Posted tagged ‘the duchess guide’

When one door closes another one opens

January 30, 2009

That’s what they say. And that is today’s thought from Alexander Graham Bell. We can get fixated on what we’ve lost or the difficult things surrounding us, when usually the best thing to do is recognize a new opportunity. I recently heard Oprah talking on her best life series about how one year she prayed for strength and everything in her life that year seemed catastrophic. She kept praying and praying for strength and things kept getting more and more challenging. Then she said she finally had the aha! moment that you build strength through challenge and that she had become a much stronger person that year. She laughingly said she learned her lesson not to pray for strength again.

Of course she was being cheeky, but the truth is there are always opportunities and new ways before us. I have learned patience, strength and self-reliance (three qualities I already felt like I had by the way – but they have been really developed) in the last year and a half of my life. And for that I am grateful. So as you head into your weekend, remember to look for the opportunities and door’s opening in front of you.

“We so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”



I heart L.A.

January 23, 2009

I love L.A. The randomness that abounds here is without precedence for me. I love that I can hop in the elevator at work on any random day and Reese Witherspoon will be standing in it. I find it hilarious that I can walk home from work and be randomly stopped on Robertson by Gary Busey (or at least his look alike if it wasn’t him – and he’s a pretty distinct guy) saying, “Nice hat.” “Thanks.” “I mean Barret, it’s a Barret right, not a hat?” “Yes, it’s a Barret. Thanks.” “It’s really cute I like that.” Or that I can head out to a movie and it randomly happens to be a film premiere and there’s a red carpet rolled out, a hundred cameras and celebrities. This is truly the most random city I have ever lived in. I find it fascinating and hilarious simultaneously.

But back to business. I have good news, The Duchess Digest Article is up today at SingleMindedWoman. This week’s article is called “The Midas Touch” and it’s my reflections on the ways technology can disconnect us. I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful weekend.



A New Dawn

January 20, 2009

Good Morning Ladies!

Today’s message is simply this: Yes, we can!

Not only does that message apply to our new administration, but to each of us. So whenever you’re doubting yourself, your power, your dreams or your decisions just remember – Yes, you can!

Now roll up your sleeves and get to work 🙂

The long and winding road

January 16, 2009

It is hard for me to remember that there is bitter cold elsewhere in the country. I saw the footage of the passengers being rescued off the sinking plane in the Hudson River (what a story that is – amazing!), the trains derailing in Chicago, and the ice and snow sweeping the mid-west. My own mom and sister live in Denver and I hear their tales of sub-zero temperatures and snow. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I woke up last night and opened my balcony doors to sleep. My room was too hot and our air conditioning isn’t working. It is January 16th and I’m sleeping with the windows open to cool down the room. What a luxury Los Angeles can be in the winter. Especially this winter. Because while the country seems to be experiencing record lows, I think L.A. is experiencing record highs. Mid-80’s every day this week. Its been warm.

So I’m looking forward to a long, warm weekend. Even if the long weekend doesn’t include travel, as I’d hoped, it will include travling around the city. Hopefully to the beach, and on some hikes with Labrador, and to the new exhibit at The Getty.

With Monday being the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, I was reflecting on the man and his influence. I was trying to think of a really great quote to put up today in honor of his life, but I didn’t want the traditional “I have a dream” speech. Not that it isn’t wonderful, but I wanted to know him and what he said in a way outside of what’s taught in school. So I did some searching and found this wonderful quote excerpted from a speech. I like it because it reminds us all to walk in faith and purpose; we don’t need to see the end. It’s a healthy detachment from the outcome at the top of the stairs and to just start walking.

So whatever your weekend plans, whatever your goals for this year, take the step. Take it now. Action is the great catalyst. Thinking can overrule and outweigh sometimes when action is all we need. Take those first steps.

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”


Rainbow Country

January 15, 2009

I came home last night to a pitch black apartment. The power was out and after a phone call to my landlord and then the power company, I got the news it would be a few hours. The good news is that they would come look. The bad news was that until then, no laptop, no internet, no lights for reading or writing, no stereo for dancing, nadda.

Without my usual comforting  companions to work through the night with I had a lot of quiet time. Actually, that’s funny because my Goddess card yesterday said “Quiet Time.” I just made that connection. Ha! Anyway, I spent the evening trying to meditate and pray and be open to some answers. I’ve been feeling restless again. The palmist told me everything I needed was here, in Los Angeles. Some days I just don’t see it. I’m trying to see it; but I don’t necessarily. I am yearning for a change, some kind of mix-up. An extended trip out of the U.S., a great and well funded writing gig to present itself, some new opportunities, a weekend away, a new job. . .

I feel ready. I’ve been working at it for several years now, and very intensely for the last year. I’m ready for Duchess to start taking off and becoming my business. I’m ready to find a sample maker to manufacture my backpack. I’m ready for travel again. I’m ready for love and romance and adventure again. But last night especially, I was ready for the power to come back on!

I called around 10pm to check again with the power company and the operator told me the crew had stopped by and checked the meter. Someone had turned off the switch to our apartment (he couldn’t say malicious or accidental – but certainly with purpose).

Me: So how do I turn it back on?

Him: Walk to the side of the building and open up the meter panels.

Me: Are you going to talk me through it? I don’t know how.

Him: Yes. It’s easy but I can talk you through it. Grab a flashlight.

Me: I don’t have a flashlight.

Him: Young lady, this is earthquake country. You need a radio, a flashlight and extra batteries in the house at all times. Will you do that?

Me: Yes (thinking, earthquake country? I’d rather be in Bob Marley’s world and have the power operator say, it’s Rainbow Country, grab your bag of skittles).

And so I used my lifeline option to call a “friend” at the power company who showed me how to restore light into my life. And who helped me wise up a little on the emergency preparedness. By the way, it was simple, just a flip of a switch outside on the meter. I even said, “It’s that easy to turn on?” And the operator responded, “Yes, but it’s that easy to turn off too.” I felt like we were discussing philosophy. Some throw back to a Nietzsche conversation.

The experience helped to put the darkness in perspective for me. So today’s quote is a Swedish proverb about facing fear and its illusions. I hope it helps to keep things in perspective and to help you turn on the light. It can be that easy.

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”


Duchess Digest Wednesday

January 14, 2009

I enjoyed a fabulous, fun and inspiring dinner last night with “That Happened to Me” founder Vanessa Torres. What a delight she is! I am so appreciative of her spirit, her purpose and her wonderful light. Oh – and her wise dog-loving disposition! What a gem. She and I are up to some planning for a great new idea – so ladies of Los Angeles, be prepared!

Be sure to check out “That Happened to Me”– it’s on the blog roll list of loved links on the right ——> 

Vanessa has really great resources and writes articles for a Female Entrepreneur Blog; so check it out!

And while you’re out there looking around, playing the field (don’t worry my blog won’t know you’re checking out all your options ;)) be sure to read this week’s article called “What you Speak is Seeking You”on the Single Minded Woman website (also linked on the blog roll favorites to the right ———>). Last year was like running a marathon for me. I’m glad I did it, but damn it was hard. I feel a bit bloodied, beat up and tired; but that sense of accomplishment is priceless and leads to the kind of happiness I’m starting to enjoy now.

Here’s to an inspiring, adventurous Wednesday full of fabulous information and reading. Long may you reign Duchesses!

*Postscript: I really did run a marathon. The Park City Mid-Mountain Marathon in September 2007. Nothing like 26 miles of single track trail running through the gorgeous Aspen forests from Deer Valley Ski Resort through Park City Mountain Resort and ending at the base of The Canyons Resort. I got worked; but finished. I was 5th for women in my age group with a time of 4 hours and 48 minutes.


That one thing

January 13, 2009

Today’s thought reminds me of the R.M. Rilke quote I love about “Maybe one day you will live your way into the answer.” The only things I believe I’ve learned about life so far are that timing is everything and that nothing is ever quite how you expected. My mom has raised me with the idea that timing is everything, with jobs, with relationships, with opportunities – and I believe that to be very true. And with expectations, well, they can be the burden the breaks the camel’s back in relationships, the imagined picture that distracts from the beauty of right now and, often, they are the wall that obstructs our view of happiness. There is an importance to goals and  vision, but the death of those two ideals, to me, if when you seal them up with an expectation of what they will look like. I think I’ve learned to hold my visions loosely, so that the goals are obtained but the expectations don’t blind me from the reality of a beautiful world.

I’ve made an effort to try to just go with the way my life is flowing. As I’ve made a real effort to be where I am vs. wishing things were another way, I’ve found myself much calmer and happier. You know I’m always honest, so it’s not that I’m Little Miss Sunshine all the time (anyone who knows me can testify to that!), but I can live and breathe easier when I’m practicing a detachment. However poorly; I’m practicing.

So today’s quote from Marjorie William’s helps to remind me that – the thing I’m here to learn is to love and to live. Not to answer some big, catch-all question to solve all of life’s fears and expectations.

“I finally realized my task was not to figure out the one answer, but to earn how to live.”