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Women’s Expo Recap, Part Deux: “An Indecent Proposal” from the Past March 15, 2011

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The Fantasy. The Reality. You've Got it Coming To you. Don't let your Rags-to-Riches become Riches-to-Rages!

I think I must have I analyzed the handwriting of about 60 people over the two days of the Women’s Expo. So I totally nailed the “attraction” part of the equation – and, according to what I’ve heard, I was one of the few vendors who did.

Now I have to get better at the “conversion” part. I was so focused on satisfying the demand for the free analyses, I barely had time to promote the items I had for actual sale, such as my new “WINDFALL” book and the handwriting analysis class I’m hosting in a couple of weeks.

Yet I scored some victories here too – partly because my book was featured at another table besides my own: the Perfect Publishing booth. (www.PerfectNetworker.com) There, Ken Rochon and the other authors in the Perfect Publishing program had all their new books proudly displayed.

My gratitude to Ken was amplified by contrast with another man who also showed up at the Women’s Expo – someone who, almost a year ago at another event (not related to the Women’s Expo), deluded himself into believing he was entitled to sex in exchange for giving me a professional boost.

I’m not kidding. He presumed “permission” where none was granted. His behavior was unprofessional at the very least, possibly even illegal. Seldom had I ever felt so violated, even though nothing “happened.” Just the fact that he asked, was bad enough.

I teach that a woman’s Primal Power is to decide whether, and when, sex will occur. That choice is always hers. What would it say about my integrity, if I couldn’t walk my own talk? Sure, I want to succeed, but not at the cost of granting unwilling sexual favors! Monica Lewinsky I ain’t.

Ken Rochon, on the other hand, never demanded anything unethical of me. He was completely straight-up in all his dealings, never over-promising or under-delivering. He “Kennected” me with an editor (www.Your-Words-Worth.com), graphic designer (www.CSheltraw.com), and printer (www.graphicpressweb.com), who all did exactly what they were supposed to do, on time. The production process went very smoothly and amazingly quickly, and the finished book looks terrific.

And then there’s Cara Michele Nether of Women in Wellness (www.WomenInWellness.com), who coordinated the Speakers’ Showcase including free promos on their website for all the speakers. She also set up the Speakers’ Bootcamp with Dave Elliott (www.mpowerunlimited.com) as the trainer, who is OZ-Some at teaching how to connect with people from the stage.

Last but far from least, Patsy Anderson herself, the Promoter Diva of the Women’s Expo. (www.WomensExpoMD.com and www.WellConnectedNetworking.com). She’s the one who set me up with Mick and Tara Carbo for  an interview on www.LiveYourDreamTV.com, Muni Ara Harun of www.TheSignMama.com who made my gorgeous booth displays, and Deanna Lilly of www.BiznessConcepts.com, who got my book’s splash page ready in time for the Expo.

Now THAT’s the kind of people I want to do business with.

See the results for yourself at www.RosannaTufts.com. The TV interview is there, as well as my “WINDFALL!” book and a free report, “YD-RW: Your Destiny, Re-Writable!”

 

Women’s Expo Recap, Part I: How to Attract a Crowd and Make Them LOVE It March 15, 2011

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WOW. After last year’s monsoon rains, this year’s Women’s Expo was blessed with perfect weather – and I was ready, making a big impact. Thanks to The Sign Mama, who made a fabulous 6-foot vertical banner for my booth, promoting my new book, “WINDFALL!! Taming the Jealousy Monster when You or a Relative Comes Into Money.”

From my position on the floor, I could hear how the acoustics of the hall affected the results from the PA system for the Speakers’ Program – and quickly figured out that if you talked too fast, your words would be lost. So when it came my turn, I was careful to take my pace down, so my words would have time to “land.” My topic was handwriting analysis, and the audience was enthusiastic, laughing in all the right places.

As soon as I was done, my booth was swarmed with customers, eager to take me up on my offer of a free, on-the-spot handwriting analysis. From then on, until closing, they lined up like I was a land office! Once word got around at how incredibly accurate my assessments were, they told all their friends: “You gotta go see this lady!”

Kudos to my daughter Lily, only 11, who played the role of Faithful Assistant, instructing the waiting people on how to fill out the form. I could not have managed without her. Here’s some of the highlights from the samples I saw:

  • A lady with the “determination” trait. I asked her if she’d had to overcome a major physical challenge. She said she’d gotten herself off of drugs! “Goddess bless you,” I said, “Congratulations!”
  • A lady with an extremely erratic slant. I guessed (correctly) that she had a sugar addiction. “You can’t control your moods because the sugar is controlling you. It’s in the driver’s seat.” She confirmed that she was pre-diabetic, and I sent her to one of the health-and-wellness exhibitors for help with detox.
  • Two different ladies (who came to my booth independently of each other) with the “perfectionist” trait. When I mentioned this, all their friends burst out laughing!
  • Several people with “stubbornness issues” – I taught them how to shift that trait from stubbornness to true “persistence,” which will always get you the better deal.
  • Two people with “blind persistence” – I showed them a trait that would encourage greater flexibility.

The vast majority of the women I sampled had prominent “middle zone” writing, showing a focus on the day-to-day immediate concerns of life. The few men who took me up on my free offer, were more consistent in showing capacity for longer-range planning. Two women showed a very good balance between mundane activities and higher executive functioning, as well as being healthily grounded in their bodies.

Go to www.RosannaTufts.com, where you can not only order my “WINDFALL!” book, you can also get a FREE report on what these and other handwriting traits mean: “YD-RW — Your Destiny, Re-Writable!”

Stay tuned for Part Deux of the Women’s Expo Recap . . .

Banner for "Windfall! Taming the Jealousy Monster"

The Fantasy. The Reality. You've got it coming to you. Don't let your Rags-to-Riches become Riches-to-Rages!

 

Why would somebody “Flip the Bird” on their Facebook page? September 2, 2010

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Yesterday I got a Friend Request on Facebook, from somebody whom I’d met through an internet dating site. I accepted, but when I went to look at his FB profile, I was immediately tempted to un-friend him right back out again. 

What was the turn-off?

He didn’t use a picture of himself for his profile. Instead, the first image you see is a little girl “giving the finger” to the camera. The caption? “Thanks, Obama.” 

As if that weren’t rude, crude, and offensive enough — come on, how socially clueless can a man be? — I observed that Every. Single. Post to his Wall was an anti-Democrat, anti-Obama diatribe. 

Not one word about cool stuff that’s happening in his life. 

Regardless of what your political leanings might be, what do you think that says about him?

His bitterness was so thick you could cut it with a knife. It reveals an obsessiveness that can’t possibly be healthy. 

It also tells me, quite blatantly, that he regards himself as a victim, that he believes his path in life is to gnash and growl at forces beyond his control. He has given away his personal power and placed it in the hands of these forces. Jeez, even Rush Limbaugh has more of a sense of humor that that. 

I can just imagine him watching CNN all day, screaming at the TV every time Obama or some other Democrat makes a speech, instead of watching more uplifting programming like “Dancing with the Stars” or can-do movies like “The Karate Kid” or “To Sir With Love.” I’d rather be a Football Widow than have to live with that. 

Sure, I grew up in a Republican household, but my parents never betrayed such violent animosity toward LBJ or Jimmy Carter.

Wallace Wattles, in his 1910 classic, The Science of Getting Rich, warns of the danger inherent in complaining about governments, or believing that governments have to change before you can benefit:

“Neither the government under which you live, nor the capitalism, or competitive system of industry can keep you from getting rich. When you enter upon the creative plane of thought, you will rise above all these things and become a citizen of another kingdom. Give no anxious thought to possible disasters, obstacles, panics, or unfavorable combinations of circumstances.”

I’m not saying you should just ignore injustice. But the Key here is to be FOR something, not against it. Mother Teresa knew this; she would never attend an anti-war rally. “Invite me to a Peace rally, and I’ll be there!” Even the Founding Fathers, as much as they hated the colonial regime, would never have won the Revolution if they didn’t have a clear idea of the innovative kind of society they wanted to create. Martin Luther King Jr. was never anti-white, he was pro-civil-rights. 

Whenever you are obsessed with destroying something, you will only perpetuate it and make it larger. The “war on drugs” was an abysmal failure. 

I don’t want to associate myself with people who believe they are doomed to live crappy lives because of the hand they’ve been dealt. People who believe they can overcome anything, now that’s who I want to have in my life.  

Any chance this new Facebook “friend” had at getting a date with me, he just blew it. 

  

The Power of Story May 23, 2010

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"My Love, I give you this Golden Crown"

One of my author friends once told me that humanity’s most basic needs are not three, but four: Food. Shelter, Clothing . . .  and Fiction.

I have wrestled with this off and on for years. Each time Circumstance pulls me away from Theatre, and each time I come back, it is with a desire and longing more powerful than before. 

Why? It makes no sense. Why would I do something where, according to “conventional wisdom,” the likelihood of financial success is so small? Why does it matter to me so much, to stand in front of an audience and just pour my heart out in song? 

Back in the day, being onstage was my sole hope of getting people to admire me instead of denigrate me. 

First it was school bullies I was trying to impress. Then it was a compensation for teenage social awkwardness. Then it was proof to my employers that I wasn’t incompetent, I was just in the wrong job. 

In every case, Theatre or Music (and sometimes both simultaneously) was a means to get them to see me for what I really am, not for what they think I am, or wish I was. 

But that’s not going to get an aspiring thespian very far. In some cases, it will even antagonize the very people you need most in order to really succeed. 

What really matters is . . . the Story. 

When you can keep your focus on the Story rather than upon yourself, when everything you do is in service to the Story you are telling, your chances of success are much greater. 

I found that out when I came up with the idea for a musical update of the myth of Persephone. No longer was I a wanna-be soprano, scrambling for little scraps of praise and approval. Overnight I became someone with an original Story to tell, something unique to bring to the table, something that nobody else was doing. 

The Story of how that happened, is a Story all to itself.

Story motivates people to think about their lives — and does it at a subliminal level, without preaching. Story slips past barriers that would otherwise be more adamantly reinforced by direct criticism. By looking at it as an Observer, you can say, “I can relate to that character” and learn from what the character does, then go back and implement it in your own life. 

Show, not Tell.

A Good Story can . . . 

 

  • Show a man how to woo a woman.
  • Show a woman how to recognize desirable character traits in a man.
  • Show you when you are being too obsessed about something.
  • Show you how to listen for the whispers of Divine Guidance when the voice of your own fear is too loud.
  • Show you where to find strength when you think all hope is gone.
  • Show you how to think outside the box for an innovative solution.
  • Show you hypocrisy, and expose it with hilarity. 
  • Show you when it’s time to relax and just enjoy good company. 
  • Show you how to die courageously. 
  • Show you when you need to ask for help, and when you need to keep your own counsel. 
  • Show you how to help someone in trouble. 
  • Show you how to spot the chinks in an enemy’s armor. 
  • Show you when you need to step in, and when you need to let someone go his own way. 

and of course,

  • Show you how to create something that people will pay you handsomely for.

All this and much more. And that’s why . . . the Show Must Go On. 

Notice the pattern here: In most cases, Stories are about People. The accumulation of riches is usually a secondary consideration, a consequence of doing something good for someone. When Money (or Power) is the primary focus of a lead character, the Story does not end well. 

So, in And God Said, “Let There Be Money” (a book that would also make a great screenplay), I update the tale of Acres of Diamonds with a story about a man who goes on wild goose chases looking for money in all the wrong places, and how his inability to control his hair-trigger temper drives his wife to seek solace in a love affair . . .  which in turn kicks her creativity into high gear. He comes to ruination while still remaining clueless as to the real reasons why, while she goes on to fame and fortune by creating works of real value.

In Mr. Right, Mr. Lame, or Mr. Hyde? and Cool Girl, or Neurotic Nellie?, a Heart-boiled Detective named “Cherchee la Femme-Noir” goes on the case to  help her clients solve the mystery of finding the Ideal Mate — how to spot clues that someone may be a false lead, or a Keeper. Your fortune will rise or fall depending upon your choice of life partner; these books will help you make the right choice. You make a different “buying decision” when you are investing long-term. 

And, in The Passion of Persephone (a rock opera), I tell a story of finding your own path in life, even when that path doesn’t match what your parents want for you; a story of being tested to see what you are really made of; a steamy story of love and sexual awakening. Persephone gains wealth (in the form of a golden crown from Hades) by facing her fear of pain, death, and parental disapproval; by finding love in the unlikeliest of places; and by finding her hidden talent. 

What story changed your life?

 

100 Internet Marketers, No Waiting May 17, 2010

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I was supposed to go to my high school alma mater in Connecticut for their reunion weekend this past Friday.

So how did I end up in Philadelphia, at a convention of internet marketers, instead?

It was a last-possible-second decision. After a very hectic Thursday morning, I managed to catch the last half-hour of a “Business Growth Expo” put on by the Baltimore Business Journal.

And there, I ran across an old acquaintance from my former life during my ill-fated career as a real estate investor, back when I was still married to Dennis.

As has now been my custom since December of 2009, I was walking around the exhibit hall wearing my trademark brand, the 1940s lady-detective outfit, to promote my public-speaking and forthcoming books, “Mr. Right, Mr. Lame, or Mr. Hyde?” and “Cool Girl, or Neurotic Nellie?”

This old acquaintance knew some of my history, and had been tracking my career from a distance since 2005. But seeing me this time, in my outfit with my killer elevator speech (“your perfect career and your perfect love shouldn’t be a Big Mystery!”), he spotted the kind of talent he was looking for.

He pulled me aside as the trade show was packing up. He told me about an event that was happening this same weekend as the reunion, where a whole lot of online business people would be getting together to discuss their projects and find out how they could help each other out as Joint-Venture Partners (aka JVPs).

Somehow, he instinctively knew that I’d been praying for just such an opportunity, to assemble a Mastermind Team around me to coordinate my career. But it would mean I’d have to miss the reunion.

What were the odds of my finding the kinds of connections I sought, at the reunion? What was the highest and best use of my time? Where was I most likely to be “in the right place, at the right time”?

I decided that this was the Law of Attraction in Action, serendipitously bringing me what I’d been asking for, in this unexpected way.

Making arrangements for care-coverage of my daughter turned out to be ridiculously easy — no hassles, no obstacles. Within the hour, everything was set up and I was clear to go, as if I was supposed to be there.

That same night, there I was in Philly. On a free ticket, yet — my old acquaintance got me in.

Friday morning, about 65 people were in the room, and more would be arriving on Saturday. (Women were distinctly in the minority.) Ken McArthur, during his keynote address, allowed some time for people in the audience to come to the front and tell a little bit about their projects, and say what kind of people they were looking to partner with. (This was something like the model used for BNI meetings.)

Here was a chance to make myself known right away — all I needed was a little chutzpah. I was again dressed in my detective’s trenchcoat and fedora, and needed to make it clear that even though I was a newbie, I was not an out-of-place clueless freak among all these savvy internet marketers, that I could hold my own with the best of ’em.

So when it came my turn, I took a very deadpan, gumshoe approach. Holding my convention badge up beside my face as if it were a law-enforcement ID, I said:

“Mr. McArthur, I’m Special Agent Rosanna Tufts of OZ-Some Success.” Then, pulling out my magnifying glass from my coat pocket — “I’m investigating the murder of the American Dream. I’d like to ask you a few questions.”

It worked — Ken, who didn’t know me from Eve, was nonplussed, and the crowd erupted in appreciative laughter! Had the whole room at Hello!

As the two days wore on, there were about a dozen speakers (the best-known of these was Joel Comm, author of “Twitter Power” and “The AdSense Code”) as well as a copywriters’ panel and HotSeat experiences where hand-picked attendees would get the chance to have their internet-business ideas picked apart and improved by a panel of experts.

As is true of almost any seminar, the speeches were pitch-fests, but nobody was forcing me to “buy” anything — I could just take notes and pick and choose what makes the most sense for what I need at this time of my life,

But the REAL action took place during the breaks, during lunches and dinners, and out in the hallways. That’s when you would get to talk one-on-one with people who could help you. The key here is to not focus so much on yourself and your own project, but to listen to THEIRS to see how you can help. Out of this Spirit of Giving, Joint Ventures are created.

Despite being a newcomer and not very experienced yet, I WAS able to help at least one person! I met a man who had created a special cream for rehabilitating skin that had experienced traumatic injury or was afflicted with “venous insufficiency.” I gave him direction on how he could get a higher profile for his product, telling him of resources and opportunities in his local area that he wasn’t aware existed.

And thanks to my knockout presentation on Friday morning, I was cherry-picked to be in a documentary, along with 5 other people, tracking our progress over the next 2 years, “starting from zero.”

It was an amazing thing, being in a roomful of 100 entrepreneurs, all focused with great ideas, all bent on taking control of their own destiny — and almost none of them were pie-in-the-sky chasers. I had thrown up a thought to the Universe, saying that I didn’t want to have friends who had convinced themselves they were doomed to live crappy lives because of the “hand” they’ve been dealt, that instead I wanted to associate with people who believe they can overcome anything.

For one weekend, I got to feel what that is like. And it won’t be the last.

Get Through the Holidays Without your Relationship Falling Apart! December 12, 2009

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(The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book, “Is She a Cool Girl, or a Neurotic Nellie?” A similar chapter, from the female point of view, appears in “Mr. Right, Mr. Lame, or Mr. Hyde?”)

Early in my dating career, I traveled from Baltimore to Denver for the Christmas holidays with my then-boyfriend. I met his family, and I went skiing for the first time in my life. A great time was had by all – except by my parents, who were back on the East Coast.

It was the first time since I’d been born, that they were going through Christmas without me – but that wasn’t what bothered them so much. No – He and I had been dating for 8 months, and I had a sneaking suspicion that his Christmas gift to me would come in a small package, presented on bended knee.

When it didn’t happen, my parents were actually even more disappointed than I was! They were very “old school,” and thought it highly inappropriate that he had taken me to meet his parents without the understanding that I was his fiancée.

When I divulged this to him, he said he wasn’t aware that such a thing was expected of him. Needless to say, the relationship didn’t last long after that.

This story is a perfect example of how relationships that seem to be going great, can blow up in your face when the Holidays hit, leaving you wondering What The Hell Happened.

It all has to do with Expectations – both yours and hers.

Bill Harris’s dictum from Managing Evolutionary Growth, “Nothing has any meaning except that which we give it,” is perhaps never more true than at Holiday Time. That’s because your relationship is really two relationships: The one you’re having with her, and the one she’s having with you. They may not be the same thing at all. Then it all gets compounded by your respective Expectations of what you each believe the Holidays should be.

Notice how this feeds right back into my definition of Stress? You may find that the conflict between What You Want, and your Perceived Ability to Get It, is so great that it’s only a matter of time before one or both of you cracks under pressure. You want the Holidays to be a warm, fuzzy, beautiful, loving time . . . and you or she might be feeling particularly sour if they don’t turn out that way.

You might accidentally do something that she takes personally, when in reality it has nothing to do with how you feel about her; it has more to do with how you feel about Holiday Time.

For example: Do either of your families have traditions, or issues, you should both know about? Forewarned is forearmed. If you’re going home to visit your mother, and she has serious health issues (whether physical or mental), but your lady doesn’t know about this, she may feel hurt if you’re not taking her with you. You, on the other hand, may be trying to protect her (and yourself) from a potentially embarrassing situation. Let her know that you really are being considerate of her.

Is your family a bunch of Health Nuts, and is your lady all excited about baking her own set of Christmas Cookies to give them . . .  only to be disappointed (or even insulted) upon finding out that they won’t eat them? (I’m a Gluten-Free Gal, so such things matter to me.) Your family might also be unpleasantly surprised if your lady is prone to getting very hungry very suddenly, to the point of feeling faint and/or getting snappy – and she’s not pregnant. This can happen if she’s hypoglycemic or has Type O blood – better pack some snacks, just in case.

Is her family very religious, but you, not so much? (or vice versa) Be prepared to go with her and her family to religious services if that’s the case. You can at least enjoy the music – Christmas sermons tend to avoid laying-on the guilt trips, keeping the message on the bright side.

More seriously: Does your lady have a history of experiencing death around the Winter Solstice? Remembering relatives who died, and the terrible angst that gripped her and the rest of her family at that time, may put her into not-the-best-of-moods. And you’ll have No Clue as to why she’s suddenly acting so immature – unless you ASK!

My mother had a long history of tough times around Christmas. When she was six, her big sister, the favorite of the family, died suddenly on Christmas Day, and she overheard her father say he wished it had been her who died. Twelve years later and barely out of high school, her own mother died of cancer in December. At age 65, her husband (my father) went into the hospital the day after Christmas and died three weeks later. Then she herself died on Epiphany at the relatively young age of 68.

This gives you an idea of how much “baggage” a person may be carrying, when Holiday Time comes. It’s a good idea to know this ahead of time, before she says or does something that insults your family and embarrasses you in front of them. If you figure out that this is what’s going on with your lady, be understanding and give her all the love and comfort that you can. Make her feel like you’re her family now (if it’s not inappropriate for you to do so).

You may be putting so much emphasis on making sure everybody on your gift-giving list gets covered, that you may completely overlook deeper issues like this. Yet even the gifts themselves can be landmines of misunderstandings, going way beyond the insincere reaction of “just the thing I need, how nice.”

Take for example, the art books I gave my husband one year, to replace those that had gotten damaged in a basement flood. I thought I was doing him a favor, but he thought I was trying to embarrass him by reminding him of how he behaved like a ballistic jerk when he discovered the damage!

So ask yourself: what do you HOPE her reaction will be, at the gift you’d like to get for her? What do you HOPE she’ll give you? Then TALK about your Expectations. This can be tricky, because you also want to preserve the element of surprise and not reveal too much. But you should at least try to get clear on whether you are both expecting something Great, or something modest (if it’s a low-budget year). And do make an effort to get familiar enough with her tastes that you don’t get her something that you would rather have for yourself (like the sweatshirt of your favorite football team instead of a negligee).

Happy Holidays – and May your Fondest Desires be Fulfilled! 

The Instant Stress Buster November 5, 2009

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(Excerpt from forthcoming book, “And God Said, Let There Be Money”)

Here’s a variation on “Observing Ego” that I invented myself, a Little Technique with Big Results, that I call “The Instant Stress Buster.”

I have based this on my own definition of what Stress really is:

Stress is nothing more than a conflict between what  you want, and your perceived ability to get it – emphasis on perceived.

This is huge, because whatever it is you perceive to be standing in your way of getting what you want, may not be the real enemy at all.

So whenever you are feeling stressed about something, ask yourself these questions:

“What do I want right now, in this moment?”

“What do I perceive is my ability to get it – high, medium, or low?”

Usually, we ask ourselves to evaluate things on a basis of “low, medium, or high.” But in this case, I want you to break out of your default reaction by reversing this order, asking “high, medium, or low.” Why? Because if you determine, right away, that your ability to get what you want is high, then you don’t have much standing in your way – ergo, you can easily let go of any stress you feel around the situation.

If, on the other hand, you judge your perceived ability to get what you want is medium or low, you can then set your brain to working on how you can shift the odds in your favor.

This strategy does a couple of things: it keeps you Present-minded, and it keeps you focused upon what you want, rather than upon what you don’t want, or upon blaming other people. When we get to Chapter 5 where I discuss the Law of Attraction, you will see how important it is to keep your focus upon what you want, because if you focus upon what you don’t want, you’ll only get more of the same.

Let’s look at a couple of simple examples, to show you how this works.

Let’s say you’re in the car, and you suddenly start to feel hungry. It’s an unpleasant feeling, and you feel stress about it because you don’t have anything with you that you could munch on, right now, that would take the edge off. You ask yourself: “What do I want right now, in this moment?” And you answer, “I want my salad with my own homemade dressing, with a topping of fajita steak strips.” (Or whatever suits your fancy.) Then you ask yourself, “What is my perceived ability to get this – high, medium or low?” You decide, “Medium – because I can’t get it right now, but when I get home in 20 minutes, I can do something about it.”And so you are able to reduce your feeling of stress, because you know you won’t have to wait long.

Or how about this: You are getting ready to go out of your house to a meeting . . . and you can’t find your glasses for the life of you. You’re scrambling around the house, frantically trying to find them and remember where you last left them, and of course your stress level shoots way up. This is the sort of thing that drives you crazy, and you’re mad at yourself too, for doing something so stupid.

So you pull out the questions: “What do I want, right now, in this moment?” The answer comes: “I want my glasses – no, wait – what I really want is to have perfect eyesight, so I don’t even need glasses anymore!” This technique enables you to be perfectly honest with yourself, because sometimes you find that you have a deeper desire beyond the immediate problem you are trying to solve.

And then: “What is my perceived ability to get it?” And you answer: “At this moment, low. But in the future, medium-to-high, depending upon what an ophthalmologist says about giving me the surgery. In the meantime, can I get by without the glasses for just a few hours? And resume the search when I’m not so wound up?” You decide that doing without your glasses for awhile won’t constitute the end of the world . . . and your stress level drops again. You walk out the door with aplomb, because you realize it’s more important that when you get to your meeting, you give the impression of being cool, confident, and in control, not disorganized, frazzled, and unreliable. You have also just set in motion a “vibration” that will ultimately bring you what you really want – a pair of fully functional eyes.

Hoodia: A Big Fat Fraud? August 10, 2009

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You may have heard of Hoodia because Oprah promoted it on her show – the miracle plant from Africa that shuts off the appetite center in the brain.

Well, I tried it, and it didn’t do squat for me. I felt no appreciable difference in my hunger levels, nor in how long I could last before needing to eat again.

A lesser known substance, Caralluma fimbriata (not to be confused with Fettucini Carbonara), is a cactus from Asia that is supposed to operate in a similar way. You may recognize it as “The Cactus Diet.” This time, when I heard about it, I did some online research FIRST . . .  and discovered how many people were just as disappointed with this as they had been with Hoodia. So I didn’t buy.

Why do things like this work for the tribal peoples among whom they were first discovered, but they don’t work for us modern, urbanized Americans?

Think about it. Hoodia and Caralluma are used by (respectively) African and Indian indigenous tribal people, to keep them from being hungry on long hunts, so they can stay focused on tracking and capturing their prey, no matter how long it takes.

They are TRIBAL people. Hunters and Gatherers. Worlds apart from us.

They don’t live like we do. They eat because they are hungry. In America, we DON’T eat because we’re hungry – we eat for every OTHER reason EXCEPT hunger!

Hunter-Gatherers don’t have the means to produce a cornucopia of processed foods, which in this country are made largely from Grains. “Emotional Eating,” so common here in the States, is probably unknown among them.

But we – when we “emotionally eat,” to soothe our frazzled nerves, to boost our sagging moods, what do we usually turn to? Pastries. In some form. Pies, cookies, muffins, brownies, pizza, pasta, cereal, etc. All of which give us a temporary endorphin rush, only to bring us crashing down a couple of hours later, which makes us crave these “comfort foods” even more.  

“Appetite suppressants” like Hoodia and Caralluma don’t work for us because they do nothing to address the Neurotransmitters we need to keep ourselves feeling mostly happy, and eager to tackle any challenge.

Julia Ross, in The Mood Cure, explains: Foods containing Wheat, Rye, Oats, and Barley (think “WROB”) all contain gluten “which can irritate, inflame, and rupture the lining of the digestive tract, to the point that nutrients from food don’t get absorbed well (or sometimes at all). Depression can result because the nutrients responsible for regulating our moods can’t be absorbed.” The gluten in pastries literally WROBs you of nutrients that could be put to better use in synthesizing feel-good brain hormones like serotonin and focus/concentration hormones like the catecholamines. (My apologies to the jazz radio station in Mississippi with those call letters.)

And if you’re an O blood type (as I am), it’s no wonder that appetite suppressants will fail you: Of the four blood types, Os have the fastest digestion. When someone with an AB blood type eats a steak, it takes them 24-36 long hours for their systems to process it. But for an O – that steak is gone, completely digested, in 8-12 hours. That’s why Os are hungry all the time, and do best when they are able to “graze” on small meals throughout the day. Appetite suppressants don’t stand a chance against this – you can’t cheat your genes.

If you want to control your appetite to lose excess fat, you have to have plenty of neurotransmitters working for you. If you don’t feed them, any attempt at weight loss will fail in the long run.

Now, I’m not a doctor, so I can’t legally prescribe anything. All I can do is tell you my experience, and what’s been working for me. And what’s been working is: I’ve ditched all gluten-containing foods . . . and replaced them with FISH. Especially the oily fish: Salmon, Herring, Mackerel, Sardines. They are giving me the Omega-3 EFAs and Vitamin D that my brain needs to manufacture the neurotransmitters. (Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” = a sunny mood.) Now, I don’t crave pastries anymore – and I’ve lost 6 inches from my waist in 2 months!

In my soon-to-be-released book, And God Said, Let There Be Money, I discuss several strategies for managing both the Anger and Anxiety that often act as money-repellants in your life. There will be a special section in which I explain more about nutritional strategies for managing Anxiety, especially when sheer Force of Will alone is not enough.

No other “Law of Attraction” book I’ve seen goes into the bio-chemistry of Attraction like this. The information on Raw Cacao (yes, you can have chocolate without the pastries), by itself, will blow your mind, and supercharge it too!

No Gurus Here! My Latest Lunch Date June 25, 2009

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A man contacted me at one of the online “personals” sites I subscribe to. After corresponding for a week or two, we decided to take the next step and meet face to face.

A first-generation American born of Russian parents, he was very, very different from the kind of men who usually express an interest in me. Very intelligent, but in a hands-on, street-smart sort of way, having learned how to turn his ADD from a liability into an asset. Turns out he’s a VP for a large bank, handing corporate investments for them – AND he’s also a real estate investor, supervising a construction crew for rehabs.

After he told me a bit about some of the projects he’s done, and the ones he has active now, I asked him a very important question: “How did you learn to do real estate investing?”

His Answer? “I just did it.”

“Nobody taught you?’ I asked. “Nope, I flipped my first property when I was still in college.” (Or did he say high school?)

“You didn’t learn from your parents?” “No, they are both lawyers.”

“You didn’t take any trainings from people like Robert Allen, or Ron LeGrand?” “I don’t know who they are!”

I explained that Robert Allen is the author of Nothing Down. He’d never even heard of it, yet he’s been doing this for 15 years! He scornfully scoffed at those late-nite TV commercials those gurus put out – “All they want is to take your $5,000. They’re not really going to help you.”

That’s not to say he hadn’t gotten burned on a couple of his deals. But he learned from his mistakes. He said, “Now, whenever I try something new, I expect to fail three times before I start getting good at it.”

THIS is a guy who exhibits a lot of the qualities I talk about in my book, about how to be successful in life.

  • Just DO it. Don’t second-guess, don’t doubt.
  • Be resilient.
  • Don’t whine when somebody else gets the better of you. When you fall off the horse, dust yourself off and get back on again.
  • “Fail Forward Fast” – Be willing to do something badly, in order to get good at it faster.
  • Make Decisions and Take Action quickly.

How different from my ex-husband, who attempted to get into “businesses” that were totally incongruent with his background, who acted like the perpetual victim, and floundered around, wasting all his time in “getting ready to get ready!”

Meeting him was also an indicator that I’m finally moving in the right direction. In my book, I write about how I was terrified of losing my inheritance because I didn’t believe I could actually make that kind of money on my own. And by the Law of Attraction – you don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are – I ended up attracting someone who believed in his earning capacity even less than I did! He didn’t think he had it in him, to come up with a Million Dollar Idea, and so thought his only hope was to hitch his wagon to somebody else’s turnkey “system.”

I had to start believing I could make a 6- or even 7-figure income, before I would attract a man who can do the same – and today, such a man showed up!

Now, I don’t know if this is going to turn into anything romantic. We’re still in the “testing the waters” stage. But it was refreshing to know that I could trust him to solve problems on his own, and not cluelessly bring me problems and somehow expect ME to have all the answers. Some important lessons emerged from just this first date – lessons YOU can now use.

BTW, the title of my book, “Don’t Start a Business without ME!” is going to change to something that captures the zeitgeist a little better: “And God Said, Let There Be Money.” Stay tuned for further developments. 

The Importance of Keeping a Level Head June 16, 2009

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Working out the Soundtrack for "Scarlet '84"

Working out the Soundtrack for "Scarlet '84"

This past weekend, at the invitation of a friend, I participated on one of 52 teams in the “48-Hour Film Project” competition.

 

The idea is: All teams are given a character, a prop, and a line of dialogue. (All the same). The genre of film each team makes is literally chosen by drawing it out of a hat.

Once we have these criteria at 7 pm on Friday night, the team writes a script, sets up, shoots, edits, and delivers the finished film (4-7 minutes long) by 7 pm on Sunday! 30% of the score is judged upon how creatively we use these elements.

So the character was: Tim or Tina Flagle, unemployed musician (could be either male or female, according to the team’s choice). The prop: a tire. The line: “I need to leave in a minute.” The genre we drew: Historical Fiction or Period Piece.

Although 30 people had expressed an interest in participating in this particular group, when it came time for the actual competition, we ended up with a team of 10. But they were the RIGHT 10. I participated in the writing phase. We batted ideas around for HOURS, trying to come up with something we could pull off with the resources we had available. Often we could think of a concept, but not a plot to go with it.

We came around to the idea of setting something in the early 1980s, at the height of the first wave of the AIDS panic. Rather offhandedly, I tossed in this suggestion: “And everybody who had AIDS is forced to wear a red A.” (This of course was both a literary reference to “The Scarlet Letter” and to certain practices of the Nazis.)

That became the hook that pulled everybody together. By the wee hours, we had a 2-page script about a nightclub singer who is interrupted mid-concert and literally dragged off the stage by a secret service agent who tells her she’s been diagnosed “positive.”

She loses her home, and is told to report to a special containment area, where she is tattooed with the Scarlet A — on her face. She finds herself in a real dump, where she has to make a bed out of old discarded tires (that’s how we used the assigned prop). Tina meets a child who is singing the same song she herself was singing when she was dragged off the stage. The child is about to get beaten up by a street guy; Tina shoos him off by brandishing a hammer. Tina discovers that the child has also been “marked.” Taking the girl under her wing, she decides to fight back against the government forces. In the final shot, she takes the girl back to her home (which is itself branded with “crime scene” tape and “contamination” notices), and reclaims her home and her life, disease or no disease.

We called it “Scarlet ’84,” setting it in the year 1984 (another literary reference, to a totalitarian government). By setting it in such a recent era, I wondered whether we were really pushing the envelope of what can be considered a “period piece.” We had to make do by inserting references that would clearly indicate the year, such as the nightclub owner introducing the singer as “the lady who’s making an even bigger SPLASH than Darryl Hannah!” (The movie “Splash” was released in 1984.)

While still in story conference, the question came up: What music would Tina be performing? And everybody looked at ME, the official music expert on the team. Thinking out loud, I said, “What jazz standards do I know, that would be old enough to be in public domain?” The first thing that came to mind was “I Love A Piano” by Irving Berlin. We checked it on the internet — bingo! It’s out of copyright, and we could use it! So it became my job to come up with an original arrangement of the song, as well as to teach it to both the leading lady and the child actress.

On the actual shoot, I operated the Slate. (I’d always wanted to do that — to say, “Scene 7A, Take 1” — snap!) I wasn’t involved with the editing part; the team leaders did this by using Final Cut on a MacIntosh. My work done, I could have left to go home by early Sunday afternoon, but I stuck by the team leaders to the very end. And considering what happened next, I’m glad I did.

I don’t presume to understand all of the things that went wrong in the editing process, but I do know that when the footage was dumped to the computer, the Audio lagged the Video by exactly 20 frames! It took HOURS to get that straightened out, before the editing could even begin! And THEN, when everything was cobbled together, the computer would not burn the finished film to the correct format required by the competition judges!

What really impressed me is how well the team leaders kept a level head in this crisis. Down to the wire, their frustration could have easily degenerated into a shouting match between them, which would have only made matters worse. But they didn’t — they just kept their focus.

By 5:30, the leading lady and script supervisor decided to head out on the hour-long drive to Film Project headquarters, carrying with them a film that was at least viewable, even though it wasn’t the correct format. I followed a few minutes later, after packing up my music gear. In the meantime, the director and editor FINALLY got the format to work, and raced to headquarters. Not daring to waste precious minutes searching for parking, they called the script supervisor by cell phone, who stood outside so she could GRAB the DVD out of their hands as they drove up, and run inside with it to place it in the judges’ hands.

Got the finished product delivered with seconds to spare, so we’re officially in the running! We were not disqualified. What a relief! The leading lady described the experience as being like “your worst audition, which turns out to be your best performance.”

The screenings of the 52 entries will happen on June 23 and 24. Winners from this regional competition go on to Nationals, and winners from that one get to go to the Mother of All Film Festivals — Cannes!