dear shadows & cynical amusements, meet my quarterly plan ♥

… she must set for herself something in life that she is willing to reach for and therefore takes risk for. -Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Willingness for reaching is certainly something I possess. There are times it feels unstoppable; but then other times said willingness feels elusive and without substance, a shadow and cynical amusement.

my embellished cover art for Module 4, “Quarter Planning”

So, I journal-plan. With lots (and lots) of color; color is light for me. I have been working on a Quarter Plan for April-June this week. Adding to notes I started in December 2016.

I truly enjoyed the personal discoveries of compiling Module 4. I didn’t realize how much my practice of quarterly planning enhances my overall focus and progress.

Quarterly planning softens the cynical streaks of my realism.

It helps with my belief that none of us actually change all that much. Although I do believe a reciprocal practice vulnerability and forgiveness within ourselves and with the people we love fosters healing and restoration, strengthening the relationship: Miracles happen.

Without cycling through vulnerable confessions in my journals I would never have been equipped for restorative conversations. Nor able to execute the relationship choices and career changes that strengthen my intention for wholeheartedness [authenticity].

new moon art on a page from an altered book

Moon art fosters acceptance of the shadows, of the cycles of “light and dark” we each move through. Acceptance that, like the moon, what is seen is only half of who we are — regardless of what we want to believe about ourselves and other people.

index card art created with paint and the affirmation for April from Module 4, “Quarter Planning”

Quarter planning reminds me of what I need/want to be doing next.

My quarterly plans are documented conversations with my “past self” for my “present and future self” offering ideas and incentives when the speed of my life blurs what were once clear directives.

The vitality of a quarterly and monthly timeline coupled with daily routines is the result of decades of experiments and observation.

It was an intention before it was a habit, and a habit before it became a creative default [insightful; comfortable; an authentic response to shadows and cynicism].

content, moon and clock art from Module 4, “Quarter Planning”

You must be willing to dream and to create your personal world.

I resist the word “must” because it feels restrictive. And yet I realized last week why it is used in the context of creativity.

The context is: “you must, if you truly desire [fill-in-the-blank].”

I must be willing to dream, to journal-plan, if I truly desire to live my dreams. To be willing to transfer notes from one quarter to the next, one month to the next when life doesn’t go as I planned [hoped].

I must employ a divide and conquer approach regarding my resistance to the word “plan” if I truly desire to live more of what matters most to me.

I must accept that to plan is to create; it is a prompt without restriction, rules or formulas.

What works for me is not a formula for what will work for you. But it is why I create templates and planning modules.

Quarterly planning is simply dividing goals into steps of a process.

Trust yourself and allow your creative planning practice to be an extension of self-care and compassion. A decision to show up for yourself and a promise of 10-15-minutes a day exclusively for {you} — to check-in and curate moments of your story.


Braveheart, I believe art heals — and that art is as simple as abiding outdoors with the morning sky or jotting lists or having a favorite color. I created Right Brain Planner® because I needed a "planner" that offered space but didn't trigger my daily expectations. I needed a planner that was a journal — a place to creatively document my {living} + collect my blurts and random collage. Perhaps you are in need of the same? If so, I hope you will join me via our shared online connections. ♥