Wishing v. Working

When people tell you to “follow your passion,” it sounds so easy. “Just follow your passion and everything will turn out great.” Make a wish and it will come true. Right?

What you don’t hear is that it takes work to make your wishes come true.

I don’t want to downplay wishing. Dreaming big schemes is the first step to creating a new reality. But once you come up with a terrific vision, how do you get from “energy bubble” to “done?” Continue reading

Taking the first small step

I had a big, cool idea in the 1990s. I wanted to write a novel. I decided this at a crazy-bad time. I had two little kids at home and a demanding job. But I thought about writing all the time. I had to figure out a way to write a novel.

My first baby step was to make a list of novels I loved and characters I wanted to meet in real life. I gave myself a week to brainstorm all of my favorite books and characters.

Then I took another week to think about common threads. What appealed to me most in my favorite novels? And what types of characters was I most drawn to? Continue reading

The importance of asking for help

A participant in a talk I gave last week shared a great story. She’s a single mom who worked full-time while raising her daughter. For them, there was no question that household chores had to be divided or they wouldn’t get done. To survive, they made a list of weekly chores and put them into a hat. Each week they would draw to see who did what. And here’s the fun part. If you got something you really hated, you could attempt a trade. FYI: She said cleaning the cat box was always worth at least two chores in a trade. 🙂

Most of us who raised kids tried a mix of ways to get them to help out around the house – from charts and graphs to outright bribes! The “hat” method adds suspense each week. And I picture cheering as you draw certain chores or avoid drawing others.

This conversation got me thinking about how much most of us hate asking for help. We feel like we should be able to do whatever we’ve taken on and don’t want to appear weak or needy. At the same time, most of us love offering a helping hand. Think back on a time when someone really needed help and you came to their aid. Can you feel your energy rise remembering that? Continue reading

Taming the Clothing Monster

If your closet or drawers are so packed with clothes it’s hard to get anything in or out, the underlying problem could be you don’t want to get rid of anything. Or you love to buy new things. Or both. And it’s possible you don’t have enough space – but you’ll only know that after you pare down some of what you have.

Here’s a cool exercise to help you purge, inspired by the book One Thing at a Time by Cindy Glovinsky.

Set your phone or a timer for 10 minutes and do a deep contemplation about the image you’d like to put forward with how you dress. When the timer goes off, jot down ideas about your ideal:

  • PJs or nightgown
  • Underwear
  • Work clothes
  • Play clothes
  • Formal wear
  • Colors
  • Fabrics
  • Solids or prints
  • Skirt or pant styles and lengths

Continue reading

Who is the Crazy Maker in your life?

I just returned from a weekend at the Kripalu Center in Western Massachusetts. The class I took was on Creative Myths and Monsters and was taught by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. I have all sorts of ideas to pass on to you but will start with the last discussion we had – talking about the Crazy Makers in your life.

What’s a crazy-maker? Think about someone in your life who may be charismatic, charming, and persuasive, but who also: Continue reading

When life interrupts you…

Ask Warren Buffet or Bill Gates what the most important trait is for success, and they’ll tell you “focus.”

You hear that. It totally makes sense. You think, “Of course. Do one thing at a time and really focus.” And then the phone rings. Or someone texts you. Or you get that overwhelming urge to check your email.

The focus was there, then it was gone in the blink of an eye.

Here are five prompts to help you stay focused. Continue reading

Crossing the finish line

In an organization class I took about 20 years ago, one of the exercises we did was writing our obit. When you spend time puzzling out what you want to be remembered for, top priorities on your daily to-do list are magically re-arranged.

When I did the obit exercise, a top priority that popped out for me was that I wanted to write a novel. I love books. Books on the shelves. Books by the bed. Libraries. Bookstores. I still have many of the books I read as a child because the characters and stories are real to me and have helped shaped who I am.

How could I die without adding to the book-ness of the world? Continue reading