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Monday
Feb222010

Walking My Talk With a Limp

 

By Rahti Gorfien

After assiduously prompting each mom I coach to ascribe to my doctrine of doing what they love, rather than being slavishly beholden to everyone else’s happiness before their own, I have recently been challenged to live by my own dictates.

I swore off indie theater (read: off-off Broadway AKA for no money) a few years ago when it became clear that I could no longer afford to do it.  Since then, I’ve gone full-tilt into my coaching practice, which has proven to be gratifying on many levels.  Then, about a week and a half ago, I innocently posted a status update on Facebook inspired by a reality show.  Almost instantly, a colleague from my East Village indie theater days responded, asking me to be in her play.

Something stopped me from speaking from the conscious, reasonable ‘just say no’ part of my brain.  While (perhaps) not a drug, this level of theater completely consumed me at one time.  Back in the day, I had come to terms with being typed as ‘off-beat’ by creating my own work.  Eventually, my flaming fantasy of getting ‘discovered’ and monetarily rewarded for my raunchy brand of acting-out got smothered by the rigor required of a life that included children and solvency. 

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Monday
Feb082010

Money 

How Do Parents Pay For College?

This week's Motherlode: Adventures in Parenting section of The New York Time Magazine focuses on something all parents struggle with and that is being able to afford 4 years of college tuition. In what alternate reality is this possible?! - "how can the average, hard-working, middle-class parent can possibly “make” these numbers with only an 18-year head start". Great article - Read on!

Now that my son is a college freshman, I see everything in terms of tuition payments. I know that our monthly mortgage is less than our monthly college bill. That a certain freelance assignment will or will not cover a month at school. That the anemic levels of our 529 accounts have rebounded enough to pay for a few months more.

When I was in college, tuition reached $10,000, a number so shocking that we ran it as the headline across the front page of the school newspaper. Now the numbers are several times that, outpacing inflation. They almost don’t seem real.

I got an e-mail message from a reader asking how the average, hard-working, middle-class parent can possibly “make” these numbers with only an 18-year head start. Read more at NYT: Motherlode

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Sunday
Feb072010

Networking: a pain-free approach (hint: go heavy on the cupcakes)


Writer and Brooklyn mom, Nicole Caccavo Kear, writes about Momasphere's Wine & Cupcake Tasting / Networking event last week on her blog A Mom Amok:

It's February first but my New Years’ resolution momentum has not petered out yet. And since I spent most nights last year passed out in a stupor of fatigue, watching Project Runway re-runs, I have decided that this year will be Say Yes! Year. So last night, I said "Yes!" last night to an event hosted my Momasphere. The evite promised

 

Wine

Jazz

Networking

Cupcakes

 

I could take or leave the first three but when I saw the cupcakes, I knew it was meant to be. And I admit to having spent a good twenty minutes of my supposed-to-be-networking time planted in front of the Nine Cakes station, devouring bite-sized morsels of sheer delight and raving about them, with my mouth full to the baker who made them. How could I resist strawberry rosewater cupcakes with edible silver pearls fashioned from chocolate-covered puffed rice? You’d have to be a cyborg with no human feeling to say No to carrot cupcakes or the double chocolate ones, with gorgeous little purple flowers on top.

 

But I did stuff besides eating cupcakes. I also drank wine from bottles that had customized labels featuring the artwork of local Brooklyn artists from Brooklyn Oenology. (Quick show of hands: who knows how to pronounce that word, out loud? Isn’t there a law against that many vowels, all in a row?) READ MORE ON A MOM AMOK BLOG.

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Wednesday
Jan202010

A Happy New Year Wrapped in an Actor's Nightmare: Thoughts on How to be True to Yourself

 

By Rahti Gorfien

So I dreamt I was at a contest…the Manhattan Monologue Slam in NYC, and I didn’t have my piece memorized.  Now mind you, I’m not doing things for free these days.  Granted, if you win this thing its a hundred dollars, but that possible outcome wouldn’t be enough of a motivation for me at this point. But I digress into self-argument. I had nothing prepared and wasn’t going to do it…until an old friend from my acting life kept prodding me to.  I was almost up and wasn’t ready, so he talked me into moving my name down the list.  I walked onstage between acts, and did that.  Put myself dead last (interesting choice of words), went off to a quite corner and started cramming…still, the thing was moving faster than expected, I was almost up, and having done half-baked things before and suffered the shame, I let it pass.  I didn’t respond to my name.  I don’t know what they thought: that I’d fallen asleep, not been listening or some other school girl-like behavior that would have gotten me pilloried in my youth.  And I didn’t care.  Or at least part of me didn’t.  I chose not to try and prove anything.  My friend was disappointed and didn’t quite understand.  But he’s a working actor who never stopped being a working actor.  He’s always felt entitled to that, known how to market himself, and if I play the feminist card I’d say wasn’t subject to out-of-control female exigencies like motherhood (even though he has a son) like I have.  At least not to my knowledge.  And furthermore… it was just a dream. 

So what’s my point?  Something about knowing my limits, knowing when I’m ready and when I’m not, and being honest with myself first, before upholding some self-perceived image of who Rahti is in the eyes of others.  I yam what I yam, as Popeye says.  And I gotta start from there.   

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Monday
Nov162009

   

Momasphere Interviews Jen Lee, Author of Take Me With You - A Journal for the Journey 

Momasphere is so excited to be offering "Make Room For Mom's Voice", a journaling, storytelling and interactive writing workshop especially customized for moms on Sunday, Dec 6th, 2009.

Motherhood can be both a challenging and a transformative experience. We may uncover new dreams for our lives, or sides of ourselves we haven't before experienced.  At other times, we may struggle to keep a strong sense of ourselves in the chorus of voices calling for our attention. We recently talked to Jen Lee, writer, mom and teacher of the upcoming workshop "Make Room For Mom's Voice" about finding clarity about life and motherhood through writing.

 

Q. Momasphere: What do you think is the connection between writing and finding your voice?
A. Jen Lee: Writing is like picking up a phone line to the parts of yourself you haven't been listening to.  If you're unhappy or lost or living someone else's dream for your life, it's likely to slip out if you have a practice of free writing or if you work with thoughtful prompts.  There are things you can ignore or deny when they are thoughts floating consciously or unconsciously through your mind, but once you see them in black and white, written on the page, they become very real.  And it's enlightening to know what kind of thoughts are running the show in life, especially if they are thoughts you weren't aware you even had.

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