Tag Archives: creativity

Renew Your Energy with 15 Self-Care Actions

The stresses we encounter in day-to-day living can take a toll on our energy reserves.

Consider a few examples: watching too much television or listening to the world events on the news. These situations can invoke fear responses and become energy drains.

When we feel heavy, a little self-care can help us restore our vitality and energy. If you have been feeling a bit low or are in need of a boost, it may be a great time to do some of these self-love activities to help you stay balanced and resourceful.

15 Renewal Exercises

Two Friends on Chair Lift

  1. Spend some time in nature with a friend going for a walk or an outdoor excursion. Talk about things for which you are grateful.
  2. Practice some deep breathing. As you exhale, imagine your body releasing any sadness or grief. As you inhale, welcome in love and universal wisdom.
  3. Go on a media diet. If you find yourself watching too much television or news, put yourself on a media diet or fast. If you want to stay current, try reading the headline articles in your local newspaper or read the news online instead. By reading the news online, you can learn about current events in 10 or 15 minutes a day versus the hours that you may spend watching television.
  4. Learn something new. Get with a friend who has a skill you would like to learn, or schedule a class in something you are interested in.
  5. Make something. Creative energy always helps us feel empowered!
  6. Volunteer some time to help a friend or a cause that you find meaningful.
  7. Pets are naturally healing. Spend time with pets or animals. Take them for a walk, or give them some extra attention.
  8. A Tree's Healing EnergySpend time in nature’s healing energy, such as going for a swim, walking through a forest, or spending time in your garden.
  9. Learn a “healing or helping” skill. Then share it!
  10. Start a new hobby in an area that interests you, or you feel would make you happy.
  11. Free up some energy. Clean out your closets, and give things you no longer need or have outgrown to those who may want or need them.
  12. Write a story or a poem, and express something you value or feel is important.
  13. Invite a few friends over and teach them something you know that you feel would be fun, inspiring, or helpful.
  14. Fix something that is broken, or give an item a new and refreshing look.
  15. Let someone know you care! Write to a friend or send them a thoughtful, free e-mail card. A two-way conversation is even better! Just pick up the phone and call someone you have been thinking about. You may find they have also been thinking of you.

The Ripples of Creativity

We have learned from Alana that when one individual takes a creative action, it ripples through the whole and helps everyone. The more reactive energy we generate contributes to a downward spiral that is easy to get caught up in.

May any or all of these 15 self-love, self-care action tips spark your imagination and help you feel better and lighter! As we support each other in becoming lighter, our perceptions can begin to see a brighter and more loving world.

—Kirk VandenBerghe

Why Do We Have to Work?

Why is it that we get up each morning and go to work? You may be thinking: Wouldn’t life be more enjoyable if we didn’t have a job to go to?

You may perceive the whole purpose of going to your job or work is to pay the bills. But, what if the reason you work at a skill or job isn’t just to earn money, but goes much deeper?

What if you are fulfilling some type of life purpose?

Contribution and The Discovery of Purpose

Working at a job or vocation really is innately tied to a contribution we make while living on earth, and the nudges along the way to discover a deeper inner purpose that is inherent within us.

These two ideals are evident when we examine our natural world, only to discover that everything has its own unique purpose and a place in the grand scheme of things.

Smiling Woman on BeachMankind is no different, really. Perhaps each individual has a unique purpose they are meant to fulfill. It seems when we are actualizing this aspect of our nature we feel more alive and are suffused with a sense of meaning while also feeling in harmony with the world around us.

When we are not deepening this purpose, we can toss and turn through life, sensing a profound lack of meaning and sense of disconnection. For some people, this uneasiness often pervades over their ever-waking moment.

This could make anyone wonder why it is so difficult to our inner calling to essentially identify a compatible vocation or career and actualize this inner purpose. Could the reason for this confusion be that finding and actualizing this deep intent is truly challenging and provides each of us with a continual process to learn along the way about our inherent natures?

Blocks in Creating a Meaningful Livelihood

When we look about we find almost everyone working for somebody else, and many individuals are working in jobs that feel to them like dead ends.

Some people actually look for a rich spouse or someone to take care of them and be responsible for their livelihood.

Or, due to our sometimes parental, financial, and often social conditioning, many seek instead to simply find some type of employment that allows them to meet their basic needs. When motivated by survival an individual may feel justified in working at any trade or job because they are at least productive.

Most often choices like this lead to a nagging inner voice that tells us we’re meant to do or be something else. Anyone who has taken a job purely for financial reasons can relate to this mind chatter that creates an empty feeling. So what’s the answer to this compromise?

Experiencing Life When Pursuing A Purpose

Flowers and Happy WomanCould the answer be discovered laying dormant in our being, just waiting for us to ask the right questions?

When we are passionate this creative state infuses us with energy, vitality, and drive that we lack in our lives otherwise. Most anyone who has a sense of pride or self-awareness knows how much more vital they feel when their hearts are fueled by passion. This primal, but essential, state guides us to our hearts when we can gleam our innate purpose.

Whatever that purpose is for each of us, it is never complicated. When we are pursuing this essential aspect of our nature we find motivational fulfillment and we feel very much alive and a part of our world. Our ability to attract possibility increases. We draw to us more meaningful choices. Our vocation or job ceases to be work and instead becomes an expression of our being. Creative energy moves through us, which is also a direct measurement of our ability to earn, receive, and gain recognition, and personal satisfaction along with other rewards.

Be, Do, Have

This almost sounds like a jingle! We be, we do, and we have.

From this sense of being enthused by inner passion we are assisted to do what enlivens us  and in turn our actions produce material results. Our doing provides sustenance for ourselves along with stimulating personal fulfillment.

By identifying this inner spark we find it easier to work in a vocation or a job that is also our vehicle for creating income to live—that is, unless you were born independently wealthy, or have a rich aunt that leaves you a sizable inheritance.

A Blessing in Disguise

Perhaps one of the very greatest blessing we may identify is our need to survive. It really is a catalyst that can consciously lead us to discover more about our deeper life intent and authentic self expression.

Smiling Group of PeopleThis may be called a law of nature that invites us to explore our inner passion so we may find a path that leads us and helps us discover a fulfilling vocation or career at some point in our life when we make a conscious choice to do so.

Our authentic innate being engages our creative doing, which produces for us having what allows us to thrive.

If you find yourself asking: Why do I have to go to work? Maybe you are side-tracked from asking a more useful question. Perhaps it’s time to invite your mind to ask away so you can connect to your heart to find the seeds of your passion, so you can live your purpose, be, do, have, receive, and contribute in this world full of opportunity.

You just may find opening your heart leads to great fulfillment, personal reward, a job you enjoy, and the life you were destined to live.

Healing Visions: A Film by Annie Gusman Joly

The following film and transcription follows the artistic expression of Annie Gusman Joly.

Annie describes her creative path and how starting in 1986when she attended classes at the Esalen Institutehow her relationship to painting deepened and opened a door to healing.

Perhaps her journey may provide inspiration for others to move beyond fear and channel their energy into a path of healing no matter what chosen medium to fuel a space for healing.

Annie Gusman Joly’s film, Healing Visions, is about how the act of painting has helped her heal emotional wounds.

Annie Gusman Joly’s Healing Visions

Painting of a Face by Annie Gusman JolyI started painting for myself in 1986.

I took a workshop at Esalen Institute, and when I arrived I had no what I was going to paint. I had been an illustrator over 10 years, and I was just feeling the need to paint for myself to do something different. I thought maybe I would paint the scenery. I was painting in a beautiful building on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and I stood there with a giant white piece of paper and my hand just started to move. And I was totally amazed at what came out.

And the more I painted, the more came out. Even though the paintings were very dark as far as imagery, it was a great release to do them. It was discovering a whole new part of myself that I did not know had existed. When I look at the paintings now, it seems that I had some kind of awareness, some kind of precognition, because that year my mother committed suicide.

Using Intuition

People are afraid to paint because they don’t know where to start. Seeing that piece of white paper is very scary, but it is also very exciting at the same time.

I don’t think too much about what I am going to paint, I just try to go on intuition. Sometimes I just put a color down, and that color has a certain feeling which will make me want to put another color next to it.

After my mother’s suicide I felt like I was leading a double life: the internal life and the external life. It made me feel very separate from other people. As you can imagine it was a very, very dark and very difficult time for me. But I knew that I had to do something. I started to paint again, because I remembered how comforting the paintings had been to me when I painted at Esalen.

Healing Through Painting

Painting by Annie Gusman JolyIn one of my favorite paintings called “My Healer,” I realized that my healing was up to me. The paintings became a practice, like meditation . . . like dance . . . like poetry.

It’s very important to suspend judgment at the painting. I still occasionally look at something and say, like, “Oh, I don’t like that color. I think I’ll move this.” But now I think of it more as it’s only a part of painting that I don’t like, and I know that’s going to happen.

And maybe it’s just the tension in the painting that helps me move on, that helps me finish the painting. And I really try not to judge it as though I would if I went to museum.

It’s about those early paintings . . . there is a lot of demons flying around. And the demons are really scary at that point, I am really afraid. They look mean. They look angry, because that’s really how I am feeling inside.

As the months progressed, the demons became my friends. For example, after her death, I had an incredible dream. The dream was very scary at the time, but when I actually started to work on the piece, the whole mood, the whole character, of the painting changed into one of benevolence and compassion, and kindness and healing.

Listen to the Paintings Speak

In the early nineties, I met a man named Shaun McNiff. He taught me that it’s really not a good idea to talk about paintings, and that so many of us judge paintings according to somebody’s criteria. He taught me: don’t judge the painting. Don’t talk about the painting. It’s just as if the painting has a soul and a being of it’s own. So when I look at the paintings, what I do is pretend that they are actually a person.

For example, you wouldn’t talk about a friend who came into the room and said, “Wow, that dress looks really bad with those shoes,” you know, or, “That hat is really the wrong color.”

What I like to do is have the paintings speak to me.

Most of the time, I stand when I paint. I feel like if my whole body is involved rather than my hand and my brain, things seem to flow better.

When you paint with no judgment, things happen that you don’t expect. And it’s a journey. It’s like going on a trip to a foreign country, a place like you had never been before.

It’s almost like a door. It’s really not the grief any more; the grief is turned into a door. Where I know that these images will come . . . I just know that.

Speaking Truth

Annie Gusman JolyI think it’s easier to speak your truth when you are not doing something for money. These paintings were created for me; they came from a flow that was inside. So I feel free . . . I feel free to create what I want to create without worrying about the end result.

When I first started doing these paintings, I was little nervous to show them to people, because I thought they would think I was really strange, kind of crazy. Slowly, but surely, when I started to share them with some people, it was really amazing to hear their reaction. I think everybody relates to them in some manner in their own life. Everybody’s had loss, everybody’s had some problems.

I never feel like I run out of things to paint. I have an endless well of imagery that I feel now can come out at anytime. I never felt like this before I started these paintings.

When I’m in a room full of my paintings, I feel that I am with my best friends. It’s like something else is at work and things are not as they appear, and that there is another force going on within us. And that if we just can connect with . . . I don’t know, just makes me smile.

Moving Beyond Stuck: A Goal Setting Secret

An important discovery to make is our personal life mission.

When we identify it, our purpose or mission can increase our life’s joy and happiness.

But, we often get confused and make our purpose far too complicated.

Really, our life purpose is a simple expression of our soul that resonates within our heart.

When we take the time to discover the essence of our purpose, it is much easier to make decisions, like identifying meaningful work.

Question for Alana: Wherever I look for a direction on what I should do with my life, I get just one answer: Set a goal. But that is precisely what I can’t seem to arrive at.

To be honest, I feel like doing nothing. Not only am I goalless, I also can’t seem to zero in on a career.

I’m not happy with what I’m doing right now; my heart isn’t in it at all, but I don’t know what else to do. I just don’t feel motivated to try anything, but I need money.

Daydreaming and ConceptualizingAm I lazy? Am I just stuck with wrong choices?

I feel so lost. Dear Alana, please give me some spiritual guidance that will help get me going somewhere.

Thank you so much.

Alana’s Answer: Greetings, dear one. Thank you for submitting such a powerful question. Let us explore the essence of your question and perhaps we can together arrive at some ways to help you determine your next steps.

One thing we often forget is the power of conceptualization. The creative process has several stages before action is taken. We often forget that within stillness–the nurturing space that knowingness springs from–is one of the very first steps for birthing our concepts and ideas.

It sounds like you have entered this space and know that you cannot jump ahead; that you are missing some steps before you forge ahead with your career ambitions. Trust your lack of motivation because you are actually following your intuition.

Some individuals will judge the fertile space you are experiencing as a sort of laziness. However, you will come to a time when it feels right to move forward.

Give yourself some time to just be. Be still, observe, learn, feel your body, and let your body’s responses lead you. Wait until you receive an internal “Ah-ha” before taking the next “baby step” of creating a goal.

Alana call’s these small actions baby steps because great things are built on a foundation of small steps. Small steps are what are needed to create the space to discover your essence and authentic nature in greater detail. So give yourself some time to fill in each baby step.

Honor the space you’re in. Embrace it. Use it to nurture yourself while you feel “goalless.” Trust that hidden in your being is a goal yet to be realized. It will appear once you spend a little more time exploring your inner dimensions.

But What About the Money?

We do need to make a living and support ourselves. This is true!

Going for the MoneyTherefore, view what you are doing at this moment as the means to earn some income. This becomes a bridge of support while you are in this magical discovery process. Perhaps you can realize that everything is connected and because you are listening you are engaging your heart. There is purpose in how you are feeling in this moment, and this is a grand opportunity.

May you receive a sense of satisfaction knowing that there is a purpose to what may feel like lack of direction, even if your heart does not fully sing while performing the tasks at hand. Trust this process, because you are sensing something greater ahead.

Now you can use your spare time to get to know your inner nature more deeply. There are many books and courses designed to invoke one’s inner passion to uncover a personal mission. When you identify your simple mission, it will resonate in your heart. A simple mission is one that can be shared in one sentence–sometimes even one word. By identifying it, you can explore how you can express this purpose within various careers.

For example, our free course “Discovering Your Authentic Self” is a simple but very effective step by step process to uncover and ignite your personal mission. Take some time and explore this process, and don’t be in a hurry.

A Personal Discovery Process

Often, individuals find themselves working in jobs that others suggested would be good for them. This is sometimes because they haven’t taken the time to get to know their deeper passions. Ambitions can be defined by what socially are deemed as the good, better, and best occupations. When we follow the path of collective social values, we often overlook our innate natures. This is like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. It may fit, but something will be missing.

It seems to Alana that you are instinctively and intuitively sensing that you are now ready to delve deeper into your purpose. Once you do, you will discover many amazing qualities within. You will know because enthusiasm will begin to bubble up.

Following Your PathWhen we engage with inner enthusiasm, the universe follows by opening doors on our path that lead to joy. This is a magical process of self love that will move your creativity from the conceptualization process to a clearer sense of purpose. Then a vocational interest will follow that wraps around this personal mission. It will be time to take the action steps that will manifest your desired outcomes.

Thank you, dear one, for your question.

Click to explore > Discover Your Authentic Self Series