Monday, October 31, 2011


A Reply...still in process and evolving!
It's been a while since I posted. Not short on words and no excuse offered. But here's my latest musings:
Thanks Seth Godin for Linchpin. Informative and idea solidifying book. Of course he aint the only one with the bright idea of pointing up those folks who faithfully cut a new path and not for the sake of wearing crazy-glued, pink Mohawks, but because they know there’s a way that fits them and is better for everyone. It’s certainly our tendency to take these people and put them out front, make them a leader. Not too long ago, this was the best way to pick managers and foremen, my father being one of them. Not saying my father wasn’t a great foremen and manager, but I think it was part of his exercise in “Peter-principal” collapse.

Funny thing about being a leader, people expect you to be the author of innovation and cutting edged thinking. Most appointed leaders I know are ‘quaking in their boots,’ afraid that’s this next dilemma or opportunity to lead in an effective way, will show the world their a fraud. Sure they cover it up, put on a good face and act brave, but all the Harvard training doesn’t cover up what isn’t natural.

Here’s what I’m proposing for those who find themselves in the vaunted role of “leader:” FOLLOW. Yes, everyone stares at you as you walk the halls. When you’re in the limelight, everyone is expecting you to unveil the latest swagger-gear, some look that everyone will try to emulate. Don’t sweat that attention, instead, focus on the one who leads better than everyone else. He’s great at staying out of the limelight and truth be told, no one who’s ‘anyone’ follows him. He doesn’t do much that all the “popular kids” do, but he does what’s right. Yep, people are going to talk about you, you’ll lose your credibility when you say or do something that everyone thinks is stupid and out of step with what’s ‘really happening,’ but aren’t you wearing the emperor’s new clothes, right now because you think that’s what keeps you in step with everyone else? Aren’t there mornings when you would rather crawl under the covers because you know you’re one misstep from being a joke? Follow.

Follow what is in your heart. Quiet the noise of culture and your education and follow. Listen carefully and recall messages only small children hear. They don’t know the popular dance steps and when music comes on, they do what comes naturally. They don’t color in lines, they draw mommy as they see her. Follow, my friend, simply FOLLOW.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Practice 10/17/11

I woke to the sound of the “gong” sound coming from my clock, at 3:00 am. That’s the time to wake up during the week. I get up; have my time of writing, ala The Morning Pages exercise, shower and out the door for a couple hours of exercise. Routine; love it or leave it, the sense of knowing what your day brings contains sanity and safety. No further opinion from me.

It’s 9:05 am. Normally, after getting back from the gym, I get the wife off for work, my youngest out for school and have my devotional time. Spending time with my Father is vital for the same reasons as my 3:00 am routine: sanity and safety. The added benefit is my soul is fed in ways no other human endeavor matches. Normally, at this time, I’m sifting through emails, thinking about what I want to work on, paint or pencil wise, and planning to work until I can’t anymore. Some routines take longer to establish and I’m learning to set rules to make them happen.

For the last year or so, I’ve adjusted to life at home. For a number of years, I was a contract employee at McDonalds, testing software. At 9:05, I would have been at work for at least an hour, also sorting through email, maybe a morning conference call and by now, employees would have filtered in and gone to their desk or on their way for coffee. I would have reviewed my list of test scripts to execute for the day, checking over what was done the previous day and looking at the defect report. I could plan men’s room breaks almost to the minute, as well as when a coworker would stop by my desk for a chat. I tested software and was the resident counselor.

I know where I want to be in my life and with each day of nailing down this routine, I see myself moving toward that life. I see my days much as it is now, with the exception, rather than going to the basement, I’m in my studio, quietly preparing to open myself for creativity.

There are days when what I want feels like a 345-pound weight across my shoulders, as I try to rise from a squat, but that isn’t the case today. Today, I’m at peace with my life as it is. Yes, I would like to be “in charge,” or “responsible” for more monetary resources (meaning, “I wish I had more than enough to take care of my needs, wants and a few other folks”) but today, I’m grateful for multiple meals, a warm house and gym membership. Additionally, I have a studio in my basement, brushes, paints, pencils and paper and I can go at it as long as I desire. Course, I’m making dinner today, but that fits into the life I want.

Closing this entry with this thought: No further comment on my part needed. What about you?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Waiting on GOD

Sleeping Beauty
There is something to be said about knowing "help is on the way." Of course we want it NOW, especially when, in that moment, we expect whatever assistance we get, is already late. But knowing you can trust that someone beyond your limited capability, stands prepared to rescue, deliver, uplift and make good the path before you - nothing better.

Writing this today, it is the state of mind I'm in. Certainly, there's a sense of angst about the future; I always want it to turn out like the picture I have in my mind, but KNOWING...that's far more vital than an ideal image. I'm the image, I'm resting, quietly, waiting. Yes, there are moments when action is required but one has to be aware that any 'call to action' is nearly a response to a command. So often we don't have a clue what's required. We can only reach out for help and hope it comes soon.

I'm waiting...He is responding even as the words appear on the page.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Practicing...It Matters

I'm reading the book "The Artist's Way," and I'm in week 8. Oh MY GOODNESS, is this challenging? One of the things I've found is that in my journey, over time, in many ways I have been getting prepared for this stuff, before it comes. This week, a key point that jumps out at me is coping with the "artist's anxiety." I know I'm not the only one who has to cope with this and it isn't an artist only issue. Everyone finds themselves 'stuck' or 'misdirected,' which is the biggest issue for a struggling individual. You know there's important stuff to do, vital tasks that spring from your very soul. But you also know you've got to do the laundry, build that career, and help mama or someone else with their list of tasks.

Guess what? If you continue to feel that tap in your soul, but continuing to ignore it, you are making yourself miserable. It isn't the job or the nagging issue of work/life balance that's got you stuck. It's the call of your soul that won't give you rest.

Here's a small tactic: do a little bit of the stuff you love. For me, it's a matter of sitting down with my pencils and paper or a brush, oil paint and canvas. Don't do a lot of it, don't create the masterpiece, just do something each day. Okay, I'm back at it.