Archive for November 2008

The Duchess has left the Building

November 21, 2008

Good Morning!

I am using this morning to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! I realize the holidays aren’t until next week – but here at Duchess we are closing down until Monday December 1st. I’m having a little surgery today and need a few days of recovery time. Plus – I’m working on some exciting changes and upgrades which should be happening all next week. So our site will relaunch on Monday the 1st – New and Improved!


Between now and then, I wish you a wonderful holiday! I hope it is filled with family, gratitude and service. I will leave you with this cheerful and short poem from Emily Dickinson. It and a Langston Hughes poem are the only two poems I like so much that I could recite the entire things from heart. It doesn’t hurt that they’re both pretty short!


“They may not need me; but they might.

I’ll let my head be just in sight;

a smile as small as mine might be

precisely their necessity.”




Taking it to the Streets

November 20, 2008

There is a lot going on lately. In the world at large, but also in my own life. And while some of it is a little worrying, I feel like a lot of it is really encouraging and hopeful. We will have a whole new political landscape and leadership next year – that’s pretty freaking exciting (freaking being a completely articulate descriptive word – really, I swear). And due to a lot of bad decision making in the past, we all have the opportunity to improve and literally make the world a better place. I honestly believe that it’s true.


So today’s quote ties in with this thought of grassroots work to change the world. And in connection with it, I wanted to put up the following link:


It’s a Global Entrepreneurial week Nov. 17 – 23 (I just found out myself or I would’ve told you sooner!). Check out the site and see if you like it. There are lots of opportunities to collaborate (and for those over 30 to mentor) with people around the world. We all have the power to make some big changes through small steps, because we’re all sharing the same space now. So you may as well meet your roommates! Now, another thought from James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh.


“The dreamers are the saviors of the world. . . Humanity cannot forget its dreamers; it cannot let their ideals fade and die; it lives in them; it knows them as the realities which it shall one day see and know.”


Duchess Digest Wednesday

November 19, 2008

By now you know that Wednesday is the day the Duchess Digest Column goes up on Singe Minded Woman. So head on over and check out this weeks installment. It’s on facing challenges and difficult life circumstances.


Hope you all have a great Wednesday!



Colorful Remarks

November 18, 2008

I mentioned yesterday about my L.A.F.S. group that met on Sunday night. Well for all of you who don’t have a group, I highly recommend organizing one. Follow the Jim Collins adage of, “First who, then what.” Make sure the girls (or perhaps in your case there will be guys too) you pick are going to really commit to your group. Through our meetings we’ve discovered bi-weekly is the best schedule and we’ve found Sunday nights work well. That may or may not work for your group but you can learn through trial and error. The most important thing is that you find a group that will consistently show up (they should treat the group like any other exciting and important meeting they wouldn’t miss), the group should stay fairly small so you can have a change to really dialogue, and finally it should be a group that is respectful and considerate. Notice I didn’t say they have to share your same views on everything (in fact it may be better if they don’t to open you up to new ideas) but they should be considerate, kind and respectful in how they bring their opinions to the table.


That being said, the biggest purpose of our group (aside from seeing each other, because I love these girls) is to hold each other accountable for taking action, to motivate and inspire, to add our combined energy to each others endeavors, and to speak out loud the direction we’re trying to head. It’s not always a perfect group, but we’re great and I’m so grateful with my involvement with this dynamic gathering of women.


Speaking of dynamic, today’s quote is from James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh again. I liked this description of powerful thoughts, it’s imagery at its artistic finest.


“The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations of colors which at every succeeding moment it presents to you are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your evermoving thoughts.”


A Sense of Self

November 17, 2008

Hope you all had a great weekend. I know I did! A wonderful day of much needed sleep on Saturday, which finally pushed me over the hurdle I’ve straddling between a cold and healthy – apparently loads of sleep = healthy. Yay! Then Sunday I treated myself to a great facial and an afternoon in the spa facilities, followed up by some amazing Puerto Rican food cooked by Andree for our L.A.F.S. Group Sunday night. And man were we on a roll. I haven’t laughed that hard or had that much fun in a while. So while I continue to pray for rain down here in smoky in L.A. to banish the fires raging all around, I also have a new thought for this morning. It comes from Wayne Dyer and it’s a nice reminder to look inside for the tools you need.


“Self-worth can not be verified by others. You’re worthy because you say it is so. If you depend on others for your value, it is ‘other-worth.'”



As a (wo)man thinketh Part Two

November 14, 2008

I’m liking this James Allen book so much that I thought I would add another quote and send you blissfully into your weekend. I was thinking of the thoughts become things idea and I realized something last night. Specifics count. I’ll leave it at that for now.


“Thought and character are one, and as character can only manifest and discover itself through environment and circumstance, the outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state.”


As a (wo)man thinketh

November 13, 2008

Thursday’s thought comes from James Allen’s little book of meditations and essays called As A Man Thinketh. He likens the mind to a garden. Whether it is cultivated or not, things will grown from the soil. So either we cultivate and plant great seeds of thought in our mind, or we let our mind sit uncultivated. But even if left uncultivated, weeds will grow, as the garden soil will produce something. Being an admirer of gardens I liked this analogy (although I can’t say I have a green thumb – there’s actually a deceased Basil plant on my deck right now – the latest victim in a string of senseless attempts to garden).


I will put Mr. Allen’s introduction to his book as today’s thought. It’s a little “wordier” then usual, but I think it’s well spoken and well received advice.


“This little volume (the result of meditation and experience) is not intended as an exhaustive treatise on the much-written-upon subject of the power of thought. It is suggestive rather than explanatory, its object being to stimulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth that –

‘They themselves are makers of themselves’

by virtue of the thoughts which they choose and encourage; that mind is the master weaver, both of the innner garment of character and the other garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness.”