What Path? Sno.o.w Overwhelm

Snow Overwhelm

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

Think I’ll head  out to my little studio.

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

I bundle up and step outside.

Oh, man.

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

That would be moi`.


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

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

I ask.

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

My batteries are recharging already.

I tune into Kaizen-Muse™.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game On! I choose a few KMCC™ Tools.

Break it Down.

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

Ask small questions.

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

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

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

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

Use the power of Small Steps and Creative Foreplay ™

Small Step: Pick up the shovel. Right.

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

Creative Foreplay: Imagine that…

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

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

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


By now, I’m at Part 4- REST.

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

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

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


Or as Jill Badonsky would say…Way Cool!

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

14 thoughts on “What Path? Sno.o.w Overwhelm”

  1. So a small step could be–visualize…a small question could be–how do I want to do this?

  2. No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it, and is sure of his method and composition.

  3. Thanks Sandy…It’s taken me a while but I’m especially fond of my impish Lizard Brain too…

  4. I love this, Dawn! It’s beautifully written and a great use of the KM tools. I especially like your impish Lizard Brain!

  5. Glad you liked the post, Lisa. Glad you loved the humour…ans yes, there does seem to be a lot of snow doesn’t there?
    I’m piling it up strategically for the day when some kids show up to help build a snow fort.

  6. Too Funny, Sue…just realized I always forget I can use creative foreplay before starting something. Thanks for the Reminder.

  7. Okey-Dokey, Pam…how do you want it shipped? Dogsled, Greyhound Bus or via Jet Stream? Or perhaps we can use P.U.T.
    thanks for reading.

  8. Back at you, Liz. When I read your comment I imagined that I was capturing creativity with every scoop of snow. Thanks for the visual.

  9. Dawn! That is a LOT of snow! And this is a wonderful post! Love, Love, Love your humor!

  10. Dawn, what a wonderful use of the KMCC tools! I especially love the way you used creative foreplay. I always think of that as something you do before you take action, but you integrated it right into the work. Way cool epiphany for me that I could do that!

    I also enjoyed reading the details of your life. I want that studio!

  11. Waaaaaaay Cool Dawn!
    Hey… feel free to send some of that snow out this way to waterlogged SW BC. I’d like to play too!

  12. Brilliant, way cool Dawn. I just love how you write and capture stuff. Love your reward and so pleased you got to your creativity. Love the look of your studio. Did I say way cool. Hugs, Liz x

  13. Housework? Recommend Shovel? Well BB, how about the kind that comes with it’s own fully automated Clean-This-House Robot. Here’s to the perfect balance of practical and ‘Way Cool’ creativity!

  14. Inspiring post, Dawn. Love how you tie in the practical creativity tools :o). I don’t have snow to shovel, but it certainly clicks with all kinds of work. Question: do you recommend a specific type of shovel for accumulating housework??

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