You’ve Gotta Have Artist Dates

If you are a person who gives your goals 100 percent of effort, you must take breaks to ensure you recharge and refuel.

I looked up from the work on my desk last Friday and left town. I’m in the Amen Corner when it comes to Artist Dates. I use every time out of town as an opportunity for Artist Dates.

Julia Cameron describes the Artist Date: “The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” … art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration.”

I’ve filled up on Artist Dates:


The Harvey B. Gant Center of African American Art: I hung out with the Stroller Tour, moms and dads pushing toddlers around museum. You are never too young or old to enjoy art.

Bryon Wilson’s Naturally Speaking #1

Adventure & Fun

The NASCAR Hall of Fame was a good time. I’m not a race car enthusiast. I failed and crashed out on the Qualifying Simulation.


However, the history of NASCAR Ann France, the wife of NASCAR’s founder Big Bill caught my attention. In the midst of all the men, she managed the finances with an adding machine and cigar box to hold the loot in the infancy of bringing racing to the masses. I imaged her as a spirited woman thriving in this space dominated by men.

Whimsical Art

The second leg of my trip was Naples, Florida. I enjoyed 20 minutes touring a small gallery and was introduced to Hurt Slomen and his bunnies. The gallery assistant welcomed my intrusion and shared that history of Slomen who uses acrylic, resin, and crushes glass to render bunny and butterflies art with price tags of $20,000.

A Hurt Slomen’s Bunny

A little light on cash to make a purchase, I enjoyed the opportunity to take a photo of the an infamous bunny.

I also enjoyed the Hoffman’s The Naples Sculpture installation “The Dash” by Kevin Barrett. Shiny and beautiful abstract.

Dash by Kevin Barrett

Back to The 9-5

As I pack to head back to Detroit, I feel relaxed, restored, and refreshed. I’ve explored and reflected. Ready for work and to give 100%! “You Gotta Have Artist Dates.”

A Personal Inventory Project

The beginning of the year is a good time to take inventory of who we are: our likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses. Our personal inventory can remind us or offer insights into our values and what we really want out of the next 12 months and help us chart our course. JJ was willing to share his personal inventory with us today. JJ and I share a mutual interest in volunteerism. We’ve worked on projects serving the homeless and recognizing Women’s History. And, we also share a mutual liking for sparkling juices. I hope you leave this middle-schooler a few words of encourages and I hope he inspires you to grab a pen a complete your own personal inventory.

JJ’s Personal Inventory Project

I believe I have a lot of personal strengths. I am really good at Social Studies, and I like it. I play hockey and I’m great at that also. I’m well liked, and I have a group of friends. All of these things make me the person I am.

I wouldn’t be where I am right now if I didn’t have the support of my parents and grandparents. With their help they made me into a leader, and set me up to make sure that I always do my homework, so I get better at subjects in school. Even though I may not like ELA, I am still pretty good at it. One thing about ELA that I like is reading, I’m always ready to read. 

In my free time I like to play video games. I believe that’s a strength because it ups your reaction time and lets you unwind. I also become better at reading and listening because I have to read subtitles and follow the story by listening to characters talk. I believe relaxing alone is a strength for me because it allows me to regain my energy by doing what I want to do, and not having to worry about the needs of other people.

Eating is a strength for me because it allows me to get my nutrients, especially when I eat delicious food. Having a balanced diet is a strength for me. I love to eat vegetables and meat, especially steak. I love to have steak.

I have a lot of strengths and some I’m able to capitalize more on. When I capitalize on my strengths, I gain confidence in myself and I’m able to do some things I wouldn’t if I didn’t have those strengths.

Meet JJ

Your New Year’s Resolution Check-up

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If you are beginning to doubt or need some strategies of encouragement and success for your New Year’s Resolution, read on.  This check-up is for you.

New Year’s Resolutions can be intoxicating.  As we enter the second week of 2020, some of the glitz and glamor of our New Year’s resolutions is wearing off.  What we want to accomplish is going to take effort, perseverance, and repeating small behavior changes over and over.  

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But, we can do it!  

Remind yourself why you made your resolution. If  your resolution is  just something that you felt you should do, you won’t feel inspired to do it.  You chose a self-imposed punishment.  Forgive yourself, show yourself some self-love, and change your resolution to something that inspires you.  Then design your environment to support your success.  Atomic Habits by James Clear is a quick read to give you clarity. 

Call a friend and ask for support.  Call that one person who gets you and bear your soul:  “I need help!  Can you help lift me up and help put me back on my path?”  Real friends are there for you.  

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Enlist an accomplice who has a similar resolution and use the synergy of two to keep up the motivation and momentum.  Check out and find where like-minded individuals are hanging out.  Create a group if one doesn’t exist.  It feels good and renewing to be in the presence of kindred spirits. 

Hire a coach or trainer who has walked the path.  Find someone who has fallen a few times on the journey.  They know want it feels like to face doubt and rebound from setbacks.  If a trainer or coach tells you that what you want can be done in three easy steps, they may not be the right trainer or coach for you if you are struggling.  Search Google or ask others for referrals and then interview and find the teacher/coach for you.

Finally share your story.  It helps you and those who are listening.  Here’s mine:

I’m on the “Love My Body” Tour this year.  It is my creation—12 months of building exercising and nutrition (eating and taking my supplement) habits for my life now that I’m over 50. I’ve stashed my supplements all over —home, office and car—so I can’t forget them.  I carry around my Back to Eden book and share its wisdom.  I have combined listening to my audio books and online courses with three weekly elliptical workouts.   I’m carrying  plain or lemon water whenever I go so I can stay hydrated and not carbonated. To add in accountability and my love for learning, I enrolled in a free course on well-being taught by Yale professor Laurie Santos. I want to “Love My Body” because I need and depend on my body.  Without my health, my living and life are   compromised.  I’m not asking for a size 5 or the ability to complete an Iron Woman.  I want to continue an active life a clean bill of health. I don’t want to know the names of all the fancy medicines and all of their side-effects like sudden death. My vision is to be vibrant and active at 95!  With that vision and purpose, I’ve redesigned my environment making the “Love My Body” Tour easy, accessible, satisfying, and enjoyable. It’s only the second week, but I give the “Love My Body” Tour a standing ovation.  

Keep going on your resolutions.  It’s week two. It’s time to re-examine your resolutions and readjust if needed.  Check in and see what you need to keep moving ahead in this New Year to a New You!

Healthy Images “Love My Body”

Cheers to The New You

A New Year brings resolutions, goals, and intentions.  At the dawn of this new decade, we feel the urge and nudge to shift, change, or transform who we are.  

A New You

The Possibilities of You Are Infinite.  

Our identity is a series of thoughts, choices, and actions that we select.   

The foundation of those thoughts, choices, and actions are our values and beliefs.  We choose what reflects our beliefs about ourselves and others.     We automatically live into those beliefs of who we are and they are.  If we change our thoughts, choices, and actions, we change our ourselves. We change our identities. We become new.

In 2020, who will you be?  How can you become the person you truly want to be?   

Declare Your New Identity

🥂Declare Who You Are. “I am _____.” Fill in the blank, reflecting the highest good for you and others.

In 2020, I am self-expression. I’m committed to bringing my whole self into my work —writing, teaching and other platforms. So, you get the J.D. and the Creative. I feel complete, and welcome, support, and inspire others.

🥂Each morning wake up and affirm who you are with conviction. “ I am ______.”  It’s like a new soap and deodorant to wash away and ward off all the funkiness of the world. Your affirmation awakens you to the New You!

Live into Your New Identity

🥂Consistently, remind yourself.  

Get your t-shirt, mug, stationery, personalized crest/logo, or other items that you will strategically place and use multiple times each day.  I await the arrival of my “Inspiring Minds” t-shirts and lens wipes. I plan to keep my mind focused on who I am and what I’m up to in 2020.

Fill out a package of post-it note: write “I am _____” on at least 8 post-it notes a day and post them openly and obviously. 

You are triggering your imagination and creating new neuro-paths and patterns in your brain with the writing, posting, and affirming.  You are creating and imprinting a new belief about who you are.

🥂Find your new community. Connect with like minded people who are living into the similar affirmation. They will see your notes and reminders.  They will get you.  The New You will no longer fit in old, comfortable, stagnant relationships. Those relationships will feel like an emotional girdle.

In your new community, you will meet novices and wise avatars; you will find encouragement, guidance, and accountability.  This community will feel like home to your soul.  

During the holiday season, my community showered me with coffee dates, paints, journals, inspiring pictures, comfy slippers, and a gong. I even received my personalized meditation composition “ Zen D”; it was composed to resonate with my speaking tones and vibrations. “Simply, be the energy you want to attract,“ says the TapN2U Doctor, Dr. Anita Caprice.

The books, virtual networks and groups, master classes, and YouTube videos abound and are community building resources. Check out Oprah Winfrey, Rhonda Byrne, Napoleon Hill, Wallace Wattles, Charles Haanel, and Jack Boland books and teachings as well as some local treasures. In the past year, I’ve connected with national speakers, film producers, and I plan on meeting more folks as I travel for conferences.

🥂Celebrate the New You. The most powerful celebration is acknowledging your daily success. Each evening affirm: “I am________” and write the actions you took that aligned with your affirmation. Your small consistent successes will create the last transformative habits that will sustain your new identity.

Facing Challenges

Declaring and affirming a new identity does not obliterate challenges. However, it does offer you a new approach to handle challenges. When you are facing a challenge, remind yourself, “I am________, “ and address the challenge from the perspective of that person.  

For example, “I am self-expression” doesn’t get to opt for comfort and silence before intimidating audiences. There are important topics —leadership, inclusion, and conflict resolution. She puts pen to paper, and she opens her mouth. The words and passion will find their audiences.

Similarly, when “I am abundant and prosperous“ gets an unexpected bill, she begins to list resources — current income, things of values that are no longer used that could be cosigned, and other ways to generate additional income. “I am abundant and prosperous“ has a long term plan for wealth and creates a budget, a savings plan, and a debt reduction plan. “I am abundant and prosperous“ does not store bills in the kitchen drawer hoping they will evaporate.

You get the picture. Your New You acts in powerful ways when faced with adversity. “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too,” Dr. Seuss predicted. To face challenges, stay committed and act in ways that align with your new identity.

Cheers to The New You

🥂Here’s to new beginnings. There’s something different. There’s something new about you and it’s beautiful! Happy New Year, Happy New Decade, Happy New You! Cheers to The New You!

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Preparing for the New Year, New Decade, New You

Let’s prepare for a new year, new decade, and new You.   First, let’s get rid of the clutter and create the space for the new beginnings.

I’ve been shredding old documents.  Anything older than a year must go.  Old business cards—tossed.  I have one bag left of documents to tackle.  

I’ve cleaned out the kitchen junk drawer.  I’ve discovered and stacked the 25 plus Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons. Tomorrow I will shop a shopping date tomorrow with my daughter for her new apartment. 

I’m cleaning my closet today and dropping donations off again this weekend.   Too small, too big, and “I just don’t love you“ items are being bagged.

But I’m having a hard time letting go of books.  Books are my weakness.  They require ceremonious good byes. I will bring them to my 2020 leadership training events and offer them to attendees.  Some are written by people near and dear to me so this will be a passing down and sharing of wisdom.  This is the only way my psyche can handle departing with them. I must know first-hand that they are going to good homes with loving and caring people.

The count down is on and I’m so excited. And thinking of all the opportunities and all I can be in 2020. I’m making my list of intentions and refining them over the next four days.

So how about you? How are you winding down 2019 and creating the space for the new decade, new year, new You?

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In 2020, good things await but we must prepare and make room to receive them.  No clutter.  No baggage.  We need the space.