Stop preaching, start practicing… and getting help

From the Archives

Originally published December 2, 2016

To hear me encourage others to explore their talents and maximize their potential, you’d think that I’d be publishing new blog posts three or four times a week, that my portfolio would have up-to-the-minute samples of my best work, that I’d even be creating enough art to have up-to-the-minute samples in the first place, and that my public speaking calendar would be booked through next Fall. Alas, in the area of practicing what I preach, I’m weighed in the balances and found wanting. For the past few weeks, I’ve been pondering what causes that; in the next few weeks, I hope to reverse the cycle. You can help me.

If you’re guilty of failing to practice the great things you preach, stop feeling guilty. It happens. We all start out with great intentions, and sometimes we let the voices in our heads steer us a different way. My struggle is keeping all the promises I make not to others, but to myself about what living my life means on a day-to-day basis. As I get ready – yet again – to prod myself into better habits and practices, I thought I’d enlist you readers to help me stay on track. Here are some places you can help:

  • Jeune Femme Magazine
    Earlier this year I started a new blog to fulfill a long-time goal of highlighting women in business and the arts. I started interviewing prospective subjects and then got swamped with home and family responsibilities, a day job, and countless voices in my head that convinced me that I couldn’t manage it all. Then I read recently that the only things about me to which I should pay any attention are the things I say about myself. So I’m re-committing to a promise I made to me years ago about giving voice to the multi-talented women and girls who express themselves through creative and entrepreneurial endeavors. Help me by pointing them out to me when you see them or meet them and by checking the website to comment on their stories when you see them published.
  • Art Portfolio
    What I call my art portfolio is actually a dormant collection of creative bursts somewhere in my home offices. In the last half a decade, I’ve missed or ignored many opportunities to design and publish new work simply because the voices that once encouraged me to chase mastery and dynamic stories started telling me another tale, one that has, until now, kept me from pursuing one of my greatest passions. You can help by sending compelling stories and interesting ideas my way for my artistic treatment. Then you can encourage me to reboot my online portfolio, and you can comment on new posts as they’re shared.
  • Daily Writing
    I used to do this, and on some level I still do. I jot impressions throughout my day in a small notebook that’s intended to serve as the birthplace of my blog posts. Except I don’t always go through the notebook, extract a ripe idea or two, and give it life in the form of a blog post. I want to, though. You can help by occasionally asking me how my day is going (or has gone) and by asking me questions whose answers would also make a great blog post. Or you can point me toward local stories of interest. Or you can comment on my blog or Instagram photos in a way that generates discussion. Or simply harass me until you see new material posting on any of my blogs. All encouragement welcome.
  • Networking and Socializing
    Some years ago, I mastered the art of telling other people how to network to their best advantage. In recent years, I’ve become so reclusive that even the few people I know at the few events I attend later tell me that they didn’t know I was there. This is awful. Since I’m in the business of… well, it doesn’t matter. Since I’m in ANY business at all, it behooves me to interact dynamically and often and at every opportunity with others. While not anti-social, I’ve never gotten my energy from outward interaction, though I did my share of meeting, greeting, schmoozing and regaling on my best days. Truth is that I WANT to meet new people and hear new stories and to photograph new personalities. You can help by telling me, in comments below, what works for you or someone you know who struggles to “get out there” in professional and social networking scenes.

Of course, if I’m crazy to think that I can ever experience a life so full of personal reflection and external stimulation, you can tell me that, too. In comments. Thanks for reading.