For the past few weeks I have been quiet both here on the blog and at Periscope. (Check out Share: Creativity Broadcasts on Periscope for links and information about the 'Scopes I've put out there.) While I've been offline, I've been enjoying Minnesota's amazing extended warm weather, and I've also been hungrily listening to and learning about some thought-provoking concepts.
Here's some of what's been filtering through my brain:
- Elizabeth Gilbert's "Magic Lessons" podcasts and her latest book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Key ideas: Think of Inspiration as a collaborator who owes you nothing but to show up; welcome Fear along for the ride (because Fear always lurks, right?), but do not, for any reason at any moment, give Fear any control over the route, the driving or even the radio station.
- Rob Bell's podcasts. In this conversation, speaker and writer Alexander Shaia talks about how we can't fully welcome others if we don't welcome all the internal hidden pieces of ourselves (e.g., shame, fear, pride ... everything); when we label and judge others, we're projecting our self judgement onto others. (This seems simple ... and, in a way, it is ... but it's a profound concept!)
- On Being episodes. Social psychologist Ellen Langer, in this interview, reminds us that we see what it is we're looking for. "So I think that you have a belief," Langer says, "and then you seek out a confirmation for it. And so the more mindful approach would be to ask the question in both ways. How is it this way, and how is it not this way?" She also talks about what I call reframing—labeling or categorizing a dreaded activity as a pleasant one. For me, this means putting cooking in the category of creating or thinking of grocery shopping as a way to be physically active. The key is to practice active mindfulness during these activities, and when we do, it really works (and Langer has scientific proof of real results)!
The last interview I'll mention is an On Being conversation with Brené Brown. Even though I have been following Brené's work for more than a decade and have watched her TED talks, and I have read two (so far) of her four books, and I have listened to many of her interviews, this interview gave me some new scenarios to mull over, especially when it comes to my relationships with my husband and my kids.
- Lastly, I've been repeatedly returning to this blog post from Susannah Conway about the process she followed in writing her first book. Initially I thought I'd follow her process to the letter (... because while there are a zillion different paths to writing a book, this worked for Susannah Conway, so why reinvent the wheel?...), but I'm already learning that I need to discover my own path. And I'm forging (plodding?) ahead!
How have you been spending your time as we (in the northern hemisphere, anyway) move into seasonal darkness as we approach the winter solstice? What has captured the interest of your mind or your heart? Share with a comment here on the blog, or check in over on the facebook community page, or connect with me on Instagram, my favorite social media platform. I look forward to getting a taste of your interests!