Archives for the month of: May, 2011

21st century guru Deepak Chopra tells us thatrelaxation is the prerequisite for that inner expansion that allows a person to express the source of inspiration and joy within.”  He seems like one chill and content dude to me, so he must be on to something!

With the lazy hazy (i.e. hot & humid in NYC) days that arrive with the unofficial start of summer comes a natural slowing down that includes an increase of time spent outdoors, at the beach, in a park or in the country, which is especially important for us city slickers. Because as a great ad by the Bronx Zoo reminds us: “Connecting with Nature. There’s no app for that.”

If like many of my clients you’re someone who tends to go, go, go and give, give, give and feel like every minute of every day needs to be ‘productive’ you may have a difficult time adjusting to this slower pace and doing things that are seemingly frivolous and serve no ‘purpose’. But it’s essential to have a balance of both kinds of activities because it’s in the relaxing that we are able to receive, whether a thought/idea/solution, time to heal, the love and affection someone is offering us or that we give to ourselves by doing something healthy that we enjoy and feels good.

So this summer make it a goal to power nap at least once a day, breathe and check in with yourself periodically, write in a journal, listen to your favorite tunes, lose yourself in a good book and savor the space between the tweets.  Give yourself a TV and Facebook fast; cook delicious meals with produce from a farmer’s market. The idea is to use this season to learn the discipline of relaxing and taking pleasure in simple things, which gives you room to grow. And then you can take your new habits into a more daily routine year round…

But if you’re having a hard time going from 60, 70 or 80mph to 20, 10 or even 0, give me a buzz and I’ll show you how to linger in the leisure and move like the groove heard here having some Hot Fun in the Summertime!

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Well, we’re still here. And although the Apocalypse has not yet occurred, we are experiencing a type of end of days – or at least era – with The Oprah Show shutting down after 25 years! How am I going to exercise my tear glands and release oxytocin on a regular basis now??

Fanatic follower or not, you can’t deny that Oprah Winfrey has used her platform for educational and inspirational purposes with class and dignity, affecting millions all over the world in a positive way; she’s been an oasis in a TV landscape filled with Jerry Springer’s, Jersey/Atlanta/NYC/Mob Wives and a million CSI/Law & Order’s.

One of Oprah’s mandates is to live your best life. The great thing about May 21st was that although a joke to many, it perhaps for a minute forced us think about what we would like to do before our final day arrives, whether it is by mass destruction or natural causes.  Acknowledging the inevitability of death can be a powerful motivator and if you’ve ever heard me speak, you know my mantra is “your time and energy are your most precious resources.”  So the question is what are you doing with the breath, pulse and intelligence you possess while you still have it?

Another thing Oprah always talks about is the universal wisdom of being present, of living in the moment. Most people can spend days, months and years regurgitating the past or worrying about the future, which is one of the biggest wastes of that precious time and energy.

It’s a delicate dance that requires deep discipline and profound love of life to ‘live each day as if it were your last’ and to know that ‘there’s no time like the present’. What will always snap us back to these truisms, at least temporarily, is the instant devastation we observe or experience like in the recent tornados, volcanoes, earthquakes, violent acts, or simple accidents  – recognizing that our physical belongings at the least, and our physical bodies at the worst, can literally be wiped out in a heartbeat.

The good news and reality is more likely that we are indeed coming to The End of the World as We Know It – and perhaps that’s not such a bad thing, you might even feel fine…But if you’re sensing a little Doom in your Days, give me a buzz and I’ll provide an alternate uplifting of your spirit -while allowing you to remain here on the planet -so  you can make the most of who you are every minute of every day!

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly” ~ Unknown

One of my current clients has done a tremendous amount of work in a very short time – she has had major revelations in noticing past patterns, stripped away unhealthy relationships and is beginning to tap into who she really is, not who she became to please everyone else.  It takes an immense amount of effort to do this.

For the caterpillar, transformation literally means disintegrating its old form to become ‘goop’ while protected in the cocoon prior to emerging as a butterfly.  You can imagine the energy required to do so, and it can’t be very comfortable being formless and not able to see much, if you can see at all – it’s not easy being goop!

Conscious or not of its eventual destiny, the old self, having served its purpose, is dying a type of death and there is natural grieving process that occurs. In consoling my client about letting go of her past, I mentioned how Cher had a hard time because intellectually she had grasped what was happening, but she became very upset when she realized the voice of her child was changing, as her daughter was now becoming a son. And although the person that she gave birth to was very much still there, she was losing Chastity in order to welcome Chaz.

Chaz Bono, and anyone who is transgender, has to deal with perhaps the most extreme of identity issues.  The amount of courage  it takes to make such a transition, especially in the public eye, is truly inspiring. Not only did he have to know and be comfortable enough with himself to make such a seemingly drastic decision, but to then be able to articulate so graciously and effectively how and why he needed to do what he did is a lesson for us all in ultimate self-awareness and love. 

No matter how you identify yourself, Chaz’s story is an important and powerful one, as we all go through various forms of transformation throughout our lives -some more internal and others more external -in order to evolve into the best and fullest versions of our own humanity. His experience teaches us to be true to ourselves, accept and honor all of who we are, and trust that those who sincerely care for us will do so as well, even if it does take some time to adjust.  He is more content in his new body and his new life than he has ever been; the more of us who get to that place, the better off we all are.

Whether you want to find your voice, be more comfortable in your body, or express more of your Sal or Sally, I can be a mirror and guide for you in the process, peeling back the layers and providing a cocoon of support and space for you to go from goop to glorious, like a Butterfly!

“…I will continue to use my voice, the one I was told is important and matters.” — Rosario Dawson, actress and activist

I’m not a huge fan of American Idol, but have watched it here and there, and the theme I noticed this season has to do with contestants ‘finding their voice’ and being artists who are true to themselves.  Now there’s a new kid on the block called The Voice, and the X-Factor coming around the corner as well.

Although on one hand we are attracted to the idea of being plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight, I think our more subconscious obsession with these shows stems from how powerful that little box in our throat really is, because not enough of us use it to its fullest potential.

I have a client who feels she is not heard by her boyfriend, another who is trying to find his voice in his job, another who gets stuck when trying to articulate anything about herself. Shania Twain, who made a living and a fortune living by her voice, lost it after the devastating news of her husband’s betrayal and coming to terms with a traumatic childhood. There is nothing more effective to show us just how essential our voice is to who we are than when it is not there. 

I recently had the privilege of meeting one of the most distinctive and profound voices in our society today, Dr.Cornel West, who was being honored, along with Rosario Dawson and the former Mayor David Dinkins at the very aptly named  Voices 7, the annual gala for  The Brotherhood Sister Sol, an organization that empowers low income Black and Latino youth to become agents of social change through education, activism and spoken word.

A frequent guest on mainstream TV talk shows, Dr. West always has an intelligent and entertaining discourse with his host and speaks my kinda language about love, courage and shared humanity; he is an extremely unique voice of reason in a sea of media madness. 

At the end of the event, the students’ poem said you “Can’t sing when your guard is up and your mouth is closed…..The consequences of silence are intolerable.”  No matter who you are, without your voice and your Voice, you are lost.

The logo and ads for The Voice show two fingers up in a V; I realized it’s no small coincidence that this is also the sign of Peace and Victory, as they are all intertwined; because when you find your Voice and use it, you feel at Peace with yourself and can be Victorious in overcoming any obstacle – and that is Vital.

Whether you want to sing like Christina or Shania, speak out like Rosario and Cornel or come from Madonna’s generation or Gaga’s, it’s up to each of us to use what we’ve got, so give me a buzz and I’ll make you see how you were Born this Way and help you Express Yourself hey hey…

I tried to resist, I really did.  I did not want to contribute one more thought to the nuptials of two young royals, a story which has been regurgitated, dissected and discussed in a plethora of ways ad nauseam for the months, weeks and days leading up to it, and once officially over hoped we could move on with more important things, and I don’t mean birth certificates or transcripts.  But then a funny thing happened.

Having a minor curiosity in the whole affair, I woke up Friday morning, turned on the TV, and like the tornadoes that had devastatingly destroyed much of Alabama the day before, I somehow got sucked up into the vortex of everything Wills and Kate!!  It was hard to get around it frankly, and like that darn car accident everyone slows down for, I simply could not turn away.

Besides getting the dress fix, I was mesmerized by the orderliness of the mega crowd, the sheer detail, beauty and majesty of it all, and how much global attention had been placed on this singular event, which unified a nation and the world. I thought about how people can indeed come together in positive, dare I say, innocent ways, even if much of it comes down to a shared fantasy.  And then another funny thing happened.

In the midst of writing this post, news broke of the demise of a man with a turban and beard who had ties to a different royal family, and many people gathered spontaneously in the streets all around our country to revel in the news.  It received equal if not more global attention, but it remains to be seen how jubilant an occasion it really is; significant and somber yes, but having a party to celebrate the revenge and death of anyone is not the same. No matter how happy you are that Bin Laden is dead, that type of celebration comes from a place of hate and fear, not love.

My writing often talks about Letting Love Rule, because What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet, Love. Fairy-tales and fascination aside, no matter who you are, what you look like or where you come from, everyone wants to love and be loved in return. Even with bad decisions and family feuds, weddings are generally joyous occasions, and funerals are not, but both tap into our desire for that basic of human needs, and should always unify us for good.

You may live in Queens or Kings County, but you don’t have to come from a special blood line or marry a Prince or Princess to have a charmed life, so give me a buzz and I’ll show you how to become the sovereign monarch of your own peaceful kingdom and love life happily ever after!

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