This article just came across my transom, courtesy of Lissa Boles.

It’s Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs”, talking about what I call Micro-Rules and finding your *perfect* (whatever):

A Fan Asks Mike Rowe For Career Advice…He Didn’t Expect This Response, But It’s Brilliant.


The most important line is in the last paragraph: “…most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

All I can add right now is “The grass is always greener where you water it!” – Listen for your own Micro-Rules that keep what you truly want far away from you. Make changes in how you talk to yourself, and to the Universe. Your world will change right along with you.

Blessings, all…



I was mourning for my tree, and for myself and for my status quo.

I’d made a “gut-wrenching no-brainer” decision: to allow the HomeOwners’ Association to pay for taking out my 60-year-old ash tree that gave me beautiful shade in the whole back yard. (Ash trees in the Midwest are being attacked by Emerald Ash Borers, and municipalities are taking the hardest line possible against this invasive non-native bug: take away ALL their host trees.)

The guys were here all day, cutting off branches and grinding up limbs, and I knew it was “for the best” – I couldn’t have afforded the removal, and it was inevitable…

I still felt like I’d just decided to “pull the plug” on my best friend. Again! …and I didn’t even realize that was what my heart was doing, until 10:30 last night.

I’m still very sad for the reality of this, but today, I see it, and I’m acknowledging the feelings, and keeping on doing “what else needs to be done”. The first thing is writing and sharing this, the next is delivering magazines, and the only way to get that done is to get up and get out.

Thus: I’m grateful that I could write this, and that you’re reading it. Bright Blessings!  and….


On more check-it-offs and fewer blows to your self-regard ~ from David Caine at Raptitude

“You don’t need the mind’s approval to get started. All you need is to get clear, on an intellectual level, what you want done, and then move your body until you’re in the middle of it.”…

“Your body, quite reliably, does what you tell it. Your mind insists on deliberating and debating, consulting with a hundred trustees and boards. It draws up complex documents for you to sign, demanding feasibility studies, immunity from all liabilities and a guaranteed return on investment. Skip this meeting, it’s a trap.”

I convene *that* meeting several times a day! It is a time-suck and an energy-drain, and a slippery slope into depression. ~ It’s time to install a new management model.


Since this post, like most others here, has been sitting in Drafts – untouched – for several days, I am taking more Baby Steps to installing my “new model”:

“POST!” :)

Added, ten minutes after “Post” ~

Corrina Scott-Barnes’ post from yesterday:

Beautiful, and just what I needed to see and hear this morning! {{{Corrina}}} – you’re beautiful!  ~ K


And this, from Andrew at Nurturing Creativity:

Closing the window now, and putting my coat (back) on… ;)

Is it okay to toot your own “Today’s my birthday” horn? All over the (inter-webs) place? (That’s the 19th- I’ve been working on this a while…)

Well, I suppose the answer to that is: Why the hell in Heaven’s Name (see item #1) not? Are all you friends-I-haven’t-met-yet supposed to “just know”? It’s not commonly a topic of on-line conversation, is it? It’s not like I’m gonna just insert a reminder in your calendar or anything… !



I’d like a visit from the “magic dishes fairy” so I never have to wash ‘em again. they’re always clean when I want them to be! (“Phrase your Request in the positive voice” –ht to Bridget P!)
I *really want* in on this incredible “Effortless Productivity” webinar (via Carol Tice): (Listen to the interview, soon, folks. Even the invitation will yield AHah’s!) – but ^that^ ain’t currently gonna happen without some outside support*…
[I really, really want all of Ed's ideas and hacks to "appear by osmosis" in my brain (in) and my gut, so I can multi-task those 6 hours "on something else".]
I want for my TinyLittleThing to grow tall and strong…
and for the couple of GreatBigOMFGThings that try to crowd everything else out of my awareness, to relax and just keep flowing in “the right direction for me” without all that ruckus in my head!
Oh, and…
~ more Whirled Peas and less “Me, My, Mine & Fuck You and Yours”, 
~ less “outsourcing Customer Service to the customer”,
~ more composting and less Roundup(TM),
~ NO MORE FRACKING – like: STOP doing it TODAY! Forever!
~ more people Asking “And Then what ?” more often, and being Heeded, before the decisions are made…
Now? Hit publish! – It Is Done
*Contributions gratefully accepted at my (no spaces) kmjohannessen @ yahoo . com.
Hugs and Blessings forever…

My “stories” are incredibly old, and incredibly hard on myself -

“Nobody likes me, really…”

“I don’t believe in any of the Positive attention I do get – I’m only worthy of contempt  for being such a consistent fuck-up  – since Grade School, I’ve been a fuck-up!” And here’s the reinforcements that pop up:

Sister Donna Marie – the principal! – insulted me in front of the whole class when she handed out final report cards, for getting a B instead of an A in math – because “you’re so smart!” That the rest of it was all A’s was completely ignored!

And Sister Ansilion not only didn’t tell me about what I did well (right? in ART???), she gave my sister a harder row to hoe, too, by telling her “I hope you apply yourself better than Karen did”! So Barb, who was better at follow-through to begin with, got an extra boost of “git’er done”, and I got an extra slam of “Don’t bother even trying to finish – it won’t be good enough, anyway”…

Heck, in kindergarten, the sub in penmanship (printing) class (also the principal!) didn’t believe me when I told him that Bruce grabbed my pencil at the end of class, when they were collecting the pencils… and as he pulled it out of my hand, I put a slash on my paper – (and of course, we weren’t trusted with erasers!) … my printing was fine (great even), but I got marked down (and called out in class) for that slash. AND, my explanation (excuse? I don’t think so) was publicly either not believed or dismissed!

I missed social cues right and left: at the only birthday party I was ever invited to in high school, Brin, the birthday girl’s used-ta-be boyfriend, hit on me, so we went under the stairs and made out. I completely missed the importance of him being the *only* boy there, and that she wanted to get back together with him… I got tagged with “tramp” before the end of first semester of freshman year!

… And it seems like “sexy”, and even worse, “easy” are the place that guys gravitate to first…That’s soooo not what I want them  to remember about me! I want to be valued for my intelligence and my creativity, and being funny…. sexy is a good thing, and I enjoy it (I’ve always known that, too) but not #1, #2 AND #3, please, dammit!!!

I’ve been a painfully People Pleaser since g.s. too – when I was in lower grades, I was “allowed to” hang out with the 7th and 8th graders, because I’d hold their coats while *they* jumped rope or played hop-scotch.  And I wrote imitation excuse letters from their Moms for the “cool kids” – and I gave them the answers on tests, or let ‘em copy my homework…

In 8th grade, when I gave Tommy one of my “sharing size” class pictures, he tore it up in little pieces and put it back on my desk!!! Owww-eeee!


So, what do I do on a Friday morning? Write – self-indulgently! Instead of getting on the road, and taking care of my immediately-income-producing job…. What the hell is *that* about??? Another post, methinks… I have some thoughts, but no time now!


Deep thanks to my friend Sarah for writing a very vulnerable (and valuable) post yesterday (just saw it this morning). And to Shanna Mann and Ariane Benefit and Sue Rasmussen and Mark Silver and Linda Anderson and Kay White and David Caine – for pieces of what’s starting to come together, even as I write….  (links this evening… I’m out of time – again)

5 minutes after “Publish” – I’ve already remembered more contributors ~ Bridget Pilloud, and Ken Bechtel and Lissa Boles

(2-15 ~ more links to come – please check back!)

I love you-all for reading this ~ Happy Valentine’s Day!

(I am feeling better about myself, just for having written this…

Because Jess totally ROCKs  – and every one of these posts is a gem of “You probably don’t need to “Personally Develop” anything – you just need to do what you already know!”

Go here, read this:


Fancy Meeting You Here!

 No, seriously. It’s fancy.
I’m even wearing pearls.

So, here’s the deal.

The Brazen Bible is your bustling hub for tackling your ifs and butwhile holding your butt. Picture your grandmother’s attic, assuming your grandmother’s attic is stuffed to the gills with information, resources, and anecdotes about carpe‘ing that motherfucking diem and still finding time to go to happy hour(s). It’s your time to kick fear in the nards, bust down the walls you’ve systematically built yourself into, and LIVE. Because settling for mediocrity? Isn’t actually living at all. 

Disclaimer: Shit gets shouty ’round these parts.

Ready? Set! Win.


And then read anything and everything that catches your eye (or your heart).

I read that old saw again yesterday – you know: “You only have one chance to make a good first impression.”

And I started wondering  just how true is that??? I mean, it’s true in the microcosm – with these particular people, in this particular venue — but mostly, if you change your target, you get a whole new audience to impress! And since (contrary to your “I AM the Center of the Universe! aren’t i?” voice) you aren’t the topic of all conversation, most of the folks who didn’t see the first iteration won’t ever know about it; so you can start over, again and again and again.

But — your Inner Voices will always remember what that very first time looked and (more important) felt like – and I think that’s what really underlies the oh-so-commonly-paralyzing “fear of failure”!


So… Your assignment, Mr. Phelps* whether you choose to accept it or not(!) is to look at the story you’re telling yourself about this, and rewrite it so  it doesn’t become another club for your I.V. to beat you with, but an “AttaBoy” for Doing It At All (flagged with a fluorescent sticky-note and a glowing gold star)!

Love to you-all, and to me (that’s important to remember, too) and

Bright Blessings, as always!


*Yes, that’s a “Mission Impossible” reference, there (wink)

Hooray! This only took one morning to write, edit AND POST! Yay, Me! :)

“Collected Wisdom-worthy”  thoughts from my Drafts file that I was too (something) to finish and post ~

The Fear and Failure Edition:

“Everything that you are today – everything that you can do subconsciously, like drive a car or make scrambled eggs, or even swim: there was a point where you absolutely couldn’t do it. And it terrified you. …

~ From the video in this post by Kevin Cole at “On Doing The Things That Scare The Shit Out Of You”

Independent or Survivalist?

Are you (am I?) more of an Independent or a Survivalist?  A commentary on two generally conflicting philosophical  approaches from Shanna Mann at  “The Dark Side of Self-Reliance”.

Mindfulness, Moderation (and Losing Weight)

A wide-ranging conversation from Joel D Canfield, Writer: “Why I’m Losing Weight (and Why I Never Could Before)”


More of these to come – I’ve only scratched the surface. For today, I’ve used enough time on this.

Bright Blessings, my friends!  ~  Karen

“I want a(nother) cigarette… “

I hear that in my head on a regular basis, sometimes within 3 minutes of finishing one.

This morning, I asked myself: “What part of “I” wants what part of that cigarette?”   Mouth? hands? lungs? brain chemistry? blood chemistry? brain habit? (which one(s)?) body habit?

Is it the smoke? the smell? the broncho-dilator effect? the blood vessel dilation? the muscle relaxant effect? the muscle-movements of inhaling? the tiny little division of attention needed to type AND hold a cigarette between my fingers? a ‘cool factor’ (This is what a writer, writing looks like – from really old movies, don’chya know)?

Am I really hungry? thirsty? resisting some Authority?  …my own Authority? Am I bored? scared? confused? excited? (forgot one: horny?) (also: really, really relaxed ~wink~)


One thing I’m certain of, is that it’s not – as the sound-bites would have us believe – “all about the nicotine” — there’s a ton of other things (emotional, logical and physical) going on, too.

And a “smoke break” has a different effect than a cigarette *at the same time*. ~ Sometimes the best thing to do is to get up and get away from the project. ~ Sometimes, what’s really called for is that boost in the *right-here-right-now*.  When I want to stretch and widen my focus, give my attention room to wander,  “Must go outside” is useful.  When I need more focus on the project at hand, the last thing that would help me is to put it all down and go somewhere else and risk losing track of what I was doing.


I’ve been more-or-less successful in keeping to 1 pack per day or longer (20 smokes in 24 hours) but some days are far, far from that goal.

I do smoke much less when I only buy one or two packs at a time, not by the carton.  (There’s no longer a price differential, so using the “scarcity” trick does come in handy!)  Another “trick” I’ve just thought of while writing this is “What else could today’s $8 be used for?”

I can’t give a general answer to any of those questions because they’re all situational: “It depends…” is the only accurate generalization that applies! Maybe simply digging up the questions will help find more deeper answers, though…?

Bright Monday Blessings to you, my friends ~


PS: This article definitely shouldn’t stay buried deep in the comments:

Much thanks to Joel Zaslofsky from The Value of Simple  for turning me on to this:

Neil Gaiman addressing the University of the Arts (Philadelphia) Class of 2012…

“Make Good Art!”

Neil Gaiman is only one of the most brilliant, original, life-inspiring fiction writers I know of … He wrote among other things: “Coraline”, “American Gods”,  “Neverwhere” (with Terry Pratchett), and DC’s “Sandman” comics.

This message is for everybody, not just “artists” or “creatives” – we ALL could benefit from spotting our mountain and heading for it on purpose, every day of our lives.

If  you’re sleep-walking through your life (like I did for so many years) I hope this helps to inspire you to Wake Up!


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