Letting Go of Pebbles to Embrace Creativity

“What would happen to your life today if you could eliminate everything from it that didn’t ‘ring’ true to who you are and to your deepest convictions and loves?”

Deborah Deford posed the above question in her book The Simpler Life and I was intrigued.

What would happen if I dissolved my time soakers? The things that keep me busy, but don’t fill me with a personal sense of purpose?

Perhaps it is time to find out. Continue reading “Letting Go of Pebbles to Embrace Creativity”

Does Saying It Out Loud Make It a Fact?

Change Your Dialogue

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” –Lao Tzu

My dad passed away on February 11, 2013. For the longest time, I could not communicate verbally. I would hint about it, tearing tearing up halfway through the sentence. In fact, I often just let the other person put two and two together without having to say the words — my father died.

In my mind, I have always thought that voicing something made it true. Words spoken would make it fact. Something that can’t be fixed, altered or taken back.

My father’s death was one of them. There have been many examples. Breakups. Divorce. Job loss. I was afraid to talk about them. That once I have spoken about them, they will forever define me.

While there were areas I hesitated, there were others I was a bit to open about. I allow myself to make statements about what I can’t do, afraid to do or won’t. I find myself verbally declaring things like:

  • “I’m so socially awkward.”
  • “I hate small talk.”
  • “I suck at math.”
  • “I’m impatient.”

Am I discrediting myself? Locking it in as fact? Worse, am I creating an impression in other’s minds that can’t be altered? Taken back? Rewritten?

How does one rewrite their story?

Life isn’t lived with absolutes. We rarely “never” or “always” anything. Perhaps I should start by rephrasing what I see as negatives or limitations so they are more hurdles and not walls separating me from what I can become.

With my dad, I still have a hard time with the words. But saying them has given me a path towards healing. Perhaps voicing our thoughts just lays the groundwork for our development. Instead of stating and forgetting, use it as the launching point to alter our future. The chance to evaluate our path.

I can learn to enjoy small talk . . . I can.

There is a difference between feelings and fact. There is a difference between current history and what the future could hold. Saying something doesn’t have to become the end all be all on how we see ourselves. We have the power to change. We have the power to develop.

Use your voice to lift yourself up.

The Scones of Inspiration: Seek to Be Inspired

Combining Ideas for Creativity“What are your flavor of scones?” I asked the girl behind the counter of a coffee shop as I awaited the departure of the morning ferry.

“Plain, blueberry, cheese, cranberry or lemon poppy seed,” she rattled off quickly. It was apparent she has had mornings of practice and was used to dealing with people in a bit more of a rush.

“Was that blueberry and cheese together or two separate flavors?” I asked. In my head, the idea of mixing the two ingredients into one baked pastry seemed like one helluva good idea.

Her face squished up momentarily and I realized that what was a stellar idea in my mind was a little bit gross to her, “Two flavors.”

Selecting the cheese option, I sat down in the waiting room chairs and thought about what kind of cheese would I put in a blueberry scone. Perhaps a brie? Or could you do it with a cottage or cream cheese additive? I jotted down ideas to be tried and tested in my own kitchen.

What the incident revealed to me is the rut that all of us fall into with work. Routines become ruts. Flavors become a memorized list. Time forces us to focus on only what is necessary. All of this takes away from the moments of inspiration, of creative expansion.

Just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean something can’t be done. It’s a shift in thought to see what is to what could be.

EXPERIMENT: Take the time to daydream about opposing flavors or ways of doing things to see if perhaps there is a new, combined way that presents the best of both worlds.