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5 reasons why we don’t get to the things we want to.

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A few years back, I asked friends to list: “Five reasons why I never get around to doing the things I really want to.”  The answers are priceless, funny, and relatable!


I would LOVE to have you add your list of five reasons in the comments! Some things will be different now, I imagine. Instagram and pinterest will probably be in some lists!

1. I have ADD (Attentional Delight and Distraction) issues!2. I like to organise and sort all my wonderful ideas, supplies and treasures.
3. My studio gets cluttered with stockpiles of supplies and treasures.
4. Ideas are light and easy to carry around in my head.
5. I keep chasing rainbows……………….

1. I’m working as a technical writer.
2. I’m eating (frikkin inconvenient, when the body demands fuel).
3. I’m sleeping.
4. On Facebook…
5. On Facebook…

1.demanding children
2.easily distracted
3.recent addiction to facebook
6.I cant count properly so time gets lost
11. wow that’s 11 reasons

1. doing other things I really want to
2. dreaming up ways to get to what I really want to
3. on facebook
4. got distracted and forgot what I really wanted to get to
5. what if the idea of my great idea is so great that it’s scary to get to it cuz I might find out it wasn’t that great after all?

1. i clean house instead, because that is easy and how can you go wrong, really?
2. what i really want to do seems too involved and i will have to START somewhere
3. i get lost in finding or needing new materials or equipment
4. etsy snares me and i think, “wow…maybe i should try THAT instead”
5. sometimes i am afraid that the actual piece won’t live up to the idea in my head.

1. Real responsibilities (kids, job, the dishes)
2. Fake responsibilities — you know, those things I take on that really belong to someone else
3. Email
4. Guilt (Aren’t those real and fake responsibilities more important?)5. The stuff all over the table

Writerly – Why? What? What’s next?

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Hello my favourite people who follow the blog I am most likely to keep up!

You may have noticed I’m getting to put all my creative passions into a new project: Writerly Kits.  Coaching, creativity coaching. Writing. Painting. Pottery. Coffee. Ships. Alternate Identity Trading Company. A hint of magic.  Insightful contributions from grandchildren. And especially, supporting others to find their best way to get to the things that truly matter. That matters.

I’m delighted by this project. Only the endless learning around getting the word out there is a bit of an … um… endless learning. Ha ha. But I’m learning.

I’m sharing what’s inside these Writerly Kits. Just thought you’d like to know more about this crazy project.
I’d absolutely love to hear what you think about this concept, and would appreciate any ideas you’d like to share.  Thanks in advance!

September “Imagination Gone Wild”  2018 Kit Reveal

Imagination Gone Wild!

The Theme: Landing on doorsteps now, an  experience that will take your imagination and intuition to a whole new level!  Really, this is a gift for you from your imagination.

As creative folks, I know you already have a good imagination. You already do think outside the box. But, we do end up creating a new box – it’s a weirder shape than the average box  but it, too, can use some wild ways to take it up a notch;  for writing our books, for making it easier to get to our writing, and even more, to enhance all we do in our lives.

What’s included:

Birchwood Kit: Value $40

Writerly Notebook and Planner: Value $44  An unusual twist –  getting to use your imagination to help you get organized and focussed in a way that makes sense to you. Our imagination is everything – including key to making those typically logical left brain functions work better!

For your planner, we’ve included:

  1. Birchwood engraved notebook covers, designed by us and created by Kyle Rankin and Kamloops Makerspace.
  2. Dividers with a pocket, an old fashioned library card,and an oldstyle luggage tag.
  3. Sections:
    1. Weekly planner pages
    2. Creativity and imagination builders
    3. Quality plain paper
    4. Lined paper
    5. Post-it dividers
    6. Art paper
    7. Torn paper (with a purpose!)

Sharpie Fine Art Pens:  Value $5 The best thing Sharpie has made yet, we think!

Alternate Identity Trading Company Cards: Value $12  A collection of wild characters nagged to be included to assist writers as they take their imaginations to a whole new level, or ten.

Character stickers: Value $4  Explore traits, quirks, and even sleeping habits of the characters in your stories, (or even in your novel mind!) Great moveable stickers for your writerly notebook!

Zack’s Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans: Value $5   Locally roasted and loved and wow to kicking your imagination in gear!

Zack’s Costa Rica Blend Coffee Beans: Value $4  A favourite in town!

Imagine Calm Lavender:  Value $5  To calm that wild mind when needed. Grown, harvested and created by children who also sprinkled extra magic on top.

Do Not Disturb Door/computer hanger:  Value $ 6  Fun, isn’t it?

Letter from Indie Author, Dennis Staginnus:  Priceless support and encouragement

Letter to and from your imagination: $3

Green Tea packets: $1

Wood Kit total retail value: $129

Kraft Kit total retail value: $89  (1st and 4th kits are wood, 2nd and 3rd  kits arrive in our beautiful kraft manuscript size box, repeating)

All for subscriber price of $68 (or less if you choose 6 month or yearly subscription options)

This kit is too precious not to make available for a little longer. Check it out here  


What’s Next?

Arriving on your doorstep just in time for
Hallowe’en and NANOWRIMO

Not kitschy Hallowe’eny – this classy kit arrives at a perfect time of year to make friends with your creative monsters and the book that haunts you.
This is the boost you’ll love to get your damn book done!


And this is what was in our first ever Writerly Kit:  “Seaworthy”
July 2018

Item by item reveal, plus a sweet box opening video here.

Where are you finding your ‘get unstuck’ aha moments? Here’s an option or two…

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It’s international coaching week, and I just watched “The Happy Movie”.   Sharing things you might not know about coaching, and some options for your thought-shifting way into ‘Happy!”  (one is a very affordable course that starts this Thursday.. read on for amazing, dancing with your thoughts..)

The Main Reasons my personal clients choose to be coached:  (Yes, I did the numbers!) 

46% begin coaching because they are unhappy in their current work (or lack of it)  or education choice.

27% are seeking a balance in life that addresses all areas because they want to have “less guilt, less chaos and more Happy!”

27% want their creative voice or spiritual gifts to be a bigger part of their life.   (50 % of those have books they want to write.)

New Thinking for those same old, same old, issues… 

The significant problems we face in life cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”

 ~ Albert Einstein ~

 Honestly, this quote is the epitome of coaching:

It all comes down to thinking differently.

It seldom works, though, to simply say to  ourselves:  “Oh, let’s think differently about this issue.” Yes, we say it. Yes, we try it.. but darn, same old same old continues:

~ Finances still play havoc.

~ The job is making you crazy but the way to make it different just isn’t showing itself. (Sadly the fantasy of shipping your boss to a foreign country permanently, although a creative concept, just isn’t helping you find the legal and do-able way to make that happen.)

~ You still can’t find ways you love to keep fit, eat well, and inspire healing.  Why isn’t there options that give you the same joy as sinking your teeth into rich milk chocolate, anyway? (or just maybe there is..)

~ And for those who are creative and unique thinkers… sometimes the overwhelm of too many ideas just stops you in your tracks!

You get the picture…  So how does one find a new way to think differently to create change and create happy?

 Find ways to think differently.

1.   Do silly brainstorming.. not boring brainstorming.  Sharing this technique again because it works:  Find a friend and concoct wild and crazy ways to make the changes you are seeking.  A seed will be revealed when your logical ‘same old same old’ thinking steps aside.. and it will, because after all, it thinks ‘you are just being silly.”

2. There are great books available: Jill Badonsky’s Nine Modern Day Muses and How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb are a couple of my favourites.  (Which reminds me… the next training for Jill Badonsky’s Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching begins very soon. You could become an expert at helping self and others think differently!  Learn more here!)

3. Great option.. invest in personal coaching.

4. But another Best and Awesome option is: 
 “Amazing You. No, really.. Amazing You!” ‘Say what?” you ask.

A new affordable course to experience my most powerful tools for thinking differently.

  • Create significant changes around those age old issues of money, health, career, purpose.  With what makes you HAPPY being key!
  • Practical tools that work; but so unique and empowering that my personal clients often call the experiences magical.
  • It starts this coming Thursday the 16th, and there’s still some spaces available.
  • If ‘The Pirate’s Way” “Treasure mind mapping” “Blissed or pi~sed” (excuse my language) and “Body Bliss” sound intriguing, go here to learn more.

At a crazy low introductory fee,(six weeks, $110) you can leap into new thinking while I leap into new technology.

Call it ‘beta-testing’ .. the content is tried and true.. the special rate is for those wanting to join me as I try new and cool interactive technology to make the experience truly engaging and valuable for you.  (via webinar/teleconferencing, and support website)

Coaching changes people’s lives.  For each person that gets to live their lives authentically, a ripple effect reaches out creating a better world.

I want more people to have the chance to be happy, live authentically and create a better world.

I want you to have the opportunity to dance with your new thinking!

Note:  Men are welcome in this course…. I just didn’t have a dancing image that was more masculine

Liz Gow on Finding Your Tribe ~ A Renegade Muse Interview

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Wise in the wily ways of supporting creative souls, the Renegade Muses are an international community of people trained to lead creativity groups. Meet Liz!

LIz Gow

Liz Gow

New Zealand
Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach
Renegade Muse: Muse Group Facilitator
Awesome Person
Liz, I had the absolute joy of meeting you in person in the San Diego Muse Group Leader Training with Jill Badonsky.  Connecting to kindred spirits is inspiring and such a relief!   How has finding your ‘tribe,’ as international as it is, helped you?
My goodness, I cannot tell you how much it has helped me to be true to myself.   More than that it has helped me discover who I really am which is still continuing.  At times it has been a challenge.  When I first came back from San Diego after the Muse Group Leaders training, I was ready for action but when I told people about the Muses and some of the ideas it was as if I was talking from another planet. I was concerned that people would not take my coaching seriously, I do have a lot of fun but you know what I mean.
So I used the Muse concepts regardless and did not declare it until after participants had experienced the concepts.  They were so successful that it was hard to not acknowledge their power.    My  upcoming presentation with leaders of a profession will be extremely creative and interactive.  This is a real biggy for me and I cannot wait.  I’m thankful for having my ‘tribe’… I feel supported when I receive emails, attend (on calls, online, facebook, etc) anything to do with KMCC, Muse Groups, and am reminded “Ok, this is really  me.”   We share, inspire and support each other to have the best life possible based on who we are as individuals. How fantastic is that? And there is no pressure to belong or be, you simply are.

Do you have tips to help others find their tribe locally or internationally?

LIz's Front Garden!

A few years ago,  I googled an interest and discovered ‘Body Blissmas’.  I explored the site (The Muse is In)  and initially thought, “Wow that is a bit out there for me”, but that was my head talking -I had a smile on my face. I can honestly say that I felt my whole body smiling and I thought “why the hell not?”  It was different and I wanted different.  Being open to trying  something that you have never done before can open up your horizons.  As you search for your tribe,  try to notice the reaction on your face and in your body;  Do you feel good, simply by being present?

In New Zealand I have attended so many networking meetings and am so networked out.  Now I simply ask,  “Do I feel comfortable here?” “Do I feel myself here?”  “Am I having fun being here?”  As a result, I have now dwindled down to 2 networks that I am happy with.   I have learned about my passion, interests, likes and use this as a guide.    If you find yourself smiling, laughing out loud and feeling “I so get what they mean”, these are wonderful clues to tell you perhaps you are in the right place.  Noticing that someone ‘gets you’ is another great clue.

Your thoughts on the creative process?

Creative Mind Mapping

I had not appreciated just how creative we all are in whatever we do so I had to work through my preconceived ideas of what artists, writers, sculptures, musicians, etc were.  I had this feeling of being in awe and that I was not worthy.

Being a part of Renegade Muses and KMCC,  I feel totally safe, I don’t feel judged,  and it’s  helped me find courage; to be vulnerable; and to know what it is like to connect to who I really am. I am not an artist, author or whatever, but I am a creative being and recognizing that, it blows me away the shift I’ve experienced in all that is me.  I am getting bolder as I bring creativity into my practice.  I’ve written things that I would have normally kept to myself .  I have fun. I make way more mistakes, do heaps of colouring in, and I am doing a painting class next weekend.  I have  more compassion; I give myself permission to take  small steps.

Any stories to tell about what’s stopped you in the past from being your creative self?

Thinking Ahead by Liz Gow

Many years ago,  I took a stained glass class.  I had wanted to do this for years, but after 2 sessions I gave up.  I also attended a water colour workshop and gave up.  I had not realised at the time that I gave up because what I created  was ‘not good enough’.  The end result was ‘crap’.  I was not allowing myself to be a beginner and constantly compared myself to others each time, thinking, “Wow their stuff is so good,  they are creative, this is not for me.”  Now when I write this, I think, “How crazy is that?”  but it stopped me from trying things, well, I stopped me from trying things and from believing I was a creative person. Right now I am learning to crochet.  I make so many mistakes and I’m actually looking forward to putting a photo of it on face book; I  may even blog about it.  I laugh because it is not how it is meant to be, however I am enjoying being a beginner.  Even the ‘Greats’ of our time had to start somewhere.  It gives me so much freedom to try new stuff and giggle and be proud at the same time of not giving up.  Being in the creative process gives me joy.

Any quirky secrets/ rituals/ silly thoughts that help you show up to honouring your creative self?

Well to be honest I call on the Muses, even mentioning them somehow makes me feel mischievous.   Sometimes I just think of Bea Silly and that helps me do something.   In the morning, I  give myself 5 mins and  just ‘colour in.’  I doodle while on the phone at work.. and this is something new for me and it feels good.  I love it when I go to meet someone and they are late because I get my wee book out and pen and doodle.  I have started getting there earlier so I can play.

Creative planning

Ever feel like you don’t exactly ‘fit in’ in this world?

To be honest I feel like that more and more – ha ha-  and yet I feel like I am fitting with me more and more.   I still step back from many things because I don’t want to be influenced to fit.  What I am noticing  is now that I try to not make myself fit in I am in my bliss and the better my energy is.  I am getting known for well being, having fun and laughing.   I now speak my truth more and have written approximately 4 articles for my Professions newsletter that are a little different.

My muse tribe has shown me that I can be who I am and they are who they are and it works, albeit scary at times.  I guess I feel like I belong to this tribe without the strings.  It feels more spiritual and bigger than anything I have ever known.  What I know is that I am surrounded by like minded people  like you, KMCC tribe, my husband, friends, acquaintances.  I have been approached by a couple of other people just because I am who I am.  I feel now it is more important to absolutely belong to your ‘self’  and the ripple effects are absolutely amazing.

What’s coming up for  you in the future?

More of Liz's Home

Next year I am going to do a counselling course – 18 months.  I want to work with people who have disordered eating, one to one and groups.  Now I know I will  want to do it differently with the Muses and coaching and creativity workshops/tools.  This means I may not ‘fit’ but now that will not stop me.  I will make sure I am professional, safe and ethical and will do it my way.  Wow, I said that out loud.  How cool is that!

Thanks, Liz, for sharing your journey here.  I’m delighted that you are one of my kindred spirits and I think I would love to come visit you in beautiful New Zealand and take one of your workshops!

You can connect with Liz at Liz Gow Life Coach on facebook

Learn more about leading creativity groups here.   The Nine Modern Day Muse Facilitator Training is based on the works of, and in collaboration with, Jill Badonsky, and is facilitated by life and creativity coach, Janet Whitehead,  who tosses in some of her wily ways to boot.

The Traditional Answer to “What is coaching?” (next up, the right brain answer)

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Just updating my website (

This is the left brain answer for “What is coaching and how can it help you?” This answer is ideal when you wish to explain coaching to your left-brain spouse or manager, and when your own left brain is doubting if you know what you’re doing because it’s the one that’s “been giving you the same old answers forever and why on earth would you want to access that genius in the right brain? Something might change!”

And the truth is, the left brain is the one that’s going to support the new ideas and choices.. so it’s a good thing to give it an understanding it can appreciate.  Having said all that, this is an excellent explanation of coaching.  (credit for part of it to the coaches console – a support site for my business and my clients)

Coaching is
a new technology of personal and professional development based on concepts from
sports, business, spirituality, psychology and organizational development. It’s
for passionate people who want more from their personal and business lives. A
coach helps them to:

  • create a vision that aligns with their values and passions
  • gain clarity on how this vision will be achieved
  • set rewarding goals
  • develop a plan, and the tools and resources, to achieve these

A coach provides support throughout the process. It’s not unlike having a personal
trainer or an athletic coach… transformational, but in a personal and business
sense. The achievement of goals and dreams is something that comes more quickly
as a result of the coaching partnership.

Why does coaching work?

Coaching works when there are two factors present:

1) The client is willing to grow, and
2) There is a gap between where they are now and where they want to be.

Coaching works because of three unique

    Client and coach become a team, focusing on the client’s goals and needs and
    accomplishing more than the client would alone.
    With a coach, the client takes more actions, thinks bigger and gets the job
    done, thanks to the accountability the coach provides.
    The coach knows how to help people make better decisions, set the best goals,
    develop new skills for communicating and restructure their professional and
    personal lives for maximum productivity.

Where do you start with a coach?

The initial session allows you to learn more about coaching and experience the coaching process. Contact Janet for a complimentary trial session.

How do the coaching sessions work?

Coaching is done in person, over the phone or via email.

By phone is a preferred method for many because it makes it easy to stay in the “coaching relationship”, since the client can call from their office, home, car or

The person coached completes a coaching ‘session intent’ form prior to each session,
describing the current challenges and the progress they’ve made since the last
The focus of the call is determined by the client. The coach helps
them to solve the problems and make the most of the opportunities. When they are
missing a principle or distinction, the coach draws one so they can see a whole
lot better. When they are taking on a large goal, a coach helps them design and
project and provide the support and structure needed to make sure it gets done.
The coach brings out the clients best by helping them find their best answers
and their most empowering and motivating ways to move forward. Celebrating and
acknowledging the ‘wins’ is a key component of coaching

The client is always left ‘in action’ with “fieldwork” or “homeplay”. These are actions
determined by the client and coach to keep moving the client forward. These
actions are always unique to the individual client’s needs.

What happens when you begin a contract with a coach?

  • You take yourself and what you want more seriously.
  • You take more effective and focused actions immediately.
  • You stop putting up with stuff that gets in your way.
  • You create momentum to achieve more, be more balanced and develop more powerful management skills.
  • You set personal goals that are clear and meet your needs.
  • You identify and eliminate the barriers that get in the way of the achievement of goals.
  • You communicate about what you need and want from others in a more responsible and effective way.

How can a Manager/Executive use a coach?

Coaching creates an environment where there is freedom from judgment and freedom from expectations that executive behave according to typical corporate mandates. In
this environment it is safe to question, to appear vulnerable, to observe, to explore, experiment, to learn and change.

In Summary:

Coaching with Musings and Mud Coaching Studio gets you past overwhelm, barriers, shoulds, lack of clarity and fears to move forward and achieve goals purposefully, passionately and soulfully… and in your own very unique way.

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Musings and Mud Coaching Studio uses original coaching techniques, strength-based and creative tools, compassion and access to a private online support site, to help their clients think creatively to set their goals, overcome barriers and obstacles,
discover their best ways to achieve life balance and become empowered to take the actions to living their dream.

What Coaching is not:

Coaching is not counselling, advising or mentoring.
Coaching is for those ready to move forward by finding their personal best way
to achieve their goals and vision.

The Art of Doing Things That Seem Scary…

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Not crazy… just practising the art of doing things that seem scary but really aren’t therefore one feels much freer than when holding on to concepts of scary things that aren’t real.

Busey Mountain, The Pinnacles, Kamloops

The truth is I am safer where I am in this photo.. with an actual rock support below my feet, than standing near the edge of the rest of the cliffs – where if I were to lose balance, panic, get dizzy, or a big wind came up I could fall off. YET, those who are with me see what I’m doing as scary- when in fact, they have put themselves in much more dangerous situation by walking along the edge of the cliff. 

In life?  Perspective.. perception… there are easy shifts that can happen that can make the scary very safe.  I adore witnessing that with the clients I coach.

Got Bridge?

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Look around you … might there be a bridge hiding in some strange corner of your life?

 Could it be the housekeeper?

 As much as we’ve been taught to be independant and able to do it on our own, moving forward doesn’t always happen easily and the ‘beat yourself up’ self talk takes up way too much space.

 Part of my coaching process is to help my clients find others who can also be a support… and those ‘bridges’ have shown up in housekeepers, the quiet clerk in the office, a teacher, and often, within a group of people with similar interests.

 Is there someone to bounce ideas off of, who is not affected by your choices, (that’s key and often eliminates partners and family) who ask questions to help you explore a little beyond what might be limiting beliefs, and who can guide you into your place of intuition, wisdom and answers?

 If you want to build your bridge to get from where you are to where you want to be… you could simply pay attention for a few days as you ponder the question:

“Where’s my bridge?” 

  Answers will come.

They are like that sometimes

by Janet L. Whitehead © 2011

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