Art Tricks, Money Traps (Work-Life Balance)

We did it dear readers. We finally got through it.

We made it to the end of my series on the Wellness Factors of Life, AKA addressing the OECD index, or if you prefer, the Postconsumers series. What started out as a wild bid on my part in considering how to live a life with less and yet fuller than you could ever imagine, is now closing out with a topic more then fitting – work-life balance. The last factor that can directly effect your over-all state of being in this world of ours.

Because let’s face it, the average global citizen doesn’t even realize they have a creative component of who they are. Creativity that should be nurtured like all of the other things.

Your creative spark absolutely needs to be considered, and it connects quite well with areas of health, spirit, work, family/friends, environment, and personal fulfilment. When all of these things come together, your life will sing with excellence. Or maybe it’ll all fall apart if you ignore any one of those things for too long.

Yikes, that is a depressing thought to fathom. But I’ve been there creative cuties, and yes I may share that story in full one day. The story which led to one of my greatest theories on the importance of pursuing your purpose, it could be a campfire theory even, but not today is not that day friends.

I’ve got a different kind of wisdom to impart.

But first, let’s put a cap on that pen, and bring out the fundamental of life once more.

The Bare Knuckle Necessities

I’m going to make a bold statement.

You cannot achieve the perfect balance of life:
career (work),
spirituality (spirit, creativity),
space (home, studio, environment),
relationships (romantic, family, friends),
health (exercise, meditation, reading),
and fulfillment (hobbies, recreation)

All of these are noble pursuits, and completely attainable, but most definitely not all at once, and never more then two or three at a time. I know you’ve tried to accomplish this on your own, and you may have even fought against the theory because you wanted to disprove it. But like many idioms, adages, and metaphors of life, life hits back, over and over.

It’s not about besting life friends, it’s about taking it all in, giving it your best shot at a few areas at a time, and then continuing onward.

So for you that might mean getting a grip on health, and career for quite a while. At least until you’ve seen some positive gains and have set up some new healthy habits for yourself. I’m not going to devolve this post into going over theories I’ve discussed before on health, productivity and habit setting, but those topics do exist on timotheories.com. This is about you being okay with striving for progress in certain areas, and then moving into progress in other areas.

Automation Station

Effectively you are creating rhythms and routines for yourself that your body, mind, and soul will be grateful for. Think about it for a minute, we are so comfortable falling into the same shitty habits every day after work? Ever wonder why we do that? Hint: it’s not because we want to.

Instead of beating yourself up because you didn’t do everything on your list today, focus on a few things to accomplish each day and follow through on them. Once the systems are in place to make those good decisions a reality every day (usually after a 90 day commitment), you will eventually create your own ideal, and balance will now have a new meaning.

It becomes less about having everything in equal measure, and more about shifting attentions on these areas of wellness as needed. So put the time in, build your lists, schedule tasks, and make one concrete action towards your area of focus each day. As Rocky says, that’s how winning’s done.

For me, what that means right now is making art every week, and marketing my business. Those are two simple things, but I’ve been neglecting them for relationships, work, and health. It’s time to focus back on the art and my own purpose.

theories Summarized

Artists of all stripes have to face the same pressures of work-life balance as do those that ignore the creative path. There is nothing wrong with going one way or the other, but when you make art, never assume your failings at balance are due to the pursuit of creativity – we all struggle with this. Skill, determination and a commitment to improvement are essential in moving towards success within the arts, as is true of any field.

The difference is that your path is not set in stone, therefore the risks and rewards are much greater. But I have a theory that you already know what you need to chase.

Tim!

I’ll Be Back, and Arms, and Legs (Arnold, Successful Body Building)

This is a story in progress.

It’s not finished yet because… well, I’m not dead.

That’s what I said the first time around, when I wrote the that initial entry on one of my personal heroes, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And I have gotten better since December, I’ve slowly but surely increased my capacity for greatness – through writing, reading, disciplined meditation, clean living, and creative pursuits. And especially through exercise.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a great example of someone who goes after what he wants. I’m paraphrasing but here are some examples of things Arnold has said.

I want to be the greatest bodybuilder in the world. Done. And he went through the rungs to get there. Then he decided, I want to be one of the great movie stars of his time. Done. Thank you Arnie for being The Terminator, and all of the other action hero roles you’ve taken on. And also, he decided, I want to be the governor of California… Guess what? Boom. Done.

Arnold demonstrates that with hard work and following key rules, you can have success. As he famously said in his six rules to success speech,

none of these rules work unless you do. Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.

 

 

6 Rules of Success

But what are the six rules of success? Well of course, let me lay them down for you, real simple like.

  1. Trust yourself – Many young people are getting so much advice from their parents and teachers and everyone. But what is most important is that you have to dig deep down, dig deep down and ask yourself, who do you want to be? Not what, but who. Figure out for yourself what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to other people.
  2. Break the rules – Not the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you’re too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules. You have to think outside the box. That’s what I believe. After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?
  3. Don’t be afraid to fail – Anything I’ve ever attempted, I was always willing to fail. You can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions. You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do, and success will come. So don’t be afraid to fail.
  4. Don’t Listen to the Naysayers – How many times have you heard that you can’t do this and you can’t do that and it’s never been done before? I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because then when I do it, that means that I’m the first one that has done it. So pay no attention to the people that say it can’t be done. I always listen to myself and say, “Yes, you can.”
  5. Work Your Butt Off – Leave no stone unturned. Mohammed Ali, one of my great heroes, had a great line in the ’70s when he was asked, “How many sit-ups do you do?” He said, “I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it hurts. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.” That’s what makes you a champion.It’s important to have fun in life, but when you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there is working hard. Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that. But if you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work. None of these rules work unless you do. Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.
  6. Give Something Back – Whatever path you take in your life, you must always find time to give something back, to your community, your state or to your country. Reaching out and helping people will give you more satisfaction than anything you’ve ever done.

     

But he only developed these rules by standing on the shoulders of his own giants, and let me just say, one of Arnie’s heroes should be yours too. Ever heard of Reg Park? The original italian stallion? Except he was actually British.

The Original Hercules

There have been a number of films representing the greek god Hercules, but the one that caught the attention of a young Schwarzenegger was Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis (1961), starring Reg Park in his film debut.

Reg Park was an English bodybuilder, businessman and actor. He inspired Schwarzenegger to become a bodybuilder, so if his regimen for beginners can work for Arnold, then it’ll work for us too.

You see dear readers, I’ve been exercising for almost a year straight, alternating between strength and core training (M/W/F) & cardio and meditation (Tu/Th). And while I don’t want to make this post about exercise, because I easily could break down the exercises portion of The Education of a Bodybuilder, instead, I’ll leave this here for those of you so inclined to read it. The writer is on point, and breaks down the exercises of the book really well.

theories Summarized

 

On this wisdom of Wednesday I leave you with something to ponder, what’s stopping you from committing to exercise time? I have this theory that health, wealth, and happiness are within reach creative cuties, but like Arnold says, remember the six rules.

You can do it. I believe in you, for you too are destined for great things.

Tim!

The Price To Not Pay Is Steep (Health)

Holistic health has been on my mind as of late dear readers.

 

You see, I have this theory that there is a strong connection between art, healing, and health. And I think holistic health holds the key to that connection.

Holistic health is a type of healing process which considers the whole human being and not just the body parts and/or symptoms. As we strive towards optimal health and wellness, considerations of the body, mind, spirit, and emotions are all relevant.

I like to believe that we can address each of those aspects of ourselves with some basic activities. For the body, there is exercise. When it comes to the mind, reading things and a variety of things covers it off, emotions are founded in both positive relationships and pursuing our passions, but spirit is the most difficult to address.

To put it simply, I think that art is key to addressing the spirit, and if we ignore this part of ourselves, we suffer all the more for it.

Medicine For The Heart

 

The interesting part of this theory is that there is evidence out there which suggests a healing connection between art and the spirit, but it is not given nearly as much research as other disciplines, but it certainly can provide value. The point we need to consider most in this discussion is that each of us is drawn to different forms of art, so what heals me might not heal you as easily. And I think that has to do with our preferred learning styles.

  • Visual learners prefer two dimensional forms of art like drawing, painting, and photography.
  • Kinesthetic learners should look towards performance arts, like dance, magic, and theatre.
  • Auditory learners are best served by music, writing, and narration.

Now, outlining the reasons why I think art has the power to heal our spirit will take up far more time than a single post can give, so rather than diving deeply into it today, I will share a few of my favourite videos on the power of art for affecting the spirit.

Namely this one.

 

And also this one.

And definitely this one.

Health Matters

If it hasn’t been made clear yet, the aim of this post is to address health as it relates to the OECD index, making this the eighth entry in the Wellness Factors of Life series inspired by Postconsumers.

Artists matter, and I know in my heart of hearts that I will always advocate for the arts, no matter where I am or whatever the context that I am making the argument in. But timotheories isn’t just about me, it’s also about providing you with the resources you need to fight the good fight. As art makers, art facilitators, art collectors, and art enthusiasts, each of us has a responsibility to share with the world the merits of working on creative projects, from economics, to health, to politics, to entertainment, you creative cuties know that art has the power to heal. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

The spirit is the key in all of this.

 

theories Summarized

It is absolutely essential to reconsider the notion of the starving artist, and start to consider the notion of the starving souls who do not support the arts nor make room for creativity within their lives, it takes time to establish yourself creatively, no different than any other specialization.

Doctors, engineers, lawyers, scientists, politicians, professors, and teachers, I’m looking squarely at you.

So let’s invest in art, because it’s good for us.

And yes, I am theoried out for the night, so I’m gonna settle into bed with a good book, after a night of exercise, writing, and communicating with my lovely girlfriend, and know that I met all of my wellness needs. Another day, another theory satisfied.

Tim!

Someone Is Feeling Salty (National Nutrition Month)

Nutrition is important to me. It should be to you too.

And here’s why.

According to pretty much every nutritionist and health professional ever, food is vital for us to live because it provides us with nutrients. Nutrients are essential for every day life because they give us energy and good health (when taken in the correct quantities and varieties). If you pick the right foods, you can boost your happiness, get better mental functions, and maintain a healthy body weight. But that’s not all, nutrients also help with prevention and treatment of illnesses.

Some foods are better at supplying energy (carbohydrates, proteins, fat) while others are better at regulating our bodily functions (vitamins, minerals, water).

Staple foods like rice, wheat, potatoes and plantains are relatively cheap and supply energy with good regularity. I’ll call out protein in particular, because it is needed to build, maintain and repair muscle, blood, skin and bones and other tissues and organs in the body. Because good nutrition is important in leading a healthy lifestyle your diet is key to this end; when combined with physical activity a lot more can be accomplished to keep the engine running, so to speak.

Now with all of that shared, eating a varied, well-balanced diet is no simple task. It means eating a variety of foods daily AND in recommended amounts. On top of that, different foods provide different types and volumes of nutrients. Which is frustrating to investigate, and that’s putting it simply.

Salt of the Earth

You’re probably wondering why I even mention this, because this is a creativity and arts based blog.

But the harsh reality is that we too as creative types need all the support we can get. It’s really easy to fall into bad health habits, eating quick and easy to prepare foods that provide little to no health benefits. Or worse, buying from the drive-thru. Once you get into a cycle of bad health, it can be difficult to climb out of it. Believe me when I say that I STILL struggle with this one.

Fortunately for me and for you, it’s National Nutrition Month, which means that there is a bunch of literature out there right now which we can all take advantage of and better ourselves with. You absolutely need to eat right for your lifestyle because there is no one correct diet for everyone. This article covers the essentials rather well, but if you don’t want to spend the time rooting through 3500+ words right now, I’ll summarize my thoughts with short list of tips and tricks now

  1. eat lots of different fruit and vegetables. cooked or raw depending on your needs. (7-10 servings a day)
  2. whole grains are not the enemy. whole grains have fibre and are not the same as white bread or pasta. (wild rice, quinoa, oatmeal, hulled barley)
  3. protein, protein, protein. This is so important I’m putting it in the middle. Eat fish, beans and lentils, dairy and lean meats EVERY SINGLE DAY to get your daily protein (between 45-60 grams, based on weight)
  4. sugar definitely is the enemy, especially in drinks. unsweetened coffee, tea, tea or milk for beverages are best. fruit juice has almost as much sugar as soda
  5. say no to processed food. if its not from the ground, walks around or flies, its no bon.

I’ll leave you with this timely thought for now. It doesn’t matter what you change, only that you make the change yourself and from within. I hope you have an excellent weekend creative cuties, no more theories from me.

I’ll see you on Sunday with an updated LOGO(s).

Tim!

Sweetheart Swing (Sugar Swing Ballroom)

Did you know that one of my very first posts (read: the fourth one) was about dancing, dear readers?

Just over two years ago, and hot off the heels of New Years Eve, I wrote a cute little post about a social night. A night at what was then called Sugar Swing Dance Club.

Dancing With Myself

Some of my learnings from that night were clear to me and still ring very true – I wanted to be healthier, have more social intelligence, and feel inspired to make visual art by whatever creative experience I exposed myself to. Well, those of you that have been there from the start of timotheories definitely would remember that post. I mean, it’s only been about 330 posts ago, so of course you’d remember, right?

It’s back when we were young and beautiful.

tumblr_mno27hqk321qmeswgo1_500

Other things I learned that night quickly disappeared from my memory – the names of my fellow dance lesson participants, what songs played, what I wore, and most importantly, the dance moves I learned.

Definitely the dance moves were forgotten.

Hey Ya!

But you see, a lot has happened since then, I went on some dates, changed jobs no less then three times, moved, bought a lot of movies and albums, and made a ton of new friends while I learned how to edit videos. I even reconciled a broken bridge with one of my oldest friends. And now I’m in a newish relationship, one that is going rather swimmingly and which makes my heart pitter patter.

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But to pause the love thoughts, the reason why I forgot the dance moves is because I did it ONE TIME, of course I forgot the moves. And so I decided to get my girlfriend a Sweetheart Swing couples dance package for Christmas, so that I could learn some more moves, she could ease herself back into dancing, and we could do something arts related together.

We had our first lesson at the new Sugar Swing studio last week.

Our instructors are neat, the new building is nice (but still in construction), and the location is ideal. It’s been a good idea so far, and I hope to share my learnings when it’s all said and done (hint: February post).

But now you’re probably wondering the details. This is a timely post after all.

The Sugar Foot Ballroom is now located at 10019 – 80 Ave, Edmonton Alberta, and is open
both Friday and Saturday nights for drop-in lessons and social dances. If you are interested in taking a program of any sort, like the package Mysticque and I are taking, then you should definitely check out the lessons page of the Sugar Swing site! Other than that, I don’t any theories to share. At least until Sunday!

Tim!