MindFULL Money

When was the last time you and your friends talked about money? I mean REALLY talked about it. Not just as a number, but deeper than that. What it means. More importantly, what YOU think it means.

I often say, if we all talked about money and sex, we’d have more of both (and I am pretty wealthy when it comes to generous friends – I am blessed with a few who are willing to share their thoughts on both subjects.) For my parents generation, the topic of money was taboo. So was wearing white after Labor Day.

For the next two weeks, I’ll be traveling to several cities, talking with people about the notion of retirement. It is a sensitive topic and an honor to hear their stories. It is also an opportunity to get a front row seat in the classroom of Life 101.

You see, I carry old family beliefs and behaviors about money that no longer serve me. It’s like wearing an old sweater that doesn’t really fit, but you can’t donate it.  However, something deep inside is telling me “it’s time to hang it up”.

It’s crazy, for in spite of being married to a patient and numbers-oriented man, I still feel unsure of so many things.  My husband uses Excel the way I use words and twice a year we sit down and talk about what we have and why we are doing what we are doing. Still, I lose steam.

In honor of this project, I vow to use what I hear to refill my tank. Yesterday I downloaded Mint to my iPhone and committed to tracking my spending.  Do you know Mint? Check it out.  www.mint.com . It enables you to set a budget and then monitor your success as you work toward your goals. While you are standing in line to pay for something, you can pop the amount into the app and it will automatically calibrate what you have left.

I am also going to make an investment next week. I always talk about doing it and never pull the trigger.  For my own sense of  empowerment, I am going to take a piece of my paycheck and buy a stock. Just one. I have my eye on foreign telecom.  It’s a gut feeling. With Facebook in Bosnia, seems to me there needs to be tech support in smaller countries. Win or lose, I’ll know I tried. I’m so sick of hearing us all say, “If I had just bought Apple…”

And after breakfast, I am going to return the jeans I bought yesterday. I already have 7 pairs hanging in my closet. I’m no rock star. Who needs 8 pairs of jeans unless they are playing the bars on Sunday nights?

Who knows – if we open up this conversation, we might just find ourselves learning something new. Wouldn’t that be rich!


Do you have ways you are MindFULL about money? Let us know!

music, memories and martinis

Marc Cohn has a new cd out and it’s called Listening Booth. He has taken songs from 1970 (when I was 12) and given them a contemporary spin. I love it.Not only for the songs themselves, but for the soundtrack it provides to this adventure I am currently on.

You see, I just visited my 12 year old at summer camp and this weekend was my 30th high school reunion. Both events can’t help but force me to travel down memory lane. I work hard to live in the moment, but sometimes a quick jaunt can remind you of how far down the lane you have travelled and how appreciative you are of where you are now.

I absolutely adore my 12 year old. She is far wiser, funnier, smarter and easier than I was at that age. I sit on the Board of Smart-Girls (www.smart-girl.org), an organization that gives girls the tools they need to navigate the tumultuous tween/teen years, and still my heart aches for the trials and “girl stuff” girls go through. I do what I can to cheer my daughter on and guide her through it, but listening to Marc’s music reminds me that we all have our journey in this life and soon the details of this time will simply serve her well and become part of her life tapestry. Still, 12 can be hard and I remember how hard it was for me. Somehow tho’, the memories add to my compassion and empathy. And the music reminds me of both.

Following on the heels of visiting day, was a trip to see my dear friend from high school. Knowing I would not be in town for the reunion weekend, we coordinated my visit so that we could at least be together, if not there. I love my friend and laugh endlessly with her about who we were and who we are. I sit at her kitchen table with ease and enjoy her kids, who have their own music to live by. Last night, as we sipped coconut cloud martinis with our reading glasses perched on the tips of our noses, my friend’s daughter played her iPod. So much of what we heard was a re-mix of music from high school. What does this say about how music follows us down the path?

Music, memories and martinis. It the stuff that life is made of. Cheers!

What MINDFULL music would you choose to match when you were 12 or 17? Let us know!

Vivid Living

Are you living your life in vivid color or do some days feel like different shades of brown?

Lucky for us, my friend Nancy, who is a gifted and talented writer, offers insights and musings about living a vivid life on her blog, Vivid Living (http://nancysharp.net/vividliving/). After I read it, I often realize something that adds color to my world.

Her attitude and her writings are beautiful and stirring because her philosophy is  “what happens to us in life matters, but in my view, how we choose to live matters more.”

Six years ago, Nancy’s husband, Brett, died in her arms at Calvary Hospice in Bronx, New York –  he had a brain tumor that finally felled him nearly seven years after he was diagnosed in 1998. At the time, I think her twins were around two years old.

A few months later, with courage and twins in tow, she moved to Denver.  When I met her, it was as if I had known her before. One falls into easy conversation with Nancy. I’m not sure if it is her warm smile and the way she looks you in the eyes when you’re talking or the life experience she brings to bear on a casual chat by the pool. One thing is certain; she has come to teach us how to live mindFULLY.

Now she has created a new life in Colorado and  is re- married to a darling man she met by reaching out her hand and holding up her heart. How they met is a great story, in and of itself, and you can find it on her blog:  http://nancysharp.net/vividliving/. Her story is like a rose. It has bloomed, thorns and all. And the color is so vivid.

I know you are busy. However, I encourage you to carve out a ½ hour and treat your heart to reading a few of Nancy’s entries. Money-back guarantee – you’ll be the better for it.

What are some ways that help you live MindFULLY and vividly? Let us know!

Hearing Ourselves In A Whole New Way

For some kooky reason, yesterday’s post did not get out to those of you who subscribe. It posted as an RSS feed, but no direct email. Ironic, given the post was about mistakes and learning as I go!

Seems to me, this is a learning moment.

While today is Tuesday, and not MindFULL Monday,  I am sharing this bonus post as a way to test whether or not you receive this posting. It’s also a fun way to share a new learning – Blog Radio, Flip camera video postings, Skype. All ways we can hear and see each other over a static machine.

And in that Spirit, the learning continues! My friend, and creative inspiration, Tamara Kleinberg, Chief Imaginator of Imaginibbles (www.imaginibbles.com) interviewed me on Blog Radio, this morning. If you have a few minutes, give a listen.


I was super nervous, but Tamara guided me through the interview with her usual humor and ease. It was also fun to see Blog Radio as a site and to imagine all of the uses for this amazing medium.

Who did you see, hear or read about today that filled your mind with a new idea? Let us know!

It’s All About Learning

Yes, I know this picture is blurry. However, I am using it anyway. To me, it’s a metaphor for this crazy new world of social media and blogging. It reminds me that it is about the creative process and not having to do it all perfectly.  I could get hung up on having to understand everything before embarking, but I have decided to swim against my natural inclination and plunge into learning along the way.  I hope by checking into The MindFULL Creative every so often, you, too, will learn something new!

Some friends have asked me what the difference is between a blog and a website. In my new favorite resource book, Blogging for Bliss, Tara Frey describes them as:

A blog is a type of website supported by a content management system that provides a collection of features including a home page where the latest content automatically appears on top and earlier posts appear in backwards order. Blogs allow users to do much more than just write and share text. You can include photos, audio, video, and other interactive tools.  Blogs allow for comments and interaction with the reader. Historically, websites were more static.

If you’re not into reading books, but like the old world, person-to-person kind of help, try  Marc Farmer.  Marc came to me through my friend Nancy Sharp (stay tuned for an entry on Nancy’s beautiful blog). Marc owns Internet by Demand. Even tho’ I built my own blog on WordPress and designed my own logo, Marc helped me understand nuance and made my logo easy to use across mediums.  Marc is an invaluable resource for those of you who don’t have the time or the inclination to muddle through and design your own website or blog.  He makes everything so easy and he uncomplicates this complicated world.

You can reach him at mfarmer@internetbydemand.com

As I meander along this path, I also spend a lot of time talking with my friend, Jill, about what it means to be relevant in the social media world. There is so much to know and it is rapidly transforming old paradigms. We learn something and then…It’s on to next! Jill sent me this social media cheat sheet. It’s by no means comprehensive, and I have no idea what half of them are. However, in our effort to learn how to navigate this crazy new world, I put it out to you. Maybe you’ll discover something useful and find a way to add it your everyday life.

Here’s to filling our minds with new understandings and “aha” moments!


Aggregation Tools: FriendFeed, Lifestream.fm, Lijit, Ping.fm, Socializr, Socialthing!

Blogs: Blogger, Typepad, WordPress*

Bookmarks: Delicious, Digg*, LivejournalMixx, Newsvine, Propeller, Reddit StumbleUpon, Technorati*, Yahoo! Buzz

Post Documents: Google Docs, Scribd

Post PowerPoint Presentations: AuthorSTREAM, Google Docs, Myplick, Slideshare

Post Videos: Vimeo, YouTube

Social Networks: Crowdvine, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo

Twitter Tools: MyTweeple, TweetDeck, TweetLater, Twibes, Twitter

The Catch 24

Barbara and Vikki. They’re Best Friends. They do so many things together and figured, why not work together? After both starting small businesses, these dynamic and sassy women decided to focus on something that they could do… together. They believed, that regardless of  their success financially, they would get to learn and explore whole new realms  together – way more fun to do with a best friend!

Their early morning exercise dates turned into business meetings (and inspite of having young children at home, they found creative ways to make time!). Their first business, designing and selling  rhinestone tees profiting charities, didn’t really fly. Sitting on a pile of unsold tees forced them to get creative and led them to a new business, the Catch 24, an internet-based, timed sale of hugely discounted accessories.

Get it?  Shoppers have 24 hours to catch the deal and then, it’s gone!


Subscribe to their mailing list and get free shipping on your first order!

While the accessories they find and sell are hot and fun, their “can-do” spirit is worn like a colorful cashmere sweater.  It makes you admire where they got it.

Let Barbara and Vikki’s story fill your mind with ways to be creative with your best friend…

A Mind Full of Thoughts

Welcome to my blog, The MindFULL Creative! The idea for this blog came from wanting to share years of accumulated information I have gathered (tips, insights, personal musings and awesome folks doing wonderful work, etc.) and to have a place for you to share with me. We have to share. The news is unsettling. However, finding new ways of living can become a creative challenge.

For example, last Winter I heard Jean Chatsky speak and she helped me re-frame my spending habits. Jean said, “It’s not about feeling deprived, it’s about re-framing how you are saving — save ‘towards‘ what you want.” Now, I pass on buying another pair of black shoes and think of how I am saving towards a beach house. It was so helpful and led me to realize how my mind is so FULL of inspirational stories and creative ideas I have heard through the years, as well as how I try and use what I’ve learned to be more mind-fully creative. It’s a way of navigating a new world and a new way of thinking.

I’m hoping The MindFULL Creative will become a space where we can share what we discover along the way. Perhaps you have a recipe that everyone asks you to bring when you’re on deck for dessert.  Maybe you read a book, found a website or heard a song that shifted the way you saw things – or simply loved. Maybe some of you have ideas on how we can shop our own closets and recycle what we have into new and creative uses (stay tuned for a future entry on my jewelry swapping party!). My  hope is that, together, we’ll find new ways of understanding who we are and have fun finding out what’s going on — and that we will be the better for having been here.

Please send me what you’ve learned. Share your tips and insights. Pass on stories and websites of folks doing something that makes you smile. Together we can circumvent the bad news, and focus on filling our minds with information, tips and ideas that make us the better for being and at the same time, becoming mind-FULLy creative.

Many thanks to my MindFULLY Creative friend, Tamara, who inspired me to create this site. YOU ROCK!