Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Jamie Ridler, Creative Living: How I Have Fun, Do Good

 The seventh guest blogger in my Have Fun, Do Good series is Jamie Ridler. 

Jamie is a creative living coach and the director of Jamie Ridler Studios. Through coaching, workshops and a variety of online events, Jamie helps women find the confidence and courage to discover and express their creative spirit, whether that means exploring their artistic self, or bringing more of their creative capacity to their life and business. 

She is the host of the popular podcast Creative Living with Jamie and will soon launch Sparkles, an e-course designed to bring your creativity to life in 5 minutes (or less!) a day. You can follow Jamie on Twitter at @starshyne.

Jamie Ridler, Creative Living: How I Have Fun, Do Good

I’ve always been kind of like Mary Poppins. I’m an idealist at heart, I love to get things done and make things happen, especially with a “spoonful of sugar.”

Over the years, I got lots of messages that this wasn’t the way to be. As a downtown Toronto girl who went to theatre school, I can tell you that focusing on “goodness” wasn’t considered terribly hip. As someone who used to sing at her day job, I discovered that when you have fun, people think you’re not taking your work terribly seriously.

This isn’t the truth at all!

Despite my missing ‘hip factor’, it was really theatre that showed me the power of having fun and doing good. Putting on a show demands extraordinary time and energy, most often with little, or no financial reward. There has to be a reason for actors, designers, and stage managers to show up, stay late and put their heart into it. With a “have fun, do good” attitude, the rewards are plenty:

• Instead of a group, we have a community.
• People’s true selves come out to play (and we’re shiny!)
• Creative sparks fly.
• What we create together is unique and extraordinary.
• When everyone shares their gifts, there’s more for us all to enjoy.
• We know our impact. We know we make a difference.
• We create unforgettable moments.
• We experience the sheer delight of being alive.
• We create a microcosm of what’s possible.
    Where can you bring fun and goodness together? Look for ways of squeaking them into the unlikeliest of places. I remember being in Emergency with my sister; the nurses came in to see what we were giggling about! Even in the hardest places, you can shine a light.

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    1. Jamie, you are so right about how when it looks like you're having fun at work, people don't think you are taking the work seriously. Because I smile a lot and generally answer "great" when people ask how I am (even if "great" isn't necessarily true) I have been accused of not taking problems seriously. As if not showing stress means i dont have a handle on things. Those accusers came around though as they saw my calm demeanor get through all sorts of projects and "challenges." So I say sing away!

    2. Hi Sherri, we are such sisters in positivity! Here's to working hard, having fun, singing, smiling and staying calm in a crisis! Imagine how much more can get done this way! ((hugs))

    3. This is delightful! Too many organizations, especially those committed to tackling social problems, have a martyr complex, where it's part of the culture to be down, because that shows that you're taking on the problems as your own...which, of course, doesn't truly reflect one's actual dedication, and is more likely to burn people out and drag them down, so that less gets done. Thank you for reminding us of that sad delusion!


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