Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week

 

creativity-and-innovation-source

Celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week 

World Creativity and Innovation Week was the brainchild of Marci Segal. During World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 people are acknowledged, informed, inspired and encouraged to use their creativity – to be open to and generate new ideas, to be open to and make new decisions and to be open to and take new actions – that make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too.

It’s something you create it for your home, your school, your community, your business, with your customers.

Here are twenty things you can do starting today.

  1. Listen to my conversation with founder  and creative activist Marci Segal http://ow.ly/L9BhN
  2. Eat an ice cream sundae for breakfast
  3. Take a different route to work
  4. Make a meal you never did before
  5. Have your family make a centerpiece out of found objects
  6. Have a come as you wish you were party
  7. Talk to a stranger and ask them what they need…and get it for them                                                                             marci_segal_photo_
  8. Sing in the shower
  9. Learn something new
  10. Dream a better world and take one action step to make it a reality
  11. Imagine yourself as a superhero
  12. Ask what if questions
  13. Organize recess at your office
  14. Write a  big thank you to everyone you know and post it on Facebook
  15. Create a vision board on Pinterest
  16. Take a selfie
  17. Scribble and doodle
  18. Take an architectural tour of your hometown
  19. Plant a garden
  20. Visit a new art gallery or museum

The possibilities are endless, nothing is too small. This is your time to create new ideas, make new decision and take new actions.  Join me and other Creative Activists as we come together to support and share our creativity to make the world a better place. » bit.ly/CreativeActivists

 

 

How Do You Create A Bold Vision For Success in 2015?

oprah vision

 

How do you create a bold vision for success?

 

There are three steps to creating a bold vision for success.

1. Clarify your intentions

Ask yourself a series of questions.  Write the answers in your journal.

What major indulgence are you willing to experience in 2015?
What would you like to evolve most about yourself in 2015?
How would you like to make a difference in the world?
What would you like to be your biggest triumph in 2015?
What would you be most happy completing in 2015?
What advice would you give yourself?
What is the most loving service you can imagine in 2015?
What compliment would you like to receive?
What is the grandest adventure you can imagine?
What would you like to experience more of in 2015?
What would you like to explore or create in 2015?
What makes your heart sing?

2.Imagine  yourself one year from today.

What does your life like look? What does it feel like? Who are you if you have been successful? Imagine you are having coffee with an old friend and you are telling her about your year. Write your vision including as many details, feeling, and experiences as if they all came true.  Oh Mary let me share what an exiting year I had.  I published The Creative Activist in June. What a thrill it was to see the numbers from Amazon each week as they climbed to the top of the charts. I had a number one best seller in Personal Growth and Leadership category.  The launch party was so much fun. The DJ I hired played all my favorite songs, Celebrate, Let it Go, Climb. I got to dance with my granddaughters and Ali brought the baby. We got some great family photos to send to mom.

3. Create a vision board.

What is a Vision Board?

A vision board (also called a Treasure Map or Dream Board) is typically a poster board on which you paste or collage images and words from magazines, cards or Pinterest that inspire you. The theory is that you surround yourself with images of what you want to have in your life or images of who you want to become. They are really simple to do and very powerful.

There are two types of vision boards. The first is for opening and allowing and the other is when you know what you want to manifest. I have been doing both types for many years.

When I went through a deep depression in my mid-thirties I could not see any way out. I did not know what joy and happiness could look like so I collected images of pictures that made me smile. I put them in a book and I spent time every day looking at them and it freed my mind to consider something new and different. I eventually came to the other side. Before I ever thought of interviewing over 120 leaders around the country and becoming a speaker and a radio show host I created a vision board of Oprah and other influential leaders I admired like Eve Ensler who wrote the Vagina Monologue and started a movement. I put this in my office and looked at it all the time.                         vision board

In 2013, I decided it was time to release 50 pounds and get active and I made a specific board that had images of me at a thinner weight that I put on the fridge and one with images and words such as “it is safe to lose weight” in the bathroom where I could see it all the time. Since then I have lost 60 pounds.

Last year I created a vision to write The Creative Activist: One Person Can Make A Difference. I will have the first draft finished by Dec. 31st, 2014. Having a powerful vision, written and visual, keeps me motivated and inspired when I hit “road blocks”. We all have days like that but looking at my vision board on Pinterest just makes me smile. It reminds me who I am serving, my work matters and I can contribute to making the world a better place.

Supplies for Creating a Vision Board:

Poster board

Manila envelopes to collect materials

Scissors

Glue sticks, rubber cement or fabric glue Markers, gel pens, glitter pens

Photographs of you

A big stack of different magazines as well as different kinds of paper: post cards, gift wrap, stamps, maps, calendars

The Seven Steps of Creating a Vision Board:

Step 1: Go through your magazines and pull out pictures, words or headlines that strike your fancy. Have fun with it. Don’t censure yourself. If an image or word appeals just tear it out. I know many people like to use a scissors, but ripping is important to the experience. It increases your creativity, imagination and intuition. You can trim them later.

Step 2: Go through the images and see if any themes emerge. I was working with a client and she was amazed that what began as a general” I don’t know what I want to do with my career”… blossomed into something very specific based on the images she choose. It actually brought her clarity.

Step 3: Eliminate any images that no longer feel right.

Step 4: Glue everything onto the board. You can add writing, stickers, glitter or other materials.

Step 5. Title it

Step 6: Hang your vision board in a place where you will see it often.

Step 7. Spend time looking at it and journal about your experience. What feelings and thoughts have come to the surface? What action steps or strategies have emerged from the images?

If a traditional vision board does not resonate try these options.

Mandala

Mandala is the Sanskrit word for magic circle. Throughout history it has been part of spiritual and religious practices from Buddhist monks to Native American medicine men. Draw a circle within a circle. In the smaller inner circle put a picture of you as your most happy and radiant self and fill in the images in the larger circle what you want. Sometimes I place a spiritual icon or a peaceful image such as a lotus flower in the center.

Pinterest

Over the last few years I dove deep into Pinterest. I have boards about confidence, success, gratitude and forgiveness.I just finished creating a three year Vision Board. They never fail to inspire me and put a smile on my face. http://www.pinterest.com/dazzlingdivarae/

 

What is your bold vision of success in 2015?actions

 

Tags: vision boards, personal growth, creativity, success

 

 

 

 

Volunteering Beats The Holiday Blues

Help Yourself by Helping Others - Words Pinned on Board

Volunteering Beats the Holiday Blues

During the holiday season so many people experience depression and isolation. I remember when I got divorced and the first time I did not have my kids for Thanksgiving, it was devastating. I cried and cried. I went to the movies and sat through a double feature. After 4 hours I could not tell you one thing about the movies.  I was just in this horrible dark place and nothing could get through. I went to a twelve step meeting and they talked about service. When you are depressed do something for someone else. So I took their advice and I went to Michaels and got some art supplies and I took them over to the local hospital.  I did feel better. I talked to some of the nurses at their station and they were so excited to have them. Since then I try and do it every holiday…now I bring cookies to the emergency room.

Over the past two decades there is a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social ones. This research,  “The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research,”  established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer had lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.

            The Benefits of Volunteering:

  1. Model  civic responsibility for your children
  2. You get to give back to your community
  3. Learn to solve real problems
  4. Connect to others in meaningful ways
  5. Save valuable resources
  6. Build self-esteem and confidence
  7. Reduces stress and make yourself healthier and happier
  8. Get to learn something new
  9. Improve your leadership skills

Finally, you get to transform your own life and make a difference in the world.

volunteering

There is still time to find ways and opportunities to serve over the next month. Look into your heart and see where it will lead. Just ask how may I serve? When you help someone else you help yourself.

Here are a few suggestions to get started.

  1. Call the VA hospital in your area and see what they need or if there any activities you could help with.
  2. Call a homeless shelter and ask what they need.
  3. Bring your dog to a senior center.
  4. Call the Salvation Army to see if they will be delivering meals or serving meals during the holidays and if you could volunteer to help with either activity.
  5. Collect hats, gloves and blankets to distribute to the homeless
  6. Send letters and cards to the armed forces.
  7. Speak with the volunteering coordinator at your local hospital. Ask her if it would be okay for you to make get well cards for all the children in the pediatric unit that will be there during the holiday.
  8. Mentor a child
  9. Make baked goods and, on the holiday, drop by places that might have someone working — animal shelter staff, police, firefighters — and distribute them with your best wishes

 

Take action: Volunteer today. Please share how volunteering made a difference in your life.

 

 

 

 

Sex, Power and the Big Game

StopHumanTrafficking

Sex, Power and the Big Game

Children as young as 11 are being sold for sex in the United States. It is estimated that 16,000 to 25,000 women and children are trafficked each day in the Chicago land area.

How can we raise awareness, spread the word and change the prevailing attitudes and misuse of power over women?

Creative Activist, Mary Bonnet’s play Shadowtown 11: the Johns begins to look at how pornography and prostitution/ sex trafficking affect the family. I am an aware, educated activist in this arena and I was deeply moved by her play. The portrayals of the innocent bachelor party with 13 men having sex with an underage girl, to the father playing out his sex fantasies or the son a porn addict unable to have intimate relationships thinking he is in love with the prostitute was gripping. It was powerful and thought provoking.

 My father, pre- internet used to send porn through the mail to his female friend wrapped in a brown paper bag. Until I saw this play I did not get why my mother was “crazy “. She felt less than, worthless and unlovable. No wonder she acted out. I never had the complete story why my mother was called a “ball buster”. Now I get it and I have more empathy for her situation.  This play made me wonder about my attitude toward men, relationships, sexuality growing up. What story did I tell myself to justify my fathers’ actions?

January is now National Slavery and Human trafficking Prevention month and Super Bowl Sunday is being hosted in Phoenix on February 1, 2015.

Traditionally, advertisers spend millions during the game to promote sex and booze. What kind of messages are we sending to young men?

Last year in January there were numerous articles written about the myth that human trafficking increases during sporting events. It does not matter if the numbers don’t hold up for that day. The NFL has had real domestic violence issues and child abuse allegations this year. The league is supposedly cracking down with cuts, mandatory education and censure. It is not enough.

 Broadcasters, ESPN and anyone who covers the game has an opportunity and the responsibility to add Public Service Announcements about trafficking, porn addiction, violence against women and child sexual abuse.   Millions of men and boys around the world need to hear the truth about sex trafficking. It is not sexy, it is not fun, the girls don’t want it. If they are not being part of the solution then you are part of the problem. We need to take responsibility for what is happening and begin an awareness campaign. Actually football players should be wearing navy blue gloves/ribbons for sex trafficking awareness.

 Learn the facts. Become educated.

A trafficker can be someone you know, or your family knows. A child may be still living at home, attending school and being sold for sex.

Sex trafficking can occur through an escort or marriage service, brothels, bars and clubs. It is big business, 32 billion dollars globally. If men/ boys don’t buy they go out of business.

Signs a child could be a victim:

Unexplained gifts, jewelry or cell phones

Controlling boyfriends or relationships

Vague stories about their whereabouts

Marked changes in behavior and speech

Hidden communication/emails/texts

Unexplained school absences

Run away from home

 

 

Call to Action: If you know anyone at ESPN that can make this happen…call them. Let them know how important this is. Share a PSA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Rs8NadYCo

If you are in Chicago you can still see Shadowntown 11: The Johns through November 23

Stop Sex Trafficking in Chicago

Stop Sex Trafficking in Chicago

Sex trafficking sounds like something that happens in other countries. But sex trafficking is happening right now in Chicago. Since 2012, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department has picked up more than 300 children forced into prostitution.

Mary BonnettCreative Activist Mary Bonnett (Producing Artistic Director) created and cofounded Her Story Theater.  Mary holds a BFA in Theater Arts, BFA in English Literature, MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, England. She has won numerous awards for excellence and outstanding contributions in professional theater, writing, directing and theater education.

 

 

Why did you start Her Story Theater? I went into a kind of a third phase of my life. I’ve done theater and I have taught theater. When I stepped into this third, I don’t think final phase, I thought what can I do and what do I bring to the table?  I can direct and I can write and I can organize. And the next question being, “what is my passion?” Social Justice for women and children. So I created Her Story Theater, and decided to put it in Chicago’s backyard. And the mission is to shine bright lights on women and children in need of social justice and community support. It is three pronged: It’s raising awareness, getting an audience charged up to be proactive and then to raise funds for a partner, a Chicago partner, that’s doing great work on that specific cause.

 

The first one we did was a piece on homeless women and we partnered with Deborah’s Place which does residential care for homeless women.We interviewed about 30 women. And then I took the information and looked at  lots of research to see what the issues are and who is homeless. I selected characters to represent who is out there:  mentally ill, the runaways, domestic violence victims, migrant worker, the economically challenged, ex-con. We set it in a spa, a beauty spa, and salon, and we got real technicians in real time doing work, so the prisoner was getting her hair done, and the mentally ill was getting the facial, and the economically challenged was getting make-up, and so on. And so the audience would go from room to room. There would be a music cue to move people from cubicle to cubicle so they could hear the before and after stories. I had a wonderful photographer who took pictures of homeless on the streets and homeless who had been to Deborah’s Place. We sold art work to raise funds.

Since then we have tackled human trafficking called Shadow Town which was addressed to young girls. It was based on interviews with people involved with sex trafficking in Chicagoland, from undercover detectives, vice squad, social workers, therapists, johns, pimps, and the women and girls trafficked.

Uniquely woven with dance and music, this memory piece follows the lives of 4 young girls’, Marisol from Humbolt Park, Tatiana from the West side of Chicago, Samantha from Naperville and Ling Ling from China, and their journey into ‘The Life’ and modern day slavery. Did you know there are 18000 – 25000 children trafficked every day? The average age is 11.

The next one is Shadow town 11: The Johns, which is about the men who buy girls and what is costs. This second part shows the demand side, how it impacts the purchasers, their families and those trafficked. Human trafficking is big business. Globally, it’s a $32 billion economy that survives by feeding the desires of men who buy sex.                                                                                                                                          mad-sex-trafficking-play-shadow-town

Bonnett researched the play by interviewing Chicagoland trafficked victims and Johns. The Johns were diverse, financially and otherwise. Some were old, some young. Some had families, others didn’t.The one thing they had in common? Denial. Most of these Johns perceive these girls as wanting to be there,” Bonnett said. Few would admit that the girls they bought were underage despite perhaps knowing otherwise. As Bonnett said, “you know the difference between an 11-year-old and a 23- year-old.” “Never once in all those conversations with the Johns did they acknowledge their actions as potentially harmful,” she said.

Bonnett says that generally men buying sex don’t brag about their activities, but “one man told me he’d been married for 37 years and never got caught. He’d been buying sex for decades.”

“We particularly want men’s groups attending this play to start understanding the issue and how they can be part of the solution to this new modern-day slavery, to see how our current culture impacts our young men and women,” she added. Once awareness is raised, re- form will follow.. This nontraditional powerful drama has music and humor. Art and theater have long had the ability to facilitate social change, and the  “The Johns” will be that vehicle.

Shadow Town II: The Johns” opens at the Mayer Kaplan Theater, 5050 Church St., Skokie, on October 16 and runs through November 23. Check website for dates and showtimes. Order tickets online here. .” The cost is $50 and the proceeds benefit the Dreamcatcher Foundation.

I have long held the belief that theater is a powerful tool for social change. Stop Sex Trafficking in Chicago. Tell your friends and buy a ticket.