Archive for April, 2009

“But, I just don’t find myself that interesting!” That’s what we heard when we asked Gabby to be our Flourishing Friend for May.   Excuse us, but we beg to differ and you will too, when you learn how this amazing woman turned one of her life’s gabbyandnatashacraterlakesaddest moments into a vision that is truly making a difference for women everywhere.  Her business is booming these days – Go girl! – but she took a few minutes to chat with us about what makes her a flourishing woman.

Growing up a Military Brat really helped Gabby understand “we are all in this together!”  It takes all kinds to make up this world and that, for Gabby, is what make’s the world a more interesting place.

Born in Germany, she lived most of her life in Georgia until making the move to Oregon several years ago. And, by the way, she thinks Crater Lake is the most beautiful place on earth.   Gabby worked many less than inspiring jobs, but when she took a real estate course as a college elective, she was immediately hooked.   “I could not believe you could buy a home, live there and enjoy it, write off the interest on your taxes and then sell it and keep the profit (most of the time).   I thought why isn’t everyone doing that?  I need to help people do this!”  That was the beginning of her real estate career and Gabby has never looked back!  Sixteen years later she owns her own successful company, Realty Solutions and the profits helped fund her true life passion, the non-profit she started, Jessica’s Hope.

Jessica’s Hope was founded in honor of her mother who lost her life after a 5 year battle with Ovarian Cancer .   Her focus is on raising awareness and money in the search for a test for ovarian cancer.  Gabby wants everyone to know that there is currently no definitive test for ovarian cancer.  Therefore most women get diagnosed in the late stages of the disease.  There is a 90% survival rate with early detection.  Her passion shines through when you talk with her – she’s a woman on a mission!  Gabby funds all administrative costs for Jessica’s Hope through her real estate company so that 100% of donations go to The Ovarian Cancer Institute at Georgia Tech where they are looking for a test.

The Jessica’s Hope website is a great resource for information, inspiration and support.   They also have a very creative on-going fundraising program.  Make a purchase through the online store from one of their great partners and a percentage every purchase goes directly to support the organization.   You can also use the portal to shop at places like Amazon.com and they will give a portion of your purchase price back to Jessica’s Hope.  We all love to shop and this is an easy way to do something good at the same time!

Who is your hero? Cliché but true – My mother is my hero.  Although she is not around physically, her spirit is with me every day.  She had a great work ethic and was very independent. What makes her my hero though, is her kind soul.  She always found the good in someone.  I don’t remember a time when she said cruel or mean things about anyone.   Her favorite saying was “you make your bed, you lie in it”, but I always knew that she would always be there to help get me up again.  In her mind it was the right thing to help other people when you could.

What is your favorite quote and why? My favorite quote is “if you continue to do the exact same thing, you will continue to get the exact same results”.  I am not sure who came up with this quote, but it can apply to your personal life as well as your business life and if something is not working in either, I look for something I can do differently.

What keeps you flourishing? I enjoy life.  I work hard, but I play hard also.  As I have gotten older I’ve learned to take time for me.  It truly is the secret to keeping your sanity.

If you were a pair of shoes, what kind would you be and why? I would be a pair of Michelle K.’s  They are comfortable with a subtle style.  This describes my personality.  I am often told that I have a unique style.  I like to call it comfortable and honest. Michelle K’s are comfortable with a simple, honest style.

I can’t wait to… Wake up tomorrow and see what adventures the day brings.  “The only day you have is the one in front of you, so choose wisely what you do with it!”

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National Women’s Health Week is celebrating it’s 10th year and we want everyone to join the party!

This week is a time to remind all the women you love that taking care of themselves is essential to living longer, healthier, and happier lives. Adult females in yoga class.Women are often the caregivers for their spouses, children, and parents and forget to focus on their own health. Research shows that when women take care of themselves, the health of their family improves. During National Women’s Health Week events are planned all across the country that will help educate our wives, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and girlfriends about the steps they can take to improve their health and prevent disease. After all, when women take even the simplest steps to improve their health, the results can be significant and everyone can benefit.

Come Out and Play!

OHSU Center for Women’s Health is celebrating National Women’s Health Week by offering fun events to help jump start the physical activity in your life.  Get motivated and get moving with a kick-off event and FREE fitness classes all week.

Kickoff event May 11, 2009 – Free Fitness Classes All Week with a motivational presentation from Britta Torgrimson, Ph.D., about the many health benefits of exercise (hint – there are probably more than you know about!).

Throughout the week, complimentary fitness classes will be held at different locations throughout the Portland metro area. Classes include: Chi Qigong, Yoga, Aqua Aerobics and more! Many classes will be accessible to people with disabilities.

Space is limited so online registration is strongly suggested.  If you live in Portland, we’ll see you there!

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We’re borrowing a line from a great Monty Python song here because we wanted to share a fun idea.  This month’s Flourish salon topic is the Science of Happiness with our local happiness guru, Ellen Raim, and judging from the large sign up, it seems like a very timely topic.  Seems like we’re all getting just a little bit tired of the barrage of downer news and media hype and most of us are ready to once again “look on the bright side of life”.  Ellen was telling me about  the playlist of happy music she put together for the beginning of the event.  She’s going to set the mood from the minute women walk in the door.  The music is fun, upbeat and all containing the word “happy“.

That got me to thinking!  How could I use this music and keep the happy going long after the event is over?   Wouldn’t it be fun to have my own, on-demand playlist of happy songs on my iPod!  Who wouldn’t feel better after a 30 minute walk listening to nothing but happy songs?  Maybe you want to give it a try too.   You’ll burn off a few calories and probably add a spring to your step and a smile to your face.  Add a little sunshine and you’ll be singing What a Wonderful World!

Here’s a few song titles to get you started –  Happy Talk, Happy Trails to You, Don’t Worry – Be Happy, Come On Get Happy, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Happy Together, Bring Me Sunshine, Happy Birthday.

What are your picks for your all time favorite “happy” song?

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There’s no doubt about it, lately it’s been a bit of a challenge for many of us to feel just plain old “happiness”.   That’s why Flourish has declared April Be Happy Month.  We believe that a smile can change your day.  It can lighten your heart and change your attitude.  If that’s the case, what can you achieve with a laugh or a giggle?  Laughter could be the perfect medicine for these tough times.

When we found this video of a flight attendant at Southwest Airlines, we laughed so hard we had to watch it several times.  What a gift this young man gives every day to the travel weary passengers in his charge.   Check it out and enjoy!

What can you do that will put a smile on someone’s face?  Give it a try and let us know what happens.

And, if you want to learn all about the Science of Happiness, register for our Flourish Salon on April 19 with happiness expert Ellen Raim.  Find out more at www.flourish-pdx.com

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We all love a good story, especially a classic love story.  Recently we found one that gave us goosebumps!  Now we can’t wait to share “Eloquent Nude” with all our Flourish friends on May 17th!

Here is an excerpt from the Oregonian review of this Emmy award winning film…eloquent

“Maybe you’ve seen her, the woman in the black-and-white photograph: the curve of her arms, the angle of her leg, the way the shadow catches the hollow of her collarbone. It’s hard not to feel the intensity with which the photographer has fixed his lens on her; it’s harder still not to hope that just once in your life, you will know what it’s like for someone to look at you like that.

You saw her fixed to a gallery wall. You saw her frozen on a glossy art-book plate. You saw her, studied her, knew her –all without ever knowing her name.

“Nude” is all the title says.

Today, the woman in the photograph is 92, approaching the end of her life. The man who took it –one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, her lover, husband, creative partner –died years ago of Parkinson’s, after their slow and painful coming apart.

And it’s sad to look at that image and know all this. But it’s also incredibly touching to look at that image and know all this. One of the bittersweet things about photography is the way that it records what is both present and gone. By the time we press the shutter, the moment we are trying to preserve has already slipped away from us. And yet, a photograph promises a kind of forever –proof that it is possible to transcend the rules of time.

A moment captured 71 years ago –a love, a life –is gone.
That’s one way to think about it.
Another way:
A moment captured 71 years ago is still happening.
Can you fall in love at first sight? …. “

To read more about this amazing story visit  images

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