Welcome

Welcome to EmmeNation
Where mind, body and spirit meet

Friday, August 12, 2011

Taking the wrong job might be just what you need... Part 1 of 3


My worst career experience was also the best.  I went to work for an internet research company just around the time of the dotcom bust after many years going to work in Corporate America every day.  I liked it “enough” but did not really love it.  As it turned out, the new job was more of the same old job but with an added twist that the organization was simply very unhealthful.  I was left with a strong dose of feeling numb and going about the day-to-day path of 9-to-5 work without passion.  I felt in my bones that there had to be a better way to live life and then I remembered an article I had read about a new field called coaching.  It was the year 2000 and coaching was a relatively new area.  I did some searching on the web to read all I could about the field and found a coach referral program.  Luckily, I stumbled into finding an amazing woman who would help to propel me into my ongoing search for work that feeds me.  Mary Beth Shewan (http://wholelifecoaching.com), who blogged on this site last month, was my first life coach.  In learning so much about myself through her coaching, one of the points that has resonated most for me is that “Levity is key”.  What I mean is that taking life too seriously sucks all the fun out of it and does not allow you to enjoy all of your natural talents.  One can be completely serious about accomplishing and doing great things, yet these things will most likely be more rewarding if handled with some lightness, love and fun.  I also learned rather quickly through the process of coaching that I had been engaged in coaching, training and mentoring others for years, even though I never labeled it coaching.  Throughout my media career holding workshops, giving presentations and managing a professional staff, I found that colleagues, students, friends and family frequently sought me out to help them think through issues concerning their careers as well as their personal lives.  An epiphany for me, coaching was a natural talent that I could use in work.  I threw myself into developing this talent and undertook my formal coaching training from the Coaches Training Institute (http://www.thecoaches.com/).  I am now certified as a professional coach (CPCC).  I probably would have discovered these passions eventually, but taking the wrong job (at the right time) was just what I needed.



Along the way, I met many talented coaches who have given me more tools and greater perspective than I would have ever imagined.  In particular, Rick Tamlyn (http://www.ricktamlyn.com/), an early teacher, says “It’s all made up”.  I love this concept that whatever you are in the world is made up, so why not make it up the way you want it to be, in the way that will allow you to live your life fully?





Rachel Mueller-Lust’s career in the media research world spans 20 years.  Currently, Rachel is Executive Vice President, Client Solutions at The Nielsen Company.  She has worked at traditional media companies as well as in entrepreneurial roles and began her career in 1988 as assistant professor of psychology at Oberlin College, conducting research and teaching on topics in cognitive psychology, statistics and the psychology of language.  In 2002, she founded Wondrance Coaching and Consulting, a firm that provides business coaching and workshops on topics including achieving work/life balance, speaking professionally and making career changes.  Rachel earned a B.S. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is certified as a professional coach (CPCC).  She is a featured speaker at numerous professional and academic conferences and universities.  Rachel can be reached at rachel@wondrance.com

Taking the wrong job might be just what you need... Part 2 of 3


Life is a circle and it takes a long time to realize that much of what is perfect for you to do in life—wanted and needed in the world for you to do—is what you loved to do as a child.  But this process cannot be rushed.  You must live a chunk of life before you can step back and rifle through all the “shoulds” that you picked up along the way and find the passion.  Although it has been 10 years since I began my coaching journey, I have tried many roles in my work and have been building a patchwork of arenas that best match my talents with where I can make the most impact on others while enjoying life.  I have always been creative but fearful that being creative makes you appear less substantial or professional in the world’s eye.  Part of the problem here is that I would care so much what the world at large thinks.  But I have learned two things:  One, I care more about what I think than what others think; and two, that being substantial or intellectual or professional or recognized as a success has nothing to do with the content of your life work but rather how you behave in the world.  If you are true to your inner talent, and that talent is art or writing or sculpting or coaching or managing or whatever, then you are, regardless of the financial reward, a success.

In looking back to my childhood for what I loved and cared about, two words resound:  peace and equality.  It first took the form of children's’ liberation—yes, a concept that my brother and I developed to acknowledge the powerful knowing and capability that children possess but that many adults do not attribute to them.  Feminism was another important area of equality for me at an early age.  My mother has always been a wonderful role model to me and she became active in the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom during the 60s.  When I was seven, she went back to school to become an attorney.  She began her career at Legal Aid doing much work on child custody conflicts, women’s battering cases, bankruptcy and even contributed to the Black Panthers trial.  I was fortunate to live in a home and a town where most people were politically active and many of us went to peace marches in Washington, DC in a town-chartered bus.  My father, an artist, writer and engineer, gave me an early exposure to creativity and he was the house-husband for a number of years, way before that was in style.







Rachel Mueller-Lust’s career in the media research world spans 20 years.  Currently, Rachel is Executive Vice President, Client Solutions at The Nielsen Company.  She has worked at traditional media companies as well as in entrepreneurial roles and began her career in 1988 as assistant professor of psychology at Oberlin College, conducting research and teaching on topics in cognitive psychology, statistics and the psychology of language.  In 2002, she founded Wondrance Coaching and Consulting, a firm that provides business coaching and workshops on topics including achieving work/life balance, speaking professionally and making career changes.  Rachel earned a B.S. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is certified as a professional coach (CPCC).  She is a featured speaker at numerous professional and academic conferences and universities.  Rachel can be reached at rachel@wondrance.com

Taking the wrong job might be just what you need... Part 3 of 3


How does all this play a role in how I am in the world?  I thrive on helping others to be independent and strong individuals who nurture their own talent; I crave music, art and creativity in my life; I need to be a strong woman who leads, coaches and mentors other women to do the same; and I strive to love myself and want others to love themselves just the way they naturally are.  And how they naturally are is so infinitely varied that they cannot be judged by some external definition of what is the right way to be, whether it applies to work, type of clothes or hairstyle, single or partnered, choice to have kids or not, or body size.  It takes so much re-programming of our thinking to allow the inner voice of beauty to be heard and recognized while quieting the saboteurs we have inside and all around us.  I am still evolving—I believe everyone is—so we all have the opportunity to look for the inner passions that make us each unique and special and bring that talent to the world.  With everyone on that quest, peace, beauty and love will prevail.

Melanie Dewberry-Jones (http://www.melaniedewberryjones.com), a soulful and beautiful woman who is my current coach, taught me that practice is needed for more than learning to play the piano.  Practice, practice, practice at whatever you are trying to be because most of us have been practicing at many activities and thinking limiting thoughts for so many years that have not served us well.  If we all practice to be compassionate and loving to ourselves and others, peace will abound.  And peace is so needed in the world, not just at the large-scale political level of countries at war but in everyday interactions with other people.  Melanie introduced me to The Anatomy of Peace, a book by the Arbinger Institute (http://www.arbinger.com/en/communitycall.html), that helps us to explore how to reframe the struggles we have in relationships with others in order to move toward peace.  Bill Shirley (http://www.insearchofeagles.com/) also helped to steer me to the path of understanding that being a skilled leader requires that relationships in work, not just in personal life, be built on honesty, openness and trust [H.O.T.].

I am certain that I have more bends and curves to take on the path of my life’s work and no doubt, I will hit some bumps. But I am not worried by this. I wish for everyone in the world to always be searching for how to “fail forward”, that is, to take risks that might lead to falling down.  Because by failing, we are actually moving forward in our lives and creating progress in the world.





Rachel Mueller-Lust’s career in the media research world spans 20 years.  Currently, Rachel is Executive Vice President, Client Solutions at The Nielsen Company.  She has worked at traditional media companies as well as in entrepreneurial roles and began her career in 1988 as assistant professor of psychology at Oberlin College, conducting research and teaching on topics in cognitive psychology, statistics and the psychology of language.  In 2002, she founded Wondrance Coaching and Consulting, a firm that provides business coaching and workshops on topics including achieving work/life balance, speaking professionally and making career changes.  Rachel earned a B.S. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is certified as a professional coach (CPCC).  She is a featured speaker at numerous professional and academic conferences and universities.  Rachel can be reached at rachel@wondrance.com

Monday, August 8, 2011

You Are Not Just A Body. You Are Your Body. Part 1


One of my mentors made a great statement, which has stuck always with me. He said, “Nature is not a background, it is our reality.  It is not a landscape in a portrait, but how we breathe and live.”  Nature is extraordinarily important to human life.  Trees are pretty, but they also do a plethora of things for mankind.  Housing, paper, and even our ability to breathe are incredible gifts from trees.  Natural processes are happening all around us and they shape our world.  Nature truly is not a background, but the foreground to human existence.  However, we often take nature’s role in our well- being for granted.  

Just as we so often take the significance of the natural world around us for granted, we often take our own bodies for granted.  Another mentor said, “You are not just a body. You are your body.”  After 13 years of giving bodywork, I believe our bodies are windows into our well-being. The body is a complex organism, with many systems working together to provide the experience of every detail of our daily lives.  The makeup of our bodies is directly related to our choices, genes, histories, diets, stress, relationships, and environments.  When the body is in a state of discomfort, it takes away from the ability for the human mind to truly enjoy life. In order for an individual to maximize life’s pleasures each person must find harmony in his or her beautifully unique body. 


(More...)









Diane Matkowski is the owner of Freedom Massage in Paoli, PA. She is a continuing education provider for the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, an organization that certifies massage therapists.Over her 13 years in this field—and tens of thousands of massage sessions—she have learned from brilliant body workers and trained with the best. Now, she endeavors to instill both her knowledge of and passion for this work in every detail of my business/bodywork.

You Are Not Just A Body. You Are Your Body. Part 2

How do we find balance while managing careers, relationships, and families?  The answer is simple: take care of yourself.  The word selfish is not a bad word; it means putting one’s self first.  If you cannot take care of yourself first, you will not be able to take care of anyone else.  These are famous words of my mother, who passed in August.  For years, I have thought of those words and found them to be true in my own life.  What is an easy solution to a healthier body and more body awareness?  Self care, especially in the form of massage.   Not only does every system in the body benefit from massage, but also it is a wonderful way to promote mental well-being and manage stress.  Massage helps increase circulation, increase immune system, induces the relaxation response,  increases body awareness,  helps release toxins,  rejuvenates, oxygenates, reduces stress in the body,  it’s good for your skin,  and so much more.  It feels good and is good for you, which is a hard combination to find in self-care.

But what if massage is not in my budget or within my time constraints?  If you get a massage once a month, you will begin to experience many benefits.  Instead of going out to dinner we can choose to get a massage instead.  A meal from a restaurant digests in hours, but the benefits of a massage last a lifetime.  Remember, “You are not just a body, you are your body.”  Take care of it and enjoy life!  Loving yourself is not just saying it, but being it.  



Diane Matkowski is the owner of Freedom Massage in Paoli, PA. She is a continuing education provider for the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, an organization that certifies massage therapists.Over her 13 years in this field—and tens of thousands of massage sessions—she have learned from brilliant body workers and trained with the best. Now, she endeavors to instill both her knowledge of and passion for this work in every detail of my business/bodywork.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) – Fear of Imagined Ugliness

BODY DYSMORPHIC DISORDER SELF TEST

Do you have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)?YESNO
1.Are there any parts of your body that you feel are unattractive or ugly?
2.Do you find yourself thinking excessively about your unattractiveness?
3.Do you compare the unattractiveness of your body part with the same body part or parts of others?
4.Do you regularly check your unattractiveness in the mirror in the hope that it may look better?
5.Do you ask others about your unattractiveness?
6.Do you use makeup to minimise displaying to others the part of your body that you feel is unattractive?
7.Do you camouflage any parts of your body that you feel are unattractive?
8.Is your life compromised by concerns with your appearance?
If you answered YES to most of the above questions, you may have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
To read more about BDD, click here.
 
Share your thoughts with us!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Emme on CNN to discuss airbrush photo ban in UK

Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has banned 2 Loreal ads, one featuring Christy Turlington and the other, Julia Roberts, because of what the ASA ruled as excessive airbrushing.  The ASA felt that these ads were misleading since the images had been digitally retouched with photoshop and were not true representations of what the makeup could achieve in reality.

I appeared on CNN's Headline News, as well as on CNN Live regarding this airbrushed photo ban in the UK.

Check out the clip of me on CNN at this site 

For more info on this controversial topic check out the site Any-Body.org and their "Victory for  Body Campaigners" post  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Painfully Out Of Focus: Attention Deficit Disorder Part 1 of 2

   With the school year approaching, once again, so many of our children are going to face the struggle of trying to fit into the routine of the classroom and to achieve some measure of success while their physical mechanisms are totally unconditioned to functioning within such an environment.
     Attention Deficit Disorder is a term coined only in 1980, but since that time, it has become North America’s number one childhood “psychological disorder. The “experts” in the medical field believe that three to five percent of all North American children suffer from ADD in one form or another. One hundred years ago before food additives, chemical pollution, prescription drugs, refined sugar products, processed foods, and television and computer games were in integral part of our lifestyle, ADD did not exist.
     There are several different classifications of the disorder, generally broken down under the categories of, with or without hyperactive behavior. A contributing cause of these disorders points to toxicity and/or deficiency of essential nutrients within the body.
     In the cases of hyperactivity, emotional stress, the consumption of food additives, excess sugar and food allergies seem to contribute to the imbalance.  With interrupted focus or short term attention/retention span, stress, nutritional deficiencies and repeated antibiotic use is more common.
     How does ADD affect our children? Once again, depending upon the cause it may manifest as:

  • Lack of concentration
  • A tendency to disturb other children and the classroom in general
  • Mood swings and tantrums
  • Extreme distractibility
  • Forgetfulness and absentmindedness (daydreaming)
  • Inability to finish tasks
  • Difficulty in managing time
  • Clumsiness
  • Sleep disturbances (including insomnia and bed-wetting)
  • Failure in school despite average or above average intelligence


Irene Maltzan received her training and certification to practice Health Counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the only nutrition school integrating all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods. Go to www.youtube.com and check out Healthy Cooking with Irene Maltzan. Please send your email address to wellness.tree@yahoo.com to find out more about the Wellness Tree programs for healthy living.

Painfully Out Of Focus:Attention Deficit Disorder Part 2 of 2

     Ask yourself what long-term effect any of these symptoms may have on the development of self esteem and worthiness of a child. Often children experiencing ADD are so ashamed of their perceived inadequacies that they withdraw into themselves to avoid being “found out”. They end up with the label of “being slow” or worse which stays with them right through school. The other reaction may be the “class clown” syndrome of a child acting out the belief that nothing bothers them. How sad that they begin their lives under the shadows of such false faces.
     What is the standard “treatment” for ADD? Currently more than 7 million North American children take drugs which contain substances to alter the brain’s neurotransmitter system in preliminary research conducted at Toronto’s Clark Institute. The lifelong impact of such alteration is yet unknown.
     Yet what is a desperate parent to do? They can’t just stand by and let their children be labeled and miserable under such a diagnosis. There are other options which are completely natural available to help ADD children. The natural approach, which supports overall wellness in the lifestyles of ADD children and their families, offers an array of alternatives which may include:

  • A complete analysis of dietary and nutritional needs of the individual. It is important to look at allergies including wheat, dairy, soy and corn. Sugar consumption can play havoc with hyperactivity or with concentration issues. It is also important to see how much food that they are eating contains hormones, artificial chemicals or preservatives.  Supplementation may be key because it can provide the right minerals, nutrients and essential fatty acids that are crucial to brain and cognitive development. 
  • Including regular Chiropractic check-ups, combined with patience and perseverance, just may bring the results we seek. Health begins at the cellular level. Each portion of our body--our skin, blood, bones, and organs--is made up of cells (about 75 trillion of them!) Each of those individual cells has five fundamental needs. None of these cellular functions, however, can be accomplished without communication from the brain to every tissue and organ in the body. The brain must send messages to the body’s cells (efferent transmission) and the cell must communicate its needs back to the brain (afferent transmission) through the nervous system. That is why all approaches to health care should begin with assurance of a healthy flow of nerve impulses to allow the body to function at its optimal level. If this flow of communication is impaired, all of our valiant attempts to eat right, take vitamins or herbs, exercise, etc., will be compromised.
  • Flower Essences as a safe, natural way to support a child in releasing old patterns of behavior associated with ADD Blends are available to encourage focus, self esteem and a calming of behavior, providing a fresh new start to learning. Flower Essences are free of negative side effects and may be used in conjunction with all other forms of treatment.
  •   Homeopathic remedies are very helpful with ADD/ADHD because they can address the emotional components of the disorder without concern for side effects. A good book to read on homeopathy is Ritalin-Free Kids by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman. Homeopathic remedies are suited to the symptoms of the individual rather then the disease name. This makes things very individualized. Two products that are safe and well tested are Attend by VAXA and Focus by www.NativeRemedies.com
  • Yoga and Martial Arts classes have shown tremendous benefits for all children. They can improve ability to :
    •  Heighten memory and mental concentration
    •  Build self esteem and increase self confidence
    •  Improve listening skills and increase coordination/flexibility
    •  Quiet the Mind
     Each of these modalities of holistic wellness offers a unique and vital link in the support system of the child. Together they form a positive, alternative option to the use of chemical therapies. The choices are available; the results are proving themselves successful beyond all expectations, as more and more ADD children who have lived with the pain and frustration of their seemingly hopeless situation are experiencing the freedom of coming into focus through programs of total body wellness.


Irene Maltzan received my training and certification to practice Health Counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the only nutrition school integrating all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods.Go to www.youtube.com and check out Healthy Cooking with Irene Maltzan. Please send your email address at wellness.tree@yahoo.com to find out more about the Wellness Tree programs for healthy living.

Monday, July 11, 2011

10 Things You Can Do to Raise Kids Who Make a Difference Part 1 of 2

Making a difference in the world and helping others are the best inoculations against poor self esteem for children. Having a sense of purpose, knowing that you can influence others and give back, creates a sense of self efficacy for children that leads to great self esteem. Additionally, having meaningful activities decreases boredom, isolation, and self-centeredness.

Kids today are fighting an uphill battle. They are growing up in an increasingly superficial and disconnected world. They are bombarded with messages from the media telling them what they should buy, wear and look like and that has left kids feeling empty, unfulfilled and bad about themselves.

Parents are not faring much better. Confused about how to raise self-motivated and connected children, out-influenced by today’s media and unsure of how to make fair, consistent boundaries, modern parents face bigger challenges than previous generations.

Raising a child who makes a difference in the world requires mothers and fathers to: parent in very conscious ways, foster a sense of self efficacy in their kids, help children to discover their passions, teach their children how to delay gratification, reduce entitlement and, of course, model the behavior they hope to see in their children. I never said it would be easy!


(More... for the 10 steps)




Dr. Jenn Berman is the author of two LA Times best selling books- SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years and The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Kids. Her first children’s book Rockin’ Babies was released May 2011 and won the prestigious Purple Dragonfly award. She can be heard live on the Cosmo Channel on Sirius XM channel 109 every night from 5-7 pm PST. Dr. Jenn has a private psychotherapy practice in Beverly Hills and is a wife and mother of twins. For more information go to www.DoctorJenn.com.


10 Things You Can Do to Raise Kids Who Make a Difference Part 2 of 2


1. Read books. Make sure to include books about famous historical figures who stood up for what they believed in (Rosa Parks) or overcame great odds (Helen Keller) along with books with stories about a quality or belief that is important to your family. For younger children this teaches them about your family’s belief system and for older children it opens discussions.
2. Have family meetings. Having a weekly family meeting teaches kids to learn to speak in a group forum and lets them know that their ideas are valued. Start including your children in these meetings no later than age five and make sure you keep them limited to 20 minutes.
3. Turn off the TV. The average American child sees 40,000 commercials and makes 3,000 requests for products and services per year. Studies show that American children believe that their clothes and brands describe who they are and define their social status which is more than that of children in any other country. Children’s focus on consumer culture has been linked to depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, psychosomatic complaints, and increased conflict with parents.
4. Give chores and responsibilities. All children should have family responsibilities (clear your place at the table, put away your toys, make your bed, etc.) as well as paid chores (rake leaves, take out the trash, water plants) as soon as they are old enough to do basic math and coordinated enough to handle tasks.  a sense of giving back in their own home and the value of a dollar which happens most easily when they earn that dollar.
5. Teach early giving. Teach children to give back to the community starting at a young age. Even toddlers and preschoolers can do something small but meaningful, like making a card to give to a sick child, helping an adult bake cookies to bring to the local firehouse, planting a tree, or helping collect cans for a food drive. It is important to teach these values early.
6. Make a “helping others” scrapbook. Using the scrapbook to memorialize good deeds allows children the opportunity to feel good while they look back on all the kind things they have done to help others. This book also enables them to revisit these generous deeds as their developmental ability to understand what they have done increases.
7. Plan “Giving Vacations.” Instead of another trip to Disneyland or Hawaii, plan a trip based around doing for others. There are many organizations and travel websites that list “volunteer vacation” opportunities, mostly for teens and older, to do things like build an orphanage, teach English in a third world country, help children with special needs, or restore coral reefs.
8. Let kids earn “the difference.” Teach kids about the household bills and let them see where they can save money. Let them “earn the money they save. If, for example they are able to decrease the electric bill by $10, they get to keep the $10. This teaches them about household costs, makes them aware of wastefulness and helps them contribute to the home in a new way.
9. Start a “Dinner Table Foundation.” In the book The Giving Family, author Susan Crites Price recommends having a regular family meeting to decide where donations will go. Decide in advance how much money will be donated (it does not have to be a large sum). If you have young children let them choose from two or three charities after you have explained to them what each charity does and how the money will be used. For older children, let them come to the table and pitch the charity of their choosing. Work together as a family to make these decisions.
10. Make giving a year-round family activity. Many families have annual giving traditions like feeding the homeless at Thanksgiving but it is important for children to see giving throughout the year. Make sure you point it out to children when you donate old clothes to a shelter, let them sit with you while you write a check for a charitable donation, so that they are aware of the regular ways you contribute to others. Also, try to create family giving opportunities every month.





Dr. Jenn Berman is the author of two LA Times best selling books- SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years and The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Kids. Her first children’s book Rockin’ Babies was released May 2011 and won the prestigious Purple Dragonfly award. She can be heard live on the Cosmo Channel on Sirius XM channel 109 every night from 5-7 pm PST. Dr. Jenn has a private psychotherapy practice in Beverly Hills and is a wife and mother of twins. For more information go to www.DoctorJenn.com.

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Plus-sized women: It's our turn for fine fashion"

Check out the recent CNN article by Amy Wilson,
 "Plus-sized women: It's our turn for fine fashion". This is an eye opening article with great expert opinions and statistics. It addresses why clothing for larger figures is not as available in the market as smaller sizes and the efforts to try to change this. 


"The average-sized woman in America is either a 14 or 16 -- depending on who you ask and what style she's got on (and sometimes which afternoon she's trying it on)."


"Women don't want their self-esteem bashed when they walk into a department store," said Emme, the first plus-sized supermodel, head of emmenation.com and now an actress in New York. "I don't think we're talking about anorexics or those morbidly obese. We're talking about what's real.


The "size-14 on top and size-16 on bottom" mother and entrepreneur says: "Look. We eat right. We exercise when we can. We take care of our kids. We want to look good. We aren't built like teenagers. Just once I'd like to see us take a day and not buy anything from a certain segment of stores and then they'd see how much buying power we have."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Whats in Your Library?

Hope you had an unbelievable 4th of July weekend full of smiles and laughs with your family and friends. Or if you got to get away and soak up the sun, hope you got some sand between your toes too.

My weekend was a pretty busy one, including my final performance in Love, Loss, and What I Wore, but now I am getting that down time we all need once in a while. My plan is to just curl up on the beach with a good read and listen to waves crashing in the background.

For those of you that just finished their books this weekend and need some recommendations check out the NYPost article, "In My Library: Emme" on the link below to find out my favorites! And comment back some recommendations for me :-)

My Fav Reads!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Am I "Whole"? - Susan Sullivan's Wise Words

Sharing the stage with Emme in Love Loss, and What I wore has been a joy.  She is courageous, open hearted, and believes in herself.  So when she asked me to write a blog on how to become ‘whole’, I was intrigued.  A blog –– I’ve never written one and ‘whole’ –– that sounded daunting.  Her request made me think.  And wonder.  Am I ‘whole’?  I’m not sure.  Maybe you can tell me.  All I can tell you is a little of my story.

First of all, I think of ‘whole’ more as a direction than an actual destination –– like an ever-receding target I make small gains on if I work really hard.  I’m assuming that ‘whole’ means a gathering together of all the disparate parts of myself, a sort of mishmash of the good and the bad.  The good takes care of itself.  The bad is what catches me up short.  Maybe ‘up short’ is the phrase that’s been at the center of my struggle.  I think I live in a dichotomous universe –– perfect or imperfect.  To me perfect is like ‘whole’ –– it sounds great but I don’t know how to get there.  You see, I’m imperfect.  Very imperfect.  There, I’ve said it.  So forget ‘whole’ –– I’m just trying to learn to live with being imperfect.  You know, now that I think about it, it’s the perfect that gets in the way.  It makes me anxious just writing the word.  You see, I’m an anxious person.  Always have been.  I’m so anxious that I have mess up the magazines on the coffee table if I’m having a guest over so as not to look the anal person I am.  Look, here’s the thing –– I have modest goals.  I know that for me to gain an inch or two toward wholeness requires me to be uncomfortable.  And I hate discomfort.  But every time I avoid being uncomfortable, I lose a few inches and my imperfections grow.  So I have a choice –– shrink my world by avoiding this or that or expose myself and tolerate the discomfort.  As I’ve said, I’m an anxious person and I hope I have the courage to continue to be one –– to put myself out there flaws and all.

I don’t know if that adds up to being ‘whole’ or not.  But I do know that I am alive, warts and all.  And that’s exciting. 


         Two time Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Susan is well known to television audiences for her starring roles in the long running hits Falcon Crest and Dharma and Greg.  She also starred in the series It’s A Living,  Rich Man, Poor Man,  Julie Farr M.D.,  The George Carlin Show,  and The Monroes. Susan can currently be seen in ABC’s new hour drama Castle.
         Born in New York, Susan attended Hofstra University on a drama scholarship.  On Broadway, she starred in Jimmy Shine opposite Dustin Hoffman and in The Beauty Part. Off Broadway, she played the leads in The Fourth Wall and Buffalo Gal.  She toured with the L.A. Theatre Works production of The Pentagon Papers.  Her extensive list of regional theater credits includes Fifth Of July  at the Mark Taper Forum, the National Touring Company’s production of Uncle Vanya  as well as The Three Sisters.  She also appeared in Twelfth Night,  Macbeth, and The Winter’s Tale  for PBS. She is a member of both the Matrix and Antaeus Theatre companies in Los Angeles.
         In addition to her series roles, Susan has starred in numerous feature and made for television movies including The Incredible Hulk, Midway, and My Best Friends Wedding.
         Susan is a founding member of the Celebrity Action Council at the Los Angeles Mission. She has served on the Board of the Felice Foundation and has been a spokesperson for the National Hospice Foundation and Save The Children. She is currently on the board of The Screen Actors Guild Foundation.
         Susan is bi-coastal, and shares her life with noted psychologist and author Dr. Connell Cowan and a couple of finicky feline friends.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Supermodels are Moms, Too!

Check out this Video at PBS.com! 


"Supermodel Emme shares tips on single-parenting, maintaining healthy habits–and how she juggles raising her daughter, performing off-Broadway and being an advocate for women and girls."


http://www.pbs.org/parents/theparentshow/supermodels-are-moms-too/

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Love, Loss, and What I Wore to Build for Habitat for Humanity - New York City


Yesterday, I traded in my stilettos and LBD for my role on the Off Broadway show, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, for a pair of Timberlands and a hard hat! The cast and crew of the show trekked from the West Side Theater to Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to install sheetrock in affordable Habitat-NYC homes. We helped renovate an eight-unit building that will one day become affordable condominium homes for low-income working New York City families.

Habitat for Humanity is such an unbelievable organization and I am so glad I got to spend my day working with my fellow cast and crew on this amazing project. 





(Full Article)

Check Out Habitat for Humanity NYC to learn about their great cause and sign up to help out! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Congrats to Love, Loss, and What I Wore on it's 700th Performance!


As announced on my website earlier in the year, I am proud to be apart of the fabulous cast of Nora Ephron's Love, Loss, and What I Wore from June 1st- July 3rd. While being apart of the cast, I had the pleasure of celebrating it's 700th performance on June 16th! Quite impressive, right? Well, I am looking forward to celebrating even more anniversaries with future casts, because trust me girls, this show isn't going anywhere. I would like to invite you all to come see this unbelievable show, and my fellow actresses, and congratulate everyone that has worked on this excellent show for the past few years.  



  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mama Mia! Delizioso Pizza


Vegan Pizza with Multi Grain Crust

Ingredients

  • Multi grain pizza dough to make one large pizza (I use Whole Foods in the Fresh Prepared Section)
  • 1 cup Organic Pizza Sauce
  • 1 block of mozzarella Vegan cheese shredded
  • 1 large zucchini sliced into thin rounds
  • 1-2 cups mushrooms sliced thinly (baby bella work well)
  • 1 red or yellow pepper sliced into thin strips
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced

Preperation

Heat oven to 425. Make sure the oven is preheated.
Make sure pizza dough is at room temperature.
In a saute pan heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil.
Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Add zucchini and pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add mushroom and
Saute for another 3 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
Sprinkle some flour onto a large area. Roll pizza dough with a rolling pin. Let it sit for a few minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with olive oil.
Keep stretching and rolling the pizza dough until it has the shape of the baking sheet.
Add Pizza sauce and spread evenly
Add the Vegan cheese and sprinkle evenly over the pizza dough.
Spread vegetables over the pizza.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is completely melted.






Go to www.youtube.com and check out Healthy Cooking with Irene Maltzan if you like these recipes. Please send your email address at wellness.tree@yahoo.com to find out more about the Wellness Tree programs for healthy living.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Curvy Girl Guide- Brittany Gibbons


If you would have asked me last October, if I would be sitting at the helm of an online magazine that sees upwards of half a million readers a month, I would have laughed at you. Heartily. And, then promptly gone back to eating my chicken lomein.
But today, that’s exactly what we’re doing.
The idea for the Curvy Girl Guide came to me as I was brushing my teeth, already knee deep in an internal screaming match with my body, as is often the case when my jeans are hard to button. I was standing in front of a full length mirror, wondering if wide calf tall boots would look silly on my thick thighed frame.
Why aren’t there any resources for that? Showing me what plus size clothing looks like on real curvy and plus size women? Why wasn’t I seeing women in mainstream fashion magazines whose bodies I could relate to?
This was a growing sentiment of disconnect for me. I wasn’t relating to the women or the stories I was reading in all my favorite glossy women’s magazines, and it turns out, I wasn’t alone.
In October 2010, Marie Claire Magazine ran a story entitled, Should Fatties Get A Room? (Even on TV?). What began as a commentary on the distaste for seeing overweight people on prime time television shows, like Mike & Milly, quickly turned into a hate based diatribe about the gall of overweight people to exist...anywhere. The story went viral. The author, Maura Kelly, was made to apologize. But, the damage was done.
The climate was right.
I went to my business partner, Heather Spohr, with the idea, and we launched Curvy Girl Guide in November 2010. It was an immediate success, serving as ground zero for so many women who struggle with their bodies, their weight, their lives.
What began as a project addressing weight and self image, has turned into a full scale lifestyle magazine for real women. We’re so much more than eating struggles and body hate. From fashion to health, pop culture to sex, we tackle everything, because we are real women, and our lives don’t stop the second we step on a scale.
Curvy Girl Guide just finished serving as the national spokesperson for Lands’ End 2011 Swimsuit Campaign, and spent a week in New York on a five day media blitz promoting National Swimsuit Confidence Week.
Every email I get from a woman or teenage girl who finds their voice in our movement changes my life.
And, that’s more satisfying than all the chicken lomein in the world. (Probably.)



Brittany Gibbons runs Curvy Girl Guide with her partner, Heather Spohr, who authors the award winning blog, The Spohrs are Multiplying. Brittany is a humorist, primarily known for her satirical wit and self deprecation.  She authors the popular humor blog, Barefoot Foodie, in which she overshares bits of her life between phonetically spelled sound effects and excessive ellipses.  She and Heather also founded the groundbreaking social media company, Mouth Media.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Why Is It So Hard To Feel So Good? - Part 1 of 2


   Perhaps it’s the stage of life I’m in, mid-life, where I’ve noticed the conversations with my friends has taken on a slightly different tone than when we were young. During our 20’s discussions were often filled with lofty talk about our future. We'd talk about our goals, hopes and dreams, with an occasional “guy or girl story” sprinkled throughout our conversation. Now most of my contemporaries are in their 40’s or older. Many of us have met some, if not a lot of the important goals, we set out to achieve. Some of these achieved goals are even the ones we dreamed and talked about, when we were younger. One might think this would create a sense of glee or at the very least some sliver of self satisfaction, but I have found the opposite to often be true. The interesting thing about goals is there are always new ones waiting to be born. Only the goals of adulthood don’t always benefit from the veil of grandiosity or hopeful feelings, so typically felt during our youth. Adult goals, although still equally longed for and dreamt about, get internalized along side a healthy dose of reality (for better or for worse); a by product of living life and in some cases being humbled by it.

    Now this might sound a little depressing, but it got me thinking...Why is it so hard to feel good or satisfied with our lives?!? What is it our psyche craves? What do we need in order to feel inspired, grateful and at peace with ourselves; especially while pursuing the life we say we want? Are we responding to societal messages about conspicuous consumption? Or is it the early parental messages entrenched in our brains? Is it our competitive and aspirational nature, constantly gnawing at us? Telling us we're not enough and don't have enough, in order to keep us moving forward? Is it because we don't have as much as some of the people around us? Or that we aren't living up to some fantastical ideal we’ve too easily bought into? 

     There's a reason why so many people are self medicating themselves with compulsive shopping, eating disorders, alcohol abuse, other substances and/or needlessly taking prescription medications to numb the pain. The message we're responding to, is that we're not good enough, unless we're "fill in the blank". So as a therapist and person who occasionally falls victim to these feelings too, I wonder, what's the answer? If meeting some of our goals doesn't quiet our discontent, what will? I realize I've probably bitten off more than I can chew here, but what the heck...it's worth a try.

(More...)
    

 Dr. Robi Ludwig is a nationally known psychotherapist, award winning reporter. She also hosted two seasons of TLC’s reality show, “One Week to Save Your Marriage” as well as , GSN’s reality game show, “Without Prejudice?”. Dr. Ludwig’s academic credentials include a doctorate in psychology (Psy.D) from the Southern California University for Professional Studies; she holds a post-masters certificate in advanced clinical work from Hunter College, a masters degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Cedar Crest College.


Why Is It So Hard To Feel So Good? Part 2 of 2


   There will always be aspects of our lives, which get us to feel frustrated, bored, unhappy, powerless and victimized. It's far easier to feel the negative aspects of our lives, then it is to feel the positive aspects. It's just the way our brain works. Some of the goals we've achieved too easily fade into the backdrop of our lives. They become a given....like the air we breathe. We crave newness and new goals to accomplish, or our lives can start to feel stagnant. Once we reach a certain level of accomplishment, it bumps us up to a new level, where we then get exposed to and see yet another level of what we still don't have. Or we become acquainted with people around us, who seem to have more of whatever it is we want.
    Chasing some of our more illusive goals can prove upsetting and make it hard to feel successful or good in our own skin. So how do we take back our power and learn to embrace the complexity of our lives? Both the positive and negatives, without being so hard on ourselves? Not an easy question or task; I know! Part of the answer is to realize that difficult feelings about our selves and our lives are unavoidable. And it doesn't matter how well we're doing in life. Feeling negative about ourselves doesn't mean we're doing something wrong. It's just a part of the human condition. Achieving a level of happiness and satisfaction is not a final destination either, but a place to visit during our life’s journey. Hopefully it's a place we'll get to visit more often than not.
     One of the keys to feeling more content is learning how to broaden our criteria for judging ourselves.

1)    To not view our success and failures so narrowly, i.e. like based on what we have or don't have, or what we've done or not done. Sometimes gaining a more spiritual approach to life can help us. Ask the question, “Am I seeing the bigger picture in all of this?”, can also help.
2)    Learn to see obstacles as an opportunity to transform our life circumstances. Find ways to turn challenges into important life moments of inspiration and revelation.
3)     And never underestimate the power of placing supportive people, or role models in your life. Remember, no one is a one man band. We all need people in our lives to remind us of who we are and who we are meant to be; especially when we've lost our way!
4)    Look for the positive in even the most dire situations
5)    And regularly list what you're grateful for.

   We need to train our minds when it comes to being kind to ourselves. It's far easily said than done, I know, but totally worth the effort!





 Dr. Robi Ludwig is a nationally known psychotherapist, award winning reporter. She also hosted two seasons of TLC’s reality show, “One Week to Save Your Marriage” as well as , GSN’s reality game show, “Without Prejudice?”. Dr. Ludwig’s academic credentials include a doctorate in psychology (Psy.D) from the Southern California University for Professional Studies; she holds a post-masters certificate in advanced clinical work from Hunter College, a masters degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Cedar Crest College.