Author Archives: michelle

4 Creative Blocks (and Your Brand)

 

Today, I wanted to share something that I am planning on sharing with my mastermind group soon…

The topic: creativity and, specifically, the blocks we might experience as creative women…as humans. As we all know or have experienced, certain seasons in life sometimes bring back a less-than-helpful closed mindset, a tenativeness/timidness or a worry that we just aren’t good enough…that it’s just not going to happen for us…

But, as creative women, this just isn’t true…we can create out of this downward spiral and we can remember that that life is like a spiral staircase and though we might run into the same or similar situation or thought at times, we are now higher up on the staircase…wiser, able to bring in a new aspect of the woman we are today, to help us through this particular situation.

As creative women, what we also know or eventually realize is that any “creative block” we might experience (anything that stops the flow of us being who we naturally are, or, in other words, who we are as solution (soulution)-oriented people), is also likely a block to our success. We’ve all felt it…when we feel blocked creatively, we feel blocked, period.

Creativity = moving from problem to ecstatic or electric solution (isn’t that what it feels like getting a new and rather AMAZING idea in the shower or in yoga? Ecstatic! Like an electric shock just hit you?).

In order to keep on with that particular and amazing life force flowing through us, coming up with innovative and soulful ways to support our clients (and our families), we want to, not only recognize the blocks that might start to make themselves into our psyche, but commit to, most of all, being known for our solutions (soulutions) rather than our problems.  If we can commit to being this, we can BE anything we want in this life…CEO, Speaker, Thought Leader, Activist, Author, and the list goes on…

I trust the share below will help you reflect. Are you currently experiencing any of these blocks? Have you allowed them to make you feel blocked? And, if so, how you can shift your thinking to continue being the brand of woman who leads and loves and, as a result, is stepping into a greater version of herself every day, hour and minute by committing to being the solution in everything she says, does and shows to the world…

Together, let’s take the blocks below and make them the blocks we stand on to reach higher levels of success. This is your true nature –> to create and continue creat-ing, knowing her greatest strategy to success will have been that she kept going…

The Four Creative Blocks that Double as Success Blocks — How to Think Differently 

What happens when we’re feeling blocked? When we’re not feeling creative or when no ideas, nada, zero, zilch are coming (or, maybe they’re coming but the ideas don’t feel aligned or like the spark they usually feel like — what do we do then? Or, is the better question how might those blocks present themselves in our daily lives (what do they look like?) and, in being more aware of them, can we manage to simply nod in acknowledgement of them and continue moving forward to the realization of our dreams anyway?

Block #1: Believing Only Some People Are Creative or Have the Ability to be Supremely Successful.

If you’ve ever thought you were born with the creative, success or solution gene missing, the good news is you’re wrong. :-) In those more tender moments, it’s potentially and simply that you haven’t accepted creativity as a process yet (just like success, creativity is a process and your ability to channel your inner Creative Heroine, knowing you always have the power to move from problem to solution, will see you through).

The great thing about finally accepting your creative nature and practice as a process (truly accepting it as your new consciousness, not just saying you do) is that you’ll allow greater joy and physical wealth into your life. Any time you accept or surrender to your nature (your flow)  –  flow and abundance you will receive!

In other words, by accepting that creativity, as with success, is a process, you’ll be creating space in your life (read: in order to let the magic of the universe IN, more money and just MORE into your life, your mind and life can’t be already chalk full of a family of doubts, worries or fears).

Acceptance and the act of surrender releases those and makes room for what, also naturally wants to come in…

And that’s exactly the point — your heightened joy and abundance is mainly due to the fact that the majority of your precious time will not be spent beating yourself up because something didn’t work out, that you didn’t reach a goal or because only two people liked your latest heartfelt post on Facebook, but instead on the many other things that are working well and growing.

Focus on the many things that are working and growing and you’ll be doing the work of accepting your creativity (and success) as a process!

Here’s another way to look at it — when more or most of your creative time is spent focusing on creating, on what lights you up or focusing on the practices, people or experiences that are allowing you to express even more of your true yourself, you become not only a more content person, but hopefully a more grateful person. It’s in this space of gratitude where the magic happens. The more gratitude we feel for what is working and growing in our lives, the more that continues to work and grow!

As the success graphic above shows, it is your nature and it is natural to zig and zag. That’s just it. Let’s love up our zigging and zagging, it’s part of our creative and entrepreneurial spirit

“Creativity is like washing a pig. It’s messy. It has no rules.
No clear beginning, middle or end. It’s kind of a pain in the ass
and when you’re done, you’re not sure if the pig is really clean
or even why you were washing a pig in the first place.”
~ Luke Sullivan

Block #2: “I have to be professional” or “This isn’t professional.” 

The killer of all brand personality, therefore creativity and therefore success, is using the “is this professional?” filter vs. the meaning or on-brand filter (these are two filters I had shared with my group a few weeks ago — if you want to see them, email me and let me know). Having had my own experience with this for a number of years early on about 12-15 or so years ago (and knowing it does little to bring us the happiness in business and expression we most want), I can say that for me and the clients I’ve worked with, it’s definitely a block to our flow…to the expression of who we naturally are.

In my relationship with this, I overthought what and how I shared. I was able to keep the multi-passionate and multi-dimensional Michelle going when I was with clients, however, in marketing myself, I kept the fullness of me and of who I really was at a five out of 10 (note: being entrepreneurs we need to allow ourselves to shine a 10+ out of 10 — to show our true selves).

Moving from what’s professional to what’s personal and understanding that what your potential clients and tribe want from you IS the personal, or, in other words, the real you  –  the full you  –  is how to tackle this particular block.

Over the years, I’ve seen this be true time and time again. In fact, one of the things that I can attribute the last two or three bumps in monetary success to, is to exactly this: being exactly who I am, without overthinking and, definitely, without asking myself if something is what I should be sharing or not. I share what I truly believe, to the tune of a 10+, on all topics (basically whatever I am thinking about any topic) and I do it over and over again every day.

For example, for a time, I thought I could only share my thoughts on branding as that had been my specialization over the years. False. Or, maybe some of you have thought that you can’t share too much about your personal life because it will affect your business negatively or that people won’t care. Also false. They do care and you, as the (thought) leader you are, can share your thoughts on anything (people want to hear your stories, thoughts and beliefs about a variety of topics. Why? Because before they invest with you, they want to make sure that more of all of you, is in alignment with more of all of them).

With soulmate clients, or, in other words, with the ideal clients who will be growing with your business-turned-movement, you can never say the wrong thing, remember that.

You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person
nor the right thing to the wrong person.

Be professional in your work with clients, yes…show up on time, over deliver and deliver when you say you’re supposed to, give impeccable customer service, AND, when speaking about your creative ideas and expressing who you really are to the world, don’t be professional, just be you!

Block #3: Copying People vs. Copying Principles.

Every time we even think about copying someone else, we give away our soul’s (creative) power. In other words, copying others, or even thinking about doing so, is a creative block because it gives a very clear signal energetically to the natural abilities that run through us that our particular force is not as good, valuable or as powerful as someone else’s. Living in that long enough starts to make it feel like fact, when, of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

The key: resist the urge to look at what people are doing so much and, instead, ask yourself why they are doing it. In other words, be inspired by others! But instead of only looking only as far as what they are doing (say, you see them launching that program or traveling the world doing their events, as just two examples, and you feel “I want that…I want to DO that”), don’t stop there…ask and stay longer in the reviewing why they are launching that program (what is it allowing them to do with their business model or how does this support them in potential revenue or joy goals?) and why they are traveling the world doing their events (how is this helping them grow the portable part of their business, when push comes to shove, why might or might NOT this be what we actually want for our lives with young children?).

It is wonderful to be inspired by someone and knowing how to use that inspiration is what can either add or detract to our own creative power.

Your ideas, those that come without ever having to look at what someone else is doing, are valuable. Follow those ideas and potentially mix in some of the answers you receive when you do your deeper review of why someone else might be doing something and why it might fit with their life, but, not yours…

Block #4: “But it’s all already been done before.” 

The killer of big ideas, maybe even the biggest idea you’ve ever had in business is believing that it’s all already been done before.

It hasn’t.

Resist the urge to allow that little or loud voice to deter you from the very creativity that will see an idea, whether similar to someone else’s or not, through in a unique and powerful way. You are you and only you will be able to deliver this particular program, service or produce this product in the way that you can.

There may not be any “new” ideas, but there IS a way to make new connections between old or existing ideas. Ahem, welcome to the world of online and offline business, a world full of people taking what’s previously existed and creating a subtle remix of what’s needed or wanted in the marketplace!

Do YOU, allow that creativity to flow and infuse your particular knowledge, stories and truth into everything you do and you’ll feel that you will always be creating something new…

Be the ecstatic or electric solution (soulution) every day. Remember that this is your brand and that this is who you truly are.

You are not blocked. In fact, the door to success is wide open for you!

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life, Creative Heroine!

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

p.s. If you want the meaning and brand filters I discussed above, let me know. Sending you love from L.A!

My Heart Lives HERE

Yesterday was the start of the CEO Changemaker business mastermind where each woman is taking on one main business or brand goal, as well as one cause to land inside of by the end of our time together.

To give for two hours inside the group, then ceremoniously give the first 20% from this particular program, as I have from others, but this time to the organization I went to Greece with in November in support of the refugee crisis is reflection-worthy (reflection: part of the topic in today’s first training).

Friends and family have asked why not give or do (more) work locally, why go so far away and my answer is always the truth — I do give and serve locally and I also go where my heart takes me…

I’m on her ride, more than she’s on mine…”my ride or die”, as the kids these days say. ;)

I believe our hearts (ability to raise money and desire to go to other places and give) are large enough to affect a global family in a unique way. Call that a social entrepreneur, changemaker or spiritual activist (another one of today’s topics), but call on what moves you most.

The truth is, just like with most things that mean anything, you don’t end up choosing. Your heart chooses for you.

You are chosen — the work chooses you.

It’s true — vital — that, as Americans, we get more interested in US (the U.S.) and what we can do at home *and* doing work wearing our World Citizen badges is also key, if we are so called.

At the end of the day, if it’s in service to humanity, we are doing what is right by the heart. Did you know she (the heart) lives right in the middle of this beautiful thing? ~> 🌍  <~

Listen to what breaks your heart most these days, what articles you linger on and do it — give in whatever way you can…in time, money, in helping to mobilize or gather others, it’s all valuable and it all counts.

That’s what happened to me a few years ago. My heart…she knew, she told me (and kept telling me) and so I went and it goes just like that…

Sending you love today, lady changemaker. May you do just that ~ may you change the world through that big heart of yours and through your ever-expanding and expansive business…

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

p.s. If you’d like to follow along with us for the next six months, there’s still time to join us (though the group is full, we are opening up the possibility for you to receive our training recording and workbook from each month!). You will be forever changed, I can assure you of that. Join us. Here’s to creating meaning and finding happiness.

Meaning Leads to Happiness (a little bit about my talk at Allegheny College)

Last week, we spoke all day, in friendship and (in) love…

First, a breakfast with a new friend. Then, answering questions on video for an hour, followed by a lunch with both Allegheny faculty and students asking questions (laughter, empowerment through the lens of philosophy and I even snuck in the story of how Josh and I met to Josh’s surprise).

After a walk in the snow to quickly watch the Tibetan monks on campus working inside one of their mandalas (so beautiful), we did our respective talks, coming back together at the end to close it out with final thoughts which felt as light and breezy as they were serious and important.

The Q&A was one of our favorite parts, followed by a reception and breakout sessions which lasted until 7pm.

Josh and I have talked about writing a “He Said, She Said” type book for a long time, but instead the universe gifted us with the opportunity to do these “She Said, He Said” talks about doing what you love (what you want shows up in unique clothing (couture/one-of-a-kind), watch for it). But it was more than that…isn’t everything ‘more than’?

It was a display of Josh’s and my friendship. Nietzsche, who faculty brought up quite a bit yesterday, said it’s not a lack of love that breaks up marriages, but a lack of friendship. Agree?

It was a display of taking what we do and find creativity in and continuing to make giving from that energy or those businesses/entities a must; taking giving donations **to being the donation** and getting on planes and getting hands dirty, while getting so tired from answering questions that you can’t wait to do it again…

It was a display of respect for my partner, for romantic partnership and what it can mean in 2017, not just for the world, but for one guy we love more than anything: Nolan.

It was a display for how much one can give and give and be, simultaneously, filled back up and up.

It was a display of the power of story told from two distinct perspectives, but that, at the end of the day, have the same beating heart.

…a display for the respect for life and lives who need what you have to say, but get more from feeling how much you actually live it, than from what you are telling them…

This was all part of what was shared yesterday — pause at what’s expected of you, question the thinking and **feel** instead…see things not just for what they seem, but for what they ARE bringing you in terms of meaning, aliveness and quality relationships (p.s. when you experience closed doors or perceived problems/ challenges, know that you’re simply being asked to study solution — getting into this practice and, ultimately, being known as solution or solution-oriented will do more for your life and professional experience than most anything.)

Unless, of course, you ask yourself to always find meaning. That’ll do a lot, too.

You’ll find happiness.

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

michelle-black-sig-md-light

How to Explain Your Multi-Passionate Ways

They are each my people, equally, though in the world of love and loving there really is no equal and there is no balance, this is what I’ve come to find out, there’s only a well that replenishes itself as needed, so you can continue to give of and express your true self to who and what’s most important to you.

These are cards I gave Nolan and Josh a couple weeks ago. They stared at me extra long this morning, so I could share this ~

You don’t have to choose between your purpose and your purpose.

You don’t have to choose between your passion and your passion. 

You don’t have to choose.

You can love up on a family and do amazing work in the world, outside of them.

If you have kids and are also someone creating a movement in the world through what we call your business, service or passion project, I know that each of them are important to you and that both make you feel on-purpose…it’s ok, be honest and live that life ~ yours.

Both are mine, without a doubt: growing a conscious, loving family and marriage and being there emotionally for a growing-way-too-fast Nolan is a 10+.

And (not or) growing something outside of him and outside of US as a unit (that only supports our growth as a unit) is also a 10+. When we realize this last one — this last purpose — is truly about growing oneself, we’ve touched upon the ultimate success.

I get that each side fuels you in unique ways, so don’t choose!

It’s also ok to stop making the conversation about what’s more important.

For you, they’re both ‘more important’ to your path of meaning.

They are both, and it is ALL, your thing; your multi-purpose and multi-passionate thing…

I know what your next question is (it was mine 11 years ago), you will have time to do it all — to love up on all parts of the fully expressed you — because time will rise to meet your rising.

Sending you love, Creative Heroine!

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

p.s. Infuse more meaning into your business and brand and follow along with the CEO Changemaker Mastermind group for the next six months (all the valuable resources for $97 per month vs. $697 per month)! Let us know if you’d like more information. Until then, cheering on your multi-passionate ways…