Tag Archives: creativity

Happy, Creative 2013!

A heartfelt Happy New Year to you! I hope you manifest your wildest dreams this year. I hear the planets are willing! My astrological friend, Lisa Zimmerman, says it’s a time for great beginnings, creativity, starting something new.  How about taking a little chance on your own intuition, and create something from inspiration, rather than what you think you should do? Feel it, rather than think it?
Just last night, I taught a mother-daugther duo how to make their own silver rings, in their own styles. How inspiring was this pair? Let me count the ways! No fear, no worries, no competition, no regrets. They just did it, and left with lovely new rings. Rings that adapted to the situations they were in, and came out perfect!

I forgot to take pictures, and so I was pleasantly surprised with I received a text from Janet, the mom-student, that contained a picture of her ring. It’s pretty! It fits! It came out perfect!
I’m reminded that I love to teach a willing student whatever they wish to learn. And, at the same time, I am still a student of the world. I love the give and take, the offering and receiving, that this sets up in me. A pretty sweet existence, and a great kickoff to 2013.
While it’s great to reflect on accomplishments of 2012 – and I will – I’m much more passionate about possibilities. And I feel it’s going to be a great year to create them. In order to grease those skids, I’m getting my intentions and plans in line with that. All with a generous amount of wiggle room thrown in so I can take advantage of unexpected opportunities, happy accidents, and windfalls of good along the way. That’s where creativity comes into play.
Creativity happens when we take the ability to prepare for many eventualities, get ready, get set, then let go! I hope that appeals to you in 2013, and that you’re able to take advantage of some creative opportunities in your life. And let me know about them – I’d love to hear from you!

Cultivating Creativity vs. Wallowing in Reactivity

Like many Americans, I have spent the last few days gorging on delicious food, spending time with friends and family, and generally being grateful for what I have. And trying like heck to NOT focus on what I don’t. Hoping and trusting you were able to do the same thing.

Necklace by Nancy Lee, photo by Paul d'Andrea
Necklace by Nancy Lee, photo by Paul d’Andrea

Paired with that thankfulness has been the loss of my business computer AND backup hard drive, and dealing with the doldrums during the aftermath. Without going into the gory details, let’s just say I type this from ground zero. There exists a certain nervous energy surrounding starting over, technology wise. On the one hand, it’s great having a new computer. While I’m all gaga about getting it whipped into shape so it can take care of me and my bidness, I don’t want to backslide into “reaction mode” regarding the loss of my entire virtual world of technology and the slog of recreating it from scratch.
So, Monday marks a new, important week of moving forward into creativity, even if it’s in tiny steps! Interestingly, my inspiration is not wrapped in a shiny new package of magic tricks. Right now I need comfort and familiarity. My focus is on a tender mashup of five little tools in the creativity kit already at my disposal.*
1.       Meditate – even though it’s not done in a true Zen way (I mean, who can sit like that?) I do plan on sitting for at least 15 minutes and visualizing nothingness. Doing nothing clears a path.
2.       Write – since this summer, I’ve kept a dream journal. I write in it a lot, and often take extra time to look up my dream symbols in The Dreamer’s Dictionary: Translations in the Universal Language of Mind by Barbara Condron. It’s been deeply helpful and brings me a kind of secret powerful joy that I’m getting to know the workings of my dream-brain better (say that three times fast).
For example, last night I dreamt of dozens of cooing babies floating before me as I swaddled them in soft translucent netting cloth, wove the cloth with satin ribbons, tied the ribbons into bows, and then folded the cloth down and around the babies like the petals on a flower. Happy-happy joy-joy. In the dream book, babies are new ideas. Coolness.
3.       Listen to music that makes me feel like dancin’ just for the fun of it.
4.       No TV. Sitting there staring at that cube really sucks creative motivation out, like totally!
5.       Be grateful – each night, 5 things I’m grateful for will be listed in my gratitude journal. This gets me thinking of gratitudes during a regular day, and noticing with joy the things I’ll be able to write down later. WOOT! SCORE ONE FOR GRATITUDE!
I’m so looking forward to getting back to the bench. And SO looking forward to hearing your ideas on moving forward after being stuck. Please share!
P.S. Just for fun, there is an example of “past creativity” posted on the page!

*Many of these ideas are adapted from the teachings of Christine Kane. Read a great blog post of hers entitled “21 Ways to Be More Creative”


Dreams, Creativity, and Becoming a Crone

Dreams. They are what creativity is made of, often. A wonderful creative spark in a dream or day-dream, a vision or a meditation can come to life at the artist’s hand, the architect’s drafting table, inventor’s inventory of ephemera, or metalsmith’s hammer, and build something up from the nothing that was there before. Powerful stuff, dreams.
2008 was a banner year for major dreamage, and the dreams have only escalated since. It’s almost like I woke up on New Year’s Day in 2008 and everything forever after would be different (see photo of Pod sculpture for an example of a dream coming to life). This has made me wonder about the power and meaning of dreams. A few months ago, the dreams started getting written down in a new journal, in between marketing ideas and to-do lists. While the other journal items were pretty straight forward, I didn’t know what to make of the dreams. They seemed to command attention on their own.

Pod Sculpture by Nancy Lee
Pod Sculpture by Nancy Lee

So I sought out some expert advice, and then attended a dreams workshop at Butler University. A bunch of woo-woo stuff? Maybe. But now that I’m the big 5-0 I don’t give a crap what anyone thinks about that. If it helps me resolve or feel better about whatever, or brings me closer to being a crone, then I’m gonna do whatever.
As a result of the dream lecture, I now own “The Dreamer’s Dictionary” and a proper Dream Journal which was on clearance at Office Max for 99 cents and is actually a bound school notebook with a pink cover. Just the thing. Snugged by my beside with my favorite ultra-fine point micro-pen which makes marks that I can actually read in the dim morning light, I set out to write down my dreams upon awakening.
Surely I could rein in the wispy dreams, interpret them, and reach a higher consciousness and level of wisdom which I had never known before. Ahh, the enlightenment! I could feel it approach, rumbling like a freight train bearing down on my location with railroad cars full of exquisite knowledge that would turn me into the crone I longed to be!
The reality, though, is a slog. A smidgen of knowledge, a dram at a time, each object in the dream one step closer to a full dream interpretation. Someday the dream-meanings would come, but for now they are nowhere NEAR where they should be in order to claim the crown of crone-ness.
Occasionally magnificent dreams with consistently neophyte translations. Visions of stuff (climbing a monumental red sculpture with a massive stone base at the edge of a cliff, for example) that I do not even possess enough skill to draw out on the paper in my little pink journal, let alone interpret fully.
In my heart and in my soul, I know this is special. And I feel lucky that these vivid dreams visit and that I recall them in such detail. It’s just that I want better answers faster than I am able to produce them on my own. I want to become a crone. And some rocking illustration skills would help a heap.
Do you, dear reader, have dreams? If you do, do you bother with interpretations? If so, how do you go about interpreting what they mean? Inquiring minds want to know!