Archive for February, 2011

What Path? Sno.o.w Overwhelm

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Snow Overwhelm

Howling winds, biting snow slanting across the yard…doesn’t look like I’m going anywhere today.

Think I’ll head  out to my little studio.

A perfect place to spend a cold wintry day, don’t you think?

I bundle up and step outside.

Oh, man.

3′ snowdrifts everywhere…someone’s going to have to shovel a lot of snow.

That would be moi`.

Crap.

I clear away drifts by the door, the deck, the steps. I don’t even consider clearing the back walkway. An hour later I’m tired, hot and not even close to my studio.

It would be easy to give up; give in to feelings of overwhelm. My tired back joins my Lizard Brain in a whining refrain…”you’re  kidding, right?” Too tired to think, I lean on the shovel and take a break.

I ask.

“PLAY? PLAY? Not Work?” Lizard Brain is all ears.

My batteries are recharging already.

I tune into Kaizen-Muse™.

Developed by Jill Badonsky, the Kaizen-Muse ™ Creativity Coaching model combines these 2 aspects-

Kaizen: A Japanese word meaning “continuous improvement with small steps.”                                                                                                                                         Muse: A bearer of creative inspiration.

Backstory: Apparently, one fine day in a coffee shop,  as the story goes, Jill made the glorious discovery of her 9 Modern Day Muses and a Bodyguard. These ‘life’ companions come complete with Tools and help clear creative blocks, (overwhelm, procrastination, perfectionism, self-sabotage, fear of failure, success and comparison…you get the drift. Ahh- pardon the pun).

Years later, on yet another fine day- though not in a coffee shop, I met Jill, the 9 Muses, the Bodyguard and Kaizened right into the best of my life.

Every day, I use  KMCC™  for many things, creative or not…like clearing a path that is completely blocked by snow. (Now there’s a metaphor for life.)

Anxious to get at it, Lizard Brain is prodding me with my shovel, “c’mon, c’mon…let’s play.”

Game On! I choose a few KMCC™ Tools.

Break it Down.

Looks like I’ve already broken this big job down into sections… my path is the last area to shovel. Way to go. I’ll make it even simpler and break the path into 3 parts, no 5…Beginning, REST, Middle, REST, and End. Lizard Brain is lovin’ this.

Ask small questions.

Did I ask Small Questions? Oh ya…Can I use my favorite shovel to do this?

Lizard Brain’s raises an eyebrow and smugly says,”Dawnie, your favorite shovel is the small grain shovel…you know…the one you use for G.R.A.I.N., not snow.”

I am so.o.o tempted to throw a snowball at him.

Instead I just reply, ” So What? It’s my favorite shovel. I’ll use it anyways.”

Use the power of Small Steps and Creative Foreplay ™

Small Step: Pick up the shovel. Right.

It’s nice, light and the perfect size for me.  I feel the ease as it cuts effortlessly through the snow, revealing a little more of my studio path with each scoop.  With a quick toss snow crystals dance in the bright sunshine as they arc downward, settling into the growing snowbank. Even Lizard Brain is smiling…he likes the flash of shiny aluminum as I bring the shovel back around for the next small load of snow.

Creative Foreplay: Imagine that…

I imagine that every slice through the packed snow is like digging deep into the earth, soon to reveal glorious buried treasure.

Lo and behold, the next slice of snow does just that.

I see a sparkle… What’s this? A cavern, a snow tunnel that leads me to gold…light at the end of the snow tunnel.

Neat.

By now, I’m at Part 4- REST.

Sure, my back’s a bit tired but in 10 minutes I’ll be done.  Lizard Brain gave up any resistance to the game when we discovered the  tunnel. Right now he’s sunbathing on top of the snowbank…I’m still tempted to throw a snowball at him- this time just for fun.

I finish clearing the path and decide to add one more Small Step to this game of Kaizen and the Muses…A Small Reward.

Heading back into the house, I make myself a steaming cup of freshly brewed tea. Pulling on a cozy sweater and toque, I slap on my sunglasses, grab one piece of chocolate for Lizard Brain and one piece of chocolate for me, head outside and step lightly down the studio path  and into my creativity.

THE END.

Or as Jill Badonsky would say…Way Cool!

Want to Laugh More, Love More, Live more? Curious about how your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning and the Success Experience connect naturally? Find out  here. Dawn Kotzer, Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engages Life from her Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Made with Love

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

…this just in…

‘Paper Dolly Ring Around-a-Rosy Braves the Deep Snow’

Most days these dollies graces my fridge door.

For almost 4 years, no matter the age, guests stop, smile and reach out to touch a bead, a heart, a jiggly eye or the place where a jiggly eye once was. (see the guys on each end?)

Many wish they had a Paper Dolly Ring Around-a-Rosy of their own…really.

It’s not hard to make your own if you know the secret.

SUPPLIES:

  • Tickle Trunk full of Neat Craft Stuff
  • Glue
  • LOVE
  • A Happy 4 year old kid
  • More Glue

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Put the kid (or the kid in you) In Charge
  • Have Fun
  • Use Glue

SECRET:

  • SHOW UP AND LOVE THE PROCESS

No one asked the 4 year old who made this if she liked it, if she had fun, if she was happy with the result or what she would improve upon the next time. No one asked her if it was worth the effort.

No need to.

Just look at these dollies.

They radiate happiness.

They glow LOVE. (Notice the little pink love glow on the snow… see what I mean?)

The person who made this loved her life and loved herself.

So today, on this valentine’s day of loving and giving and ‘heart’-ing others, try this…

Between waking up and going to sleep, take a moment to show up for your Selfand for that moment, with love, put the Kid In You In Charge.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

PS. If, by some chance you actually wanted to ask the kid any of those questions, call me. Let’s Talk.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Want to Laugh More, Love More, Live more? Curious about how your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning and the Success Experience connect naturally? Find out at dawnkotzer.com.

Dawn Kotzer,  Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engages Life from her Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Catch the Long Tail of a Thought

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Tricky thing …this job of observing our thoughts.

They come and go at the speed of light, eluding our best efforts to spot them… to catch them in the act.

What’s a body to do?

Good question. In fact, that’s a great question.

Better yet, the question is the answer.

Huh?

Let me repeat the question, ah, I mean the answer.

What’s a Body to do?

Truth is, the easiest way to catch a thought is by grabbing hold of it’s tail.

As a thought flies through our mind, we feel it’s ‘tail’ in our body.

We feel the thought in our body.

So in order to observe our thoughts,  start by practicing awareness.

Try this.

Think of something you really dislike. (Hm… diced chicken livers in turkey stuffing. Ugh.)

How does that feel in your body? (…Icky)

Now think of something you really like. (Ah… blowing giant bubbles on a sunny day.)

H0w does your body feel now? (Oh, ya. I feel light.)

Crappy thoughts usually make us feel crappy.

Loving thoughts usually make us feel loving.

Fearful thoughts usually make us feel afraid.

Then, with a little help from our brain we choose to act or react.

‘Act’ comes from a place of calm, confident alignment.

‘React’ comes from flight or fight…the Land of our Lizard Brain.

(You don’t want to know what I did with those chicken livers.)

Where the mind goes, the body follows.

See how this works?

Thought


Feeling


Action

  • .

Result


Validation of opening thought ( I call this ‘Wallpapering your Corner’ but that’s another post.)

Just like the wind lifts and carries the kite in the photo above, thoughts carry ego/spirit/self, steering it into the stream of consciousness you focus on.

Whoa! Heads up. Watch out for the power lines.

Good recovery. Now you’ve got it.

When you pay attention to your body,  you can catch the long tail of thought.

Showing Up for your Self all starts with awareness.

Oh-oh. Wind’s up… gotta fly.

P.S.

Future posts:

The Land of the Lizard Brain, Wallpapering Your Corner, How to Show UP for Yourself and What was I Thinking?

Curious about how your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning and the Success Experience connect naturally? Find out at dawnkotzer.com. Dawn Kotzer,  Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engages Life from her Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada. Want to Laugh More, Love More, Live more? Get in touch here.