Saturday, September 16, 2017


The term “Squirrely” is often negatively misinterpreted.  Everyone has a LINK to a squirrely side within their being to express and be creative…  However, many have squandered this component of themselves in a reserved fashion in order to maintain a sense of order in their lives or to avoid being judged. 

This spontaneous, fun, unpredictable, wild, slightly crazy and flighty free-spirited action of being “squirrely” usually only finds its way to a free forum of artistry, expression or professionally where such wild ideas are embraced and accepted as ‘required’ skill or permitted.

When was the last time you LINKED to your squirrely side? 

  • How often do you get to use it in the work you do? 

  • If you do not work in a profession where you are allowed to even be creative, where do you exercise that creative muscle in your hobbies or leisure part of your life? 

  • Do you feel like you are able to express yourself creatively or do you feel like there are barriers in being able to do what it is you do?  Are they your barriers or do they come from your external environment?  

I decided to write this blog for the frustrated creative squirrely rebels who are stuck in boxes where they cannot express themselves and also for those who are free in the world who need to know they are not alone.  I SEE YOU.  KEEP GOING. 

This week, I had the chance to talk with a few random people at a networking event who all admitted they have not been true to their squirrely soul.  One of them was a student who was mailing transcripts.  He switched majors for the third time in order to please his parents’ idea of what a ‘safe career’ would be.

Safe?  What is safe these days with an economy in a constant state of flux?

I could see clearly that the student did not want to wear a suit and tie – but it was not about that.  Rather it was his idea of adapting to the ‘everyday’ struggle of putting on a fake mask pretending to be some mover and shaker in an industry that was not in alignment to what he wanted, but what his parents wanted. He also knew he was going where his ideas would be crushed under someone else’s thumb. 

Talk about insight. High-five  YOLO.  Sigh.  Let's just hope he breaks free and finds his way and the courage to tell his parents this isn't who he truly is and he's not being true to his authentic self.

At this same networking meeting there were many frustrated professionals who felt stifled in being able to contribute creative ideas for getting their brand out into the marketplace and community just because their ideas weren’t considered ‘normal.’ 

My question to all of that is... WHO defines 'normal?'  Isn't it better to not blend into some generic bland lane of normalcy and instead stand out and be different? 

Sifting through all of this frustration looking directly in the eyes of souls, I could see who wants to ‘get out’ and run free with their vision, but often feel stuck in doing so.

For both the student and yes, even the seasoned executives, I saw the same thing... a 'feeling stuck' point - some who ‘did not want to comply’ with this ‘safe mode’ of a structured place in Corporate America and some who only did because they thought they had no options.


The executives?  They already sold out but felt it was too late. The light in their eyes wanting the ‘something more’ and to live where my creative head was taking them, I felt some sort of push-pull tug-o-war with what I witnessed, where they were dying to be realized themselves.  
How many of you are dying on the vine?
How often have you asked yourself if you are doing what you think you are supposed to be doing vs. what someone has transferred to you to do that was not your vision you had for yourself? 

I see a lot of this every single day… and I think about this endless merry-go-round and wonder how many businesses are actually working in alliance with their employees, with their teams to utilize their best creative assets to foster something more than just false sense of long-term security of a paycheck. 

There are businesses who are starting to adopt to a lifestyle culture where they believe in hiring the person, not the suit.  I salute you people… especially those of you who focus on someone’s creative contribution and actually VALUE IT.  If there were only more like you… let’s hope together we can facilitate change.  


I reflected back to the 19 year-old me resonating with this squirrely side pushing myself away from the cubicle life, which my parents had wanted that I felt, was a soul-crushing prison under not-so-flattering fluorescent lighting.  I had bolted like Pegasus flapping my creative rainbow glittered wings wanting something more for my soul to feel invested where squirrely creativity could be nurtured, cradled and fed warm gooey cookies.   

There was only one real answer to that at the time, the arduous against-the-grain pathway of entrepreneurship being an independent contractor. 

For me, this whole topic has been a life-long Achilles heel as most tightly structured businesses like to operate in the parameters of staying inside of a very contained and strained box diagram.  They “claim” to be ‘outside-the-box’ (this has become profanely overused)… but when “thinking big and beyond the norm”… they become the OPPOSITE and the negative connotation of the word squirrely.  

To clarify, the antsy and awkward “fear” most businesses have is that they welcome creativity, but not too much creativity. What's too much? Innovative/maverick-driven stuff that has ‘not been done before.’   

Most businesses believe in the operational mode of the “let’s not reinvent the wheel” mentality as they would rather someone else take said risk, watch it… and then swiftly jump on the bandwagon once it is proven by someone else’s big picture vision to try first.  Once they know it is safe, and then they will adhere to the ‘trend’ and look like heroes.

While this may appear safer for them…I will unapologetically stand in my truth and say I see it as cowardly, lacking vision and being too conformist.  This is NOT judgment, this is observational opinion from experience, where I have seen too many flounder creatively staying in the same freeway lane too long. What ends up happening is these companies end up taking their team for granted from complacency-sake, with miserable staffs who function on auto-pilot, lacking motivation or a reason to wake up in the morning. 

Though my logical and analytical mind knows WHY… no one likes to take risks and have their behind on the line for being brave, creative and having conviction in supporting or backing something untried, new and ‘out there’ in a squirrely way.

However, even though I understand it, it doesn’t make taking the road less traveled any less frustrating.  It just means we have to carry on with deeper conviction if our hearts are in our dreams and our artistry comes from a place of truth and passion to become realized. 

Do not get me wrong, I am a highly organized believer in rules, structure, plans; operating procedures…they have their place for purpose and reason.  I respect that and when it comes to safety, health and well-being….this is imperative.   

BUT......... when it comes to harnessing great talent with the ‘if you can dream it, you can do it’ mindset of fostering growth and creativity to having it all become realized – my mind and heart support innovation,unconventional ways of creating, bravery and being different, even if supportive sponsorship or ‘big business’ doesn’t quite see it the same way. 

Hence, small businesses… we must keep thriving people even if we are not always recognized by ‘the system.’ 

During a fifteen-year stint in my life, I was lucky to be able to allow my inner-squirrely girl run free. 

I was working for an eco-minded creative arts event.  They were trying to transition some activities from Thanksgiving to Christmas. They needed an idea to create intrigue.  So my brain came up with…”How about asking people to save their Thanksgiving turkey carcasses, wash them and bring them to the event for us for us to recycle, reuse and repurpose/multipurpose into decorated Christmas sleigh crafts, utilizing it as an activity for kids as well as a visual media draw?”  Out there? Yes. Risky? Yes. Multifunctional to tackle attendance, draw, interest, engagement and separate this event from forty others going on the same weekend?  Yes. Perhaps not so crazy or squirrely after all.

Many other ideas like live crab racing; creating promotions for people to attend an event in their “laundry mistakes” like a ‘not previously pink’ attire contest were no brainers.  Funky promotions like a coconut bowling with pineapple pins contests for a tropical cocktails promo; creating actual live Elvis sightings for a month and a half in random places like Build-A-Bear (to tie-in with the debut of the Elvis bear) or Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor (peanut butter and banana sundaes, thankyouverymuch)… I am lucky to say were all supported, utilized and successfully executed.  In my case, I was lucky to say that I was able to nurture a crazy, squirrely seed of an idea and actually make it happen for real.  However, I know not everyone is lucky to do this. 

My heart celebrates the heroes that choose to ride their virgin ideas straight into battle in the face of adversity, showing chutzpah, vigor, courage, and knowing this is no easy-peasy trek, but they plan to endure anyway.

This resonates with my rebel heart ten-fold. Perhaps it's foolish, or unrealistic to believe that one day more business will welcome squirrely creativity. Maybe you’re the same.  Or perhaps you are more practical, either way my brain comprehends the whole chess board, it’s just that my authentic stance sits on the side of ‘Go Big or Go Home’ with limited earthly existence, particularly with the clock ticking. I live for the full court basketball shot like this one:

So dear creative rebels who dare to go where no one else has dared to create before, I say soldier onward… you are not alone and just because your vision is ‘out there’ … does not mean that it is not worthy of seeing the light of day.  

  1. You have to keep going
  2. Do not allow your doubts/fears to paralyze your vision
  3. Allow yourself to OWN your truth and creative being
  4. Understand that it is HEALTHY for the mind-body connection to free your artistry
  5. Denying yourself a chance to have an outlet for your ideas is toxic for your soul
  6. Do not worry about others judging your creativity – YOU create what you want, but another’s judgment does not define YOUR ART
  7. If you have ideas, give yourself permission to explore them
  8. Choose to find support wherever you can
  9. If you are living someone else’s dream rather than your own, you are denying your heart what it deserves
  10. Rejection is a part of life. It does not mean you are ‘less than’ – remember that!

Yes, it may take a while to see your ideas ‘realized’ – it does not mean your ideas are too crazy to be supported. Without crazy ideas, there would be no SNL and there probably wouldn’t be the electronic device you are reading this on either. Somewhere someone said, “What? Reading a blog on a phone in your hand? That’s preposterous.” 

If anything, it just means your creativity is needed even more than you realize. Or you may just need to use what you have to create a ripple for more creative works i.e. the first one was just practice to master your craft, vision or creation.

Once others stop suppressing their inner squirrel to SEE YOU, they may eventually find resonance echoing more than just whispers, but with some amplified bass in their consciousness to see your articulated bigger picture. I continue to fight the same one you do with numerous ‘out there’ side projects. So don’t think I still don’t sit where you do. 

Whether you are a product or service inventor or engineer or creative artist – sometimes timing is key or finding the right avenue of distribution or alliance.  Sometimes it’s a ‘world unfolding’ thing where your creativity stumbles across the right visionaries, tribe or support.

What I’ve learned over the years is that you may not be everyone’s cup of Tahitian vanilla bean organic rooibos chai tea almond milk latte with an orange zest twist, even if you are accompanied by a plate of warm dark chocolate toasted hazelnut ancho chile shortbread cookies.  You may offer something creative that appears enticing but some people would rather go with plain tea, and store-bought plain bland colorless cookies just because they believe that’s what the world wants (because it’s less risky) and that they’re not ready for what you have to offer. Or... yes, they don't quite know "what the heck to do with you."

That's okay, too. Remember, if you are an octopus with a multi-cylinder brain on rapid-fire, I will tell you as one myself... just because someone doesn't value your abilities does not mean your abilities, talents and vision are not worthwhile.  Read that again, please.

Being THAT different does not mean you will continue to be ignored. I mean creating Christmas sleighs out of leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcasses is NOT mainstream stuff… remember that!  Someone, somewhere, some day will say…  

"Whoa…where the heck have you been, you unique lil’ squirrely one?  We have been looking for you all this time and we SEE YOU. We need your brain and that exact widget, because NO ONE else has it, and that is what will set us apart in the world.

You may not have felt like you belonged anywhere, but suddenly you fit exactly where you need to fit!  It is here, the shared perspective will be able to climb heights together in working partnership beyond the treetops.  We can only hope this nutty idea or two can manifest into something that can transform minds and hearts everywhere.  

Until then… persistence, perseverance, tenacity, and belief are your friend.  Link to your inner squirrely artistry to create and you will find your way through the branches to reach the clouds.

When you do…you’ll be glad you were brave enough to LINK to your squirrely side, express your creativity freely and allow others catch up to discover and celebrate your unique expression you have to share with the world.