Creating Wellness Through Balance

2015-10-07_11-47-24I’ve been a massage therapist since 2001 and became a Certified Life Coach in 2013. I’ve been involved in Health and Wellness on some level all my adult life. I’ve experienced and researched many trends and fads throughout the years.

What I found is that there are several different components to achieving health and wellness in your life. One that stands out considerably is creating a balance of mind, body, and spirit to the best of our ability. Creating balance empowers us with a stronger sense of self, helping us achieve an overall feeling of wellness. A major course of action toward wellness occurs when we begin to take 100% responsibility for our own feelings, thoughts, and choices. We all have an inner GPS, an inner Knowing that indicates to us what we need to look at that might be creating our imbalance.

Imbalance can also occur during a transitional stage of career change, divorce, relocation/moving, loss of a loved one, health issues, marriage, or becoming a new parent.

The top 3 essential building blocks for taking responsibility are:

1. Willingness ~ Willingness means deciding you are ready to take responsibility. You are ready to see things differently and ultimately choose to do something different.

2. Awareness ~ Awareness is the key to change; we cannot change what we are unaware of. Being present with our body, thoughts, and feelings connects us to the ability to notice ourselves. We become more aware of what is working for us and what isn’t.

3. Change of Being ~ Implementing the change of being is done through a series of small baby steps. The smallest step can create motivation to keep us moving forward. Most important is acknowledging ourselves for all the small baby steps we complete.

The balance may not be in how we count the hours in day. Instead, it is in knowing what we value most and making sure all the things we need in life are present and fully accounted for.

Total Serenity REV photoLisa Santa Barbara is the founder of Total Serenity Coaching and is an iPEC-certified Life Coach who also received training in Energy Leadership. Lisa’s extensive training coupled with her intuitive and deeply caring nature make her a coach who gets results while making her clients feel comfortable and cared for.

Lisa can be reached at 215.906.9393,, or by visiting

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Robin Coppinger
Bucks County Women’s Journal
The only educational newspaper serving the women of Bucks County

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Celebrations with a Twist!

Beyond Weddings and Events is full-service wedding-, event-, and travel- planning company. I design “Celebrations With a Twist” so that your event will stand out from the rest. My goal is to inspire and guide anyone planning a wedding, other event, and more (including travel).

A wedding planner, event planner, and/or a travel planner is someone who you may need now or in the near future. Everyone’s life is stressful! So why add to it? Hire a professional to help plan your upcoming wedding, home party, or vacation. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about Beyond Wedding and Events services:

What is a wedding planner?

2015-10-07_11-48-40A wedding planner is a person who takes charge and plans the details of a wedding from start to finish. The bride and groom are still involved, but most of the work is entrusted to the professional.

To be “certified” as a wedding planner, I was trained at an industry-recognized educational institution. I have the follow designations for event planning:

o LWPI Certified Wedding and Event Planning by The Wedding Planning Institute
o Certified Cake Decorator by Wilton

Isn’t a wedding planner expensive?

A good wedding planner has different packages based on budgets and planning needs. I offer several planning packages starting at $750. I am unique in that I offer an Online DYI Planning Package for $350.

How can I make any event I host unique—especially at the holidays?

Entertaining at home is an event, too. Friends and families receive multiple party invitations, especially around the holidays, so make yours the one that they’re interested in attending by making it a reflection of you.

The same elements used in creating a signature wedding apply when entertaining in your home. Create a menu that showcases the foods that you do well. My signature food is dessert. I also enjoy making comfort foods. As a result, I do my best entertaining during the fall and winter seasons.

Here are some tips in helping to design your signature menu:

• Consider who your event is for—friends or family? Do any of your guests have dietary restrictions? Do they drink? Are they foodies? Knowing your guests is important.
• Determine the purpose of the event. Is it a casual get-together or a formal dinner? Will it be sit-down or buffet? The type of event determines what would be served.
• Define why the event is happening. Is it a celebration, holiday party, or a time of mourning? This will impact the atmosphere you create.
• Enjoy the event yourself! This is the most important tip when entertaining at home. The hostess plays a key role in the success of the event. Take time to plan your outfit, makeup, and hairstyle in advance. Carve out enough time to get ready. Then smile and have fun.

Don’t take on so much work that you find yourself stuck in the kitchen or are already stressing about the cleanup afterwards.

If you love to entertain but find it overwhelming, consider hiring an event planner.

However, if you like to do it yourself, here are some tips to help lighten the party-planning task list:

  • Save time by supplementing your main dish (protein) with prepared sides from a supermarket such as a Wegmans.
  • Use plastic silverware and dinnerware. Costco has china-like dinnerware that looks upscale yet is disposable.
  • For pre- and post-party cleanup, hire a house-cleaning service. You’ve Got Maids offers a Party Planning 101 service.

What are some of the benefits of hiring a wedding planner?

A wedding planner helps with budgeting, vendor selection, contract interpretation, time management, dress selection, menu design, engagement parties, bridal showers, and emergency management.

What is a signature wedding?

A signature wedding is based on a couple’s personality and is expressed through the smallest details of the day. It is what makes one event stand out from another. For example, if your heritage is important to you, we will blend those elements into the food, music, entertainment, etc.

What is a travel planner?

A travel planner helps plan family vacations, couple’s getaways, honeymoons, and more. As a Travel Consultant with GalaxSEA Cruises and Tours, I will handle all of the planning and all of the research about your destination. I have the following travel-planning certifications:

  • Disney Destinations at the College of Disney Knowledge
  • Walt Disney World Dream Maker at the College of Disney Knowledge

Online travel companies offer great deals, but they will not provide you with any planning services. I have access to all of the popular destinations, including Disney, Sandals, Beaches, Cruise Lines, and others. I can also provide information on how your vacation can help raise money for your fund-raiser or favorite charity.

Give me a call about planning your next event or trip. I’d be happy to help!

Beyond Weddings PhotoAnastasia Blaszczyk
Certified Wedding and Event Planner
Travel Consulting

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Robin Coppinger
Bucks County Women’s Journal
The only educational newspaper serving the women of Bucks County

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Considering or Experiencing a Divorce or Separation?

By John G. Millett, J.D.

The decision to divorce or experiencing a divorce or separation is one of the most emotional and trying times of a person’s life. It is not necessary to compound it with the added emotional stress and expense of the traditional legal process.


My divorce mediation practice offers an alternative approach to judges, opposing lawyers, or other third parties who will decide your fate and the future of your family. I am not an online do-it-yourself website, nor am I a high-priced law firm. I complete the entire divorce process from beginning to end at a very reasonable cost and within the least amount of time possible. And my first consultation is free.

I am a divorce survivor myself. After witnessing first-hand the emotional and wasteful process within the traditional legal system, ultimately, three grueling years later, we hired a mediator who finalized our divorce in a matter of hours. Mediation provided great relief in terms of eliminating the ongoing emotional stress and economic waste. Most importantly, it was in the best interest of our children. They no longer had to witness the strife and divisiveness created by the traditional adversarial legal process. Afterwards, I realized I wanted to dedicate my life to providing mediation services to other families.

What is mediation? Although I am a lawyer, as a mediator, I am permitted to facilitate agreements between both parties. In mediation, it is not necessary nor is it required to have two lawyers representing each party. This is accomplished all within the scope of the law and the rules of the courts. In arbitration, or in a court setting, with a judge, that third party decides the outcome of your case. In mediation, on the other hand, all the decisions are made by the parties themselves. This is extremely empowering. I always explain to my clients that attorneys, courts, and judges are for parties who don’t agree. In mediation, the parties reach agreements and subsequently file the agreement with the court. Not the other way around.

What if we can’t agree on anything? In mediation, when parties “hit a wall” and find it difficult or near impossible to agree, we call it an “impasse”. This can happen before, during, or after the mediation process. But there is always an answer, a solution, and an outcome. Assisted by both parties, I create thorough, balanced, and fair alternatives and options for each issue covered. The parties must keep in mind that, outside of mediation, the court will ultimately make the decision for you. Remember: there is always one issue everyone agrees on: the love we feel for our children. Therefore, it’s inaccurate to say “We can’t agree on anything.” The best interests of the children are the centerpiece and catalyst for reaching solutions and results. Even when couples do not have children, the respect toward one’s family is paramount.

What is the process and how long does mediation take? I tell my clients we will begin with the basics and keep the process simple. It is extremely important to present and discuss all facts and to build trust between the parties and myself. This point is strongly emphasized.

A divorce has three basic components: finances (assets and liabilities), support (child and spousal), and custody/visitation. A typical mediation requires approximately three or four 2-hour sessions. I must also complete other tasks outside the sessions, which takes another three to four hours. The entire process can be completed within a few weeks, assuming the clients’ schedules permit.

When all issues are resolved, the agreement is formalized in a document that will be filed at the courthouse. The court will then issue a final divorce decree, and the process will be completed. Depending on the county, the time between the filing and final court order may vary, but usually it is no more than 60-90 days.

Why mediation? Most people don’t know that, when Abraham Lincoln was practicing law, lawyers were referred to as “peacemakers”. He and other lawyers like him represented both parties in front of the court, and the goal was to reach an agreement in the most amicable and cost-efficient way possible. As time went on, legal disputes slowly began to involve two lawyers representing either party. And, rather than starting with what the parties agree upon, today’s courts spend a great deal of time and expense fighting over what the parties’ disagreements are—a very illogical process. Mediation examines what is possible rather than what is not possible, with clear benefits for all involved.

John Millett-hi-resJohn Millett is a lawyer and small business owner. He earned his J.D. at Loyola University School of Law. John also received a B.A. With Honors from Rutgers University and an A.A. from Brookdale Community College. John has been a court- appointed R 1:40 mediator for 10 years and has mediated dozens of divorce cases as well as business disputes, both within the courts and through his private practice. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators and the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators and has experience as a mediator in government and for pro bono citizens’ groups.

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Robin Coppinger
Bucks County Women’s Journal
The only educational newspaper serving the women of Bucks County

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Do you love to dance?

Fred Astaire Dance Studio is a fun and happy place to learn how to dance! We are proud of our great dance heritage, which began in 1947 when the Master of dance himself, Mr. Fred Astaire, co-founded our company. The Fred Astaire Teaching Method includes private instruction, group lessons, and social parties. New studio owners and professional dance instructors Igori Bogatiriov, Yuliya Jung, and Elena Rabinovici are very excited to share the gift of dancing with everyone in the Bucks County area.

Located right in the heart of Doylestown, our doors are open for everyone ready to experience something new, whether it’s getting ready for a wedding or learning to dance for fun. Most importantly, there is no partner necessary. Dancing is about more than the music and steps. Aside from being just plain fun, it’s a perfect combination of physical activity, social interaction, and mental stimulation. Dancing also:

• Relieves stress
• Expresses the joy of living
• Boosts self-confidence
• Offers a total body workout
• Improves memory
• Rekindles romance
• Develops balance, control, rhythm, and coordination
• Strengthens cardiovascular system and builds muscle tone
• Increases energy, stamina, flexibility, posture, and strength

Don’t put it off for another moment—walk into our studio and begin your dancing journey!


Robin Coppinger
Bucks County Women’s Journal
The only educational newspaper serving the women of Bucks County

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Imagine a Better You…With a Sleek Contour

Start of the new year with a new you!

Tired of holding your breath to zip up your pants? Tired of the “muffin top” on your hips? Imagine a better you by treating yourself to CoolSculpting® with Dr. Benjamin Lam at Bucks County Plastic Surgery Center in Newtown.

2015-10-28_16-37-48CoolSculpting is a revolutionary body-contouring treatment that precisely targets the stubborn fatty areas you want to lose. Before CoolSculpting, there wasn’t a nonsurgical way to sculpt the body and reduce fatty areas. The truth is: we all have stubborn fat. And, as we age, gravity and genetics seem to make matters worse. Proper diet and exercise alone are not enough to keep these stubborn areas at bay. CoolSculpting is a solution for getting back the body you want, without surgery or downtime.

CoolSculpting is FDA approved, so you can be confident of safety and effectiveness. The procedure involves isolating and freezing stubborn fat, which is then naturally eliminated from your body. In the weeks and months following treatment, the treated areas are reduced. No surgery, no downtime, no medications!

Dr. Lam and his treatment specialist Stephanie DiSante will develop a customized “treatment to transformation” plan to address your concerns. This comprehensive approach may involve multiple one-hour treatments and is designed to optimize your specific results.

If you answer YES to any of these questions, CoolSculpting is for you!

  • Have pudgy areas resistant to diet and exercise? Say good-bye!
  • Are you too busy for recovery and downtime? None with CoolSculpting!
  • Do you prefer the option and privacy to drive yourself to and from a treatment? 100% confidential and independent!
  • Do you want to avoid hospitals, needles, anesthesia, and medicines? None with CoolSculpting!
  • Can you be patient for several weeks (4-12) while frozen fat cells are being eliminated?

CoolSculpting is for you!

2015-10-28_16-38-58Want your “treat to transformation” plan? Call 215-702-8600 to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Benjamin Lam and Stephanie today! We look forward to making “imagine a better you” happen!

104 Pheasant Run • Building A • Suite 123
Newtown, Pennsylvania
CALL 1-855-702-8600

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Robin Coppinger
Bucks County Women’s Journal
The only educational newspaper serving the women of Bucks County

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Chimayo Gallery & Gift Shop Presents Contemporary Works by Bucks County Artists


The employees at Chimayo Gallery & Gift Shop on Market Street in Perkasie, PA, are well-informed and perceptive, offering quick and competent assistance to every customer. Their objective is to supply an excellent assortment of creative, visionary, and original artwork at affordable prices so that buyers receive both great value and a memorable shopping experience.

Chimayo Gallery, which will mark its second anniversary this year, specializes in new artwork of all kinds by the area’s best-loved artists. They include painter Tim Gibson, photographer Marilyn Nolt, oil painter Margaret Wiseheart Anderson, mosaic artist Pete Maltese, artist Blake Redbone, painter Anne Landis, photographer Scott Shelton, jeweler and mixed media artist JoAnne Krutanis, and more than 70 other creators of all kinds.

In October, Chimayo is hosting an event for paper and mixed media artists Melinda Bream and Leena Nashikkar and is pleased to welcome Eric and Christopher, 2014 Martha Stewart AMERICAN MADE Finalists, who will be at the shop signing their marvelous handmade pillows and totes. In November, Chimayo will showcase the abstract work of B. A. Stoll.

Chimayo is pleased to join the huge list of “Things to Do” for art lovers in Bucks County. It has made displaying the work of Bucks County artists its chief undertaking, although the gallery also exhibits the work of artists from across the country. After being bowled over by the charm of Bucks County, Priscilla Gray-Stoll and Alix Stoll, the co-owners of Chimayo, opened the gallery in January of 2014, a year and a half after moving here from New York.

Priscilla and Alix are truly enjoying the kick-off of their new venture representing some of the finest artists in our region. Upon entering the gallery, guests are ushered into a vivid realm of beauty and inventiveness. Since its opening, Chimayo has received a steady flow of artists and art admirers who continue to converge at the gallery.

The aim of Chimayo has been to respect the ongoing aesthetic imagination of this area, offering superior and unusual work from recognized as well as emerging artists. Chimayo’s offerings include scenic landscapes, abstract art, graffiti art, photography, and plein aire, all of which honor the creative legacy that reflects the diversity of Bucks County and continues to inspire the work of artists around the world.

The owners of Chimayo Gallery have confidence that the hours that members of the community devote to enjoying and participating in group events is time well invested. That’s why Chimayo opens its space to inspire connection by providing a meeting place for fine art, education, recreation, and locally based human services of all kinds.

That’s just a small sampling of what Chimayo has to offer. After visiting the gallery, you’re in the just the right place for a splendid lunch or supper. Check out Maize, Perkasie’s dinner mecca; delight in the flavorful food, garden-fresh ingredients, and warm environment of Down to Earth Café; grab a bite at the Washington House in Sellersville; or sample the superb dishes at Stella’s House Blend Cafe while viewing the remarkable art that graces the walls.

2015-10-27_17-33-22Visit Chimayo Gallery & Gift Shop at 528 W. Market Street in Perkasie, PA. Information about all of Chimayo’s artists, upcoming events, and workshops can be found at or by calling the gallery at (267) 733-5012.



What a great shop!

Robin Coppinger
Bucks County Women’s Journal
The only educational newspaper serving the women of Bucks County


Posted in Bucks County, Bucks County Local Paper, Gift Shop, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Psychotherapy of the Heart

You can feel the relaxation … and the possibilities.  Great read by Susan Talia deLone, Ph.d.

A small stream meanders in front of our property. It is the beginning of a much larger stream that flows into Neshaminy Creek and, from there, into the Delaware River.

2015-08-18_10-28-48Our little stream is a treasure. Children find crawfish and tadpoles. Dogs romp through its waters. It is a safe haven for kingfisher, herons, and baby ducks. It is also very fragile.

Invasive grasses have taken hold in this creek, and, while my husband and I keep digging them out and replacing them with “good” native grasses, the invasives cross property lines and keep on going. As a result, our stream is getting choked, upstream and downstream, in ways I can barely see from the road.

Many people walk this country lane. Families, bikers, and runners enjoy this road and the sound of the rushing waters. The stream cools all of us; it gives us a fleeting sense of contentment.

The lane and creek are shaded by tall locusts, conifers, and hardwoods. We walk, catching the red crest of the woodpeckers, the yellow flash of finches. The stream does its work, unnoticed, unprotected, without complaint or fanfare.

Occasionally, it floods, the pond floods, and our little bridge over the stream goes underwater for a time. The road gets about a foot of water. Cars have to drive slowly. People come in rubber boots and slickers, with umbrellas, and the flooding waters bring us all sorts of surprises—some welcome, some junk to be discarded.

I am working on this problem of the choking canary grass, calling on my neighbors, writing to neighborhood associations and conservation groups. It will take more than just my family’s efforts to get the stream healthy again.

I use the stream as a way of describing all of us. We, too, live our lives moving along, getting swept up, occasionally, in storms and flooding. Sometimes our flow is hindered by obstacles and barriers. Sometimes we can, just by sheer will and the power of our own being, push through and emerge on the other side.

And sometimes we need help to keep flowing. We all seek a life that is unfettered and self-directed. We, probably, want to have that healthy mobility, feeling light moving through our limbs. Many of us seek that place within, where sunlight and dappled sky bring us wholeness and grace.

2015-08-18_10-25-47Our lives, like the creek, are bound by currents, banks, and relationship. The creek doesn’t exist in isolation. It needs the fish and the critters. The trout need the shade trees that keep the water cool. There is a balance here: shade and sun; water, earth, and rhythm.

People come to me as a psychologist because the rhythm of their lives got disrupted. We used to speak of the “stream of consciousness”—the movement of our thoughts, yearnings, desires, and fears. The freedom of just letting our minds wander.

Now we speak of “mindfulness”—a way of being present to life. A way to be in the moment. To breathe and feel ourselves, whole, intact. We want to say, as one of my teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh, said, “I am here. I have arrived.”

Such a simple phrase. Such a difficult state to achieve. It acknowledges movement and stability, the rock and the stream. It gives us a stone to step on if the current gets too strong. It gives us a way to calm down, to take a rest, so we can go again. It is a way of being, moment to moment.

In my practice, I see many people who feel they’ve hit a wall. Obstacles on every side. Nothing is flowing. Grief, long denied or too-long held, can choke the flow. Depression stops us. Panic can freeze us. Hopelessness can keep us in bed. Trauma severely disrupts the movement of our lives.

Each of us has our own story, our own watercourse. No story is alike, and nothing is totally written. The future is, as best we know, still unknown. The real job is to come to this present moment, conscious of the flow of our lives, determined to make our lives fruitful, successful, thriving.

Psychotherapy offers a way to release blockages. It gives us tools to dig up those invasive weeds and replace them with nourishing thoughts, feelings, and actions. It provides the shovel, rake, and hoe to open the waters and start moving again.

Psychotherapy is a process of relationship. It is a journey of shared storytelling. In telling your story, something new can come in. Old wounds can be healed.

I once had a client undergoing chemotherapy whose mother died. Although her mother left her a substantial inheritance, another sister took much of the money.

Betrayal, pain, and recriminations followed. Bitter, hurtful emails. Six years passed, and my client needed to reclaim some of the money. Her sister reached out to her, and my client, instead of reacting with rage, found a way to calm herself and meet her sister.

This is a story of obstacles and digging out bad grasses. Anger and sibling jealousy predated the mother’s death. The sisters were aging. They knew time was short. They made tentative contact. New possibilities entered their relationship. Their lives entered healthier waters.

It is the same with my stream. My neighbors and I are planning a “dig.” Together we are going to put on our boots, climb into the water, and pull out the choking weeds. I look forward to all of it.

My office is surrounded by native plant gardens that are a host to a turtle pond, a fishing creek, and a variety of woodland animals.

Inquire to see if psychotherapy is right for you.













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Robin Coppinger
Bucks County Women’s Journal
The only educational newspaper serving the women of Bucks County


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