I Can Only Imagine

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I am baffled by the low ratings of the movie I Can Only Imagine by “professional” critics, especially when I see a 95% positive audience rating and glowing reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

I can’t think of a more relatable movie than this one. One of a troubled childhood with music, writing, and faith to see you through the tough times. I lived that life! I know it is real.

I love movies that make you curious to want to know more. I remember when the song I Can Only Imagine came out and started to get air play on pop and country music radio stations. I didn’t give a second thought about it being a Christian song that was crossing genres. I had no idea how popular it became. I had no idea that the writer of the song and his band went on to have 21 more #1 hits!

I thought Dennis Quaid‘s performance in the movie was amazing and deserves an award. It made me wonder what he is up to these days, so I did a Google search where I discovered his band The Sharks. I had no idea he is also a musician.

The best movies make you curious to learn more about the artists, the history, and the message. I’m definitely a new fan of Mercy Me and have new found respect for Amy Grant after discovering her generous gesture of sharing the stage with Bart Millard and giving his song back to him. The history I can relate to on a personal level. The message of forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, and pursuing your dreams is one that will likely inspire millions to live their truth in ways I can only imagine!

Battle of the Sexes

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“Some day we will be free to be who we are and love who we love.” 

That line from the Battle of the Sexes movie made me cry because it’s nearly a half-century later and we are still battling male chauvinism as can be witnessed from the Weinstein scandal that Michael Moore so eloquently addressed to Trump’s “Grab them by the pussy” tape that fueled instead of doused his presidential campaign, which left millions of us in a state of shock and disbelief.  

Is it a sad time for the battle of the sexes that remains or is it a time to celebrate for the Billy Jean Kings of the world who push back no matter how powerful a misogynist monster appears. Since the fall of man there have been and will continue to be a sinful side to mankind, but there is also progress and hope thanks to those who refuse to be silenced. 

It was just me and a couple who was in the theater mid-week watching Battle of the Sexes. How I wish the theater was filled so more of us can be inspired to stand up to bullies and live our truth. 

 

What Happened? Hillary Got Shot!

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Your brain does funny things when you multi-task, at least my brain does. I never paid much attention to it before today. My brain tries to draw parallels and extract meaning from the combined input. For example, today I listened to What Happened by Hillary Clinton on Audible and watched a Bitcoin documentary on Netflix.

(By the way Audible is having a contest where they are giving away 20 Volvo SUVs! I entered the contest with a short and funny video meant to make the Snapchat crowd curious about reading in a modern way. Please vote for me! 

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If the link doesn’t take you directly to my video, sort by Indiana, then Katherine, then click on the funny face video like you see above. There is still time if YOU want to enter the contest too. The deadline is October 13, 2017.)

I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that Hillary was narrating her book. I LOVE when authors narrate their own books because the inflection and passion comes through much better than when someone else narrates.

As I was listening to Hillary, I felt some of those same gut-wrenching emotions I had when I found out she lost the presidential campaign to someone with no political experience. I just didn’t get it. How can you even run for the highest office in the land with no political experience? I have read Donald Trump’s books for years and respected him as a business man, but as President of the United States winning the vote against opponents who dedicated their entire life to a political career? It didn’t make sense.

To me, it would be like Tony Robbins performing brain surgery. Is he the best in his field? Absolutely! Should he step into the operating room and count on the rest of the team to show him how to remove a tumor? Not on my brain! Sorry Tony, I love you, but I want a seasoned professional who has performed hundreds of operations and knows what he’s doing. The difference in the President’s case is millions of lives are at stake!

I’ve never been into politics, but this last election was a stark reminder of why it should matter to me and every American citizen. Every vote counts! Well, at least it’s supposed to, right? That electoral college thing has always been confusing to me.

I felt Hillary’s pain as she talked about how she was treated as she climbed the political ladder. And how she was coddled after the election by being told to go home and spend quality time with her family, like a demanding career and quality family time can’t be accomplished at the same time. There are sacrifices when you are trying to change the world, but the same holds true for both women and men. We all make time for our top priorities.

Unfortunately, I have experienced the “good ole boy’s” club many times throughout my career. I’ve watched less experienced guys get the promotion while I fetched the coffee. I’ve been belittled, overlooked, ignored, winked at, yelled at, and sent to run personal errands. It’s part of the game in a man’s world, right? I couldn’t get out of Corporate America fast enough. But it happened in non-profit organizations too. Over the years, my skin got thicker along with my thighs which made me even more invisible. Suck it up buttercup, and do it with a smile or risk being called cold and callous.

So, I was wondering if we will ever rise above our limited thinking as I was listening to What Happened when I decided to take a break and watch Banking on Bitcoin. I have always had an interest in trends and technology. I was on a Millionaire Mentor call with Tai Lopez yesterday and he said if you would have purchased $100 in Bitcoin when it first came out in 2010, it would now be worth 75 MILLION dollars! Wow! That got my attention! I have heard of Bitcoin off and on over the years, but I thought it was for gamers. It was never on my radar. So, I was curious what it was all about and heard the documentary is an “eye opener.”

I found it interesting that some of the pioneers of Bitcoin, aka cryptocurrency were arrested and others found it necessary to hide their identity.

Then a couple of quotes in Banking on Bitcoin made the connection in my brain between the documentary and Hillary: “The first one through the door always gets shot.” “They pave the way for the rest of us.”

Yes, Hillary got “shot” down in the election. But, she left a much bigger legacy than the presidency. She has given HOPE to a generation of little girls and busted down the door so the next women who dares to run for President of the United States doesn’t get shot.

Make the connection!

Lipstick Review #1 – HOME AGAIN

Lipstick Reviews

This is my first Lipstick Review! I am creating Lipstick Reviews mostly for fun. I LOVE to watch romance movies and it makes sense as a chick flick blogger to share my insights. Feel free to add your insights too!

I will normally post Lipstick Reviews on a separate page, but I want to share this first one in the blog section so you are familiar with the page and can subscribe for future reviews if you like.

The Lipstick Reviews are based on a scale of 1 to 5:

  1. No Lipstick Necessary… Stay home in your sweats and wait until it comes out on Netflix!
  2. Chap Stick – Your lips may get chapped from eating too much salted popcorn to keep from nodding off.
  3. Lip Gloss – Looks good at first glance, but not much substance.
  4. Lip Smacker – Good enough to make you lick your lips and want more!
  5. Lip Stick – This one will “stick” with you! Put on your favorite lipstick, get dolled up, and invite your besties for a girl’s night out!

The Lipstick Review scoring system may change based on YOUR feedback. What criteria do you wish was included in chick flick reviews? Let me know. I want the reviews to be helpful, insightful, and fun!

LIPSTICK REVIEW #1: HOME AGAIN

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First up for Lipstick Review is HOME AGAIN starring Reese Witherspoon:

My daughter called me spontaneously in the middle of the afternoon to go see this movie with her and my oldest granddaughter. That made my day, especially since I’ve had the movie on my must see list since watching the trailer a couple months ago. Plus, I LOVE spending time with my girls doing one of our favorite things… watching chick flicks!

This movie had some real life issues, like divorce and life as a single mom, along with some fantasy… three adorable guys helping with everything from cooking to the kids while pursuing their Hollywood dreams!

One of the things I found interesting about Home Again that I have noticed almost as a theme in movies where there is a relationship between an older woman and a younger man is the guilt that the woman feels because of the age difference. I wonder if men ever feel this way? I don’t recall ever seeing it be an issue in a movie. Have you?

I loved the ending. It’s a feel-good movie that is a wonderful antidote for all the doom and gloom that has been surrounding us lately. It is the perfect momentary escape into a world where we all get along, after we set things straight!

Lipstick Review Score = 4 

Do you agree? What did you like best about the movie? Haven’t seen it yet? Check it out!

Love Is…

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Yesterday, I posted “Love is…” on my Facebook page. Surprisingly, the guys gave deep answers. The women didn’t bother answering at all. And, I made a joke of it because basically that is what love has been to me, a joke. Of course there is love that you have for your family, but I’m talking about the kind of love that makes you feel part of someone’s soul. Where is that love? I haven’t felt it for so long, I forget. My marriage long ago succumbed to platonic love which we have learned to live with. Love is something we rarely discuss, but I know it crosses our mind, at least it does mine.

The movie Adore has me thinking about love a lot lately. The movie crosses moral barriers, yet love in all its fascinating dimensions is at the core of the story and that is the allure to me. I’m always trying to see love in all its glory since it seems to have eclipsed my love life. Is love an illusion? I hear talk of it, but I also see the side where it is glorified and made to be bigger than it truly is or was.

Does love always have to have a downside? Is true love real? Does passionate love fade over time or get stronger? Does love last forever? Is lack of love self-inflicted? Is it possible to redirect the energy spent on loving someone into something that could be more fulfilling and serve the greater good of mankind? Did I do something wrong in a previous lifetime to keep true love at bay in this lifetime? Does God want my love all for Himself? Does He want me to love only as He loves? Trading passion for purity? These are the questions I ponder when I’m not keeping my mind occupied.

My first response to Love Is… Netflix predicting which movies I will like. A joke as I said, but it predicted that I would like Adore and I do. In fact, it got me thinking about love again and wondering where it fits in my life. Am I only an observant in this realm? Some of the best writers are never satisfied and keep looking for the illusive butterfly. Perhaps my love is meant to be shards that reflect God’s light. Time will tell.

After some reflection, I came up with this poem of what I truly believe love is…

Love Is…

The brightest fireworks
in the darkest sky.

A million tiny bubbles
in the hot tub of life.

Cotton candy
on a roller coaster ride.

The most fragrant rose
with the sharpest thorns.

Love is…

a loaded weapon,

silent screams,

open-hand
sacrifice.

Love is…
the most powerful drug
on the planet.

Love is…
life,
personified.

Connecting Dots

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“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” ~ Steve Jobs

It all counts. Every experience, good or bad, in your life matters. Eventually. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but like a puzzle, the picture will eventually take shape and make sense.

I went to work at the YMCA when I was 18 years old and worked there three separate times throughout my career, each time with increased responsibility and a deeper connection to the community.

The Y’s mission, values, and philosophy got in my blood. Their mission is to “Put Christian principles into practice that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.” Those three words “spirit, mind, body” have become guiding lights in my life. I have seen these words many times throughout the years, but the older I get the more meaning I attach to them and the more it all makes sense. .

Now, working on my spirit, mind, and body is part of my daily routine. Before my feet hit the floor in the morning, I have said my prayers of gratitude and asked God for guidance throughout my day. After getting my foster kids off to school, the next thing I do is work on my mind and body by going for a walk while listening to an empowering podcast like Dan Clark’s The Art of Significance.

Then, I look at my vision board, visualize what my ideal life looks like, and say affirmations through a technique inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul author and Success Coach, Jack Canfield.

Throughout the day, I watch motivational videos, listen to my favorite podcasts and audio books, hydrate, and move my body in between working to build my Chick Flicks and Chocolate biz.

I am more focused and determined than I have ever been in my life. It feels amazing, especially compared to the alternative that I did for many years, which was to fall into the zombie trap of working as many hours as I could while sitting still for 8 hours a day (sometimes 12-16 hours!), then come home and numb out by mindlessly watching TV or scanning social media while eating junk food.

I paid the price for a SAD diet and sedentary lifestyle with morbid obesity and edema that has put me on the sidelines of life many times. Overcoming years of neglect to my health is like pushing a freight train uphill, but I am doing it by staying laser focused on my spirit, mind, and body. . .

My only regret is that it has taken so long to realize that what you feed your mind, body and spirit determines your destiny. Of course I don’t wallow in regret or negativity. I acknowledge it and move on, learning from each experience and using it to propel me towards my calling to make a positive difference in the world. To think that the answer has been with me all along. I just had to connect the dots which as Steve Jobs said can only be done in hindsight.

Onward and upward. . .

 

Journey out of the Comfort Zone

Last night I ran across this interview from my Y days when I was the Membership & Marketing Director and Water Aerobics Instructor. As I watched the video, I was thinking what happened to that confident woman? Aren’t you supposed to get more confident as you grow older?

Somewhere along the way I lost that confidence and purpose. I fell into the trap of mediocrity. I made excuses for not exercising, eating healthy, or pursuing my dreams. The job at the Y pushed me to step up and lead. I was at the head of the class and out in the community being a representative of health and fitness. It was exhilarating, but sometimes exhausting as my dominate introvert side prefers to work behind the scenes.

At first, it was a relief when I left the Y and just had an office job in a factory where I could “relax” and hang out in my comfort zone for a little while. Just work and go home. The problem is the comfort zone is the least comfortable place to be! I became complacent and settled for less than I knew I could achieve. This knowledge chipped away at my confidence and left me feeling defeated.

In the back of my mind my younger, stronger, confident self kept pushing me to get back in the game of life. Put yourself out there because there are people in your shoes that need help finding their way out of a funk and into a life of purpose and passion. By pursuing your dreams, you inspire others to pursue their dreams.

So, I started thinking about how I could get out of my own way and back on track to living outside the lines in that place where all the magic happens. I dove back into personal development which I studied extensively in my Y days. Several hours a day, consistently every day I would read, listen to audiobooks, podcasts, watch videos, take courses. I immersed myself in positive psychology…

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From this more focused and centered mindset, Chick Flicks and Chocolate bubbled up to the surface as a platform to share my passion for personal development with the world. I resisted at first from fear of missing out on other opportunities.

I recognized this form of procrastination and created a formula to determine which path to pursue when you are stuck and chasing shiny objects. But guess what, Chick Flicks and Chocolate didn’t top the list. A business involving plant based nutrition did. Even though I know that business would thrive, I kept feeling that I needed some fun and adventure in my life and Chick Flicks and Chocolate could provide that. So, I started focusing on bringing my idea to life and that leads to today, my first blog post!

With Chick Flicks and Chocolate, I see myself traveling to chocolate shops all over the USA and in Paris, Switzerland, Italy… attending chick flick premiers, walking across the red carpet in Hollywood and at the Cannes Film Festival interviewing celebrities and change makers of the world for my Chick Flicks and Chocolate podcast that is listened to by millions of people around the world. I also want to help empower women and children that are in domestic violence and homeless shelters. Yes, it’s a big dream, but it’s pursuing the dream that makes us feel alive. I am excited for the journey.

Let’s do this!

Kathy G