Monday, April 25, 2016

U is for Unexpected

un·ex·pect·ed
ˌənəkˈspektəd/
adjective
  1. not expected or regarded as likely to happen.
    "his death was totally unexpected"

    synonyms:unforeseenunanticipatedunpredictedunlooked-forsuddenabrupt,surprisingunannounced
    "an unexpected change in plans"


    There is a way we view our world. We know the players, the backdrop, the goings-on. But sometimes something so unexpected happens that it shakes up that orderly arrangement. This rearrangement, brought on by unexpected news makes you question all of the aforementioned parts of your seemingly orderly life.

    Acrylic on Canvas, c. 2015 Stephanie Rose Bird


    I received some unexpected news yesterday. A friend of the family has been suffering with breast cancer, quite quietly, I might add. I had no idea, which also causes a variety of responses ranging from guilt to shame, and then inevitably the question rises, What to do?

    The friend of the family has just always been there, at least for the past 12 years or so. She is an indirect friend, meaning our children our good friends, and by default we have been brought together on many occasions. Yesterday I found out that this lovely person, who has always been so helpful, so open and welcoming, has breast cancer. She has been enduring chemotherapy, and in the process she has lost her lovely blond hair--all of it.

    So now I am re-examining things because that's one of the challenges unexpected news offers. I'm wondering what is the appropriate thing to do and I keep coming back to heart. While unexpected news is a shake-up of sorts, it is also a reminder of the heart center or heart chakra we learn about in yoga. My intention is to give of myself, as selflessly as she has, from the heart. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

T is for Transitioning and Tears

T

Transitioning and Tears

I took off a couple of days from the A to Z Challenge. It felt good. Now, I'm back! I decided I wanted to allow myself more freedom in our last week, so I'm transitioning. Moving forward, I'll be writing on random topics I'm passionate about. 
This is the transition part of the post. It has to do with authenticity. The "A" word looms large in my life at this point in my development. When I don't feel what I'm doing has as much authenticity as I hope, I transition and change until it does.


Tears


Prince was a huge influence on my creative production in the 80's when I was in graduate school. Many paintings, far larger than I would dare paint now, were completed with energy and verve, inspired by fast-paced song after song by Prince. I was deeply saddened to hear of his departure Thursday, and more than a little shocked.

News coverage can be grating and annoying but I've found what I've heard about Prince, has jibbed with what I thought or suspected. It's been so nice to see the rainbow of people from different ethnicity's, colors, and walks of life that he drew to him, through his talent. In fact, his broad-based appeal to so many, that would not typically even get along, let alone be in the same concert hall, is a talent in itself. His music was colorful and colorless at the same time. He crossed musical genres with ease, style and flair, with little regard for prescribed boundaries--a true artist. Prince was also deeply rooted. He held fast to his community in Minnesota, and the people there claim him. One woman in a television interview said, "He was ours," with a face streaked with tears

Curiously, he was extremely sexy, androgynous and sometimes seemed asexual, all at once. I'm sure that because of his mysterious and at times deeply sexual vibe, he drew many people of varied sexual orientations to him. He had become increasingly more involved with our current Civil Rights Movement, he championed women musicians, was vegan...I could go on and on.

So now, as much as I wonder what took him from this earth, I also wonder who can fill those tiny, and at the same time, gigantic high-heeled shoes his absence leaves in the music industry, and in many of our hearts.






Friday, April 22, 2016

Seismic Crimes Released Today!

I met Chrys Fey a few years back, online, through the A to Z Challenge. We found out through our posts and frequent comments on each other's blogs, we have I lot in common. We are both vegetarians for example, are published authors of multiple books, and share a strong interest in alternative spirituality. Since that time of finding such important common ground, we've stayed in touch and support one another's work. 

I am a strong believer in developing and maintaining community: blogging community, spiritual community, local community, writing and art community, and yes, online community.

In that spirit, I want to share with my readers some tantalizing tidbits about "Seismic Crimes," her first novel. Fey has written many eBook Novellas, some of which I've read and enjoyed. She has a way of drawing the reader in, and then through her copious research and flair for dramatic twists and turns, she holds your attention with intriguing, and well-paced storytelling. You will also find yourself immersed in the rich environmental setting she creates, and invested in her well-crafted characters.


Enjoy "Seismic Crimes" by Chrys Fey!




SEISMIC CRIMES
Today is the release of Chrys Fey's first novel!


BLURB:
An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.
Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.
When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?



DIGITAL LINKS:


ALSO AVAILABLE IN PRINT!



About the Book:

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she
can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do
whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a
criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P is for Perspective

P is for Perspective

2
perspective

noun  per·spec·tive \pər-ˈspek-tiv\

Definition of perspective
1.  1a :  the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the spatial relation of objects as they might appear to the eye; specifically :  representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distance b :  a picture in perspective
2.  2a :  the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed <places the issues in proper perspective>also :  point of view b :  the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance <trying to maintain my perspective>
3.  3a :  a visible scene; especially :  one giving a distinctive impression of distance :  vista b :  a mental view or prospect <to gain a broader perspective on the international scene —Current Biography>
4.  4:  the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions


My Creative Block Hack for today is about changing your perspective.


La Clairvoyance by Rene Magritte


Here are some ways I suggest to accomplish this shake-up:

·         Challenge the lens through which you look at your work, including your fine art, the characters and situations in your novels, or your approach to creative nonfiction.


Memory of a Journey by Rene Magritte


·         Give yourself permission to change things up a bit.

 Imagine this different type of work.

1        Ask yourself, how can I change the mental, physical, conceptual and/or spiritual view of my creative project?

2        How can I encourage readers or viewers to see my work differently?

Have you pigeonholed yourself?

Spend some serious time, days, a week or month(s) figuring out how you can get out of that pigeonhole.

Examine your work as objectively as possible.

Look for common themes, motifs, words or images.

Now think about themes, motifs, words, concepts or images you’ve thought about exploring but haven’t.

List these things out so you can see them.


Begin to work your way through the list, approaching the work from a completely different perspective.

Monday, April 18, 2016

O is for Open Air

O is for Open Air

I don't know about you, but I find being cooped up, in confined spaces constrains my creativity. Further, just taking a walk--cold, hot, rainy, whatever the weather conditions may be, changes the perspective and sometimes allows new thoughts to come to light, even though you didn't think it was possible.



These photographs were taken by my husband Damian, of me working en plein air/open air at the Emily Oaks Nature Center in Skokie, IL. At first I dreaded the idea of working outside, as a part of an open air public event, even though I'd volunteered for it. But gradually, as the morning went on, and the sun brought the surrounding environs to shimmering life, I grew to love it!

from www.mscareergirl.com

Typing outside is equally refreshing to tired old thoughts. The wind on the face and varied sights, with sounds of the outdoors, easily increases the flow of creative thoughts. You need not go camping to do this, or head to a bucolic locale, though if you can do that it can be exhilarating. A front or back porch, balcony or coffee shop with an outdoor table also does the trick--even opening the window, if that's not something you normally do, helps. The idea is shifting the way your brain thinks by immersing yourself in a different and preferably outdoor environment is bound to boost your creativity.

You may feel funny drawing, painting or doing your word processing outside, if so, either take a notebook, sketchbook or your open-mind to download fresh observations and new ideas to enhance your work.



Saturday, April 16, 2016

N is for Notebooks

I've been reading "How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day," by Michael J. Gelb. It is a wonderfully inspirational book for all creative people, and those that want to become more creative. The book isn't limited to visual artists or writers because Leonardo da Vinci did so many different things, it embraces many different disciplines and ways of thinking.

One of the interesting bits of information I came across last night was about Leonardo's notebooks. He carried a notebook with him at all times. 7,000 pages are in existence, but it is believed there were many more. As a man who cultivated curiosita, (an insatiable curiosity about life, and unrelenting quest for continuous learning) notebooks were a constant source of inspiration and motivation for his creativity.

Some of the ways he used the notebooks, which you might try, particularly if you are suffering through a creative block, is to ask yourself a hundred questions in the notebook and then answer them, as thoroughly as possible, in your own time. Another way, is to observe everything about your day: the people you meet, how they look, act, what they say, how they interact with others, your changing environment, as you travel from one place to another, and do it all in great detail. This can help you develop characters for your novel and is also a good way to develop characters for your narrative paintings and drawings. Recording the environment helps with the environmental setting of novels and it helps with painting what is around you, or commenting on it. Use your notebooks and/or sketchbooks to release your childlike wonder about the world. Notebooks are a wonderful source for your work, and you can go back to them repeatedly, learning, building and enriching upon your original observations and thoughts.





I write out my entire novel and nonfiction books, by hand in notebooks. I take copious notes at lectures and when attending workshops, so I can recall every detail, and everything that was said later. Note-taking helps me focus and concentrate completely on such events. When I'm feeling dried up for ideas, I will go back to a notebook or sketchbook, sometimes one from many years ago. Often, I've forgotten what they contain. My notebooks and sketchbooks are treasures, from which I mine information, inspiration and ideas.







Now, we have more choices than in Leonardo's time. We can use electronic notebooks and save sketches digitally too, in files. Whichever way you like to work, give notebooks a serious thought if you're having a creative block, and if you want to avoid them in the future.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Mixing Things Up

M is for mixing it up

Being very linear, with everything planned out neatly, has it place. It is reassuring and can keep your energy flowing from a place of security. I like sketching and outlining but have also enjoyed mixing things up a bit. 

Mixing media as an artist is a sure-fire way to break up monotony. Further, it is a challenging discipline that pushes boundaries preset by other well-defined disciplines. Mixed Media can lead you into unknown territory, ripe and ready to be mined for new material. 


The Dancers, Mixed Media Book Art with Found Objects, Collage and Stitching, by Stephanie Rose Bird


As a writer, I’ve found that adding poetry, letters, book passages, quotes, songs or recipes into my stories is another fun way of mixing things up, in a productive and fun way.


"The Dancers," Mixed Media Book Art, with Collage, by Stephanie Rose Bird



My theme for the A to Z Challenge is Creative Hacks to Break Creative Blocks. I’ve listed a few ways I mix things up to muster through the tough spots that would otherwise leave me mired in inertia. How about you? Have you changed directions, adding in new media to your art or mixed genres in your writing? I’d love to hear how you mix things up and feel free to leave links to your work.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

L is for Liminal

L is for Liminal

liminal

adjective  lim·i·nal \ˈli-mə-nəl\
p 30% of words

Definition of liminal

  1. 1:  of or relating to a sensory threshold
  2. 2:  barely perceptible
  3. 3:  of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition :  in-betweentransitional<in the liminal state between life and death — Deborah Jowitt







I like to pursue new ideas, when the day and my mind are very fresh and malleable. Going from a restful sleep to awaking in the morning have been the times I've done some of my best work. In fact, those hours are my favorite times for doing yoga and exercise, as well. I find this liminal or transitional state as an area that is not fully set or settled. I've said what it's not but I can easily say what it is: fruitful.

In a liminal, early morning state, I am awake but still open to my dreams states. This odd time is conducive to creativity and productivity.



My exercise for this Creative Block Hack is easy. Set your alarm an hour earlier than usual or simply start pursuing your creative work an hour or so earlier than normal. See what you come up with, and if creative flows for you in that liminal state, the way it does for me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

K is for Kitchen Inspirations

For better or worse, we all have to eat. We've sought sustenance since we were born. Food and the kitchen, from which it hails, is a great way to break creative blocks.

Here are some suggestions for writers:

  1. Write about your most memorable meals.
  2. Create meals for your characters, and have those meals become a catalyst in the story.
  3. Research different types of foods and then incorporate that knowledge into your work.
  4. Look into the history of food and see if that leads you to discover any story lines or characters that could accentuate your work.

Asparagus with Fixins' c. 2015, Stephanie Rose Bird


And, here are a few suggestions for visual artists:
  1. Collect food wrappers and packaging; use these materials to create fiber art, collage or assemblage.
  2. Paint different types of foods with textures, colors and shapes that are interesting.
  3. Study old still life works and consider some ways you could make contemporary statements with this age-old art form.
  4. Learn to extract dyes from different types of vegetables and fruits and use those in your work as ink or water-based paint.
Finally, invite your critique group to bring kitchen creations to share with the group and see how those goodies enrich the conversation about all of your creative works.



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

J is for Jewels

J is for Jewels
Even if you don’t think you own any jewels, you still probably have ideas about them.

Jewels are precious.
Jewels are beautiful.
They shimmer and shine.
Jewels are multifaceted.
Jewels are valuable.
They are very special.

Jewels are timeless and can be passed from one owner to the next. Even then, the jewel still holds precision, promise and power.

Jewels come in many forms. They vary in shape, size, color, weight, beauty and value. You typically need to hunt, quite a while to find just the right jewel for your needs. This can be dangerous, physically taxing or even exhausting work.

Then once you discover your jewel, it needs to be polished and finally displayed, worn or otherwise utilized.

In terms of being Creative Block Hacks, jewels are nonpareil. 
Even the tiniest jewel can be strung together with, perhaps less valuable materials, and still create an outstanding and statement.

  • I like the idea of hunting through your repertoire. What do you have that holds promise, if given a bit more attention and work?
  • Is there a particular area of your work that still glimmers and shines, though the rest of it doesn’t quite hit the mark?


Larkspur c. 2015, Stephanie Rose Bird



Those are your creative jewels. 
Harvest them, in the best ways you know.
Buff the jewels up to an even higher degree of shine, with a bit more work, if necessary.
Reflect on your jewels, string them together with your other discoveries, and then hunt for more.


With all of this productive work, it’s nearly impossible to stay blocked.

Monday, April 11, 2016

I is for Inkling

I is for Inkling

Have you ever thought about an inkling, and how it could become a Creative Block Hack? Well, obviously I have. Before we get into my thoughts on it though, let's have a look at the word and some of its synonyms through this wordle:


Now, when I first thought of the letter “I” in relation to Creative Block Hacks, I thought of the word Intuition and from there somehow I got onto the good old Inner Child. Seeing how I’m not trained in psychology, I don’t want to be a hack, when speaking of Creative Block Hacks, in relation to the Inner Child, so I decided to leave that precious parcel to more qualified people to discuss. Still, when you look back at the wordle above, there are many enticements there that would speak gently to your Inner Child, but enough on that topic already, at least from me.

I have a vested interest in inklings. They fuel my written and painted work, and I believe they can help you find clarity in yours as well.

Clarity

Focus

New Directions & more…

Trust your gut

Listen to the quietest voices, and pay attention to niggling notions.

Follow your inklings

Play with them, and let them lead the way.

In no time at all, your inklings will become things that lead you out of from being stalled or muddled.


Slowly and almost as imperceptibly as an inkling, you’ll find yourself back on that Creative Path paved by your dreams.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

H is for Help

H is for Help
When mired in a creative block, it's hard to see your way clear. You can easily get enveloped in all sorts of negative thoughts:
Fear

Isolation

Hopelessness

Defeat

I’d suggest writing your negative, but very real thoughts on a blackboard, if you have one handy, and then erasing them, mindfully, with an eraser. Otherwise, write them out on paper, with a regular pencil, erase them, and toss the entire sheet in the recycling bin, or trash, if you don’t have one. Either symbolic act is not an immediate fix, but doing these sorts of physical activities puts you on a road, cleared of blockages.

Reaching out for help is not something we all enjoy. First there is the idea of admitting that we need help. Then there is the daunting task of finding just the right type of help. Our dear friend, the Internet, makes this seem easy and hard, all at the same time.

Entanglement by Stephanie Rose Bird


Here are some ideas for help with maneuvering through Creative Blocks:
Pray to your higher power, if you believe in one.
Clear your mind of clutter. This can be done through sitting meditation or moving meditation, such as mindfully walking, using controlled breathing at the same time.

Set a realistic and obtainable goal.
Make a practical plan to reach your goal.
Celebrate the milestones you reach on your own, with a friend or friends, family, your critique group; through journaling or blogging.


Repeat these steps as many times as needed.

Friday, April 8, 2016

G is for Giant Self

G is for Giant Self


A while back, I had a very unusual job for me, Manager of Art Security Guards. I only held the position briefly, but man, did I learn a lot in that short period of time. Where I learned the most was in its excellent training program, with a gifted teacher, I must say. This teacher swiftly transformed my work personality from quiet and laid back, by inviting me to step into my Giant Self.

What if you’re handed a back pack and then there is a phone call that the bag is actually holding explosives? What would you do immediately, he’d pry. What would you do?

What if someone is yielding a knife and threatening the crowd of people that have gathered? Time is of the essence. What would you do, he asked again? Tell us right now!

…the questions and scenarios went on and on, all day.


"Giant Self" by Stephanie Bird, 2016


What is your Giant Self? It’s that person larger than your usual self that lives inside of you. In the cloak of your Giant Self you are able to remove huge obstacles out of your way. You make wise decisions. You can save people and you can save yourself.

Mothers who move cars off their young children, have stepped into their Giant Self. People who rush into burning cars to help the person inside get out, are in the space of their Giant Self. Enslaved people that stood up to their so called Masters, they too, had stepped into their Giant Self. I’m sure you can think of your own examples of people that step into Giant Self.

Yes, your Giant Self is huge. It is powerful. As your Giant Self, you are Superwoman or Superman. You can do anything. What a flimsy object a Creative Block is to your Giant Self.

To get in to the space of your Giant Self you must believe no obstacle is too big or cumbersome to be moved out of the way of your goal being met.

You must believe and have faith that there is a higher power or the Power of the Universe, which will back you up.

Clear and purify yourself in the way that is most comfortable and effective personally.

Put on your power clothes (they serve as your cloak of power).

Look over your work with a warm, compassionate and gentle eye. This might be your visual art, crafts, writing or something else.

Write down a list of reasons you are unable to move forward with this beautiful, meaningful or powerful work.
Close your eyes and imagine your Giant Self explaining to your Blocked Self the weaknesses of your rationale in terms of being blocked.

While you’re sitting down and writing, ball up the old sheet of paper that holds your excuses. Toss it away, as though it is the heavy and cumbersome object it is. The road block preventing your progress is now rubbish. It has been defeated.

Draft a new list that describes how you will move forward.

Prioritize and then number the list.

Take on one item from the list the next day. Continue to work your way through your new list, taking on one item per day.

Realize that you can awaken this Giant that lives inside of you anytime you need it.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

F is for Feather

F is for Feather

One of the qualities of feathers that’s pretty much universally identifiable is that they are light. It is beautiful and a lovely meditative practice to simply slow down and watch a feather slowly descend, fluttering in the air, reaching the ground in its own time and own, often circuitous way.

From the lightness of feathers, often I think of the unforgettable book, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera. This book was required reading during the early years of college, with many an animated discussion surrounding its reading. What stands out to me and why I want to include it in this discussion about Creative Blocks is that if we can borrow one of its thematic sentiments, that life is indeed to be lived surrounded by lightness, we can break through the block of our creativity.

Blocks are heavy. They are self-important and all-absorbing. What if we were to take a new tact? What if being the very opposite of what the blocks want, could help us? A lighter attitude towards life, and our creativity within that life can yield results.

I know. I was blocked up from my visual art for many years. When I started in the arts, they were fun. Drawing and painting outdoors, overlooking a lake, focused on the forest beyond—what could be better? Then I went to college. College is good. I’m not knocking it entirely but with that BFA comes a new type of seriousness. You might deem that serious attitude as heaviness. In the sixties when people would say, “Hey, that’s heavy,” we knew heavy was a very serious thing, just from how it was said.



I went on to get an MFA—again, not entirely knocking the degrees. They are useful. I learned a lot but, with the conference of that second degree came a bit more heaviness. Shortly after earning the degree, I became a professor. I imagine you know where I’m going with this. What began as a light activity, full of joy, delight and enchantment, got bogged down. Over the years it got heavier and heavier until it couldn’t breathe anymore and I had to stop.



Years later, I returned to my art, with a lighter attitude. I decided to do what I like—what gives me joy and perhaps brings joy to others. Now, I don’t have the same college degrees in writing, but I come to it at times with lightness and others with heaviness. You know where this is headed as well. When I’m heavy-thinking and heavy-handed with my writing, it collapses under the weight. I freeze up and productivity ceases.
Naturally, being the type of artist I am, when I am bogged down I reach out for beautiful things. One of those things I’ve gravitated towards as a writer is a quill writing pen.

With the quill pen in my writing hand, I imagine my thoughts flowing, perhaps even flying out of my mind. These thoughts are unencumbered. They flow freely, with the aid of the gorgeous and historic writing tool. I’m not saying it’s easy to use a quill pen, though part of their usefulness to me, as a freeing-up exercise is the concentration it requires to use the pen.


There is containment in their use: you, the pen, ink, paper and thoughts, then too, there are the symbolic references conjured up by the feather.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

E is for Enchanté

E is for enchanté
Pronunciation: [a(n) sha(n) tay]

Enchanted

Delighted

Pleased

Happy

I am very interested in fairy-tales and within them there are many an enchanted forest.

In my spiritual practice enchantments are also an important part of making things happen and it is a way of seeing the world—magically.

Okay, so, I also just like French as a language and using it whenever I can. 

Enchanté is a beautiful greeting, in my book. It’s not just “nice to meet you” or happy to meet you” but “enchanted/delighted to meet you.” This is a very elevated way of receiving new people, and it suggests an openness to new encounters. Being enchanted is a magical way of looking at the world, with delight, and wonder, and it indicates you are open to finding pleasure in the smallest of things.

Now, about my A to Z Challenge topic. Are you wondering why would enchantments and being enchanted break creative blocks and usher creativity into your life? The answer is simple, being enchanted or using the word enchanté allows you to open up and see the world, and your place within it, in a fresh new way.

Simple Enchantment Affirmation Exercises

1.       Re-visioning water: When I wash shower I am putting myself in touch with one of the most important substances derived from Mother Earth. I am fortunate to have water as a part of my life, and water is fascinating! Its warmth loosens my muscles and mind. Afterward showering, my mind, body and spirit and are loosened up. Now, I am ready to work.


Light-Hearted c. 2016, Stephanie Rose Bird


2.       Hold a stone in one hand and a feather in the other. Let the stone represent weighed down feelings. Look at the stone. See how compact the stone appears. It doesn’t reach out. It is contained within its self. Feel its weight. The stone is heavy compared to the other object you hold. Now turn to the lightness of the feather. Release it from your hand and watch it slowly flutter to the floor. See the magic in this act. This is freedom.


Say out loud,, the stone is my past, in terms of creativity; It is heavy and self-contained, maybe even self-absorbed. The feather is my future. It is light, very interactive and unpredictable in its path. Today, I will be light. (More on feathers to come, as F is for Feathers!)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Dancing

D is for Dancing



Zulu Dancer


So, what can you do for free, that lifts your mood by elevating endorphin levels that also helps your fitness level?
Dance!
As a girl, I was blessed with a unique opportunity. My mother had danced in her youth and wanted to share that experience with me. Through her encouragement, I grew to love my dance lessons and ended up studying dance about 4 nights a week and then performing on the weekends.

One of my favorite activities was dancing outside. I enjoyed practicing my turns outdoors (poor grass!). So, I’d put our large speakers outside the door and then turn and turn, and turn some more, using the trees across the lake as a spotting tool. In case you’re unfamiliar spotting is a place you focus your eyes so that you don’t become dizzy.

Now, some of you reading this will think this sounds crazy. Others are living in a place wherein doing something like this is not possible. I’m not suggesting you twirl outside, but hey, if you can, go for it! I’m just using my teenage experiences as an example of how dancing liberated me, and fed my senses and spirit, leading to creativity.

What anyone reading this can do, especially those feeling bogged down by a creative block, is dance. Pandora, Google, Spotify, whatever app or tool you need—try dancing. It has so many benefits, I don’t know what all to list.

·        What I can say for sure is that dancing makes you lighter. You feel lighter and can indeed shed a few pounds.

·        Creative blocks can make you down in the dumps. It's an inner heavy feeling. Creatively you are constipated—unable to push out your creative flow. But you can play the music of your choice and quite quickly feel the flow return.