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Monday, July 25, 2016

Carl Rogers — Paradox of Change

Have you ever had a desire to change who you are?  Have you ever dreamed of waking up and being somebody different?  That is one of the fun things about being a novelist or an actor.  Novelists and short story writers can become the characters inside the stories they tell. I once wrote a short story, Bath Day, in which I inserted my real self as a minor character seen through the eyes of the main character.   Actors take on the character of others.  They play heroes and villains.  They experience death, love, sorrow and laughter in the skin of imaginary characters.

Most of us have struggled with our self-identity. We may not like our physical looks or the bill-paying work that we do or the fact that we have grown old. We may think that we are poor husbands, wives or parents.  And yet, if we learn to accept who we are and what we have done, then we can begin to change into who we want to be.

Have you ever tried to change your habits? Stop smoking? Lose weight? Start exercising? Learn another language? Leave the toilet seat down? Some people say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Personal change is never easy. We need to learn to be more forgiving of ourselves and those with whom we share our lives. None of us are perfect. And if change is difficult for us, don't you think it is just as difficult for those you love. Learn to be gentle with yourself and those you love.

Monday, July 18, 2016

William A. Ward — Humor

Are you able to laugh at yourself and the circumstances you find yourself in?  Life has a tendency to throw you off balance and unless you are able to laugh, you will surely cry.  Laughter gives us balance and a way to cope with the challenges we face.  

Many of us take ourselves too seriously. We need to learn to laugh at ourselves. We all make mistakes. We all screw-up. When we learn to laugh at our mistakes, we begin to heal the pain. None of us are perfect, even those of us who try to be. For years perfection has been one of my goals whether I was speaking or writing and I have had to learn a hard lesson that it is okay to make a mistake. I have had to learn to relax and to laugh at myself. In fact, mistakes make us better people, more human.

Have you laughed today? In these crazy times (and when have they not been crazy?), we need to be able to find humor in the absurdity of living or we will quickly lose perspective. We will fail to see the forest. Laughter and humor are essential for maintaining one's sanity in a difficult, confusing and chaotic world.

Some of the best humor is what I call spontaneous humor.  This is humor that is not planned.  This is humor that rises spontaneously out of the situation and it can't be conveyed to others.  This is humor that you have to have been there to grasp it. 

Are you able to find the humor in difficult situations?  I challenge you to keep a humor journal where you record funny things that happen to you.  And on those days when you feeling down, pick up your journal and relive those laughs.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Brianna King — Second Chance

How many times a day do you think of yourself as a failure?  How often do you throw your creative work in the trash? Maybe it is time to learn the art of imperfection.  Too many of us strive to be perfect. Perfection cannot be achieved.  Even the best works of art have mistakes.

In Japan, some craftsmen practice the art of 500-year-old art of Kintsugi which involves repairing broken ceramic pieces with a lacquer that is mixed with gold, silver or platinum.  We should not simply throw things away because they are broken or imperfect.  We need to find the beauty in the imperfection.  We need to celebrate imperfection.  Our imperfections are what make us unique and special.  Without our imperfections, we would not be who we are.

So, the next time that you want to wad up your writing and toss it in the waste basket, don't. Put it aside and come back to it on another day.  Learn to find the good within your creative work.  Learn to celebrate the imperfections. Honor your mistakes.

Here is a video that provides more background on the philosophy and history of Kintsugi.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Katharine Graham — Love What You Do

Do you love what you do? Do you love to paint? Do you love to write? Do you love to act? Do you love to draw? What is your passion? If you do not enjoy writing or singing or painting, then maybe it is time to get out of the creative business and find something you love to do. The creative world is difficult and if you don't have fun being creative, you will feel like you have been hit by truck.

What we as creative leaders do is very important. We touch people's lives and help them feel better about themselves. We solve problems and show the world a better way. We bring beauty and new ideas into the world. We help people escape their mundane worlds for a short time. We inspire people to be better than they are. We give hope where there is none. We help people visit new worlds and experience new places.

Celebrate the creative work that you do. Be proud of the creative work that you create. Appreciate your accomplishments and achievements even when others don't recognize your talent. Be happy with who you are.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Certified Zentangle Teacher

I am now a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). I attended a 3 day workshop in Providence, RI, last week and am now certified to teach Zentangle art. People learn to draw abstract patterns using black ink on white tiles. Zentangle practice is a relaxing and meditative form of art.


Here are some examples of my recent creations.