Posted by: Cathy | November 14, 2018

Did You Outgrow Any Goals This Year?

What were your goals at the beginning of the year? If you didn’t accomplish something, don’t judge yourself but instead get curious. Why didn’t that goal work out for you? Were you lacking a resource? Were you struggling to prioritize it? Or did you outgrow it?

As we grow and change, we may carry old goals as a habit or from being stubborn. A goal may have appealed to you in January, but maybe it doesn’t fit for who you are now, today. It’s okay to release something that you used to want. Save your energy for what is important to you today.

If you still feel a twinge of longing, you’ll know you’re not done with it yet and can reevaluate the goal or how you could go about attaining it. But if you feel guilt or sadness, that’s just lingering, superficial attachment. Do some journaling, meditation, or prayer, and release it.

Goals come in all shapes and sizes, and what fits you today maybe didn’t fit you last year or won’t fit next year, and that’s just fine. Right-size goals will keep you busy enough; release the ones you’ve outgrown!
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Posted by: Cathy | November 12, 2018

Raise your Standards

Cheryl Richardson: “Where you are is where you begin, but you can always increase your standard of living.”

As we’re beginning to wind down the year, I invite you to reflect on how 2018 went for you. Were your standards and expectations met? Did you even have standards and expectations?

As you grow and change, your standards and expectations should naturally increase. You outgrow the old stuff, but you may be so used to it that you forget to ask for better. When you expect better, you generally get better.

Examine your values and see how they translate into your standards; where are you willing to compromise or not? Then, as you’re raising your standards, look for good examples and focus on growing those; don’t dwell on the negative, just focus on what you can improve. Magnify the good.

Raise your standards and begin the new year on a positive footing.

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Posted by: Cathy | November 7, 2018

12 Days of Gratitude Challenge

Thanksgiving is on Nov 22 this year, so this Saturday Nov 10 is twelve days until the holiday. Like the 12 days of Christmas, I want to start a 12 day gratitude challenge for Thanksgiving.

As we countdown to Thanksgiving from Nov 10 to 22, I invite you to think of 12 people you’re grateful for. Hold this person in your heart and write a letter to him/her whether you send it or not. If you want and can, tell the person what he or she means to you.

To help you think of your 12, here are some ideas to get you started:
Nov 10 – A teacher
Nov 11 – A friend
Nov 12 – A child
Nov 13 – A coworker
Nov 14 – A schoolmate
Nov 15 – A family member
Nov 16 – A service person (mailman, store clerk, etc.)
Nov 17 – A historical figure
Nov 18 – A fictional character
Nov 19 – A pet
Nov 20 – Someone who caused you pain (what did you learn from it)
Nov 21 – YOU, yourself!

If you want to share your 12 people on social media, use the hashtag #thankx12

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Posted by: Cathy | November 5, 2018

Autumn Infusion

What do you think of when you hear the word Autumn?

My list would be changing leaves, cozy sweaters, apple cider, Halloween (candy), pumpkins, orange, red, yellow, brown, crisp air, Thanksgiving, stuffing, mashed potatoes, chili, soups, cozy, candles, longer nights, warmer jammies, slippers, red wine.

Take a minute to write your list and consider how you can infuse more autumn into your life. Rather than rushing around, take time to appreciate and incorporate the items on your list into your day or week.

Autumn is my favorite season, and it seems like it gets shorter every year. Appreciate autumn energy before we get swept up in the holidays. Give yourself an autumn infusion.

Tell me in the comments: what are your favorite things about autumn?

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Posted by: Cathy | October 31, 2018

Hungry Ghosts

Every year, my posts on “Hungry Ghosts” get tons of hits. I’d like to give you the links again for you to revisit them and consider if this pattern plays out in your life and what you can do about it.

Original: Hungry Ghosts (Oct 31, 2012)
“The easiest analogy for the Hungry Ghost in modern popular culture may be the character Gollum from the Lord of the Rings. He is so obsessed with his Precious Ring, he can think of nothing else. It is about craving something you can’t have; like an addict, even if you can get some of your drug, you will never be able to get enough of it. You’re stuck in a vicious cycle of wanting, chasing, and wanting more. The illusion is that the object you desire will somehow complete you or make you happy. But only you can decide you are complete, or choose to be happy.” Read more …

Hungry Ghosts – Revisited (Oct 30, 2013)
A Hungry Ghost is an empty vessel craving to be full. But other people can’t fill you up; if you depend on other people to make you feel complete, you are giving your power away.” Read more …

Happy Halloween and may all of your ghosts find what they need!

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Posted by: Cathy | October 29, 2018

Overcome Fears with a Visit to the Cemetery

You can overcome your fears if you’re motivated. One way to give yourself a boost of motivation is to visit a cemetery.

Pick any cemetery in your town, or visit one in neighboring town if you’d like to make a day of it. You don’t need to know anyone buried there. Bring your journal. Maybe bring some flowers.

Walk respectfully down the rows of headstones and follow your intuition. Pause periodically to change direction and read a few of the headstones. Pick one that moves you. Then take a deep breath and talk to the person buried there.

You could confide about your problem, your fears, whatever you’re holding back. And then listen. Does this person have any advice for you? Write down in your journal how you feel and any insights you receive. If you brought flowers, leave them at the headstone and give thanks.

The point of this exercise is to give you a shift in perspective. By communing with someone whose time is up, you may realize how precious your time is. Do you want to spend your time being stuck with fear, or making your dreams come true?

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Posted by: Cathy | October 24, 2018

Holidays + Creative Work? Use the Covey Quadrants

You can get through the holidays and still get your creative work done! You just need a little mindfulness and organization.

Try using the Stephen Covey time-management quadrants to help you prioritize.

The Covey quadrants break things down by Importance and Urgency.

  • Crises and pressing issues are both important and urgent. These things you need to manage. Ask for help if you can to distribute some of the stress.
  • Personal goals and values are important but not urgent. These things require your focus. Pick one creative project and make yourself a timeline. Remember that this is important to you and make time for it.
  • Interruptions are urgent but not important. These are the things that can hijack your day if you aren’t mindful. Try to avoid them. Set a time each day to respond to email or phone calls to reduce interruptions, for example.
  • Then there are unimportant and non-urgent things like browsing Facebook or Instagram. Limit these things to a set time (say 15 minutes per day) so you can use your time for what is important.

There are enough hours in the day to do what is important if you focus and try to be mindful of what you’re doing and what the cost is of doing it. What is the cost of missing Facebook for a few days if it means making progress on your dreams? You be the judge, and then make conscious choices to support your decision.

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Posted by: Cathy | October 22, 2018

Reduce Your Suffering by Making Art

If you’re not doing your creative projects, I know you’re suffering. Creative people need to color outside the lines; to make our own lines. If you’ve been staying too long inside someone else’s lines without breaking out to do your own thing, you will suffer. No doubt about it.

The fastest way to reduce your suffering is to make some art. Doodle or write about something in front of you. Schedule small chunks of time to make your own lines, to flex your imagination and intuition. Prescribe yourself some creative time and build up your creative health.

When your creative health is strong, when you’re living your creative priorities, you have more bandwidth to deal with any other thing in your life. Try it if you don’t believe me. You need to express your creativity, and the world needs to receive it.

Take your Vitamin C! (Creativity!)
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Posted by: Cathy | October 17, 2018

Feel Good, Do Good

Louise Hay said, “When we feel good, we make good choices. When we make good choices, we bring more good into our lives.”

Make a list of what makes you feel good and aim to do at least 5 things on your list every day. Here are some ideas to get your list started:

  • Doing something creative
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating a piece of fruit
  • Talking to your best friend
  • Doing something unexpected for a stranger
  • Savoring a cup of tea
  • Giving yourself a foot rub with nice lotion
  • Telling someone “I love you”
  • Encouraging or mentoring someone
  • Cuddling with your pet

You could live your life feeling crappy or feeling good. It’s your choice. Study what makes you feel good and do it!
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Posted by: Cathy | October 15, 2018

Self-care for Creatives (Especially Writers and Artists)

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is coming up, so I wanted to create another ebooklet to help people prepare and generally set themselves up for success. (Check out my NovPrepWo for my first offering.)

Creativity Self-care

As an artist or writer, you may prefer to work in a particular medium like watercolor paint or poetry, but really YOU are your raw medium: your dreams, fears, thoughts, and emotions go into every brushstroke, every word you put on a page. Therefore, good self-care will help your creativity thrive, too.

In my new booklet, I outline three phases to help with your creativity self-care: Emptying, Listening, and Processing.

To learn more, download my free ebooklet here (under Self-Care).

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