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art, creative process, creativity

Beginning: What I Create and Refuse to Destroy

“A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy.” ~ John Sawhill

I’ve been watching the coverage of Egypt with a heavy heart. I’m sure you have, too. An art curator in Egypt was interviewed by one of the networks recently and he talked about his deep concern that the violence could jeopardize so much priceless art in Cairo. I’ve been so focused on the human element of the conflict that I never considered how this could reshape Egypt’s artistic heritage.

This new perspective got me thinking about the creation and destruction we do every day in our lives. What we build, tear down, rearrange, and leave intact says a lot about who we are and what we value. It deserves some reflection time.

My creations:
1.) I’m working on creating more personal art thanks to my Wacom.

2.) I’m building Compass Yoga, a yoga teaching business, with a strong eye on delivering yoga to under-served populations particularly in conjunction with the medical community.

3.) Though my natural inclination is to make my living through working with small organizations, I’m currently a part of a large financial institution that has become a great test lab for me to learn about industrial psychology, mobile technology, and the levers that move the market.

4.) This blog continues to be a big part of my life as I work on other writing projects. My writing is a way for me to reach out, connect, and work through the situations of my life.

What I refuse to destroy:
1.)
I used to take a lot of risk in my career. I still value risk though I’ve also learned to better calculate the consequences. As a result my risk taking in recent years has yielded a higher return, personally and financially. My improved analytical skills have helped me build a life of real value and independence – something I would never compromise.

2.) I work hard to create a peaceful life and home, which may sound funny to people who know that my schedule can frequently get packed to the gills. It’s only in the past year or so that I’ve felt any sense of peace, something I always desperately wanted and could never find. Despite a long-lived yoga practice, where I would find moments of peace and well-being, it faded quickly once I got back to real life. What I didn’t realize for a long time is that peace is a daily process and it is actually always with us. The quiet within wants to surface. We just have to slow down enough to let it reveal itself. Every day I carve out time to just sit and be. I have to.

3.) I have a ritual of preparation. Even if I never use a lick of what I prepare, the preparation itself is part of my creation process. Brian and I have been working a lot on my improv skills, my ability to trust my gut so I can show up and just be. I was trained as a preparation junkie, trying to madly cover every possible base. It took me years to realize that every base will never be covered. There will always be unexpected circumstances, thing we could never prepare for because we never even imagined their existence. And while I’m getting much more confident in my trusty gut and my intuition, I’m still preparing. My prep time these days is greatly reduced compared to what I used to do, but it’s still there in some form. I need it. Rituals bring comfort, especially in new situations.

What about you? What are you working on creating, and what are the non-negotiables of your life?

The image above is my latest doodle on my Wacom. It’s how I feel when I’m writing late into the night.

This blog is part of the 2011 WordPress Post Every Day Challenge.

This blog is also available as a podcast on Cinch and iTunes.

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About Christa Avampato

I am a product developer who is equally inspired by new technology and ancient wisdom, a yoga and meditation teacher who learns from my students every day, and a writer who believes that creativity and determination is the most powerful duo on Earth. My 15-year creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events that make people happy. I now work for myself through my consulting practice, Chasing Down the Muse, in which I support the creative pursuits of creative professionals and businesses of all sizes with a variety of services. http://chasingdownthemuse.com In 2010, I founded Compass Yoga, a NYC-based nonprofit that focuses on improving the health of all people by teaching the therapeutic benefits of yoga and meditation through free and low-cost classes and workshops. http://compassyoga.com A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my dog, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. Follow my adventures at http://twitter.com/christanyc. My Google Profile+

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I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

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