Archives for the month of: May, 2016

fontcandyBut, shouldn’t I be farther by now? I thought it would look different.  I’m hot. Where’s the water? This isn’t what I expected.  Isn’t there a faster way?  I’m hungry.  I can’t find the map. Maybe I was supposed to take the left back there.  I think this is the wrong road.  Is that a mirage up ahead? I am really hungry.  I should have bought the fancy trail mix with macadamia nuts. I hope they have coconut water when I get there…Wow, look at that little yellow flower growing through the pavement.  I think my legs are actually getting stronger. My legs are going to look so good.  I wonder if there are any swimming holes nearby. Wow, that breeze feels great. I think that’s the same bird that I saw a few miles back. Is he following me? That cloud totally looks like an elephant. Whoa, that one looks like a palm tree. It smells like rain. That smells so good. I think I’ll sit by that tree for a minute. It is so beautiful out here.

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If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

-Dr. Wayne Dyer

There could not be a more perfect example of this in my life than the city of Los Angeles.  Off and on, for over a decade, I have lived there, dated people from there, worked there, and, for any number of reasons, have repeatedly fled for the safety and space of New Mexico.

Last week, while staying with a friend in Los Feliz, we went for a hike in Griffith Park.  I couldn’t help but think of all the times I’d hiked those trails and how different it felt this time, though the trails, air quality, views, perfectly outfitted Angelenos, and full parking lots were more or less the same.  I was different.  I was present and happy and good with it all being as it was.  It didn’t have to be clear, with perfectly blue skies, empty parking lots, and sparse hikers, as I am used to in New Mexico.  The misty, overcast air felt wonderful against my skin, even if it was slightly smoggy! While in LA, I gave myself enough time to get places, anticipating traffic, rather than expecting it to be something it wouldn’t be and then resenting it.  I saw creative people carrying out their visions everywhere I looked. And, I knew I was ready for LA in a way I never had been before.

LA. I remember feeling so lost within its freeways, strip malls, and sprawl and it is only now that I realize what a perfect metaphor it was for how lost I felt in my life. I was overwhelmed by the emphasis I thought it placed on status and appearance and too insecure and unsure about my own values, contributions, and worth to navigate it.

Over my last several trips to LA, it is as if I have made peace with the city, forgiven it for what it will never be, and realized all that it has to offer.  Years ago, my astrologer told me that Venus, the planet of love, art, and beauty, sits directly over LA in my chart.  Love, art, and beauty basically sum up all that I value and want to cultivate and create more of in my life. And, to be less philosophical, I am just ready for a change! And I have to keep reminding myself that, as someone who has spent much of her life trying to avoid it, that is a perfectly legit reason to move.  I am giddy at the thought of decorating a new apartment, exploring a new neighborhood, meeting new people, going on new day trips, and switching it all up, knowing that I am strong enough to handle all that that might bring.  LA hasn’t changed, but I have.

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A ship is always safe at the shore, but that is not what it is built for.

-Albert Einstein

Just over a  month ago, I made a list of what I love about my life and things I would like to change. Among the many I loved were low overhead, a career I was established in, and my house. Comfort. And among those I wanted to change were stagnation within a career I am grateful for but don’t love, a city that is comfortable but unexciting, and an overall feeling of complacent, easy familiarity.

Uh oh. In my experience it is possible to stay in a comfort zone for only so long as one doesn’t realize that is what it is. I have been a costumer in the film industry for 13 years, owned my house for 11, and have been based in the city I went to college in since college.  For over a decade I have resisted learning curves, added expenses, appearing impractical, following my heart, and believing that my big, huge, wild daydreams could actually be called plans instead. And, the funny part is, I never realized it or thought of myself as someone who  played it safe or made decisions out of fear.

But, here I am. And, thanks in part to my training at MITT (mittraining.com), a spotlight has illuminated areas of my life I had preferred to keep dim and now there is no going back. Not wanting to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, how can I use that which I already have to support new directions in which I want to go?

I am well established in a career and industry that allows one to take lots of time off if desired. Great! Use the randomness of the film industry to support myself as I experiment and move in new directions professionally and creatively.

I have a house in a cool neighborhood that I adore but in a city that hasn’t been inspiring me lately.  Great! Let it work for me, instead of vice versa, and rent it out, rather than feel tethered.

Time to think creatively and to realize I really am only ever as trapped as I decide to be! And the same goes for you. No excuses. In my morning tarot card pulls, fear and change keep coming up, with the common theme being to move towards each rather than away. Which ideas cause my stomach to flip flop slightly? Great! Do that.

The ocean, museums, new day trips, an expanded social circle, different views, travel, creative income, undiscovered restaurants, hikes, and businesses, adventure, curiosity, exploration, trust, faith, expansion. Yes, please.

I chose Faith as my word for 2016 and know that in order to fully embrace that word, I have to leave the shore.

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IMG_2881.JPGI have had a hard time sleeping for the past couple of weeks and for anyone who knows me, or reads this blog,  that could sound like old news. But, it is actually new news! Instead of lying in bed full of what ifs and how is this going to work and the like,  it feels like an army of fireflies has invaded my body and is having a dance party while holding lit sparklers. I can feel the energy of possibility, adventure, change, and magic coursing through my veins and pulsing from brain to heart to gut. For the first time in a long time, I can see how A led to B and then to C and a new sense of clarity and purpose is taking hold.

While in the Advanced Course at MITT (mittraining.com), I committed to creating an integrated life. I came to realize how compartmentalized much of my thinking had become and how self limiting and sabotaging that was.  Instead of placing creativity  in one box, making a living in another, sense of community in that one over there, and love somewhere next to it, I want one big, full, integrated life which encompasses them all.

What do I do that brings me gratification and joy? What do I do when no one is paying me to do it, just because I want to? What do I love about my life right now and what do I want to change about it? Where do I see myself in one, five, or twenty years?

It is very easy for me to belittle the answers to these questions with a quick “well, doesn’t everyone do or want that?” or  “but, that’s just me messing around,” rather than realizing that not everyone loves taking photos and playing around with photo apps on their phone for hours, arranging beautiful spaces, writing about their experiences, thinking about what it means to be a human/spiritual being, sharing recipes, and trying to create beauty in the world on a daily basis. At times I think, “oh, but that’s all too random and I should focus on just one thing. What do photos, home decor, spirituality, food, and beauty have to do with each other?” Well, in my experience, everything! They make me happy to be alive. And, I know I am not alone.

For the first time, I feel clear that there is a reason I have the interests and passions I do and that they are not to be taken for granted, belittled, or ignored, but rather embraced, as yours are. They can and will benefit both myself and the world if I just let go of the need for it all to look a certain way and trust that by being my authentic self, I will create the integration, impact, and joy I desire. It is already happening.

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 Sometimes it raining out, you’re just beginning to feel normal after two weeks of being ill, you are going to a potluck the next day, and while playing Words With Friends the word rhubarb, albeit missing an ‘h’, pops up and you decide to put on your apron and bake.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble.. .Super springy and will make your house smell fantastic. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/strawberry-and-rhubarb-crumble-358595

And it’s a great excuse to put on that apron you don’t wear very often. Or, if you need a new one, check out the vintage inspired ones at  fresastudio.etsy.com

Bon Apetit!

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