Scheduling Success: Whether You Have All the Time in the World or Not Enough Hours in the Day

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I hopped in the shower yesterday and midway through, thought to myself, with pure joy, I don’t think I scheduled this shower! I don’t know the last time I looked at my calendar to shower. Then I laughed out loud at how far I’d come and a trick I use that may seem strange to some.

More strange than scheduling showers?

Depends on how important it is to really do the things you want to do instead of just daydreaming about them.

Whatever it is that’s important enough that you know you want to do; schedule it.

  • I love Google Calendar but there are many other similar options available.

  • Get a paper calendar/day planner.

  • Get a Virtual Assistant or a live in person one to do it with/for you.

  • Write one out by hand for the next week.


Whatever it takes to make that plan reality.

Is it really that important? Fuck yeah it is.


Just like bathing is! For a good bit though I couldn’t generally remember when I had last showered. Granted that “good bit” wasn’t really that good. As I look back on it, I really planned and scheduled my way to way better.

I wrote schedules for million dollar businesses and now I do the same for mine. My business is now my life, or my life is my business, either way I love my schedule. I love sticking to it. I love to plan it like a boss. I love to execute it like my life depends on it.

Because it does.

It took me awhile - a couple years to really make that connection.

Having made plans and schedules in my previous professional life that ruled my world, when it fell apart I wanted to be free of schedules, plans, appointments forever!

This echoes others I’ve talked to when they leave their job or their job leaves them. They now want to be free of that routine. Step out and away from that schedule, never to return.

I’ve heard said:

  • I want to be free of routine!

  • I don’t want to be boxed into my life!

  • I want freedom to do what I want to do when I want to do it!

  • If I really want to do it, it will organically manifest! I Swear! I have heard this one and I sheepishly admit I thought it would work. It sounded so good.

Lies!!

The very tool I used to run successful businesses is the very same tool used to run successful lives.

So obvious!

Don’t hate me for my genius!

It is the great joke the creative spirits play on those longing for the freedom to unleash their creativity. You still gotta make the time. The secret lies just between all the time in the world and never enough time.

The simple answer: schedule it. Pencil it in. Make a plan. Follow it through. Repeat. Until death do us part. I may not be one for marriage but you can bet I will be scheduling my living until the very end!

Here is what this week looks like:

It’s a big week because I now live a big life. I had taken what I called: A Most Fantastic Journey to Creativity & Radical Freedom Unleashed so it makes perfect sense that my dance card is quite full… of my life.

One thing that stands out this week, other than bathing is still on the schedule, is I have a massage. Planning self care is as important as planning the most important business at hand.

In honor of scheduling self care, I recently started getting massages again.

Why, you might ask? Why were you not getting massages? What happened? Is there something about massages I should know? Even if you’re not into getting massage, the two of you might still find a bit of insight.

I jacked my back up moving. Not one, but two lives about the country and just knew I needed some musculoskeletal treatment to help try and repair the damage I’d done. On top of that the doctor told me to. I’m that girl.

The hesitancy came from my previous career, much of it spent scheduling healthcare and self-care, in various forms.

I hate to tell you; some, some of you out there don’t have the best overall record for sticking to a schedule, keeping a schedule, honoring a schedule. This isn’t only massage therapists but on this day it was.

Many times the people getting massages aren’t the most reliable either (I could barely get out of bed) so having totally changed gears to the other side of the desk, I apprehensively made a massage appointment.

I showed up early. Of course I did. Just after parking my car a woman frantically pulled in right after me, jumped out of her car, and ran inside.

Please don’t let that be my massage therapist.

I gave it a couple more minutes and then I went inside to find the waiting area vacant. This began my real concern and ignited some leftover feelings, strong feelings, from my medical & restaurant management days. Namely, try to be in the waiting area for arriving guests. There’s this schedule and you can see who’s coming and going. If someone is supposed to walk in the door at 8, be at the door a few minutes before to greet them.

Sitting alone in the waiting area, eyeing all the goodies ripe for the taking. Hearing people distracted in the back.

I took a few deep, cleansing breaths.

Trying not to project my management style onto this perfectly fine clinic, while trying to avoid thinking of the discomfort nudging me from behind. Literally my low-back hurt so bad aka my ass hurt. Gluteus maximus strain with some deep abdominal strain. It’s getting better. I hope!

As the clock crept closer to my appointment time. My first appointment. I began to fall into my distress over timeliness.

Where the hell is the massage therapist?

What kind of place is this?

Why am I even doing this?

I knew this was a bad idea!

One minute before my appointment time - the one minute before I was going to leave, an apparition flies in the door, says a quick “hi” as she breezes past. That is my massage therapist.

A few more minutes pass and in unison the massage therapist and office manager make an appearance. The massage therapist picks up some paperwork from the desk and says, “Megan?”

Holding my paperwork up as I stand, I say, “you’re not ready. I think I’ll go.”

I can see myself saying this and by the reaction of both women it was clear, I have managed to get my temper pretty under control through some actions I’ll share in an upcoming blog. Sometimes I forget how I can affect other people with my brazenness because both their eyes got so wide and they adamantly apologized and protested I not leave.

I conceded. I’m so glad I did. It was a great massage. Made better by the guilt upgrade.

Generally, I try to participate in my massage with good breathing and “trying” to relax. Which is really just me being present to letting go of the tightness and strain, and open to help working the tightness from my muscles.

This massage had an additional element of coaching to it. One of the many reasons I’m thankful for the training. She had great massage training but she was very obvious in her struggle to get everything done that she wanted to with all the things that cause her to get sidetracked and off schedule along the way.

On the bright side I was just telling a friend of mine about my experience and she has been working with a specialist physician - the big-time of medical providers, and they can’t keep to their schedule so don’t feel bad massage therapists.

I’m not just writing this to pick on you, and if this story triggers your relationship with time, you are not alone!

It turns out all kinds of people can’t stick to a schedule and I have been one of those people on a few occasions.

Actually, this pretty much sums up my teen years. To the extent that I remember my high school principal lecturing me that if I couldn’t stick to a schedule, I wasn’t going to get anywhere in life. He told me this as he was issuing me a school suspension for tardiness. What a fucking oxymoron! Suspending someone from school for not wanting to go to school.

An early lesson that we can get the things we ask for in life but the more clarity we add, the more accurate the reality.

Thirty years later and I’m going to give him a little credit. Far more than I did in high school. He had a point. I hated high school though and herein lies the secret: You have to be in agreement with the schedule to keep it. It’s more than just making a schedule or sticking to a schedule. It is the passion and drive for the things scheduled that counts.

Something about the truth in what we want to do and the time it takes to accomplish what we set out to do is another important key.

The only reason that unfinished projects abound. You have the weekend but the weekend isn’t long enough to finish the project.

I started to rebuild my life through scheduling the things that were really important for me to do. The things I wanted to be successful at went on the schedule and I tried my best to stick to it.

I quickly learned that one of my biggest problems was being realistic with time.

The time it takes to get something done.

This is huge. At least for me. I am notorious for underestimating how long it really takes to do certain things.

  • Get into reality.

  • Have a back-up plan.

  • Add double the time.

  • Sticking to the plan to completion.

  • Not getting side tracked during my time. If I schedule 3 hours to paint. I now paint. But if I don’t complete the painting in that time, there are other painting days scheduled.

Painting for example: I’m going to paint regularly for the rest of my life. Once I let that sink in I was able to let go of some of the pressure to, “finish this painting in 3 hours!” I just schedule the time to paint and paint. Right now I’m trying to complete 5-10 paintings so I continue to pick those paintings out that are closer to completion so that I have a plan of attack for my next session.

This is how I started to plan for my success: Warning! There’s some math.

There are 24 hours in the day.

Questions?

How many hours do you need to sleep?

Take that number and subtract from 24.

How many hours are left?

Use that time, in whatever capacity you can to unleash your creativity & radical freedom toward your own success.

I’ve heard too many people say that they want more free time, wish they had more time, or can’t make it to an appointment on time and now there’s just no excuse anymore.

It’s costing you! One way or another. If you aren’t honoring time and playing nice with it, it is going to rob you.

I can say this because I full-out committed to going with the flow for like 20 years and I didn’t get shit done. For myself that is. I worked my ass off for million dollar businesses, while my personal creativity sat whimpering in the corner until it became an all-out cry for help.

Now I schedule my flow and flow through my schedule.

Flow and freedom have a whole new meaning and with my new goal of filling my day with fun, it helps me gauge how much time I want to spend on what is most important.

I want to spend most of my time creatively. Specifically several hours a day painting, writing, designing, photographing, and connecting with my community.

When I recently listened to my friend that works in a restaurant sigh with exasperation that he hadn’t gotten his schedule for work yet, I was livid. Remember, I’ve got a righteous temper, I was especially hot since we were sitting thousands of miles away from his work on a little getaway to New Orleans. Since his flight was the next day and he scheduled it that way to be at work the day after, I asked when he normally got his work schedule?

His answer put me into an apoplectic fit.

He hadn’t gotten his schedule that started in 2 days and there was no consistency to his schedule so it’s not like he could just show up at his usual time.

As I jot this down, it occurs to me many people may not face this. They go to work the same time everyday. What about them? They don’t need a shower schedule. Or do they need it more?

Maybe not a shower schedule but a passion project schedule might be just the thing.

A schedule that balances the things that must be done and the things desired to be accomplished.

One of my favorite management mottos: we are here to take care of business so we can go home and take care of business that feeds our soul. That what fulfills us outside this job is what makes us better employees.

Part of the fun I experience now is integrating the many aspects of my life and skills I have gained. The only reason I embrace scheduling my life now is that I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t trying to get a grasp on time and learn how to use a schedule.

Start with a rough sketch of what the week might look like. A day to start. Next thing you’ll know your life might be planned out by the year. How exciting would it be to know what your doing? You won’t ever know what the future holds unless you plan for it.

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As an expert at scheduling, seriously, the comments are gonna be abundant to my scheduling expertise! So not holding my breath.


Go! Get started now and if you need help, the options are a plenty.


Just added to the previous list: the life design + soulful planner 2019 that I see a colleague of mine creating. I’ve been seeing more of these and they give me hope that in these, some might say, turbulent and technological times, we aren’t sitting back letting life take charge of us but taking charge of our life.


Cheers!








Higher Vision: Demanding Justice in Dallas, Texas

I woke-up today once again outraged with the tragic death of Botham Jean by a Dallas, Texas Police officer.

Not knowing what to do at first, over days of wondering what the fuck is going on down there.

The whole time lining up parts of Botham Jeans story with my own.

The disparity is grotesque.

I didn't know what else to do so I made this video as my protest from far away. ]

I'm so sorry this happened to you and I demand justice.

All insights and additions are welcome.

DEMANDING EQUALITY: I’M DONE & I’M JUST GETTING STARTED

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My head hurts.

It’s too much.

The warning that lies within these words is that we are speaking up, speaking out now, and I hope forever more. I am adding my voice to this movement with this first story to encourage others to do what I didn’t do for too long; tell somebody. Hell, tell everybody.

This is a two-fold unleashing:

  1. Speak up. Speak out. Speak your truth. Know you will be heard.

  2. To those that have abused your power of another in any manner; Your time of getting away with it has come to an end.

Too many instances over the past two years to count my outrage. An outrage on top of an outrage over the times of discrimination, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, rape, rape culture, mansplaining, and double standards I have had reflected back on me from our society. Stirring back a reflection from my own experiences; too many times to count throughout my life in regards to the inequality in behavior and grotesque abuse of power shown me by a handful of people.

I will no longer remain silent and want anyone reading this to know you can speak out too.

4 important ingredients in this dish:

  1. Listen. Get quiet.

  2. Speak your truth. Say something. Say it loud. Say it with your whole being.

  3. Change. We have the capacity to change. To do better. To make this world a better place for all people.

  4. This one’s for those that use their power to harm others in a way that should land them in jail: GO. AWAY. Stay Gone. **I want to add a caveat based on my optimism; I would love to hear some of these men come clean. Truthfully acknowledging their abuse, expressing remorse and telling their story so we all can learn from them and those teetering on the edge can choose a path of respect instead of abuse. Then a quote from The Shawshank Redemption slams into my already aching head, “everybody is innocent in here, don’t you know that?” I’ll stick with: GO. AWAY.

The veil has been lifted. The deceit and pervasive manipulation that I have lived with is shattered.

For most of my life I have suffered from what I think now is an all too common ailment: this is just the way it is so best of luck navigating the creepiness and grotesque behavior you’ll experience because it is just a fact of the world you live in little girl.

A total lie. A total lie built by those that abuse their power and have gotten away with it for far too long.

Change. I changed. I no longer believe this statement to be true and anyone that wants to join me, you are invited to come along to make a more level landscape for our future.

The lie was handed down to my parents and this was their response in raising me:

  1. My Dad: You are going to be sexually assaulted so I’m going to teach you how to defend yourself. I was maybe eleven and he was still late in delivery.

  2. My Mom: You are going to be discriminated against and harassed; called a bitch and worse with a encouraging addition of, don’t be seen crying because then you’ll be called emotional and weak.

They were onto the deception but still trapped by its spell.

They were just trying to protect their little girl with very practical and what turned out to be very useful advice.

All of those things happened, many repeatedly and I was always able to navigate through, get out, get away, find a work around but I never told anybody that could help shift the balance of power. In this I fully perpetuated the abuse of power.

Let me assure you now that - hopefully - that this abuse of power - the people abusing this power are in the minority but that their abuses have created a sickness that we have all been exposed to. I’m now encouraged because if a very few can have a very powerful effect on the perception and behavior of many, the tables can be turned.

It is time for the tables to turn because this has shown me that I can have that same power. You can have that same power. We are going to make changes that help prevent these abuses of power from happening and in the tragic event that they do, we will all know to take immediate and direct action for justice with no hesitation.

This waiting years and years to say anything will end. Mine ends today but starts with a difficult truth that I have had to face. I will address it now with the apology it deserves.

This is to express my own part in how we got here, that by not saying anything or speaking up I played a part in this culture of abuse, rape, harassment, the list goes on and on. I’m not gonna play that game anymore.

this decision comes more easily now. I’ve been practicing a bit. Sharing pieces and parts vaguely for awhile now.

A soft opener might be that a male friend of mine came to visit me at my new place a few weeks ago. He came for the weekend and it was overall good but on the last night we had a little too much to drink and he made a bad joke at my expense in my home. It’s just a joke, but he has made them before and I let them slide. I got mad, then I got up and left him sitting at my bar. I went to my room, shut the door, and had a hard time getting to sleep.

The next morning I got up and came downstairs to his chipper voice greeting me a “good morning”. Chipper in that way that says whatever happened last night can be brushed under the rug and forgotten about. I had forgotten to tell him that after my last break-up I vowed never to play this game again: the let’s pretend that never happened game. I looked him the eye and told him just that. “I’m not playing this game anymore. You need to acknowledge your inappropriateness and apologize before we continue.” He is one of the good ones, which is why I share this. He apologized and we moved quickly back to our weekend of fun.

Yes, it’s a softball but for me it has become second nature to pretend it never happened. Taking that small stand opened the door to this one.

This part is a little harder: I’m sorry I never told anyone.

I’m sorry I never went to my parents and told them you sexually assaulted me because I thought I they might be mad at me. By not saying anything, maybe you did what you did to me to someone else and that breaks my heart.

I’m sorry I never went to the fraternity leaders or the university when you tried to rape me at that frat party. By not saying anything I put other women in danger of being raped.

I’m sorry I didn’t call the cops when the whole group of you had my girlfriend drunk in the bedroom, wouldn’t let me get her, and started crowding around me, the circle closing in tighter but I got away, got out, got in my car, and drove home crying. I left my friend with you and in doing so let you all know that gang rape is something you can get away with. Me and that girl never spoke of it again.

I’m sorry I didn’t call the cops when you tried to rape me at a house party by playing on my graciousness with the old -”let me show you the house trick” which ended in a back room where once I was inside you locked the door behind and jumped on me. I lost my shit and have ever since borrowed a line from James Brown, (yes, he is another celebrity famous for some of his abuses)  - “I don’t know karate but I know crazy!” I got away. I left. I didn’t turn back, and you may have gotten away with it with someone else because of my silence.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell the bouncers or the owners or whoever at all the clubs and shows that I have been groped, grabbed, attacked, and jumped at, nor did I do anything other than feel sorry for the other women I would see it happening to in the crowd around me.

I got away and never looked back because that was what I believed the truth to be.

Predators are everywhere.

Nothing can be done about it.

It’s going to happen to you so try your best to get away and don’t look back.

Try to forget.

I’m so sorry I let the greater prevalence of rape culture delude me for so long.

I’m sorry to anyone that may have gotten hurt because I didn’t say anything. I was happy to get away and felt stronger for it. That false sense of strength shattered by the recognition that my silence put others in harm's way.

Stop! This stops now!

To all those that have taken advantage of and abused their power with no regards to the rights and respect of others, this is what the opening of the floodgates looks like.

Today, I want to honor those that are standing up and speaking out against these abuses. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thanks as well to those that are helping all of us along the way.

I hear you and I am with you.

Today, I am in no mood to help those few that have hurt so many or even those teetering on the edge in an attempt to help prevent them from such abusses. That may be a story for another day or another voice.

Today and the days that follow are filled with empowerment.

My head feels a little better.

Cheers!

Practice not Perfect

Practice not Perfect

Fuck perfect!

As a recovering perfectionist...

Perfection created constraints that bound me to my failures so tightly I could no longer move.

My primordial brain crushed under the weight of perfection. Fearing failure. Any move unleashed anxiety and depression that wrecked me.

Perfectionism tightening inward and inward and inward, tighter and tighter into a ball of fire in me. 

Finally bursting from what I feared most until it was what I most desired: I no longer cared. The numbness and apathy broke apart my inhibitions under the pressure of perfection.

 What other people think of me - especially the ones I love - love unconditionally - PRACTICE.

 What I think of myself - love unconditionally- PRACTICE.

 What I create - let it flow - PRACTICE.

 What I express - radical freedom - PRACTICE.

️ What I experience internally reflects externally - I do not hide, I shine - PRACTICE.

 What I am passionate about, I am present in and with - PRACTICE.

Trying new things and failing miserably with a smile on my face.

Getting back up and trying again.

There is a pose in yoga - bakasana: crow pose - that I love and hate because I keep trying it, only to briefly touch on getting it perfect and it’s now OK. I continue to practice this pose, feeling my strength build, sometimes falling over and down to the floor. Where once upon a time I would quit, now I laugh with the fun and joy of practice.

Laughter reminds me I am still breathing and I can keep practicing.

Practice your passion.

Perfection can fuck off.

Cheers!

The Résumé Up-level You’ve Been Looking For

Does anybody else have those times when your greatness is called to task?

This just happened to me and I wanted to share because it wasn’t but a few hours after the first inquiry for my expertise, that I got a 2nd, then a 3rd. Inspiring me to share this résumé with the world.

The greatness part seems dubious but in a life that is part expertise and part joyful fun and play, sometimes the expertise takes precedent and the fun comes along for the ride. Still fun mind you. I am taking the lifetime fun challenge. I just made that up.

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer: This is the art of up-leveling. Mainly through wanting to work with great people and sometimes wanting to find great new people to work with. Surround yourself with people you think are amazing. It’s so contagious and can all be launched (for the time being) with a great résumé.

The art of up-leveling - I love that writing up-leveling tickles at one of my career secrets - this is all but a game. Tickled as well by recently hearing a successful business leader yell that life is supposed to be fun! Fun! I’ve slipped into this idea of putting on fun like a fine business suit and experiencing my life according to embracing the fun. It’s such an easy gauge; is this fun? Yes. Keep doing it. Not fun? Make it fun! Either that or get it over with fast, make a plan to make life more fun, and get back to the fun.

Is this really an article about writing a résumé?

Yes! It is!

With this résumé it is so much more because the person that asked me for résumé assistance is my mom. The retired doctor of plant pathology. I’m not going to share her age. She’s 75. That’s a lie. She’s older but I promised not to tell. It’s in the ballpark though. She loved her career until she didn't. She stayed to maximize her retirement and then when she hit the magic number she left. I'm caught in-between shocked that she stayed in one job that long and shocked that she actually retired!

Her asking this simple question only raised all kinds of stuff that raced through my brain because I am in the process of building a new business and she is helping me financially do that so if she thinks she needs a job, I might need to rethink this whole Creativity Unleashed with Radical Freedom Empire! Instead, I used every moment of my training to get out of my own head and be present with her in order to best help her. Whew! Close one! We’ve come a long way, baby! Coaching is the shit! Get a coach. Get a mentor. Find people that are making the most of their time in alignment with what they most want to do and make a b-line to them. The résumé is (for the time being still) a must in making some of these connections.

Recently, a good friend decided to change careers and go back to school at 52 so it shouldn’t have surprised me that my mom, a dedicated scientist that loved what she did wants to up-level her retired experience while at the same time being somewhat confused by the reality. Admittedly, she's been looking a bit bored the past few weeks, the thrill of chilling is wearing off.

She’s taken some quality time for herself after retiring from a career that spanned 40 years total and is in a serious transition that she is definitely not alone in. She retired, sold her house, traveled the country, found a new place to live, and moved far away from where she was. What she’s suffering from I’m going to diagnose as: retirement is stupid. What the hell am I supposed to do with myself now?

Which is irony at its finest because I’ve been touting for years that there is no such thing as retirement anymore. I think I came to this conclusion in response to one of my Dad’s dad jokes, “get back to work Sam, you’ve got to pay for my social security before it runs out.” Thanks Dad. If I never retire, I don’t have to worry about it.

As an artist, entrepreneur, and coach, I don’t ever want to retire because I want to do what I love doing until I’m done on this earth. Besides that, I’ve already retired from more careers then I can count along the way. Another expertise just now dawning on me! To the extent it took me a bit to meet my mom where she is in her experience outside the 9-5. I'm so glad she asked me for guidance because I had the perfect résumé lying in wait.

The exercise this resume brings to the experience of keying into what you love to do, what you want to do, and what you are good at is priceless.

“You want a résumé mom! I’ve got you! This is going to be fun!”

The cool thing about my mom asking for my help in this is; I am a résumé expert. I started building my résumé when I was still living with her. I’m living with her now but we took a long hiatus along the way. I’ve been perfecting my résumé, tweaking, and rebuilding it as trends change, my skills change, and my jobs change.

In my illustrious career as a manager, I collected the best and the worst. I will never forget the pizza artist from Dominos and ice cream artist from Marble Slab Creamery. Still making me laugh with a little snort! You will notice I do not add "people artist" to my résumé - even though most of my jobs moved into management and I love to quote Gary Hamel from the book What Matters Now, “management is the technology of human accomplishment.” Never did a statement make me feel so good about a job that gets so much flack.  

After a layoff, retiring, or even getting sick of the current job because you’ve taken my advice on adding more fun, and where you find yourself now feels like it’s sucking your soul away. Writing a new résumé can help not only get a new job but this one in particular seems to open up the exploration of both what you want to do and what you are really good at.

I love things that cut to the chase, except this story, it’s taking forever to get to the goods but the journey is the fun! Stick with me.

In perfect conjunction with the times my mom doesn’t want to retire either. She’s bored. She wants to meet new people. She wants to do more with her time. She wants to continue to build on her experience. She’s also running out of science fiction to read. "Is that George R.R. Martin ever gonna finish Game of Thrones?" 

When I told a couple friends that I was going to help my mom with her résumé, they also had been thinking about up-leveling their résumés which is what led me to sharing this with everybody that might be interested. It shouldn’t be a secret. There are now people that have the career of writing résumés so you can go directly to an expert for help which is fantastic. This service was not around when I began creating my résumé, I’m guessing I went to the library for examples, or the tables were turned and I asked my mom for help. 

To my mom and everyone that will listen, the world has changed and it is fun to change with it.

Let’s get started with two important things you’re going to want to keep handy and updated.

  1.  Get your LinkedIn on. 

    1. Sign-up

    2. Build your profile - look for people that have pages in your job scope for inspiration and networking.

    3. Interact by commenting on other posts and responding to them.

    4. Do have a picture that expresses you in your desired job. Take that picture, even if it’s a selfie, or your mom takes it, or your daughter, which will be the case on my mom's page.

    5. Check back regularly. LinkedIn has made this more appealing over the years to encourage you to do so. Take them up on it.

  2. Always keep a ONE PAGE résumé at the ready.

    1. I don’t mean a paper résumé because I got rid of my printer years ago to save the planet! I think the last time I printed résumé’s, it was for prospective employee interviews.

    2. Saved, easy to find, and ready to send. More on that in a few paragraphs.

A subcategory of always keeping a ONE PAGE résumé are 2 additional documents to have in association with the résumé.

  1. A few references, testimonials, and/or letters of recommendation on hand.

  2. Addresses and contact information from previous employers.

What I love about LinkedIn, other than the blatant hyperbole of the statement, is that it is a great long form résumé. Both my mom and I started our LinkedIn pages at the request of our previous employers. How great is that! It is the place I now house my career history and connect with others,  as a networking platform, in my new business. For instance, I will be sharing this article there. I’ve decided to make it a fun place to visit and connect with others in my industry, as well as, leaders that inspire me to up-level my own game.

Now the ONE PAGE résumé. When I found this résumé, I was honestly blown away by it’s genius. Of course Business Insider would oblige. They are insiders after all. (Links to both Business Insiders Article and my résumé example are at the end of the article.)

Having sifted through piles of résumés as a manager and applied for countless jobs through either company job sites that can be frustrating because the system is set-up to weed out prospects instead of funneling them effectively into the perfect job. Such is life in this technological age.

This is important: KEYWORDS. It is about getting crystal clear on accurate descriptions of what you do as it reflects in the job posting. This is why creating a base résumé that is most true to you is important. You can put it up against your idea of the perfect job or the job staring you in the face in the interim and see how it matches up. From here you can either use it to apply for this perfect matching job - cheers! - or what’s the best next step in the direction of your perfect job.

When I first started working in restaurants I wanted to be the owner and eventually I was, but first I took the dishwashing job and worked my way up from there.

Mom wanted help and I started by pulling up my most recent résumé and once again discovered the collection I’d amassed over the years. For my convenience, I’ve transitioned to Google docs where I house a current base résumé with a folder of all the various forms it’s taken.

Setting up the perfect system to conveniently(as conveniently as possible) create and keep track of your résumé(s):

  1. Create a base résumé and name the document: your name - job you want - date. Example: Sam Shearer_Creativity Unleashed & Radical Freedom Coach_2018

  2. Copy it to personalize it toward the job you want to apply for with your name 1st, the job and company applying to, and the date sent out: Sam Shearer_Corporate Wellness Coach_Tao of Transformation_932018.

  3. Read the instructions carefully on a job post and send in format requested. Commonly in PDF format so I save a copy of my resume as a PDF to attach via the application site.

I’m not super organized but having survived a brief stint receiving unemployment benefits, I learned the importance of keeping a running tally of job application details. Now I have a library of them that helped tell me I’m pretty good at this and I can say with confidence my many résumés helped get me where I am today. 

I really appreciate the genius of this résumé building article from Business Insider(again, not a sponsor!): https://www.businessinsider.com/why-this-is-an-excellent-resume-2013-11

I used it to build my latest résumé:

Shearer_Sam_2018_Resume.jpg

I feel the fun of greatness in the making! If this encourages you and helps you to create a résumé that gets you working in the industry you want with the people you want to be working with, I want to hear from you.

If you find yourself stuck in your next step, I'd love to hear from you because if I can help and I don't offer, I'm not really helping. Please reach out and let me know. 

Cheers!

References:

Hamel, Gary. What Matters Now. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012. Print. pp. 245

Cain, Åine & Gal, Shayanne. “17 Things that Make this the Perfect Résumé.” Business Insider.com. Insider Inc. 5 Aug. 2018. Web

https://www.businessinsider.com/why-this-is-an-excellent-resume-2013-11

 

This Heady Exercise Takes The Big Leap

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There’s no time like the present and anymore it feels like no time to lose. I’ve had this story on the backburner, collecting words for too long, and today is the day to share.

The last couple years, few months, several weeks, a day or two ago; have had me really thinking that sometimes (OK - more than sometimes) we’re going to hell in a handbasket.

I’m freaking out! This keeps happening!

STOP!

Breathe.

Breathe in deeply.

Exhale fully.

Cutting to the chase, I will stop rambling on for now and share this nugget of helpfulness. It’s from a great little personal development book, The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks and it’s a gem.

I’m just gonna give it to you and continue my blabbering after so you can jump in and give it a try. Give it a few tries really. You may be pleasantly surprised combined with mildly frustrated (because it works so well you might be mad you haven’t learned of it before now) with the results. Keep reading for more on that! If it comes to mind, please let me know how it worked for you. Either in the comments or direct message.

Here it is direct from Gay Hendricks via The Big Leap: Conquer Your Fear and Take Life to the Next Level*:

  1. I notice myself worrying about something.

  2. I let go of the worry-thoughts, shifting my focus away from them.

  3. I wonder: what positive new thing is trying to come into being?

  4. I usually get a body feeling (not a thought or idea) of where that positive new thing is trying to come through.

  5. I open my focus to feel that body feeling deeply.

  6. I let myself feel it deeply for as long as I possibly can.

  7. Later, I often get an idea of the positive thing that was trying to come through.

I started by following these instructions and then writing them down because I can’t remember anything without writing it down a few times. Taking the steps with me, pulling out my little piece of paper with directions, following them when I would forget a step.

The cool thing was, trying to remember if I was doing the exercise right helped me get past whatever worry thought I might be having at the time.

Now is probably a good time to come clean here. I started by using this exercise for worry thoughts but once I tried it for my anger and frustration was when the real magic happened for me. And by magic, I mean the great relief and great horror that I have more control over my thoughts and feelings than I had ever thought before. Or maybe just believed.

The worry or anger thoughts love the strong hold they have over our perfectly good day, or our perfectly good night’s sleep. The only good place for a legit worry is; did I leave the stove on? If that’s the case, get your butt up and go check that one out because that is the definition of true worry.

I saw the downward spiral reflected in my emotional, visceral feelings in response to whatever might be happening around me. Whether it be the bulldozer working on the property next door wile I'm on a coaching call or trying to paint, an interaction with someone (I was living on the couch in a two bedroom apartment with my mom and my ex) so it was pretty much always a someone issue, social media, or a news blip. Unfortunately these triggers can go on forever and be devastating. No matter how heartbreaking or anger inducing the situation is, it seems like just a  blip before the next bombshell drops. 

The external onslaught seems just a reflection of the internal birage of worrisome scenarios that would play out on repeat in my head.

The good news!

Immediate action can be taken against harmful thought patterns.

Again, for me it’s usually something that’s making me raging mad (mostly at myself) and I’m getting angry and replaying the event that got me all worked up over and over in my head repeatedly.

Gay Hendricks an example of his walk through of this exercise as well that is way more chill and quite sweet in The Big Leap. I think I drink more black coffee than he does. This is my take on the exercise to give some insight into my interpretation.

  1. I notice a runaway worry or situation that made me angry playing on repeat. Stop! I say it outloud if I have to and exhale audibly letting the thought ride out with it.

  2. I let go of the thought and take a deep breath in through my nose. Only thinking of my inhale. Then I let my breath go fully exhaling through my nose or mouth.

  3. Then I either ask myself out loud or quietly to myself that Gay Hendricks directs: "what positive new thing is trying to come into existence?"  This is the shifting point. I have to make myself available and open to new possibilities.

  4. I take another deep breath in, feeling where this positive new thing is trying to come through. My thoughts are completely on my body and the question I am asking as I breath in deeply and exhale fully. When I first tried this exercise I often was feeling sensation in my throat because the thing I was so angry about was stifling my voice. My task was to speak my truth and compassionately ask for the things I needed instead of deflecting anger to an unrelated issue. 

  5. I breathe deeply into the part of my body where I am feeling sensation. For me, when I was angry, I’d be off on a walk. When I worry, I have often been in bed or sitting outside with a glass of wine thinking I should be enjoying rest and relaxation but there is some disconcerting scenario repeating that I can’t let go of. It’s a game of stopping the downward spiral and lifting myself up instead of emotionally pummeling myself.

  6. I bask in the feeling of breathing in deeply into the body sensation I’m feeling. Opening up the sensation to engulf my whole body with each deep breath in and full breath out. I try to do this for as long as I can ride the pleasant feeling of my breath, combined with my body sensation. I'm now as much a junky for feeling good as I used to be for feeling bad.

  7. Now this is where the magic often happens. Some new thought or idea pops in my head. It may not be in the least related. Like, I want to make chicken soup, go to a movie, or unleash some creativity. I love being outside, walking in nature and by concentrating on my breath and the body sensations that accompany it, make my outdoor time so much better. One thought that has happened during this past week is that I want to take positive action to support families that get separated at our borders so I donated to one of the many supporting groups and posted that on my Facebook wall instead of a rant. I admit I had done a little ranting too. I also thought to make strawberry shortcake for breakfast the next day and smiled at how tasty delicious it was going to be (with bacon).

  8. Discovering how to create positive new thoughts and alternative actions to stewing in worry helped me see how uplifting thoughts can be just as recurring as anger, stress and worry had been for me. The positive thought only needs a little wiggle room to ignite within us. It’s really only a few clearing breaths away.

  9. I will add, that when I first started this I would have to do it again, and again, and again. Mainly because I had to address the things that were, as I like to say, driving me batshit crazy. Through practicing this exercise, I found really rewarding and creative solutions to help break my negative thought patterns. Like everything worth doing, it takes practice.

What my practice is now: Letting go of harmful thoughts taking over my brain, mood, general well being in order to let a new positive thing come forth into being. That’s the important part. I can control the thoughts that I energize in existence.

The frustratingly aggravating thought that came up for me and I address using the same exercise is; why didn’t I learn this exercise sooner?!? I wish I would have known I could change my thought pattern before. What the hell? Giving myself a good dose of my now pretty outdated negative self talk.

This is the magic of having some solid tools to navigate our amazing brains. I use the exercise on those thoughts too! I do thank my very unique and individual brain for doing great work at worry and anger. It did so well for so long! Then I breathe in deeply, exhale fully and let it go so positive new thoughts, followed by actions can emerge.

One of my new takes on going to hell in a handbasket is the joy in weaving a basket of my choosing.

Give it a try on your next worry thought!

Best of luck! Hope it works for you! Great thanks to Gay Hendricks and his most awesome personal growth book The Big Leap:Conquer Your Fear and Take Life to the Next Level.

Please leave a message in the comments if you try this exercise or have tried this exercise and how it works for you. Same goes if you have any questions, please feel free to ask, either in the comments or in a direct message

Cheers!

*Credit, reference, and recommendation for this exercise goes to Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap: Conquer Your Fear and Take Life to the Next Level, New York, Harper Collins, 2009, Print.

 

Life Is About Stepping Out

Calligraphy inspired by Dorothy Steel, the 92 year old merchant tribal leader in Black Panther.

Calligraphy inspired by Dorothy Steel, the 92 year old merchant tribal leader in Black Panther.

92 year old Dorothy Steel - merchant tribe elder in Black Panther decided to try acting at 88!!!

If we don’t step out, we - for certain - will not ever know if what we want will ever be energized into existence.

This is my continued practice now. If there is an idea, followed by a desire, I know to take one step towards making my imagination, my reality. 

What I have dubbed my creativity unleashed. 

What Inspires me about what Dorothy Steel has done, is that she wanted to try acting and she did. To the extent that when she was offered to audition for Black Panther, she almost turned it down, until her grandson reminded her to step out on faith.

I’m glad she did because knowing others have stepped out and succeeded on a dream remind me to continue taking steps too. 

“Keep your mind open and keep faith in yourself that you can do this thing. All you have to do is step out there.” Thanks Dorothy! Your actions are youthfully exuberant and optimism I am grateful to gain!

And maybe most important is enlisting, involving, and connecting with others our desires so they can remind us, lovingly, when we faultier along the way.

For me - it’s painting again so back to the studio now for - I think greens and golds on this rainy Portland day. 

Is there an inspired step you want to take? Share below and see what happens next. You'll at the least get a coaching cheer from me! 

If Dorothy hadn’t taken the first step, she wouldn’t have been a delightful addition to one of the biggest movie ever!! 

This inspiration came from The Washington Post article by Kelyn Soong: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/03/23/she-started-acting-at-88-four-years-later-shes-recognized-everywhere-for-black-panther/?utm_term=.c775b4d2952f&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

As The Crow Flies: If Stopping Meant Falling, What Would You Do Different?

Quick sketch of the crow that inspired me to change course.

Quick sketch of the crow that inspired me to change course.

Confirming with the dictionary that ‘as the crow flies’ is indeed as simple as a straight line.

My morning ritual all a flutter!  

 

Every morning I go outside for a few minutes with my coffee to get a feel for the day, clear the fog of sleep from my eyes, and take a birds eye view of my daily planner, so-to-speak.

This morning is cool and quiet under low clouds and fog until the crows descend.

The perfect start to match my own insecurities about what actions to take at the midway point of a few projects. As a recovering perfectionist, a few is better than too many and way better than crashing to none at all!

That point in the best laid plans where actions have been taken in a new way, leading to substantial progress, which before would be my stopping point for a new project. Not finishing, not following through on the best next steps. Instead opting for more projects, more distraction, in a grand crescendo of overwhelm and collapse.

As I sit, looking up at the sky, kinda mesmerized by the murder of crows, one flies from the group, heading straight towards me overhead - as many things seem to me sometimes - way overhead, out of reach. Prompting me to ask out loud, “what are you doing?”

 

What Are You Doing?

 

Crow responds by stopping mid-air, answering my question with what looks and feels like chaos and confusion. A dark spark of energy suspended long enough to give pause, a catching of breath in an orchestrated flailing about for just a moment of time. Long enough that I fear she might fall, only to surprise and delight me by confidently righting herself, turning on her own axis in the sky with complete conviction, taking off in a “straight line” in the opposite and new direction away from me and towards the mountains.

 

The question now comes back to me, “What are you doing?”

 

Taking this piece of information with my morning ritual as I think-out my day inspires a shift of plans. An opening to an idea to follow through on. What if I try taking on my work and my life as if I will fall from the sky if I stop midway through?

 

Making art.

Making a life of creativity unleashed.

Radical freedom energized into existence.

Health and wellness in action.

I gotta have my beauty, love, and justice. Better yet, I vow to fight for beauty, love, and justice.

Helping others do the same and more!

 

This feels good and terrifying!

 

I am not alone. I am in perfect company.

This is action. Staying tuned.

A challenge to stay tuned.

 

If you are reading this, you can feel confident one other person is moving through challenges that have been around forever. Now is different. Now is in a new way. Aligned with small successes along the way, staying the course as the crow flies, and proceeding as if success is inevitable.

Trying things this week as the crow flies, even if that means flailing about for a moment to re-center and take-off again, with a breath of fresh air, directly towards the goal of good enough, having let perfection fall away.

What do you want to create a direct path towards this week?

For me:

I’ve got paintings to complete which means working on them to my magic number 13 and posting my progress - with some pre-sale options through my website. Scary!

I’ve got a few openings coming up for coaching clients that want to unleash their creativity and take flight in overcoming the barriers and blocks that can stop us mid-flight. Stay tuned!

Get 2 hikes planned for wildflowers and mushrooms with mom and maybe 2 hikes complete.

Cheers to taking action as the crow flies!

 

If you try it, let me know what you take on, what you accomplish, and inspirations while stepping out for a little fresh air.

The GSD Of Freedom: Normal Service Will Return Soon

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So this is what happens when you start to get involved, little by little. Emails, calls, donations, and marches this past year and today I learned I can write Senator McConnell. But I can’t. So here I am writing the world.

 

Sorry I can’t get ahold of you Mitch McConnell. Either happy because so many people are telling you the current tax bill is abhorrent or furious that you have conveniently shut down your website correspondence because you don’t want to know how much many of us feel this tax bill favors a few and leaves many with less.

As I start to express myself more and take action on what has now become for me the ultimate inspiration; Donald Trump becoming the 45th president of the United States instead of Hillary Clinton. My #woke moment.

Bring it on, any and all heat for not getting more involved sooner in my life. I am here now. Loud and proud to be a voice for our democracy. For the freedoms I have been privileged to enjoy, bask in, living carefree while the world crumbles around me.

Now raising my loud as hell voice in the fight for equality for ALL Americans and the planet we call home. We must do that together and I am here to make known that I am here, I am ready, I am able to fight for the causes that will uplift and carry us all to our full potential. I will not give up, give in, or walk away quietly from our people and our planet.

That I am sorry, at times overcome with guilt. I am sorry that I’ve sat on the sidelines of this country, enjoying my privilege, oblivious to the degradation purpetrated by men i thought would be gone by now. Replaced by younger more altruistic people. Alas, no. A country I call home and have lived from coast to coast to coast of seems in peril to me, with nowhere to run and hide.

The call to action has come and I am here to fight for ALL our rights.

A fight is so aggressive. That feels like an attack and when so many of us have been under attack our whole lives it may feel caustic, dangerous, aggressive, and unhinged. I feel like I’ve got this because that is an overall accurate description of me. With a goodly dose of compassion, and what I have been given from Hillary Clinton, radical empathy.

I move slowly, like the first stuffed animal I ever had, a three toed sloth. There are a million other things to do instead of public service so I am trying, learning, listening, floundering, and plodding along as best I can.

This is my latest attempt failed. I never thought it appropriate or even necessary to contact my own senators and definitely didn’t think I could contact other… until I did. Turns out Senator McConnell’s email is on a 45 day backlog and when I hit send with my letter, it did not go through. Website maintenance. Assuring me normal service will return soon…

Here is what I tried to write to Senator McConnell. I now hope he may see it before 45 days by posting it here in my blog, my social media pages, and my website.

Hello Senator McConnell,

I am writing in avid opposition of this tax bill. Everything I take away from it informs me that I will lose in the bill. This means that more Americans will be hurt by this tax bill than helped. The people this tax plan helps are a tiny minority that need no assistance from our government. I cannot condone a bill that taxes school supplies, allows businesses to write off office supplies, penalizes people seeking further education through graduate school, removes the healthcare mandate, kills the estate tax, and raises the deficit. THIS IS NOT SMALL GOVERNMENT. A government in debt is not small. It is weak.

Do The Right Thing,

Sam Shearer

 

Travel Tips: Launching A Most Fantastic Journey In 3 Easy Steps

Toasting to the beginning of our most fantastic journey in New Orleans, LA. Photo by J.A. Field

Toasting to the beginning of our most fantastic journey in New Orleans, LA. Photo by J.A. Field

What now?

This was the recurring thought before I decided to go home. Now that our home has been sold, I ask again in a broader sense. Unencumbered by home and free to roam.

What now?

Unencumbered and free to roam.

This is when the doubt attempts to take hold. Catching my breath. Then sighing in relief.

Thank you doubt. Thank you for working so hard to protect me. Desperate to keep me safe.

Now be gone! For a fantastic journey is about to launch! Excitement for what’s ahead riding a deep breath in. Drowning out the fear that I breathe out and away from me. Leaving the consistency of these past 20+ years behind and taking our 1st steps toward what we will discover on the road and beyond.

Charge!

Fight the fear with curiosity, compassion, and love. Fight the doubt that creeps in along the way. Telling me not to go forth. Not to move forward. To stay here, where it’s safe. But there is no here now. The here, the home just sold. I did my work. I project managed the shit out of the last couple years. My mom worked her ass off for over 30 years to retire in style. Now we are homeless by choice. Vagabonds looking for a new place to settle in and build anew or just keep traveling forever.

The idea to retire, sell the house, and move away from Mississippi has come to pass. A whole new set of possibilities and doubts charge forth from our imagination. Both attempting with fierce determination to set in our minds that we can do anything and nothing all at once. There is something poetically and beautifully psychotic at play. This feels like madness that I’m reeling in the unknown, the adventure, the inconsistency of life on the road to…

We got this! We are a stronger We now. A mother and daughter together as ready as ready can be for this unknown because we conceptualized it. Created it. Mulled it over. Debated it a time or two. Planned for it. Emblazoned along the way in our choices and the freedom to make them. We can do what We want. Two women together in a most fantastic journey! Two wild and free feminists on the road to an unknown destination.

The fear creeps in all around me. Maybe because it’s the witching hour that doubt and fear creep closer. Maybe it’s because I feel a charge. And I heard somewhere that fear is just excitement on hold. The charge being to do something magical together in the search for a new home, a new place to be. To safely caravan across the country, enjoying the many sites along the way and overcoming the obstacles toward an unknown destination. Nothing scary about that. Not at all(insert sarcastic inflection or uncomfortable giggle).

This is the time to start. This is the time to share. This is the time to ask for insight and support along the way. If I could go back three years and start, I wouldn’t. It was too dark. Literally. The lights had gone out in my mom’s house when I first arrived. The septic tank had imploded. I walked into a literal shitstorm. Thankful to be home and safe from the world I felt at the time had shit on me. The ultimate pity party in poor lighting. Deep in it and wanting desperately to climb out, clean off, and let the light shine in. Remodel and revitalize my life, just like our home. Make it a beautiful and a right place to be for us and then for the family that bought it.

Now, looking back, I can see the things we did really well, the things we learned, and the things we want to do different. Best of all I use We — to work together with this amazing woman. My mom is all of the things and at the end of the day, family that I cherish.

The charge electric.

Charging my life with a magical task.

Giving me a sense of my truth gives me the energy to step fully and unapologetically into myself now. This is who I am. This is how I’m going to live. And this is how I’m doing it.

There have been a lot of times I’ve consulted those around me and the seemingly all knowing internet for guidance. Now my hope is to document this fantastic journey in a way that helps charge and re-energize us as we move through it. Using our mad skills. Learning along the way. Posterity and all that hullabaloo. And maybe, if we’re lucky, inspiring a charge for others to do the same in their life. That our triumphs and fumbles along our way will either prove that this was a bat-shit crazy idea or pure genius. Really wanting a balance of something in-between.

To walk through the fears and stay the course. That by anchoring, rooting deeply in my truth and showing myself compassion, love, and curiosity for life I am charged and ready to go. From the best, most awesome of feelings and experiences, to the most difficult and painful. I show myself I can do this and I show the world it is possible.

I am afraid. The doubt is here. I am thankful for it. It shows me that I am sane. I want to be safe and the unknown is scary. But I have a charge and my charge energizes my mission.

To quote mom today as we did a 2 mile walk, “I’m putting one foot in front of the other until I get where I want to go”.

This is how to start and it is only the beginning:

1 — Have an idea that won’t let up. It keeps whispering to you. Do it. Do it. Do it. Listen.

2 — Doubt WILL creep in to whisper back. It’s not safe. You will fail. You could die. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it! Listen to the doubt with curiosity and grace. How fiercely we desire gets so easily muddled with how fiercely we desire to protect ourselves from perceived danger. Safety first. Thank your protective self and take one step — the first step toward your desire, goal, dream. What can you do now to start? If you can’t do that thing, make a plan to do it as soon as possible.

3 — Charge it. Plug into it — anchoring and rooting it to take shape. The importance of this step is a start point reminder that can always be easily connected with. A way to track toward your success. A document. A calendar. A coach to work with that will remember with you, hold you accountable, staying the course along the way. A friend or loved one to enlist for encouragement and support. A list of actions to check through as energy is gained along the way, and something to re-charge with when the going gets tough and energy runs low(it always does, at least for me).

Energize your mission everyday along the way on a most fantastic journey from do it, to doing it, to did it!

Done!

Stay tuned.

Stay True.

Cheers!