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Since the beginning of the year I have been following ideas and recipes from the book “Clean-The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself,” written by Alejandro Junger, M.D. and recommended to me by my sister.

Though I haven’t written much here about my recent health issues, one of the main reasons for the recent life changes I’ve made is that for  the past several years, and especially the last six months of 2016, my body has been screaming that my chosen path  was unsustainable and that the coping mechanisms which had previously allowed me to power through a job, were no longer working. Not only were they not working, they were making me sicker and sicker with every job and year.

My body was running on empty after years of sleep deprivation and the sugar and caffeine I resorted to, just to keep going.  The cycle of anxiety>insomnia>adrenaline>insomnia>depleted immune system and adrenals> constant colds and sinus infections> vitamin deficiency> hormonal imbalance> insomnia> exhaustion became a constant in my life until I finally stopped ever getting better and had a sinus infection for most of six months. In addition, my skin was puffy, my energy was non existent, my digestion was off, and I knew something, or many things, had to change.

My sister suggested I read Dr. Junger’s book and I related to each symptom he described.  I  won’t paraphrase or try to sum it up, but would highly recommend it to anyone who just doesn’t feel as well as they know they could or should.  Though I have yet to complete the recommended program perfectly, I did it decently well and saw immediate and amazing results.  And then last week, during a long week of work, I fell off of the wagon and into old patterns; coffee, sugar, a whole, large bag of corn chips in one sitting, donuts, wine, and bread. It was all delicious but led to headaches, sinus pressure, puffy eyes, and lethargy, immediately.  So, back on the wagon I go.  Fresh vegetables, healthy fats, meats, and fish, green tea if caffeine is necessary, and no sugar, wheat, alcohol, or dairy.  It will take a couple of days to get back in the swing and be slightly painful for those days, but will then be totally worth it!

Photo taken outside of Matchabar in Silver Lake, one of the great businesses I pass while walking home with groceries.

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It’s Saturday morning and, after a very busy week, I am eating homemade rice pudding, drinking coffee, and finally sitting in front of my computer.  The Tarot book next to me is open to Chariot, the card I have pulled several days this week, it is a beautiful early spring day outside and I woke up without an alarm.  Life is good!

Two nights ago, a friend from New Mexico came over for a cup of tea and to hang out for a bit and while we were sitting on my couch, I had one of those strange moments where you look at your life and think “oh right, I created all of this and here I am.” (I can only imagine that parents must think that every few minutes when looking at their children!) Seeing my friend in LA and  out of our normal New Mexico context, allowed me to look at my new apartment, furniture, and city and see all of the changes that have happened over the past six months in a way that I have been too busy living lately to do.

But, more interesting than all of the differences were the similarities, because the truth is that, regardless of the size of changes life may undergo periodically, it does just go on! I grocery shop, listen to music, do laundry, drive to work (albeit in more traffic), clean my place, visit with friends, cook food, blog, etc., but then I go to the beach and an improv class and to a new downtown restaurant or to a museum and I remember why the changes were necessary.

The Chariot keeps appearing in my cards and this morning I opened my Voyager Tarot book to see what author James Wanless had to say about that. ” Movement brings change, and change brings new experience, learning, and growth- it leads to the achievement of your evolutionary destiny…As Cancer, the Charioteer carries the shell or home (self security) on his/her back and is at home wherever…Travel and test your sense of inner security… To be at home wherever you are is knowing yourself- being centered.”  Though this could mean that ones physical surroundings shouldn’t matter because it’s what is inside that keeps you grounded, I’ve long known that my physical home base was more important to me than to some. It is necessary for me to create a beautiful space from which to set out each morning and that is perhaps why a decade of tiptoeing in and out of LA, without first creating that, hadn’t worked for me.  For the first time, all of my personal items (clothing, books, Buddha statue, tea kettle, photos, wooden clogs form Amsterdam, sewing machine…) are here and because of that I feel grounded and able to keep moving into the adventure.  If you want to call sitting on a couch on a Thursday night and drinking tea an adventure! Seems like a good one to me.

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Lessons of 2017, so far-

You can not go backwards. 

When changing ingrained habits, you will be tested. 

Humor is invaluable. 

You can only ever make the next right choice. 

Grey> B/W

It is up to you and only you to create the life you want. 

Your teachers will come in all forms. 

Until the lessons are learned, the situations will repeat. 

Resistance works. 

Panic achieves nothing. 

Creativity is a necessity. 

Sometimes it is necessary to turn off the news and turn up the music. 

 Your intuition is Always right. 

Life goes on. 

***

As my dad and I recently made what I hope to be the final drive moving things from my house in New Mexico to my apartment in LA, I was struck by the thought that just one year ago, none of my current reality was anywhere on a conscious horizon. For all I knew, I was content to keep living in my house, working as a costumer, and continuing as before. Forever. The truth is that I wasn’t consciously thinking about any of it, but rather just going along. 

Cut to the winter of 2017 and I am living in a different place, working as little as possible in my career of over a decade, protesting my current government, taking improv classes, signing up for multiple other classes, dating, and consciously creating a life that reflects and encompasses who I want to be. 

And I really have no idea what I am doing! Like seriously no idea. I am being repeatedly  tested when saying no to the familiar and comfortable, be they cities, jobs, or habits, as if the Universe wants to be really certain of my commitment. After emerging from the tests, I simply try to make the next right decision on a daily basis, saying no to the things I know do not work, and trusting that at least then there will be room for what does work, even if I don’t yet know what that is. Onward–>

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You had the power all along, my dear. You’ve had it all along. 
-Glinda the Good Witch

I have officially become one of those LA people I used to wonder about who sit in coffee shops in the middle of the day, middle of the week, plotting, writing, and researching on their notepads, phones, and computers. “Don’t those people have jobs?” I asked.  And now I sit amongst them and attempt to change the entire concept of work within my life, to one of creativity, flexibility, and fulfillment. 

Though still doing enough film work to pay the bills, the rest of my time is spent asking “what brings me joy? How have others created careers based on what brings them joy? How can I do the same? Beauty, communication, travel, photography, being of service, health, play… hmmm. 

Like a little game of connect the dots, I go from improv class to writing to a coaching workshop to following a new recipe to decorating my apartment to a movie set somewhere; always feeling that I am pulling one over on the world, getting away with something. And the funny thing is, no one else cares! I was the only one telling myself that experimenting wasn’t allowed and/or responsible and that work wasn’t supposed to be fun, it was work. 

So, this is my job right now. This is the only power I have, to keep moving forward with each and every idea until the time is right for them to fall into place and for clarity to guide me further. I will continue to see what I can get away with. Until then, I’ve joined those I used to judge, how ironic. They just figured out how to sit in coffee shops on Thursday afternoons earlier than I did. 

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When the fabric of society begins to unravel, it will be the artists, poets, thinkers, and dreamers who sew those strips into some new, as of yet unimagined, patchwork quilt. It’s happening now. Creativity and Resistance are becoming, or maybe always have been, intrinsically linked and will only become more so moving forward. 

More to come soon…

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Last night I had a dream that Steve Bannon was at a party with me.  I woke and spent the rest of the night awake, tossing. At 7 o’clock I finally got out of bed, meditated, had a cup of tea, and dressed to go for a hike, without looking at my phone, headlines, or the news.

For the past eleven days I, and most people I know, have watched aghast as the Trump Administration began following through on one horrifying campaign promise after another. Watching and resisting the dismantling of our country has become addictive and, as one new Executive Order after another is issued, I find myself spinning, unsure where to put my energy, time, money, and fight.  Just sifting through the news and trying to decipher what is legit and what is not feels like a full time job.

And then yesterday I actually started to feel ill from the toxicity of it all. Instead of sleeping, I would lie awake thinking of the perfect tweet that would really “show him”. I never tweet! I began looking for ways to control situations which are completely beyond my control and in doing so, fell right back into all sorts of bad habits that I thought were behind me. My spiritual game is obviously not as strong as I’d believed it to be!

So, when is being consumed with the news beneficial to myself and others and when is it not? By making myself physically ill, I am of little use to anyone and by spinning in panic I am of no use. That has become apparent. I want to “stay woke” but in a way that allows me to actually take action, away from the rabbit hole of preaching to the choir that is social media. I donated to the ACLU and set up a monthly payment. I donated to Planned Parenthood.  I phoned my Congressmen to voice my support for the positions they have been taking. I emailed a Senator from a different state who was interested in hearing from people who had participated in the Women’s March. I phoned in to a Town Hall meeting. And, I turned my phone off, went for two hikes, sat in the sun, felt the earth underneath me, meditated, listened to music when the news was too much, called some friends, and cooked healthy food. That is all I know how to do right now.

And, into Week Two we go.

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