What Would You Do With A Million Dollars?

 

Powerball Lottery Reaches Third Highest Jackpot

I joined a 31 day challenge recently to write 500 words a day. It is all about finding your authentic voice. What is the message and vision you have to share with people? This is my day one.

What would you do if someone handed you a million dollars?

Not too long ago the Powerball lottery prize was 1.6 billion dollars. People who never would consider buying a ticket did. In California we heard of people standing in the pouring rain for hours just to get a chance.  Have you really thought about what you would do with that money? How it would change your life, what could you do to change the world? Now I didn’t stand in the rain but I did buy a ticket.  Now my coach whom I love said why…you have the ability to create money. I said to accelerate my dreams.

Now I have always been a big picture thinker, one of my best skill sets. Over the last three years I have been encouraged to dream big, to stay in the question what would I love to express, to be, to do, or create in four areas of my life. The first is time money freedom, the second is creative expression or work in the world, the third is relationships and the fourth is wellness. It took some real soul searching to come up with a vision that truly was an authentic expression of my values. How many of us have lived our lives based on should, trying to please other people?  How often have we taken the “comfortable or safe path” because we are scared we might fail?

Now I have a big, bold, audacious vision. I want to engage, inspire and connect one million creative activists. What is a creative activist you ask? They are people like you and me who have embraced their personal gifts and power to create a better life for themselves, their families and community. They see a problem and look for a solution. They know the best way to foster change is being an example of what they would like to see. They share their voice, their stories so you know you are not alone.

I know how hard it is to share your story. Now those who know me now would never believe this but I was shy, retiring, I never had an opinion, I sat on the fence and waited to see how the wind blew. I usually agreed with the last person who spoke. If you know a bit about my background it might make sense.

As a child I was sexually abused by my grandfather from age 7-13. Now in those days no one talked about it, not on the news, no after school specials and if you grew up in my house you know that like Vegas whatever happens here stays here.  I was afraid no one would believe me, a pillar of the community could do that…so I kept quiet. I never told anyone until I was in my early twenties and I went to therapy for the first time.

Over the years I realized traditional talk therapy was not enough for me. I was surviving but not thriving. I would lay in bed after my kids would go to school and contemplate walking in front of a train. At night I would drown my sorrow, my grief and fear with pints of ice cream, cookies and cake.  I reached a critical point, I could not go on like that…I was going to live or die. I chose life.

I became a workshop junkie. I traveled the world in search of answers. They came much closer to home, actually they were inside me all the time.  My imagination, my intuition, my inspiration, my creative genius was there all the time. Over the years I just lost sight of it. Actually I put it away because one teacher said you are not a very good writer, a choir director  said mouth the words, my parents said you will never make a living being an artist. Where have you experienced this in your life? Who tried to set you straight? What did it cost you?

So I took out my crayons and began to scribble and doodle. I read a thousand self-help books and answered the questions in them. I created a gratitude and did well journal. I painted, took photographs of flowers, did body work, listened to music and I danced. Little by little I saw enormous changes. I felt better, I looked better, I had more energy, more confidence, I had a positive attitude, and my relationships got better. People asked what happened you seem different. I was different. As I let go of the past, when I embraced my gifts and talents when I asked how I can use this experience to make a difference in the world, my life opened up. I experienced more joy and a sense of well being and love.

You may be asking how this relates to being a lotto winner. A 2015 Camelot study group found that 44% of people who ever won large lottery prizes were broke within 5 years. Other studies suggest that lottery winners frequently suffer from a high incidence of depression, divorce, suicide and addictions. They don’t feel they deserve it. They often lack a clear vision for how they will use the money, how they will relate to their friends and family when they ask for money. They don’t have a good support team in place to help handle their finances. They never really considered how they can use their increased wealth to make a difference in the world.

Well I still play lotto. I believe in miracle, magic and a bold vision for success. I have a burning desire and a clear action plan to engage 1 million creative activists. I am international speaker sharing creativity as a path to personal and planetary healing. We have an online program that offers tips, tools and techniques to become a fearless thought leaders and a creative problem solver. We offer a community resource guide of “best practices, creative programs and solutions.”  Finally, hosting Dream a Better World television. Everyone has a story. I love creating a safe space for them to share their voice and vision.

I would love your comments. Thanks

Gift of Imagination

imagination

We have this gift called imagination. As children we played make believe for hours, we were race car drivers, movie stars winning an Oscar or we were scientists living on Mars. We lived in the realm of imagination where anything was possible, our imagination was a bright and wondrous place to be. Then around five or six well meaning teachers said ” stop day dreaming, stick to the facts,” and we shut down our joyful imagination.

As adults we tend to use our imagination to envision the worst instead of the best. How many times have you noticed when your children were late getting home  your mind went to  there was an accident, they are in a ditch. When I was  getting divorced I kept imagining I was going to be a bag lady living in the street.( it never happened) Our minds are very powerful image makers and search engines. So the question becomes what is the vision you want to carry in your mind, freedom or oppression, peace or turmoil, lack or abundance, health or disease, love or hate? Instead of imagining what we don’t want it is time to start using our imagination effectively create what we do want.

I have been studying Napoleon Hill for several years and he says.” Imagination is the most marvelous, miraculous, inconceivable, powerful force the world has ever known.”  I believe that. So as creative, imaginative human beings what would you like to create for yourself, your family, your community and for the world? The question isn’t what do you think you can create,  rather what does a life that you would love to create, look like? What do you want to create with the gift of  your imagination?

What do you want. Buy yourself a journal. Take the time for yourself. You are worth it. Keep asking yourself what do I want. But instead of saying I don’t want to be sick, Say I want to be healthy. Instead of I don’t want to be stressed. I want to be calm and peaceful. I don’t want to be in debt rather I want more than enough money  to pay my bills and take care of my needs. Make it in the positive, your thoughts are magnets. Here is my partial list.

1. I want to paint and collage more
2.I want to have more fun and adventure in my life
3.I want to make welcome my beloved
4.I want to serve more people and host a Creative Activist retreat in April
5.I want to buy sexy new clothes in a size 12
6.I want more flexibility and stamina to walk 10,000 steps daily
7.I want the financial freedom  to spend three months in California
8.I want  a deeper  connection to Spirit
9.I want to travel and explore the world with family and friends

Now it is your turn to  write down at least 50 things that you want to have, do or be in 2016. If you want more information on using the gift of your imagination get our free visioning and goal setting report. http://thewinningadventure.com/

Cultivate Creativity and Fun in the Workplace…Priceless

Cultivate Creativity and Fun in the Workplace…Priceless

Imagine yourself working in a place bursting with energy and vitality. The people around you are happy all day long. They love what they are doing and are committed to your vision and mission. They are laughing and smiling.

Creativity and imagination are key to the success of organizations today. In stimulating, fun and playful cultures, employees are more productive. They have 51% lower turnover (Gallup) They have 125% less burnout (HBR), 43% more productivity (Hay Group) and 33% more profitability (Gallup).                                                                                googles-workspace19

Here are five ways to make your workplace more creative and fun.

  1. Invest in imagination. Allocate time to day dream and play with possibilities. At Google employees are given one day a week to work on a project of their choice that doesn’t fall within their formal job description. Google reports that they get many ideas that can be applied to the rest of their organizations’ core work.
  2. Have fun. Get the office together and have a white board scribble and doodle contest, dress up as your favorite superhero or crank up the music and dance and watch how the creativity begins to flow. Children laugh an average of 400 times a day and that number drops to only 15 times a day by the time people reach age 35.  Laughter releases endorphins which make you feel good. Laughing increases oxygen intake, thereby replenishing and invigorating cells. It also increases the pain threshold, boosts immunity, and relieves stress. When you are less stressed you are more creative.
  3. Cultivate curiosity.  Regardless of where or how we work, the best creative minds are the most curious.  One of my favorite movies growing up was Auntie Mame. Mame implores her young nephew Patrick to avoid dullness by “soaking up life, down to your toes.”  Take a class. What have you always been interested in learning? Try a new recipe or restaurant. Share it with your colleagues.
  4. Do your brainstorming offsite. Go to the amusement park and take a ride on the roller coaster or get in a hot air balloon. Go to a museum and see things from a new perspective.
  5. Design an inspiring and flexible work space. Google again had been a leader in this arena.  Employees glide around the building on razor scooters and climb ladders between floors. They design their own workspace with treadmills and tinker toys while writing on walls. You can start small and rearrange the furniture. Hang art work on the walls or cover them with black board paint. Bring in fun things such as Nerf balls, a basketball and hoop, or party blowers.

One of my favorite places to go for meetings is Catalyst Ranch in Chicago. Nestled in a building that dates to the 1880’s in the old meatpacking district,  there are 6 rooms all furnished with vintage furniture, ethnic artwork, toys, books, magazines, colorful walls and filled with natural light.                                                                   catalyst ranch

The creator is Eva Niewiadomski, who I had the pleasure of interviewing for The Winning Adventure.

“When I started Catalyst Ranch in 2002, it was with the thought that there was a different way to enable creative thinking. There are better processes and better outputs versus sitting in a hotel room or a conference room back at the office and trying to force people to come up with better ways to do things or to think differently when you are constantly in that same sort of space. I had created some of those sorts of different spaces when I was at Quaker Oats,  a couple of  innovation hallways and a creativity room as of sideline to my day job.  I decorated my desk, I had a lot of art  work around, people loved coming and having meetings at my desk. There was a different energy in how we approach things because there was a different physical environment. Many people take for granted the importance of physical space. They don’t really understand how important that element is in enabling better things to come out at the end of the day whether it be you are training someone or whether it is a strategic planning meetings or whether it’s a product ideation. If you can help people’s brains engage in a different way, then you are going to come out with better results than if you just sat them in a plain conference room and say “Okay, now I want you to come up with a whole new process” or “I want you to learn something” and before you know it, people are zoning out.” For more information and an opportunity to play with slinky, pipe cleaners and play doh go to http://www.catalystranch.com/

Striving to create a fun, exciting, dynamic workplace where imagination, curiosity, collaboration and play is encouraged should be the goal of any company. Looking at creativity as a most valuable asset and treasure has been embraced in the corporate world so eloquently by Zappos’ core value “create fun and a little weirdness.

Rae Luskin is the owner of The Winning Adventure
http://thewinningadventure.com  Author of two books : Art From My Heart and the recently released Learning from Failure: 11 Sure Ways to Turn Your Worst Failures Into Your Biggest Success. Rae is known for her ability to make creativity and innovation easy for anyone to achieve.


Be The Hero of Your Own Winning Adventure

visionary

 

Be The Hero of Your Own Winning Adventure

 

I recently was channel surfing and came across Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone.Looking through fresh eyes I could see the journey we must all take to go from looking inside ourselves to bringing forth our visions into the world.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone draws on English fantasy works that seem to be for children but is in fact an allegory of the Hero’s Journey. Mythologist Joseph Campbell discovered that heroic myths from every culture are essentially the same story. He discovered a pattern in any story in which an ordinary person accomplishes something heroic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 harry potter

 Rowling herself has stated that her book is really about imagination and that practicing wizardry is only a metaphor for developing one’s full potential. On one level, the story is a thriller with a criminal plot. But on a deeper level, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, illustrates the challenges and adventures of growing up, finding mentors, gaining respect from peers, owning your gifts and talents and answering the call.

 At the beginning of the journey we aren’t the hero we need to be in order to reach our goal. We are just ordinary. We usually aren’t smart enough, strong enough or wise enough. We have to face our “shadows” our challenges and fears to become the hero of our own winning adventure. In this case Harry must face Voldemort and destroy the stone. The hero’s journey is ultimately a story of personal transformation from childhood to adulthood, challenges to opportunities and ordinary to extraordinary.

 Harry discovered that there is something uniquely valuable inside him and that he is a great wizard. He overcomes adverse situations while remaining strong and virtuous. It is ultimately his imagination and courage that transforms him from the ordinary forgotten orphan living under the stairs into a hero.

Anybody who has ever changed the world or achieved greatness started out as an ordinary person just like you and me.

I would like to share with you the story of Mary Rockwood Lane, PhD, RN. Mary, is the co-founder and director emeritus of Shands Arts in Medicine program at University of Florida (UF), Gainesville, where she created the first artist-in-residence program of its type in the United States. At a time when art was not integrated in health care, Mary became inspired by her own experience of healing herself through art and created a program which incorporates art, music, poetry, theater, and dance into the medical profession. She directed the nationally-recognized Arts in Medicine program for over 15 years. Today she works to promote a vision for a more creative and transformative nursing practice.

 Mary’s Story

I was a young mother with two young children, my husband ended up leaving me and I crashed. My support network was ripped away and everything shattered. A deep sense of despair and rage took over. Therapy wasn’t working and my therapist said you need to try something different. I had so many fears about not being good enough  but I was willing to try something new… it was almost as if there was a part of me that rose out of the ashes, like the phoenix rising. I had this incredible opportunity of recreating my life.  mary_rockwood_lane_web__large

  I’ve never made art before, but I decided I’m going to be an artist.  I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I went to a studio and picked out a canvas. I didn’t even know how to hold a brush and I started painting. I became excited with the process of painting: the colors, the textures, and the way different shapes swirled together on the canvas. The painting began to transform into an image of my pain and hurt. I forgot about how I felt and instead painted those feelings. I began a series of self portraits which were my despair. They were all distorted with garish backgrounds. They were crying and bleeding. When I finished releasing the image onto canvas, I stepped back and gasped! What I saw was an aspect of myself that I couldn’t face; it was so ugly! I backed away, left the studio and went home.  I realized I had left behind the pain and the past. I was free.

 

  How are you the hero of your own winning adventure?