What do I do? (A primer with fart sounds)

When I tell people I’m a Creative Guide, the next question I usually get is, what is that?

Or, so what do you do exactly?

They’re good questions. What DO I do, exactly?

I tell people that I “use creative tools” and “help people get in touch with their imagination” but this doesn’t sound very tangible. And in fact, the work we do often IS tangible. As in, perceptible by touch, palpable, real, and substantial.

I thought the best way to get this across would be to take a page from my own toolbox (my toolbox is FILLED with pages) and take these three steps:

  • name things
  • write the names on cards
  • arrange the cards on big paper

So that’s what I did! Here it is:

IMG_20150616_114857

My approach comes down to 6 principles:

  1. Ask questions
  2. Experiment
  3. Paradox: mess with binary oppositions
  4. Radical empathy + honesty
  5. Slow down, look & listen
  6. Do it badly

And I guess there’s a 7th wild card principle which doesn’t get a card because it pervades everything: go deeper by not taking things too seriously.

Or: take everything to heart while laughing your ass off.

An example of the wild card principle in action: one of my go-to exercises when I’m first working with people is to look deep into each other’s eyes while making fart sounds.

It sounds so stupid! And it is! We’re open and receptive, and we’re giggling like kids. An excellent place to start.

My point is, these principles might sound airy, but they are all about action that you can take, starting now, that shift your perspective and shift your world.

I’m going to talk about each of my guiding principles (god, hopefully I come up with a better word than principles… guiding lights?) in the weeks to come, and if you’re worried that it will be boring, I vow to include videos and dumb things to make you laugh.

In fact, I’ll start now! Let’s do the fart exercise together! I know we’re not actually in the same room right now, but let’s pretend we are and make fart sounds for 30 seconds. I bet you can’t do it without laughing, but if you do, you win a SERIOUS FART SOUNDER award (email me your address and I’ll mail it to you, for real.)

SFS Award

Ready? Let’s go. I’m going to say my name and title so I sound super important, and then I’ll pause to give you time to say yours, and then we’ll make fart sounds. YES!

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