Put Your Dreamer in Charge and Feel Really Good

beauty of your dreams

 

Put Your Dreamer In Charge and Feel Really Good

 

When you were a kid, you didn’t have any “real-world” duties, so it allowed you to spend your time inventing games, talking to imaginary friends, making tents out of blankets, being a superhero, a ballerina or an astronaut.  Basically doing whatever you wanted to do for most of the day. You lived in the realm of your imagination…you dreamed…A LOT.

Somewhere along the way your teachers said stop day dreaming, get serious, stop playing…and you did.  Now,  you have obligations and responsibilities that help make sure that everything runs smoothly. You map out logistics and build routines that create a sense of comfort, security and stability for you and your family. You have serious goals but are you really happy?

While those elements are essential to being a grown-up, we still need to dream and play and creatively express ourselves in order to maintain our sanity and build a life worth living. Scientific studies have proven that play does a body good. When we play, we send a beautiful chemical called endorphins cascading through our bodies, which makes us feel really good. Getting into a state of dreaming  and wonder opens us up to new possibilities. Creative expression allows us to generate new ideas and inspire new conversations and instills in us a general sense of well being.

Here are a few simple steps to help you put your dreamer back in the driver’s seat.

  1. Play Like A Child. Maybe doing cartwheels is no longer in your wheelhouse, but you can still run across an open field with your arms out like an airplane. You can sit on  swing and reach for the stars. You can lay on the grass and imagine the passing clouds as mermaids or castles in the sky.
  1. Love Your Friends. Before we learned to guard ourselves against rejection and heartache, we laughed openly with our friends, told them how awesome they were, and gave them lots of hugs. Guess what…you can still do all that. We need physical contact to feel connected to something other than ourselves and to feel a little less alone, especially in times of need. Hugs reduce the levels of cortisol in the body and lowers our stress level and therefore improves our mood. AND IT IS FREE.
  2. Creatively express yourself. We were all born creative  that is until someone told us “cows weren’t purple. If you want to be taken seriously you need that power suit.”  Creativity is your authentic soul yearning to be free. Take some time and scribble and doodle with crayons and see what emerges. Indulge your senses with a new cologne, find an accessory that says clearly who you are. You can put on your favorite dance music and rock out. Try out a new recipe for a spinach souffle or a decadent chocolate cake. Creative expression is your birthright.creativity1
  3. Be Curious. All too often we let our brain go on autopilot through rigid thinking.Don’t rush through your day, rather indulge in wonder. Ask open ended questions. What would I love? What feels better? What can I do with what I have to to experience more joy and happiness?
  4. Dream BIGGER.  Sure, it makes sense to put “realistic” goals on your list, but what about your “impossible” dreams? Let your imagination run wild and your curiosity guide you…What if you could end world hunger? What if you could have numerous homes all over the world? What is you could make the world safer for women and girls? What if you could  make a fabulous living only working four hours a day? Or lead the cause that ended global warming?   Let your mind become limitless again…and just see what happens.

One of the biggest keys to happiness is to do the things that you enjoy. Chances are, they are the simple things you’ve done ever since you were a kid.

 

How will you put YOUR dreamer in charge TODAY?

Join the creative activist community and collaborate with other big picture thinkers. Share your big dreams on https://www.facebook.com/groups/CreativeActivists/

Creatively Constipated? 3 Ways That Play Can Clear That Right Up

Creatively Constipated? 3 Ways that PLAY can clear that Right Up

By Alissia Thompson, LCPC

Have you ever had the experience of being under deadline? There you are, sweating the minutes of the clock ticking by, desperately searching for a great (or even mediocre) idea to put forth before you turn into a pumpkin. The pressure is on-you have to produce, yet your imagination has gone into lockdown. Nothing is happening. Your creative flow is effectively backlogged. You feel frustrated, fatigued, and fed up. Yes, you’re creatively constipated. The ideas are stuck. You push harder, but that only seems to make things worse. Now the panic sets in. The clock keeps ticking. How will I get it done?

Creativity is a vital life force-one that I contend brings us closer to the Divine-but is also equal parts stubborn. Sometimes it just doesn’t want to cooperate, much like nature on occasion (see Chicago winter this year).winter So does that mean we go into hibernation until it passes? Recently someone reminded me that inspiration is for amateurs. He suggested that we design our own conditions to create. So let me ask you: when it plunged into the double-digit negatives in January, did you: a) focus your energies on trying to change the temperature, or b) simply put on more layers, to keep yourself warm and safe?

We can’t change the weather, and we can’t force creativity. What we can do, however, is lay the foundation for those conditions that lend to creativity. Just like we can put on an extra top to stay warm, we can take measures to effect creativity where we have influence-and that is in our actions. We can choose to act in ways that are conducive to our creativity. This is where play comes in. Play is an equally Divine life force to creativity that can be considered its right-hand (wo)man. Put into action, play can supercharge creativity, and alleviate that painful, anxiety-provoking constipation. Play and creativity are a 1-2 punch! Here’s how:

1)      Play does a body good. When we play, we send a beautiful chemical called endorphins cascading through our bodies, which makes us feel really good. It relaxes us and makes us feel happy and euphoric. When we play, we set our bodies up for creative receptivity, unlike stress and its chemical counterpart, cortisol. Play really is healthy, and puts us in the mood for creating.

2)      Play clears our minds. Research in rats shows that play enhances memory, improves problem-solving abilities, and actually builds a bigger brain! While not much research to date has been compiled on humans, study after study suggests that us humans are influenced much the same. A playful brain is a sharper brain. A sharper, more relaxed brain is apt to be more creative than that of a dull, overwhelmed brain. We actually need play to stay focused!

3)      Play reduces stress. I know I touched on it above, but stress really is a killer and deserves mention of its own. When we’re stressed, not only are our bodies flooded with erosive neurotransmitters (like cortisol), but we literally contract. Our minds go into tunnel vision, our bodies grow tense, and our spirits disconnect from the Infinite. How conducive is this state to creation? I used to throw a ball around with some of my staff when we were brainstorming/problem-solving, and it took the edge off the process. Ideas flow when stress is low.

Whether faced with a deadline or simply aiming to complete a creative project, try using a little play when you start to feel all stopped up. See how moving around a bit, lightening up, and having a little fun influences the process. Play can be so transformative; unfortunately not enough of us leverage this as part of our healing repertoire. Not you, though. I know you see it; and I know you’ll play long.

 

alissiajayneAbout the Author: Alissia Thompson is a psychotherapist and teacher whose work is to transform individuals and organizations through play. She offers workshops and individual sessions on the importance of play as part of personal development. You can learn more about Alissia at www.alissiajayne.com.

 

 

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?