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Archive for February, 2009

Back in high school, I completed an assessment tool that indicated I was “good at” merchandising.  Now as a high school student who did not think out of the box as I do now, I dismissed that assessment thinking “I don’t like business, marking or sales”  That was my interpretation of “merchandising” from that limited perspective. 

In the last few years I have begun to look at that initial assessment from a whole different perspective and I can see how clearly it has and does continue to show up in my life.

My new definition of merchandising is “the pulling together of ideas, information or objects to create something new or different”.  Here are some examples of when that has shown up in my life:

As a Career Counselor I excelled at helping my clients craft resumes and hone their interviewing skills – pulling together their experiences so they became their markeing tool.  As an artist I have always loved building mosaics – pulling together pieces of broken china, glass and ceramics to create an art piece.  Now in my cooking I find I am drawn to pulling together whatever ingredients I have in my kitchen to come up with a delicious meal.

You see, deciding to look at this strength of mine in a diffent way, helped me find a common thread through many areas of my life that I previously thought were unrelated.  It also serves as a “compass” to help me make choices of what activities to engage in and how to approach them.

What, in your life, do you want to look at differently?  What effect do you think that would have on your life?

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Using what you have is something I have always focused on – both under great economic conditions and challenging ones like we are facing now.  To me, using what I have is one of the ways I use my creativity – and it also feeds my value of not letting anything go to waste.

One of my recent passions is cooking, but lately I am doing it differently.  Instead of having a menu of planned recipes for every day or night of the week, I have found it is much more fun to have many ingredients on hand then pull together a meal using what I have in front of me.

Using what I have also shows up in my decorating – moving objects from one room to another, finding different uses for objects I have, or perusing my attic for a forgotton piece – transforms my whole feeling about my space.

What if you looked in your kitchen cupboards, your attic, closets and around your rooms and started thinking out of the box – using what you have in new and different ways?   Think about the money you can save.  Think about the creative juices you could start flowing…

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Time for me

Taking time for ourselves is often something we put on the back burner after everything else is accomplished.  The thing is, we never finish all those things we want/need to do, so time for us rarely happens unless we plan for it.

Friday was just such a day I had planned for me! It started as most days do, with a trip to the gym, something I love.  Then if was off to a massage.  This was not just any massage though, today I was trying something new, an ayurvedic massage.   I went to the Ayurvedic Bodywork Center in Raleigh and experienced a wonderful treatment by Gin Brunssen. 

This was different than any massage I have experience in the past.  It was deeper, warmer and energizing at the same time as calming.  The residual effects lasted throughout the rest of my day, bringing me a sense of well being physically and mentally as I enjoyed the rest of my “time for me” day. 

What did I do with the rest of my day?  I spent time reading, enjoyed healthy meals and worked on my creative space.  What a great time I had!

When is the last time you took a day for yourself?  What would you choose to do with it?

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I’ll bet that there is something you have been eager to create, learn or do in your career, but since it is not currently part of your job description you have never attempted or accomplished it.  Perhaps you see a need for a new procedure or practice that could benefit your organization or colleagues; maybe you have always wanted to learn a new skill that could take you in a new direction professionally; or perhaps you have this great idea for a new service or system… 

What if you went for it?  What if you created that procedure, designed that system or developed that new idea for a service regardless of whether someone asked you to do it or not?  What if you trusted your instincts and talents, trusted in your imagination and creativity

What possibilities could be ignited?  Going for it will stretch your mind, challenge your abilities and move you out of your comfort zone.  It will infuse you with a renewed passion and vitality for your career and may even catapult you to a new one. 

Whatever the outcome, the key lies in the process of creation – owning a desire or idea and running with it.

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