Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday's Treasure - Kashwere U

With the end of summer approaching, and many of our young returning to college, it's time to break out the warmer clothing as Fall slides in behind it.

And I cannot think of a better way to stay warm and show school spirit than to wear a half-zip hoodie with your team logo from Kashwere U.

Kashwere U was founded in 2009 by Kimberly Appelt, Kimberly Connors, Boyd Harden, Kerry O'Dea and Peter Seltzer. Their commitment as owners is to offer a more fashion-forward, aspirational and unique line of collegiate gear.

Kashwere's unique fabric is a favorite among Hollywood Celebrities, including Oprah, Dr. Phil, and sports figures such as Shaquille O'Neill.

Your corporate logo or that of a non-profit can be made into Kashwere U product, and is a great way to promote a cause or brand.

This business is yet another example of how a simple idea, combined with a new technology, can quickly grow into a multinational, multicultural phenomenon.

Once again, a women-conceived, women-led venture rises up to prove that anything is possible if you follow your dream and persevere.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday's Motivational Makeover featuring Tess

Blind Spots~

I got broadsided in my blind spot last night.

I wasn’t in the car.

It was one of those blind spots that exist and we don’t realize how vulnerable we are..….that’s why they’re called blind spots. There’s the “I know what I know”, there’s the “I know what I don’t know”….and then there’s the “I don’t know what I don’t know” stuff….Blind spots are the nefarious little gremlins that jump up and bite you when you least expect it out of the “I don’t know what I don’t know bag of treats”.

When you get hit in a blind spot you don’t know how to handle it. Everything that you know about yourself goes out the window because you are sideswiped and confused. This is unsettling to me since I’ve spent so much time in the introspection and self awareness aisle at the bookstore….if you know what I mean. Really, I’m not a stranger to looking into the proverbial mirror.

I was at a restaurant having a glass of wine and listening to music with ‘the man’ and we were waiting for another couple. They were an hour late and within the first 10 seconds of them approaching the table, something happened and I just lost my ……my……let’s say…the gray matter just melted and drained out of my left ear and down my shoulder and ended up in a pool on the floor next to my chair. So to speak.

My reaction to the event was so completely out of left field. Suddenly I felt this alien invasion at the control panel of my brain and then it was completely out of my hands. Words came out of my mouth with a sharp edge, a feeling occupied my body that was rigid and agitated, and intensity pervaded my being for about 30 minutes or so. I was triggered. No doubt about it.

I had to talk through it and process what had happened. I needed to understand and get a handle on it because it was abundantly clear to everyone involved that it was very charged for me. I didn’t know if my emotions were anger, surprise, confusion, or humor. I was laughing one minute and then once I got in the car and starting talking about it, the emotion turned to tears and then back to anger. I was ashamed with my behavior.

Once we arrived at our other destination and met up with the couple again, I immediately joked about my reaction and rolled myself under the bus. I apologized to them and was a grown up so that we could have a nice time. Not to mention, it was one person’s birthday.

Now mind you….I HAD a reason for reacting. I’m not going into it because I’m protecting the innocent here…but I had just cause for a reaction.

No matter what the trigger, I am ultimately responsible for my reaction. It is reasonable to point to the culprit and assign blame and that would feel really good for a little while and then I have to look at myself and own all the silly little gremlins that are jumping around in me screeching. I’m still pretty embarrassed about the whole thing.

The projection party is never pretty, but essential to understanding my behavior is the need to venture into that emotional bio hazardous material and figure out why I plugged into the situation the way I did. This will take some time to sort through but I know there is value in it.

The good news is:

I caught myself.

I apologized

I’m looking at why my reaction was so severe

Maybe I’ll heal something in the process……..

Did you have reactions to getting hit in your blind spots this week??

Did you assign blame or did you look at your roll in the drama?

What’s in your life is what you choose. Choose consciously and powerfully!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Celebrities, Philanthropies,Charities - Jacki Zehner

I would be remiss in not mentioning the recent change of "virtual venue" by one of my favorite Gal Pals and fellow 85 Broads member, Jacki Zehner.

Coupled with a physical change in venue, Jacki now continues her popular blog as part of her namesake website, jackizehner.com. Her previous blog posts from pursepundit.blogspot.com have been ported over so none of her brilliant insight and true humanity will be lost.

For those of us who have seen Jacki grow into one of the world's most powerful women on Wall Street, this is a very welcome step. Take a look at her latest op-ed piece for a taste of how committed she is to action and not just words. When Jacki speaks, it is with a strong voice calling for Women's Equality.

Few know that Jacki and her husband, an ordained minister, are supporters of many causes through the Zehner Family Foundation. Both of them are retired Goldman Sachs partners, Jacki having been the youngest woman and the first trader to be invited into the partnership.

I know from firsthand experience that with this couple, family comes first. And despite their wealth, they know that stewardship of Time, Talent, and Treasure are the most important lessons to be learned, and the most difficult to live by.

For a great list of upcoming global women's events (maybe you will be lucky enough to catch Jacki at one!) click here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lifestyle Lifter's - A Dream Holiday in Europe

I know many of you enjoy this segment of the WWRG blog, so while our guest blogger, Evie, continues her hiatus, I offer a suggestion for what a "fantasy holiday" in Europe might entail.

When I was growing up in Asia, my family frequently took advantage of the lengthy summer vacation period and traveled to Europe.

Two of our favorite destinations were Greece and Italy.

These two countries are once again top of my list as would France.

My fantasy holiday would begin in Greece. A trip to Greece is never complete without a visit to Mykonos. Mykonos is so beautiful, it is no accident that it has become one of the most desired destinations in the world. And if you add the cosmopolitan lifestyle, the sophisticated nightlife and the historic treasures of the nearby Delos to its stunning natural beauties and picturesque villages, you’ll have the recipe for an unforgettable holiday.

Although one of the smallest islands of the Cyclades complex, Mykonos is definitely the most famous, thanks to its treasure of natural beauty, rich history, cosmopolitan character combined with a wild nightlife, as well as plenty of local color.

My next destination would be Italy. I would hire a car and drive south to Tuscany where olive groves and some of the finest vineyards abound. As a serial "foodie", this journey would not be complete without dining on authentic Tuscan cuisine while enjoying a view of the rolling hills and beautiful villas.

I would then proceed directly to the glamorous French Riviera. A boat trip along the scenic coastline would include iconic towns such as Nice, Cannes, and St. Tropez and of course, Monaco. After enjoying the private beaches and world-class restaurants there I would complete my fantasy holiday in Paris. After several days at the Peninsula Paris (opening in 2012), I would regretfully return to the U.S., no doubt a few pounds heavier, but many burdens lighter!

BTW - did you know that Tokyo has now passed Paris as the Michelin Guides "city with the world's best restaurants"?

I have another fantasy holiday in Asia to tell you about in a future Lifestyle Lifter's post.

Friday, August 27, 2010

TGIF - Today is Global Forgiveness Day

Global Forgiveness Day began in 1994. It was created and is sponsored by the Christian Embassy of Christ's Ambassadors. This holiday originated in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Forgiveness is not limited to Christian belief.

Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu, said

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Buddha said," The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, nor to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly".

People of Muslim faith are familiar with the following saying: "Forgiveness is the crown of great qualities."

Regardless of your race, religion, or creed, please take time today to "forgive and forget", for as Gandhi also said:" Be the change you want to see in the world".

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday's Truth - What Fuels We Have Been!

I watched a documentary the other day that reminded me, once again, of the saying "there is nothing new under the sun".

The name of the film is Fuel and it follows one man's journey to discover the truth behind fossil fuel and it's role as both as sustainer of life and world currency. I downloaded mine via NetFlix but you can get a copy by clicking here.

I remember well the long gas lines during the 1970's, when the Middle East Oil Embargo disrupted supply to the US. At the time, I was driving a VW Beetle. Despite it's great fuel economy, I still needed to gas up and standing in line was a real wakeup call.

When I graduated from college, my first new car purchase was a VW Dasher Diesel. I have always been fascinated by this technology. Maybe it is because my childhood included a number of years in Asia where the Mercedes Benz 190D was the taxi of choice, especially in Hong Kong.

As soon as I had the money, the Dasher was quickly replaced by what was the "King of Diesels" - a 1982 Mercedes Benz 240D. This car is still in the family, having been given over by me to my late mother when I made a move to the big city of Manhattan where having a car was a luxury and not a necessity because of mass transit.

Whenever I drive it, I like to look for others of the same model, year, and type (there was a gasoline version produced during the same time period). Many other owners are astounded when they learn that my vehicle has only 97,000 miles on it. If you know anything about diesel cars, many have hundreds of thousands of miles and some over a million!

After viewing this film, I plan to convert my beloved car to biodiesel. I have also purchased my last new car. And not just because of the financial downside of doing so (depreciation immediate, long term investment with no return) but because I do not want to consume additional valuable, and limited, natural resources that are required during the production phase.

Our planet is fragile. Groups like Awakening The Dreamer and others are focused on helping bring about change and raising awareness.

I highly recommend you view this movie. I hope to see you driving a vegetable-powered vehicle in the near future. Our Planet will thank you and so will I.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday's Women of Courage - Kathy McShane

I believe that the strength of the human spirit is the single most important element of success. Much of who I am and where I am today I owe to my determination to transcend my physical challenges, and press on regardless.

Today's Woman of Courage is Kathy McShane. Kathy has had considerable success in the world of business. And despite a physical handicap, her busy lifestyle is a testament to how mind over matter can drive the human spirit to accomplish incredible things.

Currently a Marketing Director for Ladies Who Launch, a global organization of women who are entrepreneurs, Kathy was also CEO and Founder of The Kendrew Group, LTD. She also helped launch various consumer and bank card products for AT&T, Chemical Bank (now Chase Manhattan), Mastercard International, and Visa USA.

Her numerous awards include a "Mark Award" for HBO, a "Small Business Award of Honor" given by Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO, and a CBS News Radio "Small Business Hero" Award.

Kathy is also a mother, wife, and a supporter of many causes. And like most women, she has had to accomplish all of this while proving to the world that the right man for the job - is a woman!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday's Treasure - Scrumptious NYC

I am the first to admit that I have an addiction to food. Having grown up in a "Suite Life" scenario where eating in some of the finest restaurants around the globe was part of daily life, I developed an appreciation for what sets apart "cuisine" from mere "sustenance".

Many of you are fellow "foodies" and some of you have asked for my recommendation for Private Chef Services. If you are located in the NY Metro area, look no further than Scrumptious NYC, where "Chief Gourmette" Samantha McCuen creates food that can only be described as personal and luxurious.

Trading in her corporate suit for an apron several years ago, Sam creates individual menus tailored to the tastes and nutritional preferences of each client. She is also available to cater a private party or corporate affair with advanced notice.

I have had the pleasure of personally sampling her Culinary Art at a few private affairs. Inevitably, most of the guests set up camp in the kitchen, transfixed by her personality and anxiously awaiting the next "course".

Bon Appetit!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday's Motivational Makeover featuring Tess


The conversation around love seems to keep popping into my conscious surroundings and interactions lately. A few of us…in my world….seem to be in an inquiry around love and what it actually is.

A work associate asked the question the other day, “How do you know if you’ve met the right one?”

The New International Webster’s defines love:

1. A strong tender affection; deep devotion, as to one’s child, parent, etc. 2. The affection felt by two persons who are sexually attracted to one another. 3. A person who is the object of another’s affection. 4. A very great interest or fondness: love of leaning.

John Gray of Mars and Venus fame has a terrific book called Mars and Venus On a Date and he outlines quadrants that formulate the ingredients of a “soul mate” in his opinion. I happen to subscribe to this view. He maintains that having spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual compatibility are essential to laying the foundation of a soul mate connection. He also feels that there are evolutionary stages to building and fortifying relationship potential and they are attraction, uncertainty, exclusivity, intimacy and engagement. In his educated outlook, these stages should be followed carefully and in sequence as to allow the greatest possibility of solid relationship incubation.

Harville Hendrix, Ph. D. is a Clinical Pastoral Counselor who is known internationally for his work with couples. He and his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. co created Imago Relationship Therapy and developed the concept of “conscious partnership.” Their partnership and collaboration has resulted in nine books on intimate relationships and parenting.

Imago Therapy is effective as a way to create stronger relationships. It offers insights into the unconscious agenda we bring to our relationships. I’ve read his first two books and have participated in his seminars and therapy and the basic premise of his work is that we are subconsciously attracted to partners who remind us of our parents. Both positive and negative characteristics surface and then we are forced to heal emotional wounds that we share. The confusion for many couples arises when one partner wants to project their emotional dysfunction onto the other because it is too painful for them to see in themselves. Then, they tend to move on to the next relationship with the same wounding and blame patterns unless they are really motivated somehow to “fix” it once and for all. Hendrix offers healthy communication steps to begin to understand each other and grow in love and awareness.

Of all the exercises in Imago Relationship Therapy, we now regard Imago Dialogue as being the most effective tool for satisfying our innate yearning for wholeness and connection. Developed with my wife Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D., Dialogue is the language of love in all relationships. Ultimately, the three steps of Dialogue are - mirroring, validating, and empathizing –

Other philosophies are based on the principle of putting the needs and comfort of your partner first. Not in a codependent or unhealthy way, but rather as a mature “contribution to the corporation” (as my grandpa calls his marriage…the corporation). Being proactive and nurturing and letting reciprocity take its course.

In Passionate Marriage, David Schnarch, Ph.D. outlines some of the wrong reasons why people get together…..not love……

Low self –esteem



Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.
- Captain Corelli's Mandolin6. "Love is the beauty of the soul."
--St. Augustine

In a perfect world we would be healthy and whole and ready for relationship. Yet reality is that there are many broken families and mistreatment that leaves deep emotional scars and eventually, one will be forced to heal this inside if one is to be successful in relationship.

Have you done your work? Are you still blaming others for your emotional wounding?

What is your definition of love?

Sharing common experiences, having a biological / chemical attraction, sharing common values and desires, respecting each other’s differences, aligning in spirit/emotion/intellect/sexuality, knowing how to disagree/argue with compassion, doing your work outside of the partnership, feeling ‘safe’ and passionate with your partner, honoring your word and commitments, finding someone with lots of money (just kidding….seeing if you’re awake), wanting to stay in it during the times you contribute more to the corporation than your lover, and then the good old bonding that comes from our brain/body chemical plant…the psychopharmacology that mother nature threw into the punchbowl to make things tingly and cohesive… …the pheromone party.

What’s your recipe for Love?

What’s in your life is what you choose. Choose consciously and powerfully!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sanctuary Sunday - Silence is Golden

Sshhhh! Turn off your iPod. Mute your HDTV. Tune out all noise from any spot within your immediate surroundings. Let your mind calm so as to hear only the inner voice that is your moral compass.

Not so easy, is it! We are constantly bombarded by sounds. Most of them we have little or no control over. But some, we do.

Talking to others is one that we have a certain degree of control over. How often have you been engaged by someone who just will not come up for air during a "conversation". Many feel that it is rude for others not to respond when within sight - commonly referred to as "the silent treatment".

One of the "fads" during the 1990's was the Isolation or Sensory Deprivation Tank. This consisted of a vessel sufficient to hold enough heavily salted water such that a human body could be suspended without sinking. Once inside, earplugs and an eye mask were donned, and the chamber sealed so as to not allow any outside stimuli.

Many who tried this felt extremely uncomfortable. After all, if it not for our senses we would not be able to judge our body in relation to the world around us.

One does not have to resort to this extreme in order to benefit from occasional silence. The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society suggests the following to observe a "moment of silence" in our daily lives:

Designate a certain hour or half-hour of the day as a silent time, perhaps in the early morning.

• Eat a meal in silence. Silent eating helps you pay closer attention to your food and the changes in your appetite; you may find yourself eating less than usual.

• Use silence to help you become more attuned to your environment. Turn off the TV, computer, radio, or other noise-producing devices and listening closely to the ambient sounds that remain. Try to find a sound you’ve never noticed before.

• When conversing with others, listen to what they are saying. Often, instead of listening, we are thinking of what next to say.

Listening to others. Now there's a novel thought. Maybe we've discovered the secret to achieving World Peace, and all it took was a few minutes of silent blog reading!

Enjoy your day. Luxuriate in your Inner and Outer Sanctuary.

Look for the return of Tess and her popular blog in tomorrow's installment of Monday's Motivational Makeover.

Until then remember to believe,achieve, receive. SDG JBHIV

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday's Women of Courage - Therese Necio-Ortega

The strength of a human spirit is never more evident than when one experiences a "near-death" event.

In this scenario, where survival depends on faith and determination to live, the courage to overcome any adversity or challenge is put to the test.

In the case of Therese Necio-Ortega, she passed with flying colors.

As told in an article first published in the Philippine Inquirer.net, "her story unfolds around 4 p.m., July 16, 1990. The then 27-year-old Necio, then with the press relations office of the Hyatt Terraces in Baguio City, Philippines, had called a meeting with the hotel’s banquets and food and beverage (F&B) officers at the executive office on the second floor. They were preparing for the 10th anniversary of the casino, and people were very busy. So busy, they had to move the meeting to 4:30 p.m.

Richie Tomada, the banquet manager, jokingly shooed Ortega away, insisting she go ahead to the casino manager’s office on the third floor. She obliged, not knowing Tomada’s suggestion would save her life.

“I even teased her that perhaps they wanted me out of the room so they could all talk about me,” she says, laughing almost painfully at the recollection.

Nobody had a chance to talk for long. A magnitude 7.8 quake shook and twisted the whole building. Seconds before the hotel crashed, casino manager Agapicio Valencia shoved Ortega under a narra table. The space could only fit one. The table withstood the beams that collapsed.

From the third floor, Ortega crashed to the ground floor mezzanine. She spent two hours pinned down by the rubble, with only her face showing.

“I knew I was going to die. I knew it when I saw my whole life flashed before me. I saw my graduation pictures from St. Theresa’s College, and then from the University of the Philippines, I was praying and ready to die,” she says.

Valencia, who was found by rescuers first, asked people to look for Ortega. When they saw her condition, they had to find the smallest engineer to get into the crack and pull her out. The guy was Tony Nab-Ali, a 4’9” engineer of Igorot descent. He wrenched Ortega out of the rubble.

The first thing Nab-Ali asked Ortega was whether he should look for her legs, which he assumed had been cut by the impact.

“I was carried like a rag doll,” the 5’4” Ortega recalls. Miraculously, she suffered no cuts but was literally black all over with bruises.

Ortega was brought to the Ifugao garden beside the hotel car park where her secretary, Bing Torres, massaged her legs until they started feeling a tingling sensation. In less than an hour, Ortega was back on her feet and, being one of the few hotel managers who had survived, was tasked to oversee the recovery operations and handle the media".

To this day, Therese keeps a gratitude journal. In it she writes "thank you for being alive". And now, she savors every moment. For she once saw her life flash before her eyes, and believed it was not yet her time to go.

Her life, her courage, her passion should inspire us all. Make each day count. Love life and it will love you back.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday's Motivational Makeover - Innovate, Motivate, or get out of the way!

JBHIV: Tess is taking a much deserved break from this blog. Check back next week for more of her insights into Life, Love, and enjoying them to the fullest extent possible.

The sub-title of today's blog post is a play on the popular phrase "Lead, Follow, or get out of the way".

As Women of Wealth, you have the capacity to affect the world around you in so many ways. And yet I hear so many of you voice the opinion that " what I do really doesn't count ".

Innovation is a catch phrase for anything from product development to paradigm shifts. Finding a creative solution to a complex problem can be innovative. Getting those around you to join in the effort requires motivation.

I have added a new section to the sidebar of the WWRG blog. It contains video of some innovators, and motivators that I know are the best in their respective fields. These short films should give you some insight into what is possible. Each of these individuals are passionate about what they do.

They believe in themselves and that what they do DOES count. So take a step out of the shadow of a significant other, or parent, or anyone who is a negative influence.

Look for ways to educate yourself. Read about others that have had success (please use a Zinio-powered e-reader - and save a tree of two in the process!).

Lead, Innovate, Motivate, and get out in front! Our Planet will benefit, and you will be counted on, not counted out!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lifestyle Lifters - Awakening the Dreamer Initiative

In my last Thursday's Truth post, I sited the Peninsula Group of hotels for their leadership in Sustainability efforts at their properties across the globe. It is good corporate citizenship like this that goes a long way toward curing what ills an increasingly dysfunctional world.

As Women of Wealth, many of you feel strongly - a mandate - to use the financial resources entrusted to you to benefit others.

And while many of you are already working toward making our Planet a sustainable, viable, and beautiful place for generations to come, there are also those who are still searching for their role.

If you are one who dreams of a better world, then please look at the efforts of the Awakening The Dreamer Initiative. In the WWRG VIP Featured Video section of the Sidebar to this blog you will find a brief video featuring some of the participants located in Hong Kong.

From humble beginnings as the Pachamama Alliance, it has grown to a worldwide movement.

And just as the Wealthy Women's Resource Guide Network has grown virally and now reaches five continents, so too will movements like Awakening The Dreamer continue to grow exponentially. But they need support.

Please take time today to think about how you can personally support the efforts of Sustainability. Give of your Time, Treasure and Talent in whatever way you feel best.

As you enjoy your weekend and contemplate the week ahead please keep in mind the following quote from one of history's greatest statesmen:

If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another. - Sir Winston Churchill

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday's Truth - Think Globally, Act Globally

As many of you know, I spent a considerable amount of my childhood traveling with my family. Perhaps the most impressionable years during this period were spent in Asia, predominately Manila and Tokyo.

My father, an executive with a global information technology firm, had access to virtually any hotel available when he traveled throughout Asia.

Inevitably, he chose a Peninsula Hotel.

If memory serves, we have stayed on more than one occasion at:

The Peninsula Hong Kong - We had several Christmas celebrations here as it was my late Mother's favorite shopping destination!

The Peninsula Bangkok - during a global tour that included Malaysia, Taiwan, the Middle East, and Europe.

The Peninsula Manila - built after our time, but I frequently recommend it to clients and business associates that travel there.

The Peninsula New York - We stayed here on our trips back to the States each year.

I only wish there had been a Peninsula property in Hawaii. It was a frequent stopover when flying Cathay Pacific across the Pacific Ocean. Our family had to settle for the Honolulu Hilton.

I was recently reminded of what differentiates a truly grand hotel from a merely great one during a recent visit to the Peninsula New York.

As many of you know, I love a high tea served in grand style and have enjoyed meeting many of my friends and clients there when they visit NYC. It is no wonder that regardless of which Peninsula property you visit, the level of service and comfort are consistent. The luxury of the surroundings is without compare.

Few know, however, that the Peninsula group of hotels is also one of the most socially responsible.

Their Corporate Sustainability Vision is outlined on their website as follows:

"HSH aspires to manage its businesses and operations to high ethical and social responsibility standards as a leading hotel and property group. We are committed to integrating sustainable practices and principles across our operations in a balanced way whilst providing an exceptional level of service to our customers."

I am so looking forward to the opening of the Peninsula Paris in 2012. Formerly the Majestic Hotel and the French Foreign Ministries Centre International de Conferences, it is currently undergoing a fifty million Euro redevelopment. As many of you know, Paris is one of the venues I have selected for a future WWRG Retreat.

As Women of Wealth, I know that social responsibility is high on your list of priorities. Many of you have made a conscious decision to support organizations and brands that "walk the talk".

And you also know how committed I am to raising awareness among my network when I come across those that share our values.

Next time you choose to stay at a Peninsula property, rest assured that both you and our Planet are in good hands.

Or should I say "White Gloves".

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday's Women of Courage - Cheryl Beckett

This past Sunday, ten members of a Medical Mission were killed in Afghanistan.

Among them was Cheryl Beckett. I did not know her. But, a piece of me - yes - a piece of all of us who face the fear of death to serve others - was taken away.

Cheryl's father, a minister from Knoxville, Tennessee, was remarkably calm as he described her passion to help others.

Beckett said his daughter was gifted in every school subject and graduated valedictorian of her Owensville, Ohio, high school.

Lindsay Braun, her classmate from first through 12th grade, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that Cheryl Beckett was "an absolutely amazing person with more guts and conviction than I could ever dream of having."

She'd graduated summa cum laude with a biology degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and had a scholarship to Johns Hopkins University, Charles Beckett said, but turned it down after she felt "called" to do humanitarian work. During college, she had traveled to Honduras, Mexico, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

"Our excitement for her overcame our fears" of having a daughter living in a faraway, war-torn country, Beckett said.

Cheryl Beckett was well aware of the danger she faced but was "passionate" about her work and "devoted" to the Afghan people, her father said. He implored Afghan leaders to "hear the cries" of people whose blood was shed over the years in the name of helping others.

"The wickedness of terrorism is being conquered through daily acts of mercy," the family said in a statement Sunday night. "Peace in Afghanistan can be achieved by the establishment of just laws for all people and the continued sacrifice and selfless love of people working together.

"Those who committed this act of terror should feel the utter shame and disgust that humanity feels for them."

The family has talked daily with Cheryl Beckett's teammates in Afghanistan, and a fund set up in her name will likely fund one or more of the mission projects she was working on, Charles Beckett said.

"We share this pain with those who continue the difficult and dangerous work to which Cheryl committed her life," the family statement said. "We, as a family, will continue to love and pray for the Afghan people. We pray that Cheryl's life and work will inspire existing and future ministries of mercy to press on."

As devoted as his daughter was to her life's work, Beckett said, he thinks she would be "embarrassed" by the attention paid to her death.

"She would be appalled that her picture has been shown across the world," he said.

And he can't help but grieve, not only for the daughter he loved, but for her good works cut short by "terrorists ... mercilessly killing defenseless unarmed people."

"Had these men had the opportunity to know her," Beckett said, "I think they would have laid down their weapons and sat at her feet, and asked her, 'Tell us: Who is it that is giving you this kind of life, and this kind of hope and this kind of love?' "

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday's Motivational Makeover featuring Tess

Limiting Beliefs~

Are you where you want to be? Do you have what you desire in your life?

Do you believe that you deserve happiness, health, abundance and true love?

If so…..I acknowledge you for having a belief system that allows the space for this.

If not….I invite you to consider that your beliefs aren’t serving you in having a big life.

The foundation is laid for belief systems very early on and we build upon them, brick by brick, day by day, year after year.

What is your foundation made of?

I watched Miss America, Gilligan’s Island, Hart to Hart and Marcus Welby. Snow White and Cinderella were staples. I read Seventeen Magazine and Glamour. We sat down and ate dinner as a family almost every night. Grampa Darrell and I never missed an Elvis concert on t.v. (btw, we had one of those brand new Zenith remote control gadgets for our t.v.) Grama Grace put our hair in pin curls and then drug us to the Lutheran Church whenever she could. Small town Iowa was insulated and uninteresting compared to the year spent in the California commune, but served to heal the age inappropriate exposure, and all contributed to my belief system evolution.

My belief system was that you had to be pretty and have a musical/dance……or dramatic reading talent…to win. You could be Ginger or Mary Ann, but regardless, you had to be pretty…even shipwrecked on an island. Scouring the pages of magazines imprinted also. You had to dress well and wear your hair and make up in the latest greatest style. Being thin was the only option. Snow White and Cinderella taught me that if you were pretty enough (recurring theme), you would be rescued and live the good life. No more cleaning and hanging out with only dwarfs.

Raquel Welch was the gold standard for beauty and when I would spend the night with my girlfriend Shelly, her dad would leave his Playboy magazines out and she and I would hide in the attic giggling over the glossy images. Once again, imprinting on my belief foundation was that men only wanted to look at beautiful and sexy women.

So there is a theme here…..

At least for me, a large part of my belief system foundation has been based on physical attributes. Thank goodness I got a healthy dose of good values, work ethic and strong character from my most incredible grandparents whom raised me. It is easier to take the things that work out well, for granted. It is the beliefs that keep us stuck……small…..limited…..that eventually get the magnifying glass because nobody likes the mark the brick wall leaves on the forehead after prolonged ignorant repetition.

I took the fairy tales at face value and I knew they were stories, but when you tell yourself the same stories over and over, you begin to BELIEVE them as examples and they run you at a certain level. I am now faced with owning and embracing the rest of myself…my intellect, my soul, my altruism, my ability, my talent, my core, my power.

Change is gradual and so I will make every attempt to notice where I’m playing small inside of limiting beliefs and bring the rest of me out of the shadows.

I want more for me.

I want more for you.

What’s in your life is what you choose. Choose consciously and powerfully!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday's Motivational Makeover featuring Tess


Indulge yourself. You deserve it.

You are running through life, taking care of others, working late hours, juggling more details every day, chasing your tail, burning the candle at both ends, cleaning up messes, fixing the car, scheduling, preparing, mothering, daughtering, planning for the future…thinking, thinking, thinking …living in your head.

Just for today…indulge yourself.

See, hear, feel, taste, touch, smell.

Here is a practice guide to be used as a template. By all means, customize it to suit your personal preferences.

What if you could enjoy an entire day just for you? What would it take?

Do it.

Don’t even think about why you can’t, just do it. Loan the kids out to grandma or a friend, take a personal business day at work, cross everything off the list and just get back into your own skin. Again….get back into your own skin.


Breathe again

Breathe deeply this time. Close your eyes and actually feel that breath going into you body. Your cells will start to tingle a little bit. Your body is an amazing machine and it asks so little of you usually. It gets up everyday and goes with so little attention. We somehow think that caring for ourselves is selfish instead of necessary….vital.

Feed it today. Feel it today. Indulge it today. Mind, body and spirit.

Light your favorite candles…the ones you’ve been saving because they are special. You’re special, so you can light them today.

Make a cup of your favorite coffee or tea. You have time to sip today.

Put on some easy music.

Draw yourself a bubble bath and marinate in the bubbly until your fingertips are wrinkly like when you were a kid.

Drench your body in coconut oil or your favorite lotion. Notice all of your beautiful curves and angles. Appreciate this amazing body.

Walk around naked…for that matter, dance around naked.

Put on something velvet or silk and feel it against your soft fresh skin. Really, feel it.

Take yourself to lunch and order something decadent. Order a little drinkypoo. It’s your day. Languish and enjoy the attention and the service. Take your time.


Get a massage.

Buy yourself flowers. Splurge on the peonies or the orchids. Smell as many gorgeous little buds as you can while there.

Don’t forget to keep breathing…..deeply.

Say nice things to yourself (especially when you’re getting out of the bathtub and you catch a glimpse of that ….that…..that….hail damage). “Love what is” …just for today.

Notice life going on around you.

Dangle your feet in a puddle, pond or pool.

Buy your favorite dessert and let it melt on your tongue bite by bite.

Be present.


Paint your toenails..or have a pedicure…or just get those little gems massaged. They argue little and we torture them so.

Those of you whom are laughing at the notion of taking a sensuality day…….are the ones who need it the most! Stop resisting.


Go to your favorite market and select a delicious and healthy dinner for later.

Take a nap on fresh sheets.


Take some quality time with your lover.


Make love.

Add other ingredients to taste.

What’s in your life is what you choose, choose consciously and powerfully!