A Poem for Entrepreneurs

I actually wrote the poem below on July 29, 2014 at 12:26 PM. But I find it to be a nice introduction for an upcoming post about creating your own business model, following your intuition, and putting your whole self into whatever you do… as opposed to following a rigid expectation of yourself and whatever label you think you ought to have. Really, your potential is limitless. Simplifying your life opens you up to more room to grow, more time to do. You can be anything and do anything! You can start as many times as you need to. And when you’re ready to jump, you’ll fly. It’s not about digging deeper (that sounds so exhausting)… it’s about the freefall once you’ve made the decision to dive deeper into who you are. Two weeks ago, a client said to me:

“I wish people could see how easy it is to have anything they want…” Walter is an ultra-successful business person who helps youth determine their own greatest strengths and mentors them in creating the life of their dreams. He went on to say…(writing it out as accurately as I can remember)… “The truth is, I’m somewhat lazy, in a sense. But I’ve found a way to delegate the things I’d likely be lazy about. And when people figure out how to be efficient, to put their energy into their strong suit, they can have everything — if they want it. I wish people knew how easy it is to do this, once you make the decision to figure out what their strengths are.”

 

Truth in Countenance

New, graceful strides rebuild awareness,

The long-awaited embrace of humble self-importance

Esteemed by value and by virtue.

A wealth sustained by genuine intentions in our actions —

Truth; recognizable in our countenance.

Seeing Success in Others

This has been one of those weeks at work where lifestyle changes are bringing success to clients. Sometimes what the conscious mind tells us is nowhere near what we believe at the subconscious level. This is why it is important to get to know what is going on, on the inside.

May you be well this weekend, friends!

 

An Organic Flow, An Empowered Society

I’ve decided to share an excerpt from a dissertation I’m working on. This is not academically motivated, just a personal exploration of organizing our values. It all really began when I started to notice feelings of disconnect towards the current global economic infrastructure and the motivation behind it. It is one of the primary reasons I shifted gears as a photographer; I read book after book on marketing, tried to confidently follow industry “standards” that seemed to mimic that of the ‘maximize profit’ mentality, and had many conversations with friends and fellow artists on the issue. No matter how I priced my work or approached marketing, it simply didn’t feel like I was doing the right thing. Placing a number on my services always left me feeling that no matter how I priced my work, it simply didn’t allow me to service people of all social classes. And that didn’t feel right.

As I’ve now pulled away for nearly 3 years of marketing my photography, I’ve come to a resolve that will allow me to create photographs for paying clients again — (which I’ll write about soon) — completely free from the current economic infrastructure. That transition was rather abrupt and extreme, as I deleted all social profiles and came back to a place where I could revive the space in my heart from which I began a career in photography in the first place — love for the world, for people, and for life on this planet. This exploration has been more valuable than any other in my life (with the exception of motherhood, of course). I no longer feel ‘crazy’ for feeling this way anymore, as I’ve discovered an entire movement of people who feel the same way as I do…  Three years ago, it became a question of not knowing how to feel about putting a price tag on creating art. I changed my pricing structure several times and still I felt something missing. It ended up being a question about what my specific life values really were, acknowledging them, understanding them—-as well as how I valued myself. What it really came down to is that I didn’t want a business that was based around MYSELF and “MY” work anymore. I started to crave a business that reflected my values, not one that left me feeling stressed, working long days and long nights, and feeling uncertain about my true direction and potential as an artist.

Would I ever have a studio again? Would I be able to participate in two career paths? Could I blend what I’ve learned as a wellness advisor into my passion for creating photographs? This all hit me two weeks ago during a weekend training with Maureen Pisani of Chopra Center, following a truly riveting discussion with Monica Inks — she is a holistic personal trainer. I’ve learned to listen from my gut — not my heart, and not my brain.

The gut (intuition) listens, the heart feels, the mind discerns. We must ask ourselves why we are doing what we do, and how what we do reflects on who we are.

So for now… an excerpt from a dissertation titled, “What Separates Us? A Modern Approach to Create an Organic, Empowered Society” (began drafting in 2013).

It would seem more realistic to properly address social issues if they were placed into value-based categories along a tier by and for the people from a positive perspective (not a fear-based perspective), and then and only then given the attention of elected officials. I will refer to this system as the ‘Tier of Values’ throughout this discussion.

With our concerns identified and organized in such a way, issues could be added and arranged along the Tier of Values as they come up, and dealt with according to appointed officials who have marked passion or expertise toward a specific category. This would eliminate the need for issues to be exploited by media in a way that distracts attention from other significant issues and give balance to the function of addressing issues altogether. Mental Well-Being is positioned at the top of the tier (self-esteem, self-awareness, spirituality encouragement), since mental well-being influences action; followed by Physical Health (food consumption, exercise, etc) — since self care is an extension of mental well-being; followed by Behavioral Patterns of the Self, since choice behavior determines the flow of humanity; followed by Interpersonal Communication, since this determines the function of society; followed by Social Concerns (hunger, environment, education, and so on)… and so forth until we get to the least-concerning values. I propose that the lesser concerns should include Economic matters and matters of Crime, which to some would seem absurd to place them at the bottom of the tier—but consider how dramatically our society would change if values were arranged and addressed in this way. The economy and crime rates would naturally transform, if we were clear about our personal and interpersonal values, and of maintaining a healthy mind and body. The type of people needed as elected officials would change. The flow of humanity as a whole would improve. Since we are competitive by nature, we would be competing to better the well-being of the whole, which could only work over time to continue improving conditions for everything spawned from the whole. The term “equal rights” might even vanish then, as we would be operating from a completely different set of motives. This is an idealistic tier that would seem impossible to arrange, yet would be no less possible to achieve than things thought of as “impossible” in the past that have come to exist today.”

 

As always, your thoughts are welcomed, and appreciated. Have a great week!

Finding Authenticity

As I’ve moved away from direct online marketing over the last few years, I have become fascinated by the ethics and psychology in sharing and interaction among members of social networking communities. Looking back has given great insight into my own behaviors in the past. The following resources at the bottom of this post give so much information with regard to the subject of authenticity.

Whether online or in the physical world, we must be mindful to examine our behaviors as well as the motivation behind them.

We must be willing to separate from anything —- any thing, and any person —- that distracts us from moving deeper into our authentic self; allowing the authentic self to mature moves us forward into our Greater Purpose. If we just keep doing the same thing over and over again we get the same results no matter how much we seek for change to happen. So when we are open to allow patterns and beliefs to shift, we open the door to change. When we are willing to release attachments in the material world, we make room for maturity. When we release the [subconscious] need for validation/acceptance, we allow ourselves to truly connect (with others as well as ourselves).

It is especially important to educate our children on these principles, and pave the way for them to understand humble self-confidence, to engage in self-respect, and to have respect for others online as well as in the physical world.

 

Solid References on Online Behavior & Interaction

1. Emotional Competency: Authentic Self | Do Who You Are
http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/authenticself.htm

2. Narcissism and Social Networking Websites — (Scholarly Journal)
http://www.sakkyndig.com/psykologi/artvit/buffardi2008.pdf 

3. Critical Points for Finding Your Life Purpose (Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-6FxH_p5_k 

4. How Does Online Social Networking Enhance Life Satisfaction? (PDF Download)
http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hyun_Jung_Oh/publication/259132166_How_does_online_social_networking_enhance_life_satisfaction_The_relationships_among_online_supportive_interaction_affect_perceived_social_support_sense_of_community_and_life_satisfaction/links/543407380cf294006f734676.pdf 

5. Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy (eBook)
http://www.amazon.com/Sticks-Stones-Defeating-Rediscovering-Character-ebook/dp/B008WOULGE

 

Recent Musings

Right now I’m very focused on openness to the wisdom and guidance of others. Here is a list of insightful musings from others I have been studying / looking to as mentors recently:)

 

“What are you putting into your body as food? For this nourishes the cells. Look at your life, and be very discerning… and be willing to change anything that you find to be working against your greater happiness. This is where the change happens. Change yourself, and you are changing the collective consciousness.”

— Lincoln Gergar

 

“Ease into the day…”

— Ali Kamenova, on being an early morning riser

 

“The sophistication of our human intellectual capacities makes it possible for us to become relatively self-determined in our actions, but the potential for terror engendered by this intelligence leads us to buy into cultural beliefs and strive to live up to cultural values that severely limit the potential for [true] freedom.” 

— quoted from page 100 of In the Wake of 9/11: The Psychology of Terror by Tom Pyszczynski, Sheldon Solomon, and Jeff Greenberg

 

Recommended!

1. “Finding Vivian Maier“ (Film)

2. “Mindfulness & Social Action: Towards a Secular Spirituality” (Discussion offered by Michael Stone)

3.  “A Year of Living Your Yoga” (Book authored by Judith Hansen Lasater)

 

Anyone with musings to share, please do so in comments below:)Have a beautiful spring weekend… see you next week!

 

Garden of the Gods (Illinois)

One more destination scratched off the bucket list over the weekend:)

Every second is precious.

Embracing It.

Other than cell phone snapshots, I can’t even remember the last time I took a self portrait. One sometimes needs to make a change externally, to reflect what is happening internally… to be able to see it for oneself. The yearning for a confirmation of the progress that has been made, to know it’s real. For me… I chose to donate my long hair to Children’s Hospital back in November 2014, through Lucky 13 Salon in Columbus, Ohio.

One never really “finishes”. One only continues.

 

Essay: What on Earth is Environment?

I just loved this, and I thought you would, too.

DOWNLOAD HERE: http://environment-ecology.com/holistic-view/126-what-on-earth-is-environment.pdf

Before Dawn, Frozen Lake

 

Just some snapshots while enjoying sunrise last weekend. Getting out to enjoy dawn reminds you of how special each and every day is. Nothing is quite so captivating as being there to greet yet another new day. It connects you. I don’t want to miss anything. At the end of life, I want to know with certainty that I created the time to experience as many precious moments as possible. Those mornings I used to spend checking messages on social networks: a thing of the past. It seems like every time I watch the sun come up, it feels like the first time all over again. That light gives life. Astounding.

GMO-free Food Planning 2015: Urban Gardening and CSA!

Today’s post offers valuable resources for anyone seeking more ways to be involved with local agriculture, including modern homesteading.

 

What is GMO?

It’s likely you’ve seen the non-GMO labeling. But what you might not know is that most foods without the non-GMO stamp of approval are likely to be genetically modified organisms. So we’ve heard the term again and again, but what does it mean, exactly?

Here are two films that offer up the information in terms one can easily understand, and don’t forget to recommend the films to your friends as well. I’m happy to hear more people talking about these impending dangers and unethical practices in everyday conversation. There are ways around it! It all comes down to the choices we make as consumers, and how much we know about the companies we choose to support.

 

BITTER SEEDS  (2013) (Independent Documentary)

GMO OMG (Late 2013) (This one gets very mixed reviews, but I liked it.)

Understanding ‘Organic’

I love this list of approaches to sustainable farming. It provides answers to many of the questions you will have when deciding on the companies / farms you will choose to support.

Community Supported Agriculture

Of all the ways to show you care about the environment, your community, and your health — community supported agriculture is by far the most efficient means of doing so. Going into 2015, I’ve been browsing Local Harvest for a farm to support. The farm I supported last year provided just the right amount of veggies for my son and I, but didn’t have quite the variety I was looking for and was in the transitional phase (in the process of going organic). This year, I have a fuller action plan in place and have decided to support an organic farm. A share can cost anywhere from $25-$40 per week, and the quality of the food is unmatched. You get to meet great people in your community who share your values, and you feel good about the food you’re offering your family. Win-win!  Using LocalHarvest.org is one of the easiest ways to find Farmer’s Markets and co-ops in your area!

NOTE: Something to consider if you haven’t tried CSA is the size of the share; the full share is often enough for two families depending on your eating habits. Splitting the share can be a great way to cut the costs if you’d like to test the waters the first time around.

Urban Gardening

I’m all ready to go with organic potting soil and a nice variety of non-GMO heirloom seeds! I’ll be starting quite the project over the coming weekend: potting vegetable and herb seeds to grow on our porch this summer (in addition to growing a shared garden space in a friend’s backyard). I/We rent in the suburbs so space is limited, but thanks to the knowledge and guidance of friends, family, and books by Gayla Trail I feel prepared. Mostly.

For those of you already growing your beautiful bounty in a limited amount of space, I would love to hear your experiences with urban gardening!

Here’s to a happier, healthier year than ever before : )