When is the last time you loved your body?

‘When is the last time you’ve felt your body?

What do you mean felt my body? Are you actually telling me to sit down and feel my body? Why in the earth would I do that?’ – conversation with a clairvoyant sometime 2015.

When I (finally)felt my body I became really scared. Because I don’t really think I had felt it since I was a kid. I had chopped that part of me off, and only used it for punishment. As a machine that I used to better myself. Nothing more than that. Actually I would say that I believe that for a loooong time I only had one thing out of body, mind and spirit going on -and that was.. mind. I was really smart though, and I am still really good at using my mind. Training it. Reading. It’s still my favorite part of body, mind and spirit. but I would say with a couple of percent now – and not 30 % ahead of the other two.

Before the quote in the top, my mind had become out of control. It made me wake up every night around 3.30 for a year. It kept coming up with strategies for me to win in life.

there’s some parts of you, you really need to look at’.

And then at some point everything came crashing down. I could feel that I wasn’t ok. Then the allergic alveolitis came sneaking in and I was truely in a bad shape. But it made me still. It made me start to relate to myself again.

In the beginning, not being able to breathe, I would sit on my writing sofa and listen to hay house radio podcast and read books. I had my girl squad of my favorite ladies with me on facebook messenger where I would discuss everything I found. ‘Louise L Hay just said that I need to go in and look myself in the mirror and tell myself that I love myself. How stupid.’ I really didn’t think I needed it, I really didn’t think I needed to relate to myself. After reading a couple of books I decided that I had to do two things a day, and two thing only. Go down to my atelier, drink my morning coffee and talk to the old apple tree that my great grandparents planted in my garden.  The other thing was to put a mirror in my kitchen and smile at myself everytime I walked by it – I did – the one or two times a day where I would have enough energy to go into the kitchen. But I couldn’t help but saying ‘ you will beat this’ and smile at myself. ‘you rock’, ‘you look awesome’. ‘you’re eyes are full of life and you will live’.

And that was my beginning. I wanted to live. If loving myself was the premise for life, I would do it. If getting in touch with my (screaming) spirit again. I would do it.

I started seeing a healer regularly. I started feeling what different food and drink did to my body. I accepted the dietist the hospital got me. If not for diet advice (which I pretty much know by now) then for psychological counsel when they had to put me on high-dosis steroids and I could easily gain 3 kgs over night because of the medication. I couldn’t control anything. And in the middle of that, I found her. The yoga loving  teenager, that I once was. The goth girl. The spiritual seeker. The musician. – My body. And I listened and I listened. I started to dance. I started to meditate.

After a while and a lot of reading and spiritual woo-woo-ness, I feel like I have reached a new niveau. A niveau where I am not afraid anymore. I am not scared because of the climate changes or exstinct animals. I am not afraid of dying anymore. I am (almost) not afraid of flying, because I truely believe that I belong here, for as long as I shall live – and then maybe for a while after that also. You’ll never know.

I am not afraid, I don’t want to apoligize for my experiences, myself or my feelings anymore.  I am here and I am love with myself, fully. Oh yeah. and my body, overweight and all, absolutely rocks=) it has gained weight (and I am 3 kgs down from when I came off high dosis steroids!!!) but it’s my body, it’s all I have, and I love it.

 

Creating in the riot garden when the days starts to be filled with sun

Spring seemed to land in Denmark last sunday morning.

I rushed out into the Riot Garden and started removing some weeds, mixing some earth with compost and potted of plants – it felt super good.  I am, in particular – looking forward to my potatoes (kartofler, in danish) being ready to be harvested. There’s a whole Zen-ness to gardening and creating outside that I wouldn’t have imagined before we moved into the Punkborough (the house) . There’s a whole planting-a-seed-and-seeing-it-grow, that I absolutely adore by now.Plants for creativity

 

I have a couple of seeding projects this spring, both some of my oldies but goodies – but also some new experiments. I want to see if you can plant sweet potatoes up here in the north. I have no idea if it will work out, but I will give it a go.

In general – when it comes to the Punkborough  or the Riot Garden often I have NO idea what I am doing,  or even if it can be done. However my approach is always that we can do more than we think, ourselves.

I channel the happy-go-lucky amateur who thinks everything can be done in no time. Which, admittedly, sometimes ends in catastrophe, but most of the time it ends up well – or at least ok. seeding

Another thing that signals spring more than anything is that I am starting to send my dryer away on vacation for the summer, meaning that clothes will be dryed on the huge drying rack in the garden (and – I get a +1 for climate action and not using electricity to dry clothes all summer.  I gave it a go with some towels (however they didn’t become completely dry after a day out) – soon they will though.

Retiring the dryer for summer

How to harm your creativity

how to harm your creativity

Do you sometime feel a struggle inside when you’re working, not being able to bust free? Where, even though you have good intentions, you are not able to create? You feel like your creativity is harmed, and procrastination is something that you can’t avoid – ending up checking your Facebook feed and your Twitter stream impulsively all the time. Yesterday I met with an internet friend and she said something that made so much sense to me she said that sometimes she felt like she was just too spoiled. Too cozy. Things were too good to change them.

Sometimes it seems like we are harming our creativity more than we support it. There’re so many distractions out there, so it’s natural that it’s hard to create both for our hobbies but also in business.

Creativity comes from chaos

For me, my creativity comes from chaos. Even though I thrive in chaos – I need it so, because with chaos that I get inspired to fix things up and explain my approaches to business. I think it’s, in particular, wise for people and businesses alike to enjoy the chaos. Maybe even ask us how much we would be able to change the world if everything were perfect and in order? So if you want to harm your creativity make everything nice. Nothing to riot against

Comparing yourself to others

I am personally really great at comparing myself to others. It’s hard for me not doing it. Maybe all of the world feel the same way. Social media hasn’t helped this at all for me because there nothing seems normal. Most of it seems like we need to see on the dark side of the ‘moon’ and remember that things are not at all what they look like there.

Belittling yourself

It goes hand in hand with ‘comparing yourself to others’. Belittling is easy, and it’s an absolute creativity killer to the point of not being able to think curly. Love yourself! You’re powerful. And if you don’t think so, it makes it so much harder to get shit done.

rock on

What do you do when people want your intellectual property for free?

no intellectual property for free

A couple of weeks back I had a meeting with a potential client on Skype. Well, it wasn’t just a meeting, it was a Nordic PR proposal that we’ve used a lot of time to put together, me and a Swedish + a Norwegian agency. Henriette Weber Inc. was leading agency, and I and the awesome  Elizabeth Rankich had used around 20 hours crafting this and we were totally ready to land this project. However, halfway through the meeting they started questioning our credentials and our media relationships in Scandinavia. They wanted us to come up with some “examples” of people we knew and who they could contact.

Instantly all the agency side participants felt like they were asked to give away their gold for free. And none of us agency side participants would. The conversation turned awkward, especially since this was a  big project. Afterwards, we haven’t heard from them. So what are we going to do next time?

We’re probably going to have the same approach as always, refusing to give away our intellectual property for free. It’s hard though and it’s a fine line between helping people out a bit for nothing and having them leeching on our network. It’s a hard knock life out there, especially in the business world and you could end up working for free for weeks every month. Remember, your intellectual property is your intellectual property, and if you have a notion going on inside your head that what people want from you for free, isn’t cool, then it probably isn’t.

 

rock on

Do you know your creative triggers?

creative triggers panda

What do you do to get your creative juices going?

I became aware of my creative triggers when I was a teenager – starting with cruising around my hometown on my bike and dreaming up great ideas and master plans for the future. But the bike was just the beginning of it. I later set out to find out what my creative triggers where, both when it came to my writing, but also when it came to drawing.

Creative trigger for writing: trains.

When I am doing keynote speaking gigs in Scandinavia or Germany, I prefer to get on a train and write for hours on end. I don’t know why I get so focused on trains, but it works every time. I get sucked into this train writing vacuum each time I get on a train, and I loose track of time.

Creative trigger for drawing: Rebellion

When I am going to draw something, I find inspiration in music and rebellic pictures. Street art. Words written to inspire. The image in this post is a quick sketch of a smoking panda.

Why do we have creative triggers?

I think it’s our brain’s way of saying “you’re inspired now – get to work”. Sometimes being in a room with no WiFi can be a creative trigger – simply because I get the feeling of not being on the internet, so I might as well write. That feeling of inspiration is one of my favorite feelings in the world. So, when I can’t get on a train to get big chunks of words down on paper,  I go for a brisk walk of around 40 mins. Another thing I often do is to go across the sea from here, to Helsingborg to sit at a café and write. I think the travelling aspect helps with inspiration as well. Or maybe, that things are just different if you go to another country.

Last week I wrote about being on a writing retreat in the middle of nowhere. I was so productive. If I am in a big city (Berlin is one of my favorites) I have a need to explore and not to sit down and write all the time. Mind you, when I am exploring, my favorite thing is to bring my small Ipad to a coffee shop and sit there and write. Normally it’s good words and work that comes out of it.

I think it’s important to know how you can trigger your creativity. It’s also important not to leave everything up to “feeling inspired”, but getting to work even though you’re not inspired and then appreciate when inspiration comes to you. Writing for me, is a job. It’s just what I do. If I left it up to “chance” or “inspiration” to get going each morning, I wouldn’t get much done.

rock on

 

 

 

How to market your creativity

how to market your creativityThere is one aspect to creativity that’s an, in particular; hard nut to crack.

It’s when it’s supposed to meet the world.

When it’s supposed to stand on its own, tall and beacon-like.

When we take it to market.

Like a stamp to your brand.
Like a developed sellable concept.
Like a painting ready to be sold.

It is at that moment that we as artists, writers and entrepreneurs are most vulnerable. It’s when we show our work to the public. With a blog like this, we do this bit by bit every day. But sometimes we develop something larger. Something to make us thrive even more in this beautiful world in which we exist.

You make your creativity consumable by labelling it.

By calling it names.

By adding “buy now” buttons all over it.

By making it bigger and more product-like.

And this is where the real challenge lies for creatives. Because we have, add an aspect to our creativity that some of us don’t have. That we have to develop and teach ourselves.

It can be a huge frustration, but it can also feel like the ultimate success if we crack this hard nut and make it consumable. Purchasable.

One of my absolute biggest takeaways from running a company for ten years is that labelling and packaging are, if not everything, then 80 % of creativity. It’s how we make our creativity ready for consumption that defines how well we’re going to sell our ideas and our creativity.

The worst thing for creativity

The worst thing for creativity is not silence.

Is not standing still.

Is not non-movement in thought or body.

Is not procrastination.

The worst thing for creativity is comparing you to other people and feeling they have it all and you have not-as-much.

The worst thing for creativity is complaining and whining and coming from a place of lack of ideas.

The worst thing for creativity is to not think you’re good enough and your art aren’t worthy of showing to other people.

Just the thought of these things takes my creative energy away.

I have often thought about the quote from Jean-Paul Sartre stating:”l’enfer – c’est les autres” or “hell is other people.” it’s not only inside ourselves that our creativity lies – it in particularly lies outside of us as well. If you’ve studied Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book “creativity” you’ll find out that our surroundings and our society has a huge effect on our creativity, and whether or not something is deemed creative at all.

I can in particular recomment the Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi book on creativity, it shows that there are two sides to creativity: creating and perception of the created.

 

Is creativity changing because we are more connected?

I believe that the perception of creativity is changing all of the time. With the internet our art is becoming visible to a lot of people who wouldn’t see it otherwise. Simply because it’s searchable and findable for eternity. So there are more possibilities to find a niche. There are more possibilities to connect with people who would love your art.

 

rock on

 

3 workbooks / planners for deep planning

Some people don’t get enough ideas. Or can’t get the right ones.

I, au contraire, am different. As I touched on the other day,  I have started to do some idea mapping around my gazillion ideas and jot them down and let them expand through notebooks and files.

But I have gotten some fantastic planners this year as well, Some people say planning is needed to keep my curls in order. I believe I need planning to let my freak flag fly higher. I have three that I think you rockers would love!

One is my desire map day planner by Danielle LaPorte. The other is a christmas gift from a dear friend – a passion planner  – for all my thoughts.

The third one – is the crowdfunding notebook  that I got in the mail last week from Mr. Danish crowdfunding himself Michael Eis. Michael and his crowdfunding platform Booomerang.dk has been a con amore project for me for a couple of years. So I was so psyched when I saw this in the mail:

crowdfunding notebook crowdfundingnotebook2 crowdfundingnotebook3 crowdfundingnotebook4
The design of the notebook has a Marilyn Manson/braille feel toward it.  But when you open it up, there’s nothing braille about it (the Marilyn Manson-esqueness is a matter of preference I guess). When I am launching my next crowdfunding project, this is going to be our main source of collaboration.

It’s an interesting tendency; you can get deep planners for all creative things these days – such as a crowdfunding project, or get a bit more perspective  to your desire and passion.

Write It all out I say.

 

 

Write to maintain the frequency of your writing

frequency fosters creativity and productivity

One of the coolest things, I have done over the past couple of months is to take my writing and my art much more seriously and look at my frequency of putting pen to paper.  It was much needed.

I could find myself sitting around and waiting for the writing motivation to come to me. Just becoming inspired and start writing. It just didn’t happen that much. So I decided to change a part of the game and leave motivation out and simply write for the sake of writing. Giving myself permission to write for the sake of writing and not because it would turn into a book someday, which the goal of my writing has been before.
In that process, I stumbled across the 99u book “manage your day to day” and in there, there was a short article by Gretchen Rubin about how frequency fosters creativity and productivity.

It just makes so much sense to me that instead of focusing on writing because you’re motivated, then you write to maintain the frequency of your writing. Which need to be as high as possible.

Same same but different right? Made a world of difference to me. Hope it makes a world of difference for you too.

 

Using a notebook as first step in idea mapping

notebook-for-idea-mapping

The inspiration for this blog post came last night where I was attending a short seminar on kickstarting 2015 with Mark Anthony. It was a great night (Mark is one of the finest motivational speakers in Denmark).  Kickstarting 2015 is one of the first things I am doing to put myself first. However – as I suspected I left with more questions than I came with.

Luckily I always carry a notebook around with me.  It has always been one of my favorite things to find (and maybe even purchase?) everywhere I went. My attraction to notebooks comes from the same place as attraction to blogs: creative potential to do anything really.  Lately, my notebooks have transformed from having doodles inside of them that I never look at, to being first step in my idea mapping process.

When I get home from an event like yesterday – the first thing is to file things from my notebooks in my filing system. I use Evernote for all my digital scribbling. But there are in particular three files in Evernote I use these days. They are all spark files – idea mapping tools that I use to make ideas bigger.

One is my business spark file for my work where all my inspiration and what becomes to-do’s end up (you can read more about have a spark file here)

I have my big writing spark file – where every big question that needs answers reigns. Also, this is where all my stuff from yesterday’s workshop is going to end up, and written about in the next week.

The third file is my woo-woo spark file – where I stock things on my health, spirituality and self-development.

And in those files I write about the ideas I get and let them linger and put them somewhere where I can take action on them – when time is due.

By the way, if you want to read more about the spark file – a “system” developed by Stephen Johnson you should go here.

And there’s even a video shot of “where good ideas come from” that’s also worth a view or ten:

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