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Way back in grade school I had a friend who could draw like crazy. While most of us were drawing trees, birds, cats and flowers, she was drawing horses and dinosaurs. After watching her create those wonderful golden palominos, spotted pintos, and razor-toothed brontosaurus, I became hooked on drawing. So began my lifelong relationship with pencil, paper and paint. I was 7 years old and I was inspired for the first time.

Over the last twelve summers I vacationed in a cottage that was set into a bluff overlooking the Kalamazoo River. The cottage sat across a flower filled yard from a yellow and purple house that was owned by a celebrated artist who was 90 years old when she and I first met. This woman was the quintessence of an inspired life. Her creative spirit gained strength and vigor as she aged. She thrived on trying things she’d never done before; took risks and dared to imagine diverse possibilities. She discovered new ideas and ways to see things and knew that willingness to meet anxiety and fear head on was how creative growth flourishes. She lived creatively for 103 years. An inspiring influence if ever there was one.

Inspiration invokes a surge of energy in you that seemingly comes out of nowhere. It’s a catalyst, a spark, a passion that speaks to you and you alone and connects you to something that becomes distinctly yours. When you feel inspired, a door opens and your creative energy fires up. Creativity is your special way of solving problems and shaking things up so they look different. When you're inspired and feeling creative and your skills match the challenge before you, it’s the best of times. A time when everything clicks and you feel harmony as time passes without notice. This is the time you are in “creative flow” and well…”creative flow” is simply a great place to be!

Inspiration can so easily go unnoticed because the mind is most often occupied with the “Million Things to Do” list. Things we have to do, but don’t necessarily want to do. Soooo, If you haven’t felt inspired or creative for a while, kick back and mull on things that you have a flair for or are interested in … Daydream a while… open your mind to even the most far-fetched scenarios. Let your ideas simmer and stew. Try not to let the analytical side of your brain take over – it has a tendency to sort things out in the “conventional” way. Then -- sleep on it. All those ideas you’ve been noodling around in your mind should come together like a personalized puzzle that you have organized and put together in a unique way without really knowing it. And then suddenly, out of the blue, when you least expect it – something hits you and knocks you off your rocker. “Hey, What’s The Big Idea?” you ask yourself. But you already know as by this time you are most likely feeling those creative juices start to surge and flow. And as you transform your newly inspired creative idea into action, the fun begins! Such has it been for me in dreaming up Sally. Shazam!

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