Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Issue 53 - Singing Away Fears

Only 3 days left to sign up for the Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop at the reduced rate.  More about that later.  

Quote of the Month

“The best proof of love is trust.” -- Dr. Joyce Brothers

Singing Away Fears

Growing up in Texas, Donna Pace sang in the children's choir at her church.  When children turned 13, they could audition for the adult choir.  Donna tried out, was accepted, and within a short time was asked to sing a solo.  She said yes without thinking about how many people would be watching or how scary that might be.  She rehearsed all week, often singing with her dad at home, a tenor in the choir.  That Sunday she walked confidently to the pulpit for her solo.  Looking out at the sea of faces, she was overwhelmed with fear.  She tried to sing, but her nerves got the better of her.  She began to cry, while still trying to sing through her tears.  The pianist kept playing, doing her best to get Donna back on track.  The congregation was silent, all eyes on the frightened young girl.

Then Donna's dad, who was sitting in the congregation, stood up and began to sing the song with her -- loudly -- so she could hear him. Looking in her eyes to calm her, he walked down the aisle toward her. His strong voice and loving presence gave her the strength to carry on.  He came to her and stood by her side, his arm around her waist, as they finished the song together.  

The congregation gave the duo a standing ovation. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church. The minister came to the pulpit and said, "You've just witnessed a better sermon than I could ever give.  You're dismissed."

That was a turning point in Donna's life.  An experience like that could have scarred her forever, filling her with a life-long fear of speaking or performing.  With the support her dad gave her that day, her love of singing grew.  She's performed on TV shows and in operas, sang the National Anthem at sporting events, and directed several choirs.  She was even a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Her father's love and support stayed with her; she knew she could count on him from then on to be by her side when she needed him. Her dad is 85 years old now, still living independently with her mother, and still giving her all the confidence and compliments any woman would ever need.

Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop - October 27, 2012 

There are endless ways to show our sweethearts, family and friends how much we love them.  Some things we do leave no doubt about how much we care for our loved ones, like Donna’s dad’s singing rescue of his daughter.  Sometimes, especially in marriages, a message of love gets lost.  One spouse expresses love in a way the other doesn’t understand or appreciate.  They are speaking two different love languages. 

To discover hundreds of way to express your love and celebrate your sweetheart, attend the next Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop on Saturday, October 27. It explores love, romance, and fun for couples in committed relationships -- married, engaged, dating or partnered.  You’ll also find out how easy it is to have romantic adventures on any budget. 

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to avoid five common mistakes couples make:

  • Expressing love in ways their partners don’t understand
  • Using surprise when it’s ill advised
  • Being so busy with other responsibilities that their relationship gets lowest priority
  • Becoming bored because the focus is on all work and no play
  • Thinking they can’t afford to invest time or money in their relationship

Special guest Molly Lord, creator of Tuned-In Workshops, will teach how to use music as a tool to rekindle fun and passion.  Recently acknowledged as an elite teacher and visionary, Molly was featured in the human potential film, The Keeper of the Keys, with authors Jack Canfield, Marci Shimoff and Dr. John Gray.  

When I took Molly’s Tuned-In Workshop last fall, I realized how much music influences all our relationships.  Naturally, I was most interested in how music can enhance our romantic adventures.  After two successful field tests of my own, I asked Molly to join me for the next Art of the Spark Workshop.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see Molly in an Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop!

  • Date and Time: October  27, 2012 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • Location:  Pilates Plus Studio
  •    42 South Raven Mine Drive
  •    Colorado Springs
  • Cost: $109 per couple if paid before October 20
  •          $129 per couple if paid between October 21 and 26
  • Includes: The Art of the Spark (one copy per couple)
  •    A very romantic light lunch

To register, click here. 

Schedule Your Own Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop

It's easy to host your own Art of the Spark workshop tailored to meet your needs. You provide space for the workshop in your home, office or church, tell your friends about it and I do the rest. When a church or non-profit sponsors the event, 20% of proceeds will be donated to that organization.  

For more information go to

Rave reviews from past participants Art of the Spark Relationship Workshops

“I was deeply touched by the things that happened that afternoon.  My husband, who has always been a great husband but never particularly demonstrative, totally blew my socks off… He’s been so warm and considerate since that afternoon -- I’m just elated!” — Linda Lauck

“On a scale of 1 to 10, the workshop was an 11.  It was filled with substance and depth, yet still playful and easy.”  — Ronna Vigil 

“Mary has a wonderful presence and a wealth of information that is invaluable to any relationship.” — David Thomas

“LOVED YOUR WORKSHOP!!!! Thank you for bringing an extra spark to our relationship. I know the next 10 years are going to be that much more amazing!!” — Noelle Arbon

“I not only endorse and recommend this class, but feel that Mary has put a creative and fun approach to a subject we sometimes take for granted in this fast-paced world of ours.”  —Dr. John Daugherty

“The course brought together many new ideas and all the things that have worked for us but were forgotten.”  —Tom Saponas

Announcing The Finance of Romance by Leon Scott Baxter

Last year Leon Scott Baxter asked me to write the foreword for his latest book, The Finance of Romance: Investing in Your Relationship Portfolio. I was familiar with his previous books, including A Labor with Love: A Dad’s-to-Be Guide to Romance During Pregnancy. Long time readers of this newsletter may remember Leon from Issue 17 in 2007. After I reviewed The Finance of Romance, I readily agreed to write the foreword.  

Leon applies sound financial principles to relationships: begin investing today, get rid of debt, change spending habits, invest regularly and diversify, assess risks, maintain good credit, and reinvest profits.  No one would doubt the wisdom in this financial advice.  With logic and humor, Leon explains the growth potential by investing in your “relationship portfolio.”   Even small financial sacrifices can result in significant gains.  He makes packing a sack lunch sound downright sexy. 

Reading Leon Scott Baxter's The Finance of Romance is like having a conversation with a very funny, very smart and helpful friend.  You'll laugh out loud, but best of all, when you're done reading you will have a solid plan for romance and finance that will pay beautiful dividends throughout your life.

Buy The Art of the Spark and The Finance of Romance for $20

For a limited time, you can buy The Art of the Spark and The Finance of Romance for $20 (a $30 value).  Click here to get your copies today.

Food for Celebration

Pepperoni Pizza Dip

When Judy Lyle served this dish at a happy hour, I begged for the recipe.  After many years on a gluten-free diet, I’d forgotten how much I liked pepperoni pizza.  This has become a new favorite appetizer. Yum!

Dave's Curry Soup with Chicken or Shrimp

When I was swapping recipes with Marilyn Feaster, she gave me this one that her sweetheart, Dave Meyers, had developed.  I tried it first with shrimp.  My husband and I liked it so much, I made it with chicken less than a week later. It’s very tasty!

Meringue Cookies

These cookies disappeared quickly when Marylin Warner served them at a recent gathering. Even her husband who doesn’t eat sweets loved them.  They were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside -- a heavenly treat!

Until Next Time 

If you enjoyed this free newsletter, please forward it to friends.  I care about people and how they celebrate.  If you have any stories you’d like to share, please send them to me at

Wishing you a life of romantic adventure,

Mary Zalmanek

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