when creativity and wellness collide, a beautiful life unfolds

I am the Artist of my Life. From the Artist Within. Illustrated by Desiree East

Exercise your right brain, feed your creative soul, extend that artistry into your life and out to world…not only onto the canvas, but also to the people that surround you.

WHEN CREATIVITY AND WELLNESS COLLIDE, A BEAUTIFUL LIFE UNFOLDS

I originally started this blog to chronicle what inspires me creatively in my life. My creative process. Other people’s creative processes. Random bits of illustrations, photography, paintings, music, travel, and whatever else I might come across.

It has also become a visual journal of my travels — living, what some may call, an ‘unconventional life’ of some sort — and a place where I have been sharing life lessons, as of late.

I never thought it would lead me to where I am today. (I’ve got some BIG news!)

If you haven’t heard yet, I am in the process of getting certified to become a Creatively Fit Coach, and I have been counting down for months for my training to start…the day has finally come! I have been keeping this under wraps for quite some time (unless you follow me on Facebook, where I dropped little hints here and there, and let the cat out of the bag).

I am SO very excited to finally start this journey and share it with you!

WHAT IS CREATIVELY FIT?

Creatively Fit is a concept coined by Whitney Ferre, author of The Artist Within: A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit. On a basic level, being ‘creatively fit’ allows you to exercise your right brain, just as you would exercise your triceps when you go to the gym.

As Whitney explains in her book, “Each side of the brain has a different voice. For 90 percent of us, our days are spent tuned in to our left-brain voice…It is logical, verbal, and analytical…Just as muscles get larger the more they are exercised, imagine your left brain as an over-developed, hulking muscle with your itty-bitty little right brain trying to peek out from behind. To strengthen that right brain ‘muscle,’ to give it a voice, we can create a new awareness of the art that is our life and we can use simple, creative exercises to connect to our artist within.” 

I will be joining other creative coaches around the globe to help inspire people re-awaken their right brains and develop creative habits. Yes, for fun, relaxation, and meditation, but more importantly, as a vehicle for looking at the intricacies of life through the use of creative expression.

creatively fit exercise by desiree east

a ten-minute Creatively Fit exercise

THE BIG ‘WHY?’

Here is the reason why I would like to become certified as a creative coach: I would love to go beyond the process of simply ‘teaching art techniques’ to other people. The reason why I love producing art is because of the creative process itself. Many people (especially, those who don’t consider themselves ‘artists’) believe that they don’t have a creative bone in their body…and most of the time, they simply don’t have the time — or make the time — to incorporate creative habits into their lives.

I have always believed that everyone has creative potential, and I have always encouraged this kind of thinking in both my students and clients. (And if you know me personally, you all know how much I love to give art supplies to people as gifts, especially the kiddos!)

The Creatively Fit Coaching Certification supports many beliefs that I have, especially where practicing creative habits contributes to the development of creative solutions in all aspects of your life (personal, emotional, spiritual, financial, etc.) I am very passionate about helping others tap into this unique, sacred space that each of us all have, and I truly believe that taking time to express yourself creatively can contribute significantly toward health, wellness, career, and spirit.

If you’d like, you could think of it as a form of meditation and focus — finding that stillness within…yoga for the brain, if you will –except we get to use paint brushes!

BUT, there is another reason why I have been jumping up and down with joy in regards to what is happening. I have been fascinated with the the way things have been shifting in our world — even more so, within the last few years.

For better or worse, the economy has been in a state of flux. Social norms and cultural dynamics are evolving in ways we never thought we could imagine. Technological and medical advances continue to significantly contribute to future growth. And the environment and religion and politics…(ahem)actually, we’ll just leave these topics to debate for another time ;-)

Back to my point.

After nearly two years of blogging, it has all become clear. I have connected with some pretty awesome bloggers from around the world: amazingly talented photographers, illustrators, designers writers and artists; adventurous travelers and full-time vagabonds;  online celebrity gurus, and just fun, witty and interesting people, from all walks of life, who like to share their unique world views.

There has been a significant shift in the way people are starting to think.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there has been a modest, but increasingly steady population of creatives blooming in front of our eyes: People are craving creativity.

creatively fit pastels by desiree east

A ten-minute Creatively Fit exercise with oil pastels

There is a growing need where people want to connect with their unique creative source. They want to find their own voice among the daily grind. Some are successful and some don’t know where to start. I could feel it in the air, but I never really knew what to make of it…all I know is that I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this ‘creative movement’ and as a coach, I would like to provide a safe and welcoming environment for creative expression.

You may not hear about it on the radio while driving to work. It may not be the hot topic of the week in the lunch room. And perhaps, it’s not the conversation you have with your kids at the dinner table, after a long, exhausting day at work.

But maybe it should be. Start that conversation.

Ask yourself, your spouse, your kids, your business partner, your neighbor, your hair dresser:

“What does creativity mean to you?”

Then give some thought about the responses. How does the role of creativity play in your life? In your loved ones’ lives? Does it have a place in your daily life? Why or why not?

“Sociologists and economists are painting a picture of the near future in which creative skills are going to be much more valuable. The demographics of the American work force are changing. Jobs formerly held by U.S. graduates are being outsourced to Asia and India. Task-oriented, information-based careers are being outsourced because other people can do them more cheaply and just as well. If it does not require imagination, if it is skilled based, someone else can do it, and he can do it cheaper. Major corporations are looking to art schools to hire MFA’s over MBA’s…Creativity and design are now all that sets one product or company ahead or behind another. Just as the Industrial Age gave way to the Information Age, we are in another economical flux. The rules of the game are changing. The world needs new kinds of players, and these players will help to create and carry forward this change.” (Ferre, The Artist Within, 14).

UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVE SOUL

How do I fit in all of this?

I am in the process of re-vamping my site, and you may see a shift in the way I do things, here, on this little blog. I hope you stick with me during this humble journey, because it is going to be just that…a tiny little evolution of some sort, and hopefully, one that will bring nourishment to your creative soul.

Ultimately, my dream is to connect with other life and wellness coaches (yoga, health, beauty, spirit, etc…) to provide creative goodness to people who are establishing healthier, more vibrant lives for themselves and the people they love.

I would like to simply inspire others to appreciate this beautiful world we live in and embrace its tiny moments, using creative outlets such as drawing, painting, and photography — and whatever medium we can get our hot little hands on.

In the meantime, I will share some bits and pieces of my Coaching Certification Training, as well as, a peek at some of the creative exercises that Creatively Fit clients get to play with.

If I am feeling brave enough, I might even share some crazy-messy brainstorming sessions of future soulful, art classes that I have been developing. (And I may even ask for feedback).

This creative stuff is all very addicting…and, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

Times they are a changin’, lovely people, and it’s all about harnessing and applying your unique creative expression into your life and out to the world! Are you ready???

How to start thinking creatively? Start simple. Learn to look at patterns and shapes. Find your universal symbol. Photo by Desiree East

How to start thinking creatively? Start simple. Learn to look at patterns and shapes. Find your universal symbol.

A close up of batik artwork I created in Bali. Notice the swirling, spiral pattern. Photo by Desiree East

A close up of batik artwork I created in Bali. Notice the swirling, spiral pattern.

A special gift from a surfer friend. A rounded spoon with delicate glazed patterns. Photo by Desiree East

A special gift from a surfer friend. A rounded spoon with delicate glazed patterns.

Woven, handmade artwork from the island of Borneo. Straight lines repeat themselves. Photo by Desiree East

Woven, handmade artwork from the island of Borneo. Straight lines repeat themselves.