Tag Archives: fun

Mandalas and zines and doing stuff just for the FUN of it

For the past few months, I’ve been on a very serious mission to add more fun to my life.

I mean, I’m always on this mission but I’ve been taking it more seriously lately.

For me, this has involved doing things that I’ve thought about doing for a long time but just never got around to it.

Some of these activities were: camping, hiking in an old growth forest, apple picking, going to Storm King, fall foliage oogling and making things.

I love making things.

Designing, knitting, silkscreening, origami, cooking, drawing, jewelry…

There’s something special that happens when you witness your body having a direct affect on the object in front of you. Taking raw materials and utilizing your creative force to make a new thing out of it.

Something ONLY YOU can make!

One of the things I’ve thought about doing for a long time is making a zine. Like thought about since the 90s.

Zines are self-publishing at it’s finest.

And after endless requests to turn my mandalas into a coloring book, I’ve obliged!

I present to you…

This Book of Mandalas is for Coloring.

photo 2
The outside.

 

A real live, you can hold it in your hands, coloring book!

Comprised of 14 mandalas, made of black outlines, ready for COLOR to be unleashed within them, or outside them, there are no rules here.

This little booklet is imperfect and quirky and awkward and I adore it.

(You can buy one for $10 here. There are only 13 available. And that includes shipping.)

About the content: These mandalas are intuitive downloads that provide healing and clearing via encoded sacred geometric shapes when you look at them. When you color them, you are personalizing the experience to what you need to see and having your own intuitive download. It’s also very meditative, creative flow inducing and you know… fun!

 

photo 1
The inside.

 

So, the moral of this story:

Have more fun, do stuff you’ve always wanted to do and
for gosh sakes, let your inner creative anima out to prowl around
(especially the imperfect and quirky and awkward parts).

 

(PS – Creativity isn’t just for artists – we are ALL innately creative. Everything we do and say and are is creativity!)

 

Oh and buy the zine if you’d like to color!

I’ve also put together a more refined coloring book which will be available at the end of November – you can order that here. It’s $25 including shipping. And the first 20 people who order get a BONUS surprise! Might I add these would make a great holiday gift! 😉

 

Being yourself and doing what you love can change your life

I have a little story for you!

You may or may not know this, but I’ve been drawing lately… a lot.

And all this drawing has added a whole new dimension to my business.

I’m telling this story for two reasons: 

1. To share with you how finding a creative practice you love can be life altering.

2. And to show you exactly what rocking your WEIRD can do for you!

 

<3 Love letter to you and me mandala <3

 

It started in earnest last fall.

Well, technically, I’ve been drawing since I was a wee child (we all have!), took lots of art classes while I was growing up and then majored in art.

When I graduated from college, I became a graphic designer. All of my creative energy went into designing all day and I stopped making art for myself.

Over the past few years, though, I’ve been doing more consulting and less design and last fall, I started to feel like something was missing.

I wasn’t really sure what it was, but I knew that I was feeling burned out…

Being an entrepreneur is really hard sometimes!

It’s stressful to constantly be exposing yourself to the world and if you’re like me, you’re not very good at ending the work day at a reasonable hour because there’s always more you ‘could’ be doing.

So yea, burned out.

When you’re burned out, all you wanna do is chill out and relax and enjoy yourself.

It turns out it can be surprisingly difficult to relax and enjoy yourself when you feel like there’s a lot to do. The guilt monster immediately showed up, throwing all kinds of profanity in my direction.

But that was the whole reason I had gotten myself into the mess of feeling burned out in the first place.

I was also having quite a hard time remembering what I *actually* liked to do for fun!

So, I decided to go way way back in the archives… to childhood!

I knew I liked to hang out in nature… so many, many walks ensued.

And while I was walking, I found a playground and rediscovered the swings, so I added that to my list. But, it turns out that adults without kids aren’t really welcome in playgrounds anymore so… that was just sort of awkward!

I read some of my fave books as a kid.

These things were all successful at helping me call up that glorious feeling of freedom and curiosity.

And then I dug out the art supplies…

It started with a few handmade cards and some futzing around with watercolors.

I liked it because I could make whatever the heck I wanted without having to think about pleasing anyone. It was all in the name of feeling good.

Over time, I noticed that I had naturally started gravitating towards making art whenever I was feeling overwhelmed by other things in my life or feeling creatively stuck and scared in my biz. I’m pretty amazed that in a matter of a few weeks, art making had officially been inducted into my subconscious as a tool to use to take me from feeling ‘UGH’ to feeling ‘WEEEEEEE!!!!’!!!!

 

This one is about sacred geometry.

And then my friend Mariah Neeson sent me this video on how to draw a mandala.

And EVERYTHING JUST EXPLODED!

I had always been very intrigued by mandalas but was way too intimidated by their intricacy to try drawing one (it turns out it’s insanely easy!).

Suddenly I was a drawing maniac. I couldn’t WAIT to draw everyday!

And then something really interesting happened… I noticed that what I was drawing completely reflected whatever was going on inside me – whatever I was struggling with, or celebrating, emotionally or mentally ended up on the page.  Of course, I later found out that Carl Jung touted the mandala as a representation of the inner self which explained a lot.

 

Drawing as play!

 

Every time I drew a mandala, I discovered something new about myself or solved a life problem or transformed a crappy stressed out mood into a calm one… and in the rest of my life, I saw huge changes!

I started accepting and loving myself more, expressing myself more opening, I launched a passion project, I grew the ovarios needed to state what I wanted and needed, transforming several important relationships in my life and so so many other things.

So there I was… drawing my daily mandalas and loving it! (my handle is @poodlecat if you’re curious to see them – or you can look at the Instagram album on my Facebook page)

And other people were loving it, too! Any time someone would email me or call me, they’d bring up the mandalas and how much they were enjoying them. I was really surprised by just how into them people were!

So I decided to package up all the stuff I had been exploring through my daily mandalas into a drawing workshop to see if other peeps would want to experience (and re-experience) just how effing awesome drawing is!! And thus Be Drawsome! was born.

And it turns out that all kinds of people, artists and non-artists, are super excited about drawing!! WOOHOOOO!!

 

Letting go of old crap.

 

Something that’s been there all along but that I had no clue would transform me and have such an impact on the people around me. So there you have it, the 10 month process of seeking, playing, discovering and sharing a deep part of myself.

The lesson: go after what makes you feel good,
enjoy the heck out of it and share it with others.
Be your weird self and you will totally changes lives!

 

 

 

 

If you’re curious to explore drawing, would love to have you in the latest Be Drawsome! Workshop! Check it out here!

16 things to try when you aren’t getting clients

I’m not gonna sugar coat this,
IT BLOWS when the clients are nowhere to be found!

You’re worried, you’re stressed and and sadly, the easiest thing to do – getting frustrated and angry and sad – doesn’t really seem to do the trick when it comes to moving things forward.

Nope, it’s time to do some troubleshooting to figure out what the hay might be going on.

Here’s 16 things to try when business is slow and all you wanna do is help some folks and pay the bills:

1. Give up! Ok, so you don’t have to GIVE UP, give up. Just give up the struggle.

Let yourself off the hook. Get out from under all that pressure you’ve been putting on yourself to SUCCEED at the numbers game. Close the laptop, take off the headset and go do something that has NOTHING to do with work. Woo alert! When you give up, you’re getting out of your way and giving the Universe/God/Goddess (or whatever you believe in!) a chance to work some magic in your favor. Even if you don’t believe in this, just give it a chance, you might be surprised at the results!

2. Are you having FUN?! No one says to themself, ‘gee, I’d sure love to find a coach who’s miserable and hating life!’ People want to hire people who are happy and having a good time. Work fun into your daily routine.

3. Are you feeling desperate? Get yourself to a place of feeling FULL and SATISFIED. Do whatever it takes. Even if you only have three days until a bill is due, a new client could come into your life in a matter of seconds or minutes. You just never know.

4. Change your measurement of success. If your success is based on the numbers game (number of clients you’ve got or dollars in your bank account), you’re likely feeling pretty crappy about yourself when those numbers are low. The uber competitive, capitalistic, age of the individual has left us tying our worth to numbers. It doesn’t have to be that way. You get to make up your own definition of success and tell yourself whatever story you want about what it means.

5. Are you being consistent with your marketing? Consistency is so so important. People encounter so much every day, they aren’t likely to remember you unless you’re reminding them frequently that you exist and what you can do for them.

Creating content also reminds YOU what you’re all about and what you can do for people. And keeps you creative, fired up and evolving.

6. Does your business exist in your head? Sometimes, it might *feel* like you’re doing a lot of work for your biz because it’s always on your mind, BUT, if that’s the only place it is, nobody knows about it! If you’re always contemplating your ideas, or running them by people for feedback, but never taking action to make them real, it only exists in your head.

Get those ideas OUT of your head!

7. Are you embarrassed to send people to your website or sales page? Do you hate the name of your program so much you never want to say it? Do you have a hard time talking about what you do? This WILL create a huge block in the flow of your biz! If you hate what you have out there or clam up whenever someone asks what you do, and secretly don’t want anyone to see it or ask about it, then they won’t. It’s that simple.

Love all the pieces of your biz and yell about it from rooftops! People get excited when you’re excited!  <– click to tweet it!

If you can’t do this, you need to take a look at whether you’re *actually* into what you’re doing.

8. Do people understand the value of what you’re offering? Do they get what you can do for them and what’s in it for them? If people don’t get how what you can do for them will make their lives more awesome, they aren’t going to invest in it.

9. Are you barking up the wrong tree? People buy what they WANT, but not necessarily what they NEED. And, they have to be ready for it. If someone says no or not now, move along and find people who are ready for what you can do for them. Get off the crusade of trying to convince people they need it. They very well might but you can’t force them into it.

10. Are you being the person your clients need to be in order to by your thing? Our clients mirror us. So, if people aren’t buying, for instance, take a look at your headspace and actions to see if you’re exhibiting this same behavior.

Are you holding back in some way and not wanting to confront a personal demon? Are you sitting on decisions or telling yourself you can’t afford something? Are you worrying that hiring someone won’t help you with what you need?

All of these thought patterns will attract other people with the same ones. Take the risk or leap you want your potential clients to make.

11. Are you hiding? Are you saying what you want and how you want to say it? Do you have pictures of yourself on your site? People buy when they feel connected. They want to see your face and hear your personal story.

If you said ‘yes, Mara, I am’ to this one. Ask yourself again – AM I REALLY BEING MY WEIRD SELF?!! Take a risk, I promise people will NATURALLY be drawn to you when you’re being your self, no matter how WHACKY that is!

12. Is the language you’re using approachable and understandable? Write how you speak and use words and phrases your clients ACTUALLY use to describe their woes. People will be all – YES! THAT’S SO ME!! Stay away from generic jargon that everyone uses but can mean different things to different people. Step into your power… become your authentic self… you get the idea 🙂 Get original and honest with your copy!

13. Is there a tricky mindset at play? Will having more money or more clients be in direct conflict with a hidden belief you’re hardboring? Here’s two I’ve uncovered in the past year:

  • Having more money would mean I would have to make decisions about certain things in my life. Decisions I didn’t want to have to make. So, keeping myself broke was keeping me from having to make those decisions! Convenient, right?!
  • Having more clients would mean being responsible for people and potentially letting them down.

Ask yourself: Who would I have to be to make money? What would having money mean?

14. Work on your money story! There’s so much packed into this one. We all have a past with money that dates back way farther than we can remember. Do some work to help you dig that up and get to know what’s going on there.

If you’re broke and always telling yourself you can’t afford things, you will continue down that path unless you change something. Try making a tiny shift in how you look at money. ie – Pay your bills with gratitude and appreciation by making a list of all the things this service enabled you to do. Or, look at not buying something as a choice rather than because you can’t afford it. It’s likely that you could sacrifice your rent to pay for something you wanted but you would rather have a home than a $500 pair of boots. That’s a choice! Feel empowered by your priorities instead of controlled by them.

15. Get rid of something! I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘nature abhors a vacuum’ – well, that shit is damn true! Try it out and watch what happens. It doesn’t really matter what it is… actual stuff, using a gift certificate you’ve been saving, cleaning out the fridge. Just do something and get it off your to do list. This creates flow where things are blocked.

Just be aware of what’s coming your way. Sometimes we’ll get sent something we don’t want as a test to see how committed we are to our true goals. Stay strong and hold out for the thing you really want!

16. Do you really want to be doing this? Are you really actually excited about it?! Get prepared for this one because the answer might be NO. And that’s OK.

What would you rather be doing instead? Is it a different offer or whole other business altogether? Be honest with yourself. Even if you don’t know how to make the switch right now, you will figure it out. You totally deserve to be doing something you love and getting to be YOUR WEIRD SELF. Believe it.

Tell me, which one(s) resonated the most with you? Do you have any specific things you like to do when you’re feeling all blocked up in the client area?

gimmespace!


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How to be successful at everything you do

According to the dictionary, SUCCESS is ‘a favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence (a position of prominence or superiority).’

And it’s synonymous with blockbuster, megahit, smash, hit, supernova and winner. The antonyms, of course, being dud, flop, misfire, turkey, lemon and fizzle.

No wonder so many of us are walking around feeling like losers.

Our definition of ‘success’ has been set to mean… whatever you did made a big splash. Got you loads of money. Or fame. Or power.

But what if it made no splash at all? By this definition, that makes it a failure?

I don’t like that one bit!

I don’t like my ability to feel good about what I’m doing tied to forces out of my control.

Do you?

The thing is… we have control over VERY FEW things. Pretty much just our actions
and reactions.

We can’t control other people and we can’t control outcomes of what we do. This puts ‘success as a favorable or desired outcome’ completely out of our control.

So what can we do?

It’s really very simple: change the way we measure success.

(Yes, we are totally allowed to set our own definition of success.)

I mean, who made up this definition anyway?

Just other people in another time.

A time when wealth and fame and power were the ultimate reward.

I don’t think that’s so relevant anymore.

What if we bump SUCCESS back a notch and instead of waiting around to see the outcome… we mark the effort as success?

A few weeks ago, I decided to stop measuring the success of my biz by the number of paying clients I have and instead measure it by the amount of FUN I’m having everyday.

In the end, we just wanna feel good 🙂

And lemme tell ya, I’ve become WILDLY SUCCESSFUL at nearly everything I do!

So, if you were to change the way you measured success… what would be your new unit of measurement? Would you instantly become wildly successful?

Would knowing you’ll always be successful change what you’d go after in life and biz?


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