Re-Defining My Life: A New Beginning

Welcome to the new me.

Or maybe I should say, welcome to the best me–the me I am being and becoming every single day .

How am I new?

I am re-designing my life.

In December, 2019, I began a journey into letting go of old definitions of self, and discovering new paths. During a sometimes painful but always insightful process, I learned that–for a long time–I had been living a life defined by pretty much everyone but myself.

I wore some of those definitions like constrictive clothing, and a I longed for a new wardrobe.

I began the hard work on myself, with the help of a Kick Ass team of women led by Coach Mo Faul, along with many other women who were on a similar path.  Women from many fields and points of life, who felt like it was time for something to change. 

I learned a lot from that program, but I still had a long way to go when I officially graduated in February, 2020.

I began expanding my job search as I grew to understand my own strengths and skills. At the same time, I was still teaching. Still making choices based on the comfort zone of who I have always been.

Then, as we all know, Pandemic hit.

I don’t need to tell you how difficult it is to try and start a new career in the middle of all of this. Even simply searching for a job–any job–runs into issues that include, but are not limited to:

  • Huge numbers of supremely qualified candidates competing for the same jobs (even lower paying ones)
  • Ghosting and non-responses
  • Jobs that didn’t really even exist yet as companies simply try to build their applicant pools
  • Although illegal (and often hidden) ageism rearing its ugly head

Needless to say, it’s been challenging.

I saw it as an opportunity, though. Time to figure out what I really want. Time to develop new skills and new approaches. Time to imagine and discover new possibilities.

To that end I:

  • Finished writing a fiction book that I had been playing with for a long time: “Stories from a Living Café.” While I still haven’t found a home for it, or decided what I want to do. It felt great to be writing again. (If you would like an excerpt, pop me an email or comment below, I am happy to share).
  • Finished writing another non-fiction book called Re-Creating the World. This has turned into an amazing collaboration with the supremely talented artist Danielle M. Williams . I can’t wait to bring this baby out into the world. (Happy to send a mocked-up excerpt of this as well, just ask.)
  • Connected with another fabulous coach, Colleen DelVecchio, who could help me build on the skills I learned from the Kick Ass team on a more casual one-to-one basis. (I still love the Kick Ass program, and am connected with that community. Different coaches serve different needs.).
  • Took courses on LinkedIn, signed up for writing and book workshops, joined Beta-versions of workshops for starting businesses and so on.
  • Started volunteering with, and participating in, programs offered by the fabulous Global Play Brigade–a group that truly aligns with my belief in creativity and the arts bringing about social change.
  • Signed up with the Innotivity Institute for training to become an internationally certified creativity & innovation coach. I just have to finish my practical work and I receive my certification!
  • Worked with the fabulous Rachel, my partner in Heart Forward, to develop ways of moving forward until live performance can get back to normal (stand by for new programs).
  • Signed up for training to be become a certified Gateless Writing facilitator.
  • Started another company with my long-time friend Kristie Schmidt, called Yes, And . . . Creativity Coaching. This past month we began offering workshops, salons, and individual coaching. We have only just begun.

Now, I don’t mean this to be a “look at all the amazing things I did during the pandemic post.”

None of this was easy. None of this happened quickly.

I struggled daily (and still struggle) with my own gremlins. Exhaustion. Feelings of failure. Worry about how any of this will work. Fear. Doubt. You name it–I am working through it.

And yet, I have come to realize that the journey towards being and becoming this new me is worth all of the emotions.

It’s also made me more determined.

Starting today, I plan on writing more regularly–including weekly blog posts.

I hope you will join me as so that we can try, fail, grow, learn, and discover together.

Author: Lisa Kramer

Lisa A. Kramer is a lover of words, stories, and the power of all the arts to strengthen communities and bring understanding. Her first novel, P.O.W.ER was the finalist for the Sarton Literary Prize for Contemporary Fiction. Author of P.O.W.ER. She is also the author of non-fiction and short stories. She holds degrees in English and Theatre from Smith College" an MFA in directing from the University of Hawai'i, Manoa, and a Ph.D. in Theatre for Arizona State University. She is the co-founder of Heart Forward-a company that communities through the creation of innovative artistic projects—at home and abroad—that challenge ourselves, our audiences, and our collaborators to find strength in shared stories and to foster social change. Lisa is also a Creativity & Innovation coach and the co-Founder of Yes, And . . . Creativity Coaching.

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