I wanted to share my word for the year. I know it’s March but I’ve been dragging my feet on sharing it. Let me backtrack and tell you why.
A couple of years back I chose the word, “Flourish.” I was pretty excited by it. I had big ideas and plans for it. I had lunch with friends often, consulted with another artist about my art work, consulted with a friend and came up with a new business direction and plan and I was generally on the road to expanding and flourishing.
Then, my husband lost his job. Even thought we were on a single income I didn’t really think much about it because he’s highly employable and has always had a job. I thought it’d take a week or two to him to find somewhere else to work. It ended up being six months and it was rough. We even moved out and prepped our house to sell. My word for the year - flourish - wilted and died.
Five and a half months into joblessness and it was New Year’s Eve. I couldn’t bring myself to pick a new word because of how much the last one had imploded. I just didn’t want one. And the following year I felt the same and didn’t want one.
So after a couple of years of not having a word, picking one was a big deal for me. Then once I picked it I didn’t want to share. When the word is put out there it’s so public. You’re exposed and accountable. Your outcome tells the story. What if it was a big bust like before?
My 2019 New Year’s Resolution Word is - SUCCESS. Then the crippling questions went off. What if I had another crash and burn year? As a side note, I don’t feel like I’m a complete failure at life in general. I feel really good about my life but there are a couple of areas I feel could be more. But what is the opposite of success? What would I have to report on if success wasn’t working? Failure. And failing isn’t fun.
So what gave me the extra push to announce my word? It was another question. If I’m afraid to say out loud that I’m seeking success then how successful is that?! You can’t hide and feel successful. Those two words don’t seem to fit together comfortably. So, it’s out there now. I’ll see where success take me this year.
This is a Creative Brain Food Board that I served at one of my watercolor painting groups. The foods shown on the board are said to raise, increase or better utilize dopamine which in turn predicts, relates to or effects creativity. And it's a great, yummy, natural way to increase it. It's just another heartstring to support our creative heartbeats.
"At the broadest level, dopamine facilitates psychological plasticity.... Indeed, research shows that psychological plasticity is associated with high levels of idea generation, engagement with everyday creative activities and
publicly recognized creative achievement."
Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire
Dopamine is a chemical (neurotransmitter) message sent between never cells (neurons),
dompamine message on nerve releaser to a dopamine message on nerve receptor with a gap (synapse) in the middle.
"It’s hardly a stretch to say that dopamine is the mother of invention."
-Scott Barry Kaufman Wired to Create (p. 87)
Food boards are a fun way to try different food combinations as well. Here are a few pairings that come from the Fruit & Cheese Please Board. Make a food board for your next creative get together.
Here's a list of the foods on the Fruit & Cheese Please Board.
The Post it™ note is the greatest invention. Okay not the greatest but you know what I mean. I’ve used them everywhere. For everything. But mostly ideas. And that’s where my ideas would end up. Everywhere. My thoughts ended up doing me no good because of the million sticky notes. I had to get control.
Enter my Black Books - my collection of ideas.
I call them Black Books because that’s the color of them and that’s what I called them when describing them to my family. What most other people call them are Idea Notebooks. I’ve written ideas in my Black Books for at least 6 years and refer back to them over and over. They’ve been so successful for my idea-keeping that I have books for different topics -
- General ideas
- Church Ideas
- Book Ideas
-Surface Pattern Ideas
I sometimes carry one with me. But what ever the thought it goes in one of these books. And by thoughts I mean good, bad, nonsensical, crazy, what-are-you-writing-that-down-for thoughts. That’s the beauty of these books - there’s no editing. They’re raw. There are no rules to this record. You are its author so put in what interests and excites you.
Honor your ideas. It doesn’t matter its merit, give it its space. Give it life. Let it have its breath even if it remains a whisper on the page the rest of its life, let it have its ink. You’re not obligated to these thoughts. You don’t have to do anything with them. You don’t have to share.
It’s an insight to you, of you, for you.
Sketch. Write. Scribble. Draw. Scrapbook. Tape. Tear. Note. It doesn’t matter how you record it. Experiences. Experiments. Explorations. Impressions. Excuses. Excerpts. Awareness. Everything. Anything. Collecting ideas is one of the first steps to being creative. So, go buy your book. Any size, shape, color or kind. Make it something you’ll love.
You have ideas. You see ideas. Collect the ideas. In one place.
Don’t be scared of the blank page of your new Idea Notebook. I’ll give you some prompts to get you started.