The Middle

(I’m on summer vacation! These posts are re-posts. I have discovered a need to re-fill my creative cup. Looking forward to bringing you new and improved posts in the fall. I hope you enjoy these selected writings! Search topics of interest on my site for more related articles.)

“Every giant redwood was once a seedling. They don’t get to skip that part.” –  Sue Fitzmaurice  (click to Tweet)

There’s a recurring theme lately. People are in transition. Life is full of cycles and we’re sometimes called upon to reinvent Life transitionourselves. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it can lead to growth, breathe life into our dreams, be a catalyst for positive change…but let’s face it….it’s more than terrifying to be a seedling.

You. Don’t. Get. To. Skip. That. Part.

Seedlings are itty bitty small in a big, big world. Seedlings get stepped on, drowned, and their tender little stems are pickings for things like…well…wild pigs. Seedlings are vulnerable. Not all seedlings make it but they try, because  the prospect of being a giant Sequoia is quite enticing. Sequoias are strong, long-lived and have a fabulous penthouse view.

I’ve had a fairly varied and interesting past. (Notice I did NOT say “colourful.”) Every decade has brought transitions – new places, new relationships and sometimes, new careers. Interestingly, what was learned from the old situations bolted onto the new transitions quite nicely, kind of like Legos. Just because we leave a job or relationship behind doesn’t mean the skills and knowledge we have aren’t transferrable – THEY ARE!

I will tell you a secret. Often, during transition, there is a long expanse of time that is the “uncomfortable middle.” (click to Tweet) It is not the creamy, fluffy, goodness. This is the place where you lack direction, uncertainty becomes a way of life, the answer or direction often does not reveal itself as quickly as our fast-food appetites would like. This is not a happy place, but a place of exploration, possibilities and change. It is an uncomfortable crevasse. It’s the very thing that can send you running and screaming back to the comfort…back to the known. To get past the middle you need a serious dose of courage. You have to trust the process, your God and your gut. Continue reading “The Middle”

The REAL Picture

Not a REAL picture

The REAL Picture

There’s a lot of information in the webosphere and a lot of should do’s and should be’s. It’s almost like we’re being told how to live a life; like we wouldn’t otherwise know how! It’s easy to get the impression you’re not cool enough, clever enough or happy enough. Hmmm….let me tell you –

There isn’t only one way to live and there’s certainly not only one “right” way (click to Tweet). People will try to control you by telling you so – think organized religion and retail marketers. I guess there are some “wrong” The Real pictureways to live – but none of us here are encumbered by such poor behaviour and devious deeds, right? Sure, occasionally we stumble, that’s why I write and you read it – we share little human foibles – but nothing serious, nothing, ahem, pathological – right? Sure, it’s right. I have the utmost faith in you. Continue reading “The REAL Picture”

Silence

Silence Cairns(This post is republished from 9/1/15 – still pertinent. I hope you enjoy. As always, your comments and thoughts are welcome. We learn through sharing.  ~m )

Silence is priceless. It’s a precious space where the feet of our souls, not the soles of our feet, find solid ground. In silence we can contemplate, innovate, be.

Silence provides a reprieve, walling out the chatter, the opinions, the judgment, the noise.

Silence provides a feather bed for deep discovery. (Click to Tweet) Continue reading “Silence”

It’s Called ArtWORK

art is work artworkOnce, in an art class, the instructor proclaimed with conviction, “Art is NOT supposed to be fun.” She snarled sternly, “Art is WORK!” and at that moment, I decided I didn’t like her. At least one student was chastised for smiling while painting. Seriously, she was over the top.

Today, as I was thinking about blog topics and how I’m struggling with some elements in my own studio, I realized she had a point….sort of….in a much gentler way. Art is work, or perhaps more accurately, persistence. Continue reading “It’s Called ArtWORK”

Noticing the Difference

Finding possibilitiesIf there are keys for getting from where you are now, to where you want to be, one of them surely is ‘noticing the difference.’ (click to Tweet)

Noticing the difference is like peeling an onion. Differences, nuances of shades, exist on so many levels. Sometimes, for me, the awareness is fleeting. I get a glimpse of where I want to go and then it fades, that’s how I know I have so much more to learn. Other times, in areas where I have more experience, it’s clearly noticeable. Finally, when we’re accomplished at something, the difference shows up as a fact; the level of competence or mastery easily discerns the level of the novice. I’m not just talking about art. This “difference” also shows in how we behave in personal relationships, leadership situations, golf or any sport, even parenting. Not that parenting is a sport…though sometimes, I guess, it can actually feel that way. Continue reading “Noticing the Difference”

8 Operating Procedures for a Well-Lived Life

I’m  not an expert at accessing joy. I’ve tripped into the well-lived life, for sure. I remember a few stumbles I’ve taken Life Manualalong the way, that made the trip more joyful, more meaningful, more full…but I’m well aware I have a long way to go. Basically, I’m half-baked.

I awoke Thanksgiving morning with a realization in my heart.

Life is hard for some people.

It’s just difficult. I am grateful I’ve found my way through…and grateful for the hardships I’ve endured that lent some perspective and, basically, gave me operating instructions for how to do life differently.

Still, my heart is sad for those in a place where they have no, or little, access to light and joy. I know it’s a journey they must take for themselves and they have to find their own road map….but I wish I could help every single one of them. Continue reading “8 Operating Procedures for a Well-Lived Life”

You’re As Good As Goaled

GoalsMany years ago, I opened a volume of poetry and prayers and a colourful, folded, Post-It note fell out. On this paper I had written 5 things I wanted to accomplish. I’d written them, tucked them into the book and forgotten all about them. They incubated on the bookshelf for 2 years, then, voila, were rediscovered. DONE. COMPLETE. FINITO.

Has this ever happened to you? When it does, it feels like there’s some divine purpose behind it. I’ve experienced this phenomenon multiple times and when it happens, I’m always surprised at how my life has moved in the direction of the intent. The simple act, the intention, written on a piece of paper has a kind of power in itself. It works. Continue reading “You’re As Good As Goaled”

Don’t Say It! – 10 Things NOT to Say to Artists

Insulting Artists
Insulted Jewish Boy Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy

Artists are a sensitive bunch. Recently, the following list of “10 Things NOT to Say to An Artist or Crafter” has been circulating on the Internet. These comments may be considered insensitive or crass to those of us in the art field. If a potential buyer were to say some of these things to you, you might have a less-than-polite reply. Take a gander: Continue reading “Don’t Say It! – 10 Things NOT to Say to Artists”

A Life Saver

Life-saving poem

 

There are a few things that pack a wallop in your life – like this poem by Mary Oliver. Whether you’re in a deep, dark place and need a winch to pull you out, or you’re “breathing just a little and calling it a life,” this poem calls us to be true to ourselves, claim our lives and live it in our own skins…in our own way. Continue reading “A Life Saver”

Mad Monsoon

Inhalation.Inspiration

Deep, exhilarating, thoughtful, inspiration.

As I consciously decide to take a break on my series of Villages, the possibilities on new work pour in…like torrential rains. A mad, invigorating monsoon of ideas, mental snap shots and dreams begging to spring to life.

It’s like drinking from a fire hose. It’s like digital information that floods your mind and you can’t get mental a foothold. “I’m drowning in inspiration…possibilities.” (Click to Tweet that).

Have you had this experience? Have you had the sheer joy of waking in the morning, rippling with excitement of what you might explore and discover that day? Have you felt like a 5 year old in your adult body, ready to pack a day full and explore every corner of God’s creative earth?

It is this little break, between creating, doing and delivering that is the sweetest space for me. (Click to Tweet)  Faced with the openness of possibilities, no searching for inspiration, but trying to catch the pouring 7 Sacred Pondsideas in a teaspoon…abundance.

How do you assimilate this? Here are some ideas to help manage muse in a mad monsoon:

  • Capture ideas in sketches – Do small studies that can become larger works in the future. Carry an idea book with you.
  • Balance new skills with existing competencies – Know which skills you have nailed down, and which ones you need to work on…use each…stretch with new ideas and skills, but anchor them to existing competencies – that way you can get a foothold and minimize epic disappointments. Epic disappointments squelch the joy of inspiration.
  • Identify ways to leverage your ideas – Can you string them together? Find a place where they meet in the middle and build on it? If there is no junction, don’t force one.
  • Work in series – You will create a comprehensive body of work and deepen your understanding of the subject matter and skills you are working to improve along the way. Learn more about series work here.
  • Let your imagination run wild – Consider the design elements and your ideas. Work through them all, consider them again and again.
  • View lots of work – by other people, by Mother Nature. Become a keen observer.
  • Find a mentor or trusted friend –  Have someone to bounce ideas off, give you gentle guidance and feedback. It’s a huge asset to have a critique group or a few trusted allies. Make sure they are people whose work and judgment you trust. They should be honest, gentle and supportive. Mean mentors will not only ruin your day, they can ruin YOU!

Munds MountainSo this spring, in the season of renewal and rebirth, I encourage you to welcome ideas as they flow, too fast to catch in a teaspoon. Mop them up with journals and sketchbooks. Catch them in a voice memo function on your phone. Drink from the fountain with trusted kin and feel free to share how you find and capture inspiration in a comment below. I welcome you to the conversation.

 

Enjoy the Monsoon!

Coaching

 

 

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

                          Follow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

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The Art of Acceptance

Acceptance“There’s a tightening that comes with the proficiency we achieve in whatever it is we do.” (click to Tweet)

We’re a lot like children, still…and I think it’s precious. Have you ever noticed how when you’re attracted to something new, if it’s something you adore, you attack it with zeal? There’s a pure joy in the simple act of “doing it.” It’s fresh and you’re simply in the moment, savoring your passion. Art is like that. So is golf or dance or writing. I’m sure you can fill in the blank regarding a passion you’ve had and you will see, in its infancy it’s free and fresh and fun.

Eventually, the vile voice of the critic creeps in the crack of the door, when you aren’t looking. Suddenly, like Adam and Eve, you realize you are naked and ashamed. You’ve eaten from the tree of knowledge. Now, you know, it isn’t good enough, you didn’t do it like last time and the bitter taste of expectation begins to taint your joyful journey.  Yep, you’ve lost your innocence. And. It. Happens.

When I taught adult learning theory to trainers, I used to teach the Dreyfus Model of Skills Acquisition. It looks like this:

Learning Self-Acceptance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, there is a path, a process that only time and experience can account for. As we continue to be active in our passion, our perception of the value of our work changes. This is how it’s supposed to be. Though, I’ve noticed, with art, it can change my relationship to not only the work itself, but my daily working of it as well. The judgment gets in the way. The expectation raises the bar. The joy of it can be zapped if I don’t manage myself around the process.

That being said, it’s in direct opposition of the idea of art itself. Art is expressive, and fresh, compelling and different. Art provokes emotion and thought. Art tells stories. Sometimes, as novices, we strive to make art like everyone else, for approval, so we know we are “in the lines” but as artists, we’re supposed to create new lines, tell our own stories. It’s a paradox.

Perhaps we can leverage the Dreyfus model, not only to help us understand ourselves, but also teach, mentor and support others. When you shine a light on what’s coming, it’s not nearly so scary and it makes us feel warm and fuzzy to be validated. Remember the sisterhood of childbirth? The brotherhood of sportsmanship? This is precisely why community is so important for artists. 

I was reminded of this yesterday when I read this in “Art and Fear  – Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” by David Bayles and Ted Orland :

“On both intellectual and technical grounds it’s wise to remain on good terms with our artistic heritage, lest you devote several incarnations to re-inventing the wheel. But once having allowed for that, the far greater danger is not that the artist will fail to learn something from the past, but fail to teach anything new to the future.”

 So, dear souls, there you have it. Embrace the joy, feed your curious novice well as the proficient expert grows. Do the brave thing, not the safe thing. Just do art.

Be Brave, Be Naked,

Coaching

 

 
 
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. 
 
                          Follow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!

 

An Appetite for Folklore

Oh, the battles we wage…inside.

I once saw a meme that read:

Wolf soulI’m not so sure I’d describe my soul as “difficult,” but I take conflicts that arise there seriously. I try to use all my coachy, self-help techniques to evolve into a “better person,” whatever that may mean.

There is a distinct possibility I’m using my soul as a canvas, splashing pretty colours, making mistakes and gessoing over them again. Just waiting, hoping a worthy masterpiece will emerge. (click to Tweet).

There’s a tale I occasionally share when I work with leadership groups. This week, I’ve told it twice to artists, so I maybe I need a broader audience. Here it goes…

One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside of people, even him.  He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is angry, envious, jealous, sorrowful, regretful, greedy, arrogant, full of self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joyful, peaceful, loving, hopeful, serene, full of humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then he asked, “Grandfather which wolf wins?…”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one I feed.”

The one I feed.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my own hungry wolves. The choice is mine which to feed. Sometimes, even knowing the consequences, I wander off the beaten path, into the thick of the woods and pitch a fine rib roast squarely in the slobbering jaws of the mean and evil wolf. Oh, how it feasts with delight! It becomes stronger, robust and is able to exert its power over the good wolf.

Sometimes I am a little wiser and remember to give the lion’s share to the good wolf. Things usually go well when I nurture the good wolf. He, in turn, protects me.

Consider yourself in the following circumstances. What is the outcome when the good wolf is in charge, verses the bad wolf? Their voices are quite different.

  • You are analyzing your work
  • You need encouragement to build a strong business
  • You seek courage to take risks
  • The outcome of a venture is unexpected
  • People you meet, perhaps difficult people, require your grace
  • You focus on gratitude for the gifts you’ve been given
  • You must patiently wait for an anticipated outcome
  • Others need the generosity of your time or resources

How do these situations vary given which wolf is being fed? How would the outcome be different if you fed only the good “wolf?” Could you even do that? It’s something to think about.

I, for one, am putting the ugly wolf on a diet. Lately, he’s a bit of a butterball (click to Tweet). If I do it right, maybe I can starve him, weaken him, cage him, enslave him…whoops, I think I went over the line. Well, awareness is the first step.

Feed your instincts!

Coaching

 

 

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

Writer, Artist, CoachFollow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!

Walking the Tightrope

Ritual and Routine

 

When you work on your own, it’s easy to get into an unproductive rut. The demands of everyday life can pull you off track. Soon, you find, you’re taxiing kids, doing the laundry or waiting for repair people. Did you get into the studio? Nope. Take care of that upcoming marketing piece for your event? Nope. Did you write your newsletter? Heck, nope…and that’s not all. It’s not that you’re not “working,” it’s just you aren’t working on your stuff. Your life has become a circus!!!

“If you don’t spend your time delivering your own package, other people will use your time to deliver theirs.” (click to Tweet)

This kind of “off-tracking” and generosity may feel like flexibility to you, but what it really does is zap your productivity. What’s more, it can suck every bit of creativity out of you. Schwwwwooooopppp!

   

So, how do you develop a healthy routine that boosts production and allows creativity to thrive? Can your free-spirited self ever be happy with the bridle of routine? You might think it feels, well…constricting.

It’s unrealistic to expect our days will be spent doing only the things we love to do. Ooooh, did I sound like your mother?  Sorry!  Sure, the bulk of your work should be something you’re passionate about, but realistically, we all have parts of our work we don’t thoroughly enjoy. If we want to sip the sweet nectar of success, we have to drink the bitter medicine, too.

The key is to create some balance. If we only do the tasks we enjoy and put off the others, we run into a big pile of procrastination. Life can be like the bigtop, so here are some tips to get a foothold on that tightrope, and create some happy, predictable fun and routine in your days.

Start with a Solid Program – When creating ritual and routine think of the things you enjoy…what are you passionate about? This is your foundation for the day’s journey. Make sure your passions are really your own…unique to you.

Artfully Schedule the Acts – Identify your peak production hours. Schedule hard hitting stuff for the times you’re most energized. For example, if you’re a morning person, do your heavy lifting in the morning. If you are energized after lunch, schedule demanding tasks in the afternoon. Schedule your days with the activities you most enjoy in strategic time slots to kick off the day. Keep momentum by scheduling some “duties” that don’t squeal your wheels, but need to be done anyway, in between the times you’re doing the fun stuff. Need some time management tips?

Sweeten the Deal Think of it like cotton candy. If you’re doing a task you don’t enjoy, sweeten the deal by playing music you love, or performing the task in an enjoyable spot. For example, go out to the garden with your laptop to create marketing material, or play your favourite artist during your clean up phase in the studio. Sip a favourite beverage while doing your books. It works!

Be the Ringmaster – Of course, you have an audacious “To Do” list! You also have a calendar. Use them both. Schedule 60% of your time and leave 40% free for life to happen. But when you schedule it, make sure you honor your commitments to yourself and do what’s on your calendar. It’s important to schedule time in the day to take a break and recharge. This is essential to your creative flow. You can find some tips here.

Hold Regular Dress Rehearsals  – Spend time on the tightrope every day. Repeat the ritual and routine. Keep it predictable…well, as predictable as possible. Let those around you know the road you’re traveling, so you can reclaim your time for yourself and decline their requests until you’re free. If you get up everyday and repeat the same positive behaviours, you can’t help but increase your productivity and creativity. You’ll be flying through the air with the greatest of ease.

By consciously filling your days with both things you love and activities you MUST do, and being committed to the schedule, you create ritual and routine. Inform others of your plan and schedule their time separately…then they can’t clown with your calendar. Be committed to your own success by claiming your own time and stepping into the spotlight. Be the star of your own act.

Take a Bow,

Signature

 

 

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

Writer, Artist, CoachFollow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!

Habits

HabitsNuns wear habits. The Monastery of the Angels, a website of Dominican Cloistered Nuns, explains it this way:

“A “habit” tells who the nuns are.  Nuns are women of prayer who have dedicated themselves to a life of prayer, penance and sacrifice.  They do not keep to themselves the fruit of their contemplation, but share it with others.”

Plain Ol’ Sinners like us have habits that are like this…sort of. Stick with me for the stretch. I promise to try to tie it together.

Our “holiest” of habits require a commitment, sacrifice, occasional penance and the fruit they produce is shared. Good habits are a blessing that we nurture from the seed of an idea.

Then there are “unholy” habits. Gosh, where to begin? I’ve got some unproductive, self-indulgent, fear based, lazy-assed habits myself. They feel wonderful when I’m fully engaged in them, like a cuddly ol’ horse hair shirt, but I almost always regret it later. It’s like good and evil fighting for possession of my soul! You devil, Rocky Road ice cream!

They tell people who we are. They demonstrate our dedication to certain practices. Our habits reflect our values, our self-esteem, our passion, our “fire” and our mental disorders. Excessive hand washing, anyone? It’s cold and flu season, you know?  Some of us hold tight to our habits…religiously.

One thing is for sure – our habits create our days, our lives, our careers, our futures, our friends and families. They are POWERFUL! (click to Tweet).

Habits
“Wave” 12×12 Oil By Jill Christian

I was recently chatting with my art partner, Jill Christian (sounds like she would wear a habit) about the value of goals. You remember goals? I drilled you about them towards the end of last year. Jill was tossing around the idea that habits may be more important than goals for creating the lives we want. It’s a compelling conundrum. Our audacious goals need the right habits to fuel them, AND, being the hedonist I am, I think we really ought to throw in some fun, maybe a couple “soft/bad” habits, to take the drudgery from all those good habits. We don’t want to end up with too many “shoulds,” after all!

The cousin to habits is most assuredly “Time.” I’ve addressed the issue of time management.

Poor habits can gnaw away at time, the same way worry sharpens its teeth on your well-being (click to Tweet).

To create the life you desire you have to get a handle on time and use it as the starter crank to your good habits.

So, just a little communion wafer for thought, this week. Are your habits helping or hurting you when it comes to creating the life you desire? Is it time for a self-check? A couple minor adjustments? Cornette a little crooked?

Okay, I’ve said my sermon. I really not sure whether to ask forgiveness or just bow my head in reverence.

Can I get an Amen?

Coaching

 

 

 

Special thanks to Jill Christian for being a great artist and a great thinker. Thank you for contributing your beautiful artwork to this post. Find Jill at www.facebook.com/jill.christian.art  or on her website.

If you would like your art featured on my blog, please send a quality image in a jpeg format with the title and permission for use. If the appropriate topic fits your image, I’ll credit you and publish a link to your site!  

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

Writer, Artist, CoachFollow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!

 

Bless You!

Bless You .Bless

Have a cold? No. Are you cold? Perhaps.

As 2013 comes to a close, I re-evaluate the year. Did I do the things I set out to accomplish? Am I closer to being the person I want to be? Did I backslide a bit? Maybe?

We create our own reality very close to home…right between our ears! (click to Tweet). Much of what we worry about will never happen. What we assume, it’s just a story. The practice of judgment makes us feel like we’re safe, like we understand our world.

Judgment makes us believe our lies AND it keeps us stuck…often. (click to Tweet)

On a recent, cross state driving excursion I found myself blaming the driver in front of me. All those people on the crowded road…have you ever noticed….they’re such BAD drivers! There’s the inconsiderate man who wouldn’t pull over to let me to pass, the downright rude young woman who cut me off, the clueless “older person” whose varying speed jacked up the cruise control. They probably don’t even know how to use cruise control. That’s sort of a techie option, eh? My frustration grew…then I remembered Pierre Pradverand’s book “The Gentle Art of Blessing.” One of my all time favorites, it advocates for a practice of blessing all you meet. The man crossing the street, “Bless you!” The person in front of you at the checkout line, “Bless you.” The person dawdling in front of you and jacking up your cruise control, “Bless you, as well.” Blessings to all…Namaste.  Blessings from the deepest chamber of my heart…sincere…authentic…where judgment cannot survive.

Blessing handsNo matter your religious or spiritual beliefs, you can unconditionally bless those in your world. Pradervand has found this practice changes lives. It changed his life. It changed lives of people he shared it with. It changed a life of a prisoner on death row! Slowing it down, seeing our sisters and brothers as our sisters and brothers (rather than obstacles to be dealt with) changes our energy, our perceptions and our world. I once even led a work team through the exercise in a large healthcare system, an experiment to see if we could change the way we treated one another. If you bless them, it changes YOU. And without scientific evidence, I’m guessing it will change the world.

I’ll admit, in this busy season I’ve fallen short and haven’t been embracing blessing. When I did,  it made for a much more pleasant long drive. My time was the same and the goodwill was bountiful. Today, I will continue to bless those I meet. I invite you to do the same and let me know how it changes your life.

Watch about the Gentle Art of Blessing  

Bless you along your way and into 2014….

Coaching

 

 

Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who nudges, nay, shoves her clients in the direction of their Writer, Artist, Coachdreams by helping them improve productivity and cultivate good behaviours while eliminating poor ones.

 

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For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!

 Ready for some creative fun while pursuing your dreams for the new year? I’ll be having a Beginning Mosaic Workshop called ” Magic in 2014″ in January. Register or  learn more!

 

Endings and Beginnings

(Note: This may be the least humorous, most content rich post I’ve ever written. I’ve provided links to previous posts as resources for you.  I hope it helps you create a blueprint for making your dreams come true in 2014…should you choose to create one! Please, as you link to the other posts, feel free to comment on them and share them…Thank you for helping The Art of the Well Lived Life GROW! I am grateful for your readership.  ~ m)

I’m feeling a lot of pressure this time of year. It’s all good stuff, but it feels like none of the balls should be dropped, lest they shatter New Beginningslike a delicate Christmas ornament and shatter to pieces the dreams of a hopeful child…yep….pressure.

The fact that time marches on and I’m smack in the middle of the path has me a bit concerned (click to Tweet). Nature calls…not like THAT, silly! The moon was full the other night, so I felt the need to have a final, good, scrubbing for 2013 and not track any dirt into the pristine promise of 2014. Here’s more about how I journal in accordance with the moon.

Also, Solstice is peeking her head around the corner and I adore her! It’s tomorrow! *LET THERE BE LIGHT! * Days will get longer. Hope springs from light and warmth and new growth. Many consider solstice the dawning of the new year. Whether you celebrate December 20th or January 1 – it’s staring you in the face! In the midst of all the celebration and fervor, have you considered what you want to do with your 2014? It’ll happen, whether you plan some audacious strides or not.(click to Tweet).

new pathI encourage you to take this time to consider what their ideal year would look like. This may easily consist of more than your business goals…you might like to review the Life Balance Wheel and see if you have any gaping holes that will swallow your best laid plans like a sink hole in Central Florida. (Of course, you aren’t planning a sink hole! I mean swallow the PLANS! Never mind…)   Once you know which areas you’d like to bolster,  create a list of the things you’d like to do next year to make it happen. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T. – if you don’t, well, that’s just not smart, and I don’t want to call you stupid or anything…you’re an adult, you  can draw your own conclusions.

There are lots of ways of backing those goals into your calendar. Identify and engage  resources and support groups to help you achieve your goals, or hire a coach to help you find your way and overcome your demons (hint, hint). I have some screaming deals on artist’s coaching packages (click to Tweet).

And FINALLY, because so much is about attitude…don’t forget your “Nutshell” word. That single, guiding word that will be your compass for the upcoming year. Where are you in your journey? What do you want to express? For example, last year mine was “joy.”

Just a few things to think about between baking, wrapping, traveling, finishing the year end books and anything else that may be on your plate. Don’t forget – when it’s all over it will just be you…and 365 days you’ve been given to make your dreams come true. Manage your time wisely.

Cheers!

To New Beginnings!

Coaching

 

 

Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who nudges, nay, shoves creatives in the direction of their Writer, Artist, Coachdreams by helping them improve productivity and cultivate good behaviours while eliminating poor ones.
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 Ready for some creative fun while pursuing your dreams for the new year? I’ll be having a Beginning Mosaic Workshop called ” Magic in 2014″ in January. Register or  learn more!