Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Habit

In deference to the American Memorial Day weekend, I've delayed the uploading of this post. I hope all of you had as wonderful a holiday weekend as I did, full of pleasure and relaxation. If you didn't find the time during the weekend, I would ask you to now take a moment to deeply ponder the true meaning of Memorial Day. As the wife of a veteran, I can assure you that any action you take to remember those who gave their lives in the name of our country makes a difference. It does. No matter your politics, no matter your age, no matter where you live, no matter your socioeconomic status. You make a difference when you pause to imagine what it must feel like to no longer have a brother, to have never known your father, to have been told stories of an aunt, to have read about a great-great-great grandfather.

On to today's post, which was actually written on Memorial Day (you'll understand the importance shortly) -

Sometimes I think all I do on Creatavita is pass on other people's ideas. So be it. If their ideas inspire you as they inspire me, then that is part of my purpose.

Today I suggest this article from the Brainpickings blog. Here's another article filled with experiences from, well, people I would call experts in the creativity field. The common main theme? You cannot wait for creativity to happen; you must work on your creativity on a regular basis. The common subsidiary themes? Work even when you feel uninspired. Find a routine. Find a space.

Based on what I've been experiencing over the past 18 months, as I've made serious attempts to renovate my creative life, I would tell you these experts are correct. A consistent experience with my creativity, even for a short period of time, on a daily basis, has been the top reason I am initiating and/or completing various creative projects in my life. Moving forward and finishing are very important, but the best part of this action? I feel so much more fulfilled as a person. So much more fulfilled.

I found this article so inspiring that I sat down and wrote yesterday, and am repeating that activity again today, even though I am mentally viewing both days as holidays. Not out of a sense of obligation, but out of a sense of desire. A deep desire to be creative. I'm not crossing this one off of my to-do list. I'm living and experiencing these minutes as my soul cries out to me, “write, sing, play”. These are not cries of “must study my music for my next performance, must prepare for Wednesday's rehearsal”. These are cries of desire to express whatever comes to the surface. If I ignore these desires, I'm certain to feel a deep anxiety. Spending not even 20 minutes writing and/or being musical calms that anxiety because I'm spending time with myself in a deeply satisfying experience.

Never underestimate the value of spending time with yourself in a deeply satisfying experience.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Creatavita's First Annual Commencement

Commencement season is in full swing and Creatavita is joining the celebration. Even if you have no graduates in your six degrees, watch this most-appropriate-for-our-purposes commencement address. Given by author  Neil Gaiman at the 2012 ceremony for Philadelphia's University of the Arts, you'd have to be a rock (or clinically depressed) to not find inspiration in this address.

To truly create the commencement experience, I suggest you get dressed up, grab your camera (which you haven't used since your cousin's wedding last summer), drive your car at least 5 blocks from your house and walk to your backyard. Be sure to wear shoes that look stunning, but prove to be impossible to walk in. Inclement weather will only help the experience; if the forecast calls for rain, make sure to leave your umbrella in the car. Find an uncomfortable folding chair and set it on the most uneven spot you can find. For even more fun, invite 10 most obnoxious strangers to join you, preferably some with small, unruly children. Make sure all of your chairs are positioned as close together as possible. Use a device with a small screen and put it as far away as you can; careening your body to attempt to actually see and hear the speaker will truly enhance the experience.

When the address is finished, stay seated in the chair for at least 2 hours.  Get a friend to read a list of the names of 782 people you've never met in your life and will probably never meet.  Make sure they have a bad sound system that squeaks and squeals and has a loud hum in it.  Then head to a crowded restaurant with a wait time of at least 45 minutes for a celebratory meal. Finally, head home to collapse and wonder what that was you just spent the entire day celebrating.

Here it is:

You can also now purchase the very cool book version of this address right here:

Or...perhaps you can find a copy at your local bookstore, if you are lucky enough to have one.