Simone on episode 5: You Only Live Once

While I consider myself a spiritual person and I love speaking to animal communicators and visiting psychics, I was a bit of a skeptic when I heard about a hugging Saint. What Amma does is so wonderful and I so very much respect it but truth be told, I'm not a hugger. So, I wasn't sure I could personally get that much out of it. I think it's obvious when you see me hugging anyone that I have to be really involved with them to do that...but I do hug all animals! I was open to it because I like the idea of trying new things and the possibility of miracles. So, I was grateful for the access Russell and his friend Gabriella allowed me. Amma is very very hard to meet with. People wait in line for days for a moment with her.



The energy in that room was amazing and she hugged me for a very long time...longer than what was aired. In my ear she said, "My daughter" over and over...it was a moment I won't forget. She is spreading love and hope and that cannot be denied.

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I've been pole dancing for years...it's a beautiful way to unwind and re-connect with your feminine side. I don't think we live in a man's world, but I do think that in business we often have to play in the boys' club and we forget how sensual and incredible it is to embrace being a woman. In class, we learn to celebrate the female form, love our curves, find our erotic creature, and dance. Boy do we dance.

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I always feel it's my job to introduce women to pole dancing because I have personally gotten so much out of it. Sure, it's a hot badge of honor, a cool notch on your belt to be able to hang upside down on a pole, but the benefits go much deeper. Pole dancing takes me back to a very primitive, organic part of myself physically and emotionally. It frees me. And yes, it's HOT.

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I loved how everyone had their own experience on the pole...some were coy, some fierce, some just wild. Every woman's personality comes through when they pole dance and allow their bodies to move without inhibition. Every woman is a natural on a pole.

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Animal Acres is heaven on Earth, literally, for the animals that have found a home there. Animals that are given the miraculous gift of a second chance at life are so grateful. You can see it in their eyes. It's very important for children to see firsthand, up close, what is on their plate and then make the decision for themselves to go veggie. I've seen it happen many times in my life...that a-ha moment..."wait that chicken nugget is this gentle bird?!?!!!?" And then they never eat meat again. I live for those moments. God bless Lorri Houston for opening Animal Acres and saving lives every day. Can you imagine how grateful a hen there is? After spending their entire lives in small wire cages to produce eggs, they are now free to socialize, breathe clean air, and live a real life! And the turkeys who had suffered painful mutilations such as "detoeing" and "debeaking" (chopping off the tips of their beaks and toes) on overcrowded factory farms get the chance to stretch, feel the sun on their backs and love for the very first time. And cows and pigs who had been beaten, shocked and abused through livestock auction rings, get to live without abuse, have families, and learn to heal and trust again. It's a magical place and I am so thankful that places like this and Farm Sanctuary exist.

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It was my favorite day. I love animals. I respect animals, and I can look at them in peace because I don't eat or wear animals. Every day working for Russell is an adventure for sure, but this is as close to my heart as you can get. Being around rescued animals and fighting for them is my calling and I will do that until the day I die.

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I felt nervous going into my burlesque performance, but I love the movie "Flashdance." As a kid, I looked up to Jennifer Beals and always wanted to dance, so this was my chance. Of course, seeing Russell there made me a thousand times more nervous...I mean, I didn't invite ANYONE and my boss shows up! Yikes! But it was fun.

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