Saturday, August 30, 2008

Can You Heal Your Life? How?

You Can Heal Your Life was on the bestseller lists for 13 weeks. There is a movie about the book, and author Louise Hay. It shares insights into Louise's fascinating personal story; and shows how her views on self-esteem, abundance, and the metaphysical causes behind physical ailments were developed. It also reveals how she applied these concepts to her own emotional, spiritual, and professional life.

A number of luminaries in the fields of self-help, philosophy, health, spirituality, and New Thought join Louise, giving their take on success, happiness, and the myriad ways in which people can heal their own lives. And there are also gripping firsthand accounts from others who have been positively affected by Louise's work.

At the bottom, there is a trailer for the movie. First, here's a six-part interview with Greg Braden from the movie:
Trailer for the movie:

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Jewish Mother’s 10-point guide to the Religious Philosophies of the world.

My friend Susan Piver got me started on this by sharing this letter from her dad.
  1. Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.
  2. Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated? 
  3. The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others. The Tao is not Jewish. 
  4. Wherever you go, there you are. Your luggage is another story.
  5. There is no escaping karma. In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. And whose fault was that?
  6. The Torah says, Love your neighbor as yourself. The Buddha says, There is no self. So, maybe we are off the hook. But if there is no self, whose arthritis is this?
  7. Drink tea and nourish life; with the first sip, joy; with the second sip, satisfaction; with the third sip, peace; with the fourth, a Danish.
  8. Accept misfortune as a blessing. Do not wish for perfect health, or a life without problems. What would you talk about?
  9. Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals. You might want to see a specialist.
  10. Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as a wooded glen. And sit up straight. You’ll never meet the Buddha with such rounded shoulders.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Of course the Olympic Spirit would affect the Greek Deli. How could it not?

Sign on a closed deli door:

Why voiceover is the ultimate home-based business: It pays well, takes very little time, is inexpensive to start and helps you promote all your projects!

I've put together some great tips to get you started! And don't miss the fantastic spoof video at the end. You're guaranteed to recognize the voices of these guys ...

Click the subheadings to go to a synopsis of the articles, and links to the articles themselves. (Many of the articles are from my friend and fantastic voiceover coach Susan Berkley.)

Five Hidden Voiceover Success Secrets
    #1 Bare Minimum Equipment Needed to Audition From Home.
     #2 Top 3 Ways to Go National.
     #3 Audio Books: Great For Doing Voice-Over In Your Spare Time.
     #4 The Fortune in Hidden Voiceovers: Industrials.
     #5 How Do I Expand My Clientele?

Top Tips For Creating a Great Demo
    #6 The best and most cost effective way to do a voice-over demo.
    #7 Five Questions to Consider Before Sending Your Demo.
    #8 Essentials For Creating An Eye-Catching Demo Package.
    #9 “Stealing” National Radio Or TV Commercial Scripts For Your Demo? 

Getting The Best Out of Your Voice
    #10 Problems Speaking Clearly?
    #11 Dry Mouth or Drool?
    #12 Can The State Of Your Spirit Affect The Sound Of Your Voice?
    #13 What To Do With Those Strange Little Voices.

Becoming A Pro
    #14 Are There Possible Legal Ramifications From Doing Impersonations Of Famous People?"
    #15 The Ethics of Turning Down Work.
    #16 Tips for Smoother Q&As.

Voice Exercises: A Baker's Dozen to Build Your Skill
  1. Red leather yellow leather
  2. Aluminum linoleum
  3. ta-tucka
  4. Knapsack straps
  5. Toy boat
  6. Greek grapes
  7. Three free throws
  8. Flash message
  9. Sixish tatucka
  10. Mrs. Smith's Fish Sauce Shop
  11. Moose noshing much mush
  12. Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?
  13. The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick

Just For Fun
You can practice the following voice exercise if you want, but I don't recommend saying it where anyone can hear you! Repeat rapidly, and watch out for spoonerisms:
I am a mother pheasant plucker:
I pluck mother pheasants.
I am the most pleasant mother pheasant plucker,
to ever pluck a mother pheasant.
Play The "Can You Guess the Accent?" Game

Okay, and yes, here are the Kings of the voiceover industry in a fun spoof video, followed by the life of Don LaFontaine. (Want to know who the faces behind famous animated characters are? Check this out.) A number of these are the voices commonly known as "The Voice Of God," and this type of voice represents only a tiny fragment of the industry. You don't need a voice like that, trust me! 99% of the work is not for this kind of voice. Think of animation, audio books and gentle voiceovers, to mention just a few that use other styles of voice primarily.

Update: Don LaFontaine recently passed on September 1, 2008.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wandrei-Tlusty Wedding Pics!

I had a great time dancing at the wedding of my friend and fellow Jawaahir company member Rebecca's wedding! (She: Wandrei He: Tlusty).

If you were there, send me some pics! Our camera died almost as soon as we got there, and all we got was a handful of photos before the battery died.

I'll update this with more details a little later, but here are my fellow dancers and a pic from my solo:

Friday, August 15, 2008

The meaning of life as seen through 11 thought-provoking, clever and funny commercials

Also don't miss A Jewish Mother’s 10-point guide to the Religious Philosophies of the world. Be sure to watch the advertising "disclaimer" at the end.

1. Best ad for
showing the meaning of life:

This character is from a popular video game,
where he beats, kills and robs people .. usually!

2. Worst ad for
showing the meaning of life:

The people in your life are there to love and learn from to become calmer, happier, better at working with others, etc.

3. Desire and attachment
to things cause problems:

Taking off from the previous ad .. okay ..
then ... is this what it's like without kids?

4. Copying others is not
a good long term plan:

You can get inspiration from others, but only discipline
and lots of your own work will bring you consistent success.

5. Creativity is
better with persistence:

There is a lot of creativity--and no special effects--
in this ad. It took 3 months of engineering
and filming 606 takes to complete.

6. Find a way to let people know
you care and amazing things can happen:
Also, music can uplift and bring people together!

7. Finding a purpose
makes life worth living:

If you watch to the end to see what's really going on,
you'll want to watch it over again:
8. To love others, learn to
understand and help them:

Is it love, or is it survival and self-interest? I say, love first,
see where it leads you! See the last video for more info about this product.

9. Pay attention! Unexpected
realizations are a key to spiritual growth:

No matter how hard you work, if you're
not mindful, you can miss even the most obvious clues.

10. Don't let others
define reality for you:

People who want to tell you what is true and what is not
usually don't have your best interests at heart. See the last video.

11. Sometimes love takes work:
Use whatever skills you have, with whatever time
you have to love someone more than yourself

Disclaimer about believing advertising!
Don't trust what you are told about products
egardless of how popular or common they are

Monday, August 11, 2008

See you on Twitter!

If you're looking for other articles I've written about Twitter, click here.

One of my newest hobbies is looking for cool people to “follow” on Twitter. It's been great! It's kind of like eavesdropping on people who are sending short messages to each other, like IM or phone text messages. Or like listening in at a digital water cooler. People have shared over one billion messages on Twitter.

But mainly, I've met some wonderful people, and been able to help people with questions about bellydancing, voiceovers and some of my other interests.

So what is Twitter, and why should I “follow” you?

Twitter is a blog, but it's a micro-blog, because everything posted has to be 140 characters or less. If you want to see what a bunch of people are saying, sign up (very fast, very easy) and follow each person you want to “listen in” on. For more about Twitter, see:
How do you get started on Twitter?

For more information on how to use Twitter, check out this Twitter quickstart video, or download and read this introductory guide. Once you join, follow or visit @Twitter_Tips to find new tips.

I got started by creating an account in my name (@SarahJL) and following some people I knew.

How can I find people to follow?

Next I visited and searched their directory by category and keywords to find people with interests similar to mine. You'll also want to visit Twitter Grader and Twitter Local to find people in your area, and sign up to ask Mr. Tweet to find people for you. You can also search for what people are saying, or add “” to a Google search.

Sadly, I have already unfollowed one or two people who fill up the screen with several feeds in a row like:
  • "looking for can opener,"
  • "found it!"
  • "looking for soup"
  • "found it!"
  • "Mmm chicken noodle!"
... and so forth. Some people I thought would be interesting also don't seem to check their incoming messages, and just post stuff. (It takes awhile to figure this out). I like to have one place for people I can actually talk to.

Here are some of my favorite people (“Tweeple”) on Twitter.

See you on Twitter!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thursday, August 07, 2008

One of my favorite belly dance students turns 89 next week .. and he's a great GUY!

My newest, oldest private belly dance student, Nels, will be 89 on Aug 12!!! A Swedish immigrant, he decided he wanted to learn how to belly dance after seeing it on TV several times. (I wonder if he’s seeing Guild of Oriental Dance videos on cable access?)

Keeping the first meeting safe (and secret)

He suggested a coffee shop for our first meeting. I assume he wanted to be sure I was who I said I was—but I also realized he wanted to keep this temporarily a secret from his daughter, with whom he shares a duplex.

After our meeting at a Panera bread, he decided to break the news to his daughter, and we’d do our lessons at 10am (his best time of day for him) on either Saturdays or Sundays, depending on both our schedules, at his home.

I was a bit nervous at first about his health, and always keep a very close on him. While he a 45-minute lesson is about as long as he can take, otherwise, I started him off quite similarly to how I teach all beginners. Some loosening exercises, and into isolations. He actually struggles no more than most of my beginning students! We don’t have benefit of mirrors, so just as I do with other beginners I’ve taught without mirrors, sometimes I demonstrate for him both the right way, and the way he’s doing the movement differently.

While his balance isn’t perfect, we do Egyptian Basic slowly, and he does it just fine!

He has a great shimmy!

I guess he shimmied sometimes when he was ice dancing when he was much younger. He does it very well. He even used to coach ice dancing! I don’t try to get him to shimmy JUST his shoulders or JUST his hips as I would with a more typically-aged student (I guess I pick my battles as it were. ) It seems good just to get him to move! Last Saturday, I did get him to do his all-over shimmy while shifting his weight from foot to foot, but never picking up the feet entirely.

He’s a fun guy: The first 2 lessons he wore shorts and a golf shirt, and the coin hipwrap I sold him. The 3rd week he opened the door wearing the shorts and a sleeveless undershirt; he said he’d discovered he could see the movement better that way. (He has a small mirror.) The 4th week, he wore a pair of black, hiphugger, stretch, bellbottom pants with the undershirt. I said, “I see you’ve got yourself some dance pants” at which he burst out laughing and told me he’d gone to 10 stores to find them. And he has also turned out to be a real rabble-rouser! He wants to surprise some of his friends with a belly dance performance one day.

The recital approaches ... 

I suggested we have as a goal dancing in the Guild of Oriental Dance Recital (in April, I believe.) He loves the idea, saying, He’d like to do something else before he goes. (He ice-danced, and played the trumpet in a band in years past.) I told him he’d live to 130 because he’s always doing fun things that are good for his body, mind, and heart. He continually asks about costuming for the show, so the other day I suggested he get someone to sew him a sparkly shirt and a small turban; with the pants and coin wrap,  voila! He said the woman at the store where he found the pants sews a lot, and he thought he’d engage her to sew such a shirt.

He asked me to bring him some music, and I had Mr. L copy the practice CD I was using for his lessons. But he told me doesn’t like that one. The other day he revealed to me (every week he reveals something new!) that he has a recording of himself playing the Sheik of Araby with a drum machine backing him up. He loves this recording, and I said I thought people would be extremely charmed if he danced to his own recording in the Guild Show. So that seems to be the direction we are currently headed!

It's not the chest, it's the ribs ...

Every time we are doing isolations, and we do rib cage movement, he says “I don’t have much of a ‘shest.’” I always say we are not concerned with the chest, but the ribs!

He came to see the Friday night show during Cassandra’s Weeklong. Cassandra had Monique solo this time, she was FANTASTIC!!!!!!! And Nels loved her so the other day I told him she is dancing at Mairin’s Table in August. He’ll call the restaurant to find out when. He has also engaged me to dance at a party at his home in late August. (I strongly suspect he wishes to freak out the widows who will come to this gathering!)

Finally met his wonderful daughter

I met his daughter the 3rd time I went. We bonded pretty well, because she is the assistant mgr at East Side Co-op and I had recently read about their artists call for murals there. She seemed to be at first concerned about her dad’s latest crazy pursuit, but relaxed when I seemed like her kind of people. (Co-op shopper!)

All in all, one of my favorite students!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Tough day?

My husband Dave is often one of the last people to get mad or frustrated at another person. He will say something like "There's no way to tell what they're going through."

Although he certainly does sometimes get frustrated, it's more common that he finds himself wondering what might actually be happening for that person that he has no way of knowing about and treats them with good will instead. (He usually denies he's as forgiving as I say he is, but the tougher things get, the more understanding he seems to get.) Here's a video that shows a similar viewpoint: