Whooooooooo Aarrrrrrrrrrreeee Yooooouuuuuuu?

Every once in a while, I’ll post my morning reflections on Facebook due to some kind of random inspiration. (This one got a lil long so it ended up here.) Then again, I don’t believe things happen randomly. I believe in signs and synchronicity. Somebody needs to hear this message, so for whoever this is for, I hope it’s as cathartic for you to read, as it is for me to write it. 
 
Maybe it’s just the Fall time, but it seems this time of year, I’m reflecting. Always reflecting.  My career and things that I want to experience in life: places I want to go, chances I want to take, things I want to see/feel/smell/taste.

Last year at this time, I was reflecting on the very reason for my existence.  I had questions on what I was called here to do. Perhaps it was nothing. Maybe we are just a freak accident from an asteroid that hit Earth and there is no purpose. But then why would we strive for purpose in our lives, if it’s not something we are meant to have?  I felt called to do some things. Travel. Write. Act. Produce. Be in love.  But then when I would focus on those things, I would get thrown for a loop. Why? What was I doing wrong? I could go on with this. But you see what I’m saying here, I’m sure. 
This year, my reflections have gone past the reason of existence to, “Well, I’m here regardless. So what do I do with this time? How to I enjoy it?” I’ve had a lot of change in the last year. A LOT. I set about to change that question of existence to just being still and being in existence. Feeling every moment. Learning how to say yes and no. Learning how to actually take the road less traveled, not just talk about taking it.  Learning how to have faith in myself and my abilities. How to love myself.
This approach has utterly changed my life.  If you told me what I was about to experience in job, home, dating and spirit, I would have laughed.   “Yeah right”, I would have scoffed. “I’m never leaving my cozy cottage paradise in Altadena and moving to Orange county. I’m most DEFINITELY not going to be working Attractions in Fantasyland. And FOR SURE not going to be ….. <insert a million other things here>…”  Wasn’t the way I envisioned life happening. I had a plan for my lofty goals and aspirations.
But life. Life is what happens while you’re making other plans. Life swept me out to a very big ocean of self-discovery. I’ve always said, everything is always about learning and growing. It’s a humbling and enriching experience all at once; but a necessity. So while, this year’s ups and downs were not at all what I planned,  it’s made me the strongest I’ve ever been. I’ve had to, in a sense, break my heart open again to survive it. I’d been holding onto a lot of fear and pain. But I couldn’t go on like that anymore. I was getting in the way of myself.  I had put up a very strong wall around me. I had a hard time letting people in. In retrospect, I think I had to though, for a little while at least. I couldn’t let anybody else in when I wasn’t even letting myself in. I had to learn how to love myself and take care of myself. Not materially. Emotionally. Spiritually. 
 
Much like caterpillar has to build it’s chrysalis to protect itself while it morphs into butterfly, I had to learn how to grow within the very fears and pain I was trying to run away from, so that I could break through that wall and crumble them in bits of dust particles to be swept away from me by the winds of change, into the vast universe, never to be seen again.

Who Are You?
Who Are You?
 
When you learn to stand on your own two feet on a spiritual and emotional level, it is an exhilarating feeling. I can’t quite describe it. Materially, I’ve been on my own since I was 16. But spiritually and emotionally, this is the first time in my entire life, that I feel completely independent of anyone outside of me. Buttons and triggers that I used lovingly protect, are gone. I don’t need the validation from anyone else for my mere existence or ability to get through life. I was not made to be a marionette puppet and I learned how to stop acting like one.  This goes so much further than having control of the remote for the TV at the end of a long day. This is deeper than anything I’ve felt before. There is a sense of calm for me amidst the storm of life. Nothing and no one, will ever break me again. I could put my heart on the floor at a man’s feet, and he could stomp on it. But that’s not going to break me. Sure, it’s not gonna feel great. But it won’t shatter my existence, my very soul.  I could have conversations with my family about how I really felt about things in life, show them pieces of who I really am and I didn’t need their approval nor did I care if I got it. I have found a level of unconditional love for myself and others that I did not know I was capable of. 
Now this is not to say I don’t have my moments of frustration. There are PLENTY of those. But instead of letting those moments hinder me, I let them propel me. That’s the difference. It’s about making a choice to hold myself accountable for where I go in life and what I do. I can decide how to shape my attitude and emotional reaction around something.  I have NO control over anything outside of myself, let alone any other person. When I released that burden of responsibility, that’s what opened up unconditional love for me. I can choose to either say yes, or say no without dispensing judgement, and without taking judgement in.
 
I had written a status last year when contemplating some pretty big determinations  and life changes I had just made on my trip to Kauai. I always jokingly blame all of these life change on Kauai – but in a way it’s true. Kauai brings me back to life. Reminds me of the deeper parts of myself. It’s my spiritual spot. I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, I was finding, when got back into my routine in LA, I was starting to feel disconnected again. I searched for inspiration to help me reconnect. I pulled a book off my shelf, and it was the last book my Grandma Elsie ever wrote. These were the last words I ever had from her. And they were beautiful.
 
And that is what inspired this whole post was, today, the Facebook “On This Day” feature delivered those words to me again, at the very moment I needed to remember them. Without fail, I always hear the words of my Grandma when I need them the most. 
I feel compelled to share them again. New starts are bold & brave and humbling all at once. You have to shed all of the weight of your past, who you think you are and embrace your “highest you” that you can be. 
 
“Each of you, dream big. Fix your gaze
on that far place you know is yours to seize;
Set your steps to win, and when you
reach your dreams, new paths will touch your toes.
Your far horizon gleams
with treasure beyond imagining.
Choose, then, and go, our loved ones, go!
But go with God….
Becoming real takes faith in God:
Takes trusting more when doubts
loom large and fear sucks out our breath —
Takes being willing to walk blind
through sorrow —
Takes standing still,
when we want most to run —
When all is lost to struggle on —
Takes firm belief, no matter what,
that God turns bad to good….”
—- Elsie Larson
 
Take this with you. Be brave, bold and courageous. Go with love. You cannot fail.

 

 

 

 

Day 13-24 -30 Day Challenge

(These are flashback blogs from when I transferred domains. I thought they were worth keeping – this was written during a course of taking 30 days off of social networking and working on my creative projects – a screenplay in 30 days being one of them. I just thought this was good because it dated my experience with the whole “convention experience”.)

Isn’t this beautiful? I haven’t written in almost two weeks!! That means life has been happening and the writing has been happening on my screenplay and not on my blog. Blogs are great, but sometimes you just have to prioritize I think. And that is where I have found success in my challenge. I haven’t felt compelled to get online all the time and waste precious time and energy.  I go online and check my RSS feeds and get my news. I check my email. I do my actor thing. And that’s it. When I do make a blip on the social networking scene, there is going to be some scaling down on my Facebook profile page. Those that have not communicated are going. Those that added me for their “friend count” are going.  Those who only see me as a network connection are going. That’s what my business page is for so I am sure people can catch me there if they really want to network. I am reclaiming my space and time. So the experiment was refreshing and good.

Project 365 been going great. Still haven’t figure out the format I want to use, plus I have discovered that some moments I want to take pictures of merit a bit of privacy. So that has been happening, albeit only on my laptop in iPhoto for the moment. I will probably post some here or there.

Part of my absence online can also be attributed to John Cleese and Comic-Con. The studio I study acting at often hosts legitimate, major industry players, and John Cleese happened to be the amazing guest we had. What a funny and outgoing guy. I got to speak with him on a personal level and was just blown away at the life he lived to become the person he is today.

Comic-Con was amazing. Last year, I was blessed enough to have received a comp pass. This year I paid. Next year, I will have graduated to my own “Professional Pass”. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it this year, what with the many financial obstacles I have been facing. But the universe provided and I was able to go.

Last year, I got a surprise offer of a comp ticket. I had never been to Comic-Con before and wasn’t sure what to expect. I went online to look at what was on the schedule and saw that Smallville was doing a panel. I figured, cool, that would be fun. I LOVE Smallville. And then I started seeing all the stuff pour in through the newswires about was going on at “The Con”. I had NO idea how big it actually was.  On a limited a budget, I found a hotel room in Lemon Grove. And I was only able to go for a short stay, despite having a full four day pass. The time I spent was a total of a day and a half. Not nearly enough time, as I discovered. It’s overwhelming the amount of stuff there is to do and see there. I had gone purely for the Smallville panel, (as they were unsure if there would be another season or not) but found myself caught up in MUCH more that just that. There was other panels, the exhibitor’s floor, after parties, guild dinners. And I had brought homework. No lie. I was in the midst of summer term. Last minute (literally DAYS before the panel), Tom Welling announced he was coming, so I was excited to be there, as he had never attended a Comic-Con panel in the 8 seasons the show had been on the air.  What a happy coincidence, I tell you, that I happened to be there on this day. By the time I was done with my whole day and a half of Comic-Con, I vowed that was about as far as I would take my “fan girl” experience. I’m actually usually low-key about that whole celebrity culture thing, I don’t get star-struck. There are people I admire for their work, not because they are a celebrity. Hence, I don’t do the convention circuit.  So I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to do this again, it was a one time thing.

This year, the probability of a comp pass was in the air. But when it fell through, I was cool, simply because I had gone last year. But then, some of my friends said they were going to go, and it was announced that Smallville Season 10 would be the last. And I had made a vow to network more. Then a bunch of friends announced they were going. So,  I decided I was going to take a leap and buy a ticket, and go for the whole shebang. That meant four and a half days of networking, panels, lines, exhibits, walking, and general overall chaos.  Becoming engulfed in the WHOLE experience.  Now, for those who know me, crowds often overwhelm and aggravate me. (I do Disneyland because I LOVE Disney. It’s my price to pay. But I don’t do it much beyond that.) But I didn’t want to judge the Comic-Con experience without having actually thrown myself into it.  And again, last minute, (although not as last minute as last year, we had about a month to plan this one) Tom Welling announced he would be showing up again. Being that I already had scored a ticket I was pretty excited. (In case you haven’t noticed, Superman is my favorite super-hero).  And I have to say: it was an amazing ride, (despite my car being broken into) I stayed with some awesome friends and filled every waking moment of my time with Comic-Con. And I STILL DIDN’T SEE EVERYTHING!!!! Fucking amazing that is. It took two days to recover. But I had fun. And I won’t be doing the 4 and a half day experience again. Once is enough for me.

Will I go next year? I am going to say yes with this aim: that people will be seeing Witch Creek at the Comic-Con indie festival. And that I will be on a panel, paying homage to the fans and the people who supported us thus far, getting it out there for everyone to see. And that I will also be on another panel as the surprise-last-minute-guest-addition hosted by a TV network that produced the surprise hit of the season that I am starring in. I’m just sayin’……

Love to all.

Hello Love Envy, You’re on the Air

Where do I start? I could say the beginning. If, indeed, the running commentary I have in my head can still be deemed accurate when referencing distant memories. This past year has been so cool. I have learned so much. And I have made some cowardly decisions along the way. I have come to some important emotional revelations. For the most part, I have gotten past the phase of putting on faces for people. I really haven’t completely ripped the mask off….YET… The mask seems to be made of duct tape and is hurting like a son-of-a-bitch as I rip it off. But I think I am on that last little bit that clings by a string and then has no choice but to let go.

This train of thought started back on a summer night, when in the midst of drinking a very large honey-beer and scarfing down a dozen oysters on the half-shell, I had a flash. It was just on the edge of my brain, and I don’t think I have fully processed it. All I remember is that I was talking about how life was never easy. Up to this point, everything was an insane amount of work and it felt…well, soul sucking, to be honest. Until recently.

At that point, while relishing the taste of the oysters, and feeling the comfortable hum of people around me as the beer settled in, I started questioning the validity of the experiences I was manifesting, BECAUSE they were easy.

Now as I ponder that conundrum, I realize that everything leading up to this point has not been easy. Whether it’s traumatic childhood experiences, or if it’s hurts that have kept themselves buried inside of me from my past romantic relationships, losing loved ones unexpectedly, or any myriad of life events,  the road that led me to this suddenly accessible bliss have been full. Have these most recent experiences really been that “easy” in the long run? Probably not.  So why am I so mistrusting of the euphoria that comes when I follow my heart?

This is not to say that I have missed out on moments of pure bliss in my journey. There have been amazing moments a plenty. I have many blessings and many loyal friends and family (even when it’s tough to relate to each other). I am blessed with experiences in life that came with the courage of taking chances.  I have found that I feel comfortable in LA. I have an amazing support group of fellow creatives at Carter Thor and I have come away with dear friends to boot. I have been busy with acting work that is consistent and meaningful.

In the present, I think I am at a phase in my life where I’m on the cusp of the next chapter~ and I am ANXIOUS for that to start. Only, I don’t know how to start it. I don’t know what I am doing. I have NO idea where I am going. And it’s been that way for 6 months now. (Yet I have been working like crazy! Funny how that turns out eh?) Regardless, I look at people around me, who seem like they have their shit together and have discovered I have this emotional reaction:

I call it love-envy.  It’s where you love your friends and family and are so happy for them when they meet successes in their life. But there is a piece of you that feels envious of the certainty they seem to have. Of the success they seem to have. Of their niche. And you wish that you could feel that certainty in your own life, WITHOUT begrudging your loved one’s happiness.

After beating myself up about it,  I came to a realization, that they were throwing into sharp relief my own insecurities. I am ultimately in charge of my own destiny. So what choices was I making that was leading me to this feeling?

  1. I have been procrastinating on my career. While I am most definitely working, I haven’t taken it to the next level. Meaning, finding an agent. Networking events. Promoting myself. Writing more.  Why? Because I am not trusting that I am enough. That I have something to offer.
  2. My romantic life is stalled because I am choosing not to trust that I am enough. That I have something to offer.  I don’t trust myself. How can I trust anyone else? Answer: I haven’t.
  3. My financial life is rather limiting right now. See number one. Why? Because I am not trusting that I am enough. That I have something to offer. That I have put my intention out to the universe and it’s answering.

Are you seeing a pattern here? I am. Trust. Faith. Action. In myself. The key thing to know is that you have to have these things in yourself before you look for it anywhere, or in anyone else you know.

So every day is baby steps. I am getting this website off the ground, switching up the headshots, starting my own production company, and planning on kicking ass on Witch Creek and putting out there that I am officially looking for an agent.

To really effectively cure my love-envy, I have goals that I meditate on every day such as:

Learning how to surf.

Learning archery.

Learning fencing.

Taking a classical Shakespeare intensive.

Singing again.

Learn the guitar. And even re-learn the piano.

Be making better money off of my talents and my commodities.

Everyday I pursue these goals. Every day I live feeling blessed. And I have NO IDEA what’s in store for me. But I TRUST myself to face it with courage, clarity, integrity and joy.

So here’s to love-envy. Let it motivate you to love yourself and get your heartline racing again. Let it increase your love and support for those who are important to you..May it lead you to being your OWN personal cheerleading squad, joining the ranks of other personal cheerleading squads as one big team working together to better ourselves, our environment, and our life condition.

Love-envy in Westlake Village, signing off.