Every week (or so) when I send out to the people on my email list, I begin each email with “Dear Creative Adventurer,” and that started a couple years ago.

So … what is creative adventure – and why do I address you as a “Creative Adventurer’?

I noticed there were two of me…

Years ago I noticed I seem to operate in two modes, almost like there were (at least) two “ME’s” –one, the me who’s on stage, or out adventuring, totally open to whatever happens – and the other me when I’m preparing and building the structures to support that adventure, totally intent, often grumpy, struggling to make things ‘work’ the way I want them to work.

It’s almost like there’s the boat-builder me, and the adventuring sailor me, who gets into the boat and sails off (only I don’t like being on boats – except in analogies – so please don’t invite me sailing).

It’s almost like there’s the boat-builder me, and the adventuring sailor me, who gets into the boat and sails off Click To Tweet

For any new project I spend months of intense, often stress-filled ‘front loading’,  building the bones and muscles and nerves of the experience of freedom.

For example, in order to create my shows with orchestra, I created all the parts and scores for each piece, first inventing them, then painstakingly checking them for errors, and often revising them many times – so that rehearsals can go smoothly, and so I can go out on stage and both experience and share the glorious freedom of adventuring into that music with the audience, the conductor and the players.

(If you’re in the NorthWest USA, you can come with us on that particular adventure in my Earth Day concert with Symphony Tacoma on Sun. April 22 at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma, WA)

It’s the same with creating and learning to play my instrument.  There were years, decades, of painstaking development, times I literally threw myself on the floor sobbing, “Why oh why do I always have to work twice as hard as everyone else, just to be half as good???” – deeply believing there was freedom and connection on the other end, but despairing of ever getting to it.

And then … suddenly (after decades) … I could speak with my instrument, and I could experience as the creator and performer what I had first experienced as a child hearing music, seeing performers.

And then suddenly … I could speak with my instrument, experience as creator & performer what I first experienced as a child hearing music, seeing performers. Click To Tweet

(If you’re near Richmond, VA you can come on that particular adventure – a completely solo show with electric harp, voice, story and looper pedal NEXT WEEK in my Fri. Mar. 2 show at the Tin Pan in Richmond, VA)

My goal is the moment of lift-off …

My goal is the moment of lift-off – for myself, the audience, the players — and when I’m teaching, coaching or mentoring, for the musicians I coach.  The moment when we are completely in the moment, in the adventure — both our own adventure – and an adventure together.

But where IS that adventure?? And how do I get MORE of it?

I couldn’t help noticing that, while I always experience that sense of adventure in performance – which is one reason I love performing and find it exhilarating – it is sorely lacking in many others parts of my life – places I don’t yet know how to create – or I haven’t completed creating – structures, systems, habits that will support my freedom and adventure – though I believe it’s always possible.

The truth is that I always go through the same process: having a strong yet amorphous belief, a powerful despair of achieving the experience, a dogged inability to give up, and eventually, delighted and completely unexpected freedom.

Deconstruction to find the Idea-Tools: Discovering the “Strings of Passion”

I resolved to deconstruct what I’ve always done naturally when it comes to music — so I could find the basic idea-tools to bring more of ‘adventure me’ into the rest of my life.

One way I did that was to break my creative process into a set of principles, which I named the “Strings of Passion”-  seven principles that take me (or you, or anyone) from creative impulse to creative expression. I discovered that, for me, those 7 principles are: Impulse, Structure, Character, Roles, Practice, Deconstruction and Lift-Off.

The first way I explored and distilled them was in my natural mode of expression: through a performance that combines a description of the principles, the stories of how I found those principles and – of course, music.  The performance was called “Strings of Passion.”

Then I broke it down further and created a day-long live workshop to put those principles into play, originally called “Fireworks for the Creative Spirit” (because I presented it the week of the U.S independence day, which always includes fireworks)

Then I broke it down even further and created a 10-week online class, which I’m teaching right now in my Academy (you can register for a free training, called “Inside the Creativity Gym” that outlines those seven strings and then takes you on a tour of the classroom – registering for it is also an easy way to get on my email list so you’ll get my weekly-ish “Dear Adventurer …” emails)

Most recently, I’m re-constructing the 10-week class into a book (there’s no link to that yet, because it’s still in development, but the musicians in my Academy are getting chapters of the first draft as they go through the 10-week class).

Dear Creative Adventurer … 

So, dear Creative Adventurer, when I address you that way, it’s because when I connect with you – through an email, or in a show, or in a class, or in a blogpost or a Facebook Live presentation, or a book or a piece of music — it’s because Adventure-Me is reaching out to Adventure-You.

So, how do YOU invite more creative adventure into your life?

p.s. That image above really is my own tin of tea, one of my favorite cups, and peaking from behind it, rocks that I found on an adventure once

So, how do YOU invite more creative adventure into YOUR life? Click To Tweet
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