culture · life curation

Celebrating Podcasts: My Favorite Way to Learn!

Today is International Podcast Day and I’m thrilled to be able to share and reshare some of my favorite podcasts with you all! I didn’t know this day even existed prior to this weekend (I’m just as surprised as you are!) but I’m delighted that I can do my part to show support for some of the fantastic content creators that provide excellent, timely information on their podcasts.

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Listening to podcasts is a great way to pass the time while exercising

On the top of my list is LOA Recon with Jeannette Maw. I love her simple way of explaining Law of Attraction and providing wonderful stories illustrating her point.

The Mind Your Business podcast with James Wedmore has great interviews and combines left brain logic with right brain principles as a way to have a balanced approach to business building.

In Other Words gives me my weekly fix of art and museum news and discussions.

Abiola Abrams’s Spiritpreneur School gives tips on how to create a thriving business that incorporates your passion and spiritual gifts. Abiola also has a great YouTube channel that you may want to check out.

The Side Hustle Show with Nick Loper is an excellent resource for aspiring business owners that are looking for ideas and inspiration.

The OWN Network has amazing Super Soul Sunday interviews from a slew of thought leaders and innovators.

And last but not least, Entrepreneurs on Fire with John Lee Dumas is great for learning about the art of podcasting and building a business around it.

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I love listen to podcasts as I unwind, too

Let’s show our love for our favorite podcasters by:

  • Encouraging someone to listen to podcasts and giving them your personal recommendations
  • Giving great ratings and reviews of your favorite podcasters on podcasting platforms (iTunes/Apple, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, etc.,)
  • Send a word of encouragement or a monetary donation to your faves, just to show them how much you appreciate the work that they do

These gestures can go a LONG way in supporting your favorite podcasters.

Do you have any favorite podcasters that you want to share? Please leave a comment below telling us all about them!

health · life curation

Fibro Friday – Do You Have Fibromyalgia? Getting Properly Diagnosed

Welcome to the very first Fibro Friday! I’m hopeful that this series will provide valuable information and tips for other fibromyalgia sufferers, and it’s my sincere desire that my experiences with fibro will help someone else get back on the track to wellness.

*** Disclaimer – none of this is intended as medical advice. Please consult a licensed physician for a professional opinion. ***

The singular toughest part of my fibromyalgia journey was getting a proper diagnosis. There are still a lot of care providers that don’t know how to properly interpret fibromyalgia symptoms, and as a result, patients spend a lot of time suffering before there is a conclusive diagnosis. Even once patients receive a diagnosis, there are some care providers that treat fibro as some “strange” illness that only requires antidepressants and stress reduction to “clear up”. There is even a subset of care providers that deny the existence of fibro altogether.

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On your health journey, you may end up doing a LOT of research.

Let’s be clear: fibromyalgia is a REAL condition, with devastating symptoms. There is still a lot of mystery around why it occurs and how to best treat it, nonetheless, it is real. The challenging part is, again, diagnosing it.

So, how can you determine if you may have fibromyalgia? If you have any of the following symptoms for at least 3 months, then you may suffer from the condition (an asterisk beside the symptom means that I personally experienced it as a fibro sufferer):

  • body aches , soreness or general pain, especially in the back, neck and shoulders *
  • morning stiffness *
  • exhaustion that doesn’t seem to let up *
  • sharp pains or pins and needles sensations *
  • feeling “sick” but not suffering from a cold *
  • may experience virus-like symptoms (feels like the flu) but can’t seem to get better *
  • suffer from extra tiredness and muscle pain after only slight exertion *
  • sensitivity to heat or cold *
  • anxiety, depression, nervousness, moodiness *
  • headaches *
  • sleep problems (can’t get to sleep, can’t stay asleep) *
  • forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating *
  • stomach issues (bloating, nausea, constipation, excessive gas) *
  • painful cramps
  • restless legs syndrome

You may have just one or all of these symptoms. I know that I often felt like I had the flu: I’d often complain of feeling like I got “hit by a truck” and, while the feeling lessened as the day went on, the overall “sick” feeling never went away completely. I was so tired that I couldn’t get out of bed on some days, and the headaches would occasionally be so intense that they could stop me mid-sentence and have me holding my head and I’d seize up from the pain. Nausea, sensitivity to heat and cold (I can’t go into the frozen section of some stores without a jacket because the air makes my body ache), and sleep issues (waking up every two or so hours) are just the tip of the iceberg.

If you have any of the symptoms and suspect you may have fibromyalgia, your best bet is to start with your primary care physician (PCP) and ask for a referral to a neurologist or rheumatologist. Your PCP can do preliminary testing to rule out other conditions (anemia – which often exists concurrently with fibromyalgia – or thyroid disease come to mind), but an examination by a specialist (like a neurologist or rheumatologist) will give you more conclusive results. If your PCP’s testing reveals that you have some other condition, try the treatments for that first, and see if you get some relief/improvement of symptoms. If not, it may be time to see a specialist.

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed through the process of elimination. After autoimmune conditions and other diseases are determined to be nonexistent, then a patient can be diagnosed as having fibro. If it takes you months or years to get to this point, take heart: I started having the worst of my symptoms at the end of October 2018, and I was diagnosed by February 2019. However, these symptoms first showed up (in a milder form) back in 2014/2015, at which time I went to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist tested me for lupus, and when the tests came back negative, she sent me on my way and didn’t bother to examine me for any other conditions. Imagine how much further along I could have been if this had been addressed properly back then! Ah well: here’s hoping my experience helps you to shorten the time on getting a proper diagnosis.

In short, take a look at your symptoms, and see how long you’ve had them. If it’s been more than 3 months, ask your PCP for a blood test and, if that comes back okay, then ask for a referral to a rheumatologist or neurologist for additional testing. Let the specialist know that you suspect that you have fibromyalgia: they’ll know which tests to do, in order to rule out other conditions.

I know this is a pretty long post, but the next ones will probably be a bit shorter. I just had to let it be known that you’re not crazy, your symptoms aren’t just “in your head”, and a proper diagnosis is the first step on your path to wellness.

 

art · life curation

My (Not So) New Hobby – Painting!

During my time away, I had a chance to resume one of my interests: painting! There is something so therapeutic about applying paint to a canvas . . . The brushstrokes, the blending of color, the magic of taking a concept and turning it into a tangible work of art. I love to paint and I can’t wait until I have more time to devote to my craft. Until then, here are a couple of pieces that I’ve created:

Me with a piece I completed earlier this year: I premiered it in Los Angeles in June 2019

Recent piece in progress

I’m so eager to see where this curiosity leads me. I would love to continue developing my skill, take a few classes, and work with some new techniques and materials. This hobby relaxes me and gives me a much needed creative outlet, so I’m sure I’ll have more paintings to share in the future!

 

 

art

New Podcast for Art Lovers

Friends! I got an email a few days ago that made me stop in my tracks: as soon as I read it, I knew instantly that I had to share this information with you.

Many of you out there are art lovers just as I am. Because we share a mutual love of art, it stands to reason that some of you may be interested in art careers as I am, too. However, not all of us want to be artists in the traditional sense: we want careers that allow us to surround ourselves with our but not necessarily be the creators of the art.

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That’s why I was so excited to see that Christie’s Education was launching a new podcast series titled Think Like an Art World Expert. This series, which will be available on Soundcloud, Stitcher, and Acast, ¬†promises to give a behind-the-scenes view of different art jobs. Along with this behind-the-scenes view, different art world experts will be describing their individual career paths, as well as unexpected things about their jobs.

The series officially starts on January 23rd, 2019, but there’s a small preview available on SoundCloud now that I’m linking here. This series will be a must for anyone interested in working in the art world. It would also be great information for anyone that creates and sells art: there’s nothing like knowing the individuals you may have to work with as you make your art of available a larger customer base.

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Because I am so excited about this series, I will be doing episode reviews for the next few weeks. You can look for those reviews to come out either on Monday or ¬†Tuesday after an episode airs: I haven’t quite decided which day yet.

Will you all be checking it out? Let me know in the comments below. I’m so excited about this: I can’t wait to discuss this series with you all! Talk to you all tomorrow.

 

life curation

Take This Course Before 2019

I know we’re all excited to start 2019 on a strong note, and I’m all for finding (and sharing!) the tools and resources to make this our best year ever. So, I’m going to do a mini-series called the 2019 Toolkit. This is informal, but as I find things that I think will be useful to you all, I’ll share them here and tag them for your convenience.

I’ve come across this particular course multiple times over the past six or so years, and each time I see it, I’m impressed by the high student ratings and continued popularity. Learning How to Learn, a course available through Coursera, is a powerful tool for setting the tone for 2019 successes. The class is 12 hours of study, so 30 minutes a Day is more than enough time to complete the course by the new year.

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Art As Taught by the Smithsonian

I came across a fabulous Smithsonian Institute program that some of my fellow art lovers may want to check out.

“You love art. Now become the expert you’ve always wanted to be. Register in Smithsonian Associates Certificate Program in World Art History

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Well, with that lead in, who wouldn’t want to learn more about this program? This certificate program has 10 courses (four core courses and six electives) offered by the Smithsonian and you can take them at your leisure. You can start at any time and choose the courses that interest you as time goes along.

Even if you aren’t interested in completing the program, the opportunity to get instruction from the premiere staff employed by the Smithsonian is too good to pass up. Also, the chance to connect with fellow art enthusiasts who have decided to take their interests to the next level by enrolling in courses.

However, if you do enroll in the program, you get access to a “private Facebook group where you can interact with fellow students and pose questions to lecturers”. You will also get exclusive invitations to events at the institution. I’m considering enrolling in 2019, if inspiration leads me to it.

Have any of you had a chance to take some art courses, either online or in person? I’d love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments below. Take care!

art · life curation

The Dark Side of the Art World

As an art fanatic and insatiable autodidact, I stay on the lookout for interesting resources for learning more about the art world. My current favorite e-learning website, Future Learn, has yet another great course related to art. This time, the course dives into the dark side of the art world. Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime “delve[s] into the seedy underbelly of the art world, looking at smuggling, theft, fakes, and fraud […]”.

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I don’t know about you, but this course sounds like it will be great for indulging my inner spy! So yes, I’ll be doing this course. Depending on how quickly I go through the materials, I may explore another Future Learn course before the end of summer. For now, though, I’m going to concentrate on this course.

Thinking about art crime, I remember watching a cute Audrey Hepburn movie years ago, about an art forger that was on the brink of getting caught. I can’t remember all of the details of the movie, but I may watch it again to refresh my memory. The movie is How to Steal a Million, and it’s starring Audrey Hepburn (as mentioned previously) and Peter O’Toole. From what I recall, it was a light and cute comedy, so you may want to check it out.

Anyhoo, that’s it for today. I’ve got some running around to do today but I’ll be back tomorrow. Ciao!