Monday, August 22, 2011


Most people I know need some kind of creative outlet.  They write fiction, take photos, make scrapbooks, sing, dance, and the list goes on.  Which got me thinking about a peculiar phenomenon I noticed.  Creativity in one area can sometimes sap our creative activity for another area. 
For example, several years ago I knew several scrapbookers.  They were very talented, and I loved their creations.  But they found that when they spent time scrapbooking, it left little creativity behind for their writing.  
Which of course, got me thinking.  Is it truly that there was no creativity left?  Is it that they only had so much energy and time to spare?  Is it that their brain needed an outlet, and once achieved went to sleep? 
I don't know the answer for sure.  But I do know that when I'm in the thick of things, and writing my heart out, I don't have the time or desire to spend putting together photo albums.  I have to put all my creative juice into my writing.  
What about you?  How does your creativity work?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Make time to take care of you...

Okay, time to 'fess up.  We've all done it.  We've all promised to ________ (fill in the blank with your choice: go see your doctor/chiropractor/dentist/acupuncturist, go get a manicure/pedicure, get a massage, go to the beach, read a book, watch a movie).  And we've all used the regular excuse of not having time or money to do so.  
Well, it's time to take a step back and re-evaluate.  It's no secret I've dealt with hand problems for the last several years.  It's also no secret that in recent months I've finally moved a whole lot closer to being back to normal.  
The reason? I started taking care of myself.  For years I've talked about going to get a massage once a month, or once every other month, you know the drill.  Then a month passes and funds are low, so I don't go.  And I don't go.  And again I don't go.  Let's face it, few of us can afford the $70+ it costs for a good one hour massage.  Instead they become little treats that we hold out for.  Last spring I stopped making excuses for not taking care of myself enough.  I had a choice.  I could continue to lived a stress-filled, pain-filled life, or I could do something about it.  About that time I saw a physical therapist and started taking advantage of a little known benefit in my health insurance...massage therapy. 
That's right folks.  For simply the cost of a co-pay, I'm getting twice monthly massages, and I feel great!  My stress levels are lower, and most importantly my body feels good.  
Now, I'm not telling all of you to go get a massage every other week, or to spend lots of money.  What I'm telling you to do is to start making the time for you.  Make that doctor appointment.  Go see a chiropractor or acupuncturist.  Go get a manicure, or treat yourself to lunch out.  Don't break the bank, but do treat yourself well. 
So tell me, what have you done lately to take care of you?


Sunday, August 07, 2011


Okay, raise your hand if you can successfully meditate for more than 10 minutes at a time?  If you're like me, your hand is down in your lap and you're currently glancing awkwardly around the room.  Meditation and I are not friends in the strictest meaning of the word.  Don't get me wrong, I've tried.  I've tried so many times I should get a gold star for effort.  I've taken meditation classes, yoga classes, I've listened to CDs and videos online. 
I sometimes feel I've tried it all, and failed.
And as you all know, I don't take failure lightly. 
But while taking with my good friend The Happy Writer, I realized something (as I often do after talking with friends).  I realized that I actually do meditate, in my own way. It's just that others may not see it as meditation.  I meditate by getting out of my own head.  I go for a swim, or a walk, or a bike ride.  I put on my headphones and I just move.  I listen to the music instead of my own thoughts, and when those thoughts intrude, I take them in, then move on.  I don't dwell in them, but let them flit in and out. 
Most important, I find that when I come home, I'm ready to face whatever it is I need to face.  I'm ready to write, or deal with work.  I can think more clearly. 
So for those of you who find traditional meditation too difficult, give it a try.  Let me know what you think.

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