Inspiration

One thing I've been noticing as I've been out and about, an uptick if you will: People are kinder. And, interestingly I'm not the only one in my circle noticing this. More than a few have mentioned it in some form as well. This, while so much divisiveness permeates the air around us. A swell is taking place. A swell of kindness. A kind word in the elevator. People taking their time to lend a hand. Or, waiting patiently in line while encouraging someone else to go first, whether it's at a restaurant or in traffic. And, it's not just words, but kinder expressions, kinder eyes. Simple smiles. There's a subtle, larger effort being expressed. A yearning for a gentler nature being embodied. Whatever it's been, it's been palpable. Have you noticed it? And, #KindnessMatters. In fact, if you Google that particular hashtag, #KindnessMatters, there's a lovely slew of initiatives... Read more →


There's quite a bit that goes into choosing a word for the year. Inspiration, feeling the need to improve on something or selecting a greater theme that will help to powerfully guide the next twelve months, are all factors that weigh in while narrowing down the word. I find it enthralling, particularly since it becomes a writing guidepost as well. My word for 2019: Mindfulness I tossed around several words, and what I found is that underneath each of the intentional words I was drawn to, was the running current of mindfulness. In other words to successfully embody anything empowering, one must be mindful to attain it. Mindfulness is a word that is loaded and is bandied about a lot. So, let's unpack it. Often, for me, being mindful is what I think of after I do something that is usually a result of not being mindful. Such as when... Read more →


What's behind that door? Looking at these spectacular doors it's kind of a delicious mystery. When I was in France recently, I found myself taking numerous photos of doors. Doors that were weathered by history and by the lives of those who had ventured through them. Some wandering aimlessly, some with direction and purpose. Some opening to welcome in weary travelers and others entering with the relief of being home. Doors that seemed to be portals to other times, certainly to other worlds and memories of other worlds. The doors in these photos were in seemingly frozen-in-time villages in the French countryside and Loire valley that I simply fell in love with. I could see myself there, passing over one of these thresholds, creating a life there. Portals fascinate. What lurks on just the other side and beyond? What answers lie in waiting? Are there secret codes or keys that... Read more →


Recently, around the US Independence Day, I got into a discussion with a friend about the problematic divisiveness that permeates the world right now. And, we agreed that so much of what drives the discord comes down to this: Labels Labels are what define a thing, or a person, or a group of people. It literally means to “identify” or to attach a meaning. A label is a “descriptive phrase or word” placed onto something. But, when a label becomes de-meaning is when assumptions are made and rash categorical biases are formed against an entire group of people. Based on the label. We walk around all day long putting labels on people, based on religion, political party, sexual orientation, male/female sex, socioeconomic status, body size, education, illness, profession, credit rating, etc. Most often, it’s by way of fleeting thoughts, but more and more in this socially brash society, it’s become... Read more →


Value. It’s such a small word with big meaning. I was originally writing a post about what people might say about you after you’re gone, which was inspired by a rather scathing obituary that recently made the news. Not because it was about someone of celebrity, or that it was beautifully expressed. But, because of the powerful, painful punch it packed in very few words. “She will not be remembered…” were the words said about a woman who had abandoned her children, by her now-adult children. Susan Soper, author of the book, Obit Kit, and writer of many an obituary, says this is a more common thing that you might think, vengeance-driven obituaries. It got me thinking about what people might say about me after I’m gone, hopefully a few decades from now. As part of an exercise in some coursework I recently completed to become a breathwork facilitator, we... Read more →


As I drove to my office this morning, the jacaranda trees were draping over the boulevard. It sent my memories floating back to a post a few years ago that spoke to the spark that came from these luscious trees. Good timing for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Here it is reposted and updated just a smidge. The jacaranda trees are in bloom, the landscape sprinkled with its almost indescribable purplish blue flower. It's one of the most beautiful sights in Los Angeles this time of year. I saw several on a recent walk and stole a few moments underneath one of them, lying on the grass as discarded petals cascaded down on me. It felt a bit clandestine because I was lying on someone's front lawn. But, I didn't care. It was delicious and cool and the sweet aroma took me back to another time. My body sank into... Read more →


You’ve hit the mother lode. This phrase floated into my mind this week as I started thinking about Mother’s Day approaching and what I might write about. The mother lode. I know I hit the mother lode with my mother. Lois Jane Kirk Yantis is da bomb. And, the best mom on da planet. Hitting the mother lode actually means “hitting the richest vein of something,” initially in reference to the richest mineral or ore. Mother Lode, famously, during the California Gold Rush was what the gold miners searched for, the densest area of hard rock gold deposits along the West Coast. It became the source of their hopes and dreams. Because when one hit the mother lode it could potentially change their life forever. You can just imagine the community chatter at the end of a long, laborious day of mining. “Did y’all hear? Henry hit the mother lode.”... Read more →


On a recent flight, I ran across a story about the first female pilot to fly for a major US airline. In 1973, Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo, at age 24 literally soared above that glass ceiling. Today, American Airlines continues to honor her feat by bestowing an annual $50,000 grant, aptly titled The Bonnie Award, to mid-career female filmmakers who are blazing trails and breaking through their own glass ceilings. It got me thinking about my own personal glass ceilings and how great it feels to be looking down through the glass floor rather than up through a seemingly unpenetrable glass ceiling, where you can see it, sometimes feel and taste it but you just can't quite get there. Some of the barriers were societally or industry-imposed and some were created and built by me. Can you relate? Personal glass ceilings aren’t those imposed by society or industry, but rather are... Read more →


In honor of International Women's Day and Women's History Month. Wise words... ON LOVE "To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow - this is a human offering that can border on miraculous." Elizabeth Gilbert “Love yourself first and everything else falls in line.” Lucille Ball “Choose people who lift you up.” Michelle Obama "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou ON SUCCESS “Done is better than perfect.” Sheryl Sandberg “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” Ayn Rand “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM ON CHOICE “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” JK... Read more →


Photo by Tim Marshall I was naked from the waist up, except for a thin paper vest that opened in the front. I felt very vulnerable and not a little bit nervous. The technician was kind, but definitely was moving through her day by rote, and seemed bored when moments before she'd called my name in the waiting room, introducing herself in a monotone voice. “I’m Julie. I’ll be doing your echocardiogram.” A few weeks earlier I'd been driving across Los Angeles when I suddenly had no idea where I was, literally didn't know what city I was in nor what day or time it was. I literally said out loud, "Where am I?" It was pretty scary. I'd also been having rapid heart palpitations. So, I was there for some answers. As I lay down on the table, trying to wrap the flimsy paper around me like a robe,... Read more →