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.

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.”

Chalk it up to Everyday Magic

IMG_5804 chalk 5x7
Think like a child?  What age?

7?

“No, too old.  They already have expectations and plans galore. Somebody changes the plans on them, they’re  not happy.”

4?

“Nope, same thing. ”

2?

“Ohhh, they’re  kinda set in getting their way. I don’t think I want to be like that.”

This is part of the conversation I was having with myself. Really. At the same time I was steering a stroller being pulled through an unfamiliar neigbourhood by  a slightly hyper “I Love Pulling” wannabe sled dog .

Okay, I’ll back up…oh, just wait. I have to straighten the dog’s harness.

After 9 days of traveling for anything but pleasure, I  arrived in another city; this time to spend some time looking after my 2 young, most entertaining grandkids. These two are Pure JOY for me. My spirit was oh, so willing but my tired brain was spinning with too many ‘When-I-Get-Home TO DO Lists’.

I take 7 yr old Kate  to school. I’d even remembered to pack her lunch. So far so good.  Once back home, I decide to take 22 month old Z and the slightly overactive dog, also in my care, for a long walk. Methodically, I hitch Toby, the ‘working’ dog, up to the stroller. (This little dog LOVES to pull.)

Z perches in his seat. He’s ready. I grab a coffee for the road; I’m ready too.

While Z gooes and ahhs over the trees above his head and the cars splashing water on the street beside us I try to figure out if I need to reshuffle my plans yet again. The past 2 months have been a series of cancellations, interruptions, learning curves and delays.  Sound familiar? Have you ever had a day, a week or a month like that? Every time you set up an appointment with yourself, for yourself, to get something done, LIFE interrupts. No matter how adept you are at managing your time, someone  keeps messing with your well laid plans. You’re left reshuffling over and over again, squeezing this in here and that in over there. Exhausting.

Slowly the steady, easy pace of walking and lively, happy sounds of dog and little boy bring forth an unexpected conversation inside my head. “What if the interruption is actually the messenger? What if ‘feeling’ the squeeze is the message? Why not play with the plans exactly as they are? Akimbo. Why not reframe the moment through the eyes of a child?” Curious. Thought I was already leaning way over in that direction. Child play, I mean.

“Okay, I’m game. What age of Child?”

7?

“No, too old…they already have expectations-plans galore. Stuff happens. Somebody changes the plans on them, they’re not happy.”

4?

“Nope. Same thing. ”

2?

“Ohhh…2 year olds can be really set on getting their way. I don’t think I want to be like that.”

18 months? How about that? Can you dip into the 18 month old mindspace?

“Hmm.” That feels very appealing. Z is a little older than that. A happy little boy who’s game for most things that come his way…all he really needs are the basics. Food, naps, clean pants. Ya, 18 months. I could go there. The world is one experiment after the other. Curiousity rules and playtime is the nature of the day.

During my inner ramble, ‘wannabe sled dog’ has been helping  move us forward on sidewalks through a tidy, well treed, residential area. Everyone’s away at work or retired I guess. There’s no one outside.  It’s really, really quiet. I seamlessly melt back  into realtime.

Enter the MAGIC.

As soon as I ease into agreement with the 18 month old curiousity-driven, play-surrounded mindspace I casually look down at the sidewalk.

Wow! A pile of colored chalk lays on the empty driveway just beyond  my feet.  I stop… Look around. No chalk drawings on the driveway, just a pile of colored chalk someone left out overnite. No sign of kids anywhere in the immediate vicinity.

I do a double take. Then I do what every 18 month old would do…I pick up the chalk and draw. A  happy, colorful flower blooms onto this stranger’s driveway.  Signing with a big yellow HI! is a friendly touch. Z’s gleeful seal of approval is obvious. “Colorrr” he says… We pause for a moment, celebrate this shared mindspace.  I’m happy, Z.’s happy and once I allowed Toby to go forward again, the dog is happy too.

Some might say this was a sign.

Na. I think it’s just  a parallel universe moment…inner and outer harmony intersecting at the point when I slowed down long enough to pay attention. Next time someone or something elbows into my perfectly assembled plans, knocking them akimbo…I’m going to try to remember to Stop. Pause and Look around for the possibility of Everyday Magic.

If I find another pile of colored chalk, you’ll be the first know.

As an Inner Wilderness Guide, I use a lifetime of diverse experience, humor, grass roots wisdom and professional training to guide others into their own mind expanding landscapes.

Find how true Self,  inner genius, creativity, pursuit of meaning and the success experience connect naturally at dawnkotzer.com.

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