Ladies – do YOU build up or belittle other women?

In the past few weeks, I have been a part of a project that is mostly (4/5) female. I have been shocked and disappointed by the women, toward each other and toward me. Only one word applies and it’s a word I detest: bitchy.

Ladies, it is possible to acknowledge the strengths of other ladies, hell, to maybe even learn from them. It doesn’t weaken you OR your strengths. It doesn’t make you look stupid. You know what does make you appear stupid?

When you are a non-native English speaker and you do not accept help from someone with academic degrees and certifications in English. When you have little to no experience in oral presentations and you don’t accept help from someone who has done interviews, performances, and presentations for the past 12 years of her life. That doesn’t make anyone think you are stupid – you demonstrates that stupidity all by yourself.

It also demonstrates you are insecure and that you have a fragile ego. This is something which we have in common, again, as women. Most women have fragile egos, a reality which they either “cop to” or “cover up.” It’s the “cover-up” Queens that are the scary ones. That word I hate? It exclusively applies to the “cover up” Queens.

The “cop to” Chicks, in all walks of life, I respect. They all have one life strategy in common – they are confident with the skill sets they have (and those they lack), and do not feel the need to denigrate, demean, or disparage other women who have lesser OR stronger skills. Why would they? They are confident.

The female lecturers in the MILE (Mira Burri, Arancha Gonzalez, Gabrielle Marceau, Victoria Donaldson, Lee Ann Jackson, and others) have amazed and inspired me.

Though fully within their rights to have tattooed on their foreheads, “I am an international law and economics Bad Ass,” they don’t. They impart knowledge and they ask questions. In fact, they ask, “what do you think about what I just said?” and I think they are genuinely interested in the answer.

I spent 8 hours next to Donaldson during a dispute exercise and she gave me priceless wisdom, support, and encouragement. Burri is exactly the same. Gonzalez, Jackson…they all are. They are strong, vibrant women at the tops of their respective fields. They are “cop to” Chicks, who are committed to supporting and strengthening other women, not being afraid of or intimidated by women who are or want to be strong.

Imagine if all women were “cop to” Chicks. Imagine the effect on Fortune 500 companies, legislative bodies worldwide, homes, religious centers, shops and streets. Everyone’s talking about Bernie and Trump revolutions, what are we doing? There is a fully-qualified, articulate, wonderful woman running for President?? What about that revolution?

Just imagine what we could do.

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This image comes from this gal’s blog and it’s fabulous:

Back Injury in Switzerland – Part Three: Ayurvedic treatment –Dr. Yogeet Kapoor– English-speaking

(This is part of a 3-post series regarding a back and neck injury I had in Switzerland from 2014-2015. I have been asked by many people how I got “better” so quickly and miraculously. I hope my information is helpful.)

At the beginning of the process, I heard about an amazing Indian healer in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. I was cautious because I knew little to nothing of such things.

Dr. Yogeet Kapoor changed everything about this process for me.

He is a qualified doctor of Ayurveda and Naturopathy, and also a pharmacist. Yogeet sparingly recommends certain herbal supplements, one of which has been particularly helpful to me. He is the founder of L’essencce Holistic Center (, which I would happily scrub the floors of because that is how much goodness there is around true Ayuverda.

It is hard for me to describe what Yogeet does, but I can say this. Whatever Yogeet does, I walk out of his studio feeling stronger in body, spirit, and mind. There is no chanting. There are no cinnamon or lavender-flavored candles. There is also no painful pushing and pulling of the muscles or manipulation of the body that feels uncomfortable. None of that. Just healing.

I began my sessions with Yogeet shortly after I started Pilates (my physical therapy was going on, as well). My muscles were in severe pain because it was quite difficult to pull them from the “turtle” posture that had set in during the six months of immobility. I remember getting on the train (I travel 3 hours and 15 minutes one-way to see Yogeet) at the beginning and having to find a four-seat compartment. I had to stretch out because I was in so much pain.

Yogeet is a no-nonsense Indian healer. I’m not being hyperbolic. He is currently in India teaching and he teaches in Switzerland. Why? Because he knows what he’s doing. The other wonderful thing about Yogeet is that he firmly believes, ask him yourself, it’s not him. He thinks he is a vessel for healing.

And he is.

A normal session for me with Yogeet lasts around 90 minutes. He uses a hot oil concoction from Indian and this is incorporated into the muscles via a large pouch that is filled with rice. When Yogeet realized my muscles were not getting stronger, he moved into this method, having tried treatments without the rice pouch first.

I wasn’t the first one to notice the difference in my muscles after he found the perfect treatment for me. Caroline was and then Lorraine noticed. I went to Yogeet two weeks after this treatment and he said, “Yes, I know.” That’s all.

And, “all” this is being done naturally, instead of with a pill or surgery.

Yogeet’s clients run the gamut: normal folks, couples wishing for parenthood, people needing a body/mind detox, females going through hormonal changes, people who are battling addictions, folks with injuries. If there is something broken or left wanting and waiting in you? Yogeet will help you to find your solution.

Back Injury in Switzerland – Part Two: Personal Trainer – Lorraine Jenkins – English speaking

(This is part of a 3-post series regarding a back and neck injury I had in Switzerland from 2014-2015. I have been asked by many people how I got “better” so quickly and miraculously. I hope my information is helpful.)

Lorraine works at Booster Pilates with the Lagree Fitness Method ( and has a great deal of expertise in physical fitness, overall health, and nutrition. She speaks English (from the UK), Italian, and a bit of German.

Today, we joke about my first day in May of 2014 with Lorraine. My shoulders were completely caved in, I looked like a turtle. I had major balance problems because there was no core anymore, no real center of gravity – only mental fear and physical pain in my neck and back. But, I could walk and that’s what she worked with. My legs were strong…and that was it.

Lorraine is an excellent diagnostician. She knows the body so well. Lorraine’s trinity is that she intrinsically knows how much is too much, how much is reparative, and how much is therapeutic. Finding a trainer who will quickly discern what keeps you plateaued on days when your body is aching (especially during the first few months of physical therapy), what gets you loose on days when your muscles are tight, and what builds your strength and endurance. That’s her special recipe and here are specific examples of how she does it, using Lagree terminology.

The Catfish- This is an exercise that Lorraine used to build my confidence. She told me from the second week, “you’re The Catfish Queen.” This has variations and the “normal” version is all we did for three months. Why? Because I simply could not handle more and she knew it. The first time we tried the 2nd variation, she said, “this will be easy for The Catfish Queen” and it was.

The Wheelbarrow- Lorraine almost always starts with this and reminds me to feel in my abs. But, I couldn’t at first. I felt it in my back because I didn’t really have “an ab.” I could only do it for about 30 seconds. I think she used The Wheelbarrow as a litmus test to know, each workout, how my body was doing that day. It is the best way to start a Lagree workout (in my opinion) because of that reason. If something is off, somewhere in the body, you know it when you do The Wheelbarrow.

Plank to Pike- Both of us felt it the day I did this. This is a freaking tough thing to do. In March, I was told I would probably be in a wheelchair by June. One morning in October, Lorraine and I attempted The Plank to Pike. It’s December now and we do 4 of the 5 variations. Truly a miracle.

Lorraine Jenkins “Lo-J”. Wherever she is in Switzerland, find her. Lorraine has the patience of a saint. Twice, I came into the studio crying and I cried during the entire workout. Once, I was so frustrated with myself, I screamed (I never scream) at her. As I said, there is something inherent in her that just “gets” it. The woman works with pregnant women, injured women, other Pilates instructors, anyone. She “gets” it.

Back Injury in Switzerland – Part One: Physical Therapist – Caroline Wolfsberger – English-speaking

(This is part of a 3-post series regarding a back and neck injury I had in Switzerland from 2014-2015. I have been asked by many people how I got “better” so quickly and miraculously. I hope my information is helpful.)

It was crucial in the early days to locate a good physical therapist, which is referred to as “physio” here. I found Caroline Wolfsberger by happenstance ( She is the first part of the Trinity that I believe saved me from a wheelchair.

From our first meeting, I knew she was committed to getting me to a place of wellness. I remember very clearly she kept using the word “we.” She never said “you” when she spoke of what needed to be done for me in the upcoming months. This was a key part of what allowed me to have hope.

Caroline is not an “average” physical therapist. Naturally, her primary focus involves therapeutic strengthening of the muscles and joints; however, she utilizes not only traditional Western methods (ie: what we imagine when we say “physical therapy”), but also alternative practices like cupping, pressure points, etc. Early on, Caroline used kinesiologic tape placed on my back in the shape of an “X” to pull my shoulders back.

In her words, “the treatment I am specialized in is Brügger-Therapie. He was a Swiss doctor, a genius actually! And I combine this with lots of other treatments: osteopathy, manual therapy, fascia technic, etc.” Caroline studied motivational psychology and focuses on treating the person – not only the body. “I am helping the people to help themselves by improving their Körpergefühl,” she adds. As she notes, there is no translation for this word. It’s more than a physical feeling; it’s a body-mind-spirit feeling.

As you have read, she is unique. She is at the top of her field professionally. She is the only physical therapist in this country I would trust.

I have already recommended her to many people with my strongest possible praise.

Lost in translation? I don’t think so.

I remember the day very clearly (it’s in my book). About four years ago, I was standing in front of someone and trying desperately to communicate in German – my 6th language.

“Ich weiss mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut,” I said.

“Ja und nicht gut genug.”

I know my German is not so good….to which he responded, “yes and not good enough.”

I refrained from saying, “Oh really? How’s your English? Tell me your thoughts on the Oxford comma? Passé?”

Today, I was dealing with a Swisscom employee. I am already a day behind because of Swisscom and also 400CHF poorer. This to say nothing of the pounding headache I have had since purchasing their product that would make my life “einfacher.” #itdidnt

Go on a little “with me” trip, as I call it. Especially those of you who get frustrated by non-native English speakers.

Picture yourself as a technical idiot trying to explain, in your sixth language, something said to you the night before on the Swisscom hotline by an actual technical expert. Imagine while this is happening, you are watching the minutes slowly tick toward the departure of your train.

Then, imagine the manager telling you in Swiss dialect “kein Englisch nur Tüütsch” (no English, only German), even though English is one of the working languages for Swisscom. Next, imagine missing both trains and still there is no solution from the people who sold you the mountain & the gold for 400CHF. You there? Great.

Now, add on to it that you, like everyone else in the world, have your own issues to deal with.

Really. Imagine all that.

It’s more than a headache. It’s the problem, in a global sense, with customer service and general apathy toward others – in particular, those who are foreign to us in some way.

Again, I’m not Mother Teresa (read the post entitled “I’m not Mother Teresa,” you’ll see), but when I see someone is struggling, for any reason, I go where they are. I can attempt other languages (including Latin and sign language) if I have to. Why? Because it’s not about me. It’s about the other person needing the help I can give.

I really don’t care if we are talking about a 5G connection cockpit username upgrade or directions to the bathroom or even spiritual discernment. Egal (I know that one…it means, “it’s all the same” like “equal” but super-sized). I am going to try my damnedest to be there and to help.

If I were in Texas and someone walked up to me (as a customer or a mere human) in need of my help and said, “passt Deutsch?” I would never say, “huh uh.” See, that’s the Texas (dialect) version of English (official language). Why would I do that? I have no need to make another person feel small, stupid, or subordinate. I would say “natürlich passt das, wie kann ich helfen?”

One of my favorite quotes, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” We should all make sure we commit that one to memory.

In every language.