STEVE JOBS LIVES ON

Steve Jobs spoke at the Stanford Commencement ceremony in 2005, with words that were very close and dear to his heart. Now that his transition has occurred, those words have a deeper penetration for each of us, because he spoke of the fragility of LIFE and the awareness of pending DEATH. It’s the same for all of us day to day, but Jobs knew his body was struggling. A few pieces from his speech that I found extremely moving:

Your time is limited…don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition…everything else is secondary.
Continue reading

What Does A Champion Feel?

I have a very dear companion named Leslie, and she and I were in Philadephia last month for a four-day leadership workshop. One night, after a long day of training, we discovered that the steps that Rocky climbed in his movies were not far away, so we set out to find them. In my exuberance and enthusiasm, I had us nearly run over by jaywalking to shorten our path! These are not just ordinary steps leading up to the Art Museum–they hold a power of champions. I was lifted by a presence that is palpable there, a feeling of courageous heart and clear seeing. We asked around if Rocky’s statue was still there, and from the mouths of fellow tourists, no one knew. Someone said it had been removed.

Two days later we were pulled back to the stairs again. I was drawn to run them and thrust my arms into the air at the top, as a symbol of victory. But in the midst of our journey, I had to find a bathroom. I spotted a park on the other side of the parkway and a building that looked like a recreation center. We changed our direction to find the bathroom, only to discover the doors were locked. We continued onward.

My stubbornness can get in the way of listening, and I initially was attempting to get us back to our original path. But Leslie took over and kept us on the sidewalk, not wanting to repeat the jaywalking episode. This led us to approach the museum from a very different angle. As we crossed the intersection, I was taking in the beauty of the radiant sky and thinking about my desire to climb the stairs, when we came face to face with none other than ROCKY’S STATUE!! It’s still there! If I hadn’t sought out a bathroom, and if Leslie hadn’t kept us on the sidewalk, we wouldn’t have found it. I was so elated!

What does a champion feel? Power, focus and magic–like this!

RECIPES OF THE HEART

I received some yummy recipes from my dear companions for my birthday. I’ve always said I’m not a good cook, but the truth is that I’d rather be outside in the fresh air–climbing, walking, dancing, playing. And yet I am changing, appreciating the food that carries a luvv and lift with it. I desire to fill my home with anything and everything that does just that, lifts the people who enter and partake. I have found that when food is prepared with luvv, it tranforms beyond nutrition to essence, and I desire to learn to cook that way. My companions who are showing me the way, I am very grateful.

Here is the recipe book I have started, with the recipes of my dear contributing companions–Karrie, Wendy, Sheri, Nora, Leslie and Kristen. Thank you so much! I am pulled to cook every recipe you have given me and test it on my family and friends, particularly on the weekends, and especially when I can freeze the dishes for later. More to come!

GAIL’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!

I always claim the month of May as my birthday month. It feels more expansive and expressive than a day. I was with my Mom on my actual birthday, May 7th, so this last weekend I celebrated with friends at Your Neighborhood Studio where we danced our petooties off and learned an entire routine to Rihanna’s What’s My Name?

What a way to celebrate! Brandon Anthony was our instructor and he was beyond awesome in finding a pace we could handle, pushing us to keep going, and pulling more essence out of each of us!

Check out my fun slideshow of our pre and post dancing, eating at an awesome new restaurant Moko in Culver City, and photos of some of the great individuals who were with us in spirit!

4 Students Speak Out on Arizona SB-1070

My son and three class mates from the University of Arizona revealed their views in this short video on Senate Bill 1070, a bill that legalizes police officers’ efforts to stop and search individuals in Arizona that appear to be illegal immigrants, mainly from south of the border. This is an example of not only what these young people feel about current life issues, but also how convincingly they can convey their message using multi media. Your thoughts?

SB – 170

Learnings from the Hudson River Crash Landing

This is a 5 minute video by Ric Elias, a passenger on the United flight that crash landed in the Hudson River. He speaks about what he learned in those final seconds before impact. And how the crash has changed his life.



Sometimes truths have to be forced in our faces. Seems that’s the only way I really learn. Ric said he didn’t want to be right anymore, he wanted to be happy. That’s a life principle for me…

DANCING IN THE RAIN

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass….it’s about learning to dance in the rain!

–Vivian Greene from her book Learning to Dance in the Rain http://viviangreene.org

A dear friend sent me this quote yesterday, and another send the photo! It’s a beautiful day outside today, and yet everyone has been speaking about how unpredictable the weather has been; the world is; changes are. I have such a desire to learn to dance in the rain, and with the challenges and issues of my life! LET’S GET DRENCHED AND ENJOY IT!

Two Suns in 2012

There is a quiet, solid voice, speaking over the drone of panic and doom reacting to all the changes on the planet. It is a voice of magic and transformation.

Dr. Brad Carter, Senior Lecturer of Physics at the University of Southern Queensland, is telling us that we are likely to have two suns in our sky for about two weeks next year in 2012.  It’s not about the end of the world and Armageddon that’s been predicted — it’s the possibility of balancing our earth’s atmosphere and ourselves.

Basically, there is a star in the constellation, Orion, named Betelgeuse (I call it Beetlejuice!) which is the 7th brightest star in the night sky. It is losing it’s mass rapidly and may become a super-nova by next year.

If this occurs, Betelgeuse is predicted to streak our way and land in our galaxy for a few weeks next year. We’d actually have two suns during that time, with possibly no night sky during that duration. Continue reading

Never Give Up

Jordin Mayes, #20

I’ve become a basketball fan over the years, with my husband as a coach/mentor, and my son as a player/manager. My son is a student manager for the University of Arizona’s men basketball team. His roommate is Jordin Mayes, their freshman point guard who has really grown this year. Going into this season, the team wasn’t even ranked. And yet through many last minute victories and surprises, they came in FIRST PLACE in the PAC 10! As a result, they are part of March Madness. Last Sunday, the Arizona Wildcats played in Oklahoma against the University of Texas Longhorns. Both teams had the same season ranking, so it was bound to be a close game. But what I watched was beyond basketball — it was an event that spoke to me about life, magic and never giving up.

Derrick Williams, #23

The Wildcats were up by 11 at half time, thanks to Jordin, who had hit four 3-pointers to make it his season high! Jordin played with focus and power, a vital part of the team. Derrick Williams, our key player, wasn’t scoring well but he kept the Longhorns from scoring. Then in the 3rd quarter, Derrick found his gear with an awesome dunk, and he was fully in the game. However, J’Covan Brown from Texas single-handedly brought his team back into contention by repeatedly getting fouled and making all 12 free throws! Few players can do that.

Now it’s 2 minutes to go and we’re tied. Over the next minute we barely stayed on top, and when the clock hit 1 minute left, Texas took the lead as their fans went nuts! All of a sudden there were only 9 seconds left on the clock, Texas is up by 2 and they have the ball. At that moment, time stood still. Everyone was on their feet and you could feel the unanimous feeling that the game was over and Texas had won. Continue reading

I Luvv This Rain!

I was out walking in the torrential rain yesterday and I couldn’t get enough! It was coming down so strong that I had to wear a hat so low on my face that it blocked my vision, as you can see in the photo. Because of it, I ran into a thick tree branch and an overhanging bush while walking to the grocery store. I cracked myself up! Here I am out in the rain by preference and smashing into things and feeling SO HAPPY! The rain was torrential, and my shoes and pants were drenched within minutes, but I luvved it! Memories of childhood escapades flooded my thoughts — putting my face up into the wet sky and splashing in the puddles.

While I was drinking in the pleasure of the wetness, over 25,000 runners were racing the LA Marathon! Multitudes of runners of all ages, shapes and sizes were going for it in the rain. Some of them must have been running their first marathon. I tracked my friend, Ben, via texts at 4 intervals on the course, and he braved it! The winner, Markos Gineti from Ethiopia, set a course record in this rain and it was his debut to marathons–he was “rain-aided!” One of the top men’s finishers said, “It’s the roughest race I’ve ever run in the rain.” The rain was definitely the adventure of the day!

Beauty That Has Endured

At a time of great unrest and disparity on the planet, it is also a time of great beauty and peace. The unrest is shouting, “The time has come for change within countries, within government, within you and me.”

Peace is speaking loudly as well. PEACE: Passionate Energy Activating Courageous Exchange. And the beauty of the Earth beckons us to see it, too, for it also has changed, and endured, and transformed with time. This presentation showcases 35 unique rock formations from all parts of our planet, many of which are new to me. I am inspired to discover more about them and the qualities they showcase.

Rocks_43

Work/Life Balance — Literally!

A dear friend forwarded this video to me, and it’s a beautiful and graceful demonstration of work/life balance. This is a performance of Swan Lake, a common ballet, performed by the Great Chinese State Circus, demonstrating exceptionally uncommon excellence — balance beyond balance, and ability beyond human ability. Be prepared to be blown away! I am moved to see how balance, connection, and extreme flexibility can showcase an expression of great beauty and trust rarely seen between man and woman. A celebration of work/life balance. ENJOY!

Cross Training Made EASY!

I FINISHED!

I ran a 5K race in January, after not having raced in over 5 years. My cousins called to ask me to join them while they ran the LA Half Marathon. I signed up for the 5K that accompanied that race. To my surprise, I had the stamina to RUN it with no training.

I ran one day for about 1 1/2 miles last November, and maybe a few times over the summer. I’ve been doing Power Yoga weekly, hoola hooping, hiking and walking — that’s been my cross training. I knew I could walk the 3.1 miles, but I had no idea I had the endurance to run it the entire way! When I crossed the finish line, I was overcome with the thrill of VICTORY — what all can I actually do? What else can I achieve? Could I actually be getting younger than older?

Ron and Clare

Clare, Gail, Jerome, Margo, Jason

My cousin stopped smoking by taking up long distance running. He and his wife have run so many half marathons and triathalons. I no longer want to run distances but the thrill of being with many passionate runners was a real turn on!

I think cross training is doing what you luvv to do, and then applying that to new things. I’m now adding dance to my cross training. Who knows what all I can do with the character developed through many ways of expressing and sweating myself? Here’s the biggest surprise of all: I FINISHED 6TH IN MY AGE CATEGORY!!

Seeing with New Eyes

I’ve recently seen the movie, Remember the Titans, and this was probably my 20th time viewing it–and each time I see it new.  I see or feel something I missed the previous time, or there’s a new energy in a scene that I missed.  I sense we upgrade what we hear and see as we change, and therefore a familiar movie or story or perspective gets upgraded.  Like in this palindrome.

A palindrome is a written message that reads the same backwards as forward. This video can be read that way, but the magic lies in how the author reads it new — I was blown away with how I was led to read a brand new meaning to the same old words.

This is a short 2-minute video and it is brilliant, submitted by a 20 year-old in a contest by AARP  entitled “u@50″.   The video won second place, but when they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause.

Here’s to seeing with new eyes and an open heart!

Honoring The Power of Desire


I awakened Saturday morning with a burning desire to get back into dancing. It’s been years, but I remembered the full-body sweat of a jazz or modern dance class. I felt such a jones to feel that explosion from my core again. So I jumped on the internet and found The Top 7 Dance Studios in Los Angeles on the Huffington Post! Wow, and one was close by: Your Neighborhood Studio (YNS) in Culver City.  Check out their video.   I just have to stop and give DESIRE credit, because when I honor it, (instead of worrying) there is speed, ease, wonder, thrill and magic. That’s what occurred here.

So YNS was advertising their ONCE A YEAR Open House – happening the next day! The only day of the year, and here I am finding it 24 hours before. They were offering an entire afternoon of half-hour sample classes with no fees, so I plopped myself in their hands and said, “Let’s go!” Continue reading

Surprising What Love Can Do

Check out this great piece by my guest blogger, Deirdre McGill.

Every January 17th, I think about my live-in boyfriend from my college days.  We were 19 and 22 when we hooked up and lived together for 11 years.

We moved in together after my father almost choked me to death.  I made the mistake of standing up to my dad and in a fit of alcoholic rage; his reaction was not one of tolerance or understanding.  Good thing that my Grandmother was there to pry his hands from around my neck or I would not be writing this today.

Disregarding the family advice of “why buy the cow when the milk is free,” I kept living with my friend without the sanctity of marriage until we knew that there was absolutely no future for us.  He wanted to get married and I refused unless he swore fidelity. He refused.

Besides the “cheating” issues and the years of lies and betrayals, I knew that marriage was not on my path.  Over the years, I turned down over 100 marriage proposals.  I had to be honest with myself.  I wanted to be happy.  I wished for happiness with all of my heart and knew that I would be on a life’s adventure until I found it  – or it found me.  I knew that I could never be happy with a man when I was not happy with myself. Continue reading

I Saw My First Steelers Game!

Call us crazy, but we went to Pittsburgh for a 4-day weekend as a belated anniversary gift to ourselves!  Pittsburgh in the winter, windy and snowy, cold and chilly, but refreshingly exhilarating!   A great highlight for me was seeing an NFL game live — the Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals!  I could really feel what the players endured by being there in person.  In almost every play there were piles of bodies, and each time I felt it personally — what about suffocating?  Someone’s elbow or cleat in your neck?  Being squished by the weight of so many bodies on you?  Obviously, being squeamish doesn’t work in this sport.  Continue reading