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Let's face it:  there is a LOT of shit going on in the world these days.  It's global, regional, local and in your face.  At least it is that way for me.  Every day I log on to find some asinine thing done by some politician, or another instance of racism, misogyny or hatred, or another weather related disaster of epic proportions.  Then my phone begins to chime with text messages and phone calls:  another client having a crisis, a friend diagnosed with a life threatening illness, another with a drug addicted child.  How much more can we take?

Unfortunately, no one knows the answer to that.  I certainly don't.  But I do have some helpful hints to handle it all.

Here are some symptoms which may indicate crisis fatigue:  lack of energy, sadness, anxiety, lack of motivation, anger...lots of it, or a feeling that you just want to hide under the covers until it all goes away.

Hiding under the covers may help for a little while, but it doesn't really work for a long term solution, and it doesn't look like the politicians are going to grow up anytime soon.  The weather related disasters just seem to keep on coming.  I don't know that racism and misogyny will ever go away.

What are we to do?

Here are some things that might help:

  1. Acknowledge the feelings.  Denying them isn't going to help.  Stuffing them doesn't help.  You can acknowledge them without acting on them.
  2. Talk about it with someone who won't try and fix you but will just listen with compassion.  You don't need fixing, but talking helps.  We are only as sick as our secrets, so don't keep this shit secret.
  3. Be of service.  Donate or volunteer.
  4. Stay in the present moment.  Don't project into the future and don't fret about the past.
  5. Take care of yourself. Make sure you eat right, rest plenty, and let yourself cry if that is what wants to happen.
  6. Enjoy the simple things in life, and be grateful for them.  Hug your loved ones, pet your critters, or a neighbor's critters.  Bake cookies.

And finally, remember that we are all in this together.  You are not alone.

 

Today is National Business Women's Day. When I become aware of stuff like this, my mind first goes to "WAIT! Is there also a Business Men's Day? Why not have a Business Person's Day?" Those of you who know me know that I am not a fan of exclusivity. I rarely go to women's only things, and never sponsor them. All my workshops, retreats and events are inclusive. BUT! I am also reminded of the qualities that one must embody in order to be a successful business person whether one is male or female. Discipline, consistency, gratitude, self-starting...and probably most important of all: courage and faith. A business, to be successful, must have certain qualities. Built upon a foundation of courage and faith, and sometimes desperation, a successful business will be grown by a business person who has the discipline to show up every day and do what needs to be done, who has the gratitude for clients and who does not have an attitude of entitlement but instead has a can do attitude. The faith part is the willingness to know that the business will be successful, and the courage part is to follow that faith up with action. If you are a business person, I salute you. If you want to be a business person, I can help. Did you know that I have a coaching program designed to facilitate your successful business? Check it out here: http://karenlinsley.com/?page_id=265. And....if you sign up before the end of September, I will throw in a free business portrait, because a good head shot is essential.  Just think....by the New Year you could be in a position to begin your successful business, fully supported by me and by the essential tools I will give you!

Do you have a desire to own and operate your own business?  Do you want to make a good living at that?  This program will teach you the qualities necessary to not only own your business, but be successful at it.  By the end of this program, you will successfully be able to quit your day job!

Learn the tools that allowed me to start and build a photography business that earned me a six figure living!

I believe in these principle, and because I do, I am offering a special deal:  sign up and pay for this program by September 30 and I will throw in a Business Portrait!  That's right, because part of being an entrepreneur means having a head shot that shouts credibility!  It is a $200 value, and you will get a high resolution copy of the image of your choice from the session, fully edited and retouched, to use in all your promotions.  (session will be done in my in-home studio in Minden, Nevada.  All other aspects of the program can be done via telephone or Zoom)

Contact me today to sign up and then hang on for the ride!

Things I learned from taking a stand up comedy class:

Sometimes I do things simply because I feel an inner call to do them.

There is usually no logical reason for the doing. But if I feel the call, I follow that call, because I've learned that call is an inner, higher part of me, poking at me to move to my next greatest level of expression.

It is my Godself, urging me to be more and better than I already am.

That call has never steered me wrong.

Although sometimes I wonder.

Such was the case when I began to feel that familiar urging to take a local stand up comedy class.

I said to my Self, "really?!?!?!" My lower self responded, "we have no time, we have no extra money, we've never had an interest in comedy, not really. What the hell is up with this poking to take this class?" My higher Self said, "take the class."

All righty then.

I took the class.

Here's what I learned:

Sometimes less is more.
Get to the point....succinctly.
Accuracy and detail is not always necessary to get the point across.
Cut out the dead wood. Meaning all the descriptors. Just do the set up...and the punch line. The audience will fill in the blanks with whatever works for them.

And most importantly....it is now much easier for me to see humor in all of life's events. And.....it is definitely OK for me to lighten up a bit, to not be so intense about everything.

I'm thinking that sometimes...not all the time...but sometimes...what I learned just might apply to life in general.

Thanks, Kat Simmons, for this class. I got to see a mother hen side of you during this class, and you shepherded us like the most talented shepherd on earth. I had a blast, I enjoyed the routines of all my fellow students, and I hope everyone there enjoyed it!

Michael Singer, in his book the Untethered Soul, prefaces the statement in the meme by saying this, "It’s hard to understand how we decided that avoiding our inner issues is an intelligent thing to do,..."

Some of you reading might want to know what spirituality has to do with our inner issues.

I happen to think it has everything to do with it.

I think we are a bit confused.

I'm a minister.  I'll just come right out and say that.  I spent a total of 9 years in school, the last 4 of them in a Masters Degree program, to be able to get that title. But I do not like nor respect nor appreciate organized religion as it is commonly practiced today.  Go figure.  It helps that I'm a minister in a organization that is open at the top, and pretty much says go for it if it makes you happy.  But what it doesn't say is to worship outside things, which is where my problem with organized religion lies.

I don't care if it is crystals or Jesus, or anything else outside of ourselves, if it is outside of ourselves, it is all the same thing, and it is missing the point.  I'll come right out and say it: if it is outside of ourselves, it is still religion, whether you call it the Universe or Wicca or New Age or Christianity.  Nothing wrong with any of it.  But it isn't spiritual.  Spirituality is inside.

Here's another meme:

The Self within.  THAT is where spirituality lies.

And THAT is also where the power lies.

I work with a lot of folks, and when I explain that they need to learn to rely on something within themselves that is their TRUE self, their capitalized Self, they balk.

In the mix of worshipping outside things we have somehow lost the concept of that inner Self, to the point where most people come right out and say, "I'm not even going to go there.  There is nothing inside of me that I would feel comfortable relying on."  Inside is still a dangerous neighborhood for many.

If I could wave my magic wand, religion would be a gateway drug into the inner world of ourselves, where people would feel free to explore the true power in their lives.  There would be a peaceful co-existence between acknowledging that there is Something out there that is powerful (again, it doesn't matter what you call it) but there is also Something inside each and everyone of us that is just as powerful, perhaps even more so, and it is ok to explore that.  And it is ok to explore the concept that the outer power could not exist without the inner.  In this way, perhaps we could come to terms with this separation that exists in life.  The separation that says that power is only outside of ourselves, and the separation that results from that:  someone out there does something that upsets us, and we then attack, rather than going within to discovery what the gift could be in terms of our own personal awakening.

I've been watching the polarity happening in our country, and I've been exploring what a solution could be.  It is very obvious to me that what we have done up to this point is not working.  Somewhere there is a field that we haven't even explored.  It is in that field that the solution lies.  All this attacking and blaming and shaming and bullying is not working.  Let's come up with something new.  First within ourselves, then out in the world.

I am experiencing, for the first time in several years, seasonal burnout.  On the one hand, I am extremely grateful for the business.  On the other hand, this isn't what I thought I would be doing three years after graduation with a Masters Degree.

I'll get to the seasonal burnout in a minute, but first I want to address disappointment.  I'm disappointed.  See.....I spent 4 years getting a Masters Degree. During that time, I focused on my studies, and not my work as a full time professional photographer.  I figured it like this:  the photography industry is going in a direction I don't wish to follow, so this career change is coming about at the right and perfect time.  I will get my Masters, become a coach/retreat facilitator/workshop queen and release with gratitude that other career that made such a good living for me for 30 years.

So I got my Masters Degree....three years ago.  Promptly began marketing myself and my skills as a coach, designing and holding workshops and doing retreats.  Except, I wasn't getting enough business to pay my bills.  Disappointment.  I wrote a book (www.newthought12steps.com) and published it.  Royalties are....well, not what I expected them to be.  More disappointment.

I figured by this point I would be making a living from almost full time work in my new career, and part time work as a professional photographer.  Instead, it is the other way around.  The gratitude is that I am making enough money to pay my bills, the disappointment is that in spite of marketing my little heart out, my new career seems to be stuck in a rut.

But I know a couple of things about disappointment and while I've been known to furnish my ruts, I also knew a few things about getting out of ruts.  I write this to affirm it for myself, and for you, just in case you might be experiencing the same thing.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in our lives by mistake.  All of it, the good, the bad, the ugly, the awesome, the beautiful, happens because some inner and much greater part of us has called us to make the decisions we make and do the things we do, to get to where that greater inner self wants us to go.  I am not here by mistake and neither are you.

The key is to, as Henry David Thoreau said, advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.  No matter what.  Never lose sight of the dream.  Never stop affirming it.  Never stop taking the action to move towards the direction of your dreams.

That's what I'm doing and that is what I will continue to do.  My dream is to make a full time living helping people achieve their dreams through coaching, workshops and retreats.  Until I can do that, I will continue to earn my keep through professional photography.  Because ironically, the industry seems to be turning around and once again excellence in skill and craftsmanship seems to be making a comeback.  And....I'm doing a retreat..in October.  You should come, it will be awesome.  Here's the info:  http://karenlinsley.com/?p=2508

And in case you are curious, or you need a professionally done business portrait for your business (because having a good head shot means credibility), or a great family portrait, or some wedding photography, check out my photography web site:  www.imageangels.com

Don't ever forget your dream.  If you can dream it, you can do it, and you are worth it.

Oh...and the burnout?  Take a few days off.  I am!

Last night I had a wonderful conversation with a male friend.  We tend to talk about deep stuff sometimes.  In this conversation, he shared with me that when he was a young man, he was told that men prove their manhood on the battlefield and their masculinity in the bedroom.

Sigh.  I think that is so sad.

Fortunately, he said he has realized that the values he had as a result of those kinds of messages could be changed.

And that is the topic of my post today.  We get messages from lots of places growing up.  Parental units, society, religion.  Much of the time, especially when we were younger, we incorporate those messages into our own consciousness.  They become the foundation for our values.  Most of us never even consider that those values may not be our own.  We never investigate whether they hold true for us.

Why should we bother?  Why not just continue on through life holding those same values?  Well, you could.  Unless you've got some lack, or some limitation in your life.  Then, the place to look for ultimate change is not the outside circumstances, but at what your beliefs and values are.  Change those, and the outer circumstances will follow along.

When I'm working with a client and I suggest that the belief may need some changing, they then ask, how do I do that?  I can be as easy as setting an intention to do, or....it can take some conscious and constant reminding.  I have found that awareness is a great beginning, and once the awareness is there, if there is willingness to consider that a belief system needs changing, then all of a sudden new ideas begin to appear.

Change your thinking to change your life.  It is that simple.

Today, my friend knows that his manhood and his masculinity are proven by how he treats others and he has demonstrated much better relationships as a result of his changed beliefs.

I've been getting a LOT of questions lately...what is your Creativity Retreat all about?  How do you teach someone to be creative?  I'm not artistic, is this for me?

So.....I've decided to answer all those questions, and give you a bonus.....

On this call, you will learn the 4 elements that will allow you to create the good in your life.

These are the same 4 elements that are introduced in my creativity retreats!  Now...we can't cover in an hour what we spend in a couple of days at a retreat.  Think deep dive at the retreat and introduction on the call.  But you will still learn abou the elements, and I will give you some tidbits to get you started on living the BEST LIFE EVER!

To register, simply fill out the contact form.  I will email you back with the information you will need to join us on the call.  The date of the call is Tuesday, August 15, from 6 PM to 7 PM Pacific time.

You may be saying to yourself, "I already have a good life, I don't need this!"  If this is you, then congratulations!  But I've discovered that sometimes in life we don't know what we don't know.  Admittedly, I like to shake things up a bit.  I think status quo is...well...a bit boring sometimes.  And I also think there is always room for development.  Are you perhaps a bit dissatisfied with your job?  Maybe you feel stuck in some area of your life?  Or maybe you have a feeling that something is missing, but aren't sure what?

Sign up for this call and check it out!  You will have invested only an hour of your life, and I know you will enjoy it, and I know you will leave the call with a new idea, or an AHA moment.

Register here, and I look forward to "seeing" you.

OH....and if the idea of an online meeting is foreign to you..don't worry!  It's as simple as clicking on a link to a web site.  And if you don't have a web cam, you can attend with your phone.

 

 

This is me, playing around and making a face for a photo session. Many years ago, I used to make faces like this one, and worse. I was a victim of my thoughts and prey of misery and despair. I spent a lot of time hiding, and lying on my couch, doing very little. I was not a happy camper on any level. I got good and tired of that, and one day I realized that it would do me little good to change any of my outside stuff; what I had to do was change my insides. So I began taking classes, and little by little I learned the tools that allowed me to begin to live a life that looks like this:


Laughter, peace, joy and a productive life in which you have the power to create good. That is what I am offering with my Creativity Retreats. If you are experiencing limitation or lack in any area of your life, then this is the retreat for you.

Imagine spending three days in a place rich with history, a place that is filled with examples of creativity: art created by local artists on the walls, and your room with a bed covered with a handmade quilt or crocheted bedspread. The very location of this retreat is filled with examples of creativity! They took an old abandoned former hospital and turned it into a lovely art and retreat center, perfect for us to do our work!

At this retreat, you will learn proven principles that millions of others have used to

Learn the power of your words and thoughts
Learn how to transform your thoughts
Move out of your old paradigm and into a new one
Formulate a new vision for your life and learn how to transform that vision into reality
Here are the details: October 15, 16 and 17th at St. Marys Art and Retreat Center in historic Virginia City, Nevada. The price is an incredibly low $350, which includes your single or double occupancy room for two nights and all meals.

Join us. You will be glad you did.

Want more information?  Call me at 530-906-9336

 

The people who attend this particular retreat seem to fall into two main categories....either they need a rest...a break from life...or.....they are stuck in some way, feel like they are caught between a rock and a hard place with a job or a relationship or some other situation.  If this applies to you, then you are a perfect fit for this retreat!  I also get a lot of people who have never attended retreats before, so let me just tell you a bit about what a retreat is, at least as I see it.  My retreats are a time and place for folks to both get away from the rigors of every day living, and a way to introduce new skills into the art of living.  These skills are things you will be able to use the rest of your life.  One of the advantages of going on retreat is that it allows for a new perspective.  Part of stuckness is that we see and do the same things every day.  Going to a new environment jump starts the creative process and you will begin to come up with new ideas.  This is the beginning of the creative process.  Then the fun begins.  There is a definite creative process in life.  If you are alive you are creating....wouldn't you rather be creating a life that you enjoy and that serves you well than the alternative?  That is what this retreat is about.

What will happen at the retreat?  You will arrive at St Mary's early Sunday afternoon.  Check in time is 1 pm and we begin at 3, so that is the window.  You will get checked in to your lovely room (St Mary's has awesome rooms with awesome art) and be able to familiarize yourself with your surroundings.
Our first session together as a group is a get acquainted session.  This is a great time for bonding, making new friends, and opening up to what wants to emerge during the weekend for you in your life.
We close that first session at 6 and meet for dinner at 7.   The rest of the evening is free time, to journal, rest, go for a walk, chat with folks.  We meet bright and early Saturday morning for breakfast at 8.  9 am we group together and meditate, then begin our next session, which lasts until noon.  12:30 is lunch, then free time to explore and play till 3 pm when we meet again for another session!  Dinner at 7, then rest.  I will be available during any of the free times for a private one-on-one chat if you desire, just let me know.  Sunday morning is breakfast at 8, then meditation, and closing ceremony.  I will have a gift for you!
Block out the date on your calendar and register NOW for this awesome gift to yourself!  You can register online, or....if you want to put a non-refundable deposit down to reserve your space, call me....530-906-9336.

Let's face it:  I don't live a structured life.  And I like it that way.  When I was a kid, and I was asking those kinds of "what do I want to do when I grow up" questions, I got all sorts of well meaning suggestions from the adults in my life who really didn't know any better.  They suggested things like medical assistant and secretary.

I have to admit, it was a bit shocking to hear such advice from folks who absolutely did not live inside a box. My father was a professional jazz musician!  I won't tell you what my mother did, but it involved lots of shady people...certainly not inside the box living.

What I knew was that while I had some talent as a vocalist, I didn't have the confidence to pursue it.  And I could have gone in my mom's direction, but I knew that way was paved with dragons that I had no desire to encounter any more than I already had.  And quite frankly, the thought of working in the same place every day, with the same people, doing the same things, gave me the heebee Jeebees.  I ended up running away in the middle of the night, driving to San Francisco with what I could fit in my little sports car, getting a job as a waitress, going to college and eventually, after much soul searching, knashing of teeth and years of an undeclared major, becoming a photojournalist.  I did that work for about a year, and I loved it.  But then the bottom fell out of my life.  I had to go take care of some personal things, and there went the photojournalism career.  When I finally surfaced again about a year later, feeling very fragile, I knew it was once again time to find work.  I got a job as...wait for it....a secretary.  It was the only thing I could find.  But after a few months of that, I had muscle twitches, high blood pressure and I was going crazy.  The doctor wanted to put me on blood pressure meds, I said no....what I was going to do instead was quit my job and start a photography business.  I still couldn't live in that box!

So I started my business and my blood pressure went down. It took about three years before that business was fully supporting me year round, but it ended up supporting me very well for about 25 years.  I did different things every day, went to different places every day, and met different people every day.  I loved it.

Then things began to change again, and I realized that it was time for me to redefine what I did for a living.  Today, I still don't live a structured life.  And I still like it that way.  I do different things every day, I see different people every day, and I go to different places every day.

And I'm noticing something:  there are a ton of people out there who also don't want to live in a box.  These are the people who are selling things like candles, oils, diets, home decor, skin products.  These folks usually have day jobs, but they are doing everything they can to support themselves in other ways, with the ultimate goal of quitting their day jobs.  These are the people who work to bring home a paycheck, who don't like what they are doing, but don't know how to get out of that box.  There are other folks too, who work part time at something:  the world is filled with part time photographers, part time coaches, part time widget makers, part time widget sellers.  These folks all have one thing in common, they want to live outside the box, but they don't really know how to go about doing it.  So they spend their weekends and nights, selling their widgets.

And I want to see those people succeed.  I want to see them be able to quit their day job!  I want to see them fly high and WAY outside the box!  I think it is time!

This is why I do the work I do.  If I can make a good full time living outside the box, so can you.

This is why I created the Creativity Retreat.  You see, living outside the box requires some skills and some beliefs and more than a little bit of faith, primarily faith in yourself.  It requires some creative living.  This is what I will teach at the retreat.

Take three days and I promise, you will have the skills needed to be more creative in your life.  You will learn how to live outside the box, and make a good living at it.

You will learn:

  • About the connection between your body and the rest of you, and how that physical issue might just be a way of trying to get your attention to live differently.
  • About the power inside of you that you can draw on anytime to live the most fulfilling life you can dream of.
  • And you will learn tools and skills that you can take home with you and apply to every area of your life, to always live the way you want!

Sign up now.  Block those days off in your calendar.....get the registration paid for, and get yourself to Virginia City on October 15, 16 and 17.  If you can't swing the registration in full, call me and put a deposit down to confirm your registration.  You will be glad you did, because it is the first step in a whole new way of living!

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