Looking Good on the Course

For all of you fashionistas out there who golf—and we know there are many of you—we hope you’re taking full advantage of the opportunity that a day on the links can provide for looking and feeling your best. Sure, at the end of the day it’s all about your swing, your put and your handicap, but looking good on the course will make you feel good. And, when you feel good, everything seems to get better—including your golf game, not to mention you’ll be the envy of all of your golf partners as you strut across the course donning fabulous golf fashions and accessories!


Dress for Success

A day on the golf course, especially come the dog days of summer, can leave you hot and sweaty if don’t plan your outfit accordingly. Invest in performance moisture-wicking polo shirts, Bermuda shorts and Capri pants. Ladygolf.com offers many cool brands of golf fashions, so ladies can peruse a wide variety of styles and find a look that makes them feel beautiful on the course. Think Girls Golf, Golftini, Abacus Sportswear and more.


Girls Golf is perfect for the woman who is looking for a fashion-forward look on the links and loves to don bold patterns and tones while Golftini makes pristine-looking polos and skorts; perfect for the woman looking for a more traditional, yet equally polished look. Abacus Sportswear draws its inspiration from its Scandinavian roots, designing functional activewear and every-day apparel in high-performance fabrics to help keep you comfortable while looking your best both on and off the course.


Clubs: Got You Covered

Using covers helps protect those precious woods, from the 9 irons right down to the 3s and wedges. Using them can also enhance your look on the links. If they look good, they’ll create a cohesive look with your golf bag. Try covers by Ame & Lulu and Just 4 Golf.


Ame & Lulu’s covers are made from durable stretch material and fit heads up to 460cc in size. Matching fabric shoe cases, tee bags, belts, ball holders, key chains and even tennis accessories are also available.


Just 4 Golf give their owners the chance to show some personality in their golf club covers, with its animal attraction, by the numbers, red hots, “par-fect” pinks and spot-the-dots collections.


Spikes & Bags

For footwear, our picks are Unutzer, which come in both spikeless golf and street shoes and spring and summer models with traditional soft spikes, and Sesto Meucci of Florence, handmade Italian leather golf and street shoes that are stylish and comfortable, and the Walter Genuin collection, which includes waterproof and linea stretch golf & street shoes. (The linea stretch shoes look like a cross between a ballet flat and a sneaker—simply adorable!)


When it comes to the golf bag, consider the style of bag you want. Are you looking for a classic, stand-and-carry or golf-cart bag? The cart bag is a nice option for women who jet around the course the majority of the time. It has outside pockets, which are perfect for carrying keys, a compact, a tube of lipstick or gloss, sunblock, water and other essentials. The classically designed bags may be carted or carried and they have pockets on the back, but that means the aforementioned essentials won’t be as accessible when secured to the cart.


Also, if you prefer to walk the course, it’s important to pay attention to how the bag feels on your shoulder. Opt for a lightweight, ergonomically designed golf bag to minimize the stress your clubs may place on your shoulders and back. (Of course, if calfskin, genuine ostrich or crocodile leather is your thing, go for it—just remember it may be heavier than a bag made from cotton canvas.)


Ladygolf.com carries a wide variety of golf bags, from classic to sporty and more edgy styles as well. Looking for a Burberry-inspired look? Consider a bag in hunter’s plaid or navy multi-plaid. Looking for a bag that won’t outshine you in whatever outfit you choose? Then, consider a straight-up classically designed saddle bag in a neutral color combination like black and beige.


For women who want their bag to make a really bold statement, consider animal print patterns, like the black/tigress Circa 1904 Vintage Reproduction Sunday Golf Bag. It’s a handmade replica’s from actual Sunday golfbags produced back in 1904 (available from Ladygolf.com for $312).


And, for the grande dame of golf bags, check out Louis Vuitton. It has two models; the first of which retails for $11,700 is elegant and particularly sturdy. It can hold a full set of clubs, as well as clothing, an umbrella, balls or towels. Louis Vuitton’s second bag, which also has ample room for clothing, an umbrella, balls and towels, as well as a full set of clubs, is made of Damier Géant canvas. It retails for $13,000.


By Laura Starczewski

Where to Buy Designer Golf Duds &Accessories

Start with Ladygolf.com, which sells a wide variety of golf apparel, shoes, golf bags and golf accessories by many famous designers.

Best Of Health & Fitness

Best Health Club

Worcester Fitness
440 Grove Street

For the past 32 years Worcester Fitness has served the Central Massachusetts community, and this year they’ve earned honors as Best Health Club. Operating two dynamic fitness centers in Worcester, Worcester Fitness represents a true membership club. “We’re very heavy on customer service,” affirms Joe Santa Maria, General Manager of Worcester Fitness. “We’ve adapted every year as part of a commitment shared by our ownership through every staff member to make this the best facility around.” Open to customers of all ages and fitness levels, Worcester Fitness provides a bevy of opportunities for members to join classes, enjoy private instruction, or simply exercise on their own. Worcester Fitness also remains active in the community, working with the city of Worcester for employee health initiatives and youth health programs.

Runner Up

Jewish Community Center
633 Salisbury St # 1

Best Personal Training Facility

Worcester Fitness
440 Grove Street

With a second crown in this year’s Best Of, Worcester Fitness also claims the title as Best Personal Training Facility. General Manager Joe Santa Maria and the staff at Worcester Fitness service members with a tremendous listing of group training courses and classes and also provide specialized, one-on-one training. “This is functional training,” declares Santa Maria, “our trainers aren’t just counting reps – they’re developing creative training solutions built on groundbreaking fitness techniques.” The fitness training and courses at Worcester Fitness cater to exercisers of all levels. “We’ve had people training for marathons, Ironman competitions, looking to lose weight, or just be more active,” explains Santa Maria. “Our team is positioned for anything, and we help people get results.”

Runner Up

All Access Fitness Academy
904C Boston Post Road

Best Health Food Store

Living Earth
232 Chandler St # 1

For the third year in a row The Living Earth claims the title of Best Health Food Store for City Living Magazine’s reader vote. Owned and operated by Al and Maggie Maykel, the Living Earth has supplied Central Massachusetts with healthy foods and supplements for over two decades. The store features locally harvested produce in season from their own organic farm in Rutland along with foods from national suppliers carefully chosen for the highest quality, most environmentally friendly products available. The store takes care to carry many specialty items for dietary restrictions, including gluten-free and vegan items. In addition to great produce and groceries, The Living Earth also stocks a robust selection of herbal and homeopathic supplements, cosmetics, and organic and low-sulfite wines for overall well-being.

Runner Up

Simple Enough Natural Foods
18 Lyman St # 20E

Best Physician

Dr. Debarah Hazen
555 Main St

Dr. Deborah Hazen entered the medical profession later in life than most, but her relentless dedication to her patients has earned her Best Physician in City Living Magazine. Attending UMass Medical School at the age of 40, Dr. Hazen had previously attended Harvard Law School after graduating from her undergraduate degree. “When I was growing up girls weren’t doctors, so I never even thought of becoming a doctor.” After graduating law school, however, Hazen found herself continually reading medical journals and decided to pursue her new interests. Now seeing patients since 1998, Dr. Hazen makes an effort to make herself available to every single patient whenever her assistance is needed. “I work 16 hours a day, seven days a week,” Hazen affirms. “I’ve never not been able to see a patient the same day when sick.”

Runner Up

Dr. Walter Goljan
255 Park Ave, Suite 400

Best Chiropractor

Dr. Sean Thornton
Body Therapeutics
102 Shore Drive

Feeling a creak in your neck or some tightness in your back? Turn to Dr. Sean Thornton of Body Therapeutics. A licensed chiropractic physician with a degree from Cleveland Chiropractic College, Dr. Thornton has been practicing for the past 10 years. Prior to joining Body Therapeutics, Dr. Thornton worked as an Associate Chiropractor in Webster for six years. He has additional experience working in Wrentham, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Missouri. Seeking to stay at the forefront of health and wellness, Dr. Thornton has continued his education in the fields of strength and conditioning, nutrition, chiropractic and golf, extremity adjusting, and maternity care.

Runner Up

Back to Health
82 Park Avenue
Worcester, MA

Best Optician

Forgues Eye Care Specialists
152 Russell Street

Run by Matthew and Mark Forgues, Forgues Eye Care Specialists takes the top noch as Best Optician in this year’s reader vote. With two convenient locations – one off of Park Ave. in Worcester and the other on Rt. 9 in Shrewsbury – Forgues Eye Care Specialists offer comprehensive eye examinations and optical and contact lens dispensing. The staff prides itself on recognizing the difficulties of troubled eyesight, working to help people with allergies find the right contact lenses and help maintain and repair broken eyeglasses. Carrying an extensive offering of frames, lenses, contacts, and protective eyewear, Forgues Eye Care Specialists have everything you need for vision care.

Runner Up

Dr. Dennis Arinella
591 Lincoln St

Guest Post

Get in the Best Shape in Just 15, 30 & 45 Minutes

One of the biggest excuses people use for not working out is that they don’t have the time, but often the best workouts can be completed in smaller time increments. According to fitness experts, working hard and at different speeds or intensities is more beneficial than working at the same pace for a long period of time. So drop the excuses, and get with a fitness plan that meets your free period.


Many people view cardio as the most important key in losing weight; however, building muscle is more important in reaching your goals because muscle burns fat. And, you can speed up your metabolism by interval and circuit training, so here are some basic plans you can tackle in close to no time. The key is to engage your entire body to focus on tightening your core, while also sculpting your upper and lower body.



Best 15-Minute Workout

If you have 15 minutes, you want to put the main focus on your legs and back because these are your larger muscle groups, and in return, where you should place the most emphasis for the best results.


Try 10 walking lunges on each leg with a bicep curl. As you walk forward, dip into a lunge with your arms at your side. As you bring your feet together, curl your arms into a basic hammer curl (weighted to meet your personal fitness needs) with your fists facing inward.


For a cardio burst, get in a pushup position and perform 50 mountain climbers, alternating running your knees into your chest until you tire.


To target your back, try 15 bent over rows. Slightly bend your knees, reach your arms down while holding dumbbells, and then pull your elbows back, squeezing your shoulder blades together, and keeping your knees slightly bent.


Finish off with 10 burpees. Start in a standing position, squat down and jump your legs back, do a pushup, jump your legs back in, and then jump with your arms straight in the air. Try going through the circuit twice.



Best 30-Minute Workout

If you have 30 minutes, keep with the 15-minute routine, but add in some extra cardio bursts and toning routines to extend your circuits.


An exercise band can be used for some upper body sculpting. Try looping it around the bottom of the stairwell, bend over with a flat back facing the stairs, and straighten your arms back so that there is no slack. Bend your arms in and then push them back out again 20 times.


Then try some high knees by keeping your back straight, and pumping your knees up as high as you can for a minute.


Next, do another upper body exercise with the exercise band. With your foot standing on the middle of the tube, raise your arms straight to the side at shoulder level, then lower. Try 20 raises to strengthen your shoulders.


Finish off this circuit by adding in a minute of jumping jacks. You can make them harder by turning them into squat jacks, keeping your knees bent for each jack.



Best 45-Minute Workout

If you have 45 minutes to a full hour to exercise, use the exercise circuits from above, but add in even more intervals.


Think sprints, climbing stairs, speed walking on an incline, or jumping rope. All of these let you switch up your range of motion, shocking your body to burn the largest amount of calories.


Walk the plank. Although all of these exercises have already forced you to engage your core, one of the best exercises for your midsection is the plank. With your arms bent at the elbows and hands together, form a straight line with your body so that your toes are popped up. Try to hold this position for a minute. Then, switch so that your legs are stacked and you are on your right elbow with your body forming a straight diagonal down for 30 seconds. Repeat on your left side.


No matter how long you have, you can see that time is not the key to an effective workout. Circuits and intervals really hone in on using your time—or lack thereof—to your advantage. Odds are, with the shorter span you have to work with, the harder you will push. So don’t feel bad if you can’t eek out longer than 15 minutes, what’s important is to get moving in the first place. Every bit helps and can make you not only look better, but feel better, while keeping your heart healthy.

The Health Benefits of Wine

A glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away. 

The ever-growing quest to live a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle is evolving. Considering the general stressors and conundrums of a hectic world, the first thing to do is relax. Stress and the lack therein exemplify the symbiotic relationship between body and mind. Fortunately for health-aficionados, there are developing studies proving that drinking wine offers more benefits than spirits.


Wine, beer and liquor altogether elevate ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels, similarly found in oatmeal, nuts and fruit. A recent Harvard School of Public Heath study revealed that wine—especially red varietals—had benefits more than keeping the heart finely tuned … but why red?


Red wine’s got heart


Harvard already stated, “Red wine may contain more and more various substances in addition to alcohol that could prevent blood clots, relax blood vessel walls, and prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, “bad” cholesterol), a key early step in the formation of cholesterol-filled plaque.” In addition to keeping heart disease at bay, when accompanied with a meal, red wine offers more cardiovascular benefits than beer or spirits. Drinking wine with a meal is natural and who understands that better than the French.


The phenomenon known as the ‘French Paradox’ exhibits the low percentage of heart disease and obesity combined with a high intake of saturated fat. A diet rich in whole dairy, red meats and other saturated ‘no-no’s’. Perplexed? Of French adults, only 7 percent are obese. If obesity is a main contributor to heart disease and illness, can red wine be the magical formula to a healthy lifestyle?


The power of red wine is found in the seeds and skins of grapes, the same antioxidants found in blueberries and the Acai and Noni berry. Resveratrol, a molecule belonging to a group of plant compounds called polyphenols, are found in red wine. Both white and red wines have levels of Resveratrol yet red wine holds the greater benefit.


Red wine is fermented with the skins, allowing the wine to extract the Resveratrol whereas white wine is fermented after the skin has been removed.  Case in point, Pinot Noir is generally paired with its red color as it is made with red grapes. A wine’s color comes from the grape, not the flesh. A white Pinot won’t have the same benefits as a red, however delightful.


Reservatol offers different benefits for men and women. Harvard concluded that Reservatol counterbalance androgens, the male hormones that stimulate the prostate. It dampens the cell activity of the genes that activate cellular growth leading to prostate cancer. Resveratrol also kills prostate cancer cells, a process call ‘apoptosis’. A man who chooses to drink two glasses of wine a day not only reduces his risk for prostrate cancer but aids in his quest for longer life.


Women need half as much alcohol as their male counterparts to gain the health benefits of wine. The researches at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center found women who drink red wine in moderation may reduce their chances of getting breast cancer. The chemicals within the skins and seeds of grapes lowered estrogen levels, a great factor in breast cancer risk.


If these deterrents are not enough, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stated that the antioxidants in grape skins and red wine aid in the destruction of pancreatic cancer cells by reaching to the cell’s core energy source, paralyzing its function. Red wine is becoming more logical and attractive even to those who wouldn’t ordinarily drink it, perhaps a logic-minded option for health.


With all the scientific evidence on red wine, it may seem appropriate to overflow one’s cup, correct? The answer is a definitive “absolutely not.” The idiom “too much of a good thing” rings true with not just red wine, but alcohol in general. Men and women alike can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and the possibility of a stroke by drinking moderate amounts. Conversely too much alcohol be it red wine or any other spirit can cause high blood pressure, damage to the heart muscle, brain damage, pancreatitis, osteoporosis, intestinal bleeding and cancers of the mouth, voice box and upper digestive tract.


Exercising moderation is the greatest philosophy to balance and activate every health benefit the power of red wine has to offer. Remember: good food, good friends and a good health. Cheers!


By Julie Bilotta



Julio’s picks on some fabulous reds


Abraham Lerner, assistant wine director at Julio’s Liquors of Westborough, has suggested some attractive & provocative reds to enjoy:


Wines made of the varietal (Tannat) responsible for the French Paradox:


2006 Folie de Roi, Madiran, France, $13.99

2006 Producteurs Plaimont, Monastere de Saint-Mont, Saint Mont, France, $30.99

2009 Pueblo del Sol, Tannat, Uruguay, $9.99


Other wines from around the world:


2007 Sant’Angelo, Negroamaro, Salento, Apuligia, Italy, $9.99

2009 Girard, Petite Sirah, Napa Valley, California, $28.99

2006 DeTrafford, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch, South Africa, $44.99


A personal favorite:

2009 Dreaming Tree, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, $12.99

Are You Leaving The House Looking Like That

Are You Leaving The House Looking Like That?

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Suzanne Evan’s and Larry Winget’s event “Shut Up, Stop Whining & Make Money” in Phoenix. Suzanne went from secretary to million dollar business owner in just under five years by mastering her skills through plain old hard work.

Larry is best known as the World’s First Irrational Speaker and has in fact trademarked it. Larry is also known for his no nonsense approach to life stating quite often… “Your life is your own dam fault”.  Which he also noted… doesn’t usually sit well with the people that need to hear it the most.

The event was packed full of all kinds of entrepreneurs… coaches, photographers, designers and more. Throughout the weekend we had to do exercises that required a lot of stepping over any fear. One in particular, was giving a 60 second pitch while being judged, not to mention both Larry and Suzanne were in the room when I did my pitch. After our pitch, we got to watch everyone else in our room, which leads to this week’s article.

Are You Leaving The House Looking Like That?

To prepare for the 60 second pitch, we were told to show back up after dinner ready to go wearing our “brand” and that if we felt like we needed to change, then by all means, change. It was amazing to see how many entrepreneurs showed up looking like it was a Sunday. You know the days were you just kind of don’t feel like getting all glammed up.

You know… a sweats pants day. In fact some didn’t even look like they had brushed their hair. And the amazing thing is a lot of them were coaches. I was sitting there thinking to myself… how can you “sell” happiness and joy, when your outer appearance “screams” sad and depressed?

Larry and Suzanne even noted this the next morning and reminded us how important our brand image is.Whether were entrepreneurs, business owners, stay at moms or housewives, we are all wearing a brand. It’s how we present ourselves to the world. Mine happens to be full of sparkles and heals. When I’m  rocking my brand, it boost my confidence and makes me feel kick ass.So stop and think how you’re presenting your brand to the world. And if you’re in need of a brand update, here are a few ideas.

Get a new doo.

I love getting my hair done. Nothing kicks ass more than leaving the hair salon after Jessica, my amazing hair stylist, has rocked a new doo for me.Update you’re makeup. Are you still wearing that purple from 1984? You can go to Nordstrom’s or Sephora to get a makeover or if you want a more personalized service find a local Mary Kay or Avon lady. They’ll even come to your home.A rockin new outfit.  When is the last time you went shopping for you? It can be easy to put you last on the list, but it’s time to put yourself first. Call a girlfriend and make it a fun girl’s day.

Remember…it’s not just about your brand, it’s about Claiming Your Shine! And putting you first is a very important part of that!Now…get your calendar out and schedule your YOU day!

And if you find an amazing pair of shoes, jump over to Facebook and share a picture of them. http://www.facebook.com/ClaimYourShine and If you need improvement health and a good sleep with mattress – click here

To Your Shine!


Meet Julie Barnes California based Certified Life Coach and Neuro-linguistic Practitioner

California – based Certified Life Coach and Neuro-linguistic Practitioner.My name is Julie Barnes, and I wasn’t always the Empowerment Ninja teaching women entrepreneurs how to go from fearful to fearless in 30 days or less.

I spent roughly fifteen years in a cubical… all day long, crunching numbers in the accounting department (you know the place… the black whole of corporate, where no one visits) for various companies while dreaming of one day starting my own business and double checking the clock  to see if it was five o’clock yet.

It was hell… don’t get me wrong… I loved the people I worked with but I always knew I was meant for entrepreneurship and sitting in my tiny cubical just flat made my stomach hurt.

What stopped me?Fear

I worried about everything from…

what will I do

what if I fail

what if I don’t like it

etc… etc… etc!I even did the math and estimated that I spent roughly 28,800 hours of my life doing something that I didn’t enjoy because of fear.

And then… I finally did it.

I ventured into entrepreneurship and started a virtual assistant business, but it just didn’t feel right, so I started freelance writing for print and online business publications.

And guess what I wrote about?

Yes… you guessed it.

Business and entrepreneurship. My youngest entrepreneur was just seven years old. I loved interviewing people and learning how they started a business from scratch and built a business.

I couldn’t believe it. I… was an entrepreneur.

And then it happened. The most painful, gut wrenching experience ever. I lost my son, Chris, to suicide.  I had barely heard the term before… let alone, know the warning signs. If you do not know the signs, PLEASE learn them HERE. It’s so important!!!!

Struggling to pick the pieces back up became a way of life.

I thank the universe every day for my amazing hubby, Ron.

He truly is my rock! Ron and I have been married nearly 25 years. We have been blessed to have each other in the good times and through loss, economic downturns, etc. We have cried together and laughed together.

Trying to stay strong and heal our souls, I decided to start traveling full-time with Ron, who is natural gas welder and travels for work.

We did a major downsizing, put the rest of our stuff in storage, then hit the road.  For two years… Ron and I traveled in our RV while Ron worked on natural gas compressor stations throughout the country and I continued to freelance write.

During that time, I saw more of the beautiful United States than I had my whole life. There is nothing like seeing this country from the open road in an rv! There is also nothing as healing as the open road for your soul.

Our travels took us to Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, Utah and finally to California, where we currently call home. It’s always been my dream to come to California. (I still have to pinch myself.)

I also read a lot of self-help books during my travels. In fact… I was reading The Mind, Body & Soul Diet when I was totally inspired to become a coach.

It’s been a long journey!

This journey that brought me to coaching.One paved with lots of tears, personal growth and investing in myself.

All while crushing through my fears.

So… there you have it… the journey that lead me to becoming The Empowerment Ninja that  teaches women how to go from fearful to fearless in 30 days or less.If you’re reading this and struggling with your own fears… please know that I get you!

I would love nothing more than to take YOU from fearful to fearless!

Just remember… on the other side of fear is freedom. It’s there… just waiting for you to grab it.

Looking for the professional bio… here it is…

Julie Barnes is a California – based certified life coach and neuro-linguistic practitioner. She uses emotional freedom techniques to teach women entrepreneurs, like you,  to break free from fear of judgement and success, so that you can finally create the profitable business and life you deserve.

Julie’s writing has been featured on Tiny Buddha, Pick the Brain, What’s for Work, Identity Magazine, 12 Most and Open for Hope.

What We Could All Learn From Angelina Jolie

What We Could All Learn From Angelina Jolie

I was reading Angelina’s op-ed piece in the New York Times, on her decision to have a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer. The fact that she shared her story was both courageous and inspiring.

Why did she want to share her story and not keep it private?

A move that’s been called heroic by many.She knew that by stepping through any fear or stigma that surrounds the “C” word… she would not only inspire women to take action and be proactive with their health, but to also shed light about the genetic testing and the resources available for women.

Just like the cancer word strikes fear in people, causing them to shut down at the mere mention, so does the word suicide.

There are people out there who tend to believe … if you don’t talk about it or act like it happens, then surely it will not happen to them.

This became very evident to me after losing my son, Chris, to suicide.I never knew anyone personally, who had experienced the loss of family or friends to suicide.

Yes, I had heard the word and knew what it meant, but I never heard anyone openly talk about it.

A few months after losing Chris, I heard about the upcoming Suicide Awareness Remembrance Walk to be held in downtown Kansas City and that the event would be emceed by one of the local news anchors.I thought to myself… Ron (my husband) and I have to go to this. The more people that show up… the better chance of the media airing coverage of the walk that will bring awareness of the resources available in the Kansas City area for suicide prevention.

When September rolled around, Ron was working out of town, so I went on my own. When I pulled up to the park where the event was being held, my mouth dropped open and my heart skipped a beat at the hundreds of people there.I just couldn’t believe it.

How could there be so many people affected by something no one ever talks about.I sobbed the whole walk.

When the walk was over, I was talking with a lady… I’ll never forget this… who had lost several family members to suicide. After losing the last family member, she called her boss and ask to take a week’s vacation. He said sure… have a great time and enjoy your week off.She never told him that she had just lost a family member to suicide and would be spending the week making funeral plans while also dealing with her own grief.

She said, she went back to work the following week like nothing ever happened, while her boss thought that she had went out of town on a fun trip.

I was just blown away by this.I’m often asked what brought me to coaching.

When I share that losing my son to suicide and working through my grief, empowered me to want to help other women on their life journey, it’s amazing how many people open up and share a story of their own loss with me… reminding me everyday… how important it is to step through any fear, shame, or stigma because it shows other people that it’s OK to talk about our life experiences… whether it’s a loss, abuse, or illness.

For the people that cringe at the word suicide, remember this…Suicide affects all income levels, all education levels, all types of families, all spiritualities and religions.

Every 40 seconds…someone dies by suicide.

22 veterans die each day by their own hands.

In 2012, 349 active members of the armed forces took their own lives.And the latest suicide statistics show an increase in baby boomers taking their lives, due to various reasons, like job loss, economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers, with a 50 percent increase in men in their 50′s and nearly 60 percent in women ages 60 to 64. But the true numbers will never be known, because… suicides are under reported.We could all learn a great lesson from Angelina Jolie by being courageous and sharing our stories and the resources available, because they may change a life or save a life.What do you have to share?

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)Military Crises Line 1-800-273-8255

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If you enjoyed this article, please share it! 🙂 And then… leave a comment below. I love hearing from my readers!


More About Julie Barnes California Life Coach Womens Empowerment Coach

More About Julie Barnes | California Life CoachBy the time, I was 18… I had been sexually abused as a kid, became a teenage mother to Chris, got married and divorced from a physically and mentally abusive man.

The shame I carried from the abuse was debilitating on many levels.When I was 19… my life changed for the better. I met and later married an amazing man who also raised Chris as his own son. Ron and I are still together 24 years later.At 36…I became a grandmother to Aedan and later to Halle. Yay! I love being a grandma!

But my world was rocked 2 ½ years later, when two police officers knocked on our front door to notify us that Chris had taken his life. It’s a day I’ll never forget.

Struggling to pick up the pieces became a way of life.A couple of years later… we experienced our next set of losses when the turbulent economy hit the natural gas industry.  An industry where Ron has made a great living as a welder.

Paying our bills on time + having 6 months worth of savings didn’t save us from losing our home to foreclosure and filing for bankruptcy. As we watched the balance in our savings keep going down and no new work starting up… we were left with no choice.Trying to stay strong, but at the same time wondering what the hell is going to happen next and how much loss can a person take… the phone rang with a job offer.

So… we put our stuff in storage and moved full-time into our RV and traveled to Arkansas, where the pipeline work was starting up.During our time on the road, we lost our beloved dog, Hank… who had been a part of our family for 13 years. In fact, Chris and I went and picked him out.As I look back, the universe has a way of saving us and I am so grateful!

Because… I do believe I was headed for a nervous breakdown from not dealing with all that had happened.For two years… Ron and I traveled in our RV while working on natural gas compressor stations throughout the country. During that time, I saw more of the beautiful United States than I had my whole life.

We traveled through the ghosts towns of Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi. Once bustling towns, seemed to just dry up when the big chain stores opened nearby. While traveling through Oklahoma and Texas amazingly, the small towns are still booming only with smell of crude oil floating through the air.

Gazing at the beautiful mountains along the interstates of Colorado and Utah… watching the sunset on Mobile Bay in Alabama… while getting our kicks on Route 66 in Arizona… I got to spend precious time with Ron.There’s nothing like traveling and working on the open road. Immersing yourself in the local culture of your current location. From museums to art galleries. Even alligators. Yes, I did say alligators. While walking along the Suwanne River in Florida  it’s quite common to see alligators catching some rays. It’s also pretty common to see people swimming near them.

The locals say… if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. I found that a little hard to believe, but then again, the only alligator I ever saw growing up was on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and Marlin Perkins was usually wrestling it to the ground.Traveling the open was also the beginning of my healing journey.

I started on my journey to shine by taking better care of myself,  going to therapy, and working with coaches.

I began reading, listening, and  watching self-help gurus like Louis Hay, Wayne Dyer and Jennifer Nichole Lee. In fact, it was while reading Jennifer’s book “The Body, Mind & Soul Diet in Chapter 5 that I had my Oprah aha moment… that I should look at my experiences as gifts to inspire other women with,  like Jennifer does with her story.

The universe also showed me how important it is to step through any fear, stigma or shame that surrounds our stories and to share them… to be courage’s. Every time we share our stories, it brings forth to reality what we experienced. We are no longer hiding it or afraid to share about it.

It also opened my eyes too… that when people are courages enough to share their stories… they may change a life or save a life of a person that hears it and starts taking action to change their life.That is truly profound!

Today, Ron and I are doing better than ever.  We call sunny California home. Visiting California had always been a dream, but now…we live here. A dream come true.

And… I’ve found my calling through coaching women. After receiving training at the Life Purpose Institute and the Grief Coach Academy… today, I help women Claim Their Shine through one-on-one and self-study coaching programs.Here’s some other cool things about me…

I love reading… books and magazines.

I like to jam out to heavy metal music. _\../

I love art… everything from creating it, to going to galleries.

I like going on California adventures with Ron, anything from gold prospecting in the American River to spending the day in Napa wine tasting.


Finding Your Phoenix Moving Through Loss to Re-emerge into a Powerful New YOU

Moving Through Loss to Re-emerge into a Powerful New YOU!Moving Through Loss to Re-emerge into a Powerful New YOU!

Finding Your Phoenix ™ is a 4-week self study course for women who have experienced the heartbreak……of losing a loved one, a marriage or life as you knew it.Are you wondering who YOU are after all you’ve been through?Is the heartbreak and loss you’ve experienced going to be the “story” of your life?

Will you ever be happy again?What’s your  ”after” look like?

Or will you remain stuck in your life story of heartbreak and loss?

I know where you’re at and what you’re feeling. You’ve made it through the early stages of grief, lived through your first couple of years since the loss, but you’re still feeling stuck and having a hard time getting back into the swing of things.

That’s where I was just a few short years ago.

I lived through the unimaginable loss of my son Chris to suicide five years ago.I spent a lot of time in the haze of being stuck.

I just wanted someone that would understand what I had been through and could help me move forward, except I couldn’t find anyone.

But… it doesn’t have to be that way for you!  Because now you have me!

I’m here to show you… that there that there is an “after” to your story.That’s why I created Finding Your Phoenix: Moving Through Loss to Re-emerge into a Powerful New YOU!

It’s everything I did to Find My Phoenix and now you can too!

Don’t waste another day of your life feeling stuck, with no support system and not knowing what to do next to reclaim your life.

Finding Your Phoenix: Moving Through Loss to Re-emerge into a Powerful New YOU is a 4-week self study course that will leave you with a whole new way of being.

Week 1: It’s All About You and Your health!

You’ll start off by taking a look at your life in general. What areas are you most happy with and what areas you feel you would like to improve.  You’ll do this by completing the Claim Your Shine Life Wheel.

Then you’ll take a look at the major changes that have taken place in your life during the last 12 months. Major changes affect your stress level for a long period of time, which can affect your body in many ways, including illness. Stress can also impact your relationships, productivity and your overall peace of mind and feelings well-being.You’ll walk away with… a plan to get your life in balance and to get your health back in check.       Week 2: Learn to Say Yes to You and Forgive to Move Forward

You’ll look at how the heartbreak and loss you’ve experienced has been holding you back in life and what you need to change to put yourself first.

Then we’re going to talk about forgiveness and how important it is in moving forward. You’re also going to say goodbye to the past and move to the present.

Then you’re going take a look at where you need to let go… physically and emotionally. What old stuff are you hanging on to that needs to go?You’ll walk away with… a whole new way of feeling… physically and emotionally.    Week 3: Accepting the New Normal and Finding the Gifts

After experiencing heartbreak and loss, you’re world is turned upside down and things change. You’ll learn how accepting your new normal, as hard as it is, is actually one of the most powerful ways to move yourself forward.

You’ll also look for the gifts in your life. Experiencing such heartbreak and loss can leave you feeling like a victim, but it’s so important to kick that mindset to the curb and look for the gifts in your life. You may not think there is any, but believe me, you have some that you could share with the world.You’ll walk away with… excitement about your future.     Week 4: Getting Your Creativity On and the Power of Investing in YOU

You’ll learn how healing art is to your overall physiology and attitude, and then you’ll be creating some art. Don’t worry if you think you’re not artistic. Even the simple act of coloring in a coloring book can relax the body.

And finally,  you’ll learn how powerful investing in YOU is on your journey to your amazing new life.You’ll walk away with… a cool piece of art created by YOU and a customized investment plan to reach your exciting new goals.

The course is full of valuable resources and a book list to help you on your journey to a Powerful New YOU!

When you purchase  Finding Your Phoenix: Moving Through Loss to Re-emerge into a Powerful New YOU.

You’ll get the complete Finding Your Phoenix: Moving Through Loss to Re-emerge into a Powerful New YOU as a downloadable pdf .

Each week will include two powerful core lessons along with exercises for you to do that will have you writing your after story  in no time!

And the cool thing is… You’ll now have new tools that you can use over and over.  You’ll be able to listen to the audios, download the worksheets and do your own monthly check-ins to keep you on track for the rest of your life.Do you need extra support?Great! Choose the Gold Package when checking out.  Once you purchase the course, you’ll receive a 1 hour Skype Session with me, so that you can get your plan in action and start implementing and changing your life immediately.   If this is for you… be sure to choose the Gold Package when checking out to get the 1 hour Skype session!Here’s what else you need to know…

To get the most out of the course, you should plan on spending a couple of hours a week on the lessons and completing the worksheets. If you read the books from the reading list.. plan on adding more time. BUT remember, that you are investing in YOU and your future.

“There you have it… all of the details for Finding Your Phoenix: Moving Through Loss to Re-emerge into a  Powerful New YOU!”

Download the entire digital program and get instant access NOW!1/2 Price

Fourth of July sale.  Sales ends soon, so get started today!

For your security, all orders are processed on a secure server by…Need a payment plan? Click on the option below and pay in 2 easy installments.2 Pay ~ Payment Plan

Refund Policy:  90 Days from date of purchase with the following terms…

I personally know that you’ll be Finding YOUR Phoenix if YOU show up and do the work. If you listen to all the audios, do the exercises + worksheets,  read and watch the extra resources, and you are not ready to start the next chapter of your life… I will happily refund your money.

However, you will be required to turn in all of your completed homework to me, which means that you’ll have to complete the entire course in order to get a refund.


How to Limit Your Exposure to Negativity

How to Limit Your Exposure to Negativity


Here’s a post by the great Jack Canfield on how you can limit the effects of a negative environment.

Limiting the Effects of Negative Environments by Jack Canfield

In an ideal world, we’d fully isolate ourselves from negative environments. The reality is that we can’t fully escape negative environments. However, there are steps we can take to minimize our exposure to negativity and limit its impact.Acknowledge Your Reality

When we believe that we are being forced to tolerate a negative environment, such as a spouse who constantly complains or working for a company whose values don’t match our own, we can feel trapped and hopeless. The illusion of being subjected to negativity against our will can increase stress and depress our mood.

To regain a sense of control, it’s important to acknowledge that you do have a choice in every situation. You may feel that you can’t afford to quit your job because the pay and benefits are too good and the job market is too unstable. Instead of bemoaning the fact that you’re trapped in a job you don’t like, acknowledge that you do have the choice of quitting. Instead, you are choosing to keep your job, because you enjoy the stable pay and benefits that it brings. This simple reframing of your situation will ease your stress and make you feel more in control.

When you feel negative judgments arising, don’t resist them. Remember, what we resist, persists. Instead, acknowledge and embrace your feelings. Only by doing so will you be able to progress to the point of letting the negative feelings and judgments go.

Journaling is another excellent way to release your feelings. At the end of the day, pour out all of your negative feelings and thoughts onto paper. Use the Total Truth process described in The Success Principles to ensure that you’ve fully excavated your feelings about troublesome situations. Negative feelings are like weeds. If you don’t fully extract them (e.g., pull out the roots), they will come back. If you’d like, burn your journal pages or letters that you write.3 Decompression Tips

When you find yourself repeatedly exposed to the same negative environments, such as your office, use one or more of the following tools to decompress and center yourself before moving on to the rest of your day.

•    Don’t listen to the news, which only adds negative images and thoughts to your mental space. If you commute between your office and home, spend your drive time listening to relaxing music or educational CDs. When I have to drive home from Los Angeles after a trip, I like to listen to a comedy channel. Because I spend the entire drive laughing, I walk in the door ready to greet my family pumped full of feel-good endorphins.

•    Create a decompression ritual to help you disengage from your negative environment. For example, take a walk after work, spend a few minutes meditating, or do yoga. A few minutes invested in nurturing and calming yourself will be rewarded with a calm and happy remainder of your day.

•    Do not use alcohol as a way to unwind. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, which means that any stress and unresolved anger you’re carrying will come bursting out more easily. The innocent targets of your attacks will the people who deserve your anger the least: your family and friends.Add to Your Environment

There may be situations where you are unable to control an environment. However, that does not mean that you should give up completely. Look again to see what small steps you might be able to take to create a more nurturing supportive environment.

For example, if your office culture tends to be negative, hang motivational signs in your work area or select a picture for your computer screen saver that uplifts and relaxes you. Take a quick walk at lunchtime to reconnect with nature, or close your office door for a few minutes of breathing and meditation rather than gossiping over a cup of coffee.

Finally, strive to be as positive as you can be. Give up complaining and blaming, and look for the best in every situation. Not only will you attract other positive people into your life, you may be the beacon that inspires others to shift their attitudes, as well.

Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com Enjoy your weekend! And remember… keep shining