In Summary – #Create Every Day of May

My focus on creating for the month of May helped me revitalize my belief that creativity comes in many forms. We all do it. We just don’t all call it ‘being creative’. Cooking, enjoying life, being brave, stepping outside the limits, putting pen to paper or brush to canvas, traveling, shifting, opening, healing – it’s all part of living a creative life. The posts I shared on my Instagram and Facebook accounts are remembered below.

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Starting a new theme for this new month of May…#createeverydayofmay. Today’s creation = my retirement dinner shared with my co-parent and fellow retiree, Joel. Retiring from what, you ask? Scroll through some of my past posts in #AprilShowersBringBackMyEmptyNest for insight. Thanks to @symmetrybreakfast for inspiration in creating double food images. Check it out!

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Listen woman. Woman speak. Listen when women speak. Listen first, then speak. Hope do you hear or read this series of art cards? #createeverydayofmay

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Back in the studio today. Feels soooooo good!! Creating a commissioned piece for my sweet nephew @sbach10 FINALLY!!! (But don’t hold your breath quite yet, Sam!) I usually prefer silence when I’m creating, but this time it’s all about music. My favorite on my old-fashioned ipod playlist today has been Jessie J. (@isthatjessiej) Honestly that Masterpiece song…firing me up today. Check out a live video of it via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbx96OgDqFk #createeverydayofmay

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For today’s #createeverydayofmay post, I relied on my sweet, creative hairdresser of a whopping 16 years (whoa!) to add some blue highlights to my hair. I’ve wanted to do this for quite awhile, but thought maybe I was too old for such shenanigans and should just embrace my gray instead. Amy disagreed. So a big shout out to her (aka Amy Vanover, Amy’s Beauty Salon, and @1816sherman) for pumping some new fuel into my daily creative living. (Also, selfies aren’t my strong suit, but I did think the blue Kwan Yin provided a terrific backdrop for my efforts!!)

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So today has Roxy and me recovering from dual dental work (at different dentists for all you potential smart alecks out there:) That means #createeverydayofmay is all about watching other people being uber creative. Thank you, Trevor Noah.

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I completely forgot to share a #createeverydayofmay post yesterday so am catching up today. And since our neighbors had their baby boy Wyatt yesterday, it only makes sense to make him/them the focus because it’s pretty uber creative to create a human being yes? Can’t wait to meet the newest West Central member!! @larauva

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Beautiful day here in the Fort so digging into the ground and the yard plans courtesy of neighbor, Tom. When your 100-year-old house is long and narrow so is your yard. Urban gardening rocks! #createeverydayofmay

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My very first picture with my new toy – an instax mini 8 camera (think old-fashioned Polaroid) courtesy of my three children for Mothers’ Day. Which is why I feel a little bad labeling Roxy as #favoritechild, but since I can’t choose one of the other three gems, she wins. Happy Mothers’ Day to all. And I really mean ALL. I always think of mothering as nurturing and even if you don’t have kids of your own, you mother and nurture others. Your nieces and nephews, your neighbors’ kids, your students, clients, and patients, your neighborhood, your communities, and yes, your loving pets. Mothering of all kinds makes the world a stronger, more connected place to be. Go team!! XO #createeverydayofmay #mothersday #sacredfeminine

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The weekend’s plantings are getting a soft, steady drink today to help them settle in. Love this phase of sitting back and watching WAY better than I like the doing. #createeverydayofmay

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I spent my creative energy today channeling my mother-in-law, aka Grandma Cuckoo, while I made a double batch of her famous sweetrolls. The whole clan will enjoy them when we gather soon to celebrate her life. Our matriarch. Lots of ‘sweet’ memories poured in as I stirred and kneaded, rolled and baked. A good, sentimental day. Big sigh. #createeverydayofmay

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I have a lineup of a few people who are prepared to pluck and wax my face should I ever be unable to do it myself. This is totally necessary and you know who you are. After watching this movie, Alive Inside, I plan to create multiple memory-inducing music playlists that those same folks are going to put on the fancy audio technology of the time and plop on my ears. I thought I understood the power of music prior to this, but now I understand the POWER. OF. MUSIC. – it literally makes us come alive inside. So watch the movie, create your playlists, and line up your people. Your brain will thank you. Two thumbs up! #createeverydayofmay #aliveinside

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The center of the labyrinth @thegrottopdx. The thing about labyrinths…you can only see a few steps ahead on your path and you can only peek over your shoulder briefly to see the last couple steps you’ve taken. The rest is just slow and steady, one step at a time. Breathe in pine… Next breath azaleas. A bird song. A silent gardener taking a break on a nearby bench, checking her email. A plane takes off who knows how far away. Just keep moving forward. Breathe. #createeverydayofmay #peaceful #portlandoregon #labyrinth #breathe #ihavethisthingwithfloors #fatwproject

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Playing a little catch up with #createeverydayofmay… Was too busy soaking up some creative inspiration in #portlandoregon this weekend. This is a beautiful gravel garden at the Japanese Gardens, raked to evoke a sense of easy, flowing movement towards center. It worked. Planning a gravel garden in our urban space soon. Better buy a rake! #japanesegardenspdx #serenitynow #creatinganartfulgarden

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More creative inspiration for our garden. Joel and I loved these little water features throughout the Japanese Gardens in Portland. Just a peaceful slow trickle until the right moment when the bamboo tube dropped down to release its water and then snapped back up with a *smack*. Designed to keep deer out of the garden, we’re wondering if it might keep the rabbits away from our hostas. More likely it will drive Roxy mad. Still… I have the perfect stone base for it. #createeverydayofmay #creatinganartfulgarden

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Lots of beauty in Portland, but this captures the essence of our spring visit. My dilemma was whether to capture one glorious bloom or a full flowering tree – there were gazillions everywhere! Clearly one bloom won. I know Portland is the #cityofroses, but the azaleas were uber stunning and just filled us up with such vibrant color and brightness!! #createeverydayofmay #flowersforscarlett

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We’re home from #portlandia, but still feeling her presence. This was my doggie-bag leftovers from our Gaiwan Tea Ceremony at the Lan Su Chinese Garden’s Teahouse. There’s something so tranquil about stopping what you’re doing and creating time for tea – the ritual of rinsing and steeping, pouring and sharing. Sipping slowly and deliberately, but not so slowly that it cools before finishing. There’s a life metaphor in there somewhere, don’t you think? And a bonus – we left with our liver Qi (energy) soothed thanks to our choice of a chrysanthemum infusion. Plan to do it all over again tomorrow with these last dried blooms. Oh, and another bonus! My lucky number 17 (or so I discovered at a stick ceremony in Thailand last year) revealed this promise: A long sought position in life will soon be yours. That could mean soooo many things in my world – author, speaker, retired mama, joy-filled artist…other ideas? #createeverydayofmay #lansuchinesegarden #tranquility

Calvin and Grandma, July 2008

It was a #createeverydayofmay creative writing day today. More about sweetrolls – the language of love in the Sauer family. Grandma Cuckoo love. Always cherished, but even more so when Alzheimer’s clouded her ability to create them. “And then at some point soon after, she let go of sweetrolls entirely, moving into her new place of peace even further from her past and those structures and traditions that had defined her. But we didn’t forget. We have pockets of memories tucked into a recipe, swirling amid dizzying whiffs, baked into those center gooey middle bites. Our flashbacks are all different yet with one similarity – each one is rarely just about the taste, but rather comes with a story…You start talking about sweetrolls and this Sauer clan can go on for hours with stories that all flow into one cinnamon-twist of truth – Grandma/Mom didn’t just ‘bake sweetrolls’. She poured herself into them, deliberately, knowingly serving us, expressing her love for us, receiving our love and appreciation in return with each each moan of contentment, each delightful anecdote.” You can read the full sweetroll story at http://www.ellensauer.com. Clickable link is in my profile. xo ellencsauer#Alzheimer’s #alzheimersdisease #familylove❤️ #sweetrolls

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Spent yesterday in my artist fog, immersed in my latest collage. It doesn’t look like much, but soooo much of creating for me is feeling and playing with ideas – some make it to the final product, some just lead to the next, and the next and the next option. Joel suggested once that I tally up the hours spent on each piece. So impossible! When I’ve got one going, it’s 24/7 – the time falling asleep and just waking carry ideas, the times I’m doing something else entirely but my creative mind is still creating. Simply always. Umpteen, incalculable. Love it that way. Also, this new little case of letter stamps has opened some fun ideas in adding words to my pieces. Can’t wait to break them in. #createeverydayofmay #creativetomycore #creativityflows24/7

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So today I read an article from @soulpancake that said studies show if you DRAW your daily to-do list rather than just plain ol’ write it, it sticks better. I’m totally about lists and have one every single day (every.single.day.) and I’m also all about stretching my brain in new ways. So I played a little and created one for tomorrow. Kind of fun. Looks great now, but I’m hoping I remember what all of those little doodles mean when the time comes or I might be asking for some creative input from you all. Please be on call! #createeverydayofmay #soulpancakerocks

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It’s all in your perspective. TRUST! The universe gives us what we need. If we didn’t get it, we didn’t need it (even if we asked for it.) A new mantra for an obsessive travel planner (um…that’s me. Or rather, that WAS me.) I’m on the mend and opening to feeling my way through new places. You can read the little blog about this whole deal at http://www.ellensauer.com. Clickable link in my profile. For me, this is a powerful #createeverydayofmay post. It’s about the art of writing of course, but more importantly, it’s about the creative process of shifting and changing our perspectives, opening to new ways of thinking and anchoring new healthier patterns. Create! #travelmantra #letitgo #travelplanning

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OK, so, this is what it looks like when you’re about to perform with your rock band. On stage. With an audience cheering you on. Even though you took your first drum lesson only three months ago at the age of 52. Here’s to rockin’ a lifelong dream and creating lives we love. Lori, you’re my hero and role model. I couldn’t be more proud of you if I was your own mama. #createeverydayofmay #rockermom #dreamscanbereality

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Feeling our way through #portlandoregon with our new travel mantra of ‘less planning, more feeling’ have us an opportunity to go with her flow. You can read the short blog about it at http://www.ellensauer.com. clickable link in my profile. #createeverydayofmay #lush #vibrant #hardy #portlandia #lessplanningmorefeeling

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About four years ago we bought an old, rundown home in downtown Fort Wayne and spent the rest of that year making it livable, aka Creating a Home. It was my biggest canvas to date and the epitome of creating every day. And we blogged every step of the way. If you’re inclined to get jazzed up about these sorts of things, then give it a look at https://ellensauer.com/category/c12-blog/c32-creating-a-home/. Clickable link in my profile. #createeverydayofmay #lovingdowntownfortwayne #oldhousesrock

Pinterest Frank Gehry quote

I love this quote from Frank Gehry, the master architect who thinks outside the box and shakes things up with his creations. It’s so true for me too. And I’ve learned over time to even be pumped about that last line, “If I knew where I was going, I wouldn’t do it.” Took me awhile to embrace that ever-changing flow of creating. You can see more posts from my On Creating Art Pinterest board at: https://www.pinterest.com/ellencsauer/on-creating-art/. Clickable link in my profile. #createeverydayofmay #frankgehry

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This week has been all about creating space for family. We’re hosting an extended family gathering and memorial weekend for my mom-in-law. The energy is building as folks prepare to set out on their journeys all with the same intent – loving and honoring Mom/Grandma Cuckoo/Barb. So looking forward to sharing space with everyone. P.S. That triangle in the photo is THE very one she used to ring to call her brood home for dinner in the evenings. I’m sure it will be sounding this weekend in her honor! #creatingeverydayofmay #familyiseverything #timetogetherheals #goodmedicine

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I love this quote from @bemorewithless (and all of her other quotes and sentiments too.) Honestly, how often do we complain that we don’t have enough time? I need this reminder regularly…to clear out, scale back, let things go and create space for what matters. ‘What matters’ may vary among us, but we all share the tendency to get cluttered up and rushed at one time or another. Let’s take some deep breaths, clear the clutter and create openings of time for important stuff, shall we? #createeverydayofmay #bemorewithless #cleartheclutter #gentlereminders

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Another full day ahead with family and honoring and remembering and loving. It’s all good and so needed. One moment of centering though before the clan returns to our home – creating space in me to be able to hold space with others. Thankful for #yogawithadriene. She brings a mindful practice into my home to flow into and out of as I feel the need. A wise yogi once said to me, “If you have to ‘do yoga’ or ‘go to yoga’, you’re no longer practicing yoga.” And so I #findwhatfeelsgood on and off the mat, flowing between the two with relative ease thanks to her honest approach. Now onward to the day. xo #createeverydayofmay

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Just finished an intense, full weekend with family – honoring our matriarch in a beautiful, loving way. And now to counter balance the intense energy and focus, FUN is on the agenda for the rest of this week. Maybe diving back into my art piece, going to a matinee movie alone on a rainy afternoon, snuggling with Roxy to watch Dancing with the Stars or The Voice, taking an hour to just read my latest novel (The Hangman’s Daughter at this writing), biking the greenway, a downtown festival, and on and on. Play time is good medicine and so important. Create space for it! #createeverydayofmay

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What I love most about this post from Word Porn is the truth that creativity is about doing anything you love. I always cringe when someone says they are not creative or don’t have a creative bone in their body. Creativity isn’t only about making something to hang on a wall. It’s about creating a life filled with things you love. The list this post gives is great. I’d also add creating space with friends, or clearing out patterns and healing wounds that keep us from the joys in life. So as I’ve been posting all month in #createeverydayofmay, I’ve had in mind all sorts of wonderful creations. Redefine it for yourself and see what’s on – or wants to be on – your list.

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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

Master Teacher, Midwife to the Birth of the Wild Soul

Who Eats Better?

Experiencing the World Through Taste

Yoga With Adriene

Find What Feels Good

The Kinetic Canuck

A Canadian Wandering the World

The Way of the Elbow

Find Fluidity & Ease in Movement, schedule a Rolfing session!

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