The Holiday Gift Guide is Out!

gift boxes
Photo by Amy Texter on Pexels.com

I am so excited  by this year’s gift guide.

We often talk about “surviving” the holidays, and I took that to heart in this year’s guide.  Too often, the holidays induce stress, worry and exhaustion–and it doesn’t have to be that way.

This year’s unique guide features:

Stocking Stuffers–Affordable, upscale stocking stuffers for adults and kids

Everyday Glamour–Luxury finds at a great price, from couture clothing from Global Intuition, to fine porcelain from Herend.

Holiday Must-Haves–These are your survival supplies.  Read Chicken Soup for the Soul’s latest book on forgiveness while sipping on a delightful mixed drink.  Thrive during the holidays with these items.

Santa’s Little Helpers–This collection features services and gift memberships to services like Amazon Prime.

A Happy New Year–Come into 2020 primed to succeed.  These gifts focus on enhancing your creativity, productivity and well-being.

Click here to start shopping.  Clicking on the product description takes you to the product.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

The Old Injury. The New Perspective.

When I was in 3rd grade, I broke my left arm.  I fell off a swing backwards on the playground and snapped my left ulna.  The bone was set properly.  It seemed to heal quickly.

yoga bitmojiFlash forward a few decades, it’s giving me trouble when I do Wheel Pose during yoga.  I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with yoga.  I’ve settled into a  steady yin and restorative regimen.  I’ve always loved Wheel Pose.  I made an ambitious goal.  I was going to practice Wheel Pose every day.

It seems the old injury has come back.  I can’t get up into wheel everyday.  My left ulna needs a rest for a day and then it will cooperate the next day.  It took me a week or two to figure out why this was.  And then I remembered my elementary school swing incident.

Healing is an ongoing process.  Long after the cast comes off, long after you’ve done talk therapy, you may still have flare ups from an old wound, whether the wound is physical or emotional.  It’s okay to rest.  It’s okay to say, “not today”.  It doesn’t make you less than.

It seems my left forearm needs my patience.  If I force myself into the position, it hurts.  How often have we forced something that ended up hurting ourselves or another?  Probably more often than we’d like to admit.  We’re often told to toughen up, feel the pain, push past it or get on with it.  That’s not how we heal.  We heal by listening.  We heal by respecting our boundaries and limits.  Right now, I have three limbs that are consistently ready to do the Wheel.  My back appreciates the stretch too.  My left arm needs a little coaxing and permission to back off when its too much.

Compassion for yourself is trusting your process–even if its decades-long.

 

 

 

 

 

Bubbling Over with Body Positive Joy!

When Yi asked me to climb on her conference room table, I didn’t hesitate.

This past week, Yi Zhou, founder of Global Intuition, a fast-rising international fashion brand, invited me to her headquarters in Beverly Hills for a body positive photo shoot.

Yi is a Chinese multimedia artist who has lived in Rome from the age of eight and studied between London and Paris with degrees in Political Science and Economics.  Her innovative work has been shown at Shanghai Biennale, Venice Biennal, Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival.  Global in reach, she founded her creative strategy digital production company, Yi Zhou Studio, in Shanghai and Hong Kong.  In late 2017, she brought her creative vision to LA  as a strategic partner of Cinemoi Network, Royal Yacht. She is currently developing her first feature film as writer and director.

I had the privilege of meeting Yi through What Women Want Show about a year ago as she was preparing her Fred Segal show.  I was extremely impressed by Yi’s drive, ambition and poise.  Yi’s brand is called Global Intuition and I can see why.  Working with Yi, she has a global outlook and also a strong sense of what makes others look and feel good.  My shoot with Yi was fun, collaborative and inspiring.

Here’s your first look–Body Positive and Bubbles!

global intuition shoot
Body Positive and Bubbles.  Photo by Yi Zhou of Global Intuition.

Yi and I discussed what intuition is and why it’s important for women, and really everyone, to trust their intuition .  Intuition seems to power much of what she does and how she works.

Video Courtesy of Yi Zhou, Global Intuition

My biggest take away from spending time with Yi this week was that joy and intuition  make everything we do better!  If you bring a joyful heart to whatever you are doing, and trust your hunches, you can accomplish so much.  Trust your intution and let your joy bubble over!

 

Astrology’s Opposite Signs & Balancing with the Fall Equinox

photo of brown and white pumpkins
Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

Special guest psychic and shaman Shea Herlihy-Abba and host Kristin West chat about how having opposite signs in the chart doesn’t automatically mean there’s a conflict.  They discuss the Autumn Equinox, how to balance energies that might not be serving you and how to embrace the changing of the seasons.  Sometimes sassy, sometimes deep this conversation is sure to challenge your assumptions about the “dark side” of the year.

NSFW in some spots, just FYI.

Listen in!

Got #FOMO? Get Curious Instead…

Sometimes, we take too many cues from other people.  They have something, so we should have something.  They’re pursuing something, so we should pursue it too.  Our #fomo overrides our common sense, and even worse, our #fomo leads us to look to others for what we truly want and so our lives our built on comparison and often, jealousy.

The last few weeks, I’ve been throwing around the word “success” often, but I hadn’t fully articulated to myself what success would be for me.  I’d let the culture define what success was–a big house, a fast, expensive car, expensive stuff.  My values had shifted, and my definition of success had indeed changed.  I just didn’t realize it til a week and a half ago.

autumn autumn colours brown countryside
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We have to get curious.  Especially when we’re contemplating making big shifts, we must get curious about our assumptions.  Would that fast car really make me happy or I am really angsty about the pace at which my ventures are progressing?  Is that big house one I will be happy in or is what I truly desire to be able to travel more?  Once we think we know our values, we get comfortable in them like an old shoe. And then, we tread very familiar paths in that old shoe til we feel lost.

If there’s part of your life that’s not working and/or not satisfying, it might be time to get curious about what you truly value.  You may find that something’s shifted.  Some values stay with us our whole lives, others shift as we learn, grow and experience.

Tomorrow, the Autumnal Equinox, is a great day to get a handle on what’s out of balance in our lives, which often means we’ve been overvaluing some things, people and situations, to the neglect of others.  Unpack the buzzwords you’ve been aspiring to achieve.  What’s success to you?   Peace?  Authenticity?  Get specific and then there will be no #fomo.

Pivoting to Autumn

It’s not fall yet, despite what Starbucks may have you believe.  The autumnal equinox is a little over a week away, on September 23.  Yet, you may already be feeling fall settling in.  I walk almost every day and I see the leaves changing and falling.

autumn autumn leaves blur close up
Photo by Valiphotos on Pexels.com

Sometimes in life we don’t make the sharp turns that movies and TV would have us think are part and parcel of an exciting life.  Not all of our lives have convenient plot points.  Change is often gradual, like the seasons.  Lately, I’ve been learning to pivot, to observe the transition and not necessarily fixate on the end result or where I would prefer to have things.  The art of pivoting, for me, like the trees, is the art of knowing what to let go, when and how.  It’s not dropping everything at once in a fury.  It’s not uprooting and escaping.  It’s knowing what to expand and what to contract at the right time.  Pivoting takes a great deal of patience and discernment.  It also takes a great deal of faith.  Just as a tree lets go of its leaves gracefully, we are challenged to make our changes in life as gracefully and gratefully as possible.

 

 

Here. Now. Today.

Here. Now. Today.

It’s my new mantra.

Too often, we are not in the present.  We’re mining the middens of the past trying to explain away our bad feelings or bad behavior or we’re floating into painful projections of a future more akin to a post-apocalyptic world.

Lately, I’ve been dealing with my anxiety.  Part of my job as a movie producer is to prevent potential problems with production and minimize liabilities as much as possible.  My job is to look at a script and ask myself, “What could go wrong here,” and “Where is there a waste of money or other resources?”

abstract analog art camera
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Therefore, as part of being in a leadership position, I do have to put some mind-space in the future and the what-ifs.  People count on me to anticipate and solve problems.  And if I solve a problem that never grows into a full-blown “issue”, all the better!  However, once it makes my heart race or prevents me from moving forward, I’ve started to go to:

 

Here.  Now.  Today.

Here–where I am–the space–my office, the coffee shop, etc.

Now–what am I doing in the now–data entry, memorizing, budgeting

Today–the actual date and time

Here. Now. Today.

I also have to accept there’s enough entropy that I won’t be able to anticipate all the issues.  I recently toured a movie ranch that lost 20 structures in the last California wildfire.  There’s no way anyone could have predicted that specific facility would have lost all those structures–iconic ones.  There are limits to what we can foresee and anticipate, even if we have keen minds and heightened intuition.

If you’re feeling anxious, or are tasked with trying to lead a group, especially projecting the future, know that you can’t project or prognosticate everything.  You can only do the best you can do.

Here, now, today is our greatest point of power.

 

 

 

The Inner Ghost Town

018B723F-0201-4856-8D5B-BA7DB059E182 (1)Today, I took a trek to Mentryville, a ghost town in the Santa Clarita area. I was doing a preliminary scout for a project awaiting funding.  As I walked around the abandoned buildings, it was apparent to me that inside of us, we often carry around an inner ghost town.  What outdated structures (beliefs, habits) have we not cleared?  What projects have we abandoned? What dreams did we have to leave behind when our hope dried up?

So often a ghost town develops when a resource is depleted or an industry moves away.  Mentryville is dubbed “California’s First Oil Boom Town”.  Today, I was challenged to look at the ways I’ve been depleted.  I was also challenged to assess how much I’ve been holding on to “yesterday” instead of looking ahead, how the winds have shifted in my life and how my inner and outer landscape has changed.  1D638D20-B6EF-4B90-A445-E7579A071C51

Of course, the idea of a ghost town, implies a lack of life.  A ghost town is populated by ghosts, the dead who have unfinished business.   The ghost towns of our psyches are where we have unfinished business–the unsaid, the stuff we wish we had or hadn’t done.  The inner ghost town is the unanswered questions of our pain that we replay and revisit looking for answers that may never satisfy.  Instead of going over and over again what could and should have been, it’s more profitable to clear the structures that are falling down.  Too often, stasis feels safe, when it’s really what’s diminishing our possibilities.  Everything and everyone has their time and place in our lives.  Sometimes a controlled demolition of our inner ghost town is necessary.

 

A Little Glue, A Little Paper, A Lot of Insight

At certain pivot points of my life in acting, I’ve needed a hobby where I didn’t have to perform.  For me, decoupage has been a place to exercise my right brain, create and decompress without feeling the need to “do it right” or impress.  I’ve done a few good pieces over the years, including a shelf, a glass table top, vases and now these votive candle holders made from the Oui by Yoplait jars.

Things I’ve learned from decoupage:

decoupage jars1.  Tissue paper is very delicate.  It tears easily, especially when wet.  It needs a light touch.  A light touch is often the right touch in life too.

2.  Sometimes the dye of the paper bleeds.  Don’t worry about it.  The things you can’t control are often the most beautiful.

3.  The most interesting patterns have more colors.  Add a little color to your life!

4. The magic of decoupage is in the waiting for the piece to dry.  Once it’s dried, you actually see it.  Before it dries, it’s a wet mess.  Patience pays.

5.  Edges first!  It’s much easier when you attend to the edges first and then work to the center, especially on household objects.  Parameters are important.

6.  It’s okay to “fail” or it not be what you were expecting.  It’s just a little tissue, a little glue, a little water and a little time.  Failure in decoupage is allowed for me!

7.  Especially on clear glass, yellow paper and white paper don’t show up as easily and may need to be double layered in order to “pop”.   Sometimes, you have to make the extra effort to really show something.

8.  For me, decoupage is about creating a mood or bringing color to an intention.  When I bring intention and attention, decoupage is not longer just a crafty thing to pass time, but it’s a way to meditate.

9.  Once you start decoupaging, your relationship with paper may change.  You start to re-purpose envelopes and scrap paper.  Use the unusual to create the unusual.  

I think every working artist feels pressure to perform in their field.  Sometimes, the pressure to perform hems in our sense of play and risk.  When I’ve felt I’ve been at a pivot point, I’ve turned to decoupage to give me permission to play and experiment without fear of judgment.  What’s your hobby?  How does it help you?