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Updated: Jul 16, 2020

NOW is the perfect time to focus on what brings you joy in life, let go of all that negativity and embrace positive energy. Whatever lifts your spirits, do it! We posed the question, “What keeps you joyful in life?” to Award Winning Writer, Producer and Comedian, Katie Ford, Contemporary Artist, Joan Scheibel, Writer, Director, Producer and Women Occupy Hollywood founder, Ivana Massetti, and Emmy Award Winning Journalist and TV Assignment Editor, Nancy Bent. Read what our JOYFUL WARRIORS have to say and let their joyfulness rub off on you!

Katie Ford – Writer/Producer/Comedian – is best known for co-writing/producing Miss Congeniality and Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated Prayers for Bobby. Katie started her career as a story editor on Family Ties at the age of 21, she has an impressive list of credits to her name including writer of Lucy, Mary and Rhoda and My Last Love, not to mention a string of hit TV shows.

Katie Ford - Writer/Producer

“How to keep cool. How to stay happy.

OK it takes work - especially in these times where headlines lurch a normal human being toward despair. But I look for the hope and seek out good stories and share those.

Headlines are so crazy and upsetting - but I do the radical thing of not looking at the news until after I have started my day - and that always includes three things.

1. Gratitude - I say three things I am grateful for every day.

2. Meditation (and prayer) - I meditate twice a day - I do TM for 20 minutes morning and evening. I also pray before i meditate - more humanistic than secular. I grew up Episcopal then became a Buddhist. So, I actually believe in both a God within and a God beyond. (Buddhist, then Episcopal) but mostly I believe in the goodness or people and the oneness of self and environment.

3. And these days, to add a trusted old tool (what did you call me??) - I visualize. What my life can be - how life can be better for people who are struggling - and I try then to take action to help. Even if that’s to smile at someone on the street - who knows what people are going through.

Someone once said to me, “don’t believe the landscape in front of you” - which just means that this is temporary. To see what CAN be and take steps to get there. If we each take a small step, we will get far.”

~ Katie Ford

Joan Scheibel – Contemporary Abstract Artist, her distinguished seventeen-year career in graphic design has included owning a graphic design company, with prestigious clients such as Capitol Records and Universal Records. Joan created the cover art for Meredith Brooks’ iconic song, I’m a Bitch, before turning her focus towards a more personal expression of art.

Joan Scheibel - Contemporary Artist

“What makes me happy? Being in a quintessential place — like a 100-year-old bar in New York city or Art Deco in Miami Beach or the David Bowie exhibit in Brooklyn or a winery in Paso Robles. What I love is getting to know people there. The locals, the real. Hearing their stories, learning how different we are, and how alike. People reinvigorate me, inspire me, remind me we’re all connected. It’s a great break from painting and the kind of thing that inspires me to rush home to California and paint more.

What else makes me happy? In no special order. My dog Maxie, Charley, Happy Hour, Disneyland, David Bowie, dinners with friends, ID tv, New Years at Squaw Rock, Cape Cod in July, Marie’s Crisis at 2am, Broadway, watching people eat food I’ve cooked, laughing until it hurts, getting an idea for a painting, finishing a painting, selling a painting. And maybe most of all, my family.”

~ Joan Scheibel

Ivana Massetti - Writer/Director/Producer/Founder & CEO of Women Occupy Hollywood – Ivana is a feminist who devotes much of her time towards activism in issues such as Child Abuse, Violence against Women, Women’s Rights and Gay Rights. In the last year Women Occupy Hollywood has grown organically into a media company that develops, produces and distributes content, television and films written, directed and produced by women.

Ivana Massetti - Writer/Director/Producer and Founder of Women Occupy Hollywood

“These are difficult times, lots of stress, high anxiety. Every day is a roller-coaster. Ups and downs destabilize us all day long. Dark and light follow each other in a frenzied race hiding the truth that I believe is waiting for us at the end of the tunnel.

To counterbalance this tumultuous state of being I’m going to a museum. Art soothes my soul. It was always like that. I always did that. In front of a piece of art I don’t feel isolated anymore. It’s sense of beauty, purpose connects with my profound inner self and it generates hope. Hope resurfaces in my heart and it calms my fears down. Beauty wraps around me and warms me up. At that moment I’m able to sync back with my inner self and I’m ready to get back to the battleground that is our life right now.”

~ Ivana Massetti

Nancy Bent – Emmy Award Winning Journalist/ TV Assignment Editor – Works in the fast paced broadcast media industry, assigning the coverage of local and national breaking news stories.

Nancy Bent - Journalist and TV Assignment Editor

“The constant news of tragedies, the political divide in our country and hateful words posted on social media can be overwhelming.

Working in a newsroom, it's a seemingly endless cycle of moving from one crisis to the next. You can't help but think about and feel for everyone involved in each story, but we quickly move past it. I often carry that with me. I try to find joy in finding and covering stories of help and hope.

I'm not one to meditate but find contentment in going for walks, listening to music while taking in the scenery around me. I also enjoy making flower arrangements; the colors, scents and textures bring out creativity and a feeling of joy.

I find it is important to "step back" and reflect on God's blessings even in the face of challenges.”

~ Nancy Bent

Laurie Hart – Writer/Photographer/LGBTQ Activist/ Business Woman and C0-Founder of theLexperience.

Laurie Hart - Writer/LGBTQ Activist/Business Woman and Co-Founder of theLexperience

Laurie's Parents

“Staying joyful in a world filled with hate can be difficult, BUT for me I remember the things I was taught as a child. My parents, how I miss them, were wonderful role models and their words “Treat people the way you want to be treated” echoes in me every day. The word COMPASSION should be a daily requirement, it’s FREE, so why not use it!

I worked in the medical field for almost eighteen years and let me tell you, sitting on the edge of a patient’s bed, holding their hand, letting them know they’re not alone, is one the greatest rewards of my life.

It’s the little things that mean so much, go out, help the elderly woman at the market, who reaches for something on the top shelf and is unable to do so, or just a simple smile at the person in line next to you at the checkout counter. You’d be amazed how much it can brighten someone’s day."

"I find happiness in searching for inspiring stories, stories of ordinary women doing extraordinary things to make a difference and sharing them on theLexperience. And last but not least, my wife, my rock, the love of my life, fills me with so much love, it keeps my heart joyful and encourages me to be the person I am today!”

~ Laurie Hart

Caroline Hart – Writer/Photographer/Huffington Post Contributor/LGBTQ Activist and Co-Founder of theLexperience.

Caroline Hart - Writer/LGBTQ Activist and Co-Founder of theLexperience

“Waking up each morning and seeing my beautiful wife Laurie, lying beside me is pure joy. Especially as I never thought I could feel such a love. I love it when we escape the real world together at the movies or laugh ourselves silly over the most ridiculous moments of our life, this often happens because I dance!

My art is a wonderful escapism, when I start drawing or painting I am totally immersed in the process of being creative, nothing else creeps into my mind. Seeing my idea come to life on the page or canvas is so fulfilling.

I love to take notice of nature around me, in all forms. Watching the different birds and butterflies, or a squirrel carefully burying its winter stash - I will go out of my way to save an injured bird or even carefully pop a spider back outside, because life is precious.

During the winter months I love to get cozy with Laurie in front of a roaring fire, sipping a glass of wine and reflect on how far we have come and how grateful I am for every minute we have shared together proving LOVE WINS!”

~ Caroline Hart

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