Don't you love the season changes! I sure do :) Right now for me, in this season of my life, my schedule is running pretty packed with creative projects. One of the ones I've been looking forward to the most, Willow Creek Road, starts filming this week. Taking a real big breath and placing my focus as present as I can to enjoy every minute of this year long adventure getting to this point. Look for pictures soon! Sundance here we come!
In between The Big Muddy web series filming, photography, a few acting classes, some travel, reading, writing, filming for the Willow Creek Road, working, studying and all the day-to-day chores... there is family and friends that I love adventuring with. I have said it before, nature recharges my soul. Mother Nature needs our attention and it gives so much in return.
Earlier this month, I made my first long hike. I haven't made one this long in a few years. Our family feet carried us 12 miles round trip in about six hours. Hanging Valley Trail has been on my list. I was nervous that I didn't have the stamina to complete it; it was an intense hike. Lots of downed trees. Lots of pretty steep ups and downs. Through some tunnels and slabs of rock to the stopping end point. The end point was breathtaking as was our need for great big hamburgers once we got off the trail!
I am keeping this month's post pretty short as I keep trying to pace myself more towards balance in my life. I do have lots I am learning and will start sharing more soon.
All I want to say is, stay in the game! I know it's hard sometimes, things smack you in the face with disappointment or may be more work than what you might have thought. Stay after those dreams and goals. Shamelessly shine your light and talents bright out loud. Big hugs and loves
Well, I got back on my feet… and then, fell off the radar. I am always dreaming, reaching, living, creating and experiencing. We all are. There are so many ups and downs. When people I know, love or care about disappear, it leaves me wondering and curious... what happened? So... where did I go? I've been busy…a life cliché I despise. I thought about sharing many times along the way and I haven’t. Lame, I know…Why? Who knows. I folded up into myself to re-sort, process, re-build and now re-emerge to find my sense of life direction still going north, south, east and west all at once. It’s been a job and a half tracking myself.
A list of credits roll for creative pursuits this past year: a kickass production of Spamalot with the Helena Theatre Company, a short film titled, “Beast” (was nominated best actor but didn’t win), a military film about PTSD that completed production, attended webinars to improve the business of acting, photo shoots, attended premieres of two Helena made inde films, networking with other artists, chakra energy class and study, poetry submitted for review for on-line publishing that was rejected, auditions, and started voice lessons and am now up to a full year with a few recitals -no glass breakage, whew… and much more. What a year leveling up skills!
…and then there’s the personal stuff. Processing a year of firsts without my dad has been real rough. I miss him. Snowboarding, hiking and my first mountain biking adventures -nature feeds my soul. The realization that my daughters are living life, don’t actively need me, and holy cow wow, did I do a good job as a mom! Friends with celebrations and crises to support. First trip out of the country to Nicaragua -so so many firsts there, hard to count: -the sweetness (and scariness) of my first swim in the ocean & learning to surf, -my soul being deeply touched being among so many brave, resourceful people making their way in a poverty stricken country. (This is a picture of a typical rural home). We are so lucky in this country. My heart was blessed with so many authentic smiles despite their rough life. What a gift. -allowing myself to be open and sweetly vulnerable to love again, which left me face down for a while with my heart broken into a million pieces. And, of course, there is all the usual day-to-day life stuff at work and home which I am lucky enough and appreciate being able to do.
So I’m just another actor with emotions, creativity and life happening…why the heck check back in? When I fall down, over, off of…or anywhere, I must get back up, bounce, or something.
My inner champion doesn’t let me stay down.
One of the biggest struggles I've had in the last year is allowing the large range of emotions coming from my experiences to all live in the same house. I kept wanting to sift out the bad and painful ones. They were sinking me.
What I chose to learn in making room for all of my life and it's rich experience of emotions is that change is always there… as is my resilient storytelling about myself, to myself. I realized my self-talk (storytelling inside myself of what my life was going to look like) had gotten saturated in heartache. My brain and soul were in a huge tug-o-war over what life experiences and emotions were going to dictate my next move...in anything.
Allowing pain and heartache to just be in my house has been plain friggin' hard. The trick, though, was for me to learn to not focus on the emotion/event but rather... use the energy from them to propel me forward in creative and other parts of my life. That energy has helped me start making better decisions for me. And it all started...from the decision and raw determination to get up out of that sinking feeling. I've noticed too, that my heart has softened with more compassion and I was able to re-introduce me to my vulnerability which had gotten so many hard spots from obsessing about getting the heartache out of the house.
SO I am beginning again... or maybe even better, continuing where I Ieft off. Cheers to the hundredth or maybe thousandth time of falling and getting up. If you have fallen lately, keep a soft heart for yourself, it's ok, it's going to be ok… just get up and get going.
If you choose to fall... fall upwards, bounce... :)
Back on my feet… well mostly. The last eight months have been pretty rocky. My daughter broke her kneecap which required surgery, my neighbor passed away as did two of our family cats, a couple other family members have been in the hospital for severe digestive problems requiring surgery and stroke, and my dad was diagnosed with cancer in December 2012. I can’t write those words and not feel a large watery lump in my throat and tears run down my face. My winter and into mid-spring involved many trips to care for my daughter and dad; between Salt Lake and Seattle, I think I may have put over 4,000 miles on my truck.
I watched my dad over the years create life and care for us. He worked so many lower end blue collar jobs from tire changing, security, post & pole, odd jobs and a lot of janitorial jobs. Hard, brutal work to do to make sure our family had the bare minimum basics. Our family has been homeless and hungry and stranded. I watched him stand in unemployment lines. I watched him swallow the largest pride a man has in providing for his family by having to pan handle for money when we were stranded in traveling.
My family had so many, many just plain old life survival hardships, that when we got the lab reports, I was stupefied speechless. I was mad as hell at God as I thought we had served our time in tragedy and suffering over the years pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps barely surviving at times. I think I lived in a make-believe world and thought that maybe maybe illness and death would not apply in the usual way. We could just live to old age and pass away in our sleep, if we had to die even at all.
He passed away in mid-April of this year. I made my peace with my dad a long time ago; so in being with him dying, there was very little angst left. Being with my dad at this point was beyond words -it was the purest state of being and honoring another‘s spirit. I was so very humbled as he was so brave in facing everything in the last months of his life - I hope I can be that brave. My memories now are ever so precious of sitting with him wrapped in blankets on my couch and massaging his back when he hurt.
We always had a bit of tug of war on life perspectives; him coming from the 1940’s perspective and me with my Generation X artist view. One thing we never argued about was how much we loved each other. I miss having him here to share my life with. I love you very much dad, you were one of my life hero’s.
In sharing my heart and growth through blogging, stories, and poetry, I have faith you'll find possibility, empowerment, and inspiration to create like a champion in your own life.
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