I am still in the thrall of that AMAZING 2016 World Series Game 7 that I got to watch last night between two of the best-matched and incredibly talented give-it-all-you-got baseball teams: the Chicago Cubs & the Cleveland Indians. WHAT A GAME!!! I’ve never seen anything like it. It had all the elements of an epic movie: action, mega-suspense, dramatic pauses, laughter, tears, heroic perseverance in the face of fatigue, big league Pressure with a capital P—plus—an unforgettable ending … it was all that and more. Beyond WOW.
Archive for the ‘writing’ category
Excited to announce that this January 19-22, 2017, I’ll be collaborating with one of my most favorite, brilliant, and fun-loving mentors, the inspirational humorist/author/illustrator/yoga teacher and Founder of the Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching Training program— Jill Badonsky—to offer a warm-winter retreat and joy-centered learning experience in beautiful Delray Beach, Florida: Finding Uber Bliss … A Wildly Creative Journey to the Present Moment. It’s an amazing opportunity to hang out with Jill in person and discover more ways to deepen your own imaginatively-inspired life as an Artist of Being Alive. You’ll be guided through stories of wisdom, creative adventures & writing, smart camera art, drawing, painting, brushes with the absurd & sublime, and enlightened contemplation … all in a gentle, non-pressurized, rooted-in-playfulness environment.
For KMCC coaches, it’s an ideal chance to ground yourself and learn in-person as you become certified to lead your own Finding Uber Bliss groups or classes. And for any creativity-loving attendees (artists, writers, gardeners, non-coaches, musicians, spiritual-seekers, everyone welcome!), it’s a wonderful way to amp up your awareness, more fully embrace your own distinctive creative thinking, deepen peace-of-mind practices, meet more mirth, and enhance the ongoing layers & blending of your own daily collage-of-life.
“Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all man’s faculties, and it is manifested in all high artistic achievements.” ~Giacomo Puccini
“Anyone at all who is known for having found a path to consistent, recurring joy — cites staying present as the essential teaching.” ~David Cain, Author of You Are Here
“Living creatively, you don’t constantly manufacture a future, you grow the life that is present.” ~Thomas Moore
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each MOMENT. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ― Henry David Thoreau
“The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” ~Henry Miller
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” ~Kurt Vonnegut
Why the name “Uber Bliss”?
(A note from Jill Badonsky about Finding Uber Bliss beginnings)
“Über” is a German word meaning “over”, “above” or “across”.
“Uber” crossed over from German into English in 1883 when German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche coined the term “Ubermensch” to describe the higher state to which he felt men might aspire. Mensch means “man” in German.
The name of this program, “Uber Bliss”, was a spinoff of an explanation Dr. Seuss gave when people asked the question, “Where do you get your ideas?” He invented a fictitious account involving a hamlet in Switzerland called Über Gletch where he claimed he went every August to get his cuckoo clock fixed and while waiting, strange people would give him his ideas. It turned out to be an explanation that was as absurd as the question, “Where do you get your ideas?”
“Where do you get your ideas?” is a confounding question to most artists and writers because the genesis of ideas is elusive; there often is no explanation that the conscious mind can grasp. Because he was so imaginative, Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), was frequently asked this question and rather than get annoyed, he invented a description, which showed us his tongue-in-cheek resourcefulness, his ability to rise above predictability, and his comfort with being imaginatively absurd. (All handy elements in the creative process as well as in life.)
The Greeks, who were known for inventing myths to explain the unexplainable, invented Muses to justify where ideas come from. So you see, Muses and Uber Gletch have a common theme—not to mention, the reference to “uber” as aspiring to a higher state.
When the transportation network, Uber, created a new association to the word, I was concerned people would be think Uber Bliss was related to a taxi service and considered changing the name. Instead, my inner Dr. Seuss helped me get resourceful, which was easy since both the Uber transportation network and Finding Uber Bliss, “transport” people to places that will make them happy.
Consider that you are about to get a lift to a new way of existing in your world. – Jill Badonsky
Includes all the above except no license, Hard-Copy, or network.
I like this quote. It’s a great reminder for me, and for anyone who wants to rev up their writing, art, business, or any creative endeavor—including life! Lowered expectations at the beginning of a process helps obliterate the paralysis that comes from expecting yourself to be unrealistically amazing all the time. Is there somewhere you can lower your standards in order to get started? Can you trust (even just a little) that simply starting will lead you to take the next small step, and then the next … and that whatever you’re working on will develop (sort of like a Polaroid coming into focus), sharpening and getting clearer and more polished along the way?
I know that lowering expectations helps me get started. It will also help me get this quickly posted right now, in the midst of several other projects, rather than waiting for a more perfect moment to write a longer post about the many enthusiasms I have for the gentle and deceptively-powerful Kaizen Muse Creativity tools and philosophies—creative support and va-va-voom that I’ve already written about glowingly here! Enjoy …
If you’ve ever wondered how to get your creativity running like a well-oiled machine, Jill Badonsky’s just-released book is like having an ace mechanic by your side helping you power up your genius and re-engineer common creative malfunctions such as procrastination, perfectionism, self-sabotage, and overwhelmed thinking.
I was lucky enough to run across Jill Badonsky’s solidly lighthearted approach to the creative life a few years ago, and have been on the bandwagon of her powerfully playful philosophies ever since. She’s the reason I became a Kaizen Muse™ Creativity Coach. She’s also the reason I’m having even more fun with all my jazzbo projects, and helping others find more va-va-voom with theirs.
I’m delighted Jill has stopped by here to talk about her fabulous new book—The Muse Is In: An Owner’s Manual For Your Creativity.
Hi Jill … This new Owner’s Manual seems to provide the missing instructions we all needed growing up … is creativity something innate we’re all born with?
“Some people think we are either born with creativity or we’re not.
Many people are indeed born with an innate talent. When they cultivate that talent through many, many hours of practice, amazing works of art, literature, music, what-have-you are brought into existence. But really, do you need to BE that person in order to discover the bliss, benefits, and rewards of creativity? No.
You can develop skill with practice, but the process is what makes life more wonderful. Talented people are not necessarily happy; the ones who are also happy, know how to create joy within themselves.
Passion, curiosity, healing, need, problem-solving, angst, joy, amusement, reckless abandon – these are ALSO drives that result in creativity. Everyone has the ability to be creative in these ways.
Everyone gets to be creative.”
That’s such a great fine-tuning way of looking at creativity … as something we all get to be in life. What about maintaining our creativity? I read recently that the word “maintenance” is from the French word maintenant, which means now. Can you talk a little about the best practices for maintaining a high creative output without giving sway to burnout or overwhelm?
- Everyone is different in this regard. Asking yourself, “What works for me” is a good place to start.
- But what works for many prolific creative people is: making creative time a habit rather than forcing through resistance every time you want to show up, asking small questions, taking walks, exposure to works that inspire, making sure you take a break to let ideas incubate, fooling around, meditation and just allowing the process to take you places.
How did you keep things fun for yourself while doing all the wonderful writing and colorful art for this book?
- Writing and art just are inherently fun for me. I stay in a mode of childlike curiosity about the flow of surprises that emerge when you make time to just explore ideas.
- If my writing gets too dry I just remember that one of my favorite voices is the irreverent one and it’s a lot of fun for me to go back and tweak what I’ve written to make it more entertaining.
- One of the favorite parts of my thinking is how quirky I am so I’m always surprised with what I come up with. I think everyone can approach their work in this way.
I love that — remembering to embrace the quirkiness and keep a childlike curiosity about what emerges. It seems to me this book is like the ultimate GPS … mapping out the best routes and scenic stops—and helping you find your way if you get lost.
Yes, as an Owner’s Manual it’s packed with tips, gizmos, conditions for best operation, care and maintenance and troubleshooting. There’s lots of little pieces of added humor in both the illustrations and the writing, making it playfully practical. Start your engines!
Jill, thanks for stopping by the lane-less-harried here at Paula’s Paradise, and for writing such a beautiful and incredibly helpful book that fuels you with creative inspiration on every page.
Jill Badonsky, M.Ed., is an illustrator, humorist, nationally-recognized seminar leader, and creativity consultant. As the founder and director of Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coaching, she consults with filmmakers, comedians, artists, writers, business leaders, and anyone who is experiencing procrastination and other blocks to positive change. She is the author of The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard), and The Awe-Manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder. She lives in San Diego, CA. Visit her at www.themuseisin.com, www.kaizenmuse.com, or on Facebook and Twitter.
We love comments. Tell us about what keeps your creativity revved. Or stalled. If there’s more than 10 comments here, Jill will do a drawing and giveaway one of her new books to a lucky commenter. We’re all lucky to have Jill’s expertise and entertaining encouragement as we go along life’s highways and byways … thank you, Jill!!
Yellow Butterfly of JOY, I Salute You
You dance through the wild blue skies
where sunshine floats
asking nothing more than to be noticed
your vivid essence of daffodils, golden butter, and dappled dawns
flits across my radar screen
and the world stills
as I embrace the wonder of you
aflutter, holding you deeply in my heart
a sunlit reminder of the serendipity
and lightness of being that flows freely
as we gather the nectar of flowers
timeless and fleeting all at once
Wings of YES
Wings of Ooh
Wings of Love
Wings of Praise
Gratitude & Grace
– Paula Boyd Farrington · 12/31/2012
Happy New Year All!
Recycled paper, stamps, torn magazine pages, gift wrap bits, ARTchix Studio images and ephemera on canvas
I wrote this poem in the weeks following the tragedy of September 11th. My heart wanted to wrap everyone in the healing waters here in The Bahamas—the starfish I saw was such a stark contrast to the horrific devastation, such a reminder of how amazing life can be when we’re not terrorizing one other. The poem originally appeared in Grand Bahama Island Magazine—a welcome digest my husband and I published for many years. I post it here with prayers and remembrance on this 10th anniversary of September 11th, and blessings of natural wonder and grace and hope.
Out of The Blue
The waters of The Bahamas
shine so clear and blue
reflecting a kind of peace
that is eternal and renewed
Catching sight of a simple starfish
resting of the sand beneath the waves
there’s wonder and a sense God put it there
as a natural tribute, just for you
For everyone who lost their lives
and those who labor still
to heal and defend
the freedoms we all hold very dear
Where do we go for comfort
to find the strength within
to fight the good fight without fear
to find the peace again?
We lift our eyes up heavenward
and then look here on earth
for reminders of a paradise unlost
where hope can be rebirthed
… and under the liquid surface
of waters that sparkle true blue
we gaze upon a simple starfish
and find the courage to love and live anew.
— Paula Boyd Farrington