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Looking for more creative inspiration?

I am continuing my theme of “inspiration for more creativity” from my last blog. There may never be more unique artistry created than in animal’s eyes. These detailed photos of animal’s eyes are captured using macro photography. We can try to match the colors and details of nature’s diversity–but can we ever truly be as successful? Maybe not, but we sure can try! Be listening to your: “heart voice,” “head voice” and “gut voice” as you allow each photo to speak to you.

Special thanks to Suren Manvelyan, a professional Armenian photographer who specializes in animal eyes (some of his photos are shown below). His work is awesome!

MANDATORY BYLINE: PIC FROM JOEL SARTORE/NAT GEO STOCK/CATERS - (PICTURED: The eye of a Veiled Chameleon.) - What a sight! These are the eye opening images which capture the beauty in the eyes of the animal kingdom. The colourful pictures show the intricate differences and delicate detail of a variety of animal eyes. From the eye of a tiger or a tree frog to the eyes a penguin or a parrotfish, the close up images were taken by a series of photographers who certainly dont have a lack of vision SEE CATERS COPY Pic taken 13/11/2006.

Eye of a chameleon (National Geographic)


Cayman eye (alligator/crocodile family) by Suren Manvelyan


Llama eye, by Suren Manvelyan


Thornback-ray fish by Suren Manvelyan
Gurnard fish by Suren Manvelyan
Iguana eye

Tarsier (nocturnal primate SE Asia)

My kitty pet : Shu! Hope that brings me good luck! Also is quite hard to shot a macro picture to a cat's eye, they never stand still!

Domestic cat eye by Gabriel Burns


Leopard blue eye
Peacock mantis shrimp eye by Steve De Neef
And which animal in our animal kingdom has THE MOST EYES?

Common Name: lined chiton, Scientific Name: Tonicella lineata, Magnification: 1.2x

Chiton eyes by David Liittschwager

The answer might surprise you– its the chiton, a type of mollusk. It is an ocean dweller and has thousands of eyes embedded in shells on their backs. Most scallop species also have dozens to hundreds of eyes, as do ark clams and giant clams.

I don’t know about you but I am incredibly inspired by the creativity of these animal eyes, each exquisitely unique. It is a privilege to experience the extreme biodiversity of our God given planet earth! Next time you see any kind of interesting animal, take a closer look at their eyes… they are bound to inspire you in surprising ways. The neon amber eyes of my weimaraners certainly do.

How are you inspired by these animal’s eyes? Which one(s) inspire you the most– from your head, heart and gut perspective?

Thanks for reading my post. I am an organizational and business consultant living in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico with my husband and dogs. My core message of everyone is creative resonates with people of all ages and walks of life. I invite all to become the best version of themselves in my book and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests.

Love Copper? Mezmerizing pictures show how it is mined

These pictures help us comprehend the scale of open-pit extraction with aerial photographs. These pits are dug by machines– “bucket-wheel excavators”, nearly five times the size of a titanosaur (largest dinosaur); they rip up the surface and gradually descend. Once the copper is extracted, waste products stream out as tailings, creating snaking tributaries that oxidize psychedelically in open air. These excavators leave ledges as they go down, creating a succession of ‘‘benches”. The Chino Mine, in my home state of N.M., has been excavated for over 100 years and is two miles across and 1,350 feet down. It’s an amphitheater built around an abyss, very popular on TripAdvisor, with comments like “you’ve got to be kidding!!!”


Disbelief seems to be the universal response to open-pit mines. Photographer Edward Burtynsky says, ‘‘I look for the biggest mines in the world.’’ These photographs, shot in Arizona (below) and New Mexico in 2012 are some of the continent’s largest copper mines. The Morenci Mine (below), will produce 900 million pounds of copper every year for the next five years.




The earth is reshaped radically. Burtynsky reveals how surreal, multicolored, carved up and drastic the newly patterned landscape is. Like it or not, this is how we get our copper that serves our hi-tech world!


Welcome to the Industrial Revolution, 150 years in the making. This is part of how we have reshaped our planet Earth.


There’s copper in our mobile phones, PC’s (“average” desktop computer has about 4.85 pounds of copper), appliances, cars, and inside the walls of our homes. ‘‘If you feel revulsion to this landscape,’’ this photographer says, ‘‘you should have a revulsion to your whole life.’’


If we are awed by these pictures, you can only imagine how the excavator driver feels as he or she descends into the deep and deeper abyss.


There may be no getting to the bottom of this... how we feel about it and at the same time our appetite (the world’s) for more technology is insatiable… which requires more copper extraction and devastation to the earth (depending on how you see it).

Thank you for reading my post. I share a story about how our community managed the “fracking company” when they came to our town insisting on “fracking undeveloped potential” in our neighborhoods (an unregulated activity at the time). We collaboratively worked together to create a state of the art oil & gas ordinance for our county. You can read about that in my book.

I am an organizational and business consultant living in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico with my husband and dogs. My core message of everyone is creative resonates with people of all ages and walks of life. I invite all to become the best version of themselves and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests.

Prominent Creativity contributors

Some of you have asked me which creativity contributors did I incorporate into my book?

HistoryofCreativityThere is a long history of major contributors to the subject of creativity. Here is a condensed timeline from 1870 to present (provided by Johnson Wong of Singapore).

It took me about 6 years to write this book and intensive, extensive research along the way. The book kept morphing itself through the years into what it wanted to become. I have studied all of these creativity masters on the timeline. I found the earliest thinkers, such as Wallas’ and Rhodes’ groundbreaking work to be the most important to the three centers of intelligence. I incorporated Wallas Graham’s (Art of Thought), Mel Rhodes (4 P’s of creativity) and Csikszentmihalyi ‘s (“Flow” model) fairly deeply into my book.

Given we have three intelligence centers, which serve as sources for our creativity, from this comes my model: there are six kinds of natural creative patterns flowing from them. I think most revealing in my book are the unique stories of the characters/exemplars and diverse case studies where I apply the three centers model/analysis over their lifetimes. I take a long view when it comes to creativity.

I illustrate these six natural patterns in creative icons including: Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, King Solomon, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Meryl Streep, Antonio Gaudi, Wayne Gretzky, Jackson Pollock, Craig Ventor, St. Peter, Navy seals, Eckhart Tolle, Oprah, Jane Fonda, Gandhi, President Lincoln, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mother Teresa, McCartney & Lennon, Seinfeld, Johnny Cash, Lance Armstrong, Eleanor Roosevelt, King David, and more. Diverse? Yes. Each pattern plays out quite differently for each. We learn about these characters’ creative failures and breakthroughs… it was a real privilege to study them, they became my friends in the process.

Who is your favorite creativity icon and which of these six natural creative patterns do they most exemplify? If you aren’t sure, explore these patterns in my book. ThreeSources

Taking a risk means discomfort, not danger

A goldfish jumping out of the water to escape to freedom. White background.

How do you think about risk? Do images of hang gliding or dying on Mount Everest come to mind? Does it mean an activity where one false move can mean death for you?  The truth is risk doesn’t need to involve danger. Risk can also be defined as the intentional interaction with uncertainty. “Uncertainty is a potential, unpredictable, unmeasurable and uncontrollable outcome; risk is a consequence of action taken in spite of uncertainty” says Wikipedia. Risk can be defined as “activities with uncertain outcomes.”

The ability to take calculated risks is an essential human trait, crucial to our development. Our risk-taking ancestors were the successful survivors who took chances to adapt to their changing environment. And today, the same principle applies, “To grow, we need to experience challenges — whether we’re 4, 14, or 40” says psychologist Michael Ungar. I’d add–until our dying breath.

Facing things that make us uncomfortable has advantages, whether we succeed or fail: we become more emotionally resilient, confident, satisfied, and engaged with life. We don’t have to parachute from a plane (thank God!) to reap the benefits of taking risks. Choosing to be creative everyday means taking some risk. Any time we pay attention to areas of our life that feel challenging, lacking or intriguing to us– we can choose to take some risk. Whether that means being open to the universe to find a new mate after a divorce or to change our artistic medium in order to better express ourselves on an easel. We embrace the adventure of uncertainty. “Do one thing every day that scares you,” Eleanor Roosevelt said.

Will taking a risk cause anxiety? Yes!yourcomfortzone.053

Researcher Hans Selye found there are actually two kinds of stress: Distress is a negative stress and eustress is a positive stress. “Eustress,” or healthy anxiety motivates or focuses our energy. Healthy anxiety is “just right” anxiety; the kind we need to be creative. Too much anxiety becomes toxic to our performance, paralyzing it. Too little anxiety is toxic as well, as it puts us in an “I’m bored” state. So the level of risk we choose to take should include “just right” anxiety for us. This will look different for you than it does for me, but for both of us, it will involve a “stretch” from our head, heart or gut center (or all three).

Pioneer Danish philosopher, and father of existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard explains in his 1844 treatise that anxiety is the dizzying effect of freedom, of paralyzing possibility, of the boundlessness of one’s own existence. He writes, “Anxiety is altogether different from fear and similar concepts that refer to something definite, whereas anxiety is freedom’s actuality as the possibility of possibility.”


We intuitively know that our best learning occurs just beyond our comfort zone from our heart, head or gut perspective. That’s what happened to me when I left my corporate job after 19 years. I had to take a big risk, relinquish the golden handcuffs, and take a leap of faith into the deep unknown. Through the process I discovered more passions: living off the grid in the mountains, building a rustic cabin, trail running on old mining paths and meeting my soul mate whom I would marry. There is always a sense of satisfaction that emerges from trying something entirely new and proving ourselves to be capable of the task. Creativity is born!

Perhaps the coolest benefit of taking a risk is that it’s simply fun. Neuroscientists explain this bliss with biochemistry: New, challenging, and risky activities trigger the release of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter that’s part of the brain’s reward system. Call risk taking the ultimate antidote to boredom. It’s the best way (I am aware of) to wake up and feel fully alive. We can have a say in our destiny—by taking a risk– versus being dominated by our circumstances. Indeed every chance we take teaches us something about ourselves and leads us mysteriously along our long term creative path.

Any risks you’ve taken you’d like to share– that reaped you benefits? Happy risk taking.

Thank you for reading my post. I am an organizational and business consultant living in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico with my husband and dogs. I enjoy hiking and high desert gardening. My core message of everyone is creative resonates with people of all ages and walks of life. I invite all to become the best version of themselves and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests.

Read more in my book: The Three Sources of Creativity: Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut



Can organizations be creative too?

Have you ever been at a corporate off-site or other workshop/offering where the result of the initiative fell flat? The intent was good; but there were no new meaningful insights. It was scheduled rather than organic. Our brains had time to predict the future, and the potential for novelty disappeared. Transplanting the same mix of people to a different location, even an exotic one, then dropping them into a “new” conference room usually doesn’t work. No, new insights usually only come from new people, new environments, and new incubations; any circumstance where the brain can’t predict what will happen next. In short, by creating paradigm shifts in our three centers of intelligence: our heads, hearts and guts.

It is possible for employees, supervisors and managers to “wire” creativity into their organizations by drawing upon the three centers of intelligence. But do organizations have heads, hearts and guts? Resoundingly– yes they do! Organizational cultures reflect back the top people driving them. You can learn more in my new book. I include diverse case studies such as, Apple Corp, Exxon/Mobil Corp, Saddleback Church and more.

Photo entries from the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Each year the Sony World Photography Awards opens up a competition for photographers worldwide ( Every year the entries are breath taking and eye opening. I’ve posted below some 2015 competition entries… Here are 7 of the best photos from the open category, which is open to novice, youth, and professionals. Which of these are you most drawn to? What does your head, heart and gut (uniquely) say about your favorites?

The one I’m most drawn to is first. Orangutan In The Rain. I can feel the misty rain in my body center (and it feels warm and soothing), my heart center melts, loves this sweet little guy and my head center is drawn in by his ingenuity. These are three distinct messages from each of my intelligence centers regarding this photo.

Orangutan In The Rain Indonesia-based Photographer Andrew Suryono shares of his magical photo, “I saw this Orangutan took a banana leaf and put it on top on his head to protect himself from the rain!” What is your head, heart, and gut reaction(s) to this photo?sony-world-photography-awards-entries-2015-1








Times Are Hard For Dreamers by Malaysian-based photographer Ahmad Zikri Mohamad Zuki captured this photo of a woman suspended in a whirlwind of feathers. What is your head, heart, and gut reaction(s) to this photo?


The Morning Ritual by Photographer Nick Ng from Malaysia took this photo in Kolkata, India where locals gather early in the morning to bathe in the Hooghly River. What is your head, heart, and gut reactions?


The Trace Of An Ancient Glacier by Miquel Ángel Artús Illana took this photo of the one road that ribbons throughout Denali, a six million acre stretch of wild land. The photo was taken in Autumn to highlight the remarkable landscape and vast array of colors. What is your head, heart, and gut reaction(s) to this photo?


“Hi… Who Are You?” by Georg May from Germany submitted his photo of a curious Blue Tit bird checking out its reflection in the water. What is your head, heart, and gut reaction(s) to this photo?


Hamer Man by Diego Arroyo Mendez of Spain captured this photo of a Hamer man collecting wood in Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia. With the wood the man planned to build a defensive fence for cattle. What is your head, heart, and gut reaction(s) to this photo?


Timeless Affection by Arief Siswandhono, the girl in the picture is her daughter, Fina. Fina was once terrified of cats, but after her parents adopted 2 kittens her life was changed. Fina now considers the cats her best friends. What is your head, heart, and gut reaction(s) to this photo?


 Isn’t it interesting the different messages our three intelligence centers relay to us about each picture?







Can we steal Carli Lloyd’s mental creativity trick?

symbolic-human-headWe were awed by Carli Lloyd scoring three goalsin just 16 minutes— this past summer, inspiring her team to win the World Cup against rival Japan. She was also the first woman to score a “hat trick” in a World Cup final. Did you see and feel her intense focus? What was her secret? According to Lloyd, it’s mental visualization.

She takes time for intense meditation before each game to visualize various positive scenarios. She even visualizes how many goals she will score. After Sunday’s game, Lloyd told The New York Times that she visualized scoring four goals in the World Cup Final (and she almost made that 4th one). She said that she was so in the mental zone at the start of the game that “I feel like I blacked out for the first 30 minutes or so.” After the game she said she was not physically exhausted, but mentally exhausted.

Besides curiosity, our head center intelligence is powerful in visual thinking, another fruit paramount to our creativity. Athletes, businesspersons, and artists use a futuristic creative visualization. The Oxford dictionary defines visualize as “to form a mental image of, imagine; Example, it is not easy to visualize the future.”

It may not be easy to visualize the future, but this practice has been sharpened and polished for decades. Creative visualization seeks to influence ultimate outcomes by disciplining one’s thoughts, rehearsals, and expectations. It is frequently used to enhance performance. We use our imagination to visualize specific behaviors or events occurring in our life before they actually occur. This means creating a detailed plan, a mental pattern, of what we specifically desire. Then we visualize it over and over again with all of our senses. What do you see? Hear? Touch? Taste? Smell?

Other famous people have endorsed the use of creative visualization and claim it was significant to their success. Arnold Schwarzenegger says, “When I was very young I visualized myself being and having what it was I wanted… Before I won my first Mr. Universe title, I walked around the tournament like I owned it. The title was already mine. I had won it so many times in my mind that there was no doubt I would win it.” In 1987 actor Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for ten million dollars. He dated it Thanksgiving 1995 and added the notation, “For acting services rendered.” He visualized it for eight years and in 1994 he received $10 million for his role in the movie Dumb and Dumber.

Thank you for reading my post. I am an organizational and business consultant living in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico with my husband and dogs. I enjoy hiking and high desert gardening. My core message of everyone is creative resonates with people of all ages and walks of life. I invite all to become the best version of themselves and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests.

Read more in my new book: The Three Sources of Creativity: Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut

“Create fun and a little weirdness”

Zappos, the online merchant best known for shoes, is following a radical self-management system called Holacracy. The goal of Holacracy is to create a dynamic workplaceZAPPOS-JP3-blog427 where everyone has a voice and bureaucracy doesn’t stifle innovation. So, the traditional corporate hierarchy is gone. Managers no longer exist!  “The company’s 1,500 employees define their own jobs. Anyone can set the agenda for a meeting. To prevent anarchy, processes are strictly enforced” (NYT, 7-17-15).

Tony Hsieh, 41, runs Zappos and is insisting that the company adopt Holacracy. His youthful work force displays tattoos and a casual dress code. Stuffed animals and sound-emitting sculptures (designed by the Blue Man Group) line the walls. The corporate charter motto is “Create fun and a little weirdness.” Many companies have adopted “fun” work environments. But NO MANAGERS– this is more than “a little weird”– this is a super bold move!

Will it work?

These days, Mr. Hsieh has an even bigger job, to quell the doubters. Needless to say this paradigm-changing project has not proceeded smoothly. “Two years into Holacracy, Zappos is no workplace utopia.” In place of a traditional organizational chart Holocracy uses concentric circles of responsibility. “Employees get to choose which circles they belong to and what projects they work on… At meetings, “tensions” are resolved. People don’t have one job; they have multiple “roles.” “Lead links” are designated to communicate between circles. The lowest-paid workers have a voice. “A person who just takes phone calls can propose something for the entire company… It’s empowering everybody to have the same voice.”

However, others say the ever-expanding number of circles and the endless meetings are a drain on productivity. “Priorities are shifting, and no one, not even Mr. Hsieh, is sure how to pay people at a company with no job titles and fluid roles.” Still Mr Hsieh is adamant about trying this approach; he is antithetical. He works for just $36,000 a year and forgoes stock options “in exchange for the autonomy to run Zappos however he sees fit.” He gave his employees a radical choice, embrace Holacracy or accept a buyout.

What do you think about this organizational approach? Any hope for it working?

I say hooray for Mr. Hsieh creatively experimenting with a “manager-not” work force. Since when has business deemed it inappropriate to experiment with organizational structure? Why such fear? His company is still operating… likely this grand experiment will lead to some mighty profitable learning. My guess is the end result will be a fluid entrepreneurial “hybrid” organizational model. Yes, modification will be necessary. Isn’t that what learning is all about? May the “force” of the creative work force be with you– and Mr. Hsieh– always!

Thank you for reading my post. I am an organizational and business consultant living in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico. My core message of everyone is creative resonates with people of all ages and walks of life. I invite all to become the best version of themselves and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests.

Read more in my new book: The Three Sources of Creativity: Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut

Meditation for creativity?

cleaningladies2When I admit to some people that I don’t meditate, they can be taken aback, like “are you kidding, how can you live like that?” NYT’s blogger Adam Grant recently admitted to this and that it does not work for him (Can We End the Meditation Madness? Oct. 2015). He said, “I have nothing against it. I just happen to find it dreadfully boring.” Three cheers for Adam– because I do too!

There are other ways to reduce anxiety, and stress and become more “mindful”– living in the present moment. We are creative and execute our creativity only in the present moment. People meditate to become more mindful and are more likely to focus their attention in the present after meditating. If it is not for you (or me), what are other techniques to get present, in order to get creative?

There is a universal growth process (UGP) embraced throughout the world in different traditions. The UGP I use interweaves five aspects or “5As” of awareness, acceptance, appreciation, action, and adherence. The 5As can be used to enhance your creativity. I learned this process during a master’s coaching certification process. I modify this UGP approach by framing it with the three centers of intelligence.

Mindfulness practices are sometimes belittled as navel-gazing and a waste of time. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a proven tool. It de-stresses the mind and opens/prepares us to be more creative; we know this through brain imaging. It is practiced strategically in the business world. The US $131 billion internet company Google Inc. (2014) is very serious about mindfulness training for their employees. We’d be foolish to not leverage this technique. It’s not just for bald people in funny robes living in mountains, or small groups of New Age folks. We can ”practice awareness” for the goal of being confidently creative. We don’t hit a target that we don’t aim for!

By learning this process, you’ll be able to listen individually to each of your three centers of intelligence and gain their information. This helps us to consciously shift  to their higher fruit—all by using self-observation. Learn more about this Growth Process in my book.



Is Creativity Lodged in Only Half our Brain?

BCLOGOrevised3One thing science knows for sure is there is no such thing as pure left/right brain dichotomy. “Creativity does not involve a single brain region or single side of the brain.” The five-stage process (from preparation to verification) consists of many interacting brain processes (both conscious and unconscious) and emotions. Depending on the stage of the creative process, different brain regions are recruited to handle the task.

The emphasis on hemispheric dominance is a misapplied story. It shows how a grain of truth in science can get blown out of proportion into a pseudoscientific industry. You’ve heard this myth. It says the left hemisphere of the brain is strictly logical, deductive, mathematical, etc., while the right hemisphere is strictly artistic, visual, and imaginative. The idea stems at least partly from the classic studies of split-brain patients performed in the 1960s. It isn’t that simple. Google left brain/right brain and you’ll get 74 million results; an entire self-help industry grew out of applying a misconstrued understanding. It is another one of the many lingering myths about our brains.

So don’t get suckered into personality programs hawking “right brained” thinking to increase your creativity. A 2010 study published in Psychological Bulletin reviewed all the neuroscience research on creative thinking (included seventy-two experiments) and found no good evidence for the pop-culture idea of the right side of the brain being more involved in “creative thinking.” This was also true for the “divergent thinking” theory of creativity. Recent studies indicate that creativity results from the “dynamic interactions of distributed brain areas operating in large-scale networks.” This leads us back to the three centers of intelligence: doing, thinking, and feeling. Read more in my book.