The Wisdom of Unexpected Connections

curiosityI’ve finished reading Biz Stone’s book, Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind.  Biz Stone is the co-founder of Twitter. His self-awareness has been inspiring.

Over the years my friends, family, co-workers, even clients and bosses have exclaimed to me, “How did you know that?” or “How in the world did you make that connection?” What used to feel like shame when my idea appeared to be poles apart from the crowd’s, has turned into appreciation for the way my mind works.

In Stone’s book he says, “Experience and curiosity drive us to make unexpected, offbeat connections. It is these nonlinear steps that often lead to the greatest work.”

What I’ve learned about myself is that my connections are organic. I couldn’t always explain them analytically and this caused some people to doubt their validity. In an instant my mind would grasp interrelationships, visual clues, and data. Or as Stone puts it, “unexpected, offbeat connections.” Does this happen for anyone else?

Creativity and wellness message for today: Ease off on being linear, let your mind associate what appears to be dissimilar information.

The Power of Infinite Possibilities

1403563275jzrsnHave you had a chance to read Biz Stone’s Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind? Biz Stone is the co-founder of Twitter. It’s a quick read and if you are too busy revising your memoir, put it on your Goodreads list.

I used to say, “I learned everything I needed to know about working in the real world from art school.” At Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts I learned how to chunk down complex projects into efficient timelines. I mastered techniques and discovered the importance of creating something in a step-by-step manner. I experimented with new mediums and technologies, and maybe most important of all, I learned how to take constructive criticism.

After reading Stone’s book I’m now adding a second experience, working in the graphic design industry. He was a book cover designer in his former career and I’ve had a steady career in graphic design ever since my first job out of college. Stone says, “Graphic design is an excellent preparation for any profession because it teaches you that for any one problem, there are infinite potential solutions. Too often we hesitate to stray from the first idea, or from what we already know. But the solution isn’t necessarily what is in front of us, or what has worked in the past . . . My introduction to design challenged me to take a new approach today, and every day after that.”

Creativity and wellness message for today:  Be inspired and fulfilled by your new ideas. Let them change you, your company, our nation, and the global community.

Creativity is a Renewable Resource

1396433877369I’m reading Biz Stone’s Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind. Biz is the co-founder of Twitter. Why not read it along with me and let me know what you think?

He had me hooked in the introduction:
“This book is more than a rags-to-riches tale. It’s a story about making something out of nothing*, about merging your abilities with your ambitions, and about what you learn when you look at the world through a lens of infinite possibility. Plain hard work is good and important, but it is ideas that drive us, as individuals, companies, nations, and a global community. Creativity is what makes us unique, inspired, and fulfilled.”

*Making something out of nothing is what artists, composers, choreographers, and writers do all the time!

Creativity and wellness message for today: Read this book, be exhilarated, let me know what you think.

Poem in Your Pocket Day: April 24

poem_in_pocket-daySave the date: Poem in Your Pocket Day 2014 will be held on Thursday, April 24! On Poem in Your Pocket Day, people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day.

You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

Why is this cool? It’s cool because it celebrates creativity and poetry and it brings poetry to the masses. It involves community and is an individual act, all at the same time. April is National Poetry Month.

What’s National Poetry Month? National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern.

Reading a good poem takes me to a place of richness that I wasn’t in a moment before, such as this one . . .

Sleeping in the Forest

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

from Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver

I’m more grounded after reading it, awakened, and oddly satisfied.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Commit to doing something poetic this month.

 

 

Building a Bridge

In Twyla Tharps’ book The Creative Habit, she talks about the importance of stopping before you become exhausted. As creative individuals we can get caught up in the verve of our endeavors, and can tire ourselves. Tharp shows the value of stopping before that point. She says that while she works herself, and her dancers hard, she always ends a rehearsal before everyone is fatigued. That way a bridge is built to the next day.

I know a minister who takes July and August away from emails. He responds to emergency calls, but in the summer, he takes everything down a notch in order to have time for reflection and rejuvenation. I feel the same way about this blog. I am going to take a break from writing it this summer. What’s funny is that I am not exhausted or burned out. In fact I have a pile of 26 purple, blue and white handwritten notes in various sizes and shapes on my desk, ready and filled with ideas for this blog. I’m glad to end the season on a happy, fertile note and to build a bridge to September.

During the summer months I will still be working and writing. If you miss me you can follow me on Twitter where I write about creativity, wellness, art, books, writing and reading. Or just tune in when I return in September. Until then, I hope you enjoy your own summer.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Take a breather before you need to.