2020: Checking in on my plucky new year’s resolution—“No apologies!”

Just last week I had an inkling that this bold, desirable, and challenging choice might be too audacious to achieve. I designed a month of work for myself that was just a wee bit over the top—with training, travel, projects and new initiatives. By the second week of the month, I found myself having to apologize to a few folks for my delay in responding to their emails. I started to feel frustrated and that turned to feeling troubled, bordering on disheartened, though not hopeless.

How about you? What successes are you experiencing with your resolution(s)? While I hope they’re going well, like so many folks, we face hurdles in achieving or goals.

What is stretching your limits or is difficult to achieve? What strengths do you have that will support you in finding your way to achieve your desires? What have you done in the past to overcome such obstacles—how might you apply those experiences now? Are there folks in your circle who can support you by listening and referring to strengths they see in you or offering up alternative ideas?

In musing on my predicament, it occurred to me that solutions would arise as I tapped into my strengths of ingenuity/creativity, hope/optimism/future-mindedness, and bravery/valor (from Martin Seligman’s research into happiness, The Brief Strengths Test). I needed to gain some perspective, get in touch with my values, then check in with my intention and the context in which I choose to live and work. These supportive strategies compelled me to reflect on the world we live in today. Specifically, I am referring to the “go-go-go” nature of responding fast to whatever is in front of you. The common “wisdom” that one must respond to emails immediately if not within 24 hours… I hear that workplaces (made up of people) often demand it, and I recognize that I work in my own world, as a solopreneur, and do not have the constraints that some others feel…

In my world of work, I want to be responsive and yet not working, or even communicating with colleagues—24/7—even though I enjoy relationships with folks around the world. In sharing my resolution and some of the concerns I was facing in achieving it with several good friends, I realized that I wanted to stand strong. I still like my decision and I can fine-tune my response to my ever-present emails. I believe that being responsive is important and yet the 24-hour limit doesn’t always work for me.

When I stepped into thinking about my goal again, I got creative and am exploring several possibilities (some of which will take a bit of bravery):

  • writing a blog post about my thinking (check!)
  • posting on social media—perhaps a manifesto about connection…
  • revising my email signature to inform folks that if they really need to reach me they should call or text
  • and, the possibility of using a snappy and heartfelt autoresponder (in extreme cases of days of travel and training)

Designing a different approach to my dilemma—truly a response I can embrace— now feels upbeat, rejuvenating, and has motivated to step back into the fray. My needs for harmony, clarity, communication, order, effectiveness, integrity, respect (of others), and independence/self-expression are being met by my plans!

What plans have you made for PD this year?!

I hope you will join me in one of these fabulous places—or online!

Here’s the link for the March 13th, NYC session…
 or, if you fancy the adventure of a three-day creativity conference in Santa Barbara, CA, join me, at the Epic International Summit for the Thoughtsketching, on March 26-28…
or perhaps you’re ready for a deep dive into Bikablo! Come to the March 30-31 Bikablo Basic 2 day training in Santa Barbara
If you’re seeking to reinforce your learning or take it to the next level, join the first virtual series, bikablo BOOST! You will get support in applying and integrating the methods you learned into your practice. We’ll meet via Zoom February 6, 13, and 20. (there are a limited number of scholarships available, contact me if you’re interested).

Kryptonite, well, perhaps not quite…

What do you find challenging in your work?

My challenge is truly integrating my new learning with my existing knowledge to create new approaches, content, and materials. Remembering/refreshing my memories of what I have learned over time with new concepts and practices is daunting and yet delicious!

Just this month…

I chose to step into the opportunity to unite two areas of interest to support my practice. I joined the “Commit to Sit—A 90-Day Commitment to Practice” program offered by Koshin Paley Ellison, one of the founders of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. It’s a wonderful opportunity to increase the consistency of my meditation practice and to make time every day to reflect on a brief reading and question relevant to who I want to be in the world. (Such a question, posed every day, is also a great reinforcer of my coaching practice and being in that space of curiosity—in this instance, about myself.)

I’m also feeling delightfully pulled into exploring—widening and deepening—my comfort level with different styles of illustration. With the desire to practice my drawing in a new and consistent way, I decided to abandon my usual style (simple, rather spare) and color palette (often lively), and to explore using only one color as a background (!), another color for drawing, and a third for writing. I also yearned to make the finished works simple and easily comprehensible. And, to do this every day, to reflect the essence of the brief reading and reflection in the Commit to Sit email.

What has come to pass in a short time…

It took me a while to become enamored with my choice of colors and style, though once I settled in, my challenge has become more keeping my work to just the essence of my thoughts.

I have also decided to share my work with the FB group for this adventure—these are folks around the world who probably aren’t very familiar with the work of visual practitioners. I am excited, feeling a bit of trepidation, and am super curious to read their reactions. Doing this work for myself, and sharing it with others, meets so many of my needs—for adventure, novelty, connection, and contribution…

My plan…

As you can imagine, I have no idea how my work will be received by the Commit to Sit community.  I will share the impressions I receive in a future blog post or two… as this is a long term commitment.

How are you encountering this piece?

What is alive in you when you consider my ruminations and the challenges in your work? How are you making your way through, around or over the obstacles you face? In what ways are you reaching out for the opportunities that will enable you to flourish? I’d love to know. Please drop me a line, jill@jillgreenbaum.com,  or comment to share with the community.

The Blank Page – So Exciting!

With just a few days distance from 2019, I can without hesitation, claim that it was a year of great opportunities, unexpected personal challenges, and ultimately, one of transformation.

What about you? Where did you begin the year? What hopes and dreams materialized as planned, what difficulties did you face, and what did you experience, learn, and accomplish?

My highlights were

  • sifting and sorting through all the types of work I have done through the years and landing in a new, more cohesive, place and space/site (www.jillgreenbaum.com)
  • reviewing and reflecting upon my visual practitioner work, and creating a visual tour of the breadth and depth of my offerings as Bikablo trainer, graphic recorder, graphic facilitator and graphic coach to share with colleagues
  • basking in the glow of partnering with colleagues to create new offerings—Heather Martinez, for Bikablo + Lettering, and Julie Swanson and Stephanie Steigerwaldt to offer Bikablo trainings to professionals in the non-profit space through creative fundraising and a creative fee structure
  • learning alongside my Bikablo colleagues in both Cologne, Germany, in NYC and online—and being supported by the Bikablo team
  • stepping into new areas—Generative Scribing with Kelvy Bird online, Fast & Loose Sketching with Christina Merkley and Rhoda Draws in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and in-depth Nonviolent Communication (NVC) training with NYCNVC and the NVC Academy

I feel a sense of deep gratitude to my colleagues, family, and friends—they support me in my all endeavors.

As I envision the blank page of 2020—it appears to be a year full of promise! How are you feeling about it—hopeful, apprehensive, intrigued, curious, perplexed, eager, rejuvenated, in turmoil, full of longing, open—or a melange of feelings, both subtle and strong, positive and challenging?

I feel open, eager, and curious about the year that is unfolding! On New Year’s Eve I happened to choose the newest edition of Mindful magazine from my current stack of goodies by the couch. The current issue is all about self-care—one of my favorite topics and a core value. (I was presenting on the topic of self-care back in the ’90’s at conferences for crisis counselors working with survivors of sexual and domestic violence. We saw too much burn out in our staffs and volunteers, and I loved engaging colleagues in new ideas and practices.) On December 31st, I had a moment of clarity—the desire to engage, again, in delivering training and offering coaching around self-care.

I am beginning to feel the shape of 2020— more Bikablo training, incorporating new forms of drawing and lettering in my visual practice, deepening my coaching work around self-care (EFT, PTT, breath work and journaling), and writing/drawing zines about NVC .

How about you? What is alive for you now? What is worth carrying forward with you into the new year and what will be discarded? If you want to talk about it—I’m ready to listen!