Tag Archives: Huffington Post

Links to Love



I’m still feeling love looking at this photo of my mother taken exactly one year ago today on Valentine’s Day. She’s the reason a solo parenting chapter exists in “A Widow’s Guide to Healing”. My mother was the first widow I knew (her husband, my father died in 1979 at age 30 from advanced cancer). She told me in 1979 there weren’t any books for single parents dealing with grief. For this chapter, I spoke with other solo mothers who graciously shared their stories, and I included my own thoughts about being the daughter of a solo mother.

Since February is a bittersweet month, and focusing on love can bring out mixed emotions, taking a pause to think about self- love and examining personal growth can be helpful. I’m honored to be included in this Huffington Post piece written by Anika Nayak.

This month is also an opportunity to offer support to Black-owned businesses, celebrate Black literature, and learn new ways to honor the Black experience. I’m delighted to share how I’m celebrating Black History Month in this Thrive Global piece written by Marina Khidekel.

On a different note- Are you ready for a change (personal and/ or professional)? Check out this piece I wrote for Katie Couric’s newsletter. What a joy to include entrepreneur, keynote speaker, New York Times best-selling author Jesse Itzler’s thoughts in my write-up.

IMG_20220203_103134_133For all those in the publishing world, you know this is a BIG deal. On February 3, 2022, this photo from Publisher’s Weekly was in their newsletter and showcased on one of their their Instagram accounts. This photo (I didn’t pay for the PR) was taken in December 2021 at my favorite indie bookstores in Ann Arbor, Michigan- Crazy Wisdom. I remain grateful to them as they were the one of the first bookstores to host a book signing engagement for me as a debut author.

Your Caloric Footprint

If you are like most people, there is a good chance that you recently set a wellness goal for yourself. To help you reach your goal, you will probably be engaging in some form of exercise. This means that some of you joined a gym or perhaps purchased a new piece of exercise equipment. Whatever your goal is, why not focus on giving while you burn calories? The Weightless Project allows you to do just this.

The Weightless Project partnered with charities, and established an easy to follow formula of giving and receiving. For every 1,000 calories you burn, a dollar goes to charity. This allows you to make your workout count in a meaningful way without having to open your wallet. Yes, that’s correct, the program is free. Your calories are held in reserve, and the dollar will not be released to the charity until you reach the 1,000 calorie mark. In other words, the more calories burned, the greater the gain for the charity.

Rest assured, this is a respectable project. Deepak Chopra and his foundation, The Chopra Foundation strongly encourages it. When asked about the project The Chopra Foundation said, “The Weightless Project is an example of how we can harness collection and creativity to move on the direction of a more peaceful, just, sustainable, and healthier world.”

Earlier in 2013, Mr. Poonacha Machaiah recalls asking himself these questions: “Can we equalize hunger in Africa with our own calorie footprint? How can we get people healthy? How do you transfer empathy? Can you create a habit of healthy living?”

In answering these questions, Mr. Machaiah thought about how those living in the United States of America are losing the fight againist obesity. At the same time, thousands of children and adults, all over the globe, are suffereing from hunger. Ironically, the common tread that is woven into both of these health related problems is weight. In the one situation, an indivdual’s weight is too much for their body, and the additional weight creates health problems, such as diabetes. In the other situation, the child is underweight due to malnutrition.

Mr. Machaiah wanted to restore the global weight balance, so he created the Weightless Project. He explains it this way. “This project uses calories as currency. I wanted to create a sense of empathy. I wanted (others) to see that you can move something with your actions. If I workout, it will impact the person down the road. It means something for me and for someone else if I am active.” He then approached Dr. Deepak Chopra with the idea, and found immediate support from him and the Chopra Foundation.

Technology is part of making this program a success. To make every step a smart step, you can register your fit device, such as the Jawbone or fitbit with the Weightless Project website. Once this is done, the calories will automatically be calculated. In the near future, Mr. Machaiah intends to enroll other similar devices. However, if you don’t own a device, you can still go online to register your calories burned.

Currently, all calories burned are converted into dollars going to The Chopra Foundation, who in turn sends it to the Red Cross. At this time, the money goes towards victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In the near future the Weightless Project is hoping to add additional charities, so that participants can choose where they would like their donate their calories.

Reframing your wellness goals can offer hope to others. Each step matters. Your fitness resolution may not be grand, but adding the Weightless Project component can be life changing.

You can read this article on Huffington Post

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Jolie Altman’s Beautiful Success

At a recent dinner party, guests were asked to bring an item they were proud of and could share with others. While some may have paused to think about what to take, Mrs. Jolie Altman immediately grabbed her passport and her Mt. Kilimanjaro certificate. The certificate documents a successful summit climb of the highest peak in Africa. “What I’m most proud of besides my family is my passport and my Mt. Kili certificate. Both of those things have opened doors for me.”

On a whim in 2009, Altman decided to take on the summit challenge. With no previous training, the then 42-year-old signed up with Road Monkey for the expedition, and then told her husband. The summit hike was beyond grueling. It is hard to imagine the very petite Altman climbing the Uhuru Peak. “We hiked for up to eight hours a day, six days straight, and this included some nights. I knew no one when I signed up, but I knew that I was going to meet like minded people. You help each other climb to the top and I couldn’t have been happier. ” Altman still glows with a sense of accomplishment when she looks back at that journey. After the summit climb, Altman spent time in Africa, with the other climbers, completing a community service project. “I slept in a hut under netting, bugs crawling on the wall, and no water. And it was beautiful.”


Jolie Altman’s shout out on Mt. Kili. Photo used with permission. Photo credit: Paul von Zielbauer for Road Monkey

Beautiful is also a word many in the area have used to describe Altman’s spacious home that she shares with her husband Dr. David Altman and their three sons. The couple has noteworthy art collections of everything from modern to vintage. Their home has been featured in various press entities. Altman is clear that she chooses pieces based not on the designer, but their artistic quality. Her collection has everything from vintage carnival knock down dolls to a child’s framed drawing to things she found at an airport. At La Guarida airport, Altman spotted two large pieces of wall art. “This (pointing to the oversize modern art) was at the airport and they were going to get rid of it. Just as I was picking it up, I heard a woman say, ‘There’s something for everyone.’ I don’t care what people think. If I like it, I’ll purchase it.”

This confidence has translated well into growing her jewelry business. Altman is becoming well known for her original African design necklaces and bracelets. She only uses authentic materials, and each piece is original. What is remarkable is that Altman acquires everything she uses and frequently travels. “I go to Africa and Amsterdam and find things for my jewelry.” She pauses thinking about her growing success. “I have quietly gotten into many of the top stores in the country simply by making jewelry.”

One of those top stores that Altman is referring to is Bergdorf Goodman. She recalls, “I was wearing my things in Bergdorf Goodman’s a while back and someone noticed them.” Within hours, Altman had a meeting, and Bergdorf Goodman agreed to carry Altman’s jewelry. “A lot of it is word of mouth or people see things at some of my shows, and want to carry it at their stores. I have quietly gotten into many of the top stores in the country simply by making jewelry. ”


Semi precious and precious gems jewelry. Photo taken by Boswell and used with permission by Jolie Altman

Altman’s husband of 25 years, Dr. David Altman, also noticed this wasn’t just a simple outlet for her creative energy. Altman says, “David told me that my hobby is no longer a hobby. I had to put my big girl pants on and open a bank account, get a Square (allows for remote transactions), pay taxes, and meet with an accountant. I really love to create but not calculate.” Altman’s designs are now carried by Ikram, Kitson, and Anthropologie.

Since Altman was a young child she has created items. Long before it was popular for top designers to make African jewelry, Altman’s mother was designing her own African necklaces. Some of her mother’s necklaces hang in Altman’s home office as inspiration. “I’ve always done some sort of artwork. I especially remember on Sundays growing up, I used to create all sorts of things: paintings, clothing, jewelry.”

However, Altman’s educational background does not reflect her passion for art. She graduated with a degree in political science. After doing some volunteer tutoring work at the University of Michigan hospital, she decided to pursue a graduate degree in education. She taught until the birth of her first son. “I encourage our children to be creative, open, to learn. I want my boys to be independent. I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro for my boys to set an example. ”


Photo Credit: Boswell. Photo permission given by Jolie Altman

Despite being surrounded by one-of-a-kind art, Altman is incredibly down to earth. While sharing her parenting philosophy and business plans, she is open and is clear to admit what she doesn’t know. It’s also clear that she exercises, but shuns diets. Altman is high energy and very thoughtful. She’s is the type of person that is so open she can appear vulnerable. In her early business days, she says she learned a few surprising, yet valuable lessons. However, she is not jaded by these experiences. If anything, she is quite sincere about working directly with everyone. “I make all of my jewelry. It would be difficult to have the traditional line sheet because I am constantly creating mostly one-of-a-kind pieces. Although it is often difficult to do trade shows, I am proud of the fact that I have created a business that is all mine.”

You can read this article on The Huffington Post