Quick tip to energize versus sabotage your day.

Posted on December 3, 2014. Filed under: Other Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Quick tip to energize versus sabotage your day..

 

Join Jenny Craig today as she shares tips for an upgraded you!

 

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The Color of a Rose

Posted on August 15, 2014. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Color of a Rose

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Roses are red

Violets are blue

How we judge one’s love

By a sweet flower’s hue.

 

Red, deep in romantic love

Orange is burning desire

Passion and Admiration

Colors of a heart afire.

 

Gratitude and appreciation

Conveyed by deep pink

Gentleness, elegance

Femininity we should think.

 

In times of old

Jealousy was yellow

Today, friendship, joy, and caring

Are the meaning for this fellow.

 

Oh white, you are purity, innocence

Humility, loyalty, truth and reverence.

But what do I see in this gift you gave me?

 

You see my love, passion, admiration, gratitude, appreciation

Joy, humility and reverence of the beautiful rose.

The color of a rose matters not.

Thank you for seeing me.

 

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Yeah, But Did You See the Juggling Penguin?

Posted on June 6, 2014. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have you ever done the “Brain Game” test where you count how many times a team bounces a ball within a circle?  You are diligent in counting those bounces and at the end, you give an answer that is close or spot on.  The next question from the tester is, “Did you see the Juggling Penguin?”.  Say what?  Then the tester replays the video and sure enough, there is a Juggling Penguin that walks on set,  juggling, even waving to the camera, then walks offscreen.  How could we not notice that?  Sometimes, we focus so much on one thing, we miss Giant Juggling Penguins right in our face.wpid-img-20140524-wa0002.jpg

Recenty, I’ve met some amazing women and have embarked on a wonderful exploration with them.  My day started with a laugh and updates from Annie Lim, then a beautiful and moving video from Sahar Paz.  Next was a reconnect and update with Jenny Craig (Live Your Power, not the diet!) and settling my day with Ladina Greenwell.  As Ladina and I discussed motorcycles and crashing them (I lo-sided, she hi-sided OUCH), we touched on spirituality. Ready to roll! What Ladina said stopped me in my tracks, I got a chill, then a startling reminder 27 years in slumber.

When I was in college, both of my parents fell ill.  It was an incredibly stressful time and I remember being in a dark place most of, but not all of the time.  Talking to Ladina showed me that in telling my story, I missed Cindy.

Cindy was the Juggling Penguin.

In my despair, I did have support, friendship, and a beacon of positive energy.  Cindy was a free spirit, a hippie-chick, and I started to remember how I would feel when she walked into a room.  Everyone smiled with her, she always brought a calmness of spirit.  I remembered that she did reveal some of her challenges and how she addressed them.  Now I realize 27 years later that I’ve incorporated the lessons she shared with me.  Cindy was there all along, my Juggling Penguin, my light in the darkness.

How many times have the wings of angels brushed up against us?  How many times will we, being carried by those wings, brush against another’s life?  Honestly, we’ll never truly know.  Keep your mind open and know we all have blind spots, moments we don’t fully comprehand especially under stress.  Perseverance often comes at the hands of a Juggling Penguin.

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EVERYTHING is Just a Conversation Away…

Posted on May 24, 2014. Filed under: Memes and Quotes, My Lemon Recipes, Other Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You can meet a person for a moment and be drawn to them.  It’s a wonderful feeling as an adult, transporting you to a simpler space and time when saying hello was not complicated.

I met so many great people this past week at the California Women’s Conference.  One person I met and I’m learning more about is Sahar Paz.  We have traveled separate paths, but converged this week to realize our mission of helping others is side by side.  The Fashionista’s (I caught your style, Honey) backstory is heartbreaking, but she found how to deal with her lemons and make sweet, refreshing lemonade.  Sahar, this Lioness salutes you and your courage.  Thank you for sharing your words and the reminder that resolving life’s difficulties are just a conversation away.Image

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Fallen? Get Back Up!!!

Posted on May 22, 2014. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Don’t give up,  get back up!

At the California Women’s Conference, we listened to Bonnie St. John talk about a Para-Olympic race she was in and sustained a fall.  Every racer fell during this race with some requiring medical attention.   One other racer fell but got up quicker than St. John,  winning the gold.  The difference was down to who got up quicker.

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That’s Bonnie and me backstage,  y’all!

We are not perfect creatures, we all fall.  Successful creatures GET BACK UP.  Only then can you realize your abilities and potential.  How powerful can DON’T GIVE UP, GET BACK UP be?  Watch this:

Inspiring Heather Dorniden Takes a Fall But Still…: http://youtu.be/xjejTQdK5OI

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The Wisdom of Others.

Posted on April 21, 2014. Filed under: Memes and Quotes, My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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#TBRA

Posted on March 13, 2014. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

#TBRA

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The Doors of Destiny

Posted on March 3, 2014. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Doors of Destiny

The doors of Destiny await, what is meant for you is the key, your belief and energy turn the lock.

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Childless woman gives birth… twice!

Posted on July 29, 2013. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , |

Childless woman gives birth… twice!

We all have our challenges, I am definitely no exception.  Here’s a fantastic story by my friend, Deborah Goldstein of Women’s Advancement Compact about facing challenges head on, with some help.

Yesterday I gave birth for the second time.

Confused?

Panic attacks are a personal 25 year battle

Panic attacks are a personal 25 year battle

Those who know me well have heard about (and some have witnessed episodes of) my 25-year battle with panic attacks.

The full attack I endured, a mere three months ago, brought paramedics to our little apartment on Main Street in Cold Spring. As I was on the bed, laboring for breath, trying to do my breathing exercises as my brain was going foggy, I told Michael that I felt like I was in labor. He asked if I was in physical pain and my reply was “no, emotional agony”. Five minutes later, I asked him to call 911. As Michael left the room to make the call, I questioned if I’d ever see him again.

As the female paramedic came into the room, her team was prepping an oxygen mask. After a 30-second interview, Ms. McSorley confidently concluded that I did not need oxygen, and sent everyone away. She had seen dozens of these cases before, and said to me in an authoritative voice that I was safe and was going to be okay. Then she innocently asked if I was feeling undue stress lately. I began laughing and sobbing at the same time as I labored to utter ‘yes’. More would come later as she talked me down from my desperate ledge, but ‘yes’ was all my ragged breath could manage at the moment. Before I knew it, I was Me again.

In processing that terrifying day I realized that I was birthing my new business; it was quite a dreadful process. The pressure continuously building for months, the perpetual nausea and fear of uncertainty and failure found an outlet that day. One of the realizations that occurred during the self-analysis was that my brain brought this on— my brain, and my brain alone.

Fast forward to yesterday morning, a quiet Sunday on the very same street; I felt the early signs of the next panic attack. All of the symptoms came on quite suddenly, a confluence of circumstances interrupting the quiet of my workspace, as most residents of Cold Spring were hours from rising. As the familiar and devastating pattern began to reveal itself, the words of the heroic McSorley rushed back to me. “You are safe” rang through my brain. Those words proved more valuable than gold as I averted disaster all by myself.

While still frightened, I did all of the right things. I trusted that I was truly safe, I took a slow walk to reset my breathing with new confidence that I would not collapse and be found unconscious. I acknowledged the adrenaline that was pulsing through my body, and after about an hour, I knew I’d thwarted the symptoms and prevented the attack before the vital point of no return. The only real side effect: pure exhaustion for 24 hours to follow.

The two big ingredients: the paramedic’s insistence— which mimicked countless doctors over the years, and my newfound knowledge, combined to yield one immediate conclusion. I was birthing something new, but this time, it would be a seamless and beautiful occasion.

I have more processing to do, but quite a few pieces came together yesterday. I understand exactly what triggered the attack, and will continue to work with the knowledge I’ve gained about levels of energy. This is a work in progress, but I’m triumphant. Unbeknownst to me, I was a guinea pig of a future energy session, and I’m glad to be here to tell about it!

I’ve learned much about stress and its relationship to personal energy over the last few months, as the Women’s Advancement Compact has been preparing our September community event “Personal Energy: Sustainable and Abundant”. We will be exploring how stress and anxiety affect energy, in the body, and in the self. There will be something in here for everyone.

– See more at: http://www.womensadvancementcompact.com/2013/07/childless-woman-birth-twice/#sthash.Bx1VGVDL.UIt9yTA7.dpuf

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The whole world is waiting for YOU!

Posted on March 27, 2013. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The first time I heard this song, it brought tears to my eyes and still does. Your dreams are beautiful, and your dreams make you beautiful.

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Good Nutrition!

Posted on March 15, 2013. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , |

As I am typing this on my new phone (thanks Lamar), the house is filled with the aroma of brown basmati rice and chicken andouille shrimp gumbo.  I prefer home cooked meals from scratch now, but it wasn’t always that way.  Growing up, it was a treat to eat out, even fast food.  That got turned upside down in my adult years.  Bluntly, my health paid the price and now I know better.  You can’t subject your body to junk, then expect top performance.

Your body has a keen way of letting you know when you are not getting good nutrition, and it’s not a good feeling.  Some people seek a doctor, some a nutritionist, some ignore the symptoms unitl real damage is done.  it has been my experience that it’s best to correct the nutrition, then maintain optimal behaviors.  I know this is easier said than done, but we must do our best.

Oftentimes, people overlook how the presence of others affect their lives. To be in optimal mental and emotional health, you must take care that your circle of influence, your community, is good nutrition. No one is perfect, but if you have people around you that constantly throw negativity, GET RID OF THEM. If you hold on to nothing else, please know that you are a unique person with a unique gift for the world. You have a purpose to tap into. When you allow negative people to disrupt your presence, you lose focus on your greatness.nyt-cj-and-dr-judy

Through the years, I’ve experienced poor and good nutrition. I much prefer good. Just like an athlete, the good nutrition of people can help strengthen you and help you aspire to personal bests. Good nutrition can help you get through challenging times. Good nutrition sometimes just makes you feel good!

Take a look at your dreams and aspirations. Now take a look at your nutrition. How healthy is your circle of influence? You may have to distance yourself from some, or completely remove others. This is also about boundaries, protecting what you need to protect. Remember, you are worthy of good, so cut back on the junk food people!

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The Most Expensive COOKIE In The World

Posted on February 5, 2013. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This is my 40th post, so make sure you check out the previous 39!

 

 

People that know me, and those that have viewed my post, Taking Things In Stride ( https://morelemonsplease.com/2012/03/19/taking-things-in-stride/ ) know I like my cookies.  My father used to go to the bakery and pick up cookies that were 6 inches across!     Born into a sweet tooth family, a dinner treat was something revered.  At my grandmother’s, there was an endless supply of ice cream.  She was well known for her brownies, apple pies and sweet potato pies, which all went well with Breyers.  Weekends were spent sitting on her couch after a family meal, eating dessert while watching captivating cinema, like Beastmaster in LA, Trolls, Escape from New York or Leprechaun.   My Grandmother snacked on danish cookies almost daily.  For the divorcee whofamily pics 001 worked until she was in her 80’s, having treats was the simplest of comfort and reward.

My Wife loves sweets, which are in abundance in the Philippines.  Halo-Halo, Buko Pandan, Boba Teas or Sago’t Gulaman, she’ll take them!  My favorite of Filipino desserts is Biko, a sweet sticky rice and coconut treat my mother-in-law made for me.  Very time and labor intensive, it was her way of showing her love.  Sweets convey a kindness, a warmth, a belonging in any language without uttering a word.  I paid $50 for some biko, but the store skimped and made it with regular rice.  That’s the most I’ve ever paid for a dessert and it was a waste of money for something so unauthentic.   I’ve heard stories of extravagant desserts, like Serendipity NYC’s edible gold foil desserts, which cost in the thousands, and a cake encrusted in diamonds from Japan that cost over a million.  However today, the question is about the most expensive cookie.  I’ve waxed nostalgic, but now I must tell you what happened over the weekend.

I was walking in the store and there was a mother walking with her daughter.  The daughter, who looked to be about 9 years old, turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, I want a cookie!”.  The mother, looking forward without making eye contact, replied, “And I want a million dollars.”.

I watch the life and excitement leave that little girl’s eyes in that heartbreaking second.  I had witnessed The Most Expensive Cookie in the World.

Comparing the want of one cookie to the want of one million dollars spoke volumes.  In our youth, we compared something unobtainable to the millionth power.  Not in a million years!  You’ve got a million in one shot!  Removing whether or not that child was deserving, the issue is the comparison attached to the request.  Sometimes the smallest ripple becomes the biggest wave, and small disappointments can become ground zero for the biggest obstacles in our psyche.

Two dear friends created organizations that have programs supporting positive development of girls, and I’d like to take time to give them a shoutout.  Linda Arrey is the founder of W.I.L.D.E., Women in Leadership Development and Empowerment.  Based out of Atlanta (Hotlanta!),  thier mission is to empower a new generation of women leaders to benefit whole communities.  www.wildellc.com .  Amy Siskind is the co-founder of The New Agenda, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls by bringing about systemic change in the media, at the workplace, at school and at home.  www.thenewagenda.net  Please visit their websites and LIKE them on social media, give your support!

Support is what we need to give to children asking for a cookie, a little piece of comfort.  Support is needed for the child that was told no, whether no was for their own good or otherwise.  Disappointments will always be there, but they don’t have to stay there.  I couldn’t recover fast enough to say something to that mother, and maybe it was for the better.  Time brings a cooler head, so more than likely my words now would go further.  If I did see them again (I would recognize the mother), I would tell her that if she gave her a cookie for every book the child read that made her stronger, wiser and taught her how to obtain wealth, that child would reward her with 10 million dollars.   That 10 million might not manifest in currency.  It may be the child who received the encouragement to become something too valuable to quantify in currency: saving lives, changing the world, etc.  It may be the child that overcomes odds such as disabilities or environment.  It may be the child that just smiles and lives an average life, grateful to know what love and support feels like and able to share it with others.  There are no guarantees, you do what you can and hope for the best outcome.

Who wants a cookie?

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The Person Inside of Us, Conclusion

Posted on February 2, 2013. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Whatever pain or grief you have experienced, it takes a positive force to get through it.  Sometimes, you need a balance so you can take the necessary steps.  The Therapy Dogs brought a neutral ground to the grief-stricken people of Newtown allowing some of them to find that balance and get their footing.  Some found their balance with friends and family.  Some found their balance with people sitting down and talking with them.

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I am a reflective person by nature.  911 taught me that love cannot wait, whether it be romantic or friendly or familial.  I studied the 5 Love Languages, a concept that categorizes how people express love and receive love.  I wont go into detail, follow the link at the end to learn more.  My greatest Love Language is Acts of Service. One love language I learned (and still working on) is Encouraging Words, which ties in well with my intuition.    I’ve learned to say what needs to be said, because you never know if you’ll have the chance later.   Sometimes, your words are the difference between someone pushing on and someone giving up.

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I smiled and greeted everyone I could.  I spoke to and listened to anyone who needed it.  I hugged and held.  I hung out with the Therapy Dogs.  I passed out tissues.  I prayed.  I made friends.

So many times I heard, “How could this happen?  How could anyone do this?”.    I do not know what was going on inside that young man’s head, or truly anyone’s head.  What I do know is that we all struggle.  We all have a fight within to go left or right, up or down, and what we perceive as good or bad.  Our decisions start a chain reaction, defining us for that very moment.

Let me talk about this moment.  In one moment, a troubled man became a murderer.  In one moment,  teachers became heroes and protectors.  In  a moment, the aggrieved became champions.  Whatever or whoever you are in this moment can change.  If you look in the box, there is so much you can be:  courageous, bitter, content, jealous, angry, generous, affable, violent, loving, comforting, the list goes on.   You cannot control what happens to you, but you can choose the response.   You can choose to be a blessing or a curse.  The scales often tip side to side, it is up to us to make a choice.  We are that “man in the mirror”.  It is up to us to let the person inside of us, the one we NEED to be, rise up and shine through.

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

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The Person Inside of Us, Part One.

Posted on December 29, 2012. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

cj speaks

Often, I get sidetracked and don’t post in the moment.  Well, I can’t let this moment slip by.  This is a two parter, as I tell my story of the past two weeks.

On 12.12.12, my lovely Wife conceptualized and executed a high level leadership summit, in the span of 57 days.  She brought together two of the most powerful female ambassadors in the world, Academians, Feminist Pioneers, high power Wall Streeters, Philanthropists, and Entrepreneurs to discuss increasing the number of women in leadership roles.  So many times, we hear parallel goals amongst women’s groups, but the entities never converge.  History has shown that the greatest gains have occurred through collaboration, and that is what we presented.  I watched a 91 yr old activist laughing with a 23 yr old chemist and a 40-something entrepreneur, sharing common ground.  When I gave the welcome remarks, I gave three takeaways I’d hope the attendees would take to heart:  1.  “The years teach what the days will never know.”  I learned this in the police academy, that there is a wealth of knowledge in this world, and someone has already traveled the path you will soon embark upon.  Learn from them.  2.  “We need each other to make the greatest strides.”  We all have our differences, but we have common ground, too.  We need to work with each other to accomplish our common goals, any major victory in this world has occurred when people reach across the aisle.  3.  “We need men.”  When delivered by a burly lesbian, one would have a hard time taking this statement out of context.  My father was hugely instrumental in who I am as an activist, businesswoman, and humanitarian.  Whether is be  a family member, friend or colleague, we need men as allies for the advancement of women.  The gathering was a success.  www.impactleadership21.com

cj group 1

As we’re riding high off our event, breaking news comes over the airwaves.  A shooting has occurred in CT.  As time goes on, we get more details, and they are horrific.  The last time I had information hit me this hard was 9/11/01.  Obviously there would be similarities and differences.  I was a first responder during 9/11 and I knew I would be in CT.

Dear Friends:  I thank you for your accolades, but please know, I have difficulty accepting them.  I do appreciate your words, I just have difficulty expressing my appreciation.  Taking compliments is one of my flaws.

Jann and I put up a public “car share”, so others wanting to help could have a ride.  Minerva Diaz of the NYMLK Center for Non-Violence and Dr. Judy Kuriansky, our friends, took us up on the offer.  Both have a wealth of experience in healing dialogue, so we were confident we could help.

We had reports of road closures, but that was not the reality.  I drove through back roads for no worth other than scenery.  We arrived at the Reed Intermediate School where we knew they had counseling teams.  We were warmly greeted by volunteers from Billy Graham Ministries, then not so warmly by the Red Cross.  When we were introducing ourselves, one of the women in charge walked away mid sentence.  We looked for the grief counselor sign in and signed up for available slots.

I’ve had difficulty identifying as a first responder, but by definition, any entity that secures the front lines is a first responder.  Cops, EMT’s, counselors and grief/stress handlers are first responders.  Training only gets you so far, the rest is having a heart for it.  Preparing for something like this is limited, but some components remain the same.  People would need support.

Dear Red Cross:  Cold meals and no smiles, even to children, does not count as support.  You take in tons of money but what you give is mediocre.  YOU SUCK.  Support is placing a sterno so kids can have some hot baked ziti, or a $39 40 cup hot pot (I know, I bought one and brought it up) so that people enduring sleepless nights had a point of comfort.  Support is returning a smile from a kid that was covered in blood a day before.  That family was looking for comfort and you failed to deliver.  Yes, you had lots of stuffed animals, but did you hear the kids saying they felt guilty taking presents?  They Yankees donated the Christmas monkeys, but who did they really go to?  More volunteers than affected persons.  The world will know what you did, signed The burly black woman in the cowboy hat.

We talked to some of the first responders while Dr. Judy talked to the clinicians.  There were a few townspeople around, but they were slightly standoff-ish.  Understandable.  We kept smiles for all and asked how people were doing resident or visitor.

Dr. Judy suggested we go to one of the churches.  We got in the truck and went to New Hope Community Church.  There were news crews outside, but we walked past them withut a word, finding our Billy Graham friends inside.  We sat in the back waiting for services to begin when we noticed a news crew filming within the sanctuary.  TACKY and DISRESPECTFUL.  We noticed a reservation among the people until the crews exited.

That’s when the tears flowed.

Most of the right side of the church were parishioners.  They all knew someone killed, and some of their children escaped.  They started venting their anger, frustration, hurt, fears and we listened.  At one point, Jann went to the truck and got Puffs, distributing them amonst the teary-eyed attendants.  We heard so many stories of pain.  One woman was wailing in the foyer, saying she was a bad mother for not knowing how to talk to her kids about this.  I reassured her that healing will come in due time, and she will find the words, and to not lose hope.  This community needed to feel love and support and I’m so glad we could be of comfort.

On the ride home, we shared notes and made an assessment.  This community will need long term healing.  They are a spiritual people, with several churches, synagogues and  mosques.  It seemed this communtiy did everything right.  What went wrong?  Could they have prevented this?  What will they do, what will the children do?

Part two will answer more and tell more.  For now, I need to recuperate physically.  The mental is ready.

cj newtown

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The Amazing Transformation of a Guy who Didn’t Give Up.

Posted on November 25, 2012. Filed under: My Lemon Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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