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Monday Post ~ July 4, 2011

“Creativity exists in the present moment.
You can’t find it anywhere else.”

~Natalie Goldberg


What are your plans for creative practice this week? Given the specifics of your schedule, decide on a realistic goal or a milestone to reach for. A goal as simple as “I will be creative for 10 minutes every day” is what it’s all about. Share your goal(s) as a comment to this post, and let us know how things went with your creative plans for last week, if you posted to last week’s Monday Post.

Suggestion: When you’re deciding on your creative intentions, it’s a good idea to think about WHEN you’re going to write those 2,000 words or paint that canvas. Try to schedule the time slots in your calendar (if you keep one), understanding that flexibility may be required. If things don’t happen when you wanted them to, that’s OK. Give yourself a gentle push with one hand, but pat yourself kindly on the shoulder with the other if you don’t reach your goal for a given week. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder. Ride whatever you’ve got.

It’s also useful to have a sense of your minimum requirements (come hell or high water I’m going to write 100 words) while keeping a lookout for sudden opportunities to do more. You know, the day that the baby takes a monster nap or your partner takes the kids out to run errands and you find yourself with an unexpected “extra” half hour. Grab that time for yourself. You can catch up on the dishes and the laundry later. If you keep something creative in the back of your mind for those sudden opportunities, you’ll be more likely to use them to your advantage — rather than squandering your precious bonus moments on Facebook or vacuuming out the sofa cushions.

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. Yay! I finished last week’s project of completing the four canvases for the living room wall. I haven’t hung them yet, though…..maybe today I will.

    This week, my creative practice MUST involve some time making glass beads, because it’s been so long since I lit my torch. My plan is at least an hour of beadmaking time this week. As for anything else, I don’t have a plan. 🙂

    July 4, 2011
    • Nice, Christine! Are your new canvases available for online viewing yet??

      July 5, 2011
      • Nope, not yet. I was going to try to photograph them this week. I’ll post a link as soon as I can!

        July 5, 2011
    • How did last week go, Christine? Were you able to make it to the torch? 🙂

      July 12, 2011
      • Unfortunately, no. But I did get some torch time in two nights ago — during the hottest evening we’ve had all summer! Ick. 🙂

        I am pretty happy with what I made that night, though….some hollow beads and a few sculpted chicken beads. 🙂

        July 13, 2011
  2. Summer is really here! My goals this week are to:
    – compile the list of summer activities for the kids (make hula hoops is at the top!)and start gathering the supplies
    – spend 2 hours on a client’s garden design project
    – meet with permaculture friend to discuss collaborative opportunities
    – go to bed by 10 so I can get up at 5:00 to do a series of sun salutations and savasana, and then spend the time until the kids wake up on either garden design or garden maintenance.

    July 5, 2011
    • hey jlcm- hula hoops sound like so much fun! We just bought a lot of duct tape, is that what you’re using? There’s a really nice art supply store in Worcester called CC Lowell and they had a lot of patterns. Home Depot had a lot of the plane colors, and one of the hardware stores in Ayer had some of the patterns, although not as many as in Worcester.

      July 5, 2011
      • if all goes as planned, we’ll be making hula hoops with your girls (shh, don’t tell)! as luck would have it, we have a free source for some very cool colored and patterned tapes – but thanks for the tips.

        July 5, 2011
    • Awesome plan, jlcm. I hope you’ll share those family projects at Studio Mothers down the line 🙂

      July 5, 2011
  3. Last week’s goals:
    * Assignments for Right-Brain Business Plan e-course [YES]
    * Coaching [YES]
    * Journaling [YES]
    * Carefully prepare goals list for next week (little guys to Grandma’s) [YES]

    This week’s goals — productivity hyperdrive with little boys away! Thursday is going to be a 12-hour writing bonanza with the company of some local creative peeps.
    * Finish major Project Life update SUN/MON
    * Assignments for Right-Brain Business Plan e-course
    * Coaching
    * Life Assessment Responses THURS
    * Journaling
    * Teach self Fiona Apple song on piano
    * Finish personal essay THURS
    * Do something visual (collage/painting/drawing)

    July 5, 2011
  4. GAH! nothing on book will happen this week. washwashwashpackpackpack…help out a friend whose spouse was just dxed with stage 4 cancer by getting the kids together and taking her aspergian son’s mind off the stress of his situation. pack some more, drive boys to a halfway point for their father’s pick up, and then head out to camp at harper’s ferry in west va with spouse, dog and 3yo girl.

    last week: one day, good but small chapter edit.

    July 5, 2011
    • Progress is progress…. Harper’s Ferry will be heavenly–and likely present a few writing/editing opportunities if you want them, yes?

      July 5, 2011
      • nah, i’ve already written it off in the manuscript dept, but i am bringing journal and laptop. i feel a travel blog coming! free wifi at the campsite!

        July 5, 2011
  5. Last week I made a stencil for dancer’s pose and with zebra pattern duct tape and a sharpie I covered the back of my journal and use the new stencil to make the dancer design. Meanwhile, my niece covered my very old cellphone with the zebra tape. Nice! We also did henna tattoos for the first time, which is very fun but I need a better applicator to get thinner lines/ more intricate designs.
    Meanwhile, was I supposed to make a schedule? Funny how that slides to the bottom of the list. My primary creative activity for the holiday weekend and into this week is painting my girls room pink (done) and making a butterfly shaped chalkboard and painting some roses around the alcove window. I might stencil their names above the butterfly.
    Goal for this week:
    1. finish the girls room
    2. Work on the schedule- fit in creative time with other things like the heinous budget
    3. one more stencil
    4. find the picture of the china plate with the kimono pattern from an old Martha Stewart magazine. I used it before to make one of my muse paintings . I’d love to use it with some of the new stencils. Ideas are bubbling through!

    July 5, 2011
    • I’m with you on the budget, Deb. I spent about 5 hours last week getting caught up with the bookkeeping so that I wouldn’t have to use my nearly-child-free time this week on something as tedious as bills. Ugh. This must be some kind of mindfulness practice opportunity that I’m missing…

      Sounds like you are wonderfully in the creative flow and you may not even need a schedule right now. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right??

      July 5, 2011
    • How goes it, Ms. Santoro?? 😀

      July 12, 2011
  6. Ooohh, OK, I’ll play!

    -Write and post 3 blog posts
    -Experiment with appreciating and being in the present moment for at least the first hour every day (I have been SO out of it lately)
    -Dance every day for at least 5 minutes (bopping in the living room absolutely counts)
    -Listen to last week’s World Changing Writing Workshop call (ideally, tune in to this week’s call, but I’ve only managed that once so far)
    -make a video. It can be a crappy video (and probably will, as it’s my first), but I need to start somewhere, right?

    There! 🙂

    July 5, 2011
    • Nicely done, Meg! Lovely to see you here. I *love* your list. How are you approaching that hour of mindfulness every morning? I’d love to hear more….

      July 5, 2011
      • (I only just saw this, but I’ll answer now!)

        I’m taking a page out of Jen Louden’s post “How to Be Astonished Before 10am” and just trying to notice the awesome loveliness that surrounds me. Noticing things like the smell of coffee brewing and the feel of the breeze through the window and the sunlight on the deck.

        It’s great when I remember to do it. I’m finding that my experiments with it make me more centered in my body and more aware of the magic that surrounds me all day long. I’m also less likely to lose my temper at my almost-three year old dictator…I mean…son. 😉

        July 11, 2011
    • Beautiful. Kind of like that Einstein quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

      And hey, you inspired me to dance. The other day at about 10:00 in the morning I was like “Hey, I really feel like hearing ‘Electric Avenue'”–so I blasted it several times and had a good ol’ shake down. Hope the neighbors weren’t watching….

      July 12, 2011
      • YAY!!!!! That is AWESOME!

        Honestly, the thing we need to remember is that if the neighbours *are* watching they’re most likely thinking “Hey! She looks like she’s having SO much fun!” 🙂

        July 13, 2011

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