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Category Archives: Creativity

Seaworthy!

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It’s a pretty great feeling to realize you really are doing what you love.

Writerly Kits is happening! My new venture is up and running and I could not be more delighted by all that it is.

ONE; everything I love to do, and am decent at, gets to go in these lovely boxes.  It’s like an event in a box that let’s others find their own answers to their best way of getting to what they love – while having fun!

And these are things I love:

  • Theme planning,
  • creating the discovery content from the coaching and Novel Minds process,
  • creating the graphics, the art… and sometimes even the pottery;
  • collaborating with authors I love
  • collaborating with others to include very cool items that support writers;
  • testing coffees that may pass the test and end up in the boxes;
  • stay true to my passion for organic products, less waste, a healthier earth, supporting artisans and companies in line with my values.
  • and then.. THEN… building a community that supports each other!

These are all things that scream “Janet, You LOVE this!”

TWO:  People who might not otherwise access coaching, (because it is hard for a writer to justify the cost of coaching) will find this accessible, affordable and do-able.

Writerly Kits is curated especially for writers. Dear to my heart. I know the struggles.  But, what if you are not a writer? I suspect I’ll venture into other areas for other creative folks down the road.

If you are here, following this blog, you know I’m pretty passionate about each of us getting to whatever realm of creativity reveals our magic. More writers writing. More arters arting. More actors acting. More musicians making more music. More inventers inventing. More philosphers philosophizing.

I love the theme of the first box. It just seems a perfect place to start, given my history!  Actual contents are a secret, because the gift- like quality of a subscription box is half the fun! The theme?

FullSizeR

 

Seaworthy.

Because, guess what? You are not a train going from A to B on the same track every other train is on. You are a writer. You are far more ship-like. Treasures, techniques, cool processes to find your way to chart your course and navigate your writerly life. Fun and Imaginative

 

And THREE:   Oh my. People are subscribing! The learning curve of finding nice ways to share this new project has been…. well, kind of like climbing a mast. Not much curve, I suppose. Straight up.  I don’t want to play the same old same old rhetoric of sales that is out there in social media. You are too smart for that, anyway. I just want to share what this is and hope people care. And they do care. And I am feeling very happy.

It’s not always easy to do what we love way more often. But this is working for me. I wish for you more of what you love, too.

I invite you to have a peek:  Writerly Kits

I also welcome your feedback!

 

 

 

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What is this magic of which I speak?

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book-1012275_1280What is this magic of which I speak? My wish for you to find your magic? This magic that people mention in testimonials? This word, ‘magic’, that seems to be associated with me and my work, even if I have moments that I’m not so sure it’s a fit?

Okay, it’s a fit. My memoir, Beyond All Imaginings, tells the tale of several years where being in the creative process through tragedy and loss opened the door to a realm of magic that may seem fantastical, but is, in fact, true.

Rolling Stones playing on unplugged stereos? Yes. That kind of magic. Enchanted beings sharing their stories? Yes, that, too. Where connecting with family on the otherside becomes a normal? And can be for anyone? Yup. That. Where synchronicities lead to answers in our daily life? Yes.

This post isn’t meant to be about promoting my book but I’m sharing this here because my memoir does tell the story of magic and the creative process.  And it does touch the hearts, and open a little door to magic, of those who read it.
What an amazing book! Powerful story of tragedy, discovery and rebirth. I laughed and I cried and was so delighted with the magic! JL Whitehead please keep writing books!”

Herein lies my passion for all that I do; my knowing that the creative process – the way that people can access that brilliant part of them – is not simply a way to feel a little better in life. It’s the way, especially those creatively inclined, to open the doors to all that they can be, to find the answers to questions that otherwise can’t be answered. (Logic will never reveal the hugeness of who you are. It lives in the world of ‘fitting in.’)

And once that door is open, it doesn’t just stay open while you are writing, or painting, or potting, or singing, or inventing. The magic of it all becomes a part of your whole life. Synchronicities, insights, aha moments, and a contentment knowing that you are more than what we are traditionally taught we are –   that extraordinary feeling that shifts us, fuels us, helps us find our way through struggles, brings us joy and makes life a way better  and more magical place to be.

That’s the kind of magic I’m talking about.

 

 

Your story deserves to be told…

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story told_edited-1

If it’s there in a never-ending loop tape of the exciting “Oh, I could add this twist to the story! ” and the less than exciting, “You don’t have time. You need to be making money, or, I dunno, doing dishes,”

Or, “This is going to sell!”  and  “Nobody is ever going to want to read this,”

Or, “This is good. This is so good” and “I can’t write worth sh*t,”

Or, “~deep philosophical thoughts~ ” and “If it was meant to be done, it would be easier. Give up.”

Then you are a writer whose story deserves to be told.

With coaching, and with this more recent almost-launched project, Writerly Kits, I’m pretty happy to help redirect the thoughts, the lack of time, and the fear that keeps getting in the way and share tools that’ll help you get to your written works more often.

Meanwhile, once in awhile, you could just imagine the feeling you have when you are in the flow of writing – your writerly self will like that.

And then there’s also this;  Write, anyway. Even just a little.

Tucking Unboxed Thinking into a Box.

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I’m boxing up unboxed thinking! Like magic, this idea found its way into my thoughts and it has me so inspired. I’m soon launching ‘Writerly Kits’; a subscription box service for writers, emerging writers and wanna be writers.

For the writers here, my vision for you…
Be the bold, brave, kickass, sometimes doubtful, often procrastinating, writer that you are…. but be the one who has all the tools to master the bold, brave and kickass, and who has the techniques to quiet the parts that are getting in the way. That’s what Writerly Kits is bringing to your life. That, and organic specialty coffees or teas to drink only while writing, chocolate to celebrate even getting to one paragraph, and other treasures to remind you that you are truly a writer.

We have a mailing list to keep writers updated. Go here to sign up.

Why this? People can justify personal coaching for life changes, and for that I am grateful, but few writers can justify private coaching to get their written works rolling. Yet, in my coaching practise, more often than not my clients (who arrive for other reasons) reveal a secret wish, a hidden agenda, to write.

On the street, among friends,and posting online, I know of so many people who are haunted to write, but they simply do not get to it. Perhaps you are one of those people. If you and I happened to have a conversation about wanting to write a book, do know that a little piece of me feels sorrow – knowing that without some kind of support, you might not actually get to it.

I know the contentment of completing a book that has haunted me – it’s a rare feeling, like it only belongs to those who finish their book. I want writers to feel that feeling.

If this is you, (a person wanting to write/ finish/ share that book) you’ll know how much holding a story in our mind takes up so much thought energy. Not getting to it at all causes so much regret. And these stories that are not yet told? Our world needs our stories – fiction, memoirs, self-help, poetry, songs, screenplays. Stories are the way we best hear, learn, and process our own thoughts.

And why now?   My blog followers and friends know that I’ve had a challenging number of years. Not too long ago, I finally finished years of medications – important meds to prevent a recurrence – but that played havoc mentally and physically (and damn it, financially.)  I am delighted to be free of pain, and have my usual thinking energy back. I’m thrilled I can enthusiastically get to the things that have been on hold. This project, Writerly Kits, screams “YAY!” to me.  It allows me to play in all my realms of interests and expertise, and that feels so good. From the imaginative process used for Novel Mind clients, to scheming up exciting themes, to creating content (written, graphic, and even, yes, there’s a clay project in the works ), to building a community, this box is like ‘living the dream’ of the unboxed unboxing others with a box!

It’s a pretty box, by the way. Just wait until you see what’s inside.

Practical Imagination and my Troll

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Sometimes we just need to write.  As my granddaughter said at age 4 (while ‘scribbling’ sentences)  “Writing is important. It helps me hear what my mind is saying.”

Proof in the pudding: Writing my previous blog post likely hit home more for me than for any of you dear readers. And it led to a true commitment to imagination, creativity and intuition.

Yessirree, while leading my new online course last night, (the course that I more fully developed after I wrote the previous blog post) I heard myself say , “I know.. weird. But then, the weirder this course gets the happier I am.”   ( I had a brief second of “Eek.. how unprofessional!” Yes, I have a logical left brain that tries to have its say)  

But it’s true. The more people get to discover that their imagination and intuition is wilder and weirder and more able to empower them than most anything, and that it often does this with such curious surprises and insights… yes, the happier I get to be. Even better, the more people recognize how practical their imagination is, the happier I am. After all, through simple creative techniques, we can connect to answers that otherwise evade us, seemingly forever, using our logical cautious thinking.

Consider this.  I posted the following on my facebook page:

“You know the naysayer in your head? The one who says you’re not good enough? Quick. Use your imagination and turn them into a character of some sort. Now do tell, who did you see.”

I noticed a troll as I wrote this. Then I quickly wrote down thoughts that came to my mind:

“Troll lives under a bridge. Wants to keep people away.  Empath.. . too much energy of others bombards him and it hurts.  Living a simple life. No responsibilities. Is not actually happy.  But will do what he can to sabotage having to be out there in a world that hurts him. “

Honestly I wouldn’t logically have guessed that I have a troll. I am an empath – very aware of energies of others and very sensitive to environmental issues. (Ie: can’t be in fluorescent lights)    It is an asset when I work with dedicated groups or with personal clients.  It does, however, come with challenges.   I hadn’t recognized this little troll quietly playing havoc , especially since I felt I manage my sensitivities rather well.  But when I wrote this it revealed a huge aha moment, helping me see that there is a part of me that wants to withdraw and that creates a constant quiet resistance that I am always working against,  even though it doesn’t stop me. Who needs that? Now just the  simple awareness of the troll, especially with a visual,  is going to help us both. Noticing the resistance is enough to stop its hold. And sometimes, perhaps, I will notice the resistance and say, “Hey, maybe we’ll just paddle our feet in the water near Troll’s bridge for a little while.”

"I see you, Troll" (Also note, there's nothing says a sketchpainting needs to be good!)

“I see you, Troll” (Also note, there’s nothing says a sketchpainting needs to be good!)

 

I quick sketchpainted him. I find that going one step further on a discovery helps to cement the insight so it is less likely to hide itself again. Seems to me this simple little imaginary connection has been worth years of therapy.

 

How about you? May I repeat that post just for you?

“You know the naysayer in your head? The one who says you’re not good enough? Quick. Use your imagination and turn them into a character of some sort. Now do tell, who did you see.”

Love to hear who you discover.

And if you’d like to read a good article about empaths and see if it’s a fit for you  (often the case with creative folks) here’s an interesting link. themindunleashed.org/30-traits-of-empath.html 

Oh, curious about the new course? I’d love if you popped over to learn more about the next ♫Way Hey Up She Rises♫ course!

Enjoy that wicked wild practical imagination of yours!

My sincere apology to creativity, imagination and mystical tall ships

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“I’m so sorry. I am truly at fault here,” I say to imagination and creativity.

Creativity, and it’s biggest player, Imagination,  has spent lifetimes being dismissed, discredited, and at best, something you do when you’ve got everything else done, even though our creative mind is as much a part of our lives as breathing.  Would we give breathing so little recognition for it’s value?  Creativity could even use a new word to help people to pay attention.  You know how ‘God’ –  a tiny three letter word- can evoke so many stories, so much controversy, so much doubt, so much questioning and so much yearning,  that some people have trouble, or might even step right away from, defining and engaging with what God is for them. Sometimes I think God needs a new term. Like, “Universe” or “GOM – (Grand Old Magic)”

Ya, creativity is like that, needing something new.  It’s even easier to not define creativity… all the systems already did that for you- usually with a final touch suggesting creativity is a nice hobby and imagination is for kids.  Eek!

But what is really scary for me is that I’ve played a role in keeping creativity and  imagination in their ‘place’ in the general thinking of the world. This is not true of how I’ve interacted with the process of creativity and imagination on a personal level, nor is it entirely true of how I include it in coaching personal clients….and yes, I know, it’s obvious that I care about creativity and imagination,  but damn, I haven’t shared exactly how powerful, how magical, how therapeutic, how impossible becomes possible, how spiritual and how magical things can be when the creative thinking  and doing and being processes get the time and space they deserve.  And magical. Did I mention magical?

I’m sorry.

I know this stuff. Yet, knowing what I know, I’ve been resistant to share it all, because a lot of people will think I’m crazy.

“Really, Janet?  You think that’s been getting in your way?” asks some part of me.  Yes, I think I’ve been letting that get in the way.

I’m going to change that.

After all, mystical tall ships saved my life, faeries got me through grief, and a  leprechaun changed the direction of my entire career.

They deserve better than they’ve been getting.

 

 

Creativity.. here’s a couple sad statements

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A quote from Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, and contributing editor for Scientific American Mind: (Highly recommend reading the current edition focused entirely on creativity)

“When children are very young, they all express creativity, but by the end of first grade, very few do. This is because of socialization. They learn in school to stay on task and to stop daydreaming and asking silly questions. As a result, the expression of new ideas is largely shut down. We end up leaving creative expression to the misfits – the people who can’t be socialized. It’s a tragedy.”

Quote from my six year old granddaughter yesterday upon returning to school after the Christmas Holidays: (She is half way through Grade One)

“Nana, my whole classroom was changed!  It’s because we’re older now, so now we just have to work, write and sit all day. Just work and write all day!”
“You still get to play and make things, don’t you?”
“No, I think we just work all day now. Because we are older and some of the kids already turned 7.”

I don’t know what’s really going on in her class. She is in an arts-based school. But, it frightens me that this is her perspective. I hope today is different for her. I really don’t want either of these quotes to be true anymore.

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