The more I get to know authentic people, the more “anti-resolutions” the input becomes around new years. I agree with not setting unrealistic goals for yourself, especially those driven by ridiculous image standards, but I also like the concept of using the new year as a re-set.


Halfway through reading Essentialism my life became quite un-essentialist, and it is time to re-prioritize.


I caught up on my holiday correspondence over New Year’s weekend.


Leisure books and books about jewelry provided relaxation and inspiration as I hibernated for a mini-staycation.


I did a cleanse last Spring but old habits soon crept in and as the year got busier I fell into the late night snacking trap. In November Svetlana of MyHealthBeet came out with the 2-week Shred program, but it took me until this week to read the program and also make sure the tempting foods were out of the house.


Rather than diet, I just want to be more mindful of what I eat and to stop the eating-while-multi-tasking pattern. If my clothes are still snug 3 months from now, I will review the 2-5 year old wardrobe instead. My body isn’t 20 anymore, and I am healthy and active, thanks to ample workout opportunities at Hip Circle Studio.


Next week I hope to get some assistance organizing my studio closets so I have better storage than the regular explosion on my futon. In anticipation I am looking at other areas to streamline, but I am trying not to do so much pre-work that the professional I called in cannot get a picture of what I need.


My lightbulbs all decided on a fresh start this month too, so I got some replacements and was baffled by the Reveal vs. Incandescent vs. Daylight options (and googling it gets waayyy to technical). I’ll try daylight in the studio and see what that does.


There is still a lot of year-end closing out to do for the business, and one angel got a make-over after being passed over 2 years in a row.


This year’s newbies are getting their photoshoot this month so I have them ready to upload by November.


Whether I will stick to Etsy or use an alternate store (or both) is subject to the legal review and some research still sitting on my desk.


Lots to check off, right? Good thing I have a WHOLE new year!

Discussing being your best boss

“I believe in recharging as often as possible.
Go somewhere luxurious to luxuriate.”
~ Niquenya Fulbright of Building Bridges Consulting

Last week the Network of Entrepreneurial Women held a discussion on treating ourselves. As we nibbled on savory paninis and vegan chocolate pralines at Let Them Eat Chocolate, NEW co-founder Erica Thomas provided tips on how to become better bosses to ourselves, while facilitating a lively discussion around self-care.


Erica stressed that as our own boss, we have to be the best boss, in order to keep our business functioning and energized. “Burnout can ruin a perfect production schedule,” Erica said. “Avoiding burnout has to be prioritized as highly as project goals.”


Our attendees covered the full spectrum of women business care taking needs, including 2 nutrition and wellness experts, a fashion designer, a wardrobe stylist, a brand consultant, a technology consultant, and a small business coach. With our introductions we had to state how we treat ourselves. These treats ranged from booking luxurious getaways to pampering in retail and at home spa places.

A “2011 study found that frequent small pleasures,
like double lattes, pedicures, or soft socks provides
more happiness than infrequent large ones like sports cars or vacations.
Research shows that breaking up enjoyable experiences into brief events
— such as two 20-minute massages at different times
rather than one 40-minute massage —
gives people more pleasure. “

~ 33 Ways To Be Happier by Dina Spector

While massages and manicures and pedicures were popular, the majority of ladies present love to take a (jacuzzi) bath. To soak our stressors away, this article suggests taking a champagne bath, and offers a less extravagant milk and honey recipe a la Cleopatra. Before that bath, My Health Beet’s Svetlana Burak recommended dry brushing to exfoliate and detoxify.


Highlighting that treats do not have to be high-cost or difficult to implement, many women also enjoyed getting lost in a story, whether through a popular TV series or by being transported into a book. Savoring a delicious meal or anticipating a glass of wine at the end of the day also served as pleasurable rewards for a job well done.

“Self-care is such a buzz word that it’s often tossed around
without people really thinking about what it means to practice it.
The truth is that integrating self-care into life is a choice
and a practice, and it only happens successfully
when someone is conscious and consistent about it.”

~ During Your Next Launch, Don’t Neglect Self-Care by Kate Swoboda

One way to treat ourselves better is by stopping to review what we have achieved. We each grow and learn every day, and looking back on a to-do list from a year to 6 months ago can indicate milestones we may not recognize as we adopt new skills into our regular routine.


When asked what we would give our best employee suggestions ranged from a day (completely logged) off to family outings to writing down a daily or weekly list of accomplishments. Realizing that acknowledgement of things well done is a key motivator, we encouraged each other to print certificates of achievements for the things we sometimes fail to recognize.


Getting in touch with nature also offers the opportunity for a re-set and turns out to be extremely helpful for the brain. John Haltiwanger writes that people who appreciate nature are happier, healthier and more innovative.

“Natural environments stimulate the brain
in ways civilization cannot,
exponentially improving our cognitive abilities
and igniting our imaginations.”
~ John Haltiwanger

Erica suggested that solopreneurs evaluate their businesses based on Crain’s “Best Places to Work 2015.” The selection criteria included: quantitative issues about pay, promotions, health care and other benefits, hiring practices as well as fairness of pay, vacation time, relationships with management and co-workers, career development and other day-to-day workplace issues.


Being self-employed can cause for some pitfalls of bossiness. Key to preventing burnout is to also acknowledge our biorhythms, which we can sometimes try to push through. Once again, the best places to work example came to the rescue with the question “Would you work for someone who made you come into the office during a blizzard?”

“It’s OK that you don’t do everything.
It’s OK that someone else does it for you.
You have the wisdom to understand:
‘that’s not my strong suit, that is not my best quality’.”
~ Brand Consultant Cierra Cole

Delegation was also discussed and encouraged, whether it be training a 3-year old to shred papers, engaging older children in answering the phone, or outright hiring someone. Erica stated that we tend to take the longest doing the things we don’t like to do, and outsourcing that task to someone else can free us up to more productivity. Being a perfectionist can hinder that process, but one member pointed out that getting it done is better than for it to be perfect.


It was lovely to lounge in a welcoming and comfortable space while bonding over indulgences. We look forward to revisiting Let Them Eat Chocolate in Andersonville, and are excited to spur each other on in our respective ventures.


Continuing our theme of wellness and self-care, our next Wine Women and Wellness Event will coincide with a Women Out Walking presentation. NEW member Svetlana Burak of My Health Beet is partnering with Kim Leider, a Training Leader with Ava Anderson Non Toxic to present: “Clean Living Inside and Out” at the Evanston Public Library on Thursday, May 28 from 7 to 8:30 pm.


Group photo courtesy

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.


Resetting Nutrition

“We are never too busy
to take time to reset, recharge, and refuel.”
~ Svetlana Burak, My Health Beet

A few weeks ago I decided to take part in a mini-cleanse to reset my body and get into the swing of Spring. I’ve had very sluggish mornings during this long winter, and as the birds started chirping my body needed a jump start for Spring.


I had met Svetlana Burak of My Health Beet through a small business group and skipped her January announcement for a cleanse, but when this one popped up I felt ready. Of course, I dawdled the weekend of the start date and didn’t get my shopping list together until the 3rd day of the group cleanse. That was OK though. I just jumped in on the tail end and shared my daily meals on the Facebook group at my own pace.


I decided to skip the foods that didn’t appeal to me and instead doubled up on the other recipes I did like. That meant I ended up with more food than necessary, since I didn’t check the serving size and bought enough for a whole family!


The dressing recipes looked complicated to me, so I skipped those. I’m not big on salad dressings anyway. Between Aldi and Trader Joe’s it is easy to get produce without hurting the wallet, which was a good revelation to me. The idea that healthy food is expensive food had gotten ingrained into my head, and realizing that I can budget shop fresh food as easily as pre-packaged meals is going to change my shopping habits.

 “I created this program for the busy person
who simply needs the action plan simplified.” 
~ Svetlana Burak, My Health Beet

I purposely picked a slow week for the cleanse since I knew that making the meals would be time consuming. I’d gotten stuck in a rut of quick pasta meals or oven-baked meals from a box. But I found that the simple recipes Svetlana had put together for us were no more time consuming than waiting for something to finish baking. Sure I spent a little more time chopping and measuring foods, but interacting with the ingredients was a lot of fun and uncomplicated.


A lot of the ingredients can be pre-chopped and cooked later, or leftovers refrigerated for another day. I froze one smoothie the night before when I had an all-day road trip on my calendar.


Another bonus was that Svetlana is a fan of one-pan meals like me. Multi-pan cooking productions easily put me off preparing a meal.


It was fun to learn how to make carrot soup, and I promptly went on Pinterest to gather recipes for my favorite veggies (bell peppers and tomatoes) to turn into soup at a later date. What also surprised me is that I didn’t miss the standard habit of having a bread roll with soup. This cleanse was dairy and gluten free, and yet I didn’t miss the cheese and bread I am so fond of. Each meal filled me sufficiently to get through the day, and was flavorful enough to not generate any cravings.


One person reported losing a few pounds during the cleanse, but my results were not that dramatic. I definitely didn’t lose weight, but I did feel more energetic in the morning and throughout the day, which was my main objective.


What I am taking away from this cleanse is a better food consciousness. I found myself over-snacking at night simply by the trigger of watching something or reading a book in which people were eating. Feeling more full and knowing that I had all the nutrients I needed in my body had me reach for a glass of water instead of a snack, bake kale chips for the crunch, or mix cranberry concentrate into water in lieu of wine.


My fitbit arrived right before the cleanse and the cleanse prompted me to start on MyFitnessPal, which has me tracking my food. Calorie counting isn’t my favorite thing, but as I enter recipes and food combinations I am more aware of my snacking pitfalls and how tasty alternatives reduce my calorie intake and therefore allow for a wider variety of food grazing throughout the day.


Svetlana’s recipes aren’t about calorie counting. Her aim is for participants to change their relationship to food, which she accomplished. If a person doesn’t want to prepare smoothies, that is fine. If breakfast requires more protein, she encourages participants to change the order of the meals to suit their lifestyle and energy levels.

“The goal of this cleanse is
to warm and nourish your body for optimal digestion,
which means an optimal cleanse.”
~ Svetlana Burak, My Health Beet

The cleanse isn’t about only drinking smoothies, it completely ignores supplements, and encourages the participant to focus on self-care on all levels, including leisure time, physical care, and mental space. So many cleanses hawk specific supplements, insist that you go exactly by the book, focus on liquid diets, or try to sell something which has set me up for failure in the past. Taking this lifestyle-based approach is far more effective and enjoyable. Four days is also easier to incorporate than a 10- or 11-day cleanse.


I could have continued this cleanse for a few more days since there was no deprivation. However, I still had some cheese and non-veggies in the fridge and am back to having wine in the evenings. While this cleanse isn’t prompting me to give up my favorite foods, it is helping me moderate the portion sizes and change the percentages of where my nutrients come from.


I look forward to trying the recipes I skipped, will rotate between my regular dairy-based drinks and the coconut-milk smoothies, and savor the awareness of fun foods. With the abundance of leftover greens I actually looked up other recipes to incorporate these power-foods into.


Self-care is all about making manageable changes and keeping up with them one day at a time. Knowing how to make nutritious meals and snacks with your favorite veggies is empowering and beats trusting a manufacturer with your health and your energy levels.

Women Out Walking

“You’ve got to find something that makes you happy
to keep you moving.”

~ Malik of Hip Circle Studio

In mid-March, the City of Evanston launched Women Out Walking for the 8th year in a row. The 12-week program encourages women to become more physically active and lead healthier lifestyles. Every week women are asked to log their steps, and whether as individuals or part of a team, are incentivized with prizes for their achievements.

Not only does this program give you incentive to walk more in your personal life, but local businesses are offering special sample sessions of exercise classes, like yoga, martial arts, dance, and running. Workshops on nutrition and general health are also promoted through June 21.


I attended the kickoff at Evanston Township High School and put on the pedometer that came with the goodie bag right after the speeches. Mayor Tisdahl endorsed the event, and Hip Circle Studio owner Malik offered a keynote speech.


Urban Beat Dance demonstrated the joy of moving with two fun performances.


Currently 400 women are part of the program, but registration is ongoing. Goals of the program are to engage women in meaningful and healthy activities, increase social interaction, provide access to healthy resources, and ensure a sense of safety while walking.


You submit your steps for the week every Monday with a link that is provided in a reminder email. You can use any step tracking device you want, such as the Fitbit, the WOW-provided pedometer, or other tools.


After the kick-off speeches we were sent to 3 different stations for exercise options. In Hip Circle Studio’s demonstration we learned steps to the bellydance flashmob that will be shown at the Custer Street Fair.


Connelly Martial Arts offered tips on how to walk around more safely, which means taking the earplugs out, putting your phone in your pocket, walking straight and purposefully and being alert of your surroundings. The best way to deal with a suspicious person is to simply walk away.


photo courtesy Hip Circle Studio

Balance Through Motion had brought various balance boards for us to try out. They can be used to improve your general sense of balance, but also as tools for moderate to more challenging exercises. While our instinct was to stand on them and use them as teeter-totters for our feet, you can also do exercises while sitting, laying down, and as part of a new pilates program.

There was a vendor scavenger hunt with Bingo during which we learned more about nutrition, spinal alignment, footwear and other health-related resources. 1914 steps later, I was encouraged with all the walking we did at the event itself.  At the end of that very active first day, I logged more than 6000 steps!


However, attaining the goal of 10,000 steps a day (recommended by the American Heart Association) is a challenge without an out-of-the-home commute. My ‘commute’ only logs about 33 steps. Thankfully the weather is nicer so I will be enticed to walk around the block more often during lunch time. Still, with Moxie Boxing, the most active of my workout sessions, the most steps I have gotten in one day is 7000.


I have experimented and found that the pedometer does count shimmies—albeit not one-for-one, something I am told the Fitbit doesn’t do. Ultimately the point is to get moving and be motivated to move more.

If I hit the 10,000 step mark during summer I’ll be happy, but I am allowing for the sedentary under 1000 steps days too. Maybe I’ll see you at the final Women out Walking Session, Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate at Long Field at the corner of Lincoln Street and Sheridan Road.


PS-I loooove this vending machine at ETHS.


It’s a writer’s dream.


Establishing a fitness routine

In May I joined Hip Circle Studio to develop more of a fitness routine.


Because winter was so long and my social life had me attending numerous potlucks and barbecues my summer clothes remained snugger than last year and I knew I wasn’t naturally walking and stairmastering  the winter padding off like I had in past years.


I started with CardioBelly, which promptly got me recruited for the Custer Street Fair flashmob. After a 6-year hiatus from bellydancing, the moves are still a bit rusty, but they do come back with practice.


For a bit more toning I added Moxie Boxing to my routine, which is a fun class of kicking and throwing punches while holding small weights in your hands. No gloves required.


Right after my birthday I was talked into sampling Kettlebell AMPD, but that workout is still a bit intense so I am going to give that another whirl after my body has adjusted more to the other muscle moves I put it through. This one session did happen to be picture day, so I am a poster-child for the time being.

KettlebellPosterChildphoto copyright Hip Circle Studio

We get stickers after each class and thus far I have attended two fun fitness parties that serve as a reward for filling a card with 5 stickers. Each party features a local business and offers a fun activity.


When the studio went on summer break I dug up my jump rope and purchased a matching pair of shoes (and pants that didn’t shimmy down) to motivate me to jump by the lake.


Initially I stumbled through 5 minutes, but after a month of thrice-weekly intervals I am up to 8 minutes of jumping with occasional zen moments of no tripping for a minute or 2.


I hope to keep it up as the weather cools down (possibly in the laundry room, which won’t be near as scenic).


To warm up I do some of the floor exercises at home that we do in class as well, and on rainy non-class days the Bikini-ready Fast DVD comes out, which I can complete much easier now.


When I picked that up years ago I tended to shut it off at 15 minutes from exhaustion. The home workouts are only 20-30 minutes, but still make me feel better than if I just rolled out of bed without any movement.


My arms feel more toned and I know I have more stamina to walk. I haven’t dug out the scales from my closet because I still believe in Alexandra Jaye’s notion, but I will be monitoring the skinny pants waistline on a monthly basis.


This coming month is all about nutrition, monitoring the ratio of my veggie intake vs. carbohydrate intake, which I know needs to be reversed. Even if I don’t go back to the ‘skinny’ size again, I know being healthy and fit makes me feel better about me, and gives me more energy to enjoy the rest of my life.


You can peruse Hip Circle Studio’s schedule at Zumba is fun too, and every class is filled with lovely women, empowering words, and fantastic playlists. Who doesn’t like to break a sweat to “I’m Sexy and I know it”?


Lessons from Ruby

Recently Netflix fed Ruby into my recommendations as I was looking for another TV series to distract myself with. I sometimes need a re-set to transition out of work mode into house-mode, and a 30-minute episode can do just that. I didn’t think a weight-loss program would intrigue me, but this one had a lot of heart, and while parts of it did feel scripted and staged and ‘dramatized,’ overall the show felt more real than ‘reality TV’ generally is.

Here are my takeaways from her journey:

#1 All goals are relative

When I put my big dream hat on the naysayer in me starts acting up. I look back at how much has happened the past year that I couldn’t quite visualize at the start. It was one step at a time. My dreams have a different measure of success from my dreams 5 or 10 years ago. For Ruby, walking one mile, being able to fit in a car, try on clothes in a retail store, having mobility is a huge dream. No goal is too large or too small to envision, and what matters is that they are meaningful to you.

#2 You don’t need a Hollywood intervention or win the lottery to change your life 

It appears that Ruby initiated this show, and she is the one who created a team around her. She didn’t apply to The Biggest Loser to lose weight in an artificial setting. She started this from her own home, while on disability, and with help from her real-life community. Now I have no idea if she was paid for the show itself or if she got sponsorships from the businesses featured, but the point is that it was her flipping the switch, not someone swooping in to make this change for her (well, aside from the doctor telling her she could die). She is not doing this in a vacuum either, the goal is a lifestyle change in her real life right now, not an intense isolated program outside of her normal environment.

#3 Surround yourself with supportive people

What I like about this show is that she is not losing weight in a vacuum. She has a team of experts helping her with nutrition and exercise and psychological support. She also lives in her regular home with roommates who don’t diet, but who are fully on board with her program. They spur her on, they keep watch over her, and they celebrate her achievements. Later in the show some enabling dynamics are revealed, but again, that is real life.

#4 Celebrate the small things as much as the big milestones

Ruby being able to walk 1 mile, to fit in a car, to go on a trip all made me realize how blessed I am to do each of those without a second thought. Small moments should be cause for big celebration. Our abilities are a blessing.

#5 Don’t judge 

Ruby’s concern about prejudice are universal. We all compare ourselves and judge those un-like us, merely just by one look at a person. We presume things about people who do things differently, look different, don’t act according to our conditioning. Anything strange/unusual is subject to ridicule. When really we ought to step back and examine why we are making those snap decisions.

#6 Achieving big goals takes time and effort and determination

Ruby’s weight loss occurred over months. For the times she celebrated another milestone, there were also days of frustration and annoyance. Tragedy happens and can throw you off course, and then you need to find ways to get back on the path and find new motivators.

#7 When the big goal takes longer than anticipated, remember how far you’ve come already

We all reach plateaus at times. When big efforts turn into routine our body and lifestyle adjusts, the effects aren’t felt as vividly as at the beginning of the journey. We need to adjust our action plan and maybe seek for deeper answers. However, a plateau should never negate where we came from, and we should still honor the effort it took to get to our current place of being.

Plus Size Beauty was my favorite episode, just because it showed how much one young girl can be impacted by having believers in her life.

Have you been surprised or inspired by lessons from a TV show?

Radvent: Style (and being happy with your self)

Princess Lasertron’s Radvent on Style has a fabulous opening:

“Ladylike dressing is making a comeback,
opening the door to beautifully defined silhouettes,
exciting accessories, and life with grace and style in all the details.
The exciting thing about being a modern example of style is that
we don’t have to look a certain way
–there’s no correct blouse or skirt or suit or pair of jeans, but
we should leave our house every day
feeling like we simply did our best.
~ Princess Lasertron

Radvent 18 on Style by Princess Lasertron

Image re-blogged with permission from Princess Lasertron.  

I love the egalitarian notion of this post. Style icons have gone from curvy (Marilyn) to scrawny (Twiggy), and fashion from bodiced to shapeless to padded and everything in between. I was wondering why my thoughts about style immediately shifted to body image when I remembered this quote:

 “Three minutes looking at a fashion magazine
makes 70 percent of women of all ages
feel depressed, guilty and shameful.

Average American Woman: 5’4” tall, 140 pounds

Average American Model: 5’11” tall, 115 pounds.”
~ America the Beautiful movie 

Our body image is defined by advertisers who photoshop their models to sell a product and a fashion industry that considers a size 12 “plus-size.” I am currently that average (though not quite American) woman above. I went from size 14 to 12 over three years and since 2008 fluctuate between sizes 10 and 8.

We get so obsessed with the number on a scale that we do not appreciate how we look as we are. My home scale indicates I’m 10 pounds lighter the same day I get weighed at the doctor’s office, so how does that help? I love Alexandra Jay’s notion of putting a smiley face on your scale where the numbers are supposed to be. Celebrate your body because it is YOURS!

happy scales

I know absolutely beautiful women who wish they were born with slimmer hips, a rounder tush, larger or smaller breasts. But when I look at these lovely ladies I see:

  • the glow of their personalities
  • their shiny hair
  • a beautiful smile
  • the sparkle in their eyes
  • the graceful way they walk
  • their intelligent insights
  • their lovely vibrant outfits

Whatever “flaw” they consider themselves to have has no significance to our interaction.

No one who matters ever said: “I’d like you much better if you lost weight.” It’s really the media who do that (and sometimes one pesky person in your life whom you shouldn’t listen to anyway).

We should take a cue from those guys who are sexy and know it!

“My motto is that there are no bad bodies, 
only bad clothing.”
~ Gwendolyn Evans in Where Women Create Magazine Summer 2009

standing tall in pretty shoes photo by Maike's Marvels

 Standing tall in pretty shoes

A big eye opener for me recently was this belly project, a gallery of photos real women submitted of their unphotoshopped bellies. My best (lightest/most toned/smallest) shape was when I was rehearsing every day of the week for a bellydance performance—incidentally to “Move your belly” by Said Mrad–but even then my belly had a jiggle. Looking at XO Jane’s images made me realize that even though I might be ‘pillowy,’ my belly and the rest of my hourglass body is blessed to be healthy, non-scarred, and in pretty good shape for my age.

MarvyMaike before the Move Your Belly performance

Best shape of my life, in 2007,
yet still sucking it in! 

 “You have to consider yourself to be your own style icon.
You were born with a body, and you get the fun of dressing it!” 
~ Princess Lasertron

I haven’t found a style icon in the fashion pages for my particular body shape (my abs will never be flat enough). As much as I love the outfits in her movies—Funny Face in particular—Audrey Hepburn’s look wouldn’t work on me (Did you know she was self-conscious about her lovely swan-like neck? GO FIGURE!).

I take my cues from European Royalty Magazines, where women my age like Princess Máxima wear stylish outfits that are definitely not size zero, and the queens age gracefully without nips and tucks.

What I love these days is to see how fabulous my friends dress. I won’t necessarily be able to pull off the outfits that they have on, but the way they select colors and accessories inspires me to look at my closet and see how I can repurpose the same outfit into three new ones. Pairing colors or patterns you think ‘shouldn’t’ go together can garner refreshing results (something Princess Lasertron does with flair on her weekly outfit page).

my fun closet to play dress-up with

My fun closet to play dress-up with

Style is about personality as much as the clothes we wear. As long as we dress true to our character anyone can be an icon. The key is to find what flatters us, whether it is a size bigger than before or if you have to take in (or out) the hemlines, waistlines and other parts to best flatter the radiant you that you are. That is where the only nips and tucks should be, on the fabric, not your person. The most important accessory is pride-holding your head high (yes, posture is key) and owning that you love your outfit and therefore others should too.

Mike Dooley posted this on Facebook the other day, and I added it to my new years resolutions:

“What if every time you put on a piece of clothing,
you said something really nice to the part of your body being dressed?
‘You rock, toes.’” 
~Mike Dooley

Let’s all rock our toes, sway our hips, move our bellies, raise those arms and cheer our totally unique, sexy and perfect bodies on every day of the week.

lesson of the week

“Once you realize that life can change in an instant, you can relax into a steady state of joyful expectation.”
~Kathy Freston

The past week has been spent administrating rather than creating. Tomorrow I will be back in the studio with more canvases, because the Dragonfly sold! Yippie.

I have opened a business account and sent off for sales tax registration, and am investigating “doing business as” vs. LLC filings and such fun. It feels good to be more official in my business capacity, especially with affirmations along the way. The banker was very admiring of my decision to be an entrepreneur, I received some confidence-building phone calls, and making a sale puts money in my pocket for doing what I love.

Each time I define my business on a form it affirms this artistic direction of my life, which in turn helps me think of myself as an artist/creator more.

Being an artist means believing you are an artist; making a living as an artist requires many of the skills and professional attitudes shared by successful self-employed persons engaged in other occupations.”
~ Caroll Michels in How to Survive and Prosper as and Artist

Next week I am off to a conference that promises to be inspirational. I look forward to seeing and hearing Curly Girl, Kelly Rae Roberts, and Princess Lasertron as well as reconnecting with friends I made last year, and hopefully making new ones.

Even though my business planning is taking longer than expected (I was envisioning being “more established” before TCC), each little step counts and generates a forward-momentum.

Speaking of momentum, I’ve been working on an exercise routine. Not having a daily 20-minute walk to and from the train for 9 months is beginning to show, so I pre-viewed some videos on Netflix and picked my favorite, which is supposed to show “results” in 4 weeks. My muscles are feeling it sooner! 🙂 I also picked up jump-roping since it is inexpensive, has a low learning curve and just 10 minutes can make a difference.

As with all things in life, prioritizing and consistency are key. I am learning to allow myself those 45-50 minutes for my health without feeling like it is stealing time from something ‘more productive’.

With The Creative Connection Event as a marker, I am learning the following:

  • Don’t push yourself too hard if you are not in a place where you wish to be, or if something is taking longer than expected.
  • Don’t let ‘what’s not done’ stand in the way of enjoying the current moment, and learn to let the future—both short-term and long-term—unfold as it will.
  • Life has some interesting turns in store for us, and it is more important to live each day with appreciation than to focus on that ever-present checklist.

 “Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted, counts.”
~Albert Einstein as quoted in Wishing Well