long "Creative Every Day Challenge" on her blog, http://www.CreativeEveryDay.com.

Invitation: The Creative Every Day Challenge is a low-pressure challenge and is open to everyone looking to infuse their daily life with creativity. Check out the details here: http://www.creativeeveryday.com/creativeeveryday/creative-every-day-challenge.html

Offer: Enter "creative09" into the coupon code at checkout to receive 20% off your purchase at http://www.BlueTreeArtGallery.com, now through February 14, 2009.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Secret #3: Following Your Fascinations

"And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more." Erica Jong

There's a lot of content in this chapter, with risk-taking, intuition and staying power being at the core of Secret 3: Following Your Fascinations. The root message is that bringing our dreams to life involves moving outside of our comfort zone and taking risks.

There are 2 things I really want to encourage you to explore this week. One is from the book. And one is from me. First, the book.

The last challenge in this chapter is "Bolstering Your Staying Power." This week, get a clear picture of what en-courages you. What helps you be brave? List anything you'd like to draw on when the journey gets tough or scary, including what has worked for you in the past. Does it help to journal? To call a friend? To have a coach? To pray? Do you like to be super prepared? To do it quickly and get it over with? To plan how you'll celebrate when it's done?


This week, by sharing what helps us find the courage to take the risks necessary to make our dreams come true, we can fill each other's en-couragement toolkit with new ideas. What a gift that will be! And once we have that to draw on, what's next?

We get to be brave. We get to take a step.
This week I'd like to offer you the challenge of taking one brave step towards your dreams. One. It doesn't have to be big - but it can be. Draw on whatever support is available to you (including us) and then, take a step. Make that phone call. Buy a sketchbook. Add red. Add chillies. Write the first sentence. Sign up for that class. Wear colour. Book a ticket. Audition. Share your art on your blog. Share your dream with your partner. Share your article with an editor. Get an editor's address. Take a step.

One step. Don't worry about making it the right step, the best step, the world-changing step. Just make it the next step. A confidence-building step not because of the result but because you had the bravery to take it. And we'll be cheering you on.


Interview with Jessie Marianiello

What a perfect week for an interview with Jessie, founder of the Be Brave project. Enjoy! You can hear the interview here.

The Vault


Each week, on Fridays, the vault will be emptied. Imagine every negative word, every spiteful thought, breaking into tiny, harmless molecules washed away by the water pouring out of the vault. A fresh start. A clear sky.

The Encouragement Box


Ina had a great suggestion of adding an encouragement box for balance. Please, share your encouragements for each other directly in as comments on each other's blogs. Everyone loves comments :) But if there's something you're aching to hear yourself, put it here. And if you drop leave a negative thought in The Vault consider delivering its opposite as a gift in the Encouragement Box (e.g. Drop off in the Vault: Who do you think you are? Drop off in the Encouragement Box: You are a goddess, a special gift to this world. Never doubt it, my love)

Have a brave and fascinating week!

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #3: Jessie Marianiello

I hope you enjoyed our Week 3 interview with Jessie. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

For pet portrait artist, Jessie Marianiello, it’s all about capturing personality. Jessie’s paintings are a heartfelt gesture celebrating the unconditional love and infinite happiness that our four-legged friends have brought to us.

Jessie’s goal as an artist and animal lover is to create artwork that honors the unique life force within each of us. She paints to tell a story. But, even more so, she paints because it causes her to experience more love than she often know what to do with.

Jessie is a full-time artist living in the wintery tundra of Minneapolis, MN with her three dogs, 2 cats, and 1 husband. She loves strong coffee, is the creator of the Be Brave Project, and believes in creating a life that fills you from the inside out.

FIND JESSIE AT:

Personal blog: Diary of a Self Portrait
http://ravenn.blogspot.com

Website: Stray Dog Arts
http://straydogarts.com

Stray Dog Arts Etsy:
http://www.straydogarts.etsy.com

Patch of Sky Etsy:
http://www.patchofsky.etsy.com

SPECIAL OFFER FOR BOOK CLUB PARTICIPANTS:

FREE shipping on all greeting card orders from my Stray Dog Arts Etsy at http://www.straydogarts.etsy.com Please convo (or email) me and I will post reserved listings especially for you—minus the shipping charges! Be sure to mention this book club! Offer expires March 31st, 2009.

FREE shipping on all print orders from my Patch of Sky Etsy at http://www.patchofsky.etsy.com Please convo (or email) me and I will post reserved listings especially for you—minus the shipping charges! Be sure to mention this book club! Offer expires March 31st, 2009.

10% OFF commissioned pet portraits valued at $400 or more. Be sure to mention this book club! Offer expires March 31st, 2009.

Encouragement Box

“Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, 'Grow, grow.'” The Talmud

What do you hope the angels are whispering to you?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Secret #2: Honouring Your Inspirations

Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes I even have trouble doing it.
Tallulah Bankhead (pg 34)


What have you always loved? What inspires you? Catches your eye? Makes your heart sing?

You might be amazed at how many of my clients answer "I don't know" to those questions. So many of us get caught up in the busyness, in the shoulds, in "the way it is." We decide what creativity or art is supposed to look like and if our self-expression doesn't match that, we give it up. In our lives, we take on the role of woman, a boss, a mom, an artist, a housewife, a student, a CEO, (fill in the blank), instead of being who we are. And one day we realize, we've forgotten who that is.

The beautiful thing is the real you never goes away. She is always, always inside you. So, this week, if you only do one thing in exploring this secret, I invite you to notice you, to get to know your own unique loves. Carry around a notebook and every time you look at something with love or longing or joy or curiosity, take note. If you don't have a notebook, email yourself, leave yourself a voicemail message, "Hi, me. You know, every time I shop, I always pick up the pink things: pink toothbrush, pink toque, pink tights. I love pink!"

Give yourself the gift of alone time and explore. Let go of all your preconceptions and discover yourself anew. Try every radio station on the dial and notice what moves you. Walk down the street and pick the house you'd most like to live in. Go to a movie that you want to see - no compromises. Go to a clothing store and be outrageous in what you try on. You might surprise yourself!

Make space and time to notice what you love. It is a part of knowing and honouring the wonder of you.

Our Second Highly Creative Blogger Interview: Suzie Ridler

I am so excited to share with you a creative conversation with accidental domestic diva, Suzie Ridler. Listen to the interview here.

And introducing: The Vault


Highly Creative Blogger Interview #2: Suzie Ridler

I hope you enjoyed our Week 2 interview with Suzie Ridler of Chez Sacred Suzie. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Suzie Ridler is an accidental dynamic domestic diva who found out that the homemaker's path can be fun, delicious and exciting. She is out to change our outdated ideas of women who create domestic bliss. Suzie loves creating in the kitchen and is currently turning her house into a home. She believes that homemakers can be young at heart, rebellious and anything but frumpy. Life at home is a beautiful thing.

You can find Suzie at her blog
Chez Sacred Suzie NOTE: Suzie can now be found at Suzie the Foodie.
Her user id on Twitter is sacredsuzie.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Secret #1: Acknowledging Your Creative Self

And so we begin!

Let's start by celebrating that simply by being here, by signing up and putting your name on the blogroll, you have acknowledged your creative self! You have stepped up and stepped in and said, yes, to your creativity. What a great way to start 2009!

In chapter 1, I was struck by Gail's statement, "Claiming my artistic self as a woman became the path to healing and recreating my life." So many of us are on that journey. Some of us are just starting to whisper out loud that maybe, just maybe, we are creative. Some of us are dipping our tender toes into sharing our art, maybe selling something made from our own gifts. Some are discovering that our creativity has nothing whatsoever to do with art but has everything to do with life, cooking, the garden, something unexpected. And some have been on this journey a while and have tales of triumph and challenge to share.

We all have stories to tell. I'm looking forward to reading yours. This week is a great time to post about where you are on the journey to your creative self. And I'm thrilled to share with you thoughts and stories from 12 highly creative bloggers as we go through our 12 weeks together. These audio interviews will be posted each Friday and stay up for the week. I hope you find inspiration in them and in each other.

Our First Highly Creative Blogger Interview: Jennifer Lee

I am so excited to share with you a creative conversation with life coach, artist and yogini, Jennifer Lee. Listen to the interview here.

Wherever you are on the journey, you are in the right place. We are sharing this chapter together. May it spark your creative unfolding.

Note: Just a reminder that these links are intended as a direct connection to your post about today's secret. Other links will be removed. If you just make a mistake, feel free to add the direct link. We want to hear from you :)

Highly Creative Blogger Interview #1: Jennifer Lee of Life Unfolds

I hope you enjoyed our Week 1 interview with Jennifer Lee of Life Unfolds. A creative power e-pack of all 12 inspiring interviews plus over 122 pages of accompanying transcripts and bonuses are now available at Your Creative Spark.

Jennifer Lee

Certified life coach, artist and yogini, Jennifer Lee of Artizen Coaching empowers professional and entrepreneurial women to awaken their inner muse and live life in full color. A former corporate ladder climber, Jennifer now lives her passion and helps others do the same. She is the creator of the Right-Brain Business Plan and the Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit and is featured in two books. Jennifer is writing her first book about using art and creativity to unfold your life vision. Her faves: Ashtanga yoga, anything sweet (especially her husband, her dog and dessert!), reading, connecting with friends and doing arts & crafts.

Special offer for book club participants: The beginning of the year is a perfect time for creative visioning. Here are a few resources to spark your inner muse. In the month of January, when you purchase any of the items below, I'll send you my new illustrated "Your Life in Bloom" worksheet. Simply forward me your order confirmation and mention "12Secrets" and I'll e-mail your complimentary gift.
Contact Jenn:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Revving Up!


Happy New Year, everyone! I'm so excited that we're about to start our 12-week exploration of creativity through 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin. And to make it even more inspiring for you, each week I will be posting an audio interview with a Highly Creative Blogger. These women will stir your creative soul! You'll be hearing from:
Each of these women will share with you how they invite their creativity out to play, what challenges they face as a creative spirit and their strategies for getting over them. Between your posts and these interviews, I think we're going to start a creative revolution in 2009!

We get into action this Friday, when I will put up a post for secret #1: acknowledging your creative self. You'll be able to to submit your direct link to the post you've written with your thoughts on the chapter, your responses to the exercises, whatever you want to share on the topic. You also be able to hear my interview with the ever-inspiring coach and artist Jennifer Lee.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to be in touch. Enjoy you're reading, and I'll look forward to a fantastic Friday this week!