Thursday, January 15, 2009


I did a bit of a u-turn this morning, reflecting on what I intend by this blog, and I deleted a post that made me feel sad - something I've never done before! The transformation is surprising: a lifting of sadness, and a small sense of renewed energy. What was I doing that made me feel sad? I was focusing on the past and letting it bog me down.

There are a couple of key points hidden in those sentences: I very much have the power to create (and change) my own mood, so it isn't all about outside agencies affecting me, it can also be about me affecting myself. Daft, isn't it? But I therefore have the power to change things: even if I can't stop the outside agencies (and I'm not talking about the FBI here!), I can change how I respond to things, which is something I've always known and too infrequently remember.

Phew, now I've hammered that into my head a bit this morning I can think about things I was mulling over yesterday and the day before when reading Eric Maisel's Creativity blog. Jan Allsopp over at ...'In my spare time' alerted me to Eric Maisel some time ago but it has to be said I've not been an avid reader until recently when I noticed some of his posts popping up, titled "Traits of the Creative Personality". Aha! I thought. Now I'll learn some of the mysteries of being more creative and I'll be happy... and of course, it's not quite that simple.

Eric Maisel suggests ten 'traits of the creative personality': confidence, depth of knowledge, social unconcern, patience, organisation, openness to experience, love of challenge, divergent thinking abilities, tolerance for ambiguity, and self-trust. How do I score? Well actually I'd give myself 7/10 which surprised me. I could do with working on my depth of knowledge (it isn't a journey that ever ends, I think), and my confidence waivers enormously depending on how I'm generally feeling, but otherwise I'd say I do OK. And there's another lesson for me: actually I am already equipped, after 43 years of learning, with many of the skills I need in my personal, professional and artistic lives - I just don't realise it, or at least I frequently forget. Maybe the aspect of myself that I need to work on most is self-belief, which is subtly different from self-trust.

How am I feeling today? Mmmm, I'd say I'm moving towards another full-glass sort of a day, especially if I can manage to do some work. And something happened that made me and M very happy yesterday: my stepson has found himself a room to rent in a shared house and will be moving in there next week. That sounds awful but in fact he's 21, he's been itching to get out for ages, and our lives have all been miserable living together for over a year. I am looking forward so much to the weight of resentment and lethargy lifting from the house, to feeling comfortable in our home again. We will hopefully return to the pleasant time we all had when he was at university for a year: he came home in the holidays and was pleased to see us and we all had lots to talk about... Moving out will give him and us the independence and privacy we all crave, but we'll still be here for him, helping out if needed.

Happiness today is: our children recognising that they have power to change things in their own lives and actually getting up and doing it!

I'll go with orange juice this morning as it's only 09:50! Might move to a full martini glass later...

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