Thursday, July 30, 2015

How To Stay Focused and Creative When You Feel Like You Have Adult ADD

Post by Shaina Kamman for the Kindness in Business series.


When I was in high school I was quickly diagnosed with ADD. Except, I wasn't really diagnosed because I was already a budding health nut I suppose, and wasn't interested in medication regardless. But I knew it. My teachers knew it. My best-friend/mentor knew it. Before you go off on a rant on how ADD is not a real thing, and that really children (and adults!) are not designed to be sitting still for that long, and often it's just that the content is boring, and if we could just stretch our legs, and get in the sun a little, and, and, and… I agree with you. And I don't. Because sometimes it is still really hard to focus, even if you just sat down, even if it's for a short time and even if you ARE interested. So I'm talking about that kind.

For those of us fiery and ambitious I'm-changing-the-world-people-so-get-out-of-my-way entrepreneurs (or any other self-directed creator) this can actually be quite maddening, and exhausting, and annoying.

So, first of all, it's important to know that staying focused is something almost every creator struggles with. I think just knowing that is liberating and helpful. You don’t need to feel alone and like a big loser for not having it figured out (yet!). That being said, there are also definitely things that make a huge difference, so let's learn them! Here are my top tips for creating and sustaining focus so you won’t find yourself staring into space - several times. We’re going to address our mind, soul and body - in that order. We ARE a combination of all three, so in order for anything to work we need to address all three.

The key points are the External Environment (mind), the Internal Environment (soul), and the power of Brain Food (body).

#1 – Our External Environment plays a huge role in how we perceive ourselves because we are PART of the environment (especially if you work from home!). Make sure your work space is clean and organized and looks like someone respectable works there (because someone respectable does work there). We are very penetrable whilst creating. Sitting in a messy room with dirty laundry and piles of old magazines isn’t exactly the magical elixir for focus. Instead, loudly and wordlessly, this kind of environment says to us: “You’re not important to me and what you're doing isn’t important.” Because, seriously, if someone important was coming over you’d pull it together! So someone is coming over. It’s You - Focused, Getting-Things-Done-Quickly-And-Easily You.

Whenever I find myself feeling unfocused, the first thing I do is scan the room to make sure it’s giving me the message of professionalism, respect, and order. More often than not, I’ve forgotten to tidy up and once I do, my brain fog clears. For us creative types it’s easy to forget about our surroundings because naturally we are so head and heart centered. But the truth is that our head and hearts are very affected by our environment even when we don’t realize it.

#2 – Our Internal Environment is our feelings, our thoughts, everything buzzing around “in here.” Often, we are so deeply committed and (ironically!) focused on our greater mission we feel like we don’t have time to deal with what’s in front of us. But just like we need to have our physical desk clear so that we can sit and write at it, we need to clean out our brain and heart so that we have space to create. Trying to create in a mess, inside our head or out, is so much harder! Because every focused thought is interrupted by a mental knock at the door. Did I pay my phone bill? Is Larry upset about our conversation last night? Don’t forget to bring a snack when you pick up the kids! What am I doing with my life?!

These thoughts are important and won’t just leave because you’ve decided to create now. Instead, first care for your soul’s needs so it's available to help you instead of distract you. Take ten minutes to sit down and journal all these things out and onto the paper. Let your feelings out so your heart is lightened and can breathe better. If you’re feeling hurt, sad, frustrated or confused, let it out. So too if you’re feeling grateful, happy, and aligned. Let it out. The key here is movement and space. Remember sitting in class as a child and feeling as though you will burst because you have something important to say? Our hearts are still like that. Just like then, once we have expressed ourselves and feel seen and heard, then we become available to focus on something else.

And if anything that comes out is a practical reminder, just underline it, or circle it so that when you're done with your creative project for the day, you can go and accomplish those simple tasks quickly and easily, instead of having the “What was I supposed to do after work today?” feeling.

Just because part of you gets the awesomeness of your project, doesn’t mean all of you does. So best to care for your other parts first for 10-20 minutes and then all of you will be available and willing to focus on your goal for the day.

#3 – Gift yourself with Brain Food. Just like some people take pills to help them focus, our food can be our medicine if we so choose. Our ability to focus is hugely impacted by what we eat. When I was in high school a mentor of mine encouraged me to try going off sugar for a day to see if it helped me. That day I finished my homework in 45min as opposed to the usual 3+ hours. Needless to say I was sold (and all talks of getting me on ADD medication were dropped as well).

Prior to starting your morning work session, nourish yourself with some good clean protein like pasteurized eggs or wild salmon, a cooked dark green vegetable like sautéed kale or spinach, and a high quality grain, like quinoa or Ezekiel Bread. These proteins are very grounding energetically, and the fat in both the wild salmon and pasteurized egg yolks are a rich source of omega 3s and Vitamins A, D and E. These are your brain’s favorite kind of fats and they enable a clear calm thinking process (as opposed to the erratic, anxiety driven, chaotic thinking process). The greens are cleansing and rich in folate, magnesium, phosphorus and Vitamin C. This all keeps your blood flowing through your brain, heart and muscle tissue. The quinoa or Ezekiel bread are both very earthy (which is the pull that you need if you tend to fly away) and helps us to stay practical. They are also complex carbohydrates which is just a hoity toity way of saying that the energy available inside them breaks down slowly so that you feel full and focused for a longer period of time.

As creators and leaders, we need to remember to take a step back and put gas in our tank first, to care for our needs in all three levels. If we skip one of these, it’s a struggle to get our genius out and onto the paper.

The distractions and interruptions are there for a reason, and because we are sensitive souls - especially while creating - you hear all of it. By addressing and dealing with the distractions in your external and internal environments, you are enabling yourself to show up and serve on all levels. Then by feeding your brain optimally prior to beginning; you are giving your brain exactly what it needs to be able to stay focused and accomplish your goals.

Happy Creating!


Shaina Kamman, HHC, AADP is a Board Certified Health and Nutrition Coach. She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the world's leading nutrition school, and a member of the American Association of Health Coaches, the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and the Weston A Price Foundation. She teaches visionary creatives the most important and effective tools to be in thriving health, so that they are full of energy to make their mark on the world without burning out and burning their bridges. She lives in LA with her husband and two boys.
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Monday, July 27, 2015

What life's really about



photo by Jenny Ingalls Nelson

I love a good shopping trip and I'm no stranger to some retail therapy, but it's not what life is about.

Sure, it's fun to get stuff and it even feels good for a while... but that 'high' wears off, and then it's back to getting more and more and more. It's such an easy trap to fall into.

Having reached the point where, reasonably speaking, my friends and I are able to buy the stuff we want, we've started giving the gift of time. There are no birthday or Christmas presents between us. Birthday's are spent together doing whatever the birthday celebrant wishes, and we even try to squeeze in a friends' dinner during the holidays. The result is an incredible number of memories, nights we all truly enjoy, and much, much less pressure.  Ease.  Joy.  The ability to just be together.  

Life is about so much more than just getting something, and there is no thing that makes me feel as good as being with the people who make me feel alive, special and loved.  That is what life's about.

Thanks for being on this journey with me.

❤,
Lara

CLICK TO TWEET: Life is about giving and being.



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Friday, July 24, 2015

Dressing your truth + GIVEAWAY



I feel so lucky to be able to offer amazing giveaways to the KOM audience! The wonderful folks at Dressing Your Truth® are today's partner, and are giving away a fantastic package just for the ladies of KOM!

Dressing Your Truth believes that every woman possesses a unique beauty that she expresses in the natural movement of her facial features, body language, and personality. I couldn't agree more.



Dressing Your Truth is an online course (based on Carol Tuttle’s Energy Profiling® system) that equips women to feel more confident and look more beautiful by educating them about the 4 Types of beauty...and helping them express their own unique Type of beauty. Dressing Your Truth provides women with the insights and tools to understand their Type of beauty and learn how to express it effortlessly.

Enter to Win the full Dressing Your Truth online experience!

Now one lucky reader will win the full Dressing Your Truth online experience—valued at $297!

In the 3-hour course you’ll discover your Type of beauty and learn the tools for how to express it through your clothes, accessories, makeup and hair.

The Dressing Your Truth experience also includes hours of personal style training, Dressing Your Truth Club Membership, monthly online events, and much more.

Enter for your chance to win, then click here to learn your Type of beauty for free.

What better way to be kind to yourself, than to learn to dress in a way that expresses your unique beauty! To win this online course, comment below and tell us about your favorite way to be kind to yourself. Be sure to leave your email address! Unfortunately, comments without email address will not be counted. 


I will select a random winner and contact her via email on Saturday August 1st.

Good luck!
❤,
Lara



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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Meetings and Partings

Post by Taralee Hurff for the Kind Kindred series.


photo courtesy of 7-themes.com

In The Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Kermit (who played Bob Cratchit) speaks a sentence that is a truth about life: “Life is about meetings and partings; that is the way of it.” In the movie this quote is part of the dialogue between Kermit and his family about the passing of his son, Tiny Tim. Kermit’s voice cracks further in the dialogue when he speaks his son’s name. (If you have not seen this movie my disclaimer would be to have a large box of tissues handy for the steady stream of tears that will be flowing.) Kermit made sure his family knew that Tiny Tim would not be forgotten and neither would this first parting they were experiencing.

“Life is about meetings and partings; that is the way of it.” When we take this quote out of the context it was presented in, it becomes a larger truth that every individual will learn as they grow from infancy through adulthood. Our entire life is made up of meetings and partings. The meetings and partings help shape us, test us, support us, hurt us, encourage and inspire us, make us feel good, or make us sad. They are life long, they are dependent on our chapter in life, and they teach us. There will be many. They will make you and break you, but each meeting and parting will serve a purpose in your life.

I have been reflecting on the meetings and partings in my life recently. The focus of my reflecting has been how the right people are always there exactly when I need them; and what I have a learned, gained or lost through these meetings and partings. I made a list in my journal of what I felt have been my major meetings and partings thus far. Next I made columns for: 1. Why it happened? 2. What did I learn? 3. What did I gain? and 4. What did I lose? Additionally, I designated a page to give gratitude to those who were there at exactly the moment I needed them. I also gave gratitude to those who taught me the harder lessons. This has taken me a while to work through in my head, heart and on paper. While some of the questions were so easily answered, other answers I am faithful will be revealed to me when it is time for me to know. The process at times was challenging but was also extremely clarifying. Furthermore it deepened my level of gratitude for everyone who has touched my life.

Everyone who touches your life is supposed to; they have a purpose. It does not matter if we agree, disagree, understand, or have no clue what their purpose is. I have also learned that sometimes people part from our lives because they need to go in a different direction. It has nothing to do with what I did or did not do. If your paths are supposed to cross again they will. There may also be times when you are used as a sacrificial lamb for the lesson of another. Rest assured there is a lesson in there for you as well. Not every meeting will be wonderful and not every parting will be unhappy.

Meetings and partings will provide your biggest joys, your biggest hurts and everything in between. Be grateful for every single one of them. Some you will remember and some you will not, but the opportunity to learn and grow from all of them is inevitable.


Taralee received a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical/Counseling Psychology and Criminal Justice from Moravian College. She received her Special Education Teacher certification from DeSales University. Taralee is a NJ certified Teacher of the Handicapped, and has been working in the home and school settings for over 15 years. Taralee is currently President of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Regional New Jersey Early Intervention Collaborative, she is serving in her fourth year as a Board member. 
Taralee’s most important job is raising her three creative and inquisitive children (ages 9, 7, and 4) in Southern NJ. 
Taralee's book "100 Things To Do Before You Are 10" was published in April 2014. 
Please visit her Facebook page or send an e-mail for ordering information.


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Monday, July 20, 2015

Start attracting life



photo by Jenny Ingalls Nelson

Don't call the Life Coach police, but I'm not a member of the super-intense Law of Attraction club. I believe that you get what you give and that like attracts like, but can't help rolling my eyes when I see people applying those beliefs to material things. When I see someone trying to manifest cars, laptops and the like, I'm out.

The thing is, I don't believe those concepts were ever meant to be used for material possessions. I believe they are universal, energetic laws. I believe, as Paul Coelho says, that life attracts life. I just have a more pragmatic approach.

Want to attract life? Start living it. I feel most alive when I make conscious choices to do the things that light me up. Sometimes that means a quiet night at home, sometimes it means a weekend jam packed with fun. Whatever choice I make to attract life, the result is that I get life. This is not very mystical or woo-woo, and those things absolutely have a place in my life, but when it comes to what I want to attract, the most surefire way, is to make choices.

Making those life-attracting choices creates positive energy...(here's where the woo-woo comes in) and that's what I want to put out into the world. I want to be kind to myself, so that I can serve others. I want to choose fun, so that I can enjoy my 1 life. I want to create art, so that the world has a little more beauty.

So, if you need me, I'll be making choices that attract life and creating the kind of energy that I want to put out in the world.

Thanks for being on this journey with me.

❤,
Lara

CLICK TO TWEET: Start attracting life.



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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Woman Within




The darkened glow on faces hung
In demithoughts of parting stares
Cut deep by claws of custom cross
From sea to sky in scolding search
Of clues that keep concealing scorn
Too gross to part
When facing Venus bright and proud
They see the rusty brow of Mars
And cannot tell their light apart,
Deaf to the voice of nature lost
In stuffy cells they draw to shroud
Unopened doors in brass embossed:
The cost
Of fate dictated from afar
By spent, dry stars
And never leave the path to start
Not with the mind, but with the heart.



Adriano Bulla, a servant of Calliope, was born in Italy and lives in London. He has been publishing books since 2005, when his first collection of poetry, Ybo' and Other Lies hit the shelves; he has since published a surreal and unusual novel, The Road to London, which mixes poetry and prose, a collection of short stories, Tales for the Free Mind and Open Heart and a second book of poetry, Queer Poems, he has also published a study on Dante and Coleridge and a grammar book. His constant search for new and innovative forms in Literature, intense and unusual imagery has been accompanied by a growing awareness of social and psychological issues.
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