Community·Q&A

CreativeMornings speaker Lisa J. Weiss on the benefits of being 'lost'

Lisa J. Weiss was November's CreativeMornings Ottawa speaker, exploring the theme of 'lost' at the Ottawa Art Gallery on Friday, Nov. 29.

CBC Ottawa is proud to partner with CreativeMornings Ottawa

Lisa J. Weiss, CreativeMornings speaker and inspired living coach, says getting lost can be a good thing because it "let's us discover aspects of ourselves we didn't know existed." (Supplied)

If you're an early riser and a creative thinker in the Ottawa area, you might've heard of the CreativeMornings breakfast series. 

With chapters in more than 200 cities around the world — from Oslo to Ottawa — CreativeMornings hosts free, monthly events for the creative community, featuring a short talk and a bite to eat. Each month's talk has a global theme, such as: courage, honesty or tradition. 

Ottawa has been hosting gatherings since 2012, welcoming speakers from such varied occupations as psychologists, architects, artisanal sign painters and brew masters.

CBC Ottawa is proud to partner with CreativeMornings Ottawa to share creative Q&As and conversations with the community. 

Being lost lets us discover aspects of ourselves we didn't know existed and it's an invitation for us to open a conversation that encourages the building of community.- Lisa J. Weiss

The speaker for the month of November was Lisa J. Weiss, an inspired living coach and founder of I of the Storm Coaching and Consulting.

If you missed her CreativeMornings talk on Nov. 29, this is the perfect preview. You can also find a visual recap of the event on the CreativeMorning's Facebook page. We asked Weiss to answer a few questions by email about creativity and the benefits of being "lost." 

Her answers have been edited for length and clarity. 

Q: Why do you think this month's CreativeMornings theme "lost" is important to talk about in Ottawa? 

Everyone has some experience getting lost, whether physically or emotionally. Most of the time, we engage it alone. Talking about it is important because it's part of the creative process we often overlook in the work space. Relaxing into being lost is about creative space, or being in a different space, in order to see a problem from a new perspective. It's in the lost space where our most creative and innovative ideas find us. Being lost lets us discover aspects of ourselves we didn't know existed and it's an invitation for us to open a conversation that encourages the building of community. 

Q: What's one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you could tell your younger self?

I would tell myself not to be sacred of being lost — of not knowing. 'I don't know' is a valid response. It's an opportunity to be curious about the invitation it presents because it will lead me down a path opening up possibilities, shifts and changes I could never image. 

Q: When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?  

I stop and take a few breaths to check in and see where I am in that moment, then go outside for a walk, a bike ride or take myself to a body of water where I  can sit and listen to the waves. In the winter, I might snow blow the driveway. I don't try to fix being stuck. I give myself permission to be in the space in order for the answers I need to find me. 

Q: What makes Ottawa a creative city? 

The people. Ottawa has so much to offer, from the various festivals to the local activities and the diversity of all the cultures that call it home. They all invite us to be in another space. When you take the time to talk to someone, you become curious and open to all the various creatives that live in this city, which creates an opportunity for us to grow, expand [and] evolve. 


Keep checking creativemornings.com/cities/ott for details on the next CreativeMornings event.