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Dee Whitaker

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Natural Awakenings Triangle: 7413 Six Forks Rd., Suite 220 Raleigh, NC 27615 Phone: 919-342-2831 Fax: 919-342-2854

n this issue of Natural Awakenings we explore just a few of the infinite facets of Creative Expression – from inspired filmmaking to the healing power of art and music; to how creative endeav- ors shape community. Our hope is the ideas presented here and at events listed in our largest calendar ever will help you to redefine and expand your life in ways never before imagined. We are naturally creative. Each of us manifests creativity every moment of the day, from writing emails to building a house; from conversing with friends to finding humor in unfunny situations; from engaging in the arts to making business decisions. Creative expression works to nurture us, lift our spirits and make us feel good. It also inspires community. Some years ago I served as president of the nonprofit Humane Society of Winston- Salem. One of my duties was to review the budget, and it quickly became apparent we needed to raise funds to fully pay the operating costs for our modest facility and its small staff and volunteer corps. At the heart of it all were the dogs and cats we took in, cared for and adopted out. We decided we would create an event designed to be the talk of the town. We

wanted to make people aware of our mission and programs, such as our school educa- tion project, our association with a reduced fee spay/neuter clinic and, of course, our pet adoption program. We devised a plan to bring in local celebrities, secure dona- tions from local vendors for a silent auction, and widely publicize individual animals that were ready and waiting for a loving new home. It required group brainstorming and creative collaborative that leveraged every-

© 2010 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing.

Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business.

We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we respon- sible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

Subscriptions are available by sending $28 (for 12 issues) to the above address.

Natural Awakenings is printed on recycled newsprint with soy- based ink.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Dee Whitaker, Publisher

From one pet lover to another- look for the creative expansion of our Natural Pet section, coming soon.

natural awakenings September 2010 9

one’s personal hard work. It paid off when we wound up with the most successful event our organization had ever hosted during its then 40-year history. Our “Puttin’ on the Dog” celebrity fashion show, in which we partnered with a local clothing store to install a runway right out their front door, was a big hit. The models, wearing their latest apparel, sashayed along, walking dogs or cuddling cats, each a bright-eyed pet eager for adoption. Even the refreshments were supplied by area retailers. The only costs were our time and energy. Success was defined by our community’s goodwill and everyone’s creativity. In the same way, bounding outside our usual way of thinking frees our spirit to become totally absorbed in the creative process; and allows us to truly live in the moment. Freed from daily constraints and self-judgments, we learn to trust a creative force greater than our own. It is as though we have turned on the light in the playroom of our mind, heart and soul so that we can see and feel utterly free to toy with ideas and objects in entirely new ways. This, we realize, is what it means to be fully alive. Once we develop the habit of using our creative skills, we begin to see problems

as fun challenges to our inherent talents and ingenuity. We can’t wait to flex our cre- ative muscle. With creative thinking, anything is possible. To paraphrase one of my favorite philosophers, Ralph Waldo Emerson: “To believe

your own thought… that is genius.” May all that you are and dream of feed your creative spirit.

Creatively yours,

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