Even When We're Derailed
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
As a new online course creator, blogger and podcaster finishing two short nonfiction ebooks for piano learners, while caregiving for my 80-year Mom, I'm learning to juggle a lot.
Most of it's new to me.
My journey as a creator is a struggle to overcome life-long patterns of anxiety, challenge the new, balance my family responsibilities, and keep my creative fires burning.
Can you relate?
My goal is to launch my first online course for new or returning piano learners on how to practice piano effectively in April 2020. I've announced this goal originally for January and February—and missed my target dates. Wish you could see my face.
I'm disappointed in myself for that.
I didn't want to share that with anyone, either.
Why Sharing Our Vulnerability And Failures Is Important
But I decided this is actually a great lesson for practicing authenticity and developing self-compassion.
By being honest and transparent here, I'm showing myself and you how important it is that we share our vulnerability, our seeming failures—and still keep going no matter what.
The truth is we're all human. We all experience failures and setbacks. Hiding those away is antithetical to creative living. It's also counter to the reality that success often comes directly from failure.
Holding myself accountable publicly is a way to show myself that I can get back up on the horse. Even if I've fallen into the slop, and am covered in it, I can still get back up and try again.
There's a short video flying around social media of a little girl trying to mount a pony. The video shows her jumping up, falling down, grasping the pony's mane, slipping off, lunging forward, in multiple attempts to get on that pony. Over and over again, she fails.
It's remarkable to watch this child's attitude. She doesn't waver once. She just keeps trying. And she finally succeeds. Wow, the look on her face when she makes that glorious break-through is a monumental statement for having the never-give-up attitude!
Plans In The Works For Nurturing Creativity And Inspiration
I muster that little girl in myself to refresh my resolve. I'm determined to have my first online course and books for new and returning piano learners all rolling by early spring.
I'm also planning a course offering how to use nature and self-care based on spiritual optimism for overcoming blocks, and nurturing creativity and inspiration with a variety of activities.
I have another course on overcoming that negative inner critic planned next. And still another course about nontraditional memorial planning.
I also have an idea percolating about creating a community for those interested in nurturing creativity and inspiration, but that's after my products, books and courses are established...
I'm now editing podcasts featuring interviews with wonderful artists of all kinds. Those are phenomenal sources of inspiration, as these wonderful creators share their creative practices and personal stories.
I've designed some beautiful new products, featuring nature immersion and self-care affirmations! From notecards, journals, posters, pillows, puzzles, playing cards, coffee and tea mugs, T-shirts, kitchen and bath towels, these products are a splash of nature's energy with inspirational messages. I think you'll love everything! (See photo and video on this page for a sneak peak of a few notecards.) Click here to explore my new products designed for nurturing creativity and inspiration!
Creativity Integrates Many Moving Parts
The balance between my creative output while learning and doing the technical and administrative parts of launching my online business as a new creativepreneur is an ongoing, steep climb.
Some days I want to hurl my computer out the window!
But I'm getting better at it!
All my upcoming products, books and courses are completely in sync with how I roll as a creator and in line with how YourCreativeChord harmonizes many moving parts. Like an ocean contains many kinds of waves. Peaceful, subtle, flowing, roaring, crashing, stormy. It’s all part of the same beautiful ocean.
I juggle multiple ideas and skills constantly. I think this is how most people function. But sometimes we forget how varied our creative outlets may be! We also forget how these diverse interests and skills function to replenish our creative juices!
You may have noticed my focus is on piano right now. That's because my current priorities are to get my course and both books for piano learners on Amazon.
I want to empower those interested in expanding their creative flow through piano playing! I have so much piano experience, I can help many people embark on a joyful journey of piano progress!
Once that's underway, I'll be tackling the other courses, with books, and of course, regular blogs and podcasts, too.
ACHIEVING VICTORY OVER--SCRATCH THAT--BECAUSE OF OBSTACLES
You'll always get new content each Tuesday (and sometimes Thursdays). I've spent this year getting weekly blogs and podcasts to you while building systems to launch my upcoming products, books and courses.
I'm packing in as much value for you as possible, whether it's a blog, podcast, a short video, my upcoming new books, products or course!
I'm sharing this with you because everything I do as a blogger, composer, writer, poet, visual designer, nature photographer, creator-with-a-capital-C embodies what YourCreativeChord offers:
My mission as an artist is to lead, by example, through my creative strategies, achieving victory over obstacles and fulfilling my life's greatest potential.
Even if I get derailed, or slowed down, by life's difficulties, or tackling new stuff as an entrepreneur, I will never give up. I will deepen my determination to show victory as an artist for peace.
That’s what creativity is about:
I recently listened to the audiobook, The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. It was perfect timing for me to recognize that a new challenge, problem or obstacle is not just something to "overcome."
Rather, I learned through this wonderful book that it is precisely because of difficulties that I'm able to tap capability, ingenuity, determination, resilience and wisdom that would otherwise lie dormant. The obstacles we each face become the way to greater creative flow, stronger conviction, and more committed action!
EXPANDING COMMUNITY & COLLABORATION
By the way, I've just updated my website HOME and ABOUT pages with a call-to-action for any bloggers or podcasters to interview me or collaborate. If you know of anyone interested in creativity, piano, personal development, wellness, or caregiving, please share this with them!
I'm on a mission to expand my community and collaborate with more creative and inspirational people!
You can definitely support me by sharing this with your social media or forwarding to a friend by email!
Thanks for keeping me accountable!
Join the conversation by sharing a comment with me below, or connect with me on social media using the icons below! ^_^
This post contains affiliate links. It costs you nothing but helps me continue to grow my content! Please see disclosure for details. Thank you for supporting YourCreativeChord.com!
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
I took a major leap of faith to make a big transition into launching my second career as a 50+ single woman. I left a stable music education job, sold my Florida home, and moved to my Kentucky home-state to be in place as my mother’s caregiver (fulfilling a promise I made to my father on his deathbed in 2014).
Now I have the chance to work from home as I pursue my life-long dream of writing, composing music, and creating online products and courses.
Going down the path to my dreams isn’t easy. I’ve had some crazy, unanticipated obstacles. People have disappointed me in ways I never saw coming. I’ve made mistakes. Some things failed entirely. I’ve gotten worn down by the constant juggling of entrepreneurial, caregiver, volunteer, and creative tasks.
My Closest Companions, Fear And Doubt
During the first 18 months of this transition, my closest companions were my overwhelming self-doubt and fear. My tendency toward insomnia escalated dramatically with my nightly battle against anxiety.
The switch from my steady teaching job to being a caregiver and entrepreneur in a new living scenario raised my deepest doubts. This constantly interfered with my sleep patterns and stunted my wisdom to make decisive, appropriate business decisions. I often felt paralyzed with my self-doubt.
In fairness, I’ve battled my self-doubt my entire life. I’m a worrier, a deep thinker, and have tremendous perfectionism and OCD tendencies. But this new chapter of my life tapped into my inner fears more deeply than ever.
Wrestling my negative feelings head-on, I’ve pulled out all the stops to win over them. I’m gratefully making wonderful progress with overcoming insomnia, and with winning over my mental angst.
Read more about how I’m defeating fear and doubt here.
Guard Your Sleep Routine
I’ve discovered the power of a regular routine. I vigilantly guard my night routine. As a deep thinker, it takes effort to stop my mind from swirling. I can’t sleep if I’m thinking!
Early Versus Later
It takes me more than one hour to get to sleep. If I don’t go to sleep early enough, I think all night at the sacrifice of sleep. I’ve learned that going to bed earlier helps me sleep more. If I go to bed late, my mind starts twitching and I end up tossing and turning all night.
Consistency helps train my body and brain to get more rest. As I maintain my early-to-bed, early-to-rise routine, I’m getting more restful sleep. The more I protect my regular sleep and morning routines, the easier it gets for me to relax into sleep. There is power in a regular routine.
Get Outdoors & Move
Regular exercise helps wear me out enough to overpower my mind with pure physical exhaustion. I aim to walk or cycle every afternoon. This helps alleviate the muscle tension from sitting at a computer or piano keyboard all day.
Exercise also refreshes my state of mind, gives me a dose of fresh air, inspires me with the beauty of nature, and often gives me a second wind to keep working after dinner.
In my blog, Why Taking Care of Yourself Is The Best Thing For Others, I share how research has proven that when people take breaks, they refuel creativity and are more productive at work.
Getting outdoors for some quiet reflection, a vigorous walk or bike ride, or participating in an outdoor sport are all ways to give yourself a break from constant mental work or a sedentary lifestyle. Doing so helps balance your emotions, refresh your productivity, and help your body relax.
Shut Things Down
When it’s time for sleep, I must deliberately close down electronics, work, and even social interaction to give myself time to wind down toward rest.
Here are my Top Tips For Winning Over Insomnia:
I highly recommend my recent and current selections, which include;
Living Buddhism magazine
The Wisdom For Creating Happiness & Peace by Daisaku Ikeda
Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris
Reaching Beyond by Herbie Hancock
Possibilities by Herbie Hancock
The Book of Doing and Being: Rediscovering Creativity in Life, Love, and Work by Barnet Bain
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
Napolean Hill’s Think And Grow Rich
Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change by Michelle Gielan
The One Thing: The surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller (read my blog with more about this book here.)
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
As unoriginal as it sounds, exercise, healthy diet and a steady daily routine do wonders for your overall wellness. One of the best bits of advice I received, was to establish a consistent daily rhythm. Having a morning and evening routine helps set the tone for my day and paves the way for restful sleep at night.
Developing a daily routine while vigilantly training my brain to see my best self has been helping me achieve more as I continue forging my new adventurous path. I plan to keep moving forward toward my dreams as I challenge myself to fulfill my potential.
I hope my strategy for sleep is helpful to you, too. Please let me know in the comments below if it is, or if you have any questions or other topics you’d like me to explore more deeply!
I sincerely pray this content inspires YourCreativeChord!
I’d love to hear from you. It means a lot to me that my content is helpful and empowers you. Please take a moment to let me know your thoughts below!
How To Use Self-Care To Feel Happy
5 Ways To Use Music & Nature For Self-Care
Defeat Fear & Doubt with Your Courage & Capability
How To Deflect Negativity To Become Happier
Believing In The Positive
To Climb Again My Kilimanjaro
(This piece originally appeared at TheCaregiverSpace.org )
By Jenny Leigh Hodgins
I segued into the role of caregiver for my aging parent quicker than expected. Last year, I left my 30-year career, and sold my Florida home to move back to Kentucky as my mother’s caregiver. I planned to be in place well ahead of need, while I transitioned to working remotely as a freelancer.
1. LIFE’S CURVEBALLS AND SLEDGEHAMMERS
Things don’t always go according to plan. Life hits with big moments whenever it damn well feels like it. Like many adult children, I face the bittersweet reality of being a caregiver to my parent before either of us are ready. I thought I’d have time to ease into the role, but sometimes health issues pop up or wallop like a sledgehammer.
What a wake-up call, being there when Mom is ill, pained face, weak and trembling, incoherent and out-of-it. Alone in that moment, feeling the full burden of being responsible for her well-being can be an enormously scary place. Facing the impending reality of that final chapter in the cycle of life is not for sissies.
The foreign world of medical terms, insurance and co-pays, increasingly hectic medical appointment schedule, and daily living responsibilities can add up to an overwhelming mountain of pressure. I hadn’t anticipated how my own daily rhythm would be derailed, interrupted or flat-out sacrificed at times.
2. GET AHEAD OF THE CURVE
The learning curve comes swiftly, so I’ve found it best to get my game plan in place, and build my life-state to be ready to play. I’ve discovered the importance of taking care of myself. Putting that oxygen mask on myself first enables me to ward against getting overwhelmed or sick, and be better prepared emotionally, spiritually and practically as caregiver.
3. GET YOUR GAME ON
That means I have to protect my daily rhythm. To be effective in my work as a writer and composer, as a caregiver, and more balanced in my wellness, I have to establish ‘me time’. I rise early to pray, eat and have uninterrupted workflow when I function at my best.
I schedule exercise later in the day to maintain my energy. I use my smartphone calendar app to send me alerts so I stay, or get back on, task. Mapping out my own daily schedule and preserving it as best I can keeps me on top of things and less overwhelmed when Mom’s needs arise.
4. PLAN TO BE THERE IN ADVANCE
I’m grateful to have already settled in, so I’m here when Mom needs me. Not having to rush from another state, or even across town, or leave my workplace, is one load of worry off our minds. My being in place takes some burden off my other family members who don’t have the liberty of leaving jobs, children or properties.
5. TEAM HUDDLE
Keeping open communication with Mom and family members about her health, financial and social needs, as well as legal plans, distributes the caregiving load and assures Mom that we are onboard and unified to uphold her wishes. Getting things in place beforehand helps alleviate worry from all.
This attempt to keep all in the loop brings us closer in harmony to one another. For the caregiver, that support from family team players is indispensable to peace of mind, providing further strength for the tasks ahead.
6. KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW
Getting to know my mother’s daily rhythm gives me knowledge useful for effective emergency response. Being familiar with her usual mannerisms, daily lifestyle, energy, verbal and cognitive responses makes it easy to recognize when something isn’t right.
Paying attention to symptoms early on allows early detection and an upper hand in maintaining her wellness. Knowing her doctors, appointments, medications, and health issues is powerful ammunition against mishaps, and preventative against health problems that could run undetected.
The role of caregiver can present itself sooner than anticipated, bringing unexpected, new challenges. But I’m finding that having a game plan, a great team that communicates well, a strategy for maintaining my wellness, and tackling challenges with gusto allows me to respond well even to the hardest curveball.
I’d love to hear from you. It means a lot to me that my content is helpful and empowers you. Please take a moment to join the conversation below to let me know if you find this helpful, or if you have questions or suggestions!
My Pinterest inspiration and caregiver boards have more self-care ideas. Please check them out and let me know if you've found any of my ideas helpful.
You may also find some lovely nature photos & self-care mini-blogs at my Instagram account here.
How To Ease Burden By Your Loving Preparation
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR END-OF-LIFE STORY
Why Should You Dream Too Big & Harness Your Powerful Imagination?
Defeat Fear & Doubt with Your Courage & Capability
How To Deflect Negativity To Become Happier
Believing In The Positive
My Top Tips For Winning Over Your Insomnia
How To Live A Life of Joyful Creativity
Connect with YourCreativeChord on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook!
Caregiver Smartphone Apps:
Best Calendar Apps
10 Daily Apps to Help Caregivers
Best Apps for Caregivers
Free Downloadable Forms:
Power of Attorney Form
Advance Directive Forms
National Association of Attorneys General 202-326-6000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
COMING SOON: Watch this space for new ebooks, products and courses for nurturing creativity and inspiration!
In my INSPIRATION blogs, you’ll find ways to overcome obstacles, reach goals, and experience more joy in the moment with spiritual awareness and inner transformation.