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November 23, 2015
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Dear ,

Thank you for being a subscriber, some of you for many, many years. I appreciate it more than you know.

For you: A Different Kind of Thanksgiving Exercise 
Here’s an off-beat way, kinda fun way to find gratitude and use your creative mind at the same time.
Find something in your house you were captivated with initially and to which you have acclimated. Chances are if you're like me, you're not even really seeing it anymore.  It could be art, a trinket, a photograph, a souvenir, a child, a husband. Revisit it in a creative way. Here are some suggestions on how to do that, (but feel free to make up your own approaches.)
  • Make a list of possible titles for it. This, in and of itself, gives it more importance.
  • Write a list of words or sentence fragments relating to the memory of the first time you laid eyes on it, how you felt, what called to you, what it meant, why it was important. Just the list is enough but consider making it into a poem.
  • Write a review about it as if you were a columnist, an art critic hailing its beauty, it’s meaning, it’s effect on you.
  • Endow it with special powers: Write quickly what those would be.
  • Have it write to you, telling you what it thinks about being there, what it’s noticed about your life, advice it would give you, a silly opinion, light conversation.
  • Simply be grateful for it. Gratitude is a close relative of wonder.
                                  ~ Dispatching Muses,
Jill Badonsky
(R) 2015 Jill Badonsky -
The Dysfunctional Family Survival Guide for the Holiday (Revised Edition)

I post this annually, mostly for myself. But just in case it serves as a reminder to you, here is the revised edition of a guide you may find helpful. This can be applied to difficult people in workplace as well.

I come from a dysfunctional family, as do many of you. No matter how hard I tried, when I went home for the holidays I would regress into a puddle of whimpering gravy as soon as anyone as much as gave me a weird look. I got tired of always sneaking out to see a movie and the tequila bills were getting astronomical, so I thought, "Hey I’m creative, how about thinking up some new strategies." And I did: Seven to be exact.
1. Have Thoughts Ready that Cancel Out Incoming Crazy-making

Whenever a family member pushes one of those BUTTONS, saying that thing or behaving that way that makes you CRAZY, making you forget every gain you’ve paid for in therapy, have an automatic response ready. Two suggestions:
a. Say to yourself, "Well, bless their heart!"  (adding some emotion, facial expressions and a Southern accent make it even more effective.)   Try saying it out loud right now for practice

b. Think to yourself, "My bodyguard will take care of this. “ Imagine handing your worries over to your bodyguard and pay no mind to the offending party - cuz things are taken care of. I just relax.   When my brother makes fun of my one of the many men I date, I’d just smile and think to myself, my bodyguard will take care of him and then I have some pumpkin pie.
2. Give Them the Brush-off 

If you can't avoid incoming verbal torment, brush the offense off your body as if it were lint or cat hair. 
A variation of this strategy is using a lint roller for special effect and even consider waving it as they speak, catching the debris before it lands on your mild demeanor. 

Another particularly effective variation: When they are speaking at you, DUCK down as if allowing their verbal ickiness to simply fly over you, Michael? This will prevent you from being anything other than Audrey Hepburn like or Cary Grant like.
3. Stare
While they are talking to you in their button-pushing form, stare just above their eyes in the middle of their forehead with a blank expression on your face. Stay in that position at least 15 minutes after they've finished. Your stare should look like this.

4. Simultaneous Talking
a. When they are saying those annoying things that could potentially set you off, just start talking at the same time, challenging yourself to say the same things he or she is saying to you.

b. Step up this tool a bit by replacing their words with compliments you'd like to hear instead. 

Do this without hesitating, EVERY TIME they speak (even if they are speaking to someone else). Plan all the compliments you'd like to hear ahead of time.
5. Pretend like you are spending the holiday with a friend’s family
It can provide distance and perhaps even seem entertaining. Just smile as you would if you were witnessing what

Or wearing the wig could give you the persona of a different, stronger more resilient person who can handle the drama.
6. Some Perspective Might Help
Watch the movie August: Osage County with Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep and be grateful your family is not like that. If you've seen it, you know what I'm saying.

7. Remember
Maybe these things won’t work for you for whatever reason. But If any of these suggestions made you laugh,  bring them to mind during trying moments and maybe they can lighten things up. That's my wish for you. Remember the amazing amount of blessings we have in this life, including our creative minds, the miracles of nature, art, music, the love of friends, family, and pumpkin pie.

If that doesn't work, just squirt whipped cream in your mouth straight from the can. 
 A video of The Survival Guide at a humorous speech contest.


The Phoenix Rising Summit
I don't accept "Summit" invitations anymore because they are usually a barrage of promotional overwhelm and my unspoken pledge to you has been not to inundate you with marketing and keep my newsletter to mainly content.  I accepted the invitation for this one because I connected with Nikol,I love her energy and I think you'll benefit from this summit. Here's the blurb:
"Nikól asked me and over twenty other Courageous Creators to join in a discussion that will
show you exactly how you go from Survive to Thrive, Discover your True Creative Voice, and
Build your Dream Life. This abundant circle includes experts in Creativity, Resiliency,
Motivation, Spirituality, Sustainability, and Empowerment.
This FREE Event is the opportunity of the year!"

I recommend that you reserve your "virtual seat" by going here
The Muse in Winter:  A Creativity Retreat in Taos, New Mexico
February 5-8, 2016
Apply the inspiration from creative geniuses to your own creative work. Writing by the fire and painting with the light of winter is cozy, inspiring, and a blast. (All levels of writing, art, and the spirit of wildness invited). Discover new ways to access your creative voice and catch the creative fever. Invest in you and your creativity in 2016.  More information here 

I'll also be having Camp Creative Thunder again for the sixth year, July 12-16, 2016. If you would like to pay for either retreat in installments, just email me at


Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Certification Training
Wednesdays, February 10 - June 8, 2016 (Training begin every February and August)

With Elizabeth Gilbert getting the word out about creativity and self-kindness, it's a perfect time to become a Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach. KMCC is an intuitive, non-linear, kind and gentle approach to mentoring those who want to make progress with creative pursuits or in any area of their lives using creative thinking. KMCC coaches work with anyone who wants to use creativity to write, paint, move into the next phase of your life, move through loss, or simply live a more creative life.  Break through resistance, procrastination, feelings of overwhelm, disabling perfectionism, low self-confidence and self-sabotage.
To apply for the KMCC certification training, send an email to with a little about your background and experience and why you think KMCC is a good fit for you. With Jill Badonsky and renown psychologist, Dr. Robert Maurer. Students receive one-one mentor-ships with KMCC Master coaches and Jill Badonsky.  More here

Testimonials here
How KMCC differs from other creativity coaching models here

Modern Day Muse Certification Course
Tuesdays 5-6:30pm pst.  TBA email me if you're interested

Imagine You.. a Muse.  A Renegade in Creativity.  A facilitator who can empower others through facilitating creativity groups. You, as a Muse...
Become a Modern Day Muse Group facilitator based on the book, The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard): 10 Guides to Creative Inspiration. With  Jill Badonsky. This training not only teaches you the art of running enjoyable and profound creativity workshops but it takes you deeper with your own creative process. Open to anyone passionate about running creativity groups and this is a Master Coach Track program for KMCC Coaches.  To sign-up write
Parallel Universe Time 

Mondays 8am/pacific/11am/eastern
A complimentary hour (that means it's free) where creative souls wanting some structure to show-up for their passions or their project-put-offs, hold the space for each other to work on those things. Been going on for 5 years now. No obligations or propaganda. Mondays with Jill Sign-up for PUT

Writing Club
Two original Jill Badonsky writing prompts and inspiration a week to provide simple, fun structure to practice and share writing with a tribe of like-mined writers. No pressure - you can post or keep it to yourself. CLICK Here One month free to try it at no cost.

Thanks for reading the fine print.     

July border curls and stars

Jill Badonsky, M.Ed. is founder and owner of the Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Certification Training, multimedia artist, yoga teacher, and author of three books on creativity.


Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live.      

 If the only prayer you said in your whole life was,  "thank you," that would suffice.
~Meister Eckhart

   Happy Thanksgiving! 

  Jill's 2016 Calendar

In case you need inspiration all year long, here's a
calendar you can put on your desk that has art for your soul, a monthly word to feed your creativity, full moons to howl at, and holidays to know about. All months and days included.
Free shipping until December 1, 2016
Click here to purchase Jill's 2016 calendar

This poster?.  You can buy it here and support the artist in continuing to spread the creative word . And thank you to those who have already did!! Think holiday gifts for the creative person... including yourself.


The Muse is IN  •  3023 1st Avenue  •  San Diego, CA 92103

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