Monday, September 24, 2007

Charmed Monday Minute- 9/24/07

Dear amazing people -

You all mean so much to me, even if we've ever met or spoken or had any contact. To those of you who wrote to me after hearing of the death of my young stepson James, there is no way to thank you enough. Your emails, cards, prayers, and donations in his memory to the Social Justice Fund at James's school mean the world to my husband and to me. Thank you from my heart. I would much appreciate continued prayers that I get the strength every day to support William as he goes through the grieving process. I sense it will take a very long time.

Some of you asked the name of the song in which James's favorite line, "I am heaven-sent, don't you dare forget" comes from. It is from a song called "Okay I Believe You, but My Tommy Gun Don't" on the Deja Entendu album of a group called Brand New. One caveat: despite the mystical significance of this lyric and some of the others, it is a teen CD, kind of Alternative/Punk, so don't expect a hymn or a folk song or something like that.

Friends I admire are telling me that I'm supposed to be taking care of myself, so I'm following instructions. On Thursday I got a manicure and Friday I went back to the gym, and I've seen my first couple of life-coaching clients since getting back from Toronto. Doing these things reminds of the wise admonition, "It is easier to act yourself into thinking differently that to think yourself into acting differently."

On Saturday, I took the train - I adore trains - to Providence, RI, to speak at Community Church (American Baptist) there. The minister, Evan Howard, found me through my books and has become a friend. He is the author of the novel, The Lost Epistle of Jesus. Everyone there took such good care of me.

As soon as I have a free day, I'm going to rent a car and go the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. I'm just feeling that hanging out with a friendly pig or two would be incredibly nurturing.

Thanks again for being so special.


Radio show starts Wednesday the 26th -

My monthly show, A Charmed Life, on, starts this week. My guests will be Chris Michaels (Your Life's Assignment) and Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D., The Healing Power of Nature Foods. Please tune in at high noon Eastern time. You can even call in: 954-564-3278. If you're not free when the show is live, it will be archived on the site a few days later so you can listen at your convenience. -

Fat, Broke & Lonely No More was picked for since I was a guest on the Jean Chatzky Show on Oprah & Friends Radio. If you go to the page, there's a way to do a reader review if you'd like.

Garret wanted -

Well, not exactly: it's just that they're closing the Starbucks where I write. My neighborhood Starbucks at 54th & First Avenue closed for good yesterday. The co-op building where it was the first floor tenant has wanted it out for a long time. I heard that some of the people who lived there felt the Starbucks encouraged homeless people to come in and get out of the cold. To my mind, any big corporate entity that is willing to help somebody keep from freezing to death is a good thing.

Whatever, I will be "moving" my mornings to a smaller Starbucks six blocks away. (The independent coffee house in our neighborhood closed this year too. I loved going there, although they didn't encourage lengthy stays for writing books.) I know that everything changes. I accept that everything changes. I just don't like that everything changes.

A great nutrition resource -

Someone I've long admired and would like to introduce you to is Jeff Novick, MS, RD, of the Pritikin Institute. He is treasure trove of information about health and a terrific speaker -- funny and informative. You can read his current newsletter (which includes a link to a free online video of his "Health Food vs Healthy Food" presentation) and subscribe if you'd like by going here.

Adair as little boy

Adair in dress

Is this the same girl? -

I thought you might get a kick out of seeing my daughter Adair in two guises. In the first one, she's a stunt double for a little boy in the upcoming Eddie Murphy flick, Starship Dave. The glamour shot was for the "high school prom" on "One Life to Live."

Lovely quotation -

This quotation from The Upanishads, an Indian holy book, came on one of the condolences card we received. I think it sums up life succinctly and beautifully:

From joy all things are born,
By joy they are sustained,
And into joy they again return.

Coming next time --

Book review, Living an Uncommon Life, by radio legend John St. Augustine.


-New York, NY: Getting to Next seminar, Sept. 28. Luncheon speaker.

-New York, NY: Law of Attraction seminar, Sept. 29. Contact for more information.

-Wichita, KS: KS Book Festival, Oct. 5-6

-New York, NY: 92nd St. Y Expert Series, "Fat, Broke & Lonely No More" seminar (This is the creme de la creme... Don't miss this one!)

-Lake George, NY: TOPS conference, Sept. 13 (518-438-8928)

-Hamilton, Bermuda: Girls' Getaway Weekend, Oct. 18-21

-New York, NY: Learning Annex, "How to Live a More Spiritual Life." October 25, 6:45pm.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Charmed Monday Minute- 9/10/07

Hello from sunny Southern California! -

Well, sort of. That's where I'll be when you read this, but I'm writing it before I leave so I'll let you know next time how things have gone out here. William and I are in LA for the 21st anniversary celebration of Farm Sanctuary and so I can visit the gentlemen who are working on the potential reality show based on Fat, Broke & Lonely No More.

I was in the West last weekend, too, in Santa Fe where William met with a potential producer for one of his screenplays. It went well (that's all he'll let me say about the movie part of the trip), and we had fun. I'd never been to New Mexico before, and Santa Fe is a heavenly little city full of artists and quaint shops and wonderful restaurants. I so seldom travel when I'm not giving a talk or doing a book-signing, it was gloriously vacation-like, even though we were just there for two-and-a-half days.

Otherwise, I've been working on the three book proposals I wrote about before - the sequel to Creating a Charmed Life; the book about eclectic spirituality that I've wanted to write for years; and one that has to do with New York City - a departure for me but one that I'm really excited about it.

And speaking of being excited...

I'm going to be back on the radio!

The good news: it's Internet radio so everybody can listen. The not-so-good news: It's only once a month. But gosh, as busy as everybody is, maybe that's good news, too. Anyway, if you'd like to tune in live (and call in even), the 1-hour show will be the 4th Wednesday of every month, starting September 26, at 9 a.m. Pacific, 10 Mountain, 11 Central, and noon Eastern time, on Creative Health & Spirit Radio:, the all-positive radio network. My guests for the first show are Chris Michaels, author of Your Soul's Assignment, and Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D., author of The Healing Power of Nature Foods. Chris and Susan are both dynamic, wise, and fun. Listen in, call in, and let me hear from you about what you think of the show.

Book of the Week...

When I was at the bookstore looking for airplane reading for the Santa Fe trip, I was drawn to The Secret of 'The Secret': Unlocking the Mysteries of the Runaway Bestseller. I was busy looking through the book and had already decided to buy it when I realized that the author was Karen Kelly, the wonderful writer and journalist who edited one of my earlier books. Karen is an amazing woman, full of integrity, and that's a large part of the appeal of this intriguing book. It is not an exposé that seeks to discredit The Secret, but rather an exploration of the many streams of thought that led to it and, bottom line, if it works. In her quest for answers, she interviews a fascinating array of people - some who appear in The Secret DVD, others who were involved in the earlier hit film about the power of the mind, What the Bleep Do We Know?, and scientists and scholars from a variety of disciplines.

I found the first fifty pages worth the price of the book, as they explore "Why The Secret, and Why Now?" It's an elucidative look at our culture at this moment in time, and also a very practical education on what it takes to hit it very, very big - with a book, a movie, or a widget. Further sections explore the history behind The Secret - Wallace Wattles' 1910 book The Science of Getting Rich which introduced Rhonda Byrne to the Law of Attraction; some concise but helpful history of New Thought, Christian Science, and Dr. Phineas Quimby who influenced Mary Baker Eddy; the Abraham (Hicks) connection to the DVD; and an exploration of several of the thinkers and luminaries from Emerson to Einstein to Andrew Carnegie who, according to The Secret, knew and used the Law of Attraction. Kelly's research suggests that, for most of them, the connection to the Law of Attraction is tenuous at best, but in reading her vignettes about each of them, I felt that I was getting a brief but very satisfying inside look these noteworthy individuals.

For all those cited whose familiarity with the Law of Attraction was slim to none, businessman W. Clement Stone, on the other hand, was a positive-thinking maven. Kelly states that he started every day with the mantra: "I feel happy! I feel healthy! I feel terrific!" And he made millions and lived to be 100.

The Secret of 'The Secret', by Karen Kelly, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2007.

Tic-Toc Rocks...

One artist in Santa Fe whose work really spoke to me was Hillary Vermont. She carves fun and uplifting words and phrases into southwestern sandstone - magnets, coasters, trivets, table tops, plaques, and wonderful clocks with messages like "There's No Time Like the Present" and, my favorite, a clock using words instead of numbers: Dream, Hope, Harmony, Love, Peace, Balance, Faith, Truth, Serenity, Believe, Joy, Truth. I was also taken with one of the fridge magnets for dog lovers: "You had me at woof."

Tummy-Tuck Jeans...

Yes, it's weird: I live in the world center of art and fashion and I have to go to New Mexico to discover an artist and my new favorite jeans. Weird or not, these jeans are the coolest. The label bears the trademarked code NYDJ for "Not Your Daughter's Jeans." These are jeans for real women and yet they aren't baggy and dowdy in the least. They're stretchy and comfy, and they give the illusion of, if not quite six-pack abs, at least a way flatter front than you'd have in other jeans. They come in misses, petites, and plus sizes, and they're available around the country - the website has a store finder.

If you want to post a comment...

The Charmed Monday Minute goes up on and past newsletters are posted there as well. You can also get there by going to and clicking on "Blog." I love reading what everyone has to say.

Someone wrote that she didn't like how the word "thin" was used so much. That's tough, isn't it? On the one hand, there's an obesity crisis, and on the other, the skinny thing is just so excessive.

Another woman, a nanny in NYC, wrote after I'd seen the nanny letting the little boy in her charge get sunburned. She wanted to remind me that being a caregiver of somebody else's child is one tough job, and parents need to step up to the plate and do things like provide sunblock.

I'm sure it's all true. The most influential person in my life was probably my "nanny," Dede, who came when I was six months old and was in my life until she died at 87; I was 31. Dede introduced me to the more-ness of life, the spiritual underpinnings of things. I can never repay her for that, only pass along in books and talks and musings what she gave me.

Happy September,


-Providence, RI: Community Church of Providence, Sept. 23, 10:30 a.m. (401-751-9328)

-New York, NY: Getting to Next seminar, Sept. 28. Luncheon speaker.

-New York, NY: Law of Attraction seminar, Sept. 29. Contact for more information.

-Wichita, KS: KS Book Festival, Oct. 5-6

-New York, NY: 92nd St. Y Expert Series, "Fat, Broke & Lonely No More" seminar (This is the creme de la creme... Don't miss this one!)

-Lake George, NY: TOPS conference, Sept. 13 (518-438-8928)

-Hamilton, Bermuda: Girls' Getaway Weekend, Oct. 18-21

-New York, NY: Learning Annex, "How to Live a More Spiritual Life." October 25, 6:45pm.