The Creative Center of Greensboro - being an advocate

Some of the goals for The Creative CenterWhen I was approached by Susan Sassmann, who was at the time, the executive director of The Creative Center in Greensboro, NC. back in 2011, I thought I was just helping to get an open mic going at the center. What I discovered along the way was that I was unleashing a deeper passion than even I had realized was within me. I have always loved performing and have been grateful over and over for being able to do it for 40 some years now. Little did I know that it would be almost over-shadowed by a soulful desire to promote original music and the people who write and perform it locally and beyond.

Crystal Bright performs at The ShowcaseThe Showcase of Original Music proved that to me and set me on a path I would never have predicted. As situations and circumstances changed, there came a point at which I knew I must move in my own direction. Never in my life had I ever been so bold as to say "This is what I am going to do no matter what anyone thinks or how it turns out." Even as I put my beliefs into action by incorporating (Coinspirate LLC - pronounced CO - IN - SPI - RATE = collaborate/inspire/create), I spent many a day worrying and wondering if I had been fool hardy and impulsive at a time when caution and clear-headed thinking should have prevailed. Though I still have those moments, they are slowly becoming fewer and farther between.

These days things have almost come full circle for I am back at The Creative Center doing shows, but more importantly - and the reason for this blog -  I will be getting much more directly involved in things there. I have agreed to come on as an advocate and do whatever I am capable of to help revitalize the center. I passionately believe it is a place of untapped potential and full of possibilities that could benefit the Greensboro area nurturing spirituality, art, music, entrepreneurial enterprise and more. I see it as an incubator for creative and meaningful collaborations and community building. I hope I am right. If not, I will at least have the satisfaction of knowing I tried when it counted. The only failure in life is not making any effort... well,  that is my philosophy.

Save the date!I hope you will visit The Creative Center if you are a resident of, or visiting the Greensboro area. If you know people looking for a place to worship, be artistic, perform, build a business and enhance the community, tell them about the center. And... if you like to see great original music, think about attending a Collabative (yeah another one of those crazy words) event there. Now back to the vision quest!

Inner Journey: Watching the signs, getting the messages.

If you read my last blog, you may have surmised by now that my life has taken a turn down a road of significant soul searching. If you have not, well... now you know and you're up to speed for the moment.

There have been challenges in just about every facet of my life in recent months. You'll be letting out a sigh of relief as I inform you that I am not going to bore you with all the gory details. I am only going to tell you a short story. Very short if I can manage it.

Personal journeys boil down to lots of questions, prayers for guidance and understanding and then usually a lot of time waiting, wondering, listening to the crickets chirp in your mind as the answers drift painstaking slowly into view IF you're awake enough and aware enough to catch sight of them as they pop in and out again. I have in my past missed many of the answers I so pleadingly asked for and fervently sought I am sure. But my latest inner journey has opened me up to a new awareness I hope; no... believe. There have been several things that have happened that I have recognized as messages for me without the slightest bit of hesitation or doubt. I know, this is getting into "woo-woo" territory, but for me (to me) they speak. Without spilling my private life all over the page, I can just say that the messages are clear that I have issues to let go of in order to move past this challenging time and find the inner peace and comfortable-in-my-skin-happy-about-my-life place that seems so elusive. To solidify the messages... today, while walking, I came upon a short length of chain laying in the road. Normally I would have passed it by without a second thought or glance. But today, in that new awareness mind set, I stopped, looked at it, picked it up and carried it with me as I continued my journey at a casual gate. As I walked with it, holding it in my fingers, looking at it closely I counted the links. 8. And in the very moment that the number 8 was arrived at came the message. "You have 8 things to unchain yourself from to find what you are looking for". Now, in days gone by I would have sought immediate psychiatric evaluation. But on this day, I just said a quiet "Thank you" and put the length of chain in my pocket as I made my way back home. It now hangs directly above my computer to remind me that I have more work to do discovering the things I need to release.  Rest assured, I have begun.

This story and picture will also be going up on a new page at The Collabative called "Sparks". Like the name suggests, they will be pictures, much like the one I wish I could have taken of the chain as I found it laying in the road instead of as you see it here on a table at the house. All the images there on "The Sparks" page will be left to do just that, spark someone's imagination to interpret them in any manner they wish through any art form they choose. Sound intriguing? Check it out.

The Search For Balance Continues


I am gaining a much deeper respect for anyone who has started their own business, especially those doing it the way I am with very little prior knowledge and on a shoestring budget. These two distinctions translate into much more time and effort, and were not foreseen in the heat of the moment of birthing my new business adventure called "The Collabative".

image by birgerkingMind you I am not complaining. No, this is merely stating facts that have come from my newly focused observations and experience on this side of the business world. Intellectually I know that it will get easier as time goes on, but physically and emotionally I have to catch myself when I start feeling overwhelmed. Then there is the whole personal struggle with balancing this current - though unintentional - obsession, with the other parts of my life as a partner in a relationship, a father, a working musician and hopefully a reliable friend to others. Quite frankly the scales have been tipped heavily towards The Collabative these days and little signs of that are cropping up in conversations and manifesting in stress, fatigue and even sickness of late. This new "child" of mine is demanding lots of time and attention which is hardly a surprise. What is a surprise is how easily one can become fixated on something to the point of  excluding other equally important things.

So, it is time to assess, refocus and make finding balance a priority yet again. Truth be told I am sure it is a lack of patience and a caving in to ego (mostly) mixed with a genuine passion for making a meaningful contribution to the local creative community. Collectively they have led me to believe I have to do great things quickly in order to be considered "successful".  This of course is not true and I know it. Still that knowledge has not kept me from trying to over achieve. So, the search continues but I don't think I will look for balance the way our friend on the left is attempting to however.

In my mind I imagine we ALL struggle with achieving balance. Do you agree? Is that your experience?

If I only had something to say.

cartoon-image-from-hugh-macleod-gapingvoid.comCartoon by Hugh MacLeod at gapingvoid.comFor a while it seemed, you could hardly shut me up and I had so many things I wanted to blog about. I guess the really important thoughts and feelings made it to print, but you might be surprised at how much of what I wrote ended up being discarded for one reason or another. It's sort of like the process of cleaning out and organizing one's desk let's say, or any cluttered space. I had let things pile up in my head (that cluttered space which I just described) to the point that when that wonderful lady Melody put the world of blogging at my fingertips, I had my chance to let it all spill out on paper and sort through the blather - hopefully thoroughly enough - so as to post things that were not totally self serving, chaotic or quite frankly boring, and had something worthwhile to impart. But then, that is for the reader to decide.

image-for-the-collabative.comThe new businessOver the last few weeks, while consumed with getting my new business underway, the words and thoughts in my head (what I would consider to be of a meaningful nature) just do not exist in a quantity... or be of a quality... that makes sharing them a burning desire or necessity. Perhaps I have said all I need to say, who knows?. One thing I do know is that I have been dwelling on my lack of words and believing it to be some sort of short-coming and so I am here to tell you I am letting go of that burden. If I had an audience clamoring for my musings it would be a different story. For now, I can relax and be in my moments, when they happen, and share them if I am moved to, or not and if you are following along, I hope the sporadic nature will not disappoint you.

quote-by-novelist-george-eliotQuote from novelist George Eliot @ QuoteHD.comAll this to tell you,  there's a lot going on in my world and in my head, but the stuff swirling around in here right now is not for public consumption. Trust me, you don't really want to see or know...heh. You can talk amongst yourselves, start a pool and take bets on when my next installment might show up, or any number of other creative distractions you'd like to employ to amuse yourselves. I'll be back and maybe even have something to say!

P.S. Clever of me to include images with opposing thoughts on my subject don't you think? It's apparent I did not listen to George Eliot... (grin).