Friday, June 6, 2014

Procrastination is a Gift

Procrastination: Some thoughts on Resistance


Procrastination is a gift. It is a gift that is like a neon road sign direct from Las Vegas baby. You are avoiding something to be done, you are late, you are too busy, and it’s all about the ‘not doing’. The road sign is telling you that something is not right. Why else would you do everything possible to not be in the flow, be stressed or unhappy. Why would you do that to yourself?

What is the flow?  For me, it’s that feeling you have when it’s all working out; the lights in the street agree to be green as soon as you pass them, you arrive at the dentist and they are waiting for you, your taxes are done, and it didn’t feel like a big deal, you even got your snow tires off before it hit 30 degrees. I mean, you are in the flow, and things feel right. You aren’t rushing or late, you just show up, you arrive not hassled and apologetic. You haven’t forgotten anything vital to your next meeting. It’s a state we all aspire to, reach at times, but more likely the slippery slope of procrastination greats you ever so often, or for some, really often. This is true for all of us.
How do I get that flow? More importantly, how do I manage these blocks and patterns that I see in myself? How do I manage the thoughts that make me feel like if I don’t have a handle on my own procrastination, perhaps I'm not a good enough coach? I think that the answer is the same for both me and my clients.
But first, I’d like to point out that many of us coaches are entrepreneurs, and creativity is an essential part of the character and core skill set needed as entrepreneurs. But the same holds true for those that are employed as coaches. We all use our creative energy as coaches because essentially, the co-creative process of coaching requires that we use imagery, metaphors and our imagination to coach successfully.
Creative people experience creative blocks; generously lumped into the ‘procrastination bucket’. Steven Pressfield in The War of Art calls it resistance. I am a card-carrying member of my very own procrastination brigade specializing in resistance. Being coached has shown me how very hard it is to maintain my ‘sweet spot’ of flow, and the humbling realization of how hard my clients work at getting out of their own way.
So the answer to procrastination is also a little reminder for my self and my clients. The first step is to deal. Look it straight in the face, see it for what it is, even if it’s not a shining example of my best moment. Then step back and realize I'm not alone in this. It’s a small comfort I know, but at least with practice, I'll have more compassion for myself and others. The point is to not spiral into the negative slippery-slope of frustration and self recrimination.  
Then, when I realize I'm imperfect and accept it, realizing that trying to be an ideal or ‘perfect’ version of 'me' is highly unrealistic. The reality; it’s attainable some of the time, and with practice I can get better, but expecting myself to always keep it together is a sure way to let myself down.
I have managed to dig deep and see why I'm avoiding certain tasks.  I realized it was two factors; one was my sense of self worth was allowing my fear to gum up my flow. I really think this is a hidden problem of confidence, because courage is confidence in action. Second, (and this is a big one)  my commitment to myself is apparently spotty; it needs a tune-up big time!
There is more to procrastination, but being compassionate with myself is a first step.
Teaching my clients to forgive their short-comings, yet encouraging them to dig deeper into their patterns will help them break through. Yes, I can procrastinate and be a great coach, especially because when I tap into my humanity, humility and empathy as a coach.
Note: the original post I wrote for ICF Quebec, I have modified it here for the purpose of this Blog

Monday, March 24, 2014

What it means to Be an Entrepreneur and Creative

What it means to be an Entrepreneur and Creative

Am I an entrepreneur, because I am a creative person? 

Probably not, there are tons of creative people out there who are not trying to make a living at it. But this is for all those that are thinking about  taking that road, to be an entrepreneur as a creative! What does that mean? You will utilize your talents as an artist, photographer, graphic artist, writer, singer, actor; whatever it is you are passionate about!

I grew up in a family with a merchant mentality. Every one could sell something, a service or item that someone wanted. My humble beginnings went from being a babysitter to camp counselor, I was ‘freelancing’ child-care.

Fast forward, after many interesting and not so interesting jobs and University I realized that I wanted to be a singer/songwriter but until then, I had other skills that began to appear as better alternatives to making money so I could ditch being a waitress. While I managed my band, and wore all of those hats, I started to work on creative projects that included:  work in film, television, producing music, publicity, organizing other people’s projects.

My birth as a true entrepreneur happened when I couldn’t see myself in a 9-5. It became apparent that I didn’t aspire to a job; instead, I gravitated towards projects and opportunities that fed my soul in some way. I just wanted to work on something that I was interested in, projects that inspired me, people that were motivated, talented and where I could learn and grow.

In the mean time, because of my varied experience I began to work organically outside the creative world as a business development consultant and manager. To my surprise, businesses liked having a creative edge. It didn’t matter what industry, I would learn, I used my creative-think-outside the box vision and people and companies hired me! I never said no, and I still do not turn down interesting offers. 25 years ago I figured out if you say yes and can learn, that enthusiasm will get you jobs you never dreamed of.

I have been in a musical in LA, I have worked in International Trade, Extreme sports video distribution, written scripts for TV, done voice-overs and jingles, managed and produced festivals and large events, Editor of a news letter for independent films makers; the list goes on!

Technically I have worked for myself (including a contract with the National Film Board of Canada) since my late twenties. I have not held a full time job, since my daughter was born, and yes, I still do many things. Even if I had three hats, and it equaled a full time position somewhere, the variety suites me. Five years ago I went back to school and became a certified Coach, PPCC, because I realized I loved inspiring other people to live their lives exactly the way their hearts demanded it! I had an innate knack that I practiced with family, friends and professionally. So now there is another hat!

For those women who juggle home and aspirations as creative people, you can make those decisions that will encourage you to become expert at juggling your many demanding and rewarding roles and work for yourself on your own terms. I raised my daughter, who is now in University on all my different contracts and income streams. It was crazy at times, but I did it! I am sending a big nod to all those creative souls out there who feel like they too want to live not only an interesting, meaningful life, but one that fits them uniquely and perfectly as expressions of who they are, at maximizing their strengths and walking fearlessly towards their life as an entrepreneur!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Four Letter Word

Four letter Word

is my four letter word.
Love is
my bed, my pillow, my reason, my insanity, my last chance.
Love is my
beginning and is always my last word.
Love embraces and sets
me free.
binds me to places and people and ideas.
Love is
simple, love is complex, is forgiving and expansive.
Love is illusive,
frugal and smaller than a mote and larger than the galaxy.
Love is a language,
is my language and my breath, and my last thought.
Love is
my emotion and my motion, my being, my doing.
Love is my
currency, my arms, my stomach, my smile.
Love holds hands, and grieves and celebrates and gets disappointed and ignited.
wave, a particle, a concept, an infinity,
and like air, l
Love can sustain balloons, airplanes and seagulls.
Love chooses you and ignores you.
Love misses you and prays for you and
sits in the corner,