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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Astrology for Inspiration

Last Wednesday I was still on the "no work list"  so I went for my walk on the river and then home to journal.  I also read my horoscope in one of our local newspapers.  My sign is Cancer and it basically said I need to have a networking extravaganza or a corroboration spree to organize a gathering for all those allies who will be most important in helping me carry out my Master Plan of the next 12 months.

Wait......I do not have a Master Plan.  I also do not network.  I do not Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and it makes me dizzy just listening to people who do.  Every example they give me of why they love to use Social Media are all reasons why it is the opposite of how I want to lead my life.  I have to add I could easily become a hermit without even trying. 

Thursday still no work so another walk on the river.  When I arrived home I had an idea to begin my own exercise studio.  I thought of 5 friends including myself and assigned them each positions.  I have a support counselor to give motivation skills, a Marketing Director, a receptionist and designer of exercise clothes, a bio-chemist for natural nutritional support and me the coach and trainer.

Then I remembered there is a place in my neighborhood that I could visit and introduce myself and tell them I am looking for work coaching, teaching and promoting exercise.  I then started outlining some ideas I was brainstorming when the phone rang.......come back to work on Friday at 8am.

Of course I have not told any of my 4 friends that I was going to network and collaborate with them because all of my planning is internal.  Then I remembered a Myers Briggs personality traits definition:  "If you don't know what an extrovert is thinking you aren't listening.  If you don't know what an introvert is thinking you haven't asked.  I have not said a word to anyone about my idea and I have not visited the Therapeutic Trainers Network to introduce myself, yet. 

Am I the only one who does not have a 12 month Master Plan?  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vacation Like A Rock Star

One would think working at my place of employment for over 15 years I would be conditioned to expect unpaid time off.  I am not a workaholic so this is kind of a free day to do whatever I feel like doing.  I am also physically and mentally programmed to go to work Monday through Friday and when that does not happen it takes awhile to wrap my head around the idea I am on an unpaid vacation.  I did read somewhere that when a person gets laid off or terminated from a job or has an accident that changes a personal routine it takes at least two weeks to psychologically let go and begin something new.

Also 90 percent of the thoughts we had yesterday are the same thoughts we have today and another reason why change is so difficult.  That must be why I felt like a lost soul on this beautiful sunny 80 degree day and did not even make it on my river walk so disoriented was I.  Instead I went grocery shopping and sat outside on my deck reading.

I used to party like a "rock star" when I was a disc joickey at the number one Rock and Roll station in the late 70's and early 80's.  Sex, drugs, and rock and roll is not an expression it was real life.  I heard Carol King interviewed on CNN the other night say the same thing.  When I quit that job it was a major change and I had no clue what I was going to with my life.  I laid  on my couch  for a whole year while sending out some resumes and going on some interviews that gave me solid rejections. 

A neighbor asked if I could do anything I wanted what would it be and I told her a "professional student".  One thing led to another and soon I was enrolling at Marylhurst College.  Looking back on how it all happened it does seem it was all planned and meant to be.  Right now with no projects to work on this too feels all planned.  I like to take notes when I read and came across this one today.

"Nothing to hold on to is the root of happiness.  Rest here."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Artistic Endeavors Foiled Again

Yesterday I had a free day to do whatever.  Since I want to learn how to post photos that I take of myself with my tripod and put it off every chance I get my thoughts after morning coffee was to practice,practice, and more of it!!  I had taken a few pictures in the weeks previous but even that is one where when I arrive home from work I tell myself I am too tired, or my outfit is not right, or blah blah blah and weeks go by and I realize I have taken only a few pictures and if I do not shape up I will once again forget even how to go through all the steps to get it done.

Okay so yesterday was my day to proceed no excuses!!! I am planning my trip to visit my daughter and two grandchildren in Arkansas and will be leaving in a few weeks.  I decided to try on a few different options for traveling on the plane and then force myself to take a few photos of each outfit.  As I took the first few I thought they were turning out wrong and then notice my patience is nil so I take a couple and move on to the next outfit.  I was having fun practicing different poses and all in all tired on 7 outfits and took two photos of each so I had a fair amount of photos to experiment with posting.

Looking forward to my man Kobe playing basketball at 6:30 pm I still had time to run to the mall and wander around instead of going for a walk in the wind and the rain.  When I arrived home I turned on the TV, poured myself a glass of chocolate wine and began loading the photos.  I am watching the game while I am cropping the photos and making adjustments to the lighting, mostly watching the game and slowly find myself very upset.   The Lakers are losing and they are playing terrible but I am a grown woman not some Los Angelos fanatical fan so why is this seriously making me mad??  I ask myself what this possibly has to do with my life and I am amazed every time I get caught up emotionally about a stupid game.  I continue sorting out my photos during time outs and half time.

Over an hour or so later I pour myself a second glass of wine and amazed that I am happy with my photos.  I still keep watching the game though even with Kobe not playing after the third quarter because the game was already a loss.  Three hours later I am not sure where my photos have been stored.   I click through Pictures there are many folders that are empty and I am hitting the delete button as I go and soon as I did it I realized my mistake but thought they would be saved somewhere on some file but no........every picture gone.  

Who said starting over is half the fun??  At least today I accomplished a different DIY project I have been putting off.  I used every bit of artistic abilities I have and used Martha Stewart glitter to make one pair of sandals silver sparkles and one pair black sparkles.  They have to dry for two days and then I spray them with silicone and then I dare to wear them.  Please Martha make it happen!!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Self Portraits

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be an artist.    I could never draw like the other kids.  Years went bye and always my mind would tell me I wanted to learn how to draw one day.  I have always admired artists who draw portraits and thought maybe I could do it if I just went to Art Media and bought a few basic materials plus 6 different books on "How To Draw".  That was about 2 years ago and then it took a whole year of realizing I was never going to read the books.  Last year I thought of a way to force  myself each night to sit on the floor and draw the outfit I planned on wearing to work the following day.  Then I would send the drawing to my eleven year old granddaughter via text and she would exclaim,"You're wearing THAT tomorrow?" 

After 2 weeks of trying my best I gave away all of my books and put away my drawing materials and realized drawing is not my passion after all.  The mind is not trustworthy.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Where Are You Physically

Being an introvert online feels overwhelming.  I can do pirouettes in ballet class and pique turns and chaine's without feeling as dizzy as I do when I hear about all the various ways to partake in social media.  Blogs, chat rooms, message boards, Facebook and Twitter are just a few.  I guess the Instagrams are a fave for getting your photos out to the masses in "real time".

But my question is, does anyone care anymore about BEING in "real time" physically and mentally?  When I was studying to be a yoga teacher one of the first books I came across was by Ram Dass called Be Here Now.  I think it was written in the 70's or 80's and little did he know that the population was going to go in the exact opposite direction.  Again, is anyone now "really" present to the moment they are in?
Google photo image

 This picture is what I see EVERYWHERE.  At the Mall, at the park, babysitting children, walking dogs, in cars, walking down the street in front of my apartment, at the dance studio, at work, getting groceries.   Okay, I cannot name one place I do not see this.   Where are you when you are on the phone?  I wonder how many people know or even care when they are on their phone they are not fully present to the moment they are in.  And "who cares?"  I do. 

It's not about multi-tasking as my extremely extroverted daughter is so proud of and being an introvert I do not feel qualified to answer what it could be about?  I can only question why?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When Is It Time To Leave

How do you know when it is time to leave?  It is time to leave when a voice says, "it is time to leave" and you go through the motions as if this is true.  

When you do this and nothing gets in your way over the proper course of time.... then it is time.

It is not time to leave when you say "I am going to leave" and you go through the motions as if this were true, finding nothing but walls and in the walls doors and all of them locked.....then it is not time to leave yet.  It is important to test the walls to see that they are not YOUR OWN FEARS disguised as walls.

Magic is when all the hard things and all the easy things and all the things that happen to you at all begin to look as if they were planned.  Magic is when you behave as if all the things that happen to you were planned even when it doesn't look that way.  This is magic.

Magic is different.  It is when you are a fool and know that you are probably not alone in this.  Magic also has a lot to do with telling yourself the truth about the way things are.  It doesn't matter who else you tell it to.

I wrote these words down in my notes awhile back because it seems like I have thoughts and feelings of "leaving" a situation, person, place, or thing when I least expect it.  Yes it is happening now.   

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fooling All Of The People

The more you go shopping the more you are aware of scams.  Or not.  It is the classic cliche that is  sooooo true......"You can fool all of the people most of the time" and what marketers count on to be  successful all of the time.  For me the fake prices set under every kind of advertising gimmick known to man and most everyone gleefully following the "come-ons"  like lemmings is hard to understand.   But if human nature has a herd mentality just go to the mall and you can prove it.

My interest in the world around me has me wandering from store to store on some weekends avoiding all the marketing tools thrown in my face telling me if I buy two I can get one free, just one ploy that tries to push my greedy button.....and wonder why why why am I the only one that is offended by all this nonsense?   I would keep breathing and smiling to myself wishing if only there could be a store that was "real".  One that you could walk in and know the items were priced fair.  It was a hope against hope and thought those days were gone.

Then I read on one of the fashion blogs that she would no longer shop at Penny's because they stopped having sales.  I was in shock.  Not at her rebelling against no more sales but that finally a large corporation "gets it".  I don't shop there because their items are not my taste but, "Thank you J. C. Penny for no more fake prices"!!!!  Maybe I wasn't the lone ranger and other wise shoppers were also saying "STOP THE MADNESS.... we are couponed out and all the rest of it.  We want simple, honesty."   What a refreshing trend that would be.  But what about all the people that like to be fooled???? 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Best Marketing Idea So Far

 First, we have the fabulously popular Heidi Klum show "  Project Runway". When a TV show is a hit then spinoffs go ballistic and never measure up to the original.  Next think about the commercial  HSN and QVC.  These two shows  hawk designers and popular media personalities that attach their names to fashion items in hopes that their popularity will sell the items.  And they do. 

Supposedly when you see the models on those shows you not only subconsciously  want to look like them you also want to wear a Jessica Simpson or an Iman etc.  Good marketing yes.  But wait.........along comes Fashion Star.  It is like a marriage of these two popular ideas.  The person or persons who came up with this show needs to get "The Best Marketing Idea 2012 Award and hopefully they made millions of dollars coming up with it.    Have you seen the show?  Brilliant!!!

First we have the star factor with 3 recognizable personalities mentoring the fashion designers.  Jessica Simpson, Nicole Riche and some man I am not sure of.  I know.......they could have gotten more star power but.......Then take 3 major department stores H & M, Saks, and Macy's that bid on the designs.  So unlike Project Runway the designers are not making runway pieces they are designing clothing to sell in one or more of those department stores.  So what?  Here it is.....When one of those stores chooses an item to sell in their store..... you, me , anyone can go online and immediately purchase it.  Win Win Win.

The store, the designer, and the TV production show wins.  I want to have thought of that!!!  This is what life is all about.  Or at least the American way.  If only I knew how to market myself like that.  If only one of my best friends didn't have to walk away from her dog massage business because she could not market herself.   My work is in market research and I know the billions of dollars that go into the industry.

I get dizzy reading the ways to promote your blog.  Penelope Trunk is a blog that has every idea imaginable for marketing yourself and many other posts give way too much advice that exhausts me just reading about it let alone acting on any of it.  If you don't have 46% of your time to spend on selling yourself then the party is over anyway.  But the fun part is thinking you just might come up with the "Best Idea Ever"!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Best Way To Learn A New Skill

Jumping into a new ballet studio with 3 different ballet teachers each night can be disconcerting.  Since starting ballet so late in life I have only danced at two other studios until now.  The first studio I attended I stayed for 10 years until she had to close.  The second studio I have been for about 5 years or more.  It becomes like a home away from home.  I have stayed with ballet for longer than I have both my marriages.  And to think I hated ballet with a passion when it was first presented to me at Marylhurst College where I was getting my B.A. in Social Sciences.

Since I did not dance as a child or play sports learning to use my muscles was like learning a foreign language.  Even though I was always physically active in my own way playing hop scotch, jumping rope, all the kid games that we played out of doors I loved.  Recess I went straight to the jungle gym to hang by my knees and learn tricks.
Joan Harmony by first dance teacher with me in the background in white top
 My love for dance came when I fell in love with my dance teacher at MHC.  I was in awe of her and she taught various forms of dance and fitness conditioning.  She introduced me to Benny Bell who taught African Jazz and that became my focus.  I studied jazz dance and adored learning the traditional African dances with the live drumming.  It was so exhilarating and transported me to a different land in body, mind, and spirit when I stepped outside I would forget where I parked my car.
Benny Bell my African Jazz teacher who moved to Belgium soon after 
When Benny moved away I turned to ballet classes the only thing I could afford at the time.  Somehow I had evolved because I learned to love ballet and have pursued it ever since.  Today I was reading in my notes "the evolution of learning a new skill."  Practice in three's.  Make three attempts with maximum concentration, then relax and breathe and feel the awareness of tingling out to your finger tips.  That kind of practice is hard but soooo much fun when you feel even the slightest improvement.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Some Thoughts When Not Working

Starting the work week with no projects to work on is always disconcerting.  I have worked for MDC Research for 15 years now so I should be used to it by now.  I no longer panic as I used to but when I  run out of projects to work on means their is no money coming in and dealing with the uncertainty of when I will have a paycheck again allows me to pretend I am on vacation and enjoy the sunshiny day or contemplate what life is really all about.....or a little of both.

This weekend I went to the Mall and once again appalled at the overflow of clothing in the stores.  The glut of clothing is massive and  I walk through it all shaking my head in disgust at how cheap everything looks.  I mean by cheap not only the material and the fit but also the style.  In Macy's the Junior Department has the usual suspects of trendiness and it all runs together with the other Jr. stores such as H & M and F21.  But when I walk over to the so called "grown-up" section of Macy's it is insane.  The designer sections and labels are getting more and more laughable.  It is like they want to copy the younger styles but they can't quite get the hang of it.  So you have sequins on tops, sweaters, jeans where they look forced and feather graphics on the front of crop top tees and....raise your hand if you are over the age of 16 and want a huge graphic of a skull on the front of your tee.

The question that came to me today sitting on the front porch in the sun on my day off  is, "What do clothing stores do with all the clothing they don't sell?"  And so I Googled it.  It only came up with with people voicing their opinions.  Then I Googled more specifically, "What does F21 do with all the clothing they don't sell?"

It came up with Get Off My Internets asking Fashion Bloggers where they store all the clothes they purchase and how do they afford it?  So does anyone know where all the tons of clothing at the mall go after it has been reduced to the Final Sale???