All about Music

My husband has a new interest since Covid began. He is learning to play the keyboard, music theory and composition. He composed this piece of music which I find to be light and refreshing. I hope you enjoy his first piece ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 7 of 7 photos in 7 days

Last Thursday I suggested our U3A Course participants take on a creative challenge of their choice, to do something creative each day for 7 days. I couldn’t convince them to do the 30 day challenge though. We meet again in the morning and I am looking forward to finding out what they have been up to.

My 7th photo is shot of our morning tea tomorrow: Mini blueberry muffins!

Progress on the Creative Space

Recently I wrote about enhancing our environment to best support creativity. I am gradually making changes to my “office” (might need to change what I call the space!) to encourage me to be more creative.

This week I made a simple change and it has made all the difference. I have three desks in my room and I set up one with various creative projects that I started (and not completed). The space didn’t feel right until I moved my files for the two committees I do volunteer ‘work’ for. Once I moved them it felt so much better!

I also purchased a new mat for the floor. I was going to replace the carpet but the mat seemed so much easier and I got instant gratification without all the hassle of moving furniture etc.

I love my new mat!

Once the space felt right I spent some time there looking through my past projects. About four years ago I attempted to make a start on a memoir. I got as far as writing two pages of information for each decade of my life up until then. It made it seem manageable to do it that way. I printed out the pages I had written and put them in a nice new file. I found other bits and pieces (journal writing bits and pieces) that I was able to add to it. Who know where it may lead!

The two bears are there to remind me to have fun but also I don’t know where else to put them! I have been known for collecting teddy bears :).

On Creativity

I am currently doing a course from University of the Third Age Online. It is called Unleashing Your Creative Spirit. I am keen to run this Course in 2020 through our local U3A.

I have met a lot of people in early retirement who find themselves wondering what has happened to them with all the changes of no longer being in the workforce. I have noticed that lots of people, me included, have a list of project we have always wanted to do when we got the time.

Well, we have the TIME now but struggle to make these projects happen. I have been wondering why that is. Some of my projects include learning calligraphy, making personalised greeting cards, sewing (I bought a nice new but basic sewing machine) photography (I purchased a digital camera) and writing. I also like doing WordPress websites for friends.

This course is great in that it looks at what motivates us to be creative and at what situations create blockages. It emphasises that a part of creativity is actually ‘work’ and organisation. That surprised me, silly as it may sound. I had thought that being creative was purely stuff you did for fun and quite different to what we do for work.

It was a bit of a light-bulb moment when I realised the ‘work’ aspect of creativity is the main cause of my not completing my projects. A small project I am working on involves using some photos of wildflowers to create greeting cards. My first big hurdle was I didn’t know how to print the photos even though I have a modern printer. I did persevere and had success!

I feel I have learnt a lot already and I can see lots of opportunities for exploring new skills and enjoyment along the way.

The Flying Monkey

I love this post from Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way and the freedom it suggests ๐Ÿ™‚

Spirit Lights The Way

2014-11-17 12-05-45_0022Once upon a place and time, a monkey flew through the jungle, clinging and swinging from vine to vine.

Ignorant of his true nature, he clung to the belief that he could fly only when swinging and clinging from one vine to the next.

He swung as he clung and clung as he swung.

Afraid to โ€œlet go.โ€

Until the day he woke up and remembered who he was.

No longer attached to the vines and entwined beliefs that had held him back, he found his wings and soared.

FlyLike a flying monkey, the Mind swings from thought to thought until we wake up and โ€œlet go.โ€

No longer attached to stories about the past or future fears, we fly through the Eternal Now.

And live happily ever after on a moment by moment basis.

Aah . . . thatโ€™s better!

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The flow state

I am reading (still) Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly and published by Harper Perennial – first published in 1990. It is one of those books where I keep going “Aha!” as I discover the writer has put my jumbled thoughts into eloquent words that seem quite profound. It is not often I find a book that answers so many questions for me.

I could not do it credit by trying to explain his findings but I would really encourage you to read it. One of the things that appeals to me is that it not pop psychology but seems to have some real research behind it.

To quote a New York Times Book Review, “Flow is important … The way to happiness lies not in mindless hedonism, but in mindful challenge.”

Visual for being in the flowI spoke to a friend on the phone yesterday (we haven’t caught up in many months) and I recommended this book to her. She was amazed at the coincidence as she was just about to put in an online order for the very same book – how is that for synchronicity?

Being ‘in the flow’

I recently discovered an interesting book titled Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It was first published in 1990 by Harper and Row.

Here is a description of the book I copied from Amazon.com (where I purchased the book).

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of “optimal experience” have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.

I am finding it easy to read and a refreshing change from much of the (wonderful) literature about mindfulness. Sometimes words like mindfulness become so over used that they lose their sense of meaning. The writer talks about giving our attention to whatever is before us.

Although I haven’t finished reading it yet, I feel comfortable in recommending it to readers interested in experiencing more flow in their day-to-day lives.003 (Copy)

It sounds like I was paid to review this book, but I promise I haven’t! It was just a link in an article I was reading online and before I knew what I was doing, I ordered a kindle edition as well as a hard copy ๐Ÿ™‚