Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Live On Univision! Midlife Crisis Redefined

Last week's Orange County Register article sparked up a whole bunch of chispas around here. Several women- all with remarkably similar stories- contacted me about the hopes and dreams they'd like to realize. There is a wave of excitement moving through women right now, especially women who've already cleared the hurdles of job, family, career. The midlife discoveries are in full bloom. (If you liked the story, be sure and email Justino at the OC Register)

Univision's morning program "Primera Edicion" contacted me and invited me to be an in studio guest. The topic: mid life crisis (en espanol, la crisis de la mediana edad). The idea of going on TV sounded like way too much fun so I accepted and began reflecting on this mysterious condition called mid life crisis.

I felt nervous about going on Spanish language TV, afraid that my born-in-California accent would overshadow my words, if I could even remember words in Spanish! The fear of drawing a blank haunted me, but I practiced diligently with comadres and even had a reverse coaching session with a client who teaches Spanish! (She said I spoke beautifully and had nothing to worry about)

The program is an early one (5am) so if you missed it I won't be hurt. Also, if you don't speak Spanish I can understand why you'd skip it. But still, how could I resist the opportunity to redefine mid life crisis in front of an audience of... millions??? Well, maybe thousands. I'm not sure how many people tune in to women's issues at 5am on a Tuesday, but this is LA, the second largest Mexican city outside of Mexico! This is Comadre-landia if there ever was one.

I left my house at 4am (yikes! don't even ask me what time I got up... OK, you got it out of me- 2:45am) and arrived a bit before 5. Sitting in the Green Room I met singer Manny Manuel, who sings old style romantic songs and boleros. I didn't know who he was or that he was someone famous, but you gotta figure that a cute guy with four girls accompanying him had to be someone importante.

Beatriz, who works at Univision, very graciously helped me and brought me onto the set where I sat on a big yellow couch. Socorro Cruz, the anchor, came over and for about 3 minutes we talked about mid life crisis. She was amazing. How can someone say so much so quickly so accurately and in so little time? Well, I guess that's why they pay her to do this show! I don't think I'm remotely capable of being succinct and smooth the way she was. She really inspired me and everyone on the show was happy and genuine. I hope they ask me back!

OK, so my take on the midlife crisis: I defined it not as a crisis but as an awakening. A time when women discover more options for themselves, make discoveries and embark on new paths. Knowing that the dropout rate is scary high for Latinas, I encouraged women to use this time of life to finish their educations or take steps to create their best life. The crisis, it seems, is more for the people around them who can't accept that a woman needs to change from time to time.

Lastly, keep a positive attitude and surround yourself with positive people. I wished I'd have said "And call me at Comadre Coaching!" but I forgot to say that! Fortunately, they put my name and web address on the screen so if anyone needs to contact me they can.

Lessons learned:
I can get up and drive to LA at 4am. No traffic, not a bad trip.
Univision employs some extremely nice people.
We all have an important message to share and the situation will present itself when it's time to say it.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Comadre Coaching in the News!

From the Orange County Register, Tuesday January 18, 2005

To see this article with photos, click on this link and follow the instructions.



Tuesday, January 18, 2005

She'll find your hidden creativity
An Anaheim life coach helps women escape midlife ruts by unleashing their inner 'locas.'

By JUSTINO ƁGUILA
The Orange County Register


They stand in a dark room meditating. Candles glow across the faces of more than two dozen women searching for their inner locas.

Inner loca, as guide Nancy Marmolejo puts it, is about finding creativity within, a free-spirited energy that can help boost a woman out of the mundane grind of daily life.

"They may be in a rut," said Marmolejo, 40, of Anaheim. "They may need something to help them jump- start their lives again. I want to help fuel that creative energy."

About 600 women subscribe to Marmolejo's Web site for a dose of inspiration. Helping them release their inner locas is one way that the life coach offers support through www.comadrecoaching.com.

Workshops guide women through a series of exercises such as creating works of art and sharing their personal connections with the Earth's four elements. Music plays in the background as Marmolejo seeks to create an atmosphere of self-assurance.

Comadre (co-MAH-dray), which usually refers to Latinas who have close friendships, is a term Marmolejo uses to help women of all colors connect. Most of her business comes from her Web site.

"A comadre issomeone youcan trust, someone you can talk to, someone who is pulling for you," Marmolejo said. "And a true comadre will tell you if your butt looks big and ask you if you're sure you want to wear something that's not flattering."

Marmolejo, who has bachelor's and master's degrees from San Francisco State University, was a teacher for about 15 years before launching her business.

Through her Web site she created an e-zine, Pocket Comadre, which is updated regularly with ideas for creative rituals, resources and anecdotes in blog form from Marmolejo's life. Although some services are free, such as subscribing to her e-zine, others, like one-on-one coaching, can cost $100 to $400 a month.

In some cases, people who come to Marmolejo are looking to launch projects, change careers or find time to take care of themselves. A corporate trainer wants to be a filmmaker. A graphic designer wants to create handbags. An event coordinator wants to make specialty pillows.

"I think that being able to simply talk right now is a way of releasing my inner loca," said Lupe Lopez, a workshop participant and director of Alianza Indigena, a nonprofit group in Anaheim. "There are a lot of women who can't even pick up a microphone."

Fear is the greatest barrier for all of us, said Yasmin Davidds, the author of "The Latina Seven Principals." Now, the writer said, women more than ever need to look deeper and learn to get away from those fears, which is difficult but not impossible.

Davidds, who has overcome child abuse and poverty, speaks to women across the country about surmounting obstacles. She applauds those like Marmolejo who have created support systems such as Comadre Coaching, which, through technology, can reach more women. Davidds does something similar with her site, www.yasmindavidds.com.

Marmolejo, who dreams of appearing on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" someday to help spread her excitement about the chispas, or the sparks, that help motivate, knows that many women need that extra push.

The e-zine creator recently helped a woman consumed by routine family life. Getting a screenplay project off the ground didn't seem realistic.

"We worked to organize her life," Marmolejo said. "Once we were able to find the time, she was able to start writing her screenplay. Now she even has a writing partner, and they have time to meet."

Some of Marmolejo's clients are as far away as the East Coast. Ruth Kunstadter, 46, a Spanish teacher in Montclair, N.J., wanted to create a video project, but she didn't have time and didn't think a personal coach would help.

"Then I met Nancy," Kunstadter said. "After a phone conversation we understood each other very well. I never really considered (having) a coach because I didn't think someone would understand me. Without her I wouldn't have been able to get this far."

Kunstadter is now writing articles for several publications, in preproduction for a series of Spanish-language videos for teenagers and poring over ideas inspired by Marmolejo.

"She is able to ask you questions to help you focus," Kunstadter said. "She's practical, too. And she connects you to invaluable resources."

Marmolejo hopes to spark circles of women across the country. "Life Coaching with Corazon," is her site's tagline.

"Women just want to be themselves," she said. "My role is to let them know they can do it and be creative and successful at the same time."


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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Latino Perspectives Magazine - Releasing your inner loca

Check me out in the news!

Latino Perspectives Magazine - Releasing your inner loca

I just recieved a copy of Latino Perspectives with a cool profile they did on me. Sometimes I wonder aloud to my coach Margaret (who is not Latina but WAY loca) if "Release Your Inner Loca" is too cryptic. I never thought this before someone stopped me and said, "Now doesn't loca mean crazy? Why would I want to be crazy?"

Valid point. And then I started to spin it around in my head, worrying that it's too cryptic, that I'm limiting myself to the small segment of the population who can click with this whole loca metaphor.

Then I read the Latino Perspectives article and it was so cool! Imagine this: no where in the entire article did anyone need to define key words like comadre and loca. Power to the loca people!

I'm totally open to finding phrases and metaphors that resonate with the type of dynamic, creative women I love working with. Loca has such a wild ring to it, but if you have any other suggestions just email them to me at info@comadrecoaching.com.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Pimp My Mom's Ride... Please!

My 73 year old mother has taken a fancy to the MTV show Pimp My Ride. It's sorta like HGTV with a hip-hop twist where ugly old dorky cars are turned into "pimped out rides".

OK, I have issues with the word "pimp" and all that it connotates. I didn't take all those Womens Studies classes for nothing. But it's not about them, it's about Bunny, my mom.

Bunny loves cleverness and I think she likes the way these "young men" as she calls them unleash their creativity on vehicles. Even if the show had a Liberace title and a theme song by the Lettermen she'd still dig it. That's just Bunny. She's also way into Queer Eye and this other reality show that was about some guy opening a hair salon in Beverly Hills. (I don't have cable so I just try to remember as much as I can). She's an eccentric in her own little way.

The other hysterical thing is how Bunny ENUNCIATES the phrase "Pimp My Ride". Heavy Emphasis on each letter, each sound, each syllable. Nothing garbled, nothing shortened. Well, I'll have to record her saying it so you can enjoy it. The lady is way funny without ever intending.

If any of you Ride Pimpers (now there's an interesting use of the word) are interested in cherrying out Bunny's old Ford Taurus, just let me know. She can roll up to the senior center with hydraulics bumpin her Ford up and down, The Carpenters blaring bass from the sound system.

I can just hear her say, "Now THAT'S the way to pimppp a ridddde."

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Epiphanies in our Midst

Greetings and Happy New Year!

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, the day when Los Tres Reyes mapped out and found their way to the newborn Jesus. When I was a kid, we'd put our shoes in the window the night of the 5th and wake up on the 6th to find them filled with little goodies. (Inevitably they had this thing for leaving us a pack of Trident gum. Ask my mom- she did the shopping for them).

So I looked up the word "epiphany" on webster.com. I really connect with the third definition:

Merriam-Webster Online: "One entry found for epiphany.


Main Entry: epiph�a�ny
Pronunciation: i-'pi-f&-nE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -nies
Etymology: Middle English epiphanie, from Middle French, from Late Latin epiphania, from Late Greek, plural, probably alteration of Greek epiphaneia appearance, manifestation, from epiphainein to manifest, from epi- + phainein to show -- more at FANCY
1 capitalized : January 6 observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles or in the Eastern Church in commemoration of the baptism of Christ
2 : an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being
3 a (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery b : a revealing scene or moment "

I see this happen a lot in the lives of my clients and in my own life as well. I see it when my 2 year old learns to communicate a need to me WITH WORDS and not just cries.

There is something chispa about this, chispa being that spark within.

I wish you a beautiful year full of epiphanies that ring strong and true to your espiritu. There is a spot inside of us all that responds to this fire, a place that has been waiting for the warmth and power of an epiphany.


Ditch your resolutions and open your arms to moments of epiphany.