The Artist Within – A Guide


“Chance Encounters” since last entry!
January 28, 2009, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'

SO, in my last entry I wrote about how we can manifest “coincidence” and miracles by paying attention to our Artist Within and our right brain.  Well, no sooner had I finished the entry the “coincidences” started to happen for me!

First, I got a phone call from an old friend.  He used to visit me at The Creative Fitness Center.  His background is in early childhood education, he had a program for h.s. students to raise money for college visits (Oprah was one of his students!), he started a program back in 1973 called Dream Houses (that put play houses in classrooms all over the country to encourage creativity), and he started the company that furnished all of the decor for TGI Fridays!  Whew!  I have immense respect for this man, needless to say.  Well, he called me because of his latest inspiration to help encourage creativity in pre-school, visually imapired students.  He has been losing his eyesight for a couple of years now and is approaching blindness!  He wanted me to be involved, and, honestly, my first thought was that I have plenty going on right now and pre-schoolers are not my target audience, but I listened carefully because I did not treat a random call from this man lightly….

I'll talk about this exercise at the bottom of this entry.

I'll talk about this exercise at the bottom of this entry.

He then proceeded to tell me that recently he had emptied his drawers with decades of information about education and creativity and given them to the students at Vanderbilt’s Peabody School of Education in order that they could research the relationship between creativity and cognitive development!  Hello!  This is why he called me (my Artist Within whispered to me).  I have recently decided, based on some other right brain advice, to include FREE teacher in-service training as part of my outreach.  A connection to Vanderbilt’s Peabody school and this man’s knowledge would be fabulous and such a gift!  He and I are meeting next Monday morning.  I’ll give you all an update then…

The next “coincidence” was bumping into one of my “regulars” from back in the Creative Fitness Center days.  I was at a eyeglass store with my husband to help him pick out frames when a woman came in.  I happened to be behind the front desk grabbing apen (to write down my website for the owner–of course) so the woman looked to me as a staff person.  I quickly said, “I don’t work here.  I am just helping myself to a pen.”  She said, “I am just in to see if they have any readers.”  I replied, “I am sure they have them, they have everything here!” (I had been having a blast helping other women in the store pick out frames!  Talk about a creative industry!)  Then, I told her that she did look familiar, but “It is Nashville, such a small town really.”  It quickly surfaced that she had brought her kids to the Creative Fitness Center years ago and she was the woman who had bought one of my paintings.  She said she looks at it every day and sees something new. She was one of the moms I looked up to and respected for her individuality and energy!  I told her all about the book and upcoming signings.  We made the connection between mutual friends and she promised to help spread the word….So fun!  She even made the comment (since they didn’t have readers as it turned out) that, “This is why I came in here…to bump into you!”  She gets it!  So, tune in today to your Artist Within and watch out for those chance phone calls and meetings–it is your right brain sending some help your way. 

OK, the DREAM COLLAGE above was my Creativity Workout last night.  I had a stressful day–we have wine bar issues going on–and I knew that unless I did something creative that I was going to be steeping in stress all night.  I needed to push out all of the negative thoughts and replace them with positive, happy thoughts.  SO, after I go the pork in the oven I sat down to weed through the stack of old magazines and this is what I came up with.  I added the text this morning so you all could have more insight.  Look more closely at this collage on my gallery page (click on CREATIVITY WORK… at the top of the gallery page).

SO, have fun with your coincidences and “miracles” today and cut and paste yummy images if you get stressed!  Creatively yours, Whitney



How to Create Miracles!
January 26, 2009, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'

OK, I promised at the end of the last post that I would write about how your Artist Within can create coincidences and miracles for you! 

I’ll talk about this MANDALA image at the end:

Whitney's Mandala

If you have read or been exposed to Celestine Prophecy or Course in Miracles, you know the belief that there is “no such thing as coincidence”.  I believe this to be true.  Scientists say we only use 8% (it might even be less) of our total mental capacity!  Think about that.  92% of our mental capacity is not being tapped.  I would say that if you can learn how to access your right brain skills-your Artist Within-that you will at least have increased your mental capacity by 2%!  Here is why…

When you access your right brain you are tapping the part of your mind that is responsible for intuition and is closer to your subconscious.  To create a miracle or a “conicidence” you have to summon the powers outside of yourself (whatever you believe that to be) to encourage the forces moving and spinning around you to collide in such a way that you are provided with needed information, contacts, or events.

Let me give you a couple of examples:  1) When I first opened The Creative Fitness Center I would often need a new watercolor teacher or drawing teacher.  Did I take our ads in the paper or start phoning around?  No.  I simply stated (out loud or to myself), “I need a watercolor teacher and I expect one to surface in the next 48 hours.”  Works every time.  Carolyn Myss writes that we should thank the universe ahead of time for events that we want to occur.  A good friend of mine who wrote the book STAY TUNED (buy it on amazon.com!) did an experiment.  While she was driving she would say aloud, “Thank you for the rock star parking place.”  Then she would make a note on a book in her car whenever it worked.  She stopped making notes of her success around #114 rock star parking place!

Another example, 2) In James Van Pragh’s book, Ghosts Among Us, he does “energy experiments” in his workshops.  He tells people to close their eyes and imagine having a conversation with someone, a friend, associate, etc.  More often than not, people would report back that that person did in fact call them within 48 hours.  You know when someone calls and you say, “I was jsut thinking about you…”  Your right brain skills are what sent the message to their right brain voice–“Hey, I should call_____.”

Right now we all have plenty of problems facing us.  Some people are out of work, some are struggling to keep businesses alive, some are lost or confused.  Approaching these challenges from a strictly left-brain perspective is selling yourself short.  Say, “Thank you for the new job”  or imagine a friend calling you.  Ask your Artist Within to introduce you to the person you need to help your business thrive.  Then, stay alert, in your right brain, so that you will recognize the help when it comes!  It is fun.  It may sound a little woo-woo for some of you, but you won’t know unless you try.  Remember Green Eggs and Ham?  You’ll never know unless you try!

IMAGE ABOVE: Native Americans and many other cultures have used mandalas as a way of accessing their artist within, getting into their right brain or making contact with the spirit world.  This is a Creativity Workout in my book.  Just trace a circle with a bowl or something, put a dot in the center, and start doodling from the center outwards. 

Had a stressful day, try creating a mandala and then let me know how you feel!  Thanks for commenting on these posts.  I know more people are reading than commenting!  Thanks!  Whitney



Right Brain Decision Making…
January 23, 2009, 2:08 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'

 

Smile through the challenges...

Smile through the challenges...

I had an EPIPHANY the other day as I laid, belly-down, on the massage table after suffering a muscle spasm in my neck that left me immobilized–a stress related occurrence that happens to me about every other year. 

The EPIPHANY was that while the stressors of today cause us grief and worry, a year from now all we will remember is the BIG picture.  When you think back to last year you do not remember the little, stressful details, do you?  You remember the highlights (and lowlights so to speak), but you do not remember when you did not get that bill mailed in on time or your car tags renewed or the laundry all put away….

SO, what does this mean?  That means that when you are making decisions today you really need to take a moment to tap in to your right brain perspective.  Imagine the different outcomes as you will be looking at them a year from now.  Those little details that you are worrying about will be forgotten.  What will remain is the memory of how you FELT after you made the decision, how others around you felt, what the decision led to, etc.  Does that make sense?  It also means that you can go ahead and stick your neck out a little bit, take a chance.  A year from now the experience you gained will be more valuable than whatever reasons you left brain voice gave you for not doing whatever-it-is. 

I am not saying that it is ALWAYS right to “stick your neck out”, but how many opportunities or experiences have you already missed out on because you let the worry overpower your decision making. 

TODAY a lot of us are having to make difficult decisions about our careers and our way of life.  A lot of people are facing unexpected unemployment and their challenge is to turn the obstacle into opportunity.  A year from now you may not remember the sleepless nights worrying about how you are going to pay the bills, but you will remember the new path you took as a result and, hopefully, how it led to new life experiences and greater fulfillment.  WE CAN make it through these tough times and our RIGHT BRAIN / ARTIST WITHIN is a valuable voice we need to tap into in order to make it through gracefully.

My next blog…how listening to your Artist Within can lead to miraculous encounters, coincidences, and opportunities!



Change is in the Air!
January 20, 2009, 12:07 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'

The Obamas and I are going to talk about the Artist Within together some day.  Change is something we ALL need to create!

                                                              What perfect timing!



The Voice is Ancient
January 20, 2009, 12:04 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'

I gained a new perspective over the past couple of days about the depth of creative voice.  The first thing out of so many mouths when the subject of creativity arises is “I am not creative.”  I would argue that their ancestors would disapprove!

Let’s put this Artist Within voice in perspective….human beings have been making their impressions on this planet for thousands and thousands of years.  Maybe even millions depending on the science.  Of those hundreds of thousands of years, it has only been in the last hundred that the human race has not been mostly dependent on their creative ability for survival!  Think about it.  In the span of human history, it has not been that long since we would arrive at a new home and have to create our shelter and accessories from what was immediately available to us.  There are still communities living in remote Russia that create most of their food, shelter and clothing from the local reindeer population!  Do you think they doubt their creativity.  No.  There has been art since before there was a written language or a monetary system!  So the question is not really, “Why should I connect to my Artist Within?”  The real question is “Why not?”  It is an ancient voice that is woven through every strand of your DNA. It is a part of being human.  It is a part that in today’s world that if we do not embrace and nurture it we will all slip towards the robotic, dependent, empty futuristic model illustrated in science fiction.

Whew!  Seriously, if any day in reccent human history has stood for change and for our human ability to create change it is today!  Our country needs citizens who can step up and change the way we do things.  We are participants in this thing called democracy and it continues long after we cast our ballot.  Our president is creating a visison.  Our country is the canvas.  We are each a brushstroke.  We need to make our mark and not make excuses!

I can get going!  On another note:  so psyched that yesterday I confirmed four more book signing events!  I am going back to Chattanooga!  I will also be at Barnes & Noble in Cool Springs on January 28th, Borders in Brentwood on January 31st, and Davis Kidd on Feb. 11th.  On Feb. 21st I am lucky enough to be at the Barnes & Noble in Encinitas, CA!  Can’t wait to get back to California!  Let me know your favorite book store or group and we will try to set up a visit. 

Happy Inauguration Day!  Creatively yours, Whitney



Check out latest review!
January 12, 2009, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'

Follow this link to a blog written by Anita!  She reviews my book and shares with everyone what she has already gained from The Artist Within just halfway through the book!  http://mudandcoffee.blogspot.com/2009/01/artist-within-creatively-fit.html#comment-form

Today I picked up the paint kit labels!  This is another project I have been working on for nearly a decade!  I love all of the closure!  The “Creatively Fit Paint Kits” are mixture paint class, meditation, and mental spa treatment!  It is my Painting Made Easy class in a package!  They will be available on my website and hopefully Amazon soon.  They are also great for coproate groups to purchase for team building activities!  The possibilities are endless.  I hope you all find a dose of this kind of optimisitc excitement that I am experiencing at this moment this week! 

Spread the word about The Artist Within and about becoming creatively fit!  Creatively yours, Whitney



Recent ARTIST WITHIN Events!
January 10, 2009, 2:41 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'

I have had a BLAST this week.  Thursday I drove to Chattanooga for a book signing at Rockpoint Books (an an appearance on the NBC TV news show “This & That”!  Friday morning I led a Mommy&Me event at the Nashville Downtown Library with “The Professor” and “Sigrid the Dragon”!  Read down for the “mom tips” that I did not get to share with you all amidst all the kiddos.

In Chattanooga, the group that gathered for my book signing was wonderful!  One couple had alread purchased The Artist Within a week ago and had already led many through the Universal Symbol exercise!  They were so excited about the book!  That is when I get excited.

I had the opportunity to speak to the group.  I told them about how I had opened The Creative Fitness Center with NO art background, just sales experience.  We talked about my students over the past 13 years who have left art class only to come back to report the changes they had made in the other areas of their lives.  They asked how they could convince their friends that are proud to say, “I AM a left brainer.”  HOW?  You have to explain it to them from the physiological/biological angle.  They do HAVE a right brain.  It is not just about flower arrangements and painting.  It is responsible for imagining ANYTHING being different and being able to create that change.

We ended the talk on a very patriotic/noble note.  In his acceptance speech, Obama asked all of us to help him to create change in our country.  He said, “I am going to do the best I can, but I need your help.”  He said that we all need to do things differently than we have done them before.  WE have to be “citizens” like we have never had to be before.  We need our Artist Within to speak up and enable us to take action to usher in a new economy and a new era that will ensure a stable and healthy country for our children!….(let that sink in….)….whew!  I can really get going. 

Our children….That leads me to my Friday morning event with the kiddos at the library.  Everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly, but those sweet angels would not let me get a word in edgewise!  I promised I would write some of the tips on this blog that I wanted to share.  (As soon as I find the cable that enables me to download the pics from both of these events!)

I have a 9, 7, and 5 year old currently.  I have been the “stay-at-home-mom” that works. It is a tricky juggling act. 

First, here is why MOMS need to work out their right brain muscles and tap into their Artist Within voice:  1. If you don’t, you may start to wonder where the “real you” has gone.  Yes, you did exist before dirty diapers and nap times.  There was a time in your life when you did not have every single sentence interrupted with “Mooooommmmyyyyyyyyyyyy.”  You do not simply exist to keep your offspring alive physically.  You also get to influence and guide their emotional and spiritual development.  SO, you have to take care of your own emotional and spiritual lives.  When you carve out even 5 minutes for a creativity workout, by minute 3 or 4 you are into your right brain.  You are not aware of your mommy role, you are just YOU–the core.  It is a mental spa break, a mini vacation.  It is all about YOU in your right brain.  That is where you need to go to recharge your batteries.  Read that sentence again.  Your right brain is where you need to go to recharge your batteries.  Creative activity and meditation produce the SAME  brain waves.  That means if you have a hard time meditating (me!) try scribbling on some paper.  Seriously.  It is that easy.  While watching a snippet of “Desperate Housewives” one night my husband asked be with trepidation and sarcasm if I was a “desperate housewife”.  I said, no, but if I did not paint and have my other projects I might be.  Motherhood and wifehood can completely consume you and you need to fight to keep a hold of your old self.  I use the word fight because of the struggle to find the time for yourself, but you NEED to.  Trust me.  Take an art class so that you ahve to get out of the house.  That is why I started teaching more at The Creative Fitness Center after I had my third.  I knew I had to find some time where my identity was not tied to the kids or I was going to go cuckoo!  Ok.  2.  If you are creatively fit, you will raise creatively fit kids.  You are the primary role model.  You will influence your child’s creative development as you experience your own.  That makes sense, right?  3.  Your Artist Within is GOOD at solving problems.  It is the voice that will keep going when your left brain voice (logical, but critical) tells you to give up.  4.  When you are familiar with how your mind works and what your right brain/Artist Within brings to the table, you can use that knowledge in raising your kids. In the book I talk about the day my 4 year old was throwing a HUGE tantrum because she did not want to take a nap.  I tried everything and then the lightbulb went off, “Let’s see what happens when I get her into her right brain.”  I gave her nothing more than some blank sheets of computer paper and a ballpoint pen and asked her to draw for me.  No more than 10 minutes later she peeked her head out and asked me to come to her art show.  (the drawings are in the book)  The second drawing was noticably drawn by a much calmer little artist.  Then, she asked me, “Can I rest before I draw some more?”  My jaw dropped.  Now, this is a child who knows how to be stubborn.  She was SO in her right brain (present) that she did not even REMEMBER her tantrum.  She was tired so she wanted to sleep.  It was brilliant!  I wanted a direct line to every mother of toddlers in the country! 

For the kids:  We need to raise kids that grow into adults that can CREATE CHANGE!  None of us want to raise children that grow into adults who say, “It is not working for me.” or “I don’t how to make that happen, boss.”  We need kids to grow into the people that when they are given a task (at work or at home, etc.) they are they type to say, “No problem, I will take care of it.”  They will not need to have their hand held.  They will not need someone to take them step-by-step through the process.  Our CREATIVELY FIT kids will be innovating new business strategies, starting community programs, inventing new sources of energy….  They will not be getting prescriptions for anti-depressant medicine (the commercials!) because they will be filled every day with HOPE.  The degree to which we have HOPE is the degree to which we have confidence in our ability to create change.  The opposite is feeling helpless.  We don;t want our sweet babies to grow up feeling helpless.  So we need to teach them to help themselves.  That means FREE PLAY and paper and crayons at the ready for them to work out their right brain, their imagination, their artist within.  TV shows, video games…have it all figured out for them.  There little minds do not have to innovate at all.  They just need to follow the rules (conform) in order to win.  Of course we all know TV….GOOD NEWS:  It is easy to do.  Just let them scribble, cut, glue, paint at times (I keep watercolors in the kitchen).  My kids have never had anything fancy, but the stuff is in the kitchen and always available.  The teachers notice.  Last year my youngest made quite an impression on his preschool teacher.  She could not believe how he understood abstract concpets while the rest of the class was staring at her blankly.  And he is the third!  I am not saying this to brag.  I am saying this because if my third is still experiencing the benefits of regular creative workouts we all know it is not because he is getting a ton of one-on-one. 

SO, I hope you all read the book. I know it is hard to find time for yourself, but you HAVE TO in order to be all that you need to be for your kids (and your husband–even if he grumbles as you take your time).

It is available on www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.  For those of you who have been readin it, please go to those sites and review The Artist Within.  That makes a big difference.  Thank you!  OK, time to go get breakfast for the gang!  Creatively yours, Whitney (excuse any typos–I don’t have time to proof! )