this No-Makeup look, to my toolbox as a technique to show up more fully and confidently in life and in work.
this No-Makeup look, to my toolbox as a technique to show up more fully and confidently in life and in work.
Spring is a time of year for renewal and new beginnings. Whether it’s by planting your garden, decluttering, cleaning house, or just opening up the windows, this time of year beckons us back to life. Around our house, kids can be found playing outdoors in the late evening sun, bags of clothes are being passed on to friends, and the bathroom is getting a deep clean.
After a long dreary winter (especially here in Portland), our psyches & bodies can accumulate just as much dust as our windowsills. This could feel heavy, tired, or like you’re emotionally stuck in quicksand.
Here are 3 easy ways to spring clean your self-care, to blow the dust out of our chimneys, open all the windows, and let the light stream in.
A super easy way to help our bodies process and purge the harsh leftovers from our winter indulgences is to up our water intake. You don’t need to drink so much that your bladder feels like it’s going to burst every 5 minutes, just enough to really get things flowing for a few days. When I’m trying to flush my system, I aim to drink enough that I pee every hour. I also like to up the detoxifying effects (and make it super yum) by adding a drop of lemon, lime, or grapefruit essential oil (just make sure it is certified pure!).
2. Take Time for Yourself
Contrary to its name, ‘Me Time’ isn’t selfish, it’s actually one of the most sefless things we can do. As natural givers we are often serving others and helping to meet their needs. In order to do this with authenticity and love, we must be taking care of ourselves regularly. This spring, commit to adding one small act of ‘Me Time’ to your daily routine–and if you don’t already practice it, make it a Morning Ritual.
A Morning Ritual is a bit of time that you devote to your own self-care (and if this is a new concept to you, read this awesome book!). You may do some yoga or stretching, read a passage from an inspirational book, mindfully make a cup of tea, sit quietly in reflection, write in a journal, or any practice that connects you more fully with your own aliveness in the present moment. It can be as little as one minute (seriously), but I promise you will be amazed at what a difference it makes to your day!
Any way you do it, movement that raises your heart rate is an excellent way to release the bad stuff we’ve stored up and make more capacity for the good stuff. Start with 5 minute segments: power walk around the block, hula hoop, jump rope, dance to your favorite song, have a horse stance competition with your kids, or plank. The increase in oxygen and blood flow, and the endorphins that exercise releases will turbo charge your next several hours…it’s a better high than coffee!!
Do you have a self-care habit you’d like to share? Please leave it in the comments below!!
If you’re in need of a more serious self-care intervention, check out this post.
And if your body could use some extra help coming back to life, join me for a free essential oils class (in person or virtual) to learn about my favorite natural way to supercharge my health. Just shoot me a message here and we’ll work out a time to talk!
Hope you feel the vibrancy & aliveness of this magical season!
If you attended my Morning TLC for Interpreters workshop at TerpExpo, you learned about this simple and effective technique that provides instant relief to sore muscles, breaks up adhesions, and reduces trigger points. If you didn’t, watch this short video to get started.
My favorite lube to use with this technique is the Deep Blue Rub, made by doTerra. I use this heating/cooling cream daily on my arm and shoulder, and get wonderful instant relief. Try it today to reduce your pain and inflammation!
What’s your favorite way to care for your shoulder and arm pain?
With love and bright focus,
The thing I most love about my interpreting work right now is being in the middle-school environment. I enjoy the rush and chaos of students in the hall and tween angst in the classroom. I find millenials so interesting and worthwhile. I am lucky to be at a school with a DHH program where there are other DHH staff to support our students and each other. Each of us strives to strike the balance in our interpreter-educator roles, which vary based on our backgrounds and the needs of each student.
Having a good life-balance at work, I believe, helps me have “juice” for my arts/creativity in my own business and helping others with their endeavors. When someone comes to me with a unique business dilemma, I am eager to help solve it, like a puzzle. I enjoy interacting with other creatives and feeling like I am helping to make a difference in the world. I am a “social entrepreneur.” Navigating this is sometimes tricky, because my altruist-self would love to simply give away the work for free, but my entrepreneur-self (the one who sees that the studio lights stay on) recognizes that being mindful of business is key. I am proud of how I have worked towards this balance through the long and challenging journey of creating and distributing my award-winning documentary.
My identity as an artist and social entrepreneur has also informed my interpreting work, certainly. For example, when tutoring students, it can enhance the learning process to swap stories. They are interested to know what it is like to help secure film festival sponsors and travel internationally, for example. On down-time, I have also helped obtain equipment for the classroom by drafting/editing grant proposals with my boss. I share this now with the understanding that it fits my particular circumstance, but for many other interpreting situations, it might not work at all. I like the below image because it reminds me of the cautiousness and tension between our compartmentalized/neutral interpreter roles and how we bring ourselves into our work.
If I were to give advice about managing these varied aspects of our lives as interpreters, I would recommend being mindful about the balance between our own input and output. You see, we act as message/information conduits, so the flow of communication energy can blur into our own. In the past, one tendency for me has been to lean towards being more outspoken and visible. Lately, however, it has manifested inward. I’ve been reading books and making time for one-on-one friendships. I have also found it helpful to do vision boarding on Pinterest as I recalibrate my input/output frequencies. The below bike in the tree image speaks to this for me; we inherently leave imprints with our service (as interpreters, artists, activists, whatever), and the work affects us, too.
This is the fifth post in a series on interpreters who are putting their hearts back at the center of their work. To read other stories and get inspired toward the life of your dreams, click here. If you’d like to be featured or know an interpreter who’s doing something great please email me!
The end to another trip around the sun. I suppose every day is the completion of another 365 day cycle, but I love the many opportunities during the holiday season to contemplate growth, gratitude, and intention, and so I’m happy to honor this one as well as a touchstone and a reminder to pause and reflect.
Reflecting on the last year gives me a broader perspective on my life and its evolution. As I remember the highlights, the major events, the disappointments and the successes I add depth and interest to the portrait of myself today. How has 2013 shaped and changed me? What lessons did I learn? What do I want to take with me? What am I ready to leave behind? These are questions I can ask on any day, applied to any moment–yet on an annual scale I begin to sense how my daily decisions add up to the sum of my life.
Setting intentions for the coming year grounds me in my values. What do I want to create in my life this year? What do I want more of? What would make the biggest difference for me? Allowing the time and the freedom to dream, to see our lives outside of the stories we tell about them, gives us energy and fertilizes our efforts. New Year’s Eve reminds me to be mindful about what I create this year.
Take a moment right now to engage in the experience of gratitude. Close your eyes and just feel grateful. Don’t turn outward, casting about for things to give thanks for. Remember, it is not an emotional reaction to the blessings you can count; it is an energy you stir up with you that is causal.
I believe that the enjoyment of my life is directly related to how much I recognize and appreciate the good in it. Using holidays such as today to reflect on this gratitude is one way to stay conscious of it. Starting off a new year with an overflowing heart makes us poised to create an abundance of good in our own lives and others’…it really is contagious.
Take time to stir up some gratitude. Spend a moment with your eyes closed and your heart open, and let the gratitude come trickling or flooding in. Discover your own daily gratitude practices, and watch your life change.
My cousin, Alisa, introduced me to the tradition of claiming one word as an intention for the year. At the end of my reflection I like to tie everything together with this one word. This year I have learned a lot about filling myself up from the inside, and am ready to leave behind the need to control people and circumstances in my life in order to be happy. I am ready to embrace what life brings me, to claim responsibility for my own happiness, and to trust that all of it is here for my own good. My word for 2014 is embrace. Embrace the lessons, embrace those I love, embrace the good in every situation–even when it’s hard to see. Embrace whatever choices I do have, embrace the contribution that is mine to make, embrace the uncertainty and the mystery of it all, embrace the love that flows to me from millions of unexpected places.
Thank you for being a part of my 2013. I look forward to all that 2014 has for us.
I have been involved in many different mediums of art most of my life. My mom taught me to sew, and there was a time that I would see her create without patterns. That’s became a “template for an attitude” that I apply today. I look at other art, other vistas and develop ideas; often I am inspired from photographs. I am a writer, have a self-published book of poetry and have written short stories, journals and a very neglected blog.
Artistically, I have worked with wood carving, sculpting jewelry, pottery, glass, photography, found objects and, within the past 4 years, mostly, I have worked with the medium of pastels or oil pastels. Art is always an invention of patterns or methods or work-arounds; I owe this to Mom.
A few of of my other other hobbies are gardening, dancing (ballroom, swing etc.) and biking.
I feel peaceful and connected to a “creative zone”. I do not (maybe I cannot) produce art all the time; I have surges of production and then times when I have no interest. I am compelled to make art, so, when I feel like I must do it, I go “whole hog”. I do note when times are more stressful, with art I escape, and (like Calgon), it “takes me away.”
I feel proud of an accomplishment. Nothing-becoming-something is a powerful feeling. I have a thought that takes shape, and I play with whatever elements of inspiration that I have, and when done, it feeds me. I LOVE color and am not a person who was ever well-fit in apartment living, due to the constrainment of white walls. When I bought my current residence, I had a painter (friend) start adding color immediately. I’ll never forget coming home and he was a fast worker, with at least one wall already painted in the most perfect soft green color. I walked in and I started crying; he was worried he had done something wrong. I was speechless and in tears, and when I found words, I assured him: “I am alright. It’s beautiful, so beautiful. I have COLOR!” I still feel THAT emotional when I am producing colorful art.
From an early age, I would try and figure out shapes and patterns in nature and draw them. My childhood bedroom was upstairs, and out that window was a majestic oak. I don’t know how many times I drew the limbs and leaves, just figuring out what came first and what came next, the flow and growth and balance and the ways the limbs split off fascinated me. Art allows me to express my visual curiosity. Sometimes, it’s with photography, as I photograph the play of shadows and light, then I take some of those pictures and reproduce them into art.
I am adding another dimension to my life. I enjoy having art around me and painting or photography, sculpting or glass work – it settles me. I also like to give-back and I’ve donated art to auctions and raffles, so my artwork has a “life of their own” in charity, out there. I had a long hiatus of not doing anything artistic, and when I compare that time to now, I am more proud of myself for opening the floodgates and directing inspiration. I look at everything with a more analytical and critical artist eye when I am doing art. Adding interest in life is a way to never be bored!
Because producing art settles my mind, it improves my focus. The more I can give myself to the process of interpreting, without distraction,the more I am in the moment. Nuances are important in interpreting and the more I become analytical visually for art – the nuances of my work, being analytical – are more easily noted.
How could I NOT do this? Honestly, I feel this is in my blood. I was always doing art since elementary school. A new motivation, ironically, happened while interpreting. While interpreting K-12, I interpreted art classes. Content-wise, the instructor shows what the new project is – and the rest of the day (maybe even the next week) is spent with out instruction, leaving an interpreter quite available to choose what do do with their time. I always had permission to do what that class project was – and – it was a great role model for some of the under-motivated kids to see an adult get their hands dirty and get in there. THIS was my re-motivation. I didn’t always have a finished project, but art classes often encouraged various methods and mediums and, for me it “blew the walls off my box”, and my attitude changed to “I CAN”. My motivation today, is to grow as an artist and maybe make a name for myself? Hey, a girl can dream!
I have always had a STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES value. This is why I am an artist. I also value being industrious. I have seen coastal plein art (working outdoors) and it fulfills my desire to be retired and working with the ocean in view. That is the very best of being industrious and productive.
DO it. Take classes in things that interest you. There are free workshops, offered by art-supply businesses and it’s an easy way to get your feet wet. Even though not all the methods I learned at free workshops were things I was interested in, I had the opportunity to try. One of my friends says she can’t draw, but she took a class that taught her to do art with layers of paper. Her work is beautiful, and she surprised herself what she could do, even with a “I Can’t Draw” attitude!
This is the fourth post in a series on interpreters who are putting their hearts back at the center of their work. To read other stories and get inspired toward the life of your dreams, click here. If you’d like to be featured or know an interpreter who’s doing something great please email me!
If you are like me, you are busy and have a to-do list a mile long. There are the “This Week” to-dos of grocery shopping and buying socks for your kid, there are the “Must Get Done In April” tasks of birthday shopping for your partner’s gift and planting spring seeds in the garden. There are the 6-month goals which for me include cleaning out the basement and attending the 9 day School of the Work, and then there are the big dreams like traveling to
Thailand Australia, or getting out of your corporate job and into full-time work that you’re passionate about.
Every day brings more to-dos to the list and sometimes it feels like between work, taking the dog to the park and feeding the kids there is no time, no hope, for the more important but less urgent things. Pretty soon “clean out the basement” (even if it is to make way for the new exercise room I really want) or “travel to Thailand” (even if it would be incredibly fun and amazing) seem like they are farther and farther down the list and less and less like possible realities.
Stop for just a second. Breathe.
I know that when I start feeling overwhelmed by life and all of its fullness and complexities, first I need to get really present (all I ever have is this very moment), and then I can choose the very next right thing to do.
Stopping allows me to break the lines of attachment (aka: stress) between the present and the past (“I really should’ve gotten something done last night after I put the kids to bed instead of watching a TV show.”) or the present and the future (“There are so many things between me and the house I would love to purchase in 5 years…I just don’t think I can manage it.”). That breath gets me into the here and now and grounded right back in my body, allowing me to connect with myself and my options–and from that place I am my most creative self. You might be skeptical, but I’m telling you, this is exactly how it works for me. From this place of presence and connection I can ask “What’s next?” and the right thing arises every time. I do that one thing mindfully and joyfully as if it’s the only thing there is, knowing that when the time is right the next right thing will show up.
Try it! Right now:
3) Do the next right thing.
And leave a comment to let me know how it went!
I am an artist. I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I used to draw pictures of aliens when I was young. I remember being in summer camp when I was about ten years old and I saw a teenage girl drawing a giant picture of a woman’s eyes. I studied the way that she drew the eyes, fascinated with each little detail. I was determined to draw eyes too. After practicing and practicing I finally got it down. I began drawing eyes on everything, including my aliens. Eventually I ventured into drawing full faces. I would occasionally draw pictures of men and children but I favored drawing portraits of women. I drew images of fictional women as well as portraits of people that I knew and photos from magazines. I also liked to mesh human features with nature.
I recently discovered paint and fell in love with it instantly! I have no idea why it has taken me so long to get my feet wet. After my first painting I knew that I wanted to try to sell my art or at least share it with others. I have wanted to be an artist since I was very young, but always put it on the back burner because of my confidence in my work as well as a fear of not being financially successful. People have been asking me where I got my sudden courage to pursue my dream. After some reflection I’ve realized that it began when I married my amazingly supportive partner last year and then fully bloomed when I finally got the courage to chop my hair off! I know that it sounds a little bit simplified, but it’s true.
I’m a mother of two beautiful girls, a spunky four year old and a giggly four month old. I interpret in the evenings and come home exhausted. When I get home at 11:30pm to a quiet house, I stay up and paint. All of the tough VRS calls, the exhaustion, the teething baby, all goes out the window. I can engage in something that is all my own. It is very freeing and relaxing. The only way that I can describe it is pouring my soul out on paper. It feels similar to when I hear a song and it carries me away to an old feeling or memory. The one problem is that I sometimes paint until 2:00am and then tend to the baby all night. I often get lost in the process and lose track of the time.
My art mainly focuses on the empowerment of women as well as the abstract quirky thoughts that I have from time to time. I was raised by a very strong mother and her beautiful lady friends. I also have a group of women that I am very close to. By being there to watch these ladies blossom, and sometimes struggle, I have been inspired and empowered. I incorporate my life experiences as well as theirs into my work.
I feel more centered and connected to those around me. I think that a large part of this is because I get a chance to really relax and unwind during my painting time. It has helped me to stay spiritually connected and it gives me something new to be excited about.
I have more patience and compassion when I am not stressed out. When I come to work I feel more at ease and I’m able to direct my thoughts to ideas for my next painting in between jobs/calls. This helps me to let go of the last job/call and be mentally prepared for the next. I’m also learning new art vocabulary, which is never a bad thing when it comes to interpreting!
I paint because it is fun and it makes me feel amazing.
All of them! That is the neat thing about art. I can incorporate anything I want into it.
Embrace it! Don’t be scared, just trust the process. As one of my paintings says,
“Believe in Possibility.”
This is the third post in a series on interpreters who are putting their hearts back at the center of their work. To read other stories and get inspired toward the life of your dreams, click here. If you’d like to be featured or know an interpreter who’s doing something great please email me!
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver
Every fall I spend a night or two away, alone, gathering the highlights and disappointments from my previous year, extrapolating lessons learned, re-committing to my values and the roles I play in my life, and setting goals for the year ahead. This process is outlined in Jinny Ditzler’s book Your Best Year Yet, which is a contender on my shelf of Top 10.
This tradition began for me in 2008. Embroiled in the not-so-easy task of raising small children, continuing my work as a sign language interpreter, managing rental properties, and being a stellar wife, my then-husband Rich and I adopted the practice of stealing away overnight to clarify and re-commit to our values and priorities. We worked through this process individually and then shared our highest hopes and deepest intentions with each other, lending support and accountability and in the process strengthening our own resolve. This process became a centerpiece of our year, and we would return rejuvenated and inspired with a clear and do-able action plan for the coming weeks and months.
When I came out in 2010 and Rich and I ended our marriage, this practice became my lighthouse–keeping me anchored in my values, successes, and intentions even as the seas raged around and within me and my world felt so very vulnerable. Taking the time to be still and quiet, to reconnect with all I held dear, was an act of faith and self-love.
Today I spend much more than one night a year alone and contemplating these foundational structures of my life. I take time every morning to nourish myself and affirm my vision, and yet, this special weekend remains a touchstone–a time to be quiet and still in nature and to get a bird’s-eye-view on this one precious life I am living.
This morning Hank and I woke in the dark to the tinkling melody of raindrops on the tin roof, cuddled up in a sweet cozy trailer on the Oregon coast, with nothing to do but play, ponder, and write. As the wind smacked wet needles across our cheeks we headed to the beach and played fetch in the flying sand, watching the sky lighten around us. On this beach 100 miles from my bed, from my kids and work and partner and friends, I get to take a good long look at what I’ve created and then etch the intention on my heart for what will come next. In this trailer I take complete responsibility for the beauty and the disappointment in my life, and I employ my boundless creativity to make it exactly as I envision. When I return home this evening I will have a single-page outline to guide me into this coming best year, my well overflowing, energized and ready to serve.
From this carved-out space between days I send up a flare to you, dear reader. How will you claim a sacred moment for yourself to make the most of your one precious life?
I am passionate about teaching the ancient science of light, otherwise known as astrology. More specifically, I am very interested in resurrecting ancient Greek astrological texts in order to teach what I learn to modern day students of astrology.
When I am in the process of translating ancient Greek texts, I feel a great sense of excitement at what I find in the text itself. I also experience a feeling of accomplishment at being able to apply the unique skills I have learned through sign language interpreting to these ancient and profound works. To be honest, it feels magical. Always.
This work has affected my life deeply. Not only has it expanded my knowledge base in general, it also has opened my eyes to what is possible in one short lifetime. On a daily level, this work has given me a sense of purpose. No matter what I do, I always know that there are ancient Greek texts waiting to be translated, and students waiting to learn high level astrology.
In terms of interpreting, this process has attuned me to the importance of choosing texts wisely. In my current ASL interpreting practice, I now attempt to focus my work on texts that excite me. I am much more likely to prioritize jobs that contribute to my core values in some way.
I do this work because I thrive in challenging situations. The work itself is continually interesting, and contributes to a more fascinating world. Working on ancient texts touches me in a way that the modern world cannot. While today’s pace is quick and ever-changing, these ancient texts offer consistency and focus.
Open your heart to the wisdom of your highest self, your oversoul. Consult often and with gusto.
This is the second post in a series on interpreters who are putting their hearts back at the center of their work. To read other stories and get inspired toward the life of your dreams, click here. If you’d like to be featured or know someone who’s doing something great please email me!