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Friday Reflections

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Every Friday, I reflect on the week that has just passed by doing a little sensory exercise.  This practice is a gentle, easy way to tune into how we are doing, what we are experiencing, and what we are grateful for while more acutely tuning into our senses.  It’s a whole heart exercise with plenty of bodily input, if you will.  Because this practice has been so good for me, I want to encourage you to do it, too.  Building some gentle reflection into our weeks is a nice way to stay grounded while maintaining some big picture perspective.  So please join me in this week’s Friday Reflections (with each sense as your inspiration, consider how experiencing it impacted your week).

Here is my sensory round-up for the last week:
tasting ::  pan-roasted brussel sprouts, a falafel with pickled veggies slider and a cajun crab cake slider (food truck dinner for the win!), turkey sausage and kale with Great Northern beans soup, chicken and vegetable soup, smoked gouda macaroni and cheese, honey crisp apples and clementines by the handfuls, chocolate chip and banana bread 
hearing ::  Happy calling out his sight words as we practice, practice, practice
smelling ::  pots of soup on the stove and baking bread
seeing ::     sweet friends that I hadn’t seen in months for catch up meals complete with tears, laughter, and lots of truth.  Also, the look (and sound) of incredulity when Happy accidentally discovered his back-up Big Guy (our sweet friend Carly and her mommy treated Happy to the original Big Guy years ago and very thoughtfully also provided a back up Big Guy in case anything were to happen to the original).  Now, in addition to the rest of his stuffed animal menagerie, he’s got twins: Big Guy and Back Up Big Guy.  He kept saying, “why wouldn’t you tell me there was another Big Guy? I just don’t understand this.”Because if one is good, two is better evidently.       
feeling ::  this incredible fall weather.
wishing ::  that we all have lovely weekends that restore and inspire us and fill us with love.

What about you?  What were your sensational experiences this week?  Please share!

Making Every Home Safe

As many of you know, I am a football fan and the recent cases of domestic violence among NFL players weigh heavily on my mind.  I have a lot of thoughts that I am still sorting through about the role of professional sports and domestic violence, but I know unequivocally that we need to talk more about domestic violence and offer greater support so that every home may be a safe home.

In our country, here is the jarring reality:

One in four women (24.3 percent) and 1 in 7 men (13.8 percent) aged 18 and older in the United States has been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Intimate partner violence alone affects more than 12 million people each year.

dvam_allbooks

In support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, Seal Press (the publisher of my two books) has reduced the price of four domestic violence resource ebooks to $0.99 for a full year at participating ebook retailers: Getting Free, Stop Signs, Helping Her Get Free, and You Can Be Free. A dedicated e-reader device isn’t necessary to read the promoted ebooks; titles can be read on tablets and mobile phones using any reading app, many of which are free.

For those that may be living with abuse or know someone who is, Lynn Fairweather, MSW, author of Stop Signs: Recognizing, Avoiding, and Escaping Abusive Relationships (2012), offers these twelve pieces of advice.

1. Knowledge is power. When it comes to preventing domestic abuse, learning to recognize the distinct patterns and behaviors associated with intimate partner violence can be lifesaving. Most abusive partners choose, test, and prime their future victims before they ever lay a hand on them. Learn their tactics, watch for red flags, and always follow your instinct—it serves to protect and guide you in potentially dangerous situations.

2. Don’t compare. Abuse is abuse, even if you were assaulted but not physically injured, even if you hit back in self-defense, or even if it happened when there was alcohol involved. Abuse is not defined by the severity of injuries or by the number of police reports made. Avoid comparing your experience to that of other people, and instead ask: do you feel safe in your relationship?

3. You are worthy. Believing yourself to be valuable, capable, and deserving of happiness may help give you the strength to leave a relationship that turns out to be dangerous. When we recognize ourselves as worthy of a healthy, respectful love we can better identify the partnerships that do not reflect that right.

4. Don’t walk in unless you are willing to walk out. When searching for a romantic match, you must make up your mind beforehand that you are comfortable ending the relationship if your needs are not met. Decide early in the process that you will never be so attached to an outcome that you end up sacrificing your principles or your safety.

5. Jealousy can destroy. A Trojan horse of relationship abuse, jealousy may first feel like a welcome gift, displaying evidence of a lover’s strong feelings and his/her fear of losing you to another. But the possessiveness of an abusive individual is not about real love, but rather ownership and the assumption of impending betrayal.

6. Beware of isolation. One control tactic used to separate victims from supporters that might otherwise identify the abuse or assist the victim is isolation, which can be accomplished by physically moving the victim to a remote location, disabling their communication devices, or turning the victim against their connections.

7. Assess threats. When assessing verbal threats from an abuser, consider context, purpose, ability, and content. As a general rule, the more detailed the threat, the more likely it is to be followed through with. Remember, too, that the absence of threat does not equal safety.

8. Know if it’s high-risk. Some types of abuse are more highly correlated with intimate partner homicide than others. For example, strangulation, threats with weapons, and sexual abuse are all high-risk markers in a domestic violence situation. Use extra caution when exiting the relationship.

9. The abuser is not your responsibility. An abuser’s job is made far easier when his victim believes they can stop the downward spiral of violence by being a better partner, fixing the abuser’s many problems, or making excuses for his behavior. It’s not your responsibility to save a damaged partner.

10. Develop a safety plan. If you have decided to leave an abusive relationship, the most important thing to do is make a personalized safety plan with an experienced advocate. Leaving ushers in the most dangerous time for many victims of abuse, and exiting without preparation can increase the chances that you will have to return out of fear or economic necessity.

11. Use your resources. Understanding the roles of police, advocates, prosecutors, and judges can help prepare victims for the realities of working with the social service and criminal justice systems. A wide variety of resources exist to support people who are trying to escape domestic abuse, so identify and access your allies before making the final leap to safety.

12. Create an emotional safety plan. For many victims, leaving does not stop the abuse or the psychological pain that comes with it. Plan with a professional around how to stay safe after the relationship ends, and create an “emotional safety plan” that includes self-care goals and the support of close friends or an experienced therapist.

If you are in danger, please call 911 or reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233  or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

10 Questions for Giving Up Martyrdom

martyr

So many of us have been there, so entrenched in an unhealthy situation or behavior that we feel there are no other options.

Who else will lead the department?

Who else will care for Aunt Jane the way that I do?

How will this or that ever get done unless I do it?

And if we’re completely honest with ourselves, whatever it is that we are holding so tightly onto because no one else can do it in the same way isn’t just an opportunity for us to contribute, it is an opportunity for us to define ourselves through that action, a way for us to show others what we are about, sometimes in not the most subtle or gracious way.  But the stuff that we do when we are in our martyr state is never really personally empowering and almost always takes us away from the stuff that really would serve us and the world better.

Are you tired of living with the belief that you need to prove to everyone how sacrificing you are?  Are you ready to rehabilitate your martyr?  Try these ten questions to move you forward.

1.  Where do I feel my most engaged, joyful?  Forget the martyr moments for a minute and reflect on what delights you.  When are you not inclined to keep score or notice your sacrifice?  When does the sacrifice feel like an honor?  Those are the opportunities and experiences you need to seek.

2.  Where do I feel my most resentful?  Now, that you know what feels good, it is time to identify what experiences don’t bring out your best.  When does your martyr really come to play?  Martyrs might get a bad rap but that part of us is providing valuable information—we don’t want to be doing this any more than any one else; we just feel stuck!

3.  What is my best self?  What allows her to show up?  Now that you know where you are engaged and joyful and where you’re not, it’s time to identify how you most like showing up.  What does your best self do and say? How does she act when things are easy and when things are hard?  What circumstances and conditions allow her to show up?

4.  When/where am I my least favorite self?  So we all have a way that we act that we don’t necessarily love (or at least, I do, and I am hoping that I am not alone).  What does your least favorite self show up?  When you just have to insist that you were right in some iteration?  When you have too much going on and it makes you terse and highly instructive to others?  When you look at something later and think, “oh, honey” to yourself, what are those moments?  What brought them out?

5.  Why do I do what I do?  What am I getting out of it?  So, now that we know what feels crappy, it is time to identify why we keep doing it.  Sometimes the why is because we always have.  Sometimes it is because we don’t know how to let it go or who else will do it.  Sometimes, if we’re really honest, it’s because we like to have something to hold over someone else’s head.  You don’t have to be proud of why you do it; you just need to be honest about why you do it, what it does for you.

6.  What is my baggage?  So chances are that if your answer to #5 wasn’t “wow, I never realized that I didn’t HAVE to do this” then there’s a little bit of baggage that is being tended to (or enflamed) when you do these tasks that illicit some resentment in you.  Is your identify linked to being the good daughter and so you like doing everything for your parents (while simultaneously being annoyed that your siblings don’t step up)?  There’s no shame in baggage.  We all have it.  But the only way to unpack it is to get really honest about it.

7.  What are my triggers?  You can start to put away that baggage by figuring out what triggers your least favorite actions and how to work around them.  Perhaps your trigger is when you have too much on your plate and you are running from thing to thing and it totally annoys you that your partner doesn’t anticipate that laundry still needs to be done and lunches still need to be packed.  Sure, you could ask your partner to do those things but can’t he/she think of it?  Now is the time to take that big breath and realize that the outcome is more important than how it came about and ask for what you need in order to not be triggered.

8.  What do I want to be thinking, feeling, saying, and doing less of?  Now that you’ve done all this deep, deep work, what does all this information tell you about what you want to be experiencing less of in your life?  You want to feel less alone?  Ask for company in your journey.  Want to have more breathing room?  Commit to less so you can commit to your soul, etc.  Knowing what you want sets you up to create the life that will give you more of that.     

9.  What am I meant to do?  Chances are you have gained some insight about what you most have to offer, what gifts you most wish to be giving in your life with this reflection.  Now, flesh that out.  What should you be doing/offering to allow your best self to show up more?   

10.  What is your treatment plan?  You’ve got all these ideas.  It’s time to make them actionable.  How do you diminish the stuff that doesn’t bring out your best self.  Maybe you need to resign from a committee, hire a home health aid to take some of your parents’ care load off you, be really open with your partner about how you need him or her to contribute.  How do you allow the stuff you love and that brings out your best self to show up more in your life?

 ~

Whenever we feel discomfort in our lives, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to take notice and grow.  Rather than feel shame that we aren’t our best selves everywhere, always, we actually allow an opening for greater connection with ourselves and others when we claim what isn’t for us and what is.  Embrace what you know deep down within; that awareness is the greatest gift in our humanity.

Friday Reflections

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Every Friday, I reflect on the week that has just passed by doing a little sensory exercise.  This practice is a gentle, easy way to tune into how we are doing, what we are experiencing, and what we are grateful for while more acutely tuning into our senses.  It’s a whole heart exercise with plenty of bodily input, if you will.  Because this practice has been so good for me, I want to encourage you to do it, too.  Building some gentle reflection into our weeks is a nice way to stay grounded while maintaining some big picture perspective.  So please join me in this week’s Friday Reflections (with each sense as your inspiration, consider how experiencing it impacted your week).

Here is my sensory round-up for the last week:
tasting ::  black bean pie, Clementines, oatmeal with cinnamon, homemade chicken and vegetable (turnips, green beans, chick peas, spinach, celery, carrots, onions and tomato) soup, pumpkin bread, carrot cake  
hearing ::  the most gorgeous wedding music as our neighbors got married and the groom (who is a brilliant musician) composed all of the music.  Also: the clamoring of a rock on the sidewalk as Happy and I kicked it as we walked home from school one day, Say Something by A Great Big World, Stay With Me by Sam Smith, Stay by Rihanna (someone bought some music for the first time in a awhile) and The Voice Battle Rounds.  Love The Voice and I am obsessed with Pharrell.  For the love, he is just the sweetest.
smelling ::  fresh baked pumpkin bread and crisp fall air (love that smell)
seeing ::  The beautiful young women of the Circle de Luz Class of 2020 be formally inducted into the program. All of Happy’s sweet classmates when I went to have lunch with him.  Oh my goodness, kindergarteners en masse are just the more adorable sight.  Also, lots of wildlife: chipmunks, hawks, ground hogs, turkey vultures, deers, rabbits.  Everyone’s out and about with the shift in weather.      
feeling ::  really grateful for life and the people that have been placed in my world for me to love.
wishing ::  for a little forward momentum on some work projects.  Life keeps getting in the way.  I need it to pipe down so I can just sit and create from scratch for a bit.

What about you?  What were your sensational experiences this week?  Please share!

Your worth is not made-up

Kelly Rowland

“So, is it okay to care about what we wear or put on make-up,” I am often asked when talking about body image and self-acceptance.

And I always love that question. But before I can answer that question here, I want to share with you want informs my answer.

America Ferrera

To me, radical self-acceptance is the notion that I am not fundamentally wrong because of my history or physical body. It’s the realization that I am fundamentally right because I am neither my history nor my body.  It’s the choice to recognize my humanity just as I recognize and respect the humanity of others. It is the realization that my worth is not conditional. It is not based on the smoothness of my skin, the size of my nose, a number on the scale, the length of my hair, the labels on my clothes.

Sadly, in our culture and in our time, accepting ourselves is really radical. It’s not common. It’s not expected. And, yet, it can be the greatest difference maker in moving forward gracefully in doing the work we are meant to be doing in this world.

iggy azalea

I fundamentally believe that loving ourselves means treating ourselves with respect. For each of us, that respect has to begin with self-care. While self-care has some absolutes: we all need to embrace fueling our body in a way that allows it to run well, hydration, rest, moving in a way that brings us joy and health, and some personal time for just us, there are also ways that self-care can reflect our personal unique expression. What might be one person’s unique expression is training for endurance events, what might be another’s is showcasing her creativity through how she puts together an outfit. Neither is better or worse; it is simply true for the person embracing that expression.

Embracing self-acceptance doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy dressing or applying make-up. Self-acceptance and style do not have to be mutually exclusive. If you want both style and self-acceptance in your life, you can navigate those desires in a way that allows you to stay true to you while enjoying the creative expression style allows you, and, as all good things do, it begins with balance.

Mindy Kaling

Taking a self-accepting approach to style means you inherently know that your style does not create your worth, it simply is one of many expressions of how you see yourself. You also inherently know that others’ are not defined by their style either. When you are operating from a self-accepting place, you understand that style does not change your capabilities. You can go without make-up without feeling like you’ve lost yourself. If your dry cleaning isn’t ready and you have to go with a different outfit choice for an important presentation, your ability to deliver what you would’ve in the power outfit doesn’t change. Only your clothes change.

And, so, every semester, as a little experiment in recognizing how inherent our worth is, I ask my students to join me in going ALL natural for a day.  We don’t just take off our make-up.  We also take out the hair extensions, take off the wigs, put away the polish, perfume, contacts, and hair product and show up just like we were originally designed.

Jennifer Lawrence

Want to join us this semester?  Then, on October 17th (this Friday), feel free to take a shower, put on moisturizer (as long as it is not tinted or light-reflecting), brush your hair and your teeth but that’s where the primping ends.

Here are some things that should not be part of your All Natural Day:

Contacts (yep, wear your glasses!)

Perfume/ Aftershave

Make-Up

Nail Polish

Fake eyelashes

Wigs, weave or extensions (the clip in kind.  If it’s sewn in, you can keep it there!)

Hair products  (shampoo and conditioning in the shower are fine– no leave in conditioner, de-frizz or straightening products)

Flat Ironing/ Curling/ Rollers/ Blow Drying

I am sure I’ve left something off the list so, here’s the deal, if anything feels like it could be an enhancement, it probably is- so skip it.  And while it would be tempting to just throw on sweats (and pull your hair back into a pony tail if you have longer hair), I encourage you to dress nicely for the day (whatever that means to you– just not sweats) and to wear your hair down- showing yourself that you don’t have to be dressed down in order to forego enhancements and forgoing the all or nothing thinking that often plagues us (if I am not wearing make-up, I don’t deserve to pay attention to myself or my body in anyway, sound familiar?).

If you are a trans or gender-variant person, participate by not using items that you would consider appearance enhancements but please feel comfortable using items that are part of your identity.

Want to take the challenge one step further?  If you are on a social media site, share a picture of yourself without the enhancements (#nofilter as I jokingly reminded my students) and encourage your followers/ friends to do the same.

Want to talk about this experience on social media?  Do so under #allnaturalday.

Pledge Allegiance to Your Self

LYB2014

Love Your Body Day is Tuesday, October 14th, and my goal is to get ALL of you to sign a pledge to making a conscious commitment to be your own body champion.  Below, you’ll find The Body Warrior Pledge that I drafted six years ago and is featured on Day 2 of Beautiful You.

You can pledge your desire to champion yourself by hitting the comments section below, sharing with us which statement you are making the MOST conscious commitment to embrace, what your first step will be in that journey, and then signing off with your name. Then, share the pledge with all of your girlfriends who should also be championing themselves and start a mini revolution amongst yourselves.

Sign the pledge by midnight EST on October 17th and you will be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of Beautiful You.

Want to download a copy of the Body Warrior Pledge?  Here you go:  The Body Warrior Pledge Graphic

Now, let’s start our journey to body warrior amazingness!

The body warrior pledge

Because I understand that my love and respect for my body are metaphors of my love and respect for my self and soul, I pledge to do the following:

To stop berating my body and to begin celebrating the vessel that I have been given. I will remember the amazing things my body has given me: the ability to experience the world with a breadth of senses, the ability to perceive and express love, the ability to comfort and soothe, and the ability to fight, provide, and care for humanity.

To understand that my body is an opportunity not a scapegoat.

To be the primary source of my confidence. I will not rely on or wait for others to define my worth.

To let envy dissipate and allow admiration to be a source of compassion by offering compliments to others.

To gently but firmly stand up for myself when someone says to me (or I say to myself) something harmful.

To change the inner-monologue in my head to one that sees possibility not problems, potential not shortcomings, blessings not imperfections.

To give my body the things that it needs to do its work well: plenty of water, ample movement, stretches, rest, and good nutrition, and to limit or eliminate the things that do not nurture my body.

To see exercise as a way to improve my internal health and strength instead of a way to fight or control my body.

To understand that my weight is not good or bad. It is just a number, and I am only good.

To love my body and my self today. I do not have to weigh ten pounds less, have longer hair, or to have my degree in my hand to have worth. I have worth just as I am, and I embrace that power.

To recognize my body’s strengths.

To no longer put off the things that I wish to experience because I am waiting to do them in a different body.

To understand that my body is like my fingerprint: a wonderful embodiment of my uniqueness.

Friday Reflections

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Every Friday, I reflect on the week that has just passed by doing a little sensory exercise.  This practice is a gentle, easy way to tune into how we are doing, what we are experiencing, and what we are grateful for while more acutely tuning into our senses.  It’s a whole heart exercise with plenty of bodily input, if you will.  Because this practice has been so good for me, I want to encourage you to do it, too.  Building some gentle reflection into our weeks is a nice way to stay grounded while maintaining some big picture perspective.  So please join me in this week’s Friday Reflections (with each sense as your inspiration, consider how experiencing it impacted your week).

Here is my sensory round-up for the last week:
tasting ::  chicken and rice wonton soup, broiled sweet potato wedges, Tuscan white bean soup, Caesar salad, roasted mushroom, broccoli and purple onions with a homemade garlic lemon vinaigrette mixed with barley, and a brownie.    
hearing ::  a very old school jam– Supersonic– and Happy tell jokes as we walked to school together as a family
smelling ::  fresh baked brownies (they were at the Circle de Luz meeting mentioned below and they smelled divine)

seeing ::  our gorgeous new Class of 2020 hijas and their parents at our parent meeting as we prepare to induct them into the Circle this weekend. Adorable girls, sweet, sweet parents.    

feeling ::  like my heart is full and so, so proud of the newest Circle de Luz hijas and the amazing women who make this organization not just run but shine.

wishing ::  for a lovely induction ceremony so that each girl and her family know just how honored we are to be in community with them.

What about you?  What were your sensational experiences this week?  Please share!

The intersection of yoga and body image

“My uncle says Puerto Rican girls are F-I-N-E FINE,” he hisses, his hands groping for me in the traffic to get on the bus afterschool.  He is in third grade; I am in fourth grade. Already, I have grown ashamed of my body, of my looks, of who I am supposed to be because (as I see it) I speak Spanish.

This is what happens everyday after school.  A band of boys who have decided I am a target because of my Puerto Ricanness swarm at the bus door when I try to get on it, sticking their hands out, trying desperately to cop a feel of my non-existent bottom.

I swat their hands away.  I cover my body.  I say No.  It doesn’t get better.

Checking Out

When I finally get on that dark tin cylinder, I look for a window seat on the other side of the bus, so they can’t see me. Finally, I just start missing the bus after school. A teacher sees me and loads me in his car and drives me home. Though I don’t tell him what’s going on, I keep missing the bus or finding reasons to stay after school because it is the only way I know that I can keep myself safe.

Soon enough, I will find another way to keep myself safe.  I will disassociate from my body.  I will bind it, cover it, ignore it.  I will pretend it doesn’t exist.  I will not derive pleasure from it.  I will unknow it, because what I am learning from the boys around me is that my body is different and, if unleashed, could be dangerous to me.  It could put me in harm’s way.

I am so scared of getting any attention for my body that I pull away from it.  I fill my brains with as much smarts as I can fit in there.  I do as much good as I can.  I become the living embodiment of the good girl, because my body, I understand, could be very bad and something must make up for it.

From Meeting My Own Body by Rosie Molinary in Yoga and Body Image (October 2014)

Yoga-Body-Image

I am so excited to share with you all that the book that I contributed an essay to not long ago, Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body, is now available for purchase… everywhere! With these inspiring personal stories, you can learn how yoga not only affects your body but also the way you feel about your body.

Each author offers a unique perspective on how yoga has shaped his or her life and provides tips for using yoga to find self-empowerment and a renewed body image. By bringing together a diverse collection of voices that span the spectrum of human experience, this anthology showcases the power that comes from embodiment.  It was such an honor for me to be invited to share my journey to yoga and through yoga in this anthology, and I cannot wait to read what all the other contributors shared!

Contributors include: Anna Guest-Jelley, Melanie Klein, Alanis Morrisette, Seane Corn, Bryan Kest, Melody Moore, Nita Rubio, Claire Mysko, Shana Meyerson, Audrey Bilger, Teo Drake, Kerrie Kauer, Dianne Bondy, Linda Sparrowe, Sara Gottfried, Chelsea Jackson, Vytas Baskauskas, Kate Clere McIntyre, Joni Yung, Marianne Elliott, Dawn Dalili, Rolf Gates, Ryan McGraw and Carrie Tynan Barrepski.

Peek inside the pages and grab your copy of the book here.

 

tools for gathering insight

the tool box

In the Nashville airport last week, I picked up On Managing Yourself from Harvard Business Review.  While a stack of papers to grade kept me from diving into it immediately, it’s on my bedside table for this week’s reading.

Meanwhile, I’ve been ruminating on what behavior, habit, practice is at the core of managing yourself and it comes down to this: self-awareness.

I was in Nashville last week to facilitate Passion. Purpose. Peace, a retreat that guides participants in practicing self-acceptance, identifying their passion, and embracing their purpose.  As participants experienced moments of discover or clarity, they thanked me.

“Don’t thank me,” I insisted.  “You are the one finding your answers.”

The truth is that we all have our answers deep down inside.  We just need to give ourselves the time to discover our truths, and the opportunity for the questions to be asked.  Sometimes a retreat can do that but sometimes a retreat just isn’t available/an option right when you need some insight.

If you are looking for some tools to help you gather some insight, here are a few I’ve recently checked out.

Learn You.  Karen Gunton is a business coach whose graphics I love.  She periodically puts out workbooks that are especially good for business owners.  I just received an email about Learn You, her newest workbook (this one is free), focused on personal clarity.  I haven’t completed the workbook yet but I anticipate it will be a great tool for getting quiet and discovering what you know deep down inside.

Strengthsfinder 2.0.  This little gem of a tool allows you to take an online assessment to discover what your greatest strengths and then the book gives your great suggestions about how to incorporate those strengths into your life.  While it’s not free, it’s an incredible tool for articulating what you most have to offer and then identifying how to turn up the volume on it in your life.

Enneagram.  The Enneagram is a geometric representation of nine different personality types (the helper, the investigator, the peacemaker, etc) with an eye towards how they interact, intersect.  While it doesn’t cover all the complexities, there is a 36 question free test you can take to get a sense of your basic personality type.

Archetypal Branding Self-Assessment.  Melissa Bolton is a copywriter and brand therapist.  Her “freebie” on her website is a archetypal brand self-assessment and while it is designed with a lens towards how you might do your business branding, the exercise can definitely be personally insightful.

Discover who you are, what you do and how you do it.  Alexandra Franzen has some great tools and this one lets you fill in the blank on who you are and what you do.

Friday Reflections

hard at work

Every Friday, I reflect on the week that has just passed by doing a little sensory exercise.  This practice is a gentle, easy way to tune into how we are doing, what we are experiencing, and what we are grateful for while more acutely tuning into our senses.  It’s a whole heart exercise with plenty of bodily input, if you will.  Because this practice has been so good for me, I want to encourage you to do it, too.  Building some gentle reflection into our weeks is a nice way to stay grounded while maintaining some big picture perspective.  So please join me in this week’s Friday Reflections (with each sense as your inspiration, consider how experiencing it impacted your week).

Here is my sensory round-up for the last week:
tasting ::  chicken and rice wonton soup, taco soup, mountain trout with crab meat, and a lot of salads.  
hearing ::  amazing visions, powerful intention, inspiring mission statements, fired up manifestos, and inspiring encouragement from the women at Passion. Purpose. Peace  
smelling ::  mandarin orange lotion, the sweatiness of a sweet little boy after soccer practice

seeing ::  lots of beautiful dappling light this week.  Fall light is just breathtaking.    

feeling ::  wholehearted and inspired after the Passion. Purpose. Peace retreat.

wishing ::  for the chance next week to distill thoughts and ideas that have been bumping into each other in my brain.

What about you?  What were your sensational experiences this week?  Please share!