Jeffrey Mishlove: Hello, everybody in Wisdomland!
I hope you're having a good day. I sure am. And we've got a very special
program here. In fact, I am sitting face to face with a Fairy Godmother
in full regalia! You wouldn't believe it. She came in with a wand and wings,
and a halo, and fairy-dust. She practically flew right in, and her name
is Nance Cheifetz.
She is the author of a wonderful, delightful
new book called, of all things, "A Sense of Delight". Welcome, Nance!
Nance Cheifetz: Thank you. I'm happy to
JM: It's a pleasure to be with you. And
of course, you're in the business of pleasure.
NC: That's right!
JM: You've really made your focus, how people can take delight in hundreds of different ways.
You began your work under circumstances
that weren't so delightful, in a home for the elderly, as I recall.
NC: Actually, my work began a lot earlier
than that. From the day I was born, I started doing work like that. But
my first professional job was working in nursing homes .... And I was hired,
in 1979. Programs that were in nursing homes were bingo and wheeling people
to macaroni crafts, and when they hired me, I was the first of special
therapists they had never hired before. I went in there and took a look
around and thought, boy, I'm going to make some big changes ....
JM: And you kind of turned the place upside
NC: Turned the place upside down. They
never knew what hit them. I looked around and I thought, "God, [they] couldn't
work coming out of their rooms, there was no sense of surprise, there was
no expectation of anything, there was nothing that gave people a feeling
of wanting to live, or of there being anything going on, and I just [asked],
what would happen if we just sparked surprise, and we created delightful
occasions, and if we did things, would it make a difference, even in this
So I started doing things like bringing
in a circus and calling up the zoo and asking them to bring animals in,
and dressing up in different costumes all the time, and creating wonderful
... changes, and it made a huge difference in the environment.
JM: Working with theater, in effect.
NC: Pretty much, working with theater,
working with the element of What would bring people joy and delight?
[What] would just change things around, even for the moment? We saw remarkable
changes. People started coming out of their rooms that hadn't come
out for years, women started having their hair done ... Men started
shaving, and started coming out of their rooms for events. There was just
something to peek around the corner and look forward to.
That was my first -- I thought, in an environment
like this, joy makes a difference, boy, Joy really makes a difference
JM: You reached a point in this work where
what you were doing was a little overwhelming for the bureaucracy?
NC: [Laughing in delight] Right.
It didn't take long. It was an institutional setting, and I had most of
my day at some point ... working in interdisciplinary leanings/leadings,
and I thought, This is crazy. I mean, I have to spend my entire time doing
institutional stuff. And so I decided, [it was the] wrong environment for
JM: So then began your career as the
Fairy Godmother of Delight Work.
NC: Well, pretty much. I decided to try
my hand at business. The thing that was fun about it was, I had never thought
about being in sales or doing anything like that. And I was always in social
services of some sort, that type of business-people therapy. So one day
I'm reading this advertisement. It was a rainy day (I was living in Boston),
and it said, "We're looking for some body to sell rainbows."
And I thought it was the most ridiculous
ad I'd seen in my life, and I called up just for a lark of it, and I said,
"This is what I do, but your ad is hysterical," and I went in and they
hired me immediately.
My thought was, can I do business the same
way that I do everything else? And could I be successful doing it that
JM: What are the rainbows?
NC: The rainbows were, I don't know whether
you remember, there was a Company called "Illuminations" that came out
... [made] these seals that you ... cards?
JM: Yeah, you put 'em on your windows.
JM: They were great. I loved those rainbows.
NC: They started out with dharma seals,
Sufi symbols, Buddha, and they sold to the New Age market at the time,
which was a lot smaller, and then they had some extra mylar, and came up
with this idea of this Rainbow and it just took off and they entered
the Gift Industry, and I was the first House Rep they had. It was out of
JM: You can see on the wall there, is --
our viewers can see on the Website, if they go that image, is the Rainbow
Yin-Yang. I designed it,
NC: Oh, really?!
JM: It is the logo of the Intuition
Network, which is a nonprofit organization I'm involved with, people can
see the Rainbow YIn-Yang, incidentally, on www.intuition.org.
But I don't mean to interrupt you.
JM: You were going around in costume,
NC: I was going around in costume. You
see, one of my big things in life is, I've never wanted to wear business
clothes. So no matter what I've done, the first thing was, how can I get
rid of the business clothes.
I went to the owner of the Company and
I said, "Wouldn't it be a much better thing if I dressed up as a Rainbow,
and then everybody would connect me with your Company and I'd get lots
of exposure and it would look great for you!"
He sort of nodded, and said OK, and I went
and had one of my accounts (they did Kansas stuff) and I got jump-suits
and I had them do canvas Rainbows on the jump-suits! And I had Rainbow
earrings on them -- I used to walk around with this little Kermit the frog
thing, Rainbow Connection tape that used to go on.
And people were delighted. I mean, they
just had a lot of fun. I'd bring chocolate chip cookies and balloons and
just --how to make business fun. I was very successful at it, which
was very surprising. But I didn't have the usual skills that most people
had, but people were delighted to see me. And they had a lot of fun with
me, and they enjoyed the interactions, so they gave me their business.
That was my business foray into the world.
Then I started a Company called Parrot
Productions so we could dress up like parrots, and gave it all kinds
of crazy things, and did the same thing, and expanded it. I did that for
about five or six years.
JM: So after having a whole series of zany
careers, you decided to go independent.
JM: Fairy Godmother Productions.
NC: [Laughing in delight]
JM: And you have a Company called Ruby
NC: Ruby Shoes Press, right. Which published
the book, right. People, when they meet me, ask me if I've always been
JM: You mean, a nut?
NC: I mean, a nut! I've actually some very
funny stories about being stranded dressed as a Fairy Godmother, but when
I was eighteen, I remember being in college, and a professor came over
to me -- we were lying outside -- and he asked me, when I "grew up", what
would I like to do in life, and I said, "I'd love to be a Fairy Godmother.
I'd love to help people connect up to their dreams, and create more magic
in the world!"
That was when I was eighteen, and it took
me till I was, probably, 44 now, or till I was 39, 40 years old, to get
the courage to look at myself and not be myself as a side-line hobby any
JM: It takes a while to grow into the status
of a Godmother! Let alone, a Fairy Godmother.
NC: It's true!
JM: You've got hundreds and hundreds of exercises, wonderful things in here, and we'll go over them. But before we do that, let's talk a little bit about the deeper meaning of this work.
JM: After all, I think -- you're in your
mid-forties, and you probably appreciate that while fun and play and delight
are nice, they're joyful, they're distractions, there's something more
to what this is all about.
NC: Right. Sometimes when people meet me,
they tend to think for the first few minutes, that I'm frivolous. After
that, they realize that I'm not.
I take a look at the idea of Healing
in Life, and the fact that people are always looking for the Fountain
of Youth, and what vitamins are they going to take, and what this are they
going to do, I'm a HUGE proponent of Spiritual Practise
-- of exercise and Yoga and good food and good diet and good company and
lots of love in your life.
But I think one of the main things that
is -- People need to remember their Creativity. They
need to connect up to their passion in Life.
I think that when they're young, we get
an idea of what an adult is, or who we are. Or we're expected to be. And
somewhere along the line, we freeze into an image of that. Sort of like
a popsicle. We freeze into a popsicle adult. And we get afraid to venture
out of any of the areas. Maybe there are things that you're good at. Or
ways that you've defined yourself.
And at a certain point, you're unwilling
to walk out of that definition of yourself. You're unwilling to look silly,
you're unwilling to make a fool of yourself. You know, the expression,
"Make a fool of yourself for God." Be God's fool in this world.
So a lot of the work, the reason for one,
that I always dress up as a Fairy Godmother, is it gives people permission.
I mean, they see me, it makes them laugh, it's kind of fun, I'm sort of
goofy, and it somehow lightens the mood up in the room, wherever I am.
And the second part is, mostly Fairy Godmothers
are people [who] grant permission. I think one of the things that we need
to do more as an adult is give ourselves permission to move into arenas
that we ordinarily might not move into. And that delight or play or creativity
gives you a way to enter into a relationship differently, gives you different
skills for solving problems that might not be so easy to solve another
If you're working with children, it gives
them a way out, and you a way out. So you can take a situation that's usually
difficult, and I can give you all kinds of funny examples. And find a way
to create an opening. You don't have to do it in the usual sort of foot-stomping
way. You can find a delightful way, and that's what sense of delight's
How do you find a delightful way into a
/ interrelationship? How do you look at the things that may be a bit of
a challenge? And look at them a bit differently, and then they change.
Joy changes people's perspective on things. The more you connect up
to your Creativity, the more passionate you are, the more fun you have,
and certainly your relationships completely change.
JM: One of the interesting statistics that
you quote is the fact that children laugh, I think, on average, 350
times a day.
JM: And adults --
NC: They laugh 10 to 15 times a day. That's
JM: That's a factor of 35 to one.
NC: And the interesting -- I only really
know about three statistics in my life. The other thing is, statistics
in terms of positive and negative statements as a child. The ratio on that
is 14:1 when you're five years old. So you figure, self-esteem statistics,
I think it's: [in] Grade-One, 30 percent of kids like themselves, Grade-Five,
20percent of kids like themselves, and by the time they're a teen-ager,
5 percent of people like themselves.
Then you turn around and say, by the time
you're an adult, what's happened? A lot of times, people's first response
is, "I don't have a lot of time," or "I'm busy," or I say "You don't have
time for anything else."
I mean, if what you want in your life is
Love, if what you want in your life is Appreciation, Acknowledgement, and
Gratitude. That's what people want. They want praise, they want to feel
appreciated. They want acknowledgement in their life. And taking the time
to do even the smallest thing creates the environment for it.
JM: One of the fundamental principles,
I think, of getting what you want in life, is to be able to give.
JM: And what we have here in your book
are recipes for creating delight, not for selfish purposes, but delight
in the lives of people around you.
NC: Right, exactly.
JM: And they're free, for the most part.
It doesn't cost a lot of money to create a delightful experience.
NC: That was one of -- Actually, I'm a
single Mom, and one of the things that was very big on my List was the
fact that people say, "Yeah, it's easy to delight someone, go out to a
great dinner, go out on some great vacation, whatever" but my whole point
was, not everybody can do that, maybe there are moments like that, when
you get a great vacation, or you do something wonderful, but most of us
live a life where we've got work and are balancing children or family or
responsibilities, so the whole purpose of the book was to make it really
accessible and affordable, and also to give everybody the feeling of
It wasn't just Abundance because you had
lots of money, but it's Abundance regardless, that you can create extraordinary
circumstances, and wonderful occasions for people, and some of the nicest
gifts, that are most appreciated and they cost time, energy and usually
paper. For some reason there's always paper involved!
JM: I have, sitting right here in my studio,
one of my favorite gifts somebody made by taking pictures out of magazines,
and cutting them, and folding them together [Music] and making pockets
within pockets within pockets of magazine pictures.
NC: [Laughing merrily]
JM: We'll be back with Nance Cheifitz,
the Fairy Godmother of Delight, after these messages from WisdomRadio.
I'm Jeffrey Mishlove, host of Virtual College.
[End of Segment One, 3/25/99]
WisdomRadio March 25, 1999 Segment 2:
Jeffrey Mishlove: I'm back with Nance Cheifetz.
We've been talking about gifts, as a way of creating delight in people's
lives, and a lot of your book is focused not only on the many wonderful
projects that you could get involved in by way of creating a gift or a
giving situation, but also about some of the philosophy of giving.
Nance Cheifetz: I think that everybody
wants to give, everybody wants to be a Giver, and everybody wants to be
generous in life. Most people, when you've had this feeling of having so
much love in my heart for somebody, that I just don't know what to do.
There are so many things that come out of me, and ways that I want to express
One of the sections in the book is "Creating
Gifts". It was pretty much born out of gifts I'd made, other people had
made, [or] have been given, have been incredibly well received, and we're
the ones that were -- that seemed most valuable to share with people.
JM: Let's hear some examples.
NC: One of them is, and it seems to be
the favorite and most powerful for people, is called "The Treasure Box
of Appreciation", and what it is, and there are many different ways to
do it, I'll actually tell you a story. This woman who I knew who hired
me to come in and work a celebration for her husband's birthday. Her husband
happened to be the more expressive of the two in a relationship, he tended
to be a person who expressed his emotions more. Gave her more cards, did
more of that type of thing.
And so we created a whole evening together.
What we did, she put together a Treasure Box of Appreciation. What it was,
was a box --and it can be anything, you can use a take-out Chinese food
carton, you can use a beautiful bag, you can use a box -- sometimes party
stores have little treasure boxes -- and what she did was, she started
writing down all the things she really appreciated and loved about him.
They had been together many years. I think
they had been together at least 17 years. She color-coded them. Some of
them were memories that they had had on shared-experiences vacations. And
some of them were just his qualities, things she loved, appreciated about
him over the years. She put it in a box and he wrote me a letter after
he received it, thanking me for the evening and said it was probably one
of the best nights they'd had together, in all their years, and it was
the most appreciated gift that he had gotten.
Because she had taken the time to express
all the things that she loved about him. And that's been a gift I actually
gave to my children one year. I remember my daughter looking up at me and
she said to me, with tears in her eyes, "I never knew that you paid attention
to all of these things.
So, that's a very powerful gift and very
easy to create. You can walk around, and -- It's a gift for the Giver probably
more than the Receiver. Because, usually I tell people, "Walk around with
a pad or whatever," and jot down things as you notice them, or as you remember
them, or as you appreciate them,
JM: The positive qualities of another
person. You want to --
JM: You want to give them that feeling.
NC: Exactly. The positive qualities, and
also how they've related to you in relationship with them. There are so
many moments we take for granted. The time when somebody's there when you're
crying, or you've got a hand to hold, or somebody's gone through a very
difficult experience with you, or joyful experiences.
And I think that when the Giver starts
realizing -- you start looking at a list and realizing you've got 120 things
to that person -- that you just spent yelling at, because they left a towel
on the floor in the bathroom, you start shifting your perspective, and
your appreciation of having them in relationship in your life. That's the
gift to you, and of course the gift to them is they get to see it. And
as we all know, whatever you put your attention on grows, and what
you take it away from diminishes. When you put it on gratitude and appreciation,
That's one of the real popular gifts that
are in there.
JM: In a way, it sounds like it's an archetype
for all of the work. As the Fairy Godmother, you're really helping people
to give wonderful things to each other. And a gift, even a material gift,
is symbolic of that sense of appreciation of another person.
NC: Right, exactly. All the gifts in there
have the same theme. There's one gift that's a "Wishing Pouch" that's very
easy to make even if you can't sew. I mean, you could hand-sew it with
the very simple directions. It's a gift that's given that just empowers
somebody to write down and put in a symbolic amulet, or however you want
to call it, what it is they desire and they want in their life.
It's an expression of love to that person
you give it to, also letting them know that you're actually with them in
the journey for whatever it is that they're looking for in their life.
It's also wonderful. I've had friends use them for marriage ceremonies,
to hold their rings, their wonderful wedding gift.
They're wonderful gifts to give when somebody
has a baby, and you put it in the things that you would love to see happen
for that child in their life, or the parents put in what they wish or hope
for. As that being grows in their lives, in their life together as a family,
it's a wonderful birthday gift. That's another one that's in there.
JM: It sounds like a really joyous thing,
and I can't help but feel, Nance, given that we're at a time now where
our countries' military troops are out there, and this program may be rebroadcast
and that it won't be happening, but there's violence in the world. It strikes
me that if only we could be more creative in solving the conflict,
JM: -- I'd love to get some of the Albanians, and the Serbians, and the NATO generals all in a room and say, "OK, I want you guys to start talking about how you appreciate each other."
I mean, a Fairy Godmother is needed out
in the world at large!
[End Segment 2-A]
NC: Right, right. It's funny, I remember
one of my incarnations where I was still trying to do business and a friend
of mine -- I was gonna [be a] "Headhunter" and of course I head to wear
a suit, so it starts off (you can already tell how it's gonna end up) I
don't have a suit to wear, because as I said before, I don't like wearing
So, I have a friend who's Puerto Rican,
you can't see me but I've light skin and I have light curly hair, and my
friend has dark olive skin and pink lipstick and Puerto Rican features,
and so she lends me her suit. So I'm walking in there with this blue checkered
suit, into this office, and I'm sitting there with my curly hair all over
the place, and this guy looks at me -- he's the Headhunter -- and he looks
at me and I give him my little spiel, and he says, "Now, Nance, the truth.
What is it that you really want to do?"
And I go, "I really want to be a Fairy
And he looks at me and he says, "You could
pull it off! You could go into corporations and teach them something."
And he said, "You could pull it off, cause they sure could use it."
The idea of Fairy Godmothers, if you actually
look into it -- I mean, one day I sat down and I said, "What is it about
Fairy Godmothers, why that image for you, Nance? Why is it so strong?"
Cause when I doodle, I always doodle Fairy Godmothers and things like that.
And when you take a look at them [Music] they believe in possibility,
they connect you up to dreams, they're unlimited, they know how to fly.
They see things from a different perspective
and aren't as bound as we are. They work solo. They help people connect
up to the part of themselves that's the most gracious and I think the most
JM: The world needs Fairy Godmothers. And
we'll be back with one, after these messages from WisdomRadio.
[End of Segment 2, 3/25/99]
Jeffrey Mishlove: I'm back with Nance Cheifetz,
and incidentally, if you'd like to E-mail a question to us, you can send
your E-mail to Virtual@WilliamJames.com. We'll check for E-mail
during the break, so you can interact with us that way. And you can call
if you prefer, WisomRadio's number, which is 1 (800) 655-2112.
You've been a Fairy Godmother for some
Nance Cheifetz: Yep, a couple of years.
JM: One of the Senior people in the profession!
NC: That's true. Time for another costume,
my wings are getting battered.
JM: Do they have a Union?
NC: No, they don't have a Union [Both
laugh] -- I haven't been invited!
JM: Aren't there regular service-stations
where you go get your wings lubricated?
NC: There ought to be, because these are
really floppy. The audience can't see this, but I have all these travel
stickers, of places I've gone.
JM: Oh, yeah! It says "San Francisco",
NC: "San Francisco, USA" and I have one
for "Quebec", also. One for Canada, which I haven't stuck on yet.
JM: So actually, you go around to businesses
and other groups, and you do public presentations.
NC: I've do public presentations. Once
you get the idea that everything is really the same, it all stems from
Gratitude, Acknowlegement, Esteem, pretty much. I talk to businesses. I've
been hired to go in and talk about how to have more fun in the workplace.
How to take stressful situations and have a little fun with them. Create
a better situation.
I've gone and done romantic singles' workshops,
where people have sat down and wated a relationship, and wanted better
or different ways they could begin to interact with people. Or, once they're
in a relationship, how they might be able to do things a little differently
than they have been doing it before.
My other area of interest is, of course,
children. I have two daughters and I think -- as my kid said to
her friend who met them recently -- "We were normal kids until she got
ahold of us!" That was how they introduced themselves. And I always loved
different ways to do things with my daughters, and to find different ways
to make things more enjoyable. That have to be done anyway. That's how
I think, so that's a lot of how I've created.
So kids is my other area. I think if we
could see -- especially girls, having daughters, being female myself, the
idea of what happens to Self-Esteem of adolescent girls in this culture
is unbelievable. The more we can focus on their strengths and talents and
creativity, then you have children grow up very differently, that make
very different choices in their life.
That's my other Love Area.
JM: Let's talk a little about the Self-Esteem
of adolescent girls. What does happen?
NC: Well, media for one. Images.
The way things are supposed to be, peer-pressure at that
age. I think a lot of kids don't have -- when you get older, you have different
groups you can associate with. Maybe you're a different type of a person.
And there are different ways or different avenues for you to communicate.
When you're that age and you're at home,
you're basically, when you're in school, whatever the peer-pressure of
the group that you're involved in, you're stuck with. If you're a different
type of a person, or if you're an imaginative, creative type, or if maybe
you don't learn the way the school-system has set it up, you start feeling
really bad about yourself, because you're competing in a world that really
has nothing to do with your talent or who you are or what's of value
Of course there's the whole idea of how
you look and what you have, and all those other things.
JM: There seems to be, as I think back,
dimly, over the decades to my adolescence, there was a time when Childhood
was pure fun and pure fun and pure playfulness. And then there is a point,
I think it starts around age 10, 11, or in there, when you begin to notice
popularity, you notice some kids are real popular, and some kids
aren't. And it becomes the most important thing in the world to be popular
with your -- other kids.
NC: It's funny you say 10 or 11, because
you take a look at kids now, if you take a look at the way kids are being
brought up now, they don't have free time. Remember those days when
you'd go out and it'd be summer or something, you had nothing to do! You
bounded out of the house, maybe you went down to the lake, you made a tree-house,
you camped, and with the last bit of food on the planet, you took a picnic,
and all those kind of wonderful days.
Kids don't seem to have those any more.
From a very young age, they're in Day Care, and in PreSchool and Afterschool
Day Care, and programmed, the time they have to get up and go to sleep
has to do with when their parents are available to come home and spend
some time with them. Very different type of a life for kids these days.
A lot of pressure in school.
A lot of pressure to succeed at a
very very young age.
So I think, people think that Childhood
is carefree. Children would not say that much any more. Certainly adolescents
would not say that.
JM: You're being graded even
when you play.
NC: Absolutely. Or playtime. Playtime is
just diminished! Kids are doing after-school this and computer that. Parents
are wondering how they're going to keep up with the kind of Society that
they're growing up in.
But there are many, many things you can
do with your children that make a huge difference in the way that they
feel about themselves, and I think that the more creative you are -- our
natural instinct is to go along with -- the way we've been socialized tends
to be the way that we do it. You see a dirty room and we go "Clean up the
I had an experience with my daughter. She
was probably in Grade-Four, and she always forgot to bring home her homework.
Her name is Jesse. Every day I'd say, "Jess, where's your homework?" And
she'd say, "I forgot the book."
We'd have to go back to school and get the book, and everything, and I was getting fed up.
[End Segment 3-A]
[NC,cont'd] And I was getting fed up, and
I was approaching it the same way. "Jesse, you forgot your book, how come
you forgot your book?"
One day I sat down and I said, "Jess, you're a really creative person. I'd like you to write out for me, or come up with the most outrageous ways you can think of, that you could remember to bring your book home. And it could be, 'I take a high-wire from my house to school, I get on my unicycle, I put a red cap on my head and I unicycle backwards. I jump off my unicycle, I parachute down into my classroom, I get the book,"
And she came up with these crazy, wonderful,
fantastic ideas, and I said, "OK, pick one. Which one is the one you think
is going to work?" She looks at me and she says, "I think that if I taped
a note to the top of my desk every day, that when I put up my chair at
the end of the day, I'm going to see that note and I'm going to remember
And she never forgot it again. [Music]
But there was something about me going about it the same way every time
instead of saying, "Hey, Nance, why not use your creativity here?" She's
a creative kid _ _ _ _ _
JM: Breaking the pattern.
JM: Subtle mind-shift can lead to a break-through. We're talking to Nance Cheifetz, author of "The Sense of Delight".
[End of Segment 3 also called 3-B]
Jeffrey Mishlove: I'm Jeffrey Mishlove,
host of Virtual College, and my guest, Nance Cheifetz, is the Fairy Godmother
of Delight. Nance, one of the issues that you focus in on is with couples,
people who really want to have special experiences together.
Nance Cheifetz: Exactly. One of the things I do is create occasions for people. People will come to me and say, "I want to create a special occasion", or "I want to do something unusual."
I come up with different ideas, and create
whole occasion. We've done all kinds of wonderful things. Actually, I just
want to give an invitation to anybody out there in the audience, if anybody's
in any kind of relationship or beginning a relationship or would like some
ideas for special occasions, e-mail us and let us know, and we will look
at your questions, and see if we can give you some great ideas for you
before the evening's out!
JM: Again, the e-mail address, to reach
us, now, while we're on the air, is email@example.com.
NC: I hope you take advantage of it, because it's lot of fun. I've done a lot of groups and workshops -- We'll do it as a group, too. We'll take a look at what it is, and how you can look at somebody with a different eye for creating a different situation and put it together. I can tell you some very funny stories about that.
JM: Well, earlier, you were talking about
working with children.
JM: It reminded me of a wonderful story
that took place with my stepson, who was a little bit dyslexic, and when
he was in the Fourth Grade, he was really struggling with his multiplication
tables. He just couldn't quite get it.
NC: Me, neither!
JM: And it got so bad for him, he was so
frustrated, he was banging his head. I knew I had to do something, cause
I was the one who was drilling him each morning, and I couldn't stand to
One night I had a dream, and in
the dream I was with him, and there was this Song, and it was, "You can't
remember the words to this Song, cause you make them up as you go along."
NC: [Laughing merrily]
JM: And [after] that appeared, I got up
in the morning, and I said, "Yes! I will ask him to make up rhymes
to go along with the multiplication, and he just got into it, really quickly!
He started going, "Six times seven is forty-two! If you don't believe me,
I'll kiss your shoe!"
NC: [Laughing] But a funny thing,
I remember making up a Song for a test in Grade Seven, and if you had asked
me anything about my whole career in Elementary School and High School,
I probably couldn't tell you a thing, but I still remember that Song. It
was, "Sixteen-hundred and forty-two, when Hawkins/Hopkins [?built] _ _
_ _ _ Quebec,"
JM: You're a Canadian, ay?
NC:That's right. It's amazing the things
you remember when you do -- The thing is, that people -- The other thing
about this is, you create fantastic memories for people because, and also
the great thing is that when you start doing all these things for people,
people start doing these things back for you.
I've been doing it for so many years with
my kids, that when they come up with something, they never do it in the
ordinary way with me any more. They're always --Last Mother's Day I walked
into the house and they'd created a spa for me, and they had set up an
Appontment Desk and they had a whole List of things that were on the Schedule
for the Day. And I went upstairs, and they had the bathroom all set up
with candles and music and all sorts of bath products, it was just totally
The year before, they were two hula girls
in grass skirts and they created them. It creates so much fun! It
just creates so much fun for people. It's just a wonderful [gift] experience.
JM: One of the items that caught my attention
in your book, was the use of chocolates and other delectables as body paint.
NC: That's a really fun one. There's body
paints you could only originally find [it]. Places like Frederick's of
Hollywood where they charge you a huge fortune for some little jar of chocolate,
and you can actually do that so easily, you can get jars of things that
are already made. Some of them are microwaveable, some of them are nonfat,
some of them are fruit-sweetened depending on whatever your dietary restrictions
are. (I don't think too many people pay attention to that).
JM: I will paint my body, but it must
NC: That's right. It must be "veggan chocolate"!
JM: Blessed by a Rabbi!
NC: But it's very fun. You do your own
fun labels, which are very easy to create, and you stick two dimes, draw/_
_ _ _ paint-brushes on the top with a little kind of cellophane topping,
you can create so much fun for people. You can create so much fun!
One of the things I talk a lot about, that
I'd really like to share, cause I think this is something that's not
talked about a lot in our culture, is the whole idea of inviting people
into your life. And the power of attraction [in] life. Of course in Marketing
and Advertising, people know this. Stores and restaurants know this.
People go where they're attracted. You
walk by a restaurant that smells good, it looks cozy, the environment's
nice, the waiter or waitresses look friendly, the chef comes out -- Something
pulls you in. You'll go to a store, you'll pick up a book, something about
it attracts your attention.
There's some way, also, in a relationship,
where we've forgotten about inviting people into things, or inviting
people into our lives, or inviting people into experience, and there's
a way to do that where you can make whatever it is that you're doing together,
doubly fun and a complete adventure, just in the invitation itself!
That's something of a lost art. We'll invite
people to Birthday Parties, or we'll invite people to New Year's Eve Parties.
We'll very rarely invite them into Friday night with them, if you live
I have a story -- I don't know if I have
time to tell it,
JM: We have about a minute.
NC: OK. It's a great "invitation" story.
A friend of mind invited somebody to see "Phantom of the Opera". And I
said, "What are you going to do with the tickets?" And he said, "I'm just
going to hand them to her." And I said, "No, make an adventure out of it."
So he created a whole Treasure Hunt where
she got the envelope on Christmas Day that told her to clear the day on
the 28th of December, and from then on in, to open up the First Clue.
She opened up the First Clue. It told her
to get dressed, and wear something beautiful, and to put on her makeup.
She opened up the Second Clue, and it took her to a florist. And the Third
Clue, which took her to -- Anyway, he had all these Clues, and everybody
thought it was a marriage proposal. It took her the whole afternoon to
do this, and everybody was involved, and at the end he had her sentimentally
go to the first place they'd ever met, ask the Maitre d' for the last Clue
and it said, "Please go see the man with the red carnation at the back
of the room."
He was waiting there with a card that said,
"Please join me tonight for 'Phantom of the Opera." So he had taken a great
gift and made it incredibly special and delightful.
JM: Very interesting! I think[Music]
that being able to invite people to be on the radio with me is kind of
like that! [Jeffrey and Nance Laugh] You're going to have two hours
of my full attention and we're going to talk about you and all the
things that interest you! It's a great life.
And I hope our listeners appreciate it,
too. I'd like to invite you to call in. We'll be back again after these
messages from WisdomRadio.
[End of Sgmt 4, 3/25/99, pp. 16-19]
[Btwn Segmt 4 & 5 - shd I type this?--jr]
Jeffrey Mishlove: If you'd like to know
more about Nance Cheifetz's book, "A Sense of Delight", or the public presentations
that she does, I invite you to log onto her Website, which is www.senseofdelight.com
and her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. While you've got
your pen or pencil out, let me mention once again the Website for this
program, Virtual College. Next week we're going to rename it Virtual
U, and the Website is my name, www.mishlove.com.
That's where I have all of the contact
information for all of my Guests, past and future Guests are listed, plus
a lot of other organizations and activities and contacts related to the
topics that we cover on this program.
And if you send e-mail to Virtual.williamjames.com,
we will respond to it on the air, and we'll also put you on our Mailing
List, so that you learn more about what's going on, on this program, and
if I keep listening, pretty soon we're going to be offering contests and
give-aways, a free trip to the Moon!
Well, we'll be back at 6 and a half minutes
after the top of the hour. Do you have any parting thoughts?
Nance Cheifetz: Well, for anybody who's
going to be leaving or has other things to do, always what I say is, this
is very short life. Use it very well. Take the time to love.
JM: Wonderful words of wisdom from Nance Cheifetz. We'll be back at 6 and a half minutes after the hour for another hour of Virtual College, exploring further cultivating our sense of delight.
[Between Segments 4 & 5 - shd I type
this part (above)?]
Jeffrey Mishlove: Welcome again to Virtual
College. We're here for the Second Hour, and I have sitting in front of
me in this studio, live, in Marin County, California, at the base of Mt.
San Pedro (of all places), a Fairy Godmother! Well, where else would you
expect a Fairy Godmother but in Marin County?
Nance Cheifetz is the author of "A Sense
of Delight". She is a public speaker, a presenter, and in her role as Fairy
Godmother of Delight to the universe, she helps people -- children and
adults, old people, people who are sick, people in businesses --and I think
she ought to be in Kosovo right now, with the United Nations, and NATO
Headquarters and at Belgrade, getting people to appreciate each other more!
Nance Cheifetz: Eat a few cookies before
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ --
JM: [with an accent] So tell me,
Slo_ _ _ _, how long have you had this problem? You know, you have a good
color in your eye.
NC: Have you thought about a bathtub picnic?
Have you thought about settling things in the bathtub? [Both laughing]
JM: Right. We're going to take you guys
into the sandbox now. You take these toy soldiers here, and you take these
here, and show them what you want to do!
I really think, very, very strongly, and
I"m a Democrat, I support the Government of the United States in what they're
doing, but I can't help but think that this violence shows a lack of Creativity.
That when people say there was no other alternative, diplomacy has failed,
now we must use violence or we lose our credibility, I think to myself,
Is it really so? Is there no other alternative?
Or is there the possibility [that] in this
environment of international diplomacy, imagination, creativity aren't
allowed enough. That's really the problem. That until we learn how to be
more creatively flexible with each other, we're going to have violence.
NC: Right. The thing that's amazing is
when people say there's no other alternative or there's no other way. Look
at everything that keeps getting invented every day. Look at the
new ways of doing things, look at what's come about!
That comes out of creativity, that comes
out of imagination. The best in life comes out of people's imaginations.
Sometimes the worst of life, too, but a lot of times, the best of life.
JM: And you've been in some tough situations.
NC: Yes, I have. It's funny because one
of the things that people tend to think is, Oh, well, you can be joyful,
things are going great in your life.
JM: "It's easy for you to be happy! You
should know what my life is like!"
NC: Exactly. But I honestly can say as
a witness, if I can be happy, you can happy. Because everybody's got circumstances
in their life. Everybody's got challenges or hardships. And they come in
all different forms.
For some people, it's physical, psychological,
financial, something's going on in your relationship, whatever. That's
the chaos of the Universe, that's Life, that's part of what it is to be
human. I think we were talking before the show started, the funny thing
is, this is the Gift I've had all my life. If you asked anybody who knew
me as a kid, they would probably tell you this is the way I always was.
My mother asked me to set the table, and
it would be the Mad Hatter's Tea Party that I'd set up, with hats hanging
from the ceiling, clocks set at 13 o'clock.
JM: This girl is gonna grow up to be a
nut! _ _ _ _ _She's going to make a profession out of it!
NC: The thing that's so funny is that through
a lot of difficult times in my life, and I've had a lot, the thing that's
always amazed me, the thing that always popped up in the middle of it,
was Joy. Even in the midst of something really difficult, I always
found some kind of a creative way to turn around and have it be a little
So it's not born out of ease, a lot. It's
born out of a much deeper place in me. There were times when I couldn't
even -- I remember my mentor saying to me, "It's the Archetype, Nance.
It's the other side of Joy. You go deeply into the other side of it so
you understand what you're talking about."
You don't just go "Oh, joy, joy! Well,
sure, have a bathtub picnic or do this," but you really understand what
it is that we're up against as humans. I'm not diminishing it at all. I
don't get out there, I'm not diminishing what it is to be human, what I"m
saying is, This is what it is to be human, at least what I understand in
the process. And these are some of the really nice, and creative and unusual
and different ways that you can take the life that you're given, and make
it extraordinary, and make the love that you have, deepen within people.
And make your relationships more satisfying.
Make your marriages or your relationships
with your children, or your friendships much more delightful.
JM: My philosophy, incidentally, maybe
it's a little bit different, because yours seems to [have] a spontaneity
to it, an ingrained This is who I am. For me, I think that being
joyful is a commitment you make.
NC: Yes, I do.
JM: And it doesn't matter what your external
circumstances are, you can be in bad health, you can be suffering from
financial problems, you can be disliked by many, many people, you can even
dislike yourself, or have negative thoughts or negative feelings about
yourself, but if you commit, through thick and through thin, I am going
to find joy in my life, every day, I commit to being happy, no matter
what, then you can!
NC: Look at the movie, "Life is Beautiful".
There's an example -- did you see the movie?
JM: I didn't.
NC: Actually, it's one of the only movies
JM: That's with the Nazi concentration
NC: That's right. They're, as an example,
it's funny, I never watch the Oscars or anything like that, but I asked
somebody to tape it, just so I could see guy get up? He took a circumstance
which is the worst of humanity, and showed the best of humanity.
There was a person under the most incredible
circumstances. And for most of you who don't know the story, briefly, it
was [this]. In a concentration camp, a man who just deeply loved this woman,
who he wooed under the most incredible circumstances -- he was a Jewish
waiter, she was much more of an aristocrat -- and his love for her was
so profound, and his creativity and his joy, that he just wooed her with
They ended up being married and having
this son. And he and this son were sent to the concentration camp. He was
a brilliant, joyful, comedic, loving spirit with the most amazing energy.
And when he went into that circumstance, what he did was, he tried to shield
his son, and the way he did it was, he pretended that the whole concentration
camp was a game in some way, and that the object was, if you won,
the thing that his son most loved in life were tanks. And that the winner
was somehow going to get his own tank, or ride in the tank.
Everything that happened that was terrifying
to this child, he turned it around so that the child could handle it in
In the beginning, this Nazi officer came
in to explain the rules and he said, "Who speaks German?" The man immediately
said, "I do." Of course he didn't speak a word of German. But he took this
terrifying, what the German officer was saying, and he turned it into,
"There will be no more grape jelly with dinner!" for his son. And basically,
this story was about the power of Love.
The power of Love and Joy, that to the
end somehow -- he created the circumstances that not only kept his son
alive, but basically the spirit of it all just broke your heart.
And there's an example of somebody taking
the worst circumstance possible, and being who he was so fully, that is
was just transformative.
JM: I think every time you find human tragedies,
you will see occasions like this, where people learn how to take that tragedy
and find some joy in it.
NC: But don't wait for tragedy. Don't wait
for your anniversary, don't wait for Valentine's Day, don't wait till you
get a diagnosis of cancer, don't wait! Enjoy it now. Delve into it, stir
it up, appreciate it. If you have the absolute grace in your life to have
Love. Sometimes I take a look and I get astounded. I go, Of all the billions
of people on the planet, somebody loved me, somebody's chosen me. Someone
holds me at night. Someone loves me.
It's an extraordinary Gift, Friendship
is an extraordinary Gift. Intimacy is an extraordinary Gift. Having children
in your life is an extraordinary Gift. You're Creativity. What better than
to use your Creativity? Use it! Maybe you don't get to use it during your
work-day. Hopefully you do.
If you don't, use it in other areas of
your life. Remember that spark. Remember the child that you were. What
brings you Joy? And usually, if you think about what brought you joy as
a child, that's usually the thing that would bring you joy now, in some
form or another.
If you were to ask me what I loved to do
as a kid, I would say, "Create!" I loved creating anything. And if you
were to ask what I love to do as an adult, I'd say "Create!" Creating things.
I have created crazy things. I 've created parrots in my house, I'll tell
ya a funny story.
Here's an example of something that's really
easy and fun, that could happen. I was involved in a relationship with
a man, and he wanted to go fishing. He had this fishing trip planned (of
course we're right in the Bay Area), a trip out of Sausalito, it's called
the S.S.Salty Lady. And he was going to go salmon fishing.
And he was in sales, and he called me up
in the mid-afternoon, and I said, "How come youre not fishing?" He said,
"I got called from my work, and my fishing trip was cancelled." He'd been
really looking forward to it. We were going to be together that night.
So what I decided to do was, I decided
to create a fishing trip in my bedroom. And I went and I bought
the glow-in-the-dark stars, and I pasted them on the ceiling, and I had
a friend who had a CD of ocean music, so I went and got the CD. I took
a fan out of the closet, had that going, I went to the party store and
I bought blue tissue paper and paper fish, and I covered the entire floor
with blue tissue paper fish. I made fishing poles out of sticks with magnets
and hooks on the end, and I had magnets on the fish, and I packed a cooler
with all of his favorite snacks in it, and I took cardboard, and I made
a big life-preserver, The S.S. Salty Lady, and put it on the door.
I got tickets for it, and I got a can and emptied it out. I got gummy worms from the candy store, and I put them in the can that said BAIT on it. So, anyhow, the whole thing was set up.
He comes in, the stars are twinkling, you
can hear the ocean music, a breeze is going on the fan, the cooler's on
the bed, the fishing poles and everything.
It was just a magical, fun night.
And it probably cost a couple of dollars, maybe, if you had the beer and
the refrigerator, and the pretzels and whatever. But he's totally embraced
and loved, I had an absolute ball putting it together, it was so much fun.
I just had so much fun doing it for him.
It was a wonderful night. It helped with
the upset of the fishing trip. And it created an intimate, wonderful circumstance
that didn't take a whole lot. I knew what he wanted to do and I paid attention
JM: Did he feel that that was adequate
NC: He never actually catches any fish, anyway! I think that in all the fishing trips, he's only caught one salmon!
[End Segment 5-A]
[Segment 5-B, con'td. from 5-A]
JM: So the ambience was close enough!
NC: If you really wanted to stretch it,
he probably could have gone to the grocery stores and pulled a salmon out.
Put a barbecue out and barbecued it or something. One of the main things
about delight is, pay attention to people. Pay attention to what people
say to you. When they say to you, this is my favorite movie, or this is
my best food, or Mallomars are my all-time favorite cookie in the whole
world. Next time you go to the grocery store, and notice a pack of Mallomars,
buy 'em and put 'em away!
If somebody says, My favorite all-time
movie is whatever, pick up! You've gone on a date, you don't have to go
out to some great _ _ _ _ _. Pick up a video, put it in some little box,
pop some popcorn. Show up with a box of Mallomars. You've got a great date.
And not only that, if somebody seems really
"seen". "Ah, they paid attention when I told them what I loved."
JM: It's interesting, that you mention,
people don't pay attention. Today I read an interesting statistic, that
when you thank a person, and acknowledge them, 50 percent of the
time, they don't hear you.
JM: Yeah. They didn't. I think you have
to, if you want to thank somebody, really let them know. You can't just
say Thankyou. It's not enough any more. You've got to say, "Thank you for
what you did, because it meant so much to me,"
NC: That rhyme thing -- we're going back
to that rhyme.
JM: In fact, thank them again and again.
If you thank the person three or four times, maybe they get it. [Music]
We become numb, I think, to some extent. For people, lots of
times they don't let it in.
NC: Yeah. I think that's a large part of
JM: This is great. The sense of delight
is a way to get around every obstacle.
NC: Exactly. It actually is.
JM: I just hope we can apply these sorts
of things to global politics.
NC: Yeah. I hope so too.
JM: I'm talking with Nance Cheifetz. We'll
[End of Segment 5]
Jeffrey Mishlove: I don't know about that
book. She said she really wanted money and a husband and she got enlightenment
instead! The thing is, if she really got Enlightenment, how come she's
only charging $11.99 for the book! A really enlightened person would charge
more for their book! I mean, how do you judge Enlightenment these days?!
Isn't it, the most enlightened authors charge the most!
Nancy Cheifetz: [Laughing a long time]
JM: I love these spots that WisdomRadio
puts in between the interviews. I actually think they're very supportive,
it's better than cigarette ads!
JM: I think it's a delight to be able to
talk about a subject and then notice that the Announcements that run in
between actually support what we're discussing. Incidentally, if
you've just tuned in, I'm Jeffrey Mishlove, host of Virtual College, and
my guest is Nance Cheifetz, author of "A Sense of Delight".
The book has literally hundreds of different
exercises, how you can create a fantasy palace for your partner, a night
in Paris, in the kitchen,
NC: Well, anywhere. Backed-up picnics.
JM: Here, this is a really interesting
section, Five-Minute Gestures of Delight. Take advantage of the small moment.
the little times when we might otherwise be staring at the ceiling, being
bored or something.
NC: That was one of the important things
to do as well, because one of the things that people have said is, "Well,
I don't have a whole evening," or "I don't want to plan something." I say,
"OK, if you've got five minutes, there's a lot you can do in five minutes
in your attitude and your energy, and just how you approach something,
that makes a difference."
It takes five minutes to warm a towel up
and hand it to somebody. It takes five minutes to send a cup of tea upstairs.
It takes five minutes to write a beautiful card and slip it in somebody's
briefcase or purse. It takes five minutes to thank somebody at the gym
for mopping up and keeping the place clean so that you don't slip, and
you've got a nice place to shower.
People need to know that what they do in
the world is appreciated, and that their work matters.
JM: I can see how you take advantage of
little moments. While I was taking a bathroom break, you made the acquaintance
of our Engineer BJ tonight, and learned more about his personal life than
I ever actually gleaned in three weeks on WisdomRadio! So I give you credit
for not wasting a minute.
NC: The funny thing is, I tend to be a
very curious person in life, and it's very interesting, I've done some
creative things. I remember I was doing some work for the Post Office,
for the PostMasters in Nevada. They asked me to do a talk, it was very
funny because this was when there was some recent media [coverage] about
the Post Office shootings.
What I decided to do was go down the street
and ask people what they appreciated about the Post Office. What they liked
about the U.S. Mail. I took a recorder wherever I went. Like, I'd go into
a Pizza Restaurant and they'd come over and say, "Can I get you your order?"
and I'd go, "Yeah. But before I tell you what I want on my pizza, can you
tell me what you think about the Post Office?"
I just went up to people in the street,
diners, and the thing that I've noticed about doing things like this is
that people, first of all they're very surprised. But the other part is,
they get a real kick out of it. People like their opinion to be heard.
They have fun with it, we don't play around with each other any more, run
in and we're rushing out of the dryer and cleaner's,
JM: And we're so busy, this high-tech world
has given us the capacity to be more productive and busier than ever. I've
never been so busy. And every year I get busier!
NC: Yeah, and zooming things that used
to be interactions -- you used to talk to the people at the grocery store
-- you used to talk to the teller at the bank or whatever, people are just
JM: I'm guilty of that. I really am.
NC: People miss that. One of the areas
which I talk about in the book which is really important, is just reclaiming
the holidays. What's happened to people's sense of the holidays these
days. And how crazy that's gotten in the world. How do we begin to take
things back in our lives?
JM: I've tried to get rid of holidays!
NC: Did you ever walk into See's Candy
or whatever, you turn around and every two weeks, there's [a holiday!]
There's Easter, there's Christmas, there's Valentine's Day, there's St.
Patrick's Day leprechaun chocolate. You get to a point where you feel you
can't turn around before you have to --
JM: -- Figuring that, it's a waste of good
NC: [Laughing] Or play time, depending
on who you are.
JM: Yes. I have to say, in my life, I'm very focused on my work. I'm doing this radio program, I'm doing the "Thinking Allowed" television series, I'm running the Intuition Network, I'm writing, I'm publishing, I'm helping to run a management consulting business, and managing investments. I've got a lot of things, so I don't necessarily take time, the way you do, for the
delights of life, but I think
(JM): what I do is, I really enjoy every
moment. In a kind of a quiet, focused, businesslike way.
NC: That's great! A lot of times when people
find, when they create things, or they get into their Creativity, it's
very difficult/different for everybody. Creating intimate occasions. No
two are the same because everybody starts at a different point of intimacy.
Your pont of intimacy, after a longterm relationship, would be very different
from somebody newly navigating the territory, or even somebody who has
a much more formal relationship, not quite as intimate.
The idea is that you find your own particular
place of Creativity and Comfort, and then when you begin to make small
gestures, whether it's five minutes or you begin by leaving a note on someone's
car, or you start by calling somebody and letting them know that you love
them, or you pay attention where you haven't, previously.
That might be the jumping-off point for
change, for you.
JM: I like those five-minute ones, and
maybe we can share some of them with our listeners.
NC: Sure. I'll find them in the book here.
JM: It may take ten minutes to find the
NC: I've got it! I've got 'em! Some of the things to delight partners -- spouses, lovers.
Put a note in their briefcase, or handbag,
or a lunchbox. Leave love and appreciation notes stuck to the mirrors around
the bathroom. Leave a card on the seat of a car. Send an invitation for
a beautiful dinner, even if you go out to dinner a lot, make the gesture
an/and invitation. It shows your appreciation, that you don't take
each other for granted.
Leave a soft, loving message on the phone
machine, or sing it when you feel really brave. Keep a Wishing Jar at home
for all your fantasies and wishes, and each of you choose a different color
paper and write them down, and then plan an evening. Just start pulling
the papers out and fulfilling them.
Prepare a special lunch and put a loving
note in it, warm a towel for a bath or a shower, when you leave -- This
is, I think, an important one -- When you leave a message about groceries,
kids, errands, business, start it out with how much you love and appreciate
sharing your life together, and then go into the thing that you want to
do. [Music] I think it puts a much different spin on it.
JM: We're talking to Nance Cheifetz, author of "A Sense of Delight". You're listening to WisdomRadio, and I'm Jeffrey Mishlove, host of Virtual College. We'll be back after these messages.
[End Segment 6]
Jeffrey Mishlove: There's a section in
here in which you talk about rituals and rites of passage. I think that's
important because every culture has ways of acknowledging and celebrating
the change from adolescence to young adulthood,
Nance Cheifetz: Right.
JM: And other passages that we go through
in life. I recall, before my father died, we had a big celebration of his
eightieth birthday, and it was one time when everybody -- in my whole life,
I remember that one occasion, when people came together to recognize
him. I'm so glad it happened before he died.
NC: Oh yes. I think the thing is, there
are so many occasions coming up, so many rites of passage in our culture
that didn't used to exist, even. I think the holidays we have, people are
so fed up with them -- Christmas and this, running around and buying gifts
and so on. There are a lot of meaningful things that happen in people's
lives that they go through.
Particular courageous acts that
people go through. I have a number of friends who've made some really courageous
changes in their lives. Those are things that really need to be celebrated.
Or certain times of real gratitude in your life, or celebrating
Creating things that honor the time in
your life are not only for adolescents, too, but for adults. Most people
that I know have gone through some real significant passages in their lives,
especially as you get older, lots of things begin to fall away and lots
of things begin to show up. There are a lot of ways that you can celebrate
what's meaningful to that person.
That's something I've done a lot, and I
was in a Women's Group one time and there were four of us, and we used
to have these wonderful celebrations. I've seen nothing like it. For people's
birthdays. And what we would do is, we knew each other very well and we
would sit down and we would talk about [it] -- We'd ask each person, probably
about two months before their birthday, what they were going through that
year, and what they most wanted to be seen and felt and celebrated around.
And we would create these elaborate (we
gave them up after a while, they really were elaborate! And they got more
elaborate). I can remember one where we were honoring one of the women
in the group, in her fifties. She was going through a particular passage
of looking at who she was as a mother, who she was as a wise woman, and
who she was as a lover in the world. A partner.
The three of us each took one of those
pieces of her life, and we dressed up,
JM: Like "This Is Your Life",
NC: Kind of. It was very beautiful. One
of us was the Wise Woman, and one of us was her [as] Mother -- she was
raising an adolescent daughter as a single parent -- and the other one
was the Lover that she was.
And we all wrote some beautiful things
of ways we saw her, and did performances about it. It was just an incredibly
beautiful passage and celebration for her, very, very meaningful.
I can remember, during a very difficult
time for me, what they did was they honored all the things that they saw
in me. They had reminders, whether it was courage or certain qualities
that I had. I can't tell you how much that meant to me at that time in
my life. Of course, those are the times that you can't see it in yourself.
It wasn't that the gifts were great, elaborate gifts. A lot of them were
just little home-made things, but boy! did I hold onto that for a long
JM: I suppose the image of the Fairy Godmother,
when you think of Cinderella, which is the story that the Fairy Godmother
is most associated with, I think, the idea is to see in somebody, the essence,
in them, even when they don't see it in themselves.
NC: Exactly. That's what it does. It connects
up possibility. The alchemy possible. This can be transformed to this.
I know we all have stories or circumstances where you didn't get the job
you wanted, and it turned out to be the greatest thing in the world because
this [other] thing came up. Or this thing happened, and you thought it
was the worst tragedy, and it turned around and it turned out to be the
leap into a new life for yourself.
That's alchemy. It is available
to all of us. We have so much doubt in our life, though, that after a whileit's
hard for us to see new possibilities or the changes possible. And the image
in Cinderella is that you change from the rags to the ball game, and you
change from the pumpkin and the mice to the horsemen and [carriage].
In a way, everything in life is
possible. It's an infinite realm that we live in. It's just what you're
tapping into, what you're creating, and I think what your attention is
on. One of the things Fairy Godmothers do is,they shift your attention.
It seems like magic, but what they're
really doing is, they're just focusing you differently.
JM: It sounds as if there is more than
just a trick of getting people to change their focus. You have a metaphysical
basis for what you're saying, when you talk about the Infinite Potential
of the Universe. There's a spiritual grounding.
NC: Oh, absolutely. My dream or my mission
basically is to be a demonstration. To be the spark or the igniter. I'm
not going to come in there and change everything every day. I want to ignite
something, that's what I want to do. I want people to understand that the
possibility is there, that things transform. That relationships shift.
That love of yourself shifts. That there are so many different ways.
It was like you said before, when you were
talking. Circumstances of life might be difficult, or your financial circumstance
might be difficult, or your relationships, but it doesn't mean that you
give up the joy, it doesn't mean that you don't tap into it. It's not happiness-ha-ha-ha-happiness,
but it's a deep recognition that something else also abides, along with
the financial difficulty or something else.
JM: One of the things in the tool-kit of
a Fairy Godmother are potions and sprays. It's opening up that whole
sense of smell.
NC: Some of the gifts in the book are about
potions and sprays. They were actually born out of very funny circumstances.
I think it's a way of using humor, too. Somebody that was involved with
it for a long time had a lot of guilt in his life and it was very difficult
for him to release it. So that one of the things we did was, we created
this set of sprays.
"Guilt-be-gone", "Shame-be-gone", they
were very funny, they were the antidote to his upbringing. I just chose
little essences and got wonderful little spray-bottles.
The other thing it does is, it takes some
situations for us that are painful, and all of us have situations that
are painful, or things that are difficult, and it takes them and it
lightens it up, it makes it humorous, it takes away some of the
charge from it. [Music]
JM: We're talking with Nance Cheifetz, who is the author of "A Sense of Delight", and she brings a sense of delight with her as she is here in our studio in full Fairy Godmother regalia!
And we'll be back again with Nance with these messages from WisdomRadio. I'm Jeffrey Mishlove, host of Virtual College.
[End Segment 7]
JM: I'm with Nance Cheifetz. We're wrapping
up our second hour of Virtual College. We've been exploring all the many
ins and outs and ways and means of being a Fairy Godmother in many many
different circumstances, both the philosophy and the psychology and the
passion that has motivated her to pursue a life of delightful pleasures
We've talked about lovers, we've talked
about children, we've talked about people who are sick, we've talked about
the need for more appreciation and more creativity, especially in the political
context where it seems to me that the violence results especially from
the lack of creativity, the lack of appreciation that people have for each
NC: That's true.
JM: And now we're wrapping up two hours
with our listeners here on WisdomRadio. You know, there are so many, many
different stories, and many exercises and wonderful experiences that you
have here, but it seems to me that as we wrap up, rather than just drop
more and more exciting surprises into people's laps, we could talk a little
bit about where you're going with this work.
Where do you go after you become the Fairy
Godmother? What's in the future?
NC: My mission -- writing the book was
just part of it. "A Sense of Delight" is -- there are hundreds and thousands
of stories that people could say or adventures that you could do, they're
The idea was to begin the spark. How do
you begin to change the way we operate as human beings? My vision, one
of the things I'd really love to do, and is my goal, is creating a Foundation
for Delight, where 10 percent of the profits of the book are going to be
used to create grants for people, not grants that you have to have some
kind of fancy computer, grant, but something you can lay on your belly
with crayons and a big pad of paper and just say something that you'd like
to do that would make a difference in someone's life.
It could be anything from buying $100.
worth of flowers at the Farmers' Market, and bringing them to every lonely
room in a Nursing Home, taking someone who's shut in for some reason, to
dinner and a play. Just doing something that's going to lighten or brighten
the life of somebody.
That's my goal, to be able to have grants
JM: "Foundation for Delight".
NC: Foundation for Delight, for $100 up
to $1,000., for people to do things. I'd like to start a worldwide movement
where people are just paying attention and doing things like that.
JM: Like the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
NC: Kind of like the Make-A-Wish Foundation,
but not waiting till you're terminally ill. Do it while you're
JM: Yeah, why do the terminally-ill kids
get all the fun?
NC: It's a way, it grows on you, when you
start doing things for people. I always carry chocolate with me wherever
I go, and if somebody comes and looks at the oil in my car, or something,
I always give them peanut-butter cups, or if I go into the grocery store.
I remember, one of the nicest things I
can ever remember, was, having a horrible day one day, and I was in a grocery
store. It was around the holidays and usually I'm really friendly and this
day I was just feeling bad. I happened to glance behind me, and the guy
behind me was an elderly gentleman. All he had was two bouquets of flowers.
That was it! I just remember being surprised,
because it was holiday and everybody had lots of food in their baskets,
and all he had was flowers. I paid for my groceries, and I'm walking out
the door, and he's right behind me. He pays for the flowers and he hands
me one of the flowers and he says, "Here, these are free."
That story happened probably ten years
ago, and when you asked me about a gesture of kindness or somebody that
turned my day around and made a difference, that's always the story that
comes to mind. You know and you don't know. You do something, someone else
passes it on, someone else passes it on.
NC: It's a much gentler planet we'll live
JM: One of the points that you make in
your book is that the best gift to give is a gift to somebody that will
never repay you.
NC: I have a Mentor, and I remember saying
to her, "I owe you my next thousand lifetimes, Xena, because I'm not ever
going to be able to repay you." And she looked at me and she said, "Nance,
I was recruited by God for this one." She just said, "Pass it on."
And that's my message. To pass it on.
You've gotten kindnesses. I'm sure everyone
out there has gotten kindnesses from somebody. And maybe it won't be returned
to that person but you'll return it to somebody else, and that's how we
give to each other.
JM: I remember a day nearly thirty years
ago. I was walking in a parking lot. Some guy came up to me with this funny
look on his face, and he pulled out his wallet, and he pulled out a four-leafed-clover,
and he handed it to me. He said, "This is for you!"
NC: Oh, great! You see, all the things
you remember! I have a habit of doing things like, sometimes you get change,
and I'll just spill it all over the sidewalk, just for the idea of somebody
being able to pick it up and have a great day by finding it.
I remember telling that story once, and
somebody telling me they were in a seminar one time, and someone told them
to empty out all the change in their pockets and to put it on the floor.
And there were hundreds of people, and I thought, think what a great time
the janitor --
NC: -- Yeah, right. And I guess they all
did -- Think what a great time the custodial staff is gonna have when they
come to clean up this room tomorrow! I thought that was a great thing to
JM: And also go through a process of being
a little bit less attached ourselves.
NC: Right. Exactly.
JM: A little bit less self-absorbed, a
little bit concerned about other people.
NC: Right. Exactly. It's the old story.
When you're feeling bad, they always say, Go do service in the world.
Give of yourself, that always makes you feel good. And this is
one way to always give of yourself. You get to give to the people closest
to you, and you get to give out to the world.
JM: It's hard to top that. If people could
each do a little bit more giving. A little bit more, they could make such
a difference. One percent more.
NC: One percent more would change the planet.
You asked me before about five minute gestures, and one of my five minute
gestures is to spend five minutes a day forgiving. If every person on this
planet spent five minutes a day on forgiveness, the planet would be transformed
in a week or less. [Music] I'm sure.
JM: I hereby call for it!
NC: Yes. So if you're out there, pass that
JM: Pass it on, five minutes a day of forgiveness. And you heard it directly from the Fairy Godmother of Delight, Nance Cheifetz, author of "A Sense of Delight". We'll be back after these messages from WisdomRadio. I'll give out Nance's e-mail address and her website, and we'll talk about her new book.
[End Segment 7]
Jeffrey Mishlove: We've been talking with
Nance Cheifetz, and I know many of you would like to contact her, especially
since she's interested in hearing from you. She'd like to know about some
of the most delightful stories, the most delightful experiences that you
have ever had, because she's hoping to include some of them in her new
book, and you can send her e-mail at email@example.com.
Her website is www.senseofdelight.com.
Do you want to say anything more about
what you'd like to hear from listeners?
Nance Cheifetz: Some people have told me,
they've sent me great stories about -- Oh, somebody really delighted me
on my birthday, or this is the most romantic occasion somebody ever did
for me, and it's just wonderful, sharing them is great because you get
to remember them, for one, and also it gives people ideas out there who
might not be quite as creative as your friends or lovers.
Any story, something wonderful, a gift
somebody's made you, some way you've been really, incredibly touched, I
would love to hear about it!
JM: I hope that you will contct Nance.
I hope that you'll contact us, too, at Virtual College. My website is www.mishlove.com.
It has information about how you can become a member of the Virtual College
e-mail Discussion Group! We'll be back again tomorrow night, every weekday
night 8 PM Pacific Time (10 PM Central Time, 11 PM East Coast Time) and
then it's repeated after that on WisdomRadio.
I'm Jeffrey Mishlove. Thanks so much for
being with us.
NC: May every good wish be yours!
[End Sgmt 8 of 3/25/99 WisdomRadio Show]
(This transcript was prepared for VIRTUAL U by volunteer typist Joyce Rosenfield.)
Return to Virtual U.
Return to Mishlove's Menu.