Friday, September 22, 2006

How Can I?

“How Can I”
An Interview with Caterina Rando,
Master Coach, Motivational and International Speaker, and Author
By Ming Kruschke

MK : How did you start your business?

CR: I used to run a Coffee shop and meet a lot of women in business. I realized that I had the gift to motivate them and give them good business advice. I decided to be a motivational speaker to help and empower women. It’s a lot more fun. I gave up the Café and now, I do a lot of speaking and writing. I noticed that women have difficulty asking about business matters. I teach them not only to run their business, but also to build wealth. A woman shouldn’t ask, “Can I?” A woman should ask the question, “How can I?”

MK: Did you have a special kind of training to do this work?

CR: Yes. I have a Masters in Psychology training and a gift for oral speaking. I am also a certified coach, and have been in many courses to polish my skills. I believe in lifelong learning.

MK: When did you know you were successful?

CR: Success is a journey, but it changes. When you own your own business, it’s a milestone. Now it’s my 13th year. You have to enjoy the journey along the way.

MK: How do you define success?

CR: Loving my work, loving the people I work with, and giving back.

MK: Did you change in the process?

CR: You change. Like for instance, it took me a week to do some writing. Now it only takes me half an hour.

MK: Did you have mentors?

CR: I had mentors. I watch them, talk to them and observe what they are doing. I also hired experts because you can’t be an expert of everything.

MK: Was your family business-oriented?

CR: No, they held civil service jobs. They thought that I was crazy to give up a successful café. I told them, “This is what I want to do, and it’s your role to love and support me.” You know, sometimes, people who love you are just trying to protect you.

MK: Did you have any fears?

CR: Naturally. But I believe for a fact, success means being willing to be uncomfortable. Feel the fear and do it anyway. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

MK: Tell me about your Cookie Lee business?

CR: I love it because I help women grow their business. You see, coaching is expensive. In the Cookie Lee business, I give the women free coaching. I have a special program for them on how to grow their own business. Women in general, no matter what career they are in, need to have something on the side. There is no guarantee to life.

MK: How did you get into publishing a book?

CR: I was actually looking for a publisher for a year without success. The publisher approached me and asked me to write the book. As I teach, I teach people to recognize themselves as experts in what they do.

The first book took me 3 months to write. It was not hard because the contents came out of my regular activity. I knew what I was doing. Now, I am ready to write the next book.

MK: What are your goals for the future?

CR: I would like to have more national visibility, and to help more people.

MK: What do you advise women just starting their own business?

CR: Develop a network, join a group, get support, create resources, and meet people who have done what you are doing to share experiences and learn from them. You should be a good resource to your clients. If you can establish this connection, then you are in the cutting edge.

For more information about Caterina, visit her website at:

Article was published at Listen and Be Heard October 2006 Volume 3, Issue #30

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Magic Company

“Are the wands real?” “ Can the wands clean my room?” “ Can it make me fly?” “ Can a magic wand bring my lover back to me?” “ Can it make me rich and famous?” I had an opportunity to work for a magical company producing magic wands and we were besieged with these questions daily. “Can the magic wand turn my brother into a toad? We were also bombarded with calls and letters consulting us about the metaphysical and their individual mystical experiences.

In an obscure area in the industrial part of Benicia, is an office dedicated to spread magic. The office is cheerful and colorful, and one feels the magic emanating from every corner of the room. “I produced the magic wands to encourage and instill the magic in our lives.” Abby Willowroot, inventor of the wands is an Archetypist, Goddess Artist, priestess and Mother. Nine of Abby’s pieces are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institiution, Washington DC. Abby’s long term goal is to build a non-denominational, Goddess temple open to all.

In our times of chaos and confusion, men are still seeking for answers outside of themselves. This explains the popularity of the magical adventures of “Harry Potter”, or the fantasy tales of “The Lord of the Rings”. The Willowroot Real Magic wands have also been used in the TV series “Charmed”, “JAG”, and “Law and Order”. The magic wand is especially associated with the power of divination and prophecy. Willowroot Real Magic Wand is all about empowering one self to believe in their own divine magic and inner strength. It also encourages everyone’s inner child to play. The wand is a metaphysical tool that can amplify your powers. Catholics use a rosary" plus "other Christians use a crucifix" , Muslims use the chanting prayer beads, some people use crystals and gemstones to meditate and pray. All true magic is in the person, not the tools they use. Fine magical tools can amplify and enhance that magic.

Willowroot Real Magic Wands are created from the finest materials and carefully drafted with positive intention. All of the stones used are cleansed and “smudged”. All of the wands are blessed upon completion. For over 40 years, Abby Willowroot has been creating sacred imagery for the Metaphysical community. Abby first began creating Magic Wands in the early 1980’s and showed them at the California Renaissance Pleasure Fairs. The following for her beautiful “one of a kind” Wands grew. Time limited the no. of wands that could be made and the demand quickly outweighs the supply.

“When you are choosing a Magic Wand, trust your own inner wisdom. Your wand must spark a special feeling inside when you look at it or touch it. ” Abby wisely said. “You are unique, your life experiences and dreams combine to make you an original and special individual. The Wand that is right for you will speak to the inner you, the Real You . . . . . . that only you know.” Abby suggested. “The Magic Wand you select will be a companion as well as a powerful metaphysical tool. The first lesson of Magic is learning to trust your own perceptions.” “How do I trust my instinct?” is frequently asked. “Surround yourself with nature and feel every situation. This is how you develop your intuition.” Abby advises.

“My mom won’t allow me to buy a wand.” a child pleas. Abby encourages a child or any individual with limited resources to make their own wands. “Find a living tree with a straight section of branch, free of twigs, at least as long as it feels right in your hand. Wait until sunset on a Wednesday (the day of mercury) when the Moon is waxing. Ask permission from the tree and explain what you are doing. Be sure to put some mud on the tree’s wound to help it heal, and thank the tree before you leave. A self-made wand is actually very powerful because it is laden with your own energy.”
To address the authenticity of the wands, I can only say, “Yes, the wands are real, and it is the same kind used by many experienced wizards, witches and other magical folks. But it will not make feather float, or make you invisible. Those are the powers that must be in the wizards themselves. Do not expect the wand to light up or spin in circles. It will not, but it is still an amazingly powerful too for wizards of all ages who seek to do positive magic.”

For more information about Abby Willowroot’s Real Magic Wands, please visit her website at Real Magic Wands

Article by Ming Kruschke
Listen and Be Heard
July 20-26, 2005. Volume 2, Issue 37.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rosemary Graham speaks ...

“If someone told me that I’d be writing books eight years ago, I would not have believed them.”

Rosemary Graham, PhD. addressed the senior’s writer's group last Thursday, August 4, 2005. She is the author of the young adult novels Thou Shalt Not Dump the Skater Dude (And Other Commandments I Have Broken) and My Not-So-Terrible Time at the Hippie Hotel, both published by Viking Children's Books.

Her essays and commentaries have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the
Santa Monica Review, and on National Public Radio. She lives in Berkeley with her
husband and daughter.The conference room from the Florence Douglas Senior Center was packed with participants of all ages, from seniors to young adults. Rosemary, was introduced by Ralph Spinelli who conducts the writer’s workshop.

The writer’s workshop at the Senior Center began last February, 2005. We will conclude last meeting for this session on August 11, 2005. We will take a short break (4 weeks)and begin a new session on September 08, to December 01, 2005.

Rosemary began her career writing her dissertation on the poet Walt Whitman. It was published by a prestigious literary magazine. She got married and had a baby when she started writing then started writing about her own experiences. She realized that she enjoyed that more than writing about others.

Her first book “My not so terrible Time at the Hippie Hotel” was based on true life experiences. She knew a similar hotel in Cape Cod, where sad angry children from divorced parents went on vacation with their families.

“How do you get inspiration to write in a voice of a young person?” The group asks. “I teach English and Creative Writing to freshman whose ages range from 18-19 years old at St. Mary’s College of California so I am familiar with their antics and their lingo.” She responds. Rosemary chose to write for young adults or teenagers because she can connect with them. “I also remember my emotions intensely at the age from 13-15 more than in my later years.” She claimed. “An older person reading the book can identify their teen experiences when they were growing up.”
“When I first started writing, I just wanted to finish the book. I also started with a writing group, got involved in the process of the work, got an agent and got published!” Rosemary shared.

She keeps a discipline to write everyday for three hours . “I created my own writing space, an internet free zone. This is my sacred space.” She said. “ Do you have any special ritual before you start writing?” I asked. She responded immediately, “Just SIT and WRITE.”

Rosemary Graham Speaks
Listen and Be Heard
August 10-16, 2005
Volume 2, Issue 40

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Wesley Gibson Reads at Bookshop Benicia

“I write because that’s the only thing I can do. ” Wesley Gibson said,
“I needed to make a success of it, or die in the gutter.”

Wesley Gibson, author of the novel “Shelter” and a memoir, “You are here”
explained to writers as he read passages from his memoir last October 14, 2005 at Bookshop Benicia. Wesley shared his journey as a writer over beer and pizza. Our group consisted of the writers from the senior writers workshop conducted by Ralph Spinelli, Sharon McCoy, Estelle Kirkendell, a couple of writing students from St. Mary’s college, and my husband, Daryl who took pictures.

“When I was 6 years old, I remember that my mother had Tupperware and Avon catalogs, and I made stories out of them. In the fourth grade, I wrote a book of scary stories with a friend, and convinced the librarian to put it on the shelves.”

“My dad influenced me at a very young age as he read me the New York times daily. Then I went to graduate school, while I worked in restaurants and bars. I write 4- 5 hours a day. My first novel got published at 29 years old. It’s important to be disciplined about writing. Talent without discipline just won’t work. I do not have the distraction of TV, although that has not stopped me from playing internet poker.” he smiled.

“How important is an agent?” I asked. “I had my first agent at 25 years old, and she sold my work. Since then I’ve had 3 more agents, but they were unsuccessful with my second book. I sent it directly to the editor of my first book, and asked him about his opinion. He really liked it, but was tied up to some other project. He referred me to another editor who bought my manuscript.” Wesley replied. “It’s very important to have an agent for first time writers, otherwise there is no way you can get your manuscript published, unless you rather sell in smaller publications, or a small university press.’’

“How important is your relationship with the editor” the group asked. “You are in a business relationship with them.” Wesley confirmed. “But they are not your friend.”

“Stick to your guns and don’t let anyone violate your vision. Be brave in your writing and be as honest as you can be with your voice and yourself.” Wesley Gibson advises. “My goal for the future, is to keep on writing, and hopefully keep on getting published.”

Article written by Ming. Published at LISTEN & BE HEARD.
Arts, Culture & Entertainment Weekly. October 19-25.
Volume 2 Issue #50.