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 his 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. RecogniSe 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 Insecure, Astrid Jaekel illustrated the theme, and Mailchimp is presenting the theme globally.

Insecurity shrinks our optimism, beliefs around potential, and blinds us to how things really are or how they could be. We project our greatest fears when we succumb to the negative ways we are conditioned to react.

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.

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 it, and it’s presented globally by WordPress.com

We’re all doing our part to ensure the survival of businesses and life as we know it during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Never before have we seen anything like it, and by that, we don’t mean the pandemic itself… we mean the sense of togetherness that the world is showing. It really does illustrate that we are all one and we are all in this together.

After our first event, we were inspired by the sheer amount of people who wanted to log on, tune in and join us for our first ever CreativeMornings Belfast event. A truly humbling experience and proof that the world really is smaller than we think.

CreativeMornings couldn’t happen without the help and support from our excellent partners and sponsors both on a global and local level. So, we wanted to share with you some of the amazing work that they’re doing in response to the outbreak.

Big Motive
Big Motive has been working with the Department of Health (Northern Ireland) and international software development company, Civica to design the a Covid-19 service for people in Northern Ireland. The first iteration of this service is an app that was launched at the beginning of April and to date has received around 45,000 downloads across both iOS and Android.

The app, which is designed to provide guidance on the symptoms of the coronavirus infection aims to support individuals to identify whether they might potentially have the infection. It also provides users with advice on what actions they should take if they suspect they have contracted Covid-19.

Being delivered at unparalleled speed, the app was conceived, designed, tested, built and launched within two weeks.

Big Motive has also designed a web-based version of the symptom checker and advice service for wider reach and accessibility that will be launched within the next week.

Amazing work by everyone involved in the creation of this vital piece of technology for the people of Northern Ireland, especially to our partners at Big Motive.

The Pocket Coffee
The Hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard throughout the outbreak. Cafes, pubs, restaurants and even hotels have been completely closed and locked down. In spite of this, many local businesses are doing their part in the fight against and no more than our partners at The Pocket.

Every morning between 08:30 & 11:00, The Pocket are open, with social distancing being enforced and are providing free coffee to those who are working on the frontline including all NHS staff, police and fire services.

The owner of the shops said, “We feel so powerless to help right now so we are doing this as our little way to say thank you for everything they are doing for us right now.”

Clockwise
Another business form that has been hit hard during the pandemic is co-working spaces. Given that our location partner, Clockwise is in this category, they have had to rethink how they provide the best service possible for their tenants during the lockdown.

  • Some of the awesome things that they’re doing are providing call forwarding/answering services for their tenants working from home
  • Offering rent relief in the form of a free month for May and payment deferral for April
  • Providing all members with a dedicated member of the Clockwise Team
  • Running weekly check in’s with each member to see how each of them and their families are coping doing the lockdown
  • Creating a virtual community with a range of social and practical events including; support workshops via Zoom (called Tick Talks), virtual pub quizzes and exercise with nutrition classes.
  • Continuing to run their “Tenant of the Month” providing spot prizes in the form of e.vouchers.

It’s at times like this, where the power of community really needs to shine through and our wonderful partners at Clockwise are leading the charge.

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.

What makes you light up inside? What brings you peace? What are the big ideas that bring meaning to your days? And what are the specific details about each of these feelings that you’re drawn to?

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.

When there’s nothing else, there’s hope.⁠

There’s no doubt that what the world is going through right now is nothing short of crazy. None of us would have thought we’d see anything quite like it. So we have a message for you;

If you are self-isolating for whatever reason, we encourage you to talk to your friends, your family and us. We may be apart, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be close. We want you to know that we are here.⁠

We’re working on ways to bring CreativeMornings to you wherever you might be so that we can all be connected through what we love… creativity.⁠

Stay connected everyone. Stay tuned. And most of all, stay safe.⁠

#creativemornings #creativemorningsbelfast #cmbelfast #everyonescreative #everyoneswelcome #staysafe #stayconnected #hope #belfast

COVID-19 has led us all into unexpected space and so we want to keep you updated on how it’s affecting things with CreativeMornings.

We’re in unchartered territory so unfortunately, as things currently are we cannot host our first event on 27th March as planned. Well, not in the traditional sense.

Obviously, the health and well-being of our community is of the utmost importance so to have a gathering of 50+ people would be utterly irresponsible.

We do, however, believe firmly in the power of community and we know that it is needed more than ever right now. So, to keep things creative and vibes positive, we are exploring alternative ways to bring CreativeMornings to you digitally. 

As it stands our event is not cancelled or postponed… we’re planning on going ahead, but moving our event 100% online so our speaker James Ashe can still deliver his talk on the theme of Identity.

As we progress through the week, we will keep you posted on how the above unfolds so please keep an eye on the usual channels for updates.

We will also be answering any questions you might have if you want to get in touch.

As the crisis unfolds daily, please know that we are thinking of you all and sending good thoughts. As a community, moments like this show us how truly connected we all are.

Talk soon. Stay Safe.

CMBelfast

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March’s theme for CreativeMornings is IDENTITY… a fitting topic of conversation for our city wouldn’t you agree?

To start our CreativeMornings journey, we have local artist James Ashe.

James is making a name for himself in Belfast and is becoming more popular every day. His work focuses on architecture, built heritage, politics, LGBT rights, abortion rights, punk and general life in N. Ireland. The theme of identity is close to all of our hearts here in Belfast and so we can’t think of a better topic to kick-off our Belfast Chapter.

For more information on James, check out the event link above and also to sign up to register for our first event.

See you on the 27th.