|Grace, kindness, and a little bit of humor|
"Singer/songwriter Aimee Mann has a reputation for making music that is raw, emotional, and sometimes not all that cheerful. In real life, she has traveled a long road of depression, anxiety, a difficult childhood, and writer’s block.
Through it all, she’s taken a calm, considered, and creative approach to problem-solving that has served her well. Oh, and one time as a teenager she wrote a terrible song about hobos." That's a description of her interview on the podcast, The Hilarious World of Depression with John Moe (which I highly recommend).
Aimee Mann uses Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching tools - not that she knows it, but I do. I recognize them in stories of many artists. They can
work for you as well, let me translate what I mean.
In the interview which took place in 2017, Aimee talks about three of KMCC's most prescribed tools. She used them to overcome her long road of depression, anxiety, a difficult childhood, and writer’s block but these tools also work when we feel resistance, overwhelm, comparison, perfectionism, doubt - the usual suspects intercepting our best creative intentions which show up at times like this when our strengths are busy adapting to weird pandemics, social distancing, and too many Zoom options. These tools will sound familiar to many of my regular readers:
1) "So what I'll do it anyway."
This is a multi-purpose tool. Aimee used it to say "yes" to opportunities and actions she didn't really feel like doing because of her depression, and the action she took moved her forward into the realms of the undepressed.
We simply need to add some self-kindness to the equation. "So what I'll do it anyway" can also be used to reply to these thoughts and feelings that come up for many in the creative process:
It's my go-to phrase, there's a power in it. Try it for those voices that discourage you. Try it now. I'm feeling too distracted to do anything creative. So what... take a small step... really small.
- I'm too old.
- I don't know where to begin.
- I'm not good enough.
- I can't focus.
- I don't feel like it.
- I used to be good, now I'm not as good.
- I'm overwhelmed.
- Comparison - They're doing something better than me. So what... I'm on my own path.
- What if it goes nowhere?
- What if I don't like how it comes out?
2) Small Steps
Aimee also mentioned Small Steps which are one of the foundations of Kaizen-Muse.
Just do something, something little - and let that be enough. Open a computer program, set up your space, revisit what you did last time, pick up the phone to call someone. Just asking a question can be enough to get started.
The mind can't refuse a question - no need for an answer, just ask. Right now, small steps are getting me further than high expectations that cause avoidance.
- What would make this easier?
- What would be fun to do?
- Who can I do this with?
3) Focus on What You Love
Aimee talks about how much she loves songwriting. It makes her happy, she's in touch with what a gift it is in her life.
In Kaizen-Muse creativity coaching we acknowledge that dwelling on negative thinking happens in humans for survival reasons but if we choose to shift our attention repetitively to a higher consciousness, our focus on what we love makes getting to our creative passions more effortless as well as forges new cognitive pathways of resourcefulness and resilience. Try these questions:
- "What drew me to my creative pursuit in the first place?"
- "What do I love about it?"
- "Let me remember for 15 seconds how it felt to be in that timeless flow."
Another KMCC tool is Reframing. One of the most creative things we can do for ideas and sanity is to choose a different way to see things. This fun creative prompt on FB is about reframing staying at home:
Your Home as a Vacation Destination
Complimentary Parallel Universe Time:
PUT is holding the space for each other to focus on our own work in distractible times. It's a grounding feeling that makes focusing easier. You're invited. Just keep this link in a place you can find it and click on it. Bring something you want to work on, I'll be holding the space for you to do just that, distraction-free.
8:30a pacific, 9:30a mtn, 10:30a central, and 11:30a eastern on Mondays. Let me know if you want to be put on the reminder list that goes out every Sunday evening. https://zoom.us/j/887946679
May 17, 2020 3 p.m.pacific/ 6pm eastern
Poetry and Music and Coloring Open Mike On-line: Free
Come share music, poetry, or stories, or listen while coloring or
doing art. We had about 20 wonderful poets and storytellers in the April edition 30 people total- you won't be on camera if you don't want to. Just come listen to others. This month features spoken word artist, Tamara Van Horn
has used teaching and performing spoken word to electrify clubs, communities, and student cohorts across the country. InterSexTions, a 2004 inaugural’s Cincinnati Fringe Festival show they created, created a unique writing and showcase vehicle to workshop everyday women’s stories into spoken word theatre from a diversity lens.
Sign-up here https://us02web.zoom.us/…/v5QkduirpzsrDJcOt2fqOWa8LEuko3cbXg
A 6-week Journey with The Modern Day Muses Starting May 19
Two spots left
June 6 Writing for Fun and Sanity 11 am pacific/ 2 pm eastern
It's actually a good time to write, but a lot of people are having a hard time concentrating or don't know where to begin or how to capture the moment. A little structure and some offbeat prompts that start with raw materials instead of the blank page can help. For more info and to sign-up
Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Training begins again on Zoom:
August 17 - December 7, 2020
Learn all the tools of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching and how they free you and those you work with in unprecedented, unconventional, non-linear ways that make not only your pursuits creative, but your whole life as well. Especially for the resistant procrastinator, the distracted, those overwhelmed by all there is to do and where to start, perfectionists, those held captive to an inner tyrant, and the sensitive creative person who doesn't like to be told what to do.
(Training creativity coaches for the last 16 years with Dr. Robert Maurer) KMCC information
Jill Badonsky, M.Ed., Creator and trainer of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Training (since 2004), author/illustrator of four books on creativity, multimedia artist, international recognized retreat leader, yoga/mindfulness teacher, inspirational humorist, and cat servant.