For many years when my children were small one of their favorite birthday rituals was the bouquet of balloons I would bring them, one balloon for each year of their life. We would make a family circle around the birthday child and they would let go of the balloons one by one, making a wish and letting it fly up into the sky. Sometimes they would let go them all at once with a giant wish, standing with their heads cranked back until the balloons were completely out of sight.
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The silence surrounding domestic violence is worse than how we treat sex in our culture. Indeed it is a reflection of how we treat sex in our culture because a lot of domestic violence includes sexual violence that is so common in so many families that it is no wonder that sexual violence persists in so many other spaces we live in. Actually the same could be said about violence in general, what we grow up with, how we are treated as children and how we witness other adults treated in early formative years defines us for decades, sometimes for lifetimes.
The most interesting moments of life are the unanticipated times when things are not happening the way you think they will. I am just returning from a long journey, which I thought would be the start of a new beginning for my business. So much for psychic tarot card readings interpreting business offers. I am still not sure, as I go over the last several days of meetings, when this dream offer evaporated. Was it gone before I arrived?
One of the songs that stuck to me most closely as a child was 500 miles. I may have learned it at summer camp, but the gist of it is a journey song that takes the singer hundreds of miles from his home. Three times up and down 20,000 feet and I am hundreds of- thousands even, miles away from home. I have never been to Vermont and it as beautiful, even in the dark as I have heard.
I have owned an iPhone for years and have been hanging out on the edges of technology thanks to the young tech-savvy employees in my business and my kids, whose childhoods grew up on continuous, even if controlled, doses of the web world. I am just competent enough to be dangerous is what I always say and grateful that I have young people around me most days to show me the way back to digital functioning. I skype regularly with customers and vendors and spend hours daily attending to a variety of business functions online.
But it wasn’t until today when my daughter took my phone and Face Timed her older brother that I had the full emotional experience of what the future holds. Here was my boy, his face filling the screen of my phone, his smirk and gestures and voice so close that it felt like he should be in the room. I finally had that Apple intimacy on my iPhone that is depicted in their prime time commercials. We were together even though we were hundreds of miles apart.
Today is the first night of the Jewish New Year, and after 50 celebrations I have only just learned that this high holy day commemorates the union of Adam and Eve. I am celebrating with love and gratitude as I welcome in this new year in San Francisco. Sitting high among the lights of this beautiful metropolis with a view to the water and the bridges in every direction, I tried to open the party up to my new friends but ended up celebrating alone.
I landed in San Francisco late Saturday for the SOCAP pre conference Accelerator experience for Entrepreneurs. First day, we did speed dating, instagram video making, and visualization meditations at this cool permanent HUB of startups in downtown San Fran. I could have stayed free at a hostel, but am dreaming big now, so I went for a booking.com deal when I first learned I won the spot here. I got a great deal on the Westin a couple of blocks away. Magically, circumstances evolved that landed me in one of their beautiful preferred suites on the 18th floor. The view is amazing in every direction.
I am a big believer following my why. Many days I don’t know how I am going to solve the problem in front of me, how I am going to come up with the money to take the next step, how I am going to make it work. It is easy to get stuck on the how. I have to work to stay away from wanting the answers to the hows and focus on the why. Meditation helps pull me back into myself so I can hear the small reassuring voice that lives in most of us unheeded. Exercise grounds me into the moment, slowing down my thinking so life can intervene as it will if we are patient. But then some days we get a gift that says it all.
There is nothing more effective at keeping your body well over time than exercise. Recent studies have demonstrated that exercise doesn’t only lift your mood and keep you strong but it also actually transforms you on the most primal cellular level. Apparently our DNA is not static and the language of movement and exertion is what speaks to them most persuasively.
I was searching for slide materials for my upcoming talk on Sexual Dysfunction for a group of physicians next month when I came across the first image I have ever seen of the interior of the clitoral organ system. I was in my late 40s the first time the clitoris was imaged and it wasn’t until the mid 1990s that the clitoris was medically understood as an organ system and not just a single glans on the top of the vagina. I have been thinking about the clitoris a lot lately because I am still trying to figure out how Good Clean Love can be instrumental in stopping the archaic practice of clitoral circumcision, a practice performed on over 100 million women on the planet. Actually, it is performed on girls, little girls, who don’t even know what it means to be sexual. Often it is the girl’s mother who brings her to a midwife to cut off her ability to feel sexually, because it is a widely held belief that a woman who experiences pleasure is both unclean and unmarriageable.