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Before “it” – Start With Why.

Simon Sinek’s TED Talk

Your “it” – That’s the question.  A perfect place to begin is to start with WHY!

A couple of things to start with:

  1. Read the blog post below: about Thinking Differently and about my “why.”
    • The concept of the Golden Circle and starting and acting from the “inside out” has changed how I move through the world.  And how we’ll be conducting our salons!
  2. Next, watch Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk at the bottom of this page.  And, if that inspires you
  3. Pick up START WITH WHY  by Simon Sinek.  Lots of food for thought — about business and life in general.

Simon Sinek discusses the principal behind every successful person and business. A simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?”

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Creative Rhythm Planning

Design your live with intentional “Creative Rhythm Planning” Practices

There are two things we know for sure:

1. Energy flows where your attention goes.
2. If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real. (thank you Marie Forleo!)

By using the concept of “planning with intention” we are making a conscious decision where our attention goes. By doing this, we’ll will reach our goals and have more time for our creative pursuits. Here are a few ideas. Identify what will work for you.

Commit to “Creative Rhythm”  intentional planning sessions

Weekly.

Pick a consistent day/time to look at the week ahead.

  • Sunday evenings work well… or Monday mornings. How about end of the day on Friday? The important thing is to make it a habit by finding a time that works for you.
  • Put it in your calendar.

Daily.
Plan tomorrow at the end of today.

  • Increase your success by ending each day with a short time to look – with intention – ahead to the next day.
  • Schedule it. Again, write it on your calendar

“The Intentional Planning workshop was great.  I wished we would’ve had more time or that there would be a part 2!  I really like Kelly’s approach to planning.  I’m enjoying the planner. And I’m excited about journaling.  I call it my “5 Minute Journal.”  I set a timer for 5 minutes (at least 1x day) and just write.  When the timer stops, I stop.  ”
– Shelley Gilbertson

Long term.

In addition to short-term planning, long-term planning is key to staying on track.

Start with an Annual plan, a Manifesto or a Vision Board.

Identify you areas of focus for your year. I used to do 10 – but I’ve narrowed my focus to 6!. The 3 areas you want to focus on in your PERSONAL life and the 3 focus areas in your WORK life.

“If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.”  — Einstein

Write your areas of focus somewhere prominent – like in the beginning of your paper planner – and then “picture it” – create a visual representation of your focus areas. Again, do this right in your planner so you can review it every day.

These appointments are as important as any other.Put all of your INTENTIONAL PLANNING sessions in your calendar as appointments with yourself.

Weekly INTENTIONAL PLANNING sessions.

Manifesto

Each week, start by re-visiting your personal manifesto – written and visual. Are you limiting yourself to your chosen 6 areas? Peter Bregman, Author of 18 Minutes, says to make sure that 95% of your time is on what I’m calling your “manifesto.” Let the remaining 5% be for the stuff that comes up in life.

By keeping your own personal manifesto in the front of your mind, you will more easily stay track.

Get your own Creative Rhythm undated Planner download a sample and try it for yourself! CreativeRhythmPlanner Pages

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On Being an Artist

I’m not a huge fan of labels. I’ve resisted them for the most part. But recently I was in a situation where I had to accept a label – even prove that I was worthy of it.  This was a stretch for me.  I wasn’t sure I believed it. But there are others who did. So, I’m publicly stating it here:

I am an Artist!

Transitions.

This all came about after months – years – of “magnetic journaling” (more later!) and dreaming about my next ideal living space. I knew I wanted something interesting. Something urban. I wrote about a brick wall. I wrote about being near the river. I called it a “loft.”

So it’s, Winter, I decided it was time, I started researching apartments.  And this amazing project called the Schmidt Artist Lofts popped up.  I remembered hearing about it, but I really didn’t think it was for me.  How could it be? I’m not an artist. I just work with artists.

Schmidt Artist Lofts is a renovation project (the old Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul MN) that is creating a cool live/work community for “ARTISTS.”  I love artists, but I can’t really call myself one… can I?  But, I decided to deal with that detail later.  They made it easy with their online scheduling doohickey, so I scheduled an appointment for a tour (a testament to making it easy for your potential clients!).

I was hooked.  The place had everything I’d been writing about as I’d spent the last several years living like a bit of a nomad.  And something I hadn’t thought about – I get to live surrounded by creativity. WHAT A BONUS!

What? Me? An artist? Ahhhh, go on! 

OK. Back to this “you must be an artist” thing.  The next step was to be approved as an Artist.

After some strong encouragement from my pal Beth, I began pulling together some of my experiments in visual art from the last few years and then I started to write.

Voilà! I now had an “Artist’s Statement.”  I was nervous to send it off, but i did.  It may seem silly, but I was super excited when I got the email that started out with the salutation:

“Dear Artist:”

Now

Audrey. The Blah Blah Blah girl. by ME!

I’ve moved in, settled and I’m beginning to meet my amazing neighbors.  I get to walk by art on my way to my loft and next Saturday I’m going to be a greeter when we (that is, all the artists at the Schmidt Artist Lofts!!) welcome visitors for the Saint Paul Art Crawl.  So come on down and check it out!

Creativity is the ability to express ourselves and to look at the world in new and different ways coming up with unique solutions to common challenges.  In that way, everyone is an ARTIST.  So call me artsy fartsy anytime… I’ll wear that label proudly! You know I believe in CREATIVITY. ART. In fact I believe creative people are the ones who will change the world. If insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, then creativity is the opposite of that!

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Design a Life with White S.P.A.C.E.

“white space” – the empty space between and around the
essential elements of a design

A good designer knows that “white space” is critical to an elegant design.

And a good composer knows when to add silence to emphasize the beauty of their composition.

Designing a life is no different.

When you have the right amount of white space, your life will feel like a great symphony.  With harmony, rhythm and flow in all the right places.

By adding SPACE you will find the sweet spot where ABUNDANCE + CREATIVITY + PRODUCTIVITY intersect.

To do this, pay attention to the essential elements in your life.  And make sure that they have enough space around them to allow you to honor what’s important.

That’s it.  Just leave space around your essential bits, and your essential self will have room to emerge!

Clear SPACE in your life for what’s essential.  Make room for  STILLNESS | PLAY | ACTION | CONNECTION | ENERGY and clarity will emerge.  Identify the daily practices, systems, and personal rituals to help you do this.

STILLNESS.

Find time to be still every day. Traditional meditation, a walk in nature, whatever works for you. Whether it’s for 4 minutes or an hour. Schedule it.

The constancy of stillness… only from that place can you create your best work and your best life. — Oprah Winfrey

PLAY.

Play is not just joyful and energizing — it’s deeply connected to our development and intelligence. And a strong correlation between success and playful activity has been shown. So make time to play! To laugh. Even a forced smile can improve your mood. Smile muscles activate endorphins + immune boosting T-cells.

To thrive in our wild new world you would be well advised to play until you can’t think. — Martha Beck

ACTION.

Do at least one thing each day that moves you forward and is in alignment with your calling.

Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare.  – Japanese Proverb

CONNECTION.

Get together, call, email, or write someone a note!  Connect.

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”  ― Brené Brown

ENERGY.

Learn your own circadian rhythm.  Honor it.

During the day stretch. Stand up. Move around. DANCE. Do something to get your blood moving!

Science tells us we’re at our best when we move rhythmically between spending and renewing energy — a reality that companies must embrace to fuel sustainable engagement and high performance. – ― The Energy Project

When you Honor the spaces in and around the essential elements in your life, you will see your “essential self” emerge.  Try it. You’ll like it!