Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

Last week, I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store wondering, “Am I missing something?”

I had just gotten an alert from my bank that a check I had written from a money market fund to my checking account had been returned. “That’s weird,” I thought. I knew there were sufficient funds because they are on the sacred  “Spreadsheet”. I called my husband and couldn’t get hold of him. He was away on business – hmmm, in Vegas – hmmm, for the 2nd week in a row… and then, as I started to think of all the reasons this could be happening, I started MSUing (making stories up).

The characters in my story now included a pole dancer and an empty bank account.

That story ended when my husband called back and brought me back to reality. The money was safe, but in a different account based on some changes we are making. He’s usually really good at letting me know about these things, but it has been a busy few weeks, and he really was in meetings from morning to night over the last few days. He simply figured we’d catch up on everything over the weekend.

Hey, stories happen.  In her book, Money A Memoir, Liz tells the story of how she went from being the dependent wife of an investment banker to learning the hard way how to mange her own financial life. I won’t tell you the details. I’ll leave it up to your imagination. Suffice to say, her story is painful and inspiring.

Begs the question: do YOU know what’s in your bank account?

Staying on top of financial details, whether in a committed relationship or living on ones’ own, is a large task. Do you have a list of where everything is? Does someone besides you have a copy? Do your friends know who to call if there is an emergency? Does someone else know where you have hidden the key to the safety deposit box?

The other night, I was with some ladies and somehow the conversation came around to who takes care of “the details.” One of them said her family doesn’t have a Will because she and her husband can’t agree on who should take the kids. I almost spit my wine through my nose. I was once told that if you don’t have a Will and something happens to you and your spouse, then the State takes your kids and your family has to fight the State for custody. If that isn’t enough to make you decide, put it in writing and tell someone how to find it, well, I don’t know what is.

The bottom line: stories happen. You don’t always get to make them up. But you can make sure that all the characters are on the same page. After all, cleaning up a financial mess is a nightmare. Better to write the story you want to tell and leave those you love with a happy ending.

How do you MindFULLY keep track of what is where in your life? Let us know!

This Is Only A Test

This is only a test, not a sexy post. I don’t know how to figure a solution if I don’t run a test.

As I tried to update my look, other things have gone astray. Sigh. So in an effort to test if I was able to fix my URL, I am posting.

Today the topic with my friend, Ann, was about “good enough” and tonight I head out to hear Wendy Mogul. She wrote Blessing of a Skinned Knee and the even-more applicable Blessing of a B-.

It’s a big topic. And I promise to write more. If I pass the test…

Live and Learn

Does anyone else ever find themselves in the position of having to “know how” before trying something new?

I recently heard a new paradigm: first you do, and then you feel. Uch. Way too often I have led with how I feel, and then I do.

But, last week I tried to take this new advice and put it into action. On my own. I re-designed my blog. This blog is about creative expression and connection for me. A year and a half ago, I came up with the name, made a logo and started posting. It was not an easy step to take. And yet, I did it. Since then, I have focused on the discipline of simply posting on (MindFULL) Mondays. But  for the last few months, I’ve wanted a new look and have not known how to get it.

My usual MO is to think someone else “knows how” and I have to pay to learn. However, after spending some time around friends who are amazing at jumping in and figuring it out, I decided to try and do it myself. I was scared I’d screw it up and that what I had was better than nothing. But that is not the way I want to Be. I want the thrill of knowing I’ve tried.

And so, on Tuesday, I sat down at 9am and gave it a shot. I lifted my head at 2pm, exhilarated that I had a new look! I had taken a ride on the roller-coaster of Flow and found myself in a new place. I felt proud that I got the banner to fit. I felt a little frustrated that I couldn’t do more.  I felt delighted when I figured out how to use Widgets.

I’ve tried many things in my life and can look back and laugh (and cry) at what I’ve achieved and what I’ve fallen flat on. For the last 15 years, on every birthday, I start a new journal and make a list of things I want to check off. I am proud to have manifested quite a few. The outcomes haven’t always been as I had hoped, but the thrill of the effort has definitely stuck. My efforts range from bombing an audition to be a QVC host to getting on-air at a local NPR station as the News and Weather anchor. From getting a graduate degree in my 30’s, after feeling not smart enough for most of my life (the irony is a degree like that doesn’t mean you ARE “smart” – smart can be defined in many ways, thanks to Howard Gardner and his work around Multiple Intelligences) to trying for “dream” jobs in the most creative of ways and not getting them. And yet, here I sit, with all of these experiences leading me down a career path that gives me the honor of working with some of the best and the brightest across domains and industries and hearing the thoughts and feelings over thousands of consumers.

There are some new business ideas in this year’s birthday journal that Id like to explore. At the top of my list is to create a new website and have part of it be around eCommerce. I don’t even know where to begin.

Hmmm…will I wait to feel like I can before trying or will I try and then feel like I can?

 How do you MindFULLY figure out what to do even when you don’t know?

Let us know!

When Cookie Crumbs Lead to Great Things

With all the talk of a New Year filled with resolutions and goals, its kinda hard to sift through the advice and come away without feeling overwhelmed or hopeless. There are so many things I’d like to do, that sometimes I have trouble getting started, so it’s the examples of people who simply take 1 action and do something that gets me to turn off my iPad and turn on my motivation.

You see, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. You can think about what you like and then take 1 step toward it. Take my friend, Lisa. She has 3 kids – 14, 13 and 13. She has spent the last 14 years doing all it takes to raise three kids and learned a thing or two along the way. One of her most important lessons to raising healthy, happy kids? Snacks. Who would have guessed? As she says, “Obviously this doesn’t mean filling them up with junk food right before dinner, it means that having appropriate snacks at necessary times can keep kids from getting hungry, which keeps them from getting cranky, which keeps them from falling apart and allows them to be their best selves and focus on whatever it is they’re doing. Interestingly I’ve found this is true for adults too (don’t get me started on naps).  A delicious “treat” can reinvigorate you and help make you more productive the rest of the day.”

With this lesson, Lisa, a self taught baker and ice cream maker, started Gertie’s Homemade Cookies.  Her cookies are all handmade with all natural ingredients and no preservatives or anything artificial; the perfect blend of cakey and chewey, chocolatey and buttery.  Yes, they contain sugar, but one cookie is the perfect serving size and will change your day.

What inspires me, besides her yummy cookies, is her journey. She started baking them at home, figured out the recipe and then found a commercial kitchen to rent for $20/hour. That’s the cost of a manicure. She then simply packaged them, with materials from a local craft shop, and started sharing them with family and friends.

And soon, she was off and running. 1 step, led to a jog, which led to a run. Inspiring.

While you are probably watching your sugar and carbs, at least til the end of January, know that a “treat” can actually help you stay your course. When we deprive ourselves fully of something, we have a harder time. If we have a “bite” or a “half” we are better able to stay our course and self –inspire.

So, “treat” yourself to a Cookie Tower. Cookie Towers are four nesting boxes filled with 4 different kinds of delicious cookies, chocolate chip, M&M, chocolate chip pecan and Heath Bar.  The cost is $40 and that includes tax and local delivery (for out of Colorado delivery, check with Lisa directly).  They are perfect for business associates, clients, kids at college (shipping is available, but extra) kids in the car after school, baby showers, wedding showers, birthdays, anniversaries, rainy days, snowy days and sunny days.

Gertie’s Homemade Cookies is a small, local company trying to change the cookie landscape in Denver. To learn more, visit their website Gertieshomemadecookies.com, call 303-366-7786 or send an email to lisagergely@gertieshomemadecookies.com.

What is one MindFULL step you would like to take toward doing something you have dreamed of this year? Let us know!



The Song of Life

50. Wow. That is a big number. I can’t believe that it will be the one that precedes my name this coming summer.

I’m not sure how I feel about it, other than grateful to reach it in good health and with all of the blessings I have in this moment. I am trying to skip over the bags under my eyes and the droopy profile when I step in the shower, much the less the over 1/2  way through fear of dread. But thankfully,  I have learned that numbers are just numbers. They don’t mean anything other then the meaning we give them.

I was inspired last week when a friend said for her 51 birthday, she carried 51 $1 bills and hid them in random places for people to find. For example, she put one behind a ketchup bottle at the grocery story, another next to a rock at the local high school. I thought that was fun. Another friend is kicking off this year and making it The Year of 12s. She started a group that is made up of 12 women who will meet on the 12th of every month for fun.

So, when my friend, Colette, suggested that to celebrate turning 50 we collect our top 50 songs, with a story, I was all over it. Her birthday is a few weeks before mine. We are thinking of ways we can celebrate this summer and music will definitely play a huge roll.

I think the first song on my list will be Running on Empty, by Jackson Browne. It was my favorite song in high school and with the hot topic of high school in our home these days, it seems fitting. I can’t wait to see what the final list looks like and the story it will tell. After all, music is one of my favorite forms of storytelling and turning 50 can be one heck of a tale.

How do numbers play a fun roll in your life and perspective? Let us know!

Mixel is MindFULL

If you had a clean canvas of time in front of you and were looking for creative inspiration, where would you go? This is what I reflected on as I closed my eyes in the sun at the base of Copper Mountain last weekend.

In addition to some small house ideas that I’d like to get done (and I find lots of inspiration on www.houzz.com) and some pending work projects to keep me sharp and productive (of those I can reveal, one of the best retailers, www.basspro.com, continues to care about what their customers think), I now have some personal creative time for the first time in a long time.

One of my intentions for this year is to MindFULLY infuse my blog and to really get back on finding and sharing some creative resources with all of you. We share what we need to learn.

Love that as soon as I decided this, my very creative friend and author, Rena Tobey (author of The Integrity Moment), emailed about the following app.

The app is called Mixel. The article in the New York Times says it is  “aimed at amateurs…allows users to grab images from the web or elsewhere, collage them almost effortlessly and then pass them around, social media style, for appreciation or re-mixing.” Looks fun! Check out the article at  http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/mixel-makes-art-social/

Let’s make 2012 one of our most MindFULLY Creative years. Please share what you find — and any creative ideas that infuse your days. You can email me at robin@themindfullcreative.com. We’ll take your recipes, decorating tips, books/music/movies you recommend, life lessons, MindFULL moments. Over 100 people read the MindFULL Creative every Monday. It’s not a lot, but if everyone sends in one idea, then we will surely share a year of unbridled creative spirit.

The more we share, the more we will have to draw on when the weeks are long and the days are short. The holidays are over, but the spirit can live on.


How do you MindFULLY learn about new creative sites and resources? Let us know!