Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Change Art

In the fall issue of The Healing Nest Newsletter, I include an art prompt related to the theme of change. This art piece above is my response to the exercise. I call my piece, "Breathing and Blooming in the Face of Loss."

What are you called to create when you reflect on the theme of change in your life? If you feel inspired to share--either in art or writing--what change you are experiencing, I would love to hear from you! Either post on this blog, or feel free to send me an email at Perhaps I can even convince you to share your piece in my next newsletter (hint-hint).

Here is the art exercise description:

Art Prompt: “Change”
As much as we might try to fight the statement “The only constant is change,” it seems rather true, doesn’t it? For this exercise, think of a change that you have endured, a transition you are currently going through, or a transformation you would like to take place. This change could be an internal one, like a change from uncertainty to self-confidence. It could also be more external, like a change from living in Los Angeles to living in Seattle. Whatever change rises to the surface, it’s time to explore its characteristics. Does this change make you feel light and buoyant or heavy with dread? What colors and textures come to mind? What images bubble to the surface? Explore this change with whatever artistic medium you are called to use.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Summer/Fall Newsletter is here!

Click on this link to view/download the newsletter:

At long last the newsletter is here! I am pleased (and relieved!) to be presenting you with the Summer/Fall 2008 issue of The Healing Nest Newsletter.

Highlights of this issue:

* Therapist Elizabeth Rightor offers tips for dealing with life transitions.

* The Autumn Special ("Pumpkin Spice") is sure to entice you.

* Oxytocin might just be your ticket to feeling good this fall.

* The December 11 Art Show at Rising Bird Healing Arts is for a good cause.

I hope that you all are feeling healthy, centered and inspired these days. I wish you a cozy and warm autumnal season.

All the best,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Appreciation Walk

Today I took a lovely walk around my neighborhood with my camera. It was such a beautiful day here in Seattle, and I decided to embrace the autumnal changes and walk with appreciation. I set the intention of adoring the change of season instead of lamenting over the darkness and coolness that comes with autumn.

Today I embraced the crisp air, the turning leaves, and the groovy neighborhood in which I live. And by bringing along my camera, I noticed more shapes, colors, and textures than I would have on a normal walk. I sought interesting color juxtapositions and unique shapes that I wanted to document. I tell you, this Appreciation Walk was a big mood boost. I highly recommend it!

Here is a video slide show of my lovely little walk:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Feeling Good

"Healing Touch," mixed media collage by Courtney Putnam

I've been reading up on
oxytocin lately. This "hormone of love" as it is often deemed, is known to reduce stress hormones, promote relaxation, and increase feelings of love, bonding, and connection.

I've been thinking about oxytocin lately because I have been feeling -- and I have heard others express -- that right now "things aren't feeling so good." Perhaps the weather and light change has affected some of us, or maybe we're feeling down from the economic turn. I've also seen many people starting to get those nasty and lingering fall colds. So, if you're in a space of feeling not quite optimal, not quite 100%, I want to give you a little inspiration.

This inspiration comes in the form of something that you already have. You don't need to buy it or concoct it. All you need to do is access it and let it do it's job. The amazing hormone oxytocin, most known for its effect in producing labor in women, may show positive effects on both your body and mind. Now, how do you activate this great, feel-good hormone?

What researchers are finding is that receiving positive touch increases oxytocin in the body, and receiving massage in particular may be an effective and powerful way to get that "feel good" feeling. The Touch Research Institute in Miami has conducted hundreds of touch studies, all which have produced interesting findings related to the power of touch to help us heal, grow, and prevent stress and disease. Check out the TRI website here. Many of its most profound studies involve underweight infants who, when touched on a regular basis, grow faster and gain weight more quickly than infants who were not given touch. Several other studies reveal a decrease in depression among people who receive touch, particularly massage, on a regular basis.

So I say, hug your partner, your family members, your pets, your friends. Make a conscious effort to not only connect with others with your eye contact and voice, but also with a small gesture of touch.

And consider getting massage on a regular basis. More and more I see how receiving massage is important and integral to our well being and health. What was once considered just "pampering" and "extra" is now shown to play a huge role in our overall health and well being. Several massage studies have shown that massage not only reduces stress and promotes relaxation, but actually restores the body and may in fact be preventative medicine.

For more on the effects of this hormone on our body, read this lovely article from The Independent.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm Now RSS Feed-able!

Welcome to the new home of The Healing Nest!

You can now add The Healing Nest to your RSS feeds (see "Subscribe to the Healing Nest" buttons on sidebar).

Also, if you are a regular viewer of this blog, consider becoming a "Follower" via the "Follow this blog" link (also on the side bar).

All of my previous posts can be found at the old site, which has become The Healing Nest Blog Archive.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Free Career Workshops with Laila

(Click on image for larger viewing.)

I thought I'd take this opportunity to promote my dear friend Laila, the career counselor and life coach goddess, who is having another series of free workshops related to career issues this very October. Laila is inspirational, dynamic, funny, smart as all get out, and she knows her stuff! If you are in the process of changing your job or career, consider attending one of these great events!

Now, back to your scheduled programing.