Thursday, August 14, 2008

Expect the Unexpected


The website,, is up and running, except for the newsletter signup and refer to a friend links. If you’d like either of these, please email me directly at from outside the website. Thanks for your patience.

The second set of Creativity Challenge and Goal Attainment Tip videos are up on, or through Take a look! Let me know what you think!

The first eBook in the series, The UPositive Guide to Goal Attainment for Creative People, should be available by the end of this weekend…August 17. The second eBook, The UPositive Guide to Time Management for Creative People is due out in September.

The UPositive Relaxation and Visualization audio CD is available from the website at

Mark Friday evening, September 19, from 6 to 9 pm in your calendars for the official opening celebration of UPositive Creativity and Life Coaching! More information is coming here and through the first newsletter, which should be going out sometime next week. (If you’d like an evite and the info, or to be on the mailing list in general, please email me at or

The first 9 sayings from UPositive’s Batya Sez… shop are now available for purchase through The next nine are in the works---I’ll let you know through this blog and the newsletter when they’re ready! It’s never to early to shop for Christmas and Hanukah and Kwanzaa, and it’s never the wrong day to buy yourself a gift!

The Passion-for-Life Psychotherapy practice has a few openings for new clients in Nashville; please email for more information. We can talk about depression, anxiety, mood swings, ADD, and family and relationship issues.

UPositive’s Creativity and Life Coaching practice is available locally, but also through telephone and Internet-based services. Please visit the website or contact me for more information.


Sorry this blog is late again this week, but I didn’t expect the unexpected and have been preoccupied with positive but time-consuming emergencies. So I thought I’d address the issue head-on.

In goal setting, establishing to-do lists, setting today-ables into planners, managing time, business planning, and pretty much everything else, we tend to work with linear, clock time. It should take 20 minutes to go to and from the corner grocery for a gallon of milk and some eggs, so we schedule 20 minutes. I can write for 15 minutes every morning---no problem! Creating a CD should require about two week’s worth of work, then about two hours in a studio.

And then life happens.

Life happening is not a problem: we want life to happen. If everything we did came in fifteen- and twenty-minute, or even two-hour, tick-tocking segments, we’d bore ourselves to death. So life happening---meeting an old colleague at the grocery store and stopping for a cup of coffee to catch up; finally getting into the secondary character’s head and heart and typing a pivotal scene for an hour and a half without taking a breath; getting to the studio and being treated to a half-hour tour and demonstration of fascinating drums of the world---these are the joys of life. But we hadn’t scheduled them.

Life doesn’t happen in linear time. It scoffs at linear time. Thunder isn’t the Norse gods bowling---it’s the deep belly laughs of the Universe at all the linear-time planning we do. There’s that old adage: If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.

For creative people, getting in the zone is the goal to get to the goal of doing our creative work. The Zone is clockless.

So do we make a big bonfire and through all the DayTimers, DayRunners, calendars, pdas, and Palm Pilots in it? No. Not at all.

We expect the unexpected (sorry for the cliché, Heather, but it’s a cliché because it holds truth). We plan for the unplannable.

The best way to sew a button on something is to stick a pin under where your thread loops go, then take the pin out when you’re done. Why? Because it provides just enough give so that your taut stitches won’t rip at the first tug on the button. The tree that bends in the wind lives through the storm. (ok, old, used, but gets my point across)

When you do schedule your to-doables from your goals list, when you apply time management to your activities, add in some extra time---an hour or two a day.

I can feel the panic. Yours. Mine. But…but…I have so much to do. I already can’t get to it all. Take an hour or two a day to do nothing?

Not at all. Take an hour or two a day to participate in life. To have some breathing space. To take the tension out of things. To talk to a friend you meet on the street. To let a character have her way on the page. To explore a new combination of dance movements inspired by the piece you must get choreographed. To flip through a magazine that catches your eye as you rush to get your research on green insulation for new structures finished.

And if, at the end of the day, you haven’t used up your extra time, take a bubble bath, read a book, put your feet up and just breathe…that’s right…get the air into your body and feed yourself some extra oxygen! Catch up on sleep (the way to do that properly is to get to bed earlier, not to sleep late in the morning), if nothing else. You’ll have more energy and clarity the next day, so you’ll be more productive in the time you do schedule your work and creative endeavors.