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

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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.

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.
Wow.

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

 

Life Lemonade on the Freedom Trail

Lemonade & Freedom

Natalie’s Day 3 prompt:

“Dawn, what’s your definition of freedom in business and adventure in life?”

Freedom? Adventure?
At first glance, it seems like there’s more work than freedom and less adventure than desired…more lemons than refreshing lemonade.
But scratch zest the surface beneath that thought and what do I find? That familiar taste of personal freedom and small adventures, growing day by day through 30+years of owning my own businesses.

Is Freedom in business easy?
Nope, not always.

In the beginning, everything was new and exciting. I believed if I was doing what I was meant to do, everything would be EasY-Peasy…
you know- tap into your passion,  make a wish, breathe deep and Viola`~ the Big U. would deliver in the blink of an eye.
hmmmmm…that’s not exactly how it works. Serious, consistent, grit and effort was often the flavour of the day. That is, until I discovered how to work in Aligned Effort.

 Aligned Effort has a magical quality to it. It lightens the load and brightens the road when partnered with our core motivators, making things easily feel worth the time and effort. 


Did I make mistakes?
Uh-huh. But remember, mistakes aren’t always a bad thing.
Don’t get me wrong…I don’t like making mistakes. My mistakes can make me feel pretty uncomfortable, even defensive …especially when I have unrealistic expectations of myself or I fall into Perfectionist thinking.
Eventually, I get past my sense of embarrassment and remind myself that making mistakes in life is Normal.  I get to practice a little self compassion, cut myself some slack and lean into humility as I discover how to take the best from these moments and keep on moving. That’s part of the bittersweet taste of freedom and adventure, isn’t it? We have the power to turn a bad moment, a mistake into something sweet or sour.           
Remember the saying?

when life hands you lemons, make lemonade

 

What if we reached for a glass of deliciously cool, homemade life lemonade the next time we celebrated a day of Adventure on the Freedom Trail? Works for me. How ’bout you?

__________________________________________________________

These days, as a Master Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, my Freedom Trail connects me with individuals in their search for ways to BE Real, Find Freedom…surely the Adventure of a life time.
Feel free to drop me a line, leave a comment, give a LIKE or share this post…
Thanks for reading and may you find a cool refreshing glass of life lemonade waiting on your Freedom Trail.

 

Day 1- what WAS I thinking?


Sun Slipping Away Soon
Why do I procrastinate writing blog posts?
and
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?
Practice...
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?
Pausing.
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.
Now?
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

 

 

Go Get your RICH ON.

Money…isn’t it just the Coolest Tool around?TDOY_bloglovintour_graphic_500px

We stretch it, hold it, make it, save it, grow it, share it, trade it, keep it safe,
PlaY with it, burn through it, compound it, freeze it, invest it, desire it, drool over it…
Money colours our perception of the world…the world we live in, the world we Want to live in…the world we Don’t want to live in…
We give this Cool TooL a LOT of power.

Here’s the thing…
Money is a man-made TOOL.
A 10$ bill is simply a piece of paper with a price put on its head.
It is an object of convenience to be used at our discretion.

What about all those feelings around money?
Yup, they’re man-made,
too—man made by the energetic history of moi`.
Money is nurtured and soul-er powered by the energy we bring to work with it;
energy seasoned by generations of cultural and family conditioning and personal experience, channelled by success or stirred up by fear.
Money Energy has often been given free reign in defining our take on wealth.
Fear of Lack or Attack, Comparison, Self criticism, Perfectionism or Self-sabotaging Habits can have this definition of wealth doing a 180º depending upon which side of the Abundance Coin we see ourselves on… RiCh beyond Measure? or Impoverished beyond Hope?

What does Money have to do with Wealth?

  • Wealth: A tangible or intangible thing that makes a person, family or group better off… BusinessDictionary.com

Sometimes we think that money is the ONLY way of measuring wealth, the only thing that makes us better off…not So.
{Altho’ money makes building material wealth a lot simpler…trust me, it’s a lot easier to use moola to pay the bills than trade with goats or chickens.

What does Money have to do with Abundance?
…not as much as you’d think.
I see Abundance as a state of feeling wealthy…sitting with grace, surrounded by things that matter to me…things that may seem utterly worthless to you but in my world, are priceless.
I GET TO discover what makes me feel wealthy, what feels like Abundance, what choices  match my definition of wealth, what actions align my spirit and money energy as I choose how to use this cool Tool called Money.

Which side of the Abundance Coin do you see yourself on?
Do you FEEL like money finds you easily, landing softly beside you? Can you sit in wonder, luxuriating in the rich beauty and priceless moments this world effortlessly brings your way?
When butterflies land on your toes, can you see that as proof positive of a wild and wealthy life?

Abundance Check? dawn kotzer.com

Or do your feelings around money drag you down, limit your ability to see the grass beneath your feet?
Do you feel penned, restricted and unable to find any wealth in your existence?
Does ‘Go Get your Rich On’ have more to do with indulging in whipped cream than investing in pork bellies?

Looking for the bright side? contact dawnkotzer.com

Don’t get me wrong…I like money.
I like having enough money to satisfy my needs {and a decent amount of my wants.} I like to be well paid for my work.
Money makes life easier, provides financial security and creates a certain amount of personal freedom.

Does this make me feel rich?
It sure helps.
Getting right with my Money Energy gives me a knowing confidence that I’ll use this Cool Tool called Money by honouring my True Self as I Go GET my Rich ON
but honestly,
I feel most Wealthy, most Rich when I give myself Permission to Stop—to be amazed by the butterfly landing on my toe or grounded by the solitary bison, grazing on the hill.

What about you…when do you feel most Wealthy, most Rich?
Give yourself Permission to Stop and Be Amazed…just for a moment, see how it feels to ‘Get your Rich On.

I’d love to hear how you get your rich on.
Leave a comment below or drop me a line at DawnKotzer-coaching for this business called life.
____________________________________________________________________________________

“The Declaration of You, published North Light Craft Books and available now, gives readers all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s Blog Lovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 200 other creative bloggers. Learn more – and join us! – by clicking here.”

Success. Measure or Treasure?

TDOY_bloglovintour_banner

Curious beast, this thing called SuCCesS~
with its shapeshifting, sometimes elusive,
radically individualistic tendencies to show up late for some,
early for others and in the case of the truly committed curmudgeon of negativity?
…nevahhh.
and who knows how long it will hang around?
Tricky to attract. Tricky to Track.
Or is it?
Did you know that ALL success is equal?
[Tell me your child’s First Step, Word, Art
doesn’t FEEL as important to you as Man landing on the moon? ] Success is subjective, a sense of personal fulfillment that shows up in our work, our home, our creativity, our play.
A culture or group of people can embrace a singular success as ‘One for The People’ only when enough individuals feel a connection to the accomplishment.

Dawnkotzer measuring what you treasureThis brings me to my Photo:
Steps.
Shoes.
Dirt.
Bangles.
Wondering how they could possibly relate to SuCCess?

They represent a slice of how I ‘Measure what I Treasure’.
They Remind me what Success feels like in my life.

The Steps?
I work with people around the globe from my home in the almost wilderness, perched between a lake and the Boreal Forest.
Last week we moved in some seriously huge loads of landfill to shore up retaining walls around our house.
My wellworn footpath leading down to the lake was buried in the process.
One evening, feeling the vibes of a rich summer sunset on my face and in need of a worthy form of procrastination…{quarterly tax return was now due-who wanted to do that?}…I decided to exercise my creativity by cutting a new set of stairs into the hardpacked earth.
True, I’d never done this before but that meant nothing.
I had the will, the tools, the desire, the time and the freedom to choose how to spend my evening. ~Success.
{What fun! I measured, cut, pounded and pondered, levelled and filled and shovelled to my heart’s content.
The only restriction was the soft darkness that eventually called ‘lights out.’}

The Shoes?
These are my Fav! dancing shoes.
Life has thrown a few curve balls my way these past few years and I haven’t gone dancing in a long time.
No matter.
These shoes Remind me of how much I LOVE to dance; of good times I’ve had while feeling the groove
and are a space holder for a future filled with as much dancing as I desire. ~Success.

The Dirt?
Its smell, texture, touch, colour and mineral rich nourishment are proof positive that I have chosen to live in an
environment that brings out the best in me…
and when I’m at my best, the world is rich with wisdom and wonder and curiosity. ~Success.

The Bangles?
These bangles display the loving presence of my mother, enriching my life with her memory and the knowing field of my past, the brilliance and wisdom of those who have coloured my life. They Remind me that I am a CreaTive, Zestful, PoWerful woman who GETS To choose how I Show UP in my own life, no matter the circumstances. ~Success.

Through the years, I’ve enjoyed achieving Success in my career, my art, my relationships, my life;
however, the most sustaining, memorable, life affirming Success effortlessly connects to the best of me…and fuels my creative, curious, dance loving spirit…

In what small way can you give yourself Permission to Measure what your Treasure?
To align your sense of SuCCESS with what you Treasure according to your desire, your groove, your innovative and creative soul?

I’d love to hear your take on this post~please feel free to post comments and questions about success.
I’m just an email away.
Living and working in my almost wilderness…Coaching for this business called L.I.F.E.
Dawn Kotzer

PS
Facebook Party on Friday. see details below.

Join the Discussion.
Join the Discussion.

“I can’t wait to be a part of The Declaration of You’s Facebook party this Friday at 9:30-10a PST/11:30a-12p CST/12:30-1p EST. We’ll be chatting in real time about TOPIC over at facebook.com/TheDeclarationOfYou. Hope you can join us!”

What isn’t Missing?

Snow on the Horizon

Go ahead. Take another look.
Nope-nothing wrong with your screen…or your eyes.
You have a clear view of all that is there.

The title begs the question “what ISN’T missing?
Aren’t you just dying to say”Everything’s Missing!
There’s nothing there but snow.”
Exactly.

You are looking at a wide open, naked landscape.
Unapologetic, courageously, audaciously present.
Grounded, unassuming, patiently waiting naked.

Ready and willing to embrace the lonely prairie nights,
the howling, frigid north wind,
the blinding strikes of ice crystal racing across this frozen desert.
Ready, willing, able.

Did you come up with an answer yet?
“What ISN’T missing?

Let me give you some clues.
Cheerfully naked and contentedly waiting,
this landscape GETS TO dream
under the full moon of winter
where even the smallest snowflake shines like a diamond in the night.

This landscape GETS TO claim
a front row seat during the main event,
the dance of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights.

With a cool detached eye,
this landscape GETS TO watch
rainbow hues,unaware of color wheels and fashion forecasts,
chase each other with abandon across the night sky.

Naked and loving it,
this landscape GETS TO rest
and warm in spring sunshine yellow while
flocks of migrating birds trumpet the changes on the wind.

What ISN’T missing?
When we give ourselves Permission to see from the perspective
of NO Thing Missing,
the possibilities are endless.

What do you think?

When I’m not snow-dreaming, shoveling snow or gazing at the horizon, pondering ‘what ISN’T missing?’
you can find me doing my thing, guiding others into their own open landscape,
a place of possibility and full of goodness.

Who am I ? I’m Dawn Kotzer:
Founder of the Your Open Landscape. Inner Wilderness Guide. Artist. Entrepreneur.
Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach,  Student of Life.
I’ve spent time getting lost and finding freedom within my own Inner Wilderness…

Do you find your Inner Wilderness cluttered, overgrown, rank and disorderly?
Get In Touch...I know a good guide who will show you safely home.

What Color is Snow?

What color is Snow?

Bet you thought snow was white, huh?

Take a look at this photo again…barely a speck of white in sight.

Ask the Kid in you what color snow is? Go ahead, ask her.

My little kid says “Sparkly.” “Shiny.” “It’s the color of glitter. I see glitter!”

Another part of my kid says “cold…snow is the color of cold.”

I toss over a cuddly, warm blanket.

From out of nowhere a chorus of voices starts to chime….”Blue. Silver. Pink! ”

“Yellow.” I hear a little snicker.

“Ah, good to see you joined in the fun, Smarty Pants! I thought I left you behind in grade 3.”

“Soft. Quiet. It’s the color of singing Silent Night.”

I turn inward to take a closer look. Which part of me said this?

Of-course…there she is…the same Me who liked to sit in the shade of a poplar tree on a hot summer’s day…

~happy to be drawing and coloring and cool.

From a little farther away, I hear a shout…”Swish!….it’s the color of Snow Angels.”

“The color of Jack Frost.” another voice chimes in. “The color of sledding to the bottom of the hill!”

“Snow is the color of snowballs, of-course.”

I begin to wonder just how many kids I have at play inside my head…

How is it they see the color of snow so differently?

How is it they are OK with that? {What do I feed all these kids?}

This Christmas season, when there are so many ideas about how we ‘should’ do this and ‘must’ do that,

invite the Kid in you to chime in…open up the conversation to include all the voices of Possibility.

After all, the beauty of Christmas, {just like the color of snow} is in the eye of the Beholder.

Merry Snow-Color to all…and to all a good night.

When I’m not romping around the Playground in my mind, I GET TO help others reconnect with mind, body, spirit. If you’d like to learn how to Show Up~Be Real and Find Freedom…give me a shout. Dawn Kotzer – Certified KaizenMuse Creativity Master Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, Curiosity & Soul Detective.  I’ll be the one sitting in the shade.

You Sick?

muse song

Dear Friend,

I heard you were icky sick…
Bummer.

I’m sending over a few friends to help take care of you.

Really, they won’t be any trouble at all. They’re very good at taking care of we mere mortals ~ especially during cold and flu season.

What will they do for you?
Well…

Muse Song will bring your favorite lemondrop sweets.
Remember how you so loved them as a kid?

I don’t know how, but Aha-prodite unearthed your treasured Vintage ‘I Spy’ Collection. Wish I could see your reaction but, ah ~I don’t want to catch your cold. You know how I am around germs.

Let’s see~
Lull will place a cooling, calming lavender sachet across your forehead. ahhhh.

Marge will bring her famous homemade chicken soup. Yes, you can sip it from a mug.

I know Bea Silly made you a friendship braid from threads of her favorite scarf.
When your head stops pounding and you can open your eyes, you’ll really enjoy all the happy dancing colors.

Albert will want you to test out his newest sinus clearing invention…Humor him, will you?
Just ask him to give you a demonstration. Spills will volunteer.

Don’t worry about Audacity. { She’ll be the one wearing RED }
She swears that her ‘Born to Be Me’ beachtowel is the Absolute ticket.
No, you won’t have to follow her in for a Polar Bear Swim…
Besides, the towel makes a terrific picnic cloth.
You’ll need it if Spills was in charge of icing the cupcakes she made just for you. That Muse has turned Imperfection into an Art.

Shadow usually brings ‘Cold Survival’~a better read than it sounds.
an “in.your.own.cupboards. Cold & Flu remedy book.
Perfect for those who are afraid to go out to the pharmacy.”

Well, I better wrap this up.
The Bodyguard is telling me to stop wearing you out with my ramblings.
Oh no…you won’t need the Bodyguard. He isn’t for you.
He’s around to safekeep your creative dreams…
to help you keep them alive and well.

I can’t say exactly what time they’ll pop around…they always to have perfect timing;
well except for Spills.

I know it feels like a house full.
Nine Modern Day Muses and a Bodyguard
sounds like a bit of a crowd.
Trust me.
Once you meet them, you’ll wonder why they didn’t come over before.

Sending you love and best wishes for a speedy recovery
xod

ps Don’t worry getting the door…they know how to let themselves in.

pps If you’re curious to know more about the Muses, check out their book.


What are you waiting for?Earth Shattering Big Time Happy?

?........................What are you waiting for?

WooHoo! The bluebirds are back!

So?

What the heck do birds have to do with big time happy?

Let me fill you in.

BACKSTORY-I’ve been putting off writing a blog post for weeks.

Why?…I’d convinced myself that whatever I posted had to be of EARTH-SHATTERING interest; so full of ‘Ah-Ha’ moments that you could barely catch your breath.

Well, guess what?

I couldn’t even dig up an ounce of Earth Shattering. Worse yet, I’d managed to back my post into a dark, silent, glum corner…you know…that corner where only daDismal hangs out. That’s where my engine stalled. Day after day…full of sh*! stalled.

ENOUGH! Dawnie, let it go already. So I did.

NEW STORY– I decided to rev up a new engine, this one parked in a different corner of my world.

Out came the little BMW convertible. It was time to go for a drive…top down, I hit the road.

Pulling on a toque, I headed south into town. (May can still be a tad chilly around here). It didn’t take long before a good dose of brisk spring air had thoroughly rinsed out my brain.

Home again, I went straight to my office, sat down and started writing about the first thing that came into my now fresh-air-experienced mind.

Finally, out of the daDismal corner and into the light. Woohoo! indeed.

Here it is…my earth-shattering, man-this-feels-big time happy story.

BLUEBIRDS OF HAPPINESS:

Early in the spring, I’d spotted a nestbox that had fallen off its fencepost into the ditch along the highway.

(Years ago someone put up bluebird nestboxes—that’s why these birds always come back here—they’re coming home.)

I pulled onto the gravel shoulder, rummaged around in the back of the SUV for something to use as a hammer (small shovel would do) and a length of heavy old wire…I was good to go.

After plonking and adjusting, twisting and shovel-hammering, the nest box was back up, wired onto the post, a little off kilter but secure.

Then I waited. Day after day I watched. I waited some more.

Suddenly, they showed up.

Driving by, I notice mercurial streaks of color first.

“What was that?”

Where?

“There! No There! Over there—Yes, there!”

It’s the most amazing thing. A streak of high octane blue illuminates an already clear blue spring sky.

I spy a nimble little beauty flicking sparks of this high octane blue as his calling card…one deliciously bright he-man bluebird has arrived.

Each day, I slowly drive past the row of nestboxes.  Hoping to catch the male sitting still, taking a break from his primping and preening in between scooping up insects from the grassy field, my patience is rewarded.  Better yet, his mate sits close by. I’m thrilled. Elated. Calmed. They’re back.

Today there are 2 pair of bluebirds nesting along the highway…fencepost neighbours, so to speak. They dart and spark the sky.

I swear I inhale happiness at the sight of them.

Sometimes I wish they were around all year long, streaks of cheer to watch in the dead cold of winter. How selfish is that? Nope, my life is richer, more exciting when I allow room for the anticipation of their return each and every spring.

Is today the day? Maybe tomorrow? Any box need fixing before they get here? I can do that.

REAL STORY:

My bluebirds of happiness may be small potatoes in the scheme of things…hardly Earth Shattering, until I realize that this infusion of Blue Joy is oozing from my inside out.  It spills out of me, onto and into everything around. Ho-hum normal is effortlessly blasted into a moment of Happy—big time happy.

A single bluebird sighting binds me to the Ah-Ha. I catch my breath. Time stops. I am NOW.

He-man Bluebird-Big Time Happy at Home.

Tell me that isn’t Earth Shattering, even for a moment? When did you last stop time?

I’d love to hear about your ‘bluebird of happiness? Really.

Add your voice to mine.

Post a comment.

Share your story.

What’s your big time happy?

What are you waiting for?

Wanna Live More? Laugh More? Love More? When I’m not watching bluebirds or shovel-hammering nestboxes, I like to help others get real and find freedom…the kind that comes from being connected to central self.


Check out my site and blog at dawnkotzer.com. Certified Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, Artist, Student of Curiosities.

P.S. Want to check out the goods on KMCC? Start Here…ya, right here.


Magic for Seth Godin

Shadow Magic for Seth

Dear Seth

Today I read your post, an end of Magic.

Oh, I get what you’re saying.

I expect you’re more than half right.

But Seth, I gotta tell you, it made me a tad sad…

not for me,

for you.

So I’m sending you a little something.

A gift.

A sigh.

A slight of hand.

A whisper of suprise.

A touch of the sublime.

A little light magic.

Care to guess what this is?

What do you think you’re looking at?

Take a good look at the photo.

Pause. Ponder.

Sure, you could zoom in, enlarge, unpack, auto adjust; use all manner of tech to reveal the answer.

but where’s the magic in that?

Well, gotta fly…literally.

This Canadian is shipping.

Sincerely. A friend.

PS

Yes., dear reader. I realize there’s a really good chance that Seth Godin will never get to see this.

I totally get that.

Too bad.

This picture is magic. It does it for me.

How about you? Like it?

What do you think it is?

PPS

If you’re reading this and you actually know Seth, tell him someone sent him a gift.

He can pick it up here.

When I’m not be a smarty pants, I like to help others get real and find freedom.

Check out my site and blog at dawnkotzer.com. Certified Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, Artist, Student of Curiosities.

World View: location, location location

Locating your world view works like this…

“From where I see it this is  ________________.”

(Go ahead, pick a topic and fill in the blank.)

“oh, ya? I don’t see it that way at all.”

No two beings can ever see anything exactly the same.

Their views might be similar, but exact? Not likely.

It comes down to world view…not the view of the world at large.

Your world view.

Even when looking at the same road sign, birch tree, dogwalker or northern lake…the lens we each use is slightly different if not galaxies apart.

Your life experience has trained you to expect, anticipate, welcome or reject certain things. We have developed Assessment Habits. We label, judge and determine through our experience to date…what we’ve seen, heard, done, felt, tasted, etc.

What if seeing is not believing?

What if Believing is Seeing?

If I believe today will be a trainwreck just waiting to happen, my lens will likely lock on the wreckage and chaos around me. Trainwrecks create chaos. Chaos creates misery.

  • Chaos = Misery.

If I believe that nothing good will come out of chaos, I’ll be itching to switch locations. It’s likely that I’ll believe the grass is way greener on the other side of the lake.

However, if I believe that sifting through wreckage and chaos will reveal treasure…well, let’s just say unless you are aligned with my adventurous, yet dogged free spirit, you’ll be mighty sick of me and my ‘treasure’ by the end of the day.

  • Chaos = Treasure.

‘Change location? Hell no. I landed here for a reason. I’m not leaving until I’ve looked through this. You know, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.’

Each view could be a tad problematic…one relying too heavily on immediate gratification, the other missing the fact that the day has disappeared into diminishing returns.

For instance-

I ‘got to’ check my world view one summer’s day when I woke up to find another tree felled in my yard.

The beavers had been busy the night before, felling a poplar tree onto our west lawn. Their loud, constant chewing had kept me awake a good part of the night.

I’m not normally a morning person…strong coffee and an even stronger desire to jump start my day must be close, really close at hand for me to be the early bird. Even so, to capture the image above, I found myself ‘motivated’ enough to jump up, dress, grab my gear and head out across the yard to the lake’s edge.

The next thing I knew, I was laying on the dew-soaked ground, squinting, adjusting the camera lens while squirming this way and that to frame the lake within the ‘V’ of the tree trunk.

Not so many years ago, you would have been hard pressed to drag me out to do this. Putting up with me- cold, damp, tired, grumpy and damned frustrated with beavers and their voracious appetite for my trees- wouldn’t have been worth your effort. Talk about diminishing returns.

That was before I figured out how to adjust my world view…open my perspective, try out a few new Assessment Habits.

This was a new dawn. Sure, I was damp, cold…and absolutely invigorated. Who knew that this is what the world looked like through Betty Beaver’s eyes? I was having a blast.

The crisp morning air pinched my senses awake as a bittersweet smell of freshly hewn wood filled my nostrils. The lake, a giant, rough blue blanket laid out for a mammoth picnic between the rolling hills, saturated my view. Dewdrops shimmered like diamonds on each blade of grass. I couldn’t believe my good fortune.

What does this story have to do with my role as creativity and life coach?

Everything.

Trust me.

If I can rise up with the dawn, crawl on my belly through cold, soaking wet grass, and without the aid of strong coffee, jumpstart my day into appreciation for a the world view through the lens of Betty Beaver eyes…Wow. This coaching stuff works.

Want to know more?

Stay tuned.

My next post will deliver tips and techniques used to create a new world view, regardless of your location.

In the meantime, check out my site for more information on Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching and Martha Beck Life Coach insights.

PS– Interested in working with me? Contact me for a complimentary short coaching session. Go ahead and share my posts with others. If you use excerpts of my posts in your stuff… be a good human and include a live link to my site with the following information. Thanks.

“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 is a Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engaging Life from her Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada.”

choose the Red Chair for the long view

See the Red Chair?

The choices we get to make each day are a little like the red chair. Seemingly insignificant compared to the long view but once you know where to look, kind of hard to miss.

Of-course, first we have to understand that we do get to choose.

As a life and creativity coach, I help people find a way to live life, their way, by tapping into their creative source. That’s easy when you feel engaged, plugged into something that revs your spirit…not so easy if you find yourself bogged down, putting in time, pushing through the motions in a state of being you barely recognize as your own.

A lot of people feel they have no choice at all…nada. Someone else is in charge, in control.  They feel that all they can do is hop around,  jerked this way or that by the person who’s holding the strings.

Many times someone else is in charge…on the outside. The real issue is who’s in charge on the inside?

Question:

What if we live life from the inside-out, not the outside-in?

What if life were like a movie production…written, directed, produced and promoted by the part of our self that is the most compelling on any given day?

Try this.

Picture yourself sitting in the red chair on the edge of a northern lake; blue sky, warm summer breeze, fish jumping, eagles and pelicans soaring silently overhead…tranquil, peaceful. No phone, no cell, no laptop, no hassle, no hurry.

In this moment of serenity, what thoughts come up?

Do your thoughts embrace the natural balance of your surroundings? Do you move into a state of appreciation and embrace the cosmic events that have led you here?

Do your thoughts highlight the isolation of this place?

Do you move into a state of stress; apprehension and anxiety about this unknown landscape?

What choices come up to keep those thoughts company?

What if there were only two?

  • Respond
  • React

Respond…feel the embrace, the appreciation.
React…feel the stress and apprehension.

  • Respond. Through observation and awareness, this choice opens you up to step closer to the place of possibility for your greater good, your creative source.
  • React. Your body rewards this unhealthy nervousness by producing stress and limiting the possibility for your greater good.

Remember the movie production? Written, directed, produced and promoted by the part of our self that is the most compelling on any given day?

Which choice, Respond or React, would most effortlessly honour your true self, the place where creative source is found?

I know what you’re thinking.

Lady, life isn’t a cakewalk down to the nearest lake where a perfectly placed plush red chair awaits you…

(Do you know how tricky it was for me to drag that chair from the my living room down to the water’s edge? Tricky. Real tricky. Keeping one eye open for slippery rocks, the other eye obscured by the chair balancing on my shoulder, it was all I could do to sidestep my cat who had decided to play footsy with me the whole way down. Yeesh. I’m clumsy at the best of times…chair wielding, rock clambering, cat dancing activities are not my strong suit.)

Even so, getting the chair down to the lake is no comparison to slogging through a tough day.  I know life is not always a peaceful, easy stroll to the water’s edge.

What does get easy, with a little practice is choosing to Respond rather than React…choosing to allow room for your greater good, for a chance to plug into your creative source.

When can you start?

  • Start now.

How can you start?

  • Start small.

Where can you start?

  • Start with the easy things.

When someone asks you which restaurant you prefer, which author you like best, which movie you want to go to, if you want to go out or stay home and work on your stuff…

Choose to Respond.

Answer them honestly.  Answer yourself honestly.

Visualize sitting in the Red Chair on the water’s edge, taking in the long view.

Take a breath.

Appreciate the question.

Embrace the long view.

Answer from the inside out.

If it makes you nervous to answer out loud, to give your honest opinion, that’s okay. Answer silently.

Perhaps it’s not yet time to say it out loud.

The simple act of knowing you have a choice, understanding you can either Respond or React is enough for now.

Practice appreciating this new found understanding.

Practice tapping into that place of possibility for your greater good, your creative source one small step at a time.

Then someday, in a voice you know as your own, you will calmly, quietly Respond from the inside out.

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. I’m a Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engaging life from my Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada.

PS– If you think you’d like to work with me, please get in touch for a free introductory session. I’d be honoured if you want to share any of my posts with others. Please be kind and include a link to my site. Thanks for doing that.


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.

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`.

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

…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.

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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.

Whoa.

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…

Feast

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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