Shaping Mind Rooms to Reframe the Meaning of Tasks

“[G]ood feelings such as affection, pride at a promotion, and enthusiasm for a new project are the carrots on the stick that keep you moving smartly along life’s up-and-down road.” – Winifred Gallagher, RAPT: Attention and the Focused Life (Penguin Press, 2009)

NY artist Joey Havlock's Mind Room

Organization can dog the best of creatives. Many of my clients are writers, artists, and entrepreneurs who juggle multiple projects and obligations. I keep at least five projects in the air at any given time, each of which requires at least a few dozen tasks to complete.

So how do we stay on top of those projects without driving ourselves daft and our intimate partners away? How can a small amount of time invested in flexible creative organization end up saving time?

Creative organization can be a flexible, enjoyable way to shape attention, physical space, and actions. When we shape these three things – attention, space, and actions – we increase the likelihood that we can get in that flow that psychologist Mihaly Cskiszentmihalyi describes. Read more

Three Highlights, 17 November 2010

1. Read graphic artist Marian Bantjes’ exquisite book I WONDER while sitting in a waiting room to have my spine x-rayed. (Stay tuned for more about Bantjes and what we can learn from her creative, authentic living & success.)
2. Danced with my daughter to Vince Guaraldi’s jazz piano piece “Linus and Lucy.”
3. Completed reading a client’s new novel manuscript.

And yours?

Three Highlights, 15 November 2010

Good evening. What were you day’s three highlights? Mine: 1. Watching my daughter hug our Kwan-Yin statue in the woods. 2. Taking a walk with a client around the pond. 3. Chatting with the lovely Melissa Studdard on the radio about writing & wonder & all the stuff I love.

See you in the woods,
Jeffrey

Gratitude, Creativity, & The 30 Days/300 Things Gratitude Challenge

Does receiving gratitude inspire you to more creative action? Is it easy for you to express it? Is it easy for you to receive it? Dare I ask, are there ‘advantages’ for creative practitioners and entrepreneurs to practicing gratitude? Those questions I’ve been living in for a few weeks.

Entrepreneur and perspiration guru Scott Belsky learned the power of appreciation from a storyteller. The author of Making Ideas Happen describes his experience at storyteller Jay O’Callahan’s storytelling workshop in Cape Cod. As part of a workshop exercise, Belsky told a story. O’Callahan respond with genuine enthusiasm, and other participants did likewise. Belsky was riveted and warmed, but he was ready and eager for the critique. The critique never came.

Read more

Three Highlights, 12 November 2010

1. A ten-point buck dashing across the road a few yards in front of my car and gamboling through a corn field. 2. The way my daughter looked up at me in glee as we walked around the pond. 3. Finishing a draft of a short piece on poetry & praise.

What were your three highlights? Post here.

Check out my FB page for some other responses.

Three Highlights, 11 November 2010

Since my hard-working, mind-numbing twenties, I’ve played a game with myself on many evenings. It’s called “Three Highlights.” It’s a way to test that I’m paying attention, that my eyes and ears remain open, that my days have ample space.

The gist is this: At day’s end, name three highlights from your day.
The rules: Keep it sensory. Keep it specific. Peg a moment. Keep it real.

I’ll periodically post mine and encourage you to do likewise.

Here’s today’s:
1. Dahlia’s crack of a smile when she heard the first beats of Bach’s first cello suite early this morning.
2. A new client saying – despite our phone conversation getting cut off twice – this journey is just what she needs and that it’s all about movement (the physical and the mental).
3. The Old Spice face-slapping briskness of this deep autumn morning air that makes more and more official winter’s soon arrival.

What were your highlights?