Sunday, September 4, 2016

BlogTracks: You Dig, Dig, Dig. What Have You Got There? Gold!

Welcome to BlogTracks! Click on the links for a multimedia experience of sight and sound to inspire, motivate, and elevate your creativity and storytelling energy.

I received a double rainbow during a nap in what I think was a dream even though I felt like I was awake. Now this is quite fascinating to me because I’ve been viewing and listening to a song titled “Wishery” (a remix of a song from Walt Disney’s Snow White that I discovered through one of the Facebook groups. This led me to thinking about mining for gold within myself and others as a healing artist. The gold nuggets I’m talking about are mental, emotional, physical, electromagnetic and spiritual energy that can yield treasure in many forms.

I don’t know about you, but for many years I have loved the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” made famous by Judy Garland singing it in the film, The Wizard of Oz. It taught me to believe I had to travel over it to get to “the pot of gold” to transmute and transform the stress and troubles of my life to beauty, peace, and tranquility. It seemed so far away, so way up high, too high, and how do I get to it?

It took me gently digging into my self with a master healer as my guide to discover the answer that I had forgotten: I AM the rainbow. The rainbow that exists above also exists below: the rapture of the double rainbow – the rainbow of love. Every person is a living rainbow to me, the manifestation of the rainbow light here on earth, and can come to believe that they are the true Wiz of their life. I don’t want to get into a conflict with any fans of leprechauns, but I am proof that the pot of gold is not over the rainbow but instead within me. Those nuggets and gems are within each of us, ready to be accessed, retrieved, revealed in the hidden places in our minds, physical and energy forms, hearts and spirits when we are ready to awaken, heal, and live the lives we dare to dream.

Music artists: Judy Garland, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Tania Maria, Lena Horne, and Keith Jarret.

As the disabled child Tiny Tim says in the book, "A Christmas Carol", written by Charles Dickens: "God bless us, Everyone!"

Valerie

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Creator's Corner: Lies and Storytelling: Strange Bedfellows in Shades of Gray


LIAR! 

WHO HASN'T HAD TO ENTER INTO AN ALMOST DAILY RELATIONSHIP WITH LIES IN OUR POLITICAL CLIMATE TODAY as we countdown to choosing our next president of the United States of America (#45).

"HE'S LYING!" "SHE'S LYING!" THE WORDS LIAR AND LYING KEEP BEING BANTERED, TOSSED, HURLED, yelled and spat. My ear distinguishes them in the cacophony of words used by guest panelists on CNN.

SOMETIMES IT'S SPOKEN IN A SUBDUED MANNER BY POLITICAL AND MEDIA WORDSMITHS. FOR SOME REASON when I hear it the child in me starts thinking--well, really singing in my head: "Liar, liar, pants on fire."

THOSE WHO LIE GET SPANKED IN A VARIETY OF WAYS NOW (OR NOT), but we'll have to wait until November to learn who receives the final punishment. Unfortunately, lies are often hurtful and harmful; yet, this leads me to share my thoughts and an experience about the relationship between lies and storytelling.

(Photo Source: Video Capture)

Column Inspiration:

CREATIVITY AND IMAGINATION ARE THE BEDROCK OF GREAT LIES, TALL TALES; OTHERWISE KNOWN AS STORYTELLING. In fact, during my childhood, my mother wouldn't say stop lying to me as much as she would say: "Stop telling stories!" Or perhaps I just want to remember it that way because it's more palatable to me; and therefore, my recollection is fiction.

IS IT LYING IF I HAVE NO IDEA WHICH STORY IS REAL? If I just can't remember? Do the best storytellers know the difference? Does it matter? Is there an ethics to storytelling? Depends on the context or situation? Yes. No. Maybe So. So we say.

AS A CHILD, I LEARNED LYING CAN CARRY SOME HARSH REPERCUSSIONS OF THE KARMIC VARIETY. Mom would ask me who took those cookies after she told us (my three siblings) not to touch them. My favorite answer was: "I don't know." I don't know was an invisible entity in our household who did the things to which none of us wanted to admit. I couldn't resist oatmeal cookies (and I have a pack that I really don't need right now).

ONE DAY MY MOTHER PUT THE COOKIES HIGH UP IN THE CUPBOARD. AFTER SHE LEFT THE KITCHEN, I moved the step stool over to it, opened the cupboard, and reached behind the iron to get them. I knocked over the hot iron! It slid down my arm. I fell off the stool, and have a long, visible scar on my arm to this day. Storytelling usually doesn't carry such hurtful results.

I received an A+ from my peers (aka the press) for an expert complete and total fabrication . . . 

 

Convince People of the Nonexistent

MAKE UP A WORD THAT DOESN'T EXIST. CREATE A STORY AROUND THE WORD. GIVE A PRESS CONFERENCE CONCERNING IT. Use your co-workers, family or friends as the press. Make it a game. You have 20 minutes to prepare the story you are going to tell which is essentially a lie, not true, unreal.

IT'S NOT QUITE LIKE THE GAME "TO TELL THE TRUTH" WHERE THE AUDIENCE MUST GUESS WHO IS TRUTHFUL. Your audience already knows you're making it up: but judge whether you excel at telling a story so effectively that it appears believable. You have ten minutes to address the press, and the press has ten minutes to ask you questions.

(Photo Source: Panon | Shutterstock)

Column Inspiration:

I CAN'T REMEMBER IF IT WAS MY ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS OR THE ART OF PERSUASION COURSE. IT WAS DURING THE FIRST WEEK of the semester. At the end of 20 minutes, I received an A+ from my peers (aka the press) for an expert complete and total fabrication.

THEY WANTED TO TOUR THE FACILITIES BUILT THROUGH GOVERNMENT and investor partnerships where the serum to preserve jungle eco-systems was created! They fired questions at me like crazy, and I answered every one of them with confidence and ease:
  • Question: In which jungle in what country did you test the serum? How do you know it works in every jungle in the world?
  • Answer: We created huge greenhouse facilities here in the U.S. in Arizona, took a sample of every major plant species from each jungle, recreated each environment, we introduced the known variables to-date that serve as threats, and tested the serum for two years.

    We were meticulous and committed to almost a religious fervor in our efforts since our failure or success impacts our children, our children's children, who are our future. It would be incredibly monstrous and selfish for us as ancestors not to do everything we can to assure them healthy and safe environments.

Lies may indeed include reality but only as partial components, never pure truth. 


LIES CAN BE LITTLE WHITE ONES OR HUGE WHOPPERS. THEY CAN BE USED TO DECEIVE, INJURE, PERSUADE, REFLECT, RE-DIRECT OR PROTECT. THEY ARE FICTION (KNOWN OR UNKNOWN)? Lies may indeed include reality but only as partial components, never pure truth.  Stories can be short or epic, and they can be used to hurt, harm or manipulate. Are they used with an intent to deceive as are lies?

THE BEST STORIES ARE ENGAGING IN WAYS THAT HELP US EMPATHIZE WITH THE CHARACTERS AND/OR SUBJECTS (sometimes environments, conditions, attributes, and situations) so we can connect and care; become interested, inspired or motivated, or are moved to a powerful emotion or action (even inaction).

STORYTELLING CAN BE 100% FICTION (IMAGINATION) OR MIXED WITH ELEMENTS OF REALITY, or 100% non-fiction (truth, unlike lies) or mixed with elements of imagination (though kept secret in a lie of omission) in a multitude of creative forms that are ever expanding and bursting boundaries.

NOW TO USE all of this in a creative storytelling ways as part of the fabric of the human condition.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Best Storytelling Has Sensory Empathy (or It's Important to Engage the Senses), Get Up To Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling: On a Low Budget, Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin), The Joy is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible), Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life; Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending; Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie







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CREATOR'S CORNER is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine (as the editor/curator) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and storytelling as content for usage in arts & entertainment, media communications, marketing and advertising, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Creator's Corner: Best Storytelling Has Sensory Empathy (or It's Important to Engage the Senses)

I HAD THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CREATING VISUAL CONTENT (PUBLICATIONS, PACKAGING, AND SAFER SEX ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS) to help save the lives of men, women, and children at-risk for HIV/AIDS during the fours years that I worked at Gay Men's Health Crisis, Inc. in New York City, the oldest HIV/AIDS prevention, education and treatment organization in the United States.

ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING PROJECTS FOR ME WAS ART-DIRECTING A PHOTO SHOOT that required consulting and collaborating with sex industry workers to create packaging for a video: Prostitutes, Risk and AIDS.

One Image Worth So Many Individual Stories 


Photo Source: GMHC
I WAS AN OUTSIDER FULL OF IGNORANCE ABOUT THE VARIETY OF SEX WORKER LIFESTYLES, who feared what I didn't understand, and was reluctant therefore to empathize because my judgemental sensibility interfered with using my senses (i.e., of or relating to the senses)--connecting through the senses--to set the right scene, mood, and tone to tell the story. It was challenging for me to connect to the textual and sound context: the feel of a lacy bra as the sound of the crispness of the dollar bills were being tucked into it, while the other hand holds a limp used latex condom--human visceral reality engaged in a multi-sensory relationship foreign to me.

I HAD TO RELY ON THE WOMEN TO COME UP WITH THAT PERFECT IDEA TO CAPTURE THE STORY in one realistic image, in a sensory fashion, so that the various target audience segments (e.g., adult streetwalkers, high-class agency-based or independent workers, children on-the-street hustling, pornography film actors, etc.) would instantly recognize the safer sex message in a way that would attract, engage and persuade them to view the video inside the packaging. The video content encouraged them to use condoms to protect themselves and their customers. The stakes were high: lives needed to be saved.

DURING THE PHOTO SHOOT, I LEARNED A GREAT DEAL FROM THE SEX WORKERS ABOUT THE POWER OF VISUAL CONTENT. Today, I'm much more open to empathy as a valuable--and potential vital--path to tell a story that serves a goal, vision, intent, or specific outcome.

See Me, Feel Me, Hear Me, Touch Me, Taste Me (or Two Specific Ideas Featuring the Senses As the Main Attraction In Storytelling)


HERE ARE TWO ORIGINAL IDEAS for inspiration that use the sensory factor in creative storytelling:

TEXT, AUDIO, OR VIDEO CONTENT THAT FEATURES SOMEONE DEEPLY INHALING THE SCENT OF PLAY-DOH (or any piece of clay) can be useful as content (Read Creator's Corner: Here Comes Play-Doh!). This particular sense memory can lead us into an intimate relationship with a story--most likely something related to our childhood.

To put a different twist on it to engage in a different story relationship, consider a person snorting the scent of Play-Doh like it's cocaine. Different scenarios of the interaction will create entirely different relationships and feelings--comical or serious--depending upon the story direction and desired outcome.


(Photo Source: Flickr’s Valerie)
Column Inspiration:

SELLING JEWELRY? IMAGINE A STORY ABOUT A WOMAN FROM THE STONE AGE WHO FINDS SOMETHING WITH A VIBRANT SPARKLE ON THE GROUND.  She picks it up, smells it, listens for sound, throws it on the ground, picks it up again and bangs it against a rock; licks it, tries to bite it, rubs it against her skin--engages her senses in trying to understand this spectacular, unusual object. She is spellbound by how it glistens! We know it as a diamond bracelet. Next scene is a grandmother opening up a box of her keepsakes, selecting that bracelet among her precious belongings, and giving it as a gift to her daughter.



(Photo Source: Unknown)
Column Inspiration:

LET'S CREATE UNIVERSAL STORIES--OR NICHE ONES--ABOUT HOW WE ARE INTIMATELY BOUND TO SOMETHING, someone, some experience, and ourselves through our sensual relationships. Or perhaps, our story is about disconnection, and offers solutions to connect in ways we haven't experienced in a long time if ever.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Get Up To Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling: On a Low Budget, Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin), The Joy is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible), Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life; Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending; Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie







************

CREATOR'S CORNER is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine (as the editor/curator) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and storytelling as content for usage in arts & entertainment, media communications, marketing and advertising, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Creator's Corner Content Roundup (Everything We Need for Creativity & Storytelling Is Within Our Grasp)

IT'S TIME FOR A ROUND-UP OF  CREATOR'S CORNER FOR EASIER ACCESS TO THE CREATIVITY COACHING CONTENT HERE with a brief excerpt and link to each one (March 2016 to June 2016)--in the spirit of "Everything we need for creativity & storytelling success is within our grasp." Of course it may not be everything we need, however; between Creator's Corner and the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, there is a hearty helping.

Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes
 

I BEGAN WRITING CREATOR'S CORNER IN AN INFLUENCER, COACHING, INSPIRATIONAL CAPACITY to share original ideas and solutions for you to consider based on my own thoughts and experiences inspired by the curated content in the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine.

ALSO, THE ORIGINAL FOCUS OF THE MAGAZINE (LAUNCHED IN JANUARY 2016) was creativity and spirituality (that the title reflected), but I changed it to the current title beginning in June, due to embracing statistics on the content you consumed more than the rest.  I'll continue to shape-shift content and form as necessary versus trying to force-feed you some type of static, unchanging, traditional branding practice that stifles the unfolding of THIS story.
 

Creator's Corner Round-up (March-June 2016)
 

Get Up to Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling (On a Low Budget) - June 25, 2016 | In our world in which content is king/queen and we must use vital creativity and storytelling mojo, and provide it in ways that engage, inspire and energize our fellow humans, what can we do to achieve quality . . .

Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin) - June 5, 2016 | Breakout from traditional approaches and models despite potential flack that you might receive from doubters or critics who aren't as courageous, and/or fear conflict or change.

The Joy Is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible) - May 18, 2016 | What really kept me on the edge of my seat wasn't the mission getting accomplished or the end (though I was happy to get the payoff): it was everything that occurred prior to actually accomplishing it.




**YOUR TOP STORY**
Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life
- May 4, 2016 | Lisa Sanderson's dad taught the creative writing elective, and he drilled into our heads the following regarding story content: Write about what you know, what you are . . .


Religion, Spirituality -- Contrasting, Trending - April 19, 2016 | Creative breakthroughs often occur as the result of conflict in many aspects of the human experience. I feel like screaming again because conflict and contrast commands attention. They SHOUT and we. . .

Here Comes Play-Doh - April 6, 2016 | Certainly it's easy to see that Play-Doh can be used as content to attract and communicate with children in your particular business, project or service, but what about with adults? Many of us are familiar with Play-Doh because . . .

Sacred Geometry, Visual Storytelling Content: One of Top Four Creative Trends 2016 - March 27, 2016 | Sigils are sacred geometry symbol forms that the ancients considered to be the marks of angels, deities, and other powerful entities; they are archetype conduits that merge science, creativity and spirituality.



Card Decks and The Mystic or Visionary Persona - March 25, 2016 | Create a card deck as visual content to inform, educate, inspire, attract, promote, aesthetic (purely as art for arts sake ), or for fun and play to help achieve your goal or purpose.

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future)  

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie 


 
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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Creator's Corner: Get Up to Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling (On a Low Budget)

AS A VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS FACULTY MEMBER, I had the pleasure and privilege to help motivate senior undergraduate students and gain content for their portfolios by giving them concrete business experience through attracting, arranging, and art directing business-education partnerships with arts entrepreneurs, solopreneurs (filmmakers, musicians) and other business entities who had either no or low budgets to create and market their projects, products or services in tangible ways.

I CREATED AND SENT OUT BUSINESS-EDUCATION PROPOSALS TO POTENTIAL CLIENTS. The classes and I met with respondents either in person or via teleconference, worked out a contract, and then began the client's project as an in-class design competition with an agreed upon reward for the winning design (e.g., attendance at the film premiere, letter of recommendation, appropriate credit, etc.). All of this in service to helping an individual or business to attract and reach somebody (or many bodies) to respond in some way, shape or form.


(Source)
Column Inspiration:

IN OUR WORLD IN WHICH CONTENT IS QUEEN/KING AND WE MUST USE VITAL CREATIVITY AND STORYTELLING mojo and provide it in ways that engage, inspire and energize our fellow humans, what can we do to achieve quality in a timely, expeditious fashion? How can we get it done on a no to low budget if lacking the necessary financial resources to hire experts or take courses? What are some reliable solutions?

TAG YOU'RE IT! AND DAMN, YOU'RE GOOD.

  

AS GLENDA SAYS TO DOROTHY IN THE WIZARD OF OZ, "YOU ALWAYS HAD THE POWER TO GO HOME." You can do it yourself. You can do it with a small group of family, friends, co-workers, employees, who want to have a creative and unique experience by telling a story. Remember that we are living in the age of sharing our personal perspectives, visions, images, opinions in raw (unpolished) forms with others who are ready and willing to read, listen, view, engage, and often respond in harmony with our intention.

(Source)
Column Inspiration:

BE AUTHENTIC, EXPERIMENT, KEEP IT SHORT, AND HAVE FUN. You or your posse only need to make it happen. Tell your individual or collective stories, and start with what's happening in your world in ways in which others can identify, relate, be educated, or react (Read Creator's Corner column titled Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life). If you decide there's something missing and it's not quite ready for prime time, you can use your creation as concept material to pass along to someone who can realize it for you.

Column Inspiration:
    Wait, what. from Photon Harvest on Vimeo.

"Leaning In"
(Writing Prompt)
USE WRITING PROMPTS AND GIVE YOURSELF 15-MINUTES TO CREATE THE STORY. This will work for anything that is on your work plate. Mainly because you won't be using your analytical, "I-have-to-be-in-control-and-do-this-perfectly" left-brain that can sabotage your intuitive, creative flow channel. Besides, you've already done that part with whatever you have before you that requires the creativity solution.

YOU CAN CHOOSE A WRITING PROMPT THAT DIRECTLY RELATES TO YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE, or use words that have nothing to do with it at all and see what magic (meaning something wonderful appearing that wasn't there before) transpires. You can create a few prompts for the same project or service as well. If you're happy with the result(s): great! If not, pass what you have along as concepts to someone else to produce the final product. (For inspiration, read Leaning In and Back Up the Truck.)

Don’t make it a full story. Make it a taste of a story leaving the audience wanting more. -- Shant Hamassian

GIVE SENIOR TALENTED STUDENTS FROM YOUR ALMA MATER (OR ANOTHER UNIVERSITY) THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP YOU SUCCEED AND VICE VERSA. Reach out to the appropriate department chair--creative writing, filmmaking, digital media, visual communications, music, art--and let them know that you would like to work with a faculty member to collaborate on a business-education project. If you prefer, you can request that the chair recommend a talented student for an independent study on your project for which she/he will get a review and college credits (in addition to any other rewards you want to offer). It's a win-win relationship.

THESE ARE A FEW SUGGESTED IDEAS TO GET YOU ON YOUR WAY. I hope you find value in this column (and the new focus of the 'Zine from spirituality TO storytelling in response to your interests), and will visit the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine for much more content I've curated to help you succeed in your new (or continuing role) as a creator and storyteller for your product, project, business or service.

Creator's Corner is a regular column in the 'Zine. Subscribe to receive the full issue of each publication direct by email at the magazine.

1) Content Inspiration:
What are the Keys to Writing a Good Short Film Script?

2) Content Inspiration: Struggling with Your Content Marketing? Create Because You Care

3) Content Inspiration: How to Shoot a Short in One-Hour

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and storytelling support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin), The Joy is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible), Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life; Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending; Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie







************

CREATOR'S CORNER is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Storytelling 'Zine (as the editor/curator) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and storytelling as content for usage in arts & entertainment, media communications, marketing and advertising, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What's In Or On Your Bedside Table? Objects As Storytelling Content

Image Credit: decozt.com
EVERY OBJECT WE UTILIZE IN LIFE HAS A STORY TO TELL ABOUT US, OR REFLECTS WHO WE ARE or what we value—past, present and future. (As Sherlock Holmes says, “It’s elementary.”) Some stories we want to hear, and some, perhaps not.

A REVIEW OF SOME OF THE EVERYDAY ITEMS THAT WE RARELY CONSIDER as we rush about our lives can also inspire a valuable journey to self-discovery. It’s a way to get in touch with ourselves, our relationships, our environment and structures we have created.

JOIN ME IN SURVEYING SOME OF THE SIMPLE OBJECTS most of us take for granted that can serve as storytelling and other content creation resources. I will take a close look at one of them.

THE OBJECT WILL TELL IT'S OWN STORY ABOUT WHY I HAVE IT or how it impacts my life. I’ll let the item do the talking to keep me honest about our relationship. I invite you to try this creative exercise as well.

1. A BOX OF TISSUES

I am almost empty. Val has had sinus problems for a long time. The worst is when she develops sinusitis. This happens because she ingests things into her body that weakens her immune system: dairy products, sugar, some caffeine, and products with monosodium glutamate. Today, her sinuses are revolting and pain is their way of communicating to her, of saying: “Change your habits!”

Her respiratory system has had huge challenges with two pneumonia bouts. The last one occurred in Cusco, Peru. It’s a miracle she’s alive. She had severe pulmonary edema with her lungs full of water and the liquid seeping into her brain. The clinic director said: “If your friend hadn’t called this morning when she did, you’d be dead. In another 30 minutes you would have died.” Actually, she did die.

Image Credit: blog.toiletpaperworld.com
Sometime in the evening, Val was in the crossing over tunnel. Her mother (who died in 1979), her maternal grandmother, and an extremely bright Being whose face she could not see, were at the end. She was so happy to see her mother and grandmother again and ready to join them. Without moving their mouths--speaking consciousness to consciousness--they told her she had to return. The Being put an incredible amount of light into her body. When she opened her eyes, her friend was in her room telling Val she was calling for help immediately.

The clinic director rushed over to the hotel in which she was staying and drove her to the clinic. The doctors put her in a hyperbaric chamber because her oxygen level had dropped to the low thirties. A normal level is in the 90s. Val has anemia. Cusco is 13,000 feet above sea level and her blood couldn’t make enough oxygen.

Although she is reaching for me tonight, I must say she has made changes so she doesn’t need to use me very often. She’s sworn off two drains on her immune system: alcohol and cigarettes. Plus, she almost only uses Yacon honey & syrup (a low-calorie, low-blood sugar sweetener for diabetics and weight-watchers she discovered in Peru), uses Almond beverage and goat’s milk, and minimizes caffeine intake. 

Image Credit: savvysistershops.com
Her greatest enemy is her love for sugar-producing carbohydrates (the “bad” carbs) she eats for comfort food, or just because it’s a hard pattern to break. Also, she loves sour cream mixed with Lipton Onion Soup to make a dip that complements her favorite potato chips, Lays Classic. The soup mix has monosodium glutamate. Also, she’s prone to binges of putting cheddar cheese in her morning grits and making grill cheese sandwiches.

Sinus problems are a symptom of deeper issues—emotional ones. She was abused as a child, and it left an imprint on her. It says: “You’re not worthy. You’re not good enough. You aren’t a person to value.” Sometimes these feelings rear up—even though she’s worked hard against them, knowing they are not true. 

The more she eradicates the harmful programming she received as a child, the less she’ll need to eat things that feed the sinus problems. She’s doing more work on the inside to affect her outside choices.

She uses me to wipe her tears too; although lately, she wipes her tears with her fingers and rubs them into her skin where her heart resides.

See what I mean about how one ordinary object can be used as a storytelling resource, and has the capacity to impact a life? Here are the rest of the items:

  1. The book, “The Secret.”
  2. The book, “Messages from Your Angels.”
  3. A hand-painted, black lacquer jewelry box my dad brought home to my mother after serving in the military in Okinawa.
  4. A digital microcassette recorder.
  5. A remote for my DVD/VHS player.
  6. A small, white box with pearl earrings inside.
  7. My Zrii notebook.
  8. A maroon cloth napkin with a pattern of tiny white roses.

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN. What’s on YOUR bedside table?

Note: The “What’s In or On Your Bedside Table” is an idea inspired by a dream I had in February 2009. I was a guest in the audience of the game show, “Let’s Make a Deal.” Audience members were offered a deal if we could find the requested object in our pocketbooks. I don’t recall what object was requested, but I found it. Monty Hall, the host, picked out a piece of paper from a bag with the prize written on it. I won $37,000.75. I awakened.

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Creator's Corner: Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin)

DURING MY STUDIES WITH AN AMAZING HEALING ARTIST, ENTREPRENEUR AND AUTHOR (Eleanora Amendolora of Sacred Center for the Healing Arts)--who has spent many years among the Andean Quechua Indian people in Peru who are descendants of the ancient Incans--I discovered their practical and spiritual relationship to AYNI (or reciprocity, exchange) in their culture.

THEY HAVE A DEEP ENDURING BELIEF IN AND VALUE THEIR CREATOR AS A MODEL OF GENEROSITY who cares for them. They offer and practice Ayni (reciprocity, exchange) as a form of gratitude and respect for the creative and abundant ways in which their Patchamama (Great Mother) provides and meets their living needs. They view Ayni as the basis for a peaceful and sustainable society. It is divine living, an intrinsic value component of their society. There is no take, take, take without giving back. It's unheard of. (Discover more about Ayni.)

Image Credit: EveryVowel.com
  Column Inspiration:

ANYI IN THE MIDST OF OUR CREATIVE RELATIONSHIPS 


AS A TEENAGER IN HIGH SCHOOL IN MRS. JONES' ENGLISH CLASS where I learned and discovered my love for English Composition and Writing, I remember being excited by all the articles and books I read to prepare for reports on a variety of subjects. There were many times that I wanted to lift some of what was written to include in my reports, but would quickly shake it off hearing her voice saying: You must not plagiarize. The work of others is copyrighted. You must not copy and write anyone's word's as your own. If you do, it is stealing. If you steal, you will get an F. Still, I was tempted and had to fight my demon, driven more by fear than good conduct.

We'll look back at how the Internet allowed us to swipe from anywhere and any era. --Jon Youshaei

SOME YEARS LATER AS A EDITOR, GRAPHIC DESIGNER AND ART DIRECTOR, I ALWAYS KEPT A FOLDER OF TYPOGRAPHY AND PHOTOS cut out from magazines to inspire creative ideas for projects, always vigilant to get permission from the source if I wanted to use something that belonged to someone else, being certain to provide the credit due as per their instructions.

IN OUR CREATIVE GLOBAL LIFESTYLE CULTURE TODAY, WE ARE STILL REQUIRED TO HONOR COPYRIGHTED WORKS (in many situations) by securing the approval of the creators and adhering to their requirements for usage. We may use works for free that are in the public domain that meet certain time limit criteria or are of an unknown origin. We have resources like Creative Commons licenses in which the creators give us a variety of permission options to expand upon and provide use of their works by us.

Image Credit:
Chris Walter/WireImage/Getty Images
ALSO, WE HAVE A FORM OF AYNI--DIVINE LIVING IN PRACTICE TODAY BY BEYONCE, a top music industry professional. Her creative process includes taking and using existing content from others (dance, visual) and using it in her music videos. There is a new perspective in play now that doesn't view her actions as rip-off copy and paste behavior, but rather as copy with respect and taste (though everyone isn't in agreement just yet about it). So far it's working well for her with no lawsuits (unlike the band, Led Zeppelin, who had a lawsuit brought against them for the blockbuster song "Stairway To Heaven" by the band, Spirit--though the ruling was in Zeppelin's favor).
  

Image Credit: Getty Images
Column Inspiration:

BECOME A DIVINE LIVING SURREALITY OUTSIDER CREATIVE STORYTELLER


LET'S CONSIDER TAKING A PAGE FROM BEYONCE WHO IS OPEN AND HONEST ABOUT WHAT SHE TAKES FROM OTHERS, who focuses on doing whatever she can to include those from whom she takes in her projects (whether it's one person or many), and represents one who is a divine living surreal outsider creative storyteller.

WHAT STEPS DO WE TAKE OTHER THAN AYNI-DIVINE LIVING TO BECOME this new creative force to employ in our businesses, organizations, and projects? 
  • BREAKOUT FROM TRADITIONAL APPROACHES AND MODELS DESPITE POTENTIAL FLACK that you might receive from doubters or critics who aren't as courageous, and/or fear conflict or change. Demonstrate or develop your leadership qualities by becoming an outsider or rebel to stand out from the pack as an entrepreneur, solopreneur, mompreneur, life coach, spiritual coach, author, musician, screenwriter, singer-songwriter, content curator, content marketer, content strategist, marketing strategist, digital strategist, or whatever your role (Read Creator's Corner column titled Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending).

Image: Photo Babel/wearemb via Designboom
Column Inspiration:
 
  • REACHOUT (WHILE YOU'RE BREAKING OUT) TO STORYTELLERS  WHO ARE COMFORTABLE WITH CREATING SURREAL CONTENT (or research and develop your own content). Immerse yourself in The Twilight Zone of life to get your readers, viewers, clients, customers, fans, followers, friends, listeners engaged in experiencing your content through close encounters of sight, sound--and when practical--touch and aromas, to take them beyond the ordinary emotional, mental, physical and spiritual experiences to the extraordinary. (Read Creator's Corner column titled Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016)
WE ARE INDIVIDUALS OF THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE WHO LIVE IN A SHARED WORLD that reflects our values (or not); support innovation, imagination, and collaboration (or not); and some of us will chose to become divine living surreality outsider creative storytellers (or not). Whatever our choice, it's clear to me through all of the written and visual content I've been consuming and digesting, that we will either be behind the times, or be in step with the directions creativity and spirituality are already heading with or without us. 

1) Content Inspiration:
What Beyonce & Shakespeare Have In Common: A Key To Creativity

2) Content Inspiration: 2016 Creative In Focus, Our Visual Trend Report (Getty Images)

3) Content Inspiration: 12 Designy Toys To Spark Your Creativity


MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and spiritual support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Spirituality Magazine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Creator's Corner: Get Up to Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling (On a Low Budget); The Joy is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible), Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life; Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending; Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie







************

CREATOR'S CORNER is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Spirituality Magazine (as the editor) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and spirituality as content for usage in arts & entertainment, media communications, marketing and advertising, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Creator's Corner: The Joy Is in the Story Journey (or Mission Impossible)

ONE OF MY FAVORITE TELEVISION SERIES OF ALL TIME IS Mission Impossible that is also a successful film franchise starring Tom Cruise. If you're unfamiliar with it, basically, it revolves around a team of special covert agents who are given an extremely dangerous mission to accomplish within a tight time frame.

WHAT REALLY KEPT ME ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT WASN'T the mission getting accomplished or the end (though I was happy to get the payoff): it was everything that occurred prior to actually accomplishing it.  In effect, the joy for me was in the journey--that was the story! Or as David Byrne of Talking Heads sings in the song, Once In A Lifetime: Well, how did I get here?




 


WELL, HOW DID I GET HERE?

 
THE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE TEAM WERE MASTERS OF CREATIVITY serving a practical purpose; who were constantly aware, alert, mindful, paying intensive attention, and had to be as extremely close to perfect timing, synchronicity in order to make the impossible possible. How about you and I? Aren't we all in the same or similar story daily in one way or another?

Things are only impossible until they are not. --Jean Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation

ARE WE OPEN-MINDED ENOUGH TO EXPERIMENT WITH NEW ways to create art, content, ideas, marketing strategy, content strategy through mindfulness, intuitive knowing, spiritual synchronicity, or some channel we can't fully comprehend or explain as part of our story?

I WAS HIRED TO DESIGN THE ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, and was researching legal images, symbols, colors, sounds, words; and had two rough compositions based upon them to share at my first meeting. In the course of that week, I had been noticing windows over and over again. They kept drawing my attention. Why?  
 
John Steinbeck & His Children

THE NEXT TIME I SAT DOWN TO WORK, I DREW WINDOWS AND EXPLORED HOW WE USE THEM and what they represent. They allow those of us on the outside to look at what is occurring on the inside. Eyes have been described as windows to the soul. There's an intimacy associated with looking in on the activity of others. Windows are related to opportunities.

SO, I CREATED ONE MORE COMPOSITION WITH WINDOWS FLOATING AROUND a central window in which a man is having an intimate conversation with a young boy. The floating windows were colorful (like Microsoft Windows), and the central window was framed with legal columns. I decided to trust what was being visually communicated to me.

Spirituality means stepping back and clearing that channel you believe in. --Gabby Bernstein

I PRESENTED THE THREE COMPOSITIONS TO THE DECISION-MAKERS (THREE OF THEM), who immediately chose the one with the windows while exclaiming how well it fit the message content of and intention for that year's report: it focused on all the pro bono work they do (immigrants, domestic violence, child abuse, etc.), and they needed to attract lawyers to participate in their pro bono program (offering them opportunities to be of service). We had not conversed before the meeting about the theme of the annual report. It truly caused me to pause and begin opening up to more of these experiences.

WOW, WHAT STORIES WE HAVE TO TELL WHEN OUR EXPERIMENTS LEAD TO SUCCESS (the happy ending). No success? Sure there is in that we have opened ourselves up to more possibilities that may lead to more opportunities for something extraordinary to occur through that channel in which you may come to believe and experience the impossible as possible.


1) Content Inspiration: 3 Unthinkable Behaviors Behind Content Marketing

2) Content Inspiration: Creativity As Devotion

3) Content Inspiration: John Steinbeck on Writing, The Crucible of Creativity, and The Mobilizing Power of the Impossible

MAY YOU DISCOVER MORE CREATIVE ideas and spiritual support now (and in the future) by exploring the Creativity & Spirituality Magazine, and previous Creator's Corner columns: Creator's Corner: Get Up to Speed On Quality Do-It-Yourself Storytelling (On a Low Budget); Best Storytelling is Copied, Stolen Content? (Or The Lighter Shade of Led Zeppellin); Best Story Content Grounded In Our Past & Current Life; Religion, Spirituality--Contrasting, Trending; Card Decks & the Mystic or Visionary Persona, Here Comes Play-Doh, and Sacred Geometry--Visual Storytelling Content: One Of Top Four Creative Trends 2016.

Dare to shine, be generous, and love this life.

Valerie







************

CREATOR'S CORNER is dedicated to sharing ideas that come to mind after reading and selecting articles for The Creativity & Spirituality Magazine (as the editor) that may be useful in a professional or personal capacity. Interest in creativity and spirituality as content for usage in arts & entertainment, media communications, marketing and advertising, and as lifestyle choices for businesses, projects and services (groups that have a way of life that may or may not be included in their brand identity), can be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world covering a variety of professions.
“What if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative expression?” - See more at: http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf
“What if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative expression?” - See more at: http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf
“What if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative expression?” - See more at: http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf

What if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative expression?” - See more at: http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf
What if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative expression?” - See more at: http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf
What if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative expression?” - See more at: http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf
What if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative expression?” - See more at: http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf
What if we consider the possibility that a primary way we can experience the revelation of God’s mystery is through the process of our own creative expression?” - See more at: http://candler.emory.edu/news/blog/2016/05/creativity-as-devotion.html#sthash.EItCwnzQ.dpuf