Archives for the month of: June, 2011

My apologies for last week’s eblast omission: technical challenges on the road could not guarantee the quality of posts you’ve come to expect. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, so hopefully you’re happy to see me back this week!

One of my favorite movies, Bottle Shock, is about the then nascent California wine industry’s victory over the French in a blind taste test celebrating the 1976 Bicentennial.  The film is based on the true story of a man who ditched his legal career to pursue a dream of making the best possible wine. Jim Barrett put his life into Chateau Montelena; to do so was a huge risk in which he had to have unwavering faith in himself and trust in the process of such a delicate, complex and time consuming task where the results were not necessarily guaranteed.

As with any such journey, there were many twist and turns and ups and downs along the way, but in the end he triumphed not only in beating the French at their proudest export, but because of it blew the field wide open for quality wine to be produced in countries around the globe, and the world has never been the same.

Orson Welles, in his famous commercials would say, “We will sell no wine before its time.”  It takes time for lasting success to develop, and there is no better activity than viticulture to demonstrate that. There are cycles of planting, pruning, harvesting, fermenting and numerous other magical alchemical things that need to happen for that perfect glass to arrive at your table.  As I always say in my seminars, remember that grapes do not turn into wine overnight!

With last week’s Solstice officially ushering in the summer, we are reminded that to Every Thing There is a Season.  The historic vote to legalize same-sex marriage in NY three days later was decades in the making; several societal changes and generations of progress had to occur in order to have the majority of the population now be ‘ripe’ for its acceptance, and we are all stronger and better for having gone through the process.

Since we are halfway through the year, be sure you are working internally and externally towards whatever goals you set for yourself; know that as long as you consistently do things that you love and care about you are fertilizing your life, making it as rich as possible. Focus your thoughts, words and deeds in the direction you want to be going, knowing that all will come to fruition with a perfect union of patience, persistence and perseverance – in time and on time.

You can’t put the cart before the horse, so if you’re feeling a little frustrated and impatient in pursuit of your passions, give me a buzz and I’ll be a future sommelier  explaining the uniqueness and quality of your vintage or the politician that casts the deciding vote to make your dream a reality!

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Last week my relative from Argentina couldn’t get here due to the fallout from a major volcanic eruption in Chile which kept flights from leaving Buenos Aires – it was so massive it’s still affecting air travel as far away as Australia! Iceland recently experienced one as well, though not quite as disruptive as last year’s; Arizona and Southern Colorado are on fire and not in the ‘cool’ way; a massacres and secret wars are happening in the Middle East, the economy is imploding, but you wouldn’t know what’s really going on these days from watching the news.

There is no doubt that sex sells, but at what price to our dignity and destiny as individuals and as a country?  The media blitz about a certain Congressman with an unfortunate surname to match his current predicament clouded the media landscape to the point where we could not seem to find out much else, except perhaps the hot air being blown about by a former governor from Alaska’s accounts of American history and the news of her old emails or lunch with a NYC landmark with bad hair.

In the famous WWII battle which was one of the Nazi’s biggest attacks on Allied forces, particularly the Americans, Hitler’s divide and conquer strategy was helped by the weather – actual fog – that settled in for two days, grounding the Allies’ superior air power which was why we suffered greatly at the time.

Besides the literal wars that are currently taking place across the globe, we are experiencing a war over our minds and hearts, of what merits discussion and analysis and what is simply gossip. It’s easy to get sucked into whatever the media is trying to grab our attention with, so we must to fight to separate the wheat from the chaff in every area of our lives, and redirect our focus to something more productive and meaningful. 

Summer is a perfect time to expand your horizons, to travel and explore; if you can’t do it literally there is always dance, art, literature, and learning about other people’s realities not from a ‘reality’ show but through documentaries like those in the upcoming Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

Can’t quite discern what the fog is preventing you from seeing, the volcanic ash is covering up or those smoke signals are trying to warn you about? Give me a buzz and I’ll help break through distractions that block you from dealing with the important stuff in your life and the world at large. Because it’s only On a Clear Day when we can see what’s really going  on in and around us so we can keep on reachin’ for that Higher Ground! 

Every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double. ~ Bobby McFerrin 

As the saying goes, there are three things that are certain in life:  death, taxes and change. Change comes in all shapes and sizes, some more scary than others. Climate change, career change, graduations, marriages and relationships changes, TV changes, sex changes, change of residences, and regime change to name a few – and June seems chock full of them!      

The reality is that time keeps on slippin’ into the future, so we have no choice in the matter of change, because like Kevin James’ dancing in Hitch [ff to 2:10], “You can’t stop this, you cannnoottt stop it… ”

Most folks have a hard time with change.  We’d rather stay comfy and/or miserable rather than letting go of our crutches and seeing what else life might have in store us.  We cannot control things but we can control how we respond to them: we can resist and go kicking and screaming or we can accept that change happens, and just go with the flow.

Going with the flow means listening to yourself, and giving yourself what you need at any particular moment. The best way to navigate change is to trust in yourself and be your own best counsel, so it’s important to have that ‘muscle’ in place as you go over the white water rapids of feelings that come with this thing called life.

Change is not always fun, but it’s almost always for the better, because change forces growth and growth is good. And once the change happens, we can’t be like a goldfish who lived in a fishbowl his whole life but then when put into the ocean still swims around in a little circle as if he were still in a bowl!

David Bowie tells us time can change you but you can’t trace time. So this summer, if you feel you are ready to be hatched, then fly, be free! Not quite like Mork’s egg, but more like Steve Miller’s Eagle or with the help of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds and the wonder of that other Stevie who sings, Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing 

But if you’re not quite ready to fly the coop, walk without those crutches, or swim in the big blue ocean, give me a buzz and you can Lean on Me until you get strong and carry on!

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