Just Five Minutes – Change it Up!

Today’s Just Five Minutes is about changing up where you work.

We often get in a rut and think we have to work from the same space in the same office. But sometimes, changing up your space can stimulate your creativity and help you see things from a different perspective. In fact, changing your environment can inspire you to think of new ideas or fresh ways to tackle a project.

So take a few moments to look at this video, then pack a bag and go work somewhere else. Even just an hour or two will make a difference.

Just Five Minutes – Change it Up!

Everyone Deserves a Chance to Fly

This blog was posted originally on another site August 20, 2007. On May 7th, 2011, we watched as our Megan crossed the stage to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens University of Charlotte.

I’ll tell you about her four year adventure in an upcoming post. For now, join me in remembering the day we parted, and celebrating the end of a journey that came to pass so much more swiftly than we could have imagined!

Everyone Deserves a Chance to Fly

We’ve anticipated the day we’d have to leave Megan at Queens and make the long walk back to the car without her. Sometime in May, Megan and I started the grieving dance and talked about how much we would miss each other.  I’ve been planning activities that will keep me busy through the end of the year.  “I’ll have more time to scrapbook after Megan leaves,” I’ve told myself for the past several months.  “I’m going to sign up to take some online classes as I’ll have much more time after Megan leaves.”  In an effort to give myself something to look forward to this week, I saved a few magazines to read when I returned home.  I started a very long and involved novel that doesn’t contain mothers or daughters, stories about rites of passage, college campuses or poignant moments when people realize the value of familial relationships.  And when Blockbuster offered me a free trial of their new mail-order DVD program, I jumped at the chance to lose myself in a couple of movies a week so as not to notice how quiet the house would become without the Princess in the castle.  So, how’s that workin’ for me?

Despite the fact that Megan has left us little post-it notes throughout the house that say “Megan misses you,” I have done remarkably well.  If I was so inclined, I suppose I could convince myself that she’s just gone off for a few weeks to visit her dad or that Barnes and Noble has increased her hours.  Denial is a place I tend to visit often, it’s true.  But today when I signed on to MySpace, I discovered a comment left by my baby girl. I excitedly clicked on her page to send a loving, sentimental tome right back only to find that her page now says she’s a “Female, 18 years old, Charlotte, North Carolina.”  I took a sharp intake of breath and a lump formed in my throat.  “NO!” I screamed.  “She’s still my baby!  I’m not ready!”

Too late.  She’s already made many friends, played poker till dawn, crazy-danced to 80s music, eaten smores by the fire pit, and spent $300 for books.  I wouldn’t take that away from her for anything in the world.  In the midst of one very brief but emotional phone call back before the fun-filled orientation activities began, she questioned whether she would fit in at this school.  Part of me wanted to say, “Uh..no Megan.  You won’t.  We’ve made a terrible mistake leaving you there and I have turned this truck around and we’re coming back to get ya!”  But in reality, she’s right where she belongs.

Megan gazed at the statue of the Goddess Diana in the courtyard of Queens University of Charlotte for the first time when she was nine years old.  Since then, her paths, dreams, interests, our conversations, her academic performance, test scores, applications and interviews – everything has come together into a perfect synergy. The Universe has spoken – our Megan is right where she needs to be.   And true to her reputation, Diana will protect our daughter for the next four years.  Megan is in the hands of the Great Mother now.

What exciting adventures await our little one?  I can hardly wait to find out.

A Whole-Hearted Beginning

“There is a book inside of me.” You too?  I’ve known it since I was a child. In fact, the desire to write has been the only avocation that has been a constant in my life. This yearning to make a living as a writer is what I call my soul purpose. It is also a source of great frustration when I consider that unfinished book that still roams around the pathways of my brain, looking for an unlocked door that will lead to completion, or even a whole-hearted beginning.

What stops me? Any number of things. Time. Fear that I’m not good enough to write anything. Subject matter. Work. Children. Writer’s block. The heat of a Mississippi summer. You name it, I’ve probably tried to blame it.

I’m not even committed to fiction or nonfiction.  In fact, I think I have at least one of each floating around in there.  And as much as I love coaching, I know that I will always reserve some time to write something, even if it’s just a blog.

“Just a blog.” See how easily that rolled off the tongue?

This book is like an apparition that forms more fully at various times and then drifts away, hiding for awhile so that I settle comfortably again into my life of limiting literary beliefs.

The truth is we tell ourselves a lot of crazy things when it comes to creating art in any form. Creatives are often conflicted by limiting beliefs that may have originally been formed by a 2nd grade art teacher who told us we better not hope for a career as an artist. Or the college professor that ripped our Comp 1 paper to shreds, noting sarcastically in the margin, “I’m not sure you showed up today.”  Criticism is both the thing we crave and the thing we fear the most. It tears us up while validating our secret fears about ourselves.

Years ago, I was introduced to the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I began reading and instantly felt a connection to the author, her struggle and her technique to help artists – creatives – go deep on a spiritual journey and come out on the other side, shiny and new.  I did the exercises and felt small shifts begin. And I kept the practice of morning pages to this day. But, hurricanes and weddings and classes and work got in the way and I put the book and the rest of the exercises aside, hoping for a magical day when everything would come together and words would pour out of me onto approximately 250 pages or so.

It’s not going to happen unless I make it happen.  And I know I’m not alone.

So I created this group – a year long journey through The Artist’s Way with some really neat people that I don’t really know who have the same fears and hopes and dreams for themselves and for their work.  As a coach, I can facilitate the work, bring in resources, guide participants to go deep within and watch synergy happen as master minds come together. As a group, the participants can show up each month and enrich the learning for me and for each other, bringing their best to the call and finding soul sisters and brothers that will celebrate successes with them forever.  

You don’t have to have a book inside of you to bring the element of creativity into your life. You don’t even have to have a desire to be anything. All that’s required is a curiosity about the work you want to do and a willingness to step out onto the path.  I’ll hold your hand if you’d like.