Patrick J. Adams Jokes New Baby with Wife Troian Bellisario Has ‘Taught Me How Much Sleep Means’

Patrick J. Adams has joined the no-snooze club!

Two weeks after welcoming his first child, a daughter, with wife Troian Bellisario, the Suits alum is getting candid about the reality of new parenthood.

“Oh man, we are two weeks in. It has just taught me how much sleep means,” Adams, 37, told PEOPLE with a laugh Tuesday at the Mortal Enemy launch event in Los Angeles.

“But it is good, it’s great,” added the actor and proud new dad.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.


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I cannot express how grateful I am. To the people who have protected us and kept our growing family safe and respected our privacy. To our tribe for expanding with grace and exponential amounts of love. To my @halfadams for being so supportive during every moment of my pregnancy and her birth. And to whatever incredible force of fate that brought this baby girl into our lives. I couldn’t be more proud to be her mother. To bring a new girl into this world and to do my best to raise her to be kind, strong and whatever the heck she wants to be.

A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on Oct 8, 2018 at 10:08am PDT

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RELATED: Pregnant Troian Bellisario Debuts Baby Bump in Los Angeles While Walking Her Dogs

Adams and Bellisario, 32, announced their daughter’s arrival on Oct. 8 alongside a photo of the newborn baby girl grasping her parents’ hands.

“The world just got 8lbs heavier. Thank you to everyone who fought for and protected our privacy during this incredible and beautiful time in our lives,” wrote Adams. “Everyone is happy and healthy and loving every moment of this. I could not be more excited to bring a baby girl into this world at this moment. We will raise her to be powerful, to always speak her mind and heart and to live without fear. It’s a brand new day and a brave new world and they are both beautiful.”

“I cannot express how grateful I am. To the people who have protected us and kept our growing family safe and respected our privacy. To our tribe for expanding with grace and exponential amounts of love,” added Bellisario alongside the same snapshot. “To my @halfadams for being so supportive during every moment of my pregnancy and her birth. And to whatever incredible force of fate that brought this baby girl into our lives.”

Continued the former Pretty Little Liars star, “I couldn’t be more proud to be her mother. To bring a new girl into this world and to do my best to raise her to be kind, strong and whatever the heck she wants to be.”

RELATED VIDEO: Meghan Markle‘s Suits Husband Patrick J. Adams Shares Fun Photos from London Before Royal Wedding

While Bellisario never confirmed her pregnancy, the actress was spotted out and about in August sporting her baby bump in a casual ensemble while taking her beloved dogs for a walk in Los Angeles.

While she and Adams may have kept mum about their not-so-little secret, Bellisario’s friend and former costar Lucy Hale couldn’t help but rave about the star’s pregnancy.

“I think we’ve all known for a bit,” Hale, 29, told Us Weekly in August. “I’m really happy for her.”


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Dancing with the Stars Pro Mark Ballas on His Hilarious Wedding Day Snafu & What Marriage Has Taught Him

 

Mark Ballas and BC Jean‘s bohemian chic wedding certainly looked picture-perfect, but one major element of their ceremony didn’t go according to plan.

PEOPLE Now recently caught up with the Dancing with the Stars pro ahead of the season 25, and he opened up about what exactly went awry during their Nov. 25 nuptials.

“I teared up when she walked around the corner and I saw her,” he recalled. “She walked the aisle to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen, which is one of my all-time favorites.”

So far, so good? Not quite.

“It was funny, because they played the wrong version — they were meant to play the symphonic string version, but they played the real version,” he said. “So all of a sudden she turns the corner and we hear: ‘Is this ?‘ ”

“Freddie ’s voice is booming through my ceremony!” he added with a laugh. “I turned to Derek at the time, my best friend, I was like, ‘They’re playing the wrong version!’ He goes, ‘Relax, man. You love Queen.’ I was like, ‘I do love Queen.’ ”

Of course, all’s well that ends well — and Ballas, 31, dissolved into tears pretty much the second he saw his bride.

 

FROM PEN: Confetti, Sweets and Dogs — How Julianne Hough Had a Picture Perfect Wedding to Brooks Laich

 

And in the months sine tying the knot, the happy couple actually learned something new about each other.

“Back when we were dating, we pretty much knew everything there was to know about each other — we’d traveled together, we’d lived together, we’d been through ups and downs together,” he said. “We’d kind of worked on all the things that we loved in our relationship and that we knew we needed to work on. We fought for this relationship, and that’s why it feels so solid now, but we never really spent much time in the kitchen. Then we became obsessed with these cooking shows and trying to eat healthier, and she’s become this amazing chef.”

“I come home and she’s like, ‘Look at these stuffed peppers I made!’ ” he added with a laugh. “She’s making incredible meals at home. I was like, ‘Who are you?!’ ”

Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Sept. 18 on ABC.


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How a Waitress Taught Me the Best Lessons About Being Likable

What are the secrets of being likable? originally appeared on Quorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Lisa Kirk, Writer, Soul Forward, on Quora:

I learned the secrets of being likeable from a waitress named Debbie.

I was working in a high-end restaurant as a cocktail waitress. The place was known for its steaks and was a hot spot for businessmen. The lunch crowd was made up mostly of suits and ties; a lot of powerful guys who wore beautiful watches and who all had sort of a new car scent about them.

The tip potential from a single shift was huge. Most of us were young, broke waitresses; we quickly got to know the customers and could spot the big spenders the minute they walked through the door.

You had one shot at gaining a customer’s loyalty; from the time they sat down until they paid their bill was your chance to make a big impression. If you did it right, they would reward you with a great tip and choose your section again in the future.

It was high stakes peacocking.

We would each try to be the most requested server. We were required to wear black skirts and white shirts so that we would make subtle improvements to our uniforms in the way of shorter hemlines, tighter shirts, and push-up bras; the whole idea was to get noticed.

We would be charming, and would try different approaches to get them to like us.

Most of us were great at getting first timers to sit in our section, but for some reason they didn’t become regulars. In this type of an environment, regulars are everything.

This was the case for everyone except Debbie.

Debbie was a money maker, big time. I had heard about her during my training period. The server I was shadowing told me the fastest way to get fired is by messing with Debbie.

I had heard stories about her. Customers would forfeit available tables in other sections and wait at the bar until something opened up in her area. She had most of the big spending customers as her regulars. The bartenders and staff loved her; she was the queen of the kingdom.

I finally met her two weeks into my job, and she was not what I had expected.

I had imagined her to be this super model look alike with a tiara practically welded to her head. Going off of her incredible reviews, I had drawn her very differently in my mind.

She was from Tennessee. She had long wavy brownish hair that she pulled back into a messy ponytail. She wore no makeup, had on a regular length black skirt and an oversized men’s button-down white shirt. She was not what I had expected.

She was the girl next door.

So what was it about her that connected so powerfully with everyone? It wasn’t her looks or her sex appeal; Debbie’s magic was her people skills.

I studied her. Seriously, I watched her like an educational film. I wanted to learn her secret. I paid attention to her body language, listened to her tone of voice and dissected her interactions with the customers. I asked people why they liked her so much, and I was able to piece together the anatomy of her social gift.

  1. She was easy. She didn’t need anything in the way of approval from anyone. She didn’t have any expectations of people. She maintained her own self esteem.
  2. She let you be you. You didn’t have to edit yourself around her or apologize for your opinions. You could talk to her openly about anything.
  3. She heard you. There’s a big difference between listening and hearing. She had the ability to interpret what you were trying to say, and understand where you were coming from.
  4. She refused to trash others, ever.
  5. She cleaned up her messes. If she made a mistake, she owned it.
  6. She was comfortable in her own skin. This was a big part of her charm. She liked who she was, felt good about herself.
  7. She was warm. Debbie was like the sun; she was warm and welcoming. People felt good being around her.
  8. She had no expectations. She didn’t do anything with an agenda. She didn’t manipulate people or situations.
  9. She was real. She wasn’t trying to be anyone or anything; she came as she was.
  10. She liked people and understood human nature. Debbie would often say you can’t have a beautiful garden without fertilizer. She knew that people could be ugly and give you crap in life, but the key was not letting it make you hard or bitter. Whatever was thrown at her in life was added to her garden and made her more beautiful as a person.

Debbie was popular because she was real.

She was honest; everything about her was hers. She didn’t alter herself to impress anyone. She didn’t need validation. Being around her was effortless; she didn’t need your constant approval, she didn’t bring along drama, and she accepted you exactly as you were.

She required zero maintenance.

There are so many copies and fakes in the world; people want the genuine article. It doesn’t matter how shiny a piece of glass is; when you put it next to a diamond it loses its luster.

I learned you can’t create who you are and try to pass it off as an original; at best you’ll be a good forgery.

Debbie was the real deal; she was the diamond.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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4 Things That Comedy Improv Taught Me About Being a Wellness Entrepreneur

For the past four months, I have been spending my Tuesday evenings making a total fool of myself in comedy Improv classes. I enrolled at Just the Funny in Miami to add some ‘funny’ to my life and take a break from working so much. See, I launched a new business last year — an online course and community for health & wellness professionals – and I was spending 12+ hours a day at the computer for many, many months.

When I enrolled in the Improv classes, I expected to laugh a lot, make some friends, maybe even build more on-stage confidence, but I didn’t expect to have ‘a-ha’ insights about my business.

Here’s what Improv comedy classes taught me about being an entrepreneur:

1. You can’t do anything wrong

There are no mistakes in Improv comedy. Every word, phrase or gesture is an opportunity to create something fun and unexpected. Since there is no script, there is no plot or dialogue to follow. You make it up as you go along. The same is true for being an entrepreneur. I can do whatever I want in my business. There is no script, no one-way plan that I have to follow. Sometimes my business or marketing strategies generate a lot of excitement, and sometimes they fall flat – just like on the Improv stage. But just because I don’t get engagement on a particular thing, doesn’t mean that I did something “wrong,” it just means that I need to do something differently until people start smiling again. Which leads me to my next insight…

2. Fail fast, then Keep Going

When you find yourself in a situation that isn’t amusing, which happens a lot in both Improv and business, you need to find your way out fast and keep going. There is nothing more paralyzing to improvising then dwelling in some mental drama about what just happened. If I get stuck in over-thinking, regretting or being embarrassed, I fall apart. Improv classes taught me that there is no shame in telling a joke that doesn’t get a laugh – or launching a product that doesn’t sell – as long as you learn from it. What separates a good improviser from a not-so-good one is her resiliency and her ability to keep going no matter what happens. The faster you fail, and find a new approach, the quicker you can figure out what makes people happy.

3. Commit to it

My Improv teacher hollers from the back of the room, “Commit to it!” It hits me like an electric shock. I stand up taller, speak my words stronger, pay attention closer – and the audience is mesmerized. How true this is for my business, too! If I make a choice and put in half-assed effort, my audience is bored; they don’t care; they aren’t engaged. If I bring my full-energy and enthusiasm to something, they can feel it; it’s contagious; they want more. We don’t have the option in Improv or in business to be lazy. If we don’t commit fully because we are scared or distracted with other things, our performance will stink. We need to show up consistently and commit fully if we want our audience to do the same.

4. Trust Your Partner

On the Improv stage, you only have 2 things that you can rely on – your imagination and your partner. We spend a lot of class time doing weird exercises like feeling each other’s faces and telling each other embarrassing moments so that we can build unconditional trust. This taught me how to lean into my partner instead of trying to be out there on my own. Ironically, this is exactly what I need to do in my business. One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is how much I need other people to be successful. I can’t do it all by myself. In both Improv and business, the answers to your questions and your next steps are not written in some playbook somewhere, they are in your partner’s eyes.

If you are working in wellness and you need a community to laugh and learn from, join the Women in Wellness Club. We know how to get things done, and have FUN in the process.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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What An ‘Awful’ Accident Taught ‘OITNB’ Star Jackie Cruz About Beauty

“Orange is the New Black” star Jackie Cruz began working toward her dream of becoming a singer and an actress at age 6; by the time she was 15, her mother had moved her to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. But Cruz’s life-long plans were unexpectedly put on hold two years later, after she was severely injured in a car accident.

The now 29-year-old actress sat down with MSNBC’s “Cafecito” at P&G’s Orgullosa event in February to discuss her journey to success. In the video, published Tuesday, Cruz opened up about the “really awful” car accident she survived at 17. 

“Physically I thought wow, ‘I’m not pretty enough I will never be able to be on TV,’ because I had brain surgery, I was crossed eyed [and] I couldn’t smile.” Cruz said of her thoughts after her accident. “So I would look at myself and all I would see in Hollywood are like beautiful people and I’m like there’s no way that I could make it.”

But after undergoing brain surgery and re-learning how to walk and talk, Cruz said the experience taught her an important lesson about beauty she’d like to pass on to young women everywhere facing challenges.

“Let me tell you something, beauty is something that comes from within and I learned that the hard way. And trust me, with your personality, with your talent, you can do anything that you want.”

Her life-changing car accident wasn’t the only challenge Cruz faced as a teen, during that period in her life she also experienced homelessness. 

“I was a bad kid, I didn’t like my mother’s rules,” Cruz said. “The Dominican mom, she’s very strict. I was like, ‘I’m gonna move out’ and she’s like ‘oh you wanna be an adult? Go ahead.’ So I was homeless for a little bit. I tried to go back home, but she’s like ‘no, this is how it is to be an adult. You go be an adult.’ It just made me who I am today. I appreciate everything that’s happening to me and I stay grounded. I know how it is to be at the lowest low.”

To learn more about the actress’ beginnings, her Latina idol and her thoughts on her “OITNB” character watch the full conversation between Cruz and “Cafecito” host Feliciano Garcia in the video above.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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What My Pointer Dog Taught Me About Life and Happiness

2015-07-06-1436152033-2223818-debsemlegs.jpg
Photo by Paulo Silva

I have the tiniest German Shorthaired Pointer anyone knows of. Her name is Embry, and she is about thirty pounds (where the breed standard is about forty-five to sixty pounds for females) of pure love and snuggles. Her main goal in life is to get under the covers. Any covers. Do you have a towel laying around? She wants to get under that. A napkin? That’ll work.

She is a happy, grateful dog. For no other reason than being alive. Her main achievements in life revolve around getting bites of chicken, successfully forcing her way into the tiniest spots between two people, and taking intense naps in incredibly entertaining positions. Every day she teaches me how to be a better person, which is strange, with her being a dog and all.

Every morning, Embry FLIES out of her soft crate, almost breaking the zipper, jumps into our bed, and glues a very cold nose to either of our faces. “Hello parents! I am here! Rejoice!” she seems to be saying.

She is full of love and and forceful snuggling, and I can’t help but laugh. I used to ask her, “What are you so excited about?” but now I hug her and say, “I knooooowww, we are so happy for no reason! Let’s party!” A new day, new smells, naps, maybe new toys and treats, fresh laundry to roll around in, potty breaks, eating grass… the opportunities are endless and the world is her oyster.

We run downstairs, and she starts running in small circles wagging her little nub of a tail signaling she’s ready to go potty, one of the highlights of life, obviously. If I take too long getting to the door, she sends me one of her snorts that sound like a race horse at the track gate. Still half-asleep, I open the door to let her out and she does her business proudly. She runs back inside and grabs Dharma (her favorite toy, a blue dragon) by the head, and brings her to me as a trophy of a successful potty escapade. Thank you so much, I was really needing a slobbery stuffed animal rubbed against my leg. If only we could celebrate our small victories like that…

I sit down to eat and have my coffee, and the shameless begging begins. Dharma is long forgotten when there are potential treats at stake. She was my husband’s dog at first, but she has lived with me for three years now, and I have to admit I have completely ruined her. She sticks her entire GSP nose into my plate or bowl, and snorts again. Excuse you?! I tell her “no,” and she backs off daintily, just to fake politeness. “Sorry mama,” her raised paw says. Two seconds later, she tries again. “You persistent little nugget,” I tell her, shaking my head. I wish I could be that shameless in real life. Wait, but why can’t I? I should be as persistent as she is when there’s a lot more than chicken at stake…

The day goes on, and I sit down to write as she finds herself a little cozy spot in the living room, where she can monitor me. Sometimes she’s an independent woman and goes upstairs and puts herself in her crate. She doesn’t need company, she could use a little alone and quiet time to unwind from her busy morning of potty and begging. She didn’t even excuse herself, she just left. What life would be like if I could just say, “I just need to be alone in my crate today. Bye.” The freedom!

I take a break from work and go upstairs to do some chores. As I pick up the six thousand pillows and blankets to make the bed, I look over at her inside her crate. She’s under her blanket next to Dharma, watching me from the little fabric window. I try to remember why I decided I needed all of this stuff on my bed. Look at her, she has one blanket and she’s perfectly fine. She doesn’t even feel the need to put up some art in her crate. Why do I need so much to be happy?

I head back downstairs and start to do some laundry, where I find some of Dharma’s friends, Gerard and Madeleine, buried underneath the piles. All of it is covered in black and white hairs, including the clean laundry, which she prefers for napping. She follows me downstairs and I scold her a little for getting into the clean clothes. She’s embarrassed and sad about that for a moment, and looks up at me with “I’m-so-ashamed” eyes. Right, you don’t fool me missy.

I get back to work, and hook myself up to all my electronics: iPhone, laptop, iPad, remotes, earphones… you know, all the things crucial to my daily survival. Today, like most afternoons, after hours of looking at too many screens, I get overwhelmed and mentally over-stimulated. I look over at her and she’s sprawled out on the couch, not a worry in sight. Sigh. She’s already forgotten about the laundry, and perks up when she sees me watching her. I wish we knew how to forgive and forget that quickly.

I jump up closing my laptop, pull my earphones out, turn my phone off, throw on some running shoes and take her to the field across the street. I let her loose, and she runs in erratic circles, ears flapping in the wind, looking up at the sky. Forever hopeful, she is looking for potential birds she’s never going to catch. Every so often, she sees me across the field and runs towards me as fast as she can, skinny legs flying in every direction. I’m laughing and the sun is setting, and I wonder why I get so caught up with “life” every day. She doesn’t care if she looks cute, or if she should post this adorable moment on her Instagram. She lives in the moment, and she chooses to be happy with whatever she’s got. She is grateful for the smallest of things, like the freshly cut grass and the warmth of the sun, and now I am too.

Find me and #EmbryTheGoat on Instagram!

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



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Almost Going to Jail Taught Me How to Give!

I have learned about giving through the experience of receiving. There have been a lot of people in my life that gave to me, when they didn’t have to, when there wasn’t anything in it for them.

I haven’t always known how to give in my life, I spent a lot of it, not knowing how to give love, not knowing how to give my gifts and talents not knowing I had anything to give.
I learned slowly from a few very special people in my life how to give.

My teachers come to mind. I’ve never really had a relationship with my father, he’s always seemed like a ghost, somewhere out there, but just out of my reach.

I think subconsciously I created a lot of my teachers to be men, strong healthy role models of the healthy masculine to heal the old father wound. They were all available, attentive and loving.

I needed that. It has been very healing for me.

I ran away from home as a really young teenager and moved to Hawaii. I never knew there were people out there that wanted to help me just because, just to help, when I ran away that wasn’t my experience. Everyone wanted something.

Before I found my calling God sent me an angel named Sean, I was struggling and had gotten into some trouble with the law, and I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen. Out of desperation, fear and intense emotional pain I started going anywhere spiritual!

I met Sean in a spiritual community, he took me under his wing.

Every time I went to court it was so demeaning and scary, everyone treated me like I was already guilty, but not Sean, he was an amazing loving teacher. He taught me how to sit with people, how to love them and be there for them when things got hard.

I remember telling him, I’m so scared, I don’t know if I’m going to jail! I have no idea what I could do to help another person right now!

He would say “Yeah just come with me, we’re all going to go sit and be with some people who are suffering, just talk from your heart and give them what you can in the way of love.”

I thought what’s wrong with him! Doesn’t he see I’m messed up! Doesn’t he see I’m the one that needs help!?

But I just kept showing up whenever there was an opportunity to talk with someone struggling with cancer, or a teenage girl who had been molested. I just showed up and tried to help.
It changed everything, I just couldn’t wait until Sean and our little team of helpers went out to be with another hurting soul. I suddenly felt I wasn’t an awful person, I wasn’t so lost.
It gave me a reason to live again.

When I first met Sean I was so worried about the case that I spent hours of many days crying on my bathroom floor, then Sean would call and say “Hey what are you doing, wanna sit with some hurting folks?”

I mean, I thought it couldn’t be any worse than sitting on my bathroom floor crying. That gift he gave me of being able to give love to another soul was like medicine for my spirit.

I began to feel like, Hey Ama, you might be able to really help people! And you Really love it!!!”
I started thinking less and less about my situation and more and more about the next time I could get back out there with Sean and the team!

A seed was planted in my soul.

I learned from Sean that no matter how much you are hurting inside, how dark things get, you can still give, that in fact that IS the medicine that will give you the will to live again! To bring meaning back into your life! That’s what happened to me.

I found that in life you can make mistakes and lose everything and in losing can be great winning.

I ended up taking a plea that the DA offered in my case, I was just too terrified to go to trial and gamble and maybe win but maybe lose.

I was on probation for awhile, lost all my money spending thousands of dollars defending myself and in fees.

I lost a lot of friends that couldn’t handle the intensity of my situation. But I wasn’t as focused on me and my situation anymore, I had found this new world of giving and being of service, and I couldn’t get enough!!!

I remember going to endless court hearings thinking, I can’t wait to get out of here and go sit with someone that’s hurting! It’s the only thing that saved me and kept me from the deepest despair and from giving up.

I kept going out with Sean and the team. I started to realize when I was sitting with hurting ones, I would get information about them, I had a gift, I could tell what was going to happen or what had happened to them before.

I would touch them on the hand or their head and they would start to feel better. I found that I knew how to talk with them and somehow they would be feeling better and filled with hope after we talked.

I began to find my calling as a healer.

The worst thing that I thought had ever happened to me, turned out to lead me to the best thing that ever happened… finding my gifts and my calling…. and the joy of being of service and giving!

That experience of receiving unconditional love from Sean taught me not to judge people too harshly, as you never know their story and how they got to be where they’re at.
Sean knew my situation but he chose to see something good in me, he chose to see that I had something to offer and I started to believe him!

He didn’t talk to me about giving, he made me go out and do it!

It was extraordinary! Sean taught me that the way to heal is to GIVE!

It was the most amazing thing, at my lowest point, I was asked to serve another human being and it healed MY hurting soul!

Yeah, I’ve learned a lot from my teachers. I’ve learned how to give, really give and the absolute joy that comes from giving is addictive!

Once you reach out to help another person, no matter what is going on for you in your life, you’ll never stop, and you’ll always know how to find your way back to yourself by reaching out and finding someone that needs your help. You’ll find that you’ll get hooked on that feeling of love and giving and you’ll never turn back!! I didn’t!

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Arianna Taught Me To Thrive

A year ago I was not thriving. I had just lost my mom to cancer and was in the middle of a messy divorce. By chance I went to Arianna Huffington’s Thrive event in New York City. She told the packed crowd that we could choose to thrive at any time despite our challenging circumstances. She was so committed to helping every person in the audience thrive that she volunteered to be our thrive buddy. Her book was like an outstretched hand. I sent her an email to thank her (never dreaming that she would answer) but she did. And she offered me the chance to share my journey on the Huffington Post.

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I went for my annual physical yesterday and my doctor was astounded. Last June he prescribed Lexipro, B 12, iron supplements and an EKG. Six months ago I stopped taking this prescribed medical regimen and today, I got a clean bill of health, a hug and a question: “What changed?” The answer was easy: my puppy, my stalwart circle of family and friends, the kindness of time and Arianna’s tips to thrive.

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To all of us in her six-week on line Thrive class, Arianna is our coach and friend. It’s now week five in the course and I feel the tangible results as if I’ve been doing push ups and crunches. Case and point: this morning I got a flat tire. Normally it would have caused me to panic, but because I had incorporated her keystone habits of getting enough sleep and practicing gratitude, deep breaths and meditation, I had the bandwidth to simply pull into a garage, hop on the subway, and get my son to school on time.

As I waited for AAA, I committed to staying on the Thrive path. I took a walk (another keystone Thrive habit) while listening to this week’s assignment. Arianna encouraged us to keep our eyes open for wonder, from savoring the taste of our morning coffee to enjoying a true connection with a stranger or friend. I don’t know whether it was because I was actively looking for it or because it was just a great day, but indeed my day was wonder-full.

My eleven year-old and I took one of his classmates on a tour of downtown Manhattan. Through his fresh eyes I savored all the sounds, smells, faces, foods and wonders of New York City. We brought him to a Soho art gallery where the curator taught us about Chagall and Michelangelo. We went to Greenwich Village where he had his first taste of falafel. We took him to Little Italy where craftsmen at Papabubble showed them how to create a safari of animals in tiny hard candies.

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In Chinatown we introduced him to our favorite bubble tea place and exotic fruits like mangosteens and durians.

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That evening I took our puppy out for a walk and bumped into a high school friend who lives in California but happened to be visiting New York for the weekend. What perfect serendipity and wonder.

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Thank you Arianna for helping me (and all your students and readers) to thrive!

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Searching for Beauty: The Life of Millicent Rogers, the American Heiress Who Taught the World about Style

Searching for Beauty: The Life of Millicent Rogers, the American Heiress Who Taught the World about Style


New – “Burns makes it abundantly clear . . . they just don’t make heiresses like Millicent Rogers anymore.” –Hampton Sides Nobody knew how to live the high life like Standard Oil heiress Millicent Rogers. Born to luxury, she lived in a whirl of European vacations, exquisite clothing, and dashing men. In “Searching for Beauty,” Cherie Burns chronicles Rogers’s rebellious life from her days as a young girl afflicted with rheumatic fever to her final days as one of the legendary chatelaines of New

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Sold by Alibris UK: books, movies

How Hollywood Taught Rebel Wilson To Lie About Her Age

In the wake of “Pitch Perfect 2″‘s record-breaking weekend, Rebel Wilson has been caught in a very old-fashioned sort of scandal: According to one of Wilson’s high school classmates, speaking anonymously to Australian tabloid Woman’s Day, Wilson has been lying about her age, her name, her upbringing, and her family’s class.

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“Yes, And”: What Making an Independent Film Taught Me About Identity, Fear and Self-Worth as a Woman

In acting, the first rule of improvisation is to say, “Yes, AND”, the idea behind it being that a scene can only move forward if you first accept the circumstances around you, and then add to them. “Yes, AND” allows for collaboration. “Yes, AND” fosters imagination. “Yes, AND” instigates progress.

For a long time, my life felt like one “No” after another. I wanted to be an actor but couldn’t even get an audition, never mind an actual role. I was working four jobs and just barely getting by. I was definitely more “starving” than “artist”.

I was losing the “game” that is getting work as an actor. The truth is that I wasn’t trying very hard to play it. I didn’t like the rules. As a woman, I felt like I was expected to live up to an imaginary ideal perpetuated by the oversimplified narrative most female characters are placed into. I remember one particularly painful audition that required all the actresses to bring bikinis with them. Usually I would have fled from kind of request, but it was for a reputable graduate film program so, (against my better judgement) I went. I made it to the “please put your bathing suit on” phase and was then given a scene that required me to violently assault my scene partner. I asked if we could practice once or twice, just to make sure no one got hurt. Or perhaps I could just show my half-naked rage through my words? I was dismissed and received an email a few days later saying that I was “too aristocratic” for the part. I was tempted to reply “Are you sure you didn’t mean ‘too smart’?”

I thought getting an agent would help my situation, but was told again and again that I was not a “type” and therefore un-castable. It would be more accurate to say that I am not a “type” that fits into the mainstream representation of women. Where were the stories and roles that I identified with? I was stuck.

But then I got a text from my good friend, Will Sullivan. It read:

“I want to shoot a movie this summer. All improv. For zero budget. Will you produce and star in it?”

In that moment, the answer seemed obvious to me. YES. Had I ever produced a film before? No. Did I have any idea what this movie was going to be about? Of course not. But what did I have to lose?

So I said Yes. And it was in my power to make it happen. It was time to choose my own narrative.

We decided to make a film about relationships – not about falling in love, but about what it takes to make love last. Will and our cinematographer, Derek Dodge, wrote the story outline, but there was never a set script. It was up to the actors to create their own dialogue and define the arc of each scene. I had the freedom to craft a character who was in a state of change and therefore undefined by any mold. The experience was transformative for me, not only as an actor and first time producer, but as a young woman who felt like she needed to re-define her sense of self. It scared me, so I knew it was important.

My greatest obstacle has always been fear. Fear of imperfection, fear of being wrong, fear of failing. This project taught me that there is no better cure for fear than action. As we hurtled towards production, I oscillated between thrill and absolute terror. I had no idea what I was doing but I had to do it anyway. Everyday I woke up feeling like I was in full relevé on the edge of a cliff. The only way to forward was to jump. There were moments of soaring and moments of falling hard on my face. I learned, though, that even if I fell, at least I had found the ground. I could get up and keep going. Three days before our shoot started, I cut off all my hair. I did it for the part, but I also did it for me. While the deed itself was superficial, it symbolized the letting go of an image I felt I was expected to fit into. I was released from who I thought I should be, and free to figure out who I could be.

What started as a text message is now a feature film, That’s Not Us, set to be released later this year. Making it was a gift of self-discovery – as a leader, as a woman, as an artist, and as an imperfect being who still has much to learn. I had the privilege of being able to make mistakes and learn by doing. To me, that is the true essence of independent film. It’s about creating work on your own terms, exploding the mold, and saying “yes, and” to the opportunities that come with attempting the unknown.

That’s Not Us premieres at the Inside Out Film Festival in Toronto on May 23rd, 2015. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or visit their website at www.thatsnotus.com

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The Girl Who Taught Me to Spell the Word ‘Love’

In my 49 years on this planet, I have had the chance to meet some amazing people and make a lot of good friends. Some have lasted beyond time and circumstance, while others have ended naturally after school, or a move or job change.

A few ended painfully.

But there is one friend whose effect on me was so profound that I think of her often.

Carol and I were in the same afternoon kindergarten class. She was my ideal of what a girl should look and be like. Her long, brown hair hung down to her waist, and she possessed the all-American face I longed for myself. She had the ability to make friends easily and always managed to look neat and pretty.

If Carol was a polished pearl, I was a diamond in the rough.

I couldn’t stay clean if I was kept under glass. My hair never looked right, no matter what my mom did to it, so I frequently sported an un-girlish pixie cut. And it wasn’t always easy for me to make new friends, especially with other girls.

Unlike Carol, I couldn’t color in the lines, glue anything neatly or cut a straight line to save my life. School never came easy for me, and kindergarten was no exception.

It wouldn’t be until years later when my dyslexia was discovered that I knew why everything was such a struggle. But even at the age of 5, I knew something was wrong.

I never felt like a misfit when I was with her. She liked and accepted me for who I was. If someone smart and popular like her wanted to be my friend, how bad could I be?

One day, we were sitting next to each other making a card for our families. I couldn’t figure out how to spell the word “love,” and I asked her for help. With the skill and patience my teachers sometimes lacked, she taught me how to spell and write the word on my card. I never forgot how to spell it again.

The following year, Carol started first grade at the local Catholic school. I was heartbroken and so mad at the church for taking my friend away from me. We were never classmates again. Despite only living a few blocks away from each other, we rarely got together anymore.

I can’t remember if my mother used the word “cancer” when she told me Carol was sick, but I knew it was serious.

I can still see her that Halloween when she came trick-or-treating. Her beautiful long hair was gone, and she had a little granny cap on. But she was on my front stoop smiling and getting her candy like any other kid.

A few months later, I went to her birthday party and brought her a Barbie. Since I unceremoniously ripped every package I got, I thought it was odd that she wouldn’t take the plastic off the doll’s hair. Years later, it occurred to that she might have been trying to protect the doll’s hair because she couldn’t protect her own.

I was home sick from school the day my mom got the call that Carol died. I was in the third grade and hadn’t seen her for at least a year, but I felt the loss. I knew I would never get to play with her again. She was gone.

Carol never had the chance to grow up, but I did. I went on to have sleepovers, act in plays, sing in choirs, go to parties and dream about what I would be when I was an adult. I got to experience all the first dates, kisses, heartbreaks, jobs and apartments that she never did.

Today I’m a writer, wife and mom of three. My youngest child is around the same age I was when Carol died. Life has certainly gone on. Yet each and every time I spell the word “love,” I can’t help but think of the girl with the long brown hair.

This piece was previously published on Kathy’s blog, My dishwasher’s possessed!

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

10 Things Nora Ephron Taught Us About Heartbreak

Legendary writer Nora Ephron would have turned 74 on May 19.

The author, screenwriter and director died in June 2012, leaving behind a wealth of beloved work, including “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle” and multiple memoirs.

She also served as the editor-at-large of Huffington Post Divorce. It was a fitting title; the twice-divorced writer taught her fans virtually everything they needed to know about surviving heartbreak. Really, no one could express the intricacies of a broken heart quite like Ephron.

Below, 11 lessons Ephron taught us about heartbreak.

1. Divorce isn’t the most important thing about you.
“The divorce has lasted way longer than the marriage, but finally it’s over. Enough about that. The point is that for a long time, the fact that I was divorced was the most important thing about me. And now it’s not.” — I Remember Nothing

2. Life goes on — and it’s entirely possible to find love again.
dreams
–Heartburn

3. Hindsight is 20/20.
“I married him against all evidence. I married him believing that marriage doesn’t work, that love dies, that passion fades, and in so doing I became the kind of romantic only a cynic is truly capable of being.” –Heartburn

4. Embrace your single status.
primal
–Heartburn

5. You never really know a person until you divorce him or her.
man
–I Feel Bad About My Neck

6. At some point, you just need to get over it.
“I was just with someone complaining about his mother. He’s 70 and his mother is dead. I sat there thinking, ‘This is unbelievable.’ He was complaining about things she did to him when he was a kid. There are also a lot of divorced people who five years later are still walking around angry when they should be grateful. They love being victims. You get to a certain point in life where if you were younger you’d say, ‘Think about getting a shrink.’ Then you get older and want to say, ‘Pull up your socks. Get over it.’” — From an interview with The Wall Street Journal

7. Divorce lasts a lifetime.
tagline
–HuffPost Divorce tagline

8. Eventually, you’ll ask yourself: What the hell was I thinking?
“It’s always hard to remember love — years pass and you say to yourself, Was I really in love, or was I just kidding myself? Was I really in love, or was I just pretending he was the man of my dreams? Was I really in love, or was I just desperate?” –I Feel Bad About My Neck

9. It’s easy to forget the good in past relationships.
“People always say that once it goes away, you forget the pain. It’s a cliché of childbirth: you forget the pain. I don’t happen to agree. I remember the pain. What you really forget is love.” –I Remember Nothing

10. You are enough.
hero
–Wellesley Commencement Speech, 1996

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What a 6-Year-Old Taught Me About Epilepsy

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I’ll never forget the day I met Nicole six years ago. It was a day that seemed to start like any other — with a cup of coffee and a battle through traffic. The one difference was that I was rushing to meet a 6-year-old girl, Nicole, and her parents at one of the Philippines’ leading hospitals to introduce her to my neurologist. I had received a call a few days before from one of my mentors — he had been employing Nicole’s mother in his office for some time — and from what he knew of their family life was that Nicole was been the center of her family’s life and schedule. Her mother was supporting the family and the father was taking care of Nicole full-time and the brother.

My mentor just recently learned that Nicole was not merely sickly, but suffered from several seizures a day — and called me. Could I perhaps introduce Nicole to my neurologist? He felt she needed better medical attention. He would pay for her subsequent medical care. I spoke to my neurologist, and without hesitation, she agreed to take Nicole on as a charity case once I explained the situation.

I met Nicole one Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. outside the doctors office. My heart broke. She was incapable of standing on her own. Her mother explained Nicole had as many as 15 seizures a day. She had been going to a general hospital and was being medicated. Clearly she was under-medicated because her epilepsy was not under control in spite of the medication. Her body had not developed — she had no muscle control.

My mentor understood then that his employee’s husband did not just deliberately choose to be reliant on his wife — this father was required to be physically present whenever the convulsions would wrack Nicole’s body. My doctor had explained to me before that each time a seizure occurred brain cells would die. And brain cells do not regenerate .

Eight months later I received a letter from Nicole’s mother while I was at work . She thanked me for my help. She said in the last eight months Nicole had received the best medical care, and she was comforted by this. It was such a gift . But the day before, Nicole had passed away. And that it was better this way. Perhaps it was already too much .

To this day when I think about this, I am fully appreciative of what I have been blessed with — the family, the support, the medical care, the spiritual guidance — that have helped me overcome my epilepsy. I know it has not been available to everyone.

I’m not a believer in coincidences. As a practicing Catholic and student of Kabbalah, I believe with certainty that things happen for a reason. And that there are quite a few things that undoubtedly transpired with some divine intervention. First, I got a message from a friend, her friend’s daughter had just been diagnosed with absence seizures and had no one to talk about it with. Could I connect with her?

And, then a good friend Tonya, wrote a fantastic note to her younger self about lessons learned and wisdom reaped over the years. And I thought, what a fabulous idea. This time, let me write a note to Nicole — had she lived, had she had an alternate reality, one where she had received the medical care that she needed from the start. She could have been me.

Dear Nicole —

You are a beautiful, smart, funny, lovable, little girl. When you hear music, your eyes light up, and your body sways to the rhythm without any thought. You are a dancer, you have the heartbeat of a musician tap tap tapping in you. You are special and radiant — and when you walk in the room — your parents’ hearts expand in a way you will never fathom. Your brother adores you because you are his sister — and you have secrets that only the two of you will ever understand.

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You happen to have epilepsy. Once in a while, while you are speaking, you may go off in a place that is dark. Only to come back again — and find that you can’t remember what happened. The conversation you were just in has moved on. That is an absence seizure. That happened to me too. It’s a bit frightening — to feel you lose control of yourself — that for a brief moment you’ve “left.” But you will get used to it as you will get used to taking medicines to control it. Don’t worry. Everyone takes some form of medicine — you’re not that different. Don’t be ashamed that you have take a few pills a day. There’s no reason to hide your pills or to go in a corner when you’re drinking them. It’s ok.ay Some people have asthma and need an inhaler to help them breathe properly. You need some medicine to help you to be fully present. That’s all.

I wish I knew that when I was younger. But those were different times — when people heard the word epilepsy they thought, even I thought, it meant you foamed at the mouth and went rigid and shook convulsively for minutes. It seemed like a scary word — and honestly it did scare some people off, it took some time for my best friend to ask me to sleep over because she was scared. I will always love her and her mom for taking the brave first step of saying it’s okay. Because it is.

Don’t get me wrong Nicole. There are so many types of epilepsy — there are some whose lives are really impeded by it because their seizures aren’t under control — but you and I, well, we are fortunate. We have milder forms, and we can choose how we want that to affect us.

I think there are two choices — it can be an excuse. For many years my doctors wrote me excuse letters preventing me from engaging in sports that were too physically challenging. I’ve since decided those letters are just that — pieces of paper. If your mind is strong, so is your body. You’ve got to work on both. Don’t use what you have as an excuse for not doing anything. Unless you could put others in harm’s way — for example, I learned how to drive and I love driving, but I’ve decided never to drive alone so that I can never put other people at risk if I faint while driving.

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You can also make it a motivation — someone once said, “The best feeling is doing what I was told couldn’t be done.” That’s how I feel. There’s so much to do, to read, to see, to taste , to explore, people to meet, conversations to be had. Don’t box yourself in. Share yourself — your joys, your talents, your light. Don’t let epilepsy define you and keep you in a corner. Let it be an adjective to describe you — not a noun to define you. At the very least, let it be an adverb — create your own story. Like, Melissa faints graciously, swoons glamorously and then wakes in wonder. That’s how I describe my spells. (Notice I don’t say “fits.” Let the old world use old world terms, they don’t live where we do.)

You disappear, but you come back. You flit away and escape. Your eyes glaze and then brighten. Nothing can appear more beautiful than light filling your face again. You are lucky that people can see that happen to you. It must be beautiful to see.

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Do not let it scare you. If you let it, others will come to fear it and you. Embrace it as a part of you — your friends will understand and protect you. Those who do not stay are not worthy of you. Those who surround you will lift you higher and bless you with an appreciation for all the things that make you who you are.

Enjoy your uniqueness and don’t feel that you are the only one who has a “burden.” That is your inner self trying to make you feel ashamed. But really, everyone is fighting their own battles — and if we only knew, we wouldn’t be so focused on ourselves. My teacher told me after speaking to her 25 years after I had a very public seizure in her class that although I felt humiliated and discouraged from returning to class, what I didn’t know was that during that time, no one in the room laughed or made a sound. They talked about what happened to me – and each student had great empathy as someone had severe asthma, another had an extreme learning disability, one student had a parent suffering form early onset Alzheimer’s, another student’s parent had Parkinson’s. In short, she told me, I had nothing to worry about — no one in the room had any intent to hurt or humiliate me when I came back to school. Because everyone, without exception, had some experience with pain, suffering, or sickness. And people, in general, care.

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So, Nicole. don’t hide. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Take control of your story. Write it in such a way that celebrates your talents and strengths. Be kind and compassionate — because others will treat you with the same care. Live with certainty — that you have your own unique purpose and don’t let an adjective stop you from sharing the Light within. Explore, climb, seek, dance and love — and do so brilliantly.

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Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

3 Things ‘The Mindy Project’ Taught Me

By now we’ve all been accosted by the news that Fox — the brilliant organization behind such gems as Bones! and The Swan! (note my sarcasm) — has canceled The Mindy Project.

Let’s all take a moment to sob. And sob some more. Now hiccup cry. Now breathe deeply. One more sob.

Onward.

I guess in some ways the cancellation makes sense. I mean, it was a witty, well-written, often insightful look into the lives of women. There were episodes that made me fist pump alone in my living room. Scenes that made me cry. And moments that made me feel less alone. It was groundbreaking in a way I’ve been begging female-driven vehicles to be for years. Rather than securing show’s future, all these things made the too-soon cancellation of the series practically certain from the first episode. Network TV is an aging behemoth that is sustained by soap operas and reality TV. Are there exceptions to this rule? A few. But they fill an ever-diminishing need. For the most part, anything that challenges or engages or lifts has no place on network TV. Because, like, that’s not the point.

Am I pretty fried that I no longer have a fall date with Mindy’s parents and Danny? Yeah, pretty much. Pretty fried. But I am also a little relieved on the behalf of the best show I’ve seen in the past 10 years. Mindy deserves to hang her Wreath Witherspoon in a home that feels lucky to have her.

I’ve got good hope that if a situation that is good for cast and crew presents itself, they’ll take it. Maybe Hulu, where the show already has a fierce viewership. Or Netflix, the home of #femalesarestrongashell. Or maybe we can all just kickstart and get Mindy Kaling her own damn network already.

In the meantime, as a way to distract myself from the grief cloud hovering over this house (MORGAN!!!! MORRRRRGANNNNNNNNN!!!!), here are three things I learned from The Mindy Project.

God rest her soul till we meet again.

1. I don’t have to wear sleeves. This one may not seem like much. Really, Meg? Sleeves? This is worth noting? Hell yes, it is. When I was 15, someone told me to avoid sleeveless clothes because, “although you look great, your arms are a bit heavy.” I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. I mean, I knew I wasn’t waving around Madonna stick pins… I wasn’t delusional. But the wording really worked me over.

My arms were heavy? That description took my upper limbs a step beyond chubby and into the world of practically deformed. My heavy arms that hung heavily by my side while trying to lift light things that were too much weight to add to the heaviness of my already heavy arms. Holy hell, forget sleeveless. It was obvious to me that the best thing I could do for myself, and the pitiable people who had to look upon me, was to cover those weighted monstrosities the hell up. So I did. With ¾ length sleeves on hot days and thin sweaters on cold days. (Cable knit would have amplified the heaviness.) When I did venture out in anything less than full arm coverage, I did so as an act of defiance, “I know I don’t deserve to have the sun hit the skin above my elbow, but look me in the eyes and see if I give a damn.”

I was nearly 30 years old before Madcap Mindy showed me how ridiculous I’d been. Mindy isn’t my sister in “heavy” arms. I didn’t find solidarity in her lack of pin thin appendages. Rather I found inspiration in the easy grace with which she handled her body — arms, legs and all. There was no point being made by her choice of sleeveless blouses or short skirts or va-va-voom dresses. Her clothes were not an act of defiance. (Which was revolutionary in itself.) She wore what the hell she wanted because she was being who the hell she wanted.

In Mindy’s world, a woman who weighs more than a package of stevia could wear something something more fashionable than a sack of flour. That fact wasn’t revolutionary… it was simply a matter of course. And that, for me, was freeing as hell. I’ll never be able to thank my “best friend I’ve never met” enough for that fact. She’s changed my outlook and consequently, changed the dialogue I have with my own daughters.

2. Women don’t have to be ashamed of what they want. And they don’t have to be angered by what other women want. I’m not delusional. I know that Mindy Kaling is different from Mindy Lahiri. I know that Dr. L’s life goals diverge greatly from Grand Dame Kaling’s life goals. That being said, Kaling wrote Lahiri, and she did so with a great degree of grace and tolerance. As I watched the show, I didn’t feel Kaling judging Lahiri for having different aspirations than her creator. I felt her honoring her, rooting for her, pushing her forward. Oh my goodness, what if we could extend that same respect to the real women in our lives not just the ones we meet on TV? Could you imagine the dialogue that would ensue? The steps we’d take forward? The wounds we’d heal?

What does Mindy Lahiri want? We know early on in the series that Mindy L. is a professional woman who is also “looking for someone to go apple picking with.” She wants marriage and babies and she defines those things as integral to her happy ending. And she isn’t ashamed of it. Do you know how refreshing that storyline has been for me? A writer who also has two babies and a husband? A girl who wants her name on the front of a book and wants bubbles and baby laughter in her backyard? The Mindy Project doesn’t preach the false hope of “having it all.” Mindy has given up plenty of almost dreams for her better parts. (Dammit, San Francisco) But she is unwavering when it comes to her core happiness. To the things she feels she deserves. To the dreams she isn’t afraid of dreaming… no matter how outdated they might seem to the people around her.

Whether your dream includes babies or not, a career or not, a partner or not, compromise or not, Mindy Lahiri’s quest for her personal happiness should speak to you. You get to seek what you want without shame.

3. And finally, there is communion in the ridiculous. Listen, Mindy Lahiri is a little ridiculous. She spouts off half-baked political assessments, once said recycling makes America seem poor and went seven years without paying her taxes. But as the series went on, I didn’t find myself laughing at her, I found myself laughing with her. No one of us is free from elements of the ridiculous. We are all filled with half-baked opinions…the fact that we might keep them to ourselves doesn’t mean they don’t exist. We are all ignorant until we are not. (And then ignorant some more until we are not again.) We all have literal or figurative un-opened envelopes with contents that are past due.

Maybe we would all be better off if we stopped assuming ridiculousness was the burden of others and accepted it as the ever-evolving state of all of us. And maybe, just maybe, Mindy Lahiri style, we should just start being honest about it. Who knows? Maybe, like the great Project Herself, we’ll learn something about each other and ourselves along the way. (And laugh a little more, too.)

You know, when I heard about the cancellation, I wasn’t upset for the people in the show. They’ve proven they can create and sustain a small world and its misfit inhabitants. The actors will go on to movies. The writers will be asked to be a part of the next big thing. Mindy will continue her trajectory to a place in the stars next to Nora Ephron. (And maybe beyond?) They’re doing just fine.

Me? I’m queuing up the first season and counting my lucky stars. For a half hour every week, in a little show with little pretension, I found a brand of feminism that spoke to me, rather above or below me. I found men that loved strong women and strong women that loved men. And I found a world in which my arms were released from the constraints of décor and became beautiful and free simply because they were attached to me.

Whoa, Nelly.

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Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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How My Grandma Taught Me About the Beauty of Motherhood

“I envy them.
They’re brave.
Seeds cast by the wind to land where they may, they stay and hold against most hot, most cold.
They persevere, roots shallow yet fierce and free.
They epitomize to me all that I sometimes yearn to be.”

-Julie Andrews, “Wildflowers”

When I was a little girl, I’d collect flowers on my walk to my grandma’s house. I’d gather them in huge bunches, grasping their stems tightly, anticipating the look my grandma would have on her face when I pulled them out with a Surprise! from behind my back.

I remember one time my uncle was there and when he saw what I had in my small hands he teased, “Those are weeds!” I wanted to throw them away, afraid my grandma wouldn’t want them anymore. And when she saw me with my hands behind my back she asked me where her flowers were — it had become such a daily routine, of course she would wonder why I hadn’t brought her flowers. I mumbled apologetically, “But I brought you weeds.” Her eyes sparkled as she told me: “Mija. Wildflowers are just as pretty as any other flower.” And she took them from my hand and placed them gently in a cup of water.

As a child, I learned that when people ask what your favorite flower is, they expect to hear roses or daisies maybe daffodils. I always tell people tulips are my favorite. But the truth is, I love wildflowers. I remember seeing the California Poppies growing wild on the side of the freeways and thinking they were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Even now, my eyes are drawn to the majestic Indian Blanket I see growing in the fields through out my neighborhood in Texas.

With wildflowers, my grandma taught me to see beauty in all things. To see the beauty that lies in the grittiness of life.

It’s why I’m drawn to running. Looking at it from the outside I can see how people are initially pushed away- – sweaty, tired, aching lungs and legs. I know when I finish a run and my face is bright red, body drenched in sweat — I know that isn’t the traditional definition of beauty. But I feel the beauty in it. The beauty of being pushed beyond my comfort level, doing something I love and yet it is so physically challenging and sometimes emotionally draining, as I waiver on wanting to give up and wanting to finish what I started.

The beauty of running is like wildflowers. Tough. Perseverance. Not as graceful as the gymnast or as dazzling as the soccer player. But my grandma’s words echo in my hear — it’s just as beautiful as any other flower out there.

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And Motherhood is where I feel her presence the most. The way she taught me to appreciate the beauty of wildflowers is the anchor of my place in this world: appreciating the beauty of motherhood. It’s not ever what I expected it to be — this most challenging, heart wrenching, and sweet life of being a mother — a life that I chose. And I wouldn’t give it up for anything this earthly world could offer me.

I see and feel the beauty of motherhood — through the tears and heartache, the sweet tender moments that are so achingly personal you don’t want to share it with the world through social media–because it’s yours to keep, the caress of a soft cheek, wiping away tears on a wailing child, rocking a little one to sleep, the feelings of wishing you could take away their pain — and yet knowing they must experience it to find their own place in the world, grateful your oldest still lets you hold her — a wiry-limbed almost 9-year-old and feeling the bittersweet ache as you remember how her body used to fit completely, wholly, into the nook of your arm all while wondering: How did you get to this place?

Motherhood is like wildflowers: Gritty. Fiercely intense. Beautiful.

Wildflowers — just as beautiful as any other flower out there.

Never Give Up,

Nicole

For my children. I appreciate you.

Through all the things my eyes have seen
The best by far is you

For all the places I have been
I’m no place without you

For all the things my hands have held
The best by far is you
~Andrew Macmahon, Cecilia And The Satellite

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Thank you for my wildflowers: the gift of motherhood.

Nicole Scott writes about family, faith, and her love of running at My Fit Family.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

What Every Daughter Wants Her Mother to Know: From the Heart about Love, Life and What You've Taught Me

What Every Daughter Wants Her Mother to Know: From the Heart about Love, Life and What You've Taught Me


Daughters and moms have a special bond, but it isn't always easy to communicate. What Every Daughter Wants Her Mother to Know says everything to your mother that you wish you had, accented with warm photos. Sweet without being overly sentimental, every daughter's mother will love this book as an impromptu gift, thank-you, Mother's Day present or Christmas surprise. Honest and heartfelt, here's what daughters everywhere want to share with their mom. –Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades, and friends-but only one mother in the whole wide world.-Kate Douglas Wiggin –How about hiding those naked baby pictures of me when my boyfriend is around? –Every beetle is a gazelle in the eyes of its mother.–Moorish Proverb –It took me years to realize that when you told me I looked tired or that my hair was dirty, you did it out of love, not criticism.
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What ‘Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce’ Taught Newlywed Lisa Edelstein About Marriage

Earlier this year, Lisa Edelstein found herself in a unique scenario: On May 25, she was marrying artist Robert Russell, and the next day she was driving to Vancouver to play a newly single woman in Bravo’s “Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce.”

Luckily for Edelstein, portraying a divorcee taught her a lot about being a newlywed, she told HuffPost Live’s Josh Zepps on Thursday.

“It really planted a seed to remind myself on a daily basis not to take my husband for granted, not to take our relationship for granted, to really remember that anything can end,” she said.

That reminder is important because divorce is becoming more and more common in American life, Edelstein added. And she has been touched by it too.

“My husband was in the middle of a divorce when I met him, so I have walked through divorce from that point of view. I have stepchildren, so learning how to have an alternative family is something you’re really not trained for,” she said.

Watch Lisa Edelstein discuss divorce in the video above, and click here for her full HuffPost Live conversation.

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3 Things Teaching Yoga Taught Me About Business

Practicing and teaching yoga taught me a lot about business. The uncanny parallels and lessons between the two is what I’m sharing today. Here are some potent lessons for your business that I first discovered via practicing and then teaching Yoga for almost a decade.

1. When you first start teaching you teach based on what you were taught. You don’t fully understand what it means to teach “your” version of yoga.

Many newbie teachers or teachers who haven’t yet made the teachings their own will rattle off the same phrases and instruction that their teacher taught them or that they read in their yoga training course.

The reason for this is they haven’t yet developed a complete understanding of the poses and the practice where they are ready to ditch the script and teach from their own experience. It takes time to truly see your students, and to develop a deep understanding of how the poses work and what they are meant to do.

It takes time and practice to truly see your students, and to recognize a hallmark lesson of teaching the poses from a deep consideration that “form follows function” (Something I first heard from Matthew Cohen, and if you’re lucky enough to live in Santa Monica you need to go to his class!)

The basic idea is that function is priority. The actual shape of the pose and what it looks like is secondary. But that means you need to deeply understand what they pose is there to do (deep knowledge) versus just parroting what the yoga text book says, or what a teacher taught you, or what the poses looks like (shallow understanding). And like anything in life it takes time to gather depth of knowledge.

The same thing happens in business: At first you’re taught a certain structure or template. You’re told all these business rules, and so you follow the rules. But with time and depth of experience you start to realize that in order to make your business your own, you need to ditch the rules, consult with your own inner CEO and make your own decisions.

This comes with time, depth of experience, and a willingness to be curious, open to learning and growth. And of course, to never ever follow a guru-mentality where some so-called “expert” or “though leader” says “Follow me, I have all the answers.”

2. In yoga, to become a teacher and to get a registration you need to do a minimum of a 200-hour yoga teacher training. This is a foundational course. What happens after this course is many people feel “not ready” to start teaching.

They start to feel that if they only did one more training, or one more workshop they’d be ready.

But the truth is you’ll never be ready if you don’t go out there, put yourself on the line and teach your first class.

I’ll never forget the first time my phone rang, a gym I applied to calling me last minute to sub a yoga class that night — a few hours away! My initial reaction was to make up some excuse of why I couldn’t do it. But thank god I said yes.

Was I ready? Well, not really, but I did it anyways, and you know what? I remember it being the time of my life. I remember thinking “I can’t believe I just pulled that off” and better yet, despite being a total newbie, I had students come up to me and thank me, and the next week the gym called me to offer that class to me on a permanent basis.

So here’s the deal: you will never feel ready. The only way to become ready is to jump in.

Now let me tell you, the first two years of teaching I was obsessively studying yoga on my own. All I did at home was read books about yoga, watch videos, practice to myself, practice with willing friends, and said yes to as many teaching opportunities that came my way.

As time went on, I didn’t even have to think about teaching — it came naturally.

Now did I take extra trainings? Yes, I took an apprenticeship, I often traveled to Los Angeles to study with my favorite teachers, but that was for the joy of it, and to enhance my own growth and learning.

The one thing that made me a better teacher was the actual teaching.

It was screwing up in class from time to time and learning from my action (p.s screwing up in class means you forget to teach a pose on one side of the body, but luckily your students will often remind you!)

The same holds true for business. Certainly, keep studying about your craft, and about business. Keep learning. There is so much you can learn on your own from books, videos, and when you feel called to it — from a course, or workshop. But don’t do it because you think you’re not good enough or because you think that one course is going to be the magic bullet to fix your business problems.

The only way to fix your business problems is to take action in your business and dare to make mistakes.

Dare to create things that may fail, and then learn and move onwards. I am a big fan of continuing education, and I continue to learn and take courses, and go on retreats for my personal self-care and self-development. But I do it for the joy of it, not because I think one more course will fix my problems. Sometimes a course, a book, a program, or a coach can help steer us in the direction we need to go, and give us perspective. However, you do not need to go broke or invest in things you don’t have the cash for.

I’ve seen it in Yoga where the newly trained teacher becomes an incessant consumer of the yoga industry: more programs, more trainings, more courses — just to feel “good enough” that one day they’ll be ready enough and knowledgeable enough to teach.

And I see it in business: people take a foundational business course (because we all need to start with something) and then they think they’re not good enough or not ready enough to get started so they keep taking course after course spending money they don’t have waiting to be ready to make that one-time six-figure launch, but all the while as they spend their savings on another course, they haven’t created anything.

They haven’t hustled or gone out of their comfort zone to actually get a client.

They hope that one more course will give them that lucky break.

But that day will never come. The only way to make that day come is to take action. Yes, learn, but then take lots of time to implement and take action. Even if that’s as simple as writing a blog post, keeping up with a newsletter, or starting to create your first product or offering. You need to start to make things happen.

3. I hate to say this but sadly, sometimes, you have to be careful who you trust.

People often think of yoga as spiritual and therefore kind, loving and generous.

However, I have experienced firsthand being lied to by a studio, having my intellectual property ripped off, and I’ve had friends who were duped out of tens of thousands of dollars in business deals gone wrong.

And in the business world, other entrepreneurs will sometimes rip off your stuff.

I don’t say this to paint a grim picture because I do believe that most humans are kind. But some people, when they are stretched, their true colors shine (and sometimes those colors ‘aint so pretty).

So my advice for diminishing betrayal is: Don’t betray yourself.

If you have a feeling like the person you are about to work for or work together with isn’t quite right, even if it looks all sparkly and shiny on the outside: well, stay away.

Because if you betray your own intuition and feelings, don’t be surprised if you get betrayed by that person later down the line.

This whole notion of betrayal being a reflection of your own self betrayal was something that became evident to me by two sources. One was in an interview where Bryan Elliot interviewed Cesar Millan — the famous Dog Whisperer — and Cesar talks about betrayal and the importance of having “your pact.” This is one interview I highly recommend, and you can catch it here.

Another place I learned about the power of betrayal was in a book called Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin (totally recommend this too.)

The lesson is: the best way to prevent betrayal in business is to make sure that you are not betraying yourself. Then, if it happens to you — use it as an opportunity to grow and explore the pain that comes from it.

You know yoga is meant to awaken us, to enlighten — which simply means to turn on the light. And it does this because it is so confronting. Well, let me tell you it is, and so is business.

Business is the greatest self-development and spiritual journey you can ever go on, if you dare to open to the practice of awareness and learn from what happens to you on the business journey.

If you can learn from the “good” and the “bad” then everything is ultimately a good experience, because it’s from the challenges that we grow (even though in the moment it does not feel fun)

It’s the challenges that help us become more powerful from the inside out and to trust ourselves at a deeper level, and to act with more honesty and integrity in our own lives.

Tova Payne is a business coach to soulful entrepreneurs who want to create a business with integrity, inner-power and creativity. For a free guide on starting and finishing your business projects and a meditation audio to gain clarity in your business, sign up at www.tovapayne.com
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

These 5 Pablo Neruda Quotes Taught Us About Love And Life

Pablo Neruda, renowned Chilean poet, was known for his beautiful love poems. To celebrate what would’ve been his 110th birthday here are some of his most memorable quotes.

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Career Day: The Lessons Children Taught Me

Childhood was a period of purity and wonder. It is where our true character was built and our core values took shape. It was a time where we were free and wrote on our blank slates, way before we were infected and paralyzed by outside expectations or the thoughts others had of us.

As we age, the braveness and boldness of childhood are challenged and tainted to such a deepening degree that it immobilizes some of us today. The greatness and the complex simplicity of the daringness of the innocent ways of our childhood were progressively juxtaposed with the defeating feelings of shame, guilt and self-doubt.

Having no children, I never really gave these notions a compressed thought process until a few a weeks ago. My youngest niece asked me to speak at her school on career day and I said yes, because how hard can it be to speak to kids in kindergarten — eighth grade, right? Wrong.

As a trained therapist and certified coach, I decided to simply lump my career as being a “helping professional.” I focused my talk on my work with seniors and how I was responsible for supervising programs that ensured that hundreds of low income seniors had a hot meal to eat each day, and provided them with health and wellness opportunities that improve their quality of life. I also talked about my writing.

The morning of, on my walk to the school I felt as if was being tossed to the lions. Was I ready for the brutally honest and unfiltered ways of children? Will I hear crickets and see eye rolling instead of the chest puffing caused by the thunderous applause I envisioned after my speech?

“You are a writer?!” yelled one in shock.

“Yes, I just co-authored a book. And I write for different publications.”

“OMG,” mused another, “that is so cool.” Oh, I thought to myself, it is.

How much do you earn? You went to college?! What is a master’s? What’s the best part of your job?

Worst? Seniors exercise?! What’s your passion? What’s your dream job? What celebrities have you interviewed?

My favorite, because it stopped me on my tracks and prompted me to begin finding the lessons of the day, was from a kindergarten.

“Did you…ummm barr…ush your teeff today?”

“Yes,” I smiled, what da… damn, I know I should stop drinking coffee but, “umm why do you ask?”

“Beeee…cauusse my mom says it’s impooooortant.”

In all her splendor, I practiced my patience, because it took her about 30 seconds to utter each syllable. I got it. She was teaching me the lesson that she was taught.

Towards the end, depleted and not sure if my work was as interesting to them as the local TV celebrity to the left and the coloring book-giving, bullet proof vest showing policeman to the right, one beautiful little third grader mumbled to herself “you are a light.”

I looked at her confused. “Excuse me” I said cordially, “can you repeat yourself.”

“You are a light,” she said matter of factly.

“A light? Why do you say that?” I countered, confused.

“Because we are learning in the bible that when you help people, you are a light.”

I felt my soul smile. “Thank you. I never thought of myself as a light before.” This reminded me that at the end of the day we simply want to feel like we matter.

The questions where thought provoking, inspiring, hilarious, amusing and intrusive. But I didn’t mind because I was there to tell my story. After the day was over, I realized that the kids, with their hunger for knowledge and eagerness to understand a period of life that they will be responsible for creating, were the ones that unearthed in me lessons that I learned so long ago and forgot I possess. I offer you to consider being conscious of applying these simple approaches and challenge yourself to create yet a bigger world of possibilities and reclaim your inner child genius.

Be Inquisitive

When we move through life without wonder and queries we enable stagnation and pacification. Like children, ask questions without reservations and trepidation as there is no such thing as a wrong question. Challenge others and particularly yourself to ask the important and tough questions because answers, simply be aware, is what guides our paths in life.

Have Audacity

Be a prisoner of your own confidence. A 3rd grader told me he wanted to be a teacher, oh and a race car driver, oh, and a paleontologist. His audacity to believe that he actually could was infectious, because why couldn’t he? Children live in a space where all and anything is possible. And they are. As children, we lived in that space too and we need to remind ourselves of the possibilities that audaciousness uncovers.

Be Willing Not Able

At times when opportunities present themselves we refuse to engage because we either do or don’t have the ability. Like children who don’t possess much experience, move through life with the willingness to participate as opposed to leaning on your ability to do so. After all that is how we learn, by being willing and open to opportunities for growth.

Laugh More

At each class I spoke, I at 6’4″, looking like a pretzeled jolly giant sat in the teeny tiny chair the youngsters use as well. And almost always the entire class erupted in laughter as they saw me struggle to sit and get up. The halls of the school too were pregnant with laughter. It changed my day’s trajectory and reminded me of the contagious life and mesmerizing light that innocent laughter provides and carries. Be intentional about laughing more, at yourself and others without malice, and simply for the joy of it.

Stay Present

Children do not focus or even understand tomorrow, they are cemented in today and the present and because of it live in a stage of wonder, not anxiety. As such, being past or future driven is counterproductive to the power and gifts that living in the now provides. If you believe that time passes quickly, meditate and be still, you will realize that time is abundant.

Dismiss Perfection

After career day I realized that these kids were not looking to me, or any speaker, as a model of perfection, or for the right answers, but rather for clues, information and inspiration that will help them determine the person they want to become. Curiosity and acknowledging and accepting our imperfections allow us to color outside the lines of our lives and thus opens up one of unimaginable possibilities.

Marianne Williamson said it best. “Children are not children. They are just younger people. We have the same soul at 60 that we had at 40, and the same soul at 25 that we had when we were 5. If anything, children are wiser. They know more than we do, and have at least as much to teach us as we have to teach them.”
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Happy 92nd Birthday, Betty White! Here Are 6 Lessons You’ve Taught Us

Never change for a guy: Rose is giddy when she meets her soon-to-be serious boyfriend Miles, a college professor. Worried she’s not smart enough for him, Rose backs out of their date one night, convincing Blanche to take her place. After learning that Miles had a miserable time without her, Rose summons the courage to bare her insecurities about the relationship. “You’re very special Rose,” he says.
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