Tiny bites

If you get overwhelmed thinking, “I’ve got to declutter this house.” Or “I need to get my life organized.” Or “I need to change a life-long habit.” It’s not a surprise. Taking giant leaps forward is daring and ambitious, but it can also make a project or change seem daunting. And it makes it hard to get started.

Here are two suggestions to help make change happen at a slower pace.

#1 – Break big projects into smaller parts – even tiny parts
One of my nieces has a son who is a really picky eater. Her son decided last week that he was finally going to try rice for dinner. “Yay!” my niece thought, then agonized as her son ate his rice one piece at a time. But there’s a beauty there that maybe kids know better than adults do. He wanted to try rice but he didn’t attempt to eat a whole bowl. He tried one piece. And then another. And then another. Continue reading

Ideas for a 30-day challenge

I’m teaching a class this winter and have been toying with the idea of making it a 30-day challenge. When I found this graphic on the web last week, I thought, “This is it! I’ll do a 30-day declutter challenge.”

I gave this a little more thought and decided no one could declutter for 30 days straight without losing their mind. I mean, I like decluttering and this chart looks daunting.

That got me thinking about other 30-day challenges. Continue reading

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

7 steps to create a nice mess

If you’re serious about cleaning a room, make it messier before you clean it up. Pull things out of drawers. Empty closets and shelves. And clear off the tops of every horizontal surface.

Then sort out what you have by putting similar items together, looking at each item to decide if you want to keep it (because you really love it), pitch it, or give it away.

Then clean all the surfaces, reassemble putting everything in a thoughtful place, and throw out the trash.

Easy peasy – the room is decluttered and all is well.

Except if you still have an edgy feeling that you aren’t doing something, or that you’ve missed something big. Now the issue isn’t a room that needs to be decluttered – it’s your head and heart that need a cleanup. 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

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