Have you ever wished you could replicate a movie or TV show set to escape real life for a while? I have often pictured myself walking the whimsical streets of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls complete with twinkle lights and quirky characters around each corner. I have been a long time fan of the show. The witty banter and playful storyline paired with a candor-filled cast is a welcome escape for me. What I love most about Gilmore Girls is the close friendship shared between Lorelai and Rory which reminds me of the close friendship between my mom and I (Like Rory, I am my mom's only child). After following Lorelai and Rory's journey from the pilot season highlighting their relationship during Rory's early high school days through the final season where Rory graduates from college, it is clear Lorelai's support is the one constant throughout Rory's changing life seasons.
Like Lorelai, my mom has been a constant support throughout my growing years. After my parent's divorce, we embraced our new normal as the Barton Babes (Barton was my maiden name), a term I fondly coined in relation to the similiar relationship we shared with the Gilmore Girl duo I had come to love and respect. Ironically, Rory's character was only one year ahead of me in school while the show was being filmed which made the show all the more relatable. While my mom was not 16 when I was born like Lorelai's character, her youthful spirit was equally as vibrant, creating a special friendship and bond I will always cherish.
Now, as the years have passed and I am a mom myself, I find our friendship has become deeper and more meaningful now that I can better understand her mother's heart. She inspires me on many levels and I am thrilled to share she has decided to join me in support of the Creative Habitat vision. Starting in 2017, my mom and I will be joining creative forces and working together to support mothers of all ages and stages in the discovery and development of their creative gifts. I can't imagine a better partner as she brings years of motherly wisdom and experience. She recently retired from a 30+ year career as a principal and teacher in elementary education and has decades of refueling creative habits to share, not to mention a joyful spirit which is contagious!
If I can equate our partnership to a storyline in Gilmore Girls, Creative Habitat is our "Dragonfly Inn" and my mom is my "Sookie!" Anyone who has seen the recent Netflix Gilmore Girls revival knows the Dragonfly Inn just isn't the same without Sookie! She is the "icing on the cake" so to speak (for those who haven't seen the show, Sookie is a culinary wiz and pastry chef, hence my cake reference). It is with great thanksgiving and anticipation I welcome my "Sookie" to the Creative Habitat team!
Finally, for those who have seen the Gilmore Girls revival, you are likley aware of the much anticipated "last 4 words." Well mom, here are my last 4 words for you:
Let's ice this cake!
Trivia for the Day:
What does this Creative Habitat blogger have in common with Michealangelo and Dr. Seuss?
A Creative Habitat!
It's true! I have lived and created in the same cities and even resided on the same street as one of these renaissance men, different century, but I like to think there was still a touch of inspiration in the air. I'm referring to Casa Buonarroti, a property owned by Michealangelo on Via Ghibellina, the same street I lived on while studying abroad in Florence, Italy.
I'd take a deep breath each time I'd pass his prominant marble bust carved distinctly above the large wooden door of his florentine flat, hoping, maybe just maybe, to absorb some of his creative genius.
Fast forward 8 years and I now find myself living and working in Dr. Seuss's hometown where he created many of the fun characters and stories we cherish today. Similiar to my practice when walking by Casa Buonarroti, I breath in the creative inspiration while walking on the UCSD campus (where I used to work) which is home to the Geisel Library. This library houses the largest collection of original Dr. Seuss drawings, sketches, manuscript drafts, and photographs documenting the full range of Dr. Seuss's creative achievements from 1919 to 1991.
I am encouraged to know I have worked within walking distance of both of these creative geniuses authentic drawings and sketches reflecting their raw talent and creative process. I have received a touch of inspiration from both as a result!
In Big Magic, the book I am currently reading, Elizabeth Gilbert conveys her belief that creative ideas are living amongst us waiting to find their human collaborator to bring the creative vision to fruition. Just as there are billions of people inhabitating the planet, these ideas inhabit us through a touch of inspiration, but the chosen collaborator must be willing.
Michelangelo was willing. Dr. Seuss was willing. As creative beings we must ask ourselves, "Am I willing?"
Even as a busy mom of a toddler, I can attest a willing spirit yields creative gifts. No matter how crazy and overwhelming life may seem, there is always a touch of inspiration waiting for a willing collaborator.
Wishing you creative and willing days ahead!
In an effort to create space for new creative habits to take root as I embrace this new chapter of full time motherhood and mompreneurship, my son and I escaped to Colorado Springs (where I grew up) for a two week quest in creative problem solving. We are starting Week 2 of this very important time of reprieve and regrouping before returning to San Diego where our "New Chapter" officially begins.
Points of exploration on this quest include:
1) Praying for energy to match a toddler's energy on a daily basis.
2) Planning a new weekly schedule that will meet the development needs of my son and allow me to carve out time to pursue my own creative habits.
3) Strategizing a way to "batch" weekly responsibilities (cooking, cleaning, etc.) so we can make the most of our quality time.
Most importantly, this time is dedicated to embracing courage in the quest for creative time and space, knowing life will always swirl with the to-do's of today and unknown priorities of tomorrow. To live fully, I must learn how to embrace the delicate balance of letting go and holding on...letting go of my desire to control and holding on to my desire to create. Both require intention and courage from which I believe true creative genius stems.
Elizabeth Gilbert, authour of popular novel, Eat, Pray, Love, recently published a book called, Big Magic where she discusses the creative genius hidden within each of us if we have the courage to live beyond fear. Given creativity is the pursuit and exploration of the unknown, one must overcome the implicit fear associated with such a daring act...to create original work with confidence!
Big Magic is the novel I felt lead to read during this two week hiatus in Colorado. Ironically when I found it during a recent Barnes and Noble date with my son, he grabbed my hand and walked me directly to the Dr. Seuss section. There before us were many examples of one man's creative genius on display. Surely it took courage to write each of those colorful, silly books! Surely Dr. Seuss overcame some level of fear to dare to write books with made up words when he originally intended to get his Ph.D in English Literature. Imagine if he had not chosen to live creatively beyond fear?
I have only just begun reading Big Magic, but it's no surprise the first chapter is titled, "Courage" because courage is the first step in any creative endeavor. The author recounts a profound quote by the late poet and English Professor, Jack Gilbert, who once asked one of his students, "Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say "Yes" (Gilbert, Big Magic, pg.7).
This is a question we all must ask ourselves when we are on the brink of uncovering our Creative Genius. Fortunatley, creative geniuses like Dr. Seuss answered, "Yes!"
Wishing you courage in your creative quest as I embrace courage in mine, admitting each Creative Habitat blog post is just that, a courageous step towards creative living without fear!
Check Out Elizabeth Gilbert's "Your Elusive Creative Genius" TED Talk on the Creative Habitat Creative Leaders link found HERE.
Freedom. What a gift. What a sacrifice. We are free because many gave all to defend the freedom we celebrate on this Independence Day. As I reflect on the significance of 4th of July, I can't help but wonder how many Americans truly live with the conviction our forefathers intended for America, "Home of the free and land of the brave."
We live in the land of opportunity, yet many Americans are trapped in depression, addiction, and isolation, serving as a constant reminder we must continue to defend the freedom we value by making a conscious choice to embrace and appreciate the freedoms we so often take for granted.
Freedom of speech. Freedom to worship. Freedom to vote. Freedom to pursue life, liberty, and justice. This is truly profound when you consider the many other countries where many only dream of freedom yet we have the freedom to dream.
As a seasoned dreamer, I feel so blessed to live in a country where I can dare to dream and dare to be different and make a difference. It is my hope, Creative Habitat will make a difference by encouraging women in their freedom and call to create.
After several months of feeling called to focus more attention on my son, our family and the development of Creative Habitat, I finally put in my notice at my professional job (July 1st was my last day in the office). This was a big decision for me because I have worked since I was 16 years old. Professional development has always been a freedom I have valued.
I am pleased to share the new freedom I have experienced in stepping away from my job to step into my calling. I know this was a "freedom decision" because it required sacrifice...sacrificing the known for the unknown, and yet, the unknown is where I feel called to explore!
I look forward to dedicating myself more fully to embracing the freedom to develop the creative gifts I've been blessed with including my son (as shown in the photo above), his sibling on the way (Spoiler Alert: I just finished my first trimester with #2), and developing Creative Habitat resources to encourage my fellow creative mamas to embrace their creative gifts as well!
This Independence Day, I am daring to live and dream more fully. Will you, Creative Mama, dare to live and dream more fully with me? This is afterall, home of the free and land of the brave. Let's be brave and claim the creative gifts we've been given to use and serve with greater intention!
A safe space is something to be cherished and protected. Whether it is physical space, emotional space or creative space...a safe space allows for ultimate growth. A habitat provides the ideal conditions to ensure that growth is sustained.
I was reminded of the sustaining value of habitats this weekend after taking my son to the San Diego Zoo and running in Mission Trails, a protected wildlife reserve near my house. Both had many signs posted to remind passerbys to respect and protect the natural habitats and their inhabitants.
This got me thinking, why don't creative women have similar signs to remind others we need protected time and space to grow and nurture the creative visions within? Why do we let the busyness of 21st century living intrude on our creative habitat so often? Perhaps I'm speaking solely for myself but something tells me many women can relate.
Women, by nature are caregivers, or as some refer to us as caretakers, yet few women take more than they give. This caring nature is our beauty within outwardly manifesting itself through an encouraging word, a hug, or a sippy cup given at just the right time...you get the picture. I'm constantly amazed by women's ability to care so deeply for so many.
I love being a caregiver. It's what I was designed to do, yet I have also come to realize I can cannot continue to pour into others if I am running on empty myself. In order to sustain our caregiving nature, I believe we must protect the creative gifts we've been given so we can continue to give the best of us, not what is left of us.
Just as natural habitats require sustained protection, so too do creative habitats. If we want to develop our creative gifts in a protected space, we must first set boundaries and invite others to partner in our effort to respect and protect our creative time and space.
This shared respect and understanding may be all the sign we need!
Are you in need of protected time and space to develop your creative gifts? If so, who do you need to inform about your creative habitat and protecting the key inhabitant, you!
Thank you to all who have supported me in this Creative Habitat journey so far. For those who are new to Creative Habitat, you are joining my creative process at the perfect time because I'm getting ready to invest in this passion project like never before.
I've spent the last year praying, dreaming, designing and prototyping. I've filled 3 journals with ideas and refined those ideas based on feedback I've received and now it's time to unveil the vision within (designed with the following purpose, mission, and values in mind).
Helping busy moms develop creative habits to refuel in daily living.
Inspiring creative confidence and encouraging women to develop creative habits in support of work/life balance.
Health and Well-being
If you are a busy woman seeking greater work/life balance and time to refuel and develop your creative gifts, stay tuned!
More resources to come!!!
I value your input and would love your feedback as I put the final touches on the Creative Habitat coaching program I have been developing.
Please take 3 minutes to complete the survey below so I know how to best support you.
Women's Creative Time Survey
What anticipation these two words incite.
Typically preceded by struggle and labor, a due date is a memorable milestone. Given today is the "due date" for Creative Habitat's soft launch, I can attest to the struggle I have encountered within.
"Is this a good idea," I ask myself?
"Will other women join me in this effort to carve out creative space to refuel in daily living?"
"Do other women even crave this creative space and time the same way I do?"
"Is my desire to balance mommy and mom"me" time selfish or simply a form of self care?"
Now, suddenly, all of the questions filling my mind disappear and a reverent quietness fills my spirit reminding me of the initial vision for Creative Habitat.
After months of sleepless nights and running on fumes while serving everyone else's needs, I realized I was no longer thriving but simply surviving while trying to juggle so many responsibilities without addressing my own needs. One night, 9 months ago, I had the audacity to allow myself the gift of creative time. 20 precious minutes of uninterrupted time to create (write) and refuel! This was not only an investment in my well-being but in the well-being of my loved ones because they also reaped the benefits of a more balanced "me".
I sought to develop a habit of carving out daily time to refuel and reignite the creativity within so I could give the best of me, not what was left of me. After experiencing the benefits of this focused effort in my day to day living, I wanted to share this gift with other women who may also be "surviving" instead of thriving and thus Creative Habitat was conceived and now is "Due" for you!
I will continue to share the process as I develop Creative Habitat and look forward to partnering with you to help you develop your creative habit and achieve a healthy balance between serving and refueling!
Point to Ponder:
"Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny." ~ Ghandi
Tonight I am using my creative habit to organize many of the logistics associated with laying the foundation for the Creative Habitat website, blog, email list etc. So while I am in "organize mode" and not necessarily "writing mode", I did find this gem while organizing old emails. Ironically, I am posting it almost 8 months from the day it was conceived. Perhaps this means Creative Habitat is in the last trimester of gestation as "a concept" (speaking figuratively) and finally on its way to full exposure including:
Ahhh, creative space, a luxury I have missed. Setting aside time to be with my thoughts has become a bit of hurdle these days. Between endless laundry, dishes and diapers, I find it hard to connect sentences, never mind full fledged contemplations about life, love and faith.
Webster defines "contemplate" as thinking profoundly at length or meditating, so, in an effort to reclaim this necessary and holy space of meditation I have decided to lock myself in my bathroom, shut the door, and give myself 20 minutes of uninterrupted "me"ditation time before crawling in bed.
Tonight creativity is my muse and I find myself once again waiting for God to reveal a little inspiration...and as though he knows what I'm up to, I hear a faint squeak from the crib on the other side of my porcelain sanctuary reminded me of the "little inspiration" and creative gift God's blessed me with through my 4 month son.
Similar to my my blank page or an artist's empty canvas, a baby is a new hope of life demanding attention, care and creative problem-solving. A baby will not let you forget the creative potential and renewal each day brings. Children inspire a habit of devotion and love...two essentials required to nurture and develop any creative gift God blesses us with.
It is my hope these nightly meditations will nurture and develop the creative habit of writing I feel called to while encouraging other women to nurture and develop their creative gifts as well.
My timer is beeping, confirming it is time to wrap up, but only until tomorrow when I fully intend to continue to develop Creative Habitat. Please join me and commit to embrace a little creative time and space in your own busy day...you've earned it!
"Where is your Creative Habit at?
Nomatter what your "It" is, Rejoice and be glad in "It" because "It" has purpose, "It" will shape you. "It" will motivate you to keep reaching for the beauty within.
So what is the one thing patiently waiting for you to attend to "It"?
The many ideas for Creative Habitat have been simmering in my mind for months! "If only I could find the time to develop 'It'," I've thought countless times as I reel though my days of new motherhood, working full time, and trying to keep a household in one piece. This well worn excuse has tread through my thoughts one too many times. I WILL claim my creative habit! I will rejoice in "It."
Tonight is proof, creative time can be carved out! This blog post is the result! While I was tempted to fold one more load of laundry, watch a mind numbing show, or most tempting of all, sleep...I could not prolong my creative habit any further!
"It" will not be ignored.
I am dedicated to helping you rejoice in "It" whatever your creative habit may be.
I am still learning how to carve out creative time to develop Creative Habitat and am committed to documenting my process through this blog. Hopefully each post will reflect a few baby steps in the right direction...a transformation from fear to faith and from exhaustion to rejuvenation.
First I am instituting a "Pick 3" habit where I will pick three development goals to focus on for the week.
"Pick 3" for 10/25-10/31
1) Figure out how to add slogan "Where is your creative habit at?" under Creative Habitat title page.
2) Upload creative process photos to title page.
3) Create contact form.
Ok. This tired lady needs to refuel her creative juices and sign off for the night knowing the best is yet to come.
Today is one of many new starts. I am committing to beginning a 9 week journey (leading up to Christmas) to document my creative process in the initial development of Creative Habitat. Through this process, I am also committing to nurture my creative habit of writing and developing this vision from concept to completion.
To begin, I am making a contract with myself to continue!
I Rebecca,CCO (Chief Creative Officer) understand I am taking a journey to launch a vision I have been given to help women carve out creative time and space in their day-to-day living. I commit to making a diligent effort to develop this vision including making time for God knowing he will make time for me. I further understand this process will raise issues and emotions for me to deal with as I move forward into the wide open unknown full of potential and possibilities! Trusting God will lead me one baby step at a time.
Signed, Sealed, and waiting to be delivered,