Permission to be human

As I wrote in my earlier blog post, I’ve been struggling with depression for the past two years. It’s been a difficult time not only because of daily physical and emotional exhaustion but also because of a loss of identity. I always prided myself on being a die-hard optimist. For years, I overcame my temporary blues with “Come on, you can do it!” or “Put your big-girl pants on!” or “If this doesn’t work, try something else and it will!” Whatever worked but feeling sad, lost, drained was not an option in my vocabulary. And while I felt compassion toward … Continue reading

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” (~ Michael Altshuler) When I read this quote on a friend’s Facebook page, I immediately nodded in agreement. In the world of constant inspirational messaging, these pearls of wisdom are shared and consumed with gusto, and yes, I’m one guilty participant. High from the fix of yet another motivational quote, I saw myself as a butt-kicking pilot: Confident, strutting with purpose, in my aviator sunglasses that reflected the rising sun’s rays. In my mind, I even looked sharp: The creases on my uniform pants were so tightly pressed … Continue reading

A journey from lackluster to luscious: The beginning

It’s been almost two years since I published my book Spiritual Hottie’s Diary. It’s been almost as long since I felt fully myself: A young woman who grabs her life by its tail, feels creative juices coursing through her veins, has a sly sparkle in her eyes, and boasts a can-do attitude. And did I mention boundless, almost child-like energy? That’s how I remembered myself. So imagine my surprise when the only description that fit was an image of a Soul EKG that was nearly flat. Yes, the patient was still alive, highly functional in fact, but that’s about it. … Continue reading

Thinking of breasts

Of Breasts O. Orgasmic, obsessive, obscene. F. Flag burning and breast revealing. B. Bitch. A woman who shows her breasts. A woman who refuses to show her breasts. R. Resting on Mom’s bosom, two hearts, one beat. E. Erotic prelude and foreplay, “We’re eager to play!” A. A hard nipple to pinch and to pierce, “Mr. Grey, you love me so fierce!” S. Small and big. They are equal in A Nightmare on Lump Street. T. The breast alphabet — A, B, C, D, DD, extra DD — only stops at the size of his wallet. S. “Signorina, che bella!” Venus is born.   P.S. The assignment at a writing workshop was to write a poem evoking images … Continue reading

My soccer Dad

“Goooaaal!!!” I yelled from the bleaches. A few moments later a loud whistle blow signaled the end of an indoor soccer match. The players high-fived the tall, ginger-haired guy who just scored. All I could see was broad smiles shining even through the nebulas of dust lit by the sunset’s reflection in the gym’s large windows. My Dad, who was the goalkeeper of the team that snatched the victory in the last moment, was also smiling. In his early 70s, he still played indoor soccer twice a week. He mostly held the fort as a goalkeeper and yelled at his teammates to … Continue reading

Is classical music HOT? Yes, get turned on!

A few months ago my friends invited me to a piano concert: “The Last Sonatas of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert” played by a world-renown pianist Sir András Schiff. I enjoy classical music, but I’m far from being a connoisseur. Deep down I was afraid I’d be stuck for three hours listing to some depressing, end-of-one’s-life music written often at the time of sickness and destitution. But I went along. As we sat down in our seats, I began feeling guilty for wanting to leave, or to take a nap, or at least to eat that dark chocolate cookie that I sneaked … Continue reading

When advice is “Do nothing”

A friend called yesterday. She sounded upset from the first hello. She asked how my day went, very polite of her, but I knew she didn’t call for that. Every word sounded like a drop of water that threatened to tip the bowl filled up to its edges. I finally said, “Just say it, girlfriend. I’m here to listen.” Guy trouble. She said, he said, and now Greece’s recent debt crisis seemed pale in comparison. She kept asking me, “What’s next, what’s next, what’s next?” Her fears and accusations mixed with hopes and desires poured out freely. “What shall I do? … Continue reading

From a perfect mental storm to resilience in 3Ps

Two weeks ago a friend invited me to join his wind-surfing class. I thought, “I loved taking regular surfing classes in California and Hawaii, and now I could add the power of the wind to harness Mother Nature’s energy. Isn’t it awesome?” So, I paid for the class in advance, borrowed surf booties, and even managed to squeeze myself in a full-body wetsuit I bought in 2004. The latter came with a bonus: I didn’t have to shave my legs. Double awesome! The morning of the trip, however, I began looking for a way out. Do you know that nagging … Continue reading

Thoughts on love and relationships

Since primordial times we are eager to hear a good story, especially if it’s about love. Stories have the power to transform and inspire and, for sure, they teach us lessons. One such story – “The Gift: A Different Love Story” – is a Chilean short animation that portrays an ordinary couple that falls in love. Here’s the plot: To prove his feelings, the man gives his love interest the gift of his heart. The woman cherishes it, and she is the center of the man’s attention. Their days pass in dancing, serenading, and eye-gazing. But as the magic of “falling in … Continue reading

Finding “The Sweet One” (excerpt)

Enjoy an excerpt from Finding “The Sweet One”, a story from my new book Spiritual Hottie’s Diary: Tantalizing Tales of Steamy Self-Discovery inspired by my grandmother. The bells of Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence’s crown jewel, chime eight times. I have just finished doing my sun salutation on the balcony of a charming B&B not far from the Basilica. The small garden under my balcony is in full bloom with red and yellow tulips. I close my eyes and stretch my arms toward the morning sun, offering my embrace to its warm rays. Today will be gorgeous. I’m so happy I … Continue reading