Events That Can Change Your Game And Change Your Life

October 10, 2010

 

How many times have you debated whether to spend the money, rearrange your life and deal with hotels and flights in order to attend a Conference?  After all, that trip to Mexico sounds so much more inviting and relaxing.  And you deserve a break, don’t you?  You’ve been working hard and you’d like to get away from it all.  NOT! 

Listen to the leaders in your field when they tell you what a difference it will make.   They’ve been there, done that, and they’re going back for more! 

The cost of taking a weekend out of your busy life pales in comparison to the benefits.  It’s an investment in YOU that will pay you dividends for life.  You will receive inspiration, education and community and come home refreshed, invigorated, filled with purpose and ready to step into action with new tools and belief. 

Now imagine two completely different intensive weekends back to back!

Like many of you I wear more than one hat.  I am a both an Artist and a Life Design Coach.   As an artist I create paintings using an ancient technique called Encaustic which involves the application of layers of molten beeswax, resin and pigment onto a wooden panel.  My paintings are translucent, vibrant and collectable (if I do say so myself, LOL) Check them out at www.maurajoylustig.com.

Recently I attended two very different events.

First I flew to San Francisco for The International Encaustic Artist’s Advance with fellow artists from the U.S. and Canada to fire up my passion for the paint palette.  We were treated to guest speakers, panel discussions, a banquet and a tour of galleries and studios.  It was a whirlwind of inspiration, learning, connecting with fellow artists and building new friendships.   We shared hotel rooms, walked to restaurants and our classroom at the university and talked till we dropped!  I am so grateful to the organizers for giving their time and energy to make this dream a reality.

The second weekend I attended Isagenix University in Toronto with my husband, Jeff and several of our friends and business partners.  What a game changer it was! 

At each of these events accomplished, charismatic leaders/mentors flew in from all over to share, teach and inform us.  And they did so voluntarily, out of a sincere desire to contribute to our lives.  By attending as many events as possible I have noticed a shift in myself, in my habits, in my ability to paint and to share the gift of health with my ever expanding circle of friends.  The layers of purpose in my life intertwine.   As they say “half the battle is just showing up”.  I am grateful that I made the decision to commit to attending events!

Yours in Creativity, Health and Abundance,

Maura Joy Lustig

Can You Feel It?!

September 9, 2010

Even though we’re in the middle of a sweltering heat wave the days are getting noticeably shorter and here in southern Ontario some of the trees are already turning gold and red. Soon the temperature will drop and I’ll be switching wardrobes; shaking out those sweaters and long pants and putting away my swimsuits and shorts. This is always such a bittersweet time of year. Thank goodness summer leaves us with a last hurrah – a fanfare of beautiful colour. I hate saying good-bye to the long twilight evenings, outdoor concerts in the park, spending time in the garden and paddling our canoe and picnicking on the many nearby lakes.

At the same time I feel an irrepressible urge to shift gears, to pick up speed and re-engage in my art.
I no longer begrudge my time in the studio; feeling that I’m missing something outdoors. Yes’ it’s time to paint again. My fingers are itching to hold my paint brushes, heat gun and torch and I am craving the smell of melted beeswax! How about you? It’s reassuring to feel this way; I confess that I’ve been feeling guilty about not painting much during the last 4 months. I was enjoying the outdoors so much that I resented my time at the drawing board. Thankfully I can now stop berating myself for not producing a new body of work and simply accept that it’s a seasonal condition – let’s call it the “Artist’s Flu”, LOL.

I am grateful to be an artist because now, after soaking in the inspiration of Nature all summer I can’t wait to translate it onto the canvas. A part of me is relieved that the outdoors will no longer beckon so seductively. This leads me to point out that it’s time to participate in art shows and exhibitions AND to attend the upcoming IEA Advance in San Francisco! What a perfect time of year to come together to learn, share and celebrate a common interest with artists from all over. I look forward to seeing so many of you in just a few short weeks!

In the meantime, shake off the summer doldrums and start a fresh canvas today!
XO Maura

PS. Please visit my paintings at www.maurajoylustig.com and learn how I create abundance with ease at www.infinitehealth4u.isagenix.com.

Downsizing = Purging and Packing

March 24, 2010

It’s been over a month since you last heard from me.  So here I am checking back in with an update.  In February I wrote to you that Jeff and I were considering a rental property on the water.  However, that location turned out to be unsuitable for our needs, and so the search continued.  Our house had sold and the race was on to find the perfect place.  We had 10 days to make the decision of whether to move in on April 1st or 30th.  I preferred to move sooner rather than later, because once the decision’s been made – I prefer to kick into action without delay.

Have you ever searched for a new place to live?  Time and again I would find places that had potential, but which we would want to make changes to.  And if you’re only renting, you’re not going to invest in that property.  So, after much deliberation we decided not to wait and to buy right away.  The race was on – to find a house that would be close to Jeff’s clinic, shopping and amenities; one that would allow us to build our Isagenix business from home and still give me the freedom to paint.  And Eureka, I found it! 

On April 1st we are moving into a beautiful townhouse on the end of a quiet cul de sac, in town, right next to a wooded area.  The energy was so inviting that I fell in love with it the minute I walked in the front door.  The gleaming hardwood floors, bright windows, cathedral ceilings, fireplaces and landscaped gardens needed no work.  It even had a fenced backyard for our Westie, Trinity and our cat Electra. 

Downsizing Dilemma!

Now we’ve been purging and packing for the last month.  I can’t believe how challenging this has been!  Our new house is only half the size of our old one and we have accumulated several house holds worth of furniture and belongings from blended marriages and estates.  Can you relate?  I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t know HOW HARD! 

I keep telling myself that this is good for me, that I’ll feel better after we’re done.  But so often when I go to pack another box with stuff for charity I am dragged down memory lane and waiver.  We’ve made many trips to give things away and still we have too much!  I’m sure that we’ll have boxes stored in the basement at the new place that we never open again and finally get rid of some day.  After all, when was the last time I had a formal dinner party and used my mother’s fine bone china, crystal and sterling silverware???

And, being an artist – I have tons of artwork from my earlier years of developing my style.  Rather than selling them, I’ve been giving pieces away.

What I do know though, is that I will get over my attachment to all this stuff.  Most of it doesn’t reflect who I am today – only who I was.  And – letting go of my past lives is the only way to make space to receive the present and the new.  As we go forward everything evolves – our tastes, our lifestyles, and our circle of friends.  If we’re not open to the present – we’ll miss the best part!

GET OVER IT!

February 3, 2010

I’m cleansing.  And no, this time I don’t mean nutritional cleansing.  On New Year’s Eve my husband Jeff and I sat down and discussed our goals for 2010.  We examined all areas of our life and faced the fact that our financial spoke was shorter than the rest and perpetually throwing our wheel of life out of alignment.  We agreed that we need to do whatever it takes to become financially free and simplify our life and that means selling our home and downsizing.  My husband and I have become very attached to our large, beautiful home.  We have a great location with 5+ bedrooms, an art studio addition, plus a big backyard and a lovely view.  However, we’ve become overburdened by the bills and upkeep and struggling to make ends meet.  We’re empty nesters now that our 5 children are no longer living at home and hanging onto a big house just doesn’t make sense any more.  Keeping up with the Jones’s has lost its appeal.

This reminds me of a story I once heard about the way that a hunter catches monkeys in the jungle.  The hunter finds a small clearing and puts a banana under a plexi-glass dome on the ground.  The dome has a hole cut in the side of it just big enough for a monkey to slip his hand inside.  The hunter leaves the dome with the banana in it and goes away for a couple of days.  Sure enough, when he returns he will find a monkey caught in the trap.  Why?  Because the monkey will come into the clearing, see the fruit in the glass and reach his hand inside to grab it.  However, he won’t be able to pull his hand back out because his fist and the fruit he’s holding onto are too big for the opening.  And he won’t let go.  The only thing separating the monkey from freedom is his unwillingness to surrender the banana. 

So I ask you, what’s your banana?  What are you hanging onto in your life that’s keeping you from achieving peace and freedom?

Let’s say I offer you a bowl of ice cream and I give you a choice between chocolate and vanilla.  Well, that’s fine, you get to pick whichever flavour you prefer.  But let’s say you want chocolate and I suddenly say “sorry, we’re all out of chocolate”.  Do you complain and waste time being miserable?  Or do you learn to love vanilla like never before?  It’s all up to you.  Either way, you’re getting vanilla.

We made the decision to let go of this house and voila!  The perfect agent arrived to help with our sale and found the perfect family to buy it.  The perfect banker arrived to help us with our finances.  Within one week of listing our house had sold at a mutually agreeable price and already it feels as if a dark cloud is lifting.  We’re meeting this week with a landlord to look at a beautiful little home on a lake just 10 minutes outside of town.  Everything is working out like a dream, but only because we’re embracing the changes that we need to make instead of resisting.  I look forward to painting and creating artworks in our new home and coaching from my office overlooking the water.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed and I’ll let you know how it goes. 

In the meantime, did I mention how much I’m learning to like vanilla?! 

How about you?

XO Maura

PS.  The solution is to make a banana split!

JUST DO IT!!!

January 14, 2010

Did you end your year with a bang or a whimper?  Were you in a flurry of activity leading up to Christmas and New Year?  Or did you take it easy and coast during the holidays?

If you finished on a high note – Congratulations! 

If not, then now’s your chance to rethink, reboot and start fresh. 

What’s interesting is that as soon as you declare your intentions to the Universe, life will get in the way, bringing challenges to test your resolve. 

Have you done your homework and set your goals for 2010? 

We all know how important it is to set our goals, write them down and say them out loud.  But have you heard the saying “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”?  What we don’t realize is that RESISTANCE will show up as soon as we state our goals. 

Now what?  Once past the excitement of dreaming, obstacles show up and reality seems to get in our way.  The tasks we have set before us can seem daunting.  It suddenly feels as if someone has thrown a wet blanket all over our dreams.  .A little voice in our head tells us we’re aiming too high, that we’re inadequate, that we can’t do it and we give in to FEAR. 

And yet – what is FEAR?       False      Evidence    Appearing    Real!

You know what?  That’s completely normal!  Fear is often masked as fatigue, procrastination, depression.  We don’t always recognize the hidden cause of these feelings and instead we sink into apathy.  We tell ourselves “it’s not that important” and “I’ll do it later.”

The answer to fear is twofold.  First – focus on your WHY.  This is because obstacles are the things we see when we take our eyes off our goals.

The second essential is to take action.  Remember the old NIKE slogan?  “Just Do it! 

Do whatever you need to do to advance toward your goals – if you can do it today, don’t put it off till tomorrow.  When you are in action, your environment changes (inside and out), your positive hormones are released and your entire perspective changes for the better.  What seemed impossible before now changes to “That was Easy!”

Action is the answer – the only answer!  If you’re coasting, you’re going downhill! 

Check Your Alignment!

December 16, 2009

 

Does your Wheel of Life ever feel like it’s bouncing over the edge instead of rolling smoothly along the path? 

Well you’re not alone – and this time of year can really bring out the bumps in the road!

I’ve been scrambling!  We’ve had a house full of family visiting from out of town for the last week (celebrating both Hanukah and Christmas).  Our health and wellness team is in huge momentum and keeping us very busy, plus I’m coaching clients and working hard to finish a commissioned painting before Christmas!  I know that something’s got to give or else I’m going to burn myself out and feel frustrated and inadequate.  Can you relate?

Here it is, a time of Abundance, but instead, are you stressed and focusing on NOT ENOUGH Money, NOT ENOUGH Time, NOT ENOUGH Daylight?  If you’re doing that you’re going to miss all the fun!

It’s time to give yourself a shake, step back and look at the spokes of your wheel: Family, Fun, Friends, Career, Faith, Wealth, Health, and so on. 

Prioritize your To Dos according to your values, focus on what is most important now, the-opportunities that are present, and those that are most time sensitive and give them your full attention for a specified period of time.  Then shift and move to the next item.  You can’t do everything at the same time but you can do it all by sequencing the items on your list.

I also recommend that you let go of achieving PERFECTION and being stuck on how it SHOULD be.  Our happiness grows inversely the more we let go of our expectations.  Now that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook and can stop setting goals.  Far from it!  It just means that being a “die hard” at this time of year will lead inevitably to stress and disappointment.

Remember to let go of your attachment to outcome and surrender control of the how and the when.

Just do the work to the best of your ability and you can trust in the inevitability of a positive outcome. It’s your choice.  You can put the brakes on your fun by seething with futile Resentment and Resistance, or you can move from your head, into your heart and go with the flow. 

To balance your Wheel, the answer is to dance in the moment.

Make it Happen?  Heck NO! 

Set your intention, put your wheel in motion and then watch it roll!

Burning Off The Brain Fog

December 9, 2009

Ever feel like you don’t have the foggiest idea whether you’re coming or going?

Are you working hard and feeling burnt out?

That’s how I’m feeling at the moment.  But, thank goodness, at least I know it’s temporary.  I’m just catching my breath and shifting gears.

Right now I am in a whirlwind of activity and on a roll.  In fact, with only 22 days left in the year momentum is building steadily

As I entered the month of December I felt the energy shift in others and could see that some people were telling themselves that everyone would be in holiday mode and not interested in doing business.  I decided not to buy into that self defeating mindset.  Instead I shook it off, took aim at my goals and got even busier. 

IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD! 

What are you making up about this time of year?

Stop “should-ing” on yourself and re-examine your “To Dos”.  When you put too much pressure on yourself it’s overwhelming and takes all the fun out of your goals.  

What is it you wish to accomplish, but are afraid to declare?  Are you afraid of failure?  Are you afraid of looking stupid? 

Picture this – it’s New Years Eve, 3 short weeks from now.  What will you be celebrating?  Are you sitting in the hot tub, sipping champagne with friends, exhilarated by what you have accomplished during the last days of the year or are you wallowing in self pity because you gave up this close to the finish line? 

What is your learning style ?  As a student, did you always cram for tests and pull “all nighters” prior to an exam?  If so, then you know the drill.  You have a chance right now to pull out all the stops and go for it!  Push to the finish line and end the year with great results both physically and financially. 

Imagine you’re in a car race and you’ve started letting off the gas when every one else is slipping into holiday mode.

Instead put the pedal to the metal and finish ahead of the pack so you can kick back and enjoy some well deserved R and R when they’re still moseying along.

 I don’t know about you, but I want to hit January in high gear as I round the curve into 2010.

First Snow

December 2, 2009

Yes, the season has changed and winter has arrived. Have you taken the time yet to review the past year? Does it feel as if time is speeding up and standing still – all at the same time?!

Ask yourself:

What I have accomplished since January 2009:

What I wanted to get done, but didn’t:

Challenges/problems I am facing now:

Opportunities that are available to me right now:

What I want to use my coach to help me with:

What I am committed to do by December 31st, 2009:

What I am committed to do by December 31st, 2010:

This morning I awoke to a world covered in white, the first snow of the season. Edges had been softened, sounds were muffled, leafless branches etched delicately against the pale sky. I stood at my window, savouring the moment and reflecting on my life during the last 11 months. It has been a year full of challenges and opportunities. I notice that the more I say “YES”, the more opportunities I get. When you do what you love and you commit to it fully, and when you are willing to become uncomfortable in order to grow – the sky is the limit. My business has grown dramatically as I have combined my passions for coaching, painting, and helping others achieve their physical and financial goals. I am having more fun than ever. And this is just the beginning!

What changes should you make NOW? In his classic The Road to Babylon, George Clason writes “The spirit of procrastination is within all men. We desire riches; yet, how often when opportunity doth appear before us, that spirit of procrastination from within doth urge various delays in our acceptance. In listening to it we do become our own worst enemies. To attract good luck to oneself, it is necessary to take advantage of opportunities.

You have one month left to “pour on the gas” and end 2009 on a really high note. You also have one month to set your goals for 2010. Don’t wait for January. If you do, it will already be too late. 

Move with Courage, not Caution!

How do you……Overcome Procrastination, Develop Persistence and Produce results?

November 19, 2009

What I notice about myself is that unless I create a deadline for when my work has to be done, I will never get around to it.  I need to find ways to create a sense of urgency.  I’ve learned to participate in art shows and accept commissions on a regular basis.  These are sure fire ways of making me shift my priorities!

I also know that if my studio is full of old work, I am not inspired to replace it with new pieces.  My juices dry up and I become depressed.  That’s when I need to empty my space and thus create a void that begs to be filled.  Once I free my space – and my mind, of clutter it’s amazing how new ideas flood in, clamouring to be manifested!  Unfortunately sometimes we become overly attached to old pieces of work that no longer reflect who we are.  They have not sold and are now lining the walls collecting dust.  What to do?  First of all, if you haven’t sold them yet, get over the belief that they’re worth a certain amount of money and someone must pay you for them.  Instead, look for ways to bestow or lend them or even give them to a charity that you support (to be auctioned off as a fund raiser).  It’s amazing how a simple act of generosity on your part will generate a sense of wellbeing and rekindle your creative spark.

Now that we’ve talked about setting Deadlines and Decluttering, let’s talk about getting the rest of the D’s lined up – Disciplined, Deliberate, and Determined!

No one ever accomplishes something worthwhile by dabbling in it randomly.  I’ve learned that if I haven’t committed to painting or writing ahead of time and cleared a space in my agenda, the day will inevitably slip by.  In fact, I need to start my day a certain way to set the tone right.  I begin with gratitude and exercise and surround myself with Nature.  Then I settle into my studio, spend a few minutes reading something for personal growth and playing music that will make my heart sing.  Now I’m ready to write or paint.  In fact I may do both!  When I make space for what matters most at the start of each day, I am productive and filled with a sense of satisfaction. 

What habits do you have that either sustain or drain your creativity?  Choose consciously. 

Not choosing is still a choice, but one that brings no reward.

Take Out the Trash…!

November 15, 2009

What are you passionate about?

What choices do you make about what you will or won’t tolerate in your life?

Where are you settling for less?

What does this cost you, and what does it give you?

What are you waiting for?

Become Present to this and every moment.   It’s all you have.  There is no “ordinary” only “extraordinary”.

Often what stops us is the story we tell ourselves about what we do or don’t deserve.  We give up our dream and live our life on Auto-Pilot.  If this is you, then you need to remove the clutter – in your mind, in your space, in your day.

What is your “Why”?

Examine your habits; they define you.  Each is a vice or strength, depending on how you choose it.  You must make habits consciously.  And whatever you choose, do so for your own right reasons and don’t judge others for the choices they make.   You are no better or less than anyone else.  Once you know your “why” your choices take care of themselves.

Service above Self

Today I participated with other leaders in a full day of Training in Peterborough.  My colleagues and I created an event that covered many aspects of our health and wellness business; building belief in our products, our company, our industry and ourselves.  Now, at the end of the day, rather than being tired and worn out, I am energized and excited.  I shared my Passion, my Expertise and my Vision.  I provided tips and explained ways to improve their business practices and get results.  I get such pleasure from watching others successfully apply these techniques as I have done. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to teach and mentor and inspire!