Quarantine Creative Gaming

Is your quarantine feeling a bit like Bill Murray’s Ground Hog Day? Well, don’t settle for that! You have the opportunity to feel more alive every day, not just the days you can leave the house. Anytime you want to experience a fresh feeling of aliveness, enlist your creative process. Yes, you have one and it’s waiting for you to engage it by giving it an assignment. Did you know that it’s waiting on you? Did you know it’s there to serve you in your life? In every aspect of your life? From work, to relationships, to creative projects, to living in a whole new way, right where you are.  When you inquire, or get curious about what you could do differently your creative process will deliver fresh insights, ideas, and inspirations. All you have to do is ask, then follow what comes to you, ‘out of the blue.’ No grinding on it, no trying to figure it out. Those practices only work with stale information. Allow your creative process to deliver something that is fresh.
Here’s a quarantine game that I discussed in Friday’s webinar. Want to play?
·     Do something you’ve never done before. Right where you are.
·     How? Ask the question, “What can I do that I’ve never done before?” Ask it a few times, maybe over a few hours or days, be curious, then go about your day. Enjoy your life.
·     Respond to what comes by engaging with the inspiration. No censoring or poo-pooing. Just play with it. Let the opinion of the mind bare no weight on engaging. PLAY!
Here’s a couple of ideas that came to me ‘out of the blue’ that I engaged with:
1.    I did a virtual Prayer Flag class with Grant and Gracie. It was so much fun to share in their creative explorations. I loved their sense of freedom. Who knew you could make a prayer flag for dinosaurs? No limits.
2.    I created a coaching package of goodies in support of my love of country and sent it to Melania Trump. I had all kind of thinking about it but I did it anyway. I felt a rich sense of contribution toward the country I love.
Let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear what you played with.
Smiles
Cherie

Thank You

How is your quarantine going? Are you discovering new things about yourself, your home, your work, your family? I hope your discoveries are opening your world.
I wanted to write a message to all the moms out there. You are so integral and special to how this world thrives. You offer your heart not knowing what will be shared between you and the ones you bring into this world, foster, adopt, and those you love like your own. I heard someone say once, that moms are THE ones in the world that are always happy to hear from you and to share in your news.
On this Mother’s Day I hope you feel the love that surrounds you. Matters not if you are a mom to a person. fur person, reptile! I want to say THANK YOU for you.
Celebrating you,
Cherie

Thrive Where You Are

A few days ago, I planted some sunflower seeds in a cup. I had these on hand because I volunteer on the horticulture committee of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Yesterday morning, I noticed the seeds had broken ground in the little cup sitting in the window. This morning, I noticed a whole load of seeds had sprouted and some others had grown an inch!

At that moment I saw how the nature of life moves forward regardless of the circumstances. A seed sprouts. What makes that happen? The sprout grows without visibly being seen. At another moment we see growth!

This dynamic Mother Nature is displaying, not only happens in nature, it happens in you. This ‘germination’ has happened in you when you get that nudge or niggle to do something, try something, play with something. Engaging with the slightest inspiration is like watering and feeding a seed. We have no idea if it will bear fruit or reap a huge harvest. The leverage for playing with inspirations is to get involved with the inspiration and stop watching to see if it’s growing. If following inspirations becomes a new normal, before long you look up and you’re experiencing a very different world, right where you started.

Thinking of you,

Cherie

Resting in the Big OK

How’s your staying-at-home going? Are you finding fresh inspirations, time to rest, or no time to rest? You might be noticing how the mind muzak you live in has told you, time and time again, a litany of things that you would do, if you had the time do them. Now you have the time and you’re not drawn to do them, or maybe you are?
I think this is a time of rich opportunity for each of us. This time could be an invitation to drop below the normal mental muzak of ‘shoulds’ and ‘suppose tos’ and listen to the depths of your wisdom. The wisdom that funds us all. It’s a very simple and practical wisdom. “What makes sense for me to do right now?” That’s it!
I encourage you to let go all of the ‘shoulds’ and ‘suppose tos’, giving them as much attention as you give to the change of the wind’s direction and settle into what feels best to you right now. Maybe it’s rest, sitting outside, doing something, or doing nothing. Making whatever you find yourself doing, A-O-K! The land of A-O-K is a sweet place to live. You’re FREE from taking all the self-judgment and report cards on how you’re doing, seriously.
 
I hope you enjoy the extraordinary gift of an ordinary life!
Sending smiles,
Cherie

Continued Signs of New

I hope this email finds you relaxed in a time of unprecedented change. It looks like some people are loaded with more responsibilities than ever before and others are sitting with a lighter load. Either way, don’t you find it interesting that the experience you can have is up for grabs and not dictated? I love that! Free will is a powerful companion during times like this.
I also want to thank everyone who’s been gathering together for our Friday lunch get togethers. It’s been great fun to share fresh insights on how to navigate these times. We’ll be meeting again this Friday, April 3rd at noon CDT, 10Pacific and 1pm EDT. Join the FREE webinar easily via Zoom. See the access information below. Please join us and share this invitation with anyone you feel may benefit from a dose of a fun-loving community.
Sending you big smiles,
Cherie

Truth

I hope this email finds you well and settling in to the changes that life is offering up right now. It’s a rich opportunity for waking up to the TRUTH that you can love your life at any moment, just the way it is. So much of the current health situation is taking away your routine way of living and doing things. Having your habits disturbed is way to discover that you’re well-being is not dependent on things being a certain way. This might be one of the big gifts of this time. Learning, seeing, and experiencing fresh ways to live, connect, and feel more alive.
We’ve been getting together to lunch in place as a community and connecting. Here’s the video link from our latest conversation. We’ll be meeting again Friday, April 10th. Please join in the conversation (Zoom information is below).
I hope you are thriving where you’re planted. I hope to see you soon.
Smiles,
Cherie

Signs of New

I hope this email finds you and your family well and rested. I’m sitting at my desk watching the street activity out my window. It’s wonderful to see people moving about on bikes, a wheelchair, a skateboard, strollers, and on foot. People are politely and spaciously moving about. Today on my walk I saw an extended family, of all ages, in a group litter brigade collecting trash. These times of unexpected change seem to bring the cream to the surface of our humanity offering us fresh ways to connect and be with each other. We really are all in this together, at a safe distance.
This is a time of immense creativity. My wish for you is to see where new opportunities are waiting to be seen in every inconvenience, every impatient moment, and every uncomfortable feeling. I think we are being invited to find the place within us that is peaceful, loving, kind, and compassionate under the surface chaos of uncertainty. We all have it. It never leaves us, but we do look away from it.
Sending you big smiles,
Cherie

Capacity, Resilience, Potential: You’re not tapped out!

Does your mind subtlety suggest to you that you have limits to your capacity, your resilience, your potential? I find it fascinating that our minds are so convincing about what’s available to us in our lives. What’s equally fascinating is the reality that our bodies get flooded with emotion matched with what looks real in our minds. A feeling of stuckness, defeat, disappointment, why bother? It runs the gambit. Where our minds go, our emotions follow. I also chuckle that there is this part of me, my thinking mind, which dwells in the past or the future, rarely present in the moment, offers me convincing input on how life works in real time.
This comes to mind because I saw Willie Nelson and his sister, Bobbie, perform at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this week. My mind subtlety projected into the future and filled me in on how the concert would be. Well once again my mind was wrong, way wrong.
As I watched Willie play tunes, he’s played a zillion times before with passion, presence, and energy, I was struck by what I was seeing. Here’s a person 87 years of age, performing in front of 70,000 people and having a blast. On one song his sister Bobbie was featured. She was banging those piano keys at the speed of Chuck Berry or Jerry Lee Lewis. I was so taken by her performance that I looked her up and saw that she’s 89 years of age!
I wanted to share this story because I found so much inspiration around what’s TRUE and what we perceived to be true around our capacity, our resilience, and our potential. Too often we believe what we think without question. It’s helpful to see we have the option to align with our perceptions or we can align with what’s TRUE about life. Anything is possible for us. If we have a heartbeat, it’s a sure sign that pure potential is present.
Sending smiles,
Cherie

Following the Inspirations that Come

Following the Inspirations that Come
Dear cheryl,
Following inspiration is captivating me at the beginning of this new year. It occurs to me that inspiration is an invitation from the Intelligence behind all life to explore beyond the known. Inspiration is something that comes like a spark from within me. For me, inspiration has a very fresh feeling and carries a lilt of lightness. Maybe even a feeling of enthusiasm. What’s it feel like for you? I’d love to know.
So, with curiosity on board, I’m letting inspiration lead the way. The inspiration said go to the state park, 70 miles from my house, super early and look at the year ahead. As the inspiration started moving, I watched both the spark and the objections that were coming up, almost simultaneously. In my unwritten pledge to follow inspirations, I dismissed all of the very reasonable and credible objections that my mind had to offer. 
I had my marching orders. Time to follow. I packed the papers off the top of my desk, my bicycle, my lunch, my favorite pink pen, and some blank journals. I loaded the car and took off before sunrise.
I arrived at the park so early that it was too cold and damp to be outside so my car became my workspace for exploring what I wanted to play with this year. As I sat in the passenger seat of my car, I was taken aback with the quiet and beauty that I was sitting in. Almost immediately, I found myself asking, why would I resist experiencing this? It was a very rich feeling.
Loads of ideas poured out covering the dashboard. Before I knew it 4 hours has passed. What awoke me to the time was my stomach growling. I couldn’t understand why because, in my mind, I had just eaten!
Following this inspiration has been a delightful experience. Not for the fruit it bore but for the full, rich feeling that filled me.
Insights from following inspiration;
1.    Disregard the mind’s suggested outcome. It’s not possible to know the outcome of what hasn’t happened.
2.    Inspiration comes with a feeling of possibility, lightness, enthusiasm.
3.    Feasibility is a buzz kill that comes with a very different feeling.
4.    When inspirations are followed, you can’t imagine why you would hesitate.
This month I hosted a webinar on letting inspiration lead the way in 2020. I’ve included the link below, if you’d like to watch it. Please share it with someone you feel might benefit from listening.
I encourage you to open your heart and mind to fresh inspiration. It’s life’s natural invitation to expand and explore life.
Here’s to living life feeling inspired!
Cherie

Light-hearted? Tis the Season

The holidays are HERE! Are you ready for what this season brings? Maybe it’s just me but I know my expectations, preferences, and story book images of the season can surely get in the way of seeing the gifts that sit right before my eyes.

When I watch kiddos, they get this game. They are very light-hearted about the holidays. They are ready to roll when the lights come on. What can be learned from this observation?
My suggestion? Take a double dose of ‘taking things lightly.’ Pack your sense of humor and take it with you everywhere you go. The old adage, “Don’t leave home without it.”, is some of the best wisdom to remember during this holiday season. Another tip? Check your preferences at the door. Everybody has preferences (and they are rarely the same) but they needn’t be a reason to break connection. They may get met and they may not, but don’t wait on that to have a good time connecting with the ones that matter most to you in your life.
A heart full of love feels good, I know it and you know it. A mind full of unmet expectations and preferences feels icky. We all have a choice. What feels best to you. The good news is you get to pick.
I want to wish you the very best! I love knowing you and having you in my life.
Happy holidays,
Cherie

Nearsighted, Farsighted, Hindsighted: Giving Thanks

It’s almost Thanksgiving! Can you believe it? It’s the season to put on your gratitude glasses and see all that’s in front of you to be appreciated.
Whether you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or hind-sighted, it’s an opportunity to get in the moment and give thanks.
I would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to show up in your inbox, for coming to the studio for workshops, and for trusting me in supporting your understanding on how rich life can be. I appreciate it more than these words can express.
May all your meals be tasty, your travels be easy, and your connections be rich.
Happy Thanksgiving!
With a full heart,
Cherie

Support for “Ick” Conversations

Maybe I’m the only one who has an adversity to conversations I’d rather not find myself in. I could have been in the circus or worked for the magician, Houdini, because I could find an escape route from these uncomfortable situations. Well, like most things in life, I couldn’t avoid them forever so I decided to see if I could grow a tolerance for them. As I launched this inquiry, over the years, I’ve noticed how my participation in these situations has evolved.

 

The old model:

1.    Getting face-to-face or ear-to-ear

2.    Looking at them, trying to be interested

3.    Sitting on my hands so I wouldn’t bolt

4.    Thinking I’m listening

5.    Reacting or trying not to react to what they’re saying

6.    Evaluating the Right or Wrong of what they’re saying

7.    Justifying, explaining, or defending my part of the topic

 

The new model:

1.    Getting face-to-face or ear-to-ear

2.    Showing up as best I can in the moment with as clear a mind as I can muster

3.    Knowing I’m equipped for anything that comes up in this conversation. No need to run.

4.    Putting my attention on the speaker while my mind is whirling a sh—show of commentary.

5.    Staying neutral. This is an active position for me because I see that I can’t hear what they’re trying to say when I’m falling into the story my mind is generating about what’s going down.

6.    Listening for what they’re really trying to convey. Am I getting their point? Am I curious about what they’re saying?

7.    Questioning them to see if I’m understanding what they are trying to communicate.

8.    Still staying neutral. How can we collaborate to address what they are sharing? 

9.    Seeing the value of cultivating goodwill with this person. What can be created NEW from this conversation?

 

When I review how these conversations go down for me now, I can’t believe I could experience such a dramatic difference in conversations I had once avoided. What surprises me, equally, is the connection and goodwill that comes from listening in a new way. I see where old patterns can’t persist when I show up differently. Something NEW has to happen if I show up differently.

 

This is typically where I laugh…

What? It’s ME again! Really?

Yep!

 

Try doing difficult conversations differently. There’s no perfection, just showing up differently supports change, connection, and goodwill. Something, I believe, we all seek.

 

Please let me know if you give this a try, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Sending smiles,

Cherie

 

 

P.S. In these inquiries, I’m fascinated by the limitless Intelligence behind life that brings fresh ideas and solutions to each of us. What it brings, I’m grateful for. The fact that it is always here and in service to me, for living a more peaceful, loving life…amazes me.

Natural Inspiration

My soul-sister-artist-friend, Elayne Goodman sent me this creation! I was surprised at the post office with a large package and this treasure was inside. Elayne lives in Columbus, MS and we share the same philosophy on the power of creativity and creative expression. We have both experienced a rich connection to something larger than life by exploring our creative callings.
Elayne has been a driven artist since she was a child. Upon asking her mom for art supplies, her mom told her there was no money for that so Elayne turned to found objects on the land of her rural Mississippi home. She has continued to create and express herself throughout her life. She has a rich connection to her natural inspiration and she lives with great permission to express what wants to be expressed. Needless to say, she continues to inspire me with her passion!

Learning Through Living: Insights from a Colonoscopy

Seeing something fresh and new is not special. Human beings are designed to receive insights, fresh thinking, aha moments, whatever you want to call them. It’s built into each of us and you don’t have to do anything special for it to happen. With that said, it’s possible to see life’s truths, simply by living. By doing what’s in front of you to do, in this moment. Recently, two insights about being human occurred to me and I wanted to share them with you.


It was my turn to have a colonoscopy. I’m a huge proponent of this procedure because it helped several people very near and dear to my heart catch diseases that would have otherwise gone undetected.
You hear lots of stories about the prep for this procedure. To prepare, I began reading all the instructions over and over because I didn’t want to miss any details. I knew for certain that I only wanted to do this dance once, so following the directions to the letter was imperative.

On the day before the procedure, I wasn’t allowed to have any solid foods, only clear liquids. For me this consisted of chicken broth and popsicles (no red or purple flavors allowed). What I found so interesting was, when I took food off my mind, such as, what I’m going to eat, getting the right food, and when to eat, I realized there was a huge open gap of space in my mind. It really surprised me how much ‘food thought’ fills my head daily! When that topic was taken off the table, WOW, my mind felt so spacious. Less on my mind felt great! Change is interesting.

The second part of the story, which I found so clever, was how my mind was trying to tempt me to break the fast! I bought a fruit bar as one of my popsicle options and when I went to eat it, I noticed it had chunks of pineapple. My mind is saying you’re hungry, eat it, it won’t matter, it’s not that chunky, etc.

The clarity in me said, no way! I’m not about to blow this process by eating something solid. With the vigilance of a D.C. lobbyist my mind wasn’t letting up. I was amazed how my mind was operating on its own agenda while the clarity in me didn’t budge. It saw the cost and said no way!

This mental tug-a-war brought a simple but significant insight. It showed me that as human beings, if we REALLY understood the cost to our experience or sense of wellbeing, we would not indulge our thinking. The clarity in us would stop us from languishing in events that have passed or made-up future events. If we found ourselves in the weeds of those two topics, we’d come back to the present moment.
What I know for sure is, I’m going to feel whatever I’m thinking about. If it scares me, I’m feeling scared. If I have thoughts of regret, I feel rotten.

Engaging with life brings insights. Since I’m a girl who likes bullets, I’m going to make it simple.

To me, this looks universally true for human beings:

1. If our minds are freed up from habits of thinking or anything else that consumes space in our heads, we have an invitation to see what else is on offer from life. When minds are less burdened, life feels lighter, more hopeful, more promising.

2. Understanding the TRUE cost of indulging our thinking, supports us in exercising free will. If we want to feel better more of the time, we can’t afford the mental indulgence. By indulging our thinking, we leave the present moment and live life through the story being created in the mind. If we’re playing it out in our heads, we’re not present to life. We’re not in touch with what’s alive, life, we’re in touch with our story.

This timeless video clip continues to bring me smiles every time I catch myself in my humanness! 

I want to share my deep appreciation to all of you who commented on my last blog. It was wonderful to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to say hello!

 

Sending smiles,

Cherie