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Craving guilt-free creativity that makes your heart sing and time fly?

Welcome to your Creative Oasis™!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Want to Create An Instant Holiday Oasis for Yourself?

Since December can feel overwhelming for so many of us…too many obligations…too many presents to buy…too much sugar to ingest…too little time for yourself, I’m offering a virtual Creative Oasis Day Trippers experience for the holidays that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home whenever you like rather than my usual in-person excursion. (click here to learn more about Creative Oasis Day Trippers)

I’ve given you lots of options below, so you can create an instant Holiday Oasis that feels just right for you, and even included a permission slip to get you started. Now, please pick up a candy cane, raise your right hand and repeat after me:

* I hereby give myself permission to enjoy five or ten minutes of my own personal holiday oasis.
* I hereby further give myself permission to actually spend even more time than this if I am even remotely able.
* I hereby give myself permission to thoroughly enjoy my Holiday Oasis without guilt, without attempting to multi-task, and without further ado.

How to Create Your Own 
Instant Holiday Oasis: 

#1 – You get to decide when you’d like to enjoy your Holiday Oasis.
 A.  Right this very minute! (Good thinking!)
 B.  I get to put this on my calendar for sometime in the next week. (That’s fine…but please take a moment right now to write it in your planner…type it in iCal…or add it to your official schedule in whatever form that takes.)
C.  I’ll get around to it after I’ve finished all my shopping, wrapped all the presents and baked all the goodies on my list  – oh wait a minute no I won’t – please go back and choose either A or B. 

#2 –     You get to choose the atmosphere in which you’d like to experience your Holiday Oasis.
A. Snuggled up in front of the fireplace. (substitute with fireplace screensaver if you don’t have a real fireplace)
B. Cozy in my favorite chair next to a delicious smelling candle
with a cup of something yummy
C. In my car at stop lights while running some errands and         
frantically crossing things off my To-Do list – oh wait a minute,
that won’t work, will it? You get to choose A or B. 

#3 – You get to pour yourself a glass of cheer by enjoying one of the following:

A. Hot tea, cocoa or coffee
B. Eggnog or wassail
C. A glass of wine or champagne (with a large glass of water on 
             the side to maintain proper hydration)

#4 – You get to do something that you love to do during the holidays, but usually never get around to doing because of your busy schedule. Some ideas would be:

A. Sit and stare at the lights on your Christmas tree and let them
hypnotize you. (deep breathing recommended for this one)
 B. Pull a beloved holiday book off the shelf and enjoy reading it
and/or looking at the pictures
C. Write a letter to someone you haven’t seen lately who you miss just to let them know
D. Peruse favorite holiday recipes and choose something delicious to make sometime within the next couple of weeks. (leaving the cookbook or the recipe out on your kitchen counter could be a good reminder that this is something you’d really like to do)
E. String popcorn and cranberries like the good ole’ days
F. Make a chain out of colorful construction paper and for each chain think of one thing  for which you’re grateful
G. Run around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to make everyone in your life happy by fulfilling their every holiday wish and desire, saying yes to every invitation and obligation while ignoring your own needs and dreams and...wait a minute...wow this thinking is insidious isn't it? Please ignore G completely and choose something from A to F instead.

#5 – You get to make a quick list of some things you’d really love to do this season that will take longer than 5 or 10 minutes. Then you get to circle your very favorite one – the one that makes makes you feel like a kid again and add that to your calendar as well. (Pinky promise yourself that you’ll really do it or why not invite a friend to join you for added support?) Some ideas would be:

A.  Watch your favorite Christmas movie. (Mine is The Bishop’s Wife with David Niven and Cary Grant)
B. Look at Christmas lights on foot or by car
C. Have your picture made with Santa
D. Bake a pie from scratch
E.  Read an entire book in one sitting, stopping only to refill your
holiday beverage of choice and refill your snack plate (how amazing does that sound?)

Since this is your very own, personalized Holiday Oasis – you can also ignore every single suggestion that I’ve given you and come up with something that makes your heart sing…something that the very idea of doing fills you with peace or delight or energy or some other wonderful emotion.  If you’re anything like me, you’re to-do list this time of year is as long as Santa’s and not half has fun. Why not take a moment to put yourself on the nice list and luxuriate in some much needed self-care and holiday cheer?  Even spending just ten minutes doing something nice for yourself can lift your spirits enough to help you sail through the rest of the day with bells on. (and 10 minutes is less than 1% of your entire day – don’t you deserve that?)

I’d love to hear about your Holiday Oasis moments and hope you enjoy taking a little time for yourself to create them this season with my best wishes!

Lots of love and light from my Holiday Oasis to yours,

p.s. H O –H O – H O! (how's that for subliminal advertising?)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Great Discount for Creative Arts Center Mini-Retreat Early Registration!

* Early Registration Discount through 
January 4, 2012*
(space is limited - 
so register now to save your place and money)

A fun mini-retreat introducing easy and effective
ways to make the time and space for creative fulfillment in your busy life

Ever feel like procrastination, perfectionism and feeling overwhelmed by your busy schedule keep you from enjoying your creative passions? (If your answer is a resounding – "ABSOLUTELY!"  – you're not alone and good news – there's hope!) 

My Permission To Be Creative 101 mini-retreat will introduce you to gentle, joyful and powerful ways to move past those blocks and begin to easily make the time and space for creative fulfillment in your life. 

You’ll experience writing prompts, collage, doodling, mind-mapping, guided-imagery and many other fun methods designed to energize and enlighten you. You'll also learn some unique and amazingly effective tools and techniques from Kaizen-Muse® Creativity Coaching that will help you tap into your own creativity on a more regular basis. You’ll enjoy the delight of creative expression for the sake of pure joy. You’ll also begin your own Creative Oasis™ Journal – a self-created manual of inspiration filled with insights from your inner wisdom and accessed by utilizing these unique tools and techniques.

This mini-retreat is also a wonderful way to grow your current creative practice, strengthen your creative habit and consider new creative possibilities.

Saturday, March 3, 2012
10am to 3pm
Saturday, April 28, 2012
10am to 3pm
  (*Note: Pre-registration required) 

2360 Laughlin Dr.
Dallas, Texas 75228

$75 for CAC members
$105 for non-members
plus $15 materials fee
(Please bring a sack lunch.)

To register contact the Creative Arts Center at
214-320-1275 or visit their website at www.creativeartscenter.org

Here's what people had to say about my December 2011 mini-retreat:

"I loved Jill's class on creativity. I enjoyed the playful atmosphere and the permission to be who we really are! I feel inspired to make some small and gentle changes to make my life work better. Thanks, Jill!"  
Suzanne M.

"This class made me stop and think, look into my brain and know what I want to do next. I feel that my creative juices were massaged and ready to take action."      Sandra T.

I myself have enjoyed tremendous personal growth and creative satisfaction as a result of learning and using these methods – from writing and recording my debut solo CD, "Dancing in Limbo," to creating and hosting a CD release/silent art auction benefit that raised more than $10,000 for Women for Women International (Infinite Possibility – A Night of Music, Art & Women Helping Women,) to founding my own business, Creative Oasis Coaching. (All this from someone who was once a world-class procrastinator and the queen of not following through!) 

Now, as a certified Kaizen-Muse® Creativity Coach, my passion is sharing these methods with others so they too can experience creative joy and fulfillment in their lives. I fully believe if I can do it, anyone can, and this mini-retreat is a great place to begin! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hey, Didn’t You Go To Bhutan?

I did! And they put me on a stamp...but, I'm getting ahead of myself.

What happened in Bhutan and why aren’t you posting anything about it? These are the questions I’ve been hearing...a lot lately.

Where do I begin? I have the usual line-up of easy-to-use excuses…I’ve been sick…I’ve been super busy with work, family…it’s the holidays…blah, blah, blah. Sound familiar? But truthfully, the main reason I’m just now getting around to writing about my trip is I felt overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to squeeze this extraordinary two-week experience into one blog post and a couple of photos.

So, once again, I’ll call on the incredibly liberating tools and techniques of Kaizen–Muse Creativity Coaching to get unstuck and set myself free. (I'm a certified KMCC coach with my own practice, Creative Oasis Coaching.)

#1 – Using small steps I’ll allow myself to choose just a few photos at a time to share and write a bit about my memories of those photos. (Not only is attempting to describe the entire trip in one sitting too overwhelming for me – you people have places to be, things to do, creative lives to lead! Better to share Bhutan in bite-sized bonbons than an all you can eat buffet.)

Speaking of which..here's the beautiful, delicious breakfast served on the flight from Tokyo to Bangkok on Japan Airlines. To my mind, it was photo worthy! 
#2 – By lowering expectations, I remind myself that these posts don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to post every day and sharing a little something is better than nothing. This too is helping me to “just get started and write already!”

 Woke from an in-flight nap to find the full moon perfectly centered in the airplane window. Had just enough time to snap this shot before the plane banked and the moon was gone from view leaving me only with another feeling of magical affirmation that this trip was meant to be and the title for an as of yet unwritten song – "Full Moon Over Bangkok."
#3 – Lastly, I get to have fun writing these posts because my trip was so filled with laughter, beauty and peace that I know revisiting my photos and journal entries will be a joyful experience.

More than 36 hours of travel including three flights on three different airlines...thirteen hours in three different airports in three different countries...and we're here! Dad and Mom look surprisingly fresh and happy after all of that, but then again, look at the gorgeous backdrop of the Himalayas on a sunny day – and we're finally in Bhutan! What's not to like?

Stay tuned for more bite–sized bonbons of Bhutan bliss coming soon! And please feel free to share your questions and comments!

In the meantime, all the best from my Creative Oasis to yours,

P.S. – If you're interested in learning more about the life-changing tools and techniques of Kaizen–Muse Creativity Coaching, there will be a new training session beginning in February 2012. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about it!