Welcome to ThePalmSpringsLocal.com, your premier resource to the Coachella Valley’s best, from a locals perspective. Your guide, Denise Neil (Denise Ortuno Neil) is, The Palm Springs Local, with over 38 years of desert living under her belt, experiencing all the wonders of the Coachella Valley. And now she’ll be sharing her knowledge with you! From dining, to attractions, to events and much more, you’ll be able to “Go Where the Locals Go”.

Just click on the appropriate category to find what you’re looking for and you’ll be on your way. And make sure to check out Denise’s blog for special reviews and colorful commentary, as well as her “Out and About Videos” featuring local flavor.

It’s all here at ThePalmSpringsLocal.com, your guide to the Coachella Valley’s best….done local style!

Mika Young Speaks Her Voice, Inspires Others

By Denise Ortuno Neil                                                                      rsz mika book cover

Mika Young is speaking her voice. In her breakout multi-media experience, she is sharing her voice and those of others with her project, Someone Needs to Hear Your Voice, proclaiming the brilliance of the world’s lost, rejected and forgotten voice. It is a beautiful and profound venture that is sure to broaden the mind, and bring comfort and inspiration to the spirit of those who breathe in and absorb its content…it is nothing less than extraordinary.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mika Young many years ago, when I was a writer for the online magazine, palmspringsguides.com. She also wrote for the local website as an Inspirational/Wellness columnist and I was always impressed with her prose. So much so, that when I started my local TV show, Coachella Valley This Week, with Renee Vargas, I gave her, her own segment, “Mika Young’s Inspirational Words”. It turned out that not only could she write beautiful and uplifting words, she also could sing, all tied together with a fantastic camera presence, she had it all.

A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Young had been performing her inspirational poetry for years, including here in the Coachella Valley. But just before moving out of the desert a couple of years ago to Los Angeles to care for her mother, she hit a rough spot. She felt as though she was blocked, creativity depleted. Not one to give into despair, Young began to work on a book, but for some reason, it wasn’t resonating with her. She then realized that she had an abundance of prose to share already, that she was not blocked at all, indeed she was blessed. She began to put her mountain of poetry together, created a theme, and then titled her project.

The decision to compile her work was brought on by her grief, she had experienced three deaths in a row of people close to her and needed to turn her grief around. She found herself writing the obituaries and speaking at the funerals. Before she knew it, the mourners were looking to her to inspire, “I met people that I needed to hear their voice, the voice of GOD”, said Young.

Young’s spirituality is prominent in her work, it is part of the joy that travels through it…clearly audible in her words. She quickly realized what her new project was about, and how much it was needed to help others define their divine imprint, their significance, “Even those with broken voices can be used as a healing bomb”, was part of Young’s revelation.

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As she continued on her project, it took a different direction, it was no longer just a book, but a vessel of different ranges of inspiration that would include the written word, audio and visual, a “Living Book”.

Someone Needs to Hear Your Voice, includes Young’s poetry, as well as compelling stories and thought stirring commentary. It seems that this project comes as no accident, she admits that she has been preparing for this for a very long time, way before she even knew she was.

My personal experience has always been a positive one with Young. Just by being in the same space with her, I feel inspired. She just seems to radiate hope. Even when she has faced adverse situations in her life, it never got the best of her, and if it did, I never saw it. It is my complete belief that she has found her calling, and that all that she has done has indeed prepared her and led her to this venture.

I recall a poem of hers that always would lift me up. I watched her performing it just the other day on an old episode of Coachella Valley This Week that I found. The poem is titled, “I’m Possible”. The poem touches on different circumstances, but the result is always, “I’m Possible”. The poem never fails to turn any self-doubting thoughts around. That is what her words do, and I am so excited about her new project and how so many people’s lives will be touched by it for the better.

Someone Needs to Hear Your Voice is slated to be out in April 2017, just in time for National Poetry Month. It will be available through Amazon and through Young’s website. She is currently offering free downloads of the projects theme song on her website.

Mika Young is speaking her voice, and in turn will help you hear your own through her breakout multi-media experience, Someone Needs to Hear Your Voice, proclaiming the brilliance of the world’s lost, rejected and forgotten voice. It will enlighten and inspire you. Thanks Mika!

“Someone needs to hear my voice, someone needs to see my joy, someone needs to feel my power, including me”….Mika Young.

For more information about the project launch visit www.mikayoung.com                      

Valentine's Day, Not Just for lovers

By Denise Ortuno Neil                                                                        rsz imag1548

I learned early on that Valentine's Day was not just for lovers. I remember when I was a little kid and my mom would buy these booklets with all kinds of little Valentine’s Day cards in them. They were basically little sheets of paper with drawings and sappy sayings on them, “Will you be my Valentine” was a constant theme on most of them. The deal was that all the kids in class would then drop the little cards into make-shift mailboxes (paper bags taped to our desks) to other students. However, it wasn’t always a happy exercise, as sometimes the bags wouldn’t have many cards in them. I unfortunately knew this downside first hand. But regardless of most times losing this masked popularity contest, I still believed in Valentine’s Day.

The one thing that the weird classroom tradition did teach me, is that Valentine’s Day is special. It is about sharing love with others, be it a lover or a friend, or both. The history of the holiday has different determinations, however they are all linked with one common denominator…love.

I know that this may all sound a bit cheesy, but hey, if you can’t be a little over the top starry eyed and corny on Valentine’s Day, then really when can you be?

It doesn’t matter if you are in a relationship or not on this holiday. I never really understood why people would have anti-Valentine’s Day celebrations, or those who shun the holiday all together. It is possible that they have grown cynical to the idea of a day celebrating love, romance and happily ever after. But I believe that it is being looked at in the wrong light. Because if you look at it as if it is only a holiday for lovers, and you don’t have one during Valentine's Day, of course you might be slighlty bitter.

So why not gaze upon it differently, perhaps seeing it as a time to celebrate love, love for your friends and family, and for humankind. Maybe then the bitterness will fade and the taste of sweetness will return, the sweet taste of love.

So don’t be scared to show the love this Valentine’s Day, give some flowers or chocolates to a friend or family member, your boss or maybe just a perfect stranger. Remember that we all need love on Valentine’s Day, and every day. We all would love to see a little card in our bag.

Happy Valentine’s Day form The Palm Springs Local.

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