Reclaiming the act of creating…

I could sit and wait.  Ask myself: how I will get back to that beautiful, exhilarating buzz of creative process and my soul’s work?  But why wait?  

I MUST simply work.  Reclaim the act.

How?  I mind map.  I attempt to draw and throw out the results.  I return to my crafts.  I allow the freedom to draw whatever makes me meditate and hear in the distance that buzz approaching.  I just do.  It is not the buzz that is essential.  Commitment is.

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I get up, I plan and write.

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CREATIVE MIND MAPPING

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Mind maps integrate both right-brain and left-brain thinking by capturing your stream of consciousness in a structured way. – Jennifer Lee

CREATIVE MIND MAPPING 

Mind maps are essentially visual diagrams.  They can act as a type of journal or personal exploration, or a tool for strategic inquiry or project planning.  The possibilities are vast and endless.  You will find that mind maps are a way to envision and put into practice your intention.  This intention is thereby transformed into fruition.  The process is not just an idealistic visualization but an actualization.

Mind mapping is about strategic inquiry.

Mind mapping is VISUAL STORYTELLING.

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For me, mind mapping is a tool to move all the churning ideas and voices out of my head onto paper in order to organize my thoughts and to quiet my mind.  I gain perspective; I can start to strategize and prioritize or make new realizations and connections.  I can develop, or pare down.  I gain new insight on what direction works, what direction doesn’t, what I can cross off, what I can add.

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I love the visual.  I love the tangible.  I love the evolving mind map.  I love looking at old ones and seeing what worked and what didn’t.  Mind maps allow me to create a mission and a vision statement more easily.

MIND MAPPING is how I formulated my personal mission statement:

My mission is to awaken creative expression through local and global art initiatives.”

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I use mind maps for:

• emotional exploration

• project planning

• priority assessment

• anxiety processing

• gathering support

• story structure

• character development

• journaling

• mission and vision building

• creative strategic inquiry

• graphic recording

• meeting notes

• deep listening

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MIND MAP FOR CREATING THE BOOK: DRAWN TOGETHER

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Mind maps can help you become more creative, remember more, and solve problems more effectively. – Melanie Pinola

“I can’t wait to see you and meet you at the top.”

It’s early Sunday morning, December 13, 2015,  and I have just said bon voyage to my daughter as she heads to New York City for a test run month, paving the way to her big move.

A few months ago, she wrote on her mindmap:

Spend 1 month test living in New York City.

Oh Anna, my extraordinary daughter.  Way to manifest!

Photo by @sirshanemiller
Photo by @sirshanemiller

She’s been to New York before, many times now.  So that isn’t new.  She has lived in San Francisco for 4 years, so moving away isn’t new.  But what is new is that she’s 30, she’s graduating into a new chapter and she’s manifesting her dreams- DARING GREATLY- stepping into her new, authentic, successful, whole self.

Just take a listen to this video Anna made, facilitated by Peter Breeze during his Be a Star Workshop (Evan Eisenstadt Photography):

YES!

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Our bodies and those of our daughters were created by a seamless web of nature and nurture, of biology informed by consciousness, that we can trace back to the beginning of time.  Thus, every daughter contains her mother and all the women who came before her.  The unrealized dreams of our maternal ancestors are part of our heritage,  To become optimally healthy and happy, each of us must get clear about the ways in which our mother’s history both influenced and continues to inform our state of health, our beliefs, and how we live our lives.  Every woman who heals herself helps heal all the women who came before her and all those who will come after her. – Dr. Christiane Northrup, Mother-Daughter Wisdom

This post is not only dedicated to Anna but to my Mormor (Kristina), Anna’s Mormor (Karin) and my son Julian, a true feminist.

Let’s dance!

 

 

 

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 6: Addressing

I have been diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process!

Tutorial so far:

Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week

Part 1: What is a mindmap?

Part 2: the Big Vision

Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping

Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting

Part 5: Enhancing

TODAY:

PART 6 OF 7: Addressing

By now, we have gone through multiple steps to start organizing and taking action on our project and/or self-reflection.

Time to dig a little deeper.

Let’s not only address the to do’s of the current mindmap:

Action steps are the detailed, practical tasks you need to perform to achieve your goals… By breaking the strategies down into discrete tasks, you’ll better be able to plan for resources and timing. – Jennifer Lee

… let’s also take time to write in your journal as to why you feel it is important to take time to properly address your action steps.

What is it all really about?

My journal entry October 30, 1013

Art for me is not just about being in the moment and in the heat of the creative process.  My right brain ways certainly thrive on that.  But as a right brain enterpreneur, I am ready to embrace DISCIPLINE.  Ready to focus on business, sales, marketing, numbers, grant applications, networking etc.

And all this left brain stuff would only be daunting if I hadn’t designed an action plan.  It will no longer be about trying to fit in the art around the work schedule but defining myself as a working artist.

Specific day-to-day foci include:

Product, Branding, Customers, Operations, Illustration, Writing, Research, Personal

Time sensitive, Proactive, Arty, Inaction

Sticking to it is key.  Including “off” times.  Ironically, my new schedule that reflects fluidity and flexibility will be more rigid and disciplined than now.  And double ironically, the more I work on art, the more my left brain is awakened and fearless!

Allowing the temptations of distractions and answering to the needs of others above my own is no longer an option!  I have to weigh requests and take a breath before saying yes.  Before saying no.

Within the new “limitations” though lies absolute freedom and a fulfilled heart!

WOOT!!!

The journey since the journal entry above has been intense, difficult, humbling, beautiful and enlightening.  The success I wanted to achieve then looks very different than what I envisioned and hoped for yet, there is success nonetheless.  Why?  Because the journey centres around my personal core value: FREEDOM.

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Have you identified your (current) core value(s)?

Starting from this place will help us bring more ease, empowerment and success into our personal and professional lives. – Laura Mack

I recommend the following exercise: core-values-worksheet

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So address each item in a slow light and meticulous way keeping your core value(s) in mind. Makes for a much stronger strategic plan.

TOMORROW:

Part 7 of 7: Reviewing

Mindmap tutorial week Part 5 of 7: Enhancing

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process!

Tutorial so far:

Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week

Part 1: What is a mindmap?

Part 2: the Big Vision

Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping

Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting

TODAY:

PART 5 OF 7: Enhancing

Last time we consolidated our mindmap- stripped it down to key components.   

Today we focus on each component and ENHANCE.

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This is similar to the stream of consciousness mapping but now you are more focused.  Think ACTION PLAN.  You are building a structure.  Research a bit.  Make a to-do.  (We will ADDRESS the items in more detail tomorrow).

Mind maps integrate both right-brain and left-brain thinking by capturing your stream of consciousness in a structured way.  This method is perfect for brainstorming goals and organizing related ideas.  – Jennifer Lee

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Tomorrow:

Part 6- ADDRESSING

  Recommended reading:

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If you are finding this blog series helpful, please consider a small donation so that I can continue to provide free tutorials.

Email transfer or PayPal: britakatarina@gmail.com

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Thank you!

 

 

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 4: Prioritizing, consolidating, connecting

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process!

Tutorial so far:

Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week

Part 1: What is a mindmap?

Part 2: the Big Vision

Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping

TODAY:

PART 4 OF 7: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting

So once you have spewed out your thoughts all out onto your large paper: 

Color code the bubbles— don’t overthink this.  Just circle the items that seem to relate to each other.  Just very loosy goosy…

Start drawing arrows to items that relate to each other more… How do they CONNECT?  This is a “thinking out loud” exercise as you pay attention to what part of the map excites you, what part you know needs priority, what part is a distraction…

Now redraw the map as it reflects the REORGANIZATION of your stream-of-consciousness one…

Make “out loud” notes onto your map.  Converse with yourself.  Be honest.   What is truly your passion?   Essential PRIORITY?  What can be removed?  What is the BIG PICTURE?

Now strip it down.  CONSOLIDATE to the top three categories.

CONSOLIDATION requires getting rid of excess. Some of this excess is not anything definable but rather energetic information both useful and non-useful that has been collected and stored in the energy system waiting for integration. Too much psychic information can feel like a burden; overwhelming, unfocused and irritating.

PRIORITIES need a clear space to settle into. So clear some space, consolidate your energetic resources and allow what’s important to prioritize itself in your life. – The Power Path August 2015 Monthly Forecast

Remember- this can be a personal reflection exercise, or a project planning exercise etc.  It is all really the same principal.

TOMORROW:

Part 4: Enhancing

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process!

Tutorial so far:

Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week

Part 1: What is a mindmap?

Part 2: the Big Vision

TODAY:

PART 3 OF 7: Stream of consciousness mapping

In your journal start writing out categories, to-do’s, items, whatever comes to mind that you are grappling with right now.  Or if you are focusing on a specific project, business idea, story – whatever- write down all that comes to mind regarding the project.  Should other items pop up, write those down too, even if unrelated.  You are just spewing it all out onto paper.  This is chaos-onto-paper time.  Just keep the pen moving.  Trivial things can turn out to be important.img_5413

Now transfer these bubbles onto a large sheet.  Don’t worry too much where they are placed, though you can somewhat place them in related groups if you wish.

 

We are not making connections today.  We are just spewing it all out!

Sometimes this process is really easy.  Sometimes, like for me tonight, it’s very hard.  It’s a shitty evening.  That’s OK.  I forced the process anyway in order to get the buzz out of the mind.  I need to sort my next steps and this process always helps!

TOMORROW:

Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 2 of 7: the Big Vision

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process!

Tutorial so far:

Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week

Part 1: What is a mindmap?

TODAY:

PART 2 OF 7: The Big Vision

You may recall my journey with mindmaps using:

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Right-brain entrepreneur Jennifer Lee is a certified coach, writer, artist, yogini, and the founder of Artizen Coaching. Before pursuing her own passions full-time, she consulted for ten years for companies such as Accenture, Gap, Sony, and HP, helping leaders and organizations manage change. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and her website is www.rightbrainbusinessplan.comsource

 

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Utilizing Jennifer Lee’s BIG-VISION VISUALIZATION SCRIPT, I encourage you to write about your ideal future, to think big, to see abundance and success in work, in relationships, in spirit.

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Personally, I find it very empowering to write about an abundant future.  It’s an ENLIGHTENING experience and a good anxiety-decreaser during those familiar dark and anxious times.

It is also fun to compare the big vision entries over time.  For example two of my entries two years apart:

May 2013:

Despite my default setting of envisioning myself in a magical little cottage down by a little lake, what do I actually envision for myself when I really concentrate?  My stream of consciousness writing shows:

  • a beautiful workspace
  • intimate corners
  • cozy couches and blankets
  • a library of books
  • supplies
  • airy and sunny
  • hardwood floors
  • garden, outdoor patio
  • kitchen, open space
  • coffee and fresh pie smells and fresh fruit
  • the pets
  • easy to have visitors and family over
  • but also private
  • a place to store my art
  • more income than expenses
  • time for me
  • time to enjoy
  • ease of mind
  • mortgage fully paid
  • lots of savings
  • blissful and at peace
  • the smell of fresh basil
  • flowers in vases
  • candles
  • online presence
  • ease of blogging and lots of followers
  • my art has a distinct vision and people are responding with ease and delight
  • I keep pushing the envelope and make new groundbreaking work
  • I have time to craft and explore new ways of manipulating art
  • there is an ease to waking up in the AM with a sense of acceptance and accomplishment
  • my books are best sellers and I mainly work on my own art which the world is hungry for

July 2015:

You now stand fully naked, fully present, fully you.  Gone are the shackles that pulled you downwards into self-doubting, crippling anxiety.  No longer do you hesitate before expressing.  But most importantly, no longer do you collapse in shame and doubt after you expressed yourself.  

Speaking your truth used to cause you to feel like you were choking on amniotic fluid.  Felt like it came at a price.  

Now you can breathe in and breathe out with open mouth, open nostrils, open sinuses, open throat, open heart, open eyes, open mind without fear.  

You release your truth, your art, your work onto and into the world and receive back the conversations/communications with an open and fearless heart- a heart that is ready to dialogue.  

Your work used to require boundaries.  Your life used to comprise of self-imposed boundaries to protect your heart from rejection and loss.  But now you are boundless.  And so the work you have built on awakening creative expression in others- a gift you truly were born with and have worked so tirelessly to deliver- takes on a new level on a global scale.  You are not in need of accolades.  You are simply expressing, thereby allowing others to feel the same freedom.  It need no longer be frontline work (in person), it is a new principle and way of living.  

Full presence.  

You have taken all the heartache, all the joy, all the blood and guts of life and built a mission and vision that has created true abundance.  

You will never be anxiety-free and you will never not have heart-shattering challenges, but you now have a giant delicious toolbox with which to meet those challenges and easily process, die into them and rebirth from them.  You are truly living with ease.  

All is as it should be.  

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I find the BIG VISION process a cleansing experience.  It is the opposite of processing the now or the processing of yesterday.  It is a way to ease the heart and soften the belly.

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You will find that mindmaps are a way to envision and put into practice your intention.  This intention is thereby transformed into fruition.  The process is not just an idealistic visualization but an actualization.

TOMORROW:

Part 3: stream of consciousness mapping

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 1 of 7: What is a mindmap?

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process!

Recall: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week

Today:

Part 1 of 7: What is a mindmap?

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Mindmaps (or mind maps– but I prefer the one word version) are essentially visual diagrams.

Wikipedia definition:

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank landscape page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.

Mind maps can be drawn by hand, either as “rough notes” during a lecture, meeting or planning session, for example, or as higher quality pictures when more time is available.

Mind maps are considered to be a type of spider diagram.  A similar concept in the 1970s was “idea sun bursting”.

For me, mindmapping is a tool to move all the churning ideas and voices out of my head onto paper, in order to organize my thoughts and to quiet my mind.  I gain perspective; I can start to strategize and prioritize or make new realizations and connections.  I can develop, or pare down.  I gain new insight on what direction works, what direction doesn’t, what I can cross off, what I can add.  I love the visual.  I love the tangible.  I love the evolving mindmap.  I love looking at old ones and seeing what worked and what didn’t.  I can create a mission and a vision statement more easily.

Mindmaps can be personal, or done in a group, with a group, for a group.   You can mindmap alone.  You can mindmap for someone else as they dialogue.  It is a great listening tool.

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They can act as a type of journal, or therapy, or a tool for strategic inquiry or project planning.  The possibilities are vast and endless.  I use many kinds like:

• emotional mapping

• project mapping

• priority mapping

• “current situation” mapping

• gathering support mapping

• personal challenges mapping

• story structure mapping

• character background mapping

• journal mapping

core values mapping

• mission and vision building mapping

• creative strategic inquiry mapping

• meeting notes mapping

•  etc.

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I use a variety of kinds of mindmapping styles like the familiar linking or bubbles, or making lists, making scribbles on a torn piece of paper or more elaborate panels.

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I love to illustrate and color them.   To make the task more ME and to make me energized, I tend to collect images I love and draw them out.

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Looking back on them, I can shed a tear or crack a smile at their ridiculous complexity:

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And sigh in relief when I get to the core of it:

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Homework:

Write for 15 minutes in your journal about what you might want to mindmap about this week.  Don’t overthink.  JUST KEEP WRITING.  There is no right or wrong.

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Tomorrow:

Part 2: the Big Vision

Abundance means less. What? #selfleadership

I’ve been really committing to the mantra Abundance 2015. My mindset is more focused on creating abundance. But my realization is that I’ve been coming at it all wrong. Abundance to me does not mean more. Abundance means less.

What? Doesn’t abundance mean more?

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The lesson for me, as I quickly approach 53, lies in taking a long hard look at what it is I truly value in my career development.  What is it that I need to focus on right now?

What can I take away to open space for abundance?  What can I do less of?

LET’S MINDMAP ON IT!

My Current Mindmap:

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As I look at it, I see that the path has been too cluttered.   What the hell is feeding what?!  Where is the simplicity and ease I added in the centre?

In all honesty, and in my heart, I feel that life is now ready to align in a way to allow me to simplify,

to put myself first,

to say NO when it’s the right thing to say,

to say YES to that which creates passion… but also allows for less clutter.

Life is allowing,

requesting,

demanding:

EXCELLENCE.

That is key- abundance means excellence.

EXERCISE:

Create your own mindmap that includes ALL you can possibly think of that you are currently juggling at the moment.  Just when you think you’re done, add more.  And then one more.

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Take a good look at the mindmap.  How many more bubbles can you add? How do they all relate to each other? Can you see a theme as your mindmap gets more and more cluttered? Keep adding. What is in common with all those bubbles?

For me, as I reflect back on the last year when I have been at my happiest in my career development, I realize it’s been  when working on developing curriculum and developing my own shit in my home office, as well as collaborating with like minded individuals on even further development.  It’s not been the front-line work, as I call it, nor in seeking scraps here and there.

My happiness is about expanding out, in a less hectic, more defined way.  Affecting more people.  But from the comfort of safe havens, in workshops with people who are READY TO DO THE WORK and in intense collaborative sessions and settings.

Serendipitously, I came across this quote today:

Self- leadership quote:

Self-leadership is your path out of the overwhelm. It’s your personalized approach to realizing your ideas in a business that brings you the wealth, peace, and ease you really want.

Self-leadership isn’t just about what you want to do—it’s about how you want to do it. You get to decide where you’re headed and how you’re going to get there. Self-leadership is the key to creating a framework that has you relying more on yourself than on gurus or can’t lose formulas.

Self-leadership also isn’t about being more productive—it’s about being more effective. – Tara Gentile

 

Aha!  There’s MY THEME!  

(Your theme may be TOTALLY unrelated of course- but there will be a theme nonetheless.  Find it)

Now- create a new mindmap using your theme as the starting point.

What are key bubbles now? What do you really want to do at this stage of your life? What truly requires your exquisite attention so it can be fully expressed?  How simple can you make it?

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I tried a few times.  Kept changing…

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IMG_1884Then adding…IMG_1885Then changing it up again and really stripping it down to a visual that encompassed everything I want to focus on and that inspires me.

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HOW DID IT FEEL FOR YOU?

Try not to hesitate or overthink.  Just keep that pen moving.  Change papers as needed.

Can you create a simpler mindmap that allows you to focus? By doing less?

Share your experience with me!

Love Kat

Check out TARA GENTILE’s QUIET POWER STRATEGY: Feeling Overwhelmed? Why Self-Leadership Matters in the New Economy

And if you are in the Vancouver area and want to dig deeper, join Laura Mack and I at:

Connections and Creativity on January 26, 2015:

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Inner Critic Series Part 2: JUDGE #journalexercise #mindmap

INNER CRITIC SERIES PARTS 1-6:

The inner critic is always worth a revisit.  I have broken the series into 6 parts:

1. RANT

2. JUDGE

3. INVESTIGATE

4. CAUTERIZE

5. TEASE

6. EMBRACE

Each exercise starts with ajournal entry and/or mindmap.  Then we look at the emotions that come up as we share openly.  I encourage you to experiment by sharing your thoughts in the comments here.  Share your rants and judgements.  Judge me freely; judge yourself.  It’s all good.  Let’s demystify.  Let’s take off the mask.  Let’s remove the hesitation.

INNER CRITIC series part 2 of 6: JUDGE

In PART 1 we ranted without hesitation.  We let the ugly out.  We then identified certain emotions that came up.

My emotions that came up:

• Self-blame

• Shame

• Anger

• Laughter

• Empowerment

• Embarrassment

Draw your words on a mindmap:

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IMG_1571Now dig a little deeper and address each branch and bubble on your mindmap.

JUDGE:

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Judge judiciously.  Research.  Look up quotes that pertain to the emotions that came up for you.  See which emotion feeds the other.  Are there themes?  Judge them fairly and freely.  Let’s disclose and weigh.  Let’s let the facts speak.  Bring in all the evidence.  Voir dire.  Are we ready for the investigative stage (Part 3)?  Prove that you are able to only consider the truth.

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REMINDER:

You are worth of love and belonging.

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