Who let the dogs out? We did!

Let’s be honest, we live in California where pups the size of tea cups spend the day in our purses, wear seat belts while riding shotgun and own more outfits than all my old dolls combined. It’s safe to say that we love them as though they were our children and for some, they are our children! Not matter what, we want what’s best for them and than means plenty of good food and exercise.


Gather some friends, family and volunteers to help walk and play with the dogs during events. Both 4-legged friends and humans will have fun!

Just recently I can across a flyer that was advertising the grand opening of a new workout studio in Palos Verdes. Along with the expected snacks and cocktails that make an appearance at most grand openings, this one added an unexpected twist. The studio was inviting the humans and their furry four-legged friends to swing by and enjoy an amazing workout. While we would be getting our sweat on, our fuzzy companions would be taken on an exciting walk around the area with their friends and trusted dog walkers. What a great idea!

~Gabrielle Norton
Founder/Event Planner
‘Cause We Can Events

Marriage Proposal Planning – is that cheating?


Calling all Marriage Proposal Planners! Wait, what? That’s right. In case you haven’t heard, there exists a career where the job description is something along the lines of “planning the perfect proposal for you and your loved one”. I can see this turning into a huge part of the industry, don’t you? Basically, the Marriage Proposal Planner is in charge of coming up with the perfect proposal that will surprise and delight your partner. They promise to plan a unique and unforgettable way to surprise the ONE you will spend the rest of your life with.

So how much does the perfect proposal cost? Packages vary anywhere from $300 to $2000+ depending on how involved you want the Marriage Proposal Planner to be. They simply help you brainstorm and come up with the idea or they can take charge and do everything from ideas to booking to coordinating the entire love bird moment!

Would you consider it? Some might say this is cheating and that the one doing the proposing should think of an idea that will be meaningful to their partner. On the other hand, what if you just really aren’t the creative type?

Will this be a male dominated audience or will women give it a go? Only time will tell as this is still a newish type of planning. Welcome to the Special Events Industry Marriage Proposal Planners!

Happy Planning!

~Gabrielle Norton
Founder/Event Planner
‘Cause We Can Events

Give it a rest

ImageThe other day as I was taking a break from my desk work, and decided to check out a video that I had heard about with Maria Shriver delivering a commencement speech to the USC Annenberg School of Communication.  In the 20 minute video she advises the young graduates about the importance of taking a pause in life and prior to any significant decision.  She spoke of the importance of personal communication and to take the time to actually speak to people rather than relying solely on text, email and other digital forms of communication.  Ms. Shriver also referred to the vital importance of pausing in life to go within and connect with the communication of our own being. 

We’ve heard the cliché that we are not human doings, we are human beings, and yet most of us seem to fill every second of every day with some sort of activity; even when it seems like a quiet meditative activity such as reading or even watching TV.  But the kind of pause that is necessary to go within and connect with ourselves and the inspirational wisdom that can guide us to life’s next step is a complete and total rest from any activity.  Just sitting still and letting the mind flow.  Some call this meditation, some call it contemplation, and some call it complete and utter torture.  If you fall into the later category, then this act of doing nothing is of even greater importance. 

Even music and rhythm has a place for a pause.  For those that do not read music, (that would include me) it is called a rest.  The Wikipedia definition of the pause in rhythm says “A rest is an interval of silence in a piece of music, marked by a symbol indicating the length of the pause.  Each rest symbol corresponds with a particular note value.”  Without that rest, all the notes just run together and the rhythm becomes jumbled and indefinable.  Uh, hello….our lives are no different than a sheet of music!  Without taking a break, a pause, a rest, time for meditation or contemplation or whatever you want to label it as, without it, our lives become a chaotic orchestra of discombobulated thoughts, events, and occurrences that never lead to any quality productivity or clear understanding of what our next step is.

In this amazing time of expanded communication via the internet, computers, cell phones and other mobile devices, we are connected more than ever to the macrocosm of life, our planet and even the universe as a whole.  Unfortunately, it is often to the detriment of our connection to the microcosm of our being.  And it is that microcosmic relationship to our own inner wisdom that can guide our life in the direction that we desire with a clear vision of the bigger picture.  So how do we carve out space in our incredibly busy lives to create a strong link to our inner blueprint?  Sometimes the task of slowing down seems monumental and only ads more stress and anxiety to our already chock-full life.  However the result of not stopping to pause and rest every now and then has potentially detrimental consequences.  It would be like not feeding your body the food it needs, not hydrating yourself or not filing your car with gas.

In so many ways we have improved our lives with what are now considered things we cannot live without. Technology and communication devices are absolutely vital to the level of productivity and advancement we can now achieve.  But we must not let it be a wedge between the outer world and our inner world and thereby closing us off to ourselves and disengaging us from the vast wisdom that can only be accessed by shutting down all the gadgets and just being. 

For the type A personalities, this may seem quite daunting at first, even painful.  But that discomfort is a huge contrast to the consequences of not remembering the lost art of leisure and the clarity it provides.  The next time you feel a bit lost, or wonder what to do next, don’t “do” anything.  Sit yourself down somewhere, preferable with a nice view, and just “be.”  Resist the inner urge to peruse facebook, or check your email.  Leave the phone somewhere else and just “be.”  Don’t turn on the TV or check out a YouTube video, just “be.”  The only technology that may support this effort is music, but I would suggest the instrumental type so you don’t get caught up in the lyrics. 

Try it.  Give it all a rest and see what happens.  Your thoughts will swim at first, but within a few minutes they will streamline into a cohesive, linear pattern that will morph into inspiration and wisdom.  Tell the negative inner voice that it gets to take a break too.  This process as a whole will vary from person to person.  You have to find your own personal pausal groove.  Don’t beat yourself up if the wisdom doesn’t flow right away.  Practice is required to be adept at anything.  But subtle refreshment is guaranteed even with your first attempt.  It will only improve with time.  And refreshment, rejuvenation and renewal are required to do anything with more than just basic adequacy, so this process will only improve your overall productivity and quality of everything you do. 

Welsh poet, William Henry Davies who lived from 1871 to 1941 recognized the importance of taking a break and the unhealthy speed at which modern society was going in a time that by modern standards would be viewed a significantly slower period in our history.  His poem “Leisure” states it best…

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare. 

Do you take the time to give it a rest?  Share with us your successes and challenges with the concept of pause.

And now I shall go contemplate the leaves…







Pick yourself up and dust yourself off

We’ve all heard the cliché’s around success and failure.  One in particular that stands out in my mind is “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  The reason I find this particular inspirational quote interesting is the implication of trying again more than once.  In other words, don’t just try again if at first you don’t succeed but keep trying until you do! 

Most people wouldn’t believe that a man like Michael Jordan, one of the best basketball players of all time, was actually cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn’t let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” 

Failure is not the opposite of success; it is just a step on the way to success.  If success is reached Imagewithout some level of failure, it is not really a true success but rather a freak accident; and most likely, at some point it is highly probably that a failure of some sort will arise.  This unofficial law of success is due to our innate need as humans for some sort of a learning curve in order to develop knowledge, wisdom, lessons and ultimately the right formula for success.  

As humans, we are not born capable of caring for ourselves.  We are born in need of constant care for several years.  This divine design allows us the opportunity to learn.  Over time we not only learn how to care for ourselves, but as we formulate our intellectual personas, we learn what we like and don’t like; what we want and don’t want; what feels good and what does not; what works and what doesn’t work.  In other words, we can not know what we want without knowing first what we don’t want.  The same goes for any level of success; it cannot be reached without first experiencing a degree of failure which in turn teaches us what not to do again so that we can reach success.  Taking this concept one step further, it would be appropriate to asses that the greater the level of failure, the greater the level of success. 

Unfortunately however, our culture does not always instill this keen piece of wisdom into its youth, therefore allowing many, if not most of us to grow up feeling bad about our seeming failures.  We often find ourselves dismissing an opportunity all together simply because we have failed at it once before.  An interesting dynamic isn’t it?  We have cultural clichés like “pick yourself up and dust yourself off” that implicate the importance to “keep on keeping on,” yet there is this great dichotomy of devaluing ourselves when we fail at something.  But here is the key – the truth that will set you free on your road from failure to success – The only mistake you can truly make, is to “think” you’ve made a mistake and then judge yourself for it.  

Every mistake is an opportunity to learn.  What separates the forever failures from a rising phoenix success story is quite simply our willingness to observe a mistake and learn from it.  Complete self honesty is absolutely imperative to this process.  We also have to be willing to have a positive mind story.  Here too the aspect of honesty is the truth that will set us free.  If we are taping into some sob story from our past that we have painted negatively, we cannot move forward.  However, we can take that same story and ask ourselves “what did I learn from that experience?”  There is ALWAYS something to learn.  For example, if you walk down the street, paying no attention to the pavement below, you might trip over something.  You can either decide to never walk in that area again, potentially missing something spectacular, or you can recognize you tripped because you were not paying attention.  You learn to pay attention and walk down that same stretch of pavement and because of actually looking down you find a $100 bill!  

Now that’s a simplified example, but I think you catch the point.  In case you need a little more food for thought on the matter of failure being a stepping stone towards success, here are few noted success after failure stories: 

R. H. Macy: We are all familiar with this large department store chain, but Macy didn’t always have it easy. Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City. 

Harland David Sanders: Also known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken.  The Colonel had his famous secret chicken recipe rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it. 

Albert Einstein: Most of us think of Einstein as a genius, but did you know he did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social?  Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the ZurichPolytechnicSchool. He proved everyone wrong and in the end, won a Nobel Prize and changed the face of modern physics. 

Lucille Ball:  Before starring in I Love Lucy, Ball was widely regarded as a failed actress and a B movie star. Even her drama instructors didn’t feel she could make it, telling her to try another profession. She went on to win thirteen Emmy nominations and four wins, also earning the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors. 

Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it.  King is now one of the best-selling authors of all time. 

Oprah Winfrey: Oprah faced a hard road to get to where she is today, enduring a rough and abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for TV.” 

Thomas Edison: In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 10,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked. 

I’ve actually seen conflicting numbers as it relates to exactly how many attempts Thomas Edison had at creating the light bulb.  But they were all in the thousands.  So, seriously, the next time you feel like quitting after failing, just think about the 9,999 failures he had.  He never gave up and learned from each and every mistake.  In fact, just before finally reaching success, Thomas Edison was interviewed by a young reporter who boldly asked Mr. Edison if he felt like a failure and if he thought he should just give up by now. Perplexed, Edison replied, “Young man, why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.” 

How have you overcome failure and turned the lessons into a success story?  Please share with us and inspire others through your achievements. 

 Natalie Spiro

ISES Marketing & Communications Director at Large




Time is not found but created

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.” 

Lao Tzu 

ImageTime and money are two of the most coveted valuables in our culture.  Although money seems like it might trump time, what good is money if you have no time to enjoy it?  Similarly, the opportunities that time provides are arguably more significant; at the end of the day it is time well spent that provides life’s greatest joys.  But how do we manage our time effectively with all that we have on our plate? 

In order to stop the madness of not enough hours in the day, time management must become a vital practice so that we can juice all potential joy out of life.  Contained within that time juice concoction is a dose of sanity, peace of mind and a priceless quality of life.  While each of us has our own unique time management groove, there are some basic tenants that can be followed to derive maximum results from our efforts. 

At some point you will need to make time to receive time.  It is important to evaluate some key points in a typical day to observe where time might slip away as well as subtle changes that can be implemented to reduce unnecessary time spent.  Keeping a journal of hours spent for a few days can be a valuable first step.  Often, we don’t have a clear concept of exactly how much time we spend in any one area and we can’t change what we don’t know. 

Once you have identified where all your time is spent, mapping out a plan for sacrifice is the next step on the time management journey.  Sacrifice can be such a dirty word, but it really holds a great deal of power.  To make a sacrifice is to give up something of value for something else of an even greater value.  That sounds like a winning solution to me.  It is about identifying what is truly important in your daily activities and what is not.  One example might be to sacrifice 20 minutes of sleep for a 20 minute walk or run.  20 minutes of sleep is not a lot, yet 20 minutes of walking or running, especially outdoors, can clear the cobwebs from your mind and create the energy level necessary to move through your day with greater ease and clarity.  

The sacrifices you make should be guided by your personal values and professional goals and those goals and values should be interconnected.  Be clear and honest with yourself about what your personal values are and what your professional goals are and any areas where they are incongruent.  If a personal value such as having adequate quality time with your family coexists with a professional goal of starting a new business it is important to thoroughly evaluate how to interconnect these goals and values.  Starting a new business can be extraordinarily time consuming.  Getting family members involved with the business by aligning and implementing their natural skills with tasks that must be completed will be an enriching exercise that brings your goals and values into congruency and therefore saving precious time trying to balance both. 

It might take a week or two to really see the big picture and make all appropriate tweaks to your time.  In the beginning, it may seem like you are utilizing more time than ever with all of the so-called time management activities.  But remember, time creates time.  In other words a few extra minutes (or hours) spent managing your time is a sacrifice that will produce extra minutes and hours going forward.  Two hours spent today exploring tools to organize your time provides additional weeks, months and years of prioritized, systemized days with greater production and more time spent doing what is important and what you enjoy.   

One final tip for you on your time saving exploration – if a particular activity comes into question as far as its level of importance, ask yourself this question: “Does this activity bring me closer to my goals and values or move me farther away?”  I think you know what to do from there.  Do you have some time management tips?  We’d love to hear them. 


TONIGHT! ISES LA Cocktails & Conversation


ISES LA Cocktails & Conversation
ISES LA is proud to announce the first in a series of FREE networking events called Cocktails & Conversation.
This event will be graciously hosted by the Bonaventure Brewing Co. located in downtown Los Angeles at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites.
Come join us after work for a free beer and hors d’oeuvres while enjoying the company of other event professionals in your neighborhood.
We look forward to seeing you all there!
Parking is available across Figueroa St. at the Union Bank parking garage for a flat fee of $15. Exit the garage via the sky bridge, which will lead you directly to the Bonaventure Brewing Co. patio.
When Wednesday, October 17, 2012  5:30 PM             –   8:30 PM
Where Bonaventure Brewing Co. 404 S. Figueroa St. 4th Floor Los Angeles, California 90071
Fees ISES Member Registration ISES Member Fee Complimentary
Non ISES Member Registration Non ISES Member Fee Complimentary
StudentStudent Fee Complimentary

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