Encouragement. Who cheers you on?

lift up and cheer

Who cheers you on? Where do you find encouragement?

Let me ask you this…
Do you work to play or does your work feel like play? Who lifts you up when you need encouragement?

I’m a member of Tara Gentile‘s membership site, CoCommercial. The discussion of unconstructive cheerleading vs constructive encouragement came up. Ever the outlier, I saw a possible 3rd option, mindful cheerleading.
Intrigued by my idea, Tara asked me to write about it and share with her community. My post, a short 3 minute read, first appeared on Help Yourself.

Does it feel like your hard efforts must carry you to a win or is what you learn from your efforts the real win. Regardless of the outcome can your actions and efforts feel like progress?

Here’s the thing. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. We’re so close to the immediate terrain that we lose our ability to see just how far we’ve come.

And when we feel we aren’t moving ahead we can easily fail to see our progress
…not to mention that we’re often mind-lugging unrealistic expectations of ourself every step of the way.

Our inner critic has a field day when we buy into those huge unrealistic expectations. Thought loops from the doom chamber can fill our head, become daunting and fill us with doubt. We can feel incredibly alone.

At times like this, look for the cheerleaders, your cheerleaders.
I’m not speaking of pom poms, marching bands and a pep rally of perfectly choreographed routines overtaking your path. I’m speaking of another kind of  encouragement. And this isn’t a shallow, vapid shower of make nice-nice either. This kind of cheer aligns with core drivers and goodwill no matter the outcome.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what kind of encouragement is most helpful for you. What kind of cheerleading would you love to receive and most importantly, do you take time to cheer yourself?

If you’d like more of my take on life, check out my newsletter meet at dawn, the explorers journal. Sign up and receive field maps, boreal forest good vibes and encouraging words for life, business and creative soul. Shine on.

Here’s the link, again to my post of how mindful cheerleading fills a business need. Cheers!

Unexpected Results or a Steaming Teapot of Belief?


thoughts. beliefs. steaming in hot water |art © Dawn Kotzer
Thought-full teapot

Did we get unexpected results or a steaming teapot of belief?

Thought to action to result. Seems simple enough, right?
How is it then that the result we hope for is often NOT the result we get?
While thoughts activate the end result, what activates thought?
Steeping, brewing, sitting beneath it all is a belief waiting to be expressed.

Change our inner thoughts, change our inner world.
Change our perception, change our reality.
There’s real truth in that.
However, when we want to make lasting change to our inner world
we need to look at which belief is in flow, which one is running the show.

The flow goes like this:

which fosters
that propels
which delivers
And the RESULT always validates the initial belief.
So the next time you wonder what the heck you were thinking, check what was activated just beneath the surface.

To put it in a more playful way…

See the tea pot?
You are the the pot.
The tea leaves (Belief) are what you carry within.
The hot water (Thought) activates warmth (Feeling.)
Steam happens (Action)
Viola`!  Scented Jasmine tea (Result)
Which of-course validates the fact that you had Jasmine tea leaves in the pot.

No problem, right?
Nope~ except that you wanted something a little more spicy.
Turns out you were aiming for Chai. 

Thoughts do create feelings which create action which does produce a result.
But the next time your results are NOT what you hoped they’d be,
do little thoughtful investigation. What was really running the show?
When you make the effort and aim for a specific result, activate an inner belief that will support the outcome you desire.

May that pot of tea you brewed align with your desires  and exceed all expectations.
… and yes, I’d love a cup of Chai. ^..^

I’d love to hear your comments. Post away.

As a master coach, entrepreneur and artist, I use a lifetime of diverse experience, humor and grass roots wisdom to help others bridge their self confidence gap.  Don’t let fear keep you in the dark.  If you’d like a little breathing room in this experience called life, drop me a line. Let’s talk.


let's talk- Dawn Kotzer
Hi. I’m Dawn.

PS  Have you subscribed to my eLetter,  meet at dawn? Created for and delivered exclusively to newsletter subscribers. Get it here.

Why not accept the invitation


Invitation to show up
Inviting Intuition

Why not accept the invitation?
There’s no need to rsvp. This is an old school, open house event. You just show up.
As yourself.
For years I didn’t open the invite either.

Does this routine feel familiar?
An event occurs. An invitation to ‘come as you are’ arrives. You panic…just a little. OK. Maybe a lot.
You cleverly make up some excuse about weight, hair, pressing needs elsewhere…
in fact, you’d rather schedule a dental appointment than show up as your self.  Invitation declined, you’re in the clear. The unopened invite gets stashed.
Every. Single. Time.

Or maybe your M.O. is similar to my option B?
Find a role to play or a need to fill and dive right in. Most of the time I drag just enough of the real me along so I could feel a smidge more authentic.

But an invitation to show up as myself?
Hell no. I only understudy others, remember? No one plays the real me…not even me.
Those 4 small words—show up as myself— were NOT in my vocabulary.
Sigh. I didn’t grow bolder as much as exhausted with the drama loop in my brain. I grew plain old bored with it all. Thank gawwd.
Eventually the invitation sparked more curiosity than fear.
And soulful curiosity always shows up with a benevolent question.
What would it feel like to cross a threshold as myself?
What would it feel like to show up with confidence instead of hiding in a life-role?
What if I dared to bridge my own self-confidence gap?

To quote Albert Einstein, ‘curiosity has its own reason for existing.

Slowly, I explored inner self through books, podcasts, education, observation. It felt impossibly scary to go from hiding to moving forward without shifting into neutral first so I started with small, private forays into the works and words of others that brought a feeling of neutral. Spending quality time with nature and creativity tasted like freedom.

Something stirred. I caught a glimpse of  neglected, almost invisible parts of my self.
A spark rekindled. I sensed a glow, a candle in the darkness.

Leaning into curiosity, I’d shift my most nagging thoughts into neutral by asking small benevolent questions.
I learned to be a little kinder to myself. To breathe, pause and ask:
‘Where is this fear coming from?’ and ‘Whose fear voice do I hear inside my head?’

At first the catcalls from the shitty-should crowd in my head drowned out other thoughts.
Who do you think you are? Give it a rest. What do you know?You’re not brave enough, wise enough, or tall enough. You’re too old.
You’re not talented enough, traveled enough, tall enough, smart enough, blah, blah, blah. And besides, you like to put ice in red wine!
You cannot figure this out without us.

I now know those were the voices of shame and humiliation story looping their survival fear and anxiety but back then it sure sounded like inner wisdom to me… powerful, insistent, with no room for debate. In reality it was trash talking fear.

(Though some say a good argument can be made for putting ice cubes in red wine)

Here’s a few things I’ve discovered about inner wisdom.

  • It doesn’t SOUND like anything. In fact, does it even use words?
    I think it prefers a more sensual experience. How else could it cut through the shitty-shoulds and lizard brain drama?
  • It is for and of the individual. It’s not a big, showy thing reserved for the guru, the intellectual, the author, the ancient or the famous.
  • Inner wisdom waits quietly within for you to notice its presence and then invites you, once again to be the expert of your own life experience.
    You get to write your own story from here on in.

Remember that candle in the darkness? Inner wisdom has left the light on for you.
Pause. Take a breath. Feel the glow.

Go ahead. Accept the invitation.

  • Take small moments to show up as your self.
    Listen to the thoughts you think, the words you use and how those words make you feel.
  • Start asking small benevolent questions.
    No question is too small; too big; too ordinary, too repetitive.
  • Leave room for the answer to find you.
    The essence of the question carries the essence of the answer. We often feel it first as an experience of our senses.

Inner Wisdom practices the art of curiosity which creates breathing space for soul.

Yay! You did accept the invitation. That’s totally old school groovy.

As a master coach, entrepreneur and artist, I use a lifetime of diverse experience, humor and grass roots wisdom to help others bridge their self confidence gap.  Don’t let fear keep you in the dark.  If I can help you in this experience called life, drop me a line. Let’s talk.

let's talk- Dawn Kotzer
Hi. I’m Dawn

PS  Have you subscribed to my eLetter,  meet at dawn? Created for and delivered exclusively to newsletter subscribers. Get it here.

Passion Prey or Passion Play?

passion and hound at play

I must find and follow my Passion. I’ve tried everything and I can’t find it.

During my years as a coach I’ve heard this a lot...  I feel compelled to ask them
“What if you let it find you? Sometimes our search feels more like like passion prey. Wouldn’t you rather feel passion play?”
Sometimes people appreciate the question and sometimes? not so much.

See the photo? backstory
I had dropped to the ground to take a closeup of a crocus in bloom.
Teagen, my Irish Wolfhound closed in, intent in her desire to come to my aid. I mean I was laying prone-obviously in need of protection from this small blue thing in my face, right?
The crocus turned into her prey…until she read my energy and then, alas, the poor flowers became the object of play. My hound snouted the flowers out of the soil and tossed them in the air.  Prancing around, she seized the moment, tossing them up again and again.
From passion prey to passion play in the blink of an eye.

Years later this moment stays with me.
It seems a good metaphor for my take on the need to discover one’s passion. I don’t quite buy into it the whole ‘must find purpose and passion’ thing.
It seems the hunt becomes too confusing as so often we miss the obvious.

Think about it. What do you feel when you go hunting for something you really want to find? Car keys, house keys, bank card, phone? In that moment, they are the prey. What energy is fueling you? Desperation, irritation or frustration? And what do you often feel if you can’t find them.

What happens when you stalk your passion like prey?  You try to capture a fleeting glimpse of it so you can hunt it down, claim ownership and in a blinding flash know your way. My experience has been that this happens only the big screen and not in real life.

Oh ya, passion can make us feel alive. I, too love the feeling of life in my fingertips. But it’s  curiosity, resonance and peace that have consistently led me toward a more wholehearted, playful self, where I can own knowing that I am enough for me.
Passion and desire have merged with where I am. The unrealistic expectations of the hunt have disappeared. I feel more excited about possibility of play than fearful of failure to come away empty-handed.

What if clearing a welcoming, nurturing, flexible inner space that allows for growth, change and reflection could channel a little more invigorating adrenaline your way? A little less hype, a little more curiosity? A little less prey and a little more play?
If you were passion would that draw you in or push you away?
You don’t have to answer right away…let the question percolate and see what bubbles up.

The next time you feel the desperate need to find your passion, lean into curiosity.
Give yourself permission to feel a good-enough-in-this-moment vibe and then go play.
Let passion find you.

Updated and revised from a post,originally published in 2010. Seems searching for our passion and purpose in life is part of human be-ing. How can you make the search more fun?

I use a lifetime of diverse experience, humor and grass roots wisdom to guide others into mind expanding landscapes.  Find how your inner genius, creativity and pursuit of Canameaning and success connect naturally at dawnkotzer.com

Sign up for my e-letter here. We meet at dawn.

Happy Ground and Glory Day

Ground and glory Day

Not all of us were ready to plan 2016 on January 1. I know I wasn’t…and that’s OK. Sometimes it takes a little while to ground ourselves; to hear our voice within, to find our groove.

I took some time to ponder how I’d like 2016 to look, to feel for me, finally landing on this simple Ground and Glory Tree playsheet.
This little graphic worked for me, giving me a chance to lean in and listen to my essential self, my core of instinct and intuition.
These intentions bubbled up:
I want to:

  • let go of thought loops and tired old stories that suck my soul dry
  • give myself permission to embrace more play
  • celebrate the things I do and skills I learn along the way
  • commit to leading and living a life with a creative, artful vibe
    more in tune with who I am at heart.
  • pay attention to life priorities but for my own goodness sake, give curiosity a chance to lead me astray. 🙂
  • and so…Tada! a Ground and glory Playsheet.Use this contemplation as a place to start, to ground and glow.
    Seems Groundhog day is thee perfect time to share it with others
    who have a keen desire to stretch, to play, to grow.
    Download Ground-and-Glory-tree-2016

If this works for you too, I’d love to hear. Comments are always welcome.
Please share this post and my Ground and Glory PlaySheet with others.
I appreciate it your support, encouragement and time.
Thank YOU.



the inner Wilderness – a path revealed

Wilderness Pebble reflects your Gold

When we find ourselves lost in a forest of fear, bogged down in our inner wilderness by a tangled web of doubt, comparison and perfectionism, it’s easy to give up. To flounder. To stop. To blame others for our lack of direction.
When there’s no path revealed, vulnerability overwhelms us, self-discouragement drains our courage.
It feels as if life is sandblasting our soul.
Our voice is paralyzed. We fear we might take our unique offering to the grave.

I know this feeling. It goes deeper than hurt, to that place where we are most alone. It feels cold and dark and broken. Though we try, we cannot be kind to ourselves.
But you’re not alone and you’re not broken. You’re merely stalled…and likely for good reason.
Tho’ it might be a bit obscured at this moment, there is a path into that clearing of light where your inner genius feels safe and warm and strong…
Free to be real. Free to play. Free to shine out and shine on.

Do you long to create that special something in your life that reflects your inner brilliance on a larger stage?
Do you long to reclaim your soul song, discover your soul fuel and core drivers that make it easier to commit to your dreams?
Do you long to feel a solid foundation beneath you, making it easier to show up as and for your self?
Do you long to find meaningful success without feeling like you’re sandblasting your soul?

I want you to find your bearings, align yourself with your north star,
turn your face to the sun, stand tall and be able to acknowledge Shadow; claiming that space of deep awareness as information,
as wisdom rather than a need for apology.
I want you to find your voice and not feel like an echo of someone else.

I’m at your service…
Personal coach and business mentor for entrepreneurs, soul coach and master creativity coach, helping you find your ‘through line’, revealing the path that will get you from where you are to where you long to be.
Join me at the corner of soul, entrepreneurship, creativity and life.
Dawn~ inner wilderness guide.

Drop me a line.  dawn@dawnkotzer.com
Let’s talk.

perfection quest fail

cat in window. Dawn Kotzer photo


a perfect fail

yes, it’s true, I failed.
Even though I’m OK with that, there’s a lot of pressure these days to pass, to have it all figured out.
The PerFecTion Quest is still ON.
The expectation to have the perfect job, career, home, kid, dog, cat…
ok, cats are exempt…a cat is a cat is a cat. ^..^
the perfect life assets with the perfect photos to prove it.
Facebook, Instagram, Social Media can’t be wrong, can they?
Whoa. I’ve grown weary of the PerFecTion Quest. Anyone else weary of it it too?
Didn’t we go through this identity crisis years ago- like in the 80’s and again in the 90’s.
I know I did. I was that intensely driven, uber trendy ocd tidy bowl chick who believed she could have it all. (I still have the 5′ heel collection to prove it. Thank god I burnt the shoulder pads.)
Those who know me now might find that hard to believe. These days I often forget to comb my hair. What changed?

One morning, 2 a.m. perfecting some design piece for my business, I moaned, “Gawwd, I need a creative outlet.”
The irony was not lost on the part of me that still had a glimmer of wit. I realized I was frickin’ miserable and thought:
I want to PLAY more — being exhausted when special people came to stay was NO fun.
I want to EXPLORE more — really? It’s the first glorious day in a rainy week and I MUST clean the stove or the fridge or the junk closet. Who cares? It’s a JUNK closet. No one needs to see your shoes from the last century.
I want to LAUGH more  — I don’t know about you but Cranky has a lousy…make that NO sense of humour.
I want to LOVE more — I like having a happy heart. Falling in love with PerFecTion was just a fling. My heart wasn’t that into it.
I want to DREAM more  — running in circles trying to keep up with someone else’s idea of perfect sucks my soul dry.
Mojo Mortis means dreaming is dead. Daydreaming reactivates MoJo.
I WANT to STOP looking for angst  — my life is NoT perfect AND it’s still pretty damned good.

I am NoT perfect and I am still pretty damned good. Time to state that loud and clear.
Some days ARE lousy, I AM cranky. Life is a challenge, things DO NoT go the way I want and that’s the way it flippin’ is…and yet, it’s still pretty good.
This line of thinking can be a tad confusing until you dare to ask, ‘You mean I get to be messy, screw up, disappoint others AND still be happy?’

Whoa. What a concept.

I get to explore, embrace, fail and explore again. Being imperfectly down but not out reveals truths that might only be visible during the fall.
For me, showing up for my SelF is best done with a lot of kindness, in the playground outside the quest for PerFecTion.
We may admire perfection but we fall in love with imperfection, in ourselves, in others…need proof? Look no further than a Cat. ^..^
Courage, vulnerability and kindness have no need of perfection. As the song goes, “that’s where the light comes in.”

So yes, I failed. I abandoned the PerFecTion Quest and choose to show up as the imperfectly perfect me…and that feels pretty damn good.
Woohoo! Be real-find freedom.

I’d love to hear if we’re JoY-riding the same Imperfection train. It’s the only way to travel, right?
Hop on board. Comments welcome.
Yours in mad exploration for this business called LiFe.
Dawn Kotzer
Inner Wilderness Guide| Business Mentor| Master Creativity Coach
and SoulPLaY Detective
connect with me at:
meet at dawn, my weekly newsletter
M.a.D. Explorers club- blog

6 Ways to set Resistance Free


Resistance-Small Steps and a stick
Release resistance. invite PLaY

M.a.D. Explorer Tips and Tools-
6 Ways to set Resistance Free:

You know the feeling, right?We have stuff we Must do, Should do, Have to do…yet it feels impossible to start. We stall out, trapped in a doom chamber of resistance. Resistance can bring out the fight, flight, freeze or faint in us.  What if releasing ourselves from resistance brought out our inner explorer or the curious child in us instead?
I’ve used all 6 of these tools…which ones work for you?

1) Play ‘I See YoU’
Awareness is a powerful practice. It is the gentle flashlight of our soul, offering compassion and a chance to lighten up.
Instead of ‘Arggghhh, Resistance. You can’t be here. Situation Stalled.‘ Try rephrasing that into ‘Ahhhh, Resistance…I see You. Situation, normal mortal.”  Take 2 minutes, do a stretch, attend to a tiny task, have a cup of tea, breathe. Start your project again in a little while.

2) Frame a declaration of independence
“I’m not going to do a damn thing this morning and that’s ok

As a Mad Explorer (aka curiosity hound-intuitive-creative rebel) I’ve lost count of the times this declaration has set me free, fueling my tank for an effortless start at something later in the day.  If your can’t clear an entire morning, just clear 30 minutes. How does “I’m not going to do a damn thing for the next 1/2 hour and that’s ok!” feel to you?  The release comes from giving yourself permission to be OK with whatever amount of time feels right for you. 10 minutes may be your magic number. Start there.

3) Create a NOT-GoT-to-Do list-
Make a short list of real time actions/tasks and give yourself permission to NOT have to Do on a given day.
This could be grocery shopping, doing taxes, washing windows, sorting seasonal clothes, non-deadline stuff…
Whoosh! The pressure lifts. We get to remove our own mindset shackles and free ourself to take on the day as it unfolds.

4) Draft a dirty Deed list-
As chief Sherpa in our rural paradise, there’s quite a few jobs that fall into my domain that I DO NOT enjoy doing. (think crawlspace plumbing/ cleaning out icky, stinky cold rooms, doing roof repair, did I say plumbing? etc.)
For whatever reason creating this list ricochet’s me into the land of doing things that, while still not part of my Top 3 Wanna Do Chart, seem a lot more appealing than those on the dirty Deed List. It also makes it easier to do the dirty deeds…of-course I’ve likely left them to the last minute. Yep, deadlines and urgency help too, especially when we’re talking plumbing.

5) Read a Book-
Jill Badonsky’s books, 9 Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard) and The Muse is In offer a galaxy full of lively, creative, effective insights, exercises  and guidance. Grab your copies. Check them out for more ways to navigate Resistance. I don’t leave home without them.

6) Go Kaizen-
Activate curiosity by asking “Whats’ the smallest step I can take to get started?”
Break the project down into chunks; break the chunks into tasks. Break the tasks into tiny steps, so ridiculously small that you are guaranteed 100% success. Resistance often flares when we anticipate failure at something, usually because it’s too big a step to start with.

[ctt tweet=”Resistance= fear of failure when we choose a 1st step that’s too big. Break tasks down. Start with a small step. Repeat. ” coverup=”4876m”] Have any of the tips mentioned above work for you? What’s your best tip for setting Resistance Free?
Please share your thoughts or questions in the comment section below.

Go Ahead- release resistance~ even just for a moment. Invite a sense of PLaY  and curiosity along for the ride. You’ll be glad you did.
If you’d ever like someone along for the ride to make it easier to get through the sticky, icky bits give me a shout.  I can help.

happy trails,
find me at the corner of meet at dawn, my weekly newsletter
and this blog, M.a.D. Explorers club
dawn kotzer
inner wilderness guide, master kaizen-muse™ creativity coach,
martha beck certified life coach, iwg biz mentor, curiosity hound


Joyriding-marketing plans made easier with dawn kotzer
Joyride to new heights

JOYRiDiNG and your MaRKeTiNG PLaN- Part 1:
You might think that marketing plans and joyriding wouldn’t easily mix together.
In fact, it’s quite important that they do. Not using Joy to fuel your plan makes marketing a long exhausting ride.

Does this feel familiar? You want to build a business that aligns with your soul, serves others and keeps the bank happy too. That involves marketing. Ugh.
Did your heart just sink? You don’t like marketing…at least not the way some have told you it must be done.
“Tell me again where the Joyriding comes in, Dawn?”

What if you could develop a marketing plan for your project, product or business that’s in sync with your dream of being successful and wholehearted?
What if you discovered that marketing ease can result from purposeful habits prompted by a reframe, a single small step and one question?
What if you knew that question?

I work with writers, coaches, mentors, solopreneurs, microbiz owners, artists, inventors and others; creative, innovative, purpose driven individuals who dream of having an impact and making a difference. They want to share what they have to offer with the world, create space for the brilliance of others to shine through and Show up for True Self. All too often marketing what they do feels icky, forced and just too salesy.

What if it could feel even just 10% more like JoyRiding, 10% more in sync with you? The truth is Marketing is sharing.
Sharing your enthusiasm, your vision, products, programs, projects and your process in a way that directly connects to what brings you Joy. Sharing in a manner that delivers your message while at the same time fills a real need for someone or something.

The best and most effective marketing is rooted in serving through joy. Danielle Laporte

In my early years as an entrepreneur, I learned this truth the hard way. I was certain that pushing through the ick and the ugh, following the golden templates, modelling myself after someone elses values was the way to success. After all, wasn’t their success the proof? What I didn’t know was that the templates worked for them because those methods were fueled by values and their Joy.
Not all Joys are identical. In fact JoY is a very subjective thing…just as fear is.

Did you know it’s impossible to be in joy and in fear at the same time? Your brain isn’t able to be in both those states at once. We all know what it’s like to feel the fear…have you heard the phrase ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’?
Why not give that phrase a rest and lean into a new one?
Feel the JoY and do it wholeheartedly.
[ctt tweet=”Give the fear a rest. Lean into ‘feel the JoY and do it wholeheartedly.'” coverup=”3S1Jj”] Lean into the Joyride as your solutions answer someones need, serving others in a way that’s in sync with your dream or mission.
Lean into the Joyride as you align with true self and make an impact in a meaningful way.
As we take one step after another, through the ups and downs that come to those wishing to make a difference in this world…pause, let the fear rest and remember the things that bring you Joy.
Lean in and let the Joyriding begin.

That question I mentioned earlier? I’ll share it and more in JOYRiDiNG and your MaRKeTiNG PLaN- Part 2

What do you think? Would you like more Joy in Marketing? Please post a comment below.
And if you’re interested in hearing more on Joyriding, true self and all things life in the almost wilderness, please sign up for my monthly newsletter meet at dawn. Welcome to my M.A.D. Explorers Club. Dawn

5 must haves in the Mad Explorers backpack

5 panes of Must-Have coloured glass to adjust your view
Explore your field of view

So what is in the Mad Explorers backpack?
What must haves does she thinks she needs? How does she choose? Does she take the same things each time she steps out the door?
The truth is she doesn’t know exactly what she’ll need each time but she knows what has been most useful to her in the past. This explorer knows which tool, which item, object, and instincts help keep her mindful of her next small step.
So what’s in that backpack?
1) Awareness- The power of observation makes a good pair field glasses to open and expand her field of view. Sometimes we see things ahead that we believe we recognize yet things are not always as they seem. The Mad Explorer knows she’ll be entering landscapes of the unfamiliar.  Must have #1 is all about being aware, taking a closer look from a safe distance, gathering info to create context and then Reframing thoughts to find the familiar in the unfamiliar and moving on from there.
2) Patience- Life doesn’t always run on schedule. It may seem at times we have no choice but to stop, be brave and wait for a sign…the storm always passes; a better idea might be born. We may not always have options but we have a choice in how we respond to the options at hand. Packing patience is a very good thing.
3) Curiosity- Boredom is never an issue when you sprinkle your path with curiosity. Curiosity is the language of questions, a partner to possibility and the constant companion of adventure, a must have for sure.
4) Vulnerability- Sometimes it’s hard to give yourself permission to venture into the land unknown, lest there be dragons or dragonflies. Seeking new perspectives can be scary work when asked to step into the shadow-lands and scale high mountains to gain a better view. Must have #4 has a specially made pocket, not so small it traps the spirit, not so large that the hearty Mad Explorer is  swallowed in the gloom.
5) Courage– Courage, the bodyguard of vulnerability, draws strength from its massive framework of compassion, holding sacred space for the must haves listed above. It tests the air, checks the wind and leads us into the flow. Mis-steps and mistakes are nothing more than practice in disguise. Courage knows that a Mad Explorers truest path is sometimes only found by retracing her steps.

Without Courage, new thoughts wouldn’t dare venture to whisper its presence. Awareness of possibility would shrivel and shrink. Patience would turn to apathy, choice would slip away. Curiosity would grow dark, boredom would take its place leaving only Vulnerability to loom larger than life.
Go ahead. Grab your backpack. Pack your Courage. Practice exploring one small brave step at a time.

Interested to know who this Mad Explorer is with a backpack full of 5 must-haves? Stay tuned, more on that soon.
in the meantime, what must haves are in your backpack?
I’d love to hear your list. Share in the comments below or drop me a line.
Your inner wilderness guide, Dawn
kmcc, mbclc

Challenge or 360 Experience?

experience the 360
Experience this

The first time, I read the prompt as ‘what am I taking from this challenge?’
Reading it again today…’what am I taking With Me from this challenge’ puts a much richer, deeper light on the question.
The #YourTurnChallenge was 7 days of posts. 7 different prompts. 7 ways to share my experience of me being me. 7 days of shipping.
I find myself wondering ‘what did the experience contain for me?’ That makes it personal, like the influence of a good piece of art. My mind skips to my take on the art of communication~ the ArT of CoMMuniCaTion is appreciating what the other person heard.

That doesn’t mean I get to be pushy, bombarding people with my views until their minds fall in sync with my words. It doesn’t mean debate. It means I get to keep listening to the reception and the silence between the words; with my senses, my intuition, my instinct, my respect for the interaction of free will. I listen with my desire to be in communication. Yep, sometimes that can be a challenge as it’s a two way street. I need to pay attention to the details, scanning oncoming traffic and checking reflections in my rear view mirror.
I asked again~
what am I taking with me from this challenge?
What part of this experience has stayed with me?
Listening for the answer my reception of the experience speaks. I’m celebrating the circle, the full 360.
The pre-beginning, the curiosity, the call to action, the what if? the challenge of the start.
A few tentative steps turned into leaps of faith. Rubbing shoulders in the messy middle with Creative Chaos, I keep moving.
Offering a pat of recognition for Skunk, my lizardbrain, long time escort to BS Ego and her companion, Doubt I’m happy to continue. I recognize a tiny Cheerleader dancing beside blissed-out Focus who maintains a purpose filled distance behind Determination. Rounding the home stretch, looping the finish line with colour and creativity is JoY. Flushed with the thrill of showing up and shipping. Singing out the experience of doing something because to not do it would steal the music beneath my melody. I wanted to do the #yourturnchallenge…so I did.

I’m taking with me my Experience 360. The ArT of CoMMuniCaTion where I get to heed my own call of contribution. My soul appreciates what I heard.
If any of my story resonates with you, feel free to leave a comment.
Peace Out.
your  inner wilderness guide, Dawn

If you want to read some of my posts for #yourturnchallenge, click here.

Thought Loops. Stories & distractions

Thoughts Frozen in time
Frozen or Thawing

Thought loops… stories or distractions?
Some wonder what’s the difference.

Thought loops run round and round our mind, endlessly spinning their tales.
60,000 thoughts a day, yet few new to-serve-us-best thoughts survive the initiation process. Curated by the forgetfulness of time, we’ve let most our stories linger. Some of them grow quiet. Some of them let loose.

It’s the loose ones you have to watch out for. They can be trigger happy, unpredictable, sneaky little buggers.
Their aim? Distract us from the wave of possibility riding alongside those few new thoughts that taste like freedom and connect with soul. Like the ice skin in the photo above, loose thought loops and stories long for a place to hold fast, paralyzing our new chapters with the chilling effects of doubt, comparison and fear.
What’s a mindful, spirited body to do?

Do you dare turn your face to the sunshine, tune into your heartwarming truth and melt the attachment. Feel those loose thought loops and stories thaw and drip, drip, drip away? Go ahead…thaw.
At first, it will feel uncomfortable. Choice often does.
Loose stories, shackled only by an invisible, long length of time, seem to have the grounding sense of the familiar.

Do you dare claim space for the unfamiliar; to make room for new thoughts that serve you well…heart warming, truth looping soul stories that have no need of distraction as they invite intention, focus and purpose into PLaY. Go ahead…make room.

What new thoughts have you let in lately? Do they taste like freedom..are they connected to soul? Go ahead. Connect with soul.
I’d love to hear from you.  Share in the comments below.  Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Hi I’m Dawn Kotzer. As an Inner Wilderness Guide, I work with smart, capable, wholehearted people longing to finally show up for themselves like never before. Together we find their ‘through line’ so they can safely get from where they are to where they want to be…a space that embraces all that’s of meaning to them, with enough room for their own personal aspirations. Find me at the intersection of  dreams, goals and roadblocks;  aka business, work, play, creativity and all things LiFe.  Drop me a line.

Stuck, stalled, stagnant?

stuck, stalled or stagnant
old, weathered and worn out?

or do you feel stuck, stalled or even worse, stagnant?
I know that feeling…it sucks.
If you’re aware of it, that can be a good thing.
If you can name it then some part of you is watching from a distance.
Some part of you is the spectator…watching from the sidelines.

Take a look at the car in the picture…
(can’t see it? Select display images. I’ll wait)

What’s your hunch? Is it Stuck? Stalled? Stagnant? Maybe all three. What if this car represents something else?

Mildred took this photo while on a mission one sunny afternoon almost 8 years ago.
Painting was my mom’s new passion; she was on the hunt for inspiration. Did I mention she was 75?
The trees were crowned in green glory and she knew the nearby river-fed valleys would be vibrating with the sights, sounds and scents of June. The day was alive with inspiration.

Driving down into the valley, she spied the old car from the gravel road, falling in love with its patina. To take this photo Mom told me she had to climb over a broken old fence and push through an overgrown meadow. From the road she hadn’t thought it such a hike…her Birkenstocks and long flowing dress must have made the trek through burrs and twigs a little tough.

My mom had the eye of the artist and knew that this depth of tones and collection of colours can only come from weathering the storms and braving the elements. She knew what it was like to feel used up, spent, out of gas. Depressed and forgotten. She also knew that stuck, stalled or stagnant is a subjective state of mind. It all depends on your perspective and your desire to keep going. Why do you think she started painting?

Sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to explore, to take that first small step over the fence, across the meadow toward what inspires us.

I help guide smart, innovative, motivated people find their ‘through line’ and get from where they are to where they want to be…
Find me at the intersection of business, play, creativity and life.  Drop me a line.
Ask for Dawn, your Inner Wilderness Guide.

Automate Joy

fists flying-image
We’ve heard about the benefits of Editing your ‘To Do’ lists, Automating as many tasks as you can and then Delegating as much as possible? Edit, Automate, Delegate, clear out the junk…then what?

An article in  Daily Good blog has some helpful tips on eliminating junk stimulus and automating tasks so we can free up our time {and our headspace}~
but the most excellent tip they shared is this one:
‘Note: Don’t automate anything that brings you joy.’

Immediately, I thought of baking bread.
‘Cause everybody equates Joy with baking bread, right? OK…maybe it’s just me.
More specifically, I thought about the times I choose to bake old school bread from scratch with grandkids.
Baking bread the old school way, is always on the list when they’re here for a few days.
And when the kids help me make bread I move straight into the land of JoY.

JoY Rising-yeast cup
Joy smiles

Have you seen a child react the first time they get to watch yeast rising? See the photo above? Yep, kinda like that. A pinch of sugar dissolved into perfectly warmed water. A teaspoon of small, dull grains of dry yeast sprinkled on top.  Give it 10 minutes and the right conditions…it has a mind of its own.

Do you know what it smells like?
The musty smell of yeast rising, amazing stuff…and powerfully strong. One whiff is enough.

kneading bread photo
Have you ever watched kids kneading bread?
Pushing down against it, slapping it around, rolling it over, sinking fists deep into the soft belly of dough…getting their hands sticky and bound up in the promise of fresh homemade bread and butter.

Buying fresh bread is waaayyyy easier but when a kid is willing to rise to the challenge, kneading their way into the firsthand experience~ the Joy in that lightens the load? Priceless.

Bake old school bread.
Watch kids rise. 

How could I ever automate that?

What JoY would you never automate, edit or delegate?
Go ahead. Share & comment. My curiosity is rising.

As a Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, seasoned entrepreneur, farmer and artist,  I use a lifetime of diverse experience, humor and grass roots wisdom to help others bridge their self confidence gap.  Don’t let fear keep you in the dark.  If I can help you in this experience called life, drop me a line. Let’s talk.
let's talk- Dawn Kotzer

Hi. I’m Dawn. I see you.



Invincibly small? What you contribute counts.


ANT by Dawn Kotzer
invincibly small- image

Does what you contribute count?
Ever feel that your contributions in life don’t really matter.
Do you fear that your actions are so small they seem invisible?
Do you wonder what is the point of lending a hand, sharing something helpful, trying to make a difference?
Maybe you feel taken for granted or doubt that you’re good enough, big enough, strong enough, brave enough, loud enough, talented enough, wealthy enough, smart enough…you get the drift.

I don’t know what you do or where you live, how you make a living or fill your days but I do know this…
what you contribute counts.

Just because

  • we don’t get to witness the impact does that mean there is no impact?
  • we can’t see an immediate benefit does that mean there’s no benefit?
  • we’re not always able to easily measure it does that really make our contribution is invisible?

A contribution is both a drop of water AND the entire ocean.
It is the best we can do in a single moment AND the manifestation of an ongoing connection to a bigger whole.
It is part of a process. Process often feels invisible.
Yet process matters immensely. Just as your contributions do.
If they’re important to you, they matter..

Don’t believe me? Take another look at the photo.
Have you ever tried to measure the length of an ant’s step? Almost imperceptible, each step is a single contribution to the journey home.
Small things make a BiG difference.
‘nuf said.

Inner Wilderness Guide
As a master coach, entrepreneur and artist, I use a lifetime of diverse experience, humor and grass roots wisdom to help others bridge their self confidence gap.  Don’t let fear keep you in the dark.  If I can help you in this experience called life, drop me a line. Let’s talk.

PS  Have you subscribed to my eLetter,  meet at dawn? Created for and delivered exclusively to subscribers. Get it here.

Frozen In Time


Do you feel frozen in time? image
Do you feel frozen in time? image

Ice has a mind of its own, a unique signature that can be dangerous and beautiful at the same time.

Overnight, an ice storm had hit hard…this was not normal…this was not welcomed. Local farmers were trying to wrap up harvest. Others were in the middle of chores that needed to be done before winter set in. Autumn’s process had been stalled, frozen solid in a premature wintry howler. It was a bleak, bone chilling morning and a little overwhelming. What if this weather stayed? Now that was depressing.

…and then the sun came out.

Holy Wowza! All mindchatter stops when I look outside once again.
In a split second my mood, kin to the ice bound lakeshore, melted away from the inside out.
{Don’t you just love life when that happens?}

The water’s edge, alive with ice crystals, shines like a string of chandeliers. Grass, moss and dogwood bushes shimmer with transformation.

Grabbing my camera, intent on capturing this magic, I head down the slippery footpath toward the lake. “WHO said this was depressing? Silleee girl,” I tease myself.

Soon enough kneecaps ache from crawling on ice-packed, still green moss. Jeans squeak with wet, shoes soak, toes freeze, fingers numb, cheeks wind warp with icy cold…it takes some effort to keep snapping photos.
So? I feel totally alive…completely at home.

30 minutes later I head back up to the house for a hot shower, a cup of joe and some timeline juggling.
Eventually, I find my way back into the activities of the day…come evening, taking my Creative & Playful Detour into the morning’s magic is the action that rings most loud, clear and true.
Many months later, as I write this post, the feeling of that morning’s magic returns. Yep. Still rings true.

Do you know what it takes to put Play into work, to feel at home in your own skin? 
Do you give yourself Permission to take a small step towards whatever warms you up from the inside out or are you waiting for the sun to come out before you’re able to fill with wonder?
Does it feel like you’re
frozen in Time?

Hi. I’m Dawn Kotzer. Master Kaizen Muse™ Creativity Master Coach. Martha Beck Certified Life Coach. Inner Wilderness Guide. Business Mentor.
Would you like to discover what warms your heart, defrosts your dreams, stirs your soul?

If you’re ready to defrost, dream and stir
let’s get together.  

drop me a line
Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.



Now what Rebel HeadSpace?

see the image? wild thing.
see the image? wild thing.

A few days ago, overcome by a wave of anti-yearend accounting procrastination, I felt a pressing desire to move ‘write blog post’ to the top of my immediate ToDo list.
Photos, Title, Action…ReArranging my Control Freak Rebel Headspace came into being.
Yes, I know. The title’s a bit lengthy but I was high on procrastination, remember?

Tada! Despite a global server issue shutting me out of my blog for most of the afternoon, I wrote the post, declared it ‘Good Enough’, hit publish and moved onto the next non-accounting item on my list.

‘Go get heavy coats’ jumped off the page, demanding attention.
It had been blisteringly cold outside, -27 Celcius and colder for days on end.
This was New Year’s Eve and we were looking forward to meeting a group of  good friends for dinner.
As I bundled up and headed outside to get the coats from a big old cedar cupboard in one of the storage buildings, I decided to see how happy the car was in this weather. Many Canadian vehicles are fitted with electric blockheaters to keep the engine warm, making the car easier to start.
Checking to see that the car had been plugged in, I slid into in the driver’s seat…turned over the ignition.
Nothing. Nope. Nada. Block of Ice.
This was one cold, unhappy vehicle.

OK…we’ll have to take the truck. Turned over the key.
Nothing. Nope. Nada.  Neither vehicle would start.
{Say What? how could this be? These vehicles always start. Damn!}
Long story short, neither vehicle was going anywhere that night.
Looked like the plan was interrupted…again.
I was not happy.
Then I remembered the post I’d just written.

Nope…I did NOT feel a warm glow of acceptance.
I did not feel kindly disposed to the wisdom of the Big U.
Instead I felt an immediate lurch into…”oh, HeLL! I can’t even swear ’cause I just spent the better part of the afternoon telling the world that somewhere in every challenge is a gift.”
I almost laughed at the cosmic joke of it all…almost.

Lee let our friends know what was going on~ as in nothing~ and I had a long, hot shower.
That’s when it occurred to me that I continue getting ready as if I were going out. Why not?
It made perfect sense to me. I’d get glammed up, put on some bling,  sit at home and read a book.
I almost had my hair finished when the texts started coming in…

Theresa: I have my snow pants on. I’m coming to get you.
Me: Awwww, thanks for the wonderful offer but it’s too much.
{60 miles of driving in -35Celcius weather took a lot of time.}
Theresa: Look. We can sit at home 364 days of the year. Not tonight. It’s New Year’s Eve.
Me: TheresaIt’s wayyy too much driving.
Theresa: I’m NOT taking NO for an answer.
I paused for a few minutes. Saying YES felt like really putting her out.
Me: OK. Thank you.
By the time she arrived, we were ready.
Off we went, bundled up and warmed by the spirit of anticipatory celebration.

Earlier in the day, {before I tried to start vehicles}, it had occurred to me that 2014 was going to be a year of abundance. I welcomed the feeling of that.
I had no idea how quickly that would ring true.  This New Year is already overflowing with the gift of abundance dressed up in snow pants, winter parkas, warm hearts and a group of friends gathering to celebrate being together.

Before posting this, I shared this article with Theresa, asking for permission to quote her texts.
Theresa: Sure, go ahead…and Thank You.
Me: For What?
Theresa: For letting me help you with something that was important to us. It meant a lot.

Wishing all my friends, wherever you are, a year of abundance. Happy 2014!
Canadian Creativity Life Coach, Business Mentor and Friend


ReArranging my Control Freak Rebel Head Space

2013 floats away
2013 floats away

2013 did not go as planned.
It was full of ups and downs, highs and lows and a lot of ReArranging.
ReArranging my idea of what I thought the year should look like.
ReArranging my calendar to suit other more pressing priorities.
ReArranging my control freak headspace to make room for ‘Close Enough’
ReArranging my goals and intentions
ReArranging my expectations
ReArranging Me

Don’t get me wrong, 2013 did not come empty handed. It came bearing gifts…just not in a form that I could easily recognize or accept. I’d be lying if I said I was over the moon with delight.
The gifts seemed hidden beneath layers of confusion, irritation and hard work.  
Eventually I got sick and tired of listening to my own lizard brain whining. I stuffed my ears with soul-cotton and embraced the silence.
Pausing between jobs to gain a little distance and make sense of the form of the gift became an interesting new pastime, a nature borne practice of Awareness.

Turned out the gifts were many. Diverse. Quirky. Some very large, some almost invisible. Some colourful and full of celebration, some floating on tears. No gift turned up alone. They all showed up as a hand holding, soul-sister sidekick to Challenge.
These are some of my favorites-

  •  Challenge

Big Men and Big Machinery moved in to reinforce retaining walls around the house. There was no choice but to demolish a good part of our ‘finished’ yard along with the well worn walking path down to the forest and lake lookout.
I got to build my first set of outside hills steps, complete with hand posts, step runners and a suitably creative ‘broken paver’ landing area at the base. Each and every time I walk down those steps I remember the fun I had building them. With a little helpful instruction from Lee, I managed to pull this off. I feel accomplished, strong and just a little stunned at the job I did.

forest steps
forest steps
  •  Challenge 

Yard renovations meant a summer of landscaping for me.
Ugh. I was pretty sure I had enough yard work to do already. Uneven, dusty, steep and clay bounded areas called out for attention. It felt overwhelming.
Inspiration! I spied the perfect spot for a raised garden…something I’d always wanted but never had room for.
It occurred to me that with some effort I could do this…I mean, I’d just built a flight of steps, right?
So I dug out the site, lavished the soil with rich, nourishing humus I’d hauled out of the boreal forest floor, turned stakes into pickets and laid a small paving stone walkway. My body loved all the exercise and muscle building. Oh ya, 2013 delivered in spades! Best of all, I got to paint my faux picket fence edging with Mak, my grandgirl. She chose the colours and we happily did the job.

faux picket fence
faux picket fence
  • Challenge

60+ days of medical travel to and from my man’s medical treatments. 10 hours each way, many trips required.
Pulling off the busy highway, a gravel road carries you a mile or so to a landscape rolling in green.  A chorus of nearby-pond frogs serenades as you sip hot coffee, nibble homemade muffins and inhale the flavour of your lush surroundings. The breeze rolls down the gentle hills and wraps you in summer.
Another graveled turnoff delivers you high and dry, next to a hilltop pasture where you eyeball a strong, silent bison. His confidence and ease meets your gaze. He knows he’s master of his domain…and now you know it too.
Standing in awe of Mother Nature’s work, overlooking ancient vistas and appreciating breathing into a new perspective.

Horseshoe Canyon
Horseshoe Canyon

Do I want a repeat of 2013. Nope. I’m ready to celebrate the year, call it a wrap.
But I’m mindful of the biggest gift of all. It’s invisible, intangible, priceless.
Eventually I could not see the challenge for the Gift. Neat, huh.
Move over,  Control Freak Head Space. 2014 is going to be a year to remember for all the best of reasons.
Happy New Year to you and yours.

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True Story: my Christmas Rebellion


Christmas Rebellion
Christmas Rebellion

What happens when the familiar, the comfortable, the freedom of choice seems taken away and we feel dragged into the dreaded landscape of a ‘painful unknown’.
At times, when tested by one of life’s real teachers, a.k.a our ExpecTations, we might spiral into fear and angst faster than Santa drops down a chimney.
At other times, we might try rebellion, hoping to find a way out of angst and into some Zen experience that delivers peace of mind.

Let me tell you what happened when I created my Christmas Rebellion-

20 some years ago, I left my marriage. Unexpectedly I became a mother who didn’t live with her young son, often separated for weeks at a time.
Many months after the split, the first Christmas found me sitting with confusion, grief, anger and a very fractured relationship with my own family.
My son’s dad eroded our joint custody comfort zone by demanding that the holiday revolve around his plans.
Without telling me, my mother invited my very unhappy, lonely and sad ex-husband to join our family celebration.

I couldn’t really blame any of them. We were all sad, angry and confused, caught up in a situation that no one knew exactly how to cope with.
But man…I wanted to blame someone; anyone-everyone-including myself for a Christmas gone very wrong in my eyes.
The best solution I could come up with was to spend lots of time alone.
That wasn’t really the answer but it made things easier.

Did I mention that at this time I made my living as a Floral Designer?
Working hard at making everyone’s holiday cheery and bright was my specialty.
I had a love-hate relationship with my career during Christmastime. I was so miserable.
It felt like I had to watch the holiday parade from the sidelines.
By the time my son arrived at my house for Christmas, people were way past hanging stockings; they were hanging new calendars instead.
Finally, f-i-n-a-l-l-y…. I realized I DID have a SAY in all of this.
I could create a Christmas with my young son that we’d both LoVe, yet didn’t take away from anyone else’s celebration.

This is what I decided to do.
With GreAt FanFare, I declared that Christmas Eve would happen the day my son arrived on my doorstep…whatever date that was.

I will never forget  the look of confusion turned to wonder on my young son’s face the first time I first told him that Christmas Eve was the day he arrived at my house…no matter when. Period.
“but Mom, you’ll miss Christmas.”
“No way.” I said. “Christmas comes when YOU are in the house.”
A Big, B-I-G smile took over his face as he instantly hopped on board this holiday train.

The first thing we did after he arrived was to head into the forest, cut down a tree that called our name and drag it back up hills, through forest and over snowbanks.
Tired but happy, we set it up and decorated it with our favorite bling.
Did you notice the crazyhaired red flocked angel topping the tree in the photo above?
Tacky, poorly made and cheap as dirt, she’d been around forever.
In Ian’s eyes nothing else could crown our Christmas tree.

We hung stockings, listened to carols, drank hot chocolate, laid colourfully wrapped presents from family and friends under the tree. Then we’d turn off all the lights and stand in darkness watching the tree lights winking and blinking with a ‘night before Christmas’ excitement.

Stocking Chair
Stocking Chair

The next day, the calendar might show Dec. 27, Dec. 29 or even Jan. 1~
We paid NO attention. It was Christmas Day at Mom’s house.
Some of our extended family played along and waited to wish us Season’s Greetings until we celebrated our day together. I often wonder if they knew what a gift they gave me by offering my Christmas Rebel so much space and understanding.

Occasionally, my now grown son mentions what “Mom’s Christmas” meant to him.
Creating Flexibility for holidays made his childhood better and now gives his family permission to do the best they can celebrating special days in a way that makes sense for them.

All those years ago, I had no clue that allowing my Christmas Rebel to help me adjust holiday expectations would turn into the gift that keeps on giving.

So from my rebel to yours,
Best wishes for a little Christmas Zen and blessings for ‘Christmas NoW’, no matter how or when you get to celebrate.

  Beloved Angels

Beloved Angels


who wants to Be a MiLLionAiRe?


Garden Steps-Muted c wm

Have you ever experienced those crazy-making, hazy days of dreaming and scheming?
There you stand, happily pondering the name of your
business de jour, fast forwarding into overnight success…
Viola`, you’re a millionaire.
A moment later, frozen in the grip of Overwhelm and Fear of Failure, you shiver with Doubt and Confusion.
“Holy Cr*p, what was I thinking? I don’t have a clue how to get this ball rolling. I don’t even know where to start?

Bompf! Once again the ball drops, your dream rolls away.
Sound familiar? Yup, been there, done that. You’re not alone.

but I’m curious,
aren’t you getting just a little tired of being pushed around by Procrastination and her bossy twin, Resistance?
If so, read on.

What does it take to make things happen and get the ball rolling?

Making things happen in life:
part of a process I call  ‘Ask , Act & Observe’.
Ask Small Questions. Pick up a Ball. Observe. Respond.
Take a Small Step. Put in the Effort. Pick up a different ball…
{or the same ball in case you dropped it…maybe l.i.f.e. knocked it out of your hand…
that’s ok. you get to pick it up again.}
Ask more Small Questions. Observe. Adjust. Play. Adapt.
Take another Step.
Put in more Effort. Pick up another ball. Play around with this one. Observe.
Ask what worked? and what didn’t?
Leave Space for Good to show up. Appreciate the Process.
Start all over again.

Does this sound  too s-l-o-o-w for you? You want what you want NOW? hmm, you might have picked up the ‘all or nothing ball’, a slippery little critter at best.

Here’s the real deal-
A successful, thriving business often results from many years of drawing on Ask, Act & Observe {aka 10% Inspiration and 90% perspiration}. The same applies to most important endeavours.
Focused effort, sacrifice, dedication, determination, creativity, persistence, guts, courage, challenge, curiosity, play, tenacity along with a few meltdowns, a healthy sense of humour and a lot of self compassion sign on for the long haul. They move in tandem with each other, creating a path of success accomplished through a million small steps.

Whoa…could that be another definition of a ‘millionaire’?
“She who embraces success in each of a million small steps.”
Works for me. How ’bout you?

The next 3 posts, cleverly labelled Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3  🙂 
will reveal the magic of how Small Steps can SPEED up the path to success.
Think of it as abracasmallstepsdabra
finding success & millionaire moments, one step at a time.

But for now~
What’s your take on making things happen
and getting the ball rolling?
Comment, Like, Share or get in touch.
I’d love to hear from you.

Dawn Kotzer
Kaizen-Muse™ Master Coach. Martha Beck Certified Life Coach.

Special Thanks to the readers for all your encouragement
{you know who you are}.Your support makes it easier for me
to hit ‘publish’ during this Blog Challenge #TSE30DC. Yay You!
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jack frost, tunnels and the digital sea


jackfrost at dawn
jackfrost at dawn

Some people are put on this earth to build websites.
Me? not so much. How about you?

Frozen with nervousness, stumbling over my words, trying to feel site savvy, I remember the first time I contacted Beverly.
Arghhh, I didn’t know the language, I had no idea what questions to ask…it all felt BigTime Overwhelming.

Finally, I blurted out—“I know n-o-t-h-i-n-g.
She laughed gently and said, “No problem.”

Unexpectedly she asked me if I knew where Moose Jaw, SK was.
That question stopped my chattering brain in its tracks.
“Huh? uh-Ya, I know where that is.”
Oddly enough, I’d just returned from touring Moose Jaw’s bootlegging tunnels created in the hay-day of Al Capone and Prohibition.
That happily sidetracked the both of us as I shared stories
about my recent trip.
Feeling less overwhelmed, I got over my nervousness;
she got to know my sense of  style and humour {and I hers}.
We were a great fit.
Beverly and Steve at STG Creative Group signed on to build my site.
They turned my steep learning curve, my many, questions
& Quick Start ideas into a highly functional, accessible, creative and appealing delivery system built for growth…
my business growth. Woohoo!

Talk about finding a secure harbour.

I was once lost in a sea of digits and coding…
oh, heck, i’m still at sea when it comes to that…
but now I GET To float and skate and dance, navigating soundly, exploring and landing as I see fit,
following a map detailed for my own online adventure.
This site, allows me to create, share, offer, exchange ideas and services with those who resonate with what they read and see here.
I hope they too feel it to be a safe and secure harbour.

Thank You, Beverly and Steve,
You make it easier for me to do what I love to do.
Sending you deep appreciation wrapped in Jack Frost Beauty…delivered digitally, of-course.

Master coach/KMCC;  MBCLC

Why did Beverly ask me about MooseJaw?
Turns out she had a dear old friend from there…and no, it had nothing to do with Al Capone.
Why am I writing about this today?
well, Day 13 – Suitcase Entrepreneur Challenge...this one’s for you.





Base Metal Moments & the ArT of Alchymia.

See the image above? I believe it contains the magic of alchymia.
“What the heck is alchymia?” I asked the same question.
Hopefully, the photo backstory will explain.

September, 2008, an unusually hot, dry month was coming to an end.
Pushing hard to get way too many outbuildings painted before a cold front moved in, I was hot, tired, hungry and generally fed up—Cranky.
Painting had moved way past the fun zone, turning into a big, time sucking chore. Even the paint wanted to escape. Sh#%. Another oozy plop of pigment landed close to my feet.
I looked down.
Say What?
My eyes locked on a leaf.
How can this be?
It was 4.p.m. and still 25ºC. Fallen leaves, mostly wrinkled and dry, carpeted autumn’s ground.
But this leaf lay softly at ease, brimming with illumination—fat, round, glorious dewdrops beaming in a sliver of late afternoon sun.
Inspired, I set aside the painting gear, ran to the house & grabbed my camera.
The fog of crankiness lifted in an instant, replaced with overwhelming enthusiasm.

Fast forward 5 years. Earlier today I was checking out the origin of the word alchemy…which led me to alchymia?
What the heck is alchymia?
Origin: modern Latin, from a Medieval Latin diminutive of alchimia ‘alchemy’,
from the belief that dewdrops from the leaves of the plant could turn base metals into gold.

Whoa! Just like my leaf. I knew those dewdrops were special.

This post is my answer to Day 12-Suitcase Entrepreneur Blog Challenge,
Specifically, question #6.

Natalie asks about a business’s USP (Unique Special Proposition), the thing we offer our clients that no one else can.
Do you have an unusual combination of elements?

My mind ziplines between three points in time;
the experience of taking the leaf photo, my recent appreciation for alchymia and question #6.
For me, a leaf beaming with dewdrops in the late afternoon sun felt like the discovery of something priceless and precious…a form of personal alchymia. It was moment of Awareness of how I turn my life’s base metal moments into gold.

Sometimes it takes awhile to land softly in that Awareness; sometimes it takes a long, long time.
The first step is to Remind ourselves that we have it.
We Get To observe. Inquire. Feel our way forward.
Elements may need to be added or taken away. Often space is required. Compassion and Kindness a must.
Impatience fuels the fire of confusion and chaos…we might get cranky. That’s a great cue to take a breather and get out of our own way.
Sooner or later, Alchymia happens.
We pause. We Appreciate. We Share. Awareness ripples out to others.

My unusual combination of elements?
My USP, {or as I like to call it} Unique Sensory Perspective?
I offer a safe space where fears, chaos and confusion are able to land softly and become still. Compassion, empathy, curiosity, creativity, play and light humour; refreshing as the dewdrops of Alchymia, turn base metal moments of life into the gold of Awareness, Courage and Inner Wisdom, Joy and more.
If you’re ever in need of a space like this, let’s talk.

Thanks for taking the time to look, read, ponder. I welcome your comments.
Master Kaizen-Muse™Creativity Coach, Martha Beck Certified Coach, Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wildwood Muse.

Flex Time: Serves me Right inside and out.



Outside In
Opening Out? or Closing In?

Simply put, a business model is how you setup your business to make money in a way that suits your personality and serves what you value most in life~Natalie Sisson.

Simply put. Short and Sweet. To the Point.
Offering me a quality question.
Dawn, what business model serves me right?

There was a time when I would have thought I had that backwards, that I must first serve others right { insert partner, client, parent, stranger, child, spouse} without much regard for myself.
Thankfully, I proved that theory wrong…albeit the hard way.
Yup, eventually I figured out that if I didn’t serve myself right in some small, consistent way, there would be no authentic manner in which I could serve others right.

Back Natalie’s question – Day 11
Q? Which business model is best for you and what one revenue stream is most feasible?

A: Build in Flex Time.
Flex Time models work for me by allowing time and space to do valued mentoring or creativity-life coaching with entrepreneurs, coach cadets, clients and groups while leaving time to take care of the expected and the unexpected  in this business called L.i.F.E.
It allows room for Laughter and Play with people I love,
Art and Ease, Creative Detours, Scheming and Dreaming
Hardwork and Focus, MacGyver moments, Plotting, Planning and Delivery,
Interruptions and Delays {arrgghhh, delays can really suck, but we GET To practice patience, right?}
It might seem odd, but Flex Time helps keep me ‘on time’ as I break my business week into broad chunks.
I used to try and squeeze in wayyyyyyy too many things in, fearing I’d never get to this, that or whatchamacallit.
When I build in wiggle room to take care of whatchamacallits, one small step, task or chunk at a time…..uh-huh, my life is so much easier.

Breathing space, wiggle room, (aka Flex Time) in my day, week, month, year lowers-the-pressure for me.
I am calmer, more present, adaptable and perceptive.
This serves me right, keeping me more open on the inside, transforming my view of the outside world.This then allows me to serve others right as I am drawing from a nourished and energized core self.
How about you? What transforms your world view, inside and out?
I know your time is limited so Big Thanks for reading.
I’d love to hear what Serves you Right?

Drop me a line, Leave a comment, Connect.

I’ll take the Ripple

Ripple MoJo
Ripple Mojo with Dawn Kotzer

Imagine a river of green, moving effortlessly toward a basin catching the fluid goodness…
a brightly coloured kayak glides in, paddle dipping and pulling, lifting and dipping once again as the captain…capable, experienced and at ease, manoeuvres round obstacles and debris.
Clear sailing all the way.

Okay, that was a nice little reprieve…back to the question of Natalie’s Blog Challenge Day:
” Where do I want to place my online money making focus? “

Apparently that’s not the right question for me.
How can I tell?
I’ve spent the last 30 minutes trying to formulate an answer that ‘feels’ right for me.
I’ve typed line after line of response, derived from  30+ years of business success, gathered and deleted…over and over. Words that look great on paper—but words that can’t seem to take me to the river’s edge, to study that ribbon of green and contemplate with calm, determined excitement what’s needed for success.
What if…
What if my online business isn’t like a flowing river but rather a cool, clear pond,
a gathering place for those in need of rest and replenishment?

Ah, I see a ripple and then another and another, moving outwards from a pebble dropped into a pond.  Other circles of ripple goodness appear, expanding and connecting, careful to connect without disruption.
One circle grows into the other.I feel the synergy.
Guess I received an answer after all…
Can an online business build a few ripples at a time?
Quiet, calm, intuitive circles of synergy bonding ripples together?

Ripple, craft, moving forward, with the current…
Bring on the Ripple Mojo.

If this post ripples and connects with you, please Comment, Share, LIKE, Get in Touch.
Dawn Kotzer
Get Real-Find Freedom~ coaching for this business called L.i.F.E.

Man in the Moon knows where Creativity Flows

Take a look. Where"s your Creative glow?

Digital life doesn’t always improve the flow of our days, does it?
Connections dawdle, Digits fiddle and Files run away with the spoon.

Looking for some relief and tech-No-glitch? Click through the links below.
You might just be over the moon in a groovy kind of way.

  • the Muse is in
    Let the Playful Floating Links  lead you on…and make sure your volume is up…the intro is sublime.
    Subscribe to Jill’s creative newsletter, The Muse Flash.

    Pursuing perfect efforts is missssssing the point of the creative experience. Live with wild  abandon. You are not being graded.” Spills the Imp, Muse…aka Jill Badonsky

  • Jesh De Rox
    Step into his white space. answer the prompts. let the journey unfold.

    “There is nothing more beautiful to me than the human spirit, unbound.”
    Jesh Re Rox- Artist. Adventurer.Futurist.Trouble.

  • Birds on the Blog
    Meet the Birds who entertain, inform and engage visitors. Check in with Princess and Perfect, 2 young girls from Uganda whose education is funded by the effort and support of this group of remarkable Business Women of Opinion.

      “Successful women are a cause for celebration, not insecurity.”  Sarah Arrow

  • These 3 sites have a lot of heart and commitment to making room for connection, creativity and commerce...a winning combination, I’d say.

Thanks for taking time to read this post.
Please feel free to Comment, Like or Share.
Do you have a desire to make room for connection, creativity and commerce? get in touch.
Dawn Kotzer.  Master Kazien-Muse™Creativity Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, Business Mentor, Coach, Inner Wilderness Guide. Saskatchewan Canada.

o provide a showcase for women in business to entertain, inform and engage visitors. – See more at: http://birdsontheblog.co.uk/how-to-comment-here/welcome/#sthash.d0Whqo8G.dpuf
To provide a showcase for women in business to entertain, inform and engage visitors. – See more at: http://birdsontheblog.co.uk/how-to-comment-here/welcome/#sthash.d0Whqo8G.dpuf
To provide a showcase for women in business to entertain, inform and engage visitors. – See more at: http://birdsontheblog.co.uk/how-to-comment-here/welcome/#sthash.d0Whqo8G.dpuf       I’m not including her because I’m part of this 30 Day Blog Challenge…nope…Natalie’s been on my list for                quite awhile now. Why? Because she walks the walk, has fun while ‘walking, flying, facilitating, hiking,                     packing, unpacking, climbing, writing, working, playing,’ keeping us engaged as she shares her knowhow.

Good Vibrations Mindset

Good Vibrations from Cosmic Trees
Cosmic Trees, Awareness and good vibrations

Sometimes L.i.F.E. throws us curveballs, hurls lemons our way or knocks us off track.
If I’m racing towards a deadline, facing an overwhelming challenge or driving myself nuts with mindloops and brain chatter…Enough already!

Suitcase Entrepreneur, Natalie Sisson asks:
which key Tools will you turn to regularly maintain your mindset and how will you effectively use them?”

These are the Tools that work for me~

Tool #1—Breathe
I know that seems obvious AND everyone tells you “remember to breathe”. Why? Because it works.

Tool #2 —Awareness
Okay, I admit when I feel hopelessly lost in the land of Chaos it takes me a while to remember I have unlimited access to my Awareness Zone

Have you ever noticed that Awareness has a wonderful way of showing up exactly when you decide to look for it?
Ask and you shall receive. Awareness is like that.

Tool #3Small Questions
My best mindset is based on Good Vibrations.
So I create
room for the Good to find me.
I do this by asking myself Small Questions:

  • What am I feeling?Good? great…now go PlaY!
  • Not so good? Have I been here before?
  • What helped me get into a better groove in the past?
  • Would that work here? If not, what might work better?

{This amazing Q&A can quickly steer your mind out of a rut. Go ahead give it a try.}

Tool #4Break Things Down
Few people like feeling out of sorts…I know I don’t.
It’s important to make it really, really easy to change our mindset when needed.
So I ask myself another small question:

  • “What’s the smallest step I can take to get me into, or maintain, a Good Vibrations Mindset?”

If the answer bubbles up immediately, terrific!
If not, I leave room for it to find me~
which leads me right back to…y
up, you guessed it~
and so it goes…round and round.
good, good, good, good vibrations~
bringing out the best in all of us.

Please leave a comment, get in touch, connect and Share…I’d love to hear what’s working for you and/or help you tap into your own good vibrations.
Thanks for reading.
Dawn Kotzer
Master Kaizen-Muse™Creativity Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, Entrepreneur, Business Mentor-Coach.


Don’t Try Harder, Try Easy

Don't Try Hard. Try Easy

“What 3 priorities for the next 30 days will move me closer towards living life on my own terms?”
Top Tip: Focus on the ones you believe are a stretch, but achievable.”

Did I mention I got up at dawn to write this?
I never get up that early. That tells me writing into this challenge has grabbed my attention.
I recall a quote shared by a client last week that also grabbed my attention.

“don’t try harder, try easy”

Trust me, ‘Try Easy’ feels a bit of a stretch for me.
So what?
I’m willing to give it a go.
By Lowering unrealistic Expectations of myself…you know, those ‘UGH.listic’ expectations raised by the pressure of unkind self talk, judgment, BullS—comparison, fear of rejection and not being good enough. Ya, those ones.
I am gonna cut myself some slack and lighten up.
Slip into a space of ease
Pass on my habit of ‘squeeze’
I’m giving myself Permission to stretch my comfort zone in a way that matches my Feel Good Groovy.

Lowering unrealistic Expectations doesn’t mean lowering standards.
It means allowing space for ourselves to meet our ‘standards’ in a way that doesn’t drive us nuts, a way that brings out the beauty in us…not the beast.

Staying in this 30 Day Blog Challenge is a bit of a stretch too. Will I make it? hmmm, too soon to tell…
I’m giving myself Permission to suck and do a crappy job a first at first…Lowering UGH.listic Expectations while I enjoy the process.
After all, I’m new to this…It’s NorMal to make a few mistakes, post Day 6 on Day 9…you know, things like that, right?
Yay! I Get To give it my best and Try Easy.
How about you?

Please, leave a comment, share this post or drop me a line
if you’d like to know more about working together and finding your own Try EASY.
Dawn Kotzer, a Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity & Martha Beck Life Coach, living below a hill, beside the Boreal Forest on the edge of Tobin Lake, SK, Canada, guides others to successfully discover how to Get Real and Find Freedom.


Feel Good Groovy

What colour is your Groovy?

Ever notice that when you’re in a good groove time stands still and yet flies by all at once?
Of late, life has been busy around here…kind of crazy-making hectic but in a good groovy kind of way.
By the time I came up for air, Day 4 and 5 of this blog challenge had merged into one.
Natalie’s prompts:
“What is your definition of location independence? and What does your perfect day look like?”
found their own voice in my head and became:
“What does location independence and my perfect day feel like?”
Tada! Enter the photo collage above.

Routines change from season to season when living in the almost wilderness…
For me, client sessions, writing, art, exploring nature, hanging out with love ones, intersect with the maintenance of the season and demands of business.
It’s important to find my Feel Good Groovy when the day gets crowded.
For instance, working on tax returns often requires taking a good long walk along the lakeshore.
Giving myself Permission to take that break and do something I love moves me into Awareness as I Incubate Ideas, Percolate on my next Small Steps.

By the time I head back up to the house, soaking in the sounds of my nature walk…I am restored.
Feel Good Groove fully embraced.
Chores become a ritual of clearing a space for Good to arrive.
No matter where I work from, what I’m doing, whom I’m working with…this state of being brings out the best groove in me…
How about you?
Where do you find your Feel Good Groovy?

Living life below a hill, below a hill, on the edge of a glorious lake in Saskatchewan, Canada, I work with others as they log into their own Feel Good Groovy in this business called LiFe.
Drop me line, Share a post, Leave a comment…get in touch if you want to connect.
Thanks for reading!



Life Lemonade on the Freedom Trail

Lemonade & Freedom

Natalie’s Day 3 prompt:

“Dawn, what’s your definition of freedom in business and adventure in life?”

Freedom? Adventure?
At first glance, it seems like there’s more work than freedom and less adventure than desired…more lemons than refreshing lemonade.
But scratch zest the surface beneath that thought and what do I find? That familiar taste of personal freedom and small adventures, growing day by day through 30+years of owning my own businesses.

Is Freedom in business easy?
Nope, not always.

In the beginning, everything was new and exciting. I believed if I was doing what I was meant to do, everything would be EasY-Peasy…
you know- tap into your passion,  make a wish, breathe deep and Viola`~ the Big U. would deliver in the blink of an eye.
hmmmmm…that’s not exactly how it works. Serious, consistent, grit and effort was often the flavour of the day. That is, until I discovered how to work in Aligned Effort.

 Aligned Effort has a magical quality to it. It lightens the load and brightens the road when partnered with our core motivators, making things easily feel worth the time and effort. 

Did I make mistakes?
Uh-huh. But remember, mistakes aren’t always a bad thing.
Don’t get me wrong…I don’t like making mistakes. My mistakes can make me feel pretty uncomfortable, even defensive …especially when I have unrealistic expectations of myself or I fall into Perfectionist thinking.
Eventually, I get past my sense of embarrassment and remind myself that making mistakes in life is Normal.  I get to practice a little self compassion, cut myself some slack and lean into humility as I discover how to take the best from these moments and keep on moving. That’s part of the bittersweet taste of freedom and adventure, isn’t it? We have the power to turn a bad moment, a mistake into something sweet or sour.           
Remember the saying?

when life hands you lemons, make lemonade


What if we reached for a glass of deliciously cool, homemade life lemonade the next time we celebrated a day of Adventure on the Freedom Trail? Works for me. How ’bout you?


These days, as a Master Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, my Freedom Trail connects me with individuals in their search for ways to BE Real, Find Freedom…surely the Adventure of a life time.
Feel free to drop me a line, leave a comment, give a LIKE or share this post…
Thanks for reading and may you find a cool refreshing glass of life lemonade waiting on your Freedom Trail.


Day 2- a Red Chair Moment

red chair sliver 2

Can you see yourself sitting in this Red Chair?
Calm. Comfortable.Quiet. Surrounded by the gifts of Nature…A place to savour dreams.
Natalie’s prompt for Day 2:
If you woke up tomorrow and were free to do anything you wanted with your life, what would you do and who would you be?

My answers came quickly.
I’d continue living where I Live right now because I love where I live.
and there’s many helping hands ready to carry all manner of chairs down to the various landings along the lakeshore. Sweet.

I GET TO travel  more…and Travel has become so much easier.
OK…this one is a bit of a mystery to me.
I love where I live, but where I live is a 3+ hour drive from the nearest full service airport. It takes a long time just to get to ‘Departure’.
(inside Buddy asks, “well, how did it become easier?”)
Good Question.
I learned how to give myself Permission to ALLoW it to become easier. 
Step by Step, piece by piece, I gathered information,  accessed truly useful products, made connections and developed the expertise needed to make travel easier.
Even the drive to the airport has become less hassle…
…or could it be that in my wildest dreams I own and pilot my own plane…”have wings, will fly”.

I’m doing what I love to do:
Exploring new places, satisfying my curiosities, sharing my discoveries.
Working with great clients who want to learn how to step out of Overwhelm, Fear, Perfectionism and Self Sabotage and into the landscape of ‘Be Real-Find Freedom’.
Helping others find their own success experience, whatever that looks like for them.
Taking time to connect, love and laugh with people important to me.
Having FuN!
Making time to sit in a chair along the water’s edge and dream, ponder, breathe, receive, embrace and express gratitude for the goodness that comes my way in this wild and woolly business called LiFE.

Yellow Chair at Lake
Please, leave a comment, share this post or drop me a line
if you’d like to know more about working together.
Dawn Kotzer, a Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity & Martha Beck Life Coach, living below a hill, below a hill, on the edge of Tobin Lake, SK, Canada, guides others to successfully discover how to BE Real and Find Freedom.


Day 1- what WAS I thinking?

Sun Slipping Away Soon
Why do I procrastinate writing blog posts?
How many more times will I ask myself that question?
Months can go by…not a single post…at least not in print.
Oh sure, I’ve crafted some winners in my head but they never make it into the light of day.
Time to find a better question.
“What if joining Natalie Sisson’s Blog Challenge might help me find a groove?” Viola`.
I sign up before I can give it a second thought.

As promised, Oct. 1’s prompt arrived-

  • Day 1: Write a post on why you started your blog, who you wanted to reach, what you wanted it to be all about. Then state why you joined this blog challenge and what you want to get out of it.

I pause…I ponder. I take my Android apart…ChecK the battery just for good measure…clean the screen. I wander around the house, GraB a cup of coffee…open the fridge door…close the fridge door…get a warmer pair of socks…find my way back to my office, ChecK email…format some pictures…make a phone call…
Shoot. No one’s home. Seems like I’ve run out of ProcrastiOptions.
AARRRggHHHHhhhh….What if I don’t KNOW the answers, I whine silently.
My Inside Buddy pipes up. (Know who I mean? Tiny inner voice that answers you when you’re talking to yourself…yup, that one. I call her inside Buddy.)
” What if you don’t have to know? You just start writing and see where it takes you…C’mon, just go for it.”
So here I am…starting before the sun slips away.

Day 1.
Why did I start my blog?
Because the other coaches had one? Because it seemed like the thing to do? Oh. Now I remember.
I wanted to have a place to share things that might be of value to others and myself.
(oh god, that sounds lame. I’m hitting delete. “Leave it be”, inside Buddy says. “You’re doing great.”)

Whom did I want to reach?
(hmmm,  this question feels easier.)
People who have the same questions as I did.  Like:
How can I make finding my own groove just a little bit easier? When do I get to feel I am EnouGh?

(sheesh! now it sounds like I’m writing for myself. “SO?” Inside Buddy pipes up. “Keep going.”)

What did I want it to be about?
(Wow. This feels even easier to answer. Inside Buddy is nodding, smiling, 2 thumbs up!)
I wanted to share my stories and photography.
Living alongside nature in the the almost wilderness,  there’s been so many small but powerful moments that have helped me Let Go of who I thought I MuSt Be in
this wild and crazy business called LiFE.
These memorable moments have taught me HOW to catch my breath, to Lean Back and Sigh;
to give myself
Permission to be successful, to Be Real and Find Freedom in living my everyday life.
A Blog lets me share what’s worked for me with others.

Why did I join this Blog Challenge? What do I want to get out of it?
putting words into play
giving myself Permission to get comfortable with Close Enough
being OK to post, to show up as myself in a manner that feels right for me
Practice sharing small moments with others who resonate with my vibe.

Thanks, Natalie, for asking questions.
The sun has set. This post is a wrap.
Close Enough is Good Enough for me.

Please, leave a comment, share this post or drop me a line
if you’d like to hear more of how to Be Real, Find Freedom in this wildly exceptional business called LiFE.
Dawn Kotzer, a Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity& Martha Beck Life Coach, living below a hill, below a hill, on the edge of Tobin Lake, SK, Canada, guides others to successfully discover how to BE Real and Find Freedom.


Celebrate?What if the going gets rough~

Celebrate: to mark a significant time or event with an enjoyable activity.’

Image-Celebrating Small Steps
Photo- Celebrating Small Steps

It’s easy to celebrate when things fall seamlessly into place…right?
We have a plan, a goal, a dream.
We get at it, enjoying the feeling of having our feet on solid ground.
We know we’re heading in the right direction~ we have a clear destination in view.
Now take a look at the photo above…
What about this girl?
Does she look like she’s celebrating or just managing to stay afloat?

Can we celebrate when the going gets rough?
Who wants to celebrate when it feels like it’s all we can do to stay on our feet…to stay afloat?
How do we even begin to find our way towards a Spirit of Celebration?
Ah…good question.
What if it’s not a case of moving forward but rather standing still?
Bringing Awareness into the present moment.
Lowering Expectations.
Cutting our self a little slack.
Exchanging ideals of Perfection for the success of ‘Good Enough
Giving ourself a little Credit.
Responding to our own sense of Equilibrium.
Taking a Breath; allowing a space for Relaxation.
Asking ourselves this one small question…

“What’s going right?”

Too often, we’ve trained ourselves to pay attention to the deficits, the issues, the problems,
the restrictions, the limitations of our journey. Ugh.

Hey…what about all those overlooked things that are going right?
The unexpected moments of calm that are placed perfectly on our path?
The Small Thoughts that endlessly entertain True Self…
nudging us to go inside for just a few moments and play with our wild and creative self, exploring our landscape of possibility ?
{…you know, those ‘what if?’ energy boosting thoughts you promise you’ll pay close attention to~later~when you’re finished building your empire, putting stuff in order, making things perfect, yada, yada, yada.}

Can you give yourself a little CREDIT for the small things you’ve accomplished today?

The girl in the photo is my 8 year old granddaughter.
Determined to make it to the other end of the dock, she boldly declared it was NOT too windy or rough to ‘walk the plank’.
Certain she’d turn around after the first few rock and rolling steps, I watched as she took one small hesitant step after another, dropping to her knees as a wave crashed into the platform.
She’d look back over her shoulder…a big smile on her face.
“uh-oh…she’s going the whole way. Good thing the water’s not too cold or deep,” I thought.
By now, she’d realized the waves were bigger, the wind more fierce, the challenge greater than imagined.
It was all she could do to stay upright, yet she kept going.
Every few feet, she’d pause to look back, grinning from ear to ear.
She managed to stay afloat; she refused to turn back.
I watched as she stepped into moments of Celebration.
She’d pause, breathe, wait for the waves to calm and regain her balance.
Then she’d continue…moving up and down, forward; sometimes backwards…one small step at a time.

Many, many small steps later she stood at the far end of the dock…she made it.
Undaunted by the sudden realization that she had to retrace her steps over the rock and rolling dock to get back to the car, she clasped the guardrail watching the waves slapping close to her feet.

The return journey was easier…she knew the waters would be choppy, the passage rough.
Perfection was replaced by ‘Good Enough.’
Every step was in fact a Celebration, a big “Yay Me!…I’m still afloat. I can do this.

I’m glad I was there to take photos of this adventure. They’re a great Reminder for ME.
It used to be easy for me to focus on all that was undone, unfinished, deficient…
Celebrations only happened at the end of a job.
By that time, I was too tired, too grumpy, too worn out, too jaded, too this, too that to celebrate.
I give myself Credit for the small things more often than not.
I cut myself some slack. Somedays, I cut myself a lot of slack.
‘Close Enough’ works for me.
I leave room for Good to happen.
I Celebrate the small, the medium and the large.
I Celebrate at the beginning, in the middle and at the end.
I Celebrate being Me.
~especially when the going gets rough.

Would you like to find out how to Celebrate being you…at home, at work, at play~
I’m just an email away.

Thanks for taking the time to hang out with me here. I appreciate it.

Dawn Kotzer
creative coaching for this business called L.I.F.E.

  • Master Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach

    • Martha Beck Certified Life Coach

      • Coach Mentor



Go Get your RICH ON.

Money…isn’t it just the Coolest Tool around?TDOY_bloglovintour_graphic_500px

We stretch it, hold it, make it, save it, grow it, share it, trade it, keep it safe,
PlaY with it, burn through it, compound it, freeze it, invest it, desire it, drool over it…
Money colours our perception of the world…the world we live in, the world we Want to live in…the world we Don’t want to live in…
We give this Cool TooL a LOT of power.

Here’s the thing…
Money is a man-made TOOL.
A 10$ bill is simply a piece of paper with a price put on its head.
It is an object of convenience to be used at our discretion.

What about all those feelings around money?
Yup, they’re man-made,
too—man made by the energetic history of moi`.
Money is nurtured and soul-er powered by the energy we bring to work with it;
energy seasoned by generations of cultural and family conditioning and personal experience, channelled by success or stirred up by fear.
Money Energy has often been given free reign in defining our take on wealth.
Fear of Lack or Attack, Comparison, Self criticism, Perfectionism or Self-sabotaging Habits can have this definition of wealth doing a 180º depending upon which side of the Abundance Coin we see ourselves on… RiCh beyond Measure? or Impoverished beyond Hope?

What does Money have to do with Wealth?

  • Wealth: A tangible or intangible thing that makes a person, family or group better off… BusinessDictionary.com

Sometimes we think that money is the ONLY way of measuring wealth, the only thing that makes us better off…not So.
{Altho’ money makes building material wealth a lot simpler…trust me, it’s a lot easier to use moola to pay the bills than trade with goats or chickens.

What does Money have to do with Abundance?
…not as much as you’d think.
I see Abundance as a state of feeling wealthy…sitting with grace, surrounded by things that matter to me…things that may seem utterly worthless to you but in my world, are priceless.
I GET TO discover what makes me feel wealthy, what feels like Abundance, what choices  match my definition of wealth, what actions align my spirit and money energy as I choose how to use this cool Tool called Money.

Which side of the Abundance Coin do you see yourself on?
Do you FEEL like money finds you easily, landing softly beside you? Can you sit in wonder, luxuriating in the rich beauty and priceless moments this world effortlessly brings your way?
When butterflies land on your toes, can you see that as proof positive of a wild and wealthy life?

Abundance Check? dawn kotzer.com

Or do your feelings around money drag you down, limit your ability to see the grass beneath your feet?
Do you feel penned, restricted and unable to find any wealth in your existence?
Does ‘Go Get your Rich On’ have more to do with indulging in whipped cream than investing in pork bellies?

Looking for the bright side? contact dawnkotzer.com

Don’t get me wrong…I like money.
I like having enough money to satisfy my needs {and a decent amount of my wants.} I like to be well paid for my work.
Money makes life easier, provides financial security and creates a certain amount of personal freedom.

Does this make me feel rich?
It sure helps.
Getting right with my Money Energy gives me a knowing confidence that I’ll use this Cool Tool called Money by honouring my True Self as I Go GET my Rich ON
but honestly,
I feel most Wealthy, most Rich when I give myself Permission to Stop—to be amazed by the butterfly landing on my toe or grounded by the solitary bison, grazing on the hill.

What about you…when do you feel most Wealthy, most Rich?
Give yourself Permission to Stop and Be Amazed…just for a moment, see how it feels to ‘Get your Rich On.

I’d love to hear how you get your rich on.
Leave a comment below or drop me a line at DawnKotzer-coaching for this business called life.

“The Declaration of You, published North Light Craft Books and available now, gives readers all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s Blog Lovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 200 other creative bloggers. Learn more – and join us! – by clicking here.”

Success. Measure or Treasure?


Curious beast, this thing called SuCCesS~
with its shapeshifting, sometimes elusive,
radically individualistic tendencies to show up late for some,
early for others and in the case of the truly committed curmudgeon of negativity?
and who knows how long it will hang around?
Tricky to attract. Tricky to Track.
Or is it?
Did you know that ALL success is equal?
[Tell me your child’s First Step, Word, Art
doesn’t FEEL as important to you as Man landing on the moon? ] Success is subjective, a sense of personal fulfillment that shows up in our work, our home, our creativity, our play.
A culture or group of people can embrace a singular success as ‘One for The People’ only when enough individuals feel a connection to the accomplishment.

Dawnkotzer measuring what you treasureThis brings me to my Photo:
Wondering how they could possibly relate to SuCCess?

They represent a slice of how I ‘Measure what I Treasure’.
They Remind me what Success feels like in my life.

The Steps?
I work with people around the globe from my home in the almost wilderness, perched between a lake and the Boreal Forest.
Last week we moved in some seriously huge loads of landfill to shore up retaining walls around our house.
My wellworn footpath leading down to the lake was buried in the process.
One evening, feeling the vibes of a rich summer sunset on my face and in need of a worthy form of procrastination…{quarterly tax return was now due-who wanted to do that?}…I decided to exercise my creativity by cutting a new set of stairs into the hardpacked earth.
True, I’d never done this before but that meant nothing.
I had the will, the tools, the desire, the time and the freedom to choose how to spend my evening. ~Success.
{What fun! I measured, cut, pounded and pondered, levelled and filled and shovelled to my heart’s content.
The only restriction was the soft darkness that eventually called ‘lights out.’}

The Shoes?
These are my Fav! dancing shoes.
Life has thrown a few curve balls my way these past few years and I haven’t gone dancing in a long time.
No matter.
These shoes Remind me of how much I LOVE to dance; of good times I’ve had while feeling the groove
and are a space holder for a future filled with as much dancing as I desire. ~Success.

The Dirt?
Its smell, texture, touch, colour and mineral rich nourishment are proof positive that I have chosen to live in an
environment that brings out the best in me…
and when I’m at my best, the world is rich with wisdom and wonder and curiosity. ~Success.

The Bangles?
These bangles display the loving presence of my mother, enriching my life with her memory and the knowing field of my past, the brilliance and wisdom of those who have coloured my life. They Remind me that I am a CreaTive, Zestful, PoWerful woman who GETS To choose how I Show UP in my own life, no matter the circumstances. ~Success.

Through the years, I’ve enjoyed achieving Success in my career, my art, my relationships, my life;
however, the most sustaining, memorable, life affirming Success effortlessly connects to the best of me…and fuels my creative, curious, dance loving spirit…

In what small way can you give yourself Permission to Measure what your Treasure?
To align your sense of SuCCESS with what you Treasure according to your desire, your groove, your innovative and creative soul?

I’d love to hear your take on this post~please feel free to post comments and questions about success.
I’m just an email away.
Living and working in my almost wilderness…Coaching for this business called L.I.F.E.
Dawn Kotzer

Facebook Party on Friday. see details below.

Join the Discussion.
Join the Discussion.

“I can’t wait to be a part of The Declaration of You’s Facebook party this Friday at 9:30-10a PST/11:30a-12p CST/12:30-1p EST. We’ll be chatting in real time about TOPIC over at facebook.com/TheDeclarationOfYou. Hope you can join us!”

What isn’t Missing?

Snow on the Horizon

Go ahead. Take another look.
Nope-nothing wrong with your screen…or your eyes.
You have a clear view of all that is there.

The title begs the question “what ISN’T missing?
Aren’t you just dying to say”Everything’s Missing!
There’s nothing there but snow.”

You are looking at a wide open, naked landscape.
Unapologetic, courageously, audaciously present.
Grounded, unassuming, patiently waiting naked.

Ready and willing to embrace the lonely prairie nights,
the howling, frigid north wind,
the blinding strikes of ice crystal racing across this frozen desert.
Ready, willing, able.

Did you come up with an answer yet?
“What ISN’T missing?

Let me give you some clues.
Cheerfully naked and contentedly waiting,
this landscape GETS TO dream
under the full moon of winter
where even the smallest snowflake shines like a diamond in the night.

This landscape GETS TO claim
a front row seat during the main event,
the dance of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights.

With a cool detached eye,
this landscape GETS TO watch
rainbow hues,unaware of color wheels and fashion forecasts,
chase each other with abandon across the night sky.

Naked and loving it,
this landscape GETS TO rest
and warm in spring sunshine yellow while
flocks of migrating birds trumpet the changes on the wind.

What ISN’T missing?
When we give ourselves Permission to see from the perspective
of NO Thing Missing,
the possibilities are endless.

What do you think?

When I’m not snow-dreaming, shoveling snow or gazing at the horizon, pondering ‘what ISN’T missing?’
you can find me doing my thing, guiding others into their own open landscape,
a place of possibility and full of goodness.

Who am I ? I’m Dawn Kotzer:
Founder of the Your Open Landscape. Inner Wilderness Guide. Artist. Entrepreneur.
Master Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach,  Student of Life.
I’ve spent time getting lost and finding freedom within my own Inner Wilderness…

Do you find your Inner Wilderness cluttered, overgrown, rank and disorderly?
Get In Touch...I know a good guide who will show you safely home.

For all the Me’s I’ve Loved Before

loving me ain't always easy
art by dawn kotzer

it’s Valentine’s Day
a day of love and grace; big smiles, big hearts, big wishes, big sex, big hopes…
We send mushy cards, fragrant flowers, yummy chocolates, romantic music and sweet invitations; sweety-heart wishes to friends, family and lovers.
Then it occurred to me:
What do we wish for ourselves today?
What Happy Valentine’s Day message do we send our Self?

Into my head popped a vision of  Willie Nelson…slightly out of key, braids shiny and long framing a wry smile on his wizened face, as he tumbled out a mixed up version of his song…

“for all the Me’s I’ve loved before
for letting me walk out that door
into a world that’s vast and new
and foreign to
the good old ME I loved and thought I knew.”

I must have ate something tainted at lunch…
I didn’t even know I knew any Willie Nelson songs…what was he doing showing up as delivery man in my head? I watched with amazement as a collection of Me-through-the-ages walked across my mind’s center stage.

First, an uncertain Cinderella in Grade 3  halloween attire, no princess gear but rather in servant girl attire, complete with coal dust on face and hands. Oooo, I still remember how itchy that burlap sack smock was…I might have been creative but man, was I uncomfortable.

Scraping chairlegs and total silence came next…I saw my ME-teenager standing on top of a desk in school so I could stare the bully of the classroom eyeball to eyeball while he touched the blade of a penknife to my throat. It wasn’t as dangerous as it sounds…He rode our bus to and from school. I knew where he lived. Still don’t know how I managed not to cry…I was usually such a wimp.

Then it was the summer I wore hotpants to the small town reunion…Hotpink polyester with bright violet trim…and white sandals. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this vision…I must have really loved that ME alot to go out in public.

Ahh, a too young blushing ME-bride, sick at heart knowing I was pulling myself in too many directions at once to truly understand if this was a good decision…too late…I Do was already I DID. Yes, I remember that ME…in love with Love.

Then  ME as a young mother, scared to death for my tiny, fevered newborn who had just hurled vomit all over my chest …how sick is too sick? how hot is too hot? Now I can feel the patience and calm, the love within the fear.

The click of high heels followed as a brash, stylish ME strode into my headspace…ready to take on the world of business and design. Oh, yes, I loved that ME so full of ideas and action…and BS. She exhausted me.

Army fatigues, backpacks, freighter canoes; not a high heel in sight…looks like this Me is going camping…no, this ME is going on a 500 mile wilderness canoe trip. I was scared but game for anything. I was a lot of fun. I fell in love with the Me-in-the wilderness.

The ME’s are coming fast and furious, one after the other. At times I barely recognize myself. It seems impossible to believe that I have had so many different relationships with myself. Even Willie is impressed.

Finally, I see ME in the NOW, writing, pondering, taking care of the day as it presents itself.
Some days are filled with Joy and Sweet Tidings. Some days bring flowers and music. Some days are filled with family and friends. Some days are harder than others. Some days I have to dig a little deeper to find the Me I Love…but now, I expect it to get a little easier.

Willie Nelson reminded me of all the ME’s I’ve loved before.
That’s my Valentines’ Day message to Self.
Thanks Willie.

I invite you to come up with your own version of ‘All the Me’s I’ve Loved Before’
Take a moment and see who walks through your door. Can you still feel the love?

Hi. I’m Dawn Kotzer.  Coach, Artist, Wilderness Lover.
When I’m not conjuring up Willie Nelson, I work from my home in the Canadian almost Wilderness to help others fall in love with themselves once again. If you think it’s time to show your own True Self a little love, get in touch.

What Color is Snow?

What color is Snow?

Bet you thought snow was white, huh?

Take a look at this photo again…barely a speck of white in sight.

Ask the Kid in you what color snow is? Go ahead, ask her.

My little kid says “Sparkly.” “Shiny.” “It’s the color of glitter. I see glitter!”

Another part of my kid says “cold…snow is the color of cold.”

I toss over a cuddly, warm blanket.

From out of nowhere a chorus of voices starts to chime….”Blue. Silver. Pink! ”

“Yellow.” I hear a little snicker.

“Ah, good to see you joined in the fun, Smarty Pants! I thought I left you behind in grade 3.”

“Soft. Quiet. It’s the color of singing Silent Night.”

I turn inward to take a closer look. Which part of me said this?

Of-course…there she is…the same Me who liked to sit in the shade of a poplar tree on a hot summer’s day…

~happy to be drawing and coloring and cool.

From a little farther away, I hear a shout…”Swish!….it’s the color of Snow Angels.”

“The color of Jack Frost.” another voice chimes in. “The color of sledding to the bottom of the hill!”

“Snow is the color of snowballs, of-course.”

I begin to wonder just how many kids I have at play inside my head…

How is it they see the color of snow so differently?

How is it they are OK with that? {What do I feed all these kids?}

This Christmas season, when there are so many ideas about how we ‘should’ do this and ‘must’ do that,

invite the Kid in you to chime in…open up the conversation to include all the voices of Possibility.

After all, the beauty of Christmas, {just like the color of snow} is in the eye of the Beholder.

Merry Snow-Color to all…and to all a good night.

When I’m not romping around the Playground in my mind, I GET TO help others reconnect with mind, body, spirit. If you’d like to learn how to Show Up~Be Real and Find Freedom…give me a shout. Dawn Kotzer – Certified KaizenMuse Creativity Master Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, Curiosity & Soul Detective.  I’ll be the one sitting in the shade.

You Sick?

muse song

Dear Friend,

I heard you were icky sick…

I’m sending over a few friends to help take care of you.

Really, they won’t be any trouble at all. They’re very good at taking care of we mere mortals ~ especially during cold and flu season.

What will they do for you?

Muse Song will bring your favorite lemondrop sweets.
Remember how you so loved them as a kid?

I don’t know how, but Aha-prodite unearthed your treasured Vintage ‘I Spy’ Collection. Wish I could see your reaction but, ah ~I don’t want to catch your cold. You know how I am around germs.

Let’s see~
Lull will place a cooling, calming lavender sachet across your forehead. ahhhh.

Marge will bring her famous homemade chicken soup. Yes, you can sip it from a mug.

I know Bea Silly made you a friendship braid from threads of her favorite scarf.
When your head stops pounding and you can open your eyes, you’ll really enjoy all the happy dancing colors.

Albert will want you to test out his newest sinus clearing invention…Humor him, will you?
Just ask him to give you a demonstration. Spills will volunteer.

Don’t worry about Audacity. { She’ll be the one wearing RED }
She swears that her ‘Born to Be Me’ beachtowel is the Absolute ticket.
No, you won’t have to follow her in for a Polar Bear Swim…
Besides, the towel makes a terrific picnic cloth.
You’ll need it if Spills was in charge of icing the cupcakes she made just for you. That Muse has turned Imperfection into an Art.

Shadow usually brings ‘Cold Survival’~a better read than it sounds.
an “in.your.own.cupboards. Cold & Flu remedy book.
Perfect for those who are afraid to go out to the pharmacy.”

Well, I better wrap this up.
The Bodyguard is telling me to stop wearing you out with my ramblings.
Oh no…you won’t need the Bodyguard. He isn’t for you.
He’s around to safekeep your creative dreams…
to help you keep them alive and well.

I can’t say exactly what time they’ll pop around…they always to have perfect timing;
well except for Spills.

I know it feels like a house full.
Nine Modern Day Muses and a Bodyguard
sounds like a bit of a crowd.
Trust me.
Once you meet them, you’ll wonder why they didn’t come over before.

Sending you love and best wishes for a speedy recovery

ps Don’t worry getting the door…they know how to let themselves in.

pps If you’re curious to know more about the Muses, check out their book.

What are you waiting for?Earth Shattering Big Time Happy?

?........................What are you waiting for?

WooHoo! The bluebirds are back!


What the heck do birds have to do with big time happy?

Let me fill you in.

BACKSTORY-I’ve been putting off writing a blog post for weeks.

Why?…I’d convinced myself that whatever I posted had to be of EARTH-SHATTERING interest; so full of ‘Ah-Ha’ moments that you could barely catch your breath.

Well, guess what?

I couldn’t even dig up an ounce of Earth Shattering. Worse yet, I’d managed to back my post into a dark, silent, glum corner…you know…that corner where only daDismal hangs out. That’s where my engine stalled. Day after day…full of sh*! stalled.

ENOUGH! Dawnie, let it go already. So I did.

NEW STORY– I decided to rev up a new engine, this one parked in a different corner of my world.

Out came the little BMW convertible. It was time to go for a drive…top down, I hit the road.

Pulling on a toque, I headed south into town. (May can still be a tad chilly around here). It didn’t take long before a good dose of brisk spring air had thoroughly rinsed out my brain.

Home again, I went straight to my office, sat down and started writing about the first thing that came into my now fresh-air-experienced mind.

Finally, out of the daDismal corner and into the light. Woohoo! indeed.

Here it is…my earth-shattering, man-this-feels-big time happy story.


Early in the spring, I’d spotted a nestbox that had fallen off its fencepost into the ditch along the highway.

(Years ago someone put up bluebird nestboxes—that’s why these birds always come back here—they’re coming home.)

I pulled onto the gravel shoulder, rummaged around in the back of the SUV for something to use as a hammer (small shovel would do) and a length of heavy old wire…I was good to go.

After plonking and adjusting, twisting and shovel-hammering, the nest box was back up, wired onto the post, a little off kilter but secure.

Then I waited. Day after day I watched. I waited some more.

Suddenly, they showed up.

Driving by, I notice mercurial streaks of color first.

“What was that?”


“There! No There! Over there—Yes, there!”

It’s the most amazing thing. A streak of high octane blue illuminates an already clear blue spring sky.

I spy a nimble little beauty flicking sparks of this high octane blue as his calling card…one deliciously bright he-man bluebird has arrived.

Each day, I slowly drive past the row of nestboxes.  Hoping to catch the male sitting still, taking a break from his primping and preening in between scooping up insects from the grassy field, my patience is rewarded.  Better yet, his mate sits close by. I’m thrilled. Elated. Calmed. They’re back.

Today there are 2 pair of bluebirds nesting along the highway…fencepost neighbours, so to speak. They dart and spark the sky.

I swear I inhale happiness at the sight of them.

Sometimes I wish they were around all year long, streaks of cheer to watch in the dead cold of winter. How selfish is that? Nope, my life is richer, more exciting when I allow room for the anticipation of their return each and every spring.

Is today the day? Maybe tomorrow? Any box need fixing before they get here? I can do that.


My bluebirds of happiness may be small potatoes in the scheme of things…hardly Earth Shattering, until I realize that this infusion of Blue Joy is oozing from my inside out.  It spills out of me, onto and into everything around. Ho-hum normal is effortlessly blasted into a moment of Happy—big time happy.

A single bluebird sighting binds me to the Ah-Ha. I catch my breath. Time stops. I am NOW.

He-man Bluebird-Big Time Happy at Home.

Tell me that isn’t Earth Shattering, even for a moment? When did you last stop time?

I’d love to hear about your ‘bluebird of happiness? Really.

Add your voice to mine.

Post a comment.

Share your story.

What’s your big time happy?

What are you waiting for?

Wanna Live More? Laugh More? Love More? When I’m not watching bluebirds or shovel-hammering nestboxes, I like to help others get real and find freedom…the kind that comes from being connected to central self.

Check out my site and blog at dawnkotzer.com. Certified Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, Artist, Student of Curiosities.

P.S. Want to check out the goods on KMCC? Start Here…ya, right here.

Magic for Seth Godin

Shadow Magic for Seth

Dear Seth

Today I read your post, an end of Magic.

Oh, I get what you’re saying.

I expect you’re more than half right.

But Seth, I gotta tell you, it made me a tad sad…

not for me,

for you.

So I’m sending you a little something.

A gift.

A sigh.

A slight of hand.

A whisper of suprise.

A touch of the sublime.

A little light magic.

Care to guess what this is?

What do you think you’re looking at?

Take a good look at the photo.

Pause. Ponder.

Sure, you could zoom in, enlarge, unpack, auto adjust; use all manner of tech to reveal the answer.

but where’s the magic in that?

Well, gotta fly…literally.

This Canadian is shipping.

Sincerely. A friend.


Yes., dear reader. I realize there’s a really good chance that Seth Godin will never get to see this.

I totally get that.

Too bad.

This picture is magic. It does it for me.

How about you? Like it?

What do you think it is?


If you’re reading this and you actually know Seth, tell him someone sent him a gift.

He can pick it up here.

When I’m not be a smarty pants, I like to help others get real and find freedom.

Check out my site and blog at dawnkotzer.com. Certified Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach, Martha Beck Certified Life Coach, Artist, Student of Curiosities.

No Snakes in Sight.

No Snakes in Sight.

Living on a prairie farm, we kids had to make our own fun.

The entire day, at least the good parts of it, between weeding the garden and doing dishes, became one big open plain of adventure for the 5 of us.

We often went our separate ways…the boys to the barn, the sheds, the shop, the creek where no fish were ever found…tadpoles, maybe. Fish? Never.

Sometime Duff would head out to her fort, sometimes to her blanket with bottle of baby oil, bikini and blazing sun.

…Noni spent time with her babies and books.

I found the old tire swing or a tree with deep shade to settle in for some daydreaming or craft time.

But sometimes, if the adventure was promising enough, we’d team up.

Like today.

Standing on the rails of the front yard fence like 5 chickadees on a power line, (or cormorants on a log) we gather together and watch the commotion in the lane.

Hm. Car driving in…

Then comes another car…and another.

From our perch we wave to the neighbour ladies as they get out of their parked cars wearing bright smiles, bright clothes; stepping lightly towards the house.

Hm. Mom’s having a tea party.

Like I said sometimes we team up.

It must’ve been the boys’ idea.

Even so, outside in the hot summer sun, perched on the rail fence, eager for high adventure, we all agreed the plan they hatched was a good one.

As the resident goody-two-shoes, I was most likely to get any supplies asked for. I was sent in.

“Mom, do you have a basket and towel I could use? I want to collect some stuff.”

She told me where to find what I needed.

With a polite ‘thank you’ I grabbed the goods and ran.

Around the house, past the west veranda, through the caragana hedge, down the path, I ran to find the Team.

Behind our 2 storey farm house, hidden way back in the bush was an intact out-house…a well used, fully stocked, clean two-seater.

A few yards east of the out-house was a hollow in the ground. This hollow, filled with rocks, dirt and lime, overgrown with wild grasses, marked the spot where the original out-house had stood some 35 years earlier.

This hollow is what the garter snakes called ‘Home’.

‘Home’ is where I found the Team.

Unparalleled garter snake wranglers, the boys had already cornered the prey.

Efficiently, they gathered up the cool bodylines and wrapped them in the towel lining the basket. A small flat rock with a few wild flowers was laid on top, making sure it was obvious that the ‘gift’ was hidden in the towel below.

One brother holding the basket, the other brother restraining the gift, girls in tow—Team Kotzer made its way back around the house to the front door, through the porch, right up to Mom sitting on her chair at the kitchen table with all her friends.

The boys pass her the basket.


I still remember her smile…you know the one. The smile that declares to the world…”See how amazing, sweet, kind, wonderful my kids are?”

We smile so broadly, you’d think our teeth would pop.

Mom picks up the wild flowers. She lifts out the rock…we always bring her wild flowers, we like collecting rocks. Nothing strange there.

She opens the towel.


I’ve never seen a room clear so fast.

Chairs crash over.

Tea cups clatter and spill.

Arms and feet charge out of the kitchen, bodies bump through the archway to the living room…feet pound up the stairs. Bedroom doors slam above our heads.

Did I mention women panic, their throats open and screeeeeaaaaammmm?

The kitchen falls quiet and still.

Then, like an engine suddenly blasting to life, Mom yells her way back into earshot, making our position quite clear.

It’s not good.

We scramble on the floor, snatching up the snakes…(good thing we counted them so we’ll know when they’re all retrieved) and remove them from the house.

We come back inside, not a snake in sight.

Trying to quell the laughter in our bellies, we almost-solemnly line up in front of the kitchen sink to receive a chorus of tongue-lashings from hell, delivered woman by woman, all of whom apparently hate snakes.

Who knew?

Ya, we could have guessed, but man, was that fun.

Like I said…

It was a typical summer day for the 5 of us.

Living on a prairie farm, we kids had to make our own fun….

Hope you get to make some of your own fun, day after day…now go and hug a mother.


Leave the snakes outside.

World View: location, location location

Locating your world view works like this…

“From where I see it this is  ________________.”

(Go ahead, pick a topic and fill in the blank.)

“oh, ya? I don’t see it that way at all.”

No two beings can ever see anything exactly the same.

Their views might be similar, but exact? Not likely.

It comes down to world view…not the view of the world at large.

Your world view.

Even when looking at the same road sign, birch tree, dogwalker or northern lake…the lens we each use is slightly different if not galaxies apart.

Your life experience has trained you to expect, anticipate, welcome or reject certain things. We have developed Assessment Habits. We label, judge and determine through our experience to date…what we’ve seen, heard, done, felt, tasted, etc.

What if seeing is not believing?

What if Believing is Seeing?

If I believe today will be a trainwreck just waiting to happen, my lens will likely lock on the wreckage and chaos around me. Trainwrecks create chaos. Chaos creates misery.

  • Chaos = Misery.

If I believe that nothing good will come out of chaos, I’ll be itching to switch locations. It’s likely that I’ll believe the grass is way greener on the other side of the lake.

However, if I believe that sifting through wreckage and chaos will reveal treasure…well, let’s just say unless you are aligned with my adventurous, yet dogged free spirit, you’ll be mighty sick of me and my ‘treasure’ by the end of the day.

  • Chaos = Treasure.

‘Change location? Hell no. I landed here for a reason. I’m not leaving until I’ve looked through this. You know, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.’

Each view could be a tad problematic…one relying too heavily on immediate gratification, the other missing the fact that the day has disappeared into diminishing returns.

For instance-

I ‘got to’ check my world view one summer’s day when I woke up to find another tree felled in my yard.

The beavers had been busy the night before, felling a poplar tree onto our west lawn. Their loud, constant chewing had kept me awake a good part of the night.

I’m not normally a morning person…strong coffee and an even stronger desire to jump start my day must be close, really close at hand for me to be the early bird. Even so, to capture the image above, I found myself ‘motivated’ enough to jump up, dress, grab my gear and head out across the yard to the lake’s edge.

The next thing I knew, I was laying on the dew-soaked ground, squinting, adjusting the camera lens while squirming this way and that to frame the lake within the ‘V’ of the tree trunk.

Not so many years ago, you would have been hard pressed to drag me out to do this. Putting up with me- cold, damp, tired, grumpy and damned frustrated with beavers and their voracious appetite for my trees- wouldn’t have been worth your effort. Talk about diminishing returns.

That was before I figured out how to adjust my world view…open my perspective, try out a few new Assessment Habits.

This was a new dawn. Sure, I was damp, cold…and absolutely invigorated. Who knew that this is what the world looked like through Betty Beaver’s eyes? I was having a blast.

The crisp morning air pinched my senses awake as a bittersweet smell of freshly hewn wood filled my nostrils. The lake, a giant, rough blue blanket laid out for a mammoth picnic between the rolling hills, saturated my view. Dewdrops shimmered like diamonds on each blade of grass. I couldn’t believe my good fortune.

What does this story have to do with my role as creativity and life coach?


Trust me.

If I can rise up with the dawn, crawl on my belly through cold, soaking wet grass, and without the aid of strong coffee, jumpstart my day into appreciation for a the world view through the lens of Betty Beaver eyes…Wow. This coaching stuff works.

Want to know more?

Stay tuned.

My next post will deliver tips and techniques used to create a new world view, regardless of your location.

In the meantime, check out my site for more information on Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching and Martha Beck Life Coach insights.

PS– Interested in working with me? Contact me for a complimentary short coaching session. Go ahead and share my posts with others. If you use excerpts of my posts in your stuff… be a good human and include a live link to my site with the following information. Thanks.

“Want to Laugh More, Love More, Live more? Curious about how your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning and the Success Experience connect naturally? Find out at dawnkotzer.com. Dawn is a Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engaging Life from her Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada.”


Earth Day…old school stylin’.

I enjoy listening to Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Radio One.

April 20-21 shows revealed a curious take on the ‘latest technology’ being snapped up by a small group of 21st century communication experts…aka YOUTH.
Attributes of this product include-
No viruses…ever.
No updates…ever.
It prints at the exact same time you use the keyboard.
It’s earth friendly…uses no electricity.

Know what it is?
Clue: Most Zoomers and Boomers can use it immediately. No learning curve involved.

That’s right, you guessed it…the latest hassle free tech discovery, perfectly matched to Earth Day philosophy is…drumroll, please…the Manual Typewriter.

True, it’s a still a small movement. But just imagine–once the masses unite, it’s anyone’s guess how loud the clatter will become.

(Who knows of a good supplier for bamboo paper?)

There’s an added bonus
Income Archeology for those who like to tinker.

Sourcing typewriters, selling typewriter, changing ribbons, (sourcing ribbons), fixing keys, (sourcing parts), oiling moving parts and type mechanism.

So tell me-

on this earth day

how will you choose?

…to be happy,

…to upcycle,

…to touch the earth.

choose the Red Chair for the long view

See the Red Chair?

The choices we get to make each day are a little like the red chair. Seemingly insignificant compared to the long view but once you know where to look, kind of hard to miss.

Of-course, first we have to understand that we do get to choose.

As a life and creativity coach, I help people find a way to live life, their way, by tapping into their creative source. That’s easy when you feel engaged, plugged into something that revs your spirit…not so easy if you find yourself bogged down, putting in time, pushing through the motions in a state of being you barely recognize as your own.

A lot of people feel they have no choice at all…nada. Someone else is in charge, in control.  They feel that all they can do is hop around,  jerked this way or that by the person who’s holding the strings.

Many times someone else is in charge…on the outside. The real issue is who’s in charge on the inside?


What if we live life from the inside-out, not the outside-in?

What if life were like a movie production…written, directed, produced and promoted by the part of our self that is the most compelling on any given day?

Try this.

Picture yourself sitting in the red chair on the edge of a northern lake; blue sky, warm summer breeze, fish jumping, eagles and pelicans soaring silently overhead…tranquil, peaceful. No phone, no cell, no laptop, no hassle, no hurry.

In this moment of serenity, what thoughts come up?

Do your thoughts embrace the natural balance of your surroundings? Do you move into a state of appreciation and embrace the cosmic events that have led you here?

Do your thoughts highlight the isolation of this place?

Do you move into a state of stress; apprehension and anxiety about this unknown landscape?

What choices come up to keep those thoughts company?

What if there were only two?

  • Respond
  • React

Respond…feel the embrace, the appreciation.
React…feel the stress and apprehension.

  • Respond. Through observation and awareness, this choice opens you up to step closer to the place of possibility for your greater good, your creative source.
  • React. Your body rewards this unhealthy nervousness by producing stress and limiting the possibility for your greater good.

Remember the movie production? Written, directed, produced and promoted by the part of our self that is the most compelling on any given day?

Which choice, Respond or React, would most effortlessly honour your true self, the place where creative source is found?

I know what you’re thinking.

Lady, life isn’t a cakewalk down to the nearest lake where a perfectly placed plush red chair awaits you…

(Do you know how tricky it was for me to drag that chair from the my living room down to the water’s edge? Tricky. Real tricky. Keeping one eye open for slippery rocks, the other eye obscured by the chair balancing on my shoulder, it was all I could do to sidestep my cat who had decided to play footsy with me the whole way down. Yeesh. I’m clumsy at the best of times…chair wielding, rock clambering, cat dancing activities are not my strong suit.)

Even so, getting the chair down to the lake is no comparison to slogging through a tough day.  I know life is not always a peaceful, easy stroll to the water’s edge.

What does get easy, with a little practice is choosing to Respond rather than React…choosing to allow room for your greater good, for a chance to plug into your creative source.

When can you start?

  • Start now.

How can you start?

  • Start small.

Where can you start?

  • Start with the easy things.

When someone asks you which restaurant you prefer, which author you like best, which movie you want to go to, if you want to go out or stay home and work on your stuff…

Choose to Respond.

Answer them honestly.  Answer yourself honestly.

Visualize sitting in the Red Chair on the water’s edge, taking in the long view.

Take a breath.

Appreciate the question.

Embrace the long view.

Answer from the inside out.

If it makes you nervous to answer out loud, to give your honest opinion, that’s okay. Answer silently.

Perhaps it’s not yet time to say it out loud.

The simple act of knowing you have a choice, understanding you can either Respond or React is enough for now.

Practice appreciating this new found understanding.

Practice tapping into that place of possibility for your greater good, your creative source one small step at a time.

Then someday, in a voice you know as your own, you will calmly, quietly Respond from the inside out.

Want to Laugh More, Love More, Live more? Curious about how your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning and the Success Experience connect naturally? Find out at dawnkotzer.com. I’m a Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engaging life from my Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada.

PS– If you think you’d like to work with me, please get in touch for a free introductory session. I’d be honoured if you want to share any of my posts with others. Please be kind and include a link to my site. Thanks for doing that.

Looking for a Little Detachment?

detachment by dawn kotzer

Years ago, during a time of personal chaos and confusion I heard about this book by Deepak Chopra-

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success– A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams.

Three words sent me to the bookstore to buy this book…

Success, Guide, Fulfillment.

The fact that I didn’t have a clue what my dreams actually were didn’t put me off. This was a guide to fulfillment. Close Enough.

I remember reading the book, enjoying the book but one page in particular, Chapter 6-page 81, stayed with me.

More specifically, the Aha! of that moment imprinted upon my soul and stayed with me.

I’ve inscribed the quote on index cards and journals; plastered copies of it in my office, my studio, my fridge ( I can always use a little help in the kitchen).

I’ve shared it more times than I can remember.

Today, I’m sharing it with you.

The Law of Detachment

“In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty…

In the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past,

from the known,

which is the prison of past conditioning.

And in our willingness to step into the unknown,

the field of all possibilities

We surrender ourselves

to the creative mind

that orchestrates the dance of the universe.”

Go ahead. Take your time. Read it again if you like. I’ll wait.

Then consider what happened for me.

Accepting  that dance of uncertainty  carried me to the magic of not  knowing, of  not needing to know. Surrendering to the music of the creative mind~I give myself permission to discover and embrace my own guidance  towards  finding fulfillment, even if I have no specific dreams.

Take a peek at the book’s  overview. You may decide it’s worth your time and effort to read the book.

If you’d like to share this post, please pass it on. Your comments on this or other posts are welcome.

Feel free to get in touch with me.

Now go dance.

How does your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning, Success Experience and Lizard Brain connect naturally? Find out at dawnkotzer.com. I’m a Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Certified Martha Beck Life Coach, artist and student of life thriving in Saskatchewan.

Clearing the Path of Perfection.

The path has vanished…again.

I can’t  believe my eyes. How can this be? It was a path of perfection yesterday…tidy, clear, level.

True, it stormed last night but man, not even a hint of my studio path remains.

I groan. More shoveling. Looks like I’m in for quite a work out.

That’s the upside.

Bundled up in layers of winter clothing- trudging, struggling, sinking through 3′ snowdrifts just to get to the shovel, frustration overtakes me as I recognize the downside.

Whoa! As soon as frustration meets ‘downside’ Lizard Brain jumps on the bandwagon chiming in with a resounding  ‘Shoulding’ refrain.

“I should have shoveled a wider path.”

“I should have put up a snow fence.”

” I should be better at this by now.”

“I should have parked the snowblower where snowdrifts CAN’T bury it.”

“I should have known about the snowstorm.”

Does this refrain sound familiar?

Does all this ‘Shoulding’ make you feel just a tad paralyzed by perfection or the need to get it right?

This need, aka Perfection Paralysis, is high octane fuel for the Lizard Brain. Give her an inch of frustration and she’ll turn it into a mile of misery.

If you let her, she’ll lodge that ‘Shoulding’ refrain in your head for days, weeks, months, even years at a time. Worse yet, the bigger your need to be perfect, the louder and stronger her voice.

Built into to our physiology to protect us from danger, to ensure our survival, you can appreciate that the ancient Lizard Brain is committed to you 100%.  The  faintest glimpse of the enemy, the slightest sound of fear and she’s got your back, using any tool she can lay her hands on. She takes her job very, very seriously.

It’s just that these days she’s a little confused about the enemy.

It sure seemed like she heard alarm bells…isn’t that what all the muttering and moaning was about?

She’s also learned how to read my thoughts…

Obviously if I had set things up perfectly to start with, it would be easier now.  I’ve been shoveling snow for years. When am I going to Get-it-Right?”

No. I can’t blame Lizard Brain. She’s just trying to do her job.

As far as she knew, reading my reaction; irritation, frustration, unhappiness, anxiety over shoveling through 3 feet of snow-AGAIN…I was obviously in great peril.



Ahhh, poor little Lizard Brain.

I pat her on the head, thank her for her vigilance and settle her down for a nap on a nearby sunlit snowbank.

Over time, I’ve learned to pay attention to the whisperings of my Lizard Brain, to let go of my need  for perfection and develop new habits to bring Peace to the moment.

Here’s what works for me:

  • Lean Back and Sigh~ Gain a little perspective by claiming some breathing space. In this case, I lean on the shovel. Practice Awareness, 10 seconds at a time. Take in the beauty of the pure white snow. Pay attention as my moist breath floats like a cloud into the morning sunlight.
  • Hang out with the Nine Modern Day Muses~ I choose Spills and Bea Silly. Both are into the Joy of DOING, not just the Joy of Done. For those stalled by the ‘Paralysis of Perfectionism’, Spills uses the power of Close Enough. She rewards me for having patience with the process of practice. Bea Silly uses Kidstuff ™ as a way to infuse an attitude of Play into everyday life. Any way to lighten up and have a little fun here? (Sure! I go back into the house and slap on my favorite trapper style Canada hat.)
  • Three Breaths ~ Take 3 even, regular breaths. Pay attention to your body as you breathe in and out. I know, you hear this all the time. Why? Because it works. Attention to your breath is the simplest, smallest step you can take to still inner stress.

So there you have it. Snow, glistening white in the morning sun; Lizard Brain content to dream away the moment in the warm sunshine and me…Trapper style Canada hat on head,shovel in hand, clearing a path for imperfection as I embrace my own process of practice and play.

1-2-3 shovel-breathe. 1-2-3-shovel-breathe. 1-2-3-shovel-breathe-lean back and sigh.

Want to Laugh More, Love More, Live more? Curious about how your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning and the Success Experience connect naturally? Find out at dawnkotzer.com. Dawn Kotzer,  Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engages Life from her Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Curiosity killed the Cat. Really?

Who said curiosity will kill the cat?

In my virtual world, I hang with a herd of cool cats who pad softly into The Muse is In Writing Club. Twice a week, prompts (divined by the Big Cat herself, Jill Badonsky) come to my INBOX.  I never know what the prompt will be but I’m always curious to find out.

Last Week’s Prompt-#115: Feel or imagine curiosity in body, mind and spirit and then see what you are inspired to write.

“Feel Curiosity in the Body…”

I roll the prompt over in my mind as if trying to feel its’ texture with my fingertips.

Rolling them back and forth, my mind feels the words as if to find the edge of another side. Suddenly, the voice inside my head breathes out.

“Body the IN-Curiosity Feel…ahhh, I like it.”

With that, my mind takes off like a cat springing into action, giving chase to a tiny mouse darting for cover between the rocks on shore.

Letters jump from rock to rock, rearranging themselves into words and phrases quickly; the curious cat leaps to keep up.

“The Feel-In-Body-Curiosity”

“Curiosity IN-THE-FEEL Body”

“Body Curiosity in the Feel”

“Feelin’ the curiosity body”


“Bodyfeel in the Curiosity”

C’mon, that last one was just plain silly.

Yup. That’s the point.

Just for a moment longer I push past the staid into the silly. Worry about how it sounds or if it makes sense falls away in the moment.

‘How does curiosity feel?”

By now I’m really getting into this. The virtual crowd inside my head goes wild. (Apparently I’m not alone in there.) A scene unfolds before me.

Leftbrain BestBet Beulah, running out of steam, is fading, fading…she stumbles. The torch is scooped out of her hand by RightbrainWhat-if Wendy.


The torch falls onto the ground. What-if Wendy scrambles as she tries to recover it.

Too late.

Letters tumble against each other one last time.

The crowd goes silent. Will this be the final phrase?

“Thy Bid- One. Feel CURIOSITY.”

Back to reality, I preview my response to Writing Prompt #115. Before staid might again overtake silly, I hit POST.

I wait. No tightness, no ‘rightness’ surfaces. I feel loose, fluid, happy that I let go in the moment and rode the wave of curiosity. Just as Oley, the rockstar discovered, it doesn’t really matter if the mouse gets away when the process of curiosity is fully activated. I’d say that’s a Win-Win.

So the next time you feel even a twinge of curiosity seep into your bones, breathe out, set worry aside; let your mind leap! into the process. Ride the wave of What-if? Give yourself permission to step out of staid and into silly one short moment at a time.

Here’s the thing. Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat…curiosity breathes life in to the cat.


p.s. Interested in these writing prompts? Don’t be shy. Check out The Muse is In Writing Club.

p.p.s. The mouse got away.

(If you like this post, please pass it on.)

Would you like to use any part of my posts  in your own materials? That’s possible but only if you use the following paragraph as credit, making sure my links are active. Thanks for being fair.

Want to Laugh More, Love More, Live more? Curious about how your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning and the Language of True Self (Soul) connect naturally? Check out my site. Dawn Kotzer, Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist, Speaker and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engages in life from her Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada. Get in touch here.

What Path? Sno.o.w Overwhelm

Snow Overwhelm

Howling winds, biting snow slanting across the yard…doesn’t look like I’m going anywhere today.

Think I’ll head  out to my little studio.

A perfect place to spend a cold wintry day, don’t you think?

I bundle up and step outside.

Oh, man.

3′ snowdrifts everywhere…someone’s going to have to shovel a lot of snow.

That would be moi`.


I clear away drifts by the door, the deck, the steps. I don’t even consider clearing the back walkway. An hour later I’m tired, hot and not even close to my studio.

It would be easy to give up; give in to feelings of overwhelm. My tired back joins my Lizard Brain in a whining refrain…”you’re  kidding, right?” Too tired to think, I lean on the shovel and take a break.

I ask.

“PLAY? PLAY? Not Work?” Lizard Brain is all ears.

My batteries are recharging already.

I tune into Kaizen-Muse™.

Developed by Jill Badonsky, the Kaizen-Muse ™ Creativity Coaching model combines these 2 aspects-

Kaizen: A Japanese word meaning “continuous improvement with small steps.”                                                                                                                                         Muse: A bearer of creative inspiration.

Backstory: Apparently, one fine day in a coffee shop,  as the story goes, Jill made the glorious discovery of her 9 Modern Day Muses and a Bodyguard. These ‘life’ companions come complete with Tools and help clear creative blocks, (overwhelm, procrastination, perfectionism, self-sabotage, fear of failure, success and comparison…you get the drift. Ahh- pardon the pun).

Years later, on yet another fine day- though not in a coffee shop, I met Jill, the 9 Muses, the Bodyguard and Kaizened right into the best of my life.

Every day, I use  KMCC™  for many things, creative or not…like clearing a path that is completely blocked by snow. (Now there’s a metaphor for life.)

Anxious to get at it, Lizard Brain is prodding me with my shovel, “c’mon, c’mon…let’s play.”

Game On! I choose a few KMCC™ Tools.

Break it Down.

Looks like I’ve already broken this big job down into sections… my path is the last area to shovel. Way to go. I’ll make it even simpler and break the path into 3 parts, no 5…Beginning, REST, Middle, REST, and End. Lizard Brain is lovin’ this.

Ask small questions.

Did I ask Small Questions? Oh ya…Can I use my favorite shovel to do this?

Lizard Brain’s raises an eyebrow and smugly says,”Dawnie, your favorite shovel is the small grain shovel…you know…the one you use for G.R.A.I.N., not snow.”

I am so.o.o tempted to throw a snowball at him.

Instead I just reply, ” So What? It’s my favorite shovel. I’ll use it anyways.”

Use the power of Small Steps and Creative Foreplay ™

Small Step: Pick up the shovel. Right.

It’s nice, light and the perfect size for me.  I feel the ease as it cuts effortlessly through the snow, revealing a little more of my studio path with each scoop.  With a quick toss snow crystals dance in the bright sunshine as they arc downward, settling into the growing snowbank. Even Lizard Brain is smiling…he likes the flash of shiny aluminum as I bring the shovel back around for the next small load of snow.

Creative Foreplay: Imagine that…

I imagine that every slice through the packed snow is like digging deep into the earth, soon to reveal glorious buried treasure.

Lo and behold, the next slice of snow does just that.

I see a sparkle… What’s this? A cavern, a snow tunnel that leads me to gold…light at the end of the snow tunnel.


By now, I’m at Part 4- REST.

Sure, my back’s a bit tired but in 10 minutes I’ll be done.  Lizard Brain gave up any resistance to the game when we discovered the  tunnel. Right now he’s sunbathing on top of the snowbank…I’m still tempted to throw a snowball at him- this time just for fun.

I finish clearing the path and decide to add one more Small Step to this game of Kaizen and the Muses…A Small Reward.

Heading back into the house, I make myself a steaming cup of freshly brewed tea. Pulling on a cozy sweater and toque, I slap on my sunglasses, grab one piece of chocolate for Lizard Brain and one piece of chocolate for me, head outside and step lightly down the studio path  and into my creativity.


Or as Jill Badonsky would say…Way Cool!

Want to Laugh More, Love More, Live more? Curious about how your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning and the Success Experience connect naturally? Find out  here. Dawn Kotzer, Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engages Life from her Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Made with Love

…this just in…

‘Paper Dolly Ring Around-a-Rosy Braves the Deep Snow’

Most days these dollies graces my fridge door.

For almost 4 years, no matter the age, guests stop, smile and reach out to touch a bead, a heart, a jiggly eye or the place where a jiggly eye once was. (see the guys on each end?)

Many wish they had a Paper Dolly Ring Around-a-Rosy of their own…really.

It’s not hard to make your own if you know the secret.


  • Tickle Trunk full of Neat Craft Stuff
  • Glue
  • LOVE
  • A Happy 4 year old kid
  • More Glue


  • Put the kid (or the kid in you) In Charge
  • Have Fun
  • Use Glue



No one asked the 4 year old who made this if she liked it, if she had fun, if she was happy with the result or what she would improve upon the next time. No one asked her if it was worth the effort.

No need to.

Just look at these dollies.

They radiate happiness.

They glow LOVE. (Notice the little pink love glow on the snow… see what I mean?)

The person who made this loved her life and loved herself.

So today, on this valentine’s day of loving and giving and ‘heart’-ing others, try this…

Between waking up and going to sleep, take a moment to show up for your Selfand for that moment, with love, put the Kid In You In Charge.


PS. If, by some chance you actually wanted to ask the kid any of those questions, call me. Let’s Talk.


Want to Laugh More, Love More, Live more? Curious about how your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning and the Success Experience connect naturally? Find out at dawnkotzer.com.

Dawn Kotzer,  Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engages Life from her Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Catch the Long Tail of a Thought

Tricky thing …this job of observing our thoughts.

They come and go at the speed of light, eluding our best efforts to spot them… to catch them in the act.

What’s a body to do?

Good question. In fact, that’s a great question.

Better yet, the question is the answer.


Let me repeat the question, ah, I mean the answer.

What’s a Body to do?

Truth is, the easiest way to catch a thought is by grabbing hold of it’s tail.

As a thought flies through our mind, we feel it’s ‘tail’ in our body.

We feel the thought in our body.

So in order to observe our thoughts,  start by practicing awareness.

Try this.

Think of something you really dislike. (Hm… diced chicken livers in turkey stuffing. Ugh.)

How does that feel in your body? (…Icky)

Now think of something you really like. (Ah… blowing giant bubbles on a sunny day.)

H0w does your body feel now? (Oh, ya. I feel light.)

Crappy thoughts usually make us feel crappy.

Loving thoughts usually make us feel loving.

Fearful thoughts usually make us feel afraid.

Then, with a little help from our brain we choose to act or react.

‘Act’ comes from a place of calm, confident alignment.

‘React’ comes from flight or fight…the Land of our Lizard Brain.

(You don’t want to know what I did with those chicken livers.)

Where the mind goes, the body follows.

See how this works?




  • .


Validation of opening thought ( I call this ‘Wallpapering your Corner’ but that’s another post.)

Just like the wind lifts and carries the kite in the photo above, thoughts carry ego/spirit/self, steering it into the stream of consciousness you focus on.

Whoa! Heads up. Watch out for the power lines.

Good recovery. Now you’ve got it.

When you pay attention to your body,  you can catch the long tail of thought.

Showing Up for your Self all starts with awareness.

Oh-oh. Wind’s up… gotta fly.


Future posts:

The Land of the Lizard Brain, Wallpapering Your Corner, How to Show UP for Yourself and What was I Thinking?

Curious about how your Inner Genius, Creativity, Pursuit of Meaning and the Success Experience connect naturally? Find out at dawnkotzer.com. Dawn Kotzer,  Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, Modern Muse Group Facilitator, Artist and Martha Beck Certified Life Coach engages Life from her Boreal Forest home in Saskatchewan, Canada. Want to Laugh More, Love More, Live more? Get in touch here.