Breaking through all barriers to Create!
Women inspire. They lead with grace, dignity and courage. These fine women channeled their life experience through art. No limitation was large enough. Open your mind, read, and be inspired to create!
African-American Opera Singer (1902 -1993)
Beautiful. Magnetic. This is, after all, the opera! Marian broke all barriers with her contralto voice, singing in a low range filled with sincerity and drama. Many female opera singers are soprano, with the beautiful high pitched siren of a gifted angel. Hers was that of a soulful spirit, soaring beneath the clouds.
Regardless of her talent, many doors were closed to Ms Anderson until her voice broke through the very doors of The Metropolitan Opera. In 1955, she was the first African-American to perform on its prominent stage.
Racial prejudice in the 30’s became an obstacle too difficult to maneuver in the US, however. She found a home in Europe where her voice was revered, touring to enthusiastic crowds wherever she went.
Read more HERE
A Meditation on Love
We all want it. We all need it. No. It’s not chocolate. It is L.O.V.E. love. But sometimes it just doesn’t feel real. It doesn’t feel accessible. So here’s an exercise you can do to activate love in your heart.
Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a nice deep breath in and a long exhale out. Bring your awareness to your chest. As you inhale, feel the sensation of your chest expanding in all directions. The sides, the back, and the front. Upon your next inhale, open the front of your chest, rolling your shoulders back and dropping them upon your exhale. Now allow your breath to come back to normal, and focus on the very center of your chest. Breathe into this space as your chest naturally rises and falls.
Your heart chakra is beginning to be activated. It is located in the very center of your chest. It is the center of loving compassion. This is where we hold all of our loving memories and all of our heartaches. When we fall in love, we may feel butterflies in our stomach, but we also feel an ease in our breath and an inner peace within our heart.
By healing the pain you may be holding in your heart and focusing on the love that is stored there, you will be able to not only feel love within you, but attract love to you.
To read more please follow this link to the full article and go to page 156 to complete the exercise
Get ready to kiss 2017 good-bye and welcome 2018 with open arms! The trick to this questionnaire is to answer it quickly and honestly. What first comes to mind is often the best.
As you reflect on the past year, you’ll gain wisdom to guide you in the new year. Are you ready? Here goes!
The Year in Review
1. What is your fondest memory?
Breathe into your heart center & close your eyes as you allow these memories to flood your mind. Most likely there are more than one. Then choose the memory that brings the broadest smile to your face.
2. What was your greatest achievement?
This may have been a goal that was on your list. It may have to do with your career, your family and friends, or yourself. You may have run your first 5K race, graduated from school, made it to the team, or signed on a new client. Or, you may have finally taken those braces off, or gotten engaged, or watched your child walk across a stage.
3. What was your most difficult challenge?
Whether at work, at home or school something stands out. What was this challenge and how did you manage it? How did it affect your life?
To read more click on this link and go to page 52. Make your new year stand out!
It’s that time of year. Of joy & good cheer. It’s simply wonderful! Except for one thing. It stresses you out.
With all the shopping, decorating, and partying, how on earth is a beautiful, smart, fabulous woman (or man) like you to do?
Take a deep breath in and a long exhale out. The following list of tips and ideas will offer you relief and direction during the holiday season. So relax, take notes if you’d like, cozy up with a hot or sparkling beverage, and enjoy!
Look & Feel Great
When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you guessed it, you look good! Now you know it begins with your mindset. So we’ll begin there.
Start the day with a positive attitude. Whether it’s after you brush your teeth or your hair, look in the mirror and say, “I feel great! Today is going to be a wonderful day.” Take a deep breath in and believe it as you exhale!
Makeup & Clothes
Take a look in your wardrobe and pull out that special outfit you’ve been holding onto for a special occasion. That day is today!
Let yourself sparkle with a glittery brooch and dangling earrings. You can do the same with makeup. A little glimmer is good for glamour. Brighten those lips with shiny gloss, and paint those nails red!
Your body is going to look great with plenty of exercise. Start the day with a few stretches to wake it up. Go for a walk before, during, and after work. Go to the gym. Don’t belong to one yet? Consider joining. Try them all out first and pick the one that suits you. What’s most important is to get moving.
I’m a firm believer in this form of exercise. It not only trains your body, but your mind. There are a variety of styles. As you lengthen, you strengthen.
To read more follow this link and go to page 140
Giving the Gift of Bling & knowing their Healing Elements
They are beautiful. They are radiant. They are powerful. We love to wear them! And they serve us quietly behind the scenes in our everyday lives. If you’re wearing a watch right now, it is most likely operating in part by use of a crystal. Surgical instruments are partly composed of crystals; and automobiles have built within them - crystals. They are shining all around us in many forms. And they all come from our earth. They are Mother Earth’s natural rocks of power!
In a recent Wall Street Journal article about De Beers, the diamond mining and retail giant that hallmarked the tradition of engagement rings, I was struck by their apparent lack of knowledge and appreciation of other gems and crystals. I could be wrong. The CFO was in a quandary about attracting Millennials.
Is it possible to influence a generation who values a walk on the beach wearing beaded crystals and leather bracelets to purchase diamonds? I think so. I personally love them all! Diamonds, gems, crystals, cut glass. Anything that sparkles. Here are some tips as you explore your aisles of bling.
To read more click on this link and go to page 206
I will never forget my holiday weekend in Fire Island last summer. I was expecting to relax by the water, stroll along in the sand, and listen to meditative music, maybe get a tan. Ha! Was I wrong.
Within 2 hours of our arrival, we discovered that the host of our house where we were staying was diagnosed with breast cancer. In fact, her two doctors, both friends told her right there and then. They had learned the results of her tests earlier that day and knew that they would be on the island that evening.
How did our host handle this news? With a party. For real.
All in. I joined the festivities with cooking and drinking. I was new to this group and was not about to set a different tone. There are pictures of us being quite silly, dancing with who knows what on our heads.
But when the morning came, things looked and felt a bit different. That’s when I approached Vera and offered her an integrative healing treatment. She accepted. Energy therapy was new to her but she was open and willing to try this holistic medicine. She wrote a blog post about her experience.
“During the healing session, Alana helped me find the connection between my psyche and my breast cancer - helped me begin to uncover and identify the unconscious forces that caused the tumor to form. It was an intense spiritual, psychic, and emotional experience.”
As we worked together that morning ...
To read more, click on this link and go to page 170
I’ll never forget the day when my 10 year old came home and said, “I’m stressed out.” At first I wondered if he actually understood what that meant. Then I watched and listened as he took all of his projects out of his backpack and displayed them on the dining room table. They were all due on the same day, he explained. And that wasn’t all. He then showed me a list of his upcoming tests and quizzes all scheduled within the same week. The same week of the due date of his projects, that is. I started to feel like he worked in my office. Where was play in all of this?
As a pro-active mom, I made an appointment to meet with his teacher and asked her what to make of it. I could see that she was stressed out herself. The load of work she had to manage was unsurmountable. She had deadlines to meet along with state regulations and national school status to maintain. To be clear. I loved this school and truly admired this teacher.
What I discovered was, that even though it was only fifth grade, there were multiple teachers teaching the same group of children. This was a fairly new concept at the time, and their communication wasn’t quite in alignment. For instance, she hadn’t realized that the science project was due on the same day that the English project was due and that there would be a Math test that very morning. Oh bother!
Who is at fault? I don’t like to play the blame game. So maybe another question to ask is, how do we manage this? For our children?
To read more, click on this link and go to page 262
When did it become fashionable?
A couple of years ago I was in Santa Monica, CA. I packed my suitcase with what I thought was appropriate attire. Jeans, shorts, dresses. And one set of yoga clothes. I quickly discovered that the only thing I needed to bring with me was that one set of yoga clothes. No one in the LA area wore jeans. An occasional dress here and there. But everyone wore their yoga attire, day and night. To cafes, to the beach, and yes, to the yoga studio. In fact there were so many yoga studios and gyms that it wasn’t any wonder that they may have never changed into anything other than … their yoga clothes!
So today I decided to give it a try here in Rochester, NY. I wore my yoga outfit to Wegmans. Not a single person turned their head. At least none that I could see. I went from aisle to aisle, occasionally noticing some one else dressed in their work-out gear. Nothing. I was incognito. It was almost as if I was in LA.
What does this mean? Is yoga attire acceptable, trendy, fashionable? All over the US? What about the rest of the world? Here’s what I found.
Let’s start with who makes them. Athleta, Lulumon, and Prana are some of the leading brands. But Jockey, Calvin Klein & Nike offer a plentiful selection, as well. Yoga has become so popular that just about every brand is stitching up their own line.
This fashion trend is called Athleisure. And it’s not all bad. For instance, we’re not walking around in baggy sweats picking up sticky treats from fast food chains. In fact, Women’s Health says that “people who wear gym gear - like yoga pants - to places where one would normally not wear that kind of ensemble are seen as having a higher status since they ignore typical social norms.” (http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/stereotypes-about-women-who-wear-yoga-pants)
A higher status? Now this is intriguing. I’m laying out all my yoga clothes for each day of the week. I’ll keep you posted!
To read more, click on this link and go to page 262
It's a hot sunny day. You're thirsty. For anything. A diet coke. An orange juice. Bottled water. Anything liquid. Bring it on!
But why? Why are you so darned thirsty when it's hot out? Perspiration.
When we sweat, we lose our body’s natural water. If we aren’t properly hydrated, we become de-hydrated. And that can be dangerous. Here’s what you can do.
First. Don’t get to the point of being thirsty. What???? That means, drink water periodically throughout the day. If you plan to be in the sun, drink even more.
Second. Pack a water bottle. This is the ‘how’ of drinking more water. Have it with you!
Third. Pay attention to your body. Some of the symptoms of dehydration are:
•dark yellow urine
If you experience several of these symptoms after a day in the sun, contact your health care specialist.
Four. Love & nurture your self! When we take care of ourselves, we notice when something’s not right and look into it.
Five. Stay covered. Use an umbrella, a wide brimmed hat, and sunscreen to prevent overheat, dehydration, and/or sunburn.
To read more, click on this link and go to page 140
What a Woman Needs to Know
Do men devote as much time to their mind-body-spirit connection as women do? Which area are they more focused on? And how do they handle the stressors of today’s demands? Here are a couple of guys around town who answer these questions from a man’s point of view.
Body Building By Leon
Personal training is one of the thing’s Leon McDaniel does best. Lifting weights is another. Fortunately the two compliment each other! He’s just beginning his practice and is filled with enthusiasm.
Physical strength and health are his inspiration. To get bigger and stronger. To look good and feel good. “Most people want that but they don’t know where to begin. They may not be willing to put in the time or they may not think they can do it.”
Leon admits that it takes commitment to body build. But “when you take charge of your body, you get totally charged”. He says anyone can become fit and healthy. Body building is like any sport. It takes practice.
And it isn’t just about the body. It’s a lifestyle that “prepares you for anything that requires long term determination and every day dedication.”
What does a typical day look like for a body builder?
To read more, click on this link and go to page 226
Alana writes her monthly column 'Body Mind Spirt' for RochesterWomanOnline focusing on the balance of all 3 in a creative manner, filled with inspiration.
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