An interesting thing has happened this summer, the conversation in our house is changing. We are goal oriented people over here in our little craftsman style house. Whether it is me with goals of building a mini empire or Tom pushing himself to swim, bike, run his way to a glorious finish in his first half Ironman, we are people who like to execute.
Over the summer there has been a distinct slow down or should I say “ease down” into a discussion that is much more spiritual and creative. It is shockingly refreshing. I feel like someone who was thirsty and didn’t even realize it until cool water passed through my lips.

With the  launch XO, Monica Lee, I have been surprisingly content with playing. I have a buzzing voice in my head with a big list of to-dos but I am calming the voice by nibbling the tasks in bite size pieces. I don’t want the feeling of refreshment to get lost in a long list of ambitious tasks. I have been enjoying creating  art and making the new site/blog into a mini art installation. That sounds weird to say out loud but since it gives me joy, I am feeling ease and fun with all of it and isn’t that where creativity is supposed to reside at some level?

A place where  you leave off judgment about what others will think and ask yourself, “What do I think? Do I love this? How can I make this even more fun? What would I like to do more of?”

My mother recently called me out of overthinking things and she was right. Every time a problem comes my way I (almost gleefully) grab it like a rubrics cube and play with it until near death.  I think what I have failed to realize is that, in the process of dealing with puzzles I had left off nurturing my intuitive side. Launching a new line is full of problem solving. My next question is really how to I make sure I use my problem solving skills and use intuitive play at the same time?

This is why when Tom said this to me this morning, it completely resonated with where my heart and spirit are right now,

“The goal isn’t to be smarter, it is to be more intuitive.” 

Everyone of us has creative intuition, whether you are opening yourself up to new ways of thinking, carving out a lifestyle that makes sense for you,  you have spot inside you that can really guide you.

As for the cool drink of water, I am all for changing the conversation to push myself into creative play and creative problem solving. I want the day to begin with a WHAT IF?

P.S. Repositioning my art space has helped me stay fresh this summer too!


  • I have my own little company too, Monica. And I also wear all the hats. Watching a company grow, thrilled over successes and defeated over failures is so hard when you walk alone. I made the decision to narrow my company down this summer to assure myself it was something I could continue to manage. The end result is a better brand and a deeper understanding of who I am as a creative and how I fit into the market place. I like me better!

  • Michelle Schneider says:

    Monica- this entire post is totally resonating with me! My husband and I are SO goal oriented that I definitely feel at times that we forget to just stop and be thankful for exactly where we are in life. We’ve had many conversations lately about our need to be more like the essentialists we really want to be…especially now that we have a really great excuse to stop and play: a baby!

    • Monica Lee says:

      And that baby is so darn cute-I see her on FB! Tankful for exactly where you are in life—good word, Michelle!

      • Michelle Schneider says:

        Ha! Thanks Monica. She IS a doll. We just love having her!

        I love what your husband said about not being smarter but more intuitive. I’d be curious to learn more about just how to do that! My main goal this year for my business has been all about efficiency and figuring out how to work fewer hours but keep up the same level of output…which seems impossible at first, but I actually think it’s doable! I’ve been cutting out all the things that were stumbling blocks before. This topic would be a great podcast! Your husband is a real gem. 🙂

  • A lot of hat wearing makes you want to be SURE you don't lose sight of what and why you chose a creative career, right! Thanks for your insight!

  • Karen Gillis Taylor says:

    Monica, I too feel like I over-think things and the intuitive side of me has been softly edging me to follow my gut and work on new art that is more in tune with this. So I switched from acrylics to painting with oils and find myself wondering why it took me so long to do this! Time to slow down the merry-go-round and choose the process over the goal achievement for a while, over here! Goals are fine, but discovery is really important too!

    • Monica Lee says:

      I agree! Discovery, yay! So hard to make time for it when everything else seems to pull at us, especially as a female!

  • Kandy Cross says:

    One of the best lessons is the one about taking those things as
    bite-sized pieces, as you mentioned. I have to keep remembering this
    when I leave my comfort zone.
    Also, wanted to share with you the new studio space addition. You can find it here: So glad we both reached our goals on creating our happy places!

  • Margaret Applin says:

    I feel like I am following my intuition much more these days and stressing less about expectations and just jumping in. Attending Surtex for the first time last year really burnt me out and it took a while to get my creative energy back. Now I’m launching my own stencil line and thinking about how I can share more playful instruction with others. I really feel like I am trusting myself more to push an idea to make it successful because I want it for myself.

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