365 Days Of Creativity Challenge, Creative Exercises And Prompts, Gratitude Challenge, Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal)

Draw A Person (365 Creative Exercises & Prompts, Day 48)

Hello Monday and welcome to the last few weeks of this year, 2017. The creative exercise for Day 48 is to find a person in your life, a family member, friend, or co-worker, someone with whom you associate closely, draw a picture of them, and list out all the reasons why you think they are wonderful. Are they kind? Cheerful? Ready with a word of support? It doesn’t, of course, always have to be something they give to you such as kindness, patience, a listening ear, or a helping hand. Make sure you list the things about them that are uniquely them, covering both the serious, and the fun or quirky. For example, my family will tell you that it’s very hard for me to keep anything a surprise, especially birthday gifts or plans. Someone will have to literally sit on me to keep me quiet. I’m better at it now that I’m older, but definitely still a work in progress. I like to think it’s a feature, and not a bug, but some of my family members may disagree!  For the accompanying artwork, you could use a photograph, but do try drawing them. Remember those kindergarten prompts, “I love my Mom/Dad/family member  because..”? This creative exercise is similar. One of my boys wrote they loved me because I never forgot to cook food for them everyday, an obvious case of cupboard love! They accompanied it with a drawing of me with a circular head, one strand of hair and very muscular arms, and I remember bursting into laughter on seeing it. Let’s tackle these creative prompts with that child-like spirit of innocent ‘can do’. We are not trying to be perfect. We want to have some fun. We want to be light-hearted. To appreciate the awesomeness in the people in our lives. And to take time to express ourselves creatively, and with gratitude.

Creative Exercise / Day 48/ 365-Day Creativity ChallengeMy Day 48 prompt: I was thinking of my sister when I wrote today’s prompt. She is honest. She is committed to fairness and will do the right thing even when it’s difficult. Her one quirk, in my opinion, is her tendency to ‘Excel spreadsheet’ everything, though that may be her corporate background. She has always been creative – musician, dancer, writer, potter, photographer, and artist. She is a great listener, and the best person to have on your side. She is very logical and intuitive. She is also very forgiving. I tried to sew a dress for her Barbie as a feel-better gift when she was down with the flu or something, back when we were kids. I had limited sewing skills, and so after making a tubular cloth sheath, I showed her that she had to remove Barbie’s head every time she wanted to put the dress on, removing it as I spoke. She looked horrified but as I mentioned earlier, she is very forgiving even though the doll’s head never quite regained the original tight fit on the rest of her body. We have grown closer as we have gotten older, and like fine wine, I think we are getting better and better at this whole sister thing!  – Priya


Background: Welcome! We are now at Day 48 of the 365-Day Creativity Challenge, and I am excited and happy to have you here!  I use the terms ‘creative’, ‘creativity’  or ‘creative exercise’ very loosely. While they have very specific meanings within the art or business worlds, I define it as any activity that allows us to access an inner stillness. Where the mind’s incessant chatter decreases, and for that short period of time, we are in the presence of a magnificent quietude. Where we feel joyful and recharged as if accessing a powerful, bountiful source of imagination and ideas. It makes what we do- draw, write, paint, work in a science lab, dance, sing, play music, photography etc. etc.- a spiritual experience. It has nothing to do with talent and skill level, and everything to do with joy. Whether you take part in all 365 days, or 7, 21, or 30 days, or join us when you can, I hope you will take the time to relax, slow down, and be your joyous self! Want more details? You may want to read this introduction to the 365-Day Creativity Challenge. Have a wonderful day! Just as a reminder, it really helps to have a dedicated journal or notebook because you will see  a continuous record of your creativity expanding and changing as you devote time to it every day. You will also be creating a year’s worth of creative work. As you work through the prompts, write down other things that strike you because you may want to revisit these ideas. Have a wonderful day and I will see you tomorrow! To share what you are doing, please use the hashtag #ctea365 on social media and /or leave me a comment below. – Priya


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365 Days Of Creativity Challenge, Creative Exercises And Prompts, Gratitude Challenge, Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal)

Gratitude Cards (365 Creative Exercises & Prompts, Day 44)

Background: Welcome! We are now into Week 6, Day 44 of the 365-Day Creativity Challenge, and I am excited and happy to have you here!  I use the terms ‘creative’, ‘creativity’  or ‘creative exercise’ very loosely. While they have very specific meanings within the art or business worlds, I define it as any activity that allows us to access an inner stillness. Where the mind’s incessant chatter decreases, and for that short period of time, we are in the presence of a magnificent quietude. Where we feel joyful and recharged as if accessing a powerful, bountiful source of imagination and ideas. It makes what we do- draw, write, paint, work in a science lab, dance, sing, play music, photography etc. etc.- a spiritual experience. It has nothing to do with talent and skill level, and everything to do with joy. Whether you take part in all 365 days, or 7, 21, or 30 days, or join us when you can, I hope you will take the time to relax, slow down, and be your joyous self! Want more details? You may want to read this introduction to the 365-Day Creativity Challenge. Have a wonderful day! Just as a reminder, it really helps to have a dedicated journal or notebook because you will see  a continuous record of your creativity expanding and changing as you devote time to it every day. You will also be creating a year’s worth of creative work. As you work through the prompts, write down other things that strike you because you may want to revisit these ideas. Have a wonderful day and I will see you tomorrow! To share what you are doing, please use the hashtag #ctea365 on social media and /or leave me a comment below. – Priya


I was struck by a wonderful idea while in the shower today and I thought I’d share it here because it easily doubles as a creative exercise as well as a way to say thank you for the people in your life. Gratitude Cards / 365 Day Creativity ChallengeI have lost the habit of sharing and receiving cards for most occasions, except the all-important ones like birthdays and wedding anniversaries. So I’ve decided that over the next week, and definitely before the arrival of 2018, I am going to write and share season’s greetings + gratitude cards.  It’s my end of the year project of acknowledgment and gratitude for the people in my life and to wish them all the best for the coming year. Maybe this seems like a rather obvious thing to do as part of the seasonal celebrations but it’s a change for me. I’ve written about gratitude extensively here, it is in my thoughts constantly, and I express it almost daily to my family. But for this project, I am widening the circle to include lots of new people I’ve met this year. The challenge is to write a note to each one of them expressing my thanks, and to let them know something specific to them that I am grateful for. In a way, it’s like wearing my heart on my sleeve, something I would normally shy away from. But this year has been about saying Yes to things I would normally never even consider and so this exercise seems like the perfect way to wrap up 2017. I am looking forward to the physical act of sitting down with the card and writing it out because it feels like a mindfulness exercise in gratitude. -Priya


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Gratitude, Gratitude Challenge, Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal)

21 Day Gratitude Challenge, Day 21

Grateful For You / 21 Day Gratitude Challenge/Collectivitea

We are on Day 21 of the 21-Day Gratitude Challenge. I am grateful to have been able to show up, be consistent, and complete this challenge. The one takeaway I have from this challenge is that gratitude changes your perspective on life. One of the writers that I read recently (sorry, I can’t remember who it was) wrote that people are looking at their lives as if from behind a dirty window. When you clean that window metaphorically, or even better, step outside, you see life as it really is- vibrant, rich, brilliant, and full of adventures and possibilities. Gratitude helps you clean that window or get out from behind it. This is not to say that only “good” things will happen from now on, the elixir-like “happily ever after” we were all raised on. Instead, it means that I will meet the changes and situations that my life brings with more grace and know that at any given moment, I can change my perspective by expressing gratitude. I remember reading my older son a book titled “It could have been worse..” many years ago. That’s not the sentiment I am aiming for. Instead, I just want to acknowledge that life is a mystery, full of twists and turns many of which I don’t understand but that I am grateful to be part of this experience.

Grateful For You / 21 Day Gratitude Challenge/Collectivitea

For the final day of the 21-Day Gratitude Challenge, the prompt is to be grateful for you. For not just the good in you, but the flaws too. Acknowledge that you (we) are imperfect and that that’s okay. Change the tone of your inner dialog to one that extends kindness and compassion to yourself. You are loved. You are powerful and capable of so much love and creativity. Express your love and joy through your actions towards yourself and others. Enjoy being you. None of us are perfect, but as long as we treat ourselves, and each other with kindness, compassion, and respect for our individual journeys, we’ll be on the right path.  Have you heard of the Japanese tradition of repairing broken pottery with a lacquer of gold dust? It’s called kintsugi or kintsukuroi and results in a creation more beautiful than the original perfect pot. It reminds me of the Leonard Cohen quote, “there is a crack in everything, that’s where the light gets in.” Be grateful for you.

Today, I am also grateful because this series on expressing gratitude has brought me back full circle. I have rediscovered my joy in writing and that is a gift I treasure above everything. Have a wonderful rest of the day. -Priya

Gratitude, Gratitude Challenge, Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal)

21 Day Gratitude Challenge, Day 20

Grateful For Creativity /21 Day Gratitude Challenge/Collectivitea

Day 20 of the 21 Day Gratitude Challenge! Almost there! Today’s prompt asks you to be grateful for creativity. Grateful for your creativity. Are you creative? Yes. Think of the ways you express yourself.You know the feeling of being immersed in your favorite thing to do- art, music, pottery, sculpture, jewelry making, writing, journaling, scrapbooking, photography, woodwork, making collages, or doing something in a science or engineering lab- in truth, there may be as many activities that are in use as a vehicle of the creative process as there are people. It brings you immeasurable joy to spend time on these projects. Express your gratitude for it, and even better, spend time immersed in it! Grateful For Creativity /21 Day Gratitude Challenge/Collectivitea

It’s your turn!  Share your thoughts on the gratitude prompt and what creative pursuit you are grateful for, either by leaving a response in the section below or if you have a blog or other writing platform, write about it there. Link back to this page and leave a comment in the Comments section, so that all of us can visit and read it. If you are sharing your thoughts on social media, use the hashtag #CollectiviteaGratitudeChallenge and leave a comment, so we can find you and read what you’ve written. Looking for details on the 21 Day Gratitude Challenge? Right here! -Priya


 

Gratitude, Gratitude Challenge, Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal)

Gratitude For Health (21 Day Gratitude Challenge, Day 19)

 

Gratitude For Your Body / 21 Day Gratitude Challenge/ CollectiviteaWe are in the last 3 days of this 21 Day Gratitude Challenge! Today is Day 19. As you went through the days of the challenge, you may have seen the pattern- it starts with you, widens to include the world, and it returns back to you. Today’s gratitude challenge is to express gratitude for your health. Too often we take our most valuable asset, our health, for granted. We may even place more importance on appearance than good health. As women, and speaking to my majority women audience, we are hard on ourselves in many ways, but especially when it comes to our bodies. Too tall or too short. Too thin or fat. We complain about and compare our bodies, from the top of our heads to the tips of our toes.  We keep trying to meet a mythical ‘perfection’ whose guidelines are based on something so parochial as society’s conditioning. We are always trying to fix something about our bodies, which in our, and in others opinion, are either too much or too less of a particular feature.

Gratitude For Your Body / 21 Day Gratitude Challenge/ Collectivitea

Today, let us be grateful for our state of health, no matter where on the spectrum we are. (If you are looking for a guided meditation to express gratitude for your body, here is one on YouTube.) No matter what we or the world thinks we ought to look like, let’s express our gratitude for our bodies. Let’s not wait until we heal from an injury or illness, until we are taller, have a perfect nose, lose 10 pounds, have flatter abs, toned biceps or longer hair or nails, Let’s be grateful for our health and for our body today. Let’s marvel at the amazing machine the human body is and that it contains multitudes (taken from Walt Whitman’s quote + this book). Let’s take Thoreau’s words literally..”I stand in awe of my body…”

It’s your turn!  Share your thoughts on the gratitude prompt and what you are grateful for, either by leaving a response in the section below or if you have a blog or other writing platform, write about it there. Link back to this page and leave a comment in the Comments section, so that all of us can visit and read it. If you are sharing your thoughts on social media, use the hashtag #CollectiviteaGratitudeChallenge and leave a comment, so we can find you and read what you’ve written. Looking for details on the 21 Day Gratitude Challenge? Right here! -Priya


 

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