Have you ever heard someone say “There’s nothing new under the sun”? Or sometimes you’ll hear the phrase “what’s old is new again.” How do those ideas square with your own experience of creativity? Have you ever come up with something that seemed totally original?
Innovation is a huge buzzword in today’s culture and of course is the driving force behind the forward march of technology. But just like the fact that history has a way of repeating itself, creative ideas are usually built upon the foundation of what’s come before.
I like to think that everyone is an artist in one way or another. No matter who you are or what you do, the very act of living is a creative pursuit. Some of you may be “fine artists” making your careers out of your wellspring of inspiration, and I’m sure many of you are “movement artists” bringing the beauty of embodiment to people in myriad ways. You might be an educator, a therapist or healthcare professional, or a team member of a large or small business, in which case your creativity can be applied in service to your organization’s mission.
But regardless of your role in life, you’ll always find opportunities to think outside the box. One of the most valuable pieces of entrepreneurial advice is to look across categories into totally different types of businesses and find successful models that you can adapt to your own field. Just look at all of the different subscription services now meeting the needs formerly served by retail for one example.
For me, I find it somewhat amusing that a large part of what I do is to simply point out an obvious connection that wasn’t widely recognized. With Conscious Dancer nearly a decade ago it was to name a movement that was well underway and to connect the dots between the world of dance and the field of health and wellness.
More recently I’ve been exploring the connection between analog sound and physical/emotional well-being, and it’s definitely a novel concept for a lot of people to frame the phonograph in the context of health food for your body, family, and community. It’s also interesting to point out that “permanent is the new radical” in today’s world of perpetual updates. For millennial’s raised on the constantly shifting sands of technology, the idea of something lasting and timeless like turntables and vinyl records is revolutionary.
You may wonder where your own fountain of innovation springs from, and when it comes to your DNA I suggest taking a look at your grandparents. For some strange reason creative mojo seems to like to skip generations and reappear a lifetime later from the source.
My 9-year-old girl Geneva can barely remember meeting my mom who passed away when she was three years old. Yet my mom’s talent for anything having to do with fabric or a stitch is alive and well in my daughter. Grandma Jerry went through phases of knitting, needlepoint, and crochet, before finally settling in to quilting for the last 25 years of her life, in which she became world class. Now Geneva can crochet a scarf or handbag in nothing flat, which is also a testament to her Waldorf education that thankfully teaches early math concepts with analog skills like knitting.
My older daughter Isabelle, a 27-year-old graphic designer living in Melbourne Australia, takes after my Dad. Not only is she levelheaded and responsible in the same way as grandpa George, her design style and aesthetic very much resembles the neon signs my Dad was making in Los Angeles in the 60’s. (fun fact: Dad designed and built the first iconic Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket-on-a-pole signs in 1965.)
So wherever you may be sourcing your creative mojo from, know that the power to innovate is in your hands. Your role in the great chain of life is to combine the raw material from the past with your insights from the present moment to create the future. You have the ability to shape our world with the sheer force of your ideas combined with action.
So don’t buy into the notion that “it’s all been done before.” No one has done it your way yet! When you let yourself move forward with love towards an idea of your own making, you’re doing your part to bring innovation to the upward spiral of human evolution. So let your mojo flow and believe in yourself, you’ve got a lot to give and you’ll feel good giving it!
Innovating with you till next week!
Dance First Member Spotlight: Barbara Derecktor Donahue & Dancing Spirit Studio!
Speaking of innovation, today’s Dance First member spotlight is shining on a dynamic leader with a down-home approach to making a difference.
Barbara Derecktor Donahue is the proprietor of Dancing Spirit Studio in Tiverton, Rhode Island, a multi-use facility where folks from all around the region learn, study, and teach various forms of dance and movement.
Her studio is built on her property which is also a small farm and her home. One of the most exciting features of her facility is the presence of a luscious garden and a population of animals including a herd of six goats.
The goats have proven to be a real asset and attraction, offering not just entertainment value, but companionship and therapeutic connection for participants.
I was thrilled to see the announcement for her upcoming Goat Ballet event, and was immediately excited to share the news of this creative innovation with my community.
Some of you may have heard of ‘Goat Yoga’ which has become somewhat of a media phenomenon lately, I commend Barbara for taking it one step further and bringing her goats into the world of ballet!
Goats are some of the most wise and personable animals we humans are fortunate enough to encounter. The idea of inviting them into an embodiment practice is totally appealing. And like most great innovations, the thought of this brings forth a “Well, duh!” moment, like why hasn’t anyone done this yet?
Barbara’s Dancing Spirit Studio offers classes in Belly Dance and events including goat birthday parties. It’s also available for workshops or private classes and is a great place to bring a group from anywhere in the greater New York or Rhode Island region.
Thanks so much for all your hard work and innovation Barbara! We really appreciate your continued membership in Dance First and recognize all the value you bring to the world of Conscious Dance. Keep having fun with your herd and we’ll keep helping you get the word out!