Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem

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I’m Headed to The Yellow Conference

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I’m excited to be heading to The Yellow Conference this week! It’s my first time at this event, which is dedicated to creative and entrepreneurial women. And as an added bonus, it takes place in my self-adopted second home of Southern California. Should be an awesome event!

Follow along with me:


I’ll have notes and quotes for you next week!

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A Salute to Olympic Fanatics…Like Me

Watching the Olympics“If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.” – from the movie Grease

Words to live by.

While the world has spent the past two weeks celebrating the 10,000 amazing Olympians that have converged upon Rio, there have been others of us who have dedicated ourselves to the watching of the Olympic Games. And, sure, those athletes deserve their time in the sun. They’ve worked hard to get where they are now, at the top of their game and the peak of performance. They are absolutely worth watching. However, no one seems to talk about the stamina and endurance it takes just to keep up with the Olympics! But I know, and maybe you do too.

  • We don’t record the Olympics unless we have to. We’d rather see it along with everyone else to “oohhh” and “ahhh” in unison.
  • Timing your bathroom breaks and meals just perfectly so as not to miss a moment.
  • While inspired by these incredible people to work out, we instead make the hard choice to order pizza. Because, don’t they need us there cheering for them?
  • Live Tweeting, Instagramming and posting on Facebook at just the right time, with inspiration, wittiness or sarcasm. You understand that its an art.
  • Bringing yourself to an insane level of sleep deprivation because you’ve stayed up late every night, and still rise early to watch the interviews at updates on the Today Show.
  • Crying, laughing, celebrating and mourning with all those athletes on a daily basis as events progress.
  • Googling countries you never knew existed, and are still a bit unsure about because you can’t figure out how to spell them.
  • Checking the websites and apps to stay current on other events because now you regret not buying that expanded sports cable package.
  • Reading up on the new sports, forgetting what some of the sports are and how they’re played, and trying to figure out which sports you might be good at.
  • Getting caught up in all the personal and amazing stories, and what it took to get to the Olympics.
  • Fighting off the desire to jump on a plane to the Olympics because all the commentators, visitors and TV anchors are having the time of their life.
  • Feeling a sense of patriotism, while also being so excited for other countries who overcame heartaches, won their first medals and broke personal records.
  • Deciding which country you’ll move to with low athlete counts so you can finally achieve your own dream of being an Olympian.
  • Judging the judges when they make the wrong call.
  • Ignoring friends and family because you’ve got this other huge thing to worry about.
  • Generating your Olympic Spirit at just the right time. It takes practice!
  • Quitting your full-time job in order to stay home and binge-watch the Games. (Just me?)

It’s exhausting, both physically and emotionally. But we’re in it for the long-haul (of two weeks).

So, I salute you, Olympics fanatic. I’m with you. I’m one of you.

And now I have to go because Primetime is about to start.

One more full day, then we’ll all be together-ish again in two years. Get some sleep! And go, #TeamUSA!

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Plywood Presents: Notes and Quotes

FullSizeRender 11This is a conference I look forward to every year. It’s fun, I’m able to see old friends, and it’s locally-focused. The last item is what makes it truly unique. The people who speak are not only inspiring, but most often, they’re doing something remarkable in the Atlanta area. So, while I love hearing big names from big companies, Plywood is really awesome because I can also usually say that the speaker or company is just miles away from me. It gives me plenty of chills and warm fuzzies.

Jeff Shinabarger, Plywood founder:

  • Sit with people that don’t sound like you.
  • Learn from people that you want to sound like.
  • Share with people that engage your advice.
  • Everyone has something to give. Everyone has something to learn.

Gregory Ellison, Fearless Dialogues:

  • Sometimes things have to break down to have a break through.
  • “The longest journey we have in life is from our heads to our hearts.” – a lady he knew growing up
  • “I don’t know how to change the world, but I can change the three feet around me.” – his Aunt Dottie

Hank Fortner, Adopt Together:

  • World Adoption Day
  • People who need love don’t care how old you are.
  • 19 million orphans in the world, 500K in US foster care, 25% of kids who age out of the system are homeless, 80% in jail, 30% are pregnant, 80% end up in prostitution and 56% wind up unemployed. The system is seriously failing these kids.
  • Family is the answer to almost everything.
  • Lots of organizations are doing great things, but they are all working piece-meal instead of in concert.
  • Barriers to adoption are finances, information and community.
  • Adopt Together allows micro financing for adoptions.
  • Lessons learned:
    • Always throw a party.
    • Never give up space.
    • Always remember the details.
    • Never get stuck in the details.
    • Always solve a problem.
    • Never burn a bridge.
    • Always tell your story.
    • Never lose your story.
    • Always give.
    • Never forget extrinsics.
    • Always make money.
    • Always say thank you!

Ron Clark, founder of the Ron Clark Academy:

  • Met everyone of his neighbors and invited them to be a part of the work in this run-down, dangerous neighborhood. It took four months.
  • Passion. Innovation. Creativity.
  • When you bring good energy to a place, negativity leaves.
  • Your team determines your success.
  • Spend 15 minutes on an idea. Decide if it should continue, and then leave it or pour your heart into it.
  • Live like it’s your life!
  • Treat fairly, not equally.
  • Put your energy into the people that actually make a difference, not the negative slackers.

Brian Pape, founder of MiiR:

  • Buy consumer products, then decide where we want the money to be sent. We get follow-up info about the progress of the projects.

Andrea Sreshta, Luminade:

  • Add water to the vessel as the battery. Remove water for the light to go out. Great for disasters and places with little/no light.

Curious Katheryn, 10-year-old entrepreneur:

Patrick, Nisolo shoes:

  • Artisan shoes, ethically-made
  • Focus on work culture. A good culture attracts the right people.
  • They own their supply chain.
  • Check out the book “Essentialism”

Tripp Crosby, producer, comedian, sketch artist:

  • It’s easy to take yourself too seriously.
  • When you’re obsessed with expanding, you risk enjoying the process. And when you’re not enjoying the process, you risk the opportunity to expand.
  • What’s the thing you should be enjoying but you’re not?

Brent Trapp, Booster:

  • Lead with outrageous care.
  • Notice the good things.
  • Obsessive commitment to investing in people.
  • Act like a friend.
  • Live with ridiculous joy.
  • Outrageous care breeds outrageous loyalty.
  • How will you treat your people?

Ruthie Lindsey, speaker/stylist:

  • Love people well.
  • You can live a beautiful life despite your pain and circumstance.
  • Choose joy.
  • There is always hope.
  • When we are open and honest, it forces others to do the same.
  • When we live in our pain, it’s all we can see. We need to find the joy so we can live there instead.
  • Pain can make us better and more whole.

Chris Marlowe, Help One Now:

  • Doing good can be simple and easy. Love first.
  • Find your fight.
    • Find something(s) that you can really dig deep with. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Help where you can.
    • Stick around for the transformation.
  • Go far. Go the distance. Give your life.
  • Go forward. Innovate. Care. Solve.
  • Doing good can be simple and significant.
  • Do good. Do good well. Do good together.

John Lewis, activist and US Representative:

  • We must care for the spark of divine in ourselves.
  • Love may be a slow process, but it’s always worth it.
  • There is power in peace.
  • There is a price to be paid for the work of peace. You must decide if you’re willing to pay it.
  • Without music, the Civil Rights movement would’ve been like a bird without wings. We’d often sing to each other across our cells, both men and women, because we were separated by both gender and race.
  • When you see injustice, make a little noise. Don’t stay silent.
  • “Just love the hell out of everybody.” – MLK
  • Get into good trouble.

Safia Minney, People Tree clothing:

  • Check out her “True Cost” documentary about slavery in the process of making clothes.

Travis Mason, Public Policy and Government Relations at Google X:

  • Macro behaviors are derived from micro moments.
  • Reverse assumptions.
  • Combine domains.
  • Invite the novice.
  • Its the difference that makes the difference.

Kim Biddle, Saving Innocence project:

  • LA County  rescues from child sex trafficking.
  • Average age for trafficking victims is 12-14.
  • 100K children are trafficked per year in the US.
  • We are connected, and deeply affect one another.
  • We are all human. Empathy begins at that place.
  • Impact is relational.
  • Choose to love.
  • Know your season. Run the race. Rest when needed.
  • Keep yourself seen. Cultivate community. Get professional mentors. Find spiritual mentors. Redesign your failures.

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10 Ways I Handle Stress, Anxiety and Sleep Issues

sleep mask

Me—in a nutshell

When I was younger, I never would’ve imagined that I’d become a person with ongoing stress, anxiety or sleep issues. Then I hit my 30’s, and was introduced to this terrible trio. And instead of having a steady, committed, long-term relationship with sleep, we became more casual friends, and sometimes acquaintances. We started drifting apart. I think on several occasions it even became that person that you think might be your friend, but doesn’t acknowledge you in a public place so then you’re not sure. Yeah, we have our issues.

Sure, I’d known stress and anxiety before, as part of being a perfectionist, but it wasn’t something that stuck around for very long. And to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what triggered the sleep issues. That was the first, and started happening early in my 30’s. The others were mostly results of high-pressure jobs that I’d had, I think, but probably combined with other things too. But they all started hanging around like leeches thinking that I owed them something before my chronic health issues of the past four years, that’s for sure. And they’ve certainly worsened with the decline in my health, because I can’t handle them as effectively as I would if I was healthy. Things get to me more easily. They take longer to sort through, and irritate me more . . . which, by the way, doesn’t help. #Cycle And my personality is one that just has a harder time letting go of things. We are big feelers with long memories.

However, one of the things I find most fascinating about humans is our ability to adapt. So, like any representative of my species, I’ve found a few ways to cope:

  1. The Five Minute Journal (also an App): I am not a negative person, but I am a perfectionist, so being critical is something I struggle with. I use this journal every morning and evening to take stock of moments of gratitude and highlights in my day.
  2. Essential oils: I personally love and use doTerra. I have many favorites (Breathe), but for tackling this issue, I’m all about Balance. I diffuse it or put it directly on my skin when I need it’s calming benefits. Just reaching for the bottle makes me feel better.
  3. Supplements: I get these either directly from, or recommended by, my naturopaths. I currently have one to help with anxiety and one to help me sleep that I take periodically. I think they help a little, but they’re still new to me, so I’m evaluating. But, of course, they aren’t the only things I’m doing, and I think that helps.
  4. A sleep mask: Pictured above. When I first started having sleep issues, I tried all kinds of things. I never thought I’d like a sleep mask. I always thought of them as making me kinda claustrophobic. But I was at my end, and gave it a try. And loved it! I’ve been using them for years, and also have a separate one that lives in my luggage for travel. I don’t think I could sleep without it now.
  5. Calm meditation app: I did several free trials of apps, and had it down to this one and Headspace. In the end, I liked them both, but this was cheaper. I like the sound of the waves, as well as the woman’s voice. I’m not practiced enough to do it on my own yet, so I like the guided meditations. And yes, they do have them for stress, anxiety and sleep. I’d wanted to start meditating this year already, so these blended together well. I try to do it for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night.
  6. Walk outside: I usually love nature from a distance, but I really do love to walk outside, especially on a trail or somewhere to shield me from the city a little. We also have beautiful mountains in Georgia. I find these walks really calming. I listen to an audiobook, or podcast or pray, but usually a mix. I definitely feel a sense of restfulness and renewal, not mention accomplishment, afterward.
  7. Friends: I spend time with people who fill me up. This usually means grabbing coffee or a meal or frozen yogurt. I hate talking on the phone, so that’s usually my last resort, or if the friend lives far away. But there is just no substitute for a good conversation with an even better friend.
  8. Mentor: I never knew I needed a mentor until I had one. I sort of stumbled into it with a group of girls and two women about 10 years ago. That lasted for about two years, and was awesome, but we all moved on. Then I spent another couple of years trying to find a new one, and was introduced through a friend. My mentor Holly and I meet about once a month, and I guess it’s been about six or seven years now. She’s awesome, and advises me on all kinds of things from business to personal. I’m currently looking for a new business mentor as well. Holly has mentors for different areas of her life she wants to improve in, and I think that’s really cool.
  9. Movies: I love TV, too, but sometimes I need the “away” that a movie in a theater brings. It’s a quick escape, super enjoyable, and only takes a couple of hours. I have a deep love for movies on many levels, and this is certainly one of them. I actually just rewarded myself with the new Star Trek movie last Friday morning after a stressful work week.
  10. One to grow on! Candy Crush: This is a weird one for me. I’m not really one to play games on my phone, but somehow I started doing this one at the beginning of the year when I had a full-on anxiety attack. I play it because it helps me focus on one thing at a time. I don’t have the flood of emotions and thoughts while I play this. I’m sure other games do the same thing that take strategic thinking, but this one works for me.

I know a lot of people would add pets to this list, but I am too selfish, cheap and OCD to have my own pets. I enjoy other people’s pets from time to time and that works just fine for me.

I will also, for good measure, throw depression into the mix here as well. Though I’ve struggled with it much, much longer. I will also lump my own depression and anxiety here because they often don’t look the same as what is usually portrayed. I didn’t realize I had depression for a long time because I wasn’t sad, therefore, I didn’t know the way I lived was any different from anyone else. Depression is more of “a lack” for me. I just feel less than myself. Kinda like a dull, rather than shiny penny. And I definitely get Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is one of many reasons I’m always considering moving to Southern California. Likewise, full-fledged anxiety is new for me, and thank you God, I’ve only experienced it a couple of times after it developed this year. More often, my anxiety is very mild, mostly resulting in a flood of thoughts when my mind should be still, like sleep. It’s nothing very emotional. Usually just t0-do lists and things like that. I love lists. But, of course, these things do contribute to a larger overall picture.

Side note: I will also say that I believe these kinds of issues, especially depression and anxiety are more common to creative, feeling people. I keep asking my friends who study psychology to do papers on this! It’s nothing formal I’ve found, just my own research through my experiences and conversations with others. And the worst part, especially with depression, is that it makes you feel very isolated, like you’re the only one who’s living a less than ideal life. If that’s you, I’m so sorry, and I’m here to tell you that you aren’t alone.

And yes, I do also have a prescription for Ambien, and take it occasionally, especially when I travel. I do believe there is a time and place for traditional medicine. But I try to take the more natural road when possible to put better things in my body and have less long-term effects or dependency which I believe come from many medicines. I know I am luckier than some in that I haven’t handled these issues with stronger substances, or been consumed by them. I’m incredibly grateful for that.

And I’d like to say that these 10 things work without fail every time, but that’s not true. I started writing this blog post in my head at 5:00 a.m. this morning, practically the middle of the night for me, and finally got out of bed to start writing it a little after 6:00 a.m. So, tonight, I try again. But by in large, they’ve been very helpful and allow me to lead a more normal life.

If you deal with any of these issues, how do you handle it? I’d love to learn from you, and keep adding to my list!

PS: Dear, sleep – I thought we had a good thing going. I don’t know what I said or did, but I’m sorry. With all my heart, I’m sorry. Please come back to me.

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5 Strange Things About Working From Home (So Far)

computer-keyboardI’ve only been self-employed for a few weeks, but I’m already noticing a few unique quirks that come with this practice.

  1. I continually forget what day it is. When I don’t have to leave the house most days, there are few things to mark the time. At my old job, I worked from home on Thursdays and Fridays. So, there are a lot of mornings now when I wake up thinking it’s the end of the week. #Disappointment
  2. I’m behind on current events. I’ve never been a morning person. And with chronic health issues, I’m supposed to get between eight and 10 hours of sleep. So, that means I don’t turn on an alarm that often, and I sleep till 9:00 a.m. or so. Then it takes me a while to lay there in bed, checking my phone, doing my morning meditation, checking email, etc. So, it could easily be 10:00 a.m. before I’m actually up. That works fine for me, because I just work later if I need to. But it also means I miss my beloved TODAY Show. So, I feel very out-0f-sync with the world.
  3. I rarely wear “real” clothes or makeup. I would like to note that I do change out of my pajamas! But lounge wear is what you’ll find me in most of the time, sans makeup. In fact, if I have appointments or meetings or anything, I try to schedule them on the same days so I don’t have to actually get ready that many days in a row.🙂
  4. I’ve wondered more than once if I can get “couch sores.” I don’t really do the home office thing. I’ve always just worked on the couch when at home. I know some people need the routine or normalcy that comes with working at a desk or a table or something, but that’s just not me. So, my couch is where I park. However, sometimes I sit there for hours at a time if I’m engrossed in something or writing, so then I realize that I’m a bit sore. And then I remember that people confined to beds can get bed sores…and then I wonder if there’s such a thing as “couch sores.”
  5. I’ve reached all-time lows on my fitness tracker. If experts want you to get 10,000 steps per day, I’m laughing in their faces. I’m convinced those people all live in New York where you do have to walk everywhere. My personal goal is 5,000 steps, but there has been more than one day where I’ve barely reached 500 steps. When you only have a 875 square foot apartment, and most of the time you’re only walking between the couch, kitchen and bathroom, there just isn’t a lot of movement. Plus, it’s way too hot to be outside!

But there you go. Just a few initial observations. I’m sure there will be more to come!


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