Living an extraordinary life is easy when you accept that “extraordinary” doesn’t mean “easy”. Sometimes the first step you take towards achieving meaning and fullness in life isn’t a step forward, but sideways.
For my family and myself, that step turned out to be one to the left. 2012 was a year of changes and growth. My husband and I have both started businesses. We changed the entire infrastructure of our household and how we do things, and we transplanted our domain some one thousand kilometres to the west of where we were.
It was the best sideways step we could have made.
(Side note: This post is a review of the last year and future directions for myself and the Art of ADD. If your time needs you to take a step in another direction right now, feel free to come back some other time!)
It all started with the launch of The Art of ADD in August. Starting a blog has been incredibly fun and unexplainably fulfilling. I have made some wonderful connections through the online ADD community and even beyond.
I’ve also learned a lot. That learning seems to be growing exponentially each day, and I wait with excitement and anticipation to see what new connections and teachings it will bring me in the coming year.
But with any project you take on, it is important to set aside the time to reflect upon what you are doing, consider the things you have learned and plan next steps and future directions.
The Art of ADD, as you know, is about celebrating the positives of ADD while finding ways to overcome the challenges of it, so that each of us can turn our ADD into a strength and use it as a medium to create masterpieces from our lives.
I believe that ADD is the way we are built, but it doesn’t need to be a “handicap” that holds us back in life. I believe that it can even be a strength, when we learn to work with our brain-wiring instead of against it.
My mission is to help other ADDers unlock their true potential. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to open yourself up to the possibilities of flourishing in life with your ADD. The Art of ADD is not my blog, it’s ours. It’s our place to come together, celebrate our strengths, and help each other grow to our true potentials.
But this blog is about much more than ADD. It’s about authenticity, transparency and realness. It also endorses self-acceptance as being the starting point from which people can grow and become the best version of themselves.
It allows contemplation, learning, and curious experimentation to try out new ways of being rather than old habits that rely on anxious and desperate attempts to become someone who isn’t you.
My hope is that this part of the mission is accessible to everyone – ADD or not. Because it is not only ADDers who benefit from being more real and accepting of ourselves. It’s a basic human need we all share, no matter what our circumstance or brain-wiring may be.
So in this spirit, I share with you some behind the scenes “snippets” of where I’m at now and hoping to be in the coming year.
Late last year, I was offered the amazing opportunity to do a guest post for Bryan Hutchinson’s blog at ADDer World. Not only was this a great opportunity for me to reach a wider audience, but it inspired some great conversations with Bryan – someone I really admire and who has a lot of wonderful things to say about ADD (and life in general!).
Connections such as this have been some of the fringe benefits of blogging. They also serve as a reminder that there is a huge community out there – a tribe – we are all part of. Finding our place in our tribe is a major part of growing to our true potential.
There is a considerable amount of time that goes into creating and maintaining a blog. Thankfully for me, it has been a `labour` of love. Spending all my free time doing something I love hardly seems like an effort. However, it does command a time-commitment.
This blog is only one of the ways in which I dedicate myself to helping fellow ADDers. Over the last year, my coaching practice has been growing, allowing me to help other ADDers on a more personal level. My intent for 2013 is to reach more people who would benefit from this kind of support and find more creative ways of offering real value to the community as a whole.
In the coming year, there is much more to look forward to. I have joined forces with an esteemed colleague, combining our energy and knowledge to create something meatier and more meaningful for the people we “work” for.
Currently we are in the midst of designing a series of free webinars helping ADDers overcome their challenges and develop their strengths, allowing them to live life with more peace, happiness and success. The webinars will start in the third week of January – so watch this space for more information and your chance to enroll for FREE!
I am also developing a more targeted presentation, focused on how coming to a new understanding of ADD can change your entire life. It’s still in its infancy stages, but I think it’s going to epic. The only reason I feel confident to toot “my” horn about it is the knowledge that this mission is so much greater than myself. This is a collaborative effort, influenced by important people who have transformed lives in ways even they wouldn’t realize.
Other directions for 2013?
- I am pursuing guest posting for other blogs, to reach a wider audience. This is a new terrain for me, one that fills with anticipation but also quite of nervous apprehension. It’s one thing to write for your own blog – but to write for someone else`s, hoping that your writing skills are good enough for their audience – well, it means that my fingers and toes may endure chronic spasms from being crossed so frequently in the coming months.
- For my subscribers, I am working on a series of new tools for the free ADD Artist’s Tool Kit. I haven`t published any new tools in quite some time because the busy-ness of working, parenting, coaching and writing for the blog have taken precedence. Many more are near completion but need a final tidy-up before they are publishable. January is the month that bringing them to completion is my mission.
- I have also been invited to collaborate and comment on some projects my colleagues in the ADD world have been working on, but haven`t yet had a chance to offer my contribution. I believe that being a person of service to others involves more than simply helping people. It is also important to support and promote your colleagues who are doing good work in the helping field. After all, their mission and mine both head to the same destination.
So in summary, 2013 will be more of the same with some added twists – a few more step sideways and a couple forward. Maybe even a few backwards step, but hey – you can’t waltz through life without stepping back too every once in awhile!
January, however, will be a month for tidying up loose ends from 2012 and starting new endeavours. What this means for The Art of ADD is that I will be taking a little break for this month. I will be taking a hiatus from regular Thursday posting but will keep you posted on the progress of the projects and making sure that you get “first dibs” on what comes to offer.
Though I be taking a break from regular content and the routine of posting times, I know the overall effect will be an improved blog and more value for my readers. In times gone by, I would have spread myself thin enough to `do it all`. But I have learned enough to realize that it’s better to under-promise and over-deliver, than to try to do everything subpar.
I am telling you all this in the spirit of authenticity and transparency in hopes that it frees you to do the same in your life.
I am also keenly interested in hearing more about your experiences, thoughts about ADD and your challenges. I realize not everyone is keen to share their views publicly in the comments. If you have comments or questions, feel free to send me an email and I will do my best to respond within 48 hrs.
I the meantime, wish me luck (please?!) and we’ll meet again at our usual times in February!