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The Journey

to Developing
Our Potential,
And Living
Really Well
© June Darling, Ph.D.
Principle #1: You Are Resourceful
Jan, week 1 Holiday 8
Jan, week 2 Winter Woods 10
Jan, week 3 Audacity 12
Jan, week 4 Solitude 14
Jan, week 5 Breaking Trough 16
Feb, week 1 Buncha Heart 18
Feb, week 2 Essence Aroused 20
Remembering When We Are At Our Best 21
LEARning & fEAR
Principle #2: Your Talent Seeks Expression
Feb, week 2 Essence Aroused 24
Feb, week 3 Honoring Growth 26
Feb, week 4 Magnifcence 28
Feb, week 1 Avant-garde 30
Mar, week 2 Emergence 32
Te Good Life Involves Choosing to Challenge Ourselves 34
Principle #3: You Make Your Own Sense
Mar, week 3 Receptivity 38
Mar, week 4 Heliotropic Logic 40
Apr, week 1 Seat of Awareness 42
Apr, week 2 Weird Science 44
Apr, week 3 Refection 46
We Are Artists Of Our Own Reality 48
Principle #4: You Are A Social Creature
Apr, week 4 Entrenous 52
May, week 1 Acceptance 54
May, week 2 In Touch 56
May, week 3 Geni Us 58
May, week 4 Xanadu 60
May, week 5 Jurassic Hawaii 62
Social Intelligence Can Brighten Lives 64
Principle #5: You Are Complex and Whole
Jun, week 1 Getting Centered 68
Jun, week 2 Nurture 70
Jun, week 3 Party 72
Jun, week 4 Home Sweet Home 74
Mobilize Your Energy 76
Table of contents
Principle #6: You Have Value and Values
Jul, week 1 Glory 81
Jul, week 2 On Purpose 83
Jul, week 3 Flower Power 85
Jul, week 4 Potensia 87
Aug, week 1 Icicle Ridge 90
Values Make Your Life Fulflling 93
Principle #7: You Listen To Yourself
Aug, week 2 Revelation 97
Aug, week 3 Happy Day 100
Aug, week 4 Beauty Tames Te Beast 103
Aug, week 5 Shards of Grace 105
Sep, week 1 Intrepid 107
Change Your Language, Change Your Life 109
Principle #8: You Are A Techie
Sep, week 2 Envisioning 113
Sep, week 3 Dreamer 115
Sep, week 4 Vacation Meditation 118
Oct, week 1 Insight 121
A Humble Tool Often Supports Magnifcent Results 124
Principle #9: You Can Change
Oct, week 2 Branching Out 128
Oct, week 3 Movin’ On 130
Oct, week 4 Practicing Alchemy 133
Oct, week 5 Alive 136
Change is Always Possible 139
Principle #10: You Are Taught Reciprocity
Nov, week 1 Compassion 143
Nov, week 2 Generosity 146
Nov, week 3 Abundance 149
Gratitude Leads to Happiness and Prosperity 152
Principle 11: You Seek Signifcance
Nov, week 4 Yielding and Yearning 155
Dec, week 1 Corona 158
Dec, week 2 Rejoice 161
Dec, week 3 One Song 164
Dec, week 4 Viva La Vida 167
Volunteering Makes Us Vital 169
Table of contents (cont.)
Tat word artist, using it brings many of us face to face with our inner dragons. Isn’t
it presumptious? Gordon MacKenzie (author of Orbiting the Giant Hairball), an
organizational consultant, spoke to kindergartners and asked them if anybody in the class
was an artist. Everyone raised their hand. He continued asking frst graders, second graders,
and so on until he reached the sixth graders at the end of the day. Only two students
sheeplishly raised their hands. MacKenzie muses about what happened.
I think what happened is captured in the Harry Chapin song, Flowers are Red. A child is
painting fowers when the teacher scolds him for not painting fowers red and leaves green.
In life as we are told what colors to use, what lines to stay within, we begin to listen more to
others than to our deepest Self; eventually we have a hard time fnding our inner compass,
our direction, we distrust ourselves, and we lose or refuse to use our ability to make choices.
OR we rebel, silence the voices by shutting out others, and care ONLY for ourselves. We
become the solos of the world as is Hans Solo in Star Wars. Part of the solo’s heroic journey
is to learn to care for others and for a cause larger than self. When we take the artist’s path
(journey of self-discovery), we know whatever demons we face, the odyssey will lead us
closer to home and we will know it (ourselves) for the frst time.
Two of the most respected leadership writers, James Kouzes and Barry Posner, write that
“leadership development is self-development…Te instrument of leadership is the self,
and mastery of the art of leadership comes from mastery of the self….Te quest of leadership
is frst an inner quest to discover who you are….” According to them, when you discover
who you are – what you care about and value, what inspires you, challenges you, gives you
power and competence, then you’ll know what it takes to lead those qualities out of others.
I believe you’ll learn to support others in reclaiming themselves as artists.
in The beginning We believed We Were Artists
Artists of Life is primarily aimed at people who want to make change in their lives toward
liberating their greatness. Tis book can: create a climate where positive change can occur
through consciousness raising, arouse the reader’s motivation, and ofer safe opportunities
for self-evaluation which leads the reader to preparing and taking action.
Freud said that his methods aimed at making the unconscious conscious. Art is a
wonderful method for bringing the unconscious forward. Creating as well as interpreting
art is a springboard for dialogue that takes us into areas of our life that we generally don’t
discuss or examine. Additionally the book is aimed toward using our entire brain. Quite
ofen we think logically, but our emotional brain doesn’t go along with our decisions and
may have quite diferent desires. Tis book with both its symbolic art and organic art,
direct questions, quotations, stories, and dialogue facilitates the congruence of the whole
self. Verbalizing and writing out thoughts and feelings is benefcial for a number of reasons
including boosting our learning and creativity and helping us organize and clarify our ideas.
Te right and lef brains may become integrated through writing or verbalizing in self-
refective ways.
Te principles which are discussed in this book come from twelve instructive disciplines.
Before readers can efectively become artists, they must safely grapple with the eleven
concepts that are recommended for efective action leading to a fulflling, creative life.
A painting is ofered for each week of the year. Trough journaling or dialoguing with a
friend, readers can bring themselves forward – to being the person they truly want to be.
Te book itself is a tool and structure that supports greatness. Trough the process the
active reader will be inspired and challenged, comforted and unleashed. At the end of the
journey, the budding artist can expect to be freshly renewed with confdence and vigor - an
intuitive nudge, perhaps even several nudges will have been provoked. Te artist is ready to
burst forth to greatness.
background of the book
Tis book is primarily a personal development book for those people who want to “burst
forth,” that is, they don’t feel they have quite become the people they are capable of being.
Tey may feel stale, average, or not quite satisfed with life. Or they may be at a transitional
place in their lives. Tough the book is mainly directed toward individuals, the same
principles apply to organizations.
Te ultimate aim of this book is to provoke greatness by nudging readers to take
responsibility for their gifs, choices, and actions in order to create highly fulflling,
successful lives. Te people who have seemed most interested in this book have been
people who are thinking of new careers, managers of businesses, and people who are drawn
to the fne arts.
When readers fnish the book, the most common feelings are of confdence and joy. I have
seen people who have made big changes in their lives and some who simply live their lives
with more clarity.
Fify-two entries make up the book. Some readers prefer simply to read the book all at
once as an uplifing book and don’t engage further. Te book is designed to be used once a
week – alone, or with a group. (With one group I observed, the individuals worked alone
and then got together to discuss their responses). Managers can use this material to guide
weekly or monthly team meetings aimed at personal development linked to professional
and business development. Te eleven topics can easily be augmented and customized to
particular business settings.
As you work alone, I would encourage you to 1) note your particular insights 2) be still,
pay attention to your nudges 3) write or discuss what actions you could take based on your
nudges 4) decide which actions seem appropriate at this time to lead you toward your best
self 5) take action.
If you are working with a group, I suggest that you report back to the group. Celebrate
with your group when you feel you were successful with your actions. If you are working
alone, allow yourself to enjoy your accomplishments. If you feel you were not successful,
nonjudgmentally note what stopped you and decide how you will maneuver around that
obstacle next time.
how to use the book
Warren Bufett, the ace stock picker and empire builder, gives credit to his partner,
Charlie Munger, for the Orangutan Teory:
If a smart person goes into a room with an orangutan and
explains whatever his or her idea is, the orangutan just
sits there eating his banana, and at the end of the
conversation, the person explaining comes out smarter….
I’ve suggested in many of the Be An Artist with Self Coaching boxes that you “tell a
friend….” Te objective is for you to “come out smarter about yourself.” You many need
to help friends understand their job as a sounding board. Te job of the friend is to
metaphorically be the orangutan that Warren Bufet describes above. In fact Bufet claimed
to be an orangutan for many of his protégés. Friends can even be “genius orangutans” and
ask clarifying questions. Teir job is NOT to give you advice or to add their personal
reaction to your insight. Tis is your personal work – no one else can do it for you. (You
can ofer to reciprocate and be an orangutan for them when they are wanting to get their
own insights out)
being An Orangutan – the job of “the friend”
He who works with his hands is a
laborer. He who works with his hands
and his head is a craftsman. He who
works with his hands and his head and
his heart is an artist.
– St. Francis
I am a great believer in creativity. The
art of living is the ultimate creative act.
We are all practitioners of that, and we
are all artists. We can start to learn how
to be alive, not just by putting paint on a
canvas in a painting, or writing a poem,
or making a pot or a dance. But are we
creating ourselves and our world every
– Lama Surya Das
One’s philosophy is not best expressed
in words; it is expressed in the choices
one makes. In the long run, we shape
our lives and we shape ourselves. The
process never ends until we die. And the
choices we make are ultimately our own
– Eleanor Roosevelt
1. We are called (to
“express self, talent,
values, needs, greatness,
magnifcence, pursue a
2. We engage (we feel
energetic and may also
feel anxious)
3. We internalize goals
based on our desires
4. We take actions
related to our goals
5. We use our “gifts”
(strengths, talents)
toward fulflling our
6. We get some result
(goal accomplished
or perhaps not fully
7. Eventually we run into
what feels like a failure; a situation in which we seem blocked, maybe distracted, conficted,
overmatched, and essentially don’t seem to have the strengths or resources to meet the challenge.
8. We encounter fear (dragons, demons,) and potential wounding.
9. We build strengths.
10. Tough continued encounters with blocks, fears, learning, and building resources we become
enlightened persisters; we are able to work with our fears and delights to become masterful
with our strengths; we are aware of our weaknesses and how to deal with them.
11. We become our song, our masterpiece, we transcend self to become our best version of Self. We
are at Home with our Authentic Self. We have personal power (responsibility), fulfllment, and
are able to express our full potential, our values, and our strengths as we contribute to the world.
We are Artists.
Resources for the journey provided in this book:
1. opportunities for clarity on personal values, strengths, and needs
2. opportunities to build personal strengths, intelligence, focus, relationships, and energy
3. opportunities for clarity and insight regarding personal fears and limitations
4. tools to deal successfully with emotions, limitations, and distractions
5. companionship
The Artists’ heroic Journey