Friday, May 14, 2010
"I feel like you made this world a lot better. Every day that I read your words I feel like something has changed inside me".
That is a comment someone left on this Live Journal I've been reading http://65redroses.livejournal.com
It's probably one of the things every writer longs to hear. Or anyone who dares to share their innermost thoughts and feelings. One of the highest compliments someone could receive, to know they made a difference to someone. I discovered Eva's blog through a CNN article a few weeks ago and have been feverishly trying to read through four years of entries. I've been captivated and inspired by the musings of this brave soul. She reminds me of the inner strength that lies within each of us and helps me see the gratitude in even the most dire circumstances.
One of the things Eva reveals in her Live Journal is that she's a very cheerful and positive person but her journal is a place she can be free to write about the darker feelings she has. That struck me because I'm a pretty positive person but a lot of my writing (especially poetry) is relatively dark. When I go back and read it, I'll think how depressing it sounds. On one hand, I've always felt there was something beautiful about expressing these things but at the same time I would feel hesitant for people to read them because I thought it would show I wasn't really as positive as I presented myself to the world.
Well the truth is we all have a shadow side and that's just the yin/yan of being human. We're all filled with deep melancholy and hollowness from time to time and that stuff needs an outlet just like our happy thoughts. I choose to allow mine to flow through my writing. I guess what I've realized through reading 65_RedRoses is that expressing your angst is in fact often what connects us to others and helps ease their journeys along the way. Maybe I'll be a little less shy now about sharing my own pain and raw life experiences.
Rest in peace Eva, for I know you are dancing on the sunbeams of eternity.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Another newsletter excerpt below. This is very fitting for me since on Monday, March 15th, the day of the new moon, I will begin teaching yoga and meditation classes. I am thrilled to have this opportunity and move into this new exciting period of my life.
Did you know there's a powerful new moon coming up on Monday,
March 15th? Every new moon is a time of new beginnings, and this
one is an especially good time for inspiration and new directions
that can lead to great things.
According to the astrology newsletters I read, this upcoming new
moon is unique due to the congregation of the Sun, Moon, Mercury,
and Uranus all very close together in a tight pattern that supports
inspiration, new ideas, greater insight and intuition through
alignment with higher consciousness, and breakthrough
problem-solving and decision-making. It's a good time to choose to
move beyond any old emotional patterns that are no longer serving
"If you're ready to do something different, then this New Moon on
the Ides of March is a time to set some intention."
-- Madeline C. Gerwick (www.polarisbusinessguides.com)
"The creative impulse that is borne out of this New Moon is
powerful and intelligent in its impact, and can be harnessed for
great things. ... This New Moon is definitely worth planning for
due to the inspiration that is unlocked here. This is not so much
time for collaboration as it is for initiating new ideas and new
-- Lynn Hayes (www.astrodynamics.net)
This weekend into Monday is a good time to reflect on what new
directions you'd like to take over the next few months. I
especially recommend doing this if it's been a while since
you've done any new feng shui in your space.
Revisit the ba gua, and think about (and/or meditate on) which
areas represent the changes you'd most like to see over the next
few months. Since "thinking about" implies a somewhat logical,
left-brain approach, be sure also to allow your intuition space to
speak up. It might point you in a new direction you haven't yet
If you've been focused on one particular aspect of life for a while
(relationships, or prosperity, for example), be sure to remain open
to looking in a different direction at this time. You don't have to
set those relationship or financial ambitions aside, but do be open
to an intuitive nudge that points you in a new direction. The
energy of this new moon is about changing your focus in some way;
you have the opportunity now to do that deliberately and with
strong intention, rather than waiting for something to surprise you
down the road.
If your life has been going well and you have no burning desire
for a new direction, you might choose to focus on an area of your
home that you'd especially like to change, declutter, reorganize,
Once you've clarified a strong new moon intention, write it on a
piece of paper, and place it in the relevant gua within your home
or office. (Be sure to focus on the positive OUTCOME you desire, not
on any specific problem or challenge you want to overcome.)
What "new beginnings" will you focus on for this powerful new moon?
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Here's an excerpt from an inspirational newsletter I receive. It really applies to my life right now, as I have been beating myself up almost obsessively about mistakes I have made in the past. Thanks for the reminder that our failures connect us, not divide us.
This week I met a new acquaintance for coffee introduced through mutual connection who thought we could both benefit from knowing and networking with each other. What I thought would be a professional meeting became a get together between kindred spirits and the beginning of a lasting friendship.
We got our coffee and began talking about ourselves, but instead of rattling off our bios and describing what we do, we spoke more candidly about the twists and turns in our lives that have shaped who we are. She shared about being laid off from a job that ended a 17 year career path, going though a divorce and other life changing challenges. And as I shared about my own expectation hangovers, relationships that ended abruptly and past struggles with confusion, depression and hopelessness, a bond began to form.
Then she said the most insightful thing, "I love speaking about my failures because they always connect me to people. My failures humanize me." In that moment I was experiencing the truth of that statement. By opening up to each other and sharing authentically about our "human-ness" there was instant intimacy. It also reminded me that most of the emails I receive and the clients that come to me for coaching are drawn to me because they relate to my failures - not because of any of my accomplishments or training.
My encouragement today is to be UPlifted by your failures. Bring them into the light instead of keeping them in the dark because of shame or judgment. Failures really are simply course correction as long as you are willing to learn from them versus using them as something to beat yourself up with. When you speak more openly about your mistakes and how they have affected you, it supports you in letting go of shame you may be feeling. Today and each day change the way you see failure because truly all of your mistakes are masterpieces.
"My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet." Mahatma Gandhi
Thursday, March 4, 2010
This past January marks seven years since I first ventured to Florida to call it my 'home' for the Walt Disney World College Program. There are some things in your life you're just downright certain about. When I saw the flier for the Disney College Program on my college campus I just knew, this was for me. My mind was made up that I was going to Disney and secretly I think my heart hoped, I would stay there forever.
As I drove to the Philadelphia train station late at night to pick up my brother one snowy evening, car packed to the brim - thanks to my dad's amazing packing skills, I was rearing to go. My brother was to accompany me and help with the 17-hour drive but he slept through the night in the passenger seat and I drove a good twelve hours straight. I couldn't wait to get there and start my new life.
The College Program was everything I expected and more. Magic, wonder, new friends, romance, warm weather, a creative job, all set in a beautiful backdrop - Lake Buena Vista, Florida. My job at Disney pushed me out of my comfort zone. All day long I was talking with and helping guests. I worked long 12-hr shifts many days, sometimes six days a week. I had a role that required I speak in front of large audiences...and act at the same time. It really was (cliche) a dream come true.
And what did we do when we weren't working? We played in the parks and all over property - for free. We didn't have far to go to experience all the entertainment our hearts could desire. We partied the nights away at Downtown Disney's Pleasure Island (sadly no longer there) and we ended each day with spectacular firework displays. This went on for a whole eight months and if we ever became disenchanted, we'd venture off to Tampa, Cocoa Beach, Miami, Key West or any of the other nearby destinations we had at our fingertips.
Now I can't lie and say there weren't days when guests would drive you up the wall and your feet were sore and you just stood outside in a thunderstorm and you were incredibly homesick for your friends and family or anything familiar but overall, this was an experience of a lifetime and I'm truly grateful for having had the chance to have lived it.
After it was over it was time to go back to the 'real world'. That was hard. It was like coming off a drug high. You weren't prepared for how much longing you'd be left with, for how much you'd desire that 'Disney fix', so you'd resort to online message boards where other alumni could share about their experiences, you'd plan reunions with your roommates and you'd vow to return for an advanced internship or to work summers, or at very least, a trip back to visit over spring break.
It was hard re-adjusting to normal life when you felt completely different. You were changed. And others couldn't necessarily understand that. You'd met people from all over the world, had relationships you'd never imagined having... you'd finally become yourself somehow. And you didn't ever want to let go of that.
I worked at Disney again after graduating from college and I became friends with kids who were on their college programs. I felt joy as I reminded myself how special it was for them. Now though most of my photo albums are put away, I still take mental vacations to that fond time period every so often. It's like an old friend, recapturing those feelings for me whenever I am seeking to be inspired or feeling down. I often wish I had a tribute - a video yearbook, something more than my mind that would replay some of my favorite scenes for me. Searching to see if something of sorts was out there, I found this person's homemade video they posted on YouTube and it rekindled some of those memories and the magical energy Disney will forever represent for me.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Ever since I can remember I had either a pen or a book in my hand. Poems, short stories, journal entries, letters...there's something magical and definitive about the written word. There's something about the labor of love it takes to produce something entirely original and your own.
Something about staring at a blank sheet of paper and letting whatever happens to be spinning in your head flow out and become a tangible thing. Writing comforts me, it teaches me, and so long as I have range of motion in my hand, it's one thing I know I'll never be without. Other hobbies may come and go but writing isn't like a hobby; writing is my oxygen.
I write to create, I write to affirm, I write to figure out what the heck I'm really feeling. I write to explore, to discover, to learn. I write to entertain myself and others. I write to communicate my innermost thoughts. I write to expand on subjects I didn't know I had much of an opinion on.
I write because I love the way words look and because I can arrange them and rearrange them until I get them 'just right'. I write to re-experience things, I write to let go of things, I write to rewrite endings to stories gone wrong. I write to tell others of the treasures I've found on my journey.
I write to feel less alone. I write so others will feel less alone. I write because it is the best therapy I know. I write because on paper my head never has to worry about what to say next, it simply pours out and it doesn't sound silly. I write to keep from going crazy, I write because I am crazy - all writers are, say some. I write in order to see my feelings as separate from myself so I don't have to get stuck in them. I write to release.
Thanks for reading my words. I hope whatever meaning you've constructed from them serves you well.