Scoutie Girl Contributions - January to April, 2014

Well, it seems I've been slacking off a little. I've contributed not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Scoutie Girl posts since I've last told you about them here. Oopsy! And they're good ones too!

In case you haven't seen them, voici:

Five Tips to Help You Build a Creative Practice If you’ve been thinking of implementing a regular creative practice, this post offers five great tips to help you get started. They worked for me - twice. In fact, these tips could be used to build any kind of regular practice or routine, not just the creative kind.

Five Ways to Work With Your Muse How do you build and maintain a solid partnership with your muse? I have a few ideas, but really, I'd love to know, how do YOU do it?

What could you choose to reset today? There's always a chance to press the reset button, whether it's on a particular project, a relationship, or even on our own perspective. Once you get a hang of it (not saying this is an easy task), it can be very freeing.

The Gift of Rest (A Love Letter to the Tired, the Frustrated and the Disenchanted) Sometimes we just feel plain ol' tired and all we need is to give ourselves permission to rest. If you're in that camp you are not alone. I think I wrote this post as much for myself as I did for anyone else.

41st Birthweek Bonanza Day 7: 6 Documentaries About Inspiring Creatives and Pioneers

Welcome to the final Day 7!

When it comes to sharing good things, I can't NOT include documentaries.

I love documentaries. The people profiled in the ones listed below inspire me through their vision, their purpose and their creative processes.

~~~

1. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel

I didn't know much about Diana Vreeland before I watched this, but I was quickly drawn in by her drive and her incredible vision. “I wasn't a fashion editor, I was the one and only fashion editor”, she said. This woman had gusto, I can respect that.

2. Woody Allen: A Documentary

Personal life aside (no debates here please!), whether you love his work or hate it, no one can deny how prolific this man is in creating films. I was fascinated by this glimpse into his creative process and execution.

3. Modern Masters – Henri Matisse

I love Matisse's work and can't get enough of him so of course I enjoyed this BBC documentary hosted by art critic Alistair Sooke. If you're into modern art you might enjoy it too, as well as the other documentaries in the Modern Masters series, featuring Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol.

4. Fabulous Fashionistas

An inspiring documentary featuring six vibrant women, ages spanning from 70s to 90s, who enjoy life to the fullest. From the production company's website: “ Fabulous Fashionistas  will change the way you think about old age, the way you dress and indeed the way you live your life.” I want to be like them when I grow up.

5. Greenwich Village: Music That Defined A Generation

A great look at the Greenwich Village music scene, folk music, and how it played out in politics, culture and society at large. It features many musicians and songs I'd heard before, but wasn't around to enjoy at the time (I came a little bit later). The purpose and tenacity held by some of the musicians featured for their cause inspires me to think about causes I hold dear and how I could use my creativity to serve them.

6. Chased By The Light: A Photographic Journey With Jim Brandenburg

I picked up this documentary on a whim at the library a few years ago and still haven't forgotten it. Part visual meditation, part inspiration, it follows National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg on his quest to capture one photograph a day for ninety days, with only one click of the shutter allowed – no second chance. After watching the documentary I went on my own quest to find its companion book that features his photos and was delighted to find it in a used bookstore.

~~~

Et voilà, if my math skills prove to be correct, this last list tops up the 41 good things I wanted to share and brings my 41st Birthweek Bonanza to a close. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Forty-one good things is but a drop in the bucket of all the good stuff that's out there, but it's a start. I hope you've enjoyed exploring them as much as I did.

A recap:

Day 1: 4 Art Classes of Workshops That Were Pivotal In My Artistic Journey

Day 2: 7 Websites For Lifelong Learners and Creative Types

Day 3: 6 New Recipes We Tried That Made It Into the “Keeper” File

Day 4: 5 Animated Films Worth Watching If You Like Art, Music, and Stories of Hope & Heart

Day 5: 10 Books About Artists, Making Art or Selling Art

Day 6: 3 Projects And The People Behind Them Who Inspire Me To Reach Further

Day 7: 6 Documentaries About Inspiring Creatives and Pioneers

41st Birthweek Bonanza Day 6: 3 Projects And The People Behind Them Who Inspire Me To Reach Further

It seems the Interweeb gremlins insisted on delaying this post – something about a fiber being cut somewhere between New York and Virginia – but here it is, Day 6 of my 41st Birthweek Bonanza!

Today I share three projects and the people behind them who inspire me to a) practice intention and self-care, b) expand my notion of what's possible and c) be of service to the world.

~~~

1. The Wear Your Joy Project

For a long time I felt frumpy. Each morning I reached for the same clothes to go to work: skinny blue jeans or brown cords paired with the usual knit suspects, with one of two pairs of sneakers. Then I came across Kelly Rae Roberts' Wear Your Joy project.

At first I didn't change anything, but the more I read about Kelly Rae wearing her joy, the more I asked myself what that would look like for me. So I started paying attention.

I paid attention to my clothing choices each morning, to the motives behind them and how they made me feel. I started putting together new outfits that matched what I felt inside or what I wanted to feel and as a result, I started to feel more “put together” and confident. Though this may seem superficial to some, it's not.

When I feel “put together”, I feel good about myself. When I feel good about myself I approach my day with a more positive stance. Cultivating this positive stance – while not obsessing over it – has become a form of self-care.

The Wear Your Joy project inspires me to take pride in my appearance and give myself the gift of choosing clothes that, as Kelly Rae puts it, “delight my spirit and light me up.”

What would wearing YOUR joy look like?

2. Type Rider II: The Tandem Poetry Tour

In 2012 I identified Maya Stein as one of my possibility tracks (a person who inspires me) because for her 40th birthday she cycled for 40 days, over 1200 miles, with a typewriter in tow to write poetry. It was Type Rider: Cycling the Great American Poem.

This year she's joined by a friend of mine, Amy Tingle. Last month Maya and Amy raised enough Kickstarter funds, even surpassing their goal, to undertake Type Rider II: The Tandem Poetry Tour. Together this July they will “ride 1,400 miles on a tandem bicycle through America's heartland, writing free poems & building Little Free Libraries.”

Watch this video to learn more about their story, and maybe consider donating to their worthy cause? The more funds they raise, the more Little Free Libraries get built.

These women inspire me to think bigger and expand my notion of what's possible.

3. the gratitude project: dare to be grateful

Full disclosure: The woman behind this project is my sister, Jo-Anne Guimond. Call me biased if you will, I probably am, but rest assured that the ripple of good that stems from this project stands on its own.

The gratitude project: dare to be grateful is “a year-long social engagement experiment” triggered by Jo-Anne's desire to celebrate the many blessings in her life in concert with others. It was sparked by the simple question: “Wouldn't it be cool to find out what others are grateful for?!"

The project officially ended in December 2013, but you can still explore its offerings on the dare to be grateful website, including stories of gratitude contributed by guest writers in the celebrating lives greatly full series. You can also listen to this insight-filled podcast recorded last month, where Jo-Anne and interviewer Deb Ozarko discuss the “radical power of gratitude.”

This woman inspires me in many ways, but in this particular case, she inspires me to serve the world in a joyful way, true to my Source.

~~~

Don't miss Day 7 tomorrow, the final list of the Birthweek Bonanza! In the meantime, here's what we've seen so far...

Day 1: 4 Art Classes of Workshops That Were Pivotal In My Artistic Journey

Day 2: 7 Websites For Lifelong Learners and Creative Types

Day 3: 6 New Recipes We Tried That Made It Into the “Keeper” File

Day 4: 5 Animated Films Worth Watching If You Like Art, Music, and Stories of Hope & Heart

Day 5: 10 Books About Artists, Making Art or Selling Art