#LoveWall by JGoldcrown, Cafe Gratitude, Los Angeles
in Challenging Times
Hope you are safe and well, sending you HUGE VIRTUAL HUGS!!! and so much singing love as we face this global crisis together.
Boosting our creativity during this time of retreat can help build our collective immunity, spreading love and strength. Many of us have been touched and uplifted by seeing videos of our Italian friends singing on their balconies. It affirms the creative power of our hearts and voices to rise to meet challenges, like flowers springing up amidst concrete. Courage comes from the French word for heart Couer and I truly believe we can take heart and find courageous, creative ways through thus storm.
Since all my choirs closed, I have been asking how I can serve at this time and will be sharing online singing, writing and videos to help keep our spirits up. This blog is intended to be a practical resource kit for Courageous Creativity 5 Ways to Manage Fear Wisely 5 Remedies for Wellbeing 5 Ways to Courageous Creativity
5 WAYS TO MANAGE FEAR WISELY I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. - Nelson Mandela
It is absolutely natural and understandable to feel afraid in these uncertain times. Fear is survival response which arises whenever we face a real or perceived threat. We currently face a very real threat to our collective wellbeing which is generating a huge amount of collective fear. What counts is what we do with our fear and how we manage it, so it becomes a useful force rather than a mad debilitating toilet roll buying panic.
1. BREATHE DEEP Breathing deeply resets and calms our nervous system, supports healthy lung function and enables us to face challenges with clarity. Belly Breath - place your hand on your belly and take long soft breaths, feeling the rise and fall of your hand. See how much you can deepen the motion without forcing. Other helpful breathing exercises: 6 Count Breath (breathe in for 6, hold in for 6, breathe out for 6, hold out for 6) Alternate Nostril Breathing, Pursed Lip Breathing and Lions Breath
2. TAKE ACTION Some of our fears are calls to action and need to be attended to. We are being called right now to protect each other by staying home, social distancing and careful hygiene. Do not ignore the message, your fear is real and taking constructive action will relieve it and help keep everyone safe.
3. MOVE Fear is a visceral experience with physiological symptoms - our hearts beat fast and stomachs churn. Physical activity helps discharge and channel it constructively, so get moving with some cooking, cleaning, DIY, a walk, workout, online yoga class (check out Yoga with Adriene) or a wild sing and dance - here's my Dance Like Noone's Watching playlist
4. TAME THE MONKEY MIND There are so many helpful tools to calm an anxious mind including Positive self talk - speak or sing a helpful phrase/ affirmation/ mantra Hypnosis - check out Marisa Peer Meditation - Deepak & Oprah’s Meditation Experience CBT online courses are available via IAPT Gratitude Lists - helps us focus on the good stuff Mind and other Mental Health Charities Less scrolling, more creating - limit your intake of news and social media
5. STAY CONNECTED Remember you are not alone in this - we are all in this together. This crisis is making us all aware of how much we love and value each other and miss our hugs. Social Distancing is making us find creative new ways to share resources and stay in touch. Amidst the chaos and pain, there is a catalytic potential for transformative change of our social structures and lifestyles for more care, peace, love, unity and sustainability.
5 REMEDIES FOR WELLBEING Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down. - Eleanor Roosevelt
These remedies can support respiratory health and boost immune response 1. TURMERIC - add to warm water with your choice of lemon juice/ coconut oil/ honey and for the brave hearted cayenne pepper 2. GARLIC IS YOUR FRIEND - finely chop a clove, add to a small amount of water and swig it down like a shot- no smell! Other immune boosters include ginger, vitamin C & D and eating / juicing lots of fresh fruit and veg. 3. STEAM - head under a towel over a bowel of boiling water. 4. SLEEP - use the quiet time to rest and rejuvenate 5. LAUGH - a good belly laugh promotes deep breathing & boosts joy vitamins - so top up on jokes and comedy eg Stay At Home Comedy Festival This was sent to me by a member of my Welcome Choir!
5 PROMPTS FOR COURAGEOUS CREATIVITY Creativity is contagious. Pass it on - Einstein
1. FILL THE CREATIVE CUP We can use this time at home to connect with creative sources of inspiration, learning and self-development though virtual tours, online concerts, books, courses and podcasts. Chatter Pack has a fun list of suggestions, #64MillionArtists are running a 2 Week Create to Connect programme and The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron is the absolute classic creative support manual.
2. FIND ONLINE SOLUTIONS Those of us facing daunting restrictions on our work lives are now asking how can we serve and contribute when we are no longer able to hold meetings, events, conferences and groups. There is however so much we can do online: we can learn from leading online entrepreneurs such as Leonie Dawson,Marie Forleo, use online platforms including Zoom, Kajabi and Udemy for courses and meetings, write and publish e-books via Kindle, sell creative products via Etsy, CD Baby or Bandcamp, get hired via Fiverr and set up Facebook/ WhatsApp support groups.
3. NEW CREATIVE OFFERINGS now is the time to be making books, music, artwork, blogs, vlogs, articles, Facebook lives, podcasts, e-courses to help bring beauty, inspiration, insight and growth to the world.
4. CLEAN HOUSE Spring clean and sell stuff on e-bay or clear up outstanding admin, accounting or unresolved issues. Organising for Creatives by Sheila Chandra is a great resource to get your creative house in order.
5. SING! Flexing your vocal muscles and swelling your lungs with song will support your inner and outer resiliency. Choirs are no longer able to meet and sing in person but there are many wonderful online initiatives springing - see below for a list. My choirs have been having fun testing out online sessions and I will be running some workshops for big and little people - more info below.
SHARE THE LOVE This is an unprecedented time of challenge, but we can help each other by sharing the love. Let’s dream up new ways we can live and work together and alchemise this crisis with courageous creativity.
Take care, be well, be safe, breathe deep, sing loudly - huge amounts of love and good singing vibes.
Choirs During Corona All choirs will no longer be meeting in person until it is safe to do so. Members of Welcome Choir, Caterham Community Choir, Lung Songs, Heart Song and ManSong are experimenting with singing online. Online Singing Sessions for Big & Little People Little - Weds 11-11.30am Big - Sundays 2-3pm please click here for a fun invitation