Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Super Broads

It is as clear as the twinkle in the eyes of a bride that I am married to creativity. When I recall moments etched in bliss, I am always in tune with the mystery of the creative force. And my bridegroom has been very enticing lately, adding deadlines to the mix and heightening the intensity of the creative experience.

I am working on a project called Super Broads. It’s about four aging, female super heroes who are struggling with their declining powers. They come face to face with who they are, beyond the roles they play and answer the existential question…Who am I?  

While the costumes will have a comic book flair, the examination of identity will have depth and meaning, played deadpan and straight, yet in the guise of a Super hero’s romp.

 My co-creator Frances Flanagan delightfully keeps the laughs a plenty and our biggest issue is remembering the brilliant idea we just had. Literally if we don’t write it down immediately, it’s gone.  Alas, those declining powers. 

We are submitting the project to a film completion called Crazy 8’s.  The rules of the project make it all the more exciting. You have 8 days to create an 8 minute short film. The budget is almost nonexistent, although support with equipment, casting and post production facilities is plentiful.
We are so lucky to have Shona Miko Musgrave on board. Not only is she an award winning director and producer, she is a Super Broad herself.  Her powers include a technical understanding of the visual effects so important in this genre of story, as well as the many nuances of film production. Oh so happy for this addition to our ménage a trois. We will meet with our director this week and soon become four. I love how making a film feels like creating a new family every time.

 I’m dying to share more but perhaps the names of our characters will give you a snapshot. We are busting open the stereotypes around aging and all of our broads are over 50. There is Electrica aka Sparky with her power of Illuminating Truth, Storm Blue who manipulates the waters of the world, Honey Lips with the power of Seduction and Shifter the transformer of the group.  Guess who I am playing!

We hope the ‘aha’ moments in the film will resonate as much for our audience as they do for our super heroes.  The realization that the only battle worth fighting is the fight that is inside you, invites a new perspective.  Understanding that things don’t happen TO you, they happen FOR you and the next adventure is always a destination that generates joy, is like a stepping stone into change and reinvention. 

We don’t get to go through life without being poked and prodded by challenges but what makes the difference between the journey being expansive and growth promoting or contracting and fear based, is one’s attitude and willingness to drop ones mask and get real. To risk letting go of identification as the role one plays and rather dance emotionally naked into the present moment may be scary but invites a kind of juiciness not found in safe boxes.  Now, I said emotionally, not necessarily physically, for those of you thinking, what the f__ck is she advocating now.   Although of course you could do that too! 

Electrica has a Tiara that shoots light from its third eye. She also had a Mirror of Truth, that she uses regularly. Guess what…so do you.  When you hold up your mirror and look at your reflection, what do you see?  

If you are a Super Broad, authenticity and radical honesty is the only language you are willing to speak. There is only one answer.  It’s a collective one, appropriate for all women, everywhere.


Branded by the Truth,

Authentically Yours,

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A day in the life of a polliwog.

So much has been happening in the last month that is worth telling you about I don’t even know where to begin.  So far, this has been one of the best years I have experienced in a very long time.  A lot of that has stemmed from my setting an intention last January to accomplish a number of fairly significant goals in my life with, as my family calls it, P & V*.  And by best, I mean, real, authentic, heartfelt, loving, joyous moments that seemed to be strung together like an endless string of bright fairy lights!  What radiance!  So when I tried to zero in on what to write about today, I landed on one tiny moment, that encapsulates all of those adjectives – a couple of hours spent with my brother Paul… affectionately known as Polliwog.

I may be a tad(pole) biased – (this pun’s for you W) – but I have always thought my brother is the cutest, funniest, rambunctious, hard-working, thoughtful, and loving guy on the planet.  He is a very handsome man, now in his early fifties, can imitate Jim Carrey perfectly (especially his role as The Grinch), has been up to mischief for as along as I can remember, works as a shop teacher (his students adore him), owns a beautiful farm on the river, constantly puts others’ needs before his own, and is passionate about many, many things.

I’m currently spending several weeks in Ontario and have had the luxury of spending more quality time with my Mom and siblings.  Last Saturday, one of my sisters and I went to Polliwog’s farm to help him chainsaw and stack firewood to get ready for what is promising to be another Arctic-vortex-like winter here.  He dressed us both in coveralls, toques, work mitts, and boots so we could withstand the blustering wind that accompanied our efforts.  He was hysterically funny, and the two hours went by in a flash.  We laughed our guts out at his impersonations, felt good about the physical exercise, and just really enjoyed being with him.  We had him all to ourselves for those two hours.  There’s never a dull moment with that man.  It was a great time.  After we stacked the last piece of winter fuel, we headed to another barn where he proudly showed us his latest acquisition.  One of his passions is “collecting” things that other people have tossed aside as useless.  He loves to go to the nearby steel junkyard, and pick through the rejects for what he considers to be future treasures.  His latest score was the container portion of a wheelbarrow.  (I guess you’d call that the barrow?)  As I could see he had plenty already, I asked him why he was so excited.  He said that it was a very good one (construction grade), worth quite a bit of money, and that he could take it to his shop class and one of his students would learn how to fabricate the wheel housing and bring the thing back to life.  I could understand all that but still wondered what he would do with it once it was all finished.  I mean, how many wheelbarrows does one man need?

And then he told me that one of his former students had just purchased her first home.  He knew it was a stretch for her so he was putting together a housewarming present for her.  He figured she’d probably need a lawn mower, a wheelbarrow, tools, etc. and so he was putting together a potpourri of useful things to celebrate her big step in life – all repurposed from items out of his collection. I was so touched by the enormity of his gesture and I know that this is just one of hundreds of wonderful gifts he has given to those who he feels could use a little help. It occurred to me that he epitomized my father who never ceased to find ways to be of service to others.

I hope to spend more time with him while I am here.  I am thinking tomorrow might be the day we attempt to put a new roof on the woodshed.  Anything for my brother.

With so much love for my amazing family,


P.S.  I am quite sure that the rest of the year will continue to yield amazing experiences and developments… stay tuned!

And, as always, to underscore my post, a song about brothers… a little different perspective from what I’ve just written about, but touching in light of events in Ottawa this week. 

*piss & vinegar

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ch ch ch changes.

 Ah transition...what a fun time...what a pain in the ass. I love knowing that something is unfolding that has my best interests at heart. I love knowing that it will be wild and fabulous even if I haven't a clue as to what the form of it will be. The annoying part is not falling into my old patterns of movement for the sake of movement. Change is a process not an event.

You know unfolding is not a particularly action oriented state. Its more akin to being, trusting and allowing, like the petals of flower opening to the warmth of the sun. We don't pry the bud open to aid it's growth. We patiently trust and offer the nurturing necessary to aid it's flourishing. 

So I feel like that bud right now. At times its tight and I have to resist the urge to break free by doing something radical. Shaking things up has always worked in the past to bring me to my next reinvention of myself.

I have a dream about London and contemplate geographical cures. My friend is moving there soon. What if I move too and we open a practice together? I actually am entitled to a European passport so the thought is not completely absurd. I imagine living in the rain and gloom...bad. I picture the new glossy rain boots and slicker I get from Harrods or perhaps some great vintage stall at Camden Market...good. I like British accents, I would be close to holidaying in cool countries, heck jaunts to France could be weekend possibilities and everything would be brand new.

But it doesn't stick. I recall the pleasure of walking barefoot in the sand, coffee in hand, first thing in the morning in Hawaii. I begin to plot a journey of shamanic proportions and picking fresh fruit for  breakfast. I ignore the idea of tropical storms and tsunamis. And so it goes. 

Transition this time around means things are changing and I am not the only one in charge. I invite a wisdom to guide me that is beyond my will centered functioning. All I can do is notice the synchronicity of the universe and what it is saying to me and keep letting go. More and more things that I couldn't imagine living without are seeming to drift away. People too. And it's ok. I entertain my own mortality and that feels ok too. 

I wonder about regrets. I remember the certainty I held for many years that we were changing the world. I really really did believe that as we helped individuals we had an impact, a ripple effect. I loved that feeling of idealism. I feel it's loss. Then I went through a phase thinking I had to focus on myself and change myself. And now I know that there is no separation between the two. When the change comes from the depths of me, it does change the world. The two are linked. 

And so I wait for that spark of desire and passion to ignite inside me. I send out a call that I am ready for whatever the future holds. I am cultivating. Its a little bit like marinating and while I don't expect an airplane to soar through the clouds dragging a banner of sky writing validation when I am on the right track, I do look for signs.

Bring it...with love and compassion. I invite you into my heart and into my life. I am so ready for commitment. Of course first I have to know exactly what I am meant to commit to. And I don't...yet. What I do know in every fiber of my being is, it 's an inside job.

Branded by patience.

Authentically Yours,

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Thank you Joni Mitchell.

Eleven years ago Joni Mitchell walked into my store to browse.  Being an avid fan, I immediately went verklempt, my hands started sweating, and I was at a loss for words.  When I finally pulled myself together, we began a life-changing conversation (for me) about aging.  

I knew she was approaching her 60th birthday at the time, so I asked her how it felt… she told me that when she turned 40 she wasn’t that bothered, 50 was amazing, she was really excited about turning 60 and couldn’t imagine how fabulous her 70th would be.  I was so amazed at her positive outlook on growing older, that I chose to follow her lead.  This summer, I celebrated my 60th birthday and it was nothing short of magical.  The whole summer long. 

It began before my actual birthday with a lovely lunch with my dear friend Stephanie.  Balloons, gifts, and lively conversation started my 3-month celebration. I was flown back East so I could be with my family on the big day.  My son was able to join us.  We did a live jam at the local Moonshine Café and I felt very blessed by all who showed up.  During that week I was kidnapped, and taken to one of my sister’s new cottage, surprised by a sailing excursion… every day was a new adventure.

I came home to another big party held in my honour, preceded by yet another sailing trip (do my friends know me or what?), lots of music, a generous contribution to my son’s scholarship fund, and a fabulous pair of cowboy boots that actually match my turquoise Mini, (yes, she is now in my driveway… yet another amazing story), and this was only halfway through June!

While the rest of my summer didn’t completely revolve around me, you already know about my son’s fabulous wedding and how much love was in the air on that occasion!

Next I was off to my annual silent retreat and if you have never done one before, it is the closest thing to heaven when you enter that sweet, sacred silence and meet love in its purest form… and be with it for several days. 

Then there was the “Topless Tour”, where we drove Molly the Mini, top down, to perform in Merritt.  I love playing music with my friends, and this weekend was thoroughly soul satisfying.

(I actually did manage to work in between these exploits, and was able to achieve my next level of leadership in my company… I was feted with flowers and food as acknowledgement.)

But wait.  There’s more! I was able to get myself off to San Diego for a 3-day conference followed by a day in La Jolla learning how to body surf.  Have I said I’m in heaven yet?

Twenty-four hours after returning from that jaunt, I was diving into Lake Sakinaw,  helping Marty celebrate her milestone birthday.  It was four days of amazing feasts, wine, story-telling, frolicking in the water, (including learning how to navigate a stand-up paddle board!), and lots of singing and  ’smores!

Back home for less than 3 hours, I was off to sing at a “Music in the Park” event at Cleveland Park in North Vancouver!

And it hasn’t stopped.  There is still an outstanding boat cruise for me and my friends to wrap up my birthday year.  I must tell Joni how right she was.

How do you thank everyone who has done so much to make this the Best. Summer. Ever.? I’ve decided the best way is to continue to spread the joy, love, and light that was directed my way all summer long.  I am so very blessed.

Branded by love,

Birthday Buns. xo

P.S.  Later that afternoon of first meeting Joni, I found her sitting in a restaurant waiting for a ferry.  I approached her and asked if she would mind some company.  She welcomed me to her table and I sang Happy Birthday to her.  I love getting bolder. She not only inspired me to age joyfully, but also my love of singing.  This is the first song I ever performed of hers.  It's from her album Court and Spark, and I was actually singing “in the lounge of the Empire Hotel”... another great song from this album.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiKrk2Jcx8U 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sweet Dreams

I know that everything is made of energy and vibrates at different frequencies but I had a temporary lapse and forgot to stay open to the vibration of my spirit. It happens.  I was lost in a sensation of plowing through thick waters and could barely feel the ‘me’ I recognize as myself. Instead I felt my struggle as if that was me. I thought I was my feelings, I thought I was my thoughts. I was asleep. And I truly felt like I did not belong anywhere.

Then I went to sleep and I awoke. I had a dream and remembered, as simple as that. I felt my connection as spirit, far more than simply this earthbound personality and could only shake my head at how powerful the impact of forgetting can be.  My dreamtime had reached out to give me hand in my amnesia.

Oh I felt grateful for the shift. I sighed so deeply as I landed back home in the present moment, back home in my skin. I was struck fiercely with my souls calling amplified all the more because I had momentarily felt lost.

Knowing one’s soul is not a linear process and forgetting too plays a part in the journey. I awoke from that dream crystal clear about the magnitude we all possess and our sacred duty to live true to ourselves by the inclusion of spirit based vibrational energy. And clearer still was the knowing that we are so much bigger than any perceived drama in this world of trick or treats.

The funny thing is when I forget to identify as spirit having a human experience, I also forget the importance of my dreams. I was reminded of how much our dreams have to teach us when I interviewed Okwaho Leblanc last week on conscious living radio.  She is coming to Vancouver to facilitate a workshop on indigenous dreaming in October.

In my dream I felt my current emotional dilemma and also my contribution to its perpetuation when I diminish my faith in myself with self-criticism and faulty evaluation. When we set ourselves up with conditions that must be met before we attain our hearts desire or have peace, we make trust in the process of manifestation near impossible.  Saying I will have that perfect love or awesome career when I change myself in some way, lose 10 pounds or find my real tribe of friends or co-creative business partners…..you fill in the blank, tends to give mixed messages to the universe.

 On the other hand, a pure heart with longing and gratitude, living as if one already has what one desires…well that is being a co- creator worth a chorus of halleluiahs. And we are creating not just when we are awake but also in our dreamtime.

Our dreams have so much to teach us. There is no black and white in dreams. Nothing is as it seems and linear time is not a concept that exists at all. In dreams everything is possible and appears or disappears instantaneously without the need for control or human will power.  

I am feeling very joyful this week. I am teaching a beautiful group of students who are open to remembering. My birthday is coming up and a group of us are going to be playing on magnificent Sakinaw Lake on the Sunshine Coast and my hearts longing is beaming into the world like a fine tuned homing device.

It feels like all I am called to do is keep my desire alive and live in the awareness of my connection to the cosmos, in gratitude that I have a sacred imagination that allows me to dream. I think of my dreams as the 411 to intuitive information, straight from my soul to me.  And when I get on board with my souls calling nothing can stop that from becoming reality. 

 Dream on. Dream big.

Branded by divine validation,

Authentically Yours,