Did you know that the single item of clothing women in need often need most is a bra? Soma Intimates is conducting their second bra drive and you can donate your new and gently used bras to any of their stores and they will pass them on to a woman in need.

“Bras are among the least donated but most needed items for the homeless and victims of domestic violence,” states Laurie Van Brunt, Soma Intimates’ Brand President.  “It sounds like a small thing, but donating a bra truly makes a difference to women who are struggling financially or emotionally, or both. We’re thrilled with the results of our first charity drive and wholeheartedly thank our generous customers.  Our original goal was to collect 10,000 bras, and we certainly exceeded our expectations more than two-fold.”

Based on the success of the event, Soma will continue this initiative in January 2011 through Valentine’s Day as a way for women to clean out their drawers at the start of the New Year and to give back to their local communities at the same time.

“The bra drive dovetails with the mission of Soma Intimates,” Van Brunt says.  “Soma’s goal is to make women feel wonderful from the inside out, and there’s no better feeling than helping women who are in desperate need of something as simple as a bra.  Each boutique is able to support local charities to build stronger communities, and we look forward to continuing this very special program.”

Last year, these bras were donated to local women’s shelters and breast cancer support groups in each region.  Bras that were not wearable were sent to The Bra Recyclers, a textile recycling organization that recycles bra components to ensure that no bra ends up in a landfill.  Soma also donated more than 2,500 new bras to Dress for Success, a non-profit organization that provides professional attire for disadvantaged women.

The Bra Recyclers is a division of Bosom Buddy Recycling, LLC based in Gilbert, AZ. They are a textile recycling company specializing in recycling bras and donating a portion of bras to deserving women in communities around the world. Established in October of 2008, The Bra Recyclers has expanded its supports to 19 organizations around the country by providing them with recycled bras. The Bra Recyclers does its part to impact the environment by delaying the amount of unused bras/textiles that go to landfills, thus reducing the pressure on virgin resources. For more information visit www.brarecycling.com

Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to more than 100 cities in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, the UK and the West Indies. To date, Dress for Success has helped more than 550,000 women work towards self-sufficiency. Visitwww.dressforsuccess.org to learn more.

Use this Soma outlet locator to find a store near you.


Mushrooms for Bone Health

January 19, 2011

Check out this good article by Vivian Goldschmidt on the benefits of shiitake and other mushrooms for healthy bones. Because of their copper, zinc and other mineral content, all mushrooms can be beneficial not only for bone health but for our immune systems as well. There is even a recipe for shiitake stir fry. Yum.



Gina’s New Year Advice

January 14, 2011

Gina Lazenby is a dynamic and joyful as well as wise and dear-to-me girlfriend in the UK. Here is her New Year’s advice in 7 steps:

How is your 2011 shaping up?  Do you need some help preparing for the year ahead??

I know I do.

I’ve made a very slow start to the year but that’s normal for me as I always view the real new year as starting on Feb 4th when the feng shui year begins.  That’s the actual date when the new energies come in … until then, at least for me, it’s hibernation central!!

I take January as a non-month and use the time to process the last year, tune in to what I need to let go of and make preparations for another annual cycle. And that takes quite a bit of physical and psychic energy to do.  Maybe you are struggling and feel that because a new year has started you should be feeling more bouyant, optimistic and productive. Forget it. Now is a time to simply get by and go with the flow. Here are some tips to help you (which are really helping me).

  1. Clear out excess stuff: make space for the new.  Whatever you can let go of, books, clothes jewellery, old invoices & paperwork … get rid!  (The Charity shops are crying out for gear to sell)
  2. Take as much quiet time as you can to reflect. I have really been taking things slow; I’ve  not initiated many phone calls and have kept myself under the radar. Plenty of early nights and solitary walks as well as a diet of nourishing food with raw, crispy veggies.
  3. Stay in the moment: do what you are guided to do, follow your hunches and intuition. When I spend quiet time like this I am often drawn to watch movies and whilst enjoying myself I also receive subtle guidance in the stories on the screen.
  4. Ask yourself these eleven powerful questions. They arrived in my inbox from Shiloh McCloud and I think they are brilliant: Go here to read them. Very thought-provoking. 
  5. Ask for help: I use divination cards and can while away many hours asking questions and getting extremely practical advice back from the cards, runes and stones. I already intuited that I need to live a bigger life this year and guess what Goddess card appeared as my energy for the year?  Freya – with the message to be bold. Bold I shall be.
  6. Get more help & support: sharing the goal-setting and visioning journey with others is always useful and stimulating.  This year I have been asked by Transformational Coach Gosia Gorna to speak at her one day in London nextSunday January 23rd.  For the last decade she has run a popular event calledThe Year I Would Love to Have. If you are in London then this is just one example of spending time with like-minded folk visioning a wonderful future while learning some great manifestation skills from Gosia. It would be lovely to see you there!
  7. Make sure your infrastructure works: replace the light bulbs that have gone, replenish the larder and ensure you are stockpiling essentials, charge up your batteries…. just make sure you have order around you so that when the energy speeds up and the pace of life is faster you are ready to cope. I think it is what as known as mending your fishing nets while you are not fishing!

An Anthem for Our Time

January 12, 2011

Out of Many is an anthem for our time with a hope that we can all find common ground to work together.

I co-wrote the song with Thomasina Levy and it has been recorded over the past 2 years.  An extraordinary group of musicians gave their talent and time to help this project come to life. They include David Darling, a 2010 Grammy winning cellist and Nammy winner Joseph Firecrow. We believe a song can help unite us. We are giving this song away for people to enjoy, to be inspired and to help bring our country together.

Thomasina: “Our country is at a transition point, and transitions are difficult and anxiety-provoking, perhaps this song will help make the transition easier.”

Joanie: “I hope that people will want to sing it and make it their own. Maybe it can remind us of what we truly want in our lives. I hope it makes these times easier and more full of community.”


Facebook: OutOfManySong  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Out-of-Many-We-Are-One/129854830400933

Vision, Commitment, Process

January 3, 2011

Micah sent this. Huge process, gorgeous final piece by Supakitch&Koralie.

It is old news, apparently, but new to me. They are two street artists from France who have joined together as a power duo in their craft and are also married, je croix. Both heavily influenced by Japanese art, their work showcases images of geishas, dragons and other elements of the culture. AND a relative of the Fantastic Mr Fox, it seems. creations to the quiet walls of galleries. Read more.

Watch an interview with Supakitch: