Last month, I had dinner with a artist friend who was looking for encouragement to proceed with a project. I put on my best listening cap to spitball ideas and be supportive. When I heard him say several times "Well, THEY said I shouldn't or can't..." it made me think to re-post a fresh edit of one of my blog posts.
Since this post was originally written, I've discovered a way to respond. When people bark out unsolicited advice or attempt to shame my dreams, I pause in myself. Just like Maverick in "Top Gun" when he told Goose he was going to pull the brakes so the enemy could fly by, I do the same thing in unproductive conversations. I take a breath, pull back the urge to defend myself, and redirect the conversation to other topics or I'll leave the conversation altogether. Pretty badass. Their words fly by me now so much easier because I'm in better management of myself, able to assertively verbalize boundaries, which allows less influence from junky verbal stuff from They-sayers (definition at the end of this post)
Sensible, practical, in-the-box life stories. Are you tired of ‘em? I sure am… and I have been pretty much all my life. I chase light. I chase strength. I chase rainbows, good feelings, and acting. In order to live life or create anything, I need my head game filled with imagination, focus, resilience, a can-do attitude, and a truckload of faith.
I’ve been listening more intently lately to responses people give when a hopeful dream, imagination, or new idea is shared and how often it’s shunned, shamed, lynched, and then the person is told to redirect themselves for the sake of all “real practicality.”
Recently, I reconnected with a fellow actress. While waiting for lunch, we caught up on personal news. Her eyes lit up, as mine did, feeling the creative buzz when we spoke about current projects. As our chatter turned more toward the future, I noticed a slight change in her face. Her eyes darkened with sadness as she spoke about bringing more film & theatre to Montana. The crestfallen vibe grew so big I finally asked about it. She rattled off a few self-doubting statements, “I don’t know if it’s possible. I can’t talk to this person or that person because…” She then regurgitated A LOT of things people had said to her. I felt sucker punched deep in my gut as she repeated more and more comments and advice from what I call… They-sayers. (See definition below). I felt nudged in my soul, actually pushed like fu***** hell, to interrupt and attempt to shift the course of that sinking boat feeling conversation!!
My big haired 80’s preacher was on the pulpit in my mind in a flash! I asked questions and made statements to stop and re-direct poorly made comments and advice from they-sayers. I threw off my dignity. With my mouth slightly full and talking with my hands like some of my favorite Italians, I was desperate to help save her imagination, ideas, and energy for the things she wanted to create!
I loudly sputtered that creative, and even life endeavors, often feel like Noah must have felt building his ark! (I thought of a story she might relate to). His soul called him to build an ark. In the midst of they-sayer chatter and probably a whole lot of self-doubt, he followed his soul’s guidance. Noah faced challenges, focused, built it, loaded it, and then boarded it with his family and animals so his world could survive and thrive. He faced they-sayers and persevered. With tears slightly welling up in both of our eyes, I saw her eyes gain back a small spark. I felt a shift from the torn up energy in her mind to her heart.
It breaks my heart that despite so many well told stories about forward thinkers, scientists, artists, philosophers who have had successful innovative ideas and inventions that so many people are still ignorant about truly listening. To be able to hold space and even just allow imagination, possibility thinking, dreams, and new ideas to start fresh conversations is where amazing things start.
As I left our lunch that day, I felt I had done a good thing helping a friend re-direct her thinking and feelings toward what can be and is possible. I reminded her she is not alone; I am building my creative "ark" and life too. Later in the day though, I felt small again remembering how many times I have faced similar onslaughts of crappy advice, snarky comments, flat out ridiculous responses, and people laughing at me while I was creating something. I felt my spirit shrink back as those thoughts swirled around in my head. Determined though, I let those head conversations go and redirected my thoughts and heart toward what I was doing.
It won't be the last time either her, me or maybe even you will come face-to-face with they-sayers. Everywhere a new idea is expressed, they-sayers are there. I am still figuring out the best diplomatic responses to deflect that kind of input. It hasn't been easy, simple, or straightforward. I will stay on it because I do not want to live from a shriveled up fearful place. I love living from a sense of possibility, curiosity, and imagination! It puts a spring in my step, trust in my soul, and keeps my heart adventuring! Cheers! Keep finding your soul's light - dance your dance, invent your way, share your music, heal yourself, play, and love.
They-sayers: People (aka dream crushers) who run off at the mouth giving you practical, doable, seemingly sensible comment and/or advice when you are sharing ideas, imagination, and out-of-the-box thoughts about creating something in your life. This results in a pushed down sinking feeling in your heart, self-doubt, and reduces you to little or no inspired action toward dreams and goals. (It's a definition I made up to communicate this idea).
Dare to be smart. Sounds almost dangerous, doesn’t it? I think of times as a kid when I was dared, double dared and then there was the ultimate, DOUBLE dog dared. It was SO hard to turn that challenge down sometimes. Thank god at times my intelligence and wit took over as I’m sure I should be missing body parts or at least maimed myself at some point in my childhood. I got the consequences of my actions when I chose to tune into those taunts. When I was in kindergarten, one time I took a classmate’s challenge at recess and defied the playground monitor’s rule of the day to stay off certain equipment due to rain. In my dress and Mary Jane shoes I spunkily crawled to nearly the top of the playground’s vintage styled jungle gym to prove a point. I slipped and hit my head on nearly every rung on the way down knocking myself out. Next thing I remember was waking up in a dimly lit room with my mom and teacher leaning over me with an ice pack on the back of my head. Learning things the hard way is painful (understatement).
While sitting at my table this week writing, my heart felt like it stopped and skipped a few beats as I watched the backhoe start digging scary close to my house. Watching my house sewer line plumbing replacement, I considered writing about the things I learned working with Interwoven Studios filming pick-up shots for Wuthering Heights or how I’ve been on the go bouncing to set locations acting and assisting with filming, balancing my day job, and enjoying family being in town.
This month, it’s been cool watching the construction project unfold. I’ve spent months researching contractors, getting estimates, learning the lingo, process and steps for replacing it, asking friends for advice, and talking to the bank (this is super expensive). I also talked to my homeowner’s insurance; I didn’t know if it would qualify for assistance from insurance. It didn’t.
It’s REALLY surprising how many different strong opinions and questions people will weigh in with, sometimes with NO knowledge and often with little experience. The biggest question being how do you EVEN know it needs replacing? I felt like I was being dared to climb in the rain up the jungle gym again as certain statements and questions smacked at me, only this dare made me feel like questioning the evidence I’d seen and research I’d done.
I explained that I had my main house pipe roto rooter’d to clear out roots and debris once a year for the past ten or more years. As of the past three years, I’ve had to do it twice a year. Back in November I sucked up the extra cost to have a plumber drop a video camera down the pipeline. The camera moving though murky water looked liked like an ultrasound I had when I was pregnant. There were ghostly chunks of stuff floating around, long filament fingers of tree roots waving at me, standing water in the pipe, and darkly colored spots along the topside of the pipe. The plumber gave it a three to eighteen month life span before it would back up or worse, possibly collapse. As I garnered and researched information from many different resources, I received a range of responses from indifference, fear inducing, do it myself cheaper, and helpful/supportive.
As you know, it’s hard not to punch back verbally when challenged so you can defend what you know, your space, or what you feel you can do. Because of excess information, I was left with a nagging worries that perhaps the plumber was wrong, perhaps I only needed to replace part of it, or perhaps I could get it done cheaper.
Letting all the chat go, Lamaze breathing still comes in handy sometimes, I took deep breaths as I proceeded. As I trusted my gut instinct and gathered facts, I allowed the feeling of being cool to be proactive to take over. I did not want to wait for that unknown ominous day when sewer water and debris would be backing up into the crawl space of my house. I could visualize the mess oozing up from below the house, the stink, and oh, the HUGE spiders that would come into the house as they are fleeing from the sewer gunk (yup, my overactive imagination had a party with that visual)! The plumber described the facts, just like the playground monitor, and the consequences. This wasn’t the I dare you from my childhood, this was an I dare you to be smart in present day time based on what you know to be true. I liked this second dare.
As you can see, the plumber was right. I put on my flannel shirt, hat, smile, and even though I won Roshambo, they still didn’t let me help drive the tractor ;) Months of follow through resulted in pipes that are up to code. Barring no disturbances from Mother Nature, they will be good for a very long time.
I strive to keep finding ways to dare myself to grow, trust my gut instincts, listen to good advice, dismiss the fear, and execute good plans of action. Accepting this second dare inside myself allowed me to stay out of fear based action and choose better. Daring to be smart is cool. It helps build my confidence in my abilities and skills at life and as an artist. Cheers to another month figuring life out and moving forward!
I charged out the door tonight with my iPhone. Just down from my house I scoped out the best place to sit along side the river to wait for the perfect sunset moment. I thought as I waited, one of these days I’m going to get ahead of the posting My Thoughts curve and START writing a lot earlier! Yeesh. I had an epiphany of what I wanted to write about and a picture I needed to take to go with it. Since I wrote last month about they-sayers (I am a dork of a wordsmith), it’s been on a spin cycle in my head.
Earlier this month, I had a friend stay with me. One night we vented about the opinions people had been throwing at us about our lives and how we'd let it get to us. Both of us are poetry writers, so we started tossing around words to get that nasty feeling energy to move...then we started reading poetry we had written about heartaches, angst, and loss. While going through my poetry pieces, I found and read this one. I wrote it a year ago. Voices outside of myself are something I struggle with knowing how to turn that noise down. I have problems with them negatively affecting how I am feeling. Most importantly, I keep trying to find imaginative ways to turn it into art, a cake, or maybe into electric power that I can run my house on.
I shared this piece of poetry because… it’s part of my bare soul struggle -what other people say about me and to whom they repeat that gross sh*t to turns me inside out sometimes. Also, I do actually listen to my own preaching and one way I move energy around that puzzles me is by writing poetry. When people crap on my creative endeavors, I can feel the split inside me listening to voice of they-sayers and listening to the voice of my soul.
In reflecting since my last blog, I thought if I could just get my own internal stream of conversation flowing better and include more positive comments, it would support my acting, art, life, and my growth into a better human...that would be great! I have been trying to convince myself every which way to change channels. Then, eureka! I got the idea for this picture.
I know I need to put this subject down. I’ve carried it too long in my brain. As you probably know, thoughts can get deeply grooved and then it can be real tough to get rid of them. My effort in letting this go is to better understand what that unhelpful chatter does to my creative energy: It splits the beautiful sunshine coming out of my soul.
Sometimes when I understand better, I do better. They-sayers (see previous blog for definition) will come flocking in with, “You’re too old." "You’re not in the right town." "You’re not talented enough…” and a bunch of other things that diminish my worth as a human being as I continue to put myself out there artistically. I am learning to see their comments as a reflection of where they are in themselves and that's been making it easier to keep my sunshine intact.
People have said, “Oh just don’t listen to ‘em.” Easier said than done! When I know how something works or how something affects me, I can chose to be powered from the inside better so I can make a different choice. This is my reason for writing and sharing this month: to make a different and a better choice consistently. With courage in your mind and heart, stop for a moment when they-sayers are verbally puking fear and you are not good enough statements all over you. Think about YOU and what keeps your beautiful sunshine from splitting and let what they say go right on by. Second, divert yourself to an activity to bring your spirit up, biking, cooking, cleaning the garage, chatting with a friend, fishing! Third, come back to your creative endeavor, goal, or pursuit with a better focus and discernment about what kind of people, information helps you and what sinks you.
My faith in sharing my processes, stories, views, and poetry is that you’ll find a positive takeaway. Like I have written before, my inner champion (that part of me that pushes me toward love, forgiveness, celebration of life, and growth) wants the best for me and she doesn’t rest until I figure out and can sustain the practice of those processes that get me there!
Stay after your dreams and being the blessing only you can be in the world, we need your sunshine intact!
Sensible, practical, in-the-box life stories. Are you tired of ‘em? I sure am… and have been pretty much all my life. I chase light. I chase strength. I chase rainbows, good feelings, and unicorns. In order to live life or create anything, I need my head game filled with imagination, focus, resilience, a can-do attitude, and a truckload of faith.
I’ve been listening more intently lately to responses people give when a hopeful dream, imagination, or new idea is shared and how often it’s shunned, shamed, lynched, and then redirected because of all “real practicality.”
Recently, I reconnected with a fellow actress. While waiting for lunch, we caught up on personal news. Her eyes lit up, as I know mine did, feeling the creative love buzz when we spoke about current projects. As our chatter turned more toward the future, I noticed a slight change in her face. Her eyes darkened with sadness as she spoke about bringing more film & theatre to Montana. The crestfallen vibe grew so big I finally asked about it. She rattled off a few self-doubting statements, “I don’t know if it’s possible. I can’t talk to this person or that person because…” She then regurgitated a lot of things people had said to her. I felt sucker punched deep in my gut as she repeated more comments and advice from… they-sayers. (See definition below). I felt nudged in my soul, actually pushed like fu***** hell, to interrupt and attempt to shift the course of that sinking boat feeling story!!
My big haired 80’s preacher was on the pulpit in my mind in a flash! I asked questions and made statements to stop and re-direct poorly made comments and advice from they-sayers. My dignity thrown off, mouth slightly full, and talking with my hands like some of my favorite Italians I was desperate to help save her imagination, ideas and energy for the things she wants to create!
I quickly grabbed for ideas in my mind. I sputtered, probably way too loud, that creative and even life endeavors feel equivalent to Noah building his ark (...was trying to think of a story she might relate to). He had a soul calling to build an ark and asked people to join him. In the midst of they-sayer chatter and probably a whole lot of self-doubt, he followed his soul’s guidance. Noah faced challenges, focused, built it, loaded it, and got in it so his world could survive and thrive. He faced they-sayers and persevered. With tears slightly welling up in both of our eyes, I saw her eyes gain back a small spark. I felt a shift from her torn up energy to her heart space energy.
I feel heartbroken that despite so many well told stories about forward thinkers, scientists, artists, philosophers over thousands of years, people are still ignorant about holding space and even just allowing imagination, possibility thinking, dreams, and new ideas to start fresh conversations.
As I left our lunch that day, I felt I had done a good thing helping a friend re-direct her thinking and feelings toward what can be and is possible. I reminded her she is not alone; I am building my creative "ark" and life too. Then, I got to feeling small again remembering how many times I have faced similar onslaughts of crappy advice, snarky comments, flat out ridiculous responses, and people laughing at me while I was creating something. I felt my spirit shrink back as those thoughts swirled around in my head.
It won't be the last time either her, me or maybe even you will come face-to-face with they-sayers. Everywhere a new idea is expressed, they are there. I am still figuring out the best diplomatic responses to deflect that kind of input. It hasn't been easy, simple, or straightforward. I will stay on it though because I do not want to live from a shriveled up fearful place. I love living from a sense of possibility, curiosity, and imagination! It puts a spring in my step, trust in my soul, and keeps my heart adventuring! Cheers! Keep finding your soul's light - dance your dance, invent your way, share your music, heal yourself, play, and love.
They-sayers: People (aka dream crushers) who run off at the mouth giving you practical, doable, seemingly sensible comment and/or advice when you are sharing ideas, imagination, and out-of-the-box thoughts about creating something in your life. This results in a pushed down sinking feeling in your heart, self-doubt, and reduces you to little or no inspired action toward dreams and goals. (I make up word(s) or appropriate them and give them my own meanings to communicate feelings or ideas).
It's feels scary when I am stuck for words. I made a promise over a year ago to post "My Thoughts" monthly. For some random reason, I chose the 24th of each month. It's a personal promise to keep creating and sharing to help boost other people. It was also proof of how I keep my word to myself about growing as an artist. So far, I have done SO good! I feel proud of my posts. I am humbled by people's encouragement and comments on how it's inspired them.
Right now it's 10:27pm, February 24th...I am not truly stuck, stuck as I could post what I have been writing these past three weeks but I don't feel it's quite right. I am reaching for more vulnerability, rawness, and sometimes the more difficult things to share in my writing and I feel scared. I have sat for a couple hours pouring over my words; I could not make myself go to the place in my heart and soul to finish editing the post with charged feeling or deep honesty. The big haired 80's preacher in me went MIA.
Damn determined to keep my word to write and post, I sit back and start brainstorming. Something's gotta come up. I hear the fan running down the hall. I dump out a buncha books from my desk and flip through them, including a three ring binder full of poetry. Writing poetry has saved my bacon bunches of times as I can express what I feel right now in this hot second, unedited. I get some tea. Nothing is pinging in my heart and head to get through the final edit on this dang post.
I start going through photos on my computer looking for feelings, a spark of inspiration...more like a friggin' firecracker. I am so tired and have a bad cold tonight. I see a picture of my dad lying on the bed in my spare bedroom from four years before he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. My eyes feel big, soft, and full of tears as I could see he was not well in that photo. My heart hurts horribly as to why none of us could see that. I feel bubbly fun energy from photos of trips I've taken. I feel a whole blender full of feelings from photos of my daughters with SO many memories of them growing up. I feel pinched heartache from photos of an old love. I feel warm pride and accomplishment from acting pictures from film and theatre. One photo caught my eye of a yellow flower in the middle of a dry rocky area. My ski buddy took the picture when we went to go on a mountain meditation trip. She is NOT the meditating type but was interested in having an adventure... the hilarity of that trip is for another post.
That flower in the middle of that rocky area was thriving. I grab my three ring binder full of poetry. Holy crap, I have submitted poetry for publishing and competition and it's always gotten turned down. Why not share one tonight since my regular post isn't ready? ...the thought of which terrified me and why I decided I gotta do it. I wrote this piece about ten months ago. So much was going on in my broken, hurting heart. I decided to make a piece of art out of it by merging it with the photo of the yellow flower.
I'll get back to the post that I've been writing and you'll eventually see it. It's good stuff.
PS... If you have never tried writing poetry, it's good therapy for the soul, a great way to express the angst of your inner gremlins, and to express those tender feelings. Give it a try!
What age is the perfect age? How do you go about aging? …and who the heck defines that anyways? Like everyone else, I think a lot. My latest thinking is about the off-the-cuff remarks and quotes about aging I hear people say about themselves and the world around them. Many of them diverting their own importance, power, and relevance to the up and coming “younger” generation. Holy cats…yikes!!!
In thinking about aging, I panic. Don’t you love it when your brain does this frrrrr-eak out thing and a whole imaginary movie speeds through your head? Your body feels strange and your body chemistry reacts to something that's not even real. I freeze up and stand still with big wide open eyes. --I'm sure I looked real funny to anyone who noticed me. My head movie sped through my whole life from now until my funeral. Should I be realistic about aging? Is there a correct universal view of what aging should look and feel like? Should I follow that?!? What is that I am supposed to get done here? Am I sharing my talents and loving enough? I take a deep breath. Whew… I’m not 99 or approaching death yet so nobody can throw me into a social trash heap of unimportance.
Back in the day, I went to work with my dad when he was a custodian at a nursing home. I proudly hung up my dark green crocheted poncho in the nurse’s station and helped him clean. When he did things I couldn’t help him with, I went to the craft room and helped people with puzzles, painted pictures, and chatted with them. With the wide open curiosity of a seven year old, I always explored the whole place. I pushed wheelchairs to help people get new scenery. I ate with them. I visited folks that were bed ridden. I helped them smile. I vividly remember smells of medicine, lysol, bad cafeteria food, illness and sometimes death. There were sounds of beeping, low conversations, and a strange silence that made me feel queasy. I noticed alert people making their way. Others shuffled by in wheelchairs slobbering with a faint aroma of urine and old food. I thought how do people get here? What happened in their life? Why? Would this happen to me too? How can I help them? How can I cheer them up? ...Is this where I will end up? I often felt a head to toe shaking of sadness and panic as I saw some people looked dead in their eyes. I asked my dad and other workers questions which they either couldn't answer or they gave me answers that felt like a pat on the head and a line of bullsh*t.
My mind still races with questions, worry, and terror. I blink rapidly hoping they’ll just go away. I try to chill out. If we are all lucky, we’ll live a long, full, healthy life...is it luck though? And how much of that is MY choice and mind set? I don’t know about you, I LOVE seeing people ahead of me being the most badass, progressive, fit, tenacious person they can be! It gives me courage, faith, and motivation. I admire the heck outa people that are hanging onto their maturing, artistic, thriving spirit in the middle of the noise of the world.
As you read this, is YOUR mind arguing for your limits and what others say about how you should age and what you should experience? Connect with your soul…what does it say?
I LOVED something I saw recently referring to aging as growing bolder. The addition of one letter makes this totally rad!! Growing BOLDER…rather than older. A-mazing! My inner champion is always re-phrasing sh*t that I don’t like. My inner champion's voice says, "keep your relevance and importance! Do not give it away to someone who is younger OR older, has smoother skin, more money, education, power, status, and nope, don’t even give it away to someone with a better set of buns than you." ;) Do this by remembering you have equal value to others around you and speak up for your value. Take action to take care of your health!
Be a heart & soul led human, regardless of what generation you were born in. Do not leave YOUR future in the hands of anyone. You, yes YOU, have a special gift, talent, way you see the world to add joy, invention, imagination to everyone in your world. Your life experience through the rough knocks of life, adventures, and celebrations make up your inside value. It breaks my heart when I hear people giving this value and power away in the words they speak about themselves.
I feel it's one my soul’s mission to challenge pre-established, outdated ways of thinking and introduce the idea of possibility thinking and, of course, DOING. Nothing in life progresses without that part! Be willing to learn things that level up your kickass self! Be a person who will not release their relevance and importance to other people. In response to quotes and comments from “well meaning” folks…I will not hand over the baton of my life energy, relevance or importance to anyone until I am done.
Leading by example, young people need to know they can grow bolder, remain malleable, stay alert & healthy, and remain adventurous. Combining the vigor of youth and the wisdom of age/experience, we can work together creating value, opportunities, understanding, and awareness. For people that are older than me, I am slapping the ground like coach Mickey from one of my favorite movies "Rocky." Get up, get inspired, and get the heck back on that life horse! You are not done here! Grab hold of the self-value you have been built through sweat, tears, and love. Start expressing it and sharing it. Become a beacon of inspirational energy, mentor or activist.
Because I have been afraid of aging too (what others might say, what I will do, how I will be, unexpected life junk that shows up) I sat myself down yet again and listened to my own preachin’. Plain and simple, it is a choice to fear aging… and it is a choice to make the most of the precious life we get to live here. What a gift we can choose to be in this life by reducing the focus on age and focusing on the energy & light we bring! Cheers to kicking off 2016 in your life story <3 Please share with peeps you think could use a boost...or a kick in da pants to get going in life today.
P.S. Below are a couple people that have inspired my soul and mind recently…nothing short of wow. Soul provoking :) Click on the quote box below to go read more about Tao and to watch David Bowie's last music video.
Tribe has been top of mind for me, a lot lately. I want to have a larger community of friends but making new friends scares the pants off me sometimes. I feel awkward, self-conscious, and always hope I have something valuable to share. Gulping down my fear and letting it fuel my adventuring, I get myself out there.
My overactive inner big haired 80’s preacher wants to get on that soapbox and rant. I started this blog over and over again in my head thinking that the thing I’ve been working on is understanding why chicks don’t support each other…I discovered something a lil deeper.
Last summer… Tattoos. Warm smile. Cute dress. Alot of new people. I felt like I hiding. Just go home, nobody is going to miss your presence here. I sucked in a lot of air in one deep breath and held it in to keep from feeling fuzzy. I half listened to my friend singing jazzy blues on stage. My attention meandered back to the gal I had just met. She was talking about dancing. I caught her watery blue eyes and was pulled in. Wounds. Wildness. Fire. A plead to be liked. I was holding onto a thin thread of my crushed heart as the dude I was dating at the time had just blown up our relationship over Skype. I did not want to meet any new people at the moment, particularly any who might push my buttons or touch my heart.
As talk moved around the table, I mentioned I was going to Nicaragua on holiday which helped light me back up. Before my friend was done singing, I called it an early night since it was a work night and I was afraid a gallon of tears would rupture out my face if anyone looked at me wrong. I asked the blue eyed gal to repeat her name…Jaime. I said goodnight and on my way out she said to come to a party that she was hosting at her studio when I got back from my trip.
She was dressed in a 50’s style dress along with a cool mix of gals. As I mingled, it was hard for me not to notice how her spirit felt untamed. Wild. It was a super fun night and I got a chance to talk her more. She taught dance, blogged, and helped her dancers with self-esteem and been through alotta life sh**. Her wildness appealed to me and I thought man it sure would be great to let go of the tight grip I keep on myself, I wonder how she does that? I was interested in her self-esteem talk group and we agreed to meet for coffee.
I checked up on what she wrote, her Facebook and Instagram, as thoughts of who is this gal rolled around in my head. We met for coffee, we nearly finished each other sentences, an instant click and I could see and feel the soul light we tossed back and forth. It was great getting on board with her Taking Back Pretty self-esteem talk group for her dancers.
Our lives were adventuring all over the place and we started swapping stories and support on the fly. I was holding back though. I had been hurt, not unlike anyone else in life but the latest cast iron frying pans that came flying at my face from a lover, friends and life left me with some badly hurt trust. My feet were ready to run.
I had to push forward. I always do. I can’t stand sinking in fear, least of all, fear of people and what they might say or do as I keep finding my place and voice in this world. So I kept risking. She made me do it. Without pressure, just being her. Her talking about hurt, mistakes, and healing in a real in your face way. Her raising her daughters in a similar way that I raised mine, with openness in communication, answering life questions, with fight, determination and vulnerability. Her leaning in toward her talents, re-discovering her value and expressing it, which is what I am doing too. Her open listening and encouragement as I found all the courage I could muster to talk about where I want to go in life, my dreams, my hurts. Her sharing her resources. Her resilience. Her allowing me to be flawed and be alright…actually more than alright, to be more human.
When I decided to share this month, I asked Jaime for her thoughts. We vented and shared our confusion and sadness about how hard it is to meet women and how we often feel judged, awkward. afraid and like we don't fit in. I was surprised to learn that she felt intimated by me at our first meeting. She told me she thought it was brave that I was out on my own. She believed me to be confident, poised and interesting. She said she felt some jealousy and wasn't really sure why but decided to brush it aside and instead focus on how fun and inspirational it could be to know an independent and passionate woman like me. She said she is so glad she did. All the things I felt like I was getting out of our new friendship, she was too. I was pouring into her life in a wonderfully positive way. Me- the gal who was worried that she had nothing to offer.
As always, I share my life in faith that there is one positive thing that YOU can take away to feel, believe, and DO something better to improve yourself. The power of just one person’s positive influence helping me find that inner permission again to trust, to heal and to feel like I am not alone has been changing my world. Take that one step towards curiosity and trust, being you. It WILL change your world.
(A very big thank you to Jaime Lue Inflore this month for sharing her words and editing encouragement. Go and keep track of us on Facebook and Instragram, -Like, Comment, and Share! The love you share with us through socializing helps us aspiring artists more than I can say!) Click on our names below!
Hunting season holds a place in my heart not because I hunt but because my dad did. In his own over-animated way, he used to call me up a bunch of times ahead of the season to tell me he was packed, ready to drive over from Seattle to be with the family. I rolled my eyes, smiled...his excitement touched my heart. I was mowing my yard the other night tears running down my face… crisp fall air filled my nose. I noticed leaves are changing to brilliant colors, birds are eating the leftover berries on my trees, and my heart aches. I miss those calls. I miss him.
I push the mower with determination to shut down the pinching heartache. My overactive mind swirls and churns with my summer film projects, a house needing work, an upcoming photo shoot, daughters I want to spend more time with, a mile long list of ideas for sharing my talent, how to make time for some really cool new people in my life, health insurance papers that need to be addressed, friendships that have soured, snowboarding, how I feel I have shorted myself in life and love… I turn my dad’s old cap on my head backwards and push the mower with more focused force and precision.
Rediscovering the heart in my dreams has been like hunting for my keys on a morning that I am WAY late for work. Sweat pours down my pits, the anxiety of getting out the door makes me shake as I wonder who is going to say what when I walk in the door late… and I verbally slap myself for being stupid the night before for not leaving things in a place I could find them easily. When I find them, I am hell bent to push whatever limit I can to at least save two minutes of time.
My dad supported me in the arts and how it was growing into a larger part in my life…but I never felt he got why I do it. He would smile, listen, shake his head and I could tell he was glad the conversation evolved to other things. Determined to get every mowing line straight, I pay sharper attention to where I mowed last and what I need to mow next and flip the mower around.
I felt the fire in my belly getting hotter as I started spit balling ideas within my soul about how to move forward with acting. I feel like I have returned to first grade, only as an adult. Everyone else seems to have this neat orderly progression of growing into themselves, where mine went to hell, came back, cleaned up, and have been in frequent scrambles to create and find myself. Why can’t I direct my thoughts and emotions better? How can I daisy chain together the place where I came from to where I want to go?
Emptying the grass bag, I notice that there are only a few straight lines and swirls in the grass mowing pattern in certain places… it looks kind of neat. I think more about my dad. He was a single dad for a part of my growing up. Because my non-stop curiosity, questioning everything, the arts, and insane love of life I have been a self-described pink sheep of the family. Often on the outside looking in, trying to figure out ways to fit in, ways to connect, ways to love, ways to express my soul.
I think about the heroic way he chose to be in life. He clearly stood for and was unwavering in commitment to his family, values and his faith. My heart softly melts as I think of his gnarled hands from years of janitor work and how he served people. I could call him any time day or night, he was there, he was my constant. He was generous to a fault with the small amount of money he made. He made clear choices honoring women and was prepared to fight, if necessary, disrespect in any way shape or form. He believed wholeheartedly in women’s value and education. His walk and talk matched.
These last few thoughts are the gifts I needed to remember all over again… and share. There is a mixed bag of dads out there and I want to send a huge shout out to honor dad’s out there that live the kind of life that supports their daughter’s voice, their enthusiasm, education, talents, and value. The world needs you. Sometimes good dad voices are ignored, dumbed down in society & media, or flat out made unimportant. So: THANK YOU to the dads having the courage to express themselves outside of stereotypes, choosing to communicate and support your family - especially your daughters, work your job each day - often without notice or thanks, and for growing up, cleaning up, and creating your lives. It is a brave choice! Your effort is important in nurturing the strong sharing-minded bridges we need built so all women can express their souls in this world.
Who my dad was and the way he lived are some of the building blocks I use to share the arts, love, and live life. Because of my dad, I know my voice has a place in this world. Because of my dad I have tremendous work ethics, resourcefulness and sunshine resilience. I have a built in heart for service.
It would be so great (HUGE understatement) if he had lived longer to share more life adventures with the family! His number is still in my phone. I want to call and talk to him about my filming, auditions, website, networking, traveling, and of course, all the other things in life that are moving and changing and about my daughters. His passing through my life feels like it went so fast and was so short.
Snot running down my face, sniffling still, mascara I'm sure running everywhere, as I put the mower away felt glad the neighbors were not out and about in their yards. No matter how behind I feel I am, how much anxiety I feel when intense scheduling hits and I buckle down for go-time, and how much god-blessed uncomfortablity I feel in opening back up my dreams to faith they can happen… I know I have good building blocks. Some of those came from my dad. I am so proud of that. Send it out there with great love today - you deserve no less than that. Big hugs (share this note with other dads, step dads, stand in dads, or dudes you know that could use this thanks!)
There has to be SOMETHING to make you squeal, yell, or holler often in life!! (…ok now, hold the naughty thoughts, there is a time and place for those good things too…) I’m talking about things that make the little kid in you jump up and down with excitement, joy, or playfulness.
About two weeks ago, I saw Pixar’s “Inside Out” after my family cleared out of the house going back to their own lives. I was overjoyed having my family at home for a week. When everyone left, I wanted to run away from that hollow buzzy feeling in my heart that falls on me like a house. Nothing like cheering up a gal by watching a cartoon, oh boy, I just love ‘em!
I was taken on a ride back through childhood memories. I laughed, cried, felt the grief from loss, warm tears rolled down my face for life gone by… a smartly done, brilliant movie about the conversations inside your head. (If you haven’t seen it, DO it!) I so identified with the character Joy in that movie.
When I was a kid I swung so hard and high on my swing set I thought I could launch to the moon. I played cowboys and Indians with the neighborhood boys, made forts, and climbed & hung from trees. Sometimes I biked as fast as I could whooping and hollering until my eyes watered. I played with paper dolls my grandma gave me. Each doll represented a different country that included native clothing. I imagined what it would be like to go and explore each country. I went through dozens of coloring books and read series of books. I made up plays and directed my brother and sister in them. I went fishing and explored nature. I would make souvenir nature gardens in my bedroom from places we visited. I LOVED to jump up & down and dance on tractor sized inner tubes my dad would inflate and bring home from the mechanic's shop. I jumped and sang at the top of my lungs until I was so happy I thought my heart would burst open and rain flowers all over the world.
Life has a tendency to just try and squash the hell out of that freewheeling, can do, creative, make it happen energy… and sometimes, I know I have done it to myself out of poor or ignorant choices, ouch!
When it comes to creativity and a lot of life, I am still a daredevil. Looking fear in the eye, I figure if I can conceive and feel it then I can do it! I jump in with both feet, all committed to the action needed to make it happen. I run towards life with my arms open wide.
Oh boy, I can just feel that lil preacher in me just itchin’ to jump on the pulpit here… : )
I had a couple of friends in the past month or so talk about feeling jealous of other people, feeling lonely, and a few other things. They sorta candidly said how the grass looked greener on my side of the fence. For a short bit, I felt smug and as always, my inner champion kicked that arrogant box out from underneath me.
When I tuned in to listen more, I felt soft vulnerability returning to my soul as I cleared up a misperception or two. Yeah, sure, I do feel jealous and it lasts all of about a countdown of: T-minus…3-2-1 and then I change that feeling in my heart, I don’t like to feel bad… about me or what I am looking at in front of me in life. I do feel lonely. It would have been sooooo nice to have that cool boyfriend to camp with this past weekend. From time to time, I still feel that being shi* on feeling when the last guy in my life pooped out on making us a priority and left dents in my finances and big dents in his word. And yeah, I do have a head war to end all wars when it comes to getting my lil buns out to exercise.
With every ounce of strong thriving will of my inner champion, I keep reaching out of that hole dug by disgust, bitterness, arrogance, and sadness when life dumps on me or that I chose to dump on myself because I wasn’t valuing myself. Rather than feeling bad camping this past weekend, I trotted all over camp to chat with people, checked out scenery… and bubbles & lights and ate great food! I am upgrading the quality of behavior I want from other people by excusing myself from the company of peeps (quickly now) who do not value me and the life I am creating or have created. I have learned to choose feeling strong & healthy and getting into my jeans over not exercising, well… most of the time ;)
I realized this month though, in pursuit of feeling great and living life I sometimes mask real feelings or the deep struggles I have with joy. I didn’t fully realize that this can make it real hard for people to see, feel, and respect the wholeness of my soul… and well, me! Inspired, transparent being in joy is different than wearing a mask of joy. When life or icky feelings have squashed my freewheeling creativity and natural feel good, rather than go jump around like I did when I was a kid and BE in joy, sometimes I act and express joy but don’t feel it.
Inspired, transparent joy is combining my heart’s intention of creating a great life with all the courage I can muster to express the messy realness of how I feel. Masking my difficult feelings with joy disconnects me from a huge chunk of my truth and can make it hard for someone else to connect with me. Holy cow, wow, right?
Slowly over the past couple of weeks, I have been allowing Joy to sit on the bench, not because I don’t feel it but because I am starting to share, re-learn and express, all over again, my beautiful layers of vulnerability. I know it can be hard but take a look at some of the things you could change just even one notch, such as choosing joy, appreciating sadness, acknowledging anger & fear and/or humbling disgust. Question for a minute, what mask are you putting over you expressing yourself? For me, it has been fun in a cool way to look at some of my automatic settings and change them up a bit.
Thanks for messages or shares about how I inspire you or sharing something you’ve discovered and how it’s working! I feel encouraged when I hear about the things someone learns… and when they give me a thumbs up to rock on, that means a lot to me. Rock on yourself ~cheers!
I went to buy a few things for a care package for a friend who had surgery yesterday. I felt pretty safe meandering through the store since I’ve conquered…mostly ;) my impulse buying, tee hee. I wandered around the clothes, shoes and ended up in the home department and saw some sheets. I could use some new ones I thought and…Wow! Cool! -look at that! They resist pilling up, smooth sheets are nice. None of that itchy pebbly feel. They would look pretty in my bedroom. I imagined crawling into them and pulling them up to my nose with that fresh outdoor smell after they are washed and dried…
I noticed the shadow creep in, a shift and my left eye slightly hurt…They don’t have my color, well…not really, wow, $49.99 - is that in the budget for the month? Do I really need them? Can I be happy without them, your dad is sick, you need to clean, you don’t have anyone special in your life…why would you buy something when life is not perfect?
Yup, she snuck in, that lil demon who’s followed me around since, well, forever. Oh, super cute and impeccably dressed in the latest reality busting dress, shoes, and matching purse. She takes down my joy moment and sorta freeze frames any action I am about to take by telling me how it “is.” There are times I wanna take a two-by-four and knock her out to Pluto. You have one like that? That snotty demon who reminds you nothing in your reality even remotely is right or 100% perfect - the safest thing to do is to speed walk on by, and for pete’s sake, don't you dare stop, be curious, and choose something different.
The she-devil won. I poked around a bit more and left to check out. Awhile after I got home, the thought occurred to me, why didn’t I choose to take that joy moment? And how many times have I exercised that demon and she’s still hanging around my head space! Yeesh...the budget is a-ok, dad is moving closer to home, and soooo what about all the other things? …going back to get those sheets. Choose you’re your joy moment today - not later…right now. Create a day full of joyful moments ~ Mary
Blog by Mary Riitano...
I'm a Montana actress on a journey sharing my heart and growth through blogging, stories, and poetry, I have faith you'll find empowerment and inspiration to create like a champion in your own life!
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