What’s Your Five-A-Day?

Britt Bravo tagged me in a meme called “five-a-day” which was started to encourage mental wellbeing.

Here are my top five things to do every day (or every week) to stay mentally healthy:

  1. Yoga. Yoga is an amazing stress reliever and helps to clear my mind, too.  Can’t beat yoga bliss from Sean’s class at Namaste Yoga and Laura’s class at Monkey Yoga.  Or simply do what Larry Schultz from my It’s Yoga teacher training calls the “minimum daily requirement” – five Sun Salutation A’s and five Sun Salutation B’s (which fits nicely with the “five-a-day” theme!).
  2. Getting up without an alarm clock. This has been one of the biggest benefit of working for myself!  I feel so much better mentally and physically now that I wake up according to my own rhythms.  On those rare occasions when I do have to get up early, I use my BioBrite SunRise Clock.
  3. Surrounding myself with beauty. One of my core value strings is Beauty / Creativity / Creating Beauty / Style / Inspiration / Self Expression / Uniqueness / Emotions.  I feel so much better when I take in the beauty that’s all around me – whether that be admiring nature while I’m walking my dog, reading a touching story, appreciating inspiring artwork or creating art of my own.
  4. Reflecting on what I am grateful for. This always helps me put things in perspective.  I usually include something I’m grateful for when I journal in the morning.
  5. ReadingLearning and personal growth are also core values of mine.  So, I’m always reading a self-help and/or business book and something inspirational and creative.

I’m tagging:

  1. Jamie Ridler
  2. Leah Piken Kolidas
  3. Jennifer Moore
  4. Ananda Leeke
  5. YOU!

Now off to yoga class!  Namaste.

AEDM Day 4: Having Fun With Values

What an amazing and historic night!!

Earlier today I finished my 10th collaged value card. I’ve been having so much fun exploring my values in a visual, tangible and creative way that I just had to create a card to honor my value of fun and play!

fun, play, enjoyment, experiential, in the body

Fun / Play / Enjoyment / Experiential / In the Body

Those colorful striped tights remind me of the whimsy, adventurous spirit and independent spunk of Pipi Longstocking.  When I was a kid, I used to love watching Pipi Longstocking. I wished I had her crazy sideways braids and her unusal strength!

I also found a super cute image of a beagle to remind me of how fun it is to cuddle and play with Emmett.


I’ve been really enjoying interacting with my value cards – which makes sense considering “experiential” is an one of my values!  Today, I placed my deck of cards on an easel by my computer.  I choose to display my value card of grace, elegance and flow as I spent a good part of today writing.  It reminded me of the ease and flow I enjoy when I’m in my creative groove.

visual values list

I also played around with using my cards to see how well certain aspects of my life stack up against my values.  This spread here shows all of the values I’m honoring by working on my book. I’m looking forward to using this visual process to help me make future decisions, assess my commitments and align with what brings me most alive.

AEDM Day 3: More Collaged Values Cards

For Day 3 of Art Every Day Month, I made a couple more collaged values cards.

integrity, authenticity, wholeness, true to self, integrated

Integrity / Authenticity / Wholeness / True to Self / Integrated

love, connection, friendship, meaningful relationships

Love / Connection / Friendship / Meaningful Relationships

This has been a great exercise that I look forward to continue working with more deeply. In fact, earlier tonight I coached a client who is preparing for her certification exam.  To practice and get feedback, she coached me for a bit.  I got some great coaching on something I’ve been stuck around for the past several weeks.  By asking about my values, she helped me get clearer on some actions to take.  The biggest realization for me was that by avoiding direct requests and boundaries, I was out of integrity.  Not doing anything was actually not speaking my truth.  And that violated my value of integrity, authenticity and being true to myself.

I love that I now have a visual reminder to help me stay connected with this value.  To help reinforce how speaking my truth from my heart keeps me on my path.

AEDM Day 2: More Collaged Values Cards

I finished three more collaged values cards today.  Again, I was only going to do one and then I just got caught up in the fun!  Turns out I was honoring my values of creativity and flow :).

risk-taking, stretching, branching out

Risk Taking / Stretching / Putting myself out there / Accomplishment / Excellence

peace, tranquility, harmony, inner life, meaning

Peace / Harmony / Tranquility / Inner Life / Meaning

learning, personal growth

Learning / Personal Growth

As I look at today’s cards and my cards from yesterday, I’m reminded how sometimes core values may actually conflict with each other and how they can all be interconnected as well.  For example, when I put myself out there (like I did for my TV appearances), I might disrupt my sense of peace and tranquility for a bit but I’ve usually challenged myself to learn and grow so afterward I feel great!  Another place where my values sometimes rub up against each other is around creativity/expression and my need for at least some order, structure and efficiency.  My value of creativity ranks higher than my value for structure, though, so usually that wins out.  I know structure and efficiency are important to me though, because when they’re not there in some form I get frustrated.  The key is having awareness and making conscious choices about what values you’ll honor in any given moment.

I’m really enjoying this process of exploring my values in a visual and more tangible way.  I hope you’ll make some of your own!

Day 1: Art Every Day Month 2008 Starts Today!

Art Every Day Month

I can’t believe it’s already November!  That means Leah Piken Kolidas’ Art Every Day Month challenge has begun. I’m excited to explore art and creativity in new exciting ways each day.

For my first project I started creating collage cards for each of my core values strings.  I just wrote an exercise about these values cards in a chapter of the book that I’m working on, so I wanted to experiment with it a bit.

Values are what’s most important to you.  When you’re honoring your core values, you feel totally alive, authentic and aligned.  When your core values aren’t being met, you’ll probably feel frustrated, angry or resentful. When you’re faced with a decision, it’s helpful to see how well the different options honor your core values.  Once I have my completed deck of values cards, I’m going to practice using them to make decisions in a visual way.

I planned to just make one card per day for the next several days, but I just got really in the creative flow so I ended up doing four tonight!   They are collaged onto 5×7 pieces of card stock

beuaty, creativity, expression

Beauty / Creativity / Creating Beauty / Style / Inspiration / Self Expression / Uniqueness / Emotions

grace, elegance, flow

Grace / Elegance / Flow

Breath, Spaciousness, Groundedness

Breath / Spaciousness / Groundedness

structure, efficiency

Structure / Efficiency (Yes, I actually used labels from my p-touch because it’s just oh so satisfying!)

I’m looking forward to making more values collage cards tomorrow!