F.U.E.L. : F.ocused U.nlimited E.xtraordinary L.ife
F.U.E.L. : F.ocused U.nlimited E.xtraordinary L.ife
My Mentor~ Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters was my mentor and my everything for over 25 years. She stayed with me through thick and thin, through the good and the bad. She taught me the true meaning of resiliency and how to find that strength using my creative talents and my education. She encouraged me to share my gifts with the world. The key to daily and sustainable happiness is to find your innate talents and express them to the world, whether building friendships, a career,
or a purpose-driven life.
Barbara's true love was her love for her sister, Jackie, who was disabled and had Autism Spectrum Disorder. Barbara fought, every day of her life, to enhance her sister's future. I am using all her wisdom to support and teach our kids and young adults from every walk of life,
to become great humans.
Our program also teaches these kids how to launch their gifts into a future career path bringing sustainable happiness. We take their abstract ideas and bring them to concrete fruition. At Fuel we have created all of our Health and Wellness Workshops, Blog Creating, and News Making through Barbara Walter's teachings to me, and the innate gifts that I will share with you all. You will live, learn, love, laugh and cry for joy. I will take your natural talents and show you how to launch them into the world. Whether via a career path, school, or sustainable relationships, you will learn the value in yourself and learn how to drive your life forward with positivity and purpose.
"It is not how many breaths we take but the moments that take our breath away."
Barbara Walters was my life mentor, but more importantly, my dear friend and mother figure for over 25 years. I started out being her personal exercise and pilates trainer (so she never had any back issues!) I was a kid, in my early 20's. As a celebrity trainer working in the Hamptons, my life was more than exciting. You can only imagine as a young adult who suffered "the blues" growing up -- I worked hard and diligently each step of the way to overcome my struggles. Be the Change...
While watching a Columbo rerun one day (which made me nuts but, it was Barbara's favorite show), out of the blue, she turned to me and said, "If something ever happened to me, I do not even have a legacy to leave people with." I chuckled and said, "Are you kidding me? Do you know who you are?" I guess when you are a huge celebrity that has done so much work, and when you are fully immersed in the present as she was, you don't see it. "The art of meditation" was being performed every day by her, without even knowing it. As a news reporter and creative writer, you must take time to unload your thinking each day (maybe it was owed to the Columbo show!), so that you can come back from your brain break and produce. She taught me so many lessons that I now teach my all-ability kids.
As the story concludes, I always told her, "I will leave your legacy." She actually laughed and said, "YOU?" I replied, "YOU WATCH ME. I learned from the best."
I am using all my knowledge that Barbara taught me over the years to publish a beautiful memoir, a meaningful blog and a purpose driven mentor workshop. This will teach my all ability newsmakers just as Ms. Barbara Walters taught me. From my lips to God's ears, our legacy has begun.
I won "The NYC News Maker Award of Tomorrow" for my work for changing kids' lives for the better. While collaborating with my mentor and dear friend, Barbara Walters, on numerous projects, she taught me to become the best version of myself. I am now taking all of her lessons and have formed "Tomorrow's Newsmakers," a wonderful workshop, focused on teaching the art of being present. Field trips will lead you to learning about writing and illustrating your experiences lead by your inspiration.
This blog is so important to me, and will be for you, if you choose to follow us. These Special News Makers will give you an inspiring look at what truly matters in life. What is it truly like to be happy and how do we obtain it on a daily basis ? These special talents will show you that life can be simple and full of joy, if you choose it. The choice is yours for the taking.
We honor Brianna Magee who graduates May 15th, with a B.S in Occupational Therapy. Nicole and Brianna are twins, they are the true representation of dedication and love. When we asked Brianna what made her choose her field, her response , " I wanted to learn everything I could, so I could assist my sister with any problems that may occur in the future. Nicole and Brianna have spent their years watching over and learning from each other. When we asked Nicole what it is like to have a twin sister like Brianna , she replied with a smile," She is such a good sister and such a dedicated smart individual. She has helped me overcome so many fears. She never gives up and takes good care of her health and me. I could not be more proud of her. " I asked Nicole if it bothered her at all, that Brianna left to college for her purpose driven life and mission, Nicole's response ," As much as I miss her, I am happy she is achieving her dream. I am so happy she will be returning home to me the end of May.
To lead a happy life, you must live in love and follow your dreams. To live a life of purpose like these two sister's have shown is beautiful. Can being happy each day be simple? It can be, if you choose too. Congratulations Brianna Magee, for you both our on the path to greatness......Blessings from the "News Makers"
As I woke up this morning, I thought, I would have a heavy heart, but I did not, thanks to my faith and hope, I always hold on to. Barbara Walters used to say to me that one of my best qualities is that even in the hardest of times, I have the determination to wake up , follow my healthy rituals, make people smile and the ability to keep moving on.... I miss Barbara , she was really my tough love mom. She was a great radar, she knew when to be tough and when to hold my space. The one thing that she really taught me, was how to be resilient and stay steady in everything. “ When the going gets tough, you ground your feet in the mud and you stay strong. “ You keep your chin up and you do your best work every day, and then you go the extra mile after that. “ I had almost 30 years of that mantra , and on Mother’s Day she comes to my heart. What does it mean to be a good Mom?
Life was going great, I really did it! Even during the pandemic, I managed to shut down my center, but rebuilt one in my garage. I made it so sterile and so beautiful , it looked like being in heaven. Barbara Walters love of her life was her sister Jackie, who had special needs . She spoke of her so often and I knew that was her driving force for resiliency and now it is mine. Her driving force was her sister and now too, it is mine. It is amazing how she was my mentor and confident and our lives have aligned so perfectly. It is all my kids, my news makers, who teach me each day how to smile and stay simple and motivate me to be my best self.
I wake up, then I “ Sweat , Sing and Serve “ each and every day. Barbara would laugh how on my down time living in NYC, I would go to baptist funerals, because the music was so inspirational and powerful it would light me up. I would go to her house smiling, and she would say, “ Did you just come from another church ceremony? I would sing and say, “ Correct”, I need to show you. So, she came with me a few times and we laughed, cried and sang... She knew the power and inspiration of heart felt music....the story continues...
I was attending a beautiful yoga class, held on my beautiful property during sunset, when I got the worst call of my life. My baby sister Cat, 38, was diagnosed with stage 4 rare GI cancer. I almost fell to the floor, but was surrounded by a few of my special needs young adults. I kept my chin up, did the only thing I know how to do, which is move forward and stay on point. If there is one thing I learned, is when the going gets tough, I get clearer and tougher. At that moment, the wind was knocked out of me... What to do? I worked in oncology for years, my husband passed away of cancer, but my sister? “ Hell No ! Enough was enough, I heard Barbara’s voice , ”you stand tall in the mud and you keep moving!”
Within 24 hours, I packed up my house, and dogs and off we went to Colorado to be by Cat’s side. We drove four days, through some heavy storms until we finally reached Cat’s home. I tried my best, to leave nothing to fate and called every colleague and professional in the field. It is amazing, after so many years of dedication in the field of helping others, the favors were returned. The beautiful lesson here? People really do want to help . Why? To be of purpose and to give without expectation is really the key to sustainable happiness. Four days and a hundred hours on the phone with the top professionals, I was ready to conquer or was I?
When cancer hits a family, it is beyond devastating, even worse a young mother with four kids under the age of ten. I call it Cancer Drama, now shock and real trauma had begun. I went in there ready to conquer , to stand by , to be the best version of me , to show no fear ... the result ? I fell on my face !! Cat was in shock, she was forced by fear to stay strong , to carry on and to be her best. She did not need her sister doctor . She just needed her sister. I could not put my years of expertise aside , I had to heal and save. She wanted to stay strong for her family alone. The result? I fell on my face ... the true reality ... I fell forward. In all aspects of life, of you have the opportunity to encounter someone really successful , they will all say the same thing . Failure and acknowledging your mistakes is the true secret to failing or falling forward. It's our experiences in life that make us who we are , the good and the bad . My sister Cat has been through hell in the past 8 months. She is my true inspiration and teacher of strength. She has been falling forward every day and being her best self for whatever that brings daily. She has her feet firmly planted in the mud and protects her four boys with every breath they take . Her field is being a middle school teacher. Now she is a true teacher of life. A true representation of what motherhood looks like in the worst of times. You will do this my sister and I will be by your side as a sister and friend , each step of the way .... Happy Mother’s day my love, for you will shine bright and your shimmer will touch everyone that surrounds you.
Barbara Walters told me so many stories about her sister Jackie and her love for her. Jackie was Barbara's older sister by two years, but Barbara protected her throughout her life. She would tell me, how " Jackie was the love of her life" and how she always felt bad for her, because she was intellectually disabled and did not have the social opportunities like she did. Barbara would always say , she would go to the ends of the earth for her at any moment. Moving in the present, I now realize why Barbara and I became so close, I actually think she saw herself in me. My baby sister Cat is fighting for her life, and I would go to the ends of the earth protecting her. The ironic part is that I think Cat, being my younger sister, always protected me. You see, I went through so many heart aches when I was a young adult, and my sister always helped me through it. Even when I became a widow. I hear Barbara's voice all the time, "There is nothing like the love of two sisters" I can not agree more. " A sister is more than a forever friend, she is a joy to the heart and love without end.
Barbara Walters told me so many stories about her sister Jackie and her love for her. Jackie was Barbara's older sister by two years, but Barbara protected her throughout her life. She would tell me, how " Jackie was the love of her life" and how she always felt bad for her, because she was intellectually disabled and did not have the social opportunities like she did. Barbara would always say , she would go to the ends of the earth for her at any moment. Moving to the present, I now realize why Barbara and I became so close, I actually think she saw herself in me. My baby sister Cat is fighting for her life, and I would go to the ends of the earth protecting her. The ironic part is that I think Cat, being my younger sister, always protected me. You see, I went through so many heart aches as a young adult, and my sister always helped me through it, when she was nothing less of a baby. Even when I became a widow. I hear Barbara's voice all the time, "There is nothing like the love of two sisters" I can not agree more. " A sister is more than a forever friend, she is a joy to the heart and love without end. customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and
Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.
Our beautiful and talented Nicole Magee is our " News Maker "; of the week. From her research last week, she discovered that this week on Saturday , May 1st , is National Fitness Day. It was exciting for her, because she loves to stay healthy and fit , and takes pride in herself by eating healthy, exercising regularly , doing yoga and meditating. She shared her research with the group and they were all inspired by her story. As a collaborative team of young adults who inspire each other, we take pride in extreme self care and the priority is exercise, meditating and eating healthy. Working out as a team is a great way to motivate each other, so we stay motivated as a team doing great work. We must be the change we want to see in the world....
In the United States, the first Saturday in May is National Fitness Day. This motivational day sets out to celebrate the power of physical fitness and how it helps to change lives. National Fitness Day gives each of us a voice to share how fitness empowers us. Through out the day, we encourage everyone to join community events and get moving.
We interviewed Nicole on how she is going to celebrate this day.
Her response was "to try something new in her daily exercise routine. "Hula Hooping has always been one of her favorites, so she decided to start incorporating that into her daily fitness regimen to spice up her workouts. Hula Hooping is a great way to get your core muscles strong, burn calories and work on your balance and agility. Nicole's favorite places to work out in Long island , NY is Blydenburgh Park , which is an invigorating 6 mile trail surrounding a beautiful lake full of natural wildlife and foliage. Nicole enjoys having beautiful nature around her as she gets her exercise in full of wildflowers. She enjoys spending her time in this park because she feels like she is in a magical wonderland with sunflowers and other flowers of various colors. The colors inspires her workouts to push even harder to be her best self. She also enjoys working out in Dr. Christine's Body Mantra Method studio using her BMM fit yoga and exercise mat. The mat with its' vibrant colors and directional games , allows Nicole to focus and learn new exercises quickly and safely on a daily basis. The Body Mantra Fit Mat keeps her engaged while moving her body into a steady state of flow. Nicole says with a big smile, "I wish the mat was introduced to me at an even younger age, but I am glad it is here for me now". She also says with excitement, her favorite music to work out to is the songs from High School Musical. This way she can sing and sweat at the same time. "Dr. Christine's Motto is Sing, Sweat and Serve others daily, and you will stay happy ! The reason for being accountable for my daily exercise is all the health benefits it includes for my physical and mental well-being. The exercise routines designed for me has helped my agility and balance, which prevents me from getting injured in the future. I enjoy my new friends at "News-Makers" and working out in a collective group of positive energy helps me get the job done."
"The best part for me, says Nicole, it helps me with confidence and self esteem." Nicole is our beautiful and brilliant News Maker of the week.
Please share with your friends, and let's make the future brighter for all our youth facing the struggles of today's world.
Jackson beach, age 19, is an amazing researcher and journalIst who is one of tomorrow's special newsmakers. He just graduated with a 4.0 average, from his first year of college. He is a great inspiration and mentor to all in need, and is a perfect example of "You Can Do It"
Memorial day is a time of remembrance for those who lost their lives while serving in the US military. Many memorials and monuments in parks allow reflection on military service and sacrifice throughout our nation's history..
I interviewed Jackson and asked him?
What is the cost of war ? Tell us about it?
Jackson answered , "Victory of winning a war does not come with multiple costs to the allied powers."
A pyrrhic victory is a victory where the costs are so high they can make the victory also feel like defeat. World War 11 can be considered a pyrrhic victory because of its many costly sacrifices which had been devastating ramifications on all sides.
Death is the most defining cost of war. It is a symbol of the countless soldiers that are valiantly willing to die for their countries.
Starvation has been shown to be a cost of war. Many people, even bystanders, have gone for so long in war-torn areas without any nutrition.
Donna, age 29, inspires me, each and every day with her daily tips on just about everything. I have learned the coolest things from Donna, and told her , she should start her own informational blog called," Darling Donnas Daily Dish.". She is my go to for just about everything. From where to go to get your dogs nails groomed, to what spice you use in a recipe, Donna is your girl. We interviewed Donna on her field experience at Sweet Briar Farm this past weekend , and this is what she had to say....
"The best thing about the farm is that you can spend the whole day there, and it is of no cost. So it is a beautiful place, where we can all experience nature and enjoy the outdoors."
You can pack a snack or lunch and sit under the gazebo for rest and relaxation, and listen to the sounds of nature..
My favorite animal was the owl. They all look different and are quite exquisite.
The facts we learned about the owls are that they can turn their head almost 360. They are extremely quiet and they are nocturnal and can see at night. Their eyes are bright and beautiful, and when i look at them , I experience a sense of calming like no other.
" A day with an owl is a day in paradise for me."
We took a break from the gardens and the animals and we sat in the gazebo and we all went around in a circle creating our own meditation about the farm. It was fun to hear everyone's version of their experience and what they saw and was inspired by " We always start our visualizations by saying, ". Sit in a comfortable spot, close your eyes and now take a full deep breath in and a full deep breath out, then we begin our story... The News Makers have taught us that creative writing and visualization helps us empty our minds, so that we can write more efficiently.
"I love the idea of helping out animals in need. Everybody needs people and animals need animals. The feeling of being together as a team of friends helping others, whether animals or people are very important to me. I appreciate when someone else gives a hand to me , so i understand the feeling of the animals when they are being helped by others.
I always felt like, "God has given us two hands, one for ourselves and one to help others., at sweetbriar farm, we have the opportunity to do that...
Sweet Briar farm provides natural
Science Education services for Long Island residents of all ages and engaging in native wildlife rehabilitation services.
to donate please visit:
Life flies by so quickly. You must enjoy every moment and grab every opportunity. Back in the day, I was Barbara Walters, Pilates and Yoga instructor. I will never forget the day I got a call from her. It was Barbara herself. I was always used to speaking with celebrities assistants, but not Ms. Walters, she always called herself, which on one hand, made me nervous and on the other hand, I was flattered. That was my first lesson, amongst thousands from her, over the years. She did everything for herself, from a personal phone call to producing a best selling documentery.The first day I met her, she was in her prime, and of course, I was enamered. I mean a 23 year old getting the opportunity to meet the world's most famous woman new's reporter and producer. I remember walking into her mansion in the city. It was beautiful, with strong interior design colors, that looked like I was going into a royal palace. I was greeted at the door, by one of her maids, named Zelle, who was so tough and took such good care of Barbara. Zelle, made me nervous, but in the end, I loved her so and she became so dear to me. I was patiently, waiting to meet Barbara , and there she was in the flesh, Ms. Barbara Walter's. She finally arrived and the first thing she said to me was " Did you steal my gold coffee cup holders?'' lol, I remember that day as clear as today? I was shocked, I did not know if I should laugh or cry, I was dumb founded. I replied , absolutely NO !" She then offered me a stern hello, and then said to me, ," What are you looking at ? Let's get to work! " I could feel my anxiety creeping up and the sweat begin to start flowing from nerves. I remember Barbara saying, "You are not sick are you?, if you are please go home." it is amazing how anxiety can make you sick on a dime, and it is also amazing, if you realize that anxiety attacks only last 30 seconds, and you can realize what is happening, then you can breathe into an attack and you will become a stronger person from it . I held in the tears and the feeling I was going to throw up all over her feet. That was the beginning of all my lessons in resiliency to come, and a beautiful but hard knox, true love story was to follow....
I worked out Barbara, at least 5 times a week. Every day, I would walk across Central Park, a bit nervous, but always made it there. If I was a few minutes late, boy oh boy, would I hear it. Over time, I became more proficient and accountable , because not being proficient, was not an option. It was more stressful to think of an excuse to bail from my anxiety, than to just show up and do a great job. Criticism, became more constructive and a steady state of flow began to happen. I then realized that Barbara, was tough because of her belief in me, and because she really knew I tried hard, even with my querks and mistakes. Was she easy ? Never , but she taught me so much as far as getting tasks done, and I could feel her love and respect towards me. She really did prime me for the real world , as nervous as I was every day. REPETITION and practice, was the key to my success! I never gave up, and took her criticism, because I knew her intention was to make me a good career woman.
day after day, I would put her on the treadmill, if we weren't in the park walking, then, we would watch her news pieces, she would turn to me and say " Well? " As if, she wanted me to give her constructive criticism . I soon learned too and got yelled at a lot for doing so, but then she would actually chuckle and take my advice. Because after all, I was the lay person watching the media. It was funny, how I started out exercising with her, and after a while became so much more. The more I listened and learned , the more we got close. The more we got close,the better business and communications person I became. She then, started looking at me as an intelligent and kind female trying to do good in the world. She yelled at me for my kindness, (to a fault, she would say, and I would reply, " look at mother teresa, is there a limit to her having continual acts of compassion?", Barbara would reply, "In the business world YES! and that is something you will have to learn or you will get eaten up and never get ahead. That was a hard lesson, and till this day, I battle with that one. "Can't someone be kind and pure and still get ahead. I have learned over the years, being on news pieces , events, and news shows, that you must learn how to show your confidence through your kindness that comes with a sense of being on point and self awareness. Barbara took me out of my comfort zone and started leading me to a life of media , that would benefit me for years to come. I now use her lessons's to launch each and everyone of my kids to become kind, yet resilient, to share their passions and get as we say "SHIT done"
There is something about having a sweet piece of chocolate melt into your mouth. the way it coats your tastebuds.. There are so many reasons why we tend to crave chocolate, and why eating this delicious candy makes us feel a certain way..
In the clinical sense, it is an amino acid called Tryptophan, that is used by the brain to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter that can produce feelings of happiness. But for me it was a sweet memory , ritual and so much more.
The one steady, that stands out in over 25 years working with Barbara Walters is that she always had a big glass container full of mini hershey bar assortments. To this day, I still wonder how often that chocolate was replaced .Barbara was always my first client in the morning. To be a great news maker is to learn the art of extreme self care, and implement rituals every day to be your best self in all ways. Drinking a great morning herbal tea, along with meditation, yoga and exercise were on our list of morning healthy habits.. Then there was that big glass bowl of chocolate speaking to us each morning. Of course as a young person in the field, I would throw a piece or two in my mouth to give me that morning spark. Every Morning Barbara would say , "Ok Christine, how many did you eat already?, " I always replied ," just one ( wink ,wink ) everything in moderation, my lady."
Everything is more special when there is a ritual built around it. It always seemed more special to not over indulge in our sweets, but to take time out and almost build a story around it. As news makers, story telling is the fruit of life. Stories and the ability to tell and write them, are what get's people together and inspired. Barbara and I had are own story around chocolate. We would work out, then once a week we would go to this little elegant A list , french cafe called Pastis . In those days everyone was someone in that cafe. They would give you the smallest portion of the most elegant piece of dark chocolate raspberry truffle cake. As a team, we really enjoyed our little piece of heaven together. It was nice to just sit and be friends and enjoy a delicacy together with a cappuccino. Of course, it was never so peaceful, because people would always stare and whisper," is that Barbara Walters?" She was always kind, but I know she needed a little more peace to fully savor the moment. From those days on, I became kind of a body guard to her, making sure, she had the peace she earned. The word EARN is a big word these days, and I feel our youth can use a big lesson in that concept, and the wisdom from all of us that have worked diligently each and every day. My intention is to take her lessons of wisdom and give them to the youth of today.
I spent so many holidays with Barbara, because she truly enjoyed being with her staff to relax and celebrate during the holiday season. One Thanksgiving morning Barbara asked me " Would you mind delivering these ten boxes of chocolates to my friends for the holiday?" I said, of course; the list of friends were from Sean Connery, Calvin Klein to Pete Peterson , Ralph Lauren , to just name a few. She said, "do you see what is in the boxes?" I looked down and saw ten golden striped boxes of chocolate at a price tag of 1000 dollars per box. Immediately, Barbara saw the frown on my face and chuckled and said, "Christine, I know how you think, so just say it. " I replied, you could have fed all the homeless on this holiday, with this money! She said, "I knew you were going to say that, and that is why I am giving you an envelope full of cash to go send food up to all the families in your department at Columbia University Medical Center." She was very generous and good like that, always. I delivered the chocolates and proceeded on my way up to the hospital to take care of my families. Then, returned back to the mansion, to spend an evening with Barbara, Myself and her wonderful staff that was really, her true family. The beautiful evening ended with a fine bite of chocolate truffles. Please Continue to our Blog page on the header............,
We had the pleasure of visiting Miss Bernice, the owner of the chocolate shop in Stony Brook, Ny.
Bernice has been a certified chocolatier for over thirty years. She has crafted this beautiful store like a hallmark movie. Our newsmakers were so excited to go visit and experience a workshop while interviewing Miss Bernice on her passions that drove her to open this magical shop.
She renamed and rebranded the shop to incorporate the name Stony brook in it, to connect it to the beautiful destination village.
Our news makers were so charmed by the ambiance of the store and the compassion that was felt as soon as they walked through the doors.
Bernice has developed programs and workshops from all ages. A variety of programs are run daily, from children's molding workshops to moms wine and chocolate night out.
They even have a chocolate summer camp!
What is better than that !
We interviewed Bernice and her staff.
What made you develop a chocolate shop ?
"Well, who does not like a great piece of Belgium chocolate?" At every age and every climate of life, chocolate will always be most people's favorite.
Our news makers asked Bernice , " How did you survive during the pandemic?"
Her response, "Quite well, as I spent a lot of time creating home made kits for the kids and curbside pick up for all."
Our News Makers were thrilled to create their own chocolate mold of their choice, decorating it with all sorts of other colorful candies. it was a fun food art day , for our kids and they will definitely be back for holiday events. A few of our news makers have food allergies, and they were so kind to offer tasty alternatives to suit their needs.
Stony brook Chocolate shop is our News Makers of the week, and we encourage families to go visit this magical shop. it is a sweet place to visit , especially with your children on rainy days.
Please visit the Stony Brook Village in the Village square , next to the post office in Stony Brook, Ny
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We are in the process of building an equine rescue center in honor of my beautiful sister where all can come and heal through horses and educational workshops for trauma grief and loss. My sister Catherine was a dedicated mother and teacher who spent her career helping students the school systems could not handle. We are building this healing sanctuary and education center in her name. My heart is broken forever but I will continue to stand tall for her and show her four young boys how truly amazing their mom was. Donate now to 13handsequine.org in honor of Catherine Grimaldi Pane.