Have you ever had the experience of working on something you’re so immersed in that you completely forget the million other things you “should” be doing in that moment? Maybe it’s a song you’re figuring out on guitar, or a homemade birthday card, or even an elaborate doodle. And then the thought creeps in… “I really should be doing homework,” or “I really should be folding that laundry.”
Well you know what? That is precisely the time when you should keep doing what you’re doing. It’s called flow, and it is the most critical aspect of the creative process.
The development of creativity and engagement with creative practices is a major aspect of occupational therapy – a field which aims to support clients in whole-person wellness goals. The practice is incredibly effective especially for treating clients with physical or developmental conditions, but it is often also used to support individuals in the daily pursuits of success and happiness in their careers, relationships, health, and life goals.
Creativity in this space is viewed as one of the most essential factors to building confidence and self-esteem, so essential to realizing the success we aspire toward. Even beyond that, the act of creating is so different from the activities most of us engage with most regularly. And this allows us to transcend our “box”, push our comfort zones, and leap into a field of possibility!
Here are 5 ways to inspire your creativity this weekend:
“The more grateful we become, the more we experience grace in life.”
November is a month known for its gratitude. It is the beginning of a season that makes us more aware of the blessings, people, and opportunities that surround us.
I am grateful for this chance to live in an age where it is possible to find so many amazing projects, ideas, and movements with just a few clicks of the mouse. We’ve never had the ability to be so connected to innovation before, so I feel like it’s only right to share the goodness I’ve come across.
New to THE LIST?
THE LIST is a monthly post featuring the top five inspiring finds that hit me at my core. Morsels so good that I cannot possibly think of keeping them to myself. Good works, good people, good books, and good movies—all rolled into one post. Missed the first list? Check it out here!
THE LIST for November features five exciting ventures and game changers.
Digging what’s on the list this month? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comment section. And remember, This List only grows more valuable with your contributions—share your own favorite finds this month in the comments. I’m always searching for more inspiration, and your suggestions might be featured in an upcoming post!
1. Breathing CONSCIOUSLY
It may seem a simple, but I don’t know how to express enough just how much of a difference conscious breathing can make. Breath awareness is a doorway to self-discovery that we often take for granted.
I have been meditating on and off since I first learned when I was ten years old. But it was when I started Kundalini Yoga twelve years ago that I became conscious of the power of my breath. In 2007, when I became a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, I really started to get it.
I recently was with one of my energy healers, Satish, and he explained, “When you master your breath, miracles happen.” He asked me to focus on taking a slow breath in for fifteen seconds and then a slow breath out for fifteen seconds. In one minute, that would be two full cycles of breath. The key was to not be so serious when doing it; it should be a playful and graceful effort. Sounds easy, right? Just try this for five minutes. 🙂
After just a couple of weeks, I noticed that breathing like this really helped me relax my mind and centered my awareness. I had a tremendous increase, as well, in my overall sense of well-being. Conscious breathing allows us to declutter the inner and outer spaces of our lives to find clarity and positive change through simply focusing on the in-and-out flow of our breath.
Looking for a powerful example? This video inspired me. Keep in mind, there are many techniques in mastering the breath. It is said that if you can control your breath, you can control your mind. That’s a powerful thought that I wish to leave you with today.
2. The World Needs More Love Letters
Founder of The World Needs More Love Letters Hannah Brencher is a contributor for Positively Positive, so I have been able to see firsthand the impact this organization has on people across the world. Beginning in August 2011, after Hannah spent a year of her life trying to fight off depression by leaving love letters across New York City and writing to strangers in need, More Love Letters has since spread its work to forty-seven countries and all fifty states.
In an age where we don’t have a reason to mail a letter anymore (yet we secretly crave one), the organization invites anyone to join their tribe of anonymous love letter leavers and help them deliver bundles full of love letters into the mailboxes of unsuspecting strangers, in need of an inspiration boost.
Join the cause. It is a really powerful way to make a mark in this world by way of paper and pen.
3. Jack Canfield’s Book The Success Principles
I’ve wanted for a long time to create books that would shake up people’s perspectives and make them rethink classic definitions they’ve been exposed to all their lives: success, friendship, love, family, etc. While this is now coming down the pipelines for Positively Positive, I have to allow each of you to meet one of my greatest inspirations for this dream: Jack Canfield’s classic book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.
Co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Jack Canfield is someone I look up to when it comes to shifting the typical “life lessons” on their heads and showing people to uncover a fuller life while living to their highest potential. The Success Principles is packed with wisdom from the greats, know-how from his years in the industry, and sixty-four defining principles that will propel you further on your road toward living your best life now.
This book was a huge driver behind the desire to create a powerful book for Positively Positive readers. We are more than excited to reveal this book to all of you in 2013. Now is your chance to sign up for updates on the progress of the first ever Positively Positive book (as well as other exciting upcoming products). You don’t want to miss out on it, trust me.
4. Seth Godin’s Free Download of Stop Stealing Dreams
Never less than brilliant, Seth Godin’s FREE e-book Stop Stealing Dreams (over 1 million copies have been downloaded) is a telling manifesto for the changes that may need to happen in our school systems and the goals that need to shift in order for us to get a better outcome from our kids in the classroom.
This topic hits close to my heart. I have two young daughters and am invested in everything it takes to give them a bright future full of opportunity. It is also a topic known to fuel a lot of debate, so I really admire how Seth organized the book into 132 simple sections to make it easier for the content to be used for both discussion and debate.
5. Felix Baumgartner’s Supersonic Free Fall From Space!
“Sometimes you have to go up really high to see how small you are.”—Felix Baumgartner
In our lifetime, we’ll be able to say we witnessed one man break through the sound barrier. He broke world records. He proved something to be possible after it was already labeled as impossible by so many.
On October 14, 2012, Felix Baumgartner (Fearless Felix) ascended to 120,000 feet (twenty-four miles above the Earth) in a stratospheric balloon and made a freefall jump back to earth. Daring much? He reached supersonic speeds before slowing his descent via parachute and then finally landed somewhere in the vicinity of his takeoff point in Roswell, New Mexico.
This jump broke a number of records:
1) Highest Skydive: shattered the current skydiving altitude record, which stood at 102,800 feet (31,333 m), set in 1960 by U.S. Air Force Capt. Joe Kittinger
2) Fastest Fall: the first skydiver ever to break the sound barrier during a 5.5-minute freefall, followed by a fifteen-minute parachute decent back to Earth
3) Longest Fall: the longest duration freefall
4) Highest Balloon Ride: the highest manned balloon flight
I can only imagine the amount of people that came in and out of Felix’s life saying, “You cannot possibly do this” or “There is no way, quit trying.” Yet Felix proved to all of us that something that gets labeled as “impossible” really can be possible when we put our mind and heart fully into it. His jump and daring act of faith is already challenging me to examine my life closer: What leaps do I need to make? What dreams have I labeled as “impossible” that need some new perspective?
So there you have it, my top five inspirations for the month. I hope you enjoyed checking them out as much I loved finding and sharing them. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment box below and leave links for all the discoveries you’ve been loving lately. I will be clicking away and maybe even adding them to next month’s list!
Eric Handler is the publisher and co-founder of Positively Positive. Check out his TEDx talk. Follow Eric on TWITTER.
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I think the video below can speak for itself in a lot of ways.
I’ve watched it a few times and am constantly amazed by the overwhelming peace that surrounds me for the full five minutes of the clip. There is something untouchable and indescribable about what happens in this video as the baby gets its first bath. Even in writing this, I am still looking for the words to say it.
I first thought about the miracle of life. We live in a world that so easily forgets how amazing it is just to be alive and how very precious this life of ours is. It’s short. It’s unpredictable. It’s a miracle, really.
We’ve all been there—just as small as the baby in this video—but why do we stray so far away from the magic and wonder captured here?
This is one simple moment caught on camera that brings me back to square one—minus the clutter and stress of the day. Every gentle action floods me with peace and convinces me that life is about so much more than “just getting by.” It is important to slow down and stop every once in awhile to stand in awe of this fact: We are alive, and we have the ability to rediscover life as the miracle it has always been.
I would love to hear what kind of reactions you have from watching this video. Does it make you think about the miracle of life? Are there other precious moments in your life that remind you of this one? Does it call you to look at things in your own life a bit differently? Share below!
Eric Handler is the publisher and co-founder of Positively Positive. Check out his TEDx talk. Follow Eric on TWITTER.
With Labor Day behind us, we can welcome the true beginning of autumn. Take a deep breath. Now is a great opportunity to set intentions for a new season, shake some of those fun but less-than-optimal habits accumulated over the summer, and get into a healthy, energizing routine. Keep in mind, this tends to be the season of candy corn and pumpkin pie… So go into it with a game plan, and you’ll be golden.
What do you do to beat cravings? Here are some super practical tips from weight-loss guru Tosca Reno.
Whether you’re rushing to work or rushing to drop your kids off at school, you’re bound to be rushing somewhere this fall! Take advantage of these quick, healthy breakfast snacks – some of them will probably surprise you!
Here are five honest, humble, and endearing stories. It’s not about being exceptional or perfect. The key is to make the most of what we have, to spin the modest straw of our lives into gold. And when that doesn’t work, we can at least have a good laugh at our muddled attempts and move on. (And then go save a whale… Just kidding.)
Would you jump into the ocean to save a 40-foot whale from a shark net? This extraordinary man did.
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”―Dr. Seuss
With technology developing at a record pace and kids mastering iPads before they’re even out of diapers, it’s more important than ever to instill the love of reading in our children.
Although it’s never too late, the importance of getting kids to develop a love for reading early on often correlates with a love for learning, a passion for lifelong reading, and so many other positive traits that ultimately lead to the empowerment needed for success.
In our home we have acquired quite the collection of literary gems—in fact, we have more books than toys. I’ve happened upon wonderful books in all kinds of random places, so I’m always on the lookout. Of course, the library is always a great option, which we frequent at least every other week—a ritual which we started before the girls could even walk. Another one of my favorite places to find amazing books is museum bookshops. You would be surprised at the treasures you may come across there.
Since reading is a passion for us, we wanted to share some our favorite children’s books that contain a poignant, powerful message. If you know of a children’s book that has an inspirational message that is not on our list, please share in the comments below.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on Monday for our live Google + Hangout. And thank you to the thousands who have tuned in to our channel, since, to watch the recorded conversation. This landmark, virtual event brought together Deepak Chopra, Gotham and Mallika Chopra, author Paulo Coelho, journalist Lisa Ling, former president of Mexico Vicente Fox, actress Fran Drescher, social media guru Eric Handler, Ashtanga yogi Eddie Stern, and Life Camp founder Erica Ford with a group of New York City teenagers in a conversation on meditation, personal growth, and world challenges.
It is a rare treat to find great minds from such diverse fields together in one venue. Leave it to the Chopras and their extraordinary community of influencers, leaders, and thinkers to bring such a unique discussion to the homes and computer screens of thousands around the world.
As Deepak says, technology is benign. It’s what we do with it that counts. With their new premium YouTube channel, The Chopra Well, Deepak, Mallika, and Gotham are making the most of the technological resources available to them. For many longtime Deepak fans and wellness seekers, YouTube may seem an unlikely forum in which to explore personal transformation and global change. But The Chopra Well defies all concerns in this vein – starting with Monday’s live event.
Witness a rich, hour-long conversation between brilliant thinkers, leaders, and artists. Witness a frank and casual discussion on the challenges of social media and the necessity of personal growth for global transformation. Experience a guided meditation, led by Deepak, and begin to imagine the world you want to live in. And continue doing all this and more as you tune in to The Chopra Well for the latest shows, humor, and thought-provoking wisdom.
It is no secret that one of Deepak’s greatest passions is meditation, which was the inspiration for one of the channel’s first daily shows, The Meditator. Viewers are encouraged to join the meditators as they sit, breath, and visualize their life purposes. Locations change every day to add flair and lightheartedness to a practice that daunts many. To dive deeper into meditation, The Chopra Center offers a 21-Day Meditation Challenge – participation is free, and the rewards are priceless.
You have options. If personal growth and self-care are on your agenda, resources abound. If meditation is on your list, then look no further. Below we have transcribed the meditation Deepak led during Monday’s hangout. Read through the meditation, do it once, do it twice, then sign up for the 21-Day Meditation Challenge and visit The Chopra Well every day for a slice of peace.
Here is Fran Drescher meditating alongside Deepak, Mallika, Lisa Ling, Eric Handler, Eddie Stern, Erica Ford, and a group of New York City teenagers.
Do the meditation yourself!
Guided Meditation by Deepak Chopra
You can keep your eyes open or close them.
Put your awareness in the area of your heart.
Ask yourself one question: What kind of world do I want to live in? See what comes up.
What kind of world do I want to live in?
Ask yourself: How can I make that happen? What is my role in helping create that world?
And now, keeping your awareness in your heart, experience gratitude for all the wonderful things that you have in your life right now that would make you feel grateful.
The experience of gratitude opens us to what can only be called “abundance consciousness,” the source of our own being. The fact that we exist, what a wonderful mystery. What are we going to do with that mystery?
Now for a moment close your eyes. Whisper to your heart: peace, harmony, laughter, love.
Do whatever you need to do to have YouTube handy this Monday, July 16, at 10:30 AM PST/1:30 PM EST. To kick off the launch of the premium YouTube channel, The Chopra Well, and the Chopra Center’s 21-Day Meditation, Deepak, Gotham, and Mallika Chopra will host a live conversation on meditation, personal growth, and global transformation. You can watch the event directly on The Chopra Well!
Their guests in this landmark event include author Paulo Coelho, journalist Lisa Ling, Mexico’s former president Vicente Fox, actress Fran Drescher, and Eric Handler of Positively Positive. Joining them will be yoga instructor Eddie Stern and a group of children from New York City’s Ashtanga Yoga – the next generation of yogis and meditators.
It is an interesting bunch of people to come together under one roof (or one Google + Livestream.) They have navigated life from different backgrounds and worldviews. Each person brings a distinct perspective to the table. On the agenda to discuss are current world challenges, ways to foster critical mass, and the role of personal transformation for global transformation. Think tanks beware, the Chopra family and friends dream big and aim for no less than positive global change.
The conversation will close with a group meditation lead by Deepak, himself. Feel free to close your eyes and join the fun!
Through conversation, personal wellness, and social connectedness we have the tools to begin crafting the world we imagine, the world that is possible. For ourselves, for our children, and for all time.
Don’t miss out! Tune in on Monday, July 16, at 10:30 AM PST/1:30 PM EST.