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?

 

 

 

What Is Your Winning Adventure?

ready for adventure

 

How Do You Define the Winning Adventure?

Life is an adventure and we get to choose what we make of it. We get to choose how we see life. Is the glass half full or empty? We get to choose how we handle the challenges and the bumpy roads. We can complain, be a victim or we can look for the gifts. We get to choose how we make a difference in the world. Do you want to be a role model, a mentor or volunteer? You get to choose what is the best version of you. You get to choose how you show up in the world. What are you choosing today? What is your winning adventure?

My top fifteen.choose to see the good

  1. Helping others…from the time I was a little girl and I saw Shirley Temple in the movie Heidi, I knew that I had to help the Clara’s of the world: People who had grown comfortable in their pain and circumstances, frightened to reach out toward healing, wholeness and joy.
  2. Personal freedom…visiting new and exciting places while experiencing new cultures and hearing people’s stories:  riding a camel across the desert in Israel; eating fish and chips in front of the television with the owner of my New Zealand B and B; belly dancing in a local restaurant in Morocco.
  3.  Love…Being involved with family and friends in loving, compassionate and deep heartfelt ways. Having agreed to disagree conversations with my adult children and getting to be GRANDMA (Raspberry kisses, make believe and magic).
  4. Finding the fun in life…being able to laugh at myself and the things I have tried all in the name of losing weight or healing: shake rattle and roll machines; all the chocolate cream filled donuts you can eat and swimming for two hours diet; sitting in the car at midnight, waiting for the train to go by while I screamed at the top of my lungs.
  5. Being creative…from the time I was six and I had Miss Rae’s Art School; scribbles and doodle; reading tarot cards; or taking candid photographs of laundry around the world and intimate portraits of flowers.
  6. Being old enough to BREAK THE RULES: having dessert for breakfast (Crème Brule and almost any ice cream with gold brick topping and marshmallow fluff); saying NO to friends and families unreasonable and sometimes reasonable requests; and starting a new business at age 60.
  7. Say yes to wearing exquisite, vibrant colored clothes and accessories, and bold, big pieces of jewelry and my cowboy hat.cowboy hat
  8. Authenticity…Standing in my power and sharing my truth in print, live and on the radio.
  9.  Diva Rae singing in public, draped across the piano in a purple sequined gown, a sultry version of the itsy bitsy spider. (LOL)
  10. Being a spiritual eclectic: studying eastern and western religions; attending different services around the world; taking what I want and leaving the rest.
  11. Nature… Enjoying the sound of the seagulls, the sun shining on my face and the wind blowing in my hair.
  12. Envisioning a bigger, better, brilliant, abundant future without knowing the how.
  13. Gratitude…A big thank you for every moment I am alive.
  14. Watching So You Think You Can Dance and The Voice and listening to country music.
  15. The ultimate winning adventure …Loving Life! No matter what your past, you can choose to live creatively, passionately and joyfully.

Make your life and work a winning adventure.

Please share your winning adventure with me .Download your free vision and goal setting report.

 

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

017

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.

 

What Is Your Winning Adventure for 2014?

 

Welcome to 2014 and The Winning Adventure!                                                                                                                                                                      biggest adventure

I’m Rae Luskin Chief Explorer and Tour Guide around here. But let’s be clear on one thing – while I have started this new facebook community https://www.facebook.com/winningadventure#, you are the ones who will make it what it is. It is not mine, it’s OURS.

I see my mission as pretty simple: Explore, Listen and Share

To explore myself, to listen to your story, and to share new tools so you can live your legacy now and become the hero of your own epic adventure.

Most of my life I lacked the confidence to go after my dreams. I was stuck in I am not good enough or I can’t mentality. I walked around with my head down, tip toeing around the elephant in the living room (gramps sexually abused me) trying to be a fly on the wall. I did not want anyone to find out my “secret.” I was afraid if you knew the real me you would go running from the room. Furthermore, I thought that if I was too visible, too outspoken, bad things would happen. In my family there was a lot of rage and verbal assaults.

My inner critic was on high alert most of the time. Who do you think you are? Don’t get too big for your britches? What are you stupid or crazy?

So I played it safe. I kept myself invisible. I did what  was expected of me. But I was miserable. Depressed. Obese. Lonely.  But with a sense of Adventure, Curiosity, and Creativity I was able to overcome my limiting beliefs and fear based behavior.  

 I became an author, artist, speaker and coach.  I went from shy to outspoken. Writing controversial opinions or often voicing the dissenting opinion at board meetings. I became an effective leader and community activist. As a radio talk show host I was able to share stories of victim to victor, from stuck to unstoppable and change my life and the lives of thousands of other people.

At The Winning Adventure we believe that everyone has a unique gift. It does not matter if you are a little league coach, head of the local PTO or the CEO of your business you have a sphere of influence. We are all leaders. Doing work you love and creating impact is your birthright.

You just have to be willing to do the work, make the discoveries and surround yourself with the people who make it possible. If we commit to doing that, the ‘impossible’ starts to become possible.  That’s when everything begins to change.  

That is what this community is designed to do for its members – for YOU. For all of us.

So in case you’re wondering what The Winning Adventure stands for around here, this is a breakdown of what we believe and how we live at The Winning Adventure. If it resonates, I hope you’ll stick around. This is just the beginning…

How an Idea Begins to Change the World

I heard a whisper… Interview 100 leaders across the country

The inner critic jumped in and said are you crazy? Who would listen to you?

Did the inner work and tapped into my courage.

In the last year I was blessed to interview over 120 leaders around the country.

Started writing Stuck to Unstoppable and the Creative Edge.

They inspired me and I am sure their stories will inspire you.

What I know for sure is everyone wants to be seen, heard and understood.

I want to create a safe space for you.

I want to know what makes you come alive.

Travel makes me come alive. It has been a passion of mine since my first trip to Europe with my family when I was 16. I was entranced by the people, the natural beauty, the aesthetics and different cultures and communities. I have traveled first class staying at five star hotels  or gone steerage in a cabin without a port hole. I have ridden a camel in Israel, had a snake wrapped around my neck in Morocco, and walked through the rainforest in New Zealand. I have found travel inspirational and transcendent. I got to act differently, try on new behavior, be anyone I wanted. I became an expert in resource management: money, time, energy, fun and learning. I got to tap into my courage muscle and be pioneer, an adventurer, navigator…a creative  leader. It was where I found out who I was, what was essential to  my well being.

The summer before my senior year in college while traveling with my best friend I made the decision to leave school and go into therapy for the first time.

After my trip to New Zealand in 1998 I came home and decided to open my own healing art center called Art and Soul Connections.

In 2001 during my trip to Italy I got to play tour guide and came up with my agenda for my new job as President of the National Council of Jewish Women Chicago, North Shore

I believe that life is an adventure.  It does not mean you have to go around the world. You can have an adventure at home, in this moment. It is an attitude. It is a calling. It is committing to your dreams. It takes some planning. So begin today.

 

  What is The Winning Adventure for you in the New Year?

where we belong

Here are some prompts:

If you knew you could not fail  would you like to do?

What are your greatest talents?

What have your life experiences prepared you to do?

What “problems” in the world touch your soul?

Who inspires you?

What are you curious about learning?

What makes your heart sing?

What do you want to be known and remembered for?

 

By listening to our inner voice we are actually being the change we want to see in the world.

I would love to hear from you what makes you come alive. What is The Winning Adventure for you? I want to support you on your journey.

Please like my new facebook page and tell us how we can support your dreams.  https://www.facebook.com/winningadventure#

 

 

 

The Butterfly Effect: Pay It Forward

The Butterfly Effect

In 1963 mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz presented to the New York Academy of Sciences a theory that said:                     blue butterfly

A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air- eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the world. His ideas were scoffed at and ridiculed for decades. But then 30 years later scientists came to the conclusion that it was accurate and viable.

The same theory applies to the decisions or actions we take now, no matter how small they are. What we think and do matters and plays a huge role in determining the quality  of our lives and the lives of others. We all have a tremendous sphere of influence; family, friends community, co-workers. We have no idea what our impact can have on other people – just smiling  or saying have a great day may start a personal transformation for some people.

This is why Gandhi’s famous quote Be the change you want to see in the world,” is so effective. It shows how one decision to change our personal world can end up inspiring others to do the same.

I am writing today because I just finished delivering holiday cookies to the library. There is a homeless man that sits there every day reading. I brought him a Jewel card. He said thanks and are you the lady who gave me one this summer in the park? I said yes. He said I hope you aren’t mad but I used part of it to buy treats for the other dogs in the park. I said it was a gift you can do anything you want with it. He paid it forward…a man who lives on the streets.

Then I actually sat down and talked with him for fifteen minutes. He is well read and just finished reading Abraham Herschel’s book The Sabbath  and Kaplan’s The History of  Jewish Civilization. I asked him why you don’t go somewhere warmer in the winter. He teared up and said this has been my family home since 1911. I am the last person alive. He told me he gets so mad when people say move to a community with more services for your kind. He said this is one of the wealthiest communities, why go to a poorer area and take from their meager resources. He gave me much to consider. I walked away from our encounter changed. He gave me  the gift.

                                     man and ripple

 This Is A Call To Action.

Pay It Forward.

 A kind word, a smile, a conversation with a lonely person is a gift to yourself.

 

 

Rae Luskin is the author of Art From My Heart and coming soon Stuck to Unstoppable: Unleash Your Passion, Purpose and Possibilities.

Tags: pay it forward, butterfly effect, compassion, kindness, legacy