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“I Must Be a Mermaid, I Have No Fear of Depths & a Great Fear of Shallow Living” 
                                                                                                                                     ~ Anais Nin
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Making Music and Spirit Shine

How To Find Your Creative Genius

by Meredith Blis on 08/26/15

I first heard the term ‘genius work’ when I lived in Taos. Coincidently by the same woman, an incredible writer, Diana Rico, who posted this article link on Facebook.

I was in awe….  What is genius work? 
It is our True Purpose. Our Magic. 
It’s the thing that makes your spirit shine & your soul smile. 
And in doing it, you are able to share your light with others.  
 
Sadly, we sometimes get so caught up in ‘life’ responsibilities our ‘genius work’ gets pushed aside.  We need to remember that our ‘genius work’  is the thing that makes us special and it’s what we mustdo in order to live in our true joy and honor our soul. 
 
Note I know a lot of people who’s genius work is things like science, business tasks, organization, stocks, working with numbers.   It doesn’t have to be an ‘artistic’ endeavor.  Being able to excel in those areas is also genius ;)
 
Sometimes people will tell you what your genius work is. This happened to me recently. They say ‘You should be doing this [fill in the blank] and not focused so much on [what you love to do]’. In my case the second blank was making music…. My soul cringed and my spirit froze.  I like to think those moments as the most empowering. They remind us that we need to be following our Bliss! As sad as it was, this moment actually emboldened my determination ;)
Note to Self -  Don’t let other people determine what Your true calling is! Follow your heart in these matters!  AND This article gives great advice on how to do just that! 
 
 
HOW TO FIND YOUR HIDDEN CREATIVE GENIUS

 
This article was written by James Clear (JamesClear.com) and published online at rebellesociety.com
ENJOY! And let me know what you think.
 
There is an interesting story about how Pablo Picasso, the famous Spanish artist, developed the ability to produce remarkable work in just minutes. As the story goes, Picasso was walking though the market one day when a woman spotted him. She stopped the artist, pulled out a piece of paper and said, “Mr. Picasso, I am a fan of your work. Please, could you do a little drawing for me?”
Picasso smiled and quickly drew a small, but beautiful piece of art on the paper. Then, he handed the paper back to her saying, “That will be one million dollars.”
“But Mr. Picasso,” the woman said. “It only took you 30 seconds to draw this little masterpiece.”
“My good woman,” Picasso said, “it took me 30 years to draw that masterpiece in 30 seconds.” [1]

Picasso isn’t the only brilliant creative who worked for decades to master his craft. His journey is typical of many creative geniuses. Even people of considerable talent rarely produce incredible work before decades of practice.
Let’s talk about why that is, and even more important, how you can reveal your own creative genius.

The Age of Most Nobel Prize Winners
A recent study tracked the ages of Nobel Prize winners, great inventors, and scientists. As you can see in the graph below, the researchers found that most groundbreaking work peaked during the late thirties — at least a full decade into any individual career.
Even in the fields of science and math, creative breakthroughs often require 10 years or more or work. [2]


 
These findings match the work done by previous researchers as well. For example, a study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University by cognitive psychology professor John Hayes found that out of 500 famous musical pieces, nearly all of them were created after year 10 of the composer’s career. In later studies, Hayes found similar patterns with poets and painters. He began referring to this period hard work and little recognition as the 10 years of silence. Whether you are a composer or a scientist, creativity is not a quality you are born with or without. It is something that is discovered, honed, and improved through real work.

Which brings us to an important question: How can you do your best work and discover your hidden creative genius?
 
Permission to Create Junk
In any creative endeavor you have to give yourself permission to create junk. There is no way around it. Sometimes you have to write four terrible pages just to discover that you wrote one good sentence in the second paragraph of the third page.
Creating something useful and compelling is like being a gold-miner. You have to sift through pounds of dirt and rock and silt just to find a speck of gold in the middle of it all. Bits and pieces of genius will find their way to you, if you give yourself permission to let the muse flow.

Create on a Schedule
“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” ~ Chuck Close

Amateurs create when they feel inspired. Professionals create on a schedule.
No single act will uncover more creative genius than forcing yourself to create consistently. Practicing your craft over and over is the only way to become decent at it. The person who sits around theorizing about what a bestselling book looks like will never write it.
Meanwhile, the writer who shows up every day and puts their butt in the chair and their hands on the keyboard — they are learning how to do the work.

Ira Glass is the host of the popular radio show This American Life, which is broadcast t
o 1.7 million listeners each week. This is the advice Glass gives to anyone looking to interesting, creative work:


“The most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re going to finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that… the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions.”

If you want to do your best creative work, then don’t leave it up to choice. Don’t wake up in the morning and think, “I hope I feel inspired to create something today.”  You need to take the decision-making out of it. Set a schedule for your work. Genius arrives when you show up enough times to get the average ideas out of the way.
 
Finish Something
Steven Pressfield’s most famous work, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was a bestselling novel that became a major motion picture starring Matt Damon, Will Smith, and Charlize Theron. But if you ask Pressfield, he will say that his most important book is one that you never heard of: the first book he finished.

Here’s how Pressfield describes finishing his first novel…
“I never did find a buyer for the book. Or the next one, either. It was ten years before I got the first check for something I had written and ten more before a novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was actually published. But that moment when I first hit the keys to spell out THE END was so epochal.
I remember rolling the last page out and adding it to the stack that was the finished manuscript. Nobody knew I was done. Nobody cared. But I knew. I felt like a dragon I’d been fighting all my life had just dropped dead at my feet and gasped out its last sulfuric breath.” [3]

Finish something. Anything. Stop researching, planning, and preparing to do the work and just do the work. It doesn’t matter how good or how bad it is. You don’t need to set the world on fire with your first try. You just need to prove to yourself that you have what it takes to produce something.

There are no artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, or scientists who became great by half-finishing their work. Stop debating what you should make and just make something.

Practice Self-Compassion
“When I write, I feel like an armless legless man with a crayon in my mouth.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Everyone struggles to create great art. Even great artists.
CONTINUE READING ARTICLE HERE…  (it’s worth it!!!)
-----------


Sources

1.    [1] I couldn’t find the original source for this Picasso story and I’m not sure if it’s true. The point remains just as strong and compelling either way, but if you know the original source, please share.

2.    [2] Working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, which can be read here.

3.   [3] Quote from The War of Art. You’ll also notice that it took Pressfield nearly 20 years before he published The Legend of Bagger Vance. He put in his 10 years of silence, just like every other great artist.

-----------

Sending you love, light and of course blessings that you may embrace your genius work!


Life's Little Survival List

by Meredith Blis on 08/12/15

Life is What Happens when we Make Other Plans. 

What do we do when we’re in a rut or trying to function in the midst of change?
Well, that’s what todays little list touches upon.
 
What are some ways we can still keep our chin up, show up for our responsibilities, honor our highest self and still feel joy?
Well, that’s what todays little list talks about
 
How can we know who to trust or how to proceed in personal & business relationships?
Well, that’s what todays little list helps with.
 
Got anything to add?  Bring it ON!  I always love hearing from you
 
Part of my goal is to Keep It Simple Sweetie.  Life’s crazy enough!
So here you go.....
 


Life’s Little Survival List

  1. It’s important to make a plan but allow yourself to stay flexible when the tide moves.
  2. We have to learn to accept people for who they are and not who we want them to be
  3. Sometimes it’s a blessing when things fall thru – it can open to door to a better opportunity that we hadn’t even anticipated
  4. Patience, Patience, Patience (for both yourself and others)
  5. Above all, trust your intuition.  The answer is always inside of you.  Hint: listen to & recognize the subtle signals that your body gives you
  6. If someone hands you inconsiderate or ungraceful behavior, it’s ok not to take it from them.  Don’t let people treat you in a way that you would never treat another person.
  7. Observe if someone shows genuine respect and kindness for others – it’s a good way to measure their true character.
  8. Your word can be your darkest shadow or your brightest light, depending on how you reflect it.
  9. In those moments when you feel like you are crawling, keep going - every inch keeps moving you forward
  10. If you can’t find the truth - you are probably looking at a lie.
  11. Do something kind today for your soul
  12. Do something kind today for someone else.
  13. Forgive and Move On, you have better things & more important things to do than to hang on to anger or guilt
  14. Taking Chances is Awesome!

 
May You be Blessed with Joy Abundance &  Love
 xo

The Beauty Of Reverence

by Meredith Blis on 07/29/15

I have to be honest, IRREVERANT is one of my favorite words. :) Sometimes breaking social norms & not doing what’s expected of us, gives us an amazing freedom to express our true self.

However, there is also a huge power in REVERANCE – honoring ourselves & those around us. Perhaps the 2 meet when life calls for a little irreverence in order to bring reverence to our highest self & purpose.
 
As I delved into the textbook for this level 2 class,  I came across a little section on the power of reverence in communication that I wanted to share, because it made me ponder…. (as you know, I like to do that… & then of course, share the musings with you!)
 
We communicate all day long – text, email, speech, body language and sometimes even through silence (ie: not responding to people ;)  Sometimes I find myself in situations where I don’t know what to say or I want to be super conscious that my words are graceful.  This passage really brought some clarity to me.  Our words and communications have impact – how can we process them, project our light and also be kind? This quote is by Yogi Bhajan and taken from his lectures compiled in the book, “The Mind - It’s Projections & Multiple Facets
 
“Your mind can be educated. Take your mind and start it on a thought. Have the thought: “Do I have reverence, or don’t I have reverence?”  Now, I’m telling you how the mind can be educated.  Ask if you have reverence or you don’t.  If you have no reverence, don’t communicate. Stop right there.  If you do have reverence, then you must revere your thought, and that thought must be honored to prevail and command every aspect of your communication.  The creation acts on cause and effect. It will honor each cause you cause unto Infinity, even if your mind does not.  So ask your mind if you, not your mind, has reverence.  Project a positive reverence and eternal respect, for everything whether it is negative and unwanted or positive and desired.  Show the same reality, compassion and understanding.  If you give reverence to all, the universe will revere you.  Ultimately you will revere and trust yourself.”
 
And I think at the end of the day, one of the most important things is learning to having reverence for ourselves.  Perhaps we can hone this by having a reverence for both the positive and negative within us and others... and expressing it with compassion as we connect to those around us.  
 
Love, Light, Reverence and Irreverence (when necessary ;)
M

When The Going Gets Tough...

by Meredith Blis on 07/15/15

So we all know the old saying, "When Life Give you Lemons, Make Lemonade,"... While in NM, I like to say you can also make margaritas lol!  But unfortunately, that won’t always solve the immediate issue ;)

When the Going Gets Tough…. the general advice is ..... The tough get going!  Here’s some additional thoughts (based on recent experience) to hopefully make your going a bit easier!  
 
Don’t Give Up! 


So... my second night camping at the Yoga Solstice festival my tent collapsed. We rigged it back up and then the winds took it down again the following eve with me in it!.  Kinda funny in retrospect, but not so amusing in the desert at midnight.  
My first thought? Pack in in, Give up and head back to Taos!!! As my frightened & exhausted brain reeled. I considered other plausible options, but I didn’t know the location of my friends' tents, car too small (could have worked in a pinch) or hmmmm… there were multiple classroom/event tents set up!  Nothing going on there at night so I headed to one of them….  Funny enough, there was someone else camped out there too.  As little fun as it was to travel in the dead of night with sleeping accouterments in tow - I felt better for not giving up.
 
Work with what you got!
Sometimes when we’re stuck, giving up isn’t even an option & we need to find crafty solutions….
After about an hour on the road my AC stopped working! I stopped at multiple car places in Jackson & Memphis – and they weren’t able to help. I couldn’t delay because I had to be at the Yoga event on Monday. The air was cool under 60mph, it worked at night (still can’t figure this one out!)  and every gas station has ice…. So I did the best with what I had! Went at a slower pace, traveled as far as I could while it was cool and picked up a cup of ice every time I stopped for gas. It’s amazing what we can manage to tolerate when the heat (no pun intended) is on!

One Happy Thought!
I must say that in both situations my mind immediately detoured into negativity land & there may have been some expletives ;) That immediately makes a bad situation go downhill….. It’s so important to remember that our mindset guides our experience. You are what you Think. When we stop focusing on the negative of something and try to switch our minds to positive space – even a little bit – our experience greatly improves. The tiniest bit of gratitude or even one happy thought can help make things brighter.
 
The lesson here to me was a lot about patience, learning to step up to the unexpected and trying to foster a positive perspective when the going got tough. Beyond the minor things, it was awesome to take a few days off AND I’m Excited to be back in Nashville -  Making Music – Working on my new Website and Performing. 

Hope to see you Soon!
Til Then, 
Sending Love Light and Blis….
xo

What To Do When There's TOO Much To Do

by Meredith Blis on 06/17/15

So alas is life – too much to do and it feels like too much to keep up with it all.  Your brain feels like crazytown and there’s a list a mile long.   Relax!  I got ya covered.  Here are some thoughts for culling the anxiety and helping you get the to-do’s DONE.
 

  1. Clear Out the Non-essentials!
Look at the To-Do List. Focus on what needs to happen NOW. Let go of everything that’s non-essential or doesn’t point directly to your next steps. Allow yourself to prioritize and say NO to everything else!
 
  1. Taking Care of YOU is an Essential
This means proper sleep, diet & down-time.  These are the places where it’s easy to skimp. Getting to bed late and waking up early, eating unhealthy food on the run, not drinking enough water and staying full tilt for days on end.  Reminder to self:  If you want to function at full capacity you need to give your body time to rest and your brain/organs the proper nutrients & hydration. Support your body and it will go the extra mile for you

 
  1. Ground Thyself!
What are things you do to help you feel calm, centered and balanced? Make a list! AND include these activities everyday or least once a week. My list is things like hiking, getting out in nature, going to the gym or yoga class, meditation, down time with friends (positive people please!), going to bed early.  I think for everyone, exercise (even a 10 min walk) is truly beneficial for clearing the mind and also alleviating stress.  Allow yourself the time to take care of you.

     4.  Brain-Drain

Grab a pen an write down a master list of all that needs to get done.  Getting it out of your brain and onto paper creates a clearer mind and lays a solid foundation to organize and prioritze

    5.  Watch your words
When things are nuts, I often have the habit of saying to myself and others around me, "Oh My I'm so busy - Things are so hectic" etc, etc....   When we repeat words that talk about the frenzied state, it sends a message to our subconscious mind that we are frenzied AND it confirms that mind-set within us.  You are what you speak!   Instead I remind myself that yes, although I have a lot going on....  It's all good and I'm gonna get it all done & it's gonna work out....  this piece of self-talk helps me tremendously to calm down and focus :)

One Last Thing..... 
Oftentimes, the too much to do stems from life transitions. In these moments, I like to remind myself…“The only thing that stays the same is Change.” 
I first heard this quote in a Melissa Etheridge song, but I’m sure the expression is also commonplace.  And that’s it – Change is an inevitable part of our growth.  It’s what launches us toward reaching our goals.  The hard truth is that it can feel scary.   Remembering this little phrase helps me to stay grounded and keep the faith that the universe has plan – I just need to take a step back, trust, and allow it to unfold….

Well, I’m so glad that I got a chance to drop a line before I head out on Friday.  IF I don’t drop a line while I’m away, it’s no love lost for YOU – but I’m taking some down-time ;)

Wishing you joy, love, light and a magical day!

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