Copeless…At the End of My Ropeless

My personal messSometimes life gets messy. My personal mess began with a leaking ceiling during a triple digit heat wave. The restoration company demolished the wet plaster, set up an industrial fan in the living room and the adventure began.

The reconstruction impeded my ability to move, actually walk, through the house. The only way to get from the bedroom to the kitchen was by going outside. Saws, roof noises, pounding hammers and strange people – our dogs were constantly barking and pretty annoyed.  I was…no, I felt… greatly inconvenienced and life became discombobulated. Oh, yes, that is a word; the perfect word. Discombobulated.

To make matters worse, the construction guys knocked off at 2:00 Friday afternoon and I asked when I could expect them back. Monday. To me, that looks like 2 ½ days of lost production. Not everyone has a sense of urgency just because I do (click to Tweet). I am repeatedly reminded of that.

Sometimes change feels hopelessAs I stumbled through the ruins of my once orderly domain, I became increasingly copeless. Okay, that’s not a word, but I like it. It sounds kind of like “hopeless” so it makes sense. An hour before I wrote this chronicle, I got locked out of my kitchen (first draft said my OWN kitchen, geesh)  and I couldn’t access the garage (my OWN garage). I seethed. I’m sure before the ordeal is over someone will get hurt. Pretty sure that someone will be me.

As a self-fulfilling prophecy I proceed to unravel myself and focus on every little irritation. The noise of the saw cutting the supports for the roof. The shaking, confused old dog. I can’t get to the rooms toward back of the house. The guys make a colossal mess (they’re working!). I know better, but I decide to choose that road anyway, because after a week of mess and noise and uncertainty, I don’t have the “skill” to take the other road, the road I hope is more frequently traveled. To make it all worse…I know better. But, I am copeless. At the end of my ropeless.

Isn’t this the way change goes in our lives? We rail against it. We twist and we fight, sometimes even when the change is something we wanted or know will improve our lives or businesses. We KNOW we can choose to see it differently…but, sometimes, we intentionally choose not to. Sorry, that’s just…well…a stupid choice.

What are you choosing to view in a copeless light?

In 2 weeks, I can guarantee you, it will all be water under the bridge. Yesterday’s news. (Insert your own cliché here). I’ll be enjoying a clean and comfortable room, with lots of lovely, natural light.  I’ll also be be carrying the mantel of shame for my poor behaviour. Knowing I could have chosen another way of seeing things. But, we all do it, we’re human. We do all do it, don’t we?

The art of choice is a daily, spiritual practice (click to Tweet).

So what’s messy in your life? In your business? Are you handling it like a skilled adult…or like a 2 year-old child? Here’s the short plan to restore grace and joy into my well lived life:

  •    Focus on gratitude, in the moment, every day.Change can lead to life improvement
  •    Extend forgiveness – others are not trying to dance on my raw nerves – that’s about me!
  •    Visualize the outcome – I know I am working toward something     better.
  •    Take care of myself – know when to ask for a break and make sure I eat and sleep well
  •    Be patient

I’d love to know I’m not alone in my little stumble from grace. Please feel free to share a story, ask for help or just point at me and laugh at the link below.

It’s ALL Good!

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Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who teaches creatives business behaviours that boost their productivity and happiness…all the while honoring their unique and artsy selves. Follow her on Facebook on Twitter

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Hangin’ With the Herd and Drinking with Baboons

“I never really have fit in” – I hear people say that all the time. “I was different. I was the black sheep,” they’ll say. After listening for some time, I realize…they wouldn’t trade belonging if it meant changing who they are.  I respect that.

Blessed are those who have discovered their herd (click to Tweet).

belonging to a group, herd, tribe

I went to a Techie meeting this week. During the networking portion the attendees all had their noses in their notebooks.

Very. Little. Interaction.

I watched as they came and went. They didn’t look like my herd.  I was a gazelle in a room of antelope. Not a lot different, but enough to know it wasn’t my herd. We just all happened to be at the same mental watering hole (click to Tweet). They moved with grace and ease. Shoulders back, eyes forward, confident. They understood the lay of the land. They presented a commanding presence.  I was pleased to witness their “belongingness.” They were brilliant. When I drank from their watering hole my mind expanded!

A friend told me she didn’t belong in the herd that raised her. Raised by wolves, she said.  Her family was not like her at all. They unfriendly groupdidn’t understand or appreciate the gifts she had to bring to the table – er –  watering hole.  That’s a shame, because she is bright, and intelligent and funny and talented. She positively shines and could add sparkle to any party or event.  When she found her artist friends, she found a home. She connected with her herd and now they support, protect and inform one another. They collaborate, champion and share. How powerful to be with your herd, or your “tribe” as I often call it (you can join mine at the sidebar of this page).  We can achieve so much more together than any one person alone.

Diversity, new peopleIt’s important to have a place you feel comfortable; a place you “belong.” There is also a risk in it. If  you spend all your time with the herd  you may get weak and possibly get “et”. It will do you good to wander down to the watering hole on occasion and drink with the elephants, observe the lions, commune with baboons (I do that all the time!).

There is richness, beauty and abundant learning in diversity (click to Tweet).

I’ve spent years working with, and coaching, teams and developing them into high functioning units. Diversity in teams is incredibly important. And, get this, that person who drives you crazy may be your greatest asset (click to Tweet). They force you to see things differently. To think differently and to learn. Appreciate them.

I know you can’t always be on high alert in the tall grass surrounded by unfamiliar beasts. HOW EXHAUSTING!!! Find your herd, your accepting, harmonious herd, so you can rest, rejuvenate and celebrate with them. If you haven’t found them, take a trip down the river and  try a few new watering holes. Enjoy the ride. Your herd is out there…somewhere. If you’ve found them, remember to cross pollinate…take a sip at a new watering hole and learn new stuff.

Go on Safari,

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Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who teaches creatives business behaviours that boost their Art coaching, building your art business, belongingnessproductivity and happiness…all the while honoring their unique and artsy selves. Follow her on Facebook on Twitter

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Filling the Solo Cup

working alone

(This is a repost from July of 2013. The information is still relevant today…feel free to comment or share the post with others who may benefit. ~m)

I work alone.  Mostly, I write alone. I paint alone, and that’s the way I like it. Sometimes I’m coaching others, and I really love it.  However, most of my day is spent in my own company…and I’m an extrovert. I think. I was.

I have conversations with my “Studio Dogs.”(click to Tweet). We listen to music in the studio and I sometimes dance with them. Maybe I talk to them too much. They don’t complain.

Life can get lonely for those of us who spend our days with ourselves. Nothing to break the monotony. This doesn’t mean we aren’t positively content. What it does mean is we can miss out on joyful exchanges outside ourselves. We can get stuck in our creative heads and are perfectly fine, happy, joyful there. Too much of that can’t be a good thing, me thinks. I have no proof, but just feel it in my bones.

I suggest the following to break up the day, get out of the studio, office or wherever you’re working solo. It’ll keep you healthily involved in the big world out there.

Find or Create a Tribe – A group of like-minded people (and some not so like you) to share ideas, experiences laughs with. Brainstorm with them and support one another. When I worked as an OD consultant a group of us would meet once a month for a little snack and coffee and share thoughts on a concept or idea. We built friendships and had some fun. Currently, I have a blog writing partner I meet every Wednesday morning. We keep each other honest. Artists, writers and  creatives benefit from these types of groups and partnerships.Birds on wire

Work in a Public Space – I don’t mean napping in the park here. Write in a coffee shop. Paint plein air. Photograph the world. Get out and mingle. Your life will be richer (click to Tweet).

Check out Meet Ups – I went to a great one last night. It was for speakers. We practiced our skills and shared some key business building points. Fantastic and powerful stuff! You might have to try a few before you find your perfect fit. They come small, big, loud, quiet…check them out at www.meetup.com

Take a Retreat – If something sparks your passion, spend some time away from your business and recharge at a retreat that embraces that topic.  Much more than relaxing is involved. Your network will grow, your skills will get honed, you’ll create memories and recharge. Red Solo CupTip – don’t choose a silent or solitary retreat. (Duh)

Be PresentWherever you go…BE.THERE. (click to Tweet) Go to the Grocery Store. Be present there. Post Office? Be present there. As you run your daily errands get to know people’s names, spark up light conversation. Noticing the world around you is a great way to gain creative inspiration. Not only that, being present outside your head is a healthy hiatus.

Create Meaningful Routine and Ritual – Schedule time each day to get out of the studio or office. One of the benefits to being self-employed is the flexibility it allows. Take advantage of this and make it a routine. Schedule yoga or the gym regularly. Every Thursday spend the afternoon with a friend at the museum or galleries, for example. Sometimes, if you’re in the middle of a project, it’s hard to pull yourself away, but the break keeps us fueled. Be disciplined and do it!

What do you do? How do you fill your solo cup? You have a Tribe here (see, you can join it on the sidebar). I’d love you to share your ideas of how you build balance into your days. I invite you to start the conversation by leaving a comment below.

Stay Full and Proceed to Party!

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Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, Writer, Artist, Coachhelping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives. 

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Care and Feeding of the Muse – Aspirations of Inspiration

Woot!!! Dumpster loads of clean up occurred as a result of last week’s “The Urge to Purge” post. If you missed it, click on this link or find it in the archives on the website. You reported lots of offices, studios and workspaces got a much needed sprucing.

GOOD FOR YOU! 

Since that’s out of the way, let’s talk a bit about inspiration. It’s priceless, and sometimes, illusive.  Many people find inspiration in nature, music, emotionally or spiritually moving events, beliefs or from visual cues. However we get it, inspiration is like gasoline, we need it in order to work (click to Tweet).

Creative people are conduits (click to Tweet).  We look for inspiration, to create something which will, in turn, inspire others. We hope it will make them dance, think, laugh, cry or otherwise “feel.” In order to do this, we need to be inspired ourselves. Sometimes, especially as life becomes stressful and demanding, inspiration can be in short supply.

Below is a list of how some of this century’s greatest creative thinkers and doers tap into their wells of inspiration. What inspires you? I’d love to know, so feel free to share on the blog!

Inspiration graphic

Be sure to keep a sketchbook, notebook or camera on hand to capture moments or ideas that prime your creative pump. Above all, remember to focus on GRATITUDE for that which inspires you. If you find inspiration in ways not captured here…please do share. Happy creating!

BE INSPIRED!!!

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Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who champions others to follow the path less traveled; the Coaching pic  - Version 3 path that leads straight to their joyful hearts.♥

 

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