MENU

My Blog

Pausing to Take a Breath

Andrea Cagan - Monday, July 09, 2018
Pausing to Take a Breath

I had a ghost writing client some years back who was a highly successful motivational speaker. She had all the accouterments that came from earning the big bucks: a house in Malibu, Italian bedding that felt like heaven, a closetful of designer clothes, and a recurring infomercial that lured a large audience of followers on a steady basis. She had hired me to help her write her umpteenth book that would most likely be yet another bestseller.  

...Read More


Do Something or get off the pot

Andrea Cagan - Monday, July 02, 2018
Do Something or get off the pot

Back in the sixties and seventies, my friends and I were activists. Granted, we did too many drugs and went on strange cleansing rituals. We had lots of sex didn't take precautions, but we were there for each other. We always had a place to be on Saturday night as we welcomed friends to our homes and made sure everyone was okay.

There were divisions between the Establishment and free thinking hippies who were breaking free of convention. But we were ready to stand up for what we believed and we were capable of anger-free debates. We listened to each other and cared what the other person had to say. We weren’t always in synch, but we didn't go on shooting sprees in schools. We didn’t physically attack each other with the exception of frightened, angry cops. Instead, we were as gentle and loving as we could manage. We wanted to achieve peace in the world without rage and violence

Back then, our heroes were Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King. Our teachers were John Lily and Timothy Leary. Our philosophers were Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. We staged peaceful rock concerts for the masses and we danced and sang with each other. We recognized our divisions but we tried to share our ideas in a peaceful way. We thought not only of ourselves; we considered the feelings of others as we held onto our vision of a loving world. We were dedicated to doing our part and we got out in the streets and exercised our right to free speech. In that way, we didchange the world for the better as we tried our best to be inclusive and compassionate.

But this doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I’ve found myself in groups of people lately who would rather voice their anger and complaints than try to understand each other. People who didn't bother to vote feel righteous and entitled to hoist their opinions on others. There are screaming debates about right and wrong. People are shunned who believe differently than we do. The plight of the less fortunate has become less important than taking selfies and amassing huge numbers of followers on social media. It’s all about “me, me, me” with very little “you.” Its appears that people would rather throw insults and blame on each other than try to figure out how we can all get along. My hope is with the kids in Florida who are standing up peacefully and protesting for what is right.

My point here is that if you’re unhappy, put down your phone and do something. Stop the hatred and isolation and let’s put our heads together to solve our problems. We need to remember our vision of a peaceful world. It won't just come. It will take participation and listening if we want things to change. Remember the sixties if you were there. If not, do some research and learn from the philosophies and actions that we took back then. If you know what to do, get out there and do it. If you don't know what to do, start by being kind to the people around you. It’s that simple. But please don't sit around complaining and blaming everyone else. If you’re not willing to take action and back up your beliefs, if you're not willing to get off the pot and do something, stop talking, fighting, and pointing a finger at everyone else. Taking any kind of helpful action is key. We have to do something to make a change. But in order to change the status quo, it's not only what we do that matters the most. Rather it’s also what we don't do that makes a world of difference.


 

...Read More


Trusting Your Gut

Andrea Cagan - Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Trusting Your Gut

I recently ended a writing project and returned the payment. Repaying someone is kind of painful but this time, it wasn’t. I had taken on something that didn’t work for me and I felt a wild sense of freedom when I let it go. I can’t say that I didn't get advance warning. My instincts were shouting “no” while my mouth was forming the word “yes.” Instead of getting the message that this man’s book was not for me, I stomped on my gut feelings and tried to override them. It didn’t work, it never does, and I had to suffer the consequences of taking on a job that was destined to end up awkwardly with bad feelings all around. 

...Read More


You're Never too Old

Andrea Cagan - Tuesday, June 19, 2018
You're Never too Old

When I met my current trainer, I hadn't been working out as much as usual. With my background in the ballet, I don't do well when I get stagnant but I couldn't seem to zone in on any type of exercise that made me want to come back for more. I was seeing a man back then who invited me to his workout session with a wonderful man named Orlando. It didn't take me long to realize how educated and skilled he was with anything pertaining to the human body. I knew right then and there that I would continue working out with him as long as I could. I can’t say the same for the jerk who introduced us, but I have him to thank for the introduction to my next trainer.  

...Read More


Botox or No Botox

Andrea Cagan - Monday, June 11, 2018
Botox or No Botox

I was at a party recently where two female hosts had invited their friends. One of them was in the film business. The other was an energy healer and body worker who had been part of a famous ashram. The idea of the gathering was to merge the groups so they could meet each other and discuss what they had in common and what they didn’t. When I arrived, about 50 people were gathered in the show biz woman’s magnificent backyard. She’d recently divorced a philandering husband, he’d been having a secret affair for twenty years, and divorce had been very good to her. And so it should have been. 

...Read More


Avoiding Negativity in Troubled Times

Andrea Cagan - Monday, June 04, 2018
Avoiding Negativity in Troubled Times

When I think back over six decades, there have been plenty of troubled times. There was Viet Nam, the draft, Watergate, and assassinations of beloved political and religious leaders. There was and still is poverty, violence, child abuse, torture, and people fleeing their homes and their countries to win their freedom,. The list goes on and on, but our current situation of having a President who doesn't read, has a face for radio, and pardons criminals who are guilty as sin, is unprecedented. 

...Read More


Fighting Obsession

Andrea Cagan - Sunday, May 06, 2018
Fighting Obsession

Did you ever get a tune stuck in your head that you can't get rid of? It’s a Small Worldin Disneyland comes to mind. I dread hearing that song and even as I write this blog, I can feel it trying to take root in my brain. When I hear the ad for JG Wentworth on TV, I try to hit the mute button before they start singing so I can avoid repeating it to myself all day. This is a form of obsession, a pattern of thinking perpetrated by an idea that seems to affect you against your will. When you hear these short ditties, they bombard your brain and you start repeating them over and over. That’s called good advertising, exactly what the marketers want. They want their product embedded in your brain and a catchy tune is a great way to do it. The ads are harmless in the long run, but there are other forms of obsessions that are harmful and can make your life a living hell.  

...Read More


Adult Bullying

Andrea Cagan - Monday, April 30, 2018
Adult Bullying

When I think of bullying, I envision a kid at school taunting other kids. Maybe his name sounds strange. I remember a kid in my elementary school whose last name was Tushman and the kids called him “tushie” any chance they had. 

...Read More


Neither a Follower nor A Leader Be

Andrea Cagan - Monday, April 23, 2018
Neither a Follower nor A Leader Be

I recently binged a Netflix series called Wild Wild Country about Indian guru Baghwan Shree Rajneesh or Osho. This cult (they balk at this label) of thousands took over a city in Oregon, acting with hostility to the residents of this previously sleepy town. It was shocking that Baghwan amassed wealth in the form of seventeen Rolls Royces and a huge collection of fine watches, including a gift of a million dollar diamond studded Rolex. I kid you not. All the while, his supposed spiritual aides engaged in criminal activity like poisoning and attempted murder. 

...Read More


Surviving Rejection

Andrea Cagan - Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Surviving Rejection

I know a poetry teacher who encourages his students to submit their poetry to as many magazines as possible. Getting published is not the reason. “I want you to get used to being rejected,” he explained.
 

...Read More