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Category: Artful Dodging

making, mindsets and strategies that foster creativity

LET THERE BE LIGHT (The Power of Small)

LET THERE BE LIGHT (The Power of Small)

Very often it is the little things that make a big difference in lives that are lived on the edge. In poorer parts of a city, where people’s homes often do not have access to reliable electrical service and where windows that let in light might be a bad idea in terms of home security, people either spend a lot of time outside their unlighted homes or use open fires, candles or oil lamps as light sources.  These can be…

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OTHER VOICES: Joy Harjo

OTHER VOICES: Joy Harjo

Poet, artist and musician Joy Harjo is a member of the Mvkoke (Creek) Nation.  (More usually, that word is spelled “Muscogee.”) Harjo became the first Native American to be appointed as a Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the American Library of Congress in 2019 by Librarian Carla Hayden.  In case you didn’t know, the Library is America’s oldest federal cultural institution and is said to be the largest library in the world. As well as other things, national poets…

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REVAMP ROUTINES (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

REVAMP ROUTINES (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

It’s a perennial bit of advice from most of the entrepreneurial advisers and advocates of DIY bootstrapping in the world to get yourself organized by working out routines and systems of routines that will help you get ‘er done and help facilitate your making that run towards your dream. It does work. It has occurred to me more than once that we humans are routine-building fools.  For some of us the whole routine-building thing may even be automatic. We can…

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SHAPING STARTS WITH YOU

SHAPING STARTS WITH YOU

I’ve been circling around this latest concept I’ve stumbled across like I imagine an awestruck fan would do to take in Michelangelo’s Pietà at the Vatican.  My head keeps going, “Wow…wow…wow.”  My heart is drowning in the swelling sound of some Gregorian chant or something.  OOOH! The idea that each human being’s ability to make choices can absolutely affect and shape both the forms their own lives take as well as the world in which they live is a mind-boggle…

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SHAPER CHALLENGE (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

SHAPER CHALLENGE (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

John Milton (an English poet who wrote epic poems in the 17th century) once wrote: “The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.” Milton did call it right.  All of us humans do have one super-power.  Every single one of us can shape our own reality and make up our own world.  It’s why we find everybody else’s stories so fascinating, I suppose. Because we each have our own…

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STEP BACK FROM THE URGENCY (Another IPS)

STEP BACK FROM THE URGENCY (Another IPS)

Urgency, the repeated hammering on the direness of some situation or other that absolutely requires your personal immediate attention (or else), has become the go-to stance for so many of the professional and amateur persuaders in our lives these days. They tell us that urgency is different than panic.  Panic is a freak-out.  You run around like a chicken without a head, not knowing where you are going, bumping into things and falling down a lot. The proper response to…

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PASSION IS A FEELING

PASSION IS A FEELING

Oh, finally!  After beaucoup years of nonsense about “finding your passion” and “following your bliss,” people of influence are finally telling us more ordinary sorts a better truth. Passion is not a path.  Passion is not a guidepost.  Passion is really not a will-o-the-wisp phosphorescent light that dances ahead of you and maybe leads you into a bog or something. Passion is a feeling.  It comes, it goes, it morphs, it grows.  And, more than anything (like every other human…

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A MASTER’S JOURNEY

A MASTER’S JOURNEY

The process-oriented mindset is one of several styles of moving to the beat of your own passion.  Another name for it is “mastery.” One of the best breakdowns of the requirements and outcomes of pursuing “mastery” is the one the celebrated art curator Sarah Lewis delineates in her book, THE RISE:  Creativity, the Gift of Failure and the Search for Mastery. This 2014 book is a fascinating exploration of the constant pursuit of excellence that is pretty much what distinguishes…

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TRAIN YOURSELF TO CLIMB OUT OF THAT BOX

TRAIN YOURSELF TO CLIMB OUT OF THAT BOX

Who has NOT heard it?  If you want to be creative, the ubiquitous They tell us, you have to “think outside of the box.” The only problem is, it takes a different mindset to get out of that other-people-imposed box than our more usual ones. It makes sense that you do need to train yourself to climb or crawl out of that box in the same way that you train yourself to do some sort of physical discipline or other…

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YES-BOOK VS NO-BOOK

YES-BOOK VS NO-BOOK

Poets give each other weird gifts.  About ten or so years ago, a friend of mine gifted me with a chewy metaphor that I’ve gnawed on for a while now. He said he thought that, at birth, every person got issued two infinitely expandable notebooks.  He said one of the books was a YES-book and the other was a NO-book. I imagined them to be like the kind I use for making my journals but with automatic pages or something…

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