Do you know what horses can teach you about creativity, self-care and stress?

Are you ready to meet and have your life changed by one of the most extraordinary creatives out there? She's a poet, a self-help author, a photographer, leadership coach and (of course) a cowgirl! And she's one of my favorite humans on the planet. Let me introduce you to: Beth Anstandig.

Beth calls herself "a noticer of things".

She notices the way an orange peel can become poetry.
She notices the subtle shifts in the space between horses.
She notices the art of barbed wire, the beauty in a shadow and the healing power of a hug with a four-legged friend.
And she notices how humans have become so adept at swapping stress for self-care, busy-ness for being, and productivity over prioritizing basic needs, that we don't even notice how much it's affecting our relationships and our wellbeing.

In her Natural Leadership work, Beth has guided heavy hitters from Google, Facebook, Adobe and many other leaders of today in how to slow down and use the wisdom of horses (and the...

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How to do a color pop in Snapseed

 

 

1) Open a full color photo in Snapseed



2) Select TOOLS

3) Go to TUNE IMAGE





4) Select the slider at the bottom of the image to bring up the brightness/Saturation/Contrast menu. Select SATURATION, then either move the slider all the way to the left or you can long press on the photo and move your finger to the left.

5) After you have made your photo black and white (by reducing SATURATION to -100) then select the check mark at the bottom right of the photo.

6) Now select this little icon that looks like a stack of books with an arrow on top. 

7) Select VIEW EDITS

8) Select TUNE IMAGE

9) Select the BRUSH tool


10) Select the INVERSION tool (looks like a black and white circle)

11) When your photo goes back to black and white, start to move your finger over the areas where you want the color pop to shine through. If you make a mistake, you can select the tune image arrows at the bottom to erase your mistake and paint black and white back over the area. You'll need to...

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Did you know there's a word for the sound of snowflakes?

Did you know there’s a word in Japanese for the silence of snow?

It’s shinshin and alludes to the absence of sound that was once there before.

Cover by Eron Haubert Additional photos by Dianne Bertini, Heather Reardon, Kimberly Lebron, Davida Kales, Mattie May, Shea Cochran, Ruth Nielsen

In our jacked up, noise-polluted, busy as all get-out world, have you ever contemplated the sound of silence? It's a rare thing, these days?

Even in my quiet house out in the country with very few neighbors, there is still the hum of multiple appliances buzzing in the background. But when the power goes out I notice that startling absence of white noise. And it's lovely.

Snow is nature’s best sound absorber.

The space between flakes once they’ve settled on the ground perfectly muffle the decibels of daily life.

In The Life Feast, we pay...

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Did you give up all of your interests in adulthood for the 3 P's?

What did you used to love to do?

Did you draw?
Did you dance?
Did you paint?
Did you sing?

I used to dance as a groovy chicken circa 1979/80, but I gave up art at age 22.

I was a working girl.
A newly minted adult.

I was a Professional, a few years later I got married and became a Partner, not long after that I became a Parent. I gave up creativity and all outside interests because doesn't adulting mean we are required to give it all up when we hit those 3 P milestones?

Maybe we add in a 4th P and call that fulfillment …. Peloton. Or a 5th, Planner, as in planning everything for everyone in our lives, planning the summer camp, the school activities, the dinners, the bake sales. Or a 6th P: Philanthropy. Worthy only if we are giving everything we’ve got. This is what is normalized in this culture. Give until your cup is bone dry … and unless it’s exercise, feel guilty for having fun unless you are taking care of the other p’s that society approves...

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What is meraki and here's how to a little to Your Week

meraki the life feast Mar 01, 2022

Let’s meraki your March, shall we ?

Meraki might sound like the macarena … thankfully, that is not what we’re talking about. If you’re thinking potato/potahto, meraki/macarena, it’s all Greek to me, then you’re half way there. 

Meraki IS a Greek word and it means to do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work.

My understanding is that it’s similar to passion, devotion or just doing something with enthusiasm and presence while letting the essence of YOU shine through … it’s leaving something of yourself behind. A lit up legacy, if you will.

This is not cookie cutter or paint by numbers. Your essence isn’t replicable in a factory, your meraki isn’t either.

Meraki is the antithesis of “phoning it in”.

Phoning it in is that checked-out, glazed over, monotonous: "anyone, anyone, Bueller, Bueller" kind of enthusiasm that you might currently be bringing to areas...

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Focus on the GOOD with 2 easy positive psychology practices

Uncategorized Feb 19, 2022
 
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What did you used to love to do (before adulting consumed every minute of everyday)?

 

What did you used to love to do before adulting consumed every minute of everyday? 

Did you love to paint?
Did you love to dance?
Did you love to sing?

Has it been a few years since you asked yourself what you used to love to do? And decades since you've actually given yourself permission to be you?

It is time to color outside the lines of motherhood or midlife. Reclaim your identity AND your creativity. Get out of your inbox and into your life. It's time to feast. 

Are you ready to feast on life?  
Details are right => here

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14 Tips for Holiday iPhone Photos You'll Love!

holiday iphone photos Dec 22, 2021

Want to take more memorable photos that you'll savor year after year?

I know, I know. You have elf on the shelf duties, are grocery shopping for house guests, buttoning up end of year work stuff and might have kids out of school and hanging all over you at this exact moment, but even if you have 8 million presents still to wrap (me!) and are packing to head out of town (also me!), give yourself (and your future savoring self) 5 minutes to peruse these tips for holiday photos you'll love or to just get inspired to take some different photos this December. And savoring is a form of gratitude! So if you've loved my gratitude gravy challenge, savoring is the perfect side dish!

And if your December holiday celebrations already happened, (my apologies, I'm a little late for Hanukkah photo tips, or early for 2022?!), or you don't celebrate any holidays in December, then read through this, anyway, to practice taking better photos over winter break or anytime of year. 

Here...

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How to Create EASY Holiday Light Bokeh Photos with an iPhone

 

Wondering what light bokeh even is? It's these beautiful round circles of light that are intentionally blurry and out of focus. It's a Japanese word and a photographic style. 

Christmas trees are just begging for bokeh! But you don't need to celebrate Christmas to enjoy this creative trick. Twinkly lights are easy to find and this on-the-fly creative trick is so much fun to play with. 

If you've heard of bokeh, maybe you've mostly thought of it as a way to blur the background when taking a portrait of someone. I took this photo with my big DSLR camera a few years ago of my daughter, Jacey. I didn't realize you could actually achieve a similar creative effect with an iPhone. 


I accidentally discovered light bokeh on my iPhone last year when I was attempting to shoot this scene while parked at a BBQ joint chatting with an old friend before driving into cell phone dead zones during a snow storm.

My iPhone wouldn't focus on the tree as it kept trying to focus on the...

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The Case for Thanking a Stranger

gratitude gratitude gravy Nov 30, 2021

There's nothing like having a police officer unload your luggage from the back of a patrol car at a gas station to remind you of why it's important to thank a stranger.

A week ago, we were at the tail end of a 3 hour road trip to the airport from our mountain town, driving down hill at 75 mph when our car's electrical system COMPLETELY SHUT DOWN amidst busy rush-hour Denver traffic.

As the dashboard went from "every engine light, warning light on" red to complete darkness, we contemplated using the nearby runaway truck ramp. Luckily, my husband's skillful coasting took the car just a tiny bit further to a small triangular median between the onramp and the highway to pull over. Fortunately, we were alive, but the car was now completely dead.

To say this was scary and dangerous and a terrible way to start the Thanksgiving week is a gross understatement.

It was too dangerous to even open a car door to get out of the car, nearly impossible for an Uber to pick...

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