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



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



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!

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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



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