I read a book that everyone seems to have read, and I found out it’s been made into a movie a while back. It’s called “Sarah’s Key”. I guess I am not on top of things, but that’s never bothered me before.
Hey, I just discovered The Public Library again too. It’s so great, because as much as I long to be swimming in the ocean these days, or relaxing in a thermal bath in Switzerland, I can’t. But getting lost in a good book is the next best thing, so go out and get your library card and start to read: and, it’s free.
I have a friend who is so cool. His name is Tosh, and he has this site that has his book reviews. Whatever book he has said is great, well, it is. Check it out. You will find a book that is new to you, and perfect for your next mental get-away.
The beauty of flowers, the color of the blue sky, the smell of honey and clover and fresh-cut grass in the air…it sure makes me smile and feel like there is nothing wrong with the world.
I am feeling grateful and drinking in what is here in my garden.
I’ll finish this week’s post with a poem that I thought was by Rumi, but one that is actually by Rashani Rea. It’s a poem that you might want to read out loud: Enjoy!
There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow beyond all grief which leads to joy.
And a fragility out of which depth emerges strength.
There is a cry deeper than all sound whose serrated edges cut the heart as we break open to the place which is unbreakable and whole.
I was one with Elvis when I was about 8 or 9. It was in a dream, and boy, did it feel real. Not the sexually acrobatic kind of oneness, no, it was a true melting of souls. I can still remember how delicious it felt to merge with a human being. It was so good, and truly, I don’t even think I knew who Elvis really was. I do remember my Mom listening to Jerry Vale and Peggy Lee a lot, and my Dad liked Elvis, but I didn’t realize what a phenomenon he was back then. I must have been picking it up via the collective consciousness.
But then again, I also had dreams of being dissolved with God, you know, the Almighty. I guess you could say that I have a bit of the devotee in me, and secretly long to become one with the Universe. Still. Or maybe it was just part of the Path of merging and melting which would eventually lead me to find my Guru.
What brought all this on? Well, hearing that Davy Jones, one of the Monkees, passed away this week, made me take a little trip back in time, remembering their music, which I really liked. I don’t want to say “loved”, since it wasn’t really used then like it is now – the word, love, I mean. You know, these days, it’s like: I love my iPhone, I love my iPad, I love so-and-so’s chocolate cupcakes, etc. It’s interesting to think back to the way people talked, and instead of saying how much you loved everything that you liked, or how awesome everything is that you think is neat, you kind of just kept it to yourself and savored it.
Anyways, even though I wasn’t in love with Davy, his death made me remember how much I really liked their music. In fact, I had all of their albums, played them over and over again, and knew all the words to all of their songs. I watched them every week for many years on TV, probably not missing an episode. So for what it’s worth, I wanted to share my favorite song from the Monkees. RIP Davy Jones.
We arrived in Africa after a grueling but fun 29-hour trip. The heat here is overwhelming…a constant sauna…but, since it’s dry heat, you can tolerate it.
After getting situated in the place we are staying, we walked to a nearby mall and had a delicious dinner of Indian food and went to see “New Year’s Eve” in English–at an air conditioned theater. We could easily have been back home, except for the “chicken” flavored popcorn. The next day, we explored Becky’s city, visiting her university and moving her into her new dorm room. We were also visited by a stranger, who scaled the wall and the iron gate at the house, apparently to rob the house. But, since I thought he was the gardener, who was due to come that morning, I went up and introduced myself to him and said, “You must be Mr. Mompati! How nice to meet you!” He looked startled and said, “Yes, Mr. Mompati. Can you let me in?” He was pointing to my host’s office door. I said, “Yes, I can, but I need to go get dressed first,” as I was in my bath robe. When I came back out, he was gone. I didn’t realize his true identity until the real Mr. Mompati arrived the next morning with a big smile on his face. I thought he was trying to pull a fast one on me, until I realized that he knew all about me and my girls–and my purpose for staying in the house. After some discussion back and forth, I realized how close I had come to letting a thief walk right into my host’s office!
We tried to start the big jeep of a car that we were going to borrow–the one with an extra tank for long hauls–but it wouldn’t even turn over, so we have ended up renting a car. I can’t say I’m too disappointed: 1) it is automatic instead of manual, and I was having anxiety attacks thinking about trying to shift with my left hand, while getting used to sitting on the right side of the car and driving on the left side of the road 2) it is gloriously air conditioned! It doesn’t have 4-wheel drive, which might be a problem in the game reserves, but I’m hoping we can work around that. Now, if I can just stop putting on the windshield wipers every time I want to signal that I’m going left or right (since even the hand controls are reversed on the wheel).
Tonight, we take our malaria medicine and get ready to leave early in the morning for Khama Rhino Sanctuary–and Tuli Game Reserve–that is, if we can find our way to the road!
There’s a lot of time and money spent on face creams. Both by us women, and in advertising dollars. To make us look younger, flawless…perfect! Just pick up any magazine while you’re waiting to check out at the grocery store and flip through the pages. The beautiful faces that look at you are simply stunning, aren’t they?
As I see myself getting older, I’ve noticed that there has been the thought that if I get this or that face cream, I will look like I did when I was younger, or at the very least, better. I have tried samples of Estee Lauder and felt like I’ve been putting something with silicon on my face. Interesting, but too weird. I’ve tried Lancome, and nearly got knocked out by the strong perfumed scent. I’ve tried Chanel and Guerlain, and could not justify the price tag. Then I thought the drugstore products, like Roche or L’Oreal would be good. They stung my face, and smelled too strongly of synthetic perfume.
I’ve been big into the natural and organic movement since the ’70’s, way before big companies got interested in the movement, and bought most of them out. Those were the days when being a vegetarian was considered very odd…cult-ish even!
So I just wanted to let you know that one of my 2 favorite face creams* is made by Wild Sage Botanicals. Every product is hand-made by Garima, the woman behind this very cool “company”. I think I have to say that again: every product is made in small batches, by hand, by Garima! With most of the herbs from her own garden. Pretty incredible, really. With wonderful smells that are euphoric and make me happy. Wild Sage’s Rose Geranium Face Lotion is my pick for the best moisturizer for my skin. Check out Garima’s site and see if you don’t just love her products. She has drawn all the plants and things on the site herself too. And her prices are very affordable. Which is so important these days when most of us are watching every penny that we spend.
If you do happen to order some of Garima’s products, please let me know. I wonder if you will become a loyal fan like I have been for the past 20 years!? When something is good, I don’t think you have to shout it from the top of a mountain – you just know.
And if you have a few moments, check out this informative clip below. I think we need a little reminder on why the stuff that is being mass-marketed and fed to us, and readily available is not something that we want to buy!
*P.S.: The other face cream that I use is one that is not available for sale, yet! It’s made by a close friend of mine, in small batches, and it is what I call, “The Perfect Cream”. It’s based on a recipe by one of my favorite herbalists, Rosemary Gladstar. It smells like a bouquet of roses (real ones), and it goes in and makes my skin feel so good. I keep saying she should sell it. Maybe one day she will… I will let you know.
Nationally known motivational speaker Reeta Wolfsohn, CMSW, is founder of the Financial Social Work discipline and a therapist, author and popular expert for magazines/websites, on money from a psycho-social perspective. Reeta’s work helps people take control of their money and lives.
The Center for Financial Social Workoffers certification programs for social workers/non-social workers and a dynamic website with a Learning Center and forums that educate, motivate and support sustainable, long-term financial behavioralchange. We recently interviewed Reeta about her work and her life:
1) Define financial social work, as you put it into practice.
Financial Social Work is designed to help people to begin the journey to sustainable, long-term financial behavioral change. It is an interactive, introspective approach which provides insight into how and why you are in your current financial circumstances and then connects you to where you want to be in the future. This process allows the creation and completion of a success plan and strategy which is the foundation for a better financial future. 2) Tell us a little bit about how you came to do the work you are doing.
I had my own special events company in NY for 18 years and then returned to graduate school to earn my master’s degree in social work. In graduate school, women’s issues was the topic of my master’s thesis and eventually led me to create the word “Femonomics” and the Femonomics Institute, in 1997. For me, the definition of the word “Femonomics” is “the gender of money” (based on the fact that women earn less, are traditionally charged more–for products and services–and because women live longer they make up 75% of the elderly living below the poverty line.) In 2003, the popularity of my work made it less gender-specific and much more geared to behavioral change, as it became obvious that: Until and Unless Behavior Changes – NOTHING Changes. That is when it became Financial Social Work and the Center for Financial Social Work. However, Femonomics holds a very special place in my heart and in my work.
3) What is the most gratifying part of your work?
The work I do fulfills me on every level. Having the opportunity to help people take control of their money and their lives and knowing how much that can improve every aspect of their future makes all of the time and work I put in worthwhile.
4) What is the greatest frustration?
In these very difficult economic times, there is an ever growing need for services but an ever diminishing availability. I am also frustrated at not being able to reach more people with the message that there is always HOPE; it is NEVER too late to improve your financial future.
5) How do you think this work has changed your own life?
My work is my passion and my mission in life. It doesn’t feel like work because it means so much to me. Except for spending time with my two-year-old twin grandchildren (Hannah & Robert), I am either writing, teaching, training, keynoting, etc., about the psychosocial aspects of money.
The Center has certified hundreds and hundreds of men and women across the US and in other countries to do Financial Social Work. Knowing that my work is helping our graduates to help their clients create personal awareness and growth as well as to increase their financial knowledge is an incredibly powerful feeling–which keeps me doing all I can to find new and better ways to help more people.
6) If you had to give women over 50 just 2 pieces of financial advice, what would they be?
1. Make friends with your money and allow it to nurture you, rather than to control your happiness or sense of self.
2. Every small step you take in the direction of a better financial future moves you in the right direction, so allow your small steps to add up and to facilitate your journey to financial behavioral change.