Be Intentional…

make every moment countAt the start of a new year, I always take time to think about what is most important to me.  My hopes and dreams and wonderful new experiences I would like to enjoy with my family. This year I also reviewed resolutions made in the past and noticed a recurring theme. The intention to make sure that no matter where I am, or what I am doing, to try my absolute best to MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT.  To make a difference in the lives of the people I love and care about.  Whether at home, work or wherever my life’s journey takes me, to try to bring goodness to everything I do.  I have come to realize that its actually much easier to stay “busy” keeping up with a busy schedule than it is to be intentional about carving time out of the day to do things that bring greater joy.

glacierHere are a few steps that I have taken to be
more intentional:

  • Finding new sources of inspiration.  The life of St. Therese of Lisieux continues to enrich my own.  I am enjoying the book “The Way of Trust and Love” a Retreat guided by St. Therese by Jacques Phillippe. Fr. Philippe shared these writings as a retreat and at the request of participants, wrote it as a wonderful book.
    I may never get to France to enjoy this retreat in person, but I can certainly read the same wonderful writings.Also rising earlier in the day to spend a few quiet minutes reading Scripture.
  • Volunteerism:  Finding small ways to contribute a little bit of time to the church brings a lot of happiness, especially to the people I am helping.
  • Reading about people who changed our world for the better: learning about how they accomplished so many great things in the face of great adversity.  Here are some great books I recommend to learn about being intentional with your life’s purpose:
    • Lincoln on Leadership (Don Phillips)
    • A Million Miles in 1000 Years (Don Miller)
    • Capturing Grace (Jeremiah)
    • Thrive (Arianna Huffington)
    • Quiet (Susan Cain)
    • The Leader with no title/the Monk who sold his Ferrari (Robin Sharma)
  • Figuring out ways I can do less – but be better:  Intentionally creating more white space in my day to think and breathe.  Basically asking myself, which problems do I want to have and where do I absolutely want to go big?  Adopting more of a “I choose to” vs. “I have to” mindset.Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a great book about how to be more discerning when it comes to your time.

It’s Creativity Week…

creativeThis week I am enjoying the creative side of life.  Taking time to add a dash of Spring’s beautiful colors to my day, sprinkle sweet scents around the house, draw a beautiful scene and read inspirational writing. We often forget to nourish this important part of ourselves.  Creativity is at the heart of everything we do.  It’s the fuel that helps us solve complex problems, build relationships with people of different backgrounds and personalities, keep work life balance healthy and most importantly, do something that spiritually feeds our soul. Unfortunately, growing our creative artist doesn’t get top rank on our list of talent building priorities. The tendency is to mainly stay current with the latest advice given by the experts on the “professional” skills deemed most important to succeed today.

Yet the tides have turned.

According to FastCompany,  for top CEOs today, creativity is now the most important leadership quality for success in business, outweighing even integrity and global thinking, according to a new study by IBM. About 60% of CEOs polled cited creativity as the most important leadership quality, compared with 52% for integrity and 35% for global thinking. Creative leaders are also more prepared to break with the status quo of industry, enterprise and revenue models, and they are 81% more likely to rate innovation as a “crucial capability.”

Over time, the demand for leaders with high creative capacity will only increase.  So what are you doing to get your creative artist out there? Remember that God created the world and as a result, understands the wonderful sense of accomplishment felt after making something that started out as a thought.  Indeed we were made in His likeness and as such, are also creative beings. Taking the time to enjoy this part of who we are can bring much happiness to our lives.  Best of all, creative time is fun and energizes us.  We get to put a little of who we are as individuals into our masterpiece.  I love this quote from Picasso, ” Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up?”

Here are 6 activities that make up my Creativity Week:

  1. Pick out a scene that you love and sketch it.  I love the view of the park from my front stoop.  The sunrise in the morning is so beautiful.  Now that Spring is here, I’ll try to capture it on paper.
  2. Visit some artsy stores and museum gift shops.  I have my favorite shops (Anthropologie is one of them!) that I love to browse.  Michael’s Crafts is filled with wonderful creative opportunities. You’ll pick up some great ideas while enjoying the artsy atmosphere.  Art Museums have wonderful work to take in.  Think about something you can make or build yourself.  How about cooking something you haven’t tried before?  Just going for a walk to listen to nature’s sounds will inspire you.
  3. Write anything.  I have kept a journal since 2007 capturing many creative activities I want to pursue.  I find that they become more real by writing them down.  Jot some inspirational quotes that resonate with you.  Creativity starts by being inspired.  Why not write about someone you admire?
  4. Add color.  Think about colors that inspire you. I love brightly colored scarves, folders, color pens and post-its.  My favorites are purples and yellows (add a dash of green and coral too).  Brighten a place where you spend alot of time.  Funky colored napkins can change the whole look to your table.  Update the pictures around your work area.  How about including a few crayola drawings just made by the kids?
  5. Make something.  Surf the web for creative activities.  My daughter and I are redesigning a pair of converse sneakers with sparkly studs.  Fun!  How about designing a tee-shirt or painting something a different color?  When was the last time you put together a lego like action figure?  The ones that come with a paint set are memory keepers.  They take time and patience – but oh so worth it!
  6. Music & Dance.  I have my favorite tunes I love to listen to.  It’s not too long after I have the headset on that I am dancing to the music.  Music of all genres reaches the heart of your creative self.


Have fun and please let me know how you do!


Be inspired!

Be inspired!