Patience, Perseverance, and Incomparable Stubbornness

Patience and perseverance are two traits of the Ninja that I was taught in my martial arts training. Notice I said that I was taught, not necessarily that I learned it. Patience may be a virtue, but it was something I was never very good at. However, I killed it when it came to perseverance. I attribute it to my incomparable stubbornness, which I am incredibly proud of, especially since it usually seems to pay off. Usually. I am thrilled to say that it has certainly payed off when it applies to my book, which was published exactly 4 years ago this month. As a newly published author, I was naive enough to think that everyone would want my book and it would fly off the shelves. I scoffed at the marketing experts who claimed that the “real” work in writing a book came after it was...

Continue reading

Born On the Fourth of July

I love the Fourth of July. As a kid, it was always all about the fun, the games, the cook-outs, the swimming pool, and the fireworks. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized the Fourth of July was more than just a holiday. It is a way of life, and something to be celebrated every day of the year, not just on July 4th. I want to tell you a story about why I love the 4th of July. And the story begins with a little boy. The little boy was born on a small farm in Czechoslovakia in 1927. One year later, he and his parents left their farm and traveled across the Atlantic to begin a new life in a small steel town in Western Pennsylvania and pursue the American Dream. That dream turned into a nightmare one year later when the little boy pulled a pot of scalding chicken soup over him,...

Continue reading

Swimming With Sharks and Taking a Risk

When the movie Jaws was released in June of 1975, everyone was terrified to go in the water. It wasn’t safe. So, instead of going for a refreshing swim in the ocean, beach goers sat immobilized in the sand and sweltered in the hot sun, dreaming of the day when it would be safe to go in the water. If ever. The following summer, people began to dip their toes in the water. After all, you can only be immobilized for so long before the desire to return to normal becomes overwhelming, and you’re willing to take a risk. Eventually, swimmers went deeper into the water, and they survived. The water was filled with happy swimmers, bobbing in the surf. But, just when we finally forgot the horrors that lurked just below the water’s surface and began swimming again, Jaws 2 was released....

Continue reading

The Eyes Have it

Making eye contact with another person is crucial to the human connection and establishing a relationship. Averting one’s eyes makes you appear suspicious, furtive, unapproachable, and even dangerous. Or it can communicate to strangers that you are insecure, vulnerable, and an easy target for perpetrators. However, when you look someone in the eye, there is an immediate connection, and an exchange of information. Your brain processes this information, sending electrical, chemical, and hormonal signals through your body how to react. Eye contact gives you an instantaneous respond as to whether this person is a friend or foe, safe or threatening. That’s why it is so dangerous to walk around in public with your head buried in your cell phone. First of all, it’s not safe. Second,...

Continue reading

Excerpt from Mara’s Garden

Recently I picked up a project I began working on about 9 years ago. It was shortly after my parents died, both of them, just 19 days apart. I wanted to write about our family and how my sisters and I grew up, in a family rich with Eastern European heritage and culture. But it was just too soon. However, when I began working on it again it began to take on a life of its own, and I realized I had to go back further in time and dig deeper, including the lives of my parents and how they grew up. Here is an excerpt from “Mara’s Garden”. “I was born on July 9th, 1930, in Aliquippa, a small but thriving steel town in Western Pennsylvania on the banks of the Ohio River. My parents were both working in the garden when my mother suddenly disappeared. Since it was close to...

Continue reading

Not Your Nona’s Lasagna

I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting recipes. But when I saw a recipe for pumpkin and kale lasagna, I shuddered and moved on. However, it kept calling my name and I looked at it more closely. It certainly intrigued me. After all, I love pumpkin, and I love lasagna. I even love kale, with certain reservations. But the recipe was loaded with heavy and calorie-laden ingredients that seemed unnecessary, and kale sauteed in garlic added to pumpkin was too much for me to even think about. I had a few other misgivings as well, so I incorporated a few of my sneaky ninja moves, as well as substituted almond milk for whole milk to come up with something that might be palatable. One weekend afternoon, it was time to test it. However, before tying on my apron, I warned my husband...

Continue reading

Chicken Dijon

I was going to name this recipe after my favorite mustard, Grey Poupon, but my husband advised me not to. He said that Poupon Chicken didn’t sound very appetizing, and I guess he had a point. After doing diligent research, I discovered that Grey Poupon is a dijon mustard and has a small amount of white wine in it. No wonder why I like it so much. I also learned that the word poupon means little baby, or baby doll. Who knew cooking could be so educational?  I used a few of my ninja tricks to combine a few recipes, cut what I didn’t like, kept what I thought would work, used my imagination, and came up with a variation on a theme. So here it is, my Chicken Dijon, and Poupon too! 6 thinly sliced chicken breast fillets (I buy them already sliced thin. No need to pull out my sharp...

Continue reading

Patience, Perseverance, and Number #1 Best Seller

Patience and perseverance are two valuable principles I learned in my martial arts training. It means that our focus is on the journey, rather than the end result. And it explains why the students that come to our dojo with their primary goal of becoming a black belt are usually gone in just a few months. Because everything takes time and effort. The same applies to every aspect of life. Focus on the journey, put in the time, the effort, and see what unfolds. That’s exactly what happened when I published my first book. I just focused on the journey, even though it was incredibly labor intensive. When I heard that the “real work” in writing a book begins after it’s published, I found it hard to believe. After all, it took me two and a half years to write it. In reality,...

Continue reading

Episode #54: Awareness, Intuition, Trust, and Self-Worth

Meet Nicole Jansen, Business Breakthrough Coach and Behavior Specialist who has helped thousands of clients transform their lives and achieve extraordinary results in business. However, her greatest accomplishment is her own personal experience in overcoming adversity through quiet introspection to regain physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Download this episode to hear Nicole’s secrets in this gentle, uplifting, and enlightening interview, and how you can apply them to your own life. You do not want to miss this!     www.DiscoverTheEdge.com LeadersOfTransformation.com https://www.facebook.com/nicolejanseninc https://www.facebook.com/DiscoverTheEdge https://www.facebook.com/LeadersOfTransformation https://twitter.com/nicolejansen https://twitter.com/DiscoverTheEdge https:/...

Continue reading

The Best Defense

As a practicing ninja, I know a thing or two about defense. Most of the time, the best defense against an attack is usually the simplest and the most obvious. Just don’t make yourself vulnerable. It’s cold and flu season, and I’m a germaphobe. Not an over the top crazy kind of germaphobe, but a sensible kind. After all, I spent forty years working in health care, so I also know a little bit about infections, especially how to prevent them. And it’s so simple….wash your hands. Wash them often and wash them well. You don’t need any special equipment or antibacterial soap. All you just need is mild soap and warm water. Wash your hands before and after you eat, use the bathroom, blow your nose, sneeze, cough, touch your face, touch commonly used public surfaces,...

Continue reading