Archive for September, 2008

Members Project – Vote NOW!

I will be brief because I would LOVE you to spend the time that you would normally spend reading this voting for an American Express ‘members project’.

1,190 projects were entered and they will announce the top 5 to whom American Express will be donating serious cash in just over 5 hours. If you have followed this blog for a while you will know that Women for Women International is a charity close to my heart and they are currently sat at number 6! But to be honest I would be happy if you just vote for a cause that is close to your heart by following this link Members Project

Make a difference today!
Thank you
Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Advertisements

The nourishment of color

I recently painted my office blue. It is a very green-blue, you may not perceive it as such until you actually bring a blue object into the room and place it against the wall and see how green it is, so for now you may just need to take my word for it that it is a very ‘warm green-blue’. I chose the color because it is known to soothe and being in the business of stress reduction I need all the help I can get when folk walk over that threshold. It has only been that color for a couple of weeks and already many people have commented that it is ‘life affirming’ or ‘calming’ so it seems to be having the desired impact.

The obvious downside being that between sessions I need to work in that office and it is also a known fact that the blue quality can evoke quite a ‘dreamy’ state so I purposefully painted one of the walls a creamy white so while I work and raise my head from my computer I rest my eyes on something a little more neutral. If I faced that green-blue wall all day I assure you NOTHING would get done.

Chromotherapy, sometimes called color therapy is an alternative medicine method that people have been using for years for many ailments including anxiety and insomnia. Others have used color as a ‘secret weapon’ painting the ‘away-team’ locker room colors that suppress adrenaline (The Lakers would definitely become all sedentary in my office).

Color can also increase appetite, painting a senior center’s dining room a warm red/orange will increase the occupant’s appetites which is often desired. Prison inmates wear those pink/peach overalls to help with aggression and the reason hospitals are painted that ‘hospital’ color is that our tranquilizing hormones respond to it. We also perceive objects as being heavier or lighter based on their color, so if you are known to need a large purse, make sure it is light-green not brown and you will think that it is lighter even if you have loaded it with the kitchen sink!!

There are obviously nuances based on our individual tastes but generally here is how color makes us feel –

Painting a wall red will not only enhance our sense of smell and taste but our sense of time can also be distorted. Complex forms of red e.g Rose, Pink, Burgandy are all expressive and emotional, sometimes sexy and can counteract melcancholy.

Primary yellow is the first color we see and it will appear larger than other colors. It is used a lot in advertising for this very purpose. Lots of bright primary yellow can actually cause anxiety especially in the very young and the elderly.

Primary Blue is the USA’s favorite color. Blue is seen as very positive, and conveys loyalty and trust.
In modified forms e.g in pale colors it can encourage fantasy and be calming but pale blue in wide expanses can also come across as ‘cold’ and give people the ‘blues’. Mid range blued are pleasing and restful.

Orange is a ‘fun’ color and it makes us hungry. We love to eat orange things, it communicates affordability, however in big expanses it is another color that might loose its fun and make us feel restless. A lighter peach color will make us feel healthy!

Green is the color of life. It gives us the feeling of balance, reduces muscular and nervous tension and has been found to help digestion. The darker the green the more expensive we perceive it.

Purple aids one ability to think and gain clarity.

Black has both positive and negative connotations and is the ultimate power color and very sophisticated. It can be used with other colors to add drama to our lives.

Gray aids our creativity and provides an atmosphere of exclusivity. Gray is more about intellect than emotion.

White suggests purity and innocence, a cool white will increase one’s precision but a lot of it can cause fatigue. Warm whites that contain a hint of color can bring warmth.

Brown has earthy associations, it is a comfortable and non intimidating color.

Are you always hungry in your orange lounge? Been wondering why you can’t sleep soundly in your yellow bedroom? Realize you always feel more relaxed in rooms that are green?

Which room might you consider painting this weekend?
Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Great American Dine Out – No kid hungry

The tradition of celebrating the English Harvest Festival began in churches in 1843 leading to the custom of decorating churches with home-grown produce for the September Harvest Festival. Growing up I remember taking tins of food to church and placing them with everyone else’s contributions whilst the harvest hymn ‘We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land’ was sung. After the service, the food was distributed to the elderly and needy of the community.

Traditions like this still occur the world over but if you aren’t a regular church goer, how often do you go through your pantry to see what is there to donate? This weekend I was told that the Orange County branch of the Second Harvest Food bank was almost out of food, this means that the local organizations that rely on heavily discounted food from the bank to feed their own community initiatives are in trouble. One example being a local OC project that usually feeds 900 families a month now only have the capacity to feed 200 families – that means 700 FAMIILES are looking elsewhere and if that one initiative is that badly effected I can only imagine what is happening elsewhere.

This week you can help even without going to the effort of donating food, just by eating out in restaurants that are supporting the Great American Dine out initiative. We know there is an abundance of food in this country, this week please consider where you eat in support of this initiative. You can find details at – Great American Dine Out Just pop your zip code into the ‘Find a restaurant’ section.

Anyone up for a Daphne’s Pita lunch this week?
Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Look within and create your signature space

Bravo’s ‘Top Design’ is back on TV along with all its drama. Back in February I sat with the casting application eagerly scribbling out my personal philosophies on interior design and who my sources of inspiration were, I even made a short film that was required for the application. I had a vision of getting into that final 16 and being the one designer that actually bothered asking questions and taking a proper brief for each of the assignments.

I don’t believe that a style should be imposed on people, the idea of interior designers having a signature style is great in boutique hotels as we can choose to visit or not to visit, but to have someone come into your home and do design ‘to it’ is just plain bizarre to me. I believe that we are all deeply affected by our surroundings, not just in regard to the flow and functionality but how we view our treasured objects, our sources of inspiration and how we each personally react to color.

Now for those of you that love HGTV, this may come as a shock but meaningful design doesn’t work like that! The idea that design can be ‘done on a dime’ or that you can vacate your home, return 48 hours later and love everything in the transformation is just not true! To have an environment that reflects who you are at your most authentic is something that you need to be part of and not only in the present; this will be an evolving living process and considering who you are becoming and how your lifestyle may change is also an integral part of developing a design that supports you. It is more akin to buying clothes than you would think, and I am sure most of you wouldn’t dream of having someone else buy a whole new wardrobe of clothes for you without an in depth consultation!

I have been working on creating design filters from my client’s personal values for a while now and am now using a graphic model that is very user friendly for folks to manifest environments where they will thrive. Next week my collaboration with interior designer Cheryl Gardewine of Studio CG will launch, where we will be offering this exploration of values prior to Cheryl even placing her talented pen on paper.

To help shift people’s mindsets and to create awareness we are offering an online survey too, so if you have 10 minutes feel free to go play, and if you do leave your details I promise you will not be bombarded with mailers from us, instead we are genuinely interested in how you think about your space.

I have been promising to compile a ‘values-to-design’ book to show people that developing their own signature space is only a few powerful questions away, so if you are interested in being part of that your input would be valuable.

So here is the link www.studiocginteriors.com

This is an opportunity to look around you and see what you love, are influenced by and if you are intrigued to have your values turned into design filters you know where we are.

As for that Bravo ‘Top Design’ application? I realized that the TV production madness really wasn’t all that appealing and important to me but being a coach that listens, looks and brings awareness to how our environments can provide us with nourishment is.

How does your daily environment make you feel?
Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Who is your slingshot?

On Saturday we went to see a roller derby match – Sirens vs. Fight Crew….and I have to tell you it was F A B U L O U S!

Held in the ‘Doll Factory’ in downtown LA we were greeted with organic goodies, a thrash band and a crew of skimpily clad women on roller skates.. and for what is known as a pretty hardcore sport it was incredibly PINK!

I was thinking of covering the experience in regard to being nourished by the bizarre; did I mention the lobster mascot, the promenading fearleaders (cheerleaders for the Derby Dolls league), the tongue in cheek names of the girls who play or the ‘disco boot’? I also thought I could simply point to the fact that doing something that is out of the ordinary for you can be a really great experience. However what I realized in watching the game was something a bit more profound.

There are rules…Each team puts four blockers on the banked track who start skating, once they have traveled 20 feet the ‘jammer’ from each team starts skating… the idea is for the jammers to make their way through the pack of blockers then lap them for a second time, scoring points for every opposing blocker they pass on that round.

That means the jammer not only has to make it through the pack the first time but then has to skate VERY fast to make it around the track a second time and back through the same pack, this all happens in 60 seconds so each round occurs at breakneck speed. Once I became a little more familiar with the rules it felt the blockers were fundamentally misnamed.

Yes their job is to block the other team’s jammer BUT they are also creating gaps in the pack for their own jammer and on several occasions one of the blockers would hang back in the pack grab their jammer’s hand as they approached and slingshot them to the front of the pack.. now that was impressive! So even as I sat watching this particular Derby Dolls match I began to think of coaching parallels – it is an occupational way of being!

I started thinking that this was a great metaphor for those situations when you are running on empty or when you feel that the most exhausting part of a challenge is still to come.. often people choose to suffer in silence or are stubbornly self reliant, but what if it was as simple as holding out a hand? Who might effortlessly grab it and slingshot you in the direction of your goal? So this week’s call to action is to let someone know you need a little pull or to be open to receiving what you need this week.

On a fun note we will definitely be going back for the finals in November so if you are in the LA area (or anywhere else) and want to join go check out www.derbydolls.com and book tickets for the finals on November 8th.

You may just find someone out there who will help propel you toward your goals….
Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

What does your life smell like?

Last night I found myself talking with a friend who had worked and lived in Harlem in the early 1980’s. I had visited Harlem in the mid 80’s and we talked a little about what we had each experienced during that time. The conversation then led to more recent experiences in NYC and we talked about 9/11, all occurring with little comprehension on my part that it was the eve of the anniversary of the tragic event.

This is interesting not just because I was caught off guard and I wanted to mark the day with reverence and honor lives lost but also because that date had personal significance. I wasn’t in my apartment on that day but if I had been I would have been able to watch the towers fall. Instead I returned to the City 3 days later unable to get to my apartment as our building and street were being used for Ground Zero Operations. It look another few days before being allowed back into my apartment under military guard and given 15 minutes to grab the few belongings that were required during the unknown length of our displacement.

We were actually allowed to return after a few more days even though all Battery Park dwellers had to cross two military police check points to get home, having our bags searched each time. In the great scheme of things I know that this was just a minor inconvenience as were the helicopters that came and went 24/7, using the small patch of grass in front of our building to land.

The turning point was my decision to leave NYC. On the morning of 9/11, prior to the event I was offered a job which entailed moving to the West Coast. I had every intention of turning it down but after a few weeks of being back in downtown Manhattan it was apparent that it was going to take a very long time for things to begin to return to anything that resembled normal and then there was the smell.

Having had that experience I now imagine the smells of tragedy all over the world. If I read about war, or watch explosions on TV, I imagine the smell. It is a very visceral access point for me to connect with other people’s worlds. I think the only reason we don’t have smelly-vision in our homes is the fact that we could not bare it. I think that if the sharp odor of the world’s tragedies were pervasive in our living rooms where we were forced to live in the stench of it, we may all be quicker to act and do something about the suffering.

So today I did pause. I did remember. I did respect and honor and was able to do that while noticing the smells of a ‘normal’ life; the restaurants, the people, the trees, the car fumes and the familiar saltiness of the Pacific Ocean and I implored the universe to cease the smell of tragedy in my lifetime.

Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

The nourishment of goo

I missed the grape stomp this weekend. Penny got to play and I have to tell you I am a little jealous.

Now I have to admit that last year when I was actually at the grape stomp, stood in that large vat up to my knees, I thought it was probably the most icky thing that I had possibly ever done….with my feet. Have you ever stomped grapes after a few hundred people have stomped before you? The experience is more like wading in warm purple soup. I vowed that this year I would get there early while the grapes were plump and cool so that I may crush and squelch to my hearts desire predicting many squeals of delight.

And now I feel deprived and actively looking for something else that may have that same kind of gooey playful pay off. Children have it lucky, they have so many wonderful reasons to use their hands and play with goo, whether that be finger painting, playdoh or homemade paste like concoctions..

The experience of touching interesting textures is something that I still love today, I can often be found in Starbucks submerging and swirling my hand around in the tub of display beans, I buy swatches of material if I really like the texture and I have a few odd childlike toys around the office to squish and stretch for no reason other than to have that pleasurable sensation of manipulating something pliable.

This week I am setting a call to action to get your feet or hands into something other than your computer. Feel the soil in your back garden, a gooey cake mix, build a sand castle, play in a river, make sushi; really notice what you touch this week and see what nourishment you find there.

The gooeyer the better!
Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

↑ Grab this Headline Animator