ALL IN THE BALANCE...

So I know. I realize it's been a while since my last post. The balancing act sometimes has its own timetable and I have been trying to roll with it. Sometimes up and sometimes down but still rollin!

I can't believe it was 2012 that I published my first book, Not So Black and White! The time has flown!! It's been full and fun, rewarding, and fulfilling.

I've had so many incredible opportunities, a whale's share of personal challenges, and some struggle with regaining my balance through it all. However, being a Libra it is all about finding the balance so that's no new project for me. I go through periods when I question my purpose, my ability, and even my needs. At times it can all lead to a jumbled mess. My father used to always say, "Your work will save you." The older I get, the more relevant and true this becomes. I feel more and more that despite personal things turning upside-down in my life, if I can hook into the work I will find myself back to where I need to be. Perhaps this is working outside in and maybe my way back to balance will change again. In fact, I'm quite sure it will but for now I look to what will pull me back to the table; get me busy with something worthwhile and with a creative challenge that gets me off of myself. And it's interesting how things show up when you allow them/"it" to do so. 

I recently heard from my mother. For those who don't know my story, I have been estranged from my mother for most of my life, but every now and then she will make a cameo appearance. I would like to say that these cameos are positive and encouraging but not usually the case. This recent one actually didn't have it's impossible effect on me, but on my eldest daughter. I had not anticipated this. It was very difficult to watch and know: that my mother's disappointing reach now extended to the next generation. But here's where the good part comes in. Out of this emotionally challenging event came an inspiration to do something to counter it all in some way. Enter...next book idea.

Out of the tears was born a project to create with my daughters. A book that we would work on collaboratively and publish together in celebration of our mother/daughter experience. A beautiful book filled with inspiration, empowerment, positive anecdotes, and gorgeous photographs! The idea was actually offered to me, probably a year ago, by my friend Katrina Fontenot. She kept bringing it up and I thought 'yeah, it's interesting' but it didn't really hit me in the right way at that time. Then all of a sudden after the fallout from my mother calling and her effect, it became very clear that now is the time to write that mother/daughter book! And though it is from the perspective (along with my daughter's voices) of a mother who didn't have a mother around (me), the purpose lies in the patterns that have been changed for the better. I get to celebrate what I've done right with my children and share their beautiful spirits with the world!

Currently, I continue to work through some ongoing personal stuff that needs resolution, but I have a stronger conviction that I can get on the other side of it and regain my balance having embraced the new work before me. And what better healing medicine than to create that with my two incredible children!

I am reminded once again that if I hang in there long enough, the balance will find me and the work will lead me home.

 

 

 

3 TIPS TO KEEP THE CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING

1.  SURROUND YOURSELF with a ALL things creative. If you're a writer you need to write but you also need to read! It isn't easy I know because I struggle with this myself. Having two children under college age and a very busy traveling husband makes the element of TIME a constant challenge. However, it's a challenge worth making time for. If you're a dancer you must go to class and dance but you also need to experience what other dancers are doing. You must continually expose yourself to the larger creative world around you. When was the last time to visited a museum, went to hear a symphony, see a play or musical or walk into an art gallery? Try making a commitment to do one of these things once a week or even once a month! And there are a lot of things to do that are free or at a nominal cost, you just have to do a little research and sniff it out. Inspiration begets inspiration but it doesn't always show up at your front door. Go to it!

2.  THERE'S A REASON THEY'RE called "masters". Rembrandt, Tchaikovsky, Ellington, Shakespeare, and Ella were masters of their craft. We don't hear the word "craft" referred to so much anymore but guess what, the commitment that's needed to be the best at what you do hasn't changed. To be the best blogger, PR maven, or self-published author doesn't just happen. I still have moments when I want to just close my eyes, spin around three times, and wish for instant success but  then I open my eyes, sit down to do the work, post, and tweet. Did I mention "work"? The work is the only thing. Although it seems that international beauty guru Bethany Mota woke up one day and became an overnight sensation, don't be fooled. I guarantee you any amount of money that she'll tell you a story about making endless videos all by herself in her bedroom, for quite awhile before anyone even noticed her. But she did her work and she never gave up. The masters are tireless in their approach to the work. Find the individuals around you whom you most admire. who have been the most successful, and inspire you. Forget all of the people who only talk about what they want to do. Instead, attach yourself to those who are DOING IT or have done it. There are no shortcuts to greatness. The magic is work, work, work.

LEAVE YOUR COMFORT zone, by any means necessary!

It's so easy to coast, to meander, stay comfy, and cozy. Like Steven Pressfield talks about in his book The War of Art, Resistance is chomping at the bit and waiting for you to stay safe, cave in and give up. Do not go quietly but fight that urge to remain comfortable and complacent with everything you've got! It IS easier said than done but it is dire to becoming the very best of who you choose and need to be. We must constantly be pushing ourselves, reinventing, and surrendering to the uncomfortable in an effort to evolve, stay relevent, and ever creative. So gear up, put on that armor, and steel yourself for battle; whether to sit down and write, go back to the ballet barre, or make the daily posts. Do it consistently, passionately, and creatively to mold yourself into your own master!

XX

AW