June 24, 2014
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. 
~ Vincent Van Gogh 
In This Issue
Postcard from Barbara
A Simple Tool to Sharpen Your Focus
Why Would You?
Barbara Online
Buon Viaggio Blog
The theme this month is
Postcards from Barbara

My daughter once joked that I'd never need Life Alert. "If I don't see you on Facebook, I'll know something is wrong." While it's true that my Facebook friends have followed my trip to France and London, my communication elsewhere has been limited.


After spending three weeks abroad, I came home for a few days and then headed to Denver for another splendid Un-Job Fair. Once June rolled around, it was obvious that the month would be spent playing Catch Up. 


Happily, I'm almost recovered from all that activity and shifting gears. You may see some changes in my business in the coming months, although the central mission of helping others be joyfully jobless will remain.


In the meantime, I keep reminding myself of C.D. Jackson's observation that great ideas need landing gear as well as wings.


The sky was overcast and the wind was frigid, but there we stood huddled together with hundreds of others for three shivering hours. It was our second day in Amsterdam and we were in line to see what we had come for-the Van Gogh Museum.


My siblings and I had been planning this trip for months. Hundreds of emails hammered out the details. Eventually, a theme emerged. What began as a trip to Provence evolved into what I named Stalking Van Gogh. As it turned out, we not only stalked, we shivered.


My brother Jim is the painter in our family and had been an admirer for years. I had rather recently discovered my passion for Van Gogh's work and wanted to see as many paintings as I could with my own two eyes. I decided the time had come to finally read Irving Stone's Lust for Life, a fictional account of the artist's life. Of course, it added to my enthusiasm for the upcoming voyage.


After Amsterdam, we traveled by train (my favorite way to go) to Provence where we spent a week in St. Remy which is also the location of the asylum where Van Gogh did some of his most prolific work. We visited Arles, dined at the Yellow Cafe featured in one of his well-known paintings, saw other places he'd painted there.


We ended our stay with four days in Paris. Unbeknownst to us, a glorious surprise was waiting for us there. 


On our first day, a Sunday, we headed to Musee d'Orsay, oblivious to the fact that an enormous exhibit was running with Van Gogh's work gathered from around the world. Paintings from museums and private collections adorned several rooms in the museum. 


It was hard to leave all that magnificence, but having spent all that time with Van Gogh as a focus, made the trip extraordinary. It was not the first time, however, that I'd taken a trip with a special focus as my guide.


When I first began traveling to London, I decided that instead of just going there, each trip would have a theme. One time I explored gardens. Another time it was architecture. Then there was one of my favorite visits when I scouted booklover's London.


I started assigning themes to other projects and discovered that getting things done suddenly got easier. You've probably used this yourself, perhaps when you decided to throw a party and then got the idea to give it a theme. Suddenly, ideas and resources became visible.


You may even discover that necessary, but boring, projects become less unpleasant once you give them a title. For example, I decided to begin a daily uncluttering project and although I knew it was a good idea, I wasn't feeling a lot of enthusiasm about it until I named it Lighten Up. 


A well-chosen theme reminds us of our ultimate goal. It gives us the big picture. Whether you are starting a new exercise program or creating another profit center or building your speaking skills, start by naming the theme.  Decision-making becomes easier. You'll waste less time doing things that don't fit. Focus comes naturally.


Best of all, a theme unlocks your imagination.


On July 11 & 12, I'll be in Phoenix for the upcoming Joyfully Jobless Weekend. The agenda includes Establish Yourself as an Expert, Making a Living Without a Job and I Hate Marketing. 


Of course, I'm excited because seminar rooms are my natural habitat. I'm always thrilled when participants discover how valuable it can be to step away from daily life to focus on acquiring information, ideas and inspiration.


Recently, I came across a note I received from Amy Pask that confirmed my suspicions. She wrote:


"Although I've read lots of books on creativity and personal development, attending a workshop was new for me until I came to Making a Living Without a Job in London.


"The power of seeing and experiencing living, breathing examples of where I want to be-along with meeting people on the same journey-was invaluable. The biggest thing that I gained was feeling, rather than thinking, a sense of possibility. I am making it a priority to keep that feeling alive. Thank you for pointing me onto a positive path."


If you're ready to have such an experience for yourself, please join me in Phoenix. You can find more details and registration information at JoyfullyJoblessWeekend.com

Buon Viaggio,


Barbara Winter

Barbara Winter 


P.S. On occasion, I may receive a commission or compensation when you participate or purchase a product or service I recommend. That being said, I strive to always offer useful content and resources in each issue of Joyfully Jobless News.