Monday, November 17, 2014

Positive Affirmations

Our inner self-talk determines how we look at the possibilities in our world.   When we purposefully create positive affirmations we increase self-esteem.  To create healthier self-esteem we need to change our inner self-talk.  Positive affirmations are nothing more than messages we say over and over to ourselves until our mind, body and spirit accept the new message.   Here are a few guidelines in creating positive affirmations.

The affirmation must be positive.  I know some of you are thinking “duh” but when working with clients you would be surprised how often self-limiting thoughts creep up.

The intent of the affirmation must be based in love and light.  Some of us are so entrenched in our negative thoughts we don’t even realize it.

The affirmation must be said with conviction.  If you don’t believe the affirmation just keep saying it until it becomes real for you.  When I stopped smoking my affirmation was "I feel the joy of being a non-smoker".   At first, when I said the affirmation I would laugh out loud.  I could not see the joy of giving up cigarettes.   But I kept repeating my affirmation with conviction and within 21 days I stopped smoking and felt the joy of being a non-smoker.

The affirmation must be said in the present tense.  It’s all about the power of now!

The affirmation must be possible.  This is the tricky part of any affirmation.  Is it possible to walk again after a spinal cord injury?  Yes.  Remember, there is a fine line between miracles and acceptance.

The affirmation must be personal.  You cannot control others.  So, an affirmation that your son has moved out (present tense) might not work.

The affirmation must be said or written 10 times a day for 21 days.  Yep, it has to sink into your beautiful brain.

So how do you know what affirmation to work on first to build self-esteem?  Well, that is simple.  You will need a piece of paper, pen and a mirror.  Look in the mirror and write down everything negative you see.  The reason I suggest this is because we are wired to see the negative.  Yep, we can spot the negatives quicker than Sherman burned Atlanta.

I am holding my mirror and here is what I see that is negative:  wrinkles, age spots and grey hairs.  Just so you know we are harder on ourselves than anyone else.  In other words, most people would need to hold me down and look for a grey hair before they found one.  Next, write down the words you associate with what you see in the mirror.  My words are old and ugly.  Now, it is time for some magic.  Think opposites.  The opposite of old and ugly is young and beautiful.  If your inner voice gives you a tug and screams the opposites are not true then you know you are on the right track.  Now, it is time for some positive affirmations that build your self-esteem.

I am aging gracefully.
I am young at heart and beautiful.
Grey is the new blond.

These new thoughts feel much better in my soul than old, ugly and wrinkly.  And you know what?  I get to choose my thoughts.  So do you.   
 
Play Well and visit me at www.kimbalivesay.com
 

Fixing

Every personality test I have taken revels one consist trait.  I can fix just about anything.  As a child the adults in my life recognized this incredible gift but would dismiss it because I was a girl.  I will admit being raised in a Southern household my mother was a wee bit perplexed on how her daughter could re-wire an electrical fan, fix broken radios, TV’s, dishwashers and even cars.  I have always known how to fix stuff.  I believe fixing stuff requires a creative spirit.  You have to be willing to try all kinds of new approaches for the fixing to happen. 

Now, as a life coach I can’t fix people.  That would suggest that my clients are “broken” and I believe that very few people are broken.  I might have clients that are bent but bent and broken are not the same thing.  I also believe that no one can fix your problems and challenges except for you.  I would also suggest that sometimes what we perceive needs to be fixed doesn’t.  It is in your life to teach you and to grow you.  It might suck but it is part of your path. 

How does all this help my clients?  First, I help bring clarity to the situation.  I can help you figure out what really needs to be fixed and what doesn’t.  Second, I partner with you to brainstorm ideas on how to fix the problem or challenge.  Third, I bring creativity to the table so that we can look at all kinds of new approaches for the fixing to happen.

So, what do you need to fix?  What could be better in your life? 

Play Well,
Kimba

Monday, November 10, 2014

Creative Chaos

I am a creativity coach who works with people who are VERY creative and resourceful.  That doesn’t mean that the creative process comes easily for them or even for me.  Why?  Because we don’t embrace or plan for creative chaos.  You know creative chaos….roadblocks, things not working out, can’t get the project out of the mind and into the world.  This is how we think our creative project will go.  The process will smoothly go from A to B. 

 



Sure.  We expect a little bumpiness in the process.  But for the most part we think it will be linear.  We will start, create and finish our project.  I am a lifelong artist and magical creator and even I get sucked up in the linear trap.  I think that this creative project will somehow be magically different.  It won’t take me very long to go from point A to point B and whip out my Picasso inspired painting.  But in reality, this is what happens.
 

And it happens every single time.  Like a lot of creative people I get frustrated, cranky, petty and can pitch a fit better than a toddler.  It’s hard.  Why?  Why?  Why?  Because creative chaos is a major player in the creative process.  Here are three things I have learned about creative chaos.

1. DON’T fight the Chaos.  It might sounds counterproductive, but when we fight the chaos we lose our creative edge.  Because the chaos also brings the opportunity for lots and lots of possibilities and connections.  That is what creativity is all about….possibilities and connections.

2. The Chaos is creativity in action.  I would go as far to say that if you are not experiencing creative chaos you are not flowing in the creative process.  That’s right.  It’s not even creativity.

3. Chaos is your friend.  Let’s say you are mixing paint for the perfect red for that Picasso inspired painting but it just keeps coming up all wrong.  You have been after that perfect red paint for two hours.  You can become frustrated and cranky or you can embrace the chaos and remember what Picasso said “When I haven’t any red I use blue” and then wow you already have the perfect blue and it just glides on the canvas like it was always meant to be there.  Yep, Chaos did that!

So, the next time you set out to use your creative magical powers….plan for a little chaos.  Just knowing it will happen takes the pressure off and allows you to get into the creative flow.
 
Play Well!
Kimba

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mind Maps


One of my very favorite tools to use in my coaching practice is MIND MAPS.  I love them!  A mind map can help a client visualize where they need to go and how to get there.  A mind map is a diagram that visually organizes thoughts.  A goal or concept is placed in the middle of the page and words or images are added around the original concept.



Anyone can create a mind map.  You can draw your own and use images from magazines or you can use mind mapping software to create a mind map.  Two of my favorite mind mapping software programs are Popplet and iThoughts.

So, why in the world would one want to create a mind map?  Mind maps tap into our visual and creative side.  All too often plans are written with just words.  Because mind maps use words and creativity they open us to new connections and thoughts.  I like use mind maps for clients who are working on a goal.  I ask them to write the goal in the middle of the page.  For example, A New Job.  Then I ask them to write every idea or image that pops into their head.  Before long we have a mind map!  From there together we figure out what “lights up” for the client and we create action steps.  It really is a wonderful tool that can help you get on track.  

So, if you have never tired mind mapping give it a try the next time you have a project.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Micro Movements of Change


If you take a moment and look around you will notice that autumn has been busy.  What was once green and brightly colored has now tuned shades of yellow, orange and brown.  It might seem as if this change happened over night….but it didn’t.  Change doesn’t work that way.

Clients hire me to help them change.  Maybe they want to change careers, partners, weight, bad habits….but change is what they seek.  AND they want that change now.  But that is not how change works.  Just like the leaves of autumn…meaningful change happens with constant small micro movements.
Did you notice the word meaningful?  Yep.  There are some things you can change very quickly.  For example, your hair color, the television channel or your clothes.  Sometimes these little changes can have meaning but I am talking about BIG change.  Big change comes one small step at a time.  Let’s look at weight loss as an example.

I have clients who want to lose weight.  Some of them want to lose a lot of weight….fast.  These are the clients looking for the magic pill or eat cabbage soup for two weeks.  The truth is there is nothing wrong with that.  What happens is that they want to bypass the process of change and so the magic pill or the cabbage soup becomes a disappointment.  I tell clients it took days, weeks, months and even years to gain weight.  Well, you guessed it… it takes days, weeks, months and even years to lose the weight.

The first step for change is not eating less.  The first step is becoming aware of your thoughts around food.  This is a crucial step.  What is eating you?  Why do you want to lose weight?  How does it benefit you?  What does healthy food look like?  How can you make it work in your life?

The second step for change is a doable plan that uses constant small micro movement that inches you forward towards your goal.  Very few people can overhaul a life time of bad eating habits and lack of exercise overnight and start losing 10 pounds a week.  And those that do usually gain it right back within a year….along with a few new found pounds. 

The first micro movement in the plan is to breathe.  I know that might sound wacky but I have clients that really did not breathe until they started working with me.  Deep breathes that fill our bodies with oxygen are needed.  When we breathe we connect to our bodies.

The second micro movement is to purchase or make a journal.  I love journaling.  I teach my clients a special way to journal that feels freeing and light….even to those who don’t like to journal.  The journal is your written testament of your changing body.

The third micro movement might be to LOOK at the different fresh vegetables at the supermarket.  That’s right…just window shop.

It is in these tiny micro movements that change begins to happen.  This kind of change is a life skill that will last a life time.  Once you go through the process you will change from the inside out….just like the leaves of autumn.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Can't Draw


When I mention that I am a creativity coach and work with creative tools to increase creative intelligence 80% of people respond my saying “I can’t draw” and then dismiss anything else I might have to say. 

I am currently offering a funky and fun creative play journaling class.  The four week class will teach women how to start using their creativity muscle to build creative intelligence.  Four weeks of fun exercises and connection with others.  As I have promoted the class I have received several e-mails back and you will never guess what they say.  Yep, “I can’t draw” and so I can’t participate. 

I find this sad and yet I am curious when creativity and drawing became synonyms for each other.  I suspect our educational system as something to do with it.  I believe our schools kill the creative process and it has nothing to do with drawing or art classes.  For more information watch Sir Ken Robins Ted Talk on schools and creativity.
The truth is that creativity and drawing really don’t have a lot to do with each other.  Creativity is this wonderful and magical process of creating new ideas, new awareness and new connections.  Drawing your cat or a bowl of fruit is replicating an image.  The way you draw can be creative but not necessarily.  So for the record, DRAWING IS NOT CREATIVITY.

We need creativity in our lives.  We need it in our schools.  We need it in our homes.  We need it at work.  Why?  Because it helps evolve our critical thinking skills for problems solving.  It helps us create a better life.  It helps us create meaning and purpose.  When you leave this world all that will be left is what you created.

So, I invite you to start building your creative muscle by participating in my journaling class.  Our club house will be online at Facebook.  If you can sort of draw a square, line, circle and triangle then you have all the skills you need. 

Here are the class details!
Here is what we will do in our Facebook Club House
  • Week One Theme:  Building Confidence through Permission Slips
  • Week Two Theme:  Taming your Perfectionist Gremlin
  • Week Three Theme:   The ENOUMOUS Benefits of Doodling
  • Week Four Theme:  Moving in Color
The class will start with a one hour conference call on Thursday May 8th at 4:00 PST/7:00 EST.  The call will be recorded so don't worry if you can't make it.   
Registration is only $25.00 for this four week class.  


****Please Select May 8th on the Scheduling Page*****

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Creative Play Journaling Class for Women




May 8th-29th

Creative Play Journaling is a fun, festive and playful four week class that offers women the opportunity to build their Creative Intelligence.  Participants create artful journals with colors, images, words, poetry, tape, stamps and stickers.  The class offers creative confidence, support, coaching tools, buddies and journal projects.

The group will meet daily on Facebook for journal projects and the opportunity to connect with others.  We will have a one hour conference call on Thursday May 8th at 4:00 PST and 7:00 EST.  The call will be recorded so don’t worry if you can’t make it!

Registration is only $25.00 for this four week class.  Sign up today to guarantee your spot!


****Please Select May 8th on the Scheduling Page*****

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Arena

In France on April 23, 1910 Theodore Roosevelt gave “The Man in the Arena” speech.  Here is a portion of that speech.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood.

We can all be a critic.  But Teddy nailed it didn’t he?  It is not the critic who counts.  Those of us who are critical and judgmental just don’t count.  The one who counts is the one in the Arena.  The one who is Doing something.
 
Years ago I had several pieces at an art show.  I was standing back away from my art booth and watched a man point to my Penny’s from Heaven Painting and said “Hell, I could do that” as he laughed.  So I walked up behind him and said “I would love to see you try!  I have some extra supplies here.  Let’s see what you can do.”  He started using ugly words and walked away.  Why?  Because I challenged him to do something.  It is not the critic that counts but the women who is actually in the arena painting out her heart and soul.

How about you?  Have you written, painted, or built something that you are afraid to share?  Afraid of what others might say?  Afraid of being criticized? Criticism kills creativity because we are vulnerable to what people think of our creative process. 

So, what can you do?  Give yourself credit!  Credit that you stepped into the Creative Arena.  Yes, you might fumble and stumble but give yourself credit for getting up and standing in that arena.  I promise giving yourself credit will make you feel strong and the critic (including the inner critic) will shut the hell up.

AND the next time you feel the need to criticize someone ask yourself this question “who is in the arena?

Monday, March 17, 2014

The One Student

I have been training activity professionals for over 20 years in holistic activity programming.  I have online classes in aromatherapy, art and music.  I also have traveled across the country offering workshops, classes and keynotes.  I love offering programs to activity professionals.  As any good trainer/teacher knows evaluations are important.  They are a useful tool in what worked and what could have been better.  For those of us who are perfectionists (I am in recovery) they can also be devastating.  Why?  Because we put our heart and soul into something and we get one unkind evaluation.  Did you notice the word one?  Yes, you can have one hundred students and ninety-nine of those students loved your workshop and then there is the one student to point out a flaw.  I am not the only one that will pause and focus on the one student.  My colleagues tell me they do the same.  And at the end of the day it makes us just as annoying as the one student.  Let me explain.

If I have done my best then that is all I can do.  So why focus on the one student?  Because they called attention to a flaw…my flaw.  Yesterday I had a student get rather pissy on her evaluation because I misspelled a word.  She was the one student.  Now, at the beginning of each class I tell students that I am not perfect and that my classes will contain errors and I am ok with that.  BUT some people are drawn to the negative.  They are the ones always looking for what is wrong instead of what is right.  AND as the teacher/trainer I too am guilty of this because I went straight to the evaluation that was negative instead of focusing on all the wonderful things the other ninety-nine students said.  The difference is that I did stop myself and say “It’s ok Kimba.  You have dyslexia and you do an amazing job at putting words together and the people you hire to proof make mistakes too”.  And with that I started reading the other ninety-nine evaluations.  

So, if you are teacher/trainer focus on what is going right and how you can be better at your job.  For those of you who complete evaluations think of what could really be helpful to the person you are evaluating.  And last, those of you who like to tear people down because you can hide behind an anonymous evaluation….we know who you are and we are not going to give you a second thought.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Creativity is an Action Verb

When I talk to clients or lead classes I am not always able to give a clear definition of creativity.  I know it when I see it.  Webster’s defines creativity as:  cre·a·tiv·i·ty (noun) the ability to make new things or think of new ideas.  Yes, that is a basic definition for creativity.  However, I find creativity to be more than just new things or new ideas.  First, it is an action verb that encompasses innovation, originality, improvement, progression and imagination ALL wrapped in the Creative Flow.  Here’s the deal though, creativity comes in ways that we don’t even realize.  Let’s use the common pen as an example.




This is what our Neanderthal relatives drew symbols with.  Yep, it is a stick.  I image one day someone picked up a stick and started making symbols in the dirt.  However, that someone had the innovative, original and progressive idea to PICK UP the stick.  It might not seem like much but that is creativity in action.  Later our ancient relatives would wrap a stone on the end of the stick.  Hunting and writing all in one.
When you think about the progression of the simple pen you began to see innovation and creativity in motion.








Did you notice the shirt with the pocket?  Yep, that was invented to hold your pen.  Someone had the idea to add a pocket to hold a pen.  That is creativity in action.  Now, if you look around your world you will probably notice all kinds of pens.  Colored pens, gel pens, pens with sticky tabs and the pen that is probably the most innovative of all.  The stylus for the tablet.  Creativity will continue to change the "pen" and one can only imagine what it will look like 500 years from now.





The whole point of this blog (hahahhaha get it? point?) is to convey to you that creativity is an action verb AND that we use creativity all the time.  Creativity is NOT just about writing a poem or painting sunflowers.  Creativity is an energy that each of us is born with.  As I have said a gazillion times if the Creator created us in their image then we too are creators.  Creativity is your birth right and when you use it as a verb it can transform your life.  I help women cultivate creativity.  Cool uh?  For more information visit my website at www.kimbalivesay.com

  

Monday, February 17, 2014

You Are Never to Old to Create

A few years ago I worked as the director of program development for an assisted living company.  One day Henry, a 98 year old dashing gentlemen who lived at one of our communities called and asked if we could schedule an appointment.  A couple of weeks later we are sitting in the community dining room drinking coffee.  I am ready to hear his complaint.  You see, I assumed that is why we were meeting.  He looked at me and said “I think you believe in dreams and I need your help.”  Ok this was new approach.  In front of him was a folder.  He pushed it over to me and said “I just finished writing this symphony and before I die I want to hear it played by an orchestra.  Will you help me?”  I sat there in amazement, “Yes, I will help you” and that is exactly what I did.  I contacted the local junior college music department and four weeks later we had a symphony at the community.  Henry and his friends heard his music.   

You might be thinking, ok that is nice, but was it good?  Was the symphony good?  I really don’t think that matters.  Henry could barely hear and see and yet he spent years writing his notes and humming his symphony.  I think that is pretty good for a 98 year old.  But those of you who believe that the outcome is more important than the journey I will tell you his symphony was beautiful.

Each and every one of us has a creative soul.  If our creator is creative and we are in the image of our creator….well then we are creative.  It may take us a while to finally explore our creative passion as it was for Henry but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Every once in a while I will work with a client who thinks they are too old.  I smile and think of Henry EVERY single time.  Yes, age can slow us down but that is no excuse to NOT to do it.

When Henry said “before I die” those words lodged in my brain.  Every day I let my creativity out to play.  I don’t want to get to the end and think about all the creativity projects I want to do before I die.  What is your creative dream?  What are you waiting for?  

Monday, February 10, 2014

You Do It Wrong

Several years ago I decided to take a beginning Tai Chi Class at a local church.  The class was free and gave me something fun to do with friends on a Tuesday night.  The Tai Chi instructor, Mrs. Wang appeared to be a sweet middle aged Chinese woman.  At the beginning of the class she lined up “the regulars” at the front of the class and the newbies in the back of the class.  The newbies were instructed to follow those in front.   Mrs. Wang starts the music on her portable tape player and begins the Tai Chi movements.  I along with other newbies start following along.  Suddenly the music stops like we are playing a game of musical chairs and Mrs. Wang walks very quickly to the back of the room.  She glares at us newbies and screams “you do it wrong” and then marches back to the front of the class and re-starts the music.  Within a minute the music stops and Mrs. Wang makes her way to the back of the room and “you do it wrong” comes flying at us again.  Mrs. Wang marches back up front and within a minute the whole “you do it wrong” starts again.  By the sixth time I was finished.  I left the lineup and sat down to put my shoes on.  Mrs. Wang stops the music comes to where I am and says “you do it wrong” and as I try to explain to her that I don’t know how to “do it” her face softened with confusion.

I am not a fan of the word “wrong” because it comes from a place of judgment and judgments have roots in perfectionism.  Now, I am not talking about morality issues because there are some actions that are wrong.  Nope, I am talking about “the wrongs” we perceive in our everyday lives.  You can always spot a perfectionist because they use “right” and “wrong” language and they try to bend everyone to their way of thinking.  For the perfectionist there is only black and white with no shades of gray.  Mrs. Wang was a perfectionist with unreasonable expectations.  Expectations is the kissing cousin of perfectionism.

Now I would like for you to understand that if Mrs. Wang had been screaming “you do it right” I would have had the same reaction.  I am not a fan of the word “right” either because it too comes from a place of judgment with scattered roots in perfectionism and expectations.

Now here is the rub, perfectionism, expectations and right or wrong thinking kills creativity.  Creativity must contain options for growth and expansion.  So if you are trying to create the perfect business or the perfect dance or the perfect sketch or the perfect poem you will fail before you even start.   Because I know as a creativity coach most perfectionist won’t even be able to start because of fear.  Fear it won’t be perfect, fear it will be wrong, fear of failure.  At the end of the day perfectionism and expectations rob us of our joy.

As for Mrs. Wang she was asked not to lead anymore Tai Chi classes.  I find that incredibly sad because she did have a passion for Tai Chi.  You could see the joy on her face for a few seconds before she stopped the music.  Her drive for perfectionism and high expectations of others took her Tai Chi teaching away.

P.S. this blog post is not perfect and that is OK!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How Color Influences Your World

In Creative Play Coaching I encourage my clients to use color.  Why?  Because color has a powerful influence in our lives.  The colors we like and dislike can offer insight into our unique personalities.  Let’s Play!  Grab a piece of paper and a pen.  Think of your favorite color.  If you have two or more favorite colors then choose one.  Now, write down five words that YOU think describe that color.  For example, if your favorite color is yellow, you could write bright, cheerful, encouraging, energetic, and happy.  Now, here is the fun part.  The words that you use to describe your favorite color can also be used to describe you.
Chromotherapist or Color Therapist associate colors with different meanings and treatments.

The following is a list of colors and their basic meanings:
BLACK is sophistica­tion, mourning, evil, anger, and strength.
BLUE is calm, peace, quiet, truth, wisdom, loy­alty, and the spirit.
RED is physical energy, mischief, love, passion, valor, fire, and wrath.
GREEN is healing, learning, growth, life, hope, and brilliance.
ORANGE is energy, endurance, and physical strength.
PURPLE is royalty the inner royalty of each of us and the outer royalty of the divine.
YELLOW is the mind, joy, purity, clarity, and hap­piness.

Fantastic!  Now how do we use this knowledge in our everyday lives?  You already use it whether you know it or not.  McDonald's uses the colors red and yellow.   The colors red and yellow increase our energy.  We eat more and we eat quickly.  Yea, McDonald’s knows this too.

How can you use color in the home?  A red bedroom is great for passion but a blue one will help you sleep better.  How can you use color for your personal appearance?  If you need to feel powerful you should wear______?  Yep, red is your power color.  If you want to project the image of wisdom and peace you should wear______?  Blue.  What colors does the Dalai Lama wear?  How about a priest?  Interesting uh?  If you are trying to lose weight red and yellow plates are out.  You will eat less by using a blue or green plate.  A relaxing reading room should be blue or green.

This color stuff is a lot of fun uh?  So, take some time and look around your home, place of work and even your car.  How is color influencing your life?