An amazing post addressing some serious issues my Mountaineer family is facing right now || well said, keith.
So, a wise individual once told me that creativity is a muscle – you’ve got to stretch it in order for it to grow. Well, when I heard that, my mind was blown and I immediately realized one thing – wow, I’ve wasted A LOT of time. And that muscle is gonna be a bit rusty.
At the same time, I’ve got to say I was relieved. Now instead of wallowing and whimpering as I stare at a blank canvas wishing that I had the innate creative gene that would bubble up from within me and vomit beauty onto the pages, I could just, ya know, do the dang thing. And yes, vomit. I mean you don’t necessarily try to vomit do you? It sort of just happens – that’s what I wanted. Sorry. Gross metaphor…but still.
Even though I now knew that I merely had to put a bit of effort into setting aside time to stretch out that creativity, I felt my world open up. My heart was lighter and my confidence greater.
So, the question now is, how does one prepare for such a workout? In order to get the most out of any time of exercise, what is the most important/beneficial thing to do? STRETCH. PREPARE. LOOSEN THOSE MUSCLES UP. Lord knows, pulling a groin is bad I can’t imagine how pulling a creativity feels. WOO.
Anywhoo, the whole point of this post is to encourage you to work that creative muscle. TWERK IT OUT, y’all. And here is a list of ways that I have found stretch you the most before said workout.
- Coffee or Tea. Pour yourself a cup. Or whatever your favorite beverage is. It will make you happy and ready to dig in.
- Have some alone time. At least for me I always find that if there is the tiniest excuse for a distraction, I will find one.
- Do you think better in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Try and set aside a time for when your brain is most active – when it does its best work
- Make a playlist – recently Spotify has designed a sweet system where you can search for music based on moods and tasks i.e. driving, sleeping, “chilling,” bathing…whatever it is. I LOVE these but if you have some of your own music too then do that. I usually work best when the music has no words, otherwise I’ll sing them and get distracted…again
- Use your hands! Alternate between pointer finger and thumb (like holding a #1 sign) on one hand and the thumb and the rest of the fingers (like a German number 3 or an “Okay” sign) on the other.
- In a similar one hand does one thing, while the other does another fashion. On one hand touch your pinky and your thumb together and touch each finger to the thumb consecutively. On the other hand, touch the pointer finger and thumb together and move through each finger (same as other hand except opposite direction). Both of the last two exercises, according to my boss – Justine – force you into your right brain! Pretty cool, huh?
- “Expect the unexpected” – according to this wiki how article <http://www.wikihow.com/Enhance-Personal-Creativity> expectations shape reality and if you expect creativity, innovation and novelty to flow from you, it is more likely that it will! Sweet….I expect that Ellen DeGeneres will invite me on her show and make me her apprentice…anything?
- Actually workout…like exercise a little. Get that blood moving throughout your body and those endorphins flowing. You can do anything you like too! Biking, running, yoga, jump roping, walking, juggling, swimming or dancing (my personal favorite). I bet you you’ll feel way better and more inspired & pumped afterwards.
- Utilize a sketchbook throughout the day where you doodle, design and write down all the outlandish and wonderful and strange and even meaningless things you think about it. Treat them like little nuggets of gold and who knows maybe when you revisit them during your set aside creativity workout, they will actually end of being just that.
- According to this site <http://greatist.com/happiness/ways-to-boost-creativity>, you should flip through the dictionary, point to a word, then write and draw the things that come to mind when you see that word. Apparently, it helps for us to have some semblance of boundaries when we are seeking out creativity so our minds are not too overwhelmed
- LAUGH! I mean it, real or forced, it works to enhance your mood. Just don’t do this one in public unless your with a friend…no one wants to be that person.
Okay friends. Now that you have a few warm-ups, go get creative! Good luck and may the odds…eh, not really appropriate. YOU ROCK!
Young and called. 1 Timothy 4:12
^ check out this inspiring post by Restore One!
I am SO beyond excited to unofficially officially start my internship with Restore One tomorrow! I am so thankful for how the Lord has brought me here and am already so inspired and grateful for the work my brothers and sisters have done through Christ as they work towards the goal of seeing sexual exploitation and trafficking eradicated!
It is this kind of purposeful action in people in my generation that gives me courage and a hope that we will address and act on the things the Lord has placed on our hearts for our good and His glory.
I will admit, I am still nervous! Working for an organization like RO has been a dream of mine for quite some time now and I really don’t want to disappoint anyone. I am fearful that I won’t be good at or have the gifts for this thing that I profess to want to do with my entire life. What if I fail? What if I can’t think creatively enough, work hard enough, do enough, be…well, better?
And then I think, well, Genny, that’s not the kind of questions God created you to ask. In fact, I would wager He wants you to not ask any questions like that but to say with confidence that through Him all things are possible.
I am a daughter of a King! We are all children of a great kingdom. WHAT? I’M SORRY! To live in freedom is our birth right. To live without fear, abuse, slavery, hurt, or doubt is in our spiritual DNA. I have to believe this – I need to believe it. And the more I utter these truths to my self, I know that my soul with grow stronger and I can walk with more certainty and fearlessness will echo in every stride.
With this in mind, I will do everything I can, with all the gifts God has given me, to do His will on this earth and work towards a world no one has to fear for the safety of body, mind and soul – a world of complete freedom. My desire to pursue this isn’t because it’s a “cool thing to do.” It is not because it is a hot topic right now. This is NOT about me or any single person. I will run this race set before me because it is the Lord’s heart and because of that, it is mine too. Ours.
Will you join in the fight? Come on y’all – let’s do it.
What an inspirational and phenomenal woman! So thankful I got to see her speak just last year. She had a way with words and a confidence in her spirit that I hope to cultivate over time. RIP Ms Angelou.
RIP Maya Angelou.
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
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
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t…
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So, this really cool thing happened where an awesome woman who owns this blog < http://ramblingstudents.wordpress.com> and this one too <http://deceptivelyblonde.wordpress.com> asked me to do a mini-interview about my study abroad experience i.e. how I chose my program, favorite parts of Edinburgh, etc.!
As per, I rambled A LOT and went on a few tangents that manifested themselves in intense run-on sentences so I apologize for that. HOWEVER, I hope you can take a look at it and maybe learn a thing or two more about the study abroad process and travel in general 🙂
Also, make sure to check out the rest of her blog(s) and see what other SA students have to say – it’s awesome and so is she! Y’all rock.
Why hello dear reader,
I apologize, first and foremost, for not keeping very up to date on my posts….I am a scatter-brained ninny that just can’t get her life together or sit still for longer than 15 minutes. It has been a week since I landed back in the good ol’ US of A and ended the most adventurous season of my life to date and, truth be told, I haven’t really given myself the time to process through much of anything. BUT here I am, attempting to sit still and write out all the thoughts that have been swimming through my brain for the past week(s). Is it weird to say that I feel suffocated by my own thoughts? Because I totally feel that way.
It’s like I have a thought, and I pull it out of the pond (or whatever metaphorical body of water you wish to picture) dry it off, set it down and look at it. But, while I am trying to decipher that little guy, another one is pushing its way to the forefront of my brain, demanding my attention. So, I pull out that guy, dry him off, and then sit him (or her) down beside the other. Each fighting for my attention, pulling at me.
Two Thoughts Sitting Together. One related to but not dependent on the other. Nope, sorry brain, Can’t handle. Too much to sort through and I’m hungry so I am going to forget my troubles in this ham & cheese toastie.
And that’s that. Suffocated. By my own Thoughts. So, the next few posts are going to be about me attempting to untangle them from myself – detach them and study them. Understand them so that they can stop swimming through my brain and finally be at peace. No, ham and cheese toastie! I will not find refuge in you anymore so stop tempting me!
Anyway, even if no one reads these posts, I hope that through this process that I can begin to purge, evaluate, understand and grow. And if you do read them and realize something too, then, well, that’s all we can ask for when it comes to sharing life with one another, isn’t it?
So, here it is folks. The cheesiness. What? From you, Genny? Never. HA HA. Okay seriously though. This post will be cheesy but not in a corny joke kind of way – more of in a “aww, how sweet!” one. Hopefully at least. This post is about my sister.
Today is her birthday. Her 30th birthday to be exact. How sad! Not because she gets to leave her 20s behind. No, she lived them well and they were filled with joy, love and adventure. I think it’s sad because now we are not in the same decade of life anymore…you see, we are about 9 years apart and we only get a small window of time to be what I feel like is “closer” in age. And what a glorious window it was.
Ah, but I am overjoyed at the same time because, what I have found is, with each passing year that goes by, Katie and I grow closer & closer. Heck, by the time we kick the bucket, we’ll probably be Siamese twins…metaphorically of course.
Katie – this post is for you (and for Mom so she can read it and cry and be a bit proud of the two woman she raised, again hopefully). You are not just my sister. You are my friend. You are my idol, my hero, my angel. The best teacher. The best partner in crime. One of the few on this good earth that not just acknowledges my humor but actually thinks I’m funny because, in fact, our humor is quite kindred. You are the best ab workout – whenever we are together, my belly hurts from laughing so hard. Our identical double chin, squinty eyed, flared nostril laughter makes me feel warm inside, and a little less ridiculous for the having aforementioned laughing habits. Solidarity in numbers. You are the best confidant. The person I trust more than anyone to look me in the eyes and tell me what I need to hear even if and especially if it is not what I want to hear. I can be quite stubborn, you know.
You inspire me. You always have. I know when we were younger, I wasn’t the coolest to have around all the time. Always pestering you and your friends when you just wanted to chill with them and not have to cart around your annoying little sister. But, from what I can remember, you did it anyway and rarely, if ever, complained. You are the most patient human being I have ever met and will probably ever meet. From waiting for Bryan to propose for 5 years…5 people…5! (jk Bryan, you know I love you) to dealing with me since I learned how to talk, you never rush life or others. You are steady & strong. You’re kind of like my missing half, actually, for those are two things I am not. We are so so similar in a lot of ways but we also compliment one another. Your sweet and courageous soul gets along quite well with my impatient, fiery, and (I like to think) vivacious one. We are like Jane & Elizabeth from Pride & Prejudice. Or Joe & Amy from Little Women. I learn so much just from being around you. You help me slow down, see life in a different way.
There’s more. You are the definition of a Proverbs 31 woman. As cheesy as it is, it’s true. You are gentle and kind BUT you know how to stand on your own two feet and you always have. You stand up for the things you believe in, even when it’s hard and others don’t agree with you. You are the reason I want to help and serve others, because I first saw your desire to serve. Your passion for I.C. sparked something in me. Who knows. Maybe it was because I wanted to be just like my big sister. But, I really think you would have inspired me even if you hadn’t been. You wear your heart on your sleeve and the passion it gives off is contagious. Getting to serve with you in Haiti was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life. And always will be. Getting to watch you shine and do what God created you to do in medicine was incredible. If I was half as talented and smart as you, I would gab about it all the time but the thing that makes you so wonderful is that you don’t. Your humility baffles and inspires me. What a joy it is to share life and the Lord with you!
And that brings me to my last point (though, let the record show I could go on forever). You, as a woman walking so in time with the Spirit, brought me to a relationship with the Lord. I know I have told you this before, or at least I hope I have, but you will never understand how much it meant to me. How the tough love you gave me in a car in Greenville after I had come home from Pioneer Plunge on a serious camp-Jesus high rocked me. I was mad at you when you said it but you were right. If I wanted a life set apart for the Lord then I had to give up on those selfish desires I was holding on to. My life has never been the same because you helped me see how beautiful and crazy and wonderful and mysterious a relationship with the King can be. Thank you a thousand times over. In heaven, if we get to share a bunk bed…I’ll let you have whichever bed you want. That’s how much I love you. And I really love the top bunk.
So, Kathryn Erin (Parshley) Barber, I love you to the moon & back. I hope and pray that you have a day that isn’t just wonderful and joyful but that is full of reminders of how much you are loved. I can’t wait to, God-willing, grow old with you and live near you so our kids can be besties. Our if I never have kids, see you all the time anyway because I am wealthy enough to have house near you and travel the world bringing you and your family awesome international gifts. The prospect of having Thanksgiving and Christmas with all our families makes me giddy! I pray that we are always close and that as the years go by, we will only get closer. I pray that through trial and through joy we will be there for each other. To cry and hold each others hands and pray for one another when things don’t go the way we planned. To dance around like idiots and flare our nostrils in time with our laughter when God blesses us with times of happiness.
I’ll be there for you – you’ll be there for me to.
Yes, I did quote friends. I found it appropriate for our family. And again, happy frikkin birthday dude. May your 30s be the bee’s knees. See you there in 9 years. 🙂
LOVE LOVE LOVE, your sister.