Welcome to my new series #creativetothecore — meant to help you cultivate more creative joy in your life.

Let me know if you can relate to this post by commenting.

If you would like to share or respond, please use the social media tag #creativetothecore and/or link back to this post.

I’ve been wanting to start this series for while and now seems like a good time. So let’s begin.

What The Heck?

I was verbally attacked in a parking lot out of the blue the other day. A few minutes into the verbal assault, it hit me. Why am I sitting here taking this? I don’t have to, and I’m not going to.

So I got out of my car and I stood up for myself. I used my phone to capture photos of the vehicle and license plate and let the abusive driver know I was taking the evidence to the police. Because I stood up for myself, the man stopped dumping on me and high-tailed it out of there. There were a couple more attempts at intimidation but I wasn’t backing down because I was not willing to accept mistreatment as something I deserved.

I could feel a sense of personal power the moment I thought, No. I am not putting up with this. I don’t have to, and I’m not going to.

If I had just sat there and taken his verbal abuse, he would have won, and I would have felt ashamed afterwards for not standing up for myself. By confronting the abuser and reporting him to the authorities, I won. It was a personal victory, not one that was focused on a particular outcome.

In a million different ways from the time we are born, women are programmed to take abuse that is dished out on us by men. But we don’t have to take it. We all have personal power, and sometimes we get into a habit of not using it. But if you want to bring more creativity and joy into your life, you need to be able to say no to shamers with your words and your actions.

The world is full of shamers. Shamers set a trickle down effect into motion in which those who have been shamed in the past become shamers in the present and in the future.

You may have shamers in your family, at work, in your community, in your church, in your mom’s group—you may even have a shamer as the leader of your country.

A shamer is a person who makes it their mission to try to make others feel ashamed. To shame means to reproach, scold or disgrace another. Sometimes humiliation is involved in shaming. But whether overt or subtle, shaming always feels terrible for the person targeted.

You know you are being shamed if the scorn of another causes you to feel pain in your body—especially in your heart or gut areas. Our bodies are barometers and we can use them to help us steer through life in a constructive manner including how we interact with others.

You can learn to recognize shaming behavior for what it is—another person’s rejected pain coming at you because that person refuses to own it and heal it. And then, like Wonder Woman with her indestructible bracelets, you can learn to deflect shame, so you do not have to carry it for others any longer.

Cut Through The Confusion Of Shaming

People who are shameless shame others while acting as though their behavior is completely justifiable. But shaming is never constructive. You may even feel judged on an energetic level without any words being spoken. Body language often speaks volumes and can make a sensitive soul uncomfortable without a word being uttered.

Shamers are often masters at manipulation. If you feel hostility coming from another person, you are likely not imagining it. Just remember, there is no such thing as healthy shame. The word itself implies harm.

Think of phrases such as “Shame on you!” “For shame!” and “You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” and you will swiftly remember what shame feels like.

Shamers come by their scolding and disapproving because of woundedness. But don’t take it upon yourself to try to fix or help a shamer. Don’t even to try to show a shamer the error of her ways.

Whenever an adult tries to fix or change another adult, the fixer gets burned. This ricochet effect is to remind you to stay in your lane and not try to become the arbiter of another person’s healing. There are plenty of folks in the world offering services to those who genuinely want healing. Until a person wants to heal, nothing is going to change.

You may think a shamer deserves retaliation, a putting in her place, but try being gentle with yourself instead. Correcting someone after they shame you will only create a tit-for-tat volley that can be challenging to stop once it starts.

Ask yourself if you are trying to care-take feelings of a shamer. Do you notice you never win them over and, worse, you always end up feeling like a doormat? If you feel full of dread and like you have no choice but to comply with a shamer, check yourself, you may be people-pleasing shamers. If you walk in the door as a happy, well-adjusted equal and walk out the door feeling confused, sad and hurt, you probably have legitimate reasons for feeling that way.

The bottom line is: you never do a shamer a favor by letting them dump on you. You never help when you let yourself be treated poorly to avoid conflict. Shamers know how to bring the drama and place the blame and they will keep bringing it and blaming you if you do nothing to inoculate yourself against their behavior.

Try making shaming less personal. Think of it as nasty weather. You would think twice before going out in a storm, right? You would take steps like grabbing a raincoat or an umbrella. If the weather was really severe, you might decide to stay home instead.

Shame is emotional bad weather and there are degrees of it. Make the best choices based on the severity of the shaming. Obviously if someone treats you consistently abusively, you need to say no to that and take better care of yourself by steering clear of that person.

For example, if you were getting married and a member of your fianceé’s family opposes your marriage vehemently and loudly, you probably would not want this person to spoil your special day, family member or not.

The idea that you should take care of the feelings of a person who is obviously hostile towards you is backwards. Healthy adults treat other adults respectfully. It’s not sensible to surround yourself with people who can’t stop shaming you. To sit back and take disrespect to keep the peace or show what a virtuous person you are is likely to backfire.

If people treat you with disrespect, why would you want to spend any time with them at all? I like the phrase, “Not my circus, not my monkeys,” because it’s a playful reminder that other people’s psychological dramas are not my business and I can steer clear of them without getting sucked in.

De-shame Your Life Exercise

What can you do to deal with shamers so they don’t squeeze all the juicy goodness out of your everyday life?

If you feel like someone is shaming you, write the things they say in little cartoon bubbles in your journal. Let these cartoon bubbles accumulate for a while until you have a good-sized collection of them. You can also put how the person makes you feel into words in little thinking cartoon bubbles to indicate things that were not said but were still felt by you.

Mark a date on the calendar in the near future to assess your bubbles. Examine the tone. Is it scornful? Dismissive? Harsh? Hostile?

Cross out any bubbles that do not feel like shaming to you upon second examination. In the bubbles that remain, do you notice a shaming tone?

If yes, then you are probably dealing with a shamer or shamers. Sit with this information for a bit without reacting to it. Just breathe. Don’t act yet. You can create a better life for yourself simply by acknowledging what is true.

Does it make you feel better to know there are people who try to control your behavior using shaming? Knowledge really is power in this regard. Shamers may behave as if they know what is best for you and are only trying to help you, but really you are the one who knows what is best for you and you are the one who can help yourself.

Quietly draw clear boundaries with shamers. This is a conversation between you and you. Or if you are married or have children and the shaming is coming at you as a couple or as a family, a discussion may need to happen with the members of your team. Remember that your goal is to be healthy and take healthy steps, not to react. Think of the Michele Obama line, “When they go low, we go high.” Going high is always a good goal and reminds you to do no harm.

Shaming can be confusing, especially if we are trying to shake off residual shame or serial shaming  from the past, but the shaming you tolerate today is hurting you. You never get used to it and you should not have to. So don’t be afraid to get help from a therapist or a coach to help you understand what is best for you on a day to day basis to recover from shaming.

Always Put Yourself First

If you chronically put other people’s needs before you own, you may struggle to confront shaming in your life. Notice I said confront the shaming not the shamer. Don’t confront shamers. You don’t want go down that rabbit hole. You are going to be busy working on yourself and learning why you allow others to treat you poorly so you can tap into your personal power in the future.

Just remember, if you are feeling shamed, you are likely being shamed. It won’t help to let shamers off the hook. Put yourself first. In your life, your well-being and happiness come first. Shaming is invisible and yet toxic. Tolerating mistreatment will catch up with you on the physical level eventually, if it hasn’t already. Perhaps this is the most urgent reason to start saying no to shaming today—so you can be safe and whole.

Shamers are people who wittingly or unwittingly harm others. We must stop paying so much attention to people who make a hobby of injuring others. We only give them more of our power when we focus on them too much.

Unplug your self-worth from shamers in your life gradually and freedom and joy will steadily take the place of sorrow. No, it is not always easy to distance yourself from shamers. But you are worthy. You have been worthy all along.

You never need to try and get approval from those who are never going to give it to you anyway. Stop trying to fill yourself up with negative attention and start filling yourself up with the gift of existing without censure.

We all deserve it. And we deserve it right now.

~ Photo by Abbie Bernet on Unsplash

 

Christina Katz, a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share, is focused on making the world a saner, more expressive place. She helps folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, Christina can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email her about monthly coaching calls. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out Christina’s online school and stay tuned for ways to become a Beta User for her next new course. Subscribe to The Prosperous Creative for the latest news and discounts and get these blog posts delivered to your inbox so you never miss a post.

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I alternate launching creativity and writing courses and now it’s time for a new creativity course!

Beta Users, who help me create the course by answering four rounds of questions, get 50% off courses launching soon.

I am currently seeking Beta Users for my next creativity course, Expressive Outdoors, Sprinkle More You All Around Your Home.

This course will help you refocus your urge to please on charming yourself and your immediate family first. Once you all enjoy the area outside your home, visitors will follow suit! Strangers may even start stopping by to let you know how much they enjoy passing your home. I would not have believed this until it started happening to me.

If your outdoor decor does not consistently lift you up, then this course is for you! Expressive Outdoors is a companion course to Expressive At Home, which I launched in May. Expressive Outdoors focuses on expressing yourself outside your home — on your porches, on your patios, and all around the immediate outside of your home. These are areas that are often neglected outright or simply decorated in a similar way to everyone else.

Putting your unique stamp on the area outside your home is a gradual process. Sure, there are a few things you can do right away but I will help you pace yourself and make transformational choices. This is a self-paced, online video class with the emphasis on tackling manageable assignments after each pep talk.

My goal is for you to say, “This course gave me the motivation to express myself outdoors while having fun doing it and without spending a fortune.”

Expressing yourself outdoors does not have to be expensive and I will explain how. And this is a great time of year to make plans. You do not have to take my Expressive At Home course first, although you may, if you wish. These online courses can be taken in any order.

Here’s the course outline in process:

Expressive Outdoors: Sprinkle More You All Around Your Home
Fun Is The Formula For A Happy Yard
Paint With Living Things
Claim Your Outdoor Inheritance
Upcycle Your Inspiration
Instant Gratification With Containers
Edible Gardening Made Easy
Create An Artful Yard
Finishing Touches Ignite Magic
Savor The Long Game
Enjoy Relaxing Outdoors

The future price of this course will be $99 but, for a limited time, the discounted Beta-user price is $49. Register now to become a Beta User. The Beta period begins on October 2nd and that’s when you can expect your first round of questions. Courses take 3-4 weeks to launch. Register here to become a Beta User — it’s fun and you will learn so much about yourself.




So much inspiration, so much time! Visit my online creative confidence school and start expressing yourself afresh right now. Join the creative confidence club: subscribe to the Christina Katz blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for a free gift, the latest news and exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Need more encouraging words in your life? Check out my Etsy shop. And have you seen all of the helpful offerings in my online shop? Be sure to check them out before you click away. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing my work with all of your creative friends!

~ Photo by Chloe Ridgway

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It’s harvest season, yay!

I always feel creatively inspired as the season’s change. Don’t you?

Here are just a few things I’m geeking out about lately.

Thingamabobs

A few weeks ago, a friend told me about her Roomba and I have been obsessing about having continually clean floors ever since. I remember when these gadgets first came out, I had my usual thought that they would be awesome once they got all the bugs out. Seems like maybe that time has come. Does anyone else have one or have something similar?

This is the Roomba, which is a bit pricey for my taste:

And this is the competitor I’m seriously considering that has the same rating:

Imagine all those clean floors! I am close to making a decision and I’d love your input, if you have any. Or just let me know if you’ve ever been tempted or own one.

Creative Inspiration

Austin Kleon puts out a great weekly newsletter every Friday, which is where I saw these stories about artist, illustrator and director Sanda Boynton. I bet they will inspire you, too. If they do, be sure to subscribe to Austin’s newsletter. Here’s a link to Boynton’s website.

Visual Inspiration

I recently had the idea to use a fall scarf as a visual inspiration for decorating. Maybe because it still feels like summer here, so it’s challenging to get in the fall mood just yet. Here is the one I chose, which comes at a very reasonable price.

Gastronomic Inspiration

Everything is coming up pumpkin all of the sudden. Honestly, it’s a little overwhelming and in early September, I felt like I wasn’t ready. But I have since had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte, and though I would not drink one very often, it was tasty and helped me get into the fall mood. If you want to find your own favorite recipe, here’s a link to a list of ways to make PSLs at home. I’m happy the weather has taken a turn for the cooler so they make a bit more sense than they did on September 1st.

Tomatoes Abound!

Yesterday I made homemade spaghetti sauce and this weekend, I plan to make homemade chili. Needless to say, tomatoes are particularly abundant right now. My friends are showering me with bags of fresh-picked beauties, which are welcome. I will post both recipes shortly. I can’t believe I haven’t posted them before under the category of “A Writer’s Got To Eat.”

In Process…

I have several creative projects going right now. Of course, I am always writing articles and building new courses in my online school. I never talk about my articles while I’m working on them because that would mess up my process. But I have started using a more open, interactive method of creating courses that involves working with Beta Users. Read more about the latest opportunity here. I’m also making wreaths, painting garden rocks, and weeding and replanting my gardens for fall, which is a great way to get away from my desk. The wreaths and rocks will provide immediate gratification, while the fresh seeds and bulbs will give me a chance to practice delayed gratification…which is not my favorite thing but is totally worth it in the long run. I also find that getting up and away from my desk is better for my physical health and helps me clear my head so new ideas can flow in.

I’d love to hear what is inspiring you this September! Share your seasonal experiences in the comments. Also, if you enjoy this type of post, you’d likely love my Expressive At Home course and my upcoming Expressive Outdoors course. Subscribe to my ezine to stay in the loop and get the best discounts.

 

So much inspiration, so much time! Visit my online creative confidence school and start expressing yourself afresh right now. Join the creative confidence club: subscribe to the Christina Katz blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for a free gift, the latest news and exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Need more encouraging words in your life? Check out my Etsy shop. And have you seen all of the helpful offerings in my online shop? Be sure to check them out before you click away. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing my work with all of your creative friends!

~ Photo by Jametlene Reskp

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My next course is called All About You and it contains five personal essay writing assignments that help you explore and understand your unique point of view.

Individuality is an crucial quality in an essay writer. I often find that writers have a habit of striving to make their writing universal instead of striving to say something that is uniquely true to them.

The universality in your writing originates in the honesty and uniqueness inherent in your point of view. The more you strive to be acceptable and accepted in your writing, the less likely you are to say anything fresh and moving for the reader.

And so, in this brand new course, you will undertake five essay writing assignments that will help awaken the uniqueness in your perspective. If you want to write something true, this course will help you explore and own your own points of view on a variety of topics.

This course contains exercises that make self-exploration accessible, so you can learn how to create compelling essays naturally by expressing yourself. No more killing yourself to write a publishable essay.

This course contains assignments that are simple, yet powerful. If you are looking for affirmation of who you are and what you believe, then this is the perfect course for you.

You can write these essays with an aim at future publication or simply for increased self-awareness, the choice is up to you. You will benefit and grow from the assignments either way.

If you would like to provide input that helps me create the course and give me feedback once the course is created, then become a Beta User and get half off this course. Beta Users save the most money on my courses because I appreciate their help so much.

Register now if you would like to become a Beta User and I will send you the first of four rounds of five questions right away. All you have to do is answer each round of questions so I can make the course the best it can be.

This course is slated to launch for Beta Users on Friday, September 22nd. Register now to become a Beta User for All About You at a reduced price of $49 until September 21st at midnight:




So much inspiration, so much time! Visit my online creative confidence school and start expressing yourself afresh right now. Join the creative confidence club: subscribe to the Christina Katz blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for a free gift, the latest news and exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Need more encouraging words in your life? Check out my Etsy shop. And have you seen all of the helpful offerings in my online shop? Be sure to check them out before you click away. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing my work with all of your creative friends!

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Total Eclipse Of The Hype: Writers Writing About Past Eclipse Experiences

August 19, 2017

Beyond all of the hype and product-hawking around the eclipse of 2017, I find the words of writers who have witnessed eclipses in the past to be deeply comforting. If you are feeling similarly distracted by all the media drama about the total eclipse, consider taking a trip back to simpler times by reading these […]

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Creative Confidence Is Always Available To You

August 7, 2017

Here’s a little pep talk about creative confidence that went out in my last newsletter. If you would like more reminders about how creatively powerful you always are, why not get on my email list or subscribe to this blog?   You have more abilities than you realize. You are an incredibly able person. And […]

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My Online Course Expressive Outdoors Follows The Success Of Expressive At Home

July 27, 2017

Learn More About Expressive At Home In my opinion, there is nothing better than becoming a bit more expressive every single day. And there is nothing worse than being creatively blocked. Ugh! As a writer, I am fortunate. I get to express myself all the time. Naturally, expressing creativity always feels great. But in recent […]

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Butterfly Wisdom: A Softer, Gentler Way To Succeed At Anything

July 5, 2017

While I was creating my latest course, Effortless Essay Writing, I received an important reminder from a butterfly that reminded me that creative confidence can be strong and gentle. Over the weeks I was working on the course, summer started in earnest, and while summer is not my favorite season, I love gardening, and I […]

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Summer Discounts For Lifelong Learners In My Creative Confidence School

July 1, 2017

I am pleased to be able to offer a few discounts in my online school this month and next for eager learners, who don’t stop taking classes just because the temperatures go up. These are bulk discount deals—either get three classes for the price of two or get ten dollars off when you purchase two […]

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Now Seeking Beta Users For Effortless Essay Writing: My Newest Online Course!

June 9, 2017

This course has now launched and is available 24/7 in my online Creative Confidence school. Learn More About Effortless Essay Writing Here I love working with Beta Users. Every time I launch a new course it feels like virtual summer camp to me. Here’s how it works. I say, “I have a great idea for […]

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