Category Archives: Work and Joy

Time and Space: Reviewing a Room

In It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond, writer Julia Cameron describes how to gain a greater sense of creative freedom…by looking at our surroundings with fresh eyes.

“Allow yourself a few minutes to sit in a place in your home where you may have been “too busy” to sit before.
Look around this spot and really see your home with a fresh perspective.

  • What do you appreciate?
  • What do you wish to change?

“If you see many things you wish to change or feel overwhelmed with emotion when doing this exercise, don’t worry: your morning pages will help you prioritize and process these insights.”

The space I sat in is my home office which at the moment is a mess…so clutter I dread going up there. Still, I’ve decided it’s time to begin making this room a place I love. One that supports me and my work.



Filed under Integrity, Work and Joy

Cartooning – Crazy, Random Pictures & Captions

In this Cartooning course exercise, I came up with some captions based on prompts (“a catchphrase”, “something you said earlier in the day”) and combined the captions with pictures I drew based on an entirely different set of prompts (“the saddest thing in the world,” “something sexy”)

The exercise is structure so there’s no obvious relationship between the captions and images. The fun here is to play around with the words and pictures to see if you can come up with some good combinations. Here “good” means if not funny at least it evokes some kind of emotional response.

See what you think:

angryladylessperfume Just Do It nextthingyouknow sadkitty_goddamnitlaundry_CoffeeshopBraszombie



By the way if these are confusing or don’t make sense, don’t worry. They don’t necessarily make sense to me either!



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Filed under Getting Out of My Own Way, Work and Joy

Kute Koalas

I’m not usually into drawing cute animals. But this was the lesson for today.

Fuzzy balls:


And a kute koala with disproportionately large ears. He’s asking “Why did you make my ears so big, mate?” I added the “mate” because koalas are from Australia and I assume they’re thoughts would be in Aussie lingo.



If would be fun to draw some “badass” Koalas in biker gear. I may do that if I have time this weekend.

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Filed under Work and Joy

Day 1: Taking the Struggle Out of Life


This week I’m focusing on using self-observation to more clearly see where I tend to self-sabotage and get in my own way.

To begin, however, I want to write about the natural strengths persons who are Enneagram type 4s. My reason is so often I dwell on what I’m struggling with and it can begin feeling pretty heavy after a while. It feels like a good idea to begin with looking at what’s right.
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Filed under Appreciation, Enneagram Type 4, Work and Joy

Day 3: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

I decided to rename this “kicking the online shopping habit.” Although going on a “fast” has become super fashionable these days it the word still connotes giving up something I love and deprivation. Although online shopping feels good in a creepy instant gratification way, I wouldn’t say I love it so much as it sets me up to feel compelled to do it.

It’s been two full days since I stopped shopping online. I should stop here and give myself a pat on the back because I really have stopped. I’m not even “window shopping.” If I’m doing research on a project that’s a little different but I’ve been limiting my searches to search engines and haven’t actually visited any sites whose purpose is selling stuff.

MC900238229 So I’m throwing in some virtual balloons, confetti, and champagne to celebrate this fact.

Yesterday, I mentioned that online shopping is a type of addiction for me and I want to write more about that.

I haven’t yet felt anything like withdrawal’s only been a couple days but I have noticed at times how I’ve used online shopping as a way to avoid doing something unpleasant: making a difficult phone call, cleaning my office, or working out.

I’ll be done with my routine work like checking my email and going over my list of things to get done and now faced with the prospect of something important but unpleasant I’ll suddenly get the idea that “I really need to find a nice pair of shoes to wear with that little black dress I just bought.”

And three hours later, half the day has literally disappeared and I realize I haven’t gotten anything at all done. I remember one time when I started shopping at 10 am and only stopped because it was 6pm and had gotten so dark in my office I couldn’t see the keyboard anymore.

The funny thing is, usually the next day, I look at whatever it was that I was so obsessed with finding and don’t get why I would spend so much time compulsively searching every nook and cranny of the virtual universe. But that’s the nature of the online retail universe. It’s a lot of gaming .. that sense of achievement “Aha I finally found a pair of size 81/2 Frye boots in Palomino Tan!!” has those components of hunting and catching that wire right into my hunter gatherer brain.

I think it’s that perception and achievement and success that feels so good. Not to mention the perception that by somehow having a particular item, I’ll feel happier and more fulfilled. As though that object is a kind of magic talisman which will somehow enable me to be more than what I am.

I also am realizing that I can’t do things I don’t enjoy in hopes of finally being to do what I do enjoy. One of my coaches told me I would have to do presentations and call everyone I knew to invite them to attend those presentations in order to have enough clients to work with. I wanted to have the clients and I wanted to coach them because that’s what I enjoyed. But I didn’t really enjoy the cold calling. In fact I hated cold calling.

So it takes time and I’ve realized I need to find things I find intrinsically satisfying and am happy to do to attain the longer term results. But because this is a relatively new insight, I ‘m not sure what that work would be for me.

And I’ve been engaged in a lot of trial and error to discover what it is that I enjoy doing and can be a viable business. Trial and error means sometimes what I do isn’t very fun. It also means maybe what I’m working on will pay off and maybe it won’t.

Shopping online has bean a way to feel like I’m accomplishing something useful and a way to avoid the discomfort of uncertainty and to avoid doing things I find unpleasant, tedious .. even painful.

I guess looking at it this way, it makes sense that I’ve been spending a lot of time shopping online.

My one concern has been if I stop shopping online will I find other distractions and addictions that allow me to avoid the stuff I’ve been avoiding?

Yeah, duh!

So the question to explore is how can I frame things differently and do things differently so I don’t lapse into yet another addictive behavior?

Mindful Self-compassion feels like a fruitful place to explore.

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Filed under Celebrate, Habits, Work and Joy

Joy in Work


By Paul Hamid Werder, Faculty at the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism

Work can be a place to express our creativity and passion for service. Or it can become an experience of frustrating, anxiety-provoking stress.

Are you experiencing JOY at work?

If so, you are likely expressing your unique talents in a way that is meaningful and nourishing to yourself and others. In a phrase – you are working “from your heart.”

If this joyful scenario seems like an impossible fantasy, you have lots of company! Business-as-usual is rife with compromised values, a focus on coping skills, and the necessity of playing politics and watching your back. Good people can easily lose heart at work and begin to accept their predicament as normal or inevitable. And if we are unaware of a better alternative, our stress and heartache becomes toxic.

I did not learn about this in a textbook. I burned myself out at age 27, thinking it was the organization that was unhealthy.

But truthfully, I needed to heal my relationship with myself.

Until then I could not make my complete contribution in a healthy manner. I needed to let go of my judgmental nature and tendency to write others out of the script. I had to learn that my feelings of inadequacy were coming out in behaviors that occurred to others as arrogance. Yuk!

It took me years to learn these lessons, but my deepest healing occurred very quickly when I realized that God comes running to us when we just take the first few steps. The practice of remembrance has been my lifesaver. It was truly a revelation to discover that our hearts are full of the divine qualities waiting to be reawakened and that God’s love is always available. Is it time to reawaken your heart at work???

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Filed under Work and Joy