There are so many distractions. Sometimes, in our hectic lives, we have competing priorities, which can make focusing even harder. This past week on What Women Want Talk Radio, Judy Goss and I had guests Christine Hassler and Nancy Ganzekaufer, who coached us on how to make our lives more reflective of our deeply held priorities. If you’ve been overwhelmed by your to-do list or suffering from a bad case of analysis paralysis, you’ll find the candor of Christine and Nancy refreshing.
Sometimes not everything is peachy in Kristin-land. I have my ups and downs. There’s that catchphrase, “The struggle is real.” Well, the stupid is real too and some days are full of very real and very consequential stupid.
I have had to learn how to manage a few roller coaster situations in the last few months. I’ve had to work on checking in with myself and I’ve found a surprising source of happy-my Tumblr. My Tumblr has been godsend the past few months.
My Tumblr consists of mostly things I find fun, interesting and make me happy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pressed the “Random” button, seen a photo I’ve long forgotten and broken into a smile. It’s my happy bank.
There’s a lot of rancor on social media. It’s the zeitgeist. However, I think we all need a little digital happy place, one that we don’t feel the need to impress too much or grow following, just a space to let those memories that make us happy “be”. If I were craftier, I’d scrapbook, but then I’d have to carry it around everywhere. Considering my penchant for mislaying things, it’s probably best that my happy bank is digitized.
My point is, sometimes life hits hard. It may be difficult to see the blessings. You may be barraged by stupid. When those times come, it’s important to remember the good times. Fill your happy bank and your heart will always be full of gratitude when you need it most. For me, it’s a small space on Tumblr. Explore what works for you.
It’s typical…you’re going out to speak in front of a crowd or even make a toast at a family dinner and here come the hand shakes…the perspiration…maybe even a dry mouth, and as you draw your attention to it, it gets worse!
Well, former TODAY Show anchor Jane Hanson said she has experienced this, no matter how many times she has appeared in front of the masses and hearing her say this somehow makes me feel BETTER. Not because she has suffered through it also but because that I know that if she gets it, then all of us should know that it’s more common than we think. It’s how to deal with it and plow through it – perhaps even USE it! – to communicate your message the most effective way with your audience, whether you are on TV, in front of a live audience or simply putting yourself…
What makes you tick? What makes make you say “That’s IT.” This past Wednesday’s What Women Want Talk Radio episode focused on finding your “IT”—what makes you tick and feel alive. I think this show is great for the new graduates out there who may be struggling with finding a personally fulfilling path.
Chaitra Radhakrishna started her career in computer science in Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, but after finding herself unfulfilled, she moved to the US and discovered her talents for web design and marketing. She founded PinkPot, a lifestyle blog that blossomed into something more.
Jane Bishop spent her early life traveling the globe with her military family, which pushed her to develop a strong sense of self and constantly find her “IT”. After a corporate job caused her severe burnout, she focused on building her own business and now offers consulting, coaching, public speaking and is the author of the new book, The Bread Box, which focuses on finding the extraordinary in the ordinary stuff of life.
I also opened up about my “IT”, which is the movie business. I constantly had to say “yes” to my it over the years and still do so today. I love when Jane mentioned the power of play in our lives, because I think that’s something that so many adults lose touch of when “adulting”.
Seriously, the Ghost Busters jingle was echoing through my head all through our latest What Women Want Radio Show broadcast. We’ve all had blocks. We’ve all been stuck. We’ve all had that same issue come back over and over again and smack us in the face (or rear).
Once upon a time, in a summer stock theater troupe in a galaxy far far away, I was assigned to play one of those obscure Shakespearean characters. This was one of those comedic relief characters in the heavy drama right before the king gets killed. If you are an actor, you know these characters exist in the Bard’s work and they are hard to nail. Mine was the Duchess of York in Richard II. In many productions of the play, this scene and this character are cut.
Weeks of rehearsal and the director’s input were more about purging the bad choices than discovering the good. It was trial-and-error and both trial-by-fire AND error at the same time, almost all the weeks of working the scene on stage. I couldn’t wrap my mind around this quirky character in this equally off-the-wall scene. People wanted to get to the poetic and tragic death of the king, right? I was frustrated.
It wasn’t until I owned the character’s block as my block that I did finally break through.
The group I was working with paid special attention to the meter of the verse and had a process of using the verse as the momentum of the emotion. My meter was irregular. Great. Irregular scene, quirky character with irregular meter. Awesome. So reading the scene for the umpteenth time, I decided to make her obstacles my obstacles and my thoughts about those obstacles hers.
What was her obstacle?
Getting in the door-literally. In the scene, the character was locked out of a room.
I decided to improvise using a make-shift battering ram. Using the sound effect value of the battering ram helped me focus my intentions, beat (literally) the pesky meters and own it. I made a big, bold choice and it worked for me.
So, not of all of us are going to have to delve into weird characters in the Bard’s world, but we may get handed a sort of surreal set of circumstances.
Own the block—cautiously. Don’t make harsh judgments about yourself. There’s a language difference between “I am blocked,” and “I am experiencing a block”. Verbs move you through. Adjectives might weigh you down.
Identify the most basic part of the obstacle. What’s your basic objective or intention? Start there and get specific. If it’s a conceptual block, try externalizing (mind-mapping, modeling). Perhaps it needs to get out of the head and into the body or on paper.
What is not working? Keep discarding the things that are not yielding the results you want. Keep at it. Keep moving. Don’t let the block weigh you down spiritually or emotionally.
Make a big, bold choice when it makes sense. If it doesn’t work, discard.