Entries from February 2014

Coaching for Creatives | Be A Lover

February 17, 2014

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I used to hang out with lots of cynics, or for the lack of a better word haters. These friends, myself included, delighted in coming together and bonding over the things they don’t like. Gossip, venting, complaining, and commiserating can be addicting. Like a drug, the “high” of negativity can feel really fun and good – but the aftermath can leave you feeling gross and hungover. So these friendships I had were rooted in negativity – they were toxic and eventually fell apart.

Gossip can be addicting. I would find myself talking trash, complaining, and venting to my nearest and dearest. I was doing myself and the people I love a disservice by not giving them the side of me that shines. I finally realized I was both the problem and solution. It became clear that it is not only in my power but that it is my responsibility to be a lover. But it takes discipline, daily, to not fall into the easy routine of negativity. Being a lover takes way more courage and effort than being a hater. Here’s how I (try to) do it:

• SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LOVERS 
I’m not saying my friends and family can’t come to me when things are a total shit show and they need my support… but I’d rather more often bond over the things that delight and lift us up versus the things that make us miserable. That said, like a boomerang, what you put out there is what you’ll get back. So that takes us to the next point below.

• BE A LOVER
Get this: it’s in your power to cultivate and attitude of love in your relationships, conversations, and interactions. This means you’re choosing to show up in the world as a lover. Here are a few ideas on how to be a lover:

1. Be explicit and enthusiastic about what you love.
Make it a point to verbalize, blog, or simply be mindful about what you love. Every day. Communicating what you love can feel vulnerable and doesn’t always come easy. Need help? Use your senses. What do you love to smell, hear, and taste? What do you love to read? What do you love to feel? Take notes of what delights you and tell someone about it.

2. A love script for the creative entrepreneur.
I love it when creatives tell me what they’re really good at. So here’s a lover’s script for introducing yourself as a professional creative: “Hi. My name is _____. I do ____(A)____ for ____(B)____, but what I really love is ____(C)____.” 
Blank A: This is what you do that you get paid for. So it could be graphic design, web coding, photography, etc.
Blank B: This is your dream customer. Think of your favorite client to date and use a few words to describe how your professional interaction felt.
Blank C: This is what you really love doing (even if it doesn’t quite pay the bills yet or is even a non-work-related hobby). Blank C is what makes you a lover instead of just a commodity.

3. Ask other people what they love. Ask your creative buddies what they love about their job or a project they’re working on. Ask your partner what they loved about their day. Ask your friends what makes them feel the most in love with life.

So to conclude this post – tell me what you really love in the comments.

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P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.

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Also, our most popular Braid ECourse, Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are With What You Do is now open for registration and will be in-session February 21 – March 2. And Kathleen readers can take this course for $50 by using the discount code ANDKATHLEEN50 when you register.
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My Valentine

February 14, 2014

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Since Fox entered our world almost four weeks ago our titles and identities have been pretty much 100% “mom” and “dad”. And we’re still in on-the-job training mode. So on this day dedicated to love we’re not likely to celebrate with a fancy dinner or super sexy uh… sexcapades. Instead we’ll be falling more in love with the little soul we’re still getting to know over take out pizza and Netflix. But that said, my baby daddy deserves a little extra love and what better day to give him a shout-out than Valentine’s day. Jeremy has been the best dad to our fantastic little Fox. He’s taken five weeks of paternity leave (not terribly common around these parts) and for that I am so grateful. He changes 98% of the diapers (the ones I change usually result in a poop disaster.) Jeremy is constantly grabbing things that are just out of my reach when I’m feeding the baby (story of my life). Sometimes he’ll make me a snack in the middle of the night (breast feeding makes you ravenous, y’all) and I’m always counting down the hours until he brings me breakfast in bed. He wipes away my hormone-charged and over-tired tears (I have my days). And then he wipes away the baby’s inconsolable and over-tired tears (Fox definitely has his days… and nights).

Thank you Jeremy for being my valentine, my partner-in-crime, and now the best baby daddy ever. Every day of the year.

Huffing Baby Head

February 12, 2014

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I used to never understand it when moms (grandmas especially) would go on and on about that new baby smell. In fact, I distinctly remember my mom inhaling my nephew’s head right after he was born and stating that New Baby was the best smell ever. Meanwhile I’m thinking “you’re actually smelling uterus and placenta.” And then I said that out loud. Because I’m a brat.

But now I get it. Like a true addict, I will easily spend the day huffing the top of Fox’s head. I’m lucky if I do much else. And if someone could find a way to bottle it up they could make a fortune off me.

My midwife told me that moms are the only ones who can really smell their baby (only after I was all “get a whiff of this baby!”, like a pushy dealer with the good shit, at my 2 week checkup). I also recently read a study saying that in a blind test something like 99.99% of moms can identify their baby by smell alone. I believe it. So thank you biology & hormones for giving me the gift of the drug that is the scent of the top of my baby’s head. Like grandmas everywhere, I will be chasing that high for the rest of my life.

Seconds

February 7, 2014

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This is Fox’s second bath. I thought about lying and telling you it was his first – because that would somehow be more special and monumental. But I think his second bath was more notable and here’s why: during his first bath, when Jeremy lowered Fox into the cradle I had made with my legs, Fox cried a little bit. He didn’t understand what was happening and was probably a little scared and unsure. But by the second bath the experience was familiar. Fox was calm, confident, and trusted that everything would be okay.

Jeremy, Fox, and I are experiencing lots of firsts around here. First feeding, first diaper changes, first grocery outing, first doctor’s visit … it’s a lot like visiting a new country where you don’t speak the language and are trying to figure out the public transportation system for the first time. First times can be equal parts thrilling and scary. But this post… this post is dedicated to the we-got-this seconds.

Read Darling

February 5, 2014

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Confession No. 1: While I spend an obscene amount of time just staring at my baby, since having Fox I’ve also spent great deal of time on my iPhone. It’s small and one-hand friendly enough that I can check my email, read blogs, and stay connected to the outside world via social media, all while feeding or holding my baby.

Confession No. 2: I like to collect artsy and cool magazines but I rarely read them.

I picked up this copy of the new magazine Darling: The Art of Being A Woman at Shop Good last week. If you threw Anthology, Kinfolk, and Equals Record in a blender you’d get Darling. So one morning I put a sleepy Fox in his Sakura Bloom sling and sat down to some tea, oatmeal, and Darling. My computer and phone were tempting me in my periphery but I was craving some quality offline content consumption. The magazine is great – it’s stylish but not snobby. The content is carefully curated to share a good balance of art, beauty, and practical tidbits.

But what I noticed as I was reading this magazine is that my attention span is completely shot. I found myself skipping paragraphs and jumping pages. The equivalent of hopping from open tab to open tab in my browser. I was challenged to hold my focus on a beautiful magazine in my peaceful and picture-perfect breakfast nook. I found myself with a compulsive itch for the kind of chaos that only social media can seem to scratch these days. Now look, I don’t think the internet is bad (I mean, here I am). But it might be a problem when I’m 5 pages into a really great read and at the same time am habitually reaching for my phone to refresh Instagram for the 10th time in 20 minutes. (And on that note, I’ve also noticed that even TV can’t seem to hold my attention – I seem to mindlessly grab for my phone when I’m watching my shows too!)

So I think I’d like to tweak my morning routine for a while and instead of absent-mindedly scrolling through my RSS feed and Pinterest I’m going to drag out all the magazines I’ve collected and practice giving real pages that I can turn my undivided attention.

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