A poem - I think some of you will love this one - it certainly made me laugh creativity coach and author Sam Bennett's homage to "Women Who Workshop." I think it is to all workshop junkies out there in praise of our unstoppable search for more or better. Guilty as found!
Can you go to too many workshops? I don't think so.
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I'm for ever fascinated where one foot in front of the other can lead.
Yesterday I got an email from Adrienne Lloren, a young entrepreneur in Toronto who interviewed me this year for her online summit, "The Thriving Artist."
In her email she mentioned one of her mentors, Jim Rohn. I'd never heard of him and curious to know where Adrianne gets her energy and inspiration I did a quick google search. Wikipedia told me that he had been a mentor for Tony Robbins. I was more curious.
So I followed a link and watched a couple of videos in Youtube. His talks are about mindset, full of handy phrases and practical common sense. There was some useful information in talks titled "Focus on One Thing", and "How to Use Your Time Wisely."
I was tidying up paperwork so listened as I sorted.
As it does Youtube suggested some other videos. In the "coming next" box appeared videos from Dr Wayne Dyer - someone I had heard mentioned various times however I never had listened to any of his work.
Youtube makes it easy for the curious. One video was called "On the Tao and A Million Little Pieces." I listened to various of the talks as I sorted paperwork and Dyer talked about living the "inspired life."
Two things struck me. The first was that one of his chosen quotes was a quote from the British poet, print maker and visionary, William Blake that I have used many times in workshops and in my website,
To see a world in a Grain of Sand,
This quote always reminded me of what anthropologist Victor Turner talked about in "communitas" - the ability of culture to link people, and the power of art and culture can make you look and look again.
The second factor that surprised me was Dyer talking about 3.15am as one of those special times when you have more access to your quiet and true place. The Celtic Christians called it a "thin place" - where we are closer to that something else. Dyer quotes Rumi's saying, ""The breeze at dawn has special messages for you. Do not go back to sleep."
You've guessed it, I woke up, got up to go to the loo, checked the time, and of course it was 3.15am. In the spirit of the coincidence I did my dues and took out a notebook and put down some thoughts.
Each day is this sum of one foot in front of the other and the curiosity to find where my nose will lead me next.
In the talk, Dyer mentions the book he is working on based on the Tao Te Ching to be called “Change The Way You Look At Life And The Life You're Living Changes.” I don't know if the book stayed with that title but whatever the title I'm sure that it was as fascinating as this talk about our thinking.
New Year, New steps. Stay awake even just for the sake of a curiosity to see what might happen.
What better gift for an 18th birthday than books, especially if it is a surprise gift from the Italian government.
Christopher Hooton, in the Guardian describes the new and farsighted policy, "In a move designed to remind young people that culture can enrich one’s life and bring people together, Italian citizens are to get a €500 (£430) ‘culture bonus’ on their 18th birthday."
Wonderful to see a government place such a high value on culture. Perhaps the move will be picked up by other countries as Italy sets an example.
“The initiative sends a clear message to youngsters, reminding them that they belong to a community which welcomes them once they come of age... It also reminds them how important cultural consumption is, both for enriching yourself as a person and strengthening the fabric of our society.”
See full article here
The news around the world is a whirl wind. We search for a horizontals that seems it will take us forever to re-find. In this light whilst leafing through old journals I found an inspiring quote from the determined British film-maker Terry Gilliam who has seen his fair share of up and downs, and the twists of outrageous fortune.
Read it to take your mind back to its creative problem solving centre...
As a child, I always drew funny creatures, funny characters. But I think the trick is not to grow up, not to learn to be an adult. And if you can maintain the kind of imagination you all had when you were babies, you would all be wonderful filmmakers. But the world tries to make you grow up, to stop imagining, stop fantasizing, stop playing in your mind. And I’ve worked hard to not let the world educate me.
Whole article: Ten Lessons on Filmmaking From Terry Gilliam
It's a rainy Saturday in Buenos Aires and Oscar Edelstein just shared a homage to the late Muhammad Ali on his Facebook page.
Maybe it's strange that an avant-garde composer would be moved to post about the passing of a boxer, especially with so many perceived divisions between high and low culture. Yet perhaps what Edelstein noticed with the nose of a life-long experimenter was Ali's spirit as a searcher speaking out, and looking for meaning and new perspectives.
So it seems a moment to follow Edelstein's lead, and share the historic interview with Sir Michael Parkinson, who said today that Muhammad Ali "was the biggest star they've ever had boxing, and maybe ever will have."
The interview is the famous speech where Ali asks why are all the cultural images - from angels to Tarzan in the jungle - are of white people.
Asked about the first time he met him backstage, Parkinson said: "It's not often, given the job I had, that I was allowed to be gob-smacked, but he did gob-smack me as he walked across the floor. I'd never seen a more graceful and beautiful man. He was extraordinary."
As Edelstein wrote, "This man was the greatest boxer that I have seen but someone who also thought, and this is what they never forgave. See the interview, it is really not to be missed."
The interview is from 1981, an incredible 35 years ago, when this kind of discourse around race was not so mainstream. So it seems that Ali's bravery in the ring was really therefore nothing compared to his fight to speak out.
Ali died the same day that in her final commencement address as first lady, to graduates of City College in New York, Michelle Obama talked about diversity; free speech; the achievements of United States such as Google, eBay, the artificial heart, the telephone, blue jeans, Russian-born Irving Berlin's "God Bless America," the Brooklyn Bridge and the White House; and she even acknowledged that she wakes up every day in a house built by slaves.
She remembered "the son of Polish immigrants named Jonas Salk who toiled for years in a lab until he discovered a vaccine that saved countless lives" and "the story of the son of Jamaican immigrants named Colin Powell who became a four-star general, secretary of state, and a role model for young people across the country."
Michelle Obama spoke about the danger of building walls.
Of course we all know that walls can be physical but also intellectual and emotional, they can be of class as well as of race or religion. My naive hope is for a future where the only walls we will need are those to put bookcases against.
In remembering the brave voice of Muhammad Ali, I hope that we also take a moment to remember to include in that list of achievements of the US many more figures such as (to name a few) John Coltrane, Spike Lee, Prince, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Josephine Baker, and of course next on the list, let us now hope, that Muhammed Ali will be there.
Thank you for provoking us to see the world from a different angle, Muhammed Ali. When you get to heaven may you float like a butterfly, and please let us know that the angels really are from all walks of life.
RIP Muhammad Ali.
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
Good news for the arts in London: “Supporting the arts and creative industries will be a core priority for my administration — right up there with housing, the environment and security — as one of the big themes that I want to define my time as Mayor Sadiq Khan,” he added. “There is no question London without culture would be a much poorer place and we can’t rest on our laurels. We face stiff global competition."