Tag Archives: creativity

developing your style

I was told this past week that my photography had become identifiable; that I had developed a style.  I found this to be interesting as I felt like I was still working on that.  Perhaps I have developed a certain style, and I can see where he was coming from when I went back to review my own work.

I believe that in many ways, I have developed a style within a lot of facets in my life.  I have my own writing style, I am drawn to certain clothing styles, I have a hippie/boho chic decorating style, and my jewelry designs seem to follow a similar style as well.

Being unique, as all of us are, we should develop our own style.  We should not feel compelled to follow another exactly.  Learn to create something unique to yourself and leave your own footprint for the world to see.  Develop your own style in whatever it is you do.

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cultivating creativity

Creativity is a huge part of my world.  I see my world through the lens of a photographer, remember things with a writer’s pen, and dream with a painter’s brush.  My soul breathes creativity, and it warms my heart to know that my children have inherited that gene from me.  While it sometimes breeds frustration when we cannot achieve the product that we have dreamed of in our mind’s eye, the process is still very important.  As I watched my younger one crochet his own creations at the tender age of ten years old, he can see what he wants to create.  He has taken my guidance and moved beyond what I have given him and created more…turned it into his.

What comes with this territory is frustration, upset, sometimes a couple tears, but then it ends in pure joy.  The joy that you don’t get from buying an item, but one of soulful satisfaction for doing it yourself.  It may not be perfect.  It may not be the product envisioned, but it is a unique, one of a kind item that was created with love, determination, creativity, positive reinforcement, and joy.

what’s your story?

Everyone has a story inside of them just waiting to get out.  I truly believe that.  We may not all feel like authors, but we all have a story to tell.  The question is, how will you tell the world your tale?  Will it be a written novel? A short story?  Poetry?  Will it be through dance?  Or do you tell a story with painting or other forms of visual art?  Perhaps your story gets told traditionally, being passed down through generations by word of mouth until someone commits the verbal word to text.

No matter how you choose to tell your story, take the opportunity to do it your way.  Every story is worth hearing.

the gift of joy

The old adage “‘Tis better to give than to receive” has been spoken so many times.  I feel like sometimes it has no meaning left anymore.  In this world of materialism, of keeping up with the Jones’ despite what it does to our bank accounts or stress levels knowing the financial strain it places on us just to keep up.  The world we live in wants more and more.  Gluttony abounds.

For so many years, I would go and buy presents for myself (including when I was still married because my ex couldn’t make any effort to do anything for anyone).  I would wrap them and place them under the tree.  On Christmas morning, as I unwrapped these gifts that were labelled as being from everyone else, I would pretend to be surprised by the gifts.

I am no longer doing this.  This year, I have been forthcoming with my children and told them that I do not need gifts under the tree.  You see, my sons, knowing that there is not a significant other in my life and knowing all my family lives far away, they realize that there is nobody who can take them out to buy me Christmas presents.  Their father? I think he would sooner see me dead than help them buy gifts and they know it all too well.  They don’t dare ask.

So this year, I have invited my boys to join me in choosing a senior from the community who is in need of items.  We went down to our local London Drugs and chose a card together off the tree.  They wanted to choose a man, so we did.  Many asked for essential items such as deodorant or razor blades.  Our senior did also, but he also needs a blanket and would like some socks and such.  We have gathered up the items requested, and added in some chocolates, tea, and handmade men’s slippers.  I am currently making a new hat for the gift also.  We will together write our holiday wishes into a Christmas card, and when finished, we will take the package back to the store where they will give the gift to our senior.

The other gift I am giving myself is the gift to another single parent.  Being in the position I am, I know how sometimes the holidays can be difficult without extended family nearby, and to do all the Christmas stuff yourself as a single parent.  I am gifting a photoshoot to a single parent (maybe two, dependent on time), who has no family nearby.  The photoshoot is for the parent and their family.  No strings attached.  No contracts.  No expectations for ordering images.  The photoshoot is going to be done because it feels good to give something to someone else without any expectations.  The parent will receive all the photos edited on a memory stick and they can be printed or not, shared or not.  Totally up to them.

This, to me, is what the holiday spirit is about.  It isn’t about how much you get.  It isn’t about how much you spend.  It isn’t about outdoing the other parent in a bidding war over the children’s love.  It’s about integrity, compassion, and caring for those in our lives and our communities.  Christmas is about loving one another regardless of race, creed, personal preference.  Christmas is about harmony.  Christmas is about joy.

I believe this will be my best Christmas yet.

life is lived in the mundane

I’ve pondered this statement all week. Life is lived in the mundane.  Such a simple statement that holds oh so much truth and wisdom.  Live is lived in the mundane!  We live our lives day by day.  Some constantly live in the past.  Others live in the future.  Who truly lives in the present?  My Buddhist side tells me to live in the present, to believe that it is important to be present and mindful in order to bring joy and happiness to our lives.

Life is lived in the mundane.

This is what it is to live in the present.  We should consider the daily joys of life.  The little things!  When we are constantly considering what went wrong in the past or how we could have changed our present if only we had done this, or hadn’t done that, we are not living in the present but rather living in the past.  When we are constantly looking forward to that next vacation or that next new adventure to get us out of the drudgery of daily life, we are not living in the present, but rather living in the future.  These things steal the joy from the now.

Life is lived in the mundane!

Consider today.  Consider where you are right now.  What joy is present in your life?  It doesn’t need to be expensive or dependent on anyone but yourself.  Find the joy in the now.  Life is lived day by day.  Be present in the mundane.  Find the precious in the every day.  Observe.  Ponder.  Watch the young and impressionable humans discover the beauty in a dandelion.  Relish those little conversations while stuck in traffic on your way to dance or soccer.  Breathe your lion breath in yoga practice today and really consider how wonderful it feels.  Meditate.  Dance.  Create.  Live.  Because one day you just might look back into the past to see that you never truly lived.

Live your life in the mundane.

 

 

ode to my grandfather

My grandfather was a very special person in my life.  Both my grandmother and my grandfather were key people in my early years.  I loved both my grandparents dearly.  My grandfather was quite an individual though.  Things I had not known about him I have been finding out so many years later.  My grandfather passed away ten years ago, and I thought I knew so much about him then.  He was an avid model train enthusiast.  He liked to garden.  He tried out new things, and even in his elder years, bought himself a computer and tried learning how to use it.  He did quite well at keeping up with lifelong learning.  An inspiration for me.

It wasn’t until recently when I went home to visit my parents that my mother told me how much my grandfather also enjoyed photography.  She told me about how he had his own darkroom set up in their tiny post-war house, and how he was always to be found with his camera.  Why hadn’t I known this when I was 15 and spending days in the school darkroom developing roll after roll of film?  I would have had something else to ask my grandfather about when we had those summerlong stays at their house.  Oh how much could I have learned from him then!

Still, knowing these things about him post mortem is so keenly interesting.  To know that somewhere in the genes, there was the key to that hidden door.  The one that opens up to the passions I have in life.

And I like to think my grandfather is watching me.  My spirit guide, watching over me.  I am sure he is smiling.  My grandfather was nicknamed ‘Bear’, I think by my father.  It is one of the ways I fondly remember him.  While out on the Worldwide Photo Walk yesterday, I happened upon this stone bear statue.  I have seen it before, but yesterday it seemed to take on a whole different presence.  It needed to be photographed.  And as I have been thinking of my grandfather so much over these past few weeks, the image spoke to me so very much.

So, The Stone Bear, the image featured this week, is dedicated to one of the absolute most important men in my life.  My grandfather.

make your heart happy

Everyone needs to take time to do what makes their heart sing.  Whatever that may be for you, do it.

My heart sings when I do what is authentic to my being.  Maybe I’m creating something..painting, writing, or photographing.  Maybe I’m roadtripping with the two most special young men in my world.

Whatever it is, don’t wait.

Don’t wait for tomorrow.  Don’t wait for next week.  Don’t wait until the ‘time is right’.  Tomorrow never hits.  Next week always gets pushed back.  The time is never right.  Make the time.  We live this life once, and none of us are getting out alive.  Create happiness. Live love.  Sing and dance in the rain.  Go hunting dinosaurs.  Look for stars and chase rainbows.  Leave a legacy that people can look at your live and know that you’ve lived it well.

Namaste

recognize what’s important

Life pulls us in so many directions.  There are endless avenues we can take, and someone or something pulling or pushing us into so many of them.  So, what is important? Which of these paths are the ones that mean the most to you?  Which ones do you travel down?

Tough call.

One may lead you down a successful career path.  Another may lead to a family centred life.  Yet another may be a life of travel and exotic locations.  Some may have children, others may leave you single and free of ties.

So, how do we know what is most important for us, each as individuals?

I think what we need to do is really listen…pay attention to what makes sense in our lives.  What we want, what we need, and who else we want involved.

No easy task.

Some things are laid out for us before getting to the point of asking these questions.  So we work with what we have.  But happiness should never be the cost.  There are always ways to find another path to that particular avenue that our souls so desperately want to be walking down.

What if you wanted to be an artist, but you were pushed into accounting?  There you are, working at a desk, crunching numbers all day.  Doing this without allowing yourself the freedom to do what you truly love is a slow and painful demise.  Maybe your evenings are spent painting or sculpting.  Maybe you take classes to develop your artistic skills.  Just because your career describes you as an accountant, that does not define who you are.

Where there is a will, there is a way.

I do what I do, professionally.  But personally, I am an artist, a writer, a photographer, an adventurer.

What’s not as important is how clean my floors are, how many dust bunnies live in the corners behind the sofa, how many weeds are growing in my garden, or how big the pile of laundry is.

We live this life but once.  None of us are getting out alive.  So do what makes you happy.  Recognize, and make time for what is most important for you.

how much time in a week

What can you do in a week’s time when you put your mind and determination into it?  Turns out quite a bit.

This week, I had set a goal to give my son’s room a complete make over.  I wanted to have certain projects done by the end of July so that I could have a week of mental and physical rest before starting my next career chapter.  This included his room.  I have wanted to repaint his room since I bought our home, and the carpet in there simply had to go.  Well, this was the time to do it.  From Sunday last week to today, I worked a full week.  I had something going on every night after work, and then, once I finally got home, I got to work on his room.

I tore out the carpet and underlay.  Primed and painted the walls.  Stained some shelving pieces and pine crates to make him a creative shelving unit.  Laid down the new flooring.  Screwed the shelving unit together.  Put his furniture back in (but in a different configuration that makes the room much nicer).  Screwed his wall shelves back on the walls.  Hung some art.  Gave Jack the Tangerine Gecko a home right next to my son’s bed.

My hands are sore, my knee is a wreck, I am physically exhausted, but my heart is full and I await his reaction to his newly renovated room.  He knew I would be doing the work this week, but I wonder if he has thought about it while he’s been away at his father’s.  Oh how I wish his father wasn’t such an ass and would let me speak with them at least to say goodnight.  But I digress.

Alas, before he gets to see his new space, the plan is a picnic dinner in the park as soon as I get them back, and hunting Pokémon with them in Pokémon Go!  Such a treat and what great family time to be had!

imagine this

When is the last time you allowed yourself to run away with your imagination?  To get caught up in the inertia of fantasy?  Have we all become too grown up to believe in magic and miracles?  Has the time passed where we are allowed to dream fantastical dreams and wish for something more than the drudgery of daily life?

I’d like to think not.

This week, I met someone who shares the same philosophy as I have in this regard, and I assure you, just because we are all adults living in a very real and fast-paced world, there is still time to experience this.  It has left me with a dreamy state of mind.  A euphoric sense, and a fairly permanent smile on my face.

My advice to you?  Forget your responsibilities, at least for an hour.  Go outside and play in the garden with a childlike sense of irresponsibility.  Forget the bills and the work-related headaches.  Forget the challenges we are all presented with, just for an hour.  Dream, just for a little while, that perhaps there is more to life than what you see.

Perhaps you too, will find just a little magic.