9 Principles for Healthy Creatives

Back in 2013, I gave a presentation at a Close To My Heart event. I was asked to speak about how to maintain a healthy, vibrant creativity. In other words, how do we sustain the energy and insight required by a commitment to any ongoing creative pursuit—especially if that commitment is your job. What if you're a creative professional and your job depends on YOU being and feeling creative ALL THE TIME. I thought long and hard about this and ended up focusing on principles that might not initially feel connected to creative output, but that which I believe truly are. A few weeks prior to my speaking engagement, I received a Compendium book in the mail and its message was so relevant to my preparation that I gave the Gods credit for essentially dropping it into my lap. The book is called, Fight On! and you can purchase it HERE.  This book is full of inspiring quotes and encouragement to keep going in the face of opposition, self-doubt, immobilizing comparisons and the everyday time-sucking obligations that often block the free flow of ideas we need to survive. Quotes like this one ...

You’re doing it. Right now, you are doing it. Despite all the background noise, and the challenges, and the distractions, and the doubts that tell you otherwise, you are doing it. You are creating your beautiful life. You are traveling in the right direction. Set aside your doubts. Quiet the thoughts that say you aren’t good enough, important enough, capable enough to begin. Tell them you can’t listen because today you trust yourself. Today, you believe in your heart. Today, you tell the small voice inside you’re giving it a chance. Today, be bold. be strong. Fight on.
— Fight On, published by Compendium, Inc.

A few months ago, I was cleaning up files on my desktop and came across this 2013 presentation. I opened it up, scrolled through the slides + notes and thought, "Dang. This is good stuff!" I wondered if I could some how share it again, with the hope that as I did so, I would be motivated to remember and revisit these principles for myself. I have recently begun building an Instagram community @storybystacy — which I will be talking more about in the coming weeks. I was curious: What if I created a mini class on Instagram ... an Insta-class? Why not! I introduced the idea and the response was positive, so I did it. I shared one of my presentation slides/principles each day for about 10 days, and I invited interaction. It was FUN and I loved the chance to learn from the comments of others. If you're on Instagram, you can now experience the whole class by clicking here and scrolling back to the image here. 

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I mentioned on Instagram that I would create a little download of some kind when the class was over and I finally did.  You can download and print it by clicking HERE.   You could print it on white cardstock and hang it in your workspace or print it as a 4x6 photo and use it on a scrapbook page or simply tuck it in your journal—that's what I'm going to do! When we see it, we'll remember that it takes effort to be creative and it's not necessarily the effort to print pictures and pull out the pretty paper, or paint or whatever your medium is. The real work is in crafting a lifestyle that nurtures your heart and mind, for those are the sources of original thought and curiosity which lead to problem solving and unique personal expression.

I have found that when I apply and practice these principles I can be consistently productive, if not on occasion absolutely brilliant. 

Have at it and Fight On!



Addie Day | August 2017

She is truly my best friend. Thanks Trey for coming when I called to capture this moment!

I'm the kind of person who's mind tends to be thinking all the time. I try really hard to live in the present, to be present, but even as I finish something, I'm mentally off to the next task or chore or project. Addie is one of a very few people who can pull me out of this forward thrust. She will say, "Mom, do you want to snuggle me and read?" Or, "Mom, how about we play a game of Go Fish?! Or, "Mom, do you want to watch Miracle Worker (the story of Helen Keller) with me tonight? 

Yes, Addie. As a matter of fact, I do. 

I want to slow down and read, play and watch with YOU. What a gift this girl is. She continually helps me STOP and do the things with her that create the memories I will most treasure. 


For Addie day this month, we made a list of 5 RIGHT NOW things ...

1. Fidget Spinner | Taft gave it to her for her birthday. It is a really nice,  purple-ish and pink-ish iridescent one and wins most if not all spinning contests, spinning for an average of 3 minutes and 45 seconds!
2. Swimming | Addie swims EVERYDAY,  with goggles and a hula hoop, which she uses as a jumping target. I told Addie last summer that if she wanted to keep her hair long in the summertime, she would have to learn how to shower on her own and take care of her hair. She has done just that. About every third day or so, she will ask me if her hair smells too much like pool, and then she will take a shower, wash and condition her hair and let it air dry. Addie LOVES long hair and now I do too, ha!
3. Noodles | Addie would choose noodles for dinner every night if she could. Since Geoff and I are both non gluten eating, we don't have a lot of noodles. This means that when Addie Day rolls around, Addie chooses noodles. She did again tonight!
4. Makes | Addie is most definitely a maker. She makes something nearly everyday. Either slime or space bars, or a rubber band bracelet. Today Addie made a paint-by-number picture of a puppy. 
5. Music | Addie and Trey are the music lovers in our family. They love finding and sharing new songs. Addie is currently loving and dancing to this song from Andy Grammer ... 

If you watch or listen, then you'll understand that I believe Addie, is the epitome of the chorus's message ... All of my people need love, I give some!  When I called her, Addie came running and willingly helped me write this post. That's just like her ... always helping and giving love!

☀️ Lauren Day | July 2017

From Left to Right: Brittney, Jessica, Stacie, David, Courtney, Brooklyn, Lauren & Clark. Click photo to enlarge. 

Clark and Lauren got to spend some time with the Cheney family in Newport Beach this week. I think it's so crazy how our family with FOUR boys has become connected through marriage to this awesome family of FIVE girls. Clark and Lauren are both the oldest child and first to get married. And, it gets even better ... Lauren's Mom's name? It's Stacie. We spell our names just a little differently, but how FUN is that? I admit this might get a little confusing down the road, when grandchildren have a Grandma Stacy and a Grandma Stacie, but we'll cross that bridge when it comes, ha!

Anyway, I thought that for Lauren Day today I would introduce Lauren's family. And, first off ... Let me just say that I am SO grateful that the whole time I was trying my best to raise Clark, Stacie Cheney was trying her best to raise Lauren. 👱🏼👱🏻‍♀️  I hope that out there somewhere are three more mothers striving to raise daughters for my next three boys! I opened my Instagram feed this morning and found that Stacie had posted this photo, of the whole family in front of the Newport Beach Temple. I immediately showed her post to Geoff and we shared one of those grateful sighs. I'm not going to lie, initially it is a bit weird to scroll through Instagram and suddenly see your child in another family's photo, but I'm getting used to that. ❤️  And, I doubt I could have found a more beautiful bunch of people to pose with my adorable brown-eyed Clark-y boy.  The best thing of all is that I know our families have much in common because of our shared faith in Jesus Christ and the hopes we have of building strong extended and eternal families. I've not spent much time with Stacie or the Cheney family, but I feel certain that we want the same things for our two children starting their own family story 📝 🌳  and that is a great blessing and comfort.