Musical bookwriter, lyricist composer, entrepreneur, mom, wife and business partner.
It was awesome to meet up again with one our earliest guests, Ali Skylar.
Ali is a humorously creative writer and imagineer who is just completing her first musical as the bookwriter, lyricist and composer.
Based on the storyline and music I’ve heard, I believe Ali’s first musical will be a huge hit because it touches on so much of the uncertainty of the life of entrepreneurs, artists and dreamers. It reveals the doubts and fears we all face that hold us back from achieving our dreams and embarking on the lives we lead in our imagination.
It’s about pushing through the fears with determination, no matter what.
It’s a play for artists, entrepreneurs dreamers, and anyone who has ever doubted the validity of their hopes and goals.
We think James Altucher would be a great fit for this because he’s all about this topic, the theme of the musical, breaking out of the mold set by others, and following your heart over the crowd. Plus he’s a New Yorker, it’s a musical, and it’s all about choosing yourself, which is James’ signature brand and message.
Ali’s musical has the potential to be a huge hit. Tune in to this interview to enjoy one of the songs being sung a bit later in the call.
So grab a cup of your favorite brew and join us in catching up with Ali. we enjoyed it and think you will to, and later we can all say, “I knew her when…” 🙂
As we were ending the call, there was these lovely rays of light streaming in over Ali. She didn’t notice until I mentioned it, because it was on her, thus hard for her to see on herself. It brought me to wonder… how many magical light-filled moments might actually occur unnoticed.
So wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, take a pause, look up, stretch, deep breath of gratitude and appreciation for the quiet moments hiding in everyday things.
If you or someone you know might be interested in investing in Ali’s show, or sharing it with an agent you know, please contact us.
Lisa Brick, born in 1953, is a survivor, regularly reinventing herself by seeking new learning experiences, through which she inevitably learns and grows. She began swimming later in life, even though it was challenging for her and her latest pursuit is learning the piano at 61, though she doesn’t look at day over 51! What inspired this?
“I was listening to myself”, Lisa said.
Tune into this interview with Lisa to hear what she heard, what she thought about it and how it motivated her. I really enjoyed sharing time and space with Lisa and think you will as well.
One technique Lisa uses to help keep her on purpose in life and each day is an awareness-focusing question: What am I for?
“I ask myself all the time: ‘What am I for?'” Lisa Brick
Lisa used this powerful mantra for aligning with purpose and stalling a dire health diagnosis when she was a young mother of two. It took her nine months to birth her mind into a new way of thinking that lead toward healing herself enough to delay the onslaught of a genetic disease by twenty years.
“Ultimately, the diagnosis and the journey it led me on internally, has been the greatest gift of my life.” Lisa Brick
Lisa asked herself: “What am I for?” And what she’d always been for is health and wellness. “Somehow it came to me from beyond my logical comprehension, that I could use this diagnosis to create better health than I’d ever known.”
Eventually—20 years later instead of the six month prognosis—Lisa’s kidneys did fail, but she is alive and vibrantly healthy today thanks to her nephew, Jared Brick, who donated his kidney to save her.
“The more perspectives I look at reality from the broader perspective I have.” Lisa Brick
Lisa has already lived an amazing and inspired—and inspiring—life, practicing a healthy lifestyle for the past forty years (!!!), and it shows.
Lisa is a healer of herself and others. An acupuncturist and holistic lifestyle coaching, she is committed to providing a pathway for learning. Along with others coaches in her coaching practice called Journey Beyond Divorce, Lisa helps people turn the pain and turmoil of the divorce process into an opportunity for personal growth and liberation.
“We are not our thoughts we are the thinker of the thoughts. We are not our experiences, we are the experiencer of the experience.” Lisa Brick
Lisa has invited, supported, and cajoled numerous individuals into being who they want to be: powerful, effective, creative, centered, generally upbeat, and self expressed human beings. In doing so, she effectively challenges individuals’ logical assumption that circumstances are the limiting factor in life, knowing that this assumption undermines personal motivation and creativity.
“When we look at life as an adventure, and we look at ourselves as divine creative forces, it’s an absolute game changer.” Lisa Brick
Lisa Brick has four decades of experience in supporting individuals’ well-being as an acupuncturist, whole foods advocate, dedicated family person, and since 2010, certified iPEC coach. Having first-hand personal experience with life changing in unwanted, dramatic, and challenging ways, Lisa knows the devastation of facing what appears to be a nightmare future, and finding her way out of it.
“Rather than trying to cover my fears… I actually went into them.” Lisa Brick
Through her own tremendous struggles, Lisa discovered the power of purpose and treasuring each moment by making the most of it.
Lisa brings new ways of thinking and being to light. Her most evident collective accomplishments include Unity Charter School in Morristown New Jersey, the Acupuncture Center of New Jersey, her coaching practice at Journey Beyond Divorce, and a loving and healthy family and marriage of 30 plus years.
“Our power isn’t in the future and it isn’t in the past. Our power is how we choose to use our creativity, our energy, our intelligence right now, each moment.” Lisa Brick
Speaking of marriages, Lisa shares an interesting statistic about divorce: 60% of all divorces are initiated by women. It’s usually a woman who says that “I can’t live this way any more.” But whether it’s a man or a woman seeking to change their life circumstance, it’s often the beginning of the journey of inventing or reinventing themselves more fully into a life that represents more of who they really are at their core.
“Often, the pain of divorce births a new lease on life.” LeAura Alderson
When people can embark on that journey together, as Lisa and her husband, Peter Kadar have, as well as my husband, Coleman Alderson and I have, that’s a wonderful and enriching experience. But if two people in marriage find they cannot reconcile their issues and align their life aspirations, then divorce supported by a coaching such as that offered through Lisa and her clinic can help to smooth out the rough spots and help people to embark on their own more empowered journey.
“Too often people waste time dredging through the remnants of the past.” LeAura Alderson
“Very often with divorce, it feels like it’s forever. Your stuck in the past your projecting into the future and you’ve disappeared as a powerful force in your own life in the present moment. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
When people don’t have a future to live into, then they’re really stuck. If divorce is a car crash and you’re a driver, Journey Beyond Divorce is focusing on that clear place beyond the crash… between that conflagration of cars and the railing. That’s the work that Lisa and her partners and fellow coaches do at Journey Beyond Divorce.
“We need to aim where we want to go and keep focusing on that.” LeAura Alderson
At first I was surprised to learn of Lisa’s healthy longtime marriage given that her coaching practice focuses on divorce. However, there are other coaches in her practice who’ve personally experience divorce, and as Lisa very aptly indicated, those seeking better relationships not only need coaches who can empathize with them because they’ve been there, but they also need those who can guide them from their own success, toward where they want to be.
“I see no productive value in worrying.” Lisa Brick
Lisa has not let age, illness, fear or worry stop her from living a fuller life. Rather, she has used adversity to grow stronger and healthier and continues to add new experiences and abilities to her life, no matter the age.
This conversation with Lisa is full of gems, so please mine them. From things we can do for our own health, fears and anxieties to concerns and fears about global matters in today’s changing world, there’s much food for thought and strategies for a healthy and balanced life approach, no matter the outer circumstances.
“Do I really want to utilize these moments in complaint..? Or, what am I FOR?” Lisa Brick
We were inspired by the wise and wonderful Lisa Brick and believe you will be as well. Tune in to hear her take on the “ping-pong game of duality”, and so much more.
In every change there’s an opportunity.’ Lisa Brick
Lisa Brick is a wife, mother of two now grown and inspiring children, an author, acupuncturist, and IPEC certified coach, (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching), in partnership with Karen McMahon as a Divorce Coach with Journey Beyond Divorce. There she facilitates support groups locally and in Manhattan, blogs, and coaches individuals to navigate and grow through the difficult transition of divorce with dignity and strength.
As a holistic healer and coach, Lisa applies her vast experience and wisdom in helping her clients navigate challenges to break through to their next major level of growth. Be sure to check out her website and download their free eBook: Navigating Divorce, and also their latest book: Stepping Out of Chaos.
“The super woman role is an unsustainable model.” Janet Neal
Janet Neal is a strong woman, passionate about helping people—especially women—understand how powerful they are. She teaches from years of experience in corporate leadership training and from her own experience of pushing through life’s challenges and believing in herself even when it was the hardest thing to do, and even when those closest to her did not.
Janet had to push through barriers and the resistance of others to become more of who she knew she could be.
If you’ve ever been stifled or oppressed by the ‘shoulds’ in your life—Janet said, “I lived by my ‘shoulds'”—or maybe you felt held back from fear, then this is also for you.
In this conversation, Janet and I dive into delicate territory to discuss some of the shackles that can hold us back. You may discover some of the invisible barriers that could be keeping you from being all that you can be and from taking your life to its next level of possibilities.
Often, we—our lives—are filled with the ideas and ideologies of others. We are all products of the conditioning of our families and our cultures. Some of this provides a solid values-based foundation on which we can build the life we envision, but too often, it includes structure and decor added by others. Like the well-intended housewarming gift that doesn’t fit or belong in our dwelling, so too, with some of the conditioning we grew up with of what we were supposed to do to fit it with the expectations of society and others in our life.
When we do not fill ourselves with more of ourSELVES… our Soul… our essence, we have to fill that void with something else. Something less, and often it’s the ideas others have for us.
Don’t settle for less for yourself… for your life. Ask as Janet did, “Why are you doing some of these things?” And if it doesn’t ring true with you, it may be time for a change.
“Women have a hunger to connect with other women.”
I would add to this, that I think people have a hunger to connect with people. So reach out to someone you admire or would like to meet… someone who’s already doing something you’d like to do. See how you might be able to add value to them, even if it’s just a note of appreciation. The more we do this the more connected we will be and feel.
Speaking of that, we’d love to connect with you! Please let us know how you’re doing and what you’re working on or interested in. You can leave a comment below or visit our Facebook page.
A writer, a certified coach, a speaker and a woman living a “should-free” life, Janet Neal has worked in education, corporations, non-profits, and as an entrepreneur. Her company, The Superbwoman®, Inc., focuses on helping women move from being stressed out Superwomen to becoming peaceful, productive and powerful Superbwomen! The mother of three grown children, Janet lives happily in New Jersey (a place she said she’d never live) with her loyal dog, Lily.
What inspires and motivates someone in their late 50’s to contemplate writing a first novel, and to then spend the next three years writing it? This debut novel is 416 pages total, and has grown from what was intended to be one book, to what is becoming a trilogy or quadrilogy.
Think this couldn’t happen to you? Whether it’s writing a book or some other endeavor you may have fantasized about, realizing your dreams is one step away, one day at a time.
This is an interview of one such baby boomer, who is also my husband of 27 years, Coleman Alderson. Coleman was born in 1953 and has done many things in his entrepreneurial life thus far, but writing a novel is a brand new adventure.
Caution: This Could Be “Edgy”
Is this interview—or this book—political? We don’t think so, but Coleman says it could be “edgy”.
For certainly it is talking about sacred cows and belief systems that may or may not be rooted in truth, and which people may or may not be prepared to address with Spock-like objectivity. Most sacred cows are defended rather than examined. It’s just what people tend to do: we protect our own, which includes our ideals and ideologies.
Still, seeking truth is what Coleman—and Mountain Whispers—is about. This debut novel, cloaked in colorful characters from deep in the mountains and ways of Appalachian coal country, paints a mural of a fiercely independent people. We meet them and mesh in the emotions of an escalating clash between them and the utopic green cities of idealistic interdependence, each living according to the precepts of deeply rooted creeds and deeds.
Book One is Out and Book Two is Underway
A Dystopic Action Adventure Thriller Spanning Four Generations
Neither Boomers Reinvented, nor Coleman nor I, are proponents of any political party. Probably like you, we’ve lived long enough to see the pros and cons of all of them, and how politics is cyclical and in one cycle one party can look very much like the other in a previous or subsequent cycle.
Perhaps this interview and topic flirts with politics. Perhaps it is just commentary and ruminations on the ‘what ifs’ of these tumultuous, fascinatingly revolutionary times we’re living today. Certainly Coleman’s book, Mountain Whispers ~ Days Without Sun is one entertaining hypothesis on where things could go. You can decide what it is for you, and have fun letting us know. Meanwhile, if you like this kind of discussion and would like to engage in some conversations of this ilk, you can take that to Coleman’s blog, LittleRedPill.com. 😉, and visit the Mountain Whispers Facebook Page to comment and maybe get a conversation going.
If You Liked Atlas Shrugged…
If you enjoyed Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, you will enjoy the Mountain Whispers books series. If you haven’t yet read Atlas Shrugged, you might want to go ahead and read this classic. Since I don’t read fiction, I finally listened to the well-read audio version of Atlas Shrugged from iTunes about four years ago, at the behest of my daughter. She read it and loved it when she was 16, and was convinced I would as well, and she was right. I don’t do fiction because I prefer to immerse in truth and reality, however Atlas, is an eye-opening and cleverly revelatory rendering, that invites deeper contemplation of our assumptions. Mountain Whispers is a kindred spirit in that regard.
*Rule One is named and fashioned after Warren Buffet’s Rule #1 (and #2): “Never lose money.”
Don’t Think You’re Qualified? Think Again
Coleman graduated Penn State with a masters in park planning and management, and during the first half of his life has entrepreneured several businesses, including home construction as a general contractor, landscaping and closet organization company, real estate investing, domestic and international development, and is fourth generation land and mineral resources development.
None of Coleman’s former areas of endeavor, nor his formal training are related to anything he’s embarking on now. And yet he and his life have become more fully charged, vibrant and impassioned through his experience of learning, growing, and creating in these new areas of pursuit.
Refresh, Rekindle, Reignite!
So if you find yourself feeling stuck, stagnant, dull, bored or even depressed, chances are you just need an infusion of new. That’s how humans are wired according to 20th century Psychologist Abraham H. Maslow. We all experience six basic needs, (I say seven, but that’s another post): we each need the safety of certainty and the familiar. And, paradoxically, yet logically, we also all need the excitement of uncertainty and adventure.
If we are too comfortable, we get lulled into the rut of complacency, and that can happen to us individually as well as to a society as a whole, which is another angle of philosophical humanistic nuances explored in the story of Mountain Whispers.
What Motivates and Inspires You? Start There.
What motivated Coleman to decide one day to sit down and begin writing a novel comprised of a rich cast of characters from four generations of the Appalachian Mountains? Or, to craft a futuristic world in a dystopic, action-adventure-thriller novel, that begins in 2054, and travels to places in the past from the eyes of a distant present?
Debut novel aside, what’s he doing to earn double and triple digit returns on our private investment portfolio?
Tune in to learn more about my husband, Coleman Alderson, and his journey into authorship, speaker, blogger and savvy investor, in this conversation with him.
If you’re feeling stuck, chances are you just need an infusion of new. And new… is only a skill away.
Art can be expressed in so many ways, from how you arrange your home to how you arrange a meal, to appreciation of beauty, nature and art.
I think that even appreciation can be a form of art. I think of it as colors flowing from the heart. And certainly, art is appreciation. Perhaps we could say that gratitude is art from the heart.
The artist’s path is to reveal beauty from beauty… to illustrate and enhance the beauty seen and unseen and bring it to light.
An artist gazes upon their subject for hours, communing with it and coaxing from it secrets hidden to the casual eye. It takes a deep sense of appreciation, and a heart gladdened by beauty, to bring more life to art… and more art to life.
The Artist Who Healed Herself
Diane was uncertain at first of sharing her story… her painful and private journey publicly. But then she thought that if she could help someone else… if her story might help someone else, it would be worth it.
“I have a friend around my age who was really overweight and suffering and now she’s turned her life around completely.” Diane shared.
Indeed, her story has already helped others, so we’re sharing it here, in case it might also help you or someone you know, and for the inspiration in Diane’s sojourn.
If you’re an artist, your soul yearns to soak in the scenes of life and capture sun-washed strands in strokes of brush, write color into words on paper, mold clay into ever-refined shapes… from blobs to beauty.
If you’re a visual artist, you need your eyes.
So when Diane Cardaci’s eyesight became significantly impaired, it throttled her life and her plans. This interview is her story of triumph over tragedy and victory over the victim she refused to be.
Artist heal thyself. And so she did. Diane healed herself through meditation, prayer, invocation, and—in particular—through food. Rather than write too much here, please tune into the interview with Diane and let her share her journey with you.
Learn what happened to Diane and how she regained her vision through food… and… a little help from her friends!
We hope you enjoy this visit with Diane as much as we did. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, or over on our Facebook page. We’re building community here… and that includes you!
The bottom line: we are all far more capable of healing ourselves than we might imagine, and it often begins with the simplest of solutions.
After studying portraiture, commissioned portrait work soon became an important part of Diane’s art work. She is a Signature member of the American Society of Portrait Artists, and has been a contributing writer for the organization’s publications. Her work hangs in private, corporate and public collections, and she has exhibited both nationally and internationally.
Diane has devoted much of her time to art education. She directed her own art school, The Academy of Classical Art, for four years in West Palm Beach, Fl. She is also the author of numerous art instruction books published by Walter Foster.
We’re inspired by Diane’s story, and it reminded us that actually, you don’t have to see to be an artist! Here are a couple of artists who inspire with their art… created by a different kind of vision.
Jennifer Riga Manuel, an artist, avid life learner, and wonderful story teller shares how creativity, art and humor eventually helped her triumph over her “Dark Years” of depression. Jennifer is on a journey of constant reinvention and is an inspiration to anyone seeking to learn and open up their creative side!
Have you, or anyone you know, struggled with depression? It can be a very hard abyss to climb out of, yet many have found that some of the best coping methods are surprisingly simple. Jennifer discovered that through humor and creating an extroverted, funny character she was able to embody a lighter self, even when feeling down, shy, and depressed.
We’ve all heard the common “fake it till you make it” phrase, and while it might seem dishonest or inauthentic to pretend, focusing on how bad we feel rarely if ever makes anyone feel better. If it feels like you’re drowning in depression, or fuming in anger and agitation, and looking for a way out, you might really benefit from hearing what worked for Jennifer.
“Laughing, in our family, was one of the biggest coping skills there was.”
But this interview is about so much more than depression. It’s also about creating, creativity, following your heart, creating art and beauty, and finding someone in your life who believes in you and uplifts you, (and for whom you do the same).
It’s a lot about the journey of perpetual self-reinvention, and in fact perhaps that is really just the thing that saved Jennifer’s life, (besides her husband Van).
Out of the Dark Into Color and Light
We’ve all experienced hurt and pain to varying degrees in our lives. For some, pain can hit in a series of unfortunate events all in a short span of time. Others might experience a roller coaster ride of highs, lows, and everything in between.
Pain, like every emotion, is part of our human experience and not always something we can control. What we are responsible for is how to deal with the events, emotions, or cards we are dealt.
We can’t change what happens to us but we can change our response to what happens.
We meet each challenge and struggle head on, by considering that what’s happening to us is happening for us. When we’re focused on how we can grow through something, and on the solutions and on any positive we can find, we grow.
Learning and growth energizes, elevates and empowers.
This process actually creates better chances and opportunities for ourselves. It would seem the harder way, because it requires effort to shift our obsession with what’s happened over what CAN now happen. But just like how our body and muscles improve with exercise… by pushing through what’s hard, so to do our emotions grow in health and strength.
“We all have things to overcome.”
Jennifer’s way of getting out of her pain and depression was through being creative. She enjoys art of all kinds and she’s always creating something, but if she gets stuck, she gets to cleaning her studio, and that almost always unlocks her creative streak. Next thing you know she’s gone from cleaning to creating something new.
Jennifer’s husband, Van Manuel, who is co-owner of Manuel Sheet Metal Works, Inc. in Kernersville, North Carolina, along with his brother, David Manuel (in a business their father started over 60 years ago!), has been her rock and her anchor. Van encouraged her to follow her heart and pursue her creative inclinations, and that’s exactly what she’s been doing.
From pottery to knitting to painting and more, Jennifer has become a prolific artist, selling her creations around the world, through Southwinds Gallery in Kernersville, North Carolina.
“Artistically, I’ve let go of things, and it’s okay to do that.”
Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns, for if you want to get your creative juices flowing but don’t know where to start… or… just love the meditative, creative process of coloring, something that Jennifer said she’s always loved to do.