There may be no greater gift than to be able to use our cameras to document and reflect back a moment, a feeling, or memory for the people we love most in the world. As for this Story, I get chills every time I play it because I am taken right back to the magical weekend we spent together celebrating love, babies and our sisterhood.
I recently had the privilege of attending the Mom 2.0 Summit. I haven’t been able to make the event in years-my, how it’s grown-so I was extra-excited to attend. It being held in my own backyard made it that much sweeter. It was as inspiring as I knew it would be and so much more. Having my daughters come spend the weekend at the extravagant Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel with me during the conference was such a fun opportunity. They hadn’t seen a conference like this first hand before and observing how it all goes down was enlightening for them and sharing a girls weekend with them made it really nice for me. Don’t get me wrong. It was tricky for me to switch back and forth from work mode to family mode but I was so happy it all worked out and really glad to have them there. There were a number of moms who brought families along so I wasn’t the only one doing the juggling act.
There were many highlights for me at the event, most of which were centered around conversation and connection. I had the best time sharing my thoughts and ideas on The Creative Process with the talented, smart, funny and adorable Lindsey Garrett. Even the work we did on the presentation before the conference was fun, so it’s no surprise that I loved tag teaming with her on our panel. Does it seem strange to admit that I actually learned some stuff about our brain and how creativity works from sharing the stage with her? I hope not because I did. That Lindsey. She’s good like that…teaching me stuff I didn’t know I didn’t know. I love that about her.
Connecting with the fabulous team of the United Nation’s Foundation’s Shot@Life was fantastic. I love that group so much, I believe in what they stand for and feel so honored to be a Champion. Chatting with Amanda Peet and introducing her to my girls was really fun for me too.
And probably my favorite part of the whole event was getting to participate with my daughters in Jess Weiner‘s Girls Unstoppable workshop. If you don’t already know Jess is Dove’s Global Self-Esteem Ambassador and an all around amazing human being. LOVE HER! Seeing my girls eagerly soak in Jess’s messages was the greatest moment. I loved what she had to share and how she engaged the girls there to use their voices and speak their truth. It was a perk to having my girls stay at the hotel with me that came as a last minute surprise and let me tell you, it made the trip!
Obviously, I could go on and on. I listened in on a number of excellent panels and shared in many enriching conversations and appreciated the brands involved and the care that the Ritz and the whole team of Mom 2.0 afforded all of us. It was a stellar experience for me and my girls loved it too. Win win.
To share a little window into our Mom 2.0 extravaganza, I created a Story about it, using the new Disney Story app. If you haven’t heard about it yet, you have got to check it out! Disney asked me to try it out to see what I thought. Love! And it seemed to be a great way to share some of the highlights from our girl’s weekend! To see this story in all it’s glory, be sure to click the “play story” button.
Aren’t you dying to try this app? I thought so. Download the Disney Story app from iTunes – for FREE – right here!
Funny how things come to you when you need them most. For me, the path toward rediscovering my own Creative Joy came with the nudge from the Universe about a year ago when I was asked to teach with Jen Louden and Marianne Elliott at the Creative Joy Retreat. At the time, I had no idea that somehow when it came to the topic, I had lost my way.
The definition of Creative Joy is at its essence, doing something creative that brings you joy. Period. No end result needed. No monetary expectations. Heck, no expectations for anything at all. Creative Joy is all about a creative act or process that makes you happy. Although it’s true that if the process AND an end result makes you happy (a finished painting, a blooming garden, a blog post, a novel) it’s perfectly find to work toward an end result. But, if the end result came as more of just an added bonus of doing what you loved, instead of an expectation, then it would make the process of getting there much more joyful. The past year I’ve been on a quest to crack the code on what creative practice makes me happy, in a “joy for joy sake” kind of way. I have found myself riddled by the question that if time or money was no object, what would I do just for Joy?
Of all people, I would have never thought this could be such a challenge for me. I live a creative life and my creativity is tied to my livelihood after all, and I love that about my life. So, how could it not bring me joy? Well, it does. It most certainly does. But somewhere along the way, all of this creativity has gotten got all tangled up together and I have had a hard time untying it enough to decipher between my processes. What am I doing creatively with an outcome or an end product in mind (for “work” let’s say) and what am I doing just because I really love doing it with no outcome or product in mind (for “play” let’s say)?
I’m not pitting one type of process against the other. There’s room for both for sure. But, I’m realizing that I maintain a creative cycle of “work” in my life that although I do enjoy, doesn’t always refuel, replenish or rejuvenate me. And I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m working so darn hard at this creative life. How ironic. By not balancing it with the play of Creative Joy I’m just not filling up my own well, which quite often leaves me depleted. Here’s the big light bulb moment for me: Creative Joy is filed under the self-care category. Unfortunately, I don’t prioritize self-care like I know I should which means Creative Joy isn’t at the top of my to-do list. But, I want it to be. I wish it was. I would like to move it closer to the top.
I really do want—and desperately need—to engage in more Creative Joy in my life. I have started a list of things that I want to do, just for the joy of it, that I will be engaging in for my own happiness and well-being. Joy for joy sake. There’s no better time to start than right now! Can I get a Hallelujah?
Please join me…and Jen Louden and Marianne Elliott as we engage, celebrate, and share our own unique Creative Joy for the next month, together in perfect creative harmony! La la la la… how does the hashtag #mycreativejoy sound???
And to start it all off on the right creative note, we are offering a free download of The Creative Joy Workbook (or better said, playbook) full of wonderfully inspirational insights into Creative Joy from a number of amazingly creative people, plus prompts to encourage and challenge you. YAY!
And, of course, if you want to dive deeper into the exploration of your own Creative Joy, you are invited to join Jen Louden, Marianne Elliott & myself at The Creative Joy Retreat in October at the Garrison Institute in NY. It’s going to be quite joyful and deeply restorative, I promise.
Can’t wait to see what kinds of Creative Joy you discover, WE discover, as we play together this month. All the details for participation are on page 65 of the book. I’m so excited!
My family and I had the honor of attending the Coronation ceremony of Merida, the fiery young star of the movie Brave, into the Disney Princess family today thanks to the generosity of Disney and the fine folks behind the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Beyond just the thrill of seeing such a rare Disney Princess crowning—at Disney’s Magic Kingdom no less—it was even more meaningful on this Mother’s Day weekend that Merida’s mother, Queen Elinor shared the stage with her daughter. She placed her crown on her head, embraced her and then stood close clutching her heart with pride as she watched her brave daughter take her place as princess. It was an awesome experience. I totally cried. And although I know they’re only characters from a movie, having daughters of my own made watching the tender and powerful exchange between them made my heart swell with such intense mama emotion.
Of all the many things I want for my daughters, standing at their side like Elinor did, while they claim their power, their voice, their beauty, their courage, and their dreams would have to be at the top of that list.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing, encouraging, dedicated, supportive, devoted and loving moms out there. And a very special thanks to my own mother who has always stood close, clutching her heart with pride. I love you mom.
I can still hardly believe that I was fortunate enough to travel to Italy with Haagen-Dazs and the amazing artists of L’artista Della Serie (The Artist Series). Between the location, the people and the premise, there was an alchemy that made our Italian adventure what it was; unforgettable.
I am delighted to be the first artist to be featured of the seven in the series. This week Haagen-Dazs will be sharing a number of the images chosen from my Dolce Vita collection via their social media platforms. Follow along to discover the images that we’re inspired by not only the trip itself but also by my gelato inspiration Stracciatella (it’s like chocolate chip but with an Italian twist and it’s super-yummy).
I must say, it’s going to be so fun reliving the adventure in these next seven weeks as each artist will be sharing their own works of art inspired by Italy’s La Dolce Vita and their own flavor. I can’t wait to see, hear and savor it all.
More about The Artist Series can be found on the HDMoment Tumblr page. The artwork will be revealed on Facebook and twitter. And you can always follow along and share your own sweet moments via the hashtag #HDMoment from your platform of choice. Haagen-Dazs is on Instagram too! Let’s share some HD Moments together, shall we?
Last week I discovered a Hummingbird’s nest in our backyard. From the look of it, it had been there for a number of weeks. Well built, round, dense, sturdy and secure the tiny nest was carefully wedged in the Y shape of our small Magnolia tree branches, covered and camouflaged with a canopy of large, curved, waxy leaves. Since the discovery, I have become a woman obsessed. I can now tell you anything you might want to know about Hummingbirds. And I can give you a play by play of this mama bird’s behaviors and daily routine. But most of all, I can tell you that I have become deeply attached to this particular nest. It’s our nest now. It’s in our yard. It’s our responsibility. What else can I say but I guess it brings out the mama bird in me.
Not sure at the time what stage the nest was in, I rented a lens for the weekend anyway, just in case. Low and behold, things were further along than I realized. After careful observation through a long lens perched on a tripod I have seen two baby birds emerging, beaks to the sky and I have watched as a very fierce mama (she’s not too keen about being watched) diligently do her best job of feeding, nurturing and protecting them. And because I don’t want to disrupt her motherly rhythm, I keep my distance. I wait. I watch. I am quiet. I am still. I am patient. I am careful. I am aware. And with of all that, I’m really glad I rented that lens.
You know that feeling when you don’t want to miss a thing? I’ve got that. I’m committed to seeing this thing through and if I can, documenting it. With each day that begins and ends with safe and sound baby birds, I am reminded that life is nothing short of a miracle. You know exactly what I mean, don’t you? I thought so.