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Nadja Atwal

Health & Fitness, MSM Online


By Nadja Atwal In for the long haul or just a quick trip? Here is how to prepare … I guess we can already predict the words of the year for 2020: “Corona” and “Lockdown” will be in the top 5 for sure, no matter what happens next. Are you counting down the days until you fly to somewhere near or far (wherever they let you in without quarantine) or take that train to “anywhere but home”? Of course we love our own city, but too much of a good thing is also in the “too much “ category. While booking our trips most of us experience that new mix of positive excitement and volatile fear of the unknown. As a result we roam the net in search of gadgets and tools to keep us safer (from the virus). “People are looking very much for things like the perfect mask and sanitizers and that is all useful, but strengthening your immune system is also a vital key to staying healthy,” says medical doctor Stefanie Seyda who has been researching and working on immune supporting formulas. If you read about beneficial supplements on that front, Vitamin C and Zinc have been touted as must haves and must takes . Am I overlooking something? “ Indeed,” says Seyda “Vitamin D, folate and vitamin A and vitamin B6 and B12 have shown clear immune boosting effects in recent studies.” If you are looking for that new discovery that is being (rightfully)  hyped as a great inner shield against the virus, Seyda refers to the recent studies on resveratrol. Yes, that resveratrol that has been already touted as a great anti-aging agent which is being found in grapes and even red wine? “ Yes,” says Seyda, “but please, don’t let this knowledge lead you to the next wine bar now or fill your cellar with red wine. Alcohol intake is lowering your immune response. So stick to a good supplement for real benefits of Resveratrol”. Now as for new must have travel items: if you book a flight or train ride, you think about face masks. Especially for longer flights make sure it is not just protecting you but very breathable, as you may face many hours of wearing it. For a reusable option with a Vogue-ish fashion statement, check out En Avance, the multi-brand concept store showcasing global designers came to the Miami Design District in 2006 and has taken it by storm. Also remember that the virus can enter through the eyes and sadly too often does in places that many people share. So no matter what mask you choose, it should be worn with either a face shield or protective glasses that also protect the corner of your eyes – no just the front. For ladies the My Face Shield by Miami based fashion label Touchdolls is a great option and has a more colorful version for kids. When you board a plane, have the sanitizing wipes ready to give your arm rests and the tray ! A good disinfecting wipe down, unless you carry a tray cover like Airplane Pockets (which won the NTA ’s ” best travel accessory of the year award” 2019) A must have is a disposable seat cover like the disposable ones from Seet Cuvers are a steady companion in frequent flyer travel bags now. If you’d rather choose a reusable product, opt for the washable (and truly gorgeous) ones by NiceSeats Wherever this summer will take you, staying healthy and happy requires: staying safe.

Cover Stories, MSM Online


Interview by Nadja Atwal / Cover Photo by Aubrey Chandler When Weronika Rogowska speaks, people pay attention. She is is not just stunningly beautiful, but communicates with a soft voice and great confidence while projecting humbleness and (self-)awareness. She has been modeling since the age of 17 and lived in all the key fashion metropoles from Paris and London to Milan and now New York. This plus her academic backgrounds with her degree in Psychology, make a not just worldly but very educated person to listen to. She has countless stories about the world from experience and anecdotes about people that mix well with her analytical, perceptive mind. While still in love with her model life, she has been able to create a parallel career as a life coach and mostly devices her time between New York and Miami. In New York she keeps expanding her academic horizon while Miami serves more as territory for inspiration. Pair that with her impeccable fashion style and her website plus her Instagram page – two platforms she uses which makes people’s lives better – and voila, you got one extraordinary influencer! When did you realize the desire for female influences that embody the combination of beauty and brains? I think being a female is a power in itself. All woman should realize the importance of developing her own potential. I want to teach women to never give up on their career. Princess Diana said smartly “People think that at the end of the day a man is the only answer. Actually a fulfilling job is better for me”. I love helping others and practicing positive psychology. What makes every woman beautiful is not physical appearance but passion and personality. Do you think the overflow of pretty people just posing has lead to the desire for influencers that have actually something to say? I think it’s a matter of choice. We all have something interesting to share but most of the influencers choose the easy way to exist in social media. They prefer just to pose in designer clothes and overuse photoshop. At the end of the day all of them look the same because there is no deeper philosophy attached to it. I’m trying to deliver value in whatever I’m doing. I believe in contribution and mental stimulation. If I’m able to help or inspire at least one person, then its a success. I’m against shallow, empty culture because I think it doesn’t motivate people but solely makes them more materialistic. Since you offer people guidance that is aligned with your academic background (psychology), what are the typical questions people are asking you ? They ask me about relationship advice, how to maintain positivity, how to accomplish happiness and inner peace. I’m trying to learn as much as I can so I can support people with useful advice. I see big power in team work and enhancing each other’s life. Sharing experiences and giving clues can save time and money. That’s why I’m working on a project that includes a special team of people who can help on a larger scale. As an influencer what is the main goal you have with regards to your impact on people’s choices or behavior? My main goal is to make people believe in themselves and love themselves so they can achieve whatever they want and make a difference in this world. I want to inspire others to be strong enough and brave enough to be who they are. Truth is hard to find in current times. Which people on IG do you follow that inspire and maybe even guide you through their posts and why? I follow motivational speakers, models who promote healthy lifestyle (like Nina Agdal), actors (like Charlize Theron, Reese Whiterspoon, Will Smith). I’m especially impressed by Reese Whiterspoon, as I admire her social activities and fight for woman’s rights. She impressed me with her campaign against domestic violence. People who stand out from the crowd and take action to change reality for the better are the most inspiring to me.

Cover Stories, Fashion, MSM Online, Swimwear

Miami Swim Week Preview

Cover by Richard Guaty Swim Week 2019 is arriving and not just the fashion shows but also the public Paraiso events are always a highlight.  Here are the dates worth saving. Public Paraiso Events Saturday, July 13th The Paraiso Bungalow, the oceanfront pop-up shop at Collins Park, featuring Resortwear, Beauty, Jewelry and Accessories by: Aloha Collection, Chopard, Olivela and Tropic of C. Hours: 11:00 am  – 8:00 pm Thursday, July 11th – Sunday, July 14th • Culinary Experience by Brad Kilgore on the terrace of the Paraiso Bungalow. Hours: Thursday & Friday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm / Saturday 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm / Sunday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm Saturday, July 13th Beauty + The Beat Sunset Soiree| Brickell City Centre, 4:30 – 7:00 PM |public event, RSVP required Sunday, July 14th  Maaji Takes Over The Streets at Brickell City Centre Fashion Show| Brickell City Centre, 8:30 PM MSM’s Fashion correspondent Karen Huggins chatted with Paraiso founder Aleksandar Stojanovic about what to expect from this year’s Swim Week. Swim Week has become bigger, better and  simply more interesting each year. Mind giving us a few hints for 2019? We’ll have exciting spaces, like multi level tents on the beach where we offer anything from panel discussions to yoga classes to dinners, brunches and after parties for the shows. In addition we take over some hotels where we’ll have shows, like at the Setai, the Delanos and the W.   So lot’s of different venues. Fantastic. What unique features is Miami bringing to the table asa fashion metropole? Well, it’s the crossroad between North and South America, plus many Europeans frequent Miami. Then given that Miami has a summer that pretty much lasts 365 days, swimwear is the dress code here. A lot designers do not just show their collections here at the shows and trade shows but also stay afterwards to shoot their ad campaigns in Miami. This is something that not too many cities can offer.   How many visitors do you expect this year? Somewhere 25.000 to 30.000 people.   Impressive. Will the public also be able to enjoy Swim Week? Yes, we offer a certain amount of seats at shows to the public, so this way they can very much engage. And since we have so many different locations in order to underscore that every designer is unique, every show is very different from the other which makes the whole experience even more exciting.   The press must love it, too…Oh yes, we have media outlets from around the world covering Swim Week, including Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Russia, Europe, South America… you name it. Like the public the media too appreciates that you have highly diverse shows, you have trade shows, you have outstanding events …there is really something for everybody. From our Editor In Chief, Nadja Atwal… Talk about exciting! As for exciting shows to see, it is safe to say that like last year, Monica Hansen Beachwear will be one of the top show highlights during this Swim Week. Within only 3 years Monica Hansen Beachwear has become an international top-selling swimwear brand, beloved by both the critical fashion media and celebrity world. The success of the brand, founded by Top model Monica Hansen, involves 3 remarkable factors: First there is Monica Hansen’s detailed knowledge of swimwear from her time as a top swimwear model gracing hundreds of magazine covers. Secondly the handcrafted unique cuts combined with Made-in-Italy quality and last but not least the fact that top global media outlets – from Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue to Vogue – instantly recognized that these bikinis and swimsuits create an outstanding look on every woman who wants to flaunt her curves and welcomes getting (positive) attention for that matter. In 2018 Monica delivered her highly praised show at the Miami Swim Week where she herself graced the catwalk in one of her designs; which resulted not just in a wave of international sales and media coverage but an explosion of instagram posts with Hollywood stars and international supermodels posing in Monica’s designs. Her pieces don’t just look fabulous, they each tell a little story and enable women to show a different side of them whenever they feel like it. And although the swimwear market is so highly competitive, Monica’s designs dominated this years Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Almost 70% of all the featured swimwear is by Monica Hansen Beachwear! Naturally we felt Monica was the expert to ask about the new trends. “For the current season we are seeing a lot of neon and also animal prints” Monica told us. “There is a 1990’s influence with high cut legs on a lot of the bottoms and a focus on sports bras and one piece suits showing a lot of underboob. There is also the use of plastic clips or buckles as trims.” But what is the one trend we all should embrace? “Animal prints are the big trend, so it’s not surprising that our most popular suit for this current season is the Leopard One Piece Bardot swimsuit. For next season I forsee a continuation of animal prints and early 1990’s inspiration along the lines of Versace with the Victorian prints. Also popular will be some new colors like neon mint green and coral. ” With all this we can not wait for Swim Week 2019 to start. Stay tuned for our continued coverage including all the highlights from Monica’s show on July 13th. Monica Hansen Miami Swim Week 2018 / Monica Hansen Beachwear

Cover Stories, MSM Online

Q&A Sarah Raskey Masterpiece with Nadja Atwal

Interviewed by Nadja Atwal/Photos by Erik Marthaler She’s back! A visionary artist, a licensed clinical professional psychotherapist, certified art therapist and a former graduate art therapy/psychology professor at both the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and DePaul University, MSM sits with Sarah Raskey for our latest cover story. You can find her art at her own Sarah Raskey Fine Art Gallery in West Loop, Chicago where she exhibits her work exclusively. Sarah is also the co-founder/owner of Open Avenue Therapy, a Chicago-based private psychotherapy practice since 2008. She has exhibited nationally and internationally since 2000 and had created a prolific volume of work in both residential and commercial settings. Some of her notable works: She has several pieces at the Kimpton Hotel Allegro in Chicago which includes an 8’ x 6’ three-dimensional self portrait adorned with vintage jewelry, as well as 90’ of custom carpeting. Within the last years she has also created an illuminated 16’ x11’ custom art wall for MB Steak restaurant located in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. What made you decide to make art your profession and how did you get started? I have created since as far back as I can remember and art making could easily be considered my first love. Creating felt like this whole secret world I was connected to that held endless possibilities for me to explore and it came as natural to me as breathing.  In high school I began to take college level courses and I attended university with an art scholarship. I double majored in both art and psychology as I was completely fascinated by art as it related to body, mind and spirit which led to getting my masters in art therapy.  I deeply believed then as I do now, that art held the capacity for profound healing and could be looked at even as a planetary resource. After I graduated from college I began to exhibit and sell my work out of the love of being able to share my work and connect with others, while simultaneously working as a full time art therapist at a mental health facility. My commitment to the potentiality of art manifested into my pioneering that facilities first art therapy program servicing at risk youth living with mental illness as well as becoming a graduate professor at the art institute of Chicago. I guess what I am getting at is that art has always been so integrated into the landscape of my personal life, that art being a large part of my professional or career path was never really a decision as much as it was just never a question.  Ironically during a time period when I was physically debilitated by health issues, it was art once again that I turned to and leaned into more than ever to cope and to heal. Working as a full time art therapist at my private practice during that time period proved to be exceptionally energetically challenging after having undergone several surgeries. So I began again to use my art intensely as a tool to work through parts of my emotional and physical reality, when words were not enough. That moment in time was a pivotal catalyst that shifted my focus to more of the commercial art realm.  There was something so fragile about my health and my gift that I made a promise to my art that once I was finally on the mend, I would give my creative life much more of my time and attention. It was a way to honor my artistic journey while I continued to heal and remained deeply moved to share work differently and more robustly however I could. Some artists don’t support the commercializing of art. Others – like Dali – did it successfully and felt it was simply a way to make their art accessible to more people? Where do you stand on that topic? Entering more fully into an art market was never about anything other than my raw, pure, authentic, love of creating. For years I have been deeply driven to connect with others and cultivate meaningful dialogue about art by the sharing of my self expression. I actually see it as an extension of my work as an art therapist.  My creation of highly customized personal work for clients has undoubtedly been another way to encourage people to engage, reflect and flourish in the art realm as it pertains to their own story. It is similar in nature to that of a tattoo artist by creating something for someone else that holds deep meaning for them that they can look at every day. Perhaps I also subconsciously have always perceived the visual arts to be a bit of an unsung hero. My hero. And one I wanted to spend as much time with as possible. So it has always been a top priority of mine to raise as much awareness and accessibility to the potentiality of the visual arts as possible. This means accepting the gravity of being able to reach as many hearts and minds as possible all over our planet.  In my opinion, so long as does not disenfranchise the integrity of the work of an artist, the commercialization of art can be a healthy vehicle for allowing a broader audience to be an active part of the conversation of arts value – not just from a marketplace perspective but the value that art brings to the table in the way of self care and unity. How did the Chicago art scene react to you given that you are a woman and on top stunningly beautiful? If I am being fully transparent, I struggle to answer this. Whether in Chicago or any place else for that matter, I have always been self conscious that my being a woman in general could interfere with how my art was received and valued. That my appearance could be entirely problematic. That no matter what I have done or

Health & Fitness, MSM Online, Uncategorized

Do it like Michael Phelps – Detox your mind

By Nadja Atwal Many people all over the world were stunned when Olympian swimmer super star Michael Phelps opened up about his experience with anxiety and depression and how therapy saved his life. It showed that even those who seem to have it all can reach a stage where they feel absolutely hopeless and fearful. Phelps described his alarming experience like this: “I questioned whether I wanted to be alive anymore. I realized I am the strongest person I know, but I felt like the weakest”. Not surprisingly his project Talkspace (check and their instagram @talkspace) – an app that connects people with licensed therapists –  is a massive success due to high demand. It is great news that people now dare to look inwards more and tackle their issues. We have been so consumed with physical fitness and looking great especially in a city like Miami, but we’ve grossly neglected the well-being of our mind. More celebrities are talking openly now about their past and present mental health challenges and events that may have caused them. The #MeToo movement certainly helped many to open up about their life-altering events. The average Joe and Jane feels encouraged to share their own issues with friends & family and yes, a therapist. But how can we act more preventative and improve our mental and emotional well-being so that we may avoid stages of severe depression or anxiety? Some mental diagnosis are beyond our control – but what about those circumstances where we could actively help to make ourselves feel better? If we can feel physically so much better after a few days of juicing, is there such thing as a little mental detox? A quick fix that makes us feel rejuvenated, more optimistic, balanced, and just simply better? A new trend from Europe attempts to deliver a solution and many who tried it call it a game changer. Joachim Kaeser, famous for his many inventions and treatments on the physical and mental well-being front, developed a so-called “re-setting” that helps us to rid ourselves from emotional and mental baggage that weighs us down. Having gone through the diagnosis ‘cancer’ twice!, Kaeser knows what sincere physical and mental challenges look like. “ I was my own test subject on both fronts”, says Kaeser – who resides mainly in Germany and Switzerland but sees clients from all over the world and who is planning to open an office in Brickell next year. When asked about how to best explain his Re-setting method, Kaeser refers to our every day PC: “Just imagine a virus scanner on your PC. It scans for viruses that you do not see, but which hinder the perfect functioning of your programs on your PC – often without you knowing it. You too accumulate ‘viruses’ in the form of negative feelings such as disappointment, anger, anxiety – just to name a few. They develop their own activity deep in your subconscious mind and work against you and your life, often without you realizing it.  My mission was to develop a method that activated your own inner scanner for the purpose of detecting your unconscious and conscious issues – from the past to the present; issues that weigh you down and weaken you and can cause anything from mild stress to sincere burnout, fears, phobias, anxiety attacks or depression. While real psycho therapy is usually sought out when the issues already make us feel mentally and emotionally ill, I wanted to tackle the problems before we enter such a severe stage. A reliable prevention method with and immediate improvement effect”. Many of his clients come to Kaeser with the so called burn-out syndrome which is surging also among very young people – especially in the finance world. “The increasing private and professional demands, the permanent availability and the individual setbacks that life experience brings to each of us all, that paired with the demand for mental stability is the basis for whether a person gets a burnout or not”. “The development of a burnout is always the same. The soul suffers, the mind imperceptibly changes its world of thought and in the end the body is going on ‘protest’ mode and malfunctions. So it’s a chain reaction within our mind soul and body in a spiral of excessive demands. The result is helplessness and futility, which results in an inner and outer foreclosure. In my practice, I had people who could not even pronounce their name due to the burnout. As an expert in burnout with specialized training, I then started to use my Re-Setting method for prevention. Why? Because it makes you enormously resilient. The same way you boost your immune system to increase it’s resistance to a cold or flu. The effect: Your inner and also external constraints dissolve. You get a tremendous natural inner strength and energy. You feel like nothing and nobody can stop you. You become stronger  – inside and out. Another common experience many of us have had or can relate to is being frustrated over attracting the same bad situations – and people!  No one wants to become damaged goods. So freeing ourselves from mental and emotional excess baggage that makes us go in circles is obviously something that can only help” says Kaeser.  As a result, Kaeser’s clientele is as diverse as our world itself. “It’s the soccer pro , the stay at home mom or dad, the stockbroker, the salesman, the student, the CEO. What they all have in common is the desire to improve their quality of life and the belief that they themselves may hold the key to it. “I’m just providing the tools” says Kaeser. He has often been called the Success Doc and eventually accepted the compliment and turned it into his job description. “More profound than hiring a life coach but less intense than therapy. And for all us who seek instant gratification, there is good news: you do one session and instantly feel better. Clients describe it as a mix of feeling lighter and freer” says Kaeser.  I guess all of us could use a little mental detoxing that feels like an internal spring cleaning. But no matter what path you choose for improving your mental health: get healthy,

Arts, Culture, MSM Online

My Miami – Sarah Raskey

  Interviewed by Nadja Atwal In a world full of overhyped and underdelivering artists, Sarah Raskey stands out with a rare combination of jaw-dropping creative skills, academic accomplishments, commercial success, praise by critics, plus – last but not least – remarkable grace and beauty combined with an adorable personality. She is a visionary artist, a licensed clinical professional psychotherapist, certified art therapist and a former graduate art therapy/psychology professor at both the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and DePaul University. You find her art at her own Sarah Raskey Fine Art Gallery in West Loop, Chicago where she exhibits her work exclusively. Sarah is also the co-founder/owner of Open Avenue Therapy, a Chicago-based private psychotherapy practice since 2008. She has exhibited nationally and internationally since 2000 and had created a prolific volume of work in both residential and commercial settings. Some of her notable works: She has several pieces at the Kimpton Hotel Allegro in Chicago which includes an 8’ x 6’ three-dimensional self portrait adorned with vintage jewelry, as well as 90’ of custom carpeting. Within the last years she has also created an illuminated 16’ x11’ custom art wall for MB Steak restaurant located in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Miami has a special place in her life: Sarah is the resident artist at Loews Miami Beach Hotel where she has designed and created a number of pieces including a 36’ curved and illuminated sculpture wall encrusted with natural crystals, custom carpeting throughout all of the hallway corridors and textile headboard walls in all of the 750+ guest rooms. If you can’t see it in person, at least follow her on Instagram and expect your eyes to open wide and your heart to skip a beat… Obviously we could not wait to learn about Sarah’s take on Miami… When in Miami you may catch me at… Definitely checking out a variety of new places that may have popped up in town since my last stay; but also revisiting my absolute favorites – Loews Miami Beach Hotel and Wynwood Walls are a must for me. And while I hate to…I have to give a stock tourist answer as well :I always try to carve out adequate beach time. There is no denying how brutal Chicago winters can be and Miami sun is the perfect antidote. The biggest misconception about Miami is… I think the biggest misconception about Miami is that its “best” offering is its postcard worthy beaches. I have found that there is so much more that Miami has offer. I love all of Miami’s art deco eye candy and iconic structures. It isn’t hard to peek around and find that this city has so many layers and is quite saturated with hidden gems and lots of soul. The last restaurant I enjoyed in Miami was… Byblos! Being a vegetarian it is a favorite of mine. It is this gorgeous Eastern Mediterranean restaurant with delicious vegetarian options, ambient atmosphere and these days even a swanky late night lounge. What surprised me about Miami was… Initially I found myself surprised by how art-centric the city is and how much it embraces the value of art and artists. Miami plays host to some of the most renown art happenings in the world including Art Basel and is home to a diverse and rich art culture such as the ever-evolving Wynwood Art District and Little Havana. Best reason to return to Miami aside from the weather? I am drawn to Miami’s colorful and full spectrum of nightlife and happenings and Miami’s overall “come as you are” vibe which makes it easy to just dive in and become immersed in the fabric of the community and culture. One of my very favorite things to do while visiting Miami is to listen to the spectrum of live music it has to offer and indulge in the electrifying vocals. Miami is brimming with unique spots to catch great live performances and some of my favorite spots showcase flamenco dancers. Its a specific kind of vibrance and one worth seeking out. First time I became really curious about Miami was… I came to visit Miami for the first time when I was 20 years old. Ironically, I stayed at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, and I will never forget just how special it all felt. I couldn’t put my finger on it then. But years later, I see exactly why Miami felt so special and why it will always have a place in my heart not only for my artwork but for my experiences. What happens in Miami stays in Miami…and our magazine. Any secret or funny moment you ‘d like to share about you and this city? I’ve had no shortage of epic or comedic moments in Miami, and I should probably only say that much! But what I can say, is that in my experience, what happens in Miami actually does not stay in Miami! I have serendipitously met some of the most incredible people in Miami over the years who I would consider dear friends still to this day. So while the details of our adventures may stay in Miami, the friendships have followed me home and I am grateful for that.    

LIFESTYLE, Living, MSM Online

Strategies For Real Self-Improvement

It’s not easy to break with bad habits that keep us from being a better version of ourselves. Are there some concrete steps we can take ? Rabbi Cheryl and Andrew Jacobs are highly praised experts when it comes to teaching simple but effective methods of self-improvement. Naturally it all starts with self-awareness…..     Have you ever gone through a day and when it’s time to go to bed, you stop and ask yourself, ‘where did the day go and what did I do with myself?’ If so, then you’re not alone. Millions of people get up in the morning and continue through their day without ever pausing to appreciate the blessings in their lives; without seeing the beauty of the world around them; without stopping to take a slow deep breath. We become so programmed that we become aware of only two times during the day – when we smack our alarms early in the morning and when we fall into our beds at night. That is when we acknowledge our exhaustion and the reality that the next day will bring the same exact thing. But rarely do we take the time to look around us and see our true selves, and how we fit into the larger world around us. In other words, it’s time to become enlightened and self-aware.   What is “Self-Awareness” and Does it Matter? Our prejudices, biases, hurts from the past, and misconceptions effect our perception and our self-awareness. We’re driven by habit and polluted by our past experiences. It’s very challenging to strip all of that away and perceive the world in an untainted and accurate way. It can take a lifetime to reach a high level of enlightenment. It’s not necessary to live alone in a cave or become a religious individual to reach a higher level of awareness. All that’s really required is to pay attention and observe your thoughts.   There are many advantages to being self-aware: 1 It’s impossible to feel jealous, offended, or have other negative emotions if you’re self-aware. When you’re in tune with yourself, it’s obvious how un-aware others are. You’re much more likely to feel pity when someone acts or speaks against you than to feel hurt. 2 You no longer feel the need to impress anyone else. You’ll no longer chase after achievements or possessions for the purpose of showing off. You’ll be free to pursue your true passions without regard for the opinions of others. 3 Simple things become much more enjoyable. Eating an orange or going for a walk can be as satisfying as driving a Ferrari. The most successful person isn’t the one that has the most. It’s the person that’s happiest and most satisfied with what they already have. Awareness has a lot to offer. But how does one become more aware? It’s quite simple, yet arduous. Avoid the mistake of thinking that mental exercise doesn’t require effort. Becoming enlightened is challenging in the same way eating only one potato chip is challenging.   Try these strategies on your journey to enlightenment: 1 Meditation is the primary tool to reach enlightenment. Buy a book or join a local group to learn how to meditate. Meditation isn’t complicated, but it must be done with a high level of expertise in order to get the most out of it. 2 Pay attention. Notice your thoughts and feelings as they arise. If you’re sitting in traffic, annoyed that you’re going to be late for work, notice the feelings and consider the origin. What are you feeling? Why? Are your feelings helping in any way? Have you always responded this way in similar situations? Would a child respond the same way? 3 Play the role of the observer. It’s not enough to pay attention. Strive to be objective and non-judgmental in your observations. Imagine you’re a stranger observing the situation with nothing to gain or lose. Be dispassionate. Notice the rise and fall of your emotions without getting involved. Be a scientist. 4 Be patient. Becoming enlightened is like training for the Olympics. It can take years to develop the conditioning and expertise. Enjoy the fact that you’re making small amounts of progress each day. It takes time. 5 Let go of the past. If you’re still upset that your dad walked out on the family when you were six, you’re not enlightened. Being dispassionate about negative experiences from the past are half of the challenge to enlightenment. Let them go. Self-awareness isn’t just for spiritual, off-the-grid folks. Self-awareness is a worthy goal for any human being. Enlightenment is hard work, but the benefits are considerable. You’ll no longer have to be controlled by your emotions or feel the need to impress anyone. You can enjoy a freedom that you’ve never felt before – and it feels great! About Cheryl and Andrew Jacobs: Rabbi Cheryl Jacobs Background: Cheryl is passionate about helping others on their journey towards spiritual fulfilment. Having spent many years on her own spiritual journey, Cheryl majored in Religious Studies at Hobart William Smith Colleges. She received a Master’s of Divinity from Yale University and her Rabbinic Ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary. Cheryl is a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. She is committed to empowering and enabling others to discover their best selves and is dedicated to investing in and caring about all individuals without judgment. Her goal is to always strive to understand her fellow spiritual seekers in order to provide what they want and need, while making them feel comfortable, connected and fulfilled. Cheryl makes herself available to anyone seeking spiritual guidance and direction. She is an incredible teacher and pastoral counselor. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to have had her officiate at a lifecycle event can tell you how very special she is. Cheryl and her husband, Andrew, are the parents of Abigail and Jonah. Rabbi Andrew Jacobs Background: Andrew is honored to serve as the Rabbi of Ramat Shalom Synagogue in Plantation, Florida. He has been with Ramat Shalom for 13 years and is blessed to be part of

Film, MSM Online

Film director Gabriela Tagliavini on Hollywood After #MeToo and Making Movies in Miami

    Interview by Nadja Atwal, MSM Editor-in-Chief  Gabriela Tagliavini has accomplished what many dream of: making it in Hollywood … as a Latina, … as a female, … as a film director –  with highly praised projects in both English and Spanish.  It’s a time of celebration for her right now, since she and her latest comedy “How To Break Up With Your Douchebag”  is nominated for the greatest latin film award in the US, the Image Awards. In the category for best film director, her name is listed next to  Guillermo del Toro who won the Oscar this year for “The Shape of Water”. We met with Gabriela to get the inside scoop on women in Hollywood  –  ever since the shake up by the Harvey Weinstein scandal and increased momentum of the #MeToo movement. And of course we were very much interested in hearing her take on the Miami film industry… NA: There we have Hollywood films turning women into super heroes on screen, able to take on any male enemy and yet when we look at equal pay for equal work I don’t know one industry that shows a bigger gap between men and women than in Hollywood. How come and do you anticipate any change on the horizon? GT: Women and minorities are excited to write and direct characters that are like them. But the DGA just published a study that showed that there has been a little improvement in movies directed by women, but minority film directors has hit a 5 year low last year. We are going backwards? How is that possible? I wish everyone will make more movies about women superheroes, supermoms, superCEOs. It’s our responsibility to empower little girls. I made it my life’s goal. NA: A successful  talent manager once said: Hollywood was created so ugly men can sleep with beautiful women. This is one reason I never aspired to be an actress. How is the vibe for a female director when you go in to meet with producers hoping to land a job? GT: When I go to job interviews, I dress extra unfeminine to be taken seriously. I wear pants, low shoes and very little make up. I feel that the landscape has changed since last year. Women are more united. Actresses are asking their reps that they want to work with female directors. Studios are asking agents to send them lists of the female directors. And we get to go to meetings. But the stats show that we still have a long way to go to create equal opportunity. Because that’s all we want, a sit at the table.  NA: You are one of the few female latin filmmakers in Hollywood, won several awards, but you also keep making films in Spanish in countries like Mexico. Kindly tell us about the differences, the good, the bad and the ugly. GT: Shooting in Mexico I have way more creative freedom. I can cast knowns and the best actors for the part without needing to cast a star to get a movie financed because the films get made with government incentives. I love shooting in Mexico or Europe for that reason. In Hollywood, I have to make more political decisions, but the positive side of shooting in the U.S. is that the product will probably reach more audiences because the distribution is worldwide.  NA: Do you feel that the latin community is adequately represented in Hollywood on the actor and director front? Are you satisfied? What needs to change? GT: I’m proud that in the last years, 3 Latino directors won 4 Oscars as best directors. But no Latina woman was ever nominated. In fact, only one woman won the Oscar as best director. This needs to change. It’s very important to have more women and Latinos behind the camera so they can create more roles for Latinos and women in front of the camera. I just read a study that showed that half of Latino characters on TV are portrayed as criminals. That it’s a fact. Images affect the way we see ourselves and how others see us. That’s why many people see undocumented Latinos as bad, but most are hard working people who came to this country for opportunities. NA: I lived in Hollywood California and must say I much prefer Hollywood Florida. With the best picture win of  “Moonlight “ at the Oscars, is there a new willingness among filmmakers to give Florida a sincere shot ? GT: The best-picture Oscar win by “Moonlight” was shot on location in Miami and it showed it in a way we haven’t seen it. That means, many other stories can be shot there. Most of us, see Florida as a place with paradise beaches and warm weather, but Florida has so much more. It has great crews, and atmosphere. I do hope that more filmmakers give Florida a shot! NA: You know Miami well.

Beauty, Cover Stories, MSM Online

JOANNA KRUPA 2.0  Miami’s Favorite Supermodel Keeps Getting Better

  [pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10494″] Hypnotizing lashes by Joanna Krupa Photographer: @MarcinSowa   Hair & Make up: Tony Yates Interviewed by Nadja Atwal Joanna Krupa is one of those few women I have enjoyed having in my life for many many years. One rarely finds people who have a big heart and big personality (and all that wrapped up in stunning looks). What always impressed me most with her was what a quick learner she has always been. I recall a million dollar charity poker tournament she entered many moons ago organized by Trump. She was one of the very few celebrities there who had never played before, but still wanted to do it and simply got a mini crash course on site. Naturally neither Jojo (how many of her friends call her) nor I had any expectations for her to make it even to the 2nd round. Well, … she won the whole damn thing  – for a great cause –  and next thing I know she was playing at the World Series of Poker in Vegas as one of the last celebrities standing. On the contrary, many young models I meet today who not only bore me to tears but also offend me with their I-am-hot-so-gimme attitude, Joanna never had a sense of entitlement just because she was beautiful. She always impressed with a humble, cordial, dependable, hard working personality … unlike many people from LA she is on time! Her family values are profound and rare and most of her friends have been with her for too many years to count. Her love for animals goes way beyond showing up for some charity event – which is really all that most celebs invest. Krupa has put her reputation on the line to make a stand for animals via controversial PETA campaigns or confronting celebrities who make business with selling or wearing fur products.  She would rescue dogs from shelters, keep as many as she could in her house and others she would raise funds for to pay for their needed surgeries and put them with new owners (for that matter I encourage you to check out her charity site Last but not least on the looks front she has become even more beautiful and is busier than ever as a model, host and business woman. Of course, like all of us she has had her fair share of tough life lessons. Her latest one was the divorce from husband Miami Businessman Romain Zago. But while others would have likely used this experience as an excuse to become bitter or drown in self-pity, Joanna simply turned lemons into lemonade. I spoke with her exclusively about life, loss and lessons learned. NA: You had a lot of changes in the last 12 months to put it mildly … JK: Oh yes, my life changed drastically. From being with someone for 10 years to a separation and divorce to being engaged to my new love not even a year later to now planning a family … NA: That is beyond a lot … especially since a divorce always feels a like a loss, as obviously the idea was to stay together forever when you tied the knot … JK: Definitely, I felt initially that my world was falling apart. But shock and sadness quickly turned into gratefulness. I am so grateful to have had such a best friend for so many years, cause that’s what Romain was and we are still close friends today. Our marriage was a great learning experience and made us both better in the end. The divorce also made me look at life differently; it was a wake up call, because while my career was and is important, I needed to be serious about family planning, if I wanted children. So I would have to adjust my life accordingly. And suddenly my biggest fear was: what if I didn’t find the right person to start a family with? Thankfully it was in my stars to meet the right person. And rather quickly!  I followed the very advice that I preach to others: be positive, love yourself, learn from every experience and apply that knowledge.  NA: How is your life now? And have your priorities changed at all? JK: My life is great right now. Overall I have always been a happy person and grateful for what I have. I think I became a better, stronger person though and yes, my priorities have changed … I love my work, but my significant other comes first and I want to be a mother. It helps that my fiancée lives in LA, like I do. During my last marriage we were apart too often and I learned from that to not repeat that long distance relationship model again.  NA: As if being in LA and Miami wasn’t enough, you have created a triangle that involves Poland where you have been the host of Poland ’s Next Top Model for many years. Still going strong? JK: Yes and I’m so very thankful for being the host and a judge on this amazing show. We are now filming the 7th season and I guess it’s one of the highest rated shows in Poland because we always keep it fresh with new challenges for the contestants and we‘ve had lots of international filming. Plus unlike several other talent shows where the contestants don’t get many opportunities afterwards, ours provides the contestants with real opportunities to work in the fashion and entertainment industry. And the audience keeps following the next steps that those contestants take. Our show has real success stories. NA: What other projects are on the horizon ? JK: I’m getting more and more involved in the business side of things that I’m passionate about. The cover shoot is featuring my line of false lashes, for example. I’ll be launching a few more products, one has to do with fitness and another with a very innovative skincare.  Then another project with, of course, animals is coming up. So stay tuned and follow me on social media, as it

Interviews, MSM Online, News & Entertainment, Showbiz

Martha MacCallum – Live From The Sunshine State

Martha MacCallum – Exclusive Interview  By Nadja Atwal Martha MacCallum is one of those people that generates an “insta-like” reaction. The successful host of the Fox News show ‘The Story’ continues to receive praise from the media and her audience both for her interview style that has always successfully thrived for an objective delivery and classy debate of the latest news. The gorgeous anchor with those famous light blonde tresses (no wonder she told ALLURE magazine she never even considered changing her hair color) began her career as a reporter for Corporate Finance Magazine and held a variety of positions including with NBC and CNBC before she signed with the No 1 cable News Station Fox News.   In 1997 and 2003, MacCallum was the recipient of the American Women in Radio and Television award for her reporting and  in 2017, she landed on Variety’s New York Power List. On Thursday, June 28th, the busy power woman and her colleague, Fox News anchor Bret Baier will co-moderate a Republican gubernatorial primary debate in Orlando live from the Gaylord Palms Resort in front of a live audience. We took the opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with Martha.    Not only have you established yourself as a powerhouse on primetime, but you are one of the few political TV show hosts who has not stirred up controversy. Is it because you try not to weigh in too heavily with your personal opinion or what is your recipe ?    My recipe is news and doing great coverage every night. Honestly, I am not a person who believes what I do is about me. It’s not about me. It’s about the viewers, the audience, and the country. I’m an arbiter of the news that’s coming across my desk every day and there are times when I reveal a little bit about how I feel about something, but I have a pretty good barometer for where that line is and I really try not to cross it. I’m really thrilled that the show is doing so well, but the recipe is always evolving!   Whenever I spent time at the Fox News building in NY in my capacity as a political commentator, I had a fantastic  experience  –  only meeting the nicest people. I perceived the place instantly as an environment where true friendships can be initiated and manifest. Then again as a host you must also feel that conflicting vibe of in-house competition. Tell us a bit about your experience and how you’ve navigated through it all over the years.   I think that we have very healthy competition here. We all want our show to be number one – we certainly want all of our shows to be in the top 10 in which we’re thankful to say that we have a tremendous record of success. The bar is very high for all of us and I think that we compete first against the other networks, and then second against each other in terms of wanting to have the best show. I think anybody whose successful in life has that attitude. That being said, we also are friends and we develop close friendships over the years. I’m just reminded of this weekend I went to Charles Krauthammer’s funeral and saw so many close friends from this environment and people who appreciated Charles and will miss him so much. Being there reminded me of what’s really important in life and that is friendships, people and the way you treat each other. I think that that’s something that’s really important to all of us.    This Thursday you will  host a Republican gubernatorial primary debate in Orlando. Again you were paired with Bret Baier for this live event. What makes you two a great  team?   We love working together. I think we complement each other really well. Bret obviously does a fantastic job and is based in Washington and has a great pulse for politics. I’ve covered politics my entire career as well and this is really a dream job for me. This is something I’ve always wanted to do. So when I sit in that chair and moderate debates I walk in there with my homework done because I absolutely love the whole process of writing, refining and debating the questions with our team. It is truly a dream come true for me and I love working with Bret. Bret is one of the best people that you will meet in this business and as long as we work together – that’s a great place for me to be.    After hosting debates like this where the audience has access to you, what are the most frequent questions you are getting from audience members once the show is over?   I can honestly say that they tell us to keep up the good work. They are incredibly encouraging. Sometimes you’ll hear someone who is a fan, isn’t a fan – I like to talk to people on all sides of the fence. I think it’s what makes life interesting and we just love their input and I love doing it in front of a crowd. The energy in the room is really palpable and it fuels the energy on stage. When we walk out and when we look at everybody and they’re so excited to be there it’s just so different for us because I’m used to working on a quiet set with a bunch of people. Being in front of a live audience just adds that extra energy and excitement to the night.   You are also devoting a substantial amount of time to charities, tell us a bit about the projects you currently support with great passion and why?   I’ve long been involved with The Inner City Scholarship Fund / Be a Student’s Friend program in New York and New Jersey. I believe that the Catholic schools in both states provide an amazing opportunity for inner city kids to be taught in an environment that’s safe and gives them a place to grow and thrive, and

LIFESTYLE, MSM Online, Traveler

Sweet Escape Pick : Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club, Bermuda

By Nadja Atwal Bermuda is the oldest self-governing British Overseas territory, yet all you need to know is that is has dreamy beaches, lovely locals and short direct flights. The New Yorkers made it a favorite sweet escape many moons ago, but hey, they need the great beaches while sticking to their their “time is money” mantra  (New Yorkers reach Bermuda in just 2hours). Now for us sun-and-beach  spoiled Miami folks, one may wonder why should we bother to hop over there? The answer is: cause it’s different, cause it’s charming, cause it’s inspiring, cause it’s relaxing, cause it’s genuine, cause it’s not cheap but delivers a lot bang for your hard earned buck. It’s simply heavenly. I loved my trip so much that I created a collage from my best photos I took there and printed it on canvas. The piece of personal art filled with vivid memories  prominently hangs in our beach themed bedroom.   The Hamilton Princess is Grand Dame of Bermuda hotels with a very long, impressive list of events and guest. Queens and kings resided here and we too felt like royalty the minute we checked in. Gorgeous, art-filled interior is paired with a staff that shines with genuine warm smiles and the willingness to help you any way they possibly can. We recommend getting one of the rooms with a private patio that leads you to the (very) green lawn with a picturesque Marina front.  My two young sons would run out every morning and enjoy the thick juicy grass under their feet… The older one would pick flowers for me –  a habit I had to put to an end abruptly. After a family breakfast on our patio – we variated between ordering room service and items we bought at the supermarket around the corner  –  we would take a quick dip in the refreshing infinity pool, then I would throw in a gym visit or a round of tennis, get dressed, pack the beach bag and swing by the wonderful hotel boutique that will seduce anyone into wearing Bermudas and straw hats. Then we would get on the hotel shuttle to the beach. Usually the word “ beach shuttle” creates no excitement on my end, but as I got on that cute little bus with the fellow hotel guests, I decided to simply focus on the views I could gather along the way. I was not disappointed. I saw a love fest of colors, unique architecture, an abundance of gorgeous flowers and trees and beach views that I had never even dreamt about. As a result I would look forward to this shuttle ride every day. Our private beach was simply…well, heavenly,… only this Man-O-War warning sign at the entrance dampened my enthusiasm for a minute. But those unfriendly jellyfish don’t show up that often and thankfully I came with my Sea Safe lotion (a sun protection that causes jellyfish to really dislike you and turn the other way). The sand was as they say…fine and pink….and never too hot. I walked barefoot to my lounge chair…taking my time, since my feet were happy. Once I settled in, I could not wait to get into the water though. The sea was clear and very salty – and… full of life! Little fish were my steady companion. 20 feet into the very shallow water hammocks awaited us with a new form of relaxation experience. Just dreamy…. and fun too, when you play the game ‘who throws whom out of the hammock first into the water.’ The kids appreciate the little pirate themed playground on the beach as well. I loved it because it meant they could stay occupied by themselves in a fun, safe environment. This year the hotel launched it’s own kids club that provides tons of safe entertainment.   As for my own entertainment, I  would take one of those surf boards with a paddle attached and paddle around getting lost in this perfect scenery that almost seemed too good to be real. Or I would snorkel around gazing at the sea life. Then I’d pick one of the hammocks on the beach, listen to my favorite tune while tackling the latest novel by Paulo Coelho.   On top of that, great food was delivered  (I kept re-ordering the tasty chicken sandwich with Aioli and the tacos)  ….The atmosphere was peaceful and exuded total relaxation.   When the last shuttle bus arrived to pick us up, I left eager for more. It was a perfect day and turned into the perfect stay.    See you again soon, Princess !

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