Tag Archives: creativity

Drool-worthy desk spaces

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Yes! It’s clear – I’m a sucker for visuals of organized, beautiful desk spaces. Nothing tickles me more than the sense of a cozy, comfortable throne of efficiency and productivity. A place that supports the down-and-dirty to-dos; evokes the wilder, raw creative juices; and cradles big soaring vision all at once. A room/womb with a view.

Check out these spaces I stumbled upon on Houzz, and see what you think. What excites you in the photos…what possibilities do they elicit for you?

For me, the desk spaces with expansive views promise me the day I get to spend six months in NYC and six months in a remote natural world (Boulder, Utah; Provincetown, MA; Hana, Maui come to mind) and not skip a beat in productivity.desk vie

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Baby-stepping with your Stuff

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I had a recent session with a writer who was feeling down….the inkwell of imagination dried up….feeling unaccomplished.

She needed to go to her files, her drawers, her closets to pull out all her printed drafts of all the work she’d done and leave them out for a while to “see” her work.

Gratifying, validating for a time, seeing all the paper piled high, she then felt a need to “see” further – She called me in and we began discerning the drafts – we separated – 1st play: version 1-8, 1st screenplay versions 1-6, etc.

At this point, she began to feel ready to purge the old drafts….a feeling of completion took over the need to see her work. In order to move on, she now needed the clarity of an empty space…a new beginning.

This process of interacting with her drafts was part of her artistic process – She was not sure if she was “done” with her plays yet —

Without throwing them out, the exercise of taking inventory re-positioned her. With clarity, she was in a new space to make decisions.

She stood in a place of readiness to be open to the next “direction” form the muse/god/ psyche….

There’s a notion in feng shui – If you’re feeling stuck with your stuff, move 20 objects…..just shift them slightly – move one pile from the left corner of your desk to the right, shift the angle of objects on a mantle piece, move the soap dish to a shelf. Shake up the energy of your environment. Sometimes it’s enough to shift your internal landscape so you can “see” what’s next

Baby steps are effective. Remember when you were learning to walk? You’ve come a long way, baby. Keep stepping.

Executive desk

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Tamara desk

Love this picture by Danny Ghitis of the NY Times. Tamara Mellon’s ample, luxurious desktop at home in the UES, NYC.

Do you have the work space worthy of who you are and what you do in the world?

Compassionate Workplace #2: Declutter- It’s not just for Oprah!

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Often it’s the “getting started” that’s the hardest barrier to cross in organizing. I love hearing how different people ease there way into the process…

the yoga rebel

It appears that Oprah has made decluttering her mission in every Spring. And why not? It’s a great thing.

photo-5I have discovered (rather too late) that my productivity is directly related to how clean my desk is. (Surprise!)

I think what’s important is not not my realization but why. My productivity equals to my creativity. When I am not being productive, I am not creating anything. I’m not producing anything new, fun, useful or loving. What’s also important is that when I’m not feeling creative, it’s because I often feel anxious. Not all the time. But certainly a lot of the times. I think about unpaid bills, Emails I have not replied, issues I have not dealt with, taxes I have not sorted out etc etc. Cluttering is a way of avoiding and numbing. There are certain things I don’t want to deal with so I pile them up…

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Road-map

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bucket list

Greetings!

Last week, I reached my goal with this blog. I wanted to see what connections I could draw between the work I do as a professional organizer, and the work I pursue through recovery and transformational work.  The result I declared was to create 90 posts in 90 days, and to have at least 300 views in that time. I accomplished 90 posts a week ago Friday on day 86, with over 600 views, and gained, unexpectedly, 20+ followers.

Having little experience blogging, the 90 days was an adventure. Committed to posting, even when I wasn’t sure what to post, the posts took interesting twists and turns. They turned out to be a bit of “everything but the kitchen sink“, and probably revealed more about my messy mind than I usually like the world to see, but I also gained the satisfaction many bloggers must experience in having a public, traceable record of the inner workings, impulses and musings. To see people choose to “follow” these machinations is fascinating and ego-tweaking.

So, to recap, my goal was to engage in a creative process contained by a structure that defined it’s scope and gave it discipline. I was free to explore and create whatever I wanted within the framework I gave myself, and it was the framework and my commitment to it, that gave me the accountability to get it done.

dreammFor the past two years, I’ve been working with a tool I received during a 90-day transformational leadership program I took. Ninety days is commonly considered the amount of time it takes to break a habit or learn a new one, so this course uses the 90-day framework to help participants do just that.

At the beginning of the program, I wrote a document in which I created an overall vision for my world, and a vision statement for  each of the realms of Friends & Family, Career & Education, Community, Finance, and Health & Well-being. I then created about three declarations of results I’d be creating in each of those realms within the 90 days. Note the emphasis here is on the results I’d be creating – not what I want to see, what I hope to see, what I’ll be in process of achieving, but what will actually BE created in the world because I said so, regardless of circumstances or self-doubts.

The program was intended to stretch me beyond what I’ve already accomplished, and beyond what I may have already been on track for, and to show me what I’m capable of when I have a clear vision fueled by urgency, committed action, and operating from ways of being that will bring about the results I’ve declared. Pretty neat stuff.

I’ve chosen to continue using this tool and write a new document about every three months. I’ve done it in collaborations with partners or small groups of others who have gone through the program. We give each other accountability and support to complete all we’ve declare each cycle.

grow

Some highlights of declarations I’ve completed have been: creating a 70th surprise birthday party for a good friend, collecting 2,224 pairs of shoes to donate to Haiti for Soles 4 Souls, getting my Dad’s sculpture website up and running, planning a secret weekend of home repair for my parents while they were away, going to Haiti and becoming a sponsor and raising money for a school there, becoming a volunteer for NY Cares, serving over 500 meals for Hurricane Sandy victims, doubling my income, declaring and receiving additional clients for my business, learning to belly dance, educating myself & others about the US election process, singing in public, getting my driver’s license and becoming vegetarian.

I’ve found 90 days to be a great amount of time to declare results and achieve them. It’s an amazing integrity booster to complete what I’ve declared to complete, and if there’s something I’ve declared that I find out is not as valuable to me or others as I expected it to be, I can choose differently for my next cycle.

Someone said “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re sure to get there.”
I think creating your own road-map is crucial to authoring the life you want rather than have circumstances dictate what you’ll get in life.

Here are the aspects of the goal-setting that make any road-map vital:

  • Have a clear vision that inspires you to create beyond your circumstances.
  • Make the results you declare specific, tangible, and measurable.
  • Make the results be about more than what you’ll get out of them. In other words, ask, “With this declaration, how am I contributing to the world?“, “How am I”, as Gandhi said, “being the change I wish to see in the world?”
  • Be accountable. It’s much easier to let go when the going gets tough when we’re doing it alone. Accountability partners can keep you on track.
  • Refer to your map often. Be clear about where you stand in the time-frame you’ve declared.
  • Know it’s more about who you’re being than what you’re doing that has your vision turn out. Choosing to be powerful, loving, joyful, open, connected, courageous, passionate, authentic and outrageous, when needed, are the keys to success.

 I was Here

Dare to declare your vision and have it turn out! xxoodream big

P.S. – I declare to continue this blog, posting weekly for the next 90 days.

Imagination

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I gave a workshop in Organizing with Kids for parents yesterday. I emphasized that, depending on a child’s innate learning style, organizing may look different for each child, and may look different from their parents way of organizing. As long as we can find what we’re looking for when we need it, in a reasonable amount of time, it doesn’t matter so much if we use a filing cabinet, or a “pile on the desk “system.

As long as we’re honoring our commitments and living the life we dream of, it doesn’t matter if we use a the iPhone 5, a paper planner, or the back of a receipt to track our appointments.

The question is, are we getting the results we want from our organizing system? Do we have a system that works for us? If not, we need to trust our creativity + commitment to working it out + support, if needed, will get us there.

Many people hope a professional organizer, magazine or You Tube video will hand them a perfect system that will cure clutter and time management issues. If you are working with a new system, keep connecting to it’s purpose, and know that we must continue to work a system in order for it to work. Try it for a while (90 days is a good indicator of when a new habit sets in, or old one gets let go)  before giving up. Give yourself evaluation periods to ask, what’s working? What’s not…..and never doubt your own imagination and creativity in finding solutions that work for you….

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source: Courage to Change, page 41

Creativity is a powerful way to celebrate who we are. It is spiritual energy that nourishes our vitality. It is a way to replace negative thinking with positive action.

Every one of us is brimming with imagination, but it often takes practice to find it and put it to use. Yet anything we do in a new way can be creative–building a bookcase, trying a new seasoning on a vegetable, taking a new approach to handling finances, finger painting, problem-solving, tapping out a rhythm on a tabletop. Creative energy is within us and all around us, whether we are writing a masterpiece or folding the laundry.

Every original act asserts our commitment to living… When we create, we plant ourselves firmly in the moment and teach ourselves that what we do matters.

Today’s reminder
Today I will make use of the precious gift of imagination. Thus I will turn away from negativity, self-doubt, and fear, and celebrate life instead.