Category Archives: Practical Tips to bolster your creative ideas

Quotes to inspire self discipline and taking action in your life

I’m always inspired by quotes. I’m a quote junkie, especially for quotes related to parenting, goal setting and a meaningful life.  Here are some of my current favourites:

Our bodies are our gardens. Our wills are our gardeners     
William Shakespeare

 The desire for gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is well to be up before daybreak for such habits contribute to health, wealth and wisdom
Aristotle
It is not length of life, but depth of life.
RW Emerson
Judge each day not by the harvest,
but by the seeds you plant.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment.
The more experiments you make, the better you do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, 
can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
Galileo Galilei
What is your favourite quote of the moment?





Dr Oz One Day Diet Challenge

9 days ago, I stopped eating sugar.
All sugar.
No chocolate, no cakes, no biscuits, no ice cream, no yogurt, no lollies, not even honey or maple syrup.
Nil, nada, nought, nothing. Zip. Diddly-squat.
It’s not an easy task as not only is sugar in the fun stuff, (and my favourite recipes to collect- I have folders full!!!)
it’s also in most everyday foods, even the organic stuff.
So it is pretty much back to basics- full fat versions of cheese, meat, dairy, vegetables and a little bit of fruit (the fibre in whole fruit helps to digest the frustose).
Whilst I’m hoping one plus will be a few pesky kilos disappearing,removing sugar is more about long-term health and vitality (and diabetes prevention).  I’ve done it before, (7 YEARS of NO chocolate at all!!!! Sad but true ) but let sugar creep back in and cravings returned with a vengeance when I broke the chocolate drought in 2010!
But you know what has been my breakthrough in getting over the cravings…
The idea of a ‘One Day Diet’.
I read the article “Dr Oz One Day Diet” by Dr Mehmet Oz in a recent Good Housekeeping and it is full of good tips.
But it is more the IDEA of a one day  diet that I like!

Anyone can do anything for ONE DAY.
(or sometime during that ‘one day’).

Whether that is to eat well, stop worrying, exercise, practice being more loving to our children, speak only kind and positive words, refrain from gossip,  massage your husband’s back, or ring your mum, if we can think of it as a renewable task with an element of choice in a conservative time-frame, somehow it seems much much easier, don’t you think??

I can easily overcome my cravings for sugar if it is just for one day.  No worries.

This One-Day habit can become a principle to also inspire our creative practice.
We can all make a commitment to do something, one little creative thing, today.
And the days add up.

Even if we only spend 5 minutes each day, our long held dream of a ‘beloved t-shirt and fave fabric scrap’ quilt will soon be accomplished, and sitting pretty on our bed!
A page a day of our scrapbook and the family album will be done.
Reading one article or writing 500 words for our graphic design course, or 20 sentences of our screenplay, or 3 pages of our novel-
yep, can do it today for sure.

Some of you may remember that I have ‘Carpe Diem’ tattooed on my foot.
‘Seize the Day’.   It is there to remind me, (and I need reminding often!).
Won’t you join me?

Yep, today we can seize the day, and we will!

SALUTATION TO THE DAWN
by the famous Indian dramatist, Kalidasa.

Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities# and realities of your existence


*The bliss of growth
*The glory of action
*The splendour of achievement


For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision
But today well lived makes yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation to the dawn. 






#verities= truths, principles

Today, do something unexpected.

Love this reminder.
Thank you, Allsorts Pininterest. 

Writing to-do lists for life organisation and idea collection

Justine, of Mixtapezine , reminded me of why I need a journal.
My life, is why.

I am guilty of having so many ripped bits of paper from zillion notebooks that I sticky tape to new books and try to keep them organised. Last year, I bought a vintage-look library stamp (couldn’t find an old one, so a new-old one had to do).  Now, I will have a page a day. Tomorrow, I will buy a new book and get started.

Journaling made me start thinking of lists.
I love lists.

To do lists,
Shopping lists,
Idea lists,
Life plan lists,
Towns to visit lists,
Things to join lists,
Festivals to attend lists,
Shops to browse lists,
Blog lists-
You name it. I have it.

My idea list is a favourite, but there are SO many ideas that often I can’t even get back to the list.

Hamish and Andy have a friend who also has a ‘Idea list’. Actually, it is an excel program on his work computer. He is an invention man. It seems many of his ‘great ideas’ are not really that great! Inventive? Yes. Unusual? Yes. Practical? No.

Hamish and Andy spoke to Ricky Gervais in an interview. It seems he has a friend with similar ideas. Click here, if you want to listen to a really funny interview they had about lists and inventions….

Podcast of Ricky Gervais with Hamish and Andy

Top tip for creativity: Keyword capture while you walk

I thought of another sacrifice-  cleaning my car!
That is why we have teenagers who want to earn pocket money.

I’ll swap this one in, and take the ‘exercise’ one out.
I know- I should do more exercise.

To be honest, my walking hour is one of the best ways to stir up and stew creative thoughts.  I always take along my pencil and notepad, and if by some chance I forget, I use my memory tools.

If I think a thought that just needs to be caught, I’ll give it a keyword- like ‘sacrifice’
Then, I will say that word (and any other key words) out loud whilst touching a finger.

For me, this links the keyword to the finger and later, when I want to recall, I just tap the finger and out pops the idea.

I might have 4 or 5 keywords (and the corresponding thought processes) in one walk.  An amazing amount of ideas for an hours space.

It works for me.

Do you have a creative way of jotting down those elusive ideas when no paper or pen is handy??
Why not share here??

Meditation course with Lisa Romero

I spent the day yesterday studying meditation.
I love the idea of meditation, but I am yet to develop a daily practice.
I have been studying it on and off since 1997 and still haven’t got it together.
In fact, my claim to fame regarding meditation is having my comment about his meditation course published on Michael Rowland’s Meditation brochure (under my maiden name)!
It was such a shock and a thrill to see it there, and to know that those testimonials we all read in pamphlets and advertising brochures can be real!! But it still didn’t make me practice….
When I worked in the kindergarten, we began each day with a lovely meditation and mostly, we managed to create a space for contemplation before we began our day.  It was ever-helpful, in the form of sparks of insight that would light up our approach to young children, but also gave us 10 minutes of space.  10 minutes to breathe, to catch our breath, to be filled up before a new day with children began.
I am forever grateful for this.
Now, I use my walking exercise as a meditation. I’m much too choleric and fire-filled to sit down patiently (can you imagine it? I’d never get a thing done!) so walking does seem to do the trick somewhat.
But it was time for a gift for myself and this is it.
Lisa Romero is the talented teacher of the course.
I’ve been lucky enough to participate in one of her year-long courses before but am so happy to be working with her again…. along with 25 other keen meditation-strivers!
This course is a three part, run over three Sundays over three months and I am so pleased I joined!
You know the thing about doing something at just the right time.
I think this might just fit that equation.
This year, I am striving to firstly become conscious of, and then transform, my patterns.
It amazes me that yesterday I actually learned something about myself for the very first time!
Something super obvious to everyone but me.
I’m 37. I thought I would have understood it, or have at least called it, by now,
but nope, whammo, there it is.
Meditation can do that, can’t it!
The one point Lisa made that has really stuck in my thinking is that, we see the world through our own set of binoculars.  So, our patterns, our culture, our male/female-ness, our religion, our family life, our community all layer upon the part of us that is our ‘daily self’ and it is this self that meets the world.
So, if we have been rejected as a child, our binocular vision interprets EVERY SINGLE SCENE we come upon through these shades of untruth.   Yet, someone else with a different pattern, can come onto the scene and have a very different experience, flavoured towards their own patterns in life.
(I’ve also finally got around to reading ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle that my friend Sarah lent me about 6 months ago, and many similar ideas are catching hold of my attention too!)
The great thing is that we have the ability to adjust the knob of our binocular vision.
It may take some time, but it is do-able, according to Lisa.
This year is all about surrender.
Surrendering to whatever comes my way, planning for the future somewhat but living in the now.
Just doing, each day, what I can towards my imagined future.
So, every single day, I Write. And Edit.  And think up new things to write.
Working towards the future, but striving to be present Now.
My gosh, it is difficult!
And I realise how many fantasies I get caught up in!
Oh, the fantasises!!!
When I step back and witness or observe these flights of folly, I can only laugh.
Have you ever tried to meditate?
Did you have success? 
What kind of thing did you do??