Blend Your Grind

I think I just drank plastic.

I’m pretty sure that horrible sound when I started my blender was the plastic cap…..

GRIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDddddddd…….

I couldn’t find the top this morning when I went to empty all my ingredients into my blender, and just thought,

It must have fallen down somewhere

OR…it was actually in the blender and just got mixed in with my ice, protein powder, coconut oil, and all the other goodies that make up my daily concoctions on this diet.

My smoothie tasted odd, different.  Something was definitely off, and it wasn’t the daily ingredients.

This was an extra piece that didn’t belong.

So, I emptied the smoothie down the drain, and started fresh, without the plastic cover on the top.  It was a pain, but I figured I could just hold I paper towel over the top to keep liquid from coming out.

The blender worked great otherwise, right?

WRONG.

 

Last summer, right before my 41st birthday, my whole world was turned upside down with the diagnosis of being pre-diabetic.  I went from a dancer’s mentality of loading up on carbs for energy to completely eliminating them.  My whole pantry emptied and was filled with items I didn’t think I would ever have.

My fruit bowl that was normally overflowing with bananas and peaches instead held avocados and squash. Chips, crackers, and popcorn all went away.

Thankfully, I started working with a brilliant biochemical nutritionist who prescribed a protocol that reversed my numbers in 3.5 months.  I was no longer pre-diabetic, but my blood sugar was still right on the cusp and too high.  So, in came her mentor, a integrative medicine doctor who started me on a more intense regiment and a cleanse.

A cleanse with smoothies.

Lots of them.

Before my diagnosis, I rarely drank smoothies.  I did enjoy a chocolate protein drink for breakfast every day, but my blender sat in my cupboard.

For years.

I don’t think I had taken it out once in the three years I’ve lived here, and the blender was actually from my bridal shower for my first marriage….back in 1997.

When I started the smoothies as part of my daily diet and a way to get good fats in my system, I got the old blender out of the cupboard, and it didn’t last long….just a few months.

And then, at the beginning of 2017, I grabbed my Bed Bath & Beyond coupon and bought the cheapest one I could.  With my coupon, the blender was a whopping $15.

That was all I wanted to spend.

I didn’t need anything fancy, right?

WRONG.

 

This $15 blender was a pain from the beginning.  The blades would get stuck, and I would have to pump the buttons to get an even mix.  Most of the time, the smoothies would come out lumpy, and when I would add avocado, the motor would actually burn out.

WHIRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrr…

And yet, I kept using it.

When the plastic top cover piece was ironically eaten by the blender, I had a quick thought,

Maybe I should buy a new blender.

And yet I didn’t.

I was determined to make this blender work.

Even though it was not working.

What was I really trying to prove?
What was actually going on?

 

Have you ever done something like this?

Tried to force something to work in your Art that clearly wasn’t?
Have you tried to keep working with people that you know in your gut are not your ideal collaborators?
Or forced a project that was not in integrity with your vision?
Have you seen all the signs and just trudged on anyway, thinking it will change on it’s own?

Most of all, have you cut yourself off from growth in your Creative Life for the sake of saving a few dollars?

Check in for a moment.  What in your Art are you allowing to be hard and take more energy than it needs?

There’s an easy solution, so you don’t have to drink plastic and burn out your motor.

You’d think the day I drank plastic would be the moment I would hop onto Amazon and buy a new blender, but I actually took the impending 28 Day cleanse I started in April to really bring it home.  I was looking at having 2-3 smoothies every day, and that was daunting.

So I broke down and went online.

And there it was….shining and new.  A glass jar, and the same make and model as my friend had recommended.

The price?

$23

Only $7 more than the last one.

The blender arrived and I plugged it in, and saw there was this button,
AUTO SMOOTHIE

I put all my ingredients in the jar, placed the nifty top on, and hit it.

And then magic happened.

The blender ground up the ice, and created the most even and perfect smoothie I have drank since my diagnosis.  All with one touch of a button.

That easy, and all it took was $7.

And there was a LOT in that $7.

There was the belief I could make it work.
There was an attachment to an old way of being.
There was a strong need to control a situation I didn’t feel comfortable in.

The answer?

Actually become present to the situation, recognize my frustration and anger at the cleanse and diagnosis, and then give myself a huge hug.

The old blender wasn’t working.  And I was using money as an excuse.

 

Have you done this before?

I think the real issue underneath was fear.  I was scared to admit I needed to let go.

And recognize I was doing the best I could, and this was not a sign of failure from my effort.

We can become so attached to how things HAVE been, and try to get the results we want, but just putting in more effort.

But more effort doesn’t equate results.  It’s really about the intention behind the effort and the effectiveness of your actions.

It may be as simple as just investing in making a change. Even more so, admitting to yourself it’s not working and it’s time for something new.

One that will free up your Creativity.
One that will be more effective, and allow for flow.
One that will inspire you and connect you even deeper to the reason you became an Artist in the first place.

And it may only cost $7.

As Albert Einstein said,
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results

What can you change today?

Throw away the old blender and bring in what puts you in the flow.

Your Marker Map

I’m drowning in a pool…..and I can’t swim.

This is how it can feel sometimes, right?

We have so much on our plate as Creatives.  Not only producing our work, but the marketing, the pricing, the collaborations, and relationship building.  And then what about research and education….and having fun??

Didn’t you get into this field because you LOVE it?

So, you find yourself binge watching Gilmore Girls  on Netflix for a whole weekend and in the corner sits your:

Unfinished script or novel
Half painted canvas
Memory card that needs to be uploaded to your Hard Drive
Website ideas
Book full of songs to be learned

And while it may feel good at the outset when you watch the first episode, once it’s all over you are right back where you started and no closer to receiving the acclaim you desire with your Art.

The reason?

Overwhelm.

I get it!  We’ve all been there.  Just like my client, Nadine.

Nadine is forming this amazing Non for Profit aimed to empower teenage girls through art and dance.  However, in order to launch this project, she needs to line up funding, sponsors and donors.  And to do this, she needs to be able to lay out the program and also be able to speak about the program clearly and succinctly.

She came to our coaching call saying,

Nikol, I feel like I’m in a pool and all the things I need to think about are these little rings all around me….and I can’t swim!

Fantastic.

I began by saying,

First of all, the water is warm, like bath water.  Secondly, you are now sitting very comfortably in a float, with a cooling drink.  Now, from HERE, what do you see?

I took Nadine out of a threatening situation and gave her a safe vantage point where she could actually LOOK at all the elements that were important to her.

What happened next was magical.

Not only did Nadine then clearly share all she was seeing, she was able to clearly lay out a full format for her program, and when I reflected it back to her, her eyes widened.

She actually had all she needed already….it was just obstructed by the Overwhelm.

When she got off the phone, she smiled widely at me and said,

Nikol, I’m out of the pool now and I know exactly what I need to do next.

And this all happened within 30 minutes.  Imagine making a shift that quickly.

What could that mean for your Art?
What could that mean for your Career?

 

So, in order to make the shift, let’s begin with what actually occurs in Overwhelm.

1) Things pile up in our life
2) We can’t see. Our sight becomes affected because ALL we see is the pile, and nothing else.  Our view narrows.
3) We believe the only answer is to shut down and stop all action
4) We then disconnect from the situation we believe is causing the Overwhelm
5) In disconnecting from the situation, we actually disconnect from ourselves and what is really going on underneath

And this cycle repeats again and again, and keeps us from achieving our Dreams.

So, what can you DO?

You can:
1) Get it out of your head.  When things are swirling constantly in our heads, you can feel like you are on a loop and going crazy.
2) Translate ALL that is around the issue that is giving you Overwhelm
3) Give your Overwhelm a Voice
4) Come into the Observer, releasing attachment to your current state and identification.

Have you ever heard yourself say,
I AM Overwhelmed?

When we make these kind of “I AM” statements, we are believing we are fixed and unchanging, and the situation is fixed and unchanging.  We have identified with our state.

But here’s the good news…..change is a constant.  Your emotions rise and fall, and your state changes throughout the day.  You are becoming and changing in every moment.

You may be experiencing Overwhelm, but it is only a piece of your experience and not the totality of who you are as a glorious Artist.

And as an Artist, guess what you have readily available to you?

Creativity.

So, let’s grab some markers and a blank sheet of paper.

Ready to play?

The way to shift your Overwhelm quickly is through a really fun tool called a Mind Map. And this is what I used with Nadine and with all my clients.

According to Wikipedia:
“A Mind Map is a diagram used to visually organize information.  A  mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole.  It is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words, and parts of words are added.  Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.”

The Mind Map was first popularized by British popular psychology author and TV personality Tony Buzan, but has been traced back as far as the 3rd century by a noted thinker visualizing concepts of Aristotle.

Clearly it works.

Buzan brought this term to the general public with a series he hosted on the BBC TV back in the early 1970’s called Use Your Head, promoting the concept of a tree-like structure and “radial thinking”.

Buzan was really highlighting the concept of non-linear thinking.  Which, as Creatives and Artists, we can all relate to, right?

This is a gift of the Creative Process…..non-lineation.  So, why not use it to address our Overwhelm?

Why not Use Your Head to free up the resistance that is stopping you? And do it in a fun and Creative Way?

So, grab those markers, and that blank sheet of paper, and in the middle of the page, write down that thing that overwhelms you, or that project that you so deeply want to complete.

Try these guidelines:

1) Start in the center with your project or the cause of your overwhelm
2) Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map
3) Don’t edit, and let everything come out onto the paper
4) Develop your own personal style

This is a great opportunity.

It is actually WHERE we shut down that we have the opportunity to learn.  We’ve made something HUGE and it just needs to be broken down, into small manageable pieces, so we can actually SEE it.

The mind map is a visual tool that allows the swirl of your mind and the blindness that occurs to calm, and for you to actually gain understanding.  You will be able to lessen your anxiety and create one step moving forward.

Because, just like Nadine…you actually have ALL you need within.  You’ve just lost sight of it.

So, grab your markers.

What do you SEE?

Post your Answers and Mind Maps Below!