Friday, July 27, 2012

Intoxicating Juggle

I cannot recall who said that you cannot think your way into a new way of living, you need to live your way into a new way of thinking. Yet that idea has been percolating in my being for the last few weeks as it seems everything around me as well as events that are being tossed toward me, seem to have increased in speed,variety and texture.

Change, shift, is accelerated at this time in the world both individually and collectively and I am certainly feeling it. As the balls I juggle feel like just one too many, the universe keeps talking to me and handing me more people, circumstances, injuries or challenges to tease me into consiousness.

“Ok” I say, “I am ok”…aware of how my thoughts impact my experience.    "I can do this."

Driving in the early morning darkness, rain pelting on the Sea to Sky highway, on route to a movie shoot I repeat the mantra and breathe. Yes, my knuckles are white on the steering wheel. The road winds, I can’t see and I am worried about the upcoming scene where I play a doctor having to wear pumps and do what’s called a walk and talk. Why couldn’t I be sitting at my doctor desk, dolling out doctorly advice, I muse.  I had gone for a pedicure on the weekend and the gal sliced off a piece of my toe with her razor as she was happily cutting and drifted. Yes…big ouch….

 I try to relax, and my mind moves to thinking about the Brooklyn accent I have to aquire, the pages I have to memorize, as soon as this shoot is finished.  I have an audition for a lead in a new TV series, a comedy about an Italian family in Bensenhurst.

 “Don’t think about that now, one thing at a time, you are a doctor and the world is possibly ending if they don’t find the bad guys and stop the oil exploration that is causing the earth to spew toxins”……or something like that.  After years in the film business you don’t always pay much attention to the whole script. When pressed for time you just memorize and make your own character real. 

Anyway … I try to relax and the truth is I am just coping using my will to muster through what to me feels like a tense situation. I keep breathing in calm energy but it doesn’t really shift anything.

Buns reads my energy the next day and talks about my first chakra…you know the energy center at the base of your spin. This wakes me up to my grounding cord and remembering that you can breathe in all the calm you like, if you are not also releasing what no longer serves you, it’s a moot point.

So I add the release and low and behold even though things continue to implode and vibrate around me, my ability to be present with it all is increased.

 I buy a wooden spoon that I will use to whack my pretend Italian family with when they grab one too many meatballs. My name is Tutti and I have fun teasing my hair into a big Madonna bouffant do with blue 80’s eye shadow, tight mens's muscle shirt and a crucifix around my neck, at the ready for spontaneous religious cross kissing.  I leap into my audition with full abandon. Then literally moments latter take off the neon hoop earring, wipe off makeup and race to a class on body awareness that I am teaching.  I occasionally drift into the hard aw sound that new Yorkers lean toward when saying things like coffee…caw fee. And yes I am enjoying lots of it to keep this candle burning at both ends.

Inhale, exhale, release.

 I am going away this weekend with one of my best pals for a weekend of shopping and massage at the lovely Inn at Semi Ah Moo.
My bawdy is singing hallelujah at the thought…oops I mean body.

And only one hundred and twelve things left to do before I go….where the hell is my list….

Cue circus music please…here comes another ball.

Branded by juggling ….

Authentically Yours,

Still smiling, Marty

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Singin' and slingin'.

It’s 3:45 a.m. and I am wide awake.  I have been for a couple of hours now.  I think I’m still coming down from the excitement of this past weekend.  Four days in Merritt with friends, singing on stage numerous times, and slinging beer into the wee hours at the second annual Great Canadian Bike Rally. It was a blast and I was truly in my element.

With the temperature hovering in the mid ’30s  for much of the time, we were sweltering as we hopped back and forth between two stages to perform for the bikers who had come from far and wide to admire each other’s motorcycles and swap tales from the road.

Amidst all the constant rumbling and throbbing of the machines, and the volume 11 music for the better part of each day, a quiet realization dawned on me. It happened in mid-song on the main stage as I caught, out of the corner of my eye, a glimpse of the giant screen and my face was being beamed out in Technicolor.  Now while I’m considered to be quite the extrovert, this was extremely disconcerting to me.  This was being really visible.  Knowing that everyone for at least two blocks could see me.  Never knowing when the camera was on me unless I happened to be glancing sideways. For the rest of the song, I was quite uncomfortable and knew I had to get a grip.  This was going to be the norm every time I got on stage and I wanted to enjoy myself to the max. 

Rather than shrink away from the experience, I decided I was going to blast through my life-long inner fear of being seen this nakedly, and I was going to put my energy to good use – to sing from deep within and not have my fear take centre stage. This big-screen experience helped inspire a much higher level of comfort with visibility without worrying about what people thought.  It was so freeing!  I loved it! It was like getting rid of an old cloak that I didn’t need anymore – especially in that heat!

But what was just as interesting to me was that I caught myself, several times, tuning out for a few seconds in the middle of a song and thinking about stuff other than the performance… I need to eat… I’m thirsty… Oh shit!  What verse are we singing next? Does this skirt make my ass look big? Scary when it happens.  And I realized that this would be noticeable on the big screen.  My disconnection would be visible.  Mmmmmm.  Any correlation with my life in general? It really made me wonder about what happens when I’m not connected.  In this particular instance, it could have been a gong show.  Actually, at any time.  On or off stage.

So rather than coming home from the event exhausted and depleted… I am energized and inspired.  I’ve learned something that can be put to good use.  Love when that happens!

Branded by visible excitement!

Buns xo

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Eye Am

Forgiveness is a word that is often misunderstood. People confuse the action with intent to justify or minimize the event or behavior of the offender but really forgiveness means to let go of the anger and the call for retribution or compensation that the offense may illicit.
We do not sanction the behavior nor make it acceptable but we let go of the energy of victimhood, of our own powerlessness in order to move forward with our lives. We forgive to free ourselves so the past does not triumph. We always have free will, choice in how we perceive and in whether or when we forgive.

That painful events and interactions with people will occur is inevitable.  How we respond is what ultimately either empowers us or perpetuates our state of victim.
And so with that I will share an experience I just went through, only days ago. I am consciously choosing to forgive the person and I am not quite there yet but my path is set. I want my own freedom more than I want retribution, that much is true, but to say that I understand or feel compassion toward Seattle would not be.

So Seattle, yes another geographically distant internet love interest. Hey, they are getting closer, what can I say?  I refuse to be geographically challenged in my interactions.
Well this one had all the bells and whistles. He was chivalrous, ex coast guard, talked like a man of honor with his deep Barry White chocolate tones and was adamant about his intolerance for people who did not keep their word. 

With my history of men who did not keep their word this was very attractive. He had an intriguing alpha male energy about him which I liked, possibly all the more because I have not had much experience with it. (Other than Chicago, remember him?)

More and more I am wondering if this longing to surrender to my femininity actually calls for a strong masculine, energy so solid and unwaveringly true that surrendering to it makes sense. In other words as a leader, which I have been most of my life I had to know where I was leading. And now inviting masculine/feminine polarity I long to experience being led. Of course in order to give that over to a man I would have to both know and desire the destination he is leading toward. That state you don’t wait for a man to tell you, that you must know for yourself.  This concept makes sense to me only when the direction is in surrendering to my own softness, deeper and deeper into my divine feminine heart.  If I have this all wrong I will own it but I still have not gone far enough in this process of letting go to the masculine to know for sure. So I stay committed to the learning curve here.

Seattle made bold proclamations, expressed attraction for me and a desire to connect again. He kissed me tenderly, touched me frequently, commented on feeling my beating heart as he held me and was eager to arrange our next rendezvous.  A final hug after our day soaking in delightful sunlight as we sipped and shared conversation by the water’s edge and he left to drive back to Seattle saying he would call that night to let me know he got back home.

 I did not lead any of this. I was open and felt giddy and girlish after, a smile on my face. A good sign, since if you knew me those are not qualities most would use to describe me. I liked it. I was so impressed that he was enough of a gentleman to make that three hour drive in his desire to connect.

And then the cliché began. Nothing! No call that night. The next day two calls from Washington but no message. I felt tricked, hurt angry at times but mostly sad that somehow this person who had declared how vital honesty and trust were to him and how he was a man of his word was now breaking that.

 I could not understand what makes a person deceive another.  Really, call me Polly Anna but I do not get it. If you are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings by being honest ok, but then why proclaim attraction and indicate interest with kisses and anticipation.

Male incongruent behavior has been a pattern in my history. I realized that not only was this red flag familiar, in the past I would not listen to the warning and instead gloss over or entertain excuses. 

Now, this was over before it had actually even begun. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Actions had to be in alignment with your words, it was that simple. I realized I no longer was looking for a blessing in disguise. I invite a blessing that is straight up and true.

Now forgiveness is coming. I have moved through forgiving myself for believing him and am working on letting go of any resentment and ill will toward him.  It’s easy to fool oneself and simply say the words I let you go with love and kindness. One does not need apology after all to forgive. Yet I am being radically honest both because it is my nature and also because I know there are gems to mine in the process if one is being authentic. I want to claim those diamonds even more than a pair of studs from Cartier. So I admit there is a lingering ( not strong) but maybe 5 out of 10) urge to say just four words to him if he calls. Just four words and then hang up. Maybe saying them here will release me from the need or maybe I will say them.

                               “KARMA IS A BITCH!”
I leave you with a line from a Coldplay song. “Lights will lead you home, and ignite your bones……
And the fastest way I know to feel this ever-present light is to forgive.

I do.

Branded by romantic optimism:

Authentically Yours,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Dad and his Korea.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my Dad lately.  He is 88 years old and is facing the physical and cognitive challenges that can manifest at that age.  I realized that throughout my entire life, while I’ve always told him I loved him every time I see him, I have never really told him why.  So last week, I sent my Mom this note…

Hi Mommsie… I was sitting and thinking this morning that I wanted to send an email to Dad that you could read to him.  I thought he might like to hear why his eldest daughter thinks the world of him.

He taught me how to laugh.  And be silly.  

He showed me how to make other people feel really good about themselves – especially when he first would meet them.  He always talks about other people in superlatives.  He always finds what is best about other people and describes them that way.

He remembers people and what matters to them.

He followed his dream to fly.  To have a cottage on an island (which will always be one of my favourite places on the planet).

He gave me my love of music.  I can picture his hands playing hymns on the piano.  I can hear him in the car singing "Home on the Range" with all of us chiming in in harmony.  I can see us all doubled up in laughter as he himself would have to pull over to the side of the road because he too was laughing so hard. I love how he was always fascinated by church organs.

He shows me how to love.  And he loves you to bits.  And I, for one, am glad he picked you to be my Mom. And I know he loves each of us too.  (And one of the tenderest moments that I ever shared with Dad was the first time I saw him after Duncan died.  He just sat beside me and held my hand without saying a word.  I will never forget that moment as long as I live.  It meant so much to me.)

I am afraid that if I don't tell him all this now, he might not appreciate it as much a year or two down the road.  

Just thinking about how lucky I am and wanted to say so.

LOVE you both kazillions.  

My Dad has lived an extraordinary life so far.  He was born in Korea (my grandparents were medical missionaries there) so thus began a lifetime of incredible adventures and long-lasting stories to tell us as we were growing up.

So when Marty suggested that our next adventure be a visit to a Korean spa, I jumped at the chance.  I wanted to continue my reverie and homage to my Dad and this was a perfect way to do so.

We arrived and took our shoes off before we went in. For the tiny sum of $15, we were given a t-shirt and shorts, two towels the size of postage stamps and were invited to follow the arrow to the women’s area.  We appeared to be two of the only three Caucasians in the place, which to me was a great sign of authenticity.  This was a real Korean gathering place!  We found someone who explained to us the ways of the spa and we dove in.  First, a hot, soapy shower to have a clean start. Then to a steam bath, cold dunk tank, dry sauna, cold dunk tank, hot tub, cold dunk tank – in whatever order felt good. I enjoyed the lovely gentle energy of the Korean women there.  It was peaceful and cleansing in more ways than one.

Then it was off to the main attraction for us… the Salt Room.  After donning our tees and shorts, we went for a nap on a giant bed of heated salt crystals. You enter quietly, choose a space to lie down, and you sleep amongst the other men and women.  You could feel the toxins being invited to leave your body.  Next was the Yellow Soil Room which supports further toxin release through far-infrared and herbs.  It was okay but I didn’t have the same visceral response to it. The last room was the Charcoal Room.  Again, you find a place to lie down and doze off.  Both Marty and I fell into an incredibly deep sleep and woke up about half an hour later rather stunned at the depth of rest.

The grand finale included sitting in a lounge to watch Korean soap operas and comedy shows, or order Korean food from the cafeteria where you could also play board games. 

It was quite a day.  And as much as I loved the amenities and the different treatments available, I equally savoured being surrounded by the Korean culture and was able to envision to some extent what my Dad must have felt when he was welcomed into the world within their culture.

It was an absolutely lovely way to connect deeply with my Dad and his heritage.  I love you Dad…

Branded by authenticity,

Buns xo