Backwards before forwards


How often do you step back to observe the bigger picture?

Often in our haste to keep moving forward, we skip an insightful step back to notice the whole picture. Making time to do this puts things into perspective, maybe even changes it, so that you can move forward more informed and inspired into the vast environment in which you already exist or wish to move into.

We must frequently take steps back to move intelligently forward.

Are You Noticing?

As we shuffled through the crowds that swarmed the Van Gogh And The Seasons Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria a few days ago, two things struck me.

Firstly, how the masses flock to see the work of a world famous artist, whether its to their taste or not, to experience this story in both words and images, and then tell their own story of ‘being there’.

And then I wondered whether people were truly ‘being there’ in the moment. Were they really noticing the beauty of the artwork… the subject, story, meaning, composition, mood, brushstrokes, colours, shades, layers, patterns, textures and techniques?

Often we are too busy clicking a button to ‘capture moments’ on the surface, that we actually miss the beauty within the moments.

I wonder how much more we would notice and how much deeper our stories would go, if we truly and fully experienced the moment?

 

 

A Tale of Creativity

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How do you explain creativity to three year olds?

A little girl walks into the gallery and begins exploring. She discovered a car that had been transformed into a ball, a maze of mirrors, flowers that you can pick, a fountain sliding down the window, oh and some pretty big paintings that told interesting stories. She climbed the escalators, turned a corner and heard some unusual noises coming from a nearby room. Inside was a round pool of floating bowls, moving and chiming as they touched. She imagined swimming in there and making music too. She was curious to know how the bowls made such beautiful sounds. “I didn’t know bowls could make music!” she gasped excitedly. Her curiosity ran wild as she watched what was happening in the pool. How did it get there? How did the bowls float? After some time observing and questioning, she felt she understood enough to go home and create her own floating symphony ready for bath time.

Creativity is about exploring, learning and using your imagination to create things.

My audience this week was my youngest ever (3-4yr olds). Watching these curious little faces with their innocent questions and delightful contributions was a heart warming experience. My book on creativity is heading for the printers soon and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to share and test some of the concepts with these curious little people.

Something Wonderful

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The amble back from the post office today was like no other hugging this beauty.

Oh Seth, you’ve done it again. Shipped something wonderful. A waft of fresh ink, a weight of wise words (all 17 pounds), an abundance of powerful visuals, a heart thumping with delight… I shall begin to devour this magnificent titan of a book.

Thank you Seth Godin.

You Don’t Know


Your world is not their world.
Their truths are not yours.
Walk cautiously with compassion.
Because you don’t know.
They may suffer in silence.
A loved one is slipping away.
They may dance with fear.
A future of daunting uncertainty.
They may crave connection.
A place of comfort.
They may say nothing.
A word brings pain.
You just don’t know.
Begin by understanding.
People are human.
Beautifully complex beings.
Living in two worlds.
Our world, the world.
Together hopeful.

Yesterday was challenging, and a little weird. I encountered three strangers, at random points throughout the day that involved fleeting conversation, both moving and upsetting. I walked away from each one deeply perplexed and really wanted to make sense of these random encounters. Why did these three people behave this way?

And like some purposefully planted gateway, I walked into my pre-booked Storytelling As Therapy workshop at The School of Life. With these conversations buzzing around, and with the help of a newly-made friend within the group, I began to digest, understand and articulate what happened.

Conversation as a means of storytelling is wonderful therapy, I recommend you try for yourself. Taking rare time to talk about the realities of life, the things we dismiss in our rush to move along to the next thing. What just happened, and what does it mean? It’s deep, but fascinating and liberating too.

Thanks to TSOL and Nathan Scolaro at Dumbo Feather for creating a space to think, talk, focus and express what we encounter as part of daily life. 

I wrote this poem over a coffee, it was waiting to be unlocked.

This Is Shameful

During an afternoon stroll with my daughter, we came across a family of ducks with three little ducklings. It was the first time she’d ever seen the cute fluffy things darting around looking for food. The delight on her face was just gorgeous. Then my heart leapt into my throat as we glanced ahead to see these two shameful sightings. What are we doing? What kind of world are we bringing our children into? We are abusing nature.

If everyone took more responsibility and became more connected with nature and the world around us, noticed the impact of our actions upon our environment and the habitat of earth’s creatures, would we still behave this shamefully?

While we’re being fogged with an abundance of information and obsessed with technological advancements, we need to become more aware of, and more connected to, our natural habitat, the one big thing that gives us life – the air we breathe, the paths we walk and the little delights we love to see (if we’re not too consumed to notice them).

What are you doing to make a difference?