Monday, July 30, 2007

Charmed Monday Minute, July 30

Hello, all -

In an effort to keep The Minute down to a minute, I fully intend to start blogging in between times. That way, for those of you who like my ramblings about this little charmed life of mine, you can tune in right here and keep up that way and I can save The Minute for more useful info.

Since I haven't gotten that organized yet, let me tell you just a bit about my most recent travels: Nashville and Memphis were so much fun. The music and the energy were different in the two cities - country for the former, blues for the latter - but just being in such musical places filled my soul in places that needed it.

In Nashville, I stayed with a good friend (and wonderful astrologer) Rosemary Cathcart and saw other amazing people: Karlen Evins (author of I Didn't Know That: From 'Ants in the Pants' to 'Wet Behind the Ears' - The Unusual Origins of the Things We Say), singer/songwriter Georgia Middleman, Thom Rutledge, author of Embracing Fear, and singer/songwriter/motivational speaker Jana Stanfield. I also had my hair and makeup done at a cool place called The Mirror. I felt like I was ready for my Opry debut, but instead I did an interview on local TV. (I scratched the rental car in the parking lot and learned that that American Express insurance really does work. They said, "We'll take care of everything." What a comforting sentence!)

In Memphis (in addition to meeting wonderful readers, including one who'd driven all the way from Little Rock), I went to Graceland and was actually inspired. My favorite exhibit was the wall that showed 42 checks for $1000 each that Elvis wrote to various charities on one day in 1962.

I was home for one quick night and then took Amtrak (my totally favorite way to travel) to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, for the North American Vegetarian Society Summerfest. I hadn't been to Summerfest in eleven years and something really astonished me: vegetarians age amazingly well. The people I ran into looked great. It was strange to see young adults I'd last seen as children next to their parents who looked almost the same as the last time I saw them. I also read a terrific book by one of the other speakers: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD., who did pioneering work at the Cleveland Clinic for over two decades. If you or someone you love is dealing with heart disease, get this book. It could change everything.

Martha Graham's Prayer...

A really wonderful actress friend of mine, Karen Fitzgerald, turned me on to this beautiful prayer or statement of purpose from the founder of Modern Dance, Martha Graham. I'd like to share it with you:

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
That is translated through you into action,
And because there is only one of you in all of time
This expression is unique,
And if you block it,
It will never exist through any other medium,
And be lost.
The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is,
Nor how valuable, or how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly,
To stay open and aware to the urges that motivate you.

Martha Graham,

New York Learning Annex:

As I prepare to write The Little Book of the Spiritual Life - thanks so much to everyone who wrote with ideas for that - I've been engaged by the Learning Annex of NYC to teach a class, "How to Have More Spiritual Life." It's happening in Manhattan on August 30 and October 25. For more info, go to

Summer skin protection...

I saw a nanny pushing a stroller and the little boy in it was baking in the sun (she didn't have the shade down on the stroller so she could use it for carrying gear). Of course I said something (I lied and told her I was a nurse) but she did nothing. (Don't get me started on some of the nanny stuff I see in this city...) The plight of that baby did remind me that I should be telling you - regardless of your skin type but especially if you're Caucasian and fair - that this is the season to step up the sun protection. Here's what I know:

A barrier block (avobenzone, oxybenzone, zinc oxide) as opposed to a chemical block (PABA, Parsol, Mexoryl) can be applied immediately before you go out; if you're using a chemical block, it needs 20 minutes to provide protection.

Life is short: The life of sunblock on your skin, even if you don't sweat or swim, is 2-3 hours. After that you need to reapply. That's a problem if you're wearing makeup, although your SPF-containing foundation may be reapplied. Another way around this is to use a tinted SPF moisturizer instead of foundation, or touch up every couple of hours with a sun-blocking pressed powder like the one from Physicians' Formula.

It's finally legal! Mexoryl, the chemical block shown to truly protect again UVA (aging) rays is finally approved for sale in the US. (I used to buy it in England by the case.) Lancome has the patent in this country for now, and it's not cheap ($30) but to preserve my skin, I'll save up.

Don't be stingy with sunblock once you've bought it. You really have to cover the exposed areas with the lotion. Don't use it sparingly like moisturizer; really use it.

Should all those places be forgot... Protect the forgotten places, notably the area between you bra and your chin. This is one of the most aged areas on most women's bodies: clothes cover much of the rest, and the face get sunblock, a hat, whatever, but this no-woman's-land ends up discolored, blotchy, and noticeably damaged. Also protect your hands (use sunblock after washing and if you drive or ride a bike, wear gloves) and your arms (again, if you drive: your left arm in particular).

Lips aren't immune. Dermatologists are seeing more skin cancer on lips since we've been protecting the rest of our face. Use a gloss with SPF.

Plan your day. What's the line about mad dogs, Englishmen, and the noonday sun? Take heed. If you can do your jog or your errands in the morning or evening instead of midday when the sun is at the peak, arrange your life accordingly.

I know some of my readers believe that chemical sunblocks have problems of their own. I certainly respect that view. If it's yours, use a barrier block like Dr. Hauschka, but do protect yourself. You're important.

A really remarkable Tarot reader:

I'm pretty cynical about this kind of stuff, but I had a truly helpful and insightful Tarot reading from a gentleman named Roy Sorrels. He's a writer and understands creative sorts, but specializes in intuitive, supportive Tarot reading to help anyone achieve spiritual and practical goals. He can work with you in person in the NYC area or by phone wherever you are. If this sounds like something that would interest you, drop him an email:

Another diet book I actually like!

I'm on a roll here (see my blog for the July 16 Minute where praised Linda Spangle's 100 Days of Weight Loss and Life Is Hard, Food Is Easy.) This week's book is really in-your-face (it makes Fat, Broke & Lonely No More read like a love poem) but its two authors make some points I wholeheartedly agree with. It's Skinny Bitch: A No-Nonsense, Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous (Running Press, 2005) by former model agent Rory Freeman and former model Kim Barnouin who now holds a Masters in Holistic Nutrition. Their contention is that if you aren't healthy, you won't be skinny (I'd use a different word, but you get the point). To that end, they tell you that "Sugar Is the Devil" and artificial sweeteners are demonic, as well; dairy is a disaster; "The Dead, Rotting, Decomposing Flesh Diet" (i.e., Atkins et al) won't keep you trim for keeps; and they give detailed, brand-specific suggestions for putting together a whole-foods, vegetarian, eating plan that is delicious, satisfying, and easy to transition into. If you're offended by four-letter words, don't read this book because they're used a quite a bit. If that's not a problem, this is a motivating, info-packed read.

Maybe I like Skinny Bitch so much because its gutsy young authors say what I haven't said since Love Yourself Thin (the 1997 reissue of 1992's The Love-Powered Diet - both are now out of print but can you find them used on Amazon). I've been keeping a lid on my vegan sentiments, figuring that once somebody with food issues gets clear on the emotional/spiritual part of things, they should be free to make their own choices. But that's only true when you know all the choices, including how delicious and filling and non-deprivational a whole foods, plant-based diet can be. I need to remember how much of staying clean with food and leaving a weight problem behind I owe to a pretty-close-to-purely-vegan manner of eating. This may not be for everybody, but I don't want to keeping the good news under a bushel either. Thanks, Rory and Kim: you guys rock.

Quotation of the week:

"There are three kinds of people in the world: those who are immovable, those who are movable, and those who move."
- Arabian proverb

FBL cover

VICTORIA'S NEW, 10th, and (we're hearing!) BEST BOOK EVER,

Fat, Broke & Lonely No More: Your Personal Solution to Overeating, Overspending, and Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
from HarperOne

Get your copy today!

If you'd like to order online, here are links to the big guys:
Barnes & Noble

Or, call your favorite independent bookstore to reserve your copy!

(To find an independent bookstore in your area, you can search on here.)

Take care, and all good things -

Victoria Moran

Monday, July 16, 2007

Charmed Monday Minute July 16

I can already see that doing the Minute every other week makes it more like the "Charmed Monday 5-Minutes," so I hope you have a bit of time and maybe of nice, tall iced tea...

I told you last time that I'd fill you in on the second half of my book tour. I went from LA to Chicago where I met with the Harpo radio people. As many of you know, I lost my radio show on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius due to a station-revamp last fall, and I've been looking for a new radio home. Oprah & Friends isn't making any additions for a year, and when they do, I would love to be included. It was a great meeting. We talked about my tried-and-true show format, the Charmed Life show, and about a new idea: a show about personal spirituality, which would be so gratifying and so much fun to do. And I can't imagine anything more glorious than working for Oprah!

After Chicago, I was in my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, did the Sunday service at Unity Temple on the Plaza and a Cornerstone Foundation lecture there the next evening. I saw so many old friends and met some fascinating new ones. One woman who was particularly interesting is named Cat Running Elk. She reminded me a lot of myself at an earlier phase of life, since she's homeschooling two daughters. She's written a wonderful book for parents called Mystic Mommy. Her website is

I also spoke in Columbia, Missouri (my mom's hometown) and Topeka, Kansas. Being back in the Midwest grounds me and lets me know I have roots. When I drove across the Missouri River coming in from the airport, it hit me very strongly that no matter where I'm go, I am in this life made of that locality, that earth and that water. It felt good.

Back home in New York City, I've been catching up with my coaching clients - the in-person New Yorkers and the others I coach by phone all over the country. They were kind enough to give me the month of June "off" for my tour, and it's wonderful to reconnect. I've also been doing a lot of radio interviews for Fat, Broke & Lonely No More and gearing up for further travel.

Here's where I'll be - If you're nearby, please come, and if you have friends or family in these places, please let them know.

Nashville, TN: Sunday, July 22: 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services, "The God-Shaped Hole." Center for Spiritual Living, 6705 Charlotte Pike, 615-356-0174

Nashville, TN: Monday, July 23: 6 p.m., Davis Kidd Books, The Mall at Green Hills, 2121 Green Hills Village Drive, 615-385-2645 - talk and signing, Fat, Broke & Lonely No More

Memphis, TN: Tuesday, July 24, 6 p.m., Davis Kidd Books, 387 Perkins Rd., 901-683-9801 - talk and signing, Fat, Broke & Lonely No More

Johnstown, PA: Friday, July 27- Sunday, July 29, North American Vegetarian Society Summerfest, University of Pennsylvania at Johnstown, 518-568-7970, or email -- Fat, Broke & Lonely No More keynote address plus assorted breakout sessions

Norwalk, CT: Sunday, August 5, 10:30 a.m., Unity Church of Fairfield County, 3 Main St., 203-855-7922 - "The God-Shaped Hole"

Mercerville, NJ: Wednesday, August 8, 7 p.m., Friends Health Connection, Hamilton Health Center, -- Fat, Broke & Lonely No More keynote with discussion, q & a, and book signing

Reality show update:

The option process to turn Fat, Broke & Lonely No More into a reality show continues. It's thrilling and kind of nerve-racking at the same time. I am breathing, accepting, anticipating, and frankly so excited I can barely contain myself. I'll keep you posted as more develops. Oh, if you'd like to see some very happy pictures of me at Warner Brothers, click here. (Since we redid the site, we've added a photo album - the WB pix are near the bottom since they're recent.)

Question of the week -

You often recommend Dr. Hauska cleansing milk as your favorite cleanser, but it's really expensive. Is there something comparable that's cheaper? - Paula, Tulsa, OK

Hello, Paula - You know, a month ago I would have been stumped on this one, but I found a new (to me) line of products at the drugstore that have that same almost magical quality that I love about Dr. Hauska. They're called Juice Organics. The "Nourishing Cleanser" smells lemony and luscious and is very gentle (and I have super-sensitive skin). These products are organic, vegetarian, and no animal testing - and very affordable, comparable to Nivea or Basic (these are also drugstore brands that don't do animal testing).

In vision: The Little Book of the Spiritual Life -

This is the book I really want to write next and I'm working on the proposal now. I am envisioning a book about the how of developing an inner life that works. I'll talk about what's expected, of course (meditation, forgiveness, kindness), but I see it as a little edgier than that. For example, many of the really spiritual people I know and read about get up extremely early. And they're not super-sappy, givey/givey types either: they take care of themselves so they have the strength - physical and psychic - to tend to the rigors of the spiritual path. I'd love to hear your ideas about the solid, down-to-earth practices that you think comprise a spiritual life. Feel free to send those to me directly or to Joya,and she'll print them for me. Thanks a lot!

Who first used the term "charmed life"?

Shakespeare! Good heavens, he came up with a lot. I was researching the origin of "a charmed life" and found this on

A life of guaranteed good fortune or invulnerability, by virtue of a charm or spell.

From Shakespeare's Macbeth, 1605.

Thou losest labour:
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed:
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmed life, which must not yield,
To one of woman born.

A planet-healing meditation:

Whenever someone sends me an email that says "Fwd." I delete it in an attempt to have time for a life away from the computer. I did open one, though, that I believe may be important. I'll share this with you only because I do believe there's something to it. The request is that this Tuesday, July 17, at 7:11 a.m. Eastern time, everyone who is willing to, enter into prayer or meditation, or simply into a state of gratitude and joy, or listen to uplifting music. If you're unavailable at this time (i.e., you're on the West Coast and sleeping!), the suggestion is to write yourself a statement of intent before you go to bed that during the period from 7:11 to 8:11 a.m. Eastern, whether you are working or sleeping or whatever, you will align your energies with those who are meditating for the healing of the planet.

For more information, please visit This is a little more "out there" than I usually get, but I was very impressed with what I read. The woman who came up with this was in a horrible car accident in which both she and her 4-year-old son were pronounced dead. While unconscious, she was given instructions for staying alive that she believes came from angelic forces. Obviously, she lived, as did her little boy who was on life support for several day. The angels also supposedly told this woman that humans can help repair the planet on many levels by joining in prayer, meditation, gratitude, and music tomorrow morning.

I know nothing more than this, but they're not asking for any money and intuitively, I personally trust what she's saying. Worst case scenario, I'll meditate a little longer tomorrow and with more joy than usual. If you do it, too, well - see ya then...

Diet books I actually approve of:

I know you're shocked, but here's a writer I discovered and a couple books worth reading --

By Linda Spangle, RN, MA...

Life Is Hard, Food Is Easy: The Five Step Plan to Overcome Emotional Eating

We all give in to emotional eating sometimes. But when you're trying to lose or maintain your weight, your "non-hungry eating" can sabotage everything you've worked for. In Life is Hard, Food is Easy, Linda Spangle presents five steps that go right to the heart of emotional eating. This book provides great tools that will help you deal with what you're trying to "feed" when you overeat.

100 Days of Weight Loss: The Secret to Being Successful on Any Diet Plan

In spite of their good intentions, most people average just three to four weeks on a diet before they fall off the wagon. In 100 Days of Weight Loss, Linda Spangle provides simple mini-lessons that keep dieters committed to their diet for a minimum of three months or longer. No more lost motivation or falling off the weight-loss wagon. Instead, you'll discover the secret to staying on your plan and reaching your goal.

Linda's site is

Bermuda, anyone?

The Ultimate Girls' Getaway Weekend is happening in Bermuda October 18-21 and I'm the keynote speaker. (For more info, visit Here's some interesting info they unearthed about women traveling alone or with other women:

"According to a companion consumer survey of 470 women, when traveling with female friends or family members, women say they do so guilt- and worry-free (92% and 73% of those polled, respectively)."

"The majority of women polled say they feel excited (78%) and liberated (64%) when they go on a women-only vacation.

"They said that being able to "re-connect with friends" (88%) and "relax and recharge" (86%) are among the best things about 'girls-getaways.' "

"As an added perk to getting away, 54% of women reported feeling more appreciated by their mates once back at home."

"It's time to nurture yourself!"

And to that, I say 'Here, here!' ('sounds Bermudian, doesn't it?)...

FBL cover

VICTORIA'S NEW, 10th, and (we're hearing!) BEST BOOK EVER,

Fat, Broke & Lonely No More: Your Personal Solution to Overeating, Overspending, and Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
from HarperOne

Get your copy today!

If you'd like to order online, here are links to the big guys:
Barnes & Noble

Or, call your favorite independent bookstore to reserve your copy!

(To find an independent bookstore in your area, you can search on here.)

Take care, and all good things -

Victoria Moran

Monday, July 02, 2007

Charmed Monday Minute, July 2

Because I've been on the road for three weeks and have so much to share, I'm going to forego our standard ezine format with quotes, q & a, books reviews, etc., and just write you a letter.

The tour was lovely, start to finish - the best of my eight book tours, I believe. (Yes, there have been ten books, but only eight got tours.) Part of the blissing of it (that is my new favorite made-up word) was that it was June. My Younger by the Day tour was in January - big difference. And this time they built in "travel days" so it was leisurely and I didn't come home feeling as if I needed a vacation. It was a good lesson for future travels, business and personal: faster is not always better.

The tour began in Portland, Oregon, where I was the houseguest of my dear friend Terry Jordan. We met nine years ago, after she'd read my book Shelter for the Spirit. She had a little book party for me, which was wonderful. I am all for these in-home gatherings. That way, I really get to meet people and talk with them and learn about them.

The next morning I did the Sunday morning services at Unity World Healing Center in Oswego, and a talk and signing at 23rd Avenue Books in Portland. The next day I was on AM Northwest, a long-running local TV talk show. That night Jennifer Louden ( and I did a co-presentation at New Renaissance Books. We'd never spoken together before, but we came off like a well-rehearsed comedy act. It was so much fun. (And someone who likes both of our books gave us homemade soap!)

In Portland, I also got to know Barbara Christenson ( who books me to speak for women's health conferences. AND I got a speaker story: a magical life event that's good enough to tell in public. I wandered into a nail salon and the guy working there does ballroom and salsa dancing. At the end of my manicure, wet nails and all, he led me out into the center of this kind of grubby salon and said, "First, we learn rumba." It was amazing. I kept telling myself: "Remember this: you may never again dance in a nail salon."

In Seattle, there was a talk/discussion at Barnes & Noble University Place. It seemed that someone came representing every book I've ever written. "I first read Creating a Charmed Life... I know you from Fit from Within... I found Fat, Broke & Lonely No More three days ago and had to come..." It was so sweet. Among the attendees was a dear reader-friend Elaine Stefanowicz (Elaine: if I'm spelling your name wrong, please forgive me, I'm going on instinct) who actually got on the phone the next day and booked me a radio show.

I also spent time with author Jane Adams whom I met last year when I interviewed her for an article I wrote for Body & Soul about women's friendships. (She wrote Boundary Issues and When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us.) We had lunch at the café beneath Eliot Bay Books and she took me with her to walk her dog. (I was already dog-deprived, and it had only been a few days.)

Then San Francisco - what a place! I had lunch with my clever and gracious editor Gideon Weil and dinner at Millennium, a superb, 5-star vegan restaurant. As a guest of the owners Larry and Ann Wheat, I was treated to the most sumptuous tasting menu! They gave me a written menu so I could share details with you. I'll do that next week.

Also in the Bay area, I did a signing at Book Passage in Corte Madera and lunched with Julie Stuffelbeam (she and her husband manufacture a very cool toy: at Café Gratitude (the restaurant where every dish is an affirmation: I am Grateful, I am Beautiful, I am Joyful, I am Worthy). Brenda Kinsel (she's a terrific image consultant and author - came to the signing, as did the editors of VegNews magazine, and Marci Shimoff (Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul) whom I kept looking at, thinking I knew her, until I realized I'd seen her in The Secret. (And another lovely reader gave me homemade soap. I'll be too spoiled for store soap after this.)

In Palo Alto, I spoke at a beautiful Unity church (the minister, Karyn Bradley, used to be at Unity in Kansas City) and in San Rafael, I addressed Vegetarians in Marin, a guest of my gracious and life-changing former agent, Patti Breitman. (I have the best agent karma: both my agents are fairy godmothers. However, they're about my age, so fairy god-sisters maybe?)

Then LA - in fact, I'll stop with LA because it was so special, and I can fill you in on Chicago, KC, and environs next week. Southern California really is heavenly in so many ways: the flowers, the weather, and that little bit of Hollywood magic not far away.

My event at Barnes & Noble at The Grove (an outdoor shopping mall that looks like an oldtime town center) was so much fun. Dinner followed with great friends: Suzanne Taylor (; Suzanne is making a film about crop circles), Cynthia Dadonna (Diary of a Modern-Day Goddess - and she's about to start a syndicated radio show called "Romancing the Table"), Michele Anton (she was Dr. Laura's exec producer for years and is the author of Weekend Entrepreneurs), Mary Cordaro (she does environmental home design ), and reader Camille Wilson, a lovely teacher I met last year when I did a retreat at Pumpkin Hollow Farm in upstate New York. I felt so warm and safe on the other side of the country with all these amazing women. It realized that wherever I go, I have God and, almost wherever I go, I have people.

The next morning I went to Frederic Fekkai on Rodeo Drive for hair and makeup. The makeup person, Janice Bremec ( is actually the makeup artist for Extreme Makeover. Then I was driven to Warner Brothers and had a terrific meeting about a TV possibility. I will tell you all about it once there is something absolutely solid to tell. I will say that, for a girl from Kansas City, going through those gates of Warner Brothers (Clark Gable could have come around a corner and I wouldn't have been surprised) and having people who can make things happen interested in my work. Well, it was very, very special. Hold a thought for me - I'll keep you posted on further developments. (And hold on tight to your very own dreams! Believe me, if these possibilities are taking shape for me, you can do anything.)

We will send out a Minute next week but not on Monday - Joya's parents will be visiting. In the meantime, l recommend Michael Moore's Sicko. I believe it's his best film, and the one that will reach the farthest and cross barriers to open discussion about a topic that concerns all of us.

Be well and happy - Victoria

FBL cover

VICTORIA'S NEW, 10th, and (we're hearing!) BEST BOOK EVER,

Fat, Broke & Lonely No More: Your Personal Solution to Overeating, Overspending, and Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
from HarperOne

Get your copy today!

If you'd like to order online, here are links to the big guys:
Barnes & Noble

Or, call your favorite independent bookstore to reserve your copy!

(To find an independent bookstore in your area, you can search on here.)

Happy week, all!

My very best,

Victoria Moran