The Artist Within – A Guide


This blog has moved….

We are NOW on the new & improved www.creativelyfit.com.

Please visit us there to learn how to become Creatively Fit so that you can create the change you desire in YOUR world!

~Whitney



NEW Website is LIVE!
March 4, 2010, 3:05 pm
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This blog has been moved to www.creativelyfit.com.

Please join us there!

Watch Whitney’s CBS News appearance on March 2, 2010.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6261123n&tag=contentMain;contentBody



Look for an Olympic “Right Brain Performance”

I was an athlete growing up, not an “artist”. I love competition and I love that feeling when you are pushing yourself, getting better, faster, stronger. Now, for me, this same energy is channeled into my Creatively  Fit Program and my book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.

Life is a mental game. Our thoughts and attitudes shape so much of our reality and nowhere is it better illustrated than in the sports arena.

During this year’s Superbowl, all you had to do was look at the face on Peyton Manning, sitting on the sidelines, to get a feel of who had the upper hand in that competition. The thoughts, images, and beliefs swirling around in your mind play a major role in the outcome of your efforts-regardless of the “arena”.

One of the books that has had the biggest impact on my work is The Breakout Principle by Dr. Herbert Benson. In it, he shows us how we can conjure up the “ah -hah” moment, the “light bulb moment”, the SHAZAM! by realizing how our minds work.  To have such a “breakout” moment, one first has to do the left-brain work.  You have to know the stats, have done the lay-yups, swam the laps, or done the research.  THEN, to get your breakout, you have to do something completely different. You must “sever all previous thought processes to get out of your left brain” and tap new mental power. His first example in the book is of a high powered business consultant in NYC who is hired to perform acts like appointing new CEO’s of major corporations. When this consultant has exhausted all forms of research and data gathering his standard practice is to go back to his hotel room to needlepoint to get his SHAZAM!!! moment! I could not believe that was the first example in the book.  This high power business consultant is using a “creativity exercise” to physiologically change his thinking and tap his subconscious so that the perfect business solution just “pops” into his mind!

NOW, we have the Winter Olympics to watch.  During the last summer Olympics there was a perfect example of a Right Brain Performance. I want to share it with you and then ask you to look for the next one in these Olympic games.

During the summer Olympics of 2008 it was Phelps and co. that provided the Breakout Performance during the men’s 400 free relay.  The Americans were seated 2nd against the French and the U.S. announcer must have repeated five times that he had done the math backward and forwards and that there was NO WAY THE AMERICANS COULD BEAT THE FRENCH.  As I listened to him say this over and over I got more and more excited about the potential to witness a true right brain performance. The US swimmers knew all those stats.  They knew that even if they each swam their best times ever and the French each swam their worst times ever that they still could not win.  So what did they do?

They TUNED OUT THAT LEFT BRAIN-LOGICAL side and tapped into the voice that simply said, “We are going to win this race–no matter what!” And they did! Watch it on YouTube!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg9lCvAvBdg The announceer just kept saying, “I don’t think they can do it.”  Lucky for us, this is not what the swimmers were thinking….

Where do you need a right brain performance.  Where do you need to suspend the inner-critic and logic to achieve something you truly desire? Watch the youtube video and tune in to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver for the next Right Brain Performance! Create the life you desire! ~Whitney



What Can You Do to Turn the Tide?
February 10, 2010, 8:36 pm
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You are probably going to have to do SOMETHING different….

I love the term “go with the flow”.  I am really good at it.

Then, there is the element that to truly CREATE the change you desire in your life you have to “turn the tide”.  This may mean going against the flow, initially.  It is certainly going to require that you do something different. It may not even be comfortable or familiar.  You may have to stretch your mind in new directions, learn something new, or reach out a different direction for help.

In our professional and personal lives there is consistently opportunity to keep going the same direction or to take a turn, a verve, a side-step.

What is it for you today?

My book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, provides you with the opportunity to stretch your mind in a different direction, to “change your color” so that you can create change. I am so passionate about giving my readers and clients HOPE that they can CREATE the change that they desire. I just had a glass of wine with a student last night and had the privelege of listening to her as she gleefully told me of her new online natural medicine course whe was taking and how she was “all about change”–even choosing to explore more seafood in her daily meals (you never know….). What I heard?  She was happy.  She was excited.  She had become “Creatively Fit” and had taken her rightful place as the artist in front of the canvas that is her life.

I hope this gives you a sense of excitement about what is around the corner for you.  Comment and share the change you want to create so you can check back in a month or so and let us know about it. You can do it! Explore your “Artist Within”.  ~Whitney



Please Watch This….

http://www.ted.com/talks/isabel_allende_tells_tales_of_passion.html

I just had a lovely evening after the kids went to bed. I watched two women speak at TED.com about creativity and passion while I created a “dream collage” in my Artist Within Journal (ok, there was a glass of wine involved as well…). I really recommend watching the TED.com talk by Isabel Allende (link above).

Creatively Fit is partnering with the Women for Women foundation to help CREATE change in the lives of abused and neglected women in war torn countries. Where else could our creative, feminine spirit be more desperaely needed? This Isabel Allende talk is from a TED in 2007. She speaks passionately about the plight of so many women on this planet and urges us to make it end, to put our energies in that direction.

This is the intention of Creatively Fit and this is not the intention I had just a year ago. But now I see that it has all been leading to helping to mobilize the Western woman to CREATE the change we need in this world. If you think you could not make a dent, could not help anyone, or have no way to help, please watch Isabel speak.  Please explore your creative potential that I know is within you because it is what makes us human. Accepting our power to CREATE change in the world is what is going to create the tipping point–a point within which women will not be beaten, abused, neglected, raped, enslaved, ignored or supressed. Let’s CREATE that change, shall we? Go to www.womenforwomen.org to learn how you can be part of an amazing group of women working to CREATE a better life for so many women around the world. Creatively yours, Whitney



How does the word “artist” make you feel?
January 29, 2010, 5:46 pm
Filed under: Creativity Workouts, Daily Entries | Tags: , , ,

I am in Michigan to present my “Artist Within the Wine” Tasting tonight at Fernwood Botanical Gardens and my Artist Within Workshop tomorrow.  As I was making the drive up north yesterday, I pondered my audience for the wine tasting and how I could really get them inspired!

~~~~

I have never shied away from attaching my business/mission to terms that may confuse or challenge others because the exact reason it does so is the exact reason it needs to be presented that way.  For example, The Creative Fitness Center used to get a lot of calls asking if we offered yoga classes.  I knew the name would confuse people, but I felt a stronger loyalty to my mission of creating the awareness of our need to WORK OUT or develop our right brain/creative muscle. I envisioned Katie Couric’s interview and her asking me, “Whitney, how does it make you feel that today most corporate businesses have a ‘creative fitness’ program for their employees and many Americans are conscious of how often they have ‘worked out’ their right brain?!” I believe that when that vision comes to fruition that our entire socio-economic status and personal/spiritual well-being will all have evolved to a higher, more holistic, compassionate and susatainable level.

So yesterday, as I looked out the window of my car to the snow glazed corn fields of Indiana,  I pictured my Friday night wine tasting audience and thought, “the word artist is going to instantly have some of them thinking, ‘well, this is not me.'” So, why is embracing your OWN artist within so valuable?

When we think, “I am not artistic,” or “I am no artist,” we are looking at it through the lens of our ego, our left brain. For us Americans, our first association with the term “artist” is a person that is so highly skilled at their craft that they are able to sell their work in galleries and the such. THOSE are professional visual artists, and they have my utmost respect, but for the rest of us our own Artist Within manifests itself in our everyday lives as we interact with others, solve problems, nurture our families, maintain and grow our businesses–we are CONSTANTLY creating.

The ARTIST mentality, combined with the left brain/logical mentality, will lead to scenarios within business, government, education and social sectors that takes ALL sides into perspective, that can make short-term sacrifice for long-term gains, that can innovate change (whether in healthcare, energy production, education, science, health, etc.) and produce results that defy “logic” and what is “feasible”. The “NEW” Economy is just that.  We have a lot of innovating/creating to do.

When you shift your thinking from the left brain/ego centered perspective to the right brain/holistic perspective, the term “artist” takes on an entirely new meaning. Take personal gain and individual performance out of the picture entirely and let the word ‘artist’ conjure images of an almost magical being who can defy the odds, create results never before imagined, and delight us with visions of a brighter future.

My Mother took this pic in her woods.

SO, WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY…to engage your Artist Within, simply look at the light as it shines on the trees, or the colors in the sky.  Ask your team at work to suspend logic for 10 minutes and imagine/brainstorm as many ideas as possible without considering probabilities, budgets, or logic.  Look through a magazine and pick out the images that speak to you, to which you are attracted.  Tear them out and put them in a journal or envelope to use in a “dream collage” or “vision board”.

One of my own Dream Collages

Tonight, I will be taking approximately 30 people through a wine tasting that illustrates the connection between the creative process of wine making, the creative process of painting, and the creative process in general! So fun!  I was interested to see that Michael Gelb has a book called Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking. THAT is the subject of another blog entry!

So, my point today?  Let me know what the word “artist” does to you.  Can you make the shift from the left to right brain version? Let me know. Check out the Creativity Workouts section of this blog and get more ideas about how to engage YOUR Artist Within.

Creative wishes, Whitney



Creativity is our Future!
January 21, 2010, 5:20 pm
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TODAY you must watch Ken Robinson on www.TED.com!!!

http://tinyurl.com/mluw5k

Ken is a mogul in the world of CREATIVITY, which happens to be my favorite of all the worlds!!!

For those of you who have been following my blog and learning about what I call “Right Brain Land”, here is some interesting background.

I met another mogul in the creativity world, John Cimino (www.creativeleaps.org), who is currently collaboration with Ken Robinson on some ideas for a new creative education paradigm. I met John through Sarah Caldicott Miller who co-wrote the book How to Innovate Like Edison with Michael Gelb (author of How to Think Like Leonardo daVinci).

Now, where this all gets fun, is that on January 4th I got an email from Christine Ranck, author of Ignite the Genius Within (which she co-authored with Michael Gelb), who has been following these blog entries and who somehow got to know my work from Michael Gelb.  NOW Michael Gelb has endorsed MY book that is coming out in March 2010, 33 Things to Know About Raising Creative Kids, AND Christine is ALSO sorking with Ken Robinson on his mission to elevate creativity education.

As my daughter and I were just watching Ken Robinson’s TED talk (she is still home sick) she asked me, “Do you know him?”  I said, “No, not yet.”  “Well, when are you going to meet him?”  I answered, “Sometime before this summer.”  Do I know that for sure?  No, not in a left brain sort of way.  But I do know that our paths will cross and I think we will become great friends. When you are tapped in to creative thinking, you can create the things you desire.  You become the “artist” and each day your “blank canvas”.

Watching Ken Robinson speak today (which, by the way, made me laugh so hard–thanks, Ken) sent a rush of energy through my body and a even more renewed conviction–if that is possible (!!!)–about the significance of getting CREATIVELY FIT!  We are launching new online programs in March 2010! It will be like the “jenny craig” for the right brain. I am so excited.  My passion is helping people to wake up to the wonderfully creative, inspired, and innovative person that lies within them. It is the ARTIST WITHIN and it deserves the platform.

Thank you, Ken, for all you do!  Thank you, John, Christine, Sarah, and so many others, for ALL that you do to help our global family adapt and move into our unknown future.

Here are some of my favorite points from Ken’s talk.  Go watch it now!

http://tinyurl.com/mluw5k

“I would contend that in education today creativity is as important as literacy.”

“Kids:  If they don’t know, they’ll have a go.”

~As adults we have lost that.  We are frightened of being wrong.  In educ. today mistakes are the worst things you can make. We are squandering the skill we desperately need as we move into this unknown future.~

“The arts are at the bottom of every educational system on the planet.”

“We move from the ground up as we educate our children until we are just concerned with their heads—and, then, just ONE SIDE!”

“The whole world is engulfed in a revolution.”

“We need to radically rethink our view of intelligence.”

Thank you for visiting with us today! ~Whitney

p.s. I just reached out to Lisa Nichols and her team to see if we could explore collaborative efforts in the future.  So, stay tuned to see what evolves there.  What do you want to create today?  Where do you desire change?  Reach out and connect with someone.  Ask for help….

p.p.s. Ken, can I email you a transcript of my new book to review?  ~Whitney



Sick Day with My 8 Year Old
January 20, 2010, 7:20 pm
Filed under: Cre8tiv Kids, Creativity Workouts | Tags: , , ,

My daughter is home sick from school today.  After lunch she suggested we do a drawing together.  It was fun and relaxing for both of us!  We started with a quick scribble of my own…

Then she added her own scribble.  Of course, the adult in me asked, “Are we doing abstract or a real picture?” My first instinct was to draw something “real”.  But I went with it, and we added to eachother’s scribbles.  Then, we took another picture….

As we looked at the picture on the screen, we saw an indian chief praying!  Wow!  We liked him, so we added to his costume and headdress.  Do you see him? Why did we see an indian chief praying?  It must be a message from our “Artist Within”/right brain. 

Look at him now!  He is strong, proud, yet humble.  Hmmmmmm.  We had fun with his headdress and his animal skin cloak (?).  Riley added the fun, little adornment at the front of his headdress and I elaborated on the feathers towards the back.  Here he is all finished-in all of his glory!

I added light blue fingernails, Riley added war paint under his eyes, veins in the feathers and adornment to the back of his cloak brought him to life.  Now, I ask Riley (sitting next to me right now), “What does he make you think of?”  She says, “The indian times.”  Me, “What else? What do they make you think of? Like, what words come to mind when you think of an indian chief?” She answers, “A tee-pee and animals.”  Me, “What is it about the tee-pee and the animals that we need to think about today? If the indian chief was to say something to us, teach us something from the paper, what would he say?”  What I think is that he is reminding us to stay strong, pray, and connect to the earth and the animals around us.  “Riley, what do you think about that?”  Riley, “I think about when people had to get their own food and there was not a store that provided it.”

Well, there you go.  Deep thoughts provided by our scribbles.  Have fun scribbling with your kids!  ~Whitney & Riley



My Visit: American Museum Art – Continued
January 20, 2010, 3:45 pm
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c75n.jpgXX

Created by James Hampton

This is incredible! Took James Hampton 14 yrs to finish! It was his only creation! Made entirely of tin foil and cardboard.

 



My Visit: American Museum Art.

"being inexhaustible, life & nature r a constant stmulus 4 a creative mind."

art by Grace Hartigan

“Where there is an open  mind, there will always be a frontier”.  Charles Kettering

Arthur Dove

“I look at nature I see myself. Paintings r mirrors, so is nature.” -Arthur Dove



Off to D.C.!~A Personal Update

Good morning!

I thought I would give you insight into the ART that is my life. It is pretty exciting right now. (I am happier than this image above, but I LOVE her!  She was one of my “miles” in the Creatively Fit Marathon.  Click on her to get more info.)

I am off to D.C. today to speak at the Capitol Creativity Network monthly meeting. I met the founder of this group and Creative Emergence, Michelle James on twitter!  She is incredible and I am looking forward to meeting her and doing some “Creativity Workouts” with her group.  I will post photos when I get back!

I do want you to visit the blog tomorrow afternoon as I will be tweeting and blogging live from the Smithsonian American Museum of Art.  I am just going on my own personal field trip (join me at 1p if youa re in the area), but I want to share with you some of my favorite pieces as I see them and illustrate how you can use images that attract you to gather valuable insight.

Yesterday  I found a very fun thing to do on their website.  Click on this link http://americanart.si.edu/mycollection/ to start your OWN online art collection!  It is so fun!  You can browse through hundreds of paintings, pick your favorites to add to your “scrapbook” and even add your own comments.  Check mine out. When you go to the above link, simply click on “Visitor Scrapbooks” in the upper right hand corner.  Or if you get to the homepage somehow, get back to the My Collection by clicking on the tab under COLLECTIONS.  My comments illustrate how I use the art to spur insight into my day.  Try it!  And tune in here tomorrow afternoon.

I also wanted to share something that is really exciting!  I have met an amazing woman who is, among other things, author of the new book Ignite the Genius Within.  Her name is Christine Ranck and you all NEED to get her book!  It is incredible.  She and I spoke on the phone last week and discovered that we had SO much in common.  She heard about me through her co-author Michael Gelb (ahem, author of How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci!!!!).  He has now endorsed my new book coming out in March, 33 Things to Know About Raising Creative Kids. Christine’s book is an immensely powerful tool that anyone can use to elevate their lives.  Read everything on her website or at amazon! You really need to check it out! After we spoke, she and I feel like we are going to create fabulous things/events/projects together in the future. I got her introductory email the first day “back” after the holidays and I took it as a GREAT sign of the magic that is going to happen in 2010!

Speaking of that, I need to get back to my D.C. trip.  My first meeting when I fly in today is with the CEO of Plaza Art Supply. Plaza is my favorite art store in Nashville. As we take Creatively Fit to the national platform, I would LOVE a corporate sponsor that sells art supplies, since a huge part of my mission is to get YOU ALL buying and using art supplies in order to get into your right brain and access all the amazingness! (or Genius) Stay tuned for an update on that meeting!  If you are not following me on twitter, find me @creativelyfit.

After Plaza, I am meeting with the founder/creator of The Little Black Dress Club!  Another Christine!  She started this group to meet new friends and it has grown and grown across the country!   Here is a quote from their website right now:  “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”  — Coco Chanel

On Wednesday, before the American Museum of Art visit and my presentation at CCN, I am honored to be meeting the marketing director of the  Women for Women Foundation!  They do AMAZING international work to help women.  Their motto: Helping Women survivors of War REBUILD their lives.  INCREDIBLE what some women are going through.  The 2010 goal for Creatively Fit is to create sponsorship for 100 women!  Go here to learn about how you can CREATE change in the life of a woman.

I will be on a bridge with W4W in NYC on National Women’s Day, March 8th 2010.  There we will paint a canvas to symbolize the CHANGE we want to CREATE in our world.  I am so grateful to W4W for all they do.  I am excited to explore with them tomorrow how Creatively Fit can help! 

So, check back in to see how everything unfolds.  In my “right brain world” everything happens JUST as it is supposed to and everything I need will be miraculously provided.  It is an exciting journey looking through these rosey glasses, but why would I want it to be anything different!?!?

OH!  I almost forgot (I do that).  The next Creatively Fit Marathon starts this Friday!!!  We paint rather than run to get CREATIVELY fit!  We paint 26 paintings over and over the SAME canvas.  You receive emails for each “mile” with step-by-step instructions, images, inspiration and insight into how you can claim your role as the ARTIST of your life!  Want to know more?  You can!  Click here.  Here is an image of one of my little lady pictured above  going from one “mile” to the next.  We also call it “speed painting”.  Fun! Up for a challenge?  Want to get that right brain muscle in shape?  Done!



Let’s Talk!!!!

Click here to listen to my \”Happy New Year\” audio blog entry! Is painting THAT powerful? Find out….

Once you click on the link another window will open.  Simply click the PLAY arrow on the icon on the left side to listen!  Thanks!

Scroll down for step-by-step images of some of my paintings!  You can do it! Creative wishes, Whitney



Looking Back to Move Forward…

 I am such a go-go-goer that sometimes the most valuable thing I can do is to stop and take a look back.  As I anticipated the new year, the new goals, the new experiences heading my way, I took some time to look back to my beginning.  I found an amazing CLUE there!

The catalyst for my creative journey (currently manifesting itself as author, art teacher, entrepreneur, restaurauteur and creativity coach) began with the book Zen & the Art of Making a Living by Laurence G. Boldt.  The page that started it all went like this:

             First, there was a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche.  “Art is the proper task of life.”

            Then, Mr. Boldt writes this.  My life was never to be the same.

            “Some may find it hard to accept that Nietzsche’s statement applies to them, yet we will insist throughout this book that every man and woman is, in potential, an artist and, when living authentically, one indeed.”

For me, this tremendous journey all started with this breakthrough concept of ourselves, as people trying to find our niche, our passion, our true purpose in life, needing to embrace our “artist mentality”, not so that we would all paint on canvas and hang our work in a gallery, but so that we would take responsibility for the role we play in creating our lives, independent from society’s prescribed course.   

In other words, if we stopped listening to the way everyone else tells us we should do things and really follow our heart and what it wants to express in this lifetime, THEN we will be able to create the life we were intended to live.

 By the time the book The Secret  came out, I told friends who were recommending the book, “I understand manifesting the life you want!  I need to catch up on all of the manifesting I’ve already done!” (Image below is my biz partner and I in 2007 standing in front of the wine racks at our second wine bar we opened.  We have since sold this one and are back to our original.)

NEXT, after embracing our role as artist and creator of our lives, we THEN need to look deeper within the paradigm of the artist.  We have accepted that it is indeed US who are creating the art on the canvas of our life, but what else can we learn from how an artist creates a successful image that will help us to create a successful life?

 As IT TURNS OUT, the same exact tools that artists use as they are creating powerful and effective visual images, narratives and compositions, are the SAME tools that we can use to guide us and provide a framework within which to make decisions.  The PRINCIPLES of DESIGN are revealed as a universal blueprint for creating an effective, powerful, & fulfilled life.  Watch this video of one of my Creatively Fit Students “Before and After” her 2 hour painting class!  Amazing!

Contrast, unity, balance, proportion, harmony, repetition, rhythm, and emphasis are the threads woven through every element of our lives that hold it all together and create a whole, complete expression of our human existence.  Spiritual leaders speak of the power of contrast to transform a mediocre or “safe” life into one that is dynamic, passionate, and centered.  Business coaches use the word rhythm to explain the significant impact a daily business ritual can make in one’s work life.  Unity is the mantra of world leaders and activists seeking peace and justice.  But even all of these people seem to have overlooked the perspective that if you look at your life and everything you do to make up that life as ART, as your form of personal expression, as your imprint on the book of life, there is a formula, a key, a secret that can be applied to ALL OF IT!

What if everyone from government officials to school teachers, to CEO’s to teenagers operated under a common acknowledgement of life as art?  The art spirit has never been about personal gain, artists seldom experienced material wealth when they were living, the accumulation of power or suppression of others.  It HAS BEEN about communicating that which comes from the heart and the spirit.  It has been collaborative.  It has been a unifier.  It has inspired millions of people from a single image.  This is the spirit we need cultivated on our planet right now.

So now, we have taken responsibility for our role as chief creator of our lives, no more excuses or playing the victim, AND we have harnessed the principles of design to guide us along in the process.

 LASTLY, we discover that the physical & mental act of MAKING ART helps us to further develop the first two elements of this paradigm, accepting the artist role and applying the principles of design, by physiologically strengthening our right brain mental ability.  The right brain is the hemisphere that is able to process and put into action this philosophy.  If an individual truly wants to embrace the role of the artist and learn how to manifest her dreams on the canvas that is her life, the simple exercise she can do to get better and better at doing just that involves making her mark &, thereby, tapping into the right hemisphere.  It is this side of the mind that speaks the language of the artist, that will elevate your life to a new level, and that understands how to maneuver in this new paradigm.  Right brain thinking can handle the ambiguity of having created the vision of where you want to go, but not knowing exactly what steps to take to get there.   It balances the left brain inner critic and ego-centered voice, with deep conviction in the ability for the world to provide solutions and in the power of love, not fear.  Dr. Jill articulates this so beautifully in her TED Talk!  Don’t miss that one!

So, we find that the more we “exercise” our right brain muscle, the better able we are to suspend fear, doubt and skepticism, and to move forward based on optimism, inspiration, and a deep faith in humanity and our world.  Dan Pink, in his book A Whole New Mind, Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future, boldly states to american business that their survival depends on developing right brain skills to compliment the current left-brain dominated biz world.  If you want to create the life of your dreams, you have to suspend that voice whispering, “you could never do that” and tap into the voice that says, “who are you NOT to be living that life.”  When we accept our role as artist, we open ourselves up to entirely new ways of living and to an entirely new language and mental dialog that is infinite in its access to intuition, inspiration and wisdom.

So from the image of a simple artist standing in front of the blank canvas, we discover an entirely new way of thinking, living, and creating.  Meet your Artist Within!

SO, this flashback to the beginning of my journey has reinforced to me the direction I need to take moving forward!  So, find a comfy chair, kick back and harken back to an earlier time for clues that will lead you to your future!

Wishing you all a most happy, fulfilling & inspiring 2010!  ~Whitney



The Painting Progresses…

So here are images of my efforts this morning that I cranked out in between a shower, making kids’ beds and breakfast.  Again, the self talk going on even in my mind as I paint is so reflective of what so many of us face on a daily basis as we tackle any task or attempt to problem solve.  First, I am looking at the paintings thinking, “I have got to make this good!”  How often does the fear of not being able to produce stall us mid-action?  Then, I think to myself, “Just do something.  The layers are what make it great anyway.  Don’t worry.”  Once you realize that WHATEVER you are doing in life is a process and that each step along the way has lessons and information for you, then you can proceed forward, trusting that the outcome will materialize as you go.  SO, in the image above you can see I added some blue.  Step one.

Next, I mixed up some dirty orange (which you get by adding some blue–which I happened to have handy–into the orange) and painted some stripes and circles.  These markd provided CONTRAST to the wide spaces of blue and red and created UNITY (these are 2 of the 8 principles of design–they help you to design successful images AS WELL AS a successful life–more about that in my book) by echoing the marks I made with black in the very first layer.

When in doubt, squirt some white paint onto your palette, dip a finger or two into the paint, and rub it onto your painting.  I love to finger paint!  This technique enables you to leave the layers below peeking through and creating more interest.

So, we are getting there!  Stay tuned this weekend for more step-by-step in the abstract painting process.  It is fun!  You should try it!  Join our fanpage on Facebook, www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU and then you can post links to your paintings!  Inspire others to CREATE change!  ~Whitney



Paint to Create Change in Your Life

This amazing art installation popped up in the building where I take yoga.  I LOVE it!  There was not any info. on the artist and the security guard knew nothing.  So I had to share.  Each of these pieces is approx. 12 x 14 or something along those lines.  I thought, “I could do something like this–at least on a couple pieces of paper.”  Look at some of them close up…

I love the layers of color, smeared pastel or charcoal, the bold colors peeking out from the neutrals.

how fun to look at these and see what you see…What do you see?  Why does that come to mind?  How can you apply THAT to whatever is going on with you today?  There is a message from your right brain voice, your Artist Within here.

So, I took these pics a couple of days ago and I have been wanting to try my own version so I could share with you the step-by-step.

I go started this morning.  I thought I would take you through my inner dialogue as I rushed to squeexe this in between the kdis getting on the bus and a 9a meeting at the coffee shop about a community art project with the library…

First thought, “I don’t have time for this.”  (As you read the thoughts in my head, ask yourself…”does this sound familiar?”)  “I am running late, but I will just do a couple things–just to get started.”

First, I watered down some black paint, held the brush loosely and scribbled across the paper.

Next, I added some black charcoal…

I smeared it and scribbled it.  I had to keep reminding myself, “Just keep going.  With enough work, it will look fabulous!”

But I could not stop before I got some color in.  It is too grey here today.  But I found myself “staying in the lines”.  I thought–“can’t do that”.  I have to be brave!

Yes, that is red paint I squirted onto the paper.  Then, I proceeded to look around my studio for a scraper. I know I have those somewhere, but since I was in a hurry I used what was handy–one of my biz cards!

That is the image from the cover of my book, The Artist Within… (great gift!)!!! 🙂

Just scrape the paint across.  Let it do what it wants.  Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.  Amazing how often that fear bubbles up.  It can be holding you back.  Is it?  Make a “mistake” today, but practice just making it on paper.  It will get you warmed up.

Here is where I left it. I really have to go now!  Stay tuned for the finishing steps tomorrow and the next day! 

Tune in to your right brain voice today, your intuition, your ARtist Within, by creating something!  I am off to CREATE community through art and the library!  Creative Wishes, Whitney



Learn to Flip the Switch

3 Things I want to share with you today…

1st…If you want something NEW to happen in your life, your business, or anywhere, you have to do something DIFFERENT.

2nd…When you do something DIFFERENT you change the way you are thinking, making the shift from left-brain routine to right brain innovation.  This is being supported by both brain scientists and spiritual leaders.

3rd…My mission to illuminate for you the ability you possess to “flip the switch” from left to right brain thinking using Creativity Workouts and the Arts is going to provide you with what you need to create the change you desire in your world, to evolve your thinking in this rapidly evolving world, & to lead a blanced and fulfilled life.

First, let me take you on a little tour to illustrate a Creativity Workout.  Follow along with the intent of getting into your right brain (if you are sitting at your computer right now, obviously, you are engaged in the heavily left-brain dominated world and a little right brain exercise is always good.

~commercial break…Go to www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU to receive daily ideas about how to get your right brain “Creatively Fit”~

I recently visited UMMA.  The Univ. of Michigan Museum of Art.  I hope this motivates you all to go to an art museum as soon as possible.  It is a FABULOUS right brain workout.  Take your business team.  Take your children.  Go alone.  You will leave with new ideas, more energy, and a sense that you too can create something new.

Imagine that you are walking into this room at UMMA.  It is an art installation by Heather Rowe. http://www.umma.umich.edu/view/ (I don’t know why the pics on the UMMA site are of a different install, but enjoy that one too.)  It is a totally separate room.  I had it all to myself.  It is a series of platforms or open boxes perched upon different lengths of metal and glass supports.  Notice the glass cubes at the foot of some of the supports.  (I really liked those….).  The goal of the installation is to engage you in an altered perspective.  The key is to slow down, look around and take it in.  Throughout my tour here today, look for the reflection of the orange, metal sculpture outside the museum.

So, these mirrors were placed as close to the universal eye-level height and each open “box” had these mirrors and other “random” objects arranged differently to catch the reflections.  See the orange sculpture?  Try to really space out on these images.  Just give yoruself a little mental vacation from the to-do list scrolling through  your mind.  You can’t innovate if your mind is busy processing lists.  Now, let’s move to a different part of the room.

Hi!  Here I am with my trusty iPhone (LOVE it!).  Now, see the orange?  How many times do you see my face? Look in each piece of mirror.  Or almost all of them.  Can you tell which sections are mirror and which are real?  Look again….

Now, here is the last part of the tour.

Now, even I still can’t figure this out.  See my face taking the picture?  See the orange sculpture?  I promise, that orange sculpture was BEHIND me.  It looks like you are looking through the art install to the outside and there is the sculpture.  No.  That is a reflection of the sculpture.  I promise.  Even when I was there I had to turn around and look behind me there it was.  Then I looked in front of me and there it was too.  OK.  At this point, I admit, I started fantasizing about me alone in that room for hours with a bottle of wine and nothing else.  Except that I would surely need a pad of paper because of all the new insight and ideas that would come flooding into my consciousness as I opened up more and more in my mind–right hemisphere, remember.

OK.  So I could go on and on.  I will just say that just yesterday I bought two books.  Joe Dispenza’s Evolve Your Brain (this author was featured in the movie What the Bleep!?!?–rent that if you have not already) and OSHO’s Everyday OSHO.  Within 24 hours, after only reading a total of 15 pages between the two books, I read BOTH of them say that the key to ANY kind of innovation is dependent on your creativity, which is a task of the right brain, and that your left brain is responsible for information or skills that are routine or already processed by your mind. 

Dan Pink reveals this fact as well in his new book DRIVE.  If you want NEW innovation in your organization, it is dependent on right hemisphere thinking. You can learn to FLIP THE SWITCH in your own mind.  We all live in a left-brain dominated world, so if you think, “Hey, I want to new solution to this problem.” That should trigger the thought, “I better get in my right brain.”  In which case you give your right brain something to do (go to the Creativity Workout section of this blog for ideas OR buy my book The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, that is chock full of right brain exercises), thereby shifting the energy in your mind (What the Bleep?!?!) to the side responsible for the creativity, focus, and openness required for innovation.  I will be back with more from UMMA.  I have to dole it out because otherwise this would be a 20 foot long blog entry.

Come back soon…subscribe to this blog–look under my pic–…learn more about Creatively Fit.  We will be launching the Creatively Fit Program in March 2010.  It will be ther “Jenny Craig” for the Right Brain.  It is going to be fun….

Creative wishes this holiday season, Whitney



Mr. Fox Right Brain Movie Review

I saw this movie this past weekend with my kids. 

Some things struck me about the Fantastic Mr. Fox that I thought were worth emphasizing.

Although, I would side with Mrs. Fox as to the carelessness and recklessness of Mr. Fox’s actions, one can’t deny the creative problem solving nature of his actions once the proverbial @#$@# had hit the fan.

So, when Mr. Fox had to motivate his “team” in the face of dire circumstances and insurmountable odds, he chose the right brain/creative path of painting a picture of what that team meant to him and what they could accomplish if they worked together.  By reclaiming their own “story”–a Dan Pink emphasis for the new economy www.danpink.com— (their inherent traits and talents), the animals were able to band together to accomplish their goals.  Mr. Fox’s leadership skills are very 21st Century.

The other element of this story that struck me is how it mirrors our current situation.  Fox progresses from the pursuit of comfort and status to being grateful for diminishing resources and shelter.  At each point that his situation worsens, he finds the silver lining and emphasizes THAT to his community.  In the end, they are still have to scrap and scrape and are living in the sewer, but they are happy because of their positive perspective.

In your left brain you are all about YOU. In your RIGHT you are tapped into the global mind, the “one big happy family” and everything is working out perfectly.

Fox’s path may hold a key to our own survival in 2010 and beyond.  Might some of us have to learn how to thrive and live fulfilled lives with less?  Getting to know your right brain voice, or Artist Within, gives you so much more opportunity to maximize the potential of your mind and synergize both the left and right hemispheres.  Feeling overwhelmed or do you want to just give up?  You are surely in left brain mode.  Click on the Creativity Workouts category in this blog to learn how you can make the shift from left to right brain thinking.  Turn feelings of hopelessness into HOPE!

Check out Tina Seelig’s blog, Creativity Rulz, on the Psychology Today wewbsite: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creativityrulz/200911/its-all-in-your-head

She writes about the power we have to interpret the same situation so many different ways, just by how we choose to look at it.  “It’s All in Your Head” is the title of the blog entry.  Mr. Fox “got it”.  Cheers to a Happy New Year–one filled with exciting opportunities, change and new beginnings!

 



Watch this Amazing Video!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trz5fcdVACw

I can’t tell you how supremely happy this video made me!  THIS is why I teach people how to paint.  THIS is why I introduce them to their Artist Within.  It is SO MUCH BIGGER than the canvas or the journal page.  It transforms!  Watch this video!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trz5fcdVACw

Here are some of the paintings in my studio right now. 

This painting is in its beginning stages, but I am really into owls right now.  I would LOVE to paint an entire owl series.  I just think of the “wise old owl”.  What insight does he have for me today?  When you paint, you access your right brain voice–your Artist Within.  It is directly connected to your subconscious & your intuition.  With each brushstroke, it is like you are dialing its number.  What does your right brain voice have to say to you?  Paint to find out!

This is a detail of a commission I am creating for a family right now.  I call these my “Family Portraits”.  I just keep layering and layering the colors.  There are no such things as mistakes.  Anything can be fixed.  Hmmmm, just like life!  I am reading in Esther & Jerry Hicks book, The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent” right now about CONTRAST in our lives. 

“You know that variety and contrast (when things are going GREAT or badly) will cause you to determine the specifics of your personal preferences, and you know that each of those preferences, big or small, will be answered the moment they are born.”  -Esther & Abraham

In his book, CREATIVITY, Where the Divine and the Human Meet, Matthew Fox writes: 

“We are creators at our very core.  Only creating can make us happy, for in creating we tap into the deepest powers of self  and universe and the Divine Self.”

You may be thinking, “I am not creative.  I can’t paint.”  I am here to tell you that painting and creating is a portal, a key, to an entirely new perspective, a new way of looking at your world, your life, and your role in the creation of your life–your reality!  What do you want to CREATE?  You paint to get Creatively Fit so that you are mentally, emotionally, spiritually strong enough, tapped into this creative source, to create the CHANGE you want to see in your world.

This is one of the Create Change Paint Kits you can purchase online at www.creativelyfit.com.  Gift creativity and inspiration to someone this season–or yourself!

This is another Create Change Paint Kit design.  There is a Creatively Fit Gift Package on sale now for just $65 that includes the paint kit design above, my book, The Artist Within, the Painting Made Easy DVD, a Create Change sticker and a Moleskine artist journal.  It comes already gift wrapped in a hand painted box. 

Yesterday during yoga class, my teacher read from Deepak Chopra.  He wrote about the “Infinite Field of Possibility”.  Yum!  This infinite field is only accessible via right brain thinking.  It is not logical, you can’t put a box around it, you can’t PROVE it exists. 

If you want to be able to truly grasp and CREATE all of the potential you our have within you, nurture your right brain voice.  www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU is a resource for you.  The CREATIVELY FIT Program for women kicks off in January 2010 and nationally in NYC in March 2010–Nat’l Women’s month!  Want to get creatively fit!?!?  Go to creativelyfit.com and click on the link “CLICK HERE” so we can let you know more about the program!

THANK you for allowing me to create along with you!

Creative wishes, Whitney

p.s. I am going to be in Washington D.C. this Jan., San Fran and Napa this Feb., NYC & Philly this March, Portland, OR this April, & back to NYC in May!  Let me know if you have a group or company that would like to experience being Creatively Fit!



The Other 97%…

Scientists say that we only use 3% of our total mental capacity.  What if you could learn how to access even another 1-2%?  What might happen?

Picture a 33 lane highway….

It is immense.

Now, picture millions of cars on this highway, all right up on top of eachother, & ALL in just one lane!!!

It’s like they don’t even SEE the other 33 lanes.  The drivers even deny the existence of the other 33 lanes.  They are resolved to continue to inch along down the road, starting & stopping, starting & stopping.

What would happen if the cars just inched over to use 3 off the 33 lanes instead of just one lane?!?!?  How would that ease the burden and increase the flow of traffic?  It would be a RADICAL SHIFT!

This is what it is like inside of our minds.  We are typically conscious of only “one lane”.  This lane if very left-brain dominant because of the task oriented, linear, logistical, and busy nature of our world.  When we choose to engage in right brain activities, we are, in a sense, accessing new, empty lanes, full of potential and new promise, within our minds.

I met Dan Pink yesterday at a Belmont Univ. Leadership event and he had 400 people captivated and excited to develop their right brain thinking.  Dan Pink is helping everyone to see how important right brain skills are to our evolution in this changing economy.

Whether you are motivated by personal or business success, there is NO DOUBT that you would benefit from right brain activity.  All you have to do is buy Dan’s book, A Whole New Mind, Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, and my book, The Artist Within, A Guide to becoming Creatively Fit (which Dan Pink endorsed!!!) www.amazon.com and work out your right brain muscle so that you can be CREATIVELY FIT!  www.creativelyfit.com  Tap another 1-2% in your mind, then, who knows all that could happen….



Your Life Needs a Trip to the Art Store!!!

photoYour life may just need a trip to the ART STORE!!!  (Fabric stores work great too!)

Last week Heather (the new Creatively Fit VP of Marketing)  & I ran into Plaza Art Supply in Nashville (you can shop online with them at www.plazaart.com) for a couple of items.  We had a BLAST!  Not that I am new to art stores, but Heather is in the beginning stages of her Creatively Fit Program and for her it was not her normal errand. 

The first image above was a display that caught my eye right when we walked in!  I wanted to take a pic of this side.  Heather liked this side:

dye blues

We did not buy any of these yummy looking dyes (don’t eat!!!) YET, but when one of you do, let us know!!!  Jacquard says they are easy to use in cold water and are perfect for dying that white shirt stained with your favorite red wine!! 😉

THEN, we spotted the papers!  My side:

papers reds

Heather’s favorites:

fav green paper

We very deliberately chose our favorite three papers and rushed home to the studio.  We were so excited and energized from the colors and patterns at Plaza!  I PROMISE, even if you don’t buy anything, a trip to your local art store will be FUN & INSPIRING!!!

Here is what the studio table looked like 10 minutes after we got back:

after plaza

That is my Artist Within journal.  I LOVE it!  It is a Moleskine and you should all buy one at www.creativelyfit.com.  I was so relieved to finally find the perfect journal.

Watch this video for a candid tour of my studio and my journal.  Love being able to share it….  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1m-KpRT2lA

Please join us for more behind the scenes of the Creatively Fit Movement at our fanpage:  www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU

Now, when can you go to the art store?  If you go to www.plazaart.com, tell them Whitney from Nashville sent you! 

Getting Creatively Fit FEELS great.  I am excited for you! 

Creative wishes, Whitney

 

 



Inspiration from Einstein

460px-Albert_Einstein_Head

Albert Einstein was in touch with his Artist Within.

Read these messages from him to you today.  Do you see the left brain voice and the right brain voice?  His understanding and ability to access his creativity was what enabled him to have such influence and impact.  You can access this same kind of inspiration. 

You simply need to get Creatively Fit.  www.creativelyfit.com

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish it but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind. ~Albert Einstein

456px-Einstein_1921_by_F_Schmutzer

Here he is in front of the “blank chalk board”.  He was always curious, always searching…..He had to be open.  Open yourself up to something new today.

Here is another quote:

“Concepts that have proven useful in ordering things easily achieve such authority over us that we forget their earthly origins and accept them as unalterable givens.”

What do you consider to be unalterable that perhaps isn’t.  What change would you like to create?  Join the Creatively Fit community at www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU

Have an INSPIRED day!  Creatively yours, Whitney

 



Asheville to Charlotteslville Adventure!

Chilly, but HAPPY, at LEAF Festival!

Last week I had the amazing opportunity!  My family and I went on a good ol’ ROAD TRIP and created three weeks out of one!  We did so many different things that time seemed to slow down.  Lovely!  The image above is from the LEAF Festival just outside of Asheville, NC. www.theleaf.org   Check out the extent of camping in the chilly NC mountains!

Thousands and thousands of campers!

IT was an incredible celebration of art, music and world culture!  There was non-stop music at up to 5 different venues from 10a to 2a Friday, Sat. and until 5p Sunday.  It wrapped up with ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT!  They were amazing!

Arrested Development at LEAF

What I so respect about AD is that their lyrics are so positive and the presence of Baba is precious.  He struck me as the village elder.  His presence grounded their performance and gave it a spiritual side simply by his presence. Check him out here…you can just feel the wisdom.

Arrested Deve. elder

I had an INCREDIBLE book signing at Malaprops Book Store in downtown Asheville that Saturday.  It was also a welcome break from the cold!  This book store is one of my favorites.  The people are so open and generous with their attention.  I sold books non-stop and met some incredible people!

Malaprops

I had filmed a segment on the News 13 Noon Day Show in Asheville the day before.  It was quick, but fun!  Watch it here: http://www.wlos.com/newsroom/craft_corner/vid_366.shtml

After we packed up our camping gear and spent the night in a nice, warm hotel in downtown Asheville we popped into the Biltmore to take a look around!  AMAZING!  George Vanderbilt was pretty Creatively Fit–of course with that much time and money….But he did choose to create an amazing legacy that is STILL owned by his heirs!  It is an experience!  Hope you can all get there at some point!

IMG_2775

We left there around 2p for the 6.5 hour drive to Williamsburg!  That was a bit tough, but so it goes.  InColonial Williamsburg it is hard to overlook how CREATIVELY FIT our forefathers/mothers were!  Wow!  They have preserved so much of the village of colonial Williamsburg that you really get a feel for their way of life back in the revolutionary period.  We saw carpenters creating exquisite furniture JUST as they did back in the day.  All hand tools, no mechanics.  Incredible!  I write in my book, The Artist Within, about how our right brain deficiency is a new phenomenon, relatively speaking.  Our right brains used to be much stronger because we relied on its faculties so much more when we were CREATORS rather than CONSUMERS.  Williamsburg is living proof. 

A "Backyard" in Colonial Days

Here are my three kids looking into a typical “backyard” in Williamsburg.  You had to have some sheep handy to get the wool to spin the yarn to weave the cloth to make the clothing!!!! 

Next we were off to University of Virginia to visit “big brother Dane”.  I met with the professor who created the Arts Administration Program at UVA, George Sampson.  We had such a dynamic conversation about the importance of taking the arts and creativity out of the box (ironically enough).  He has worked with students from the med school, Darden Business School, the engineering school,etc. to get them thinking about how art and creativity affect their industries.  I felt such a pang of envy as I led myself on a personal tour of the studio arts building, leaving CREATE CHANGE stickers as I went.

On our way home from Charlottesville to Nashville, we stopped at Joel Salatin’s Ployface Farm.  This man has created extraordinary awareness about the significance of small farmers in our country!  I just had to share some of my funnest animal pics ever!

Cute Polyface pigs

Sorry if you are currently eating your bacon for breakfast!  Eggs?

Polyface chicken coop

Joel Salatin knows chickens!

SO I guess that brings you all up to speed.  I am busy, busy creating EMPHASIS in my Creatively Fit mission and am excited to be a guest on two Nashville news shows this week.  Today I film the “Plus Side of Nashville” on Nesw Channel 5 with Tuwanda Coleman and tomorrow is “More at Midday” on Ch. 4 in Nashville!  http://www.wsmv.com/moreatmidday/index.html  http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=5373517

So, hope you all flex your right brain muscle a bit today.  Be sure to join the Facebook Artist Within page: www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU

I am offering a FREE webinar to all fans (new and not as new) that will be this Friday at 10a CST.  Comment on this blog if you want to chat on Friday with me!  http://app2.e2ma.net/campaign/2102.1a1836510aa44625e206ad403098ec2f  Looking forward to it!  Whitney

 



Right Brain Spa!
October 22, 2009, 9:14 pm
Filed under: Things I love! | Tags: , , , , , ,

Brain Sync Unfold-Your-Potential

I am currently on the back end of a massive week-long book tour/family vacation that began in Asheville, NC and is ending in Charlottesville, VA at UVA!  I can’t wait to share all the details and pics from this adventure! 

In the mean time, I wanted to share with you one of the most amazing tools I have found to CREATING a right brain “spa” experience–the 3 CD set “Unfold Your Potential, Create the Life you Want to Live”. 

If you are not aware of the importance of meditation, just stay tuned.  You will certainly find articles and other info. about meditation catching your eye.  It is vital to BALANCE our busy, hectic daily lives and to CONTRAST the constant chitter chatter in our brain.

These CD’s by Kelly Howell are yummy!  After my first experience with the prayer CD, that got me on my hallway floor for a full hour (!!!!), I immediately got on the phone and ordered a case so I could share them with you all!  They are now available on my website.  Simply click on the image above to get to the shop.

I had been looking for a guided meditation because, hey, I like images and I like stories.  The music that accompanies Kelly Howell’s voice is scientifically composed to balance your brain!  It recreates THETA brainwaves….If you want more go to www.brainsync.com.

I can’t encourage you all enough to buy yourself a set and give them as gifts.  You will NOT regret it!  As a result of using these CD’s just 2-3 times a week I found myself “hovering above the chaos”.  Nothing could really bother me.  I was so much more patient with my children, and I had none of that frantic energy.

I don’t man to be such a commercial, but I can’t wait to hear from you all about how much you love your new meditation time.  I think Lisa (www.lisasartjournal.wordpress.com) got a set…what do you think, Lisa?  look for her comments.

I enjoy bringing you whatever resources possible to support your creative fitness journey!  Enjoy!



A New Source of Creative Inspiration

MAt. Fox Creativity

Read this quote and then imagine how excited I am about Matthew Fox:

“Whether our species is sustainable or not depends on our wrestling creativity back from the brink of its demonic potential (the word demonic is pretty strong, but it refers to the ability of our creativity to produce destructive results as in the case of our environment).  To move our Divine powers of creativity from serving the demonic to serving the Divine is to move from art for art’s sake and art for advertising’s sake.  Art for the sake of planetary health and well being.  Art for celebration’s sake.  Art for building bridges sake.”

What this means is that all of us who would say, “I can’t even draw a straight line” need to replace it with: “I AM CREATIVE.”  It is realizing that our creative abilites are what we are dependent on to solve the problems around us, not just what produces pretty pictures and objects of art.   If we shrug off our creative ability we are, in effect, saying “I can’t make a difference.”  If that was the pervasive attitude we would be a global community that is “giving up.”  THAT is NOT what we are doing.  We are GOING TO create SOLUTIONS, rather than more problems.  We are NOT going to shy away from challenges, but rather CREATE opportunity.

Matthew Fox also says, “TO ALLOW CREATIVITY ITS APPROPRIATE PLACE IN OUR LIVES AND OUR CULTURE, OUR EDUCATION AND OUR FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS, IS TO ALLOW HEALING TO HAPPEN ON A PROFOUND LEVEL.”

Fox says that since we have surrendered so much of our creative powers (to a capitalistic society, to the TV, to virtual “realities”), that we are suffering.  I also speak of this in my book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.   Fox and I BOTH write about the fact that not that long ago, as a species, we personally CREATED everything we ate and wore, the home we lived in and everything around us.  Not only has it not been that long since we were responsible for all of these tasks, but that we had been doing so, as a human species, for AT LEAST 77,000 years before that!  This is a very new thing, our feeling of creative inadequacy.  We have become a consumer society.  As a result, we have weakened our individual creative ability.  It is time to build it back up!

To take it back, we HAVE TO become CREATIVELY FIT.  Just like a muscle, your right brain, where your creative abilities lie, can be developed.  Just as you can strengthen your right bicep with bicep curls and then use those new, stronger muscles to life other things beside a 5 lb weight, you can strengthen your creative muscles by doing creative activities (my Creativity Workouts in my book) and then use that same creative ability to create more sustainable business, better education systems, or solutions to any type of problem you face! 

Here is an example of a “Creativity Workout”:

4th journal page mandala

Here is another one:

5th journal

You can peruse more “Creativity Workouts” in the GALLERY on my website: www.creativelyfit.com or keep up with my own Creative Fitness regimen on my facebook fanpage:  www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU.

Start thinking about your mind as muscles.  If you feel you “are not creative” it is truly that your corresponding mental muscle is simply out of shape.  What Matthew Fox is proclaiming is that the future of our species depends on us harnessing our creative powers to create positive change.  Fox cites psychologist Otto Rank who proclaimed that our greatest sense of pride comes from that which we create. 

So, not feeling optimistic, excited or INSPIRED today?  Create something, anything.  Create a fabulous meal that you will take pride in, create a letter to an old friend, create order in a cluttered closet, create marks on a piece of paper, create a collage filled with images of things you love.  GUARANTEED you will feel optimistic, excited and inspired when youa re done.  It is the way our minds work.  It is the answer to the challenges we all face.

Go to www.matthewfox.org to learn more about his work.  This is important, my friends.  Really, really important.  Happy Sunday!  ~Whitney



Follow up to “What I learned while painting”
October 3, 2009, 4:19 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries | Tags: , , , , ,

My sunflower finalLove the BLUE!

Now check out this quote by Abraham Maslow!  I love the last sentence.  Would you be “amazed” if you witnessed yourself doing something “creative”?  You CREATE all the time.  Whenever you solve a problem, you are creating something that did not exist before.  Creativity is tied to PROBLEM SOLVING which is tied to HOPE!  We all need a good dose of HOPE right now.  When you become creatively fit (www.creativelyfit.com) you will feel HOPE!  Read this quote….

The key question isn’t “What fosters creativity?” But it is why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything.

“Happy Saturday!” ~Whitney

 



What I learned today while painting…

I am consistently amazed at the life lessons that I learn while I am painting.  It is meditation for me.  Thought I would share my insight from my painting time today…

my sunflower step one

This is a painting of a sunflower in the beginning stages.  This is part of the Creatively Fit Marathon I do.  More about that below….  I had outlined the black edges of the flower yesterday (it has been hard to find painting time lately, so I just have to do what I can when I can–good tip) and today I was excited to put in some color.  Now I AM envisioning a traditional golden yellow flower, but since that is so expected (but beautiful) Idecided to lay in some contrasting colors first.  This creates interest in the painting when it is done.  SO, as I was painting in those blue brushstrokes I thought to myself, “This is a good demonstration about how anyone can paint on colors that they KNOW are not what they want in the end.  Even though the blue may seem pointless–why paint blue when you know you are going to paint golden yellow?–it will add so much to the painting when it is peeking through the golden yellow.  Hmmmm, this is just like life.  Sometimes you either spend time going one direction, only to find it is a dead end and you have to do an about face, back track all the way to where you started and turn down a DIFFERENT road.  That is so frustrating.  But, if we can choose (choose being an important word) to see it as part of the process.  That by going down the incorrect road first you actually DID gain some kind of knowledge or insight that will help you in the future.  Just like the blue will add to the overall painting when it is peeking out from behind the golden yellow.”  That is what I thought.

This happens to me all the time.  We go with “Plan A” but almost always, always end up with “Plan B”.  I remember commenting once, “Plan A never works.  It is always Plan B that is the winner.”  But, you have to go through Plan A to get to Plan B, that is just the way.  One could argue that I am setting myself up for that by using a word like “never” but I think more of us need help getting over the hump of dicouragement when Plan A does not work than getting used to Plan A working all the time.  If that is where you are–stay there!  An let us know your secret.  For the rest of us, KEEP IN MIND the blue paint today.  What is the blue paint in your life? 

Now, more about this Creatively Fit Marathon.  This has been the vehicle to getting me and a couple dozen other “runners” painting on a daily basis and providing insight into the art that is our life! 

We are getting CREATIVELY FIT by painting a marathon!  We are painting 26 paintings over and over the same canvas!  Here is the painting that I had done before the sunflower.  If you look back, you can see this painting peeking out from under the sunflower.

my right.left

This painting was “Mile #15 or 16”.  The challenge was to paint an abstract painting that symbolized right brain thinking on one side and left brain on the other.  I have not flipped this one, so in the image above left brain is on top and right brain on the bottom.  Here are a couple of examples of other “miles”.  This was mile #3  that is completely buried under all the other layers of paintings/miles.  The paintings start out easier for my “runners” as they get in shape, limbering up their right brains.  I email them the outline for them to copy onto their canvas and then my example.  This image was inspired by birds my oldest drew when she was 4 years old.

bird by Whitney

This next painting is further along in the marathon when folks are getting bolder and more confident in their painting ability.  This was mile #13.  I really, really liked her.  I did not want to paint over her, although we did decide we would prefer a slightly more chipper “blue lady”.  But it made us wonder what had her kind of down. 

#13 my painting of woman

 

The element of painting over each painting is really fascinating.  We tend to be so product oriented that when you take that completely out of the picture you get into some uncharted mental territory.  That is the goal.  This Creatively Fit Marathon is meant to be challenging. It is designed for people who really want to kick start some change in their life by aggressively working out their right brain muscle.  It works!  Look for comments from some of my Marathon “Runners”.  They will tell you.  Also, go to www.lisasartjournal.wordpress.com to see her blog about my book, The Artist Within and her experience as she paints the marathon!

If you want more info. about the Creatively Fit Marathon, contact us from our website www.creativelyfit.com 

Remember, YOUR life is the blank canvas.  YOU are the artist.  YOU choose the colors, what you paint, and how it looks.  CREATE something beautiful today on your canvas. 

Join my fanpage at www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU to hear about the famous opera singers I had the pleasure of dining with last night at my wine bar and how they CREATED Change there!  Creatively yours, Whitney



Asheville, NC is Creatively Fit!!!

I am in day 2 of my FIRST EVER trip to Asheville, NC.  What a magical place!  Right Brain thinking is alive and well here with art, galleries, beautiful shops, book stores, drums, cafe’s, chocolate, mountains and friendly people all coated with a spiritual awareness that resonnates from the ground up!

I drove blindly into the center of town and parked within the central commercial district.  Look at the first card I picked out of the stack at a precious little store, “Write On”!

Asheville card

I could not believe the text on the card!  Do you ever feel like her?  Literally, getting into your right brain makes an instant, dramatic difference.  You have room to think, to be….  Next I walked down the street and was accosted by some of my favorite things ever–those star shaped lanterns!  Had to snap a pic:

Asheville Windows

Next, I popped into Terra Nostra Decor.  They had these amazing chairs called POOFS that I would highly recommend (they come in small and large).  I sat in one and confirmed the comfiness.  But, on my way out, this chair caught my eye.  This is what someone should buy for their meditation area.  Doesn’t it just look Cleopatra and Buddha all rolled up in one!?!?  Click on the image to go to terranostradecor.com–they ship anywhere (as a small biz owner I have to give them some PR!!!).

Asheville meditation chair

Next, I wandered up to Malaprops Book Store on Haywood St.  www.malaprops.com.  This is where I am going to have a book signing from noon-2p on October 17th!  This store is so special.  I met the owner, who was an obviously wise and wonderful spirit.  Thank you for your store.  After checking out with my 4 books–LOVE book stores and BOOKS, I proceeded on my visual feast of Asheville.  Here is Malaprops.  Come see me on Oct. 17th!

Malaprops

My next wonderful lstop was at Origami Ink.  This store celebrates the Artist Within from all angles.  You are swept up in new desires to write many letters, create beautiful art from found objects, paint, draw, gift….Lovely.  I met Jonathan there.  So sweet!  I was really attracted to these painted and adorned antique, wooden birds.  I tried to take a photo, but my camera died!  Click on the image below to get to their site.

Asheville, Origami Ink

After a rondevous with old friends in Black Mountain and a pint of the Valdez Coffee brew at a local micro-brewery–so sorry I can’t remember the name right now (It was so cool–in the warehouse where the brewing happens!!!), we went to dinner and I got to tour Blue Spiral Gallery all by myself!  This gallery is incredible!  Here is a view as I ascended the stairs to the extensive upper level!

Asheville Blue Spiral

The only reason I was able to enter is that they were hosting a reception for Andie McDowell (who lives in Asheville–and looks GREAT btw!  I saw her outside the gallery) after she introduced a movie next door at the Fine Arts Theater.  “The Greatest Silence, Rape in the Congo” was the film she introduced.  Andie is CREATING CHANGE in her world!  Thank you for your example!  Inside the gallery I also had the treat of seeing a friend’s artwork!  Emily Leonard is one of my favorite artists.  She is in Nashville, but her work is proudly displayed across the country.  She painted a mural on a wall in our second Rumours Wine Bar.  She is amazing.  Go to www.emilyleonard.com.  Here is an example of her work!

Emily Leonard

NOW, you all have an assignment from me to go visit an art gallery!  It is so lovely to indulge in the beautiful visions and register your impressions and to what you are attracted.  I had many savory moments last night in that gallery!  Here are some of my favorites:

Asheville Vicki Grant

This is ceramic by artist Vicki Grant.  Look at that crystal in the center, all the texture and subtle colors. 

Below, “Where to…”

Asheville Gallery ships

Where are you going?  How are you getting there?  Which boat would you hop into?  These are all the thoughts that ran through my mind.  Go to www.bluespiral1.com to peruse more!  Tell them Whitney sent you.

The painting below is by artist Charles Ladson.  His colors, unique combination of images and subject, and his obvious skill are a visual journey.  The colors are, of course, so much more vibrant (yet still subtle) in person!  I want one!!!

Asheville Charles Ladson

So, now I am sitting at City Bakery after indulging in the Melted Goat sandwich. It had roasted grapes on it, along with arugala and goat cheese.  Yum!  I have never had roasted grapes!  I am anxious to get back out there.  I have to make my next stop the French Broad Chocolate Lounge!  Don’t hate me!  🙂  Stay tuned for the exciting (I am sure it will be) conclusion to my Asheville trip.  Thank you to all of these small businesses for creating such ambience in Asheville and for allwoing me to showcase the ART that is your business!  Cheers!  Whitney



A LOVELY Rainy day in Nashville…

I started out the day (after the kids got on the bus, of course) in my studio painting.  You might think this is my daily routine.  Alas, it is not so.  I purposefully did not turn on the computer to avoid the cascade of virtual communication.  I chose to create a little more space in my mind and picked up the brush. girl gifts

These are paintings I paint as baby gifts.  I have two “girl paintings” commissioned right now, so I checked into my right brain with all of these fun colors swirling around my vision.  Lovely.  As I painted, I listened to a Louise Hay CD.  I splurged a bit in the audio CD section of Borders the other day because I thought I could listen to more books than I can read right now.  It was quite lovely having Louise in my studio on this rainy, Nashville morning with my cup of coffee.

Next, I had a truly new experience for me!

Brain Sync Unfold-Your-Potential

I plugged in to my daughters’ CD player to listen to my new friend, Kelly Howell of Brain Sync.  OK, so my Artist Within is talking to me here.  Kelly started Brain Sync (right/left brain synergy) and has an entire line of products to maximize your mental potential!  It uses brain wave therapy, reproducing Theta brain waves to facilitate “Meditation, Intuition, and Memory”. 

WOW!  Was I in heaven!  I called the number on the CD and promptly ordered 24 of these CD sets to sell on my website–GREAT, AMAZING right brain workouts!  Can’t wait!

After an hour (!!!) of lying on my hallway floor, I remembered my coaching call with my “Big Fish” Coaching Group, headed by Lorin Beller Blake.  They cracked up as I appeared on the call 24 minutes late with my “la-la land voice”.  CONTRAST is one of the Principles of Design and one of the elements I believe to be MOST important in creating a successful, fulfilling, FUN life!  One of my epiphanies lying on the floor of meditation was, “I need this kind of time to contrast my over-active DOER.”  My friends in my coaching group told me the opposite of DOING was called BEING–seriously, I could not even remember!  So great!  I have accpeted that it is A-OK to just “be”! 

During the coaching call (I may get in trouble here) I had started to paint the next layer on my “Portal Series” paintings.  If you join The Artist Within fan page on Facebook, you will see all the step-by-step of this painting and all of my thoughts as I go.  I made a major leap in that painting as a result of my meditation!  Go to www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU for that whole story.  But, here is an image of my studio table this morning: candle, coffee and paints!  Yum!

Portal series in my studio

I was so “peaced-out” by the time I left to have lunch with Christy, that the entire rest of my day had a glowing calmness to it.

Are you itching to paint yet?  Good!  Do it! 

Creatively Yours (& ready for bed), Whitney



Creativity Workout-Torn Paper Abstract
September 11, 2009, 1:59 pm
Filed under: Creativity Workouts | Tags: , , ,

This exercise is from Chapter 11 in my book The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.  This was great this morning!  It took me about 10 minutes total.  Enjoy the pics!

This is just my Moleskine sketchbook (that I love!) and some scrap paper.  I used some plain glue and a paint brush to glue them to the page.  I tore the paper very randomly, trying to get different kinds of shapes.

This is just my Moleskine sketchbook (that I love!) and some scrap paper. I used some plain glue and a paint brush to glue them to the page. I tore the paper very randomly, trying to get different kinds of shapes.

I only used soft pastels (more like chalk) and crayons for the colors.  Watch the layers!

I only used soft pastels (more like chalk) and crayons for the colors. Watch the layers!This is when I started to use crayons.

I layered more soft pastel over the crayon.

I layered more soft pastel over the crayon.

This is where it stands now.  I could always go back and layer it on!  Layering is key!  It is hard sometimes to keep adding to it.  You are scared that you are going to "mess it up".  Face that fear and then add the layer!

This is where it stands now. I could always go back and layer it on! Layering is key! It is hard sometimes to keep adding to it. You are scared that you are going to "mess it up". Face that fear and then add the layer!

 

Join my facebook fanpage at:  www.facebook.com/TheArtistWithinU for step by step like this of my paintings! 

Try this workout at home, in the a.m. or after a long day.  Or, start your next meeting with this creativity workout!  You will be amazed at the different results and ideas you get.  It’s about equality for both sides of the brain.  Your right brain/Artist Within has a lot to offer you: energy, intuition, inspiration, new ideas, purpose-driven action, centering, peace….Try it.

~Whitney



Right Brain Review-The Reader
September 10, 2009, 9:35 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries | Tags: , , , ,

the-reader-movie

I watched this movie last night–finally!  It was incredible!

If you have not seen it, see it!  If you have seen it, please consider the tragedy of this movie from a right brain perspective.

Regardless of your feelings about an affair between a 15 year old and a (??) 35 year old, they obviously had a special thing.  The fact that the relationship haunted “Michael” the rest of his life is tragic and illustrates an important lesson that your ARTIST WITHIN would like you to notice. 

Michael had the choice many times to create a different scenario than the one of the wounded lover.  He allowed his understandable sadness to taint every relationship in his life.  Instead of learning from his past and moving on–Hannah would not have wanted him to suffer so–he chose to keep it all inside, never sharing or opening up.   Not that it would have been easy, but he became a victim of that affair rather than the artist of his own life. 

forest-path

Which path do you choose today?  The sunny, green, or grey, dead end? scary_path

I don’t want to get psycho-analytical, but what struck me last night (when I finished the movie at 1:15am!!!) was how much I wished he had created a different experience.  Of course, it would not have made as great a movie, but what can we learn?  A huge issue was that he never shared his love affair with anyone.  He held it in, believing it to be shameful (just as H. hid her illiteracy).  That was a choice he made.  He stayed on the “island of Michael” (left brain-ego), rather than open up and trust the world to support him (“one with the universe” right brain).  He spent his life disconnected when he could have created connectedness.

The painting this movie creates is very dark. Blues and greys, with small glowing dots of light–the good memories that were swallowed up by the darkness. 

Each of you are creating the art that is your life every day. With an understanding of right and left brain, ego v. connectedness, you can consciously choose to create good from bad.  Learning from an experience rather than suffering the memory over and over.  Think about it….

Do you have something in your life that you could transform from obstacle to opportunity?  It is your choice.  Realize that you have two magnificently miraculous and powerful hemispheres in your mind that process things very, very differently. 

If a thought or memory is not serving you well, then you have the ability to process that same experience from the opposite perspective and transform it into a positive.

Anyone who has achieved great things has also experienced the depths of failure.  In the depths is where they learned the lessons they needed to get out of the depth and to the top.  Or, you could stay in the depth, like our poor friend Michael in The Reader.  Really, Hannah did not waste much energy in the past or future.  She was brutally present. 

So, on a happier note…here is a recent “energy drawing” workout I did in my sketchbook!  So fun!  THIS is how you change the way you are thinking and get into the other hemisphere!  Create some fun today, everyone!  ~Whitney

5th journal



Why I Teach Art…

I have SO MUCH FUN teaching people to “fear no art”!  I usually feel more like a coach than a teacher.  Truly, the entire reason I teach people to paint, or otherwise make their mark, is because it is SO GOOD for their soul.  Physiologically, it accesses their right brain, bringing them totally present.

Teaching Painting Made Easy

They forget about ALL the things they have to do and they relax.  Lovely.  When they get into their right brain (by giving it a right brain task-like painting or scribbling) they are connected to the voice that “doesn’t sweat the small stuff”.  It is the voice inside your mind that is motivated by the big picture, your purpose, your passion.  It doesn’t care about your emotional baggage or practicalities.  It knows that it is connected to a big ol’ universe that has everything you need to see your ideas and dreams come to fruition.  It’s the “Don’t worry, be happy” side of your mind.  On your left side you are ego-driven.  On your right side you are “one with the universe”-Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor.  (Watch her speech on ted.com!!!)

Artist Within Workshop shot at Cheekwood

Besides my Painting Made Easy workshop (first image), I also teach my Artist Within Workshop.  This is a view of our work space at Cheekwood last weekend.  What a gift that day was.  The energy level in that room as we cut, pasted, scribbled, and painted, was so, so supportive, inspired, and relaxed.  Not the easiest energy to find these days.  The Creativity Workouts in my book were our muse and the results were magnificent–both in our minds and on the sketchbook page.  Here is a participant’s “Paper Weaving” exercise.

Paper Weaving Creativity Workout

Next is an example of the “Torn Paper Face Collage”.  This is so much fun!  All you have to do is tear out images from your old magazines and then put them together to make a face.  Pay attention to the images you use for the eyes, the hair, etc.  Your right brain is speaking to you through these images.

Face Collage Cheekwood

Below is one of my “torn paper face collages”.  Part of my work is balancing the inspired nature of my work with the business side.  What the colorful ties in the background said to me is, “You can embrace the business aspect of your work and keep the fun.”  What encouragement from my “Artist Within”!

Whitney's Torn Paper Face

The bottom line, “Why I teach art….”  I teach because my students’ eyes light up as I take the fear out of creativity and give them permission to create CHANGE!  When they leave they are fired up!  They have an entirely new energy coursing through their veins that inspires them to do that “thing” that they have been meaning to do for years.  They have a new paradigm to apply to the art that is their life!  They have access to a new voice; a voice that is hopeful, optimisitic, and encouraging.  They have learned how to tap a new energy within themselves that will keep them going when the left brain world overwhelms them with details and logisitics.  They are becoming CREATIVELY FIT.

So proud!

A Whole New Outlook!

If you would like to entertain the possibility of hosting me at a studio or art center near you, please let me know.  I would love to come visit and inspire your group!  We can do it!

Whitney At The sommet Center

CREATE some change today in your world!  You CAN do it!  Your right brain voice, your Artist Within, is waiting to cheer you on.  Tap into it!  Grab a piece of paper right now.  Draw a dot in the middle of the page and start doodling outward to make a mandala.  I did this one with pencil and a couple of days later added the color oil pastels.  I was so relaxed after this workout!

4th journal page mandala

Be sure to subscribe to this blog (directly under my picture at the top of the page in the left margin) and become a FAN of “The Artist Within” on Facebook.  On the Fanpage I will be sharing images of my paintings as I do them so that you can see how they evolve–it will give you hope, I promise!

So, “why I teach art” is why you should consider taking an art class.  Order one of my Create CHANGE Paint Kits from my site www.creativelyfit.com and the Painting Made Easy DVD and get creatively fit in the comfort of your own home.  OR, you could join us in Northern California this October 9-12th.  Look at the info. on my EVENT page of www.creativelyfit.com  Flex your right brain muscle.  You will LOVE how it makes you feel. 

Creatively yours, Whitney



Community ART Event HUGE Success!

WOW!  Was all I had to say by the end of the night last night!  Check out these images!  A picture is worth a thousand words–as they say!

Stack Box full image

Each of these boxes was two feet square!  That made it 40 feet wide and 18 feet high!  Massive!  It was assembled at The Sommet Center in Nashville, TN.  Sadly, it has already been dismantled and its fate is undetermined.  Anyone want an INCREDIBLE public sculpture in their atrium?

stack box close up

Each box was paintind by a member of the Nashville business community.  The event was a production of the Nashville Arts & Business Council, a local chapter of the Americans for the Arts national organization.  Myles Maillie and I created the collaborative sculpture project to illustrate the power we have to CREATE BIG Change when we embrace our creativity and work together! 

DSC01318

We even got Karl Dean, the Mayor of Nashville painting!

DSC01322

Nashville’s Avenue Bank President, Ron Samuels, is an amazing painter!  He had a blast!  Yeah, that’s MY bank!  Love it!  Tell Avenue Bank that Whitney sent you!

DSC01328

That is Myles and me handing boxes up to the guys in the cherry picker.  It was “Stack Box Art Boot Camp”!  I got a work out!  I am creatively fit in a myriad of ways!

Every one of our 130 participants left with a glitter in their eyes last night!  I have herad from several that all they talked about this morning around the “water cooler” was the event last night! 

These types of Corporate Creativity Events are my specialty!  If you would like to infuse your organization, conference, or annual meeting with creative energy (empowering your people to CREATE the  Change you need in your organization) email us at whitneycalendar@gmail.com or comment on this post.

We are entering an entirely new age right now. Best selling author Dan Pink calls it The Conceptual Age.  It is one in which right brain skills are what will give us our competitive advantage.  Your organization either fosters this new spirit or faces the repercussions.  We ALL need to be Creatively Fit!  We can help.

Creatively yours, Whitney



My Creativity Workout This Weekend
August 23, 2009, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Creativity Workouts | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Creativity Workout Print

This weekend I MADE time to work out my right brain muscle. I do this to access my Artist Within voice.  She is completely stress-free, inspired, excited, motivated by may passions, rather than discouraged by logisitics and details, and connected to spirit!  I love my Artist Within! 🙂 

OK, I’ll show you the very basic little scribble that led to the expression above.  I just won’t make it as big….

3rd journal page

I am thinking about creating a series of art piececs that, in and of themselves, will be a right brain workout.  Now, of course, looking at any art activates your right brain because of the imagery and the fact that you are focused on that one image (if it grabs your attention) for awhile.  My upcoming series, will go a bit further to help viewers get into their right brain by the nature of the abstraction, the shapes used and the question it will pose…stay tuned–can’t let that out of the bag yet.

Here is the CREATIVITY WORKOUT for you right now:

“Make a Visual List”

In my journal (detail above) I divided the sheet into six sections and quickly scribbled 6 different abstract or “analog” drawings to attempt to answer my question.  So mine was “How do design the PORTAL series?”  Yours might be, “How can I narrow my niche in my biz?”  “How can I bond with my teenager?”  “What am I looking for in a new career, -boyfriend, -home?”  Whatever it is, just start scribling some shapes.  They KEY? (this is a fun key) DON”T THINK too much.  Just make a list (you can do real words if you are not quite creatively fit enough to draw.  No worries.).

That’s all for now.  Have to go check on the rice on the stove and the kids riding in the drive!   Oh, and check back in to see how the new PORTAL series evolves.  I’ll document it here!  ~Whitney



CREATE Community!
August 18, 2009, 7:17 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries | Tags: , , , , ,

12th South ConcertsThe 2nd Annual 12th South Concerts kicked off this past Saturday night in my neighborhood park here in Nashville.  The most extraordinary part about this concert series is that I started it just last year!  Now, mind you, I DID NOT move to “Music City” for a music career.  Apparently I don’t know how to carry a tune–even though I think I sound pretty stellar!  So my ARTIST WITHIN really surprised me when we launched a campaign, just last June, to start this concert series.  Once again, completely unqualified, but passionate, ME set about to create CHANGE!  When you let your Artist Within take over, it is amazing the people that rise up to help you and the “coincidences” that take place to see your vision come to fruition.  Last summer we held 4 concerts that were attended by an average of 300 people each night.  This entire concept had come about because of a thought I had watching my musician friends play in a small local club, “I bet I could get a lot more people in front of these guys if I got them to the park.”  Voila!

My business partner and I spearheaded the entire concert last year down to the fundraising, staging, etc.  This year, we barely did a thing sincer I was travelling so much on the west coast to promote the book.  Before I left I simply made sure that the momentum was there and others stepped up to continue the tradition.  Fun was had by all!

DSC01289

How would you like to CREATE Community in your neighborhood.  Remember, left brain is ego and right brain is “one with the universe”.  Any community bonds you can create are going to promote right brain thinking and feeling.  You create connectedness instead of separate-ness (word?).  You could CREATE Community in your child’s school, your workplace, your neighborhood….  I have a student, MLR, who helped to create a HUGE neighborhood arts festival.  I attended it this year and could not believe the magnitude.  I met an amazing artist who had never shown his work in public before and was getting tons of attention.  Our arts museum was there and ethnic dance and arts groups.  Amazing!   This was a big creative workout!  On a smaller note, one fall my husband and I hosted a soup night for my Kindergartener’s class.  Anyone could come and enjoy soup–easy!  Those parents that came that one night are still on a different level of friendship than others.  You can keep it simple and cater to your interestes and passions.  Try it.  Then, let me know.  I promise, it will be so incredibly rewarding.

I got an email yesterday from a reader who was one-week in to The Artist Within.  She had been interested in the arts through college, but chose a career in the medical field and now, at age 42, has spent years longing to rediscover her creative energy.  Since she started reading The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, she has felt a shift, movement.  She is excited.  She thanked me for providing her with the path to rediscover her inspired self.  Yeah!  That makes my day.  Let me know your experience.  Work out your right brain…click on the Creativity Workout section of this blog, and notice as your right brain muscles get stronger your increased energy and enthusiasm towards creating CHANGE. 

Off to teach Painting Made Easy tonight!  Check out the Northern CA retreat I am holding this October under the workshops and retreats section of the blog.  It is going to be incredible!  ~Whitney



Your life as ART!
August 13, 2009, 12:11 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries | Tags: , ,

In Nashville, kids go back to school Friday and my favorite time of year is around the corner–Fall!  This is MY new year.  This is when I make my resolutions, reestablish a schedule, set new goals, lay out my calendar and make some change happen!

Marcia Baldwin Artist  $550

Marcia Baldwin Artist $550

~Go to www.marciabaldwin.artspan.com to view more of her work-buy art!~

I wanted to share a key to my ability to get so much done consistently.  I use the Principles of Design as a guide, just as artists do when they are creating.  They are CONTRAST . UNITY . BALANCE . PROPORTION . HARMONY . REPETITION . RHYTHM . EMPHASIS.  The way I remember them all?  The acronym:  Can You Be Prepared to Harness Really Radical Energy? 

Your Artist Within understands intuitively these design principles.  I can tell you for me this fall the ones that are jumping out are Harmony (because I am going to picture myself easily floating with the current), EMPHASIS (because I am going to focus on my book and its readers and how I can help them the most), and RHYTHM (because I am going to have a schedule that allows me time for each element of my life).

FIRST, admit to yourself right now that your life IS a piece of art and YOU are the artist!  Every action is a brush stroke, each experience a color….Make it a masterpiece!  ~Whitney



Your CHAMPION
August 11, 2009, 2:42 pm
Filed under: Amazing books! | Tags: , , , , ,

“You each have a CHAMPION within you.  Your CHAMPION is not for YOU

It is for OTHERS.” ~Lisa Nichols

Set it FREE!~Whitney

Lisa Nichols

 

Find Lisa @ www.lisa-nichols.com

 

Left brain is EGO.  Right brain is “one with the universe”.

When you are critical or judgmental of your own abilities you are coming from your ego voice. Instead of thinking about how you can help yourself, think about how your strengths, passions and interests, can serve others.  When you make that switch, you disengage the ego and the elements around you will start to align to further your cause because it is for the greater good.

 

For you to create your best masterpiece (the art that is your life), you have to balance EGO with your conviction that you are part of something bigger than just you.  THIS is where we draw our strength.  THIS is why we believe we can achieve great things, break down barriers, create love rather than war, heal the sick, feed the hungry, speak in front of hundreds, innovate new products and ideas.

 

When you tap into that universal energy, that inclusive voice, you are opening up your world for extraordinary things.  That world can only be accessed via

RIGHT BRAIN THINKING.

 

Stengthen your right brain muscle with the creativity workouts in my book, THE ARTIST WITHIN, A GUIDE TO BECOMING CREATIVELY FIT!

Your life is art and you are the artist! ~Whitney



Go Inside Today…

The man who has no inner life is a slave to his surroundings.
~Henri-Frederic Amiel

(Amiel was a Swiss philosopher, poet, and critic, who in 1849 was appointed professor of aesthetics at the academy of Geneva, among other positions.)

Wow!  Meditate on this quote for a moment….

This entry is an excerpt from the Creatively Fit Marathon.  It is a “race” that people “paint” to become Creatively Fit!

If you are not inward, you are outward.  Outside of ourselves is our surroundings–the physical world.  If we are controlled by the outer world we are like the reed that bends in the wind, constantly reacting to the things (often out of our control) around us.

PAINTING & creative activity develop your life within.  Your ARTIST WITHIN

As you become more and more creatively fit these types of abstract concepts should (by exercising your right brain muscle–go to Creativity Workout section of this blog) beome easier to comprehend.  Just as you have become better at seeing the outlines and painting them on your canvas, you are able to imagine other things that do not currently exist right in front of you.  Your right brain muscles have been stretched and flexed so that they are able to adjust to the more subtle nuances of your daily life.  You have begun to notice the art in your surroundings, your outer life, and will now begin to notice the artistry in your inner life, the part of you closer to spirit.

I won’t go any deeper in this round.  Just start opening up to the awareness of your inner world.  I love this quote:

First, there were two worlds.  The world of everything “out there,” and the “you” that saw that world through the window of your eyes.  Now there are three worlds.  The world out there, the world “in here,” and the world of things you make.  Peter London, No More Secondhand Art

Whitney Ferre "Little Black Purse in the Woods"



Feeling Overwhelmed?

me ptg at Redwoods

I have been trying to “blog” for weeks!  (This is me painting in the REdwood NAtional PArk in N. CA.) I have had a very full May/June/July.  For those of you who have been BUSY or have felt overwhelmed, this is for you!

Being creatively fit helps me handle, or juggle, everything I have going on.  It is about your right brain muscle being strong and “in shape” so that it can compliment your left-brain thinking the way God intended.  In our Modern Era, we live in a very left-brain world.  It is complicated.  We are all juggling a lot.  While our left brain voice helps us stay on schedule, pay bills on time, service our cars, schedule appointments, answer emails, get dinner on the table, etc. our right brain helps to keep us to be present, focused on the big picture and not overwhelmed by details.  This right brain voice, I call it our Artist Within, is closer to your subconscious/intuition and does not see you as separate from the world around you, as does your left-brain/ego-driven voice. 

A HUGE part of handling the stress of our modern age is learning how to stay totally PRESENT.  There has to be planning time and attention to detail, but then there is the time where you have to focus on what you can control or what you are involved in at that moment.  Do THAT really well.

To give you an idea fo my life since May 27th…I have been to the Book Expo in NYC, then a week with the kids and my biz partner in Florida, organized a week long art camp for kids in Nashville, attended and presented at the CPSI Conference in Boston, driven cross country with my hub and three kids (Nashville to NE Oregon to Seattle to the Redwoods to Mt. Shasta in N. CA and back to NE Oregon),

driving cross country

and am now in Portland to network and promote my July 30th Borders book signing in Portland, OR.  All the while trying to keep up with the blog, the tweeting, the facebook, the 1st EVER Creatively Fit Marathon (stay tuned!), co-running the wine bar and turning in the manuscript for 33 Things to Raise Creatively Fit Kids! 

I tell you all of this to say, “I have a tool that can help you handle this crazy world!  It is in your right brain.  Its voice is your Artist Within.”  My book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit shows you exactly how easy it is to develop this mental ability many creativity experts are calling THE 21st Century Skill.  Dan Pink’s best selling book, A Whole New Mind, Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future is declaring the Information Age over and The Conceptual Age dawning.  Right brain skills are going to be our individual, corporate and national competitive edge.  Businesses need to nurture right brain thinking in their organizations to survive the current economic climate just as individuals need to master it to handle our complicated existence. 

There are personal and corporate coaches out there to help.  The CPSI Organization, part of the Creative Education Foundation www.cpsiconference.org, has a wealth of resources for you.  Tune in to right brain thinking and your Artist Within.  It is a buzz right now everywhere. Then, learn how to access and strengthen this ability for yourself. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed, you are in your left brain and you need to get into your right.  Go to the Creativity Workout section of this blog and start to become CREATIVELY FIT.  Buy my book at www.creativelyfit.com.  Enjoy a new perspective….your life is art and you are the artist!

Portland Book Signing at Borders in Tigard July 30th 7p.

Artist Within Retreat “Your Voice of Bold Action” in N. CA Oct. 9-13th

www.creativelyfit.com/events

Creatively yours, Whitney



Create Your Mission Statement…

Does this communicate INSPIRE?

I have recently been launched into the new world of “coaching”!  I am part of an amazing organization called Big Fish (www.bigfishnation.com).  A huge theme is to get laser beam focused on the Who? What?  & How? of what you do.  I have been a “broad brushstroke girl” my entire life.  I graduated from University of Michigan with a Bachelor of General Studies.  I currently am a restaurateur, an artist, a teacher, and an author.  It goes against every bone in my body to “narrow things down”!  But the last couple of months I have been determined to identify my “niche”.  I wanted to share with you all today my “30 second commercial” that just flowed out of me (read the process below) today on the plane from Nashville to Chicago, on my way to Boston:

“I coach individuals and organizations who want to be INSPIRED!

By introducing them to their ARTIST WITHIN & the language of the RIGHT BRAIN, I expand their awareness of how right brain thinking completes our logical & linear left brain thinking.  As my clients become CREATIVELY FIT they are able to access an entirely new source of inspired & innovative ENERGY.”

I can’t tell you how right this feels!  How can you create you create your “30 second commercial”?  Follow the CPS method created by the founders of the Creativity Education Foundation (I am on my way to present at their annual CPSI Conference in Boston!).  Basically, make a list, a long list.  Do not judge or edit it.  Write whatever comes to mind about what and why and how you do what you do–or WANT to do.  As the list grows it will become clearer.  Most of us would sit down and want our thoughts to immediately produce the desired result.  We are not patient enough.  By taking the extra minutes to freely list your thoughts you will arrive at the best synthesis of words.

For more about this technique, I HIGHLY recommend a book written by Gregg Fraley entitled, Jack’s Notebook.  It is a “business novel” that is SO fun and easy to read, but that illustrates clearly and simply the technique to creating change in your life and creating focus so that you can achieve your dreams.  You will love it.  OK, off to Boston (where I am going to meet Gregg Fraley!).



Create a portal…

 ancient bird

I read an interesting notation under the image of an ancient sculpture of a water bird.  The shamans from whatever primitve civilization considered the water bird to provide access to a portal to the “other side” from which they could solve problems.

My biggest motivation in promoting your Artist Within, is in expanding people’s awareness about the power of our minds.  I believe the analogy of the “right/left brain” is “logical” enough for people to apply to their daily routine and can provide a PORTAL to an entirely different way of thinking.

One of my favorite comments that Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor made in her 2008 www.ted.com speech is that we are a completely different person in our right brain than we are in our left.  They have such distinct personalities, voices, perspectives and ideas that they could almost be considered two different people.

I know you know how it feels when you “lose it”.  Any of you moms out there know what I am talking about.  It is never a proud moment.  Usually I am overwhelmed by the tasks at hand and I experience a temporary emotional collapse.  This is when I need to access  that other side.  For me, my Artist Within has provided a portal through which I can access a peace of mind that is not always available to me in my left brain.

I have thought lately about that movie “Duplicity” with Michael Keaton.  I think, “how great would that be!?!?” Then, there would be one of me to take care of the kids and another to do my work!  As you recall, it did not work out so well in the movie.  Truth is, we have that other person waiting to help us and provide a well of patience, inspiration and vision.  Amazingly enough you can get to it by just scribbling color on paper.  Give your right brain something to do and your Artist Within comes to life and fills you up with new energy.

Go to the Creativity Workout section of this blog to see examples of these exercises.  What do you have to lose.

My book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, is available from this website, www.creativelyfit.com and online at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com and in Barnes & Nobles all over the country.  Let me know your stories!



Your Ocean Potential!
June 8, 2009, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries | Tags: , , , , ,

Your Potential is as Wide, as Deep....

I just spent a week at the beach after returning home from NYC the night before our FL departure!  I have the fullest next two months EVER and an entire week at the beach started to make me nervous as my inner to-do list swept over my consciousness as the waves lapped up on the shore on which I reclined.  I thought maybe some of you might feel this way at times.  This is how I manage….

I read a quote once about how when we are feeling overwhelmed that we can access our hidden well of potential that is as wide, as deep, and as expansive as the entire ocean.  It said we literally have THAT MUCH within us from which we can draw strength, inspiration, and energy.  Does that make sense?   Could you explain that to your accountant?  Can you take that to the bank?  No.  That means that you are in right brain territory.

To give you an idea:  on my to do list is re-vamp website, finish production of second paint kit, plan youth art camp being held next week, finalize my CPSI Conference presentation, follow up with NYC contacts, paint a commissioned painting, catch up on accounting since January, learn Quick Books, travel to CPSI in Boston, get ready for month long family West Coast tour (including speaking event, book signing, art workshop), kick off first Creatively Fit Marathon, promote October N. CA retreat…oh, and take care of 3 kids that are now on summer break, co-run a restaurant (www.rumourswinebar.com) a husband, a house, pack, etc.

Whew!  I can access that overwhelming anxiety at the drop of a hat.  How do I keep my head above water?  I get into my right brain.  I paint.   I do the Creativity Workouts our of my book. I focus on what I can do right now.  I make lists to get them out of my head.  I expect miracles.  I remind myself that this crazy journey I am on has been somehow divinely led since 1995 when the idea for The Creative Fitness Center first entered my mind.

Your ocean is ebbing, flowing, waves breaking, depths deepening, all in the realm of your right brain.  It is not about logic, details, or practicalities.  It is ALL about the huge potential that we all have available at our fingertips IF we create the awareness for ourselves. 

Life is a mental game.  In order to excel, even survive, we have to learn some new tricks.  Your right brain voice, your ARTIST WITHIN (check out my book The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, on amazon.com or my website www.creativelyfit.com) has the key to learning more about how you can feel the peace of mind that comes with a larger understanding of your potential and creative power.  Oh, and work out those creative/right brain muscles of yours!  ~Whitney



Creativity Workout #4

Mandalas to MeditateMaking a Mandala is such an easy way to relax, access new ideas and become completely present.

Mandalas have been created for centuries by many, many different cultures as a spiritual centering practice.  Remember, as a species, human beings created art long before we created an alphabet or a monetary system!  And it wasn’t easy!  They didn’t have the “craft cave” where all the supplies were readily available.  They had to dig the minerals out of the earth to create pigment for paint or cut down a tree, dry the wood, carve it out…to create the mask.  Why was this such an important activity to our ancestors when their biggest job was simply survive?  They spent valuable energy, time and resources to create art.  Why was it important?

Creating art connects you to a voice, I call it The Artist Within, that is connected to your spirit, that is completely present, that is closer to your subconscious & intuition.  “Primitive” cultures understood the importance of nurturing and accessing this voice.  Do we?

Since we live in such a busy, detail oriented, task laden world our Artist Within has been relegated to the back corners of our mind.  The symptoms of a mind that have not given this voice a platform in awhile are apathy, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, worry, stress…need I go on?  I certainly deal with at least two of those emotions daily as I ride the emotional roller coaster of being a restaurateur, a mother of three, a wife, an author, and a woman.  I have found the wellspring inside of my mind where I can go to balance those emotions with feelings of hope, peace, connection, unity, balance, rhythm…need I go on? 

So, create a Mandala today to create inner peace, centering, calm.  Just draw a circle, or trace a bowl, put a dot in the middle and start doodling.  Let me know how you feel after you have filled the space.  creativelyfit@aol.com

Whitney Ferre’ is the author of the book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.

Whitney



Amazing Sculpture Install!

Ernesto Neto Sculpture at Park Avenue Armory, NYC

I just got back from a short, but incredible, trip to New York City!  The image above is from the Ernesto Neto Sculpture at the Park Avenue Armory.  It is a sight to hold!  The sculpture totally takes you in and transports you to another world!  Those pieces hanging down are filled with aromatic spices!  Some are red pepper, others are lavender or cumin!  Amazing!  Our Artist Within, right brain, registers scent along with visual images, so the combination is fabulous!  If you can get to the Park Avenue Armory in the next couple of weeks, do it!

I flew to NYC for the Book Expo of America (BEA) and to meet with new friends, John Cimino of Creative Leaps, Phil Alexander with the Lincoln Center for the Arts, Jennifer Hamady, and Paul Spencer Adkins.  We had the most increbile pow-wow at the Alice Tully Cafe’ in the Lincoln Center.  We each shared unique insight and approaches to personal creativity.  John and Paul have worked together for 20 years bringing their “Concert of Ideas” to educators and corporations!  Phil Alexander is Senior Director of outreach and education at the Lincoln Center for the Arts, bringing creative  experience to children in NYC.  Jennifer Hammady is a voice coach to singers and non-singers alike-showing them how to “find their voice”.  She also has a new book just published about the subject.  Bottom line:  our own personal creativity is elemental in everything we do, every element of our lives.  We have lost sight of that fact and all of us meeting there last Wednesday are committed to bringing that fact back into focus for everyone!

I had a BLAST at the Book Expo.  I wore my painted overalls and my grey blazer to illustrate the “right” and “left” brain side of all of us and handed out CREATE CHANGE stickers to everyone!  They loved it!  I was interviewed by Sirius Radio and met Greg Mortensen of Three Cups of Tea!  Talk about a man who has created CHANGE!  I passed out stickers to everyone waiting in line to meet him so by the time I got there he was curious about the CREATE CHANGE stickers!  I was able to give him a copy of my book and thank him for his work in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

Truly, the whole trip was an Artist Within experience.  I met amazing people, had so much fun, and reached out for insight and guidance.  I flew home Friday night and turned around to drive to Florida early Saturday morning with my business partner, 6 kids and 2 babysitters for our annual beach trip.  Aahhhhhhhhh, the beach.  I’ll send you all a picture of the ocean tomorrow.  I will be at the Borders in Panama City Beach Friday night for a book signing.  Right now I have to get my fussy 5 year old into his right brain!  Create FUN today!  Whitney



Create Bold Action-Come to CPSI!

Whitney Ferre' PACE Presenter at this year's CPSI!

I am so excited to attend this year’s CPSI Conference, the annual conference of the CEF, Creativity Education Foundation.  Since I first learned about CPSI, only in Feb. of this year (!!!!), I have connected with several “superstars” in the CPSI world.  First, Sarah Caldicott-Miller, of How to Innovate Like Edison, agreed to speak with me on the phone.  She is so generous and inspiring.  She introduced me to John Cimino whose Creative Leaps and “Concert of Ideas” have serenaded CPSI many, many times.  Then, Gregg Fraley and I got introduced, somehow, and it turns out his U.S. home is in the same Michigan small town outside of Chicago where my parents live and where I just spoke at a library fundraiser!  There are no coincidences!  I believe that.  I am currently devouring Jack’s Notebook by Gregg Fraley and encourage all of you to order it right away!  It is a business NOVEL and is fascinating and full of great info.  John Cimino and I are meeting with a fun group in NYC next Wednesday for lunch, including a gentleman who is the Director of Arts Education at the Lincoln Center for the Arts.  So, before I have even set foot at the CPSI Conference, I am already creating such meaningful connections and look forward to the evolution of my relationship with this dynamic, forward thinking, sincere organization.  Join us in Boston June 21-24!  Go to www.cpsiconference.org .

Check out the blogs below of other CPSI leaders.

Creatively yours, Whitney Ferre’

CPSI Conference

 http://innovationblogsite.typepad.com/newandimprovedinnovation/

 http://segami2.blogspot.com

www.greggfraley.com/blog

 http://www.innosight.com/blog/

 http://filedundermissylaneous.blogspot.com



The Change you Desire…

..is within your reach!

Somaly Mam Inspiration

So, I happen to be a woman on a mission!  This is not always easy!  I careen between thoughts of “Who do I think I am?” & “Watch out world!”  It is scary to commit to creating the ideas and dreams into your head into reality.  What if it does not work?  What if people don’t buy?  What if I go into debt?  What if…what if….  I am talking on the phone this morning with a woman in Chicago who is part of the Catalyst Ranch team and who is a business consultant.  I checked out her site last night and her resume intimidated me.  She has worked for major corporations (I have only ever worked for myself); she has multiple degrees (I only have a “Bachelor of General Studies” from Univ. of Michigan).  “Who am I to think that I have anything that she needs?”  You get the picture.  But then, I look back down at my most current project.  It is a portrait inspired by Somaly Mam.  It is my next CREATE Change Paint Kit:  Create Unity.  Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery at age 12 in Cambodia and escaped years later.  You all have probably heard of her.  She was featured in a recent Time Magazine 100 Most Influential or something like that.  Angelina Jolie wrote the excerpt about Somaly Mam.  She is one of those.   Not only did she survive and escape, but she founded a non-profit organization that rescues women from brothels–4000 so far!  She has made such a difference that brothel owners even kidnapped and raped Somaly’s then 14 year old daughter in 2006!!!  Did Somaly abandon her mission. No!  I almost cry every time I tell people that part of the story.  What did she say to her daughter?  There is no doubt that she loves her daughter so, so much, but she is on a mission.  She is shining the light on a BIGGER issue.  My thought is that as long as there are women being abused and enslaved none of us are truly free…think about that.  There are women who see the same sun we see every morning and the same moon, breathe the same air, and share our global consciousness who are being raped at the whim of the men around them!

So this is my life… I started out to write about the Abstract Painting Workshop I taught this weekend and now I am all fired up about saving women!  My point?

My point is that we are all connected and we can access the part of our mind that can grasp this AND empower us to make a difference, to shut down the fear and take the steps forward, by PAINTING!  Seriously!  Creative activity WORKS OUT your right brain muscle. It gets stronger just like our physical muscles do when we go to the gym.  Does it happen instantly?  No.  Just like at the gym.

I want the world to realize that if they fear the change they envision in their head, but can’t get it out, that they can DO something about it.  This is the concept that pushes away my inner left-brain voice that tells me I am not good enough, qualified enough, etc.  This is bigger than me.  When you attach yourself to a cause that is bigger than you, like Somaly Mam, amazing things can happen.

Go listen to MC Yogi’s song, “Be the Change”.  There are too many problems around ALL of us to be mentally lazy and to not pursue our further mental development.

My webstore is up!  So excited!  It has been years and years coming, but i always knew it would exist–right brain.  Please go there www.creativelyfit.com and order a paint kit!  Work out your right brain muscle and then e-mail me to tell me the change you want to create.  We will hold eachother accountable.  Below are images from the Painting Workshop I held this weekend in Nashville.  E-mail us if you would like to schedule Whitney for a workshop in your community.  It is all about small steps, one bicep/mental curl at a time and we will claim our true power!

Whitney's Abstract Painting Class! IMG_2352

Think about the women in Cambodia.  Send Somaly Mam supportive, peaceful, strengthening thoughts.  Go to www.somaly.org Stay tuned for the Create UNITY paint kit — at least $4 per kit is going to go to her organization!  I am so excited to be able to help any little way possible.  Please subscribe to this post so you get notifications when I create a new entry!  Create ANYTHING today and let me know how good it feels! For starters, create a MANDALA like the one below.  It is an ancient centering, meditative practice.  It will strengthen your right brain so your Artist Within can speak!  ~Whitney

Somaly Mam

01-26-2009 02;55;16PM



Left Brain=Ego Right=One with all!

Hello, Everyone!  On this lovely Mother’s Day I have indulged in a yummyall_rebel_rockers_404

home yoga session.  The vibes of Michael Franti have inspired such peace and relaxation that I had to share!  Go to www.yogajournal.com/multimedia to download this month’s playlist to listen to as you stretch like a yogi or just groove on the meditations of this thing called life.  The music in this playlist connected me to my Artist Within, the voice that sings in the chorus of which we are all a part.  Sounds hokey, but your Artist Within is not fearful, alone or hopeless.  It resonates with the musicians as they sing, “Love is My Religion”-Ziggy Marley or “Be the Change you want to see in your world”-MC Yogi quoting Ghandi.  MC Yogi encourages all of us to be the change, aim for greatness.  As Marianne Williamson says, “who are you not to be”.

album-cover

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!  Here’s to tapping into our oneness–if you know someone who may feel alone today, reach out.  CREATE change!

If you would like to explore how Whitney can share her inspirational message and her technique for accessing the right brain Artist Within to inspire greatness in your personal or business life, contact her at www.creativelyfit.com AND buy her book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.



Create a Life with Meaning
Speaking in Three Oaks, MI

Speaking in Three Oaks, MI

This past weekend I had the pleasure of speaking at a library fundraiser in Three Oaks, MI.  I love to speak to groups and to get them excited about the potential in their lives!  I am getting more and more excited every day about the opportunities I have to meet new people, share The Artist Within perspective, and to make people smile!

I wasn't at the Derby, but...

Since I don’t have a fancy hat collection of my own, I had a blast trying on someone else’s collection.  We had watched the Kentucky Derby the night before.  Did you see it?  It was a total upset!  The horse that won (something like “Save that Bird”–what a weird name!?!?) had odds of 52-1!  He came from behind, hugging the inside rail, and just flew past the horses in the lead in the last leg of the race!  That what is so fun about any sporting event–the fact that regardless of the past, at the beginning of the race or contest, each player is starting at ground zero.  In that moment they each have just as much a chance as the other.  How much do we love when the “underdog” ends up on top!?!?

Does that sound too Cinderella?  Well, dreams really do come true; they just don’t always play out the way you would imagine.  Last night Christy (biz partner in Rumours Wine Bar & VP of Creatively Fit) and I were manning our booth at a local event, Iron Fork put on by the Nashville Scene.  There is a chef competition and restaurants serving up samples.  We decided to be nothing but SWEET and brought a selection of our desserts from Rumours.   We probably had the simplest set-up and no table decor, but our white chocolate mousse and “Elvis Cupcakes” became quite the buzz.  Christy and I have been the most unexpected restaurateurs, starting with so little capital, no restaurant ownership experience, and with our biggest goal to CREATE an envirnoment that exudes the ART of Community . Food. Wine!  Recently we also went through the “process” of separating from the second wine bar we opened, designed, created…in order to live truer to our intentions.  It has been a humbling, learning, growing experience.  So, last night, in front of the Nashville restaurant scene we caused quite a stir with simply the energy and enthusiasm we brought to the event.  We made so, so many people smile as they bit into the “silly good” mousse and Elvis Cake that we promised would be a “spiritual experience”. 

One of my favorite parts of owning the wine bar is the opportunity I have daily to serve people.  In the moment, it has nothing to do with profit margins or bottom lines, but it has everything to do with whether or not we are providing our guest with an inspiring, fun, and memorable experience.  I truly believe you can do that in whatever you do, but it IS a right brain experience.  It is within the realm of your Artist Within. 

I am reading a new book as a part of the Big Fish women’s entrepreneur program I am in, entitled Zen Entrepreneurship, by Riz Virk.  I am only a handful of pages into it, but I can already tell that EVERYONE should read this book.  It takes the left-brain world of business and re-introduces is in the light of the “Career Warrior”.   It promotes that your life IS an epic adventure and that by weaving the spiritual (right brain/Artist Within) side of life into everything you do on the business side that you can achieve greater success both financially and personally.  It is WHOLE BRAIN stuff that leads to a life that is lived completely, with meaning, and with joy!

I had a vision this morning of “making the corporate world safe for people”.  There is a way to be a part of big business and preserve integrity, joy, meaning and spirituality!  I do believe you can CREATE a work place that you are excited about and a business mission that inspires and creates joy–regardless of the nature of the job.  YOU can start today just by looking at the ways you can serve the people in the offices or cubicles around you; how you can serve your clients and make them smile!  If those results become just as important as the numeric results, then you will have CREATED a life with meaning.  CREATE smiles today!  Thank you for spreading the joy that lies within your own mind–The Artist Within.

Creatively yours, Whitney



The FEAR of Change…
April 30, 2009, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre' | Tags: , , , ,

04-30-1-2Meet your “Artist Within”.

This past weekend I had the pleasure to hold an Artist Within Workshop at our Downtown Library in Nashville.  First of all, the space is gorgeous!  Amazing that it was just built 6 or so years ago when it looks like it has been there forever.  Not a detail was missed!  It reflects true artistry.

Anyway, I had a blast sharing stories about my creative journey and my insights into our national need for some serious right brain workouts.

I reassured my audience with the story of how I ordered all the wrong color paints when I first opened The Creative Fitness Center back in 1996!  I mean, really!  I was so confused looking through my wholesale catalog of paints that I truly guessed and ended up with colors like mauve and ochre for the Oil Painting Class.  When I showed the teacher what she had to work with she almost choked!  I was no “Picasso”!!!  That is how little I knew when I opened my art center.  That should give you hope! 

At the end of the workshop, a woman came up to me and explained how much she hated her job of ten years, but how afraid she was to quit right now.  “Will your book help me with this?” she asked.  “YES!”  With each flexing of your right brain muscle, you will feel more confident in your ability to create change.  I reassured her that it did not mean that she had to turn in her notice the next day.  What it did mean is that she could start opening up to the concept of changing jobs.  Instead of saying “I am afraid to leave…,” why not say, “I am excited for what new opportunities come my way so that I can leave my current job.”  I told her to reach out to some people.  Stay tuned to the little voice in your head as it brings someone to your mind it knows you should contact.  Take a class.  Google something online.  Take actions, brush strokes, if you will, to start to create subtle change.  One after another, these small steps will lead to something bigger.

I am currently working on new designs for my CREATE Change Paint Kits.  I am considering using the above design to symbolize our ability to CREATE Connection.  If you want something to change in your life; if you have an idea you would like see come to frutition, reach out to others to help you.  Don’t become an island.  Connect with others with similar interestes.  Pick their brains.  Collaborate with them.  Help them.  Then, they will help you.

I have currently reached out to a coaching group for women entrepreneurs called Big Fish Nation.  Check it out.  I also met with a friend who works at our National Public Television (NPT) station about the “Creatively Fit Minute”.  You never know what is going to lead to something else. 

My SHOP is almost online as I type this.  Hopefully, by the time you are reading this you can check it out at www.creativelyfit.com.  Spread the word!  We are CREATING Change!  woo-hoo!



My Answer to the Question….
April 28, 2009, 2:25 am
Filed under: Daily Entries

What part has creativity played in your life?  (As asked by Wayne of Creative Skills Training Council in New Zealand.)

In the two houses in which I grew up, my mother and I created an “Art Center” under the stairways going down to the basement.  We painted the first one all yellow and the second one was all red.  Both times we bought stencils and spray painted the words, “Art Center” on the small triangle of wall under the stairs.  There were shelves and all kinds of art supplies.  Only really advanced and fancy projects were encouraged!  Favorites were covering bottles with masking tape and staining them with shoe polish (to look like leather I guess?  It was the 70’s…) and dripping old crayons onto salad dressing bottles to use as candle sticks.  Instead of lemonade, I sold tooth pillows on the corner that I had sewn from fabric scraps.  I STILL grew up saying that I could not draw and that I was not artistic.  But, I was always told that I was creative.  Maybe that is why I have been drawn to a bit of a pioneer existence.  I have thrived on blazing new trails, even if they were just new for me personally.  Don’t tell me I “can’t do” something.  That will get my wheels spinning! 

For me, my creative spirit means that I will have no regrets when I look back on my life because I have never/at least rarely said “that can’t be done” or “I can’t make that work”.  I have climbed mountains, sold books door to door, opened 4 small businesses (including an art center and a restaurant), and gotten off to a stellar start raising three little kids!  When I visit with others who did not receive the creative encouragement that I did, they are often frustrated in their current situation and don’t seem to realize that they have the power to create change in their lives.  It makes me sad and wish I could sprinkle some creativity dust over them so they would strike out into the unknown to create the life they desire.

To that end, I am doing the best I can.  I am the author of a newly published book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.  The “Artist Within” is what I call our right brain voice.  It is the voice that is focused on the big picture, unconcerned with your past failures or any fear of future worries.  Becoming “Creatively Fit” is about our physiological ability to strengthen our mental capabilities, specifically our right brain/creative muscles.  The book is a future best seller and readers are energized and inspired by what they read and their own personal experience as they brave the blank canvas and the canvas that is their lives!

So creativity has truly been the unifying force of my life and the magic I love to share!

by Whitney Ferre' (sold)

by Whitney Ferre' (sold)



CREATE What?!?!?!
April 23, 2009, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries | Tags: , , ,

What do you want to create in your life?  We are all familiar now with the concept of manifesting things in your life, “secret” style.  Do you have things you would like to change in your life?  Simply being exposed to a new concept only goes so far to preparing you to create that change.  What has changed inside of you that will now enable you to manifest that “thing” or “experience” that wasn’t there before?    We get inspired for a moment and then slip back into our routine thought patterns and interior dialogue.  In business, we can rally the team around a new goal, but when everyone goes back to their stations it is business as usual?  WHAT CAN YOU DO TO TRULY, PERMANENTLY CREATE CHANGE?

You have to become CREATIVELY FIT.  What this means is that you begin to physiologically strengthen your RIGHT BRAIN muscle.  Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future, just said to Oprah in his December interview with O Magazine, “I happen to be extremely left-brained; my instinct is to draw a chart rather than a picture.  I’m trying to get my right brain into shape.”  Here is what Dan Pink said about my book,

“Today’s world demands that individuals, families, and organizations tap their right brain skills in order to achieve professional success and personal fulfillment.  In The Artist Within, Whitney Ferre’ offers a first-rate guide to succeeding in this new world.”

 

If you want to truly create change in your life you SIMPLY have to work out your right brain muscle by giving it something to do.  The “Creativity Workouts” in my book do just that.  It is not about being “artsy” it is about providing yourself with the mental ability to think abstractly, envision a future goal, and have the confidence to take the necessary action.  It is about being able to suspend the “detail-mode” of thinking and to take action based on your vision of a future picture in your mind.

 

OK–So take action right now.  Grab a scrap piece of paper, the back of a memo or your child’s hand-out and a pen/pencil/crayon.  Now look at the clock…take 5 minutes and cover the page with marks.  Here is an example of this exercise that I did:

Drawing-is-Energy Creativity Workout

 

If you write down a goal that you have been meaning to do for ages and nothing else.  You have a chance of seeing that goal come to fruition.  If you ALSO take action to physiologically change the way you think and respond you will have a much GREATER CHANCE of creating that change.

 

It is about balancing the mind so that when we are faced with different situations we have both our left and right brain voices contributing to our conscience.  There was a recent article in a major business magazine about the value of doodling.  A lot of you sent me links to the article.  After a meeting they found some doodles on the table where the panel sat.  Turns out it was Bill Gates’ doodles.  It went on to say that if you are bored, stuck, etc. that if you doodle it keeps the mind engaged rather than checking out completely.  So, in other words, the mind shifts gears, as a result of the doodling, to keep working for you.

 

To become CREATIVELY FIT you have to suspend the left-brain voice that is saying, “You are not creative.  You can’t draw.”  It is not about that.  FEAR NO ART.  We are missing out on a priceless tool we all have within our minds that can propel us forward to enable us to create the change we need to see in the world.  So politely tell your left-brain voice to take a well-deserved rest and tap into your right brain voice, your ARTIST WITHIN.

 

(Then, go buy my book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit!  IT’s going to be a best-seller, you know!?!?  This “Right Brain Movement” as I refer to it is gaining momentum and is going to become a global topic of conversation.  Why?  Because we need to CREATE a platform for our right brain voice.  We need the voice of hope, change, and empowerment resonating in ALL sectors to transform any negative situation (you know of what I speak, but I do not say the “r-Word”–referring to economy) into a postive, formative, life-affirming force.

 

BUSINESS people…become Creatively Fit because you want to survive this economic evolution and serve your customer base to the best of your ability.

PARENTS…become Creatively Fit so that we can connect with our children in this complicated world & instill in them the “WE CAN” attitude.

GOVERNMENT…become Creatively Fit so that you can respond quickly, effectively and with noble intent to the challenges facing our country.

TEACHERS…become Creatively Fit so that you can teach our children how to innovate, grow into independent thinkers, & so that you can stay focused on your passion for knowledge and our youth as you wait for changes to trickle down from Washington.

 

I will be at the CPSI Conference this June in Boston.  Join me!  Check out the theme of this year’s conference….

CPSI Conference June 2009 . Boston

 

*Whitney Ferre’ is a dynamic speaker who can infuse her creative energy into your business or organization.  Contact her at www.creativelyfit.com to gather more information.



My Ganesha Painting

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I painted Ganesha this weekend at my Open Spaces Painting Journey in Joseph, OR–the magical place where I live. I knew Ganesha as a Hindu God of abundance. What I just read on this site was that he is “is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles.” How does it get any better than that?! I thought I would share the journey that is my Ganesha Painting…hope you can join me for a future workshop (upcoming in Austin, TX, Portland, OR, San Francisco, and Nashville, TN–comment below of you want info)…

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This was the inspiration from one of my favorite stores in Joseph, To Zion. Here is Ganesha as just an outline.

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Now with some color…

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More love added to the God of Success…

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Now finished! By painting this energy of success and abundance, I have just amplified this energy all around me. What energy do you want more of? Paint it! I would love to help. Email me here if you want to learn how I can do just that–it is waaaaaayyyyy too much fun!

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