Next Boston speaker
It’s fitting that my topic for my January 2019 Creative Mornings talk was “surreal.” Because that’s exactly what my experience was on Friday, January 25.
The passion in the room at Impact Hub was evident even before I began my talk, but as I spoke, I could feel it in the air: reverberating throughout the room, building and uniting all of us. And while I was the one onstage, the passion wasn’t mine. It was all of yours.
I spoke about how there is an appetite for going beyond the highlight reels with each other. There’s an appetite for real, an appetite for authentic and an appetite for messy. Life is often beautifully, frustratingly messy. But too often, we hide those pockets of our lives neatly behind filters, curated content and witty captions.
We forget that there is an appetite for a real, human connection.
In my talk, I shared that there is a power inside all of us that is born when we share our stories when we share our complicated, hidden experiences. I shared that the power is internal – that one finds oneself becoming stronger through pulling back the curtain and beginning the conversation.
I almost made it sound like this was a benefit to be entirely reaped by the singular person. That sharing the moments beyond our personal highlight reel was a moment of opportunity, a moment of strength, just for us.
But the real power here lies in human connection. I was reminded of that in the minutes after my talk when so many of you approached me as I stood at the front of the room. Over and over again, you pulled me aside to share your personal, hidden triumphs over pain: the injuries you’d fought through. The friends and family you’d lost. The heartbreaks you’d suffered.
It was incredibly humbling, connecting with all of you. And it reminded me of the most important lesson I learned throughout my fight to recover my strength: that there are similar fights raging within nearly all of us. That we all have an incredible, powerful story to share.
The appetite for human connection is real. The power of what happens after we connect is surreal.
At the end of January’s talk, you were all given some homework. And even if you’re out of school, I urge you to complete it: take a moment and share something surreal with someone in your life. It can be as simple as telling a friend in confidence, or as big as writing about it and posting it online. (And if you do, tag me and Creative Mornings Boston in the photo!)
The connection that happens next will take your breath away.
By Steve Molter
Ideally, we all live deliberate lives. Lives in which we make sound decisions based on deep insights and thoughtful consideration of all the possible outcomes.
In reality, we live lives based on quick decisions influenced by many external factors like family, friends, society, career, money, fear, among others.
At November’s CMBOS event, guest speaker Katie Boyd shared stories about her time chasing degrees, sports accolades, fame, and acting rich, all because she wanted people to like her. She was driven by her ego. “When anything is tied to your ego, it’s never a good thing,” she opined.
As her career progressed into the pageant industry, then into reality television, she felt that something wasn’t right within her. Then she had a profound realization that she wasn’t taking part in these things for the right reasons. “I wasn’t doing it to serve. I wasn’t doing it to help people.”
After her reality show was canceled, she fell into a depression. But through her newfound introduction to meditation and a lot of deep-diving within herself, she was able to find her five core desired feelings: Free, progressive, vital, abundant, and fearless.
Katie encouraged all of us in the audience to stand up, consider our five core desired feelings, and led us through a Kundalini exercise using the vibrational energy of the universe to align ourselves with those feelings.
She left us by encouraging us to consistently consider those five core desired feelings—and adjust when necessary—and be sure to use them in every decision we make.
What are your five core desired feelings?
3 Events | 1 Day
Coincidence? We think not.
If you have stored up vacation days that need to be used up before the year is out, in a use it or lose it kind of situation, December 6 would be the day to take! We thought this warranted a separate and dedicated post.
In the morning, we are co-sponsoring an event with our good friends over at General Assembly. CMBOS Host, Sophia Moon will be moderating a rockstar panel of Brilliant Designers. Visit the event page for the backstory of our amazing panelists! If you can’t take the entire day off… maybe just take the morning? Or… take the afternoon….?
Our friends over at Impact Hub are hosting their annual Gifts That Do Good Holiday Market in their beautiful event space on the 20th floor with amazing city views… and 20 local entrepreneurs will be selling giftable products that address important challenges and create positive social or environmental impact. What’s not to love about that? You can stay on for the Holiday Party afterwards or head over to…
a free networking event hosted by our buddies over at Vitamin T featuring an hour of apps + beer/wine followed by an intellectual discussion with Jen Kramer and Heather O’Neil, co-authors, Before You Code.
So much excitement in one day…all free (sans the holiday shopping, of course) and we hope you make it to one or all of these amazing events!
Inside the Minds of Brilliant Designers
R Dec 6 | 8:30-10:30 am | General Assembly | Free
125 Summer Street 13th Floor
This inspiring panel event series invites key players in Boston’s design community to offer a rare insider’s look at how they work and create. From branding to user experience to city planning, panelists will discuss how they approach projects from a design point of view, how design thinking methods help with problem-solving, and much more.
Join us for a discussion with some of Boston’s design leaders and get acquainted with the Boston ecosystem. We will give you the inside scoop on key events/Meetups to attend, people, companies, blogs, resources, and more. Meet fellow designers and leave feeling empowered to continue learning and pursuing your career in design.
Gifts That Do Good Holiday Market
R Dec 6 | 3-7 PM | Impact Hub | Free to attend
50 Milk Street, Boston,MA 20th Floor
Spread good cheer and positive impact with your holiday shopping! Boston’s favorite destination for cause-conscious gift giving, the Gifts That Do Good Holiday Market is back! The market features merchandise and services that you can buy for loved ones this holiday season with the knowledge that you are supporting sustainability, equity, empowerment, or inclusion. Twenty companies started by local entrepreneurs will be selling giftable products that address important challenges and create positive social or environmental impact.
How to Build a Better Product: Networking Event
R Dec 6 | 5-7 PM | Aquent | Free
501 Boylston Street; 3rd Floor
Join Vitamin T for an evening of discussion with Jen Kramer and Heather O’Neil, co-authors, Before You Code as they share their insights for successfully planning, building and launching products.
Jen is a Lecturer at Harvard University Extension School in the Master’s of Liberal Arts in Digital Media Design, teaching at least five courses per year, advising students, and assisting in curriculum design. She is a 2018 Shattuck Award winner, presented for excellence in teaching.
Jen’s most recent book is Before You Code: Validate Your Idea, Build a Better Product, and Plan Your Way to Success, co-authored with Heather O'Neill.
5-6pm - Networking, Appetizers, Beer & Wine | 6-7pm - Presentation
OCT | HONESTY
By Steve Molter
Meeting people can be an intimidating experience. It takes a lot of vulnerability to open yourself up—even just a little bit—to a stranger.
The lengths we go to in the name of self-protection—staying home instead of going out, putting off that phone call to a friend when you’re feeling like you’ve got nothing noteworthy to share—often belie the vulnerable truths within ourselves that seek companionship, acceptance, and love.
When we’re able to be honest without judging the negative thoughts and views we may hold about ourselves, we’re able to tap into our internal truths and see ourselves for who we really are: humans deserving love and honesty. And when we get to a point when we see ourselves as a human deserving love and honesty, we’re then able to see those around us in the same light.
October’s speaker AK Ikwuakor spoke about just this in his moving and heartfelt talk. “Everyone is a book,” he said. “The pages of your story is what makes you who you are. We each have our own story, our own why, our own motivations, and we owe it to ourselves to read each other’s stories and learn to understand each other.”
He conducted a simple and powerful exercise in which each attendee received a piece of paper and a pen, and was asked to write down as many words, feelings, descriptors that define who they are as a person. After a few minutes of scribbling, we all pondered our list and patted ourselves flatteringly on the backs that we were pretty awesome people. AK then had us cross off half of that list while bringing focus to determine what truly defines us.
Groans and nervous laughter permeated through the crowd when he asked us to whittle that list to only five items. And as you can imagine, he didn’t stop there…he instructed us to get that list of five down to one item. One item that encapsulated who each of us is as a human being. Not an easy task. A task in which each person in that room had to be brutally honest with themselves.
During the Q&A portion of the event, an attendee asked AK what his one item was on his list. This elicited applause from the crowd and laughter from AK. He explained that he whittled his list down to two items, his daughter and getting out of his own head, and ultimately chose getting out of his own head as his one item. He felt that without that focus, he wouldn’t be able to be the best father he could be to his daughter.
Finding the focus for ourselves is a key component of growth. That focus will change as we do and acknowledging that inevitable and wonderful change begins with honesty.
Host Thank You’s:
Every month, our goal at CMBOS is to design experiences that inspire, delight, and create opportunities for our community to connect with one another in an authentic way.
This month was no exception. In addition to a bountiful breakfast spread and goodie bar, we had The Danger Booth provide head shots as well as silly group shots, Blick Art Materials set up a mask making demo, Printi USA printed our fun name tags and signs designed by our very own Anna S, we featured a Collaboration Station, had Charlestown AV live-stream and document the event via Facebook, and last but not least, a very engaging and intense guest speaker, AK Ikwuakor on Finding Your Why.
If you haven’t already had a chance to thank our sponsors and partners, please do! They make this all possible with generous funding, discounts, donations, and man power. We love you, sponsors/partners - thanks for always looking to take things to the next level on this wonderful journey with our fabulous community of creatives
And a big thank you to our amazing core team and event day volunteers for all of your hard work and selflessness.
Big Hugs and High Fives,
SEP | CHAOS
Written by: Steve Molter
September’s theme was Chaos, and boy did the Universe deliver.
Pouring rain greeted the monthly CreativeMornings folks with a crush of precipitation. My thought as I arrived (soaking wet due to my disintegrating umbrella shielding me from its last drops) was that the rain might impede some folks from joining us at LogMeIn’s super awesome venue. I mean, who really wants to trudge through downpours?
A lot of people apparently. The rain stopped no one. Including our guests Janos “The Arcitype” Fulop and Jonathan Ulman who are both highly accomplished Boston-based musicians and genuinely kind-hearted gentlemen. Each is up for Boston Music Awards this year, and both are back-to-back Boston Music Awards recipients 2016-17.
Our host, Sophia Moon, asked deep and thoughtful questions of Janos and Jonathan for close to 45 engaging minutes. The producer and drummer, respectively, regaled the audience with stories and thoughts about how they found their way to music, how chaos and adversity are unavoidable, and how good you are at your craft is only 5% of why people will hire you.
Janos shared: “Chaos is unpredictable. It can change at any point. Embrace the chaos because they are potential opportunities.” Opportunities in the chaos are what led Janos to understand his capabilities and consistently seek out others whose skills complement his own. Which led him to form a friendship and musical partnership with Jonathan who added, “If you lose sight of the fun and love of what you do, what are you doing? It’s all chaos in the beginning, but there are areas for control in the process.”
These two guys represent very clearly the flexibility, openness, and mindfulness that makes our CreativeMornings community so powerful. There is no one answer, there is no one way. There are infinite iterations of creativity and its effect on the world.
Thank You Notes: Sponsors and partners help us bring amazing experiences to our community for free… fuel the engine of generosity with gratitude. It’s never too late to say “thank you.”
LogMeIn - thank you for being a splendid host for our events this quarter and keeping us powered with caffeine in the mornings. ☕️ To the amazing facilities, barista, and planning team at LogMeIn - THANK YOU SO MUCH!
EVENT PARTNERS, thanks for helping us create amazing experiences with the products and services you provide!
The Danger Booth - Find your photos below! :)
Printi USA - fun name tags and signage
Blick Art Materials - cool art and craft experiences
AUG | COMMUNITY
by Sophia Moon
Last month’s event was so inspiring. In the short allotted time, the panelists (Mickey Cockrell, Executive Director of Catie’s Closet; Chuck Leddy, B2B Storyteller; and Paula Garcia, Global Society Program & Partnership Manager at Wolters Kluwer) really brought home some invaluable points about building and being a part of a community. Some points that really resonated with me personally were:
Stay informed. You can’t care about what you don’t know.
Find a cause that is near and dear to you and get involved in a way that is meaningful for you.
Say hello. Be authentic.
Pay it forward. Don’t expect anything in return.
Care about the person next to you. Be compassionate - everyone is going through something.
As folks walked in, we asked the icebreaker question, “Why do we gather?” We got answers that ranged from “bacon” and “coffee” to “making new friends” and “to build a tribe.” We want to challenge you all to continue thinking about it… you can be sure that we, the CMBOS team, think about it all the time.
What is the true reason we get out of bed earlier and make our way to a CreativeMornings event?
Is CreativeMornings truly a community or are we simply a fun networking event?
Are we here for the free donuts, bacon, and coffee? Or, are we here to fulfill a deep and innate longing for connection?
What are we each doing to build CMBOS into a stronger, kinder, warmer, and more connected community?
We did something new at the last event - we abridged the “thank you” section but the love and gratitude are no less felt. So, allow me to gush for a little bit about our CMBOS community of volunteers, sponsors, and partners who make it all happen.
Special thanks to LogMeIn for being such wonderful hosts for Q3 (we’re looking forward to our last event with them on September 28). A special shoutout to Liz, Katelyn, Jeremy, and Alina (COFFEE MASTER) for helping our team make everything come together.
This month, we were grateful to have our sponsors, Catch and tonneson + co for arrive early and helping us set up the breakfast and welcome you beautiful people on your way in. Thanks to Printi for bringing our cute coffee cup name tag ideas to life.
In the spirit of community and breaking bread together, we had a special breakfast guest, Sam Cohen of The SABABA Kitchen with her delicious pull apart Babkas. We enjoyed tasty honeybars from honeygrow; a bacon bar and bacon hushpuppies from The Bacon Truck; refreshing Hubert’s Lemonade; and Skinny Pop for an afternoon snack. Yum Yum. Good food is, after all, one of the most compelling reasons for people to gather, right?
As always, we had The Danger Booth at our event with their magic box that makes it easy to selfie #IWOKEUPLIKETHIS. We had our newest sponsor, Charlestown AV join our awesome team of Event Day Volunteers and core team members that make everything work behind the scenes. Photo credits: Kim Maroon
A big thanks to you all… couldn’t do it without you! <3
JULY | INTENTION
by Steve Molter
I intended to get a good night’s sleep before CreativeMornings/Boston’s July event. That didn’t exactly pan out though. I was tossing and turning from 2 a.m. until 5 a.m., never fully asleep and barely awake. I just couldn’t get comfortable or find my sleep-groove. I was unable to manifest that very pure intention of a good night’s sleep into an actual good night’s sleep. Weak sauce.
But I made it bright and early to what was an unsurprisingly lovely CMBOS event. As I descended the three-story staircase into LogMeIn’s huge event space, it was filled with buzzing conversation and the fresh aroma of coffee, fruit cups, donuts, and bacon. Oh, yes, there was bacon. That’s how we roll.
We had a ton of fun stuff going on: The artists who took part in the #100Days art challenge displayed their dynamic work, we served donuts and bacon along alongside Hubert’s lemonade and fruit cups from Honeygrow, we sneakily attached some free goodies to the bottoms of a handful of seats in the audience, and most importantly we had a deeply personal talk from Erin Pearson, Manager of Product at LogMeIn.
Erin spoke at length about her struggle to create space for herself when she and her partner decided to move the middle-of-nowhere Canada. She ended her talk by asking the audience: How are you creating space for others in this community? A poignant question for us to ponder for sure as we move into August’s CreativeMornings theme of Community.
Name tags. Yarn. Markers. Glitter. Stickers. Scrabble pieces.
Individually, these things are just things. They’re pretty typical. But when you put all these things on a table and tell more than 150 creatives to “make a name tag,” you get something atypical.
Something atypical took place on June 22nd at Arnold Worldwide. And the CreativeMornings/Boston community created it. No, it wasn’t just the name tags. It was the energy and spirit of a group of creative people thinking about, discussing, and using Craft.
Guest speaker Wade Devers (ECD/Managing Partner with Arnold Worldwide) was thoughtful, hilarious, and genuine as he spoke about doing something familiar with the unfamiliar and how difficult great craft can be.
Wade showed a clip from a Jack Daniels commercial he created that talked about how a town isn’t the buildings, but a town is the people. Watching this clip made me realize that CreativeMornings/Boston isn’t the name tags, or the yarn, or the glitter, or the beautiful spaces we gather in on a monthly basis.
CreativeMornings/Boston is you.
Hola CMBOS Friends! Sophia Moon, here! 🙂 Welcome to #100DaysofCMBOS, which will coincide with #The100DayProject, a free global art project starting on Tuesday, April 3rd. This global event is in its fifth year, co-facilitated by Elle Luna and Lindsay Jean Thomson. Anyone can start a 100 Day project at any time, but there’s something magical about being a part of a global movement with people from all over the world committing to the same 100 days of doing a small creative action.
You can watch a Live Q&A Session with the global co-hosts to learn more about the project and how to select the right project for you. The co-facilitators encourage smaller, local groups to come together and support each other in this project and I couldn’t contain my excitement at the thought of sharing this experience with our amazing community of creatives right here in Boston. So, let’s do this! Are you in?!?!
Here’s how you can get started:
Sign up for the weekly newsletter h2 from Elle and Lindsay.
Follow the global facilitators @elleluna and @lindsayjeanthomson as well as @creativemornings.boston and I’ll be our #100DaysofCMBOS facilitator, so feel free to follow/tag me in your projects as well @iamsophiamoon. I can’t wait to see what you do!
Choose your 100 Day action – You’ll do this action every day for 100 days, posting each instance of 100 on your Instagram account. Keep the action simple and manageable. For inspiration, browse #The100DayProject.
Announce your 100 Day Project – Tag your Instagram with #The100DayProject as well as #100DaysofCMBOS and add your own unique project hashtag (so that all of your posts will sit nicely together). Include both hashtags on every post!
Start April 3rd – Create and post every day until July 11th. It’s okay if you miss a day! Keep going. Reading this after April 3rd? Any day is a good day to start #The100DayProject!
We will plan fun and interesting ways to connect with fellow 100Day’ers in the CMBoston community so stay tuned. Get creative. Let’s have fun and support each other! Questions? Feel free to Email me.
The theme for this month is…Curiosity!