Friday, June 6, 2014

Procrastination is a Gift


 
Procrastination: Some thoughts on Resistance

 

Procrastination is a gift. It is a gift that is like a neon road sign direct from Las Vegas baby. You are avoiding something to be done, you are late, you are too busy, and it’s all about the ‘not doing’. The road sign is telling you that something is not right. Why else would you do everything possible to not be in the flow, be stressed or unhappy. Why would you do that to yourself?


What is the flow?  For me, it’s that feeling you have when it’s all working out; the lights in the street agree to be green as soon as you pass them, you arrive at the dentist and they are waiting for you, your taxes are done, and it didn’t feel like a big deal, you even got your snow tires off before it hit 30 degrees. I mean, you are in the flow, and things feel right. You aren’t rushing or late, you just show up, you arrive not hassled and apologetic. You haven’t forgotten anything vital to your next meeting. It’s a state we all aspire to, reach at times, but more likely the slippery slope of procrastination greats you ever so often, or for some, really often. This is true for all of us.
 
 
How do I get that flow? More importantly, how do I manage these blocks and patterns that I see in myself? How do I manage the thoughts that make me feel like if I don’t have a handle on my own procrastination, perhaps I'm not a good enough coach? I think that the answer is the same for both me and my clients.
 
But first, I’d like to point out that many of us coaches are entrepreneurs, and creativity is an essential part of the character and core skill set needed as entrepreneurs. But the same holds true for those that are employed as coaches. We all use our creative energy as coaches because essentially, the co-creative process of coaching requires that we use imagery, metaphors and our imagination to coach successfully.
Creative people experience creative blocks; generously lumped into the ‘procrastination bucket’. Steven Pressfield in The War of Art calls it resistance. I am a card-carrying member of my very own procrastination brigade specializing in resistance. Being coached has shown me how very hard it is to maintain my ‘sweet spot’ of flow, and the humbling realization of how hard my clients work at getting out of their own way.
So the answer to procrastination is also a little reminder for my self and my clients. The first step is to deal. Look it straight in the face, see it for what it is, even if it’s not a shining example of my best moment. Then step back and realize I'm not alone in this. It’s a small comfort I know, but at least with practice, I'll have more compassion for myself and others. The point is to not spiral into the negative slippery-slope of frustration and self recrimination.  
 
Then, when I realize I'm imperfect and accept it, realizing that trying to be an ideal or ‘perfect’ version of 'me' is highly unrealistic. The reality; it’s attainable some of the time, and with practice I can get better, but expecting myself to always keep it together is a sure way to let myself down.
 
 
I have managed to dig deep and see why I'm avoiding certain tasks.  I realized it was two factors; one was my sense of self worth was allowing my fear to gum up my flow. I really think this is a hidden problem of confidence, because courage is confidence in action. Second, (and this is a big one)  my commitment to myself is apparently spotty; it needs a tune-up big time!
 
There is more to procrastination, but being compassionate with myself is a first step.
Teaching my clients to forgive their short-comings, yet encouraging them to dig deeper into their patterns will help them break through. Yes, I can procrastinate and be a great coach, especially because when I tap into my humanity, humility and empathy as a coach.
 
Note: the original post I wrote for ICF Quebec, I have modified it here for the purpose of this Blog
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

What it means to Be an Entrepreneur and Creative







What it means to be an Entrepreneur and Creative



Am I an entrepreneur, because I am a creative person? 

Probably not, there are tons of creative people out there who are not trying to make a living at it. But this is for all those that are thinking about  taking that road, to be an entrepreneur as a creative! What does that mean? You will utilize your talents as an artist, photographer, graphic artist, writer, singer, actor; whatever it is you are passionate about!

I grew up in a family with a merchant mentality. Every one could sell something, a service or item that someone wanted. My humble beginnings went from being a babysitter to camp counselor, I was ‘freelancing’ child-care.

Fast forward, after many interesting and not so interesting jobs and University I realized that I wanted to be a singer/songwriter but until then, I had other skills that began to appear as better alternatives to making money so I could ditch being a waitress. While I managed my band, and wore all of those hats, I started to work on creative projects that included:  work in film, television, producing music, publicity, organizing other people’s projects.

My birth as a true entrepreneur happened when I couldn’t see myself in a 9-5. It became apparent that I didn’t aspire to a job; instead, I gravitated towards projects and opportunities that fed my soul in some way. I just wanted to work on something that I was interested in, projects that inspired me, people that were motivated, talented and where I could learn and grow.

In the mean time, because of my varied experience I began to work organically outside the creative world as a business development consultant and manager. To my surprise, businesses liked having a creative edge. It didn’t matter what industry, I would learn, I used my creative-think-outside the box vision and people and companies hired me! I never said no, and I still do not turn down interesting offers. 25 years ago I figured out if you say yes and can learn, that enthusiasm will get you jobs you never dreamed of.

I have been in a musical in LA, I have worked in International Trade, Extreme sports video distribution, written scripts for TV, done voice-overs and jingles, managed and produced festivals and large events, Editor of a news letter for independent films makers; the list goes on!

Technically I have worked for myself (including a contract with the National Film Board of Canada) since my late twenties. I have not held a full time job, since my daughter was born, and yes, I still do many things. Even if I had three hats, and it equaled a full time position somewhere, the variety suites me. Five years ago I went back to school and became a certified Coach, PPCC, because I realized I loved inspiring other people to live their lives exactly the way their hearts demanded it! I had an innate knack that I practiced with family, friends and professionally. So now there is another hat!

For those women who juggle home and aspirations as creative people, you can make those decisions that will encourage you to become expert at juggling your many demanding and rewarding roles and work for yourself on your own terms. I raised my daughter, who is now in University on all my different contracts and income streams. It was crazy at times, but I did it! I am sending a big nod to all those creative souls out there who feel like they too want to live not only an interesting, meaningful life, but one that fits them uniquely and perfectly as expressions of who they are, at maximizing their strengths and walking fearlessly towards their life as an entrepreneur!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Four Letter Word

Four letter Word












Love
is my four letter word.
Love is
my bed, my pillow, my reason, my insanity, my last chance.
Love is my
beginning and is always my last word.
Love embraces and sets
me free.
Love
binds me to places and people and ideas.
Love is
simple, love is complex, is forgiving and expansive.
Love is illusive,
frugal and smaller than a mote and larger than the galaxy.
Love is a language,
is my language and my breath, and my last thought.
Love is
my emotion and my motion, my being, my doing.
Love is my
currency, my arms, my stomach, my smile.
Love holds hands, and grieves and celebrates and gets disappointed and ignited.
Love
is
a
wave, a particle, a concept, an infinity,
and like air, l
Love can sustain balloons, airplanes and seagulls.
Love chooses you and ignores you.
Love misses you and prays for you and
sits in the corner,
waiting.

Monday, February 11, 2013

To Reason From Mystery

  
To Reason From Mystery


Let the quiet envelope me like velvet, like cream
          sometimes silence is my chosen sound
      revealing my confusion
          the offer to share
      my questions inquire
          which breaks the envelope
and I loose part of me once again
       A cosmic purple beckons
            my hearts desire
            for surrender, to be open
with eyes sober and ancient
          with smile unyielding
       how much do I really see
     the earth calls me
  the pull from standing to crawl
I roll in the imaginary leaves, snow, mud
     curl into myself like a tight fisted bud
then the call to rock gently
         until I open
I am the pebble tossing in the waves
         I am the ameba, worm, 
                 soft shelled crab
         the full impact of gravity pulls
            I am transforming
this is my calling
         it requires surrender and silence

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Alchemy

Alchemy, from long ago
when rivers still innocently flowed,
when we still looked for philosopher's stone,
and if found,
what would be crawling under unearthed belly?

And those that whispered,
to the directions 4,
or listened to the hawk's wings,
for the right signs, for ingredients to be chosen,
to expose and delight in the elixir of life.

That is life's promise,
that resembles the wind,
that is the spark and that which gives the sparkle,
we might turn lead into gold and defy death's rattle.

The earth,
where the plant kingdom lives.
The air,
where our dreams compete with the clouds.
The sun shimmers and the moon glimmers,
and the sky is a canvas for the wind.

We did not discover fire, 
but learned to tame it, 
use it and fear it.

And the rain,
water is the gentlest of powerful substances, 
it carves rock and mountain tops, 
washes wounds and baths and baptizes and bubbles and froths and freezes and quenches.

Dry like the desert, 
moist like a coffee cake 
hot like a frying pan 
cold like a serial killer. 

If only we were magicians or there was magic, 
ah the thought of miracles: 
that one form of matter, 
no matter what its make-up, 
could be changed into another. 
That with our might and hubris blind delight
We could alter the proportions from tall to small or 
long to short or 
tiny to extravagant.

In the end you are my alchemy, 
you stop my thirst, 
from small to large, 
If love is a fabric of the universe,
and if the universe is really infinity,
then our love will live forever on this plain or that other realm 
and you are my elixir.


Friday, June 10, 2011


Spark by Carrie Katz 2011

I praise the spark
I ignite the spark
I cause it
I look out the window
I carry the spark
I touch the cool wall
Its strength can scare me
so I make a tentative approach
a gentle tap
I am the spark,
Solitary I reach out
There is a space between the idea and the intention
I call across the chasm
There is silence
Why don’t they come now?
Light up my life
The energy expands my center
My seeds are dwindling, dwindling
My seed are unfertilized, sterile
Only half of what’s needed and then they wash away
First they spiral then they dance.
Drop by drop,
they lie suspended.
My middle is expanding, my digestion is failing, my sleep is waning, my complexions is greening, my memory is fleeting and my Spark is waiting for my Love
I’m here, by the way. Come.
We’ll start with a tea, a walk,
Hold my hand, my fingers like dry kindling
I am ready like a light switch, ready for the light
I am ready, like a candlewick, ready for the flame
I am ready, like shore, accepting and expecting the waves
I am ready, like a pillow, a soft place to rest your head
I am ready, like my shoes, the right fit, the chance to transit
I am ready, like a book, to be opened and read
I am ready like Thahir Square, for spring, for dignity, for freedom
I am ready.
The human spirit leaves as we die
But it never dies
Esoteric mystic, geometric, generic
We are all portals
Each generation relinquishes the truth!
I love you, I always will, I always do, I love you now, like I loved you before, before time. I call you, and this whisper floats above the city, above the land, free.
You can be a witness, and I can be a dancer
You can be a swimmer and I can be the current
You can be the song and I can be the strings
You can be the cave and I can carry the spark
I am brave enough now, all I need to do is agree, take the chance,
be the person I am meant to be,
like feet across a carpeted room, the potential for a spark
Like an open window in the deep dark of winter’s night
You can be the breeze gentle against my curtain
Like my patience sitting on my kitchen chair, you can be my sustenance
I invite you to make a choice, and choose the light, and take the flight
And call me by my many names
This one, this life is all I have right now.
You may know more and I know less than before.
My love for you ,calls for you, across the space
that looks like an ocean
that feels like a time zone
that requires a faith that once the spark ignites
it can be kept, cuddled, harnessed, protected, enriched, enhanced, replenished, supported, praised, fed and rested.
That tiny spark needs to be nurtured, because without it
The fridge light would be burnt
and the toilette wouldn’t flush
and the shower wouldn’t cleanse our bodies, our souls
Love, I wait for you
Spark
Invoke you,
You just need to decide the timing is right
Right now.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Return of the Barnicle

Barnicle: 
Common name of sedentary crustacean animals constituting the subclass Cirripedia.


                                        
You are lost, in a puddle
of self sacrifice, of self sabotage,
of insecurities as large as
an asteroid crater
Your self respect lies
Like road kill, on a busy highway
How I want to shake you
Believe in you
Shine you up
like Aladdin's Lamp
Release the Ginny so that
You can manifest magic
Your eyes so warm
Your eyes so sad

You have forgotten how accept love
Even when it stares you right in the face
You have neglected yourself
and your kids suffer

Fear, I wish I could take a washcloth
Warm and wet and wipe this away with gentle strokes
It is pity, I want sexy
I want to see you in your dignity
to own it, like a fire hydrant
on a sweltering day
Quenching the parched pavement, putting out the fires
You want to to do good,
be good, be kind be a spark
I can't save you from this need
that is larger then a Christmas float in November
How can you so repel me
and reel me in like the moon's drag on earth's shore
like inhaling a cigarette
Like a vacuum cleaner hose

Can it be, you are not thinking as much as
feeling, needing, fumbling
Yet you call those thoughts
And I am affected
If only I say the right things
You will shine, you will soar
you will heal.

I am still not sure
what you want and don't want
From me, form life
And why I care so much
As if you sitting
on a park bench
Alone, in the fall
And everything around you
is grey and brown.