Love Yourself for Goodness Sake and Spontaneously Create Love for Others

Love Yourself for Goodness Sake is a campaign we launched recently  at our Loving Abundance site, emphasizing on the need to use our power of creativity to produce a better life for ourselves and others by first loving our self.

Dr. Deepak Chopra was one of the many teachers who inspired us to take this move. In his book The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, he spoke of the 7 Sutras that help us recognize the miracles that happen everyday of our lives and our capacity to manifest our dreams.

The Sutra, Tat Tvam Asi meaning "I see the other in myself and myself in others", caught my attention deeply. As I went further into understanding the concept I realized its value in my life and spent weeks meditating about it and going through the exercises given in the book.

Here's how it went for me. I discovered that the very qualities I loved about others were the same qualities I loved about myself and the very traits I hated in others were the very same traits I abhorred in mine. The realization kept me dumb founded for a time. It was to no wonder now, why I loved certain people and detested certain types.

 I found myself being more aware of how my spirit was responding to everyone one I met, be they online or “live” in my midst. It became clearer to me then of why certain people rubbed me the wrong way. It was not to their fault really, it was more the fault of how I viewed myself. Soon I was able to identify the attributes, habits, practices, and manners that I found hard to accept in myself. Yes, apparently, I found many things about me hard to swallow. I tried to deny its presence in me. I rejected any semblance of them in my daily life which of course extended to the people around me, be they family, friends, clients or acquaintance. Can you imagine therefore, the many ways I was actually rejecting people in my life without me knowing about it?!

The more I thought of this reality the more I became determined to correct this error and use the power of creativity to help me along the way. Self acceptance would be the jump off point.  The Carpenters aptly displayed this need when they wrote the lyrics; "You’ve got to love me for who I am for simply being me” Accepting the good in us together with the not so good and everything else in between in our self is full acceptance of who we are. But then again, how can self acceptance come easily. It doesn’t --- unless we first start with unconditional love. Unconditional love knows no boundaries. It sets no limits. It demands not a single criterion. Unconditional love simply is. Unconditional love accepts what is, as is, period.

Our creative juices began to flow and the next thing we knew we were on to spreading the need to love the self with unconditional love through video campaigns and articles. It made sense. Encouraging love of self is tantamount to encouraging the love for others as others are mirrors of our selves. In this scenario self acceptance becomes easier.

A poet once said “a man born blind can never know the meaning of darkness for he has never seen the light”. These lines explain the necessity of accepting both our ‘good’ side and our ‘bad’ side as they serve as a measuring tool with which we can gauge our personal growth.  In a place where there, inside us is the quiet co-existence of both pleasant and unpleasant sides -- we are also able to recognize the reality that each one of us is “a work in progress.”

Love yourself for goodness sake and create a more loving relationship with others.


No Acting Please: The Eric Morris, Laurice Guillen and Gina Alajar Encounter

"No Acting Please" were words pasted in the four walls of the workshop room where I was to experience my first taste of the Eric Morris system of -- get this- "Acting". Now why were there posters screaming "No Acting Please" ??!? This intrigued me and only added to stress of having two of the Philippines' formidable and respected film and stage actor-directors as trainers of the class - Laurice Guillen and Gina Alajar. Who wouldn't be intimidated anyway?

There I was a nervous, insecure, wreck trying to look calm and collected amidst a group of seemingly confident stage and film actors who were to be my classmates in the Being Workshop of the Actor's Workshop Foundation in Manila. To say I felt like a lost "probinsiyana" (from the province) was an understatement, after all I just flew in from Cebu to try my luck in Manila, but  more than that though, I felt like all the things I learned about acting became null and void after undergoing just a few simple exercises. I was actually "jerked" into the Eric Morris system of "No Acting Please".

Its essence came in the form of BEING, of TRUTH, of ACCEPTANCE, of RESPONDING, and of EXPRESSING. Laurice and Gina spared no one from cleaning up the obstacles that prevented us from becoming better actors and better individuals through the instrumental therapy sessions.

There was no room for "acting". There was only room for "truth" expressed in a moment to moment basis. I finally began to understand the presence of  the "No Acting Please" signage and embraced its essence after four days  of training. It was a major turning point in my life and I will forever be grateful for Laurice and Gina for pushing me beyond my comfort zone to reveal the dragons that blocked my way to success. Passing the training after all, paved the way for me to become part of  the Actor's Workshop Foundation's training team. The workshop was apparently, my "baptism of fire" , as they teasingly called it.

Putting the icing on the cake, was the foundation's decision to bring in Eric Morris to train professional actors in Manila. This came a few months after I joined them and I was elated. I felt truly blessed being able to interact and witness how Eric conducted the instrumental therapy sessions. Spending many hours and days watching and experiencing his craftsmanship was simply heavenly, I ended up buying his books and gorged on them, some of which are featured here:

Now, 25 years after the first "No Acting Please" encounter, I have kept using all the principles of BEING in all my training programs and in fact have called my behavioral workshops the BEING Series Workshops.

The exercises contained in the various books helped me heal many areas of my life and have allowed me to become a more confident, self-assured, and empowered individual. To give you a glimpse of  how I use some of Eric Morris' instrumental therapy exercises in my various courses here's an article called INVENTORY SYSTEM: Feel Fully, Express Totally

Now, what does "No Acting Please" have to do anything with creativity training. Well, it IS in itself  Creativity Training with Therapeutic Proportions.


Creativity Is on the Decline — And Why It Matters

Creativity is a crucial aspect of any thriving organization or society—and one that a recent article says is declining ominously in the U.S.

The Newsweek article, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, focuses on the results of creativity tests designed by E. Paul Torrance in the 1950s. A researcher examined almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults and found that while they rose until 1990, the scores have been consistently falling since.

Why does that matter? CEOs have called creativity the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future, the article says, and the solutions to the tough problems facing the nation and the world “emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive to the ideas of others.”

The American obsession with rote learning and standardized testing isn’t helping, the article maintains. Encouraging creativity isn’t just a matter of adding more art and music instruction—creative thinking is crucial in hard sciences as well. The article notes that pilot programs in some elementary schools have shown that it’s possible to teach children in a more creativity-focused way and still have them meet curriculum standards.

Our family is about to have some firsthand experience with that as my daughter, soon to be 9, enters fourth grade in a special magnet program for children who’ve met certain testing criteria. My wife and I attended an information session about it and were very impressed with the way the program encourages independent thinking. Both of our children have shown considerable creativity, but we’re aware it’s something we have to actively foster—it’s easy to let them fall into a cycle of just consuming TV and videogames otherwise.

And for the adult side of creativity? It’s certainly important in my work as a Journal editor and my wife’s work as a corporate-communications consultant. I do think I need to more actively foster my own creativity. As I mentioned in my May post about turning 40, I’ve been meaning for a long time to resume writing short stories, which I think would be both enjoyable and a good method of mental exercise. Time to turn tomorrow into today on that, soon.

Readers, how important do you think creativity is to your children’s development and to your own workplace and career?  Is creativity encouraged in your workplace or your family’s school? Are there things you’ve done or plan to do to encourage greater creative thinking on both fronts?  Any fun creativity-boosters you recommend for kids or adults?


Illness Paves the Way For Wellness

We've seen it happen several times. The internet is flooded with stories of such nature. Books have written much about this subject matter. It may even have happened to you.

The fact remains, that it is in moments of suffering from illness that many are motivated to reflect on life and are moved to do things beyond the limits they previously put on themselves.

In some cases, it opens doors to emotional and spiritual healing. In other cases, it provides the very springboard for other miracles to take place. Take for example the story of the father and son team Dick and Rick Hoyt. Many may know about them already but for the benefit of those who have never heard of them, here's a chance to see them in action.

This is what I would call a great example of creatively living life to the fullest. Wellness, after all, is not simply the absence of illness, rather it is the process of being aware of one's value and worth, knowing they are love expressed eventually paving the way for creating balance within and achieving wellness and wellbeing.

Such was the case of a good friend of mine.This is her story. LIVING WELLNESS


Encouraging Creative Thinking In Children Gives Them Lifetime Skills

(I-Newswire) August 2, 2010 - Creativity means more than just the ability to paint a pretty picture, dance Swan Lake, or compose a hit song. It’s a far wider concept, and one that comes in handy in all aspects of life. Creative thinking is a skill that is commonly used by the most successful leaders in business or government, as well as the arts.

A new down-loadable booklet, “Encourage Creativity in Children”, tells why creativity is such a useful tool for both children and adults, and it describes in detail how to promote creative thinking in children of all ages. This booklet is available only at www.AnswerGirls.com. The author, a teacher who has inspired many creative thinkers, shared these helpful tips:

"Creativity is a magical way of looking at the world and, fortunately, the process can be learned — at any age.

Give me, any day, a brain surgeon, a tax accountant, a mechanic or plumber who, when faced with an obstacle, doesn’t automatically say, 'Sorry, can’t do it,' but who stops and thinks, 'Is there another solution possible here?' That’s creativity.

If we allow and encourage our children to be creative, they will be. That doesn’t mean they’ll be performing on Broadway, or writing a bestseller, but they will enjoy a lifetime of creative thought — and all the benefits that come with it.”

“Encourage Creativity in Children” explains how to teach creativity. Through the booklet's series of eight different activities, such as The Colors Around Us, Write Your Own Ending, and Crazy New Uses, children are encouraged to open their minds to other possibilities and new horizons.



Between Being and Doing: The Art of Creative Prioritizing

Stan and Ergo Comic Series

I never knew that creating priorities in life would be based on whether to DO things first or to BE something first. One day I found myself immersed in a concept that changed my perspective on prioritizing things. I discovered the art of creative prioritizing. Here's what got me thinking out of the box.

What are you being? What are you choosing to be? Is it loving? Is it caring? Healing?
You can be more of that no matter what you are doing. Yet, the magic of it is, the more of that your are BEING, the more what you are DOING will fall perfectly into place to allow you to "be" even more of that! Trust this process. It works. You will discover that forms - physical ways to "be" a thing - will suddenly start to just "show up".
"Beingness" becomes form.
-Neale Donald Walsch
When Everything Changes, Change Everything: In a Time of Turmoil, a Pathway to Peace
I totally agree with this concept as I have often found myself caught up in doing things to BE better in a lot of ways. During the process of becoming too busy doing things I lost focus on simply BEING that which I hoped to BE. Okay it may all sound too confusing so let's put in some examples here.
I wanted to BE a better daughter by doing my share of providing financial assistance. I may have accomplished my task of financially assisting the family but that sure did not make me a better daughter. I ended up spending more time at work and prioritizing it than spending quality time with the family.
Now I know better. I can create a better me by simply Being that which I wish and automatically, I will be Doing things differently. Now, that's creativity training like no other.