Tag Archives: creativity

Do animals have feelings? Photos tell all

Charles Darwin was one of the first scientists to write about animals having emotions. He is considered the foremost revolutionary scientist and is revered by fellow scientists (like me). He believed animals felt emotions and that our human emotions evolved from them. Darwin wrote a book about this in 1872 called, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.

Long before the brilliant Darwin, the Book of Job (considered the oldest book in the Bible) expounded on animal’s beauty and intelligence, their ways, and what we humans can learn from them. I believe these photos reveal different emotions in animals… photos don’t lie.

31fad480661b17c044068716b119c630A wide-eyed baby Orangutan takes in the new world around him from the safety of mom’s embrace (Chin Boon Leng, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards).

ba2eeccc-a68c-4666-9d56-d77e89130953_postDainan Zhou, China, Entry, Open Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards.

2968c2a2-0dba-4b54-ad78-17fb1b546ede_postThe knight and his steed, a tropical capture in Costa Rica. Nicolas Reusens, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards.

1d3189c3-4fb2-4be1-aa22-0669a8a4be01_postYes, these two truly are BFF’s. See a PBS video about their friendship here.

a6ad78dd-4551-4061-b572-7602e315fc45_post9b510c9a-c493-4284-9e74-38d95c83f015_postThis photo of two lowland gorillas was taken at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. This is part of a series of photos called Bronx Zoo Diaries.

eeebb70b-04d9-4bd6-bb1a-41bba79b1572_postNational Geographic photo of a mother humpback whale and baby dive in Pacific waters off Maui. There is a documented account of a humpback sweeping a seal on its back, away from attacking killer whales.

419aa447-62dc-4d0f-a3f2-de9eb2f11df6_postKeeper Julius Latoya shares a tender moment with Kinna, a young orphaned African Elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya. GERRY ELLIS, MINDEN PICTURES.

ed4be63d-87d5-4fda-912f-282215ef28f1_postZeybeks by Hasan Baglar: Zeybek is a Turkish traditional folk dance … “It’s a normal behavior of praying mantis, they are doing defense and both of them doing the same dance…”



Mohammed Yousef, Kuwait, Shortlist, Professional Environment, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards). Her name is Malaika.

Dogs can read human emotions . So, it appears, can horses. Whales have regional accents (patterns of communication between whales vary depending on what region they inhabit– just like us– with accents).  Ravens show how they likely guess at the thoughts of other ravens. All of these findings have been published within the past several months.

New studies like these, along with many recent books by respected biologists and science writers, are seriously considering the inner lives of animals. Now some prominent scientists are arguing that decades of “knee-jerk avoidance of all things anthropomorphic” detrimentally served to hold this field back. “It ruined the field,” says biologist and author Carl Safina. “Not just held it back — it’s ruined the field. It prevented people from even asking those questions for about 40 years.”

But… Charles Darwin knew about “animal feelings” all along and wrote about it in 1872! Job wrote about it in the 6th century BCE. What do you think creatives, do animals have feelings?

Thank you for reading my post. You can read more about the brilliantly creative Charles Darwin in my new book. He is one of many diverse exemplars I’ve highlighted illustrating a certain pattern of creativity. My core message is that everyone is creative, all 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.

Self-knowledge: Are we icebergs?

Self-knowledge: Are we icebergs?

One thing both Freud and Maslow (foremost psychoanalysts) agreed about was self-knowledge is key to mental health. The process of self-exploration is a prerequisite to maximizing personal power. For Maslow, “Freud’s greatest discovery was that the great cause of much psychological illness is the fear of knowledge of oneself—of one’s emotions, impulses, memories, capacities, potentialities, of one’s destiny” (Abraham Maslow, 1960).

Freud’s iceberg picture of the ambiguous “unconscious” is helpful. His model of the mind divides it into three elements: The conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The conscious contains events we are aware of; preconscious (or subconscious) is events in the process of becoming conscious, and unconscious include events we are not aware of. What is striking is that most of our self is not conscious (estimates of 70-90%). Freud used id, ego and super-ego as the three parts of the psyche; they represent the activity and interaction of our mind. None of his brilliant theory is tied to current neuroscience; it is still theory, and tries to describe our unconscious—which represents most of our minds.

The iceberg metaphor shows to “know ourselves” and our three centers of intelligence is hard work. How much experience do you have at exploring your inner being? Learning to do self-exploration requires intention and attention.

See an inspiring and remarkable example of such focus here. Miyoko Shida Rigolo gives a breath-taking performance, its worth watching until the end!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orBxCJL8N8Y [/youtube]

Learn more in my book.

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. 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.

Creative engineering: transform old to new with FUN

In my book I guide you on gaining awareness of how our three intelligence centers, our head, heart, and gut (intuition) interact with each other to be creative, We experiment with different intersections between our centers to try on different creative patterns.


By tapping into these six intersections, we can move forward confidently and triple our creative capacity. The joy of creativity is there is no time or age limits, it only requires our willingness to execute. I believe our most creative years are still ahead of us… With intentional experimentation we learn more about how we are creative and how to honor our own unique process. We learn to have FUN in the adventure of exploring our three resources of creativity. Here is a short video taking something familiar (a staircase) and transforming it into FUN use.


I believe the easiest way to change our behaviors–to become more daring in our creative pursuits– is to have FUN in the process. Every mistake takes us closer to our  goal. Which center– all three are equal in their creative capacity– do we need to experiment with more? Our head? our heart? or our gut? Which need to intersect brilliantly to create something new? What matters is our idea(s) emerge and/or change for the better. For me the piano stairs are an intersection of my gut/heart (I love music!), for others a curiosity intersection of head/gut (you’re kidding?!) What matters is the stairs have been transformed into something more motivating and captivating.

Here is another take on those old stairs, this idea will get your gut going!


How have you experimented with ideas from your head, heart and gut in the past to create something new, from something old?

Learn more in my book.

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. 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.

Your Creativity Metaphor?

“Metaphor… touches a deeper level of understanding than ‘paradigm,’ for it points to the process of learning and discovery– to those analogical leaps from the familiar to the unfamiliar which rally imagination and emotion as well as intellect.” Anne Buttimer

IncubationSome personalities are drawn to creativity like a moth is drawn to a hot light bulb. You’d rather burn up in the beauty of your creativity—as compulsively as the moth—than live a long life. You are at one end of the spectrum. Another may believe they don’t have a creative cell in their body, but wish they had some passion for something—like that moth. Where are you on this spectrum?

An intriguing way to tap into your creativity is with metaphor. What is a metaphor? It is a figure of speech or picture where a word, phrase or image meaning one thing, is used to describe an object or idea that is not literally applicable. Metaphors require a different way of looking at the world. They involve “trying on” fresh tactics to problems.

irish patriotic background of green shamrocks

I recently returned from a long trip on the California coast. I dug up my metaphor, literally, and brought it home with me to replant on my porch. You see, my creativity metaphor is the common shamrock, it helps me remember there are 10,000 ways to be creative and no mutation is required. Yes, a three-leafed shamrock– no need to find that “lucky” four leafed shamrock!

The shamrock has three equal, but separate, leaves extending from one stem. The same is true of our creativity. We have three separate but equal resources to draw upon, which are the head, heart, and gut. Each is an equal center of intelligence for creative use. Since creativity emerges from three different sources it is more complex to pin down or define.  A shamrock isn’t elegant with one-leaf (one center) or two-leaves (two centers), but needs all three leaves (intelligence centers) to be its grand self.

Shamrocks grow in fertile and open ground. We can grow creativity in the fertile and open ground of our three intelligence centers—our heads, hearts and guts, or thinking/feeling/doing. For many people, creativity is a sacred concept, which is how some feel about the shamrock. It moves with the times as needed, unconsciously and quickly towards the light, then at night the leaves will fold up and go to sleep. And so it is with our three sources of creativity. They already know what to do. They are enough. The shamrock is a beautiful intersection of three leaves at a common point– this is why it is my creativity metaphor.

floweringshamrocksThe intersection(s) of our three centers of intelligence are sources of creativity. The goal is for one center not to suffocate the other two centers, but instead to unite by creating intersections. When one allows the cross-pollination of intelligence centers, the synergy creates something entirely new. This point of union yields untapped potential. Like the shamrock, it blossoms. The fruit of its existence emerges as a new yellow arrival—a happy flower shining brightly in the sun… anywhere, anytime!

It’s true… there are 10,000 three-leafed shamrocks for every one four-leafed shamrock, but we don’t need to be a Van Gogh or Picasso or Einstein, who indeed are four-leafed shamrocks… observe the impact a common shamrock with a common idea can have. Given how powerful our ideas can be, its imperative we learn to have more self-confidence in our creativity right now.

What is your metaphor for being creative? How does it influence your thinking, feeling and doing to be creative? Please share it, your metaphor is bound to help others!

Learn more about how to develop your creativity metaphor in my book.

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. 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.



Creativity, women, paradigms & countries

I’ve highlighted many diverse men’s life long creativity in my book (along with women’s). newparadigmaheadHere are three ground breaking stories highlighting women’s creativity in three different countries. One story is creativity in a business sense (China), another a political paradigm breaking case (Sweden), and a third story from my book, a pioneer American woman breaking both race and gender paradigms.

To introduce the first woman, I ask: Where are the most self-made female billionaires? Its China, did you guess right? Yes — China! One may ask how is being a billionaire related to being creative? It is probably safe to assume that most self-made billionaires—in general—are creative, especially from a business perspective. Here is some background: Historically, Chinese women were among the most oppressed in the world. They bore the brunt of child marriage, illiteracy and forced prostitution, among other evils (like foot binding!). Chairman Mao Zedong changed all that. He womenand skyfamously said “women hold up half the sky” (1952).

Chairman Mao keenly understood the importance of women in the future economic growth of China. He handed women equal rights and emancipation in all aspects of life — political, economic and social with his marriage laws in 1952. In a society where women were treated as the property of men for centuries, this was truly revolutionary.

“International Business Report” states that half of senior management jobs in China are held by women, far above only 20 percent in the United States. Nicholas Kristof, who lived for many years in China, writes “no country has made as much progress in improving the status of women as China has.”

Zhou-Qunfei-2-PPAn exemplar is Zhou Qunfei– The world’s richest self-made woman (Forbes). She is the founder of Lens Technology, which went public last year, and is worth $7.2 billion. Her two biggest customers are Apple and Samsung.  Lens Technology is a leading supplier of the cover glass used in laptops, tablets and mobile devices. This is no easy manufacturing task, check out how thin 0.5 millimeters is on a ruler, and you’ll understand how hard it is to create something this thin.

Even though Zhou is quite the jet setter, she is the most comfortable pacing the floor of her state-of-the-art factory, tinkering. “She’ll dip her hands into a tray of water, to determine whether the temperature is just right. She can explain the intricacies of heating glass in a potassium ion bath. When she passes a grinding machine, she is apt to ask technicians to step aside so she can take their place for a while” (NYT, 7-30-15). She exemplifies gut-based creativity.

Zhou grew up motherless and impoverished, raising pigs as her father went blind. She dropped out of school at 16 and went to live with her uncle to search for better work. She eventually landed a job in a factory making watch lenses for about $1 a day pay. She was hard working, outspoken and continually promoted in the factory until she had saved enough money to start her own–better quality–watch lens workshop. And the rest is history…

The Communist Party promotion of gender equality allowed women to flourish as capitalism was taking root. I experienced this gender equality first hand–and deep respect–for women’s talents and abilities during many business trips to China in the late 1990’s. It was truly refreshing.

Zhou’s bold gut-provoked creativity seems to have no creative boundaries in China. Now lets turn to my second story. Sweden tried for a hundred years to pass legislation making illegal the purchase of sex by men, and when new legislation was drafted and debated in 1999 this was the key issue. There was a strong sentiment that the women themselves should not be punished, since it was believed that many were improperly enticed or actually forced into prostitution. sweden-does-everything-right.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smartSweden has the highest proportion of women parliamentarians in Europe (ranked #5 internationally). The final legislation the women government leaders pushed through made it illegal to buy sexual services, to act as a pimp, or to operate a brothel, but the prostitutes were not considered to be acting illegally. The number of sex workers in Sweden dropped more than 40 percent during the next five years.

The criminalisation of the purchase, but not selling, of sex was unique—and a paradigm shift— when first enacted in 1999. Since then Norway and Iceland have adopted similar legislation, both in 2009, followed by Canada in 2014 and Northern Ireland in 2015. The creative paradigm shift was to prescribe punishment for those who own and operate the brothels and control the women, as well as the male customers who provide the profit motive. There is little doubt that public exposure in a trial and a heavy fine or jail time for prominent male citizens or police officers who patronize or profit from the sex trade is extremely effective. The opposite policy still exists in the United States, where there are fifty times as many female prostitutes arrested as their male customers and handlers.

According to the Global Gender Gap report the U.S. is #28, dropping from the top 20 countries in 2015. The report ranks over 145 economies according to how well they are leveraging their female talent pool, based on economic, educational, health-based and political indicators. The ranking of U.S. women participating in government positions is #95 (2016) in comparison to other countries. Both studies highlight the significant improvement needed in U.S. gender equality areas.

Do you remember the date when women gained the right to vote? If you answered 1920 that would not be correct. It would be true for white women but not black women—who did not earn this right until 1965. My third story is highlighted in my book: Enter the Madame_CJ_Walkerparadigm-breaking entrepreneur, Madame C.J. Walker (1867-1919). Far before she had the right to vote, she was inspired by a dream making her the FIRST American female self-made millionaire (and she was African American). She created a line of hair-care and skin products for black women. Walker was suffering from a scalp infection causing her to lose most of her hair in the 1890s. She began experimenting with patented medicines and hair-care products. Then she had an intuitive dream that solved her problems (gut center creativity). “He answered my prayer, for one night I had a dream, and in that dream a big, black man appeared to me and told me what to mix up in my hair. Some of the remedy was grown in Africa, but I sent for it, mixed it, put it on my scalp, and in a few weeks my hair was coming in faster than it had ever fallen out. I tried it on my friends; it helped them. I made up my mind to begin to sell it.” Madame Walker proves the old adage “go sleep on it”, when needing to solve a personal or work problem, is good creative advice.

One thing is for sure, it requires the stubborn efforts of both men and women working together to solve the problem of gender inequality. The more gender equality we realize, the more creative problem solving we can bring to bear on all world problems. As Mark Twain said, “What would men be without women? Scarce, sir…mighty scarce.”

What are your ideas to promote gender equality and the resultant creativity that it generates?

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. 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



Why Poetry? Invitation to write a poem

I’m a person full of life… why should I struggle with flowery words to create a poem? Poems are confounding to me, is such writing really necessary? On the flip side, some poets–such as the late Maya Angelou–stop me dead in my tracks. I am captured by her words. They are stunning, uplifting:maya_angelou-phenomenal_woman

It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth
The swing in my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman

What are some definitions of poetry to better understand it?

Poetry is “a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as sound symbolism—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic perceived meaning.”

“an arrangement of words, especially a rhythmical composition, sometimes rhymed, in a style more imaginative than ordinary speech”

“a composition, in verse, especially one characterized by a highly developed form and the use of heightened language and rhythm to express an imaginative interpretation of the subject”

In The Poetry Reader’s Toolkit by Marc Polonsky he says, “Prose is words in the best order. Poetry is the best words in the best order.” And he adds: “Poetry is words, chosen and arranged in such a way as to inspire the imagination.” I like this definition best.

Poetry then is like music, it contains rhythms which affect our moods and spirit. The words of our favorite songs cast little spells on us as we sing them. Poetry does the same thing. Both poetry and music engage our imagination. What they make us do is open up our imaginations in order to understand their symbolism. Then we can derive enjoyment, melancholy or satisfaction. For instance Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”: adele-rolling-in-the-deep-1-728

Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
You’re gonna wish you never had met me
And you played it, to the beat
Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep

The first time I heard Adele sing this song I was in the car sitting in the Sam’s parking lot and was spellbound. I was “rolling in the deep” with her and literally could not move until she finished the song. Then she left my heart pounding as I finally got out of the car.

I agree with Polonsky that poetry has been needlessly mystified in our culture. Just as there is an infinite variety of musical forms–poetry encompasses infinite expressions and styles. We may think we know what poetry is, and in a sense we do, but only in a limited sense. Because poetry is limitless, we don’t have to be afraid of it, there are no rules. You may (probably do) have a better knowledge base for poetry than I do… but that does not mean I cannot enjoy it just as much.

A recent National Science Foundation study involving 2,200 participants inspired me to write a poem. The study stunned me: It found 25% of Americans got this question wrong: “Does the Earth go around the sun, or does the sun go around the Earth?” That’s right – one in four Americans think the sun goes around the earth. However, Americans actually fared better than Europeans who answered the same question. Only 66% of European Union residents answered it correctly. Mind boggling! Here is a poem I wrote in my book. moonandsun


Love spoke and made our blue earth, not to be the center of the universe, but its muse,

Love spoke and made our blue earth the third rock from the sun, Terra, solid, drifting, with vibrant, exploding life,

Love spoke and made the third rock spin and circle around the sun, with a tilt Terra spins, making seasons abound, arrays of colors bursting,

Love spoke and made Luna, dazzling sister to our blue earth, tugging, teasing our waters, one declared we’d often visit, just because,

Love spoke and made our sun, stunningly rise and fall peacefully for our blue earth, but no, Love gently spins and turns Terra to the East each day,

Love spoke and made our sun, Helios, our brightest Hero Star, one we could ever follow, never floating away, like Love itself,

Love spoke and made our Star give our blue earth, light, life, our sight, and warmth—just right, boundless energy, gratefully received,

Love spoke and made our blue earth ride in the Galaxy of Milky Way, majestic spiral, glowing band, heavenly teeming of kinship,

Love spoke and made Love to be written in the Sky, never alone, designed, evolving, sustained harmony, loving our blue earth, gracefully conceived for Love.

I invite you to write a poem inspired from the topic of the sun, earth and our galaxy from your own worldview. The next time you watch a sunset or sunrise, can you imagine the earth moving instead of the sun? Write a poem, up to 20 lines, either rhyming or free verse, on this subject and post it here by replying to this post. I will send an autographed copy of my book to the one that (in my opinion) has the most beauty or striking language, a fresh/unique perspective or has an intriguing story or flow.

Please feel free to write your poem your way, there is only one rule, up to 20 lines, and have fun with it!

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. 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




Why I love cartoons

I’ve loved cartoons for as long as I can remember. They are the first thing I look for while settling into the Sunday paper. I never thought about why I like cartoons so much until I wrote my book. I open my book with a question: What is the Answer to Being More Creative? This cartoon is a perfect illustration for me.

We don’t hit targets that we don’t aim for; icleaningladies2t takes intention and attention (and humor helps). I have spent many years in creative industries, creating something from nothing. My learning model is we have three distinct sources of creativity, our head, heart and gut intelligence centers. One of these centers of intelligence, whether it’s thinking, feeling, or doing, dominates our pattern of creativity. We begin by understanding what our distinct pattern of creativity is from our three intelligence centers. Then we begin to further develop our lesser-used center(s) in our creative process.

How do cartoons help in this process? In the middle ages cartoons were first used to describe a preparatory drawing for a piece of art. Then in the 19th century, cartoons became humorous illustrations in magazines and newspapers, and after the early 20th century, they referred to comic strips and animated films.

This is cartoon history, but for me they give immediate emotional relief– to “lighten up.” My personality can be all too serious. Cartoons often create a needed empathy towards myself and others. The humor results in a guttural laugh that releases built up (and often unconscious) stress in my body. Lastly, the cartoon usually hits my head center’s “inner critic,” causing “it” to shut up… this all allows me to get unstuck and be more creative. So, I’d say for me the general order of a cartoon’s impact is: heart and gut (intersection) then up to my head. But the real beauty of a cartoon’s impact is so fast, so immediate that the order doesn’t really matter much… ultimately it’s a three-center intersection. I think this is why my book is so heavily illustrated, especially with many cartoons. Creating intersections between our intelligence centers is a key to being more creative.stick_dogwalkers (4)

How does this dog walking cartoon hit you— head, heart or gut-wise? Does it create an intersection of center(s) for you?

How about this cartoon, do you ever get pushed/rushed to deliver a creative solution at your job? (Maybe you should show your boss this cartoon).chicken_comic2Thank 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. 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



“Ask, Seek and Knock”: uses all 3 intelligence centers

“Ask, seek, and knock.” These are Jesus’ iconic words: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Notice how our three intelligence centers are used differently here.

knocking-on-heavens-door “Asking” comes from our head intelligence center and is cerebral and verbal; we ask for what we most need and want. Please, please, please I want to create something really beautiful!

“Seeking” focuses on our heart intelligence center. This is more than asking; it is an exploration of what will be most meaningful, authentic and satisfy/answer our heart’s emotions and desires.

Namuth_-_PollockTo “knock” involves our body/gut intelligence center. It requires physical movement, one where we take action. Asking and seeking are essential (head and heart centers), however they would be incomplete without knocking (gut/body center). One of the exemplars in my book, Jackson Pollock knocked on a different artistic door– by painting vertically instead of horizontally– he broke convention with his gut centered creativity.

In my worldview, it’s good to pray and seek God, but if I do not also act in faith, all is for naught. It’s no accident Jesus said we should love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (all three intelligence centers). We know a universal law is, “we reap what we sow.” This is true in many world views,  including the Buddhist Law of Karma and in the Holy Qur’an.  In Hinduism, Karma is a causality system where beneficial effects are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful effects from past harmful actions.

Mute Swan, Loch Ard, Trossachs

Mute Swan, Loch Ard, Trossachs

When considering our creative pursuits it starts with asking and seeking– but ultimately it is about what we do, our executions, that eventually comes back to us in a transformed state. As a writer I am prolific in the “asking” mode with many questions (regarding my subject), which leads to intense and pleasurable researching, which in turn can lead me down wild goose chases…  leaving my manuscript deserted of words for weeks or months. Or perhaps if I’ve shifted to the “seeking” mode, such as moving from nonfiction writing  to “seeking” to do a fictional allegory for my next book– then I hit the wall. Major obstacle, overwhelmed. I am inexperienced in this style of writing and doubt my abilities.

I can stay stuck “seeking”  and “asking” how to overcome obstacle(s) or I can KNOCK. Bang away by JUST WRITING, fully expecting my lack of confidence obstacle will transform into a door! A door which is the portal for me to write it my way. Its no time to be suffocating on my doubts and weak-kneed. I write in faith, which means pounding on that door boldly. If that door is not the portal for me, than I’ll pound on another door (idea) with my ideas in order to best tell my story. Because I have been asking and seeking, I believe the door will be opened for me. The process is cyclical, involving asking, seeking and knocking.


Creativity is not static, routine, repetitious or dull  but is dynamic (involves many doors) and all three of our intelligence centers. The “knocking” will eventually open the right door and bring the “aha” moment needed for clarity.

What about you– do you find yourself doing more asking, seeking or knocking?

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. 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

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