Topic: The Life Creative

Professional Development: Self-Care & Continuing Education

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I’ve been starting to plan my professional development: self-care and continuing education classes for the year. I’ve been feeling like I needed to invest in myself a little bit more. I didn’t take any classes last year and I think that may have been a mistake. It always good to stay sharp and on point.

Here are a few of the things that I’m planning on for 2014. For a little kick in the ass. I signed up for Lila Rogers Assignment Bootcamp. I always seem to function better when I have a deadline. And if that weren’t enough I signed up for 2 classes at the Writing Salon. One of my 40×40 goals is to write a novel, so I thought I should invest in some tools.

And of course there are a few conferences I’m hoping to attend (in order of calendar dates) Craftcation. I thought it was a perfect way to get my craft on. Ya know, since I wrote a mother daughter craft book. Then there’s the World Domination Summit I’ve wanted to attend ever since I first read Chris Guillebeau first book. And finally there is Squam…an epic creative escape. Who wouldn’t want to attend this creative love fest?

So that’s my professional development plan for the year. Are there any classes or conferences you are planning on attending this year?

The Winter Solstice is a time for letting go

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Right before the holidays, under the new moon of the Winter Solstice each member of my family sat down and wrote and created a Fire Release Packets. I first got the idea a few years back from Pixie Campbell  and we’ve been doing it ever since. It’s a lovely ritual to release and leave behind those things that no longer serve us and invoke peace and wholeness while inviting in our good intentions for the start of the new year.
Feeding the solstice fire is a way for us to transfer our energy and reclaim hope. Turning our bad habits and obstacles into something rejuvenating, new and reborn, just like the phoenix rising from the ashes.

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This is how we made our Fire Release Packets:

You’ll Need:

  • A contained fire (either in a fireplace or an outdoor fire pit)
  • A brown paper bag or craft paper
  • Strips of scrap paper
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Scissors
  • String or twine
  • An assortment of symbolic and meaningful herbs  (Pick 3-5 to include from our List)

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SYMBOLIC & MEANINGFUL  HERBS

Ash – is an herb of the sun, for protection
Bay Laurel – to bring in the light of the sun and ward off illness
Camomile – to soothe and cleanse, love and purification
Cinnamon-  success, power, healing, the spice of life, lust, protection, intuitiveness and spirituality
Eucalyptus- wealth, abundance and foretelling
Frankincense – an antiseptic herb to bring purification and protection
Ginger- passion, success, wealth and power
Holly- hope, protection, the co-existence of human and plant spirit and life
Jasmine- sweet love, modesty, sensuality, grace and elegance
Juniper-  staying true to oneself and never compromising your integrity
Lavender – devotion, virtue and acknowledgement
Mint- virtue eternal refreshment, wisdom
Mistletoe – healing, peace, and beautiful dreams
Pine- peace, healing, joy  and humility
Rosemary – remembrance, love, loyalty, fidelity, faithfulness
Sage – wisdom, long life, banish and ward off evil and cleanse spaces of negative influence
Yellow Cedar – for cleansing and purity

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To Make A Fire Release Packet:

  1. Cut your brown paper bag into 5 in squares. One for each person participating in the Fire Release Ritual.
  2. Place a pinch of each of your selected herbs in the center of you square.
  3. On the strips of scrap paper write down what you would like to release and in exchange what you would like to invite into the new year. (See below for some release writing prompt)
  4. Fold each strip and place them in the center of your square.
  5. When you are finished writing fold your paper together to enclose the contents and tie it closed with the twine.
  6. As a group give witness to each other as you gently place your release packet into the fire.
  7. Gaze into the flames in a symbolic gesture of letting go and watching your thoughts and intentions transform.

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RELEASE WRITING PROMPTS to help get you started

  • Write about how you can turn a negative into positives.
  • What do you want to manifest and hold dear.
  • What fears have been holding your back? It might be time to let them go.
  • What are you are working on changing in your life?
  • Align and empower your goals by changing your mindset and thoughts.
  • What old connects are no longer serving you? Let go and release them.
  • Let go of grudges, hurt feeling, petty grievances, emotional wounds and debts owed to you.
  • Where can you turn to for inspiration?
  • What part of you do you want to awaken?
  • Is there an opportunities or some bit of knowledge available to you that you have chosen to overlook or ignore?
  • What intentions would we like to put forward for the next phase of your life?
  • How can you rejuvenate yourself physically and spiritually?
  • What have you taken for granted ? Offer thanks.
  • State and restate personal dreams, goals and desires.

Pixie also offers some really good writing prompts. But most of all remember to be honest with yourself no one but you and the flames of the release fire will see what you’ve enclosed in your packet.

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The Winter Solstice is the time for the releasing so you may step into a new year free and clear of the burdens you have carried.

I post therefore I am…

 

This has been something that has been on my mind and bothering me lately. Does what I share define who I am? I’ve been feeling a little disenchanted with social media lately. I can’t pin point one specific thing. It’s just been a general feeling of dissatisfaction. Is all the time that I’m spending online actually worth it? It’s become such an oversaturated and overloaded space that I find the noise level deafening at times.

I use to faithfully follow a list of about 25 blogs. I no longer do that. And now, with even more amazing blogs and resources available online I feel like there is just too much to try to keep up with. I’m curious to know if you still read certain blogs on a regular basis or if it has also become too much for you too?

I think I’m needing to approach things differently. I’m just not sure exactly what that is yet. I’d love to know how do you stay connected to your peers and creative community? Is it all online? In-person? Skype? Email? Over the phone? I feel like I’ve fallen for the “I post therefore I am” mentality and I’m needing to change things up and start fostering some more authentic, real and off-line relationships?

Have you all seen Sherry Turkle’s Ted Talk? It’s what has inspired me to post about this today.

I WROTE a BOOK!!!!

Just Us Girls: 48 Creative Art Projects for Mothers and Daughters to Do Together

Oh my gosh!!! I just finished wrapping up writing, creating and making a mother daughter craft book that’s totally jammed packed with 48 heartfelt, earth-friendly projects to help explore and nurture the mother daughter bond.

It was such a fun and amazing project and I can’t wait for it to actually be in my hands. It will officially available on February 1st BUT you can already pre-order a copy of it here!! So don’t forget to add Just Us Girls to your holiday wish list and spread the word! I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky I feel to be able to put this out into the world and share it with you!! (eep…that’s me doing the happy dance:)

Stay tuned for upcoming live craft experiences with your truly!

 HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!

good things come to those who ask

I recently ran across this article on the HuffPost about entrepreneur Jai Jiang’s 100 day Rejection Therapy project and spent a solid hour looking through his rejection videos.

What I found most interesting was when he failed to get his rejection from a Krispy Kreme worker.  Sometimes I don’t ask for what we really want or I tend to tend to water it down for fear of seem presumptuous or rude. (totally my green gremlin rearing it’s ugly head)

His Rejection Therapy Project made me think less of rejection and more about asking. I should be asking more. Like a LOT more. Everyday on a daily basis. Asking for what I want without being paralyzed by fear or apologetic for wanting. I need to get into the habit of making the “BIG ASK” even if I get a NO because eventually someone will say YES!!!

After looking through Jai’s videos it pretty apparent that I’m not the only one that gets paralyzed by the fear of asking. So, I did a little more googling and came across  Amanda Palmer’s Ted Talk which is a really nice quick shot of inspiration and this awesome Stanford lecture that talks about the actual statistics of asking. (it’s about an hour long but well worth the watch)

I find it fascinating that we let our minds trick us into believing it’s going to  be worse or take longer then it actually does. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let my mind talk me out of doing something. So silly, but so very real and paralyzing when it’s happening. I wonder why some people feel this fear so strongly while others appear are able to easily walk through it without even blinking? 

Here are 2 of the most important pointers that I picked up. They are actually quite simple and I think because of that we often forget to do them. I’m going to try to start to actually put these into practice:

  1. Be upfront and direct. Bold and undiluted! No watering down!! The trick is not to come across harsh or abrasive. So there is a bit of finesse involved.
  2. Face-to-Face  An in person interaction is best! It’s harder for someone to say NO to you if you’re being sincere and looking them directly in the eye.
    • IF a Face-to-Face is not an realistic option try a phone call. No one makes phone calls any more. With a personal email coming in last.

Since I’m normally more of an email kind of girl I wanted to find some good email examples that demonstrate how you should phrase a request. Just the thought of picking of the phone to make a cold call fills me with anxiety and makes my heat race (something that I’m going to definitely have to work on).  I came across these three examples:

If you found this info useful help me spread the word by sharing this post on your facebook page, tweeting it, pining it, or just emailing it to your BFF.

xo

CA