Tag Archives: Creativity

Your Masterpiece is YOU (and the New WOW)

For our entire lives, we’ve been working on a masterpiece.

We may not call ourselves creative and a paintbrush may never have graced our hands – still, we are artists.

On my 4+ hour drive to Jacksonville to spend Thanksgiving with my friend Anita and her family, I had good company.  Joining me on the open road was the audio book of Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Voice of Knowledge.”  A new friend had shared with me that Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements” deeply affected his life for good. He highly recommended the trilogy of Toltec Wisdom Books.

The word “Toltec” means “artist of the spirit.” In the Toltec tradition, every human is an artist, and the supreme art is the expression of the beauty of our spirit. To consider that we are artists (rather than mere humans), makes us creators – just like the One Who created us.

From page 47 of The Voice of Knowledge:

How do we live our life? This is our art; the art of living.

There are two kinds of artists.  Those who create their story without awareness, and those recover awareness and create their story with truth and with love.

To think that I – that WE – hold the paintbrush to our lives is an awesome realization.  Is there something that doesn’t fit into our vision of truth and love?  Paint over it.  Create something new.  We have the power to do this.

We were BORN to write our own story and have everything we need to make it a work of art.  Yes, people will come along who will try to impose on us what THEY think our lives should look like.

When I handed over the paintbrush to other people, I became something other than the authentic Brenda.

It has taken many years to get her back.  As the song goes, “Reunited and It feels SO good!

This passage from page 68 excited my spirit so much I wanted to share it with you:

You are the only one who can change your story, and you do this by changing your relationship with yourself.

Every time you change the main character in your story, just like magic the whole story starts to change in order to adapt to the new main character.

I think of one of my favorite movies of all time, Frequency, in which the main character is able to connect to his long-deceased Father through a miraculous ham radio.  At one point he mentions that “cigarettes will kill, you Dad…” as an off-handed comment.

Long story short, that suggestion led to a decision by his Father that resulted in him changing the course of his life…and his death.  The script was rewritten.

I consider my decision four years ago to stop drinking.  After years of wrestling with, “Do I have a problem?” I heard clearly in my spirit that if I kept it up, I would die prematurely.  When tempted to sip a Cosmopolitan, I have reminded myself of that revelation to keep me from turning back.

The clarity of sobriety has graced me with so many gifts; most importantly, a clearness about what I want my life to be and who I want Brenda to be.  It has afforded me a newfound ability to call a lie a lie and step away from pretense and performance.  Being clear gave me the courage to walk away from those things that no longer “fit” the true me…and the health in mind, body and spirit to enjoy a new way of living.

It was the first domino in a series that led to removing Zoloft from my life, journeying to Costa Rica to get back in touch with my wounded soul and begin this journey to wholeness.

What a ripple effect!

I’m sure there will yet be many more changes to the main character of my story, but my point in writing is to encourage YOU to take that paintbrush and adjust your masterpiece accordingly.

Paint your beautiful life with broad strokes of love and truth, my friends.

And what a great word to follow up these thoughts on CREATIVITY:

What a wonderful assignment for all of us!  It is NEVER too late to be who you “might have been.”

I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving.  It’s a holiday to be celebrated year-round…and my heart is overflowing with gratitude for this life I get to live (and create!).  I’m so blessed to share it with you.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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Stuffy Noses and a Happy Surprise

During our Question Mark WOW (Word of the Week) last week I asked the universe for happy surprises – and boy did I get one when I least expected it (which is the true definition of a surprise, isn’t it?)

The un-happy surprise was the stuffy nose that led me to the doctor, that led me to the CVS to pick up antibiotics – the ONLY reason I would have left the house this past week.

Since I was out, I remembered dry cleaning needed to be picked up, so on my way home, I headed to my favorite local dry cleaner.  Bob in Gulf Gate has inspirational signs all over the place and is so kind he makes me feel like I’m doing something far more interesting than errands.

As I headed back to the car, I looked across the street and saw this sign: “These Quiet Sounds”…

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Totally intriguing.

I felt like @#$%^ but couldn’t resist.  (Sometimes that little tug on the inside needs to be followed!)

Inside, such great clothes!  And a handsome young man, who turns out to be a designer of some of the very cool prints and T-shirts carried in the store:

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Fabian Manzano was just so nice, creative, warm…and now here comes the surprise:

HE’S A YOU TUBE SENSATION.

His band, Boyce Avenue, has over 8-MILLION (yes, million) You Tube subscribers and they play sold out concerts around the WORLD.

What rock have I been hiding under?

They started out (it’s three brothers), recording covers of popular songs, which went viral – and that opened the door for their original music to be heard.

And the music is SOOOOOOOOOOO good.  I hope to do a full fledged interview with Fabian in the near future, but in the meantime, I encourage all of my Sarasota friends to visit his very cool store in Gulf Gate.  (And next visit I hope to meet his wife, who is pregnant with their first child!  Doesn’t it give you all the feels?  It did me.)

And my happy surprise would NEVER have happened if not for my un-happy one.  Go figure!

Here are my final thoughts (stuffy nose and all) on last week’s WOW as well as the new one!

So in the spirit of HARMONY, I leave you with one of my favorite original songs by Boyce Avenue (Fabian in playing guitar in the background).  You will love it – it’s well worth the click (and will give you goosies):

Have a beautiful, harmonious week, everyone!

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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Creatively Losing 30 Lbs & the Word of the Week!

Lacking the artistry of craft-makers or the ability to whip up a gourmet meal, I was challenged this week to live out “CREATIVITY” in my own special way.  It  involved creatively addressing  those 30 stubborn pounds, two glass jars and a new take on the age-old weight issue:

Ahhhhhhhhhh….breathe that in.

COMPASSION.

Toward ourselves and toward others.

Here’s the definition:  A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. 

Synonyms include empathy, care, concern, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, charity.

Those are all some of my most favorite words!

Who springs to mind when you read that list?

I bet they are universally beloved, because people who are compassionate are irresistible. They don’t waste their time judging other people, so you know you’re safe when your back is turned.

And they are action takers!  When they see a stray, they’ll take ’em in (four or two-legged.) If you’re crying, they are right there with the box of tissues and plans to take you to lunch.  They easily see from another’s point of view, and embody:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Even you.

I had a conversation this week with the most beautiful person, inside and out.  She’d give anyone the shirt off of her back, she is amazingly talented, a model friend and mother.  The list could go on and on…

…but she was beating herself up for having an “off moment” – a brief attack of selfishness and insecurity.

Puh-lease!

We’re all entitled to a bad day, let alone moment.  Let’s not make matters worse by kicking ourselves when we’re down!

Like the song says, “Try a little tenderness…”

Makes me feel all snuggly.  How about you?

xoxoxo

Brenda

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WOW (Word of the Week) for 9.6.15

Happy Labor Day weekend!

I set a new world’s record for napping this week, which is one of my favorite things to do, along with reading good books and meeting new people. It was a wonderful vacation, though not at all what I expected when we booked this cruise to Alaska. (You’ll find out why when you hear my preamble to this week’s video reveal…)

Last week’s word was TRUTH and I realized the importance of stepping away from the daily routine and unplugging my electronic devices to come to terms with what was really going on INSIDE of me.

We can blame our frustrations on other people and their behaviors, but this course leads to no resolve. Instead, taking the time to reflect and ask questions like, “WHY does this person annoy me so much?” or “Why do my buttons always get pushed in this particular scenario?” resulted in valuable answers.

My TRUTH revealed this week is that I have been trying to be superwoman to prove my worth in my professional and personal life. Anything that seems to shine a light on imperfection or a failure flares up a turmoil that results in responses that are LESS than my best me.

And really, is my worth wrapped around how quickly I respond to e-mails? Sounds silly when written out…

I was UNPLUGGED this week and the world didn’t end.

This inflated sense of self is really the other side of the coin of low self esteem.

I have decided that henceforth I can only do my best. Anything more or anything less is just me trying to compensate for fears…

…and signals that I’m not voting with LOVE, which is my highest aim.

I’ve felt a low-level anxiety leave this week, and it’s not invited back. I do not want to be driven to produce. I want life and projects and friendships to FLOW as spillover of my love tank being full.

Note to self:  If you’re love tank is empty, FILL IT.  Stop looking to other people to do it for me!

So THIS week’s WOW is a great opportunity to put all that I learned into play. Here we go!

What’s that?  I think I actually heard some of you thinking, “Well, I’m just not a creative person…”

HOGWASH!

Every time you’ve thought “outside of the box” or dreamed a dream for your life, you’ve been creative.  Every imagination that led to an action was YOU, creating your life.

This week, I’m going back to the best book I ever read about creativity, The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.  My sister recommended it highly; my niece, Deena created the cards we pull each week after reading it, and my friend Renee surprised me with the book, workbook and a daily meditation based on the book one Christmas.  So rich with insight, I’ve picked it up and put it down again a multitude of times in recent years, and I discover something new each time.

So from the chapter “Spiritual Electricity:  The Basic Principles” is a great foundation from which to begin our week:

How do you know if you are creatively blocked?  Jealousy is an excellent clue.  Are there artists whom you resent?  Do you tell yourself, “I could do that, if only…”  Do you tell yourself that if only you took your creative potential seriously you might:

  • Stop telling yourself, “It’s too late.”
  • Stop waiting until you make enough money to do something you’d really love.
  • Stop telling yourself, “It’s just my ego” whenever you yearn for a more creative life.
  • Stop telling yourself that dreams don’t matter, that they are only dreams and that you should be more sensible.
  • Stop fearing that your family and friends would think you crazy.
  • Stop telling yourself that creativity is a luxury and you should be grateful for what you’ve got.

Brenda speaking here:  Have you heard those voices in your head?

Me too.

I shout through the computer:  IT’S NOT TOO LATE!  YOUR DREAMS MATTER!

And yes, let’s be grateful for what we have, but never diminish the part of you yearning for more.

Let’s nurture our creativity this week; make some messy stabs at building something new; applaud our missteps as they lead us closer to our dreams…

The biggest concept around our WOW is that WE are the creators of our own life story.  Our free will, our imaginations, our choices; the respect given to our dreams and heart’s desires…they all combine to write the novel that can be our happy ending.

Yes, I believe in the grace of God (oh boy, do I!) and Divine intervention.  But too often we hide behind these truths and never get about the business of doing OUR part.

So let’s do our part this week, and write an exciting chapter in our lives.

How do you see creativity playing out in your life this week?

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