Happy New Year! If you're like me, you might have declared getting more clarity and efficiency in the new year.
Here are two of my favorite rituals to celebrate the new year's opportunities. It is a feeling of possibility, and this time of year permits us to think BIG and in PINK; Pink Dreams!
I am also working diligently to be more efficient and implement systems.
One of my favorite tools for keeping organized is using my PUSH Journal. Not only is it a journal, but there are supporting videos to help you modify your behavior and encourage a new way of thinking. As a Behavior-Change Specialist (in training), this is right up my alley!
Let the light in.
I believe most of us will agree we live in a tumultuous world. We can constantly communication; we are subject to 24/7 news sources. Unfortunately, our "keeping up with the Jones" mentality has expanded onto our social media outlets, posting and constructing "perfection" to emulate and demonstrate the perfect lives we lead. We have become so vulnerable to this mindset that we feel compelled to "buy-in" to the notion of joining or purchasing "likes or follow" services to perceive to the world that "we are worthy."
I can only speak to my experiences (sans the pressure of fake followers or services). I "fell into" the social media world by fluke nearly seven years ago. I remember my mentor giving me his words of wisdom, " You asked for this, so you need to take the good with the bad." I have no regrets over this past season of my life. I have had experiences of a lifetime." I am very proud of my accomplishments working as a social media correspondent along with being a social strategist. This chapter came at the precise time, for my body was changing due to fitness stress injuries and the aging process. I was "warned" by my PR firm that my 40th birthday was approaching and that my sponsors were aware of this. I was dropped soon afterward, not given closure; my emails were no longer responded to. It was a harsh lesson but a valuable one.
I have worked in the fitness & health industry for the last 16 years — my first INC. "Fit Your Style" was created based on the year I was bedridden from Chronic Fatigue. It was a very lonely time in my life. While in bed, I was forced to decide to educate myself on change or whether being "ill" would be my lifestyle. So, I began studying and adapting "holistic" modalities that changed my life and career path. I have been a student of this mindset for 27 years, studying with mentors across the globe.
The Definition of a Holistic Approach is the following; It refers to addressing the entire person, including physical, mental, and emotional health.
I believe in universal life lessons: Doors open and close, seasons change, people come into our lives and leave; it is the natural cause and effect, the movement/ exchange of energy.
One day I researched the term " Holistic Leadership," for I felt, intuitively, I was living my life in this manner. I found white papers on the subject, and soon after my research, I was retained across the United States and Canada as a speaker on this subject for very prominent leadership conferences.
My social media role(s) gave me a renewed purpose in life; it came with many new life lessons. Lessons of being subjected to sabotage by my social media "family," I was considered an "outcast" to many in the TV industry, and I wasn't "worthy" to be in their inner circle. It took one person two years before she would look me in the eyes and acknowledge me at meetings. I was ignored, not valued. It was a bizarre time, indeed. Thankfully due to my soulful practice, I could work through the challenges using "my tools." Before the lessons, I created a hashtag called PINK DREAMS, which embodied my philosophies.
Excellence (Strive for your own personal).
Athlete (Think like an athletic mindset).
Success (Pink Dreams Style).
Following the development of my hashtag, I created a new INC called PINK DREAMS INC.
After the "coup de tat" from my former colleagues, I began to rebuild my community based on my holistic leadership beliefs. My colleague's feedback struck me; they were not accustomed to a positive environment in which each individual was raised up and encouraged to develop their uniqueness. There is no threatening behavior, no cattiness- just a genuine desire to work together and support one another's work through unity.
I reflected on my life's work and realized I am a Holisticpreneur. So I began documenting my practices and belief systems, creating a program for entrepreneurs who want to lead a life led by dignity and purpose.
As a social media correspondent, I now understand that I was living an "outwardly" life. As a result, I lost my "inner self and wellbeing."
I diminished many facets of my personality out of fear. I didn't fit the already "broken mold" due to my age, my body shape, and the fact that I am American, living in Canada.
I diminished my inner light, my truth, in an attempt to be accepted. I could fool my mind, but my body was an entirely different story. I always say, "The body is always talking; are you listening." After years of ignoring the signs, my body again took over to teach me a valuable lesson. That change was in the air.
Why is this ideal and timely? Just look at the current political arena in the US. Energy-led, Marianne Williamson, a candidate in the Democratic run for President, is receiving large crowds of applause during the debates. Why? Her platform leads with integrity, human compassion, and empathy before the policies of a concern. If fact, the Washington Post highlighted an article about her increasing numbers of followers.
It is essential to be transparent. I believe I understand and have experienced total darkness in my life.
My first experience was at the young age of 10. My parents were in the middle of a difficult divorce. One day, I returned home with my mom and brother to discover that our house was in the process of being robbed. There was someone in our basement who escaped through a window. At first, we thought dad was "mad" about something. The house was destroyed. I could barely breathe. We learned that three sets of robbers robbed our house over a full day; everything was taken and damaged. The robbers ate lunch at our home and stole everything of value, down to my mother's makeup and underwear.
I ran through the house on impulse, looking for my beloved Dog, Benji. But instead, he was in a room with blood on his nose.
Within the hour, I was in a car going to my Nana's house- never to see my home, my dog, my school, my friends, my family unit as I knew it- It was all gone. My childhood was over. I left the feeling of total and utter darkness; my soul couldn't breathe. I was plunged into an emotional and physical state I did not know existed.
Fast forward, I have been subject to continuous dark spells, so dark; that I am not willing to divulge the details at this point. There were times I felt I could no longer stay on this earth; the force was too strong for me to survive.
I credit my long-standing spiritual mentor for not giving up on me, for her patience and guidance to keep doing the work to see the light. I also credit my husband, who could have walked away but stayed.
Which leads me to this program called "Holistic-preneur."
If you believe there is a positive and negative force in the world, a world made up of energy exchange, this is the first step in embracing the philosophies of HP.
LEARN ABOUT THE PROGRAM HERE!
We are turning the corner on the pandemic, whereas the world is opening up to reconnect in person- safely. Yet the world is in turmoil as we process the war in Ukraine. We are certainly in the midst of continued trying times.
2021 served to be a challenging year, personally. My urticaria and angioedema had me numerous times in and out of the ER. In addition, having a health issue that swells your face and stimulates full body hives is challenging to navigate when working in the public arena. It was a hard lesson to pause and focus on my health and inner peace, first and foremost. Unfortunately, however, there is no "cure" for my health issues (which was brought on by the use of cosmetic fillers/ wrinkle reducers). To learn more, please refer to my blog post, How Fighting Ageism Led to a Trip to the ER.
During this time, I found myself retreating inwards, unable to work, feeling constant fatigue and brain fog, not wanting to be on social media or talk to friends. Sleep was also an issue. Up at 3 am (Cortisol levels spiking), my mind was racing, only to wake up exhausted and repeat all over again.
So, I went back to "school" to learn new ways to manage what I COULD control: My stress levels and habits to improve my sleep hygiene.
I am pleased to share that now I hold TWO certifications: in Stress Management and Sleep Science (NESTA).
My personal challenges motivated me to create TWO new programs to serve others.
There is a surge of stress and burnout in Noth America. As mentioned, from pandemic stress to the war of Ukraine, let alone stress from our own lives.
The pace of the crisis in Ukraine has created a brain-tangling complexity for anyone trying to understand what is going on. Now doomscrolling is back in ways not seen since the beginning of the Covid pandemic.
Mental health experts are warning that public engagement comes with a cost in terms of anxiety that should not be ignored. Paul Salkovskis, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford, who worked on measures to help people deal with Covid-related anxiety, said: "Clearly there are some people who are already anxious, who will be significantly more anxious, as happened with Covid – we saw a big increase in some subtypes of anxiety in the clinic. There will be some of that with this situation, but I don't think it's going to be the dominant response."
In the Stress Less with Jen program you will learn:
You will master skills and practices such as:
**Not intended to diagnose or treat mental or health problems.
If the pandemic is causing you to lose sleep at night, you're not alone.
About 56% of Americans say they have what experts have dubbed “COVID-somnia,” an increase in sleep disturbances. Of people reporting these disturbances, 57% say they're having trouble falling or staying asleep.
In the Sleep Science with Jen program you will learn:
This program is designed to enhance dramatically:
**Not intended to diagnose or treat mental or health problems.
When I was in my forties, I was warned that sponsors felt my age was a precedent over my abilities. I was dropped. The new target is millennials, I was told.
Fast forward to my fifties; I was able to redefine my career and created a new role I loved and coveted. This new role, like any job, did come with challenges. I was never accepted into the club. I had to develop tough skin, and thank God for all of the inner work I do to strengthen my self-worth. One personality refused to look me in the eyes for over two years. I was virtually non-existent.
So, I thought to myself, "maybe it is time for a "tweak," my friends were doing it and seemed quite happy with the results.
This year, I was invited to attend the 2016 Celebrity Connected Oscar Suites.
Celebrity Connected is considered the “Who’s Who“ in gifting suites. Guests included: Corbin Bleu of High School Musical, Jiff Pom the dog, Cameron Monaghan - “Ian” from Shamless, Ginuwine, and so many more singers, actresses and models.
Tommy Geraci and I, were greeted by our adorable handlers, @aijalon_skye and @glitzysmiles. A “handler” is someone who holds a sign, and as you go through the room meeting people, they know your name and who you represent. In this case, I am a proud member of 411 voices.
Tommy and I walked the red carpet and then were escorted into the gifting suite. We were immediately given champagne and skincare. I could tell this was going to be fun! It took us several hours to make our way through the crowded room. As an American living in Toronto, it struck me how many companies were Canadian!
Some of my favorite stops were:
Skinny Pasta – eat pasta and stay skinny! Featured on the Dragons Den. High protein fresh pasta, Gluten free, non GMO and DELICIOUS!
PINK KARMA and their beautiful jewelery.
Freida Anti-aging Skincare (As seen on Dragon's Den) was a hoot! I can’t believe how my skin feels after using her 100% natural products and she is from St. Catherines, Ontario! www.zoespa.ca
It was an amazing time spent with so many innovative companies!
In my world, there are two dreaded clothing styles: bathing suits and jeans. Before you react, knowing I am an advocate of positive body image, I am just being honest, that I truly don’t enjoy shopping for these items. It’s not a matter of what others will think, in terms of how I look, its is a matter of how I FEEL in them. So when Lisa Simmons, of Lemonberry invited me to a jeans media event, I cringed.
Lemonberry is a boutique inspired by NYC. I felt immediately at home. There is a key focus of eco-friendly, non-toxic, sustainable and Canadian products.
I haven’t purchased jeans in over 12 years, my last pair was bought in Chicago on a pre-baby get away with my husband. Fast forward, I use those jeans as my “guide,” striving to ensure those jeans can still fit! Bootlegs never go out of style, right?
Back to Lisa, I shared with her I haven’t worn jeans for 12 years and am really very “anti-jeans” for I find them to be very constricting and difficult for my body shape (Goddess number 3 from my bestselling book “Find Your Inner Goddess” - formerly known as a “Pear shape). Lisa was shocked and took my hesitance in stride. She was convinced I would find a pair to fit my style ;).
The shop is so adorable and inviting. I was welcomed by a bubbly staff and was directed to Lisa. She was aware of my “fear” over this activation and made me feel welcomed. She took one look at me and offered a size selection to Dish Duer, the jean vendor.
Dish Duer a form a “technical denim,” designed in Vancouver. The jeans have a “Co2 neutral softness” by Edelweiss technology. As a result, the beechwood fiber from Austria is carbon neutral.
The vendor and Lisa selected two pairs of jeans and styles for me to try. The first pair went on without a hitch, but the rise was a little off. I was completely impressed they fit! The second pair went on like a dream. The irony is they are “skinny” jeans and I would never have chosen them for my shape.
The fabric is moveable, meaning I could even perform exercises in them! I couldn't believe the mobility and comfort. As someone who lives in active wear or dresses, these jeans finally gave a new definition to my wardrobe.
We also chose black denim. It is called “Forever Black” which is a blend of recycled and sustainable fibres, this fabric has unparalleled colour retention. Patent pending colour-lock technology that seals in the colour so that after 20 washes there is no colour fading! So impressive!
That’s was the fastest 15 minutes of my changing room life!
Lisa then introduced me to Amy's Place Handmade. Handmade candles and other beautiful things. Part of my swag bag was a beautiful spruce candle. The scents are so pure. She also makes a “Coco Chanel” scent so I knew we would hit it off.
My swag bag was loaded with other goodies including Lisa’s of LemonBerry own signature pink lipgloss, my go to on the run, as well as, cute gloves from PreLoved, proudly sustainable and made in Canada.
Overall, it was just a positive experience breaking down my own ‘style fears’ and validating that when in doubt reach out to an expert.
LemonBerry is located at: 2 Orchard Heights Blvd #10 Aurora L4G 3W3 905 503-2121
Dublin Calling Media Event
Oh me lucky night, when I was invited to attend the Dublin Calling opening media event to profile their new location at their location on 250 Adelaide street West!
www.dublincallingto.com - 416-452-7317
When we walked in we were greeted to a very festive welcoming. Men were concentrating on their darts skills and women in green beads, hats and feather headbands.
I found a table that gifted me with a Irish hat, candle, beads and St. Patrick’s Day press on nails – this set the tone for the night that this was going to be FUN!
The new space is large and I had a concern that like many “pubs” it would feel generic. This was dispelled by having niche areas such as the dart location, shoot pool, bar and tables. I found a table in the corner and immediately the pub became a full house.
Dublin Calling is known for its TALL daiquiri’s which was fresh and delicious... did I say BIG?
The pub serves up traditional pub fare but with a signature Irish twist!
Signature fried macaroni, which I never tasted before was pure cheddar delight! So crispy and crunchy on the outside with a soft inside of melted cheese. It became my husband’s favorite selection. I became partial to the jumbo fried pickles, drizzled in dill sauce. I kept laughing about how many workouts I would need after the fact, but it was worth every bite!
All pubs have their take on “wings” but these wings were like nothing I ever tasted before!
I tasted the KungPow, encrusted in crushed peanuts and the Garlic Parm, sprinkled generously with fresh parm cheese. Truly one of a kind flavors! The food went on and on from Corned Beef wraps, signature potatoes, Garlic bread was again, like no other garlic bread I have ever tasted! It was one delicious taste after another.
One week later, and I am still craving!
For more information visit their web site and take advantage of their *Free Admission Guest List, before midnight by signing up on line!
School Principals around the globe are sending letters home to mothers, banning the wearing of PJ's to drop off their children to school - to show "respect" and teach values.
I was on the set of a morning TV show preparing for my segment when the host shared, off camera, she received a letter from her children’s school boycotting mothers from wearing their pajamas at drop off in the morning, explaining it was a sign of disrespect. I immediately balked at this “judgement” and went on about my day.
In the evening I saw several style handles sharing fashion photographs of models wearing what is now coined “pajama dressing.” Moments later, a Cleveland news outlet shared a link from the UK, again following the theme of boycotting mothers from pajama dressing. At that moment, I felt the nerve had hit on a global level, having learned of this only 8 hours earlier.
As a mother and an entrepreneur, this infuriated me so much that I got up in the middle of the night to write this blog. We won’t even go into the whole “freedom of rights” aspect of this boycott. Let’s dig deeper.
I am a proud PJ wearer to drop off at school. I have seen all kinds of fuzzy PJ bottoms worn underneath coats as mother’s dash to get Suzy and Johnny to school in time.
Here is my beef with this boycott:
We see schools proudly place the “word of the month" on the school billboard for all local community to see; Empathy. Compassion. Perseverance. What about judgment??
Day in and day out, in the international news, we walk a fine line around the judgment of others; teaching society and our children this is “wrong”, yet we are condemning polka dot bottoms to be seen as a sign of disrespect?
A huge percentage of my clients are mothers. I know of their struggles with body image, the horror of swimsuits to jeans, and overall acceptance. Many are exhausted, rushing from one point to another. Checking off the box that yes, children are at school safe and sound, now I can move onto the next task.
What disservice and disrespect to be judged by schools, when in fact, this “pajama dressing movement” is seen on the Runway to the Realway. This trend now has “attached” to jean shops for this loungewar to be purchased as exercise wear, sleepwear or daywear. WAY TO GO MOMS for having the courage to wear your PJ bottoms, showing confidence for some, and for others a sign we are simply HUMAN trying to get by.
We encourage our children to EARN spirit pajama days at school, which is associated with fun and creativity of one’s own style. Talk about a mixed message to our youth.
Hollywood’s celebrities, such as Kate Hudson and Woody Harrelson for the premier of Hunger Games MockingJay Part 2, flexed their power by wearing pajamas onto the red carpet, capturing the attention of media outlets such as Vanity Fair. Hugh Hefner – need I say more? The male smoking jacket is the ultimate status symbol of, "I can do what I want, when I want."
SEE EXAMPLES HERE
“We’re used to seeing our movie stars in various states of undress, but something about seeing them in pajamas on the red carpet stirs inevitable discomfort—and titillation. – Vanity Fair”
So I ask. Why can’t our amazing mothers flex their own power? These women should be placed onto a red carpet pedestal, for they GET THINGS DONE! Queens of multi-tasking, many without the help of a nanny, cook or car/driver.
Ladies, put your big girl PJ's on, head high, walk tall, and hail the POWER of the PJ! @fityourstyle #PJWay #PowerPJ
I am an entrepreneur, and yes tomorrow I have the LUXURY of wearing my PJ's to drop my daughter off to school. I have earned that right, working long and hard hours, so if I need a break or consider this to be a positive in my life, so be it!
So ladies, put your big girl PJ's on, head high, walk tall, and hail the POWER of the PJ! #PJWay #PowerPJ
Maybe you’ll see me, I will be in a fuzzy 2 piece leopard ensemble. ;)
Judge less. Love more.
It was truly a privilege to serve as the emcee for the 35th Anniversary of the Terry Fox, Marathon of Hope in Oak Ridges. I was asked by Glemena Bettencourt, also known as THE Terry Foxer, having spent a month with Terry and also becoming friends with his family. Glemena has kept her promise to Terry, to continue his journey and to share his words and memory with others across Canada.
What was equally important, was having my family with me for the event. My daughter, Arden is a competitive cheerleader and flag football player. My husband, Mike is a half marathon runner and also has prostate cancer. He lost both his father and brother to lung and brain cancer. We have participated in the run/walk in their honour for the last 5 years.
The day started off as a stormy Saturday, in which the clouds parted just before the event was to begin. I shared this was Terry’s doing, allowing the participants to have a bright and clear pathway.
We chanted our determination would not be dampened by any rain! Our courage would remain strong! Our commitment would not change - pending any weather changes!
At 21 years old Terry ran 5,373 kilometers for 143 days which equates to a full marathon every day!
Famed Richmond Hill resident, two times Olympic winner and three-time world champion, Elvis Stojko, cut the ribbon to begin the race. He shared how he used to ride his dirt bikes in this community and now he inspires others in his backyard with his passion, purpose and healthy lifestyle.
The Canadian band, The Derek Christie Band, entertained the crowd and played their amazing tribute to Terry Fox called, “What Makes You Run.” As the band played, there wasn’t a dry eye or a goose bump free body. The song touches the true essence of Terry’s message. Derek also shared he is a survivor of Cancer, and that the song and his participation is very personal.
Richmond Hill Councilor, Vito Spatafora, continued to set the atmosphere of inspiration, with his heartfelt speech about his own journey with prostate cancer, and encouraging men to not turn a blind eye to health and make it a priority.
“Even if I don’t finish we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me. “ – Terry Fox
The Terry Fox Foundation has a pledge to raise 35 million dollars this anniversary year. That equals one dollar per Canadian. To learn more about the initiative, please go to http://www.terryfox.org/
For more information on Glemena: https://www.facebook.com/glemena?fref=ts
Derek Christie Band: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0bLdrh3ttQ
This year I had an opportunity to meet Lani Netter, known as a producer and a philanthropist. What impressed me the most about Lani is that she focuses much of her efforts on charitable organizations that have an organic and global impact.
This week, during the Asian World Film Festival, I am working with Lani Netter and the social media correspondents with 411 voices in order to turn a spotlight on many worthy endeavors, mainly the Roots of Peace and Red Cross Organization.
Roots of Peace was founded by Heidi Kuhn and helps some of the world’s most vulnerable local economies after conflict. They support both individuals and local communities to renew livelihoods and business by transforming minefields into flourishing farmland.
I loved the idea that Heidi, a mother was inspired by the work of Princess Diana and it became the catalyst for her creating Roots of Peace in order to create global attention. She envisions the issues associated with landlines as curable and “removable.”
In addition to Roots of Peace, the Red Cross will be placed on center stage during the Global Change Gala. With a performance by Josh Moreland, the gala is centered on global efforts of the Red Cross. One needs not think far and wide to see the impact of the Red Cross, especially in light of the recent earthquakes in Chili and Nepal and hurricanes that have impacted the east and west of North America.
Charity Buzz is an online auction that gives social media attention to worthy organizations. The Red Cross will be the recipient of proceeds from Charity Buzz via the Asian World Film Festival. See all of the auction items listed via https://www.charitybuzz.com/AsianWorldFilmFestival.org.
I would like to take an opportunity direct you to a few of my favorite of the offerings. First how terrific for a young medical student to work alongside quality doctors who are serving children in situations of desperation. Children of War Foundation's mission is to provide access to donated transformative surgical care to children living with a physical deformity or injuries that cannot be treated in their home country.
Next, dine at one of two very special and notable places in the Los Angeles area – Nobu - Malibu and SPAGO of Beverly Hills. And, who would refuse an opportunity to bid for travel to either Napa Valley or Fiji! You can bid on these fabulous auctions, too!
See how the bidding is going – click here!
Remember the donations received could result in great proceeds for the Red Cross – which translates in to help around those the world for those who are most vulnerable.