Happiness Series: Creativity

In our modern consumer society, the majority of people have lost the creativity spark. A lack of creativity is, in my opinion, the biggest danger to our personal happiness. We consume things bought from a store, information and entertainment fed to us through books, TV, social media and the internet. What do we give back to the world? Don’t get me wrong, these things aren’t inherently bad. What is important, is to have balance between that which we consume and that which we create.

Most of my life I truly believed that I “had no creative ability”. It wasn’t until my mid twenties when my astonishingly artistic husband changed my perspective on the concept of creativity. I had always been envious of creative people; my sister with her photography, my grandmother with her painting and crafts. I was convinced that the creative gene skipped me on my family tree. I attempted creative endeavors; my grandmother tried to teach me to paint, sew, weave and bake. The only one of those that stuck was baking and I didn’t consider that creative because I was always following someone else’s recipes. I tried photography, which I really enjoyed but my pictures were never as good as my sisters, so I never considered photography my “thing”. I used to write short stories but was never brave enough to share them with anyone. Did I lack the ability to be creative? No, I lacked the self confidence to consider my creative talents valuable. I lacked the proper perspective of what qualified as creative. My husband passionately believed that I was a creative person who just needed to find my outlet. He ignored my protests that I wasn’t creatively inclined, and I am so grateful that he did. Writing (obviously), cooking, herbalism, photography, and jewelry making are just a few of the creative passions I have incorporated into my life. It wasn’t easy and it took years (and I’m still working at them) to feel confident in my creative talents. Don’t expect your creative talent to come naturally, learning and practicing is an essential part of the creative process. Learn more on my continued learning post.

Research has well documented the connection between creativity and better mental and physical health. Expressing our creativity quite simply makes us better, happier people. I would go so far as to say, to be creative is to truly live. I personally feel, we cannot create true happiness without creativity. Every person in the world has the ability to be creative. The only thing standing in anyone’s way is a lack of action. Find your creative spark and fan it into a life changing flame!

To create something, is creativity. Creativity can be a physical item, a visual creation, something audible or simply an idea. It doesn’t even have to be something completely new. Taking pieces or ideas that already exist and putting it together in your unique way is creativity. Your creativity cannot be compared to creations of others. It cannot be bad or less than. Creativity is an expression of you and your unique perspective of the world. Not everyone will appreciate your specific creativity, but it isn’t for them, it’s for you. Here are some examples and tips for how you can add creativity to your life.

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Happiness Series: Continued Learning

Remember back in childhood when each day was a magical adventure? When did we lose the awe and wonder for life? I watch my toddler explore every aspect of life with the wide-eyed excitement that comes with each new and unique experience. I don’t remember the last time something as simple as a spider crawling across the sidewalk was an amazing, mind blowing experience. She has taught me that the more knowledge and experiences we gain, the less wonder and joy we have in our lives.  

To children the world is unfathomably large, and every day brings a brand new first to figure out. How can you not be excited to jump out of bed and start the day when any number of new magical things you have yet to imagine could happen to you at any moment. As adults, we often get bogged down in the stagnated routines of our day to day lives. It doesn’t have to be this way!

Yes, we have lived (much) longer than those wide eyed two year olds. We aren’t likely to get excited about velcroing our shoes all by ourselves. However, we certainly haven’t experienced everything there is to experience! Bringing excitement and wonder back into your life is as simple as making a real effort to keep learning new things!

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Project 365: Photography Challenge

Today I turn 29 years old. As my twenties come to an end and I prepare to embark on the adventures that my thirties are sure to bring, I find myself reminiscing more than I do on most birthdays. During my twenties my life completely changed, many times over. Who I am changed, many times over. I doubt that any other decade of my life will be as transformative as my twenties. I have this one remaining year and I plan to make the most of it!

I have decided to participate in Project 365. If you aren’t aware, Project 365 is the challenge of taking one photo everyday for a year. Do you remember what happened to you on November 10th 2016? I don’t, I barely remember yesterday. For my last year being a twenty-something I vow to photo document at least one aspect of my life each day until I turn 30!

I have a few reasons for taking up this challenge.

  1. I think it’s a fun way to close this chapter of my life.
  2. I’ve been looking for a new way to freshen up my photography skills.
  3. I hope it will motivate me to get out of the house more.

I will post my photos for the previous month here on my blog on the first of each new month. I’m excited to see what this year holds for me and how it all comes through the lens.

 

If you want to start your own Project 365 challenge let me know. I would love to follow along through your pictures as well! If you want a more formatted platform here are some sites dedicated to the challenge.
https://365project.org/
https://www.blipfoto.com/
http://momentile.com/

Top 10 Tips to Becoming Creative

I am surrounded by creative minded loved ones and then there is me… I am analytical minded (hence the career choice of accounting) but have always longed to have creative talents. I’ve always been too insecure about trying creative activities to actually put myself out there. BUT NO MORE!! I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter if anyone else thinks what I do is good or not. The only thing that matters is that I have fun doing it and am proud of what I accomplish!

When I made the commitment to not let my fear of failure hold me back from my dream of creativity I sat down and made a list of what creative activities I wanted to try and how I wanted to express my new found goal. My list ended up as follows:

  • Writing – 1. Create a Blog.  2. Write a novel.
  • Photography – Take artistic photo’s each month and share them.
  • DIY Crafts – Create home decorations/furnishings rather than buy.
  • Cooking – Create delicious meals without using a recipe.

Great! I had a list of my goals!… Now what…
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Welcome 2015!!!

Happy New Year!!!

2015 is going to be an exciting and significant year, I can just feel it! We have so many things to look forward to in my family this coming year!

  • The ever present possibility/hope of getting pregnant (3rd New Year wishing for that dream)!
  • My husband, Denver graduates from the Art Institute in the spring!
  • For mentioned graduation will hopefully lead to a more enjoyable and full time job for the love of my life!
  • Denver may be heading to Texas to visit his cousin Mike (click here to see my earlier post about Mike)!
  • My (favorite, shhh) cousin will be getting married in October!

Just to name a few!

Lets Talk Goals! When it comes to New Year Resolutions there are three types of people.

  1. People who make resolutions but never stick with it
  2. People who refuse to make resolutions at all
  3. The rare people who make resolutions and actually stick with it all year

Without getting into the psychology of fear of failure vs fear of success, I will just say most New Year’s I am type #1. I love planning out all of my goals for the next year but by February I usually forget all about my resolutions and go back to my old ways… This year, I am going to try very hard to become type #3 and stick with my resolutions for once! A few of these may be a little cliché but they are important to me… so there? I have never been the kind to refuse to make resolutions, I feel it’s vital to a happy life to constantly try to improve yourself. It doesn’t matter when you start the process of bettering yourself but my thought is, why not start on the first day of the year?

So, without further ado… My Resolutions Are… Drum Roll Please…

  • Exercise 3 days a week!
    • I am currently 15 pounds heavier than I would like to be. I don’t like the way I look. I don’t like the way I feel. I don’t like that I’m sore and winded from walking up one flight of stairs… I just have to come to terms with the fact that I’m not 18 anymore. I can no longer be in excellent shape with no effort what so ever. *Sigh* I already miss those days… But enough is enough! It is time to take control of my health and regular exercise is step #1! Come back next week to see my detailed exercise plan!
  • Eat 3 servings of fruit and 3 servings of veggies every day!
    • I already eat pretty healthy, thanks to my husband. My husband has a chronic health condition that makes it necessary for him to eat very healthy. Since I don’t make separate meals for each of us I end up eating healthy because he requires it. Unfortunately even with the healthy meals I’m preparing I typically get one serving of fruit with breakfast, sometimes one serving of veggies with lunch and one serving of veggies with dinner. That just isn’t enough! Come back the week of January 16th for my detailed plan!
  • Relaxation!
    • I have an anxiety condition. Over the years I have worked very hard and have gotten better at managing my anxiety over the little day to day stuff. While I don’t get over whelmed or panic about the little stuff as much anymore, which allowed me to stop taking a daily anxiety medication, I struggle every day with my stress level and I carry medication for panic attack situations. In our struggles to get pregnant we have been frustrated by the test results giving no indication of any problems. My doctor (and everyone else I know) has advised me that stress can play a huge part in infertility and knowing myself it wouldn’t surprise me if that is what is standing in the way of our dream coming true. Come back the week of January 23rd for my detailed relaxation plan
  • Creativity!
    • I’m an accountant without an ounce of natural creativity in her body. Married to an ARTIST who lives, breaths and sleeps creativity! I have always been jealous of creative types and have longed for the gift of creativity for as long as I can remember. While discussing my desire for creativity with my husband he became inspired to help me accomplish my impossible goal (I would just like to note that he got a little too excited about the idea… I’m a little afraid…). Come back the week of January 30th for my (husbands?) detailed creativity plan!

 

 What are your New Year resolutions?