Passion! Don’t turn it down, turn it UP!

Hello dear readers!

I have gotten my share of requests to “calm down” , “be quiet”, and “stop being so intense” but you know what? That is a big part of who I am and why I am me and why I have made mistakes (which I have learned from) and why I have had successes small and large.

Saying things like “awesomesauce” and “YAY Rock Star Parking” It makes me a better friend, it makes me a better leader, and it mostly makes me a better human. So in turn, I say to you, be passionate, love what you do and if you don’t love what you do, figure out a way to find things about it that you love and focus on the positive aspects and minimize the negative as much as you can.

My biggest passion in life is not settling and I truly believe that its something we should all aspire to the best life possible.

My passion for life, led me to start writing a blog two years ago and that passion  led me to ask others about their blogs and led to me writing a guest post about my marriage to Jeremy for the wonderfully passionate Chelsea Turner Avery of The New Wifestyle-

Here is an excerpt:

“We both have an incredible work ethic and are not afraid to work or struggle to reach a goal. We communicate very well but even six years later it is still a struggle to navigate that communication and I think that still surprises me. We have a good marriage but we both work hard at it and actively invest (read books, read blogs and listen to other successfully married people) for how to best protect our marriage from harm and to strengthen it for years to come.”

So what is the point of all this?

Be excited, be passionate, and remember you are so much greater than you give yourself credit for and people need YOUR passion to help inspire them and in some cases give THEM permission to be their most excited self.

Marianne Williamson said it best-

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Think about it, what would the world be like if we all were liberated from fear?

Imagine the possibilities!

A Clean Slate

Dear Readers,

Sometimes when we least expect it everything changes.

I am talking about life and its ever changing twists and turns.

People say that you are friends for a season, a reason or a lifetime. I tend to lump people in the lifetime group right away, sure that this friendship will last forever it’s a leftover habit from my youth when I wanted every relationship to last on and on because I was searching for that kind of belonging.

As I have grown older and dare I say wiser, I have realized that friendship truly is a a two-way street. To borrow a phrase “It’s advanced citizenship. You gotta want it”- That means both people have to call, write or heaven forfend even text from time to time. It’s a little surprising to me that not everyone wants to be my friend or make efforts to do so but through the years I have come to treasure the ones who do and let the ones who don’t, slide. Does it hurt? You bet. But it’s far more painful to leave the relationship on life support and keep hoping the other person will wake up to the reality that you are doing all the work and they are just sitting there not paying attention and not treasuring your time and friendship. Your time is important, it’s the only commodity that you can’t get any more of so don’t waste it on people who don’t deserve it.

This post is not a happy one but it’s real. I try my best to stay honest with my readers and even when something isn’t great, I share. This is my point in writing.

If you have a relationship that is toxic or otherwise anemic, take stock and figure out if its worth fighting for or if its time to work on something else that makes you feel good instead of meditating on that which is fruitless. Give yourself the opportunity to get a clean slate. Don’t you deserve that?

I am normally not an advocate of giving up, but sometimes its the right call.

Baby Steps, young grasshopper, they will lead you to GOLD!

Dear Readers, I had a phenomenally successful acting class last night.

I have been in a 2 year program for acting with the Meissner method and this is the 2nd month of the 2nd year and last night things clicked .. but it was NOT magic. It was a series of habits done over and over and with precision that led to me acting “in spite of myself”. If you don’t know anything about Meissner, don’t feel bad, it’s not necessary for you to know it unless you take this class. I have had so much frustration, angst, and finally joy from this class and it has made me realize how passionate I am about being an artist from head to toe.

I am an actor. Period. Really. There used to be a “Yes, I am a an actor, but you know, not working right now or yes I am an actor with a sideways glance and a hint of not shame but a little bit of embarrassment because its hard to explain what you do when you are actor to people who aren’t actors. Not to generalize, but most people think acting is easy, I am here to tell you it is not  but the truth is, I am working harder than I have EVER worked and its wonderful. It’s hard, trying and soul-discovering work. I didn’t realize how many parallels there are to good acting and good living.. Let me explain. Since taking this class I have learned a few things about myself and I will bet they apply to you too.

1. Be patient with yourself and curious about others-

My acting teacher said this last year over and over and I didn’t really understand it but now I do. Being patient with yourself is the nicest thing you can do for yourself. Being curious about others allows you to learn about them and not judge them or if you judge them, figuring out why.

2. Baby steps yield you a harvest of gold.

Last night’s success was built on many baby steps of learning lines, doing character analysis, rehearsal, flubbing lines, being in the moment, really listening to my partner to hear what she was saying not just picking up cues making it real for myself.

3. You are not perfect, stop trying to be.

As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, this one still sucks. I want so much to be perfect or have the best scene but all I can do is show up and see what happens.

I think this is good life advice too, show up and see what happens.

Think about it…..

Loving yourself enough to see yourself

Dear Readers,

I have a reputation for being a perky Pollyanna which is deserved but there are times when even this “turn your smile upside down” girl struggles to keep it happy.

Today is one of these times. I heard two Ted Talks back to back about how we are failing our young women by continuing to hold an ideal standard to them as “the” way to be. Specifically there are teenage girls posting pictures of themselves on the internet and begging to be judged “Am I pretty” and the comments back are vicious and unkind.This makes me sad and angry because its completely avoidable. The teen should not have to post pictures to get feedback from strangers. She should be able to get this from family and failing that friends and teachers.

One of these talks started out by saying there was a time when we were children that we loved ourselves so much that we blew kisses to the mirror, thoroughly pleased by what we saw and the thing I am writing about today is why and when did it stop. When do we stop loving ourselves “just as we are” no qualifiers or “if only” statements. I have made great strides in this area in just the last year and I am 37 so I will admit to a major struggle with this. Even today, as I write this, I took a picture earlier that my immediate thought was, “ugh, look at my legs” cheerleader but I am posting it anyway because that is what I see. I don’t know what everyone else sees. It comes down to perspective. My husband would say, “that is my gorgeous wife” Joan Ellen would likely say, “that’s my girl, all grown up”.. so what exactly is my problem? What standard am I holding myself to? The answer is nothing. I don’t have a comparable person to compare myself to because I am me and no one else can be me.

All this self-reflection makes me stop and think, when was the last time I fully loved myself (besides the pin up photo shoots) and blew kisses in the mirror? I certainly never did that, but I do remember when I had a new dress and I was quite pleased with myself. It was velvet and green and had matching ribbon and I remember twirling in front of the mirror and saying “whee” — I think we could all stand to say “whee” more. It’s kind of silly but heading to my treadmill last night, I blew a kiss to myself in the mirror and plan to do more of that, I think we could all stand to love ourselves more.

Think about it!

The phone is the thing… (with apologies to Master Shakespeare)

Dear Readers, I am ashamed to admit it, but I love my IPhone…..

I have a checkered past when it comes to technology. I never really liked it much until the day I got my IPhone. I was working for Apple at the time June 29, 2007 and got it for free (my favourite word) and was all set to sell it as passage for my trip to France but just a few clicks of the button I saw how intuitive it was and how easy it was to use to check email and facebook and of course stay in touch with my nearest and dearest and it was fait accompli, and quell dommage, I did not make that trip but I had made a new friend.

It sounds weird and feels even weirder to call your phone your friend but how else can you explain the sorrow I felt Monday when upon trying to charge my phone getting a red lightning bolt and it felt hot to the touch and no charge to boot which means the phone doesn’t work. Let me say that again, it doesn’t work, which means you can’t call or email or facebook or tweet or use a GPS to get places or look up your calendar to see what you are scheduled to do!

I am suddenly and acutely aware how much I use the phone to plan my day and get from point A to point B and to stay in touch. I do a fair bit of troubleshooting in my day to day life so I will tell you I tried several things. I tried taking the Kermit case off, and getting the charger more firmly seated and then turning it off all night – I also held it against the vent of my air conditioner to cool it off and then trying to charge it and that seemed to work but as soon as I took it off the charger it dropped from 100 to 68 and 31 and 24 and 2. A truly disheartening moment as you realize you are back to square one after 10 minutes!

So I took it to the Apple Store where the “geniuses” (even when I worked for Apple, I thought that was a LOT of pressure to put on one person) told me my battery is toast. I do not qualify for an upgrade as I did not buy the extended warranty. At the time, that seemed like a good call, as I pocketed the extra money and simply spent the 50.00 on my upgrade from Iphone3 to Iphone4s … way after it came out because let’s be clear here, I am NOT an early adopter and the idea of moving to a 5 doesn’t appeal to me let alone a 6. They said I need a new battery but it will take an hour to install, I don’t have that kind of time and I say I will come back another day.

I had to marvel at the irony as we all sat patiently at the tables waiting for our diagnosis (we make it sound so serious too!)  all the people with broken Ipad and Iphonage all were talking to each other, not texting, tweeting, facebooking zombies so as a fan of socializing that made me happy and it also caused an epiphany in me. Despite taking a few “unplugged” days off in July, I am rarely without my phone. That is a sobering thought, how much of my life am I missing because I am posting about it. I think I am more mindful than most but could always stand to improve in this arena.

So moving forward, I will seek to plug in more to people not my devices.

Think about it……..