Pretty Blue Rose

life musings and inspiration


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Wednesday Wisdom: Failure Proves Something

When I read this quote I thought about this yoga pose that I tried. I fell on my forehead and laughed and laughed! It is called the Crane (see picture below).

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This pose in particular requires arm and core strength along with tons of balance. As you can see it’s quite difficult and I totally failed the first several times I tried. (I remember in dance school a friend was able to do it right away, many many years later I conquered it…wait, I need to make sure I can still do it before I keep that statement in this post…) OK I’m back. I can’t hold it for long, but I can get my feet off the ground.

OK, back to the quote. If you do everything perfect, you are only doing what is easy, which means you are not really trying. Stumbling, falling, and hitting your forehead on the floor (and having your hubby crack up laughing) is all part of trying. And isn’t that what it’s about? Accomplishing what you thought you couldn’t do.

So failure=trying!

Nice ring to it eh?

Keep failing (and trying),

A. Genise


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Wednesday Wisdom: Moooove, get out the way!

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Remember the Ludacris song? I’ll pause as you sing it in your head… I know I am.
So back on topic. The longer I live and observe my behavior (and others’ behavior) the more I believe that we are the only ones in our own way. No one or thing holds us back from the vision we have of our life more than we do. The irony is, the thing we say we want the most are the things that we fear the most. So we put of hurdles up or keep moving the bar of success so we’ll never achieve it.
I’ve seen this in my life and I see this and others lives. As I write my children’s mystery book, I’ll tell myself that the book has to be a best seller so that means I am stressed as I write and creativity goes out the window. I’ll tell myself that I need a state of the art dance studio (in my basement!!) in order to teach which means I’ll pass on great learning experiences because I am looking for the perfect situation/opportunity.
Making your goals too big or creating an undue pressure through unrealistic expectations will frustrate you to the point where you’ll give up.
So take baby steps. Take on experiences that you think are silly or scary, but keep moving towards the thing you fear. I believe we intuitively know what we are sent here to do and the longer we aren’t doing what we were put here to do, the more miserable we will be.
So…. Get out of your own way!
A.G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Use it or Lose it!

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“Like physical effort, thought control is entirely a matter of intelligent practice. You must use your courage or it will desert you. You must use your determination or it will leave you. You must use your power of decision or soon you will find that you have none.” 

Think and Grow Rich

-Napoleon Hill

Wow, right?! I fully understand that concept for muscles–think astronauts and the extreme care they take to exercise their muscles in space so they don’t atrophy. (side note: if I don’t work out for a week, the next week, when I resume, my heart, lungs, and muscles feel like I haven’t used them in years…ugh!!)

Until I saw that quote, I hadn’t thought about courage, determination, or decisiveness in a “use or lose” kind of way. But we all know, once in a comfort zone, it’s hard to get out. Once you quit on one goal, it’s much easier to quit next time. Once you waffle on a decision, it’s easier to be wishy washy next time. But the good news is the same idea is true in reverse. Once you leap and make one courageous move (even if it’s unsuccessful) it’s easier to be courageous next time. Once you decide get out of bed early to work out, it becomes easier the next time.

So I encourage you (and me) to do things that require courage. Not only things like sky diving and rock climbing,  but little things like wearing a non-traditional nail polish color to a conservative work place and bigger things like creating a book series that rejects stereotypes and promotes diversity. (wonder who is trying to do that?)

Also, use your decisive and determined muscles on a daily basis. I know we tend to be all about accommodating everyone and everything, but learn to stick with a decision no matter who opposes it.

Stay inspired and enjoy the journey,

 

PS couldn’t help the He-man pic. Not sure why:)he-man-2063756_1920

 

 

A. G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Get ‘Yo Sit Together

 

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(Yes I think the title is too cute, don’t you?) So I’ll keep this one simple. This post is an encouragement to myself and to you all to meditate. Sitting still for a few minutes, like only 2, really does make a difference and there are all sorts of studies to support the hype. From positively changing the structure of the brain, to improved focus and concentration, to decreasing social anxiety, just do it!  This does not replace prayer for me, I do that too,  but I find that can be a lot of me talking (or complaining) and very little listening. However, when I sit still and listen to my breathing, or just say thank you, I can hear my directions for the day. I have found that it’s not about getting “it all” done, but about choosing the “right” things to do in order to move you closer to your goals. Meditation helps me to avoid busy work or comparison-itis and allows me to stay closer to what I want and need to get done for the day.

Myths about Meditation

Source: Psychology today

Having an empty mind—nope, in fact, when you start meditating, you’ll find it’s quite the opposite

Sitting in lotus position—nope, you can sit on the couch (just don’t lie down, you’ll fall asleep)

Sitting for an hour a day—nope, small doses work just fine, (see here and  here)

Chanting in a language I don’t understand—nope, not unless that floats your boat

Buddhist, Hindu or religiousnope, not unless you make it so

***Weird—what’s so weird about sitting and breathing? Besides, US congressmen, NFL football leagues and the US Marine Corps are doing it, how weird can it be?

 

Getting my “sit” together,

A.G.


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Wisdom: similarities > differences

We are more alike, my friends,than we are unalike.

This quote  from Dr. Angelou represents the way I see life and what I come back to in times of hurt and pain. In light of all of the divisiveness in the country and really the world, lets try to remember we are more alike than we are unalike. Let us start from where we agree,  and work to solve the tough problems.  We all want the best for our children and families although we may prioritize our preferences differently.   Remember love conquers all.

 

best,

A.G.

 

 


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Wednesday Wisdom: Selectively Engage


This is for my creatives: 
As artists, we must be diligent in protecting our ears and eyes! Pay close attention to what you consume– what you allow to pour into your spirit on a daily basis. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the never ending news cycle. Following the news cycle and the internet nonsense on an hour to hour and second to second will drain your energy.

This is not about being naïve or oblivious to the things around you, but as a creative person, as a person who wants to uplift and change the world, my heart must be full of love and my mind must be clear in order to create.  We don’t have to completely disengage, believe me, I use my negative feelings in my creations, but I make sure to selectively engage in the world (news, people’s issues, pop culture).


I spend a lot of time reading and listening to podcasts from experts and fellow creatives doing what I’d like to do.  I would encourage you to do the same. Here’s some of what’s on my nightstand and on my podcast:

Non fiction:
In the company of women: inspiration and advice from over 100 makers, artist, and entrepreneurs. Author Grace Bonney

Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond (when I get upset, looking at the pictures and understanding the physics behind the universe puts things in perspective.)

 



Podcasts:  
The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn. (She’s gotten me to understand creative entrepreneur ship. I call her my English girl and she’s been instrumental in my writing journey)

The 21st-century creative by Mark McGuinness (I feel like this man has cracked open my head– he totally gets me! He articulates the good and the bad of being a creative and his discussion of being productive as a creative is totally what I need to hear)
Ted Radio Hour (good stuff!)
Joel Osteen (loong time listener)

Trying to create more than I consume,

A.G.

 

 

 


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Wednesday Wisdom: Stop Auditioning

 

 

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I’ve been getting a lot of advice lately. Let’s just say there are some interesting things going on in my life and lots of folks have lots to say (reminder to self: stop telling lots of folks). I was lamenting the fact that I felt dismissed, judged, and undervalued.

A mentor gave me one piece of (alarming) advice about the work place that stuck with me:

“Although unfair, everyday is an audition”.

I found two definitions of auditioning:
1-An interview at which a singer, actor, dancer, or musician demonstrates their suitability and skill.

2-A trial performance, as by an actor, dancer, or musician, to demonstrate suitability or skill.

I think we all know the first definition, but the first part of the second definition is that caught my eye.  Auditions are a trial period where it is OK to be asked to demonstrate your skills. The thing I’d like to highlight is that it’s for a limited time –hence the word  trial.

But some folks expect people to prove themselves everyday but that’s tiring! Right? Living everyday as on a trial performance is not healthy. But unfortunately, I had to agree with that sentiment. In some work circles there’s always this “thing” hanging over you about your reputation. Everything you do, say, and work you perform is always “shaping” your “reputation”. To me this means you are always auditioning, always proving.

When I mentioned this everyday auditioning advice to my hubby (he is always my sounding board and gives the best advice) he said I don’t need to buy in to that unhealthy thinking.

He said, let’s oversimplify to make a point: If you are the best cook, dancer, employee, blogger, or athlete ever and someone else shares this perspective, 50% will believe it and 50% won’t. The same is true in reverse, if someone passes along that you a horrible parent, dancer, singer, cook, there is a 50% chance that others will believe it and the other half won’t. Bottom line: there will be a group of people who believe that you are great and others who won’t, no matter what you do.

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I think of the heated conversations men have about athletes illustrates this perfectly. You can take one athlete, say LeBron James, and one person who loves him lists stats and hurdles he’s  overcome to convince others of LeBron’s greatness. But others, who know those same stats and watch the same games will disagree and call LeBron garbage. They will say he only can do what he does because of those around him (coaches and teammates) and they say he’s no good. Same athlete, same performance, very different perspectives.

So, if you are a person who cares about what folks think or even worse, thinks you can change how people perceive you, you are going through life auditioning–be it for a job or role you already have. You’ll always be trying to prove that you are worth your title.

I’m learning to focus on doing good work regardless of what others think. I will not keep auditioning for a job or a role I already have.

Changing my perspective,

A.G.