Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Message, 2009

This has been a bad year in so many ways for so many of us. Loved ones abroad in foreign wars, no money in pockets, homes in foreclosure, spirits depressed, hearts in anguish. This year of turmoil ran roughshod over many of us, like a bull thrashing at a matador.

Still, we must needs go on. This is a spirit, a pathway of renewal, that lays open to us. There is the story of a Star, Wise Men, a Baby...where do we begin to fit in? What is our role? This year, in this hemisphere, a moon showed bright and silver, a sign perhaps of the importance of hope, a hope that does indeed give reason to this season.

And, so, on this eve of Christmas morn, let us refresh ourselves. Let us listen to the hoary carols with fresh ears. Let us draw closer to our loved ones and set aside the emails, blackberries, twitter and all else that causes us to be estranged fro that which we ought to hold so dear.

Presents they brought to Him, of gold, frankinsense, myrhh. What presents will we bring to those we love? What will be our presents to open? Are our minds, hearts, souls, so ravaged and putrid from reversals of fortune ready to receive the gifts that are given, not by large, self-important department stores, but by the small, still voice of truth?

This is the time. This is the year. Let us open to the call of renewal and to follow the path of light given to us.


Doula Angelita wishes each and every one a Happy Christmas, and hopes that this season is one of refreshment and renewal.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Exercise even when not outdoors!

Now that I am not in my friendly NoCal climate, I am definitely feeling the chill when stepping outside for my normal exercise routine. Frigid temperatures in the near-noughts do not invite me to take a brisk walk nor do anything else, really, that involves the Great Outdoors.

However, this does not mean that I abandon my routine and hibernate in the bedclothes until I return to beautiful, sunny San Jose!

What I recommend for my clients and for myself every day is to get in that exercise no matter the weather. Here is how I do it:

1. Walk in place for five minutes. Arms up and pumping, legs up as far as possible, this can be done while listening to music or watching tv.

2. Yoga. Great asanas/postures to do while indoors include frog poses, bridge pose, cobra pose...

3. Arm presses. Grab that gallon of milk and do reps at least ten in a row.

4. Belly dancing, and dancing in general. Put on the music full blast and you let yourself go for ten, fifteen minutes!

5. Play games. Ring around the mulberry bush, London Bridge, Duck, Duck, Goose, The wheels on the bus...there are hundreds of children's games that are interactive and will get the heart rate rising as well as make you laugh!

The best part of these exercises is that they can be done either alone or with the family so that everyone keeps moving and healthy!

These are a few of the tips that I have. The important thing is to mix and match, do what feels good, get moving and grooving!

This message was brought to you by Doula Angelita, trident doula/parenting coach/nutrition guide/women's issue advocate!--

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Christmas Kiss from Disney: The Princess and the Frog

When Disney's newest princess debuts tomorrow, she will be poised to make history as one of the most anticipated heroines of the Disney pantheon. "The Princess and the Frog" is the story of a hard-working girl who works two jobs to fund her dream of opening her own restaurant. In the process of carefully saving each penny, she comes across a wayward prince who needs her help to undo the spell cast on him by the devilishly charming Dr. Facilier...and before she knows it, she is off on an adventure through the byways and bayous of her beloved Louisiana.

Princess Tiana, voiced and patterned after the accomplished actress-singer Anika Noni Rose(The Ladies' No.1 Detective Agency) is an independent, feisty heroine, adored by her parents and surrounded by a large and loving family. She is diligent, focused and serious, in complete opposition to Prince Naveen(voice of Bruno Campos)a roué who fancies himself a ladies' man. Along the way, the couple find out about life, love and le hot jazz of the Big Easy.

With the vocal talents of the aforementioned Ms. Rose, Keith David, Dr. John,Terrance Blanchard, Randy Newman, Terrance Howard and Ms. Jenifer Lewis, "The Princess and the Frog" has been carefully crafted with an eye for detail and drawn in the traditionally sumptuous, fluid style signatory of the House of Mouse. Ne-yo, one of the up and coming vocalists of the year even has a song on the soundtrack. All of this artistry is to promote a movie that generated tons of buzz months before it was even released.

As to the controversial aspects of the film, it must be acknowledged that Disney has a lot to atone for, e.g. "Songs of the South". Some complain that Princess Tiana doesn't have enough screen time and others feel that Prince Naveen should be other than what he is. None of that matters in the long run; this is the big opening for more and more multicultural films to come through the studio. "The Princess and the Frog" is a wonderful entry into the new films that Disney ought to continue to promote in future: good, quality films with high production values, tight storylines, exotic locales, singable tunes and solid human values.

"The Princess and the Frog" is a luminously dewy paen to life as it used to be lived. It holds all the hope, humour and happiness that Christmas should have, and is a nice, sweetly innocent Christmas card from Disney to you...