Day 10-Transformation, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 10

I believe TRANSFORMATION begins with a change in perception. As perceptions change, the old way of viewing the world in an “either”, “or”, mindset, gives way to greater possibility and wholeness.

Inspiration is important, but TRANSFORMATION is even more powerful. If we're merely to stay in the reality that we currently exist, in a mindset that this is it, we fail to comprehend the vastness that exists beyond our mere rational understanding. TRANSFORMATION moves one into a new realm of awareness and experience beyond what can be seen with natural sight and understanding.

Richard Rohr wrote,

“We need to rediscover the Sic et Non approach in our politics and in our churches. Otherwise, I do not know what we are offering the world except violence, because angry conversation creates angry minds and angry hearts and eventually angry behavior. It seems to me that we have the possibility from our own Tradition of raising up the capacity for humane, dialogical, Sic et Non conversations—where I do not need to prove that you are wrong. I do not need to pretend that I am totally right. I can keep my mind and my heart open.

Dualistic people use knowledge, even religious knowledge, for the purposes of ego enhancement, shaming, and the control of others and themselves. Non-dual people use knowledge for the transformation of persons and structures, but most especially to change themselves and to see reality with a new eye and heart.”

Lance Secretan wrote for the TRANSFORMATION SPIRIT@WORK® Card, a tool he uses with corporate leadership,

“During the decades ahead, we will see spiritual transformations unfold that today can only be imagined….We are at the end of an old-story human paradigm that viewed power as something to be exploited, as a means to control, as a weapon with which to intimidate others. In this age of Consciousness, power is founded on an attitude of abundance; it is spiritual, not material or physical power, and it is a divine resource residing in, and available, to us all. It is just waiting to be nourished and shared. This is a power that we have not even been able to imagine before-and it is sacred.”

How would the idea of TRANSFORMATION preceded by a change of heart and perception move you out of your logical understanding into a deeper realm?

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Day 8-Joy, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 8The New Year has begun with a surge of JOY as if I am standing out in a wide-open space where I’ve always belonged. I credit much of this to my ever-increasing awareness of the unchangeable reality and JOY producing fact that right or wrong, weak or strong, achieving or receiving, I am fully loved. Not much has changed in my circumstances, but my well of being is broadening.

Lance Secretan wrote about the JOY SPIRIT@WORK® Card,

“When our work becomes art, we will create grace, experience joy, and invigorate our souls with freedom and fulfillment.”

Who wouldn’t want more of that?

Some connect JOY with circumstantial happiness. Yet JOY is a lifestyle, not merely a response to life. JOY comes from the inside out, from a place of being, rather than from outside circumstances in.

How does JOY or the lack of it reveal where you are currently, and how you are living from a JOY place of being, rather than achieving?


Day 7 Authenticity- 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 7Oh, how much hiding we do cloaked in ego’s garb, covering and pretending, until we experience wholeness through the power of love. Love in its truest nature can be nothing but authentic and whole. Anything short of that is not love at all. Love is based entirely on different metrics,

 “…the whole matter is now on a different plane-believing instead of achieving.” (Acts 17:11, Phillips Translation)

 Today the SPIRIT@WORK ® Card is: AUTHENTICITY. I am writing about love here too; because it takes love to live authentically.

Authenticity is not a journey for the faint of heart. To truly live authentically I believe we must believe in and experience the Love that has always existed. Through the experience of love, we can armor down our defenses and coping mechanisms and live authentically, as we come face to face with our truest identity: being fully loved by God.

Thankfully we have a lifetime of discovery to help us realize the love that’s encased us through difficulty and calm.

Walter Lanyon tell us, “When the chastening is recognized as the wonderful GUIDING LIGHT it is, then in this effulgence the passing of things is seen as the dropping off of so much excess baggage. The NEW-old action as compared with the former as it passes away, is like the action of electricity as compared to the labored movement of the untrained, unskilled muscular power of man.

All the questions will go-the “WHY?”, the “HOW?”, the “What have I done to deserve this?” And the comparing of patterns with another-all of it, the moment you transfer the POWER from punishment to LOVE. A welling up of Joy within takes place; your surrender, plus the integrity to follow through, causes the miracle to take place-the miracle of Love.”    

How does Love’s permission help you come out of hiding into living authentically?

Day 6- Kindness 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 6I’ve often had a vision of a girl extending her handful of flowers, but the world was too busy to take notice. Do you ever feel that way?

It’s easy to get discouraged in a world that is running a thousand miles a minute, work to accomplish, places to be and meals to tend to. It’s easy to think why bother, when no one bothers back. 

Honestly, I face moments like that until I hear a little bird’s twill that reminds me as it always has that the world is a much brighter place when living from love:Kindness begets kindness.

Leadership trainer Lance Secretan wrote to accompany the Kindness SPIRIT@WORK® Card,

“The ancient Greeks called it Agape: in Sanskirt it is Maitri: and Metta in Pali. The English term is loving-kindness. Serving others and practicing loving kindness may not be the first image that springs to mind when we think about corporate executives or leaders of organizations. But it should be. Let’s make it so.”

When I am living from a kindness state-of-being, kindness oozes instead of trickles. I don’t wait for acknowledgement. I give it generously and happily in service. I can only do that when I am living in the present to Love. When I am aware of the Love that occupies my being and created the Universe, rather than measuring myself based on outer approval or performance, there is no shortage of kindness, the overflow and extension of love.  

How do you nurture a kindness state-of-being?

Day 5 Integration 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 5 #2 watermarkToday my illustration around the word Integration is somewhat tongue and cheek. Sometimes it would seem we stand on our head in an effort to shake loose all that is in there. In truth all we need do is let go and live an integrated life. 

There have been many a notion that has separated us from ourselves, from each other, often trying to explain away life, sacredness and every other facet of the human experience. When we are not living in a state of integration we quickly find our worlds compartmentalized and our hearts feeling betrayed in the process. Bringing every part of us into our work as well as out play is the means to a wholehearted and authentic life.

Lance Secretan wrote in the Integration SPIRIT@WORK ® Card,

“We hear much about the need to achieve greater balance in our lives. But it isn’t balance we need. The very notion of balance infers that there are two solitudes to choose from-work and life. What we are yearning for today is not balance between work and life, but a complete seamlessness of the two-not balance, but integration.”

What does the word Integration mean to you in this season of your life. Can you see the need to be integrated in all aspects of your life?

Day 4 Values- 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 4When we start a New Year there is always a lot of hype about a new season, a new beginning and a new way of doing things. If the old way isn’t working, by all means find a new way, but if what you’re doing is consistent with your values, and leading you forward in the right direction, then the hype might better be replaced with “Steady On!” There is no magical swipe of the wand that changes one day from the next unless your perceptions change.

I am a natural activator. It is my top Strength. Taking action has always come easily for me. It is accompanied by my strengths in Ideation and Focus. I can generally come up with an idea, plan and execute it without too much difficulty. The hitch is that although I may have these natural giftings, it doesn’t mean that what I can “produce” effortlessly is the highest good, or that every idea should be executed. Better put, if I settle for the lessor (easier) I could be forfeiting something greater. This awareness has led me on a journey of less action and more being, less striving and more seeing.

Action can keep us busy. If we are not careful we can spend our lives chasing after something illusive until one day we wonder what we're running after. Action can even be a coping mechanism that keeps us ignoring something at a deeper level that needs attention. We're often goal driven when we live from an outer context of comparing what others are doing and what we wish we had. What if instead we lived from a more natural and organic order of things? 

What if we were led to act from a deeper well of knowing than a mere gut reflex and impulse to produce and compete? What if instead of spraying the world and covering it with a “lust for,” we infused the world with a sense of “already being?” What if instead of giving way to the age-old, ego-driven compulsion to conquer new territory, we saturated the territory we already possess with life and goodness overflow?

VALUE is the Lance Secretan SPIRIT@WORK® Card I drew today and it states,

 “In Western societies, we are addicted to goals and achievement, often believing that by simply defining a goal, we will make the outcome real. Living a goal-directed life is modern but unnatural. Even though there is no shortage of experts who urge us to plan, no other part of our lives is managed this way. It isn’t fun, it is graceless, and it is not fulfilling. Values guide all human interaction-not goals. A life lived within a framework of sound values produces harmony, balance and serenity for the soul. Paying attention to our values and detaching from outcomes will, paradoxically, lead to a higher order of goals.”

I hope this gives you something rich to ponder. Although it might be entirely different from your frame of reference or your way of living, consider it for a moment and share your thoughts on the subject. The art journaling piece at the top says, "She tossed her plans in the trash, embraced life as it came, fully alive and present she lived from a place of inner values and spirit." :)

Day 3 Wonder-30 Days of Creative Expression

photo-6The word for today from Lance Secretan's Spirit@Work Cards that I did my art journaling around is: ®Wonder. You can play along by getting the App on your iphone too, drawing a value card each day, or following along with the card I've drawn.

I love the word wonder. It makes me want to cartwheel through tall grass and throw up my skirt and wade out into the deep blue sea. It calls me to look again at what I have missed right before my eyes, a thousand times. It beckons me to become awe struck, gazing at every tiny particle of beauty, joy, love and life surrounding me.

I often need to be reminded to get out of my head and return to the childlike place of wonder. When I have neglected my heart for too long, there are tale-tale signs. If I have wondered off the golden streets for the counterfeit of reasoning and practicality, I most certainly have forgotten the spirit being that I am.

If I have chosen to build something and put off living until the "time is right," I’ve most certainly abdicated my true self and with it my sense of wonder. I must put everything down and with everything in me recall what I knew before I forgot it. I must run to the nearest reprieve, the nearest safe-gap to recall and play. I must reawaken my sense of wonder.

Lance Secretan wrote with the Wonder card, 

"A cynic cannot imagine an alternative possibility that contradicts his or her current beliefs. Cynics will say that reawakening spirit and values in the workplace is too difficult in modern organizations that are faced with the pressures of contemporary markets. If we continue to use the concepts of the old story organizations instead of changing the paradigm, the cynics will be right. For cynicism is simply creativity that is repressed. If on the other hand we approach all this with a sense of awe and wonder, we will be able to change the paradigm, and therefore the possibilities. None of us knows enough to be cynical."

Have you grown weary? Have you sacrificed wonderment for your grown-up world? Won’t you join me in the awe pondering; the wonderment awakening and the creative play here? Let me hear your thoughts about wonder and see your musings. Don't put it off a minute longer. Come out and play!

I Suck at Asking for Help!


Recently I gave myself the assignment to practice asking for help. Because of my early conditioning, parental inversion, being the "mini grownup" with a knack for earning love and approval by not “needing” or “making demands,” I have an ugly little built-in reflex that causes me to do just about anything to avoid asking for help.

I’ve always had the strong and admirable ability appearance of managing to propel myself forward with tenacity and persistence, sucking it up dutifully and pridefully instead of asking for help. Ugh!

It’s funny how gifts can arrive in unusual packages. After several years of transitions causing me to feel marooned on an island of lonesome, the discomfort of isolation has grown to the same level as my discomfort of asking for help. Instead of defaulting to the coping method of trying to make it on my own, suddenly I’m willing to face the risk to move beyond my current barrier for the reward of support, collaboration and friendship. Although I still breakout in a sweat as the words spill out of my mouth, I’m learning to ask for help! 

I started by reaching out to some old friends for love and support. This has given me a bit of success to stay in the game. Now the scary part-asking you for help! 

Through my coaching work with women I've come to understand that few of us are really good at asking for help, so I am sticking with the process and sticking my neck out here. I'm expanding this personal assignment into a practicum for the Higher Ground Leadership® Credential Program, created by leadership trainer, Lance Secretan that am I taking part in.

My practicum entitled: 30 Days of Authentic Creative Expression will consist of art journaling for 30 days with the possibility of a few videos thrown in too. For thirty days I will focus on the CASTLE® Principles, made up of the values that create the acronym for CASTLE: Courage, Authenticity, Service, Truthfulness, Love and Effectiveness. From that space, I will daily draw a card from the Spirit@Work® Cards, a 77 card deck of values and daily art journal about what the word, principle and description means to me in the moment. Then I will share it with you on my Facebook biz page, so be sure to follow along at Not only am I excited about collaborating with others on this project and into 2014, but also further expanding my 2013 theme of inner congruence and inner work. This past year has been a huge year of growth and I am grateful that I've taken time for inner work instead of merely focusing on outer goals.

This is where I ask for your help! I would love your help spreading the word, asking others you know on Social Media to join the fun, as well as your own daily engagement, input and support. In fact, you might want to follow along journaling on your own in some way. Share your discoveries and your big wins, as I share mine. The point of creating this particular exercise as a practicum for myself is that I want to extend the bridge of engagement, friendship, collaboration and support, as I practice asking for help! I want to expand my capacity in this area through this project and in the New Year. How about you? Would you like to expand along with me?


If you would like to join in to lend your moral support, cheer or participate, and receive feedback on where you are too, please follow along and comment on my daily Facebook and art journaling posts at:!  

If you would like to dive in deeper, add the Spirit@Work®  app to your phone for only 99 cents. Simply search for Lance Secretan, Spirit@Work® Cards App and you can incorporate a bit more inspiration and value reflection into your daily life. Just so you know, I get no residual for promoting this App.

For those who truly jump on board as a cheerleader, or journaling participant, there will be prizes and surprises awarded to the most active participants! (Yes, I’m resorting to incentives and bribery in asking for help! :)

Thanks for playing along and thanks for your support! Get ready for January 1st start date with pencil and paper, journal and paint, or merely your own perfect presence! Let's celebrate creativity, the value of our inner wealth, playing full out in 2014 and the power of supportive community!  I look forward to seeing you on Facebook as I begin 30 Days of Authentic Creative Expression beginning January 1st!