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The power of a pause

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

You’ve spent the past three months either staying close to home, sheltering in place, or some variation of that. You’ve given yourself to others during this time. Perhaps you were unexpectedly homeschooling. Or caregiving in your home for someone who was sick. Or sharing your workspace with your spouse. Or just worrying about keeping your life and business going. 

Add to that the racial and political turbulence that came to a head in the past couple of weeks. Perhaps you were one of the many who participated in peaceful protests over the weekend. Or maybe you simply paused social media on #blackouttuesday. 

If you kept up with any of what has been going on in our world, you can see that it’s noisy. Emails, blog posts, podcasts, traditional news outlets.

I recently read that the “typical” person receives 120 emails a day. That same person spends 11 hours a day connecting online with media. On a daily basis, you can read 1,331 newspapers, listen to more than 550,000 podcasts, and read more than 2,000,000 blog posts.

It’s enough to give you a headache or more if you try to keep up.

While you may think you’ve paused during the pandemic timeframe, in all likelihood, you did not. Not if you kept up with the noise. You experienced many stresses “behind the scenes.” 

For my part, I actually felt like I was waiting for the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back early this week. In addition to the two aforementioned contributors, my house was in disarray from painting and trying to downsize. I had a couple other house issues that contributed to my stress. I had some business deadlines. And, I felt so cut off from human contact and conversation, other than my husband and a couple of morning walking friends. I felt an entire smorgasbord of emotions running through my body.

For me, the way out was to acknowledge the stress and look for something to help alleviate it. I ended up meeting a friend for lunch — albeit a socially distanced lunch. This was the first time I’d really allowed myself to pause and take a break from what I consider my “now-regular world.”

That short pause was needed. That short pause was not enough. 

It was a good reminder of the power of pausing in my life.

I need to do a better job of protecting my energy, and maybe you do, too. 

Monday after my lunch, I took an evening walk with my husband and Button, our dog. I asked my husband what his blessings were for that day. When he finished, I started to recount mine. I had so many blessings that I realized that the camel waiting for the straw would wait a bit longer. That pause made the difference for me.

What can you expect from your pause?

As I said, I found my lunch pause powerful. I also said it wasn’t enough.

As I continue to add in more pause time, it will force me to slow down and create space. The benefit of space is that you start to see things from a different perspective. You can see where you are, what you want to do, where to make adjustments. It’s a reset and a restart.

You will not see these if you don’t honor the time for yourself.

Moving forward

As we move into creating what we might call our “new normal,” remember to add some “pause time” into your schedule. You may use that for getting away from the vast amount of media. Make time for your own art. Dance. Play music. Add a meditation practice. Add time for stillness and reflection. Spend time in the quiet space just being. It’s time for self-care.

As for me, this week, thanks to the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, I’m participating in a 21-Day Reset starting with a 5-day Fruits and Greens Smoothie Menu. I am keeping my focus on whole food nutrition. I’m making sure I get enough sleep. I’m getting the right amount of exercise. I’m spending time outside enjoying nature. I’m making art. And, I’m being grateful.

It’s your turn!

Do you need to add pause time into your life? How will you do that?

Love and light,

Morna

Being woke

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

This past week has been a heavy one. I’m horrified by the actions I see. I’m sad for where our country is. I’m sad for the lives that are lost. Lots is broken. Lots needs to be fixed. 

And, I’m uncomfortable.

I don’t feel right sending out our regular ezine this week. I do not feel like business as usual.

As a white woman, I cannot grasp the black experience. We all filter everything through our own lens. And one of my lenses is the white woman lens.

Sure I have good friends and colleagues who are black, friends whom I respect. I’ve dined with them. I’ve chatted at book clubs with them. Prayed with them at church. Shared experiences with them. Had them as overnight guests in my home. Had real conversations. But I can never know their experience, their lens.



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10 Minutes To More Creativity

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Only 10 minutes to more creativity? That sounds doable, right? It is, and it’s as simple as sitting quietly and focusing on your breath.

For the past several years I have been recommending meditation to my private clients. It has been significant to most. 

At our Creative Arts Business Summit, I would lead a guided meditation. For some of my clients, this was a powerful exercise.

Today in our times of stress with the coronavirus, meditation can have a profound effect on us.

I also have my own meditation practice that is part of my morning ritual. I was around meditation for a long time before I started to practice. My sister has taught mindfulness meditation for more than 15 years after many more years of a personal practice, and my husband has also had a long-time practice.

Despite their encouragement, I could not think of myself as someone who meditated. After all, I couldn’t possibly sit still that long. The first time I tried, I stopped and looked at the clock and barely two minutes had passed. And, I could not shake the long-held idea that meditation somehow was for hippies or new-age types.

I somehow got over that.

Read, I stopped self-sabotaging myself.  And, I began a meditation practice. I have found that it has a positive impact on my life. I can see this in my everyday activities and in my own creativity.

Especially in today’s uncertain times, I find it grounding.

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Do You Have Gotta-Do-It-First-itis?

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
do-it-first-itis

Does this sound familiar?

You are headed to the office or studio, only you pass through the kitchen and see the dishwasher needs to be emptied. Well, it won’t take that long. You do it first and just get it done.

Now you are back on track headed to the office or studio only you are now  distracted by the stack of laundry as you pass by the washer. Well, let’s just throw that one load in. You decide it will only take a minute or two.

You pause to looking at the messages that came in the night before. One was from a friend down the street. Well, what could she want? It’s just a quick phone call, and it will be out of the way.

Finally you’ve made it to your studio and are ready to get to work. Wait, you decide to quickly check your email. Oh, some of these look really quick to answer. So you decide to do them first and get them out of the way.

Did you just lose half your day because you had what I’ve termed “gotta-do-it-first-itis”?
Any chance this problem crops up more than one day a week?



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Are You Whelmed?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

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Are You the Bison or the Cow?

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Last week while I was caught in yet another rainstorm on the East Coast, I remembered something I had read about the difference between the bison and the cow.

Not having experienced it, I am not sure if it is anecdotal or always holds true. Even if it is only anecdotal, it holds some good lessons for all of us.

When storms come, the bison and the cow approach the storm differently.

Most storms come from the west and move east.

When cows sense that a storm is coming, they will start to run to the east, to try to outrun it. Ever watch cows run? I have, since my uncle and cousins raise grass-fed cattle. They do not really move all that fast. So the storm will catch up to the cows and they will be caught up in it and actually run with it. They won’t get out of the storm until the storm passes them by.

Bison, on the other hand, will run right into the storm. They will get through the storm more quickly and with less pain and frustration.

Both animals face exactly same storm yet their approach is the opposite.

Read more…

Are you still stuck in Groundhog Day status?

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

I’m hosting our eighth Creative Arts Business Summit this week. It’s inspiring to be around so many creative people. People with big dreams.

One problem is that while we all have big dreams, they can often get stalled. And, you seem to be repeating what you did yesterday without moving further ahead with your dreams.

You are stuck in a permanent Groundhog Day.

Do you see yourself there?

You’ve spent hours talking about your business ideas. You have the perfect name. You have idea pictures of your website on a Pinterest board. You have a strategy to launch your business. You even have potential customers.

And, then you stop. You start the next day in the same place. Dreaming of starting your own creative arts business. You know you could make a difference. You know the world needs what you have to offer, your art.

And, you look around and realize that you never took the leap. You never even really took the first step to making your dream a reality.

You stayed in your safe spot. Dreaming.

What often holds people back from making this leap is they lack clarity. They lack confidence. They lack support. All three are needed to take the leap.

At CABS I opened the doors for enrollment to our Members’ Studio. Most of those attending are already members and see the difference every day in how their business grows.

They gain clarity. They build confidence. And they have the best support network to move their business forward.

Take this chance to join us and leave Groundhog Day behind.

Overcoming obstacles to change

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

We are in a stage of change here at the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals. Our biggest change is that we are no longer hosting our annual Creative Arts Business Summit after next weekend.

It was hard for me to decide to stop doing a successful event. After seven years, I felt rewarded by all the growth I saw in the creatives who had come to CABS, as we call it.

People who were pattern designers opened brick and mortar stores. One person saw her dream of a B&B/Retreat Center come to fruition. Someone created a “million dollar” idea. Many others also realized that they were capable of doing bigger things, and as one attendee said, she was so “much more than a stay at home mom with a hobby.”

People felt their lives were changed both personally and professionally.

Read more…

Would you like a scholarship to CABS?

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

I believe that anyone who is serious about starting or growing a creative arts business should have a chance to learn the best success and business strategies.

I also believe this is best done away from your studio with other like-minded creatives who will understand and continue to support you.

Your place to do that is the eighth annual Creative Arts Business Summit on March 21-23, 2019.

That’s why when someone turned in her ticket for this year’s Creative Arts Business Summit (CABS), I decided to offer two partial scholarships. Two lucky winners will be able to work directly with me and a group of other creatives for three days in the middle of March.

For many who have attended CABS over the past seven years, this has been life changing. I want that for you, too.

Here are the rules:

  • Send us a note or a video indicating why YOU should receive the scholarship. Be sure to mention how this will make a difference in your business and life.
  • Written entries should be no longer than 300 words and videos should be no longer than 3 minutes!
  • If you choose to do a video, clearly mention the website www.CreativeArtsBusinessSummit.com in your video so people who watch it know where to learn more about this event you’re talking about.
  • Send your written response or a link to the video to support@creativeartsprofessional.com.
  • We must receive your entry no later than 11:59 pm Eastern on Sunday, February 24th.
  • Be sure to include your contact info, as I will notify the winners directly.

You can learn more about CABS and read the success stories of some those who’ve attended here.

Time is limited so don’t delay. We must receive your entry no later than 11:59 pm Eastern on Sunday, February 24th.

Don’t miss this chance to uplevel your business this year with some financial assistance. Before you know it, you’ll wish you had joined us.

Leverage to grow your creative business

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

 

You’ve probably heard people talk about leverage. And not the TV show of recent years. Leverage is about using a resource to its maximum advantage.

When I think of leverage in your business, I think of it as a triangle with Time, Money, and Knowledge + Talents + Passion as the three sides. When you start your business, you have all these elements in varying degrees. And likely some are limited.

         TIME (1)

As you grow your business, you begin to have more of each and can use each to its maximum advantage. And, you can leverage other people’s time, money and knowledge, too.

You invest in each of them because you want something back in your business. You have an expectation of a return on this investment.

Read more…

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