Top Nav Bar Categories

Archive | Creativity

Creativity

Interview with Bellydance Superstar Ansuya!

Ansuya Bellydance Superstar

Ansuya

As I mentioned in my recent Bellydance Resource Guide, I was fortunate to take a few classes with world-renown  bellydance superstar, Ansuya while I was in Florida last month. I was also fortunate to see her perform several times – Wow! And to top it all off, you and I are now fortunate to gain some wonderful insights from Ansuya in this in-depth interview. Thank you Ansuya!

When you’re done reading this be sure to check out her online bellydance classes. They really increase your skills while you have fun! At the end of this interview are links to some of her performance videos and a link to my review of Ansuya’s online classes.

Continue Reading →

8

Life Doesn’t Have to Be Miserable!

belly dancer

photo by DavidDennis

So many of us, myself included, get caught up in life. We move from one thing to another, doing all the things we think we “should” do or have to do. And we never stop to think that there might be another, more pleasurable way, to skin that cat in front of us.

What made me think of this is a belly dancing class I signed up for. It’s completely fun and silly and you know what? It tightens your abs! Who knew you didn’t have to do boring sit-ups in order to get your tummy in shape. That little revelation got me thinking of all the other areas of our life where we just keep doing things the same old way even if it is drudgery because we think life has to be hard. But here’s the news flash: Life Doesn’t Have to Be Miserable! You can increase your enjoyment by making some simple changes.

So here is a listing of some areas that might feel like obligatory hardships followed by some alternatives to consider to make your life more enjoyable.

Say Goodbye to: Say Hello to:
Sit-ups and Crunches. Yoga, belly dancing, latin dancing, walking.
Exercising on a Treadmill. Have Fun Exercising! Get outside! Try walking, jogging, tennis, dancing to your favorite music, or other favorite sports. Exercise is allowed to be fun!
Being Serious all the time, especially at work…or at home…or anywhere! Laugh, Smile, & Have Fun. Make a point to include laughter in your day. Make a point to smile. Put a reminder and a mirror at your desk so you don’t forget! Get a joke buddy that you call each day to share a joke or funny story.
Work Til You Drop. Shorter Workdays and Scheduled Play. What you make time for is what gets done, so SCHEDULE in some PLAY time!
Austere Painful Diets. Cheats in Moderation. There are several ways to work this: Eat what you want, but only in moderation. Have one day per week be a complete cheat day where you can eat anything you want with some moderation. One small cheat per day. Keep your diet enjoyable and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Hating Your Body. A lot of women spend their whole life this way. What a waste of time and how unkind! Are there any men who feel this way? Appreciate and Love Your Amazing Body. Get in touch with your body by having a gratitude session devoted just to realizing and being thankful for all the things that different parts of your body do for you everyday. How amazing are our hearts, feet, minds, nervous system, hands, eyes, lymph system, and more?! It’s high time we start to love our bodies! Think of role models who love their body no matter the size and assume that confidence too!
Recurring Arguments. Why, oh, why do I always get into the same arguments? Stop the Argument Cycle! Click here to read more about how to changing your expectations and perspective can change these destructive patterns.
Living a Life of “Shoulds.” I should do this, I should do that. Stop “shoulding” all over yourself. Live the Life of Your Dreams! Plan the life you want today. Click here for an amazing free life goal workbook ! (free excel spreadsheet download). Planning your life is fun. Just take it one step at a time and have fun!
Living in the Empty Part of the Glass. Notice That the Glass is Half Full. Realize that much of what’s there is great. Try for one day to be grateful for every little thing in your day and your life. Watch your happiness soar! And then make it a daily habit!
Telling Your Kids or Your Spouse, “I don’t have time right now. I’ll play later.” Play Today! Even if you are a very busy person, take small breaks to play with your children. Try 15 minutes here and there. Involve them in housework. With your spouse, be sure to set up date-nights on some regular basis. Why not enjoy life? When you look back on your life, you’ll be glad you did!
Working at a Job That Is Not Your Passion. Discover Your Dream Job or Reconnect with the Meaningfulness of Your Current Job. There are times in all of our lives when we need to work at things that are not our passion. That’s ok, but always have your plan in place towards getting your dream job. Barbara Sher writes great books about doing this. Sometimes we lose sight of our love for our job. If that’s the case for you then try to re-discover that meaning in your current job.
Staying in a Bad Relationship Because You’re Afraid to Be Alone. Embrace Your Inner Strength. Don’t live out of fear. Live out of your strength. Know that it is there. Discover how you can be happy on your own. I’m not saying run away simply if you’re bored, but if your relationship is not healthy for you, find support from someone to help you move forward with your life. Move towards the good things you want and deserve.
Letting a Good Relationship Wither from Complacency. Appreciate and Nourish Good Relationships. Think about the good relationships in your life. Ask yourself, “What could I do to care for this relationship more?” And then do it! You know you’re smiling thinking of some things you could do! Let us know what they are!
Being Chronically Exhausted. Discover Maximum Energy! Stop the energy zappers in your life. Get more sleep, cut back on caffeine, get some exercise, cut out excess sugar, meditate, and enjoy life more.
Never Any Time for Yourself. Schedule a ME Day. Try this once per quarter or even once a month. Plan a day or afternoon where you only do things for yourself. Get that massage you’ve been dreaming of for the last 6 months. Maybe ice fishing would be your idea of fun. Whatever it is, do it!
Zombie Mode. No creative expression. Too much TV or video games. Same old, same old. Unleash Your Creativity. OK, maybe you think you have no creative talent, but assume for today that you do. I’m telling you, you have creative talent. Now, go ahead and write that song you’ve dreamed of writing. Practice that dusty guitar. Carve something out of a bar of soap. Go buy a massive canvas and paint a spectacular naive painting. No self-judging, just express yourself and have fun!
SPENDERS: Stop Running Up Your Credit Card Bills. Enjoy the Simple Pleasures in Life. Instead of the heavy burden that comes with an overabundance of possessions, enjoy things that are free for a change. Take in a sunset, a walk in nature, time with friends and family, or low cost entertainment like renting DVD’s. When you feel the urge to buy more and fill up your house, ask yourself, “Do I really need this? What can I do that will make me feel good instead of buying something?”
FRUGAL FANATICS: Stop Denying Yourself. Treat Yourself Every Once in a While. If you always deny yourself, you are always frugal and careful with money, allow yourself a mad money day every once in a while where you buy that one thing or service you consider a true luxury or extravagance. You deserve it!

I hope that these ideas prompt you to take a little more enjoyment from life starting today! I’m going to try too! I think I’ll be belly dancing, playing more guitar, and playing with my son some more! How about you?

Please Share!

How do you choose to make life more enjoyable? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

Subscribe
Don’t Miss a Single Tip!
Free Email Subscriptions:

Enter your email address: Delivered by FeedBurner

15

6 Simple Steps to Achieve Laser-Like Focus

focus

Once and for all, learn how to simply focus your mind for improved productivity. You can do it! And all you need is the power of your mind!

Click on the link below to read my article over at Dumb Little Man:

6 Simple Steps to Achieve Laser-Like Focus

Please Share!

How do you achieve and stay focused? Can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

You can Support Life Learning Today by visiting one of my sponsors, making a donation, or making a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

Subscribe

2

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3: Best Digital Point & Shoot Camera with Super Zoom

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3: Best Digital Point & Shoot Camera with Super Zoom

I am writing a review of this camera, which I bought this summer, because it is a truly amazing small high powered digital camera. How will this improve you life? If you’re in the market for a new camera, it will save you on research time so please read on. If you’re not looking for a camera at this time, bookmark this for when you are because you’ll want to read this when you are searching for a great new camera. I wish I had read a review like this at when I started my search!


Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3S (The S is for Silver)

Is This The Right Camera for You?

If you are looking for a small super zoom camera with 10x optical zoom, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 is in a class by itself. Not only is it the smallest in the 10X Optical class of digital cameras, but it has the added bonus of having a wide angle lens (28mm – 112mm Leica-branded lens with image stabilization). For those of you who are like I was, the 28mm lens is better than a 35mm lens which is more narrow. The wide angle lens is a pretty awesome feature. You’ll be able to get much more into your pictures creating both spectacular panoramas and exquisite close up portrait shots.

Any of the other 10X optical zoom cameras will be big and bulky and they don’t feature the wide angle lens that the Lumix DMC-TZ3 has. This camera features 7.2 megapixels and if you purchase through Amazon, it is priced at around $300 with free Super Saver Shipping. (Anywhere else you’ll pay about $350)


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3K (The K is for BlacK)

Other Things I Love

  • Fits in pocket or small purse easily.
  • 3.0″ View Screen.
  • Turn Dial for choosing between settings.
  • Quick shots, extremely low lag time between shots.
  • Video: can shoot in 16:9 widescreen format or normal.
  • Battery: Long lasting rechargeable.
  • On/Off button is an easy switch.

The Only Downsides

  • No zoom during video although you can zoom in before starting to shoot the video.
  • No viewfinder, but this is a small camera so you make up for this in small size.

Some More Specs

 

  • W 4.1″ X D 1.5″ X H 2.3″
  • ISO: 100,200,400,800,1250,3200, Auto
  • Digital Zoom: 4X (so a total of up to 40X with the Optical factored in)
  • Optical Zoom 10X (12X at 5MP, 15X at 3MP)
  • Special Effects: Cool, Warm, Sepia, Vivid, Neutral, Black & White
  • Colors: Silver, Black, Navy Blue
  • Digital Video: Quick Time: 640×480, 320×240, 848×480

Where to Buy

I researched this fully and the lowest price is with Amazon. I bought it through them for $306 with free shipping. That’s a savings of $46 over the average retail price anywhere else. It has a 4.5 star (out of 5 stars) rating on Amazon with 136 reviews.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3S 7.2MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Silver)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3K 7.2MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3A 7.2MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Blue)


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3A (The A is for NAVY BLUE)

 

Please Share!

What is your favorite digital camera and why? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

Subscribe

10

If You Have a Blog, You’ll Want to Read This

If you don’t have a blog, you can skip this post. But if you do have a blog, and you’d like the chance to win some extremely valuable services that can help take your blog to the next level, then you’ll want to check this out.

I recently came across a prize giveaway by one of my favorite bloggers, David Airey. David Airey is a graphic designer specializing in logo design. He is holding a prize giveaway to celebrate the one year anniversary of his blog. There are more than $4,000 worth in free prizes! Find out how to enter by reading the details on David’s logo designer blog.

David Airey Logo Design

To whet your appetite, here are some of the prizes that are up for grabs:

If you’re interested, find out how to enter the drawing by reading the details on David’s logo designer blog.

8

Building a Smarter, Stronger Brain – Part 2

improve your brain

Building a Smarter, Stronger Brain – Part 2

Part 1 of this series introduced you to the parts of your brain, how your brain computes, and also how your brain improves. Finally, 3 types of brain workouts you can use to improve your brain were presented. Today Part 2 brings you 3 more brain workouts for you to enjoy as you stretch your brain “muscles.”

Brain Workout #1 – Memory

Create your to-do list for today or tomorrow on a piece of paper or index card. Only write down 6 items on it. Only write down items that you will actually do (tasks, appointments, leisure events.) In other words don’t write down more than is actually possible. Next to each task write down the approximate time you expect to do each item. Read it over and memorize it. Put the paper in your pocket. Go about your day and complete your task list. Each time you complete something write down on a new piece of paper the time and task as you remember writing down on the original list. At the end of the day, compare the two lists to see how you did. You may even want to turn this into a daily habit for working your memory by increasing the complexity by one item each day!


Brain Workout #2 – Drawing + Goals

Think of a goal. It can be a big goal such as starting your own business or it can be a small goal like going to the grocery store this afternoon. Draw the major steps you will take to reach that goal. Use as few words as possible in the picture. If it is for an important goal such as starting a business or losing weight, you can hang the picture somewhere that you will see it every day! Here is a picture of my goal for the weekend: traveling to a friend’s wedding and our safe return.

smarter brain

Brain Workout #3 – Day Dreaming

Set aside at least 30 minutes. Find a comfortable, safe, and quiet place to sit. Close your eyes and imagine a goal that you want to achieve. Picture all the steps that you need to take to reach that goal. Imagine accomplishing all of those steps in a steady and successful progression over time. Imagine reaching your goal. How will that feel? What will it look like? Sound, feel, and taste? Use the full 30 minutes. Now when you “awake” from this day dream instead of merely remembering it like a dream, be the person who has reached that goal today. Do this every once in a while to build confidence, grow enthusiasm, and create energy for implementing your action plan steps day by day.

Please Share!

What are your favorite brain exercises? Tell us how these exercises went for you! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

 

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

Subscribe

8

Get the Creative Time You Need: 3 Simple Tips

Time to create

We All Need Creativity Time

We all need creativity time. Everyone needs time to think about their personal life vision and time to create the daily and weekly plans that will bring that vision into being. People in business need to: think of creative solutions to client problems, strategize creative ways to build business, and dream up the next generation of products and services. Parents need to create routines for the home and their children. And creative people need time for writing, painting, coding, designing and so on.

The Problem

Life is so full, that creativity time gets squeezed out. And our propensity for procrastination doesn’t help. We contribute to squeezing out our creativity time by fettering it away on lower priority tasks first. Why? Because in many ways they are easier to do. Creativity takes a lot of energy and mental gymnastics. So what’s the solution? It’s right there in front of you. And it’s been there all along. Here’s where to find the time and places to make it happen.

Where to Grab Creativity Time

1. Mindless Tasks.

All the things that you need to do on a daily and weekly basis that don’t require thinking are potential opportunities for creativity time. Here are some examples:

  • Exercise time
  • Laundry – folding, hanging up, etc.
  • Driving
  • Commuting
  • Putting kids to sleep – (if you lay down with your kids while they go to sleep)
  • Waiting in Line

Now it’s not ideal creativity time because you won’t always be able to record your thoughts and ideas right away. That’s ok. This will force you to keep it simple. Use that fact to focus on just one idea during any of these opportunities. All creativity requires a certain amount of brainstorming before you can start writing down your ideas or making sketches or laying out plans. In fact, sometimes the act of writing down ideas can halt a certain amount of creativity. So use these small times to brainstorm a bit. After the brainstorming is done, as soon as you are able, write down your ideas or use Jott to send a voice message to yourself which will be converted into text and emailed to you.

2. Air Travel

This is a great place to hunker down to pure creativity time.

  1. If there is a TV , leave it off!
  2. Leave your computer turned off, too.
  3. Put on a set of headphones to give other passengers notice that you’re busy. (Noise canceling head phones are one of the best things you can buy for yourself if you travel frequently at all. Even if you don’t they are great whenever you need to drown out noise.)
  4. Start by closing your eyes and brainstorming first.
  5. Get out a pad of paper and a pen or pencil.
  6. Create!
  7. If you need to, make a pact with yourself to “treat” yourself to leisure items (music, reading, TV) once you’ve completed a preset amount of creative work.

3. Closed Spaces
This one is a little different than the first two in that you need to create the time for this one. It also may strike you as a little strange, but therein lies it’s power. The idea is to confine yourself to a small space where you won’t be interrupted by any distractions. Some ideas are:

  • Sitting in your Car – Anywhere you can park your car is fine. In your garage, on the street, or in a parking lot. Does your spouse ever ask you to go shopping, but you don’t enjoy it? Well how about coming along for the ride and once at the store, you remain in the car for some distraction free creativity time! This is one of my favorites. My mom loves to shop. I don’t, or at least I can’t afford it. She goes shopping and I wait in the car and do some writing. Being in a different place helps me to think more creatively.
  • A large closet with a light or (smallest room in your house) – obviously, make sure you can’t get locked in and that there is enough air to breathe. 🙂 Small spaces are good because there is not enough room to have distractions.
  • The bathroom – sitting on the “throne” with the lid closed, sitting in the tub with or without water in it.
  • A dresssing room – I haven’t tried this one, but I bet it could work. If you have a friend who needs to go clothes shopping, but you don’t need anything, you could wait for him/her in the dressing room and do some creative work until they come in. If you feel strange going into one of the the dressing rooms you could just wait on the bench or the floor by the dressing room attendant. This one isn’t for everyone, but it could work for some.
  • Nook in library or bookstore – ah, peace and quiet. I don’t know about you, but I get very inspired creatively when I’m in either of these places. Find a small quiet corner away from distractions and let the creativity flow.
  • Tent. Do your kids have a tent? If not, consider setting one up. All you need is a blanket and some kind of furniture to place it over. Go inside. Where are you? Pretend you are somewhere other than your living room or back yard. Let this fictitious location inspire you to find new ways of thinking about your project.
  • What are your ideas?

Please Share!

What are your most unusual and useful hacks for finding creativity time? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

 

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

Subscribe

18

Have You Been to Truemors Yet?



What is Truemors?

This is a cool, new, online, information sharing medium, co-founded by Guy Kawasaki, Will Mayall, and Kathryn Henkens. If you like Digg and similar sites, but would like a little less negativity, you’ll probably want to check out Truemors. It’s like a cross between Twitter and Digg, but so far without the nastiness that you see on Digg. They are looking for true rumors or stories that will democratize the spread of information.

Here’s how they describe themselves: “Truemors is a web site that enables you to “tell the worldâ€?—within the bounds of good taste and the law anyway. You can post your rumors, news, and sightings, and anyone with web access can read and rate them within minutes.” They are not looking for “crap” (although they do have a heading for it). The crap they don’t want is defined as “profanity, pornography, bullying, libel, slander, and advertising….(and) gossip.”

The content they are looking for is “true rumors that is relevant, helps you make sense of the world, and also possibly entertains you. Gossip, by contrast, is less urgent, less useful, and almost always deals with people’s private lives.” Gossip is not what they are looking for.

Truemors for Friends (TFF)

This is being tested on Facebook currently if you want to check it out. They are looking for beta testers. It sounds pretty cool. You can share information with just your friends, and only the ones you select. The information on TFF won’t post to Truemors.com which is for “sharing with the world.” TFF is for “sharing with your friends.”

Here’s how to get started with TFF:

  1. Sign-in to your Facebook account.
  2. Go to Truemors for Friends and click on Add Application.


Usefulness Value

You can browse or search for new information in the following categories: Auto, Business, Crap, Entertainment, Food, Gaming , Health, News, Odd, Politics, Science, Sex, Sports, and Tech. The information on this site currently seems to be living up to it’s name. Information here seems to be reliable. The idea is that if it is true, it will get voted on more. And if stories are real “crap,” not the category “Crap,” then anyone can email them to notify them of that it should be reviewed.

You can post your own information that you discover by phone, email, text message, or online form. You don’t have to register to post a truemor. But if you want to register you can and then you’ll be able to add pictures and videos too.

Entertainment Value

There is a high level of entertainment value with this site. You can discover many interesting stories and bits of information to mentally chew on. Here are some examples:

The Final Verdict

Head on over there today! This is a cool place to share information that is true. Since Truemors is so new, as a contributor you have a chance to make a name for yourself with the truemors you post. As a commenter you can share your opinion and leave a link to your website. As a reader, you can pick up some cool new information without the hype and negativity you might see on some other information sharing sites.

Please Share!

What do you think of Truemor? How do you use it? What would you like to see changed on Truemor? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, please SHARE THIS below with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

Subscribe

15

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

UA-1513612-1