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November’s theme is RESTART
I need to disconnect. There’s too much noise in my head. I am burning out. I need space to rethink everything. I need a hard reset.
Exhaustion is like dehydration—when you feel it, you’ve gone too far.
So we finally cave in and heed the words of people who’ve found their centres again: take a trip into nature, go for walks, unplug completely.
The challenge with restarting is that we often save it for the end rather than creating pockets throughout our weeks where we prioritize reflection and solitude.
Restarting is essential. It’s a way to digest experiences, reflect and cultivate self-awareness, and remind ourselves that life is to be enjoyed. It’s refreshing and feeds greater intention and momentum into our creative endeavours.
If you find yourself feeling like you’re on a treadmill with an invisible hand increasing the velocity, remind yourself: only you have the power to get off and recalibrate.
October’s theme is HONESTY.
Honesty is the currency for connection. It’s a gift we give to each other that strengthens bonds and deepens relationships. Honesty is a practice where we start from the heart.
Being honest isn’t always easy and being honest all of the time is impractical. Giving honest feedback or sharing our opinions requires sensitivity to the context and meeting others where they are—with kindness and empathy.
Honesty is about providing the information that you would want if you were in a similar situation.
Another way to look at honesty: it’s a flower born out of the soil of trust, connection, and conversations. The more we nurture conversations that breed trust and forge a connection, the more honesty becomes baked into the way we lead our lives.
This month's global exploration of Honesty was chosen by our sister chapter Cardiff and illustrated by James Lewis.
September is Chaos.
Chosen by our friends in the Tijuana chapter, this gorgeous risograph was illustrated by Eraboy. Thanks to our incredible global presenting partner MailChimp for making it happen – lookout for more details in your inbox in the days to come. #CMchaos #creativemornings #cmto
August’s theme is COMMUNITY
A community is a reflection of what we crave: belonging.
Belonging is the heart of human connection. Our hardwiring is to be social creatures, to need one another. We cannot become our best selves without feeling like we belong to a tribe that sees us, respects us, and lifts us up.
A sense of belonging can be fostered in many ways: food, music, volunteering, a cause. You can scan a room and see a diversity of backgrounds, ages, and skill sets—yet the common thread is shared desires and aspirations. It’s magnificently profound how simple this connection is, how deeply we all crave it, and how it changes the trajectory of our lives.
The work of community is when a person walks into a room with fear and self-doubt, only to leave with a new narrative and a feeling of possibility and hope.
We can give that experience to one another. It’s the work of being human.
This month’s global exploration of Community was chosen by our Philadelphia chapter, and illustrated by James Olstein 👋 High five to MailChimp, Adobe, and WordPress.com for fuelling our global creative community.
If you look closely, you can see the intention behind the action, a project, or a sassy tweet.
Intention is palpable. A hand-written thank you resonates in our hearts more strongly than an email. One person standing for something pales in comparison to a community fighting for something. Beautiful work is not on accident. Beauty grows from the seed of a clear intention.
How do we get better at setting clear intentions?
The same way we improve at anything: with practice, self-awareness, feedback from friends, and learning how to show up more wholeheartedly.
A craft is the instrument in which the authenticity of your being is communicated.
Your craft is like a portal to your inner world, and as an artist, it’s your duty to pull it out of the vortex. Craft is a catalyst for our identity and the soil for cultivating meaning.
It behooves us to realize that who we are and become—our values, beliefs, thoughts, observations—influence what comes out of the violin, sketch, or photograph, not the other way around.
May’s theme is COMMITMENT
A commitment is a promise to show up whether you’re having a good or bad day.
It’s a behaviour and mindset that signifies the posture of a professional. It’s about saying yes with your whole heart.
A creative life is built on the commitments you make to projects and people. It can feel like a leap of faith. But is that not the very essence of leading a creative life?
This month’s global exploration of Commitment was chosen by our sister chapter in Vienna and illustrated by the talented Florine Glück. Thank you to our global partners MailChimp, Adobe, and WordPress.com for their ongoing support of the CreativeMornings community.
April’s theme is GAME
Throughout human history, games were about winning or losing.
Author James P. Carse extends this concept beautifully in Finite and Infinite Games: “A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”
Which game are you playing with your art?
It’s a question worth asking everyday. Is this decision, this attitude, sending you down a short game or long game? The same energy that we spend chasing rewards and likes can be refocused to loving our craft and shipping our best work.
Keep your eyes on the journey, not the prize.
March’s theme is COURAGE
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.
February’s theme is Curiosity
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.
This month’s global exploration of Curiosity was chosen by our Malmö chapter and illustrated by Oelwein.
Big thanks to our global partners—MailChimp, Adobe, and WordPress.com—for their ongoing support of CreativeMornings.