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26 Nov

Women to Watch Wednesday: 7 Life Lessons Courtesy of Lady Gaga

26/11/2014   |   No Comments »   |   Posted in Inspirational Women

She has one of the largest fan followings in the world. She sells out arena packed tours in seconds, chart-smashing songs and has been named by Rolling Stone Magazine as the Queen of Pop. Legally, she is Stefani Germanotta but you know her better by her stage name, Lady Gaga. Toting 5 Grammys, Artist of the Year titles, and a headlining status for 4 sold-out tours within 5 years, it is easy to forget with all of her accomplishments that Gaga is only 28-years-old. But in her 5-year-rise to international superstardom, Gaga has taught us a lot about show business, but also a lot about how we can live our lives. Here are 7 life lessons brought to us by Gaga:
  1. Give people more than they expect. Lady Gaga made a name for herself by providing over-the-top theatrics in her shows, numerous costumes changes, and music videos that parallel short films. If you’re having coffee with Gaga, you know it won’t be an ordinary coffee date. She has mastered the art of giving people an experience—an art form we could all benefit from.
  1. Stand up for what you believe in. A long-time supporter of the LBGT movement, Gaga is on a mission to empower others, even if their lifestyle is controversial.
In 2012, she unearthed The Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on youth empowerment and issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring, and career development. She has cited equality as being the single most important thing in her life and makes liberating others a constant goal in her work.
  1. It’s not reinvention – it’s revealing. From Broadway plays to fashion runways and elaborate performances that resemble the pageantry of a Macy’s parade, to channeling a classy lounge singer alongside Tony Bennett, Gaga illustrates how we can tap into and enjoy the many faucets of our personality. It’s not changing who we are --it’s exposing more of who we are.
  1. Embrace your spiritual side. Gaga has cited doctor and writer Deepak Chopra as one of her inspirational spiritual teachers, and went on to confess that "he's always reminded me to work in a life of service to my fans and to fulfill my vision and my destiny". Find a mentor who resonates a calling that rings true to you and dig into the bigger picture.
  1. Turn criticism into creative fuel. From her lyrics not being “intelligent enough” to her eccentric ensembles, and her music being too “dance underground” for a mainstream market, to condemnation of her charitable efforts and weight fluctuation, Gaga has mastered the art of channeling criticism and has no problem constructively contending her naysayers. She takes the energy intended to do harm and throws it into a creative inferno, cranking out more hits, and further propelling her ingenuity and expansion as an artist.
  1. Fitting in is over-rated. Gaga said her school years were filled with insecurity because she was more eccentrics than the other kids and didn’t fit in. Judging by her reported $210 million dollar net worth, her persona apparently worked out for her. Know if you don’t fit in, that’s probably going to work in your benefit somewhere down the line.
  1. Encourage healthy communication. Being an internationally recognized figure, Gaga has had to confront her naysayers in the eye of the public. When dealing with her critics, however, her legions of fans often want to aggressively jump to her defense. But Gaga abides by her none-bully code and expects the same behavior from her fans saying, “People deal with their insecurities in many different ways. The anonymous nature of social media has made it easy for many to vent their anger by bullying others with no recourse or accountability. But this is not a healthy way to handle your emotions … Please represent me and our community with the values we cherish and live by.”
While we revere her contributions to pop culture and the music world, we equally respect how she conducts her life off the stage. Her convictions and life lessons are definitely something to go gaga over.

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24 Nov

6 ways to Make Autumn an Event

24/11/2014   |   No Comments »   |   Posted in Barbara McNally

The breeze is cooling and the bustle of summer has taken its own vacation. In autumn, our pace begins to slow dance with time a bit. While summer was full of graduations, wedding festivities, patriotic observances and BBQ parties, autumn is a celebration of relaxed pleasures. This offers us a window to soak in some of the “simple things” before the holiday season merrily sweeps us off our feet. Flannel shirts, porch side coffee on a cool morning, the smell of freshly raked leaves, and the color scheme of autumn foliage is a state of mind that deserves its own formal acknowledgement on our seasonal calendar. This week, as you notice the signs of fall, take an hour to yourself to welcome a slower, zenful stride to your steps as you take in how nature naturally encourages us to “fall” in line with a natural rythmn. Ideas: 1.  Enjoy the paper on your porch or balcony one brisk morning in the comfort of your cozy robe. 2. Spend some time on a park bench noting how people start to congregate for a touch game of flag football now that the weather has cooled down, or how flocks of birds are starting to head South for a new chapter of their own. 3. As you see buses of school children heading to class, remind yourself of the excitement you once felt at the start of a new school year and how you still experience that same excitement as you enter new life chapters. 4. Enjoy a glass of wine simply looking out the window as you daydream to Mother Nature’s color scheme.   Falling leaves or a brilliant fall sunset are great compliments to any wine pallet. 5. Buy yourself a new cozy sweater. Your new “go-to” when chill hits and you want to snuggle up to a good book. 6. Take a walk in the cooler part of the day. Note how the wind sweeps a refreshing layer over your body. Refresh your thoughts with self-encouraging declarations with each gust. (Example: “I am a dynamic woman and I welcome new opportunities to express my layers.”) Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. Albert Camus    

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A global vision: BARBARA McNALLY’S
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Barbara McNally lives in San Diego where she supports organizations and sponsors activities that help women explore their potential for freedom and individuality. To further this cause, she started a foundation called Mother, Lover, Fighter, Sage. Open to receive and ready to give, Barbara continues her own journey to freedom with a daily zest for living large. READ MORE>>

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