Hi girls! It was a Shakespeare whirlwind summer! I just finished playing Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet as well as Monsieur Le Beau in As You Like It. Playing two characters at once — talk about multiple personality disorder! Anyway, I hope you all had a fun season (and of course wore sunblock where ever you were!). One bright BFF spot for me this summer has been connecting with author Debbie Gisonni; I met her through my gorgeous photographer friend Asa Mathat. Debbi is just so positive and uplifting that I just knew you would want to know her too. She’s like that great girlfriend who’s always there for you with the perfect advice. Especially about how to find true happiness.
Debbie, also known as the “Goddess of Happiness,” is a best selling author, holistic lifestyle advisor, and corporate leader who inspires people to make simple changes that radically improve their self-awareness, well-being and success. A charismatic speaker and media guest, she is the CEO of Stillheart Institute, and was one of the first and youngest women publishers in high tech, as Publisher of Network Computing and the Publishing Director who launched InternetWeek.
Of course as fate would have it, her own life trauma set her on a path to help others find peace and serenity. Here’s the tea and back story:
At the height of her corporate career, Debbie’s personal life was shattered when four family members died in four years—one from suicide. After these life-altering events, Debbie embarked on a mission to help others navigate the ups and downs of life. Debbie is the author of the nonfiction books The Goddess of Happiness: A Down-to-Earth Guide for Heavenly Balance and Bliss and Vita’s Will: Real Life Lessons about Life, Death & Moving On. Her first novel, Note to Self: Love, was released in 2013. You must read it! So uplifting.
And if that’s not enough to put her on your BFF list, here are some facts about Debbie to seal the deal:
-A week after she left her corporate job in the high-tech industry, Debbie got her first tattoo that she designed herself: a sun, moon and stars on her right ankle. Her second tattoo is a dancing goddess on her left shoulder. It’s her reminder to have fun every day.
- When she was 45, Debbie was chosen to appear in a national Pond’s commercial for being “40 and Fabulous.” This included a walk on the red carpet in Hollywood.
-A total Italian foodie Debbie loves to cook and entertain—whether it’s dinner for eight or a party for eighty! She often references food in her writing and plans to write a cookbook someday. Friends go home from Debbie’s house with full bellies, doggy bags and recipes. She’s modified many of her Sicilian mother’s recipes to a healthier lifestyle and was featured in a Whole Foods commercial.
-Quite the fashionista, Debbie used to design her own clothing and was voted “Best Dressed” by her high school classmates. Since then, she’s also designed jewelry, furniture and architectural accents. Her built-in dog cubby design was featured in Better Homes and Gardens. She’s taken courses in Interior Design and Feng Shui, and is frequently asked by friends for fashion and design advice.
-Dancing really gets Debbie’s juices flowing. From tap to jazz to belly dancing, music and movement excites her spirit. She just can’t stop moving when she hears a good beat, especially the beat of a drum—she owns a bunch! She’s coined the term “crazy dancing” to describe her personal dance workout she does in her own home to her favorite 70’s funk music.
-Debbie learned about meditation and started meditating in her 30s. She later got her certification in hypnotherapy (another form of meditation), and has taught meditation to kids, homeless women and corporate executives.
-Currently a California resident, but originally from “Da Bronx,” Debbie’s bicoastal attitude and lifestyle keeps her healthy, happy and balanced.
So my women, let’s take a note from Debbie’s life page and find our ZEN. Let’s find some happiness among our hunt for the perfect man, moisturizer or a pore refiner that actually works!
Harvey Helms is a beauty culturist and writer, drawing on 30 years of experience in cosmetics, fashion and design. Harvey has held positions ranging from Global Director of Beauty for Revlon Cosmetics to Executive Director of Special Events for Donna Karan Beauty. Harvey currently lives and works in Silicon Valley, where he just finished writing his first book in a trilogy of three: Blush: The Unbelievably Absurd Diary Of A Gay Beauty Junkie, an engaging tell-all on the fashion industry. Follow Harvey on Twitter @harveyhelms.