James Prescott

exploring how words & stories shape lives

Discover The ‘Dance Of The Writer’ – New E-Book

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4 Secrets To Inviting Creativity (Guest Post by Shannon Trindade)

Today I’m delighted to be hosting Shannon Trindade here on the blog. Shannon is a writer, blogger and communications pro who helps business & individuals all over the world connect better with their audience.

She’s an excellent writer & communicator & has a powerful message about creativity to share with us today. So, without further ado, over to Shannon…

If you’re like me, you’d do almost anything to experience more “ah-ha moments”. Those moments of pure creative energy are priceless.

In addition to feeling euphoric, creative moments allow us to experience being connected to something bigger than ourselves. More accurately, it’s a type of connection beyond what our brains can comprehend, control, and measure.

So how do we get more creativity in our lives?

It’s clear you can’t force creativity and ah-ha moments into your life, but you can help them evolve naturally.

Why Talent Is A Sacred Gift, Not A Possession

I love to write. Tapping a keyboard, putting words into a document, for the betterment of others, it’s what brings me most joy. It’s my therapy, it’s my solace, and yet it’s also the medium I do most good in the lives of others. It’s both my most public and most private voice. The space which is mine and mine alone.

I’ve often worried about dying young, and not fulfilling my potential, and leaving nothing behind. But over Christmas, watching documentaries about Freddie Mercury and how he approached his own death – which unlike many of us, due to his condition, he had time to prepare himself for – one thing stuck out.

He threw himself into his creative work.

He knew that was his legacy, and like all great artists, when you listen to the words and music of his later life, they all seem like a goodbye message to us all. They’re some of the most authentic songs ever written. All with a raw honesty which suffering and death tends to expose in a way nothing else does.

For me, it was a reminder of the sacredness of every single word I put on a page. And I suddenly felt a sense of responsibility. That my words are a gift which has to go beyond myself.

Beyond, even, my lifetime (which hopefully, has a while to go yet).

And isn’t this the beauty of creativity?

Muppets, Umbrellas & The Truth About Story

I’ve always loved the Muppets. And every time I’ve watched a Muppet TV show or movie I seem to learn a lesson. Over this last Christmas, they might have taught me their biggest lesson of all.

So what do I mean? Well, let’s backtrack a little.

All life is a story. It’s a story which is being told by each of us, and somehow each of our stories intertwines with many others to create a bigger story. There’s stories being told around us each and every day.

But there’s two things we often forget about stories.

First, we have the power to shape our own story – we get to define our stories, they don’t just happen to us unless we give them the power to.

Second, our stories are like delicate flowers or ceramics – fragile, easily breakable, and delicate.

How do I know this? Because my until recently I’ve given authority to my circumstances to define much of who I am, rather than realising the power I had over my story.

Why ‘Transformation’ Is My One Word 2015 (#OneWord2015)

For the last two or three years I’ve adopted a ‘One Word’ for the year. The concept is to choose a word which will define your year, which will guide and direct all you do and be at the centre of everything that year.

For 2014 I chose ‘courage’. And this turned out to be very prophetic. I was confronted with the worst of myself and the best of myself.

The best? That I have a writing gift which God wants me to use to benefit others for good – and which actually makes a difference in the world. That I’m well-liked, respected person and writer with a lot to give to the world, and have infinite value and worth as I am.

The worst? My abysmal management of my finances which was going to land me in major trouble unless I took action. How disconnected I’d become from God, and from my own calling. And in what bad health I was in, physically, mentally, emotionally, professionally and spiritually. And above all, my epilepsy-related depression.

This is what happens when you choose a word for the year. In some strange, cosmic way, it comes to challenge you, and incapsulate everything you are in that year. And it’s not exaggeration to say it changes your life for the better.

Why To Begin 2015 With Grace – Not Plans or Goals

I’ve lost count of the posts I’ve seen in the last week about ‘making the most of 2015’, or ‘reviews of the year’ or ‘setting goals for the next year’ or a topic related to it.

There’s nothing wrong at all with these.They can be useful – and many of them have challenged and inspired me. It’s good to make plans and set goals with a new year coming.

But to me there’s something else we need to do first.

My biggest challenge to you all for this coming year, is before you execute any plans, goals or anything else,

to begin with grace.

To realise your true identity, your true self, as you are right now, with all it’s complications, mess, and difficulties

is enough. Already.

It’s healthy and important to make plans and set goals for our year – I’ve been doing some of my own – but remember whatever the outcome of your plans, whether you achieve your goals or not

you’re already enough.

Letter To Me: Helen Trentos-Chenier

Hi everyone, hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas. New year is upon us, and later this week I’ll be posting about #OneWord365 – how my one word for 2014, courage, impacted me, and about my #OneWord365 for 2015…and maybe even sharing some news about upcoming projects.

Today however we continue with my new occasional guest post series ‘Letter To Me’ – letters to our current selves from our older selves. Today we have Helen Trentos-Chenier guest posting, with a letter from her 75 year old self to herself today. Take it away Helen!

You have made it! Congratulations. You made it to 75. And you worried that you might not. Now I must tell you something that you should bear in mind as you reach this age, because 20 years from now, you will read this letter you’re writing to the 55 year old you, and will marvel at the truth revealed here.

The truth is this: it does you no good to worry. You have wasted a lot of time worrying until now, so stop. Get some sleep. You’re now 55 years old, and you have already done all that was really required of you. You got married – okay your first one didn’t last long, but your second marriage has.

The Oxygen Of Solidarity

I hadn’t planned on posting something by myself today. I did have another guest post lined up – which you’ll now see next Monday. You see, this morning something happened which changed my plans. An experience, a story, I knew I had to share with you today.

As I write, it’s 7.26am on a cold Monday morning, three days before Christmas. I can hear the rustling of the wind outside, the quiet hollows of a force so much more powerful. But this force of nature feels as nothing right now, against the power of the many noiseless but resounding voices of support I’m feeling through social media.

The oxygen of solidarity. Shining a glimmer of hope.

And I understand in an instant the power of two of the most powerful words in the universe:

“Me Too.”

Letter To Me: Vicki Nelson

As I mentioned earlier in the week, for the rest of the month I’m going to be running several guest posts, whilst I focus on some other important work (which I’ll let you know about in due course). And this includes a new blog series, beginning today – called ‘A Letter To Me’.

A while back I posted a blog which was a letter from my older self to my current self. I shared about this on Facebook, and it resonated with quite a few of you. In fact, some of you offered to share your own. So in the next month or two, I’m going to be sharing a few with you.

Today, I’m hosting the awesome Vicki Nelson – so without further ado, it’s over to Vicki!

Hey you,

Recognize me? I hope not, not completely anyway. I hope when you receive this letter, you will make some changes. And by the time you get here, meeting me in this spot, there will only be glimmers of you left, the bright spots, your wit, your courage, your ability to make others smile.

Life hasn’t slowed down for you. I have to tell you that, because I know you, and you will always want to stay busy. So I’m letting you in on this secret – stay well, take care of yourself. You will need it. Your knees are a little weaker now, a few more tweaks in that back, and those random pains that hit your body, well, they still do. But you will persevere, you always do.

Do you ever wished you hadn’t abused your body quite so much? That you hadn’t driven it, constantly working out? And for what?