Archives for posts with tag: faith

 hope

  1.  to cherish a desire with anticipation :  to want something to happen or be true

  2. archaic:trust

  3. to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment.

  4. to expect with confidence :trust

“I hope you can let this go.” -President Trump to Former FBI Director Comey.

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The platform of Hope upon which President Obama ran in 2008 and 2012.

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Hope or Trust.

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I have looked at and said the word Hope so many times today that it no longer looks or sounds like a word, you know what I mean? What is it?  And what if, just what if,  hope is actually what is causing our country to stumble right now? As I rolled this word around in my head, I kept coming back to its implied passivity, a wait and see attitude that can lead to doing nothing or, worse, to expecting others to do it and then acting like a victim if they don’t.  What about the hope that coal mines will come back, that global warming is a Chinese hoax, or that going backwards is ever an option?  As much as I love the optimism it can carry, hope has doubt at its core and there is no getting around it.

What if, instead, we choose trust?  Trust in ourselves and our communities and in the idea of working together, for each other and with each other, to move towards a common goal? What if we begin to demand that kind of reliability within all of our relationships, including those with our government? I have faith in this country and know that we are better than the hoping/wishing/waiting/ burying our head in the sand and crossing our fingers that things will improve trap we seem to have fallen into.  I don’t know that hope is serving us well and think it is time to switch it up.  Just a thought.

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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. 

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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. 

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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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Why do we think it has to be hard? Why not just expect it to be easy? All of it! As I enter into the adventure of 2017, I believe that it will be easy and that all I want and need will appear at the perfect time and in the perfect way, ways that I could never predict. 

Three weeks in and January is shaping up to be even wackier than November 2016, hurtling into the future, asking only one question; are you consciously creating the life you want or cruising along, willy nilly? 

In nineteen days I have mostly furnished a new apartment, found a long term tenant for my house in Albuquerque, begun improv classes, signed up for a session with a life coach, been on one decent date and two fantastic dates, walked in the ocean, learned a new recipe, been asked if I want to be a contestant on a new soon to be televised dating show (seriously), visited with long lost friends, and am writing this from a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet, traveling from LA to D.C. for a little rally with 200,000+ of my closest pink pussy hat wearing friends. And there are still 12 days left until February!

When I was about to start looking at apartments in the fall, friends warned me that the LA market was very competative and that I would likely need check stubs, tax returns, and the like when applying. I proceeded to look at one apartment, fill out an application, and within five minutes was told that it was mine if I wanted it. Um, ok. Easy Peasy. 

So, why not expect everything to be the same? In looking at love, money, creativity, community, and adventure, why not call them in with the belief that they are just waiting to be mine, or yours? They are. And the more I practice this, the truer it becomes. Is it truly possible to have everything we want? Yes, just as soon as we get out of our own way, stop thinking small, acting unworthy, sabotaging ourselves, running for the hills, saying one thing and then doing another, and finally harness this newly discovered superpower and accept that we really are that powerful. For all of our insistence that we want it to be easy, we then do everything possible to complicate, confuse, and mess with that which wants to be ours, simply because having that much power terrifies us. Well, get over it. Accept it. Until you do, it will never be yours. 

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Happy 2017, smagik readers! 

On NYE morning, I woke up in a motel in Kingman, Arizona, half way between NM and LA. New Years Eve. 2016 for another few hours. And, as I sat eating my complimentary breakfast, all I could think was “I didn’t realize leaving my comfort zone would be so uncomfortable.” Ha! That possibility had honestly never crossed my mind. Not until I was home for Christmas, loading up my car with things to take to LA, saying goodbye to family, and driving across the desert, again. 

When I arrived in LA, it was drizzling and chilly as I made the fifteen or so trips up and down 48 stairs to unload art, dishes, shoes, files, Christmas presents, one Buddha statue, and a shelf from my car. Once unloaded, I stared at piles of things deemed worthy of bringing west. Wow, now what? “Just keep going,” whispered a voice. 

While home for Christmas, I became aware of two distinct voices raging a sort of battle in my head. One was loud, screaming, scared, gripping, wanting only to stay safe, secure, and to know how everything was going to turn out. The other was a faint whisper that told me to keep going and to trust that I was being guided. And for much of the trip, the screams were winning. It was only after my first panic attack in ten years, late at night on Christmas night, that I realized how quickly and urgently I had been operating for the past few months and that it was time to get quiet, slow down, and come back to the whispers.  

When I slow down, tune in, and keep myself very, very present, it is easy to trust in the adventure and timing of my life. When I move too fast and try to manhandle the universe into doing things exactly how I want them done, WHEN I want them done, panic ensues. 

So, here I am in my fairly empty but cute apartment, sharing walls with strangers for the first time since college, exploring a new neighborhood, and trying to just make one decision at a time. All I know is that this feels right for the time being. I needed to mix things up and I succeeded and I have to trust that I will continue to succeed. 

Because I find there to be the finest of lines between fear and excitement, I choose Adventure as my word for 2017. When handed choices, obstacles, and situations, I plan to make my decisions from a place of “what is the adventurous, and therefor trusting, way to do this?” It builds upon my 2016 word of Faith, around which I know I still have more than a few lessons to learn. I trust that by bringing Adventure into the mix, I will choose fun and joy more frequently, keep myself present, and practice having Faith that I am being guided through the fog. Onward! 


I wish all of you a joyous, happy, present, fun, healthy, prosperous, and adventurous year!! Make it great! 

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Six weeks ago, I came to LA with a prayer; if this is the right move for me, please let it be obvious. And if it isn’t, please let that be obvious too.  I didn’t know what I expected to happen once I arrived, but as a dear friend put it “it’s not a big deal, you’re just going to eat and sleep and work and drive and breathe and laugh somewhere else for a while.” But in some way it felt like a huge deal.  I had spent months of my life, years if you added them all up, in LA previously, but somehow I was always the passive passenger, along for the ride, but never investing or committing too much.  This time it felt deliberate and decisive.

It has only been seven months since I was driving down the 110 from Pasadena towards the transformational training workshop I was taking in a hotel ballroom near LAX, that I had the sudden flash that I should and would move back to LA.  As the proverbial lightening bolt tends to do, I knew that my comfortable but stagnant life was not serving me and that in order to become the woman I envisioned, things had to change.  One week earlier I had thought of my low overhead, inexpensive city, beautiful home, and plateaued career as assets and now all I saw was an under stimulating comfort zone.

And then November happened.  How to even sum up the insanity that was November 2016? Well, you know, you were there! I arrived just in time to attend Día de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, watch the Cubs win the World Series, and to then witness America go to hell in a hand basket and take the the planet with her. And that was just the first week. “What am I doing?” I wondered, as I jostled duffle bags between two different  housesitting gigs.  It felt like the world and I were spinning and I wasn’t sure which way was up and which was down.

In the midst of the crazy, I came back to my prayer. Please help the Yeses to be clear.  And please help the Noes to be even clearer.  And LA just kept being one, big yes. I loved the idea of living in something that I had previously been unaware of, a sanctuary city.  I saw an ad for an apartment on craigslist and, though I’d been planning on waiting  another month to decide if I was going to sign a lease or not,  I went to look at it. It was a yes.  My friend invited me to a dance class at the exact kind of studio I’ve spent the past couple of years searching for in Albuquerque.  I had as much film work as I wanted, if I wanted it.  I had dinner with different friends frequently.  I drove north for an improv workshop at the Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, remembered how much I love improv, and signed up for a longer class in LA, starting in January.  I enrolled in a nonfiction writing class.  And just like that, the life I had started to envision in April, began to take shape.

That isn’t to say my ego hasn’t done its fair share of fear based kicking and screaming over the past month.  We’re 37, why are we starting over? Our house is so much nicer than this apartment, why did we sign a lease? What if we never figure it out and just keep starting over? Oh great, now we are one of a bajillion people living in a huge, smoggy metropolis far from our family and green chile.  Why can’t we just be happy with our job, our house, and our routine and keep it all the same, it is so comfortable.  At which point I have to kindly tell myself to shut up.

Once I am able to quiet the fearful chatter, my gut reassures me that it knows what it’s doing and to keep going,  not having to know where, but trusting that it will be awesome.  It already is.

 

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What a morning.  What a night.  What a time to be alive.  I went to bed with a lump in my throat and a pit in my stomach, shocked that I could be so out of touch with half of the country in which I live and that I love.  “Where are the adults?” I wanted to scream as it became clear that Donald Trump would become our next President.  “Where are those who know what is going on and how to fix it and make it all ok? How can we possibly be handing the keys over to this most infantile excuse for leadership?”

Upon waking, the reality that it hadn’t been a dream and was in fact very, very real hit me in the gut and my shock turned to a deep sadness which I can’t  remember feeling so intensely since the morning of September 11th, 2001. How is so much of our country and of the world choosing fear, walls, hate, and isolationism when now, more than ever, we need to work as one planet.  After several minutes of crying over my computer, I went for a walk, to remind myself that, just as President Obama assured us it would last night, the sun did rise this morning.

What do we do now? I have zero interest in jumping ship and moving to a foreign country, nor do I care to spend the next four years living as a victim or in despair. How can I, and we, continue to find and create beauty and peace in our lives, our country, and our world? And how do we help and support one another and this planet we call home? It is a scary thing to realize that we are the adults, the leaders, the ones on which our future depends.  As I search desperately for a silver lining, all I can come up with is this- had the candidate I was supporting won, I may have spent the next four years telling myself that everything was being taken care of and that I could just go on with my life as I always had, involved to a  point but not as much as I could or should be.  But, that did not happen.  And now I am faced with the reality that many of the things about this country that I hold most dear are being questioned and could be revoked completely.  So, it is time to get busy.  There are, and always have been, people doing amazing, quiet, beneficial work all over this country to make it a more inclusive, kinder, fairer, healthier, greener place.  I believe, and pray, that this election will be the painful reminder that there is not, nor ever has been, a candidate or person or outside entity of any sort coming to save us.  This is up to us, we are the ones we have been waiting for, and I have faith that we will not only get through this, but will come out better and stronger than ever. But, fasten your seat-belts in the meantime, this ride has just begun.

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Both original photos were found on Pinterest under search words Planet Earth and Rollercoaster

 

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Last night the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series and, as the daughter of a dad who grew up on the south side of Chicago and had a Cubs Shrine for most of my childhood, I cried.  I cried for my grandfather who, though a Cardinals fan, took his family to Wrigley Field on the weekends, for my dad who never lost faith in his Cubbies, for the Cleveland Indians who have had their own long drought, for the city of Chicago, and for a country hungry for something to celebrate in what has been a year full of dismal, sad, and disturbing news.

For 108 years, Cubs fans have kept the faith and gone along for the ride, trusting that their day would come once again. 108 years! Entire (very long) lives were lived without seeing that day.  And that got me thinking about faith, a topic I’ve been returning to a lot lately.

I chose Faith as my word for 2016 and, as I should know by now, be careful what you wish for! But, really, it has been the perfect word and reminder for a year in which I have had to repeatedly remind myself to let go, trust, and just do the next right thing.  As I watched this World Series, the managers of both teams played bigger roles in the game than I remember being aware of, though anyone who follows baseball on a regular basis would probably tell me that the managers always play a huge role.  I watched as key decisions were made, second guessed by armchair coaches and fans, and then either worked out as planned or didn’t.  Both managers were doing what they perceived to be the next right thing and then had to let go and have faith that their players would make it happen.

Six months ago, I had just returned to Albuquerque from a month in LA and two truly transformational workshops at MITT (mittraining.com).  The idea of changing my whole life for the sake of making a change and because I love the quote “if you’re not happy where you are, move. You’re not a tree,” was beginning to take root and I began to take small steps to make the life I envisioned a reality, one decision at a time.  How? I made a list of what I wanted and then made decisions based on that list. I want to be happy, near the ocean, work on set less, make more money, be part of a larger, creative community, expand my social circle, swing dance, learn to surf, treat it all as an adventure, say yes, play, let it go, build a life through action not reaction, trust my gut, ask for what I want, wake up feeling rested, cook healthy food in my kitchen, laugh at myself, the list goes on and on and on.

And, six months, one Western, and a World Series later, here I am, back in LA, the manager of my own life, checking things off that list, making the next right decision for myself and then letting go, trusting, and choosing to have faith that my players (the universe) know how to get it done.

This post is dedicated to my dad, who has always kept the faith!

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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_2260May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.

-Nelson Mandela

I was having a hard time making a decision this week and always find it interesting when that happens.  “What are you afraid of?” I asked myself,  as my analytical/practical side duked it out with my intuition/heart/gut.

“Maybe this is a time for you to just be less practical,” suggested my mom over the phone, hitting the nail on the head. “What’s the worst that could happen? You might waste some money, who cares? Or you might not and it could be awesome.”

What’s the worst that could happen? What are you hiding from? What do you really want? What are you scared of? These are all questions I’ve spent a good portion of the last few years thinking (and blogging) about and which were underlined and highlighted over the past week at what I’ve taken to calling Fear Camp.  Through methods I won’t go into because I agreed not to and because they are so experiential in nature it would really do no good to try describe them in words, I was shown, through my own responses and actions, habits and patterns on which I have relied for most of my life. Fascinating.

The decision I found myself wrestling with was whether to do the second part of Fear Camp and to continue uncovering that which I had just scratched the surface of.  Do I really need to spend the money when I am already working on myself in many of the same ways at home, for free? Who will water my plants? Who will get my mail? I’ve been gone long enough and should head home soon.  I can always take the Advanced Course another time… Just a few of the thoughts that ran through my head.  I had a million excuses not to do it and, just like that, the universe decided none of them were good enough. I was offered a three day job on a music video, within an hour of saying I didn’t want to spend the money to stay in LA and pay for the program, which paid the exact amount I needed.  My dad called to see if he could stay at my house before heading to the airport this weekend. Sure, can you grab my mail and water my plants while you’re there? A horoscope literally told me that I should continue on a new path I had just begun because it would blend perfectly with the one I was already on and help me to make my dreams a reality.

Ok, I get it.

Occasionally one is graced with the certainty that all is exactly as it should be,  magic is close enough to reach out and touch, the flow of one’s life is obvious and clear, and you can actually hear the universe whispering. Or yelling, as the case may be.  And, when I am present enough to recognize that, I have nothing but gratitude.  As I sit at my friend’s kitchen counter in LA,  it is raining outside, and I am keenly aware that I am exactly where I need to be, that magic abounds, and that I am in the flow of my life.

What do I want? I want to be the biggest, bravest, most beautiful version of myself, my blog, my life, my relationships, my creativity, my love. What am I scared of? That that is possible.IMG_2263

For more info on what I’ve been calling Fear Camp, go to mittraining.com

 

 

 

 

 

Only one more day until the empty possibility of a whole, brand new year! 365 more days in which to make choices, laugh, create, explore, question, do, love, dream, plan, dance, speak, act, wonder, and live!

2015 has been a fairly great year for me.  Building on 2014, which was  a decently good year, and 2013 which was an amazingly difficult one, this year continued the upward trajectory that I have every reason to believe will continue in 2016.  I managed to repeatedly surprise myself, be mostly happy, try new things, make things with my hands, step fully out of my comfort zone, feel centered, be honest, laugh, dance, live in reality, trust, and go with the flow.

Looking towards the new year, and back at old smagik posts, I thought about a word for 2016.  This wasn’t something I took lightly, as the past several years’ words had proven strangely prophetic; 2015 was Joy, 2014 Happiness/Congruence, and 2013 Centered.  Some possible candidates were Courage, Trust, and Flow. I want to have courage to trust the flow of my life.  Both actively creating what I want, but also standing back and letting go of the final outcome.  What kind of life do I want to create? Where do I want to go? What do I want to do? How do I want to do it?

I want Faith.  I want to have faith that all is exactly as it should be, that there are no mistakes, and that as long as I keep making choices from a place of love, rather than fear, I have nothing to worry about. I want to see what presents itself and have the courage to say Yes, even when it looks different than I imagined it would.  I want to let go with grace, always remembering that for every No there is a better Yes down the road.  I want to continue to surprise myself, to wonder, to create, to wake excited, and to choose happiness and joy.

And so, for this little smagikal life I am creating, I choose Faith as my word for 2016.

Have a Fantastically Amazing New Year!

Some highlights from 2015