Polished and Empowered: The Pearl Experience
Start the New Year off experiencing more of your Beauty.
I am offering $103 off one of my most popular programs.
In this one on one program you will learn:
- Hands-on skills to accentuate your best features using strategic makeup application.
- EFT basics: Energy tools that allow for more inner peace less inner critic
- To choose appropriate cosmetics to enhance your personal style (I accompany my clients on a personal shopping trip if needed)
This offering is customized to meet your goals and is designed to increase your skill with makeup while also, introducing you to energy practices that nourish confidence, self-compassion and well-being. This program includes two sessions.
**ADDED GIFT: You will also receive the gift of a complimentary eye brow shaping with this offering.
Your satisfaction is guaranteed.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom…”
What change are you called to make in your life?
Early this year, suddenly and without warning, I experienced excruciating back pain that was indescribable. I was diagnosed with a nearly fatal infection in the bones of my spine and the muscles surrounding it. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital. I was bed ridden and unable to work for months. During that time I received massive doses of intravenous antibiotics, pain killers and nerve blockers. Narrowly escaping paralysis and death, I was literally, “unplugged” from my life. (more…)
It has been more than one and a half years since I posted my last entry in this blog. After that post, I found myself in resistance and deep silence.
But sometimes the universe sends you a little nudge to tell you, “It’s time…” My nudge from the universe came from a woman all the way on the other side of the world in Australia who read my post. Angela is a singer also, and she, too, was diagnosed with vocal cysts. To lose one’s voice can be a nuisance to anyone, but to a singer, it is deeply painful to lose the way we express ourselves creatively. One of my singing coaches used to say, “When you sing, your voice is the sound of your soul…” Needless to say, I felt her pain because of my own pain. I knew I had to reach out to her. Angela catalyzed me to share the rest of my story, what happened and where I am now on my own healing journey… And I could feel an “angel” gently nudging me to post the letter I wrote her. ( I actually just got that her name is Angela….angel….Angela…hmmmmm)
You may be thinking, “Well what does all this have to do with beauty??” Everything.
Angela was the first to hear my story and now I am posting it for anyone else who is interested and has continued to read on: (more…)
My Miraculous Healing Journey – Part 1
“Surgery is the only solution for treating these vocal cysts,” he said. My ENT doctor gave me this disappointing news the first time I got diagnosed with vocal cysts in 2001. I was so freaked out about surgery on my vocal chords because I have been a singer my whole life. The prospect terrified me so much that I waited for five years before I had the courage to have surgery after that first diagnosis. And now the cyst was back again two years later…I felt such despair and frustration and had to keep reminding myself that the blessing was that I did not have cancer. The problem was not life threatening. It was “just” threatening my sanity because I was constantly and severely at times, very hoarse. (more…)
Mindfulness: The art of paying attention with openness and curiosity to the present moment.
Last weekend I was on a personal and professional retreat practicing Mindfulness Meditation with a large group of teachers in a beautiful setting in West Marin, CA. First of all, it felt so good to completely unplug from the world and leave a message on cell and land line that I would be unreachable for 4 days… Also I put an auto-response on my email letting people know that I would not get back to them until after the weekend. Wow! Just that alone was an accomplishment for one who is usually glued to a “crackberry” 24/7.
Anyway, the professionals on the weekend retreat were teachers from pre-K through university level and beyond. The objective was to have partly a personal retreat as well as a training for bringing more mindfulness awareness techniques into the classroom setting. It was wonderful to learn fun ways to teach students about relaxation, presence and bringing a calmer focus to the learning experience. My objective was to expand my own practice of mindfulness techniques as a powerful tool in guiding clients to a deeper experience of their authentic inner beauty.
Stillness and the simple act of practicing being in the present moment is a powerful way to be more present in one’s life, to oneself and is for me, the foundation of true beauty>BEING PRESENT. People with great presence are fascinating people to be around. It is especially evident with great actors who may not be stunningly gorgeous on the outside but who command attention because of their incredible presence. The reason is that great actors are highly skilled at being present in the moment with whomever they are working with in a scene…
Diana Winston, one of four teachers for the retreat weekend is the director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC) http://www.marc.ucla.edu and has written a book with Susan Smalley, PhD entitled,”Fully Present”, http://www.fullypresentthebook.com . It is a wonderful book that explains why meditation is so effective and how it can be helpful in enhancing health and wellbeing. I highly recommend it as a useful guide with practical tips and exercises to help start and sustain a meditation practice. “The research exploring mindfulness, although still relatively new, is demonstrating that repeated practice can lead to changes in our lives, including:
- Reduce stress
- Boost the body’s immune system
- Ease chronic physical pain
- Cope with negative emotional
- Increase self-awareness
- Cultivate happiness”
*Embracing Deep Beauty Thought:
Are you WILLING to find 3 minutes each day 3 times a day to STOP and just BREATHE and OBSERVE what you are feeling in your body in the moment? Can you meet the present moment in that practice with openness and curiosity?
I feel beautiful when I am speaking French. I love the taste and feel of the vowels and consonants in my mouth. The sensation and the tone of my voice as it moves forward into the mask of my face. For whatever reason the words conjure memories of delicious treats in my beloved Paris munching madelines or macaroons , picnics with my pals in the Tuillerie Gardens, sharing with a lover a hazelnut Nutella crepe from a street vendor in Montmartre.
I swear to God, speaking French words actually tastes different for me than speaking English. and Italian is a whole different flavor as well. Even though my French is really a kind of “Franglais” where I speak a few sentences in perfect French and then throw in a word or two of English because my mental computer can’t access the proper French words. It’s really a mishmosh of two thirds French and one third English and sometimes the proportions vary depending if I am on a role or not. A glass of crisp, cold Sancerre wine helps but is not necessary at all. It actually doesn’t matter that what comes out of my mouth does not come out perfectly and that I am not completely fluent. I will be some day…It doesn’t matter that it’s not perfect because it is the feeling or experience that feels so good connecting and communicating in this beautiful, sexy language. I think what happens for me is that those sounds and the feeling of making them taps directly into my passion. And when I tap into my passion I feel the power of being the woman that I am. I also feel more of the artist who I am past, present and future. And when I tap into that part of me, I am ageless. I am potent. I feel feminine, strong and more alive all at the same time.
What makes you FEEL beautiful???????
Well, I am back in Paris and not a moment too soon. The best part about Toulon was being at Amma’s program there. But it was HUGE…Thousands of people. Amma made the front page of the newspaper there as there were more than 20,000 people who came to receive Her Divine hug (darshan).
“Amma, reunited with the love of Toulon…” & “ In the arms of a woman… a mental and a spiritual experience”
Anyway, my husband and I actually spent most of our time helping our our spiritual community at the ayurvedic table selling essential oils, flower essences and other wonderful products sold by Amma’s bookstore. I was actually considered a big help because I could speak some French. So I had a lot of practice which I really enjoyed!!
After the end of the 3 day program, Dan & I checked out of our hotel and were very happy to so because the manager was …let’s just say not the most hospitable host… wouldn’t let us leave our bags to spend the day touring in Toulon.
So there we were with all our baggage walking to the main square with 5 hours to kill before our train. We found this wonderful restaurant unbelievably called “The Oasis”…and it truly was. The gentleman owner, Michel, was so warm and delightful.
He and his wife sent over two glasses of champagne with our lunch and I had an extensive conversation with him (in French, of course) about Toulon, politics in the US..etc. He offered to hold our bags in the restaurant so we could walk freely around Toulon, which we did. They were fabulously warm and hospitable. So we made some new friends.
We found a photographic exhibition from a photographer named Jean-Loup Sief from the 60’s & 70’s that was quite interesting.
And I met a delightful painter, Monique Le Chapelain, who was dressed in a beautiful Spanish dancer’s dress in her gallery. I just had to speak to her and I really loved her colorful style of painting as well as her personal style. I did end up buying one of her drawings…Couldn’t help supporting a fellow artist.
Some photos of Toulon
More photos of Paris
Montmartre Street scenes
The Champs Elysee at dusk
Place de Concorde at night and the Seine
My dear friend, Jean-Francois (standing outside of the Louvre) who is working with the Paris Opera Ballet on a production that opens tonight. He used to dance with POB, then became the ballet master at the Geneva Ballet where he lives in Switzerland. This was a special project he was hired to come and stage a piece by Paul McGregor, an American choreographer called “Millepied”- . SO I am getting to go to the opening tonight at the Paris Opera and to the post party afterwards. Ooo la la!!!
November 1, 2009
Well just after my last post I got a rip roaring a case of the flu….That’s right. Hell is being on vacation in Paris and coming down with the flu. I have no idea which flu and who cares… Fever, chills, body aches, soar throat….But not to worry…It hardly stopped me. I got some meds from the pharmacy and finally I let the medicine of Paris heal me. And it did, unbelievably! I was sick with a fever on Wednesday and by Saturday I was hoofing around Paris nonstop with less pain and effort.
I had this amazing experience when I took my husband to see the cathedral of Notre Dame. For the past 25 + years I have been going to this cathedral to pray and when I got in front of it, I just began to weep like a baby. All I could think of was, “It feels so good to be home…I am so relieved to be here again…I love being here…” Notre Dame Cathedral has always been such a special place for me. It is the cathedral of “Our Lady”, the Mother of God…
There is a theme on this trip of being in the presence of the Divine Feminine. Amma was in Paris (part of the reason we came here at this time) and we got a hug from Her, (darshan). 20,000 people showed up to the program…Actually, I had gone to the medical office at the program last Wednesday night to see about getting some Ibuprofen or Tylenol because I felt horrible. They sat my butt down, took my temperature, blood pressure, etc and called the doctor in to see me. I guess nobody is messing around with flu symptoms these days…Indeed, I had fever and the doctor arranged for us to get an early darshan so I could get back to the hotel and rest. Well, it was the most amazing thing…We went up for our hug and as soon as I was hugged by Amma, Divine Mother that She is, my fever broke. I felt so much better. But I still went back to the hotel to rest to be safe and careful.
Then for the next few days I showed my dear husband around Paris but I was sick as a dog. Still, we ate and walked and took photos, ate some more, had café au laits and ate some more crepes, pastry, croissants….Paris is definitely the place to practice meditation…food meditation, that is.
Today we took the fast train here to Toulon down on the Cote d’Azur in the south of France. We will spend a few more days with Amma here with people from all over the world to bask in Her Divine presence. Then Dan will head back to SF and I will stay on to see about some business in Paris…We’ll see… It’s in the hands of the Divine Mother.
Frankfurt en route Paris 10/23/09
I am on my way. I cannot tell you how happy I am to be heading to France for the next three weeks. Three weeks!!! I am giving myself this amazing gift. I always feel so nourished when I get to spend time in Europe. On a soul level and of course, the food! Maybe it is because of my Italian roots but it doesn’t explain this mad love affair I have had with Paris.
The intention I have set for this trip is to allow my heart and soul to be nourished as it always seems to be when I am here….. to have AS MUCH FUN AS POSSIBLE and also to take time for reflection. Europe is the place for me to come to replenish, re-dream and to reconnect with myself.
My husband, Dan will be joining me here in a few days and it will be his first time in Europe let alone Paris. So, there is much fun to be had together here. We are, also, planning to attend a program here given by our spiritual teacher, Ammachi. She is here in Europe for Her yearly Fall tour we’ll be attending Her programs here in Paris and down in the south of France in Toulon in a week. Amma is the embodiment of Compassion, a great humanitarian, http://www.amma.org/ and has had a profound effect on my life.
Also, another intention I have is to perhaps allow the possibility of professional collaboration here in Paris. My dream is to spend time in Paris part of the year and in San Francisco part of the year. I will be looking into the possibility of teaching an Embracing Deep Beauty workshop in Paris. More on that later…
As we touched down at the Frankfurt airport I thought we were landing in San Francisco because the fog was so thick. It was kind of grey and depressing outside along with the cold, impersonal uber industrial interior of the Frankfurt airport.
Paris 10/24/09 1st Night in Paris
What a welcome I received when I got to Paris! After traveling a long 18 hours ( I had a 7 hour layover in Frankfurt) took a shower at the airport; reapplied my makeup and was “dinner party ready” when I stepped off the plane in Paris. My dear friend, Didier, picked me up at the airport and we were off to a lovely dinner party in the chic neighborhood of Palais Royale at his friend’s home. "What an amazing welcome", I thought to myself as I sat there with a beautiful Murano crystal glass in my hand filled with champagne surrounded by very warm and interesting Parisians. Paris always seems to welcome me with a warm embrace. Then Didier threw a dinner party the following night at his apartment up in Montmarte near Sacre Coeur and the FOOD!! Eating well here is not a problem but having French friends cooking for you makes it even better.
My dear Didier & moi
Didier introduced me to his friend, Elyane, an anti-aging consultant and author on the topic. She is about to publish her second book and we both could see that we had a lot to talk about around the subject of beauty and health. Perhaps we may be able to collaborate on a project together. We will see….
Dan, my husband, & I have been in a small town on the outskirts of Paris these last two days attending Amma’s program then we will be back in Paris for a few days before heading to Toulon. For our stay in Paris, my friend Dominique lent us her apartment and we are quite spoiled with the view!
Today, I give myself PERMISSION to just be.
In particular, just be where I am…with this blog. It has seemed so hard to just start that which I’ve been thinking about for so long. I have a lot of thoughts and experiences about the topic of beauty. Yet resistance has kept me frozen more than how busy I have been. Perfectionism and procrastination are no friends to anyone seeking to live a full, exciting, passionate and truly beautiful life. They certainly haven’t been my friends…
But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. What I really wanted to talk about is PARIS… , France that is. I am planning to go there this October for two weeks. I have not been back to see my dear friends there since 2001. It’s too long for my soul because Paris is a place that makes me feel beautiful and passionately alive. I went to see the movie “Julie & Julia” and felt my heart aching to be in those amazing open air markets, eating crusty croissants, orgasmic pastry ; going to fabulous galleries and laughing in little cafes with good friends I have known for years . I loved the movie because it brought me home to one of my favorite places on earth and I got inspired by Julie’s blog idea. I reminded me that my own blog was waiting for me to break the ice and POST!
One of the things I like to do in Paris is to speak French. I do speak some French although mostly I speak a sort of “Franglaise”… I actually give myself permission to speak as much as I can in French and then when I can’t remember the correct word I say it in English, a patch work of the two languages. And I just let it be OK because I love the feeling of the language in my mouth and the sound of it around me. Franglaise does require a willingness to get your point across at the risk of sounding stupid. It is precisely because I love the language and the feeling I have speaking it that makes me so willing to be imperfect with it. and it’s FUN. But the key part is giving myself the permission to not speak French perfectly. Just get in there and make a mess and do it with great joy.
I think expressing beauty is the same thing. Just have fun with it. Give lots of permission to be ourselves. Fashion should be an inspiration to have more fun not a barometer to measure our insufficiencies.
I know that when I do what I love I feel more beautiful. What makes you feel passionate and beautiful? I would love to hear your thoughts…