Page 1

San Francisco

Issue 2: June 2010

www.bayareawj.com

BAY AREA Women’s Journal The Art of Trusting the Process P49

Beyond the Silicon Ceiling: Meet Janine Popick, CEO Vertical Response P14 Ron Benza: Ending Violence Against Women and Children P24

5 Ways Gemini Looks and Is Smart! P39 Women Leaders: Contributing On Purpose! P20 Divorce and Your Home P50 Live Your Best Life …

365!


WELCOME TO JUNE… Digital Reading Tips Here are some quick tips that we hope will make your digital reading experience “virtually” perfect!

1. Just click on the Fullscreen icon in the left hand corner of the tool bar and voila … you will have a wonderful viewing experience. 2. Double click on a photo or content to magnify it; double click to return it to the original size. 3. Turn the pages by either simply clicking on the arrow that is on the outside of each page, or click on the arrow icon located in the tool bar. 4. If you want to see an index of all the pages, simply click on the “4 square” icon in the tool bar. 5. Hey do you want to print a page? It’s easy! Click on this icon in the tool bar . You will be able to print the left page, the right page or BOTH! 6. Want to share the whole magazine or a page or two? Just click on the share icon in the tool bar and you can e-mail, or add it to your Facebook page, tweet about it, book mark it and just about anything else that you can imagine. 7. And last but not least, maybe you would like to save a copy or just a page. Click on the download arrow and just like that you will have a beautiful PDF copy of your own! 8. And if all of this isn’t enough … all of our links are “hot”. So if you see something that you want to follow or you have a burning desire to make a comment … like magic … simply click on that link and you will be whisked away to that page!


AVON WALK FOR BREAST CANCER

IN IT TO END IT 39 MILES IS NOTHING WHEN YOU REALIZE

Lynn D. and her husband IN IT for my life Visit avonwalk.org/lynn to read her story

39 MILES IS EVERYTHING.

REGISTER TO WALK TODAY. Join us for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and together we’ll show the world what millions of determined hearts can do. For 2 days and 39 miles we’ll walk side by side, connected by our shared conviction to end this deadly disease and improve the lives of thousands worldwide. The money we raise will help medically under-insured women and men get the screening, support and treatment they need. And leading research teams can take powerful steps forward in their quest for a cure. All because of you. Are you in it to end it?

Register, volunteer or donate today.

09AVO0036A_Gala_Sept.indd 1

2010: 9 CITIES. 1 GOAL.

ROCKY MOUNTAINS, JUN 26–27

HOUSTON, APR 10–11

SAN FRANCISCO, JUL 10–11

WASHINGTON DC, MAY 1–2

SANTA BARBARA, SEP 11–12

BOSTON, MAY 15–16

NEW YORK, OCT 16–17

CHICAGO, JUN 5–6

CHARLOTTE, OCT 23–24

AVONWALK.ORG 1.888.541.WALK REMEMBER, EARLY DETECTION HELPS SAVE LIVES. Get a mammogram. Perform monthly breast self-exams. Have a clinical exam and talk to your doctor. And encourage women around you to do the same.

national sponsor

9/16/09 3:27:06 PM


TABLE OF CONTENTS

IN EVERY ISSUE

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal Mission Statement 7 Publisher’s Welcome Note 8 Expert Contributors 10 June Featured Artist 11 Success Sparks 6

SF BAY AREA FEATURE

14 Beyond the Silicon Ceiling: Janine Popick’s Tech Company, VerticalResponse Soars to Success! 24 Helping to End Violence against Women and Children… A Conversation with Ron Benza!

4

LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

34 Your Sexuality… What’s Life Wisdom got to do with THAT? 38 The Death of Feminism: Rediscovering Polarity in Relationship! 40 It’s June… so Let’s Talk Weddings! 52 Mediation for Divorce: A Good Alternative

MONEY & WEALTH

18 Envelopes: A Simple and Easy way to Manage Your Budget! 31 Living in Earthquake Country: Are You Ready? 50 Divorce and Your Home: How to Split your Most Important Asset

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com


HEALTH & WELLNESS

26 Work Versus Home: Take Control of the Juggling Act! 46 Success Tool: Step beyond Exam Anxiety with Hypnotherapy!

INSPIRATION & MOTIVATION 39 5 Ways Gemini Looks and... is Smart! 49 The Art of Trusting the Process

INTERIOR DESIGN

42 Decorative Painting… Where should you “Paint It”?

FASHION & SHOPPING

36 For men too! Is It Time To Update Your Look?

PARENTING & TEENS

29 Setting Boundaries to Help Keep Your Kids Safe Online!

BUSINESS & CAREER

16 White Space Time: Productivity Meets Peace 20 Sr. Women Corporate Leaders: Contributing on Purpose! 21 Are Your Marketing Messages Consistent?

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

5


WELCOME What We’re About!

T

he SF Bay Area Women’s Journal is a lifestyle publication, for and about SF Bay Area Women. Presented in a cross media platform experience featuring a monthly digital magazine, online informational blogs, Buy SF Biz Directory and a soon-to-be-launched Non-Profit Directory; our goal is to provide you with useful information … on your terms … when YOU want and need it!

PUBLISHER / CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER

Living in the SF Bay Area, renowned for its innovation, cultural diversity, world class cuisine, and scenic beauty provides you with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to find and define your own unique voice. Living Your Best Life … 365 is not about whether you can “Do It All”; living your best life is about defining success for yourself and finding your special brand of happiness!

FEATURE WRITER

Spark of Connection Whether it’s though an article, ad, comment on a blog post, directory listing or a video, we hope to be the “spark of connection” that fosters ongoing success in your personal, family and work life!

Living Your Best Life … 365! is not about whether you can “Do It All”; living your best life is about defining success for yourself and finding your special brand of happiness! Our on-line approach makes it easy for you to access this information 24x7 as well as share it with others. And while you’re at it, we hope that you will join or start a conversation on topics that are important to you. Your thoughts help to educate, inspire and encourage other readers to think bigger and bolder! Reach the Influential Women’s Market Did you know that women make 80% of all consumer purchases, including everything from autos to healthcare to electronics? Did you know that women spend about $5 trillion (yes trillion) annually … over half of the US Gross Domestic Purchases (GDP)? If you want to reach the most influential consumer in the SF Bay Area … Women … Call or e-mail us today to learn more! You can reach us at 866-703-8163 or send an e-mail to info@bayareawj.com.

6

Debbie Josendale EDITOR

Charlotte Cranz Deborah Prager Burstyn TECHNOLOGY AND OPERATIONS

Victor Brown LAYOUT & DESIGN

T.L. Price DISTRIBUTION

via the internet CONTACT 1325 Howard Ave. Suite 420 Burlingame, CA 94010 866-703-8163

info@BayAreaWJ.com www.BayAreaWJ.com The San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal™ (SF BAWJ) is a digital publication that is published monthly and is available free of charge. Trademark and U.S. Copyright laws protect the SF BAWJ. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The SF BAWJ is not responsible for any editorial comment (other than its own), typographical errors from advertisements submitted as production ready or any reproductions of advertisements submitted as production ready. SF BAWJ cannot be held responsible for the opinions expressed or facts supplied by contributors. We do not endorse products and services advertised. SF BAWJ advises all readers to perform their own due diligence to verify the credentials of any service provider or practitioner. If an advertisement does not meet our standards of acceptance, we may revise or cancel it at any time, whether or not it has been already acknowledged and/or previously published. The advertiser assumes sole responsibility for all statements contained in submitted copy and will protect and indemnify the SF BAWJ, its owners, publishers, and employees against any and all liability loss or expense arising out of claims for libel, unfair trade names, patents, copyrights and propriety rights, and all violations of the right of privacy or other violations resulting from the publication by this magazine of its advertising copy. ©2010 San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com


Schools Out For Summer! GREETINGS!

T

he month of June bursts thru the doors filled with an exuberance that at times is hard to contain. Songs like “Schools Out for the Summer”, Bon Jovi’s “Summertime” and forever favorites like “California Sun” bewitch us with summer’s promise of escape and freedom! No matter your age or stage in life… everyone is ready for a little taste of that freedom and the intoxicating smell of summer. Just as summer fills your senses with energy and enthusiasm for something new…we’re confident that the June edition of the SF Bay Area Women’s Journal will inspire you to kick up your feet and dance in the street! Starting with our Spotlight Feature on Men We Admire. Meet Ron Benza….a former “MadMen” adman who today pursues his enduring passion for ending violence

against women and children. And not to be missed our Featured Bay Area Woman…Janine Popick, CEO of tech company VerticalResponse. Fortunately, Janine never heard the announcement that women could not start and build successful tech companies! Summer is a time to explore new ideas…and Rick Snyder challenges us with the notion that couples have lost that “lovin feeling” as we have forgotten who we really are. Be sure and read his article on “The Death of Feminism”. And speaking of spark… you don’t want to miss Katherine Forsythe’s article on “Your Sexuality and Life Wisdom”. What in the heck does life wisdom have to do with sex? Turns out… a “heck” of a lot!

Michelle Christensen and Sara Harvey Yao’s article on White Space…a New Kind of Appointment with Yourself. You’ll be amazed at what they have to say about “Free Time”. Last but not least…don’t miss the premier article from Bay Area Astrologer extraordinaire Jamie Kahl. If you’re a Gemini, you’re going to be really pleased with who you are! The San Francisco Bay Area is a truly remarkable place to live. It is our hope that the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal inspires you to live your best live…365! As always, whether you’re chasing a toddler, your next big promotion or reaching for your dreams…here’s to inspired living!

And finally if you need to calm down after all this excitement check out

San Francisco

Issue 2: June 2010

www.bayareawj.com

BAY AREA Women’s Journal

About Our Cover

Keep in touch!

The artwork on our cover is by SF Artisit Eve Shen. Read about and see more of Eve’s work on page 10.

Follow us on Twitter and Connect on Facebook.

The Art of Trusting the Process P47

Beyond the Silicon Ceiling: Meet Janine Popick, CEO Vertical Response P12 Ron Benza: Ending Violence Against Women and Children P22

5 Ways Gemini Looks and Is Smart! P37 Women Leaders: Contributing On Purpose! P18 Divorce and Your Home P48 Live Your Best Life …

365!

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

7


EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS

Deborah Lopez (DLo) is a licensed broker and Certified International Property Specialist with Paragon Real Estate Group. She is an expert on the pockets within and between San Francisco neighborhoods and she knows how to negotiate to protect your interest and get you your desired outcome! To lean more visit DeborahLopezSF.com

Michele Lisenbury Christensen and Sara Harvey Yao are the authors of “Succeeding without Side Effects: Burnout-Proof Your Leadership and Life.” They provide executive coaching, training, and lively keynote presentations for co-ed audiences who want more success with fewer side effects. Learn more at WorkingwithPower.com.

Jamie Kahl is a professional astrologer with 30 years of study and 18 years of practice in Berkeley, CA. She specializes in showing women the power of feminine archetypes in everyday life. She does readings for individuals, couples and families, and teaches classes in person in Berkeley and online. Visit PandoraAstrology.com and read her blog to learn more.

Michele Benza is the founder of “Michele Benza Image Consulting and Posture” a program that focuses on enhancing one’s personal and professional image. She is certified in image consulting from European Institutions and her niche is European style and elegance. Learn more at MicheleBenza.com.

Kristin Hoppe, BS, NC, is a Certified Nutrition Consultant, Educator, and Natural Chef. She received her nutrition and culinary training from Bauman College, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Lafayette College. Learn more at FoodTherapySF.com.

Elinor Stutz is CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC a sales training company. She is available for team training, coaching, motivational speaking and includes the Smooth Sale product line as part of her program. Learn more at SmoothSale.net.

Nikki Anderson is a founding partner and a coach within Think Feel Know, USA. Her specialty is working with entrepreneurs, executive women and small business teams that are ready to grow to the next level. Learn more at CoachNikki.com.

Rick Snyder, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and MFT Intern, is a life coach and therapist in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is as also a course leader for the Authentic Man Program and The Transformational Coaching and Leadership Training. Learn more at RickSnyder.org.

Debra Disman, Principal of ArtiFactory Studio, is passionate about translating her Client’s inner vision into concrete visual form. She can help you use the magic of decorative painting to transform your home, place of business, even your community! Learn more at ArtiFactoryStudio.com.

8

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com


Terrance Heath is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Boston College Law School and is the principal at Heath Law Group in San Francisco. He has built his practice on the following philosophy “We can use the law to create opportunities for ourselves, our children, and the communities we belong to. We must never lose sight of what we want in life.” Learn more at HeathLawGroup.com.

Kristin Southwick is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with the CA Board of Behavioral Science and received her Master’s from John F. Kennedy University. Kristin believes therapy is a meaningful experience that offers a supportive and confidential space to explore aspects of one’s life and relationships. Learn more at KristinSouthwick.com.

Cathy Curtis is an independent fee-only Certified Financial Planner and CA Registered Investment Advisor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her firm, Curtis Financial Planning (since 2001) specializes in the finances of women, their families and their businesses. Learn more at CurtisFinancialPlanning.com.

Allison Gervais Sofnas is a Senior Mortgage Loan Consultant with First Capital Group - a mortgage company in San Francisco, CA. She offers residential and commercial financing. To learn more please send Allison and e-mail or contact her at (415) 218-5401.

Katherine Forsythe, MSW, is committed to bringing joy and insight into relationships, intimacy, and sexuality for women at midlife and beyond. Through her blog, consulting, and speaking, she inspires us to redefine and invigorate intimacy and relationships on our terms, as we mature. Learn more at GetASecondWind.com.

Barbara Mark, Ph.D. is the CEO and Founder of Full Circle Institute. FCI is a leadership development company for female executives. Dr. Mark is a thought leader in the area of Women in Leadership and Leadership for the Future. Learn more at FullCircleInstitute.com.

Carrie Silver-Stock, MSW, LCSW, is the founder of www.girlswithdreams.com, a social networking site that provides support, advice, and tips on the issues girls struggle with most. She is the author of Secrets Girls Keep: What Girls Hide (& Why) and How to Break the Stress of Silence (HCI).

Jane Ransom, MA, Certified Hypnotherapist, conducts hypnotherapy sessions in her downtown San Francisco office, as well as by phone and online web-cam. Learn more at HypnotherpyThatWorks.com

Laurel Winzler is the owner of Laurel Designs, a successful floral and event planning business. She is a preferred vendor at many exclusive SF Bay Area event venues, and donates her time and talents to many organizations. Learn more at FLaurel.com.

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

9


JUNE FEATURED ARTIST

EVE SHEN “I try to live an interesting life, why be boring when you can be exciting?” exclaims the SF BAWJ June feature Artist, Eve Shen! Eve’s parents set the stage for an exciting life when they moved their family from Taiwan to the United States. She was 11 at the time and her parents settled their family in New Jersey. Art has always been a part of Eve’s life…starting with coloring books as a child and later as her favorite class in high school. That interest continued into college where Eve attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. Feeling stuck in New York, she eventually moved to San Francisco to pursue her passions and see new things! Eve describes art as her therapy. When she is creating she is often “dancing” at the same time. Her artwork provides a way to get her energy out and to feel good. It’s also a place where she can explore new things and do what feels right to her in the moment. And lately…her moments have been filled with a new kind of creative expression…a son. Today Eve finds herself in the fulltime role of “Mom”. She happily says that her art right now is finding creative ways to raise her son! Visual art still has a place in Eve’s life. She relishes the opportunity for self expression and balance that it brings to her life today. Her son and his wonderful imagination are an endless source of inspiration as well as the simple act of stepping outside and experiencing the natural beauty of the Bay Area. Eve describes her work as organic, fresh, colorful and happy! To learn more please visit her web site at eveshen.com.


INSPIRATION & MOTIVATION

SUCCESS SPARKS Success Sparks from the June Edition to encourage your ongoing success! 1. Shake, Rumble and Roll  It’s a fact we live in Earth Quake Country. The best way to cope is to be prepared. Check out these 7 important tips that will help you and your family take action now so that you are prepared! (Page 31)

2. Stop the Juggling Act by Setting Boundaries  Do you feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions? Are you exhausted from trying to meet the multiple demands that you face between home and work? Setting boundaries is one of five tips that will help you create more balance in your life. (Page 26)

3. Overcome Roadblocks to Living Your Best Life!  Have you ever felt so overcome with fear and anxiety that it literally created a roadblock in your life? Well that was the case for Annie who suffered from anxiety when taking tests. Learn how hypnotherapy helped Annie pass her state board exam for Acupuncture and achieve her dream! (Page 46)

5. What’s the Most Important Wedding Decision You will Make?  Well the first is your partner…but close behind that is your wedding venue! Every other aspect of your wedding is dependent on the venue, so making this first choice be the right choice is extremely important. Laurel Winzler, acclaimed SF Bay Area florist and event planner steps you through the options…all inclusive, Do It Yourself of a combo. (Page 40)

7. What Happens to Your Marketing Message When Words don’t Match Actions?  Uh…Oh! You have preached about the right way to approach something, perhaps a key aspect of how to do business. But when you put your own words into action in your own company…your walk doesn’t match your talk. What happens when your words and actions are inconsistent? (Page 21)

4. Attention Men: Image Consulting is for YOU Too!  Appearance counts…like it or not! The beauty cult is no longer a territory reserved just for women. Men are beginning to understand the importance of maintaining their “handsome” self! Michele Benza, SF Image Consultant extraordinaire asks “Does your image convey the man you really are?” (Page 36)

6. Ouch! Divorce, Your Home and the Economy  Some stories do not have a fairy tale ending. And in the case of divorce during these turbulent times, the economy is showing itself to be the ugly and triple mean stepsister! As if you don’t have enough stress, the decline in housing prices may have a significant impact on your ability to split your most important asset and get on with your life. Allison Gervais Sofnas, mortgage consultant offers some creative ideas to help you out. (Page 50)

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

11


“DWELL IN POSSIBILITY”

THRIVE

Emily Dickenson


Photo by student in Kathi O’Leary’s SummerFoto Classes for Kids www.kathioleary.com


SF BAY AREA FEATURE

BEYOND THE SILICON CEILING:

Janine Popick’s Tech Company, VerticalResponse Soars to Success! By Deborah Burstyn

J

anine Popick didn’t get the memo. The one that says women don’t start up successful tech companies. Not that it would have mattered! Popick, the 42 year-old entrepreneur and CEO would still have shattered that silicon ceiling. Her company VerticalResponse helps small businesses and non-profits stand tall with affordable ways to create, send and track professional-looking email newsletters, direct mail postcards and online surveys. In less than a decade since she launched VerticalResponse in San Francisco, Popick has grown the company to over 75,000 customers, $18.6 million in sales and 90 employees – plus she offers 10,000 free emails per year for non-profits. And she blogs: for Inc. Magazine and of course, for VerticalResponse.

Janine Popick, CEO VerticalResponse The VerticalResponse Team at their building in San Francisco, CA.

14

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

Popick and VerticalResponse have racked up numerous awards and accolades acknowledging the growth and success of the company. In 2009, VerticalResponse was Ranked #244 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 and #52 on the San Francisco Business Times List of “Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in the Bay Area”. The VerticalResponse Marketing Blog for Small Business was also recognized by the Web Marketing Association with the 2009 Award for Blog Standard of Excellence. Most recently Popick


was named the 2010 San Francisco SBA Small Business Person of the Year! The SF BAWJ sat down with Popick to talk about her amazing journey, and the twists and turns that led her to where she is today! ON EARLY EXPOSURE: My dad was a tech guy at IBM. He was a lone worker bee for 35 years. He developed some cool stuff, and had a few patents. IBM had family days and we’d all get to go in and look at main frames. I loved it. ON WORK ETHIC: I was not one of those kids who went backpacking around Europe. The day after I graduated from college, I went to work at WCBS-TV in New York. Radio and TV were my passions. ON CHANGING GEARS: At a certain point I knew that was as far as I could go in TV. So I jumped ship and started doing ad sales for a newspaper in Brooklyn. I was going door to door. I realized it wasn’t for me when I got mugged. So I got a job in direct marketing. ON HEADING WEST: I had a bad relationship with a boy in New York. I came out here with a friend on a trip and decided someday I’d be back. A short time later I got a great job in direct marketing for a small ad agency on the peninsula. ON LOVE AND MARRIAGE: People who say you’re never going to meet a guy in San Francisco are wrong. I met my husband four weeks after moving here. The attraction was instant. We’ve been together for 15 years. We still always manage to tag along on each other’s business trips. We are a rare breed that really likes to hang out together. ON INSPIRATION: My husband and I once found ourselves not working at the same time. So we moved to

Janine Popick in meeting with Jo Large to review samples of the VerticalResponse postcard product line. Paris. We talked about how everyone was giving out their email addresses. We’d both worked in big companies. How were small companies handling this? They were using Outlook. There had to be a better way. ON A TYPICAL DAY: I get up 6:30 a.m., do a half hour of email, check Tweet Deck, get on a treadmill for an hour and switch between VH1 and The Today Show. I do my situps, some weights and get to work. There I focus on what’s going on in the market, our customers and our competitors. Between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., I walk home and grab a glass of wine with my husband to wind down. He has an agency that has a lot of wineries and in our spare time he has a food and wine blog called VinDivine. We have a lot fun. One of us cooks while the other works. Then we go to the couch with our computers and watch TV. We loved Flight of the Conchords, Madmen and The Office. ON READING: Right now my favorite books are ReWork by Jason Fried

and David Hansson and The Referral Engine by John Jantsch. ON SUCCESS: The more smart people I can have around me that know things I don’t know the better. That’s a big reason behind my company being successful. That’s our strength as women. We understand our deficiencies. We accept that we are not going be perfect in every aspect. Women are great at leaning on other people. ON WHAT COMES NEXT: I am going to continue growing VerticalResponse. We have a great company that I am happy to come to every day. Anything next for me is going to be in non-profit. During the past two years I’ve set up formal company volunteering events, where we helped cleaned up the beach, read to second graders, rebuilt a playground and helped clean up the zoo. That’s a great day for me!

Deborah Burstyn is a feature writer for the SF BAWJ. www.deborahburstyn.com

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

15


WHITE SPACE TIME:

It’s a special kind of appointment with yourself: you protect it from any pre-set agenda. Crazy as it sounds to block out an hour (or three) when you don’t plan to do anything in particular, it really helps women find equilibrium and get amazing things done.

Productivity Meets Peace by Michelle Lisenbury Christensen and Sara Harvey Yao

16

D

o you need less stress or more results? Most women need both! And many of them are finding a little “air pocket” where they can create both peace and productivity. It’s called White Space Time. It’s a special kind of appointment with yourself: you protect it from any pre-set agenda. Crazy as it sounds to block out an hour (or three) when you don’t plan to do anything in particular, it really helps women find

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

equilibrium and get amazing things done. Your To-Do List Expands to Fill Your Time Have you noticed that your to-do list expands to fill the time you have? That you feel like you never have a moment free? Take an open or “white” time on your calendar and block it so it STAYS


BUSINESS & CAREER open! Then when you get to that appointment in your calendar, you will find a gift to yourself…freedom. You now have time before you, and the opportunity to ask, “What do I really want to do with this time? What do I need right now?” If you’re disciplined enough to give yourself full permission to follow those desires (instead of checking e-mail or ticking off errands that aren’t your deepest desire), surprising things begin to happen. White Space Makes Time for Amazing Things to Happen One of our clients needed to get a marketing plan created. What he really wanted to do during his White Space was go to the driving range. Within two days, he got a great idea for the marketing plan, because he’d cleared his head while hitting golf balls. Another began writing again after a long dry spell, because she used her White Space to daydream about her perfect life and realized she needed a space to write in. Right then – because she had the time – she cleared a spot in her guest room and created a nook where she now writes each morning. Come Up for Air with White Space White Space is a place to come up for air during your busy work week. It helps you to not feel so “behind,” the same way a $100 bill in your wallet

makes you feel abundant, even if you don’t spend it. Here’s how you do it: 1. Find a block of 1-4 hours (more, if you dare!) that’s not already committed, and reserve it. Take it from “blank” on your calendar to an appointment – with yourself. 2. If any other uses for the time come up, deflect them. Tell others you’re committed. Remember that this time is deeply important, even if it feels indulgent. 3. Show up. 4. Give yourself permission not to be productive, not to do it “right,” not to meet any pre-conceived linear notion of what you should do. 5. Ask yourself, “What would I really like to do with this time?” 6. Do THAT. Take the White Space Challenge People who’ve committed to taking White Space at least once a week for three weeks have reported phenomenal changes in their energy, focus, and feelings of satisfaction. You can read some of their stories at whitespacetime.com. We hope you’ll join them and let us know what happens when you take the White Space Challenge.

Michele Lisenbury Christensen and Sara Harvey Yao are the authors of “Succeeding without Side Effects: Burnout-Proof Your Leadership and Life” and the “White Space Time” audio program. They help business owners and executives create more success with fewer side effects. Their retreats and seminars for women are transformative and deeply rejuvenating. They can be found online at www.workingwithpower.com.

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

17


Envelopes:

A SIMPLE AND EASY WAY TO MANAGE YOUR BUDGET!

h S y M

n o i t c i d d A oe

The point of this exercise is to bring awareness to your spending which can be unconscious. It also brings a sense of control which is many times lacking with spending weaknesses.

18

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com


MONEY & WEALTH by Cathy Curtis

I

recently recorded a short video illustrating a tip for controlling spending weaknesses. Those who saw it found it very useful: a husband who showed it to his wife who insisted that their teenage daughter watch it; a S.F. fashion stylist (Kristina Moore of MooreonStyle.com) who wrote: “Great video! A guilt free spending solution! S-M-A-R-T;” and friends and family who asked “Cath, do you do this yourself? Of Course I Walk the Walk! The tip is called the envelope system. I wish I could have come up with a more original name. There are 50 videos called “Envelope Budgeting System” on YouTube and a google search brought up 914,000 results! But I put my own little spin on my system and it works! Here’s how: Own Your Spending First off, you have to admit that you have a spending weakness.

Change Your Spending from Unconscious to Awareness of Your Spending Habits The point of this exercise is to bring awareness to your spending which can be unconscious. It also brings a sense of control which is many times lacking with spending weaknesses. I find it very empowering. For example, if I get a notice for a sale at a favorite shop and I am out of money, I won’t go. If a friend tells me she’s selling a fantastic line of clothing and is having a trunk show, I won’t go unless I have the cash. And the fun part is… the new month will be there before you know it!

A few things that can trip you up: • The Internet: After you push “buy”- take the money out of the envelope, it is gone. • You change purses and forget your envelope. You use your credit card. No problem. Take the money out of the envelope. • Borrowing from the next month: not allowed under the system rules. Try it, I think you will be surprised and happy with the result. And for more inspiration, you can watch my video here!

THE ENVELOPE BUDGETING SYSTEM 1. Once you have settled on the monthly budget, go to the bank and withdraw six months worth in cash. 2. Label six envelopes by month (May, June, July, etc.). Then divide up the cash and place it in the envelope along with an index card. 3. Place the envelope in your purse or wallet and each time you buy something describe it on the index card. Note the price and the date purchased. 4. When you run out of cash you can’t buy anymore until the following month.

Mine happens to be anything that adorns the body – clothes, shoes, jewelry and make-up. Yours may be dining out, tickets to concerts, sports equipment or comic books. Then, you figure out the amount of money you can afford to spend on your weakness. The basic formula is: Income - Necessary Fixed and Variable Expenses – Taxes - Savings = Discretionary Spending Money. Next, you answer the question “How much of this discretionary money do you want to put towards your favorite thing per month?”

5. If you have money left-over, either put it into savings, start an envelope for the next six months, or treat yourself to something nice. 6. Repeat each month. At the end of six months, retrieve the index cards and study them. Evaluate whether you got as much pleasure out of the things or experiences that you anticipated. Was it worth the money? If not, reduce the monthly budget for the next six months.

Cathy Curtis is an independent fee-only Certified Financial Planner and CA Registered Investment Advisor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her firm, Curtis Financial Planning (since 2001) specializes in the finances of women, their families and their businesses. Learn more at CurtisFinancialPlanning.com.

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

19


BUSINESS & CAREER

Sr. Women Corporate Leaders:

CONTRIBUTING ON PURPOSE! by Dr. Barbara Mark, CEO Full Circle Institute

S

ometime around our late thirties we begin to feel that changes in our outlook on life are starting to take place. We begin to feel some shifts in our ways of approaching things, in the way we feel emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As the years go by, that process continues and we feel shifts in interests, priorities, and desires.

interested in conceptual leadership. You may have climbed that ladder and are NOW in a position to contribute to your organization in a way that is more purposeful and personally creative. The climb up that ladder has opened new opportunities. You may want to place your ladder against a different wall within your organization or in a completely different organization.

Most senior women leaders are interested in conceptual leadership. You may have climbed that ladder and are NOW in a position to contribute to your organization in a way that is more purposeful and personally creative. Different Perspectives I remember moments for me when I wasn’t sure if I was in the right career, the right place in my career, the right marriage – or did I want to be married at all. A cottage by the ocean writing a book in front of the fireplace with my dog curled up near me seemed really appealing. I didn’t feel in crisis, I just felt in a kind of limbo where I was looking at everything from different perspectives. When I work with clients experiencing this, I call it “being out of site of land”. It seems to resonate with people. What Now? Most senior women leaders are

20

This is a good time to ask yourself some questions.

developing their careers. It is a valuable way to look at yourself and appreciate the wisdom you have achieved! The Door is Opening and Your Time is Now! We are on the cusp of an important moment in our cultural evolution. We are beginning to see a great acknowledgement of what women bring to the table. Women are being recognized as needed and valued contributors. It is time for you to acknowledge to yourself the contributions that you have made. It is also time to access where you are, and where and how you want to make your next contributions. The door is opening wide and your time is now.

• “How have I measured my success up to now?” • “How do I feel about what I am contributing in my current position?” • “What do I want to do that will hold meaning for me?” It is also a time to realize that as you “gracefully mature” you achieve a different level of respect and wisdom. And I mean that in the most positive way! You have gained life and professional experience that makes you a trusted resource to your organization, your peers and to those who are in the process of

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

Barbara Mark, Ph.D. is the CEO and Founder of Full Circle Institute. FCI is a leadership development company for female executives. Dr. Mark is a thought leader in the area of Women in Leadership and Leadership for the Future. Learn more at FullCircleInstitute.com.


BUSINESS & CAREER

ARE YOUR MARKETING MESSAGES CONSISTENT? by Elinor Stutz

S

o many wonderful lessons were learned recently upon hearing and observing professional speakers. I make it my practice to observe those who have gone before me so that I may more quickly rise to where my vision takes me. The best speaker used her voice as a fine instrument allowing me to fully comprehend the analogy to its fullest. Her talk was filled with emotional stories both funny and sad. All the while her voice rose to a crescendo and then gently toned down to very soft notes of deep insight. Her talk was as moving as an opera. Contradictory Words had an Instant Impact However, in my opinion, her ending spoiled the impact. The speaker’s message was, “We should each stand in our own shoes. It is important to enjoy our journey into the spotlight.” It was a very powerful message. Everyone was engaged and on the edge of their seat.

The speaker’s power diminished when she made an offer contradictory to her message.

their own success, it is a safe bet that many more people would have taken her offer.

Whereas she spoke of standing in your own spotlight, her offer was a collaborative project riding on her coattails focusing on her but not her clientele. For me, the speaker’s offer ruined the entire message.

What does this have to do with you, if you aren’t a speaker?

Consistency Builds Trust and Credibility Consistency is a major factor to behold when building your brand. Otherwise, trust and credibility will fade. Consistency must be perceived as your underlying marketing message. Of the approximate 400 people in the audience, only about 28 people followed the speaker out the door to hear more. This is a relatively low number considering participation fees will eliminate more prospects from becoming clients.

The same principles apply no matter your field of endeavor. When you convey you are working to help others and the benefit of working with you is clearly seen, you will attract greater numbers. Business then becomes a very Smooth Sale!

Elinor Stutz is CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC a sales training company. She is available for team training, coaching, and motivational speaking. She includes the Smooth Sale product line as part of her program. Learn more at SmoothSale.net.

Had the speaker instead offered a package whereby she would help members of the audience achieve

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

21


NURTURE

“TO AFFECT THE QUALITY OF THE DAY, THAT IS THE HIGHEST OF THE ARTS.”

Henry David Thoreau


Ron Benza (r) with Sen. Barbara Boxer at a meeting in advance of passage of the Violence Against Women Act.

Ron Benza in his “Mad Man Days”

HELPING TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN… a Conversation with Ron Benza! by Deborah Burstyn

24

H

e’s a former “MadMen” adman who now helps prevent mad men. Once Ron Benza was a hardcharging Madison Avenue advertising executive like the guys in the popular AMC series. He even worked on the M & M’s account, originally won by Rosser Reeves, the model for “MadMen’s” Don Draper and who in real life coined “The Milk Chocolate Melts in Your Mouth Not in Your Hand.” In 1993 Benza, the married father of two sons now in college, moved his family to Marin when he took over McCann Erickson’s San Francisco office. Today he’s a founding partner of the print production firm Benza Gruggen Buckley. Clients include those you’ve heard of like Netflix, AT&T, Best Buy, WalMart, and Target and one maybe you haven’t heard of - The Family Violence Prevention Fund. Ron recently talked with the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal about the “meeting that changed his life” and sparked his enduring passion and commitment to end violence against women and children.

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com


SF BAY AREA FEATURE procedures in violence cases, but the Chairman of the Board of the FVPF is the Honorable Ronald Adrine, a judge himself. We connect with 15,000 to 20,000 organizations all over the world and produce about a million pieces of print material. We’ve got 100,000 pieces alone going to a Planned Parenthood in the Mt. Shasta area as one example. Founding Fathers’ program Coaching Boys to Men is even spreading around the world, through our-reach through the UN and other coaching programs. On the Economy’s Impact on Domestic Violence: Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Nicole Kidman participated in the ground breaking ceremony for the New Family Violence Prevention Center.

Unemployment, alcoholism and stress are all triggers. They go together like a witches’ brew; things that are borderline get worse.

The Family Violence Prevention Fund

On a Highlight for 2010:

The Family Violence Prevention Fund has become a force in Benza’s life and led him to co-found, along with Dr. Buz Kantor, Founding Fathers, a group of thousands of prominent men dedicated to ending violence against women and children, under the auspices of the Family Violence Prevention Fund. Benza is also a long standing volunteer for the Family Violence Prevention Fund and serves on the FVPF’s Leadership Committee.

I just went on a hardhat tour of our new building… or new old building. It is a 1910 red brick building in the Presidio, next to the Disney Museum. There’s not a lot you can change on the exterior but the inside will be amazing. It will be home to our new offices and much more-an interactive meeting space, healing center and exhibits.

On Exposure: I had no personal experience with this issue. In 1997 Blue Shield of California was one of our clients at McCannErickson. Through Blue Shield I met an incredible person: Esta Soler, the founder of the Family Violence Prevention Fund. Esta’s my Oprah. That meeting with her changed my life. She helped me see that preventing domestic violence until then had been only women helping women - at shelters, rape crisis centers and so on. Men were either part of the problem or just bystanders. Though I was not part of the problem, I did not want to be a bystander either. I wanted to be part of the solution. On Reach: The domestic violence procedures that the police and judiciary use today were developed by the Family Violence Prevention Fund. The FVPF was instrumental in the passage of the Violence Against Women’s Act. They have not only instructed judges throughout the land in correct

The Family Violence Prevention Center is going to be a major global conference and education center. It the end it won’t be a place as much as a concept, like the UN is more than a building on the East River. And it is on time and on budget! On Parenting Boys: I don’t think boys respond all that well to talking. But your kids are watching you like a hawk and learning from you all the time – how you treat the waiter in a restaurant, how you react when someone cuts you off in traffic. It is important to show by example. On Inspiration: “You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better you did better.” That’s a quote from Maya Angelou. I think she captured the spirit of hope itself. To me it says we don’t have to be saddled with violence as a human condition.

Deborah Burstyn is a feature writer for the SF BAWJ. www.deborahburstyn.com

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

25


HEALTH & WELLNESS

WORK VS. HOME: Take Control of the Juggling Act! by Kristin Southwick Many of my clients tell me that keeping perspective day to day is challenging when you’re managing many different roles. Being a wife, a mother, a friend, as well as managing a career, and finding the time to also honor and take care of your own needs is a massive juggling act for every woman. How do you balance these competing roles and keep your head above water without feeling depleted at the end of the day? This article is part one of a four part series that will help you learn ways to create structure and balance in your life. Today we’ll focus on the workplace. Future articles will discuss finding time to nurture and care for yourself, ways to balance relationships, and family life. Career Demands versus Home Demands A common issue that I often hear is the high-stress conflict of dealing with career demands balancing that with home demands and expectations. One of the best ways to help yourself navigate these two key issues is to set boundaries. Start by developing clear boundaries around your work life. Whether

26

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com


in a corporate setting, your own home, or anywhere in between you should be realistic and clear with yourself about what you can feasibly accomplish. 5 Tips to Help You Balance Your Work Life 1. Listen to your body. Your body will give you some great clues into how you are affected by external factors. For example does your stomach turn or do you clench your teeth when you think about the conflict of going home at a reasonable hour versus staying to finish a high priority assignment? Let your body guide you to set limits where you can. If that means leaving at a certain time of day, then prioritize your tasks and focus on what needs to be completed before the end of the day. 2. Create boundaries that will help you manage others who are pressuring you into taking on more than you feel comfortable doing. For example, if something is asked of you that goes beyond your job role and duties, a clear limit will help you be prepared with an appropriate response. Tell the person you will get back to them with an answer. This allows you to walk away from the situation, take a moment to consider what is being asked, and how long it will take to complete the task. It also provides an opportunity to consider if the time investment is one that will have a positive career impact. 3. Offering to do more than expected at your job can cause you to end up feeling overwhelmed and resentful. But it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and “accidentally” put yourself into that situation.

Create boundaries that will help you manage others who are pressuring you into taking on more than you feel comfortable doing. Work at implementing helpful strategies that support you in these kinds of situations. Try counting to 10 before you jump in or perhaps you need to take 5 minutes to step away, catch your breath and then decide the next steps. Work at implementing helpful strategies that support you on these kinds of occasions. Try counting to 10 before you jump in or perhaps you need to take 5 minutes to step away, catch your breath and then decide the next steps. 4. Ask for others to help if too much responsibility is being put on you and be open with what you need to successfully complete your job. 5. Lastly, it is essential to remember that when you have multiple assignments being given to you in a day or even an hour, it’s important to create a structure that will help you manage your workflow. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or that you just need a break then allow yourself to take 5 minutes to just breathe and

catch-up. The key is to not procrastinate and to help yourself stay focused and organized. Renewed Energy You’ll find an abundance of renewed energy when you take more control of your work life. I would like to encourage you to start by considering these suggestions. Just choose one idea that resonates with you and add it into your day to day responsibilities. You’ll be amazed at how much that one little action will help you to feel more in control of your life and feeling renewed energy for yourself, your family, and your relationships!

Kristin Southwick is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with the CA Board of Behavioral Science and received her Master’s from John F. Kennedy University. Kristin believes therapy is a meaningful experience that offers a supportive and confidential space to explore aspects of one’s life and relationships. Learn more at KristinSouthwick.com.

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

27


HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

We may not shower him with praise Nor mention his name in song, And sometimes it seems that we forget The joy he spreads as he goes along, But it doesn’t mean that we don’t know The wonderful role that he has had. And away down deep in every heart There’s a place that is just for Dad … AUTHOR UNKNOWN

28

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com


PARENTING & TEENS communication with their teen improved by doing this. Also, if they know you’ll see the places they hang out online, they may think twice before posting certain information.

Setting Boundaries to Help Keep Your Kids Safe Online! by Carrie Silver-Stock

Take a Class or Seminar

M

Many places offer classes about online safety for parents and teens. It may be very helpful for your teen to hear the things you are talking about from a third party. This can help reinforce what you’re saying.

any parents are scared of how technology might impact their kids and they don’t know how to keep them safe online. Technology is a tool and the responsibility of safely using it is very important. Unfortunately the constant change of technology makes this a continuous learning process. But you can take steps that will help keep your kids safe online. And along the way you may even find that your own communication with your teen improves! Consider the following tips to help you set appropriate guidelines for your kids. Share Personal Information Cautiously Sometimes innocent comments can be very revealing. For example, your son might casually mention he’s going to the football game tonight, but now just gave away the exact location of where he would be hanging out. Or, your daughter might post a picture wearing a t-shirt of her middle school which gives away her school location. In addition, more teens and parents forget a profile picture is typically public and even those individuals who are not friends can see it. Figure out what you are comfortable with your teen sharing and what the right boundaries are with personal information.

Just like you wouldn’t put your child in the car without driver education … you’re showing them it’s important to have some level of understanding and education of the internet before they use it. Make Cars Cell Phone Free Zones Oprah Winfrey is leading the way in a new movement to put down our cell phones in cars. If your child isn’t driving yet, be a good example for them now. Teens are already distracted drivers and many I’ve talked to admit to texting while driving. If your child sees that you don’t text or talk on your cell phone in the car, they will remember that when they get behind the wheel. If your child is driving, encourage them to sign the Pledge, and you can do it too!

Empower Your Kids to Make Good Decisions Finally, to keep your kids safe online, it’s important to set online expectations in an empowering way. When you discuss online safety rules, ask your kids for their input, suggestions, and ideas. By doing this, it will keep them involved and engaged. In addition, there might be things your teen can share with you about concerns they have or stories or problems they’ve seen or heard about from their friends. Have a clear sense of what’s important to you and what rules you want to establish. You might want to think about things like how much time they can spend online, what social network sites are acceptable, and what consequences are if they don’t follow your expectations. Most important is that you are consistently using these online safety tips and talking about them in your family to keep your kids safe.

Carrie Silver-Stock, MSW, LCSW, is a social worker and the founder GirlsWithDreams.com, a social networking site that provides support, advice, and tips on the issues girls struggle with most. She is the author of Secrets Girls Keep: What Girls Hide (& Why) and How to Break the Stress of Silence (HCI).

Play in Their World Don’t be afraid to text them, hang out on Facebook, or use other forms of technology. This has benefits on many levels. Many parents have told me that

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

29


! e s u o M

THE POWER OF THE PURSE

• Women represent the majority of the online market. • 73% of ALL consumers prefer to find product and services using the internet vs. having ads sent to them** • When looking for a local resource provider, the majority of searchers use location specific terms in their search:

“spa san francisco” “gym walnut creek” “restaurant oakland” “dentist East Bay” “San francisco realtor” “estate planning lawyer marin” “pet care bay area”

Now

The blended media experience featuring a monthly digital magazine, online informational blogs, Buy SF Biz Directory create a unique platform that makes it easy to:

GET FOUND, GET NOTICED, GET CLIENTS… as easy as 1,2,3! 1. Reach the Most Influential Target market of today: Women 2. Partner with the SF Bay Area Women’s Journal to reach women online 3. Get Found, Get noticed, Get Clients! * WebVisible/Nielsen NetRatings survey 2008


MONEY & WEALTH

LIVING IN EARTHQUAKE COUNTRY Are You Ready?

1. Secure it Now  Eliminate hazards by securing heavy objects such as bookshelves, televisions, computers and especially water heaters. California law requires the seller of any home to strap and brace the water heaters before they transfer the home to the next buyer – be sure this is done properly. But if you’ve been in your home a long time, do it now yourself. 2. Make a Plan  Have evacuation and reunion plans, an out-of-state contact person and a location for your emergency supplies. Make sure everyone in your household knows what they are. Make sure you know the plan at your child or children’s schools so you can find them fast! 3. Make Disaster Kits  for home, car and work. These should include water, food, flashlights, portable radios, batteries, first aid kits, cash, extra medications, a whistle and fire extinguishers. 4. Is Your Place Safe?  Consult a contractor or engineer knowledgeable in seismic safety to make sure you have done all the upgrades you can to strengthen your home in case of a quake. Some of these are minor and inexpensive, others may require more extensive projects, but do whatever you can. 5. DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON!  Doorways are NOT the safest place in a quake – this is old information. You are safer dropping to the floor, taking cover under a sturdy desk or table and holding on to it firmly. Be prepared to move with the furniture until the shaking stops. If outside, drop to the ground; if in your car, pull over and stay in your car. 6. Check It Out  After the shaking stops, check for injuries, administer first aid, and identify safety hazards such as damaged gas, water, sewage and electrical lines. Know how to report damage to the proper agencies and have those numbers in your disaster kit. 7. Communicate and Recover  Listen to the most accessible radio, contact your insurance agent if your home is damaged and check for resources that will be made available from government agencies. To locate separated family members, register on the Red Cross Safe and Well Web Site or call 1-866-GET-INFO. Make sure everyone in your family has that phone number.

by Deborah Lopez

H

aving lived through the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake as a homeowner in San Francisco, I often find it helpful to review with my family not only the steps to take to make sure our homes are safe, but what to do in case there is a quake. Resources for complete and detailed information about how to prepare your home for an earthquake and what to do in an earthquake can be found at various web sites. The best ones I’ve found are EarthQuakeCountry. info, EarthQuake.ugs.gov, and RedCross.org. 7 Tips to Help Prepare You and Your Home for Earthquakes These 7 key recommendations are from EarthQuakeCountry.info and are easy to remember. Be Safe! We’ve only had small earthquakes since 1989 but being prepared will give you and your family the peace of mind to enjoy your home and know that you’re ready if necessary.

Deborah Lopez (DLo) is a licensed broker and Certified International Property Specialist with Paragon Real Estate Group. She is an expert on the pockets within and between San Francisco neighborhoods and she knows how to negotiate to protect your interest and get you your desired outcome! To lean more visit DeborahLopezSF.com

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

31


DISCOVER

“AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, I AM STILL INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS OF SELF-DISCOVERY. IT’S BETTER TO EXPLORE LIFE AND MAKE MISTAKES THAN TO PLAY IT SAFE.”

Sophia Loren


Photo by Kathi O’Leary www.kathioleary.com


YOUR SEXUALITY… What’s Life Wisdom got to do with THAT?

by Katherine Forsythe

34

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com


LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

W

hat has shaped your womanhood? Have you wondered why you think dramatically differently than your best friend (or even your own daughter!) about behavior, values, dress, and attitude towards men? How Can She Think That? Have you thought, “how can she say/do/think that?” It’s all about the “how to be a woman” lessons you gathered (or that she missed) from your years on this planet. Last month, we started a series about the Wheel of Sexuality - 6 wedges in a wheel that contribute to how we play out our lives as women. By the way, the term sexuality is an umbrella term over all 6 unique wedges, or categories for articulating our womanhood. Physical sex is just one wedge. Every woman has 5 more! The Wheel of Sexuality gives us a format for honoring and celebrating all aspects of our sexual self. Life Wisdom and Your Sexuality This month we examine the 1st wedge of the Wheel, Our life wisdom, the basis of who we are … our foundation … and that’s not the old fashioned name for tinted moisturizer! Our foundation erupts out of past experiences specifically as women – some wonderful, some not so fantastic. Those events sculpt our individuality today, and our preferences for how we each want to express ourselves as women. Know this: there is no right or wrong way to behave as women, in spite of what Cosmo might tell us! You lived through some amazing historical events – and you formed an opinion about womanly conduct that sits indelibly sketched on your brain. Consider: How did you

interpret Monica Lewinsky’s behavior with President Clinton? What did your church or neighborhood chatter tell you about the values? How did Sarah Palin’s attitude about pregnancy and her daughter in the last election affect you?

in her larger frame, in part because she had grandparents who told her continually how lovely she was – inside and out. Your womanly life wisdom was also influenced by ethnic/cultural influ-

Your womanly life wisdom was also influenced by ethnic/cultural influences, spirituality and/ or religion, your own personality, the friendships you made with the opposite sex, experiences (good and bad) with former partners, even the formal sex education you may or may not have had. Always Put a Newspaper on the Guy’s Lap! You had personal life events that have either given you pause in relationships, or have freed you to be intimately adventurous. To illustrate, at a young age, many women were witness to a man’s exposing himself against her will (not talked about, but sadly a frequent and unfortunate event). On the other hand, you may have had a first sexual experience with a gentle kind passionate guy who cared deeply about your satisfaction and happiness. One woman I know was told by consecutive teenage boyfriends that she was too fat. Today she is stunningly attractive, and, yes, sees herself as heavy and unworthy. Conversely, another friend carries herself beautifully

ences, spirituality and/or religion, your own personality, the friendships you made with the opposite sex, experiences (good and bad) with former partners, even the formal sex education you may or may not have had. I have a friend who was told by a Nun that she must always put a newspaper on the boy’s lap before she accepted his invitation to sit there – otherwise, instant pregnancy! It took her years to get past how absurd those instructions were, because they came from a respected authority figure. Add it all up, and you are dramatically different from every other woman on the planet. Honor the extraordinary sexuality that your own distinctive life wisdom has bestowed upon you. Next month, we will look at Intimacy.

Katherine Forsythe, MSW, is committed to bringing joy and insight into relationships, intimacy, and sexuality for women at midlife and beyond. Through her blog, consulting, and speaking, she inspires us to redefine and invigorate intimacy and relationships on our terms, as we mature. Learn more at GetASecondWind.com.

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

35


Like it or not, our outward appearance affects the impression we make on others, consequently impacting our lives. Whether we get a job, business contract, or a new relationship can hinge, at least partially, on our first impression. Is your image conveying what you want it to?

FOR MEN TOO!

Is It Time To Update Your Look? by Michele Benza

36

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com


FASHION & SHOPPING

M

oisturizers, eye creams, massages, manicure, spray tanning, shopping  … the modern gentleman is now aware of the importance of his image. He now takes care of himself to stay handsome, young and in shape. The beauty cult is no longer a territory reserved to women. Get Help If you still believe that hiring an image consultant is for other people, think again! To make peace with one’s image is no small matter. It’s a step toward building self-esteem in our professional and personal lives. Image consulting illustrates an essential characteristic of our era: we are a society that loves images. Ramp Up Your Career Professionally we are judged not only on our aptitudes but also on our appearance. We often find the need to acquire new competences to have access to a promotion. Our image must also pair with this new position. At equal competences, it is the person that has also ‘the look’ that will finally be chosen. On the personal level, reworking your image increases your self-esteem as well as your self-confidence, enabling you greater successes. Image consulting is for everyone who is unsure how to go about enhancing their appearance and who might be lost when it comes to selecting current fashions. If you’ve been going

to the same hairstylist for the last 15 years, are still wearing the same style clothes you were when Michael Jackson came out with Thriller, and you buy your clothes at the same shops you did when you when you graduated from college, it may be time for an update! Hate to Shop? For those of you who become nauseous at the idea of having to enter a store and start shopping for new clothes, image consulting services are for you, and judging from market trends, they are here to stay. Many men would try anything to avoid the drudgery of shopping. Hiring the services of an image consultant/personal shopper will help you reveal your distinct personality, enhance your features, maximize your physical qualities and develop a winning wardrobe. Appearance Counts Like it or not, our outward appearance affects the impression we make on others, consequently impacting our lives. Whether we get a job, business contract, or a new relationship can hinge, at least partially, on our first impression. Is your image conveying what you want it to? So now, throw yourself into the image consulting adventure and be ready for your personal and professional image transformation. A bientôt, Michele

Michele Benza is the founder of “Michele Benza Image Consulting and Posture” a program that focuses on enhancing one’s personal and professional image. You can work with Michele on-line or face-to-face. You’ll be thrilled with the results. To learn more visit MicheleBenza.com or call (415) 956-3025.

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

37


LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

THE DEATH OF FEMINISM:

Rediscovering Polarity in Relationship! by Rick Snyder

A

fter sitting with a lot of couples over the years as a life coach and therapist, a common dynamic that I see is the strong, dominant woman with a soft and loving, but emasculated man. The woman often complains that her man does not lead enough in the relationship, and he complains that she is too controlling and bossy. It appears as if both genders have become disconnected from the healthy integration of masculine and feminine principles. Equality is not Sameness The dark side of feminism is that it made women empowered by borrowing masculine power. Women have learned that to have success in this world, they need to wear the pants. Feminism fought to find equality, but one of the shadow aspects is that it neutralized the polarity charge between the genders. Equality is not sameness. Women have lost some of their innate feminine power. Men are Becoming Feminized and … loosing Touch with their Masculine Power To make matters worse, men for the most part, have feminized and lost

38

touch with a healthy sense of masculine power. Men are left with the question of how to be connected to their heart and be in their power, but do not have many role models for this way of being. Many men have learned that power = abuse, which it can be when it’s not connected to the heart. Thus, most men have split from either their heart or their power. Empowered Masculine Energy I often hear the term “empowered woman” amongst today’s circles of progressive, conscious women. Advertisers have latched onto this trend as well, claiming their product or service will “empower you” and make you feel happier, bigger/better, last longer, feel younger, etc. So why is it that I often cringe when I hear women around me proclaim their empowerment? When I hear today’s woman stating that she wants to feel “empowered,” it’s often encased in a yang, masculinized energetic that makes me want to run. There is very limited teaching of a yin-based power, where women learn what it means to embody their natural radiance. And that they don’t have to “go after” their success, love, etc. to get their needs met.

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

The power of yin dynamics is to actively be receptive: The ability to draw life dynamics to you. Most women may be triggered reading these words as receptivity has often been taught as passive, which is far from the truth. Honoring our Differences Feminism has done an appropriate job, but will not take us to our next stage of evolution. What is needed is a model that recognizes and honors the differences in our gender dynamics, and celebrates these. The sperm initiates and the egg responds. Men and women are different, yet we need to learn how to embody our natural principles instead of fighting them. For more insight on what this model could look like, check-out There Is No Such Thing as a Negative Emotion by Daniel Barron. And take a look at this article on the elements of feminine and masculine power! What do you think … are women becoming too masculine and men too feminine? And if so, what has been the impact on your relationship?

Rick Snyder, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and MFT Intern, is a life coach and therapist in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is as also a course leader for the Authentic Man Program and The Transformational Coaching and Leadership Training. Learn more at RickSnyder.org.


INSPIRATION & MOTIVATION

5 Ways Gemini Looks and … is Smart! by Jamie Kahl

W

hat is it about Gemini types (May 21- June 20) that make them appear so smart? How is it that they slide through school without even appearing to try? Sometimes it looks like magic, the way a Gemini type* can finesse those multiple questions tests and even the essay tests and dazzle teachers with their knowledge. Here, in a smashing celebration of Gemini goodness, is how they do it … 1. Love information. It’s true that Gemini types are naturally drawn to facts, data and information. I’m speaking now to you, Gemini Girl. You’re mostly likely, of all the signs, to win at Trivial Pursuit and then to modestly proclaim that your knowledge is useless. But you seek it anyway. You can be enthralled—and persuaded—by statistics. Let’s face it: ferreting out, ingesting, remembering and ultimately sharing information is beyond a hobby with you. It’s a way of life. 2.  Grasp the surface concept quickly. And then move on to the next idea. Don’t linger too long or dig too deeply. Sure, there’s more—there always is. But you don’t need to get caught up in it. The Gemini intelligence knows

that the main idea is enough. If you can grasp it, remember it, and produce it when you are asked, you can build a wealth of facts that are useful in an everyday way. And you can pass tests. 3. Engage other minds in conversation. Practice your ability to get ideas across to other minds (with other mental styles) and to hear their ideas. Ask questions that put the attention on the other person. Genuinely want to know the answers. It’s a paradox that half of looking smart is in making others look smart. Don’t pay too much attention to whether you look smart because you probably do without trying. 4.  Be the dilettante you are. Gemini, you are good at many things. You’re an excellent mimic. You develop your own style by trying on the style of others. You are a Renaissance woman—embrace it. Enjoy it.

curious. To be Gemini is like having an eternal child-mind: “What’s that? And what’s that?” and the big one: “Why??” Gemini wants to eat up life-experience with the brain. For Gemini, life is a road made of questions. When a Gemini thinks she has the answers, some part of her deeply curious, extremely mobile brain shuts off. And that’s a shame, because this sign’s sense of wonder is immense and it’s a great gift to have and to share with others. So the next time you stop to absorb an interesting idea, instead of just filing it away, ask yourself a question about it. Enjoy the mystery, even as you are penetrating it with your understanding. Thanks, Gemini, for eating up information and then offering it to the rest of us in bite-sized pieces. Please Consider This * You don’t have to be a Gemini to be a Gemini type. That’s because you could be a Taurus (or any other sign) yet have a bunch of planets in your chart in Gemini—enough to tip the balance and leave you feeling more like Twins than Bull.

Jamie Kahl is a professional astrologer with 30 years of study and 18 years of practice in Berkeley, CA. She specializes in showing women the power of feminine archetypes in everyday life. She does readings for individuals, couples and families, and teaches classes in person in Berkeley and online. Visit her website and read her blog to learn more.

Gemini has a short attention span, but is this really a problem in the modern world? More of a necessity, I’m thinking, because those who can’t think fast get left behind. That very distractibility can be used to your advantage—keep it fresh, keep it light, keep your mind moving. 5. Dwell in wonder. Be endlessly

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

39


It’s June…

SO LET’S TALK WEDDINGS! by Laurel Winzler

W

e all think of June as the month for weddings. In fact, here in the SF Bay Area the Fall is more popular, due to the good weather we experience in September and October. But in keeping with tradition, it’s June so let’s talk about weddings! This month we’ll explore some of the issues that need to be addressed in planning a wedding. Starting the Process If you’ve recently planned any type of party or social event, you understand how expensive it is to entertain in the Bay Area. The cost of venue, food, rentals, flowers, photography and entertainment is far beyond what most people anticipate. Many a bride finds herself immediately torn between the idea of the “dream wedding” she’s always wanted and the hard reality that it may exceed her budget. No one can expect to “have it all” despite the costs. A wedding involves the efforts of many talented and experienced professionals, and the fees they charge can’t be negotiated away. Nor can the costs of materials, labor and transportation be compromised on.

40

No matter how much a bride wants top quality, unless she’s prepared to pay for it some trade-offs will need to be made. It All Starts with Selecting the Right Venue! The first thing that every bride does is select a location for her ceremony and reception. Every other aspect of the wedding is dependent on the venue, so making this first choice be the right choice is extremely important. Event venues come in two types: commercial entities like hotels, restaurants and private clubs; or free-standing event spaces like mansions, social halls, art galleries, etc. Commercial spaces offer the advantage of one-stop shopping, where things like food and beverage, rentals, audio-visual and cake are part of a package at a perhead cost for each guest. Independent venues (called “off premises” sites) typically offer nothing more than an empty space where every item for the wedding needs to be brought in by an outside vendor. Many people opt for the all-inclusive approach because it means less leg work and fewer decisions. The disadvantage is that there will be less variety and flexibility in what’s offered, and it may seem less “personal” to the couple.

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com


LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

The first thing that every bride does is select a location for her ceremony and reception. Every other aspect of the wedding is dependent on the venue, so making this first choice be the right choice is extremely important.

By contrast, an empty mansion offers endless possibilities for food and decor, but also many more details that need to be addressed and coordinated. And therefore more work and stress for the couple. Understanding your personal priorities will help you make the right choice at the beginning of the planning process. Do It Yourself??? As a result of financial pressures, many couples are saving money by working with family and friends to “do it yourself” on some aspects of the wedding. Many wedding magazines and other media are also encouraging this approach – which has its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, you can reduce spending by creating your own floral decor, or by eliminating flowers altogether and opting for other types of decorations such as paper garlands, candles, lanterns, etc. to fill the space. The downside of doing this means that you may be taking on tasks that are more complicated or time-sensitive than you realize, which will definitely add to your lastminute stress as a result. You also may be burdening family and friends by pressing them to help out, thereby reducing their enjoyment of the wedding. There’s a reason why professionals charge what they do. It’s important to balance the aggravation and stress of DIY ideas vs. the cost of having someone else carry that burden for you.

Striking a Balance Without a doubt, the best way to contain costs in planning a wedding is to LIMIT THE GUEST LIST !!! This has the biggest impact on overall expenses, since the costs for venue, food, alcohol, rentals, cake and decor are directly tied to the number of people who will be attending. By keeping the head count fewer than 100 people, a bride has a better chance of getting the quality of event she wants, and has many more creative and interesting options to choose from. As is so often the case, the best approach may be moderation. Determine what your priorities are – food? music? flowers? - and allocate a realistic amount of your budget to cover those elements. Decide where you can scale back your expectations, to have what you need but perhaps not what your “dream” would be. And always keep in mind that you’re planning a party, so keeping it fun for you and enjoyable for your guests is the highest priority of all!

Laurel Winzler is the owner of Laurel Designs, a successful floral and event planning business. She is a preferred vendor at many exclusive SF Bay Area event venues, and donates her time and talents to many organizations. Learn more at FLaurel.com.

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

41


A large scale mural painted on the exterior of The Oshun Health Center beautifies and unifies a community!

DECORATIVE PAINTING… Where should you “Paint It”? by Debra Disman

T

he answer is … EVERYWHERE! Have you ever wanted to create your own paradise by bringing home a piece of that special vacation or experience that inspired you? Do you dream of creating an environment that inspires others because they more clearly understand your message? Do you have an interior wall, an exterior wall, a nook, fireplace, a piece of furniture, even a ceiling that could be transformed by the right combination of skill and imagination?

canvass! In the process of creating, our goal is to support the human beings that live, play, dream and work within the existing space and architecture, both interior and exterior. Inevitably, the creative work commissioned for walls, furniture, floors and ceilings reflects the spirit, goals, desires, needs and intentions of our Clients. They hire us to translate their inner vision into concrete visual form, and create something magical and unique for their particular environment.

The World is Your Canvass!

Residential Wall Magic Enhances Life Transition

For Decorative Painters, the world is our canvass and thus … it is YOUR

A chosen vase becomes the inspiration for a unique wall treatment

42

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

on a relief area over the fireplace mantle in a new home purchased by the Clients in anticipation of their retirement. Part design, part mural, all decorative treatment, this application seems an extension of the luminescent vase- or is it the other way around? Here’s what the Client had to say about the magic: “I knew that the mantle treatment would be a very special part of our new home, but to see how you had taken digital photos and transformed them into art was amazing to me!”


INTERIOR DESIGN

A beloved vase inspires a unique wall treatment. Commercial Branding Opportunity through Striping Martinkovic Milford Architects suggested decorative painting to their Client, the owner of On the Fly, a specialty men’s store in San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center, to add an extra dimension to its display window. The broken stripe suggests stitching as well as the classic men’s pin-striped suit, and reflects the visual branding image used in the store’s marketing materials. The hands-on stripe application both communicates and enhances an established visual message, while adding that extra bit of bling to the store and its display. You might say this treatment is “tailor made” for the venue! Non Profit’s Mural Project Builds Community

SF business On the Fly used decorative painting to extend the experience of their brand. program of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics. The Center provides a safe place and services to women and their families. “Oshun” is a deity figure in the Yoruba religious pantheon, and represents all that makes life worth living. In addition to identifying the Center and brightening up a challenged neighborhood, this collaborative mural “will inspire everyone who sees it to be aware of the great contribution that women and families make to our communities.” reflected Darryl Inaba, Founder, Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, San Francisco, CA.

Enhance, Beautify and Expand the Vision In all of these cases, decorative painting is used to express and expand upon the vision of the homeowner, the business, and the organization, adding depth and dimension to each space. The new home, the retail space, the women’s center, are enhanced and beautified through the magic of decorative painting. The purpose, function, and intention of each is more effectively communicated through the application of its special treatment. The results are … transformative!

Debra Disman, Principal of ArtiFactory Studio, is passionate about translating her Client’s inner vision into concrete visual form. She can help you use the magic of decorative painting to transform your home, place of business, even your community! Learn more at ArtiFactoryStudio.com.

Staff, managers, clients, friends and artists all contributed to The Land of Oshun, an 8x40’ mural painted on the exterior of The Oshun Center, a

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

43


NEW CHAPTER


“LIFE IS UNCHARTED TERRITORY. IT REVEALS ITS STORY ONE MOMENT AT A TIME.”

Leo Buscaglia

Photo by Keenan, age 12. Student in Kathi O’Leary Photography SummerFoto Classes for Kids. www.kathioleary.com


SUCCESS TOOL: Step beyond Exam Anxiety with Hypnotherapy!

By Jane Ransom This week a wonderful email landed in my inbox. It was Annie announcing the opening of her acupuncture office. She’d achieved her dream! And hypnotherapy helped make it come true. Exam Anxiety Blocks Achievement of Your Goals More than a year ago, Annie had failed the state board exam for acupuncture. The day-long test is notoriously hard. Many people fail it the first time around. But Annie is a highly self-disciplined and intelligent young woman who knew the material inside out. Her problem was exam anxiety. And so, last December, she came to see me. She was signed up to retake the state boards in February, and wanted to know if hypnosis could dispel her anxiety. Short answer: Yes!

How Anxiety Takes Control of Your Mind

Some people suffer their whole lives from exam anxiety. Occasionally we can trace the cause back to a harsh upbringing. But just as often, there’s no clear origin; the fear takes on a life of its own. Indeed, it usually gets worse with time.

Whenever the person goes to take an exam, their sympathetic nervous system kicks in, putting the testtaker into “fight-flight” mode. Their heart speeds up, they perspire, their blood rushes to their inner organs. This is helpful if you’re in mortal

46

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

combat or fleeing a saber-toothed tiger. But it’s no good for focusing your logical mind or accessing memory. Each time the experience reoccurs, the subconscious mind forms a stronger association between examtaking and “fight-flight.” A snowball effect occurs. Soon the anxiety is


HEALTH & WELLNESS Whenever the person goes to take an exam, their sympathetic nervous system kicks in, putting the testtaker into “fight-flight” mode. Their heart speeds up, they perspire, their blood rushes to their inner organs. This is helpful if you’re in mortal combat or fleeing a sabertoothed tiger. But it’s no good for focusing your logical mind or accessing memory.

Retraining Your Subconscious Mind During each session we “desensitized” her to studying and testtaking. In every session, I had her visualize in great detail her studying routine and the day-long exam. The key was having her imaginatively experience those events while in a state of deep relaxation induced by hypnosis. In that manner, I coaxed her subconscious mind to let go of the negative association between test-taking and anxiety, and to replace it with a positive association involving relaxation. Her subconscious mind learned to associate studying and test-taking with relaxation, mental focus and recall. On the day of the actual exam, Annie felt calm and confident, able to access her full mental powers. By the end of the day, she knew she’d passed. Weeks later when scores were officially announced, she called to share the good news. Ecstatic, she exclaimed, “This is the beginning of my new life!” It will be, among other things, a life free of exam anxiety.

Jane Ransom, MA, Certified Hypnotherapist, conducts hypnotherapy sessions in her downtown San Francisco office, as well as by phone and online web-cam. Learn more at HypnotherpyThatWorks.com. triggered when the sufferer merely thinks about taking an exam! Even studying becomes fraught with fear. The constant anxiety causes exhaustion, yet sleep can become elusive as insomnia adds to the snowball. Annie’s doctor had prescribed Paxil to quiet her nerves, but the drug

impaired her ability to concentrate. As her date to retake the exam approached, she was going off the Paxil and she wanted my help. We began in December with a two-hour session to condition her to sleep well at night without drugs. We agreed she’d come back in January to begin five weekly sessions to prepare for the exam.

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

47


What’s Your Business? IT’S ALL IN A WOMAN’S LIFE! Women influence over 83% of all consumer purchases!

Apartments  Marriage  Pets  Kids  Love  Home  Weddings Dinner Parties  Kiss Boo-Boos  Cars  Career  Home Repair Bank Account  Investment s  Clothes Gym  Shoes and more Shoes Bliss  Furniture  Flat Screen TVs  Change Jobs Start a Biz Momprenuer  Healthy Eating Gratitude  College  Grad School Yoga  Vacation Home  Grandkids  Celebrate  Girlfriend Time Shopping T herapy  Romantic Weekends  Wine  Laugh  Mom & Dad Travel  Spa  Green  Fine Dining  Take-Out  Learn  Relocate New Horizons  Wellness  Concerts  Movies  Community  Helping-Hand Health  Birthday Parties Holidays  Gifts Dance  Garden Fulfillment  Living a Life you Love! Women are today’s decision makers. We’re focused on them. Are YOU? If reaching the women’s market is important to YOU, then the

San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal Must be #1 in your Advertising and Marketing Mix. Call 866-703-8162 ext 701 or e-mail Info@bayareawj.com today!

It Pay$ to Pay Attention to Women$$$


INSPIRATION & MOTIVATION

THE ART OF TRUSTING THE PROCESS by Nikki Anderson

D

o you ever find yourself losing sleep over whether things in your life are going to work out? Whether it’s a relationship that you’ve been investing time and energy into for the past year or a business deal that could net a great sum of money … there are periods, sometimes brief, sometimes not where you are left in a space of ‘not knowing’. Panic or Trust the Process It is in this space that you can choose to either panic or trust the process. For many, myself included, knowing how something will turn out gives a sense of security and confidence. But really, how do we ever really know how something will turn out? Why is it that there are some circumstances in life where we have more confidence in the outcome and others we are forced to have faith? Confidence and Experience Build Trust in the Process I believe we all have areas in our lives where we are more confident in our abilities. We have accumulated enough experience to trust ourselves and the process. And there are other areas where our experience is limited or we are more stunted in spiritual maturity.

fretting over not having a partner in their lives and have very little faith they will ever find their match. For others it’s the opposite. There are places of less confidence and less ‘knowing’ for each person. I believe this is because, as one friend put it, “if we knew the answers to everything we’d never have to ask for help.” And, if we never had to ask for help from one another or from our spiritual guide we’d miss the opportunity to grow. Not Knowing is Thrilling to Children Small children move through the world not knowing. In fact they wake up each day not knowing what will happen and it thrills them … they stay curious and in wonder. Maybe there is something for us to learn from children. Perhaps it’s to stay curious, open and intrigued by what life brings us. We do have a choice … to be in fear and panic OR trust that something much bigger is at work and in the end it really will ALL work out! Maybe not the way we picture it, but it will ALL work out.

Maybe there is something for us to learn from children. Perhaps it’s to stay curious, open and intrigued by what life brings us.

Nikki Anderson is a founding partner and a coach within Think Feel Know, USA. Her specialty is working with entrepreneurs, executive women and small business teams that are ready to grow to the next level. Learn more at CoachNikki.com.

Relax. Trust. Enjoy!

For example I know some people who have very little fear when it comes to finding well paying employment. Yet they are constantly

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

49


DIVORCE AND YOUR HOME: How to Split your Most Important Asset

by Allison Gervais Sofnas

T

he declining real estate market has added another headache to couples who are divorcing … “What should we do with our home?” Many couples are forced to come up with creative ways to deal with this dilemma. With the popularity of do- it-yourself mediation and collaborative divorce, couples are able to

50

find solutions that are helpful while the economy is less than favorable. Divorce and Creative Solutions to Settling the Home Dilemma I’ve spoken with many clients who own a home together, married or not, and have decided to end their relationship. In the past many couples

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

simply opted to sell their house and split the remaining proceeds from the sale. But with the decline in the housing market this is currently not the most favorable option. Adding to the complexity, quite often one partner wants to keep the house, especially if there are children involved.


MONEY & WEALTH What Steps Need to be Taken to Protect the Divorcing Parties It’s in the best interest of the person moving out to remove their responsibility to the mortgage. If their ex makes even one late payment, it will ruin his/her credit. The obligation could also prohibit future loans. Taking one’s name off the mortgage is historically done through a refinance since the banks don’t usually allow one person to simply remove their name from the mortgage obligation. Fortunately the rates are still extremely low so it makes qualifying a little easier. Adjustable rate loans are a great option when qualifying is an issue.

There is not a perfect standard solution as each situation differs and tax consequences vary. Both parties need to be open to compromise.

What if there is not enough equity to completely buyout the other person? This is where couples can get creative. Example: Kate and Mark are getting divorced. Mark is moving out of the family house and Kate owes Mark $50,000 for his share of the equity. Kate is only able to obtain a rate and term loan, meaning she cannot receive any cash out to pay Mark off. What are her options? She has money in retirement but does not want to cash it out and pay penalties. 1. One answer is for Mark to be taken off the loan through the refinance, but remain on the title to the property.

Couples are negotiating more creatively with the help of professionals to find solutions to this issue when a full cash buyout is not an option or not the best solution. (For example a person may not want to cash out a retirement account that has hefty fines and tax penalties to buyout an ex.)

property and Kate pays him monthly payments at a certain interest rate. Kate would want to consider what the market rate is and if it is feasible to make an additional payment each month. Mark would want to consider the consequences of tying up his equity in exchange for earning interest on his money. The interest rate is negotiable between the couple; however, most consider the current market rate and the length of time the loan is paid back. Be Open to Compromise There is not a perfect standard solution as each situation differs and tax consequences vary. Both parties need to be open to compromise. If couples are able to think clearly, logically and have good communication, they will save money in the long run and have a less stressful separation. Creating short term and long term solutions with goals helps keep both parties protected. Contact your mortgage broker as a first step to find out if refinancing is an option.

Allison Gervais Sofnas is a Senior Mortgage Loan Consultant with First Capital Group - a mortgage company in San Francisco, CA. She offers residential and commercial financing. To learn more please send Allison and e-mail or contact her at (415) 218-5401.

This takes away the mortgage responsibility but keeps his interest in the property. They can decide to sell at a later date, when the real estate market increases, and Mark will receive more equity at a later date. 2. Another popular option is for Mark to secure a note on the

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

51


Mediation for Divorce:

A GOOD ALTERNATIVE by Terrance Heath

Using an attorney as a problem-solver instead of a problem-maker can actually improve the process for the divorcing couple, cutting stress and costs.

I

often get approached in social settings by colleagues with friends and associates whose marriages are dissolving. “Boy, they really could use an attorney; but they insist on doing it themselves. It’s just a mess!”


LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

they tell me. We’re all aware of the reasons why, in the face an unknown and confusing divorce process, people would choose not to see an attorney. Attorneys are simply perceived as too expensive and potentially poisonous to an already traumatic and sad situation. At a time when a helping hand seems necessary, legal assistance appears more and more out of reach. Mediation … An Excellent Alternative I recommend to my colleagues that they talk to their friends about the benefits of mediation as a means of resolving their divorces and moving their lives forward. Using an attorney as a problemsolver instead of a problem-maker can actually improve the process for the divorcing couple, cutting stress and costs. Couples must remember that divorce is a legal process—one they must go through in order to end their marriage. The process of dissolving a marriage was not designed to be easy. And it was designed for lawyers to navigate through, not the parties themselves. Litigation is supposed to operate to ensure that both parties have an opportunity to be heard and are treated fairly under the law. But we all know that, all too often, it is simply too inefficient, too expensive and too taxing on one’s soul. Mediation can Ease the Emotional and Financial Burden of Divorce

party sees the inside of a courtroom. A qualified mediator can help parties comprehend the process and ensure that both remain involved and that neither is sidelined. The mediator keeps the process directed toward resolution, thus ensuring efficiency and keeping down costs. In turn, parties gain greater control over the process, less constrained by procedure and what a court might decide. The Legal Requirements of the Mediation Process There are a few requirements concerning what the mediation process must look like. 1. It must be voluntary, meaning both parties must agree to it. 2. Both parties must be allowed to terminate the mediation process at any time and take their dispute resolution in a different direction.

they might bring in a financial advisor to assist in property distribution or a mental-health professional to assist in child custody. 5. In addition, the parties may split the cost of paying the mediator or “mediation team” in any way they choose—although, for parity’s sake, it is usually recommended they split the cost evenly. Always Have the Final Agreement Reviewed by an Attorney I always recommend that each party seek the assistance of an independent attorney in simply reviewing their resulting agreement. This is crucial to protecting the parties since the mediator has not been hired to protect the legal rights of the parties; instead he or she has been hired to assist the parties in reaching an agreement.

3. With little exception, the process is confidential and, in accordance with California Evidence Code § 1119, what is said and done in a mediation cannot be used in court against either client.

Despite using attorneys to review the agreement, mediation remains a significantly more efficient option than bringing in attorneys to litigate. And it goes without saying that its a much better option than avoiding professional assistance altogether.

4. Also significant is that, under California law, anyone can act as a mediator, not just an attorney. In fact, the parties may choose a team of mediators to help them reach their agreement. For instance, in addition to a qualified family-law attorney,

For parties who would otherwise choose lawyers to litigate, this means a significant cost savings. For all parties, this might mean a significant reduction in additional stress and upheaval during an extremely difficult time in their lives.

Terrance Heath is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Boston College Law School and is the principal at Heath Law Group in San Francisco. He has built his practice on the following philosophy “We can use the law to create opportunities for ourselves, our children, and the communities we belong to. We must never lose sight of what we want in life.” Learn more at HeathLawGroup.com.

A successful mediation will avoid a drawn-out fight and ensure neither

SF Bay Area Women’s Journal  www.bayareawj.com

53


He’ll learn about being a man from someone. Shouldn’t it be you?

This Father’s Day let’s dedicate ourselves to shaping the hearts and minds of the next generation. Men everywhere are taking a stand against violence and taking action. We’re teaching our sons early what it means to be a real man — that women deserve honor and respect and that violence never equals strength. On Father’s Day in 2003, we started Founding Fathers to show our commitment. Join us and let’s make this Father’s Day the beginning of a safer world for all of our daughters and sons. ®

Join Us. Become a Founding Father.

n www.GiveRespect.org

©2009 Family Violence Prevention Fund. All rights reserved. Founding Fathers is a registered trademark of the Family Violence Prevention Fund. www.endabuse.org


It Pay$ to Pay Attention to Women$$$

5 REASONS

to Partner with the SF Bay Area Women’s Journal 1. The days of having to choose between online and print marketing are …over. The San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal offers the best of both! 2. Your customers want Instant Gratification (so do you)! Every element of your ad is linkable to YOUR site or specific product page! 3. No more advertising dollars “thrown away” when the paper is tossed! Your advertising dollars will keep giving and giving! Every digital edition of the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal will be available … dare we say … forever! 4. From a listing in our online business directory to an integrated marketing campaign across all of our media channels, the SF Bay Area Women’s Journal has an option to fit every budget and to be your #1 business partner in reaching the women’s marketplace. And finally…

5. Women are the dominant demographic on the Internet. In fact, 63% of online shoppers are women. Need we say more?

Reach today’s most influential consumers …

Women!

Call today to learn how we can help you create advertising programs and marketing strategies that successfully reach today’s most important consumer market … women!

Call (866) 703-8163 or e-mail info@bayareawj.com today! Because… It Pay$ to Pay Attention to Women$$$


This space generously donated. Photo: Š 2005 Phil Borges

Child of poverty. Target of ridicule. Role model. In many places, girls who pursue an education are ridiculed, or worse. Yet, unleashing their potential creates lasting change that benefits entire communities and countries. They produce new sources of income. And open minds. So at CARE, we’re helping open schools that teach girls everything from science to business, while also giving them the confidence and tools to lead a new generation. Now is the time for action. She has the power to change her world. You have the power to help her do it. Visit us at

San Francisco Bay Area Women's Journal  

The June issue has arrived. Filled with great ideas and inspiration...your summer will be off to a great start!

Advertisement