On The Road Again

Hawaii the First Time

Hawaii the First Time

This has been a shake-up, wake-up year for me, your normally stay-at-home-in-my-Internet-Ivory-Tower kinda gal. Oh, sure, I might wander up to Maine, or down to New York City – once in a while. But 4 trips in 4 months that all started with getting on a plane?

In the first place, I’m an introvert – which means I’m pretty darn happy toddling around in my own space, frolicking with the fairies and elves of my endless Idea Machine. It’s why I prefer being online and on the phone to, say, a keynote address where my body is in front of a bunch of other bodies – being alone keeps the external stimulation to a minimum so I can access, and cough up ideas like the smARTist Telesummit, or write books like Writing The Artist Statement.

However, something dramatically changed at……the beginning of this year.

It started with a spontaneous jump-on-the-plane and flying out to Portland, OR for New Years – where I hooked up with one artist, abstract painter Barry Mack, and visited the home of another artist, Ray Losey, whose work plays off of traditional totems.

Then, in April, I flew to the Big Island of Hawaii for a 7 day “Swim with Wild Dolphins” retreat, came home, and 4 days later was in Savannah, GA giving one of those in-the-flesh keynote presentations (that I don’t give :-) for CODA.

Hawaii the 2nd Time with Peruvian Elders

Hawaii the 2nd Time with Peruvian Elders

Five weeks later saw me back on the Big Island of HI for a week-long PAQO Conference of indigenous shamans and healers. And, as if that wasn’t enough for one stay-at-home introvert, I fell madly in love somewhere in-between the two trips to Hawaii.

Whew! Makes me dizzy just putting all of that in two paragraphs!

Of course you weren’t keeping up with any of this because I was still hiding underground in my mistaken smARTist Identity.

But, besides giving you a peek into my personal life, why on earth am I telling you all of this?

Because…

… Shaking It Up Loosens The Crud

Putting myself into completely unfamiliar places, without a ghost of a chance of sticking to my daily routine, netted me a few surprises. Here’s some of them:

1. Getting away from the computer (I don’t travel with a “laptop” or other digital devices – except my camera.), and not watching TV while flying (in 4 months I logged 59 hours in the air!), allowed my Idea Machine to flow freely. I came up with 6 new projects and 3 books to write – each one outlined and ready for the next step – and all on **real paper written with a real pen.

2. Meeting new people juiced up my energy flow so I was more accessible to myself, and I returned to my Internet Ivory Tower where all of this is now spilling over into my tribe (that’s you).

3. Living in a daily cauldron of the unfamiliar opened up my perspective so I could see what needed changing in my company, and what could stay the same. This led to my most commented blog post ever, and an outpouring of support I didn’t even know existed. (Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.)

4. Working offsite once a month (that new love I mentioned, who doesn’t live close by…) was the real eye opener. Away from my homey work space, I discovered I could write blog posts – a task that, before, felt tedious and uninspired. On the other hand, I could not complete the to-do stuff that dominates my time back at the office.

Beyond The Valley of Discomfort

Shaking up a comfortable routine feels… well, uncomfortable. I enjoy operating on automatic pilot where certain habits and pathways are well worn across familiar territory – so I can use my active mind for other tasks. And now I see just how seductive this comfort can be, and that it is not the most effective way of operating for me, my tribe, or my business.

Discomfort is valuable. It gives me a chance to pay attention to what actually happens when I shake things up – to look over the edge and align my behavior with what works best instead of sticking to my easy chair.

What can you do to shake up your routine? I’d love to hear what you discover when you step away from your comfort zone.

———

**A complete aside: Did you know that hand writing activates different neural pathways in the brain from typing on a keyboard? Next time you are having trouble writing, mix up the process.

Which reminds me, are you having trouble writing your artist statement – that extra chance you have of bonding with your collectors? I’ve written a whole book just for you. Click here to check it out.

3 Responses to “On The Road Again”

  1. What an delightful post. I feel energized just reading it. I’ve always loved and valued you, Ariane, and every additional bit of yourself you share just increases both.

    Woohoo, you bright light!

  2. Molly-on-the-spot! First comment, and makes my size 6 shoe itching to dance a bit in the office!

  3. Grete says:

    good stuff Ariane

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