A creative jump-start exercise from artist Sandhi Schimmel Gold.
- Get started with this exercise...in which you simply write a paragraph about 5 individuals who arrived at an important juncture in your life; or made an impression, gave you inspiration, power, championed your abilities, handed you special knowledge, gave guidance, got you through a difficult period or something else.
- Something that helped form who you are now.
- You may have already thanked them, but here's another way to let people know their life has meaning, and may have touched another so profoundly...and inspire others to do the same.
An "It's A Wonderful Life" Exercise without angels.
Do not include ANY family members or spouses. That's too easy.
You'd be surprised, once you get started how more people/influencers will pop into mind.
1. Person's first initial ONLY.
2. What challenges you were facing at the moment.
3. The circumstances for your meeting or why something changed about your circumstances.
4. What the person did in 4 sentences ONLY that made an impact so strong that you changed you in a positive way forever.
By the time you're done, your day will be brightened!
Mine are below. See my comments on the bottom.
2. Starting a new job/career that I was afraid I was unqualified to do.
3. Visited his office space, housed in my new workplace.
4. He was an extraordinary person who once had everything but lost it. He found himself in a position to solve a problem by using a few connections and a simple idea that became a world-wide movement. His personal sacrifice and unwavering commitment to the poor and hungry slowly wormed it's way into my psyche. I learned about and embraced compassion for my fellow man that has changed me forever.
2. She was my boss when I was assigned a new role.
3. I was assigned a project that was way beyond anything I'd ever done in any capacity.
4. She saw something in me that gave her the confidence to assign projects that were not only out of my comfort zone, but beyond my experience. She listened patiently and was able to sift through my protestations. She gave me one quick tip and permission to pursue my ideas. She checked in with me only enough to allow me to blossom and complete a very successful project that gave me confidence to try new things.
2. Lovelorn and lost.
3. We had mutual friends and developed a close friendship.
4. I was going through a very tough time personal/relationship-wise and she was always there, at the end of the phone or the end of her driveway to help. She not only eased my loneliness, she gave me encouragement. When I met someone very special, but geographically undesirable, she discouraged my interest in pursuing more. Her advice? "God sent you an angel" meaning this person's only purpose in my life was only to let me know that I was desirable, and ready to move on and not settle for less than what I deserved.
2. Developing a career.
3. She was my new boss.
4. She was funny and talented but also very aloof, selfish and lazy. In this way, she gave me the lion's share of work, but took credit for it whenever she could. Her advice to me when I didn't know what to do was "Figure it out" as she walked away. Thanks to her, oddly enough, I did figure it out...over and over and over...and I finally got recognized for the creative work I was doing!
2. We worked our regular jobs together, were both entrepreneurs, separately, on the side, and shared ideas.
3. When I was fired from a job, we were able to put into action a plan for a future business we discussed over drinks, writing ideas on cocktail napkins. His creative thinking and my creative doing paired with hilarious brainstorming sessions turned into a lucrative business [for a time]. He has two attributes that gave me the freedom to create: bravery and playfulness. Although our business ended years ago, he continues to buoy me up, poke my brain and make me laugh.
As I started thinking about this, and who I would choose, a common thread appeared in my mind. The people who have made the most impact are those that allowed me to create, to think outside the box, to express myself, who don't judge, who care about others.
If it wasn't for the people above, maybe I wouldn't have made some major changes and shifts in my life. Maybe I wouldn't have had confidence or courage to do my own thing, my own way.
What's most important to you?
So it's no surprise that I became an artist after all. Creative freedom is everything to me. And social justice. And love.
I can't wait to read yours!