The Secret To Motivation, And The Yoga Lady Story

If you can find the magic formula for motivation, I will help you put it in to pill form and market it. Then, together, we can buy our vacation home on the beach and spend our days sifting sand and sipping tropical drinks that are colored blue, peach and yellow…with garnishes of strawberry and pineapple. I’ll even let you eat my garnishes! Motivation is elusive. Don’t believe me? Just ask the many people who’ve started diets and failed; or began that exercise program only to quit after a few weeks; or are still writing their first novel after 10 years. While I don’t proclaim to have all the answers to how to get and stay motivated, I have learned a few things through trial and error and from others. Those smart research-people-types, who teach this kind of thing, will tell you that it’s important to set goals. If you don’t set a goal, you don’t have a target to shoot for. I call it “having your eye on the prize”. Setting goals is a science unto itself. And to do it right and improve your chances for success, set S-M-A-R-T goals: S: Specific. Break the goals down in to what we like to talk of in Life Coaching circles as “baby steps”. Make a list of all the little steps you will take to get started. Keep them as clearly defined and precise in their descriptions as possible. The Yoga Lady Story I know of a lady who wanted to start doing Yoga, so she wrote down the process of getting started very specifically. I think she was overly specific, and maybe a little batty, but she found it helpful to write down that she would get started by simply getting out her yoga mat. She would lay it on

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Life Lessons from Joan Rivers

The news was shocking and tragic. Our beloved smile-maker, Joan Rivers, died all too young. Though 81 years old at the time of her passing, she was eternally young at heart. Like many others since, I have been following news stories about her life. I watched the PBS documentary, “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work”, which gave me a glimpse into her life and her personal struggles. I watched the “Fashion Police” tribute on E! where her co-hosts Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos paid tribute. I felt much like Kelly and George, who broke down in tears and held hands for support. I admired Joan’s daughter Melissa’s strength as she spoke about her mother. Joan’s life ended abruptly, but not without her rising once again to immense popularity, in part with the show “Fashion Police”, but most importantly as the person who taught us so much about life. So what are the life lessons, gleaned from the life lived by Joan Rivers that we can all learn from? Risk Taking. Joan got her start by sticking her neck out in a man’s world where few women had ventured before her. She was a female comic playing with the big boys. Getting noticed on the Johnny Carson Show was her big break. When she left Carson to start her own show after 18 years of appearances and guest hosting, something several of the male Carson guest hosts had done before her, she was shunned by Carson for the rest of her life. As gleaned from the documentary, this hurt her both professionally and personally. Looking at this today, one has to question what relevance there was to Joan being treated differently than the men. Joan was a trailblazer for all women. I, for one, admire her for taking the

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Excite-Up Your Life!

Explore what excites, exhilarates, and empowers you by tackling this list for “Discovering Your Passion”! ü     Get Curious! Explore, be curious, and create your bucket list of things you have to do or try in life before you get too tired to even care. ü     Dig deep! Explore a little deeper and do your research on those things that peak your interest.  If they still hold your interest, you’re ready for step #3… ü     Jump off the cliff! Take that leap of faith and give your new discovery a try.  What do you have to lose? ü     It’s never as good as the first time? Tried it, been there, done that? If the turn-on was fleeting and what you thought was going to continue to excite you turns in to “it’s never as good as the first time”, then it’s time to tackle the next step… ü     If the passion dries up, move on! …try something new…try something else…duh! ü     Throw it against the wall to see if it sticks! Finding your passion is like throwing the cooked spaghetti against the wall to see if it’s done.  When it’s done, when you’ve cooked your idea enough that it works for you, it sticks. ü     You’ll know it when you find it! Bottom line: You’re going to know it when you find it and if you’re lucky you’ll experience those moments of pure joy and bliss in the process!  Lucky you…I want me some o’ that! Take a mini fun-break and listen to the Podcast, “Discover Your Passion”!

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The History of Santa Claus

The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. Much admired for his piety and kindness, St. Nicholas became the subject of many legends. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. One of the best known of the St. Nicholas stories is that he saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery or prostitution by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe. Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, St. Nicholas maintained a positive reputation, especially in Holland. St. Nicholas made his first inroads into American popular culture towards the end of the 18th century. In December 1773, and again in 1774, a New York newspaper reported that groups of Dutch families had gathered to honor the anniversary of his death. The name Santa Claus evolved from Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas). In 1809, Washington Irving helped to popularize the Sinter Klaas stories when he referred to St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York in his book, The History of New York. As his prominence grew, Sinter Klaas was described as everything from a “rascal” with a blue three-cornered hat, red waistcoat, and yellow stockings to a man wearing a broad-brimmed hat and a “huge pair of Flemish trunk hose.” Gift-giving, mainly centered around children, has been an important part of the Christmas celebration since the holiday’s rejuvenation in the early 19th century. Stores

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The Locals Make a Holiday Movie

The list of movie credits reads like a who’s who of Salina and Lindsborg, Kansas. Perseverance, teamwork and collaboration is what making a movie is all about, but it all starts with the seeds of a good screenplay and the vision of the movie producers who set the wheels in motion. I am proud to be one of those producers. Written, directed, and produced by JT O’Neal, “Au Pair, Kansas” was filmed in Lindsborg and Salina for three weeks just before Christmas in December 2008. The movie has just secured a domestic distribution deal, which means, it is now available for purchase in the United States. Just in time for that last minute Christmas gift for your friends and family! Watch the trailer and see if you recognize any of the extras, (I’m in there!) and please Buy This Movie! Visit my Facebook Page for a full listing of the cast and crew. You’re sure to see the names of many local people and businesses. Give the post a “Share” to get the word out that “Au Pair, Kansas” is now available for purchase! Here are some of my favorite memories of the making of this sweet little Holiday film, and thanks for indulging this writer in her walk down memory lane! Traci Lords, our lead actress, will always be remembered by me as a person who is beautiful inside and out. Besides being talented and gracious to work with, I found her to be an intelligent, savvy businesswoman. On our second day of filming, Traci told me she thought I should take over as the Lead Producer. What a compliment, coming from a seasoned actress who had just finished a film with Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks, and years earlier was in a film with my all-time favorite, Johnny

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Drive-Up, Curbside Sperm Donors

“Andrew” is a divorced dad of three whom, five years ago, decided to start giving his sperm away for free. Here’s how “Andrew” operates as the drive-up, curbside sperm donor. A single woman who has not connected with a suitable man for fathering a child, or a lesbian couple, or a couple where the man is infertile; find their “Andrew” via websites such as KnownDonorRegistry.com. With 13,000 registered members, this website connects donors in an open forum with women. Gone are the days when sperm donors and women wanted complete anonymity. “Andrew” admits that he enjoys the pregnancy updates, ultrasound images and baby pictures. He has donated his sperm to 85 women of which 24 became pregnant with more babies on the way. On the big day of conception, the woman sends a text to “Andrew” announcing the results of her fertility test: It’s a “BFP!!!!!!”, that’s Big Fat Positive in fertility speak. She’s excited, he’s excited, within minutes she drives up to his home or office, pulls up to the curb, and rolls down the window to collect the small package that contains the seeds of their future together! (Ha! Corny as that sounds I’m leaving it in this blog…writer’s privilege! lol) The face-to-face meetings, disclosure of medical records, legal contracts absolving “Andrew” of any financial or other parental obligations are signed sealed and delivered. Now is the time for the woman to light the candles, turn on the Barry Manilow and pull out the turkey baster. Her dream of becoming a mother is on the path to reality. Why have women turned to “open” donors? With the advent of artificial insemination in the 70’s and 80’s, those Cryo babies have come of age, and guess what? They want to know who their sperm donor is. Mr. Anonymous is

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Miley Cyrus is being Pimped Out

Miley Cyrus is being used.  She is being exploited. She’s only 20 years old and people all around her; people old enough to know better, and sadly, those who are supposed to be there to help her, are using her to make money off of her name and talent.  They are using her to forward their personal aspirations for fame and glory.  She is being prostituted out for the unseemly gains of others. Who are the pimps in Miley’s world?  Her video directors, producers, record label (the list can go on and on), possibly her mother who lives vicariously through her daughter’s fame? Ok, I saw the VMA performance where her dance moves were overtly sexual, (and it wasn’t her skimpy outfit because Lady Gaga had half as much fabric covering her lady parts), and I saw her music video “We Can’t Stop”, again, over sexualized, but it was her “Wrecking Ball” video that really left me feeling like it was time to expose her Pimps for what they are…predators! When I watched “Wrecking Ball”, I very quickly, on a deep visceral level, felt incensed with the Director.  I felt utterly, completely, enraged and incensed!  I had no idea who the video director was but felt with great clarity that what I was seeing was a very talented young woman being exploited.  It made me angry, and it made me sad, and it made the comment from her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, even more heartbreaking. What did Miley’s dad have to say? By the time I got around to watching this much talked about video, there had already been some 230 million views (as of this writing that number is up to 288 million).  Just after I watched the video, I saw that the top video comment was from Billy

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Cross-Dressing and Bruce Jenner

The headline, “BRUCE WANTS TO BE A WOMAN!” was shocking, and I couldn’t get my hands on the Star, rag-mag, fast enough! I knew it! I called this one before the headlines! As a die-hard fan of #kuwtk, Keeping up with the Kardashians, I heard a comment on one of the episodes and immediately thought to myself, “Bruce is a cross-dresser!” Now, before you think I’m going to trash (my) Bruce (I love this guy and he’s still my Olympic hero!) over this, let me give you some information on cross-dressing; and I’ve found no one better than the heterosexual male psychologist, who writes under the pen name Wanda Wilson, to tell us about this practice.  He writes, “This is a regular practice among completely normal heterosexual men. Furthermore, it is not considered an abnormality or an aberration within clinical settings. Males who have normal mental health and are productive members of society, often engage in this activity. Of course, they do not advertise it, but do it very discretely. They might wear panties under their regular clothes during work time, then go home and put on a complete outfit including breasts, make-up, and wig. No one knows because they do it in private. Sometimes not even their spouses know.” My bet is that Kris, Bruce’s wife, has known about his penchant for dressing in women’s clothes all along.  According to the article in Star magazine, “a source says”, “Kim went in Bruce’s closet and found tons of expensive lingerie that was all stretched out! She took it all and left. A couple of days later, she walked into her parents’ room and Bruce was searching in his closet. When Kim asked if he was looking for something, Bruce didn’t answer and Kim told him she had his lingerie.  He

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Joan’s Excellent Adventure

This weekend I had three days worth of happy events that happen all too seldom.  It got its start when my guilty conscience decided that I needed to make good with my husband for our anniversary.   The day of our anniversary, he showed up with roses and a bauble of enough size that this die-hard jewelry addict was impressed, and I showed up with…nothing.  Even with the best of intentions, my day got busy and before I knew it I was home for the evening without an anniversary gift. But, I made up for it.  I treated him to a weekend in Kansas City at an upscale hotel, you know the type…beautifully appointed…world-class service (as touted on their web page)…and even upgraded to Concierge Level!  How cool was that?  The concierge level was room key access only and had a lounge where breakfast and lunch were served daily; add to that happy hour drinks with hor dourves and evening after-dinner-drinks with desserts until 10:00 pm!  I don’t know when I’ve had Baileys Irish Cream, Cognac and Chambord all in one sitting! Adding to our excellent adventure, we had dinner at one of Kansas City’s premier restaurants where we enjoyed exotic foods such as crispy pigs ear, duck, lamb and Figgy pudding the likes of which is sung about in the “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” song. Even the specialty cocktails were exotic. My gin was hickory smoked and “puffed” out smoke when served by the mixologist who said that “here in Kansas City we even smoke our cocktails! Capping our weekend was the ZZTop concert back here in Salina.  I became a corporate sponsor with both my Assisted Living company, Dignity Care Home, and The Joan Jerkovich Show when, first, I found out the show was sold out and, second,

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