If I had a dog…

This is what our walks would like.  This morning, a few of my dear friends here in Costa Rica took me on a “little hike” near Hermosa beach.  The sunrise was spectacular, the camaraderie was stellar, the conversation was stimulating- and oh yeah, it was a pretty good work out too.

You may recognize one of the hikers if you’re a fan of the Sunshine Club.  Yep, that’s Norma Kahn;  an accomplished educator, artist and author.     (She and her equally brilliant and wise husband, Ken, are my adopted parents every year when I visit.)

In one of her classic books about family vacations, Norma wrote something profound that has become a personal mantra…   “While we do not control the passage of time, we do control our passage through time.”

Amen.  Pura Vida,

.

The Celebrate Life Series- Marcello Recommends: 10 Things You Can Do To Have A Better Day by Mike Walter

He’s been a featured guest on MMP’s Celebrate Life Series and a frequent contributor to our Sunshine Club;  he’s an established business leader, consultant and performer in the DJ Entertainment industry-  and now, he’s a twice- published author.   Mike Walter, once again joins our recommended list of influential thought leaders who wrote a book for all of the aspiring souls out there who were wondering, “is this as good as it gets?”

With his latest release, 10 Things You Can Do To Have a Better Day, Mike joins the ranks of  Neen James Brene Brown, Danny Meyer, Kevin Hall, Gary Vaynerchuk and Tony Hsieh who took the time to eloquently share part of their life’s journey with others.  For most of these extraordinary personalities,  their best sellers were either published as a cathartic endeavor, a kindle-friendly way to pass on the sage guidance they were fortunate to receive over the years, or simply a personal commitment to paying it forward.  I think the 10 Things handbook is an engaging trifecta.

Wanna lose weight? check.   Find more energy? check.  Enjoy a more satisfying relationship? check.  Discover fulfillment? check.   Take a vacation? check again.  Do you wanna be more productive, be happier and smile more than you ever thought was possible????….   Like they told Joey in the old Prego commercial, It’s In There!  

DISCLAIMERyour mileage and results may vary and you might not look as good or content as the guy on the left when you’re done.   But, if you don’t at least feel a little better about your life’s potential, your future opportunities, or this limit-less world we live in after reading Mike’s pocketful of sunshine, you better check your pulse.  Seriously.

Don’t just take my word for it.  10 Things has been getting rave reviews since its release a few months ago.    Even if I didn’t have the honor and pleasure to call Mike a dear friend and colleague, I’d still be praising the positive vibes that his book is spreading across the globe.

In this episode of the Celebrate Life Interview Series, Mike dishes out some more great tips and suggestions for finding joy, planning a cool honeymoon, which sports teams to cheer for, and how to mentally prepare for a marathon.

He  also gives a sneak peak into the upcoming sequel to Ten Things as well as a little tease of his  father’s fascinating book which is due out shortly.

With wedding plans just months away, the MMP team would like to wish Mike and his beautiful fiance Kelly, who is also a Sunshine Club contributor, all the health, happiness and success that life has to offer.

Follow Mike on Twitter:

Have a Better Day & Buy Mike’s Book:

Read Mike’s Blog and learn more Things about Prince, Sir Paul McCartney, or just letting it go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conquering Chirripo – An Incredible Three Generation Adventure

An inspiring true story from my dear friend, Norma Kahn.

Norma, Neil and Melanie Kahn Conquer Chirripo Mountain in Costa Rica

“Climbing Chirripo, the tallest mountain in Costa Rica with an altitude of 3820 meters or 12,500 feet, has been what I thought was an impossible dream.  With each passing year, it seemed further out of my reach.  Several months ago my son Neil invited me to climb it with him before I was too old.  I’m 72.

After immediately accepting, the doubts began, but so did the determination to succeed.  My husband, Ken,  climbed with me daily, giving me his total encouragment.  I never was able to train at much above 5,000 feet- and certainly never hiking 14.5 kilometers up, up,up.

Neil, my granddaughter Melanie, age 13, and I set out at 6:30AM on Monday, Sept. 5.  LABOR DAY – and labor we did.  The first kilometer took us 1 hour – daunting, steep, muddy, rocky – a harbinger of things to come.  Let me say that Neil was amazing throughout – incredibly helpful and patient.  After a few kilometers, Neil was carrying my pack along with his.  At certain points, he was carrying Melanie’s as well.  Graceful, strong Melanie made most of the hike look almost effortless.  Some sections were more difficult than others.  The last one, Cuesta de Arrepentidos, certainly made you want to repent.  9 1/2 hours later we actually made it to the Crestones ‘hut’ at 3,392 meters or 11,130 feet where we were two spend the next 2 nights.  We ate lunch and crashed.

The hut had electricity 2 hours a day, internet 4.  There was NO HOT WATER – the coldest water ever according to Neil.  Neil, Melanie and I did have our own room with bunk beds.  The reigning indoor outfits were heavy, heavy coats, sweaters, hats, gloves. Inside my cold weather sleeping bag, I was wearing several layers of clothing. We had hired Oscar to cook for us, but some others fixed their food on little gas stoves. This hut experience added to the adventure.

Tuesday morning we had breakfast at 5:30 and then headed up to the summit.  People said this was easier, but I can’t say I agree.  It was shorter – 5.5 km, but with the higher altitude and the pure rocky steepness of the last  portion, it was TOUGH.  I had to stop every 3 steps or so to breathe.  Neil got behind me and pushed.  I told you he was great.  I could not have done it without him.

The feeling of exhileration, pure joy, sense of accomplishment when we arrived at the summit was incredible!!!

The next morning we headed down, which some said was more difficult than up.  I didn’t find it so, but when I got to km 1, my body pretty much wilted and Neil held my hand for that last bit.

With every step down I wondered how in the world I had been able to climb that mountain, what had ever possessed me to think I could.  But I could, and I did!

Thank you Melanie and Neil for this wonderful gift.  I couldn’t love you more.

Norma”

 

660 Years of Warmth, Wit and Wisdom

Good company: (Top Left) Lee, Richard, Don, Ken, Marcello, (Bottom Left) Pierre, Jane, Norma, Suzie, Ginette, Arvie

When you put together an eclectic mix of people that includes a pediatric neurologist, former teacher, martial arts instructor, fly fisherman, golf course superintendent and various executives from the corporate world and motion picture industry, the conversation is destined to be filled with golden nuggets of life lessons learned. 

My dear friends, Norma and Ken Kahn, always make me feel like I’m part of the family when I’m traveling through Central America.  At their lovely home, over-looking the sun-kissed ocean yesterday, we had a delightful lunch gathering.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer to hang around people that actually talk to each other instead of send texts and facebook messages all day. 

I’m far from being anti-technology, but the current anti-social trend is a bit alarming for those of us who enjoy a good eye to eye exchange of thoughts and laughter.  That’s why lunch was so enjoyable. 

Sometimes you take for granted the amount of experience, intelligence and entertaining interactions that are right in front of you.   Today, I made sure that wasn’t the case and just soaked it all in

Out of curiosity, I asked how old everyone was… some were twice my age.  All together, I was surrounded by 660 years of life.  That’s a lot to celebrate.   -mp

Sharpen the Saw with a Fun Game and Some Global Photography- Marcello Recommends: Norma’s Blooms

One of Norma's Blooms' photographs

With two nieces under ten and a very competitive family, I’m always looking for a new game to bring to the next holiday get-together or special dinner for some spirited interaction.  As a professional event producer and Bar Mitzvah host,  I’m always  looking for something different to keep the young-adult guests entertained and out of trouble during cocktail hour.   Well, sometimes I have to travel a bit further than the local mall or get off the internet to find it.

On a recent excursion to the pacific coast of Costa Rica, I had dinner with my dear friend, Dr. Norma Kahn.  She showed me her brand-new spin on the classic game, Concentration, called Norma’s Blooms.   Kahn, an abstract painter and educator,  has a passion for photographing flowers from around the world as she and her husband, Ken, travel the globe.  She chose the top 30 images from her exclusive collection and created a customized version of concentration that fits in your pocket, sets up in seconds, is fun to play and… is beautiful to look at!

In case you’ve never played before;

 

from Norma's Blooms Concentration Game

There are 30 sets of each photo.  Mix the cards and place face down in rows.  Each player, in turn, turns 2 cards over and replaces them face down if they do not match.  The object of the game is to remember where the particular flower is so that you can make a match.  When you have a pair, place it in front of you.  If you make a match, you get another turn.  Whoever has the most matches when there are no cards left… wins!

Norma’s Blooms can be played individually for pure enjoyment, against the clock to sharpen the saw, or against other players and teams for some friendly competition.   Speaking of friendly competition, the first 3 readers to correctly identify all five of Norma’s Blooms that are featured in this article by January 20, 2011, will win a free set!

Reply to this entry or our facebook page with your answers.  Have fun and good luck!   🙂

Norma’s Blooms is available for $15, plus delivery.

Orders can be placed directly with Norma via  e-mail at kahnk@gmail.com or by phone, (506)2-643-1896.

MMP Entertainment will also be happy to assist with your order.  mmp@mmpentertainment.com or (732)-547-1677

Pura Vida!  –mp

Encore Gallery:

Norma's Blooms

Norma's Blooms

Norma's Blooms

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