Friday, September 14, 2012

Here And There

Creatavita is about to head into its first series, but before that gets started....

- I've been surprised by the number of positive responses I have received from so many of you about Creatavita.. Thank you! Please don't hesitate to suggest post topics. Go ahead, I'm as curious as you are to see where this blog will go.

- One reader told me he wasn't sure how to pronounce the name of this blog. To help, I've called in an expert:

- Don't forget that you can subscribe to this blog so every post comes right to your email inbox. See that signup box to the right? The one that says FOLLOW BY EMAIL?  Yes, that one. You'll get every post and never miss a moment of Creatavita.

- With the next post, I'll be starting a series entitled You Need This. This series discusses the life-altering attitudes and actions that have gotten me to a place of flourishing creativity in my work and life. I didn't learn most of these in school. I did learn them in living my life, in taking chances, in making mistakes, in being successful. These are the ideas that ran up behind me and hit me over the head. Or they grabbed me in my gut when I wasn't expecting them. Some of them brought, and continue, to bring me great joy.  Some were, and still are, painful to contemplate.  Some seem obvious to me, but when I discuss them with others, I find they aren't so obvious. Some will mean something to you immediately; some you won't understand for years. You'll need to consider all of them on your quest for a Creatavita.

I think this series will be particularly relevant for emerging professional artists, as well as those of you trying to figure out how art fits into your daily life. So, if you know anyone else who fits those categories, be sure to invite them over to Creatavita. Of course, if you're looking for reflections that might inspire your life, you'll find those in this series as well.

- Before I leave you today, I've got a favor to ask. You all know about my colleague and friend, Jiu Jian Kenn.   If you don't, check this out:  

Beautiful, isn't it?  I hear humanity.

Jiu Jian needs your help. But the help he needs is incredibly simple. He needs you to subscribe to his YouTube channel. Why? Because he's applying for a grant from his government and he needs 1,000 subscribers to be considered for the grant. I promised him Creatavita followers would help, so please take a minute, click on the link below and subscribe. With that simple action, you will help an individual artist and make the world a better place. How great is that?!?!? And, if you would consider reposting this link to your blog, Facebook page or Twitter account, that would be fantastic!

Do it!  No excuses.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Carry On

Did you miss me? Of course you did!

You might not have noticed, but I've been gone for 2 weeks. I didn't mean to be. I was all set to keep coming at you with more Creatavita. But life got in the way. My life. And not in a good way. I lost my mojo. And I was not happy. In fact, I felt like a fraud. How could I tell these people how to live a creative, flourishing, fulfilling, think-positive life when I was barely hanging on? Couldn't do it. Couldn't lie to you.

What did I do? I got angry, felt frustrated, definitely felt depressed. But I carried on.  Yes, I did. And that's what you need to know.

I carried on. I kept living, I kept showing up, I kept doing the tasks on my task list (okay, not all, but as many as I could). I did take a couple of days off over Labor Day Weekend. By then, all efforts to shake my fraudness were futile. The only thing I could do was live. So I did. Spontaneously.

And you know what? I started to feel better. I even sat down to write a different post than this one. About gratitude. I'll post it later because gratitude is very important to Creatavita. Very important. But I couldn't even finish that post. It didn't feel honest. I couldn't do that to myself or to you.

And that's when I realized what I needed to tell you.

I need to tell you that when the going gets tough, carry on. Keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, even though that voice inside your head is telling you to stay in bed (yes, that rhymes). Keep that vision, crazy as it feels, right in front of your eyeballs. Maybe you won't be your usual stellar fascinating self. Maybe you won't accomplish everything at your typical high-functioning level. But you'll be you and the parts of life that matter to you will happen. Eventually. That's important.

I was not always able to carry on. And there have been recent times when I have thrown up the white flag, crawled up into a ball and stayed in my bed. The ability to carry on is a trait that I have worked on over many years, and based on this last round, continue to work on. Let's call it a work in progress.

People have helped me with this. Let's call that roadside assistance. This is very important and we will be talking about it later. For now, let me tell you that The Beloved is number one, hands-down, on my list of People Who Taught Me How To Carry On. The Beloved is as durable as they come. He'll carry on until the bones are showing. And he does so with class and as much pleasure as he can muster. It's truly fascinating. I've been darn lucky to have him by my side.

So, like me, there's a good chance you're going to have to work on the carry on ability too.  You might not relish this thought.  Get over it and get to it.  If you don't have someone like The Beloved, know that I'm right here cheering you on. Seek out others who can assist you and open yourself to the possibility that you will be that assistant for someone else. Because like it or not, we're all in this together.

This ability to carry on is crucial for a Creatavita. Artists of all type must develop this skill because rejection is a huge part of the game. You have to, have to, have to figure out a way to deal with rejection and darkness because you will face it if you're going to be any kind of an artist. I said something on this topic to a former student last spring. He was bemoaning the quality of a production in which he had the title role, in the Big Apple no less. How dare he complain, right? I told him something like everyday, in all corners of this globe, people produce art in the bleakest of circumstances. Rise above and carry on.

For now, no fancy dancy videos or links to cool websites. No photos of cute cats. Merely me, telling you, carry on.