Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How do you feel about color?

While working on my resilience course I'm always searching for interesting self-care ideas. The other day I came across one about color and the idea of using color a little more intentionally.
Image from alfarman's flickr photostream,some color added by Lani

These strategies are from Diane M. Grandstrom, RN, BSN, CCRN, which I found on a nursing site, I like it, this idea of Diane Grandstrom's of using color more intentionally in our lives!

So here are a few ways to use color for self care and resilience.

* Observe the colors in your surroundings and the varieties in nature. Observe any emotional reaction to these colors. For example how do your eyes feel when walking through a wooded area in the spring? What does soft spring green do for you?

* Decorate your life with more color. Diane suggests creating a “color room” with fabric by getting seven different-colored sheets to use as drapes. Layer them on one or more walls with drawstring-style curtain rods. See how the color of your mood changes as quickly as you pull back the curtains.

* Buy colored light bulbs. Again, wee what color does for mood.

* Try wear colored sunglasses in various colors. Diane says there’s nothing quite like looking at the world through rose, green, blue, or other colored glasses, that the experience is very different from observing color.

* Thinking about how color influences mood, try wearing colors that will affect your body/mind/emotions as well as that of the folks around you.

* Here's a website that organizes flickr images according to color. It's a lovely way to look at color from other people's perspectives, images from all over the world. The image above popped out at me from this website.

* And Diane is not the only one using color with intention. Take a look at ArtsyMama's blog. She's got a great idea, a private blog with lots of designers working with a new color scheme each month. You can sign up at Etsy. I did and I'm delighted! February is Melissa McCobb Hubbell!!

* Also here's Diane's book list:
1. Gimbel T. The Colour Therapy Workbook. Rockport, ME: Element Books; 1997: 7.
2. Graham H. Discover Color Therapy. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press; 1999.
3. Wills P. Colour Therapy: The Use of Colour for Health and Healing. Boston, Mass: Element Books; 1999:14-17.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How cold is it?

It is so cold here our shadows got frozen!
Cat's shadow & ice on window at dawn.

If you want to get out of the cold, and have some heart-warming blog fun, get involved in the One World, One Heart Giveaway!
What fun! Come see my giveaway on the 14 Secrets blog. Leave a comment and who knows what might happen.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fun with Wordle

jaihn has found more fun on the internet. Here was what I did with her find from Wordle.

Thank you jaihn!!! Thank you Wordle!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Relaxation; Watching Shiatsu Massage Videos

A little conversation about stress reduction was happening over at 14 Secrets Yahoo group so I thought I'd share some of it here:

While looking for an image of stress reduction acupressure points on the face for self massage, I came across these Shiatsu Massage videos, and talk about relaxing... Just take a look. Watch the videos while following allong as the instructor talks and demonstrates. Really a very lovely experience.

Preparation for massage:

Here's the head and face:

pressure points for anxiety and migraine

hair and scalp






Oh yes, and would you like a little explanation about Shiatsu?

Don't worry, there's tons more and clearer on

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Victoria Rabinowe's new book...

Image from Victoria Rabinowe's I HAD THE CRAZIEST DREAM LAST NIGHT

I don't know if you all know Victoria Rabinowe's work (she's a book-artist, regular artist who loves dreams, and she started off in life as a puppet-maker), but I just read "I HAD THE CRAZIEST DREAM LAST NIGHT" and it's lovely, strange, disturbing, and wonderful. Er, a little like a dream...
I very much recommend it! She's got an inspiring way of working with dreams!!!

For example one idea is about creating little altars of our dreams. She says dreams are museums of memories, ancestral connections, recollections, and reminiscences. She says they are filled with fragile relics, peculiar old stuff; things remembered and things forgotten. So we should find ways to show reverence towards our dreams by collecting memorabilia, souvenirs, and ephemera of dream images. We should create treasure hunts for ourselves. We should be on the lookout for mementos, antiquities, curiosities, icons, artifacts which bring to mind the fragments of our dreams. We should search for the dream keepsakes that resonate with the characters, animals, objects, colors and emotions from our dreams. With these objects we can create dream altars, groupings of found fragments and artifacts. We can wrap our written memories and musings together into sacred bundles. We can keep the spirits in our dreams alive!

Thank you Victoria Rabinowe!

So here's what I created for Christmas presents for my sisters and Mom, before I read this book. Last year I created them book boxes in which dreams and hopes could be kept alive.
During the year our mother told us a dream full of amazing, wonderful things. It took place in a beautiful cave with a stone altar and beautiful paintings on the rock walls. There were hand made dolls, mysterious notes in a variety of languages, and a variety of gifts left by visitors. A traveler came upon the cave one day and learned a lesson in generosity. In the end of the dream the traveler returns to the cave, some years later, with his children, and shows them the beauty and generosity which he had discovered.

It was a beautiful dream so why not create some of the objects from the dream as this years Christmas present, which could be kept safe in the dream box from last Christmas. Here's the dream story in mini book form:
And here are some of the other dream elements:

Fun, eh? My sisters and Mom got into it, even found other little objects that could be added to the dream box.

So here's a challenge for you: Create a work of art of some kind which will animate and honor a dream, and document it in some way. Feel free to share the results.

Oh, and buy Victoria's book!

Monday, January 05, 2009

A Thought Thunk by Nic Askew

Collage by Lani

‘the magnificent & showy prison cell’

The law of attraction seems to be having a laugh.

And the joke might just be that it attracts those of us who are searching for what we need by creating stuff.

Who sets out to dream of an extraordinary life and in that dream is stuff, and at the centre of that dream is the beneficiary of that stuff? Us. Or more precisely, You. And me.

When we get to where we think we’re meant to be, to the fulfilment of a dream, we realise that isn’t it. The need still exists. I’ve filmed countless successful people who admit to this.

So perhaps the law of attraction, although an intoxicating and extremely sexy proposition, can lead us in circles. Perhaps it more often than not seduces us into redecorating our own prison cells. A possibly magnificent & showy prison cell full of stuff and experiences of stuff. But a prison cell all the same.

Perhaps freedom exists in a place without you or me at its centre. In a place that doesn’t need stuff, but that doesn’t exclude it.

I’ve noticed that when we dream of life together, the world that already exists around us emerges in a different light.

And in that light, we appear to be sitting bang in the middle of what we’re looking for. Already. Perhaps that is freedom.

But that might be a somewhat non-sensical & terrifying proposition for ambition. And for personal dreams. Perhaps even for the modern day interpretation of the law of attraction.

Maybe that’s the secret.

(Click title for audio version and great voice!)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Do you know Nic Askew?

"What 'story' is out there waiting to be told by you?" by Lani

While looking at ideas and inspiration for the resilience course challenges being formulated here with the help of my computer, I quite happily distracted myself with a little surfing and stumbled on Nic Askew's simple, direct, short, stunning biographic films on YouTube. He is amazing. All of them are basically great black and white close ups of "just regular folks" talking about their lives and the meaning and or love that they have found in and for themselves and others. Interspersed through these films are some thought provoking questions.

Perhaps everything starts with a
relationship between two things,
between you & a somebody
or a something?

And perhaps you have an
opportunity to recognise
this & to create a 'story'?

Perhaps it's your
responsibility to do so?

What 'story' is out there
waiting to be told by you?

I looked at all of Nic's videos on YouTube, went to another website and found some more along with thought provoking sound bites and an email service of short words - regular inbox provocation, which Nic says are basically philosophically the same as his films. I, of course, signed up and am now working on the sound bites. I love this.

So here's a Nic Askew based challenge. If you look at the video's and really listen to what these folks are saying, could you imagine what story you would tell if the camera was pointed in your direction, and everything you imagines was important (degrees, accomplishments, stuff) is stripped away, and all that is left is your own true self and the camera rolling with black and white film? What would be revealed?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009

The names are chosen for the give-away draw. I'll be contacting you via email or via your blog.
For those of you who did not win, remember there's plenty of happiness and good stuff on this blog, my website, the 14 Secrets blog, and the 14 Secrets group so stop by and say hello.
The new Resilience and Art course will start on the 19th of January, the Happiness Challenge will be starting on January 12 and the Healing Journey starts on the 26th of January. If you didn't win a spot in the last two, feel free to join us anyway, the cost is small & benefit is huge. Information is here. If you are interested in Resilience and Art stay tuned, and I'll let you know when you can join!
Have a safe, happy New Year!