Orna Ross
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Video Episode of Histories and Mysteries Podcast brought to you by Orna Ross

For readers and writers

July 20, 2018


2018 Workshop 6: Getting Into Creative Flow

with Orna Ross

This month we learn about three creative flow practices for developing and strengthening creative mind, body and spirit in:

Getting Into Creative Flow


We covered three practices I personally use for keeping creative mind, body and spirit strong and flexible:

  • Effortless Exercise (body)
  • F-r-e-e-Writing (mind)
  • Inspiration Meditation (spirit)

And the relevance of flow practice for creativepreneurs (and how inclined we are to skip it!)

Hello, everyone. Having a little challenge here or two with the workshops this month. I was trying to connect it to live streaming but more ambitious, my ambition outran my capabilities here on Facebook Live. So, okay, Justine is here, so you are finding me which is a good thing and what I am not finding is how to connect my screen so I will keep working on that as you come in, so welcome to everybody. I’m hoping that people will find their way here.

Today we’re going to be talking about getting into creative flow and lots to say about that. And an interesting development also, so just settle in and say hello to each other and today will also be an opportunity for you guys to ask questions, if I can just get tech organized here so I can see how to get you in to do that and so on.

So hope you’re all having a creative month and I’ve been thinking a lot about creative flow and creative practice and we have started running an event each morning from Monday to Thursday in the Creativist Club where we get together to do morning flow practice. That facilitates a lot of the things that we’re going to be talking about here today. So everybody hearing me OK? If you could just say “Yes!” to that, “Yes, I hear you” so that I know I’m not talking to myself. And if you could just give me a moment or two as people gather to try and get the, try and get the Powerpoint connected. So back to you in a moment.

OK. Good. You’re hearing me so that’s a start but I’m still not having a lot of luck with the PowerPoint. So what I’m going to do is carry on without it and just talk to you. Unfortunately you’re going to have to look at my face instead of looking at these nice slides. I will however post the slides when the event is over and we will also, I’ll also get Howard, who is our tech wizard and which I am not, I am the opposite of whatever a tech wizard is, Howard will put the two together so that what I talk about will actually match the slides that you should have been seeing right now and would be seeing right now if I could only work out how to connect them.

Thank you nice, nice people for understanding. OK. So for those of you who don’t know me and I’m Orna Ross. I’m a storyteller most of all, word lover but also but I’m also a creative connecter and a facilitator for many, many years before I got into doing what I do now and I still facilitate at all sorts of levels, indie authors particularly but also creative entrepreneurs of all kinds to make a living doing the things that they love to do because it’s the same thing.

Ooh, here’s an interesting. Could you send us the slides we can open a Powerpoint on our own computers while you talk. I don’t think I’ll be able to do that to so many different people because I wouldn’t have your email addresses, Justine, it’s a good idea but I wouldn’t have the first clue of how to do it so I think it’s best if I kind of soldier on here and they’re very self-explanatory these ones. There isn’t a lot of information on them so if you can just kind of stay with the sound of the voice for this time I think that’s the best thing to do.

So what I do is combine the commercial and the creative, the practical and the deeper stuff. I don’t think you can have one without the other. I think we’ve got an awful lot of advice given to us as creatives by, from a much more conventional mindset than we actually operate from and there is very little advice, particularly when it comes to money and business that speaks to us in a way that we can actually use us and I’ve been working for a very long time on the series of books which haven’t come easily on this topic which are all launching soon and these workshops, in a way, supplement that information. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask questions, so let’s treat this one as we don’t have slides, let’s treat this as an opportunity for you guys to ask me anything, as they say, about where you are in your own situation.

So I’ll just talk a little bit at what I was going to talk about and then we can look specifically at where you find yourself and these monthly workshops usually go better than this. The PowerPoint usually does connect and they run here, they will be running here now monthly, mid-month. I had been doing them the beginning of the month but I’m finding the beginning and end of my month is very busy and this is a more relaxed time for me so Third Tuesdays and tonight at 6 pm London time which is one pm I think Eastern and New York and so on, around the world, we’re very New York and London centric around here but yeah, you can work out the time.

I’m going to be moving it 2 hours forward, so it’s going to be 8 pm. So to be a bit more convenient for people in other time zones I think and so 3rd Tuesdays 8pm we will be running here. At any time you can touch into them on my Facebook author page which if facebook.com/ornarossauthor and each month I’ll be doing a theme of interest to indie authors and creative entrepreneurs.

So, as I said, it’s a chance for you to ask questions, go a bit more deeply into your own particular practice, your own particular businesses but also to put into practice some of the theories and exercises and things that we’re talking about and you’re all invited to join the Creativist Club which is facebook.com/groups/creativistclub where a group of us come together quietly and privately because not everybody is of the same sort of creative mindset, we’ll talk about that a little bit more in a minute but in this group everybody is, we kind of support each other, hold each other accountable, set creative intentions at the beginning of the week, tick them off at the end of the week or not, depending on how it has gone and just generally kind of uphold each other in our creative intentions and in doing what we want to do.

So that’s the Go Creative online workshops that we’ll be running for the rest of the year at minimum, possibly for the rest of my life, I don’t know but certainly for the rest of the 2018 and they build on each other and hope to see you and coming along. So, yeah, in order though to attend you need to get an invitation from me, that’s how Facebook works it, so the events page on my author page is where you can find that, you just click on the event you’re interested in. If you say are interested and you will get an invitation on the day and when you see the invitation you just tap “go live” and you should come through. OK. That’s all the housekeeping. So today, what am I going to be talking about? Creative Flow, what is that?

Well, we spoke for the last few months now about the various kinds of creative hats that we can have as creatives and those blocks can come in 3 different places. Us, as crafters which is which is the thing we love to do, generally speaking, the writing, the art, the counseling, the activism, the moving, shaking and generally waking the world up, whatever it is our thing is, that is craft. Just because it’s what we love to do doesn’t mean we always find it easy to do it. In fact, sometimes the more we love to do it, the harder we find to actually do it. So that is one of the many paradoxes of creativity.

So block can hit us at the crafter level. It can also hit at what I call the creative director level and this is the part of you that runs your business. So lots of us as creatives and business almost by default. We have something we love to do, we can’t stick jobs, we constantly find ourselves going from one thing to another, we don’t like authority, don’t like the way other people do things, like to do things our own way and various other, it’s not always that, I’m probably just talking about myself here.

There is other conditions anyway that we can sometimes find ourselves in business by default. Indie authors are notorious for this, they put their book up on Amazon or Kobo or IngramSpark or all of those, wherever and don’t realize that by doing that, and by selling some books you’ve actually just become a business person and of course, with no training and no even concept of oneself as a business person. Yes.

We’re getting through here, getting some people, yeah, Julia’s saying there are difficulty and no invitation came through. Yes, sorry folks and sorry about the technics of the video will be there, but there are a couple of things that went wrong with this one so apologies. I’m glad you found your way here, Judy perhaps you could give the nod to some of the people, answer some of their comments. Some people jumping in also to say there are reasons why as creative they’re in their own business. So Justina’s saying she doesn’t like authority. Not unusual and Clara is saying that many of the things that I said resonate with her. So thanks Judy for posting the link and hi Grace, those of you who are managing to find your way here. It’s great.

Okay, so block turns up in all sorts of ways for the crafter, as we said, for whatever reason you find you can’t do. This can go on for a long time. You can actually start just, you know, not writing today, or not creating today, not doing your thing today and suddenly find “I haven’t done anything for weeks. I haven’t done anything for months” and this horrible, horrible, very painful, psychological malign cycle sets in whereby, you know, the longer you are without doing it, the harder it is to do it, the worse you feel and it goes round and round and people can underestimate just how really painful this can be if you are a creative person who should be producing.

So, yeah, in addition to the craft level which is what we love to do, there is the business, as I was talking about we can end up in it by default. Also, we have no training, generally speaking because we don’t think of ourselves as business people, often, though some of us, of course, do but we’re not taught about how to do business from a creative perspective.

An awful lot of the business advice that’s out there is very one-dimensional, very mechanical and doesn’t really sit well with a creative mind or a creative approach, or a creative way of doing things. So we can be quite blocked around business and so you will very often hear people saying “I love the art but I can’t stand the marketing” or “I can’t do numbers therefore I can’t, you know, my business is a mess or dreading the end of the tax year or not setting proper creative intentions around finances or being extremely unrealistic, fuzzy and you know, not really there, or actually having a fear of money or disdaining it a bit, thinking it’s beneath us, we’re artists above all that and so on.

There are so many different ways that we can be blocked around business, but the way I think about it, which is perhaps different to any, you know, to any other ways you may have heard it discussed or certainly I’m not coming across it a lot is that the very same creative principles that you bring to doing your craft, doing your art, doing your thing, whatever your thing is, the very same set of processes and principles, practices that produce the work at one level also produce it on a business level.

And that applies to the third hat that we must wear as creative owners, as creative business people, and that’s the entrepreneurial hat. As the creative entrepreneur it’s your job to expand your business and to grow your financial streams and to take yourself out there and to increase your influence and as well as your income and that’s the entrepreneurial hat that you need to wear and we can be very blocked around that as well, reaching out to other people, standing up for what we do, admitting to doing what we do, knowing even what our thing is, isolating our micro niche that we are operating in, working out who are the people that we serve, what is the service that we’re offering in all of these things we can actually become blocked.

So block shows up in all sorts of ways and what I’m going to be proposing today is a method for unblocking and even if you don’t think of yourself as blocked, if you are flowing or trickling or even in a great big gush, the techniques I’m going to be talking about today are super useful. They are three forms of practice, really, which supplement, first of all, get you in touch with the font of your own creative flow over, open it out and allow flow to rise and so yeah, I think what we’re talking about is on one level how block is dissolved into flow but we’re also talking about how flow is increased.

So you don’t need to be blocked in order to use the techniques I’m talking about. I don’t think of myself as a blocked person. I’m reasonably happy with my productivity in the main and in balancing a number of very different activities, so, you know, running every public Alliance and large Association which is, as I said, a quite public thing but also being a poet which requires a very different sort of energy, also writing novels and scripts, which is a story thing and writing nonfiction so I’m able to balance these, I believe, because of these techniques that I’m going to offer to you today.
So yes. There are 3 and one is for body, one is for mind and one is for spirit. So I’m not going to apologize for using the Spirit word, I don’t use it in any sort of religious sense, it’s a completely non-religious thing, in fact, my own personal belief is that more you kind of put names and shapes and things on this free flowing, invisible, you know, non-shaped, non manifested thing, the further you’ve moved away from it so it’s very, it’s very hard to talk about this thing that we call spirit because actually it’s nameless and it’s shapeless. It’s nothing. It’s the opposite of thing but the irony of being in the paradox, again, of being creative is that in order to make something consciously in a conscious way, we need to draw on this nothingness. So nothingness creates the thing, if you’ll pardon my English on that.

So, there are 3 of these practices. The first one, for body, I call effortless exercise and a what that means is a form of mindful movement of body. So the archetype of it will be yoga, but there are many different, it’s really about the mind state you bring to it. So it is the opposite of running a race. It is the opposite of winning a game. It’s nothing to do with, you know, Wimbledon and the World Cup and all the stuff we’ve been watching, some of us on the weekend.

So again, a lot of creatives are allergic to sports and I think it’s often because it comes back to this kind of thing because we are really and again, this is not true of all of us by any means, but it is something you notice more in the creative community than anywhere else that there is a sort of pulling back from competition and much more with a tendency to what we call cooptition or cooperation, so and I think that’s one of the the really joyful things about creative community and it’s something that none of us really knew so much of out until the Internet came along and it’s a joy of mine every single day to watch what goes on in the Creativist Club and in the Alliance of Independent Authors, where people are just in there, just helping and supporting each other all the time, completely free, no sense of competition and competition isn’t appropriate because we are all each doing our thing and there are enough people out there for us to serve for us not to feel threatened in any way by anybody else.

So effortless exercise takes cognizance of that. It is very much about going into a mindful state, as Nick says, so becoming mindful, perhaps, of your breathing or your posture. You can do it walking, you can do it running, there are all sorts of different ways. I don’t teach this so for the book I’m actually working with somebody else on this. I have my own various forms that I do myself but this is not something that I facilitate. The other two, however, I do Tai Chi, somebody has talked about here which is brilliant. Yes, absolutely. And there are all sorts. There are all sorts of others and I’m sure lots of you have some, we can maybe talk about that in a moment or two through the comments box.

OK. So that is the exercise what, as I said, I don’t teach or facilitate this, nobody teaches these things, they are facilitated, we don’t do them to ourselves, we open and allow them to to rise. Swimming too, Justine says, yes, in fact, any exercise that isn’t and you know a pushing of the self, a straining of the self can fall into this category but it’s all about the how. It isn’t what you do, it’s how you do it and if it’s becoming another kind of grind, another self punishing thing, another thing where you’re pushing yourself, where you’re feeling not good enough or you’re trying to measure up to something then it’s the opposite.

The way to understand the kind of access I’m talking about, the masters that we cannot observe and see how they do it is children. It’s running like a child runs, for the sake of running, for the joy of the activity itself and this, of course, is key to the creative boat and that joy in doing is fundamental to creative flow and that’s what we’re doing when we practice these things and so exercise is the body practice that we do.

And as creatives and creative entrepreneurs, generally, we need to move more, we need to get away from the desk. We absolutely should be, not just because our, you know, physically we need it for our health and our wellbeing but also because it fosters flow and that’s the most important thing to realize about these techniques that I’m offering you.

I know that there is a part of your mind, possibly already or certainly by the time I’m finished that’s going to be saying “I don’t have time for this. I’m already stretched. I don’t have time to fit in, you know, my core creative work, never mind the business stuff around it and now you’re asking me to give over some time to something else” and I’m going to say back to you, because I’ve heard this so many times over the years from my own head as well as other heads and I’m going to say back to you as I say to myself when this rises for me, which it does very often.

These practices do not take time, they make time and so you will always be chasing yourself unless you get some kind of flow practice. It doesn’t have to be these, these are just the ones I’m offering you. You may well have your own but the biggest thing to say today is that these rest and play practices particularly are not and breaks from the creative process, they are the actual process and doing it is absolutely key to everything else you’re doing and when you’re not doing this, you’re not doing the other stuff either as well as you can or perhaps at all.

And it’s a kind of mysterious way that they work. So you give over this time and you actually, you know, invest, I think, if you invest your time in these practices, they don’t take a huge amount of time. Research has shown that for the creative benefits 15 minutes is optimal, so you get, you know, anything up to 15 minutes is not as good, at 15 minutes you’re getting benefits, you get more benefit after 15 minutes but it’s not rising exponentially, so it slows down quite a bit and then after a certain point of time you’re not getting any benefit for the extra time at all.

So in the morning practice session that we’re doing, we’re doing 15 minutes of each of them because that is the optimal amount of time. So getting loads of lovely positive feedback here, so it’s obviously a concept that you’re all aware of and I know that, you know, for some people, it’s they don’t think about it as creative flow practice. For other people we know fully the benefits of it but knowing and doing are 2 different things.

So, yes, the second practice then is freewriting and some of you have already done this here in these workshops with me last month and some of you have been doing them with me in the morning flow practice sessions. I’m not going to spend a long time talking about free writing, just to say free means fast, it means raw, it means exact and it means easy. F-R-E-E, get it? And fast is really the most important part of it.

So lots of people who’ve read Fred Yuland or Judy Cameron, Ashley Goldberg have a writing practice and that is a fantastic thing but, again, research is showing us, we’re just getting such fantastic research now into our creative responses through neuroscience and what M.R.I. scanning has allowed in the last decade and we’re seeing that the key thing in terms of benefiting from what’s called expressive writing is the speed at which you write and the regularity of the engagement.

So it’s a thing of making it a daily practice but it’s also when you sit down to write that you write fast. It’s also seems to be a better to write by hand. The research is not conclusive on this but it’s looking that way, not entirely sure if that’s for a generation that learned to write by hand, you know, had you learned to write by keyboard perhaps it would have the benefit, maybe something to do with tapping into place, you know, when you first learned to write, the childhood time, as I said, the inner child is our master so tapping back into that might have something to do with it. Whatever the reason, it might just be the speed that fast handwriting allows, whatever the reason, anyway, it’s looking like handwriting with pen and paper is most effective.

Writing fast, writing raw and exact is really important. So exact means exactly what’s going on for you. In the morning flow practice that we do we don’t set a topic and sometimes people find that very disconcerting. It’s about taking dictation from what’s in your own mind, finding out what’s there.

So that’s the motion. It’s not like “Oh, I’m thinking about something, I’m going to write about it.” It’s the opposite, it’s opening up and and seeing what’s there and allowing it to rise up. Again, in a very easy, free flowing way, this stuff can really cut through days, weeks, months of messing about and again, it’s the non-linear methodology, the non-linear characteristic of the activity that people find uncomfortable is actually where the benefit lies. It’s allowing ourselves to open up and open up to that and, in a sense, emptying the mind of preconceptions, judgments, attitudes, beliefs, concepts, denials, expectations, guilt, fears letting go of all of that and getting it down to the page and there is a kind of a siphoning off that happens when that stuff goes onto the page. There’s a clarity that emerges.

And I’ve left the spirit practice to last and that is inspiration. Meditation is the form that I teach. Any form of meditation is fantastic for creatives. There is no doubt, just like every sports person is now meditating because the benefits are, you know, that you won’t see any top sports person that doesn’t have a meditation practice. It’s the same for creatives, we all need to meditate. Why? Because our thinking mind is crazy and it gets in the way so it doesn’t, again, need to be a huge amount of time. It doesn’t have to be Zen, you know, lotus position, straight back, you know, sitting, staring or not staring at a wall for hours on end. 15 minutes is optimal it seems and there are various different kinds of methods that you can take.

The one that I facilitate is for busy creative minds who find it hard to set up. It uses a sound mantra, words and the spaces between the words. So a very simple way to do it is just close your eyes and bring your eyes to the left side and see your first name and bring your eyes to the right side and see your surname, sounding these sounds in your mind and then bringing your eyes to the center and observing the space between the words, just holding yourself in the space. When you meditate thoughts always rise and that’s another great thing about meditation for creatives, it teaches you to accept what is, to observe what is, to see what’s there and not to fight it, not to judge it, not to box it up, not to throw it away, but actually just be with it.

So those are the 3 practices. I would just like to say does anybody have any questions, comments, anything that hat they would like to say about any of this. Do you guys have a creative practice? Do you think about fostering flow as something that you engage with? While you’re thinking about that, Enid is asking can you come back later? Yes, you can, it will always be on my author page, Facebook.com/ornarossauthor. Essentially where you are now, just come back here. So, yeah, just talking, listening to what some people are saying here, Regina, does brain entrainment meditation theta?

Yes, so this is tapping into, of course, this great research I’m talking that is emerging at the moment around what’s happening to our brain waves when we go into creative state and that specific then meditations which try to emulate that and get the brain entrained into being in that wave state, a lot of people love that kind of meditation and Justine says meditation’s changed her life and it does change our lives. And she also does morning pages and exercise but not all 3 together.

Suzanne, I find the flow does come naturally as long as I force myself to sit and do the thing, by the thing, I guess, Suzanne, you mean your craft, your own craft and yeah, I mean seat of the pants to the seat of the chair, we’re going to be talking from now on, this particular workshop is very much about flow and how to generate flow and it’s very much in that, you know, speaking of flow as a thing in itself and the rest of our workshops up to now and going forward from here are very practical. They’re about the thing itself, in this case the thing being running a business and making money from it, but this flow practice underwrites all that.

Julie has a question which is interesting and then I’ll come back to yours, Ken, Julie is trying the meditation. I’m not sure what I’m doing, what the benefit will be, its it going to take a long time until something meaningful happens for me or is it possible I just can’t do it? Julie, it is not possible that you can’t do it. Just as doing exercises will get you fit, no matter what stage you start in, no matter what body you have, there are physiological rules that mean if you do a certain activity, a muscle will get stronger, your heart rate will lower, your lung capacity will improve. It’s exactly the same with meditation practice but it doesn’t happen in a minute and it can’t be chased. It isn’t linear. It isn’t like I do the practice today “Oh, here I am tomorrow feeling the benefits.”
First of all, you have to do it for a while and then you begin to see things changing and sometimes you don’t feel that different, you know, you really don’t feel different but you notice that your priorities have shifted and things have changed and after a while you think, “Oh my goodness this has changed me. This has changed my life. This has changed my work. This has changed my business but it doesn’t happen overnight and none of these things, nothing that I offer in any of this creative enterprise world, anything that happens too quickly or too easily is probably not going to maintain itself. Everything we’re talking about here is a long term commitment to something that is ongoing and creative flow practice is exactly the same so I hope that answers your question.

Back to Ken. I can’t write by hand for long, my hand cramps within a minute or two, typing is much much faster though I understand why people who prefer handwriting, it’s about what works for you, absolutely Ken, sorry, it’s not Ken, Kel, wasn’t reading that properly, yeah, Kel, absolutely, I’m so glad you said that because I should have said that. Nothing here is a rule, everything here is just offered as “This is what I do, this is what I’ve seen work for other people.” It’s always what works for you and in fact, nobody takes anybody else’s stuff and does it exactly the way they were taught. At first you do, you copy it and then you find your own way with it and that is the way it should be and so yeah, who else have we got?

Guys, some of you are doing such a lovely thing so do read back through the comments when this is over and just see what everybody is up to. And Claire says thank you, it confirms what she’s trying to do anyway, but being part of the group is helpful. That really is what we’re trying to do with the morning flow practice is we all have our own practices and ways of doing it but sharing it, especially on the days when it’s hard and you know, if you’re doing it yourself and you have your own thing that you do, that’s absolutely great but you know, if you find you haven’t been doing it for a day or two, or a week or two or a month or two or a year or two, knowing that there is a group there is always there, online, you know, that you can go every single time that you need to and it will be there for you, Monday to Thursday, is hopefully something that will support when times get hard and for some people, just coming along and doing it every day, I know, has been, some people have started, you know, have come to every single one of them are kind of trying to make it a daily thing for the first time. It’s also very useful in terms of just building the dailiness of it, getting used to it.

When you start doing a practice like this you have to give yourself 21 days to settle in, so when I started the morning flow practices this month I wasn’t sure whether I would actually keep it going, because if it was going to interrupt my own practice I wouldn’t be able to because that would kind of disintegrate everything on me so but it hasn’t, it’s been absolutely fine so I’m very happy to continue with it but I did make a commitment to doing it for the whole month because I knew first week or so with my techie stuff wouldn’t be that easy and also, it would take time to settle into doing it differently, having other people making it a public rather than a private thing and it’s the same for you if it’s new, give it at least 21 days before you can even begin to think “What is this is doing for me?” Just do it, don’t think. It’s very like writing or making your art or whatever, don’t think. It’s really about getting between the thoughts and letting the thing arise. The more thinking you do, the harder everything gets, most of our thoughts get in the way.

Okay, so Justine is recommending here insight timer app for those of you who are not aware of it, Justine and I are both players there. Lots of medications of all kinds and also for those of you who may have difficulty sleeping lots of very good sleeping meditations and things as well.

Julie has asked a question in response to my answer to her other question. She would like to know how doing creative flow practice, be it meditation, mindful exercising, be it free writing or similar, anything similar has actually changed things for other people here. So if any of you have adopted a flow practice, have felt the benefits, could you have Julie out here because she’s struggling to see the benefits. She’s not feeling, not sure why she’s doing it so could you kind of give a story or two, those of you who have one to share about how it was for you before and after, how long it took to settle in, I’m a believer, obviously, but it would be good for her to hear from some other people as well, about the specifics, I guess is is what she’s looking for.

So, yeah, we have a few Inside Timer people here, we must all friendly up over there as well as everybody else so we can be in touch there. So, yeah, anybody got anything for Julie in terms of how things, here Susan, thank you, Susan. Yeah, business flow is an issue for Susan, OK. So flow is not an issue when it comes to craft, but business flow is an issue.

OK, I’m going to, this is not quite a story for you, yet, Julie, though I’m hoping that some people who come in who, it might be interesting to hear from Justine, for example, who says that meditation changed her life, a specific or 2 about that and how it affected things for you, Justine or anybody else who feels that it has been life changing, or more importantly, maybe, in the context of our, no nothing’s more important than life, I’m joking but more saliently and in the context of this workshop, how it has affected business and income and/or craft skills so yes, Susan, Susan is talking about flow is not an issue in relation to the craft, but it is in relation to the business and the thing that I would recommend here and we’ve been talking by this very thing next month in next month’s workshop is specifically what is the creative process, what does the creative process look like for you in your craft work?

So, what do you do and how do you do it. It will take some, it will be, definitely, you will be following certain kinds of patterns which will go something like this, you will set a creative intention, you will incubate that intention, you will investigate it, research and so on. You’ll do some kind of draft or a blueprint, then deepen that draft, add a bit more to it, you know, then you start taking stuff out, you start improving it. Then eventually, it will be ready, you will have met your intention.

Those very same steps can be taken with your business, so if you can find out and we will, as I said, in our workshop next week or next month we will be looking specifically at this. If you can find out where along that process things begin to fall apart for you, is it in the intention process? Very often for creators it begins there.

They have an amazing creative intentions but for their business to actually be successful they’re, at some level, pushing it away. It could start there, it could be that you’re not investigating deep enough, that you’re not getting the kind of information that you need, could be that you don’t fully draft it out, that you don’t deepen and clarify and so on. So it’s really about looking at that and as I said, we do that. Time doesn’t allow it right now but we look at it more closely next week.

So Suzanne is responding to Julie, thank you, Suzanne and she’s saying it’s about a subtle clarity and focus. So I would say, I would totally agree that number one for me is focus. When I am in practice I’m very good at not getting distracted. I’m very good at setting the intention for the day or the week or the month of the quarter and you know getting on with what I’m supposed to be getting on with. When I’m not practicing, I can find that just gets disintegrated. So focus is a really good one, so thank you.

And thanks, Justine, this is a generous sharing here that she had a bad depression for 6 months last year and meditation actually has made her feel enriched and protected, two lovely words and that’s really, I think that concept of, come back to enrichment, because that’s lovely but protection is something that needs to happen before that in order to take risks which all of us must do to do our work and we live at the edge of fear and vulnerability in order to create, to create well, because by definition we’re stretching ourselves, we’re pushing past our boundaries.

In order to do that we need a place of safety. We need a place of protection, in Justine’s words. We need to protect ourselves but this is something that creative flow practice does, meditating, exercising mindfully, freewriting, these take care of us. They keep us safe so we can take our risks from a place of safety. And yes, some lovely comments coming in there for Justine and good for you and thank you so much for for sharing.

OK, so yes, a nice recommendation there of the mindfulness book. We can carry on sharing afterwards, I’m just going to finish up now by saying we have this morning practice that we are starting now, has started about 2 weeks ago. It’s there for you all, Monday to Thursday. You do, however, need to be part of the Facebook group Creativist Club Facebook group in order to take part in this because we want to keep it closed. It’s not going out into the public world and nobody outside the group will know that you’re actually doing it. So if you would like to join us there just join the Facebook group, it’s just a matter of applying to join. There are two questions you need to answer and then when you’re in you will get the reminder each morning. i got the tech completely sorted there. No live stream going on there and I’m sorry about this evening that we didn’t get the slides. As I said, I will pull them up for you.

Suzanne coming back to say setting the intention around business is something that she wants to think about and yes, her business tasks take longer than expected, yes, the old time thing. OK. So yes, what’s the group called? The group is called the Creativist Club, so it is facebook.com/groups/creativist.club but if you just Google “creativist.”

A creativist is somebody who applies the creative principles to things that are not normally judged creative. So other aspects of life, like money, that we don’t think of as being creative, but creativist applies the same principles and practices and processes as we do to our craft work to everything in life and that’s where the creativist bit comes in and so yeah, I think we’re all good, we don’t have any more questions and so hope to see you for creative flow practice in the mornings Monday to Thursday or in the Creativist Club for just setting the creative intentions on a Monday morning, particularly business intentions and checking back in with each other on Friday to see how the week has gone and supporting each other each day during the week.

So, yeah, I understand, Justine is just saying, as a final note, that it’s better for her to stay away from online stuff for her practice and I completely get that. So it’s just about finding whatever it is that works for you and hopefully this will work for somebody. So yeah, next month or sorry next month, I’m not sure, third Tuesday, what date that is, but there will be a notice now and I will send it around. Trying get this live streaming working better.

So, yes free-writing does work to create stories, absolutely, very same principles apply and there is a free writing guide on the website and there will be a full free writing book as part of the series but at the moment you can find information about it at ornaross.com/freewriting and you will find inspiration meditation, ornaross.com/Inspiration-meditation, but just google it or whatever and you’ll find most of these things, or just ask me and always here and always delighted to pass on any of the things that worked for me and to hear and indeed what’s working for you.

So, third Tuesday, Suzanne has very kindly told me in August is the 21st of August so we will be talking about applying the creative process, which is a creative direction and function of the 3 hats that we wear: crafter, director and entrepreneur, it’s the middle one, as a creative director we need to look at our business processes in the light of the creative process and that’s what we’ll be talking about. So, yes, we’ll see you then, hopefully, on the 21st of August if not before in the Creativist Club and yeah, have a creative week. Take care, all. Bye bye, now.