A letter to Julia Louis-Dreyfus: 3 keys to beating the breast cancer blues

Dear Julia,

I’m a huge fan of yours and I send my heartfelt wishes for good health and a complete recovery.  I myself just finished up surgery, chemo, radiation and reconstruction after the positive diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. I’m sure the irony is not lost on you that our diagnosis could be associated with the word “positive.” Nevertheless, there is light at the end of the tunnel, in the tunnel and before the tunnel, if you can learn to adjust your thinking. I hope you are helped by the following “happiness tips” from someone who’s been there/done that, and who was brought onto  RWJBarnabus Health System’s “Women’s Health Initiative” as their optimist expert. 

The very first thing I struggled with when the docs told me I had breast cancer was figuring out where to put my mind. I was frightened, upset, disoriented, sad, overwhelmed, and I couldn’t seem to think straight.

I’m trained as an attorney; that was a weird mental space.

A brilliant man once told me that he doesn’t like to think too much, because when he does, he goes behind enemy lines. That’s just not me. I am by nature a happy person. I call myself a non-recovering laughaholic. I didn’t want that to change. I was terrified it would.  My dear father used to joke that “everything in life is mind over matter. I don’t mind and it don’t matter.” This time, however, things really did matter.

I knew that the key to mentally surviving this ordeal was to find a way to change my perspective about what was happening to me from something negative to something positive.  I might still mind, it might still matter, but I was going to have to “give a shift.”

KEY ONE: Give yourself permission to be happy!  I realized that even though I was given a life-threatening diagnosis, if I let cancer steal my joy… then I’ve died while I’m still alive! And I didn’t want to die while I was still alive. If I lost my happiness mojo, that’s exactly what would  have happened. I’m allowed to be happy! I’m allowed to laugh. I’m  still alive! And while I’m still alive, I’m going to be alive! I came back to this thought a lot.  It always helped me when fear gripped my innards and twisted me inside out. I won’t let cancer steal my joy. 

But you say, Princess Diane Von Brainisfried, how can I be happy when  no-one can give me a guarantee that I’m safe, that I’ll be cured? That’s what I was thinking, until it dawned on me that in asking the universe (and the doctors) for a guarantee that I would live, I was asking for something that didn’t exist…for anyone! No-one has a lockdown on tomorrow.  The proverbial car crashing, the errant branch falling, the glamorous elephant stampeding, there are a thousand ways to check out unexpectedly. Guarantees are for April Fools.  

It dawned on me that even with my diagnosis, I still have everything everyone else has. I have this moment. Nothing less, nothing more. Wait, I have more! I have a new reality that has seeped into my head and my heart. I understand on a profound level what it means that time is seriously precious, and that I truly must make my moments and my relationships count.

KEY TWO: Give yourself permission to be healthy.  I’ve always been a healthy person. I eat well, exercise, and keep a positive attitude.  So when this cancer thing came along, I didn’t know how to view myself. For me, the paradigm of a cancer patient was someone who is sick.   But by the grace of G-d I didn’t feel sick, I didn’t look sick, and I didn’t want to “be” sick.  My brain was having major cognitive dissonance.  I decided that I was still going to consider myself a healthy person. 

It took some mindful moxie to call myself healthy, especially after I started chemo.  My “monkey mind” was taunting me, asking me how could I possibly consider myself healthy, when I had more ports than a horny sailor, one to deliver the Red Devil and two for expanders.  How could I call myself healthy when my bald head made me a dead ringer for Elmer Fudd, and my once voluptuous chest had been reduced to a short stack.   I’ll tell you how I called myself healthy; I gave myself permission!  

The first step was to recognize that other than cancer, I was healthy.  I was “otherwise” healthy.  This line of thinking gave me a laugh. It reminded me of that old riff, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”  Truth is, other than cancer, I am healthy.  When I get a cold, I don’t see myself as a sick person, I see myself as a healthy person with a cold. When I had IBS in college, every emergency trip to the loo didn’t make me think of myself as a sick person. I saw myself as a healthy person who had these inconvenient incidents.  I decided to view cancer the same way. Thus, I learned not to say that I have breast cancer. Instead, I say that I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer.   Don’t claim it. Don’t own it.   

KEY THREE: Give yourself permission to see this as an adventure! The philosopher Goethe famously stated, “The journey of discovery is not going to new places, but seeing with new eyes.”   A yoga teacher of mine once said, “It’s not what’s happening to you that’s important, it’s what you tell yourself is happening.”  Positive psychologists talk about reframing.  I searched my mind to find a way to look at the situation with new eyes and to reframe what was happening to me in a positive way. I decided to look at it as an adventure!

An adventure carries with it the possibility of excitement! What was I going to find out about myself on this new journey?  What wonderful people would I meet? What new experiences would I encounter? Seeing my circumstances as an adventure and not a curse immediately shifted me from a victim to a victor mentality.  It changed my energy.  Hopeful! Expectant! It was a chance to up my learning curve and go up the next rung of my evolutionary path, which, by the way, I’m farther along than most people, having never received my wisdom teeth. But I do have an L-6, which is kind of akin to a tail. So that’s a wash.

By seeing my breast cancer diagnosis as an adventure, I was borrowing a page from Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning by finding meaning and purpose in the ordeal.  I was also ripping a page from Pollyanna’s playbook and doing her “Glad Game.” I was in good company with these two.

I now look upon breast cancer as a beautiful gift bequeathed to me from the universe. Through it, I’ve been graced with the opportunity to help others find a positive and optimistic way of adjusting and coping with breast cancer.  I’ve had the gift of modeling for my kids that life can hand you a curve ball and you don’t have to fall to pieces. I’ve felt the love and caring of family and friends.  I’ve learned, like the line in the beautiful poem Alicante  by Jacques Prevert, “the present of the present.”  I’ve learned to savor moments deeply. I’ve learned the sustaining nature of passionate dreams and goals. I’ve learned the depth and breadth of my resilience, and the understanding that no matter what comes at me in the future, I’m gonna deal. And so will you! Cause that’s just how the girls in our club roll!

To our health!  To life! To the gift!                                                 XOXOXO,

Princess Diane Von Brainisfried

If you don’t take it on the chin, you’ll get it up the arse.                                       – Princess Diane Von Brainisfried

 

 

Hold your tongue-keep your friendships

Dear Royal Friends,     

Our friendships account for a big chunk our happiness currency.

We need to protect them from the damage we can do in a knee-jerk reaction to some perceived or real infraction.

Were you ever just about to indulge in some delightfully decadent dessert, when an inner voice whispered, “Ten minutes on the lips, ten years on the hips?”  Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we had a similar sound “bite” that would give us pause before we lashed out at a friend?  

Here’s one of my favorite sayings that packs more “pause” than a five-legged cat. It goes:  “Least said, soonest mended.”

I understand that sometimes we’re faced with a “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment and we’re mad at a whole bunch of stuff,  and we just want to blow.

Here’s the problem. The salvo might feel good for a moment, but…ten minutes on the lips, ten years on the hips.

“Least said soonest mended.” Try it next time you’re on the brink of ripping your friend a new one. Give yourself the grace of stepping back. Remember what’s at stake. It’s not  just the friendship; it’s also your happiness. 

You can always eat dessert later.

XOXOXO,

PRINCESS DIANE VON BRAINISFRIED

“LIVE YOUR ROYALLY HAPPY LIFE!™”

 

 

There’s a big chunk o’ greatness inside of you!

Dear Princess~                                                                                        Did you know that the magnificent, breathtaking and awe-inspiring statue of David already existed beneath the giant chunk of marble, even before it was created?

According to the artist it did!  Michelangelo said of his statue, ”The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there. I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.” 

If you’ve let life blow you hither, thither and yon (locations without GPS coordinates,) and you haven’t gotten a foothold into some big, bold, princess-worthy dreams, and you’re beginning to doubt that greatness is even there, rest assured that like the sculptor’s enormous  slab of marble, there is greatness within you!  And the most exciting news is, it’s your own unique, very special brand of greatness.                                                                                              

It’s time to start the excavation!  Go digging for that buried treasure inside of you! Starting NOW is  better than starting never.  We need every princess to contribute her own unique brand of talent!  Now is the best time to enrich yourself and by doing so, enrich the world.

Inspire us…. Let us know what you find on your excavation!

XOXOXOX,

PRINCESS DIANE VON BRAINISFRIED

“Live your royally happy life!™”

Queen Elizabeth proves she’s not all washed up!

Dear Royal Friends,                                                                            

Today Queen Elizabeth has grabbed the title as the UK’s longest “raining” monarch, proving once again that she’s not all “washed” up, and knocking Queen Victoria off that perch.  

It’s a marvel how the Queen has hung in there for over 63 years, continuously doing her queenly thing with great poise and “aplomb” …queen-595685_640

…even though she’s told me on numerous occasions that she prefers pears!

It’s hard to believe that Queen Elizabeth, now 89,  was a mere 25 years old when she ascended to the throne;  that’s because in modern terms, 25 is the new 12.

Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth on Feb. 6, 1952 after her father, George VI, passed away.   George VI was that handsome  fellow in the movie The King’s Speech, whose challenge with stuttering made him not quite so chipper to cover for his brother, Edward. 

You may recall how George was thrust into king-dom rather shockingly, when his older bro, Edward the Eighth, chucked it all in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee cum Coco Chanel doppelgänger.  It is rumored that is how the term, “behind the eight ball” came about.  It is also rumored that Simpson is the latent muse behind the current Capitol One Credit card commercial, “What’s in your wallis.” 

It’s no secret that the Queen’s reign has weathered family drama more rocky than the Adirondacks.  Throughout, she has remained classy and stalwart.  

The Queen embodies what I believe to be the secret to being real nobility, which is service to others.  In a 1957 television transmission, she proclaimed: 

“I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice. But I can do something else. I can give you my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.”

I leave you with this inspired thought: If you’re a princess or a queen, be like Queen Elizabeth and don’t save your heart and service for a “rainy” day.   Let it shine every day, baby, let it shine.

signature xoxox-673345_640 pixabay

PRINCESS DIANE VON BRAINISFRIED!

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FINDING YOUR STATUE OF DAVID IN THE MARBLE

Dear Princess~

Did you know that the magnificent, breathtaking and awe-inspiring statue of David already existed beneath the giant chunk of marble, even before it was created?  According to Michelangelo, ”The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there. I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.” 

Photo Credit: Don Fulano via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Don Fulano via Compfight cc

If you’ve been letting life blow you Hither and Thither (a place without GPS coordinates and really crappy cell reception), and you haven’t gotten a foothold into your big, bold dreams, or if you can’t find your big, bold dreams, rest assured that like an enormous marble slab,  there is greatness within you! Every princess (or prince) has her/his own, unique and very special brand of greatness.

As quoted in the golf movie,  The Legend Of Bagger Vance, “We all have an “authentic swing” inside of us but, “over time the world can rob us of that swing…it gets buried inside us under all our “wouldas and couldas and shouldas.”

The good news is, it’s never too late to begin your own excavation! Go digging for the precious buried treasure inside you! But how?

Here’s one way. Visualize what you would like your life to look like if money or time were no object. Writing a book of poems? Your memoirs? A visit to Paris with a working knowledge of French? Writing a blog about parenting? Get involved in a cause?  We are going for your essence here, because that’s the “stuff” of you that is most powerful. Your powerful stuffing.  You and the Thanksgiving turkey. Think of it like this: Is there something about you that is an itch that you’d finally like to scratch?  But how?  Here’s one solution:

Take one little step toward one of these goals by learning one aspect about how to go about doing it. Then learn one more aspect of doing it. Then another. Pretty soon you will have confidence to pick up the chisel and start excavating. If you have a friend who has some experience in the area of your interest, ask her to give you a little help. That’s what I did. My dear friend, Princess Karin, spent a few hours with me one day to help me get started on the “how to’s” of blogging; the rest is herstory.

Now that I’ve been writing a blog for a while, I’ve learned that there isn’t anything you can’t do when you’ve got Google at your fingertips 24/7. So even without a friend’s help, there are tons of tutorials on Youtube about even the most obscure topics.  Mead Hall Dancing?  Wig making in the Court of Louis XIV? Ancient royal underwear weaving? It’s like having your own private coach-in-a-box.

I still have much to learn about blogging, such as greater proficiency with Word Press and social media, and I encounter many frustrations. And I mean big ones. Last week I realized I lost more than 147 blog posts on my website. I had put them into trash, intending to make changes to them later, at which time I would “reactivate” them. Guess what? No can do. After thirty days….they go to blog post Elysian Fields.  Permanently. Yiiiiiiiiikes!  All that work, creative effort, and pearls of wisdom totally down the drain!  Like it or lump it, that comes with the territory.  So I sucked it up, and learned from it. Now I write everything in Word, then I dump it on the blog. 

But here’s the key. We make mistakes. We learn. And we learn some more. So what I want you to take away from this post, is that just because you don’t know how to do something from soup to nuts, or in an expert way, don’t let it keep you from getting started on your dreams, or from scratching your itch!  Don’t keep your soul encased in marble just because you don’t know how to chisel, let alone create something as magnificent as  Michealangelo’s David. Just start chipping away to get down to your own unique, marvelous inner core, or you’ll never know what’s in there. And you’ll never liberate your true, marvelous, joyous potential.

And funny thing is, as I continued to write princess posts, more dreams were uncovered. I became inspired by an idea to start writing a book and seminars on happiness and positivity. That was all underneath my marble before I started chiseling, but I had no idea it was there. I uncovered these dreams only because I was willing to take the first steps into the unknown in the world of one dream.  One idea. One itch.

So please, princesses! I encourage you. Go learn a little bit in an area that intrigues you. Then learn a little bit more. Then just jump in and “do.” Chip away at your block of marble. We need you to uncover all aspects of the magnificent work of art that you truly are. This inner work of art of YOU is the root of your beauty, your enthusiasm, your happiness, your joy, your powerfully inspired and inspiring essence.

Just like the statue of David, when you manifest this powerful, glorious essence of YOU, you will not only enrich yourself, but you will enrich all of us in the kingdom!  

Let me know what you find!

XOXOXOXOX,

Princess Diane Von Brainisfried

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Kick Your Flagging New Year’s Resolution in the Kiester!

Dear Royal Friends~

We’re a tad past the halfway point of 2015. For some of us, our New Year’s resolutions are as “get-outta-town” as a sheriff in a rowdy saloon.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cthulhuwho1/6924608803

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cthulhuwho1/6924608803

Why? Because what we resolved to do was difficult! 

It’s not easy to hit the gym at 5am. It’s not easy to become fluent in Flemish.  It’s not easy to quit a nicotine grip.  It’s not easy to stop swillin’ the gin. And it’s certainly not easy to organize a closet the size of the Louvre. (Princess Probz.)

But it’s not usually the starting that’s the problem.  It’s the sticking.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/oskay/254588221

https://www.flickr.com/photos/oskay/254588221

Say for example, your New Year’s resolutions were to shed forty-two pounds and become a vegetarian.  Up until last week, you had lost ten pounds, and you hadn’t had a lick of meat. But here comes another fabulous cocktail party. Oh lookee! You’re  face-to-face with scrumptious little canapes of cheesy thingies with avocado and fried corn do-dads arranged ever-so-beautifully on silver trays passed around by smiling, handsome butlers in white gloves. Oh lookee! More!  There’s beret-sized fungus piled mile high with warm, oozing, buttery bread crumbs and beef, arranged ever-so-beautifully on silver trays, passed around  by smiling, handsome butlers in white gloves….

Stop kicking yourself.  The heckleberries with New Years!  You can start anew any time you want. Every morning is a new chance to start your crowing going.  Just ask the roosters.

Here’s the key: It was  bequeathed to me recently by my princess inner soul-ar powered voice, when I decided to follow the kind of Vegan diet that excludes both animal and vegetable fats.  I thought about eating salad without  EVOO. (Insert frowney face.) I thought, wow, that’s gonna really be difficult. I love me some veggies and salads, and I can’t stand those ersatz zero fat dressings.  All of a sudden a miracle happened better than Miracle Whip. I heard, “Okay princess, get a grip.  Difficult, yeah, but not impossible.”  Bazzzzinga! I’ve been using that little phrase ever since in all sorts of situations. It works. It puts everything into do-ability mode.

The next time you face a challenge to your resolution and it feels really difficult for you to muster the willpower to continue, try looking the challenge square in the eye, which is difficult because eyes are round, and say: “DIFFICULT, BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE.”  So get outta town!

Bet your bottom butler, or your butler’s bottom, the next time you face a challenge to your resolution and you use this trick,  you’ll sail through it like the mighty powerful princess you are.  Just like a Staples commercial, you’ll slam down your hand on a red button and exclaim, “That was easy!”

tt4np, (ta ta 4 now, princess)

“Live your royal life!

XOXOXOXO

Princess Diane Von Brainisfried

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The “Law” of Attraction made me do something royally, unbelievably stupid!

Dear Royal Friends, 

There’s a lot out there that passes for “law” these days. The “Law” of Attraction.  The “Law” of the Vacuum.  I always thought  “laws” were what made apples fall down from trees instead of up, and what got you parking tickets when you parked near a fire hydrant.  But what do I know? Maybe The Law of Attraction and The Law of The Vacuum are laws.  Perhaps they’re merely theories? Axioms?  Postulates? It’s something a smart and savvy princess should at least ponder.princess-157393_1280I’m taking courses at the School of Practical Philosophy.  We learned not to accept or reject what we hear, but to see how it works and test the truth of it.  Here’s something royally and unbelievably stupid I did when I didn’t follow that “law.” 

After working as a lawyer for about fifteen years, I decided I wanted to be a writer instead.  I had been intensely studying the Law of Attraction and its sidekick, The Law of The Vacuum. The Law of The Vacuum, in shorthand terms, would have you burn bridges and get rid of the old, in order to allow the universe to bring you the new. A classic example is, if you have old curtains and you can’t afford new ones, tear the old curtains down and leave your windows curtain-less, so new curtains will make their way to you from the universe. You have to show those new curtains that you mean biz.  

Thus, when I passionately wanted to transition from being a lawyer to a writer, my interpretation of The Law of The Vacuum sent me on an insane mission to throw out every single piece of legal work I had ever written. I had to make room for the writer by throwing out the lawyer, right? I burned my bridges so bad, my flame flower filed a grievance report.

Do you know how hard it is to become a lawyer?  Do you know how many years of sweat equity it takes sitting your arse down in a chair, annexed from everyone you know and love, pumping sludge into your brain? Oh, and ask me about the bar exam…Don’ ask! I’d rather have natural childbirth with 10-pound triplets than go through that again.

Yet, despite the effort it took to obtain my JD and pass the bar exam,  I jettisoned hundreds of my legal briefs, legal memos, legal documents and legal information. I don’t know what compelled me to save my law school diploma, but I did. And thus, I began writing screenplays and musicals.

A year later, I decided I really wanted to do both law and writing, thereby balancing my  right-brain creative side with my  left-brain analytical side. I had realized that exercising one side at the expense of the other left me feeling mentally lop-sided.

To that end, I made inquiries to work as a criminal appeals attorney. I called a woman who was the hiring counsel of a large legal appellate office.   We engaged in a chat about law, the arts, my passionate desire to be a writer and my decision to pursue both a creative writing career and a legal career. I explained I had a few years experience in appellate writing and in private practice, as well as many years experience in corporate law.

We had a fantastic conversation.  We truly liked each other. I had appellate writing experience. I’m thinkin’ woohoo, I’m in!

Not so fast. At the end of the conversation, she asked to see one of my legal briefs as a writing sample. Praab-lem! I didn’t have a legal brief.  So I had to tell her I didn’t have a legal brief to send her. She paused, confused, and then said I could send any legal writing sample instead. Praab-lem! I had to tell her I didn’t have any legal writing sample of anything I’ve done….even though I had been a lawyer for fifteen years.  Not having any legal writing samples after being a lawyer for fifteen years was a near impossible feat, mind you, even for the least prolific of lawyers say, on earth.

I proceeded tell her the truth. I was so hell bent on becoming a writer, that in a fit of madness, I had thrown away everything I had ever written as a lawyer. The only evidence I had left that proved I was a lawyer was my diploma.

There was a long pause. A very, very long pause. At the end of the very, very long pause, she uttered the by now immortal word in this oft-repeated tale of triumph over stupidity. In what seemed to me a combination of astonishment, admiration and awe, she exclaimed, “Cool!”

I got incredibly lucky. She let me write a legal brief on “spec,”  it was good enough, and I was accepted. I continue to exercise my right brain and left brain hemispheres. My screenplays and musicals have gained some traction and have won some cool awards. I do legal writing when I want. I continue to study The Law of Attraction and The Law of The Vacuum and other such principles.   But now when I read them, I keep in mind what I  learned at The School Of Practical Philosophy: to ask myself, “What would a wise man or a wise woman do?” That’s a principle that is definitely attractive. 

 XOXOXOX,

PRINCESS DIANE VON BRAINISFRIED

“LIVE YOUR ROYAL LIFE!™”

A KEY SECRET TO ROCK INTERNATIONAL HAPPINESS DAY & BEYOND!

Dear Royal Friends,

Treasured wisdom says, “if you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness.”  What better way to honor International Happiness Day, than by starting a DAILY GRATITUDE NOTEBOOK!  journal-431912_640

Start with five things you’re grateful for, then continue adding to the notebook on a daily basis. It’s so easy, even for the grumpiest monkeys among us.  There’s at least something you will be grateful for each day!   Include even teeny tiny gratitudes,  like a mysteriously disappeared hangnail.  (Okay, that’s not so tiny.)   Over time, you will be absolutely transformed!  Here’s why:

Research shows that focusing on gratitude is a KEY FACTOR in our ability to be in control of life’s Joy Stick.  (The pundits don’t put it that way, but what do they know.)  

Fore example, per the article  “The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Happier,”  by Ocean Robbins, several studies showed that the more grateful we are, the less depressed we are.  Researchers also found that people who journaled daily what they where grateful for “felt better about their lives as a whole,” and “were a full 25 percent happier” than the group of people in the study who journaled stuff that made them feel hassled.  25%? That’s a palace pant load happier! 

People studied also reported fewer health complaints, and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.”  People who journaled what they were grateful for were healthier, slept better, and they actually become more do-goody to others!  Do-goody is a princess’s raison d’être!  

It all makes sense when you think about it.  You are what you eat, whether you’re fueling your body, your mind, or your soul. 

To make your journaling experience even more pleasurable, choose a notebook that is truly gawjuss, one that makes you smile and think of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.  Or big diamonds on (your) fingers. Check out these cool girl ones by high fashion artist to celebrities and designer  Emily Brickel.  Barnes and Nobles has some sweet ones too

I’ll go first.  I’ve been doing this Gratitude Gig for years, and I’ve got TONS to talk about.   

1. Family. 

2. Friends

3. Frenchies

4.  Morning French Roast coffee

5. Pink and white Peonies

That’s a good start, aye?

Oh yeah. Addendum. I’m truly grateful for YOU!  And you are definitely above #5. 

WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR, ROYAL FRIENDS? I’D LOVE TO KNOW! LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!!!

XOXOXOXO

PRINCESS DIANE VON BRAINISFRIED

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LEARNING TO BE HAPPIER IS LIKE TAKING SINGING LESSONS

Dear Royal Friends ~

Learning to be happier is like taking singing lessons.

This occurred to me as I was warming up today, not in my Lululemons for yoga class, but in my heels and tiara for a master class in voice I’m giving this afternoon.  I am a tad worried, as my voice is a little horse.horse-576493_640

When we sing, if a note is flat and under pitch, we need to brighten the sound. How do we brighten the sound? One simple technique is to imagine a teeny weeny little smile on the inside of our head. We actually think the smile, and the sound becomes brighter.  Another technique is to give ourselves a little more support for the sound. 

That is incredible.  All it takes is the slightest suspicion of a smile, and we can go from being flat to being brighter and on key!  Or we might need to give ourselves a little more support. Then it hit me.  On the journey to our happier, brighter selves, often it merely takes small inner changes.

Before we can make these changes in life and in singing, we first need to be aware that we’re “off key.”  For those of you who are tone deaf, take heart; every day’s a new shower.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/8475174561

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/8475174561

Here’s the “key.”  Even in our awareness, change doesn’t happen over night.  You might hit flat notes regularly until all the moving parts become second nature. Practice makes Puccini!

Life and singing lessons.  Small, learned changes, practiced over time, stamp out the flat notes, leading us to our inner bright sounds.   We just have to be aware that it’s possible, desire the outcome, learn the technique, and do the work.

I’m here for you, princess!

Bisous et tra la la,

Xoxoxoxo

Princess Diane Von Brainisfried

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Out of the closet – gratitude

Dear Princess ~

Yesterday was colder than the hair on a polar bear’s arse. But a princess goes where a princess must. Last night’s gala at the Hard Rock Cafe for New York Road Runner’s 36th Annual Club Night brought me and parts of my family into the city.  117900-default_4x6

The snow was hammering down on us, the slush was spraying up on us, and I was worrying that the whipping wet wind would shmear my makeup.  In an effort to travel light, I had docked my emergency make up kit at the palace, as it generally weighs as much as a small cannonball. 

In between that perilous worry, and trying to avoid the  slippery designer tribute medallions plastered along the 7th avenue sidewalk like bronzed man hole covers, I realized something.  Major gratitude… for my coat.

This was my first whirl in a gorgeous new winter coat, and she was keeping me truly protected from the elements.  It was a tad too long, which was perfect, because it made for a generous overlap with the top of my cutie faux fur cuffed shoe boots.  It had an elegant collar which transformed as a hood for extra protection over my Downton Abbey-ish hat. Once hooded, I was rendered invisible except for a small surface area of my face.  I had morphed into a walking cocoon, totally in control of when and where in this wicked weather I would re-emerge as my butterfly self.  

Gratitude, man.  My coat.  It made me stop and think, once again, how very important it is to count our blessings.  Cold is cold is cold. Wet is wet is wet. Cold and wet. Hungry and thirsty.  These things I am not.  Gratitude man. 

Let’s link pinkies to remember to have gratitude for our protections, and to  help those who are less fortunate.  Take away a great coat, we’re all in the same boat. 

“LIVE YOUR ROYAL LIFE!™”                                                     XOXOXOXO

PRINCESS DIANE VON BRAINISFRIED

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