Creative Flow as a Resource – week 1

Just last Sunday, November 13th, me and Jennifer Bruder have started the Creative Flow as a Resource course for those who are looking for a new direction in their daily or professional lives and for those who want to bring in more creativity in the daily lives.

It was a great start with loads of creative energy and flow! We are looking forward to see and hear what our creative participants will do for their creative rendezvous during this week. Follow along or share your ideas on #findingcreativeflow.

Creative Flow as a Resource – course starting November 13, 2016

Creative Flow as a Resource is a 4-week course designed to serve as a window into a different reality, a few hours just for yourself, away from usual stress, uncertainties and routines. An opportunity to zoom out, to do something different or something long forgotten, but enjoyable and invigorating.

if you feel like you could use a bit of time for yourself,
if you feel like you’re always running somewhere and now need a pause,
if you feel like you’re stuck and not sure where to go,
if you are longing for more creativity and more inner freedom in your life
if you’re looking for yourself in the midst of the daily routines,

if you wonder how to become more open to different opportunities and let them happen to you,
if you need some time and space to nurture your creative potential,

if you need to discover and recover your resource,
or maybe you just need some energy to realize what you have in mind, but not really sure where to get it –

then this course can help you find answers to these questions.

It is time to create and discover!

This course aims to create conditions in which you can find your own ways to realize the plans and dreams you have, to nudge you towards what you actually want, to refresh, to gain some strength, to relieve from daily stresses and revitalize you and to give you tools with which you can see extraordinary in the ordinary.

The course builds upon research and findings in the positive psychology field, development of creativity and psychology of time and aims at helping out to find your passion, improve well-being and build a balanced time perspective.

The is a 4 week course. We meet on Sundays at 12:00 beginning on Sunday, November 13th and continue on Sunday, November 20th, 27th and December 4th.

What you will need in order to start:
1) a pen
2) a notebook – yep, there will be quite some writing involved
3) 30-60 minutes a day for yourself personally
4) a wish to change some things in your life and stop living on “autopilot” mode
5) join this kick-off meeting on November 13th at 12:00

Places are limited.

Cost: 700 dkk / 175 dkk per session.

Please register here

Creativity as a Resource – workshop at PWN – Copenhagen

This past Tuesday, I had the pleasure together with Jennifer Bruder from Brain Dialogues to host our Creativity as a Resource Workshop for the Professional Women’s Network, Copenhagen chapter.

It was a very lively and cozy forum with 12 professional women from all over the world, who eagerly tapped into their creative side that evening. In just 3 hours we explored a wide range of issues, such as how to become more efficient, less stressed, and more creative with our daily tasks.

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We have experienced how framing and limiting time can be a tool to boost creativity – it helps to cut out our inner censor and place all of our focus on the process of creation itself.

We stressed that creativity is a skill that can be trained, much in the same way you train your muscles. Thus, it follows, you do need to make time to be creative. The good news is, by giving ourselves 10 minutes a day, we can greatly build on our creative skills and our creative brain. There is no need to look for special days, nor a special atmosphere in order to get into the creative mode. Establishing a daily 10-minute routine will make an enormous difference to your energy, mood and to the quality and novelty of your ideas.

We have also traveled through time during the workshop – tapping into our past experiences and positive emotions, through relaxation and meditation, drawing the inspiration from these experiences and creating something new in the present moment. And we have imagined a few alternatives, some very short sketches of the future possible self. We know that techniques designed to tap into your memories, your emotions and your real and imagined experiences enhance the creative process. Mindfulness is an excellent tool to get this going.

We had a wonderful time and we were so thrilled to feel the inspiration and energy flowing in the air throughout the evening!

If you’re curious to experience your own creative energy, build the creative muscle, and gain motivation for establishing your own creative routine firsthand, we are offering a longer, more in depth course beginning on November 13th. We will meet once a week for four weeks and we would love to have you join us.

Looking forward to exploring creativity together with you!

Anna & Jennifer

About the Hosts:
*Jennifer has a PhD in Neuro-cognitive psychology and owner of the Brain Dialogues, where she translates how brain science can be applied to education, personal development and the workplace.
*Anna has a PhD in psychology and is owner of Creative Time Studio and altogether a very creative person!
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How to be happy: Don’t compare yourself to others

Some days are like that – the first thing you want to do is to clean up the space around, to restructure, to create opportunities for new things to happen.

Spending 5-10 minutes for going through some papers that got accumulated over the past few weeks, throwing some things out, putting away some others, creating space for new or more relevant to be in front of you – feels so rewarding!

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I don’t curerntly have an opportunity to set up a permanent table for my creative projects. A friend shared her tips how she does it – she uses a window sill or a small shelf when she is on the go and once more settled, sets up a table. My window sill is currently an extension of my working desk and sudden;y I realized, that actually it doesn’t have to be. Most of my work realted stuff I can bring to another place and actually set up a small creative window sill here.

While cleaning up, I have stumbled upon some interesting previous work. My first attempt at making a cut out poetry from the newspaper headlines, and also my work on vitality from February, when I was rather sick and really needed some strengths to get over a cold. I’ve done it in one of the Creative Rendezvous sessions. We chose a strength that we felt like we really lacking at the moment and tried to picture it while using a non-dominant hand. It was very inspiring – since themovements become more free, since you can’t control the very fine movements that your dominant hand is capable of doing. It felt invigorating and liberating at the same time.

One of my favorite excercises in the Creative Flow as a Resource course is my adaptation of a Life Ring exercise. I believe that it is very beneficial for own mental health and life satisfaction not to compare your place in life to others, but to you, 3 months ago or a year ago. Reflect on how are you actually doing since then? What has changed? What got better? What goe worse? What can you improve? Are your priorities and interests still the same?

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“10 things I could’ve done, but didn’t” or what to do with the self-blame

During the last session of Creative Rendezvous I included a prompt from Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like an Artist Journal”: “10 things I could’ve done, but didn’t”. My own immediate reaction was that I couldn’t come up with what to write, and managed to list three things. During our discussion, it became evident that actually this prompt can easily move into self-blame and regrets domain. This got me thinking what would be a more constructive approach instead?

Eventually I managed to complete the list and after analyzing the answers I came up with the following strategy how to deal with it, how to prevent self-blame and have a more positive outlook when evaluating the answers.

Divide your answers into four groups:

1. To celebrate – maybe it was actually good for you that some things on your list did not happen. For example, if you’re working on quitting smoking, then saying “I could’ve smoked a cigarette last night after that beer, but didn’t” is great, it’s an achievement – celebrate that, compliment yourself on it!

2. Still to celebrate (+/-) – the outcome generally is more on the positive side. For example, “I could’ve spend more time and finalize the article, but instead I went to bed early” or “Could’ve taken more photos during the session, but got totally engaged in the moment and forgot”. The issues mentioned in the “I could’ve done” part are “nice to have”, but overall outcome is still positive. The “didn’t” part has a positive quality to it, something positive, energizing, valuable happened instead. The “nice to have” part can be looked into further – is it something that you should work on or it’s ok as it is?

3. To act on – a group of issues that you would like to act upon, for example “I could’ve done more yoga”, “I could’ve listened to those classes I bought on Creative Live” and there is no continuation to it, there was nothing else with the positive outcome that you did instead. First of all, see how many of those you have in relation to the previous groups. Then weigh them. Do those things bring you closer to your dream, to your “true north”? Ask a follow up question: “If I spend some time doing this next week, will it bring me closer to my dream?” If it will, then that’s an item to act upon. And if not – it goes to the last group:

4. Not to pay attention to.

If still not sure where to start and which issue to choose to work with, then answer these questions for each item (inspired by one of the exercises in Julia Cameron’s book “Way of Artist”):

– Does it cost money or is it free?
– Expensive or cheap?
– Alone or with somebody?
– Job related?
– Physical risk?
– Fast-paced or slow?
– Mind, body, or spiritual?

This should help to make a decision – which is the issue that you would like to act on in the nearest future. Evaluate your calendar – how often can it happen, when exactly?

Schedule it in, make it happen and enjoy it!