What’s Up… What’s going On!




One of my favorite songs, loud, catchy, full of feeling, full of the frustration, belted out in a song.  

But we don’t need a revolution, we need to just take small steps, think outside the box and move forward, one step at a time.

I love the quote from Richard Branson, “In order to think outside the box, avoid getting into one. There is no need to accept “accepted thinking.”  Where can you make a difference today, based on your passions and small steps? Focus on this and all else will follow.

But “Outside the Box” thinking isn’t only about innovation. the Latest book by the Arbinger Institute, Leadership and Self-Deception, also talks about “the Box” in terms of perceptions.  Out of the box, thinking embraces compassion and awareness of others, in the box is self-directed and wrapped around ego.

What’s going on in your life today, Whats up? What’s inside the box and what’s out.



Community, community development, Michigan Rd., Uncategorized, Won't you be My Neighbor

Won’t You Be My Neighbor ~ (stewarding partnerships)

By: Carol Mullins,  Crooked Creek Indy

Fifty years ago Fred Rogers Invited us through song to be part of something bigger, our community. Neighborhoods were places to explore, come together and learn about the world. To ride bikes, walk, stroll through gardens, or to the store. To meet people and have conversations.

Today, depending on who you ask, the definition of what your ‘neighborhood’ is has either expanded to include a world through digital technology or shrunk to what’s on your tablet and smart phone, as you ignore people around you. Fred Rogers reminds us that neighborhoods are part of who we are, what we identify ourselves with, and where we call home.

Recently, I spoke at a symposium focused on neighborhoods and building community collaborations. It was aptly called, Neighbor Power Indy. The theme: ‘Won’t you be my neighbor,”  embraced Fred Rogers values and what a community should strive for in building cohesive and connected neighborhoods in Indianapolis. Lessons learned from Rogers were simple. Accept others, embrace your uniqueness, remember we are pretty much all the same; same basic needs, fears and loves. Be Kind, help others, do your best and don’t hide emotions. Emotions teach us about ourselves; embrace and learn from them. Cry when your sad, laugh when our happy, let others know when they’ve done something you don’t agree if it brings value to the relationship. Enjoy good food, good friends and good music and appreciate and respect everyone. More importantly, Fred Roger’s said: “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem. Then there are those who see the need and respond…”  We all have talents to share in building a better world. Figure out your talent, what you can do to make your neighborhood a better place, go out and embrace our talents to make a difference in your community. Last Fall we held a creek clearing, litter pick-up,  sweeping paths and bulb planting. Over 300+ volunteers came out. Let’s replicate this everyday on a smaller scale.

Crooked Creek Indy began Partnerships in Beautification (formerly in 2015, with a Charter and a pledge, simple steps, neighbors and businesses, responding to cleanliness issues in our community. The call to action; Pick up litter around their property, sweep sidewalks of gravel, remove stickers from light poles and signs, keep up the landscaping and ask your neighbor to do the same.  Others may notice and begin to make changes.

If you need more information about Partnerships in Beautification with Crooked Creek Indy, let me know, sign the attached pledge and return it to my email;

We’ll be updating the Crooked Creek Indy website to include your stories, pictures and  neighbors. Together we can make a difference.  Please print and sign from link below.

Crooked Creek Partnership Agreement for Beautification


Community, community development, Michigan Rd., Uncategorized

Hocus Focus ~ Community Development

What’s your focus ?  As the saying goes; “what you focus on is what your life becomes.” Lately, I’ve been focused on going thru emails, staying up on my twitter feed, worrying about  fixing things that aren’t working, replying to posts, tags, notifications, attending workshops and trainings, until my focus has been diverted from my intended outcome.

I was reminded of focus today as all these “to do’s” jumbled around my head. I observed my husband watching a football game with the sound off. He said it was a better experience and a unique perspective on the plays. With the sound back on, and two commentators giving a play by play,  the announcers gave the focus . At this point I had an “ah ha” moment.  It works just like the law of gravity or the law of electricity. We can turn over our attention to others, and when the focus is on the wrong stuff, that is what we are bringing into our awareness — we don’t even realize it.

So… Hocus Focus, what will you bring into your life through your focus?


It’s not magic, not voodoo, it’s being present, being intentional of goals and focusing on things you want to accomplish, things that make you happy, things that are working; instead of what social media is interrupting us with.

What does this have to do with community development. It’s the focus on our assets. Asset based community development. Too many times we chase after solutions to problems and don’t appreciate what is working, what makes the community thrive, however small. So start there, focus on the assets and build collaborations around these.

And… If you’re trying to get ahold of me in the next three days, call me on my phone. I’m checking out of social media for three days, I’m taking this time to Hocus Focus on what I need to accomplish. With a little focus and intention, I hope to accomplish a lot.

I’ll keep you posted.

~Carol Mullins, Executive Director

Crooked Creek Indy, Community Council Inc.


“Resiliency in community building.”

By: Carol Mullins, Executive Director, Crooked Creek Indy

Do you bounce back easily when faced with challenges? At the People’s Planning Academy, hosted by the Department of Metropolitan Development last week we were challenged to document ways the community was resilient. Community resilience is the ability to prepare for anticipated hazards, adapt to changing conditions, and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions. So is the Crooked Creek Community  #resilient or #notresilient.  This could translate to how people, build relationships, participate in open dialogue and work together toward a common cause.  IDD_Max_5600_2017

The definition of resiliency was contrasted with sustainability but held the same three attributes: Social/Economic/Environment.  Sustainability looks to the future to ensure our actions today protect these resources for generations to come. Resiliency is a little more fluid and allows for us to take action today based on immediate impact and diversification. Bouncing back from decisions and bouncing forward.

Following a day of service, that brought hundreds out to work for a common cause was just the beginning. Let’s build resilience into all that we do. the new word for sustainable, being able to go the long haul, understanding the SWAT system of managing. Like a rubber band, if you leave it in a drawer for too long it becomes brittle and snaps when you need it. Keeping the stock fresh allows for greater elasticity. don’t wait until a crisis to flex the connector, use it often.

I’ve just come back from SanFrancisco/Berkley, California and began comparisons to  Indiana. You may think this is a stretch, I agree, the political landscape is different, it’s about people and place. So how can we change the people? A beautiful thing about the Bay Area is the number of people living in close proximity, the varied landscapes, ocean beauty, mountains, the availability of walking and biking,  and pretty good public transportation. The area seems very resilient and could help us think about promoting local business, walkability, increasing services, bringing a community together at these junctures, building resources to engage with each other outside.

So let’s think about our green space and natural resources in our community, how we interact with others in these spaces, along with the banks of Crooked Creek, under trees, open areas for action that are currently underutilized. How can we embrace these areas and utilize them as a catalyst for resilient development, socially, economically and environmentally toward a more resilient community?  I think we’re growing and because of our diverse and eclectic mix of neighborhoods and businesses we can connect and become even more so.

I look forward to your comments.