Ep. 74 – Stay Mindfully Alive in Your Creative Process

Are you Mindfully Alive in Your Creative Process?Mindfully Alive Retreat

Today’s episode is giving you more insight on how to allow more time to create, and, in particular, we’re focusing on the Mindfully Alive Retreat.

This free retreat is for you, my friend, the woman who is working, serving, giving to so many.  The experts speaking are sharing their insights on topics like:

  • Stress & Creativity
  • Managing Creative Blocks
  • How to Find Creativity While You’re Stuck
  • Money, Art & Stress

So many exciting topics to discuss.  I’m delighted to be one of the speakers sharing insight.  Click here to sign up for  the Mindfully Alive Retreat.

Get that in your purse:

You can join me daily at “5 Minutes for You.”

You, my dear friend, do so very much.  Consider this your 5 Minute Break at the end of the day for a little laughter, inspiration and cheering you on in the many roles of being a woman.

Speak the Lingo:

Today’s Leadership Lingo Term: Create

A few questions to ask yourself:

  • How are you Creating?  Or, if that’s not the case, consider
  • What is keeping you from being creative?
  • Do you find immersed in the creative process?
  • What kinds of activities allow you to be more creative?

Do more of that!  Creativity allows you to come alive and tap into Flow.

Read: Finding Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Today’s focus: 

Today we’re talking about the Mindfully Alive Retreat.

Part of living is being free to create.

And, it’s completely free when you sign up.  Later, you are welcome to purchase the recordings if you’d like.

We discuss:

  • Julie Merrett, occupational therapist & artist, coaches artists to become excellent business people.
  • Money & creativity can be messy.  She helps you keep it organized.
  • Letting go is the part of the process for sale.
  • How to go through life and stay “Mindfully Alive.”
  • Do you consider yourself creative?  You belong at the Mindfully Alive Retreat.
  • How you can get back into flow.
  • For a quick 2 weeks, you’ll enjoy daily speakers delivered right to your inbox.
  • Take some time out for yourself.
  • How money & stress holds you back
  • How you can make money as an artist
  • Your clothing can affect your mindfulness throughout the day
  • Finding Creativity When Your Stuck
  • Why you need to allow yourself time simply for creativity.
  • The difference between, “Sharing your art, but not your soul.”

I will be speaking at the Mindfully Alive Retreat.  I hope you can join us there!

Julie is an artist, coach and bestselling author whose passion is to see talented creatives become talented business people.  She has sold her art internationally over the last 15 years but has done it in a way that feels good rather than filled with fear, uncertainty and doubt which has been the recommended way to sell online.

Julie has always been creative, one of her earliest memories is playing with the sequins in her grandmothers’ bead pot.  Anything that is shiny attracts her, including new ideas… lots of them.  She has used art to heal during her 20-year career as a mental health Occupational Therapist and personally within her own life.  She now daily completes a meditation using art to focus her day and it’s an amazing bonus that these pieces sell.

You can find Julie on her website, JulieMerrett.com.

Let’s connect!

On Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

How to Brand Yourself and Still be You

How to Brand Yourself and Still Be YOU

If you’re thinking about starting a business from home, being there to support your family’s financial bottom line, reaching out and bringing in a bit more income while still maintaining your life, this post is especially important for you.  (And between us, I know you are.  You are reading this- it feels like we are having a conversation, rather than posting a blog.)

You must begin to think of yourself as a brand. No bells and whistles.  Just you.  

How to Brand Yourself and Still Be YOU
How to Brand Yourself and Still Be YOU

You are Your Brand.

Did she just tell me to think of myself as a brand?  I’m not Banana Republic, and I’m certainly no Costco.  She better correct herself.

Wait, come here you!  You need a hug. Let me explain, then I want to hear all of your thoughts in the comments, and we will discuss.  Pinky promise.

Did you ever think about being a brand?  No. You’re a person.  You have your life as a Mama, wife, employee, CEO of your Casa, home-based business owner, you’ve got your etsy shop all set up, whatever it is- you have a lot going on already.  But what is the message you are sending out to the world? What is YOUR MESSAGE?  Or, what is your brand message?

Gary Vaynerchuk explains it like this:

Your message to the world is your brand.

The stories you tell create your brand.  You speak the words that people will use to describe you, and your brand.  For example, have you ever been in a group of people and someone mentions another person’s name and everyone just rolls their eyes.  That lady has a brand.  She may need to work on it a bit. Maybe that same group of people mention a name and everyone’s excited to see that guy, hear more from him, and get involved with working with him; that guy has a brand.  His brand is working for him.

Not sure about this?  You see personal brands everyday.  Think of that guy on the freeway in his huge shiny truck (which he probably couldn’t afford in the first place,) with brand new tires, shining rims, tinted windows and on the back of the window in giant letters says either the name of his NFL team or his home country.  He’s got his brand.

3 powerful words

Think of how you want to be remembered.  When people mention your name, these three words will come to mind.  If that’s too much to take in, think of the words you want people to use at your funeral.  Seriously.  Do the words drab, plain, and unhappy come into your mind?  I hope not.  Now look at your FB page.  Read your last 10 posts.  What are the words that you would use to describe them?  Positive?  Funny?  Inspiring?  Are you just complaining about the clerk at the grocery store?  Bad customer service with your phone company?  What are the words you would use to describe those?

Look, I know those negative experiences happen.  Every day.  But how you talk about things is the message you are sending out to the world.  If you don’t make a conscious effort to speak positively or to laugh at tough situations then you just sound like a complainer.  Not the brand message you want to share.

Consider, you know that girl who ONLY uses a certain brand name purse?  Her purse, shoes, sunglasses, even her phone case is all distributed by that brand. She has made a retail brand her brand.  She loves the message that Coach, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton or Hermes is sending to the world and has claimed it for herself.   In my opinion, she just jumped on the brand’s bandwagon and has forgotten who she is.  She joined a brand.  She didn’t create her own.

Create your content

The messages that you share are your brand.  They are consistent with your brand because they are you.  They come from you.  So when you have your three powerful words put them on a sticky note where you can see them daily.  When you post to FB see that sticky note in your mind.  Is the message consistent with your brand?  If not, re-work it.

The best brand?  Is YOU. Authentically, beautifully, unashamedly YOU.  You have a something to share.  Make sure that you are making your message consistent with the way you want to be remembered.  That’s it.  Do this for all of your social media, blog, and website.  Be YOU.  The best you.  100% you.

And build YOUR brand.

Tell me, what is one thing you are doing to build your brand?


You need to blog. You really do. {Part 1 of 2}

You want to blog.  You’ve thought about a blog.  I know you have, you’ve told me.  Not just one of you.  Lots of you.  LOTS of friends, family and people I’ve met on social media have told me.

Why You NEED to blog
Why You NEED to blog

Today is the 3-month anniversary of my blog.  Self-hosted, WordPress intricacies, the big enchilada. And starting out was…scary.  It felt like standing nekkid on the table in the school lunchroom.  (Have you had that dream?  Brutal. Mean kids in 2nd grade are just as scary a couple decades later.)  But let me tell you, it’s been the best choice I’ve made in a long time.  Check out the map below I reviewed of people who are visiting the site.  It’s exciting!  I’m so grateful for every person who takes the time to read and connect with me.  Thank you so much!

“Do something that matters,” people say.  “Do work that matters,” you scream inside.  Know what matters?  YOU.  Your story, your insight, your perspective.  It matters.  You see the world differently and have something to share.

You have a message to share. It’s about more than just SEO, page ranks and anchor links that connect with people.  How do I know this?  Here’s the map of people who have read this little blog in just the first 90 days.  Some may say this is nothing, for me, just starting out this has been incredible.

Here are the first of the 10 main reasons I believe you need to blog.

Look at the connections made in just 90 days blogging
Look at the connections made in just 90 days blogging

1. Tell your story.

If you have a small company, are a student, or are considering getting into the sales market once the kids get a little older, and, especially if you are between jobs, your story matters.  You have marketable skills.  Did you live in another country for a summer? Do you have a killer hobby of quilting, distance running or trapeze acrobatics?  Tell those stories.  I’ve read blogs on those very things.  Insightful, amazing reads.  By blogging now you are   connecting with others who can seriously open some doors for you.  Now and later.

2. Track your goals.  Hold yourself accountable.

This is huge.  Remember the nekkid lunch room dream?  Having a wish is one thing, telling someone about it makes it much more real, but posting about it puts you OUT THERE.  Really out there.

Know what?  It’s not a dog-eat-dog world online.  There are a few.  But most of the people I’ve met through these connections are positive, hard working, really good people who want to cheer you on as you find a new level of success!  It inspires you to dream, then do even more.  What a bonus!

3. Inspire others.

I can hear you saying this, “Inspire others?”  Yes, you can.  Actually, you already do that.  It’s just that in normal life we don’t take the time to say, “Hey, I saw you wrangle that crazy kid in the grocery store and you never once lost your patience.  That was tough.  You got things in control so quickly.  Kudos to you.”   They think it, but people are just too busy to stop.  But they are inspired by your efforts.

Now you can write about that uplifting book you just read, the conversation that was so good you left smiling or the funny thing your kid just said that was completely profound. So profound that you are still thinking about it days later.  Big things are made by small wins.  Share yours with the world.

4.  Create.  Enjoy the creative process every step of the way.

I had no idea how much I would enjoy this blogging business.  I think differently.  I’m actively seeking out good things to share with others.  People that I haven’t talked to in years are coming up saying, “I think we could do something amazing together.  Let’s collaborate.”  I was in the routine of daily life that I’d forgotten to create.

I find the freedom to see a series of posts of thoughts I’d like to share, while working out the details of the specific posts, images and maintain continuity with the messages I share online.  It’s been a quilting bee of digital ideas working in my mind.  And I’m blown away. I can see how things that were difficult in the very beginning are much easier and give me confidence to some new risks.  That’s powerful, man.  Small wins.

The creative process is what makes life truly rich.  Don’t miss it.

5.  See the big picture and the daily minutia.

Like the creative process, the big picture of long term goals and the daily routine are critical to success.  Blogging offers you opportunity to plan for life and share insights, direction and  help people while you are continuing on your personal journey.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rainbows and pony rides, there are some tough days. I’ve put in the time to learn about plugins and automation, I want to work smoothly like the big guys, but have the personal touch as if someone was sitting on the couch and we were chatting over nachos.  (What is it about nachos that makes everyone just…relax?  The cheesy gooey topping?  Crunchy chips?  I don’t know exactly.  But nachos and laughter always seem to go hand-in-hand for us.)  How do I create that in a few words?  How do people receive the message I’m sending?  These are all things going on in my mind as I work.

These are the first few reasons you need to blog.  I’m sure you have a lot going on in your mind about setting up and moving forward.  Feel free to email me directly, I’d love to hear where your headed.  And more importantly, cheer you on in your efforts!

Don’t worry,  I’ll bring the nachos.

 Tell me in the comments below: What will the focus of your blog be?

31 Ways to Enrich Your Life Today

31 Ways to Live Your Enriched Life

You know that girl.  She may be your neighbor, the one that lives down the street, or even the one at work who just has that zest for life?  I love that girl!  She used to be a little intimidating, not because she was confrontational, but because I didn’t give myself enough credit around her.  I was really holding myself back.  Don’t make that same mistake.  Life is much too short for that.

31 Ways to Live Your Enriched Life
31 Ways to Live Your Enriched Life

Now, you may not have the financial situation you want right now.  You may be in a bit of financial struggle.  Do you realize that the richness in life comes from within?  I didn’t.  What I didn’t realize about that girl  is that she took care of herself, did things that made her happy, really blessed her own soul so that she had even more to give to those around her.

I want to be more like that.  As I continue to study what an enriched life is- I’m finding even more happiness, peace, and my relationships are becoming even better.  It is wonderful!  So today, I suggest a

Here is the list of 31 Ways you can enrich your life. NOW.

  1. Reach out and connect with someone you haven’t spoken to in years on Social Media.
  2. Exercise.
  3. Eat a marshmallow.  (I don’t even like marshmallows, but when I eat one, I’m smiling. 2 and I choke.)
  4. Read some brain candy for 20 minutes.
  5. Watch a TED Talk.
  6. Serve someone. Right now.  Don’t make it a big production, go help someone.
  7. Hold the door open for a stranger.
  8. Say thank you.
  9. Write a thank you note. (Isn’t that a lost art?)
  10. Take flowers from your garden to a neighbor.  For no reason at all.
  11. Write a letter. Does anyone even write letters anymore?
  12. Say “Hello” to 10 strangers.  That’s right.  10.  Try it while walking through the grocery store.  Big cheesy smile and a heartfelt “hello” to ten people will definitely change the environment of aisle 7.
  13. Laugh.  Watch a 5 minute clip on YouTube that makes you laugh anytime.  (Charlie bit me, anyone?) Why does that one still get me?
  14. See the sunset.   Really see it.
  15. Take the boring old, 5 minute-trim your nails routine and make it a 15 minute mini-mani.
  16. Why not do your toes, too?
  17. Text an old friend and tell them you’re thinking of them.  That’s all.
  18. Create.  Something.  Even cleaning out one shelf of a cupboard can be a creative process. That sounds…fabulous.  S-l-o-w clap.
  19. Snuggle.  With a child, a pet or even a pillow.  A 15 minute power nap would be nice, too.
  20. Go outside and take a deep breath.  Smell every aroma around you.  Is it a pizza place down the street?  Are you in the pines?
  21. Dance break.  Take yo’ dance break!  Work it, girl.   Hammer pants, not required.
  22. Dark chocolate, anyone?
  23. Plant one flower in the yard.  Just one. Tend to it and watch it grow.
  24. Eat your lunch someplace new.  Instead of at the kitchen table, can you make it a picnic outside?  Peanut butter and jelly become gourmet in the outdoors.
  25. Write in your journal.
  26. Blow up a balloon and just let it go.  (That still makes me giggle.)
  27. Doodle.  Like high school chemistry.  Some of the best doodles came from the lack of interest.
  28. Remember the best moment you had last year.  Feel those feelings.  Where were you?
  29. Color with your child.
  30. Try something TOTALLY new.  I’m thinking, meditate.
  31. Like baby elephants?  Duh, who doesn’t?  Watch THIS.


Which one did you do?  Don’t you just feel better? Richness comes within.  Take all the yummy goodness you feel right now and enjoy.  Savor it.  Every last drop and smile to yourself.  What a better person you are going to be for the whole world because of a quick little exercise like that!

Live YOUR enriched life right now!