30 Oct

From Cranky to Crazy Zen

Contributed by Dana Lin

Four years ago, I was on a mission. After my divorce, I was determined to make it on my own as a single mother. I was doing it for a while -- landing a stable job with full benefits, working things out with the Ex so that we were amicable co-parents, and I even started producing a web series because I had always wanted to be a screenwriter.

Over time, the long hours at work bled into bringing work home at night and weekends. I had little time for my children, and definitely no time for writing. It began to take its toll.

It got worse when a new boss took over at work. He yelled at the top of his lungs at everyone. Being his assistant, I got the brunt of it. Whenever the boss screamed, bullied, or harassed me or others, I would smile and ignore it. I tolerated it because if I missed one day of work, ends wouldn’t be met. By doing this over an eight month period, I developed stomach ulcers, migraines, and a jaw problem -- I was so stressed-out, I’d grind my teeth during sleep and damaged my back molars.

One day, my boss wanted me to lie for him. When I refused, he sent me home, without pay, and threatened to fire me if I couldn’t take orders. When I walked out of the office and got into my car, I cried...and had a nervous breakdown. I was forced on medical leave after that.

I now had no income, my health was spiraling downward, I hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep in eight months, and my kids needed new shoes. I had to sell my mother’s jewelry to make rent the next month.

Desperate to go back to work, I tried everything -- doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, my dentist gave me a mouth guard to help me from grinding my teeth, and a friend even gave me a tarot reading.

Nothing really helped.

It was April of last year, that I found a meditation group in Santa Monica. When I arrived, I was greeted by a college kid who introduced himself as the meditation coach. Inside my head I thought -- how can this guy teach me anything? But I was there, and it was free -- which was in my budget -- so I stayed.

During the meditation session he said a bunch of stuff I can’t remember now, but a phrase stuck with me: “Remember to have compassion on yourself.” Upon hearing that, my shoulders relaxed, and I was able to breathe deeply and feel the anxiety begin to release.

That night, I slept a full ten hours of sleep! I woke somewhat refreshed and...hopeful. The headaches and stomach ulcers were still there, but there were signs of relief.

Clinging to this glimmer of hope, I contacted that meditation coach and asked if he could teach me how to meditate. And if there was any slim chance he would do this without compensation. There was no way I could pay. But if I didn’t get relief, I was doomed. Who would raise my kids then?

By some miracle, he accepted. He said that he had once received aid and felt this was his chance to ‘pay it forward’. For the next six weeks, he patiently taught me how to breathe again...as if my body had never been born with this ability to begin with.

It was during this period when I learned how to truly breathe, that I slowly released the stress, the pain, the pressure, and began to become aware of where I was at in life, what insecurities held me back, and figure out what I wanted to do.

I discovered that I didn’t have to work in a fearful, abusive environment. What I wanted to do with my life was to tell stories. From that point on, it’s been one crazy journey. With the continued support of my meditation coach and my daily meditation practice, and the full support of my family, I now have two screenplays in development, and a book coming out next year. Talk about miracles!

I hope my story has inspired you to take a breath and to take time for yourself -- who knows what can unfold when you allow it?

DanaDANA LIN is now living her dreams as a writer and speaker, and has just joined her meditation coach (who isn’t really a young college kid after all) at ZenLifeServices.com to create stress-reduction programs in the workforce. You can read more on her website CrazyZenMom.com

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15 Oct

Pictures from the Oct 3, 2013 Event in LA

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14 Oct

Not Enough Women in Board Positions with Tech Companies

"Twitter may have made headlines recently for its lack of women on the board of directors – and the way the male leaders at the company have responded to the criticism – but the company is by no means the only tech company without women in the boardroom....Seattle-based Zulily, which runs a daily deals service targeting mothers, announced this week it was going public. It was surprising to me to discover that Zulily, whose business model revolves around selling to women, has only one woman on its seven-person board and only one female C-level executive."  READ MORE ON TECH FLASH...

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10 Oct

Great OC Women’s Health Event with WomenNetwork

Join WomenNetwork October 18th from 8am-1:30pm at Long Beach Memorial Community Hospital in Long Beach California as The Women Network Foundation, California Women’s Conference & Long Beach Memorial kicks of their Women’s Health Symposium. Tickets are selling out fast and at $20 you don’t want to miss out on this amazing engagement for an even greater purpose. Lunch will be provided so come ready to meet new people and be inspired.

Guest Speakers: Diana Hendel: CEO at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Wendy Ida: Nationally Recognized Fitness Expert & Author, Michelle Van Otten: Inner Game Architect & Author, JJ Virgin: Celebrity Nutritionist & Fitness Expert, Michelle Patterson: Executive Director of Women Network Foundation & California Women’s Conference, Lauren Miller: Author & Stress Relief Expert, Sybil Bogardus: Chief Compliance Officer HUB International

The Event MC will be Diana Wentworth: NY Times Bestselling author of ten books including her newest release “Lover Your Heart: Follow the red thread to a hear centered life (written on behalf of the american hart association)

Womens-Health-Symposiium-Long-Beach-Memorial-Women-Network-Foundation-California-Womens-Conference-rev10-1-13 Topics to be covered -When the going gets tough: flexing your leadership with health care reform -The virgin diet: drop 7 foods, lose 7 pounds, just 7 days -How to release 3 fuels of stress quickly -Take back your life with the power of fitness -The essence of energy: How to create it from the inside out and many more  

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04 Oct

MomFair on CBS TV!

CULVER CITY (CBSLA.com) — Mothers preparing to return to theworkforce now have a one-stop center to get them ready.

Women gathered at the inaugural “MomFair” Thursday at the DoubleTree Hotel in Culver City, where expert speakers shared tips on how to balance a nine-to-five with full-time motherhood.

Founder Laura Nix Gerson told KCAL9′s Stephanie Simmons the event was organized to help mothers deal with the sometimes overwhelming experience of finding new work or going through acareer change.

“We want to make sure moms have access to resources – whether it’s they want to work from home and build their own business from home, or they want to build an online business – if they’re interested in returning to the workplace and they’re looking to meet with recruiters…” Gerson said. Read More...

   

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03 Oct

FILOSOPHY: Working moms, sick babies & pre-mixed cookies.

There’s so much to write in this post, I don’t even know where to start. So I’ll start at the beginning:

I’M NOW A REGULAR PERSONALITY ON HALLMARK CHANNEL’S EMMY-NOMINATED “HOME AND FAMILY” MORNING SHOW!

To say that I’m elated is a massive understatement. The new season just launched this week and I’ve been waaaaiiiiiiittttting for it since last March! Like a toddler decked out in a Snow White dress on her birthday. I’ve been sooooooo excited. I wished for it all summer. It happened.

Snow White had a phonecall.

Snow White had a phonecall.

But with good and wonderful things always comes balance. I even scoff at the word: BALANCE. Many a mom I know will tell you there’s no such thing. There’s juggling. There’s dodging. There’s coordinating. There are lots of deep breaths. Sometimes, you can’t think… you just have to GO. This weekend – the weekend before my very first day at this current dream-come-true job of mine – I had to just GO. So I did. (Now that I think about it, these things seem to happen to me late September.)

In a nutshell: It was my LadyP’s birthday. The big family royal court party was planned for the weekend (more on that in another post). I had swords, crowns and big plans involving big yellow-and-blue dresses (yes, Snow White to be exact). Meanwhile, my 18-month old LilMiss got a freak fever of 104 Friday afternoon. I noticed she was acting weird as I pushed them around in the humongous cart at Costco. That night, I cancelled my plans to stay home and cold-compress, administer Tylenol and ultimately cry with her as she was more miserable than I’d ever seen her. I let the older sister (soon-to-be birthday girl) watch marathons of Tinkerbell to keep her occupied. Keep going, I thought. (It’s what moms do.) After whipping up a quick batch of sort-of-homemade hot-pink frosty cookies (despite my Home and Family assignment to make HOMEMADE cookies for National Cookie Day… if you watched this Tuesday’s show you know what I’m talking about) and one Saturday night trip to the ER to make sure my LilMiss didn’t have some spontaneous disease (now with a temperature of 105), one cancelled toddler birthday party (thanks to the 105 temp) and a plate of hot-pink frosty cookies that just looked like a hot mess to me, I realized: I was officially in the Working Mothers Club. I’d spent the last few years willing and working towards this to happen, and it did. Finally. And, like I’ve said, with all good and wonderful things comes challenge. It’s part of the game. It’s part of life. Just keep going, I thought. (This is what they invented coffee for, right?)

I finally gave myself some therapy at 3am Monday morning (Sunday night, the night before my first day on set) when both my girls woke up in the middle of the night and I caught myself slipping into what all working-moms experience: Near-Burnout. (On account of the totally-planned-then-cancelled party, the fever-and-accompanying-screaming, the cookie-planning and show-prep… and technically I hadn’t even begun working yet.)

Unedited & unfabulous: What I look like at 3am. (Yes, she had fruit because she asked and I didn't feel like dealing with it.)

Unedited & unfabulous: What I look like at 3am. (Yes, she had fruit because she asked and I didn’t feel like dealing with it.)

I had cancelled the princess party, my cookie-assignment was not my best work, my baby was screaming and burning hot. But you know what? Life goes on. (This too, shall pass.) Sure, I was tempted to continuously feel sad about having to cancel LadyP’s birthday, I was tempted to fret about the not-really-that-homemade-cookies (that were supposed to be homemade) and I was tempted to worry about the horrific undereye circles that’d be blatantly-offensive on national television the next day. GET OVER IT. I’m not the first working mom in the world…. and I’m not the last. This. Is. What. We. Do. I’ve never tolerated guilt, and I wasn’t going to start now. It’s the week of Momfair, after all… if nothing else, my experience was absolutely appropriate. Game on.

Luckily, I had the foresight to decorate our kitchen in pink streamers and princess napkins (a surprise for my birthday girl), I put Hubby on-task for monitoring LilMiss’ Tylenol and Motrin doses and I started to look at my florescent pre-mixed frosted sugar cookie bars with a sense of accomplishment rather than disgust. I wanted to return to the workforce… so I’M GONNA WORK IT. Fight. Or. Flight. It was my choice. I chose to think about one saying that seems to get me through mommy challenges like this: Women Rule. Moms rule. Reminding myself of this gives me strength when I need it.

Moms rule. The gorgeous blonde is Sofie Uliano of GorgeouslyGreen.com.

Moms rule. The gorgeous blonde is Sofie Uliano of GorgeouslyGreen.com.

And guess what: LilMiss is on the mend, Snow White had a lovely birthday-day and I got a free pink T-shirt for running through tires on television (if ya watched the show, you’re with me… and you also saw how mom and healthy beauty advocate Sofie Uliano of GorgeouslyGreen can rock a football).

Here’s to the working moms and pre-made cookies everywhere. This too, shall pass. I promise.

HOW DO YOU GET OVERCOME BEING OVERWHELMED?

- See more at: http://thefabmom.com/2013/09/30/filosophy-working-moms-sick-babies-pre-mixed-birthday-cookies/#sthash.hWCJSKrk.dpuf

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02 Oct

LA MochaMoms Supports Moms of Color

We were recently introduced to an amazing organization in LA called MochaMoms which is a support group for mothers of color who have chosen not to work full-time outside of the home in order to devote more time to their families. We love this idea! What an amazing organization! MochaMoms says "While many of our members have eliminated employment altogether, others work part-time, flex-time, night shifts, have home-based businesses, consult or freelance from home or have chosen alternative, less demanding career paths so that they are more available to their families. Our goal is to support the decisions made by their members.  Their motto is to never pass judgment on mothers who choose to make or are forced to make different decisions for their families.  Mocha Moms welcomes people of all religions, races, educational backgrounds and income levels.  Anyone who supports the mission of Mocha Moms is welcome to join." Mocha Moms has even been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show; Which aired in 2002. The show titled "What Mothers Honestly Think About Mother Hood" created such a buzz for the Mocha Moms Inc, organization that there are now more than 100 chapters Nationwide.

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02 Oct

The Challenge of “Opting Back In” from ModernMom

Exciting news!  I just published my first post on ModernMom all about the challenges of "Opting Back In."

The Challenge of "Opting Back In": I was several months pregnant when we moved to Los Angeles. I left behind a 20 year career in marketing, an extensive business network and a reputation as a trusted consultant and advisor who “makes things happen” for clients.

When I arrived in LA, I was excited to embark upon the next journey of my work life - that of a stay at home mom. I spent months overseeing the renovation of our recently acquired beach bungalow, got everything ready for the arrival of our child and settled into focusing on my family.  Three years later, I decided to return to work.  READ MORE...

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01 Oct

Queen for a Day with Queen Latifah

Today we are celebrating Tuesday with Latifah at the taping of Queen Latifah's LA show. MomsLA and MomAngeles are headed to Sony Studios to be part of Latifah's studio audience. This could be you!  One lucky #MomFair raffle winner will get to be Queen for a Day and take 3 of her friends to a taping to the Queen Latifah show. But you have to be at MomFair on Thursday October 3 to be entered to win!

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