Monthly Archives: March 2012

Kelly Green

Was it really 6 years ago that Babette and I were in Galway, Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day?

It was absurdly frigid that day. I recall wearing two pairs of wool socks, jeans, two wool sweaters (one purchased from some old lady in Dublin and one I had purchased in the states from the Goodwill Bins–a Goodwill store that sells clothes and items by the pound,which is something that most certainly should be discussed or at least highlighted–but I digress), an overpriced North Face jacket, a pashmina, and still I remember being chilled to the bone. Babs and I had taken a terrible bus from Dublin the night before. Upon awaking in this small town, first order of business of course, coffee.

Neither of us wanted to admit that it was too cold to be walking around. Anyone who knows the relationship between Babette and myself will attest that NEITHER of us was going to admit anything. Alas, we spent the majority of the morning drinking espresso and walking through the town, watching the real Irish prepare for the festivities. A parade, singing, dancing, and of course drinking lots and lots of Guinness.  By the time that it was socially acceptable to begin partaking in said libations, it was about 2pm. Despite the -20 weather, there were scads of people out and about, most wearing wool of some sort. Through the afternoon and into the night, people floated from bar to bar, singing (to be read as shouting) traditional drinking songs which supported more drinking, and giving kisses because everyone is Irish on March 17th.

It was amazing. I wouldn’t have wanted to be there with anyone else. Babette, it’s time to plan our next adventure across seas.

Cheers. xoxo

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Creating Cozy

I’d like to think that making things “cozy” is one of my very special skills. It’s a little difficult to define, but can at least be broken down to a the creation or collection of colors, textures, lighting, and events that evokes a feeling of serenity, calmness, and internal warmth.

Similar to the studies of Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi (MEE-hy CHEEK-sent-mə-HY-ee) one of the world’s leading researchers on positive psychology and the effects of happiness and creativity–and the attainment of these–on the individual. In his seminal work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csíkszentmihályi outlines his theory that people are most happy when they are in a state of flow— a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter (Csikszentmihalyi,1990). The idea of flow is identical to the feeling of being in the zone or in the groove. The flow state is an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, where the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing. This is a feeling everyone has at times, characterized by a feeling of great absorption, engagement, fulfillment, and skill—and during which temporal concerns (time, food, ego-self, etc.) are typically ignored.

Creating Cozy will therefore be my own theory similar to Finding Flow.

As an art therapist, I have been specifically trained to understand additional information in regards to how a person’s mind can be effected by the visual language. How color can connect to emotions. How we not only process through words and actions, but through the senses. Most certainly it can be agreed upon that looking at “beautiful things” makes us feel good. Similarly, I should like to suggest that being in a state of “coziness” can support self-soothing strategies we attempt to implement to decrease the anxieties and stress of daily living.

I have had many requests from people through the years–two today alone–to help them organize their homes/lives and make things cozy. This may seem silly to some, but not to those requesting the support! I hope to document some examples of this process along the way, and may even turn this endeavor into a small business of sorts.

Time to get our cozy on!

Reference

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper and Row. ISBN 0-06-092043-2

Help Them Hope

http://www.crowdrise.com/helpthemhope/fundraiser/emmanelson

HERE’S THE STORY:

Help Them HOPE is excited to Partner with Personal Philanthropy, a 501c3 in the USA who serves as our fundraising partner, assuring all US donations are tax deductible and fully accounted.  All donations receipts will demonstrate the name Personal Philanthropy, who themselves keep no portion of the donation and pass 100% to Help Them HOPE.

About Help Them Hope:

Help Them HOPE is an organization that works toward increasing independence for disadvantaged youth with disabilities in Peru by supporting education, employment, independent living and personal responsibility. Help Them HOPE was originally founded by John Whelan, from Ireland, who saw the need for more opportunity for disadvantaged youth with disabilities throughout Peru.

In 2006, John visited Peru and volunteered at the Hogar de San Francisco de Assis, a home for economically disadvantaged children and young adults with disabilities and medical needs. He soon realized that the children’s potential to gain education and employment once they left the Hogar was very low.

Upon this realization, John sought to establish an organization that would provide the needed resources, support, and programs these individuals require in order to achieve their educational, career and independent living goals. John wanted to give these youth a chance to escape from the cycle of poverty that so frequently affects those with disabilities. He believes that with a little support, there is hope and opportunity for the youth to better their lives and change the way we all see the world.

Getting Down to Business:

We are working to raise money to cover ONE YEAR of overhead costs for the Center for HOPE in Lima, Peru. The Center of HOPE is designed to further the education of the youth with disabilities that they serve and offer them resources and guidance to create their own plan for a more independent future. Below is the itemized cost scale so you can pitch in to help keep it running. 

Gas, Water, Electricity for the Center: $80/month, $960/year

Internet and Telephone for the Center: $150/month, $1800/year

Legal and Accounting Services: $130/month, $1560/year

Office Materials: $50/month, $600/year

Food Costs for the Center: $100/month, $1200/year

Books for Students: $40/month, $480/year

Transport Costs for Staff and Students: $100/month, $1200/year

TOTAL: $650/month, $7800/year

 

Just A Thought…

Think about how much most of us spend per month on the non-essentials of life. How much do we spend on dining out, books, pedicures, new shoes, drinks after work, concerts, airplane tickets, home furnishings, clothes and the movies? For one month, I challenge you to put a little bit of that aside and give to Help Them HOPE. If 100 people gave just $78.00, which, let’s be honest, is less than most of us spend out to dinner or on a grocery run, we’d reach our goal. Come on, just do it!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

Perfect

Answers

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Racecar spelled backwards is still just racecar

Sometimes things are just the same no matter how you look at them. At some point though, you have to stop looking and just accept what is.