Posted by: Cathy | June 24, 2019

365 Creative Prompts

In December, I posted my new booklet: 365 objects to draw, paint, or describe in your writing! (With a bonus leap-day prompt!)

Are you following along and doing some of the prompts? You don’t need to do all 365! You can do them for a month, for a week, or just open it and randomly turn to a page if you need an idea of something to shake up your creativity.

Whether you draw, paint, or write fiction or poetry, I put together 365 prompts (with a bonus leap-day prompt) that can help you start or maintain a daily creative practice. The prompts are broken down month-by-month. They include a category of “travel”, and those 15 prompts are also listed as a batch at the end so you can do them all when you go on vacation.

How to use these prompts:
For drawing, painting, or photography, you can simply make a representation of the object.
For collage, you could find a bunch of images of the item on Pinterest and make your own digital or print collage.
For poetry or fiction writing, you can write a poem about the item, or write a paragraph or page of details/description about the item.

If you post any of these prompts on social media, please use the hashtag #365eyd

Download it here under “Art.”
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Posted by: Cathy | June 19, 2019

Does Summer energy come naturally for you?

Friday is the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. It’s a season of expansion and energy. Notice how you respond to the energy of summer, how it affects your choices, and whether you are choosing consciously or reacting instinctively.

Some people just want to rest in the heat of summer and some people have long bucket-lists of outdoor activities they want to accomplish. Notice which relates more to your summer style and how this energy could impact your goals and action plans for the year. If you feel slow but really want to make progress, what part of summer energy could you tap into to help? (E.g., make your work feel like play, try to work outside, keep Friday afternoons free for an outing.)

Don’t resist summer energy or let it lounge you off track; dig into it and find a way to work with it, whether that means resting, playing, or tweaking your expectations of what you’ll get accomplished. Taking mindful steps makes them more sure and sustainable, any time of year.

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Thinking back over the last three months, what do you wish you knew earlier? Write those statements as affirmations to help you next spring.

Reflect over what issues you’ve been going through recently and what you learned. Think about points where you were stuck this quarter and what you learned or what advice would have helped you move through the problem. Then make notes for yourself to review next March and write some personal affirmations for yourself to capture the wisdom and help your future self recover maybe faster if you encounter a similar problem.

What affirmations could have helped you this quarter?

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Posted by: Cathy | June 12, 2019

Summer Focus

Summer energy is expansive, and if you need to focus on a project you may find it difficult, as focus requires contraction and specification. Don’t fight the summer energy if you’re having difficulty focusing.

Notice how the summer energy is affecting you. If you just want a break, you can scale back your goals and commitments during the summer.

Look at your to-do list and see what you really want/need to accomplish in the coming months.
Then, revise your expectations and timelines to give yourself a summer break.
Schedule a time in your calendar to return to your projects.
Use the time off to enjoy the season and your favorite summer activities.
Let yourself play and go with the flow for a few weeks and return to your goals and projects at your specified time.

Don’t fight summer energy if you feel it tugging you off course. You can take a little detour to enjoy the scenery and then return to your goals and projects later!

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Posted by: Cathy | June 10, 2019

Practice the Basics

As you’re working on your goal, it helps to periodically return to the basics and check the foundation for your craft or project.

If you’re a writer, maybe it could look like analyzing your sentence structure for an hour and see if you can come up with a stronger way to say what you mean.

If you’re a painter, maybe you could spend a day reviewing color theory and play with color combinations and mixing.

If you’re a singer or musician, return to scales and warm-up exercises.

If your goal involves networking, you can review communication basics like active listening.

If your goal involves your health or fitness, you could read up on nutrition guidelines.

Reviewing the basics of your craft or project will help you strengthen your foundation, so you have a strong base to build on. You never finish learning, so go back to the basics and see what new things you pick up with your current perspective.

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Posted by: Cathy | June 5, 2019

Schedule in a break

School is out for the year and lots of people are taking a summer break. Whether or not you can take a vacation any time soon, schedule in a break from your routine. Taking a step away from our day-to-day life can help us recharge and return with a clear head and a fresh perspective.

Look at your calendar and identify a weekend day (or play hookie during the week) when you can disengage from everything going on and take a day to break with reality.

Decide on your budget and what would feel good for you to do.
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, maybe you just need a day to nap and rest.
If you’ve been bored, maybe a brisk hike is in order.
If your mind has been too busy, maybe you need a long drive in the country.

Plan and schedule your day and then follow-through, don’t put it off! It’s an investment in your mental health and well-being.

Treat yourself to a summer break.

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Posted by: Cathy | June 3, 2019

Are you playing small?

Summer energy is expansive. It’s hot and quick bold. If you’ve been playing small lately, I encourage you to take a cue from summer energy and get expansive.

Don’t hold back.
Don’t suck in.

Rock your swimsuit.
Rock your goals.
Be bold and beautiful.
Jump into summer and get expansive.

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Posted by: Cathy | May 29, 2019

Creative Alignment Check

It’s been a year since I shared my booklet, “Creative Alignment Check,” so I invite you to check in again, notice any imbalances, and work to integrate and re-align.

Many of us are suffering from a “Reality Disorder”: our ideals are not aligned with our day-to-day reality.

It doesn’t matter how you got to this point. You made choices that led to your current reality and you can make choices to change it. We aren’t going to judge and regret the past. We are going to take a Creative Alignment Check and use that to make small changes in the present to better align your future with your ideals.

We’ll do this with three scales: Mind, Body, and Soul.

Review my post from May on how to do this, and/or download my Creative Alignment Check e-booklet, which has worksheets for these three exercises. Find it on my downloads page under “Self-Development.”

You can begin to merge your reality to reflect more of your ideals. It takes mindfulness to notice when you are operating from the “old” states so you can make different choices to cultivate the “new”/ideal states. But day by day, moment by moment, you can create new habits and slowly shift to your ideal states. You have the power to build your reality in a new direction by building new habits.

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Posted by: Cathy | May 27, 2019

Focus on what you want and not on the problem

When you’re blocked, it helps to focus on what you want and not on the problem.

Louise Hay was a big believer in affirmations. In one workshop, she described affirmations as a way to “practice breaking the spell” of the undesirable circumstances; affirmations help you focus on “how you want to feel rather than how life will dictate how you feel.”

Think of an undesirable circumstance you’re currently dealing with. In that situation, what is it that you want? To help you focus on your desire, what might be an affirmation that could help you?

For example, I’m having difficulty focusing on my writing. I want to make time for my writing each day, but I’ve been avoiding it because I’m at a difficult point which will require more time and attention than I feel I have to give lately. Some affirmations that could help me might be:
* My writing is important to me and I give it time each morning
* My creative writing flows through me easily
* My muse helps me with my writing every day

By using affirmations to focus on what I want and not on the problem, I can break the spell of the block and take control of the situation.
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Posted by: Cathy | May 22, 2019

Cross-medium Play Date

To give yourself an extra creative boost, try taking a cross-medium play date. This is where you mix and mash two or more of your favorite mediums for one creative session.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Put on some music and sketch an image of the song
  • Do a quick acrylic painting and turn it into an interpretive dance
  • Cook something from scratch and write a poem about the sensual experience
  • Do a sketch or poem and make a representation of it in modeling clay
  • Write a poem or song and turn it into a collage

By mixing and mashing two or more mediums, you have double or triple the fun and inspiration!

What would you like to try for your play date?
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