Posted by: Cathy | June 21, 2021

Express yourself to get unstuck

When you are stuck, something has a hold on you, keeping you imobile. If you could move, you would, but you can’t, so you don’t.

“Expressing yourself is an amazing way to get unstuck.”

Adriene Mishler, Yoga with Adriene

Next time you are stuck, try expressing yourself.

  • Describe in words how it feels to be stuck, or make a doodle or collage to represent how you feel while you are stuck.
  • Then try to identify what is keeping you stuck or holding you back. Did something demoralizing happen? Do you need more information or help to move forward? Do you need to scrap something that wasn’t working? Identify the real issue to being stuck.
  • Then express why you don’t want to stay stuck, express your commitment to moving ahead, and pick a step you can take to get back into action.

Feeling stuck is disempowering. Take a minute to take your power back and express yourself to get unstuck.

“Express yourself, Respect yourself, hey, hey.”

Madonna
Photo from unsplash.com

Posted by: Cathy | June 16, 2021

Does Summer energy come naturally for you?

Sunday is the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. It’s a season of expansion and energy. Notice how you respond to the energy of summer, how it affects your choices, and whether you are choosing consciously or reacting instinctively.

Some people just want to rest in the heat of summer and some people have long bucket-lists of outdoor activities they want to accomplish. Notice which relates more to your summer style and how this energy could impact your goals and action plans for the year. If you feel slow but really want to make progress, what part of summer energy could you tap into to help? (E.g., make your work feel like play, try to work outside, keep Friday afternoons free for an outing.)

Don’t resist summer energy or let it lounge you off track; dig into it and find a way to work with it, whether that means resting, playing, or tweaking your expectations of what you’ll get accomplished. Taking mindful steps makes them more sure and sustainable, any time of year.

Thinking back over the last three months, what do you wish you knew earlier? Write those statements as affirmations to help you next spring.

Reflect over what issues you’ve been going through recently and what you learned. Think about points where you were stuck this quarter and what you learned or what advice would have helped you move through the problem. Then make notes for yourself to review next March and write some personal affirmations for yourself to capture the wisdom and help your future self recover maybe faster if you encounter a similar problem.

What affirmations could have helped you this quarter?

Posted by: Cathy | June 9, 2021

365 Creative Prompts

This is your quarterly reminder about my booklet: 365 objects to draw, paint, or describe in your writing! (With a bonus leap-day prompt!)

Are you following along and doing some of the prompts? You don’t need to do all 365! You can do them for a month, for a week, or just open it and randomly turn to a page if you need an idea of something to shake up your creativity.

Whether you draw, paint, or write fiction or poetry, I put together 365 prompts (with a bonus leap-day prompt) that can help you start or maintain a daily creative practice. The prompts are broken down month-by-month. They include a category of “travel”, and those 15 prompts are also listed as a batch at the end so you can do them all when you go on vacation.

How to use these prompts:
For drawing, painting, or photography, you can simply make a representation of the object.
For collage, you could find a bunch of images of the item on Pinterest and make your own digital or print collage.
For poetry or fiction writing, you can write a poem about the item, or write a paragraph or page of details/description about the item.

If you post any of these prompts on social media, please use the hashtag #365eyd

Download it here.

Posted by: Cathy | June 7, 2021

“You decide every day: forward or backward.”

You are the author of your own life. Every day, even when it feels like you don’t have much choice, you choose dozens of things.

“Every day, you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward.”

James Altucher

You choose what time to wake up, what food to eat, what attitude to bring to your activities, what grudges to hold or release, what tone of voice and what words you use toward others and toward yourself. All of these things contribute to your sense of how your day goes, and all of these things you can choose. Things may happen to you, but they can’t change you without your participation. Be sad or angry or frustrated if necessary, but then choose to move forward, to lift your head and do something constructive.

You decide every day: forward or backward. Which way do you want to go?

Posted by: Cathy | June 2, 2021

Nine Types of Rest

This was one of my top ten posts of 2020, so I want to share it again.

Did you know there are at least nine types of rest?

The list below comes from Stephanie Barron Hall, an Enneagram (personality typing system) expert, who assigned each type with its own brand of rest.

Nine Types of Rest

  1. Time away
  2. Permission to not be helpful
  3. Something “unproductive”
  4. Connection to art and nature
  5. Solitude to recharge
  6. A break from responsibility
  7. Stillness to decompress
  8. Safe space
  9. Alone time at home

I identify with type four, The Individualist, so “connection to art and nature” is a great brand of rest for me. I feel rejuvenated when I spend time doing art or walking in nature.

Which type(s) of rest resonate with you? Come up with your own list of favorite types of rest to help you when you need a self-care break. Having some “back-pocket strategies” at the ready will help you get what you need when you need it no matter how stressed or distracted you are.

Begin the new year feeling rested to tackle your goals by exploring your favorite types of rest.

Posted by: Cathy | May 31, 2021

Are you playing small?

Summer energy is expansive. It’s hot and quick. If you’ve been playing small lately, I encourage you to take a cue from summer energy and get expansive.

Don’t hold back.
Don’t suck in.

Rock your swimsuit.
Rock your goals.
Be bold and beautiful.
Jump into summer and get expansive.

Posted by: Cathy | May 26, 2021

Creative Alignment Check

It’s time for my quarterly reminder about my booklet, “Creative Alignment Check,” so I invite you to check in again, notice any imbalances, and work to integrate and re-align.

Many of us are suffering from a “Reality Disorder”: our ideals are not aligned with our day-to-day reality.

It doesn’t matter how you got to this point. You made choices that led to your current reality and you can make choices to change it. We aren’t going to judge and regret the past. We are going to take a Creative Alignment Check and use that to make small changes in the present to better align your future with your ideals.

We’ll do this with three scales: Mind, Body, and Soul.

Review my post from May on how to do this, and/or download my Creative Alignment Check e-booklet, which has worksheets for these three exercises.

You can begin to merge your reality to reflect more of your ideals. It takes mindfulness to notice when you are operating from the “old” states so you can make different choices to cultivate the “new”/ideal states. But day by day, moment by moment, you can create new habits and slowly shift to your ideal states. You have the power to build your reality in a new direction by building new habits.

Posted by: Cathy | May 24, 2021

Blocks are a response to fear

Like a porcupine ready for battle, sometimes we put up our own blocks when the going gets tough.

“Blocks are a reaction and defense mechanism, a feeling of hard-core resistance. You put your own boulders in place when you experience fear.”

Lauren Sapala

Rather than sitting stuck with a block, do some internal work to get things moving. Journal. Free-write. Doodle. Talk to a trusted friend. Express your stuck emotions to get at the fear and release it.

Photo from unsplash.com

Fear is a natural result of the unknown. Considering anything outside our comfort zone will bring up at least a little fear or hesitation. Doing something we haven’t done before can feel intimidating. But that is the only way we grow and improve our circumstances. If you want something you don’t have, you need to do something you haven’t done. That will bring up fear, but you need to move through it to move forward.

Notice when you put blocks in your own way and set aside time to work through them.

Posted by: Cathy | May 19, 2021

You feel tired because you aren’t inspired

Doing too little can feel nearly as tiring as doing too much.

“You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you.”

Alexander Den Heijer
Photo from unsplash.com

Similar to eating a lot of junk-food and having sluggish energy, how you spend your time affects the quality of your day. Try to do something inspiring every day. Day dream. Encourage someone. Work on your goals. Write a gratitude list. Read an inspiring book.

By elevating your thoughts, you elevate your energy and improve the quality of your life.

What sparks a light in you? How can you give yourself some of that today?

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