Last week, we checked out the The Color Factory, a pop up art and color experience in downtown San Francisco. It's an instagramer's paradise where you can explore a blue room filled with blue balloons, a green room where you can write on the walls, rainbow rooms filled with macarons to taste, a studio filled with falling confetti, a room filled with disco balls, a life-sized lite brite (remember those?), and more.
What we loved about it: So much color! you can't help but feel delighted by high energy pigments. The best part was the yellow room where everyone could jump into a big yellow ball pit, take photos, and rekindle their inner 12-year-old.
What was left to be desired: As much as it was fun to take photos and act like playful kids, we wished there had been a greater educational element, more closely aligned to what you might see in a real museum. There is SO much to be said about color - the history of it, the uses, and more. We hope the expand on this in the future to give the exhibit a little more depth.
The verdict? A little pricier than we think it should be, but it's worth it. The Color Factory is closing soon, so go while you can! Go with your friends or family - it's a great way to connect whimsically together.
Can't make it to The Color Factory?
Here are some great color-related books recommended by Megan:
- The Secret Lives of Color
- Color: A Natural History of the Palette
- The Brilliant History of Color in Art
- Coloring Books for Grown-Ups
- Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns
Scenes From The Color Factory:
"May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be well. May you live your life at ease"
APPRECIATING THE WORLD AROUND YOU
Whenever you travel to a new place, you're very aware of all the scents, tastes, touches, textures, colors... how the air feels different.
Don't forget to stop and breathe at home, too, from time to time. Appreciate the World around you.
Here is a #zenmoment from this morning's sunrise in San Francisco, where we have been working this past week.
What are your (latest and greatest) favorite spots to watch the sunrise, hangout with friends, or enjoy spending your time in your home town or city? Comment back! We'd love to know!
Megan & Benef
How can offering free vacations help veterans heal from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
First, it’s important to understand that PTSD is not just a psychological disorder. Dr. Edward Tick in his book War and the Soul describes PTSD as “primarily a moral, spiritual, and aesthetic disorder - in effect, not a psychological but a soul disorder.” (page 108)
That being said, no amount of medication can fully heal a person suffering from PTSD. The soul requires more than drugs.
Tick offers a healing solution that embraces traditional societies’ concepts of warriors and the spiritual rituals performed for facilitating the warrior’s journey home from war. The four essential steps are (page 199):
1. Purification and Cleansing
3. Restitution in the Family and Nation
4. Initiation as a Warrior
Our mindful travel company comes into play in the second step of Storytelling and partially in the third step by offering a way for the veteran to reconnect with his or her family through travel.
We aim to tell the veteran’s story through the lens of travel helping to bridge the information gap between military and civilian populations’ understanding of the effects of war.
Doing this through a series centered around travel provides a unique way to address a difficult subject matter while also being uplifting and harnessing the joy that travelling creates.
Vacations also give the family a chance to reconnect away from the demands of work, school, domestic chores, and social obligations. The family suffers in a different way when the veteran comes home and is struggling with PTSD; they deserve time away to unplug and heal as well.
Our goal is to assist in the healing process any way we can. We work closely with organizations that work directly with veterans suffering from PTSD. These organizations have the requisite knowledge and skill to recommend to us families who can benefit from our vacations and retreats.
Contact us directly to learn more about how you can get involved.
firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com
Source: Edward Tick, Ph.D, War and the Soul, (Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, Theosophical Publishing House, 2005)
In all the various disciplines of yoga, one commonality is the belief and reference to the seven different energy centers or chakras located within the body.
At dinner the other night, a friend suggested I lead mindfulness yoga and meditation retreats to the seven different energy centers of the earth.
Woah! Mind blown. It never occurred to me that the earth also had energy centers. Seems logical enough being that the earth is a living planet.
A quick google search turned up dozens of articles on the locations of the earth’s energy centers. With some variation, the consensus seemed to be the following locations:
1. Root Chakra - Mt. Shasta, California;
2. Sacral Chakra - Lake Titicaca, Bolivia & Peru;
3. Solar Plexus Chakra - Uluru & Kata Tjuta, Australia;
4. Heart Chakra - Glastonbury & Shaftesbury, England;
5. Throat Chakra - Great Pyramid of Giza & Mt. Sinai, Egypt and Mt. of Olives - Jerusalem, Israel;
6. Third Eye Chakra - this one apparently migrates and is currently located in Glastonbury & Shaftesbury, England;
7. Crown Chakra - Kailash, Tibet.
There are also high energy locations located at the poles.
Whether or not you believe in these energy centers is irrelevant. What you can believe rather easily is that the earth is a living planet and that these are some truly beautiful places to visit.
That being said - now I’m allowing myself to develop a new dream bucket list about actually leading mindfulness yoga and meditation retreats to all these places.
I have no doubt the experience would be that much richer with a group. Will you join me?
I’ve only had my baggage not arrive with me twice in the last five years. The second incident just happened on our recent return from Panama.
This time, just like the last, it served as a physical reminder that I had some emotional baggage to let go.
This transition from military to civilian has not gone as smooth as I thought, which surprises me quite a bit. I do not wish I was back in the Army, but am struggling a little trying to figure out who I am now without wearing the uniform everyday.
Lots of self reflection and discovery. As I am not by nature a patient person, I’m irritated with myself for not getting over it already.
So two things to discuss about the luggage. First, I did not have travel insurance. Oh, the horror of a travel professional traveling to a foreign country and not having insurance! Yes, that was bad, very bad; mainly because of the medical insurance aspect.
Though we do have military health insurance which is world wide, there isn’t a base in Panama anymore which means we would’ve had to pay up front for everything had we needed to go to a hospital.
Depending on the country and the services; payments could be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars.
I forgot to buy the insurance after buying the plane tickets. The thing about travel insurance is that it must be bought within the 14 or 21 day window (depending on the company) after first booking the trip. This is when it will be least expensive and you are covered for any pre-existing conditions.
Since I didn’t do that and called months later, it was quite expensive. We obviously accepted the risk. I was grateful that the luggage situation happened on the way home and not while flying there.
Travel insurance also covers delayed/lost baggage. Regardless, when traveling overseas, get the insurance, and get it early. Luck favors the prepared.
The second thing about the luggage; I was carrying around some emotional dead weight. You see, military retirees do not get the same level of immediate respect and attention that active duty personnel receive.
I’ve always understood this; active duty personnel deploy to dangerous places and it’s a volunteer Army. I’d heard retirees tell me they felt like second class citizens in the military world; one step above contractors, though not making nearly as much money.
However, one can never really prepare for how that actually feels until one undergoes the experience. Upon showing my retiree ID card for check in at the Fort Lauderdale airport, I get a cursory glance and nothing else. My husband gets “thank you for your service.”
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. What am I invisible? Or does she just not know what a retiree ID card looks like?
And then I assume (who knows what really happened) that the lady forgets to (or deliberately doesn’t - if I’m going down that negative thought road) put my bag on the conveyor belt and “poof” luggage now lost in the abyss of the airport underbelly.
I hope you can see the connection I’m trying to make. My lack of acceptance of “what is” and sense of continued entitlement is not serving me in the least.
Why didn’t I just show my driver’s license? Or military spouse ID card (another adjustment story)? I require a shift in my attitude - my insurance against this emotional baggage. I get this.
Changing and steering my thoughts to accept where I am in the now is the first step towards moving forward and through this transition.
Really didn’t think I’d be struggling with this though - so interesting and curious. Signing off for now, but don’t forget the travel insurance - both kinds!