Notes on The Fine Art of Elephant Training & The Happy Artist

April 27, 2013

Yay!  My copy of Lani Gerity’s Elephant Training and the Happy Artist arrived this week!

ElephantTrainingHappyArtist

I was super excited to re-visit Lani’s Elephant Training lessons from her blog transformed into book form. This time I took notes while reading each chapter! 🙂 The 24 chapters include lots of Lani’s inspiring art, reflections,  links, and take aways from the teachings of Christine Carter, Christine Arylo, Rick Hanson, Kelly McGonigal and others.

Elephant Training and the Happy Artist focuses on many helpful and encouraging ways to develop or strengthen your creative (or overall well-being) practice from a positive psychology, reward driven and neuroscience lens. Reflections on self-compassion, mindfulness, willpower, and gentle ways to cultivate motivation & change are presented through Lani’s narrative, as well as creative prompts you can use to explore these concepts in your own art-making.

These writings from Lani have been a huge support for my revo’lution manifesting this year, including my 365 project, which continues to focus on the intentions simplicity, stillness, service, trust, honor, light, and simplicity.

Here are only a few of the Elephant Training and The Happy Artist gifts from Lani I found valuable to remember (and re-remember):

  • The process of change– i.e. transformation of what we do (or what our brains do) takes time & practice (lots of practice sometimes) to re-wire- and it’s okay if it’s “super hard” and to appreciate that making even the smallest steps toward this change is just as important.  (small change –> leads to big change  (page 12)
  • The act of rewarding yourself and creating a reward driven system to keep giving yourself a regular dose of motivation, dopamine and not to underestimate the power of simplicity when trying to create change…  for me, this has become visible in my 365 project… (page 12)
  • Value your strengths and incorporate them into your reward system- Yes! (page 17)
  • Simplify:  Let go of what creates distraction & spend your focus and energy freely on what contributes to what you love to do (page 36)
  • Practice, practice practice: Learn from your mistakes, show patience with yourself, and find small ways to help strengthen your practice towards revo’lution making (page 23).

There is sooo much more!

You can order your own copy of Elephant Training and The Happy Artist here.  It’s available in paperback, as well as in an electronic format (easy to access to all the links!) via lulu.com.

Below is my daily practice of 365 revo’lution making: Day 117…. Dedicated to the fine art of Elephant Training!

365 Revo'lution Making- Day 117

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7 Responses to “Notes on The Fine Art of Elephant Training & The Happy Artist”

  1. Lani Says:

    Wow, Gretchen, thanks for the shout-out!!!

  2. Lani Says:

    Or should I say book review!


  3. You are welcome- it was a pleasure to re-read in this form- thank you for putting it together… will be re-visiting it again!

  4. Hannah Says:

    thanks for this share Gretchen–will Lani’s book is on my “must order” list–perfect for what I want to be learning right now…


  5. Great share Gretchen thank you.

  6. Bebe Butler Says:

    looks like a great read!

  7. Erika Says:

    I have Lani’s wonderful book too! Just seeing this now.


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