Why this Election Matters . . .

imagesAs a humanist, activist and advocate, I am constantly perusing the internet for insightful information worth sharing with my readership and to advance my own study and interest with the human condition. I was thrilled to read the newest post by dear friend, Laura Beth Kerr Gilman, who has just launched a powerful blog: Struggling Optimist. LB’s most recent offering is so thought provoking, so well researched and written, that I feel compelled to share it here. LB’s words of wisdom truly capture every thought, feeling and the very essence of my soul on a particular topic, specifically why this coming election matters so much as it pertains to women’s reproductive rights.

Regardless of where you fall in the conversation of abortion, I ask that you please read this article.

Leave a comment here, and on The Struggling Optimist. We need to raise awareness. We need to RESPECTFULLY keep this conversation going, and we need to ensure that the rights of all women in this country are protected, not just by the President we will elect to office this Fall, but by their designated officials.

The Struggling OptimistAbortion in 2016: Why this Election Matters


Grey Brain Matters



Monsanto is at it again and this time they are using what I call “academic influence” tactics I actually learned about as a young girl. This carefully orchestrated dance of discreetly hidden influence is the issue as I see it in the PR war on misinformation regarding GMOs.

I consider myself an intelligent, free thinking and due diligence oriented kind of gal. Perhaps these traits were influenced from my youth, growing up with a father who was a professor, then department chair of a prominent Ivy League university. I learned by watching my father and his colleagues struggle for survival in the academic jungles of higher education. I observed at a young age how the “system” works at most bastions of the higher mind regarding funding, grants and support for our esteemed collegiate institutions.

It’s simple. Trace the statements, reports and findings that influence public opinion and policy to money accepted by the hands of vetted intellectuals who are willing to sway their opinions and research. Simply, a study is only as good as the money behind it. My first cousin, renowned author, Allegra Goodman wrote Intuition, which although fiction, is entirely based on real truths and empathetically resonant characters. What can I say? The ethos of higher learning in its highest and less than best forms is deeply embedded in my psyche, as well as my family tree.

I could write ad nauseam dissecting the puppeteers behind this flawed system, but I don’t need to because there are powerful emerging documentaries like BOUGHT (available as a free download), and excellent articles such as this one , by Tom Philpott, recently published in Mother Jones, one of my favorite open-minded and intellectually riveting magazines. The piece is a thorough, essential and revelatory article regarding the disingenuous nature of connections between Monsanto and our highest and most lauded educational environments.

Please understand, however, I am not posting links to Bought or Mr. Philpott’s Mother Jones article to imply that all prominent scientists cannot, or do not, form their own educated opinions – merely that some of those opinions are highly manipulated and used to influence and thereby further manipulate the masses, i.e. “regular folk” like you and me.

To stay independently educated and informed requires tremendous effort against such insidious tactics. Please watch the movie, read and share the article and lend your voice to causes like Millions Against Monsanto by OrganicConsumers.org​, Documenting Hope and JustLabelIt.org.

My Pal Gwyneth

Gwyneth-smallIf I met Gwyneth Paltrow in person, she and I would practically be besties. Well, maybe that’s a tad of an overstatement. I wouldn’t want to give the impression that I have stalker tendencies. Those are reserved for the ilk of my psycho-ex 3; a story I’ll save for another blog. No, I’m simply referring to the respect and admiration I have for the Shakespeare in Love & Iron Man series star turned fempreneur mogul. I actually have never met Gwyneth, but came close when I attended what I call the inspirational-estrogen-fest aka BlogHer ’15 convention. There were many memorable moments at this summer’s conference, but one of my favorites was hearing Gwyneth Paltrow’s keynote address to the 3,000+ female bloggers present in the NYC midtown Hilton. I am impressed with Gwyneth, not just because of her prodigious talent, her company Goop, or her basic “I-take-no-S#*T-from-anyone” empowered attitude. I am a true fan of hers because of her positions & opinions as a holistically oriented mama. And I think Gwyneth gets where I am coming from because when I wrote about, and tagged her on Instagram, she actually responded with an emoticon! Yes, SHE did – not someone on her behalf – and it wasn’t just a smiley face. It was the kind of emoticon you’d have to search for because it was a more elaborate representation of her approval and acknowledgment of what I had posted. How cool is THAT?! So that’s why I have decided, if she and I were to meet in person, I’m sure we’d be besties . . . or at least we’d have a lot in common. In fact, I’m sure you would get along well too. (Here is where the head scratching commences.) What do you and Gwyneth Paltrow have in common? A LOT if you’re one of the concerned Americans who is choosing to bring in the light and fight “the DARK Act”. What is that, you might ask? You can visit justlabelit.org for more info. but here is the short version:

Congress is considering the Deny Americans the Right to Know – or DARKAct, which would block all states from requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Big Food lobbyists – including the industry front group Grocery Manufacturers Association – are pulling out all the stops to get this bill passed. I just added my name asking my representative to oppose this reprehensible bill (yes, “reprehensible” really is the right word).

Please drop me an email: Shira@ShiraAdler.com to ask me more about this if you’re unfamiliar with the topic. If you HAVE heard about it, then read and sign here!

If you want to learn more about GMOs or do your own research, start by visiting my website and check out the resources I have listed on my homepage about GMOs, Monsanto and food culture in general. Don’t be fooled. GMOs aren’t about feeding the world, or good science . . . the more you research, the more you’ll know. And even if there were an upside to GMOs, hiding them or altering our food without allowing us – the consumers – the right to know and choose if we are selecting products and produce that are GMOfree is the highest form of unethical behavior in my book.

It’s my body, my kids, and my right to know what I choose to eat, and feed my family. Gwyneth agrees with me. I am pretty sure you will too.

So thank you for caring and SHARING! Every voice and vote counts. PLEASE do your part, and help get the word out.


My 1st Huffington Post blog – My “Reluctant Lesbian” Mother & Gay Culture

Photo courtesy of securest.com

Photo courtesy of securest.com

Words cannot express how honored and happy I am to have my first Huffington Post blog go live.  I am so grateful to my mother, about whom it is written.  Mama, you taught me to use my voice creatively and unabashedly.  It’s because of you I am the #humanist, #activist & #advocate I am today and have a #ThroatChakrawithNoOffSwitch.



Please enjoy the post which meets at the intersection of #popculture and #gaypride.  As always,  comments are much appreciated (leave here and on the Huff Post page too!)  I love to hear why stories like this resonate with those who take the time to read, share and most importantly, care.

Jamie Clayton, transgender actress from Sense8. Photo courtesy of afterellen.com

Jamie Clayton, transgender actress from Sense8.
Photo courtesy of afterellen.com


#MaM – The Beat Goes On

#MaM with HMN
I wrote my first March Against Monsanto blog on the eve of the NYC event dedicated to fighting the dazzling array of disinformation that exists about GMOs and other world evils forced upon us by the agribusiness behemoth Monsanto and its allies. And truthfully, I am still on a high from the event that took place not just in NYC, but cities around the world on May 23rd. The flame has been ignited and I am more determined than ever to be a part of the solution, to shatter the myths, and bring the light of truth to the masses, or at least the appreciated audience reading this blog right now. As the log line of the soon-to-be-released PurePlant Nation documentary says: “The truth is a stubborn thing. It doesn’t go away.”

For those reading this, I may be preaching to the choir, but if you’re new to the subject matter, I warmly welcome you to the conversation. As a brief bit of history, Monsanto is the company most frequently identified among activist groups for the inception of the greatest sins against food culture, consumer choice, TPP Fast Trackagricultural freedom, product labeling, organic, small farmers, the rapidly dwindling bee population, seed monopolies, mono-crops, pesticide residues and GMOs. Quite a laundry list isn’t it. Here’s how it all began . . .

In the ‘60s & early ‘70s, Monsanto specialized as a wartime contractor responsible for creating Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide used for deforestation during the Vietnam War with alarmingly disturbing results including muscular dysfunction, inflammation, birth defects, nervous system disorders and various cancers. Lawsuits over benefits for veterans who were exposed to dioxin, the primary culprit in Agent Orange, still rage on four decades later. In 2013, Monsanto ensured itself special political protection as a biotech company. It was named under a rider in the House Agriculture Appropriations Bill and as such could not be sued by any organization, individual or institution or have a federal ban imposed placed on it preventing it from creating more GMOs. After all, Monsanto doesn’t just make chemicals anymore. . .

Monsanto is also into SEEDS. Sounds lovely, right? Not until you see what it’s really doing. Monsanto first buys all of the independent seed growers then genetically modifies the seeds (GMO) that comprise the majority of our primary crops in the US including soybeans, corn, canola, sugarbeets, alfalfa (which can contaminate even organic farms via wind carriers), tomatoes, fruits & most vegetables that can be modified (potatoes resist modification so are generally GMO free). Monsanto even makes growth hormones for the dairy industry’s cows. The GMO crops are then used not just to feed unsuspecting and uninformed consumers, but become the foundational feed for commercial farmers who produce the majority of this country’s meat and dairy livestock – the products most Americans don’t think about when buying groceries or eating out. And in recent months, the USDA, in their infinite wisdom approved a non-tested GMO Arctic Apple, produced by a Canadian company to be included in unsuspecting fast food customer’s kids meals under the guise that they won’t turn brown. When will the madness end? But wait, there’s more . . .

Since the 1980s Monsanto has also controlled and enforced PATENTS on all seeds for these products through its long history of Gestapo-like tactics forcing sometimes unwitting small farmers to pay through the nose to use these seeds annually instead of allowing what most old-fashioned farming practices advised: harvesting, cleaning and replanting seeds season to season. Buy, patent and genetically modify the majority of our seed sources and you control the population’s food culture.

Monsanto doesn’t stop there. After all, it’s still in the chemical business. In fact, the purpose of having controlled the seeds was to ensure the crops were resistant to their primary profit margin product – pesticides! But as nature predicts, eventually crops (even now genetically modified crops) adapt, learning to thrive despite the infusion of highly toxic crop dustings. That’s why other companies like Syngenta, Bayer, DuPont, BASF and the next big bad wolf, Dow chemicals, jumped on the bandwagon to create other non-resistant pesticides. Monsanto still controls and produces the flip side of the market – the toxic pesticides that we have been using in dangerous amounts for the last decade and a half. Large farms use Roundup or other noxious substances to spray the majority of our crops also supplied to this country’s vast majority of markets and restaurants. You’ve heard of Roundup? Heck it’s available in every Walmart, Target and hardware store across this great nation of ours.Roundup boob

Insidious doesn’t even come close to describing the seemingly unstoppable power and politics behind this monster movement. Monsanto’s pesticide products leave behind residues. Studies on GMOs and it’s neuro-toxin laden counterparts, pesticide residues, are being linked to ADHD, autism, diabetes, celiac and gluten-intolerance, obesity, liver disease, lowered sperm counts, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease. Generally speaking pesticide residues have dangerous effects on hormonal, reproductive, neurological and immune systems in the human body. March Against the cause, not cancer

The combination of eating non-organic, GMOs has produced a largely unseen, but clearly proven health epidemic the likes of which we haven’t considered since biblical times.

Being a Holistic Mama against Monsanto is like stepping into David’s sandals as he faces Goliath, only now David has facebook, google & twitter! And David isn’t just the holistic mom, he’s the hipster millennial in Brooklyn, the struggling small farming family in the Midwest and the fearless scientist who is willing to share what his grant funders never wished to be revealed.

So there is hope! There is a consciousness rising as evidenced in the content bursting forth like an unencumbered organic seedling. Hope comes in the form of grass roots organizations and independent filmmakers. Monsanto is a hot topic covered in films such as Food, Inc., GMO OMG, and the soon-to-be-released film PlantPure Nation (opening in select theatres July 4th) written and directed by Dr. T. Colin Campbell (author of The China Study) and his son, Nelson Campbell.

So what more can we do? Lend our voices, share information and make small but significant changes in our own family’s lives by reducing the amount of toxins we use in our homes and on our food. Join or start (as I did) a local Holistic Moms Network chapter.HMN logo Support a local CSA (community supported agriculture, think farm co-op). Go see PlantPure Nation when it comes out July 4th. Use social media to spread the word about the national March Against Monsanto in DC this October, or at least read articles, tweets and posts about Monsanto to educate yourself and others.

The March Against Monsanto is a chance to stand up for the most fundamental of principles: to protect the planet, our food and the vibrant health and wellness of our children for generations to come.1369580886-soon_to_be_mom_wears_an_anti_monsanto_sign_on_her_stomach_sayin_made_with_non-gmo_ingreients

Watch this video taken at the NYC March!
For more information, resources and links, visit: ShiraAdler.com and to find out about the March Against Monsanto movement visit March Against Monsanto.

Want to know more? I love to share, connect and inspire through my social media platform, healing practice and live workshops. For more information visit: ShiraAdler.com and follow on FB, , Google+, Instagram & Pinterest & Twitter!

March Against Monsanto

Roundup boobUnless you’ve been living under a rock, by now most people have at least heard of Monsanto. It’s the company that went from producing Agent Orange in the late ‘60s-early ‘70s to creating GMOs and then patenting the seeds! And last, but not least, it’s the same company that makes the favorite household brand of herbicide – Roundup,CBhkkV6UIAAiLmq.png-large that good old fashioned dioxin laden pesticide used on the vast majority of our homes and commercial crops in the US. Simply put Monsanto is an agribusiness behemoth with a proven history and potential to cause more damage than the Bubonic plague! toxic apple

Why get involved and why care you might ask… because being a mindful parent is a global practice that transcends any single philosophy, culture or faith tradition. And especially now that my kids are old enough to carry a consciousness, I am determined to walk my talk. This is why, whether my kids and partner complain or not, we are joining the March Against Monsanto this weekend in NYC. March Against Monsanto

So why the March Against Monsanto? As you might have guessed, part of my belief is that companies like Monsanto are no-goodniks and ought to be outed, or at least understood for who and what they really are. My kids say I am preachy about things like this, but considering my background, that’s not surprising. I was raised the eldest of an intellectual/hippie Berkeley and Harvard grad. Dad, and a lesbian poet mother whose pride and joy were lifetime memberships in Hadassah and the National Audubon Society.

Since becoming a mother, I’ve turned my activist tendencies more and more towards holistic endeavors – partly because as a mom I want what’s best for my kids and this includes rallying against the military-industrial complex that has created food capable of killing us all. And Monsanto has had the dubious honor of being at the top of my modern plague list at my Passover Seders for the last few years running. Protecting my children and the rest of us is the perfect synthesis of what it is to be a Shamanistically oriented Jewish parent.

To me Judaism and Shamanism go together like lox and gluten free bagels. At its core Judaism is Shamanistic because it’s an earth based religion built on agricultural holidays, eco-conscious ethics, and kabbalistic principles designed to teach us how to be stellar spiritual beings having a human experience. And part of our experience is an implied edict – take better care of our environment and each other. At least this is my summary of an eco-conscious Judaism.

I consider the fight against Monsanto to be the pinnacle of eco-conscious epicness – as inspirational as the biblical tales with which many of us were raised. Ours is a story of David and Goliath, only David is now a hipster millennial in Brooklyn and the struggling small farming family in the Midwest. And David now has facebook, Google plus and twitter accounts to preach the gospel!

The March Against Monsanto is a chance to stand up for the most fundamental of principles, taught in most faith traditions worldwide. Education and preservation of our planet and our bodies (the temples of our souls) matters. If the trend continues we will allow Monsanto to do irreparable damage to us, our children and generations that follow. And I plan on doing what I can to ensure the planet, our food and the vibrant health and wellness of our children are ensured for generations to come. Grandparents ate organic

What can any of us do about harmful GMO’s and pesticide residues? We can lend our voices, share information and make small but significant changes in our own family’s lives by reducing the amount of toxins we use in our homes and on our food. You can join or start a local holistic moms network chapter. Support a local CSA (community supported agriculture, like a farm co-op). Go see PlantPure Nation when it comes out July 4th. Use social media to spread the word or at least read articles, tweets and posts about Monsanto, to educate yourself. HMN logo

PS This weekend’s March Against Monsanto is not just happening in NY on Saturday, May 23rd, it’s happening simultaneously across the entire country and around the world! Join me in NYC! For more information visit the Holistic Moms Network event notice. And to find out about a march in your area, visit: March Against Monsanto.

Must Find non-GMO food

For further reading and information:

March Against Monsanto: Organic Consumers Association

The New Yorker: Seeds of Doubt

Global Research: The Complete History of Monsanto: The Most Evil Corporation on Earth

Institute for Responsible Technology: GMO dangers

Food Revolution Blog: Former Pro-GMO Scientist Speaks Out on the Real Dangers of Genetically Engineered Food

History.com Agent Orange

RT: Monsanto Protection Act Quietly Extended by Congress

Vanity Fair: Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear

Counter Punch: Are Monsanto’s Worst Fears Coming True?

Pop Culture Counterpoint

surprised-babyThey say a picture is worth a thousand words.  In the case of two recent upheavals in the zeitgeist, I’d say that’s an understatement.

I’m speaking about the uproar caused when Derek Jeter’s super model girlfriend, model Hannah Davis posed suggestively – I’d say pornographically – on the cover of Sports Illustrated newest swimsuit edition.  My gosh, you didn’t have to imagine much, as her swimsuit bottom, revealed her freshly shorn or retouched pubic region much the way an overcooked pamper might reveal too much of an infant’s behind. HD.SI_-273x300

Next up in the cacophony of social chatter was the leaked photo of Cindy Crawford looking more like a human being and less like an airbrushed alien Barbie Doll.  Really?  Did we really need a national debate to engage us all because I saw Cindy’s belly and it didn’t make me want to stop the car and hurl myself off the highest bridge.  B9uP_e7IEAAcx-i

What does this hysteria to hyper sexualize and hyper analyze our body types really speak to?  Is it aspiration?  Envy?  Hatred?  Is it Sex?  Love?  Pornography?  Are we feeling overprotective of ourselves, or our children?  Are we getting in touch with self-like, or self-loathing.  Clearly there must be a reason that all the chatter has surfaced, but I’d like to offer a slightly more out-of-the box argument.  And it starts with gratitude.  

No matter what the issue, no matter how pro or con we feel about Sport Illustrated or Cindy Crawford, I am grateful we live in a culture where art and commerce, where freedom of speech and freedom of expression is ingrained in everything we do.  It’s in our DNA.  But freedom comes with a price.  We have to think right around it.  We have to respect freedom.  And we must do anything and everything in our power to understand that with free speech comes responsibility.

There are responsibilities that come with Sports Illustrated’s artistic choice to infiltrate the vision of minors with Hannah Davis’ peek-a-boo love patch. There must be an awareness that such images create and promote damaging responses in young children. Hyper sexualized images sexualize childhood.  Sexualized childhoods interfere with normal childhood development.  Sexualized images, especially of infantilized (“pre-pubescent”) women force children into an unhealthy state of being because, by their very nature and age, children are not equipped mentally, emotionally or physically, to deal with these images. These images promote stereotypes, teach highly inappropriate gender roles and cause body dysmorphia – a HUGE issue for tween and teen girls in this country.  

And the effects go beyond seeing the magazine in supermarkets, 7-Elevens or gas stations.  They permeate the world at large.  Did you know that ISIS, the current world-wide incarnate of evil and one of the greatest scourges on earth, is full of male members who are completely addicted to porn?  One of the most painful and heinous acts by its members is to go into villages and kidnap women for the sole purpose of mutilating, raping or forcing them into sex slavery.

This conversation needs to go deeper than Ms. Davis’ “down there”.  We have all but obliterated the delicate balance that must be regained between having the honor of living in a free and open culture and society, and understanding the ramifications of running roughshod over this treasured fact.  We are charged with the responsibility of considering the impact our personal and artistic freedoms has on the landscape of the souls of children and young women all around the world.   

Having been raised in a rather artistic, intellectual and creative home by poet and professor parents, I tread carefully when it comes to offering critiques that could be construed as censorship.  I dream of a world where all thoughtful, mindful and intentional acts of art and personal expression are received without fear of repercussion.  I do not wish for anyone to have to live behind closed closet doors for safety’s sake.  We should not live in a world where evil incarnate such as terrorist and rebel organizations commit daily heinous acts of mutilation, torture and rape.

On the other hand, we’ve seen a bit more of a true Goddess.  In a rare and naturally un-retouched pose leaked of 49 year-old super model Cindy Crawford we glimpse a spiritually sexy mother whose body is sexy, strong and REAL.  Wonderful.  For all you haters please know for most of us, Cindy Crawford is the embodiment a grown women who represents true beauty.  She is a beacon of personal and artistic freedom flaunting imperfections and experience in her image – honestly exhibiting signs of normal life and function, such as eating, birthing and aging.  

I don’t know if the photo of Cindy Crawford leaked to the world was agreed to by Ms. Crawford.  I don’t think it was.  I’m sorry if its caused her embarrassment, but for the rest of us, it’s a not-so-subtle reminder that sometimes, even in the midst of a social leak, there is some good that can come from the breach.  I’m proud to be reminded that even one of the most beautiful women in the world is truly a flesh and blood creature whose life reminds all of us that beauty can take many forms, and why not?   Freedom of speech in this case is a reminder that perfection is indeed perfect when it is surprising, provocative and created by nature.

So most importantly, amidst the screaming, posting, tweeting, writing, producing and reacting to the images that permeate our culture, first – be grateful that we are able to do, think, feel, and say whatever we wish.  And from that gratefulness, I pray there will be a growing mindfulness.  Then we can really start to get somewhere as a nation, on behalf of all our humanity – and all of our children.


Below are links to read, share and offer support on the important topics covered in this blog:
2) Human Trafficking.org
3) WomensLaw.org
4) Katonah Education Exchange Program (KEEP)


[N.B. Thank you to ChuckWebster for the surprised baby shot, lipstickandpolitics for the beautiful “I Am Powerful” jpeg & tweep Melissa Atkins Wardy for your excellent piece: Add To Your Grocery List Some Mainstream Porn and powerful book Redefining Girly.

And thank you to Andy Kadison. This blog post was inspired by, and finessed after passionate discussions with you, my partner and sounding board. I love you for acquiescing when I’m right, and aiding me by aligning and brilliantly editing my intentions and words. You are the yin to my yang.]

Bruce! My Valentine’s She-ro!

Self-love-and-the-art-of-letting-go“… Considering the violence and discrimination that transgender people endure, no one would go through this except for the most profound of motivations: to be authentic to one’s inner self.” (Nicholas Kristof, NY Times)

Authenticity to one’s inner self? It’s not just a powerful ideal, it’s the embodiment of SELF-LOVE and the perfect topic to discuss this close to Valentine’s Day.

I have never been the biggest fan of the Hallmark infused fury and blatant commercialization of Valentine’s Day. Maybe I was influenced, during my childhood, at least, having grown up in a somewhat observant Jewish household. Similarly to Halloween (aka All Saints Day), my Orthodox day school administrators didn’t go in for the whole “St. Valentine” experience. But as a hopeless romantic, I craved lace doily paper heart cutouts and corn syrup sweets emblazoned with Red40 tinged messages. Simply, I have always loved the idea of, love.
Yet I always felt this holiday would be better served by encouraging a different focus than often shallow overtures of affection represented by copious mounds of refined sugar laden cocoa bean products. Surely there has to be something deeper. What ever happened to genuine reflections of intimacy, self-love & authenticity?

There is one such light that shines in the world, capturing the essence of these far nobler sentiments. One person stands out in my mind as currently reflecting a true source and abundant supply of self-worth and self-respect, pillars that support the very foundation of where LOVE should begin. For whom does my supportive spotlight shine? A former hero, a Phoenix rising, a self-love ambassador, Bruce Jenner. article-2556358-1B3304E000000578-509_634x912

I do not wish to eclipse the significance of the accident Bruce was involved in this week, or lead us into a sideline discussion about paparazzi, who regularly engage in hapless car chases to hunt down their “celeb du jour”. Of course my prayers are with the family of the innocent Calabasas woman tragically killed, but this is about the celeb herself.

A wise friend of mine recently posted on FB:

“I realize that there are going to be a boatload of Bruce Jenner jokes in the coming months as he publicly goes through the change from man to woman, but I will not jump on that bandwagon. I can’t even begin to imagine the courage it has taken to evolve from an Olympic gold metal decathlon winner – “the world’s greatest athlete” – the idol of every kid in America, and silently, for so many years, feel not like who he really is inside. And now, because he can’t help but be a public figure, he’s going to document the change for all to see. In a way, because he’s caught in the Kardashian vortex, he has no choice but to do it publicly.

I’ve never seen a moment of the Kardashians, so I don’t know what Bruce is like on the show. I don’t really care, either. I just think he’s the bravest guy I know…and I hope (her) life as a woman will be as triumphant as his life as a man.”

As I read Nicholas Kristof’s words (quoted at the top of the blog), I feel a rising up of emotion, a powerful empathy, and a sense of peace. More than her physical body morphing, Bruce’s athleticism has itself shifted, becoming one of the most honorable and authentic manifestations of self-love, self-respect and self-compassion, I’ve ever seen. Transcendent of the focus for Valentine’s Day celebrations, Bruce’s journey can be seen as the motivation for our lives’ celebrations – our raisons d’etre.

In my workshops, with my private past life regression clients and my own children, I often talk about how, why and for what reasons souls choose to incarnate. Before we are born we decide who we need to be in a lifetime, what lessons we need to learn; to seek and offer love in an attempt to live a vibrant, integrated and abundant life of BEing. Some of us choose to share our life purpose through very public expressions of intimate and profoundly challenging life lessons in order to teach and encourage compassion, self-love & self-worth.

And I find the people who choose to embody, struggle with, and ultimately prevail are living more than their life – they are illuminating ours. So thank you, Bruce. Your willingness to let us bear sacred witness to your personal journey is truly a great and loving gift to humanity. You are my Valentine’s She-ro.

Photo & Quote Credits: Businessheroinemagazine.com, NY Times Op Ed., dailymail.co.uk, news.softpedia.com

The Story of Nick

Nick & Yonah - Two Indigos with very different lives

Nick & Yonah – Two Indigos with very different lives

Mundane and expected – parents approach the bittersweet final weekend of summer wanting to make sure the summer beach toys are put away, sleep schedules are being wound back and calculators are purchased in anticipation for what will be just another regular school year. And it isn’t just the parents who are focused on the fast approaching school year. Our kids are already lusting after the latest tech gadgets and gear, discussing dorm decor and obsessing over the outfit they will wear for their first day of school.

Well, most kids.

Today I met a young man who is not thinking about these things. His name is Nick. And because of random circumstances that most of us would take for granted, or ignore altogether, meeting him ended up being one of the most transformative experiences of my life.

Nick likes to read. He always has a book with him and recently plowed through the entire Harry Potter series – again. It was his favorite series from when he was my son’s age. Nick is now just 21, but still looks like he could be 16. He has a sweet smile, which softened the effect of a not too large tattoo on his left forearm, and even larger and unhealed holes from the gauges and plugs that he used to wear in his earlobes, I’m guessing.

Nick wolfed down his french onion soup but is allergic to many vegetables so removed the lettuce, tomato and onion off of his turkey and cheddar on focaccia sandwich that I had bought for him.

I had never met Nick before so it may seem odd that I decided to buy him lunch. But he had gone unnoticed by most of the passerby’s who walked between Barnes and Noble and Atlanta Bread Co. Maybe he had approached others, but his almost embarrassed sounding, soft spoken voice and direct look into my face made me pause.

“Excuse me Ma’am. Could you spare a dollar so I could get something to eat for breakfast?”

Without hesitating I replied:


It was already past noon.

“I don’t have any cash on me, but I have my credit card and was just about to get my son something to eat. Why don’t you come with us and I’ll buy you something to eat?”

He hadn’t expected my response. I could tell. He paused for a moment and his puppy dog brown eyes widened a bit.

“Really? That’s incredibly nice of you.”

Wow, soft spoken but articulate. Looks me directly in the eyes – hand touches his heart when he said it . . .

I couldn’t stop my brain from trying to process who this young man and how it was he could be standing in front of me like this. He looked so NORMAL. He was just a kid really. He was somebody’s baby.

Only his nails were in desperate need of a good scrubbing and his dockers had a small hole on the right leg. Clearly all of his earthly possessions were shoved into two black duffle bags which he perched atop a scooter and dragged alongside of himself.

Once inside the restaurant Nick perched his makeshift roller suitcase next to the trash can taking the seat at the edge of the adjacent booth.

“What kind of sandwiches do you like?”

“Really, a cup of soup would be great. You don’t have to . . .”

“No way I am letting you wander around with only a cup of soup in your stomach. What kind of sandwich do you like to eat?”

“Ummm…” His eyes turned downcast.

“Anything meaty and cheesy would be great.”

Again a nervous and slightly shy smile.

I left my son at another table to peruse the bag of goodies we had just purchased from Barnes and Noble. In it was a new Neil Gaiman novel, a book light (an indulgence for my son who said buying it would encourage his reading the novel), a 16 month Goats in Trees calendar. For my daughter – a lovely brocade patterned school organizer and a small Dr. Who themed birthday gift for my step-son.

Glancing over at Nick, I explained the situation to the cashier and asked to speak to the manager. Maybe he could donate some additional food or gift certificates for this young man. It was worth a shot and lucky for me, the manager, Michael Pizzolongo, was more than happy to oblige – loading up a small plate with a huge cookie and danish.

“You’re doing a really kind thing.”

“I just can’t stand the thought of this child being hungry. He could be my son . . . he’s someone’s baby. It just breaks my heart.”

As we waited for our food, I walked back to Nick and asked if he’d like to sit and eat with us?

“Really? Sure. That would be great.”

When was the last time someone was nice to this kid? Offered him food? Talked to him like a human being? With dizzying speed, the questions competed for space in my still shocked brain.

Without wanting to push, intrude or offend, I asked him what was going on with him these days?

Not skipping a beat and no longer appearing as embarrassed, Nick opened up, sharing bits and pieces of his story.

His father was not the kindest man on the planet and his mother, too afraid to stand up to him, had essentially allowed his Dad to keep him out of their home. Nick lived in White Plains since he was two, graduated from high school but had no money for college. He hadn’t been allowed in the home for going on three years now.

His cell phone requires a $50 a month payment and though he was able to make this happen off and on based on odd jobs he scrambled to get – his minutes had just run out so until the Indian restaurant that he just started working for gave him his first paycheck and his food stamps came in (which he sometimes was able to trade for cash) he wouldn’t be able to be in touch with the outside world or give a phone number to potential employers.

His money had been lost – stolen really – by the last round of pseudo-landlords.
I learned that there had been a man who had a room he had planned to move into from a recent place that he, thank God, had been able to secure during the winter months. Turning over the cashed out bonds that he had been saving since childhood, his last $1,000 was handed over as a deposit for a new place to live.

“I was going back to my other place and asked for my security deposit back. But the man said no. I had no lease or receipts so I can’t prove I even lived there.”

He stated it so simply and not even with tremendous anger or resentment, which I know I sure as shooting would have been feeling.

“So I went back to the other man and told him I couldn’t come up with the rest of the money. I asked for my $1,000 back and he said no. I had to either come up with the rest and move in or get lost.”

But this time it was worse. The guy was a fake. He had shown Nick some room, but his number ended up being a pre-paid cell phone and Nick had no real name to track him, no way to reach him. Nothing. He just disappeared with the last money Nick had on this earth.

“I spoke to a lawyer about the first place and getting my security deposit, but he said without a receipt, or a lease, I had no way to prove I had even lived there.”

Not wanting to cry in front of Nick or my son. I managed to ask the last burning question I had.

“So where are you sleeping right now?”

“In a stairwell not far from here. When the guys come at 7am to sweep it out, they just wake me up and tell me I have to go now. They don’t call the cops or anything since they know me by now. And that’s if the weather is bad. When it’s nice outside, I really just like sleeping on the little patch of grass by the Starbucks.”

He was talking about the Starbucks right across the street, on the main drag in this section of White Plains – Mamaroneck Ave.

“I don’t mind. And once I can get enough money together again I’ll find something. I’m also looking into something I heard about called JobCore. I heard it lets you get through college, educates you in two trades and even gives you a place to live.”

Nick told me he had considered the marines but decided the Peace Corp. would be a better fit.

Over lunch we discussed the sad state of affairs that the world didn’t see more clearly how Hamas uses their children as shields and launches rockets from within densely populated civilian areas like schools, homes and hospitals. We talked about Indigo children (which he clearly is) and how he doesn’t really care about where he works – just that he would like to make a positive difference in the world.

It was then I picked up the phone and left a message for my dear friend and sister goddess, Danielle Butin, founder of AFYA Foundation. If anyone can find a place or connection for this kid, she can.

“Hey, you’re a really great lady.” Heading out for his break, the other cashier having clearly heard my earlier conversation wanted to make sure I knew he thought I was some kind of super nice person for doing what I did.

Was it really so extraordinary? I hoped not. Because that would mean Nick was mostly an anonymous entity, wandering the streets alone and too often hungry.

“We’re all just people. We’re supposed to take care of each other. But thank you.”

As Nick, my son and I resumed our chat, the manager, Michael, came over to our table. After handing him two cards worth two free lunches, and shaking Nick’s hand, he handed me his business card.

“I am starting a new website page which is all about doing random acts of kindness. My website is called LiveTheGoal.com. It’s an honor to meet you both.”

And there it was. The final bit of synergy from an afternoon of magical connection.

Was Nick an earth angel? Was he an Indigo who incarnated to teach compassion by using himself as the example to elicit such a response? Was he just a reminder to be thankful for our most mundane blessings?

Was he a clarion call to wake up – be aware and be present?

I don’t know why Nick picked me and my son to approach today. I don’t need to know. I am just so incredibly grateful that he did.

After Nick thanked me and my son again, we shook hands. Nick has my card and once he gets his phone back on I am sure he will reach out. And if not, I know where he sleeps . . .

He may have walked away but I won’t let him disappear into the streets again. If this story moved you even a little bit, help Nick not go unseen and uncared for ever again. Please consider making a contribution to Fund for Nick – a campaign I just started for him on Fundrazr.

Good Morning Heaven

Robin Williams, may your memory eternally be for a blessing.

Robin Williams, may your memory eternally be for a blessing.

Many won’t ever know what it is to lose someone they love after that person has lost their own sense of personal joy. I do. Though the final lynch pin in my mother’s medical madness that stretched across most of my childhood and adult life, was technically cancer, her first diagnosis and underlying illness was always your basic, run of the mill, albeit ultimately crippling – depression. My mother darted in and out of personal happiness and emotional stability for most of my life. The first time was when I was 12 and she attempted suicide. Needless to say this was a turning point in my life. And today millions of people around the globe felt a profoundly similar gut wrenching pain for someone most of us never knew on such an intimate level.

We lost Robin Williams.

I say “we” not because any of us, his multitude of fans, knew him personally. We didn’t have the close relationship that Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg or Joy Behar had with him. More importantly, we are not his children, nor his wife. Most of us, in the general multitude of mourners, do not have the right to be as presumptuous to in any way be able to claim him as family, friend or even colleague.

But in this moment it doesn’t feel like that. It feels that each of us has lost someone incredibly special – someone we knew, trusted, relied on, and reveled in. And that was the magic of this man’s comedic and dramatic talent and the transparent depth of his artistic soul.

And that’s the point. We are shocked and hurt that he would do something like this? How could he take his own life? When did it get so bad? Why couldn’t he get help? He was Robin frickin’ Williams for God’s sake?!

But depression is an illness, and a serious one. It does not pass over the homes of the wealthy, the funny or the famous like the Angel of Death in the Charlton Heston 1956 classic, The Ten Commandments.

Depression does not discriminate and instead ignores all manner of class, race and socio-economic status.

Depression doesn’t take into account how many Oscar wins and nominations Mr. Williams had nor the fact that he had four films being released this year.

It’s public record that Mr. William’s demons were masked by years of self-medicating behaviors and experiences of substance abuse. If his life is to have any greater impact than how we saw him on screen, may it be this:

Treating the symptoms of depression through drugs and alcohol does not work, is not an effective cure and ultimately can only lead to heartache and despair. Let Robin’s memory be more than a blessing. Let it serve a higher purpose. Take note if a loved one or friend is exhibiting similar behavior, it could be masking a deep seated depression that often times is not discovered until it is too late.

I have no words except to beg anyone who suffers from, or knows anyone who suffers from depression, to seek help. It is not for me to judge what method or modality is “best” to treat depression. There are too many variables and karmic, never mind bio-chemical reasons one might suffer from this devastating state of dis-ease.

I leave you with a repost from one of my FB friends, Stephen Dimmick:

Mork: This week I discovered a terrible disease called loneliness.

Orson: Do many people on Earth suffer from this disease?

Mork: Oh yes sir, and how they suffer. One man I know suffers so much he has to take a medication called bourbon, even that doesn’t help very much because then he can hear paint dry.

Orson: Does bed rest help?

Mork: No because I’ve heard that sleeping alone is part of the problem. You see, Orson, loneliness is a disease of the spirit. People who have it think that no one cares about them.

Orson: Do you have any idea why?

Mork: Yes sir you can count on me. You see, when children are young, they’re told not to talk to strangers. When they go to school, they’re told not to talk to the person next to them. Finally when they’re very old, they’re told not to talk to themselves, who’s left?

Orson: Are you saying Earthlings make each other lonely?

Mork: No sir I’m saying just the opposite. They make themselves lonely, they’re so busy looking out for number one that there’s not enough room for two.

Robin Williams, may the Angels gather you close and enjoy all of your heavenly gifts now, until you return to bless this earth once again. And if you’re as funny and beloved as you were here on Earth, they might not let you come back so soon. Until then, we will all miss you very, very much.


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JOIN US for our next Holistic Moms Network meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of each month starting in January – 9:30-11am, Katonah United Methodist Church, 5 Bedford Rd., Katonah, NY

Meet Shira at the upcoming GMO Labeling Rally, NY City Hall, Wed. Dec. 2nd, noon-1pm. And the Holistic Moms Network monthly meeting will be moving to the 3rd Tuesday of every month starting in January, same time & place: 9:30am - 11am at the Katonah United Methodist Church

Meet Shira at the upcoming GMO Labeling Rally, NY City Hall, Wed. Dec. 2nd, noon-1pm and start the New Year by joining Shira for the Holistic Moms Network meeting
Tuesday, January 19th, 9:30am – 11am.
Visit Holistic Moms Network for more information! OTHER EVENTS! Come say hi at this month’s community & wellness events:
Dickens Weekend – Wainwright House
Sat. & Sun., Dec. 5th & 6th, 10-4, Rye, NY


VISIT SHIRAADLER.COM for a full list of upcoming Special Events & Appearances




One of my biggest passions is raising awareness and being a part of the non-GMO solution! If you’re interested in more information about these and other eco-conscious, holistic, green living topics, watch the video: then visit ShiraAdler.com for more resources and links!
HOLISTIC MOMS NETWORK monthly meetings moving to the 3rd Tue. of every month (starting in January, 2016)
JOIN US for our next Holistic Moms Network meeting Tuesday, Jan. 19th – Katonah, NY


“What’s Weird About My Mom. . .”

“Why Can’t Unicorns Be Real?”

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What’s holding you back from living a fully vibrant life?

Holistic Healer Shira Adler is a certified past life regressionist, inspirational host, writer and speaker who can help you in person, at workshops and through phone sessions!



Have You Hugged Your Inner D.I.V.A. Today™? D.I.V.A. is an innovative, timely and engaging new program hosted by inspirational host, writer and speaker Shira Adler! Shira Adler is passionately dedicated to helping women balance the tightrope between their inner Diva and outer Mama. Meet, greet and eat while learning tips and transformational tools you can use for your life, love, family, career and relationships. And don’t forget to bring your business cards!

Upcoming Appearances & Programs

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Shira is featured on Ariane de Bonvoisin’s First 30 Days. “Shira’s greatest joy is touching people and helping them activate their own connections, whatever they turn out to be.”
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