Finding your tribe

Yesterday, I drove 4-1/2 hours to Presque Isle, Maine for a one-hour class. Then I drove home again.

Why? Because John Cariani, a Broadway actor and author of the #1 most rented show in 2016, Almost Maine, was teaching a Master Class in writing. I knew I wouldn’t learn a lot in an hour of teaching, but I wanted to make the connection because John is part of the tribe I like to hang with.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten as an entrepreneur is to find other people who do what you do and figure out a way to hang out with them. If you like someone’s blog, read it, comment on it, and engage with the author at a conversational level. If you want to act, find other actors and figure out a way to hang out with them. If you want to write, join an association of writers or find people in your area who write and ask if they want to get together to talk. Continue reading

The energy of passion

On our last day in St. Augustine, Florida, my sister, niece and I stumbled on a textile shop that felt like it came directly out of the 17oos. The shop featured historically accurate clothing, leather shoes, bags, wooden games, and mock guns. It was a delight to all senses.

My sister asked the proprietor a simple question: “How’d you get started with this shop?” And that’s when the passion energy started to flow. Continue reading

So I happened on a joyous razor clam…

I’m visiting in St. Augustine, Florida this week and was walking the beach yesterday morning. I was surprised there weren’t many shells when I happened on five beautiful razor clams. They looked like potential flags on a sandcastle and I carefully gathered them up.

Once I found the five razor clams, my walk shifted from random to focused, and my eyes moved from seeing very little to seeing patterns, colors, and textures. I ended up collecting dozens of razor clams along with a few olives, a couple of cat’s eyes, some pink barnacles, and even a beached, nearly complete purple and orange sea star. Continue reading

Stepping from one stone to the next

Have you ever found yourself racing through life. And then something happens that brings you to a halt and you realize you never intended to be where you are. Or to be doing what you’re doing. Or to be acting like you’re acting. Somehow you got to this point. How did that happen?

In Julia Cameron’s book The Vein of Gold, she talks about plotting the major stepping stones in your life. Plotting out your stepping stones is particularly helpful if you feel in need of making a change and aren’t sure what direction you want to go.

What were key turning points where you made a decision that pushed you to change direction? Or maybe you didn’t decide – sometimes fate decides for you with illness. Or an accident. Or perhaps you had a move, job, or relationship change that was beyond your control. Continue reading

Choosing energy

It’s so easy to waste time. Look at all the temptations! TV, Netflix, Facebook, email, computer games, movies, parties, magazines… What’s your poison?

Distractions can be fun and have social elements to them, but are they the best use of your time?

It’s hard to hold the line, once and for all because your time demands and needs change. For me, the #1 reason to not do an activity is if I lose energy even thinking about it. Continue reading

Finding harmony in your work

If you’re trying to create harmony in the work you do, it’s important to look at the platform you’re working on. When you have personal fundamentals in place, your platform is solid. If you’re missing a few fundamentals, your platform may feel tippy and stressful.

Everyone’s fundamentals are different. And your fundamentals may vary depending on the type of work you’re doing.

Organizational Exercise
Grab a piece of paper and divide it into four columns. The first column is how you think of yourself in general. The second column is for any paid work you do. The third is for volunteer work. And the last is for any fun work you do. Continue reading

Character v. resume

Consider this: Is the work you’re doing building character? Or a resume?

So much of what we do in life gets into the resume column – where we grow up, where we go to school, the jobs we have. Even volunteer work is often done as a resume builder. Who do you know? Where have you been? What have you accomplished?

But what about the work you do that’s helpful and brings joy to others – and where you get no credit? The times you pick up trash on the side of the street. Or are kind to a stranger. Or take the time to listen to a friend.

How about when you have no chance of succeeding but feel compelled to continue what you’re doing? When you step away from the limelight and give credit to someone else? When you sacrifice a personal goal to help someone else succeed? Continue reading