Pretty Blue Rose

life musings and inspiration


Leave a comment

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.

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Wednesday Wisdom: Stop Auditioning

 

 

photographer-234907_1280

 

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.

basketball-2258650_1920

 

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.

 

 


Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

 

No this is not our table.

No we haven’t really started cooking yet.

No I have not started any sort of Christmas shopping or planning.

Yes, I forgot  it was Wednesday and I needed to post.

Yes, I am behind on my National Novel Writing Month words.

Yes, I feel both books  I am writing suck at this point.

Yes, I blew my diet a few days early (Just on thanksgiving I told myself)

Yes, I checked work emails and got annoyed.

Sound like anyone’s internal dialogue? (Well not you happy all-the-time optimists, but the rest of us.)

 

But reality is what I perceive it to be, and I can change it at any moment:

 

I woke up this morning.

I have enough creativity and courage to write books.

I can revise my first drafts, they are supposed to suck.

I have food to eat.

I have a healthy family surrounding me.

I am warm and safe and loved.

I have a steady income.

Try to take just a few moments to look around and say thanks. These times of year can be challenging for everyone for various reasons. But keep it simple and enjoy the little things, not everyone has the basics this year.

 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

A.G.

 

 

 

 

 


4 Comments

Wednesday Wisdom: Just fugget about it!


Our thoughts are like a tape recorder playing the things we’ve experienced, some things we haven’t–all shaping our perceptions of life.  Unfortunately, the tape recorder tends to be a bit on the negative side…

Focusing on the one reason it will work, when you are over-thinking, over-analyzing, or doubting yourself…keeps you moving forward. Find that one reason to move forward and the rest will fall in to place. I promise!

Recently I heard an entrepreneur say that if a new project, product, or business venture is at a “C” (on the grade scale of A to F) then he moves forward. I was utterly shocked at first, but then I understood the psychology behind his rule. Well meaning people generally like things to be very close to an “A” before they launch something new, but the reality is nothing gets done that way. For a perfectionist like me, it’s freeing to finally be allowed to do “C” work!

What do you need to stop perfecting and just move forward with?  I encourage you to just go!

 

Stay inspired, enjoy life, and move forward!

 

 


5 Comments

Wednesday Wisdom: Choose Your Own Adventure

Does anyone remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books?

 

File:Cave of time.jpg

Each story is written from a second-person point of view, with the reader assuming the role of the protagonist which  allows you to make choices that determine the main character’s actions in response to the plot and its outcome.

I  loved those books so much as a child and I recently got back into reading them as an adult. I think I like them even more now because these books give me the opportunity to think through strategies for next steps, observe how my choices played out, and learn lessons from my choices in a totally painless way (even if I die in the book). If I make a “mistake” I can back track and undo my mistake in order to progress through the story. I always “win”!

Although Choose Your Own Adventure books are great for strategizing and learning lessons from mistakes, in real life we must remember to move forward even if we don’t know how everything will play out.

There are a few things I am working on that honestly, I have no idea how they will turn out. I am not sure if they will be a waste of time, but I am going to push on away. I wish I had the luxury of seeing how things will play out and then if I don’t like what I see, I can backtrack and choose another adventure–one that gives me the outcome I want. But that’s not how life works. We must keep going, making midcourse corrections along the way.

So, let’s be grateful we can choose our own adventure, but we should see the dead ends and mistakes as a sign we are stepping outside of our comfort zone—it means  we are truly living.

Enjoy the adventure.

A.G.

 

 


Leave a comment

Wednesday Wisdom: Don’t wait until 2018…

Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, flinging themselves from tree branches, jumping around, and chattering nonstop. He meant that our minds are in constant motion,  “unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable.”

Um… yes, that’s me! As a creative person in particular, I can have quite the monkey mind. In addition to day to day of life, I also have ideas constantly flowing in and out of my head. And then on top of that,  I try to grab on to those ideas in the moment so I don’t forget them. How do you gather up and then execute umping/flinging ideas? Not a good recipe for success.

So… in addition to meditation, I decided to get a planner. Not just any planner, (because I’ve used planners before when I was suuuper type A) but this time I bought a super trendy (and expensive) customizable planner from Erin Condren, some of you may have seen it on my Instagram, if not here it is:

 

IMG_1968                                                        IMG_1969

 

IMG_1967
The version I selected has three vertical sections. While some people divide the sections into morning, afternoon, and evening,  I decided to divide my sections into Home, Dance (which includes teaching), and Writing/creative entrepreneurship. (I am pretty pleased my planner has nothing has to do with work 🙂 My day job has its own lengthy and never ending to-do list, but those tasks stay on their own notepad.)

After playing around with this planner for a little, I realized it was causing me to think about and plan for 2018, which is a great thing. It is very exciting and sexy to start thinking of new goals in January, but why don’t we start planning now? Think about the things you want for next year like health or business-related goals, and start to plan for them now. Start to put things in place now so come January 2018 you are continuing on what you started rather than getting started on something new with everyone else. I am already planning for and researching things I plan to do in 2019.

Getting started now,

A.G.


Leave a comment

Wednesday Wisdom: Keep Dancing!

A few weekends ago,  I was asked to teach a dance class for a birthday party. I got a play list, worked on the choreography for a few weeks, and then got to teach it to almost 20 kids (and some moms) for 90 minutes.

This WW (really Thursday, I know) is short. Keep doing what you love. It’s never too late. Keep dancing, keep creating, and keep going. Eventually, your vision will come into focus.

still dancing,

A.G.

 

 

IMG_1778   IMG_1777IMG_1775      IMG_1776