May 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, Club 360, Elana Jade and Sarah Furuya offer tips on exploring your creativity, share exercises you can perform at your desk, provide exfoliation tips and share reasons why you should attend the upcoming Career Strategies Seminar “Women Rising”

1.) Divya Marie Kato: Pencil. Paper. Prince.

DMK Drawing Guide Cover copyrightBlossoms have given way to fresh green leaves. Nature’s changes, as ever, helping us understand the way of things. Make sense of the news. Make sense of the changes.

Joy and Heartbreak.
Open our eyes to a bigger picture.
And a bigger vision of ourselves.

Last month I talked about stress (scroll down to April 2016 Entry number 4) and presenting drawing as a way to reduce it. Later I realised, I should stop telling you about drawing (although I won’t because I love it THAT much) and let you hear more from what others have to say. Art has many incredible benefits – so I’ll share a new one with each newsletter.

Let’s start with art therapist, Cathy Malchiodi. According to Cathy, in her book, The Art Therapy Sourcebook, art therapy is “a modality for self-understanding, emotional change and personal growth.” In her own practice, Malchiodi helps clients with everything from processing emotions to personal growth. In the book, she explains her role:

“I believe that my role as an art therapist is to help people explore and express themselves authentically through art. Through this process, people may find relief from overwhelming emotions, crises or trauma. They may discover insights about themselves, increase their sense of well-being, enrich their daily lives through creative expression, or experience personal transformation. I recognize the power of art to expand self-understanding, to offer insight not available through other means, and to extend people’s ability to communicate. I also view art expressions as personal narratives conveyed through images, as well as through the stories that people attach to those images. Finding personal meaning in one’s images is often part of the art therapy process. For some people, it is one of the most potent therapeutic qualities of art expression. It is a powerful way of knowing yourself and a powerful form of healing.”

Read the full article HERE.

5 Quick Facts about Art Therapy By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

All That Happens When Pencil Touches Paper

The experiences that happen to us day to day wind up as information stored in our bodies.  How do we process this information?

Through a process of:

  1. INNER REFLECTION:  Understanding our feelings (about experiences)
  2. OUTER EXPRESSION:  Communicating our feelings (about experiences)

Writing is one idea; thoughts and feelings are expressed in words. Extensive vocabulary or not, at times the words are hard to find. Drawing is a stage before words — more elemental — and can catch the feelings one step before.  In this way, drawing provides an easier way to tap into those feelings: Enabling us to understand them for ourselves and express them to other people. Drawing is a way for us to process our experiences and make peace with our stories.

So together with reducing stress, opening up a creative channel, nurturing community and collaboration, idea sparking, highlighting issues, celebrating events and self discovery . . . Isn’t it time you gave drawing a try?

Ok, I’m in! What’ve you got to get me started, Divya?

For those of you who’d like to try drawing (you’ll be CHO happy you did!) you can receive part one of my Online Course for free, plus my Bonus Film, “Drawing for Stories,” to get started and discover what drawing can do for you. Head over HERE.

Big discounts for FEW members so head over to to sign up for DMK news to receive all the latest on tips, treats, training and my book, ‘When in doubt, draw’.

To the rare and remarkable ones. To leaving the world a funkier place. Imagining Prince and Bowie creating things on a whole new level up there. Imagining what’s possible down here. Us earthlings can do some incredible things. Let’s go about doing them. Helping others do them too.

For you rare and remarkable ones. Yes, you!

Look out for our “Big Juicy Retreat,” an exclusive retreat brought to you from yours truly and the exceedingly rare and remarkable Sarah Furuya of Clever Rebels. Check out her write-up (scroll down to May’s No. 4 entry). One place already gone. October 1 and 2.

Ever draws, DMK x

2.) Club 360: Desk-Fit 360 Part 4 – Movement Snacks

Let’s discuss some basic movements you can perform at your desk to split up your working day. Instead of the rather boring sounding “desk-based exercises,” I prefer to think of these as “movement snacks.” Rather than an entire “movement meal” or exercise session, these quick, easy-to-perform movements can help reverse some of the structural changes that can occur with sitting as well as promote circulation and improve concentration.

Please note that these are only general exercise guidelines and may cause pain in certain conditions. Although some of the movements may elicit a stretching sensation, they should not cause pain.

Movement Snack No. 1 – Band Pull Aparts

  • Sitting at a computer encourages the shoulders to come forward and the upper back to hunch. This simple movement helps open up the chest and activates the muscles of the upper back and shoulders.
  • Simply take a theraband or exercise band and, keeping the elbows locked out straight, pull the band apart until in comes in contact with the chest.
  • The exercise may be performed in different directions to stimulate different muscles.
  • Aim for 20 reps, twice a day.

Movement Snack No. 2 – Back Bends

  • Sitting puts the hips in lower back in a flexed position. It makes sense to periodically move the back in the opposite direction.
  • Stand up, placing the hands on either side of the pelvis. Using this as a fulcrum, arch backwards.
  • Aim for 10 reps, every 2 hours.

Movement Snack No. 3 – Chin Retractions

This drill is effective in reversing the stress placed on the neck by sitting with a forward head posture by stretching the upper neck muscles, extending or straightening the lower neck and activating the deep cervical flexor muscles which help maintain this correct posture.

  • Perform the exercise by imagining the head is the top draw of a filling cabinet and imagine opening the filling cabinet and bring the head back over the shoulders whilst at the same time lengthening through the spine.
  • Hold for 5 seconds and perform 5 reps. Aim to do every 2 hours.

Movement Snack No. 4 – Seated Diaphragmatic Breathing 

  • Sitting combined with typical workplace stress often results in the development of apical (upper chest) breathing patterns. This may cause stiffening of the upper back, overuse of the neck and shoulder muscles leading to muscle soreness and sub-optimal respiratory function. Performing specific diaphragmatic breathing exercises can help combat these changes as well as aid in relaxation and stress management.
  • Sit with the hands over the lower part of the rib cage. Inhale through the nose and feel the area under your hands expand as the air flows deep into the bottom of your lungs. Exhale through pursed lips and gently pull the naval into the stomach to expel all the air.
  • Take 10 breaths every 2 hours.

Movement snack 5 – Seated Hamstring Stretch

  • The hamstrings are particularly prone to tightening up with prolonged sitting. This can make it even more difficult to sit with the spine in a neutral position.
  • Sit up straight with the hands in the small of the back to feel for the movement in the lower back. Slowly straighten one leg out until you feel pressure start to build against the hands. This is a sign that the lower back is beginning to round and the hamstrings have reached their limit.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds and perform 5 reps on each side 2 times per day.

Movement Snack No. 6 – Seated Buttock Stretch

  • The gluteals and multiple hip rotator muscles are also likely to tighten up with sitting.
  • Place the ankle of one leg over the knee of the other. Keeping the back as straight as possible, lean forward, aiming to bring the stomach down towards the leg.

Sam Gilbert has been practicing as a physiotherapist and ergonomic consultant in Tokyo for 10 years. He is the co-founder and co-owner of Club 360 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy and a master’s degree in Exercise Science.

Club 360’s experienced physiotherapists are available to conduct ergonomic consultations and ergonomic seminars in both English and Japanese. For further information contact

3.) Elana Jade: Elana Answers Your Exfoliation Questions

exfoliateAs we age, our skin’s cellular-turnover slows causing premature aging. Exfoliating helps to keep your cells ticking over, which rejuvenates your skins smoothness and radiance. There is still a lot of confusion over exfoliation and below are my answers to the most commonly asked questions:

What type of Exfoliant should I use?
Only use a product that’s a light granule exfoliant as it doesn’t remove the skin cells that are still living, which means you can use it more often. I don’t believe in using an AHA (i.e. glycolic acid) regularly as it will dehydrate and can make your skin sensitive. Of course organic is always best!

How often?
This answer varies with every client. I suggest that if you have sensitive skin or you are just starting to exfoliate 1 to 2
times a week. If you already exfoliate once or twice a week you can increase to 4-5 times a week. If your skin is used to exfoliating you can perform a light exfoliation on your skin (with light granules and ideally mixing with a cleanser) every day. Please consult your therapist for more information.

When should you do a deeper exfoliation?
You should have a facial every 4-6 weeks and this is when your therapist should give you a deeper exfoliation. It is important to give your skin this extra boost so it can deliver better and faster results.

Where should I exfoliate?
Bedsides the face, it’s also imperative to exfoliate your body; especially your neck, décolletage and hands as these places are one of the first to show signs of aging. Using an organic toner, moisturizer and sunscreen after exfoliating will ensure your skin is properly protected from the harsh sun throughout the day.

How do you find the time to fit in regular exfoliation?
In the morning every minute counts, so mixing your exfoliant with your cleanser will decrease the amount of time it takes to perform your morning regime, which will help you to NOT skip this important part of your overall skincare routine. Also choosing a body exfoliant that has a two in one effect on your skin by exfoliating & moisturizing (usually a sugar and oil mix) when showering saves precious minutes and gets you out the door glowing all over!

4.) Sarah Furuya: RISE!

CSSSarahFuruyaHeadshotHere’s why I want to invest in you FEW members and why I STRONGLY encourage you to invest in the FEW CSS. My CSS story. I am so excited to be a part of the FEW Career Strategies Seminar this year. Me and my mastermind partner, co-conspirator and constant companion Divya Marie Kato of “When in Doubt, Draw” are going to open and close the day with our Clever Rebel brand of coaching, business and art-smarts (we both have loads of that).We cannot WAIT to RISE with you, go on the CSS journey with you and begin our ascent into the day.


I LOVE this CSS event. The first time I attended in 2008, I met some of my best friends for the first time. People who to this day are my Tokyo family. People who have championed, partnered, sponsored, recommended, coached, loved, supported, worked with me, made jewellery for me, become my clients and for whom I have done the same. YOU WILL MEET GREAT PEOPLE AT THE FEW CSS. THEY WILL HELP YOU RISE. YOU WILL HELP THEM RISE. This is what is different about this event from others. You will meet friends for life. It is intimate and well-attended and there is plenty of time for meeting people and quiet-time built in to the day.

I also learned an enormous amount from the incredible speakers and workshops. I gained confidence, learned about many different ways to be in the world; practical, psychological and spiritual, and have a career and had my eyes opened to a whole world of possibility.

In 2010, I joined the volunteer team and shortly after was invited to join the board as Programme Director. Which built my confidence. I also met my next coach who I worked with for 5 years and who changed my outlook and approach completely. I met amazing women, many of whom were pregnant with their first children at that time, but who worked so hard, without complaint.

In 2012, I found myself as the President of FEW, hosting the event which was Directed by my super friend Mary Fidler and once again being in the presence of greatness. The organisers even let me run a Mindmapping(r) workshop. Which again built my confidence and helped my RISE. I quit my job later that year, due largely to the fact that after that Mindmapping(r) workshop, people started asking me for private sessions with Mindmapping (my first offering was called Lifemap, it was 5,000 yen for 2 hours. I framed the first 5,000 yen that I earned from love money.) Now, I Tell you this not because I’m especially interesting, but because I want to you understand that the THE INVESTMENT YOU MAKE IN THIS EVENT WILL PAY YOU BACK OVER AND OVER IF YOU DECIDE TO RISE.

You can decide to complain, or suggest to yourself that you can’t afford it, or that it’s too much time to invest. Or that it’s not worth getting a babysitter. Or taking a day off work. Or…reasons.

Or you can DECIDE TO RISE and invest that money. And know, that when you DECIDE TO RISE, it comes back to you. Brilliantly. (P.S. My investment each year, either money or time, sometimes both when I was a director, has paid back dividends over and over again.)

In 2014, true madness gripped the Board of Directors and I was invited to be a Keynote Speaker. I ROSE to the occasion alongside women I consider to be great friends and mentors and who have helped me RISE. It was a tremendous opportunity to be authentic, brave and say yes to an offer to speak and serve the audience, no matter how big the ask felt. Wait – one of the workshop leaders that year released a book last week, another is speaking at the Women’s Start-Up Club tonight. I mean CSS is the gift that keeps on giving.

And now in 2016, I strongly recommend ANY of you to attend this day. It is OUTSTANDING value for money (You will not find another event with so much packed in for such a good price. I guarantee you.) The connections you make will last a lifetime. I could make list of my friends I met in 2008, but your eyes would burn from the fierce hotness of the flames RISING off their brilliance. (I’m attending an engagement party this week for one woman I met there, being coached through some decisions by another and saw another at an event last week and caught up and hugged and appreciated her brilliance. These are all women who have helped me RISE)

And now, now I am a genuinely happier, more productive, wealthy, free, more giving, content, generous, effective and brave person in the world. I want to give back to FEW and honour all this fantastic organisation has done for me. I want to serve the FEW community and membership.


May 2018 Strategic Partner Member Offers and Other News

Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]

Published on 2nd May 2018

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April 2018 Monthly Meeting Recap: Female Pioneers in Law in Japan

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Published on 2nd May 2018

March 2018 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: Online Presence Part II- Social Media

On March 22, The FEW Women’s Start-up Club held its fourth meeting of the FEW year on the topic of “Online Presence Part 2 – Social Media,” in a hands on social media workshop style event. And hands-on it was indeed – and not only related to social media! Those who attended may remember the police invasion! […]

Published on 2nd May 2018

Strategic Partner Spotlight: Lumina Learning Japan Partner, Elizabeth Handover

Lumina Learning is a global learning and development company representing the latest innovation in professional development and assessment. As a pioneer in organizational development with over 3,500 certified trainers globally, we offer services in 30 languages. Lumina Spark is our flagship psychometric tool. The key to every organization’s success is its people. This philosophy underpins our partnerships […]

Published on 2nd May 2018

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