Monday Moments: Walk With Kindness

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Put purpose and kindness in your steps that leave footprints of love and joy. Set out on a path that will lead your eyes past good images that rejuvenate your soul.  Let your feet carry you swiftly to help others in need without thought to personal gain. 

Each step can move you to achieving a goal, changing a negative habit or into the arms of a loved one. 

Instead of dragging your feet in bitterness, pick up your feet with a willingness to walk and move forward in optimism.  

Perhaps you need to slow down your kindness walking pace to walk alongside someone in unity.  

Whatever pace you choose to walk, choose to walk in kindness and loving unity.

How many steps do you take a day? How much distance do your feet have you travel? Take those steps in kindness.  Travel that distance in love. 

Happy Monday! I am looking forward to a week of thanks and giving! Hope you are too!

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Monday Moments & Movies: Alice Through the Looking Glass


Alice Through the Looking Glass is a movie that will spark imagination and touch open hearts with timeless messages of valuing identity, family, friendships, time, forgiveness and adventure.

I was delighted to see the world of Underland come to life enriched by a visually stunning film and pockets of truth that can resonate for children and adults.

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) steps through the looking glass to another whimsical feast for the eyes and heart. Emboldened by her loyal friendship and selfless love for her best friend the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) ventures out on a quest to help save him and find his family.

In order to restore the Hatter to vibrant life she must deal with time travel trips and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen) that reveals new layers and facets to the truth. There is a running thread of discovery through each time jump that Alice makes where she observes beloved characters Mirana (Anne Hathaway), Iracebeth (Helena Bontham Carter), and the Hatter in their formative years.

I love the message that in order to understand someone you must realize that each person has faced their own trials and tribulations. Never be quick to judge but take the time to listen to each person with an open heart of acceptance that allows room for forgiveness.

“You cannot change the past, but you can learn from it.” Alice’s mindset changes from determination to fix problems to humility in valuing what a new perspective can give you. Pain of the past can be let go when you step into the future with perspective, possibility and lessons learned with gratitude.

Another message that is beautifully interwoven throughout is to not to be afraid to be fully you. It is when Alice own her uniqueness and ability to find wonder that she is able to use her strength to help save the day and the relationships that mean the most.

And of course, believe in the impossible and do the impossible. If you watch the film go with an open heart ready to revel in some madness and experience moments of friendship. Step through the looking glass where adventure awaits. In your life, what looking glass do you need to step through to enjoy a new experience? When you look in the mirror what adjectives come to mind to describe you?

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Breakfast is my favorite power meal of the day. Egg whites, avocado and a healthy green elixir of veggies get my mind exploring the possibilities of a promising day filled with adventure. Create an inviting atmosphere for yourself to start your day. Change your point of view from the ordinary to the extraordinary and get ready to embrace the impossible. Adventure awaits!

Monday Moments: Be Kind

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It’s not about winning its about finishing the race! Lift someone up today!

Kind Moment

Who: Derek Redmond, record holder and medal winner anticipated to achieve an Olympic medal for Great Britain and Jim Redmond -his loving father

When: 1992 Barcelona Olympics 400 meters semi-final

What: Derek snapped his hamstring during an Olympic race and struggled with a limp to continue on and finish a full lap around the track to receive a standing ovation from the crowd.

How: His father broke through security to help finish the race side by side. He drew up alongside Derek in his son’s moment of hurtful pain.

Why: Because kindness matters, because of love and strength of relationships

Happy Monday!

Monday Moments: Make a Commitment to Serve with Love

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“The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lays not only in his fight for equality, but in his inspiration and leadership. In the face of daunting adversity, Dr. King pushed forward, not because it was easy or popular; on the contrary, what he did was difficult and dangerous. His work and greatness lives on by motivating us all to strive for a better America.”

“Today, as we celebrate Dr. King’s memory, let us also renew our commitment to emulating his drive and spirit. As you plan your year ahead, consider committing to doing something that will take you out of your comfort zone, helping others and serving a greater good. Commit to asking the difficult questions and leading in a way that will make you and those who surround you better.” -PRSA

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What are you doing for others? Think of ways you can share your light by illuminating hope and joy in the lives of others.  Find the treasure in each person’s life as you look at the world with a lens of love!  Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!

 

Monday Moments: Seasons of Life Story

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The Season of Life Story

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn to not judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.

The second son said no – it was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but one season in the tree’s life.

He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are – and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life – can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall.

Don’t judge a life by one difficult season. Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.

Happy Monday!

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Monday Moments and Musical Mondays: “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

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The US premier of the musical production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at La Jolla Playhouse soars past Disney’s cartoon version to reveal epic storytelling backed by a dramatic score.  What resonated in me deeply was the weight of the question weaved throughout great storytelling.  “Who is the monster and who is the man?”

The two and a half hour production entertains swiftly starting from Quasimodo’s physical transformation from a regular man to a disfigured one.  Actor, Michael Arden makes this dramatic transformation by putting on a hump, distorting his body and smearing black streaks across his face right in front of the audience.  Throughout the production there is a mixture of stunning vocals and theatrical spectacle telling the story through dark suspenseful scenes as well as joyous moments like the gypsy parade of Topsy Turvey—a familiar tune by Disney’s Alan Menken version. The ending dramatically concludes effectively as it began with Arden removing the hump and black streaks from his face.

Ciara Renee as Esmeralda and the cast of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" at the La Jolla Playhouse.-Kevin Berne
Ciara Renee as Esmeralda and the cast of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at the La Jolla Playhouse.-Kevin Berne

It is at these metamorphoses and unmasked transitions where the show makes the leap from lighthearted jokes to anchoring down one of the messages that the complexity of a life can’t be forced into a shallow mold. The production’s use of kindness and yearning to fulfill human desires rings true for the audience.

The show had me wonder how many times do people in real life put on their version of a hump and smear makeup on their face to fulfill the world’s expectation of them and to hide what they treasure most? How many times are people expected to judge too quickly? What makes a monster and what makes a man?

Michael Arden (foreground) and the cast of La Jolla Playhouse's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." — Kevin Berne
Michael Arden (foreground) as Quasimodo in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” — Kevin Berne

You can catch this epic tale of “passion and hope” at  La Jolla Playhouse until December 14th, at Paper Mill Playhouse from March 4-29th and possibly on Broadway!

What: Inspired by the classic Victor Hugo novel and the only stage collaboration between two giants of American musical theater. Music by Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Little Shop of Horrors), lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin). An intimate retelling of the famous love story, with a lush, emotionally rich score and a production that will leave you inspired. Not recommended for children under the age of 10.  A US premiere by two Broadway legends.

When: La Jolla Playhouse through December 14th, Paper Mill Playhouse March 4-29th

 

Happy Monday!  See beauty in everyone!

 

Monday Moments: Say YES

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“Saying yes to life is really saying yes to yourself. ‘Yes’ opens the door to new ideas and experiences, lets the light in, attracts kindred spirits to your journey, launches dreams and new beginnings, and spares you from later regrets.  Sure, ‘yes’ leads to change, risk, adventure, and sometimes even trouble, but ‘no’ usually leads nowhere.  Starting now, say yes to life and see where it leads you.” -Inspired by work and words by Hunter S. Thompson and Professor Karl Pillemer

Happy Monday! Live an inspired week filled with possibilities to say YES!

Monday Moments: Misty Copeland

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Misty Copeland delivering fierce femininity and demonstrating that strength is beautiful. Image Credit: Under Armour’s Will What I Want Campaign that “celebrates the will to find inner strength”

Misty Copeland—prodigy, performer and passionate person paving paths for the next generation!

Misty is a shining inspiration for her graceful strength amidst adversity. It is not only her dance accomplishments but life outlook that helps us see the world of a ballerina through a different lens.

According to Misty’s website she “made history by becoming the third African American soloist and first in two decades, at American Ballet Theater.”

Her journey included growing up with a single mom bouncing between living locations including a motel with her 5 siblings, starting ballet at the age of 13 at the local Boys and Girls club, en pointe within three months, and joining the American Ballet Theater at age 17.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”-Nido Quebin

I am amazed at how she extemisty copelandnds her energy through every part of her body in dance and right into making a positive difference for her upcoming artists. She embraces her identity and uses it as a platform for outreach.

The American Ballet Theater’s diversity initiative, Project Plié seeks to “increase racial and ethnic representation in ballet and diversify America’s ballet companies” through partnerships between the community and industry. In addition to Misty’s involvement with Project Plié she gives back with her time to Boys and Girls club children, is on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition and embodies a role model who pursues her passion.

Misty breaks boundaries on what is a typical ballerina and is only 5ft 2! Her focused power and grace is only matched by her shining spirit to go after and work for what she loves. She actively practices her art and the discipline of seeing positive possibilities of growth!

Read about her personal challenges and her persistence in her book Life in Motion, an Unlikely Ballerina or check out her new children’s book “Firebird” released on Sept. 4, 2014.

Ready to be a standard breaker? Ready to see positive possibilities? Ready to pursue your passion?

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”-Harriet Tubman

Happy Monday!

Monday Moments: Translator of Beauty

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Claude Monet: Translator of Beauty

“I love how Claude Monet, a French impressionist who brought us an entirely new way of seeing reality, literally turned his back on the Louvre to put his focus on nature. During the early years in Paris, while other painters would go to the Louvre to imitate the paintings of the greats who had found their way into this gallery, Monet would go to the window an begin to paint what he saw outside. Monet’s internal narrative was deeply rooted in the wonder and beauty of nature. He brought with his perceptions an astonishing use of color and movement.

Monet was mesmerized by the beauty around him. His work is the expression of a man drowning in a universe of overwhelming beauty. He saw the beautiful everywhere. He once wrote in his journal, ‘Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. It is enough to drive one mad.’”

Erwin Raphael McManus, The Artisan Soul

Do you discover beauty every day? How do you choose to love?

The Language of Flowers

“Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.”-Luther Burbank

Amaryllis: pride, splendid beauty, determination

Camellia: admiration, gratitude, perfection

Gladiolius: strength of character, moral integrity, love at first sight

Iris: faith, hope, wisdom, courage

Larkspur/Delphinium: beautiful spirit, open heart, big-hearted

Peony: happy marriage, good fortune, compassion

Pink Rose: love and compassion, gratitude, perfect happiness

Sweetpea: delicate or blissful pleasure

*Inspired by livehappy –Kris Wetherbee

I was recently inspired by the art of Claude Monet and how you can be fully present and inhabit every moment to discover beauty. Below is a pinterest board dedicated to artisan Claude Monet events.

http://www.pinterest.com/shineandinspire/artisan-claude-monet-events/

Happy Monday!

Monday Moments-Never Dim Your Light

Happy Monday!

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Never Dim Your Light

“As you launch into the world with your own personal trajectory seek that which makes you comfortable even if it is not what others would choose.  Admit your mistakes with grace, find the power in humility as you revel in your accomplishments.  Spill kindness onto the world, don’t let forgiveness be a stranger, know that you are loved unconditionally, and never, ever dim your light.” -Marilyn Maciel