I am a night owl. Night owls run in my family. We go to bed late, and work for ourselves, so we can wake up late. Then I had my daughter and babies don't care if you are a night owl. They wake up at crazy times in the morning. Like 3:14 am and 4:36 am. That was rough for this night owl. Then those babies turn into toddlers and they sleep, well mine does, till 7:35 am or 8:28 am. Wonderful for this night owl.
But, the "balance" in our home was off. I was crabby. My creativity was suffering and I did not feel like my daughter was getting the best of me.
So I turned to something I have never done before. Life coaching. Not just "woo-woo" life coaching. Life coaching specifically for a creative person. I needed someone who understood the madness in my head and understood that my creativity is my life. It feeds my soul and when it is out of whack it manifests into poor choices and bad attitudes.
I signed up for the Braid Creative DIY Coaching For Creatives. I have experience with Braid and I trust them. I enrolled in all three of their ecourses last year (more on that later) and found them to be invaluable. They offer one-on-one coaching with Kathleen (one of the founders of Braid and author of the blog &Kathleen - my first blog read every morning), but that was not the level of attention that I needed. They recently offered a $40 DIY Coaching For Creatives emailer option - 4 weeks - 4 emails per week (action steps, tips, meditations, journaling exercises, worksheets and weekly mantras). I signed up immediately.
Best. Decision. Ever.
In one of the exercises, you had to track your time and what you were doing every 30 minutes for 4 days. Ok. no problem. Until I read what I was doing. Check Phone. Computer. Check Phone. Wasting time. Check Phone. I stopped at 6:30 pm on the first day. It was so disturbing and sad. No where on there did it say, play on the floor with my daughter.
Then the worksheet challenged me to write out my "dreamy" ideal day and/or our "practical" ideal day. I did both. Let's face it. I live smack in the middle of the suburbs in Indiana, not in North Carolina like the above picture, and we are not moving anytime soon. Practical. The worksheet then challenged me to pick one change from my ideal day(s) to implement into my current day. This night owl made a HUGE decision.
5:30 am. That is what time I get up now every morning. I have two alarms on my running watch. The first at 5:15 as a warning and the second at 5:30 to get moving. This one change set off a chain reaction of events that I am still shaking my head at. Here is what has happened (just this week!) :
• 2-3 hours of uninterrupted creative time in the morning
- blog (post prep, slight re-design, business vision statement, post content refinement)
- Vale Design paper work and process evaluation that I procrastinated for years (brainstorm, design, proofread, finalize)
• Empowered my business side
- stop comparing myself to other freelancers. They have their talents and I have mine. I am a brainstormer. I specialize in logo presentations with range for my clients. I am a professional moodboarder.
- the "old boss" voices in my head were finally put to rest.
- gave me the courage to remember that I can do this. I got this!
• Quit a Moms group that was not the right fit for me anymore
- gave myself permission to do something that was not feeding my soul
• Joined a new Moms small group
- joined a small group to make new friends and be held accountable to being vulnerable and present
• Registered my daughter for Moms Day Out
- for both this school semester and next!
- she gets to play and learn with other kids and I have some quiet time to be creative
• Booked a family vacation to North Carolina
- it is my happy place. It is where I see, hear and know God.
• Make healthier decisions
- I eat healthy, but now I am more aware of what I need to fuel my body throughout the entire day
• Re-vamped the family budget
- we are great with our finances, but this time, we wrote out family financial and fun goals for 2014
- broke down our finances, made an action plan to achieve them, made a chart, made it visible as a reminder
• Stop checking my phone (as much)
- I had FOMO (fear of missing out) of creative ideas and advice. I just needed time to focus more on my own.
- stopped reading blogs that cause me anxiety and make me feel less than (even some of my favorites)
• Go to bed "creatively satisfied" - (ideal day journal revelation)
- I did not realize this was so life or death for me. Creativity is my breath. I needed to make space, re-adjust, and give myself permission to re-adjust, my current life to make everyone happier and healthier.
• Quality time with my daughter - (ideal day journal revelation)
- we have spent the best days together this week. She gets ALL OF ME now. When I am able to release some creativity, quality time with her rushes in to fill the space. I see her. We play. We paint.
I can not say I love getting out of bed when it is still dark outside, but I don't hate it as much as I thought I would. This whole experience helped me realize that I truly do have the power AND THE RIGHT to sit down, envision and achieve my ideal life. Moving just one little rock let unbelievable things come rushing in. I am so grateful to Braid for this offering and opportunity.
Creatives: if you "need a little guidance in dreaming, scheming, and taking small steps to design the kind of life they want to live – from the daily routines to the big picture." Sign up. It's a mere $40 with LIFELONG benefits of personal discovery.
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links listed above. This is the only post in 5 years of operating this blog that I have included affiliate links. I feel that strongly about my own experiences.