Tag Archives: innovation

Want to make something creative?

What shall I make for my next creative project? It is easy to get stuck at “What the heck should I make next”?

Instead of focusing on “what” should I create, I humbly suggest asking yourself WHY–three times. Get very quiet and still and ask your head, heart and gut separately: Why do I want to make or create this thing? Let the voice of each intelligence center answer this question for you very distinctly.

What does your head say to you about this creative thing?

What does your heart say about it?

And what does your gut intuition say about it?

Write down each distinct intelligence center answer and reflect on each.

Clearly articulating why you’re creating what you are will light your path and continue fanning the flames inside you, and likely will touch others deeply too. Regardless if your creative thing is purely for your own enjoyment or you want it to be a commercial success–if you don’t start with why, you have no compass.

I’m writing my first science fiction book. When I start to doubt myself on why I’m writing this book I ask my head-why am I writing this? My answer is mostly because I love the space/astrophysics/spiritual subjects involved and by doing the in-depth research involved I get to learn new things, “the latest and greatest”. I ask my heart, why am I writing this? I want to find more clarity and meaning about the cycle of life and the suffering involved in it. If I can find some peace in it, perhaps it will help bring peace to others too. I ask my gut, why? My gut says there are some older, deeper truths inside me that I can tap into, feel and know to be true. My intuition quietly says–this is important to you, your curiosity about scientific and spiritual facts and how they can co-exist in different realms. I can now go forward knowing I am doing the right thing by writing this book.

Imaginative thinking is at the core of art, science, and a number of other disciplines, but the science of imaginative thinking is a secret. I believe by tapping into (the usually un-reflected upon) WHY from our head, heart and gut perspectives can tap into our untapped imaginations.

Starting with why can lead to levels of excellence we never considered attainable, especially for long term creative projects. By emphasizing the WHY behind our motivations to succeed, versus the WHAT approach, which is less passionate, less inspired (and probably a more habitual approach) we can have confidence in our creative product. We can be authentic in our approach, which will–at the very least–delight us and perhaps even really inspire others.

Do your research first. Mark Twain said, “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” Good research is about asking broad questions, and thinking critically about the answers. It’s something everyone can learn, and do quickly with Google, and countless other search approaches. If we do this well, it will save us time, energy and money by reducing unknowns and creating a solid foundation to build the right thing, in the most effective way. After all time is–by far–our most precious commodity.

Where have you gotten your ideas in the past? Take the time to reflect upon this, then write your answers down. Next, what are you waiting for… go do that research. If it is being in nature and for example, examining something much more intensely than others do, then go do it!

How do I know if what I make will be the right thing? Because even if we’ve done the research, we still don’t know if we’re actually making something that works for others. This only matters if we aspire to commercial success.

Is my new  book something that others will want to read?

Is my performance art exhibit something others will be inspired to participate in?

Will my new video or movie be a hit or a dud?

We must run targeted experiments to find out. You know how to do that already–writers reach out to beta readers, marketers get focus groups, designers reach out to real users, artists have… each other through various associations, and so on.

Swedish artist Måns Wrange has used the concept of the focus group in his work The Good Rumor Project. He used the focus group not only as a means to investigate the opinions of the group members, but also to spread an idea (the rumor) across society with the help of the group members. Now that is creative, stay tuned on how it works (video below).

You can read Part 2 of this post here.

Thank you for reading my post. 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 recent book and my website: The Three Sources of Creativity: Breakthroughs from Your Head, Heart and Gut.

Nothing is Original?

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” King Solomon

“There is nothing new except what has been forgotten.” Marie Antoinette

“No idea is original, there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s never what you do, but how it’s done.” Nas (Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones)


The saying, “There is nothing new under the sun” is as old as the bible,
found in Ecclesiastes 1:9 and spoken by King Solomon–but is it true?

Some people find this idea depressing, aren’t we unique beings created by our Creator to be creative after all? We know our thumb print is like no others… even identical twins, who share the same genetics (initially), have different prints.

We know each snow flake is like no other. Each snowflake falls and floats through clouds with different temperatures and moisture levels, which shapes each snowflake in a unique way.

SO it seems “the how“–of how we come together–is what matters. You have a mother and a father and possess features from both. However, the sum of who you are is bigger than their parts. You are a mysterious conglomerate of your parents and all of your ancestors–but you are even more than a physical genealogy–you are a genealogy of ideas too.

You don’t get to pick your parents, but you do get to pick where your ideas come from–what books you read, who your heroes are, the art you view and study, the music you listen to, the movies you watch, the people and ideas you surround yourself with on a daily basis. Your ideas are a mashup of what you choose to bring into your life–we are a sum of our influences.

What good artists understand is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative works build on what came before–nothing is completely original. It is the way we uniquely combine, subtract, mash and tinker with the ideas that creates something new. It’s an endless cycle of recycling–in a similar way that nature does.

I love this picture of the “rock cycle” to illustrate this idea of “nothing new under the sun.” The rock cycle is a basic concept in Geology that describes the time-consuming transitions through geologic time among the three main rock types: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. The rock cycle is an illustration that explains how the three rock types are related to each other, and how processes change from one type to another over time.

So here you have it: Sedimentary rocks transition to metamorphic rocks, which transition to igneous rocks and through erosion and environmental conditions transition back to sedimentary rocks–nothing new under the sun!

Just like nature we are all recycling ideas–whether consciously or unconsciously. Francis Ford Coppola says it best:

“We want you to take from us. We want you, at first, to steal from us, because you can’t steal. You will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice and that’s how you will find your voice.”

Steve Jobs also famously said in 1996:

“Picasso had a saying — ‘good artists copy; great artists steal’ — and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

So lets go forth creatives “shamelessly stealing” all of the ideas we need and want and LOVE to create our own new art–the way only we can. May we endeavor to say–some day–what Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” 

Thank you for reading my post. 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–in my recent book and website.

Awed by Eagle Huntress Photography

I recently viewed the Eagle Huntress documentary in utter awe by the beauty and sweeping photography filmed on location in Mongolia–not an easy place–and wondered how on earth did they film it?! I was shocked to learn that it was filmed by only two people–not 200 people–thanks to modern technology! The director of photography, Simon Niblett, succinctly sums up the equipment they used to accomplish this extremely challenging feat in the video below:

Aisholpan, a teenage girl from a nomadic family in Mongolia, in “The Eagle Huntress.” Credit, Asher Svidensky, Sony Pictures Classics

The film is a masterpiece due to the photography: It follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains with her father to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an expert eagle hunter. It was filmed in real time, there was no re-shooting of scenes, which makes this feat even more amazing. It chronicles how Aisholpan rises to the pinnacle of this tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries.

With her father Nurgaiv’s help, Aisholpan learns how to train golden eagles, and then captures and trains her own eaglet. Although she faces disbelief and opposition within this exclusively male tradition, she becomes the first female to enter the competition at the annual Golden Eagle Festival.

 Credit, Asher Svidensky, Sony Pictures Classics

The Altai mountains are ruggedly gorgeous. Renowned photographer Asher Svidensky said, “I knew I had to find another way and tell a new story that was not yet told in the snowy Mongolian mountains. I tried coming up with new ways of photographing the eagle hunters. Should I use different lenses? Ask them to perform tasks other than hunting? How could I tell a more interesting story than the usual “Even today, there are eagle hunters in Mongolia”?

Credit, Asher Svidensky, Sony Pictures Classics

Modern Mongolia is a relatively young unitary sovereign state in East Asia that exists from just after the fall of communism in 1990. It is landlocked–sandwiched between China to the south and Russia to the north. Today’s Mongolia is going through a transition – it’s no longer communist and is not yet modern. Approximately 30% of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic; horse culture is still integral. The film beautifully captures this uniquely nomadic way of life.

Credit, Asher Svidensky, Sony Pictures Classics

Against all odds, Aisholpan ends up winning the competition, and her eaglet breaks a speed record in one of the events.

 Credit, Asher Svidensky, Sony Pictures Classics

Most of us have not visited Mongolia. This is a wonderful British-Mongolian-American collaboration to document a heart-felt story. It is the winning photography team–of two!–who brought us this rugged land, and an understanding of the lifestyle of its adaptable nomadic occupants. The dialogue was in the Kazakh language but the photography connected us all.

Credit, Asher Svidensky, Sony Pictures Classics

Thank you for reading my post. 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–in my recent book and website.

What I loved about 2016 and What Not So Much

Wow, 2016 was an ever-eventful year. I want to share with you what awed and delighted me the most… and what did not.

My #1 delight of the year was: It was a five-year journey to our solar system’s gigantic planet of Jupiter, but NASA’s Juno spacecraft stunned us by nailing it right on time! To celebrate its accomplishment, Juno entered Jupiter’s orbit on U.S’s independence day–July 4th. Juno will probe beneath the obscuring clouds of Jupiter for the first time and study its auroras. I was in awe as I watched this event in real time online–along with the scientists at NASA–the tension in the room was palpable and so was the sheer joy of Juno’s unbelievable performance seen in this AWESOME VIDEO:

The returning data and images of Jupiter to Earth will keep scientists busy for many years. What will we learn about Jupiter’s origin and what will it mean for Earth? Jupiter already sucks up monumental space junk so that it does not slam into us, what else will we learn about our friend?

                                                              Jupiter Aurora

This is why I love King Jupiter so much: Earth is a nice place to live precisely because of Jupiter’s overbearing gravity. It acts as a super-sized gravitational shield to planet earth. It keeps incoming space junk, like comets, away from our inner solar system. Just think about what that asteroid did to the dinosaurs 65 million years ago!

The whole world was watching when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 fell apart and its pieces crashed into Jupiter in 1994, leaving Earth-size scars that lasted a year. That’s Jupiter doing its cosmic job–better it than us!

It was high time we visit our fearless BIG, BIG-brother whom protects us from many spooky cosmic thugs–hip, hip hooray to NASA for this in 2016!

My #2 delight of the year was: Another NASA launch, which happened on Sept. 8 that could revolutionize our understanding of the early solar system. This one is the FIRST asteroid sampling mission called the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx). The spacecraft (with the very un-sexy name) is designed to reach the asteroid Bennu in August 2018, and then return a sample of it to Earth in 2023.

Illustration of OSIRIS-REx collecting a sample from asteroid Bennu

Why should we care about Bennu? Bennu was selected from over 500,000 known asteroids by NASA’s selection committee. It was chosen due to its close proximity to Earth, the low Δv required to reach it, an orbit with low eccentricity, low inclination, an ideal orbital radius, and it has loose dirt on its surface. Asteroids smaller than this typically spin too fast to retain dust or small particles.

Whittling down from 500,000 to only 5 asteroids: Finally, a desire to find an asteroid with pristine carbon material from the early solar system, possibly including volatile molecules, organic compounds and amino acids reduced the list further to just five asteroids. Ultimately Bennu was selected between these five due to its potentially hazardous orbital impact to Earth. So YES Bennu is one special asteroid! Very COOL NASA VIDEO follows this journey:

My #3 delight of the year was: NASA in 2016 formally started an astrophysics mission designed to help unlock the secrets of the universe. Called the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), it will aid researchers in their efforts to understand–by far the biggest secrets of all–dark energy and dark matter.

WFIRST will also discover new worlds outside our solar system– known as exoplanets. This is because NASA is STILL searching for another planet like earth, which could be suitable for life. Will they ever find it is the question–they have verified 1,284 exoplanets to date–none of which are the least bit hospitable. This artist’s concept depicts select planetary discoveries made to date by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. Credits: NASA/W. Stenzel

Regardless of absolutely no success to date to find an earth look-alike, NASA scientists won’t give up searching for life outside our solar system. They analyzed the Kepler space telescope’s “planet candidate catalog” and identified 4,302 potential planets to investigate. You go NASA–if they find one it will be the greatest discovery in all of the history of mankind!

Those are my top 3 WOW things to happen in 2016. NASA is by far the coolest government agency in the USA. Not only do they explore the galaxy and probe the heavens, they develop innovative technology and collect data on climate change. NASA has put a man on the moon and helped launch the collaborative International Space Station. Their mission is WOW: To “reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind,” and so far they are doing a stellar job.

What’s on top of my list for the lousiest of 2016? The death of facts: Regardless of your political affiliation, I think we can all agree that politicians have thrown out “facts” in favor of who can spread “delusions” or straight out lies the most effectively. The worst U.S. political election process I’ve ever witnessed in my years, my mom agrees and she is 88 years old. We can only hope an election that yucky is never repeated again here or anywhere!

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Second on my list of not so great: 2016 saw the ranks in rock ‘n’ roll heaven quickly swell, as David Bowie, who died at 69 after a secretive 18-month battle with cancer, had just released Blackstar, the album that would serve as his final LP; Keith Emerson, the outsized co-founding keyboardist in Emerson Lake and Palmer, committed suicide at 71 in March; Leonard Cohen, one of the most acclaimed songwriters of the rock era, died in November at the age of 82. He had just released You Want It Darker, the 14th album in a career; Prince, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died April 21 at age 57, after being found unresponsive in an elevator at Paisley Park, his home and recording studio in Minnesota; And British superstar George Michael was found dead in bed on Christmas day–just to name a few. RIP rockers, we LOVE you and the music you created!

Third on my list of not so great? America is deeply, deeply divided about serious issues–and certainly about what kind of leader(s) we need. Who will help us to find common ground? If you live here you know what I am talking about. For the first time since I can remember I’m looking at 2017 with more consternation than hope… but I still have hope. Yes by these three shall I abide: Faith, Hope and Love. I end this 2016 reflection with–the greatest of these three is Love. God bless you all!

Thank you for reading my post. I am a writer and 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.

Velcro and Teflon Creativity

Which of your three creative centers–head, heart or gut–are you being negative to? bionic-brain

The secret to creativity might be summed up in a cheesy neuroscience joke: “The neurons that fire together, wire together.” When we disrespect what one of our intelligence centers is saying to us by automatically responding negatively to it, we are shutting that source of creativity down:

“My gut is always wrong, I never listen to it.”

“Listening to my heart will only cause severe pain and bleeding.”

“I think too much, I shouldn’t listen to my head but only act.”

“It’s a classic saying, and it’s widely accepted because it’s very true,” says neuropsychologist Rick Hanson. “We’ve got this negativity bias that’s a kind of bug in the stone-age brain in the 21st century,” he says. “It makes it hard for us to learn from our positive experiences, even though learning from your positive experiences is the primary way to grow inner strength.”

There are consequences of our highly interconnected head/heart and gut intelligence centers. Scientists believe our brains have a built-in “negativity bias.” The reason is pretty simple. Since we evolved over millions of years, dodging sticks and chasing carrots (rewards), it was more important to notice, react to, and remember sticks than it was for carrots. It was a tough environment for our ancestors. If they missed out on a carrot, it likely would not kill them; but if they failed to avoid a stick, such as a predator, a poisonous plant, a natural hazard, or overly aggressive fellow caveman, then BAM!, fat chance to pass on their genes.

Our negativity bias shows up in lots of ways. For example, studies have found in a relationship, it typically takes five good interactions to make up for a single bad one. People will work much harder to avoid losing 100 dollars than they will work to gain the same amount of money. Painful experiences are much more memorable than pleasurable ones.

The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones. It is said approximately 80 percent of our (up to) 70,000 thoughts per day are negative. This is good and bad news for creativity. Our brains are tilted against lasting contentment and fulfillment. This means our memory banks are full of underlying expectations, assumptions, beliefs, and especially our moods—which automatically move in a negative direction. Mother Nature only cares about passing on genes; she doesn’t care if this means painful suffering in the process. Suffering includes subtle worries to intense feelings of sorrow, worthlessness, or anger and creating suffering for others. Naturally being wired to acquire negative experiences over positive ones, can make us more anxious, irritable, and blue. But these “sticky” emotions also create a deep well for us to draw upon and funnel into creative outlets. Such lack of contentment can result in a felt need and a motivation to create.

“I have the memory of an elephant. I can forgive, but I cannot forget. It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Perhaps the Velcro theory is why Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous elephant quote about her philandering husband makes sense. We are wired to hold onto the negative experience, even if we willfully (from our gut center) try not to. Mrs. Roosevelt exemplifies our need to take the negative and create something new. This is exactly what she did after discovering FDR’s first affair with her own private secretary. Her personal journals expose from this point forward, any remaining intimacy left their relationship. Up to this point she was willing to be a traditional wife, mother of their five children, and homemaker. After this very painful breach of trust, Eleanor established a separate house, and increasingly devoted herself to becoming a human rights and social justice entrepreneur. This included being a pioneer in the womens’ suffrage and African American Civil Rights movements. She was no ordinary first lady–I believe the most entrepreneurial one of all!

Eleanor knew how to make lemonade from potent lemons in her life

Perhaps an even more severe example of “making lemonade” is shown in the video below. This one will blow your mind for sure!

However, on a day to day basis, many of us don’t stay with our positive experiences long enough for them to be encoded into neural structure (meaning there’s not enough wiring and firing going on). On the other hand, we naturally tend to fixate on negative experiences. Positive and negative emotions use different memory systems in the brain, according to Hanson, and positive emotions don’t transfer as easily to long-term memory.

So we easily filter to see the tough parts of life. We can learn to bear negativity by intentionally tilting towards healthy creative outlets. This will lift our energy and spirits and use our resources. But we have to intentionally fill up our cups because positive experiences will wash through us like sieves. Please see a previous post on how to fight ANTS (automatic negative thoughts).

The more we get our neurons firing on positive facts, the more we’ll be wiring up positive neural structures. Intentionally focusing on “taking in the good” is a brain-science savvy and psychologically skillful way to improve how we feel, get things done creatively, and treat others consistently. By taking the positive in–from our head, heart and gut centers–and filling ourselves up with them, we will increasingly feel less fragile or needy inside, and less dependent on external supplies.

How good are you at creatively making lemonade from all the negative lemons in your life? Please share your insights on this, we all have “ANTS,” (mine can build huge mounds in my mind if left untended!)

Thank you for reading my post (excerpts from my recent book). 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 at my website and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests.

Is Music Art?


A very strange instrument, “a marble melody,”
is currently captivating the internet. The artistic piece is called a “Wintergatan”–a musical instrument built using 2000 marbles!

It was built by Swedish musician named Martin Molin, 33, lead musician of Swedish band, Wintergarten. He created a wooden music box powered by marbles, yes marbles! He has accomplished this feat by employing pulleys, levers, and gears.

Molin turns a hand crank that moves 2,000 marbles around on tracks and through funnels (3000 parts!) The marbles then travel around and come in contact with other instruments like a kick drum, a bass guitar, marimba, cymbals, a vibraphone and bass. It can play ANY style of music.

Be prepared to be utterly delighted and inspired by these videos. 

The artist made this marvelous music-making machine in just 14 months. Find out how he did it in the short video below.


I ask you creatives’ to confirm, is music art? Please share your favorite quotes
.

Thank you for reading my post. 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 recent book and at my website and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests.

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)

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Cayman eye (alligator/crocodile family) by Suren Manvelyan

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Llama eye, by Suren Manvelyan

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Thornback-ray fish by Suren Manvelyan
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Gurnard fish by Suren Manvelyan
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Iguana eye
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Tarsier (nocturnal primate SE Asia) http://www.avivhadar.com/

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

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Leopard blue eye
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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!!!”

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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.

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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!

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

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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.’’

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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.

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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.

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…”

5a5329d0-8ded-4bd1-8018-a706fac7dfdf_postSony-world-photography-awards-2015-shortlist

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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!

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.