Friday 30 December 2011

Why I Write Morning Pages by Amy Palko

I write morning pages. Every morning without fail. Even when I recently had a pressing engagement through in Glasgow that required I leave the house at 5.30 (with 3 fed, washed & dressed children), I was up at 4.15 in the still quiet of the early morning dark, writing my three A4 pages of longhand stream of consciousness. My pen travelled fluidly across the lined paper and I struggled to keep my eyes open.

A part of me is surprised at myself. I didn’t know I had it in me to be so dedicated to a practice. Give me a challenge, set me a target and I will respond with the most vicious resistance. But morning pages seem to have snuck under the radar somehow. I think it’s because I write them before I’m fully awake. As I begin to slide into consciousness, my limbs languid, my body sleepwarm, I lean across the mattress and fumble around for my large A4 refill pad and my black biro. Pulling my humble writing materials back into the bed with me, I rest my head against my left arm and start writing from this horizontal position.

From this perspective it can sometimes be hard to see where the far edge of the paper is, which has led to a couple of ink stains on the sheets. It can also be hard to see exactly what I’m writing, but that’s ok, because being able to read my pages back over is not really important to me. It’s the act of writing them in the first place that produces the magic. That and quite frequently my pages are filled with garbled nonsense. And I certainly won’t be winning any awards for beautiful penmanship.

But this practice, this practice above all others that I have started and stopped, is now a non-negotiable aspect of my day. It’s one of the very few things that I do solely for me, and to start your day by doing something which is only for you and for the blossoming of your creative self, is a very powerful statement to make. In fact, even if you believe yourself not to be interested in nurturing your creativity, morning pages are a simple act of self-love. A missive to your heart, your mind, that you matter, that you are worth spending the time on.

So, why do I write morning pages? What’s been the result of all these mornings of scribbled pages?

Honestly, dear reader, I believe this practice has led me back to myself. I don’t think I even really knew just how lost I was until I found myself again. I remembered things that I had forgotten. Things like my love of words. My desire to write beautifully. The pleasure that I get when I find flow in describing the sacred wonder I see in the everyday.

I found my voice.

I found my desire.

I found my purpose.

All this from 3 A4 pages of scrawled black biro morning after morning? Could that even be possible? Yes. Yes, I think it can, my lovely. And I would love for you to experience it for yourself.

If you do want to give it a go, or have tried it in the past and then dropped it and want to pick it up again, I have some advice for you…

Take a refill pad of paper and a pen (check it works the night before – running out of ink while writing your pages is the single most annoying thing ever) and place it on the floor beside your bed. Then, upon waking, reach for the pad and pen and start writing. Don’t give yourself time to think about it. You’ll only talk yourself out of doing it in the first place. Just reach for your simple writing tools – no need for that special pen, sharpened HB pencils or expensive journal – and just write. Just write.

A true lover of stories, Amy Palko spends her days reading, writing, knitting and dreaming… well, that is when she's not being kept busy home-educating her three kids! She is the creatrix of Virgins & Lovers: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Goddess, exploring goddess myths and moon cycles through story, journalling, visualisation and creative exercise.

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Rhythm and Putting It Out There by Kim LeClair

Here's the question of the day: How do I tell if my activity is Distraction from Fear or Creating What I Care About?

Going to have to back up a few steps and then come back to that question...hang in there with me....I think this is going to be good....

Here's the basic scoop - I have a day job, but it may be ending soon. I don't like my job that much anyway so I'm not so bummed about losing it (although losing $$ coming in the door…that’s a different story…see Kelly’s cool post about $$....). I've mentioned before that I have spent long years basically saying I wanted to do something "more creative" and then not really doing much of anything. Or, maybe I was doing things here and there but nothing felt connected and I actually felt like I was being Lazy. I know others would argue that I was not being lazy, but I felt like it - that's the point.

I don't feel lazy anymore at all. In fact, I feel kind of overwhelmed. I have what feels like about 10,000 ideas a day and then I also keep working hard to articulate stuff into reality. This rampant idea generation coupled with lots of other concrete activity is starting to feel like a frenzy - like a feeding've seen that - the wild, out of control thrashing that happens on nature shows. That is what it feels like a little bit IN MY HEAD !!

I'm realizing I need to slow down a bit... make a plan - have a strategy - set aside time - have priorities - make short term and long term goals - write things down - make lists - do this - do that - do - do something - aaaahhhh....! It's happening again, I can feel the thrashing! (ok, taking a breath...)

So here's the deal - what I think I really need to do is to tap into my own Internal Rhythm. What works for me? Here is what my rhythm is right now - lots of high energy, frenzied work for a few days then I allow myself time to crash. And when I say crash, I really mean "Do Nothing, sit and watch bad TV, stare into space, be a bowl of jello time" crashing. Right now, this High-to-Low Rhythm is actually kind of working. I keep getting things done and I'm not really feeling too run down or spent. So it is ok? Hold that question....

Here is this other little nugget that I've picked up along the way - Putting it Out There is Hard. I knew, or at least I had read, that Fear and Resistance were real. But just recently I'm starting to actually Experience how Real Fear Is. To put something out in the world that is you, a real representation of you, something you really care about, something you really want others to like, that is really really a big deal. I felt it in a palpable way the other day, I was thinking about doing something and realizing that others would read it and people I know would read it and questioning if I would want them to and what if they hated it and I would be embarrassed and ...and...and...I sort of went into a freak out mind loop...fear baby, raw fear....

So now let's come back to the question - is my activity actually just Distraction? Is my High-to-Low Rhythm supporting me in moving past my fears and doing stuff I care about? I think this is a great question...a really great question.

Am I hiding out from fear? Am I distracting myself? In this moment I have to answer no, but I think I want to keep the question in mind and keep asking myself how I would honestly answer in any given moment. I'm pretty sure the answer will change. The high-to-low rhythm - I have a feeling that is just sort of who I am. I run on inspiration and enthusiasm and sometimes the tank goes empty and I have to fill it up again. I think I'm ok with that.

After a feeding frenzy, the water calms and energy is spent and the crazed are satiated. Maybe the occasional frenzy isn't so bad, as long as it ends and there is time to rest and you get to reflect on the question “is what I ate what I wanted?”

Excuse the sort of strange metaphor there. I’m not sure if any of this really make sense, this strange circular thing, but it made some sense to me – helped me to clarify a bit what is going on. I really do think Internal Rhythm, figuring out how you work, is So Important. Otherwise you might keep thinking you are doing something wrong. And knowing your rhythm helps you watch out for fear that is starting to turn working into distraction. So that’s the point – watch your Internal Rhythm and make sure it is supporting you in work that you Really Care About.

Kim LeClair has been a shadow creative for the past 40 years but is finally deciding to come out into the light. Kim is In the Process of Creating her Dream Job....Creative Director of east willow studios. For now, you can visit her at one of her other adventures -- MoveJoyUs or fitness for mere mortals.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

How to Meditate Effortlessly by Aimee Cavencia

Meditation & love are the same thing.

Meditation is nothing more than an unconditional state of being.
So is love. It's nothing more than an unconditional state of being.

Whatever you heard about "how to" to meditate; meditation techniques, methods, teachings, trainings, forget them. You don't need them.
Whatever you read about how to love, forget it, because you are it.

Why would you ever need something that you already are?

You are awareness.
You are beingness,
You are love.

It's under all the layers of learned imaginings you've been trained to see as real.
It's under all the busy-ness & doing-ness you force upon yourself each & every day.

If you want to know what divine meditativeness is, this blissful state of nothing, this powerful unconditional love,
this all knowing awareness -- just stop, stop trying to make something happen.

This doesn't mean that you are still like a rock. Or that you are silent. It just means that you are not trying to manipulate the present moment.
It means that you are not-over thinking & run by your thoughts based the past or future. Instead, you are coming from the heart & fully embracing this moment, as it is.

Unlike structured meditation, you don't need hand mudras, or a fancy seated position, or flexible legs, or a meditation cushion, or a special mantra, or prayer beads, or a bell, or a bowl, or gong, or a teacher, or a guru, or a religion, or a quiet space, or to be alone, or to be with others, all you need is nothing. Nothing to repeat, nothing to think, nothing to hold, nothing to do, nothing to expect.

Think of it this way; when you are sleeping or when you are dead, what do you need? Can you think of anything?
This is the kind of nothingness & completeness I am taking about.

But don't think of it in a negative way. Know that you need nothing because you already are Everything!

Can you imagine how powerful your life would be if you lived like this?
All the fear, all the lack, all the busy-ness, all the anger, all the jealousy, all the hate, all the confusion, all the work, all the desires, all the frustration, would just fall away.

Being in a meditative state & loving unconditionally is like falling, it's like falling awake.
There is nothing you can do to get there. There are no steps, there are no methods, it just is.

It's as gentle & sudden as falling asleep. One minute you are awake, & the next day you have no idea at what point you feel asleep or for how long.

Imagine meditation & love as a combination of those two states: you are at ease & relaxed & effortless (just as you are when you are sleeping),
but you are fully present & fully aware (just as you are when you're awake).

If I could describe how I meditate, or how I love, or how it feels when I am just being, it's a little like this: let's say that I am in a community swimming pool.
I am floating on the water. In order to float, I have to relax, I have to lean back & I have to trust the water will carry me.
So I am there, just trusting, & the only thing I am doing is being awake & aware, that takes no effort. So really, I'm just being.
I'm not swimming, I'm not kicking, I'm not looking around, I'm not even trying to float, I'm just being.

Now, just like in meditation or in love, thoughts can arise. But imagine the pool scenario again.

There I am, just being, but now I notice that outside circumstances have stirred-up certain thoughts.
There is now a bunch of children in the pool splashing each other, & their splashing could make its way over to me. -- Can I be with that?
If I just love it & be with it, it'll be temporary. Either they will stop splashing after a while, or their splashing will no longer be a concern for me.

Now here is another pool scenario, imagine that there is a 400 pound man that recklessly jumps off the diving board.

This has now generated waves in the pool. These waves are now making it harder for me to trust that I can just relax & float. It's a little challenging, even scary.
Can I be with that? Can I love that man & continue to trust that the water will support me even though the waters are rocky?

Eventually the man will stop diving, & the waves will settle. Or they won't. But it won't matter because it will no longer be a concern for me because I won't even notice it.

This is love, this is meditation, this is being, this is awareness, this is life!

Don't worry about thoughts when you meditate, just love them, allow them & accept them.

Don't worry about people who act unloving or unkind, just love anyway.
Love without needing to be loved back. You don't need their love, because you are already love itself!

Just float & be supported, just be aware & be carried, just relax & trust. Just know.

Let go of everything. Stop trying to be someone doing something.
Think of how silly it is, I'm going to say it again, stop trying to be someone doing something.

All this effort to be someone trying to love, trying to meditate, trying to be, trying to float.

There is nothing to do. You can't force these states with a rigid set of rules or a to-do list.

It happens on its own when you surrender & allow yourself to be.

You are the answer to every want you've ever had & the way to access this is to stop resisting, to stop fighting.

Love has no agenda, it has no needs, it has no past, it has no future. It just is.

Same with meditation, it has no agenda, no needs, no past, no future. It just is.

Beingness has no agenda, no needs, no past, no future. It just is.

So the next time it feels hard to love, or you struggle to meditate, or you don't know how to be, just know that there is nothing to do & there is no way you can achieve it. All you can do is realize it or better yet, allow it. Because it's already there!

But if you still feel you need to do something in order to get something, just practice letting go.

Practice relaxing & exhaling fully.
Practice smiling for no reason when you feel the urge.
Practice following your feet & seeing where they take you.
Practice having nothing to do & nowhere to be.
Practice loving everything & everyone, as is.
Practice seeing yourself as whole, as complete, as perfect.
Practice focusing on the present, & accepting that the past & the future do not exist.
Practice listening to your heart & following its advice.
Practice acknowledging that you are the answer to all of your questions.

Then, after that feels effortless, just love, just meditate, just realize.

Aimee Cavenecia (also known as AimeeLovesYou) has an extensive background as a professional artist. Her current work is becoming an expert in Seeing, Loving, and Being (SLB). Aimee has dedicated the rest of her life to studying this field and sharing her insights on the topic.

Sunday 18 December 2011

Celebrating Slow by Kim LeClair

The Holidays. Always a strange time, lots of activity, excitement, things to do, people to see, emotions not felt since last year or maybe never at all. A Full time.

This year I’m aware of wanting to Celebrate Slow. To enjoy the Snuggle. To enjoy the Warm, the Hearty, the Smiles, the dim lights, the Being Alone or the Being With.

I’ve had an Active year, lots of stuff and creating and Aliveness. That is a Fast Energy for me and I thrive on it. But this Season I’m wanting to Revel in Lounging, fuzzy slippers, old movies, couch time…..

Can we allow ourselves to experience Slow as Celebration? As Celebration of our bodies, our minds, our spirits?

I looked up the root of the word Celebrate : “assemble to honor” is one option. What will you Assemble to Honor this season? For me it is a warm set of PJs and some cookies and milk and some cozy couch time.

My wish for everyone in the whole wide world (and imagine a 4-year old girl saying this with her arms spread wide open and the pure heart only small years can bring....that is what I’m imagining….) – so my wish for the Whole-Wide-World is to Celebrate Slow. Hug yourself. Get cozy. Cuddle with yourself. Celebrate. Slow.

Kim LeClair has been a shadow creative for the past 40 years but is finally deciding to come out into the light. Kim is In the Process of Creating her Dream Job....Creative Director of east willow studios. For now, you can visit her at one of her other adventures -- MoveJoyUs or fitness for mere mortals.

Thursday 15 December 2011

The Ideal Recipe? by Angel Young

Hi dreamers

I've been pondering what to say about the creative process. By far the most useful phrase I've ever read was "the darkness is your friend" by Tony Harrison, from John Tusa's excellent set of interviews about creativity called, handily, "On Creativity". I appreciated that because I love the dark and have always found it a hugely creative time, especially really late at night (not very conducive to the day job), and also because he meant accept the pauses, and that is soooo hard sometimes. I write this with a smile in my eyes because I'm still rubbish at that bit - the pausing bit - but I keep trying!

These things are so personal, it's hard to say something helpful. Meanwhile my husband has been making mincemeat mix - and by that I mean the mince pies kind - do you have them where you are? Little pastry pleasures of fruit and nuts and run and .... well the choice is yours. And I can tell you home made is the best! And isn't that true of the creative process. So this is what helps me. A little recipe to get through the creative process - there are many recipes - but this is one that works for me.

Take a generous portion of silence. Make sure it's good quality, the kind that melts into you on contact.

Combine with stillness - that everything is one moment kind, the type that feels timeless.

Here, I like to add a bit of walking, or canoeing or just being in nature. That really helps.

Allow to steep. Pause a moment to let the juice mix together. Adding some wisdom and experience helps too. You know that if you rush this recipe, it curdles. Make notes, so you can get this bit running perfectly! Then you'll know what to expect.

Now add gentleness and softness. These are required in any recipe. Harsh words ruin the flavour.

Put in the oven and allow to rise. Sometimes there are imperfections - but it's important it takes it's own course. Try not to open the door too soon, or the rush of ideas will escape with the heat!

When it's done, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Admire what you have achieved. Anyone who tastes it will see it's made of dreams and time and care. Good enough to eat. Enjoy, and share with your friends!

Angel lives in the UK and is having fun bringing more of the things she loves into her life.

Monday 12 December 2011

Your Life is a Creative Process by Susan Cadley

Whenever I start a creative project, I seem to go through a similar process. Because I know my process, it can make starting a bit easier....usually. I know that no matter what shows up, I can create again and the learning is in the doing not the finished project. I still get frustrated...I keep fortitude and acceptance in my pocket.

I recently took a painting class offered by a talented artist, Maureen Engle. Maureen is a fabulous teacher as she helps her students express who they are as well as offering concrete suggestions. The class I attended was called "Paint Your Dream Dress". I had absolutely no idea how to paint a dress but I as shared with Maureen, it didn't matter what we would be painting, I would've attended. This is how I maintain balance in my life; keeping a healthy dose of creativity flowing. If I don't, my soul will speak. Loudly.

I believe every person is creative, it's not just the obvious people who enjoy artistic endevours who are creative. You are creative in how you design your calendar, home, clothes, food, garden, and self care. You are creative in how you spend your time, with whom, and how. You are creative in writing an email, a card, a note for the babysitter. Any time there is some-thing that is an outcome of no-thing - you've created! So for those of you that affirm "I'm not creative" you no longer have permission to say this. Instead, embrace and honor your creativity in whatever form it appears. The more you do, it will grow and expand.

The following are some creative stages I move in and through and around when I paint along with some life lessons that parallel the process;

1) A blank canvas. I usually feel nervous and excited with some fear sprinkled that I have no idea what I'm doing. It's at this stage, I hesitate...I distract myself. Fear can do that.

Life: If you stop yourself from creating new relationships, job opportunities, or projects, it may be fear getting in your way. Fear makes us pause and evaluate. Then, when we discover the coast is clear we move ahead. If you get stuck in this stage, you won't experience all you can in your life. This is "take a risk" phase and it's where you'll grow. Shift your inner dialogue to "I can do this".

2) If you don't like it, change it, add color, paint over it. Just about every time I'll reach a stage where I don't like my painting. Something's not right. Perhaps the proportion is off or I don't like the color. I've asked my fellow painting students if this is true for them and they all said yes. Their suggestion; step away for a while and come back with fresh eyes.

Life: Have you ever been so immersed in something that felt painful like an argument, an upset customer, a relationship, project...that you could not come up with a solution? Stepping away and out of the situation allows you to gain a new perspective. Asking for help can remove the feeling of being alone in the process and may offer an innovative idea, or two, or more.

3)Love it, paint over it or start a new piece.

Life: No matter what happens in your life, you can begin again. If you allow fear to hold you back, you may believe you are protecting yourself but you are missing out on the buffet of choices life has to offer. And oh... all the luscious color, texture and joy as well!

This is the finished painting of my wedding dress from the painting class. I’m happy with the outcome, love the surprises and “mistakes” that showed up. I gained a wee bit more painting confidence, a benefit of forcing myself to try something new. Invitation to you; attempt something new or old, and allow your soul to express. It’s always waiting for the invitation to dance with life.

Susan is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Soul Coach and sole proprietor of Living From Within, LLC. Through counseling, coaching, creative workshops, book studies, and writing, Susan guides you to hear and live the messages of your soul.

Thursday 8 December 2011

You Have to Be It in Order to See It by Aimee Cavenecia

Interesting thing happened today.

I started off the day in my semi-new way; I set up the day with an intention. I've have been doing this for the last two weeks. So today was like any other day (when it began). Today's intention was kindness. The goal was to be kind & to experience a kind day. By the afternoon I began to see, feel, & experience kindness.

The first things I noticed (& I live in New York City!), was how kind everyone was. So many people opened the door for me, gave up a seat for me, said please & thank you, wished me happy holidays, complimented me, or smiled at me. After this I thought, "Wow, am I experiencing more kindness than usual? Or is this a normal day for me? If so, this would mean that kindness towards me usually goes unseen & unacknowledged? Woh." This thought made me think about the morning.

Earlier this morning, a friend of mine ate breakfast with me, packed me a snack for lunch, let me borrow a scarf, & asked me if I had subway fare on hand. Did these kind gestures really sink in? Did I acknowledge them fully? They were very kind & thoughtful, yet they passed in my day as quickly as the morning. I was beginning to see how much kindness I experience in my life & how much of it goes unacknowledged or unseen. This was a huge eye opener. By 1pm in the afternoon I had experienced more kindness then I can type! - Then came more.

I met a friend at a cafe. The first thing out of their mouth was, "Here, this is for you". Believe it or not, it was $100 dollars. I said, "What is this for?!". They said it was for me & nothing more. No ulterior motive, no favor, no expectation, just a loving gift because they wanted to. Just a kind & generous gesture. Now, if this was any other day I would be thinking, "Hmmmm… no way am I taking this money, no one is this kind for nothing", or "Why are they giving like this? This is crazy. They don't have extra money to give". I would feel totally guilty for accepting the gift & I would have refused it. But, today was different.

I already spent part of the day experiencing people's acts of random kindness. Giving generously & being kind was something that felt in line with being a human being. I guess this is just part of who we are. Our job is to be part of human kind, it's who we are! No wonder the words BEING & KIND are there. Being kind is part of being human! So I accepted with heartfelt thanks the kind monetary gift I was given. My heart began to glow. I was overwhelmed with feelings of kindness. Interesting that the day began with just me wanting to be kind, and in return I saw the whole world as kind.

I began the day with the desire to treat others with kindness & in return (before I even started it!), I was treated with unconditional kindness & generosity. How powerful this was to see. What a lesson it was for me. Gandhi's quote stands so clear in my mind right now, "Be the change you want to see in the world." - Isn't that the truth. --But maybe what we want to see is already there. We just have to be it in order to see it.

Aimee Cavenecia (also known as AimeeLovesYou) has an extensive background as a professional artist. Her current work is becoming an expert in Seeing, Loving, and Being (SLB). Aimee has dedicated the rest of her life to studying this field and sharing her insights on the topic.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Taking A Creative Journey – One Imperfect Step At A Time by Ginny Lennox

For the past five years I have been on a creative journey. It’s been amazing! It’s been frustrating! It has been so rewarding. Not only have I discovered some hidden talents but I have learned a lot about myself along the way. My journey actually began with yoga. After a difficult start, I realized that I probably would never be able to stand on my head. But I also learned how terrific I felt after class and that it didn’t matter if I could stand on my head. It just mattered that I enjoyed what I was doing. Then I took several painting classes and enjoyed all of them. But when I looked at my work I decided I would never really be a great artist and thought maybe there might be something else I should be doing. I remembered how much I loved to write so I took writing classes, started a blog, and began to write a book. I realized I do love writing and getting to know all of the other bloggers but writing a book can be a lonely process so my book and all of its characters are in the drawer for now. This month I took a photography class. Once again, it was so much fun meeting the other online students and seeing their work. The assignments have helped me to learn more about myself as a photographer. It was really fun to learn that I do have a point of view when I take pictures or that I actually can say I have a shooting style. Who knew? Certainly, not me. Now, I am starting an art journal where I can combine all of my new interests.

When I started this journey it was about finding something to do with my time. It was about meeting new people and learning new things. Now, it has become a way of life. I look at each day a little differently. When I wake up in the morning, I can’t wait to see how the sun shines through the trees or the raindrops glisten on the leaves. I can’t wait to take a picture to capture the moment or quickly sketch a flower in my journal. I look forward to writing a blog post and sharing it with my new friends around the world. Once it was about becoming an artist, or a writer, or a photographer. Now, it is about being creative, enjoying the process and producing something that makes me or someone else smile. In the beginning I was worried because I changed what I was doing so often. Now, I realize that on this journey I will always be changing but that my interests will always be intertwined. I think one of the most important things I have learned is not to be afraid to pick up the paint brush, or to start a blog, or to take a picture. I wanted to paint the perfect picture the first time I took a class. That didn’t happen. In fact, it still hasn’t happened and I doubt that it ever will. But this journey is not about being perfect. It is about enjoying life and all of the experiences that are there just for the taking. So, you may find a few sentence fragments in this piece. That’s ok. My pictures might be a little out of focus. Picasa can fix that. I might be facing right when the rest of the yoga class is turning left. I’ll figure it out soon enough. Is it easy going from a perfectionist to someone who is enjoying the process not necessarily the outcome? Definitely not. Is it worth taking a chance and risking the outcome? Absolutely, positively, yes!! So I invite you to begin or restart your own creative journey. I promise you that you will not be disappointed!

Ginny believes that each and every day is filled with special moments to be enjoyed and treasured. On her blog, Special Moments in Time, she encourages everyone to recognize and celebrate their own special moments each day.

Sunday 4 December 2011

See Yourself in 2012 by Kim LeClair

End of the 2011. Wow, amazing amazing amazing. So what’s next?

I’m a big fan of the look back/look ahead. There are lots of good things out there about planning – here is one from Jamie and one from Glenda – but here is something I'm doing myself that I find to be a really easy, fun and interesting exercise. This is sort of a mash up of an exercise I've done with Jamie and then the classic "ultimate day" exercise. Just give it a shot, it's fascinating what comes up....

So here goes – instead of making a list or planning how something is going to happen or what you want to do – take a bit of time to play and do this:

Imagine yourself on March 21, 2012. Where do you wake up? Who are you with? What do you wear? Where do you go? How are you feeling? What happens in your day? What activities do you do? When do you go to sleep? You could even draw a picture of yourself and label it with the artifacts of the day (I've done this, it's fun!)

So just imagine March 21, 2012. It doesn’t matter if it’s pure fantasy or not, just write it down. And write as many or as few details as you want, but really Let Yourself Go There. March 21, 2012.

Now, Imagine yourself on July 6, 2012. Same thing. What’s the day like? As many or as few details as you can muster. Just Imagine it.

Imagine yourself on November 23, 2012. Same thing. Take as much or as little time as you want, no rules here....just enjoy the spirit of imagining yourself on specific days - what do you look like? What do those days look like? How do they feel?

So now you have 3 days in 2012. What did you notice? What details stand out? An even more interesting question may be what was the same as it is now? Can you celebrate that as something that is just as you want it to be? For me this was clear when I woke up in my own little house on all of those days in 2012 - I can celebrate that being something that is just perfect TODAY! So that is something that I can just let be, I don't need to worry or wonder about it at all - it is just as it should be. How cool is that?

So just hold these thoughts now. You've got them written down, maybe put your words and sketches in a drawer and pull it out on March 21 and see what’s the same or different? What do you notice? If these 3 days feel weird and arbitrary then you can pick your own 3 days, clearly there are no rules to something I just made up….

Just have fun with Seeing Yourself. Notice what you notice. I’m pretty sure you are awesome – now and then!

Kim LeClair has been a shadow creative for the past 40 years but is finally deciding to come out into the light. Kim is In the Process of Creating her Dream Job....Creative Director of east willow studios. For now, you can visit her at one of her other adventures -- MoveJoyUs or fitness for mere mortals.

Friday 2 December 2011

Race Day by Glenda Myles

Since I made the decision in September to get healthy I have been very focused on different ways of exercising including running. I remember running when I was in school. We had to do it, but I have never been a runner in my adult life. I have tried it a few times but it just didn’t take. But I knew I needed to get into shape and running is a great way to do that.

So, I started the couch to 5 km program which starts you off alternating between walking and running and slowing increasing the running and decreasing the walking. I was doing okay with it but with no goal in mind I was really not fully committed. Then in late September I got a challenge to sign up for a race. So, I did.

That kicked things into gear a bit. Starting the last week in September with 3 km running I committed to every second week adding a kilometer to the distance which would get me up to 5 km before the race. It was not easy. It was a process. And I wanted to quit MANY times along the way. No one would have known or cared, except me.

What did I learn through this experience?

The mental game: I don’t know how often I would be out running and I would think – “Oh I will run to that tree and then I can walk for a bit.” Followed by another thought: “Hang on – why do I have to walk? I am not that tired!” This back and forth would go on and on. My body is quite capable of running 5 km. My mind on the other hand likes it when my body is lazy and relaxed and will do just about anything to keep it that way. Running like many things in life is a mental game! You have to push past it.

Practice makes perfect: You need to actual get out and run in order to get prepared. You have to practice. The lesson practice makes perfect is fitting in many circumstances. Most of us, can’t just get up one day and decide to do something. You have to train, to learn, to practice. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at anything.

It is easier to commit 100% than 90%: Sometimes, actually always, it is easier to make a decision I am going to exercise everyday for at least 30 minutes. Not 4 days a week or sometimes or this day or that. It’s too easy to say I’ll do it tomorrow or I’ll do something else instead if you give yourself some wiggle room.

Don‘t believe your own crap: Sometimes you have to do something just to prove to yourself that you are capable of doing it. To get over that hump. We beat ourselves up about so much that we actually start to believe our own mental crap. Occasionally we need to shake things up and do something that shows we are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.

Today is a good day to start.

Glenda at Myles Ahead Studio is a professional marketing strategist working to bring more creativity into business and make more ideas come to life.