Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Which is better: structure or flow?

Neither.

You need both.

If you think of yourself as a creative, visionary, intuitive and/or spiritual person, you might feel more comfortable with moving towards your big vision by "going with the flow." It allows you to come up with amazing ideas, have big aha's, experience incredible synchronicities, create prolifically, and feel connected to something greater than yourself.

Flowing puddle with reflection

Going with the flow can also make you feel confused, overwhelmed by possibilities, disorganized and like you're going around and around in circles rather than towards your big vision.

whirling rain

Maybe you're naturally a more structured person. You create lists and plans and milestones and systems to track how you're spending your time and money. These tools help you to be organized, productive, grounded and able to see how you are making progress towards your goals. You feel in control of your destiny.

yellow stripe path

But then something happens and your plans don't unfold the way you'd mapped them out. Unforeseen events or expenses make it impossible for you to stick with your schedule, budget, action plan, or time line. When life doesn't fit within the structure you created, you might feel anxious, scared, powerless, or stuck.

NO

Whether you naturally lean towards going with the flow, or creating structures, you need to go back and forth between the two to realize your big vision. As one wise friend described it to me: a river needs banks to guide it to the ocean.

stream after rain

What feels more comfortable for you? Structure or flow?

Would adding a little more of one or the other help you realize your big vision?

All photos by me.

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How do I find time to ___________?

Many of us feel time-crunched. Like we need more spaciousness in our lives for all kinds of things, including working on our big vision.


Now sometimes, "I don't have enough time," can really mean, "I'm exhausted and need more sleep," or "I'm afraid," or "I don't want to fail," or "I don't want to have to make a decision and focus on one project." But when time is truly the issue, we have two choices:

1. Eliminate some of the things that have been taking up the space we need to create.

2. Adapt to the space we have and embrace our limits.





For example, let's say you were hoping to sit down at the beginning of this year and map out a BIG plan for your life. You were going to make a 1-year plan, a 5-year plan and a 10-year plan. You were going to create timelines and to-lists and "figure it all out."

But now it's already February. And your days are filled with work and family and friends and laundry and commuting and, oh yeah, you had the flu for a week in January, which threw everything out of whack, and the kids have spring break in March, and you have a wedding to go to in April (what will you wear?) and you keep getting those postcards reminding you to go to the dentist. It doesn't seem like things are going to slow down any time soon. Aaaargh!

If we can't eliminate any commitments from our lives right now, we have to adapt and embrace our limits. We need to use the time we have to do what we can rather than waiting for "someday" in the future when we think we will have luxuriously long free chunks of time. That someday may come, or it may not. In the meantime, we have to work with what we have, even if it's only an hour a week.

Limits can actually increase our creativity.

According to the New York Times article, Route to Creativity: Following Bliss or Dots? researchers found that:
"[N]othing stifles inventiveness and artistry more brutally, than too much freedom, too much wiggle room for the imagination. Instead, they argue, the real source of productive creativity may lie in art's supposed bugaboos: rules, structure, even the occasional editor or two."
The Lifehacker post, Challenge Your Creativity with Limits, Not Freedom, reminds us:
"Dr. Seuss famously bet that he could write a children's book [Green Eggs and Ham] using only 50 unique words. That book went on to become a best-seller."
And in the TEDBlog interview, Can limitations make you more creative? A Q&A with artist Phil Hansen, Hansen says:
"It’s hard to get people to focus on plan B when plan A is working so well. Now we are in a place where lots of 'plans As' are no longer working. Being forced to reevaluate is allowing us to see this connection between limitations and creativity that has always been right in front of us."
Someday may never come, but today always will, so let's try to see the restrictions on our time as opportunities and love our limits!

Flickr photo credits: Pickles in Skippy's basket by walt eis; d-in-baset by Aaron Weber; Puss in Hannah Basket by Greengirl24; Toolie waits by Linda Tanner

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com.

Monday, February 02, 2015

One question for you


As I make some changes to my business, Big Vision Consulting, I want to know:

What challenges are you facing around your big vision for your work in the world?

Some normal obstacles that come up when you are pursuing your dreams are:

  • Lack of clarity around your vision.
  • Haziness around the required action steps to reach it.
  •  Fear of failure.
  •  Lack of time, money, skills, energy, or other resources.

I would be honored if you would share the challenges you're experiencing as you work towards your big vision either in the comments of this post, or on this anonymous form.

Thank you!

Photo of fern unfolding by me.

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

How have you navigated directionless times in your life?

When we are pursuing our big visions there will be times when our path becomes obscured.

In Cheryl Strayed's, Wild, which I just finished reading, most of the time she knows where she is on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and where she wants to be at the end of her 1,100 mile hike. But sometimes, like when she hikes through snow, she doesn't know if she is on the PCT, or if she is lost. She has to consult her guidebook, look for signs, ask for help from strangers, and trust her instincts to find her way.


When I graduated from college, I really didn't know what I wanted to do next. I had a degree in sociology that I loved studying, but didn't point me in a particular direction. My only guidepost came from a friend's boyfriend who had graduated the year before who said, "If you don't know the kind of work you want to do, or where you want to live, or who you want to be, go where you know people because it's important to have friends around when you're figuring all of that out."

I took his advice to heart. Most of my friends had moved to either New York City or the Bay Area. I needed to decide between the two, but again I was at a loss. This time, it was my who Dad gave me some good advice. He said, "What color do you see when you think of each place?" I closed my eyes and thought about New York. All I could see was black and white.


Then I thought about San Francisco. I saw pinks and yellows and lots of color. I decide to move to San Francisco and have lived in the Bay Area for almost 25 years!



I think when we're in unknown, directionless, lost, or "blank slate" periods of our lives it's important to: 1. surround ourselves with people who care about us, and 2. listen to the less linear parts of ourselves that know things through feelings, images and intuitions.

How have you navigated directionless times in your life?

Image credits: Snow in Yosemite by me. New York City by Paul Stocker (CC by 2.0). San Francisco, City of Color by Matt (CC by 2.0).

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Life is a long experiment that includes successes and failures


At the beginning of this year, 47% of Americans made a New Year’s resolution. Only 8% of us will keep it. But maybe that isn’t a bad thing as long as we:
  1. Take the time to reflect on why we didn’t keep it.
  2. Look at it as one “experiment” in a long process.
Last weekend, I saw two movies, Birdman and Particle Fever, that portrayed very different attitudes towards success and failure. Without giving too much away about each movie, in Birdman, the former star of a comic book hero movie franchise tries desperately to regain his former success by writing, directing and starring in his adaptation of a Raymond Carver play.

He tells his daughter, “I’m trying to do something important,” to which she responds, “You’re doing this because you’re scared to death, like the rest of us, that you don’t matter.” Throughout the film, it feels like he is running from his failures in the past, and possible failures in the future.



Particle Fever is a documentary about the  launch of the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs Boson (aka the “god particle”), which some of the scientists interviewed have been working on for 20+ years!  I was struck by how different the attitude, as expressed by one of the physicists in the film, Savas Dimopoulos, was to failure:
“Jumping from failure to failure with undiminished enthusiasm is the big secret to success.”
Failure seemed to be an accepted part of the process, and a looooooooong process at that. As another physicist, Monica Dunford, says in a voice-over during footage of her going for a run:
“When you’re dealing with something that’s a long term project . . . you can’t think about the end. Ever. If you start off a marathon thinking ‘I can’t wait to get to the finish line. I’m going to have my data,’ or ‘I’m going to have my crispy french fries at the finish line’ or whatever motives you. If you start thinking that at mile one and it’s like ten minutes into the race and you’re thinking to yourself, ‘Wow, I’m only at mile one, I’ve got 22.5 miles to go.’ If you’re thinking like that at the start, then you’re done. Mentally you are done. This is what doing discovery physics means. This is what discovery means.”



I’ve thought about both films a lot recently and wondered: As I make future plans in reaction to past failures, am I being more like the actor in Birdman, or like the scientists in Particle Fever?


I have to admit that I have been being more like the actor in Birdman, running from failures and taking desperate actions in the hopes that future success would bury the memory of my failures, rather than embracing life as a long experiment that includes successes and failures.

So, I’m hoping to spend some time at the end of this month reflecting on some of my most recent failures with a “scientific method” type of lense:

  • Question: What question about my life was I trying to answer?
  • Hypothesis: What did I think the solution would be?
  • Experiment: What actions did I take to try to make happen what I wanted to happen?
  • Data: What are the facts about what happened?
  • Observations: What other things did I notice and feel about what happened?
  • Conclusion: Did I achieve my hoped for solution? Why or why not? If I didn’t, what did I learn and what will I do differently next time?

As we wind down the first month of 2015:

  • What hasn’t turned out the way you expected?
  • What will be your next experiment?

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Creativity is not just for artists




"Creativity is not just for artists. It's for businesspeople looking for a new way to close a sale; it's for engineers trying to solve a problem; it's for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way." ~Twyla Tharp, author of The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

Twenty plus years ago, I went through a graduate program to earn an M.A. in Creation Spirituality. The premise of much of the curriculum was that if you believe in some kind of greater creative force, then you will be your truest self and closest to that source when you are being creative.




One of the daily practices we were encouraged to foster during the program was art-as-meditation, to do something creative each day (e.g. make music, sing, dance, write, paint, draw, take photos, mold clay) without focusing on the product, only the process. I was pretty regular with my art-as-meditation practice while I was in school and for a little while afterwards, and then it fell away.

Lately, I've found myself focusing Focusing FOCUSING on getting from A to Z in certain areas of my life and feeling extremely frustrated when either 1. things go from A to J to F, or 2. it seems like nothing is happening. As I've continued with pushing my metaphorical boulder up a hill, the idea of an art-as-meditation practice keeps popping up.

I even recommended it to someone else. Classic. It's so much easier to give other people the advice you need to take yourself! Clearly, I need to spend a little time each day being comfortable with the uncertainty, lack of linear thinking and chaos that being creative can bring.

If you're interested in trying an art-as-meditation practice, it's fairly simple to do:

  • Set aside time each day (5-20 minutes).
  • During that time, create in whatever way moves you without focusing on the product, just the process.
  • Don't judge what you create.
  • Social media didn't exist 20 years ago, so I would add, refrain from sharing what you create on social media so that you don't set yourself up to be judged by someone else either.

The process is easy. The challenge is committing to make space each day for the unknown.


"All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life. "~ M.C. Richards, author of Centering in Pottery, Poetry, and the Person

***

P.S. I'll be offering The Juicy Blogging E-Course January 20-February 17, 2015.









Photos by me.

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Juicy Blogging E-Course: The Art and Play of Blogging


The Juicy Blogging E-Course is back!

Do you want to re-energize your blog and blogging practice, or rediscover the ♥ of your blog?

I’ll be offering this ever popular e-course January 20-February 17, 2015. During the course, you’ll play with fun assignments on a private blog with your fellow juicy bloggers.

“The best part of it all is that it is just so much fun!” ~ Juicy Blogging E-Course student

The course consists of three kinds of fun-work:
Reflection questions to refine your blog’s purpose
Connection assignments to build community and traffic
Creative and juicy blog post prompts to get you writing

While working at your own pace, this course will help you:
• Discover what you love to write about
• Create a big ‘ole list of juicy blog post topics
• Learn tricks and tips for building community and traffic
• Design a blogging schedule that works for you
• Connect with other juicy bloggers

How it works
  • Each week, you’ll receive an email with a link to the week’s lessons on a private blog.
  • You can work privately on your own, or interact with your fellow students in the comments of each lesson’s posts by asking questions, sharing reflections, and posting links to your blog posts for feedback.
  • I individually answer all of the questions you post in the comments of each week’s lessons.
  • Your Juicy Blogging lessons and homework assignments will be posted on Tuesdays (January 20 & 27, February 3, 10 & 17).

Juicy Bonus
At the end of the course, you’ll receive a coupon for 25% off a one-hour blog coaching session tailored just for you.

Investment
$99
Add to Cart

FAQs

Do I need a blog to take this course?
Yes and no. You will get more out of the class if you have a blog, but if you’re taking the class to figure out if you want to blog, I recommend setting up a free Blogger or WordPress.com blog to play with. You can make your Blogger blog private and your WordPress.com blog private, if you want to experiment without anyone seeing it.

Will I learn how to set up/design a blog?
Nope, but if you’re just starting out, by the end of the course, you’ll have a much better sense of the type of blog you want to create when you do set up, or redesign your blog.

I have some things going on during part of the time the course is happening. How long will I have access to the material?
I’ll keep the class blog up for a month or so after the course is over: Till the first day of spring (March 20)!

Please feel free to email me with questions about the course!

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Be open to Big Vision photobombs

While visiting New Mexico this summer, I raised my phone to take a photo of some pink flowers against a blue sky when this happened:


This hummingbird flew right into my frame and posed for a long time (at least by hummingbird standards). It was a magical moment, especially because hummingbirds have always been an "auspicious symbol" for me.

Sometimes when we're working on our big vision: noticing what sparkles, letting go of old visions to be open to the new, and running towards what excites us, something unexpected shows up right in front of our face. It might even be more wonderful than the vision we imagined. Why not focus on it, before it flies away?

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Don't be shy. Run towards your big vision.


As I was walking to work one day this week, I saw this cute Corgi (pictured above) on the street. At first he was shy. He watched me with half of his face hidden behind the wall. But as I walked closer, his excitement overwhelmed him. He ran out of hiding to say hello and invited me to pet him (so soft!).

Sometimes that's how we are with our Big Visions. Shy at first. Testing the waters. Not wanting to make a commitment. But here's the important part. The excitement. When we get SO excited about something that we just HAVE to do it, or learn more about it, or share it with others, we need to let go and run towards it.

When you feel pulled towards something that makes you go "Oooooooh!" Move towards it. Get closer. See what it's all about. For example, I often take photos on my walks to and from work.


A color will catch my eye and compel me to take out my phone and look closer.


 Sometimes I decide that it doesn't look as great as I thought it would, and I keep walking.


Other times, halfway through editing it on Instagram, I'll decide that the image or moment isn't drawing me in anymore. I discard the edits and delete the photo.


But a lot of the time, if I stop to photograph something I feel inexplicably drawn to, the photo turns out even more beautifully than I could have imagined. And that makes me happy. Very happy.

Big Vision experiment: Move towards what excites you, attracts you, or draws you in this week.

All photos by me.

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com.

Friday, October 10, 2014

When your big vision dies . . .

A tree grows a tree
"The Death of a tree is the birth of a log or a snag [a standing dead or dying tree]. Dead trees are essential to the health of the forest and they are the basis of its astonishing productivity. Fallen trees are a substantial reservoir of organic matter and water that other plants and trees depend on. . .
As a tree slowly decays, it becomes a nursery for plants. It may take 400 years or longer to become incorporated into the forest floor. During this time, a variety of shrubs and trees have the opportunity to develop part or all of their root systems within the decaying wood."

- California State Parks guide for the Founders' Grove in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
A couple weeks ago, I went on vacation along The North Coast or "Redwood Coast" of California. The hubs and I spent a lot of time hiking, and did some camping among the giant redwood trees. It was wonderful.

Fire-scarred tree
I was particularly struck by how intertwined death and life are in the forest (Did you know that the greatest accumulation of biomass [living and dead organic material] ever recorded on earth is in Humboldt Redwoods State Park?).

I knew in theory that when things died they provided nutrients for living things. "Cycle of life," "when one door closes, another opens," and all that, but there was something about seeing so many fallen and standing dead trees, and the life that grew out of them that amazed me.

Tree with a hole in it
There were also a lot of fire-scarred trees, and trees with crazy holes through them. The forest wasn't just filled with natural beauty, it was also filled with destruction, natural and man-made (96 percent of the original old-growth coast redwoods have been logged).


Sometimes when we are pursuing our Big Vision, things die (goals, habits, identities, ways of being, jobs, where we live, relationships). The destruction can happen by our hand, or by others', deliberately, or against our will. Reality is, death, destruction and challenges will happen. On the up side, the growth of new things and "nutrients" for existing things can come out of those deaths.

One of the things that helps redwoods survive strong winds and floods is to intertwine roots with other redwoods, so when a storm rolls into your Big Vision, or your life in general, find someone to intertwine your roots with and hold on!

All photos by me and the hubs. 

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Looking for Your Big Vision? Notice What "Sparkles"


Rain "sparkles" by me

A friend who is between jobs recently asked me, "Is there one piece of advice you would give to a creative person when they are looking for their next job, or project?"

I responded, "Notice what 'sparkles' for you."

I think of "sparkles" as things that make you smile, makes time fly, or that you all of a sudden become very curious about (even if you don't understand why).

If you are a "creative" type, you already know that most creative projects don't usually happen in a straight line: A to Z. They often begin with something small: a craving for an ingredient, a phrase you can't stop thinking about, an attraction to a color, or a problem that piques your interest. My experience has been that if you follow that sparkle, and the next one and the next one, they will take you on a curvy route to your next big vision.

If you're in the middle of a transition and trying to figure out what to do next, follow you sparkles, even if they don't make logical sense. They will light the way.

Try this:

Over the next three days, notice what "sparkles" for you:

  • What brings you joy?
  • What are you attracted to?
  • What are you curious about?

Capture your "sparkles" in your journal, in a conversation with a friend, or with photos.

  • Are there any themes that run through all of your sparkles?
  • How can you bring more of what sparkles into your life?

* I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Big Vision Tip: Stay on Track. Text Your Big Vision Buddy

About a year and a half ago my friend Heather and I decided to try the Oprah and Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience. To make sure we completed it, we texted each other right after we meditated. There were many mornings when I would "forget" to meditate (isn't it funny how our minds do that when we're resisting something?), and her text would prompt me to do it.

It worked so well that even when the 21 days were over, we continued to text each other after we meditated. A year and half later, our meditation practices certainly aren't perfect, but they're so much a part of our lives that we no longer text about it. We've moved on to new projects!

Heather is working on finishing her book, and I'm trying to get back into the swing of regular blogging, so now we text each when we're going to write, and when we finish. Once again, it's working! I'm posting here for the first time in almost two months.

It's such a simple process, but one that has made a huge difference in our lives.

Below are a few tips for texting with your Big Vision Buddy:

    • Pick a Big Vision Buddy who is also working on a project, or habit. It's more fun for the support to be two-way, rather than one-way. 
    • Also, your Buddy should be someone who you aren't competitive with, or who isn't emotionally invested in the completion of your goal, or project.
    • Nudge don't judge. If your Buddy hasn't texted you in a while, gently ask them how things are going, and how you can support their getting back on track.

    Big Vision to-dos for you:

    • Pick a project, or habit you would like to work on this week, this month, or this fall.
    • Ask someone to be your Big Vision Buddy.
    • Start texting!

    Speaking of which, I'm going to go text Heather now!

    Photo of Heater by In Her Image Photography

    * I will be moving Have Fun, Do Good over to my website, brittbravo.com.  If you would like to receive my posts via email or RSS, the prompts to subscribe are at the bottom of brittbravo.com.
     

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

    Bye-Bye Big Vision Podcast: 70+ Interviews Over 7 Years with Social Changemakers

    East Bay Express, Best of the East Bay 2007

    Today is my day for letting go of things to make space for something new.

    I just told my VegCookbook Club that I'm stepping down as its organizer, and now I'm letting go of the Big Vision Podcast. It has been REALLY hard to let this go, but after not posting an interview for a year, I know that it is time.

    I started the Big Vision Podcast in 2006 about six months after starting Have Fun, Do Good. When I told my husband that I wanted to interview social changemakers for my blog, he suggested that I start a podcast. He had the audio equipment to help me with the recording and iTunes had recently added support for podcasts.

    And so began seven years of talking to some pretty amazing Big Visionaries. What an incredible experience.  Every single one of these people inspired me in some way, and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with them.

    I'm not sure how much longer I'll pay for the podcast's hosting, so if you've been meaning to go back and download any of the old interviews, now is the time. You can listen on iTunes and on the podcast's home page. I'll also embed a podcast player on the bottom of this post. If you click on Menu, you should be able to access all the shows from there as well.

    I've listed the interviewees by year below. I didn't put their organizations or titles because many people's jobs have changed. Sadly, one of the Big Visionaries I interviewed, Priya Haji, passed away recently.

    I want to thank all of you who have been listeners over the years, and of course thank all of the people I interviewed for making the time to talk with me about their big vision.

    Lisa Truong











       

    2013
    • Tara Mohr
    • Marianne Elliott
    • Kristen Zimmerman
    • Lisa Truong
    • Akaya Windwood

    Will Allen











    2012
    • Beth Terry
    • Will Allen
    • Deanna Zandt
    • Stacey Edgar

    Kathy LeMay













    2011
    • Ben Mangan
    • Sara Potler
    • Carinne Brody
    • Halle Butvin
    • Naomi Natale
    • Kathy LeMay
    • Samin Nosrat
    • Rachel Cohen
    • Aneesha Raghunathan
    • Robert Wolfe
    • Gabriela Masala
    Jensine Larsen













    2010
    • Secret Agent L (Laura Miller)
    • Jensine Larsen
    • Marsha Wallace
    • Temra Costa
    • Jessica Prentice
    • Tom Aageson
    • Anna Lappe
    • Melinda Kramer and Amira Diamond
    • Ashley Rowe and Carol Webb
    • Rebecca Kousky
    Zainab Salbi













    2009
    • Patricia Loya
    • Kimberly Wilson
    • Lisa Witter
    • Jose Corona
    • David Cohn
    • Kjerstin Erickson
    • Zainab Salbi
    • Seane Corn
    • Bryant Terry
    • Jennifer Lee
    Cristi Hegranes













    2008
    • Favianna Rodriguez
    • Marianne Manilove
    • Cami Walker
    • Marisa Handler
    • Martin Fisher
    • Ari Derfel
    • Janessa Goldbeck
    • Anisha Desai
    • Kavita Ramdas
    • Cristi Hegranes
    • Christina Arnold


    Solutionary Women Panel










    2007
    • Andre Carothers
    • Paola Gianturco
    • Shalini Kantayya
    • Marsha Wallace
    • Elizabeth Pomada
    • Chris Messina and Ivan Storck
    • Solutionary Women panel I organized for the Stanford Women's Leadership Conference: Alli Chagi-Starr, Ilyse Hogue, Melinda Kramer and Reem Rahim
    • Van Jones
    • Paul Rice
    • Priya Haji
    • Jodi Van Horn
    • Reem Rahim
    Anna Lappe













    2006
    • Kevin Danaher
    • Melinda Kramer
    • Ingrid Severson
    • Jessica Jackley
    • Jonah Sachs
    • Lisa Russ
    • Nola Brantley
    • Anna Lappe
    • Steve Williams
    • Ilyse Hogue
    • Abby Jaramillo (Rosenheck)
    • Mei-ying Williams (Ho)
    • Brahm Ahmadi
    • Ari Derfel and Eric Fenster
    • Alli Chagi-Starr

      Saturday, June 07, 2014

      Color = happiness


      A few years ago, I had a vivid dream that I went into a dark therapist's office to meet with my client, Cameron Diaz. She wanted to know the secret to happiness, so I told her:

      • Cook
      • Connect 
      • Care
      • Color

      I've heard that all of the characters in your dreams are aspects of yourself, so I've thought a lot over the years about my advice to the "Cameron Diaz" aspect of myself.


      Cooking, connecting and caring made sense, but I didn't fully understand the color part until last week when I joined Andrea Sher's e-course: Collecting Color: 30 Days of Photo Joy. I'm having so much fun!


      Each day, for thirty days, she sends out a photo prompt (e.g. take a photo of a flower, color at your feet, a splash of red). I take 1-5 photos based on the prompt, and upload them to the course's Flickr group. It's self-paced, so I can do as little, or as much as I want, whenever I want.


       

      Walking around each day on a "treasure hunt" for color has helped me to see beauty in the everyday. I took all of the photos in this post walking on the not always pretty streets of Oakland. When I look at them, I feel like I live in a magical land full of luscious flowers, yellow brick roads, and luminous symbols.


      Last week, I wrote about the healing powers of different things. I think color should be added to the list. Turns out there is actually something called color therapy or chromotheraphy. Who knew? (OK, probably a lot of people knew, but not me).


      I now understand what my dream was trying to tell me. Color matters: in my home, my clothes, my food, my environment. Everything. It is one of the keys to happiness.


      How can you add more color into your life this week?

       

      P.S. I think registration for Collecting Color is still open, if you wanna join me!