A Guilded Age

What are these times we are living in? The news is dismal, our connections are weakened by pandemic and politics, and it’s cold when it should be warm and it’s warm when it should be cold. However, we are resilient! And as such, fortunate to have ways and people who continue to leave us the better for time spent – one of MY favorite barometers for days and relationships.

One such person, who brings ways and joy, is my decades long friend, and creative muse, Rena Tobey. Rena is an educator by heart and an Angel in spirit. Years ago, when I met her, she was a Life Coach when it was a new genre. Man, did she have insight by the bushel. I still live by several thngs I learned with her. One, I’ll gift you with: Cherry Pie. When you have a situation and you think it’s only one way , see it as a pie and try to imagine other slices of what might be. This has helped me to soften my stance at times, for my self and others. It works!

Flash forward to today. Here’s her About from her webite www.renatobey.com

Rena values learning, creative possibility, and fun and dedicates her energy to sparking lively minds. Building on an academic and organizational career, she is passionate about engaging people with all forms of visual expression and filling the spoken word with verve.She has a PhD in Human and Organizational Studies, with 14 years experience as an organizational coach, trainer, and consultant.  Recently, Rena completed her MA, art history program at Hunter College, with a thesis on Elizabeth Okie Paxton and her provocative 1910 painting The Breakfast Tray.

That, and so much more, Rena brings to bare. Wanna taste? Check out her latest offering this Thursday – a library program, February 17th at 7 p.m. EST. https://tuxedoparklibrary.libcal.com/event/8828173

And if any of you are watching A Guilded Age, then I think you will appreciate so much of what Rena has to say – she is like having a companion who whispers details and brings to life what you are watching. So fun!! Check her out. I promise you will be the better for poking around her site and finding other books to read, things to hear and insights to carry you away from the news… and toward better moments.

Armchair Travel

Sticking close to home, but yearning to leave? Wanna travel, but can’t bare the thought of “what ifs”? Well, lucky for you – Sketching Spain Barcelona is just the ticket! Pre-Covid, my friend, art teacher and creative Muse, Judith Cassel-Mamet, and her delightful art partner, Danny (who lives in Spain), put together a sketching trip to Spain. But alas, this year’s trip is postponed – in person. Lucky for us, Judith and Danny have made it possible for us to still go – and you can join in, all from the comforts of your own armchair. Check out the links below and see how you can spend the winter months learning how to sketch, enjoying the sights of Barcelona and even learning about the wines that might have been served! So fun, you may want to bring a friend! Give the gift of Sketching Spain to yourself AND a friend! It will truly be the trip of a lifetime. And you won’t even have to wear a mask. Empaca tus lapices y disfruta!

Sketching Spain: All About Vinohttps://online.classes.sketchingspain.com/courses/sketching-spain-all-about-vino?ref=58921e
Sketching Spain: Barcelonahttps://online.classes.sketchingspain.com/courses/Sketching-spain?ref=58921e

MindFULL Evolution

cropped-header-2r1

Music Que: Frank Sinatra, My Way

Courage. According to Ellen, it’s “being scared and doing it anyway.” Letting go. The theme of the year. Compaction. My own made up word – a combination of Compassion and Action. Mix it all up and you have, “Time for NEXT!”

For the last year, I’ve written about NEXT, talked to many, many, many  women about where they are with NEXT and given it a lot of thought. I’m in that phase of life, where what was is no longer, and what will be, isn’t yet. I can feel the small subtle shifts of change beneath me, around me and inside of me. And I have to say, after the ups and downs of the last two years, I’m finally ready to get up off the sofa and put down my iPad, bringing to life that which I’ve thought of, talked of and watched everyone else do.

And so, after 7 years of writing The MindFULL Creative, I’ve decided to sunset the blog as it is, and evolve it into something new. The new is in creative development, but the exciting potential has propelled me to sit and write posts that have been collecting in my Blog Box. I think I have enough to share on all the MindFULL Mondays still to come before the end of the year. Please stay tuned!

Thank you to all my friends and readers. Creating this blog was a big leap for me. From learning how to technically execute it, to coming up with a name and logo, committing to its’ content and generating the courage to put myself out to you, I have learned a lot. Most of all, I learned there isn’t one way to do anything. There are many.

As long as one of them is mine…

 

What have you MindFULLY created and then decided to let go of it? Let us know!

 

Free The Monkey!

I love signs. Both metaphorically and physically. I look for them everywhere. When the clock strikes 11:11 (which is crazy that I happen to notice it so often), I see it as a sign to set an intention. Years ago I made this little reminder sign and keep it on my shelf – Choice. It’s Yours. Use it.

sign

So it was a sign to me that on Saturday, Ken and I happened to take a road trip to Salida, a small creative town about 2.5 hours from Denver. We had never been and were looking for something different to do for our anniversary (after 28 of em, you have to keep coming up with new ideas, right?) It was a beautiful, vast blue sky, open plains kinda drive. Along the way, we played music and shared stories from the week.

I told him how I learned an awesome metaphorical story from one of my favorite people, and Kabbalah teacher, David. David and I had been talking about Letting Go. He told me about the study of monkeys in the jungle and their bananas. Seems traps were set by placing bananas in cages with small slits just big enough for the monkey to put his hand through and grab a banana. The kicker came as the monkey, while holding tight to the banana tried to pull his hand back out. No can do. The tighter the grip, the less space to pull, and thus, the monkey was stuck.

All the monkey had to do to be free was let go of the banana.

So imagine, my delight when strolling the Salida Art Walk a few hours later and Ken pointed out this sign!

monkey

The next day, at 11:11, I set an intention to Let Go and “drop” several bananas. Here’s to one free Monkey!

How do you MindFULLY Let Go ? Let us know!

Crack Me Up

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

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

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.

 9781507200056[5]

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

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.

carolyn_p[2] copy

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

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

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!