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The first time I ever went to Death Valley, it was under protest.  I had gone to a photographer’s convention in Vegas with a fellow photographer who insisted on stopping at Death Valley on the way home.  I was not impressed, but he was driving, so I went along for the ride.

We get there and I immediately became impressed.  Why they call this place Death Valley is beyond me.  Well, actually, I know whey they call it that.  Something about extreme heat in the summer killing everything that stops long enough to experience it.  But go in the spring, or the fall, or the winter months, and it’s different.  What I was impressed by was the energy there.  Call it woo woo if you want, but I feel energy.  It’s a powerful thing, that energy.  It’s like The Force, and if you allow yourself to feel it, you can learn awesome things.  There is a stillness about Death Valley that has much to teach us, if we allow it.

I’ve since gone back to Death Valley many times.  I’ve gone alone, and I’ve brought groups in.  This year, on March 6-8, I’m bringing another group in.  I call it the Creativity Retreat.

A couple of things:  I’m different.  Some might say I march to a different drum.  Actually,  what really happens is that I hear a different beat than most.  It’s the beat of that woo woo energy I was speaking of.  I believe that if you get quiet long enough, you begin to get in touch with that Force, and you open up to new and wonderful things.  This is what creativity is all about.  And this is what the camping is all about.

I could take a group to a hotel.  But then the whole camping/energetic/woo woo experience would change. I like the whole camping/energetic/woo woo experience. You say you don’t camp?  Then this is your first lesson.  Come.  Step outside those limitations  and see what happens.  This is also a part of creativity.

So come.  Join me and some other pioneers.  Camp with us.  Share meals prepared at campside by whoever wants to participate.  Sit and experience the energy that is Death Valley, do a bit of inner exploration, prompted by me, yours truly.  Explore the valley a bit too.  There will be time for that.

My husband seems to think that money is tight.  I did the math.  $90 for the retreat itself, maybe $50-$100 for groceries, maybe $100 for travel to get there and back.  $300 for a life changing experience.  To me, it is a no brainer.  But then again, I did say I march to a different beat.

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License plate musings:

So....I live in an area where lots of people come from all over the world to visit. I enjoy hearing the different languages, seeing evidence of different cultures. Here in agricultural Nevada, we’ve got cowboys. And tattooed folk. Sometimes they mix. So I enjoy seeing women wearing saris and guys with turbans. I marvel at the lack of personal space evidenced by Chinese people. These folks have absolutely no concept of personal space. Get near a bunch of them and prepare to be crowded. I remember watching the eclipse last year with a group like this. We were on a bluff, over looking Lake Tahoe. Plenty of room, lots of open space, lots of trails. I had my tripod set up to photograph the eclipse. They crowded around me so close that I had to watch to make sure my tripod didn’t get knocked over. Nice people, we communicated as best we could with the language barrier. They loaned me their special little viewing glasses, I let them look on my camera monitor to see what I was capturing. We shared OOOHs and AHHHs. But they crowded me. Where was I? Oh yeah, license plates. So one of my other hobbies is noticing out of state license plates. I can always tell when it is tourist season by the number of out of state plates I see. Some plates are beautiful. They have rainbows and bright colors and catchy slogans. Then there is Delaware. Now there’s a no-nonsense plate. No bright colors. No mountains. No catchy slogan. Just...the plate number. I did a little research on Delaware license plates. Apparently they’ve always been some variation of light numbers and letters on a dark background. I saw no evidence of rainbows or mountains. What kind of state does that? I went to to explore a bit, and saw an archived blog post in which was written this: “In exploring this unique part of First State culture – the program will include such topics as the desirable black & white porcelain sets from the 1940s, the black stainless steel tags from the 1950s, and the story behind the controversial font-style changes in the early 1990s.” Yes folks, apparently it is a cultural icon in Delaware to have plain black and white.

Ok. ...continue reading "To thine own self be true…..or……license plate musings"

Creativity isn't just about making artsy stuff, although it can be.  It is also about creating the life you wish to live.  The first step to creativity is to choose it.  Really.  Make a conscious decision to choose it.  Don't worry about what you are going to create.  Just choose creativity.

Then have some fun with it.  Just sit with the decision for a while, without even attempting to think about what action should follow.  Notice the objections that come up.  And then notice if anything new comes up.  A new way to do things.  A new way to speak.  Or a new idea.

That's what is trying to emerge in you!  Pay attention to that, and see what develops when you cultivate that new idea.

So...make a choice...choose creativity.  See what pops up.  Play with that.

And let me know how that goes!

I got the quote in the meme from research that I'm doing in preparation for a Creativity Retreat I'm doing in Death Valley in April.  It's going to be a camping retreat and you are invited!  All the details are in the store below, or on the page that is titled "Classes and Workshops and Speaking Engagements Oh My!"  I'm so excited about this retreat, and I hope you decide to join me!