Thursday, October 25, 2007

Charmed Monday Minute- 10/25/07 (Actually a Thursday...)

Hi, everyone, and welcome to new readers -

I'm on the plane en route back from the Girlfriends' Getaway Weekend in Bermuda. It was a lovely event and I met some amazing women, notably the conference planner, Nadja Piatka, founder of Nadja Foods and Donna Voll, a co-presenter who is an expert on angels. Donna has an Internet radio show that's worth knowing about.

Bermuda is like a jewel in the sea with hibiscus blooming everywhere. It's very British (they drive on the UK side of the road) and laid back. The speed limit is 25 mph and life is like that, too. I had the privilege of visiting a longtime friend, Lane Martin, whom I met through the homeschooling community in Connecticut way back in 1990. She's since moved back to her native Bermuda and gave me the chance to see the island from a local's point of view. She also gave me a tour of her backyard orchard - banana, avocado, guava, cherry, peach and fig trees, plus a grape arbor. (Lane is a raw foodist and just returned from the Raw Spirit Fest in Sedona.)

Because it was our tenth anniversary, William made the trip with me. He's not ready to travel or do anything really. (For those of you new to the Charmed Monday Minute, our youngest child, James - William's son, my stepson passed away last month.) The loss is still very fresh.

And because of that, a major change is about to happen in our lives: we've moving to Woodstock, New York. I know they tell you not to make any major changes the first year after a tragic loss, but we need to do this. William is working far too much in order to keep us in Manhattan and he needs to get away, let some of the stresses go, and focus on processing what's happened, grieving, and healing. Woodstock seems perfect: there's a lot of music there and he can reactivate his musical life (William plays harmonica, accordion, and French horn), and it's a close-knit community that's as cute as it can be.

We've rented an apartment over an art and office-supply store on the main street. Among the town's unique offerings are a spiritual bookstore and a regular bookstore, two vegetarian restaurants (one of which is vegan), a good natural foods market a block away, a cute café where I can write (to make up for my neighborhood Starbucks in NYC moving away), and a farm animal sanctuary eight miles up the road. There seems to be a strong spiritual community and plenty of yoga and Pilates. I think it is the perfect place to write the sequel to Creating a Charmed Life. The publisher is still deciding if they want it or not. Please send good thoughts and prayers in that direction. To leave the city and my support system there without having a book to write would be tough.

Here's the plan: We can take possession of the apartment November 15 so we'll drive up that weekend in a rental car with plans to clean the flat, measure the space, decide where we'll put things, tend to any necessary repairs, and get our Internet and cable hooked up. We'll also buy a car (I never thought I'd own a car again, but life throws curves...) Then we'll go back to NYC and get packed to move over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

It will be a busy month: William is going to Toronto in a few days for a posthumous honor for James (he's getting his school's Social Justice Award) and I'll hold down the fort. I'll also be giving a class, "How to Develop a Spiritual Life," this Thursday evening at the NYC Learning Annex. The following weekend I'll be in Amsterdam, NY, to speak for a TOPS club conference and then to Albany to speak for the Unity church there the first Sunday in November. The following weekend I'll be in Orlando for The Masters Circle, a huge chiropractic seminar where I'll be on the program with speakers including Mark Victor Hansen and Dr. John DiMartini. That will end my speaking year and I can cycle into a quieter way of being without the travel and stepping so often into "public mode." It will be a good time to move, set up housekeeping, and be more inward-focused for awhile.

Joya will stay on with me as a virtual assistant so you'll get the Charmed Monday Minute as usual. I will not take new in-person coaching clients in New York City, but I will continue coaching and adding more telephone clients from around North America to my list. In fact, I may run a "moving sale" to make coaching available to more new clients - watch for that in an upcoming Minute.

My very best,

Book of the week:

Pornography for Women, by the Cambridge Women's Pornography Collective and Susan Anderson (2007).

This is really fun little book. Its point of view is obvious from the cover photo: a great-looking guy vacuuming! The book is comprised of photos of handsome men doing and saying what really turns women on, like "I don't have any answers, but let me make you a cup of tea and then I'll listen," "Is this the way you like me to fold your blouses?" At the back of book, each model is given a tongue-in-cheek profile that lets us know that he's planning to open the world's first "luxury orphanage" and that his most admired person is his mom.

This would make a great gift or stocking stuffer, a fun little something for a bride, and a humorous conversation starter when you're having a night out with your girlfriends. (It's a not a bad hint for a guy either.)

New Film:

Suzanne Taylor is a friend who I met during my book tour for Shelter for the Spirit in 1997. She has produced and directed a fascinating film called Walking in Circles, a new feature-length documentary on crop circles. It will receive its first preview showing in November at the "Shh! It's A Secret! Not on the 6 O'Clock News" Conference in Tempe, Arizona. For more info on the conference, click here.

Clarification from the last "Minute"...

In the chocolate cake recipe, it should have read "bake for 25-30 minutes," not "5-30 minutes"! Oops!

An Important Cause:

Reader Carol Dickman wrote a few weeks ago to ask if we could help spread awareness about her son's condition. She writes...

"My son, Rob, has had psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis for over 10 years now, and I have witnessed the pain he has been subjected to by people thinking the disease is contagious. He's been asked to leave restaurants and get out of swimming pools, and people shy away from him. There are several approaches being taken these days to make people more aware of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The goal is to spread the word that it is not contagious and to give encouragement to those who suffer with the disease."

To hear more about Rob's story, you can view the YouTube video he made to help spread awareness of psoriasis here.

To learn the facts about psoriasis and what you can do to help, check out the site of this advocacy group working to find a cure for the condition, Psoriasis Cure Now.

New Internet Radio Show:

You can listen to my internet radio show on from noon to 1pm EST every 4th Wednesday of the month. Yesterday's show was wonderful, featuring my action partner and opera-singer-extraordinaire, Sherry Boone. Check it out in the archives here.

(Trouble listening? Click here for the site's help page.)

Victoria, Virtual Life Coach!

Victoria is now the official Life Coach of the blog "Elastic Waist" and will be featured a few times a month in exclusive interviews! To view the first post, click here. The second, which just came out today, is here. Enjoy!

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

Victoria on ABC News Now!

To view part of an interview with Victoria on yesterday's Good Morning America Now, click here and scroll down to "Video: Fat, Broke, and Lonely."


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

-Amsterdam, NY: Keynote address, regional conference, TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), November 3. Contact person: Judy Pettit, 518-438-8928.

-Albany, NY: Guest Speaker at Unity Church, 21 King Ave. (topic: "The God Shaped Hole") November 4th at 9:00 & 11:00 AM. Book signings 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Tel: 518-453-3603.

-November 8-10: The Masters Circle SuperConference for chiropractors, Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Site to check out:

When you have a chance, click on over to - is the most complete guide to information about Self Improvement, Personal Growth and Self Help on the Internet. It is designed to be an organized directory, with articles and references to thousands of other Web Sites on the World Wide Web.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Charmed Monday Minute- 10/8/07

Dear Lovely Readers -

I wrote in Creating a Charmed Life that I love the fall and couldn't remember ever being unhappy in October. Well, it's October and I'm pretty sad. The loss of James is less a shock now and more a reality, and being here to support my husband in his deep, deep grief, while still going through my own, is a real soul stretch. Everything in our lives is changing and my assignment is to hold on, stay afloat, and know that right now, it's not about me. I wish I could put my ego in the dryer on high and shrink it like cheap jeans.

Thanks again for all the cards, calls, emails, prayers, donations to James's fund, and good thoughts all 'round. They mean the world. You all mean so much to me. You're my core group, the people I truly write for. It's so wonderful to know you're there.

Love and light,

Need your input:

HarperOne wants to do a sequel to Creating a Charmed Life that we'll call Living a Charmed Life. This would be a tenth anniversary companion volume. If you've read the original, tell me what you'd like to see in the sequel. Here are some questions to get your thoughts going:

-What did you like about Creating a Charmed Life?
-What other topics do you wish it had addressed?
-How is your life different today than it was 8 years ago (when I wrote that book)? - things like being older, the world situation, etc.
-What would you like to see in Living a Charmed Life?
-How do you see those titles as differing, Living a Charmed Life versus Creating one?

Please send your thoughts and ideas (if you have them) to (and either way, thanks for letting me ask.)

Cause of the week...

My daughter Adair and one of my grand-dogs, Oliver, are going to be walking in the October 14 "Walk for the Animals" to benefit Farm Sanctuary. If you'd care to support them (and learn more about this cause), here's the link.

Recipe of the week:

Someone wrote, "I miss the recipe of the week." I never saw it as a regular thing, but gosh, it's always time for a good recipe. This one can't pass for health food, but it's one fabulous chocolate cake, courtesy of my mom, Gladys Marshall:

3-Hole Chocolate Cake

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbls. Cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar (I use Sucanat, dried cane crystals)
½ tsp. salt

Sift together twice in 8"x8" baking pan (ungreased). Make 3 depressions in flour mix. Add:

1 Tbls. vanilla in one hole
1 Tbls. vinegar in second hole
5 Tbls. vegetable oil in third hole

Then add 1 cup cold water and mix well in pan. Bake at 350 F for 5-30 minutes, cool, frost, and celebrate. (And happy birthday to all you October babies, including my son-in-law Nick Moran!)

Quotation/affirmation of the week:

This is my very favorite affirmation. I found it in a little book called Metaphysical Meditations by Paramahansa Yogananda, way back when I was 18. I remember reading it for the first time on the plane coming back to the States after living in London. I didn't really want to be going home, but it felt like the right thing to do at the time. Then I read these lines and I knew that, wherever life took me, I'd be okay:

At the center of peace I stand. Nothing can harm me here.

If you're needing some peace today, know this. It's the truth.

- Victoria -

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.

A Wonderful Book of the Week...

Living an Uncommon Life: Essential Lessons from 21 Extraordinary People by John St. Augustine

John St. Augustine is himself an extraordinary person who lives an uncommon life. I first worked with him as a guest on his radio programs that were dedicated to uplifting the world. He took a break from those several years ago when he donated a kidney to his daughter. Both Dad and daughter are doing great, and John is now producing for Oprah & Friends on XM Satellite Radio. (You can see pictures of John at his book party in NYC if you go to and click on "Pictures.")

Living an Uncommon Life is as inspiring as can be. Read a page and you'll feel as if you can do anything (you can, by the way). The book gives its readers something of the power of what John believes in so much: the spoken word passed from one human being to another.

John uses his years of experience interviewing exceptional people on his radio show as the basis for this powerful book. It includes conversations with Dr. Wayne Dyer, Oprah Winfrey, and the late John Denver, among many other inspirational people. Their advice, and John's, is practical and priceless.

This one's a keeper, to be read again and again.

Upcoming Event: Exclusive Fat, Broke & Lonely No More Workshop in NYC!

My workshop at the 92nd St. Y here in New York is coming up soon, and there's still a few spots left! If you've read the book-- or came to my book launch at Barnes & Noble in June and got just a taste of the revolutionary information contained in those pages-- then this is your opportunity to learn in-depth about those ideas. There will plenty of opportunities for one-on-one conversations and an opportunity to discuss the topics YOU want to explore, from relationship troubles, money issues, and eating anxiety to any of the topics in my previous books.

This workshop will jumpstart your life. If you're in the area, don't miss it!

Date: Thursday, October 11th
Time: 7-8:30pm
Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street, NYC
Price: $25
To sign up, click here! or call (212) 415-5500.


-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, Oct. 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.