Category Archives: Mindful

Design is transcendent but business is necessary

This is an excerpt from a book I wrote a few years ago. I am revisiting it and adding more insight in to the the business aspect of running a creative based business.

This first book was all about how we use our language as creative to succeed in our endeavors. I wanted to revisit and make sure I still had it right. I’m trying to work on this blog from my iPad. Of course everything has changed on how to execute a blog post from how I do it on my computer. Please bear with my editing capabilities on iPad.

Design is Transcendent

We know that Universal thought has for its goal the creation of form, and we know that the individual thought is likewise forever attempting to express itself in form. We know that the work is a thought form, and a sentence is a combination of thought-forms; therefore if we wish our ideal to be beautiful or strong, we must see that the words out of which this temple will eventually be created are exact, that they are put together carefully; because accuracy in building words and sentences (and art work or any creative modality) is the highest form of architecture in civilization, and is a passport to success.͟ Kojin Karatani Architecture and

Metaphor

Baba Hari Dass, an Indian Yogi says the best ways to really learn something is to teach it. As a busy working Mom and wife this can be a challenge. When I decided to go back to school with small children I did not realize just how challenging it would be. Now 7 years later with a new direction in my life and children becoming more and more self-sufficient, I can return to what I missed. When I first started my design firm I was trying to kill two birds with one stone. I wanted to offer something to potential clients and get the word out about my new business. At the same time I want to integrate the design principles more into my soul. I wanted to know these principles so well I would use them inherently with everything I created. It was something

I felt I had been missing for years as a professional artist who was not formally trained. I was certainly creative enough, but never knew the basis from which to work and create and therefore really take my work as an artist to the next level of refinement. So I threw myself into studying the principles and created a seminar on them, presented them a few times to small audiences and then got so busy with work I could not continue with the seminars.

Principles are our foundation for success in Life and Art/Design

It has been a few years and our firm is doing very well, again I am looking to remind myself of my artistic principles with which to work from and sinking back into really defining and deconstructing the thought process I came to realize that these principles are the same intrinsic ways of thinking that create abundance and prosperity in our lives. The thought process that goes into designing, creating homes and spaces, artwork and developing our business all stem from the same system of principles and thought. If we continue to practice these principles in a systematic way our lives become more abundant, our work reaches new levels of excellence and brilliance, our relationships become more deep and meaningful, and we gain a sense of discernment for what is good and hopefully what is great. In the process of all of this happening we also gain an understanding of how important it is to gift what we have learned so our entire community can rise to a higher level of consciousness and abundance and our lives full of integrity can reach out and touch others and encourage them to walk with a light in their heart as well.

When we talk about what it is to have principle, we are talking about a manner in which

someone acts or a system of beliefs by which they live their lives. A set of principles is almost a

systematic approach to making all the little decisions in our lives that will shape our future. We

can have great principles and create an amazing life. We can lack principles and use little

judgment and create havoc in our lives. Living our lives based on a set of principles allows us to

act with integrity without any effort. This ability frees our minds and our hearts to create and

share with more people on a higher level.

Using Principles for art or design and creative endeavors works in a similar fashion. If we use

a set or group of principles for design we can create something that is unlimited, creative,

sensible, stimulating and serves us well. We should run our lives with the same goals, to create

a life that is unlimited, creative, sensible, stimulating and abundant as well as being of service

to others. This is a full life, this is an amazing design. The language is almost interchangeable.

I believe that the language we use to speak of Design and how we choose to live our Life

are transcendent, they are one and the same. Our lives are inter-dependent and are woven,

intermingled with people, experiences, places, time, etc. We can use the terms we use in

design as well as art to relate to our lives; In design we speak of scale, how the use of the size

of something, a pattern in a wallpaper or a sofa in a room, in life we measure the scale as we

compare what we believe our lives to be in relation to those around us and what we want to

achieve in our lives. There is proportion in our experiences. We try to achieve balance with how

we spend our time with emphasis on differing things over time. All of these principles will

create Harmony in our lives. These are the same principles used in Creating great Art and

Design.

We use the elements in a design to affect our principles. These are a finite and can be used

in very specific ways, far less conceptual. Elements are used more like tools. In design, element

refers to shapes, line, form, mass, texture, pattern, light and color. When I speak of success, the

elements I will use are the small tools that will allow us to manifest our principles. What I have

found is in the breadth of our lives there is always design. We are building our life with the

choices we make. We build our life with whom we choose to spend our time, with what we

work at, as well as all of the everyday smaller choices, like what we had for breakfast. We are

working from a blueprint of how we were raised, our paradigm. Architecturally metaphorically

speaking, all of these day to day choices we make are the building blocks, the 2×4′ s that are our

walls , and rooms, sections of our lives; they are the canvas on which we create our

masterpiece. .

Sow a thought, reap and act,

Sow an act, reap a habit,

Sow a habit, reap a character

Sow a character, reap an eternal destiny

Great Success and Great Design are based on layering of Principles. Like a great cake

each layer gives you more to enjoy. Success and Design work the same way. You have to add

layers to achieve a level of excellence and discernment. My goal with this set of principles for

design and success is to create a foundation of thought. This will be the foundation from which

you will make choices for your home or work space to elevate your design and so elevate your

experience. We will learn to work from a set of principles to create a foundation from which to

make our life choices that will generate abundance and much more in our lives.

The success system I have put together for you will guide you to be able to create not only a beautiful space

to live or work in but also to create a life of abundance, clarity, health, creativity and service.

This is a system of principles that if practiced regularly will get you everything you want in your

Without reviewing how we have lived, practicing self-reflection, how we will be able to

recognize what works and what isn’t working, we are doomed to continue our not so great

pattern of choices we make. We all have issues. There is no perfect life, at least not these days,

and not even on t.v. We have moved from the June Cleavers to the shows like ͞The Middle͟. I

don’t want to really spend a whole lot of time rehashing what we already know about our lives,

but if you are sincere about making it to your goals you need to be real about what you do, how

you do it and with whom you are doing it.

I have already introduced the idea of the paradigm

or blueprint. This is an idea that through our childhood experience we are more or less trained

to think, be and act. We are heavily influenced by not only our parents, but also our friends,

teachers and society at large. The expectations and rules we are taught, if we are uber blessed

or even a little lucky is healthy, supportive and encouraging. I would say that for the majority of

us, not so much. I would say the majority of us have backgrounds that are relatively

dysfunctional; at the least we have some complaint about our original situation. What I am

saying to you now is that you have a choice. I am officially informing you that you have all the

power in your life to make it what you want. You have to believe!! You have the power to

change your blueprint!

We gather strength as we go

Having a conversation with my daughter about how she and her friends treat one another can be such a challenge. Middle school girls are almost impossible to deal with. Typically involves crying and me taking a lot of deep breaths before I speak and offer any kind of wisdom 

High school and mean girls was my living hell. What I know know is that none of it mattered except how those interactions formed my personal level of confidence and self worth. 

My mom worked a ton and my Dad was away for work a great deal. So I floundered and made grave mistakes. 

Today I try to express to my kids this when they are facing mean girls or overly competitive boys talking smack: “transform fear into prudence , pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.” Nassim NTaleb

These are things we practice all our lives and may never achieve perfection. We can certainly become better people than we are currently. That’s all I want my daughter to know as she goes back to the lunch table and faces off with snarky comments. I told her to not back down and don’t lash out. Stay positive and smile. Stoics had a great idea. We all need to practice the philosophy more and be kind to one another. 

To be good you may need to look good

 

I think we feel better when we look better any way. The point I want to make to you is that you need to take your success, your level of play seriously. You need to take seriously how you portray your image to everyone. Its fine  to say you don’t care what any one thinks of you and really you shouldn’t especially if you know you are putting forth your best effort.

The idea that I want you to grasp on to is that if you value yourself worth so will others. When you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror and say I dont feel like shaving, putting on any make-up, combing my hair, really I dont feel like putting any effort into myself, then how do you expect anyone else to put any effort into you either.

 

It’s funny, if I am sick I typically put more effort into my appearance and I feel a little better. I find when I show up to work, even if it’s in my back yard, I have a  dress and nice shoes on, I perform better, I get more done. Seriously if you think about it, you never know who you are going to run into at Publix or the gas station. The last thing you want to do is be in your Walmart sweatpants and end up pumping gas next to Mrs Rockefeller who you just gave a $10,000 proposal to. What will she think? She may think she’s not sure she hired the right person.

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On the  other end of the spectrum, dont over do it. dressing like a hoochie mama sends all the wrong messages. When you dress like a hooch it shows you value your sexuality more than your ability to produce good work. Unless that’s what your selling, sex, then dont dress like a hooker please. Skirts no more than 4″ above your knee, absolutely no platform any kind  of shoe, no boobs popping out.

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Take pride in your appearance, that’s the easiest place to start. Get a hair cut, shave daily, get some new shoes, please!!! Your professional appearance sets a tone for your day, for your attitude and for your path in life. I always say act as if you were already successful in your career, I mean dress like it too, its a great place to start going better places.

The Simplest Way to Take Control of Your Life 


“99% of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses” George Washington Carver 

The simplest way to take control of your life is to take responsibility for everything that happens to you. 

If you find yourself saying things along the lines of “Bob is always getting the good projects at work and my boss never gives them to me.” You are making excuses for your own behavior. Turn your language around. “What can I do to show my boss I deserve the best projects, how can I earn his respect…” 

The reality is no one is doing anything to you . This is only your own perception. Take control of your life. I would challenge you to change Any statement you make to blame someone else to blaming yourself. 

I can’t loose weight because my wife brings home junk food from the store. (Excuse and blame)

I am doing the grocery shopping at least once a month and buying healthy snacks.  (Taking ownership and responsibility)

Wasn’t that simple? I can tell you simple is not always easy. Practice practice practice the language you use. Stop yourself and make the correction on the spot. 

When defining success make sure your ladder is leaning against the right building

When defining success make sure your ladder is leaning against the right building
Brene Brown

This goes back to having practiced writing down your goals and being clear on what you really want out of your life.

Be in the practice of evaluating what you spend your time and money on. It is going toward what your biggest goal is?

I’m terrible at this most of the time, simply because I get decision weary, tired and hungry with running our design firm full time, 2 kids and a husband and I have a life I enjoy leading as well. This blog for instance takes time and effort to write and build.

What is at the top of my building is freedom, time and financial and creating a way to serve others.

I say to be in practice because I don’t know a single person who is perfect at getting what they want the first time around. I believe we have to practice at being better people. Part of that is to reevaluate what building our ladder is leaning against.

 

A Great Epitaph

Andrew Carnegie once said, “I wisht to have as my epitaph: Here lies a man who was wise enough to bring into his service men who knew more than he.'” 

So important in today’s world with technological changes moving at warp speed.

Is Success About Learning? Or Are You Already Just That Good?

“Benjamin Barber …. once said,”I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and failures…. I divide the world into learners and non learners.”

I for one like to hire and work with people who are teachable. I always want to be a student. There is always some one out there that knows more than me.

 

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