Deepak Chopra: 7 Things To Do When You’ve Been Betrayed

baby turtle riding on mom's back/Costa Rica

baby turtle riding on mom’s back/Costa Rica

Spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra explains how to recover from life’s deepest blows.

After being betrayed, most of us want two things, usually at the same time. We want to wound the person who hurt us—as deeply and as excruciatingly—as we’ve been wounded, and we want to rise above the situation and offer that person forgiveness. But neither of these tactics work. Wounding words tend to boomerang and make you feel as terrible as the person you wanted to hurt. Forgiveness, especially if halfhearted, tends to come off as condescension.

There are actions, though, that you can take to can heal yourself. Every hurt has its own story, and so does every healing. But we can say this: You can heal yourself when you’ve filled the hole left behind by a betrayal, and you can heal the other person when you sincerely drop the need for revenge.

Remember, the only betrayals that inflict damage are the ones where an intimate bond has been torn. Love makes you merge with another person, able to feel their emotions as keenly as you feel your own. If you have experienced such bonding, you know that it is a kind of higher reality—and when that bond is ripped apart, it’s as if you’ve lost half of yourself

So how can you get out of torment and find yourself again?

1. Gain some detachment. Stand back and view yourself as if you were the helper, not the victim.

2. Don’t indulge in emotions you cannot afford. Don’t act as if you’re feeling worse than you really are—or better.

3. Make a plan for emotional recovery. Look at where you hurt, feel wounded or see yourself as victimized, then set out to heal these areas. Don’t rely simply on letting time do it for you.

4. Feel the hole inside and grieve over it—but promise yourself that you will fill it.

5. Seek a confidant who has survived the same betrayal and has come out on the other side.

6. Work toward a tomorrow that will be better than yesterday. Don’t fixate on the past or what might have been.

7. Counter self-pity by being of service to someone else. Counter regret by seeking out activities that build your self-esteem.

Cool Mona Note: More tomorrow. Maybe now’s the time for a wildly-colored Tangerine Ginger Margarita. If you receive posts via email, be sure to look below. Sometimes there are 2 stacked on each other.

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A Cool Mona Weekly Masterpiece: Bluegrass In A Cave

A crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling, 500 seats surround the stage. PBS prepares to broadcast live in near perfect acoustics. (In fact, the room only resonates at 2 frequencies meaning that experiencing live music here is like a concert inside a recording studio.) Heavy-hitters Lucinda Williams and Leon Russell have entertained audiences in the monthly concerts. 300 feet down in a cave.  McMinnville, Tennessee. (Middle Tennessee between Nashville, Chattanooga, and Gatlinburg.) 

Bluegrass Underground is a musical adventure series that shines a light on purveyors of musical authenticity in a space unlike any other on (or under) earth. Bluegrass Underground emanates from the Volcano Room, a subterranean amphitheatre 333 feet below at Cumberland Caverns.

The lights dim in the huge cavern 330 ft below the earth. A smoky, indigo blue haze illuminates the stage wedged at the base of the rocky, subterranean limestone wall as the bluegrass band strikes up with chords of moody Celtic music. The audience is mesmerized. For 3 1/2 years the Volcano Room has been echoing to the strains of world class bluegrass music, thanks to the creative genius and vision of Todd Mayo and Todd Jarrell.

Started on Memorial Day in 2008, the concerts now boast overflow crowds and a recurring PBS program with an Emmy for lighting. The artist roster reads like a who’s who in roots music. Everyone wants this gig.




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Autobiography In 5 Short Chapters: The Story Of My Challenged Life

RethinkBy Portia Nelson.


I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost…I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place but

it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in…it’s a habit.

My eyes are open

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

Cool Mona Note: I’m learning, too. (If you receive posts via email, be sure to look below. There’s probably another one.)

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A Cool Mona Recipe: Tangerine Ginger Margarita

tangerine ginger margaritaThis pomegranate-ginger drink (bright magenta in color) may not appeal to tough guys, but the flavor is sophisticated and not to be missed. It’s smooth and just lightly spicy from the ginger, sweet from the tangerine, and tart from the lime. With all that fruit, the tequila hides in the background a bit. An updated version of a Tequila Sunrise.

This recipe is adapted from Deborah Schneider’s excellent book, Amor y Tacos. Note: If you’re concerned about appearances, you may want to double-strain this so the tangerine pulp doesn’t sneak in.


  • 4 slices fresh ginger, each 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 slices tangerine, each 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila (100% agave)
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces pomegranate juice
  • optional garnish: pomegranate seeds


  1. In a shaker, crush the ginger with a muddler. Add tangerine slices and muddle further, then top with ice, tequila, simple syrup, lime juice, and pomegranate juice. Cover tightly and shake for 15 seconds.
  2. Strain into a martini glass or coupe and garnish with a few pomegranate seeds if desired.

Makes 1 cocktail. Happy summer!

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9 Almost Impossible Dreams You Can Never Give Up On (Part 2)

a developing sunflower in my garden

a developing sunflower in my garden

As life goes on, it may finally dawn on you: You’re not going to win the Olympic gold in figure skating or discover a new species of toucan in the Brazilian rainforest. But there are other valid insane dreams, says columnist Leigh Newman, that you absolutely must pursue. Catch up on Part 1 here:

5. The Dream of the Amazing, Life-Changing Trip You Don’t Have Time For

Studying the northern lights of Norway or floating down the Mekong River to view the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia: Let’s face it, these are trips that require three totally scot-free weeks, not to mention the four full days in flights, buses and trains. These are also trips that, perhaps, sitting in your kitchen or cubicle, you’ve built up in your mind as the one badass, awe-inspiring journey that will finally make you into the badass, awe-inspiring person you dreamed of being at age 19. It’s hard to admit (trust me, I’m writhing on the floor right now making upsetting injured-kitten noises), but you are who you are, regardless of whether you’ve been to a surf camp in Morocco. And, honestly, who you are is somebody who needs at least one week of hard-earned vacation spent not at home trying to save money so that one day you can go where you’ve always wanted to go, but rather in some doable version of the dream trip, which may, in fact, be a fantasy designed expressly to keep yourself from ever being able to realize it. Shorten the length of your stay or replace the destination with a similar but more achievable goal that exacts no jet leg (say, Buenos Aires with Paris) and just go! The thing to realize is this: It’s not any one particular geographic place that’s haunting you; it’s the idea of not being stuck in any one particular geography.

6. The Dream of Finding the Person Who Gets Your Cockeyed Take on Life

I’m known at times to wear less-than-flattering clothing. This is because I wear a lot of hand-me-down items from friends and family that have a story behind them that I like. In the winter, in particular, I enjoy wearing a certain black ski hat with neon orange, pink, blue and green stripes on it, which my mother wore in 1983 skiing with my father and me. This clothing does not make me look ironic or vintage or retro. As long as I’m not looking at myself, however, I feel terrific. I feel like I’m my mom on one of those crispy, snowy days when I looked up at her and she seemed to know all there was to know about joy and freedom and ski poles. One evening in 2004 in the great city of New York, I went into a bank to apply for a mortgage. It was a fancy branch. There were suits and pantyhose all over the place. One particular man was sitting in the customer waiting area, his legs crossed, a briefcase on his knees that, by the look of its alligator skin exterior, had to hold various secret Swiss bank account codes within its interior. He stood up.  “Hey,” he said. “Great hat!” I looked around the bank, though I needn’t have because there were no other customers with a 30-year-old, totally tacky and out-of-date ski hat on.  Then he came right up to me and shook my hand, pumping it the way powerful people do to other powerful people. “Your hat made my day!” he said. “That hat is terrific! My dad had a hat like that!” He started laughing—not at me, but with me, because at this point, I was laughing too. I was pretty sure that this guy had not grown up at the small, broken-down ski resort (also known as Artic Valley) in which I’d grown up in rural Alaska. But I was also pretty sure he had loved his dad and missed that feeling of absolute child-parent worship on a dazzling snow day when school and work comes to a standstill and you get to go sledding or skating or snowball fighting with your family. He went off to his world of corporate finance; I stayed in mine with my never-to-be-realized mortgage. But it was zestifying really, to have this thought: They are out there—and often where you least expect it—the people that see life through the same scratched, nostalgia-fogged lens.

7. The Dream of the Hero

Some of us dream of saving an old lady in an upstairs window from a raging fire. I, on the other hand, have watched too many Angelina Jolie movies. I have deep, developed fantasies about a rogue band of terrorists storming into my book club meeting, at which point I transform into a sexy, karate-chopping warrior, complete with machine guns and machetes, and kick the butts of all the evil masked offenders, only to take off running into the night at high speed to preserve my secret double identity, which no one in my book club ever suspected. This is not going to happen. But I have been the warrior of lasagna for my friend with leukemia, who couldn’t stand up to cook. I have been the ninja of at least two weddings where the bride succumbed to a panic attack and fainted in the bathroom. And I have been the superhero of Tuesday afternoon swimming lessons, which my son so badly wanted to take, but which also coincided with the end of the school day, requiring me to drive across town in under seven minutes, find an illegal parking place (since no legal ones exist), gamble on how long it would take the meter maid to find us and tow us, and then dress my son on the sidewalk as we sprinted to the pool, ripping off his T-shirt, slapping on the floaty backpack, only to bust through the doors and sit him down on the bench by the shallow end, saying to him with all gravitas, “Nobody can stop us, son. Nobody.” You too have pulled off the heroic and inhumanly possible on the way to the convenience store—and you will again and again and again. Most dreams are also part reality (otherwise we wouldn’t believe them), and reality happens to be a condition that gives you plenty of chances through your life to rise to—no, soar through—the occasion.

8. The Dream of Fat-Free Cheese Fries

Eventually, this one will come true. I will sit down to a plate of fat-free cheese fries that taste so greasy and salty (though without any actual grease or salt) that I will be compelled to suck down another No-Hangover Amber Ale and then tipsily laugh (on a weekday night) at my husband’s jokes, so much so that he will share half of his no-calorie chocolate cake with me. And here is why: There is some smarter, equally round scientist out there in the world who has exactly the same dream—as well as an imagination that can visualize waist-reducing, full-fat, overly sugared whipped cream.

9. The Dream of the Airplane That Actually Flies

When my son was 4 years old, he used to build elaborate paper constructions in the afternoons after preschool. Sometimes these were airplanes or rockets made out of water bottles covered in tinfoil, with invisible explosive flames. One day he built a car out of an actual matchbox, along with looping paper roads that, at certain intervals, were supported by the cardboard rolls that come inside paper towels. That day, he handed me a shoebox. I knew what it was, and the dread immediately sunk in. “Put in the batteries,” he insisted. “Get the electricity and the coal and help me make it work.” I stood there, so painfully aware of what he wanted, for me to know how to build stuff that functioned and for me to be able to teach him how to build this stuff that functions. All his life, people were going to dodge this by telling him to ask for the Hot Wheels loop-the-loop set for Christmas or just enjoy pretending the noise and sound and motion of an imaginary remote-control car and track. All that is fine, of course. We’re not all engineers or Da Vincis. But there was a time in your life when you wanted to do something: fly a plane or catch a butterfly or draw a human hand that looks like a hand and not some weird, fingered crab. This skill is actually possible. Excavate the longing you used to have, practice and master it—even if that skill is simply lying on your bed the way you used to and dreaming of things the way you used to.

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9 Almost Impossible Dreams You Can Never Give Up On (Part 1)

no regrets

no regrets

As life goes on, it may finally dawn on you: You’re not going to win the Olympic gold in figure skating or discover a new species of toucan in the Brazilian rainforest. But there are other valid insane dreams, says columnist Leigh Newman, that you absolutely must pursue.

1. The Dream of the (Tiny Little) Thing You Were Meant to Do

Look, we all know what I was meant to do: sing jazz in a Paris club (except that I can’t sing) or write a novel (except I tried that—it didn’t work) or become a large-animal country vet (except I’m too old to go to vet school, and also word on the street has it that it’s harder to get into vet school than medical school). At times, the big yucky struggle of our life direction and purpose (which, by the way, is the most important struggle in our lives) is just too big and yucky to contemplate. Take a day off. Figure out the tiny little thing you were meant to do. My friend Rachel was meant to dance in nightclubs. At age 42, she goes out once a week and shakes it until 3 a.m. in Minneapolis. My friend Marie was meant to look at paintings and just walk around admiring them on her Saturdays off. My mother was meant to take hot baths with scented candles. (Not just everybody can do this either; I find hot baths scalding, confining and panic-inducing.) Find your one tiny little thing and make it a big part of your existence.

2. The Dream of Having a Child in Your Life

Nobody wants to talk about this. It’s too sensitive. It’s too personal. It’s too painful. But just about everybody has some version of these thoughts: You couldn’t have a child, or you could, but you didn’t find the right partner to have a child with. Or you had a child but wanted more and couldn’t afford them. Or you had a child but wanted more but got divorced. Or you had a child, but something awful and life-rending happened (see Lorrie Moore’s A Gate at the Stairs. Or—and in my humble opinion, this is the most heartbreaking—you didn’t think that with your problems or your history or your hang-ups, you had much to offer a child. Of course, there are exceptions to what I’m about to say, but for the 98 percent of us who are not violent or creepy or legally insane (yes, I made up this statistic), you have something that a child not only will find instructive or beguiling but also needs. It will be the neighbor’s kid or your granddaughter or your niece or the sullen teenager who works at the corner store who you befriend after catching him stealing whipped cream canisters for use in mind-altering activities, and you’ll say: “Hey, I used to do stuff like that too. And by the way, it never produced any kind of long-lasting happiness. Whereas bike riding or building geeky but awesome rockets with you in the park…”

3. The Dream of Universal Free Umbrellas

Imagine a world where, in front of every house and store and school and office building, there stood a bucket of free, unbreakable umbrellas. Should the clouds roll in and the first plops of rain splatter on your head of carefully negotiated hair, you—and everyone else in the world—could simply grab one these sturdy, protective items, open it and relax on the way to your job interview or first date. Should the sun peek out two hours later, you could drop off said umbrella in the nearest available bucket—and walk on. The reason why you must have faith? Similar programs have been done with bicycles to great success. Both items have spokes…that’s all I’m saying.

4. The Dream of Feeling Good in the Morning

For most of us, getting out of bed each morning after age 27 is physically uncomfortable—not in a massive, disease-riddled or car accident kind of way. We’re just overweight and out of breath. We’re relatively thin but with throbbing joint pain. We get soul-crushing headaches due to stress or break out in hives due to some as-yet-undiagnosed allergy. Furthermore, none of us are doing much about it. We’ve been to see doctors, herbalists, acupuncturists and weird cultish healers that scared the heck out of us. Note to us (me included, due to my back problems and bad diet): You’re not done until you feel good. Get back in the game. Quit, find, and solve whatever so relentlessly ails you.

Cool Mona Note: The rest tomorrow. In the meantime, do you know A Few Cool Ways To Move It Forward?

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The NO Bill Of Rights

i got inspired at the grocery store today -  dragon fruit from vietnam

i got inspired at the grocery store today – dragon fruit from vietnam

No is an incredibly painful and brave word to say. How many times have you had to say no only to have it cause anguish, desperation, arguments, and anxiety? Even the hours, days, and months before you say no are filled with anxiety: Should I? Could I? What will happen?

But you have the right to say no. In fact, you have a whole Bill of Rights. These rights are already yours and James Altucher, through his new book, The Power of No, helps us fully realize them.

Here are 6 of The No Bill of Rights that will give you the power you need to get where you want to go in life:

1. You Have the Right to Defend Your Life

You are entitled to say NO to the things that will directly hurt you: fire, jumping off a building, drinking poison, overdosing. People readily say no to something as extreme and dramatic as fire. But other No’s are more subtle. It might be harder to say no to cigarettes, alcohol, or toxic relationships. You decide what you say no to. Nobody else does.

2. You Have the Right to Healthy Relationships and Real Love

You decide whom you say NO to. You are entitled to choose your tribe, regardless of what society imposes on you. You decide who in your life drains you of energy, and then purge them so you can soar. This does not mean you become a hermit; it means you choose your family, your friends, your colleagues, your tribe, your life.

3. You Have the Right to Use Your Talents and Allow Abundance into Your Life

You are entitled to say NO to whatever gets in the way of your creative force and keeps it from bringing you a life of abundance. You are uniquely needed in this world, but only if you say no to the barricades. You have a mission. Only you can give the gift you have. You deserve abundance, wealth, and appreciation for your work.

4. You Have the Right to Assert What You Want

Every day, colleagues, institutions, bosses, friends, and family want you to attend to their needs. They don’t do this because they are bad or selfish. They do this because it is simply what people do; they have their own best interests at heart. And you are also entitled to have your best interests at heart. You don’t have to do what everyone else in society is doing.

You are a unique combination of DNA, environment, culture, and personal experiences. For you to say yes to something, it has to be special to you. Everything else, no matter what the consequences, you are entitled to say NO to. When you say yes to something you don’t want to do, here is the result: you hate what you are doing, you resent the person who asked you, and you hurt yourself.

5. You Have the Right to Choose What Stories You Believe In

Why did humans move up the food chain 70,000 years ago? Because we developed the language to tell stories. Stories, myths, religions, and institutions allow us to cooperate with millions of other humans. Humans are great storytellers. That’s what separates us from every other species. There are thousands of common stories that are baked into our societal mythology and that we believe are real. Some of them are: College. Owning a home. Marriage. Children. Having a cushy job. Postponing our dreams for when there will be money. “Work hard and succeed!” Ten thousand hours to mastery. And so on.

You are entitled to say NO to the stories that do not serve your own evolution, and yes only to the ones that align with your spiritual work, your bliss, and your ability to manifest a fulfilling life. Distinguishing your true stories from the ones that aren’t true for you protects you from the seven billion people who want to keep you in line.

6.  You Have the Right to Be Honest, Above All, with Yourself

You are entitled to say NO to wearing a mask in order to get people to like you. You can trust that the way you are is fine, that your honesty is what attracts others to you, and that your truth is what lights your internal fire. The world right now is filled with fog. Honesty is a beacon. Your honesty—saying no to the lying—is what will bring the lost ships home. It’s what will bring health, love, and money to you.

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A Cool Mona Book Review: The Rosie Project

Marg_4 icon

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, published 2013. A debut novel (I love these!) in an upbeat, quirky, most honest love story told in a long time. It’s an extraordinarily clever, funny, and moving book about being comfortable with who you are and what you’re good at. Let me be up front: I suspect it’s chick lit but I didn’t know it until I got too far into the book and couldn’t put it down. Like on page 7. It’s charming and delightful and should be read.

It’s written through the words and thoughts of Professor Don Tillman, a 30-something genetics professor at an Australian university. He’s also an Aspie (one with Asperger syndrome who experiences repetitive and restrictive patterns of behavior and interests). For example, when Don initially meets people he immediately thinks their BMI number. It’s just a habit he can’t break and so all through the read, BMIs are introduced along with the new characters’ names.  The Rosie Project is a fascinating read in that it shows you how an Aspie genius thinks and gets through life. The latter being not so easy. You’ll also learn that someone at this level (genius) travels on a particular type of passport, clearing the way for odd and inappropriate comments and behavior in an airport or during a flight.

The author is an IT consultant with his screen adaptation of The Rosie Project winning the Australian Writers Guild Award for Best Romantic Comedy. It’s been optioned by Sony Pictures and Simsion is currently working on a sequel. Bill Gates announced The Rosie Project as one of his top 6 books of 2014. “I’m sending copies to several friends and hope to re-read it later this year. This is one of the most profound novels I’ve read in a long time.” I give it 4 really-full margaritas in the Cool Mona rating system.

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A Cool Mona Recipe: Cucumber Pineapple Tequila Cooler

i'll take two and call you in the morning.

i’ll take two and call you in the morning.

From the creative and talented chef, Amanda Freitag, a Chopped judge. Total prep time is 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple cubes
  • 2 limes, skin removed
  • 1 seedless cucumber, peeled, plus cucumber slices for garnish
  • 4 ounces silver (blanco) tequila
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • Pinch kosher salt

Prepare a vegetable juicer (or blender if unavailable). Run the pineapple, limes and cucumber through the juicer, letting all the juices combine. Pour the tequila into a cocktail shaker or pitcher, and then add the juices, ice, agave and salt. Shake or stir vigorously until chilled. Line up 4 tall Tom Collins glasses filled with ice, and pour the tequila cooler over. Serve with straws and cucumber slices for garnish.

And then immediately call me. I’m available on short notice.

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6 Times When You Must Trust Yourself (Part 2)

keep looking

keep looking

More from inspirational writer Amy Shearn who knows that there are times when it’s wise to ask for a second opinion. Then, there are these times, when no one knows the answer but you. Did you miss the first 3?

When You’re 41 Years and 9 Months Old

I recently met a woman who has been working on her ukulele opus for 20 years. Not that she’s written a note. In fact, she only just learned how to play the instrument. But she’s had it in mind that she would create this piece of music for decades…only to falter now, because it somehow feels too late to begin.
Why You Should Trust Yourself Now: Research from the Erasmus School of Economics in the Netherlands shows we reach our creative peak at 41 years and 9 months, or when we reach 62 percent of our lifespan (based on studying the top works of 221 major artists).

If You’ve Been Meditating

You finally took your blissed-out, preternaturally calm aunt’s advice and started meditating every day.
Why You Should Trust Yourself Now: Research finds that meditation actually increases the brain’s gray matter in regions associated with sensitivity to the body’s signals. When you meditate regularly, your brain is actually more in tune with your body.

When You’re 74 Percent Sick with 100 Percent of the Flu

You’re sick. But you might be able to work. If you could just get out of bed and drag yourself over there. So when you’re talking to your boss, should you feel okay—or not—taking that sick day.
Why You Should Trust Yourself Now: We all get that it’s complicated, but you know when you’re sick and when you’re just feeling tired. You have work to do, of course you do, that’s why you usually go to work every day. But infecting the entire office with your plague is not going get any more work done, now, is it?

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