Saturday, December 27, 2008

FREE Giveaway: ExerSIGHS eBook

Download a FREE copy of the Artella eBook, ExerSIGHS: A Self-Esteem Workbook for Writers and Artists, filled with guided exercises and inspiration to boost your self-esteem effectively and immediately, triggering momentum for your next creative project, and breaking down blocks FOR GOOD. Download your copy here!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Free Holiday Music at is offering 25 Days of Free - Every day through December 25th, they will unveil a new song available to download free for a limited time.

All of the songs unveiled so far are still available for free downloading!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

FREE Giveaway: MoneyMorphosis eBook

Download a FREE copy of the Artella eBook, MoneyMorphosis: Ten Things Butterflies Can Teach Us About Money, which invites you to transform the way you think about money by following 10 metaphorical fables in which butterflies teach us about true prosperity. Download your copy here!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Misery Loves Company?

Is it true? Does misery really love company? Sometimes, it definitely seems that way, but is it always true?

I don't think so. That same company that misery supposedly loves can also help us break out of the misery trap. Don't believe me? Consider your financial situation this holiday season, as compared to last year, or the year before. For a lot of people, myself very much included, this is going to be a very difficult holiday season money-wise. I'll lay it out there - my credit cards are near the breaking point due to recent vet expenses, the fan on my home computer died and needs to be fixed, I'm living from paycheck-to-paycheck, and struggling to make ends meet each month.

You thought I was fabulously rich, living in luxury, without a money worry in the world??? Guess again, folks! Being a life coach doesn't make me any more immune to financial difficulties than the rest of you are. At times, I'm even less immune! For me to coach clients and really love doing it, I've given up the illusion of coaching full-time for a living. It may work for others, but it does not work for me. Once it becomes "I need to get more clients, so I can pay my rent this month", it shifts from something I love to do, to something I have to do in order to keep a roof over my head. It shifts from being about following a calling, to being about building a business. I'm deathly allergic to building a business.

I came to the conclusion that I need a regular paycheck and medical/dental benefits. I have a "day job", and face pretty much the same financial struggles that the rest of the 9-to-5 world does. I get hit with unexpected expenses (like vet bills and computer repairs), rob Peter to pay Paul (which I'm really good at), brown bag my lunch most days to save some cash (although, I do it with a really cool pink lunch bag). I also ("major confession" time, here) - GASP! - count change!

So, getting back to the original question - how does reading all of this make you feel about your own financial situation? Doesn't it make you feel better and less miserable, knowing that I'm going through the same type of thing, and that you're not the only one? Not only are you not the only one, you're probably in very good company this year. While it may not change the actual situation (although it might), I'm betting that your outlook on it has changed at least a little bit for the better. I'm guessing, like unwanted houseguests, your misery ain't lovin' the company too much.

Am I wrong?

Friday, November 28, 2008

5 Weeks to a More Joyous Self Image

5 Weeks to a More Joyous Self Image

Results guaranteed or your money back.
When nothing else works.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Know That There is Enough

Know that there is enough for everyone. There is enough food, money, land, etc. Give generously of your time, skills and self.

Shift your focus from one of not enough, lack, and scarcity to one of abundance.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Try Looking at Things from a Different Angle

While at my sister's house one Easter Sunday, one of my crowns popped out while eating a piece of Easter chocolate that my niece had given me. It's happened before, and, while annoying, it's easily remedied. So, I wasn't too stressed out over it.

My niece, being the seven year old that she was, wanted to see it. So, I rinsed it off, showed it to her, and she exclaimed "A removable tooth??? COOL!!!" Who knew that restorative dental work could be so entertaining?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Challenge a Belief

Challenge a belief you have about yourself or the world.

Let's say your belief is that you can't manage your money. Notice how that belief makes you feel, physically and emotionally. Ask yourself "Is this true?" Then, ask yourself "Is this always true? My guess is that your answer is probably "no". Counter the belief with evidence to the contrary. Think of how many years you've managed to put a roof over your head and food in your belly, despite your financial circumstances at the time.

If you can't think of any evidence to disprove your belief, ask those who are supportive of you. One of my own personal beliefs that needed challenging from outside sources was that all people saw was my weight. It was during a weekend Martha Beck "Joy Diet" workshop and I hadn't met any of the other attendees previously. So I really got totally unbiased feedback on that belief. Not one person mentioned my weight as what they noticed about me. Some of the things that did get noticed were my energy, my enthusiasm and my sense of humor. It was a very eye-opening surprise. Try it sometime!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Identify People That Drain You vs. Those That Energize You

Some types of what I like to refer to as "energy vampires" are:

  • The blamer - blames everyone and everything else for their problems, except themselves.
  • The whiner - complains constantly, but never does anything about it.
  • The know-it-all - knows everything and constantly challenges what you say.
  • The belittler - this is the person who cuts you off, reprimands you and/or puts you down, sometimes in front of others, "for your own good".
You can tell when you've been around an "energy vampire", because you typically leave them feeling drained and/or bad about yourself.

People that fuel you, however:
  • Appreciate you and your talents, gifts and strengths
  • Communicate with you respectfully, without shaming or belittling you
  • Pay attention to you, care about you, and what you have to say
  • Are honest, and tell the truth

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Give Yourself Permission to Make Bad Art

Up until around three years ago, I never attempted anything resembling art. This was mainly because I didn't know how to draw, and figured anything I attempted would look like a five year-old made it.

That all changed once I saw the paintings that graced the walls of my former therapist's office. Hideous does not even begin to describe them. It was then that I realized that nothing (and I do mean nothing) I attempted to draw or paint could ever turn out quite that ugly. So, I bought some art supplies and started experimenting.

Here's what I learned:

  • I had more ability than I ever gave myself credit for having
  • I was right. Nothing I attempted ever looked as hideous as the paintings in my therapist's waiting room.
  • Most importantly, I learned that the process of making "bad art" is just as important and enjoyable as the end result.

The Joy of Art: A Creative Guide for Beginning Painters

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Plug Up Energy Drains

Start by making a list of your procrastination items. An example of a list could be:

  • Calling potential business leads
  • Cards and letters I need to write and get in the mail
  • Choosing and buying a new desk
  • Moving to another city/state
  • De-cluttering and cleaning my home
  • Doing something with my craft supplies
  • Reading all the books and magazines I have accumulated
  • Paying off credit cards
  • Making time for a spiritual and/or religious practice in my life
Once you've made your list, ask yourself what changes might happen in your life if you start eliminating them. Are you not handling them because you're afraid of these changes, or of letting go of old "stuff"?

Next, take your list and note next to each item which of the following three categories they fall into:
  • Things only you can handle - like making phone calls, doctor appointments, moving, ending a relationship, exercising
  • Things you can delegate or hire out - cleaning, filing, organizing, running errands
  • Things you can just get rid of - the stack of unread magazines, clothes that no longer fit, old appliances, etc.
Handle the items you need to handle, delegate or hire out those that can be done by someone else, and just get rid of whatever you can, either by donating it, selling it on eBay or having a yard sale.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Find Ways to Do the Things You Love

Take a few minutes to make a list of all the things you really LOVE to do. This could include hobbies, people you really like being around, movies, etc.

Next, figure out ways to include more of these things into your regular schedule. It doesn't have to be in large chunks of time, either. For example, if you love music like I do, it could be as easy as making it a point to play one of your favorite CDs while you get ready for work in the morning.

If you love flowers, it could be going to the botanical gardens, or simply taking a few minutes to "stop and smell the roses" on your way to work.

The key is to make a point of adding these activities to your life on a regular basis.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Give The Universe Credit

Start giving "the Universe" or however you refer to the Divine in your life credit by starting a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, write down at least three things you are grateful for.

They can be anything, for example:

  • Having fun with my little niece at the movies, and laughing our heads off.
  • The bus not pulling out of the bus stop before I got on.
  • Being in the right place at the right time for a possible job opportunity.
  • Seeing lots of "picture-worthy" items when I went to the dollar store.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Be Willing to Ask for Credit

We often want credit for our accomplishments, but are afraid to ask for it. This can be particularly true in our jobs, but is definitely not limited to work. Asking for credit isn't a bad thing. It doesn't mean walking around bragging, or acting like an "attention whore".

We need to be willing to ask for compliments that support our self- confidence.

Some ways to ask for credit may be:

  • E-mailing your boss a weekly update on what you've accomplished that week.
  • Sharing your good news with supportive friends.
  • Calling a friend or mentor and asking them to remind you of your positive qualities and/or accomplishments.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Give Yourself Credit

Beginning today, start giving yourself credit for your accomplishments.

At the end of each day, either in your current journal, or in a separate accomplishment journal, write down at least three things you accomplished, deserve credit for doing, or deserve credit for not doing.

They can be anything, for example:

  • I ate three balanced meals instead of fast food.
  • I went outside and took a walk instead of playing computer games.
  • I made the dentist appointment I've been putting off.
  • I learned how to do something new.

We tend to beat ourselves over the head about the things we haven't accomplished. So let's start giving ourselves credit where credit is due!

© 2007, 2008 by Carol Martzinek. All rights reserved. Distribution via e-mail, disk, print, or any other form is prohibited under U.S. copyright law without express permission of the author, which is usually freely granted.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Coaching Voice Blog Update!

The "Discover & Design a Life That Brings You Joy" voice blog has been updated!

Tune in to find out how you can win a $5.00 gift certificate. Also included is an exercise to help you determine whether you really and truly have to do the items on your "to do" list for the week ahead. So, what are you waiting for? Go have a listen!

Nourish Your Spirit

Make time each week to nourish your spirit. It doesn't have to be on Sunday, just set aside a half hour or so regularly each week. Some things you might try include:

  • Visiting a different place of worship each week. You can even go when it's empty, to enjoy the stillness and pray/meditate.
  • Read an inspirational book, or watch an inspiring movie.
  • Listen to spiritually uplifting music.
  • Visit your local botanical gardens, zoo or anyplace you can immerse yourself in nature.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Isn't This a Great Template???

I found this template yesterday at You really need to go there! She's got all sorts of really cool and wonderful free blogger templates like this one. I think it fits really nicely with the theme of this blog, and I love the look of it!

As you can see, I'm in the process of breathing new life into this old blog, and re-vamping a few things on my life coaching website, over at, including a new voice blog. So stop by, have a look and a listen, and see what's new!

Also, while you're at it, take a look at It's a great site with lots of great people!

Friday, September 19, 2008

5 More Ways to Add Joy to Your Life

  1. Risk openness. This tip is from Martha Beck's book The Joy Diet": "When it's time to be open about something, you'll know, because you'll want to say it. You'll want the other person to know it. You may be terrified of the vulnerability you'll feel when you open up, but desire will urge you to do it anyway. Follow its guidance."
  2. Replace your "shoulds" with "coulds". This is a modified version of an exercise found in Louise L. Hay's Love Yourself Heal Your Life Workbook: Each time you think of something that you "should" do, replace the word "should" with "could". Ask yourself "Why haven't I?". It could be that you are beating up on yourself for something that you either never wanted to do in the first place, or that wasn't your idea at all.

    It could also be that there's a belief underlying the "should" that needs to be challenged. For example: "I should go and visit my mother, because if I don't, I'm a bad daughter/son." Does not visiting your mother automatically make you a bad daughter/son? Not necessarily. It could be that every time you visit your mother, you leave feeling like a piece of crap. In that case, not visiting could be a healthy way of protecting yourself from the toxicity.
  3. Challenge a belief you have about yourself or the world. Let's say your belief is that you can't manage your money. Notice how that belief makes you feel, physically and emotionally. Ask yourself "Is this true?" Then, ask yourself "Is this always true? My guess is that your answer is probably "no". Counter the belief with evidence to the contrary. Think of how many years you've managed to put a roof over your head and food in your belly, despite your financial circumstances at the time.

    If you can't think of any evidence to disprove your belief, ask those who are supportive of you. One of my own personal beliefs that needed challenging from outside sources was that all people saw was my weight. It was during a workshop and I hadn't met any of the other attendees prior to the workshop. So I really got totally unbiased feedback on that belief, and not one person mentioned my weight as what they noticed about me. Some of the things that did get noticed were my energy, my enthusiasm and my sense of humor. It was a very eye-opening surprise. Try it sometime!
  4. Do something out of the ordinary for fun. Doing something out of the ordinary, or something you haven't done in a while can be a great way to add some joy to your life. Having fun on a regular basis is important.
  5. Think about the things that bring you joy. Think about the things that have brought you joyful memories over the past month or two. What are they? List as many of them as you can. Do they have anything in common?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Recommended Read of the Week

I've decided to re-start an old feature, the "Recommended Read of the Week". Each week, I will feature a book that I've found helpful, interesting or just plain funny.

This week's book is:

The Joy Diet by Martha Beck

Martha Beck, among other things, is the author of the bestselling Finding Your Own North Star and columnist for O Magazine. The Joy Dietconsists of 10 steps to be practiced on a daily basis to achieve a more joyful life. The steps include methods for dealing with emotional pain, identifying true desires, creativity and taking risks.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

5 Ways to Add More Joy to Your Life

  1. Start the day by listening to music that makes your heart and soul sing. I find that when I do this, it puts me in a much better place the rest of the day. Some days, it may be Strauss waltzes and polkas, and some days, it's the soundtrack to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", but it works. If you have an alarm clock with a CD or cassette player, pop in a favorite tape or CD, and wake up to music you know you'll love.
  2. Find the funny. Read the comics in the newspaper. Call or spend time with someone who makes you laugh. Subscribe to a joke e-mail list. Watch a funny show or movie. Read a funny blog. Whatever your choice is, find something in each and every day that makes you snort with laughter. Score bonus points for doing it out loud and in public.
  3. Do something for someone else. Acts of kindness not only make both parties feel good, they may also help people live longer. Do something kind for someone else each day and you'll reap the benefits as well.
  4. Spend time with people who really "get" you. Spending time with people who appreciate and support you and your goals is uplifting. Whether it's on the phone, or in person, make a point of connecting with them regularly.
  5. Do something you truly enjoy every day. Spend a few minutes every day doing something you truly enjoy. Like photography? Take a few pictures. Love to sing? Put on your favorite song and sing it. Like shopping? Browse through a catalog or visit one of your favorite shopping websites. It doesn't have to be big, or take a lot of time, as long as it brings you joy.

Monday, September 01, 2008

5 Steps to Get Through Fear

  • Identify the fear that’s holding you back. Is it fear of looking stupid? Making a mistake? Fear of failure? Fear of success?

  • Imagine the worst-case scenario. What if what you feared actually happened? What if you really did look like the biggest moron in the neighborhood, and all your friends avoided you like you’ve suddenly developed the plague or a highly contagious rash? What if you tried learning to drive and hit a car? What if you actually wrote the “Great American Novel”, started earning checks with lots of zeroes at the end and lived in a spacious ranch in California?

  • Imagine the best-case scenario. What if you did jump off the cliff, leave your boring day job and start writing personal-growth books? What kinds of people would you meet? How would it feel to be doing what you really love? How much support would you have from your friends/family? Where would you live? What would your average day be like? Identify people and evidence that support the idea that, yes, you can!

  • Think about what you’re missing out on by not even trying.

  • Assess what you could reasonably stand to lose by going out on a limb, and whether or not you can handle it. If so, than ask yourself a big “So WHAT?” and do it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Google an Old Friend

Take advantage of internet technology and use Google to look up an old friend you haven't seen in ages. I did this a few days ago, and got back in touch with someone I had lost touch with almost ten years ago. I picked up the phone, called the number I found, and we ended up talking for over 45 minutes! Was it scary to pick up the phone and dial it? You bet! But it was definitely worth the initial panic when someone actually answered, and I didn't hang up right away!

Now, by "old friend", of course, I mean a person whose company you really and truly enjoyed, and not just someone who happened to go to the same high school or college that you did. Quite truthfully, there are some of those that I can live quite nicely never hearing from again, thank you very much!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What Do You Really Want?

Take a few minutes to do the following exercise, which will help you re-frame your desire's without trying to control another's behavior:

  1. Think about a situation that makes you feel angry, sad, or scared. What about this situation do you wish was different? (i.e., I hate my job. My boss is a jerk.)

  2. Think about a situation that makes you happy. What elements of this situation do you want to keep?
  3. What do you want most right now? (i.e.,I wish my boss wasn't such a moron.)

  4. What do you really want most right now? (i.e., I want to work for a boss who appreciates me.)

Finding Your Own North Star - Martha Beck

Friday, February 01, 2008

Change the Channel


Replace negative television and radio shows with something more uplifting. I'll admit, I can get seriously hooked on Maury, Jerry Springer and Judge Judy, not to mention a few reality shows. However, I've also been noticing the effect they have on my overall emotional and spiritual well-being. So, now I'm trying to limit my "trash TV" watching, and watch more funny, uplifting shows and movies, or listen to good music. While I will probably never give up CSI, Law & Order and American Idol, changing some of my other viewing habits is definitely having a positive effect.

Try it and see. Pick one show from your "trash TV" viewing list, and try watching something else instead. Instead of watching the news, try browsing the headlines online in the morning, and choosing which stories and images you view. Notice the results.

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