Keep On Keepin On

Such were the words uttered by Legendary jazz musician Clark Terry (who taught Quincy Jones and mentored Miles Davis) to his latest young protégé, blind 23-year-old pianist Justin Kauflin, every time they said good-bye. In this thoughtful documentary of the same name, Keep On Keepin’ On is the story of their touching and enduring friendship. After my friend and I sat in the theater for 15 minutes post credits, I came home and added both Terry and Kauflin to my Pandora playlist. Inspired to tears, I highly recommend it.

As some may know, I love the movies. I often go alone and am drenched in the dialogue, inspired by the sets and captivated by the costumes. I get this love of cinema from my mom, Elaine, whom I think has great taste in movies. As the weather gets colder and long winter nights encourage us to escape the dreariness without leaving our homes, I gift you with some of her favorites.

And as she would encourage, so do I — pour a glass of wine, pop some popcorn and pull up your favorite blanket. May you find inspiration, motivation or simple delight in one of her recommendations.

  1. The Grifters
  2. Coming Home
  3. Renaissance Man
  4. The Verdict
  5. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  6. Primal Fear
  7. Witness
  8. Gross Point Blank
  9. Charlie Wilson’s War
  10. Crimes and Misdemeanors
  11. God Father I and II
  12. Wall Street
  13. Fargo
  14. Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  15. Shawshank Redemption
  16. The Good Bye Girl
  17. Le Femme Nakita
  18. Married to the Mob
  19. Network
  20. 6 Degrees of Separation
  21. The Sting
  22. Shirley Valentine
  23. Sling Blade
  24. Working Girl
  25. Goodwill Hunting
  26. Dial M for Murder
  27. Justice for All
  28. Good Morning Vietnam
  29. The Graduate
  30. MASH
  31. The Joy Luck Club
  32. Fabulous Baker Boys
  33. Diabolique
  34. Philadelphia


What movies have MindFULLY delighted you? Let us know!

Be of Ease

“Be of Ease” is the quote my mom uses when signing off her emails.

With the Holidays upon us, we hear a lot about giving gifts. While I want for little in the “Stuff” department, there is something I pray to receive. Perspective.

For me, Perspective is the greatest gift. It’s free. I can give it to myself and I can share it with others. It brings with it the Ease my mom wishes for us, Humor and Forgiveness. And I love those guys!

Recently, Jill and I were talking about the book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris. Harris, you may know, is an ABC News Anchor. After suffering a panic attack on live TV during a Good Morning America segment, Harris set about learning what he could do to reduce anxiety and came upon mediation. Meditating changed his life. Check out his interview with Gretchen Rubin to learn more.–/dp/0062265423/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417448008&sr=8-1&keywords=10%25+happier

Boy, what we could do with 10%. The anxiety level in our house is kinda high right now. Suffice to say, I am blessed with a high school Junior who is determined to do well at whatever she sets her mind to – and her mind is on overload as she juggles the next two weeks (after juggling the last month) and heads toward Finals, the State competition for one of her favorite and most time demanding classes (which happens to fall on the first day of Finals, moving some of them later into the week – which only adds more stress) and a recent realization that she will need to study over the holidays for college tests this Winter/Spring. No rest for weary Juniors the country over.

These are “first world problems” as “They” wisely say. Nontheless, managing the stress of so many balls in the air, can get to even the most seasoned handler of us all.

“Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader” and so, all I can do is cheer her on. Even tho’ I can’t pull my old skirt up past my knees, I can find ways to show I am on her team. I made her a Junior Year Stress Relief Kit for her backpack filled with Rescue Remedy, lavender oil, Emergen-cee’, protein bars and a cotton ball.  A lovely mom we know gave her this beautiful stress relieving aromatherapy necklace; she had it leftover from her own daughter’s Junior year. My intention is simply to offer a variety of touchstones to bring her back to a deep breath. With breath comes perspective. And sharing that learning is all I can do for her.

locketEveryone seems to have his or her own version of stress right now. Some friends are dealing with their own illnesses, others are dealing with aging parents, kids in school, kids out of school, work demands, family dynamics and holiday thorns. No one seems immune. However, in an effort to inoculate myself from taking it all in, today I am sporting my happy shoes –  my metaphor for taking a step toward finding my own way (I think it will be downloading Dan’s book to my iPad).


Here’s to hoping you find your own version of ease delivered to your door and heart this Holiday Season. Peace Out.avi player download free

How do you find MindFULLY find what you need during stressful times?

Let us know!