Friday, June 29, 2007

lab stitch detail 002

lab stitch detail 002
Originally uploaded by alsokaizen


Sat- Bought 6 plants for entry garden
Sun- Sold Sheep piece and Heart Triptych
Discussed possible contract fabric dyeing job for Fresh Purls
Began topstitch on 2 Labyrinth pieces
Mon- Continued topstitch work
Karate class
Tues-Dyed sky blue fabric for future sheep pieces
Continued topstitch work
Dug 3 buckets of rocks out of back garden site
Rough draft 1st Blog post and prepped picture for same
Weds- Initial Blog post
Continued topstitch work
Matted and framed 3 prints of Owl drawings for retail outlet
Thurs- Visited Its My Health and delivered prints
Discussed possible project development ideas
Studio time: Began working on dye work for Fresh Purls
Continued topstitch work (almost done 1st color!)
Fri- Karate Class
Dealt with icky IRS stuff
2nd Blog entry
There that’s a week of Kaizen acts for me…
June has been a good month. I’ve managed to keep chipping away at some projects, finished some and even sold some pieces. I now have work in 2 venues on the East Side: Day One and Fresh Purls and 1 venue in Natick: Five Crows. All of this feels like its pointing in the right direction.
When I look at the list up there it strikes me how powerful this tool is not so much because of the accomplishments but because I avoided Overwhelm.
When I started using Kaizen I focused on 1 small creative act a day, now I usually manage 2 or 3 depending on the circumstances. Previously I would head home from work wanting to do something to achieve my Big Goal in an evening,
Immediate Overwhelm.
(As well as a great way to end up playing Freecell all night)
So nothing would get done at all I’d end up feeling guilty and like a failure and then I would gather myself up and start the cycle all over again
Pressure to succeed-Impossible goals-Avoidance behavior-Guilt and recrimination-Resolution to do better-Repeat cycle until dizzy or sick.
I am now breaking free of that cycle. I am now actually achieving some of my goals. If I find I’m getting overwhelmed then I just have to break it down into smaller bits. My ego wants the Big Goal but for me to function with any consistency its gotta be the little bits. It’s a balancing act I have yet to master but I will keep chipping away at it!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Originally uploaded by alsokaizen

the Daily Kaizen Journey

I’ve decided to foray into the Blogosphere after lurking for a very long time. I’m planning to use this forum to explore Kaizen. That is Kaizen in the personal growth sense rather than in the business sense. About a year and a half ago my friend Anna turned me on to a book called “One Small Step Can Change Your Life – The Kaizen Way” by Robert Maurer, Ph.D. I read it and began to institute the ideas as I pursue the development of my art career. As a person who has been frozen in place by fear for many years it was a hopeful thought that I might be able to overcome it through small painless actions and begin to change the aspect of my life that I am most unhappy with. So far so good, change is occurring in small increments and mostly I don’t get too stuck!
The BIG GOAL is:
To become a fully functioning artist who is self-employed and able to support a comfortable lifestyle as good or better than the one I enjoy now.
This goal of course requires that I make money through art, craft or concepts, enough to quit the full time job I maintain now. I’ve been at this job for twenty years and I do believe this fits the definition of “Lifer” AKA “Hopeless” I could spend some time here beating myself up for this failure but life is too short…
As it stands at this moment I don’t have what it takes to make the big leap my goal requires, I’ve struggled over the years to find a means of escape. I have repeated the same comfortable actions to very little effect (I’m a champion Cont. Ed. Class taker) still there is a wall around my comfort zone that I have been unable to scale.
“Leap and the net will appear” is a wonderful idea but I’m not built with such faith innate to my nature. Enter Kaizen the idea is to break the large problem up into increments so small that they don’t trigger the overwhelming fears that hold one in stasis, so small they are painless and success is guaranteed.
To that end I’ve instituted the Small Act of Creative Realization Each Day (SACRED) a commitment to manage one small act of creativity each day.
Sometimes that is studio work; sometimes it’s about the business aspects of being an artist: networking, promotion, or finances and sometimes it is about play because that’s important too!
On this blog I want to share the process, the small acts and the big accomplishments and explore the ideas that are a part of it
Feel free to with your own goals, big or small, or just to lurk at will!