Sunday 26 August 2012

Why is it so hard to get started sometimes? (And what to do about it) by Andrea Schroeder

I made a commitment to work through my Creative Journal Magic Kit, and do a creative journal page EVERY DAY THIS SUMMER. I am having a hell of a time keeping that commitment. Even though I love this so much! And still, it's hard.

These commitments we make to ourselves are important!

Signing up for classes. Promising to do yoga or journal or meditate or spend time with your dreams. This. Stuff. Is. Important. So when we sign up and then don't follow through it feels gross! It's like inviting your inner critics to have a a big, critic-y party in you head.

We let other things get in the way because this stuff is also terrifying.

It's the inner work that makes outer change possible. And when change is possible then things might change! Scary scary territory! It's so fascinating to me how we crave and fear change at the same time. So I made this commitment to Creative Journal every day to give my new dreams some space to grow this summer. I do this stuff for a living so I should have no problem holding that commitment, right? Right. Then I ate popcorn and watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

So what do we do about it?

First: be gentle. Assume there is purpose behind the resistance. Insisting that you're not resisting, you're just busy or whatever, only strengthens the resistance. Then: be gentle. Have permission to be in resistance! It's a legitimate stage of the Creative Dream Incubation process. Important things are happening when you're in resistance - deep inner shifts that are bringing you to a place where you can begin. You are activating the superpowers of Perfect Timing and shoring up your inner resources. You are preparing for adventure. Next: be extra-super gentle. Let yourself be with your resistance without forcing anything. For me this means leaving my creative journal out and open on my art table. Sitting down and looking at it even if it's just for 20 seconds. Yesterday I wrote 2 sentences about where I'm at:

 creative journal page 

Not much but I creative journaled for a few minutes anyway. I can tell my inner critics that it's not much but it's something. It throws a real damper on their stupid critic party.

I'm also resisting getting back into my yoga practice.

So I put my yoga mat down on the floor and left it there. This morning I woke up, came downstairs and stepped right onto it and stopped, noticing "Oh my gosh I'm on my yoga mat!". Since I was already there, I did a few stretches and it felt amazing. Not more than 2 minutes but it's something. If you're resisting, and you just stop looking at it, it will fade away and all opportunity to change will fade away with it. This means your dreams will wither and die. But if you keep looking at it, and spend even 20 seconds with it each day, being gentle and remembering that there is purpose to resistance and that this is a legitimate part of the process - you'll get through it.

With a paintbrush in one hand & a glitter-gun in the other, Andrea Schroeder lovingly mentors men & women who want to lead creatively abundant lives — and do ‘impossible’ things, with ease & joy. Express the greatest parts of who YOU are, at

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Turning a Soprano on Her Head by Valarie Budayr

As I listen to my student play the same Chopin piano passage over and over again. Each time missing her intended inflection, correct note, or any other goal she was aiming for. Each time the passage is played it reflects a bit more frustration. As she puts it, “It’s getting worse not better.”

“Well it just may be time to turn the soprano on her head.” I said.

“Huh ?”

Taking her music, I turned it upside down and placed it back on the music stand.

“ Play it . “

“ I couldn’t possibly play this. It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t even think it’s music. This is just crazy. “

“ Go ahead play it. “ I said. “Just let go and don’t make any rules where there aren’t any.”

Hesitantly she started making sense of it when she could. Pretty soon, it began to sound like music, good music really. Beautiful inflections and melody made it’s way out of the upside down manuscript on the music stand with delicate fingers on the piano.

“Wow, that sounds much better than I thought it would. It doesn’t even sound upside down.” She said smiling.

I found it interesting as she continued to play her upside down piece that lost were the frustrations of not living up to her own expectations or the ones she perceived that I had.  Gone was the need to be perfect or brilliant. This was just an upside down piece and she would just make the best of it.

After she had finished I turned the music back around the usual way.

“Now try it again.” I said.

There is was, the same delicate fingers playing the most beautiful melody with hues of haunted harmonies. Gone were her expectations, her over thinking, her judgements.

When she finished she felt very satisfied and a reconnection to a composer she greatly loved.

“Is it really that easy? As easy as turning a soprano on her head ?” She asked.

“Yep, it is.”

Whenever I get stuck I just change the perspective to a soprano on her head and the boundaries I’ve built fall down so a re-connection to what I was doing can be made again.

Here’s wishing you many happy and creative moments with a soprano or two on her head.

Valarie Budayr is the founder of Audrey Press and author of the book The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and you can find her doing that on her popular blog and website, Jump into a Book. When she isn’t being bookie, she is very happily the mother of three uber creative children, married to a wonderfully patient man who has come to love yarn, and caretaker of one adored cat. Other creative interests are music, travel, knitting (a bonafide yarn harlot), and gardening. She loves living a daily creative practice, where even a good cup of coffee is art.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Make Your Dreams Come True with Circe's Circle - Registration for the Fall Session Is Now Open

(The calls referred to are from previous years but the video introduces you to what Circe's Circle is all about.

The amazing dreamers who make up Creative Dream Journals are all alumnae of a powerful small coaching program called Circe's Circle: Your Creative Dream Team. Led by creative living coach Jamie Ridler, this program is designed to help you bring a project to life in an inspiring environment, adding powerful tools to your dreamer's resource kit and growing your awareness of and confidence in your own unique magnificence. This program is only offered a few times a year and is limited to 7 dreamers per session. The winter session starts at the end of January and enrollment is open now.

Circe's Circle...

  • is an intimate 10-week coaching telecircle that provides a supportive and encouraging environment that nurtures your dreams by helping you bring a creative project to life
  • provides a powerful structure for moving you forward towards your creative dreams
  • is rich with discussion, insight, brainstorming, visualization, creative exercises, laughter and connecting
  • is limited to 7 participants so everyone gets a chance to share and to receive support and encouragement weekly
  • takes place over the phone, so you can participate from anywhere in the world
  • is magic

"It's really one of the best things I've ever done for myself and my creativity." Monica.

Circe’s Circle is ideal for people who...

  • are ready to stir up their creative juices and get into action
  • want to start or make fresh progress on a creative project that is close to their heart. Whether it's a blog, a book or a business, Circe's Circle is the ideal place to make progress on your creative dream.
  • are aching for regularly scheduled time for themselves
  • haven't a clue what their creative project is but know they want one
  • are tired of going it alone
  • want to connect with a community of independent, creative dreamers and believers
  • You!

"Circe's Circle is what inspired me to embrace my inner foodie and I think saved my sanity! I can not recommend it highly enough for people who are serious about making big dreams come true. Is it time to change your life forever?" Suzie the Foodie

Each & every call, you will...

  • Activate your connection with your self, your project and a group of creative, loving, supportive women.
  • Have dedicated time for your dreams. Your project gets personal attention every single time.
  • Receive personal creative coaching from me. If you've been in other programs, you know how rare this is. In Circe's Circle you have my personal attention every single week.
  • Gain tools and strategies that will guide you in creating the next project and the next and the next, skills that will last you a lifetime.
  • Benefit from the collective wisdom of the group. Everyone has the opportunity to share thoughts, ideas, inspirations and suggestions, when welcomed.
  • Share the journey so you learn not only from your own experience and the content of the program but also through hearing from other creatives, the strategies they're using, the learning they're applying, the things that have worked for them and the things that they're leaving behind. This will move you forward exponentially!

Call 1: Connection & Clarity

  • During our first call we will focus on getting to know ourselves, one another and each project in the circle. In the Circe's Circle viewfinder, you will discover more about your project than you've ever known before.

Call 2: Casting

  • We'll cast forward into the future, connecting your project to your big dreams and invoking the magic of visioning.

Call 3: Touchstones (part 1)

  • We will name and identify key touchstones that have personal meaning to you, powerful tools for affirming you are on the right path and moving towards your dreams.

Call 4: Touchstones (part 2)

  • We will spend more time with these guiding principles so you feel deeply grounded and connected to what you most value on this journey.

Call 5: Self-Nourishment

  • As creative people, we build our dreams from our very selves. Learning to nourish ourselves is a crucial step in bringing our dreams to life.

Call 6: Course Check

  • At the midway mark, we stop and take note of all that has been accomplished thus far, make any course corrections that need to be made and set our sites on what we'll be celebrating at the end of the circle.

Call 7: Body Wisdom

  • Our body is one of our greatest resources. We'll learn how to connect to the body's wisdom and ask for its guidance in moving forward with our project.

Call 8: Your Magnificent Self (part 1)

  • A magical thing happens as you bring your project to life, who you are as a creator starts to become clearer. We'll discover what makes you uniquely, magnificently you.

Call 9: Your Magnificent Self (part 2)

  • Confidence comes from knowing, believing in and acting upon your authentic self. We'll continue to discover, draw on and develop your connection to the truth and beauty of your magnificent self.

Call 10: Celebration

  • Celebration is just the right way to open the circle! We will acknowledge all that you've learned, all you've created, how far you've come and what's next. You'll leave the circle with a toolkit full of dream strategies ready to take on all the amazing ideas, opportunities and projects that are sure to unfold!

As well...

  • The circle will have its own Facebook Group where you can connect and share throughout the week. You'll be able to ask questions, share celebrations, struggles, ideas. It's a beautiful home base for you and your dreams.

Circe's Circle is certified organic...

  • By that I mean that the content grows out of the organic soil of each circle. At my discretion one or some of these topics may be swapped out to make room for other topics that are deeply relevant to the group.

"Circe’s Circle has been a tremendous jumpstart in turning my artistic dreams into a reality." Jessie Marianiello

Are you ready to make your dreams come true?

Download Circe's Circle Enrollment Package

Success Stories...

Circe's Circle members have created the most amazing magic in the world! Some of the projects that have come to life are: workshops,e-courses, businesses, blogs, paintings, websites, membership sites, written pieces, increased confidence, increased clarity, increased creativity, a sense of direction, a sense of possibility, magic.

  • Mo Clancy: "It felt as if I were in a box before, with no windows and doors. Since joining Circe’s Circle, I now have a door and through it is fun, play, colors, shapes, excitement and opportunities."(more...)
  • Andrea Schroeder: "Circe’s Circle felt like a nurturing cocoon for my dream. Knowing that I had that kind of support and encouragement helped me face the many fears that came up along the way. It also kept me on track and moving forward." (more...)
  • Jessie Marianiello: “When I first signed up for Circe’s Circle, I had no idea that I would end up starting a full-fledged business! During the time of Circe’s Circle, Stray Dog Arts was born!” (more...)
  • Helen Yee: "I learned that claiming my own magnificence can be powerful and inspiring to others, while hiding my light stifles the possibility of offering more positive energy and gifts to the world" Helen Yee (more...)
  • Amy Palko: "[Circe's Circle] helped me to take each of the strands of my identity and weave them into a beautiful fabric that I feel proud to share with the world." (more...)
  • Nolwenn Petitbois: "I have the confirmation that I shouldn’t be afraid to shine from this bright colourful light I know is inside of me. And that this is this light that guides my hands when I paint and create something to release to the World." (more...)
  • Suzie the Foodie: “I came to Circe’s Circle broken and uninspired. A year later I now am one of The Food Network’s online writers and photographers for their blog.” (more...)
  • Tammy Durham: “To my surprise, my goals are now happening!” (more...)
  • Susan Cadley: "Being a part of each Circe’s Circle’s sisters journey, witnessing their growth and expansion, inspired me to create and step out of my comfort zone even more." (more...)
  • Aimee Cavenecia: "[Circe's Circle] helped me to embrace my sense of self. I struggled with it in the past, &; in struggling with it, I found it hard to keep my creative ventures on track." (more...)
  • Your Name Here: What will you be saying?

"I’m optimistic about moving forward, making more art and creating the life I’ve dreamed of. Circe’s Circle has given me a huge boost in self-confidence. It has already helped me create more powerfully and I just feel in my bones that I’m more prepared for any new opportunities and challenges in my journey." Helen Yee

Registration is Now Open. 

Dates: Fall 2012: Sept 17, 24, Oct 1, 15, 29, Nov 5, 12, 19, 26, Dec 3
Day: Mondays
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm EST
Place: Connect from wherever you are to the teleconference. We use an American bridgeline, so if you have a US plan, you're covered. Many people do use Skype to call in and save the long-distance charge.
Investment: $600 for the series plus your long-distance charges. You can pay in installments of $200/month.
Size: This group is limited to 7 participants. Is one spot for you?

Ready to Step In?


To Register: Download Circe's Circle Enrollment Package,
fill it in and email your package to Jamie.

The magic begins immediately. You'll find that even filling out the form will bring further clarity to your dreams.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to email Jamie.

Thursday 9 August 2012

Connecting with our Inner Guides by Glenda Myles

Intuition means learning from within. It’s not something we are taught and in fact often we are guided to ignore our gut instinct and to trust our mental thoughts and reasoning. But the more we connect to our intuition the stronger it becomes. We all have an inner knowing, a sixth sense, our connection to the all-knowing that allows us to be all knowing even when we think we are anything but.

In July I celebrated my birthday. It marks my arbitrary mid-year mark. A time to reflect on the first half of the year, how I am doing on manifesting my dreams and goals, and allows me to make adjustments either to my own actions or to my goals.

As I reflected on my three core goals for 2012 – faith, harmony and connection – I consider some of the other things I had written down and wondered why I hadn’t moved forward and have even stalled completely on others, but I realized I have been very focused on my inner personal development.

One of my core goals this year was to cultivate my faith. This has come in many forms including working with a spiritual coach, being disciplined with my meditation and prayer practice, and listening and trusting my intuition. I have retreated over the past few months in an effort to get very quiet. It has been in those moments of quiet and stillness that I have become better attuned to my inner guides.

It takes practice not only to connect to that stillness, but to release the judgment and the rationale thinking that comes with the quiet. Moving past it. Having faith. Faith to trust that gut instinct, the sense that it is Truth, the guidance provided by these inner guides to live a life of purpose.

When you start to make choices based on your instinct you move towards a life with purpose which can be scary. Things change. The changes are not only inside us but are then reflected externally as well.

Part of the process that I am practicing/learning now is that an essential part of this process of following my instinct, having faith in the direction that my life is taking, is surrendering the outcome. I do not know where I will end up or what my life will look like a year or five years from now. All I know is that it will not be the same as it is today or was last year.

I am reminded of the wonderfully powerful poem by Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us;
It's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.  

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

Saturday 4 August 2012

Listening to Intuition by Alli Vainshtein

Listening to intuition is the easiest and the hardest thing to do in life. It is easy once you learn to do it. But teaching someone else to do it is very difficult. Intuition is different for everyone. It is how you connect with yourself, your own inner wisdom, and how you let yourself connect to the wisdom of the universe.

 Now defining the wisdom of the universe, I believe that is different for everyone. I believe one's relationship to God, the Goddess, or the Universe is something that each person needs to explore on their own.

The key is to be quiet.  Listen. Praying and meditating are best done in silence, giving you time to listen.  I have always resisted the quiet time. It sounds boring to just sit in silence. It's hard to turn your mind off. It's difficult not to be distracted. It takes time. Be patient with yourself. Focusing inward is not easy, but that's where the small still voice will come from. True, some people say they hear an audible voice, but that's the exception and not the rule. Meditating can be easier if you begin with a guided meditation. Someone actually talks throughout the meditation, making suggestions on how to focus your attention. This is how I started. I can recommend a great recorded meditation. They are only $7 apiece, and there are even a couple of free ones. I highly recommend the MINDFULNESS one (which is free) to see if you like guided meditation. Some people find it distracting.

Now your intuition will never tell you something that goes against what you believe to be right. Listen carefully. It will feel good. The message may be surprising, but it will feel right. When you listen, always listen with the that this will be your best, highest good, and the best, highest good for the universe. I believe the purity of your intention is very important.

Your intuition can also speak to you in how you feel. Have you ever met someone and instantly disliked them for no good reason? I know I have. My second reaction is that I shouldn't judge people by the way they look and I tend to overlook that first impression - I have been burned many times this way.

They also say when you are taking a multiple choice test, go with your first impression then move on to the next question. Your first impression is usually your intuition telling you the answer you already know.

Last winter, there was one morning that I felt I should leave for work early. I got up an hour earlier than usual. When I got to the school, there was a student there that needed my help desperately. A week later, I woke up early with the intention of meeting with a student and I heard my intuition tell me to stay at home for another hour. I have a long commute, so this would mean that I would get there at the last minute. I listened to it, and discovered there was a very large accident on the road. If I had been there earlier, I may have been part of it. If I had been there my usual time, I would be in the long line of cars stuck behind the accident. Instead, they had set up the detour and I sailed right past it. There are many examples in my life, some life-threatening, others rather mundane, but I have found that the more I listen with the intent to hear, the more efficient my life becomes.

Develop your intuition. It will help you to be true to yourself and more true to others.

Alli Vainshtein is a Reiki Healer and  a college Business and Accounting instructor in Tropical Southern Minnesota. She lives with her husband, Igal, and a feline dictator, Pooh. She loves to take pictures of nature, write stories, paint, and make music. Her spiritual journey with Jamie has been amazing, the Circe's Circle last year was transformational and opened her up to higher vibrations. She loves life.