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Craving guilt-free creativity that makes your heart sing and time fly?

Welcome to your Creative Oasis™!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Want to Create An Instant Holiday Oasis for Yourself?



Since December can feel overwhelming for so many of us…too many obligations…too many presents to buy…too much sugar to ingest…too little time for yourself, I’m offering a virtual Creative Oasis Day Trippers experience for the holidays that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home whenever you like rather than my usual in-person excursion. (click here to learn more about Creative Oasis Day Trippers)


I’ve given you lots of options below, so you can create an instant Holiday Oasis that feels just right for you, and even included a permission slip to get you started. Now, please pick up a candy cane, raise your right hand and repeat after me:

* I hereby give myself permission to enjoy five or ten minutes of my own personal holiday oasis.
* I hereby further give myself permission to actually spend even more time than this if I am even remotely able.
* I hereby give myself permission to thoroughly enjoy my Holiday Oasis without guilt, without attempting to multi-task, and without further ado.

How to Create Your Own 
Instant Holiday Oasis: 

#1 – You get to decide when you’d like to enjoy your Holiday Oasis.
         
 A.  Right this very minute! (Good thinking!)
 B.  I get to put this on my calendar for sometime in the next week. (That’s fine…but please take a moment right now to write it in your planner…type it in iCal…or add it to your official schedule in whatever form that takes.)
C.  I’ll get around to it after I’ve finished all my shopping, wrapped all the presents and baked all the goodies on my list  – oh wait a minute no I won’t – please go back and choose either A or B. 



#2 –     You get to choose the atmosphere in which you’d like to experience your Holiday Oasis.
         
A. Snuggled up in front of the fireplace. (substitute with fireplace screensaver if you don’t have a real fireplace)
B. Cozy in my favorite chair next to a delicious smelling candle
with a cup of something yummy
C. In my car at stop lights while running some errands and         
frantically crossing things off my To-Do list – oh wait a minute,
that won’t work, will it? You get to choose A or B. 



#3 – You get to pour yourself a glass of cheer by enjoying one of the following:

A. Hot tea, cocoa or coffee
B. Eggnog or wassail
C. A glass of wine or champagne (with a large glass of water on 
             the side to maintain proper hydration)


#4 – You get to do something that you love to do during the holidays, but usually never get around to doing because of your busy schedule. Some ideas would be:

A. Sit and stare at the lights on your Christmas tree and let them
hypnotize you. (deep breathing recommended for this one)
 B. Pull a beloved holiday book off the shelf and enjoy reading it
and/or looking at the pictures
C. Write a letter to someone you haven’t seen lately who you miss just to let them know
D. Peruse favorite holiday recipes and choose something delicious to make sometime within the next couple of weeks. (leaving the cookbook or the recipe out on your kitchen counter could be a good reminder that this is something you’d really like to do)
E. String popcorn and cranberries like the good ole’ days
F. Make a chain out of colorful construction paper and for each chain think of one thing  for which you’re grateful
G. Run around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to make everyone in your life happy by fulfilling their every holiday wish and desire, saying yes to every invitation and obligation while ignoring your own needs and dreams and...wait a minute...wow this thinking is insidious isn't it? Please ignore G completely and choose something from A to F instead.


#5 – You get to make a quick list of some things you’d really love to do this season that will take longer than 5 or 10 minutes. Then you get to circle your very favorite one – the one that makes makes you feel like a kid again and add that to your calendar as well. (Pinky promise yourself that you’ll really do it or why not invite a friend to join you for added support?) Some ideas would be:

A.  Watch your favorite Christmas movie. (Mine is The Bishop’s Wife with David Niven and Cary Grant)
B. Look at Christmas lights on foot or by car
C. Have your picture made with Santa
D. Bake a pie from scratch
E.  Read an entire book in one sitting, stopping only to refill your
holiday beverage of choice and refill your snack plate (how amazing does that sound?)

Since this is your very own, personalized Holiday Oasis – you can also ignore every single suggestion that I’ve given you and come up with something that makes your heart sing…something that the very idea of doing fills you with peace or delight or energy or some other wonderful emotion.  If you’re anything like me, you’re to-do list this time of year is as long as Santa’s and not half has fun. Why not take a moment to put yourself on the nice list and luxuriate in some much needed self-care and holiday cheer?  Even spending just ten minutes doing something nice for yourself can lift your spirits enough to help you sail through the rest of the day with bells on. (and 10 minutes is less than 1% of your entire day – don’t you deserve that?)

I’d love to hear about your Holiday Oasis moments and hope you enjoy taking a little time for yourself to create them this season with my best wishes!

Lots of love and light from my Holiday Oasis to yours,
Jill

p.s. H O –H O – H O! (how's that for subliminal advertising?)



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Great Discount for Creative Arts Center Mini-Retreat Early Registration!




* Early Registration Discount through 
January 4, 2012*
(space is limited - 
so register now to save your place and money)

PERMISSION TO BE CREATIVE 101
A fun mini-retreat introducing easy and effective
ways to make the time and space for creative fulfillment in your busy life

Ever feel like procrastination, perfectionism and feeling overwhelmed by your busy schedule keep you from enjoying your creative passions? (If your answer is a resounding – "ABSOLUTELY!"  – you're not alone and good news – there's hope!) 

My Permission To Be Creative 101 mini-retreat will introduce you to gentle, joyful and powerful ways to move past those blocks and begin to easily make the time and space for creative fulfillment in your life. 

You’ll experience writing prompts, collage, doodling, mind-mapping, guided-imagery and many other fun methods designed to energize and enlighten you. You'll also learn some unique and amazingly effective tools and techniques from Kaizen-Muse® Creativity Coaching that will help you tap into your own creativity on a more regular basis. You’ll enjoy the delight of creative expression for the sake of pure joy. You’ll also begin your own Creative Oasis™ Journal – a self-created manual of inspiration filled with insights from your inner wisdom and accessed by utilizing these unique tools and techniques.

This mini-retreat is also a wonderful way to grow your current creative practice, strengthen your creative habit and consider new creative possibilities.

When:
Saturday, March 3, 2012
10am to 3pm
or 
Saturday, April 28, 2012
10am to 3pm
  (*Note: Pre-registration required) 

Where:
2360 Laughlin Dr.
Dallas, Texas 75228
214-320-1275
www.creativeartscenter.org

Cost:
$75 for CAC members
$105 for non-members
plus $15 materials fee
(Please bring a sack lunch.)

To register contact the Creative Arts Center at
214-320-1275 or visit their website at www.creativeartscenter.org


Here's what people had to say about my December 2011 mini-retreat:


"I loved Jill's class on creativity. I enjoyed the playful atmosphere and the permission to be who we really are! I feel inspired to make some small and gentle changes to make my life work better. Thanks, Jill!"  
Suzanne M.


"This class made me stop and think, look into my brain and know what I want to do next. I feel that my creative juices were massaged and ready to take action."      Sandra T.



I myself have enjoyed tremendous personal growth and creative satisfaction as a result of learning and using these methods – from writing and recording my debut solo CD, "Dancing in Limbo," to creating and hosting a CD release/silent art auction benefit that raised more than $10,000 for Women for Women International (Infinite Possibility – A Night of Music, Art & Women Helping Women,) to founding my own business, Creative Oasis Coaching. (All this from someone who was once a world-class procrastinator and the queen of not following through!) 

Now, as a certified Kaizen-Muse® Creativity Coach, my passion is sharing these methods with others so they too can experience creative joy and fulfillment in their lives. I fully believe if I can do it, anyone can, and this mini-retreat is a great place to begin! 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hey, Didn’t You Go To Bhutan?


I did! And they put me on a stamp...but, I'm getting ahead of myself.

What happened in Bhutan and why aren’t you posting anything about it? These are the questions I’ve been hearing...a lot lately.

Where do I begin? I have the usual line-up of easy-to-use excuses…I’ve been sick…I’ve been super busy with work, family…it’s the holidays…blah, blah, blah. Sound familiar? But truthfully, the main reason I’m just now getting around to writing about my trip is I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to squeeze this extraordinary two-week experience into one blog post and a couple of photos.

So, once again, I’ll call on the incredibly liberating tools and techniques of Kaizen–Muse Creativity Coaching to get unstuck and set myself free. (I'm a certified KMCC coach with my own practice, Creative Oasis Coaching.)

#1 – Using small steps I’ll allow myself to choose just a few photos at a time to share and write a bit about my memories of those photos. (Not only is attempting to describe the entire trip in one sitting too overwhelming for me – you people have places to be, things to do, creative lives to lead! Better to share Bhutan in bite-sized bonbons than an all you can eat buffet.)

Speaking of which..here's the beautiful, delicious breakfast served on the flight from Tokyo to Bangkok on Japan Airlines. To my mind, it was photo worthy! 
#2 – By lowering expectations, I remind myself that these posts don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to post every day and sharing a little something is better than nothing. This too is helping me to “just get started and write already!”

 Woke from an in-flight nap to find the full moon perfectly centered in the airplane window. Had just enough time to snap this shot before the plane banked and the moon was gone from view leaving me only with another feeling of magical affirmation that this trip was meant to be and the title for an as of yet unwritten song – "Full Moon Over Bangkok."
#3 – Lastly, I get to have fun writing these posts because my trip was so filled with laughter, beauty and peace that I know revisiting my photos and journal entries will be a joyful experience.

More than 36 hours of travel including three flights on three different airlines...thirteen hours in three different airports in three different countries...and we're here! Dad and Mom look surprisingly fresh and happy after all of that, but then again, look at the gorgeous backdrop of the Himalayas on a sunny day – and we're finally in Bhutan! What's not to like?

Stay tuned for more bite–sized bonbons of Bhutan bliss coming soon! And please feel free to share your questions and comments!

In the meantime, all the best from my Creative Oasis to yours,
Jill

P.S. – If you're interested in learning more about the life-changing tools and techniques of Kaizen–Muse Creativity Coaching, there will be a new training session beginning in February 2012. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about it!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Am I Traveling To Bhutan?


This seems to be the question people want answered when they learn of my impending excursion to the other side of the world. “Why Bhutan?”

Tang Valley, Bumthang, Bhutan
While I find “Why not Bhutan?” a perfectly acceptable response, the true answer is a bit more woo-woo. In fact, I'd say serendipity danced smack dab into my intuition resulting in my upcoming two-week trip to a tiny country nestled between India and China in the shadow of the Himalayas that boasts the measure of success as “Gross National Happiness.

I’ve been drawn to Buddhism and Asian cultures for some time now. A trip to Tibet seemed like an impossible, but lovely dream. When my dad revealed that the same folks he’d climbed Kilimanjaro with a decade ago had contacted him about a possible trip to Bhutan, I experienced a feeling of instant knowing throughout my entire being that he and my mom would indeed make the journey and further more (inexplicably at this point) that I would go with them. This was based purely on my intuition and seemed highly unlikely and illogical at the time.

photo by Bob Munro of Sacred Pause
Believe me, it’s not like this is a run-of-the-mill trip for us. Although my parents have traveled to some pretty fabulous places around the world, our family trips had been more along the lines of Disneyworld. Also, my parents had never expressed any interest in visiting any part of South Asia.

Serendipity showed up in the following ways:

* I wore a Love Hope Strength – Kilimanjaro Rocks t-shirt the day may parents told me about their possible trip. (Dad had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with the people who were inviting them to Bhutan.)
* The day my dad told my mom about the trip, she opened a book that I’d lent her (Roll Around Heaven by Jessica Maxwell) only to find the narrator on a plane to Bhutan (a place my mom had never even heard of until that day!)

* The week after I learned about my parents’ possible plans (they didn’t decide to go right away) I received an email with “Bhutan: a play by Daisy Foote” in the subject line as there was a Horton Foote retrospective taking place in Dallas and his daughter had written a play entitled “Bhutan” which was being produced by a local theater.
* I kept hearing Bhutan mentioned in interviews and stories on the radio and in the news.

Because the trip would take place in November and that would entail my being away during the school year (complete with a full schedule of my daughter’s dance classes, piano practice and homework) – the prospect of actually being able to go seemed highly unlikely. Especially when combined with the not so small matter of airfare and the price of the trip. (In order to preserve their unique culture and control tourism, only a small amount of tourists may visit Bhutan each year and they must hire rather expensive tour guides to do so.)

Tiger's Nest Monastery
Still…something in me stubbornly insisted that I would indeed be going, although I had no idea how that could possibly happen. I had accumulated enough airline miles to cover the airfare – if it were even possible to get a seat using miles, but that was the only hopeful part of the equation.

My parents decided they would accept their friends’ offer to join the group. I continued to daydream about the possibility. Then, one day while driving to teach my group Creative Oasis class last spring, I received a phone call from my dad telling me that if I could cover the airfare and work out the logistics for my family while I was away, he and my mom wanted to take me with them. The gift of a lifetime! It really was going to happen. I still had no idea why – but for some reason I was destined to take this trip with my parents.



I was still shedding a few tears of joy when I arrived at Pigment School of the Arts and began setting out materials for the day’s class including stacks of magazines for a collage project. The ultimate serendipity occurred when I pulled an old National Geographic magazine out of my bag (one of several copies that I’d carried with me to various classes, workshops and retreats for years) and noticed there was an article about Bhutan including a map inside. I felt an absolute electric current of synchronicity ripple from the tips of my toes to the top of my head! Message received – “I get to go to Bhutan!”


A few weeks later, while looking for something to read, I ran across a stack of books that my dear friend, Krys Boyd, the host of THINK on KERA 90.1 had given me months earlier and found “Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth” by Lisa Napoli.

So…there’s your answer…this is why I’m going to Bhutan. It seems that the universe (in cahoots with my generous parents and my supportive husband and daughter) has deemed it so! I’m going with an open heart and an open mind. I’m going with a feeling that this is absolutely meant to be, though I have no idea why. And I’m going in ten days…so I’d better get packing!

I hope to post mini-blogs as I am able along the way, so be sure to subscribe to Creative Oasis™ if you’d like to see how this whole experience unfolds.

In the meantime, all the best from my creative oasis to yours,
Jill

Friday, October 14, 2011

Permission to Be Creative 101


* Coming December 3rd, 2011 *
(space is limited - so register early)

PERMISSION TO BE CREATIVE 101
A fun mini-retreat introducing easy and effective
ways to make the time and space for creative fulfillment in your busy life

Ever feel like procrastination, perfectionism and feeling overwhelmed by your busy schedule keep you from enjoying your creative passions? (If your answer is a resounding – "ABSOLUTELY!"  – you're not alone and good news – there's hope!) 

My Permission To Be Creative 101 mini-retreat will introduce you to gentle, joyful and powerful ways to move past those blocks and begin to easily make the time and space for creative fulfillment in your life. 

You’ll experience writing prompts, collage, doodling, mind-mapping, guided-imagery and many other fun methods designed to energize and enlighten you. You'll also learn some unique and amazingly effective tools and techniques from Kaizen-Muse® Creativity Coaching that will help you tap into your own creativity on a more regular basis. You’ll enjoy the delight of creative expression for the sake of pure joy. You’ll also begin your own Creative Oasis™ Journal – a self-created manual of inspiration filled with insights from your inner wisdom and accessed by utilizing these unique tools and techniques.

This mini-retreat is also a wonderful way to grow your current creative practice, strengthen your creative habit and consider new creative possibilities.

photo by Kate Mackley
I myself have enjoyed tremendous personal growth and creative satisfaction as a result of learning and using these methods – from writing and recording my debut solo CD, "Dancing in Limbo," to creating and hosting a CD release/silent art auction benefit that raised more than $10,000 for Women for Women International (Infinite Possibility – A Night of Music, Art & Women Helping Women,) to founding my own business, Creative Oasis Coaching. (All this from someone who was once a world-class procrastinator and the queen of not following through!) 

Now, as a certified Kaizen-Muse® Creativity Coach, my passion is sharing these methods with others so they too can experience creative joy and fulfillment in their lives. I fully believe if I can do it, anyone can, and this mini-retreat is a great place to begin! As an added bonus, you'll be able to use much of what you learn and experience  to reduce the stress and increase the joy of the holiday season!

When:
Saturday, December 3, 2011
10am to 4pm
*Pre-registration required 

Where:
2360 Laughlin Dr.
Dallas, Texas 75228
214-320-1275
www.creativeartscenter.org

Cost:
$95 for CAC members
$125 for non-members
plus $15 materials fee
(Please bring a sack lunch.)

To register contact the Creative Arts Center at
214-320-1275 or visit their website at www.creativeartscenter.org

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Seeing Things" With Creative Oasis Day Trippers


Creative Oasis Day Trippers are off again! 
Join us for creative camaraderie and 
a chance to explore the fantastic Tony Cragg show.





Tony Cragg: "Seeing Things" 
Sculpture Exhibit



When
Thursday, October 27th at 11am


Where
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, Texas 75214


Cost
$15 
plus Nasher admission & parking 
(The first person to reserve a space 
will enjoy free museum admission!)


You'll receive a creative prompt a few days before our outing designed to deepen your creative experience and share something special from Creative Oasis CoachingThese trips are also a fabulous way to connect with other creative types! It's always an amazing group of interesting people. Join us, won't you?


For more information and register email me at creativeoasiscoach@me.com  Tuesday, October 25th.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is Creativity The Fountain of Youth?



“There is a fountain of youth. It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring in your life and the lives of people you love.” – Sophia Loren



At age 77, Academy Award winning actress Sophia Loren still shines with the energy and enthusiasm of someone half her age. What’s her secret? Could her words hold the key to her ability to retain her joy de vivre well into her 70’s?

Studies have shown that people who remain engaged in some type of creative endeavor, whether it be art, music, gardening, cooking, writing, photography, needlework or other creatively satisfying pursuits enjoy a variety of health benefits throughout their lives.

"The most important finding is that creative activity helps people stay healthy," says author John Mirowsky, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin. "Creative activity is non-routine, enjoyable and provides opportunity for learning and for solving problems. People who do that kind of work, whether paid or not, feel healthier and have fewer physical problems." (1) Creative work and health. Mirowsky, J., Ross, C. E., Journal of Health and Social Behavior 2007 Dec;48(4):385-403



History is filled with examples of people who accomplished some of their best creative work later in life. Benjamin Franklin invented the bifocal lens at the age of 78, Frank Lloyd Wright completed the design of the Guggenheim Museum in New York at 92, and Maya Angelou is still an amazing creative at the age of 83. Consider Georgia O’Keeffe who painted into her mid-80’s. When her eyesight began to fail her, she started working in clay so she could keep creating.



Of course, you don’t have to be a famous inventor, artist or poet to enjoy the benefits of the creative process. Simply allowing some time and space in your life for creative fulfillment is beneficial. If you’d like to experience more creativity in your life consider hiring a coach, taking a class, or joining a group that shares your creative interests. At the very least you’ll add a healthy dose of joy to your life and possibly some additional years.



Jill Allison Bryan is a certified Kaizen-Muse® Creativity Coach, founder of Creative Oasis Coaching ™ and a singer/songwriter. You can learn more about Jill’s creativity coaching and music at www.CreativeOasisCoaching.com