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ROADMAP: DESIGN YOUR CREATIVE PATH

ROADMAP: design your creative path. Click to download your worksheets containing exercises to guide in designing a way to live your most creative life.

This week I have a similar, or rather complementary activity to last week’s. Last week, I shared worksheets to guide you in finding your creative spark. If you have not yet done so, I hope you will set aside some time to work on these (click here to read about Finding Your Creative Spark). When you are finished, you will find that what I have for you this week is an excellent follow-up.

By finding your creative spark, you answered “the what.” What inspires you, what drives you, what you are passionate about, etc. This week’s worksheets, ROADMAP: design your creative path will show you “the how.” Now that you know what your creative spark is, the ROADMAP will show you how to make it a part of your life. In order to live your ideal life, your most creative life, you need to make a plan for it.

ROADMAP: design your creative path is a step-by-step guide that will walk you through a series of activities and exercises challenging you to create room for your creative spark in your life. It will show you how to create a path of creativity that will allow you to live the life you want.

ROADMAP: design your creative path. Click here to download your worksheets now!

Get started now. Download your worksheets. Have a friend you think might benefit from these? Please pass it along!

Cheers = Good Wishes

If you are signed up to receive my newsletter, you may have noticed that the name for my newsletter is “Cheers.” (If you aren’t signed up yet, click on the graphic below to sign up now). Today I thought I would share a little behind the scenes on how I landed on this particular name.


Cheers = Good Wishes 

The word “cheers” has several meanings, all based on the idea of expressing good wishes. In particular, cheers refers to good wishes before drinking, good wishes on parting or ending a conversation, and gratitude or acknowledgment for something (Dictionary.com).

In normal conversations, we often hear cheers used as a toast or if you are British, it can be used as way of saying thank you or goodbye.

So why then did I use it to name my newsletter?

It is a mission of mine to be friendly and to express gratitude whenever possible. This does not mean that I need to be walking up to randoms on the street and starting conversations with people that have no interest in talking to me, rather I try to always use good manners, to smile at people, and have a positive attitude as often as possible.  I find that if I actually accomplish this, I am a happier person.

Therefore, by naming my newsletter Cheers, it is my way of starting each newsletter by thanking you for taking the time to read this each week. I know you are busy and I truly appreciate it. I hope that you are benefitting from it in some way. Seeing that word “Cheers” each week serves as a great reminder for me to be grateful (plus I really like the way it sounds).

As I have previously mentioned, I believe creativity is different for everyone, but for me, I am at my most creative when I am relaxed, happy, and content. Creativity and a positive attitude go hand in hand – this might not be true for everyone, but I have found this works best for me. My best ideas surface when I have a positive attitude which is often the result of being friendly and having good manners.

Your challenge for the week? Determine what type of mood you are generally in when you are most creative or when you get your best ideas. Once you determine this, decide what changes you can make to your life to replicate that mood as often as possible. Then start doing it!

What Makes You Happy?

Creativity, teaching, and learning make me happy. One of my favorite things is to share amazing resources with other people. Nothing would make me happier than sharing something that will help you in someway – whether it is something I created or just something I found.

Looking for some creative inspiration? SIgn up for a free course, Challenge Your Creativity now.

What makes you happy?

As I said, I love to share cool things I find with others. For me, most often, this takes the form of book recommendations. I can’t even begin to explain the joy reading and just looking forward to reading brings me. What’s even better than finishing a book you loved (besides realizing it is part of a series)? Sharing it with someone else of course.

My free course, Challenge Your Creativity, grew out of my love of books. This course is made up of ten sections. Each section includes a required reading and a challenge to put what you learned into action. Some readings will actually be on the subject of creativity while others will provide that much needed creative spark; it is up to you to decide how to respond to the challenge.

One of the book recommendations included in this class is A Whole New Mind: Why RIght Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink. This book is one of my favorites – both because of the content included and because it was what first pushed me to start thinking about creativity, being creative, and what I could do to live a happier, more fulfilled life.

Daniel Pink argues that the future belongs to right-brain careers, and as a middle school history teacher, I do not feel I traditionally fit into that group. Even though I am extremely happy in my chosen profession, this book made me wish I had taken advantage of creative opportunities when I had the chance in college. But, like many people, I did not. This book is the perfect solution! This is not to say that you need to quit your job and become an artist, but you can jump start your creative life, your creative path. This book can be the kick in the butt you need to get going.

A Whole New Mind is one of my favorite nonfiction books. While I often read my favorite fiction books (i.e. Harry Potter) over and over again, I rarely open a nonfiction book twice (this is coming from a history teacher). So it is saying something that I have read this book cover to cover three times and reread individual chapters even more.

To find out more about this book and nine others, click here to enroll in the free course, Challenge Your Creativity.

All right, enough about what makes me happy. What makes you happy? Do (at least) one thing today that makes you happy.

Take Responsibility for Your Creativity

Take Responsibility for Your Creativity - stop blaming others for a lack of creativity in your life!

I have been reading so much about creativity lately: books, blog posts, magazine articles, you name it – I have been reading it. And enjoying it. And learning a lot.

One similarity I see amongst almost all of them is that they all include a story about a child who at some point went from feeling endlessly creative to feeling like a creative failure. Then there is usually some sad story about how they never picked up their colored pencils again.

I don’t disagree.  This happens to many children. There is a lot that needs to be changed in education, certainly in terms of creative freedom. But schools aren’t completely responsible for everything. How about as individuals we take control of our own destiny? Maybe you did have some experience that left you feeling like a creative failure when you were younger. I’m sorry. Now get over it.

I too have always felt that I missed out on artistic opportunities in school. Maybe because I focused on more traditional “academic” classes, I was always too busy playing sports, I wasn’t interested at the time – whatever the reason was, I basically took no art classes during my time in school. Looking back, I so wish I had pushed myself creatively and tried something new, especially in college when there were so many opportunities.

Currently, at the top of my list of things to “master” is drawing, or really sketching. This is something I want to accomplish, so I need to do something about it. I can cry that my grade school and high school didn’t have great art programs or that my parents didn’t encourage me to draw, or can I decide that I want to learn how to sketch, so I will.

Take control and responsibility for your creativity.

It’s time to stop blaming schools for everything. Yes, many things need to be changed in education, but regardless, I can’t live the rest of my life complaining about what my school got wrong.

Maybe I am particularly sensitive to this because I am a teacher. But, even more, I feel this way because I think that only way to make a change is to take control of your own life.

What changes can you make today in terms of your creativity?

 

What’s the point of Greens & Blues Co.?

whats the point

Greens & Blues Co. – providing inspiration and resources to help you design your own creative path.

So what does this even mean?  What’s the point of Greens and Blues Co.

Some of this I mentioned in my very first post, but I definitely think it is worth mentioning again. I want Greens and Blues Co. to be a place that inspires people, and provides them with resources and tools to design their own creative path.

What types of inspiration can you expect?

Since I am such a book lover, I plan to share books that inspire me. If you have read my previous posts you will know that I love all kinds of books and find inspiration across different genres. Expect to hear my thoughts on the book, and at least one way it challenged me creatively.  Inspiration could also be products that I love or want to try.  Or people that are inspiring me: awesome businesses, kick- ass instagramers, or well-written blogs.

What types of resources will I share with you?

The internet is filled with companies providing awesome tools to make our lives easier – I will share them when I find them and try them out.  This could be organizational, creative, or just plain fun.

Now for the most important:

What does creative path even mean?

Although I love to craft, diy, etc., this is not a craft blog.  My intention for Greens & Blues Co. is to craft it in such a way that it can apply to anyone – anyone interested in challenging themselves and creating their best life.

As I also mentioned in an earlier post, I love to learn. So for me, designing my creative path is creating a plan for lifelong learning.  Determining what it is I want to learn next and how I will execute that plan. Usually I want to learn something that simply interests me or that I think will improve my life in someway, otherwise, what’s the point?

For you, the phrase “creative path” probably means something very different. Is it learning a new language? Changing careers? Quitting your job and starting to travel? Is it teaching yourself how to become a photographer?

Whatever it is, you need a plan. You need certain skills in order to execute that plan. That’s where Greens & Blues Co. can help you. Have no fear, a step-by-step guide is coming soon.

Hint: sign up for my newsletter to be the first to hear about an upcoming workbook that will help you with all of this.

Why Greens & Blues?

 

Behind the Name: Why Greens & Blues Co.

Trying to come up with a name for my website/shop/business was one of the most difficult parts of this process. There are so many business names that I think are so awesome and inspiring (A Beautiful Mess, Handmade Charlotte, etc). Even more than that, they instantly conjure up an image when you hear the name. As a result, I put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with the “perfect” name.  I have pages and pages and pages of ideas in my notebook.  So many combinations of color + thing I love, or object found in nature + color I love.  Most of them probably were not horrible, but they did not mean anything to me – they were not special.

Let’s rewind to a day last summer when I complained to my husband about how I was having so much trouble coming up with a name. I’ll admit that my complaining was strategic in that I secretly was hoping he would come up with an amazing idea for me – he is usually much better at this kind of thing than I am. I told him a couple of the ideas I had, none of which I was too excited about.  No surprise, he wasn’t into any of them.

I did have one other idea, and this one I actually liked. I hesitated to tell him this name because I did like it and did not want him to shoot it down. Plus, saying it out loud was a scary step to take. But, when I told him the name Greens & Blues – he liked it.  When I told him why – he loved it.

So what does Greens & Blues mean?

In the midst of all my naming struggles, I started to think about the “why.” Why was I starting a business? What was the point of all of this? What was I hoping to achieve? Why did I feel I needed to do this?

Why – Creativity is something I am interested in.  I enjoy creative pursuits, learning, and challenging myself. Great, but can’t I do all of those without starting a business? Yes, of course. However, I am a teacher.  I have been a teacher for the past 8 years, and knew that teaching is what I wanted to do (in some way or another) for many years before that. I like to share knowledge and to facilitate learning for others. It is just who I am.

Once I figured out the why, I tried to come up with a name that could embody all of that. Obviously that is pretty close to impossible to do, so instead I thought that if I was going to have a business about creativity, I needed to think about what inspires me. This process still took awhile, but finally I landed on Greens & Blues.

Various greens and blues are some of my favorite colors, but it is more than that. Greens and blues are the colors of Ireland. My husband and I have been to Ireland twice and have plans to go back as often as we can make it happen. It is our favorite. For me, the beauty of the country can be summed up by greens and blues. So many ridiculously beautiful shades of green and blue can be viewed all at once and those shades are consistently and constantly changing throughout each day. In no way does this description do it justice.

Just thinking about both of our trips to Ireland makes me happy. Not just the beauty of the landscape, but the people, the music, the culture – all of it inspires me. So I named my business Greens & Blues Co. as a way to remind myself each and everyday of a place, that for me, equates to happiness and inspiration.

 

Welcome!

Welcome to Greens & Blues Co.!  My hope for this site is to be a place to document my creative journey and to be a source of creative inspiration for all ages, from designing your own creative path to promoting creativity in your kiddos’ lives.

For the past couple of years, the idea of creativity has been almost constantly on my mind. What is creativity?  How am I creative?  Are some people more creatively gifted than others?  How can I be more creative?  How can I help others to be more creative. These are just a few of the questions that seem to be constantly running through my head.

I’m not sure what sparked this reflection on my creativity. But, of course, I want answers. Greens & Blues Co. is the start of my answer to all of those questions.

I have always enjoyed scrapbooking, sewing, and other crafts, but have not considered myself a creative because to me, that name belongs to painters, photographers, etc. Those types of people I have always been envious of because I lack any and all skills related to any of those ventures.  As I reflected more on this, I realized that the reason I lack many of these artistic skills is because I stopped practicing them a long time ago.  This is no one’s fault but my own.  (Another day I will get into why I think this happened.)

Regardless, I am now interested in challenging myself creatively and learning new skills. Through that process, I hope to share inspiration for others to live a creative life.  Living a creative life can mean different things for everyone: taking classes, completing DIY projects, reading books, keeping a journal, teaching yourself a new skill or craft, embarking on a new adventure, or whatever else you can possibly imagine.

In the future, you can expect posts sharing information on my favorite books, creative inspiration, resources I have found to be helpful, my current creative pursuits, and challenges I create to help you!