Showing posts with label therapy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label therapy. Show all posts

Friday, June 19, 2015

MOOD swinging

Every day is a new day and a new beginning.  What we do with our time is important.  It is one of our most valuable resources.

Yesterday, I talked about getting into the ZEN of living life.  Taking a day to goof off, do nothing but what strikes one's fancy.  We should all have a power down day.  Rethink, regroup and regain momentum for living life to the fullest.

After I wrote the blog about doing nothing but relaxZEN, I made up for it in the evening.  I'm not nocturnal by nature, nor am I an early riser.   Last evening after hubby and I watched an episode of the final season 7 of Sons of Anarchy, I painted a flower pot for the garden, scrubbed the floor - yeah, I know, really related eh?  I didn't mention I was swigging the wine to fuel the creativity and boost the energy.  Admittedly, it hampered my productivity today somewhat.

By golly, I realized, I truly am in the middle of everything:
  • Middle aged
  • Mid career
  • Mid life crisis
  • Mood swinger
  • Menopausal
  • Mother
  • Magnificent
It wasn't a complete waste because I spent a number of times on the phone with my youngest daughter, who moved to Vancouver last August, got a job in 10 days with the top law offices and was let go last week ... something about restructuring, consolidating and seniority decision making.  Right after a booming, glowing performance review the month before.  Yep, that's life.  She'll be 21 next month and is smarter in many ways than I was at her age.

We had a really good chuckle when I referred to myself as the "Fired Master" and she called me the "Fire Queen".  She's already had a number of calls and interviews lined up.  I'm thankful that she calls me every day and when crisis strikes it can be multiple times (it used to be typically boyfriend related, but she has an awesome beau now).

Today, it was about weeding the garden a bit, moving flowers around and touching up the flower pot from wine-induced painting outside the lines. 

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping was my slogan in my 40s, when hard work paid off with high career which meant hard decisions.  I work now, but it is shift oriented.  I spent my 30s raising kids while climbing the career ladder.  I spent my 40s recoiling from divorce and remarrying.  Now that I've hit 50, I want everything to be about balance.  It doesn't matter any more if I have a title.  What is important is doing a good job .... taking what I have preached to my kids for years:  it doesn't matter whether you're the janitor or the boss, do a great job regardless!

Oh, I better get going.  I have a sizzling dinner on the BBQ:  boneless, skinless chicken that had been marinating in a jar of gluten free Satay sauce with white potatoes and salad.  I took pride in using the fresh herbs I started growing last year that makes the mouth water and adds such magnificent flavor.

Great news about chocolate considered a dairy product - I didn't realize that chocolate was part of the daily food group.  Who doesn't love chocolate?  (Anyone who isn't menopausal and gives a rats ass about diet).

I guess my mood today is more about being helpful and healthy.  On that tone, I added favorite blogs to Meanderings.  There are some that have been favorites for years (i.e. Animated Woman and Rodney Pikes) with a few newly discovered to share.  It goes with the helpful, healthy mood today.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


"When you've done the technical part, you're then into the joy, the zen, into being.  Technology no longer exists for you.  You're then into the mystery of the thing you're doing."
~William Shatner

I had a number of things to do today on a day off.  However, I did think to myself yesterday that I would give myself a day of nothing.  Nothing to do, no chores, no coffee with friends, no work, no thinking - notta, nope, not gonna, nevermind.

So what I did instead was go to Polymore (which I hadn't been for months) to create a look and feel for doing nothing but relax and be in the moment. 

I used the word Zen in my post title and realized that there are probably a number of mutations to what the word really meant, so I looked it up on the handy dandy Wikipedia:

Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in China during the Tang dynasty as Chán. From China, Chán spread south to Vietnam, northeast to Korea and east to Japan, where it became known as Japanese Zen.

Zen emphasizes rigorous meditation-practice, insight into Buddha-nature, and the personal expression of this insight in daily life, especially for the benefit of others.[3][4] As such, it deemphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine[5][6] and favors direct understanding through zazen and interaction with an accomplished teacher.[7]

Huh?  I thought it was all about being at peace with oneself and one's environment.  I guess I have a little bit more learning to do.

To share my expressiveness today, this is what I created on Polyvore (when I should have been doing something else: housework, paperwork, etc.)

The one thing I did do was take my dog, Buddy, for a walk.  We both enjoyed it. 

"My blogging life is basically goalless.  I like the zen nature of that, and paradoxically, it improves results."
~Seth Godin


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Keep calm and color on

This blog was originally written and shared on my Business, Sales, Leadership, Social Media Blog optioneerJM which I had started in May 2010.  I branched out to Meanderings because there are many issues I want to write about that don't fall under business. 

What is the most powerful, impactful trend right now?   Coloring! What? .... isn't coloring something you did when you were a kid?  Well, perhaps you did.  Now you have permission to do it as an adult because it is great for you!
The next time you are planning an important corporate event, team meeting, or training session consider adding color to your tools of engagement.  You may realize many benefits:

  • To ward off distractions
  • As an approach to problem solving
  • To improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages, all levels within the organization 
  • Artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems
  • Develop and improve interpersonal skills
  • Manage behavior,
  • Reduce stress,
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Build self-awareness
  • Achieve insight

Coloring and art have been around for ages.     Today,  use it as a powerful stress buster.  Assembled are helpful meanings to get started:


 Mandalas are sacred circles that have been long been used to facilitate meditation in the Indian and Tibetan religions.  

They are created and looked at to center the body and mind.  Mandelas are variations or symbols of circles often found in halos, prayer wheels, religions, architecture and nature.    Now, they are used as a healing tool and a form of meditation which suggest they can boost the immune system, reduce stress, combat depression, reduce pain, lower blood pressure and  stimulate the release of melatonin, a hormone believed to slow cell aging and promote sleep.


The word "tattoo" was brought to Europe by explorer James Cook when he returned in 1771 from his first voyage to Tahiti and New Zealand.   (In his narrative of the voyage, he referred to "tattaw". )

Popularity has steadily risen where artists, executives, and mainstream every day people swarm to "tattoo shops", "tattoo studios", or "tattoo parlors" to undergo their own personalized stamp of creativity.  Today, tattoo enthusiasts refer to tattoos as:

  • ink
  • skin art
  • tattoo art
  • tats

Coloring books:

Paint books and coloring books emerged in the United States as part of the "democratization of art" process.  The McLoughlin Brothers are credited as the inventors of the coloring book with The Little Folks' Painting Book.  
Another pioneer in the genre was Richard Outcault who authored  Buster's Paint Book in 1907.   It launched a trend to use coloring books to advertise a wide variety of products, including coffee and pianos.

 Until the 1930s, books were designed with the intent for them to be painted instead of colored.  Coloring books are widely used in schooling for young children because they tend to be more interested in coloring than other learning methods.  Pictures are also more memorable than simply words.

Educators conclude that all, regardless of background, students benefit from art as a means of enhancing their conceptual understanding of the tangible, developing their cognitive abilities, improving skills, finding a profession, as well as for spiritual edification.

Color therapy:

Color as a holistic therapy dates back thousands of years.  Color gains energy from light and why it is used as Color Therapy.  It can have a major healing impact on us as humans.
Color Therapy is a complementary therapy for which there is evidence dating back thousands of years to the ancient cultures of Egypt, China and India. Color is simply light of varying wavelengths, thus each color has its own particular wavelength and energy.  It can have a major healing impact on us as humans. 

Art Therapy:

Alternatively,  art therapy is a relatively young therapeutic discipline.  It began in the use of the arts in the moral treatment of psychiatric patients in the late 18th century.  It arose out of  a non-conformist religious tradition,  arising in English-speaking and European countries. The early art therapists who published accounts of their work acknowledged the influence of aesthetics, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, rehabilitation, early childhood education, and art education, to varying degrees, on their practices. 

 A British artist named Adrian Hill came up with the name  art therapy in 1942 while he was recovering from tuberculosis in a sanatorium.  Hill caught on to the therapeutic benefits of drawing and painting while convalescing.  He wrote that the value of art therapy lay in "completely engrossing the mind (as well as the fingers)…releasing the creative energy of the frequently inhibited patient", which enabled the patient to "build up a strong defense against his misfortunes". He suggested artistic work to his fellow patients. That began his art therapy work, which he authored a book "Art versus illness." in 1945.

Another key figure, artist Edward Adamson, became the "father of art therapy in Britain" after he was demobilised after World War II.  He helped Hill extend work in long stay mental hospitals.  Margaret Naumburg and Edith Kramer are credited for being art therapy pioneers in the United States.  

Best Sellers:

Currently, the top sellers on are the featured adult coloring books:

Our lives become busier with each passing day and as technology escalates so do our access to work, obligations and stress. Coloring allows adults a way to slow down, feel calm and use meditative coloring for relaxation.

Unleash your creative spirit with this sophisticated anti-stress colouring, doodling and drawing book. The flowing lines, sweeping swirls and highly-detailed patterns on every illustration have been created so that anyone and everyone can enjoy making something beautiful and calming. Increasing focus through creativity can benefit those who find it difficult to unwind or struggle to find their inner artist when faced with a blank page. There are no instructions, no rights or wrongs, and no need for expensive art supplies - readers can simply doodle and colour in any way they wish to create unique and exquisite pieces.

Art therapy provide healing and growth experiences, and stimulate creativity.  Creating art images is a safe and natural way of communicating feelings and experiences.  People are able to see themselves more clearly, gain different perspectives, and unblock feelings and issues that may otherwise be difficult to bring to the conscious.  We have an energy language in our body that informs us both literally and symbolically.  Immune system neuropeptides transform thoughts into matter, storing emotions and memories in body tissues.  These stored negative experiences, relationship issues and belief systems generate negative energy that affects our health.  The rational and censoring left brain can keep us from this information.  Through meditative aspects inherent in the art therapy process, we tap into the right brain, connecting to symbols, images and perceptions that speak to us from the unconscious. These images may both surprise and inform us.  The act of externalizing images releases repressed memories, stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system to calm us, and the images become our teacher.  By connecting our conscious with our unconscious we gain a more congruent sense of self, improving mind, body and spirit.

Color on

Try it and see if it improves your mood, helps you concentrate, reduces pain, or eliminates stress.  How about improve the morale and retention at your next corporate event?   I've assembled a "Color me Doodle" board on Pinterest along with some of my favorites here for you to help yourself to.