What is the Creative Edge?

desert island

During one of my workshops I asked the participants to close their eyes and imagine they were suddenly stranded on a desert island. You have nothing with you. No family, friends, home, car, job or possessions. What would you have left?

They were stunned, they grumbled nothing. But I asked is that really true? One lady raised her hand and said. “I have lots of things. I have my health, memories, my intellect and my senses. With a new way of looking at the situation, one of the gentleman in the group said ” I have courage and faith.” One of the women wearing a t shirt that said inspired on it shared” I have talents and I have my creativity”.

We are so much more than we realize. We are not defined by our “things or toys” or our status at work or even our physical bodies. When we can see beyond our current thinking, when we can change our habitual patterns of behavior and thoughts, we can make our life and work a winning adventure.

 I think two celebrities did just that. Christopher Reeves, best known for being Superman, was paralyzed after a riding accident. Sitting in a wheel chair, head supported, aided with a ventilator he made movies, spoke about the need for spinal cord research. He was an inspiration for millions. Then you have Michael J. Fox with Parkinson’s disease …he didn’t silently disappear. He now uses his tremors as part of his humor and acting on his new television show.

Marcel Proust said “The real voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes but in having new eyes.” That is the essence of being creative.

Being creative is a mindset and an attitude. It is a skill set that can be learned. It is a willingness to play, explore and experiment. You don’t need to be a genius like Albert Einstein or Leonardo da Vinci. It is not about being a great artist like Renoir or Frieda Kahlo. It is not about being a writer, photographer, musician, or dancer. It is the way you live your life. It is the way you parent, solve problems, and make a difference in the world. It is being resilient, inventive and original. It is supporting your unique visions and going to the creative edge.

When you reach your Creative Edge you will be more:

       Courageous

       Resourceful

       Empowered

        Authentic

       Tenacious

        Inspired

       Vibrant

       Enthusiastic

I would like to introduce you to one of the people I interviewed for The Winning Adventure who has gone to the Creative Edge.

Meet Sue Ellen Allen who found her passion and creative edge in prison.Sue ellen Allen

Sue Ellen Allen is a former University of Texas grad, former educator, former business owner, former community leader. Having spent 7 years as an inmate at Arizona State Prison she now serves as Executive Director for GINA’s Team, an organization that brings educational programs and speakers into prison to inspire and empower inmates to strive for a better future. She says that “watching her  cell mate Gina die from medical neglect was the” defining moment” of my life. It gave me a new passion and purpose.”

Sue Ellen walked into prison battling advanced breast cancer. She told me she knew she wanted to make a difference. “I asked the deputy warden if we could have our own cancer walk during National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Surprising everyone they said yes. So one sunny Saturday morning in October dressed in our bright orange uniforms we walked around our track. The first year we raised $10,000 for breast cancer from inmates who make about 25 cents an hour on average. There were so many women touched by breast cancer with family and friends they were excited to participate. I’m proud to say that walk is now held in every state prison facility in Arizona and has raised over $100,000 for the American Cancer Society. It’s a huge event inside.”

Her inspiring story, The Slumber Party from Hell shares her journey of prison and transformation. Her legacy continues in prison with Toast Masters and a 14 week life skill class she designed which is now taught by other inmates. She inspires others to triumph in the face of adversity, to go to the creative edge and be unstoppable. Get involved with Gina’s Team or to get in touch: http://sueellenallen.wordpress.com/.

 

Make your life and work a winning adventure. Go to  the Creative Edge at http://thewinningadventure.com/services.php.

Who do you know has gone to the creative edge?

 

 

 

Have the Courage to Follow Your Heart

                                                                                                                                                        have the courage to follow your heart

When I heard the whisper that said you need to interview 100 leaders. I was terrified. “What do I know about leadership” Why would people speak to me? All the doubts and fears popped into my head. But I felt this calling. So I tapped into my courage. I felt the fear and did it anyway. I have this passion to hear other people’s stories of inspiration and courage. I believe that we all have a back story that is intricately woven into our calling. It tells us what wounds may be waiting to be healed. For artists and writers it can dominate their work. It is often the catalyst for our destiny and legacy.

 I was always interested in other people’ story to the embarrassment of my children. No matter where I was, the football game, the grocery store I would talk to the people in line, the cashier. I would have their life story in ten minutes. Too often we don’t share what is important to us because we are embarrassed and ashamed. I know I did not share my past. You did not talk about sexual abuse. I was afraid if you knew the real me you would reject or abandon me. “Go running for the hills” But I learned through counseling, 12 step work, personal development, that is was imperative I share my truth. I understand now everyone wants to be seen, heard and understood. That is the basis of the Winning Adventure: Change leaders, lead the world. To create change you need passion, purpose and a profound desire to make a difference.You need to tap into your courage and share your unique vision.

The first person I interviewed was Connie Lee. We met on the internet. Linkedin is a wonderful tool to find like-minded people doing inspiring work. Here are some excerpts from our interview.

Rae: I would love to hear about your winning adventure.

Connie: I grew up in an abusive home.  I married a very nice guy but he ended up being an abusive person. We divorced and then 25 years later I put my kids though school and put myself through college. Then I had this dream.  I woke up at 1 am with this vision for FACSA, doing an NBC show and writing petitions to change pedophile laws. This is how the FACSA Foundation began.

The FACSA Foundation (Family and Friends Fighting Against Child Sexual Assault) is an all-volunteer organization. At home we provide attorneys and counselors for children of sexual assault and their families, we provide guidance and resources, we provide a support group and we do a lot of community education and prevention as well. We have some programs called the “Good Touch-Bad Touch Program. We have created a virtual art exhibit highlighting different artists and musicians. We call it the Holocaust of Innocence Wall. It is part of our Shattering The Silence Tour and Documentary Project.     

I was honored to share some of my own personal healing art work.

keeping secrets

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Keening my Lost Innocence

At the time of the interview they were going to visit 25 cities in the United Stated and Canada. Since then they have visited 115 cities.  They have been filming a documentary on survivors stories from across the nation, conducting research on how child sexual assault is affecting our local communities, and hosting free public education conferences across the nation on prevention of child sexual assault and human trafficking. To find out more more stories of courage go to

http://youtu.be/4ny6eWshhbg

 

Rae: How do you avoid burnout?

Connie: You are going to face many obstacles and if you don’t have the passion and the drive for this, you’ll get burned out really fast and then you’ll want to stop. You must have a vision, know where you want to go, know the things you want to accomplish and the dreams and the lives you want to change. You must have love in your heart. Do it for love.

 Rae: What kind of legacy would you like to leave in terms of your family, career and community?

Connie: The legacy I would like to leave would be having safer environments for children, for them to be able to grow in a happy, healthy home and to fulfill their dreams. My ultimate dream is having two FACSA Foundation shelters in each state. There will be huge shelters, they will have chapels, they’ll have child screening, self-defense classes and they’ll have apartment-sized houses. We will have on-staff doctors, nurses, security and then they will transition to a home where they can rent or buy. That is my ultimate goal and that will be my greatest legacy.

If you want to get involved with FACSA  go to http://facsafoundationvirtualexpo.ning.com/ 

 

Do you have the courage to make your dream a reality? May I suggest you begin by looking at your back story.  It does not have to be an exhaustive account of your life. You can narrow the focus based on developmental areas of childhood, adolescent, adult and “senior” living. You can create a time line and look at what took place in areas of schooling, spirituality, relationship, creativity and work. What wounds have been part of your life? How has that made you the person you are today? When have you been courageous and followed your intuition? When have you had the courage to listen to a whisper?

I would love to hear from you. Please join our facebook community. https://www.facebook.com/winningadventure

Rae Luskin is an artist, author, speaker, mentor.

 

Free Your Diva Manifesto

3_Divas Are you standing in your power? Do you believe in yourself?

Are you courageous enough to speak your mind?

  Do you have the confidence to go after your dreams?

 Then you are certainly a Dazzling DIVA

  You are Daring, Inspired, Vibrant, Authentic

 

As part of my healing journey I would write short stories and fairy tales. My favorite was the Secret Life of Dazzling Diva Rae.

The Secret Life of Dazzling Diva Rae: twelve joys that have me jump out of bed every morning before caffeine.

1.   Being creative 

2.   Loving in a deep heartfelt, rich way

3.   Helping others while sharing my giftsstrawberry

4.   Engaging in guilty pleasures (all legal)

5.  Exploring new and exciting places

6.   Laughing out loud

7.   Being a grandmother

8.   Breaking the rules or redefining them

9.   Wearing glitz and glitter

10.  Being deeply grateful and in a state of grace

11.   Escaping to serenity

12.  Living life in Technicolor: enjoying an out of the box, bodacious and succulent life based on my own unique self expression, unlimited possibilities and coloring outside the lines.

No matter what your past, you can choose to live creatively, passionately and joyfully at every moment. You can live HAPPILY EVER AFTER NOW. Find the DIVA in you.

What makes you want to jump out of bed everyday? Please share it in the box below?

Rae Luskin, a Chicago artist, teacher, activist and the author of ART FROM MY HEART and soon Stuck to Unstoppable, she is a leader in using creative expression to foster self-worth, resilience, healing and social change. If you want to find her traditional biography go to the about me page at www.raeluskin.net  or www.thewinningadventure.com

 

Four Types Of Courage

Girl DivingEleanor Roosevelt once stated, “You must do the things you think you cannot.”

As we have our discussion on courage we must realize that in our heart we must believe in what we are doing. Otherwise, no one else will. We are all awed by firefighters, police officers, and soldiers when they put their lives on the line for others.

However, we must not think that to put our life on the line is the only way we can be courageous. Instead, it is in the small acts of people that we truly find the courage that exist in all of us.

old-time-piecePhysical courage is doing something despite the potential physical harm.

When we think of physical courage, we think of super heroes from Marvel Comic’s like the Avengers or DC’s Justice League. These are super heroes out to battle evil, no matter the cost to their lives. While you do not need to be a superhero to display physical courage, it gets the point across.

What would you do in the face of fear, even if it risked your life, health, and wellness? Plenty of examples exist of people who summoned immense courage in times of crisis. Take Lauren Kornacki for example. In 2012, her father was fixing his BMW, when the jacks got loose. He was trapped under the car, and unconscious. Lauren was able to lift up the car by herself to get her dad out. Then when he was out, she performed CPR on him as well.

old-time-pieceEmotional courage is acting on something that defies your fears.

For example, quitting your job to pursue your dreams takes a lot of emotional courage. You need to face down your personal demons and fears.

old-time-pieceSpiritual courage is how you follow your beliefs, despite the opposition.Angel and devil

An example of this would be famous religious martyrs, such as Joan of Arc and Jesus. Despite the opposition to their beliefs they held strong, despite the physical harm they received from these beliefs.

old-time-pieceMoral Courage is the ability to act ethically in spite of negative influences.

A perfect example of moral courage would be Mahatma Gandhi using his belief in non-violence to free India from colonial rule. Another example is Martin Luther King leading the African-American community towards racial equality.

What have you done that struck at the heart of fear? Were they demons in your life, or the evils that exist in the world? What can you do to en”courage” your courage muscle? Is it facing down your fears and personal demons, or taking charge of the community to become a positive role model.

Let us know how you were courageous in the past.

Courageous Resolution

courageous resolution for 2013As we roll to the end of the first quarter of the year, I thought this would be a good time to discuss what courageous resolution you took at the beginning of the year to jump-start your life? An estimated 93% of all New Year’s Resolutions are discarded by the second week of the year.

Henceforth, there is a good chance if you are reading this post that we need to get your resolution back on track? Before we do that we need to find out what went wrong?

To do that we have to ask what was your New Year’s Courageous Resolution. Did it contain the essentials you need for any goal?

 

old-time-piece1. Do you have a realistic goal?

Nothing wrong with wanting a Billion dollars in your bank account, but most will be discouraged to see three weeks later their bank account a bit short of that goal. Instead, we need to have a goal that you can reach.

 

For example, if you want to find the person of your dreams then we take this in steps. Step One-Sign up for dating sites (note how I did not say go out to the bars.) Step Two-spend 1 hour per day on dating sites for two weeks finding potential suitors. Step Three-Set 2 coffees by the end of March.

 

Any goal that you want to achieve should be broken down into chunks. That way you feel encouraged to do more. If you do not believe me, please eat a New York Strip Steak in one bite.

 

old-time-piece2. What is your why?

Most people set a New Year’s resolution, because they think it is a good thing. However, the bigger question is why do they want this? Do you want a Billion dollars or the chance at financial freedom from a downtrodden career with no certainty and only two weeks of freedom every year?

 

Your why is everything. It is what sustains you when times are tough. Nothing is as easy as it sounds. Roadblocks are a part of life. Your why anchors you to a better future.

 

old-time-piece3.   Have a deadline.

Right next to pie in the sky goals are pipe-dream deadlines. Going back to the idea of a Billion dollars, let’s evaluate this idea. Consider this; the company to make $1 Billion dollars fastest was Youtube. From start-up to the sale of their company 18 months later they went from nothing to a company worth $1.65 Billion dollars. Most companies take 5-7 years to hit $1 Billion plus in revenue, or even valuation.

Why is that important? Well, you need to set a deadline for when you achieve your goal. Does it matter? Heck no! Why do you need one? To know how well you are doing. So, we are being graded. Yes, how else will you know when you win?

As you can see there is more to a courageous resolution than a hope, prayer, and two weeks of commitment. A courageous resolution is one where you must have the courage, persistent action to see it through.