Say “Yes, and!” to Inspiration: Guest Post by Jennifer Lee

September 24th, 2009

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A few months ago while I was on the phone with Leah planning my Boston visit, I asked on a whim, "Hey, wanna do a workshop together while I'm out there?"

"Absolutely, that sounds like fun!" she quickly replied.

And just like that our Creative Play workshop was born. It was simple, easy and fun because we both came from an inspired and open place.

Nothing kills inspiration like a big, fat "but." No, I'm not talking about derrieres. I'm referring instead to all the "yes, buts..." we tell ourselves. "Yes, that's a great idea, BUT it won't work." "I would love to do that, BUT it doesn't make sense." "I've always wanted to, BUT I don't know how (or I'm scared!)."

Instead of saying "yes, but..." Leah and I said, "yes, AND." Yes to collaboration, to having fun and to trying something new together. From that inspired place we were able to co-create a joyful afternoon together. We built on each other's ideas and we got to share in a playful experience with 10 other fabulously, creative and inspiring women.

Inspiration is often contagious like that for me. It can start with the slightest whisper from my Inner Muse. The idea will germinate in my head until I speak it out loud and finally move into action. And that's when the inspiration factor snowballs. Sometimes it's like being on creativity crack! Ideas flood at me left and right and it's hard to keep up.

Other times, the inspiration well seems dry. The "yes, buts" seem to have more clout then. It's times like that when I just need to give myself time and space to nudge my Inner Muse. For example, this morning instead of saying to myself, "Yes, I'd love to play with the new ink and quill I bought in Boston, BUT I have too much stuff to catch up on so I better not," I chose to say, "Yes, I'll play with my new art supplies AND I'll do it first thing in the the morning to start my day creatively." By simply sitting down, opening up my journal and picking up my pen, I summoned my Inner Muse and became inspired to create.

What can you say "Yes, and" to today?

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Jennifer Lee is a certified coach, artist, writer and yogini who find inspiration everywhere. She is the creator of the Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit and the Right-Brain Business Plan. You can find her at Artizen Coaching, her Life Unfolds Blog and on Twitter.

9 Responses

I love getting ink, or paint or pastels or whatever all over my hands. It may be messy, but there is somethig so satisfying about that marking.

I said “yes, and…” this morning to a new project with a new partner, as we started to brainstorm what we would do, even though we are thousands of miles apart, and even though we both have challenges that might stop us, and even though my life at least is pretty up in the air for the next few months, I still said, “yes, and!”

I think saying “yes, and!” helps us to see the other “yes, and!s” in our lives. Helps us look at possibilities and adventures instead of risks and fears.

I hope so, because I need to turn my risks and fears into possibilities and adventures.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by chris Zydel and Laurie Hawley. Laurie Hawley said: RT @leah_art: Say, "Yes, AND!" to Inspiration: Guest post by the lovely @artizencoaching: [...]

I loved this post because I know how easy it is to get into that “but” habit…especially if you live with someone who ALWAYS says “maybe”…Love him dearly however, it can rub off after many years so I need to keep my priorities clear and this post is a great remeinder that it takes less energy to say YES, AND than it does to come up with excuses for why we shouldn’t!! Thanks girls..good inspiration today!

Thanks, Leah for saying YES! and for the opportunity to do a guest post :) . Loving the comments here about possibilities, adventures and priorities. Yahoo!

I love this idea. It’s funny, but I can’t tell you how many coaching clients I have referred to the movie Yes Man for inspiration. And, even more than the movie, I send them to the book, which is actually a memoir and quite different than the film.

Amazing thing to see how lives can be transformed simply by saying yes to an experience without shooting ourselves down. Thanks for being a fellow traveler on this path!

I’d like to do the create every day month. What is the theme for October? Thanks

What a fabulous reminder! “And” is so inclusive, and leaves open the door to the possible. Wish I had learned this lesson much earlier when my kids were small, when ‘no’ was always too quick out of my mouth (which ‘but’ is kind of another form of).

YES! We can go to the playground today and we’ll do it right after you help me clean the kitchen! LOL

But I’m learning…it’s never too late.

Saying ‘yes’ to yourself is the hardest thing to do, even when you are single and have only yourself to manage. If I could pay my self for the countless times I said, ‘yes, but…’ I woud probably be better off than Melinda Gates. With that said, I said, ‘yes’ to pulling all my art supplies and sewing supplies out of the closet and to weed, shift and reorganize. I am almost done – 1.5 weeks later – yikes but it feels good to know what I have and where it is. Now, next steps – say ‘yes’ to the journals, the canvases et al! I am fired up – thanks for the spark! Angela

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