Friday, May 30, 2008

living larger...

These past couple weeks I've been trying to figure out a routine for myself and noticing that I waste a lot of time--most of it in front of the computer. I've been reading about Virtual Assistants and also Jame Aurthur Ray's Harmonic Wealth. Melba once wrote that the self-help section should be retitled to something like self-growth. I can't remember her exact words, but I agree with the concept. Self-help assumes that there is something wrong that needs to be fixed when, in reality, I couldn't be happier--I'm just trying to maximize my happiness to its fullest potential.

Ray's book is based on a lot of Law of Attraction concepts and is very similar to Barbara Stanny's Secrets of Six Figure Women. His language contains a bit too much flare and cynicism...but looking beyond these flaws, what I'm mostly getting out of this book is a big kick in the butt. That is, he has made me realize how I'm successfully self-sabotaging myself with my growing ability to procrastinate.

Don't get me wrong, I work hard and I work a lot (why do I somehow think this makes me a better person?). But how much of that time is actually spent hitting the refresh button on my blog, emails, and etsys? How much of that time is spent being distracted by the dogs or the phone or housework? It's quite ridiculous, actually. But these are the things that I seem to do best in my most inefficient glory.

I've been fighting with myself over making a schedule (even just a loose schedule) for the past 3 weeks now. I don't want my new schedule to look like my old schedule (full of stress, rigidness, and endless work, work, work)...yet I DO want a schedule that offers me enough structure to keep me on task and moving forward, yet time enough to let my hair blow freely in the wind once in awhile. Is this even possible?

This process has caused me to ask myself a few questions, such as:
  • What is holding me back from what I want to do the most? And how/why do I let it happen?
  • What are my priorities, really?
  • How can I shift my day (and energy) around to make sure those priorities aren't taken over by lesser important tasks and procrastination?
  • What's keeping me from becoming my best self?
  • Are my actions (and non-actions) a form of self-sabotage? And, if so, why am I doing that?
  • What can I do for myself?

Although all these questions are important to me right now, I have to admit, I like the last question the most. That one I hadn't thought of until just now, as I'm writing. What can I do for be successful, to feel good, to be satisfied, to feel rested, accomplished, to move forward, to live from a place of purpose?

Two words keep returning to me. They are:

  1. Priorities.
  2. Intention.

I need to prioritize what means the most to me--and then I need to create days that allow those priorities to come first. Time to paint is one of those priorities that gets pushed to the back burner on a regular basis. That doesn't make much sense considering that painting is my biggest money maker right now. So why do I let it get pushed aside? There are books upon books written on this subject alone and I could probably write another one (hmmm...maybe I will)...

Ok, so I've decided to start getting honest with myself. One aspect of that means that I had to admit to myself that, now that the weather has gotten nice, I've been avoiding the basement (where my studio is located). Who wants to hang out in a fluorescent lit basement when there's a whole world of green grass, flowers, birds, fresh air, and sunshine?? Not me.

So yesterday I took my first step in setting myself up for success and bought myself a table easel so that I could move my studio outside. OMG! I painted for nearly 10 hours!! Granted, life can't be all frolicsome, but why not make it more enjoyable when you can?

This dog never leaves my side.

Louie's favorite game is to hide under my painting apron and then "surprise" me. He thinks this is great fun.

Anyway, as of yesterday, I've broadened my studio space by a million. I like painting under a canopy of trees. I forget myself.

As for my unresolved self-sabotaging ways...well, these are things I'm interested in figuring out about myself. I'm finding that it's those little tiny niggly little things that are the biggest culprits in holding a person back. They add up quickly and have a keen ability to stop growth dead in its tracks.

I want to be my best self--inside and out. Granted, I've got a long ways to go, but despite frustrations I am really starting to like this journey.

Here's some James Aurthur Ray quotes that have resonated with me (not to mention, they'd make good fortune cookie or Yogi tea quotes):

  • "It's already created. You just have to align with it" (53).
  • "Be the success you seek" (68).
  • "To have more you must be more. If your intention is big enough, then you must grow to meet the size if that idea" (66).
  • "It was Einstein who so wisely stated that we can't find the solutions to our problems with the same level of thinking that created the problems"(82).
  • "Take yourself and your desires seriously and live your values" (72).

And my favorite:

  • "Don't wish for an easier life. Wish to be at your finest" (63).

By the way, I saw a psychic while I was in NYC. She was at a street fair. I paid her $10 to read my palm and she told me that success would come to me in July. I don't care if she knew what she was talking about or not. I feel a huge sense of relief in believing her. I mean, what if everything we believe came true? Good or bad. Because, in a way, I think that it does.

And you know what? Every time I spend time painting something good happens. Last night I got an email from a writer for Modern Dog. I'm being interviewed next week! For what, I'm not sure. Maybe a feature article?? I don't know, but whatever it is, I'm excited about it! :)



Olivia said...

You keep amazing me, Jessie. Over and over and over again. Each time you post, it's a gem. YOU GO, GIRL! Much love, O xxoo

GreenishLady said...

What Olivia said... Ditto! I love that bringing your studio outside. I love the title of that blog post. Love the pictures of your painting pals. And those quotes. Thanks, Jessie.

Anu said...


Sacred Suzie said...

I love that you brought your studio outside! I know I have been avoiding my basement too and love that you have made creating outside a priority.

Geeze, I waste a lot of time on the computer too. I know I shouldn't but it's so hard.

Leah said...

you are a joy! *smooches!*

Melba said...

My comments keep disappearing from here!
I have been trying to wish you well and say i miss you and I am happy for your success. Maybe the spirits are telling me to call you!

Jenn said...

Love seeing your outdoor workspace and your pooch by your side. I can see how you can get lost there in a creative flow. So cool to watch how things are unfolding for you (congrats on your thesis, btw... I've been playing catch up on reading blogs!). And just got my cards yesterday. I loooooove them. They look sooooo awesome! Of course I want to send them to friends, but part of me just wants to keep them all to myself b/c their just so cute! Can't wait to hear more about the interview. You are on fire! Watch out July!!!

Sharon said...

Another amazing post... Yes, I think you should think about writing a book! I look forward to reading your posts so much, because they inspire me to be more 'me'! Thank you for that!

Tori said...

I am so so so proud of you Jessie!
The quotes you share here are amazing.
You know I always have thought about becoming a virtual assistant. I thrive off of organization and planning.
Let me know if you need any help!
And give that dog a pat for me!

Connie said...

First, I'm a little jealous---I want to go paint outside--if I did that here right now in a half hour I'd be an overcooked burger! Your outside studio and painting look amazing!

Second, I want to hit you with a quote too:

"You yourselves are the Being you are seeking." --Swami Vivekananda

Peace & Love.

gkgirl said...

this is fantastic!!
you must be so excited...
and the paintings

Colorsonmymind said...

just imagine me grabbing you and giving you a big bear- toe to toe hug and a big smooch on your cheek.

I love you girl