Balancing It All

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

This is the phrase I have found myself repeating unconsciously after hearing my 5-year-old daughter say it enough times: "Easy peasy lemon squeezy." It's basically another way of saying, "No big deal."

Things that used to be tough for Zoe that now fall into the “easy peasy lemon squeezy” category: 

  • Zipping up her coat
  • Writing her full name 
  • Drawing a picture of mommy (one of her masterworks →)
  • Getting dressed all by herself 
  • Scooting down the NYC streets like she owns them (while I slowly hold my breathe)

Mysteries Around The Corner

Mysteries Around The Corner

After what has been a fulfilling summer where I was able to find some moments to unwind, just like you (probably), I am returning from summer plugged into my device way more than I want to be — focusing on the news, my calendar, work, and preparing for the general whirlwind that is September. Thankfully, though, I got a wake-up call over the weekend that reminded me just how important it is to pay attention. And I don't mean to your phone. I'm talking about your surroundings.

Striking The Balance

Striking The Balance

Let’s face it, the summer months require us to let go of any expectation for maintaining our routine.  I love my routine, but I have to admit I also love taking a break from it! As we enter August, perhaps you are returning from vacation or gearing up to travel some more before Labor Day. If you are like me, you are back and forth all summer long, splitting your time between work and travel, which can be wonderful and/or stressful, depending on your experience. However you see it, here are some tips to help you strike the balance this summer between making the most of your vacation time and being productive while at work.  

Wiping the slate clean

Wiping the slate clean

Let's see a show of hands. How many of you took some time off this summer?

Hmmm. Interesting. It looks like quite a few of you did. Okay, let's be a little more specific. How many of you actually "got away from it all?" By this, I mean that you disconnected from everything — you were able to step away from your job or daily routine and you focused exclusively on enjoying yourself and spending time with family or friends. Let's see another show of hands.

Accepting the roller coaster

Accepting the roller coaster

I'm big on metaphors. Anyone who coaches with me knows this. There's something about an image — a visual representation — that just locks in an idea for me. Even better, I've found that the perfect metaphor can resonate universally; it's a powerful tool that can connect a vast amount of people in a very simply way. This proved true just recently in a group coaching session at One on One — I threw out the idea that navigating a career in this business is a lot like being on a roller coaster, and the entire room gave a collective sigh and emphatic "YES!"

The season of preparing

The season of preparing

November is here(!) and that means that the holidays are almost upon us. I don't know about you, but I swear that time keeps moving faster and faster. Before we know it, it'll be 2014 and we'll look back upon these next two months in a haze of confusion, wondering if they ever really happened or if we simply dreamt them up one cold wintry evening. The point being that, while the holidays are usually the most fun, celebratory, and romantic of months, they can also be hectic, tension-filled, and overwhelming. And that sort of breakneck pace can affect not only your personal life, but your professional one as well. It's all too easy to lose site of the track and run your career right off the rails during the holidays. But it doesn't have to be that way. So, what can you do to keep everything copacetic? Let's take a look at five easy tips to keep you on the up and up...

Mantra Amazement!

Mantra Amazement!

Wow. That's the first word that comes to mind when I think about all of the absolutely amazing mantras we received throughout this month's Mantra Challenge. As someone who loves mantras, this challenge was right up my alley — but I wasn't sure what kind of response we'd get from you. Quite frankly, I was blown away by how you all took to this and gave it everything you had. I was not only heartened by your commitment, I was also greatly inspired by the unique and personal submissions that came through my inbox — your words were truly beautiful.

The Capes Coaching Mantra Challenge!

The Capes Coaching Mantra Challenge!

I want to let you in on a little secret: When it comes to maintaining balance in my life (whether dealing with my career, my relationships, or —as of recently — raising a child), I love mantras. I love coming up with one because it requires me to take stock and focus on what I really need. I love that my mantras are tailored to me and my inclinations. And most of all, I love that something so simple can have such a profound effect. Those of you who have coached with me probably already know this because I have likely encouraged you to come up with your own mantras; for those of you who are unfamiliar with them, it's my great pleasure to introduce you.

Gambling on your future

Gambling on your future

As many of you know, our motto at Capes Coaching is “Talent Is Only Half The Equation.” What you probably don’t know is that it was originally “Talent Is Only Half The Equation; The Other Half Is A Crapshoot.”

Okay, not really. But, there’s something in that idea that’s worth exploring — the comparison between success in the arts and winning a game of craps. After all, as much fun as it may be, playing craps is ultimately a gamble. And so is the pursuit of a career in the arts. This is probably why so many parents tend to discourage their kids from that pursuit; they know that there’s nothing stable about this type of career. An artist is, in essence, a freelancer, and a freelancer is defined as a self-employed person hired to do specific assignments rather than being permanently employed by one company. Basically, there’s no guarantee of work or a paycheck, and that will always be the case for as long as you’re in this business.

Time for a separation...the good kind.

Time for a separation...the good kind.

I know a lot of artists that feel like they have to be all-or-nothing when it comes to their careers, and that taking time to find balance in their lives means taking time away from their career goals. Ambition is one thing — and it’s a great thing, at that — but always putting your career before your life will definitely lead to eventual burnout. And when you’re burned out, your career takes a hit. So, really, you’re not helping your career by going at it nonstop. You need balance, plain and simple.

Hello 2012!

Hello 2012!

Happy New Year! It’s my pleasure to welcome you back – I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and were able to get some down time in, no matter how briefly. I’m sure you’re all revved up and ready to sprint into 2012, right? Time to roar out of the gate and just go go go like there’s no tomorrow! Ehhh…not so fast. The thing about the beginning of the year is that we usually swing into it with a lot excitement and some pretty high expectations. And I think it’s great to be excited about a fresh start and motivated to make the most of life. But, January 1st can also come with a little bit of pressure. You know what I’m talking about if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by everything you just heaped onto your aspirational plate at the end of the 2011. There’s so much you WANT to do, but when it comes to actually making those aspirations a reality you start to wonder if your eyes weren’t a little too big for your stomach.

DO YOUR JOB

DO YOUR JOB

I want to share something that I find absolutely inspiring. It’s a TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, on nurturing creativity. I know that it’s been around for a couple of years, so some of you may already be familiar with it. But, I think that the message she delivers about the creative expectations that artists place upon themselves (and that the world places upon them) is worth repeated viewings. In fact, I think it should be requiredviewing for anyone pursuing a career in the arts.

Betsy's Birthday Balance Blog (say that 10x really fast!)

Betsy's Birthday Balance Blog (say that 10x really fast!)

Okay, so one of my favorite TV shows of all time is The West Wing. I’m obsessed. The day my husband and I watched the final episode of the series we were ready to re-watch the entire series again, I kid you not. So, it’s no surprise that when I came across this quote in a Sunday Times Op-Ed about the Autumnal Equinox — “A myth in many cultures holds that some mystical force lets us stand eggs on their ends, but only for a few hours immediately before or after the exact time of the equinox” — I recalled the West Wing episode, “Evidence of Things Not Seen, ” where CJ (played by the amazing Allison Janney) puts this very theory to test.