Getting Back on Track

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” –Sharon Begley

It’s been quite awhile since my last blog post. I must admit I let things in my personal life really pull me off track in my business life. Instead of beating myself up about it, feeling guilty or completely give up the idea that I could get back on track, I made a decision to recommit to my business, my personal and professional goals and take action to move forward.

It sounds easy and trust me, it has been far from easy. I have had many times in my life where outside circumstances have taken my attention, time, energy and focus.

It seems to be a pretty common experience among us humans. 🙂

The question for me is how do I keep choosing to come back to what is important to me when I have gotten so far off track?

Sometimes this is complicated because after getting off track some of the things I thought I wanted or even needed have changed. I find myself trying to find the energy to relate to an old vision or an old or outdated version of myself. When this happens I keep wondering why I have a difficult time following through. Sometimes I don’t have any enthusiasm or inspiration around what I am trying to create in my life or in my art.

It usually takes me awhile to figure this out (the old way of doing things or relating to things is not working anymore). This is usually preceded by some transition in my life. Sometimes I am not even aware that a transition is happening. I begin to experience and feel confusion, being ungrounded, old ways not working anymore, and feeling different parts of my identity dropping away. It’s unnerving for me to say the least.

I wonder to myself:

How do I regain ground and be in and with the in-between space while waiting for the next move to reveal itself?

And how do I learn to trust what the next move will be?

This is true for me also in my creative pursuits as well.

What is the next step?

Where do I go from here?

What if it is a mistake?

How do I learn to trust my intuition and that my knowingness will guide me in the right direction in taking the next step that is needed and necessary for my growth as a human being?

I long to surrender, to not escape and to be present with the transition I am experiencing.

What makes sense to keep?

What makes sense to let go of?

What would be unlived in my life if it ended today?

These are some of the questions and a whole host of feelings and emotions I have been pondering while going through my own personal transitions over the last many months.

If you are experiencing a transition in your life right now I wish you the awareness to be conscious of the choices that you make as you create you life and create your art. We are after all, the artists of our own lives and I find it helpful on many levels to consciously choose what I want to create in all aspects of my life~don’t you?

I would love to read your thoughts and perspective. Please share if you are inspired.

Much Gratitude and Blessings,

Dolly

 

 

Gratitude and Many Thanks!

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Dear Friends,

I hope this post finds you doing well~it’s been quite a long time since my last post. I have gone through many transitions personally and professionally in the past eight months (time flies!) and I have been off the grid so to speak. I have finally resurfaced.  I was not sure for awhile if I wanted to continue down this path but after much reflection I am happy to say that I am committed  in supporting and working with those of you who want to consciously create the life you want to live and the creative genre you would like to express.

Much gratitude and thanks to those of you who have stuck around and welcome to those of you who are new to The Creative Pioneer. May we forge new frontiers together!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dolly

You Realized What? A Secret About Habits

IMG_1313You have gotten clear about what you want to create in your life this year and in your creative practice, you have set some goals and today I am going to write about habits.

Our habits can make or break us in terms of reaching our goals. If we have habits that aren’t in our best interests than it will be much more difficult creating what we want in our lives.

I highly recommend reading “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. http://charlesduhigg.com/the-power-of-habit/ It’s a wonderful and in depth look that explains why habits exist and how they can be changed. What I found most fascinating about the book was the secret about Keystone habits or small wins. It is the idea that a Keystone habit is one habit that can shift many other patterns in your life and like a small win if you apply something small in a steady manner it can have a huge consequences and amount to a big win over time.

The reason I found this fascinating is that I have been working to shift some of my own habits and have been struggling to focus, stay on track and be disciplined in my life as a whole but especially around my business. This usually isn’t a big challenge for me until lately. I have had to spend some time reflecting and being mindful of the choices I was making. I had to ask myself: what did I change in my routine, why was it difficult for me to focus on getting things done and how come I was struggling to have self-discipline and stay on track? After reading this book it really made me start thinking about what was the one habit I did consistently that impacted everything else and did I stop doing it or did I change it?

I have notoriously worked out first thing in the morning for the past 25 years. I do enjoy working out and feeling good but the truth is I have to move my body. I was in a severe car accident in my early 20’s and if I don’t do some type of movement or exercise at least once a day I suffer physically which cascades into emotional and mental stress as a result. Pain is one heck of a motivator 🙂

Over the past eight months or so I have struggled to work out first thing in the morning: it’s cold, I am tired, I am tired of this routine, yada, yada lot’s of reasons lately to put it off until later. I end up working out or exercising later in the day or early evening. The result of this “new routine” has led me to be a more unfocused, less disciplined (in many areas of my life) and not staying on track very well in my business and creative practice. As a result of putting exercise off, I have created a new habit of not exercising first thing in the morning that wreaks havoc in all areas of my life.

I am now in the process of re-creating my habit of working out first thing in the morning and let me tell you, it’s been rough going. However, the reward is enormous. I feel more focused and clear headed, my body feels good, I already accomplished something which helps build confidence and self discipline, I am in a good mood and I am ready to start my day in a positive way. I also eat better the rest of the day, my evenings are free to do other things, I am not worrying about when I am going to fit exercise in my schedule and I sleep better.

Once I figured out this was my Keystone habit I knew that I had to choose to re-create the habit loop so working out first thing in the morning becomes automatic. I don’t have to think about it, talk myself out of it or wait to do it when I get up in the morning.   I just do it.

If you don’t know what your what your Keystone habit is I challenge you to figure it out and start incorporating it. If you do know what it is that is great and keep it up! I would love to hear what your Keystone habit is and how it works for you in meeting your goals.

Are You Engaging In Self-Sabotage?

One of the biggest obstacles to meeting goals and taking action can be working with and through resistance.

Resistance can be so tricky and can show up in a multitude of forms without even realizing it. You think you are taking action, doing something “productive” or doing something that “needs to get done” but it’s really only self-sabotage.

Maybe working on what is really going to further your goals or your creative project seems too intimidating or too overwhelming. Or maybe you say to yourself “I will get to it later” but it’s later and you didn’t get to it.

So instead of focusing on taking action towards your goals you may focus on:  doing laundry, making a shopping list, cleaning the house, watching television, going out with friends, exercising, making a meal. You get the idea.

You may be thinking to yourself “but those are things that I need to do!” and yes, they are but are you doing them at the expense of meeting your goals? Are you doing them in the middle of the day or at odd times when you could be working on your creative projects? How is your resistance consciously or unconsciously undermining what you want to create in your life?

Another form of resistance (aka-self-sabotage)  is not saying yes to what is truly important in your life and saying yes to everything and everyone outside of yourself first. Then you will be “busy” and not have any time to focus on what you said you wanted to create.

Maybe you are “busy”. That seems to be every persons favorite phrase, “I am too busy, I don’t have enough time!” We have a choice about how busy we want to be, what we say yes to and what we say no to. We also have choices about how we spend, structure and relate to time. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. How you choose to utilize your time is ultimately up to you.

This is one of the reasons why resistance can be so tricky to work with and through.  By being “busy” you may feel good temporarily because you have a lot going on and your feeling productive. You may feel good that you are helping other people but at what expense in the long run?

It does not mean that you cannot help others and feel productive but inevitably do you find yourself feeling worse because you haven’t done the things you said you were going to do for you?

It’s simply more cover up tactics, an illusion that you are “taking action”. However  it’s not action to further your goals and creative projects, it’s just filler to avoid the commitment you made to yourself.

I would like to ask if you can you be mindful and pay attention to the difference between taking action to further your goals vs. taking action in the form of resistance to sabotage your dreams?

When you do notice the difference, what action do you choose to take out of that insight?

I’d love to know. Please leave a comment.

How To Show Up For Yourself

IMG_0437Are you the person that always shows up for everyone? The friend in a crisis, the co-worker that needs help, the parents that need caring for or the child needing help with schoolwork. Maybe there are hundreds of ways that people come to you and lean on you for support. With all this time being devoted to everyone else how do you show up for yourself?

It can be difficult to shift the focus to yourself if you have been in the role of showing up for everyone else first. It may be an ingrained habit that has been reinforced because of all the great feedback you may receive for being that person.

Let’s face it, being needed and counted on can feel good and is positive reinforcement for the ego. It can also feel so fulfilling that it can distract you from working on your own life or creative projects especially if you are feeling challenged or fearful. It can actually become an excuse for you to avoid your own life and potential for growth. It can be so much easier and gratifying to focus on other people’s lives and help them, even powerful because you are in a role of someone needing you, your wisdom or support.

I am not suggesting that being able to be counted on is not a valuable and wonderful trait to have because it is and we need people like you in the world! What I am suggesting is to be mindful and discriminating when you say yes to helping someone in their life. Ask yourself what you are saying yes to. Are you saying yes out of habit, out of wanting to feel powerful or because you want to avoid your own life or simply because you actually want to help.

I suggest that you evaluate your priorities. Sometimes you will need to be there for someone no matter what and this will happen in life. If you find yourself constantly being there for other people for every circumstance in their life you may want to ask yourself if you are doing them and yourself a disservice. Meaning: maybe this is something they need to figure out on their own for their growth to happen and maybe it means freeing up your time for YOUR growth to happen. By evaluating your priorities you can figure out if this is something or a situation that you may need to step away from.

You may need to practice saying NO to other people. If you find it difficult to say no to others, you can choose to practice the phrase, “I need to check my schedule and I will get back to you about that.” This will give you some time and space to evaluate the situation and see if it something that you have the time and energy to involve yourself in or if it will take time away from you showing up for yourself.

This may be very difficult at first because you may be changing a habit of always saying yes. People in your life may have a negative reaction or feel put off by you not saying yes right away. When you put yourself first this may feel uncomfortable or you may feel guilty about it. DON’T – if you do not make time for yourself and what you want to work on and create in your life you will inevitably end up feeling resentful and unsatisfied.

You do have a choice in how you would like to spend your time. The key is to be conscious and give yourself the time to make thoughtful decisions instead of responding out of habit, autopilot or other people expecting you to always say yes. You are ultimately the only one who can choose to consistently show up for yourself moment to moment every day. The question is are you consciously choosing to show up for yourself?