Acting on Inspiration

inspiration

Although I’ve previously written about Intuition and Inspired Action, this post is really about the finer art of acting on inspiration.

Chances are, as a creative or healing entrepreneur, listening to your intuition is like second-nature to you. There’s no need to preach to the choir about the power of intuition.

Acting on Inspiration

Inspiration is defined as the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Some thoughts are inspiring, others not so much and there’s a good reason for that.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: True inspiration comes with the energy to act upon it. In fact, it’s common for inspiration to be so moving, that it propels you forward into action before you’ve even realized it. So many times, I’ve realized I was inspired when the action itself is nearly complete. THAT is the incredible power of inspiration!

If you have a thought that doesn’t feel inspiring or come with the energy to complete the task, that emotional response is a sign for you to STOP.

Does this scenario sound familiar…

Just as you are winding down for the day, you get this GREAT IDEA that is so exciting you almost do not want to go to sleep…so you write it down to take action first thing in the morning. The next morning, you look at the idea again and it barely warrants a shrug. You wonder: What was I thinking when I bothered to write this down? Your excitement to take the action has transformed into doubt as to why you’d ever want to give that idea your energy.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It’s not all bad news, either. Great ideas come to entrepreneurs ALL the time. Reminds me of the phrase, “Ideas are a dime a dozen.” But it’s not the idea’s fault or problem that it didn’t stir you the next day. Ideas, themselves, are neutral.

Let’s start with the REALLY GOOD news: Ideas are flowing to you. Celebrate that. Seriously! It’s a very good thing to have a consistent flow of ideas, especially as an entrepreneur.

The most successful entrepreneurs appreciate good ideas, even the ones they won’t be taking action on! James Altucher has written about his practice of generating 10 ideas a day for others, honing his skills for coming up with (hopefully some) good ideas for himself, as well.

However, having a steady flow of ideas doesn’t mean every idea is meant for you or your business. If the idea no longer appeals, it’s meant for someone else to take action. Let it go.

That late-night flash which felt so good at the time is still a great idea…but it’s not the great idea for you to act upon when the positive feeling is gone the next day. Don’t *diss* the idea, itself, just recognize that the lack of juice is showing you it’s not for you to take action upon.

Pet Peeve: Misleading “Massive Action”

There are many motivational speakers insisting everyone take “Massive Action” to attain success. People are told to take action, ANY action, and a LOT of it! This is a very masculine approach to life…Get out there…Assert yourself on everything and everyone…GO, GO, GO!!! If you snooze, you loose…

Even when it’s the wrong action for you or your business. Even if you’re flailing. Even if you’re burning yourself out. Even if you’re miserable and making everyone around you miserable. Even when the results are no where near what you desire. Just keep forcing yourself to do more, do it faster, and never stop.

Let’s not forget all the shaming of those who don’t feel inspired to take action.

By comparison, the intuitive entrepreneur can continue to generate a flow of ideas, while honing their ability to sense which ideas are theirs to act upon. Which ideas feel good and have a positive energy to them? Which ideas do you find yourself acting on with ease and joy? Which tasks have you almost completed while contemplating the idea?

This is a more feminine approach to life, but it also preserves our energy for important things (not just our business), and makes our work more enjoyable. Taking action in this way feels good, productive, positive, and meaningful. No flailing or burning out. Just ease, flow, and a deeper connection with our own sense of purpose which brings more energy back into our experience.

Allowing Inspiration Creates More Ease and Flow

For me, who tends toward overwork when I’m not consciously aware, I have noticed that really feeling into an idea helps me determine if it’s right for me. Blog posts area a great example, and a reason why I don’t post daily.

When the inspiration is real, it’s not just excitement I feel but also the powerful energy that comes with it. I’ve learned to let go of the interesting ideas that didn’t have that underlying positive energy, knowing they are meant for someone else.

For some of you, that underlying positive energy might be anger. When you have felt helpless and depressed for a while, anger is a step up the vibrational scale and feels like relief.

Multimillionaire author, musician, and founder of New World Library, Marc Allen, talks about not working on Sundays or Mondays (Moon Days). At all. Working only after 1pm Pacific Tuesday through Friday, and half-time on Saturday. Allowing himself to relax more, watching clouds go by. Great ideas come to Marc when he’s relaxed. (BTW, this is true for all of us.) Songs compose themselves. Book ideas float to top of mind. When it is time to take action, he feels more in the flow of life. In his Millionaire Course Workshop (3CD set), Marc gives further details on how entrepreneurs can support themselves in the process of growing their businesses.

Inspiration vs. Getting Stuff Done

Sure, Nancy, this all sounds great…but what about the stuff that just has to get done? I’m not inspired to sweep the floor and take the garbage out, but it’s gotta get done!

For the things that just have to get done, all entrepreneurs have the choice to do the work themselves, or hire someone else. Yes, there ARE people who find cleaning inspirational and offer those services. Yes, there are people inspired to do the work that does not inspire you!

When I first started my design business in 1994, I convinced myself I couldn’t afford an accountant. That was, until it took me 20 hrs to calculate my quarterly tax estimate and I still wasn’t sure which of the 3 numbers I came up with was correct! That experience left me stressed, tired, and frustrated.

I then hired an accountant who cost me one billable hour (19 less than I had spent, on my own) to come up with the correct number. That’s when I learned that it’s worth hiring others to get some things done. (She’s still my CPA and I rave about her!) Even if I don’t mind doing the work, like accounting, I’d rather pay my CPA to do it faster and better. Hiring others to complete work that is not inspiring to me frees me to focus on what matters in both my business and life.

There is ample ROI (Return on Investment) for hiring others to take your (uninspired) actions which need to get done so you have time and energy to act on your own inspirations.

What do you think? Share your thoughts, questions, and experiences in the comments below.

Image credit: Barry-Jansson & Associates,
using image from CHOREOGRAPH

 

Bridging “I AM” Statements

AlexandraSchmithausen_BridgingIAMI am so happy to share this with you…

If you have been reading my blog for a while or following me on social media, you know that I am a proponent of making affirmations *your own*. If you like a generic affirmation, great. However, most people get bored with them really fast, then blame affirmations for ‘not working’. That is a lot like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Affirmations that are customized to you are not only going to be more enjoyable to say and think (so you’ll do so more often), but they are more likely to positively shift your energy.

Today, I am delighted to share with you a personal example from Alexandra Schmithausen, a coach in Germany who recently joined Good Vibe University. After listening to one of GVU’s LOA Business Calls with Jeannette Maw, Matt O’Grady, and myself, she was inspired to play with some business affirmations for herself, then shared her results.

Alexandra used the bridging technique with affirmations, where you find a baby step or middle step from where you are to where you want to go. She graciously agreed to let me share it with you here..see my bolding below for emphasis.

Inspired by a call about identity shifting, I played around with „I am“ statements.

First I found a central one for me which felt good to think and say out loudly. As I am in the process of leveling up my business, it is „I am a very successful coach“.

Then I took some time to focus on „successful“ and define exactly, what this means to me. I wrote a long list of things that are part of being a successful coach for me – like being „well paid“ or „in high demand“. And while writing them down it felt really good and I didn’t feel any discord.

What was very interesting to me, was: When I started to make „I am“ statements with the single points of the list, I realized it felt uneasy to say something like „I am well payed“. It just felt wrong. As long, as it was „Success is – being well paid“ it worked… but „I am well paid“…

But then I found a solution, very fast. I was inspired to change the statement, by adding „this means“ to it. And suddenly it felt REALLY GREAT to say it! „I am a successful coach – this means I am well paid“ has no wobble in it for me at all. This way I can use it as an absolutely good feeling affirmation!

I went through the whole list like this and it was so much fun!! Afterwards I felt absolutely magnificent!!!

Isn’t grandiose? Sooo easy

AND: Evidences of my vibe shift showed up the same day! I randomly met two old friends of mine who both are very successful at their job and whom I didn’t see for quite a while. One just tapped on my shoulder while I was waiting in a line. The other one passed by on the sidewalk when I drove by and waved.

It’s easy for me to love this example — Alexandra started with a basic generic affirmation and followed what felt good for her until she was INSPIRED to find a solution that works really well for her.

I wish this for everyone who is just starting out with affirmations and wonders how to make affirmations that are truly powerful and life changing. Start with something basic that catches your attention, then play with it until it becomes *yours*, and evidence of your shift in energy will come swiftly. If you could use a little bit of help, download my free Six Steps to Powerful Affirmations eCourse and audios.

Thank you, Alexandra, for sharing your example with us!

Do you have some great examples of how you made generic affirmations your own? Share them with us below…

Image credit: Alexandra Schmithausen; Visit her HeartMind coaching site at http://http://herzenssinne.de/

Wednesday Waves!

Inspired by DailyAlchemy.com’s Michelle Dobbins Monday Raves, a list of things that are going right for her, I’m offering you Wednesday Waves…inviting you to ride the waves of inspiration and appreciation!

Here’s a beautiful picture of Peter Mel surfing the local Northern California Mavericks, big wave surfing site. Get ready to ride this wave…

 

1 | Appreciating the beauty of nature   I am so blessed to live near some of the most amazing natural sites including mountains, Pacific Ocean, and marshes. The nature trails alone, are awe-inspiring vistas and filled with wild animals like deer, wild turkey, quail, hawks, rattle snakes, bobcats and mountain lions. If you have access to nature, consider yourself blessed!

2 |  Enjoying a walk in the sunshine  Even if I don’t get out to the nature trails, a walk in the sun in my own neighborhood is uplifting. It’s fun to see the ways different people have chosen to landscape their front and side yards. The area is full of all kinds of birds, including crows, as well as squirrels, cats, and dogs. The movement, fresh air, sunshine, flora and fauna all come together to makes it a wonderful sensory experience. With your endorphins flooding into your circulating bloodstream, this is a gift you can feel good about giving yourself often!

3 | Appreciating the power of kindness  On my neighborhood walks, I often come across stray dogs who just need a little help finding their way back to their Mommy or Daddy. Even when I get surprised by a loose pit bull, it’s fun to see them appreciate and gently respond to kindness. One time on a walk in a new area, I was frightened by a full grown Mastiff who was on a huge chain in his front yard. He was barking, growling, drooling foam, lunging and straining to get to me as I walked by. It was scary, and yet, something inside me made me stop, put my hand up, and command him to “Sit!”  Not only did he immediately sit, he wagged his butt furiously, and his eyes told me he wasn’t straining to bite me…he was straining to get attention from me.  At this point, it was pretty clear he was just lonely there on his chain, and wanted anyone who passed by to give him some undivided loving attention. What a big, slobbery Teddy Bear he was! 😀

4 | Loving all things kitty cat  Raised with dogs, I find kitties to be amazingly intelligent, gentle and benevolent creatures. They know they have a choice with whom they spend time, and they won’t abide someone who treats them poorly. Whenever a kitty blesses me with their affection, I know I earned it! Somehow it makes me respect and admire them even more. A day doesn’t go by where I have not appreciated a kitty. Whoever “thought up” the idea of kitties did a great job! 😀

5 | Inspired by affirming thoughts  I don’t know anyone, including myself, who feels positive 100% of the time. We all have our own issues, and can feel overwhelmed by them from time to time. Lately, I’ve really seen how quickly I can shift from negative to positive with a sequence of affirming thoughts. A Course in Miracles (ACIM) states that miracles are a shift in perception, and by affirming some good-feeling thoughts, we can shift ourselves into a miracle. Most of the struggle we experience is created by fear-full thoughts, often projected into the future…not the experience, itself. If you are feeling fearful, get yourself back into the present, and begin affirming what’s going right for you in this moment. Give it a try!

6 | Excited about inspiring interviews  My friend, Laura Gevanter of Present Tense Coaching is interviewing Bruce Lipton, PhD, the stem cell biologist and former medical professor who discovered at Stanford University (while on sabbatical) that human genes are NOT set in stone, but effectively turn on and off in real-time based on our thoughts and emotions. Laura will interview him about his latest book, The Honeymoon Effect. Listen to that interview live at 3pm ET, Wednesday, May 15th ~ or listen afterward to the recording on Life In The Present Tense Radio.

7 | Appreciating open dialogs  One of the things I know Laura will ask Bruce Lipton is about Angelina Jolie’s decision to endure a double mastectomy because she carries the “faulty BRCA1 gene”. While it is absolutely her body and her decision, I do wonder if Angelina would have made the same decision if her doctors hadn’t scared her into doing so. AND I truly appreciate that Angela’s action is opening the dialog about our bodies and our health. It’s blowing the door open on the women’s health/women’s body discussion, which I hope leads to a discussion of everyone’s health and body. Meanwhile, Lissa Rankin, MD, has responded to Angelina’s news with additional information that other women may want to consider before making the same decision. Ironically, Angelina’s news and Lissa’s post came on the heels of my watching her AMAZING interview on The Good Life Project that really opened my eyes to the horrors facing medical doctors as well as the science behind how we heal ourselves:


 

What would you add to your list of Wednesday Waves? Add your comments below and create the next wave…

No Mistakes…Only Opportunities

Earlier today, I was reminded about the connection between artistic creativity, entrepreneurship, and manifesting.

If you are an artist, then I don’t need to tell you how much that type of creativity requires openness and willingness to let go…of thoughts,  preconceptions, and expectations. Successful entrepreneurs and manifestors benefit from letting go, too.

How, you might ask, does one actually do that when you’re stressed?

ZenTangling is a form of doodling that lets you have fun while training yourself to open up your mind and let go. While there are some established ‘patterns’ you can follow, you can also just wing it and see what happens, often with unexpected and stunningly beautiful results!

© Nancy Barry-JanssonBack in the late 1970s, before I had ever heard of this term, or the name had been trademarked, I was inspired by an unknown european folk artist who drew in a black and white style reminiscent of the Art Nouveau.

I put that inspiration to good use a snow day (no school), and I had the equipment: 18″ x 24″ bristol board, crow quill pens, watercolor brush, and black india ink! I lost myself for hours in listening to music while making tiny circles, curves, and lines in ink with the crow quill pen.

The drawing above is what I created from letting my mind go. Nothing was pre-planned. I remember how focused I was, and yet how free my mind felt while I was working on this. Even looking at this now reminds me of that relaxed-yet-focused state of being.

When was the last time you allowed yourself to be in that state?

As Einstein said, you cannot solve a problem with the same energy that created the problem. To find the solution, we must first find a way to relax the mind so we can think clearly and see other possibilities. Meditation can be a tremendous help, but for those who struggle to relax into meditation, a little doodling can help!

Searching YouTube, I found this video demonstrating ZenTangling – entitled, No Mistakes —Only Opportunities. I was immediately struck by how true that is of life, creativity, entrepreneurship, and manifesting! As the demonstrator spoke, I wrote down the comments she made that could easily be affirmations for life and manifesting…

• No mistakes…only opportunties

• I let my mind go and don’t worry about the outcome

• If I come up against a brick wall…I ZenTangle®, and my mind opens up to the possibilities

• …let (your) mind roll and do as (it) pleases

• Don’t worry about it…let your mind do what it does

• Relaxing and letting go

• Let your inner artist do whatever it pleases

The next time you have a thorny issue to resolve, take some time to relax your mind, meditate, or doodle. Allow the solution to catch up with you!

Now it’s your turn to share: What do you do to relax your mind?

Fine-tuning Inspiration

In case you didn’t notice, last May, I just stopped.

Fine-tuningI needed to reboot and regroup – and the first step was to begin fine-tuning my inspiration. To do this, I had to stop.

I stopped…

…writing blog posts that felt like pulling teeth

…forcing myself to have something to say

…expecting myself to write anything, at all (I can hear the social media experts GASPING all the way over here!)

…and found the silence within to rekindle my inspiration

At the about the same time, I started…

…focusing on what felt better

…reaching out locally and connecting with more people

…participating in more interesting conversations

…a success team, focusing on helping each other

…reconnected to some new sources of inspiration

…allowing myself to take as long as I needed to be inspired

…participating in daily appreciation sharing

In other words: I stopped doing anything that dragged me down and started only taking action where inspiration guided me. Little by little, I began to see what really inspires me. It did me a world of good and helped me heal from the inside out. How you fine-tune your inspiration may look a little different even if the effect is the same.

Is there something you need to stop doing to get back in touch with your inspiration?

How about something you’ve been meaning to start?

As time went on, I just noticed that I wasn’t inspired to write blog posts, but I was making a lot of new networking connections, talking to a lot more people face-to-face, and finding many new ways to feel inspired.

After replying to another person’s post, I was asked to write the guest post about my experience as a mother teaching my then-teenage son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, to use affirmations to improve his relationship with Math. I was so busy networking and getting word out about my illustrations/web design business, though, that I never got around to writing it. Molly Player, bless her heart, proactively took my blog comment and stretched into the post on her LOA Stories blog. Still, I was inspired to share what Mollie had posted.

Meanwhile, nothing more was inspired for this blog.

However, when Jeannette Maw, The Good Vibe Coach and founder of Good Vibe University, asked me to write a blog post based on a conversation we had last week, I took advantage of the quiet holiday week to get it done. Not only did I write the post based on a discussion we had during one of last week’s Good Vibe University LOA calls, I also recorded myself reading the post for those who do better listening than reading. Go read and/or listen to the blog post Invite Your Problems to Stay and leave a comment!

What all of this has shown me is that inspiration is not only an individual experience, it cannot be mandated. It happens when it happens. Forcing it doesn’t encourage inspiration, it suppresses it.

I also realized that I really enjoy interacting with people. There hadn’t been enough interaction here on the blog to make it fun or to inspire me. I love to discuss ideas with savvy Deliberate Creators who understand the world is a mirror and appreciate the reminders that it is always an ‘inside job’.

Taking the time to fine-tune my inspiration has helped me focus my energy in the best way possible.

This blog was built for interaction…as I continue to fine-tune my inspiration, I will continue to post only when I feel inspired. However, you can help inspire me with your questions and discussions. If you want to hear more from me, here is how you can help: Let me know what questions you have or what subjects you’d like me to address!

Let me know your questions in the comments section below, or ‘Like’ the AffirmingSpirit Facebook page message your question to me.

Your turn: What do you do to fine-tune your inspiration?

An Inspirational Helping of BOOYAH! SPIRIT

This holiday season, consider giving a gift that will uplift and inspire all year long. Sheila M. Burke’s new book, BOOYAH!  SPIRIT: 52 Ingredients For a Healthy Soul.  Suffering Is Optional. (2011, Om Sweet Om Publishing) is a perfect example of an ideal inspirational holiday gift.

First, I want to address the title because when I think of BOOYAH! I think of that over-the-top stock market guy on cable. I was delighted to read in Sheila’s book that…

Booyah is a food that is prepared like a stew, but on a very large scale. It takes many cooks to prepare the food, and it is usually meant to serve hundreds or even thousands of people.

Wikipedia backs her up on that definition, too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booyah_(stew)

Wow, learn something new everyday! What a great analogy for creating a rich, spiritually nutritious life! With that definition in mind, Sheila’s book delves into each of the 52 ingredients to remind the reader of what really matters. Readers are invited to read it all in a weekend (what a great gift for a retreat!), take it in bits as needed, or patiently focus on one ingredient per week all year long.

There’s even a section where she mentions meeting me via Twitter and her experience with my free Six Steps to Powerful Affirmations eCourse. (Ingredient: Choice, pgs 147-151)

What I like about this book is that it is both exuberant and serves as a gentle reminder 365 days of the year. If you are a person who knows roughly what you can do to feel better, but often forget, you will want a copy of this book. Keep it by your bedside and pick it up daily, even to just read a paragraph or two. This recipe for a rewarding life will keep your mind spinning in a positive direction!

Deliberate Creators know the importance of surrounding oneself with positive and uplifting material – this book has a homemade feeling, seasoned with interesting quotes and personal photos, it’s sure to become a favorite gift to give and receive! It is available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, and various eBook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Sheila’s ZENstore. Click here or the book graphic for more information.

Have you read BOOYAH! Spirit?!? Share your comments below!

* * *

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was not paid to write this post and do not receive any benefit from purchases made. The author provided me a courtesy copy of the book since she referenced information about my products and services in one of the chapters. The above post is my personal opinion after reading the book, and readers understand that they must take responsibility for their own interpretation.

Relaxing Into Summer

Relaxing view on a hikeThis is my first post in 2 months. Not because I don’t like to post, but because I decided to wait for inspiration and ended up relaxing into summer.

How often do you let yourself reeeaaally relax?

Even though I was relaxing, I was also actively doing what inspired me. I practiced deep breathing and Quantum Entrainment several times a day, whenever inspired. I got out in nature. I took walks and said my favorite affirmations. I read books that uplifted and inspired me. I visualized and got into the feeling place of feeling great. I was listening to great recordings and watching interesting videos. I hung out at Good Vibe University and did some calls for them. It was fun and wonder-filled!

How often do you look for inspiration around you?

Here is some inspiration: I put my favorite vibelifters together for you on this page. VibeLifters are resources you can easily turn to when you could use a vibrational lift. Anytime you feel bored or vulnerable to a downward spiral, click over here and check out the resources. Feel free to listen, download, and enjoy!

When I write blog posts, I like to follow an inspiration and see where it takes me.

Relaxing and finding inspiration are two powerful ways to increase your vibration which then attracts more higher vibration experiences into your life. In fact, when you combine the two (relaxing and inspiration), you open the door to some serious magic!

When I wrote about creative cycles, I mentioned the importance of rest/renewal gestation periods. If you are always expecting yourself to be ON, then chances are…you are burning yourself out. Give yourself regular rest, and fill your world with inspiration. You’ll actually be much more effective when you do work after resting.

So, come on…take a break and let me know how it worked for you!

It All Started with My Crockpot

I swear it was the Crockpot that started it all!!!

a170holidayglowTwo weeks ago, I thought momentarily about decorating my house for the holidays, but I just couldn’t do it. I wasn’t *feeling it*. No energy. No desire. No inspiration. I don’t know why, but I felt this way last year, too.

Every time I thought about it, I just felt, “Nah…”

Both this year and last, I just made a decision to be OK with not decorating and feeling totally uninspired about the holidays. I let go of expectations and demands that no longer fit.

Of course, last year, after making peace I found myself spontaneously inspired to decorate anyway a few weeks before Christmas.

Making peace can have that affect. It’s OK if you don’t, and it’s OK if you do…so either way, whatever actions you take are more likely to be from a place of inspiration rather than *shoulds*.

And the same thing happened this year. Today, in fact! Readers of this blog know I’ve written a lot about inspired action. What happened today was clearly inspired action! When I get down to it, though, it actually started earlier in the week with my Crockpot.

On Tuesday, I started reminiscing about years past when I’ve baked liqueur cakes (Grand Marnier, Rum, Amaretto, Kahlua, etc.) for the holidays. The more I thought about them, more I kept thinking about them. Law of attraction just kept bringing me more of the same thoughts…while making me hungry for a liqueur cake…the kind soaked in a butter rum sauce or amaretto syrup. Being that I don’t drink alcohol (doesn’t taste good to me and I don’t like hangovers), my alcohol stays securely in the cupboard unless there is a cake to be baked.

By Thursday, I was on an obsessive roll with the liqueur cake idea at the same time that I wasn’t feeling the love for the work involved. I just wasn’t getting a “Hell, YES!”…that was, until, I remembered my Crockpot! I have a special insert pan that lets me bake bread and cakes inside my crockpot. Immediately, I grabbed my cookbook and located a suitable pound cake recipe that I could poke holes into so it could soak up the buttered rum. Mmmmmmm….

I looked at my watch. I had about 30 minutes before my next Quantum MasterMind call, and I suddenly felt *sparked*: That burst of energy that coincides with an inspired idea! I was primed for inspired action. In less than 3 minutes, I had the crockpot, all the ingredients, and the cookbook on my counter. Twenty minutes later, I had the cake batter in the crockpot, set the temperature to high, and began cleaning up the kitchen.

By the time that Quantum Mastermind call was done, so was my cake! I poked holes all over the cake, and while it was still piping hot,  I quickly melted the butter and sugar together, then stirred in the rum and nutmeg. The sweet warm liquid was poured over the hot cake so it could soak it all up. Within two hours of my call finishing, I was sitting down enjoying a piece of delicious, warm Butter Rum cake with a bit of whipped cream…

And by end of day on Saturday, two days later, my Christmas tree was up, and my whole house was fully decorated for the holidays! And believe me, no one is more surprised about this chain of events than me! Seriously. Two weeks ago, and even two days ago, I would never have predicted that my Crockpot would lead me gently toward inspired action on getting into the holiday spirit.

Sometimes inspired action happens in a moment, and sometimes it creeps up on you like that! It starts out on Tuesday with a random thought that snowballs, and by Saturday, you don’t know what came over you. When you’re in the Vortex taking action, you’ll not only accomplish everything much faster, but the results will be far better.

Is there something that you feel you should do for your business, but you haven’t been *feeling it*? At some point, every business owner experiences this. From my experience, the best ting you can do is make peace with not feeling it, let go of expectations, and take no action except from the place of, “OH, YES!”. Know that when, or IF, you do finally feel inspired to take action, the results will always turn out so much better than if you had forced yourself when you weren’t feeling any inspiration.

Now it’s your turn: Do you have a surprising story of inspired action? Share with us below…

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Effective Solopreneur: Aligning with Your Natural Creativity Cycles

I was recently reminded of the Creative Cycles and realized that it is not exclusive to artists, but everyone ~ as we are all creators of our life experiences. I share this
information with you now so you can begin asking yourself how you can use these cycles to help yourself and your business.
Are you aware of your creative cycles?
Are you taking advantage of their natural ebb and flow to enjoy creating your art, your life, your business?
About 7 years ago, when I was creating a lot of fine art watercolors, a fellow artist friend shared a small hand-bound bound book that explained the natural cycles of
creativity. To be honest, up to this point, I hadn’t even noticed that there were predictable cycles. Although, I had noticed that if I wasn’t creating in some way it was hard to
get the creative process going again.
The book was written by a woman, an artist herself, who was getting her Masters in Psychology at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, I don’t remember
he name, but this gal had noticed a creative cycle in herself and others and decided to self-publish a book about the process. She knew my friend and had given her one
of the hand-bound copies of the book, and my friend shared the book with me. So, I began reading the little book and was amazed how much it not only resonated but
explained a lot!
The author suggested there are four common stages of creativity: Gestation, Inspiration, Creation/Birth, Renewal/Rest. These cycles happen in a certain order, like seasons
of the year, but differ in their length from artist to artist, and project to project.
If you are a successful non-commercial fine artist or a writer of novels, whether you are consciously aware of them or not, you are successfully managing these cycles. If
you are just starting out or an unsuccessful artist, you may not be taking advantage of what these cycles can do for you. If you are a commercial artist, designer (interior,
web, etc.), these cycles are most-likely tied more to the projects you are working on for clients.
Here’s the breakdown of the four stages, as I recall them:
Gestation
This is the stage where things are quiet creatively, but you are feeling hopeful because you are noticing interesting experiences, gathering ideas, deciding what you want
to work on next.
Inspiration
This is the stage where you find a new idea that *excites* you. It might be a single idea, or one idea that quickly spawns many additional ideas. It may be something you
observe outside of yourself or something that pops into your mind. The topic feels juicy and pregnant with potential. You begin whittling down the ideas collected to decide
what you really want to focus upon.
Creation/Birth
This is the stage where you begin taking action toward materializing the inspired idea, from start to finish. The creator’s energy is high, and they often feel full of life and
vibrant. The work may take on a *life of it’s own*, possibly even going in a new direction not considered in the Gestation or Inspiration stage.
Renewal/Rest
This is the stage creatives enter upon completion of the Creation/Birth stage. Often, the artist has been focusing so intensely on the previous stage, that this stage may feel
like a shock. New or Inexperienced creators may find this stage comes relatively unexpectedly. Most creators might find themselves feeling low, possibly even feeling
depressed, in comparison to the high-energy stage of Creation/Birth. Doubt creeps in, and in this low energy stage, the creator begins questioning if they will ever do
anything worthwhile again. In extreme cases, a creator susceptible to addictions may do drugs or drink to deal with the low energy, doubt, worry, and fear. However, if the
artist is aware of these stages and knows *this one, too, shall pass*, they can embrace it and move through this stage relatively quickly~sometimes hours, versus days,
weeks, or months.
How Does This Relate to You?
For centuries, farmers have known to sow seeds, nurture the plants, and harvest with the seasons. Following the natural cycles makes farming easier and more productive.
The same is true for your business. When you read through these stages, above, did anything stand out for you? Did you find yourself seeing connections in your own
creative cycles?
At the end of large client projects, I often got ill or, at the very least,  needed to sleep 14 hours a day for at least a week or more. Prior to understanding the cycles, I would
often beat myself up about getting ill or needing excess sleep. I doubted myself and wondered if I was depressed, even though I felt optimistic the vast majority of the
time. Once I knew about this stage I realized it was not only to be expected, but a good thing that I could look forward to experiencing. I prepared myself for it and
arranged lots of self-care in advance knowing it would be most appreciated. As a result, this stage went from 2+ weeks down to a few days, sometimes just a weekend or
a self-care-filled-afternoon to recharge. Knowing about this stage, preparing for and embracing it made a huge difference!
I also began appreciating the Gestation and Inspiration stages more, instead of putting all of my focus on the Creation/Brith stage ~including the expectation of being in that
one stage ALL the time~I began to see how each stage had value to my creativity.
What stage would you say you are in right now?
What can you do to embrace this stage and prepare for the next one?
How can you use these stages to plan your business activities (including Marketing and Service/Product Creation) so they are fun for you, rather than forced?

I was recently reminded of the Creative Cycles and realized that they are not exclusive to artists, but everyone ~ as we are all creators of our life experiences. I share this information with you now so you can begin asking yourself how you can use these cycles to help yourself and your business.

Are you aware of your creativity cycles, or are you forcing yourself to be always “ON”?

Are you taking advantage of their natural ebb and flow to enjoy creating your art, your life, your business?

Creativity Cycles

About 7 years ago, when I was creating a lot of fine art watercolors, a fellow artist friend shared a small hand-bound book that explained the natural cycles of creativity. To be honest, up to this point, I hadn’t even noticed that there were predictable cycles. Although, I had noticed that if I wasn’t creating in some way it was hard to get the creative process going again.

The book was written by a woman, an artist herself, who was getting her Masters in Psychology at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the author’s name, but this gal had noticed a creativity cycle in herself and others, and had developed a hypothesis about how to work with the cycles. She noticed that everyone benefited by working with the cycles, rather than against them, and decided to self-publish a book about the process. She knew my friend and had given her one of the hand-bound copies of the book, and my friend shared the book with me. So, I began reading the little book and was amazed how much it not only resonated but explained a lot!

The author suggested there are four common stages of creativity: Gestation, Inspiration, Creation/Birth, Renewal/Rest. These cycles happen in a predictable order, like seasons of the year, but differ in their length from artist to artist, and from project to project.

Here’s the breakdown of the four stages, as I recall them:

1 | Gestation

This is the stage where things are quiet creatively, but you are feeling hopeful because you are noticing interesting experiences, gathering ideas, deciding what you want to work on next. This stage comes after the creator emerges from the Renewal/Rest stage.

2 | Inspiration

This is the stage where you find a new idea, or series of ideas, that really feels *exciting*. It might be a single idea, or one idea that quickly spawns many additional ideas. It may be something you observe outside of yourself or something that pops into your mind. The topic feels juicy and pregnant with potential. You begin whittling down the ideas collected to decide what you really want to focus upon.

3 | Creation/Birth

This is the stage where you begin taking action toward materializing the inspired idea, from start to finish. The creator’s energy is high, and they often feel full of life and vibrant. The work may take on a *life of it’s own*, possibly even going in a new direction not considered in the Gestation or Inspiration stage.

4 | Renewal/Rest

This is the stage creators enter upon completion of the Creation/Birth stage. Often, the creator has been focusing so intensely on the previous two stages, that this stage may feel like a comparative shock. New or inexperienced creators may find this stage comes relatively unexpectedly.

This can be a very critical stage for creators because most find themselves feeling low, possibly even feeling depressed, in comparison to the high-energy stages of Inspiration and Creation/Birth. Unprepared, doubt, worry and fear can easily creep in during this time, and in this low-energy stage, the creator begins questioning if they will ever do anything worthwhile again. They simply don’t have the energy to contemplate something new, and often feel defeated because of the low energy levels.

In extreme cases, a creator susceptible to addictions may retreat to drugs or alcohol to deal with the low energy, and/or soothe doubt, worry, and fear. However, if the creator is aware of these stages and knows *this one, too, shall pass*, they can embrace it and move through this stage relatively quickly~sometimes hours or days, versus months or years.

The creator knows they have left this stage when they find themselves entering the Gestation stage as they gently begin gathering more data and being intrigued by new ideas of theirs or other creators.

How Does This Relate to You or Your Business?

For centuries, farmers have known to sow seeds, nurture the plants, and harvest with the seasons. Following the natural cycles makes farming easier and more productive.

The same is true for your life and your business. Do you force yourself to create when you really need to rest, or try to rest when inspiration is striking? Do you honor or resist your natural creativity cycles? When you read through these stages, above, did anything stand out for you? Did you find yourself seeing connections to your own creative cycles?

At the end of large commercial client projects (Rest/Renewal), I often got ill or, at the very least,  needed to sleep 14 hours a day for at least a week or more. Prior to understanding the Creativity Cycles, I would often beat myself up about getting ill or needing excess sleep. I doubted myself and wondered if I was depressed, even though I felt optimistic the vast majority of the time. Once I knew about this stage, though, I realized it was not only to be expected, but a good thing that I could look forward to experiencing! I prepared myself for it mentally, and arranged lots of self-care in advance, knowing this stage was on its way. As a result, my experience of Renewal/Rest dropped from from 2+ weeks down to a few days, sometimes just a weekend or a self-care-filled-afternoon to recharge. Knowing about this stage, preparing for and embracing it made a huge difference for me!

I also began appreciating the Gestation and Inspiration stages more, instead of putting all of my focus on the Creation/Birth stage ~including the expectation of being in that one stage ALL the time~I began to see how each stage had value to my creativity.

Here are some questions to ask yourself now:

What stage would you say you are in right now?

What can you do to embrace this stage and prepare for the next one?

How can you use these stages to plan your business activities (including Marketing and Service/Product Creation) so they are fun for you, rather than forced?

How can you combine these stages with your knowledge of the Law of Attraction to create true synergy?

I invite you all to share your insights and thoughts below in the comments to other readers will benefit…

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