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Posts tagged ‘Creativity’

18
Mar

weekly photo challenge: Unusual

This week, the WordPress weekly photo challenge asks us to post something that says “unusual.”

I immediately thought, ‘Holy cow, this will be an easy one, I have gobs of unusual photos!’  But there’s the rub – what says unusual best when nearly everything is unusual?!

Then I thought about the beautiful and unusual chandelier I’d seen weekend in the lobby of the Adventura Arts & Cultural Center. in Miami Beach.   I was standing in the lobby of the theatre, and after the show looked up to see this unusual and fabulous lighting design, in the picture.  (I wish I could give credit to the person who designed these unique chandeliers.  If anyone knows whose work this is, please advise – I’d like to credit the artist.)

Anyway, below is what the grouping of one set of lights.  Below this top photo, the result of manipulating the image…

Photo by Andrea O'Connell, 2012

I’ve manipulated the photo to appear like the glass bubbles are shooting up instead of hanging down from the ceiling.

Photo by Andrea O'Connell, 2012

26
Dec

Creative Whack # 13: Look to Nature

Maybe it’s a result of being on vacation, but I’ve had to drag myself from off the couch to open my laptop.  I’m being very lazy.  But, it’s rather nice. It’s plenty nice!

I’m not even keeping track of the news this week…. My brother gets the New York Times every day.  I opened it only once this week.

I needed a break from all the bad news anyway.

Tonight we were watching old re-runs of 60 Minutes, and after about an hour, or so of watching, I got very depressed.  It was painful to be reminded of how horrible the economy is; how gloomy the job-market has looked – though it’s getting better.   But hearing all the sad stories of people without any money, no jobs, being foreclosed on…..  Although it is always upsetting to hear these heartbreaking stories, it was especially very upsetting tonight.

Even though I am not worried about finding work, it’s very unnerving to hear the stories of people who have been laid-off for over a year and still have no work.  And I actually RESIGNED from a job!

I thought for a moment tonight: Am I nuts?  And I answered myself: Well yes, just a little!

Seriously, I’m not really nuts.  And it was not nutty to resign from the horrible job I had!  Truly, that job would send me to the grave earlier than necessary had I stayed one day longer.  Either that, or I fought the system via the EEOC.  I really didn’t want to do that.

I couldn’t pretend to be happy working there anymore.  Just because it’s a job, is not enough for me I can’t just have a “job” for the sake of a job.  Why should I spend my working hours being miserable, working with people who are miserable – and with people who are just miserable period?  It felt dishonest and it felt like I was purposely hurting myself.

A lot of people hate work.  I want to love my work.  I have always loved my work, and I still do.  I was allowing the environment – the negative and demeaning environment – to cause me to hate my work, and to not want to give my best.  I began to resent giving them my best work, when I realized that I knew I had to get out of there.

Too many people stay at a job because they think they have no choice but to stay.  I understand that, but I cannot do it.  It goes against my nature.  And, if I don’t care about my well-being, who will?

So, that leads me to Creative Whack 13, Look to Nature.  These Creative Whacks, you may recall, were

Designed by Roger von Oech

created by Roger von Oech, who has a few wonderful products that stimulate creative thinking.  I love his Creative Whack Pack and plan to discuss all 64 of them here, eventually.

So, what does look to nature mean?  To me, it means many things.  Most importantly it means, not denying or defying your own nature and instincts.

“Let nature by your guide,” is the first sentence on the card.  It’s taken me a while, but I understand now that I must follow my instincts.  When I don’t follow my instincts I get into trouble.

It’s not easy to allow nature or intuition be the guide.  I certainly don’t always make the right decisions or take the right road, that’s for sure.  And, I can be impulsive.  I always work on that.

My decision to leave a job that was making me so unhappy was something I had to do despite all the risks. I had to ask myself if I was being impulsive.  I truly can say: No, I was not. I’ve spent the last four and a half years being miserable – too long.

What I need help with is strength.  Staying strong.  Staying the course without undermining my success with fear of the unknown; or maybe, fear of success?

In order for nature to help, it’s important to clarify what the problem is.

I do need to think with a bit more clarity about what problem I need to solve.   I’m pretty sure it’s going to be strength to get me to my next job – my next big thing.

The roots of trees say strength to me.  I love trees, especially the big, old ones

The root systems that support the great Cypress trees and support all the things that live within the branches of the tree:  The birds.  The bird nests.  The leaves.  The squirrels that make the tree home.  The animals and the insects that trust the tree.  That is a good model  for me.

Trust.

Now, there’s something I need…..

12
Dec

drop an assumption, whack #8

I have a total of 64 more Creative Whacks to post.  At this rate, it will be 2064 until I finish!

So, here’s another one. It’s a good one, too.

Creative Whack number 9 is:  drop an assumption.

There is a great deal of wisdom in this card.  I know I am guilty of making quick assumptions, though I try not to, it’s inevitable that I do.

My assumptions drive me crazy and usually involve me second-guessing myself.  It has a lot to do with self-confidence.  I don’t have issues with those big assumptions that result in generalizations.  Fortunately I am open-minded enough to not allow that to happen.

I make stupid assumptions that have to do (usually) with relationships.  When I was younger it was a big struggle.  I had this inner dialog going on that was a marathon of back and forth quarreling with myself.   It would go something like this:

Positive realization:  I haven’t talked to John in so long.  I should call him.

Negative assumption:  Well, he hasn’t called me.  What if he’s too busy to talk to me?  Or maybe he really would rather not talk to me?  I’d be embarrassed if I disturbed him. Maybe he’d think I’m needy?  Or, maybe he has a girlfriend he didn’t tell me about and maybe he thinks I’m trying to come-on to him?  That would really be embarrassing.

Positive realization:  No no no no no Andrea!  That’s crazy.

Negative assumption:  We had a nice date, but what if he doesn’t think of me as a possible girlfriend?  He’s a great guy, too.  He wouldn’t be interested in me.  And, who knows if I’m really interested in him?  Was he being himself on our date?  Was he being distant?  What if we get serious?  I couldn’t take it if he dropped me. Maybe he’s trying to tell me something by his silence and not calling?  Should I wait until he calls me?

Positive realization:  Oh God, you dumb-ass, Andrea!  Call him!  Give him a call – if he’s busy he’ll tell you he is and then you can decide on a time to get together, or a time to talk on the phone!

Negative assumption:  It would be easier to leave him a voice mail.  Shit!  I wish I could just text him, that’s so much easier than talking in situations like this!  Maybe I could call him, and if he answers I could pretend that I dialed him by mistake – tell him I was really calling Jane and got his number mixed up, but it’s nice to talk to him!  And, if he doesn’t answer, I could leave a message…..

And on and on and on… I would go back and forth.

I still quarrel with myself, but not nearly as badly as I used to.  Thankfully.

Assumptions are terribly limiting.  The best thing we can do is test the validity of every assumption we make.  I try to.

Would the photo below qualify as an assumption?

Maybe. Maybe not.  I think it’s close enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a reminder that the brilliant Creative Whack cards are by Roger von Oech.   The  Creative Whack Pack is a 64 card deck of inspirational ways to encourage creative thinking.

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