Tag Archives: new friends


I met a wonderful family from Houston, and my friend Joanna came to class.   

Mckenna from Houston

                                                           Courtney from Houston

Kelly, Mckenna, Courtney with me, Richard Simmons and my friend Joanna

                                                                       Joanna and me

                                                           Houstons loveliest family

                                      Kelly, Courtney, me, and Mckenna.


Good morning on this beautiful  Saturday. So far I am doing great on my path to fitness and health. Monday is my first weigh in. If I am able to today, I will be doing some speed walking and exercises at the beach in Malibu, CA. My husband thinks he may have a kidney infection, so those plans may be halted as we may trek to the emergency room to make sure he is fine. So no Richard Simmons class for me today. I am drinking my coffee and reflecting on life and why we are here. I am a poet and a bit of a philosopher of life so I tend to do that from time to time. 

I have been trying to decide my future charities when I get past twenty pounds, and I know at some point I will do something with senior citizens. They have such a history, a story to tell but unfortunately many people just look at them as old. Yes, we grow older but none of us is different from one another. We are all the same, and I believe we are all one. I have friends of all ages.  I also feel sometimes you can receive messages from people you may have never encountered, if your mind and heart are open to it. 

This essay I wrote was actually written one year ago, but as I ponder  my journey and getting to my first ten pounds I thought I would share it, after all my destination of my journey is to make a difference in the lives of others as well as my adventure to get fit and healthy. This is the story of my encounter with a lovely lady named Margie. We kept in touch for months afterwards, and I have not recently heard from her so I hope she is fine. 

Little side note to this story. After my encounter with Margie I went to Trader Joe’s  and met a lovely young lady named Jami on the same exact day. Jami has become a dear friend of mine since my encounter with her, and we have kept in touch now for over one year. Friends are everywhere, so strike up a conversation with a stranger the next time you are waiting in some long line. That person may be your new best friend. 
Listen to the wind whispering through the trees, it may be telling you secrets of the universe. 

written the summer of 2012

Have you ever had a day or two when your mood sours and you reflect on what is going wrong in your life. It can be all consuming when that happens. It could be something so small that sets you off, or a larger life problem weighing down your weary shoulders. 

I am rarely ungrateful, and I usually see the light at the end of the tunnel even when I am feeling discouraged or displaying embarrassing moments of self pity. When that happens, I usually look to my volunteer work, as giving back always puts life in perspective. I never go out into the world without interacting with others, sometimes those interactions with strangers leave you humbled and understanding the greater message of the universe.

Such a moment happened to me a few weeks ago. I was working out and afterwards a few people struck up a conversation with me. An older woman approached, and joined in on our chat. Her name was Margie, and she was originally from Budapest and has been living in Beverly Hills for years. It is amazing how simple chats with strangers reveal the most interesting stories, you just have to have an open mind and choose to be present and engage yourself with others. Listening grants the loveliest non material gifts.

Our conversation went from the beauty of Hawaii, its music and culture to European travel. I visited  Hawaii only once but it left a lasting impression on my life. Europe on the other hand, I dream of seeing all the splendid countries across the pond. All of a sudden the older woman named Margie asked me some questions about my family. She was from Budapest and I told her my unrequited dreams of Europe. She started to tell me about her travels, she has been to every continent except Australia.

I was intrigued, I love history and elderly people. I wanted to know who this free-spirited elderly lady was. I truly believe it is a sad that so many people go through their days without listening to older generations. They are walking history lessons, with beautiful stories to tell if you just are receptive to them. I answered her questions and I asked her if she had family in Budapest.

All of a sudden Margie opened up with the most fascinating stories of her past. She did not have any family left. She lost most of her family except her father after World War II. She continued to tell me that she is one of the last survivors of the Holocaust and was recently featured in a documentary. She told me about an interesting memory she recalled about her school days before and after the war. She came from privilege, and at her school  the children with parents and children who were orphaned were all photographed together for the same school picture. After the war, just about all the children photographed for the school portrait were  orphaned. She also told me in the beginning of the war, she and her family were not aware of the travesty’s that were going on just blocks from her home.

She continued to tell me about her life after the war, her marriage and her amazing travels. I was also blessed to meet her husband Steven. They were truly walking history and her spirit out rivaled most people I have ever met. She was not bitter about life, quite the contrary she embraced it and took every opportunity it offered. Happiness had not eluded her even with her tragic past. We exchanged emails and I knew I had made a new friend.  She instructed me to email her, and she exclaimed she would return the email with a link to the documentary she was in. She was the epitome’ of survivor, and she reminded me of my own Mother.

After my encounter, I  suddenly felt so alive and went through my day with an extra smile on my face and extra appreciation for life. No longer was I wallowing in my own worries. Margie had put all my silly problems in their place, and she was not even aware she did so. She inspired me with her story of survival and her zest for living despite her past.  I  left my encounter feeling like I normally feel, just blessed to be breathing. I knew I could do anything, be anything no matter what obstacles were to ever come my way; and those usual obstacles were self doubt and insecurity.  Life is too short to ever succumb to such useless feelings of not being worthy. We are all the same, and we all can do anything as long as we believe. Of course as I always feel, compassion and love for others is always the most important reason for being. It is the essence of life. Keep your eyes open and  ears clear or you may miss the messages the universe is sending to you. 
Rose Bruno Bailey

Interesting side, side note on the topic of the Holocaust. I have always been saddened yet fascinated with the stories of that tragic scar on humanity.  I have watched many films and read many books on the topic. I have written a few poems on the subject.  I  do not have a personal connection to that part of the past but for some reason I have always felt it deeply, and I have no understanding why except that my heart bleeds for all the injustices of the world. 

We all have problems, maybe not as heavy as Margie’s but they do weigh us down from time to time. At the end of the day it is how we choose to face adversity that matters. I choose to do so with love for my fellow creatures and gratitude for every blessing that has been bestowed upon me. If I get lemons, I will make lemon cookies so I can share my abundance with my fellow neighbors.  Believe in yourself, but also take the time to make a difference as you are out in the world making a name for yourself. Don’t forget to pay attention, there is inspiration everywhere.

Namaste’ love and light.


In the 1980’s the only colors we wore were neon, we watched General Hospital after school, sweated with Richard Simmons, and of course we wore Guess Jeans. It is so surreal to be able to take classes at Slimmons with Richard Simmons. Yesterday I went to another class, and it was fabulous. I invited a friend to come and share in the retro style aerobics class with me, but unfortunately she was held up and never made it to class. Of course I wore my signature pig tails, which tend to be a conversation starter.

I started talking to this lovely girl with a Guess headband on, and her name is Amber and she works at Guess in the Marketing department.  We got to discussing how we heard about the class etc. She and her whole marketing team from Guess came together. They were all so friendly and enthusiastic about taking Mr Simmons class.  I told her a little about myself, how I became hooked on his classes and of course I told her all about My Change For A Ten project. I also told her how I loved to wear Guess in the 1980’s.

She was so welcoming, and told me for the night I was to be an honorary Guess team member. She even gave me a read headband with the Guess logo. Now, in the 80’s Guess was all the rage. I was Guess obsessed if I do say so myself. So the retro headband was perfect and totally fitting for a Richard Simmons class, where everyone comes decked out in their best 1980’s inspired aerobic gear.

I introduced Amber and her team to Geri aka Gigi, or Grandma Gorgeous as she is known, and gorgeous at  the young age of 91 she is. She also got a red Guess headband and was one of the team for the evening. You should see Gigi dance, she is such an inspiration and a total sweetheart. 

The class started, and Richard was decked out in black with a long black wig. He played Korean pop music for the class, and it was a crowded one. I guess, hehe, that coming to his classes has become trendy. I love it. The aerobics was super energetic and fun but I must say Richard kicked my but during the mat workout. Hold planks on our elbows? Let’s just say Mr Simmons does not let leave without a proper workout. 

The class ended with Birthdays and Richard wished some of the members Happy Birthday, and he gave another inspirational talk. I am hooked through and through. I work out, sweat, laugh, cry, and I experience every emotion in between. It will be a once a week event for me, I am now a regular at Richard Simmons Slimmons class, and I love it. 

I walked over one mile home too. Boom!!