“Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.” ~Elbert Hubbard
I have always defined my life by my career. I think that was my first mistake.
For the last six years, I worked at a publicity firm in Los Angeles.
It was a job where your email is the first thing you check in the morning before getting out of bed. A job where you are on your phone while eating your dinner. A job where your boss calls you out of a funeral in order to send out a press release. Frequent travel, evening events to attend, …
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lama
I used to think I was falling behind. Not on my rent or my taxes, but in life.
One moment, things were progressing fine. I had friends. Good teeth. A boyfriend. I even had my own did-I-really-do-all-that-study-to-be-doing-this first job.
But then it all went away. I became ill. And as the years went by, I watched from my bed as my friends led a version of the life I’d expected for myself.
It was as if everyone had gotten on the …
“Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation.” ~Leo Tolstoy
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an epic list of guilty pleasures.
As a young girl, my top three guilty pleasures included dressing up and dancing in my living room to Madonna (“Annnnd…VOGUE!”), watching over-the-top nighttime dramas with my mom over bowls of Breyer’s vanilla ice cream (“Kevin…I’m pregnant! And you’re not the father!”), and penning addictive, soap-opera-worthy novellas about the kids in my fifth grade class (they’d line up and beg …
“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Embody abundance. I heard someone say those two words the other day. What does that mean, really? To truly embody abundance, do we need to have everything we want? Or can anyone who holds space for truth experience a way of being that is free of lack?
Maybe to embody abundance is to recognize the realness that underlies the illusory film that covers much of what we see in our day-to-day lives. Maybe abundance is always there, but we …
“Most of the shadows in life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
How many times have you heard “Follow your heart” or “Let emotion be your guide”?
Too many to count, I’d bet.
It’s generally good advice; it’s certainly wiser to follow your own feelings than to blindly do what other people think you should do.
But reading into your emotions can also lead you astray.
You see, you are always feeling your thinking. You are not necessarily always feeling “the truth,” or even your own personal truth.
Every emotion, feeling, or mood you experience …
“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ~Maya Angelou
I had a glimpse of normal when I was a child. It looked like bright splodges of paint on pieces of cheap paper, animals made from bits of wool and odd buttons, and many, many books. Normal was taking exceedingly long suburban walks while pestering my father to supply me with mental arithmetic, to sate an insatiable love of numbers.
The most normal place in the world, my sanctuary, was the library. I loved the plastic covered window seats that would …
“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” ~Bernice Johnson Reagon
My brother died suddenly, at just thirty-nine years old. One moment he was in the midst of a regular working day. Half an hour later he was gone. Twenty-four hours later he was buried.
With things happening so fast, I found myself alternating between paralysis and intense waves of pain, anger, guilt, sorrow, and devastation. I guess we all felt this way. Only it didn’t quite look like we all did/
In between waves of sadness and silence, my brother’s …
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” ~Unknown.
Death is something many of us fear. Perhaps not so much our own death, but the mere thought of losing a loved one can be heartbreaking.
On Sunday May 5th, my grandma had a large stroke. She’d baked her last cake, shared her final story, and within the blink of an eye, she was gone. Six days later her life ended, in a hospital bed, surrounded by her loved ones.
She was not only my grandmother, but also the grandmother to five others, …
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~Elbert Hubbard
My right leg lay twisted, broken and disconnected. As I regained awareness, I could hear a primal scream.
It took a while to register that it was coming from me.
At the time, I was supposedly living my dream, but in truth I was drowning in my loneliness. So I had stood almost directly behind a horse I knew was prone to kicking and pulled her tail.
She wasn’t malicious; if she was, I would be dead now, as I had …
“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi
Do you want to let go and live life fully?
If you feel that you are missing out on fulfillment and happiness, but cannot put your finger on why, perhaps there is something deeper going on.
Believe it or not, anyone can develop an unconscious habit of self-deprivation. Usually this habit begins in childhood.
Here’s how mine developed.
When I was younger, if anyone approached and tried to attend to my needs, I’d make …
“The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be.” ~Shakti Gawain
I was born with it. I know I was. There was a light within me that showed in my smile, my dancing around the house, my love for life, for friends, for family, and my bright future.
I don’t remember the exact day it happened, I don’t remember the last event that did it, but my inner light went out. I was no longer the happy-go-lucky girl I once was; I became lost in an abyss of darkness and sadness. Happiness …
“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness.” ~Charlotte Brontë
Habits are a double-edged human habitual practice—they can be healthy and unhealthy, and can bring us happiness and unhappiness.
We’ve all read about the importance of healthy and successful habits, and how to choose and practice them. But I’ve also recently read about how healthy and successful habits alone don’t necessarily lead to good health or real success. There’s more to it.
What I’m reading now shows that happiness appears to be just as important to well-being and success as lifestyle choices, that happiness alone may actually lead to the …
“More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity.” ~Francois Gautier
It’s the last place in a million years I ever thought I would find myself.
Stuck in a day job I had originally taken to fund my art and still feed my family when times were lean. It all sounded so logical back then.
Except that after several years, this “I” that was showing up to work had zero passion, was totally unmotivated, and not exactly someone I was too proud of.
Which was very strange since I was always so committed with my dedication to …
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Improv comedy is something I’ve always enjoyed. I thought it would be fun to try, so I eventually took a class. Countless classes and many laughs later, I’ve learned that improv is a lot like life. In fact, applying what you learn in improv can actually improve your life.
Showing up at an improv class for the first time might prove intimidating or anxiety provoking for some. I felt some nerves when taking my first class, …
“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.” ~Hausa Proverb
Gratitude, the level of gratitude that one has, varies greatly by person. You have those that are grateful for every single thing in their lives, and those that know what the word means on paper yet never practice it in their own lives.
Then you have so many others (like myself), I call them the “in-betweeners.” We are grateful for so much but often forget this because life takes over, or so many other things are going on at once that you barely have five minutes to …
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lama
Some people know from the time they are small what they are going to be “when they grow up.”
I, at various times, was going to be an archeologist, paleontologist, veterinarian, famous rock musician, famous film director, actor, studio guitar player, music production engineer, choir teacher, choral composer, less famous film director, film editor, screenwriter, alpaca farmer, or cattle farmer.
As of this writing, I make wedding films and assist my wife with wedding photography. There is no fame, enough money, but no riches …
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~Mary Engelbreit
My best friend called me on the phone last night. Of course, it’s not unusual to get a call from your best friend. But this call was one that really got me thinking about myself and the way I view life.
Kent has been my best friend since we were eleven years old. We met during summer camp the year after his dad died. We didn’t even like each other at first, as he was a tall, gangly geek …
“Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Authenticity is a buzzword these days. We hear all kinds of advice on how to live it, breathe it, and get more of it. Maybe this is because we are actually drowning in inauthenticity.
Advertising bombards us with promises of bigger, better, faster, and easier. But the dream life of effortless comfort and problems that fix themselves is just a fantasy, a running away from the truth of life:
Everything is impermanent.
Right now, at this moment, this life is all we have.
More and more people …