Donuts and Dresses: A Success Story

Today began with donuts.

One of our fav Rochester businesses doubles as an art gallery and café. It’s called Makers, and from them we glommed a Strawberry cheesecake donut, a Crème brûlée donut and a Caramel-Apple glazed with crispy proscuitto on top. Also two amazing pour-over coffees from locally roasted beans.

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That perfect strawberry slice fell on the floor but I still ate it anyway.

Alex and I have this monthly ritual called “donut day”, and the general rule is one morning each month is dedicated to these amazing donuts, but ONLY one. Oh, and only a couple donuts. We learned that the hard way, you cain’t cram a dozen donuts into one day.  Just cain’t.

I’m a strong believer in following one’s bliss, but more often than not mine leads me to the dones, hence the once-a-month rule.

This ritual started out great 6 months ago. But as time went on, we’ve slipped up here and there. One donut day per month turns into 2 and then 3. And today was one of those naughty illegal donut days. Because I’m weak.

I’ve noticed this pattern in my life where I’ll have a brilliant, powerfully charged idea for some routine or project or lifestyle change to ultimately improve my situation, but as time goes on the idea loses steam. I find myself rebelling against my own rules, like an angsty teenager yelling “You’re not my Mom!” at the responsible half of myself.

I’m getting pretty sick of it. It’s actually kept me from starting new projects, knowing the chance of my actually finishing the project are in the devil’s favor. And for some reason the devil doesn’t want me to knit TWO pairs of socks, just one and a half.

So when I challenged myself to sew my first dress from scratch, I approached the project cautiously.

I got a great sewing machine for my birthday last year from my grandparents, and though my wonderful Grandma helped me learn some basics when we made an apron together this past year, I’m still a bit of a clueless baby when it comes to sewing. I would love to be able to make most my own clothes, not just because it’s economically responsible skill to learn, but also because I’m a show-off!

I’m sort of kidding, but real quick note: The phrase “show-off” has a negative connotation, but my belief is that there’s nothing wrong with being proud of yourself and “showing off” your success to the world. The notion that you should hide the fact that you’re proud of yourself because it might come off as “braggy” has always seemed super OFF to me.

I meeeean … Don’t we all want success? Unique talents are what make humans so cool, so shouldn’t we be encouraging that in people? Society is made up of individuals who need support, don’t we want our society to thrive? And here’s something to consider: In sharing your successes, you will probably inspire people to make their own success happen! And that is how we grow and change and evolve. So long as you’re not hurting anyone, no one should ever take offense to your success. If they do, that is entirely their own baggage.

So GET READY for me to practice my very best showing off! Because I am so proud of me.

And although I’m still struggling with all that… donut stuff…

…I did show some personal growth in finishing my very first dress! It’s by no means perfect, but it’s good enough for my first try.

And I am going to proudly wear it to a wedding this summer.

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The skirt has plenty of room to expand so I can appear larger and scare off predators.
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“Can’t wait to yellow the pits of this beaut!” says my glands
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BTW It has pockets.

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And if anyone reading this is inspired to make this dress now, here is the pattern I used. Number D.

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You are Living Creativity

“What keeps life fascinating is the constant creativity of the soul”

– Deepak Chopra

Today I am feeling so grateful for the drive within me to create. Create art, create clothing, create conversation, music, delicious food, these posts. I am grateful for my creative spark, and I am grateful for your creative spark.

I can’t help but notice that we are constantly creating new ways of living, and thinking about things, and finding joy. Even if it’s just a small change you’re making in your own life, I believe these small changes do effect the whole.

Whether or not you consider yourself a “creative” person, we are all creating all the time.

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Listen up. Evolution depends on creative thinking. Things very normal to us today were once absurd ideas. Think about cell phones, air planes. Heck, I mean we have 3D printers that can print skin cells for crying in the night! Who thought of that? My guess is it was a  creative person who’d probably been told they were “weird” more than once in their life.

The people who first thought of these things had a strong belief that the future can be amazing. What a bunch of weirdos, huh?

These types people are the reason we evolve and learn and move forward. Even if it feels like we’re standing still, or even taking steps backward, I have a strong suspicion that the feeling of moving backward is actually progression in disguise.

As an artist, I get the impression that people think I, and other artists like me, are more creative than other people.

Here’s my thought about that: I have devoted my life and career to being creative, but I don’t think that means I have more of it in me than anyone else. I am practicing creativity daily, and working it into every area of my life. And like anything, the more you practice, the easier it becomes.

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Portraits of Alex’s creative outlets

This is true for playing an instrument, and writing, and playing a sport, and drawing figures, and cooking, and meditation, and being joyful.

And the more you practice, the better you become.

And the more you practice, the easier it gets.

And the more you practice, the more IT comes to YOU.

And the best part is: it’s never too late to begin!

To summarize, you have the same creative spark within you that Picasso had. Want to find that sucker? Simply begin practicing.

Do things that excite you and are even a bit daunting. Find creativity wherever it presents itself to you. Experiment with fashion. Try cooking something you’ve never made before. Learn a new language! Learn a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, like armpit farting.

My dudes, this is how we are MEANT to live! And more and more people are waking up to the idea every day.

I have heard a number of stories about people who were devastated to lose their safe and well-paying, but bland and unstimualting corporate job, but found joy in something creative, and made a happy, rich and successful path for themselves as a VCP (Very-Creative-Person)!

And if I haven’t convinced you yet, according to real actual SCIENCE, neglecting to practice our creativity could severely impact our health.

“Those who continue learning new things throughout life and challenging their brains are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In essence, you need to use it or lose it.source

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This earth fuzz is creating so hard, you guys.

So, I guess, like, if you want to live a long time, you have to actually LIVE. None of this sad, bland rice cake of mere existence. How ’bout a funfetti cupcake that’s piped full of fresh, tasty fulfillment? Or maybe there’s like a cool toy inside, like a whistle… or a tattoo of a dog on a skateboard or something.

So as I listen to Alex drumming along to jazz upstairs, even though it can get loud at times in our little old apartment, I am so proud of his passion and willingness to express himself.

I hope this inspires you, even a little bit. I get so happy every time I hear about someone’s new-found creative passion, and I want more! I want the planet to be filled with creative people, chasing after joy with all their hearts!

Tell me in the comments what you do to practice creativity. But only if you want to make me happy.

Making progress,

Your Peacefriend