Crack Me Up

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I’ve been on a roll this past week. After months of dormant creativity, I engaged in some serious work about what was blocking me. As soon as I got down and honest, it was amazing how my energy began to flow! I started looking at things that were bothering me, not so much as problems, but as chances to create what I wanted, instead of reacting to whatever was on the 2am list.

And so, when at dinner last week I splattered salmon butter on one of my favorite summer easy dresses, I rushed home to wash it. Despite my best efforts, the spot wouldn’t come out. Bummed, I let it go. And then in the shower, it hit me…tie dye it! Barely dry, I ran out back, made a concoction of bleachy water in a spray bottle, simply rubber banded around the spot and a few other places and sprayed away. Viola’! Now I like it even more!

Check out this lovely essay about Kintsukuroi and then take a look around your home and life. What’s broken that you aren’t willing to throw out and yet maybe struggle to live with? Perhaps there are some relationships that are pretty cracked, but valued. Or maybe there’s an object, like my Bobie’s  cracked vase that I waited years to own. I love it and use it as a planter. I found a vine that sits inside and drapes over the crack. I don’t even notice it when my heart delights at it’s place on my table.

http://www.camiimac.com/good-juju-today-blog/kintsukuroi-more-beautiful-for-having-been-broken

Sometimes it’s easy to see a spot, or a crack, or what is missing in our lives, and feel badly. But sometimes, if we just reframe it, tie-dye it or fill it with gold, we hold it differently and it can become a new and valued treasure.

What was cracked in your life that you were able to MindFULLY  Kintsukuroi?

Let us know!

 

 

 

 

 

MindFULL Mother’s Day Gift

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shellWhile every day should be Mother’s Day, the designated day to celebrate a special woman in your life who MindFULLY mothers you, is next week. And do I have the perfect something you can send…Roses.

BFD, you say? Well, actually, yes! For the roses I’m turning you on to will last for six months. And that is truly a MindFULL way to show someone just how much she really means.

How did I find these amazing roses? Via Luxe Bloom®, the innovative flower company founded by one of my First Bosses, Marketing Mentor, Friend, and Style Icon, Shelley Rosen. While I am tired of the phrase “BadAss Woman”, Shelley really is. After rising through the ranks of the Sales Promotion Agency world and McDonalds, Shelley launched her own brand management company, AirLift. She has helped grow almost any major brand that comes to mind. It’s no wonder she turned her attention to flowers. And I think it’s kinda funny that her last name is Rosen and she sells Roses. Meant to be.

When I asked Shelley about Luxe Bloom® and Mother’s Day, she said, “Mother’s Day is a magical time for Luxe Bloom®. We receive so many gift requests and seeing the notes that accompany the gifts make us smile with joy. Mom’s do so much for us, why not gift her something she can just enjoy with no care? At Luxe Bloom, we sell real rose arrangements that can last up to 60 days without any water or care. Simply open the box and display. Leading luxury hotels like the St. Regis Washington use our rose displays to make a high impact for luxury guest just two blocks from the White House. We are changing the way people buy flowers with our time and money saving innovation. Our no care roses are sure to please.”

So, check out their Mother’s Day Collection. If you buy now, they can ship by Monday May 8th to make it in time for Mother’s Day! And for MindFULL Creative friends, use the promo code FRIENDSFAM for a 10% off discount on your purchase.

https://www.luxebloom.com/collections/all

Delight, honor and lasting sentiment. Now, that’s MindFULLY Creative!

How do you MindFULLY honor the Mothering Women in your life?

Let us know!

 

 

 

In This Together

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When you look in the mirror, what do you see? It depends on who’s looking. For many kids, while they see themselves reflected over the sink, they rarely see themselves in young adult books and movies.

That’s where In This Together Media shines like a beacon, beckoning All kids, of All races, sexual orientation, and socio-economic diversity. In This Together Media strives to offer “diverse, realistic, unwhitewashed representations of kids, especially girls, in YA and middle-grade literature.”

When you visit In This Together Media, http://inthistogethermedia.com/ this gorgeous description greets you and pulls you into a world that celebrates All stories.

“We believe that everyone should be able to imagine themselves when they pick up a book or watch a movie. Sadly, today’s media doesn’t reflect everyone. We’re out to change that. We package books and films to create more diversity in media. We highlight the stories of all children and young adults, including gay, black, girls, transgender, and more. Beyond just highlighting them, we want them to be the stars of the stories we create, inspiring others just like them to be who the are – with confidence and power.”

Excited about the company on many levels, I was also really inspired by the founder’s stories. Over the last month, almost every woman I have spoken with seems to be grappling with the same questions: “What’s Next?” “I’ve done the same thing for so long, what can I possibly do now?” Founders Carey Albertine and Saira Rao were classmates at University of VA. Carey has an MBA, worked in Investment Banking and has held various positions in the creative world of late night television. Saira has been an attorney and news producer. After they became Moms, they recognized that few books reflected the rich and diverse world they occupied. Together they created their company and used Kickstarter to help fund it.

Basically, they stopped talking and got doing.

Check out this awesome article on them from Fast Company https://www.fastcompany.com/3031332/most-creative-people/the-stars-of-these-young-adult-books-swear-struggle-and-generally-act-l

And check out their latest offering —  Emily Ziff Griffin’s debut YA novel, Light Years.

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Let their mission MindFULLY lead you through a real world in YA literature, and let their story of friendship, tenacity and possibility inspire you to do something that speaks to you. Afterall, we all have a story.

What could you MindFULLY create that would reflect your world? Let us know!

To Good Friends and Good Health

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When you are a kid, where do you learn about life? Your childhood BFF (coined in 5th grade by girls at sleepovers world-wide: best friend forever), of course! The one you try things with, lay by the pool with for hours and think has all the answers. In my case, Carolyn (aka Lynnie) did.

I loved The Waygood’s large, bustling home atop the longest, curviest driveway a 5th grader could ride her bike up, filled with warm and loving parents, life-living siblings and motor bikes that roared through the back woods. It was her home I ran away to when my mom wouldn’t let me see David Cassidy at Madison Square Garden. It was to her, and her dreamy older sister, I turned to when I started experiencing changes in my body and had no idea what to do.

Lucky for me, years ago Carolyn and I reconnected via FB and once again, I can count on her wisdom as I experience mid-life changes that confound me. Phew.

In her first chapter, Carolyn owned a wildly successful computer consulting firm. After years of seriously intense work, and ever growing insight into the effects of constant stress on our bodies, she sold her company, “retired” and followed her interest in natural health.

Today, she is a Board Certified Doctor of Naturopathy, helping people overcome health concerns using natural approaches, such as nutrition, lifestyle changes, vitamins and herbal supplements, essential oils, exercise, and other non-prescription, natural methods for achieving optimal health.

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Sometime around early 2000, Carolyn’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. With no family history, the diagnosis was shocking. Without getting too personal, it seemed that there were several contributing factors that could have been more closely monitored, had there been more information available at the time.

Furious and frustrated by how little she knew, it hit Carolyn how few women are educated on the basic facts surrounding breast cancer risk reduction (or cancer risk reduction, in general), and she wanted to change that. She learned about a Class 2 Medical Device called the Breast Chek™ Aid, designed to enhance one’s sense of touch, making breast self-exams easier and more informative. She spoke at health fairs, corporate functions, and women’s luncheons – anyone who would listen to her – and taught people about breast cancer, risk factors, self-examination techniques, and the importance of early detection.

After about 2 years of further research and education, she realized that a large component of breast cancer risk reduction is actually prevention, and there were many things women could be doing to prevent cancer from occurring altogether. There was a lot of chatter about “early detection” but not as much about detection. Now she is moving toward specializing in Naturopathic Oncology – or the treatment and prevention of cancer naturally.

Via natural products called Plexus, she carries a small line formulated to address some of the primary biochemical risk factors for cancer, including high sugar levels, elevated insulin levels, a build-up of toxic waste (including estrogens), inadequate digestion & nutrient absorption, and more.

She wants folks to know that there are many natural alternatives and that PREVENTION is a powerful word. She whole-heartedly believes that the “best medicine is preventing disease altogether” and when people voice their desire for natural approaches to their health they can begin to live drug-free and healthier, more productive lives.

You can learn more about Carolyn and her passion at www.ShopMyPlexus.com/Waygood

And then, please join me in a moment of silence for those we love that have been taken by cancer. This MindFULL Monday is the birthday of Jodi, my HS friend who died when we were only 36. This is the month of Sharon’s birthday, as well. I miss her everyday. Oh, and one more thing…please check out Annie Segal’s moving pictures of her mom, Nancy, beautiful wife of our childhood friend, Jeff Segal. Nancy passed away over the Holidays. In her memory, Annie is running the Relay for Life next week.   #flockofsegals      http://main.acsevents.org/goto/anniesegal

What do you MindFULLY do to take care of yourself?

Let us know!

Launching Creative Inspiration

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Joyful Pages-coverF[2] copyHave you ever had a really long flight and wanted something to do, or enjoyed sitting in a café watching the people go by and had an idea, or been somewhere that has inspired you and you wanted to capture the essence? One way I have found to bring MindFULL joy to such moments is via Art Journaling. And I’ve been lucky enough to learn from The Master. And now, you can, too.

My funny friend, and walking buddy, also happens to be one of the best art teachers I have ever had. Her name is Judith Cassel-Mamet. And below is an excerpt from our conversation about her new book, Joyful Pages: Adventures in Art Journaling.

For those of you in Denver, the book launch party will be at the Art Student League of Denver on April 15, 2-4pm.  It is open to the public and there will be some art materials to explore, as well as both the books and journal kits available for purchase. A portion of each sale will be donated to the Student Art League of Denver (Where I first met Judith). You can also get her book on Amazon or her web site: www.jcmamet.net

When I retired from teaching at both the high school and university levels I found a new passion  introducing adults to the magic of playing with colors and creative expression. Working in a journal is freeing compared with trying to create a perfect painting or drawing to hang on the wall. Turning the page  becomes the goal rather than creating a single object. With this in mind, I wrote the Joyful Pages book. It is jam-packed with step by step techniques for layering pages with color and textures. There are suggestions for using your own handwriting for recording thoughts and further anchoring moments both magical and mundane. 

 Just after publishing the book I created a companion kit with all the art materials needed to play with the techniques in a decorative box. I found that students wanted to get their hands on the wonderful sprays, inks and crayons demonstrated in the full color illustrations. Having a sample of everything in one place saves time shopping and gathering materials, so the kit has been a delightful addition to the book effort. 

 In so many ways this book (and kit) project fulfills a long held dream to see the instruction that is often given in a workshop tucked into one package. I have been delighted with the feedback from students; one even sent a message saying she brought the book to southern Australia and was reading it on the beach. 

 I am reminded of a phrase about “my gratitude being greater than my expectations” and feel like it describes this cycle for me perfectly.

Wouldn’t you like to have MindFULL gratitude be greater than your expectations? Check out this link for a tutorial and some Joyful inspiration and let us know! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE_wyusYNRk

If These Walls Could Talk

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It has been quite a while since last I posted. I’ve been busy with work, travel, transition of my only child’s college launch, and a Mom who has needed a little extra loving. But I am excited to spring with Spring and to begin to re-imagine The MindFULL Creative. Please bear with me. The creative process takes time and I am learning new skills, finding new ways, and pondering my own NEXT.

While I’ve been out and about, I’ve spent some extra time at my Mom’s house. Sad for me, we live quite a distance from each other. If we lived closer we’d be together more often. You see, I scored. I like my Mom, as much as I love her. She is warm, creative, funny, willing to own her stuff and wise. All over her house she has post it notes, signs, cartoons, postcards and sayings on almost every surface.

me and mom

There is much on her walls to learn from and ponder.

I took a picture of this magazine article taped to her study door. The page is yellow with time. The words wrap around the wall, but if you can see them, you can read them. And if you read them, you’ll “see” more.

moms wall

I am also popping in a link to an article I came across at some point and saved. Sorry for not giving credit where credit is due. The article asked 21 people to share something someone said that forever changed their way of thinking.

http://www.knowable.com/a/21-people-share-something-someone-said-that-forever-changed-their-way-of-thinkin

I love to collect words of wisdom. I have journals filled with thoughts and teachings from some incredible folks I have known for lifetimes, and other I have met along the way. Over the next few weeks, as I MindFULLY work my way back into posting, I will share the musings of some of these special people. In the meantime, give a listen to your walls. If they could speak, what would they teach you?

Have you ever heard something that changed your MindFULL perspective?
Let us know!

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Caveat: This post is for TMC readers who have kids heading to college this Fall, or may already be there. For the rest of my wonderful readers, TMC will be back on track in September with lots of MindFULL Creative ideas to share!

I’m gonna make this post short and sweet. My bandwidth is rather narrow these days. With my daughter’s imminent departure for college fast approaching, my chest is tight, my heart is full and my eyes are brimming with the tears of pride and sadness. Thank goodness for my friends and family who have walked the path before us. Their support, wisdom and loving kindness have been invaluable.

This weekend, Auntie Karen and Niece Miriam visited. A rising college Junior, Miriam had much to share. One of the best pieces of advice she got and passed on: “You’re gonna have bad days. Just like you did at home. And it doesn’t mean it’s the wrong fit or anything major. It’s just a bad day in a different place.”

addieKarenmiri

There is so much info out there, so as we say, “Take the best and leave the rest” — I’m sharing two of the best saving graces I have received over the last few months: Letting Go (Fifth Edition): A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years, by Karen Levin Coburn and an article, written by an old friend’s darling, smart and honest son, James Keane, about his freshman year at Northwestern. http://time.com/3896431/to-the-freshman-class-of-2015-its-ok-if-everythings-great-is-a-lie/
In my mind, and on my desktop (Well before DT used it), The Rolling Stones song
You Can’t Always Get What You Want keeps playing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zgAWHRJC1Y

It’s a MindFULL reminder…with dear friends, honest resources, and a whole lot of Faith, ya get what ya need.

How are you MindFULLY navigating kids and college? Let us know!

MindFULL Summah Inspahration

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Ahh…finally. The dog days of summer have rolled in, and with them blooms of inspiration abound. As I clean off my iPad and iPhone, making way for new pics and memories, podcasts, books and a few TV shows, I feel the soft slow beat of ease.

Two fun TV shows fill my iPad: Season 2 Grace and Frankie and comedian W. Kamau Bell’s show The United Shades of America on CNN.

Grace and Frankie’s second season may not be as juicy as the first, but the music is still terrific and Lily Tomlin’s clothes relate-able. From her closet I discovered, Sleevey Wonders, ½ shirts you can wear under sleeveless tops and dresses to hide your Haddasah arms (www.sleeveywonders.com) I think she wears a full (and expensive) version, but these are just as good and less bulky.

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The Grace and Frankie Season 2 Playlist is at www.tunefind.com/show/grace-and-frankie/season-2

Then there is W. Kamau Bell’s The United Shades of America on CNN. The comedian takes you on a 1 hour journey to places you might not have thought to go: Inside the KKK, behind prison walls, on a beat  with cops in Camden, NJ to name a few. Last night we went to Alaska. Bell brings a perspective and sense of humor to another side of people and places. My daughter turned us onto him and now we watch as a family.

But… we can’t spend all of our time glued to a screen. While there are tons of lists for the perfect summer read, the two books I am taking on vacation are The Point of Vanishing, a memoir of two years in solitude by Howard Axelrod and Death In The Off Season by Francine Mathews. Francine is an inspirational friend and an entertaining and educational writer – from her Jane Austen series, to her historical fiction books on JFK and Ian Fleming, to these new summer page turners set on the shores of New England. If I can’t get there in person, this is the next best way of smelling the sea air as I cut just one more slice of blueberry pie and pretend.

My mom turned me onto Axelrod’s book, a memoir depicting his tale of a pickup game of basketball at the end of his junior year at Harvard, and a slight of hand that left him permanently blinded in his right eye. My mom, ever so cute and creative, chose it for her book club to read and then hosted the meeting and gave everyone a patch to cover their right eye with as they discussed his experience.

As I pack my bag for vacation, I am abuzz with the anticipation of entry into new worlds and their notings in my trusty travel journal, thanks to Judith Cassel-Mamet and her ever creative blog jcmamet.com. Let the filling of pages begin!

What are you MindFULLY watching, reading and listening to this summer?

Let us know!

Beautiful

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What do sex, faith and race all have in common? Your perception of each relies on your perspective.

I LOVE this! Not only because it was a question posed by a Senior high school boy for whom I hold high regard, but because his answer gave me much to think about while standing in an open field, holding a piece of painted metal in the hot morning sun. Rather than melt, I was cooled by the “aha” of how much I value perception, perspective and the heartfelt knowing of who stands for me, and for whom I stand.

Last week, at 9pm, an email from a mom I had known since my daughter’s days at her K-8 school came in. Help! Her son had bumped up against the deadline of his Senior Project and he needed several pairs of hands the next day to help finish it out. Without asking why or for what, I immediately responded Yes. To me, it wasn’t about the details, but the act of showing up for a friend and simply doing what was needed – something I personally place a high value on.

The next morning, with curiosity and delight, we Moms found ourselves in a large wet grassy field in the rolling and beautiful back valley of a local school, moving as directed – to the right, to the left, a little higher and a little lower. Turns out the project, built on learnings from The Beautiful Project, was the brainchild of this young man we had watched grow from a gangly, bright little middle school boy into a thoughtful, smart, handsome and quirky young man. I loved his project – he wrote poems and short stories about perception and perspective when one looks at sex, faith and race and then physically cut metal pieces, hand painted them and used his talent for math and science to parcel each piece individually, so that when standing at a distance, different pieces made up the words Sex, Faith and Race. One big giant metaphor.

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As I stood there and laughed, I also stood there and wept.

I wept for his creative brilliance. I wept for the support and sincere good cheer this group of moms gave to each other and to these kids over the last 12 years (and for the amazing and loving friends and family who showed up for my daughter over the last few weeks to celebrate her high school graduation). I wept for the friend who taught our children creative applications to intellectual challenges, and was no longer living to see us all standing in the field. I wept for the end of this era. I wept for the future this young man had in front of him, and how special it was that he would leave his legacy in the grassy fields of his high school.

Touched to my core, I raised my metal piece high, and low, and side to side. And when I was done, I left with my own new perspective. Amazing what our kids can teach us.

Who do you MindFULLY stand for and who stands for you? Let us know!

 

 

Hallowed Halls of High School

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Have you ever laughed so hard that you thought you might wet your pants?

I have. On more than one occasion. And usually that occasion involves an old friend from high school.

I graduated from high school a very long time ago. I’m beyond blessed to still be in touch with some wonderful people from that time in my life. And as my own daughter marches toward High School graduation in less than a month, I can’t help but to be flooded with observations, insights and memories.

OK, according to old friends, maybe not so many memories. Recently they reminded me of prom fiascos, adolescent dramas and people who I swear I would not remember if they fell in my soup. For better or worse, I didn’t remember many of their tales.

But amidst the belly laughs I’ve had with them recently, I also had a belly ache when I learned of the death of one of the more prominent figures of those hazy high school days. Not that I had seen this old friend since college, but to learn his life had not been easy, wasn’t enough to erase the picture of a young, sweet, handsome boy my girlfriend had loved in high school.

As my daughter has both feet out the door and both arms wrapped around our legs, it has been a year of constant thoughts and body memories. And according to Why You Truly Never Leave High School, an old New Yorker article I re-discovered recently, there is good reason.

http://nymag.com/news/features/high-school-2013-1/

Take a read, and if you care to, let your mind wander. Maybe you have no interest in going back there. Maybe you’re curious with time and distance. See what comes up and if you want, how you remember that time in your life. Then, try and find a friend or family member from that time and see how they remember it. Chances are, you will gain insight into something of today that connects back to a year you rarely think of.

Then, be kind to yourself and cheer the person you have grown to be, understand that it’s natural for grown people to sometimes act like they are still in high school, and maybe call an old friend and reconnect.

And along the way, don’t forget to laugh…

How do you MindFULLY remember High School? Let us know!