How Small Changes Make Big Differences

Until one is committed there’s hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative, and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:

The moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves, too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events come from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no one could have dreamt would come his or her way.

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s concepts:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, Begin It. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

—W.H. Murray

Once I gave over to truly committing myself to my choices, to my decisions, to my countless ideas, Providence has never failed me.

Boldness truly, deeply, really has genius, power, and magic in it. Especially when you surrender your attachment to the outcome.

Yoga is my daily practice of non-attachment. It helps me partner with my ego rather than succumb to the drama of doubt and fear which my ego is an expert at creating. My ego wants to protect me from shame and failure.

My ego wants to stop me from doing anything it perceives as dangerous so if it catches me hesitating, you can bet I’m sitting my ass back on the couch and doing nothing. Nada. Ego breathes a sigh of relief and goes back to sleep.

My soul and deepest desires want me to be full in, committed to my acts of initiative and creation. So it’s critical that I act or speak up before I hesitate. And the way I trick myself into bold, creative action is to tell myself “it’s an experiment.”

Ever since I started experimenting with this concept, magic started. Every time I commit myself to a course of action or an idea, amazing things happen.

Mel Robbins talks about this concept in this must watch interview on The 5 Second Rule. And no, it’s not about eating food that’s dropped to the floor.

Seriously, I had no idea that scientific research has actually been done on when one takes action before hesitation sets in. Like Mel, I thought this was my little secret. What I didn’t know was the science behind shaking up my own habit loops.

Obviously Mr. Murray knew all about this, too. Otherwise, he never would have attempted to summit Mt. Everest.

We don’t have to attempt massive undertakings like climbing Mt. Everest. Sometimes our most massive shifts happen when we tackle the mundane and the ordinary. For Mel Robbins, it started with not hitting the snooze button.

Four years ago I made a shift that made a huge difference: I started waking up an hour earlier every morning. I went from lying to myself that I’d go to the gym after work or that I’d write a novel after work or that I would <insert some lofty aspiration> to actually getting shit done BEFORE I went to work.

  • I co-authored 5 Amazon Best selling books.
  • I self-published an Amazon best selling book of poetry.
  • I practiced yoga every damn day. (Still do)
  • My morning time has become my starting trigger to ground and center myself, before the demands of the day come rushing in.

The first two weeks sucked. Transitioning from night owl to a morning lark made me sleep deprived. Not only was I changing how I did my mornings but I was also changing my night time behavior. A few days of sleep deprivation were worth it.

4 years later, my morning routine continues to evolve. I’ve recently added teaching two yoga classes a week. Bright and early, before I go to work.

I use my morning time to create art or work on a crochet project.

I guard this time like a mama bear guards her cubs.

And I’m about to experiment with way bigger things than getting up an hour or two earlier. Now that waking up when others are hitting the snooze button is a routine loop, it’s time for me to shake up my small experiments. My brain sees these experiments as safe.

Keep an eye out for something bigger here. And hold me to it.

Meanwhile, what small changes have you made that have made a big difference in your life?

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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Join Me For Rise and Shine Vinyasa Yoga

Every Monday and Saturday!

You’re Invited to Master Your Midlife For Women on March 18, 2017!

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Master Your Midlife for Women: A Half Day Wellness Workshop

Cultivating Creativity, Clarity, and Connection

I hear from so many women that they feel stuck, trapped, overwhelmed, and spread too thin with the demands of everyday life.

I get this. I’ve been there. I remember having to-do lists that stretched into next year. I remember soccer practices, softball games, tight deadlines at work, and a marriage that imploded after nineteen years.

I remember hearing, “you have breast cancer,” and I realized that I could no longer live my life the way I was living it.

My workshop co-leader, Chris Vasiliadis, remembers being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and she realized she could no longer function the way she used to and needed a new way to live happier and healthier life.

We both had to take our lives off autopilot and overhaul them in a major way.

The last thing we want for you is to reach the same boiling point that we did.

What we hear from women is that they are seeking a life that flows with ease and a sense of freedom. Perhaps you do, too.

If so, you also want to take your life off autopilot.

  • You want to make clear choices.
  • You want to be able to express what you need and what you truly desire.
  • You want a sharp sense of purpose.
  • You want to live your life more from intention than habit.
  • You want a safe place to explore your creativity, your why’s, your dreams, and what keeps you up at night.
  • You want to learn how to trust yourself again – you want to trust your own wisdom, insight, and intuition.
  • And you want to connect with a tribe of compassionate and caring women without drama and judgment.

If this sounds like you, we’d like to invite you to participate in Master Your Midlife for Women.

This isn’t a program or a class in the traditional sense of the word. Master Your Midlife for Women is a daily practice and it’s something Chris and I have been practicing for over a decade.

Attendees can expect:

  • To be stretched metaphorically and physically.
  • 60 minutes of gentle and restorative yoga.
  • Clarity in the choices and decisions you make that are right for you, which means a happier, more fulfilled you.
  • Connection with other women in a similar phase.
  • Creative prompts to help you uncover your priorities, which means you won’t feel like you’re living on autopilot.
  • Strategies to cultivate the energy that best serves your priorities.
  • A private and safe space to share your thoughts and breakthroughs.
  • You’ll be able to rest with what is, recharge, and reset.
  • You’ll return home with an action plan to immediately begin applying mastery into your life.

While we can’t guarantee you that suddenly and miraculously all your problems will be solved overnight, we can provide you the structure, space, and support to uncover your own answers to mastering your midlife.

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For an investment of 4 hours and $67, you can be on your way.

It’s super easy to register:

Visit Dragonfly Wellness Center to register or call Dragonfly Wellness Center, (978) 487-7181.

You will need to bring your yoga mat, journal or notebook, and your favorite groovy pen.

Learn more about your workshop leaders:

Visit Peggy Nolan’s website, Pathways to Possibility and

Visit Chris Vasiliadis’ website, Priority Wellness.

The Magnificent Power of Art

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I need to talk to you about art and creativity.
I need to talk to about this painting I bought yesterday.
I need to tell you why I bought it
and what the artist, Jeanine Maes, said to me.

And after I bought the painting and walked down Duval Street, I ran into my favorite street artist, Jean Paul. I have several pieces of his art in my home.

And I need to tell you what he said to me after I told him I started painting and that I’ve sold 5 of my paintings.

I need to tell you that he gently took my hand and hugged me fiercely.

I need to tell you why I bought this painting.
In this engulfing moment of majesty, regal protector, angelic divine light.
So much in this work of art.

I need to tell you why I bought this painting.
Where do I start?

Releasing Myself From The Judgement of Others (and myself)

Art is practice. Creativity is practice. It’s not about right or wrong or good or bad.

It’s about showing up day in and day out.

It’s about remaining open to all the infinite possibilities.

It’s about being curious.

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I’ve always felt a little weird about the pretty things I make.

What will others think?

Is it good enough?

What if she hates it?

Why bother? You’re not that good anyway…

And so much blah, blah, boring blah.

Silly me. I listened to this horse hooey in my head.

And so I hid my creativity. Or I pursued creative projects when no one was looking. I remember making loads of baby blankets about 16 years ago due to a small baby boom among people I knew at work.

Critical voices played with my own self-doubt. I questioned whether or not I was creative or if what I crocheted was embarrassing. I doubted my ability to write or snap a halfway decent photograph of a sunset.

Echos from the past that crop up from time to time aren’t anyone’s issue but my own.

My self-doubt flew in the face of factual evidence. My judge and jury ran amok and stomped all over my desire to create.

And it took me years to release my self-doubt. And quiet the voices in my past.

I began by taking the words of Anne  Lamont to heart,

“it’s a shitty first draft.”

I embraced the wise words of Andy Warhol,

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

I calmed my self-doubt and inner judge by convincing her that writing and painting and crocheting are all just one big experiment.

Art is practice. Creativity is practice. It’s not about right or wrong or good or bad.

It’s about showing up day in and day out.

It’s about remaining open to all the infinite possibilities.

It’s about being curious.

And the more I practice, the better I get.

crocheted-hats-and-scarves

The other morning, I received this email from a woman who was gifted a hat and scarf set that I made:

“Dear Peggy,

I am the fortunate recipient of a hat and scarf “crocheted with love” by you. My niece Colleen gave me a set for Christmas. You do very fine work and since it is done with love I just know it will be a very welcome addition to my outdoor gear during this coming winter weather.”

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I also received a message from my niece letting me know that her oldest daughter went to bed wearing the messy bun hat I made and gave to her for Christmas.

My friend, Tae Lynn, who bought one of my paintings shared it with the world on Facebook.

I’ve been commissioned to crochet a blanket.

And I’ll be adding more inventory to my Etsy shop – cowls, infinity scarves, messy bun and pony tail hats, and regular hats that are closed at the top.

So to the voices in my head who told me I sucked, meh. I’m over it. There’s way too much evidence that proves I don’t suck.

And to the me who believed my inner critic, thank you for finally releasing the bull shit. Because that’s what it is. It’s my own mind cacka. It doesn’t matter what someone else said. It’s not the critic who counts – even the internal critic! It’s about me getting out of my own way, getting out of my own head game.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
~ President Theodore Roosevelt

You can bet your arse I’ll be daring greatly and getting out of my own way.

I’m releasing myself from the bondage of judgment – yours, mine (mostly mine), and everyone else.

2017 is going to be one hell of an uncomplicated and creative year.

What are you leaving behind in 2016?

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The Definition of Insanity

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Great googily moogily!

When it rains it pours. Like I mentioned in my last blog post, my self-hosted website was trashed by hackers. They trashed it so badly that my website disappeared. Instead of the blue screen of death I had the white screen of death. Nada. Nothing. I couldn’t even get in through the back door. The web hosting company was non-responsive until I hit them up on Twitter.

That’s when I learned how bad the hacking was. The hosting company couldn’t even roll back to the last full back up. It was dirtied up with malware, too. And before you ask, yes, I even paid extra for regular security scans.

So I came back to my big little wordpress dot com space. This is where I started my blog back in 2007. And all I wanted was a little corner of the cyber universe to write.

Then my head got too big.

The online business thing started booming and self-hosted websites were the way to go. At first I self-hosted with the company I buy my domain names from – but my website got hacked in 2010 and I moved everything to an new company and had no problems – none – for almost 7 years.

For 7 years I pretended to have an online business.

What I really had was a blog. And every once in a while I’d teach a class where 3 or 4 or maybe 6 people would sign up and 2 would show up.

A lot of work for very little return. But I’d rinse and repeat, get frustrated, quit, start again.

I became the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

<sigh>

The same weekend my website croaked, the USB connector inside my external hard drive broke. I pretty much have the life of my website – all my content and graphics – stored on it, as well as thousands of photographs.

Oh. My. God. I get it. I really get it.

Dear Universe –

I’ve heard and received the message loud and clear – I’m not supposed to have an “online” business. And no, you did not have to make the final point. You did not need to break the USB connector in my external hard drive. But I get it. Really, I do. And thankfully, the external hard drive is an easy fix and none of the content on there is lost (a-hem, all my pictures from Ireland and Scotland, thank you!)

I get it. Really, I do.

It’s time to be creative. And offline. Not having my online business to distract me, I tapped into a demand for crocheted messy bun hats. A friend posted a link to a pattern on my Facebook wall. I didn’t really like the pattern, so I found a free one on Ravelry and used it for size and then created my own patterns with my favorite stitches. I posted a picture of the first one I made and the orders came rushing in.

Over 30 messy bun hat orders. And “Oh, can you make a scarf to match it?” Sure! If I had known the demand was going to be this crazy, I would have been making hats 3 months ago 🙂

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It’s take me forever to hear this message, to receive this message, and to allow myself to release and let go this notion of teaching online classes. My creativity and the pretty things I make are speaking loud and clear. And you can browse my Esty shop at your convenience.

xoxo

Peggy

PS: Yes, I’ll still be writing over here, too!

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