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21 Creativity Quotes: Creative change leaders and educators weigh in on the role of creativity

“Today, the world belongs to category creators – those who can do what artists and designers have always done: create something that others never knew they
needed but can’t live without.”
Daniel Pink

 “The arts are no longer ornamental. They’re fundamental.”
Daniel Pink

 “When I see our country’s stagnation and economic woes, I cannot help but think that we need a creative revolution that is embraced by business and endorsed by government and educators alike.”
Larry R. Thompson

 “Traditional thinking is not working. I contend that creative and innovative thinking is one of the most – if not the most – critical success factors needed for employees and businesses to succeed in the 21st century.”
Larry R. Thompson

 “In order to reclaim America’s ‘creativity’ differentiator, we must be able to provide businesses with a workforce of imaginative employees who will pave the way to a new future. It is time to transform our educational system in America to embrace and nurture creativity as a core value.”
Larry R. Thompson

 “…the freedom of personal expression, ideas and imagination, working in collaboration with people from diverse backgrounds – is what’s
needed to spawn creativity.”
Larry R. Thompson

 “Creativity is an endlessly renewable resource, and we can tap into it at any time.”
Tina Seelig

 “With enhanced creativity, instead of problems you see potential, instead of obstacles you see opportunities, and instead of challenges you see
a chance to create breakthrough solutions.”
Tina Seelig

 “Creativity allows you to thrive in an ever changing world and
unlocks a universe of possibilities.”
Tina Seelig

 “We are all inventors of our own futures. And creativity is the heart of invention.”
Tina Seelig

 “Everything you see is ripe for innovation.”
Tina Seelig

 “While the arts lie on the margins of most people’s lives, creative process is central to who we are as humans.  Learning, growth, and transformation are creative processes, and it is the act of seeing connections that
forms the heart of creative consciousness.”
Kim Hermanson

 “…enhancing creativity is not only for enrichment; it’s a vital resource for meeting the challenges and dangers, as well as the opportunities of the accelerated-change climate of the twenty-first century.”
Shelley Carson

 “Creativity pervades human life. It is the mark of individuality.  The vehicle of self-expression.  The engine of progress in every human endeavor.”
Elliot Samuel Paul

 “The construct of everyday creativity is defined in terms of human originality at work and leisure across the diverse activities of everyday life. It is seen as central to human survival, and, to some extent, it is (and must be) found in everyone.”
Ruth Richards

 “Creativity is an electrifying force that defines, shapes, and initiates new ways of being, seeing and transforming the world.”
Laine Goldman

  “In the midst of rapid technological change and global economic and social transformation, creativity and innovation have replaced physical labor and organizational bureaucracy as the key source of economic success.  Companies and communities of all sizes are looking for the ‘next big thing’ that will be the key to growth. Increasingly, economic development experts agree that
the next big thing is creativity.”
Marcene Sonneborn

 “In a world where lifelong employment in the same job is a thing of the past, creativity is not a luxury. It is essential for personal security and fulfillment.”
Sir Ken Robinson

 “Everyone has huge creative capacities. The challenge is to develop them.
A culture of creativity has to involve everybody, not just a select few.”
Sir Ken Robinson

  “Creative thinking is more than just coming up with new ideas. It is about living life in a way that is open, authentic and curious. It is a mindset and
approach to everything we do.”
Cyndi Burnett

 “Anyone who longs for more creativity and innovation inside their organization has a fundamental job to do. They need to look carefully through the organizational processes and ferret out the places in which the implicit rule of engagement is ‘prove it.’ Fix those and you will unleash a mighty wave of positive change!”
Roger Martin

Have a quote you believe fits in this collection? Share it with me via Twitter @ QuoteJoy or on the JoyofQuotes Facebook page. For tons more creativity quotes visit: JoyofQuotes.com. Your comments are always welcome. Today’s creativity prompt is: start a conversation about creativity. Anywhere. Anytime. Just go up to someone and ask: “How are YOU creative?” or “How do YOU define creativity?” and journal (or draw out) your experience! Create a fabulous day…

Marta Davidovich Ockuly

“How do you define creativity?” Research Results Revealed

I’m very excited to share the results of the study my Saybrook University doctoral program professor/mentor Dr. Ruth Richards and I designed last year. Some of you may have responded to the survey we promoted via social media asking for volunteers.  We were interested in contemporary views of creativity. Creativity is being talked about a lot – but right now, no widely accepted (and inspiring) definition exists. Want to hear something crazy? If you look up ‘creativity’ in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary it says: “the quality of being creative or the ability to create.”  Since when is it OK to use a version of the term in a definition? It tells people nothing! When I graduated with a Master of Science degree in Creativity from Buffalo State’s International Center for Studies in Creativity, every person I encountered asked me to explain creativity. How can we expect people to use something they don’t relate to personally? My frustration with this situation led to diving deeply into the research process.  I had the honor of presenting our findings at this years’ American Psychological Association Convention in Orlando last month.  Click on the power point link to view the slides. The handout postcard shared with the presentation attendees featured a mini-review of the study data on one side, and an original ‘creativity word cloud’ showing terms used most often by respondents on the reverse. A huge ‘thank you’ goes out to artist/designer Rosemary Nulty for fashioning the one-of-a-kind research word cloud! The only thing missing is my presentation day ‘passion’ for the subject!  I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have questions, share them in the comment section at the end of this post or e-mail me directly: magicalmarta@aol.com


Creativity Prompt #1:  What words come to mind for you when you hear the word creativity?  How do you define it – personally?  Crafting your own inspiring and meaningful definition can stimulate your imagination and lead to exploring your creative curiosities. What’s your favorite form of ‘creative play’? I encourage you to step into the process that calls to you.

My own personal definition of creativity is:  imagining possibilities and making them real.

Thanks for joining this conversation!  I wish you a wildly creative day.

Marta Davidovich Ockuly, M.S. Applied Creativity

Happy Endings & Creative Beginnings

Once we’re thrown off our habitual paths, we think all is lost, but it’s only here that the new and the good begins.”
Leo Tolstoy

Happy new year! Have to taken some time to do a ‘year in review’ ritual?  In my family – we review our individual accomplishments, then make a list of things/behaviors/conditions we are ready to release, as well as a list of ‘happy dreams/goals/intentions’ for the year ahead. This year I’m adding a new ‘wish’ the list: doing something that scares me every day!  Fear is the biggest joy and creativity blocker ever.  Our brains grow every time we take risks and do things differently.  If you do nothing else this new year – make friends with change.  Explore more. Try things that look interesting.  Pursue your curiosities. And experiment with new ways to play.  Most of us have forgotten how to be silly.  Just the act of laughing can positively change your outlook and your life!

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.
And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.
Don’t settle. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Steve Jobs

The simple collage pictured above is my tribute to Steve Jobs, originality and playfulness.  I thought about getting a tatoo of the “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” quote, but my creative alternative is producing a lazer cut rubber bracelet that just looks like a tattoo!  Anyone out there have any design ideas?  I am looking for a ‘quote product’ production partner.  If you’re interested, send a note to: magicalmarta@aol.com

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs

2011 was a big year for accomplishments for me: I completed my Master of Science degree, got accepted to Saybrook University and began my doctoral studies. I was also hired as adjunct faculty to teach Creative Process at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. The experience has been amazing!  My next goal it to earn my PhD in Psychology + Creativity to become a full professor.  As a result of my Saybrook experience and the magical mentorship of Dr. Ruth Richards, I’ve been published in a peer reviewed journal (Neuroquantology) and I launched my first research project in partnership with my professor.  My research question was:  “How do you define creativity?”  The initial findings show many people associate creativity with expression, imagination, and being inspired to bring something new into being.  When I think about it, I wonder: “Is there any form of expression which is NOT creative?” What do you think? 

This collage features photos I’ve taken in 2011.  Photography is my ‘go to’ creative outlet most days. It’s easy for me to carry my little Canon Sure Shot and catch ‘in the moment’ memories.  I love the way light bounces off the waves as I walk on Siesta Key beach (top left), a sign in a shop window reminding me to “Share Joy”, a funny face orchid at Selby Gardens, posing my puppy next to a hybiscus bloom on my front porch, capturing a truly amazing baby starfish in a tiny pool of water (look at the hearts in between each tentacle), the dance tracks of seagulls and my own painted toes, along with my ‘award winning’ spiral fern exploding with light.  Gather up some images from the past year that inspire you. What themes do you see?  Consider starting your own blog and sharing your pictures with me!
“Find something you’re passionate about and
keep tremendously interested in it.”

Julia Child

Natalie Rogers has published an all-in-one guide to group facilitation titled: The Creative Connection for Groups ~ Person-Centered Expressive Arts for Healing and Social Change, which, I believe, has the power to impact personal and global transformation and healing.  Every step of her unique, intermodal expressive arts process is explained in a way which allows readers to take part in the exercises as if they were participating in a workshop intensive. The tools, procedures, and resources designed to initiate creative action have all been included, making it a ‘must have’ book for anyone ready to stimulate growth through expressive creative action.This book is a soulful wake-up call for a world in crisis which requires new ways of seeing, acting, and being to begin the journey toward peace through community engagement. Natalie Rogers writes: “Using creative expression to get acquainted with oneself – one’ values, thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams – is imperative in today’s world” (p. 4). The next step – using expressive arts to build community and move in the direction of inner and world peace – is the goal closest to Rogers’ heart. The underlying theme of the book is encouragement of expressive arts being used in groups as a vehicle for personal growth, transpersonal work, and building a sense of belonging and community (Rogers, 2011, p. 208).

The book is divided into 3 main parts: Part I – covers the theories and concepts incorporated into person-centered expressive arts, and outlines Rogers’ unique system which weaves together movement and expression to fully awaken creativity and consciousness. Carl Rogers’ philosophies for working with groups, in addition to step-by-step facilitation guidelines Natalie Rogers developed over the past 35 years doing this work around the world, are also included. Part II looks at the way groups work. In this section the author shares nearly every aspect of a typical facilitation. She details the processes and guidelines from saying ‘hello’ to facilitating closure, as well as managing the ‘hard’ emotions and ‘shadow’ moments which are bound to appear. Specific examples are shared and participant perspectives are peppered throughout. Section 3 is a showcase of the work person-centered expressive arts practitioners are doing with different populations nationally and internationally. It is a beautiful testimony to the power of this work to heal and make a positive difference. The exercises and meditations in this book, applied, can be transformational. The author held nothing back. This text is as much an ‘expressive arts tool kit’ as it is a guide for multi-modal group facilitation. The resource section is another priceless addition.

Creativity is like freedom: once you taste it, you cannot life without it. It is a transformational force, enhancing self-esteem and self-empowerment.”
Natalie Rogers, The Creative Connection: Expressive Art as Healing

I am so grateful to Dr. Rogers for sharing her life’s work in a way which is as enlightening as it is easy to read and understand. As a professor of Creative Process, I can attest to the importance of weaving together movement, self-reflection, and expression as a way of activating creative potential. The techniques shared in this volume have wide applications for personal and professional growth, creativity enhancement, and building a community of conscious change leaders.  One of the most exciting aspects of my PhD program at Saybrook University is the opportunity to incorporate the two-year Person-Centered Expressive Arts Therapy Certificate.  The next cohort begins in January 2013.  Visit www.Saybrook.edu for additional information.  I’d love to know if you found this book review helpful. Your feedback and comments are greatly appreciated!
Did you know Saybrook University also offers a Master’s Degree in Psychology with a specialization in creativity?  There is also a brand new PhD in Psychology + Creativity…the first of its kind in the world! If you would like more information, contact: Dr. Steven Pritzker: spritzker@saybrook.edu  This is a distance learning program which includes two residential conferences per year in San Francisco.  I’d love to see creative change agents from around the world joining me on this journey! 
Creativity challenges the status quo.”
Ruth Richards
I invite you to visit this link to read a wonderful story on iJourney titled “Everyday Creativity” written by my esteemed professor and magical mentor, Ruth Richards, M.D. & PhD!  It’s a real wake-up call for those times we think we are ‘awake’ – but are really ‘asleep at the wheel’ of life.  Please leave a comment on that site to share your reactions and similar experiences.  You are also invited to explore an article published in Neuroquantology co-authored by Dr. Richards and ten Saybrook peers (myself included!) about the importance of creativity in everyday life and connecting with creative mentors.
Creativity pervades human life. It is the mark of individuality. The vehicle of self-expression. The engine of progress in every human endeavor.”
Elliot Samuel Paul
Creativity prompt #1:  Pick up a wall calendar for 2012 for $1 (I found some at Michael’s Craft Stores). Create your a collage for each month to replace the original images.  Build up a file of clippings from old magazines or book with images/words which make you smile. Use them to design your own, personal “joy” or “creativity” calendar. Have fun with it. This is a project you can also do with kids. Another option is dedicate each month’s collage to one of your intentions for the new year. 
Creativity prompt #2: No matter where you are on New Years Eve – alone or in a crowd – do a dance to bring in the year joyfully! Flap your arms like wings and feel yourself transported into a magical realm where your imaginings become real.  Visualize meaningful changes and doors opening to great opportunities all around you.  Give your creativity full reign and enjoy the ride.
Creativity prompt #3: Invite friends over for a New Year’s collage party! Have everyone bring stacks of old magazines, or visit a Goodwill store or your local library’s resale shop and buy some. Pick up some scrapbook sheets in a variety of colors for the collage bases, along with glue sticks and scissors and you’re set. Set a ‘collage theme’ of:  My Creative Vision for 2012 and let the creativity begin!
Creativity prompt #4: Looking for an introspective, solo activity to move you into new realms of creative possibilities? Check out these two sites: The School of Life  - I found the bibliotherary section really great! As well as the latest Brainpickings blog.  Guaranteed fabulous food for thought I predict you’ll enjoy!
My new puppy Alejandro!
The last six months have been a whirlwind for me.  On top of everything – I welcomed a 2 month old puppy into my household September 14th!  He is a bundle of joy who makes me laugh and play every day.  Who (or what) can  you add to your household to perk up your playfulness?  I wish you many happy endings and creative beginnings as we move into  2012.  My last little ‘new years gift’ to you is this link to a site which can provide funding for your ‘wild and wonderful’ creative endeavors.  Give yourself permission to take risks daily…fail fabulously…and really DO what you’ve imagined!  And be sure to share your comments.  This blog is a ‘we’ thing!
Light the sparklers! Welcome the 2012 with a vision of justice, freedom, healthcare, creative education, joy and meaningful work for all!
With billions of blessings and great gobs of gratitude for your
support of this blog and www.JoyofQuotes.com
Marta Davidovich Ockuly

Fun Creative Inspiration

Blue toenail polish in honor of Dr. Mary Murdock

We all have the power to create!  Today’s first creative prompt is:  follow a child’s example. Invent a new world using markers and colored paper. Turn your handprint into a work of art. Make a book out of pictures you’ve torn out of magazines. Transform trash into a treasure. Take your imagination out for a ‘play date.’ Invent something fun and functional (like lizard sandals – my newest fashion statement!)  The only limits are in your mind…and I invite you to practice ignoring them;)

“When we live our life as art we make room for creativity, flow, connection, synchronicity, and magic.”
Heather Ash Amara

The 2011 International Children’s Art Festival held June 17-19th on The National Mall in Washington D.C. brought together children, parents, teachers and performers from around the globe to join in a transformational celebration of creativity. I was there presenting along with 9 other students from the International Center for Studies in Creativity - under the guidance of Dr. Cyndi Burnett. Together we created opportunities for children to exercise their creative spirits and play with possibilities. 

“Creativity is a characteristic given to all human beings at birth.”
Abraham Maslow

Witnessing spontaneous bursts of creative inspiration can be contageous!  A young girl named Dilnoza came half way around the world (look up Tajikistan on the map and you’ll see just how far she traveled to get to Washington DC) to share her talents at my table by creating the flower-filled lizard land shown above.  It was fun watching many new worlds being created out of the fertile imaginations of children from 2 to 12 who spoke different languages, yet shared a universal appreciation for different forms of creative expression. I noticed adults looking longingly at the art supplies – and in some cases – taking the markers out of their children’s hands and taking over the creative process. This is a big ‘creativity craving’ clue.  Adults: if you get the urge to take over/improve(?)/direct/guide a child’s art, it’s time to give yourself free access to the same supplies, as well as your own ‘creative play time.’  When children visited my presentation table, they were invited to select and ‘adopt’ a (rubber) lizard. Their creative ‘task’ was to create a ‘world’ the lizard would love to live in. It could take any form – from something on the moon or in the desert or anywhere in a child’s imagination. The most wonderful part was hearing the children’s ‘lizard land’ stories! Magical!  You ARE encouraged to try this at home!


“Moment after moment we are creating something, and this is the joy of our life.”
Shunryu Suzuki

When was the last time you gave yourself permission to play with your creativity?  ‘Everyday creativity’ researcher, Dr. Ruth Richards reminds us this type of creating is , “…one of the most powerful capacities we have, bringing us alive in each moment, affecting our health and well being, offering richness and alternatives in what we do, and helping us move further in our creative and personal development.”  (From Everyday Creativity and New Views of Human Nature , 2007, page 25).

“The creative process includes exploring, experimenting, messing around with materials, being playful, entering into the unknown.”
Natalie Rogers


Marta's "Wish 2B Creative" Collage, 2011

Currently, my favorite forms of creative self-expression are collage, photography, and Latin dancing.  I also have a dream to create an Art Play House in Sarasota, Florida, based on the work of Shona Hammond Boys, an art educator/advocate extraordinaire who lives in New Zealand.  We connected at the International Children’s Art Festival and discovered we share a passion for promoting creativity worldwide. She showed an amazing video which I highly recommend viewing, which tells the story of the Opotiki, New Zealand Children’s Mural Project (and the coolest view of a whale tail as well as children catching big fish with their bare hands).  When  you have a half hour to get inspired, click the link above. About 15 minutes into the movie, Shona speaks to the dramatic, positive outcomes of this project. It is nothing less than transformational. To learn more about Shona’s Art Houses in New Zealand, visit: www.arthouse.org.nz . I love the simple truth of this child’s view of creativity. View the video by clicking here.

One of the most valuable things we can do to heal one another is listen to each other’s stories.”
Rebecca Falls


Fun creative inspiration comes from trying new things, playing with materials,being around children creating, and sharing stories. Creativity lessons are all round us. Listen for laughter. Follow your joy. Be curious and take some risks. It’s the recipe for making magical moments. The photo of my friend Carol (in blue) and I in front of a wrought iron re-creation of Cinderella’s carriage demonstrates the creative result of acting on inspiration. I saw the carriage and, like a couple of kids, we decided to sneak over and capture the moment, just for the fun of it!  Creativity prompt #2 is to do something just a little  bit daring (or ‘out of character’)…and take a picture! I recruited a ‘partner in crime’ to catch me in a few fun poses and discovered I enjoy being a ‘creative director’ in photo sessions!  Both photos were taken at The Art Center in Sarasota, Florida.  They have a great exhibit of scanned objects from nature which is jaw-droppingly beautiful which will be showing until the end of July. It’s a great place to visit!

I hope you enjoyed this ‘fun creative inspiration’ blog. As always, you’re invited to visit www.JoyofQuotes.com daily for positive, encouraging quotes and inspiration. We’ve added some new subject categories – including a page of quotes to use on Twitter. I’ll be adding ‘tweetable’ quotes weekly, so keep stopping by. You can also help support our website by clicking on the ads posted by our advertisers. Even if you don’t make a purchase, your click helps offset the costs of keeping our site up and growing.  Thanks, in advance, for your help! I also love hearing from visitors to this blog and hope you will feel inspired to share your comments. 

July is ‘birthday month’ for three of my very dear friends: Tamara on the 22nd, Carol on the 25th, and Janus on the 26th. I hope this is the year each of  your happiest dreams come true!
Thank you for all the ways you bless my life!  And if your birthday is in July, too, I wish you nothing but wonderfulness;)

With peace, joy and smiles….Marta Davidovich Ockuly

Photo Credit:  A special thank you to Tamara Williams who treated me to a fabulous photo session which resulted in many new ‘favorite photos’ – including this professional ‘head shot.’
She made it fun being photographed. If you are ever in Sarasota and need a wonderful photographer, Tamara comes highly recommended! E-mail: magicalmarta@aol.com for details.

100 Creativity & Teaching Quotes

“Creativity, which is the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared.”
Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

“The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves.”
Joseph Campbell

“If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds most grow.”
Rachel Carson

“We are all creative. Creativity is the hallmark human capacity that has allowed us to survive thus far. Our brains are wired to be creative, and the only thing stopping you from expressing the creativity that is your birthright is your belief that there are creative people and uncreative people and that you fall in that second category.”
Shelley Carson, Your Creative Brain

“You are in possession of one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, one that has virtually unlimited potential not only to change your life, but also to change your world.”
Shelley Carson, Your Creative Brain

“Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that comes from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence.”
Deepak Chopra

 “All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.”
Leonardo da Vinci

“I do not teach children. I give them joy.”
Isadora Duncan

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
Albert Einstein

“Information is not knowledge.”
Albert Einstein

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
Albert Einstein

“Most people see what is, and never see what can be.”
Albert Einstein

“Not everything important is measurable and not everything measurable is important.”
Eliott Eisner

“My chief want in life is for someone who shall make me do what I can.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I call the age we are entering the creative age because the key factor propelling us forward is the rise of creativity as the primary mover of our economy.”
Richard Florida, The Flight of the Creative Class

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
Henry Ford

“Awaken people’s curiosity. It is enough to open minds, do not overload them. Put there just a spark.”
Anatole France

“Nine-tenths of education is encouragement.”
Anatole France

 “Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.”
Anna Freud

 “Your ability to act on your imagination is going to be so decisive in driving your future and the standard of living in your country. So the school, the state, the country that empowers, nurtures, enables imagination among its students and citizens, that’s who’s going to be the winner.”
Thomas L. Friedman

 “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”
Robert Frost

“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.”
Galielo Galilei

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”
Khalil Gibran

“A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.”
Kahlil Gibran

“Every act of creating is an act of power, an act of hope.”
Pam Grout

 “Ability and increased potential grow hand in hand. As we grow, as we move, as we learn, the cells of our nervous systems connect in highly complex patterns of neural pathways.”
Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head

“It is our movements that not only express knowledge and facilitate greater cognitive function, they actually grow the brain as they increase in complexity.”
Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head

“My college students have commented that just having clay available to manipulate during a lecture allowed them to more easily take in information. Whenever touch is combined with the other senses, much more of the brain is activated, thus building more complex nerve networks and tapping into more learning potential.”
Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head

“Neural connections can be altered and grown only if there is full attention, focused interest on what we do. In three weeks we can get ten times more proficient at anything if we are emotionally engaged with focused interest.”
Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head

“No matter how abstract our thinking may appear to be, it can only be manifested through the use of the muscles in our bodies – speaking, writing, making music, computing, and so on. Our bodies do the talking, focus our eyes on the page, hold the pencil, play the music.”
Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head

“Research in the neurosciences is helping to explain how and why rich emotional development is essential for understanding relationships, rational thought, imagination, creativity and even the  health of the body.”
Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head

“Self-initiated movement, exploration, interaction and physical experience for the joy and challenge of it, facilitates neurogenesis (nerve growth) for a lifetime.”
Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head

“The human urge to create comes from the play impulse.”
Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head

“Thinking and learning are not all in our head. On the contrary, the body plays an integral part in all our intellectual processes from our earliest moments in utero right through old age. It is our body’s senses that feed the brain environmental information with which to form an understanding of the world and from which to draw when creating new possibilities.”
Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head

“Thought, creativity and learning arise from experience.”
Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head

“Touch is a strong anchor in behavior and learning. If children are gently touched on the shoulder while they are reading, the brain connects the encouraging touch with the reading and helps to anchor the positive experience.”
Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head

 “Creative teaching requires moving from a focus on imparting knowledge to knowledge acquisition, providing opportunities for the learner to engage in deep thought and productive action.”
Susan Keller-Mathers, Encyclopedia of Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent

“Educators must ask themselves, ‘To what degree do I deliberately promote creativity?”
Susan Keller-Mathers, Building Passion and Potential for Creative Learning in Higher Education

“To fully nurture the creative potential of others requires modeling the behaviors, attitudes and actions consistent with a creative learner. Development of one’s creative expression is therefore first.”
Susan Keller-Mathers, Building Passion and Potential for Creative Learning in Higher Education

“Creative activity is not a superimposed, extraneous task against which the body, or brain protests, but an orchestration of … joyful doing.”
Gyorgy Kepes

“I affirm to grow as a teacher, I must remain an alert learner.”
Eric Maisel

 “Creativity seems to emerge from multiple experiences, coupled with a well-supported development of personal resources, including a sense of freedom to venture beyond the known.”
Loris Malaguzzi

 “What if imagination and art are not frosting at all, but the fountainhead of human experience?”
Rollo May

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.”  

“True joy is that which gives us more energy and makes us feel more alive.”
Robert Puryear

“Creativity is for us all – it’s about you, me, and about everyday life. It is about the abundant originality we manifest, and our flexible improvisations, whether teaching a class, raising our kids, fixing the car, helping a client, landscaping the yard, planning a benefit, or trying to figure out why we’re on earth.”
Ruth Richards

“Our ‘originality of everyday life’ as is manifested in new products – including concrete creative outcomes, behaviors, or ideas – need only involve two criteria, after Frank Barron (1969): originality and meaningfulness to others.”
Ruth Richards, Everyday Creativity

“Our everyday creativity is not only good for us, it’s also one of the most powerful capacities we have, bringing us alive in each moment, affecting our health and well-being, offering richness and alternatives in what we do, and helping move us further in our creative and personal development.”
Ruth Richards, Everyday Creativity

“The construct of everyday creativity is defined in terms of human originality at work and leisure across the diverse activities of everyday life.  It is seen as central to human survival, and, to some extent, it is (and must be) found in everyone.  Because everyday creativity is not just about what one does, but also how, creative process as well as product are observed.”
Ruth Richards, The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity

“We humans are not creatures of instinct who all build our nests the same way. Throughout our day, whether at home or at work, we humans adapt and innovate, improvise fleibly, at times acting from our ‘gut feelings,’ at times from options we imagine and systematically try out, one after the other.  Our creativity may involve anything from making breakfast to solving a major conflict with one’s boss.”
Ruth Richards, The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity

“All of our existing ideas have creative possibilities.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Being in your element is not only about aptitude, it’s about passion: it is about loving what you do…tapping into your natural energy and your most authentic self.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Creativity involves putting your imagination to work. In a sense, creativity is applied imagination.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Creativity is as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.”
Sir Ken Robinson

 “Creativity is the greatest gift of human intelligence.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Creativity is a process more often than it is an event.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Creativity is a multi-faceted process. It involves many ordinary abilities and some specialized skills and techniques; it can be fostered by many different ways of thinking, and it draws on critical judgment as well as imagination, intuition and often gut feelings.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Each of us is a unique moment in history: a distinctive blend of our genetic inheritance, of our experiences and of the thoughts and feelings that have woven through them and that constitute our unique consciousness.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Education and training are the keys to the future. A key can be turned in two directions. Turn it one way and you lock resources away; turn it other way and you realize resources and give people back to themselves.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Everyone has huge creative capacities. The challenge is to develop them. A culture of creativity has to involve everybody, not just a select few.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

“Finding the medium that excites your imagination, that you love to play with and work in, is an important step to freeing your creative energies.”
Sir Ken Robinson, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

 “Helping people to connect with their personal creative capacities, is the surest way to release the best they have to offer.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

“Human consciousness is shaped by the ideas, beliefs and values that we derive from our experiences and through the meaning which we derive from them. Our ideas can liberate or imprison us.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Human intelligence is much richer than we have been led to believe by industrial/academic education. Appreciating the full range and potential of human intelligence is vital for understanding the real nature of creativity.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “I define creativity as the process of having original ideas that have value.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Imagination is the source of our creativity, but imagination and creativity are not the same thing.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Imagination is the primary gift of human consciousness.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “In all creative processes we are pushing the boundaries of what we know now, to explore new possibilities; we are drawing on the skills we have now, often stretching and evolving them as the work demands.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “In a world where lifelong employment in the same job is a thing of the past, creativity is not a luxury. It is essential for personal security and fulfillment.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Identifying people’s creative abilities includes helping them to find their creative strengths: to be in their element.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

“Innovation is applied creativity. By definition, innovation is always about introducing something new, or improved, or both and it is usually assumed to be a positive thing.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Life is not linear. When you follow your own true north you create new opportunities, meet different people, have different experiences and create a different life.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Private imaginings may have no outcomes in the world at all. Creativity does. Being creative involves doing something.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Teaching for creativity involves asking open-ended questions where there may be multiple solutions; working in groups on collaborative projects, using imagination to explore possibilities; making connections between different ways of seeing; and exploring the ambiguities and tensions that may lie between them.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Teaching for creativity aims to encourage self-confidence, independence of mind, and the capacity to think for oneself.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Teaching for creativity involves teaching creatively. There are three related tasks in teaching for creativity: encouraging, identifying and fostering.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

“The first task in teaching for creativity in any field is to encourage people to believe in their creative potential and to nurture the confidence to try.’
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

“The imagination liberates us from our immediate circumstances and holds the constant possibility of transforming the present.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

  “The only way to raise overall standards is to engage the energies and imaginations of every student in the system.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

“The rate and scale of change engulfing the world is creating a tidal shift in how people live and earn their living. We now need to be equally radical in how we think of education. Raising academic standards alone will not solve the problems we face: it may compound them. To move forward we need fresh understanding of intelligence, of ability, and of the nature of creativity.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “There is a difference between teaching through creativity and teaching for creativity. Good teachers know that their role is to engage and inspire their students. This is a creative process in itself.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “To realize our true creative potential – in our organizations, in our schools and in our communities – we need to think differently about ourselves towards each other. We must learn to be creative.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

“We have imaginations. As a result we have unlimited powers of creativity.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

When people say to me that they are not creative, I assume they just haven’t yet learnt what is involved.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “Whether in the public or the independent sector, in schools or at home, being creative in providing education and promoting creativity are not dispensable luxuries. They are essential to enable us all to make lives that are worth living in.”
Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

 “The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”
Carl Rogers

 “Knowing a lot…is a springboard to creativity.”
Charlie Rose

“…mere critical thinking without creative and intuitive insights, without the search for new patterns is sterile and doomed.”
Carl Sagan

“It’s interesting to reflect, that if all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within fifty years all other forms of life would end. But, if all human beings were to disappear from the earth, within fifty years all other forms of life would flourish.”
Jonas Salk

 “To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.”
Marilyn vos Savant

 “Necessity is the mother of invention, it is true, but its father is creativity, and knowledge is the midwife.”
Jonathan Schattke

 “All truth passes through three stages:  First, it is ridiculed.  Second, it is violently opposed.  Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

“If you want to change the world, who do you begin with, yourself or others?  I believe if we begin with ourselves and do the things that we need to do and become the best person we can be, we have a much better chance of changing the world for the better.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

 “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”
John Steinbeck

“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
Lau Tzu

 “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
William A. Ward

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”
H.G. Wells

“We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.”
Oscar Wilde

“Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.”
William Wordsworth

“Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.”
William Butler Yeats




© 2011 Marta Davidovich Ockuly

How are you creative?

Your beautiful, creative brain!

“Creativity is for us all – it’s about you, me, and about everyday life. It is
about the abundant originality we manifest, and our flexible improvisations,
whether teaching a class, raising our kids, fixing the car, helping
a client, landscaping the yard, planning a benefit, or
trying to figure out why we’re on this earth.”
Ruth Richards, M.D., PhD, originator of the term ‘everyday creativity’ 

Imagine this…you are in a large auditorium and the speaker asks everyone in the audience who thinks he or she is creative to raise their hand. Would your hand go up or stay down?  Truthfully!  Do you ‘own’ your creativity? This blog has an important mission and that is to inspire you to enlighten anyone you ever hear declaring they are ‘not creative.’  In fact,  “Are you creative?” is the ultimate ‘trick question.’  If you are alive and have a functioning brain, the only correct answer is “yes.”  Need more evidence?  Spend ten minutes taking our new HOW ARE YOU CREATIVE? Quiz. Then explore the latest creative brain science explored in this blog. 


Shelley Carson, PhD, a Harvard researcher whose new book is titled Your Creative Brain, has this to say on the subject: We are all creative. Creativity is the hallmark of human capacity that has allowed us to survive thus far. Our brains are wired to be creative, and the only thing stopping you from expressing the creativity that  is your birthright is your belief that there are creative people and uncreative people and that you fall in that second category.”  Once and for all we need to erase the old myth that creativity is something doled out to “the select few”. It is not just for artists, composers, rocket scientists, and other geniuses.  Our entire beautiful brain pulses with creativity.  You can create anything you can imagine – no matter who you are. The key is playing with ideas, being curious, and building up mastery the subject area(s) you find most intesting. Doing what you love is important to unlocking your creative potential, but simply learning new things, moving new ways, and stretching your creative muscles on a regular basis will deliver amazing results. 

 “You are in possession of one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, one that has virtually unlimited potential not only to change your life, but also to change your world.”
Shelley Carson 

 April 15th is Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday and the kick-off of World Creativity and Innovation Week .  In honor of creativity week, a committee of creative change leaders (including me) attending the International Center for Studies in Creativity are launching an international HOW ARE YOU CREATIVE? campaign aimed at increasing every person on the planet’s awareness of their brain’s creative power. Will you join us?  Simply ask 5 people “How are you creative?” – have a creative conversation about the reality of everyday creativity – and then ask them to pass the information on the same way.  Encourage people to watch this wonderful video my friends Juliana, Erika, and Meagan created for our Current Issues class.  It’s all about ‘regular’ people talking about the importance of claiming their creativity.

“Most people see what is, and never see what can be.”
Albert Einstein
It’s time for people everywhere to know we can all be creative catalysts and agents for positive change. When people claim their creativity, they are empowered.  Awareness of creativity also opens up feelings of possibility.  Go public with your creativity between April 15th and 22nd.  Gather friends for creative play parties.  Everyone is invited to Grad House in Buffalo to attend our Creativity Week Collage Party Open House. E-mail me for details and directions: magicalmarta@aol.com Doing something as simple as using your non-dominant hand to hold your toothbrush will stimulate your creative brain!  Pick a fun-for-you-creative-project and just do it!  The point is to get creative!  Creativity is a great thing to share with your friends,  family, co-workers, and other people in your community.  Remember: playfulness pays big creative dividends, too!

Co-founder of Creativity Week & graduate of ICSC

 Helping people to connect with their personal creative capacities is the surest way to release the best they have to offer.”
Sir Ken Robinson


 Creative Prompt #1:  Here’s the HOW ARE YOU CREATIVE? word and idea cloud I created.  Read through it and find the phrases which inspire you most. Tweet those words, make up your own colorful ‘affirmation’ card, or use the words to inspire a new creation this week.  If you usually collage, write a poem.  If you are comfortable writing about ‘reality’ – jot down a fantasy.  


Creative Prompt #2:  Click the link to take our new  HOW ARE YOU CREATIVE? Quiz.  There are just 10 questions.  Every ‘yes’ answer affirms your creativity. I challenge you to ask everyone you know if they are creative. If they answer ‘no’ or seem less than confident about their creative abilities, share this survey with them.  I’d love your feedback.  Send me a note about your results and/or experience and I’ll send you an autographed copy of the HOW ARE YOU CREATIVE? word and idea cloud


Creative Prompt #3:  Looking at things differently. Many creative discoveries come from combining things in a new way.  The fish and the feather show above are a beautiful example.  This prompt suggests you take a discovery walk in nature and begin to imagine unusual combinations – maybe a flower bird or cloud candy.  Be sure to take along a small notebook or journal to capture your imaginings.  Use as many of your senses as you can during your walk – including balance. Your brain will love you for it! 


Have you heard Ken Robinson’s newest TED talk?  It’s a great introduction to his recently released, revised edition of  Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative.  This book is literally calling for a creative education revolution – and it’s solidly founded on facts I believe most people will find astounding. Robinson offers evidence personalized education for every student is an investment rather than a cost.  He states,”The only way to raise overall standards is to engage the energies and imaginations of every student in the system.”  The book covers examples of this type of ‘radical innovation’ which is working miracles in pilot programs affecting thousands of students who use technology coupled with group work, collaborative projects and ‘thinking’ time.  Standardized test scores are balanced with “…exhibits and demonstrations of achievement reflecting  real world evaluations and assessments that all of us face in our everyday lives,” (p. 258).  He does not suggest identical changes be imposed throughout the country. It’s up to each community to design a system which addresses their unique challenges. This book also has a strong creative leadership focus.  In his closing comments Robinson states, “To realize our true creative potential – in our organizations, in our schools and in our communities – we need to think differently about ourselves and to act differently towards each other. We must learn to be creative.”  To that I say ‘amen’! 


“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
Albert Einstein

My creative spirit daughter Sarah. Photo credit: Marta Ockuly
“Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naïve at the same time… Creative individuals have a combination of playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Creative Prompt #4:   Take yourself lightly. Pack a mini-picnic and pick up a package of sidewalk chalk first. Then go find a playground with a set of swings and set yourself in motion.  Make up a ‘swinging song’.  Here’s my attempt: Swing high, touch the sky, floating like a butterfly. (You need to sing this;)  Now it’s your turn!  Send me the words and I promise I’ll sing them back to you. Now take out the sidewalk chalk and make a ‘temporary mural’ or set of ‘silly signs’.  Use your imagination.  Invite some kids to play along.  Sing songs, run around, and fall down laughing.  If that isn’t enough to get your creative juices flowing, dip your hands in watercolor paint and leave hand prints on each tree you hug!  Journal your feelings the next morning.


I wish for you a crazy, fun, creative week of pulling out all your creative stops.  I hope you’ll also join our HOW ARE YOU CREATIVE? crusade. It is truly time for every man, woman and child in the world to know, without a shadow of a doubt, they are creative.  Teaching creativity has the potential to change lives and our collective futures for the better. Let’ get started!


SPECIAL REQUEST:  If anyone reading this blog has insights into available grants or fellowships for a person pursuing a PhD in psychology and creativity (that would be me!) I’d greatly appreciate hearing from you.  I’ve started the application process and hope to be starting my PhD studies at Saybrook University this Fall.  If you are looking for a PhD with a humanistic and creativity focus – Saybrook offers a fantastic program!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s creative brain work out.  As our journey of creative exploration moves toward closure, is there a topic you wish I would cover?  Let me know.  I’m very grateful for your comments and feedback.  Don’t forget to visit www.JoyofQuotes.com when ever you need some positive inspiration or encouragement.  My hand-picked quote collection includes 200+ subject categories as well as a fun ‘inspire me’ button for those times you need instant inspiration.  Enjoy the warmer weather and signs of spring.  I often end my blogs with an image of me dancing. This time I’m sharing a photo of a frog who has taken up meditation (or maybe he just downed a ‘chill pill’).  Keep going with the creative flow….Marta Davidovich Ockuly

 P.S.  Sending out Happy Birthday wishes to my super creative, master’s project  ‘sounding board partner’ Amy!  It is certainly fitting for you to be celebrating the anniversary of your arrival on earth during World Creativity and Innovation Week!  Sending you billions of blessings and your happiest dreams come true! 



Explore the Intuitive Path to Creativity

“It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea.
I work with it and rely on it. It’s my partner.”
Jonas Salk

Last week I sent you out to play with your passions. This week I’m urging you to take a solo adventure leading into your deep, rich, creative potential. You’ll be guided exclusively by your intuition. Throw out the road maps (and any tendencies toward logic). Stay open to the possibilities (and intuitive promptings) and you’ll make some amazing discoveries!  All you need is a pen and a journal or notebook. Keep them with you at all times. You’ll need them to capture the intuitive clues, coincidences, and insights you discover.  


Before we get started, let’s cover the ground rules:
#1. Everyone is intuitive.
#2. Intuition is present at all times.
#3. There is no way NOT be intuitive. It shows up anytime you have a choice to make.
In Holistic Approaches to Creative Problem Solving class, Dr. Cyndi Burnett taught us a simple ‘check in’ system which looks at all questions through the lens of facts, feelings or hunches when we are collecting data, and head, heart, and gut for those times we’re narrowing down choices.  When it comes to creative actions this week – take every opportunity to follow your hunches (another name for intuitive prompts)! Just trust the process & take baby steps.

Guess what? I just had to share this fun intuitive gift I just received. Last night I felt a strong prompting to ‘google myself.’  It was an odd enought prompt to catch my attention so I followed it and continued through 11 pages until I saw something that caught my attention: a blog named “The Creative Edge” was inviting readers to check out my “intuitive path to creativity” (the blog you’re reading right now). The amazing thing is – the writer of the blog, Wayne Morris,  director of Future Edge Ltd – a consultancy “specializing in applying whole brain principles to leading, learning and creating…is in New Zealand. Isn’t that wild!  A creativity professional in New Zealand is promoting my blog in Buffalo. I find that so wonderful. Talk about creative connections.  And the cool gifts of following our intuition!  Now it’s your turn. What intuitive discoveries have you made today? If you’d like to take a peek at creativity in New Zealand – here’s the link: http://thecreative-edge.blogspot.com/

“It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.
Henri Poincare

 Photo caption: Here’s my terrific teacher, Dr. Cyndi Burnett (in the black & white top) with classmates in Holistic Approaches to CPS last semester. I’m the silly one wearing sandals! We joined hands and heads to create a ‘living mandala.’  

  “Intuition is a way of knowing about the world through insight and exercising one’s imagination.”
Valerie J. Janesick

Intuition is a very effective problem solving and creative action tool which can be used individually and in groups, personally and professionally. Dr. Valerie J. Janesick, professor, chair and doctoral program director in the Department of Educational Leadership and Organizational Change at Roosevelt University, explains intuition as: …immediate apprehension or cognition”. She compares creativity and intuition to dancers who are so connected they move as one, and adds: Intuition is connected to creativity, for intuition is the seed, so to speak, of the creative act.

In the 2010 Cambridge Handbook of Creativity, creativity scholar Dr. Ruth Richards’ chapter titled: “Everyday Creativity: Process and Way of Life – Four Key Issues” states intuition is “…quick and global” and an “…alternate way of knowing” which plays a key role in the creative process.  Are you getting the idea intuition is real and important?  It most certainly is!

“Intuition is the supra-logic that cuts out all the routine processes of thought and leaps straight from the problem to the answer.”
Robert Graves

If you are interested in developing your intuition, you may find this DVD helpful. It teaches you how to feel the difference between impulse and intuition, includes an intuition in business segment, and shares tips for learning to trust it. Click here details.  Does the word ‘intuition’ bother you? If so, consider re-naming it: Muse.  A muse is a source of creative inspiration. You can ‘call in’ your muse or simply ask your muse for creative guidance. Award-winning writer, photographer and lecturer, Jan Phillips, wrote a wonderful book titled: Marry Your Muse: A Complete Course in Creative Expression. It’s all about “making a lasting commitment to your creativity.” My muse (Mr. Lizard) highly recommends it!


 Intuitive Prompt #1:  Let’s try a little experiment.  All you need is your journal or notebook and a pen. Take a minute to examine the collage below.  Write down the first thought which comes into your mind when you read these questions:   What did you notice first?  What did you notice next?  What did you like?  How does it relate to your life?  Ask yourself, “What’s the story here?” and write a sentance or two.

Did you get a strong insight or did you feel you were ‘making things up’? Either way – it was intuition at work.  Your brain picked up visual clues. Those clues triggered memories. The memories got projected into a story using your imagination. Every single word you wrote was triggered by an intuitive prompt. Congratulations!  You’ve just collected your first prize: an awakened imagination!

 “The more you trust your intuition, the more empowered you become, the stronger you become, and the happier you become.”
Gisele Bundchen

Intuitive prompt #2:  Do you haiku?  Haiku is a form of poetry from Japan which is only three lines long. The 1st line has 5 syllables, the 2nd line has 7, and the 3rd line has 5. You can use punctuation or not, capital letters or not. It’s all up to you! Let your intuition (and my poetry muse Sharon) guide you through the process of creating your first haiku.

a blank canvas awaits
edge of imagination
 artist paradise
 Sharon Pacione

Sharon Pacione is a dear friend and prolific poet who has written hundreds of haiku. I’ve picked a few of my personal favorites in hopes you’ll find both guidance and inspiration.  The beautiful image was taken by her talented daughter Andrea during a recent visit to the Atlantic-side of Florida. Thank you Sharon & Andrea for all the ways you share & care!


 a blank canvas awaits
edge of imagination
artist paradise
Sharon Pacione

 thoughts on paper dance
words feel at home in the heart
release to know more
Sharon Pacione

Intuitive prompt #3:  Take a mindfulness break with your journal and a pen at your side. Close your eyes. Relax. Think about a question you’d like to ask your intuition. Write the question in your journal. Now switch the pen over to your non-dominant hand and write the answer. Sometimes the answer will come into your awareness before you even finish writing the question. Other times you will get the impression of one word and then the next. Allow the experience to flow without judging. Repeat as often as you like.

 “For whereas the mind works in possibilities, the intuitions work in actualities, and what you intuitively desire, that is possible to you. Whereas what you mentally or “consciously” desire is nine times out of ten impossible; hitch your wagon to a star, or you will just stay where you are.”
D. H. Lawrence

 Intuitive prompt #4:  Plan an intuitive collage ‘play date’ with yourself.  Create a sacred space – light a candle, gather a few precious-to-you objects for inspiration, and meditate for a minute on an intention for your next collage. It may be one word, such as ‘hope’, or it could be something concerning a challenge you are facing. Record the words or impressions which come up for you and set them aside. Now quickly page through magazine and cut or tear out every image you find interesting. Do not worry how it will fit in your collage or how it pertains to your intention – simply harvest images until you have about 20. Now cut or trim each image and turn it upside down. When they are all done, close your eyes and let your intuition guide your selection of images. Now open your eyes and glue them in place. If there is an image ‘calling you’ from the unselected pile, feel free to use it. When the collage is complete, reflect on it with your intention in mind and record your impressions. Come back after a week and reflect again – see what new intuitive insights are revealed.

This is the door to my room at the Grad House at Buffalo State.  Anything can be a collage!  I’m starting to get nostalgic because my Master’s program will be complete in just 39 days! It’s hard to imagine but I’ve been here in Buffalo nearly a year.  By mid-May I’ll be heading South to my sweet sacred space in Sarasota, Florida.  My intuition led me there and I’ve never regretted it for a moment!

 “It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.
Henri Poincare

How’s that for lots of intuitive homework?  I hope you make time this week to try out a few of the prompts. At the very least, consider journaling your intuitive insights and experiences. Just writing about them can trigger answers to important questions. If you have a tough issue you feel blocked about, use non-dominant hand writing in your journal and see what comes up. Your intuition has gifts to deliver, but it needs you to be open to receive. I’d love to hear about your experiences. Feel free to share them in the comments section or e-mail me directly: magicalmarta@aol.com  

 “Intuition isn’t the enemy, but the ally, of reason.”
John Kord Lagemann

 I wish you a joyful journey this week – filled with unexpected delights and intuitive insights! Thanks for visiting this blog. Come back as often as you like. Consider this an open-access creative tribe. Come here when you want encouragement and inspiration.  Take what you like and then pass it on!


 Your intuitive creativity catalyst and Chief Inspiration Officer ,
Marta Davidovich Ockuly

 P.S.  Just barely belated birthday wishes go out to both Sharon Pacione (March 31st) and Dr. Ruth Richards who celebrated her special day April 3rd.  Here’s hoping all your happiest dreams come true!


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Creativity & Passion Play Well Together

It’s hard for many to imagine, but having fun, feeding your passions, and engaging your talents are simple steps that will take you to the bigger answers you seek.”
Jonathan H. Ellerby

It’s time to turn your old ideas around passion and playfulness upside down! Exploring your creative passions leads you straight to your purpose. Finding what Sir Ken Robinson calls ‘the element’ is also the quickest path to joy in life. If you didn’t get the memo – pay attention to this message:  Life is NOT something to be taken seriously. We were put on this earth to make a positive difference while doing what we love. Happiness is not frivolous – it is a path to peace. One caution:  passion is not indulgence. It is harmless (to ourselves and others). Play with it. What you create will positively change the world!

Who are you? What makes you curious? What do you find fun? How would you most like to play all day? If you were free to do anything, what would you do?  The answers to these questions will provide you with ‘passion clues.’ They are parts of the million-piece-puzzle known as YOU.  My personal passion profile includes:  traveling, teaching, coaching, inspiring, sharing and caring,  making a difference, reading, researching, learning, and activating creative potential with joy. My favorite ways to play range from playing classic solitaire on-line, Scrabble in real life, Latin dancing or doing Zumba, and, of course, creating collages, books and doing my thing on Twitter.  A big part of my joy comes from just walking in nature. If there is a beach, park or nature trail around – you’ll find me there!  Why is it important to know these things about myself – because they all offer clues to my most meaningful work. My passion for inspiring and sharing positive quotes led to creating  www.JoyofQuotes.com website.  This website shares my voice with the world. The feedback I get and the growing numbers of visitors to the site offer dramatic testimony to the power of passion. It thrills me to know people are being encouraged and inspired by the words I’ve gathered. My life feels meaningful because of it – and I am also empowered to extend my love of sharing and caring in other ways – such as this blog. Living your passion does not have to be complicated. It does not mean you must quit your ‘day job’ or give up your family responsibilites, it simply means you make room for it in your life. Right now you have everything you need to start taking baby steps in the direction of what you love.  In your heart you probably have an idea of what this is for you. Give yourself that gift.  The world is waiting for you!

Ok. We started this post with snow, but Spring has sprung and here’s the evidence – my friend Ann invites us all to come gratitude dancing at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida.  She is doing what she loves and all the world benefits! Watch the video and feel the joy, passion, creativity, and playfulness of putting up a sign and bringing colorful silk scarves to the beach. It’s magic!  Let’s all start dancing with our passions in new ways. Ann is the dancing goddess in the straw hat. If you’re interested in participating in a Creative Playshop in Sarasota (complete with a gratitude dancing experience) let me know and I’ll set it up!

Lucky you!  It’s Spring Break & you’re just one click away from dancing on the beach!!!! 
Now anytime you need a dance break, just come back to this blog!

” When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.
Nancy Coey

I’ve mentioned this book before, but there really is no better book on the market about the power of passion for good than The Element by Sir Ken Robinson. If you missed my book review, click this link: http://tiny.ly/yGs8   Now it’s time to play with possibilities. Keven Carroll http://kevincarrollkatalyst.com Has written many books, but the one I’m calling your attention to today is titled: The Red Rubber Ball at Work.  Jenna Smith, one of my super passionate peers in the Buffalo State Creative Studies department http://www.buffalostate.edu/creativity/ wrote a great book review. Please check it out at http://tiny.ly/xlmp . All through the book, Keven shares stories about children’s preferred ways of playing led them to amazing careers expressing their unique passions.

The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which; he simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.
To him he is always doing both


Creativity Prompt #1:  Think back to your childhood and jot down your favorite ways to play. What did you enjoy doing most?  Did you prefer inside or outside play?  Did you like building things? Or taking things apart? Or creating imaginary worlds? Make a list as long as you can of your happiest memories. Write them out longhand. The act of writing will trigger more information to come up for you.  When you feel you have it all on paper, look for patterns. Are you doing similar work? Do those activities still stimulate interest?  Are there some playful actions from list you’ll like to experience again. Pencil ‘play time’ into your schedule and do it.  Take toys to the office if that makes it easier. Playing promises to stimulate both your brain and your creativity. Have fun with it!


“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes in the world come about.  So be that person.
Buckminster Fuller 

 We are all brilliant in different ways. Learning your strengths will help identify areas of potential passion for you, too. Which of these intelligences fit you? Musical (music smart), Bodily-Kinesthetic (body smart),
Logical-Mathematical (number smart), Linguistic (word smart), Spatial (picture smart), Interpersonal (people smart), Intrapersonal (smart about myself), Naturalist (nature smart), Existential (‘big questions’ smart). Visit http://tiny.ly/YW7T to complete a fun questionnaire and generate your own colorful intelligence/preference chart.  Howard Gardner www.howardgardner.com developed the theory of multiple intelligences and his books and web site are well worth exploring. You can also Google multiple intelligences and find good information. 

Creativity Prompt #2:  Consider recording your intelligence preferences to your journal and writing about their potential, or create a whole collage around your intelligence chart (print it out  at www.bgfl.org) and surround it with images showing the ways you’d most like to explore your preferences. 

If God came in and said, I want you to be happy for the rest of your life, what would you do?”
Bernie Siegel 


Creativity Prompt#3:  Scrabble story challenge. These are all the words I pulled together on my Scrabble board. Your task is to write a short story, song or poem using all 26 words (and a few extra if needed). Please keep it to 100 words or less…total! Here’s the word list: passion, potential, preference, freedom, fun, play, create, gain, see, be, serve, give, idea, yes, ball, jigsaws, prison, what, why, how, too, brain, tao, odd, how, mind.

” There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
Martha Graham

Set yourself free! I read an interesting blog this morning which starts with a powerful quote about the role of passion in creative leadership. It’s also full of insights into the importance of having a mission, and making a commitment to creativity. Powerful stuff! http://t.co/lAPZ6jS Read the article and ask yourself: Have I put myself in a cage? In what ways do I consider myself ‘not free’ to create?

Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog about creativity and passion and playfulness. It certainly feels more fun than last week’s topic of failure.  I must admit to you I experienced some failure feedback from the Universe after that posting!  It all worked out in magical ways, but it reminded me to remind you – failure does NOT feel good when it’s happening. Sure – there will be learnings down the road – but in the moment they are pretty difficult to appreciate.  So my wish for you this week is for heaps of happy consequences from digging into the topic of passion and play. Thanks for visiting! 

Marta Davidovich Ockuly
Passionate Creativity Catalyst

P.S. Don’t just take my word for it. Click the golden link below to hear Tom Kelley of IDEO sharing the importance of doing what you love!
Tom Kelley, IDEO Do What You Love » Wisepreneur: Creativity & Innovation for Entrepreneurs

Failure leads to creative success!


Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.
Alan Alda

This week we are going to practice making mistakes. Our goals are to take wild leaps of faith and to make friends with failure.  Why? Because when we’re afraid to try, our creative potential (and joy) begin to dry up.  It’s Spring – the season of new growth, planting seeds of possibility, and beautiful beginnings. While Robert H. Schuller’s question is thought provoking, I’m wondering, “What would you create if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Here’s the secret: every creative act leads to an opening or awareness. The only way to truly fail – is not to try.  The two collages I created this week look at my personal failures to meet self-imposed expectations related to getting my books published and releasing unhealthy eating patterns.  I am choosing to see these ‘creative roads not yet taken’ as ‘feedback.’ 


Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.
Agnes de Mille


Earlier in this journey we gave ourselves permission to create.  Today we will extend ourselves unlimited permission to fail, flop, screw up (or whatever your name is for not meeting expectations).  If this idea seems counter-productive to creativity – let me assure you the opposite is true.  Keep in mind: “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” Edwin Land

 “When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth.  So what the hell, leap.”
Cynthia Heimel


Let’s start with BEAUTIFUL OOPS by Barney Saltzberg.  This boldly creative and engaging book was brought to my attention by Dr. Cyndi Burnett, my professor and Master’s Project advisor at ICSC/Buffalo State.  You’ll find it in the children’s section, but I promise it will speak directly to your inner child.  It goes beyond teaching the futility of perfection and opens the door to embracing imperfection. It is absolutely freeing! Think of some creative project you’ve wanted to try. Sign up for a class or gather the most basic supplies and do it.  Perfection is never instant.  Thomas Edison tried (and failed) nearly 10,000 times in his quest to invent the light bulb. He considered every ‘failure’ research because it gave him data on what did not work.  The fact he kept trying led to his success.  In truth – you cannot fail unless you give up.

Thomas Edison tried 10,000 different materials before finding one that was suitable to serve as a light bulb filament. So if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. We need to set up a system where risk is rewarded. One where we recognize that failure helps us to increase our creativity. Nothing risked is nothing gained.”
Beth Flynn

Creative Prompt #1: Ask yourself, “If I didn’t have to do it perfectly, I would try ____________ (fill in the blank with the first ideas which come to mind).  Now read over this list and see if it spurs more ideas: stand-up comedy, learn a language, take an acting class, learn to shoot video, read your poetry in public, take a sailing lesson, write a short story, learn to tango.  This prompt comes from Julia Cameron’s the ARTIST’S WAY: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self, first published in 1992. This timeless classic is filled with ways to connect with your creative potential through daily journal writing, prompts, and play dates.  Explore some thrift stores to find a bargain-priced copy.  If you’re looking for a local creative tribe, see if anyone is facilitating an Artist’s Way Study Group. Your personal process will be enhanced in a group setting.

One sure-fire way to stay creative: force yourself to learn something new.”
Harvey Mackay


Creative Prompt #2:  Celebrate your mistakes. Think about mistakes you’ve made in the past which turned out to be blessings. Practice looking at mistakes as stepping stones bringing you closer to your desired result. This prompt comes from the CREATIVE LICENSE: Giving Yourself Permission to be the Artist you Truly Are by Danny Gregory (2006).  Gregory’s book is literally about using visual journaling and drawing to make creativity a daily habit. I love his one-page chapters on mistakes and drawing badly. He makes it clear flaws are part of what makes your work wonderful. 

“Dare to be wrong and to dream.”
Friedrich von Schiller

Creative Prompt #3:  Name and claim your biggest, happiest creative dream. Do in in spite of your fear of possible failure.  Remember fear is false evidence appearing real.  This prompt comes from SARK’s MAKE YOUR CREATIVE DREAMS REAL book (2006). She calls it a “plan for procrastinators, perfectionists, busy people, and people who would really rather sleep all day.” Any book by SARK will set your creative spirit free.   

 “Don’t be afraid to expand yourself, to step out of your comfort zone. That’s where the joy and the adventure lie.”
Herbie Hancock

This week I failed to get my blog done on Sunday or Monday.  So what?  I can give myself permission to do what works.  I also failed to attend 5 Zumba classes this past week.  I had a weekend class which prevented me from meeting my goal – but it is important to keep in mind – goals are guidelines.  We need to keep our priorities in mind and do what leads us to our most importation dreams daily.  My biggest dream is graduating with my Master’s degree in May. That deadline means other dreams might need to get put on hold. Being flexible is part of being creative.  Stretch yourself this week.  Make friends with your perceived failures and look at ways you can use them to keep you moving in the direction of your dreams!  Enjoy it all and if you need inspiration or encouragement during the week, visit www.JoyofQuotes.com and check out the quotes and coaching in the Risk, Courage, Beginning, Mistake, Fear, and Failure subject categories. 

Can you believe we are half way through our 10-week journey?  I greatly appreciate your participation and interest.  I hope you have a wonderful week ahead of creative discoveries and happy accidents! All comments and suggestions are blessed and encouraged.  I’d love to hear about your creative experiences and insights.  Have you been inspired to try something new? 

 Marta Davidovich Ockuly


P.S.  I am grateful to Dr. Ruth Richards and Dr. Cyndi Burnett for all they ways they contributed to my successful ‘Scholar Experience” this past weekend.  The images show Dr. Burnett and I posing in front of an ‘idea’ poster, and the collage covered binder I created to showcase Dr. Richard’s work.  Now that I’m almost finished with my Master’s degree my sights are on earning a PhD at Saybrook University. Yea for creative challenges!!!

“Life is a daring adventure or nothing.”
Helen Keller


P.S.S.  Here’s the lady responsible for shaking up my creativity and stimulating sweaty smiles. Thank you Tammy for being my Zumba motivator and for sharing your comments on this blog, too! (Yes – that’s me in the yellow top taking the photo!)

Joy and Creativity

 Welcome!  This week we’re turning our focus from creativity and mindfulness, to joy and creativity.  

Let’s talk a bit about the nature of joy.  Psychiatry professor George Vallant reminds us, “We can laugh from either joy or happiness, but we weep only from grief or joy…Without the pain of farewell, there is no joy in reunion…without the pain of captivity, we don’t experience the joy of freedom.”  Happiness is cognitive (a state of mind), where as joy is affective (an emotion).  Joy is the least studied of all the emotions – but that is changing with better technology and being able to look more specifically at brain function. While happiness is not joy – often we can use happiness clues to lead us to our joys.  Happiness is a choice we make. Joy appears when we are deeply moved or when we accomplish something deeply meaningful or fulfill our natures as human beings. Humanistic psychologist and classic creativity theorist Rollo May’s writings link the concepts of joy, creativity, and human potential with anxiety.  Joy almost always shows up when we’ve overcome a challenge or worked hard to make a discovery or create something original. None of those things are easy – even when certain people feel they have ‘a gift’ – it does not bear fruit unless the ground is plowed and the seeds are planted and tended for a long, long time. Does this mean joy is out of reach for most of us? Absolutely not. In fact, doing something very simple – daily – can turn you into a virtual joy magnet. It required making joy and creative action a priority. You must also be willing to take baby steps in the direction of what you love – a dream, a project, something you’ve always felt a desire to do. By giving yourself as little as 10 minutes a day indulging in some ‘positive pretending’ and small actions you can see joyful syncronicities showing up where you least expected them.  A link will be provided later in this post to walk you through the process if you so desire.

Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings.
It is based on the experience of one’s identity as being of worth and dignity
Rollo May

Have you been practicing mindfulness for 15 minutes a day?  Are you seeing some benefits from journaling? I’d love to hear about your experiences. For me, mindfulness plus movement triggered great creative results.  Keep that in mind as you begin to explore your joys and use them to direct your creative play activities for the week ahead. Given the disaster of the earthquake and resulting trauma in Japan – we are reminded to be grateful for this moment and the blessings surrounding us – seen and unseen.   In times of emergency – we reach out to help others in our global family.  Life is precious precisely because there are no guarantees.  No one is promised a tomorrow. We have an obligation to ourselves and the world to use each day to the fullest doing what matters most to us. Joy and gratitude always appear together. It is simply impossible to feel waves of joy without being drenched in gratitude.  I invite you to reflect on what you may be taking for granted in your life right now.  Then as part of your creative actions for the coming week – reach out and make a positive difference in your world. By sharing a smile, a hug, a hand written letter, or a compliment  or encouragement – you will open doors to your own potential.

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only
this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake
Marie Beyon Ray

What does love have to do with it?  Decades of research led E. Paul Torrance, the man many call the father of creativity, to conclude: “One of the most powerful wellsprings of creative energy, outstanding accomplishment, and self-fulfillment seems to be falling in love with something – your dreams, your image of the future.”  Harvard researcher Theresa M. Amabile’s studies also show: “The best way to help people to maximize their creative potential to to allow them to do something they love.”  So what is your creative dream?  What would you do if you knew you could not fail?  Part of the reason you are on this planet right now is to pursue that passion. The dream and the dreamer are always matched. You would not have your particular dream if you did not have the means – right now – to begin walking in that direction.  This is not to say the dream will turn out exactly as you imagined, but I will assure you it will lead you to the place you need to be to find joy and meaning in your life.

 Did you know dancing with joy literally builds new brain cells? 

Biologist Carla Hannaford, PhD, reports:
 “Self-initiated movement, exploration, interaction and physical experience for the joy and challenge of it, facilitates neurogenesis (nerve growth) for a lifetime.”

 In her fascinating book, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head, Hannaford makes it clear new brain cells (neural connections) can ONLY be grown if we’re totally focused on (and enthused about) an activity.  What makes us most excited?  JOY!  Creative projects offer a great mix of challenge and joy.  If an idea gives you lots of energy – it has the potential to bring you joy.  What are you inspired to try?

Can you tell me 10 activities which bring you joy?  Before getting out of bed in the morning, spend 10 minutes thinking about what brings you deep joy. If you’ve never made a joy mandala, check out this link:  ActivateJoyPower .  Many people find this technique transformational. With a little practice, you can move joy into your ‘top of the mind awareness’.  When that happens you’ll begin attracting more and more joy.  My life is filled with joy because I use it as my GPS in life. My current ‘top ten’ creative joys are:  1. Zumba classes 2. Nature walks 3. Journaling 4. Making collages 5. Reading & researching 6. Being a creativity catalyst 7. Finding great quotes 8.  Creating and sharing inspiring ‘tweets’ on Twitter 9. Taking a trip to Ukraine with my kids 10. Latin music & dancing.

I’m happy to report I had my most creatively productive week since starting this project.  I give the credit to my joyful Zumba instructor, Tammy Davis, at Terries Workout Center in Buffalo, NY.  Her classes are sing-out-loud fun and energizing.  I love the results so much I’ve decided to commit to doing 40 Zumba classes (5x a week) between now and May!  If Zumba is too big of a stretch for you – commit to taking daily walks or swimming laps. It doesn’t matter what you do – as long as it makes you smile and fills you with energy.

In addition to making more art, I experimented with different processes. Normally, I create my collages inside my journal, but this time I painted a canvas board hot pink and used it as my ‘joy collage’ base.  How many of my joys can you find?  After completing my ‘joy collage painting’ – I painted facing pages inside my journal and then collaged them, too! 

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
Albert Einstein

Creative Prompt #1:  Think about what brings you joy and start a joy list in your journal. Spend the next few days looking for small ways to experience your ‘joys’. You’ll get extra brain cells for trying something new. What creative project have you been wanting to do?  What’s stopping you?  

What if imagination and art are not frosting at all, but the fountainhead of human experience?”
Rollo May

I was inspired to combine oil pastels, paint, and collage elements to this piece.  A friend e-mailed this beautiful  quote and print by visionary artist Gordon Wood.  His piece is called “Birth of Awe”.  Visiting his site was a joyful experience for me.  The background is a ‘scribble drawing’ I did in the dark with the oil pastels. It was a fun experience. Ihighly recommend it if you are stuck in ‘critical mode’. Closing your eyes, reaching for colors blindly, and drawing out emotions can be incredibly freeing.  I did it a month ago. It’s just been sitting and waiting for me to get the inspiration to finish it. Last night – I worked madly until nearly 5am to finish all six art projects and this blog.  This burst of creativity came from all the connections I’ve been making. Reading books, coloring, clipping images, dancing, taking walks, doing things outside my comfort zone, and most of all – letting all those elements blend in the big creative cooking pot called ‘incubatation.’  Inspiration comes from working at something daily – not waiting for the muse to move you.  Just do something – then relax.  Practice mindfulness, be silly and playful.  And get over your ‘old stories’ which sound like “…nothing sounds fun to me” or “I can’t do that” or “I don’t have time”.  Those are all just excuses.  Change your thoughts, take action, change your world!


No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody by oneself.”
Virginia Woolf

I created this ‘positive self-image’ collage to help me visualize my new mantra:  NOW to WOW!  It was triggered by insights I picked up from Chip and Dan Heath’s book Switch (I reviewed it in last weeks’ blog).  Their ‘form an instant habit’ prompts are working for me.  A second book which also influenced me this week was the 365 A Daily Creativity Journal.  I’ve been thinking about something fun I’d like to do for a year – and Zumba came up as my answer.  As mentioned earlier – I’m going to try 40 classes in 2 months first – if it’s still joyful I’ll commit to the ‘long haul.’  What’s really exciting about all these insights and art projects is this:  the mindfulness and movement combination is working like magic.   I set an intention to unlock my creative potential and stimulate personal growth and I’m really experiencing the results.  Just a month into the process, I’m genuinely excited about the possibilities.

The next image shows all the creative projects I was inspired to complete this week.  It’s alot!!!! I’m happy I broke through my resistance to using acrylics and watercolor paints. I also played with Mod Podge and a variety of brushes. I let go of criticism and simply played with possibilities.

This is a crazy amount of creative expression isn’t it???  I tripled my usual output.  If you are really ready to break through blocks and get into the creative ‘flow’ – try movement and mindfulness – with a dash of joy.  There is no way I’d do any exercise class daily (for love nor money).  But joy makes it a fun thing so it’s a double win.  Your job this week is to find what turns you on in terms of creative, joyful actions.  Experiment. Play. Pay attention to your energy.  All this information will point you in the direction you need to go.

Creative Prompt #2:  Play with paints – buy a tube of white acrylic and another color that feels joyful (I picked magenta and bronze). Now flip through magazines, keeping your eyes open for images and words which catch your attention. Tear them out and keep them in a big envelope until you have enough to create a collage. Think about adding in collage ‘scraps’ – things like receipts, ticket stubs, or ideas scribbled on bits of paper make interesting additions. You can even Google a topic and find images to use – simply right click on an image, and do ‘save as’.  Stretch yourself.   There is no one grading you on your work. Just make a personal statement.

Even without success, creative persons find joy in a job well done. Learning for its own sake is rewarding.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Creative Prompt #3:  Basic – buy a coloring book (they have a great selection at Target starting at just $1!) Coloring will get you relaxed.  It’s a non-threatening way to get your feel in the creative waters.  Color mindfully. Have fun with it! Advanced – create a coloring book.  Sit for a few minutes in silence, or take a 15 minute discovery walk and jot down  ideas which pop up, and start drawing.  A good book for drawing prompts is: The Confident Creative…Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind by Cat Bennett.  Cat suggests starting an artist’s sketchbook as a way of documenting your journey into deeper creativity. If you are interested in this topic, it’s a book worth having.

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
Henri Nouwen

This is my first watercolor in ages.  I played with colors and swirls and then decided to place my new ‘creativity button prototype’ in the center.  It’s very much simpler (less cluttered) than my usual collages.  I used a mat board backing which ended up warping a bit. Oh well.  It’s not my favorite – but this blog is my record of all the pieces I produce week to week – so here it is!

Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.”
Carol Welch

My dear friend Ann (shown below)  developed a practice she calls ‘gratitude dancing.’  She dances her joy on Siesta Key beach in Sarasota, Florida, to the delight of passers by.  Her creative actions have stimulated wonderful ideas and connections.  If you’d like to give spontaneous dancing a try – this Friday, March 18th at noon is the perfect time!  It just happens to be global:  ‘Dance Anywhere You Are’ day.  For details visit:  www.danceanywhere.org

True joy is that which gives us more energy and makes us feel more alive.”
Robert Puryear

I am thinking of creating a pin with this message. What do you think?  Do you prefer this message or the one which asks “What did you create today?”  Your feedback is important to me.  Please leave a comment.  I got my new FLIP camera, but can’t get it to work, so hopefully I’ll be able to debut a video next week.  I also want to report my Arthur Murray (dreaded) dance lesson was actually fantastically fun!  Thank you Myron – my cha-cha master at the Buffalo Arthur Murray Studio on Bailley.  Our hour together was pure pleasure.  I appreciate your patience and your affirming comments about my ‘club style’ dancing abilities.  Yea!

If you’d like to share art you’ve created on this blog, send it to magicalmarta@aol.com  Visit www.JoyofQuotes.com for our complete selection of creativity, risk, courage, and self-expression quotes.  The world is waiting for your unique contribution – that’s why it’s important to find your joy!  Create a wonderful week!

Marta Davidovich Ockuly
(Dancing with joy!)