Failure is a first stop to success

I’m reading a book now that I find really inspiring. It’s called “The Secret of Success is Not a Secret” by Darcy Andries. It is a brilliant volume of condensed biographies, about individuals in the world from different places who succeeded beyond a multitude of failures. Not one failure, or two, some people seemed to “fail” about ten times, thirty times, before even seeing a hint of accomplishment. These people had names like Issac Newton, Milton Hershey, Billy Crystal, Cole Porter, Barbara Walters, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Sanger, Jerry Seinfeld, Louis Pasteur, Steven Spielberg, Auguste Rodin, George Lucas — the list goes on. Most of them had failures that were more humiliating than devastating. Their companies folded, they were told they were talentless by countless agents, no one would accept them to their universities. Others had setbacks that left them disabled or incarcerated, but regardless the measure, they kept at it. Beyond their contributions to society, they are a good example of a saying I heard once, “The only time you are sure to lose is when you stop trying.”

tom shadyac

I’m sure it was with tongue in cheek, that she texted me, “greed is good.” I had to smile, mainly because I’d recently seen the acclaimed documentary film, I AM. Have you seen it? If you had, you’d know the reason I had to smile. I AM is a film unlike any I’ve ever seen. And right now I would like to be at the cinema watching it again because the film offers so much that a few more viewings are necessary to take it all in. The writer, director, filmmaker is Tom Shadyac, the director of BRUCE ALMIGHTY, THE NUTTY PROFESSOR, and ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE.

There’s no doubt that Tom Shadyac is a very funny guy. He’s also a very serious one where some things are concerned. In the film we find out that I AM came about after the filmmaker found himself facing his own death after a very serious bicycle accident. With a prognosis he wasn’t ready to accept, he went to the ocean and sat on the sand, and proceeded to silently commune with himself. To find out what happened after that, you’ll have to see the “. . . surprisingly powerful and inspirational film” I AM.

It would take a very long time to sum up all the good parts, and write about the amazing people, in the film. And until you see it, I’ll leave you with something the filmmaker said: “We started by asking what’s wrong with the world, and we ended up discovering what’s right with it.” Also, this: “We are far grander than we’ve been told.” Perhaps you’ll want to listen to the videos on his website; they really shouldn’t be missed because, to put it very simply, he’s an awesome guy!

An unusual exit from a theater: At the end of I AM the audience, instead of filing out, began hugging. Truthfully, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to start the hugging because I’m not a huggy kind of person in public places, but at that moment, after watching the film all those hugs seemed right.

New camera, new look at scenery

I am overjoyed to have just gotten a new camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC- GH1. It is amazing!
I took it out for a little walk and here are a few stills I took in Morningside Park, uptown NY. Being a filmmaker, I also can’t wait to take some great video of the city… Emi

A lovely site that promotes beauty inside, outside, and around you – is an exciting site that guides people to innovative news and new products for revitalizing skin and body. This week they go behind the beauty scene with the director, and the writer, of the short film “The Retreat” This past weekend “The Retreat” received Boston International Film Festival’s award for “Indie Soul Special Recognition.” The film also had a screening at The Big Apple Film Festival 2010, and the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival 2011. Soon it will have another screening at the Staten Island Film Festival 2011.

I hope you enjoy the article. Those at are interested in knowing what you think about their article, along with the questions and answers, and the way they have of handling a busy lifestyle in the entertainment industry. They are open to your comments.

park slope, brooklyn

I have a simple question. First, the reason for the simple question. Last week in Park Slope, Brooklyn it was impossible to not notice mothers, fathers, and caregivers strolling babies. That’s fine; Park Slope is an almost ideal place for families. And, at the same time, a wonderful place for people of all ages on their own, or not.

It’s an etiquette fact that pedestrians stay on their right side. Understandably, in Manhattan it’s almost impossible to keep to that etiquette rule as it gets tricky because of the sheer number of people. When Manhattan is at its busiest it’s often necessary to play a little game of side-stepping.

Park Slope, however, should be very different. People are wanting a more laid back lifestyle from their next door neighbor, Manhattan. Park Slope suggests a stress free environment, and pure creativity in the form of small clothing shops (many by Brooklyn designers), consignment stores, exciting new small restaurants, take-away speciality food places, pottery, furniture, and painting workshops, wonderful small gift shops, the Brooklyn Museum, co-op gardens, the Botanical Garden, an easy ride to ever-evolving Coney Island, and green and gorgeous-looking Prospect Park for everyone’s pleasure, and that’s a partial list of goodies.

Now the simple questions: Why do people strolling carriages in Park Slope think it’s all right to push two (or three) side-by-side so that no one can pass from the back, or from the opposite direction? And why should a pedestrian who’s walking toward someone who’s pushing a carriage as if in a race, be required to quickly step to the side to let the serious pusher pass? Strolling with baby in a Park Slope setting should be, could be, nice.

They’re simple questions, maybe so simple that it’s not worth the time. But wait, there are a few important matters to consider: respect for other people, awareness of one’s surroundings, and teaching a toddler how to behave in public. Let the people pass; do it graciously, and don’t stress, enjoy the time with the little one.
The following website with its interesting name has a lot to offer:

Now to change the subject . . . have an extraordinary day everyone!

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“To know how to live is my trade and my art.” – Michel De Montaigne

“The moment your attention turns to the now you feel a presence, a stillness, a peace.” -Eckhart Tolle

“I live for every present moment and don’t think about the future.” -Henry Schliemann (from the book The Greek Treasure by Irving Stone)

“May I always be in the right place at the right time to do as much good as possible.” -Raymon Grace

a spiritual power list by watkins books, london

The Watkins Review magazine in London published a list of the 100 most spiritually influential living people. Are you up for reading about it?



We’re delighted to share our début list of the 100 most spiritually influential living people, that was published in the Spring issue #26 of the Watkins Review.* Yes, we’ve taken up the not so simple task of naming the most popular authors and spiritual teachers, whose contribution in spirituality and spreading awareness is affecting us all.

We live in an age of lists – from groceries and obituaries to Facebook friends, resume facts, lists of city capitals and lottery numbers. Of course, lists that classify the past, are easier to compile than lists that attempt to predict the future. With the holy grail of sorting algorithms, the world is sure to be your oyster.

Lists help us organize, explore and perceive our environments. But are so many lists really necessary? It is very much in vogue to publish lists of people: Time Magazine publishes an annual list of the 100 people who most influence the world; Forbes publishes several lists including a Celebrity 100 list, the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, and a list of 1000 Billionaires; Art Review’s Power 100 is an annual list of the worlds 100 most powerful collectors, artists, gallerists, etc…

The lists of lists of people, just keep going and going. However, the Watkins Review believes that an important list has been long overdue, and we are delighted to share with you our list of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People. Lists of influential people contribute to the discourse and issues that each person represents, and the Watkins Review hopes that our list will nurture the debates surrounding contemporary spirituality.

There are several factors that were taken into account when compiling the list. Listed below are the main three:
1) The person has to be alive
2) The person has to have made a unique and spiritual contribution on a global scale
3) The person is frequently googled, appears in Nielsen Data, and highlighted in throughout the blogosphere
It’s interesting to think about the amount of times that a person is googled; in a sense, being googled is a form of digital voting, and illustrates just how often someone is being sought out.

I’m not printing the names because these things change all the time. How do you feel about having a list of  “spiritual teachers”?

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“Teachers open the door. But you must enter by yourself.”
– Qi The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health & Fitness, spring 2011, page 11

constantine’s sword by james carroll – first a book, then a movie . . .

James Carroll’s Constantine’s Sword is directed by Oren Jacoby.

Here are some of the reviews:

“ENTHRALLING!” -Stephen Holden, New York TImes
“ASTONISHING!” -Jeffrey Lyons, NBC-Reel Talk
“MAGNIFICENT!” -Ronnie Scheib, Variety
“ENGROSSING AND EVOCATIVE!” -Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“EXHILERATING!” -Rob Nelson, Boston Phoenix
“ELOQUENT . . . FASCINATING!” -Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun
“EYE-OPENING! Moments that are simply amazing. James Carroll is a marvelous teller of truths.” -Eric Goldman, NJ Jewish Standard

BONUS MATERIALS includes: Introduction by Gabriel Byrne, discussion with Elaine Pagels and James Carroll

In the Director’s Statement Oren Jacoby poses the question: “Where did anyone get the idea that it was all right to kill people in the name of God?”

Perhaps for many centuries many people have been asking that question.

camino de santiago

I’M OFF THEN by Hape Kerkeling
Have you ever thought about hiking the Camino de Santiago? – If you have or haven’t, I’M OFF THEN is a delightful travel book; it’s very funny and very honest. The writer freely shares what he’s feeling and learning, and the thoughts that arise on his spiritual journey. Questions come to him from out of the blue, and answers come when least expected. He meets people of all persuasions, a few become good friends, others he’d rather not have met. And the differences of one little village after another where pilgrims stay the night to seek food and refuge are noted, as are thoughts about the day’s hike.

Experiences differ greatly because everyone has their own reasons for hiking the camino. I’ve read that the experiences a hiker encounters on the pilgrimage are the ones needed, and that includes the people one meets along the way. To go alone seems quite brave. If the hiker is on a personal quest, then alone time tends to soothe the soul – after awhile. And there are always companions who come and go. At the end of the journey Santiago’s magnificent cathedral is there to greet the pilgrim.

The good and the not so good all sound wonderful to me because, when all is said and done, the experiences seem worth the tremendous effort it takes to hike the Camino de Santiago. Are you ready?

from a friend in malta . . .

Thank you for the following, Lilian. You’re so good at informing people about all kinds of pertinent information.


Please take note this in no hoax
Another reminder!
No matter how many times you get this
Please send it on!!!!
Bottled water in your car is very dangerous!

On the Ellen show, Sheryl Crow said that this is what caused her breast cancer.
It has been identified as the most common cause of the high levels of dioxin in breast cancer tissue.

Sheryl Crow’s oncologist told her: women should not drink bottled water that has been left in a car.
The heat reacts with the chemicals in the plastic of the bottle which releases dioxin into the water. Dioxin is a toxin increasingly found in breast cancer tissue. So please be careful and do not drink bottled water that has been left in a car.
Pass this on to all the women in your life. This information is the kind we need to know that just might save us! Use a stainless steel canteen or a glass bottle instead of plastic!

This information is also being circulated at Walter Reed ArmyMedical Center .
No plastic containers in microwaves. No plastic water bottles in freezers. No plastic wrap in microwaves.

Dioxin chemical causes cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to cells in our bodies. Don’t freeze plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently the Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital , was on a TV program to explain this health hazard.

He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating food in the microwave using plastic containers….
This especially applies to foods that contain fat.

He said that the combination of fat, high heat and plastic releases dioxin into the food.

Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Pyrex or ceramiccontainers for heating food. You get the same result, but without the dioxin. So, such things as TV dinners, instant soups, etc., should be removed from their containers and heated in something else.

Paper isn’t bad but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s safer to use tempered glass, such as Pyrex, etc.

He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the styrene foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons…

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Cling film, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

This is an article that should be sent to anyone important in your life!

listen up! – graduates, and everyone else . . .

Tama Kieves’s eletters are refreshing, I think because she never hesitates to punctuate them with an abundance of honest enthusiasm. She wants everyone to feel the exhileration she experiencess in her own life. This earnestness is felt in all her writings, workshops, and, I bet, the one-on-one coaching sessions. She wants people to know that there’s another way. Again and again she tells the story of how she transformed her own life. She speaks from experience when she says to listen to your own “inspired voice,” that “there’s nothing safer than listening to your own heart.” Many people aren’t passionate about what they do in life, as once she wasn’t, so she gently pushes with her words, and eventually she hopes a glimmer of light will shine so that someone who once believed in a dream will begin to resurrect it.

She never meant to graduate from Harvard Law School; she allowed herself to be coerced into going. She wanted to write. It took a little while for her to extricate herself from the long hours, stress, and the emptiness of having a job she never wanted or liked. And it took a while for her to remember her dream, and to gather the courage to do something about it. There’s an authentic aliveness about her because she dared, believed, and then changed her life. To put it mildly, she’s a happy camper now.

about Tama . . .