Snap Chat- the 8 second love story

It started with the flower head-garland filter.  Then moved on to the puppy with the wagging tongue filter.  

I was hooked on the technology, but equally hooked on the fun.

Snap Chat- the social media giant started by two millennials, Evan Thomas Spiegel and Robert Cornelius "Bobby" Murphy- has become my go to social media tool.

In the beginning, Snap was for “the kids”.  They posted a series of 8 second clips that disappeared in 24 hours, and while your were at it, you could create a secret personality- your folks would never know because Snap Chat is and was really hard to figure out.

I joined Snap Chat a year ago, just for fun…but not really.  In my coaching business, I have a large following of Millennial and Generation Z .  Facebook and Instagram, what I call the “polite” platforms, are visited by them but with restraint.  To them, Facebook is so fold-your-arms-look-serious and Instagram has high demands of epic imagistic beauty…did Snap Chat offer something different that these young followers needed from me?

It does, and it’s amazing.

Snap Chat is where Millennials and Generation Z go to see what you are really like.  What is your house like, what is your closet like, what do you eat (and they LOVE food), what do you do for entertainment, what daily experiences do you have?  What is your workout routine?  How do you put on your make up?  

Then there is the car seat Snap.  You’re sitting in your car (the BEST lighting btw) riffing on what just happened in line at Whole Foods.  Or, you have your phone mounted on your dashboard as you are on a cross country drive listening and singing along to 80’s pop or Drake.

There is the love of amplifying experiences on Snap Chat.

One of the most popular Snap storylines is the workplace Snap.  Millennials love to Snap the snacks they have at work (The Skimm, another giant started by two millennial females, reigns supreme on that one), the locally crafted beers they have at their desks on Fridays, the fitness trainer who comes in to teach kettlebell technique, the putt-putt game each Wednesday.  This generation luckily doesn’t just to go work in a cubicle…they go to work to experience stuff.

Now, Snap Chat is taking on a new audience: the stay at home moms (the Pinterest crowd!) have become addicted to the silly Snaps and the Snaps their fitness gurus film of their daily workout routine…what does Chalene Johnson’s home gym look like?  What does she eat?  What does her closet look like?  How does she put on her make up?

Sound familiar?

This article by Nanette appeared in the June 2017 edition of the NH Business Journal.  FYI my Snap Chat name is @nanetteperrotte.

The Wyrm in the Mind

I could turn around and go home.  Leaden legs dragging as I walked, my breathing choked.  It had stalked me all day, circling around in the early morning hours, then reminding me it was interested as I found a moment of joy in the afternoon.  Now, the Dragon that slithered in my orbit was coming for me.

Inside the building, women are meeting.  A group united in a common power filled entrepreneurial cause.  I have invested a year in bonding with them- a powerful clan that spies bullshit a mile away and does not suffer fools lightly.  I love these women, love being a part of their tribe- I need this clan in my life right now.

Slithering Dragons?  That’s right, my dragon foamed at the mouth as I walked through the evening parking lot to the double glass doors that opened to my clan.  It delighted knowing that it could eat up space in my head and stop me in my tracks.

Welcome to my Dragon.  Unlike the dragon in storybooks, my Wyrm is a slithering mind Dragon. The reptile that turns a rational thinker into a paranoid shrivel.  I’ve battled this creature before, so I know it’s a good idea to have a moment of fear when it breathes into you.  My dragon was circling, looking for a kill.  

Dragons do real damage- a deadly soul crushing kind of damage- and they do it in a instant.  Like a whip, like a cobra- Snap!  You’re stung stupid.  They leave with their sickly stinging poison in your blood- it never goes away.  You just get used to the taste and the sting.

Stepping up to the doors, a voice I had heard earlier in the day resonated in my ears. I’ve never met the owner of this voice in person by the way.  The voice said: When facing the Dragon, you must have courage. Courage is your shield.  Courage.

The aegis of Courage gave me power to pull the door open and step inside.  I wish I could say I brandished my shield bravely, like Athena, the shining warrior goddess…but the reality is I stepped in blindly, everything was blurry, my ears were ringing, my eyes couldn’t focus.

Courage.

I looked up.  The haze in my eyes cleared to reveal the faces of my clan- smiling and happy to see me.  The dragon wasn’t there.  It had slithered back into it’s dark dungeon.

I know my foe will return, because Wyrms have been here for eternity.   

But tonight Dragon, I won.  And Dragon, I will win again and again and again.

Lightning Has Hit

You are someone who has never invested time and energy in your creativity.  Ok- how do you start?

First, there is an awareness that things have changed in your mind, that things as they have been are no more.

Emotionally
Spiritually
Creatively

Your treadmill of life feels restricted.  You are not content.  You’re hungry and you’re angry.

To get to that moment, a lightening bolt has to hit.  Maybe it’s heading to rehab or cancer.  Your 50th birthday, a moment of loneliness, a certain slant of light winter afternoons…

When that moment comes- you have no choice but to listen.  Try to ignore, it comes right back and slaps you- I’m still here!  You can turn off the TV, but that crashing still reaches your brain.  It still stings and you are even angrier.

It’s time to dream of the extraordinary.
This is no time for small assed dreams.

Ignite the Light Fantastic of creativity and look how quickly bravery and will take over. Then momentum swings in and voila- you’re at the cash register at Michael’s with new pencils and a coloring book, or a moleskin journal.

Creativity is your ticket to ride the storm out. It’s the new swing dance craze taking over the Savoy Ballroom- because right now- there is no other way than to dance out of the darkness. Lightning has hit.

It helps not to do this hero’s journey alone. To have a dance partner or several- someone to wink and nod and say: I’m doing it too.  But, remember, in history, there have been plenty of light dancers who have gone it alone.  At the core, your partner has to be you, no one can move your feet for you.

The first creative step is the first step out of sadness and hopelessness.  It means everything and it’s all you’ve got.

 

The Road of Desperate Seeking

Do you crave Acknowledgment?  When you’re done with a creative project, do you go looking for it?

Let's be honest- we love it when it happens.  To be acknowledged by our peers, fans, social media followers feels down-right good. 

We like to be shown right, we fall in thrall with the sound of our applause: Bravo!  It’s the confidence shot, proof that what you do does matter.  You have been heard, you are not a hopeless artist living in a self-involved bubble.

It’s the artist's quest for the acknowledged connection.

Searching outside you for acknowledgement leads down a road of desperate seeking.  How often do we check our Facebook Live videos to see how many people have watched it?  I know I do- I caught myself checking for the eight time in one day...

This quest down acknowledge road never ends- even when you are fed (wow! 800 people have seen my video!)- the craving comes back again and again.  Slowly and surely it eats away at the most precious gift: your time.

Turn the mirror on you.  Ask yourself:

Did I follow my dream?

Did I give voice to my soul?

Am I content?

When and if you answer Yes, then what is this craving acknowledgement really for?  Do you need to be acknowledged? When you are dead and gone- will it make a difference to you? 

Celebrate your creation.  Be in thrall with you.  At the most basic starting point, create simply because you are alive to do it.  You have the time to do it.  You have the strength to do it.   Now, listen for the inside sound of clapping- your heartbeat.

Then do it all again.

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4 Ways A Mentor Encourages You

Are you someone who thinks outside of the box, naturally does things different than the usual way?  Yes?  Ok- here's my bet:

When you do something, some folks get it and some folks don't.  

Glorious as it feels to have your unique creativity received as a good thing, it feels crummy/shitty to have it turned down.  In the life of a creative- there is MUCH more of the latter- it takes a determined mind of steel to carry on and survive/thrive.

You don’t have to go it alone.

What helps is to have a mentor.  Someone who gets you and gets your work (notice how I didn't use the work LIKE).  A quality mentor will re-align you when the going gets rough and tell the truth when you've swayed from your mapped out creative path.  A mentor will influence you, so choose wisely.

#1 Try to find someone who has a life frame you admire.  DO NOT pick a stranger...at least for now.  Find a person you know and who knows you, the chances of them saying yes are far higher than getting a yes from Sheryl Sandberg.  

#2 An ideal mentor creates regularly, in many forms.  They know how to manage their creative work time AND their fun time (life balance).  Your mentor puts herself out there- takes risks with their art and remains consistent.  

#3 Your mentor has a clear, strong sense of self and self confidence.  They carry themselves in such a way that you notice when they walk into a room.  Eye contact, body language, speaking voice…these body signs will help you see if this is the mentor for you.

#4 Look for a mentor who is ahead of you on the career path, but not too far ahead.  Oftentimes we look up instead of looking right and left.  Your ideal mentor is probably sitting next to you at local business meeting- she’s not an attendee, she the organizer.

The ability to successfully encourage self and other is a skill and a blessing.  Not everyone who claims to be a mentor can pull it off.  An encouraging mentor never belittles, passes judgement or lectures you.  They are there only to mindfully encourage.  When you do find your mentor, keep in mind that someday, somehow, you should do the same for someone else.

 

I Cain't Say No!

One step to move stress out of your body, mind and energy is to take a hard look at yourself.   Stress can come about because we take on too much, are trying to please too many people or are working too hard.  If you begin by looking clearly and without judgement at yourself- then you have a chance to conquer the road to a life with less stress.

Why can't I say No?  Who do I truly value in my life? How can I organize my time effectively so I'm not working all the time?

When you are asked to do something extra, let's say for work- what does the project do to advance your current situation?  If you are self employed, you just say no- it doesn't serve your goals.  But If you have an employer and your job depends on accepting the new project, then it's a different story.  Look at other work projects that can pause and say no to them- there are things you can eliminate if you look hard enough.

Who are your friends?  Do they lift you up, support you and encourage your success without judgement?  Or, do they expect you to do the same old things- drink bad wine, talk about obscure French films until 4am on a Wednesday?  Sometimes friendships have to end.  Ask yourself if this person lifts, supports and encourages you.  If they no longer do, then allow them to gracefully move out of your life.

Organize your time.  Prioritize.  Make a planner.  Buy a planner.  Download a free planner.  Stick to it like a cheap spandex dress.  Put a time to each task- put a timer on your phone.  Be sure to put exercise, meditation and FUN in there.  Yes...FUN.  When a tasks time is up.  Stop.  That's it.  Day done- no judgement if you didn't cross everything off the page.

 

Dwell in Possibilty

With age comes clarity and wisdom about what you are here to do.  Your energy moves in a vertical pattern, propelling up and down - dancing between roots and the vast beyond of the thousand petal lotus.   Choices are made with a history of mistakes and missed cues, but choices are still made with aspirations and dreams. 

You choose much quicker than you used to.  All the years of agonizing over a shift- now you know very quickly what you have to do.  You know right action.

Even difficult decisions aren’t that hard anymore, because you’ve been there before- you know the scene.  You know that you cannot change what is, you can only choose to feel differently.  Difficulties become your power.

Non reaction to the reality that is- facile adaptation to the reality that is.  No longer getting waylaid for long periods while you try to fix things, try to make things right.  You choose to put yourself on the path of the heart, the path of right thought and right action.

Being older means you slow down, you know how to put the speed down on your race car.  Taking time to breathe in and out, to smile, to sit, to Be.  Time to invest in dreaming and dwelling in possibility.

I dwell in Possibility –

A fairer House than Prose –

More numerous of Windows –

Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –

Impregnable of eye –

And for an everlasting Roof

The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –

For Occupation – This –

The spreading wide my narrow Hands

To gather Paradise –

                                    Emily Dickinson

Lead self away from repeated patterns and into a design of life in full bloom.  Lead self back to what is truly important: your light in the current perfect moment.

Dwell in possibility- leave stagnation and endless spinning behind.  Gather Paradise and dance alongside it with all your might.