How to Channel Your Superhero Strength

Day 8: The Writer’s Happiness Challenge: Channeling Your Inner Superhero

This year’s flu is the gift that keeps on giving. The first time was at Christmas, and now it feels like it’s back. Body aches, a foggy head, I’m in no condition to channel my inner superhero. You know the one I’m talking about, right? It’s the power pose from Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk. If you’re a Gen-Xer, it might remind you of your childhood, when the 1970s version of Wonder Woman Lynda Carter perfected it.

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I may be in a fluffy robe and slippers, but I got this.

Set your timer for (3) minutes. Then get your wild self up from wherever you are sitting. Stand with your feet wide apart, your hands on your hips, your shoulders back, and your chin raised slightly. Yes, this is superhero stance, and it’s a crazy powerhouse of amazingness and confidence.

Feet hips distance apart, hands on my hips, shoulders back, chin raised slightly. Three minutes is a long time. And like any meditative or yogic pose, I can feel myself in this space. My feet rooted to the earth (well, actually it’s a wood floor), my breath calm. I find myself smiling, first with my eyes and then with my mouth. I can feel it working. I am resilient and strong, and yes, I CAN do anything.


The Writing Happiness Challenge is offered by @splendidmola, for more information click here.


When I think about my muse, I feel guilty

DAY 7: The Writer’s Happiness Challenge: Getting to Know Your Muse

When I think about my muse, I feel guilty. We used to have amazing conversations, but over the last two decades we’ve lost the frequency as if our communication is concretely tangled. I’m not sure if it’s possible to unwind them. So yes, I’m guilty as charged for neglecting you, for not giving you the attention you deserve. But it’s not just my fault Muse, because you, too, could have tried to help me find a solution, a way to break through the static, to awaken the creativity and let the words flow. I occasionally wonder why you didn’t.

Are you disappointed that I’ve flipped from fiction to non-fiction, that I’ve been writing a personal essay, or that I’ve started writing newsworthy pieces? It’s a good thing that we’re finally getting paid for our craft, right? I believe that every type of writing sharpens our technique, it makes what you and I do together even more possible. It makes the writing stronger.

Do we even know what we want to do together? Is it a book or a shorter piece, maybe a scripted podcast? Sometimes I feel like there are just too many mediums, how can we choose. Perhaps we need to go back to the beginning, back to basics, maybe revisit that old manuscript, the one about ….

The Writing Happiness Challenge is offered by @splendidmola, for more information click here.

living the good life one feels at a time

DAY 6: The Writer’s Happiness Challenge: Your Happiness Replay

In today’s exercise, @splendidmola explores the idea of happiness and how in taking the time to savor our happy experiences we can quite literally rewire our brains to live a more positive life.

Set a timer for 3-minutes. Bring to mind an experience where you felt happy. Choose something that is easy to remember. Now, until the timer goes off, remember in detail how you felt during that positive experience. Do your best to focus on the feeling itself — what you felt in your body, your heart, let it seep into your skin. 

Now set the timer for two more minutes. And write down everything that you felt.

Buoyant, coasting, light as air. I can feel the sea salt lifting from the water, settling on my skin. Tickled pink by my toes in the sand mingling with the Mediterranean’s foam. Warmth settled in my bones. Knowing this is my body temperature. No thoughts lingering. Absorbing the sunshine willingly, I am blissful, I am free.

The Writing Happiness Challenge is offered by @splendidmola, for more information click here.

Day 5: The Writer Happiness Challenge: Know Your Strengths

You probably know some of your strengths already. And, if you’re like a lot of people, it’s also highly possible that you brush them off as being unimportant or common. For the next 2-minutes, list as many of your strengths as you can think of.

  1. Remembering people’s names and/or faces
  2. The details
  3. Writing
  4. Synthesizing phrases and context into readable text
  5. Baking Chocolate chip cookies
  6. Handwriting
  7. Being there for a friend in a cinch
  8. Listening
  9. Willing to try most things once
  10. Communication
  11. Taking notes
  12. Discovering fun things to do
  13. Researching facts and ideas
  14. Networking
  15. Engaging people in a conversation
  16. Driving
  17. Intuition
  18. Picking up on social cues (most times)
  19. Letterwriting

Set the time for three minutes. Scan the list and focus on 1-2 of your strengths. Close your eyes if possible. And then, with your whole being, but without having to move or do anything, embody that strength. Feel how it feels. Savor how good you are at it. 

The Writing Happiness Challenge is offered by @splendidmola, for more information click here.

Day 4: The Writers Happiness Challenge: Enchantment

Enchanting is defined as delightfully charming or attractive.

Set a timer for 2-minutes. Now make a list of 1-10 things, ideas, thoughts, or feelings (or anything else) that you find enchanting. Do this from the perspective of your most innocent, wide-eyed self, as open and sincere and un-cynical as you can possibly be.

  1. Children discovering something new
  2. Finn approaching snow
  3. Novels written in poetic verse
  4. The stillness of the sea at daybreak
  5. Chanting in the Cambodian countryside
  6. The idea of magic
  7. The vibration that breaks the silence
  8. Smoke emitted from a volcano

I went back to @splendidmola’s post for the second step to this exercise and realized I was too descriptive of my enchantments. The ones I shared above are not necessarily things I can manifest for myself but moments of time that I have found enchanting.

Time for a do-over:

  1. Poetry
  2. Eastern medicine & culture
  3. The Italian language
  4. Using the metric system for baking
  5. Liquid mercury, or any metal for that matter
  6. Bubbles
  7. Four elements: wind, fire, air, earth
  8. Ink on paper
  9. Chai tea

Now meditate on those enchantments for 3-minutes and envision how you can make space for them in your life. 

The Writing Happiness Challenge is offered by @splendidmola, for more information click here.

see the beauty where you are

Day 2: The Writers Happiness Challenge : See Beauty

Look out your window. What do you see with your heart?

From where I sit I can see a sliver of the surrounding rooftops covered in snow. Old snow untouched and packed waiting for a child’s touch. Brown stretches of branches absent of their leaves. I see stucco and brownstones, then rising in the distance cold, hard glass.

fire escape, snowy rooftop
Snowy city rooftops.

Now, describe the beauty that you saw, whatever it may be. 

Concrete jungle beauty. Clean lines blurred by a blanket of white. The absence of color. Swirling smoke from the chimneys and the heating vents. Movement in the trees who refuse to release their crumbling aging leaves. The reflection of sunlight in windows afar, the vignettes of Brooklyn life in the ones nearby. I spy a bird settling onto the fire escape, a harbinger of spring.

Set an intention to find all the beauty in your world today, and look with those eyes.

The Writing Happiness Challenge is offered by @splendidmola, for more information click here.

the life of a weather wimp

We New Yorkers may be resilient but I can’t bring myself to go outside. The weather report claims 17 degrees and sunny but every post on social media has a negative sign next to their numbers. Brrrrr.

Yesterday when I woke up and looked out the window there was zero visibility. I instantly remembered the dust storm I experienced on the playa, one I would gladly revisit. Extreme heat I can manage but extreme cold and I admittedly become a weather wimp.

The wind outside today is mild in comparison to the howling ferocity that shook the building inside out yesterday. It felt like an ominous monster had emerged from a deep dark sleep. I could feel the vibrations of its presence through the walls, its bellow against the deck and roof. No wonder Finn didn’t even make a peep to go outside.

High noon when the sun is ‘warmest’ feels like as good a time as any to test the winds. I’m shoring myself up and already have three layers on with one to go. Coat, hat, gloves, scarf. All this to throw out the garbage and pick up the mail. Sigh.

Photo credit: @pixabay

3 minutes to midnight

Finn and I can see Downtown Brooklyn and the clocktower at One Hanson Place ticking the end to 2017. We are exactly where we should be, I know I am where I want to be: at home in flannel PJs with a can of sparkly ginger ale and a good book waiting to be read. The typing of this keyboard a precursor sound to the fireworks and the cheers. Perfect way to end an old year, and welcome a new one in.

Happy New Year to you and yours!


8 things you might not know


The hardest substance I’ve ever consumed was absinthe.

On a blind date that wasn’t going so well, I ended up crashing the studio party for Australia and met Hugh Jackman.

I’m deathly afraid of rollercoasters, especially the ones that go upside down.

I have visited ground zero of four active volcanoes (and counting).

Until the age of 11, I carried around a security pillow and sucked my thumb; I then had to endure wearing braces for the next four years.

In my sophomore year of high school, I was selected by the NYPD’s Police Athletic League as “Police Commissioner for a Day.

My mom worked at the CBS Research Library and once met Katherine Hepburn. The actress was learning about the department for her role as Bunny Watson in Desk Set (1957).

One summer in Bodega Bay, I met a ghost spirit named Samantha.

some old, some new traditions

2017 marks a year of change, new traditions for Christmas. I spend the days after the longest head cold ever, preparing Sicilian sweets, an assortment of cookies, and freshly, baked bread.

On Christmas Eve, after dinner with new friends, I add an old tradition started with my Dad. We would stay up to watch It’s A Wonderful Life on the sofa together, with a steaming mug of hot cocoa.

Tonight I’m wearing my dad’s flannel pajamas, a tin of cookies at the foot of the tree, waiting for Santa’s sleigh bells, and Clarence’s wings.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Photo Credit: @pixabay