Use It Or Lose It

I have a confession to make….my comfortable fall-back position is to look outside myself for guidance when I’m in a period of turmoil, whether it be job concerns, relationship issues, or spiritual questioning.  I grab the nearest self-help books, take the workshops, & listen to all the audio-recordings from motivational speakers & gurus that I can find.  Someone “out there” must be able to help me.  Right?  Not necessarily.

Here’s the bottom line.  All of those are wonderful resources BUT…. if I don’t internalize the lessons & APPLY them to my life, none of them will work.  Would I expect to get benefits from a piece of exercise equipment I never use?  Would I become a better artist if I never picked up my brush to paint?

I’ve learned to ….USE IT OR LOSE IT

Here is a short list of useful strategies I have in place to center myself- tools that both nourish & nurture me.

  1. Meditate
  2. Journal write
  3. Create art
  4. Work in my garden
  5. Go for a walk
  6. Connect with nature
  7. Pray
  8. Listen to music
  9. Spend time with those I love
  10. Read
  11. Take time to be alone
  12. Get a massage
  13. Give or receive a Reiki session
  14. Take a power nap
  15. Rattle or drum to change the energy around me
  16. Use positive affirmations
  17. Hold a smooth stone & get grounded again
  18. Play with the dogs
  19. Focus on the many gifts & blessings in my life

I have a great many tools in my “self-care” toolbox but it’s up to me… and only me… to use them when I need them.




Renaissance of Creativity

Two experiences in the past month have me yearning for a return to the union of beauty & functionality.  First, my boyfriend & I toured Grey Towers, the mansion belonging to the Pinchott family in Milford PA.  It’s French-inspired design & rooms full of hand-carved woodwork & ornate furnishings demonstrate a quality of workmanship & appreciation for beauty rarely seen any more.  Second, we spent an afternoon at the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen show in Lancaster Pennsylvania, where artisans & crafts people displayed their handmade creations, including pottery, jewelry, & clothing.  Such attention to detail.  Such quality.

I want a Renaissance of Creativity! 

Something happened around the 1930s where practicality & beauty diverged.  Things became streamlined, sleek,… sterile & uninspiring.  Everything from fashion to automobile design to architecture has slipped into the realm of function without imagination.  Notice all the beige, black, & gray clothing, cars, & home decor items to see what I mean.

Let’s seek inspiration in nature– Her colors, textures, patterns, & shapes.  There is so much beauty to appreciate.  Can it find it’s way into design, art, & architecture?  Imagine a shift in the culture where clothing is made of high-quality material & workmanship, where public buildings are designed in such a way as to inspire & stimulate, where food looks good & tastes better, where furniture & appliances are built to last while being pleasing to the eye, where gardens are full of plants that look beautiful & nourish life at the same time.

I’m not advocating a return to the past.  I’m challenging all of us to take pride in what we do & make.  Let’s get creative, marrying beauty & functionality in a whole new way, sparking a Renaissance of Creativity.