When we accept our shallow we become deep, it’s as cool as that.

 Ann Gentry. Karen Gutman. Angie Weihs

Ann Gentry. Karen Gutman. Angie Weihs

“I let literature and world history inspire me to give my textiles quirky creative names,“ the elegant boss lady over 50 said, “that’s pretty shallow, isn’t it? But I live for those names.”

The group of a dozen memoir writing hopefuls and our wise, experienced writing coach giggled.

Marketing copy as her “creative shallow”? The way she talked about it was funny, one of those breaking-the-ice moments making everybody sigh with relief that they can be real here in this writing seminar.

Shallow, I thought, I hate shallow.

So called celebrities came to mind, those women for whom appearance and what they own is everything and who chose their entourage following the same categories. Shallow people are naturally narcissist prone and rarely have compassion or unconditional feelings for anybody. A person looking for real friendship would probably fall on her face realizing that the OMG, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH of a woman full of herself is void of any true emotion. Not because the shallow person is born a mean bitch, but because she never had the privilege of learning what consideration, empathy, honesty or loyalty are.

I’m one of the others, the “complicated” people. If you’re nice you call me deep. Everything to me has meaning, tells stories, evokes feelings.

“Isn’t that an exhausting way to live?” I was asked.

It is sometimes; when I feel that I’m not understood and run away from myself trying to fit in and when I need too many shields to protect myself from getting hurt. I ran from the pain and after the joy and understood after decades that living deeply means both; crushing despair and high flying happiness and in between the calm of knowing.

Shallow to me is a vacation from myself and a learning tool.

The difference lies in BEING shallow, which means the lack of self awareness and ACTING shallow, which to me is freedom from limitations of being deep ALL THE TIME.

An old friend of mine “cancelled” our friendship as she couldn’t bare seeing my “self-indulgent selfies.”

Mirrors and pictures of myself are part of my process; test drives into self confidence and who a truly am. My exploration of outfits opened new levels of understanding; accepting the feminine pretty of pink gave me new depth.

The shallow act of dress up became a guide through vanity to self love.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” I loved that quote because it condoned my “dying of boredom” in regular life.

A new friend of mine is the queen of small talk; she appreciates and gets along with everybody. I watched and cringed. When I was able to allow shallow talk as a part of life without having to get drunk to stay calm I found compassion.

Shallow talk can be somebody’s cry to connect.

Who hasn’t giggled about celebs, found the power of a billionaire sexy, identified with the cool new car, craved a freaking expensive perfume or espresso machine, loved their selfies or people that made them look good? Who hasn’t had shallow thoughts or desires?

When we accept our shallow we become deep, it’s as cool as that.

“We tell anecdotes all day long,” explained our writing coach, “the difference to writing our life’s story is to add significance and meaning to it.” The most important question, which Adam Hauge asked us ten years ago in a screen writing seminar and I seem to forget sometimes in my desire to change the world was

What does this matter to me?

It’s the same with anything described as shallow; where does it come from and what does it matter to you? It’s a question that cuts though the clutter of our wants and needs.

This is not a call to love ego tripping narcissists and happily embrace and let in the shallowness of Hollywood gossip; it’s a reminder to feel the fear in our judgements.

Everything even shallow acts have the potential of being and knowing “more.

Shallow, I figured, I shall add significance and meaning to shallow.

 Happy Women Dinners. This was a brunch with writing coach Karen Gutman,  Spirit of Story

Happy Women Dinners. This was a brunch with writing coach Karen Gutman, Spirit of Story


I'm not ready.

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I was invited to a ball by Devora, a gorgeous queen somewhere around my age, eccentric, creative, slim, a former dancer with beautiful movements. I have never been to a ball, how amazing!!

I didn’t go. I wasn’t ready. I felt too fat with my 15 extra pounds, I didn’t have a facial in months and the dresses I owned weren’t expensive and theatrical enough for this arty event.

“I’m not ready.” How many times have I said it?

I made things up not to be ready. I couldn’t find my car keys or my glasses or my lip stick, I spilled coffee on the dress. The dog sitter had a flat tire or I had to turn around because I forgot my phone; now I was too late. Now I can’t go anymore…

I clung to old beliefs, judgments or an adopted mindset; I can’t finish my book because I don’t know how to pay for the team I need to publish it. I can’t sell the screenplay because everybody in LA has the same hope and I’m not pathetic.

I learned to check in; is it the party, conference or meeting I don’t really want to go to or am I am afraid? Do I love my story and feel it is worth telling? Am I still afraid not to be good enough after all these years packed with self improvement?

What is an excuse and what is intuition?

I got so much better; thanks to the mantras I jot down every day in my Ageless Rebel Planner, thanks to the ReBelle spirit I spread for myself and others with my fierce avatar at The Ageless Rebellion on Instagram I grow a little each day.

I learned to go against my fears by faking it to make it, by acting, doing, inventing tricks and sometimes jumping with my eyes closed. I’m not ready? So? I have spare keys and glasses hidden in the garden. I get ready in the car putting on make up at every red light. I tell myself empowering tales; remember how you managed this or that? Quitting the suffocating job without knowing how to create income? Starting my book without a clear message? Risky, yes. Time consuming? Of course. But I don’t want to die without knowing who I am. I don’t want to leave the planet without a trace of my truth.

I would have never discovered my power or the love I am able to give without softening the limitations I had protected my heart with if had I not jumped.

Bruises heal.

I took me longer than I through but I found my message while writing. I found my body and style while playing dress up. I am finding my tribe by going to all kinds of meetings. I still rush out of the house last minute leaving a mess of clothing thrown everywhere as I wasn’t happy how I looked. I still wished I was organized and ready all the time. In the meantime I dance; I laugh and cry when I fall over my own feet.

Facebook showed me a picture today from two years ago; sitting in a tree in a leopard jumpsuit was one of my first professional photo shoots; I posted it while judging myself as too fat. That was my first step.

1. Jumping into our fear of imperfection is empowering. The more we accept our flaws the better we get living with them and transforming them into power

2. Anger helps; saying NO to our programing of being too old or overweight, too loud or too different. Who said that we are not good enough? Who is measuring?

The more I voiced my anger the more I felt it; we can only transform what we are aware of. I took my Self back, and rediscovered my own voice. In my new found sweet, bubbly pinkness, my essence of curious joy, I allow myself to be angry here and there. We all need a little rebelliousness to change ourselves and the world around us. It always were the rebels, the Da Vincis or Einsteins who said No to the status quo who pushed the world forward.

I am afraid to finish and publish my memoir because I’m afraid you won’t like it.

3. Baby steps are always the answer, to focus on the big goal and make it happen by small steps towards it. I am looking for a new editor because the man I paid last year up front hates my women power guts. I publish little things on IG and FB posts and restarted my life style blog. Inspired by Loretta, an amazing woman who posts her life’s stories like a warriorress blogging 500 words every day I got over my “I can’t because I edit too much. I write too many words…I don’t have the time…”

My book tells stories about the power of NO. So here I am. Ready or not.

800 + words. 3 tips and the summery of my experience with “I’m never ready”

  • sometimes we’re sure; we listen to our intuition and with self love, feel good about NOT doing “it”

  • sometimes we only truly know if we are ready by doing “it.”

  • sometimes we discover what we really want by doing what we don’t really want.

  • often we get ready in the process of doing…

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It is not about you, says social media. It is about your followers.

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“Make it about your followers not yourself,” advised the Instagram savvy social media expert.

“Yes and no,” I answered.

“I’m not sure you’re coachable,” she responded, her forehead in furrows,” this is a well established marketing advice.”

“Gotta make it about my self to answer.”

Eye rolling.

“Okay.”

When I posted my first pictures two years ago I didn’t have a concept of what I was doing, I was pulled into Instagram because I love photography and IG felt more contained and personal than Facebook. It was an emotional decision; I was excited to show who I am through images telling stories of how I see the world.

“But Instagram is so narcissist",” said my son.

I agreed. IG is a play ground for our egos. But hey, I wasn’t posting pictures of myself. I wasn’t vain and I took thousands of dollars of marketing advice to heart; make it about others, talk the language of your followers, or clients; in my case women over 50 who want to be fit, fab and ageless. I checked what women my age were talking about from menopause to cheating husbands. I went to longevity conferences, posted about health and fitness, not aging and how to find your soul, a process I had gone through and which I figured everybody was looking for.

I created two empowerment planners, Ageless Rebel and Soul Sister with the bright grin of the “C’mon lets go for it” of a cheer leader. I marketed them on FB and IG. The response was okay but far from what I expected. I was answering to “their” problems, why did I not receive worldwide recognition?

I tend to go through extremes to find my balance, my truth. When I made it about “them” I became preachy in my desire to share my knowing and advise everybody. My inner author cringed and hissed into my ear, “Your writing is freaking gruesome.”

I couldn’t have that. I’m a writer first of all. I did not want to be an empowerment coach anymore. What now?

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I still had my street art and eccentric art shows; one of my favorite playgrounds, my love for creative expression.

I wasn’t posting pictures of myself not to be perceived as vain but crazy enough, when I did it became my creative arty path to self awareness; my outfits, my second skin became my teacher.

We are art, I proclaimed thinking of Michelangelo who said the the art object is inherent in the block of granite, he was just chiseling it free.

Vanity can cause personal revolutions; I found self confidence in playful dress ups losing my fear and judgment like in child’s play. I found my unique path to empower my self. That’s what I shared. I told my story through pictures of me; the story of my search for my passion and purpose.

I stopped asking what is it that “they” want to see and how the heck I can make myself relatable and get the most likes. With every post I became more truthful to what I loved about fashion, how I related to my own skin and how I desired to see myself. I created the avatar of the fearless ageless fashionista and every day I am embodying more of her in real life. My IG became a journey of my truth.

I wrote a poem.

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I wanted to be fierce and “naked”; truthful of all of me, the doubts and dreams, the downfalls and wins.

It was about me. I was real. Not an answer to statistically relevant questions but an answer to my self. With becoming real I am becoming relatable to others; by being truthful to my self not my marketing coach.

I realized what a privilege it was not to have to “sell” but to enjoy the freedom to offer myself.

Comments of other women became guides to who I am as an essence; childlike joy and curiosity. My love for life and the courage to be more guides me to own my magic.

Because I shared my process I got answers that told me “what women want.” I wasn’t the one to answer menopause or fitness questions, I inspired to take risks and be “more” on my path to being it myself.

The question “Who am I that is valuable to others?” can be life changing.

Are we repeating what we had to learn or are we adding new thoughts, our own thoughts? What do we know that other don’t? What do we love about ourselves that we find truly worth sharing?

So yes, it is about others but our answers come through the stories of us. We add our uniqueness to the world, sharing new colors, tones, vibes and new insights. It is through our uniqueness that we create the whole.

How weird is it to think that not one in billions of thumb prints is the same?

Be a narcissist in a sense of loving your Self and showing everything you are, but when you say “I love YOU” don’t let the narcissist need for applause hinder your true caring for others.

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When I post my funky fashion stories I’m happy when it looks pretty but it is the childlike joy and curiosity when stepping into the “wild, crazy, silly, yuppie, slutty, nerdy” that I love to share.

“You have to speak the language of your clients,” demanded my marketing coach. “You have to fit into a category,” said my book writing adviser.

What if I speak the language with a different accent?

What if there is no matching category?

What if I create a new category and stick to using my voice not what readers are used to?

Should I not be true to my branding? ReBelle my truth, my unique inner and outer beauty?

The risk of allowing ourselves to be different is to land “outside” and the art is to make the outside attractive, to invite people to join our uniqueness while supporting them to own or discover their own.

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I never was the most relatable person. I felt like an Alien all my life. For me its time to let go of the need to fit in but to happily and unabashed be the Alien.

So yes it is about me and you; my inner Alien hopes that her stories add color to your life and evoke your “more.”

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Mirror obsessions

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“What are you doing?”, asked the white haired teacher who had been brought back from retirement as our school for girls couldn’t find a history teacher. We tricked her into telling anecdotes from her youth nobody was interested in. She fell for our begging each time; her flights into her child hood gave us the chance to read magazines under the table, to dream, to sleep, ‘cause who wants to learn about “real” history? This old stuff was so boring…

I was a mostly nice Catholic teenager in the 60’s not allowed to sing with Mick Jagger, the devil, or daring to hold hands with a boy. In a time of cultural rebellions I tried hard to be what my parents expected from me but I knew that there was something wrong, this wasn’t me. I wasn’t seen, heard or understood, neither by them or by my self. I felt like one huge question mark, an Alien probably found in a trashcan. I looked into the mirror when and wherever I could or found one. It was vanity, sure, but on a deeper level it was

“Am I really HERE?”

“Is this really me?”

My history teacher caught me looking into a small hand mirror i had under my desk just in case I felt lost. The girls in the class giggled. I was the weird one, a girl attached to her mirror who had an A in math.

Looking at myself was my obsession through all my life, controlling my looks, dreading imperfection, loving style; hoping to proof that I was good enough.

I was searching for more than the shiny reflections of my outside.

Mirror, mirror, who am I?

Two decades later I yelled at the amazing star studded night sky of Portugal’s Algarve,

“I do anything to know what life is all about.”

The Universe answered manifold and repeated its messages many, many times until my tears had wiped away the dust and I could see. In my many spiritual, shamanic and self exploring journeys I found the bigger mirror, the one quantum physics calls Schroedinger’s cat. Reality exists because we see it. If we close our eyes there’s nothing out there but our imagination.

What if when we open our eyes all we see is our imagination?

What if we can’t see our Self in others because we are too afraid to face the truth? What if that’s why we are slapped over and over again? Because our soul wants us to wake up?

When my life coach told me to write “I love you” on my mirror a few years ago I found it super silly but did. I looked at it and at my wrinkled face and grinned.

“Fat chance.”

I did not love myself. Why should I? Because of some inner values? Everybody had them. I wasn’t special enough to deserve my love.

My coach gave me another one of her silly exercises; I took a deep breath and decided it couldn’t hurt, ridiculous or not.

I walked my dog. Instead of allowing my brain to bubble its usual comments like “Wow, he looks grumpy” “Gosh, look at that ugly dress…” I focused on finding people’s eyes. I looked at everybody I passed, no matter if they smiled, were absent minded or seemed unfriendly.

“I see you. I love you. I wish you all the best,” I thought. It must have been a hundred times.

When I came home an hour later something had clicked. I loved the world. I saw its people. Some had looked back at me recognizing something deeper.

For the first time I looked at my mirror image and saw more than my skin; I saw my soul. I saw everything I was, all of ME. When I said “I love you” I felt pieces of my armor crashing to the floor.

I had seen my Self in the many people I met, in the essence behind all their personas.

Writing my memoir, the story of my rebellions and resistance, the stories of No let me dive into the people in my life; a mind boggling and heart expanding revelation of the love I received from my friends and foes alike; they were there for me to let me see; they were guides, teachers, messengers and even the guardian angels I did not believe existed. Each and every one of them was a mirror of my hopes and fears. Because I did not believe I was worthy I let the fears win and ran away.

I ran away with with my son, far away from Europe to the US, an ocean away from my past.

Giving my son everything I had missed out on and loving him without conditions I created the first mirror in which I could see my beauty; my son is the most loving, balanced, generous, smart and funny being I know. It just dawns on me now that he is a manifestation of every I hold dear and a mirror of the best in me.

The concept of seeing ourselves in others can easily be misinterpreted and misunderstood. It doesn’t mean that we are as bad as the murderer we see on TV, that we want the husband to hit us, are narcissists or actually aspire to be broke.

What we see are our fears, beliefs, judgments as much as our dream, hopes and desires.

Our judgments are our prisons but can be our guides to freedom; what we think about others often has nothing to do with their reality but is a “truth” interpreted by the grid of our own beliefs. We assume intentions where there aren’t any.

The answer is to ask “What does this have to do with me?” “What do I really see?”

You and me we are messengers from our souls, supporting actors showing each us our deeper truth.


Prompts from the Soul Sister Journal

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Truth and Dare

Be brave. Fess up. See yourself in the mirror of others.

Take off your personas like robes that don’t fit anymore.

Attract like-minded women, your soul sister tribe, when you walk your truth.

Don’t fear your Self, be radically honest.


Helpful questions to ask

What was my relationship to women in the past and what is it today? 

 

How do I feel towards women and in women groups?

 

How would I like to feel?

 

What are my main reasons to connect with women?

- Develop my business to make more money

- To connect with opportunities

- Achieve a common goal

- Support and be supported

- Give and receive love

- Sell my products or services

- Joined partnerships

- Create a better world together

- Feel sisterhood

Create magic and rituals

- Connect to ancient knowing

- Women empowerment

- Feel that I belong

- Create a revolution 

- Other

 

What do I love or hate in my women friends?


What do I judge? (Fear)


What do I love about them?

 

Who and what inspires and attracts me?


Who are my deeper connections on Facebook?

 

Who are my girls on Instagram?

 

What do they have in common?

 

What do I see of myself in them?

 

What can I learn from them?

 

How can I be of assistance to them?

 

What’s my unique contribution, my gift to them?


I see you. I love you. I wish you all the best.


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What are you wearing? Connections in the fashion zone.

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“There you are,” whispered my stylish IG friend and hugged me excitedly as if she had waited for a long lost friend. Hugging her back I looked around in the room of about 75 woman listening to a panel of five female presenters; I saw welcoming smiles, nods, little waves even a thumbs up. I felt a happy giggle lighten me up, this was as soothing as a warm bubble bath.

I had been a little anxious about joining the Fierce Fifty fashionistas in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Redondo beach this weekend. I had been worried that too much fashion meant fashion only and not what I love, the digging deeper, the depth, the real and authentic connection.

Will I see what I love or what I fear?

Women conferences are a great test of our old beliefs; do I still have to prove that I am good enough? Do I still fear that child hood trauma of “nobody throws me the ball?” or believe that I must be an Alien as nobody gets me?

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Those darn thoughts came up like soap bubbles dancing around in front of my eyes but like soap bubbles they also popped. After lifelong explorations, from studying art therapy to shamanic journeys, my recent two years of life coaching, the incredible adventure of writing my memoir and creating the concept of fashion therapy I knew what to do; I stopped, took a deep breath, acknowledged my thoughts and responded to my challenge. I would own who I had become; no more excuses to live my empowered life. I followed my own advice from the Soul Sister Planner I had created in the beginning of this year using the prompt I had given to my readers; don’t enter the room with “look at me,” but with “who are you?”

Its amazing how much it helps.

I pulled out my Iphone to find the name to the face of my welcoming sister. We often know the handles of our IG friends, their online avatars, but not their human names.

Avatars are amazing tools, mine, the ageless rebel, empowers me every day; when I post stories to inspire, empower or motivate I empower myself. I look at my smile and if I feel shitty right now I know the smile is near.

Avatars also often reduce our complexity, we are our branding; as the ReBelle I can’t be a wimp, if my purpose is to lighten you up I can’t make you cry. So we don’t tell all of our stories and don’t get to hear them from others.

Meeting in 3D allows us to be our whole package, the “Silver Sister” becomes Nadia, a woman with many stories. We meet the pain in the path of the powerful fashionista, the doubts of the super coach or the fierce desires of the shy introvert. To dance in social media is weightless but now we have real life feet stuck in boots or balancing on heels, we are the density of all we are.

When we accept the challenge to be real and take a chance we amaze ourselves and others. My questions of “what are you wearing, how does this make you feel and who are you showing us?” were answered with amazingly heartfelt honesty.

The cool, creative, sassy, sweet or trendy outfits became the storyteller’s sidekicks. I met the badass behind her jeans, the physicist in a Roberto Cavalli dress, the searcher for purpose in the white vintage robe and the shaman in her power of red invoking the magic of the divine feminine.

Our stories are invitations to connect.

When we share our lives or truly listen to other women’s stories we find compassion, love, understanding; the closeness most of us desire. Avatars become multi dimensional human beings, women with many colors.

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 Women who dance together, creatives having a blast, girls who hug.

Women who dance together, creatives having a blast, girls who hug.

 Wise women, soul sisters and fashionistas.

Wise women, soul sisters and fashionistas.

We also see ourselves mirrored in others, we detect what we wish to have or fear to be. Keeping this in mind makes the step towards a woman we find threatening or judge in whatever way much easier. There’s always more than meets our eye as our lenses are shaped by our experiences.

To ask “who are you?” and to listen from an empty place can be revolutionary. Deep listening needs training but the result, being able to truly “hear” somebody is a rewarding gift.

One of the lessons women conferences taught me is to stop being “full of myself”, not to see the world through the grid of me. It’s like being in a martial arts dojo where we exercise to be present, in this moment, not in yesterday or tomorrow.

To be “right here and now” means not to ponder about agendas. If we want true connections we have to forget the “what can you do for me?” Without agendas life becomes storytelling not a hunt and collaboration develops naturally when it’s right.

Trust in your Self, that little voice that knows, is the best confidence pill I’ve ever taken. It’s the same trust that says “your vibe will attract your tribe” and that it is okay not to like or to be liked by every woman in the room. We all have different movies in our heads; it’s much easier to understand and play within the script of the same genre than having to make your way through dark dungeons in a princess dress.

I probably could have stopped and taken more deep breaths during the conference this weekend and wasn’t truly present all the time. I was pulled out of the “being present” zone by my hair; I have a thing with my hair and if I don’t like it…. But when I was in the moment, magic happened.

My upcoming book has the subtitle; “A journey to the magic of Yes”, which had been an adventurous voyage with huge jumps up, deep falls down and a million baby steps in between.

Fierce Con 2018 was one of those steps.

Thank you for the stories, fierce femmes and for being real.

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Put a pink girl into a punk car

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“Seven hundred”, I called out, nervously squeezing my kid’s hand. The rock’n roll lesbian couple looked at each other, they really wanted this car; it looked like a Ferrari. I really wanted this car even if it wasn’t practical at all for a single mom with kid and dog and it was red, the color police watches out for most. But I was about making the best out of wacko bad situations; losing a bunch of money in the stock market and being broke had been pretty wacko indeed. “That’s how this feels”, I had thought, “ when traders jump out of their windows after a financial crash.”

I was the 90’s. I was in shambles and had lop sided the two door SUV we had driven to Los Angeles from from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I needed something more than just crude necessity. Driving this power version of the Pontiac Fiero, a Fastback would make life funnier, lighter.

“750”, the couple yelled. “800”, I answered bravely standing my woman.

Bidding with a racing heart and sweaty hands I got the car. The San Fernando Valley car auction sold seized, stolen, impounded and forgotten vehicles; a car lot packed with drama.

“Why did they have to bid this up so much, didn’t they realize I wouldn’t budge?”, I said, my hands still trembling with anxiety and excitement. The whole action was fun but we also really needed a car living in the boondocks of hippie town Topanga.

“Be happy,” said my wise 10 year old son.

“Okay, I am”, I answered doing a little Yay dance.

It had been the right choice, the car roared powerfully, served us loyally and when kids asked if this was a Ferrari I felt giggly. After a little more than a year, the beautiful sturdy pony over heated and wasn’t repairable. I felt so guilty. I sold its remains to a Hollywood cinema car company; at least it’s frame would stay alive under a movie car.

The Fiero mirrored “I”m effed but I don’t let it get to me.” I was as cool and eccentric as I could be on my tiny budget. We drove in a similar funky vintage vehicle for the next two years, a Datsun Z, nice but we never made it to a love relationship. It was a rebound car after the theatrical Fiero Ferrari and I couldn’t commit; I was looking for more. By now I was on the road to success, looking for the next decent car and gifted the Z to a penny less musician who was “obsessed” with Datsun Z models. I paid big bucks for a shiny new Camry Hybrid version, eco friendly like my wedding production company, slick like a Beamer and very grown up. Mr Camry was a respected colleague, a great partner on many cross country road trips.

I had emotional attachments to all of my cars from respectful adoration to friendship and love. They were my daily companions, my buddies, with an cute purple convertible being my soul mate. They were expressions of how I felt about myself and served as power objects, making me feel better about my life.

My first ever love relationship was a 15,000 bucks MGB convertible, a sporty, sexy car fitting to my purple velvet jeans, Wild Thing T-shirt and custom made snake cowgirl boots from London. My boyfriend had gifted its dark purple paint job for my birthday. I was the free spirited fearless journalist driving to interviews, events and photo shoots and pushing my baby’s petal to make the deadline rushing back the local newspaper or the post office.

The convertible said I’m confident and in a superficial I was; my pizzazz depended on looks and what I had. Henry, my moody, eccentric English four wheel fellow presented me with temperamental electrical challenges. I learned about kicking the carburetor, cleaning spark plus, adding destilled water to the battery and checking the oil in the valve covers. I knew what head gaskets and cylinder heads were. I was confident and also independent; I handled my torch wrenches and floor jacks. I drove Henry to Portugal twice until I settled there, he was gun metal gray now and looked smashing with his cream top in front of the entrance tower of Quinta dos Figos, my house overlooking the ocean. As a construction company owner I drove a Landrover and Henry became my pampered number 2. I cried when I moved to the US and Henry drove away with his new owner. He had been my adventure car and after my shelter dog freaked out alone in the car and ate up the interior, was fully refurbished with black leather interiors. Henry had seen a lot of my brave, perseverant persona.

I was driving a Mini in the last few years, easy to find parking with and millennial fun. It brought me to many photo shoots in DTLA in front of street art and murals I love, to new women friends and coffeehouses, art galleries and foodie joints. The Mini mirrors the newfound feminine me, sweet, straightforward, neither demanding nor diva, not throwing tantrums like Henry or giving theatrical performances like Mr Fiero.

“She has plastic parts like all modern cars but is not plastic fantastic,” said my mechanic today when her repaired a coolant leak and patted her soft curves. “She can take a bump or too.”

I’ve caught myself posing in front of jeep Wranglers. As a power object it says; I’m tough, I can do this. Barbie wants a bigger edge.

I need this extra muscle, to be reminded of how much spunky success I had. I’m ready to put the pink girl in a punk jeep, one with fat tires and a muscly look. I’m ready to show ReBelle Barbie to the world and drive to DTLA not just to look at and pose with but to DO street art.

What’s you car story?

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Who wants to live forever?

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"I think it, so I am IT," said Bernadeane, co-founder and Co-director of People Unlimited, who has has spoken and written on radical life extension and physical immortality for over four decades. Her thinking kept her hip and fit dancing around the stiff number 90 with a boy friend who's maybe 50. "IT" for her is immortality. She is immortal. No discussion.

Don't we love the power of our thoughts? Mind over matter becomes more and more true and even scientifically proven. I'm a queen of What if??? always playing with thoughts others find weird. Living forever isn't a strange concept for me at all. As a kid I let my thoughts wonder and stories would pour in before I was falling asleep.  A few times I had a very strange physical feeling like being in a space under water, no sound, no air just this dark but bearable pressure. The words that lit up were; death isn't real, death is an illusion. The feeling stayed with me like a never-ending memory.

Living forever? Sure.

Of course when I realized that I could then actually visit the next Universe, a childhood dream of mine that also never died, I held my breath for a moment. One of the possibly Earth-like exo-planets, Kepler-452b, 60 per cent larger than Earth, with a rocky surface, oceans and orbiting a star like our Sun at a habitable distance, is 1,400 light years from Earth. Each light year is 5.88 trillion miles - which means it would take the best part of a millenium-and-a-half to reach it if a spacecraft could travel at the speed of light.

Eternity is a long long time.

After that discovery I changed my goal to "living as long as I like." Hip and healthy of course. One of the thought exercises I came up with was the idea that truly living in the moment, where space and time do not exist, could mean that we don't age. Eckhard's NOW might be the answer. It's an idea that tickles me but then, as I writer of an upcoming Sci Fi fantasy (2019) I'm constantly in the future and in the past. Unfortunately that thought form wouldn't work for me.

But there's also science and an amazing longevity movement where I had met Bernadeane and her team. That she loves to support her radical thoughts with science gives me hope that mind over matter has an actual chance.

I visited the RAAD fest in San Diego twice and intend to be there again this year, it's coming up in two weeks.

 At a life extension party a few months ago.

At a life extension party a few months ago.

The line up is amazing. I am a fan of Ray Kurzweil , who's bestseller "The Singularity is near", was on one of my side tables for years until I was finally ready to read it in 2013. Good stuff if you're not tight minded. He'll be there this year, so are Suzanne Somers, Aubrey de Grey, Liz Parish and Dr Natasha Moore and many other innovative speakers. I interviewed a some of them last year and met Aubrey and Liz twice.

Walking my dog this morning I spoke a couple notes into my Iphone; what do I want to blog about longevity? That I find the idea of us living forever would change the world in a really amazing way as everybody would be worried that they would have to reap the fruits of their (evil) actions? No more polluting the world, adding more and more species to the endangered list, a possible stop to global warming... I had a website years ago called "La Femme Futura" and was hitting readers over the head with innovative and often far out science news I didn't quite understand myself. Should I talk about living forever? I had bumped into a lot of resistance last year, is it time now? While dictating Siri and rolling my eyes as she's not good with my light (!) German accent and garbles my words I saw a mini library, one of these oversized bird houses packed with books. I pass them often, added a couple books but didn't look inside. Today I did. I picked up every single book searching.... I found an interesting looking vintage piece and took a picture of it, the title was about love. I took it. Why not. Maybe I have time to read.

Book in one hand, dog leash in the other and waiting at the red light I opened the book; it’s the stories of Lazarus Long, an eternally living man, one of the few heroes in one of the few books I liked when I lived in Portugal. I see myself in my bed reading dreaming that this man would be real.... I heard Lazarus in my head. He said, "go now, write a blog post about living forever. And come to the RAADfest. I'll be there."

 Natasha VIta Moore                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aubrey de Gray

Natasha VIta Moore                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aubrey de Gray

The conference motivates us to break out of the box of ageism and to eliminate beliefs that are "so last century." 

Who wants to join me?

 

 

 

Do you have A style?

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"You cannot wear black here," said the owner of the New Age restaurant, "it's a dark vibration and imprisons your light." All I had was black outfits, that was my thing. I'm cool. I'm edgy. I'm a rebel. I can't go against my style for a job?? I'm proud to be stubborn too.
It was 15 years ago, I had lost a lot of money in the stock market and was catapulted from being well off and successful into broke and burdened with the guilt of having made a huge mistake. With a kindergarten kid and dog I had moved from a stylish Adobe house in Santa Fe to a freaking air stream trailer in Topanga. At least it overlooked hiking trails and mountain lions...but... My ego had suffered an unsuspected crushing hit and now this, now I was to wear frumpy hippie outfits? How bad can life get?

I needed an easy job so that I could finish my screenplay and be in the saddle of success again. I applied for the wedding planner job at this romantic restaurant delivering an amazing speech of my many entrepreneurial successes. Having organized large art opening parties in my gallery and restaurant proved that I was totally fit for the job. The boss lady took my hand and said in a calming motherly voice, "Why don't you start as a hostess."

The old belief that "I'm not good enough" fell with the door into my house of cards and flattened it; I had held on to being worthy for several years now. But bandages only last for a while; it was time for me to look at the stuff hidden in my darkness. "Don't hide in black" was a huge wink from the Universe which I refused to see. I chose to be upset about the insults to my ego.  What an audacity to take away my style! I was proud of my mirror obsessed vanity.

Used to being the boss myself my lesson in humility unfolded to my great dismay. I couldn’t even wear black, did I had to iron out some bad karma here? I needed the money so I agreed to squeeze myself into dresses I considered an unfortunate style faux pas.

A couple of years later, after I had not written the screenplay but climbed up the restaurant ladder I was allowed to wear black again; the boss figured that my inner light was so bright now that it pierced through the darkness. Gosh, finally I was me again, finally I had MY style back - and then I realized that being focused on being the best single mom who ever existed it didn't even matter anymore. I was okay in jeans and tees and simple dresses for the job. Then the boy left and I looked into the mirror; vanity was back with a vengeance screaming, "Now you're too old for fantastic fashion."

Fast forward to my Instagram fashion journey, a amazing year in which I created a cool course called Styling from the Insight Out. Don’t worry I won’t sell it to you, it’s not on the market yet. I had tested a lot of different mindsets by trying out lots of different styles. Losing my judgment about those styles I got much closer to understand other women and their different takes on life and with that my own.

My Instagram gallery said, "Check it out, girl, you have changed." My pictures were pink all over. Pink? Seriously? I saw sweet, girlie, happy feminine outfits as much as edgy jumpsuits, rock'n roll jeans or teeny bopper skirts. I had gone from a fierce male Rebel vibe to the feminine path of ReBelle, reclaiming my true inner beauty reflected in my style. Even the formerly considered kitschy Belle of Disney's fair tales, a lady-like style and the “sexy 60” femme fatale were included. Who was this person?

My followers commented on my joy and opened my eyes like a collective guru; I am the cosmic giggle, at home at the playfulness of a child. I wasn't just playing with other styles I had adapted some of them, they were part of who I was: a multiple personality. That was my new order; wear what you feel inside or what gives you the vibe you need today.

In the many rebellions of my life against unfairness on personal, political, social and cultural levels, in the many NOs were the jewels of what I really wanted; to be free to express my truth. Awareness actually was like light piercing my darkness; I saw all the colors inherent in black and I had grown brave enough to let them out.

Help, I don't have A style.

Hurrah, I am multiple fashion personality.

My style is to wear my heart on my sleeves.

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8 fun tips for your amazing Instagram pictures

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OMG, that's so cool. "I told all my friends and everybody loves it," Barbie smiled when I balanced my Iphone on a cactus to take pictures of us, Kristine, Kathleen and Marla's Instagram pictures improved to happy levels and Ruth showed my tricks of the selfie trade to her friends on Facebook. "Merveilleux" "Klasse" "Giro"... I love how my I-Phone game has begun to cruise the world.

Here it is.

Trending; pictures in which you move, laugh, be funky, quirky or philosophical; be real and show your soul. I literally "wear my heart on my sleeve." Good question to ask for authenticity: "What does this setting, outfit, design etc matter to me?" Mix posed and more snap shot like selfies as in reading, writing, debating or walking by pictures.

Another tip; I stash an extra outfit into my car when I'm going somewhere new or interesting; you never know what amazing setting will inspire you to dance for your followers.

Step 1
You discover the coolest, storytelling or arty, moody, crazy background. Yay! If you can, you move into the shade.

Step 2  No tripod? Don't despair. Prop it on the lamp post!
Vases on restaurant tables, flowerpots, window sills work perfectly.


Step 3
Is the phone safe? Get the sticky tape you'll always carry in the glove department, secure the phone if needed. I crashed the screen of my phone by putting it on an iffy spot, 10-9-8.. and there it went onto the street.


Step 4
Set ten second timer, take a test picture.

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Step 5
Reposition yourself if needed

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Step 6
Take several pictures. Have fun with it. People in the street will stop for you or walk by you creating the coolest photo bomber images.

Step 7
Choose your favorite (s) and post

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Step 8

The best for last; when you see a cool back ground and don't have a tripod, drive your car close to it, open the window and stick your phone into the rubber lining of your car door. Perfection right there. And nobody smirks about your selfie stick or tripod.

 

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Perfection is crushing me

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The flicker! Oh how I am scared of that sudden zigzaggy flashing in my eyes, which reduces my sight. It's a sign of doom, of my impending migraine. And yes, it really feels like an attack. It comes out of nowhere and tells me that I overdid it again.

Lately and that means yesterday and three months ago, it started on my dog walks. I'm working on my arms with eight pound weights at the same time and one of those moves obviously strained my neck. Okay, got it, that's the physical reason and I will avoid bending my arms towards my back. What's the "deeper" cause? Last May it was emotional, an unexpected slap into my face from a woman friend, which derailed me. What I had seen as relationship on its way to "perfect" took the opposite turn. Yesterday it hit me after I published a blog post, standing up for not over editing and bravely letting it go and be read. After posting it I went through a stack of manuscript pages. Sending my editor the first 5 chapters and "really mean it" was the first important step after our are we a good fit? test drive with a random chapter a few days ago.  Oh gawd, what if she hates my writing? I edited again and again, just one more time...!! My dog stared at me; when the heck will you finally GET UP?

I hit send. I got up, a couple stress waves too late. My fear of not being good enough resulted in a migraine. Darn. I thought I was over that freaking belief.

I know what to do when I see the flicker; I run home, swallow Vit C, B and garlic pills with a lot of water, I breathe deeply. Usually I lie down in my dark bedroom, feet up and hoping it passes. Yesterday I felt that I needed to move first; I shook my hands and feet in my garden as if pushing out the tension. I did a furiously quick body scrub. I had a cold shower. I laid down with a hot towel around my neck. Please. I don't want to be "stupid" again.

The flicker disappeared. The fear flared up. I am alone. What if I'm loosing my mind and nobody knows?

Breathe.

Caspar David Friedrich, pralines and cream... my son is Luca, my dog is Nikita...I still had it... My book is... What? Who? My code words to check if I still had my full mental capacity disappeared; parts of my brain had gone dark.

"I'm here, I'll talk you through it," said my son on the phone.

I began yawning relieved to hear his voice, suddenly I was terrible tired. Instead of sleeping and possibly waking up still babbling nonsensical stuff I talked and talked. It was slightly scrambled stuff, not as bad as last time when I wasn't able to verbalize anything. The physical action might have helped to reduce the impact. This time I was only half "gone",  I still remembered certain things and was able to verbalize half of what I thought. The horror though was knowing that I couldn't get to images stored in my brain. That was the worst; like not to remember the content of the book I'm writing. Help, I am brain impaired...

"Breathe," said my son, "you will be fine."

Why do we remember certain things and others are simply gone? Why did I perceive some of reality but, like his stories, didn't "get" the rest? I heard his words but they made no sense. I usually understand concepts and philosophies or enjoy stories when I can visualize what I hear or read, perhaps my brain's image processing section is numbed during these attacks?

30 minutes later my son said, "You sound better." I had not even realized but my reality had slowly come back to me, the stories in my head which I love so much, were back.

I was so grateful for him and the billions of beautiful cells in my body, which didn't let me down. I visualized hugged my brain.

What's the action, Universe? What can I do other than fierce shaking of hands and feet to never ever feel "brain dead" again?

"I don't need to be perfect", was my mantra since quite a while but reframing our brains is not easy. The task is to continue and exercise; like writing and publishing blogs now a couple times per week. Fast and with fun. That's my warrioress Kung Fu.

What else? I opened my Ageless Rebel FB page. Short before the migraine smacked me I had asked, "What would you like to see here more often? Or more of?"  My friend Nancy Mac  responded, "I think it would be nifty to get the red carpet treatment of our own gifts and talents....wouldn’t it be nice to build a stage for the women we already are, celebrities in our own lives."

Wow, I loved this. The pink carpet. Celebrating achievements, something we often forget in our thriving to be better. An ode to us, to who we are in the moment, to the journeys.
My book title is
Thank you for the flowers.
A journey to the magic of YES.

This was perfection!!! Thank you, Nancy.

The Universe had answered. "You already got the flowers, honor them, go, put them in a beautiful vase."

I am grateful for my ambitious inner journalist who wants me to publish award winning stories, but today I thank my inner girl, who plays without judgments, just curious where the journey and her words will guide her.

Action of the moment?

I am posting this without my perfectionist's frets.

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Be sixteen or whatever

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It smelled of beer. I don't like beer, I thought taking in a slightly run down event space with cheap furniture and cigarette buds on the floor. The commentator of the sports game running on several screens had a hard time competing with the noise from the loud bar underneath. It’s a rock’n roll chick's book release, I thought, this is a weird venue but probably a conscious choice.

I wore a tight black mini dress with an ankle long sheer overlay and lacy sleeves that resembled tattoos. My freshly curled long blonde hair looked nice in the mirrors behind the bar. I felt okay about myself. For thirty seconds. I walked through the room of about 80 people and nobody looked up. Not one person looked at me. Not one person saw me. Now the mirrors screamed: crow’s feet, lines, crepey skin. I am too old. The message in my head went into a loop, old, old, old.

Even the author herself who knew me ignored me. WTF? I snug out and down the stairs, my lips were trembling. It was too embarrassing to cry now. The compassionate valet was close to hugging me wondering, “How was the party? Not good?” I gave him a big tip and answered: “The party sucked.” What I really thought was: I suck. Life sucks. What, dear Aphrodite, is left when the sex appeal of youth is taken away? My smarts obviously didn’t work like magnets.

What the hell do we do when our confidence shrinks in fear or view of sagging skin? Do we give up, cut our hair and stuff our bodies into frumpy unisex lounge pants so that we can melt comfortably into the sofa and munch sinful chocolates instead of committing sensual sins? Do we drown our sorrows with Drambuie? Or hide our fears with nip tucks and inject poison into our faces no matter the long-term results? Burn our skin off with CO2 laser facials to end up in agony for two weeks?  Or do we proudly wear our furrowed faces using them as weapons against ageism?

Whatever we’re up to, the question always is: are we motivated by fear or a true self aware confidence of being all we can be? Are we in self-love or self-hatred?

At the time of the party I was 60 and I was angry. I did not like my life. As a proud former rebel I hated the martyr I had become in more than a decade of playing "normal." My repressed anger unloaded itself in a car crash forcing me to open my eyes; anger became a motivator for change. I dug up the fiery power of Kali, my creative, action-packed pissedoffness; if nobody sees me I’ll see myself.

A rebel does not give in to the status quo or the options at hand; she creates her own reality.

So I did. I got a life coach and went on another vision quest. I had met my dragons before but now I was ready to slay them and their limiting beliefs. My reward was the treasure of self love, the most powerful alchemical ingredient, which let me see my life in a new perspective.

"Age is mindset, another one of your excuses not to live the life you came here for," said my inner teenager, also called my eternal Millennial soul, and pulled me into a fashion journey.

"Play," she ordered.

I experimented with different expressions of "my rebel style" also with outfits "so not me" and felt my judgments right there, on my skin. Most of all though I felt joy, this cosmic giggle... I looked into the mirror and saw my little girl playing dress up. She had no preconceived notions, she played, curious, open to feel and wonder and completely in the moment. "This is who we really are," my teenager smirked.

I joined her in the moment. I played. I was back in the ageless zone, where time and space don't exist just the freedom to be.

After a year of daily Kung Fu in self awareness with affirmations like I wear what I feel, I say what I think, I got it; it's all about walking my truth and being what I would love the world to be. I don't want the world to be 16 but everybody to discover their essence and dare to go for it.

Truth lies in our openess to play. Play disregards the norm and not everybody thinks that's cute.

"You are desperately trying to look like 20," a midlife group member commented on a picture featuring me in funky boots and a vinyl mini skirt.

"It's 16 actually," I responded with LOL emojis.

"It's so silly, you and your 16 thing," a friend of mine responded to my online story rolling her eyes. "Grow up."

I had been grown up. I did everything a grown up was supposed to do; okay, I never got married but I had long term, loyal relationships and gave birth to a son, I was a successful entrepreneur and got my kid through college. I worked fiercely for three decades.

I don't want to be grown up anymore. Grown ups suck. I want to be everything I am, the whole package, and sometimes that might feel like 16. Most of us have one of those crucial moments, a day or period in our lives that needs reliving, redemption or its crushed promises to be revived.

For me 16 was the time of my first love. I smell the fragrance of hay baking in the summer sun. I hear the Troggs rock'n rolling in the country barn and my drummer boy whispering "Wild Thing" into my ear. I had no preconceived notions; I was curious, open to feel and completely in the moment.

My mom crushed my innocence with her fears; she forbid me to see the boy ever again.

I buried him like I had to bury my truth; I couldn't win. I gave up. I submitted to my mother's ultra conservative rules and regulations until I threw my engagement ring from a 10 year older conservative man into a puddle; the best rainy night ever. It was not just the No to a man who had been chosen for me, it was No to my mom, no more good girl stuff. I went to college to become a bad rebel stepping out of the traditional woman role.

I took a four decade long journey to get "me" back, the kid and her magic, the teenager and her romantic dreams.

Yes. I want my drummer boy whispering "Wild Thing" into my ear. So I went out today and bought a light blue denim overall, ripped and all. It looks like the one my mother had "accidentally lost" when I was a kid and bought me proper dresses instead.

I will wear the overall like on that summer day; with my heart on my sleeves.

 

 

 

Your office is where your heart is

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When you write your heart out you’re not creating a bestseller on a weekend😎 You go to bed with it, get up with in the morning and dream of it.... then you go for it;
- jot down ideas wherever you are in your iPhone - tell Siri your ideas and ROFL when you see what she made of it
- handwrite the amazing epiphany you had in the middle of the night during your morning pages
- connect with the Universe, muse or soul to guide you, please, c’mon
- write in your book-only notebook, one of five
- draw mind maps on a huge drawing block
- sit down with your laptop and write already
- edit like a mad woman staring at your handwritten sign “don’t edit!”
Finally you create an outline of all your bits and pieces
Yeah, not a weekend job.
Oh of course you also evoke the Rebel women before you, annoy your friends with your wonders and woes and inspire the world to discover their own amazing story with your excitement💋

My first book was traditionally published in the 80's. I got an advance from the publisher and still wrote journalistic stories "on the side."

What does it cost when you go full time and into self publishing? Depending on who you are and what you need.

For me so far;

Two years of sustaining your modest life $120,000 (everything is relative of course)

Writing and business courses $12,000

Life Coaching $20,000

Photographers $2,000

Outfits and accessories for your branding fashion $5,000 (but only when you're thrifty)

I expect another $7,000 to get it published.

Somebody complained on my FB page that I "just want to get rich"..... I'm pretty sure girl you're talking about yourself:)

 

8 fun tips for your amazing Instagram pictures

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OMG, that's so cool. "I told all my friends and everybody loves it," Barbie smiled when I balanced my Iphone on a cactus to take pictures of us, Kristine, Kathleen and Marla's Instagram pictures improved to happy levels and Ruth showed my tricks of the selfie trade to her friends on Facebook. "Merveilleux" "Klasse" "Giro"... I love how my I-Phone game has begun to cruise the world.

Here it is.

Trending; pictures in which you move, laugh, be funky, quirky or philosophical; be real and show your soul. I literally "wear my heart on my sleeve." Good question to ask for authenticity: "What does this setting, outfit, design etc matter to me?" Mix posed and more snap shot like selfies as in reading, writing, debating or walking by pictures.

Another tip; I stash an extra outfit into my car when I'm going somewhere new or interesting; you never know what amazing setting will inspire you to dance for your followers.

Step 1
You discover the coolest, storytelling or arty, moody, crazy background. Yay! If you can, you move into the shade.

Step 2  No tripod? Don't despair. Prop it on the lamp post!
Vases on restaurant tables, flowerpots, window sills work perfectly.


Step 3
Is the phone safe? Get the sticky tape you'll always carry in the glove department, secure the phone if needed. I crashed the screen of my phone by putting it on an iffy spot, 10-9-8.. and there it went onto the street.


Step 4
Set ten second timer, take a test picture.

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 12.00.18 PM.png


Step 5
Reposition yourself if needed

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 12.17.18 PM.png


Step 6
Take several pictures. Have fun with it. People in the street will stop for you or walk by you creating the coolest photo bomber images.

Step 7
Choose your favorite (s) and post

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 12.13.45 PM.png

Step 8

The best for last; when you see a cool back ground and don't have a tripod, drive your car close to it, open the window and stick your phone into the rubber lining of your car door. Perfection right there. And nobody smirks about your selfie stick or tripod.

 

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I call it magic

 Christian Lacroix.

Christian Lacroix.

(This article contains paragraphs from my upcoming book Rebelle)

I climbed up the stairs to the apartment of my ex-morphed-into-brother, Florian, a university professor. The architect I had passed on the level below nearly shut the door onto his hand, staring at me. I smirked. I liked the attention. I wore a tight, red two-piece set from Dolce&Gabbana, its mini skirt revealing smooth stocking free legs. My bright red heels matched the outfit perfectly.

It was 1988. My ex-morphed-into-brother told me later that said architect asked him in a secretive manner, "Did you hire a call girl...?"

I laughed. Cute!

I enjoyed the self confidence of being a young entrepreneur, who had just sold a business making a nice profit, lost ten pounds sniffing a little Cocaine here and there instead of lunch or dinner, bought a Beamer and sped at 130 mph over to Paris on the amazing European Autobahn.

Looking back at my red heels on squealing wooden stairs I wondered, did the sexy red suit reveal my soul? My darker desires? Did I have an inner courtesan calling?

If you consider reincarnation or genetic memory a possibility, that we can link to scenes from the past as their energy lingers all around us or if you like the proposal that we live in a virtual reality where everything is possible you won’t flinch when I tell you about my courtesan memories. I connected to a medieval story in which I was a courtesan in 1248. It wasn’t a mental construct or called in by witchcraft, those eerie memories of the past simply happened.

I lived in the magical Aquarian country of Portugal, in a 700-year-old farmhouse, when I looked into the mirror and she looked back at me; bright make up, wild hair, lots of powder and rare pearls on a risky decollete; my furious inner courtesan. People entered my life with strange messages, my closest friends and my lover took on roles from the past and real words about "whores" appeared on white washed walls. I had visions of my home burning and monks praying in the valley. On another day I walked through the fields in front of my house in a white vintage dress, a rifle over my shoulder, Mozart’s Don Giovanni blasting from the speaker on my terrace. I felt heart broken, desperate, threatened by a sin I had committed and fearing revenge. I was defending myself; from whom I didn't know - yet.

I stumbled firing a shot into the air waking me up from my trance. The old farmer and his companion’s heads popped out of the cornfield, ”Now she’s shooting at us.” The scene was morbidly funny but my heart was racing in panic. I ran back into the house, what had a done? I could have killed somebody.

My inner courtesan had winked at me again on the stairs of my ex’s apartment building but like so many foreshadowing moments in my life I chose to ignore it. I wasn’t yet on the level of experience I could cope with it. The story of my courtesan memories revealed itself only years later when I fearlessly looked back at my spooky visions of 1248; I thought writing a screenplay with her as the heroine would get me out of the financial mess my gambling the stock market had caused. She was the force that drove us from the serene beauty of Santa Fe to the harshness of Los Angeles and promised to be the way out of my financial ruin.

It was not fame and fortune that awaited us in LA but a spiritual path; rarely paved by prayer and meditation but an enlightenment that went through the body; the crude, emotional, human experience of my shadows. Like the high priest of my medieval story had prophesied the courtesan Alazais; "I will give you eyes to see and ears to hear."

Locked into a mindset of being unworthy, a decade of martyrdom and redemption had to pass until my rebellious feminist soul dared to show herself again; Justyna Smart, a couturier, felt inspired to draw a high fashion outfit for me; her intuition made her call it "Angie's Inner Courtesan", a blonde femme wearing a red mini skirt suit.

 Justyna Smart, Los Angeles

Justyna Smart, Los Angeles

There she was, young me in my Dolce&Gabbana number. You can call it coincidence, I call it the magic of synchronicity.

It doesn't stop there; Justyna offered me to wear her red Christian Lacroix two piece outfit and when I looked into her beautiful mirror my inner courtesan looked back at me, this time with a smile. We both had left the story of abandonment. It doesn't matter if Alazais was me or the memory of the life of a mysterious whore who was murdered by the Catholic inquisition in 1249. She was in my code, part of my life, a reoccurring theme. The outfit by Christian Lacroix was not just red and similar to my D&G; the couturier had fallen in love with courtesans influencing a whole period of his life.

"At the 39th-annual Rencontres d'Arles, France's most famous photography festival, the guest curator, the couturier Christian Lacroix, chose Les Insoumises to feature in a special and very entertaining section, explaining that he has long been fascinated by these colorful transgressors.

They were courtesans whose nickname "insoumises," meaning insubordinate, came from the fact that, unlike common prostitutes, they refused to submit to police licensing or conventional morals. They were glamorous, venal and usually ended up badly but while the going was good they were celebrated, from before the Empire and after its end, by writers from Dumas fils to Maupassant and Zola."

Not all courtesans were consciously or deliberately rebellious women driven by the fierce need of freedom. Not all of them were educated or trained in tantric type magical rituals. But some were; they followed in the tradition of wild women, witches, sorceresses and holy whores. 

Remembering Alazais I had promised to finish her story to redeem both of us. I let her see that she was loved when she died, not abandoned as she was forced to believe. Abandonment had provoked many of my rebellions, which made me wonder how far the rabbit hole goes, how old is the story running my life and what do we see when we take the pill that opens our eyes? Are we programmed with beliefs and deep layers of memories structuring our lives? A script? Is our warrior's task is to live through them, win the level, become aware of another puzzle piece, power or treasure and rise to the next more complicated challenge like in a video game?

Why is Alazais, my inner courtesan showing up right now? I am writing about sex and love at midlife after I experienced a rather mind boggling old story of love and betrayal recently, which I thought had been long out of my system. I had given up on men pretty much entirely. My No to the old paradigm of men's dreams of mindless sex entails my Yes to what I want from love, from men or women. The experience woke me up; what was I missing? What can Alazais teach me about other ways of looking at sexuality? At the union of male and female? What did it really matter to her and what does it mean to me?

She had stepped into my life a couple of times but I never really listened deeply, I took it as a tantalizing game, a seduction I had to avoid. I will lend her my hand to restore her diary; I want to know from her if it is true that  there is magic in sexual union. "Jesus replies: "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner as the outer, and the upper as the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male shall not be male, and the female shall not be female: . . . then you will enter [the kingdom]."

Life is story, and underneath the stories and beliefs of our childhood are deeper, darker and much more forming ones. The detective game is to find out which ones we are living and which ones we truly want to live with.

Outfits have to power to kick our emotions. They express who we are and what we feel at the moment as much as they can reveal deeper levels of our selves. They can be hideaways, invitations, provocations, wake up calls or embodiments of our ignorance. Outfits are energy and consciously stepping into them or simply giving ourselves permission for "more" can be an eye opener.

I always hated the color or non-color of white. The white "wedding" dress I wore in Portugal to express my guilt, despair and grief about a love forever lost has changed to a white dress in which I feel beautiful, open and loved with everything being possible. White had meant the end and now I feels like the beginning.

 By couturieuse Justyna Smart, Los Angeles

By couturieuse Justyna Smart, Los Angeles

 

Outfits are not just things we buy because they are in fashion or we might fish out from the deepest corners of our closet to make a point against the dependency on trends. Their style, color, how their materials feel and especially the period they came from or remind us of can be storytellers and co creators of our lives.

 

Social media fasting

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"See you on Monday," I informed my friends and followers on Facebook and Instagram. I had three days in front of me without posting or checking on what's up with everybody lives and successes; 72 hours of just me, my dog, my notebooks and word files on my computer. I call it social media fasting.

I fasted several times throughout my life and the most successful retreats were those of 2 weeks or longer, in a beautiful setting, together with other health nuts and under professional supervision. My social media fast was spontaneous, not planned and not guided by any other guru than myself. Basically I was winging it. One thing I knew was that I really needed this. A break, a breather and to feel the beauty of my writer self without distractions. To see straight. My goal is to finish my book be June, how the heck could I get there feeling like ten people on 100 different parties....?

My body was tired from my emotional reactions to the various feelings other people's posts evoked. My brain felt frazzled and my cells buzzed, lit up by opposing view points and world views I couldn't possibly "get" or condone. The many marketing suggestions, when did I sign up for all these emails? caused panic that I needed to be into 7 figures by now or at least have the fail-safe plan set up. I hadn't. I had a migraine attack instead and was "stupid" for one hour, a rather unpleasant knowing that you don't know your son's name, can't understand text or speak coherently. My brain said enough is enough! No more trying not to judge, responding wisely, being politically correct and fitting in. No more "monetizing the book when its done" strategies, I needed to get back to the story, my book baby and the reasons I loved writing about resistance and how she can liberate but also crush us. I needed to empower myself, stand up for my dream and re - belle, get back to the passion and beauty of words against all business coaching and 7 figure marketing plans.

It was not quite a fast, more like the time after one finishes a fast when "normal" is reintroduced; those little bites and sips of easy digestible food and drink like dry sourdough rolls and almond milk. I had peeked into FB, as two of my friends and business partners communicate with me only on messenger and checked how many likes my "last" picture, a quick hi from my abstinence had gotten.  I quickly hit a couple of likes but proud of myself I disconnected within 5 minutes. Still, I had cheated.

I wanted to write five glorious chapters, tripling what I usually produce in three days, by being fully focused on the adventures of my rebelling past. Murmuring mantras and repeating affirmations I managed to manipulate my brain to wake up on day 2 happily thinking of the next paragraph not a like-winning photo for Instagram.

The book Rebelle is about the power of No and I had to exercise it vigorously; No, don't open Google Chrome, no, I'm not powering up the Iphone and no, I'm not checking my emails.

The outcome of my little experiment was two glorious chapters, only one more than what I usually produce in three days with distractions. But I also prepared the next three chapters and felt balanced, clean and calm. Not engaging with other people's opinions and feelings was a cleanse of my emotions. I got back to what is important and essential to me and what I can give without reacting to others and their take on life or success. I am as authentic and vibrant as I can be at this level of my life and see myself as a mindful gift.

I love synchronicities; on day two I met a new friend who told me her journey into compassion. If she could be compassionate with a man who hid his mental illness from her and betrayed her I could be compassionate with letting myself be pulled into too many directions and loose my compassionate cool. Nobody is responsible for my feelings, I am. So I changed them. I am where I am supposed to be. I chose my friends, my groups and with whom or what I love to engage. I will never please everybody.

I am glad I went through the moments of social media withdrawal. After my four writing hours I put my legs up, and, phone in hand listened to the birds chirping in the huge pepper tree in front on my home. I did not give in to the temptation to have an Instagram peek. The ivy leaves covering the window in my meditation corner let a few sun rays through dancing over my black dress..... Now what? I was taken by complete surprise; without my fashion and life style stories I felt - bored. I missed the engagement, the comments, even the mini dramas of my emotional reactions. My followers and friends are part of my world, my mirror, my creativity and even my guru. I don't want to live without them.

The answer is balance.

From now on I will turn social media off for half of the day and prepare my next social media fasting as described above. Maybe I'll even find a monastery or those three or four real life people who want to do a self guided writer's retreat.

Tips for writers and bloggers

Less distractions means more writing

- get a dog sitter, baby sitter, responsibility sitter...

- find a place to write outside of your usual surroundings

- if you stay at home, have the house cleaned before and prepare your meals.

2. Less emotions and reactions to other people's posts means more peace; a cleanse of reactive emotions and more writing from our truth

 - brain storm in morning pages about your reactions to past news, posts, friend's opinions, find the message of your reaction, use it for motivation and writing ideas and with that get rid of left over emotional residues

3. Less engagement means getting back from the outside to the inside

 - Less noise lets us go deeper, it's best to also avoid TV and newspapers

4. Being with ourselves means more insights.

I realized that a regular human being can't produce creative work for more than 4 or 5 hours. My desire to create twelve hour writing marathons is utopia at least in regular not threatening circumstances. I am sure that, when my deadline is close I can power up to writing night and day.

- mix it up

- be creative around your goal, meditate, play with it, look at it from different angles

- prepare writing exercises

- use a chapter of your book to write a blog post

- expand your theme, add new nuances to it

- write a poem to the theme

- walk with your heroine through town and feel her feelings about what she sees

In my experience a ten hour writing day is easy to achieve in a writer's retreat when prompts, exercise and free writing are mixed up. Finding two or three other writers and renting an AirBnb in a peaceful setting is much easier - and less expensive - then booking a high powered writing retreat. Viva mini think tanks.

To sum it up; a social media fast is a serene step to get more organized, it adds motivation, depth and authenticity and increases creativity and self love.

I feel refreshed and happy to be back.

A truck, a director and a muddy Hollywood dream

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We were soaking wet from the rain pour and exhausted after stomping through mud for fifteen minutes. Unprepared for a hike in general and in a freak storm in particular our jackets weren't really rain proof, my computer bag was leaking and our sneakers were squishing water and dirt. They sank in so deep that every step was a small effort. And now we had stopped, frightened of what had been announced as a "tiny ravine" and had become a crazy wild water rushing through our path. We had to cross THAT?

It was a Hollywood trip; my kid, my dog and me had arrived in LA, broke after a stock market disaster and over the ears full of hope that my reinvention as a screenwriter would manifest rapido. I had been a journalist for 7 years, with a non fiction book about experimental theater on the market and several successful business ventures under my belt. Other than my investment crash my life's experiences pointed to success. Yes, in LA, against neysayers and rolling with the Hollywood dreams and all.

Of course when we make big mistakes like losing all our money it nags at our psyche and makes us feel like losers; nothing that self empowerment mantras can't push under the table, or so it seems.

When I met the long haired 50 year old director, with his very impressive 100 page investment proposal, which several people had already made funds available for, fate smiled at me. This was it. The Universe had heard me, answered me and had served this friendly hippie man right on a silver platter. His cool Native American vibe (he was 33 % Cherokee, he said) touched my freedom loving, adventurous heart and when he offered me a part time job I was super happy to accept. He presented the two men living with him in the west side apartment as his production and writing team. I was the female voice and they needed it; the women in the first act of the script were bloodless and bland and looking for a light... I felt needed and capable to fix this. They were on a deadline as their investors wanted to see the finished script and they needed more investors...

Their funds seemed to pay for everything, their expenses and rent... but I didn't want to care. I got a salary for doing something that I loved and would get a writing credit for.

The director, and I'm still not sure how naive I had been to believe his story, came up with the amazing idea to write the female characters in the wilderness as that's where most of the movie was playing. Kinda like method writing.

It was a two hour ride and we used my tough two door Bronco, not a rough pickup truck but close to the feel of it. The director didn't have a driver's license and I didn't ask. Maybe he had a DUI; I wanted to be polite. Maybe he was a criminal, but I thought about that only later after I hated him.

My dog jumped on his lab. I thought it was cute but she did what she had never done and would never do again; she pooped on his lab.

I should have know then. My sternly house broken dog who would alert us if she needed to go had expressed her clear mistrust for the man.

At the site we were not allowed to drive through the wilderness with the truck. The road was blocked off by a huge gate. The director said that they must have added that recently. "We can walk, no problem, it's only fifteen minutes from here," he assured us. We were not prepared for serious hiking but this didn't sound too bad. What's a couple minute walk...

After 10 minutes it started to drizzle. "No problem," he said, "it drizzles here some times."

5 minutes later it was pouring.

Another 5 minutes and I had enough, I wanted to turn back but our camp was "right around the corner." There would be a covered picnic area, a hot spring for us to warm up and bathrooms to dry ourselves. He would put up the tents under big trees.

When we arrived at the rushing ravine we were close to 30 minutes in, drenched and cold. I worried about hypothermia, what the heck was I supposed to do?? My kid... He just shrugged his shoulders.

Any mother can imagine my panic.

I had a drama queen moment and flipped, screaming at the wild water, the fucking mud and the irresponsible, crazy man.  He grabbed my bag and crossed the ravine. "It's not too bad", he yelled back at us, "you can do it. And I can see the camp site from here."

Kid on one hand, leash in the other, laptop around my neck we crossed. It was slow and scary with our dog nearly being pulled away.

We made it and indeed, there was the camp site; we were safe.

Only that the hot spring was a 2 x 2 x 2 concrete basin with hot water, the two picnic tables weren't covered and the bathrooms were dingy and towel deprived. We threw our stuff into one of the rooms and jumped into the hot tub, which was the life saver of the day. I'm not kidding. I had gone there, to the dark thought of freezing to death...

The director put up the first tent but alas, they only had sun roofs, porous sun roofs, the solid tops hadn't been part of the special deal. I would have jumped at his throat if I wasn't so tired and if it hadn't been for those voices... three other hikers had been surprised by the storm and got just stranded here. Real hikers and prepared they lend us a dry towel and we all got a sip of some hot beverage from their thermos.

It was tight with 6 people in the restroom for our pow how, should we stay or should we go? but at least it felt warm and somehow safe.

The director dude had lied; he had no clue where the camp site really was and how it looked like, he had endangered my family's life.  From now on I ignored him. Actually I hated him.

The three other campers had maps and found a least treacherous path to get back to the parking place. I was so tired that I left our bags when we joined the trio on the march back. Another group of people had found shelter at the amenities back at the parking lot. My kid and I crawled into the truck, heater on high, and changed into dry tee shirts, luckily I always had extras flying around in my truck. The dog got rubbed down with her dog towel. After one of the other campers shared a cup of soup with us we fell asleep in the car where we stayed over night. Every hour or so I ran the motor and its hot air kept us somewhat cozy.

On the next sunny morning the rancher brought my bags from the camp site. A dozen sweet and helpful people - and one rotten apple.

I expected the director to write his own scene to get home. We left without acknowledging his existence. We never spoke again.

Three months later I passed by his apartment and it was for rent. The phone number was disconnected, the one page website was an error message. Was their's a naive dream to make it in Hollywood fast and furious, like my own? Or had they pulled a conscious scam? If so had we been in danger with this man?

My intuition says that they started out with dreams and became scam artists pretty fast but that they weren't "real" criminals. I want to believe that hippies with dream catchers and peace drums can be trusted. But maybe we were totally lucky and the storm made us slip and slide away from a real disaster. The Universe might have seen and heard us in a different way than I had thought.

I'm not naive anymore, not with Hollywood nor its people.

But after many added experiences I understand why I lost my small fortune in a stock market gamble; I discovered my unconscious beliefs and went on a journey to reframe my thoughts and rewire my brain.

I'm on the other side of the wild water. I am still in Hollywood and much closer to its dream.

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No Label

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I discovered a gorgeous dress in a “once before loved” designer fashion store. Tried on, bought and rendered eternal in the unique moment of a photo shoot.  I act on what calls me; I am passionate and immediate like that.

When I posted it on my Instagram gallery I realized it there’s no designer attached to it.

I want to give it name, an origin, a maker…?

“No label” it is.

On an outing with one of my best friends she suggested to visit Catholic churches for Easter tradition’s sake. I feel immediate resistance. Doesn’t she know that I am an Atheist? Wait. I’m not, that’s a label from my really angry times when I also flirted with “punk culture”.  Am I an Agnostic then? Or an Uncertainist?

I don’t really know. I don’t have all the answers, I am uncertain. I’m missing my label.

I should know, shouldn’t I? How uncomfortable is leaving things open? “Wait and see,” my dad always used to say. I start to get what he meant.

Labeling is a word with contradicting outcomes.

It is used to box in, judge and to separate but also for communication, clarity and tribal inclusiveness. As “forever fierce” or “ageless rebel” women we stick together and support each other.

Character labels, social labels, branding labels....

1. Character labels mean judging, others and our selves. I have done that for years. You act in a certain way or say two sentences and I know who you are. My antennas are out, my resistance polished and my guards up. So you like Trump? That creates a label bomb right there. I’m outta here.

I started exercising non-judgment like weight lifting or more like letting go of weights three years ago.  Each time I feel a negative reaction to a person, or a limiting judgment of myself, which can go from feeling like a mild uncomfortable rush to a shock, I step back, breathe and watch what’s going on inside of me. It sometimes takes a minute and other times a day to see the person underneath their label.

Not to put people into boxes and reduce myself to reacting to their demeanor or opinions is freedom.

I was searching for freedom all my life and discovered that my prison was inside; my own beliefs created a world of preconceived notions structured by beliefs that were not even mine but pinned onto me or inherited. My beliefs were like a filter of right and wrong.

2.  Social labels as bodyguards – I am THIS…

I am rich, white, fashionable and powerful. Anybody who is not rich, white, fashionable and powerful doesn’t belong into the world I love. They could disturb the balance, the peace I feel in my golden cage. I don’t need to learn. I am perfect. I’m the gorgeous parrot who has learned how to talk. The same counts for I am the wild and crazy hippie or rational, proof based, super nerdy scientist…. Using labels as protection from anything different than our safe perception of self is a fear based delusion.  The insistence of right and wrong, and being entranced with our "one and only" wonderful world often creates the “therefore I hate yours.”

With strong labels comes avoidance and with that we lose the opportunities to learn and grow.

2. Personal labels - I make sure that you get me

We want to make sure that we are seen the way we want to be seen. We all label each other by characteristics all the time, we think of a particular person as being a smart ass, a diva, an obedient daughter or a mother Theresa. This might correctly describe of who they are right now, but it also carries a belief that the behavior reflects a person’s essence. To avoid being misinterpreted we label ourselves and often forget that we are more than our avatar. Underneath the attitude the Diva is in pain and the obedient daughter might love to break free…

Personal labeling creates cages and we look at each other through bars instead of exploring the neighborhood hand in hand. Who is the person behind her attitudes? And where does the behavior come from in the first place?

3. Labels for branding clarity when the brand is YOU

I want to be perceived as a fearlessly feminine, life loving, vibrant and magical ageless warrior queen, a storyteller who helps others to get their own story straight. I smile a lot.

This is my role, my avatar.

I also am a mother, a friend, a doubter, a tough dude, an introvert, a philosopher, a princess on a pea who sometimes is afraid, argues that life sucks, is totally tired and feels ancient.  I sometimes just want to shut up. Other times I cry.  I am all that, and I get that you are complex like me. When our brand is ME or YOU then “our truth will set us free”, it creates innovation, success and positive change and what we show freely connects us to others and their true selves. The “femme the future” paradigm wants us to connect from our soul, our essence. Business as usual will not change the world for the better.

Selling ourselves as perfect is stressful and really boring after a while.

Authenticity doesn’t only mean to tell the one branding soap story our business coach recommended, it means to be present, to be real in the moment and open our eyes to the truth of others. My personal pet peeve is commenting “lovely” on everything without even looking; all for the sake of keeping up with likes and being liked back. It’s not helpful to anybody.

Labeling separates more than it is inclusive and looking at our world, separation has got us into a mess. Enough is enough.

What are possible options to be specific yet be our whole package, to be clearly branded yet REAL?

We use our label as a flashlight to our soul, as a fluid journey not a descriptions hammered in stone. We are open to answers, ready to learn new dance moves.

We treat our label as a role like Method actors

As complex human beings we play our roles as best as we can, dreaming of getting an Oscar for our performance.

When we see our label as a role we play it with all our truth we give all we have to the persona we step into. All of us is present just in different degrees. My warrioress is a weave of everything I have to offer and my fierce shows up in pink love as much as in rebellious black.

- we are the role but keep our true identity alive.  We know that everybody else plays roles they have created or were created for them.

- we use roles as communication devices; how does my role fit to yours? What kind of design will it add to my stage? How will it change my movie? We give each other a chance to understand.

- we communicate on the stage of life and business following our script but are aware to leave the doors open to more, we stay open for improvisation.

We know that the happy end of our branding clarity of this moment in time is not the end but a beginning; the fun of exploration starts right here.

My Mantra is my label for the weeks to come;

I don’t really know. I don’t have all the answers, I am uncertain. My inviting, flexible, inclusive label supports my journey to all I can be.

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Unstoppable and ambitious

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Have you ever worn shoes that are too tight? My unstoppable, ambitious Zara heels were. They are a 7 and I'm an 8, sometimes an 7 1/2. I thought I can bare it, I'm tough and take risks. And please, they say "ambitious and unstoppable." 1. that's an amazing call to power 2. I absolutely need these shoes 3. I can suffer for this cool message 4. I am unstoppable in my desire to wear what I want. These two words are mine.

I tried. I walked around in the house and cried. Nearly. I'm not a masochist so I took them off before it was too bad. I sighed and decided that just looking at them on my shoe shelf isn't good enough, I had to bring them back. Have them widened at a shoe repair? It doesn't really work, I have experience in this. Why did I get them in the first place? Because this was the last pair and the only size they had.

I was trained to be tough. When brushing my long tousled mane my mom had exercised the wisdom of my grand mother often enough, "who wants to be beautiful has to suffer."

I still have the desire to be beautiful, obviously still listen to my mom in some instants but being unstoppable is the challenge of 2018. And I am ambitious enough to get there.

True to the words I didn't give up. Even after  I had unsuccessfully browsed through 20 webpages to find the unstoppable heels in an 8 I went for it one more time; the act of parting with the tight pair was so against my "there's always a solution" philosophy. Some call me stubborn...

If you want something bad enough manifesting works. I found them in my size. I ordered, making sure the 5 minute window wouldn't close. I am unstoppable.

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It's not just "winning" the shoes that uplifts me, it's the process around and the meaning behind them. Words are gifts if we let them, motivators, messengers and manifesting agents. They are one of my messages from the Universe; in a time of doubt they tell me "you can."

Going back through my life long rebel stories for my book Rebelle, I was happily surprised to see how many times my stubborn insisting that "I can do this" against the odds of being a woman or not having capital or missing diplomas won against the naysayers. Not giving up is not just a mindset, it sharpens our mind forcing us to innovative ways of approaching a challenge.

"He is too ambitious", warned my dad when watching my son continuing to the next University to get his PHD. I was a little miffed at his negativity at first but later understood how criticism of our parents is often based in their pain; my dad was very ambitious working as a paper boy and mowing lawns to buy himself skies so that he could slide over ten miles of snowed in roads to school in the harsh winters of his small village in the middle of nowhere. He was called names and beaten up by his brothers for his ambition. He suffered not for beauty but his education and all he got as a reward was a war that made college impossible. I realized that he wanted to protect my son from the disappointment that was still hot and heavy on his heart after decades of life.

To achieve what we want and do anything to get there, women's ambition, often has a negative vibe of bossy, bitchy and relentless. But really it is "a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work." Titles like boss babe or bitch power have become empowerment tools only in the last decade. 

I played with ambition; I was hunting after my goals and got most of what I wanted but neither success, rewards or money fed my soul. Now, with the power of self love under my belt my ambition has changed from me to the world. I was asked what would change in the world if everybody got to read my upcoming book Rebelle?

"Women would discover their truth in their grumpy, in their tantrums, drama queen scenes and "nasty fits", I said remembering the dreams and desires hidden in the passionate and not always friendly theater of my life, "they will be empowered to say No to what limits them and love to own the magic of their Yes."

Three billion women changing anger into amazing....

With unstoppable on one and ambitious on the other foot, how can I not manifest it?

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Drama Queen

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You are so melodramatic... don't make a big deal out of this... do you always have to exaggerate?

YES.

Women even today are often expected to be tame, to submit and obey; to fit the role of nice girl. You don't demand to have a voice. I did. Because I was desperate and angry enough.

I have been rebellious all my life and the role of drama queen was one of them. Most of the time it was unconscious, an attitude born from the need to be listened to and to be understood. My ideas, opinions and desires had often pushed aside as "too much", too utopian, grand, too crazy. Not normal. Out of pain I blew them up even bigger, made them real colorful and loud. "Do you see me now?"  Defending myself against some outrageous judgment of my mother I threw myself on the floor pretending to have a heart attack. She didn't twitch an eye. "Control yourself," she said as ice cold as I was burning hot and crazed.

My emotional outbreaks created even more resistance at home. I talked too much, I talked too fast; I was the irrational exaggeration embodied.

If liking me was too much to ask I at least wanted them to see me....

My unsuccessful years of trying was summoned up by a the father of my child a decade later. "Why do you do this to me?" I asked him as he behaved cold, snide and detached, "please look at me, it is ME."

"So what?" he responded.

He was the ending chapter of my life in the beautiful pioneer country of Portugal. I had moved here to turn my back against "home". I felt the need to run, to distance myself from my traumas but of course they move with us, just play out in new scenarios. In Portugal, where nobody knew me I became a tough warrior and used my elbows creating businesses out of nothing. I had to be tougher, smarter and faster than the male world to win. I had to be the better guy.

The exaggeration of my power and possibilities gained me the status of go getter; I became a believable business woman, a relentless dude in bright red heels. I faked it big to make it big. I had created a fearless avatar and stepped into it slowly becoming the image I had painted. As much as I was stepping over the competition I loved my crew. With them I could be myself, down to earth without a mask, throwing dinners and parties for them and being a welcome guest in their houses. They had my back.

As tough business chicks in the 90's women learned to judge the feminine and other women as weak. My female role model, my mom, with a face of Grace Kelly and a body of Anna Nicole was neither educated nor street smart. She was what I never ever wanted to be; a repressed woman. Blonde jokes made me cringe.

My personal relationships were effed from the start as they were repetition of my fear of being ignored, a continuous loop of my childhood traumas. But outside of them I won; a sarcastic revenge of the "silly female" I turned feminine fits and diva behavior into a conscious tool.

I won court cases by intimidating lawyers with theatrical tales, got contracts using big stories and went on people's nerves to get what I wanted. I most probably fainted on demand, but there are things we better forget. I invented roles to play and from time to time that even meant to be "like a girl", needy, teary, soft.  It still belonged to the drama queen as it was an exaggeration of what I perceived as the "weak" feminine characteristics.

That's how women become like men; we have to put away our sensibilities and soft sides, our caring, mothering and unconditional love to survive in a business world dominated by men.

Nobody ever asked me for my reasons, for what I actually wanted. I especially didn't; I was proud of being tough with myself. I needed to prove that I was good enough.

I was in competition with men, not very promising for love relationships.

When I proved my point in the business world I fell on my face in relationships. I demanded love, faithfulness, loyalty. I had no clue how to be all that to myself not to talk about possibly offering  it first to my partner. "Treat the world like you would like to be treated" wasn't common knowledge at that time.

In my mind I was not appreciated. The world of love resisted and the more I pushed the more I was "hysterical."

You are so melodramatic... don't make a big deal out of this... do you always have to exaggerate?

How many tears, real, deep felt tears did I cry? In secret...

Our dramatic responses, our drama queens even if top theatrical have their reasons, valid reasons. They are often based on childhood traumas, fears, old stories and the desire to belong. Our soul knows how amazing we are, no wonder that she flips out if the world, not even her own human, refuses to see and step into it, own it. Our soul creates drama for us to get it; we are grand. Marianne Williamson got it and millions of women said YES!! Me too.

Sometimes we have to be drama queens to shake the status quo and make the world move forward. Like the women from "Advanced Style." They are dramatic style queens, unique Rebelles shaking the world of ageist beliefs.

I proved that women can be savvy and successful business femmes in a time when we just began to be "out there".

I learned that my big passionate feelings and dreams are valid, just that I have to be them not demand them.

I became a drama queen in the best sense of the word; a woman in her passionate outspoken power.

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The fierceness of making new friends at midlife

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"I don't want to move," he said, "it's too hard to make new friends." My son rejected an amazingly high paid job for one half the payday so that he can stay where he lives now. Also because he goes for his passion and not the bucks; I'm a proud mama, I trained him well.

Leaves me, what shall I do?

At a wise 27 my kid understands my hesitation to go on the big adventure I have in mind ripping me out off my real life social context and Los Angeles, the challenging city I learned to love. I'll always have my friends online, which really is what gave the idea wings in the first place. Still. I need the wind under those wings. So I ponder and wonder...

"Maybe it's different at your age," my son added, "you guys are creating a new empowered breed of people."

You are right, my beautiful old soul child, a mathematician who doesn't believe in souls; that everybody has a very unique essence is a conceot he would agree to. For me they are interchangeable.

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We, the midlifers, boomers, formidable 40's, fierce 50's, sassy 60's and beyond are indeed creating a new empowered generation. We have to feel this confidence in our bones; we don't grow old, we grow. We are actively building a new paradigm, one, that hasn't been active in at least 2000 years; the new tribe for which we still have to find a name. I like the AGELESS, people who live in the now where time ceases to exist. Thanks to Eckard Tolle we all know the Now by now... It's a space without a defined space in which age truly is just a number. Where we arrive at us.

I always have been my own experiment. In the last year I used social media to create my ageless avatar of the ideal me;  the powerful, vibrant, funny, wise and inspiring woman with the child-like powers of play and curiosity. I'm getting closer to my vision with every Instagram post reaffirming it and with every - so important - real life action and baby step I am taking towards it. Like making new friends.

I had two enlightening Ahas about the stories many of us are stuck in.

1. I am too old for this.... was my excuse not to do certain things, an excuse I had used in one form or the other all my life dressed in different chatter; I'm too young, too fat, too under dressed, too shy, too loud, too cool, too lame.... It has nothing to do with age when we refuse to make steps or new friends or risk anything; it's fear. It always comes to fear or love in the end. At crossroads I took a couple fear based "safe" routes, which turned out to be tough challenges. Some of these decisions made me who I am today, no regrets, but some made me miss out on beauty and love.

2. It's hard to make new friends because.... for an introvert trying to be an extrovert like me it was never easy to make friends. Many acquaintances yes, but friends? It's only hard when we believe that we are not worthy to be loved or don't have anything worthy to give.

To be able to truly see and love other people, there's so way around it; we have to love ourselves. Only without the need to be approved, applauded and valuated we can truly see and love the other, everything else are, even if beautiful and romantic, trials.

In my 20's and 30's I always needed a drink before entering a party, it made me less self conscious. Then I focused on raising my son and was out of the scene. When he was gone, the big what the heck now? made me go on another vision quest. One of my fierce task later in the journey was adding new friends. I checked on old acquaintances who could be friends and asked women close to my vibe on social media on a coffee date. I created my own little Match Dot Angie.

The first seminar I ventured into was a group of writers, new and experienced, who I knew would all be much younger than me. Panic. On the way there I rattled down any empowerment mantra that could help to avoid soft knees when entering. I still had them but I didn't turn around. I really wanted to... I entered and the open arms and zero judgment of this group, especially not on my age was my first proof; I am what I think.

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Three years later I am on the journey of making friends all over the world. People I vibe with immediately and people I find something in common with and be it as general as our love for life. We all have in common that we would like to be seen and understood. And I can only understand others when I take myself and my story out of the equation; in the now I'm okay, there's no story of mistakes, of not being good enough or what this person can be for me tomorrow. Being present means listening and responding with who truly am.

My fierceness is to be a self love warrioress every day; redefining my thoughts and reactions and keeping my eyes, my senses and my heart open, no excuses. No matter what it takes; morning pages, mantras, observation notes, burning sage or reminders in my IPhone; I will be true to my self and love the heck out of this world. At 12 noon my phone says: I am fearless.

Everybody has a different philosophy and understanding of self. For me I'm at midlife with 60, which means I have another 60 years to go. It really is a new start. We really are a new tribe; people with soul.

Another 60 years means many, many new friends, on which ever planet I will be.

Perhaps, when I'm 100 I've built the amazing new tribe living retreat in a beautiful country that's still sane, safe and if we're really lucky also unfettered by an overly anxious AI.

It might be on Mars and I really need my friends to come along with me:)

 Beautiful celebration at milliner extraordinaire Louise Green in Los Angeles

Beautiful celebration at milliner extraordinaire Louise Green in Los Angeles