Self Improvement

Zone of Genius

Are you operating in your zone of genius? Did you know that you had one? Rhett Power published article in June on Inc. “10 Ways to Acesss Your Creative Genius”

He suggests that “We were each born with an active imagination and creativity. We’ve never really lost it. We just don’t take time to nurture it.” and outlines the 10 steps. (followed by my comments)

  1. Practice doing nothing.  We are flying from one activity to another and get into routines that are the death knell of creativity and effectiveness. When we scramble to put out one fire because another is burning, we get trapped in a narrow set of solutions that appear to be working.
  2. Take time to smell the roses, literally. For those who have read this blog before you know that I suggest that we need to be outside in the world taking in the view at least 1 hour every day. Make it a priority, put it in your calendar and treat it like any other appointment.
  3. Laugh and Play. I am fortunate to have 11 grandkids within 1/2 hour so I am filled with their energy and play. But I also intentionally seek out fun things to do alone and with my beloved.
  4. Challenge your senses. Not only smell the roses but also listen to them. And then describe the senses with a song or a poem.
  5. Write This is quite simply the best outlet and impetus for creative genius I know. I write 1000-2000 words every day. Sometimes it is crap and sometimes it is genius but without doing the writing none of it would show up. As I write solutions to subconscious problems find their way into the stream and new approaches are discovered.
  6. Awaken your animal instinct. I haven’t tried this one but it will become part of my morning run. If you see me leaping and jumping I am striving to be a gazelle. If I am lumbering along, I may be tired or just practicing to be a hippo.
  7. Get out of the box. This is always my favorite but I love ambiguity and change. For less zealous readers you might want to commit to doing one thing for the first time every couple of days.
  8. Imagine yourself in your own perfect world. The preferred future is where abundance and hope resides Hope Opens a Window and Another Hope Lesson from November Hope Series say more about this.
  9. Never listen to negative voices. Easy to say harder to do.  I can take everything personally and need more practice with this.
  10. Applaud yourself for the effort. If you have read this to the end you can clap and celebrate. As you take up 6,7,8,9 of these suggestions give yourself a big Bravo!

Make Today Remarkable, by taking an intentional creative breath,

 

B

Self Improvement

5 Ways to Intentionally Scare Yourself

Do something that scares you a little. Step into your reality and out of the humdrum by trying something for the first time. Push outside your comfort zone as far as you can and then in a week try something that is even farther away from the complacency and convenience of day-to-day. I am not suggesting that you do anything that is truly reckless, dangerous, illegal or immoral but try something that doesn’t leave your face pressed tightly against the current cozy box. Inside the box you feel safe, sufficient, and sane but life is meant to have tensions, tests, trials and treasures that don’t fit well inside a tight frame.

scare

Here are 5 things to try that shouldn’t shock you but might bring some trepidation.

1. Talk to a stranger – engage with someone on the bus, in a line, at an event, in a park. Someone that you don’t know, someone that you might not meet except in this moment, someone that you aren’t trying to impress. Start the conversation with an easy introduction – hand extended say ” Hi, My name is …” They will reflectively respond with their name. Ask ” What brings you to the … park, store, event?’ or any easy open ended geo-based query. Listen to their response and then ask a third question that their response piqued. The door is open and your challenge is complete – watch where the conversation goes and stay curious.

2. Eat something new – try something ‘unusual’ for the first time or something that you have a bias against because you didn’t like it as a child. You aren’t a child anymore and tastes change. I love Brussel Sprouts, especially in February, but detested them as boiled poop when I was in middle school. Your something new could be fruit, veggie, meat, exotic or simple. It could be prepared at home or purchased from a grocer, cafe, food truck or shared off a friend’s plate. If you expand your palette, you open a window to expand your mind.

3. Take a venturous journey – the world is your oyster so get out there and see her. This could be as simple as riding a bike, public transit, Uber, or walking. It could include flying to Ulan Bator or visiting a farmer’s market that you have ‘wanted’ to get to. You could travel with a group or take a solo sojourn to a mountain, a beach, a lake, a museum. If self propelling your journey (bike/food/blades/paddle) be sure to pause in places that seem interesting or places that seem unusually dull and take in the sights, sounds, smells.

4. Make something – choose to be creative and you are. Bake a cake from a new recipe. Write a poem or paint a picture. Memorize and recite a passage from a play or a quote from a good book. Build a sandcastle, stack rocks, plant a flower, learn to knit, play the ukelele and then as Seth Godin would say ” ship it to the world’ by showing it to someone else. Don’t let the conformity of reality TV like “The Voice” “Idol” assuage you. The road to creativity isn’t necessarily through mimicry, although it is an easier place to start. The real road begins in finding something that makes you smile when you hear it, see it or think about it. Don’t wait for a muse – just color a picture, draw a stick figure, share a ‘crazy’ idea and make it public.

5. Act as if – Take a moment and discover a frivolous indulgence for yourself. You have likely wanted to do something for a long time but have dismissed it as a ‘waste of time, money effort …’. You might want to learn to dance the tango, rock climb or parachute. You could aspire to speak in public, run for office or get a new job. Sailing, singing, sightseeing, flying, fishing, fasting, meeting someone special or making something important. If you take a moment and discover, without debating yourself, what is of interest in this moment it offers a list to begin drawing from. Don’t start with bucket list level stuff (do write those down) but begin with something, just for you, that is just outside your reach. Stretch to start it and then grasp it with both hands and make it the best, the most fun, and the most important activity that you take in that moment. Let yourself enjoy it without judgement or guilt.

The list of 5 isn’t comprehensive but suggestive. Your 5 will be from the sum of your experiences. The key is to begin now and when you check that box begin again.

Make Today Remarkable, by scaring yourself a little,
B

Uncategorized

Bitter and Sweet

There is a young girl, 9 years old, who often asks me ” So, what was your bitter and your sweet yesterday? Last week? Last month?” She offers me a great reminder and one that I need to hear – take some time to reflect. Pause, breathe, appreciate and measure. I wear a talisman that says Breathe and even with it touching my wrist and always being present, I can find myself running to or away all day. So when I am not asked the bitter and sweet question, I need to remind myself.

Bitter -Monday, it was raining here in Oceanside, California all morning. I come to southern California for sunshine so it was disappointing to have clouds hang around until early afternoon. This are is still suffering from a drought so of course my bitter is someone else’s sweet and I did get to see a spectacular lightening show over the ocean and have a remarkable March day full of afternoon sunshine and happy hour on the patio.

Sweet – We picked up my 87 year old mother at the airport. She is still able to travel (with some assistance) and still loves to fly, tour and see and learn new things. Watching her eyes sparkle as she laughs at something silly or talks about our trip to Culver City this week to see a taping of Jeopardy is sweet. Before we left for the airport we saw a lost seal lion pup get rescued (50 this spring just in this area) and headed for the safety and rehabilitation of Sea World. He was terrified and relieved ( my anthropomorphic interpretation) and will survive but alone without his mother. Side note the suspicion is that this coastal region has exceeded carrying capacity for the population and mothers are searching for food deeper and farther from their babies.

What is your bitter and your sweet? Keep a journal for a week and I suspect you will see some of them flow together.

Make Today Remarkable, by pausing, breathing, appreciating and measuring,

B