Why not accept the invitation


Invitation to show up
Inviting Intuition

Why not accept the invitation?
There’s no need to rsvp. This is an old school, open house event. You just show up.
As yourself.
For years I didn’t open the invite either.

Does this routine feel familiar?
An event occurs. An invitation to ‘come as you are’ arrives. You panic…just a little. OK. Maybe a lot.
You cleverly make up some excuse about weight, hair, pressing needs elsewhere…
in fact, you’d rather schedule a dental appointment than show up as your self.  Invitation declined, you’re in the clear. The unopened invite gets stashed.
Every. Single. Time.

Or maybe your M.O. is similar to my option B?
Find a role to play or a need to fill and dive right in. Most of the time I drag just enough of the real me along so I could feel a smidge more authentic.

But an invitation to show up as myself?
Hell no. I only understudy others, remember? No one plays the real me…not even me.
Those 4 small words—show up as myself— were NOT in my vocabulary.
Sigh. I didn’t grow bolder as much as exhausted with the drama loop in my brain. I grew plain old bored with it all. Thank gawwd.
Eventually the invitation sparked more curiosity than fear.
And soulful curiosity always shows up with a benevolent question.
What would it feel like to cross a threshold as myself?
What would it feel like to show up with confidence instead of hiding in a life-role?
What if I dared to bridge my own self-confidence gap?

To quote Albert Einstein, ‘curiosity has its own reason for existing.

Slowly, I explored inner self through books, podcasts, education, observation. It felt impossibly scary to go from hiding to moving forward without shifting into neutral first so I started with small, private forays into the works and words of others that brought a feeling of neutral. Spending quality time with nature and creativity tasted like freedom.

Something stirred. I caught a glimpse of  neglected, almost invisible parts of my self.
A spark rekindled. I sensed a glow, a candle in the darkness.

Leaning into curiosity, I’d shift my most nagging thoughts into neutral by asking small benevolent questions.
I learned to be a little kinder to myself. To breathe, pause and ask:
‘Where is this fear coming from?’ and ‘Whose fear voice do I hear inside my head?’

At first the catcalls from the shitty-should crowd in my head drowned out other thoughts.
Who do you think you are? Give it a rest. What do you know?You’re not brave enough, wise enough, or tall enough. You’re too old.
You’re not talented enough, traveled enough, tall enough, smart enough, blah, blah, blah. And besides, you like to put ice in red wine!
You cannot figure this out without us.

I now know those were the voices of shame and humiliation story looping their survival fear and anxiety but back then it sure sounded like inner wisdom to me… powerful, insistent, with no room for debate. In reality it was trash talking fear.

(Though some say a good argument can be made for putting ice cubes in red wine)

Here’s a few things I’ve discovered about inner wisdom.

  • It doesn’t SOUND like anything. In fact, does it even use words?
    I think it prefers a more sensual experience. How else could it cut through the shitty-shoulds and lizard brain drama?
  • It is for and of the individual. It’s not a big, showy thing reserved for the guru, the intellectual, the author, the ancient or the famous.
  • Inner wisdom waits quietly within for you to notice its presence and then invites you, once again to be the expert of your own life experience.
    You get to write your own story from here on in.

Remember that candle in the darkness? Inner wisdom has left the light on for you.
Pause. Take a breath. Feel the glow.

Go ahead. Accept the invitation.

  • Take small moments to show up as your self.
    Listen to the thoughts you think, the words you use and how those words make you feel.
  • Start asking small benevolent questions.
    No question is too small; too big; too ordinary, too repetitive.
  • Leave room for the answer to find you.
    The essence of the question carries the essence of the answer. We often feel it first as an experience of our senses.

Inner Wisdom practices the art of curiosity which creates breathing space for soul.

Yay! You did accept the invitation. That’s totally old school groovy.

As a master coach, entrepreneur and artist, I use a lifetime of diverse experience, humor and grass roots wisdom to help others bridge their self confidence gap.  Don’t let fear keep you in the dark.  If I can help you in this experience called life, drop me a line. Let’s talk.

let's talk- Dawn Kotzer
Hi. I’m Dawn

PS  Have you subscribed to my eLetter,  meet at dawn? Created for and delivered exclusively to newsletter subscribers. Get it here.

6 Ways to set Resistance Free


Resistance-Small Steps and a stick
Release resistance. invite PLaY

M.a.D. Explorer Tips and Tools-
6 Ways to set Resistance Free:

You know the feeling, right?We have stuff we Must do, Should do, Have to do…yet it feels impossible to start. We stall out, trapped in a doom chamber of resistance. Resistance can bring out the fight, flight, freeze or faint in us.  What if releasing ourselves from resistance brought out our inner explorer or the curious child in us instead?
I’ve used all 6 of these tools…which ones work for you?

1) Play ‘I See YoU’
Awareness is a powerful practice. It is the gentle flashlight of our soul, offering compassion and a chance to lighten up.
Instead of ‘Arggghhh, Resistance. You can’t be here. Situation Stalled.‘ Try rephrasing that into ‘Ahhhh, Resistance…I see You. Situation, normal mortal.”  Take 2 minutes, do a stretch, attend to a tiny task, have a cup of tea, breathe. Start your project again in a little while.

2) Frame a declaration of independence
“I’m not going to do a damn thing this morning and that’s ok

As a Mad Explorer (aka curiosity hound-intuitive-creative rebel) I’ve lost count of the times this declaration has set me free, fueling my tank for an effortless start at something later in the day.  If your can’t clear an entire morning, just clear 30 minutes. How does “I’m not going to do a damn thing for the next 1/2 hour and that’s ok!” feel to you?  The release comes from giving yourself permission to be OK with whatever amount of time feels right for you. 10 minutes may be your magic number. Start there.

3) Create a NOT-GoT-to-Do list-
Make a short list of real time actions/tasks and give yourself permission to NOT have to Do on a given day.
This could be grocery shopping, doing taxes, washing windows, sorting seasonal clothes, non-deadline stuff…
Whoosh! The pressure lifts. We get to remove our own mindset shackles and free ourself to take on the day as it unfolds.

4) Draft a dirty Deed list-
As chief Sherpa in our rural paradise, there’s quite a few jobs that fall into my domain that I DO NOT enjoy doing. (think crawlspace plumbing/ cleaning out icky, stinky cold rooms, doing roof repair, did I say plumbing? etc.)
For whatever reason creating this list ricochet’s me into the land of doing things that, while still not part of my Top 3 Wanna Do Chart, seem a lot more appealing than those on the dirty Deed List. It also makes it easier to do the dirty deeds…of-course I’ve likely left them to the last minute. Yep, deadlines and urgency help too, especially when we’re talking plumbing.

5) Read a Book-
Jill Badonsky’s books, 9 Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard) and The Muse is In offer a galaxy full of lively, creative, effective insights, exercises  and guidance. Grab your copies. Check them out for more ways to navigate Resistance. I don’t leave home without them.

6) Go Kaizen-
Activate curiosity by asking “Whats’ the smallest step I can take to get started?”
Break the project down into chunks; break the chunks into tasks. Break the tasks into tiny steps, so ridiculously small that you are guaranteed 100% success. Resistance often flares when we anticipate failure at something, usually because it’s too big a step to start with.

[ctt tweet=”Resistance= fear of failure when we choose a 1st step that’s too big. Break tasks down. Start with a small step. Repeat. ” coverup=”4876m”] Have any of the tips mentioned above work for you? What’s your best tip for setting Resistance Free?
Please share your thoughts or questions in the comment section below.

Go Ahead- release resistance~ even just for a moment. Invite a sense of PLaY  and curiosity along for the ride. You’ll be glad you did.
If you’d ever like someone along for the ride to make it easier to get through the sticky, icky bits give me a shout.  I can help.

happy trails,
find me at the corner of meet at dawn, my weekly newsletter
and this blog, M.a.D. Explorers club
dawn kotzer
inner wilderness guide, master kaizen-muse™ creativity coach,
martha beck certified life coach, iwg biz mentor, curiosity hound

Stuck, stalled, stagnant?

stuck, stalled or stagnant
old, weathered and worn out?

or do you feel stuck, stalled or even worse, stagnant?
I know that feeling…it sucks.
If you’re aware of it, that can be a good thing.
If you can name it then some part of you is watching from a distance.
Some part of you is the spectator…watching from the sidelines.

Take a look at the car in the picture…
(can’t see it? Select display images. I’ll wait)

What’s your hunch? Is it Stuck? Stalled? Stagnant? Maybe all three. What if this car represents something else?

Mildred took this photo while on a mission one sunny afternoon almost 8 years ago.
Painting was my mom’s new passion; she was on the hunt for inspiration. Did I mention she was 75?
The trees were crowned in green glory and she knew the nearby river-fed valleys would be vibrating with the sights, sounds and scents of June. The day was alive with inspiration.

Driving down into the valley, she spied the old car from the gravel road, falling in love with its patina. To take this photo Mom told me she had to climb over a broken old fence and push through an overgrown meadow. From the road she hadn’t thought it such a hike…her Birkenstocks and long flowing dress must have made the trek through burrs and twigs a little tough.

My mom had the eye of the artist and knew that this depth of tones and collection of colours can only come from weathering the storms and braving the elements. She knew what it was like to feel used up, spent, out of gas. Depressed and forgotten. She also knew that stuck, stalled or stagnant is a subjective state of mind. It all depends on your perspective and your desire to keep going. Why do you think she started painting?

Sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to explore, to take that first small step over the fence, across the meadow toward what inspires us.

I help guide smart, innovative, motivated people find their ‘through line’ and get from where they are to where they want to be…
Find me at the intersection of business, play, creativity and life.  Drop me a line.
Ask for Dawn, your Inner Wilderness Guide.

who wants to Be a MiLLionAiRe?


Garden Steps-Muted c wm

Have you ever experienced those crazy-making, hazy days of dreaming and scheming?
There you stand, happily pondering the name of your
business de jour, fast forwarding into overnight success…
Viola`, you’re a millionaire.
A moment later, frozen in the grip of Overwhelm and Fear of Failure, you shiver with Doubt and Confusion.
“Holy Cr*p, what was I thinking? I don’t have a clue how to get this ball rolling. I don’t even know where to start?

Bompf! Once again the ball drops, your dream rolls away.
Sound familiar? Yup, been there, done that. You’re not alone.

but I’m curious,
aren’t you getting just a little tired of being pushed around by Procrastination and her bossy twin, Resistance?
If so, read on.

What does it take to make things happen and get the ball rolling?

Making things happen in life:
part of a process I call  ‘Ask , Act & Observe’.
Ask Small Questions. Pick up a Ball. Observe. Respond.
Take a Small Step. Put in the Effort. Pick up a different ball…
{or the same ball in case you dropped it…maybe l.i.f.e. knocked it out of your hand…
that’s ok. you get to pick it up again.}
Ask more Small Questions. Observe. Adjust. Play. Adapt.
Take another Step.
Put in more Effort. Pick up another ball. Play around with this one. Observe.
Ask what worked? and what didn’t?
Leave Space for Good to show up. Appreciate the Process.
Start all over again.

Does this sound  too s-l-o-o-w for you? You want what you want NOW? hmm, you might have picked up the ‘all or nothing ball’, a slippery little critter at best.

Here’s the real deal-
A successful, thriving business often results from many years of drawing on Ask, Act & Observe {aka 10% Inspiration and 90% perspiration}. The same applies to most important endeavours.
Focused effort, sacrifice, dedication, determination, creativity, persistence, guts, courage, challenge, curiosity, play, tenacity along with a few meltdowns, a healthy sense of humour and a lot of self compassion sign on for the long haul. They move in tandem with each other, creating a path of success accomplished through a million small steps.

Whoa…could that be another definition of a ‘millionaire’?
“She who embraces success in each of a million small steps.”
Works for me. How ’bout you?

The next 3 posts, cleverly labelled Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3  🙂 
will reveal the magic of how Small Steps can SPEED up the path to success.
Think of it as abracasmallstepsdabra
finding success & millionaire moments, one step at a time.

But for now~
What’s your take on making things happen
and getting the ball rolling?
Comment, Like, Share or get in touch.
I’d love to hear from you.

Dawn Kotzer
Kaizen-Muse™ Master Coach. Martha Beck Certified Life Coach.

Special Thanks to the readers for all your encouragement
{you know who you are}.Your support makes it easier for me
to hit ‘publish’ during this Blog Challenge #TSE30DC. Yay You!
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Good Vibrations Mindset

Good Vibrations from Cosmic Trees
Cosmic Trees, Awareness and good vibrations

Sometimes L.i.F.E. throws us curveballs, hurls lemons our way or knocks us off track.
If I’m racing towards a deadline, facing an overwhelming challenge or driving myself nuts with mindloops and brain chatter…Enough already!

Suitcase Entrepreneur, Natalie Sisson asks:
which key Tools will you turn to regularly maintain your mindset and how will you effectively use them?”

These are the Tools that work for me~

Tool #1—Breathe
I know that seems obvious AND everyone tells you “remember to breathe”. Why? Because it works.

Tool #2 —Awareness
Okay, I admit when I feel hopelessly lost in the land of Chaos it takes me a while to remember I have unlimited access to my Awareness Zone

Have you ever noticed that Awareness has a wonderful way of showing up exactly when you decide to look for it?
Ask and you shall receive. Awareness is like that.

Tool #3Small Questions
My best mindset is based on Good Vibrations.
So I create
room for the Good to find me.
I do this by asking myself Small Questions:

  • What am I feeling?Good? great…now go PlaY!
  • Not so good? Have I been here before?
  • What helped me get into a better groove in the past?
  • Would that work here? If not, what might work better?

{This amazing Q&A can quickly steer your mind out of a rut. Go ahead give it a try.}

Tool #4Break Things Down
Few people like feeling out of sorts…I know I don’t.
It’s important to make it really, really easy to change our mindset when needed.
So I ask myself another small question:

  • “What’s the smallest step I can take to get me into, or maintain, a Good Vibrations Mindset?”

If the answer bubbles up immediately, terrific!
If not, I leave room for it to find me~
which leads me right back to…y
up, you guessed it~
and so it goes…round and round.
good, good, good, good vibrations~
bringing out the best in all of us.

Please leave a comment, get in touch, connect and Share…I’d love to hear what’s working for you and/or help you tap into your own good vibrations.
Thanks for reading.
Dawn Kotzer
Master Kaizen-Muse™Creativity Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, Entrepreneur, Business Mentor-Coach.


Don’t Try Harder, Try Easy

Don't Try Hard. Try Easy

“What 3 priorities for the next 30 days will move me closer towards living life on my own terms?”
Top Tip: Focus on the ones you believe are a stretch, but achievable.”

Did I mention I got up at dawn to write this?
I never get up that early. That tells me writing into this challenge has grabbed my attention.
I recall a quote shared by a client last week that also grabbed my attention.

“don’t try harder, try easy”

Trust me, ‘Try Easy’ feels a bit of a stretch for me.
So what?
I’m willing to give it a go.
By Lowering unrealistic Expectations of myself…you know, those ‘UGH.listic’ expectations raised by the pressure of unkind self talk, judgment, BullS—comparison, fear of rejection and not being good enough. Ya, those ones.
I am gonna cut myself some slack and lighten up.
Slip into a space of ease
Pass on my habit of ‘squeeze’
I’m giving myself Permission to stretch my comfort zone in a way that matches my Feel Good Groovy.

Lowering unrealistic Expectations doesn’t mean lowering standards.
It means allowing space for ourselves to meet our ‘standards’ in a way that doesn’t drive us nuts, a way that brings out the beauty in us…not the beast.

Staying in this 30 Day Blog Challenge is a bit of a stretch too. Will I make it? hmmm, too soon to tell…
I’m giving myself Permission to suck and do a crappy job a first at first…Lowering UGH.listic Expectations while I enjoy the process.
After all, I’m new to this…It’s NorMal to make a few mistakes, post Day 6 on Day 9…you know, things like that, right?
Yay! I Get To give it my best and Try Easy.
How about you?

Please, leave a comment, share this post or drop me a line
if you’d like to know more about working together and finding your own Try EASY.
Dawn Kotzer, a Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity & Martha Beck Life Coach, living below a hill, beside the Boreal Forest on the edge of Tobin Lake, SK, Canada, guides others to successfully discover how to Get Real and Find Freedom.


Day 1- what WAS I thinking?

Sun Slipping Away Soon
Why do I procrastinate writing blog posts?
How many more times will I ask myself that question?
Months can go by…not a single post…at least not in print.
Oh sure, I’ve crafted some winners in my head but they never make it into the light of day.
Time to find a better question.
“What if joining Natalie Sisson’s Blog Challenge might help me find a groove?” Viola`.
I sign up before I can give it a second thought.

As promised, Oct. 1’s prompt arrived-

  • Day 1: Write a post on why you started your blog, who you wanted to reach, what you wanted it to be all about. Then state why you joined this blog challenge and what you want to get out of it.

I pause…I ponder. I take my Android apart…ChecK the battery just for good measure…clean the screen. I wander around the house, GraB a cup of coffee…open the fridge door…close the fridge door…get a warmer pair of socks…find my way back to my office, ChecK email…format some pictures…make a phone call…
Shoot. No one’s home. Seems like I’ve run out of ProcrastiOptions.
AARRRggHHHHhhhh….What if I don’t KNOW the answers, I whine silently.
My Inside Buddy pipes up. (Know who I mean? Tiny inner voice that answers you when you’re talking to yourself…yup, that one. I call her inside Buddy.)
” What if you don’t have to know? You just start writing and see where it takes you…C’mon, just go for it.”
So here I am…starting before the sun slips away.

Day 1.
Why did I start my blog?
Because the other coaches had one? Because it seemed like the thing to do? Oh. Now I remember.
I wanted to have a place to share things that might be of value to others and myself.
(oh god, that sounds lame. I’m hitting delete. “Leave it be”, inside Buddy says. “You’re doing great.”)

Whom did I want to reach?
(hmmm,  this question feels easier.)
People who have the same questions as I did.  Like:
How can I make finding my own groove just a little bit easier? When do I get to feel I am EnouGh?

(sheesh! now it sounds like I’m writing for myself. “SO?” Inside Buddy pipes up. “Keep going.”)

What did I want it to be about?
(Wow. This feels even easier to answer. Inside Buddy is nodding, smiling, 2 thumbs up!)
I wanted to share my stories and photography.
Living alongside nature in the the almost wilderness,  there’s been so many small but powerful moments that have helped me Let Go of who I thought I MuSt Be in
this wild and crazy business called LiFE.
These memorable moments have taught me HOW to catch my breath, to Lean Back and Sigh;
to give myself
Permission to be successful, to Be Real and Find Freedom in living my everyday life.
A Blog lets me share what’s worked for me with others.

Why did I join this Blog Challenge? What do I want to get out of it?
putting words into play
giving myself Permission to get comfortable with Close Enough
being OK to post, to show up as myself in a manner that feels right for me
Practice sharing small moments with others who resonate with my vibe.

Thanks, Natalie, for asking questions.
The sun has set. This post is a wrap.
Close Enough is Good Enough for me.

Please, leave a comment, share this post or drop me a line
if you’d like to hear more of how to Be Real, Find Freedom in this wildly exceptional business called LiFE.
Dawn Kotzer, a Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity& Martha Beck Life Coach, living below a hill, below a hill, on the edge of Tobin Lake, SK, Canada, guides others to successfully discover how to BE Real and Find Freedom.


Celebrate?What if the going gets rough~

Celebrate: to mark a significant time or event with an enjoyable activity.’

Image-Celebrating Small Steps
Photo- Celebrating Small Steps

It’s easy to celebrate when things fall seamlessly into place…right?
We have a plan, a goal, a dream.
We get at it, enjoying the feeling of having our feet on solid ground.
We know we’re heading in the right direction~ we have a clear destination in view.
Now take a look at the photo above…
What about this girl?
Does she look like she’s celebrating or just managing to stay afloat?

Can we celebrate when the going gets rough?
Who wants to celebrate when it feels like it’s all we can do to stay on our feet…to stay afloat?
How do we even begin to find our way towards a Spirit of Celebration?
Ah…good question.
What if it’s not a case of moving forward but rather standing still?
Bringing Awareness into the present moment.
Lowering Expectations.
Cutting our self a little slack.
Exchanging ideals of Perfection for the success of ‘Good Enough
Giving ourself a little Credit.
Responding to our own sense of Equilibrium.
Taking a Breath; allowing a space for Relaxation.
Asking ourselves this one small question…

“What’s going right?”

Too often, we’ve trained ourselves to pay attention to the deficits, the issues, the problems,
the restrictions, the limitations of our journey. Ugh.

Hey…what about all those overlooked things that are going right?
The unexpected moments of calm that are placed perfectly on our path?
The Small Thoughts that endlessly entertain True Self…
nudging us to go inside for just a few moments and play with our wild and creative self, exploring our landscape of possibility ?
{…you know, those ‘what if?’ energy boosting thoughts you promise you’ll pay close attention to~later~when you’re finished building your empire, putting stuff in order, making things perfect, yada, yada, yada.}

Can you give yourself a little CREDIT for the small things you’ve accomplished today?

The girl in the photo is my 8 year old granddaughter.
Determined to make it to the other end of the dock, she boldly declared it was NOT too windy or rough to ‘walk the plank’.
Certain she’d turn around after the first few rock and rolling steps, I watched as she took one small hesitant step after another, dropping to her knees as a wave crashed into the platform.
She’d look back over her shoulder…a big smile on her face.
“uh-oh…she’s going the whole way. Good thing the water’s not too cold or deep,” I thought.
By now, she’d realized the waves were bigger, the wind more fierce, the challenge greater than imagined.
It was all she could do to stay upright, yet she kept going.
Every few feet, she’d pause to look back, grinning from ear to ear.
She managed to stay afloat; she refused to turn back.
I watched as she stepped into moments of Celebration.
She’d pause, breathe, wait for the waves to calm and regain her balance.
Then she’d continue…moving up and down, forward; sometimes backwards…one small step at a time.

Many, many small steps later she stood at the far end of the dock…she made it.
Undaunted by the sudden realization that she had to retrace her steps over the rock and rolling dock to get back to the car, she clasped the guardrail watching the waves slapping close to her feet.

The return journey was easier…she knew the waters would be choppy, the passage rough.
Perfection was replaced by ‘Good Enough.’
Every step was in fact a Celebration, a big “Yay Me!…I’m still afloat. I can do this.

I’m glad I was there to take photos of this adventure. They’re a great Reminder for ME.
It used to be easy for me to focus on all that was undone, unfinished, deficient…
Celebrations only happened at the end of a job.
By that time, I was too tired, too grumpy, too worn out, too jaded, too this, too that to celebrate.
I give myself Credit for the small things more often than not.
I cut myself some slack. Somedays, I cut myself a lot of slack.
‘Close Enough’ works for me.
I leave room for Good to happen.
I Celebrate the small, the medium and the large.
I Celebrate at the beginning, in the middle and at the end.
I Celebrate being Me.
~especially when the going gets rough.

Would you like to find out how to Celebrate being you…at home, at work, at play~
I’m just an email away.

Thanks for taking the time to hang out with me here. I appreciate it.

Dawn Kotzer
creative coaching for this business called L.I.F.E.

  • Master Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach

    • Martha Beck Certified Life Coach

      • Coach Mentor



Clearing the Path of Perfection.

The path has vanished…again.

I can’t  believe my eyes. How can this be? It was a path of perfection yesterday…tidy, clear, level.

True, it stormed last night but man, not even a hint of my studio path remains.

I groan. More shoveling. Looks like I’m in for quite a work out.

That’s the upside.

Bundled up in layers of winter clothing- trudging, struggling, sinking through 3′ snowdrifts just to get to the shovel, frustration overtakes me as I recognize the downside.

Whoa! As soon as frustration meets ‘downside’ Lizard Brain jumps on the bandwagon chiming in with a resounding  ‘Shoulding’ refrain.

“I should have shoveled a wider path.”

“I should have put up a snow fence.”

” I should be better at this by now.”

“I should have parked the snowblower where snowdrifts CAN’T bury it.”

“I should have known about the snowstorm.”

Does this refrain sound familiar?

Does all this ‘Shoulding’ make you feel just a tad paralyzed by perfection or the need to get it right?

This need, aka Perfection Paralysis, is high octane fuel for the Lizard Brain. Give her an inch of frustration and she’ll turn it into a mile of misery.

If you let her, she’ll lodge that ‘Shoulding’ refrain in your head for days, weeks, months, even years at a time. Worse yet, the bigger your need to be perfect, the louder and stronger her voice.

Built into to our physiology to protect us from danger, to ensure our survival, you can appreciate that the ancient Lizard Brain is committed to you 100%.  The  faintest glimpse of the enemy, the slightest sound of fear and she’s got your back, using any tool she can lay her hands on. She takes her job very, very seriously.

It’s just that these days she’s a little confused about the enemy.

It sure seemed like she heard alarm bells…isn’t that what all the muttering and moaning was about?

She’s also learned how to read my thoughts…

Obviously if I had set things up perfectly to start with, it would be easier now.  I’ve been shoveling snow for years. When am I going to Get-it-Right?”

No. I can’t blame Lizard Brain. She’s just trying to do her job.

As far as she knew, reading my reaction; irritation, frustration, unhappiness, anxiety over shoveling through 3 feet of snow-AGAIN…I was obviously in great peril.



Ahhh, poor little Lizard Brain.

I pat her on the head, thank her for her vigilance and settle her down for a nap on a nearby sunlit snowbank.

Over time, I’ve learned to pay attention to the whisperings of my Lizard Brain, to let go of my need  for perfection and develop new habits to bring Peace to the moment.

Here’s what works for me:

  • Lean Back and Sigh~ Gain a little perspective by claiming some breathing space. In this case, I lean on the shovel. Practice Awareness, 10 seconds at a time. Take in the beauty of the pure white snow. Pay attention as my moist breath floats like a cloud into the morning sunlight.
  • Hang out with the Nine Modern Day Muses~ I choose Spills and Bea Silly. Both are into the Joy of DOING, not just the Joy of Done. For those stalled by the ‘Paralysis of Perfectionism’, Spills uses the power of Close Enough. She rewards me for having patience with the process of practice. Bea Silly uses Kidstuff ™ as a way to infuse an attitude of Play into everyday life. Any way to lighten up and have a little fun here? (Sure! I go back into the house and slap on my favorite trapper style Canada hat.)
  • Three Breaths ~ Take 3 even, regular breaths. Pay attention to your body as you breathe in and out. I know, you hear this all the time. Why? Because it works. Attention to your breath is the simplest, smallest step you can take to still inner stress.

So there you have it. Snow, glistening white in the morning sun; Lizard Brain content to dream away the moment in the warm sunshine and me…Trapper style Canada hat on head,shovel in hand, clearing a path for imperfection as I embrace my own process of practice and play.

1-2-3 shovel-breathe. 1-2-3-shovel-breathe. 1-2-3-shovel-breathe-lean back and sigh.

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.

What Path? Sno.o.w Overwhelm

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`.


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.


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.


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.



I know. It’s spring. The crocus blooms are just bursting to blow through the forest loam, and I’m sending you a picture of sunlight on snow.

Tell me. Do you see the snow or do you see the diamonds?  Do you see winter or do you see the deep freeze pushing itself up towards the sunlight.

What I’m really sending you is neither snow nor sunlight.  Delivered by the magic of technology is a Feast for your eyes…the main course:  Nature’s Reality.

I have spent the past winter too much inside, anchored to my computer, plunged into the task of learning rudimentary tech. For me it’s a hit and miss process. Considering information is exchanged at lightning speed my progress is glacial, slow, measured in bits and bytes of comprehension. My reality…Technofog.

Hours fly by. Days pass. Night moves in and out and then back in again. Technology doesn’t care. I don’t care. I’m on a mission. Occasionally, I hear the outside world calling. Winds sing, windows rattle, chimes ring in a southfacing, sheltered deck.  “Come out, come out, wherever you are. Yes, it’s cold outside, but it’s a dry cold. Come out. Come out and play.”

I turn a blind eye, a deaf ear and like a confused turtle, go back inside my head.  Finally, thankfully, my body cries, “Enough!” Pushing away from the desk, taking a small step to start my rebellion,  I turn and catch a glimpse of the silvery sunshine on the sleek, silky nub of birch bark.                                           “When did the sun start shining so brightly?” The snow gleams with a  layer  of  brilliant crystal bling.

My body calls. “Go out, go out…yes, it’s cold outside but it’s a dry cold…dress warm. Go out. Go out and play.” I listen, bundle up and go.

Grabbing my camera, step by step I  head up the hill to the south meadow. Catching my breath with an intake of homecoming, I walk into a land filled with diamonds in the rough. Winter grasses bleached and softened by cold north winds look polished with the sun’s shine. Winter is in full bloom.

I feast my eyes and touch the world. Laying in the soft white snow I glance through the grasses, skyward.  Wow. Prisms, crystals, diamonds…everywhere. I pull the camera out of my jacket. Click. My fingers stiffen with cold as I crawl through the snow.  Click. Twisting in another direction; Click. Click. Dipping as close as I can to the frosted earth, my head tilts skyward. Click. Click. Click. Finally, I stand up, shake off my snowman coating, stuff my hands into my mitts for warmth and go home. Back to the office. Back to the computer, back to my learning curve.  But I am deeply refreshed, nourished and re-energized by my Feast in the meadow.

Now on the eve of another season, I share my Feast with you. This gift is woven by the magic of combining 2 realities.  One at a time they may both call to us, inviting us to play.  I am lucky. I have learnt through my lesson of neglect, we are best served when we blend our inner and outer realities together.

Ah…do you hear that? “Come out, come out wherever you are. Come out and play.”  Now go find a Feast that replenishes you.

As an Inner Wilderness Guide, I use a lifetime of diverse experience, humor, grass roots wisdom and professional training to guide others into mind expanding landscapes.  Find how your inner genius, creativity, pursuit of meaning and the success experience connect naturally at dawnkotzer.com.

I’m a certified Canadian life and creativity coach thriving in Saskatchewan.Copy of cert_coach_logo_1 tiny

My first step

ah, I see a path.

New to posting a blog,  I grimace over the learning curve. Why am I doing this again?  

Despite the snowstorm outside banking drifts across the road and the techno-fog inside my brain I  push on. What else is a Canadian Life Coach to do?

Then I realize I’m okay not knowing exactly how to proceed. Curiously, I just keep moving forward, getting a feel for the lay of the land.  Apparently I have everything I need…a sense of direction, a desire to get going and a point of view.  Befriending my ‘I Don’t Know’ mind has been a slow, uphill battle but oh, so worth it.  I’ll fill you in soon. The techno-fog is lifting. Snowdrifts be damned.

Wish me luck. Stay Warm.

Looking forward….


I use a lifetime of diverse experience, humor and grass roots wisdom to guide others into mind expanding landscapes.  Find how your inner genius, creativity and pursuit of meaning and success connect naturally at dawnkotzer.com