More than 12 years ago I set off on a journey to rediscover myself supported by this fabulous book and its author, Jill Badonsky, who served first as my creativity coach, then as my teacher as I worked to earn my certification as a Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, as a mentor when I started my Creative Oasis Coaching business and finally as my friend.
Back then I never could have imagined all of the zigs and zags and highs and lows that awaited me over the last dozen or so years!
• A return to writing and performing as a singer/songwriter.
• Writing, recording and releasing my solo CD, Dancing in Limbo.
• Transforming my CD release into a fundraiser with live music, a silent art auction featuring original art created by female artists inspired the songs on my CD, raffle, and one helluva party if I do say so myself, that raised more than $10,000 for Women for Women International.
• Earning my certification as a Master KMCC Coach.
• Founding my Creative Oasis Coaching business.
• Navigating the often tumultuous waters of divorce, an empty nest, parents’ health concerns and more of life’s roller coaster of ups and downs.
I am so grateful for the tools, techniques and mindset methods I learned from Jill all those years ago. They helped me move bravely and confidently through each and every challenge and storm.
I just really wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks Jill Badonsky of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching ! 🦋🙏🏼💖
Turns out monkeys can be a lot like digital distractions.
Diversions such as cute cat videos, scrolling Facebook or binge watching Netflix may seem cute, harmless, and fun ~ until they wind up stealing away your time, your joy and maybe even your green tea.
True story ~ in Bali we stayed very near the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary where monkeys of all shapes and sizes roam freely both inside and outside the gates.
In order to walk to town we had to take a path that bordered the sanctuary.
Luckily, someone warned me pretty early on to hang on to my purse and my glasses because the monkeys, while often adorable, are notorious thieves and will brazenly steal stuff right out of your hands!
Which is exactly how my friend, Lisa, had her bottle of green tea nabbed by an audacious fella (let’s assume he was a dude, shall we?) who then proceeded to take the cap off and gulp down the remaining tea right in front of her! (Now that’s a cheeky monkey!)
I’ll admit that I’ve had a bit of an issue with maintaining focus lately. Visualizing all of the distractions competing for my attention as monkeys made me laugh, but also made me realize I can protect my time and focus ~ the same way I protected my glasses and bag while walking to town in Ubud.
Here are three delightfully doable ways to help you keep distractions at bay, enjoy more focused creative time and practice taming your monkey mind.
#1. Make a Creative Oasis Date.
Creative Oasis Dates are one of my favorite methods of helping my clients ~ and myself ~ to get sh*t done!
These accountability sessions have an almost magical power to help me focus, follow-through and experience that deep satisfaction that comes from giving myself permission to focus in on ONE activity for 30 minutes straight, rather than multi-tasking.
Or join us in the Creative Oasis Collective, where we enjoy two Creative Oasis Dates and two group coaching sessions each month.
#2. Grab an app for that.
You can find apps for almost anything these days, including limiting the amount of time you spend on social media, track your productivity and help you to stay focused.
One I love to use on my laptop is Todo. When I open my Google Chrome browser it displays a gorgeous photograph with an inspiring quote (hiding the dozens of folders on my desktop) and shows my number one goal for the day.
#3. Step away from the screen.
For many of us our computers and phones are where we work, play and socialize ~ maybe more than we’d care to admit.
So another method I’m playing with now is to give myself “screen free” time each day ~ Creative Oasis breaks that rejuvenate and energize me. For example, I might:
* Play the piano
* Make a quick “good enough” collage in my visual journal
* Write a handwritten letter or card to a friend
* Make a batch of veggie soup
* Step outside to simply stand under the stars, look up at the moon and take a few deep breaths
Ready to treat yourself to a day of digital distraction detox? Join me for my next Creative Oasis Retreat.
You’ll enjoy a relaxing day of creative play, self-discovery and in-person camaraderie with kindred creative spirits.
All the best from my Creative Oasis to yours,
My recent trip to Bali for the Art Of Aliveness Retreat with Flora Bowley was filled to overflowing with so many beautiful, soul-nurturing experiences.
Five of my favorites have inspired experiences I’ll be sharing in my upcoming Creative Oasis Retreat here in Dallas ~ Bali Delights! ~ Saturday, February 23, 2019 ~ 10am to 5pm.
#1. Magical things happen when you spend time in enchanting places.
From practicing yoga in an open-air studio surrounded by a lush green jungle, to receiving blessings from a sacred waterfall, to an experiencing immersive sound meditation at the Pyramids of Chi ~ I enjoyed more magical moments and heemeesheemees* in Bali than I could’ve ever have dreamed possible!
For my upcoming Creative Oasis Retreat my cozy yoga-meditation room will serve as our mini-version of the “Pyramids of Chi” where we’ll luxuriate in a sound bath meditation created by the talented Denae Richards.
Enjoy the ultra-relaxing experience of being completely surrounded by and immersed in a symphony of sounds and healing vibrations created with Tibetan bowls, chimes, gongs, rain sticks and more. It’s like an audio-vibration massage for your entire being! (This is a truly unique opportunity to experience one of Denae’s popular sound meditations in small, private setting!)
#2. Flowers have the power to brighten your day.
Brilliant floral messages beautified the grounds of Swasti Eco Cottages and never failed to make me smile with their colorful whimsy. A flower behind my ear became a daily accessory. And, though I needed A LOT of help to do so, I loved learning how to create floral offerings for traditional religious ceremonies in the home of a Balinese family.
Floral delights will await you when you join me on February 23rd!
#3. Eating can be healthy, beautiful and delicious.
I truly believe that making meals offers a daily opportunity for creative expression and beauty in life. The people of Bali took this concept to the next level!
Everywhere we went the food and drink provided a trifecta of gorgeous, nutritious and scrumptious sustenance.
I’ll share a few of my favorites with you for breakfast and lunch.
#4. Experiencing something for the first time is a fun way to expand your mind.
I had such a blast making a simple Batik piece, trying my hand at blind contour drawing, avoiding monkeys, and playing a drum in Gamelan band.
We’ll play with several fun creative experiences during the retreat. (Spoiler Alert: There will be NO monkeys!)
#5. Time spent with kindred creative spirits is good for your soul.
I’m so grateful to have had the chance to meet and bond with amazing women from all around the world during my travels ~ women who reminded me again and again just how nurturing hanging out with creative soul sisters can be.
In some cases it felt more like I was reconnecting with a lifelong friend rather than meeting someone for the very first time.
I can honestly say that the women who join me for my Creative Oasis classes, workshops and retreats are some of the most kind, wise, funny women on the planet and they almost always end up striking up a friendship, making a creative connection or experiencing a world-class heemeesheemee with someone new.
Will you give yourself permission to join me for day filled with Bali Delights during my upcoming Creative Oasis Retreat and experience this for yourself first hand?
As of this writing there are just 4 seats left. Use the button below to register and save your seat today!
Until next time, all the best from my Creative Oasis to yours,
*Heemeesheemee ~ my made up word for a serendipitous occurrence!
Big thanks for the photos above that were taken by Tara Morris.
A couple of years ago I decided to try something I’d never attempted before ~ to run a 5K every month.
I asked my friend Lori if she wanted to join me for that first race back in January of 2017.
We had so much fun running (well, it was really a little running, a little walking and a lot of talking at the point) and catching up over breakfast afterward that she asked if she could join me for my 5K a month goal.
Fast forward to December of 2017 where I finished my twelfth 5K of the year by winning 3rd place in my category. (It was not a huge group ~ but it still felt great to finish with a medal!)
Lori ran all the races except the last with me because she had an injury. We’d had such a great time that year we decided to go for it again in 2018!
And we did it! Until…
Lori moved to Austin in August.
Guess what happened? I didn’t run a 5K that month.
I used all of the excuses that hadn’t stopped me for a year and a half as reasons to not register for a race. (I was too busy with work. I was traveling. I was helping my daughter get move to college. Insert excuse of your choice here…)
I’ll be honest, after I blew off that August race, I haven’t registered for another one since ~ I just quietly let my goal slip away and even found myself running less and less during the week.
For 2019, I’ve decided to try something new to set myself up for success and I want to invite you to join me!
After hearing from many of you that were inspired by my running journey, I’m going to offer a free, monthly Creative Oasis 5K at White Rock Lake! (One of my favorite Creative Oasis Spaces on the planet!)
Whether one person or 50 show up, we’ll enjoy a lovely 3.2-mile run (or run/walk, or walk/run, or walk) near the lake. Look for more info on our first 5K soon! (Message me here to let me know if you’d like to receive the monthly invites.)
I realized the reasons I succeeded with my 2017 goal are some of the same reasons my Creative Oasis Coaching clients succeed when they work with me as a personal trainer for their creative spirit.
(Scroll down to the end to find a special $100 discount good through January 11, 2019!) ‘
Gentle Accountability ~
Paying to register for the 5K and knowing that Lori had scheduled to run with me were two major reasons that I showed up for every race.
Accountability is a powerful motivator when you want to show up consistently for anything you want more of in your life…whether running, yoga, painting, photography, jewelry making, or entertaining!
The women who sign up to work with me know I’ll be there for them every step of the way.
Whether via 1-1 coaching, group classes, or my private membership group ~ knowing they’ll be checking in with me on a weekly basis provides the accountability they need to keep showing up for themselves again and again while moving forward on their creative journey!
During my 5K runs I made some lovely connections!
Connection to other runners…a special connection with Lori that deepened as we met and talked while running throughout the year…and, finally, a stronger connection to my own physical and mental well-being.
Something I hear time and again from women I work with is how much they love the connections they’ve made via Creative Oasis!
Connection with other interesting, intelligent, and caring women in my Creative Oasis tribe…connection with me as their coach, guide and friend…and a stronger connection to their own creative spirit.
Focus & Follow-Through ~
Having a monthly 5K goal kept me focused and following through with my training throughout the year. At the time, I didn’t even think of it as training, but maintaining a level of fitness where I could run a 5K at anytime I wanted was indeed just that.
Weekly coaching calls, class meetings, Creative Oasis Dates and online check-ins are all ways the women I work with stay focused and enjoy the soul-satisfying feeling of follow-through with their creative endeavors.
From “As If” to “I Am” ~
When I signed up for my first 5K, I actually felt like a bit of a fraud. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to run it the entire way and I didn’t even consider myself to be a runner.
By signing up and showing up for the races month after month, I went from “acting as if” I was a runner to confidently claiming, “I am a runner!”
“Acting as if” is one of my favorite techniques to share via Creative Oasis and most women are delighted to learn that something as simple as wearing creative jewelry they’ve kept hidden away in a drawer, walking through a museum with a sketch pad in hand or chopping vegetables while channeling her inner Julia Child can lead to real transformation and the ability to claim “I am creative!” “I am an artist!” “I am a chef!”
Permission to Have Fun!
Running became a vital, joyful part of my life over that year and a half.
In addition to the actual race days with Lori, I loved my solo weekday runs by the lake when I got to be alone with my thoughts while moving my body and connecting with nature.
The women I work with often come to Creative Oasis in search of ways to enrich their lives with the fun and fulfillment of the creative projects, passions and pursuits they crave.
If you’re ready to make some big changes for the better in 2019 as well as add more personal joy and satisfaction to your life, I invite you to contact me here to schedule a 30-minute clarity call to see if 1-on1 coaching could be right for you.
If you already know without a doubt that you’re ready to create a happier, healthier New Year for yourself ~ I want to offer you $100 off a 12-week 1-on-1 coaching package with me when you sign up now! (Offer ends January 1, 2019)
Whether or not you decide to join me for coaching, classes or the Creative Oasis 5Ks, you can count on me to keep sharing creative inspiration, motivation and permission with you right here throughout the New Year!
Wishing you lots of love and light from my Creative Oasis to yours,
*Warning ~ Not For Die-Hard Martha Stewart Fans!
During my Living A Creative Life class yesterday the delightfully doable creative experience I had waiting for our group (I share a new one each week) was decorating Christmas cookies!
We did not watch a how-to video. We did not have a step-by-step guide to follow. We did not have a photo of what our cookies should look like.
What we did have was a plate of round (kind of lumpy) sugar cookies, a ginormous bowl of white royal icing, several bottles of food coloring and some assorted sprinkles.
After assuring everyone there was no right or wrong way to do this ~ we sat down and got to decorating.
Our “go with the flow” cookie decorating techniques might have made Martha Stewart’s head pop off, but they offered us the opportunity to…
- Experiment, dabble and play
- Practice being okay with imperfection
- Try something totally new
- Release attachment to the outcome
- Be present in the moment
- Delight in the process
- Tap into our playful childlike creative spirit
- Experience the pure joy of conversation and laughter with kindred creative spirits
And while some people may not have found the results to be “Pinterest-Worthy,” I love the colorful, imaginative, sparkly, unique designs we created! (And the one I made that I really couldn’t stand ~ I ate right then and there. Problem solved.)
Next we took a little time to ponder how we might bring all of these practices into our own creative lives.
I invite you to do the same right now. Choose a creative endeavor you want to spend more time enjoying in 2019, open your journal and complete the following prompts:
What’s one delightfully doable way you can…
- Experiment, dabble and play with your creative endeavor?
- Practice being okay with imperfection?
- Try something totally new?
- Release attachment to the outcome?
- Be present in the moment?
- Delight in the process?
- Tap into your playful childlike creative spirit?
- Experience the pure joy of conversation and laughter with kindred creative spirits?
If you live in the Dallas area and are looking for a way to enjoy this kind of playful creative exploration and camaraderie ~ you’re in luck!
Though the 12-week Living A Creative Life group that began this week has sold out, registration for the next group starting in 2019 will open soon.
Only 5 seats will be available for this class so contact me here if you want one of them for yourself!
Until next time, wishing you many joyful Creative Oasis Moments and sending lots of love and light from my Creative Oasis to yours,