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
Yeeehaw! Our Kickstarter crowd funding was a success for filming the final segments of a western web series, The Big Muddy! Segments 4 and 5 will be filmed starting this weekend through the end of summer 2016. I am excited to be more in front of the camera this time. My earlier featured character has an expanded role!
It's been tough (understatement) keeping one foot steady in my day job and the steady world I've created to hold myself and the people I love and the other foot is doing the polka in my creative world. You need both feet for walking. So...lately, I feel like I've been walking funny ;) Despite the weird looks I get and things people say, I am happy and... exhausted as hell. The happy though is what I keep bringing my focus back to. It's empowering when you can create a vision in your mind, follow steps & paths to get there, handle the sh** that comes up and then feel the joy of creating with your team of artists.
This month, all I can say is keep on dreaming & doing (that's the important part!) those things that make your heart sing and bless the world in positive, loving ways like only you know how.
One of my favorite pictures from summer 2015. On the left of me is our project creator, director, filmmaker Chris Hoffert and on the right is Stan Smith, casting, actor, location scouter.
What a wonderful thing it is to learn! A short note this month (a week earlier than usual) to encourage you in a project you are working on, whether it be repainting cabinets, learning to sing, or being a better parent. Learning does not have to have a pain price tag with 20/20 hindsight and a big mess to clean up. You can learn proactively, on the fly, from others, and most importantly apply what you are learning to life, the arts, and love… and of course, with a bunch of laughs included!
If you are in the area, I have been cast and am participating in the Last Chance Play Festival, which is part of the larger Fringe Festival network. Fringe is experimental theatre and honors many artists sharing their original work and performances. Keep in mind to check the ratings for each show if you are or have younger people you’d like to bring. (See show postcard with specific dates and performance times.) Tickets are available about 20 minutes before each performance for $10 at the door. It’s open seating. This show is for a mature 16+ audience.
“Colter’s Hell is an ecological fantasy where the animals of the Rocky Mountain wilderness confront legendary mountain man and fur trapper John Colter. The play draws parallels between the radical environmental change triggered during the early 19th century and the challenges faced today.
The protagonists of the tale, Coyote, Raven, Chipmunk, Trout, and others try to discourage him. But Colter persists undaunted by the frightening geology of Yellowstone Park, native hunting bands, and hallucinatory visits by Canadian pitchmen and philosopher John Locke until he raises the ire of Wishpoosh, a mythic, giant, albino beaver.” -Ross Peter Nelson, Playwright
I love meme’s! There are inspirational, cheeky, and funny ones! Pictures and words…words and pictures; they share feelings and ideas. With imagination and my own perception, I make meanings and stories out of them.
The thoughts I was going to post the month before last are still not ready. When I shared my completed draft for editing a few days ago, my friend said there were five different ideas flowing through it and my writing voice felt unclear. Back to the writing board with a head full of words, mostly self-critical (not helpful) rolling around in my mind.
Practicing being easier on myself, I decided to let it sit for a few days and wait for a bolt of lightning or clap of thunder to connect all the ideas. Waiting is a hard struggle for me, especially when I don’t know what I am waiting for. My mind wanders to leftover tears in my heart for the bike I never got growing up, care that doesn’t show up from significant people in my life, and a few other things that bring out my sadness.
Part of the post I have been writing is about wiggling around in my mind, soul, and feelings to figure out how to better blend my soul’s light and darkness and express it. It was about being real. It was about what I’m doing in the meantime with my creative artistic energy while I wait for some amazing projects to come to life. Today, without really knowing why I feel a raw jagged sadness. My heart hurts. I feel scared and sometimes angry firecrackers of thought pop off in my mind. I feel unsure, small, needy, alone...and a whole box of messy feelings.
Reaching outside myself to gather happiness and encouragement from people sometimes doesn’t work. People say, I am reeeealllly busy or I totally forgot and they hang onto those platitudes as if they were the last lifeboat available on the sinking Titanic. So I’ll scroll through Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram looking for the meme’s and words from other people to reduce my own internal sinking feeling. It helps.
With tears in my eyes, I see steam rising from my hot cup of tea. I stare at dark gray blue clouds out my window. I feel I fail myself when I don't meet a personal goal (hard and scary thoughts for this little overachiever.) I decide to take my own advice “…when what you are doing is not working, it’s really brave to be vulnerable…”
Even though it doesn’t feel good, I am going to let that unfinished post sit for a while, maybe forever, and choose courage to share this struggle. Sometimes when encouraging people, hugs, and words are absent, I keep remembering to tune into my inner voice for coaching. The words I accept from myself can impact my heart like a thrown ice ball, snowball, or a snowflake ---words can help, hurt, heal, haunt, or be a halleluiah. Words make my life story. (Oh good lordy, I can hear my big haired 80’s inner preacher, just sayin’ amen…and A-MEN!!) Despite tears in my heart and eyes, I smile.
Sitting in that vulnerability, I figure out I really need to hear good words today. I want them because they help me stay in the game. I appreciate them because I feel loved and important. It may be the silliest idea ever, making my own version of an inspirational meme to encourage myself; it did make me laugh though. Laughter is one of the best things to help segue way to a better mindset or evolve a situation/idea that feels stuck in expression.
It’s tough to accept that I couldn’t neatly wrap up that post I had been laboring over with a neat little bow and say ta-dah, here it is! I take to heart my artistic growth and meeting the marks I set for myself. I did an equally great thing though. I got up yet again today instead of choosing to lie down, stopping or quitting. I chose to BE the realness I was trying to write about, realness that includes dark, messier feelings I have a hard time processing and expressing. Taking those messy feelings and making something to share helps me remember to keep going.
These thoughts I share are real footsteps in my imperfect journey. They are things I learn, hurt about, believe in, celebrate, and most importantly shed light on processes as a growing artist. If you are down in the dumps, waiting, or need a boost…maybe make your own inspirational meme? Feel encouraged today and stay in the game!
Photo credit: Rachel Riitano
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.
My invisible friend’s name was Maynard. He was shaped like a star, wore a cowboy hat, smiled a lot, walked funny -how would you walk if you were shaped like a star? ;) He had a cool way of noticing details in life. He made me laugh and was there when I was sad. I don’t know what happened to him, but as I grew up I guess I forgot about him. Life filled in with to do lists, people, schedules, accomplishments, and messes to clean up.
I updated my website last week for a project I was cast in, “Willow Creek Road” and noticed there had been 143 Unique Visitors and 663 Page Views on my website. Holy cats! Awesome! At first, I had a sort of positive-negative freak out, thinking way cool, thank you for visiting, and work is paying off and then wondered...hmmmmm, who are the people checking out my page? My imagination (and my fears) went wild. What if it's a cool gal in Greece who is making her way opening her own business? What if it’s a cat terrorist, looking to steal my pets or worse, hurt me? What if it’s a dude looking to understand how to communicate better? What if they are just mean and looking to get power by posting rude things? What if they are looking for a friendly smile because their day was so rotten bad?
The idea of social media, websites, and global marketing spins my head until I get nauseous and overwhelmed by it because I am not a techie and am a relatively private person. I thought about my invisible friend as I stared at the stats on my website and thought …they are like my invisible friend Maynard, only I don’t know anything about them…they could be friends, supporters, people up to no good, potential business partners...I just don’t know.
I’ve listened to friends love or hate on social media saying it’s a “look at me generation and Facebook supports all that self-promotion, I’ll never post a selfie…how lame.” Other people say "I love sharing whatever comes to mind or what’s up in their world.” I understand both sides.
Social media conversations, website creation, and global communication happen with such ease. We can experience life pretty almost anywhere on the planet in the snap of a finger. HOW FRIGGIN’ COOL IS THAT!!! I can see posts & chat with a friend in Australia to get the latest news on her art projects & family. I am informed of tragedies and can share an encouraging shout out, prayer, or donate to a cause. I can see pictures from my friend in South Korea snowboarding with friends. I can read a political opinion or can give a Facebook high five for something cool. On Sunday, I watched a friend’s student dancer via a live stream web link from Oregon. I see posts from a dude I have never met about his work helping people in Africa. We can be seen not just by people we know but by anyone connected to similar social mediums.
For my number of years on the planet I have learned a few things… one of which is that our mind has polarities. Simply put, there is a positive and a negative charge to everything. We fear or love. In thinking about Maynard, he never made me feel bad. He would call me out in truth in reflection when I needed it. He had positive things to say about the good things I was doing, especially when nobody else noticed and I felt invisible.
We can choose to come out of hiding behind masks of distance or fear. Please know, I am not denying the crazies out there that unmercifully pillage this privilege through meanness & violence (always be smart & safe with whom you share information, trust that gut compass you have!) How do we begin to stop fear of being seen and violence? By knowing each other and that happens one word or picture at a time.
With so much information we have about each other, how do you choose to use it? …to understand, hurt, introduce yourself, hide, encourage? It’s not about perfection, it’s about awareness and progress of communication, plugging into love and respect. When viewing someone else life, use soft eyes and understanding, ask permission, allow your soul to guide you. Consciously, I chose appreciation for the people viewing my website.
I’m thankful that you are visiting!
My faith in you visiting is that you are inspired to smile, start a forgotten creative project, remember a positive piece of yourself and with courage, share that. Create a positive wheel of awesomeness by creating moments of love, light, faith and hope. All of us, me included, want to belong, be seen and be respected, feel safe.
So…who are you? If you are so inclined, leave a comment below. Share how you are creating a beautiful moment in life, how you are conquering a fear, or how you are celebrating. Or perhaps, reach out to someone in your world that needs encouragement & kindness. With your help, together we can make being seen in the world a GOOD thing, by being respectful in sharing.
As the world is closing up the year 2015 in about a week, I leave you with a prayer of good health, improved life in relationships, and financial condition. Most of all, I leave you with the notion that loving and respecting yourself is one of the most important loves of all to create value, worth, and peace in your life. Big hugs and cheers for a kickass 2016.
P.S. Pictures on my website for “Willow Creek Road” are located by hovering over the Pics tab & then hovering over Film selection. Hover & click on Willow Creek Road. Please give a thumbs up on Facebook and click on the Indiegogo campaign to commit to a donation. (See icons below). We’d gladly welcome the financial support. Sharing the links would also be greatly appreciated. Keep in mind, it’s a tax deductible donation, which is pretty rad!
Holidays stink! Or…they can make you think! They are LOADED with feelings. When typing “holidays” I felt like throwing cast iron skillets to a painful sad squeeze in my heart to a feeling of wow, what a friggin’ year!
After thinking how I wanted to start this holiday, I decided to hell with it, I’m starting with the feeling of WOW! I am thriving in life! I chose to appreciate when things were a real drag, I was adventuring, I was alone, life was mundane and I was lucky to be filming & photographing on projects which boosted my creative passions. :)
I look around for good feelings to match my enthusiasm, I know they are there… but the world makes the volume of sarcasm & pain rock concert loud! Sometimes I feel split between acknowledging legit pain, heartbreak, and regret and… that warm feeling down to my toes that I am in a good space in my life. I’ve had sweet adventures this year. I’ve grown so much!
If I mope and complain, I feel for a few minutes I am “in” the crowd. If I pull my face away and say life is great, few people chime in. It leaves me feeling confused and alone. I do get it though. As I write, I think about emotional pain, strife (understatement), survival needs, and health crises you might be in. Feel a great big hug coming atcha as you read this. Life can be real rough, sad, frustrating, unfair, full of huge problems with few good options. My heart breaks for things going on in the world that I won’t pretend to have answers to.
I have handled family cancer, hospice and death, existed barely from paycheck to paycheck, been on food stamps, been abused, lived in the crappiest of freezing ass trailer homes, had multiple jobs, and have been at the dirt bottom of the barrel many times emotionally where pushing up daisies sounded better than putting on my boots and figuring out that next step. When life sucks, I get negative too… AND I decided to own that so I can be the healing my soul needs to thrive. I have walked so many steps in pain, struggle, and heartbreak and had to clean up consequences of bad choices. You can see where my stitches were, scars are, and where I need more fabric to cover gaps in my life.
When the world drains the spark outa me, nature recharges me. Mmmhmmm...natural healing soul energy! I don’t have to pick through or make sense of the vibe. I sit and feel, allowing my heart to be free, open, and appreciate. My daughter took this picture of me at Blue Lake in Colorado. Everything was as vibrantly colored as you could imagine. Behind us was a small herd of frolicking mountain goats. Moments like these feel magical. In feeling peace my soul has a place to speak, motivate, and comfort me. I allow appreciation to open and soften my heart.
Appreciation feels like a warm swell of happiness that takes over my heart, makes it feel bigger and that I am alright & capable of doing what I set my mind to. It keeps me open to possibilities in life, valuing myself, sharing the positive, and giving & receiving love.
If you’ve been sinking in negative junk and cynical chit-chat, maybe you have forgotten the way to feeling good. I suggest answering the call of the beautiful child in you that is yearning to feel better. Holidays can bring up the old, dark stuff in our heart and emotional closets. That stuff is asking to move out to make room for better feelings, more possibilities and love.
Maybe…just maybe, with a big ol' smile on your face (yup, I just felt it creep across your face), try defining holiday seasons differently. It sounds trite and I feel very small suggesting turning yourself toward nature and appreciation because… no, it won’t solve hunger, violence, cure cancer, or the big problems in the world. However, starting with the one person that can make a difference wherever your feet will take you today IS huge. Appreciation of YOU is the start of an incredible miracle of the heart. And boy oh boy, our world needs YOUR good heart right now.
From my soul to yours, find time in nature (be smart & safe) to sit in appreciation of what you can see, feel or experience around you. Before all the preparation, crazy relative drama ;), good food, football games, and great sales, make time to appreciate the treasures that are only in your heart and soul. Treasures that were in you when you were born and ones that you have grown in yourself living your life. Bring this appreciation feeling to your life and the people with whom you create life.
Happy Thanksgiving with blessings. Good thoughts to people that are reading this outside of the U.S., this holiday means a lot to us here :) thanks for obliging me!
P.S. Social media has really linked so many of us around the world. Thanks a million for reading my posts, sharing, liking, re-posting it on Facebook, leaving encouraging comments on my website or sending private thoughtful notes. Please continue to share, comment and be inspired. It helps grow my artistic voice. ~Mary
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!)
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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