Could this be causing your self-sabotage?

As I approach my WomanSpeak circle launch, some of the usual suspects show up, like resistance in the form of procrastination. However, I feel inspired and equipped to do what needs to be done, so I’m on track. Glorious!!
Don’t things feel easier when you’re inspired? What happens when inspiration runs dry and you still have something to accomplish? The lack of inspiration is a great teacher and catalyst to examine why we do what we do. It also can lead us into self-sabotage. Self-sabotage is a wide set of behaviors that undermine our well-being and long term goals.

The awareness of self-sabotaging behaviors in not enough to stop someone from partaking, however.

Even when we’re aware of our procrastination around certain tasks that doesn’t necessarily lead to a step in the right direction.

There are some personalities and archetypes, that step forward out of their personal understanding.

“Just do it” attitudes don’t work for everyone. I don’t know why this is, but I see it in myself and others. We hear great advice from thought leaders and coaches, yet we can’t seem to take the next step–let alone the big leap! There is a catch, a kink somewhere in the information-to-action line. Even the 5-second rule (ala Mel Robbins) can’t un-kink the line in matters of deep-rooted resistance.
There also is the matter of identity. If we don’t identify as someone who _______, then we probably will never accomplish the goal. This is why acting “as-if” and visualization can be powerful.

Why do we participate in self-sabotaging behaviors in the first place?

Why do we make room for our f*ck ups? Why not make room for something else, like freedom, abundance, and peace of mind?!
I hear a little word creep in that we all know: ego. It wants to keep us safe. Of course ‘safe’ means status quo and sameness in ego-lingo. The change we seek needs to be generated ongoingly and ego is not about this–it’s about using our past as the driver for a false sense of security.
But the ego is not why we self-sabotage. It’s the mechanism of sabotage and it’s not going anywhere. Although, it can become the servant instead of the master.
What is driving self-sabotaging behavior? This question, for me, is a helpful inquiry.
I can tell you what has driven me (and still continues to). If you see yourself in this, maybe that is a place for you to look as well. If not, staying in inquiry might provide some answers. Choosing to be empowered from your insights is key. If you do nothing with your insights it’s just more fuel for the ego-machine.

With a little coaching (okay a lot!), I had an epiphany around why I self-sabotage.

This epiphany didn’t strike like lightening. In fact, I resisted it. What we often need to hear shows up like bad news. This newfound awareness showed itself to me every day since that coaching session. It was the elusive obvious (a term I’ve grown to love). It became apparent that this thing was running parts of how I relate to my life and it was keeping me stuck in some areas.

Here is my elusive obvious: My flavor of self-sabotage is an attempt to avoid domination.

I had heard this before–that people either spend their energy avoiding domination or by asserting dominance–so it wasn’t a new concept for me. But, there was something about SEEING IT for myself in my own life (it’s always easier to see in others).  For example, I mainly don’t want my precious TIME dominated by things, so:
  • I avoid bookkeeping (even thought this makes matters worse in the long run), because I don’t want to be dominated by the IRS or my husband’s business.
  • I avoid exercise because I don’t want to be dominated by a routine.
  • I avoid domestic tasks because I don’t want my life dominated by chores.
  • I “rebel” and eat triggering foods, because dammit, I don’t want to be dominated by FOOD. Rebelling is another way of avoiding domination by asserting our dominance.

And the list goes on and on. This is self-sabotage and clearly it doesn’t work. I say I want one thing (more ease with money and wellness) but I avoid necessary tasks so not to be dominated by it. It sounds pathological, and to some extent we all engage in this. And, we can’t think always ourselves out of it!

Sometimes, I can explain away my avoidance as living intuitively, not having time, or some other excuse. But, the fact remains, I wanted to accomplish X and I didn’t because of how I perceive something having dominance over me.

I’m sure all this comes from my past. “You can’t tell me what to do.” I may have been born this way. I may have been angry at even being born, who knows, it can happen. This is where my self-analysis stops, for now, because that too can be a rabbit hole of avoidance.

The payoff: what could I possibly be getting from avoidance and procrastination? Make no mistake, if you also do this, you are getting something out of it.

For me, this shows up as getting to be right. Right that the world (and people) are flawed, unfair, and pathetic–or something else that shifts the blame and responsibility elsewhere. It’s hard to hear and harder to write. Do I really think that of the world?! Deep down, at times, yes. Not anyone specifically, but generally, I think the world needs to get its act together! We have lot of problems and a lot of suffering.
Whether my thoughts are TRUE about the state of the world doesn’t matter. It doesn’t provide me any sense of freedom, empowerment, or peace of mind if I approach life from this place of blame or avoidance of responsibility.
The cost? What does it cost me to live under the threat of perceived dominance? What does it cost be to self-sabotage? Ironically, it costs me the every thing that I want and cherish: my time and my energy. It takes a lot of energy to resist the things I said I wanted. It costs me vitality. I have often muttered, “I’m so tired of ______.” (whatever happens to be stressing me out).

If you bring your body into your voiced complaints be very cautious.

Phrases like “it kills me”, “pain in the ass”, and “I’m tired of…” are costing you your vitality.

What can one do with the flavor of self-sabotage that comes from avoiding domination? In order to relate to the things in life differently, you can ask what is possible? This new mindset allows you to approach your tasks with curiosity instead of dread. You can set aside that you already know how a task is going to go and how you’re going to feel. You can take small steps and make it as fun as you can. Any small step will leave you feeling better than you did before and create those new possibility pathways in your body.

When you act out of commitment, you don’t have to check in with how you feel about something.

Your commitment will already be clear and commitments aren’t concerned with what you feel like doing on a particular day. It is safe to yield to commitment because it knows the big picture and purpose; it has your back.
What I describe to you above is an ongoing practice. Hearing the words doesn’t equal the work. The more you tend to overthink and attach to your ideas, the harder this work can be. I speak from personal experience.
In the end, willingness comes down to what you are committed to. Honestly, I think resistance has a beautiful purpose. It can show us what is worth committing to and what we can say no to. Boundaries may need to be re-drawn or maybe a commitment needs to be dissolved.
So, when you find yourself in a lot of procrastination, avoidance, or resistance, ask yourself:

Am I avoiding being dominated by something, or someone? 

If so, what’s it costing you? And how will you overcome this form of self-sabotage and re-connect to your purpose and possibility?
If you found any my story helpful, please share and/or drop me a line.
In warmth,

Manifesto for Conscious Living 2018

I woke up this morning as I often do on the weekends–mind awake, body tired.  There were nudging thoughts in my head, so I gave up on trying to sleep (since I wasn’t anyhow) and got out my notebook.

These are the writing of a mystical mama which have taken the tone of a manifesto, for you–and for me–as we move into the new year.

Here’s the list in case you’re short on time.

  1. Life is richer when you savor the pauses
  2. Make wild offers
  3. Put yourself in an experiential field
  4. Come out!
  5. Learn to make distinctions
  6. Readiness is over-rated
  7. Great answers come from great questions
  8. Healing your life requires power
  9. All worthy things originate from space
  10. Everything you need is within

These statements have emerged from my creative work, conversions with my husband and friends, time spent in women’s circles, nature, and ideas I’ve come across recently.

Manifesto for Conscious Living (2018 edition)

#1 Life is richer when you savor the pauses

Right now, in Winter, a pause is necessary. This pause help you digest all that is going on, the sweet and the less-than-savory moments. When you digest these moments, what needs to move out of your body will move out and what nourishes will stay. You can ask your experiences to move through you–as needed–so they do not become stuck and cause dis-ease. Give yourself permission to dance, sing, cry, sigh deeply, or scream to process your emotions.

#2 Make wild offers

As a solopreneur, making offers is a great gauge for personal alignment. I’m not suggesting you make offers that you don’t intend to fulfill on, rather try something on and see if refinement is necessary. My offers have led me back to my core because of the dissonance–or harmony–they created within me.

When you notice the misalignment it can help create true alignment. Clinging to sound-bites like, “alignment before action” are not always the answer (c’mon, when were sound-bites ever the answer?!) Sometimes, you need to take action (even misaligned action) and learn from the dissonance so that you can create harmony. There are no one-size-fits-all formulas. Stop looking.

So make wild offers…and they will turn into harmonic offers with the awareness and refinement you bring.

#3 Put yourself in an experiential field

This ‘field’ is a space between two or more people. It’s a real space and often tangible. A third entity exists in the space between our communications and connections. This god-space is where we can be seen, felt, and heard on an authentic level. It cannot occur in online spaces or in reading a book (something profound can happen in those spaces, but that is not what I’m speaking about here).

If you are seeking transformation, it comes mainly through interaction with the other; it is not a solitary pursuit. Personal development is becoming collective development. This field between two persons contains words and our energy. It gives us the opportunity to experience our self through the generous listening and presence of others. We can experience our own nature in this space and we give others the chance to experience themselves from what we co-create between us. This is part of ontology–the science of being.

Be brave and put yourself in contexts where you can be seen, felt, and heard. Take your important issues offline and into real space. This is where you will see your greatest growth. This is where people will “get” you.

#4 Come out!

Out of the closet. Out of the woodwork. Out of hiding. Out of your house. Our from behind your screen.

I fully appreciate that there is a purpose to hiding and I know that things don’t always feel safe. But, what is it costing you to relate to life like it isn’t safe to be who and what you are? A belief that life and people are unsafe negatively affects health.

You can always go back into hiding, but come out and show us who you are from time to time. It actually empowers others to do so too.

#5 Learn to make distinctions

Be curious about things you don’t understand. Using lazy words, like “woo-woo” help no one. All that means is that you don’t grasp something edgy and aren’t willing to look or consider its usefulness. The things most people call ‘woo-woo’ fall into many known categories, such as: quantum physics, philosophy, trans-personal psychology, biology, neuroscience, mysticism, ontology, and metaphysics.

If we don’t agree with, or believe in, a seemingly edgy or radical viewpoint, that is fine. But if we’re lazy about making distinctions, that is another thing. Curiosity and inquiry is the anecdote for over-generalization.

#6 Readiness is over-rated

There are times when we know in our gut that we are ready for an event–like being 42-weeks pregnant in August, you just know you’re ready! However, in hindsight, most important life events didn’t come with the thought, “Oh ya, I’m so ready!” For some of us, it’s normal to feel hesitant at beginnings. If we wait for this feeling of readiness, we could find ourselves waiting for a very long time. If you feel unprepared, you can try trusting  grace, intuition, and vision, or whatever else empowers you.

So, if you aren’t ready for 2018, don’t sweat it! You might never be, and it can be a great year regardless of your readiness.

Which brings me to my next statement…

#7 Great answers come from great questions

We need to ask ourselves and each other better questions because great questions spark something positive in us. How many years of human civilization and all we can think of to say to one another is, “are you ready for Christmas?” Answer is either yes, or no, and causes a bit of anxiousness.

What could we ask instead? How about, “what do you look forward to at the holidays?” That answer gives us a glimpse into WHO they are, what they value, and allows us to make a deeper connection if we wish to.

You can also ask yourself better questions. I like to ask things like, “what would make my life work in _____ area?” Sometimes, I think I already know, but I don’t know how to get there, so I ask “how do I get there?” And…wait, without trying to come up with the answer in that moment (my friend Kim taught me this). Staying with the important questions can make life more fulfilling. Answers are everywhere. If you want answers that work for you becoming a great question-asker is key.

#8 Healing your life requires power

If you want to heal something in your life (your body, mindset, creativity, past, stories around–fill in the blank) you need to know where your power comes from. I learned this from Caroline Myss’ work and now it seems so obvious to me. Your power can come from a variety of places: your body, mind, soul, Spirit, etc..

Your body is a great place to look! Where does power reside that is stuck, sleeping, cold, hot, or painful? How do you generate your own power (instead of unconsciously relying on the power of others)? Which activities are em-powering? Conversely, which activities drain your power (i.e. energy)?

You may want to work with power symbols to get acquainted with both your internal and external power sources. Since healing takes power/energy, stop giving it away.

#9 All worthy things originate from space

Women are space. We hold space. We have a womb. We are the container and the vessel. There’s a lot of power in our creative abilities. But, our creations will not manifest in the outer world if we do not hold space for ourselves. Take time in stillness, which is the essence of space.

#10 Everything you need is within

If you’ve been on a personal growth journey, you’ve heard a lot of ideas about how to think, behave, and live a “successful” life. Some of these ideas resonate deeply and some are useless. When you stumble upon a message that resonates and sounds like something that would serve you–read that as works for you–it is important to not elevate the insight above your own inner-wisdom reservoir, rather see that wisdom as a bridge–connecting you to our own wisdom. If you elevate outside wisdom above your own it puts you on a track of seeking which cannot be satiated. Like a hamster on a wheel, you can’t get off because you’re chasing the next self-help solution or guru. It’s exhausting and not at all empowering.

Any thought leader, teacher, coach, or expert who doesn’t emphasize the importance of looking within is not worth your time.

This isn’t to say that you don’t need outside help or guidance. You need mentors, teachers, coaches, and cheerleaders who draw out the best in you. They can give you the mirror to see your greatness (and also your follies), and the tools to make your journey worthwhile.

Give space to your inner-wisdom and celebrate the gift that you are.

I will be re-reading my manifesto over the course of the year to see what needs refinement for 2019.

I hope you find a nugget here that connects you to, and strengthens, your own wisdom!







Transition or Emergence


Last month was an intense month for me and taking time for stillness led me to a new place of peace, inspiration, and alignment. At first, I just thought my work was in transition, but that didn’t sum up the intensity.

I am actually in emergence–stepping into more of who I am (instead of just changing into another thing). My work has always been an extension of who I am, and for a while now it has felt like squeezing myself into a limited role.

Are you in a state of transition, or emergence? How can we know?

Transition and emergence both include change. Transition is often a change between two things of a similar nature where we progressively shift from one to the other. Emergence is a shift into a whole new realm. Neither is better than the other.

For me, emergence feels more scary because there are more unknowns. I deal with this scariness by giving myself more time, alone, to digest things. Giving myself this space is a form of self-care.

Last week, a friend invited me to her mastermind meeting for women entrepreneurs. The topic was centered around marketing logistics. Although the topic was great, I declined and told her I was in a place of surrender and introspective mode (i.e. emergence) and that I was avoiding any business “how to” at the moment. To force myself to learn more would have been more “noise”, and putting the cart before the horse–something with which I’m well acquainted. 😉

After declining the invitation, we chatted about what caused this shift in my work. I thought about being vague, but then remembered that part of my emergence is being honest and open about my story and approach to life (business included)!

Here’s what I wrote:

“Well, I suppose it came about naturally when I actually started listening to my inner voice and making more SPACE for it to show up. I had made space before, but I was still closed to certain possibilities for myself. I really needed space alone to process.”

I went on the say that from that space, I received messages about my work path: that Spirit (God, Divine) had a place in my work. I could own that in my personal life, but as a creativity coach, I made assumptions that clients might not want to “go there”–wherever, ‘there’ is, because the way I see it, “there” is right HERE, inside each of us. I am done dancing around that.

Emergence for me is being more of who I am at my core. My work is to share ideas and practices with others so that they too feel supported in their truth and emerge from their core, which is authenticity.

Another approach to work and business is from a place of “should”. Should shows up like, “since most people in my field are doing this, so should I”. But there are other ways, and if we create the space for our own emergence, we will see new ways to show up that align with our true nature.

Here are a few ways in which I am showing up:

  • I am training to become a WomanSpeak™ Circle Facilitator. This philosophy aligns 100% with mine in regards to supporting women’s voices.
  • I have broken out of my role as a creativity coach. While, I still specialize in creativity, my commitment to creativity has always been sourced by my commitment to personal growth. Creativity still remains a clear and fun path to personal growth for me.
  • I believe I am emerging as a personal development coach. Personal development is a path I’ve been intimate with for two decades now. I believe I can serve others best in this capacity. I get to focus on creativity, projects, and all things growth-oriented!

I suspect someone may look at someone like me and think “they change focus too much” (or maybe that is just my judgement of myself). But, with every tiny shift in focus, we refine. We polish away all that we are not, all that is not working, and allow ourselves to grow into more of who we are and what is working. Change is our nature. Truth is our nature.

I often end my blogs with a question to you, the reader.

Today, I ask you this: what is trying to emerge within you that you will not, or have not, yet acknowledged?

Maybe it comes like a whisper, a nudge, or a hit over the head (hopefully not). Listen…and when all else fails, switch to decaf. 😉

I wish you grace in your emergence!

In Truth,



Projects: Coming Full Circle

Today, it’s time for reflective writing. This blog post is more diary-like than usual. As I reflect on how I’ve struggled with my professional identity, I feel a sense of calm in coming full circle with my identity. I won’t tell you about every odd job I’ve held and career I’ve trained for, but here are the highlights:

ad agency, yoga training, art director, artist, birth doula, creativity coach, writer.

There is a strong thread of creativity and healing in all those roles. This is a common thing for artists and healers. There is a REAL intersection between creativity and well-being.

Creativity is not about being an Artist (with a capital A) and its main application is far beyond making pretty sh*t (although I love me some pretty sh*t). I didn’t (re)start making art until my mid-twenties. I puttered at a snail’s pace–I still do! Creativity is bringing your ideas to life in a way only you can. There is value in self-expression and finding your voice through projects. And what we do with that voice matters.

The term “Self-expression” takes me back to 2009 when I took a course called the Landmark Forum and other courses in the curriculum–specifically the Self-Expression and Leadership Program (SELP). In that program, you create a community project, not a “I’m-not-gonna-share-this-because-I’m-not-ready-project”. It’s a real life project that involves real life people in the outside world, coaching, and accountability. My project was about helping women in pregnancy find space for self-care and self-expression. The program was challenging and inspiring. I was in the last trimester of my pregnancy–that added a unique twist. I wasn’t able to actualize the project as I went into labor earlier than expected. But, the essence of the project stuck with me and it lead me down a particular path with my work. It led me into teaching intuitive painting and coaching, and led me back to writing. Even though I didn’t finish my community project, I’ve been working on it ever since.


I tell you about my project journey not because my path is important, but because that is the POWER of a project that is aligned with who you are. It chips away at the marble until the form is revealed.

I’m not much different today. There have been some refinements, choices, and discoveries made. The main thing I learned is that none of my musings or ideas mean anything to anyone but me, unless I act on them.

What is at my core is my Explorer and Sage archetype. Being an Explorer was easier to accept. Being a Sage brought up all the mind chatter about not knowing enough, not wanting to place myself as an expert, not feeling ready, and not wanting the burden of always having to show up with something deep to contribute (cuz that’s exhausting)! I give myself permission to be multi-faceted and inconsistent–to write as deeply (or as trite) as I please. Sometimes, I will dive deep and sometimes I will just smile and be silly.

I feel a tug forward into the new project-based economy that we move towards. This is why I say I’m ‘coming full circle’. I’ve been in project mode for so long and thought I needed a more solid career to really make a difference, all the while overlooking that my career has been about projects this WHOLE TIME. Projects are my Thing.

So as we head into this project-based economy, choose your projects, exactly as they are, and exactly as they are not. If you want help, reach out to someone who gets the power of projects.



Meeting Goals by Embodying Animal Wisdom

For a long time I resisted a certain goal of mine–to go after my Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching certification. You know, to be all official. I don’t know why I resisted it. I wanted to mark this goal off my list and be proud of my completion, but I felt like I couldn’t take the final steps towards completion. To go back after two years felt like a step….well, backwards. Perceiving this a step backwards felt like a hassle and a defeat that brought up feelings of regret over procrastination.

Why did I resist the final step in this long journey? It wasn’t a difficult goal after all and I was soooo close. What is it about finishing that scares me?

From what I can tell, my problem lived partly in language. There is no backwards or forwards–it’s all now. But it sure felt like a step backwards whenever I would think about completion. It’s been 2 years since I finished the training and I’ve been using my coaching skills since the training. It made zero sense not to be certified. Ah, but only if logic worked to motivate myself.

I have some ideas about what finishing means to me. But the lesson here isn’t about why I had hangups. The lesson is about how I came to see that going “backwards” is a necessary way to move sometimes.

My “aha” moment came while I was in a retreat last week called, Turning Obstacles into Opportunities, with Kim Cooper.

The setting: A serene women’s retreat center. I was given a prompt to “move slowly” in meditation. I had imagined a peaceful walking meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh style, but what came out looked way different!

Me: in a mediation room, all to myself (this probably could not have emerged in front of others)

Action: Walking on all fours…like a wolf…feeling how easy it is to move forward, backwards, side to side, and up and down. Thinking about how silly it would be if a wolf moved only forward. Huh…(deep insight).

A healthy, adapted animal moves easily in all directions–without judgement or blame.

A wild animal moves with instinct. It has no judgement over that step backwards…or rest! It just moves as it needs to, to deal with the situation at hand. What would it be like to move like an animal in my life, with agility, trust, and instinct? What if I could see how I am able to move in many directions, as I feel called to do? That day, I did. I moved like an animal who knows it’s place in the world.

The animals have much to teach us about our humanity.

Is there a problem in your life that could use some animal wisdom? When you have a moment to yourself, try out moving on all fours, or flapping you arms like bird in flight, or slithering like a snake. What animal wisdom can you embody by going through their motions and gestures?

If you need to wrap up unfinished business, you can think of it as a step backwards, or you can see that you can’t really go back to the past. We always approach old situations with new awareness in the now.

Move accordingly.

Dear Intentional, Intuitive, Driven Woman: Put Down the Magnifying Glass

Are you looking at your business or projects through a micro lens? Are you examining things so closely that you feel lost in the details? Are you overwhelmed by the how? Have you forgotten your why? If so, put down the magnifying glass.  Just for a moment.

As I listened to the latest podcast from the Good Life Project, I heard Jess Lively tell the host, Jonathan Fields, about masculine versus feminine energy, yang versus yin, and how versus why. I’m familiar with all of those models for describing what appears to be a “male/female” energy dynamic, but I never heard the how and why comparison until listening to that interview. ‘How’ being the masculine enrage and ‘Why’ being the feminine energy.

I took a writing class last month. About 2 weeks in I became overwhelmed with the details of completing a book.  Now, I can see I was letting my masculine energy run amok as I handled my project. I desperately wanted to know how I would navigate the whole writing and publishing process.  If I could figure that out then all would go according to plan. Instead, I was overwhelmed by the how and I let fear stop me from actually learning the how. Sound familiar? Why do we do this? It’s the sea of masculine energy in which we swim. It’s what society knows. It’s common to try that approach, even if it is missing something vital–the feminine component.

As an intuitive person, I can see that the formulaic methods (masculine energy) out there for branding, marketing, and building business do not work for me.  I’ve had a hard time putting my finger on what bothers me about these methods. They work for others and seem logical. What I discovered is that although I value measure-ability, I do not agree with the metrics for how success is achieved. I need a looser framework which is driven by, and embodies, my vision.

For me, success is not a million subscribers, a polished website, and a six-figure income. I’m not against those things, but those are not my metrics. Success for me is being in alignment with my vision and creating a thriving community of like-minded creative explorers. Could those metrics produce a million subscribers and a six-figure income? Sure, but that is not what lights me up.

What is fulfillment/success for you? What are your methods for measuring this?

I wonder how many other women, like myself, who have a product or service they wish to put out into the world get hung up on the dominant masculine approach to business building. I can think of at least a few women I know. What this feels like is taking a magnifying glass to the beach and trying to count, organize, and manage grains of sand. There just isn’t enough Virgo–or Yang energy– in me for that!

When we fail at implementing the methods, checklists, and strategies, we then turn the magnifying glass on ourselves! What’s wrong with me that I can’t stick to this?  What am I doing wrong? I must have ADD. I must be too this, or too that. No, you’ve forgotten your why and to make room for your intuition–your feminine energy. There is room for both energies on the business path. What is your intuition telling you? What is your why? Only you can answer that. It takes reflection, listening, awareness, and gentleness.

What if instead of tapping into something, we listen?

Artist, MC Richards said, “We can’t receive anything if we’re always too busy ‘tapping’.
Similarly, we can’t hold a strong vision if we’re too busy looking through a magnifying glass. Zoom out to bird’s-eye view. See what the hawk sees. Let is become clearer and clearer. Let it be panoramic. See the periphery!


After you’ve recentered on the big picture, then, piece by piece, use that magnifying glass to look at small portions of your vision where you need to examine how you will carry out your strategy. Take it one part at a time. Let your structure be as loose as it needs to be to work for you. If you sense some analysis paralysis creeping in, this might indicate that you need to recenter and bring awareness to your big picture.

If you have found effective ways to harmonize these energies as you build your business platform and find your voice, contact me, I’d love to hear about what has worked for you.

Be Well, Be Creative, Be You!


Exploit the Tools

Tools are meant to be used–and used up. Used well and often, or at least as needed.

There is a tendency for people to get overly nostalgic (or intimidated) by a tool, whether that be a business tool or a creative tool. “Look at my pristine day planner. I’m afraid to write it in, but it’s pretty.” Maybe, but it’s not doing what it was designed to do–work for you.

New, shiny tools can be intimidating, but they are not designed to be adored. They are not precious things, so use them up!

Any tool worth your while is designed to be exploited.

7 Ways to Win at Structure

Are you a someone who likes spontaneity and freedom?  Me too.  So when I recently began working with a new structure I came to find how valuable and liberating it can be!  Who knew? (Well, those of you who have already embraced structure knew this).  I did not embrace.  The word ‘structure’, for me, was synonymous with drudgery.

A few times a year I visit a labyrinth to walk for meditation.  It’s a beautiful outside space at a Catholic university nearby.  It’s common for labyrinth walkers to begin with a thought or question to ponder.  I always get a useful insight about my life and how I need to be when I walk the labyrinth.  Insights often appear to me through metaphor, so the last time I walked the labyrinth I walked out with this mantra: “Structure provides an Experience.”  I say Experience with a capital “E” to set it apart from just some normal, unremarkable experience.
The labyrinth at Kearns Spirituality Center
This Experience caused me to rethink structure and embrace its value–especially in regards to my art practice.  In my creativity coaching training I came to appreciate how structure could get me through deadlines and also enable me to show up for myself.  I knew that if I wrote a task down in my planner it was very likely to get done–genius!  Structure wasn’t comfortable, but it was worth it.
What is a labyrinth without its structure?  It’s just a pile of stones, bricks, or some other material.  It has no design, no purpose, and no Experience.  This is me without structure–a pile of ideas and dreams, feeling ineffective and stuck.  How about you?

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What’s so Awesome About Vision Boards?

If you’re on a mission to do great things,  I recommend creating a vision board…like NOW.
Why are they so awesome?!  Because your vision board is a made-by-you realm of possibility.  Creating one allows you to dream, to feel, and to precisely select all that you wish to be, do and have.  It keeps a marker on the things we are seeking;  and what we seek is seeking us (thanks Rumi).
In our daily lives, it’s too easy to get side-tracked, overwhelmed, or completely forget what we set out to accomplish.  Dreaming is fun and so is making a vision board, especially when you know that something will come to fruition that you’ve been calling into your life.

Your vision board invites you to re-member, re-affirm, and re-align with your core values.



How does a vision board work?

Some people say it has to do with the law of attraction.  A simpler explanation, and one I have experience with, is this principle:  what we focus on expands.  You’ve probably heard this before and have seen this principle occur at some level in your life–for better or worse.

When our awareness expands to include the things we want to be, do, and have, patterns are seen, connections are made, and opportunities present themselves to us.

Vision boards work because they allow up to put attention to what we truly value on a consistent basis.  So, as our perception of what’s possible expands, so do we.
Simply making a vision board isn’t enough for most of us, we need to see it on a frequent basis in order for it to sink in and make an impact–placement is key!  You will need to hang your vision board somewhere you will be REMINDED at least a few times every week.
If you are using a vision board to become more creative, I challenge you to find images that evoke the feeling you want as a creative person.
Add words and images that speak to you intuitively.

Do you wanna feel innovative, mysterious, free, beautiful?  You may also want to add images of people you admire, mentors, or snippets of anything that inspires you.

It’s pretty simple to start a vision board.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • magazines to cut words and images, or print these off from the web.
  • glue or paste
  • scissors
  • a support to glue them onto (like poster board or foam-core), or a bulletin board
  • any embellishments you want: fabric, pens, stickers, etc.
  • a distraction-free couple of hours (or make it in a few shorter sessions)
Not all vision boards need to be a collage.  Some prefer their images to be displayed with space around them, like a gallery layout.  It doesn’t matter whether you layer your images or not, just create whatever layout you want.  You really cannot mess this up.

Extra Tips:

  • Make a vision board for the main areas of your life:  career, relationships, or travel.  Or make one for different communities you’re involved with.
  • Gift one to a loved one (Father’s day, birthdays)
  • Take a photo of your larger vision board, and put in on your desktop, or in your office or car.
  • Make a new one every year, or on your birthday
  • Keep all your past vision boards and reflect on them every year.  What were the wins?!
  • Go 3D and collage a box or tin!  See my Father’s Day photo below:


I hope that your vision board really impacts your life in a wonderfully creative way!

If you have any ideas to share, or have a great vision board story to tell, please let us know in the comments.

Stay Artful!