Natalie Crick, A Beautiful Death

delighted to have this painting featured in this month’s edition 🙂

DODGING THE RAIN

Natalie Crick, from the UK, has found delight in writing all of her life and first began when she was a very young girl. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in a range of journals and magazines including The Chiron Review, Interpreters House, Ink in Thirds, Rust and Moth, The Penwood Review. Her work also features or is forthcoming in a number of anthologies, including Lehigh Valley Vanguard Collections 13. This year her poem, ‘Sunday School’ was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Breath of Sun

Winter clouds are haloed between
Leaden sea and sky

Where Periwinkle blossoms
On the mountain ridge.

The Eucalyptus stirs
And scents the air.

Breath of sun alights,
Blinds,

Slipping into browning leaves
To surrender the past,

Dispossessed of sleep,
Drifting into dark;

A ghost, moon-bleached.
Moths swoop and twist,

Grey petals
Softened with savanna light.
Dying relics flake away.

This House

Fog rolls…

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Making a difference by being yourself, Albert Cashier and Jennie Hodgers, a real life ordinary hero.

Did you ever feel that to make a difference you needed to do something extraordinary?

That you would need a special kind of superpower not available to ordinary people?

Or that ordinary people are rarely extraordinary compared to people like Elvis, Nelson Mandela or Annie Lennox? 

Thinking we cannot make a difference without doing something magnificent can often blind us to the many ordinary people who paved the way for what we take for granted in an “enlightened world”.

This month I have been looking up extraordinary Irish female history makers in preparation for a new course for the autumn and one of the most extraordinary women I have come across (and there are many!)  is one Albert D. J. Cashier, who was born Jennie Irene Hodgers,  on December 25th, 1843, in Clogherhead, Co. Louth.

As a young emigrant, Jennie adopted a male persona somewhere between leaving Ireland and arriving in America. In August 1862, Cashier, as Jennie was then known,  enlisted in the Union army and was commended for bravery in combat in battles in Louisiana, Tennessee and Missouri.

Jennie, as  Albert,  was one of several hundred women fighting as male during the Civil War.  Whether it was a gender issue, or one of accessing a career with pay and opportunities, it cannot have been easy to maintain a female  physical gender undetected but Albert made  up in bravery what he was short of in stature.

After a remarkable term of service, Albert mustered out of the army and continued to work and live identifying as male, receiving a military pension for service to the army during the war after which he settled and worked as general handyman in Saunemin, Illinois. Although some close friends knew his physical gender, it was not until a car accident in 1911 that it became public knowledge and his secret became a sensation in the press for the next few years.

The real tragedy was to be what happened when, despite the ardent support of his fellow soldiers and veterans, Albert was declared insane, and forced to live in Watertown State Hospital.

C.W. Ives who was a comrade during the war was to recount his dismay when he met the older Cashier saying “I left Cashier a fearless boy of 22…when I went to Watertown, I found… a frail woman of 70, broken because, on discovery, she was compelled to put on skirts”.

This extraordinary person was forced to become “ordinary”, despite displaying amazing courage, tenacity and service. And in the forcing of the “norm”, Albert lost the will to live and in  1915, Cashier died  and was buried with full military honours and was buried in Saunemin, where he had settled and made a life in his later years.

How does an ordinary girl, born into a small fishing village in Ireland, illiterate and impoverished, find the courage and determination to create a new persona, a new identity, a new life of service and carve herself a role in the formation of the United States of America?

What did Jennie Hodgers tap into to create this amazing lifestory that inspired so many women to take up arms and become soldiers? 

Was Albert always afraid of being discovered? 

Sometimes we have to acknowledge that fear is not going to go away, so we have to do things whilst still being afraid.

But what if Albert Cashier just took the fear and ran with it, then learned to live with it but NOT be ruled by it, and in so doing, created an life more authentic than one married with several children, bound by domesticity and servitude at home, when the real calling was to a life of adventure?

What if Jennie/Albert was just an ordinary person who mustered up the courage to live a life that seems extraordinary to us, yet to many veterans who went on to work at manual labour after the war, it was an ordinary life, lived out in peacetime earning a living without a fanfare.

If you could muster up the courage to do ONE THING this week that you have always wanted to do, what would that be? 

It may not be as adventurous as Jennie Hodgers or Albert Cashier stowing aboard a ship and going to war, but what if  we could feel the fear and do it anyway?

Would that be a nod of thanks to the amazing women that went before us, creating new paradigms and frontiers so our lives are less restricted? 

I am guessing that no matter what our “one thing” might be, we will not be in danger of being shot by a musket or blown up by a canon, and it may involve something far more genteel like a red face if we ask for a raise, or the risk of a rejection if we submit a piece of writing to a competition.

So what about thinking this week about people like Albert Cashier and asking yourself “If they can do that?  how will I do this? ……see what happens 🙂

albert cashier image

Acres of Diamonds and Russel Conwell

Did you ever get to the end of something you really loved doing and find yourself thinking “what next?”

Does being your own boss mean you could do with a poke in the next direction?

Do you ever forget to take your own advice?

After finishing a really lovely course of The Artist’s Way in the Seamus Ennis center recently, the novelty of not getting up on Saturday morning much less not spending Friday night getting handouts/film clips/glitter and “stuff” ready, has already worn off 🙂

Courses traditionally start in January and September (totally out of synch with nature but that’s another blog post entirely) so it will be September before we start up again.

So what’s next here at Creatively Thinking?

I have to admit I need to listen to my own advice at times, particularly using Russell Conwell’s Acres of Diamonds Story which forms a vital part of the introduction to any of the courses I facilitate. The basic premise is that everything you need is under your feet and to stop looking over the garden wall at your neighbour’s lawn and water the grass you are standing on. (The full length audio and text version available on the link below)

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/rconwellacresofdiamonds.htm

I started out the personal development journey as a life coach, became a trainer, a mentor, a facilitator and a laughologist (yes, it does exist). But coaching has always formed a major part of what I do, whether one to one or in a group and my favourite way to coach is by telephone, so clients can access the session in their pj’s, with a mug of tea and in their slippers. Having a Tesco phone that allows me unlimited calls for 15 euro a month takes care of the cost involve (but you do make your own tea!)

You wouldn’t buy a pig in a sack so I like to offer complimentary goal setting sessions to people to see if they would enjoy the process and if what I do would be of benefit.

I enjoy working in this way because it is positive, practical and great fun, clients take time to make their goals a reality and discover all sorts of skills, talents and experiences along the way. It is a privilege to be a part of that journey and I have NEVER come away from a coaching session without being inspired by the amazing things people are capable of! 🙂

Being self employed has its challenges for sure, but the greatest benefit is the ability to move between activities and switch projects, and for those of us who like to do more than one thing, this is a gift! 🙂

So for the next four months, I will be working with a small number of clients setting goals and making changes as well as training with local authorities and voluntary organisations doing what I love best, empowering people who care to take better care of themselves 🙂 Simples! 🙂

For more information and/or to book a complimentary coaching session contact me on creativelythinking9@gmail.com, text 0892329373 or pm on facebook 🙂 🙂

 

 

A month of comfort

Would you ever buy a pair of uncomfortable slippers?

Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes you are going to “slim into”?

Do you ever spend time with someone who made you feel uncomfortable?

We hear a lot of talk about how we should constantly go out of our “comfort zone” in order to learn new things. Over the last few years the word “comfort” tends to be associated with negative things like “comfort eating” or laziness or lack of motivation to live a magnificent life. But the idea of comfort is nothing whatsoever to do with laziness. We comfort a small child when it is in pain. We comfort adults when they are struggling. In fact, offering comfort is one of the kindness human exchanges we can experience.

So why do we have the shirt that only buttons half way up shouting “loser!” every time you open your wardrobe?

Why do we hold on to furniture that gives you arse ache every time you sit on it? or a mattress that curves  your spine eight hours a night but matches the bed frame?

Why do we spend time with people who make us feel less than comfortable or happy with who we are?

There is a world of difference between “Rescuing” someone and being kind to them, just as there is  world of difference between making someone a bowl of stew on a cold day or buying them a wheelbarrow full of sweets.

There is also a world of difference between staying comfortable in a paler shade of ourselves that stepping into shoes that really fit, and I mean REALLY FIT. 

If you were not embarrassed, afraid or worried about what people would say, what would you do that would comfort you this month?

Would you crochet a handbag for an egg?

Would you paint a sunflower on a table cloth?

Would you try your hand at Indian cooking?

An artist will never be totally comfortable unless they make things….whether it’s a poem, a pie or a piece of abstract painting.

Creative people will never be totally satisfied unless they acknowledge their need to make stuff.

It doesn’t have to be a violin concerto or a poem about irony, it need not be a piece of pottery or a lifesize painting of the Dali Lama.

It just needs to be what is comfortable for you to do. 

Making for an audience guarantees an endless supply of blank canvass’s. Making for yourself means you will create something, anything, and the more you do it the more comfortable your own skin will feel.  Who cares if it looks shite? Really? Who honestly cares if I make a paper weight out of clay that looks like a horse shoe with a pair of wings?

Answer……NO ONE! 🙂 🙂

But if I dont make, do, paint, create I know that everything around me will irritate me and make me uncomfortable and I can guarantee if that’s how I am feeling, I will be no sparkly ray of sunshine to be around.

In the Artist’s Way this week we talked about as grown ups we now wear Big Boy or Big Girl Pants…we can choose to comfort ourselves by letting go of embarrassment, shyness,  fear and just giving things a go, making a start, getting over our notions of Art being lofty or high falutin….we can take comfort from the idea that ALL ARTISTS PUT THEIR PANTS ON ONE LEG AT A TIME…..JUST LIKE THE REST OF US. 

By NOT creating we are guaranteeing that we will feel uncomfortable no matter what we substitute it with, so why not try this month to make a pot of tea, clear a space in your kitchen/house/shed and just make something.

Don’t make a drama out of it.

Just make it. 

For no one else but yourself.

Only show it to people you are comfortable with sharing your special thoughts with.

Then sit back and take comfort in the fact that you made it. 🙂  

Do you hear what they are doing now???

How many times have you heard a sentence starting about what “they” are doing, saying, responsible for?

Do you often complain about “people ” who irritate you or annoy you because they “always” do the same thing?

Do you add fuel to an argument by using the old reliable petrol of “you are always the same” when you are angry, frustrated or just plain fed up with something? 

Agatha Christie said ““I often wonder why the whole world is so prone to generalise. Generalisations are seldom if ever true and are usually utterly inaccurate.”
Murder at the Vicarage

Do you ever stop to think about how useful generalisations really are? What exactly are  we saying when we speak in generalizations? Are we staying anything at all or are we just complaining about something vague so that we can feel better but in doing so feeding into a collective sense of hopelessness? Who is the “they” we are talking about? The government? The E.U.? Teenagers? The Youth? The Elderly? The Bankers?  Generalisations allow us to speak in sweeping statement using information based on one or two specific instances.

Louis de Bernières, says in “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.”; “I know you have not thought about it. Italians always act without thinking, it’s the glory and the downfall of your civilisation. A German plans a month in advance what his bowel movements will be at Easter, and the British plan everything in retrospect, so it always looks as though everything occurred as they intended. The French plan everything whilst appearing to be having a party, and the Spanish…well, God knows. Anyway, Pelagia is Greek, that’s my point.”

In an age when we constantly strive to be an individual and encourage children to find their own path, and adults their own voice, surely generalizations are less useful than ever. Stereotypes are such an ingrained part of our psyche and language yet we now know that not all Irish people have red hair, freckles and live on potatoes, any more than all French people wear berets and stripy sweaters with garlic necklaces.

If we were to stop using sweeping statements and begin to think about our words and check to see if what we are saying is true, what difference would it make to our conversations?

Would what we say be of more value?

Would it be possible to say less yet say more as a result? 

We constantly strive to celebrate our differences and individuality, so how about you stop to think this week who exactly who it is you are talking about when you start your sentence with “Did you hear what they are doing now?” 

Lily Tomlin had a lot to tell us when she famously said “I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.”  

But Lily didn’t stop there. She took the famous “they” out of the sky and put it into words that make sense when she said “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”

 

 

 

 

 

The point of comparison

Do you find yourself comparing yourself to someone younger, thinner, richer, more educated, brave, accomplished, clever or kinder?

Do you find yourself thinking “well it’s ok for him/her/them?”

Do you feel fatter, poorer, lesser as a result?

Helen Keller could neither see nor hear, and yet she was one of the most remarkable people of recent times. What she overcame on a daily basis was utterly remarkable to those of us with sight, hearing and a voice to air our opinions with. She influenced world leaders and policy, inspired millions and lived through two world wars, literally starring in her own life in the process. Helen had many sides to a complex personality, but very little to compare herself with. Sure, there were other people who had no sight but shared a vision for a better world for people with disabilities, but Helen also was a suffragette, a union supporter, a writer, an actor, an activist, an educator and a lobbyist for a host of causes throughout her long and active life.

In short, Helen compared herself to nobody. There was nobody like her to compare herself with. 

When we spent time comparing ourselves to others, we are ALWAYS going to find someone thinner, richer, wiser, younger, older, more or less successful. We are guaranteed to feel disappointed as a result of comparing ourselves to others, but also to feel perfectly justified in NOT trying something new or different, difficult or challenging because we are busy sitting in the pity barn!

If a woman like Helen Keller, could achieve an extraordinary life with such extraordinary challenges, then how could we take just a little bit of inspiration and try to do something out of the ordinary, with our extraordinary array of senses?

If we tell ourselves that we will wait until we are thinner and wiser, we are also going to be older and possibly fatter as a result. Waiting until we are ready is like Waiting for Godot in Beckett’s play. The longer we wait the more scared we become. The more conditions we want to have in place before we make a start, the more difficult it is to start anything at all.

What would happen if we stopped waiting and just started? 

What would happen if we tried to make a change and hoped things would conspire to help rather than get in the way? 

What would happen if we ended up inspiring others to take a chance and find their voice, just by doing the very thing we were scared to start all along? 

So this week make a start. Stop waiting and see what happens and stop waiting….

helen-keller-pic

Dr. Spock and polished ears

One of the sheer joys of working with groups over the last year is constantly seeing and hearing things in a new way. Something familiar that we have been listening to for many years may be a powerful political statement or just a pop song, but if you polish your ears and listen to the words, you may be amazed at what you hear.

A classic example is the song that gets into your head and stays there ,usually making you smile, is  Gimme Hope Jo’anna by Eddie Grant. When you think of the song , you may feel a positive vibe and even start to dance a little bit. Why not?

But the song itself was incredibly controversial in its day and was banned in South Africa. Grant was, in his own words, a  political writer and artist. “I Don’t Wanna Dance can mean that you don’t want to go out on the dancefloor,” he says, “or it could mean that you don’t want to go along with an idea. That’s how I try to write: you take it how you want, but I am basically a writer of protest.”

When you really listen to the lyrics of Gimme Hope you will hear a song about apartheid, injustice, corruption and revolution. You can also hear a positive message of Hope for a country full of possibilities but caught in a maelstrom of negativity.

Just as Eddie Grant is an artist and a protest writer, Dr. Spock was much more than a wise vulcan with polished ears. Leonard Nimoy who played the Doctor is a gifted poet and director who wrote some of the most romantic poetry you will come across, as well as directing Three Men and a Baby. But he was also a singer who made the Ballad of Bilbao Baggins famous even if it was truly awful!

For Nimoy, as well as Grant, people could take them at face value as entertainers or listen and bit more closely and be inspired by ideas and concepts we might not associate with Hollywood.  One of Nimoy’s simplest and powerful poems suggest we rethink what happens when relationships end.

If love can be

If love can be withdrawn

It never was

My love for you is not a gift
To you
It is a gift
To me

And just when you think Mr. Nimoy was a poet of beautiful words he pops up as a degenerate old crank shoplifting his breakfast on Bruno Mars “Lazy Song” unoffical vide

 https://youtu.be/dULOjT9GYdQ?t=92

Music doesn’t always tell a story, unless its opera or country music, but sometimes we can listen to something for so long that we dont hear it at all, and often miss the very reason it became popular in the first place!

This week, when you drive your car or travel with i pod on or have music on your phone whilst you walk, run or work, and, listen to the lyrics, polish your ears and REALLY LISTEN and see what you discover!

And if you want to make a start, here’s the link to Eddie:

Do your friends help you fly?

“The good government of our nation has decreed that whilst witchcraft is to be sought out and destroyed by death, the practice of flying is not, in itself, objectionable!”  or so says the Lost Art of Being a Lady, A victorian Self help Guide for Modern Women.

Have you ever met a total stranger and was gobsmacked by how identical your life experiences were? 

Have you talked about something awful assuming you were the only one in the world who could understand only to find that your problem was not unique to you? 

Are you constantly surprised when you meet people who seem to come from the same tribe? 

When I grew up Witches were either cartoon figures in Disney fairytales or burnt at the stake during the Salem Witch trials. But in modern times I think we have a new breed of people who would have been definitely dunked in a mud pond had their conversations been overheard by the people in charge 🙂 At many of the Artist Way courses over the last year I noticed a group of strangers develop, without discussion, a mental telepathy or shorthand, and many times I heard the phase “we must have been witches in a previous life” as people who had  never met, realised that they had similar values, experiences or aspirations as the person sitting beside them.

Something happens when you meet someone who “gets” your way of thinking. Who likes the things that interest you. Who speaks your language. A mutual inspiration occurs when ideas are swapped, experiences compared and energy is most definitely raised. You often come away from such a meeting feeling reinspired, re energised, reassured. There is a whole world of support out there for you from people you already know or at the very least have the contact details for. People you admire, people you inspire to be like, people you like spending time with. People who encourage you to fly.

In short, spending time  with people of your own tribe makes you happy and is good for you. 

If you are not sure what someone from your own tribe is, think about how you feel when you spend time with a friend, colleague or family member. Do you feel energised or losing the will to live? Excited about life or looking around for a crucifix to hop up on? Do you laugh at the same things? moan about the same things? value the same things?

If you feel better about yourself after spending time with someone, then that person is going to make your life better. And a little bit of magic happens. You feel your wings.

Think about the people you spend time with and how you feel about yourself when you do. Is there someone you like spending time with that you have lost touch with? Someone you used to tell your hopes and dreams to that because of work/kids/family/life you dont get to see too often? Social media is a fantastic way to connect with people from the comfort of your own home and is a lovely way to connect to people who live across the ocean. But nothing replaces a cup of coffee and a chinwag. A hug or a handshake connecting two people is like a promise to keep in touch. If meeting up is not possible then at least try to write a card or a letter. If that is not possible (and why not? ) then an email is good. If you cannot  email someone then a text will connect you. And if all that fails then “poke”them on facebook.

As far as I know, no-one ever went to their grave regretting spending too much time staying in touch with people they liked. 

So this week, why not make an effort to meet your fellow witches? Your other tribe members? The people who “get” you whether they are old friends or new acquaintances. Share a coffee, share a meal, go for a walk. Spend and hour in the lobby of a hotel in a comfy armchair and find out what is happening in their world.

And if the person you are thinking of as you are reading this makes contact before you do, dont be surprised……

Do your friends help you fly?

“The good government of our nation has decreed that whilst witchcraft is to be sought out and destroyed by death, the practice of flying is not, in itself, objectionable!”  or so says the Lost Art of Being a Lady, A victorian Self help Guide for Modern Women.

Have you ever met a total stranger and was gobsmacked by how identical your life experiences were? 

Have you talked about something awful assuming you were the only one in the world who could understand only to find that your problem was not unique to you? 

Are you constantly surprised when you meet people who seem to come from the same tribe? 

When I grew up Witches were either cartoon figures in Disney fairytales or burnt at the stake during the Salem Witch trials. But in modern times I think we have a new breed of people who would have been definitely dunked in a mud pond had their conversations been overheard by the people in charge 🙂 At many of the Artist Way courses over the last year I noticed a group of strangers develop, without discussion, a mental telepathy or shorthand, and many times I heard the phase “we must have been witches in a previous life” as people who had  never met, realised that they had similar values, experiences or aspirations as the person sitting beside them.

Something happens when you meet someone who “gets” your way of thinking. Who likes the things that interest you. Who speaks your language. A mutual inspiration occurs when ideas are swapped, experiences compared and energy is most definitely raised. You often come away from such a meeting feeling reinspired, re energised, reassured. There is a whole world of support out there for you from people you already know or at the very least have the contact details for. People you admire, people you inspire to be like, people you like spending time with. People who encourage you to fly.

In short, spending time  with people of your own tribe makes you happy and is good for you. 

If you are not sure what someone from your own tribe is, think about how you feel when you spend time with a friend, colleague or family member. Do you feel energised or losing the will to live? Excited about life or looking around for a crucifix to hop up on? Do you laugh at the same things? moan about the same things? value the same things?

If you feel better about yourself after spending time with someone, then that person is going to make your life better. And a little bit of magic happens. You feel your wings.

Think about the people you spend time with and how you feel about yourself when you do. Is there someone you like spending time with that you have lost touch with? Someone you used to tell your hopes and dreams to that because of work/kids/family/life you dont get to see too often? Social media is a fantastic way to connect with people from the comfort of your own home and is a lovely way to connect to people who live across the ocean. But nothing replaces a cup of coffee and a chinwag. A hug or a handshake connecting two people is like a promise to keep in touch. If meeting up is not possible then at least try to write a card or a letter. If that is not possible (and why not? ) then an email is good. If you cannot  email someone then a text will connect you. And if all that fails then “poke”them on facebook.

As far as I know, no-one ever went to their grave regretting spending too much time staying in touch with people they liked. 

So this week, why not make an effort to meet your fellow witches? Your other tribe members? The people who “get” you whether they are old friends or new acquaintances. Share a coffee, share a meal, go for a walk. Spend and hour in the lobby of a hotel in a comfy armchair and find out what is happening in their world.

And if the person you are thinking of as you are reading this makes contact before you do, dont be surprised……

Over weight or Under Creative?

Have you ever seen an overweight animal in the wild?

This time of the year we can often be paying the price for overindulgence and identify more with an elephant than a panther after a season of sweets and turkey, cheese and more wine than our recommended daily dose.

The Christmas pudding and chocolates did not help our new year’s figures, but what about if the reason we are extra heavy is not just down to piggery or careless eating alone? 

Animals in the wild have to be constantly creative about finding ways to eat or they die. They rarely make nests they dont need or dig burrows for decoration to give other animals inspiration. Animals live a creative life on a daily basis, and those that fail to hone their creative thinking starve. The more a wild animal devises new and unusual traps for prey, the stronger and more nourished they will be.

They  eat when they are hungry and rarely hunt out of boredom.

As small children we play without thinking, making up games, languages, pictures, rhymes and cakes and houses out of blocks or binoculars out of toilet rolls.  We draw on walls, paths or paper without thinking too much about the outcome. If we are lucky enough to get a train set the fun is in watching the train go on the same journey many times over just for the sheer joy of it.

As adults in a currently competitive world, we tend to encourage children to play but attach learning to the outcome in terms of educational toys and flashcards, cognitive building sets and books with in built morality. With the children developing their cognitive and reading skills, we can sometimes feel  that  “play” with something we adults do “after work” and if we “have time”. 

Play can often be considered a less than useful use of our time and so we dont.

Instead we can develop  a vague gaping need that has to be fed. Literally. Cakes, curry, chips, chocolate are all good substitutes because they make us feel good …but for a very short time.  Apart from preparing the food, there is no tangible evidence that it existed, unless you count the dishes in the sink or the extra inch around your middle bit.

When you create something, you can wear it, hang it on a wall, send it to a friend, use it to hold flowers, admire it, but most of all acknowledge that you made it and before you did it did not exist.

When you eat a pie it is gone. 

When you create you play. Your mind is awake and your hands are busy. When you create for the sake of enjoying the process you feed the part of your mind that can be your greatest ally in your battle with excess weight – your imagination.

So what about if “play” for the sheer joy of it could be embraced as part of a healthy lifestyle? What if your play time was just as important as your running time, your calorie counting time, planning/cooking/preparing your meals time?

What if you feed the need in us to “play” ?

Think about the things you loved to do when you were younger that made you lose track of time? Did you draw? knit? sew? look for bluebells? frogs? birds? play the tin whistle badly? Make stick people out of matches? Make a jigsaw? Make a paper plane? Make a bead bracelet? Earrings? Crochet cushion covers or winter hats?

When I am overweight I am under creative. I am also overweight when I am over tired. I am over tired when I am not making time for “play” …in my case writing or painting. And on the cycle goes…until I stop and make something. Or write something. Or paint something. Anything.

What  if you included an old hobby, a new hobby, a skill you used to have or a skill you want to learn as part of your healthy lifestyle with just as much value as running or planning your meals this year?

What if you reclaimed your right to “play” to give your mind a rest and feed that hunger for creativity instead of feeding your body food it doesn’t need instead?

On an emotional level you may have to get over the guilt or feeling silly when you start to create something that looked very different in your head to the executed version.

On a physical level you may have to calm your itchy feet to sit for  a while to use your hands while you  make something out of nothing.

On a practical level you cannot eat a curry when you are tie dying a t-shirt.

If you are learning a new routine for line dancing, its hard to wonder if the chippy is open whilst you concentrate on the steps.

You cannot sing and eat at the same time. 

So what if you include something creative in your new year as part of your overall healthy lifestyle, whether its something you did, something you would love to do, or something you love doing but never seem to have the time between work, house, kids and gym and commitments?

Resolve to give it 10 minutes a day.  Just 10 minutes.

You have 1440 minutes in a day, try giving 10 of them to your creative self and see what happens? 

Give yourself a gift of those 10 minutes and have a creative, healthy, inspirational start to your new year!