Bird by bird

I have a lot going on that’s pushing me to the limits of my organizational skills. I got divorced in December, we’re selling the house this month, and I moved my stuff out last weekend to store it at my daughter’s house while I travel through next October. Oh, and I quit my job. Things that have been in place for a long time are very much out of place and I feel chaos looming around every corner.

Then, at a Songwriting Workshop last week, our leader Jud Caswell, talked about taking small steps to get started on something new, and mentioned Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird. The title comes from a time when Anne’s brother was procrastinating writing a big report on birds. The dad’s advice was to go bird by bird. And finally the report was done. Continue reading

Two Old Women

A friend at the library recommended I read Two Old Women by Velma Wallis. This is a tiny book and a quick read, so I picked up a copy and settled in for a bit of time travel back to ancient Alaska. The cool thing about working in a library is that you’re exposed to so much knowledge on a daily basis. Here’s some of what I learned from this gem of a book. Continue reading

Artist get-away idea

I’m working on plans for my writing trip next spring and summer, and have stumbled on several Artist Residency programs that are intriguing. I wasn’t familiar with the concept of an Artist Residency till a friend told me about the efforts of the Libra Foundation in Monson, Maine, a little town on a lake about 2-1/2 hours north of me. Continue reading

Free Meditation Challenge with Zen Master Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg offers a 28-day meditation challenge each February. If you’ve been thinking about starting a meditation practice, Sharon’s prompts cover a lot of territory which is a great way to find something that works for you. Recent studies show short-term and long-term benefits from meditating even for short periods of time each day. Meditation helps you be calm. It helps you focus. It helps you detach from the day-to-day crazies. And it helps your body heal itself. What’s not to love!?

And when you do something for 28 days, guess what? You’ve formed a new, healthy habit. Yay!

I met Sharon over a decade ago at a weekend retreat in NYC. The irony of having a meditative retreat in the heart of NYC is not lost on me. :). When I signed up for Sharon’s meditation challenge this year, I remembered why I like her so much. I’ve told you this story before, but here it is again.  Continue reading

The 8-week Sprint

A friend at work recommended a blog about how to get stuff done. I checked it out and read through a long, long, long post about why I should pay the blogger to help guide me through an 8-week sprint to get a creative project done. I read – and read, and read – and thought, “I don’t need a coach. I just need to do the work.”

Here’s the plan I came up with for my 8-week sprint. Continue reading

When you have a deep urge to try something…

Do you ever get the urge to do something but talk yourself out of it because you think you’ll be bad at it?

Or you won’t do something because someone told you that you’d be bad at it.

Or maybe you have a deep urge to do something, but last time you tried it you really were bad at it.

But you want to do it again. It’s come up a number of times… So do it!

If you think you’ll be bad at it…
Well, you never know until you try.

If it’s something that needs extra learning, you have options:

  • Sign up for a class.
  • Find a mentor.
  • Head to the library and find a book on it.
  • Do a search online to find out more about what you want to do
  • Find other people who are doing what you want to do and see if you can meet them to talk.

Continue reading

Turning Points

You have points in your life where everything was going in one direction, then “this” happened, and your life headed off in a new direction. You know what I’m talking about? Those big “before” and “after” moments.

For me, this would include the day in 8th grade I decided to try out for cheerleading which changed who I hung out with in high school, what I did with my free time, and how active I became in my class.

Another big turning point was my decision to go to the University of Virginia. This meant I met certain wonderful, life-long friends, chose a certain major, and hated being at the University so much I chose to go hiking for 3 months with an Outward Bound program. This, in turn, was another HUGE turning point because that’s where I met the person I married and had children with. Continue reading

5 steps out of a rut

Feeling in a low energy rut? Here are a few ideas to spur your juices and lift your energy.

Think Creatively
Instead of saying I’m not creative, how about saying “I can be creative.” Even if you don’t feel artistic, you can always come up with a creative solution. It might be a puzzle you solve, a class you take, or a unique solution you find to a problem. If you need a push, take a trip or meet a new person. Or look at an issue you deal with every day and come up with a creative way to make your world a little better. What’s one baby step you can take? Continue reading

What if?

At the Good Life Project camp this weekend, the opening and closing question was the same: “What if?”

GLP is a camp for entrepreneurs who would like to change the world, so the keynote speakers’ “What ifs” were bold. Continue reading