Creativity Resources

RECOMMENDED READING

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem
Nathaniel Branden

1. The Practice of Living Consciously
A powerful tool for living more consciously is the practice of sentence completion. It allows us raise self-understanding through accessing knowledge and possibilities that are within us, that might not otherwise be recognised.
Complete this sentence with 5-10 endings: “To me, living consciously means…”

2. The Practice of Self-Acceptance
To improve self-esteem, it is essential to become aware and accept ‘disowned’ parts of the self.
“The first steps of healing and growth are awareness and acceptance – consciousness and integration.”
 (N. Branden)

3. The Practice of Self-Responsibility
To be able to live responsibility, we need to identify methods of action to reach our goals, and learn to be accountable for all our choices, priorities and actions.
“Live consciously—take responsibility for your choices and actions—respect the rights of others— and follow your own bliss.”
 (N. Branden)

4. The Practice of Self-Assertiveness 
“To practice self-assertiveness is to live authentically, to speak and act from my innermost convictions and feelings—as a way of life, as a rule.” (N. Branden)

5. The Practice of Living Purposefully
To live purposely, you need to seek out what inspires you. Ask yourself, what are your aspirations? What excites and motivates you? Identify these strengths and set goals that put you on the path of that target.

6. The Practice of Personal Integrity
“Integrity is the integration of ideals, convictions, standards, beliefs—and behavior. When our behavior is congruent with our professed values, when ideals and practice match up, we have integrity.” (N. Branden)

 

The Everyday Work of Art
Eric Booth

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, art has not always been a noun… At the birth of the word ‘art,’ it was a verb that meant, ‘to put things together.’ It was not a product but a process.” (E. Booth)

“Art is not apart. It is a continuum within which all participate; we all function in art, use the skills of art, engage in the action of artists, every day.
Underneath the surface distinctions that make individual lives seem very different, art is a common ground we share; the work of art is a way we all do things when we are working well.” 
(E. Booth)


The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity
Julia Cameron

I have been using Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, for a very long time. Even as far back as my very first studio at Blackwattle Bay, where almost 200 artists had studios. A real creative hub. That was back in 1998, when I began teaching a course called Art For Strictly Beginners. I ran that for 4 weeks, once a month  – and two of the tools I used in that course came from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.
Today, Art for Strictly Beginners has been replaced by my course called The Creative Shaman, a 6 week course. And I still use two of her tools from the same book.

One of these tools I use is called Morning Pages. It is a stream of consciousness writing done in the morning (only in the morning otherwise the exercise becomes like a dear-diary entry). You write for 3 pages – the length of an exercise book that you can buy for the supermarket. I prefer to use the unlined books. You write whatever is on your mind, just dump it. Ensure that when you do this, you keep the book private otherwise you will hesitate to write some ‘things’ down. And like Shrek’s philosophy, “It’s better out than in!”

The second tool I use from Julia’s book is called Artist’s Date. This is simply a time-out session with yourself, doing something for your creative spirit. For example, an obvious thing you could do is go to the art gallery; where as a less obvious activity you could do is reading an article on an artist or watching a video on the life of an artist. The point of the exercise is that you spend time with yourself and your creative spirit – not to be shared with another.


The War Of Art
Steven Pressfield

Steven Pressfield is the author of this book and a few others notably The Legend of Bagger Vance (inspired by the Hindu poem The Bhagavad-Gita ). So this was made into a movie directed by Robert Redford. The story is about a golfer (bonus if you love golf) who has a spiritual and philosophical journey.

But. Back to The War of Art. This is a book about breaking through your blocks and winning your inner creative battles and its appropriate to this months nolawrites topic.
This book is a must read for all of us creative beings. The book is written in 3 parts: 1. Resistance, 2. Combating Resistance, and 3. Beyond Resistance

Steven talks about fear and ego and about the power of just doing it and how resistance is our enemy, the magic of making a start as well as ignoring critics and for us to stop criticising too. This little gem of a book is filled with solid universal insights that will help you remember what you are here to do and to just do it.


Buddha’s Brain
Rick Hanson

If you want to discover who you truly are, beyond your cleverly justified reactions to things, then read this book. Or purchase it from Audible and listen to it.
You are not at your creative best when you react. In fact, you are not you at all when you react. Yes it might be a part of you that is sponsoring the reaction, but what part of you has done that? The hurt & indignant part maybe?
Read this book and get to know the beautiful gifted person that is so wanting to show up every day. And they can. Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson is a great way to be introduced to the ideas of neuroscience.

“Essentially, modern life takes the jumpy, distractible “monkey mind” we all started with and feeds it steroids.” (R. Hanson, Ph.D.)

“If I know one thing for sure, it’s that you can do small things inside your mind that will lead to big changes in your brain and your experience of living… You really can nudge your whole being in a better direction every day. When you change your brain, you change your life.” (R. Hanson, Ph.D.)


Why Meditate?
Matthieu Ricard

Don’t meditate because its the “in” thing or because it sounds like you should be. Don’t even meditate because you want to relax – mojito instead! Meditate because you know the benefits and you want to transform into the best of you.

“Twenty years ago, it was almost universally accepted by neuroscientists that the brain contained all its neurons at birth and that their number did not change in adult life. We now know that new neurons are produced up until the moment of death. Moreover, scientists speak of “neuroplasticity,” the brain’s ability to continually change its structure and function in response to new experiences, so that a particular training, such as learning a musical instrument or a sport, can bring significant and lasting functional and structural changes in the brain. Mindfulness, altruism, and other basic human qualities can be cultivated in the same way. In general, if we engage repeatedly in a new activity or train a new skill, modifications in the neuronal system of the brain can be observed within a month. It is essential, therefore, to meditate regularly.” (M. Ricard)


The Power Of Full Engagement
Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

“Every one of our thoughts, emotions and behaviours has an energy consequence, for better or for worse. The ultimate measure of our lives is not how much time we spend on the planet, but rather how much energy we invest in the time that we have.

The premise of this book—and of the training we do each year with thousands of clients—is simple enough: Performance, health and happiness are grounded in the skillful management of energy.”
(J. Loehr & T. Schwartz) 

ARTICLES

Using Corporate Team Building Events To Achieve A Better Workplace Environment by Shane Garton

Using Team Building For Insight And Inspiration by Shane Garton

MOVIES

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Based on the book of the same title by Dan Millman.


What the Bleep

Fantastic movie about quantum physics.