Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cupcake Warriorettes: Handling Performance Pressure!

"We are cupcake warriors and we are ready for battle," Nycole Primm

"Girls are permitted to demur and back away from their goals. What a waste."
 Gina Barreca, Ph.D

My twitter girl, Brooklyn attorney, actress, Lisann Valentin (read more)  is beautiful (be you to the fullest), brilliant, (lifelong learner) and a bold example of what innovative author, Daniel Pink calls "A Whole New Mind": Using her head, following her heart, and trusting her gut to nurture her creativity. She is a kindred spirit,   who also loves Audrey Hepburn. Li's answer to my question of how she handles performance pressure, like Her Deep Thoughts... blog  is so inspiring, empowering, and uplifting, Zenjoy!

"I think I become another person almost-like your shift. An uber version of me in a way. Had a lot of practice with it, and managing pressure. Being prepared, Accepting who you are, what you want, what you're doing, are important. 

If you can be present in the moment focused on enjoying it, and trusting the work you put into it, then the faces looking at you don't even exist. 
The pressure to be  perfect doesn't exist. It's just you, being you, and being amazing at it. :-)" 

“The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.”  BrenĂ© Brown,  Quotes ☞☞☞ Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Truth be told, this blog has been under beautification construction since our first interview with Kim Thurman, who won with her assistant Kim Aeck, Season 2, Episode: L.A. Auto Show, on Food Network's popular "Cupcake Wars" TV  show. The show aired in Jan. 2011 and Grace spoke with Kim in early April 2011. We've gathered a few more cupcake wars winners, and other awesome warriors reaching for excellence in their chosen fields of interests. 

Like flower petals falling one by one, we've been growing, glowing with the flow, and giving back generously in other areas of life. For me, it's been about fine-tuning a short series of books about this topic of choosing to be a worrier or warrior for all ages. Also, Grace started high school at CHAMPS Charter Highschool of performing arts, which she loves after being homeschooled with our FunZen socratic method for 8 years. She is also focusing on her passion, music, at the School of Rock. Without further ado, this Cupcake Warriorettes blog is driven by our singular purpose to inspire and empower our girls, (boys too) to shift from a worrier to warrior, thus becoming heroes of their journeys.

Our beginner's mind, zen approach, is to share playful yet practical tools to capture out of the blues, clues to encourage you to passionately and effortlessly use what you already have, common sense wisdom, and imagination, to guide you in fulfilling your wishes. Seeing yourself as a compassionate warrior will help you stay in the saddle to realize your true potential and live your dreams. 

As a lifelong learning coach, I wholeheartedly embrace the  keep it simple, short and sweet to get on pointe. When I heard these wise loving words from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, addressed to Deepak Chopra, my heart deeply resonated; "The truth is simple, Make it clear. Let it stand on it's own, and don't get lost in complications." So, instead of mucking up my inspirational soul recipes with too many steps, I am focused on the simple essence of coaching people to experience inner peace (in-her peace) and mindfulness to radiate pure joy. From a zen perspective, learning to love ourselves comes down to self acceptance, honoring the light of beauty, brilliance and boldness in our souls.   

We ask only one question, how do you handle performance pressure or anxiety during the daily grind?  Consider, Dr. Wayne Dyer's wise words; When you squeeze an orange you get orange juice because that's whats inside. The very same principal is about you. When someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, what comes out is whats inside. And if you don't like what's inside you can change it by changing your thoughts."

For this much anticipated blog series, we're delighted to share wisdom tips, for going from stress to bliss, anxiety to serenity, and gloom to bloom. We've included juicy sound bites from a brilliant psychologist, famous illustrator, an international bestselling author, legendary martial artist, successful entrepreneur mum, a beautiful actress, attorney, celebrity mum,  plus more awesome heroes from life's arena of worriers to warriors. 

 Here's a delicious FunZen min. sound bite from Grace's interview with  Kim Thurman

When I stepped into "Bake You Happy" it was love at first sight. I saw my fav British saying; "Keep Calm, Have a Cupcake" and tingling good vibes followed. Grace and I saw that both Kim's had great teamwork for the dream to work both on and off camera.
Season 2 Winners  , Kim Thurman and Assistant: Kim Aeck Episode: L.A. Auto Show

U.C.L.A. Cupcake Princess: Dorothy Tong and 
Deann Chan,  Season 2
Episode: Hard Rock 

Cupcake Wars winner and princess warrioress Dorothy Tong, Founder of Cupcake and Cookie... was an utter delight to connect-up with, I called once, sent an email asking for her comment, and in true royal fashion she demonstrated how she handles performance pressure, effortlessly with the lovely combination of two spiritual backbone ingredients; Hard-work and Enthusiasm. 

"To handle performance pressure, I prepare myself for the event by practicing the activity (such as baking, dancing, speaking, etc) until I am so familiar with the motions I can do them in my sleep.  My personality actually thrives under pressure, so I use that adrenaline as fuel to perform.  Also, I found that it is helpful to know what your weaknesses are specifically to the event you are performing, and to be able to avoid them.  For example, my weakness on timed tests is that I spend too much time on the early problems and then I am unable to finish the test.  Knowing this, when I go into a timed test I make sure that I do not spend too much time on the early questions and do not let myself spend more time on a problem unless I have finished the entire test and then can go back and work on the previous problems."

Jennica Braddock and her Mom Crystal Schaffner, Episode: Tony Hawk, Season 4 winner

Out of the blue, as the name suggests "Dreamy Creations...", Cupcake Wars Winner's logo was printed on what looked like a food truck, and jumped out at me, when I was driving in Northridge Ca. At first, I thought, just keep going, it's probably an address on the truck, I won't recognize. Out of Stillness, I noticed that the address on the cupcake truck was close by. I gave myself a mini zen tune up with a centered breath and posture check. Then I walked into the Cupcake Cafe, following my heart and trusting my hara (gut), to ask my "worrier to warrior" question. Jenica was smiling behind the counter, like a ray of light bursting through a cloud of doubt flowing through my mind. She radiated that "Girls just wanna have fun" on fire spirit, it was obvious that she was a cupcake warriorette and knew about focusing and flowing forward through battle rounds on and off camera.

Angel Food for the Soul: Inspirational Recipe: According to Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman, we can activate our warrior spirit in 3 steps. 1. Dream Big, 2. Start Small 3. Connect the dots, Embrace the moment to moment discovery process one tiny little step at a time. Zenjoy! 
Jenica fired up her fearless faith and set a stellar example for all of us; to feed our vision with hope, love, and courage. Hope is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, no matter what. This is the dreams come true warrior spirit ingredient Jenica shared with me and uses with her "Dreamy Creations" inspiring all of us to follow and trust our hearts by taking action. 
 I asked my utterly brilliant twitter friend, Author, Dr Ben Michaelis... to give me a hand, and share how he personally handles performance pressure. Not only did he answer this question eloquently, he has an awesome new book "Your Next Big Thing"  to dip your inner paint brush into for hot tips, cool tools, and creative strategies to play in the NOW, happily and successfully. Here's a sample of Ben's dream fuel in 3 words "Keep On Going."
Also, check out his amazing article  on not just surviving with stress and anxiety but thriving, and "Shaking off the Grind" to glide and feel more blessed, no matter what.   http://t.co/jlEqzCeF

"I always begin to handle performance pressure by first practicing whatever it is I need to present/perform, then letting go by grounding myself in the now.  I check in with my five senses -- especially the olfactory sense -- our most powerful sense, which can ground us in the present.  Then I focus on my breath."

 Warrior Spirit Whisperer "It's good to know that you're spreading the pixie dust of ZenFun, doing what you love and loving what you do... here's to FunZen and Zen Fun, moment to moment, day to day, throughout the New Year.Dan Millman

My mentor/friend, best-selling author Dan Millman 's spirited presence in words whether through talking on the phone, in person, or reading his books has touched me deeply with reverence and humility. Once he sent me a fax in the late nineties (remember those?) and expressed that it was a "pleasure to speak with a fellow artist-athlete" these simple words, restore my hope, help, and humor and bring me inner harmony to this day. Most recently, I bravely asked @pwDan to share how he handles performance pressure. His response left me wonderstruck for a bit, leaving me hushed, with a let it be feeling of inner stillness. Grateful to jump back in to bake up some successilious sweet treats. Zenjoy his warrior spirit of a clear mind, peaceful heart. ❤  PeacefulWarrior movie clip 

"My only answer to the question you pose below is:  What performance pressure?  Do you mean performance pleasure? The way I handle performance is to perform — not just on a stage or in front of an audience or camera, but moment to moment. Every moment is a chance to perform, to function, to do whatever I'm doing as well as I can. I fail to reach my ideals nearly always, but that's okay, too. I don't aim for success or for victory; I only aim for excellence in the moment. There is no pressure in the moment." 

What's next: 2 amazing ABC Shark Tank mompreneur winners, my twitter friend, stress expert, Lori Lite, @StressFreeKids will share her magic mood tool for family fun, and staying stress free like a deeply rooted tree. And more...don't miss my life learned b-lesson from illustrator, Mary Engelbreit. ♡

Click Here to order my Clear Your Mind Manual "Mental Fitness" Foreword by Leonard Cohen, endorsed by Louise Hay, Dan Millman, Iyanla Vanzant, Penny Peirce, Michael Beckwith, O.C. Smith, Richard Carlson and many more...

In Gratitude w/Love and Hugs ❤
FunZen Girls OX
Michiko (lil mama) and Grace

Contact: (805) 490-2391 
Twitter: @Zenmommie 
Email: @mjrolek@aol.com

Fun never ends, FunZen is for everyone.
I teach kids FunZen and parents to be Mindful.


  1. Alot of great ways mentioned relating to how to handle stress. I think the one I liked most is Dan's performance pleasure analogy. He is right when you relax in the moment, prepare yourself for the tasks ahead and develop your skills to the best they can be; when you get on stage or on that platform to deliver everything just flows and all the hardwork that went into preparing for that moment seems to disapear. You and those receiving the performance experience it as effortless. That is how to beat performance pressure and truly zenjoy all the hard work that goes into living in the present moment.

  2. Loved your blog. Your messages are universal! Everyone needs to hear your words xoxo

  3. Wonderful advice! Thank you for posting!

  4. Michi...I love reading your blog. When I'm feeling like I need a little "pick me up" or redirection...I always find something I can use to help direct and guide me to a better place. -XO Jill