Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Seven Ways to Use Creativity for Political Sanity

My father taught me that voting was my civic duty. So, when I turned eighteen I started voting. I tend to vote democratic; although I have voted for green party candidates, written in names and voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger. My voting record reflects my independence, creativity and open-minded thinking. And to be honest I had not given politics too much thought until the 2016 election. That election changed me. I wonder if it changed you too?
For the first time in my life I became politically active. I like Hillary Clinton and I won’t apologize for that. I think she is smart, more than qualified to be President and I think she cares about our county. I cried when I watched people in Massachusetts place their “I Voted” stickers on the Susan B. Anthony’s headstone. Maybe our time had come?
Yes, in fact our time had come but not as I had envisioned it. The evening of November 8, 2016 was shock and awe for most of the country. Hillary Clinton would not be 45. I was heartbroken. Not because Hillary lost but because of WHO won. 
I believe in love, peace and hope. I do not hate Republicans or those people who voted for Trump. I have found that hating someone eats my soul from the inside out and it has never served me. Having said that, I detest some of the public policies and racist ideology I am bearing witness too. There are days I feel drained, stressed and anxious. Maybe you do too? 
Pablo Picasso said, Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Since November I have found that not only does creativity and art wash away the political dust, it has helped me keep my sanity. Before I tell you how I use creativity to help me cope, I want you to really understand that you DO NOT have to be an artist to create. That is fake news! So, please be open and read on!
1.  I am learning to play the Ukulele.  Who knew this little instrument could bring so much joy? You can purchase one for less than forty dollars and download a free app that will teach you how to play.  When you are playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow all the political noise dissipates. AND you don’t have to be a rock star for the Ukulele to work it’s magic.
2.  My beautiful daughter is teaching me to crochet little pink hats. I will admit I am not very good at it and she often removes the yarn from my general vicinity but I am learning something new.  Personally, I never thought about yarn as a creative endeavor.  I was wrong about that.
3.  Kaleido Journaling!  I developed Kaleido Journaling as a creative way to release words, images and colors that reflects what I am feeling. It’s a very effective tool. If you would like my free e-book and upcoming class schedule on Kaleido Journaling, then sign up for my mailing list.   
4.  A diary is also a way to collect your thoughts and process what you are thinking and feeling.  I have no doubt that we are in living history. It is validating and healing to write about your experiences because there is power in telling your story. The most famous diary of all belonged to a teenage girl named Anne Frank.
5. Paint! Working with color can be incredibly soothing and relaxing. Pick your favorite colors and apply them to a canvas anyway that suits your fancy. Painting doesn’t have to be about producing a master piece, it can be about self-expression. There is no right or wrong way to paint. All you need is a little courage and a few supplies.
6. Movement can help relieve stress and anxiety. So, what is stopping you from playing your favorite music and dancing around the house? I like cranking up Motown and dancing while cooking. And for added benefits I sing along!
7.  A home cooked meal can bring inner peace and clam. At our house, nothing says home like a chicken cooking in the oven. The smell waffles through the house and all seems right in the world.  Creating a meal is nurturing for yourself and others. What can you cook to share with family and friends?
I hope you will try out at least one of these seven ideas.  If you do, then I invite you to share your experience in the comment section or send me an e-mail!
Kimba Livesay
Certified Creativity Coach

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Creative Writing Online Group for Women

Online Writing Group for Women
I am a professionally paid writer. I know how to write, even though I have dyslexia and am a horrid speller. I know how to research a subject, develop an outline and write paragraphs into chapters. That’s not my problem when it comes to writing. My challenges are:
  • Not having the time to write even though I have plenty of time to binge watch Netflix
  • Feeling overwhelmed with all the different choices for scenes, characters and plots
  • Hanging out on Facebook because I am stuck in the writing process 
  • Being paralyzed because a word in a sentence doesn’t seem perfect
  • Deep seeded fear that my work is not good enough for anyone to read
Did any of my challenges resonate with you? Maybe you have a few challenges to add? As a writer, these challenges can stop me from writing. As a creativity coach, I know how to WORK though bad habits, overwhelm, being stuck, perfectionism, procrastination and fear. I have creative coaching tools that help me move forward and stay motivated to write.
The writing groups I offer do include writing resources and yes, we critique each other’s work in an enjoyable and positive way. BUT the main resource that makes my writing groups different is creativity coaching tools. Together we will address your writing challenges, create doable writing plans, suggest creative play fuel ideas, offer gentle accountability and guided motivation. AND you will meet like-minded writers and develop social connections.

How Does It Work?
  1. We meet every day in a SECRET Facebook group. You drop by when you can and see what’s going on in the group. You will need a Facebook account to participate.
  2. You will need a writing project. You can work on a novel, poetry, short stories, blogs memoirs or daily journaling. Please note this is a creative writing class and not for academic work.
  3. Each week I will ask questions, offer support, post assessments and coaching tools based on group needs. 
  4. My job is to help you stay committed and motivated to your creative writing project.
  5. We will use Facebook files and Google Docs to share our creative writing for positive and supportive feedback.
  6. This writing group is for women. Why? Because we need the space and time to explore our gifts, values and passions. That is not often afforded to us.
  7. We will have one conference call. The time and date will be determined by the group.  
Sound good? Then register today. The writing group starts March 1, 2017 and ends March 31, 2017. The registration fee is $40.00 for the entire month.