Next San Diego speaker
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.
CreativeMornings San Diego Fam,
The global spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has landed us in uncharted territory and continues to pose challenges to our upcoming events here as well as the 215 cities and chapters around the world. We want to use this opportunity to fill you in on how our team is planning to navigate this new reality together.
Based on our ongoing conversations with CM HQ regarding the situation, we are selectively choosing not to host a traditional event this month. Instead, we’re getting creative with the problem at hand and will be providing a digital meetup and live-streaming our March 27th event. This month’s event will feature our selected “Audience Takes The Stage” speakers from our postponed December event. We will be sending out an additional event email with theme & speaker information as well as updates on how you can join us and the conversation online.
A few things we want to remind our community:
1. Health & safety has always been and continues to be our number one priority. Our events bring together hundreds of creatives each month - most of which are local to San Diego but also CM attendees from visiting chapters.
2. Creativity is flexible. Fortunately, our city has not seen a large spread of the virus. However, we are being proactively cautious during this time. While we will miss our in-person community and inspired dance sessions, we know that community and creativity can happen anywhere. Digital experiences connect people everywhere every day, and we are taking advantage of this.
3. Knowledge is power. Our team will be sending event info updates, as usual, this month. Our newsletter and Instagram account are how we can engage with you and the thousands of CMSD members. It’s with these channels we will also communicate the ongoing effects and potential impact to our future events.
We’re not letting this keep us down.
Our team is excited about this opportunity to explore live-streaming in addition to our normal event format for future events. Thanks for your flexibility!Finally, make sure to drink good coffee, find creativity everywhere, wash your hands, moisturize, and always give a damn.
January’s Theme is Roots.
A tree is made up of not only its colorful leaves, but also its bark, branches, and most of all — its roots. The roots exist to provide sustenance and a strong foundation for the rest of its body.Examine your own ‘roots.’ When you retrace them, what do you find?In his CreativeMornings talk, James Victore shares, ‘The things that made you weird as a kid make you great today. But only if you put it in your work.’ Identify the things that ground you and what you’ve carried with you over time. How have your roots shaped who you are today?The start of a brand-new decade gives you the perfect excuse to dig up the old and to nourish the elements that sustain you. Courageous, creative work begins below the ground.Our Québec chapter chose this month’s exploration of Roots and Félix Girard illustrated the theme.
When researching or writing about courage, other traits fall into the mix: risk, vulnerability, curiosity, empathy, and action.It seems, then, that courage has nothing to do with your title or level of expertise. It’s not for the few or the gifted. It’s an act of humanity, of choosing to take an action that is risky because it demands vulnerability and curiosity.Courage has no specific form and knows no bounds. From starting a side project to the act of listening when you would rather interject, every day we are wrapped in opportunities to exercise courage.We need your courage. It’s going to be risky and will require vulnerability. A posture of empathy and curiosity will empower you. And above all, you must take action.Presented by our global partner WordPress.com, this month’s global exploration of Courage was chosen by our Oakland chapter and illustrated by Annie Wong.
Curiosity is many things—a trait, a mindset, and a skill. To wonder about the things you don’t know and to actively fill those gaps with knowledge is to consciously enrich your life.
It’s also the secret sauce for creativity. Curiosity silences ego and encourages us to ask why. By constantly asking why we keep the channel open, allowing inspiration, perspectives, and ideas to mold our work and ourselves.
The more you practice being curious the more opportunities abound. Sometimes all it takes is tilting your head up and just marveling at this thing called life.
Imagine for a second that you have to write an email that goes out to 200,000 people. You spend all week on it, making sure there are no typos or broken links. You schedule the email.
You walk into the office and the first thing you hear is, “The most important link is broken.” It’s too late, the email is registered by the servers; it’s now a beam of light carrying information through fiberglass under our oceans.
Imagine that feeling of failure—sweaty palms, concerned looks by colleagues, heart rate thumping.
Or better yet, what if you stopped imagining?
Anxiety is a story that we tell ourselves; it’s a magnification of possible failures paired with self-talk that undermines our chances of success. Anxiety is created from within, not outside. Self-sabotage may always be part of the creative process and the sooner we can accept that the clearer we can be in the decision we need to make to move forward.
Imagine your typical morning coffee or tea, how it tastes and the way it makes you feel. Now imagine being on a remote island, sun rising, with your drink in hand. That sip is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted—that’s context.
When we feel something is out of context, it’s because there’s a mismatch in the intention, behavior, and environment. Looking at the Mona Lisa in a dark basement versus the Louvre surrounded by people taking photos creates two distinct memories.
Compassion is a pause button that reminds us of a fundamental truth: we’re all stumbling and nobody has it figured out.
The best part about compassion is that it’s a learned trait—unlike your height or eye color—and the more we practice accepting others the sooner the easier it becomes to accept ourselves.
When this is at the forefront of our minds, we give people a chance to show up and be seen. When in doubt, the answer is compassion.
Our series of random questions that dig a little deeper into the minds of the people holding the mic.
What is your favorite virtue?
What is your favorite vice?
What phrase do you find yourself repeating all too often?
Right now: “Good job!!!” to my 11 week-old daughter.
Biggest pet peeve?
People not using their turn signal.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Do your homework.
Who or what inspires you?
Right now: people in San Diego who showed up at the Women’s March, Science March and Charlottesville Candlelight Vigil. Seeing people out on the street in what is not known as a super “activist” city was super inspiring.
What defines genius?
Simple solution to a complex problem.
Most memorable experience from your travels?
Being in a grocery store in Ruhiira, Uganda and finding mostly packaged foods, sugary drinks and white flour cookies to eat (just like one would in many US food stores).
What’s the one thing you would want people to know about sustainable food systems?
The simple, genius idea is that the same, “sustainable” food system that is good for eaters, is better for the planet and for all people who work in the food chain.
Favorite place in San Diego?
Liberty Station - where I live. It’s walkable urban development surrounded by parks and water - with great food and fitness options.
Genius is a label, a shortcut that signifies the remarkable achievements and abilities of an individual. Thomas Edison famously quipped that genius was one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. But genius also hinges on the voices of the community, the support of the people.