Earlier this year I attended the event of the year hosted by San Francisco Business Times – “The Book of the List Party”.
I was there with my friend Sandra Philips, branding and PR professional, and we were after having talked with various people, the exhibiting companies and enjoyed a little bit of the delicious food, standing catching up ourselves. Up to us comes a man wanting to talk, and asks how we are doing this evening. As a response when we are returning the question he says: “It is great. I have had a lot of exciting conversations”. Later on when I hear what his profession is I can’t help but smile – given that this event was slightly male dominated, I am sure he had a lot of “exciting conversations” – he was at the time launching a course for men learning how to come eight times in one evening.
He talks some about what he does, and then he turns the focus on us. “But I am curious – how is it for you both to be single in San Francisco?” Surprised I express “What makes you think that?” He continues: “Well, you know, it is not easy to find a great partner. You may meet someone who is considerate, successful, handsome, and tall – but can he dance?” Now I was even more surprised. I know I am easy to read (in my mind) – but THAT easy? He suddenly gained some points.
The question is: can he dance? How many of you is that important to? And what is the reason for dancing being important?
There are certainly fun ways to gain attention to and awarenes of something important. I started writing this post some time ago, and after a discussion yesterday at the Commercial Theater Institute Production Workshop in New York City it got new energy…
Not too long ago I was invited to a stand-up comedian show at the Punch Line in San Francisco to see the Pink Ribbon Comedy Tour, a group of four professional stand-up comedians traveling across the country to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the fight against breast cancer. The San Francisco Examiner wrote about the tour here. I wouldn’t be able to share a good joke with you from the show, but below is important information that the female audience got on the way out from the theater.
www.komen.orgis the place to go to learn more or join the ride for the cure against breast cancer.
This youtube movie however, is a fun way to raise awareness that I can share. It brings the joy of the JK wedding entrance I referred to in August “This Time I Dance” . What I know now is that there is a also a musical being written related to the same topic. Just make a mental note, and bookmark www.christinahelena.com. As a founder of her non-profit organization, Christina help motivate children diagnosed with cancer. She is also a talented actor, dancer, writer and producer…
May we all celebrate the cure of cancer one day. This week I celebrate that my friends Jenni and Karl had favorable or curable diagnosis of cancer.
One thing we can celebrate today is (the Swedish) Mothers Day.
Have a happy one – invite her for a dance!
And to all women – don’t forget to check the info below on your way out…
Breast Self-Awareness (BSA)
1. Know your risk
Talk to your family to learn about your family health history
Talk to your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer
2. Get Screened
Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at 20, and every year starting at 40
3. Know what is normal for you
See your health care provider right away if you notice any of these breast changes:
* Lump, hard knot, or thickening
* Swelling, warmth, redness, or darkening
* Change in the size or shape of the breast
* Dimpling or puckering of the skin
* Itchy, sclay sore or rash on the nipple
* Pulling in of your nipple or other parts
* Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
* New pain in one spot that does not go away
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
Maintain a healthy weight
Add exercise into your routine
Limit alcohol intake
The other day I came back from an errand. I am about to round the corner to turn to my street and realize that there is a new(ish) Irish bakery right there. My reaction was – this is funny, I recently left a full time job with an Irish company since 8 years, and now I have an Irish new connection right by my house, and it feels comforting. Coming home doing some unrelated research I stumble on a poem calling attention to the Parkinson’s Awareness Month at Guy Kawasaki’s alltop.com. Were you aware?
Why, I’d even say it’s downright obnoxious at times
From what I’ve heard, what I’ve experienced and seen.
It steals your smile and attacks your joy
causes you to fall, it can even make you drool.
Tries as hard as it may, throwing obstacles in the way,
Often leaving you to look like a fool.
Your muscles begin to weaken,
your voice may start to go
things seem to worsen day to day –
all the possibilities, you just don’t want to know.
Your shuffle turns to freezing
and doing things get much more tough.
Still – don’t give up and don’t you dare give in
Instead, determine to fight harder against all that stuff.
On days when the sky seems cloudy and gray
And you want to quit, throw in the towel and check out,
Have faith there’s a day when a cure will be found,
The day you will dance, you will sing, you will shout.
by Sherri Woodbridge
Alltop.com is a great resource in many fields, for more on Parkinson’s click here. Finding a cure for Parkinson’s is one of the treatments that “my” Irish company Elan Pharmaceuticals is focusing on in the efforts to define the future of neurological therapies. They are not alone. You are not alone. Have faith.
Have faith in the day you will dance, sing and shout.
It was on Martha Stewart show and Late Night with Connan O’Brian… the “new” trend of fitness in Hollywood: Pole Dancing. Not that I watch TV, but I had to find some decent reference points… 😉 Because it can be. Thank you for Internet and youtube!
It’s probably not that new at this stage, but it seems to gain ground popping up here and there. It’s on the Bay Area National Dance Week program. It was offered through Groupon – from which I found that there are two studios in my own neighborhood! And of course I had to try it out. Forwarded the Groupon email to some girlfriends, and off we went 10am a Saturday morning. Per Groupon, there were 437 women who bought an intro class to pole dancing that one day.
I know – I ended the last post with the questions: Which dance do you want to dance? Whom’s dance do you want to follow? This was not quite what I meant. However… I would say it was a lot of fun, and it’s a perfect something to do with your girlfriends at a bachelorette party or a birthday. We were a group of 12 inbetween 30-50 years old. It’s done in a warm, safe, intimate and humoristic environment at S Factor. The lesson might start as any other yoga/Pilates session – and it brings the body awareness and body connection to a whole new level…
The number one quote I have from the teacher – especially when walking around the pole and doing the Fire Fly (see youtube movie above for demo) – is:
When in doubt – put your butt out.
For some creatures, this pole dancing thing seems totally natural… who knew.
In either way – it’s a really good workout for your core and provides excellent muscle toning. Of course.
“Nothing happens until something moves.”
A friend of mine sent me this quote recently – in relation to the software I am working on. That is my interpretation. 😉 Because it makes things move. Also, as an entrepreneur – movement is the force of creation – so act now!
Talking about movement – that instantly makes me think of dancing. Surprise.
Last week the dance project was in the form of a dance flashmob. The first I participated in, which was interesting. If you want to know about other flashmobs, or create one, you can check on www.flashmob.com.
Watching the instructions for this one on youtube made me think of a visit with one of my friends in Sweden in January. He opened the door and all of his three sons came running, “here she is – the dancer”. (Talk about riding on an old wave). They were all (age 1.5-5 years) practicing for something that would be a REALLY cool flashmob…
They showed me, and expected me – since “I am a dancer” – to show them how to do the more advanced stuff. I would propose that you all do it. Kids and grown ups – from beginning to end. Perfect little break before you cook your Friday night dinner, or when you have a party or gathering with your friends, or if you just woke up. Just click herenow, turn up the volume and click on the “Discodans”- sign on the right bar. Click on step (steg) 1 through step 9, one at a time and do the movements until you master them… Really – give it a good try.
I know – for this you don’t only need to be a good dancer, but also an advanced yogi or yogini… Or a very flexible child. My friends children gave it all what they had. Hope you tried it out – your body’s way – unless you have good health insurance…
Moving – almost any form – is good for you, and your business.
If you prefer to be entertained by others, here is a flashmob initiated by the Swedish dance group Bounce as a tribute to Michael Jackson.
In the moment of leaving Sweden after my fathers passing sadness came over me. Sitting in the airplane, sending a last text message to my mom thanking for the ride to the airport and expressing my love and support to her the tears came to my eyes. The crying came like a wave over me and I was doing my best to hide it sitting by the window and breath through it – but it’s not easy to be quiet when you are hulking like a baby trying to get air…
Stillness came. Thoughts, impressions and memories of the last 7 weeks flashed by. And then emptiness. I tried to think ahead, what is waiting in San Francisco, start the creation of a new business… During the whole process of my fathers last weeks, the energy was still high, or constant, the ideas for the future came left and right – I was sharing some of them with my dad and he said “That is great, if you can make it happen”. Now I could see all the ideas, people, possible partners, supporters, meetings etc in a distance – knowing the existence – but there was no energetic connection.
I pulled myself together, wiped by eyes, took a deep breath and glanced to the right – there was a couple sitting next to me. I noticed and thought: “Interesting – she is using The Book”. And then I fell asleep. That helped.
The couple sitting next to me turned out to be teachers in music and preschool from the northern part of Sweden, currently working with music and cafeteria for the Swedish Church in New York, living in the top of the same building at East 48th and 5th avenue. They had done similar jobs over the summer breaks a few times at other places in Europe, and thought it would be an interesting break with 2 years on Manhattan… I love it. I’m sure their story inspires other people to do something similar if the interest is there. Break out from the normal rythm for a period – so life enriching, and totally possible.
I had to ask about that Book. The Book that is the inspiration to my software idea. I have heard about it, I have seen it in the stores, I have used it, I have given it away – but I haven’t seen anyone actually use it. Maybe because you prefer to do it in your own private space. “Oh – my husband gave it to me before I got pregnant with our first child, and now I have used it every day for over 30 years! I am so picky about the one I buy, so last time I wrote on blank sheets for almost six months before I found a version that I liked and meet my needs”. A smile came to my face and I felt a little candle was lit. I told her about my idea, and she said “Funny that you say that – while writing today the thought came to me for the first time: How would it be if I wrote this on a computer”. I choose to claim: it’s a sign.
Layover in Newark and I had to charge my iPhone. Somehow I got contact with the guy at the power station who was just about done charging his Mac Book. Since mine was out of battery and the family’s dear puppy had bitten the power cord in two pieces, I kindly asked to borrow his for a few minutes. Another fellow Swedish traveler in need came and asked if he may borrow the USB port in my computer to charge his phone. And sure – life is about give and take – it all works out in the end! My savior was the drummer for Rob Thomas, on the way to tour Australia. When he heard I came from Sweden he got a dream like expression on his face with a big smile and said “Memories from Sweden…” They had played at a MTV Europe Gala at Hilton in Stockholm a few years ago. I know Sweden is outstanding. Still – it is not the first time I see that expression on a guys face thinking back to the visit in Sweden like if it was heaven on earth. It makes me feel like there is something I am missing…
During the small hours at home I woke up early due to jetlag and thought – who is that Rob Thomas anyway? Smiling when I found out – I’m so funny – I love music, it moves me, I promote it, sing it, listen to it, dance to it – it makes me high – still: I don’t mean to be ignorant, but I don’t know many of the artists or groups names. Must be information overflow or something. But who hasn’t danced to “Smooth” – Gimme your heart, make it real, Or else forget about it…
When searching on youtube I found another sweet song by Rob Thomas: Little Wonders.
Let it go
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don’t you know
The hardest part is over
Let it in
Let your clarity define you
In the end
You will only just remember how it feels
Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours
These small hours
Let it slide
Let your troubles fall behind you
Let it shine,
Till you feel it all around you
And I don’t mind
If it’s me you need to turn to
We’ll get by
It’s the heart that really matters in the end
What are the little wonders in your day, if you think about it?
I so wish I had had a camera to capture the moment… I just came home from an excellent brunch at Pamelo, a small cozy place in Noe Valley. Accompanied by Fran and Zack.
Fran I know through four different connections. She showed up at my a cappella groups concert because she knew one of the singing group members, she came with a colleague of mine and recognized me from the Nia class. Most recently I met her when she was performing in a singing workshop that I also did a couple of years ago. The world is very small. Apropos spontaneity and singing – without getting to far out from the story line – the singing workshop we both did was led by jazz, R&B and soul singer Jesse Foster. The concept is very cool – you work with Jesse as a vocal coach in individual sessions and four Sunday afternoons in a row you perform with his band at Rasselas Jazzclub on Fillmore in the jazz district together with other vocal students of his. Prepared in the sense that you have chosen and worked on the songs to sing, spontaneous in the sense that there is no practice with the band ahead of time. You just do it. And it is fun! So talented musicians, wonderful people, supportive audience. Safe. I can warmly recommend it! (Check out the links if you are interested to step out of the shower singing stage and do the same!) Soon you will see Fran on the music scene in San Francisco.
Zack is a multi doer. I participated in one of his first Nia classes at Dance Mission when I was just about to move to San Francisco. The theme was “Transition” – how appropriate. Today he had another excellent class – the fact that he is also an actor and brings in that spontaneous playfulness in the room makes it a lot of fun. And so to the story… towards the end of the brunch today he suddenly reaches for the spoon in my cafe latte, takes his water glass, clinks the glass while standing up. The murmur in the room stops and he has full attention: “I just want to toast for spontaneity!” he says with a steady voice and a big smile and raises the glass. Facing the wall, I’m turning around and every face in the room cracks up to a big smile and a common toast, laughter and joy. There are many ways you can show up in life. Such a small gesture – such a great impact.
The sense of joy created in the room reminded me of the sense of joy created by the movie Validation (below). Take a moment to watch it – get inspiration and share the beauty! Who can you make smile today?