Sunday, September 25, 2011

Things I'm beginning to understand....

I haven't made an entry here in a while. I've just been too busy living, learning, and growing! Life has been great since I last wrote, great because so much is going on with me, internally and externally. I've been journaling like mad, because for me journaling is an on-going dialogue with my higher self and the way that I process everything that comes up. I finally feel ready to share what's been coming up for me, thinking that possibly these "learnings" might resonate with others out there.
Things I'm beginning to understand....
1. "When you are ready, the teacher will appear." Teachers come in all shapes and forms. When I ask for guidance, it will appear, but I have to be open, awake and aware enough to receive it.
2. We were all born innocent, pure love, light and joy. Interact with any child younger than 5 and you can see this. They are so pure, saying exactly what they are feeling and thinking, no censorship, yet filled with love. We have learned to be afraid, and all our misery stems from this....our challenge in this life is to un-learn it.
3. I have choices in life, and the most important one is my thoughts. I can learn to identify the negative ones and choose to replace them with positive ones. When I do this I am so much happier and more at peace.
4. Daily meditation and prayer is essential for me. By plugging into that higher energy source, I am re-charged and reminded of who I truly am, a being of light, love and joy. Who we ALL truly are, for we are all connected, all One. Like rays of light emanating from the same sun. When I send positive energy and love to you, my brother, my sister, I am sending it to myself as well. When I bless you, I bless myself.
5. What people really want most is to have their light reflected back to them.
6. If you want love, become love.
7. Things actually run much more smoothly in my life if I stop trying to control every detail. I set my intentions, ask for help and guidance, do my part, then trust, let go and leave the rest to Spirit.
8. As I learn that I am not my physical body, it's merely a flesh-suit I've chosen to wear for this period of years, I become much less fixated on it's appearance, especially with regards to the ageing process. I've discovered that the people who are truly able to "see" me, see with their soul not their eyes. And when they look at me, they see my light and my heart, not my lines and wrinkles.
9. Relationships are to be viewed not as opportunities to lose ourselves in someone else, but to find ourselves instead. Relationships are assignments, each one divinely chosen, for what we can help each other to heal and to learn. They hold up a mirror in which we have the chance to see where our wounds are, and to heal them together, in the spirit of love.
10. We spend a lot of time and energy trying to get what we think we need from other people. This is actually a form of abuse! Most of us look outside ourselves, for satisfaction of all our emotional needs. We look to jobs, accomplishments, and our supervisors for validation that we are "good" and "successful" beings. We look to our romantic partners to validate us as "lovable" and "worthy", and to make us feel loved. Particularly in the romantic arena, this is a huge burden to put on another person! How can that person (who is humanly-flawed as well) possibly know what we are feeling and what we need, at every moment of the day? The only person who will always be there for us, 24/7, and who understands our most intimate needs, is ourselves. I've been working hard to learn to satisfy my own emotional needs, and to release my expectations around how others "should" interact with me. I have to say it's been incredibly freeing. It's not easy, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is so rewarding and worth it.

By letting go of the idea that I "need" anything from anyone else, I am setting them free to be exactly who they are, and to give me only what they feel moved to give, not what I think they "should" be giving me, or even more convoluted, what they think they should be giving me! It really opens up relationships to be completely authentic, and based on nothing but love. Through positive affirmations, meditation, and prayer, I am learning to nurture, love, and fulfill my own emotional needs. I am coming to understand that self-love is the key to peace. Once you truly accept and love yourself, you discover that you have an unlimited well-spring of love bubbling up inside you for this is our true nature, at our core. Then you can begin to channel that love to everyone around you.
I know I am only beginning to understand these concepts, with my "beginners' mind", but sharing it with others helps it to become more real for me.
Wishing you love and light on your journey, thanks for sharing in mine.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Power of Connection

I truly believe there are no accidents in life, especially when it comes to the people we meet. As A Course in Miracles says "Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship." Spirit brings together people who have the maximal opportunity for mutual growth. This growth can be brought about in many ways. Sometimes it's a seemingly casual conversation which suddenly brings a fresh insight and inspiration. Sometimes it's even through a difficult and challenging interaction, which causes us to stop and look at our own unloving behavior.

I think we draw people and events to us because we need their love and their lessons. Life is a classroom, and relationships are the "lab" where we get to practice what we are learning. Even what we perceive to be "negative" relationships or events have their purpose, and if we can focus on what we can be learning in these situations, we receive their gifts. "There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in it's hands." We have to be open to these "gifts" though, and willing to look at ourselves honestly for the lessons. Relationships are mirrors, reflecting our own fears and barriers, if we are brave enough to look. Someone who "pushes our buttons" has a lot to teach us, if we can just stop blaming and judging them for a minute and look at ourselves instead. There's an old saying: "what we dislike most in others we fear most in ourselves."

I believe people vibrate at different "love frequencies", meaning the amount of love and light we emit. I think people are attracted to our light. Sometimes you can meet someone and instantly feel a deep, mysterious connection with that person. When this happens, I think it's because you are on the same love-wave length. And thanks to this immediate bond, you have a huge opportunity to share, heal, learn, and grow if you are both open to it. I have found several connections like this in my life over the years. In every case I felt an immediate bond, even after spending only a short amount of time together. We can go long periods without talking, and yet pick right up where we left off, as if no time has passed. Our souls just seemed to recognize each other when we met, and continue to understand each other, even though time passes. After all, a few months or even years is only a blink of an eye in the span of a soul. I call these people my "family of the heart", or "soul friends". When we speak it's usually not of mundane, everyday matters, but of deeper things. "How are you growing?" "What have you learned lately?" And most importantly "What blockages to love have you found, and how are you taking them down?" We feel free to share our insights, our lessons, our inspirations, knowing that we are in synch and will be completely understood. What an amazing gift.

I feel incredibly blessed to have found so many of these soul friends in my lifetime. They have helped me to open my mind and heart, pushed me to heal and grow, and taught me to love in ways I can't completely express in words. But that's ok, because I know they understand.

I hope you too have a large family of the heart.

Sending much love and light.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Life in Movies

In 2004 I moved to LA with the intention of getting into the entertainment business. I had fallen in love with the craft of screenwriting, fascinated with the process of creating characters, then figuring out what they would do, say and why. I just wanted to be involved in "the biz", somehow, someway. As the saying goes "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it!" I ended up working two jobs for nine months, full-time retail management during the days and weekends, and a part-time job as a night casting assistant, just to get my foot in the door. In September 2005 I made the leap to extras casting full-time and have never looked back!

I feel incredibly blessed to really love what I do, to get up every morning looking forward to the day, not dreading it as many people do. I love the business of making movies and television shows for two reasons. One, it's a very creative process and two, it's a collaborative process. It literally takes a village to produce a 30 minute sitcom, and an even bigger village to create a two hour feature film! Everyone working has to step up and do their job to the best of their ability, because if they don't, the whole process breaks down costing thousands to possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost time. This creates a lot of pressure and sometimes stress, but I learned quickly (sometimes by making big mistakes!) how to make sure that "someone" causing problems wasn't me!

There are two layers of people in entertainment production. The crew members, tradesmen plying their craft, whether electricians, lighting, grips, sound techs, camera people, costume people, hair, make-up, assistant directors, or the production assistants running to get the producers' coffee, or to get the actor's shirt that somehow didn't make it onto the wardrobe truck. Also the hard-working teamsters, the people who drive those big trucks to set, or shuttle the cast and crew from parking to the location. They are on set before everyone else each morning, and there to take everything to the next location at wrap for the next day, long after everyone else has gone home. All of these people work very hard, for long hours, sometimes in the rain, snow, cold, or desert heat. They are paid very well, and usually fed well too, but that hardly matters when you are on day 5 of 12-14 hour days and your brain starts to malfunction. The irony is that if they do their job well you will never notice it! This is true of my job in extras casting. The extras or "background actors" as they are called, are essential to creating the fantasy of the movie or TV show. They bring realism to the scene, adding depth and intensity. If they weren't there you would definitely notice, but with them it helps the viewer feel they are watching something that is really happening. If I do my job correctly, casting people who look the part of "cop" or "hooker" (I love casting hookers!), or even a "restaurant patron", you won't even notice them. If you don't notice the people moving behind or in front of the main actors, then I have done my job.

The other group of people in my business are the actors, directors and producers. These are the big money makers, and sometimes they have the big egos to go along with it. I don't really blame them for that, as society has created this business where they are idolized and their every whim catered to. That's why it's so refreshing when I work with someone in this "above the line" group and find them to be humble, down-to-earth, genuinely nice people. A few who spring to mind are Josh Duhamel, from "Las Vegas", Nathan Fillion from "Castle", Jane Lynch from "Glee" (I worked on a movie with her), or Isabella Rossellini, who came to sit with me at lunch one day when she saw me sitting alone. It's wonderful that they have achieved a certain degree of fame, but haven't put themselves above the folks that work so hard to help them get there.

I've also encountered some really nice producers and directors, like Lawrence Kasdan, who is loved and adored by his crew. They work harder for him, because they genuinely like him, and they know that he genuinely likes and appreciates them, and everything they do. I recently had the opportunity to have lunch with a senior VP at Screen Gems, a super-nice man who wanted to talk about what could be done to make the background actors feel more like part of the creative process. This is especially notable because usually the extras are only on set for one day, and are often treated like human props or set dressing.

After 5 years of doing this job, it still hasn't gotten old. I still pinch myself as I walk around the Sony or the Warner Brothers lots, thinking of all the cinematic history there. And now I'm a part of it! It's not really that glamorous most of the time, just meetings and phone calls and deadlines, but the rewards, recognizing one of "my" people clearly in a scene, or better yet, hearing that they were upgraded on set to a principle cast member with lines, make it so worth it. The best part of my job is to be in a position to help other people's dreams come true!

They say that most of us will live long enough to have 3 major careers in our lifetime. I feel so lucky to have already had one that I loved, and now to be in the middle of the second. Can't wait to see what happens next!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Valentine to the World

Tomorrow is Valentine's day, a holiday created by Hallmark for sure. Don't misunderstand, I'm a Libra, the sign of partnership and I am about as romantic and dreamy a girl as they come. But for me Valentines day is right up there with New Year's Eve for feeling forced and un-natural. Are we really that far gone that we need to be reminded, once a year to say I love you? What about the other 364 days? This strikes me as particularly ironic, because I truly believe that LOVE is the whole reason for our existence, the meaning of life I guess you could say. I think that when we leave this physical plane what will ultimately matter is not how much money we made, how famous we were, or how many fancy cars we owned. I think the true measure of our success as a human being will be "What was the quality of your love?" Because I believe this, the idea that we should "celebrate" love only one measly day a year seems really out of whack!

As I wrote in my last post, recent events have made me stop and realize how important it is to be fully present in each moment, for we never know when it will be our last. This goes for our relationships too. Life is short, no matter how long you live. You could be gone tomorrow, and even more importantly those you love could be gone tomorrow too. Even more reason to express your love, your appreciation, how wonderful, beautiful and precious your lover, friend, child, sister, brother, father, mother is to you, as often and as fully as you can. If you have love un-expressed in your heart, what are you waiting for?

As I'm thinking about tomorrow, and what it means, I am feeling incredibly blessed to have SO much love in my life, every day, not just on February 14th. So many friends; girl-friends, guy-friends, work-friends, old friends, new friends, soul-friends, family-of-the-heart-friends. My beloved related-by-blood-family. And last but certainly not least, the one who loves me the most and unconditionally, my sweet Gallup. I truly have an embarrassment of riches in the love department!

This year is the best Valentine's day yet, because I am learning what a never-ending well-spring of love I have in my own heart. When I am able to remove my fears that block it, love just keeps bubbling up. I am learning that at our core we are all beings of pure love and light, wrapped in these frail human bodies for the blink of an eye. We are all divine sparks of Spirit, temporarily wearing suits of flesh in order to experience the physical world. Our egos trick us into seeing ourselves as separate and individual, but actually this is an illusion. We are like spokes of the same wheel, all connected to the Source of the Light. "You are not a human being having a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being having a human experience." By loving you, I am loving myself, and vice-versa. I am learning that I am loveable. I am loving. I AM love!!

This Valentine's day I am having a love affair with life, with the Universe, with Spirit. And by doing so I'm having a love affair with the whole world, because we are really all One. I hope wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you are feeling the LOVE!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Vanessa's Legacy

A beautiful soul was taken from us this past weekend, way too soon. It's such a shock when someone young passes unexpectedly, like someone turned off a light and those left behind are suddenly plunged into darkness. She was young, beautiful, sweet, happy, and extremely talented. She radiated goodness. Why does it truly seem that only the good die young? We are left to wonder.

I feel like her final gift to us is the realization of how fragile and very precious life is. We take it so for granted, that we will always have a tomorrow. But losing her has made it so clear; we can be here one minute, going about our everyday life, and gone the next. Even more reason to be here, now, fully present. You may not have a tomorrow, or even this afternoon. Even more reason to laugh, to relax and not worry, to say a kind word to everyone you meet, for it might be the last word you speak, your legacy. Even more reason to love, every day, all day, in every way. To give as much as you can, and like Vanessa to share your passion and your light with the world while you still can. Nothing in life is guaranteed, more time certainly isn't. Live every moment to the fullest. Live large. Don't hold back, go for anything you want, take a risk, give your heart. Before the chance is gone.

I believe we cannot be taken from here until we have finished what we came to do, and usually this brings me comfort in a situation like this. But when someone so young, so full of life and promise is taken, it's hard to understand. I can only trust that she had completed her mission, as hard to accept as that is for those left behind to miss and mourn her.

Love is energy and as such, doesn't ever dissipate. Vanessa is pure love, a spark of divine energy and as such goes on. It's as if we are all walking down a path and she's just gone ahead of us around a bend in the road. Just because we can't see her any longer doesn't mean she no longer exists. She's still here, just out of our view, for now. And she carries our love, our energy, with her as she goes.

My image of Vanessa is of her always smiling. I think that wherever she is now she is smiling. She feels how much we love her, and she knows now what we do not, that she is alright, she's happy, she's free. And I know she's still with us and always will be.

Sending you love and light Nessa, to warm you on your way. You are forever in our hearts, and in our hearts you are forever young and beautiful.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Every Moment is Perfect.

Recently I decided to start doing less talking, more listening....especially to my own inner voice. I've learned some interesting things. For instance; my fears are a pack of lies! Seriously, I'm realizing how much they are just stories I tell myself. Yes, they may be based on something that really happened, something that hurt, but just because I was hurt once doesn't mean I need to be afraid forever! Our fears are meant to protect us, but actually end up isolating us behind giant walls. I am starting to see that my fears are an illusion, a trick of the mind. Mariann Williamson writes that only love is real. Nothing else actually exists. If a person behaves un-lovingly, then it means their behavior is derived from fear. And since fear only exists in our minds, that person is hallucinating.

I'm beginning to grasp the concept that all that actually exists is right here, right now, this moment. The past is gone and exists only in my mind, the future hasn't happened yet. All that is real is right NOW. When I am able to be fully present in the moment, I've realized that thanks to the Universe, most of the time right NOW is actually pretty wonderful. Makes all that worrying and being fearful seem like a big waste of energy!

The Universe is a living organism, of which we are a tiny part, like cells of a much larger body. And like the body needs no reminder to breathe, or for the heart to beat, the Universe automatically provides everything needed for all parts to function, grow and flourish, whether plant, animal, or human. If I look closely enough, right now I have everything I need. I am safe, I am loved, I am free. A perfect moment. If I look closely, it seems that each "right now" is a perfect moment, everything unfolding exactly as it should and nothing to be afraid of.

Unless life or limb is in jeopardy, most fears are of the "not enough" variety. Not enough love, not enough money, not enough power, status, etc. When we are afraid, we are choosing to not to see what we have, instead focusing on what we think is missing. My fears are a lie, a hallucination, I have everything I need. If it's not here, I don't need it! I may want it...but I don't actually need it. You can't always get what you want, but I believe we do get exactly what we need. What you choose to do with it is up to you.

My new mantra is "In this perfect moment I have everything I need." This is so powerful because it brings me back to the present moment and returns my attention to right here, right now. I always find that what is happening right now is a beautiful thing. Even if something difficult is happening I am able to see it is for my highest good and helping me to grow. I am discovering that by continually redirecting my focus to the present moment, my fears are losing their power over me. I am finding that my intuition is sharper and my inner voice is becoming clearer, easier to hear. I can feel things, people, connections, love, much more intensely. It's as if my worries and fears have been clouding my view, but now they are lifting, allowing the light to shine through. I am realizing that my fears are nothing more than mist, blinding me to the beauty and joy that is already present.

In this perfect moment, I have everything I need.
Love. Joy. Peace. Happiness.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Living a fear-less life.

My greatest desire in this new year is to live a life without fear. This does not mean that I will no longer be afraid, but that I will no longer give into my fears. I will refuse to be governed by them, refuse to close my heart. A Course in Miracles says our fears are the walls we've created to protect our wounded places. They are barriers that keep others out, and prevent us from giving and receiving love.
This year I want to eliminate "fear" from my vocabulary, and my emotional repertoire. I want to be self-aware, not self-involved. I want to stop myself when I feel defensive, angry, bitter, or jealous and look at the underlying fears that are causing these negative, draining feelings. Then I want to find the old wounds that are making me afraid and heal them, with love, compassion, and understanding.

I want to be a light-bringer, not just a light-seeker. I want to surround myself with others on the same path, who understand and support my healing and growth. I want to remember that at our core we are all beings of infinite light and pure love, wearing a human body for just a while. I want to never forget that I have a limitless supply of love, and to give it away in a constant flow, needing and expecting nothing in return. I want to release and let go of outcomes and results, to simply love, trusting and allowing the current of energy from Spirit to carry me wherever I am meant to be.

I want to remember that I am loving and loveable, to stay balanced and strong so I can always come from this place. I want to remember that I AM LOVE, and JOY, as we all are. Everything else is a lie, an illusion.

This is my greatest wish...let me live and love fear-lessly.

Sending you light and love.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Be as a candle....

"A few who pass through this world that's so alive with excitement and temptation are seized by a hunger for the simple holy ways.

And you who now gaze upon these words, are you of that hungry tribe?
Are you a pilgrim of the soul, searching for the secret cup?

Have you the gift of sacred curiosity?
Are you one who has glimpsed the Other World?
And have you heard the blessed realm is closer than your breath? Or thought? Or the supple thread of life?

And if you nod your head and murmur yes and yes and yes again, then know that you tend the sacred flame. You are a keeper of the Light.

Then it is given and charged that you must now keep your heart open and divest yourself of all that is uncharitable and vexatious, whether your days are shot with starlight or set with shadow. Be wary and wise, a steady witness to the changeless Truth.

O Friend, O Love, to win this race,
Be you as a candle in a windless place.

And blessed shall you be."
(From "Celtic Blessings" by Michael Green)

Come with me....let's fly in 2011.