You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.
I’m back! The most significant takeaway from my wonderful trip to Mexico and California was that for the entire week at Rancho La Puerta I was fully present and never thought about home, work, responsibilities, finances, 2012 or anything other than what I was currently engaged in at the moment.
I just said to a friend in conversation that it was like a really good night’s sleep with amazing dreams that are now positive deposits in my energy and happiness bank accounts.
The Ranch, as it is called by repeat visitors, is exquisitely landscaped. It is impossible to see too far down any road because of the twists and turns, high hedges and dense foliage. Truthfully, I kept getting lost because there were no visible landmarks to center me. I found out late in the week that the layout of the 3000+ acres was intentionally created to prevent left-brain thinking (which is the linear side?). Anwyay, it worked.
I delivered my two talks there and successfully and motivated several participants to live into their dreams, particularly around performing. I love that look of terror and delight when I encourage an audience member, for instance, to call the caberet she wants to perform at by January 5.
I’m also happy to be back. I love the life I’ve created for myself which includes working with amazing women entrepreneurs, having time for self-care, and especially time for my friends and family.
I’m taking the afternoon off to see Hugh Jackman on Broadway with my daughter Lindsey knowing that I’ll spend tomorrow afternoon in the library completing another module of my webinar program. I’m so grateful for the flexibility of creating my own schedule and the generosity of my employer.
Happy New Year to you all!
I know. I can hear you all thanking me for being your role model for extreme self-care. I told my coach the other day that I feel like I’m in the Olympics of self-care these days.
I leave bright and early tomorrow morning for a week at a resort. I do have some responsibility while I’m there–giving two talks. But, mostly I’ll be R&R’ing. I plan to hike, take aqua-fit classes, meditate and do yoga. All of my meals will be prepared with food from their organic gardens. No beds to make, no decisions to make either, other than hot stone massage or herbal wrap.
The resort is Rancho La Puerta. Watch the incredible history-movie.html about its origins. I was so inspired by the owner’s story. It’s now a high-end spa, but when she and her husband began it 40 years ago, you brought your own tent and it cost $17.50 a week.
My outgoing messages say that I am out of the country and will not be returning calls until December 28. I plan to turn off all electronics and totally relax and recharge for 2012. No blogs or newsletters until early January either.
I hope you’ll take designated time for yourself during this hectic season to use however you choose, whether it’s an hour, a day or more. If you happen to be taking my webinar and read this, you get extra credit for letting me know what you did for YOU.
Last Friday night I went to Debra Somerville’s photography Studio Opening event in Westport where lots of chic patrons, friends and family helped Debra ‘break in’ her new space. One of the very cool things about the opening, in addition to Debra’s brilliant photographs on the wall, was the interior design by a young man (under 20!)
He, Sam Allen, was recently featured on the CBS morning news. Part of that segment was taped in Debra’s newly designed space. When asked what her friends thought of her hiring a teenager to take on such a high stakes project, Debra, who already knew of Sam’s massive talent replied, “I didn’t tell them.”
One of my newest friends, Joan Blumenfeld, invited me to her 80th birthday party which had been months in the planning. First of all, you’d never believe Joan is 80, and second, the party featured her dancing partners from the Fred Astaire studios, as well as her dance-mates from the ballet classes she attends regularly. When Joan spoke that night, she gave us five tips for staying young. My favorite–which she demonstrates so gracefully–was “Keep moving!”
The other amazing friend who was celebrated recently is Malene Barnett. She was on the Nate Berkus show yesterday, and what a great job they did featuring her and her work. I’ll let you watch it and see for yourself. Can I tell you that I knew Malene ‘when’. It is exciting and inspiring to see this piece of film that captures her journey, her talent and her creativity so well.
Life is good!
I had the privilege of sitting next to Gail McMeekin at Bottom Line’s elegant Four Seasons networking dinner in June. Marjory Abrams, who acts as host for these events, brilliantly seated us together knowing that our interests were so aligned. Gail’s audience, like mine, is highly creative women. We instantly connected and have continued to correspond and support each others’ businesses since then.
So I’m honored to participate in Gail’s Blog Tour promoting her new book, The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women Journal.
Here’s an Excerpt from Her Journal…
Abundance is the experience of plenty, often called prosperity. For creative people, the opportunity to dance with the creative process is itself an experience of abundance. Abundance invites us to live the life we truly desire instead of settling for less. We are the choice-makers of
our own priorities. We do indeed design our own lives.
When I begin coaching a new client, I take them through a series of discovery exercises and conversations about what it is he or she truly desires. Determining our priorities gives us a roadmap for decision-making. Let me share an example with you. Sara contacted me a few weeks ago to help her change careers. She wanted to express her submerged creativity. She had read The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women and felt it was time to change her life. Sara’s personal Positive Priorities, which I define in the book as “life choices that express who we are and what we want for ourselves,” are:
Having time to explore her creative potential
Nurturing mutually beneficial relationships with others
Maintaining healthy habits that support her body, mind, and spirit
Keeping in touch with opportunities for learning about landscape architecture
At this point, Sara feels her creativity has been lost in a stressful job and a legacy of putting everyone else’s needs first—in a city she no longer loves. Her number one creativity saboteur is guilt about finally defining and claiming her own definition of abundance. By celebrating her Positive Priorities, Sara now has a yardstick by which to measure her life choices up to this point.
Many of the women I interviewed in The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women had transformed their lives to honor their Positive Priorities. Sixteen themes emerged again and again, and I share them with you here to help you capture your own Priorities:
- Time for creative exploration
- Fulfilling work
- Encouraging partners, friends, and community
- Personal growth experiences
- Good health
- Nurturing living spaces
- Learning opportunities
- Self-protection from negativity and toxic people
- Reflective time
- Spiritual practices and beliefs
- Solitude as needed
- Inner centeredness
- Connection with nature and the arts
- Inspiring activities
Gail is currently on a Blog Book Tour so if you want to read more you can find yesterday’s post here at A Room of Her Own and tomorrow you’ll be able to find Gail here. Share a comment on today’s post and you will be entered into a random drawing to win one of Gail’s books – 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women, 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women or her new book, The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women Journal.
One of the things I love about getting my news now via the Times Reader is that, unlike when I read the paper edition, I’m able to immediately click on the links that are highlighted.
Reading an inside scoop about the director of the hit movie “The Help”–Tate Taylor–I did just that. I clicked on the blue lettered hyperlink in the sentence that said “the director Chris Columbus, a producer of “The Help,” was eventually dispatched to be a full-time on-set babysitter.” How diminishing must that have felt? To be directing your first feature film and having someone watching over your shoulder the whole time. I wanted to know more.
The link sent me to an article from the Wall Street Journal entitled “How An Author’s Best Friend Turned ‘The Help’ Into a Movie.” Getting juicier. I’ll let you read the whole piece, but what really made me happy–having seen the movie and knowing that it was a huge hit–was Taylor’s “biggest takeaway from the whole experience”:
What’s meant the most to me in this whole process is that people I don’t know sending me letters and emails saying “I was about to quit the business. It’s changed so much. It’s so jaded. It’s so economically driven. The art has been lost. And I heard what happened with you and your friends and Kathryn and DreamWorks…and I am refueled.”
Our personal struggles and triumphs serve as a power of example to all those watching. I take great heart from this story of how two friends (kind of like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney) got together and put on a show. They overcame enormous challenges and were generous enough to share their story. Does that make you feel just a tad better about what you’re struggling with today?
I know that Mercury is in retrograde, so I understand that my technology dependency is being tampered with. But today I received an error message when I tried to access an email in my inbox. I wasn’t even allowed to open it because my C:\Documents and Settings\JaneP\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\outlook.pst had reached its maximum size. Huh?
I noticed that my trash folder had over 45,000 messages in it. I began some heavy deleting. I got aggressive, dumping hundreds of messages at once. I became ruthless. Held down the shift key until I was removing months of old emails en masse.
Now, I just spent the last 30 minutes unsubscribing from over 80 organizations that habitually flood my inbox. Enough!
I enjoyed the purging. However, will you please let me know what incredible deals I’m missing from L.L. Bean and Groupon. YOU I trust!
My walk at the beach this morning yielded not only a great workout with a friend, but also a topic for today’s post. My co-walker talked about forking over $50+ a month to keep her website alive hoping for a few eyeballs to visit it every month. “Have there been many eyeballs lately,” I inquired. “No,” she replied. I asked her if she listened to the music being played on her website, which is its main functionality. “No,” she replied again. “I’m really a visual person. I prefer silence.”
As we continued onto mile 2, I shared about the new identity I’m going to be launching in 2012. I’ve had my current logo and stationery materials for six years, and it was time for a change. I have at least one unused box of envelopes with the old logo as well as several shrink-wrapped packages of note cards and mailing labels I over-ardently purchased for the steep savings on quantity orders. To me, these stacks of logo-ed materials represent thousands of dollars. They also take up lots of physical space in my office.
We made a handshake agreement. I will dump the old logo stationery and she will discontinue the website payments. We both agreed to let go of the anchors weighing us down.
I told my friend the story of the monkey and the bananas. In order to free ourselves to do great things, we have to let go of the banana in the jar. It’s all about letting go. Anything you need to let go of today?