Guest Article: Sheryl Bernstein

Ben and I welcomed the birth of our son, Connor Benjamin, last week! In the coming months, I’ll still be bringing you great weekly content – but it’ll be partially from me and partially from wonderful guest experts.

Our first expert is Sheryl Bernstein, Creative Coach

Mother May I? Are you waiting for permission to Take Your Giant Steps Forward? You’ve got it!

I was in the beautiful state of Maine the last week of August (long trip from California) at my Brother and Sister-in-Law’s wonderful summer house on the lake.  Actually, it’s called a pond… Middle Range Pond. (Range pronounced Rang.)

Picture lots of green, trees, serene water, the sound of loons. Days were filled with canoeing, kayaking, eating outside, toasted marshmallows, laughing, and singing ’round the campfire while my nephew played the banjo. And the wonderful time spent with my family: nephews, nieces, and the little ones, my great-nephew and nieces. Plus, a visit from my childhood friend who was traveling through. We’ve known each other since I was 4 and she 3. Brought back so many childhood memories. Like the endless Summer evenings spent playing games on the front lawn. Did you? Red Rover Red Rover, SPUD, and Mother May I.

Remember that one?

We’d all line up, and the “leader” would pick one of us, give us a command like, “Sheryl, take 3 giant steps forward”. Then, you’d have to ask, “Mother May I” before you could do it. And when you asked, the leader had the option of saying “Yes you may,” or “No you may not.”

If you DIDN’T ask permission, (so surprisingly easy to forget to do) you didn’t get to move at all. In fact, you’d get sent back to the beginning and have to start all over again. The goal was to take enough Giant Steps, Baby Steps, Sideways Steps, and Umbrella Steps to get to the finish line, and become the next leader.

On the flight home from Maine, I got to thinking about all Mother May I? – and, made me think about today.

Where am I, and where are you, waiting for permission to take your giant steps forward? Or even not-so-giant steps?

Sometimes we wait for a message, a sign, a “you go” before we take the steps that will get us to our goals.

Well, if that’s you, and you’re waiting for a sign, a word, the permission to get into action to do the thing you want to do…here it is.

Yes, You May! Absolutely, positively, Yes You May!

And to help you get going where you might be a little stuck, unsure, scared, or stymied to begin or continue… here are few simple action steps that I guarantee will get your motor running. These steps will lift you, and move you forward.

Step One: Write a gratitude list.

Now, don’t dismiss this out of hand, because it will get you going and in a great place to create from. And, it’s best if you do this with pen to paper. Though any way that you prefer is great. Just start with 20. Make a list of 20 things that you are grateful for. I say things like “I’m grateful for my eyes”. “I’m grateful for my strong body” “I’m grateful for my home” “I’m grateful for my Kitty” “I’m grateful that I can walk from here to there.” “I’m grateful for my friends.”

This works in 3 ways.
1. It shows you how much you are grateful for, always a great thing.
2. It gets you writing. The actual movement of writing.
3. It raises your emotional vibration, which is the best place to create from. Those higher emotions.

In fact, before you begin, scan yourself for where you are from 1-10. 10 being excellent. Close your eyes, go inside, a number will come up. Then take that little test AFTER you do the list. See if it’s changed.

Step Two: If you’re still feeling stuck, Think Up!

Another best done pen to paper. Take a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, draw a line vertically down the middle. Top left write: “Contrast”. Top right write: “Clarity”.

We’re going to start with just the left side. Do about 10 items for this. Even more is better. Thinking of the project, writing, you want to do but aren’t doing, write all the thoughts and feelings you have about it.

The worse they are, the better! Just throw ’em up. And write ’em down. Then after you finish that side, go to the right, the Clarity side. Based on each entry on the left, I want you to think of another possibility. To “Think It Up”.

Yes, whatever you wrote on the left is possible, but what is another possibility? Start each of these statements with “What if…”

Here’s an example. Thinking about your writing project, let’s say that on the left “Contrast” side you wrote “My stuff may suck”

Then on the right side you’d write ANOTHER possibility, like “What if somebody really needs to know the info I’m writing and it changes their life?”

When done, read all the right side “Clarity” entries back to yourself, out loud. You’ll be charged and ready to roll. And here’s one more little secret. If you wait for motivation to strike before you strike the keyboard…here’s the secret.

ACTION inspires motivation. Not the other way around. Once you get moving, you’ll want to keep moving. It’s the ‘start’ that we creatives often need a push on.

So, here’s yours, Friend: Please take 3 giant steps. And YES, YOU MAY.

Sheryl Bernstein is a Creative Clarity Coach, specializing in Flying Over Fear and Getting Your Stuff Done, with fun. With over 3 decades in show biz, both performing and producing, she knows the Creative Process and what it takes to get your stuff done. Her “Knock Your Blocks Off” Coaching Program helps creatives like you bust through your stops, and get on your unique path of action, in a way that works for you.   Set yourself up for daily creative success~ here’s a gift e book for you: “Three Things to Do Before You Get Out of Bed to Make it a Great Day: How to create your day, your way.  Get yours here

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