Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

The Buddha said "Happiness never decreases by being shared" so be sure to share your happiness and appreciation with everyone around you during this wonderful Thanksgiving holiday weekend (there's something right there to be thankful for; your weekend starts two days early!).

My inaugural post for this blog back in the summer of 2007 began with the words of a song called "Thank U". The writer was inspired by the gratitude she felt since her trip to India. Today I post the lyrics again and wish you the happiest of holidays!

How 'bout getting off of these antibiotics
How 'bout stopping eating when I'm full up
How 'bout them transparent dangling carrots
How 'bout that ever elusive kudos

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence

How 'bout me not blaming you for everything
How 'bout me enjoying the moment for once
How 'bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
How 'bout grieving it all one at a time

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence

The moment I let go of it was the momentI got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down

How 'bout no longer being masochistic
How 'bout remembering your divinity
How 'bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How 'bout not equating death with stopping

Thank you India
Thank you providence
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness
Thank you clarity
Thank you, thank you silence

- Alanis Morrisette

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
- William Ward

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flying Hawks Send a Smile from the Sky

Wow, talk about the power of a smile, huh? I hope this photo puts a smile on your face today!

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's About Time

At one time or another, we've all wished for a 25th hour or a 8th day of the week. So many things to do, but too little time, right? Well, time is the great equalizer; every person has 24 hours in a day. No one has more and no one has less. We are all given the same amount of hours in a day. But how do we most effectively use that time? It is a finite resource. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. So, here are some interesting thoughts on TIME.

"The bad news is, time flies. The good news is, you're the pilot." - Michael Althsuler


"Time is what we want the most, but what we use the worst." - William Penn

"While we are postponing, life speeds by." - Seneca

"Until we can manage TIME, we can manage nothing else." - Peter F. Drucker

And one of my personal favorites:

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That's why it's called the present."

And as Jim Croce put it "If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do, is to save every day 'til eternity passes away, just to spend them with you. If I could make days last forever, if words could make wishes come true, 'Id save every day like a treasure and then, again, I would spend them with you."

And as one of my favorite singers of all time, Eva Cassidy, so eloquently sang, "(if) Time is a healer, then all hearts that break, are put back together again, 'cause love heals the wound it makes."

And as far as managing our time and avoid the procrastination trap? Well, the great folks over at Thought for Today, said it best:

"Complete everything. A task left undone remains undone in TWO places; at the actual location of the task and inside your head. Incomplete tasks in your head consume the energy of your attention as they gnaw at your conscience. They siphon off a little more of your personal power every time you delay. No need to be a perfectionist, that's debilitating in an imperfect world, but it's good to be a 'completionist'. If you start it, finish it... or forget it. Do it .... or dump it!"

To read my earlier posts regarding procrastination, click HERE and HERE.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Attitude

Attitude determines altitude.

How far do you want to soar?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Gratitude for Those Who Serve: Veterans Day

The saying goes, "If you love your freedom, thank a vet" and "Freedom isn't free". Today on Veterans' Day, we say with gratitude, "THANK YOU" to all veterans, living or dead or MIA. Regardless of where we stand on the wars themselves, the individual men and women who serve deserve our respect and support.

One of the earliest charities I donated to as a young adult was Disabled American Veterans. Their mission statement says:

"Since its founding more than 80 years ago, the Disabled American Veterans has been dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for America's disabled veterans and their families. Fidelity to that mission has required DAV to respond creatively and flexibly to changing and sometimes unpredictable problems faced by its constituency. Whether disabled veterans have needed a voice on Capitol Hill, a nationwide service program, a transportation network or unique rehabilitation opportunities, DAV has focused its attention and resources to meet those needs."

To send a donation to DAV, please CLICK HERE. For DAV info, CLICK HERE.

Another way to help veterans is to donate clothing and household goods to an AMVETS Thrift Store or to shop there yourself. CLICK HERE for a listing of AMVETS Thrift Stores, located in 20 different US states. AMVETS (American Veterans) is dedicated to preserving freedom, supporting veterans and active military and providing community services.

For a good movie about what a POW goes through, I recommend "Rescue Dawn" which is based on the true story of Dieter Dangler, a US soldier who was taken as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. This film is available on DVD via Netflix and Blockbuster.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nutrition 101

Tomorrow starts another course of "Nutrition Made Simple" which is a class I teach at the Boston Center for Adult Education. This time around, instead of meeting for 6 weeks, we've shortened it to 5 weeks (one less winter week to brave the cold New England weather!), but participants still get 10 hours of instruction and support for the small investment of $149.

This is what one of my graduates had to say about the course:

"The Nutrition Made Simple is exactly that - making learning about nutrition simple, applicable and personal. This class taught me an incredible amount of information in a fairly short period of time, making it even easier to incorporate into my daily life. I was amazed at the amount of information that I did not know previously, from sugar substitutes to grains, and was extremely excited to learn about different types of products that are healthy, and delicious, that prior to this class were unknown to me. (My favorites were the Ezekiel 4:9 Almond and the ground cherries. I've never even seen them before this class!) Kathleen did a wonderful job of creating an environment that was comfortable to ask questions and absorb the information. I appreciate this class more than I can express.

As an aside, since taking this class I have completely cut soda out of my life. I used to drink approximately 4 cans of diet soda daily. I have also reduced the amount of coffee I consume, from approximately 4-8 cups a day (including the venti size Starbucks coffee as '1' cup!), to now having about 1-2 per day each of 8 oz. or less. I really appreciate being given new products to try and statistics that really resonated with me for health reasons (since all 4 of my grandparents had heart attacks, and 2 were diabetic). Thank you for giving me the information that I so desperately needed to jump start eating healthier and eating well. Thank you!"


So, instead of waiting until New Year's to begin your resolution to change your eating habits and improve your health, start today! There is still space left to register for this class which runs Tuesday evenings 6 PM - 8 PM, November 11th through December 9th. Classes are held in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood in the historic Gamble Mansion near the Public Garden.

During this comprehensive 5-week course, participants learn all about nutrition and how to apply it in a practical way. We cover sugar addiction, mindful eating, the virtues of greens, grains and legumes, how to identify organic from conventional from GE foods, the importance of vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats and other nutrients and so much more!

So, if you want to stop cravings for good, manage your weight, gain control of your health, feel better in your body and have a remarkable increase in your energy, I encourage you to take this class.

To register by phone, call 617.267.4430. To register online, visit the BCAE by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The People Have Spoken


We did it! We Barack'd the vote!


And in my state of Massachusetts we passed Question 3 which will end the cruel practice of greyhound racing.

And in California, Prop 2 was passed, which will improve living conditions for the millions of animals raised in food production.

I am so happy, I wish I could celebrate with one of these cupcakes tonight!

America, get ready for the revolution!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall Back

Dear readers, don't forget to set your clocks back one hour and to check the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors before you say "Goodnight, Moon" tonight!


What will you do with your extra hour?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, November 1, 2008

This Saturday, November 1st marks the 13th Annual Boston Vegetarian Society's, Vegetarian Food Festival. No, this event is not just for vegetarians! It is for everyone! Come down to this free event and learn about the benefits of a plant-based diet. It's not just healthy for you, but it's also healthy for the planet!

Besides free food samples and cooking demonstrations, you can also hear from world-class speakers and authors such as T. Colin Campbell MD, Michael Gregor MD, Hannah Kiminsky of "My Sweet Vegan" fame and Sarah Kramer of "La Dolce Vegan", "How it All Vegan" and "Garden of Vegan" fame and many others!

This year, some of the sponsors include Boston Baked Bonz, Boston Organics, Tom's of Maine, VegNews magazine, Whole Foods Market, Lush, Vega and VOTE YES ON 3 and more!

Still aren't convinced you should attend? CLICK HERE for reviews of past veg food festivals and find out why this event is filled beyond capacity year after year!

The festival runs from 10 AM - 6 PM at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College, which is located just steps from the Orange Line train (and Commuter Rail) at Roxbury Crossing. It is also accessible by multiple bus lines, including the 15, 22, 23, 28, 42, 44, 45, or 66. For those who cycle, this location is right off the Southwest Corridor Bike Path and for those who drive, free parking is located on-site!

Need another reason to go? How about WHEELER'S BLACK LABEL VEGAN ICE CREAM?!?

This annual food fest is fun and offers something for everyone! It is very accessible to get to, so I really hope to see you there!
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VOTE YES ON 3

With the election less than a week away, Massachusetts voters will be voting not just for president, but on other initiatives, like Question 3. Although voters might be confused over the facts, I urge you to consider voting yes on 3 come November 4th.

PLEASE CLICK HERE AND HERE TO FIND OUT WHY

Thank You!

The Committee to Protect Dogs

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Economy: From Scare City to A Bun Dance


Are you as drained as I am, with the constant, incessant really, media coverage of this financial crisis? The reality itself is bad enough, but the exhaustive and repetitive reporting, is just way over the top in my opinion. As Cathy Severson over at "Retirement Life Matters" says, "Finance as entertainment doesn't work". Turn the TV off, she says, and I agree!

Another excellent way to better understand and overcome the current financial situation we've found ourselves in, is to look at what Alan Cohen has to say about it in his timely article "From Scare City to A Bun Dance". Alan Cohen is a writer, teacher, keynote speaker and seminar leader in the fields of personal growth, professional motivation, spiritual inspiration, holistic health, human relations and achievement of work/life balance. He has appeared on numerous national TV and radio shows and is also a faculty member of the celebrated Omega Institute in New York. I find his article fascinating. Here are Alan's 10 vital tips that will help you soar through this period:

1. The economy is an expression of the consciousness of those who create it ― all of us. We vitalize the economy with expansive thinking and action, and we deaden it with fear and contraction. You have power over the economy ― especially your own ― by consciously choosing the thoughts you think, the attitudes you hold, and the actions that proceed from them.

2. The economy is not a fixed entity, but is quite liquid, constantly changing in accord with the thoughts and emotions of those who create it. The economy you see today is a result of the attitudes and actions that sourced it yesterday. The economy you will see tomorrow is a result of the attitudes and actions you think and do today.

3. You have the ability to create a personal economy independent of the one experienced by the masses. There are always people who thrive in a floundering economy, and people who flounder in a thriving economy. The two greatest architectural achievements of the twentieth century ― the Golden Gate Bridge and the Empire State Building ― were funded and constructed at the height of the depression.. There is always money out there for people who know how to use it. A visionary thrives under all conditions.

4. Engaging in conversations of lack only adds to the pool of thought that creates lack conditions. Talking abundance creates abundance. Join others in only those conversations that affirm what you want to create.

5. You are wealthy by nature, rich in an infinite number of ways that have nothing to do with money. Money is one thin slice of the greater pie of prosperity. Remember how rich you are regardless of money, and you will attract money to match your wealth consciousness.

6. In the Chinese written language, the symbol for "crisis" is a combination of the symbols for "danger" plus "opportunity." What opportunity lies before you as an individual and us as a nation?

7. This is a fertile time to check and reset your priorities. If you have been distracted by the quest for money or trapped by your business, you can refocus on your family, loved ones, and activities that truly bring you joy. If you end up being truer to values that fulfill you, this "crisis" will have served you well.

8. Circulate your wealth. The only antidote to financial contraction is to move energy. When you spend money, you become part of the solution. If you don't have money to spend, be generous in other ways. Give of your time, skill, and love. Even giving compliments is a way to stimulate the economy.

9. Remember that the tide always comes back in. The entire manifest universe functions in cycles. Every wave has a trough and a crest. No wave has ever ended with the trough. There is always a next crest.

10. Don't wait for the economy to get back on its feet before you can be happy. Find happiness right where you stand, and you will be the richest person in the world.

From Scare City to a Bun Dance, indeed, yes from scarcity to abundance!

I hope these 10 steps help you see this situation in a whole new light. I know it certainly did for me!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thought for Today: Thoughts are Like Seeds

When you sow a thought you reap an action, when you sow an action you reap a habit, when you sow a habit you reap a character and when you sow a character you reap a destiny. Thoughts are like seeds. You cannot sow the seed of one plant and get another: thistles will never produce daffodils! When your thoughts are positive, powerful and constructive, your life will reflect this.

To sign up to receive "Thought for Today" in your email in box, please CLICK HERE


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SUGAR SOLUTIONS: How to Tame Your Sweet Tooth

Believe it or not, there are still some seats left for my Sugar Solutions workshop taking place at Healthworks Chestnut Hill next week, on Wednesday evening, October 22nd. If you are constantly craving sweets and you want to understand why and if you'd like to get a better handle on your sugar cravings, please register to attend this fun and informative workshop. During the 90-minute workshop, participants learn the history of sugar, how it affects our bodies and discover methods to better manage your cravings without willpower or deprivation. You will learn healthier, more natural ways to keep your sweet tooth in check! The outcome? Better mood, more energy and a healthy body!

To register, please contact me via my online submission form at www.kmoriarty.com

Thank You!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mark Your Calendar!

Here are some important upcoming events, that might be of interest to my dear blog readers:

October 14th
Oprah's topic on Tuesday's show is "Where does our food come from?" and in this case, the type of food they are referring to is animal-based food, such as meat, dairy and eggs. I think that this is such an important topic because so many people are unaware how animal products make their way to your plate. Remember, information equals power; the power to make truly informed decisions. One of the issues they will explain is the term "free range". People are trying to make more thoughtful choices about their food and the humane treatment of animals is becoming a consideration for people who never thought about it before. So, what does free range mean? Are there standards and a system of checks and balances to make sure free range is a kinder choice? Is it a healthier choice? I already know the answer, but if you don't, I strongly encourage you to tune in to The Oprah Winfrey show or set up your DVR to record it.

October 18th
The Peace Abbey in Sherborn, MA will be having a one-day workshop entitled "Creating a Sustainable Future". The keynote speaker is Diet for a Small Planet author and social activist Frances Moore Lappe. Diet for a Small Planet has been an international bestseller since it's original version was published in the early 1970s. For more information about this event at The Peace Abbey, please CLICK HERE. For more information regarding Frances Moore Lappe's work, please CLICK HERE.

November 1st
One again the annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival will be held at The Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury. This all day event consists of free food samples, interesting exhibits, discounted shopping and free workshops and so much more! T. Colin Campbell, the doctor and author behind "The China Study" (an amazing book!) is just one of many speakers who are donating their time to this wonderful event. For a full list of speakers, CLICK HERE. So mark your calendar and plan on attending this free event, to find out how you can benefit from eating a plant-based diet. Doors are open from 10 AM through 6 PM and is easily accessible by the Orange Line T and multiple bus lines. It is also on the Southwest Corridor Bike Path, for all those cyclists out there (like me!). For those who drive, there is free on-site parking, but be prepared to wait for a parking spot to open up ... this is a VERY popular event!

And last, but not least, if you still haven't attended one of my SUGAR SOLUTIONS workshops, please register today! Learn how to get a handle of your sweet cravings before the upcoming holiday season wreaks havoc on your diet! Currently scheduled workshops include October 22nd, November 12th and November 19th. For more details on times/locations, please go to my website by CLICKING HERE.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Too Busy to Exercise?

Well, I guess there's nothing more to say!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Creating Peace: International Day of Non-Violence

Today, October 2nd, is the International Day of Non-Violence. The date was chosen because it is Mahatma Gandhi's birthday (1869 - 1948). This observation was established last year by the United Nations General Assembly. Gandhi's non-violent methods of civil action greatly helped his nation and inspired many generations of people. His influence is still felt and his legacy continues to inspire. One of my favorite Gandhi quotes, simply states:

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

Just as man can create conflict, man can create peace. Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed, as the problem seems so large, we think "What can I do to create a peaceful world?" To that, I say:


Peace on Earth, begins with Peace within yourself.

Just like Gandhi's quote, this other quote reminds us that the first step to peace is within ourselves. We cannot contribute to peace externally, if we cannot first find peace within.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's the Deal with Probiotics?

Tonight in the class I am teaching at the Boston Center for Adult Education, we talked about probiotics. Probiotics are generating a lot of buzz in the food industry lately; they're being added to products where they don't naturally occur, as they do in the most famous probiotic source: yogurt.

Well, let's start off with explaining what they are and why they're important. First of all, the term "probiotics" was coined to contrast "antibiotics". And it means "for life". Probiotics are a beneficial bacteria that are normally present in the digestive tract. They are vital for proper digestion, but they also serve other important functions such as synthesizing vitamins, supporting and fortifying a strong immune system, detoxifying the liver, alleviating inflammatory conditions, such as Crohn's Disease and for preventing the overgrowth of yeast. For people who've experienced chronic yeast infections, yogurt was seen as a panacea. Anyone who has attended one of my Sugar Solutions Workshops know my feelings on yogurt. I am talking about the commercial kind, which is full of unnecessary sugars - and lots of it. If people want to continue to have yogurt in their diet, the only kind I can recommend is plain. If you wish to sweeten it, do so by adding your own fruit or a gentle, natural sweetener, like agave nectar. Don't buy yogurt with sugar (most contain added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fructose and pectin). And remember, yogurt is not the only food with probiotics. There are various sources, all of which are cultured or fermented and they include:
  • sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
  • kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage with spices)
  • miso
  • tempeh
  • soy sauce (choose low/no sodium variety)
  • umeboshi plum or other pickled fruit and vegetables
  • kombucha tea (raw, not hot)

Whenever I teach this class, I treat my students to a beverage that tastes great and has many benefits including probiotics and that is the final item on the list above; kombucha tea. The brand I recommend is GT Dave's, as it contains only raw, cultured kombucha and their Synergy version contains juice from whole fruits; no sugar or other ingredients are permitted! There are other cold kombucha teas available, but they are watered down and contain sugar and other ingredients that reduce the benefits of the kombucha itself. It's a fermented mushroom tea, made in small batches and can be purchased at health food stores, including Whole Foods, in their refrigerated beverages section. GT Dave's kombucha is all natural, organic, raw, vegan and kosher. It contains no caffeine, coloring, preservatives or additives. This tea has been used for hundreds of years and contains many healing benefits; some people call it miraculous. It's very unique taste will add a twist to your diet. It's the perfect way to add probiotics into your life. Try it today!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm a Little Neti Pot .....



I'm a little neti pot, short and stout

Here is my handle, here is my spout

When you are all stuffed up, put me in your snout

Tip me over and pour me out!

I've been really sick for over a week and I think I am finally starting to improve this morning! One of my homeopathic remedies includes the ancient neti pot; a centuries-old ayurvedic nasal irrigation tool for health. The pot is filled with warm water and salt. The spout is inserted in one nostril, with your head at an angle. The goal is to have the saline come out of the other nostril, thus moving the mucus out of your sinus cavity. This can be tough to master at first; worst case scenario, the water may come down your throat vs. your opposite nostril. This is okay, if you spit the mucus out, instead of swallowing it. This will still expel it from your body, until you finally do it the correct way.

My mother's remedy for sore throats was to always gargle with warm water and salt. As kids, we hated to do it, but it did work. So, much like the way the saline solution works on clearing the throat, it does the same for clearing the nose. No prescription required! And no side effects!

Consider adding a neti pot to your medicine cabinet; it might be tricky to master at first, but you will reap the benefits immediately!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Upcoming Events with Kathleen

Here is a listing of my upcoming classes and workshops:

Demystifying the Mediterranean Diet
Wednesday, September 24th @ 6:00 PM - Boston Center for Adult Education

Nutrition Made Simple
Tuesday, September 23rd - Tuesday October 28 @ 6:00 PM
6-week course at the Boston Center for Adult Education

Sugar Solutions: How To Tame Your Sweet Tooth
Wednesday, October 22nd @ 6:15 PM - Healthworks Chestnut Hill
Wednesday, November 12th @ 6:00 PM - Healthworks Porter Square
Wednesday, November 19th @ 6:00 PM - Boston Center for Adult Education

For class and workshop descriptions, please visit my website's events page by CLICKING HERE

Please join me for one of these classes. I promise that you will learn a lot, have fun and will begin to see how what we eat affects everything. Therefore, when diet changes, everything changes. Ready to make a change for the better? If so, I hope to see you in class!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Amplify Love, Dissipate Hate

Back in 2002 while visiting Ground Zero in Manhattan, amid the many thousands of memorials draped over the fence, I came across some home-made stickers, which encouraged observers to:



AMPLIFY: to expand, to make larger or greater

DISSIPATE: to break up and drive off, to cause to spread thin or scatter and vanish

So, amplify love, indeed. To dissipate hate, a must.

Today, on the 7th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, let us take these simple four words and put them into practice. The sticker I took has been on my fridge since the day I got back from New York back in 2002, reminding me to amplify love and to dissipate hate. I hope these words inspire and comfort you today.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love animals. Growing up, there was never a shortage of animals in my household; dogs, cats, an aquarium full of fish, parakeets, hamsters, mice, lizards, bunnies. And although I've never had a dog of my own since I left home at 18, I do love them and enjoy spending time with them whenever possible. This past weekend, as I strolled through the city, I met a pug named Lila, a poochie named Boscoe (yes, named after George Costanza's password, the dog's person told me when I inquired) and a pack of poodles who were super cute and super friendly. They were very charming, I must say! My affinity for the doggies is strong, therefore, today I bring you two items canine-related.

HEAVEN'S ANGELS: Tough Guys & Puppies
In Sunday's New York Times, this article described a group named "Rescue Ink" that formed in New York City. You know it's going to be a good article, with the first few paragraphs reading like this:

They met on the local hot rod scene. They saw one another at tattoo conventions around the area, comparing bikes. They looked like heavies, a band of Hells Angels, with nicknames equally tough: Mike Tattoo, Big Ant, Johnny O, Batso, Sal, Angel, Des.

They meant no harm. Clad in leather, inked to the hilt in skulls and dragons, with images of bloodied barbed wire looped about their necks, they shared something else — a peculiar tenderness for animals, and the intensity needed to act on the animals’ behalf when people abuse them.

“I’m a vegetarian,” said Mike Tattoo (real name Mike Ostrosky), a former bodybuilding champion with a shaved head, great arms covered in art and a probing clarity in his blue eyes. “And Big Ant has in his backyard three guinea pigs, a couple of rabbits, birds, cats — and fish everywhere. But just because a person has tattoos, they wouldn’t come running with us.”

The group became a little larger over the course of about 15 years, with various animal-loving, tattooed bikers in the New York area joining the conversation. One member, Angel Nieves, a 47-year-old retired city police detective, grew up in the projects on West 125th Street and remembered taking in strays from the streets as a boy, as did many of his cohorts. He owns a tiny, white bichon frisé named Cris.

Having run in crowds where animal abuse was rampant, often involving pit bull fights, the men volunteered at shelters and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Toward Animals, and they tried to solve cases of missing or abused animals that other organizations had neither the time nor the resources to address.

Next month, the bikers will begin a program in the city’s public schools to educate children about being kind to all animals, even the less attractive breeds. They will be accompanied by Elwood, a small, hairless Chihuahua mix judged in an annual California contest to be the World’s Ugliest Dog.
To read more about the efforts of these wonderful men and their commitment to the dogs and cats of greater New York City, continue the New York Times article, by CLICKING HERE. Also, be prepared for a fun slide-show of the men in action!


VOTE YES ON 3: Massachusetts Voters Can End Greyhound Racing in Their State
As if one could forget, I still urge people to mark Tuesday, November 4th on their calendars. It is Election Day! Not only do we get to vote for our next president, Massachusetts voters have the opportunity to vote to end the cruel practice of greyhound dog racing within our state. As some of you may remember, back in November 2000, we had this question on the ballot. It lost by a 1% margin. 49% of Massachusetts voters wanted it banned. 51% did not. The racetrack owners' budgets were a lot larger than the volunteer organizations' budget and they did a great job campaigning for their cause. Well, luckily, us volunteers collected enough signatures this year to get the question on the ballot again this November. Why should you vote "YES" on Question 3? Here are some reasons:

Racing greyhounds live in confinement; they are warehoused in tiny cages for 20+ hours per day. Since each racetrack needs a minimum of 1,000 dogs, they are kept in tiny warehouse-style kennels, where most cannot stand up or turn around.

They are injured while competing. These dogs suffer from broken legs, broken necks, paralysis and cardiac arrest. And then they die.

They are fed Grade 4D meat, to keep costs down. This meat is not fit for human consumption. You might think, well, what's the difference between this Grade 4D meat and the meat found in commercial dog food? Well, the difference is, the meat fed to the greyhounds is raw. Yes, RAW. That also keeps costs down. With raw meat consumption comes the risk of disease spreading pathogens, like salmonella. Would you feed raw Grade 4D meet to your pet? No, I didn't think so.

These dogs compete year-round, in all sorts of weather. As you know, New England has very cold winters. These greyhounds are thin, small dogs with very short, thin fur.

When a racing greyhound is lucky enough (and allowed) to be "rescued", adopting them out can be difficult, as these dogs are usually quite timid or very aggressive, from their past mistreatment. They've never been a pet or lived in a house before, so qualified adopters who have the time, patience and ability to help these dogs adapt, can be hard to find.

The abuse that takes place at Massachusetts' two greyhound racing tracks is documented. There is no denying it. Also, greyhound racing has experienced a sharp economic decline. People just aren't interested in it and a lot of those people have come around, because they've come to know the inhumane living conditions of the animals and have chosen to cease supporting it. And for the naysayers who complain "What about the jobs that will be lost, if greyhound racing is outlawed?" I have two answers for you: #1 If the ballot question passes on November 4, the racing would be phased out. The ban would not begin until January 1, 2010. Additionally, the Committee to Protect Dogs has promised to volunteer it's time to help the displaced workers find new jobs. They are very serious about this. #2 When slavery was outlawed in the United States, jobs were lost. But wasn't it more important to end the cruel and inhumane practice of slavery than it was to displace people who profited from the slave trade? The people in positions of power had options and other ways to make money. The people in captivity had no voice, no choice. We needed to make a law that protected them, not their captors.

These days, you see pampered pets everywhere. Dogs have their own spas and get massages. People spend money to stage mock weddings of their dogs (Earlier this week, I saw online, that The Today Show recently had a doggie wedding fashion show on, complete with doggie bridal tips). I see dogs with expensive Coach and Louis Vuitton collars. People will spend oodles of money on organic dog treats, dog walkers and anything else that they think their dog will like. In my hometown of Boston, there are doggie bakeries, yes, bakeries! Just for dogs! Why should we care so deeply and bestow so much love and affection on these dogs called pets, but completely ignore the cruelties that these racing greyhounds face every day of their dismal, lonely lives? These greyhounds needlessly suffer. You, as a voter, have a chance to change that!

For more information on why greyhound racing should be banned, please visit these websites and please, VOTE YES ON QUESTION 3 on November 4th.

PRO DOG: The Committee to Protect Dogs

GREY2K USA

Thank You!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Nod to the Olympics

Anyone who has read Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" know what kind of trouble we get into when our ego takes over. The following story, which comes from my mental_floss magazine subscription, shows what happens when people don't let their ego get in the way. From Mental Floss' Olympics issue, I give you this story:

At the 1936 Berlin Games, Japanese pole vaulters Shuhei Nishida and Sueo Oe tied for second place. The teammates were offered the opportunity to have a jump-off for the silver medal, but the two friends declined out of mutual respect for one another. For the purposes of Olympic records, Oe agreed to the bronze while Nishida took the silver.

Upon their return to Japan, the teammates came up with a different solution. The pair had a jeweler cut their medals in half and fuse them back together, creating half-silver, half-bronze pendants. The "Medals of Friendship" as they're now known in Japan, are enduring symbols of friendship and teamwork.

I thought this was a great story because it has it all; action, drama, friendship, sportsmanship, inspiration and a resolution that has now created a wonderful legacy. The Olympics bring about a lot of emotions and a sense of pride and community. To read about another woman's zeal for the Olympics, please CLICK HERE for Madness Rivera's blog.

To read my other postings about Eckhart Tolle, please CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Inspiration via Determination

Today, while reading the July/August issue of mental_floss, an article regarding the Olympics reminded me of a story I first learned of, last summer. Last July, when I had the pleasure of seeing Jack Canfield in person at the BCA/Cyclorama here in Boston, one of the stories he told was about Cliff Young, an Australian farmer who had never run a race in his life. And in his early 60s, he showed up for the first Westfield Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon. This Ultra Marathon was 544 miles. No, that is not a misprint or a typo. Five hundred forty-four miles! Cliff showed up to the race, no, not in the latest high-tech running shoes, but in workboots and overalls! He believed he could run the race, based on his experience as a farmer, working long hours in the outdoors and sometimes not sleeping for days, due to the nature of his work. He had no training and no previous running experience, except for a few years of recreational running. But what he did have, was BELIEF. Belief in himself and his ability to do it. Well, to make a long story short, guess what? Cliff, at age 61, did complete the Ultra Marathon.

And actually, he WON the Ultra Marathon. Yes, he came in First Place. Did I mention that this was a 544 mile race? And Cliff's first? And Cliff had no training and had never run a race before? And Cliff wore workboots and overalls? And also, Cliff was a vegetarian since the early 1970s.

Jack Canfield told the story in his usual animated way. I don't think I can do Cliff Young's story justice, in my own words here. I invite you to read more about Cliff Young, who died in 2003, in his 80s. Here are two links, you can access by clicking HERE and HERE. So, remember, belief is crucial. If you can believe it, you can achieve it.

For more of what I learned in the Jack Canfield workshop, please see my prior blog posting by CLICKING HERE.

Believe it, achieve it!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Inspiration from Someone Else's Determination

I read this story on MSN's website over a month ago and found it so intriguing. Sandra Welner's accomplishments are so incredible, that at first you might not believe her story. The determination that both she and her mother had just blew me away. Sandra's life inspired many people, including her boyfriend, Jeffrey Lovitky. Prepare to be amazed and inspired!


SANDRA WELNER'S STORY (as appeared on MSN)
He thinks of her every time he gazes at the painting — a blazing orange sun she drew a few years after the tragedy. It is the only splash of color in his tiny K Street office and it gives him great joy, and a stab of sorrow.

He thinks of her every time he plucks a new $5 bill from his wallet and sees the large purple numeral emblazoned in the corner. It reminds him of how he used to sort her money: $1 bills in one envelope, fives and tens in others. And of course he thought of her last month when a federal appeals court ruled on a case that could result in the redesign of the entire U.S. currency. It was one of the great legal victories of 53-year-old attorney Jeffrey Lovitky's career, and he wishes she could have been there to share it.

But had she been there, it might never have happened.

For the lawsuit filed on behalf of the American Council of the Blind was never just about discrimination or changing the currency so the blind can distinguish a $1 bill from a $20.

It was about a brilliant, gifted woman who changed so many perceptions and overcame so many obstacles that those who knew her never doubted her ability to continue inspiring enormous change, even from the grave. It was about the memory of a smile.

In his second-floor office, Lovitky sifts through a well-thumbed photo album. "Here's a Sandy smile," he says, plucking a picture from the page. "And here's one. And this is truly a Sandy smile."

The pictures show a petite brunette nestling into his shoulder under a cherry blossom tree, playfully pushing him in an oversized beach wheelchair on the sand, clutching his arm at a black tie event at which she was receiving yet another award.

His eyes mist at the memory — Sandra Welner, the brilliant physician whose dazzling smile and tenacious spirit stole Lovitky's heart.

He found her after placing a personal ad in a Jewish newspaper — or really, she found him. He remembers the letter she wrote in response — not the words, but the tone. She sounded so intelligent, so lively, so interesting, and yet there was some obscure reference to a disability.

"I really must meet this person," he thought.

Their first date was in an Irish pub in April 1994. She was already seated when he arrived, and he felt an instant attraction to the radiant young woman with the gentle brown eyes and tumble of dark curls.

They talked for hours. She told him about her practice as a gynecologist, running a clinic for women with disabilities; about her parents — Holocaust survivors from Poland who had created a new life and family in Pittsburgh; about her travels all over Europe, Australia and Israel. But there were things she never mentioned in those first few hours. He had no idea that she couldn't see his thinning hair and clear blue eyes, that she could only barely make out the shape of his face. Or that she had called the pub earlier to ask about the menu, so she could pretend to read it when she ordered.

It was only when they were preparing to leave, when she stood unsteadily and asked for help in getting a taxi, that he realized that she had difficulty walking. She held out her arm. Grasping it, he sensed they would be together for a long time.

Their dates were simple: walks in the park, petting horses at a stables near her Silver Spring apartment, takeout Thai dinners and occasional splurges on extravagant chocolate desserts at the Willard Hotel. She discussed her medical cases. He told her about his legal ones. Devoted news junkies, they often spent Saturday nights by the computer, Lovitky reading aloud the big stories of the day.

Gradually, he learned what had happened in those terrible days back in 1987.

She was almost 30, already a leading expert on fertility and women's reproductive health. She had a large circle of friends and colleagues, a thriving career as a micro-surgeon and no shortage of suitors.

Traveling alone on vacation in Europe, Welner fell ill — so ill that she checked herself into a hospital in Amsterdam. Her family is not certain what happened next except that she went into cardiac arrest and suffered a serious brain injury. Welner's mother, Barbara, 81, still sobs at the shock of seeing her comatose daughter in a foreign hospital. Even if she survived, doctors said, she would be lucky to regain the ability of a 2-year-old.

"NO!" the mother cried. Not my brilliant, beautiful daughter, who could paint portraits that belonged in galleries, who played the violin so exquisitely that she was offered music scholarships in high school, who graduated from medical school at the age of 22. This was a child who, at the age of 12, had begged not to join a family vacation to Florida because she had enrolled in college courses instead.

Now doctors were saying she should lock her away.

"Not my Sandy," the mother said.

And so, for 16 days in Amsterdam, she read medical journals and newspapers and played classical music for her lifeless daughter. She talked to her and caressed her — anything to trigger a response. She got none. "The doctors thought I was delusional," she said. Back in the United States, doctors offered the same grim prognosis. Again, the mother said no. And so Barbara and Nick Welner took their child home to New Haven, Conn. They read to her. They fed her. They bathed her. They taught her to count, to swallow, to sit up. They cried with her. Hour after hour, for days and months and years.

It wasn't a miracle, her mother says of her daughter's steady, excruciating recovery. It came of a determination so powerful that it burst from her broken body with a force that nothing could hold back.

But there were moments that felt like miracles. The day Sandy took her first tentative steps. The day a friend phoned from Israel, where Sandy had worked, and she began speaking in fluent Hebrew. She hadn't forgotten a word.

"I was in awe," her mother said.

Years later, as Lovitky heard these stories, he too was in awe. But not just of the woman he had grown to love. He was also awed by the older woman who became his dear friend. "Sandy had such spirit and such courage," Lovitky says, "but her mother did, too. Such effort, such faith."

This was a woman who had fled the Warsaw ghetto with false papers as a young girl, who with the help of the Red Cross found her way to nursing school in England and eventually married a fellow Polish refugee in the United States. Both husband and wife had families who perished in concentration camps.

The Welners raised four children, two boys and two girls. But Sandy was always the star. "There was just this sense that she would accomplish extraordinary things," says her brother, Michael Welner.

By the time Lovitky met her, Welner's vision was severely damaged, her hands shook, and she walked with an unsteady gait. But her speech and mind were clear. And her memory was better than ever.

Lovitky marveled at her defiance. She refused to use a wheelchair. Instead she would pile the chair with her medical books and push it. Or she would use a cane.

She was dependent on others — the stream of medical students she paid to help her read, and write and file, on strangers to help her catch a cab, or spend money. And yet, Lovitky says, "she was more independent than anyone I knew."

She went skydiving in Australia, alone. She climbed — inch by inch — the ancient historic site, Masada, overlooking the Dead Sea in Israel.

When she eventually moved into her own apartment in Washington, she insisted on cooking great Passover seders for her family. "If Sandy wanted to do something, nothing was going to stop her," Lovitky says.

TO CONTINUE READING THIS AMAZING STORY, PLEASE CLICK HERE

Sunday, August 3, 2008

WATERMELON: What a Melon!

Yum! The watermelon this summer has been delicious and I've been recommending it as a healthy alternative to my clients and especially to those who have strong or frequent sugar cravings. Instead of grabbing that cookie or candy bar, consider this luscious melon! Quite frankly, it takes like candy, but a much healthier and fulfilling version! And it is also one of the more affordable fruits this season.

Here are some interesting facts about watermelon:

* They are native to Africa and date back to 2000 BC in Egypt

* Because of their high water content, they were used as a source of liquid in areas where water was limited or tainted

* They are in-season May through September

* Best to buy firm and slightly underripe

* Whole melons will typically have better taste than pre-cut melons

According to Paul Pitchford's book, "Healing with Whole Foods", watermelon is a cooling food which can reduce heat in the body. So, if you're feeling hot due to the summer's rising temperatures, watermelon is an excellent choice. Also, other forms of heat in the body would include anyone who is suffering from an inflammatory condition, such as arthritis or nephritis and the like. Watermelon is also great for the kidneys and the lungs, so anyone who has a temporary or chronic kidney or lung condition would benefit greatly from consuming watermelon, as it helps to tonify and balance. Watermelon can also be used to treat edema, urinary tract difficulties, canker sores, depression. And though most of us don't consume the seeds or rinds, they too, have benefits, which include dilating the capillaries (which lowers blood pressure), easing constipation and helps with diabetes. If you're looking for potassium, watermelon has as much as a banana. Potassium is micronutrient, necessary to human function, which helps maintain electrolyte balance in the body. Other nutrients that the watermelon provides are magnesium and Vitamins A, C and B6.


Now go enjoy some sweet, tasty watermelon. The season comes to a close in a mere 8 weeks!

I enjoy mine cut up in squares or chuncks and eaten with a fork. As you can see by my "before" and "after" photos. Eat yours however you like; just be sure to eat it and savor the sweet flavor!

Monday, July 28, 2008

AN INTERVIEW WITH ANNA MURPHY ~ "Problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them."

I recently had the opportunity to interview my friend and colleague, Anna Murphy, an intuitive guide and healer and tarot reader. I hope you find the results as interesting as I did! Please be sure to check out the link at the end of the interview, to read more about Anna and be redirected to her website and thought-provoking and very entertaining blog.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN STUDYING THE TAROT?
I picked up my first deck, the Robin Wood Tarot, when I was 21. At first, I mainly studied out of books like Mary K. Greer's "Tarot for Yourself" and read just for myself for quite a while. I was lucky to meet someone who was an extremely talented reader. She taught me a lot and really encouraged me to come out of my shell.Growing up, doing things like reading Tarot cards was not something that anyone around me ever did. None of my family or friends ever went to see readers, or if they did they didn't talk about it. So it was a strange new world to me, and a very exciting one.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST NOTICE YOUR TALENT & SKILL? HOW DID YOU FURTHER DEVELOP YOUR INTUITION?
When I first started playing around with the Tarot, I didn't feel like I had any psychic ability. In retrospect, I had always had a lot of the signs of latent psychic ability -- mainly intense dreams and emotional sensitivity, a strong creative impulse. These are qualities that are really discounted or driven underground in our culture, so for most people, myself included, being sensitive or creative felt more like a recipe for unhappiness than as a gift.

The best way I found to develop my intuition was just practice, both with the cards and with everyday things. At the time, I was living in Boston and going to art school. I used to change trains at Arlington Station and, while I was waiting, I would try to guess which train would come next -- B, C, D, or E. After a while, I got very good at this and learned how to distinguish between a guess, a hope, a worry, and a real intuition.

The less you have emotionally invested in the outcome, the easier it seems to be to predict something. My husband is a big fan of mixed martial arts fighting. I used to be able to predict the outcome of nearly every fight we watched -- but then I started rooting for certain fighters and now I'm terrible at calling fights. This is probably why intuition and gambling don't go together very well.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
That's a good question. A lot of people seem to think that their fate is sealed in advance, even the choices they are going to make. I've never understood that perception. Maybe people learn too much Greek tragedy in high school, I don't know.From reading the cards, sometimes it seems that certain things are indeed predestined and unavoidable, but they are the exception, not the rule. The world seems to be a lot looser and more pliable than it appears to us.

WHAT GIVES YOU THE MOST FULFILLMENT FROM WHAT YOU DO?
I love hunting down answers and solving mysteries. There was a physicist whose books I love who wrote one called "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out." That's a big one for me.

And the Tarot itself is constantly teaching me. The origins of Tarot cards are pretty murky. Tarot scholars will tell you that it seems to have originated as an Italian card game in the fifteenth century that just happened to incorporate some powerful symbolism. But lately I'm thinking that there was a lot more intentionality in its creation than most people believe, because the patterns of its design go very deep.

I recently discovered some alchemical and merkavah (an ancient Jewish mystical tradition) symbolism in the Tarot that it's clear were put there on purpose by whoever created the system. I'm surely not the first person to notice these connections, but they are undoubtedly there. I don't think anyone's gotten to the bottom yet of everything that the Tarot represents and after almost six hundred years that's saying something.

I think of the Tarot as a map of the unconscious mind, but it's more than that. In the West, it also represents a huge part of our spiritual inheritance. It is a coded message from the pagans, the Qabalists, the Rosicrucians, the alchemists and magicians and Mary Magdalene-lovers whose faith and practices were underground for so many centuries.

The funny thing is that these underground traditions are not anti-Christian -- usually they were quite the opposite. Many of them were started by people whose Christian or Jewish faith was so deep that they wanted to get more personally involved in their own spiritual life. That was a very taboo thing to do in those times.

HOW DO YOUR READINGS BENEFIT YOUR CLIENTS?
Above all, I think a good reading can bring clarity and insight that it's impossible to find anywhere else. It is also helpful to have some psychological insight if you are going to be a reader. I think it's a shame that the psychological community has become very un-magical. Except for the Jungian tradition, most therapists no longer talk about the soul, and this is a big loss. So now readers and psychics do a lot of this work instead, but it's very private and unregulated.

Mainstream therapists have gotten into "cognitive behavioral" therapy, which has its uses, but essentially we are training people to just behave better and think better. We're changing the outside and hoping that the inside will change -- and a lot of time, this does work just fine, but it's not enough.

As a culture, we seem to have given up on seeking the answers to the deeper mysteries and the really big questions. Bringing up things like the soul or the existence of life after death or what the heck is really happening in our world is kind of a social no-no. But the thing is, these are the questions that people are privately really thinking about and struggling with. They're very important. A Tarot reading is a safe place to bring up and investigate almost anything. I think that's very freeing for people.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS YOU ARE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED BY CLIENTS DURING THE READINGS?
Love and money are always the big questions!

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT FOR A CLIENT TO KNOW, TO GET THE MOST OUT OF A SESSION WITH YOU?
Mostly the important thing is to relax and be open. I look at a Tarot reading as a conversation with your higher self. Sometimes when I'm shuffling cards or laying them out, I'll ask clients casual questions about where they're from or something like that.

Sometimes I can feel brand new clients tense up when I do this because they've probably seen some Penn & Teller "expose" about how psychics will fish for information from you or that kind of thing.

Being able to trust in the process is probably the most important thing, both for me as a reader and for the client. I don't fully understand how the readings work but I see it as a very sacred process. As a client, it's not something you want to enter into if you're suspicious of the reader. I think that's why a lot of clients find me through word-of-mouth. This is actually very smart -- I wouldn't let just anyone read my cards, either. It's an intimate thing in a lot of ways.

ARE THERE ANY "DOWN SIDES" TO GETTING A READING?
I don't think so, but it is true that readings are probably not great for everyone.

One of my favorite Einstein quotes is "Problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them." Some people do come to a Tarot reader not wanting to change anything about their lives or themselves -- they just want to know what's in the future. And that's okay and it will work. I'm not there to do an intervention on somebody. What you want to do with your reading is completely up to you. But if you're wasting the present, what good is knowing about the future going to do you?

DO YOU HELP PEOPLE HEAL?
I do think that the readings are healing. At the most basic level, they offer my clients a lot of reassurance and hope. But they offer a chance for a deep transformation as well. It's all up to the client -- they are in the driver's seat for that.

To learn more about Anna, read her insightful and beautifully written blog postings on "Practically Spiritual" or to sign up for her upcoming "Opening to Tarot" class, please CLICK HERE

Thank You, Anna! I appreciate your answering my many questions to share with my blog readers and clients.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

One More Thought on Procrastination

This is a much more succinct posting about procrastination, compared to Thursday's, but here is a great quote from Pablo Picasso, I wanted to share:

"Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Procrastination

"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."

How true, how true! We all have those things we don't want to do; they seem to permanently appear on our To Do List and no matter how big or small the task is, we dread doing it or we simply continue to put it off, for reasons we're not even sure of. Sometimes, we simply have so much to do, that we become overwhelmed and paralyzed and therefore take no action whatsoever. This behavior, which even the best of us are guilty of from time to time, can quickly become a pattern and a habit that is hard to kick.

Having these uncompleted tasks can drain us -- or as William James' quote so aptly puts it --- it fatigues us. Oh, but how can that be, you ask? If we've not put any effort into completing the task, how can that tire us? Well, that's kind of the point. By having this "To Do" constantly hanging over our heads, it becomes a burden. The proverbial albatross around our necks. It usually takes less effort to do something than the amount of effort it takes to avoid doing it.

So how are we to overcome this? Well, let's take a look at the type of things we tend to put off. Are they seemingly small things? Are they relatively big, important things? Each one needs to be evaluated on it's own, so we can get to the heart of the matter. After all, you cannot resolve something, if you don't know what the problem is, right? Sometimes we don't prioritize correctly or we are unsure of how to go about a certain task so we stall. Sometimes we avoid it because we know it could be a source of stress.

For example, one of the things I procrastinate is anything to do with having to speak to a Customer Service Rep over the telephone. The reason? Well, past experience, for one! I know I will have to go through a long-winded automated menu, punching in account numbers, birth dates and what-have-you. Then, I may get to the next menu, in which none of the options reflect the reason for my call, then I will be on hold for 10 minutes, and then either one of two things will happen next: I will inexplicably be disconnected or I will finally get a "live" CSR on the line and will have to repeat all the information I keyed in on the automated menu, then explain the reason for my inquiry, then will be told by the apathetic rep that I will have to call another number, or that there is nothing they can do to help me. End of call. But the beginning of my aggravation. A year or two ago there was a cartoon at the back of Parade Magazine. A man is in a doctor's office and was completing his physical. Instead of being hooked up to a treadmill with wires to conduct "the stress test", the doctor informed the patient that his stress test would consist of dialing an automated phone operator (the doctor stands, phone in hand, looking at the patient, sitting on the exam table). How appropriate! So, yeah, I tend to put that stuff off, even though it needs to be addressed. So, how can I mitigate this stress? Well, I try to resolve as many things as possible by email. But when I do have to call, I try to relax and do it at a time where my stress level is not already high. If I am calm to start with, even the worst call is less likely to raise my blood pressure. I need to be prepared and do it at a time where I am more relaxed. But then there are some nights where I am like, "I'm in a good mood. I don't want to ruin it by having to deal with this." So, the battle wages on. But remember, we all must pick our battles wisely.

Evaluating the things you avoid will help you to overcome them. Do you avoid things related to technology because you're not savvy in that area and it confuses you? Do you avoid things related to money because your finances are lacking? Do you avoid things related to a particular person because they hurt or annoy you? Identifying your reason for avoidance, will enable you to break your procrastination habit. Sometimes the reasons are based in fear, some are less threatening, but some are more serious, like self-sabotage.

Do you find yourself often saying "I don't have time"? Be conscientious of when you say you "don't have time". Often, "I don't have time" really means "I don't care". And there's nothing wrong with that. Putting time and effort into things you don't care about is disingenuous and doesn't do anybody any favors. By identifying what is valuable to you and what is worth your time, you will find yourself reprioritizing and you will find less on your To Do List and more on your To Don't List.

This is a good thing!

William James, the pioneering psychologist, philosopher and pragmatist, (and godson of Ralph Waldo Emerson) knew what he was talking about, over 100 years ago, when he said ""Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Here Comes the Bride!

I got some great news this morning; my friend, Quiana, beat out thousands of other women and has been chosen as one of ten semi-finalists for Modern Bride's "Bride of the Year". Of the ten, five will go on to be the elite semi-finalists and will make appearances on CBS's "The Early Show" in late July. Of those five, only ONE will be named Bride of the Year and will appear on Modern Bride's cover. To read Quiana's story and to cast your vote, please CLICK HERE.

SUGAR SOLUTIONS ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB

An attendee of last week's Sugar Solutions: How to Tame Your Sweet Tooth Workshop, which I facilitated in Cambridge, had a very positive experience and generously shared what she learned during this workshop with her blog readers. Still haven't attended one of my workshops? This blog posting will definitely motivate you to sign up! Please CLICK HERE to read one woman's summary of what she learned last week, entitled "Bitter Sweet Tooth". If you'd like to attend an upcoming workshop with me, please note I am holding one at the Boston Center for Adult Education in Boston's Back Bay on July 22nd. To register online, visit www.BCAE.org or to register by phone, call 617.267.4430. Can't attend on the 22nd? Contact me for more info!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sugar Solutions Workshop: How To Tame Your Sweet Tooth

My Sugar Solutions Workshop for tomorrow is SOLD OUT. But the good news is, I have another one scheduled for next month! If you've never been to one of my workshops, you are missing out! On Tuesday, July 22nd, my workshop will take place at the Boston Center for Adult Education's historic Gamble Mansion at 5 Commonwealth Avenue, across from the scenic Public Gardens in Boston's Back Bay. Class begins at 5:45 PM and runs until 7:15 PM. To register online, CLICK HERE or register by phone at 617.267.4430. These always sell out, so register early!

What does the class entail? Well, do you know that food manufacturers use over 40 different words for “sugar” on food labels? Unless you know how to read food labels and identify sugar and its variants, you may be consuming a lot more sugar than you realize. How does this affect you and why should you be concerned? Attend my workshop and find out!

During the workshop, I educate and inform participants about the history of sugar, how it affects our bodies, how to identify it on food labels, how to reduce and eliminate our craving and dependency on it and to seek healthy alternatives without deprivation. These workshops are interactive, fun and very informative! Sign up today!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

AIDS Walk 2008


"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."

I wanted to take this opportunity to update everyone and to send heartfelt thanks to everyone regarding the AIDS Walk Boston, the 23rd time that the AIDS Action Committee has held this annual event in their 26 years of existence! With over 20,000 walkers and over 600 runners, this year was the highest-attended AIDS Walk Boston ever, raising over $1.2 million dollars!

My teammates and I raised $13,465 this year! In addition to those funds, my team’s employer, Stop and Shop matched our pledges 50% up to the first $10K we raised, so altogether, our total contribution is $18,465. After we completed the 10K walk, we passed out free granola bars from our Stop and Shop table and enjoyed the festivities at the Hatch Shell. The weather was warm and sunny and the spirit of community at the Hatch Shell was great. It was a wonderful day!

We could not have achieved this without the generous and kind support of each and every one of you. Thank you for your donation! We are all very grateful for those who donated so generously!

Every dollar raised goes directly to the vital services of the AIDS Action Committee. To give you an idea of what those services are, this year's AIDS Walk raised more than $1.2 million dollars, funds which allowed AAC to...

* Answer nearly 14,000 calls on our statewide HIV and Hepatitis C hotlines
* Keep 300 HIV-positive people and their families from becoming homeless
* Counsel 500 hard-to-reach people at high-risk for HIV through the Peer Action Program
* Answer more than 1,600 requests for information to our HIV Health Library
* Provide free, confidential services to 2,500 people living with HIV/AIDS
*Advocate for fair and effective AIDS policy at the city, state and federal levels

Although the walk took place back on June 1st, it is still not too late to donate. You can access the online fundraising page by CLICKING HERE.

(The photo above is of me and my teammates after successfully crossing the walk's finish line.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More Thoughts on Friendship

The following passage is by DailyOM:

The Friend We Want To Be: Evaluating Our Relationships
There comes a time in all our lives when we may need to evaluate our relationships, making sure that they are having a positive effect on us, rather than dragging us down. Without realizing it, we may be spending precious time and energy engaging in friendships that let us down, rather than cultivating ones that support and nourish us along our path. Life, with its many twists, turns, and challenges, is difficult enough without us entertaining people in our inner circle who drain our energy. We can do so much more in this world when we are surrounded by people who understand what we’re trying to do and who positively support our efforts to walk our path.

We can begin this evaluation process by simply noticing how we feel in the context of each one of our close relationships. We may begin to see that an old friend is still carrying negative attitudes or ideas that we ourselves need to let go of in order to move forward. Or we may find that we have a long-term relationship with someone who has a habit of letting us down, or not showing up for us when we need support. There are many ways to go about changing the status quo in situations like this, having a heart to heart with our friend showing through example. This process isn’t so much about abandoning old friends as it is about shifting our relationships so that they support us on our journey rather than holding us back.

An important part of this process is looking at ourselves and noticing what kind of friend we are to the people in our lives. We might find that as we adjust our own approach to a relationship, challenging ourselves to be more supportive and positive, our friends make adjustments as well and the whole world benefits.

For more writings from DailyOM, please click on the link on the upper right side of this blog page.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'll Be Happy When & Best Kind of Friend Part II

''The great Western disease is, ‘I'll be happy when… When I get the money. When I get a BMW. When I get this job.’ Well, the reality is, you never get to when. The only way to find happiness is to understand that happiness is not out there. It's in here. And happiness is not next week. It's now.'' - Marshall Goldsmith

THE PEOPLE WHO CARE . . . . . .

The following, is an old favorite of mine:

Take this quiz:

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier?

The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

Please share this with those people who have made a difference in your life. And remember, happiness is NOW.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Best Kind of Friend

The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away, feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

THE NATURE OF SUCCESS

This inspirational 3-minute movie is about SUCCESS. I invite you to watch it and be inspired to reach your goals. After all, as the movie says, "The most important thing about a goal is having one." And also, to set realistic goals, because "Inch by inch, life's a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard." Please watch and be inspired today!

The Nature of Success

Today is the last day to make a donation to AIDS Walk Boston - and to win free nutrition counseling from yours truly! Please make a donation TODAY by visiting my online fundraising page by CLICKING HERE. Thank you for your generosity!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Living Purposefully

Thought for Today .....

If you don't live life on purpose, you live life by accident.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Less Than a Week to Go!


Wow, time flies! This year I began fundraising for the annual AIDS Walk Boston back on March 9th and now almost 10 weeks later, the walk is less than a week away. Despite my best efforts, this year has been very tough in soliciting donations. People who've supported me several times in the past, are unable to contribute this year. Alas, the economic situation right now is making it difficult for people to give, I am well aware. During these types of downturns in the economy, charities are also hit hard, because people are just unable to make any more commitments with their money and giving to charity may seem like one more burden they cannot shoulder. This year's tax rebates were meant to stimulate the economy, hoping people would spend the money on various purchases. Most people I know are spending their check on pre-existing bills and mundane expenses (including me!). My budget is stretched to the limit and I know many other people who empathize.


But did you know that donating money to charity also stimulates the economy? And the feeling you get from doing it lasts a lot longer than the fleeting excitement brought about by any "indulgence" purchase. And oftentimes, people don't give because they feel the problem is overwhelming and how can they possibly make a difference? Well, let me tell you.... every little bit helps... every penny counts. Even if you can only contribute $5 or $10 it will mean a lot to someone in need. It makes a big difference!


The AIDS Action Committee has done tremendous work for those living with and affected by AIDS and HIV. They couldn't do their work without the kindness of volunteers and donations made by generous folks like you. For more information about what AAC has accomplished, please visit their website at http://www.aac.org/ To contribute to AIDS Walk Boston by sponsoring me, please CLICK HERE for my online fundraising page. The AIDS Walk is a mere 5 days away; taking place on Sunday morning, June 1st. This is my fifth year participating and I would appreciate donations of any size; they are gratefully accepted and appreciated. Can you help me get closer to my fundraising goal of $1,500?


For those interested, I am offering FREE PRIZES for your donations of $50 or more, including free health counseling for 3 months and a free workshop presented to your office, community group or church. Call or email me for all the details!


Thank you for your consideration!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Quote Worthy

On Monday, my sister shared a great quote with me via email:

"It is not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

Who is the person behind this succinct, yet very powerful quote? It is none other than writer, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, transcendentalist and local "celebrity", Henry David Thoreau. (Well, local, if you live in eastern Massachusetts!). This also brings to mind another Thoreau quote which is, perhaps not as immediately thought provoking as the quote above, quite inspirational:

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined."

Lots of us get caught up with the mundane chores and obligations of life, then we get stuck in the drudgery and lose sight of our goals and our dreams. We think more negative thoughts, than we do positive ones. So remember, your thoughts become your reality and the world is a mirror. Thoughts become "things". So, instead of thinking of all the things you don't want, focus on the things you do want.... have a goal-oriented and dream fulfilling imagination....which leads me to my next quote:

"Your imagination is your preview to life's coming attractions."

So take it from someone who led an amazing life; the above quote was made by none other than Albert Einstein!

A SHOUT OUT

This weekend, inspiration was in abundance! My best friend graduated with his MBA from Suffolk University's Sawyer Business School. Though most students were from New England, there were some people from all over the globe, including a graduate from a country I had not previously heard of: Burkina Faso (that's the country's name, not the student's!). It was very inspirational to see so many people who had accomplished so much, through much commitment, dedication and good-old-fashioned hard work and perseverance. Congrats to my pally-poos! VERY PROUD OF YOU!


Another inspiring event was the Keiko Matsui concert at Sculler's Jazz Club. I first became acquainted with Keiko's exceptional music back in the mid-1990s, when Boston actually had a decent smooth jazz radio station (which has now been off the air for about 8 years, sigh.....). Keiko is an amazing pianist from Japan. I hadn't seen her perform since 2005, so it was a real treat to see her again. She is so talented as a songwriter and musician and her live band is also truly gifted. I especially enjoyed the saxophonist. It was very nice to hear Keiko's inspiration for her various songs; recent trips to South Africa and Russia and Ukraine acted as muses for some of her latest songs. As soon as I got home, I downloaded "Black River" from iTunes. If you live on the west coast, you'll have ample opportunity to see her live in June. Check out her website for details by CLICKING HERE

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bicycle! Bicycle! (Cue Queen's "Bicycle Race")

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

Earlier this week, I wrote about "gas guzzling" and the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?". So it is definitely apropos that I follow up that post, with the subject of today's post: BICYCLES! May is National Bike Month. This week is Bay State Bike Week. I actually rode my bike to and from my day job all week. And this morning, as I turned onto Mass Ave from Beacon Street, to head across the river to Cambridge, I was greeted by a Bay State Bike Week volunteer who promptly handed me a nice water bottle with the cutest logo on it, that I had seen earlier this week. Check it out!

Kick gas, indeed! There are many virtues to bike riding; not only is it environmentally friendly, it is a great workout! And depending on where you're going (and how far!), it is usually a lot faster than public transportation. It is also easy on your wallet. Each year, I spend very little on bicycle repairs and save lots of money on train and bus fare and by not filling up my gas tank. And most important of all? It's fun!

Today is the deadline to register for the 50,000 Mile Commuter Challenge. You can sign up by CLICKING HERE. For more information about Bay State Bike Week, CLICK HERE. And save the date: September 21, 2008 is this year's Hub on Wheels, which is a citywide bike ride and festival. Storrow Drive is completely closed to traffic that day, to make way for bikes! Go to Hub on Wheels' site by CLICKING HERE. Can't wait until September? This coming Sunday, May 18th is Bicycle Beacon Street Day in Brookline, where Beacon Street will be completely closed to traffic from end-to-end, allowing cyclists to pedal the length of Beacon Street without having to share the road with cars. Want more info? CLICK HERE

Have fun, get out there and cycle! Great exercise, great for the environment and saves you money. Don't own a bike? Not to worry! There are plenty of places to rent one! Landry's on Commonwealth Ave (at St. Paul Street), Boston Bicycle Shop on Beacon Street (at Arundel near Park Drive) or Back Bay Bicycles on Commonwealth Ave (at Mass Ave, subterranean), among others.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Gas Guzzler & The Meat Guzzler


GAS GUZZLING
As gasoline prices near $4 per gallon, most people are finding it difficult to keep up with the mounting costs associated with car ownership. For people who live in the city, public transportation is an option and walking or biking is also a viable means to get where we are going. But what about those living in the suburbs or more rural communities? A car is most definitely a necessity.

For anyone who is troubled (or outraged) about the current trend in oil prices (which will likely only continue to increase), I have a recommendation. Although it won't immediately solve the oil gouging crisis, it will serve to educate people and will hopefully bring about some change, as more and more people refuse to tolerate this situation. You need to see the film "Who Killed the Electric Car?". I watched this documentary back in 2006 when it was playing in independent movie theaters. This excellent film is available on DVD; you can rent in via Netflix or Blockbuster and you can also purchase it for only $10 from Amazon.com. Forget what you think you know and approach this film with an open mind. You will likely be shocked at what you see.

Electric cars are quieter, cleaner and cheaper to run than gas-powered cars. As to why they haven't been fully adopted yet - watch “Who Killed the Electric Car?” for the whole story.

Here, in a nutshell, are a few key benefits of electric cars:

1. Electricity is cheaper than gas, and can come from renewable resources such as solar and wind power.

2. Electric cars pollute less than gas-powered cars (especially when renewable energy sources are used to generate the electricity).

3. Electric cars are much more reliable and require less maintenance than gas-powered cars. You don't even need to get your quarterly oil change!

4. By using domestically-generated electricity rather than relying on foreign oil, we can achieve energy independence and will no longer need to engage in costly wars in the Middle East to secure an energy supply.

5. Electric cars can utilize the existing electric grid rather than require the development of a new, expensive energy infrastructure (as would be the case with hydrogen).

For more information on electric cars, including answers to those skeptical questions, please see Plug In America's Frequently Asked Questions

For the film's official website, CLICK HERE.

MEAT GUZZLING
Back in January, Mark Bittman wrote an excellent piece for the New York Times. The name of the article was "Rethinking the Meat Guzzler". This popular piece quickly made the rounds. If you are concerned about global climate change, food safety, healthy eating or sustainability, I encourage you to read this fascinating article. Here is a glimpse:

"A sea change in the consumption of a resource that Americans take for granted may be in store — something cheap, plentiful, widely enjoyed and a part of daily life. And it isn’t oil.

It’s meat.

The two commodities share a great deal: Like oil, meat is subsidized by the federal government. Like oil, meat is subject to accelerating demand as nations become wealthier, and this, in turn, sends prices higher. Finally — like oil — meat is something people are encouraged to consume less of, as the toll exacted by industrial production increases, and becomes increasingly visible."


To continue reading this excellent and thought-provoking article, please CLICK HERE.