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When “Hey Mommy” turns into “Good Morning!” An excerpt from Practical Enlightenment

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When “Hey Mommy” turns into “Good Morning!” An excerpt from Practical Enlightenment

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At 23, Val was thrilled to have gotten her first job after college, working for a PR firm in New York City. The job allowed her to utilize her schooling, communication skills and even her knowledge of the French language. But when she tried to imagine the types of challenges she would face in her new job, she never imagined that walking that last half block to the building where she worked would be the most daunting.

Val has lustrous deep brown hair, a compact and shapely figure and an elegant air about her. In the beginning, her job was typically fast-paced with a significant learning curve as she got to know the clients and juggled the tasks that were hers to manage – phones, emails, packages and deadlines. But as she slipped into the routine of a busy office, she was excited about the work and her newly minted career. All of this was about to change one sultry summer morning in an unexpected way.

Val bounded up the stairs of the PATH train that takes riders from New Jersey to their Manhattan jobs each day. When she exited the station at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue, it was already very warm outside; the concrete buildings all around her were still holding warmth from the previous day. There was the slightest rancid smell of garbage in the air but oddly enough, she liked it. It smelled like New York City in the summer – big and hot and bustling with people. Like a girl in love, she was thoroughly excited to be there and part of it all.

In a loose, easy stride, Val sauntered toward 28th Street, happy that she was wearing strappy little flats and that she didn’t need to wear stockings beneath her flirty skirt. As the sun peeked out from between the tall buildings, she took a deep breath and felt on top of the world. As she turned the corner leaving 6th Avenue behind her, 28th Street was alive and bustling. That particular block was the heart of the flower district and in the stores that lined the street were flowers of all types, year-round. One storefront specialized in dried arrangements while the next had orchids. Others had towering green leafy plants and still others had boxes of cut flowers such as roses or tropical Hawaiian blooms. No matter the weather, this block always looked and smelled fresh in the mornings. It was where flower shop owners and designers flocked to buy their fresh flowers, ribbons, baskets and all that went into floral designs.

When Val was about halfway between the corner and her building, she saw a man leaning on a doorframe, who began to give her a catcall. He made her skin crawl and her bright outlook on the day got dim. “Hey Mommy. Mmmm you’re looking gooooood,” he said, drawing out his words. “You look good enough to eat.”

Val hunched her shoulders and kept on moving. Just looking at him made her want to run home and take a shower. What a creep, she thought, as his long, low whistle of appreciation followed her up the street. With relief, she finally stepped into the vestibule of the building where she worked, glad that this small ordeal was over. Little did she know it had just begun.

For months, this man hassled her on her way to work whenever he was out front – which was often. She tried approaching her building on the opposite side of the street but he usually caught sight of her coming and his cat calls and whistles got louder to make up for the distance. Mornings became a tense time during which Val felt as if she had to run a gauntlet each day in order to get to work. While she still loved her job, these daily interactions dimmed her enthusiasm because she started her workday worried, not knowing which days it would be “safe” to walk down the street and which ones that man would make the short walk a living nightmare.

It was an early spring weekend when all of that changed, but she didn’t know it at the time. Val’s bosses invited her to attend a seminar that was being offered by Ariel and Shya Kane, who were their business coaches, about Money, Success and Happiness. It was called Wealth as a Lifestyle, which sounded good to her and they said it was about Instantaneous Transformation – whatever that meant.

That Friday before heading down to the workshop, Val stayed at work a bit later than usual. Feeling a little nervous about attending a self-help course with her bosses, she lingered in the bathroom, fussing with her hair and makeup. When she looked in the mirror, Val saw her own dark eyes gazing back looking all serious and subdued. She snorted and cracked a smile at herself. What might her bosses see, she reasoned, that was so terrible?

Later that evening when she arrived at the seminar, the Kanes greeted her warmly. Val felt herself relax a little but she wished she could go back uptown to her desk and bury herself in work because that would be easier than being with people as they arrived, most of whom were strangers to her. She had planned to sit unobtrusively in the back but another young woman, Christina, had invited Val to sit next to her, so she sat much closer to the front than she had envisioned.

At first Ariel and Shya introduced the idea of listening – truly listening to hear what another has to say from his or her perspective. They encouraged people to let go of their agendas and what had happened during the day and to use listening as a tool to get into the moment.

“When you get into the moment, your life will transform,” Shya promised.
Intrigued with the idea, she leaned forward slightly in her seat. There had been plenty of times during that day when she had worried about the future, mentally chewing on things she was afraid to start for fear of getting it all wrong. Maybe there was something to this listening thing.

Next came the Three Principles of Instantaneous Transformation. Val quickly lost track of who was saying what since the Kanes had this way of speaking in which one would start a sentence and the other would finish it. Neither one of them looked bothered by the other or seemed to feel like they were being interrupted. It was almost as if they were operating on the same wavelength or reading the same script, although it was obvious that their words were spontaneous and unscripted.

“The First Principle of Instantaneous Transformation is: Anything you resist persists and grows stronger and dominates your life,” they said. “Take a look at your own life and see if there is anything or anyone you’ve been resisting. Hasn’t that person or situation been something that you think about more and more?”

Boy, you could say that again! Val thought. Immediately her mind had flashed on her stalker – that creepy guy who just wouldn’t leave her alone. For a moment her mind wandered. She started to think about how grateful she was that she left her job each day after he was gone so that she only had to avoid him in the mornings. Of course there was the occasional lunch hour as well where she couldn’t easily walk in his direction.

Suddenly Val realized that the Kanes had continued speaking; the evening had moved on but she hadn’t been there for it. A blush of crimson spread across her face and she surreptitiously glanced at her bosses sitting down the row on her right to see if they had noticed. Nope. They were listening. She hastily started listening again herself as she realized that she hadn’t been “gone” for that long after all.

“The Second Principle of Instantaneous Transformation is this: No two things can occupy the same space at the same time. In other words no one but you can possibly be sitting in your chair in this particular moment.”

Shya then gave a fellow on the end of the row a challenge, “Be different than you are right now,” he said as he snapped his fingers. “Too late! Now has gone by!” The man grinned.

“How about now?” Shya said as he snapped his fingers, “Too late! Now has gone by. Your life shows up moment- by-moment and in that moment it can only be the way that it is because it is. If you see this, then there is no need for blame or shame or regret. Your life is unfolding perfectly right now.”

Val found herself a little confused by this. Sometimes some things didn’t feel perfect to her.

As if reading her mind Ariel continued, “If things don’t feel perfect to you, then chances are there is something that you’re resisting or complaining about, something you’re judging, saying ‘No’ to or you’re wishing it could be different. But we’ve already established that what you resist persists and grows stronger,” she added with a smile. “It’s a law of physics – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The more you resist something the more you keep it in place.”

“This brings us to the Third Principle of Instantaneous Transformation,” Shya segued. “This is the ‘awareness’ principle. The Third Principle is: Anything you see without judging it completes itself. In other words, anything you allow to be allows you to be…”

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The Gif of Daring

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Every week, Express Yourself!™ will bring you a stimulating program based on a chapter from our award winning book Be the Star You Are!® for Teens.

What does it mean to be daring? It’s time to step out of your comfort zone, take on a new challenge, be bold, be strong, become the best you!

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Hosts Rachel Glass and Henna Hundal chat with author Lee Kelly, author of City of Savages, a former high profile attorney who dared to become a writer. After the Red Allies turn New York City into a POW camp, two sisters must decipher the past in order to protect the future in this action-packed thriller with a dual narrative. Rachel reads her chapter of Daring from the book, Be the Star You Are!® for Teens and shares how her daring adventures have evolved in the six years since her story was published.

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Reporter of Art Attack, Brigitte Jia, explores the boldness and tenacity of the French artists Monet, Renoir, Sisley, and Bazille who dared to explore the innovative style that began a new and vivid movement, impressionism.
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Lee Kelly Bio:

Lee Kelly has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced law in Los Angeles and New York. She lives with her husband and son in Millburn, New Jersey, though after a decade in Manhattan, she can’t help but still call herself a New Yorker. City of Savages is her first novel. Visit her at NewWriteCity.com.

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Listen, View Photos, Descriptions, & More at Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio
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Express Yourself! Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are! charity. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences. Dare to care!

Be the Star You Are! charity. It’s the Season of Giving Make a donation today. Buy books and shirts at StarStyle Radio.

Starstyle, Be the Star You Are, and Miracle Moments are registered trademarks of Cynthia Brian

But I Want to Be An Artist!

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But I Want to Be An Artist!

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But I Want to Be An Artist!
An excerpt from Being Here, Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment
By Ariel & Shya Kane

One fall, my husband, Shya and I held one of our business courses called “Transformation in the Workplace,” in New York City. Folks from all different fields were there to discover what it takes to experience wellbeing on the job, and how to effectively communicate. As the weekend progressed, we got to hear each person’s individual reasons for attending and what they hoped to achieve.

As we spoke with Charlotte, a soft looking man in his mid-forties, Jonathan, sat up straighter in his chair. He was totally engaged in the conversation and since we had read his confidential questionnaire, we knew what he was grappling with.

When our conversation with Charlotte concluded, Shya asked who wanted to speak next. Without missing a beat, Jonathan leapt to his feet shouting out, “I do.” He grinned and folks chuckled at his exuberance.

“My name is Jonathan and I work at a large bank, running a bunch of their computer systems. I make a lot of money there, but I’m not happy. See, I’m a professional clarinet player, and I find that working during the day exhausts me and ruins my playing.”

“How so?” Shya asked.

“Well, Shya, at the end of the day I’m too tired to practice. I play my clarinet but most of the time it’s lackluster and I make mistakes. I know if I wasn’t so worn out from working at my ?*$%^&# job I could play better. I go to gigs now and I’m uninspired. I’m thinking of quitting the bank but I have a family to think of and the money is so good and I have a 401K but I don’t want to sell out for money. I want to be the artist that I know I am!”

As he spoke, Jonathan had worked himself up, his face flushed with passion. Others in the room were nodding as the professional actors and directors in the room could empathize with how day-to-day work gets in the way of being artistic. You could see it written on their faces, If only I could just act rather than have to get jobs, then I would be happy.

“How is the quality of your playing these days Jonathan?” Shya asked.

“Stale, Shya,” he said sadly. “Stale.”

“Well, Albert Einstein once said that you can’t solve a problem from within the system that created it,” Shya continued. “It sounds as if your possible solutions to your dilemma, stay and be stale or leave your job and forfeit benefits, will both result in creating problems. With transformation there is no down side.”

“I have a suggestion for an experiment,” I said. “But it will involve taking a risk. Are you ready?”

“Oh, yes!” he replied. It was obvious from his face that he hoped we would finally give him the permission he had not granted himself to chuck the job and his responsibilities to his family. Then he could go for being a full time musician at last. His eyes glowed with anticipation.

Shya and I glanced at each other and I continued, “Here is what we suggest. For the next two weeks, forget about your clarinet. Put it away.”

“Let go of all thoughts of being a musician,” Shya said.

Jonathan’s face fell and he looked ready to fight. He was sure we were just like his parents who didn’t want him to go for his truth. He thought we wanted him to do the sensible thing, the boring thing, the nine-to-five thing. He opened his mouth to protest as I finished the thought.

“…and at the end of these two weeks, see how this has improved your ability to play and how much it enhances your abilities as a musician.”

Jonathan repeatedly opened and closed his mouth in disbelief. “Wait a minute. Ariel, Shya, are you suggesting not playing for two weeks as a way to improve my musicianship?”

“Yup, exactly,” I said. “What do you have to lose? Are you willing to give it a go?”

Jonathan nodded slowly. He looked confused and he wasn’t sure what good it would do but he was willing.

“That’s great, Jonathan,” I said. “When you get home, put your clarinet in its case, and put away your music, your music stand and everything you associate with playing and practicing. For the next two weeks, pretend that your clarinet and your skills as a musician do not exist. You may think about it at first but if you find your mind wandering there, bring your attention back to what you’re doing. OK?”

“Absolutely, I’ll do it!” he pronounced with the same kind of enthusiasm he had demonstrated in the first place. The course continued and came to its natural conclusion. Two weeks quickly came and went and then Jonathan joined us once again for one of our Monday Night weekly seminars, but this time there was a bounce in his step and a glimmer in his eye.

At the first opportunity Jonathan stood and spoke. I noticed he was standing taller and looked more grounded in himself.

“I am so excited,” he announced. “Two weeks ago, Ariel and Shya gave me the weirdest, neatest, strangest, most inspired suggestion I have ever had in my life. I’ve been playing the clarinet since I was a child but for the past few years, particularly the last six months, there was no joy in it for me. I came to the Kanes’ business course hoping to find a way to bring some life back into my playing as I feel like I’ve been doing everything by rote lately.

I was shocked when they suggested that I put the clarinet and all my music away for two weeks and pretend it didn’t exist. I mean, I’m a pro! What kind of professional lets it slide for two weeks and expects to be able to play well?”

At this he grinned, “Ariel, Shya, I got my music and stand and clarinet out of the closet yesterday. It had been two weeks and a day! They were all so familiar and yet so new. I was excited to be able to pick a song and test the reed and I realized that I hadn’t felt this kind of spark for a long, long time. My fingers flew. Music flowed out of the tips of my fingers and the tone was so pure and I played for an hour without stopping and it seemed like just a moment had passed. All I can say is Wow! And, thank you both.”

“How was work the past two weeks?” Shya asked.

“It’s a little embarrassing how well I did. I guess I’ve always held a piece of myself back at the bank. I know it sounds irrational but it seemed that if I succeeded there I might get stuck in a 9- to-5 job and I might lose my creative juice. I’ve always been holding back with the hope of being an artist.”

“Are you an artist and did your work these past two weeks take away from that?” I asked.

“Yes, yes I am an artist and no, working at the bank didn’t take anything away. In fact, I got things done far faster than I ever thought possible this past week. I created new solutions to some old programming problems that we’ve been having for a while now. Even my boss noticed the difference. He stopped at my workstation yesterday and thanked me for a new piece of software I wrote. That has never happened before.”

“See Jonathan,” Shya said. “If you hold back your full expression of yourself in one area, you gradually get dimmer in all areas of your life, including or maybe especially in those areas you’re trying to protect. Life is like a magnificent river and it takes energy to stop the flow. Going about your life with excellence in your ‘day’ job turns it into a brilliant experience and it then becomes a creative act. As you go about your life with totality you become an artist wherever you go and whatever you do.”

Live From NYC at the Book Signing Expo BY SIMRAN SINGH

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Live From NYC at the Book Signing Expo BY SIMRAN SINGH

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We encounter messages and signs all of the time. We sit next to them… we walk past them… we live with them. Are you following your conversations with the universe? I had them coming from everywhere from the moment I left for NYC. Watch the video… 

In Love, Of Love, With Love and Laughter… Simran Singh

Simran Singh—a creative visionary, transformational catalyst, and humorist in the realms of metaphysics, spirituality, and motivation—is the award winning publisher of11:11 Magazine. She hosts the #1-rated, syndicated 11:11 Talk Radio on VoiceAmerica 7th Wave.  As author of Conversations with the Universe, Simran walks her talk by letting all go in order to live boldly during the experience of a “one-year, one woman live-streamed RV-tour around the country.” The Rebel Road  is her vision of freeing people from their self-imposed limitations to live life fearlessly, boldly, and in the full, passionate adventure of the heart’s desire to awaken the infinite possibility and creative flow that is our natural inheritance.www.ConversationsWithTheUniverse.com  www.Simran-Singh.com

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