Category Archives: Creativity

Historically

When I studied art in college I had a wonderful teacher for life drawing who changed the way I drew and changed my life. At the beginning of each class he had us draw on very large tablets of paper because he felt it was a great way to encourage us to bring our whole body, mind, and spirit into the drawing. Each drawing or sketch was timed and the time was shortened with each drawing. The faster we drew, the more we had to bring all of our body, mind, and spirit into the drawing. I can still remember the sweat pouring down my body and the “high” of the energy running through me. I was no longer thinking, looking, measuring, or calculating. I was sensing the model and I was breathing with the model. In the process I became one with the model.

Some of my best drawing “erupted” in that class, but more importantly I learned how to merge with my subject matter and let it speak through me. I think that is the reason I am so addicted to drawing—it shifts brain states and helps me connect more deeply with life.

I still have my teacher in my head guiding me at times to get me out of my thoughts and connect more deeply with my subject. When I can’t hear him or feel his energy guiding me, I turn to the first activity in the ICWIB Program, Just Scribble. Why? Because it pulls me inward, increases my focus, relaxes my body, and silences the chatter in my mind. In the process, I return home to myself, which ultimately is my real goal.

Historically, I have also used the Just Scribble activity to bring forth images for my artwork, crystalize my clarity, and reconnect with myself in a deeper way. If I don’t have crayons and paper with me, I use my finger on my leg or the palm of my hand. In the process I am able to slow down, pull myself inward and focus more deeply. What I am doing is purposely shifting from my reactive mind, which is where our tapes are stored, to my conscious, problem-solving mind.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

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If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

 

Any Surface

I had known for a long time that I felt better whenever I was drawing, painting, or sculpting, but I didn’t really understand why until I met Dr. Bruce Lipton in 1989. It was at that first meeting where he explained to me that our mind actually consists of two minds—the subconscious and the conscious mind. They were designed to work together in tandem, but they are very different.

The subconscious or reactive mind is stronger, bigger, and a million times faster than the conscious mind. On the other hand, the conscious mind has the capacity to rewrite beliefs and perceptions we acquired in our early childhood that hinder our ability to succeed.

The creative process requires the conscious mind. Since the two-mind team—subconscious and conscious—operates in an “either-or” system, when you activate your conscious mind you also suspend the subconscious mind. This means you are also suspending preprogrammed beliefs and perceptions, which creates an opportunity for you to identify an inaccurate belief, change it, and create a more effective response.

With this in mind, any time I need to activate my conscious mind and I don’t have paper, canvas, or clay, I will use any surface available to me to shift myself from my reactive mind to my conscious mind so I can continue to create a more authentic and joyous life.

I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB! art activities and videos for FREE because they are a simple and effective way to activate your conscious problem-solving mind.

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If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

 

We Were Born

We weren’t designed to be merely linear beings. We are a blend of body, mind, and spirit and were born to be connected to all living things. Unfortunately, our lives today don’t always support this union. Consequently many people spend much of their lives disconnected from their spirits and walk through life as distant and isolated observers. This is very sad, for when you disconnect in this manner you can lose touch with your authentic nature and what is really important.

I know no greater feeling than the bliss of knowing who you are and that you truly belong. A union and connection of this magnitude can give you the energy and confidence you need to pursue your dreams. But without this connection to your spirit it is difficult to be fully alive and make your dreams a reality.

So how can you know when you are disconnected from your spirit? If you have lost your hope or your direction, then you probably have lost your connection with your spirit. If you have lost your ability to love and be loved, or just being alive doesn’t make you happy, then you most likely have lost connection to your spirit.

When this happens I think it is time to go inward and reconnect with your authentic nature. You can accomplish this many ways. When my children were young and I had very little time for myself, I would use my daily chores and breathing techniques to slow myself down so I could reconnect with myself and remember what was important to me. As my children got older I was able to return to my pen and pencil and also model for them how to use scribbling and drawing to reconnect with themselves in a deeper way.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

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If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

 

Children See


Children see—even if they don’t have the capacity to articulate what they see—they see and their mind records what they see. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the situation and how you respond.

Many, many years ago when my son was about three-and-a-half, I went on an errand that I thought would take about 15 to 20 minutes, with the intent that afterward we would go to the park and play. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. I thought all I had to do was walk into the stationery store, pick up a job from the printer, pay for it, and leave. When we arrived, we were told to would take just a little more time. Well, that little more time stretched into 45 minutes.

I kept offering to come back later, but they kept saying it would only take a few more minutes. In the process, I found myself getting increasingly frustrated and angry. In hopes of reducing some of the stress I finally took my son by the hand and walked the isles in hopes of finding some pens and paper I could buy him so we would have something to play with while we were waiting.

We had just found the pens and paper when the owner came out and announced that the job would not be done until the next day, so I purchased the pens and paper, left the store and headed to the park.

In the back seat of the car on the way to the park, my son drew the above portrait of me.

When got to the park, he showed me his picture. I was stunned! In that moment, even though it was embarrassing to have been captured so accurately I said, “Wow! That is amazing! I was really angry. I was really frustrated!” He smiled and said, “Yes!” Then he jumped out of the car and said, “Lets go down the slide,”

I have held on to that picture for several decades in hopes of reminding myself to be more conscious of my beliefs, perceptions, and actions, because children are observing, and it is impacting them all of the time even if they don’t have the capacity to articulate what they see.

I have found that the ICWIB activities not only help me reduce stress and release bottled-up emotions, but that they also help me see more clearly, which ultimately helps me to not take on inaccurate beliefs, and to transform the ones I have already taken on.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

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If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

 

 

Not a Waste of Time

A Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania study found that coloring, drawing, and doodling make us feel more relaxed because they activate the prefrontal cortex, which helps control the brain’s reward pathways and contributes to our emotions, decision-making capabilities, and motivation.

In this study, the participants were given paper and markers and instructed to doodle in several different ways. They found that during each of the activities—in just three minutes’ time—blood flow increased in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.

After the final activity was complete, the subjects were asked to report their state of mind, both in regard to their drawing activities and how they were feeling about themselves. The responses were overwhelmingly positive, suggesting that time spent drawing, doodling, or coloring is not a waste.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

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 If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

 

 

Who Would You Be Without Your Story?

A friend just sent me something that contained the following question, “Who would you be without your story?” The question caught my eye and intrigued me enough that I began pondering the question.

What if I had been born a man instead of a woman? What if I was tall instead of short? What if I had become a doctor instead of an artist? A linear thinker not a visual learner? What if I had grown-up with brothers instead of sisters? Or grown up a different race or in a different country? Would I have the same honor code? Would I have the same integrity line? Would I still feel that being centered, clear, and accountable was mandatory? The more questions I asked myself, the more intrigued I became with the idea of “Who am I without the story my family, friends, and I have woven?”

After several days of pondering, I finally came up with an answer—I would be the part of me that I refer to as my authentic self. Yes! I would still have the same honor code and integrity line. I would still feel it was important to walk through life as centered and as clear as possible. I would still feel it is important to be accountable for all of my actions and make restitution. I would still believe that everyone is good, has profound gifts to share with the world, and is capable of fulfilling his or her potential.

The funny twist to my story is that at one point early in my art career—when I was in my twenties—I signed my work “Just Me.” Now I am working on being Just Me.

If you would like to ponder the question: Who would I be without my story, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB! art activities and videos for FREE, because they are a wonderful way to shift mind states and spiral into your authentic nature.

If you do explore the question: Who would I be without my story? I invite you also to share some of your findings with the ICWIB! community.

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If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

 

Why Do I Draw?

When I studied art many years ago, I was taught to draw and create beautiful things for others. The process was about pleasing and recognition—not transformation. I struggled with that approach because it placed me outside of myself and left me feeling off balanced, unsure of myself, and discontent. Then one day I came to the conclusion that I needed to draw and create for my own wellbeing and if what I created delighted and served someone else that was good, but it shouldn’t be my primary focus.

With that in mind, my artwork began to take on a specific theme or direction, and it became, and still is, about quieting myself and reconnecting deeply with life and my authentic self. So now I draw because the act of drawing pulls me into myself, helps me to become more present, and it delights my soul. I draw because drawing activates my conscious mind and in the process I am able to see more clearly, transform beliefs that are hindering my ability to thrive, and in the process I remember who I am. I stop trying to be someone I am not.

I created the I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB!) Program so others won’t have to devote over forty-five years of their life to drawing to reap the benefits of the pencil or crayon. The process is simple, because I have extracted the need for technical skill or mastery and in its place have given you an opportunity to journey back to yourself in a simple, fun, and delightful manner.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

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If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

Worry is Negative Prayer

Worry is a form of negative prayer. True prayer is the act of deep listening, then sending out the positive energy, thoughts, and intentions needed. Because worry is based on fear, when you worry you are inadvertently sending fear and negative energy instead of love and support. With this in mind, it is easy to see that worry doesn’t help—in fact, it is harmful to all concerned.

So how can we move from worrying to deep listening and adding positive energy to a situation without feeling like a Pollyanna? I think this is where a simple spiritual practice of learning how to effectively move from our reactive mind to our conscious problem-solving mind is very helpful. It doesn’t matter if you train yourself to shift mind-states through yoga, tai chi, meditation, housecleaning, bicycling, walking, or doing something creative. Though I do think learning different ways to shift mind-states is helpful, so you can have different ways to break the worry pattern to accommodate unique situations.

Over the years I have developed many ways to shift my mind-state, though one of my long-time favorites is through creativity. It doesn’t really matter if I am creating something in the kitchen, in my garden, or in my studio, it is the creative process that continues to bring me home to myself, shift my mind-state, dissolve worry from my mind, body, and soul, and ultimately provides me with a solution.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB! art activities and videos for FREE.

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If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

 

Solving Problems

When Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them,” what he was referring to was the role of the conscious mind versus the subconscious or unconscious mind.

I feel most of the problems today are created when people are in their unconscious or reactive mind. This is because NO THINKING takes place in this part of the mind. It is merely a stimulus-response device. An external event triggers a reaction, which is played out automatically without the awareness or control of the conscious mind.

Also, whenever we are stressed, this part of the mind takes over and runs our whole system. If you have any inaccurate beliefs or conflicting patterns, this can wreak havoc on your life. The good news is that we have our own “rewrite software” between our ears.

So if your life is not playing out the way you would like, you might want to spend sometime discovering and transforming some of your stored beliefs and patterns. I have found that playing with the ICWIB activities, especially Just Scribble, is a great way to become more aware of your fundamental beliefs about life and yourself. It is also a great tool for transforming inaccurate beliefs and perceptions that are hindering your ability to thrive.

With this in mind, I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

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If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.

 

We Begin

We begin with scribbling because that is where we began when we were very young. Rudolph Steiner talked about the need to activate all four limbs before the introduction of letters and numbers, because it was a way to prepare the system for learning and improve the potential for success.

Drawing symbols such as houses, suns, trees, and people affects the body and mind differently. Often parents and teachers encourage symbolic drawing and shun scribbling because they don’t understand both the neurological and physiological benefits of scribbling. Scribbling can reduce stress, release bottled-up emotions, and help to restore balance in the brain stem, which is needed before cognitive learning can take place. I look at scribbling as a way to ‘warm-up’ the brain, and synchronize the body and mind so true learning can happen.

I think the ICWIB Just Scribble activity, which teaches the art of self-reflection, is a great way to activate all four limbs, because you use either hand individually, or both hands together. You can also scribble with your feet. In the process, the child also learns to detect when their system is “learning ready.” When it isn’t, the scribbling exercises can help them effectively shift brain states autonomously. In the process, they are able to experience more success.

I invite you to explore some of the ICWIB art activities and videos for FREE.

If you enjoy these messages, Like us on Facebook.

If you would like to read previous posts, you can find them under resources.