Encouragement. Who cheers you on?

lift up and cheer

Who cheers you on? Where do you find encouragement?

Let me ask you this…
Do you work to play or does your work feel like play? Who lifts you up when you need encouragement?

I’m a member of Tara Gentile‘s membership site, CoCommercial. The discussion of unconstructive cheerleading vs constructive encouragement came up. Ever the outlier, I saw a possible 3rd option, mindful cheerleading.
Intrigued by my idea, Tara asked me to write about it and share with her community. My post, a short 3 minute read, first appeared on Help Yourself.

Does it feel like your hard efforts must carry you to a win or is what you learn from your efforts the real win. Regardless of the outcome can your actions and efforts feel like progress?

Here’s the thing. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. We’re so close to the immediate terrain that we lose our ability to see just how far we’ve come.

And when we feel we aren’t moving ahead we can easily fail to see our progress
…not to mention that we’re often mind-lugging unrealistic expectations of ourself every step of the way.

Our inner critic has a field day when we buy into those huge unrealistic expectations. Thought loops from the doom chamber can fill our head, become daunting and fill us with doubt. We can feel incredibly alone.

At times like this, look for the cheerleaders, your cheerleaders.
I’m not speaking of pom poms, marching bands and a pep rally of perfectly choreographed routines overtaking your path. I’m speaking of another kind of  encouragement. And this isn’t a shallow, vapid shower of make nice-nice either. This kind of cheer aligns with core drivers and goodwill no matter the outcome.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what kind of encouragement is most helpful for you. What kind of cheerleading would you love to receive and most importantly, do you take time to cheer yourself?

If you’d like more of my take on life, check out my newsletter meet at dawn, the explorers journal. Sign up and receive field maps, boreal forest good vibes and encouraging words for life, business and creative soul. Shine on.

Here’s the link, again to my post of how mindful cheerleading fills a business need. Cheers!

Unexpected Results or a Steaming Teapot of Belief?


thoughts. beliefs. steaming in hot water |art © Dawn Kotzer
Thought-full teapot

Did we get unexpected results or a steaming teapot of belief?

Thought to action to result. Seems simple enough, right?
How is it then that the result we hope for is often NOT the result we get?
While thoughts activate the end result, what activates thought?
Steeping, brewing, sitting beneath it all is a belief waiting to be expressed.

Change our inner thoughts, change our inner world.
Change our perception, change our reality.
There’s real truth in that.
However, when we want to make lasting change to our inner world
we need to look at which belief is in flow, which one is running the show.

The flow goes like this:

which fosters
that propels
which delivers
And the RESULT always validates the initial belief.
So the next time you wonder what the heck you were thinking, check what was activated just beneath the surface.

To put it in a more playful way…

See the tea pot?
You are the the pot.
The tea leaves (Belief) are what you carry within.
The hot water (Thought) activates warmth (Feeling.)
Steam happens (Action)
Viola`!  Scented Jasmine tea (Result)
Which of-course validates the fact that you had Jasmine tea leaves in the pot.

No problem, right?
Nope~ except that you wanted something a little more spicy.
Turns out you were aiming for Chai. 

Thoughts do create feelings which create action which does produce a result.
But the next time your results are NOT what you hoped they’d be,
do little thoughtful investigation. What was really running the show?
When you make the effort and aim for a specific result, activate an inner belief that will support the outcome you desire.

May that pot of tea you brewed align with your desires  and exceed all expectations.
… and yes, I’d love a cup of Chai. ^..^

I’d love to hear your comments. Post away.

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 you’d like a little breathing room 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.

Passion Prey or Passion Play?

passion and hound at play

I must find and follow my Passion. I’ve tried everything and I can’t find it.

During my years as a coach I’ve heard this a lot...  I feel compelled to ask them
“What if you let it find you? Sometimes our search feels more like like passion prey. Wouldn’t you rather feel passion play?”
Sometimes people appreciate the question and sometimes? not so much.

See the photo? backstory
I had dropped to the ground to take a closeup of a crocus in bloom.
Teagen, my Irish Wolfhound closed in, intent in her desire to come to my aid. I mean I was laying prone-obviously in need of protection from this small blue thing in my face, right?
The crocus turned into her prey…until she read my energy and then, alas, the poor flowers became the object of play. My hound snouted the flowers out of the soil and tossed them in the air.  Prancing around, she seized the moment, tossing them up again and again.
From passion prey to passion play in the blink of an eye.

Years later this moment stays with me.
It seems a good metaphor for my take on the need to discover one’s passion. I don’t quite buy into it the whole ‘must find purpose and passion’ thing.
It seems the hunt becomes too confusing as so often we miss the obvious.

Think about it. What do you feel when you go hunting for something you really want to find? Car keys, house keys, bank card, phone? In that moment, they are the prey. What energy is fueling you? Desperation, irritation or frustration? And what do you often feel if you can’t find them.

What happens when you stalk your passion like prey?  You try to capture a fleeting glimpse of it so you can hunt it down, claim ownership and in a blinding flash know your way. My experience has been that this happens only the big screen and not in real life.

Oh ya, passion can make us feel alive. I, too love the feeling of life in my fingertips. But it’s  curiosity, resonance and peace that have consistently led me toward a more wholehearted, playful self, where I can own knowing that I am enough for me.
Passion and desire have merged with where I am. The unrealistic expectations of the hunt have disappeared. I feel more excited about possibility of play than fearful of failure to come away empty-handed.

What if clearing a welcoming, nurturing, flexible inner space that allows for growth, change and reflection could channel a little more invigorating adrenaline your way? A little less hype, a little more curiosity? A little less prey and a little more play?
If you were passion would that draw you in or push you away?
You don’t have to answer right away…let the question percolate and see what bubbles up.

The next time you feel the desperate need to find your passion, lean into curiosity.
Give yourself permission to feel a good-enough-in-this-moment vibe and then go play.
Let passion find you.

Updated and revised from a post,originally published in 2010. Seems searching for our passion and purpose in life is part of human be-ing. How can you make the search more fun?

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 Canameaning and success connect naturally at dawnkotzer.com

Sign up for my e-letter here. We meet at dawn.

Happy Ground and Glory Day

Ground and glory Day

Not all of us were ready to plan 2016 on January 1. I know I wasn’t…and that’s OK. Sometimes it takes a little while to ground ourselves; to hear our voice within, to find our groove.

I took some time to ponder how I’d like 2016 to look, to feel for me, finally landing on this simple Ground and Glory Tree playsheet.
This little graphic worked for me, giving me a chance to lean in and listen to my essential self, my core of instinct and intuition.
These intentions bubbled up:
I want to:

  • let go of thought loops and tired old stories that suck my soul dry
  • give myself permission to embrace more play
  • celebrate the things I do and skills I learn along the way
  • commit to leading and living a life with a creative, artful vibe
    more in tune with who I am at heart.
  • pay attention to life priorities but for my own goodness sake, give curiosity a chance to lead me astray. 🙂
  • and so…Tada! a Ground and glory Playsheet.Use this contemplation as a place to start, to ground and glow.
    Seems Groundhog day is thee perfect time to share it with others
    who have a keen desire to stretch, to play, to grow.
    Download Ground-and-Glory-tree-2016

If this works for you too, I’d love to hear. Comments are always welcome.
Please share this post and my Ground and Glory PlaySheet with others.
I appreciate it your support, encouragement and time.
Thank YOU.



the inner Wilderness – a path revealed

Wilderness Pebble reflects your Gold

When we find ourselves lost in a forest of fear, bogged down in our inner wilderness by a tangled web of doubt, comparison and perfectionism, it’s easy to give up. To flounder. To stop. To blame others for our lack of direction.
When there’s no path revealed, vulnerability overwhelms us, self-discouragement drains our courage.
It feels as if life is sandblasting our soul.
Our voice is paralyzed. We fear we might take our unique offering to the grave.

I know this feeling. It goes deeper than hurt, to that place where we are most alone. It feels cold and dark and broken. Though we try, we cannot be kind to ourselves.
But you’re not alone and you’re not broken. You’re merely stalled…and likely for good reason.
Tho’ it might be a bit obscured at this moment, there is a path into that clearing of light where your inner genius feels safe and warm and strong…
Free to be real. Free to play. Free to shine out and shine on.

Do you long to create that special something in your life that reflects your inner brilliance on a larger stage?
Do you long to reclaim your soul song, discover your soul fuel and core drivers that make it easier to commit to your dreams?
Do you long to feel a solid foundation beneath you, making it easier to show up as and for your self?
Do you long to find meaningful success without feeling like you’re sandblasting your soul?

I want you to find your bearings, align yourself with your north star,
turn your face to the sun, stand tall and be able to acknowledge Shadow; claiming that space of deep awareness as information,
as wisdom rather than a need for apology.
I want you to find your voice and not feel like an echo of someone else.

I’m at your service…
Personal coach and business mentor for entrepreneurs, soul coach and master creativity coach, helping you find your ‘through line’, revealing the path that will get you from where you are to where you long to be.
Join me at the corner of soul, entrepreneurship, creativity and life.
Dawn~ inner wilderness guide.

Drop me a line.  dawn@dawnkotzer.com
Let’s talk.

Now what Rebel HeadSpace?

see the image? wild thing.
see the image? wild thing.

A few days ago, overcome by a wave of anti-yearend accounting procrastination, I felt a pressing desire to move ‘write blog post’ to the top of my immediate ToDo list.
Photos, Title, Action…ReArranging my Control Freak Rebel Headspace came into being.
Yes, I know. The title’s a bit lengthy but I was high on procrastination, remember?

Tada! Despite a global server issue shutting me out of my blog for most of the afternoon, I wrote the post, declared it ‘Good Enough’, hit publish and moved onto the next non-accounting item on my list.

‘Go get heavy coats’ jumped off the page, demanding attention.
It had been blisteringly cold outside, -27 Celcius and colder for days on end.
This was New Year’s Eve and we were looking forward to meeting a group of  good friends for dinner.
As I bundled up and headed outside to get the coats from a big old cedar cupboard in one of the storage buildings, I decided to see how happy the car was in this weather. Many Canadian vehicles are fitted with electric blockheaters to keep the engine warm, making the car easier to start.
Checking to see that the car had been plugged in, I slid into in the driver’s seat…turned over the ignition.
Nothing. Nope. Nada. Block of Ice.
This was one cold, unhappy vehicle.

OK…we’ll have to take the truck. Turned over the key.
Nothing. Nope. Nada.  Neither vehicle would start.
{Say What? how could this be? These vehicles always start. Damn!}
Long story short, neither vehicle was going anywhere that night.
Looked like the plan was interrupted…again.
I was not happy.
Then I remembered the post I’d just written.

Nope…I did NOT feel a warm glow of acceptance.
I did not feel kindly disposed to the wisdom of the Big U.
Instead I felt an immediate lurch into…”oh, HeLL! I can’t even swear ’cause I just spent the better part of the afternoon telling the world that somewhere in every challenge is a gift.”
I almost laughed at the cosmic joke of it all…almost.

Lee let our friends know what was going on~ as in nothing~ and I had a long, hot shower.
That’s when it occurred to me that I continue getting ready as if I were going out. Why not?
It made perfect sense to me. I’d get glammed up, put on some bling,  sit at home and read a book.
I almost had my hair finished when the texts started coming in…

Theresa: I have my snow pants on. I’m coming to get you.
Me: Awwww, thanks for the wonderful offer but it’s too much.
{60 miles of driving in -35Celcius weather took a lot of time.}
Theresa: Look. We can sit at home 364 days of the year. Not tonight. It’s New Year’s Eve.
Me: TheresaIt’s wayyy too much driving.
Theresa: I’m NOT taking NO for an answer.
I paused for a few minutes. Saying YES felt like really putting her out.
Me: OK. Thank you.
By the time she arrived, we were ready.
Off we went, bundled up and warmed by the spirit of anticipatory celebration.

Earlier in the day, {before I tried to start vehicles}, it had occurred to me that 2014 was going to be a year of abundance. I welcomed the feeling of that.
I had no idea how quickly that would ring true.  This New Year is already overflowing with the gift of abundance dressed up in snow pants, winter parkas, warm hearts and a group of friends gathering to celebrate being together.

Before posting this, I shared this article with Theresa, asking for permission to quote her texts.
Theresa: Sure, go ahead…and Thank You.
Me: For What?
Theresa: For letting me help you with something that was important to us. It meant a lot.

Wishing all my friends, wherever you are, a year of abundance. Happy 2014!
Canadian Creativity Life Coach, Business Mentor and Friend


jack frost, tunnels and the digital sea


jackfrost at dawn
jackfrost at dawn

Some people are put on this earth to build websites.
Me? not so much. How about you?

Frozen with nervousness, stumbling over my words, trying to feel site savvy, I remember the first time I contacted Beverly.
Arghhh, I didn’t know the language, I had no idea what questions to ask…it all felt BigTime Overwhelming.

Finally, I blurted out—“I know n-o-t-h-i-n-g.
She laughed gently and said, “No problem.”

Unexpectedly she asked me if I knew where Moose Jaw, SK was.
That question stopped my chattering brain in its tracks.
“Huh? uh-Ya, I know where that is.”
Oddly enough, I’d just returned from touring Moose Jaw’s bootlegging tunnels created in the hay-day of Al Capone and Prohibition.
That happily sidetracked the both of us as I shared stories
about my recent trip.
Feeling less overwhelmed, I got over my nervousness;
she got to know my sense of  style and humour {and I hers}.
We were a great fit.
Beverly and Steve at STG Creative Group signed on to build my site.
They turned my steep learning curve, my many, questions
& Quick Start ideas into a highly functional, accessible, creative and appealing delivery system built for growth…
my business growth. Woohoo!

Talk about finding a secure harbour.

I was once lost in a sea of digits and coding…
oh, heck, i’m still at sea when it comes to that…
but now I GET To float and skate and dance, navigating soundly, exploring and landing as I see fit,
following a map detailed for my own online adventure.
This site, allows me to create, share, offer, exchange ideas and services with those who resonate with what they read and see here.
I hope they too feel it to be a safe and secure harbour.

Thank You, Beverly and Steve,
You make it easier for me to do what I love to do.
Sending you deep appreciation wrapped in Jack Frost Beauty…delivered digitally, of-course.

Master coach/KMCC;  MBCLC

Why did Beverly ask me about MooseJaw?
Turns out she had a dear old friend from there…and no, it had nothing to do with Al Capone.
Why am I writing about this today?
well, Day 13 – Suitcase Entrepreneur Challenge...this one’s for you.





Looking for a Little Detachment?

detachment by dawn kotzer

Years ago, during a time of personal chaos and confusion I heard about this book by Deepak Chopra-

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success– A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams.

Three words sent me to the bookstore to buy this book…

Success, Guide, Fulfillment.

The fact that I didn’t have a clue what my dreams actually were didn’t put me off. This was a guide to fulfillment. Close Enough.

I remember reading the book, enjoying the book but one page in particular, Chapter 6-page 81, stayed with me.

More specifically, the Aha! of that moment imprinted upon my soul and stayed with me.

I’ve inscribed the quote on index cards and journals; plastered copies of it in my office, my studio, my fridge ( I can always use a little help in the kitchen).

I’ve shared it more times than I can remember.

Today, I’m sharing it with you.

The Law of Detachment

“In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty…

In the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past,

from the known,

which is the prison of past conditioning.

And in our willingness to step into the unknown,

the field of all possibilities

We surrender ourselves

to the creative mind

that orchestrates the dance of the universe.”

Go ahead. Take your time. Read it again if you like. I’ll wait.

Then consider what happened for me.

Accepting  that dance of uncertainty  carried me to the magic of not  knowing, of  not needing to know. Surrendering to the music of the creative mind~I give myself permission to discover and embrace my own guidance  towards  finding fulfillment, even if I have no specific dreams.

Take a peek at the book’s  overview. You may decide it’s worth your time and effort to read the book.

If you’d like to share this post, please pass it on. Your comments on this or other posts are welcome.

Feel free to get in touch with me.

Now go dance.

How does your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning, Success Experience and Lizard Brain connect naturally? Find out at dawnkotzer.com. I’m a Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Certified Martha Beck Life Coach, artist and student of life thriving in Saskatchewan.

Made with Love

…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.


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


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



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.

Hanging on by a thread…

Heading outside to do some ordinary, everyday task, I stopped in my tracks.


It was just unexpectedly there.

A golden leaf,  hanging by a spider’s silken thread, twirling round ever so slowly in the warm sun trap by our front door.

‘What a shot’, I thought.

I  ran back inside and grabbed my camera.

Snap, crackle, Ta-Da!

This photo will make a great card. Good thing I noticed the leaf.

It wasn’t until I printed a few copies of the photo that I saw a similarity between this leaf and our thoughts.

Take another look at the leaf.

Dead, dried up, having served it’s purpose for the tree, nature cut it loose. To do otherwise would crowd out the possibility for next year’s buds, stunt the growth of the tree, limit potential.

What if we’re the tree?
What if the leaf is a dead, dried up thought we cling to no matter what?
What if we hung on to so many of them that there’s no room left on our branches for new growth?
Would we be limiting our potential as well?

What do we do with our thoughts?
Do we acknowledge and respect their best use; then, when the time comes, gently set them free?
Or do we create our own sticky web from efforts to embrace and protect thoughts that no longer serve our highest good?

It’s something to think about, isn’t it?

Gently question your thoughts.

Are they fresh, sun-drenched; sitting green and vibrant along the length of your potential? Do they honor your spirit? Feed your creative your soul?

Or are too many of them spent and dried up, shadowing your true nature because fear is blocking out the sunlight?

Are your thoughts getting in the way of new growth?

Maybe it’s time to clear away the cobwebs and set them free…