Saturday, November 27, 2010
Well, after a long hiatus, we are back. The time we have spent out of public view was used to plan the launch of WWRG in the fastest growing social media vehicles on the planet right now - Facebook and Twitter.
The Facebook page for WWRG may be found at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wealthy-Womens-Resource-Guide/135090446545532
I know many of you also follow twitter, so we now have a new Face and Voice for you to follow. Her name is Evie and many of you know her as a frequent guest blogger in this Lifestyle Lifter's column.
You may follow Evie as she travels the globe to bring you the latest in Passion, Romance, and Fashion. Just go to @evieofWWRG and join in as a follower.
I also have a twitter handle - @JBHIVofWWRG. Together, we will bring you the latest happenings among our rapidly expanding global network of well-connected, and influential women.
We will continue to bring you the more "in-depth" insight through this blog. Now, however, you have the ability to access our network 24/7/356 through Twitter and Facebook and join the ranks of women that view this blog in five continents!
Friday, November 5, 2010
While I am not a Food Critic (I leave this to experts such as Zagat or Michelin Guides), I do appreciate when I receive VIP level service even though the staff may not know who I am.
This was the case yesterday when I had arranged a mid-morning "brunch" meeting with a colleague. When I arrived at the Rock Center Cafe in the Rockefeller Center Building in Midtown Manhattan I was told that Breakfast seating had ended and that Lunch was available beginning 11:30am. The time was now 10:30, my guest was arriving in 15 minutes, and had to leave for another appointment shortly after noon.
Fortunately, Ken Gordon, VP of Operations for The Patina Group, the firm that operates the RCC was standing in the reception area. He had overheard my conversation with the Hostess, and immediately offered a solution.
Ken seated me in a quiet area of the restaurant, and had one of his wait staff bring coffee to me. Keep in mind that this was BETWEEN service hours.
When my guest arrived, I told Ken that we had a short window in which to eat once the official lunch service began at 11:30. He not only offered to take our Lunch order in advance of this time, he went beyond the call and asked if we would prefer something more like Breakfast. As my guest and I had both been looking forward to this, we immediately took Ken up on his offer.
I was truly awed when our beautifully presented and extremely tasty dishes were served less that 15 minutes later! The time was now 11:15 well into the hiatus between seatings.
Our waitperson, Mike, never failed to ask if we needed anything. At many restaurants, patrons experience a "black hole of service level" if seated late into a period of transition as they busily change over place settings, etc. This was definitely NOT the case here!
This was as fine a dining experience as I have had in quite a while. As you make plans for the weekend, please add "eat at one of the Patina Group's fine restaurants" to your list. You may find one of their locations by clicking here.
If any of you are planning to be in NYC over the holidays, there is no better view of the festivities in and around Rock Center than a seat in the cafe overlooking the Ice Rink and the famous X-mas Tree.
If you are contemplating a private holiday affair, I'm sure Ken or one of his staff will be more that happy to assist you with your plan.
Based on my experience yesterday, you are in the best of hands!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Today I'd like to introduce you to Meera Gandhi. Her work in tireless support of many charities, non-profit organizations, and for profit ventures are too numerous to list. For a detailed look at what she has done and where she is going, click here. Her latest passion is as Founder of The Giving Back Foundation.
In a article you may read in it's entirety by clicking here , Meera gives six tips for giving during this upcoming Holiday Season:
1. Write a check. The easiest way to make a difference is to donate money to people who are doing work that you believe in. Every bit counts from as little as $10 to a $10,000.
2. Reach out to people. The simple acts of being kind and helpful is truly a way of giving back. If someone asks for your assistance, help out as much as you can.
3. Commit your time. Everyone can spare a few hours during the month. Spend it at your local soup kitchen, working for a charity or mentoring another person.
4. Be kind to yourself. Most people are running around ragged from just their daily routine. Give yourself some time to relax and recuperate. If your own well is dry, you’ll have nothing to give others.
5. If you have to say no, say it in a kind way. It’s not possible to help everyone who asks, but if you refuse kindly and perhaps put the person in touch with someone who can help, you will keep the circle moving.
6. Open up your contact list and share knowledge and experiences. Sometimes, giving can be as simple as helping others through your own knowledge or personal contacts. It requires very little effort on your part, but it can help others immensely.Her latest project is called Giving Back. Meera has produced a documentary of this initiative and I am privileged to have been invited to a private screening tonight. She has a special mission: "We are to the universe only as much as we give back to it."
I couldn't agree more!
Here is another Holiday Tip to all you smart, impact-full, and well-connected women in my Network:
Put the DVD of Giving Back on your Holiday Gift List! You may purchase a copy by clicking here. 100% of the proceeds go to the charitable activities of the Giving Back Foundation.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
On this day in 1984, Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India was gunned down by a pair of Sikh extremists acting in retaliation for the storming of the Sikh holy shrine of the Golden Temple in Amritsar earlier that June.
She is the world's longest serving woman Prime Minister.
The night before her death she told a political rally: "I don't mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today, every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation."
In the days following the death of the prime minister up to 1,000 people are thought to have died. The army were ordered to go into the cities and quell the violence.
Mrs Gandhi's son, Rajiv, was sworn in as her successor within hours of her death. He went on to win a landslide victory in the general election in December 1984.
On 6 January 1989, Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh were hanged for killing Mrs Gandhi. Balbir Singh was acquitted.Rajiv Gandhi was himself assassinated by a suicide bomber on 21 May 1991.
Click here for a great article on how things have changed since the Gandhi Era.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Well, consider this your wake-up call.
After today, there are 26 days left until Thanksgiving as celebrated here in the US. There are 56 days left until Christmas.
Have I gotten your attention?
Today's post is one of a series we will be doing on "Holiday Tips for the Wise". Many of you have a very hectic schedule. Some call it the "Jet-Setter's Lifestyle".
Holiday Tip # 1: Divide and Conquer!
For those of you with more money than time, may I suggest an email to my good friend, Pamela Tobiason (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Family Concierge and More.
Pam, her expert staff and her many connections can take on all of your shopping, scheduling and personal calendar needs during this busy Holiday Season.
Holiday Tip # 2: Get your Invitations and Holiday Cards Out Early!
This year, in lieu of a Holiday party, we are hosting a "friend-raiser" in support of Jane Do No More, Inc. We have partnered with Papyrus and Spark who have graciously offered to send an invitation from their elegant line of Letter Pressed stationary to each of our invitees (see graphic above).
Set an Outlook entry today to send an email on Monday to Dani LaTorre, Papyrus Flagship Store Manager (Store02285@srgretail.com) for help on all your Custom Printing Needs.
In a world where more and more people choose e-cards for convenience, nothing says "Classy" more than receiving a hand-addressed Envelope containing a beautiful invitation or Holiday Card.
Make sure you order these early (printing times vary by style) and get them in the mail well before the US Postal Service deadline for Holiday delivery. "better late than never" is not a good thing when a card arrives on New Year's Day that says "Merry X-Mas"!
Look for more Tips in next week's installment of Lifestyle Lifter's.
Until then, have a Happy and safe Halloween (one day left)!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I was honored to be a Power Host at the event, and led a group of women ( and a few enlightened men!) through a exercise on how the process of loan making works.
The impact of these loans is impressive. Here are a few statistics courtesy the Grameen Foundation:
- 9.4 Million...
...of the world's poor have been helped by our MFI partners, allowing them to begin their journey out of poverty.
- More than 1 Million...
...microloans have been generated through our Growth Guarantee program. (Estimate based on average loan size.)
- $160 Million...
...in local currency has been leveraged to support microfinance programs in 13 countries.
...Village Phone operators are working in 6 countries around the world.
...daily transactions are supported through Mifos at microfinance institutions around the world.
- More Than $2.3 Million...
...in in-kind services have been contributed by 140 Bankers without Borders volunteers in 9 countries.
I encourage you to support organizations such as the Grameen Foundation and others like it. Also, please familiarize yourself with the UN Millennium Goals, which seek to eliminate world poverty by 2015.
Friday, October 22, 2010
The great statesman, Winston Churchill said “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning”
Many of us think that if we worry about something, it will focus our energy on making sure the event or task goes well.
Here are some typical beliefs and false assumptions about worry (Shearer & Gordon, 2006), and courtesy AnxietyandStress.com:
Intolerance for uncertainty: "If I think about this enough, I should feel a sense of certainty."
Intolerance for discomfort: "If I can just think this through, I won't have to feel this way."
Inflated sense of responsibility and culpability: "If bad things happen, it's my fault."
Distorted risk assessment/emotional reasoning: "If it feels likely, it is likely. If it feels dangerous, it is dangerous."
Perfectionism--mistakes are unacceptable: "Mistakes mean I wasn't in control and screwed up."
Pessimism/presumed incapability: "Bad things will happen to me and I won't be able to deal with it."
Misconstrued virtue: "Worry shows how deeply I care about my children."
Overvaluation of the thought process: "Because I have a thought, it is, therefore, an important thought, and I must give it my full attention and get it settled. I can anticipate and avoid discomfort by worrying."
"Meta-worry" or worry about worrying: "I'm making myself sick. I'm going to bring on an early heart attack. I'm out of control. I'm weak. If my faith was stronger, I wouldn't worry."
Implicit magical beliefs: "Worry prevents bad things from happening. It keeps loved ones safer."
Please use today to ask yourself "why not?", not "what if".
Why not plan that trip to an exotic destination that I have wanted to take, but I am too busy to take?
Why not ask the person next to me struggling with their own issues if I can help?
Why not ask, "what are my dreams?"
For as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Thursday, October 21, 2010
As depicted in the photo on the left, there were considerable numbers of men who did not think it was a woman's right to vote, or work, or do anything but what were then traditional roles. This scene may appear humorous now and in fact this tactic was used by one female writer to draw attention to the issue.
In 1915, writer Alice Duer Miller published these Five Reasons We Don't Want Men to Vote:
- Because man's place is in the army.
- Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
- Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them.
- Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms, and drums.
- Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them unfit for government.
A report out later today published by the National Women's Law Center and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights will cover the plight of an unseen and largely forgotten group of women - those who live in our nation's prisons.
The report noted the number of women in prison — more than 115,000 as of 2009 — has risen at a higher rate than that of men since the introduction of mandatory sentencing policies for many drug offenses. It said most of the women are nonviolent, first-time offenders, and about two-thirds have at least one child under 18.
This is tragic, because without a parent, many of these children will themselves be susceptible to the forces that cause violent crime - poverty, lack of education, no job.
We need women, more than ever to get out and vote this mid-term election. Seek the truth in what the candidates are saying. Carefully choose who will lead our national and state and local governments. We need policies and programs that allow women (and men) to raise their families in an environment that fosters respect for the individual and a strong work ethic.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
This is the thirteenth year that this event has occurred. In 1998, then NOW Foundation President Patricia Ireland declared, "We are sounding the alarm that advertising can be hazardous to women's health." "On Love Your Body Day, women across the country will celebrate our bodies and reject unhealthy stereotypes. We will also put advertisers on notice: Stop profiting from campaigns and products that are bad for women," Ireland said.
As with women's poverty issues, a subject I wrote about recently, I see very little change. In fact, it appears the situation is getting worse.
According to Elizabeth McGee, NOW Foundation Special Projects Director, fashion models also send a dangerous message to young people. According to the California Department of Health Services, the average weight of a model is 23 percent lower than that of an average woman; 20 years ago the differential was only 8 percent. The constant bombardment of images of emaciated women on billboards and television and in magazines sells products at a terrible price to our communities. Findings show the diet industry is booming and thousands of young women suffer from eating disorders; it is estimated that 20 percent of college women battle bulimia.
Please take time today to think about your own image. Love your body, and your mind. Treat them both with respect, and have the courage to resist the temptation to do things that are not positive to your self-esteem.
But most importantly, be a role model for younger females who have never had a more opportune time to make a difference in the world.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Today marks the 13th anniversary of "Black Monday" when stock markets around the world crashed, shedding a huge value in a very short time. The crash began in Hong Kong, spread west through international time zones to Europe, hitting the United States after other markets had already declined by a significant margin. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by 508 points to 1738.74 (22.61%).
The recent "flash crash" that caused a similar drop in stock prices, and the increasing number of Sovereign Nations on the brink of bankruptcy make the likelihood of another market meltdown occurring, very real.
I have a report, dated August 2005, written by a Canadian Asset Management firm that I keep handy whenever I talk to others about how our government has surreptitiously intervened into our stock market, and our entire financial system since the 1987 crash, largely through it's shadowy and privately owed Federal Reserve System.
Leave it to the Canadians (a bulwark of sensibility and straightforwardness) to tell the world the truth about what our leaders have been doing for over two decades of free market manipulation.
If any of you are interested in a copy, please contact me.
Although I no longer have a direct affiliation with a Private Wealth organization, I can certainly refer you to a trusted Financial Advisor who understands the risk of another meltdown and can help you prepare for the next shock wave that will inevitably occur.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Saturday marked the passing of Actress Barbara Billingsley. In her signature role as June Cleaver in "Leave It to Beaver," which ran for six seasons, Billingsley personified the ideal middle-class mother and housewife in an era when relatively few American women with children worked outside the home.
My, have things changed. Or have they.
As I reported yesterday, Sister Mary MacKillop was canonized by The Catholic Church and became Australia's first Saint. Also known as Saint Mary of The Cross, she was a 19th century "whistleblower" nun who activists say should be the patron of victims of sexual abuse by priests because she was punished for exposing it.
Together with Father Julian Tenison Woods, Sister Mary founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and a number of schools and welfare institutions throughout Australasia with an emphasis on education for the poor, particularly in country areas.
Most of the world's women and children live in poverty. Efforts such as those of Sister Mary, and her canonization will no doubt raise awareness around the plight of women and their children around the globe.
Growing up in the 1960's, I watched Leave it to Beaver, and other popular TV shows of the period such as Father Knows Best, My Three Sons, and Dennis The Menace.
My mother worked her way up the corporate ladder before choosing to become a "stay-at-home-mom". But she never bought into the June Cleaver lifestyle. Perhaps this is why I believe in co-investment by women and men in the duties of house, parenting, and career.
Here are some frightening statistics I came across recently that show that as a global team (women and men) we have a long way to go to before poverty is eradicated, and gender equality is more than lip service:
# In 2004, women in the United States were paid 76 cents for every dollar men received for comparable work.
# African American women earn only 71 cents and Latinas 59 cents for every dollar men are paid. Asian Pacific American women earn 86 cents for every dollar men make.
# Nationwide, working families lose $200 billion in income annually due to the wage gap between men and women.
# If married women were paid the same as men in comparable jobs, their family incomes would rise by nearly 6 percent, and their families' poverty rates would fall from 2.1 percent to 0.8 percent.
# If single working mothers earned as much as men in comparable jobs, their family incomes would increase by nearly 17 percent and their poverty rates would be cut in half, from 25.3 percent to 12.6 percent.
# If single women earned as much as men in comparable jobs, their incomes would rise by 13.4 percent and their poverty rates would be reduced from 6.3 percent to 1 percent.
# Half of all women with income from a pension in 2002 received less than $5,600 per year, compared with $10,340 per year for men.
# The 25.6 million women who work in predominantly male jobs lose an average of $3,446 each per year; the 4 million men who work in predominately female occupations lose an average of $6,259 each per year—a total $114 billion loss for men and women in predominately female jobs.
# In the global economy, women account for 60 percent of the world’s 550 million working poor—even though they make up 40 percent of the world’s workforce.
If you are in a position of influence at your company, organization, or school, please take this opportunity to reach out to a woman who may be struggling with burdens of poverty or raising children in a single parent home.Provide them the motivation and support they need to overcome these burdens. The worst thing you can do is ignore the problems that face them, and perhaps someday you.
For as Sister Mary MacKillop often said, "never see a need without doing something about it". (1871).
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I hope all of the women in my network that were able to attend now find themselves safely back home, no doubt energized, but perhaps exhausted! I also hope that those of you who had to settle for "virtual attendance" at this year's event through viewing blogs such as WWRG, will plan to go to the next installment in Fall 2011.
Another significant event happened yesterday in the ever widening world of women's influence.
Australia received its first Catholic Saint, and she is woman! This event may not be as significant to those of you who live on other continents. But for my friends and the Faithful in Australia, this is cause for joy and jubilation.
Her name is Mother Mary MacKillop.
Born in 1842, MacKillop grew up in poverty as the first of eight children of Scottish immigrants. She moved to the sleepy farming town of Penola in southern Australia to become a teacher, inviting the poor and the Aborigines of the area to attend free classes in a six-room stable.
She co-founded her order, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, with the goal of serving the poor, the sick and the disadvantaged, particularly through education.
I encourage you to read more about her and the five other Saints also canonized yesterday by following this link.
Enjoy your Sanctuary today, wherever it may be. Please reach out this week to someone living in poverty. Find a way to help educate children who live in disadvantaged areas. Saint Mary MacKillop thanks you.And so do I.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
One of the major themes running through this Event is how women are becoming increasingly involved in global entrepreneurial activities.
Here are a few findings that were presented in today's session:
- opportunity and necessity are the two primary reasons to get involved in entrepreneurial activities.
- Across the world, women in richer countries are starting an increasing number of businesses with high economic potential and in high-tech sectors.
- In countries with low levels of economic output (GDP), entrepreneurship offers a way out of poverty.
As I reported in an earlier blog, 20% of all entrepreneurs in China are women. Here in the US, Chinese-Americans like Shauna Mei are starting up successful ventures, and capitalizing on the educational and career opportunities that this country presented to them.
There are many exciting programs scheduled for tomorrow's (10/15/10) session including one by Jeanniey Mullen, Global Executive Vice President and CMO of Zinio, LLC and Vivmag, LLC,
Also on tap tomorrow is a session sponsored by Ernst & Young of an inaugural group of CEO Male Champions. The business leaders will come together to define – through specific and actionable dialogue – what it means to be a CEO Champion of women’s advancement and empowerment.
Enlightened men are increasingly becoming involved in previously exclusively all-female groups. I am privileged to have been named as one of the first "Guys Who Rock" by 85 Broads, a global and exclusive members-only network of over 22,000 women (and a handful of enlightened men!)
I encourage you to login to the Forum website and view the programs and initiatives they have in play, and consider getting involved.
I hope to see many of you there for the 2011 meeting.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
With only 4,500 residents, this is one of the world's only seaside resorts that can be enjoyed all year round, and thus has gained international repute as a result.
According to website Information France, "Through the years, the town has managed to develop harmoniously, preserving its historic, architectural and cultural heritage, while at the same time keeping step with an ever-changing tourist sector. Indeed, only two hours from
Because of it's beauty, several wealthy women, including Greek shipping heiress, Chyrss Goulandris, have homes there. Her villa is reputed to be where William The Conqueror planned his invasion of France.
French clothing designer, Yves St. Laurent had a home there which he shared with his succession of French Bulldogs always named Moujik.
Deauville is full of delightful restaurants, shops, and hotels. Later this week, I will bring you a few suggestions so that those of you in my network who are going there this week, can take time to "do up the town" with some of the other 1,200 + delegates attending this year's Forum.
Monday, October 11, 2010
While this survey reveals that tablet based technologies and eReaders have widespread consumer appeal, this study reveals that “unlike other new technologies, this revolution is not about the technology itself, but rather, it is about the role that content plays in people’s lives.” Complete copies of the research can be purchased by contacting The Harrison Group.
Those of you who faithfully follow this blog may recall that I have written about Zinio in the past.
They provide a platform able to run on multiple devices, and a single solution to access a rapidly growing universe of content (including this Blog!). It's more than an application – they're a world-class digital products and services company that unites readers, what they read, and the many devices they read on. From design to distribution, their cross-platform suite of applications – UNITY™ – engages readers like never before on their iPads, iPhones, desktops, laptops and Android devices. For advertisers, they offer the chance to take advantage of a format that’s more engaging, with higher returns than any other digital platform.
At the Women's Forum, Zinio and Qualcomm will be sponsoring the Writer’s Corner which takes place in the Discovery Hall. Within this area, Zinio and Qualcomm will show the evolution of reading from stone, to paper, to print to computer through a series of powerful imagery, ending with a sneak peak of the Mirasol Biomimicry Screen’s and Zinio interactive digital content.
A few interactive workshops that Zinio are participating in or conducting are listed below:
Saturday, October 9, 2010
The Women’s Forum Meetings aim to bring together leaders from all over the world – women and men – representing the business world, the government, academic circles, culture, etc. in order to give new perspectives to key issues in our present and our future; to create a powerful, global network in order to strengthen the influence of women throughout the world; to draw up innovative and concrete action plans to encourage women’s contribution to society and promote diversity in the business world.
I am honored to have several of my network.attending this event, which is billed as the women's equivalent of the World Economic Forum which takes place annually at Davos, Switzerland.
Among them are Jeanniey Mullen and Jennifer Halliday of the Zinio organization. They are event partners along with their one-of-a-kind, all digital magazine for women - Vivmag. They are participating in several of the programs during the event, and I am hoping to bring you some of their insight as they progress.
His mission to promote world peace is carried forward by his widow, Yoko Ono, who was a driving force and a true soul mate.
She is in Iceland today marking John's untimely death over 30 year's ago with a series of celebrations .
While many think that when she and John got together, her influence over him was a bad thing. I think that it was just the opposite.
If John were alive today, I believe they would still be united in working tirelessly for World Peace, just as Yoko continues to do to this day.
This relationship was truly a forerunner to what is now becoming a new era of co-investment by women and men to solve world problems.
It is often said, "behind every man is a great woman". In this case, they worked side-by-side, arm-in-arm. And since John has left us, Yoko continues on.
Let us continue on. Please take time today to remember John and give thanks to Yoko and her continued efforts to bring about World Peace.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Part of the reason I got involved with this industry in the first place, was to learn and apply the knowledge I gained in these organizations, to issues concerning Women of Wealth. This Blog is an outreach to this group, and came about because my research indicates that better than half of the world's wealth is controlled by women, and over 80% of household purchases are made by them, as well.
What has been lacking, in my opinion, is a true "personal, all-women oriented" alternative to Private Banking. The following article from Forbes.com brings up some good points regarding Private Banks, many of which I agree with based on my experience in the business.
The truth is, women invest differently than men. They also like to have not only personal services, but truly private ones, for no other reason that in an age where identity theft and social networks are both increasing in number, it just makes sense.
I have some recommendations for those of you who are currently seeking Private Banking Services, or any personal services for that matter. Please contact me and I'll be happy to discuss.
I now count among my extended staff a Personal Assistant/Concierge, and a Personal Trainer/Chauffeur/Bodyguard (yes, they really do all three!).
Women of Wealth have the means to make a difference in the world and establish a legacy for generations of women to come .
But they must be careful with whom they place their trust to help them get there.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Shauna spoke at a recent 85 Broads Power Breakfast, and gave us all some background on her life and new passion.
Everyone in the room was moved when she described her journey from a child born in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China to attending MIT, working at Goldman Sachs, and living and working in Manhattan as a fashion industry executive in successful firms she either founded or co-founded.
She also shared with us that when her Mother found out she was pregnant with a girl, she insisted on keeping the child despite pressure to have an abortion. Shauna said that her Mother felt that the child that was inside of her was special and would grow up to achieve great things.
Miraculously, her heart has healed on it's own, eliminating the need for life-threatening surgery.
These are traits that drive Women of Courage to achieve greatness.
And thanks to the courage of a Mother, passed on to her Daughter, Shauna now inspires us to do the same.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The brainchild of former Fashion Industry and Wall Street Executive, Shauna Mei, AHAlife.com is a place where I can see what I and others have curated (show) and learn how this item was conceived, manufactured or otherwise acquired (tell).
1 Product. 24 Hours. 100% Inspiring—that's what it's all about. AHAlife.com showcases and sells one hand-selected item each day and tells the story behind the making of the product, along with a designer profile and sometimes a video or audio slideshow that takes you inside the creative process.
Recent offerings include a Canon G12 Camera embellished by Diane Von Furstenberg, a Crystal Clutch Handbag designed by Marchesa, creator of red carpet confections beloved by Hollywood style icons Blake Lively, Naomi Watts, and Demi Moore, and a Buy Her Bag Not Her Body bag, made of recycled rice sacks in Cambodia by survivors of human trafficking.
Certain product purchases receive "karma points" for supporting a brand that donates part of its profits to a good cause.
I get good Karma just being a part of the AHA life community. Try in on for size. It will surprise and delight you.
Monday, October 4, 2010
There are also clear benefits to maintaining a healthy lifestyle when faced with a disease such as Breast Cancer, a leading cause of death in Women.
According to the website devoted to his book, The China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell was a researcher at MIT and Virginia Tech working to promote better health by eating more meat, milk and eggs -- “high-quality animal protein … It was an obvious sequel to my own life on the farm and I was happy to believe that the American diet was the best in the world.”
He later was a researcher on a project in the Philippines working with malnourished children. The project became an investigation for Dr. Campbell, as to why so many Filipino children were being diagnosed with liver cancer, predominately an adult disease. The primary goal of the project was to ensure that the children were getting as much protein as possible.
“In this project, however, I uncovered a dark secret. Children who ate the highest protein diets were the ones most likely to get liver cancer...” He began to review other reports from around the world that reflected the findings of his research in the Philippines.
Although it was “heretical to say that protein wasn’t healthy,” he started an in-depth study into the role of nutrition, especially protein, in the cause of cancer.
The research project culminated in a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, a survey of diseases and lifestyle factors in rural China and Taiwan. More commonly known as the China Study, “this project eventually produced more than 8000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and disease.”
The findings? “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored,” said Dr. Campbell.
In The China Study, Dr. Campbell details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also its ability to reduce or reverse the risk or effects of these deadly illnesses. The China Study also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and irresponsible scientists.
The China Study is not a diet book. Consumers are bombarded with conflicting messages regarding health and nutrition; the market is flooded with popular titles like The Atkins Diet and The South Beach Diet. The China Study cuts through the haze of misinformation and delivers an insightful message to anyone living with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and those concerned with the effects of aging. Additionally, he challenges the validity of these low-carb fad diets and issues a startling warning to their followers.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I receive many emails containing stories, musings, and reflections. This one spoke to me personally, having lost several relatives this year, including my ninety plus young Mother.
This one is for you, Mom:
The Cab Ride
I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
After waiting a few minutes I walked to the door and knocked... 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters.
In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said.
I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness.
'It's nothing', I told her.
'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated'.
'Oh, you're such a good boy', she said.
When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'
'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly.
'Oh, I don't mind,' she said.
'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice”.
I looked in the rear-view mirror.
Her eyes were glistening.
'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..'
'The doctor says I don't have very long.'
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city.
She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds.
She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said,
'I'm tired. Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me.
It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up.
They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.
The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
'How much do I owe you?' she asked, reaching into her purse.
'Nothing,' I said.
'You have to make a living,' she answered.
'There are other passengers,' I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.
She held onto me tightly.
'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light..
Behind me, a door shut.
It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift.
I drove aimlessly lost in thought.
For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.
What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?
What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID.
BUT THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Today, I want to introduce you to one of my favorite places to get a "lift" - from a delicious treat. The name of the shop is "Crumbs". The one in our small town here in the Gold Coast of Connecticut is always packed.
This month their entire chain is offering a "Pink Cupcake" - vanilla cake filled with vanilla cream cheese frosting topped with light pink vanilla fondant with a mix of pink ribbon quins and pink and white sprinkles around the edge. 20% of proceeds from all sales will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Coalition.
I speak often of how women and men need to co-invest in anything they do. I think you will find this article in Women's Day a prime example of how husband and wife, Jason and Mia, co-owners of Crumbs have made this approach successful.
There are several Crumbs locations on both the East and West coast. Sorry to those of my visitors from outside the US - there are no international shops yet.
But wait a while. I have a feeling it won't be long before the whole world has access to their fabulous line of baked goods!
Friday, October 1, 2010
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, aside from skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States this year.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer). Although African-American women have a slightly lower incidence of breast cancer after age 40 than Caucasian women, they have a slightly higher incidence rate of breast cancer before age 40.
Breast cancer occurs less often among women in Asian countries (such as China and Korea) than among women in Western countries (such as the United States and Europe). In Hong Kong, where the population stands at nearly 7 million, 2,273 new cases were diagnosed in 2004 and 454 women died from it.
Research has shown, however, that breast cancer now is being diagnosed more frequently among women living in Asian countries, especially among younger women. This is an alarming trend. According to breastcancer.org , the researchers don't explain why this is happening. In the past, the diets and lifestyles of Asian women supported a lower risk of breast cancer compared to Western women. The average woman living in an Asian country:
- eats more fresh vegetables
- is closer to her ideal body weight
- is more physically active
- is less likely to drink significant amounts of alcohol
These are some of the same habits that lead to a longer, healthier life. Click here to go to my recent blog on noted Physician Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara and his tips for anti-aging.
It's possible that some of the increase in breast cancer diagnoses is the result of more younger women in Asian countries adopting a typical Western diet and lifestyle. Research has shown that Asian women who live in the United States and have adopted a typical Western diet and lifestyle have breast cancer rates similar to the general U.S. population.
It's also possible that other environmental factors are contributing to the rising rate of breast cancer among women living in Asia. Much has been written about higher levels of pollution that have been brought about by rapid industrial growth in China. Environmental factors such as air and water pollution have been associated with cancer.
The researchers also point out that a large number of women in Asia (70%) don't get regular mammograms. Because breast cancer rates are increasing, Asian governments and healthcare systems will have to work harder to boost awareness of breast cancer risk and the importance of annual screenings.Happily, today, there are about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States. Since 1990, more and more women have been surviving breast cancer, largely because of early detection through mammography and improvements in treatment.
Take time today to reach out to a Breast Cancer patient. Chances are good you know one personally - in your family, or where you work. Look for one of the many events in your area that are scheduled as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and commit part of your Time, Talent, or Treasure to help fight this disease.
But most importantly, click here to familiarize yourself with the benefits of early detection.
The life you save may be your own.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
It was brought to my attention by another 85 Broads colleague, Margaret Astolfi of Clear Harbor Asset Management.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the past ten years, 141,000 women, or 2.6% of female workers in finance, left the industry. This despite a 4.1% growth in the number of women in the US labor force during the same time period.
In the article, several reasons are cited for this decline, including one by 85 Broads Founder, Janet Hanson, who offered that women are finding "their entrepreneurial groove" , " It's not because Wall Street is not a fascinating place to be, it's just that there are other places that are more fascinating".
I could not agree more. One only need look at the swelling ranks of women entrepreneurs in emerging markets like China where women make up 47% of the workforce, and 20% of all entrepreneurs. Click here for a recent study by Harvard and Rollins College faculty.
But I have another theory as to why female talent has left the financial industry.
It involves authenticity. Most women demand it. And Wall Street has traditionally not fostered a culture of truth.
Another thing women demand, and are willing to fight for, is equality. Despite recent progress, the gap between what women on Wall Street earn compared to their male counterparts is still unacceptably large. Forgetting pay, women account for only 16.8% of executive officers, and only 2.5% of financial company CEO's, according to a recent study by Catalyst, Inc.
The only thing that will reverse this alarming trend is a mutual investment by both men and women in changing the way society views their roles and responsibilities. Click here for a post on this subject by fellow 85 Broads colleague and Wonder Woman, Jacki Zehner.
The truth is, we need more women on Wall Street, not less. But then again, we need more women in all areas of influence and power. We need more Authenticity. Once this has been restored, the women will come.
I, and many others, are looking for ways to help bridge the gap between men and women. Women of Wealth are putting their money where their mouth is, and supporting other women.
And it's finally beginning to pay off!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Here is more background on her work courtesy of feminist.com:
Maya Lin was born in 1959. Her parents emigrated from China and taught at Ohio University. When she was a 21-year-old student at Yale, her design for the Vietnam Memorial was chosen from over twelve hundred proposals. The controversy that ensued was ugly and unwarranted. Yet, Maya Lin defended her work with extraordinary grace and courage. Her vision manifests itself in the Vietnam Memorial, one of America's most significant monuments, with the names of those who died in the war chiseled into a wall of black marble slicing through the earth. The Civil Rights Memorial she designed in Montgomery, Alabama, pays tribute to fallen Civil Rights workers. Like the Vietnam Memorial, the names of those honored are chiseled in stone, but this monument creates the appearance of a stone table with water flowing over the sculpture as if rising from the earth itself.
Both monuments not only witness the past, but honor the outcome in the present. Maya's vision is strongly influenced by the Earth Artists of the 1960's and 1970's. She credits her Asian-American heritage as the source of her ability to combine the influences of East and West as well as reason and intuition to manifest within her architectural designs. Her strong concern for the environment is demonstrated by her use of recycled, living, or natural materials in her work. Her vision is clearly one of expansive respect for past, present, and future generations.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
One is Sustainability. The other, Anti-Aging. These two topics are not dissimilar.
Sustainability relates to our ability to keep our natural resources from running out due to waste, overuse, or just plain neglect.
Anti-aging relates to our ability to sustain our lives over a longer period of time without the usual decline in physical or mental health. Here again, waste (toxic cell growth), overuse (eating too much, or the wrong kind of food.) and neglect (lack of exercise, proper diet) come into play.
Arguably one of the world's best known (and longest practicing) physicians is Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara.
This article about him comes courtesy of the Japan Times:
At the age of 98, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world’s longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara’s magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s College of Nursing.
After World War II, he envisioned a world-class hospital and college springing from the ruins of Tokyo; thanks to his pioneering spirit and business savvy, the doctor turned these institutions into the nation’s top medical facility and nursing school. Today he serves as chairman of the board of trustees at both organizations.
Always willing to try new things, he has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including one Living Long, Living Good that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself.
Here now, in his own words, is advice on this doctor of long life on how to live a long life.
Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.
All people who live long – regardless of nationality, race or gender — share one thing in common: None are overweight. For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat.
Always plan ahead. My schedule book is already full until 2014, with lectures and my usual hospital work. In 2016 I’ll have some fun, though: I plan to attend the Tokyo Olympics!
There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65. The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life-expectancy in Japan was 68 years and only 125 Japanese were over 100 years old. Today, Japanese women live to be around 86 and men 80, and we have 36,000 centenarians in our country. In 20 years we will have about 50,000 people over the age of 100.
Share what you know. I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary-school children, others for 4,500 business people. I usually speak for 60 to 90 minutes, standing, to stay strong.
When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can’t cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery? I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.
To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.
My inspiration is Robert Browning’s poem “Abt Vogler.” My father used to read it to me. It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that there is no way we can finish it while we are alive. All we see is an arch; the rest is beyond our vision but it is there in the distance.
Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain. Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun. At St. Luke’s we have music and animal therapies, and art classes.
Don’t be crazy about amassing material things. Remember: You don’t know when your number is up, and you can’t take it with you to the next place.
Hospitals must be designed and prepared for major disasters, and they must accept every patient who appears at their doors. We designed St. Luke’s so we can operate anywhere: in the basement, in the corridors, in the chapel. Most people thought I was crazy to prepare for a catastrophe, but on March 20, 1995, I was unfortunately proven right when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway. We accepted 740 victims and in two hours figured out that it was sarin gas that had hit them. Sadly we lost one person, but we saved 739 lives.
Science alone can’t cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.
Life is filled with incidents. On March 31, 1970, when I was 59 years old, I boarded the Yodogo, a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and as Mount Fuji came into sight, the plane was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. I spent the next four days handcuffed to my seat in 40-degree heat. As a doctor, I looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how the body slowed down in a crisis.
Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do. My father went to the United States in 1900 to study at Duke University in North Carolina. He was a pioneer and one of my heroes. Later I found a few more life guides, and when I am stuck, I ask myself how they would deal with the problem.
It’s wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one’s family and to achieve one’s goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.
Treasure your body. Treasure your Planet. You will feel better, and live longer by doing both!
Monday, September 27, 2010
I created this blog as an outreach to women who, for a variety of reasons, may not feel like their current circumstances allow them to go to events, or become involved in some of the initiatives I highlight from time-to-time.
Very often this is due to a low self-esteem, or a feeling that "what I do really doesn't matter".
In short, they need to begin writing a "social biography", but lack the confidence, or do not know where or how to begin.
For those of you currently "stuck" in this situation, the key to getting motivated and involved may lie in creating a "virtual persona" first, then work on getting face-to-face in groups as you gain confidence.
The fact that you are viewing this blog is an encouraging sign. It tells me that you are interested in what other women have to say about some of the issues you face, and research shows you are not alone in using blogs and other social media as a vehicle for doing so.
Here are some interesting facts regarding women and blog usage from a study published by Blogher and Compass Partners. Although these survey results are a bit dated, it shows a trend which is only going to increase if history is any indication.
36.2 million women actively participate in the blogsophere every week (15.1 publishing, 21.1 reading and commenting)
* Women are so passionate about blogging that large percentages of women said they would give something up to keep the blogs they read and/or write:
- 55% would give up alcohol
- 50% would give up their PDAs
- 42% would give up their i-Pod
- 43% would give up reading the newspaper or magazines
BUT, some things are sacred … only 20% would give up chocolate!
* More than half of women maintain the original blog they started
* Our time shift from traditional media is accelerating. In the general Internet population:
- 24 percent of women surveyed say we watch less television because we're blogging
- 25 percent of us say we read fewer magazines because we're blogging
- 22 percent of us say we read fewer newspapers because we're blogging
* "It's about me": Our own lives are our favorite topic -- but don't assume you know all the different topics our lives represent by lifestage.
* More than half of women surveyed consider blogs a reliable source of advice and information
* Half of women surveyed say blogs influence their purchase decisions
* Despite hype, few women report discontinuing blogging due to problems with trolls or being “outed"
For a copy of the original report please click here.
I encourage each of you to widen your knowledge base by seeking out blogs such as WWRG that are reliable sources of information, and focused on what's important to you. If you enjoy sharing your expertise or opinion, you may even consider starting your own blog.
Either way, you will be taking the first step in making over a "virtual you", and a social biography.
The World will be your stage!