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Cindy S. Yantis
Los Angeles, CA
Writer. Thought Changer.
Recent Activity
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I looked down at my hand which was draped palm-down on the book I was reading. What I saw was crepe-like skin gathered at the base of my thumb and soft wrinkles pooling around my knuckles. What I saw was my mother’s hand. What I saw was the merging of my mother’s and father’s hand. What I saw was my grandmother’s hand. My nose stung and my eyes watered. I blinked back a tear. What I saw was, again, my own hand. What are the tears? I asked. Yeah, that surprised me too, I said. Are you sad when look at your hand? No. Afraid? No. I looked again at my hand. My strong, long, lined, graceful, feminine, aging hand. I perused the corrugated map of lines on my palm and marveled at the deep life there. The tears are acknowledgment, I said. Appreciation. Love. All of that from looking... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Thought Changer
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Energy is pretty intense these days. I've been thinking a lot about how the energy of others effects our own and vise versa. I find it interesting how external waves of energy, both positive and negative, seep inside us and can become part of our personal reality. And, taking it more internal, how negative thoughts and energies can either fuel us upward or completely derail us from our path. I know I can go down the self-fulfilling path of self-criticism and judgment. Then, while deep in meditation as I asked for guidance, a message floated through: You were born with all of the power and energy of the universe within you. It is innate, positive, and always surging. Then, came two questions: Why would you give any of that substantial power away to critical talk and thought about yourself or others? And, Why would you direct any of your deep... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2020 at Thought Changer
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What are you watching? Listening to? Thinking about over and over again? In other words, to what and/or whom are you giving your most valuable attention? I caught one of Elizabeth Gilbert's Instagram videos last week. While discussing the issues around trying to be creative during this pandemic she quoted her guru from India who said, "My senses are servants to my mind." Not the other way around. You direct and control your senses with your mind. Your senses don't control your mind. It got me thinking about the immense power we have over our own attention. I know I'm dealing with all of this pandemic business the way so many of you are, with divided attention and short attention spans. Attention. What a fibrous word. Attention is a noun meaning "the act or state of applying the mind to something." Or, "consideration with a view to action." Or, "sympathetic... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2020 at Thought Changer
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This word essential is getting tossed around a lot. Businesses and people/workers are being categorized as essential or non-essential. There seems, in some cases, to be an ongoing debate as to what and who is to be considered essential. People being sent home after being told they're non-essential and essential workers braving against an invisible foe to show up where they're needed. Which is why it's the word-of-the-week in my Quick Sunday Read. So, I decided to take a deeper dive into it's larger meaning. While there are several common and obvious things we all consider to be vital - healthcare facilities, food, the internet, hand sanitizer and masks, to name a few - what's essential to one person may be entirely non-essential to another. Golf? Books? Art? Parks? So, who's to decide? On a much deeper level than toilet paper, hand sanitizer or coffee (one of my surface necessities!),... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at Thought Changer
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Turns out I've not been handling all of this as well as I first thought. All of this, being the worldwide hurricane known as COVID-19. I'm stressed. And, it's in my body. While giving flowery words to being positive and optimistic, staying present and healthy and upbeat as I try and boost up my family and friends along with myself, I'm realizing something. I've been in denial. Denying the stress, fear and anxiety that I've truly been feeling. So, now it's in my body and made me sick this week. Headache, vertigo, tight chest, cough. So, then my mind got messy - OMG do I have IT? I don't, but I went there. I don't think I'm alone in this denial thing. While out on a socially-distanced walk yesterday I came upon a woman. As we made eye contact and shifted to make sure there was appropriate distance between us,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2020 at Thought Changer
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Expanding a little on this week's word-of-the-week from my Sunday Read: Resilience. Words, thoughts and ideas have more power than ever during a time of uncertainty. This is one of those most powerful words that I'm leaning on right now. Resilience in mind, body and spirit. I'm finding it has far-reaching significance. Resilience. What an empowering word. Resilience is a noun meaning "ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like." And "the ability of a substance to return to its usual shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed." And, "the ability to be happy, successful, etc. again after something difficult or bad has happened." Buoyancy. Elasticity. Flexibility. Pliancy. Adaptability. First used in 1620–30. From Latin resili(ēns), resilīre meaning to spring back, to rebound. Psychologists believe everyone has the capacity for resilience and the ability to learn how to build it. The American Psychological Association says: "Like building... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2020 at Thought Changer
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During the process of coming up with my word for 2020, I toyed with the idea of having two. An inner word, like alignment as in making decisions and choices that are in alignment with purpose… And an outer word, like visibility as in meeting more people and putting myself in experiences that will help elevate my relationships and work. A dear friend and I were discussing what our words might be; she said something to the effect that she wants to not isolate, to be out more with people. She suggested Connect or Connection as her word. I said, "Great word. Maybe it's my word too." I laughed, because, of course, it is. Connect is all things inner and outer! We connect. It’s what we do. Until we don’t. Several months ago I hit a wall of overwhelm. I didn’t know what was wrong. I felt cloudy and unfocused.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2020 at Thought Changer
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A decade in review... I remember thinking 2020 seemed so far away when I was a kid. What would I be doing? What would the world be like? Where would I be living then? Such were the ruminations of a dreamer teen still forming her ideas about life. Even ten years ago, 2020 seemed like an eternity away. And, what a decade it’s been. The teen years. It got me thinking about how the last decade has also been, in so many ways, the formative teen years in my adulthood. My adult coming-of-age. Usually this time of year I review the past 12 months – the highs and lows, lessons learned or taught, relationships that shaped and grew or phased on because the contract was complete, projects culminated, new ideas birthed and coddled, loved ones getting married, passing on, babies arriving, blessed pets lost, health experiments, new words learned and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2019 at Thought Changer
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An Answer to An Eternal Question. Birthdays are a favorite time for reflection, so today, I’m once again assessing where I am and what I’ve learned and if there are any nuggets to share. This year, rather than compiling a list of lessons and isms, it’s one of the eternal questions on my mind and an answer that’s been percolating for quite some time. Why am I here? As I was walking to get coffee one morning, I saw a man across the street, out for his morning stroll. I paused to watch him because there was something magnetizing about his carriage. He was elegant, wearing a cappuccino-colored suede jacket over jeans. I’m guessing he was early 60’s, had shoulder-length silver hair pulled back into a loose yet neat ponytail and wore large sunglasses, as he was walking toward the bright, rising sun. What captivated me was his gait. He... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2019 at Thought Changer
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On a recent episode of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" Jerry Seinfeld had coffee with his greatest comedy influence, Jerry Lewis. Seinfeld wanted to discuss some of his favorite iconic bits where Lewis was in his genius. One such scene from "The Bellhop" Lewis appears to simply be walking through an empty ballroom. Seinfeld said, "You were playing like eight different characters there." To which Lewis responded, "Yeah, most people don't notice the details..." What they notice is that it's funny. And, the reason it's funny is that it wasn't general; instead was filled with specificity. And it's why it felt real, even in its silliness. The best actors spend a vast amount of time and dedication to being so specific in their scenes - What's their intention? What's behind the dialogue and actions? What's between the lines? - So that they embody the truth of the life they're portraying.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2019 at Thought Changer
Love that one!
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2019 on This Is Not on You at Thought Changer
1 reply
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Sometimes we need a little reminder. And, then other times we need more than that. We need a meaningful punch to snap out of it. To snap back to paying attention, paying attention to ourselves. I was fretting over a couple of situations recently where I had myself in knots about what to do, what to say, how to be. Enough so that it took a meaningful punch from a good friend, who said, "This is not your responsibility. You're acting like it is." And, when I say meaningful punch, I mean it's a welcome jolt of reality, something I often count on from this friend. It got me thinking about how subtle it is sometimes, the ways in which we can take on too much, diminish our sense of personal power, our self-worth. And, it can build until the little forms of self-betrayal become a way of being. It... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2019 at Thought Changer
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"Reading your own bio is more painful than looking at current photos." I've been helping a friend update his bio. Several days after sending him the first draft, his response email came and literally made me laugh out loud. "I am learning that reading your own bio is more painful than looking at current photos." I laughed because I related so much to the raw truth of his statement. My friend's career has taken a huge uplevel that puts him in the very top echelon in his field. And, while his ascent has been organic and based on decades of study, practice and proven success, the latest leap is the stuff of dreams personified. Thus, the need for a new bio. It got me thinking about how sometimes there are those comfortable parts of ourselves - as in the parts that fit-like-an-old-shoe - that aren't quite ready for the big... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at Thought Changer
That's so true, Debra. I'm reminded of it often as I'm surrounded by so many friends who don't have children but whom are natural mothers!
Toggle Commented May 29, 2019 on The Mother of it All at Thought Changer
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Thank you my friend for your comment. It lifted my day!
Toggle Commented May 29, 2019 on The Mother of it All at Thought Changer
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Erika, Your comment lifted my day. Your kind words remind me of why I write. Thank you so much for your generosity of spirit. I'm glad Thought Changer has been of help to you when you needed some words. You clearly have a gift for the written word. I'm so sorry to hear about your dear friend and for listening to your own guidance as well. Keep on writing!
Toggle Commented May 29, 2019 on Your Most Important Conversation at Thought Changer
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It might not be what you think. DIANE LOCKHART: I’m happy. KURT MCVEIGH: You like narrating your life. ~ CBS’s THE GOOD FIGHT. I thought, ah, there's so much truth to that. We're always narrating our own lives, sometimes dictating, sometimes cheering, sometimes judging. It got me thinking about that most important conversation. The most vital chat being, to my way of thinking, our inner dialogue, the constant conversation we're having with ourselves. On the full moon this weekend some friends were texting about what we each wanted to release and let go of. It can be kind of powerful to do that as one moon cycle ends and another begins. No matter the woo, it's always something good to ponder and can lead to change. I said I want to let go of the attachment to the negative voices in my head. The naysayers in my internal conversation, the... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2019 at Thought Changer
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This is what TV showrunner and writer for ABC's "The Fix", Sarah Fain, said in a recent interview. "Remove the barriers to entry." She and partner Liz Craft were asked what makes them want to read, or more importantly, continue to read a script that's been submitted to them by writers looking to get hired. Besides good writing, surprises within the first five pages (if the first five don't grab them they stop reading) and interesting and compelling characters, they talked more about what interferes with the read or stops them from reading it all together - things that are firmly within the writer's control and where so often they fall short. Things like bad formatting, poor sentence structure or grammar, misspelled words, not enough white space (too many words on the page), are all turnoffs before word one. They said, do yourself a favor and remove the barriers to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2019 at Thought Changer
What is significance? I got to thinking about this, this week when someone mentioned the significance of the date 4/20, at the same time that so many significant dates are also on the calendar. Dates that signify and recognize events with special meanings, like Passover and Easter, wedding anniversaries, birthdays of loved ones who have passed on as well as those commemorating a new year. New beginnings and endings. Full moons and planet retrogrades. It got me thinking as well about the power we have over what and where we place significance in our lives. To be significant is to be important, to be singled out, to be considered of high value, as in one's significant other. It's the magnitude and weight of the attention you place on it that makes it significant. And, the meaning you impose or create around it. How do you determine what is significant in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2019 at Thought Changer
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Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash I didn't even notice it until I was in tears. It finally took hold of me. I was overwhelmed. Normally, I'm blessed to walk around with a pretty large container. In other words, I have the capacity to take on a lot. Whether it's a full house of projects with multiple deadlines, or being there for family or friends in need, or receiving and assimilating input from several sources as I walk my path. And, so often I feel fed, nourished, loved. So, it's not often my container overflows. This week it did. I started noticing that every time I watched or read the news or got into a discussion about some outrageousness that was happening, I got a huge knot in my gut, a heaviness that moved up to my chest. A load that I could previously shake off. A feeling that didn't... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2019 at Thought Changer
I'm so glad Thomas!
1 reply
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One thing I've been noticing as I've been out and about, an uptick if you will: People are kinder. And, interestingly I'm not the only one in my circle noticing this. More than a few have mentioned it in some form as well. This, while so much divisiveness permeates the air around us. A swell is taking place. A swell of kindness. A kind word in the elevator. People taking their time to lend a hand. Or, waiting patiently in line while encouraging someone else to go first, whether it's at a restaurant or in traffic. And, it's not just words, but kinder expressions, kinder eyes. Simple smiles. There's a subtle, larger effort being expressed. A yearning for a gentler nature being embodied. Whatever it's been, it's been palpable. Have you noticed it? And, #KindnessMatters. In fact, if you Google that particular hashtag, #KindnessMatters, there's a lovely slew of initiatives... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2019 at Thought Changer
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There's quite a bit that goes into choosing a word for the year. Inspiration, feeling the need to improve on something or selecting a greater theme that will help to powerfully guide the next twelve months, are all factors that weigh in while narrowing down the word. I find it enthralling, particularly since it becomes a writing guidepost as well. My word for 2019: Mindfulness I tossed around several words, and what I found is that underneath each of the intentional words I was drawn to, was the running current of mindfulness. In other words to successfully embody anything empowering, one must be mindful to attain it. Mindfulness is a word that is loaded and is bandied about a lot. So, let's unpack it. Often, for me, being mindful is what I think of after I do something that is usually a result of not being mindful. Such as when... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2019 at Thought Changer
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Me, enjoying the perspective, at a Palm Springs overlook Sometimes to move powerfully forward it’s helpful to examine with perspicacity what’s in the rearview mirror. The truth is we can’t drive skillfully without that rearview mirror. It turns out this was a good year to gain perspective. Perspective was my word for 2018 and it proved to be useful as I landed there, time and time again. I kept reminding myself to pull back and to look at a situation through a different lens, to heed a microscopic, eye level or eagle view. It often led to epiphanies, large and small. So as part of my year-end perspective I thought I’d use all of those lenses to reflect, glean and analyze what I learned and then let go of what’s not useful anymore. It’s using that gut instinct (what felt good and what didn’t) that we all have, to discern... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2018 at Thought Changer
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In a recent discussion with a group of seekers, we were talking about a new thought concept, a mindset shift. It was a challenge for some of us. I said it's an experiment, just try it on for size, see how it fits. It got me thinking about how life is really made up of a series of experiments. When you think about it, life is a laboratory. A laboratory is the place where the scientist explores, experiments, gets messy, fails, tries again and then reorganizes and experiments again. Life is the open space, the playground, the highway, the laboratory when we experiment within our human experience. We're always experimenting, as our own life scientist, trying things on to see if they fit. Whether it's a new shampoo or sweater, or a different car make, or a different route to work, or a fresh perspective, or a different part of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2018 at Thought Changer