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The laughter of women sets fire to the Halls of Injustice and the false evidence burns to a beautiful white lightness. If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base. They may talk of a comet, or a burning mountain, or some such bagatelle; but to me a modest woman, dressed out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation. If women didn’t exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning. Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weakness. I have seen too much not to know that the impression of a woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an analytical reasoner. There is in every true woman’s heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to co nfine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. No matter what a woman looks like, if she’s confident, she’s sexy. I, Woman, am that wonder-breathing rose That blossoms in the garden of the King. The best judge of whether or not a country is going to develop is how it treats its women. If it’s educating its girls, if women have equal rights, that country is going to move forward. But if women are oppressed and abused and illiterate, then they’re going to fall behind. What is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing. Women are leaders everywhere you look--from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes. A woman’s lot is made for her by the love she accepts. To awake a woman’s curiosity is to make her pliable. For one to admire a woman merely for her beauty, is to love the building for its exterior; but to love one for the greatness of her soul, is to appreciate the tenement for its intrinsic value. Have you any notion how many books are written about women in the course of one year? Have emPowered by The RAY you any notion how many are written by men? Are you aware that you are, perhaps, the most discussed animal in the universe? Nature is in earnest when she makes a woman.



January 2010 • Issue I • Volume I The RAY movement is a gathering of women and resources to support, inspire, cultivate and propel the magnificence of women from the inside out. We are on a mission to help women see the BEST of who they are, from where they are.


Inside: s ’ t a h

16 6 8

Starting Over How the loss of income, home and credit helped one woman re-set and “un-stuff ” her life.



What gives you that feeling of purpose and meaning in your life?


Health 101


What’s the World



Curb your eating habits.

A global view on this month’s theme.

Resolution What it means to you.



A Beautiful You You don’t have to be a size 2 to appreciate or wear fashion.

The Truth Shall Set You Free Listen to your “inner nudges.”

Go Forward And get out of your way!

Relationship Resolutions Before you open your mouth, there are three possible directions you may choose to take.


Making a Change



Five easy ways to get started.

A poem by Michael Ridley.

Jan 15–17, 2010 | Jul 9–11, 2010


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RAY Team member Kimberly says...

This is such an exciting time for The RAY! I love that we are now offering our readers an online flipbook. Spend some time with us, in between our print issues, enjoying the writers you love to read! Resolutions. Yeah. That says it all. The one time of year, New Year’s Day, when we tell ourselves this is the year I am going to stick to my resolution. This is the year I will make it work. For some of us, it does and congratulations to those who do! For most of us, it’s a different story! Heck, I have a hard time sticking to no meat on Fridays during Lent! I forget, I want to indulge. I want to say I don’t want to do it! I challenge all of us that don’t stick to resolutions made on New Year’s Day to… not make them. Wow! I said it! Don’t make them. Instead, set goals that you want to meet. Write them down. Look at them everyday. Goals work. Resolutions don’t. I don’t know why resolutions are harder to stick to than goals. It’s a stigma. And don’t do it on New Year’s Day. Set them throughout the year and make them simple, attainable goals. And enjoy a New Year!



Sierra J. Sullivan Ronald K. Smith Kimberly Smith Barry Jude Landry Maria Skaleris Matthew Lupica Laura Swanson

Contributing Writers Kerri Feazell • Linda Hom • Vaishali Heather Rem • Michael Ridley Melissa Sarria • Tanya Schroeder Morgana Rae • Dr. Shari Zander Advertising Inquiries Submission Inquiries

Subscribe Online Comments and Thoughts Published by The RAY, Inc. 6531 Lexington Ave. Hollywood, CA 90038 323.461.6456 (t) • 323.461.0231 (f)

THE V•RAY is designed and implemented by Creative Unite. Connecting passion with presence and purpose


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Her Story

Starting Over

“Unstuff” Your Life



n 2009, I shared a common fate with many Americans: I was fired, I lost my house to foreclosure and I filed bankruptcy. It was a good year. I’m being serious. Instead of becoming unhinged, I’m trying to become “un-stuffed.” My loss of income, home and credit helped me focus on the things that are important to me and helped me let go of the things I can’t figure out why I cared about and spent money on before… like brushed-nickel toilet paper holders. I’ll admit that sometimes my new attitude slips away and I fade into old patterns of thinking but, slowly, I’m learning to embrace the new adventure ahead of me and enjoy un-stuffing my life. When I think about the past few years, I’m ashamed to admit the amount of energy I poured into stuff. The most shocking thing to realize is that the year I earned the most money is the year I racked up the most credit-card debt. I used my credit card for things like groceries and gas while I used cash for non-essential purchases, effectively fooling myself into believing that I needed to use credit cards. It’s embarrassing to admit, especially since it is not how my frugal and financially responsibly parents raised me. So, 2010 welcomes me with a clean slate. I’m co-founding a nonprofit, freelance writing, pet sitting, background acting and anything else to fill in the income gaps (I still project to earn less than my first professional job right out of college 7 years ago). My husband and I are living within our means, don’t miss using our credit cards, and feel blessed that we are wealthy enough to give our recyclables to people who need it more than we do. We’re embracing a lifestyle of creativity and spending time with each other, family and friends. We’ve dropped out of “the system” of commuting to a job, sitting at a cubicle, driving home, watching TV because we’re too tired for anything else, getting too little sleep and repeating the cycle for 4 more days.We are determined to live life the way we want to and not just follow the leader. As Thoreau wisely proclaimed, “I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion.” And with that, I breathe a sigh of relief that I am no longer a slave to my stuff. Kerri is cofounder of Project LACE and a freelance writer for Causecast with a background in fundraising. As a self-proclaimed hypocrite, Kerri tries to keep in mind reasons to live a simpler and more sustainable lifestyle, gaining inspiration from

We’re embracing a lifestyle of creativity and spending time with each other, family and friends.


Fulfillment Are we there yet? BY VAISHALI

What gives you joy? What gives you that feeling of purpose and meaning in your life? It seems a simple enough question.Yet, the answer is elusive and complex. As we start the New Year, take a closer look at fulfillment. Certainly perspective is critical in discerning what creates fulfillment. Most of us have addictive perspectives; we are “Jonesing” for our favorite drug — instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it now! Ah, yes… that intoxicating, euphoric buzz we get when our demands are immediately satiated. Yet, if instant gratification were in fact authentically fulfilling, wouldn’t the sense of attainment last longer? How many times have you bought something you had to have right now, only to discard or ignore it later when the next bright, shiny object caught your attention? Buy it for a lifetime; cherish it for a moment; repeat when needed. Fulfilling seems to constantly need refilling.

“… fulfillment is a state of being, not buying!”

By its very definition shouldn’t fulfillment be, well, more fulfilling?! What if fulfillment turns out to be invisible to the naked eye in the moment? Look back on the events in your life where you were just going about the business of everyday life. Yet, in retrospect, these activities and relationships provided your life with a deepseated and profound sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Imagine that — fulfillment is a state of being, not buying! It’s not wanting something; it’s not wishing you were somewhere else; it’s being in the present moment and not having a problem with it. The best way to comprehend what has the greatest fulfilling value is to imagine looking back on life from your deathbed. What is it that you would most want to have spent your time, love, money and energy on? Does how you invest in your life in this moment stand up to the “deathbed test”? Try it. Suddenly everything should become clearer, and the question of what is really fulfilling to you should be refreshingly obvious.


Got Fulfillment? Try Vaishali. Vaishali is the author of Wisdom Rising and radio host of “You Are What You Love,” heard weekly on KTLK 1150am, Sunday, 11-noon PST in greater LA and Santa Barbara and on Contact Talk Radio, Fridays, 1pm-2pm PST. She shares her wisdom at:

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Health 101

“Curb Your Eating Habits” BY LINDA HOM

There is a reason why you have a hard time curbing your eating habits around the holidays — when faced with a vast and wide variety of food and treats. season:

Here is a way for you to eat healthier after the holiday season to support new habits for a new year! Use these tips throughout the year and into the next holiday Reduce your sugar intake: Too much sugar ruins your health. Take a good look at all the food labels and be mindful of everything you eat. The American Heart Association recommends about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, however, according to the Wall Street Journal, average Americans consume 22 teaspoons of sugar. Don’t go to the party hungry: Before you head out, eat a healthy snack, even if you are going to a dinner party. When you are not famished, you will most likely choose healthier foods to eat. Drink seltzer water before you drink alcohol: When you drink on an empty stomach, it triggers your hunger.Try drinking seltzer water before you drink your alcoholic beverage to curb your hunger. Keep in mind that alcohol is also loaded with sugar. Drink lots of water: Too much alcohol, sugar and meat can throw your body off. Drink plenty of water. Try a tall glass of water and squeeze juices from 1/2 lemon into it — this will help your body detox naturally. Choose your food wisely: Be a conscious eater. Most of us eat “just because” (just because it’s there, just because I like it, just because I deserve it). Before you put anything in For additional tips and recipes to stay healthy, please visit: your mouth, ask, “Is this food going to love me back?”


What’s the World


A global view on this month’s theme

The tradition of making resolutions dates to the early Babylonians. They believed that what one does on the first day of the New Year will affect the forthcoming year. It is the first opportunity to change us for the better.

HOLLAND The Dutch believe eating donuts on New Year’s Eve will bring good fortune. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes coming full circle.

BOSNIA Bosnians eat a traditional beef-stuffed cabbage dish called SarmaChina on New Year’s Eve because cabbage is thought to bring the ingester money in the upcoming year.



1. The state of firm determination. 2. A resolving to do something. 3. A course of action decided on.

In Cuba it is traditional for each person to eat exactly 12 grapes at midnight, one grape for each strike of the clock. The grapes’ shape signifies the completion of a cycle.

res·o·lu·tion 12 THE V•RAY


What Does Resolution Mean to You? How Do You Find Resolution?

I find resolution when I put aside the drama and allow acceptance to take place.” Niki Sexton, DJ Personality

Resolution means that the pit in my stomach goes away, and I can finally exhale with relief and move on… I find resolution through hard work, honesty, truth and prayer. Kimberly Steele, Attorney

Solitude and thinking, talking with someone neutral, then more solitude and thinking, then making a plan to resolve and implementing it! Which, by the way, is the hardest part of the process! The meaning of resolution is something that will better yourself, your future or that which helps others. Kimberley Tyler, Lowe’s Specialist


I find resolution in my life by moving forward and not dwelling on the past or negative events that have happened. There is ALWAYS something positive out of a negative! Heather Plyler, Mom

I find that I need to really understand all sides of what happened, then I can let it go and move on. Sometimes it takes a long, long time! Maggie Dee, Teacher

My resolution is to treat people as you would want to be treated. Solve the problems you have or, in the case that you can’t, just let it go. Let the past be the past and move on. Bonnie Trembly, Distribution

Body Image

A Beautiful You Naturally


Striving toward a better physique or body image for the New Year? Well, that’s understandable and quite common with respect to one’s health and self- esteem. As one L.A. girl set forth to accomplish this goal she told me, “I want to lose weight in order to appreciate, afford, and wear In Style fashion.” I was shocked! You don’t have to be a size 2 to appreciate fashion or wear it for that matter.There are plenty of stores and websites you can visit to find fashion made to fit all sizes and for a mere fraction of the price, such as personally use their “Breast Shapers,” and I love them! Married women are claiming that slimming down for Check out their website, The site their husband is crucial this New Year. For intimacy’s shows you how to enhance what you have or lift up sake! However, a thinner version of you may not be the what nature and gravity answer. When I heard bring down. And you can this, I immediately do all of this without You don’t have to be a size 2 called a friend to ask the dangers of surgery. his opinion. He told to appreciate fashion or wear You can feel beautiful, me, “I love when my naturally, without it for that matter. wife capitalizes on resorting to surgery or her curves with sexy chemical injections. lingerie!” Looking and feeling beautiful can be made possible in It’s important to eat well, live a healthy lifestyle and many different ways. maintain a healthy weight for your own body type, don’t get me wrong. Yet, I highly recommend you treat My personal New Year’s resolutions are rooted in the yourself to some sexy lingerie immediately. It spices economic hardships we as a nation are facing. I assert things up without having to lose weight or change your that 2010 will be the year of change! Unification of image of a beautiful, natural you! community, friends and family is crucial for one to be spiritually, physically and mentally fit. Family and Another 2010 resolution I heard was the desire to friends are the most prevalent sources of beauty. undergo plastic surgery for bigger, perkier breasts, tighter assets, etc. I will give you a great and safer alternative, one that emphasizes your natural body. Try Melissa is a Los Angeles-based editor, artistic director “Bring It Up” products (Hollywood’s best kept secrets). and entertainment host. With over 6 years of experience, They specialize in a patented breast and face lift. Their she brings an infectious creative process and calming line was just featured on ABC’s hit show “The Dr’s.” I management style in front of and behind the camera!


Begin Within

The Truth Shall Set You Free Learn to Listen to Your “Inner Nudges.” BY TANYA SCHROEDER


he Truth Shall Set You Free... the truth within your heart that is. Those little whispers and nudges to go a certain direction are no joke. They are not your mind creating a false hope; they are the real you helping you grasp onto your destiny. For so long we have forgotten who we are and what our unique and phenomenal purpose is here; to live a life of joy and adventure... What is the adventure that you seek?

inside me kept saying this was the direction I needed to go. So, I completed my yoga training, sold my things, packed my surf board and hit the road with a good attitude and a one-way plane ticket.

It took me a while to listen to those quite insistent and sometimes irritating nudges. Things I heard at moments made me believe I was insane: “Yes, yes, sell all of your belongings to go teach yoga on an island you have never even heard of before — no worries!” But this fire

Tanya Schroeder is a yoga teacher, surfer and life enthusiast — originally from California, she’s currently couch-touring the world. She hopes to eventually take up skateboarding, ballet and Kung Fu. You can follow up on her latest adventure at:

The best part is that the adventure constantly changes — a reminder of its ebb and flow, like an ocean wave. A random side trip to the East Coast in November with an island wardrobe? Bring it on! I wake each morning as a blank canvas, and, by the end of the day, all the events My friends used to know me as “the planner have created an extraordinary piece of art. I girl.” I carried it with me everywhere, so at any am guided to be in these particular places at moment I could pencil something in or see if certain moments for reasons that the Universe I was on track. I was trying to live more freely will reveal in perfect time. Take that planner! but by the book. You know — safe, planned, controlled. I ignored any sort of off-track feel- It is no wonder then that my intended final ings, thoughts or events that did not resonate destination is an island that means “Freedom” with what my little to-do list said. Basically, I in Greek. Your freedom island is closer than was ignoring my SELF. you can ever imagine... right inside your heart.


Better Business

Going Forward

And Getting Out of Your Way! BY MORGANA RAE


ne of the most surprising things I’ve discovered as a coach is the power of doing less. Nothing will build your confidence and momentum like setting small, achievable goals that you will actually accomplish! Let the phrase “under-promise and over-deliver” be your guide. Commit to less for the sake of accomplishing more. Set yourself up for success. Scale down your demands on yourself. Here are some tips:

“Grains of sand can start an avalanche.” - Marianne Baillieu

Banish Perfectionism


Nothing will stop you faster than trying to get it “right” the first time. Learn by doing. Shoot your arrow, see how close you come to the mark, make adjustments and shoot again. Even your “mistakes” can yield miracles. What makes these tips work? You’re keeping your focus on the long term. You don’t run a marathon like you run a sprint. Look at the big picture. Set your priorities. This is the foundation of your job in your partnership with the universe. As you learn to be more efficient and effortless in your job, you create more room for the universe to contribute to you. This is where to start your journey. Start the New Year out the right way by getting out of your way and into the flow!

Play by the Rules


Play by the 80/20 Rule. 80% of your activities yield you 20% of your results. These are your low-impact activities. 20% of what you do will yield you 80% of your results — more money, more business, more health, more enjoyment. These are your high-impact activities. Focus on these. Where do you get your best results? Where is your natural talent? Put these things first! You will become more efficient and free up your energy and time. Then you can choose to add other activities… for extra credit.

Simplify the Problem


Instead of tackling the whole problem at once, take on a piece of it. For example: if your bigger goal is getting a new job, commit to getting one interview this week. Anything beyond that is extra credit. Or if you want to organize your office, commit to tidying your desktop (or just a section of your desktop would be a good start). Again, anything beyond is extra credit. You’ll soon discover that each success has a cumulative affect. You will feel better, more confident. Things will start to happen around you. You’ll make progress faster.

Morgana Rae is an internationally acclaimed life coach, author and professional speaker. She is regarded as the world’s top “Relationship with Money” coach, changing thousands of lives worldwide. Grab her award winning “Money Magnet” audio-class, an MP3 GIFT, at:



Relationship Resolutions Don’t React, Learn to Respond BY DR SHARI ZANDER

You have the power to choose your response, no matter what was said or what you are feeling. A response is not the same as a reaction. A reaction is usually based on emotions that well up inside you and burst out before you have had a chance to think about it. A reaction is unplanned and is often regretted. You wish you could go back and start over and take back those words. A response is different. It is something you think about and decide on. It is possible to choose a response that will represent your point of view and, at the same time, enhance the flow of conversation between you and the one who has said something to worry or upset you. It is possible to respond in ways that will maintain your dignity and create a friendly exchange. How is that done? First, you must decide to become good at LISTENING. Develop an attitude of genuine CURIOSITY and you will listen in a new way. Instead of listening to see if you agree or listening to plan your rebuttal, listen to see what you can learn about this one who has a point of view that is different than yours.

Before you open your mouth, there are three possible DIRECTIONS you may choose to take. 1. Ask yourself, “How important is it? Does it matter? Is it worth disrupting or upsetting your relationship?” If not, let it go (not the same as “pushing it down”). 2. Decide to wait and see. People change. You may even change. You may want to take the time you need to think about your response. While you wait, the issue may go away. Time is your friend. Instead of jumping to react... pause, reflect, pray and think it through. 3. Draw a boundary. This is where you decide to say, “No.” You are clearly not comfortable letting it go or waiting. You are ready to create a boundary. You simply say, “I’m uncomfortable, I’m unwilling and I won’t.” Any reason need not be given — that you are uncomfortable is all the reason you need. Try these and watch conflict decrease. Observe harmony increase. Enjoy! Dr. Sherie Zander did her doctoral dissertation for her PhD in psychology on “male inexpression of emotion” and has had a private practice specializing in relationships and couple communications for 24 years. Visit:

You must decide to become good at LISTENING. Develop an attitude of genuine CURIOSITY...


“It’s a new year, and I’m ready to start anew. I have resolved to let go of discord, misunderstanding, conflict and bickering in my love relationship. I am open to creating peace and harmony, joy and enjoyment. I’m ready, but how do I do it?”

of The RAY) and Join Sierra Sullivan (founder or, Lisa Steadman relationship expert and auth about: for this once in a lifetime talk the Ex and what’s Next!


Try This

How To Make Change BY HEATHER REM

1. Look at the Situation as an Observer So many times we want to let go of something in our life, and it seems difficult and confusing because we are wrapped up in the emotion of the situation. It is important to take time to step back and be an Observer. Looking at the situation from the outside and observing gives you a more real perspective on the situation. Tell yourself, “Today I am going to put my emotions aside.” Then take a deep breath, relax and observe the situation as if it was not yours, but a friend’s. This can help in gaining clarity, giving you the steps to move forward.

2. Let Go of the Fear Look at the issue and ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” This can help you see what is holding you back. Then ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen if I made the change?” Sometimes the fear may not be a reality. Once you wrap your arms around what the fear is, you can make a choice to walk through it or realize that it is not “real.”

3. Don’t Do It Alone Is this something that you should be talking to a professional about? Coaches, therapists and people in your inner-circle (family and friends) can be a great support system for you while you make the change that is best for you. You don’t have to do it alone.

4. Be Good to Yourself Many times we are caught up in a situation that we want to let go of. As the stress builds, we don’t take care of ourselves, which leads to making difficult situations even worse. Take time out for you. Exercise, eat right and drink lots of water. Make a list of ten things that make you happy and start to weave them into your life. When you feel good about yourself and you are doing the things that you enjoy, letting go can become easier.

5 . Ta k e a S t e p To w a r d s t h e F u t u r e Make a list of what you can do to start making the change. List all the things that you directly control to change the situation and take one step at a time to start letting go. Start with the easiest one first. You might see that each item becomes easier to let go of by taking the initial step to take control of the situation. Heather Rem of “InnerPower Coaching” is a Personal Transition Coach specializing in working with individuals in career and life transition. She coaches her clients to accomplish their goals, conquer their fears, eliminate obstacles and move forward in their lives.



Resolutions, the words like emotions pent up like water behind an earthen dam, Waiting to burst free to pass the test, to win the beauty contest exam Vices more often the resolutions try to purge Often too often only a weak days surge, Most wait to build up for the New Year, The baby crawling gives us all the courage to shed our fears Bursting through in a torrential flood to habits sweep, No power in Earth can withstand the resolutions we now will keep, Soon the focus spreads, the waters shallow and begin to slow Those lost habits thought gone again begin to grow A sense of loss and sense of defeat, Doomed to wait until another year-end to greet If resolutions were more like the dpi of images to view, The mirror would daily reveal the clues, The life one leads would be in vivid etch, Strengths and weaknesses to see, not hide or stretch Goals from within to achieve without fear, A daily check in front of the spirit’s mirror What you see is what you are and what you may desire Acceptance is a great step to gaining what you aspire. Failure is not an option, only a tweak of the contrast knob A peace with oneself each challenge now a gentle lob. 26 THE V•RAY

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V•RAY (virtual RAY ) Resolutions Issue

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