Tue, 17 December 2019
The Secret Weapon of #Creatrix Leaders: Community by Alexandra Jamieson
Martin Seligman, one of the founders of positive psychology, developed a five core element of psychological well-being and happiness. Seligman believes that these five elements can help people work towards a life of fulfillment, happiness, and meaning.
P – Positive Emotion
This element is, perhaps, the most obvious connection to happiness. Focusing on positive emotions is more than smiling: it is the ability to remain optimistic and view one’s past, present, and future from a constructive perspective.
E – Engagement
Activities that meet our need for engagement flood the body with positive neurotransmitters and hormones that elevate one’s sense of well-being. This engagement helps us remain present, as well as synthesize the activities where we find calm, focus, and joy.
M – Meaning
Having an answer as to “why are we on this earth?” is a key ingredient that can drive us towards fulfillment.
Religion and spirituality provide many people with meaning, as can working for a good company, raising children, volunteering for a greater cause, and expressing ourselves creatively.
Unfortunately, the media worships glamour and the pursuit of material wealth, impacting many people to feel like money is the gateway to happiness. While we do need money to pay for basic needs, once those basic needs are met and financial stress is not an issue, money is not what provides people with happiness.
A – Accomplishments
Having goals and ambition in life can help us to achieve things that can give us a sense of accomplishment. You should make realistic goals that can be met and just putting in the effort to achieving those goals can already give you a sense of satisfaction when you finally achieve those goals a sense of pride and fulfillment will be reached.
Having accomplishments in life is important to push ourselves to thrive and flourish.
R – Relationships
Relationships and social connections are crucial to meaningful lives.
Too often, the pursuit of happiness has this Western bias of “individuality” where each person steers their personal happiness ship to shore. This is not realistic. We are social animals who are hard-wired to bond and depend on other humans. Hence, the basic need for healthy relationships.
We thrive on connections that promote love, intimacy, and a strong emotional and physical interaction with other humans. Positive relationships with one’s parents, siblings, peers, coworkers, and friends is a key ingredient to overall joy. Strong relationships also provide support in difficult times that require resilience.
Basically, our pain centers become activated when we are at risk of isolation. From an evolutionary perspective, isolation is the worse thing we could do for survival.
These activation centers are like fire alarms in the body, discouraging people to continue feeling this pain, and ideally, reconnect socially with someone or a group. We need, neurologically, to know that we belong to a group; it helps us feel safe and valued, and has for millions of years.
This led me to think a lot about the kinds of communities we need to achieve our own goals and growth, including professionally and personally…
I read a lot and have seen hits on this Creative Community idea from many different successful artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs.
In her hilarious and illuminating book on thriving as a working actor, Jenna Fischer preaches “be a joiner!”
I couldn’t agree more...
In her first years struggling to get acting gigs in Hollywood, before she became famous as Pam on The Office, Jenna worked day jobs and tried to get auditions while her roommate took a different route:
He joined a theater company and volunteered for behind-the-scenes work in “the biz.”
While Jenna watched a lot of movies alone at home, her roommate was always busy, building community, learning how the business worked, making connections, and creating side projects with other actors.
After getting lonely and feeling isolated, Jenna realized she needed to join in, volunteered at a theater, and began making community and connections.
She credits her new friends and community with supporting her and keeping her going on the long, tough road to success.
In my own career, it is the friends and connections I’ve made through coaching programs, conferences, retreats, and classes that have given me the strength and inspiration to keep going during hard times when I didn’t believe in myself or when I was trying something new and risky.
“You think you’re alone and thought this up yourself, you know, and you’re not; you’re part of an interactive web of twentieth-century thought.
That is, to me, incredibly lovely because...it’s just less lonely.”
~ Laurie Anderson
On Trying To Be The Solo SuperWoman
Being a creative entrepreneur (AKA Creatrix Leader) can be a meaningful, healing, spiritual, and deeply satisfying way to make a living and a life. At its best, we do it in the company of others, with a balance of alone time.
There are a few instances of Creatrix leaders who do it all in solitude, create great work, and have the inner fortitude to manage the mental and emotional challenges…
...though, I don’t know any personally.
Out of all of the long-time, successful creative entrepreneurs I know, I see a common trait amongst us:
We continue to seek out community, get support, and ask for help. We set aside time to go away together and brainstorm strategies. We make space for creating our ideas into reality. We put money, time, and resources towards this work. We commit our full selves to the process, again, and again, and again.
Creative Leaders (AKA Creatrix Leaders, AKA Creative Entrepreneurs) DO require community:
My own community of support is made up of writers, coaches, artists, entrepreneurs, actors, filmmakers, and more.
I’ve just joined a small group of women who are my own mastermind group for 2020.
I cannot imagine where I’d be without the stimulating conversations, questions, challenges, and heartfelt support of these fellow creators and risk-takers.
Brilliant event facilitator Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering, credits her creative community with keeping her inspired, focused, and finding her authentic voice:
“We figure out not only who we are, but who we could be, through our gatherings...birds of a feather flock together, but we have a choice of who we want our birds to be.”
You don’t need to be a painter, novelist, or poet to have a creative community.
Women in my past mentorship groups have included:
… the list goes on and on.
These womxn realized that working with a coach and a small community would help them leap over their previous limiting beliefs.
Because when you get to know people, and let them know you, you can’t hide behind your excuses anymore.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
~ Helen Keller
Even when you have the skills, plan, and commit to showing up to the creative work every day, it can take time. Success doesn’t happen overnight.
The community you find in mentorship groups are there to lend support and feedback, listen to you, hold you when you’re feeling down, and cheer you on as you bust through limiting beliefs.
The womxn you meet will be so inspirational, they’ll help you get through the struggle and doubt. And, by the way, you’ll inspire them to get their their hard times, too!
And Yet, It Can Feel Scary To Join IN
There are perceived challenges to joining a group. We face additional fears:
The truth is “Human happiness lies in doing well what we are uniquely suited for,” The more you get to use your strengths to further causes you believe in, the better you will feel.
The best way I’ve found to handle these fears is to talk with people in a group, or apply to work with coaches who are creating a community like the Creatrix 2020 Mentorship, ask questions, feel into the possibilities, and leap toward the desires I’ve had for growth and connection.
On Balancing Our Introvert With Our Desire To Connect
In Priscilla Long’s Handbook for creators, Minding The Muse, she describes the stages of a creative’s work, which I think parallels a successful Creatrix’s path:
“Writing is a lonely job.
Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference.”
~ Stephen King
I’ve always found this path to be a dance between alone time, group-connection-time, and “going public” time. The first few times you do this dance, it feels weird and uncoordinated. That’s ok - you’ll get better!
In the end, creating your work, with your unique voice and vision, isn’t just about making money, (though my passion is that we Creatrix Womxn get paid well), in the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will be touched and served by your work, and enriching your own life as well.
Some questions to consider as you get ready to find your community:
Applications are now open for the Creatrix 2020 Mentorship group, which begins January 24th, 2020. Get the details and apply here: https://alexandrajamieson.com/creatrix/
Direct download: creative_community.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:18am EST
Mon, 9 December 2019
Clear. Freedom. Unapologetic Action. Uncommon Skills For Women Who Lead.
From clutter to clarity.
From overwhelm to spaciousness.
From other people’s priorities running your life to life running by your rules, gracefully.
The most powerful skill driven women master is the power to clear space.
When we claim dominion over our time, we truly, truly, truly get the life we dream about.
The impact. The health. The body. The love. The abundance.
We hide the truth behind our distractions...
It’s behind our addiction to the Container Store…
Maybe if I get these matching cartons and redesign my office, I’ll be more productive.
It’s behind our over-committing to newsletters and podcasts…
If I have more information I’ll finally systematize my life and work to boss-babe level.
It’s the cause of our late-night eating and chugging a bottle of Merlot by ourselves…
The crush of work and family was massive today (and tomorrow!!) - I deserve this.
A client story, meant to inspire:
Andrea and I worked together for several months when the crush of mothering, running her online coaching business, and over-commitment to various events lead to a perfect storm of overwhelm:
“I’m tapped out. I am barking at my kids. My husband and I barely speak. I don’t know what next step to take in my business. I’m too distracted and frantic.”
I led her through a clarity exercise which revealed powerful truths, and swept away the stuff that was in the way of her true desires:
Andrea was hiding behind her busy life.
She filled every moment so as to avoid seeing her truths.
Her truth was that her kids were fine, and didn’t need her constant attention.
In fact, she saw, they began to thrive when she gave them more space.
Her truth was that her marriage needed more attention, but her overwhelm unconsciously drained her of the energy necessary to get her into couples therapy.
Her truth was that her soul wants her business to evolve into a new style of coaching, and she was afraid to start sharing her new work with clients and friends.
The truth, found in the clear spaces, is that your life is calling you to action.
Saying “no” to the old, overwhelmed schedule requires fierce love and dedication.
Saying “this time is reserved for my soul-level work” requires trust and faith in your worth.
Saying “I’m worth this” means shedding old habits and ways of thinking.
Here’s the truth:
You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no.
You can be seen as a helpful person who achieves great things and fiercely protects your soul’s need for space.
You can be a good, considerate woman who puts her priorities above all else.
You can be a reasonable, smart woman who invests in her growth and spiritual needs.
You will get more, better work accomplished when you have more space and peace.
All this requires mastering the uncommon, Creatrix skill of clearing space.
Clear space in your daily schedule for your needs.
Clear space for your body and soul to speak to you through dance or meditation.
Clear space on your agenda for envisioning, high-level coaching that takes you to the next level of your development.
Clear space in your life for your voice and desires to air out and take action.
By getting clear, Andrea saw her life for what it was: her own.
And in that freedom from distraction, she began to take action.
And her life began to reflect her truest desires.
Now that’s power.
Do this today:
Look at your schedule for today.
Look at the obligations you feel responsible for.
Choose 2 things to say NO to.
Plan 30 minutes in your calendar for a spacious walk, meditation, nap, or journal session.
Fight the urge to justify your change in plans.
There is no one to justify this to, except your soul, your truth.
Look at the remaining days of December.
Choose a day to reclaim for yourself.
Envision the perfect babysitter for the kids, or that your husband willingly takes them for 6 full hours of fun.
Turn off your social media.
Put away your phone.
What will you do with this space?
What will you gain from this blank time?
What fears or worries start to appear when you have clear time for truth to arise?
My own work as a mentor, coach, and writer have evolved by leaps and bounds in the last year, but it required a fierce dedication to creating space.
Space for truth to arise.
Clearing away lies that repeat, like “you’re not good enough.”
I invite you to clear your space today, NAME.
Write me back - just hit reply:
How will you claim your space now?
What do you suspect you will find in the space?
And finally, how will your life be better in 1 year when you dedicate yourself to protecting your space?
(I, and only I, read your replies. And yes, I read every single one :)
P.S. Applications for the Creatrix 2020 Mentorship open soon - get on the early bird list here to be in the first group to apply: https://forms.gle/SbDsYkEXG3QFQqnCA
Direct download: Free_Clear_Unapologetic_Space.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:44am EST
Wed, 4 December 2019
Inner Authority and CONFIDENCE Through Creative Self-Expression
Welcome back to Her Rules Radio! I'm Alexandra Jamieson, your coach and host.
Kate had a hidden, secret, second-self. Her Shadow.
Despite her success, Kate couldn’t shake the idea that women in her sales group were better than her: more sophisticated, better educated, more confident than she.
They were members of an “in-group” that she never felt invited to.
She worked super hard to get her children accepted to groups and clubs and schools where they would “belong.”
She always felt like an outsider at work events, school gatherings, and caught other moms giving her strange looks, and obsessed that they were judging her.
“Every time I hang out with other women at company events or conferences, I freeze up. I drink too much because I’m obsessed with how I look, always comparing myself to them.
And even though I’ve reached the Gold Circle and the top 10 people in sales at our company, I never feel like I’m good enough. I drink too much, eat too much, and can’t relax to make friends with people in a way that feels authentic. I just feel uncomfortable in myself.
It’s so weird, because I’m doing so well with my sales! People always comment on how authentic and easy-going I am in our business conversations, but when the attention turns to me in real opportunity for connection I get weird and start to feel anxious.”
Freezing up is caused by an inner insecurity where we aren’t able to express ourselves fully and honestly.
Imagine you’re in front of a person or group of people whose opinion you care about.
They’re all looking at you.
Focus on how your body feels: do you feel physical signals like tightness, heart racing, sweating, or other feelings like you’re a deer in headlights?
In this moment, do you feel like you can express yourself, while feeling these feelings?
The insecurity, awkwardness, and anxiety kills our ability to connect with others, and our creative thinking shuts down. It makes us so obsessed with how others might judge us, that we can’t be authentically generous and become overly self-focused. Which makes us feel more alienated.
Through our coaching conversations, K realized she was keeping herself from these relationships. We practiced and K was able to approach a couple of the women in her company that she wanted to connect with.
She asked if they’d be interested in forming a women’s group within the company, so they could support each other. K told them about her inner anxiety and what she was working on with her coach, and they immediately opened up:
They had also been feeling disconnected and wanted to create stronger relationships at work, with her! In fact, they both looked up to her and hoped they could learn more from her about how she had become so successful!
K has misjudged them: she had become so self-obsessed and withholding that there wasn’t an opening for the other women to approach her. Both sides were wrong about each other. And by bravely, vulnerably opening up to them, they were able to begin a new way of being together.
Insecurity seems to have a life of its own.
Inside each of us is a hidden, secret, second-self. The Shadow.
All those feelings of inadequacy, fear, and self-doubt, are our inner shadow.
It’s the part of us we try to hide.
The part we fear we’ll be judged for, if anyone knew the truth.
It’s everything about ourselves we don’t want to be, but fear we truly are.
It’s called The Shadow, because it follows us everywhere. It’s your dark side, your ego, Bitch Brain, low-vibration self, and id. It’s the grotesque Mr. Hyde to our respectable Dr. Jekyll.
Your shadow impacts how you see yourself. It doesn’t matter if others see you as successful, beautiful, brilliant, and wonderful: if your shadow says you’re a reject, a loser, too fat, too old, or too lame, that’s what you’re likely to believe about yourself.
The Shadow is our insecurity.
And it’s why insecurity is impossible to get rid of.
The only way to manage The Shadow is to integrate it.
AND, turn it into a source of strength.
This truth speaks to our most basic, shared human struggle:
We all want to feel worthy, loveable, and capable.
But we are the only ones who see our shadow, and we feel ashamed.
We feel so disgusted by our inner truth, we turn away from The Shadow and look outside ourselves for something that makes us feel worthy, loveable, capable, and valuable.
So we look to others to validate us, approve of our work, our ideas, our selves.
It’s why we get obsessed with celebrities and influencers, or the woman in our field who has a social media following twice the size of our own:
We think that because others focus on this person, that she has been validated and approved of. And we focus on the “vanity metrics” of follower size,
Our need for acceptance causes us to buy things we don’t really want, follow career paths we don’t truly care about, create things that aren’t our true calling because they’ve been validated by likes.
The shadow is an innate part of the human being, but most of us are willfully blind to its existence. We hide our negative qualities, from ourselves and everyone else.
To hide we might criticize others in an effort to take the attention off of ourselves. We go through life with a false sense of superiority and a belief that while others act badly or destructively, we ourselves are wholly virtuous and always in the right. But we know it’s not true, because a part of us is always aware of The Shadow.
No amount of approval from others can make you feel whole or worthy.
Because no amount of outside validation can eliminate your inner Shadow.
We can’t escape it, because it’s always there, lurking beneath the surface, hiding behind our outer appearance, making us feel a failure, embarrassed, and weak.
When you need validation from people and metrics outside yourself, you give them your power. They become your ruler.
No matter what you do, you are always seeking this validation, which causes you to edit your ideas, your truth, your uniqueness. It makes us twist ourselves and silence our voices in order to hide The Shadow from everyone around us.
So every time you get into a group of people, or start to reveal yourself, you freeze in an effort to hide The Shadow within. You get unfocused, confused, or stop your forward momentum with expressing yourself.
What healers and psychologists since Carl Jung have known is that the way to heal our relationship to The Shadow is to embrace it, integrate it, and learn from it.
Embrace The Shadow, and Unleash Your Creative Self-Expression (USCSE)
Think back to when you were a kid, and felt free to express yourself. Maybe it was creativity, play, movement, or imaginative self-expression. When we are small, until we experience the first traumas of life, we have a feeling of freedom in our bodies and have no Shadow to hide.
We are connected to the Universal Spirit of Creative Self-Expression.
We are filled with it when we’re young.
You see it in kids you know.
This Universal Spirit of Creative Self-Expression drives us to share who we are, what we think, and how we feel without filter, and uncaring of how others react, or what they might think about us. It causes us to share ourselves in a genuine, truthful way.
When you embody this Spirit, you speak and share yourself with clarity, depth, excitement, energy, and authenticity.
You become a channel, a conduit, for something greater, and Universally True.
We all feel it in different ways:
Writing, speaking, singing, dancing, painting.
Athletes get “in the zone.”
You’re speaking or acting from your deepest, truest self, because you are connected to this spirit, this energy, that we all have the ability to connect with.
As children we all naturally express ourselves from this Universal Spirit. As we grow into adults, we get injured, judged, and punished for our unique expression, and learn to hide it.
By the time we become teenagers we are obsessed with outside approval from our peers.
Then we have to hide anything about ourselves that might be judged as bad or weird.
And we use our hidden place to store all the things about ourselves that might, in any way, be unlikeable, unworthy, or unlovable.
So our inner, hidden self becomes a dumping ground, and we keep using our energy to hide within ourselves. Our least-favorite qualities become inextricably tied with who we truly are, down underneath all the outside show we put on for others.
And our Inner Truth turns into something we hate, The Shadow.
This means, dear one, that our Shadow holds the key to our true self, our inner authority and confidence, and our creative self-expression.
It takes powerful tools to unlock this gorgeous confidence.
The best tool I can share that I’ve used myself and with countless clients, is Creative Self-Expression.
#1 When I finally came clean and shared that I was eating meat again after being vegan for 10+ years, I had to face The Shadow that I was a fraud and a failure. The truth was, through sharing my evolution and new reality, that I was honoring my body, which I had been trying to control through food. In the social media firestorm that came next, I discovered a much bigger audience of people who wanted help in creating a healthy relationship with food and their bodies.
I felt honest and self-expressed. And my business grew.
#2 My client K applied for and won a coveted promotion that moved her family to Amsterdam.
#3 Other clients have worked with their shadow to realize that they were still trying to appease their parents through their current career track or presentation, and decided to stop hiding their message and passion. Building platforms, writing books, speaking out more often.
When we stop caring what people think of us, or how they’ll judge us, and begin to self-express more clearly and creatively, people are drawn to us. We become a magnet for clients and important relationships.
You are just one of the few who has bravely stepped up to integrate The Shadow.
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.” (Carl Jung)
Once we become more aware of The Shadow in ourselves, we must honor it and find a way to integrate it into our life. It’s the Uncommon Path of Creative Leaders who Thrive. If we fail to do it, or continue to hide it (and hide from it), we become weak and scattered because we’re trying to serve our authentic self and hide our shadow, which dissipates our powers and energy. The shadow must become a part of one’s conscious personality.
Tap into your Inner Authority, through Creative Self-Expression.
Embrace your hidden self, knowing every single human being, even the greats you admire, has their own shadow they’re wrestling with.
Embrace it, and speak with it, knowing you are the only Inner Authority who matters.
TEXT: CREATRIX to 33444
To get on the early bird list for Creatrix 2020
Direct download: CONFIDENCE_AND_SHADOW_WORK.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:57am EST