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Me time

A Creative Morning

manuelita otero

Who doesn’t love some creative time once in awhile? How about once a month on Friday mornings? That’s what Creative Mornings is all about, creative people gathering together in cities all over the world. My daughter and I love it. It is such a special time for us because we know we will meet interesting people, be inspired, and gain a new perspective on things which always helps us with the projects we are working on.

Our last meeting was no exception. The guest speaker was William Massey, a freelance artist, sculptor, creative entrepreneur, and a co-leader of several art programs. Check out his website to see his art which is amazing! But what I liked even more was his attitude and his heart.

As he approached the stage, he didn’t say a word and calmly sat on the floor and started taking off his shoes. There was total silence, then he started to talk. From that moment I knew I was going to like this guy. He told us how when he was at school he decided to change his major and become an artist because he wanted to “fill his heart and soul instead of his bank account”.  His artwork in many instances uses things people label as “junk” and patiently he transforms them into beautiful works of art. He said that he takes the broken and puts it together, he takes the mess and tries to make sense of it. He takes the same approach in life and is actively involved in many organizations that make sense of difficult situations through art. He has taken his talent and used it in many ways to bring joy to hurting people. He goes to hospitals where he works in art projects with people who are battling cancer, he teaches homeless children art, and he offers free classes at parks so people can come together and create community. His desire to make a difference in people’s lives is genuine and so inspiring. He reminded me of the amazing power of one.

He talked about his family and his trips around the world which happened through “random” encounters. He was willing to “show up with arms open, ready to experience and to jump in without expectations.” I love his attitude, how ready he is to take the opportunities that come along and how he embraces them with what he calls a habit of hope. There’s beauty when we allow ourselves to experience life like this, when we let go of our desire to control everything and absorb as much as possible from all the things that happen, focusing on the good and enjoying the moment.

As William was closing his talk that Friday morning, he shared with us what he calls 8-18-80:

-We need to be an 8 year old, ready to learn, willing to receive, and always in awe and wonder.  

-We need to be an 18 year old, not too logical, having loose expectations, and be willing to jump in.  

-And we also need to be an 80 year old, prepared to observe, knowing who we are and trusting the process.  

So, whatever your path today, whatever your plans, dreams, and hopes, be willing to let go and enjoy the journey. Have a great attitude, appreciate the people you meet, and make the most of every situation. In case you were wondering why William took his shoes off during his talk… He said he wanted to embrace the silence and be comfortable while he was talking to friends. Now do you understand why the last Friday of each month is such a special time for us? Make time to feed your creativity, check out to see if there’s a chapter in your city.

Manuelita @manuelitaotero