365 Days Of Creativity Challenge, Collectivitea, Creatives+ Creative Entrepreneurs, Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal)

The Way Out Of Vacillation

Vacillation/ CollectiviteaVacillation is my word for the first 5 months of this year. In fact, add procrastination to this, and you have a match made in indecision heaven. The two words together accurately describe my 2018 insofar as the first half of it.  In an argument worthy of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, I have taken 5 months to decide whether I should continue to blog or not to blog, to write a book or not write a book, to exclusively focus on some new work commitments or not, to be regular on social media or not, to take a break or … you get the idea. It’s just been one choice after another and I find myself in a peculiar position of hesitation and ambivalence that I haven’t experienced in decades. I have to admit that vacillation feels good, a vacation from decision-making. Like something from a Dr. Strange or some other superhero movie when someone throws all the balls are in the air and they use special effects to show them suspended in the air. You let that pause stretch indefinitely, everything is still up in the air, and you don’t have to commit to anything. A holding pattern. A safe zone. Do I/we need to get beyond this? (After all, Mark Twain has said, “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well”) In spite of Twain’s words, we all know it’s important to keep moving forward. But what if the next step isn’t clear or you think you aren’t partial to one way more than the other? My suggestion is if you are in need of a break, take time off. Relax and rest. Reflect on why we don’t want to commit to a decision- is there a barrier like a lack of time, changing priorities or interests, etc.? I took time away from the blog. I discovered I love writing and would like to continue doing so but the topics I was interested in writing about had changed from the time I started a blog. So I take the smallest baby step forward. I start writing again but on topics that matter to me. And then I set a small goal to write as often as I can. Wait. That sounds vague. How about at least 3 times this week? That sounds a little difficult but I can definitely try. 3 times. Putting a number on it is a concrete reminder of my writing goal. I think back to my goal of being creative for 365 days – I have definitely tried to meet it but it’s still a work in progress. However, I’ve learned two very important things – 1) that perfection harms creativity. The more I want to keep a perfect score of 365, the lesser creative ideas I have. 2) The more we seek to reach, the further away the destination moves. The goal then is to stay on the path, to show up, and enjoy the journey. So today I changed the tagline for the blog to “Living Creatively Ever After” because happily ever after is the biggest myth ever, leading us to believe that we are guaranteed happiness upon arrival at some destination; I’d rather live creatively ever after.  Here’s to bidding vacillation, procrastination, hesitation, and indecision a firm goodbye! In case you are still undecided about something, you can always toss a coin like the old parable says. When the coin is up in the air, you know what result you are hoping for! – Priya

 

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

Finding Not Seeking

On most days, I set out on an hour-long morning walk. My path takes me on roads lined with houses with small, lovely gardens. It’s as if the owners’ personalities are expressed through their landscaping. Restrained lawns. Drought-resistant and seemingly wild gardens with aloe vera, lavender, and rosemary. Vibrant colorful daisies bursting out of their borders. Right now early summer roses  are in many gardens and the air is heavy with their perfume and with the sound of bees at work. The roads are gently dusted with fallen petals, leaves, and twigs. Sometimes, I bring back a petal, a tiny leaf, or flower back as souvenirs of that day’s walk. And today, I got to thinking about what we seek and what we find. About finding not seeking.Finding Not Seeking/ 365 Creative Exercises And Prompts/ Collectivitea

For so long all my creative journeys were about seeking something, a validation or a destination. It’s only after having been on this path for nearly 10 years that I think I’m beginning to understand what Herman Hesse said in his book Siddhartha, “And when someone seeks,” said Siddhartha, “then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.”

Finding Not Seeking/ 365 Creative Exercises And Prompts/ Collectivitea

For Day 114 of the 365 day creativity challenge, find something in nature and let it inspire your creativity. (Obviously, with regard to found objects (leaves, petals, etc.) don’t pick up anything unsafe or something that you may be allergic to!) You can use it to compose a photograph which is what I did or you can use what nature you see in your daily path to inspire your writing, prose or poetry. If you are an artist, you may capture the beauty of the bright green of fallen leaves against the road in a drawing. It always reminds me of a starry night. Use the nature you see in your surroundings to inspire Day 114. And while you are expressing yourself creatively, mull over Hesse’s profound words of wisdom. You may also want to read his writings on his reverence for trees. Have a wonderful day! – Priya

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

Valuing Ourselves

I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind a lot and that is the word ‘value’. What we value. What we don’t. What we value in people. The people we value. And most importantly, the value we assign to ourselves. Initially, when I thought about my value, I thought about the value conferred on me by my family. The value assigned to me by my education or job. My material possessions. My accomplishments. Successes and failures that purportedly add or detract value. All of this is assigned to us by external sources and can change with circumstances. Now what if I assigned my own value to myself, something that would come from within me and not be subject to changing circumstances? What if we valued ourselves and treated ourselves with love and compassion regardless of circumstances? Rumi said “The universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are.” He also said “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” And lastly this quote whose source I was not able to find, “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” You Are Enough/Valuing Ourselves/CollectiviteaJust being our authentic selves and valuing our strengths and vulnerabilities is something we can all develop. In any given situation, check to see if you are extending love and compassion towards yourself as well as to others. For today’s creative exercise, what kind of artwork, poetry, or creative expression is inspired in you by these words? (Day 113 prompt) I am not an artist but I was thinking of the figure of a person and multitudes of stars shining from within them.  Let me know what you think and what creative expression this inspired in you. -Priya

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

Design A Suzani

365 Creative Exercises and Prompts/CollectiviteaHere’s a completely fun and creative challenge! Can you design and draw a section of a suzani, the textiles which has become a hugely popular design accessory? (Day 112) We did a related exercise back on Day 35 when we drew patterned pomegranates (click to read more about suzanis) which are a popular design motif on suzanis. Suzanis are hand-embroidered and may have formed part of the textiles that a bride would take with her. Other common motifs are twirling vines, fruits, and small and big flowers. Some suzanis have bold graphic motifs. You, of course, are not limited by these. Use your imagination and design a section of a suzani or the entire rectangular piece. I have attached a few pictures of some of the vintage suzanis in my collections as inspiration, though I urge you to come up with your own patterns and to have fun with it! I first heard about these beautiful textiles about a decade ago and I started collecting them, both from local stores as well as online sources. They form the perfect backdrop for many of my photographs and are a constant source of inspiration. More than the vividly colored red and black suzanis, it’s the beige fabrics with the vividly patterned embroidery that I find most alluring. Happy Textile Tuesday and for more suzani-related posts, please click here. See you tomorrow. – Priya

Suzani / 365 Creative Exercises and Prompts/Collectivitea

 

Suzani / 365 Creative Exercises and Prompts/Collectivitea


 

365 Days Of Creativity Challenge, Books, Collectivitea, Creative Exercises And Prompts, Creatives+ Creative Entrepreneurs, Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal)

What Is Your Story?

What Is Your Story?/ 365 Creative Exercises and Prompts/CollectiviteaBooks and stories have been on my mind lately as I’ve decided to pursue a long-held dream, that of writing a book. I am still at the very beginning of my writing but just being once again in the middle of the creative process is exciting and very satisfying. Through all my various experiments with creative ventures (I ran a digital magazine and an online marketplace for a few years while continuing with my writing and I learned a lot of interesting skills),  there is one big takeaway – always enjoy exactly where you are. Sure, there are times when that’s not possible. In that case, take action, but beyond that, just enjoy the journey. Because sometimes you arrive at your intended destination and find out it isn’t what you expected or even wanted.  I am currently enjoying making up a good story for my proposed book. I am also enjoying finding out if I can actually write! Which brings us to today’s creative exercise: what is your story? (Day 111) If you use 5-10 sentences, what story will you make up about yourself? Write it quickly. Once you are done, see what character you play in your story. Always remember Nora Ephron’s words,”Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” Have a wonderful day! – PriyaWhat Is Your Story?/ 365 Creative Exercises and Prompts/Collectivitea

 


Background: Welcome! We are now at Day 111 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. 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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