Say "Yes" to More Creative Thinking

Whether we are young or old, whether our dreams are public or private, we are always evolving toward either a smaller and more fearful self, or a larger and more loving self.
Marianne Williamson

We now know that matter is not “dead” but is instead concentrated energy. Life force takes the energy of matter and gives it something more: the breath of life, the movement from static particle to wave, the becoming out of pure potentiality into material form because of mind’s purpose. Human beings are the conscious frontier between idea and materialization, particle and wave. Each time we take a step into higher creative thought we also reach deeper into our hearts, encompassing ever greater levels of experience and perception. We are constantly outgrowing our limited ideas and moving into new realms of thought which lead to new and exciting innovations.

One simple example will give you a glimpse of what such change in ideas can lead to. The change from a horse and buggy world to an automotive world grew gradually at first, but in the end created a different world with different ways of looking at the landscape, at how we wanted to live, at what we thought possible. And new thoughts needed new terms to accompany the leap in creativity. We do not call cars horseless carriages any more, because our world is no longer bound by the paradigm of how far one horse can travel in a day. We created a whole new vocabulary to describe the new experiences and ideas that were evolving. Though many resisted at first (“Get a horse!” was often shouted at hapless motorists changing the early tires that frequently went flat on bumpy dirt roads), eventually the world was changed and the expectations of those who lived in the world. Now we take freeways for granted and are searching for ways to move beyond the limitations and problems created by the car culture. 

You may be changing from one paradigm to a new paradigm, moving from your own version of a horseless carriage to automobile. What new ideas might power you beyond the limitations of the life you currently lead? Who has a stake in resisting the new ideas that can transform your life and empower you to move beyond the “safe” and predictable boundaries set by others? How can you say, "yes" to a more expansive view of your own life--and of the world?

An Exercise in Saying “Yes”
Look for reasons to say “yes” instead of excuses to say “no.” Move out of “no, but…” limitation into “yes, and…” openness. Jim Photoglo, a hit songwriter who performs regularly at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, often shares this bit of wisdom in his set. When he lived in L.A. he worked with an improv theater group called the Groundlings. One of the rules of improv is that you never say no. Saying no stops the action. Saying yes keeps the action going. In improv (and in songwriting and other creative endeavors) you say yes even to absurdities. It is always: yes, and…
The dog dug for a bone.
Yes, and when he had dug three feet he found water.
Yes, and then he went down another ten feet and struck oil.
Yes, and the oil was a gusher that went hundreds of feet into the sky.
Yes, and the oil covered the entire neighborhood till it was black.
Yes, and the neighbors ran out shouting that they were rich, rich, rich!
Yes, and then the oil company came and plugged the pipeline that the dog had punctured.
Yes, and…
Always keep the action going by saying yes. You can apply this principle to your life. Say yes to new ideas. Actively seek new ideas. Decide you are going to be open to new ideas, new people, new situations, new things, new experiences. Practice saying yes.

If you shut your door to all errors, truth will be shut out.
Rabindranath Tagore

Our minds can shape the way a thing will be because we act according to our expectations.
Federico Fellini

We fear our highest possibility (as well as our lowest one). We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moments.
Abraham Maslow

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall at last unveil.
John Ruskin

For in reality, none of us know what the future holds. So we can choose to imagine it either in nihilistic terms (if we do this, all work stops) or as a playground of possibilities for our species and loved ones (if we do this, creativity can begin anew . . . ). 
Matthew Fox

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein

But to really seek the truth, one cannot carve out a safe niche and hole up in it. One must blunder out there into the unknown, the mysterious.
M. Scott Peck

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
C. G. Jung

Religions commit suicide when they find their inspiration in dogma.
Alfred North Whitehead

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:2 (The Message)

One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover.
Morris L. West

Affirmative prayer

I know that I am a co-creator with God. I now choose to create a more fulfilling reality. I affirm that everything works together toward the highest good for all. I know that there are no rules because I've never been here before. Old patterns no longer apply. New patterns and happier ways of being are manifesting easily and joyfully every single day of my life. That which I once thought "impossible" is now possible, for I am willing to think about myself in a new way. I expect guidance, wisdom, help, and resources to appear in my life with perfect timing as good unfolds effortlessly, naturally, and beautifully in my life. I thank God that everything is working together perfectly to bring every good gift and blessing to full fruition.

Introducing inspiring friends:

I’m working on getting a new, FREE e-book ready, The Heart of Abundance. It’s a “best of” introduction to my work, especially the philosophy of The Art of Abundance. And after that I will be getting The Art of Abundance, The Art of Encouragement, and The Art of Simplicity into e-book format on Smashwords. Look for links and announcements soon. 

I read Seth Godin’s blog regularly for creative and marketing inspiration. It has linked me to life-changing resources and inspiring people. I highly recommend his new book, Linchpin. Not only is it a reminder of the value of living more creatively and passionately, but it also is a tangible reminder that when you put something out on the Internet, you never know when or how it will come back. But it can come back. I could not only read his book, but I had my friend Donna’s photo on the inside cover as a little message from the Universe that I am on the right track as I work to build my Internet presence. 

Seth Godin’s blog:

Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships, that is why good ideas are always initially resisted. Good ideas come with a heavy burden. Which is why so few people have them. So few people can handle it.
Hugh Macleod

A linchpin, as Seth describes it, is somebody in an organization who is indispensable, who cannot be replaced—her role is just far too unique and valuable. And then he goes on to say, well, seriously folks, you need to be one of these people, you really do. To not be one is economic and career suicide. 

No surprises there—that’s exactly what one would expect Seth to say. But here’s where it gets interesting. 

In his best-known book, Purple Cow, Seth’s message was, “Everyone’s a marketer now.” In All Marketers Are Liars, his message was, “Everyone’s a storyteller now.” In Tribes, his message was, “Everyone’s a leader now.” 

And from Linchpin? 

"Everyone’s an artist now." 

From an exclusive Amazon review by Hugh MacLeod 
Hugh MacLeod, author and cartoonist, can be found at:
for an excerpt from his book, Ignore Everybody:

Many months ago, Seth Godin asked his blog readers to send him pictures of people who mattered, who made a difference--people they couldn't live without. The result of that shout out is now published on the inside cover of his new book. I sent a photo of my dear friend, Donna Michael, and then forgot about it. When I bought my copy of Linchpin, I found her photo ten over from the left, two up from the bottom. She’s the one smiling at you, sitting at the piano. I love her music, I have been blessed by her wisdom, and she has much to offer you. She is also a Radical Forgiveness coach. Go to her website to learn more about Donna and her music. 

Donna Michael