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  1. TopTop #1

    Weekly Writing Ideas with Suzanne Murray

    Greetings Wacco Community,

    Hi, I’m Suzanne Murray and I'll be drawing on my thirty years of writing experience and eighteen years of teaching the creative writing process to offer inspiration, insights, tips and exercises to help stimulate your writing. I’ll post new information and exercises every couple of week as an ongoing thread under the title “Twice Monthly Writing Ideas with Suzanne Murray”. Just scroll down to the bottom for the most recent post.

    A little about my overall philosophy: Brenda Ueland in her book “If You Want to Write -A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit”, (published in 1938 and still in print) said “Everybody is original, talented and has something important to say”. It is probably my favorite book on writing because it contains a great deal of passion and wisdom as well as an understanding that encouragement is the best nourishment for the creative soul. I believe that when we are creative, we tap into a greater sense of our Self, so my main intention for sharing ideas on writing is to offer encouragement, (the word courage derived from the old French word “cuer” which means heart) and inspiration. Since I also work with people individually as a writing and creativity coach, I will provide some tips on what I have found most helpful in assisting you to “show up” to write.

    TIP AND EXERCISE: To start I want to introduce the idea of “freewriting” which has been popularized by Natalie Goldberg in her book “Writing Down the Bones”. All you do is, start writing for a set period of time, say ten minutes, and don’t stop for anything. If you can’t think of what to say you write “keep the hand moving” until you break through into a new idea. The purpose of this technique is that in writing a tad faster than you can think without stopping or censoring you are able out run the inner critic and strategic/analytical mind and more quickly access the creative imagination. Try it. You can start with a word , a phrase, something you see out the window, or an object in the room. Try starting with the word “rain”. Have fun. Then feel free to post what you come up with.

    Anyone interested in finding out more about me and the writing and creativity classes and coaching I offer in Sonoma and Marin Counties as well as writing journeys to Ireland and Yosemite can check out my webpage at www.creativitygoeswild.com or email me at [email protected].
    Last edited by creativity; 11-27-2009 at 03:16 PM. Reason: add info
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  2. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  3. TopTop #2
    Conly's Avatar
    Conly
     

    Re: Weekly Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray for Week of 1/28

    I didn't see it listed. How much $$$ is the course?
    Last edited by Barry; 01-29-2007 at 10:42 AM.
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  4. TopTop #3
    forest
    Guest

    Re: Weekly Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray for Week of 3/11

    This is my first time trying to post, and I find myself lost in this box space with no idea what will eventually be framed in the reply spot. I thank you Susanne, for your writing ideas and your support of writers. I have shared your column with my writers group and we have tried one suggestion this week. In appreciation, Deborah T-F
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  5. TopTop #4
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Twice-Monthly Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray for Week of 10/16

    Quote creativity wrote: View Post
    WRITING EXERCISE: Pick a line from a favorite poem as a prompt and really try letting go and letting the words lead you. Don’t be afraid to make quantum leaps. Often a piece falls flat because the reader is bored. Don’t worry about skipping to another scene, another angle, another character, another time, a memory. Trust the instinct to jump around. The best connections are the ones that reveal themselves to us after we’ve written them. If a jump occurs to you, take it, the connection will be clear later.
    OK Folks, who wants to take a stab at this?? Just give it a whirl and see what happens and please share it with us! We will only give your supportive feedback! (That means you too, Lulu!)
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  6. TopTop #5
    Melodymama's Avatar
    Melodymama
     

    Re: Twice-Monthly Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray for Week of 4/1

    This looks like an advertisement for your workshops and classes. I like Larry's poem at the end of the page every day. That you come in with your "ideas" which are good, and also repeat your catalogue of opportunities to pay you for classes is offensive to me. Do that in the area that is specified for that content. Poetry/prose section to me is the aahhh place and a ritual of relaxing with the words of others meant to stimulate me in the ways creative writing does.

    Advertising is not in that catagory. Keep these separate. I would like to see some of your writing, or just leave it to those who want to share freely. Laura
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  7. TopTop #6

    Twice-Monthly Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray for Week of 3/15

    Twice-Monthly Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray for the week of 3/15


    Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights but you can make the whole trip that way. - E.L. Doctorow


    SHORT ASSIGNMENTS

    If when you sit down to write you think to yourself, “I’m going to write a book” you will likely freak yourself out because that feels like too big a task to take on. But it you think I’m going to write a sentence or a paragraph or I’m going to work on a chapter, which ever feels manageable and realizable to you, then it’s easier to get started and stay in the chair. You don’t have to know what the story or poem or book is about beforehand. You will “figure that out” as you work on your short assignments and they build into the bigger picture of what the work is really about. When you sit down to write on a work in progress just work on one image or scene or description to add to the work. Then celebrate that you are making progress step by small step.


    WRITING EXERCISE: Put the first word that pops into your head down on the page then the second word and the third and so on for ten minutes. You are not thinking about this. You are just allowing the words to flow and you are open to how they take shape. It’s a good way to warm up and loosen up. Have fun with it.


    Suzanne Murray teaches writing classes and workshops in both Sonoma and Marin Counties. For more information visit www.creativitygoeswild.com
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  8. TopTop #7
    Richard Nichols's Avatar
    Richard Nichols
     

    Re: Twice-Monthly Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray for Week of 3/15

    Suzanne, I just started writing poetry these last few months and what you say about getting started is on the mark. It really only takes the hint of an idea or a word and the rest just comes out of the great pool of creativity that everyone is tapped into.

    Thanks for the good thoughts

    Richard


    Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights but you can make the whole trip that way. - E.L. Doctorow


    SHORT ASSIGNMENTS

    If when you sit down to write you think to yourself, “I’m going to write a book” you will likely freak yourself out because that feels like too big a task to take on. But it you think I’m going to write a sentence or a paragraph or I’m going to work on a chapter, which ever feels manageable and realizable to you, then it’s easier to get started and stay in the chair. You don’t have to know what the story or poem or book is about beforehand. You will “figure that out” as you work on your short assignments and they build into the bigger picture of what the work is really about. When you sit down to write on a work in progress just work on one image or scene or description to add to the work. Then celebrate that you are making progress step by small step.


    WRITING EXERCISE: Put the first word that pops into your head down on the page then the second word and the third and so on for ten minutes. You are not thinking about this. You are just allowing the words to flow and you are open to how they take shape. It’s a good way to warm up and loosen up. Have fun with it.


    Suzanne Murray teaches writing classes and workshops in both Sonoma and Marin Counties. For more information visit www.creativitygoeswild.com[/QUOTE]
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  9. TopTop #8

    Bi-Monthly Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray for Week of 4/15

    Bi-Monthly Writing Ideas & Exercises with Suzanne Murray 4/15

    . . . writing is the slow, cumulative way of accepting your life as valid, of accepting yourself over a lifetime, of realizing that your life is important. And it is. It’s all you’ve got. All you ever had for sure. – Richard Hugo


    WRITING FOR HEALING, SELF DISCOVERY & MAKING MEANING

    I first started keeping a journal in college and have maintained that practice for over thirty five years. Expanding doing creative writing followed as a natural progression of this practice of putting pen to paper along with a deep love of books and working with words. Besides the experience of deep satisfaction that comes from engaging the creative process, writing has also served my personal growth in profound ways.

    Journaling differs from creative writing in that it is more a conversation with yourself. It provides a way of making sense of your life experiences and becomes a form of self analysis. Creative writing allows you to more deeply access the unconscious and the insights of your Self. The benefits of engaging the writing process on these different levels are many.

    In his book, Opening Up, James W Pennebaker, PhD, documents his years of research into the healing effects of writing. He found, what many people who have kept a journal often discover on their own, “that if we can create a cohesive personal narrative of our lives and if we can link up our emotions with specific events, then we have the power to take control of how those emotions and events affect our lives.” As Isak Dinesan, the author of Out of Africa, said “All suffering is bearable if it is seen as part of a story."

    Poet May Sarton said that “… the only way through pain … is to go through it, to absorb, probe, understand exactly what it is and what it means …. Nothing that happens to us, even the most terrible shock, is unusable, and everything has somehow to be built into the fabric of the personality ….” Through writing, we can find order and meaning in everything that has happened to us. Whichever form our writing takes: journaling, morning pages, poetry, memoir, fiction, or essays; it has the power to heal us and to help us grow.

    WRITING EXERCISE: There are lots of different ways to use writing for healing and self discovery. You can start by writing about a specific event or situation or relationship you. You could begin by writing a letter (that does not get sent) to a person you are having a conflict with in order to more deeply understand what you are really feeling about the situation. Or try writing a dialogue with a pain in your body and ask it what it needs from you as way to tapping the body’s natural ability to heal.

    You need to write freely without censoring or worrying about punctuation, spelling or grammar or even how it sounds. Write for ten to twenty minutes without stopping. Don’t edit what you are writing. Simply write and see what comes out. By allowing what wants to be written without trying to consciously control the flow, you tap into the wisdom of the unconscious and open yourself to the healing power within.


    Suzanne teaches writing classes in Sonoma and Marin Counties where she also now offers Writing to Heal Yourself Workshops. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com. For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
    Last edited by creativity; 05-01-2010 at 05:00 PM.
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  10. TopTop #9

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Writing Ideas & Exercises with Suzanne Murray


    Try a ten minute freewrite using the prompt: "I am from . . ." Really play with it and let your mind run and let yourself be surprised by what pops out.


    Suzanne teaches writing classes in Sonoma and Marin Counties as well as offering writing coaching online and will soon be offering teleclasses. She leads Writing Journeys to Ireland and Yosemite. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com. For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
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  11. TopTop #10

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Writing Ideas & Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Years ago I took a workshop from William Kittredge who taught creative writing at the University of Montana for thirty years. He said when he first started out teaching he was concerned with providing his students with information and techniques for writing. As time progressed he found that the most important thing he could do for his students was to help them answer the question of why they wanted to write. I give this assignment now to my student: Do a ten minute freewrite starting with the prompt Why I write. . . Try it, let your mind run, this can help you tap the energy behind the desire to write.


    Suzanne teaches writing classes in Sonoma and offer individual writing coaching online or by phone. She has just begun to offer a couple of different Teleclasses for writing. She also leads Weekend Writing Retreats to Yosemite. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com. For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
    Last edited by creativity; 07-01-2010 at 07:38 AM.
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  12. TopTop #11

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Writing Ideas & Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Good writing is full of moment by moment sensual detail that puts the reader into the experience. Try this. This week do five ten minutes free writes: one for each your senses. Really soak up the sensory experience before your sit down to write then really let go and see what your pen or keyboard has to say about it.

    Suzanne teaches writing classes in Sonoma and Marin and offers individual writing coaching online or by phone. She has just begun to offer a couple of different Teleclasses for writing. She also leads Weekend Writing Retreats to Yosemite. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com. For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog[/quote]
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  13. TopTop #12

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Here are some of my favorite quotes on writing. I'm always inspired by how other writers experience the process.

    The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.
    ~Vladimir Nabakov


    The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~Mark Twain

    Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

    Easy reading is damn hard writing.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. ~Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895


    Suzanne teaches writing classes in Sonoma County and offers individual writing coaching online or by phone as well as offering The Heart of Writing as a Teleclass. She also leads Weekend Writing Retreats to Yosemite. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com. For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
    Last edited by creativity; 08-04-2010 at 05:59 AM.
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  14. TopTop #13

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Hi Everyone,

    I just wrote this article for the monthly newsletter I send out to my mailing list and I am so excited to share this information on the neuroscience of what happens when we write or are creative in any way. I thought you all would enjoy it.


    Writing and Brain Wave States

    I’ve been reading an interesting book, titled Writing Down Your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within by Janet Conner. It focuses on how writing can help you access your inner wisdom and deeper ways of knowing. Anyone who establishes a writing practice, whether for creative expression or self discovery, begins to realize they can tap expanded ways of knowing and gain insights beyond the reach of their everyday state of awareness. I found the ideas and wisdom found in the book are very much applicable to creative writing.

    In the book the author interviewed creativity consultants Michelle and Robert Colt who have studied what goes on in the brain when we write. They first describe the four types of brain waves, “Beta, the fastest is associated with stress, work and concentration.” Most of us spend the bulk of our waking time here. Alpha waves are a bit slower and are “associated with creativity, calmness, and insight.” This is the brain state of “being in the zone” where your work feels effortless. Theta waves are the next slowest. We experience this state when we first wake up or have an ah..ha moment where you have a really creative idea or the solution to a problem pops into your mind. People who meditate slip into theta quickly and remain there through the period of meditation.. Delta waves, that we experience in deep sleep are the slowest.

    When we write we start out in beta, but very quickly move into alpha and eventually theta. The Colts explain that , “any moment of intense creativity is a theta burst. And when you engage in deep dialogue with divine mind, you are having mystical theta bursts” In the state of mystical theta bursts you are surprised by what comes out of your pen (or keyboard). I remember when I had my first experience of this state. I stopped writing to look around the room to see where the words were coming from because they didn’t feel like they were coming from me. It sounds strange but it actually feels delightful and it’s really were the best writing comes from.

    I was really excited to read about the brain states because it explained what I have been teaching intuitively for years. I tell my students to never wait for inspiration before sitting down to write because if you do you will likely be waiting a long time. I explain that you often have to write a half a page or a page where not much is happening, where you will feel sluggish and resistant before you start to feel a sense of the creative flow. I now realize that you are actually writing your way out of beta down into the brain states that give you access to the more creative states. It’s why establishing writing as a habit or practice is so important because you never really feel like writing until you slip into the more creative brain states and the best way to get there is to sit down and start writing.

    The information about brain states also explains why we have hard time coming up with creative solutions to life’s and the world’s problems when we are in our everyday (beta) mind. This reminds me of what Einstein meant when he said, Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. Reading about the brain states makes me aware of how important it is when I am faced with a problem to slow down and calm down knowing this will help me tap the more expanded brain states and allow creative solutions and new ideas to surface.


    Suzanne teaches writing classes in Sonoma County and offers individual writing coaching online or by phone as well as offering The Heart of Writing as a Teleclass. She also leads Weekend Writing Retreats to Yosemite. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com. For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
    Last edited by creativity; 08-13-2010 at 06:20 AM.
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  16. TopTop #14

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Very often the effort men put into activities that seem completely useless turns out to be extremely important in ways no one could foresee. Play has always been the mainspring of culture. -Italo Calvino

    PLAY


    Make a single sentence from the following words, without adding any extra. Just put them together in a way that feels pleasing to you: banana, dresser, hummingbird, potato, revive, uneven, assess, wonder. Then use the sentence as a prompt for a ten minute freewrite. Be willing to really let go of the need for it to make sense to the rational mind. Think of a child coloring outside the lines, or painting the sky orange and the trees purple. Have fun.


    Suzanne teaches Writing Teleclasses as well as in person classes in Sonoma County. She also offers individual writing coaching online or by phone and Weekend Writing Retreats in Yosemite. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com. For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog[/QUOTE]
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  17. TopTop #15

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    THE SOUL OF POETRY

    I always think of poetry as written by the soul of the writer for the soul of the reader so when I read poems I let them wash over me and feel into them as I read. Favorite poems remind me of what is really important to me. Here are some that speak to my soul. I will often read a poem or a piece of stream of consciousness writing before I start writing to make my mind more receptive to the creative flow.


    Weathering


    My face catches the wind
    from the snow line
    and flushes with a flush
    that will never wholly settle.
    Well, that was a metropolitan vanity,
    wanting to look young forever, to pass.
    I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty
    and only pretty enough to be seen
    with a man who wants to be seen
    with a passable woman.


    But now that I am in love
    with a place that doesn't care
    how I look or if I am happy,
    happy is how I look and that all.
    My hair will grow gray in any case,
    ,my nails chip and flake,
    my waist thicken, and the years
    work all the usual changes.


    If my face is to be weatherbeaten as well,
    it's little enough lost
    for a year among lakes and vales
    where simply to look out my window
    at the high pass
    makes me indifferent to mirrors
    and to what my soul may wear
    over its new complexion.


    -Fleur Adock




    Ripening Barberries


    Already the ripening barberries are red
    and the old asters hardly breathe in their beds.
    the man who is not rich now that summer goes
    will wait and wait and never be himself.


    The man who cannot quietly close his eyes
    certain that there is vision after vision inside,
    simply waiting for nighttime
    to rise all around him in darkness -
    it's all over for him, he's like an old man.


    Nothing else will come: no more doors will open
    and everything that does have will cheat him
    even You, my God. And You are like a stone
    that draws him daily deeper into the depths.


    - Rainer Maria Rilke




    A Spiritual Journey

    And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
    no matter how long,
    but only by a spiritual journey,
    a journey of one inch,
    very arduous and humbling and joyful,
    by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
    and learn to be at home.


    - Wendell Berry






    Landscape


    Isn't it plain that the sheets of moss, except that
    they have no tongues, could lecture
    all day if they want


    about spiritual patience? Isn't it clear
    the black oaks along the path are standing
    as though they were the most fragile of flowers?


    Every morning I walk like this around
    the pond, thinking: if the doors to my heart
    ever close, I am as good as dead.


    Every morning so far I'm alive. And now
    the crows break off from the rest of the darkness
    and burst up into the sky – as though


    all night they have thought of what they would like
    their lives to be, and imagined
    their strong, thick wings.


    - Mary Oliver


    Suzanne teaches Writing Teleclasses as well as in person classes in Sonoma County. She also offers individual writing coaching online or by phone and Weekend Writing Retreats in Yosemite. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com. For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
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  18. TopTop #16

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    THE HEALING POWER OF WRITING POETRY


    Some years ago I did a workshop with John Fox, author of Finding What You Didn't Lose and Poetic Medicine, who works with poetry for the purpose of healing. In his groups the focus is on drawing inspiration from poetry and writing poems of self expression and healing without worrying about needing to master the form. In our changing times I have more and more been thinking about the wisdom and healing power contained in poems. Recently someone I know was getting ready to sell the home and land where she had lived and loved for thirty years. I had suggested that she write about it as a way to express her feelings and come to a sense of peace with the decision. She wrote a beautiful tribute and love poem to the land and gardens she had so carefully tended. I then had the urge to send her Mary Oliver's In Blackwater Woods which carries in it a powerful message on what it means to let go.

    At that point I had the sense that finding the right poem that speaks to what we are going through can hold us in a place of comfort, healing and deeper understanding of a challenge or difficulty in our life. It can be like writing a prescription for yourself knowing that words can heal.

    If you are new to poetry and not accustomed to reading it then start with the highly accessible poets like the Sufi mystic poets like Rumi or Hafiz or best selling contemporary poets like Mary Oliver or Billy Collins. Below are a couple of ones that are a good place to begin. Or try writing your own poem. Be willing to relax and play with it.


    Introduction to Poetry


    I ask them to take a poem
    and hold it up to the light
    like a color slide
    or press an ear against its hive.
    I say drop a mouse into a poem
    and watch him probe his way out,
    or walk inside the poem's room
    and feel the walls for a light switch.
    I want them to waterski
    across the surface of a poem
    waving at the author's name on the shore.
    But all they want to do
    is tie the poem to a chair with rope
    and torture a confession out of it.
    They begin beating it with a hose
    to find out what it really means

    -Billy Collins


    In Blackwater Woods

    Look, the trees
    are turning
    their own bodies
    into pillars

    of light,
    are giving off the rich
    fragrance of cinnamon
    and fulfillment,


    the long tapers
    of cattail
    are bursting and floating away over
    the blue shoulders

    of the ponds,
    and every pond,
    no matter what its
    name is, is

    nameless now.
    Every year
    everything
    I have ever learned

    in my lifetime
    leads back to this: the fires
    and the black river of loss
    whose other side

    is salvation,
    whose meaning
    none of us will ever know.
    To live in this world

    you must be able
    to do three things:
    to love what is mortal;
    to hold it

    against your bones knowing
    your own life depends on it;
    and, when the time comes to let it go,
    to let it go.

    - Mary Oliver


    Suzanne teaches Writing Teleclasses as well as in person classes in Sonoma County. She also offers individual writing coaching online or by phone and Weekend Writing Retreats in Yosemite. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com. For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
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  20. TopTop #17

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Here's a deeply moving poem by Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donohue (1956 -2008) from his book To Bless the Space Between Us. After you read it try writing your own "morning offering" in whatever form whether poetry or prose that calls to you.

    A Morning Offering

    I bless the night that nourished my heart
    To set the ghosts of longing free
    Into the flow and figure of dream
    That went to harvest from the dark
    Bread for the hunger no one sees.

    All that is eternal in me
    Welcome the wonder of this day,
    The field of brightness it creates
    Offering time for each thing
    To arise and illuminate.

    I place on the altar of dawn:
    The quiet loyalty of breath,
    The tent of thought where I shelter,
    Wave of desire I am shore to
    And all beauty drawn to the eye.

    May my mind come alive today
    To the invisible geography
    That invites me to new frontiers,
    To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
    To risk being disturbed and changed.

    May I have the courage today
    To live the life that I would love,
    To postpone my dream no longer
    But do at last what I came here for
    And waste my heart on fear no more.

    ~ John O'Donohue ~



    Suzanne teaches Writing Teleclasses as well as in person workshops in Sonoma and Marin Counties. She also offers individual writing coaching online or by phone and Weekend Writing Retreats in Yosemite. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com. For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
    Last edited by creativity; 11-22-2010 at 06:50 AM.
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  21. TopTop #18

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Here's one of my favorite poems for the holiday season. You could write your own poem or story of celebration.

    Wishing you Peace and Joy,
    Suzanne

    Amazing Peace


    Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
    And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
    Flood waters await us in our avenues.

    Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to
    avalanche
    Over unprotected villages.
    The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

    We question ourselves.
    What have we done
    to so affront nature?
    We worry God.
    Are you there? Are you there really?
    Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

    Into this climate of fear and apprehension,
    Christmas enters,
    Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
    And singing carols of forgiveness
    high up in the bright air.
    The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
    Come the way of friendship.

    It is the Glad Season.
    Thunder ebbs to silence
    and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
    Flood waters recede into memory.
    Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
    As we make our way to higher ground.

    Hope is born again in the faces of children
    It rides on the shoulders of our aged
    as they walk into their sunsets.
    Hope spreads around the earth,
    brightening all things,
    Even hate which crouches,
    breeding in dark corridors.

    In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
    At first it is too soft.
    Then only half heard.
    We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
    We hear a sweetness.
    The word is Peace.
    It is loud now.
    It is louder.
    Louder than the explosion of bombs.

    We tremble at the sound.
    We are thrilled by its presence.
    It is what we have hungered for.
    Not just the absence of war.
    But true Peace.
    A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
    Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

    We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
    We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
    We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
    Peace.
    Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
    We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
    Implore you to stay a while with us.
    So we may learn by your shimmering light
    How to look beyond complexion and see community.

    It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

    On this platform of peace, we can create a language
    To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

    At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
    Into the great religions of the world.
    We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
    We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
    All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
    To celebrate the promise of Peace.

    We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
    Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
    Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
    Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
    And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.


    Peace, My Brother.
    Peace, My Sister.
    Peace, My Soul.

    - Maya Angelou


    Suzanne teaches Writing Teleclasses as well as in person workshops in Sonoma and Marin Counties. She also offers individual writing coaching online or by phone and Weekend Writing Retreats in Yosemite and Writing Journeys to Ireland. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com. For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
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  22. TopTop #19

    Re: Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    WRITING FOR WISDOM & CLARITY IN THE NEW YEAR

    Talking to paper is talking to the divine. It is talking to an ear that will understand even the most difficult things. Paper is infinitely patient. - Burghild Nina Holzer

    Each new year's day feels like a chance to begin anew. This year I think we can all feel the call to live more authentically from our deeper yearnings and desires and bring our gifts into the world. I wanted to offer you a tool for gaining clarity and insights from our heart's deeper way of knowing that is the surest and fastest way I know. It's faster than meditating, going for a walk to think things through or talking to a friend. It involves using writing as a hotline to your truest knowing.

    I first started keeping a journal in college and have maintained that practice for over thirty five years. Later as I became interested in creative writing I learned a technique called freewiting from a book by Peter Elbow called Writing Without Teacher. It involves writing without thinking for a set amount of time where you let the writing take you where it wants to go. This differs from journaling in that it involves an act of surrender and letting go of needing to figure it out with your conscious mind. In allowing words to flow onto paper as they emerge from your inner being in a spontaneous and heartfelt way you access a profound clarity and wisdom.

    All you do is simply force yourself to write without stopping for ten minutes. If you get stuck you keep writing “Keep the pen moving” until you break free. To tap your inner knowing you can address your Higher Self or the source of the highest wisdom you can access with a question like "what do I need to know right now?" or "what is my deepest heart's desire" and then just let the pen take over. If you are really fast on the keyboard you can try it on the computer. When you are finished read it over as if it is a letter you have gotten in the mail. Pretend someone other than you wrote it. Be open and curious. You may also want to put it away for a couple of days and read it again. This allows you to be much more objective.

    Wishing you a joyous, prosperous and wonderful New Year. - Suzanne


    Suzanne teaches Writing Workshops & Teleclasses. She also offers individual writing coaching online or by phone and Weekend Writing Retreats in Yosemite and Writing Journeys to Ireland. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
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  23. Gratitude expressed by:

  24. TopTop #20

    Re: Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    KEEPING A JOURNAL CAN HELP YOUR WRITING

    It’s easy to start. Get a bound blank book (you can even start with an inexpensive spiral notebook) and date your entries. Begin describing your surroundings, the current status of your life as well as your hopes, dreams, desires or questions. Write uncensored for at least ten minutes a day. Think of it as a conversation with yourself. Journaling has a meditative quality allowing you to slow down and really listen to your inner self. Keeping a journal can also help you to develop the habit of showing up for your creative work. As John Steinbeck said,“habit seems to be a much stronger force than either willpower or inspiration.” This is especially true for writers since journaling offers a more relaxed approach to facing the existential questions that arise when we face a blank page making easier to begin putting the words down. I’ve kept a journal for thirty years and usually begin my writing day with my journal as a warm up and a way of clearing away the preoccupations and concerns that may distract me from really engaging the creative process. Leonardo da Vinci carried a journal with him everywhere and was always writing down ideas and insights as they came to him.


    JOURNALING/WRITING EXERCISE: This exercise can help you uncover your material. Take ten minutes to do “nothing”. Stare out of the window, lie down on the grass, or sit in a chair with your eyes closed. Breathe all the way down to the bottom of your lungs. As you continue breathing feel your creative juices rising to the surface from deep within your being. Then start writing to the prompt “I really want to write about. . .”


    Suzanne teaches Writing Workshops & Teleclasses. She also offers individual writing coaching online or by phone and Weekend Writing Retreats in Yosemite and Writing Journeys to Ireland. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
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  25. TopTop #21

    Re: Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    POETIC HEALING

    Several years ago I attended a week long retreat in a canyon on Navajoland in Arizona with poetry therapist John Fox, author of Poetic Medicine and Finding What You Didn't Lose. The trip was part of a longer personal journey to connect more deeply with the yearnings of my soul and to live and write from a deeper more authentic place. The combination of camping in the desert mixed with gathering in the safe and sacred space of a group using poetry, not in the traditional literary sense, but as a vehicle for healing had a profound effect. Grief I had been holding for decades from the loss of my mother when I was a teenager came to the surface to be healed. The deepest healing came as I wrote the following poem:

    Mothered

    At sixteen I bought my first bird book,
    a small green hardback, whose binding I broke
    turning countless times its pages of color,
    striking orange and black of oriole,
    the azure sea shade of bluebird, red ember
    iridescence of hummingbird’s throat,
    fluttering in my hands for nearly forty years.

    The year birds entered my life was
    the same year my mother left it.
    The woman who carried my brother and me
    deep into Nature. Camping under the sun
    drizzled scent of redwoods, wandering
    wave tossed tidepools at ocean’s edge.

    She’d pack the blue 54 Ford station wagon
    every summer, to journey into wildness,
    the expanses of the American West
    to take in its beauty, as if through skin.
    Laying our young and tender bodies
    on the land, connecting us thread
    by invisible thread to the earth’s intricate web.

    So when her heart suddenly stopped
    that summer, I was away at biology camp
    discovering birds, and she slipped from the world
    long before I wanted to let her go. I remained
    tethered to the Earth, cradled by the great mother,
    and birds became messengers
    dropping from the heavens
    to lift my spirits on a thousand wings,
    embracing me with their songs.

    - Suzanne Murray

    The first few drafts of the poem I wrote through tears and beyond helping to clear the archival grief I was carrying there was a great healing from being able to honor my mother for the gift she gave me in connecting me to Nature. Everyone on the trip whether they were skilled in the craft of poetry or not had a similar healing as we gathered together to witness each others words and experiences and share poems, both our own and the work of poets like Mary Oliver, Joy Harjo, Wendell Berry, Rumi, Hafiz, Naomi Shihab Nye and William Stafford who touch the human heart.

    Like other forms of sacred writings, poetry is the language of the soul interfacing with a greater source of inspiration so that a good poem can stir us in ways our conscious mind may not always be aware of. We can feel the poem in our own body and soul and sense the power of the words taking us deeper into what really matters. Reading and writing poems certainly helps to anchor me in these changing times and it can inspired other forms of creativity as well.


    Suzanne teaches Writing and Creativity Coaching Teleclasses and Individual Coaching. and Weekend Writing Retreats in Yosemite and Journeys to the West of Ireland. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
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  26. TopTop #22

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    DANCING WITH YOUR IMAGINATION

    Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. In my writing classes, I say “your imagination is smarter than you are.” Imagination is the way we access our deeper mind; the 95% or so that we don’t use in our ordinary lives. It is the place where you shed your ego, where sparks fly and time stands still. It requires a bit of solitude and idleness. It asks that you slow down and sit still with your mind clear and expectant.

    WRITING EXERCISE: Sit quietly for five minutes following the flow of your breath and calming your mind. Then be open to what your imagination has to say to you. Do a ten minute freewrite as if you were taking dictation from your imagination. Or you could ask what it wants from you and then answer the question yourself in a freewrite where you let your mind run. The more you play with your imagination the easier it is to access it.


    Suzanne offers Writing and Creativity Coaching, EFT for Creativity, Weekend Writing Retreats in Yosemite and Journeys to the West of Ireland. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
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  27. TopTop #23

    Writing Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    You don’t need to leave your room.
    Remain sitting at your table and listen.
    Don’t even listen, simply wait.
    Don’t even wait.
    Be quite still and solitary.
    The world will freely offer itself to you.
    To be unmasked, it has no choice.
    It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

    - Franz Kafka

    ACCESSING CREATIVE INSPIRATION

    When we stop the chattering of our minds, which is usually busy rehashing the past or worrying about the future, and relax into the silence of the moment we can begin to hear the soft voice of Spirit, the source of our creativity and inspiration. Picasso said that when he entered his studio to paint he "took off his ego the same way the Muslim takes off his shoes before entering a Mosque". He understood that in order to create, he needed to get his personality out of the way and let his Higher Self or Spirit work through him. This is true not only the more obvious forms of creativity, like writing, dance, or music, but for the whole of our lives. We have access through our intuition and our internal knowing to information that can help us to make the best decisions for ourselves and living a more fulfilling life.

    Matthew Fox, the former Catholic Priest who was censured for espousing the doctrine of original sin, has written a beautiful book titled, Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet, where he suggests that when we are creative we become co-creators with creation. I clearly remember the first time in my writing when I got on a roll and knew I was writing something good. I paused and looked around the room, wondering "where is this coming from" because I knew it wasn't coming from "me". After a while I began to understand that I was tapping into an expanded state that I could access on a regular basis when I stopped thinking and let what wanted to come through me flow into the work.

    In order to access our creativity and higher guidance we need to quiet our minds and learn listen to the more subtle messages of our body, heart and knowing that speak to us through intuition, our gut, our hunches that may not make any sense to our minds. As Matthew Fox said, "Creativity and imagination are not frosting on the cake: They are integral to our sustainability. They are survival mechanisms. They are the essence of who we are. They constitute our deepest empowerment."


    Suzanne offers Writing, Creativity and Abundant Life Coaching, EFT for Creativity, and Journeys to the West of Ireland. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
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  28. TopTop #24

    Writing and Creativity Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    I know many people are feeling a sense of overwhelm in the face of world events from the situation in Japan, the revolutions in the Middle East and all the Earth changes that seem to be speeding up. As the crises unfold we can feel stressed, anxious and fearful. In a recent interview on Blog Talk Radio I shared tools and strategies that can help us to adapt to the changes and move forward with grace focusing our attention on being more creative and building a positive future for our ourselves, our families, our communities and the larger world. I wanted to share this with the wacco community.


    FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD

    Accessing Divine Inspiration Interview with Suzanne Murray on Blog Talk Radio Show
    The Voice of Change with Sharon Ann Wikoff


    Knowing how to connect to your inner wisdom, guidance and higher sources of inspiration is profoundly important in these changing times. On this call we covered simple, powerful, practical techniques to help you tap in and access the expanded awareness of your heart, imagination and the higher guidance that is available to us all. Working with higher guidance can help us access our creative self, step forward into our gifts in service to the world that allow us to lead richer more fulfilling lives.

    download link:
    http://cdn5.blogtalkradio.com/show/1...ow_1853701.mp3


    Suzanne Murray is a Writing, Creativity and Abundant Life Coach, EFT Practitioner and Intuitive Healer offering individual coaching and online support. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
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  29. TopTop #25

    Writing and Creativity Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    “. . .like the human child I am, I rush to imitate” - Mary Oliver


    FINDING WRITERS WHOSE WORK YOU ADMIRE

    I doubt that Herman Melville or Charles Dickens or Emily Dickinson ever took a writing workshop or read a book on how to write. They learned to write by reading the works of those who came before them. Pulitzer Prize winning poet Mary Oliver in her The Poetry Handbook advises that if you have to choose between reading and taking a workshop to pick reading. She suggests that you read widely and deeply. So do I. Read across the genres. Even if you don’t plan to write poetry, reading it can teach you a great deal about the power of individual words and the effective use of rhythm and cadence which can serve you in other forms.

    EXERCISE
    : Go to the library or bookstore and find the section (fiction, poetry, essay, memoir) that most calls to you. Then read the first paragraph or stanza of fifty books. Then out of those fifty pick the three you like the best and read those books all the way through. Then out of the three pick the author whose work you get lost in and read everything they have ever written.

    Suzanne Murray is a Writing, Creativity and Abundant Life Coach, EFT Practitioner and Intuitive Healer offering individual writing and creativity coaching and online support. For more information visit her web site at www.creativitygoeswild.com For more ideas about writing, creativity coaching and more check out her Blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com/blog
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  30. TopTop #26

    Writing and Creativity Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    The imagination is not interested in two-dimensional reductionism or naively pitting one side against another, dark against light. It is interested in the place where the two sides meet, and what they give birth to when they cross-fertilize each other. That is the heart of creativity. - John O’Donohue

    What is imagination but a reflection of our yearning to belong to eternity as well as to time. - Stanley Kunitz


    DANCING WITH YOUR IMAGINATION

    Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. In my writing classes, I say “your imagination is smarter than you are.” Imagination is the way we access our deeper mind; the 95% or so that we don’t use in our ordinary lives. It is the place where you shed your ego, where sparks fly and time stands still. It requires a bit of solitude and idleness. It asks that you slow down and sit still with your mind clear and expectant.

    WRITING EXERCISE: Sit quietly for five minutes following the flow of your breath and calming your mind. Then be open to what your imagination has to say to you. Do a ten minute freewrite as if you were taking dictation from your imagination. Or you could ask what it wants from you and then answer the question yourself in a freewrite where you let your mind run. The more you play with your imagination the easier it is to access it.

    Suzanne Murray is a writing and creativity coaching with more that twenty years of experience in helping others to write and access their creative essence. She offers individual coaching sessions and online support. Visit her website and blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com
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  31. TopTop #27

    Writing and Creativity Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain

    Living Your Creative Potential
    .
    What if your life where a blank piece of paper or a bare canvas? What new story would you write for yourself, what picture would you paint? What if each small step you take toward what you really desire is like a brush stroke on the canvas where you are creating that life? What life do you want to create for your self? What creation do you want to live into?

    Questions can really open us up to all that is possible. Questions like: what else is possible, what would it take to change this situation, or if I had a magic wand I would. . . act as an invitation to the bigger part of our mind or perhaps even to universal intelligence.

    I recently heard that your eyes/brain process 10 million bits of information a second and our conscious mind is aware of only 40 of those bits. This fits with the research that shows that our subconscious mind represents about 95% of our mind and our conscious mind making up the remaining 5%. I think being creative in any way is really about learning to work with our bigger, more powerful mind and higher inspiration that is able to draw on all the knowledge and knowing that our subconscious/unconscious mind.

    As someone who has worked with various forms of creativity for most of my life I am quite accustomed to giving the seed of an idea over to my subconscious or divine inspiration and letting that part of me that I don't really understand come up with fresh connections and perspectives. That's how I am writing even this newsletter. I work on it for a bit then leave it alone while I work on something else and I have a vague sense that my bigger mind is weaving the threads of different ideas and images into a coherent whole. Even before I start writing a newsletter, I ask the question, What's the subject for this month and see what comes to me as I go about my day. I rely on higher inspiration for everything and questions are my point of access.

    The key to working with questions is to ask and then let them go knowing that the answer will show up. Don't try to figure out it in your head but rather start paying attention to, the bright idea that just pops into your head , the sign, the hunch, the intuition, the sense of what to do that often shows up in a way that surprises us. I know you have all had the experience of trying to solve a problem with your conscious mind and after a few unsuccessful hours, you get up from your desk, get into your car, drive home and as you are pulling up to your house the solution just comes to you as an ah...ha moment. That's your bigger mind at work on the problem you asked it to solve and in letting in go on the drive home you gave your subconscious mind the space to deliver the answer.

    Often we are so caught up in the busyness of our daily lives that we don't take the time to imagine what actually might be possible for us. Questions are wonderful tool for expanding your world and helping you to access more of your creative potential in every area of your life. The more you play with asking questions and looking out for the answers the more you strengthen your ability receive and trust what shows up. Play with it, be curious, have fun. In this changing world we all need to living and working from an expanded sense of who we are. Questions can help.

    WRITING EXERCISE: What questions can you ask about your writing whether it's about the actual practice like "what needs to change in order for me to show up more for my writing?" or about the craft like "what do I need to know to be a better poet?" or "how can I write better dialogue?". Then relax and see what shows up. It could be a book, a class as well as a bright idea.

    Suzanne Murray is a writing and creativity coach with more that twenty years of experience in helping others to learn to write and access their creative essence. She offers individual coaching sessions and online support. Visit her website and blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com or check out her September special for writing coaching www.creativitygoeswild.com/writing-coaching
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  32. TopTop #28

    Writing and Creativity Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Well, you’re right in the work, you lose your sense of time, you’re completely enraptured, you’re completely caught up in what you’re doing, and you’re sort of swayed by the possibilities you see in this work. . . .The idea is to be. . .so saturated with it that there’s no future or past, it’s just an extended present in which you’re making meaning. - Mark Strand, poet

    The thoughts that come to you are more valuable than the ones you seek. – Joubert

    CREATIVITY: BEING PART OF CREATION

    Some years ago I read a wonderful book by Matthew Fox, titled, Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet. In this book Fox, a former Catholic priest who had been censured by the Church for putting forth a doctrine of original blessing as opposed to original sin, suggests that when we are creative we become co-creators with creation. I had been involved in creativity for a long time by I read his book; first with dance and photography and then a couple of decades spent writing so I knew immediately the truth of what he was saying. I remember the first time I really got on a roll with my writing and I knew that something good was coming out of my pen, I actually stopped and looked around the room to see where it was coming from because I knew it wasn’t exactly coming from me. Since then I’ve come to the sense that it’s Spirit or my Higher Self working through me and I’ve been able to integrate working with these mysterious forces as I write.

    In fact, the word Muse has its origins in being intiated into the mysteries. And its important to understand that this connection is available to everyone not just a select few who are somehow born with this special gift. It is also not restricted to the arts. The gift of creativity is woven deep into our being. Everytime we solve a problem we didn’t “think” we could solve we are drawing on this invisible resource. We experience it in cooking, gardening, decorating our homes, raising our children, healing, teaching and business when we get the inspiration to do something in a new and expanded way. When we tap into this ability it feels great, it feels divine. Regardless of where this creative inspiration comes from I’ve found that the more I show up to the practice of writing or anything else, the more I have a feel for working with this creative flow. It’s like a muscle that gets stronger with use.
    .
    Joan King, a neuroscientist who has studied brain activity describes in her book Cellular Wisdom, “While such brainstorming [found in creative flow] is occurring, more and more neurons and neural pathways are being activated in the neural net. Consciousness acts like a spotlight, shining here and there, making connections, illuminating thought and memories, trying out possible solutions. As the process continues, more and more neurons are recruited, activating more of the great intermediate [neural] net.” The key here is to stop thinking with your linear mind and let the creative imagination really run. Our “small” linear mind has to get out of the way to let the “big” mind make its leaps and forge its connections.

    Consider all the ways you are already being creative and what it feels like. Is there a sense of excitement and expansion when you exercise your creativity?. What would it takes for you to build more muscle in this area? I think the changes and challenges in the world today are actually calling forth this ability in each of us. They are asking us to embody our creativity in every area of our lives and in our contributions to the world. The beauty is that creation is waiting to help. We just need to show up, let go and step into the flow of being a co-creator. Our willingess is our invitation.

    Suzanne Murray is a writing, creativity and life purpose coach with more than twenty years of experience in helping others to learn to write and access their creative essence. She offers individual coaching sessions and online support. Visit her website and blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com and check out her Winter specials for writing and creativity coaching.
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  33. TopTop #29

    Writing and Creativity Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    The instant trivial as it is
    is all we have, unless. . .unless
    things the imagination feeds upon
    the scent of a rose, startle us anew.

    -William Carlos Williams

    Coming to Your Senses

    When I started to work on this piece I had originally intended that the title “Coming to Your Senses” would refer to how important actively using all our senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste) is in engaging our creativity and imagination and accessing inspiration for our lives.

    Then I flashed on the fact that the phrase is also an idiom that refers to someone who has been doing something that is clearly a mistake and finally realizes it and begins to act more in alignment with what is right for them. This has me wondering about the origins of the expression and the true value of really occupying our senses. Jean Houston, one of the founders of the human consciousness movement suggests, “that enhanced human capacities begin with what we generally think of as our most concrete reality, our own body.” And opening more fully to experience all our senses can help us inhabit our bodies and the knowing, wisdom and “gut instincts” that it holds for us.

    People who are highly creative have a vivid sense memory. Memory of things we delight in can actually help us develop our senses. Remember biting into a ripe, juicy peach with the juices running sticky down your chin. You can do this for all your senses. This exercises your imagination as well.

    For many the use of their senses has largely atrophied. Western culture especially values concepts and ideas over direct sensory experience. I was lucky enough to grow up within sight, sound and scent of the sea and throughout my childhood we often went camping so I developed a closeness to the natural world where opening your senses to fully experience the world is a delight.

    So spending time in Nature, enjoying a good meal or taking a hot scented bath can really help you more fully embody your senses which in turn gives you access to your creative gifts and more of your full potential.

    Here's a poem that came out of engaging my senses in an experience in the world.

    Spiritual Practice

    A flock of bluebirds flutter
    across a fallow field,

    their cheerful chirps
    ring the air like a temple bell,

    calling me out
    of my thought-churned mind,

    their azure-blue backs
    burnt-orange bellies,

    holding me,
    in the moment.

    - Suzanne Murray


    Suzanne Murray is a writing, creativity and life purpose coach with more than twenty years of experience in helping others to learn to write and access their creative essence. She offers individual creativity and writing coaching sessions and online support that can really transform your relationship to your creativity. Visit her website and blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com and check out her Spring specials for writing and creativity coaching.
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  34. TopTop #30

    Writing and Creativity Ideas and Exercises with Suzanne Murray

    Be Here Now - Ram Dass

    Boredom is a sign that you are not being present
    . - Eckhart Tolle

    CREATING IN THE MOMENT


    As we move more into 2012, I find myself really called on a deep level to live in the moment; letting go of all worry about the future or regret about the past and to trust. Mystics have long encouraged us to be present to each moment, each breath. And now quantum physics tells us that in the moment exists all of time: past, present and future. This explains why the moment or the Now is the only place we are able to create anything, a book, a painting, a solar panel, our life. This is where are are able to create a new world for ourselves on both a personal and global level. The more you practice being in the moment the easier it is to create. Our breath is a greatest tool since it calms our mind and relaxes our body which makes it easier to be present to what is. If we are worried about the future we can take a deep breath and ask is everything okay in the Now. The answer almost always is yes. When we calm our mind we have greater access to the guidance and wisdom of our own deeper knowing and inspiration can flow in.

    My two greatest teacher for living in the moment have been creativity and Nature. What I have always loved about being creative is that it automatically makes you present to the moment and something greater than your everyday self. Whether I am dancing, doing photography, singing or writing there is a joy and satisfaction that arises out of showing up and being present to what wants to happen. When you hit the zone or the flow it feels so good. It feels Divine. I have a similar feeling in Nature where everything, rock, plant and animal is clearly in the Now being the essence of what they are meant to be. This helps me to just be.

    Like many of you I've have done a lot of personal growth and healing work seeking to transform old patterns into new more satisfying and abundant ways of being with myself and the world. Recently I've felt a real shift in this and have come to the realization that there is nothing to fix. That nothing is wrong. If I embrace and accept everything in the moment free of judgment then things naturally shift and I am more open to new possibilities. Experiences that I deemed challenging are from the vantage point of the moment the experiences my soul needed in order to reach this point of understanding. When we live in the moment we have access to the wisdom and intuition that comes from our hearts.

    A few days ago when my mind started to run away with me and the tools I usually use to calm the flame of worry didn't seem to be working I was guided to simply stop take a few deep breathes, drop into my heart, and claimed being in the moment. Peace immediately washed over me and clear sense of the next right action to take came to me.

    We think we have to think through problems, that we have to figure everything out with our minds. Instead if we connect to our own inspiration and guidance in the moment we allow solutions to come intuitively and we experience synchronicities and miracles, little and big. In truth, the moment is the only place we can connect to higher wisdom and knowing. This is true for our creative projects as well as the course of our lives where we find ourselves living in the flow. This can help us be more actively creative on a daily basis.

    Suzanne Murray is a writing, creativity and transformation coach with more than twenty years of experience in helping others to learn to write and access their creative essence. She offers individual creativity and writing coaching sessions and online support that can really transform your relationship to your creativity. Visit my website and blog at www.creativitygoeswild.com and check out mySpring specials for writing and creativity coaching.
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