Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Art for 30 Days

August 29, 2016

30 Days of Art hdr generic web

The Art for 30 Days challenge starts July 13, 2019

The Art for 30 Days challenge is so much fun! Here are a few participant comments:

“I have really enjoyed this! It has been so positive and encouraging and inspirational. I have learned a lot and enjoyed all the artists’ work. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.”

“For me, to create is as close as I can get to God, to the divine. It’s not about what I produce, or how long I spend doing it. It’s about that connection. With that said, I think spending 15 minutes with God just kinda rocks, and whatever comes out of it is always perfect.”

“It’s been exhilarating to see creativity in action.”

“Thank you Vanessa. You gave me the push I needed to start again!”

“Thank you. It’s been a lot of fun and has stimulated a lot of creativity.”

“Thank you for inviting me to join your 15 min a day, Art for 30 Days group!! YOU were the inspiration for me to stretch my creative boundaries … and watch out, I may get dangerous!!!”

Why Art for 30 Days?

It’s difficult to make the time to write, doodle, paint, color, knit, (fill in your fave art-y activity here). Art always seems to be on the bottom of the to-do list or doesn’t even make it ONTO the list. Let’s commit together to Art for 30 Days — a 15-minute a day creativity camp you do on your own from wherever you are starting July 13, 2019. Want in?

A research study showed that adults who dedicated two hours each week to creating or consuming art over a twelve-month period reported significantly better mental well-being. That’s just 15 minutes a day!

Join me! You don’t need to be an artist to get the benefits of creating and engaging in art. A study published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association found that creative activity significantly lessens stress in the body, regardless of artistic experience or talent.

In addition to making art/crafts/whatever, your 15 minutes can also be in consuming art. Research a new recipe, take a gander at an artist’s website, watch a crafty demo on YouTube, or listen to a podcast. Whatever fills you up.

Then come over and post what you’re doing. It will be fun!

Our next Art for 30 Days challenge starts July 13, 2019. In the meantime, you’re welcome to join the group and post your creations, share cool art-y stuff, and cheer one another on.

Need an idea for your next creative project? Check out these step-by-step videos.

Gratitude to Prevent Swine Flu?

November 1, 2009

That may be an overstatement, but there is research showing that practicing gratitude regularly can make you healthier. “Growing evidence indicates that the expression of gratitude can also improve one’s physical health and functioning. Researchers are finding that behaviors such as gratitude, for example, may be reliably connected to positive changes in an individual’s cardiovascular and immune functioning.”*

So, think about it. When your immune system is stronger, you are less susceptible to the flu and other ailments. As you look at ways to stay healthy this winter, consider starting a regular practice of gratitude. Here are a few ideas for you:

– People in many countries don’t have access to clean running water. Today, every time you turn on a faucet, send a word of thanks.

– Write out a list of all of the people you love. Close your eyes and visualize them in a circle around you. Feel yourself radiating love to each of them.

– Even one dollar can make a difference. Connect with your heart and see where it leads you to give. Give away a dollar a day in any way you see fit. You may just be led to leave it somewhere for someone else to find.

– Go to www.DaysofGratitude.com and download a free e-book with a full month of gratitude exercises. (Co-authored by the Gratitude Girls, Dr. Robin Kirby, Carolyn G. Buttram and Vanessa Lowry)

Days of Gratitude

Spend the month of November in gratitude and THANKSgiving!

Practice gratitude on your own or make it an opportunity for family interaction each day. Another research study showed that daily gratitude exercises with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy.**

So, boost your immune system and ward off swine flu by practicing gratitude… it could be more effective than grandma’s chicken soup!

*quoted from article by Dr. Charles D. Kerns, PhD

** Highlights from the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness

Getting Back Into Balance

August 10, 2009

A few years ago, I read a book where the author used the analogy of a top spinning. If it was balanced, it could spin incredibly fast and stay centered. If the top was the smallest bit off balance it started to wobble and lose momentum.

I’ve felt off-balance many times in the past year. I’ve experienced lots of good things this year, but challenging financial difficulties and the decision and actuality of closing my business, Profits in Progress. Through this year, I’ve been more honest and have taken steps to be kinder with myself. (Does everyone say meaner things to themselves than they would to others? Or is it just me?)

Through this year, I’ve started to trust my inner sense of knowing to a greater degree. There is a phrase, “don’t push the river.” I got too tired to keep pushing the river and fighting upstream toward a goal that I wasn’t reaching. Amazingly, this easier flow of life is so much more simple and enjoyable. It is such a blessing to realize that the job of “Manager of the Universe” really is not mine to perform.

Some of the practices that help me with balance… that I’ve practiced often this year:

Getting it out of my head. I’ve had private journals for 15+ years. Truly “writing my heart out” is still reserved for notebooks only I will read, but I’m finding that others enjoy my ramblings with my entry into the world of blogging.

Spending time outdoors always clears my head, eyes and heart. I love to walk at the park or in the woods…and the beach whenever I have the opportunity. That time outside helps me appreciate the beautiful world around me and often sparks ideas.

Laughing with friends. This has a magical effect of letting me feel the hand of God on my life. I’m so grateful to all the people who laugh with me and share their quirky perspective of life.

Massage… giving or getting. I took a massage certification course in 2002 and find that when I focus while giving a massage, it becomes a moving meditation. And being on the receiving end helps me appreciate what a wonder this body is and how easily it can remember what relaxation should feel like when I just let go and allow it.

Prayer, affirmations and meditation. I’ve discovered the power of using a mala this year and I’m amazed how centering this “reminding” tool can be for me. I’ve used my mala with prayers, one bead per person, and with affirmations, repeating each affirmation a bead at time, through a section or the entire 108 beads.

I created a Prayer Book a few months ago. It contains prayers, poems, songs and quotes that comfort and inspire me. I sometimes carry it with me and re-read the entries and add new ones

My birthday is near the end of August and I often make commitments on that day. (Last year I got married on my birthday!) I hope to remember more often what balance feels like during my next trip around the sun. I will encourage my “take control self” to “lighten up!” When life gets a little wobbly, I’ll do a few simple things to bring myself back into center. And sometimes, falling down is the best way to start over.

Some of My Product Faves

July 12, 2009

There are some products that I just love! I am eternally grateful to the clever people who developed them, to the companies that produce them and the distributors that make it easy for me to buy my faves. While things like air conditioning, washing machines, refrigerators and cars fall into the larger umbrella category, I’m focusing today on smaller items that put the hot fudge on my sundae. (Two cherries on top please! Oops, got distracted for a minute…)

Here is a short (and incomplete) list:
Anything in the “post-it” product line. I am a power user of post-it notes. LOVE those post-it flags to mark poignant quotes in the books I’m reading. And the big post-it flip charts are a thing of beauty. You can brainstorm with a group and easily put the sheets on any available wall space so everyone can be reminded of their brilliance… and the thoughts on the way to brilliance.

Oil-free Hydrating Gel from Mary Kay. That was the product that tips the scales for me to become a user of Mary Kay cosmetics. It is lovely stuff that makes my skin feel moist and fresh with adding more oil. (I make plenty on my own, thank you very much.) And it is purple, my favorite color!!

•  Chafing Relief Powder Gel from Monistat. God in His infinite wisdom, made my thighs so they rub together, regardless of how skinny I am. (A little skinnier now than I’ve been for while.) This stuff keeps my inner thigh skin from getting irritated when I walk or run. Truly a miracle!

Good Cat! This is made by Pet Organics and is just the thing to take the edge off of my little Cleo’s anxiety. It says it is “for cats that are finicky, unfriendly or territorial.”  The back of the bottle says “helps balance the emotions of pets with behavior problems.” It definitely helps!!

Smores Crunch Bars by Medifast. This is one of the yummy bars flavors in the Take Shape for Life program that Ben and I both love. It gives me a chocolate fix while being a healthy, fast mini-meal that is balanced nearly one-to-one in the carb to protein ratio. A lot of their products are yummy, but this is the one I eat the most (and carry with me when I’ll be out at a lot of appointments.)

So, any faves you want to share?