Life & Love

By Cindy Yantis A day spent at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena was more than I expected it to be. It’s arguably one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. I was there recently with my dear friend, Ferrell Marshall, who wanted to go for inspiration. She's currently in the one-woman play "The Belle of Amherst" in which she brilliantly portrays Emily Dickinson. I joined her at the last minute because I had an inexplicable yearning to be outside in that beautiful nature. I felt like a bear reemerging after a long hibernation. Because of Emily Dickinson’s lifelong fascination with roses, we focused particularly on the massive rose garden enlivened with over 1500 rose varieties and hybrids, examples include the Passion Rose, Jump for Joy Rose, Exquisite Rose and the Marilyn Monroe & John F Kennedy Roses, which with a stroke of garden humor were placed next to each... Read more →

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as the last Thursday of the month and from then on it was an annual tradition. His declaration was stated during our nation’s civil war and the underlying message is so apropos today. “It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise… And I recommend to them that… they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become… sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which... Read more →

Unmasking Brain Injury There was a beautiful exhibit at an art show I recently attended, called "Unmasking Brain Injury." The base of each mask was the same, but they were all designed, painted and crafted in very different ways – each symbolizing the fear, pain or journey the artist was going through as a result of their brain injury. It was exquisite in the way it captured this community, giving each person a voice and revealing what was underneath the face they were presenting to the world. It got me thinking about the masks we wear in life, hiding true feelings or intentions, slipping in and out of being authentic - to ourselves and others. A few years ago I took part in a retreat where the intention was to call in our soul mates. What can I say? I believe in soul mates! There was much introspection; meditating and... Read more →

Negativity cannot reside in a state of Grace. Only love. Peace. Compassion. Forgiveness. Harmony. It’s what is needed, now more than ever. Grace is floating on the wings of the wind, And being in Grace is allowing the Breath of the divine to breeze through you, Levitating you to a place where you drift between dimensions. As a kid, the mention of Grace was usually saved for church, some far away notion that was meant for nuns and saints. Other dimensions? Come on, that was for re-runs of Star Trek or when my girlfriends and I held a séance at a slumber party. But, now? Now, I’ve felt it. I’ve asked for it. And, received it. Sometimes it just shows up. Grace is state of mind. Grace is a way of being. Grace is a divine connection to all that is. Grace is way of life, however I have fleeting... Read more →

Up at 3 am. I couldn’t sleep. My heart was aching and I couldn’t stop thinking about the horrific week in America – 2 more black men senselessly killed by cops and more cops killed in hateful retaliation. It has to stop. We have to come together. I heard an NPR interview yesterday with Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who was killed during a controversial arrest in NYC after police held down in a chokehold. She is a devout spokesperson against police violence. She said, “I was able to get up and turn my mourning into a movement and my sorrow into a strategy.” At 3 am I thought, what I can do? Then my next thought was, I have a blog called Thought Changer. It's what I can do. It's my voice and contribution. After all, the very motto of this tome is, “Provoking Change, one thought at a time.” Read more →

“I’m amazed you’re able to get out of bed in the morning.” This is what my doctor said to me recently. “It’s life, Doc. I have a lot to do,” I said. “Do you have body aches?” she asked. “Only when I move,” I said. The truth is I’ve kind of felt like crap for months now. But, most people who know me wouldn’t suspect it because, like many of us, I’ve perfected the game face. Powering through, crossing off my to-do list, meeting deadlines, most of the time with the ready smile and it’s-a-good-day persona. But, behind the scenes? I’m tired. However, I don’t let myself be tired. I jam my evenings and weekends with writing projects and client deadlines and social gatherings, all of which I love to do, but… I’m sluggish and tired. AND, I have insomnia. Which creates brain fog and makes it hard to focus,... Read more →

The snow was new, with over a foot falling in the past 24 hours. It was fun to be out in it and, as I like to say, I was getting my “fix” of winter wonderland before heading back to LA. To make it all the more wonderland I was coming back from having a heart-to-heart lunch with my 19-year-old “old soul” of a nephew, Kirk. We were pushing the clock, trying to stretch time before I had to leave for the airport. And, as is so often a way of life in December in Michigan, the road held surprise patches of ice. One such patch presented itself with much fanfare as we approached a back-up of cars stopped on a two-lane road outside of town. Brake lights appeared and in an instant we were swerving onto the shoulder and into the yard, thankfully without a ditch, with all four... Read more →

"For June who loved this garden from Joseph who always sat beside her." Some people do spend their whole lives together. ~ From the film NOTTING HILL Last week my grandmother's house was put on the market, the house she'd lived in for most of her 98 years. My mom sent me a photo of the house and it was so odd seeing it as an empty shell when it had always represented such life for me. My grandmother passed last September. It got me thinking, particularly during this week of Love, about how lifelong love surged through that home. I'm blessed to come from a family of lifelong loves. I don't know the exact numbers, but collectively between my two sets of grandparents, my parents, and my sister and brother-in-law, there are well over 200 years of lifelong loves in my immediate family. A few years ago when I... Read more →

By Cindy Yantis I don't know about you but I went through another holiday season completely overbooked. And, if history repeats itself, by the time the day of celebration actually arrives, I'm exhausted and have thoughts that I'm sure echo those of many others: too many shoppers, too many commitments, too much commercialization, not enough time. And, then the holidays whiz by and you're in the middle of January before you realize it. Maybe you can relate. Well, it hit me yesterday that this didn't happen this year. Sure, I was still overbooked with all of the above and then some, but somehow time felt slower this year, more joyful. It got me thinking about why that might be. To my summation, here's the difference... I took control of my time this year, rather than the other way around. And, what really slowed things down for me were what I... Read more →

by Cindy Yantis I recently pulled the classic film, "Pride and Prejudice," off my shelf to watch it again. To say the story is infused with entangled connections is an understatement. In fact, in the days of Jane Austen, people's lives were all about relationships; they were the number one rule of the time, making the right connections and nurturing those ties that bind. It got me thinking about my own relationships, which had already been on the top of my mind because I have been on the receiving end time and time again of such meaningful connections, particularly as of late. It also got me thinking about what it means to build and sustain relationships in our lives. This article could have just have easily been entitled, "Want a Friend? Be a Friend," because in order for the connection to be true and lasting, it's important to give as... Read more →