Saturday, May 14, 2011

7 Things I Learned at the New Life Expo

San Francisco hosted the 2011 New Life Expo—current name of the Whole Life Expo popularized in the 1970s. Its function is to bring together like-minded people fascinated with the metaphysical world. Venders displayed health products while authors sold books.

Long tables arranged in a horseshoe acted as the bookstore. I took this pattern to be a lucky sign—books were still cherished. Consuming literature at lunchtime in the organic food court was a favorite pastime for attendees.

Participating as a guest speaker taught me seven important lessons as an author.

1. Speakers sell books. Gone are the days when solitary authors wrote while publishing houses marketed. Conventionally and self-published authors who were speakers sold more books than nonparticipating authors who only submitted books to the bookstore.

2. Bring your own equipment—come prepared—be organized, and flexible. Murphy’s Law always looks for opportunities to manifest. Even if the information sent by coordinators promises to “provide everything,” come prepared to have nothing.
Many speakers found that they had no audio or visual equipment, including extension cords. Fortunately, we brought back-up equipment. An exasperated keynote speaker turned to Peter and begged, “What would it take to borrow your equipment?”
Conventions are fast-paced. Speakers had fifteen minutes to set up equipment and forty-five minutes to present materials. Problem solving cut into presentation time. Plan for the worst, hope for the best, and you will be ready for Murphy’s Law.

3. Many keynote speakers were not paid. Some received compensation for their travel and hotel expenses. Top-Draw speakers, such as Greg Braden, author of Fractal Time, were hired. However, there are three important goals for all speakers:

• Develop name recognition in a celebrity driven arena. Speakers who had recognition commanded fees.

• Collect email and contact information from your audience. Teachers pass around lined paper to collect attendance. Before beginning your presentation, start a clipboard on both sides of the room for names and emails. I wrote PLEASE PRINT AND PASS ON at the top and the audience did the work.

• Tape your presentation with a live audience in a professional setting. Post it on your website for purchase. A video can be more cost effective to followers than a ticket, hotel and travel expenses. It can offset your costs, provide subject credibility, and advertise you as a keynote speaker at a National Convention.

4. Readers still cherish autographed books. Moreover, they will stand in long lines to get one. Although e-reader have many advantages, one disadvantage seemed clear. E-readers do not contain personally autographed books. Fans still travel to interface with authors and collect autographs. Authors who held book signings sold more copies. People still like to see and handle books, even if they choose to order them later as e-books. My husband spoke on Quantum Spirituality and sold all of his copies of POPE ANALISA ten minutes after his presentation—which brings me to the next lesson.

5.Don’t bring more books than you plan to sell. They are heavy and costly to transport. We checked Peter’s books as airline baggage. It was cheaper than paying shipping fees. Carrying your book under your arm is a conversation piece and a great way to network.

6. Network at every opportunity and always carry business cards. Stay at affordable hotels suggested by Expo online information. Power-Breakfasts are networking opportunities. After my breakfast was interrupted by a fire drill, I was invited to guest speak on dreams with another keynote speaker. While standing in the parking lot, I chatted and exchanged emails and business cards with Expo coordinators. Once we piled back into the building, we found more common ground—a cup of coffee.

7. Take a mobile GPS! Unless you are a native, you will need more than a map to drive the road systems of San Francisco. You may want to ignore the “No Left Turn” signs, but resistance is futile. A satellite-based navigation system consisting of a network of twenty-four orbiting satellites, eleven thousand nautical miles in space was barely enough to get us to our destination—a fresh crab dinner on the docks. San Francisco’s one-way streets and few left-hand turns made Boston’s hometown, horse-trail, Big-Dig streets feel like a walk in Central Park.

“I won’t make two right turns and then drive straight to go left in this town!” Peter yelled at the GPS. He continued to search for a legal left turn while it continued to repeat, “Recalculating. Recalculating.”

Eventually, Peter did the unthinkable! He made two right turns and then drove straight. “When in Rome…,” he muttered.

San Francisco had won.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Women have big hearts and are generally the universal care givers. Yet, they are also the last people to listen to or take care of their hearts. They follow their hearts in matters of love but not matters of life. If someone they love complained of chest and arm pain, or shortness of breath, it is the care giver who would run for the phone. However, when a woman has jaw pain, we rationalize it as having too many “balls in the air” as we juggle our lives, family, friends, pets, dinner, laundry… . So, we sit for ten minutes, a long time in our busy schedule, and take it easy until the symptoms ease or pass.

Few women realize that jaw pain is a symptom of heart attack. If a busy family life can make you clench your fist and teeth, surely that is the culprit of the jaw pain, not a heart attack. Think again! Our body is speaking to us.

As women, our bodies have been speaking to us from the beginning of womankind. Our bodies tell up when we are ovulating, menstruating, pregnant and when a family member is in trouble. This information comes to us through dreams, intuitions and symptoms. This is the spirit of our being. We must listen to ourselves- our inner voices- our intuitions and symptoms. Listen to your heart and follow your female instincts. Take care of your spirit and it will take care of you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One Light Bulb at a Time

One Light Bulb at a Time

Dear Readers,
Read this to help save your wallet and our economy. The following response and email was sent to me by my sister-in-law, a 25 year breast cancer survivor and my hero.
If you read the labels on your food, you should read them on all other household products. If you don't read labels, now is a good time to start.
Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos

Very interesting.I do always try to buy “Made in America” because it has always been important to me; my mother brought me up that way! She was a small-town woman who always said, “God, Family, Country” and I have always tried to follow her philosophy when possible. It especially bugs my husband when we see items marked “Made in Vietnam”. He said those people were trying to kill him in the 70’s and now they want him to buy something that they’ve made!! Like Japan and Germany after WWII. I know, I know, if they make it better we should buy it, right? Build up their economy at the cost of our own? I don’t think so. Hershey’s, how I loved you!! Anyway, that’s my own philosophy and I don’t try to push it on anyone else (except perhaps my children, but that’s a mother’s duty, isn’t it?) I think this is interesting and just want to share it with you. Check the labels and thanks for listening!

One Light Bulb at a Time

A physics teacher in high school, once told the
students that while one grasshopper on the railroad tracks wouldn't
slow a train very much, a billion of them would. With that thought
in mind, read the following, obviously written by a good American ..

Good idea .. . . one light bulb at a time . . . .

Check this out . I can verify this because I was in Lowe's the other day for
some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose
attachments. They were all made in China . The next day I was in Ace
Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose
attachments there. They were made in USA . Start looking ....

In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects
someone else - even their job. So, after reading this email, I think this
lady is on the right track. Let's get behind her!

My grandson likes Hershey's candy. I noticed, though, that it is marked
made in Mexico now.... I do not buy it any more.
My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico ... now
I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything ....

This past weekend I was at Kroger. I needed 60 W light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets. I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off-brand labeled, "Everyday Value." I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats - they were the same except for the price..

The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the
thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO
and the Everyday Value brand was made in - get ready for this - the USA in
a company in Cleveland , Ohio .

So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that
are made right here..

So on to another aisle - Bounce Dryer Sheets.....yep, you guessed it,
Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value
brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA! I did laundry yesterday
and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been using
for years and at almost half the price!

My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for
everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA - the
job you save may be your own or your neighbors!

If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address book so
we can all start buying American, one light bulb at a time! Stop buying
from overseas companies!

(We should have awakened a decade ago)

Let's get with the our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs here in the USA

I Passed this on ........ will you???????

Saturday, January 2, 2010 K.
Cape Cod, MA
Letter ID:1823

Dear Cancer,

You have spent centuries touching people's lives in a negative way. You've erased futures. But I'm here to tell you that your days are numbered. With medical advances and intestinal fortitude, I kicked your butt twice, and know I can do it again. You are not as deadly as you think you are. And I'm not as afraid of you as I used to be. There is safety in numbers and millions of survivors make up a support system that "has your number." Many illnesses previously considered fatal are now quite treatable, and so are you. Soon, you will be obsolete--just an awful memory cured by a pill. There is no place for you in our future. The writing is on the wall. Read it and weep, Cancer.

Friday, December 25, 2009


The Gift of Community
by Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos

THIS CHRISTMAS WILL BE disheartening for many of us. Our unstable economy, dwindling financial security, home foreclosures, and job losses will not pause for the holiday season. Add health issues to that equation and the result is few, if any, gifts beneath the Christmas Tree. However, there is a bright star in our dark night: community support. We are bigger than the sum of our problems. We belong to the community of mankind. Fellowship and help networks filled with resources and hope are available to everyone. So are sympathetic shoulders to cry on.
In my work as a phone counselor for the R.A. BLOCH CANCER FOUNDATION, I recently received a call from a woman called Lisa, from California. It soon became apparent that this woman, who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer recurrence, needed a whole lot more than just my shoulder for support.
“I can’t start my cancer treatments!” the hysterical voice on the phone cried. “I have to pack all of my belongings because the bank is foreclosing on my home. I’m being thrown out into the street and I have nowhere to go!”
I heard the phone drop to the floor, followed by loud weeping. I felt my heart sink. I wanted to cry with her but that wouldn’t help either of us. So I waited for Lisa to retrieve the phone and resume her tale. Sometimes just listening is the first step in helping.
“I’m the last of my family,” she sobbed and explained that her father and brother had died of cancer last year. Her mother had died two years ago. Her dog was her only companion and she was running out of dog food. “If I start my treatments, I won’t have enough energy to pack, and my things are all that I have left of my family. How can you possibly help me?” she demanded.
Good question! How could I assist a woman in such a severe crisis living on the other side of the country? If stress is a killer, why is this poor woman still alive? Is it any wonder she has cancer, again?
“I don’t want to live anymore!” she moaned. “No one can help me.”
I told her to take a deep breath and reassured her that I have resources and contacts. I could call to get her help. Using The BLOCH FOUNDATION and the ‘PINK’ resource pages from the back of my book, SURVIVING CANCERLAND, I found the toll-free numbers for the director of the Cancer Legal Resource Center in Los Angeles, and the name of an attorney who is a two-time cancer survivor and co-founder of a legal network for cancer patients. Before giving Lisa these phone numbers, I contacted the organizations to be sure they could meet her needs.
Two days later, I followed up with a call to Lisa, and discovered that she had contacted the attorney, and Legal Resource Center. A community animal organization had also donated food for her dog. She sounded much better as she prepared for her treatments. We spoke of the statistically increasing chances of surviving cancer recurrence, due to new treatments, with better results, and fewer side effects.
“Call me if you need me,” I said. “I’m here for you.”
I was reluctant to let Lisa go, but realized I had to respect her ability, and desire to empower herself with these resources.
Unfortunately, Lisa’s story is not the exception during these trying times. Her story, however, has a silver lining, with the uplifting message that community support is crucial during any crisis. As a community, we are our sister’s keepers.

A few days after Lisa’s call, I heard an interesting conversation while standing in a grocery store check-out line. One lady complained about her financial problems to a second woman who responded with, “If you want to change the way your problems appear, change the way you peer at them.” This remark reminded me of the movie Dead Poets Society, in which Robin Williams played an English Professor who encouraged his students to stand on top of their desks to gain a different perspective on life. Another helpful way to achieve this change is by not looking at our problems alone. Like the students in the movie, sometimes we need a guide to help us process challenges differently.
Getting back to holiday basics, and viewing them from a different perspective by remembering the true message of Christmas may also help reduce this season’s stresses. Christmas was a message of hope and joy embodied in the form of a new life: a homeless infant born in a barn with a manger for a crib. This child did not receive piles of expensive gifts. He received a roof over his head, and one small heartfelt gift from each of three wise men.
In keeping with the true tradition of Christams, my husband and I have decided not to exchange Christmas gifts this year. Instead, we are going to give them to children in need within our community. This year we will view Christmas from a differnet perspective, that of the Wise Men.
The internet is rich in local resources for women in crisis. With our extended community of world-wide “womenkind” we have unlimited assets from which to draw at our fingertips. If you know anyone in crisis, please share this article to help them during the holiday season and beyond. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

OBAMA CARE- read this article and my response .

Monday, November 30, 2009


Cooler weather has arrived. Our sandals are stored away. Nature has repainted life from a fiery palette that will cool to hues of winter’s blues. What can replace a classic sandal? The timeless black leather boot!
One of the staples in a woman’s shoe collection is the black leather boot—so versatile and sexy it can be worn in formal and casual activities. One word of caution when investing in a pair of boots; don’t sacrifice fit or quality for cost. Comfortable, well made boots can last a life-time if treated with proper care.
There are many different styles of black leather boots from which to choose. Locating that perfect pair is both daunting and fun. Defining personal needs can be the first step in finding the perfect pair. It can also eliminate “buyer’s remorse” that often follows random emotional purchases.
Black Boots can be as individual in style, shapes, sizes and versatility as the person wearing them. Some boots zip up, others lace, while a third group can be pulled on for a snug fit. There is the ankle boot—great with anything from jeans to pencil skirts, and the patent leather boot—perfect for rainy days. However, given all the choices in stores and online, I think a classic knee-high black leather boot is like wearing the timeless “little black dress” on your feet. Wear them together and look attractive and confident throughout the holiday seasons.
Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos @PsychicHealing on twitter.