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A smashing new direction.

I seem to be surrounded these days with men and women who are fighting a feeling of being obsolete.

A very good friend of mine was recently told he was “un-hireable”. His immediate translation for this was to believe he was obsolete.

The truth is that no human being is obsolete. it’s been a bit of a journey, but I’m finally ready to announce my new venture: The Luddite Screen Smash.

Check it out here:  http://thescreensmash.com/

Working Life’s G. P. S.

I get lost a LOT!  It’s not something I’m proud of, but I can actually get lost between the bedroom and the bathroom.

I love my GPS a LOT!  I call her Flo and she’s gotten me where I want to be on many occasions.

Flo needs two pieces of information in order to do her job.  She needs to know where I want to go and she needs to know where I am now.

Years ago my life was a bit off track…OK I was lost in the dark and no happy about where my lack of direction had left me.

My life needed the same two pieces of information:

Where did I want to be?

Where was I now?

Getting clear answers to these questions wasn’t easy; there was a lot of denial, low self-esteem, bad habits and WAY too many choices, but when I finally got clear and honest my life started moving in good positive directions.

There have been road blocks, detours, potholes and more than a few rough roads, but I’m loving the ride…most of the time. J

It’s time to get clear about where you are and where you want to go.

Happy Half a New Year

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A fellow blogger who I’ve come to really enjoy posted a blog that really got me thinking on the weekend.  She called July 1st the threshold of the second half of the year.  What a great way to mark Canada Day.  I celebrate how much I love my country AND I take a minute or two and re-evaluate, re-think and re-group…sort of a mini New Year’s Eve.  That same day, I hit the half-way point for my Blog goal and hit 5,000 views since I started in January (2013 goal is 10,000).

Check out the inspiring post here.  http://joiworks.com/2013/06/30/crossing-the-threshold-to-the-second-half-of-2013/

I’ve learned a lot about BLOGGING and life in the last six months.  Here’s what’s come up when I think about it:

It works when I work it.  I know this seems self-evident, but when I take time to post regularly and make real connections with other bloggers I get stronger, better and more tangible results.  When I take time off my views drop to one or two a day.  Go figure.

On the subject of making good connections, I have to admit that I started looking at other blogs and leaving comments as a way to let people know about my own blog.  I specifically did this with bloggers on subjects like personal growth, my area.  The more I connected however, the more I found I loved reading other people’s thoughts on the subject.  My own personal journey has been greatly blessed by the people I read…now I still read and make comments because I truly find value in the writing I find in this community.  Leaving a comment is just a small way of showing my gratitude.  Oddly enough, (or maybe not) the more sincere I get, the more people I find connecting with my own blog.  Funny how this works.  Honesty and sincerity actually work…and you can’t fake it, people know.

I want to say thank you to everyone who stops by, everyone who follows and everyone who posts.  You inspire me, make me laugh, make me think and open my vision wider.

Helen Wilkie – one of my favourite speakers – has a great story she tells about moving forward that ties in beautifully.  Here’s a link to it…check her out, she’s awesome. http://www.mhwcom.com/HelenOnYouTube.html

Musings on Tea and Japan and Manners and just being aware of other people.

Here’s a slightly different post.

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I read this morning that in Japan it is considered impolite to fill your own glass.

Something about this has struck me deeply, I love the idea of a point of etiquette being based on the idea that those eating together must be attune to each other’s needs.  I watch for your cup to empty, or get low, and you watch for me.  Together we all get enough to drink. I’m not quite sure how this works when you’re eating (and drinking) alone…maybe you don’t need to be quite so polite when you’re alone.

My goal this week is to move this into my life.  To try to be attentive to those around me – to see where they need what I have to offer.

I know this blog is about art and personal growth…good manners are an art…so there.

This Post will last FOREVER . . . Babe!

cartoon-shakespeare

If you’ve only read one sonnet in your life, it was probably Sonnet 18…”Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day . . .”

You were probably forced to read it by some English teacher who was desperate to excite you about Shakespeare by pointing out the obvious sexual references. . . I know I was.

Much as I like love the sexual references, forget about them for a sec.  Look at the last two lines . . .

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

In simple modern English, he’s saying “This poem is so awesome they will be reading it FOREVER; I just made you immortal Babe.”

The sonnets are numbered roughly in the order they were written, so #18 (of 154) was written when he was a pretty young guy.

It’s the most arrogant thing ever written in the English language.  It would be unacceptably arrogant . . . if it wasn’t turning out to be true.

There are a lot of reasons why Shakespeare’s great, one that is often overlooked is that he knew from the start that he was great.

Do you have the courage – the honesty – the unadulterated Chutzpah to believe how great you are?  We ALL have greatness within us.  Find yours and bring it to the world, this is not an option, it is our job here on earth.  Some are great writers, or painters, or parents or cooks, but we’ve all got something the world is hungry for.

Find your greatness and you will change the world in wonderful ways.

GETTING MY GROUP ON AND FLYIN’ SOLO

I had an awesome experience this week.  My friend Andrew teaches a course in “Advanced Group” at Laurier University.  It’s a postgraduate course teaching Social Workers to facilitate groups…everything from parenting to addiction.  He asked me to come and talk about my experiences as a member of various groups that were lead with different styles – some great – some…not so much.

I always love talking about myself so Andrew and I drove to Kitchener where I met with the most amazing group of people.

Before Andrew asked me to come and speak, I wouldn’t have thought that I had been much of a resource on this, I tend to work solo, especially on things like personal growth.  Then I got thinking.  I realized my growth both as an artist and as a person has been constantly involved working with other people, sometimes in a group situation, sometimes one on one.

This interplay between working with others and working on my own has been playing with my mind ever since.

We think of the great artist of the world as individuals who worked on their own, and they did (generally), but it can’t be a coincidence that so many of the world’s greatest artists worked in the same cities and had overlapping careers: Mozart and Beethoven, Michelangelo and Leonardo.  It extends outside the find art community, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison both said their friendship with each other was a tremendous increase to their creative and industrial output.

The interplay between working together and working alone is essential for our growth. We develop our skills, hone our craft and find our true voices alone, together we push each other to greatness, encourage each other to do better and keep each other grounded and sane.  We need both.

I GOTTA STOP LOOKING AT THESE WEEDS

My friend Janet and I have an interesting and unusual relationship.

She helps me focus my speaking business.*

I weed her garden.

I get the better end of the deal.

I love gardening, mucking around in the dirt makes me happy, but I’m NOT an expert.  Weeding my own garden can be slow and frustrating; spending a lot of time trying to figure out which are weeds and what should stay.

Janet, the focus expert, points.  “This, this, that,, that and the tulips (Janet’s Dutch) stay – the rest can go.”

LESSON:  It’s faster, easier, more efficient and a LOT simpler to focus on what we DO want then going through everything in our lives, or our gardens, or our closets etc. etc. piece by piece trying to decide if it has value.

Janet tells me that there’s no Dutch word for “weed”.  I LOVE that.  Every plant has value, the question isn’t about the worth of the plant, it’s about whether I want it in my garden.

I’m going to get better at applying this in the rest of my life.  I can spend HOURS looking at the various things in my life (things that can VERY easily distract me) instead of focusing on what I want.  When I focus on what I DO want the choices all get faster, easier, more efficient and a LOT simpler.

I think I’m going to Blog about compost soon.

* Check out Janet’s website at www.getrealbranding.com she really is pretty awesome…and she’s got a very nice garden now.

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