Monthly Archives: October 2012

Creativity: Opening the floodgates

Before I started this blog I was in a rut, I was stuck in quicksand.

Thankfully the looming threat of mass retrenchments in the newspaper industry meant I had to re-evaluate what I wanted out of life. My goal of becoming an author was all the more relevant, far more appealing than remaining in the mediocrity of more years of the same work. It brought me a basic, stable income but no sense of fulfillment. With the prospect of an increased workload, doing something my heart wasn’t really in, learning new systems and with fewer people to help out, I knew my time had come to get out.

FEAR = Face it; Evaluate; Act; Relax

Initially I was gripped by the fear of no income – I opted for the choice of redeployment elsewhere. However, once this initial fear subsided I had to face up to and evaluate what that change meant – more pressure, longer travelling times (the morning traffic crawl had me wanting change for six months or more.) What was I thinking!

I decided it was time to act and start working toward what I really wanted in my heart. Once I decided to change my preference to “redundancy” I felt a great relief and relaxed into the idea of change. My mind opened to a whole new world of possibilities. I had to reinvent myself.

For too long I had been caught in the quicksand of mediocrity. You know, that place between fear of failure and fear of success – where you’re caught in the grip of doing nothing. Like quicksand, it holds you fast. You can’t get into trouble if you just don’t move. The problem is you can stay like this a long time, years even, and nothing changes – except the strength of your desire for something more.

To get out you have to overcome the fear of failure – but don’t panic or the quicksand will just drag you under. Success requires carefully thought-out action – and hopefully an olive branch that you can grab hold of to pull yourself out.

Once you break that initial grip and make a firm decision it gets easier – and the floodgates of creativity open.

I had no idea what I would write about in this blog. I just knew I had to start. I had made the effort to attend the Tropical Writers Festival and was inspired by the likes of authors Matthew Riley and John Boyne. All the authors said you needed a “platform” to connect with audiences. So this is it. Adding my first post was challenging, as is learning any new skill.

Driving into work I felt a space above my head just open up and a flood of ideas poured in. I realised the wealth of experiences and knowledge I had to draw from.

Our minds are not just limited to the space within our skull.

There is a much greater Self – a source of inspiration – out there holding out the olive branch of support. You just have to choose to reach for it.

Then it’s a matter of relaxing and letting the inspiration flow.

So, go ahead, make that first move toward your dream.

It may only be baby steps, but it’s a move in the right direction. Then watch as situations present themselves to give you what you need.

Until next time… happy dreams 🙂

Mental – what is normal anyway?

There are two great movies out this month that are poignant and a great laugh, both challenging what is “normal” and “acceptable” behaviour. PJ Hogan’s Mental is a brilliant comedy about a family in crisis and a hitch-hiker who thinks destiny brought them together for her own reasons. Challenging the stigma of mental health, how we see ourselves and compare ourselves to others doesn’t sound funny, but in the hands of PJ Hogan (Murial’s Wedding) it surely is. It was even more poignant hearing that it was based on his own family and upbringing in Queensland/Tweed Heads in the 1980s – something I can relate well to.

The TV shorts don’t do it justice. The cast is impressive – Toni Collette, Rebecca Gibney, Anthony La Paglia – many of whom contacted PJ to get the roles despite the low budget.

The French film, The Intouchables, brings together a quadraplegic millionaire (Francois Cluzet) and an unemployed ex-con (Omar Sy), who becomes his carer. It is a touching tale of trust, friendship and acceptance with comic disregard for “acceptable” behaviour. Don’t let the subtitles put you off this one – it has had justifiably huge success overseas – nine weeks at number 1 in Germany, second-highest grossing film in French box office history.

It is also based on a true story – which adds to the honesty and humour between the two individuals who, on the surface, would seem worlds apart.