This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Motivation for Mondays: The Artist's Way check-in for Week 9

Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way book cover
We were working on "Recovering a Sense of Strength" last week. So, how did it go?

Feeling stronger?

Chapter 8 visited the concept of strength in various ways: survival, being able to affirm your talents, dealing with loss, understanding early childhood patterns that could undermine your progress. It was also about taking action to regain your sense of self -- the ability and willingness to stand up for your creative self, and to write despite yourself. Thank goodness after all that difficult introspection, chapter 9 will show you the way to self-compassion. You should look forward to this week's chapter.

But for now, we must revisit last week's work.

So, are you feeling stronger, or are you feeling like you'd just like to throw in the towel. TAW may seem like it puts you through the wringer, but it's good work, this deep digging we're doing.

I encourage you to go on. Even if you've set the book aside because of distractions, get it back out. Open the book up and read. Do some of the exercises. Remember, you don't have to do them all. That might be too much. Save some of them for later, or save them for the next time you read the book. You don't have to overdo it or try to impress anyone. There's only one person who matters in this exercise, and that's you.

I will tell you that I'm not feeling the need to go to the page as much as I have in the past. I'm drawn more to write on the computer. And I'm not liking that pull. So I'm going to focus on that more this week. I will tell you that my Morning Pages are starting to look like idea books. Every time I write and read another chapter, I come up with more ideas about the work I'm presently researching. I find that to be an empowering result and hope it continues.

I spent most of the week waiting for my daughter to have her baby, which she didn't, so I've been so preoccupied and have not scheduled a date at all with my artist self. I'm not really sure if I did anything particularly creative this past week; however, I did splurge on a bottle of wine for the holiday and spend some time picking it out, admiring the labels. Doubt that it counts, but I suppose if I were stretching, I could make it. But I'll let you be the judge of that.

I found this statement interesting:

"Intellectualism seems counter to the creative impulse."

I did a few of them:

My perfect world five years from now. I want to own an oceanfront cottage in Maine, and now I've decided to be okay with San Diego (closer to family?). That's where I see myself working. I'll still be writing, only then with the crashing waves near my doorstep, the music in the background. I have a studio, brightly lit with natural sunlight through huge windows. I have a comfy area where I read by firelight. My family can visit, so there must be rooms for them as well. The BF is probably off running down the shoreline. He would love that!

I probably still have my home in Arizona, but I don't know if it's this one. If it is, it better have new carpet and be painted. My HOA is requiring that four-five years from now. I probably earn a handsome half a million dollars a year or more. So I'll be living very comfortably. I've probably sold my BIKE book by then, that's why. I'm probably speaking internationally, though not too much. I like my home life too much. Who wouldn't, on the beach, in Arizona, whatever works???

All of this is probably why I've been so focused on writing more book proposals lately. ;-)

My color scheme It's blue, of course. My eyes are blue. I like the song, "Jackie Blue." I look good dressed in blue. My office is half painted blue. It fits my astrological sign, which is Pisces. And it's my favorite color. Here's the list of few quick sentences that describe my blue self:

I am blue.
I am the color of an Arizona clear summer sky.
I blend well with whites, pinks, purples.
I am happy and serene.
I make others laugh.
I give off high energy.
I am bright and cheerful.
I am the color blue.

I cannot recall any specific issues that occured last week, but I think that's only because I was a bit caught up with other things: my daughter, the holiday, work.

How about you? How did your week with Chapter 8 go? Please report your progress here. We're moving on to Chapter 9 now, where, as I mentioned before, we recover a sense of compassion. You're going to like this one, I hope.

Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What's On Your Reverse Bucket List?

fountain at Place de la Gare, Quebec City Canada
I got the idea from Jennifer Lawler, who got the idea from Diane Silver who got the idea from a friend of hers. So this is definitely a borrowed idea.

But I like it. So here goes: the REVERSE bucket list compilation.

What is that, you ask? Simply put: It's the opposite of the checklist of things you swear you're going to do before you die. It's the checklist of things you've already done. To me, there's more to be thankful about when you focus on what you've already accomplished than what you have not or have yet to do.

So, like the ladies before me have already done, here's my list -- the shortened version, of course:

-Raised two children mostly as a single parent who happily live on their own.
_Am a grandmother who doesn't meddle.
_Have splurged on the penthouse suite with my own money.
_Have taken the week-long writer's workshop just because I wanted to.
_Spent more than $10,000 on a vacation abroad -- just for myself. It was a learning vacation in Kenya, with lessons still coming my way even three and four years later.
_Have already chosen to live a creative life.
_Say yes to the wine whenever I choose.
_Appreciate the outdoors.
_Hiked a slot canyon, even though I was petrified at the start.
_Am a travel writer by choice.
_Took the improvisation class I once only dreamed of taking.
_Buy books that interest me, no matter the topic, and take time to read them.
_Hired the landscaper so I could cut back on the work I have to do myself.
_Signed up for the conference I didn't think I could afford.
_Wrote my first book.
_Bought my own house.
_Have learned to trust my instincts.
_Have made a ton of writer friends I really care about.
_Have made a ton of speaker friends I really care about.
_Have built an irrigation system.
_Have made mortar and laid brick.
_Have trimmed a prickly bush almost as big as my house and survived.
_Have spoiled a dog.
_Made a failing freelance career flourish.
_Travel solo frequently.
_Go on trips that interest me.
_Sell stories so that I can go on trips that interest me.
_Been a published poet.
_Have written short stories and a novel.
_Have had my photos published in a book.
_Have been interviewed by other journalists.
_Have given presentations to large audiences.
_Have helped women in transition make the transition.
_Have mentored other women.
_Am learning how to juggle and ride a unicycle (not easy!)

And the list goes on.

What's on your REVERSE bucket list? Post it here so you'll have something to be grateful for this holiday season, aside from your family and job.


(The above photo of the fountain was taken by me in Quebec City this past summer, when I attended one of those conferences I wasn't sure I could afford. It was a leap of faith.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Motivation for Mondays: The Artist's Way check-in for Week 8

Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way book cover
"Oops, I did it again..." Clearly, I'm feeling a little Britney Spears-like today.

Imagine that. Me, a superstar...Nah, it's just me being late -- again! It's Tuesday. And, yet, here I am posting that "Motivation for Mondays" thing. Well, with all that's going on in my life right now, I gotta be consistent in some way. So, today, we'll work with the title. Next week, back on track, I hope, unless my daughter's baby arrives. Then, Monday might turn into Wednesday or Thursday, or...

The point is: please be patient. Remember, we're all about no judgment here. We're all about growth at our own pace. Which reminds me, although we're all that, I still want you to post. Keep us updated. You can get behind, but remember to get back on track, even if you're a little off-track or even off-off track. It's okay. Just stay with the program. So you don't read on Monday mornings. Tuesdays are good. Two chapters at a time are good. Shorter updates are good. The point is, we're all here for the full ride, to complete the full book. I'm hoping you'll love it enough to want to do it all over again.

So, please. Stick with it. I know you're going to see the change you need.

Now, on with my update...


Chapter 8 saw me slowing way down on the TAW exercises and activities. Seriously, I wrote the Morning Pages only once this week, and I can't recall that I actually scheduled or did an Artist Date. (So, see? You don't have to do it all, all the time.)

And I know that's okay because I always bounce back, sometimes at a slower pace than others. But I'm still hanging in there. I'm still strong. I am producing work, and I'm marketing like crazy. I am feeling successful, regardless. I'm feeling strong.


It's a good word. I wrote that in my Morning Pages without even thinking of the purpose of this chapter. It's on Recovering a Sense of Strength. It had been an entire week since I read the chapter, or even wrote in the journal, and, yet, I connected. I really liked that. It made me feel good to know I can and do acknowledge my own strength, seemingly without the need for a book to remind me. I can do this on my own. How are you feeling about this in your world?


Chapter 8 talked about losses. Again, another serendipitous moment for me. Remember, I lost Clooney two weeks ago. And I'm now preparing for a gain -- the birth of my grandson. It's a miracle how life continues to even things out for us, even when we least expect it. It's like Yin and Yang are discussing things behind our back, making plans we don't know about, and then, poof!

I believe there's definitely a spiritual connection to what we must give up in order to make room for something new. It seems like a natural balance occurs when you begin to realize how the universe works with you. If you don't think this way, if things don't seem to be going your way, try making a request out loud. Ask for what you need -- if for no other reason than to acknowledge the need for yourself.

And always expect the best. I don't know what that means. It means whatever you need it to mean at any given moment. But I write this now in nearly every e-mail I send out. So I'm not only giving the message to myself, I'm also giving it to others. Expect the best! There, now it's yours to use.

And if you're feeling any resistance, any resistance at all, pay attention to that. I find when I'm feeling resistance, it more than likely means I'm not ready for whatever change I thought I wanted. I take a step back and evaluate the pause. It's probably not yet time for me to make that call or do that thing, whatever it is. I have learned to respect the pause.


I highlighted several things in this chapter that I'll note here, to see if these had any special meaning for you as well:

_"Every end is a beginning." I highlighted this in yellow several years ago, and I still believe this today. It puts a positive spin on things, doesn't it?

_"The key to career resiliency is self-empowerment and choice." I also highlighted this several years ago. Yes, indeed! This is still true for me. What's next? the chapter asks you. Action, it says. Take action. Always take action. I think I'm very good at this.

_"Most of the time, the next right thing is something small." I love this. It's about baby steps. It reminds you that you don't have to take big, expansive leaps to make a difference. You can move at your own pace. And no one can tell you what that is. For writers who need to send out pitches, you can send out one a week and be okay with that, if that's all you have time for. Or you can send out hundreds. Whatever works. The key here is to be honest with yourself. If what you're doing isn't working, then maybe you do need to take more baby steps or push yourself to the leap level. But it's still your choice. Just listen to your gut. Wasn't that the message of chapters past? It's still a good one.


This part of the chapter I need to re-read. "Stop thinking about the odds and you'll stop procrastinating." Really? I didn't get that. I need to re-read this and consider the meaning, to see how I might be manifesting my own procrastination. Because I can do that very well. I can be the superstar after all, when it comes to procrastination.

What about you? How did this chapter hit you? Any lessons that were particularly jolting or eye-opening? Let's hear it. Post your comments below.

Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Motivation on Mondays: The Artist Way check-in for week 7

I know. I know. It's Tuesday. Why did I still title the post "Motivation on Mondays"?

I did that because I want to keep the column consistent, so you can find back posts should you care to review them in the future.

Of course, now you'll want to know why I failed to post yesterday, right? Easy answer. Yesterday, Monday, I spent six hours in the Emergency Room with my BF. He'd been sent there because he'd been having a back pain that had escalated and a very high blood pressure reading, and was thought to be having heart attack.

Yes, it was another stressful day, and I wasn't anywhere near a computer nor was I thinking about being anywhere near a computer once I took the call just before the lunch hour. Of course, he told me I didn't need to go. But what do you do? Sit around and wait? I'm not good at waiting. So I went over to meet him and stay with him--to make sure he was going to be okay. The words "heart" and "attack" are not words that roll lightly off the tongue, as you can imagine. So I wanted to be there with him, in case this was that serious.

After having every kind of test imaginable--EKG, Cat Scan, X-rays (but no MRI)--the ER doc determined it wasn't a heart attack, but he does have a heart issue he needs to see a cardiologist about later, which I don't see as unusual after 55 years of organ operation. But, was a scare until we knew. It seems he's somehow pulled a muscle in the top mid-section of his back, and he can't figure out where or when. They gave him some meds for that and follow up instructions. But it's good to know that if you ever have such a pain in the back that doesn't go away and, in fact, escalates, it could be a heart problem. You should see your doctor or visit the ER.

So that was my day yesterday. No work to speak of. All stress. And finally relief.

Now, to the actual check-in...

These chapters are really sending a lot of serendipity my way. With Chapter 7 being all about connection, and my losing my dog that same week, there was a lot of that going on. It began with the eulogy, and then moved on to the assignment I had that was due last week. It involved connecting with an historic event. Even after a really short trip there, I was able to feel very connected to this place and time--the Civil Rights Movement.

In fact, I was able to use an actual event that I discovered occurred on my 1-year-old birthday in the story itself. I was able to connect with the gospel music of the times. I was able to put myself in the place of the protesters because of the interactive elements involved in the tour I was on. It was all very experiential. And that really helped me write a story my editor had little to edit away.

Later in the week, I was able to find more connection to my dog, after I picked up her ashes. I went back to that pile of pictures I'd been sorting through on the day I had to take her to the vet hospital (and where she subsequently died), and I found several pictures of her. Pictures I hadn't seen since we'd first gotten her. So I gathered them all and shared them with friends. I miss her. Last week was all about finding some kind of connection with her. I didn't have to work too hard at it. I am still finding this in every room of my house. I very much feel her presence in my office, as this is where we both spent the bulk of our lives together. I haven't yet picked up her toys or removed her bed from the floor. It's all very comforting to me.

And this week, the connections are extending to the human beings in my life. My BF, for example, and the visit to the ER. There was nothing else I could have done but be with him during that scary moment in his life. It was good for him. It was good for me. It was good for us to feel a connected during such a scare. It's what helps bring two people together, when you know you can count on each other. That's the point of connection, I believe, and that's not always easy to do when trying to protect your own time and space and your Artist Self (which is mentioned in this week's chapter).

Further understanding of "connection" occurred this past week when I wrote a short story that involved lost connections. Though it wasn't an animal-based story, I'm sure it was a cathartic release, and also a sign that I am definitely giving my Artist Self the time it needs to explore and grow. I like that. Are you seeing any similar events/experiences unfold in your own TAW work?

Of course, the chapter is further realized in the way I'm reading my daughter's phone calls. Every time I hear her ring on my cell phone, my first question before "hello" is: "Is it time yet?" She's about to give birth any day now, and I'm so in tune with that and preparing for the big moment that I can't help myself but jump at her every call. It could be the one. Ah, yes, connections. I'm glad so many exist in my life, and truly, I've been touched by this chapter.

As you can imagine, however, I only wrote Morning Pages two times last week and am counting my picture sorting as my Artist Date. If I took another one, I can no longer recall it, as I spent the bulk of the week too busy stressing about finishing my story for an editor when all I really wanted to do was grieve my dog. I managed to do both. I suppose writing a short story could count...

I did highlight a few things in the chapter and was surprised to see so much that still matters to me, as it did in previous readings, things such as this (paraphrased):

_Listen to your intuitive voice (This came out in my short story, and I needed it in order to manage the health of my dog).

_Letting go is a normal part of creativity.

_I have been that person who wouldn't do something unless I was sure I could do it perfectly. I have learned over the years to take the risk and do it anyway. Some of the things I've taken the risk to try: improvisation classes, reading my poetry in public, a spontaneous vacation. Things I'd like to try that were on her list: whitewater river rafting, figure drawing or watercolor painting and trapeze classes.

_I come up with book ideas and write them in the margins of my TAW book. It's fun to see what I've written in the past. I added two more to the margins in this chapter this year. One I'm working on already, but I like the title I came up with this past week better than the one I already had.

_I liked what the chapter says about jealousy, that it's a mask behind the fear of doing something you're not yet brave enough to try. That's a good point and something to be reminded of when that green monster rears his ugly head.

As far as exercises, I didn't take much time to do them this week and only did one or two.

I'm really glad to be in "Chapter 8 -- Recovering a Sense of Strength." Perfect timing, if I do say so myself.

Be sure to post your progress here, and tell us how you're relating to the last few chapters. Are you seeing the growth you might expect? Are you surprised at what you're experiencing all because of this one little book and the time you are choosing to give your Artist Self? Share your thoughts here.

Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Motivation for Mondays: The Artist's Way check-in for week 6

My dog Clooney, not George
So if last week wasn't stressful enough, this one topped it. My own progress here has been stifled by my dog's poor health. Last night, I made the painful decision "put my dog down," as they say.

Euthanasia. That's the word that had been pummeling around in my mind for the past two weeks, since my dog experienced her latest bout of cluster seizures. Yesterday, when she experienced yet another, and even before that -- because she warned me what was coming with her labored breathing -- I knew I'd be taking her in to see the vet again, the vet specialist. And I suspected I'd be making this heavy decision very soon.

What I didn't expect was the latest diagnosis?

"Were you aware that Clooney has heart problems?"

I said I was. "She has a heart murmur. Yes, I know."

"Yes, because of that, it seems her seizures may have brought about heart failure. We believe Clooney is experiencing heart failure. That's why she's been having trouble breathing. The fluid in her lungs is the result of that."

The vet went on to explain how blood travels through the body, which way it's supposed to go, what happens when a heart murmur interferes with that, how Clooney's heart had been working way past overtime to try to keep up, and on and on. I tuned most of that out. I just heard: Seizures. Fluid in her lungs. And now heart failure!

You can imagine why I'd have to finally realize I need to come to terms with something: My dog IS going to die. Either I let her go peacefully, or she continues to suffer. When you look at a precious life that way, the decision is already made.

So, I rounded up support -- my boyfriend, my daughter, my pet sitter who has become the surrogate mom for Clooney. We all went to the vet clinic together, and we all said goodbye to my pet. And we all watched her peacefully slip away. It was very fast, seemingly pain-free, and I think she was ready. Before her final minutes, when we were still hanging out with her in the patient's room, she had yet another seizure, albeit a small one, leaving a puddle of pee on the floor because she'd lost control of her bladder. It was as if she was telling me something I already knew. She was ready.

I took her for one last walk in the parking lot. She didn't really seem to be there, or know why she was there. She was moving back and forth, not going anywhere. But it was something she loved to do, and the vet suggested it might be a good idea for me. This was Clooney's life: Walk. Eat. Sleep. Walk. Eat. Snack. Sleep. Some playtime in between. Her favorite things. Oh, and eat some more.

That dog could put away the food, up until her very last day. The morning of the final seizure that had me placing her on the beach towel, the one I used to dry her off after her bath, on our final road trip to the vet, she had had no problem eating. She took her medicine easily, especially since it came with a big slice of banana, and she ate her breakfast -- in seconds, as always. You'd never know she was as ill as she was. You just wouldn't suspect it...

Until a few hours later when she came hunting me down, trying to get my attention. I was upstairs looking for a photograph I needed for an essay I was writing. And there she was, out of breath -- or having a hard time breathing. I told her I'd be right there. She left to go lay in the sun but couldn't get comfortable and came to me, scratching at my leg, trying to get my attention again.

She was experiencing the beginning of what would have been very painful heart failure -- a slow death. I didn't know that then, but I knew she was not feeling well. I picked her up and took her downstairs with me and laid her in the hallway, cupping her furry face in my hands, telling her, "I think you need to go to the vet. But Mommy has to get dressed first." I left her there while I dressed in the other room, and must have gotten up, because then I heard her collapse seconds later. She was near the front door. When I reached her, she was in the middle of a seizure that left her screaming for help. She'd had so many of them by now, and there was nothing I cold do. I was used to those. But her breathing. I could tell it was so difficult for her. I watched her rib cage move in and out, pushing her body so far away from itself that I thought she might explode. I waited for her to recover enough that I could give her another dose of Phenylbarbitol -- the drug I was told to give her more of should she seize again.

I then called the vet and let them know I was bringing Clooney in. They were ready when we arrived. It would be hours later, after they'd had time to examine her, do more x-rays, and get her comfortable, when I'd be told that she was in heart failure mode. At that point, I knew what I would have to do. But I wanted someone to tell me. I wanted to be sure.

You can never be sure. You just have to do what Cameron discusses this week in Chapter 7: Trust your intuition. You just have to take some risks in life. Last night, I did that. And now I believe my dog is at peace.

What does this have to do with The Artist's Way? Not much, other than this is what I've been coping with this week. And that is why I've barely written a single sentence of Morning Pages. And I only had my Artist Date because I was out of town on a shortened visit for an assignment to write about Civil Rights. So I guess you could say I lucked into that.

So this will not be the week that I motivate you. It was not the week that Cameron motivated me. It will be known as the week I survived the death of my dog. And that's pretty much it. Chapter 6 discusses Recovering a Sense of Abundance. And I did experience that on an assignment level this past week. One of my editors sent me 4 assignments in one day. But that's hardly anything I care about right now.

In Chapter 7, which maybe you've read by now, the focus is on Connection. What an appropriate topic for me this week -- a little serendipity there -- as I am reminded of how our connections with our pets can sometimes supersede our relationships with our human companions.

In the weeks ahead, it will be a challenge for me to focus on those assignments I was given. I will be missing my dog. These will be the days that I notice she is no longer sitting at my feet, underneath my desk as I type. She will no longer jump up and paw on my lap to get me to let her outside for a potty break. She will no longer escape the front door and run down the street to our friend who watches her when I am out of town. She knows exactly how to get there and will go there, if given the chance, as it's there that she gets to socialize with her other doggy friends. But she will no longer do that. And she will no longer be waiting at the door for me when I return home from a hike or a meeting or a bike ride. She will no longer jump in the shower after me so she can lick the shower floor. When she was younger, she'd lick my legs dry first. Funny dog. And she won't be there wagging her tail when I open the pantry door because she thinks she's getting a treat. She always got the treat. But I won't be buying doggie treats anymore. These are things I will be thinking about in the weeks ahead. Probably not too much about what Cameron has to say, though I will continue the reading and do the work as best I can. And I will post here. I will go through the motions, because I'll probably need it. Please continue to post your own thoughts so we can keep the dialogue going. I'll probably surprise myself with how much happens, because, life will still go on for me.

I will not be getting another dog, so don't ask. Clooney was an unexpected guest, the pet someone else had tossed away. She'd been a street dog when she was put into our backyard more than 11 years ago. We had a good life together. She was fun. She was obnoxious. She was sometimes aggressive. Okay. A lot of times. She was feisty. And when my divorce happened, I got custody of her. She was a very true companion during some very difficult days of my life. She experienced anxiety when I did. She was happy when I was--and even when I wasn't. She slept with me. She ate some things she wasn't supposed to eat. She dragged in mud when I'd rather she didn't. She once brought a few dead birds into the house. Ewwww. She signed the wet concrete slab I mixed and poured to hold an outdoor water fountain with her paw prints. She was always there, waiting for hugs and kisses and loved to be held. She was a pretty faithful companion, and I'm certain she won't be replaced. I've no need. Because of my traveling schedule, it wasn't always easy to leave her, especially in these last months. And it was often quite expensive. So, no new dog for me. I'll spend my extra time with my grandbabies now, because that's what I've been told I'll do. :-)

And, today, despite my intense desire to go curl up in my bed and hug a doggie toy, I have a deadline to meet.

I hope your day and week gets off to a much better start. Keep progressing. There's no good reason not to.

(Photo of Clooney above was taken two days ago at my neighbor's house; we both knew it might be the last)

Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Motivated Mondays: The Artist's Way check-in for week 5

Whew! Was it ever a busy week during week 5. We're now on Chapter 6, at the halfway point. Pat yourselves on the back that you've made it thus far. If you have catching up to do. No worries. Catch up. There is no judgment working on the Artist's Way. We all move to the beat of a different drummer, but we do want to stay on some kind of beat. So keep pounding the animal skin. Don't set it down because you're worried that you just can't get the rhythm. Of course you can, and you will. Just keep reading.

Last week, in chapter 5, we read about possibilities. This week's it's all about abundance. These are good things, folks. We're talking opportunity to excel, at whatever level you happen to be on. If you keep moving, you're going to go forward. So just trust in that spiritual force that's driving you and you have no idea how. Just trust in it, and keep your eyes open for what's next.

Despite the set back in my schedule that I experienced because of an illness my dog experienced. (She had a cluster of seizures but is doing well now), I still managed to get through the week with a few successes bagged -- and several possibilities for the future. Not a whole lot that was definitive, but I've learned long ago to see the beauty in a possibility. I encourage you to do the same.

The Morning Pages and the Artist's Date, and even the exercises, took a back seat in my house. But I did manage to read chapter 6 on Sunday morning. I'll be off on an assignment for most of this next week and have a deadline at the start of next week, so I'm not sure what will happen with TAW on my end. I choose to believe I'll get done what I get done and be perfectly okay with that.

I am seeing progress. And from the notes in my book, I've seeing growth. I wrote at the top of chapter 6 in 2004 that I hoped to be able to get out 3 queries by the end of that week. That was all I could even consider managing then. Now, three queries is a daily goal. I've since embraced the idea of abundance. And even money issues I once had no longer exist. I see the world as ready to give, and I am ready to accept.

Now, to be sure, I don't feel this way every day. I have my days where I'm not that optimistic. But my overall expectation is pretty high, and I choose to focus on the overall, rather than the once in a while.

I also realize that I am actually quite good and indulging myself. I am more apt to do that than not. I rarely argue with myself about cost. I always believe I'll make it up or replace it. I have gotten pretty good about not worrying too much about money. That is not to say I don't want to earn more of it, that I don't get frustrated from time to time that I seem to have to work extra hard for it. I'm okay with that as well, as I've chosen a career path I enjoy. So work is just not anything I dread. I love the work I do. What I would love more is to put out more of it.

And that follows what Julia Cameron says we should do: I will take care of the quantity and let God take care of the quality. So I know there is always more I can do. God gave me the talent; it is my job to use it to the best of my ability.

Anyway, those are the thoughts that I'm having at this point in our work with The Artist's Way.

Please post your own comments, and trust that I'll return the dialogue when my schedule permits. It's going to be another busy week for me.

Have a great one yourself!

Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.