Listen Now to Wednesday Night

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Little bullies can turn into Big bullies sometimes

March 1st, 2018

I am so shocked and disappointed with this whole thing. Both our daughters now have had experiences at school like this. They are only age 9 and 6. We go to a very highly rated school district and the year is 2018. Schools have anti-bullying weeks and seminars and kindness weeks and speakers and activities - even mindfulness practices at school everyday. There is much more awareness in the world now. Well, I hope there is. When I was a kid in the 70s and 80s, we didn’t have that awareness and mindfulness. Kids would be bullied in secret. Teachers were not aware of things going on in their own classroom and sometimes, the teachers were the bully back then! We didn’t have the Internet or social media to expose things.

I thought things were very different today. And some things are different...but some things are still there. Like the stale aroma of this thing that’s justified with stupid sayings like “boys will be boys”, or “if he’s mean to you he probably likes you”. Ugh! This is so beyond what's happening in just schools anyway- and we all know this. There are big bullies (among other names for them) scattered in our world. It starts out in school and playgrounds and play dates... and it ends up at a party in a college dorm, or in the office of a big company, or in a doctors office, or in Hollywood, or in the White House or at the Olympics.
With what’s been going on in the world right now: in Hollywood and with many other industries, what happened at school with our daughters (in my opinion) is the beginnings of people like Weinstein and Cosby and many others.

I believe it’s important to teach Elementary school children to respect other people. I believe they are able to understand this. What do you think? Do you agree with that?
We think it’s innocent when they don’t respect it if someone says stop; or they don’t keep their hands to themselves...we all say ‘they’re just little boys and they’re playing’; or ‘oh he has big brothers and plays rough with them, that’s why he punched you’.  The message is given that it’s ‘cute’ and ‘playful’ and ‘it’s ok and acceptable’ in society. So when does it become ‘not ok’?! Is there a specific age when it's not acceptable?!
I may be going too far to say (I don’t think I am though) that if these things are not addressed or taken too lightly at this young age(by parents and schools and other authorities), then when these children grow up, they may feel that this is acceptable behavior. They may even feel shocked that what they’re doing is not acceptable. They may feel that they are being wronged because they did what they’ve always done and it was always ok. We are seeing the results of this now!

As for girls and women, I believe this goes so much deeper. I believe it’s in our DNA. It’s in our DNA to not want to make waves, to not be the one to stand up for something because it’s too loud or too ugly or too brutish or just too much. It’s so deep in our roots to have that feeling of ‘I want to help’ or ‘that wouldn’t be nice’ or ‘that would make me look crazy’ or ‘what would people say if I did that’ or ‘I don’t want to be like those other women’. Those feelings are still deep inside us. They are still whispered to little girls today! They were taught to our ancestors. Many different cultures treated women as second to men in society. That’s been happening for so long and it will take time to change those feelings and thoughts- for both women and men. That old fashioned nonsense that girls have to be 'nice' and 'bad boys are cute'. 
My grandmother was abused and then took a stand to leave and take her children to America. That was a huge courageous act! But even with that example, I still feel I sometimes hide in a corner, and other times I stand tall and proud. It’s not so easy to shed that ‘thing’ we all carry. And even though we consider ourselves feminists and stand for our rights and the rights of our daughters, there are still those times where you stop yourself from saying something for whatever the reason ...and then later regret it. I think we have to be aware of it, keep talking about it, and just keep trying to do better. That’s the best we can do for the future. Changes are happening right now. 

Right now, my daughters are very young and I am their voices. But what happens when I'm not there to speak or to help them? With what happened at the school, even after I speak for them, it looks like the time is already here that my girls have to speak for themselves.
So how do we help our daughters when there will be people out there that think this behavior is all ok? What do I tell my daughters when boys do this on the playground at school, while the adults stand there chatting? How and when do we teach a young girl to protect herself and that it’s ok to stand up for yourself when you feel violated? And how do we show them it’s ok if you do say something and then nobody will play with you? It’s HUGE to teach a girl that if she makes waves about something important, sometimes people won’t like her afterwards. But this is OK! The most important thing is to stay honest and true with your Self. Never betray your Self. Because although it’s not easy when others don’t like that you spoke your truth, it’s when you betray your Self, that is the worst...and very difficult to live with. Our true friends will support and stand by us no matter what. If they don’t stand by you, they were probably never your true friend anyway. 
As a mom, I try to set a good example, by speaking up when something doesn't feel right. I still struggle sometimes, just like many others.
Please share your thoughts, I would love to hear you- c’mon speak your truth! In a kind way of course :)
Here’s to a hopeful future of being kind and respectful to all ❤ ðŸŒ

PS: For this specific ongoing incident, I'll share my experience:
It took about a week and 3 tries to get the school's attention on this. And their response was not satisfactory to me. Again, like with my older daughter's experience, I feel they take these things too lightly.
No apology that they took so long to get back to us. No apology that its been going on and causing distress to my kindergardener (and the rest of us too!).
Their action plan is that they will talk with my daughter and teach her how to stand up for herself more (at age 6 😞). Maybe both girls should take karate classes- it's a crazy world out there...
And they will talk with the boys (again) who are still not understanding that my daughter (and other girls in class) do not want to play this 'game' and they mean Stop when they say Stop.
They also said if I want to file a Hib form online, I can do that:
Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
Parent Tutorial on the Anti-bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABR) Part 4: Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Intervention. Page 1. Part 4: Harassment, Intimidation and. Bullying (HIB) Intervention.
Thank You for reading...will keep you posted!

Blaming Children for things their Parents say or do...

January 9th, 2018

Ivanka Trump praises Oprah for her inspiring speech at golden globes, and gets bashed by Hollywood (eye roll right here). This does not make me a fan of any of the trumps or anyone else in politics (ps: there is no one I'm a fan of in politics right now).
It makes me crazy when people blame children for the things their parents do- (or did), and ask them to make right what their parents did. Its not fair to the children and we have no right to do that. Children did not ask to be born to certain parents. Even if they did, they are still Not responsible for what their parents do, nor should they feel a responsibility to make right what their parents did.
All she did was agree that we should all be united. People can be so cruel to others. It makes me sad because there’s so much hurt in the world and by reacting to all the hate and hurt we are only adding to it. What if we soak all those hateful, hurtful comments with love? Shower those hurtful people with a lot of love...what would that do? Perhaps it would make them less hurtful and then they would spread some love. Maybe then the world would be a better place💗 let’s try it and we'll see what happens.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

October 27, 2017 Jersey Strong music video

This weekend is the 5 year anniversary of super storm sandy... I wrote this song as a tribute to NJ and all the truly amazing people who made a big difference. 

I wanted to share this with all of you! (please click link below :)

It's been about 4 years since I started it, it's finally finished right when it was meant to be- :)     on the 5 year anniversary of sandy.
As always, Thank You for listening!

Love xo
Daniela                                Jersey Strong music video!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Vow Renewal

August 2017

Vow renewal - Just the 4 of us

We recently renewed our vows and we included our daughters in the ceremony. 
Our 15th anniversary! We actually did this before- we did it in Vegas because I wanted Elvis to walk me down the aisle and sing ☺️  We also did it another time on the beach before we had children. But we wanted to have the girls involved this time.

Being someone who has written ceremonies for others, it was fun to do this for my own family. However, I did want to do some research and check out other ceremonies since I never did one for a couple that included the children.
What I found was surprising. The only family ceremonies- and there were many- were the blended family ones. The ones blending 2 families together. It's a beautiful idea to do this as 2 families become one. I couldn't believe, though, that I could not find one that included the couple and their own children. We can't be the first family to do this! So I decided to write my own. The first part Danny spoke what he wrote to me and then the girls. The second part I spoke mine to Danny, then the girls. We asked the girls ahead of time if they wanted to say anything and they didn't. They were just excited to be flower girls! 

I did want to exchange something special that all 4 of us would have from this day- bracelets from my favorite Zen Jewelz here in NJ. I love working with Zen Jen - she has made many beautiful bracelets for myself and for gifts- all with special energy flows and meaning. One was a fertility bracelet that I believe helped us (that's another story/blog though :).
All four bracelets have one turquoise stone in common, bonding us together. The girls and I have the pink coral stone (symbolizing the beach ceremony) and a Love tag. For Danny, I had a custom bracelet made with wood opalite since he loves working with wood. 
I'll attach photo below.
The ceremony was just the 4 of us (and a photographer) and it was beautiful. There was one thing I would change and that is something I couldn't control in the first place- the weather. It was probably the windiest day ever on the beach! I prayed for no rain- but I forgot to pray for no wind 😄😄 oh well. As my husband said, it's another lesson on control- we can't control everything. But I wish I knew- then I would have paid for my hair to be up and away- instead of down and blowing away😄 . Danny looked handsome as he always does. The girls had their hair done too (fun!) and looked so beautiful in their custom dresses. 
They always look so beautiful.

We had such a fun week at the jersey shore! The weather was wonderful (except for that one windy day😉) and the girls loved the boardwalk! It was a blast. Especially hearing the girls sing with us on all the car rides and when they repeated "watch the tram car please"! 
I felt so grateful- still do- what a beautiful family I was blessed with❤️❤️

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Set Your Art Free!

Setting your Art free!
I cannot even list all the songs, books, movies, etc that have moved me and changed my life- there are so many!
I sometimes read all I can about the artist and I love biographies especially. In almost every bio or interview, the artist talks about their apprehension of putting their work out into the world...for any number of reasons: fear of judgement, criticism, or not being good enough. I would even say that every artist I know struggles with this. I know I do. I have always struggled with this 'jerk' of a feeling. I find it so interesting  that so many of us feel this way ...and yet so many of us Do the criticizing, add to the judgement and comment on how the artist is not good enough. Another interesting tidbit is that most of those judging and commenting are also artists themselves!
So how do we actually get past the junk and set our work free?? Hmmmm...
I was hoping you could help by sharing your ideas and works for you :)
I'll share what helps me sometimes.
I work it till I feel it's the way it's meant to be at this point in time - my best; and then I share it with someone I trust.
And I ask this person what they think- (usually it's my husband Danny, or my sister Weezie).
Another (braver) idea is to play my song live at an open mic for strangers. Then see what the reactions or feedback is.
I recently joined a wonderful community of musicians online ( Everyone is so encouraging and supportive. I'm so grateful to have this. Here's another idea- Danny gave me a deadline to put my song on Kompoz...and if I didn't, he would. This worked for me too! I am happy and proud to say that a song I've been working on for 5 years just went out into world of kompoz!
I felt so exposed- even though it wasn't the first song I wrote and shared. It was exciting and scary at the same time. Now my 'baby' is out in the world and someone can hurt her...I know all you artists can relate to this! But I believe it's that exact vulnerability that inspires people- just like we're inspired by great art. It's what makes me think I have no right to keep what gift is given to me to myself- I am supposed to share it or it wouldn't be given to me.
When my song is complete I'll share it everywhere. I promise :)
Please share your thoughts, ideas and your beautiful Art! Think of all those you will inspire and help!
Thank you to all Artists! And thank you for listening xo

media experiment

1-19-17 (I know this was a few months ago but felt the need to post it now :]

A media experiment

Some celebrities have amazing talents and I love their music, movies, comedy, etc. Some really inspire and help me as I work on my own art.
However, I'm not interested in what celebrities think about the state of the world (unless they're comedians and it's funny :) 
It's annoying to see it broadcast on news channels like it's some kind of fact we all need to hear. It's not news, it's someone's opinion.
We all have opinions. It's different when you have a discussion with your family and friends. It's two-sided and it's real. 
And while on the topic, let's stop idolizing and putting celebrities on pedestals. They are not gods. Start idolizing and respecting the wonderful everyday people who do good deeds and work hard to make the world a better place...moms and dads and teachers and nurses, doctors, veterinarians, doulas, etc that get up early everyday to take care of children, people, animals. Raising human beings that will one day be part of our world and possibly in positions of power, or taking care of other human beings, and those taking care of people in their hardest times...that's something to admire and applaud! That's something to idolize even. We see hardworking people everyday. Some are serving you at a restaurant, some are rushing from work to pick up their kids from school, and some are giving treatments to cancer patients. Why don't we hear more news stories about everyday people and what they think? What does 'Nancy the nurse' think of the healthcare situation? I would find that much more interesting and watch. Maybe people would find that boring. Maybe it's too similar to our own lives and we want to escape to something different- maybe a fantasy like the life of a celebrity...not me, I'd be more interested in hearing what a teacher thinks about than a celebrity. 
TV has really been so negative and I actually stopped watching news channels a long time ago (unless I'm at someone's home and have no choice :). 
It's quite depressing to hear all the bad and all the wrong in the world.
I wonder what would happen if the news never told of the bad? And only told of the good and positive stories? It would be an interesting experiment...
I bet that the more good stuff all over the media (Oprah's network and Ellen type stuff-which I'm a huge fan of these two celebrities who use their powers for good :),
the more we would all soak that up and start thinking and doing more good. 
Perhaps if the 'bad guys' were not placed all over the news and the covers of magazines and newspapers, less people would feel the need to do negative things to get the 'fame and recognition' they always wanted. Instead people would be doing good things so they could get into the news, magazines, etc.
Maybe I'm very naive...but I do believe that the more positive you surround yourself with, the better you feel and the better you do! What we focus on will expand. 
Let's try focusing on the good stuff. 
Either way, it would make a very interesting experiment. What do you think?
Something to think about...

Friday, April 14, 2017

"Just one of the Guys"


For fun, a friend and I dressed up for an 80s party. I love the 80s and have actually thrown many decade parties in the past.
After many considerations, we decided on Robert Palmer and the chicks in the video (addicted to love). It wasn't my first choice but still it's always fun to dress up :)
So I thought why not be Robert instead of the chick- something different and funny too. Hahaa yes- dress up as a guy! I'm always a girl so why not.
I totally recommend this to everyone! If you're a girl, be a guy for a day- 
and if you're a guy, be a girl for the day.
It's not easy to be a man- just like it's not easy being a woman. You will see things differently. You will also feel different.
I started to feel pressure to act and stand and walk the right way- the way a man is "supposed to be"...After a while, I realized I was acting like a guy and sitting like a guy...seriously! I caught myself sitting there like a man; while my 'date' went to get us candy at the 80s candy bar. I stopped and thought- oh my god I'm sitting like my dad-very strange! I felt I had to introduce my date to people and expected her to introduce me. There were times I felt like I was hidden and protected and then there were times (more of these) when I felt uncomfortable and lost. I didn't dance because I didn't know if I could dance as myself or as Robert Palmer. It was a fun experience and a very interesting experiment. Highly recommend walking in someone else's shoes! You will always learn something :)