July 2016 Partner Tips

Each month we feature a short editorial from one or more of our strategic partners containing useful information related to work and life.

This month Divya Marie Kato explains her concept of drawing for peace and Anne Good tells you how to stop monkeying around. Keep reading for more!

1.) Divya Marie Kato: Drawing for PeaceDrawing for Peace Afrika Rose 1 June 2016

We’re approaching summer. And I’m only too aware of being halfway into the year. Six months have passed and it’s a reflective time. Not only in terms of our carefully laid plans. Or timing. In terms of news. News that breaks your heart. Pulls on your soul. We feel it collectively. We yearn for understanding. For healing. For peace. For love.

And so, as we prepare for the holidays, I want to share with you one way that helps. All you need is time. And a flower.

Drawing for Peace at Afrika Rose
Journey to the heart of a rose. Journey back to Source.

“Look at where you come from. How could you ever not be enough?”

Notes from my sketchbook. Went to meet the roses, at Afrika Rose, ( after hearing Megumi Hagiuda’s inspiring story at our recent FEW meeting on social entrepreneurship. Sat on a stool on the street and got to know them better by drawing. When asked about drawing, I replied:

“For peace. With so much happening in the world, it’s sometimes hard to find. We need more and more ways of cultivating inner peace, so when opening the door each day, we can take it out into the world.
Combat unconsciousness. Contribute to the collective.

So many ways to choose from. Drawing’s one way to peace. And connection. Flowers as teachers.
Each time we look, really look, we can remember where we came from. That we’re part of something so much bigger. When drawing, I recognise lines in the flower as the same lines found on my own body. It’s a true meeting. We look at each other till I don’t know where I end and they begin. And then there’s a stillness. Peace.”

And you can guess what happened next. We sat down to draw.

Megumi: “I haven’t drawn since the third grade!”

Peace. Presence. Purposeful Business. What’s the purpose? Love.

Always. In all of our many, many, rich, colourful, diverse ways. If we’re disconnected, it can’t come in. Got to keep plugging in. Plugging into nature. Each flower a constant reminder.

Loved every minute of time shared with Megumi and the roses. We relax. We laugh. We swap stories.

Megumi told me about her purpose and business model – a love business model – from the happy Kenyans who grow the roses, to the smiles of her customers in Tokyo. 80% of the employees in Kenya are women. Through the money they earn they now have clean, filtered water and a hospital. Every person who walks into her shop in Tokyo walks out with a smile. The roses speak for themselves. She takes some of her customers to Kenya every year.

“People call me a social entrepreneur, but I feel I’m just doing what I want to do. We often think about the product and the price. Not enough about the people who made it. In my opinion all companies should be social companies. Donation and circulation in the business are very different. Not making a donation to them. Making them a part of it.”

Incredible story. Importing fresh roses from Kenya every week. Founder & CEO, Megumi Hagiuda, went to Kenya in 2011 to help build schools. “Would it be sustainable to just donate?” She asked herself what was the best way. Her answer was to import roses to Japan, expand the market and create job opportunities in Kenya. She started Afrika Rosa in 2012 as soon as she came back from Kenya and after 3 years of online business, has opened a store in Hiroo, where Kenyan roses are available anytime, as well as flower arrangement classes and events. Stop by and say hello.

Retreats & Offers for FEW Members
For those of you who would like to find out more about drawing for peace and discovering something new, Part 1 of my online drawing course is free for immediate download for you to try out at home. Head over to for your free copy. Full course to be released soon, with a discount for FEW members, so make sure you’re signed up to join the group. Always happy to answer questions so do come find me after FEW meetings and let me know what you need and how I can help.

To work with me in person, come join exclusive retreats and workshops – run with my wonderful friend and business partner, Sarah Furuya, Coach, Clever Rebels & Curious Corporates. We’ve got workshops coming up: August 27 & 28 and our flagship retreat: October 1 & 2. Divya. An Artist. Sarah. A Life Coach. Together we offer you this invitation: to process your story, enjoy greater peace, discover your truest self and highest purpose, lose the weight of past experiences and rise up to the life you know you deserve. More info on the flier below with discounts for FEW members. Venues have been carefully chosen, with plans to treat you every step of the way, so places are limited. Please come find us at FEW meetings.

With Peace & Love.

Ever Draws,

2.) Anne Good: Stop Monkeying Around!

Many years ago I read an article written by Harvard Business Review entitled “Who’s got the monkey?” It rang true to me at the time and since then I have used this article many, many times with clients. So, I thought I would share it with you.

monkey aroundWhat’s it all about?

You’re running down the corridor at work during a busy day. You are running from one meeting to another. A colleague stops you and says, “We’ve got a problem.” You assume you should get involved but can’t make an on-the-spot decision. You say, “Let me think about it.”

You’ve just allowed a “monkey” to leap from your colleague’s back to yours. Your colleague walks away with a smile on their face, as they don’t have to worry about that situation any more — they’ve given it to you to sort out.

Take on enough monkeys, and you won’t have time to handle your real job.

How to avoid accumulating monkeys?
Develop a response, for example, when a colleague tries to hand you a problem, clarify whether they should:

  • Recommend and implement a solution of their own
  • Take action then brief you immediately
  • Act and report the outcome at a regular update

When you encourage others to handle their own monkeys, they acquire new skills — and you get the time to do your own job.

Read the full article HERE.

Keep all those monkeys that are not yours at bay . . .

3.) Elana Jade: 3 Summer Skincare Tips

skin careTip No.1: Simplify your makeup routine.
In the summer heat, your foundation will often “slide” on the surface of your skin creating a streaking appearance. I suggest sticking to the basics: mascara, lip balm, concealer and switch to a bronzing blush to show off your natural beauty this summer.

Tip No. 2: Beware of the sun.
Sun is the No. 1 cause of premature aging! It is important to use an organic sunscreen everyday, even if you will only be out for a little while driving. Most car drivers have more pigmentation on the right side of their face (assuming the drivers seat is on the right side of the car). Also make sure you don’t forget your ears, neck, chest, hands and forearms as they are often overlooked and are the first places to start showing aging. Wearing protective gear like a hat and sunglasses are very important also to keep away the harsh effects of the sun.

Tip No. 3: Use a toner right after cleansing your skin.
Toners help restore the pH balance to your skin, which makes your skin surface less susceptible to unwanted bacterial growth. This is a must for oilier skin types.

4.) Club 360: I’m Not Flexible Enough for Yoga!

Is something frequently said by those fearful of attending yoga. A phrase I hear often whenever I invite people to attend my yoga class. The phrase is often paralleled with “I’m too dirty to have a shower!” The logic is tenuous, but I believe comes from the fair place of fearing the unknown.

Lets face it, images of yoga characterized in the media can make yoga poses seem elitist and daunting. The most complex poses featured on the front of magazines, svelte young men and ladies turning themselves into a pretzel at a pristine beach setting. No wonder if feels like something unattainable. “That’s not me.” I hear you!

And again, in the yoga class itself, it’s all too easy to compare superficial flexibility with the next-door bodies on the yoga mat. That “Oh my god their head is touching the floor” feeling leaves us with a sense of inferiority about our own body.

But yoga is not this. Yoga demonstrates absolutely no judgment. Yoga is about you, and you personally. Yoga is a place one can let go of preconceived ideas about how the body should be, finding a level of acceptance in yourself. If anything, it’s a place where you can simply come and take a new breath of air, and come back to who you are. Start slowly; transformation will come with dedication over a long period of time.

I too started off as stiff as they come. Growing up in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong, I ran around on solid playgrounds, and competed along the Bowen Road running track through my formative growing years. I continued to run around University campus on icy grounds in the concrete city of Beijing. Forced by a friend into my first yoga class, age 22, I felt I had been glued together throughout my entire hip sockets. The irritation of being inflexible was overwhelming. Somehow, I decided to let yoga be the one place I stopped competing with others (and myself!) and I attempted again. Several more attempts turned into nine more years of yoga and some incredible changes of body and mind.

Whilst it’s frustrating to be unable to reach your toes, it takes willingness and certain strength of character to be open to getting there. It takes flexibility of mind to come and participate in the journey of yoga. Credit is due to those who simply show up, and face their inner battles on the mat.

Indeed, yoga postures make up the rewarding physical aspect of your 60 minute journey through a yoga class, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. So, what else? Why do people keep coming back to the mat? You’ll have to start to find out!

Bex Plumbly
Certified Yoga Instructor RYT 200


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