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Archive for Creativity

Dog Art

It’s Duff once again. As I travel in Our Car, I revel in the Landscape as it goes by. There’s so much to see: Cars with other Drivers, horses and cows, People walking along the road. Whatever you can conceive of, it’s there for All to see. The scenario is: I’m in Mom’s lap with my Paws on the windowsill. And as we Ride along, my Snoot often touches the window, leaving Nose Art. The means for this Art is Dog Doinks, left by the moisture on my Nostrils and my Breath. I revel in my Creations. I live unstuck.

Mom, however, feels Differently about my Creativity. Somehow, She thinks the Car Windows are Dirty. Each time we stop for Gasoline, She uses the Gas Station Squeegee to erase my Craftsmanship. Carefully moving the gizmo along the Glass, She erases what my talent has produced with my Doggy Proboscis. But I am Intrepid in my Endeavors. Even by the time we arrive Home, I will have Created an entire new set of Masterpieces on each window. I live unstuck.

How about You? Are You involved in an ongoing Expression of Who You Are? Do You develop this with your Personal Art? Or do you use Other Ideas to Convey Your Inner Being? I say: No time like the present. The Clock of Life is Ticking, each minute adding up to a Full Existence. Sixty Seconds that will never Return. The time is Now to celebrate Life. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#dogart

Our Car windows aren’t Dirty . . . that’s my Nose Art made with Dog Doinks.

—The Duff and Mom


Duff photoDuff here. I was pondering the Concept of Creating the other day. You know, actually Developing Ideas. And then putting Feet to my Dreams. I imagine all Sorts of Things. I could be a Doberman in Disguise. Or That I have Powerful Confidence when meeting Other Dogs. Or even being able to Eat all the Food I want and enjoy every Mouthful. All of these Ideas are very Well and Good. But until I physically move in their Direction, that’s all they’ll be: the fantasies of a Puppy.

But as You know, I live unstuck. I go All Out. There are Occasions when I meet another Dog and I bark Furiously. I am under the Impression I’m a Very Large Dog. But that Delusion is dashed when Mom scoops me up and Keeps me out of Harm’s Way. (I know she’s really protecting the other Canine, but really!) And then there are Times when I want to eat more than I can Handle. Now that’s a problem I don’t even want to Discuss in Polite Company. And that’s You, my Fan and Gentle Reader.

Mom does well to Write for Me, for my Paws are too large for the keyboard. She has ways of Knowing what I want to say (She and I Communicate quite Easily). I am proud of how She expresses my Concept of the World, for I learn and do something new every day. I live unstuck.

I ask: How about you? Do you have Dreams as yet Unrealized? They could be as Small as a Daily Exercise Routine or as large as Moving into an Uncharted Territory. I say: You’ll never know until you Try. Think of all the Books, half-written in the drawer. Or never Submitted. Do you have a Skill as yet Undiscovered? Do it. Banish Resistance and live unstuck. #unstuckliving#resistance

Doing is the quantum leap from imagining.

—Barbara Sher


Enjoying the Little Things . . . on the Mountain

As I went on my walk yesterday, I began to delight in the pleasure of paying attention to trees. So many kinds, shapes and varieties of trees here on the Mountain. I can recognize them by their bark, their leaves, their height. But to really know a tree, I have to watch it closely: where it stands, how it moves, its relationship to other trees.

Think about the mighty Ponderosa pine. Tall, with branches clustered toward the top part of the tree. Strong, sturdy branches with flexibility to manage powerful winds. Massive roots anchor the tree firmly into the ground. This infrastructure runs deep to tap nutrients from the belly of the earth. If its bark is thumped or cracked, it quickly grows a new layer to heal that wound, that scrape. Evergreen is the name of this tree, for its needles grow day after day and are constantly replenished. As the old, dead needles drop to the forest floor, they create a soft carpet to insulate the ground below. This begins the cycle of decomposition as bugs and beetles burrow in to break down the load. The roots are able to absorb the nutrients, promoting further growth.

Next is the juniper. Sturdy, hale and hearty, it grows wherever it can get a foothold. Its branches are shorter and stubbier, giving durability a new name. Its shape is like a bush, more rounded to withstand heavy snows and drought. This plant also features buds, complete with yellow pollen in the spring to ensure new beginnings.

And then, there is the aspen tree. The Mountain is gifted with vast stands of aspens. Their gray-white bark is in sharp contrast to the brown of the pine or the juniper. The aspens grow as a community: their root structure supports the entire group. The runners grow out, then pop up to develop into yet another tree. They grow close together, supporting each otherl Interconnected, they nourish the clusterl To me, the aspen is a graceful tree, bending as the wind ruffles the leaves. And those stands of golden leaves in autumn are a sight to behold.

All of these trees weather storms, parasites and insects. They handle droughts, floods, heat and cold every day. And they continue to flourish and grow. Perhaps their bark gets bumped or scraped. They have to have time to grow back together. If attacked by an insect, the trees have to have the time to mend and repair. They can regulate their own resources to heal because that’s Mother Nature’s design.

You also have these resources, these capabilities. Your roots travel deep into your past, bringing experiences you can use to further your forward momentum. Learnings and teachings are gathered from many different situations over the years, providing knowledge and wisdom for growth and development. You, too, can repair and heal. Just as a tree needs time to grow, it needs rest during the winter before spring growth. You also need time to take a break, to take a look at where you have been and savor the moment. Your mind reaches to the sky for inspiration and creativity as your roots reach for nourishment and sustenance. You are in a perfect place to feel your connection with all that’s around you as you live on the mountain. How do you feel as you make your connection with outdoors?

I’m curious: How do you tap into your inner resources?

A Side Talent

Every year since 1999, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award has been given to the player who demonstrates outstanding balance in his life between civic and professional responsibility. This year, one of the nominees is Sam Acho, an outstanding offensive linebacker for the Chicago Bears. He actively supports Living Hope Christian Ministries. Founded by his parents, the ministry goes to Nigeria with a team of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to provide free medical care for those in need each year. Sam is also active in the community, supporting groups and clubs to further children in the Chicago area. He’s living unstuck.

As if that’s not enough, when he was interviewed last week, he was asked to recite something of his choice. He thought for a moment, the recited the Prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in old English. As Sam began, he dedicated the narration to his high school English teacher. He wanted to “do her proud.” The words effortlessly rolled off his tongue. What intrigued me was this man was not only a professional athlete, active in his community, but he had a side talent. He was able to recite long passages from a variety of sources. Truly living unstuck.

My side talents tend toward handwork: knitting, crocheting, any kind of work that I can carry with me. If I’m at the office and have a few moments, I’m knitting. Lately, I’ve gotten into gathering more computer knowledge. Between learning new things (my computer and Zoom), I’m expanding my mind. I heard something discouraging the other day: the mind shrinks as we age. I decided that adage simply does not apply to me. After all, research has shown: nerves that wire together, fire together. And the more I expand my knowledge and awareness, the more nimble my mind will be. A larger framework in my awareness means quicker problem resolution and easier learning. I’m living unstuck. You too?

Do you have a side talent? An interest you’d like to develop? Something your friends would be surprised to know about you? Go for it! Live unstuck. #Unstuck Living

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.

—Ralph Marston

Spider Webs and Your Mind

Spider webs have a special significance for me. As they glisten in the sun, the beads of dew sparkling in the light like asymmetrical diamonds on a necklace, they carry a message. Their thin structure belies their strength. Even though they are spun from thin strands of silk, they can support the weight of the dew and create a trap for nourishment in their nets. This concept brings to mind a symbol of the weaver, the spider herself.

She is a reminder that I have the ability to weave my life into a strong, useful, lovely work of art. I also have the reminder that what I do is temporary. The spider’s web will last for a particular time, then it is gone. And what I create in my life will be the same. As good as I can make it for that time, and then it dissipates.

Among Native American traditions, creativity is the hallmark of spider medicine. The spider’s eight legs represent the four winds of change and the four directions of the medicine wheel. Her body is the shape of an infinity symbol, representing infinite possibilities. Just like the myth of the Fates in Greek mythology who weave the tapestry of life, spiders are reputed to weave the creative forces that develop the patterns of our lives.

The spider web also reminds me not to get stuck. Just as the hapless fly gets caught in the beauty of those strands, my mind can also get stuck in patterns. While some are positive, others are no longer useful to me. Some are quite harmful. Our brains are wired to catch the negative far more quickly and persistently than the positive.

Let’s wander into physiology for a moment. The amygdala is that part of your brain designed to trap the negative (trauma, accidents, hurts, anger, tragedy) from your experiences, replaying it over and over again. Ever had an endlessly repeating song in your mind? That’s the function of the amygdala. Its purpose is to warn you if something like that negative happening is coming your way again.

But what to do if the warning is unnecessary? How to break that train of thought? One way is to sing over it. Pick your favorite song and override the insistent jingle. I did this the other day when out for a hike. Negative chatter kept me company for no good reason I could see. Much to MacDuff’s dismay, I began to sing Oscar and Hammerstein’s Oh, What A Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma! The negative nattering was gone.

Another concept came from Heart Math Institute in Boulder Creek, CA. Slowly take a breath in through your heart. Then breathe back out. As you do this, focus on your breathing. If you choose, you can make your breath a color. Or you can make it sparkle. Simply breathing in and out in this manner will slow down your mind.

If a spider has wandered into your life, bringing her web energy on a walk or in the corner of a garage, she may have several messages. Perhaps it’s time to open the doors to more creativity in your life. Or maybe it’s time to sweep the hurtful cobwebs from the corners of your mind. Remember: the spider web is strong. And you can be too. Live unstuck.

Bringing over 30 years of experience to her practice, Joan is a highly qualified NLP practitioner and hypnotherapist. She specializes in anxiety, panic attacks, fears, and phobias, using her knowledge to help her clients become no-limit people. Many have found her friendly ways and precise techniques to be the easiest road toward a better life.