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Marianne Elliott. Zen-peacekeeper. Change-maker. The life-or-death pursuit of creative-badass joy (+ why we’re all entrepreneurs now) When Jen Louden invited me to blog about creative joy, I couldn’t help thinking about how we have yet to put creativity — as a value, as a practice –at the center of our lives, our families, our culture.

the life-or-death pursuit of creative-badass joy (+ why we’re all entrepreneurs now)

We’re trained to be productive. We have to put food on the table. Who can afford the time and money to be creative, especially with all that daydreaming involved, that pointless wandering around? We’re coming out of an Industrial Age that trained us to be factory workers, sensible professionals, linear thinkers. Creativity had little to do with any of this. But now, as we enter this post-consumer era where we differentiate ourselves not through our factories, but our ideas, the question has flipped upside over.

Creativity is the ability to find new solutions to old problems, to make something new from what is. One could even say that our survival as a species depends on it. I like the analogy. After all, the only way to stay ahead of the future is to invent it. Am I doing that? Spirit Moves Dance. Enchanted Life. Your Home for Dreaming, Daring and Doing. My Smiling Heart - From Ruins to Rainbows. 12 Ways to Shape the Day for Delight & WonderA Hut Of Questions. Note: Jen Louden, Susannah Conway, and Marianne Elliott requested I and others riff on what brings us each creative joy.

12 Ways to Shape the Day for Delight & WonderA Hut Of Questions

This guide is my reply. It started as a personal riff to my self about what’s important and how Thoreau’s and Dillard’s sentiments have driven me for 20-plus years. Hence, the images are personal. And then it became this guide. Enjoy and join them at They are amazing people. “To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of the arts.” – Henry David Thoreau “Each day is a god.” – Annie Dillard Sense that what you create helps raise the sun. Help the sun laugh the sky wide. Carry wonder in your pack. Lay out a path of breadcrumbs for others, step away, and become a Delight Maker. Soften your eyes, listen, and braid new patterns. Find yourself in a clearing (or secret orchard) outdoors. Run this moment wild so the wind can remember how grand it is.

Visit the underground. Remember: Most of the mind is there. And the mind can be kind of cool and cozy where it’s dark. Embrace. Darrah parker photography » seattle portrait, baby, and family photographer » creative joy in unlikely places. Creative joy shows up in new ways for me these days.

darrah parker photography » seattle portrait, baby, and family photographer » creative joy in unlikely places

It looks different. Wise Well Women. New Artella Land. Sacred Circle. Today’s the day…. the one where I dig in to the truth of who I am and what I long for.

Sacred Circle

Because you see, there’s been a disconnect between me and my life lately. I feel it in the way I painstakingly try to pull myself back to center after a long and challenging spring break. I feel it in the way I slip back into sugary comfort foods that wind up giving me headaches. I feel it in the way I strive to be something more than I am. Why today? It was three weeks ago that I ended a 21 day sugar detox. I gradually allowed myself to splurge on blackberries and blueberries… then an occasional Sami’s millet lavash…. a little bit of cheese here and there…. a bite of one of the kids’ cookies… then my very own cookie…. a piece of toast with honey…. a grilled cheese sandwich… and by golly, pure coincidence or not, the cramping stopped. Then spring break came. I admit, I was pretty sticky deep in feeling sorry for myself. The Joyful Heartbeat Checklist : Janet Goldstein. Writing, growing our businesses, making a difference can all seem more and more overwhelming and elusive in the noisy, hyper-speedy, competitive, and very public world we live and work in.

The Joyful Heartbeat Checklist : Janet Goldstein

The worry, confusion, and sheer pushing we do can make us forget that at the heart of our work is our creative spirit. Yet what happens when we forget (knock, knock) that we ourselves are the joyful, creative heartbeat at the center of our our ideas, our projects, and our relationships? How do we tap into, and really listen to, that joyful heartbeat? How can this joyful beat give us clarity and a lighter, happier step for even the hardest things we’re trying to do?

I’ve thought about this a lot over the past couple of years when I’ve felt like I was stuck in the drudgery or wasting time. The extra half hour I spend finding a piece of art for a presentation, the bad drawing I make, or the moments of sharing some new insight with a trusted friend seem absolutely right. Tanya Geisler - Step into Your Starring Role. “Creative” and “joy” were at one point in my life, mutually exclusive concepts for me.

Tanya Geisler - Step into Your Starring Role

On the mean streets of advertising, you were from one side of the track or another. You were either a Suit or a Creative. (Like the Sharks vs the Jets but with far less fancy dance moves.) Inspiration and Encouragement for Mindful Living.