Drawing Solutions: How Visuals Will Change Your Life
Up your Creative Genius: Tune in here for innovative ideas to keep you relevant and expansive. Discover how visuals will increase your team's alignment, help you brainstorm and strategize, and become a living accelerator for your vision of success.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Getting Some Detachment
Recently we moved our house (and my office) to another city - Portlandia! While I knew it would be a good move, I found the toughest parts were leaving my neighbors, that (ahem) recently remodeled house, and the casual, but significant, day-to-day interactions I had with people in my hood.
Since my work isn't locked to a place, and my PNW clients see Portland and Seattle as sister cities, (albeit one boasts more piercings ;-0), my moving 3 hours away wasn't an issue for them.
Many of my friends said things like, "We'll probably see you more, now that you'll need a place to stay when you are working here." (Correct!) Not an issue for them.
While I consider myself a pretty good change agent, I found myself not hiring someone to clean the house at the end. Instead I chose to do it myself, and while doing it, went room to room to room...I just couldn't seem to ... let....go. While mopping the last inch of that shiny basement floor one more time, I thought, "Girl, you need to get some detachment! Unhook the train car and...LET GO! Stop looking back! Start looking where you are going!" Suddenly, things got much easier and I found myself in a swirl of newness.
WHAT'S great about moving?
Moving forces you to reevaluate. STUFF. You look at all the stuff you've acquired and ask yourself, "Now why do I still have that?!" PRIORITIES. You start thinking, what things do I want to live close to? How long of a commute do I want to have? What new things can I try?
One of our dogs needs to run. So having a park nearby was very important. My new office is super close to parks. But the surprise came when we were walking the dogs one night and discovered this trail 4 blocks from our new home on a street we'd never walked before.It leads to a sweet nature preserve, a bike trail, a creek. NICE.
Detachment paves the way for new things to come into your life. If you look closely when change is occurring, you can see how seamlessly life steps in to make your transition smoother.
PRETEND you are moving. ASK for new things you want to experience, then LET GO of some of your old habits (and stuff!).
Step into each day as if you are entering a new house, a new partnership, a new city. Then, watch with wonder as life rearranges the road and the scenery around you to match your new state of consciousness, as it did to hold and support our family in our Portlandish move.
For these amazing gifts I am grateful. And for your readership. I thank you.
NOW, please check out the cool people I have been meeting and what they are up to. Some of them might have a surprise or an adventure for you!
Mother Rose was super helpful at TEDxSacramento. She promoted the heck out of my books and I thank her for it! Check out herbookstore in Sacramento.
Like anything you have to work your imagination to get the most out of it. Daydreaming a best possible future is a secret passageway that allows us to let that anxious part of our brain calm down, and find the route to the new life we desire. Our imagination normally gets worked up when we are scared. One technique I consistently use to take charge of my imagination is to take an aspect of my life that I want to explore more fully, and fantasize new things happening there. You'll be surprised which things happen!
Fantasy transforms our world.
Recently, my partner Julie decided she wanted some transformation. She dreamed of having more free time and suddenly she was looking at consulting firms in Portland. Uh oh. That's what happens when you let your imagination run wild! Of course, she was snapped up in a second and so we are moving our home (and the Up your Creative Genius offices) to Portland. Close enough to Seattle that I'll still maintain my local clientele, but wow, a new city to explore. FUN!
I'm looking forward to my walk on part in Portlandia! I'm imagining the beautiful mountains, the fantastic food, the unusual piercings I will experience in Portland. Am I excited? Yep. I can't wait to see what life has in store for us down there.
Life is too short to succumb to fear.
This year, make a commitment to yourself, that no matter what happens, you will live life filled with love and creativity and passion. Let your imagination be your guide. We live in a world filled with all kinds of people and experiences. Send love out through the door of your heart and use your imagination to find new ways to serve life and grow yourself.
OMG I loved listening to Ben Kaufman share about his amazing company. His goal is to be the next GE. Guess what? After I drew that vision on his map, his company was approached by GE to form a partnership! Vision to reality!
This is a great guy who talked about disruption at a recent offsite I was illustrating. Get out of the box with yourself and disrupt your industry to surpass your competition.
INSTRUMENTS FROM TRASH
If you are looking to fund something amazing, look no more. The people of this city in Paraguay live in a dump and they built their instruments from the trash they found. Learn about them here. Fund them.
I'm inspired by playfulness when I see it. People playing with their dogs or kids, the guy who fills his workspace with toys, the woman with the dashboard of her car filled with odd objects or a silly bumpersticker. The checker who greets me at the grocery store and when I say loudly in response to the amount I owe, "Are you kidding me!?" gets the joke and laughs.
You can inspire playfulness anywhere, anytime. You can spend a day or a year pretending to be an artist, you can take up the ukelele and start your own one person band. You can plant your garden in the shape of your favorite _______. Organized and spontaneous play allows us to relax and let the good in.
It's an automatic de-stressor. It opens wider that two way interchange with life and puts the critical self on hold. It lets the alpha waves in. Those are the good fairy waves that help your brain mash thoughts together to come up with better ideas.
PLaYING requires only a willingness on your part to suspend belief and use your imagination as a guide. Ask yourself, how can I make this more fun? How can we do something silly? What kinds of ridiculous things might I wear, eat, do? When we were young we spontaneously played. Secretly, when we are alone, we still do. Sometimes it is just a fantasy that we are having in our heads, other times, we experiment, we take a Zumba class, we join a team, we dress up for a football game. All of this makes us healthier, and believe it or not, wiser.
When I first moved to Seattle, Scott Ward and I secretly played tennis almost every afternoon. Scott is my secret weapon. Not only is he a superb visual artist, he is also my favorite playmate. We were both terrible at tennis, the ball would go wildly all over the court. Rather than swim against the current, we decided to make up our own game. We called it Tigawatab. In the game of Tigawatab, every time your ball was at the net because you hit it badly, you had to run to the net and do a set of pushups or a plank hold, or run around the outside of the court. At the time, I believe we were both trying to get into better shape, so this was our way of making "workout" fun. Variations on Tigawatab included if we were alone on the court, we would take over the one next to us and play both courts when the ball went flying over there. We made up stories about the tennis ball, we made up songs, we parodied grunting, you get the picture.
playing is easy. it's natural.
You are going to have a meeting, you decide to bring costumes for your team and have them wear them. You don't have to role play (although you could) you don't have to do anything more than offering freedom and people will respond. I can guarantee once they get beyond the shock (and you let go of worrying about that one person who won't play with you) they will expand into their true nature...that of a child. Your meeting will be fun and you'll be surprised at how much more you get done. .
Honestly,we all need to play more, and more often. He doesn't know it yet, but Scott and I are starting a
Do you want to come out to play?
PLAYING AT SCHOOL
ZAC HOLDING HIS V2R DRAWING
When I told teacher/therapist Mike Barber about my "give back" year, he invited me to show his high school students how to draw their vision into reality. His students rocked it! If you want me to come to your school, business, NFP, email me.
What Happens When You Say That Thing You Always Wanted To
I try to ask myself before I respond under pressure, "Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?" Most of the time what I am about to say, when my feathers get ruffled, is not any of these 3 things. But this past week I was the lunch speaker for the National Governor's Association meeting and I admit, I realized my answer was yes to all three of these questions, so I said something. And saying it out loud, worked.
Picture this...I'm onstage - not your average NGA meeting speaker. Hair spiked, shoes reflective. I look out onto a sea of suits and ties. Mostly red ties with blue suits. That was my experience last weekend speaking to the corporate fellows, chiefs of staff, former governors, and members of the Canadian Parliament at the National Governor's Association meeting in DC. I am showing them how to use the Snapshot of the Big Picture drawing process which helps you turn your vision into reality.
I'm just at the part of my presentation where I suggest to people to use the left side of their vision to reality template to examine where they are in their career or in their life right now. Directly in front of me is a table of very supportive corporate fellows whom I have spent a lovely lunch talking with. Over to my right, similar fare. But to my left I can see a group starting to shift uncomfortably in their chairs. A moment later, they start to elbow each other, and a few guffaws erupt as someone shows the others a picture they have drawn.
In the past, I might have been intimidated by this sea to shining sea of representatives, so much so that I would not speak my mind, for fear of offending them. They might not "like" me after that. ;-0 Today I open my mouth and before I know it I am saying, "While you might not feel that you need to reflect on your current state, because things are going well, there are others at your table who may need this reflective experience. I ask you to please let them have their own space so that they can examine their current state." Suddenly you could hear a pin drop and everyone was heads down, focused on their drawings. A little parental of a comment, perhaps, but it definitely worked. Afterwards I got to see some of those vision maps from that very table and they were excited about the process and ready to get busy on their vision.(The director of the program, Kevin Silard, was delighted with the results and the feedback from the participants).
Sometimes you just have to say that hard thing in a gentle way to shift the room. It was necessary. It was true. I was as kind as I could be under the circumstances and the pressure.
All change takes courage and it starts with you. I know you have things you want to say as well. If you want to make change in your life, you have to say those things that are hard to say - outloud. When you do, you may be surprised at how much better you feel. More present, more alive. It's your life. Live it out loud. Live it now.
WHAT'S UP, CREATIVE GENIUSES?
March: We'll be in Portland starting this month. Looking forward to meeting Portlandians!
April: I'm touring through my hometown of Sacramento in April if any of you live down there and are interested in adding your organization to my roster of speaking engagements, please contact my PR mavericks, David Carriere or speaker's rep, Andrea Driessen.
May: San Antonio, TX - more to this story later.
IT STARTED WITH LEE
ON THE PLANE
Talking to people next to you on the plane can turn your vision to reality. I met this fantastic corporate liaison, Lee Cowen, on a plane to Seattle. After a lovely chat, I handed him my card,"If you ever know of someone who needs a speaker..." NGA did. Thanks, Lee!
VISION TO REALITY
HOW A SIMPLE PICTURE CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING
You can create your picture even if you aren't in a workshop.Watch myTEDxRainier talk and download your free template today.
ON THE SAME PAGE
WITH THE PRESIDENT & MRS. OBAMA
I always knew we were on the same page. Just sayin'.
At the edge of Harlem is a school where I went to teach Visual Goal Setting two weeks ago, to the students in grades 2nd - 8th. I met the Board President in a restaurant in upstate NY, in one of those "chance encounters" while working for PepsiCo. He asked if I would come teach his students my process. So I volunteered to go and it was a complete BLAST! That's not to say it was not challenging, In a radio interview with the ever fabulous Serene Mastrianni fromRadio2Women, she asked what did I hope for in my experience there? I said, "To be relevant." Honestly that's the goal with every audience, but in this case, I knew the kids might possibly be the hardest. Was I ever surprised! They challenged me and loved me into bringing 500% of myself. Here's a little about this amazing community at CS: it’s a place of genuine hope for the families of this Harlem neighborhood. The landscape of New York City is ever changing and continually presents new challenges. The Children’s Storefront prepares young people to rise to those challenges and to expand their ideas of what is possible for them. These kids were ON FIRE so I expected the best from them and they delivered.
The biggest surprise was that on the day I arrived, the Canadian Tenors were also at the school. YES! When my last class finished, I got to go down and be treated to the most amazing experience. The Tenors singing with the Children's Storefront choir.
SURPRISE! super thanks to Principal Wendy Reynoso and Ray Cameron, Board President for making this happen.
Why Surprising Yourself is Important Whether you like it or not, you can get stuck in a rut in your thinking. It's the way that pattern making machine of a brain works. Taking risks, doing something unexpected gets the neurons firing in your brain, makes you more resilient to change, ups your serotonin level and shows you new aspects of your true self.
Getting in the Church I was also invited to lead the morning services and also a workshop at the Seattle Unity church. Here, thanks to Rymii Kaio, I was able to talk about what's outside that 10% box that we know about how our brain works and speak to the 90% unknown. This was a great experience. If you are interested in having me at your church, please pass this video on to your events coordinator. It begins with some lovely music by the fantastic Erin McGaughan and friends, then leads into my talk, so listen and enjoy.
COMING UP there are some exciting things happening that have come from meeting you. I'll be presenting with OD expert Julie Boardman on Accelerating Change Using a Visual for the Junior League in Seattle, I'm speaking at the National Governors Association Meeting in DC, (thanks to lobbyist Lee Cowen who I met on a plane) and getting ready to go to Denver to do a workshop at the Annual Women's Conference. I hope our paths cross and until they do, remember - you create your own reality by how you respond to what is happening. Challenge yourself to be all that you are so you can step beyond what you already know into who you truly are.
SEATTLE UNITY CHURCH
Congregations and friends learn the power of visual goal setting usingDrawing Solutions, Visual Goalsetting. If you want to get revitalized or realigned, this 90 minute workshop is a perfect way to do it!
VISUAL GOAL SETTING
Have you been drawing your dreams into reality?It's not too late, nor too early to get started!
SALES CONFERENCE 2013
One of my favorite clients is TrueBlue. This company puts people to work and changes lives everyday. If you want to create a visual that will help you tell your story to employees, to your clients, to the world, we can help you.
When my partner Julie and I were first together, we lived in Denver and she was between jobs. She had been job hunting for awhile and was feeling disparaging about herself and her ability to ever get one. In my mind, she was (and is) a truly fantastic leadership and talent development expert, so I couldn't go down that slippery slope with her. I was leaving on a business trip to work in Slovakia, but before I left I said to her, "I see you as 500% more than what you can see in yourself right now. If you could see yourself from that 500% bigger person that you really are, why not look for a job from that perspective?"
The second night in Slovakia, my cell phone rang. It was Julie, she was over the top with excitement, "You said 500%, right?" Cool! I responded, "Where did you get a job?" "Seattle!" she shouted. I thought, Seattle? Now how did your 500% suddenly become my 500%?!
That job brought us to this great city. Here we have had one adventure after another. We've worked with amazing companies, met new friends, expanded our abilities to serve and be served by life. Her 500% took me to my 500% as well and I can't thank her enough!
WHY NOT BRING YOUR 500% TO 2013? Ask yourself, if I were being 500% of the person I see myself to be, what would I be doing right now?
Then, get going. Take a moment to draw a simple picture of that new you. If you have forgotten the power of the visual, review my 8 minute TEDx talk. Then take a few small bites of that elephant to get yourself started living that "500% you", today.
MAKE GIVING GO VIRAL This is my theme for 2013. I had a fantastic 2012 and this year, in addition to my regular paid speaking and client work, I'll be giving back. If you know of an organization or company who needs a kick start, please send them my way. I will be speaking to the following groups in January and leading workshops across the country. I'd like to come to your city or your team.
JANUARY 6: Seattle UNITY Church Services & Spiritual Goal Setting Workshop: 9AM & 11AM Services - "Love is the Portal" The UNITY church is an all embracing church located at 200 8th Avenue just off of Denny Way in Seattle. Their music and services are magnificent and this is a lovely community of people. They have invited me to be the speaker for both services. I'd love to see you there, no matter your faith.
1-3 PM NEW YEAR, NEW YOU: Spiritual Goal Setting to Help You Lead Your Best Life If you or that "friend of yours" needs a boost in 2013, give them this workshop as a gift and kick start 2013 by goal setting from the highest place. I can't wait to meet you or them there! $25 in advance, $35 at the door. www.seattleunity.org
JANUARY 15 & 16: Children's Storefront - Harlem I met the Board President for this amazing school, in a restaurant in New York, when I was stuck during a snowstorm. He invited me to teach visual goal setting to this school's students. I'll be there during the week of January 14th. If you are a teacher, a parent or principal, and know a school that would like to bring visual goal setting to your students, send me an email: email@example.com and let's add you to this year's schedule.
For workshops or talks in your area, check the calendar on my home page. If your city isn't there, contact me and let's make it happen!
Join me to make 2013 a 500% year for you. You deserve it and those around you will be lifted up by your belief and action.
MAPS YOU DREW
DRAW YOUR FUTURE
Here was Rohit's map that he drew for last year! Send me your map so I can feature it here!
KYLE ZEPPELIN NEXT TO THE SHIPPING CRATE POOL
Zeppelin Development are doing some amazing things in Denver. If you live there, go see the TAXI loft area. We did a team/company visioning session a few years back and that vision came to be and more!
CREATIVE GENIUS TEAM
Scott Ward Art. Yep I know you all think it is all me all the time, but honestly Scott Ward (Seattle) and Brad Clemmons (Denver) are the secret sauce in Up your Creative Genius.
Every turn of the year offers an opportunity to bring your best self to life. It's a chance to set goals from the highest place, from the part of you that sees beyond what you make or have to the deeper reason for why you are here in the world right now. Why you? Why now? Simon Sinek, in his book, Start With Why,writes,"It all starts with clarity. You have to know WHY you do WHAT you do. If people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it, so it follows that if you don’t know WHY you do WHAT you do, how will anyone else?" While Simon is writing about your business, your products or services, in this new year why not ask that of yourself? Why am I here? Why me, why now?
This is a time of unprecedented opportunity and people around the world are shifting their focus to align what they do to something that matters, something that fulfills their passion, their purpose. I recently read that there are so many non profits in existence that it would take you 3 days to simply scroll through their names on the internet. Our young people are playing a major part in this sea change to embrace all of life and consider some of the inequities or imbalances part of our responsibility.
Why you? Why now? You are here on the planet at this time for a reason. It's a new year, so as you begin to thing about how you want to step into 2013, try this:
Close your eyes, block out the outside stimuli and get quiet. Ask yourself, "What is my purpose right now and why am I here? Why me? Why now? What can I do this year to bring all of who I am to life?"
Listen, then write down the first things that come to you. Draw a simple icon to help you solidify it into memory.
In his recent best selling book, Proof of Heaven, Eben Alexander III, MD, neurosurgeon, writes of his powerful near death experience. He shares that soul, or our innate nature, knows far faster than our brain does what our next choice should be. Trust that part of you to guide you into this New Year, New You.
I will be leading a number of workshops this year (see below) to help you set your goals using the power of the visual. If your business, organization, church or child's school wants to learn more about visual goal setting, email me here. I look forward to stepping into this New Year together.
NEW YEAR NEW YOU:
Spiritual Goal Setting to Help You Lead Your Best Life SEATTLE UNITY CHURCH Join me Sunday, January 6th, from 1-3PM. I will be speaking at both their 9AM & 11AM Sunday services, then leading a visual goal setting workshop. $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Make this year count!
LEARN TO GRAPHIC RECORD
Anyone can learn the basic skills of graphic recording. A simple 5 hour class can get you and your HR/OD/Facilitation team started. Contact us.
GIFT THE GIFT OF CHANGE
The odds against you making change in your life are 9 to 1. This bookwill show you how to beat those odds. Give a copy to a friend, relative, co-worker who wants to make a change but isn't sure how.