Five More Creativity Prompts to get you through this

ArtWord Creativity Prompt  6 …….Monday March 26        

Now the Journey begins. (If you are just joining us, please read the past prompts.)

Last week, we were steeped in The Call, wrestled with it, gathered information, and hopefully, all of us have come to a place where we have answered The Call and made the commitment to go forward into the Heroine’s Journey.

Dearest ones, we know this could get hard.

Remember, we are being tested.

We no longer can whine, or complain, or writhe, or gnash our teeth.

We don’t have time.

We made the commitment to go through this with every bit of strength we have. We’ve crossed the threshold from the ordinary world into a new realm. We sought out a mentor. We are open to the lessons. We are feeding our thoughts with healthy information. This is all good.

We know, we are now in a different world.

This journey is unique, so may I make a suggestion?

Find a Helper. It’s a big part of the journey.

To put it plainly, we need to ask someone to be our Pandemic Buddy (PB).  Perhaps a sibling? A spouse? A friend?

Think about it, even the most optimistic among us will experience down times. We will need this person to be wise, compassionate and loving. And then, we will need to be that back to them.

Choose your PB with care, because we will be making a pact with this person.  This is a special kind of relationship we will be asking of someone.

This isn’t some sweet little exercise.

This is part of the Journey and we won’t make it through it we don’t set ourselves up. Being scared is one thing, being scared and feeling alone is the worst.

Heroines prepare for the journey. They pack lightly, so as not to carry too heavy a burden onto the path, and this they know for sure, helpers can make all the difference.  

How often you and you PB decide to communicate is up to you.

You don’t have to talk every day, but at least once a week. If you or your PB is feeling a little too close to the edge, you need to be there for each other. When one is down, the other needs to stand firm and vice versa.  That’s the deal.

There’s a healthy balance in that agreement. As long as you both will hold space for one another equally, this relationship will be invaluable.

You don’t even have to live in close proximity. You just need to know you’ll be there for each other. (And yes, you can ask more than one person.) It’s completely up to you. 

Writing Prompt: Who are you going to ask? Who do you want as your PB?  An older friend who has been through a lot? A close friend near your age? A sibling or parent?  Write, in your journal, why you will ask that particular person to help you.

If I were living in the far future, reading your journal, I would really like to know who you chose and why you asked that person.

We all want to survive this and we all will need help.  Part of the Heroine’s Journey is to find a helpers.

 

Art Prompt: Put on your favorite music and find a photo of a calm scene, maybe in your photo collection or online. 

Paint it. Make it so beautiful and then close your eyes and inhale its beauty and imagine yourself standing there.

I love you SweetArts

XO,

Jan

© copyright 2020, Jan H Croteau

Artword Creativity Prompt 7   

March 24, 2020

Good Morning Glories,

Here’s one of the biggest tests on the Heroine’s Journey.

Temptation.

Oh, my goodness, I keep reading how many people are binge eating, over drinking, and watching Netflix and the News until their eyes fall out and thinking their anxiety is going to get the better of them.  

Temptation is the urge to do something unwise. Think about it, temptation will lead us down the hell-hole of self-hatred, and anger faster than you can say corona virus.

Let’s be reminded that there is little room for foolishness on this journey. Okay?

Let’s get a grip.

Something that helps with temptation is a routine. Adopt one as soon as possible. Whatever works for you.

A misconception about the artist’s life is that artists only create whenever they are inspired and that their lives are unstructured and loose.

This could not be further from the truth.

To be a productive artist and writer means to have a schedule and the discipline to follow it.

Artists and writers value their alone time as that’s the only time we can create. My gosh, there is barely time to eat lunch, much less snack all day, when you have a routine in place and a creative project you love working on.

So, try this.

Writing Prompt:

Go ahead, write about the temptations; the fridge full of food, perhaps there’s wine in the pantry, a tv full of options… and see where your writing takes you. I never know where I’m headed in my journal writing until I get started and give my thoughts a place to go.

And then, make yourself a schedule. Sit down with a blank page and write out a daily routine that makes sense to you. Make time in your daily life to do the things that will feed your soul. Write it out, try it out and tweak it as needed. 

Art Prompt:

Now make that schedule into a work of art. Get out your colored pencils or crayons and add some bling to it. Then hang it up. (It can go into your book later.) And read it every morning. Add a nice motivating quote on the top of the schedule to keep you going forward.

Guess what, you will start to forget about the temptations and you will find how empowering a routine can be.

Quarantining yourself is an act of love. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to stopping the spread of this virus.

XO,

Jan

© Jan H Croteau, 2020

ArtWord Daily Creativity Prompt 8   

March 25, 2020

Good Morning Glories,

When I was 17 years old, a book came into my life and changed everything.

The book reinforced that I am an artist. That my journey would always be in the creative realm, no matter what medium I chose to use, and I knew what I had to do.

The book was Viktor Frankl’s, Man’s Search For Meaning.

Soon after reading that slim volume of wisdom, I realized that happiness was not something I needed to strive for…what my real job is, as a human being, is to coax the meaning out of my human experience.

Art was the vehicle for me. Writing came much later, but became even more important.

You see, how we frame and write about our experience is how we discover the meaning.

The Heroine’s Journey is about to get really deep.

The meaning of this pandemic is profound and is starting to reveal itself to us a little at a time. Many of us are having intense dreams and vivid meditations, things are coming into focus that have been a little murky in the past.

We are getting our priorities straight.

We sense a new world coming out of the ashes of the old which is collapsing. We are now losing things we thought meant a lot to us, but they are falling to the wayside naturally.

Many of us feel the tremble of mother earth as she shakes herself free from winter’s grip. We also feel the beginnings of the earth regenerating as we pull back as polluters.

How we frame this experience is everything.

I made a sculpture in a box…years ago. It hangs on my white chimney above the stove. Across the bottom ledge I wrote, “The Treasure Is Always Beneath The Surface.”  It reminds me to look within, to write about my experience so that I may have the meaning revealed to me.

Writing Prompt:  What kind of frame are you putting around your experience? May I suggest you use a frame that is full of all the wisdom you have gathered so far in your life? May I also suggest you write yourself into a positive frame of mind. That way the meaning will not be lost.  

The writer and journalist, Joan Didion, once said…. “How do I know what I think until I write it down?”

Art Prompt: Go outside, if you possibly can, and take your phone or camera with you. Take a few photos of spring emerging. A small blossom, a melted pond, the soft blush of yellowy green across the mountains.  She is speaking to us. Are we focused enough to listen?

Use that photo as a reference guide and paint it. Or draw it. or use it as an idea       

Quarantining yourself is an act of love. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to stopping the spread of this virus.

XO,

Jan

© Jan H Croteau, 2020

Jan’s ArtWord Creativity Prompt 9   

March 26, 2020

Good Morning SweetArts,

A Heroine, does not come in to save the day with a cape slung around her neck and her hands on her hips. She is wiser than that. She knows her powers run deep, not wide. 

She knows how to give birth to a new day.

This serves her well.

This is the time to ask ourselves … when this is over, all over…, will I feel good about what I did or will I have wished that I had been more charitable, less reactive… more loving, less critical…more visionary, less myopic?

Regret is a hard thing to live with. It will haunt even the most-stout among us.

What you are doing right now is really, really important.

Make sure that you can look back and say, I was part of the solution. I stayed home. I helped others in the ways I could. I valued everyone’s gifts.

Look back and see that you created a book, a body of work, a way to survive.

You want to say, I reached out to others; I did not fall into the trap of contentiousness.

I did not bow down to hatred as it passed by.

I did not cower when fear roared into the room. I followed my heart and soul. I loved and I loved hard. I did my best to keep it all together.

This is our super-power. This is the Heroine’s Way. Be a lighthouse for others.

Writing Prompt:

Write about what you did yesterday. Are you happy with what you did? Remember, some future historian will read your words and think, so that’s how people got through the quarantine. If we want to make our daily journal that of the Heroine, we have to make our daily activities mesh with that vision.

Art Prompt:

Close your eyes and envision the best outcome of this time, what do you see? There are lots of mathematical projections of how this virus can turn into a nightmare, but what if it turned into something really beautiful. Draw or paint your version of a new earth and a new way of being.  Now this is powerful art. We are dreaming it right into being!

Thank you for being a lighthouse.   

I love you SweetArts! Be well, stay strong, and keep moving forward.

Quarantining yourself is an act of love. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to stopping the spread of this virus.

XO,

Jan

© Jan H Croteau, 2020

ArtWord Daily Creativity Prompt     

March 27, 2020

Good Morning Glories,

As we continue along the journey, we are being challenged all along the way. (Understatement, I know.)

This next test is really important to be aware of.

The Heroine comes in contact with enemies. She must learn to outwit them or else she cannot succeed and they will take her down.

Enemies come in many disguises.

The biggest one is fear, which is terribly infectious and contagious. And fear does something deep in our psyches. It creates self-doubt.

Let’s talk about doubt. This is an insidious enemy. I know her well. I think we all do.

But, we also know, when we reach deep within, there’s a kernel of certainty. Right now, that little kernel is buried and waiting to be watered and nurtured. Giving that little kernel of certainty a large dose of chutzpah will get her growing. You know you have it in you.

So please let me preach for a second.

We must deeply internalize, that we will survive this Pandemic, and that we will be part of the great rebuilding after it passes, that even if, God forbid, we contract this illness, we have the strength, and the courage to survive it.

We now need to feed ourselves with messages of conviction, that we are survivors!

We need to tell our body that we are in total awe of her ability to heal from anything.

We need to give our body the best food, the best exercise, the best training we can, we need to become corona Olympians,  because no matter what our age, or our health shortcomings, we can and will survive this!

(Did you know that a 103-year-old woman in Wuhan, China survived getting the virus?  Did you know that a councilman in Rochester, NH with stage 4 cancer in chemo survived corona?) Yeah, those are the stories I’m filling my head with. And guess what? When I do, fear and self-doubt stumble out the door and that once little kernel of certainty has grown into a much bigger presence.

We can do this, oh yes we can!

This may be of help.

Writing Prompt:

Write a letter to your body and thank her for getting you this far in life. What great bods we have, everything works, most of the time.  Gratitude and appreciation are powerful medicines.

In your letter, and this is very important, make a declaration that you will survive this trial. Write it big! Bold! Color it in. You and your beautiful body will get through this no matter what! And when you’re done, step outside and sing it loud. I will survive!

Art Prompt:

In your book, draw an outline of your body with ink, doesn’t need to be perfect, just needs to have a little likeness to your body. Now, fill it with color and vibrancy and sunshine and mountains and rivers and make it the most beautiful, healthy, joyful, body and tell her you love her! This is a powerful tool that gets deep into your body and psyche. You so got this!  

I love you SweetArts! Be well, stay strong, and keep moving forward.        

Quarantining yourself is an act of love. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to stopping the spread of this virus.

XO,

Jan

© Jan H Croteau, 2020