Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dreams, Desires, and Diets?

With the onset of the new year comes the information overload regarding new year's resolutions and diet. The use of the word "diet" is becoming less about a quick fix and more about a "lifestyle change." While it sounds like a cliche, I have realized that most cliches exist in large part because they are true. There are some great resources to help sift through the diet debacle including diet television or soon to be launched Natural Path for alternative perspectives to diet and health. Frontline also featured a great piece recently featuring the top diet experts from South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers and the politics of the diet culture.

IMHO, a key ingrediant to achieving results rests in your desires. Growing up in a very strategic oriented family, I have been articulating my goals since birth, so the new year always presents a golden opportunity to visualize my future and create the tangible steps and milestones to achieve it. Last year, I felt more stifled by the prospect of goal setting and vowed that my one resolution was to have no resolution. At first it was as if I had to rewire my brain to not think according to goals, but it helped me to live more in the moment with intention and less focus on outcomes.

When I started studying feng shui, the power of intentions was brought to a heightened perspective in my eyes. With further study into the law of attraction and now movies detailing this phenomenton such as The Secret, it is more clear than ever the amazing power our thoughts and words have on our realities. So however you choose to think about the new year ahead, let it start with your intentions and how you want to feel this year.

Here are some sample intentions as related to the Bagua in Feng Shui regarding the health and family sector of your home. They give a good example of using verbage in a positive manner.

• I am a vibrantly healthy person.
• My health is excellent in every way.
• I enjoy wonderful relationships with my family.
• I enjoy harmonious relationships with my friends.
• I am blessed with vibrant health and loving relationships.

At the end of the day, it is about feeling your desires and letting the magic unfold. However you choose to dream your dreams, they are waiting to be fulfilled - just ask my friend Brian.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hanukkah Harry Saves Christmas!

I can't remember exactly when I first became aware of Hanukkah Harry, but I seem to remember descriptions of Hanukkah Harry from my early childhood years as really being the strategic mastermind behind the whole holiday gift giving concept with Santa as the front man. Regardless, the SNL portrayal of Hanukkah Harry saving Christmas (and of course Hershel, Moshle, and Schlomo the reindeer) is a classic that every jewish man, woman, and child should have reference to.

I will be OOT for the next 8 days which just happens to coincide with Hanukkah. So as the exemplary Holiday Jew that I am, check out the official Hanukkah history.

Whether it is the entertaining folklore of my people or the deep seated inner persecutaion issues I clearly experience arouind this time a year via a negative "gut" reaction every time I see garland, Hannukkah is about miracles. And for me, a miracle is having a deep seated faith in ourselves and the people around us that we are part of a goodness bigger than we could ever imagine. So this holiday season, take a moment of pause to look at your life experiences and the people around you as a reflection of what you are manifesting, and choose to see the miracles, they are happening every day.

If you are looking for a last minute gift idea, choose a Kiva Gift and give someone the power to change lives.

Happy Holiday to you all. In health, happiness, and light!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Insights of a Packing System Convert

My father has three brothers and they all have this odd obsession with luggage or now more modernly termed "packing systems." It is entertaining to watch them share insights and compare different features on their most recent purchases. This obsession has existed for years, and while I caught inklings of it growing up through enthusiastic purchases around school backpacks, I never really got what it was about.....until now.

As I prepare for 10 days of international travel, I decided to casually explore the whole world of packing systems. It didn't take but 5 minutes at REI and I was hooked. Good lord, the technology and special features in some of these systems that ensures the most efficient use of space is simply amazing. And I am a Feng Shui professional, so when it comes to good use of space, I have the official word:-)

It doesn't stop with the actual piece of luggage, there is a whole world of packing accessories. The compression sac for instance is beyond amazing, it reminds me of the food saver infomercial, but for travel. I realize my enthusiasm is bordering pathetic. But I have 8 days worth of clothes in a carry on system with a detachable backpack, and there is simply no other word than thrilling. Is this a genetic obession? Perhaps, or maybe it is simply a sign that I need to get away and get some perspective. But, if for nothing else, I hope this blog reaches my father and uncles with my deepest apologies for the mockery, sarcasm, and banter I have thrown at you over the years for what I now clearly understand is not simply a quirky obsession. At the end of the day, it is about simplifying our lives and if it takes a piece of luggage to remind us of this, so it goes.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Oh What A Beautiful Body!

What do you get when you gather 9 pilates trainers, 5 significant others, and a holiday get together? Answer: Alot of left over food and wine. This past holiday season has been especially busy for me, and the truth is, I simply can't pull my party weight like I used to. This seems to be an epidemic that is spreading amongst my friends and colleagues. Granted many are in the health industry and I have worked long enough to realize that many people who choose this profession are completely neurotic and obsessed with their looks/weight. But what do you expect when people are working in mirror walled rooms all day looking at themselves.

Regardless, it begs the question - Is there such a thing as being too healthy? Has our committment and discipline to our health and weight alienated our right to indulge every now and then? It all comes down to body image and becoming aware of how are thoughts affect our actions. Body image is clearly related to many psychological disorders and a cultural obsession with fad diets and and exercise trends.

Now to be completely fair, I am making a living based on this cultural obsession, but our number one goal when we opened our pilates studio was that no matter what, we wanted people walking out of our studio at the end of their session feeling better than when they walked in. While most times it is about the amazing work of pilates which speaks for itself, it is also about encouragement and empowerment.

The point is there are two sides to every story and living a healthy lifestyle simply makes our body more pure and less likely to crave things like alcohol and sugar that often accompany the holiday spirit. However, when it becomes to be less about what your body is actually feeling and more about control and fear, that is when we need to back up the bus, and check in with ourselves. Take this quiz to find out more about your body image.

If you are seeking some ways to be more positive and understand the connection of your thoughts to your body, check out Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life.

Tis the Season, so enjoy yourselves. And frankly, a splurge every now and then is not going to kill anyone. When all else fails, take the example of my 3 year old nephew who says "Oh What A Beautiful Body!" pretty much everytime he sees himself in the mirror:-)

Friday, December 8, 2006

The Drama of Soy - Part I

I received an ad in my google web clip today for a Tofu Bear. Seriously, is this for real? The soy drama is almost overwhelming to me. Perhaps I need to gain some perspective, but I am almost bitter about it. First it was good for you, then too much was bad for you, then only in small amounts and mixed with certain other foods, then only eaten on its own, and now they are making freakin' teddy bears out of it! Give a girl a break - what is one supposed to do with all this confusion around soy? In order to turner my angst into enlightenment, I set out on my quest to understand soy in all its dimensions. So I thought I would start with the basics including what is soy and what are the various sources of it?

The FDA explains the most common sources of soy protein:

1. Tofu is made from cooked puréed soybeans processed into a custard-like cake. It has a neutral flavor and can be stir-fried, mixed into "smoothies," or blended into a cream cheese texture for use in dips or as a cheese substitute. It comes in firm, soft and silken textures.

2. Soymilk, the name some marketers use for a soy beverage, is produced by grinding dehulled soybeans and mixing them with water to form a milk-like liquid. It can be consumed as a beverage or used in recipes as a substitute for cow's milk. Soymilk, sometimes fortified with calcium, comes plain or in flavors such as vanilla, chocolate and coffee. For lactose-intolerant individuals, it can be a good replacement for dairy products.

3. Soy flour is created by grinding roasted soybeans into a fine powder. The flour adds protein to baked goods, and, because it adds moisture, it can be used as an egg substitute in these products. It also can be found in cereals, pancake mixes, frozen desserts, and other common foods.

4. Textured soy protein is made from defatted soy flour, which is compressed and dehydrated. It can be used as a meat substitute or as filler in dishes such as meatloaf.

5. Tempeh is made from whole, cooked soybeans formed into a chewy cake and used as a meat substitute.

6. Miso is a fermented soybean paste used for seasoning and in soup stock.

To better understand the benefits of soy, check out Susan Calvert Finn Phd on Disocvery Health. And to confuse everything you just read, check out Dr. Joseph Mercola.

It is my guess, that the answer with soy most likely exists with ALL THINGS IN MODERATION. However, I encounter enough questions and debate from people that I will continue my quest to turn my bitterness around soy into a better understanding so ultimately I can make the appropriate food choices and educate others as well.

For now I feel a bit more peaceful. And upon further research of Tofu Bear, he is quite cute and evidently has the softness and smoothness of cashmere but isn’t hazardous to the environment. SOLD!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Spin Spa or Sleep?

I am a sucker for a good commercial. While I stated fuel efficiency as the primary factor in buying my volkswagon jetta diesel, it was really the commercial that initially got me - "Safe Happens." I don't know why, I should be smarter than that. For god's sake I used to work in marketing/advertsing, so I understand the psychology that goes behind these ads.

Nonetheless, whether it is the Folger's commercial with Peter coming home for Xmas or the "can you hear me now?" commercial from Verizon, I love a good piece of messaging. Which brings me to the long lost art of the infomercial, or perhaps not so lost. I come from a long lineage of infomercial addicts. I am pretty sure my father was the first person ever to purchase the Nordic Track over 20 years ago. And frankly, it changed his life. To this day he will claim it is still one of the most effective pieces of exercise equipment on the market - and he would know. All this from a sleepless night and an effective infomercial campaign. This addiction has translated in many ways for my sisters and I. I recall a vivid memory when I was 7 years old and my sister and I watching a Sally Struther's Save The Children infomercial. Overwhelmed with the need to help, my sister ordered me to go get our mom's credit card. I did and ordered a child we did. I can only hope that this had some impact on our lives and committment to act as socially responsible individuals. What I have realized is that the common thread and perhaps success of the infomercial industry is pretty much contingent on "the sleeples night."

Luckily we have all learned to tame our infomercial addiction both through perspective and adopting effective sleep strategies. Sure I find myself reaching for a pen and paper every now and then after seeing the Yoga Booty Ballet infomercial, but I am reminded of lessons learned and am able to turn the tv off.

So, the next time you find yourself about to purchase the spinspa or cutco knives (both recent purchases from members in my family), take a deep breath and try some of these relaxation techniques or sleep aids that will help you get that much deserved night's rest. Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Oprah Goes Green

I will be the first to admit that I am borderline Oprah obsessed. Back before the days of Tivo, I literally positioned my jobs so that I could be home in time to watch Oprah. Well, thanks to technology and a little perspective, I learned to tame my Oprah cravings. But lately, its as if she and I are aligned (go girlfriend!), with yesterday's show featuring Muhammed Yunus and the concept of micro-lending and today's show featuring Al Gore and his documentary "An Incovenient Truth" (now available on DVD), it is clear that Oprah is going green. The green blogosphere has been highlighting this show for weeks thrilled that the "O" factor would be touching this movement.

I just finished watching the show and basically it was a plug for the DVD and ultimately Al Gore should he decide to position himself for future political endeavors (but I am not a politico, I will leave it to the experts to advise that effort). For better or worse there is no denying the "O" factor which we can only hope will translate into a heightened awareness of the green movement and global warming.

One of the skeptics on the show stated that Al Gore is trying to "scare us green." I think this is a relevant point because when we see evidence that is shown in "An Inconvenient Truth," the steps to take action can seem paralyzing. And while fear may be an initial response, it is our duty as citizens to take that moment of pause, and connect with that deeper message so we are not acting from a place of fear (which will only create more fear), but from a place creating lasting change for the future.

In true Oprah style, she leads us in this effort in giving some excellent recommendations to go green this holiday season. Check it out. And if you have seen the DVD, perhaps buy it for someone who you feel could use some education, and if not, buy it for yourself - Oprah says so.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Belly Meet Brain, Brain Meet Belly

I glorify the importance of trusting yourself and listening to your gut quite frequently. The truth is, much easier said than done. However, there are clear moments when our gut literally speaks to us. It is the butterflies of meeting someone for the first time or the knots in our stomach before a presentation. And thanks to a really fascinating book by Marc David called "The Slow Down Diet - Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss," he explains this phenomenon on physiological terms. All of these physiological disturbances are tied to the ENS - Enteric Nervous System which is often referred to as the brain in the belly. It is literally your nervous system talking to you. Your ENS has its own metabolic rules which are your rules. He states that "the expert within you will help you choose which experts to follow outside of you."

In a time when experts are a dime a dozen, this is sound advice in moving through the information trenches and empowering ourselves with the relevant advice and information that makes sense for us. Check out the book for an insightful and innovative approach to weight loss. And to all my skeptic peeps out there, now that you physiologically understand your gut, TRUST IT.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Let Go!

December 4 marks the official last full moon of 2006. Different from a new moon that symbolizes a time of new beginnings, a full moon is a time of releasing the past. Since this is the last full moon of the calendar year, it is an opportune time to reflect upon this past year with gratitude (including the hardships) and let go of the past in order to make room for the new year ahead. When stating intentions, possible phrasing might include: I now release _____ from my life. I now end my preoccupation with______. Remember, think and envision as though you have already let go of what you have released.

While I could rant on about the spiritual significance, I thought I would provide some interesting factoids/mythology from some full moon enthusiasts. "The human body is made up of 94% water. It would stand to reason then, if the moon affects huge oceans, that it would have some influence over us. Although scientists have been inconclusive in finding that criminal behavior rises during a full moon, people working in the medical and law inforcement professions report higher incidences of 911 calls, increased rates of violent crimes, murder, vandalism, arson and suicide, while emergency rooms swell to full capacity. There are also more reported cases of sleep disorders such as sleep walking. People become more restless and agitated during a Full Moon. They feel a strange intensity or connection with it, as if an unexplained serge of energy were rushing through them, and are apt to do bizarre things that is totally out of character for them." But this is just one perspective and plenty of skeptics could argue otherwise.

(Ir)Regardless, whether you need an excuse to act loony and howl at the moon, or are simply in a place to let go of those things no longer necessary for your growth and are ready to make room for the serendipitous events waiting to be revealed, capitalize on this December full moon to support you.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Do Good Often

I have a t-shirt that says "Do Good Often." It is bright pink with orange letters, so clearly it stands out. When I am running on the trail, I get the most interesting looks from people. While I can't necessarily read their minds, my intuitive nature enjoys interpreting the expressions. Everything from big smiles, to thumbs up, to looks of confusion. Now keep in mind, the wording is on my chest, but I choose to give people the benefit of the doubt and that they resonate with "Do Good Often" and not simply looking at my chest.

Recently, I had someone come up to me and ask, "What does that mean?" It broke my heart. Granted it was in an upscale colloquial area of town, but for the first time in my life, I found myself speechless. While it is easy to judge such naivete, the truth is that to "Do Good Often" will have a different meaning for each of us. But the power of our words when we translate them into action can be amazing. And when all else fails, turn to Oprah.

This Monday, December 4th she will be featuring Muhammed Yunus who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for developing the concept of micro-credit and founder of Grammeen Bank. His work and the work of amazing organizations like Kiva are literally providing people a tangible way to "Do Good Often" and have a direct connection to empower others in developing countries. So while you don't have to wear your intentions as literally as I do, at least articulate them in your heart and whatever it means for you, "Do Good Often."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

R.I.P. Rocco

As the co-owner of a pilates studio, we pride ourselves on cultivating a healthy and nurturing environment for our clients. We use aromatherapy blends to clean our equipment, we make our space a cell free zone, and we use method products for our bathrooms.

So when we discovered a rat in our rafters, disturbing does not quite capture what we felt. Unfortunately, it was one of our clients that first saw the rat who I have now named Rocco, but fortunately it was on our men dominant mornings (yes, men do Pilates), so laughing it off was not a problem. But, we knew it had to be handled. Perhaps this is one of the benefits of living in Texas where it is virtually a holiday when hunting season starts, so the concept of setting a trap was not even a second thought. Not to stereotype myself, but as stated in a previous posting, I am a girl and a jew from Oklahoma, so when it comes to most issues regarding killing animals and performing any type of handiwork, I try and turn a blind eye. But my karma had caught up to me. My business partner called me last night and warned me that the trap had been set and I was the first one scheduled to arrive in the morning. I tossed and turned all night, wondering what Rocco's fate would be.

While I can joke about it, I definitely started crying when I walked in the studio and saw Rocco at the end of his days. I will spare you the details, but lets just say the cheese was still whole and the floor is stained with blood. Perhaps it was the reality that I would have to clean it up, but as my awareness of green consciousness and movements such as animal cruelty have been heightened, I definitely felt conflicted. However, at the end of the day, a rat is a rat. I have the same issues about killing spiders and cockroaches. Is there another option? The answer is yes. Unfortunate for Rocco however, this was only discovered in hindsight.

While my business partner blames the pizza place next door, one of our other trainers is currently researching the symbolism of rats according to Native American culture and animal medicine. Whatever the lesson to be learned is, I am sure it is different for each of us. Unsure how to really comprehend my lesson, I did what I do best, lit some incense and had a moment of silence for Rocco. RIP Rocco.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Change - One (Green) Step at a Time

When I decided to purchase a Jetta Diesel, I will admit a big draw was the gas mileage (30mpg). But as I performed further research, I realized that contrary to previous misconceptions, diesel is actually a cleaner burning fuel, and thus my new found support of green activism was launched. Despite majoring in Environmental Studies and even working for the Sierra Club early in my career, I admit to not living up to my "green" potential in recent years. But after years of feeling overwhelmed with the amount of evidence encouraging the need to make a change, I had finally found a tangible way to make an impact. I have even gone so far as to living in a "green home."

With growing interest in hybrid cars, organic foods/eating, and global warming an increased cultural awareness linking our global health in relation to personal health exists. It is clear that sustainability and green living ranks high on consumers priority. As a result, businesses and corporations are taking notice! We can no longer deny that we can make a difference, the question is how. And while not everyone can go out and by a hybrid car, there are simple tangible steps that we each can take. One good resource is Ideal bite. Sign on to their tip newsletter and get the Green Tuesday Discount and guidance on how to shop "green" this holiday season. Change can be as simple as coupling our awareness with our actions.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Caffeine and Coffee and Chocolate - Oh My!

After years of denying himself the pleasure of a cup of coffee in the mornings based on information that it was not good for you, my father recently learned of a new study that states the benefits of coffee, particularly for diabetes. While I am sure the health benefits were the primary driver, seeing the joy in his eyes from a simple morning cup, you would think he was being reunited with a long lost friend from his camp days.

There are also new studies touting the benefits of the anitioxidants and flavonoids found in dark chocolate as well as the fitness enhancing benefits found in caffeine. The vices that previously seemed to plague our health and performance are revealing themselves as virtues to enhance it.

The truth is, you could find a study to support anything these days. The challenge arises in finding trusted and credible information and coupling that with an honest dialogue with ourselves and our healthcare professionals. As information becomes more readily available, the doctor/patient relationship is shifting towards one where dialogue is critical in gaining a full understanding as to what the appropriate answers are for each of us. So continue reading the various studies and despite the instaneous relief or angst you may experience after learning about a new finding, take that moment of pause and get comfortable asking the questions until you fully comprehend in a manner that resonates with you. And as far as caffeine, coffee, and chocolate - the key is moderation, so savor the moments with these delicacies just like you would upon reuniting with that long lost friend.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Confessions of a Holiday Jew

I grew up Jewish in Oklahoma. There were four jewish people in my high school - two were my cousins. I am currently what many call a "Holiday Jew." The relationship I have with my religion has followed a circuitous route ranging from complete denial of my judaism based on a traumatic Bat Mitzvah experience to seeking the wisdom of my psychic acupuncturist- Nubbie.

But, for better or worse, I seem to always come back to a place of appreciation for the tradition and values that my Jewish culture embraces. It is through tragic family losses that I have realized the importance of coming together as a tribal unit and surrendering to some version of a higher power as the only inkling of understanding that could possibly justify such grief. And at the opposite extreme, I have discovered indescribable moments of joy through witnessing my nephew's bris milah (well maybe not so joyous for him) and my niece's recent baby naming. Regardless of the placement of the experience within the life cycle, I have learned to trust the assurance of love, faith, and an undeniable strength that can only be the result of something bigger than we could ever imagine. Whatever we choose to call it - God, Universe, Allah, Nothingness, Buddha, is not necessarily about religion, but a courage to believe that we are part of something greater than ourselves.

So as we head into the materialism and stress that the holiday season can often bring, let us not forget that we are only a small part of a bigger universal picture and to think outside of our daily bubbles can often bring the true joy of what the holiday season is about.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Turducken vs. Tofurkey

I was at the grocery store yesterday, and the cashier was checking out the woman in front of me who was buying her thanksgiving dinner - turkey and all. The cashier grabbed the turkey and wrapped it separately. I noticed she became very pale and obessively searched for the hand santitzer and applied it over and over and over. She apologized to me, saying she has been a vegetarian for over 30 years and the juice from the turkey was simply too much for her.

I have several friends who are strict vegans. While Thanksgiving represents something different for each of us, the obsession about glorifying the cruelty of animals for a feast in "vegan" eyes is particularly perturbing. The vegetarian community is a passionate one - for good reason. But beyond the cruelty factor, there are numerous reasons that people choose to become vegetarian including the health benefits. A recent study announced that red meat may be the cause of specific forms of cancer. Now I don't want to be the buzz kill to a good hamburger. The truth is, there is a range of diets and lifestyles all promoting healthier/organic ways of eating including: The Raw Foods Detox Diet,The 3 Season Diet and The Detox Diet just to name a few. The list can go on with the experts to support them. The days of denying the benefits of eating organically are slim and there are ways to still embrace meat within this manner. However, at the end of the day, it is about becoming conscious of our choices.

In my mind there is room for both Turducken (although an animal within an animal within an animal does seem extreme) and Tofurkey. And just like anything, before making a judgement regarding a certain lifestyle, it is best to educate ourselves to have a wider perspective and ultimately a better understanding to make more informed choices in our lives. If nothing else, remember Thanksgiving is about treasuring the people around you and giving gratitude for what is important, not just about the turkey:-) Happy Holiday!

Brand New Day - Literally!

In a previous posting, I talked about the importance of intention and becoming aware of our actions/words. I will be the first to admit that I can go off on philosophical ramblings without any tangible outcome. Well, philosophical rambling meet tangible outcome. Today is a new moon. I am sure there is major scientific relevance regarding the importance of this lunar cycle. However, I am more interested in the *woo woo significance. Typically, new moons represent a time of new beginnings - literally. Look up at the sky tonight - nothing with the exception of some stars shoud you be so lucky. According to Osho Zen Philosophy, "nothing or 'no-thingness' refers to a state of pure potential that existed before the universe was created. All you can do now is relax into this nothingness....and treasure the empty moment of the experience. Something sacred is about to be born."

It is an opportunity each month to literally clean the slate and start fresh. While there are numerous ways to establish a new moon ritual, I don't want to freak people out:-) The best way to take advantage of this energy and time is to literally think about an intention of what you would like to manifest. It can begin by stating "I now my life" or "I now call my life." It can be specific or general. It can be said to yourself or written down. Whatever resonates with you. While I can virtually promise that something will result (although probably not in the timeframe or the expected result you had in mind), it is not necessarily about the outcome. It is about placing a positive intention and feeling the empowerment that can arise - even for just for a moment.

*Editor's note: You will notice the use of "woo woo" used throughout this blog. I am perfectly aware that "woo woo" has numerous terms, many of which are perhaps inappropriate and embarrassing to get into here. But for the use of this blog, it is meant to imply spiritual, energetic, perhaps even "koo koo" and embodies thoughts that many consider to be too new agey and out there.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Acronym Frenzy

Call me crazy, but it seems that in an effort to simplify our lives, the use of acronyms has reached an all new frenzy. IMHO, while I appreciate the use of a good acronym, when we have to start googling what they mean, perhaps we need to take a moment of pause.

However, when it comes to our health, acronyms rule. For instance, you may not be aware that this is GERD (Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease) Awareness Week. Now perhaps this is TMI, but when it comes to a full week raising awareness to GI issues, we have truly reached an ironic time in our society. Nevertheless, kudos to the health experts for raising awareness to a very serious disease. Check out Dr. Weil's recommendations to get relief from GERD. TTFN (ta ta for now)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Hormonal Parody

I was watching Larry King the other night and Suzanne Somers (yes. Chrissy Snow of Three's Company) was defending her book regarding bioidentical hormones . While the topic of hormones (synthetic and bioidentical) and the issue of menopause is very critical for millions of women, watching this cast of characters was like watching a parody on Saturday Night Live. The show consisted of four women and two men. One of the men was a Dr. and the other was Larry King, neither could get a word in edgewise. Suzanne Somers was so hyped up and defensive she was ironically bringing heightened awareness to the menopausal stereotypes.

While I am thrilled that Suzanne Somers' has found something that works for her and respect the work she has done to write the book, it is merely one perspective. Her manic claim that she feels 30 years younger was a little disturbing. I am 30 years younger than her and frankly she was freaking me out:-)

The truth is, there are hundreds of opinions and at the end of the day it is about each woman feeling empowered to trust her instinct and couple it with the research and questioning the "experts" to find the correct formula of remedy that works for them. A real expert is going to respect the questions and work with you to address them. They won't be going on a tiraid of defensiveness. The days of looking for a quick fix for better or worse no longer exists. With the rise of the internet and the wealth of information at our fingertips, and a growing awareness both intiuitively as individuals and globally as a conscious force we are destined to learn how to question ourselves and the expert opinions until we discover what works for us. And it is going to be different for each person.

So watch the shows, read the books, ask questions of the experts like Dr. Erika Schwartz and begin to trust yourself, because this is the only formula for a quick fix these days. Trial and error should be looked upon as an adventure to our journey of healing. Embrace it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Quick Fix Generation

We are a generation looking for quick fixes. I admit going to psychics, learning about Feng Shui, and looking at my horoscope all in an effort bring the perfect relationship and the perfect job. And while it has taken numerous relationships and jobs, an awareness has emerged and I now realize that any change is a result of shifting energy (aka: consciousness).

Applying consciousness on a daily basis is not something our generation is accustomed to. It is too “woo woo” and not practical in our day-to-day interactions.

As the world continues to change at the rapid pace it does, our desire to control our environment seems almost overwhelming and we are forced to ask ourselves deeper questions as to what really matters. The “quarter life crisis” is becoming so prevalent, that the soul searching journeys once reserved for retirement and midlife are becoming crucial as our generation struggles to find meaning and purpose in our lives. And often, that purpose is more simple than we could ever imagine. The realization that when we cherish our families, friends, our health, and begin to nurture that voice inside, suddenly things begin to fall into perspective. The fears propelling our previous concerns such as meeting a deadline, impressing people we don’t know and doing things for other people instead of ourselves is not as important.

We are in the midst of a paradigm shift where we need to re-define selfishness based on using others expectations to move forward in life into self-fullness where we create our worlds based on a personal foundation based on our values, intentions, and desires. In a time when so many things are out of our control, the power of what we do, where we live, and who we spend time with is a metaphor for our lives.

Once we shift the feeling of being victimized by our jobs, relationships and environments and see that we have drawn these experiences to our lives whether conscious of it or not, we experience the reality to reverse the negative into positive. The challenge lies in becoming conscious and looking outside of our personal bubbles. It requires a moment of stopping ourselves in our tracks and asking what is important. Once we understand the core of our personal philosophy, it guides our actions and will change the way we relate to ourselves and how we carry ourselves in the world. It begins by becoming aware of our bodies, our words, and our environments as an integrated part of our creative minds. We all have that active imagination that continues to live inside of us and sometimes we just need reminding.