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!



Achieving Balance

work life 2Do you believe that it is possible to strike a happy work life balance? The Web is rich with advice and smart tips all designed to help us figure out how to find the wonderful equilibrium in our life that promises to take all the beat-the-clock rushing and anxiety away. That balanced center that allows us to be mindfully “present” at work and home.  After 25+ years of juggling and trying all sorts of strategies, I’ve discovered that there really is no perfect balance “bulls-eye” that can assure our success and happiness. We often find that across all those good days when every important work deadline was met and all home priorities were neatly tucked away, we are still searching for something.  Like there is something more important we wanted to have than a 50/50 balance.

Friends, achieving balance is not what we should ultimately strive for.  Instead, try to concentrate on the feeling or state of mind that you want to have as you live through your decisions and choices.  Let me unpack this concept a little with a personal story.  My daughter’s school was putting on a new show that she was really excited about.  She loves dance and her part was to do a challenging “kick line” number with her friends.  For weeks she practiced and as she did, I pulled up a chair to compliment her progress and cheer.  Finally, the school officially announced the show dates.  I was very excited about ordering tickets and after visiting the website, my heart did a nose dive and sank.  The show days all fell on the same week I would be travelling for work.  No negotiating this one.  I was a key presenter at the meeting and had to be there.  Classic example of what working moms encounter all the time.  The stars usually don’t align the way we want them to.  Despite our super human determination, we simply can’t be at two places at the same time.  I explained the situation to my daughter and she told me not a worry about it, she understood completely. The love and support of my husband and sisters assured me that all would be fine. They would all be there to take care of shooting the video and taking pictures.  On the surface, nothing was wrong.  The bases were covered.  Balance wasn’t an issue and everyone was happy.

Except for me.

Work Life Balance

Work Life Balance

I had to do something to try and make this work.  After a little brainstorming, I called the school (yes the thought to ask them to change the show date did cross my mind!) and explained the situation.  “Why don’t you come for the dress rehearsal?” Yes the dress rehearsal! It fell on a date that was clear.  I found my smile and couldn’t wait to tell my daughter that I would see the whole show start to finish at the rehearsal practice.  Though this plan wasn’t perfect, it made me feel so much better.  On rehearsal day, there was only one lady sitting in the bleachers for a good long while…Me!  I clapped after every number and when my daughter’s turn finally came, I cherished every second of cheering her on. She was also very happy to know that somehow mom found a way to get there and be part of something that was important to her.

So when it comes to work life balance, don’t focus on trying to do it all. Instead, zero in on how you want to feel after you make work life choices.  Know your limits and think about how your decisions will leave you feeling after you’ve made them.  I was lucky to have found an alternative. But I knew in my heart that I would have to bow out of the meeting if it really came to it.  The feeling of missing the event was too hard.  Managing career and home this way will mean some things will fall second to other more important priorities.  Some things may not happen at all.  The key is that you are not striving to achieve balance per se, but making good choices by paying attention to how you feel and want to feel at the end of that particular journey.