October’s Theme is Transit

How can we make space for new ideas and creative energy while staying in place?

While cars, trains, boats, planes, and our many modes of transportation may take us where we need to go — taking note of our inner worlds and soaking in the details around us can often be the best vehicles of renewal.

Your search might lead you to long strolls in nature, cooking to your favorite tunes, gazing up at the sky, or getting lost in an immersive process. Finding your calm and filling your cup first will help you become a fuller version of yourself — not only for you, but also for those who might need you.

Make a list of activities you can turn to when you need to get from point A to B. Leave it somewhere you can easily access and turn to it when things get tough. Our Cleveland chapter chose this month’s exploration of Transit and Aleea Rae illustrated the theme.

September’s Theme is Spectrum

A band of colors, expanding definitions, a broad array of identities — we all live within multiple spectrums, colliding and intersecting with one another. Like the diversity in our foods, styles of music, and the skills we exercise, our needs are distinct with no one size fits all solution.

Understanding and championing other realities normalizes saying: What I experience, feel, and notice may not be what you know to be true. “Design for the spectrum and not the mean,” said Michael Kaufmann in his CreativeMornings talk. “How do we move beyond courteous hospitality to courageous inclusivity?”

As individuals committed to artfully living, we can paint refreshing possibilities that are not just for ourselves but also for others. Assemble your tools: Listen, look within, embrace the weird, and take the prism and flip it on its head — you’ll likely find a breathtaking blend of opportunities to make a difference.

Our Las Vegas chapter chose this month’s exploration of Spectrum and Iandry Randriamandroso illustrated the theme.

All Berlin events will remain virtual for the rest of 2020

As an organization built around in-person gatherings, it pains us tremendously to extend the digital-only timeline. Because the pandemic is still active and because we want CreativeMornings Berlin to remain a safe place to spread joy and community — and not illness — we believe the decision to remain virtual is the best way to keep our local community healthy.

Our shift to virtual events (since April 2020) is not a permanent change. But it is the shape that all of our gatherings will continue to take for the rest of this year. 

Thank you to everyone for being here with us during our unanticipated transition to virtual. We know it has been far from easy, and we love you very much for taking part in whatever way has been possible for you. See you soon via Zoom.

(Illustration by Monica Rief)

August’s Theme is Stress

Stress, in its most basic form, is a response.

The feeling of stress can often manifest as a palpable tension flowing through your body. Stress can creep into the corners of your thoughts and decisions — eager to cloud your clarity and take power away from you.

As a popular saying goes, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom,” What can you do when stress manifests itself in your body, mind, and spirit?

Create your own mantras, get fresh air, meditate, write, play music, sleep, or stay still. Push away from the habits that add stress to your life.

Get more familiar with the feeling of calm, so that when stress arises, you can gently guide yourself toward it. As Shannon Lee teaches us in her CreativeMornings talk, it is possible to “create and restructure life,” for yourself, based on how you’d like to live. In the space between the stimulus and response, take some of the spotlight away from stress by calling in your breath — and ask it to walk out the door.

Our Warsaw chapter chose this month’s exploration of Stress and Shanee Benjaminillustrated the theme.

July’s Theme is Underdog

An underdog questions and expands what’s considered possible.

When others expect them to lose, underdogs must lean on their self-trust and hard won experiences to envision and fiercely assert new realities. They do not dwell on what’s expected of them, but instead focus on what’s not expected of them.

In “A Letter to My Nephew,” James Baldwin writes, “You were not expected to aspire to excellence. You were expected to make peace with mediocrity […] Take no one’s word for anything, including mine, but trust your experience. Know whence you came. If you know whence you came, there is really no limit to where you can go.”

Whether you’re an underdog yourself or you know someone who is, you can help raise the bar. Recognize that every day is an opportunity to participate in life-affirming problem solving and to, and that every moment is an opportunity to engage creatively with your sense of what is possible.

Call in and deploy your experience, your intuition, and your voice. The arena of change is calling.

Our Edinburgh chapter chose this month’s exploration of Underdog, Astrid Jaekel illustrated the theme, and it’s presented globally by Mailchimp

June’s Theme is Insecure

Insecurity shrinks our optimism and blinds us to how things really are or how they could be. How can we start to overcome insecurity and strengthen ourselves?

According to author Leo Babauta, we can begin with a small dose of courage: “A bit of courage. Just in small doses, to start with, but it means a willingness to set aside all the distractions for a little bit, and just focus on what you’re struggling with.”

By observing and seeing, we can catch the early moments we allow our insecurities in. Pay attention to when you are being driven by insecurity and notice what exactly makes you contract. The secret is that the path out can be found in the patterns we have repeated thousands of times.

Ignite a small dose of your courage and fiercely protect its flame. Commit to breaking one limiting belief at a time. With good work and focus, you’ll soon be able to spread your wings and fly higher.

Our Louisville chapter chose this month’s exploration of Insecure, Rachael Sinclair illustrated the theme, and it’s presented globally by WordPress.com.

May’s Theme is Nature

What can nature teach us about living with strength, vulnerability, and grace during these challenging times? In the book Emergent Strategy. by Adrienne Maree Brown, Naima Penniman reflects on the decentralized strength of oak trees: “Amidst the whipping winds and surging water, the oak tree held its ground. How? Instead of digging its roots deep and solitary into the earth, the oak tree grows its roots wide and interlocks with other oak trees in the surrounding area.”

It’s natural to be feeling alone and scared when storms come our way. But nature, in all its forms and stages, shows us time and time again that resilience comes from adapting, collaborating, and leaning on the support systems around us. By moving away from the idea that we need to be strong on our own, we open up possibilities in our lives and build our collective resilience.

Whether it’s in person or from afar, find the networks you can interlock with and ground yourself in them. Lean on those branches of support and hold on tight. Surviving and thriving in hard times requires us to bind together even while apart.

Our Salt Lake City chapter chose this month’s exploration of Nature, David Habben illustrated the theme, and it’s presented globally by WordPress.com.

Our first live stream event

This is an unparalleled time in which our community has the opportunity to come together and bring joy to the world in a ​digital​ manner. So we’re working on a live stream event right now.

We are really looking forward to “meeting” all of you next Friday at 8:30 in the morning… although it will be a little different than normal. A virtual meeting has its drawbacks, but there are new options that you will enjoy:

The Pros:
  • No waiting list, because our virtual location can hold up to 500 people
  • Sleep half an hour longer because you don’t have to travel
  • And this has never happened before:
     - send questions via chat
     - hold a 30-Sec Pitch from your sofa
     - take a screenshot if you like a slide
     - take part in the virtual Q&A …

The Cons:
  • Unfortunately we do not meet in person
  • We do not get to know a great, new location
  • We have to provide coffee and pastries ourselves

Note: You will find out exactly how our first virtual CreativeMornings Berlin will take place in our newsletter and – after your registration – in a personal email shortly before the event.

April’s Theme is Purpose

You are here. Being here means you are alive, that you exist, and the mere fact that you exist means you have purpose.

“Purpose” does not have to be something grandiose. In fact, it can exist in all sizes and dimensions, separately, or even all at once.

Author and coach Martha Beck once wrote, “The ‘track’ of your life’s purpose has a unique character. It often shows up as a sense of joy and lightness in the body […] It may also appear as fascination, a strong desire to pay attention to certain topics or phenomena. More than anything, it’s a sense that what we’re doing is meaningful.”

Your purpose is made up of both the literal and the abstract, and its power is unmistakable. Those moments, memories, ideas, and conversations that you find yourself circling back to, with great fondness, make up the fabric of your purpose.

However big or however small, draw your strength and inspiration from your purpose. Give yourself permission to approach your decisions with your purpose in mind. The more you do things in line with your purpose, the less you’ll default to what you’re conditioned to do.

When in doubt, take the steps you need to follow the path of your own joy. This path is your purpose.

Our Indianapolis chapter chose this month’s exploration of Purpose and Jason Ratliff illustrated the theme.

March’s Theme is Identity

What makes you, you?

Your identity is made up of multitudes — the stories you carry, the music you love, the challenges you overcome, the books you read, the communities you’re a part of, and more. But your identity is a colorful blend of not only what you consume or create, but also the questions you ask and what you’re willing to learn.

In her CreativeMornings talk, Lucy Bellwood shared, “When we box ourselves too tightly into a single identity or career path, we deprive ourselves of the nutrients necessary to remain connected to the world around us. We are lacking in vitamin curiosity.“

The things that make you unmistakably you are not just the eclectic edges, but the simple pillars, beliefs, and values that you simply can’t shake. What sort of spirit or energy do you bring to a room? How do you show up in the world? What are your pillars?

The most unique care and love you can give to your creative identity is to craft it with your own hands.

Our Jakarta chapter chose this month’s exploration of Identity, Nadya Noor illustrated the theme, and our new Global Partner Basecamp is presenting it globally. Our speaker in Berlin is Anne Hebbeln, Coach & Sustainability Manager and founder of Goodism: For a better world-life-balance!

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