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Archive for the ‘Self Care’ Category

How Do You Handle Criticism?

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Several weeks back I had a conversation with a colleague about her distress over a poor review of her book on Amazon. “But I want everyone to love the book,” she said, really meaning, “I want everyone to love me.” She believed that if someone did not like the book, they did not like her.


I think we can all fall into that trap, wanting to be liked. I can remember exactly when I decided I didn’t care if everyone liked me. I was working in the offices of an ad agency, and one of the men in the office told me he didn’t like me. Well, how could that be? I am truly likable. Then I thought about it and realized that I did not really like him. He had poor work habits, always sloughing his work onto someone else, and I generally did not like being around him. Why did I think I cared anyhow?


It is just not possible to avoid criticism. And, hey, it does hurt sometimes.


So how do you handle it? Here are some my thoughts.


  1. Only one opinion really matters, and that is yours. If you choose to take personal responsibility for yourself, then you will be open to criticism. You just have to accept that it happens, and as one of my friends says, “Get on your own horse and live your life.”


  1. With that said, I will look at the criticism and look at the critic. Do I know this person? Do I respect this person? Only then is it time to ask if there is some validity to their criticism and whether it is constructive.


  1. Try some journaling. Why is the criticism so hurtful to you? Does it bring up past hurts that you have not dealt with. Does it start you on a negative spiral? Why? Understanding how the criticism impacts you can help you in the future.


  1. Protect yourself from the criticism. I said that your opinion is the one that matters, so do not open yourself up to naysayers. If you are a book author, do not look at your reveiws on Amazon. If you get negative emails, have someone else handle your emails. Your job is to keep yourself in a positive, growing place so you can focus on what is important — and those negative reviews definitely are not!


  1. Remember the criticism is not about you. It is about them. It doesn’t make it not hurt, though it is nice to have the reminder.


Finally, remember the words of Zig Ziglar,

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.”


Book Review: Hop, Skip, Jump

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Hop Skip Jump


Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life
Marney Makridakis
New World Library; $16.95


Have you ever considered the impact play has in what you bring about in your life? Creativity expert Marney Makridakis explains that manifesting ultimately comes down to momentum, and play connects us to the power of momentum, without even realizing it. Her goal in writing this book is to give us tools to use at the intersection between play and productivity to manifest whatever we desire. She starts out with a quirky quiz so we can learn if we are hoppers, skippers or jumpers. That lets you know if you are more comfortable connecting with your vision and plans to see that your dreams are on solid ground; trying lots of different things and creating momentum as a result; or quickly taking action and moving things to completion, sometimes without thinking things through. Once you have got your core comfort level determined, she gives you 75 ready-to-use tools to push through the blocks in your way. And, you can just open the book to any tool and use it then; no need to start at the beginning of the book and work your way through. Here are just a few: Creating your imaginary board of directors and holding an imaginary meeting; creating your own permission slips; using Internet oracles to answer project questions; turning your doubts into dares. I also loved her quick fun facts and AcroWhims (ACTION = Answering Calls to Initiate Opportunities Now) and Manifestagrams (Manifest= “Amen” fits) at the end of the chapters. This book is downright fun and will get your creative, productive juices running.


Look for this book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.


How Are You Sharpening Your Saw?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

small_8684715923One of my favorite books is Stephen A. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit 7 is about sharpening the saw. Covey shares the story of a man who has worked for more than five hours to saw down a tree. When asked why he does not take a break and sharpen the saw, sure to speed his work along, the man replies, “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw. I’m too busy sawing!”

Covey goes on to define sharpen the saw as “preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you.” It is about renewing yourself, physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially/emotionally. This requires a proactive investment in ourselves. And it takes time, something we all seem to find in short supply. I will be the first in line to say it is easy to get caught up in my daily activities and neglect sharpening my saw. With so much going on with the day-to-day activities of my business and other commitments beyond work, where am I going to find time to “sharpen the saw?” For me, it is about making it a priority – and honoring that priority. I am big on time blocking, and this is one way you can put that to use. Currently I have time blocked for a variety of “sharpening” activities.

Here are some ideas for sharpening your saw:

  1. Visit a museum
  2. Try a new technique or class
  3. Educate yourself (read something new, go to a seminar, listen to one of our teleclasses)
  4. Journal
  5. Organize your studio
  6. Review and update your goals
  7. Take time to exercise or try yoga
  8. Enjoy natural surroundings

Covey also explains his “Upward Spiral” concept of renewal that allows us to grow and change. To do this, we must consciously learn, commit and do; learn, commit and do; continuously. This will keep your blade sharp. Where are your blades dull and what are you doing to sharpen them?

I also wanted to share an appropriate quote

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Please share how you “sharpen your saw?”

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photo credit: steeljam via photopin cc



Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below.
Morna McEver Golletz is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at


The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

coffee cupToday I am having lunch with one of my closest friends, something we try to do once a month. We could meet for coffee, only neither one of us drinks it. Of course, it is not about the coffee anyhow. It is about the connections. It’s about the companionship. It’s about the love.

I ran across this article again the other day. It has been circulated around the Internet for awhile now, and I don’t know its origin. It’s just a good reminder for when we think our lives are stuffed and unmanageable. When you get to that place, think about the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.


A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. “Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things — God, your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions. And if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.  The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your spouse. Play with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with your grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner.  Play another 18 holes.  There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.  Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. The coffee just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”


So, when you get the chance to meet up with your friends for coffee, take the opportunity. I am always grateful I do.


Photo credit: Hailey E Herrera Art Journey via photopin cc

Are You Struggling With Burnout?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Over the weekend, I was chatting with one of our members about burnout. She felt she was on the edge of burnout and need to get a handle on it before it ruined her and her business.

What exactly is burnout? It is usually defined as an exhaustion brought about by lack of interest or motivation or by constant stress. It is a not-so-subtle message from the universe that something is not working in your life and you need to get on top of it.

People do not burn out from working too hard. They burn out from working on things they are not good at or do not feel passionately about. They burn out from working on things they do not value. They burnout when they work on things that others could do, while resenting that they cannot get to work on what they want to do. They burnout when they feel their work isn’t relevant. They burnout when they spend their time putting out fires rather than working on something that matters to them. They burnout by just doing “stuff.”

Ever notice that you can work for hours when it is something you enjoy? That is clearly the opposite of burnout and where we would like to be.

If you think you are suffering from or on the edge of burnout, here are some tips:

  1. Figure out if the time you spend contributing to your business (or life) actually contributes to you. In other words, does it fill your well? If not, look for what you can give up in your activities. You do not have to do everything, and you do not have to do everything perfectly.
  2. Take another look at your goals and priorities. Are they aligned with the values in your life? If not, look for what changes you can make.
  3. Learn to set boundaries. Don’t overextend yourself. I think taking on too much for others sets us up for burnout.
  4. Put “me” time in your calendar. You need to slow down, take a break, take care of yourself. This could be meditating, writing in your journal, doing art that is not business focused.
  5. Take a break from technology. Limit your time on technology. Better yet, set a time when you will totally disconnect at the end of the day. I think that too much time surfing online, particularly with social media, sets you up for comparing yourself with what others are doing. This can lead to thinking you need to be doing this, too. (Go back and read tips 1 and 2.)
  6. Since stress is a contributor, learn how to manage it. This could be the “me” time in your calendar or just avoiding the stressor.
  7. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise regularly, eat healthfully, limit your caffeine and sugar, get enough sleep. Also watch that you do not self-medicate with alcohol and drugs.
  8. Consider a visit to your doctor. What you may think of as stress may actually be a medical issue .

What strategies have you found to deal with impending burnout?


Please share your thoughts below

Join Me for Some PT?

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

PT? Physical therapy?, you ask. No, for me PT this time means Pause Time, as one of my friends calls it. I have been feeling the rush from the beginning in Houston, following up with contacts that I made, and getting caught up on what was happening in my office in my absence. I know much of it was moving forward on my “to do” list, but was I making any real forward progress? Was I working hard and not remembering what I was trying to do?

In some cases when you are busy and just pushing through the day, you can find you’re never really getting anywhere. You really need to take time to know where you are and where you are going to make real progress.

In addition to how I feel with all the post-trade-show work, I can see this with the distractions from social media. Who among us does not get lost in Pinterest or Instagram and then ask what progress is really being made?

Part of the problem is that we are keeping our minds so active getting our work done or moving to the next task, that we are not taking truly inspired action. That is because we are not taking the time to reflect on where we are and where we want to go.

Enter Pause Time, a time for stillness and reflection. Take some time to be still, whether that is in the garden (if it is still warm where you are) or in a quiet room overlooking the garden. Then in that space of quiet, take to time to just be and then reflect on where you are and where you are going. Do this in a space that is not your office. (Choose a place without distractions.)

Join me in Pause Time. Find inspired action.

Here is a quote I like that reminds me that the stillness and reflection providing answers, or inspired actions.

“Whenever there is stillness there is the still small voice, God’s speaking from the whirlwind, nature’s old song, and dance…”
Annie Dillard

Please share your thoughts on PT below this blog.

Secure Your Own Mask First!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

I’m enjoying a vacation as well as a business retreat this week and getting to both involved flying. Of course on the flight, I heard the safety warnings, including the following:

“If cabin pressure should change, panels above your seat will open revealing oxygen masks; reach up and pull a mask towards you. … The plastic bag will not fully inflate, although oxygen is flowing. Secure your own mask first before helping others.”

When I first heard this years ago, my initial thought was that it seemed selfish. Shouldn’t we take care of those who can’t take care of themselves? Of course, if I don’t take care of myself first, I’m useless to those I need to help. After all, you’re no good to anyone if you are not conscious.

I saw two good reminders in this. First, I need to take time to secure my own mask. Immediately for me that would be the vacation. I think self-care fits here for most of us. It’s easy to neglect that mask with all we have going on. For those of you who are going to Quilt Market or Quilt Festival and have booths or anyone who is getting ready for a show, I know you can relate to taking care of yourself now so you can be at your best at the show.

My second reminder was “the plastic bag will not inflate, although oxygen is flowing.” I think that is why we need to keep growing by taking classes, going to workshops, attending business retreats. While we are receiving the information, we don’t always see the impact it is having in our lives.

Please share any parallels you see in your life or business below.

How Good Are You At Juggling?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Last week I noticed that one of my Facebook friends commented that she was juggling a lot of balls in the air. Can you picture yourself there? I certainly can. At any given time I have editorial duties for the magazine, content to write or deliver related to IAPQ, new orders to fill, lectures to prepare for Quilt Market, coaching calls with clients, not to mention the various balls I’m juggling as a wife, sister, aunt, friend, and homeowner or any other volunteer position I might have. It could truly make you dizzy.
And, I know your life isn’t any different than mine. How do I – and you – manage to juggle these responsibilities and not succumb to the falling balls? Here are a few tips:
1. Start with a list of our your responsibilities and relationships. For example, your work and what it entails; your family duties; your personal care needs, such as that massage or exercise; outside activities, such as church or your guild.
2. Write down everything you need to do currently. If you can get it out of your head and onto one list, you can get some control.
3. Once you’ve got your list, get the tasks into your calendar.
4. Set a deadline and set to work on completing the tasks. This lets you be in control.
5. Learn to set priorities. Not everything on your list needs to be done, does it? Be ruthless about what is really important and what is not. And be ruthless about which responsibilities and relationships are most important and when.
When I start to feel overwhelmed by all the juggling I have going on, I remember an interview I watched with news anchor, Diane Sawyer. She talked about how life is like juggling. We are juggling glass balls (family and health being two examples) and plastic balls (some of the less important stuff). She emphasized to make sure we didn’t drop the glass balls. The plastic ones could drop and not cause too much trouble. But the glass ones are a different story.


Please share your thoughts on juggling on the blog 



Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below.
Morna McEver Golletz is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Professional Quilters, an association to help quilters, fiber artists and other creative arts entrepreneurs build business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at

Book Review: Cultivating Your Creative Life

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Cultivating Your Creative Life

Cultivating Your Creative Life     
Alena Hennessy
Quarry Books; $24.99

Ending one year and starting another is often a time for reflection. Here’s another book I think you’ll find valuable, particularly if you are trying to create a new direction. Designed by an artist and healing arts practitioner, the book’s focus is on self-inquiry, dreaming and creating. It includes exercises, space for writing your reflections or drawing. You can either use the book or jump over to your own journal and use that. She also incorporates yoga, breathing, nature and herbs to help you live a more balanced life as you work towards your goals.
Look for the book at your favorite quilt or book retailer. Here’s a link to Amazon if you would like to learn more about the book.

Intentions Not Resolutions

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Are you a New Year’s resolution maker? I used to be, and I probably made some of the same ones you made or are still making. You know, lose weight, eat more healthfully, clear up the clutter.

About six years ago I decided to try something new. I picked a word or two to choose as my intention or focus for the year. I actually started this practice in my yoga class. Kathy, the owner of the yoga studio, passed around a basket and we each picked a word. I picked openness. Well, I was not enamored with that word. The woman next to me picked love, a word I liked much better. I asked if I could pick another word and Kathy told me that I hadn’t picked the word, the word had picked me. Well, I stuck the word on the computer screen and looked for openness. Funny thing, I found lots of opportunities. I’ve had lots of words since then: joy, abundance, challenge. This past year I decided to choose those two words again: openness and opportunities, and I can look back and see magic in what I experienced in those areas.

It’s that time again and I spent some time over the Christmas holiday thinking about what word or words would be my theme for the year and how they will fit with the goals I’ve set for 2013. First, my word is conscious or consciousness, as in being fully aware or deliberate. I put it with living, as in conscious living. It’s very easy for me to get caught up in the doing, and letting the getting it – whatever it is – done be the important part, and not be fully engaged in what I’m doing. As I made a wall quilt in December, I could see how conscious or attentive I was during the design phase, and it was wonderful to see what it brought to me. I can see this as being important in all aspects of my life. One example includes, being fully present when I engage with other individuals. If I approach sharing my knowledge with authenticity and self-awareness, I will expand my reach, which is one of my goals. Another example, being fully present or conscious with my own self. If self-care is one of my goals, and it is, I need to be conscious that I can only be responsible for myself and that I need to be aware and attend to that. A third example, making conscious business and financial decisions. If you aren’t attentive to what’s going on with your business, it will run itself by default – and you may not like the default position.

I know living fully conscious will open more opportunities. Whoops, did you catch open and opportunities? I really think those are my words of the decade.

How am I going to get support for that theme. I’ve got two ideas. One is that I’ve got the words Conscious Living on a Post-it® note on the computer. It’s also on the front of a journal. Those are my reminders. Second, I found a book called A Year of Living Consciously by Gay Hendricks. It includes a quote, a short essay and a conscious living practice for each day of the year.

So, I’m asking you some questions:

1.  Do you have a word or theme for the year and how will you stay focused on it?

2.  If not, would you like to join me for a year of conscious living?

Please share your thoughts below.


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