Month: February 2014

Lesson from His Holiness

Celebrity, Lifestyle, Mental Health February 27, 2014

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This past Tuesday I had the awesome opportunity to see the 14th Dalai Lama in the flesh…yes, in the flesh. Of course there were about 400 people between him and myself, but it never felt that way. His broken English added a sense of mystique to his simple yet profound statements. I was deeply touched by his words on happiness, trust, and transparency. Seems simple, happiness is dependent of trust and trust cannot exist without transparency, but there are deeper implications.

Trust is a complex phenomena, according to the Dalai Lama, it is a fundamental component of human connection and as social creatures connection is survival. This triggered some of my personal obsessions with neurotransmitters and brain function. So, I instantly thought of how much oxytocin does to enhance bonding, thus, impacting human survival. It is released during intimate interactions like touch and when women give birth and breastfeed. This neurotransmitter is so important that if a child isn’t touched in the first few months of life they literally die, can you believe that. We need others so much, without them we literally cannot survive. That adds a whole new power to the pain after a break up. Well, back to the Dalai Lama and his perspective on transparency. In my mind transparency is a fundamental necessity for trust. You can’t trust someone that doesn’t show you who they are. But true transparency is difficult especially if you’ve ever been hurt before, and who hasn’t been there.

My basic take away was that all humans are chemically connected and we need each other to survive. Since this is the case, what can you do today to improve the life of another person? After all, if we are all connected, then their happiness impacts your happiness in some way…right? I hope you find away to be transparent, trust, and be happy!

Thanx Middlebury Magazine for the picture!

Any Random Saturday

Lifestyle February 8, 2014

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Today was absolutely amazing and totally impromptu. A friend and I scheduled brunch in Silverlake at the absolutely delish Good Microbrew and Grill. We ate, we laughed, we cherished the moment.

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I found this great citrine ring at the London Manori kiosk, obsessed. Citrine is known to improve self-esteem, protect us from negative energy, opens our minds to new thoughts, and promotes clarity of thought. We’ll see if the stone works, I’ll give it a chance. My spectacular bf even made an appearance after finishing his photo shoot. Today helped me realize the importance of staying in the present moment, choosing wisely and loving intensely, and using feelings to make decisions (very under utilized skill). Basically, it was a wonderful wonderful day.

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Tom Ford

Fashion February 4, 2014

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So I have just about one thousand jobs and in one I make sure people look Fab…it’s not quite styling more like personal branding. In my attempts to help people feel their absolute best I scour fashion blogs and runway shows. Well, I was absolutely stunned by Tom Ford’s Fall 2014 men’s line. You will see this line everywhere this year, I’m sure of it. That’s a little freebie for my C&C love cakes.

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Adventure in Cake Land

Lifestyle February 3, 2014

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February 1st was more than just the first day of Black history month, it was my little sister’s birthday. She’s a spectacular author and creative genius. I don’t think my parents intended on having three creative kids, it couldn’t have been easy. Anyway, I decided to make her a tasty snicker doodley treat, but didn’t have a ton of, from scratch, time. So, I headed to the store and bought a Duncan Hines white boxed cake. All the cake purists are clutching their pearls, well relax those clenched fingers. It was pretty simple, super fast, and delish. I did all the box stuff like usual, 3 eggs, oil, water…easy peasy. I then added 2 table spooks of cinnamon, more if you feel like it, a pinch of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Bake as normal. I decided to use a cream cheese frosting. Of course I went prepackaged, I know guys, I know. I used two containers of frosting put them in my handy kitchen aid mixer and added one teaspoon of cinnamon. The final product was AMAZING! In a pinch a box cake can be just as meaningful as a scratch cake. My sister was still ecstatic, she may have had three pieces.

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Phillis is for February

Lifestyle February 2, 2014

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I welcome thee February with your Aquarians, brisk weather, and Black history. Let’s quickly discuss one of my favorite figures from Black history, Phillis Wheatley. Phillis’ story was truly awful, in both senses of the word it was equal parts spectacular and inspiring as well as difficult and unfortunate. She was kidnapped from her home in either Senegal or Gambia at the age of 7, renamed after the slave ship that brought her to the shores of Boston, the promptly sold into slavery. The family that bought her, the Wheatleys, provided her with an education which sparked her love of writing poetry. She wrote many poems and even reached out to George Washington. Her letter caused such a paradigm shift for our dear first President that he offered to meet her in person. Offering to meet a slave women was a very strange gesture for a White man, let alone a White man of means with slaves of his own. Here is the letter she wrote:

Celestial choir! enthron’d in realms of light,
Columbia’s scenes of glorious toils I write.
While freedom’s cause her anxious breast alarms,
She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms.
See mother earth her offspring’s fate bemoan,
And nations gaze at scenes before unknown!
See the bright beams of heaven’s revolving light
Involved in sorrows and the veil of night!

The Goddess comes, she moves divinely fair,
Olive and laurel binds Her golden hair:
Wherever shines this native of the skies,
Unnumber’d charms and recent graces rise.

Muse! Bow propitious while my pen relates
How pour her armies through a thousand gates,
As when Eolus heaven’s fair face deforms,
Enwrapp’d in tempest and a night of storms;
Astonish’d ocean feels the wild uproar,
The refluent surges beat the sounding shore;
Or think as leaves in Autumn’s golden reign,
Such, and so many, moves the warrior’s train.
In bright array they seek the work of war,
Where high unfurl’d the ensign waves in air.
Shall I to Washington their praise recite?
Enough thou know’st them in the fields of fight.
Thee, first in peace and honors—we demand
The grace and glory of thy martial band.
Fam’d for thy valour, for thy virtues more,
Hear every tongue thy guardian aid implore!

One century scarce perform’d its destined round,
When Gallic powers Columbia’s fury found;
And so may you, whoever dares disgrace
The land of freedom’s heaven-defended race!
Fix’d are the eyes of nations on the scales,
For in their hopes Columbia’s arm prevails.
Anon Britannia droops the pensive head,
While round increase the rising hills of dead.
Ah! Cruel blindness to Columbia’s state!
Lament thy thirst of boundless power too late.

Proceed, great chief, with virtue on thy side,
Thy ev’ry action let the Goddess guide.
A crown, a mansion, and a throne that shine,
With gold unfading, WASHINGTON! Be thine.
-Phillis Wheatly

Her life and work were prolific and should stand out as a exemplars of rising above the odds. After all, how more disempowered a position could a person find themselves? A Black female slave in 1700’s America. Yet, she managed to change the perspective of her people and inevitably play her role in changing history. We should all hope we can hone our talents to create such an impact. Alright C&C readers, the gauntlet has been thrown, find a way to leave your perfect mark as well.

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