Some of my favorite memories as a child involve going to La Focacceria, a place that made and sold focaccia breads. This place just made a certain number of large and small focaccias, and when they sold out, the shop would close.
My sister Lucia would walk me to school in the morning and, on the way, we would make a stop at La Focacceria to buy focaccine (small focaccias) for me to take to school. I could smell the unmistakable, tantalizing aroma of the focaccias about a block away, and, mi veniva l’acquolina in bocca, my mouth would start salivating.
These heavenly flatbreads were cooked in a wood oven. Some were large, round pies with dimples, filled with cherry tomatoes, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil. The large ones would be purchased to take home to share with the family. The small ones we took to school were six-inch circles. Even at a child’s height, I could see the stacks of focaccia on the counter. At times, we had to wait until the breads came out fresh and hot from the oven, but the smell in that shop was intoxicating.
Often we would stop at a delicatessen (salumeria) to buy prosciutto or mortadella to make a sandwich (panino) with the focaccine. It was devine! Of course, the focaccine never made it to school.
Gioia del Colle, Bari, Italy, was my home until I was eight years old. That year, I moved with my sister Lucia and her husband Angelo to La Spezia, in Northern Italy. I gained an educated palate, and have many delicious memories about various Italian foods, from the south and the north. Now, when I make the focaccia bread at home, the aroma wafting through the house brings me back to those days.
The name focaccia comes from the Latin word for ‘focus,’ which means ‘fire.’ Focaccia is meant to be cooked over fire. The first focaccias were prepared by the Phoenicians, and were made by mixing millet and barley with water and salt, then cooked with a rich amount of fat. In those days, focaccia was considered a meal. It was considered so good and rich that these breads were offered to the gods by the Latin people because they were a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Focaccias were consumed together with wine during weddings in the Renaissance.
In Italy, there are many variations of focaccia due to different preparation procedures and the diversity of ingredients and seasonings. There is an historic bakery, a panificio that’s over 90 years old, named Santa Rita, located in the heart of Old Bari (Bari Vecchia). It is an excellent authentic focaccia bakery; not just a bakery, but an institution. It offers the possibility to taste a typical product of the Apulian cuisine. Focaccia varies from region to region. Although Puglia and Liguria compete for paternity, its presence—and enjoyment—is strong throughout the Mediterranean.
- Pamela’s Pizza Crust Mix – 1 bag, 11.29 oz.
- Packet active dry yeast – use the one enclosed in the crust mix container
- Sugar – 1 tsp.
- Sea salt – 1 tsp.
- Warm water – 1 ¾ c. (at 110 degrees F.)
- Olive oil – ¼ c., plus more for the pan
- Can of peeled plum tomatoes (14.5 oz.) or fresh cherry tomatoes cut in half
- Dried oregano – 1/3 tsp.
- Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil – 4 Tbsp.
- In a mixing bowl combine yeast, sugar, and ¼ cup of warm water; let rest for five minutes.
- Mix with a hand mixer for three minutes, or mix by hand.
- Add olive oil, remaining 1½ cups warm water, and Pamela’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix.
- Mix with a hand mixer for three minutes, or mix by hand.
- The dough will be a little sticky.
- With your oiled hand or a large spoon, gently combine the mixture into a ball.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
- You can use a six miniature round cake pans or a six-muffin pan.
- Oil each pan or muffin cup with olive oil. Place two tablespoons or more of the dough
- in each to cover the bottoms evenly, then, with your hand, smooth the tops evenly.
- Allow to rise about 15 minute or more, so that the dough looks smooth.
- Press five pieces of tomato into each focaccina (like the picture).
- Sprinkle salt, pepper, and dried oregano on top, then drizzle with olive oil.
- Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the pan and enjoy.
Note: Pamela’s Pizza Crust Mix was the easiest and tastiest gluten-free flour I found for this recipe. Some grocery stores carry it, but it’s easy to find and buy on the Internet.
You can enjoy these focaccine just out of the oven, or you can use them to make panini (sandwiches) with your favorite lunchmeats, cheeses, vegetables, or all of them together.
Rita Romano is a native of Bari, Italy, is the youngest of ten children and has a deep appreciation for the culinary arts. From 1990 until 1993, Rita operated three Italian restaurants, specializing in pasta. She has published Sauces for Pasta Lovers, Italian Entrees for Protein Lovers, Ciao Tesoro! and Italian Gluten Free Gastronomy with Clarissa Burt.
First, there were cells. You first met them in a biology class. They’re micro-sized units of cytoplasm, surrounded by a semipermeable membrane, with a nucleus in the center.
Then there were stem cells. Most people have met them through media sources, not in classes. Although they’ve been defined since 1885, stem cell information showed up in mass consciousness almost 100 years later—when embryonic stem cells were discovered in mice.
In 1997, Dolly, the cloned sheep, trotted out more interest in what use of stem cells might mean for human cloning. The next year, researchers isolated human embryonic stem cells and grew them in laboratories.
Human stem cells come in two forms: embryonic and adult. The first kind come from embryos that are fertilized in vitro in a laboratory and donated for harvest (and yes, there are moral implications about this source, which is why they are not used for commercial purposes). Adult stem cells are harvested from fully developed tissue from the body of a living human—such as from bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat). These stem cells come from the same person who plans to use them for therapy.
You may have read claims that stem cell therapy can treat many ailments—from head to toe—including blindness, bone fractures, arthritis, and cancer. There are many stem cell clinics in operation across the United States, and the Food and Drug Administration has yet to regulate them.
So, what’s true about stem cell therapy, and who is qualified to give clear answers to the questions that exist about it in 2019?
Josh Lane, M.D. is the medical director of Stemulus Innovative Healthcare, located in Phoenix, AZ. Jaime Ewald, NMD, a naturopathic physician, is the chief medical director and a practicing physician at Stemulus. Together they have 20 years of experience in the fields of medicine—allopathic and naturopathic. They consider themselves pioneers in what they call “innovative” health care. Their practice at Stemulus combines holistic approaches to healing, including bioidentical hormone therapies, acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutraceuticals, prolotherapy, nutrition and lifestyle counseling, homeopathy, vitamin injections, nutrient IV therapy, and, regenerative injection techniques—using stem cells (and/or exosomes, which are particles released by a cell that cannot replicate themselves), and platelet rich plasma.
Lane says, “The goal of stem cell therapy is to improve the quality of life—not cure disease.” This may surprise people who believe that stem cell therapy could be their last resort for a cure. The fact is, a person must be a good candidate for stem cell therapy—people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy to treat cancer would not benefit from the type of stem cell treatment offered at Stemulus.
Dr. Ewald’s experience as a certified tissue bank specialist where she recovered human bone, tissue, and organs for transplant and research. She says this work allowed her to understand “the intricacies of the human body and how it copes with illnesses and injuries.” She says that she’s seen some amazing improvements in patients who’ve had strokes and arthritis. “Stem cell therapy can regenerate healthy tissue,” she says, “and support the healing of bone fractures. It can boost the capacity of worn ligaments to function without causing pain.”
Dr. Lane admits that stem cell therapy “is still controversial,” and “it’s unfortunate that it is so expensive.” His goal for Stemulus is to “arrive at the time when stem cell therapy is used with integrity, and can be made available to all people who’d benefit from the types of improvements it offers.”
We are witnessing the advent of new types of health maintenance and medical treatment modalities, thanks to the combined wisdom and courage of pioneers like Lane and Ewald. As the Food and Drug Administration asks the questions it needs to ask about regulation of stem cell therapy, you can ask your own questions about it. The fact is, stem cell therapy (using adult cells) is available as a treatment option.
By Mary L. Holden
For up-to-date information about stem cells, see what the Mayo Clinic reports at: www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/bone-marrow-transplant/in-depth/stem-cells/art-20048117
Stemulus Innovative Healthcare offers a quiz: “Is Stem Cell Treatment Right For Me?” Rory L. Lovern, marketing director at Stemulus, is willing to answer questions about stem cell therapy. Contact him at [email protected] or 602-293-3939.
Interview with Josh Lane, M.D. (Medical Director of Stemulus Innovative Healthcare, Phoenix, AZ) and Jaime Ewald, NMD (Chief Medical Officer at Stemulus Innovative Healthcare)
Online Etymology Dictionary; Dictionary.com
U.S. News & World Report: https://health.usnews.com/conditions/articles/before-you-undergo-stem-cell-treatment
I am known for many things: Award winning international speaker, serial entrepreneur, business mentor, TV producer, angel investor, best-selling author and mother of four, but many do not know that I have a hidden talent that I do not promote much and that is that I am also an interior designer with an expertise in Feng Shui. Afterall, I am Chinese and I am superstitious!
What has this got to do with the title of this article “Manifest” you may ask? Well, Feng Shui is actually all about manifesting. It is the art of the placement of furniture and objects for the sake of manifesting what you want.
I started getting into Feng Shui about ten years ago when I was wanting to get pregnant. I was somehow in a bookstore in Hong Kong when I came upon a beautiful hard cover book about Feng Shui. I browsed through it and read maybe a paragraph or two and decided to buy the book. I took it back to Los Angeles and took the time to really apply what it said.
As my husband and I decided to have babies, I proceeded to read about how if I placed plants like Philodendrons on the West wall, and turn my desk to face the West wall, my chances of having babies would be higher. So I did. And I got pregnant within three months after I did that.
Of course, it could have been a coincidence. Just because I placed plants and turned my desk to face a certain direction, it doesn’t mean that creativity and children came into my life because of it but perhaps the intention that I placed on physically doing something about the furniture (taking action) and as I was moving the desk, I was thinking of having babies and having a family (conscious thinking), those thoughts were sent out to the universe, paired with more conversations with my friends about wanting to become a mother, the universe heard and responded.
This is a typical story that I can repeat again and again because I have been given the title of being a “Master Manifester,” so many times, for myself and my clients. In the last three years, there have been many incidences where I literally thought of something that I desired, and “bloop” it “landed on my lap.” Be it a simple story of when I was standing at the bar in a restaurant, thinking, “Hmmm….I am jonsing some nacho chips right now” to the nacho chips suddenly appearing in front of me because two other girls were sitting right next to me and they were served some nacho chips by accident and chose to give them to me instead, to a story about my desire to manifest a chunk of money to cover something that I wanted to invest in and the next day, I got a call that my neighbor needed to rent my Airbnb house for at least six months and offered to pay me in full to cover the whole six months!
In the world of personal development, “manifesting” is a word that we like to use. In the world outside of personal development, it may be a word that most people don’t use or have no idea what it really means. So my article today is really to urge you to think about how you can manifest what you want.
It’s a matter of practicing the following seven steps on a daily basis in order to make it come true:
1. Clarify what you want. Be specific. Write it down. Use simple sentences and direct language.
- Say what you want out loud in conversations or vocalize what you want or even sing it out loud. When reading, you must believe that you can actually achieve it and already be seeing yourself living in that life when things are accomplished. (Visualization) Asking the universe by saying out loud will help it come true. After saying or asking it out loud to the universe, you continue to think it and “get it into your system.
- Take action (by making that call to that person who can make it happen or hiring someone who has already done and had success with what you want to do.
- Trust the process. (Faith and believing that what you want will come true)
- Acknowledge what is being sent to you along the way.
- Increase your vibration by surrounding yourself with people who have high vibrations.
- Clear all resistance.
Anyone can manifest what they want in their life. You can too.
To learn more about manifestation or hiring Didi to speak, or be your business mentor, please log
Facebook and Instagram: @didiwongofficial
LinkedIn: Didi Wong
“Oh no, strength training is not for me; I only exercise for my health!”
I was talking to a lady recently about one of my favorite topics, which is; the incredible benefits of strength training for women’s health. To my conversation, she abruptly responded: “Oh no, strength training is not for me; I only exercise for my health. I do Yoga and hiking!” Believe it or not, these types of comments are widespread. A stigma exists around this sport. Many people frequently still envision overdeveloped, bulky individuals. Ladies! Strength training isn’t just for Arnold Schwarzenegger anymore!
Did you know that weight lifting has become the #1 scientifically proven anti-aging sport?
Those who are training with weights are reaping many benefits and will tell you that it makes them more energized, happier, along with reducing stress. When you are stronger, indeed everything in life becomes more comfortable. Imagine being able to enjoy all the beauty life has to offer with ease!
Here are three of the most common misconceptions about weight lifting for women:
If I lift weights, I will get bulky?
Medically speaking this is not a concern, since women do not have enough of the male hormone testosterone to create the kind of muscular bulk associated with weight lifters.
Aerobics and cardio are a must to lose weight.
Not so, ladies! Weight lifting builds a leaner more muscular body, which in turn increases your calorie-burning abilities at rest to lose weight more efficiently.
Yoga will give me a long, lean body.
Contrary to popular belief, Yoga is not a muscle-building activity; this is a myth. The body is composed of two distinctive types of muscle fibers that have specific and individual purposes:
- Fast-twitch muscle fibers develop lean muscle mass by using concentric contractions
- Slow-twitch muscles fibers promote endurance and use isometric contractions
Yoga mainly uses slow-twitch muscle fibers and isometric contractions that promote endurance, not muscle building. Working both muscle fiber types is essential to build and sculpt a healthy, lean body.
Incorporating strength training in your exercise plan two to three times per week will enable you to slow down the aging process and optimize your health. Or else you will lose too much muscle mass. An example of this would be loose tangling skin under the arms, aka batwings.
Muscles have a direct impact on internal organs and overall health.
- Muscle loss syndrome starts as early as age thirty at an average rate of 10% muscle mass loss per decade depending on your lifestyle. Muscle loss syndrome can lead to many health conditions:
- Muscles hold the spine and the body together, allowing you to perform daily tasks with ease.
- Women who have fewer red blood cells than men will produce more red blood cells by developing lean muscle mass through weight lifting.
- Leads to bone loss aka osteoporosis
- Causes the metabolism to slow down thus promoting weight gain
- Causes the posture to shift creating back and neck problems potentially leading to injuries
- Creates hormonal imbalances
- Accelerates the aging process
- Diminishes the quality of your life
Some of the natural health benefits of strength training include:
- Boost metabolism
- Regulate hormonal imbalances
- Builds bone density mass preventing or potentially reversing osteoporosis
- Improves glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity
- Reduces the risk of diabetes
- Fights heart disease, cholesterol, and blood pressure
- Relieves arthritis and back pain
- Reduces visceral fat around internal organs, which produces inflammation
- Optimizes the proper functioning of internal organs
- Reduces the appearance of cellulite
- Stabilizes mood behavior and fights depression
Developing a balanced physique
Women who have been actively doing aerobic exercises for a long time often have great legs, while the upper body remains essentially unchanged. The net result is that their physique lacks uniformity: the lower body is that of an athlete while the upper body is that of an ordinary person.
Working out on your own or with a personal trainer can also result in an unbalanced physique if the workout is only targeting specific areas. Training muscle-to-muscle does not take into account the overall design. Only the large muscle groups are developed, leaving the interconnecting muscles untouched, potentially causing muscular imbalances and spinal misalignments.
Strength training two or three times a week is especially recommended for women and men over forty, to optimize health and looks. Doing so under the supervision of a qualified mentor may enable you to acquire a beautifully sculpted physique while developing charismatic posture.
Even more importantly, though, it will allow you to mature through the ages more gracefully, stronger, and potentially become pain-free.
Written by Batista Gremaud
Co-founder @ DrFitnessUSA.com
Batista Gremaud is an International Body Designer, No1 Best Selling author, co-creator of the Feminine Body Design online strength training coaching system, co-host of the Esoteric Principles of Bodybuilding and producer of the Dr. Fitness USA’s show.
She calls herself the Chief Magic-Maker! Barbara Schwartz is CEO of AccuWeight: The Bead Diet. She is one of the sponsors of In the Limelight for videos, podcasts and the magazine. By using promo code Clarissa 20, Barbara is giving you a 20% discount on your first order as a new client!
Clarissa: Hey, Barb! Welcome to In the Limelight! I wanted to make sure that we fully explain to everyone what the diet is and what it isn't. Your three steps: weight-loss, stabilization and maintenance – let’s start with the weight-loss. You talk about acupressure. You also talk about balanced nutrition and Qigong breathing.
Barbara Schwartz: AccuWeight-Loss is revolutionary. It evolved out of Chinese practice from a thousand years ago, blended with Western detox, dieting and putting it all together for an absolute reset of your system. It is a three-step system: there is weight-loss, stabilizing and maintaining. Our long-term goal is maintenance. The short-term goal is losing the weight and/or detoxing. What's beautiful about what we do is, it's all-natural. We use acupressure, balanced nutrition and Qigong breathing. I call it the ABC's of weight loss to pull together an all-natural, fast, healthy means to reset your digestive system, reset your body and reset your relationship with food. Going through the process, you're able to lose 15 pounds minimum every month of just body fat. We're not touching connective tissue. You're not leaching nutrients from the bones. We are focused only on burning the body fat. There are two different ways to actually become a fat-burning machine. One is what you're hearing about all over the place, which is ketosis. The Keto diet is a genuine way to burn fat, but you're burning fat when doing ketosis by forcing your body into a chemistry that is putting your body nutritionally out of balance. What AccuWeight is going to do is use balanced nutrition. We're going to put your body in a state called glycolysis, which is the body's natural way of burning fat while being in balance. That's why when we get to phase 2, we start to reintroduce food and build a maintenance plan for you. You're not going to start gaining weight back because your body's in balance and we bypass metabolism.
Clarissa: You talk about this diet being more about chemistry than calories. Can you explain that?
Barbara Schwartz: While on the Accuweight plan, we're going to focus on the components. In this case, the Qigong is an adjunct; it's giving other health benefits. We raise three prongs and two components: the acupressure and what's now called intermittent fasting, Along with a balanced nutrition diet based on core ingredients which is going to allow your whole digestive system to reset back to about 10 months old like a baby's diet. With a temporary diet change, you're going to be re-alkalizing your digestive system back into normal PH balance. Most of us are way too acidic, that’s where acid reflux, digestion issues, heartburn and more come from. High acidity levels create inflammation and pain in the body. Also this temporary diet change will rebalance your blood sugars naturally. If you're borderline diabetic or diabetic, have low or erratic blood sugar, this is going to be incredibly healthy for you. If you don't have blood sugar issues, wonderful, but this will let the body rebalance the blood sugars. Another key component, also a function for maintenance is you're going to naturally clean out your large intestine. We build up a lot of toxins in our body. One place we can reabsorb hydration and fluids in, is from our large intestine. Think of it like your kitchen sink; sometimes you need Drain-o to clean out the buildup around the pipes. The same thing, our intestines have buildup. So we’re cleaning out the large intestine naturally over time by getting this three-pronged detox. Again, we're rebalancing your acidity levels, naturalizing PH balance, alkalizing the system, rebalancing blood sugars and we're cleaning out the large intestine.
Clarissa: As I remember it, because it was last year, the diet consists of two days of dairy, or dairy alternatives, and two days of fruits and vegetables. Am I correct?
Barbara Schwartz: Correct. Now, these are the core ingredients: milk, whole milk, yogurt and vegan alternatives for people who don't use dairy at all. If you are lactose intolerant as I am, you can use lactose-free whole milk and organic whole milk, yogurt, fruits and vegetables – all core ingredients – you can buy in your local supermarket. What's fun and exciting is we have over 500 recipes being used while you're on plan and growing every day. I spoke to a client this morning that just created a new ice cream recipe because she's doing a dairy diet. There are a lot of fun things: people drinking lattes, milkshakes and making frozen yogurt, making a lot of really creative things. For digestive health and digestive cleanse, we’re going into a chemical reaction, forcing your body into the state of glycolysis, into natural fat burning, by putting eating into the hours of noon to 6:00. It's a specific intermittent fasting period. We do this because these are the hours where your body maximally absorbs nutrition. On a baby's diet, we want to make sure that your body's absorbing all the nutrition that you're given. We do have what we call “Anytime Treats” that you can have any time of day. It's not that you can't have anything outside of noon to 6 but those are core eating hours. A combination of the hours of eating foods with core ingredients and the acupressure are going to trick your brain to not understand we took calories away. Since your body is not living in a calorie world, it's just going to hunt for ways to create energy in the way body creates. Your body is going to become a fat-burning machine with this temporary diet change and the use of acupressure.
Clarissa: What about exercise? What does this diet suggest?
Barbara Schwartz: Here's the cool part. We encourage exercise, but when we promise you a minimum of 15 pounds every month, there is no exercise required. I'll be honest, we do get quite a few people who gained weight because of an injury or they just had surgery, can't move then gaining weight because they're sedentary, haven't exercised in years and not in a position where they can. The beauty is it's going to work with or without. Candidly, there are many health properties to exercise. We actually have an announcement coming out – which will be eligible for your followers as well – where we are aligning ourselves with a company called Zeamo; a network of gyms that’s not a gym membership, but a Zeamo membership. You'll be able to visit any gym on the network.
Clarissa: This all sounds great, Barbara! What are next steps for who might be interested in learning more?
Barbara Schwartz: I've given you an overview about the program, but we do have the actual podcast, “How and Why It Works” on our home page, runs half an hour, also available in Spanish. You can listen to the podcast through the website or you'll find on the website a
toll-free number where you can listen or should you have any questions and want to schedule a phone consult with us. We're happy to give a one-on-one consult as well. Best way to schedule is [email protected], just say “I'd love to have a phone consult.” The other thing is every Monday night at 8 p.m., my father, Dr. Schwartz, one of our founders— and I should mention we are in our twenty third year, established in 1997. We've been around a long time and one of the reasons you probably haven't heard of us is we don't advertise, it comes from referrals.
Clarissa: I want to mention that you have given a gift to my followers and my guests. I'd love for you to tell them what that is and exactly how it can be applied.
Barbara Schwartz: When you join AccuWeight for the first time, use promo code Clarissa 20, giving you a 20% discount on your first order as a new client. You're going to get your starter kit, a four or an eight-week plan. Even for those with less than 15 pounds to lose, if you just want to detox, we do have a two week detox; a mini version of the program. On any of our weight-loss plans, you can get a 20% discount. While you're dipping your toe in the water and considering whether or not this is for you, on the homepage at the bottom, you can sign up for our newsletter as we launch this Zeamo relationship and be able to purchase their membership— which you can't do direct to consumer, you need a host.
Do you remember pay phones? Do you remember when pay phones were a dime a call? If you laughed to yourself just now then you are a “Digital Migrant”. One of “those” people who grew up without a cell phone, much less a smart phone. One who had a rotary dial phone that stayed with the house or apartment when you moved because it was hard wired in to the wall.
The Digital Divide is real – a place on the time continuum that marks the beginning of the digital generation, much like the mark we call the Continental Divide where water either flows to the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific. This mark on that line we can only see in our imagination is where the generations overlap, the old meets the new, the spot in time that says “Welcome to Your Future”.
If you were born after 1995 then you are of the digital generation or more succinctly put a “Digital Native” born into a world with the daily use of cell phones, computers, cameras (with no film) and the super ability to zoom in with just a pinch of your fingers. No one born decades before would have ever imagined a time when we would speak to our computers, Siri or Alexa and it would be considered normal.
The Digital Migrant is described as the generation that had to learn everything twice. If you learned to type on a typewriter with carbon paper you now must master a computer and have spell check and apps to check your grammar. If you mailed handwritten letters you now send an e-mail or text or FaceTime or Snapchat or Instagram…. And the list goes on.
The world is smaller and business is done at the speed of sound. We Skype the team in China to make sure production is on time, we track the containers on the ocean to make sure arrival is on schedule and we text our kids some lunch money to their phone. This new generation will have their own divide to deal with too, self-driving cars, self-flying personal vehicles, wearable technology that will tell us more than we may want to know about our health and wellbeing.
The same goes for entertainment. It was an event to drive to the nearest Blockbuster to choose and rent a movie on VHS and then have to return it on time to avoid late fees. Now, entertainment is at our fingertips through our phones, computers and big screen TVs.
So next time you see someone like me struggling to open the correct app or scan the right code or turn on the front facing camera so that we can see each other on FaceTime, REMEMBER: my camera used film that we took to the local drugstore to get developed in a week! And the only way to share them was to mail them or hand the printed photo to someone in person.
So be kind and remember to rewind.
By Scott Sullivan
Scott Sullivan, a life-long entrepreneur and professional salesman, brings his 30+ years of sales and marketing experience to Inspired News Radio. Scott's two podcast radio shows, “Sales with Sully” (for sales professionals) and “Mind Your Own Business” (conversations with influential entrepreneurs) can be found at InspiredNewsRadio.com. Follow Scott on Facebook and Twitter @SaleswithSully and on LinkedIn and his website: www.ScottSullivan.biz.
The newest novel by Elizabeth Gilbert, City of Girls is what I’m reading—not for book club—just for the fun of comparing it to Eat, Pray, Love. (I didn’t enjoy Gilbert’s memoir for the same reasons I loved The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Go figure.) But, as of chapter 11 in City of Girls, I do like Vivian, the protagonist. She’s an elderly woman who looks back on being young and living an unbridled life in the New York City of 1940. Vivian is an unapologetic, serial, and adventurous lover of sex in the city of girls. She’s so different than Dorothy, that farm girl who went to Oz as a teenager. Vivian, meet Dorothy. Dorothy, you’re meeting Vivian in my reader’s mind. Let’s go, girls!
In June 2019, I had the good fortune to hear Ms. Gilbert give a brief talk about writing City of Girls…and then she answered many questions from an audience that I estimated was close to 90 percent women—of all ages. When a young woman asked the author what she’d learned about relationships since Eat, Pray, Love was published in 2006, Ms. Gilbert made a profound statement that I remember as, ‘Everyone craves them, but relationships are complicated.’ Then she said something I’d not heard since being cautioned by adults during my adolescence—and I remember it as, ‘Sexual intercourse is actually kind of dangerous.’
Dangerous? That’s not what Madison Avenue wants us to believe.
But sex, as lovely and dangerous as it can be, seems to sell everything. Even books—maybe especially books. Several questions came to mind about book purchasing and reading habits—for all the genders—so I put down the novel and went reading for answers.
First, I asked who—or what—comes up with data about book purchasers and readers?
A website, www.statista.com, reports that the U.S. book industry counts over 10 billion dollars in sales from 675 million print books. And that was for 2018.
What are some recent statistics?
Accurate sales data doesn’t really exist! Tracking the sales of all books, and all book formats, is more of an art than a science. Every print book has an ISBN number to be tracked by Nielsen BookScan—but BookScan does not record all sales. I could not find any information about who or what tracks sales of ebooks.
Next, I wanted to know the most popular genre across all markets. According to the Statisita website, mystery/crime/thriller stories sell the most books. Romance books are a close second. Books for children seem to be in third place (although it was difficult to tell, given the level of accuracy in reporting sales). Cookbooks are selling well; join me (and all the foodies) in giving them an unofficial fourth place ribbon.
If you’re still curious, you’ll want to do your own research, but cyberspace seems to be getting even squishier when it comes to facts. Here’s a good article titled “Everything You Wanted To Know About Book Sales But Were Afraid To Ask,” by Lincoln Michel: www.electricliterature.com/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-book-sales-but-were-afraid-to-ask/ (June 2016).
Finally, as for gender (the root of all close, intimate relationships—sex!) I’ve seen that some literary agents are asking for LGBTQIA-themed manuscripts and I wondered about that market. I learned that Penguin-Random House has an LGBT Network, and for Pride Month (June), they published “The Ultimate LGBTQIA+ Pride Book List” at www.penguinrandomhouse.com/the-read-down/the-ultimate-book-list-for-pride-month. Go there and explore. It’s a grand adventure…the titles you’ll see are indicative of our literal brave, and better, new world.
Now…please forget the “data,” and lack of it. What’s most important is what you find important to purchase and read in a landscape where our electronic best friend, the internet, provides trillions of letters in reading material for free: blogs, journals, news media websites, Twitter, Facebook, and even the comments on Instagram. Plus, when your eyes get tired of print, iTunes and YouTube offer electronic fountains of free content—and noise—and advertising.
It’s a big marketplace—for books and things, too. Think amazon.com, and know that it probably has some of its employees figuring out ways to do better sales tracking data even as you read this.
I’ve stopped asking questions, at least until I’m finished reading City of Girls. Information on book sales and the reading habits of people turns out to be not nearly as fascinating as sex in New York City nearly 80 years ago.
By Mary Holden
Have you answered it yet? The call? The call to pursue the fullness of that which is meant to be your life?
We all get the call. But few of us answer it. For some it happens early. They detect the subtle whisper, and they tune into it. They lean into life’s invitation to pursue their greatness, and they do so with passion and tenacity and a genuine love for their journey. For others, the call might come later in life. Some choose to answer it. And some do not. For those who do not, the problem is that oftentimes by then, they have already committed themselves down the winding road of their current life’s path. And although it’s a path that hasn’t quite resulted to them living that dream life, it’s a path, which has lead to a life that is “fine”. Although they continue to hear the call, they think to themselves “why disrupt the status quo?” and simply settle into complacency with their own mediocrity.
But life is not meant to simply be “fine”. Life is not meant to be mediocre. Life is meant to be fabulous!
And so, if you are reading this and you feel that your life is fabulous, terrific, big congratulations to you! But if it is not, don’t despair. Day by day you can make little changes that can move you toward that grander life, towards your true calling. Know that you are put on this earth to develop and share you unique greatness. What ever phase of life you may currently find yourself in, know that your time is now!
Media Mindset Mastery
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”
~ Marianne Williamson
As America’s Media Mindset Mentor and a premium transformational leading expert in my field of media & communications I am also a Hollywood-based television and radio host. As such, I have had the opportunity to sit down with some of the world’s most successful authors, entrepreneurs, activists and yes, celebrities. And based on all of the interviews I have conducted, one thing is clear: that those who are truly content with their lives dared to step into their own greatness. They dared to answer the call. The question is, will you?
How content are you with your current reality? Are you really where you thought you would be by this age? Are you living your purpose with passion? Are you exhibiting true integrity to self? Are you willing to step up and answer the call?
Most people hold back. Why? Because to really answer the call, to really step into greatness, one must shake up, sometimes even flip upside down, their very own belief system and internal wiring. Hmmmm…. Not so easy. Or is it?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Although changing your habits, processes-of-thought and internal paradigms can be challenging, there’s a relatively easy fix that you can apply to help speed the process along. The fix? Borrow belief from someone else until you have mustered up enough of your own. A powerful way to do this is by learning to leverage a media mindset. Mastering it in fact!
What is a media mindset? A media mindset is just that, the impactful, incredibly captivating essence of tapping into the same power and grace exhibited on screen by your favorite on-camera media personality, tapping into and displaying the same levels of articulation, confidence and charisma as your favorite TV star, tapping into your own personal superhero and inner celebrity. It’s really that simple.
Just imagine stepping into every day projecting that high level of confidence in self, that same level of knowing as someone like Oprah Winfrey, or Ellen DeGeneres, Larry King, or Anderson Cooper. What would that mean for your business and your life? How good would it feel to project such a high level of personal confidence that people would be lining up to assist you as you step into that higher version of you? Just suppose, through the development and mastery of your media mindset, you could catapult yourself or your business to the next level. Imagine being miles ahead of the competition with your brand exposure and recognition. Imagine what that would mean for you and your family? Imagine what that would mean for your personal contentment?
It’s no secret that charismatic people tend to get further ahead both personally and professionally in life. Charismatic on-camera personalities have mastered using emotion to inspire and motivate people. Your favorite television personality has learned how to polish their image and communication skills to bring about change, devotion and loyalty by influencing and impacting his or her surroundings. And you can do the same. The wonderful thing about charisma is that it can be learned, borrowed in fact. Charisma is really nothing more than the use of emotions and good communication to inspire action. Charisma is about delivering messages that connect. And mastering the quality of smooth, on-air charisma is actually quite easy.
By tapping into a media mindset, you can literally borrow, in order to then emulate, the charismatic tendencies we see our favorite on-air media personalities exhibit.
Soon these skills will become second nature and your personal charisma and confidence will have no choice but to shine through! Mastering a media mindset starts by simply borrowing, and then leveraging the confidence, drive, ambition and charisma of your favorite media personalities. Learning to tap into and exponentially leverage our personal charisma and magnetism is the key to moving towards expansion and into the highest version of you. Get excited. The time now, to answer your call!
Katerina Cozias is America’s Media Mindset Mentor. An international media and communication expert, on-camera TV host and bestselling author she currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
For more with Katerina, contact:
Email: [email protected]
All social media: @katerinacozias
One must learn how to fail first, before success becomes possible. Failure however is not an F-word we are comfortable with. There is something about failure that most people fear and cannot articulate, let alone process. I’m here to change this.
I speak across the country about failure; Fail faster, succeed sooner is my philosophy. Strange topic, perhaps, however no one else does. Why? Failure isn’t something we discuss openly. I remember scaring the heck out of my bosses throughout my career with their response being: “You want to teach your people to intentionally fail? Are you nuts?” (My answer was always “Yes!”) Initially, I’m quite sure they thought I lost my mind, as they have never had failure used as a leadership technique before. It scared them. But it worked.
So why is failure so important? Failure is a process of learning. Period. As a 20-year university professor, I know about failure and the havoc it causes for students BECAUSE no one teaches them how to fail. Well—almost no one.
Toddlers are our best teachers; however few pay attention to how they learn. Think about this. Brian Smith, founder of the Billionaire brand, UGG Boots, has a classic line, “You can’t give birth to adults.” Yes—Brian gets it. We don’t come out of the womb knowing how to walk or talk or do much of anything. We have to learn. We learn through failure.
A toddler who learns to walk is driven by the need for what walking will accomplish. The Toddler wants Mommy (or Daddy). The Toddler wants the cookie. Walking will get them there, faster; simply a means to an end. Toddlers figure out life pretty quickly, learning cause and effect. If they want x, they have to do y to get it. Pretty simple.
Toddlers make a game of it. They often figure out how NOT to walk first. They crawl backwards, they get stuck, and they try again. They get up, they fall down. They giggle. They try it again. And again. And Again. AND AGAIN; however long it takes to achieve their goal: to get the cookie. They aren’t interested in walking for walking’s sake. Walking is a tool; simply a means to an end. AND Toddlers know how to have fun doing it. Having a bad day? Find a YouTube video of a giggling toddler. It’s darn near infectious! I’m sure you’re smiling simply reading this.
Toddlers get the whole learning thing and the whole failure thing too. The challenge is that we forget these lessons as adults. Toddlers simply focus on the process. They put one foot in front of the other, they fall down, they giggle. Rinse. Repeat. No big deal. The game? Last Man Standing. To get up one more time than you fell down. Once they start walking, failure is over. Learning these skills is over, on to the next challenge. No hang up; no fear. Just full steam ahead.
I seriously doubt that the Toddler counted the number of failures, the mistakes, the oops, or the near misses. The only score that counts is walking TO GET THE COOKIE!
Herein lies the challenge for understanding failure as adults. Failure stopped being fun somewhere along the line. Failure stopped being easy. Failure simply stopped us. Sometimes forever. Why?
The answer is in how we learn. The fancy academic words are pedagogy—how children learn; and andragogy-how adults learn. The easy answer? We don’t take the time to process failure. We stopped seeing failure as a leadership strategy as a means to an end. When we didn’t get the cookie, we felt the pain. We felt the pain of embarrassment, of humiliation; perhaps we were made fun of and failure quickly took on a negative personality. Failure didn’t feel good.
Think of Edison. Edison—the inventor of the lightbulb– had 997 attempts at creating the lightbulb. All failures. 998 worked. Ta da!
Edison is one of those folks I would like to take to lunch and ask him about the process. Perhaps it went something like this.
#1—nope that didn’t work.
#55 -nope that didn’t work.
#312—nope that didn’t work.
Edison was methodical. He had a system. He was a Toddler all over again; simply seeing that failure was a gift that EVENTUALLY led to success. Perhaps for him, failure simply meant a mark in his journal, a note of what not to do next time. Maybe an exasperation. Maybe a long walk. Maybe a short break. Then back at it. Again. And again. AND AGAIN. UNTIL—voila!—the light bulb turned on for the first time.
Can you imagine the elation? The joy? The triumph? Perhaps a giggle or a hearty belly laugh? I can’t imagine Edison having the angst that most of us do about the F-word. I would like to think that failure was simply no big deal, a laugh, a giggle, a get up one more time and try again and then Whoop—there it is.
Now why should you care? Good question. The only question that really matters here is what will YOU do about failure? Do you stop at 1, maybe 4? Maybe 14? 400? How many of us have the grit, the perseverance, and the intestinal fortitude to keep going—no matter what—giggling all the way to 998?
The question is what will you do about failure? Your answer is the only one that matters.
See you around the quad! Happy thinking!
Dr. Cheryl Lentz
The Academic Entrepreneur
You can catch my She Talk at Zappos in May 2019 in Las Vegas on You Tube here
Just because one is single, doesn’t mean staying home and becoming the proverbial wallflower. Here are a few tips to help you feel more comfortable to get out and about, attending events from medieval festivals, to the cinema, even to going to dinner by yourself.
Strike up Conversation with Those Near You
When I recently attended a performance of the Spanish Dancing Horses in Vienna, I noticed that the people sitting next to me had American accents. At a suitable moment, I excused myself and asked if they were in Austria from the States on holidays? This began the loveliest experience where I ended up with friends for the day. Yes, it can be uncomfortable getting out of one’s comfort zone and approaching a complete stranger, but when they are sitting only an inch or two from your elbow, my suggestion is to make the effort. The rewards can sometimes be surprisingly lovely.
Dress the Part
Last weekend I attended a medieval jousting tournament. I had ordered a fabulous medieval-style dress on Amazon (that looked expensive but wasn’t). OK, I can already hear some people saying they would have challenges going to an event alone, let alone dressing up and attending by themselves! The interesting fact about dressing the part, however, is that people tend to gravitate to you – and smile! Yes, it did feel a little odd when I realised I needed to stop for gas on the way (so had to get out in the twenty-first century service station looking like I belonged in the fifteenth century), but again, people smiled… One person asked me where I was going, and that lead to a lovely conversation… At the event, more smiles, more impromptu discussions such as one woman who said she loved my dress and asked me for the name of my dressmaker! She was surprised when I told her it was Mr Amazon; and even more surprised when I shared with her the price.
Look for Other Single People
One of my dearest friends for many, many years now is someone I met at a cinema. We were both there alone and for her, it was her very first time going by herself. We struck up a conversation after the movie and, as there was a very nice bar near the cinema, decided to go for a drink… and the rest, as they say, is history.
A book can be your best friend
On occasion if I want to go to dinner by myself but do not really want to engage with anyone, I will take a book (although please be mindful and respectful of the establishment at which you are dining – it may not be appropriate in some surroundings). While I focus on enjoying the food when it arrives, between courses, I happily immerse myself in my book and completely forget I am there alone.
~ Bella St John aka www.LuxuriousNomad.com