Updates and an Opportunity

Updates and an Opportunity

I must apologize, I’ve been missing in action for the past few weeks. When I said enough is enough, I meant it.

I’ve been finishing up with some classes and getting some organization done. Things have been busy as usual around here.

We are currently finishing our 4th winter and the forecast looks good. But, since I live in Michigan, anything goes with the weather.

Days are getting longer and I am grateful for that. The wildflower seeds I ordered are here and I want to plant. Of course, all the snow needs to melt for that to happen.

In the past several months, I’ve been working on my coaching certificates, both in creativity coaching and soul based coaching. Neither are finished but but I am getting close.

Being close means that I am ready to begin seeing clients. Actually, I need to see clients in order to complete my requirements.

What does that mean for you?

Well, you have an opportunity to receive free coaching, up to 3 sessions, with the only requirement being open and willing to give a “green” coach a try.

Now this won’t last forever, so if you want to see what coaching is all about now is your chance.

Please click on the link below and fill out the form. I will get back to you to set up a time. All sessions will be held via Zoom and can be done through your phone.

Yes, I am interested in coaching!

I can’t wait to hear from you,
Until next time,
Angela

The Millions of Things That Stifle Creativity

So, I have this list.

It’s a list of things that keep me from being my creative self, namely writing. Because the truth is I haven’t written much in weeks and I’m feeling the need to confess this sin.

The list I have is long and I’ll bet we all have some of the same ones. Here they are in no particular order of importance:

 

Dishes
Laundry
No Time
Family
To-Do list
Low Energy
Work
Social Media
High Expectations of myself
Fears
Clutter
Guilt

 

This list isn’t extensive, nor do they represent everything that gets in my way. I’m also certain that each reader could add their own. The main issue is that these are the excuses that keep dreams from happening.

The Real Culprit

I have discovered recently that the real culprit isn’t any of these things listed. Oh, sure most of this stuff probably needs to be done and checked off that to-do list but that isn’t what holds us back.

For me the real culprit is shame.

Shame is one of those emotions we all have, yet no one talks about.

Shame is that emotion that, given enough time, wears away at your self-concept, your self esteem.

It is insidious and ugly and we can’t escape it.

The Good News

Yes, there is good news.

According to Brene Brown, shame cannot survive the light. Shining a light on the areas of shame in your life can be the beginning of healing.

Brown states that the best way to combat shame is to have compassion and empathy for yourself.

Sounds simple, right?

Nothing is as simple as all that.

The Game Plan

Brown’s definition of shame is:

“Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.”

The translation for me is when I tell myself I am a terrible person because I didn’t get my To-Do list complete and things aren’t perfect around me.

Sound familiar?

To combat this is to bring awareness to the messages we are telling ourselves.

Here are some examples of messages that often float through my brain:

“I am a horrible person because I can’t even keep up on my to do list”

I’m learning to make statements like this:

“My life is full and sometimes overwhelming, so if I don’t get everything done today,

I’m okay. I can work on it tomorrow.”

Or, one of my personal favs:

“Hey, I managed to get the clothes from the washer to the dryer in the same day – Yay me!”

I have been using a lot of my emotional energy beating myself up for my “failures.” Now that I’ve realized that I’ve been living in the land of shame, I can direct these energies toward more positive and productive endeavors. And, maybe get something checked off my To-Do list.

Working on the Problem

Which brings me back to those things that keep me from writing. Finding grace for myself when I don’t accomplish those tasks for myself is important.

Being compassionate when I don’t have the energy is another way to combat shame.

 

When I have compassion and I allow myself grace, I find that my energy increases and I can do those things I want to do.

I’ve found this process can create a snowball effect. Awareness brings a change in energy which then rises allowing me to accomplish small things. Counting the small victories gives way to the bigger victories (like getting a blog post out in a timely manner). The more progress and victories, the more shame retreats into its dark corner.

Until next time, when the process begins all over.

Hopefully, this time, the light won’t be too far behind.

Until next time,
Angela

How Did You Become a Writer?

How Did You Become a Writer?

The road to becoming a writer is different for all of us, and yet, I’ve found similarities whenever I’ve spoken to other writers. Sharing that story is one of the those things that can encourage others on their own journeys.

The Pillars

Gabriela Pereira, of the DIY MFA fame, has created a book club in conjunction with her book of the same name. The entire premise of her DIY MFA is three pillars: reading, writing and community, and this book club encompasses all three.

The first part of this opportunity is to simply read the book, DIY MFA. I’ve begun this book in the past but have never finished it. I will say that whenever I think about my writing life, I make certain to include all three of these pillars.

The second part is to write to prompts that will be posted every few days. Much of the rest of this post is the answer to the prompt, “How did you become a writer?” But I will get to that in a moment.

The third pillar is community which is accomplished through a Facebook group called Word Nerds Unite. Participants are encouraged to answer the prompts and interact with other through this means.

The Prompt – How I became a writer.

I feel as if I’ve been writing forever – or at least wanted to be a writer. My earliest realization of this desire was in first grade at 6-years-old.

At some point during that particular year, my teacher announced we were going to be making a book. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to show my mom. I even began to think about what I would write. The blank page scared me even then.

The let down and disappointment came when I learned I would only have a single page. And once completed, the book would stay with my teacher.

In that disappointment, a dream was born.

From that moment, I wanted to write a novel.

And, I had no idea how I would do it.

Becoming the writer I am today

The 40-something-year journey since that moment has seen more twists and turns than a labyrinth.

For much of this journey, writing has been relegated to a “past time” or a “hobby”. Not serious. I mean, after all, bills had to be paid – I had to do grown up stuff.

What changed for me was simply the decision to write.

With barely a thought, I decided one September night several years ago that I was going to see if I could write a novel. I wasn’t getting any younger and I had to start on this dream somehow.

What followed has been a roller coaster.

I did manage to write that first novel and even learned that it wasn’t half bad. In fact, that decision and completion of that novel, were almost – dare I say it – easy.

I’d been thinking about writing a novel for years and the idea had been floating around in my brain for a long time.

It was simply my time.

Present Day

That simple decision led to some amazing things. I’ve met many wonderful people doing the same things. I have a blog and am in the process of creating another website for my coaching.

One of the best things that has come out of this is that I have found a way to merge my creative life and my “day job”.

I have several WIP’s including novels, flash fiction and non-fiction works. Chipping away at each of these keeps me busy.

I still haven’t really published anything but I keep at it every day and am learning never to give up.

Finally,

It’s not too late to join the DIY MFA Book club. You can go to the site and sign up. How much you participate is up to you.

I hope you can look into these pillars of reading, writing and community to see how they fit into your own work and creative journey.

Until next time,
Angela