Saturday, November 23, 2013

Praising the Bridge


"Praise the bridge that carried you over."
George Colman

So, next week is Thanksgiving - a day when many of us sit around a table with loved ones and express aloud things we are most grateful for. Family, friends, health, wealth, survival, love, abundance... All of the things that bring us joy and fill us with gratitude.

Gratitude is such an incredibly powerful feeling. It broadens our horizons and puts things in perspective. We read books about it and fill journals with it - trusting in its power to transform the way we see ourselves and the lives we're living. Countless studies have shown that gratitude boosts our immune systems, lowers blood pressure, increases compassion, helps us feel more energized and alive... The list goes on and on.

But what if, along with all the things that bring us happiness, we could also be grateful for the things that bring, or have brought us, us unhappiness?

Having come out the other side of my own Carnival of Ridiculous Torment alive and in one piece I have learned to be abundantly grateful for the refinement and expansion that Pain has brought me. It is from the things that I thought would kill me that I have learned the most. It is precisely because I have been gutted so many times that I have the capacity and room to feel the boundless joy and love that I now feel. What I have been through has made me who I am - the events that have brought unbearable pain have shaped me and formed me and given me the ability to dance with the stars in a way I never would have been able to had my life just been an easy going trip down sunshine lane.

Not only is this possible to see and feel in hindsight, but as we are going through something difficult as well. It is an incredible thing to be able to recognize the lessons and purpose and expansion that painful events bring while we're experiencing them. It helps us endure them with far less resistance and assists us in getting to the other side far quicker than when we close our eyes, hold our breath and curl up in a ball to curse the heavens until the storm passes.


Bridges carry us from here to there. Sometimes they are a joy to cross, sometimes they are terrifying and difficult. But they always lead us from where we are to where we are going. And, for that, I will always be deeply grateful.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Two Wolves

So, apparently winter is coming. Try as I might every year, my plunge into denial and absolute refusal to utter the very word doesn’t do one freaking thing to keep it from coming. It comes anyway, which I think is just so unbelievably rude. Obviously, and for the official record, I am not one of those people that thinks that winter is a miraculous adventure cake covered in sparkling, creamy, white newness. It is a thug lurking in the bushes, just waiting to take me out. I’m not alone, I know. All around me are tender souls hunkering down for the epic cage match of Sanity vs. Face-Down-in-the-Snow-Unable-to-Brush-Your-Teeth-Fetal-Position-Emotional-Snail-Goo that is February through April-May-June in these here snowy states. Simply put, the past several years have seen me increasingly winter challenged. And it sucks.

I had my first wave of winter dread earlier than usual this year and decided to discuss it with a spiritual/intuitive coach of mine. She reminded me of a story from the Cherokee Indian tradition that I had heard long ago, but had completely forgotten.

The Two Wolves
(Anonymous from the Native American Tradition)
An old grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with raging anger at a friend, “I, too, have felt great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison into your own body and wishing your enemy would suffer and die. It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is kind and understanding and does no harm; it works to benefit the entire pack. He lives in harmony with all around and does not take offense or plot revenge. His heart is open and available to the Great Spirit. The other wolf is always vengeful, vicious and full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone for no reason. He kills without cause or remorse. He cannot think because his resentment, anger and hate are so great. His heart is closed to the Great Spirit.  Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me. Both of them try to dominate my Spirit.”  
The boy looked with amazement into this wise man’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”
The grandfather smiled and said, “The one that wins― is the one I feed.”

Wham, bam, thank ya Ma’am. Clarity. This beautiful and brilliant story is obviously about so much more than the refusal to let go of a personal snowy season victim story, and it applies to any and every area of life. The Light Wolf and the Dark Wolf (also referred to as the Light Self and the Shadow Self, the Higher Self and the Lower Self, the Human Self and the Spiritual Self, the Grown-up Self and the Big, Fat Baby Self – take your pick) we all have them, which one do we feed? Where do we direct our thoughts, feelings and attention?

Take some time to look at your two wolves and get deep-down-dirty-raw and honest about which one you are feeding. And how you are feeding it. And why you are feeding it. What are you afraid of? What are you avoiding or hiding from? What or who are you blaming or angry at? What are you addicted to? Where are your attachments? In what areas are you needing to grant yourself freedom?
I have gotten very good at recognizing my victim stories, both large and small, and this year, at long last, I have been able to let most of them go. Talk about miracle of miracles. There are still those that I am working my way through and to the other side of, and it is being done consciously and deliberately. I don’t believe in being a victim and I really do refuse to live my life from that place any longer. I can write about it, speak about it, coach others through it, kick ass at it personally and then turn around, sit down and write the Queen of Victimlandia opening paragraph to this post. Barf.
Being human – welcome to it.

Winter happens every single year. Every year it gets cold. Every year it snows and every year that beautiful white snow turns into piles of greasy, dirty, grey poop. Every year the sky vanishes, taking with it the fresh air, and inversion presses down on us. Every year winter lasts far longer than I would like it to. But it happens every year whether I enjoy it or not. I learned long ago that it is exhausting and futile to raise my fists, scream at the heavens and argue with What Is. What Is simply is What Is.
And, right now, What Is is that winter is coming. Which wolf am I going to feed? No question. It will NOT be the one that gnaws on its own ankle in a dark corner gorging on bitterness, complaints and off the charts depression. It will be the wolf who has learned how to pack her bags and move out of Victimlandia and knows, without a doubt, that she can, and somehow will, experience winter as…yes…a miraculous adventure cake covered in sparkling, creamy, white newness.


She’s going to feast on as many cozy, candlelit snuggles in the arms of a wonderful man, movies, happy music, laughter, girl’s night parties, Sex and the City episodes, chocolate, hot adult beverages, snowball fights and bubble baths as possible. I promise you that puppy is going to be fat, happy and, most definitely, well-fed. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Among the Living

I have spent a great deal of my life thinking about death. Most likely because I have spent a great deal of my life processing the deaths of loved ones that were closest to me. Death has, without question, been an actual character in the play of my life that I have been forced to wrestle and figure out an actual relationship with. It is something I have both learned a great deal from and something I have learned how to live with. Living with Death. Talk about an oxymoron.


When I received word a few years ago that my childhood babysitter had been diagnosed with a fast growing cancer, I jumped in my car and drove 45 minutes so I could say goodbye. It's always strange to say goodbye to someone you love when you know it is for the last time in this physical life. What do you say? "I love you... Thanks for loving me... Are you scared?... Don't be... What are your favorite memories of our time together?... What are mine?... Do you remember when?... I'll see you soon..."

Yep. All of the above. You hug and laugh and cry and hold hands and stare into one another's eyes a lot. She asked me to sing to her. I did. Then she asked me to sing that same song at her funeral. I agreed. She died the next week. I attended the funeral and sang for her the songs she had requested. I was cocky and thought that I wouldn't cry but standing above her casket a flood of childhood memories washed over me and I was emotional from start to finish.

This woman had watched over me as a child. She had played the piano and hide and seek with me. She put flowers on my own sister's grave every year. She was only, like, 56 years old. She had a constant smile that masked a hundred pains that I'm not sure how many people in her life actually knew about. And she is the only person that I know who loved chocolate more than I do.

When someone dies it is natural that we think about death. What is it like? Where do we go? What is the point? And then we think about life. How are we living it? How can we live it better? And, yes… Why are we here? The roundabout point of this post is best made in a story that was told at her funeral. When my babysitter/friend was about five years old, her family moved to a new town. She wanted to have a birthday party but her mother told her it would be hard because they had just moved there and they didn't know anyone. You can't really have a party with no friends. She left the house and came back about an hour later followed by several neighbors. "Mom, these are my new friends. Can I have my party now?"

This story both delighted me and caused a shift. I had spent so much of my life grieving and in pain and stuck in the spin cycle of all my victim stories. Like so many others, especially those spiritually and/or religiously minded folk, I had spent FAR more time focused on life before this one and life after this one than I ever spent focused on the life I was living right here and now. Life, I realized, was a big, fat parade that was passing me by. And, for the first time in my life, that wasn't okay.


"It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live." - Marcus Aurelius


I began to ask myself a series of questions that eventually led to one, singular inquiry. What does it really mean for me to be alive? What does being vibrantly, joyously, deliberately ALIVE look like for me? And, was I willing to do what it would take to get there? Was I willing to look at what I needed to look at, let go of what I needed to let go of, for Life to finally flow freely through my veins? I was willing and I did what I needed to do. And then, as though Life itself became aware that I had finally chosen to live it, I instantly found myself surrounded by an orchard of brand new possibility blossoms in the most glorious emotional springtime. And nothing has been, or will ever be, the same again. Hot damn.

Do you know what being alive means for you? What it looks like for you? If not, figure it out! It will be the single most worthwhile thing you have ever done. Life is your birthday party. If it’s lacking something you want - go out and get it. Make it. Meet it. Create it. Demand it. Don't rest until you have it.


NOTE TO SELF: Stop being fascinated by near death experiences. Focus on having near life experiences instead. Just a thought.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Something Wonderful

A few years ago I had an experience with a neighbor that has been coming to mind again lately.
I currently live in Salt Lake City – where the culture is predominantly Mormon. One day, after I had departed from said predominant culture, I was having a catch-up day. I put my overloaded writers-brain to bed and did about three million around-the-house-and-yard projects that had been screaming for my attention. It felt amazing. Digging in the dirt in a light rain clears my mind in a way that few things do.

One of the things I checked off my ginormous list was to haul up from the basement, and empty into the yard, all two dozen 2-liter "Food Storage" water bottles that were covered with dust, sprinkled with mouse poop (ugh!) and had quite simply become something that I no longer felt the need or inclination to stockpile.

Later, after trimming down my rose bushes, I crossed the street and returned the clippers to the neighbor I had borrowed them from. As she handed me a bag of garden fresh tomatoes she asked, "Was that your water storage that you were dumping out earlier?"

"Yeah, the bottles were old and gross and just needed to go."

"Well, Emily, very tough times are coming. You really need to have a lot of water on hand. Just wash out your milk jugs, fill them with hot water and store them. That should work fine."

"Great. Thanks. And thank you for the clippers and tomatoes..."

She got a pained look on her face and reiterated, while burning a hole in my forehead with her laser vision, "Emily, very, very tough times are coming. Very, very soon. We all need to be ready."

I was floored. Not because of what she said, I had been receiving the same lecture all my life. I was floored because I could see so clearly how far I had come from where I had once been. My neighbors all thought I had fallen, but I knew that I was soaring to heights I had never before imagined. I vividly remembered when I had believed the exact same thing. When I obsessed over the end of the world and how I was going to haul 200 pounds of wheat back to Missouri in preparation for the Second Coming. I remember organizing food storage and preparing for all the horrible, dark and miserable times that lie ahead. Crossing the street back to my house I wanted to leap for joy that I wasn't there anymore. That I wasn't that person anymore.

Years later, I look around me and still see people hunkering down – preparing for the worst. Not with a 2 year supply of food but with a lifetime supply of excuses. How often do we hear someone express the desire to go for something – a dream, goal, new job, relationship – and then dig into their storage room of negativity and excuses? How often do we do that ourselves? We hoard all our past disappointments, heartbreaks and pain and turn them into an endless supply of fears. We no longer risk or take giant leaps of faith because we did that once, twice, three times before and it hurt like hell. We expect the worse so that when disaster strikes – when we allow ourselves to fall in love and we get our heart broken again, when we don’t get the job we risked everything for, when we reach (again) for the brass ring and miss (again) – it won’t hurt so bad.

Do painful and disappointing things happen? Of course they do. Welcome to being human. But unspeakably wonderful and beautiful things happen too. More than we even allow ourselves to recognize. Sometimes things do play out the way we want them to – oftentimes even better. It’s important to be prepared. It’s a good idea to have food and water on hand because we do live in a physical world where we lose power or become, however temporarily, unemployed. And it is important to prepare ourselves for disappointment and pain, but NOT by hiding from Life in our emotional storm cellars and focusing on all the shitty things that can go down. We prepare ourselves by doing our inner work, by gathering and focusing our energies on the million pieces of evidence we have at our fingertips that prove Life is a safe and beautiful place to be, and by intimately knowing who we are. Because once we really know who we are, we know beyond any doubt that we are bigger, brighter and better than anything that has ever, or will ever, happen to us – no matter how seemingly cataclysmic.

I have on my refrigerator a bumper sticker that a friend bought me years ago. It reads: Something Wonderful Is About To Happen. And it is. Something wonderful is always about to happen because that is what I choose. That is what I expect. We create our own realities - both internal and, to a large extent, external. And I for one would rather go through my life believing that something wonderful is about to happen than believing that the shit is going to hit the big-ass fan any minute.
Tough times are coming?


Not in my world they're not. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Brave



So, I know that I keep posting snippets on Facebook about being brave… This has become my singular theme of late. People think that I am a ballsy chick and, generally speaking, I am. But I also have had a long list of things that terrify me, accompanied by all of my very good reasons for that terror and equally good excuses for not facing and busting through it.

I am so tired of being scared of the things I’m scared of. I have so much love and creativity I have yet to tap into and I KNOW that I won’t be able to do it until I get to the other side of my biggest fears. Once I have done so, I’ll probably share specifics. Until then, it’s time to jump off a series of rather high cliffs. Time to dig deep into the inner realms of untapped kick-ass bravery.


Who’s with me? 




For the official record, the guy in the mall with the happygasmic hair took the RIGHT pills. And I want him to be my next door neighbor.


Remember, you are Bigger, Better and Brighter 
than anything that has ever happened to you. 

Go make your world a better place. xo

Friday, September 20, 2013

Does This Life Make My Butt Look Big?



Does This Life Make My Butt Look Big?
Thursday, April 30, 2009

I recently saw a photo of a 19 year old, 5 feet 11 inch tall model who was one of the contestants in the Australian Miss Universe pageant. This Attack of the 50 Foot Woman weighed a measly 108 lbs. Big Mac anyone?

First of all, I have always laughed at the unbelievable narcissism of individual countries holding a Miss Universe pageant. Really??? A woman from Australia, Sweden or, as is usually the case, Venezuela can be crowned the most beautiful woman in the entire universe? How the hell do they know? Maybe there are some totally hot women practicing their splits and twirling skills as we speak on some planet that we have yet to discover. And, come on, who could judge a real Miss Universe contest fairly? Obviously people from other planets are bald, have really long necks and giant saucer-like eyes. Would a judge from earth really vote for them? And what about alien judges? Do you honestly think they would vote for a human? We have skin and hair and smell like dairy. I'm sorry Honey, but if you win this particular contest you're only Miss Planet Earth. Deal with it.

Like I said, this woman is 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs just 108 lbs. and has a body mass index of 15.1. The official benchmark for malnutrition, by the way, is 18. I remember seeing bodies like this one in documentaries on both the holocaust and third world starvation. Take away the hair extensions, make up and string bikini, lay her on a mat and put a few flies on her face and there is little difference.

But there she is, starving atop her pedestal – a contestant for the title of The Most Beautiful Woman in the Universe. Seriously, we're still doing this to ourselves? I had friends with eating disorders in high school and I have friends with eating disorders now. And I can't believe that we are still here.

At the moment I am 41 years old and am actually enjoying getting older. I have never been happier, felt healthier, sexier, stronger, or more comfortable in my own skin. Most of my girlfriends are the same way - really coming into our own, finding new strength in really amazing ways, finally comfortable being with ourselves, more on track, more confident... Until, the weirdest thing happens. We catch one glimpse of the cellulite on our asses and all that goes out the window. Suddenly we are insecure and self-conscious and apologetic and depressed. And then we have a whirlwind love affair with an entire box of Krispy Kremes. What the hell??? How is it possible that women who have so much going on can still get derailed so fast by being human? It's like we are back in high school comparing ourselves to the cheerleaders and hiding in the library because we find we come up short.

I was recently with some friends having the most wonderful, intelligent, stimulating conversation until it turned to our bodies. Suddenly we're in front of mirrors bemoaning our thighs, boobs, noses, chins... My friends and I bitched and moaned about our squishy butts and the bellies that fold over our pants when we sit down. We want our chins to be this, our boobs to be that, the hair on our heads to do this and the rest of our hair waxed to do that. How is it possible that, with all the living and learning we have under our belts, we are still comparing ourselves to Supermodels and Porn queens? Guess what? Cindy Crawford has said that even she doesn't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford. Models are airbrushed upside down and backwards. And, even if they're not, who the hell cares?

We tell ourselves it's for men. To attract men. Guess what? The average man doesn't care nearly as much as we think he does. Stand naked in front of your man and he's pretty much just happy to be there. But we take off our clothes in a ladies locker room or swimming pool and every woman there is scanning us for flaws - immediately comparing every inch for either validation or as another excuse to self loathe. And we do the same right back.

Men do it too. I know plenty of men that want bigger muscles, broader chests, bigger calves, rounder butts and bigger and longer love pumps. That’s why they spend so much money at the gym, the Chevy dealership and Hair Club for Men.

Okay, I’ll admit that some guys aren’t always the most helpful when it comes to our body images. Most of us carry around in our mental baggage lame things that high school boyfriends said about our big toes, our hair, or our bodies that were still struggling to bloom. Even adult men – while I am sticking to what I said a moment ago about man heaven being in the presence of a naked woman (and an icy beverage) – can be sensitivity challenged on occasion. I once dated a guy, for about 3 seconds, who told me he couldn’t be with a woman that had bigger thighs than he did. Okay, I am thinner than maybe 95% of the women my age and it was not my fault that this guy was walking around on Twizzlers. Only a ten year old girls legs would have been smaller than his. Or Miss Australia’s. But, I was undateable because I didn’t look like Olive Oil in a bikini. Whatever. Honestly, does it really matter if we aren’t another person’s idea of perfection? No. Some men will find us attractive and some won’t. We’re not attracted to every man that wants to buy us a drink on a Saturday night either. That’s life. Welcome to it.

When a friend of mine was newly married, his wife turned around and asked him if her pants made her butt look big. His response? “No, your butt makes your butt look big.” Rude? Maybe. But hilarious. Hands down the best response to that bear trap of a question I have ever heard. Ladies, we need to not ask the question if we don’t want the answer. Yes, sometimes it is the pants. But, honestly, sometimes it IS our butts. We are here on this human planet having a human experience with these human bodies and beat ourselves, and others, up because we have human butts. How ridiculous is that?

As hard as it may be, I am declaring an end to my personal body war. I am going to stop pointing finger at all the human butts, my own included, and start focusing on all the amazing things I have going on in this life. I will continue to run and weight train and stretch and do yoga and drink a ton of water and get enough sleep because it feels good to be healthy and strong. And I will eat as many alive fruits and vegetables and whole grains as possible but you better believe I will continue to drink wine and eat chocolate without brain damaged guilt because they make me deliriously happy. And happy and healthy beat skinny and sad any damn day of the week.


In behalf of myself and all my mother’s, mother’s, mother’s I am going to rip off my corset and swim in the ocean.  I am going to walk barefoot in the grass and play in the rain without a stitch of makeup on and feel pretty just because I am. I am going to remember the little girl joy of eating an ice cream cone without once worrying how it is going to affect my belly. Because, let’s face it, it's way more fun to be wild and free and sassy and alive and to both have and to BE a blissfully bouncy, slightly dimpled, thoroughly unapologetic human ass.

From the e-book Does This Life Make My Butt Look Big? 

Monday, September 16, 2013

New E-Book: Does This Life Make My Butt Look Big?

Okay, so after having been asked by several people to make my old “Dancing With Crazy” blog available again I decided to do just that. Sort of. In its entirety, it no longer represents who I am, but cut up into bite-sized, “best-of” chunks it really is the perfect thing to read while on the toilet. 


Buy NOW on Amazon Kindle.

Posts include:

  • She-Rants
  • Gay Man Myths
  • Naked Day
  • The Adventures of Drunkman and the Dead Kitty Socks
  • Hellfire and Sweaty Man Boobs
  • The Absolutely True Ballad of Tommy and Molly
  • Emily Vision

And the ever popular...

  • Prettier Personal Private Area: a.k.a. The Christmas Miracle That Is Anal Bleaching

Often inspiring, quite a bit less bitter than the original, mostly ridiculous. Enjoy. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Broken and Spilled Out



I posted the above quote on my Facebook page the other day and it has been knocking on my consciousness ever since. The notion that being broken in however many emotional, spiritual, and psychological pieces leads to greater strength, endurance, understanding and capacity for all kinds of grander experiences is a wonderful one. When I say that we are all Bigger, Better and Brighter than anything that has ever happened to us, I include in that the belief that we are all Bigger, Better and Brighter precisely because of everything that has ever happened to us.

Just like when we work a muscle and essentially tear it down so that, once self-repaired, it is stronger and able to lift and accomplish more, the experience of being “broken” does exactly the same thing for our insides. Once we have been stripped bare, humbled to the ground, challenged to our core and demolished, sometimes beyond recognition, if we choose to allow it we can come back stronger than ever before.

But I think that the experience of being broken is so much more than that. When we are broken down we are also broken open. Kind of like a magical Easter Egg, when our shell is shattered open all kinds of beautiful things come spilling out. We know what we’re made of not only by who we become after being broken down but by the hidden soul-treasures we find when we are shoveled out.

One of my very favorite quotes comes from one of my very favorite books on the planet (The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran): Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding… and could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy.

Although it certainly doesn't feel like it at the time, being broken and spilled out is a wondrous thing. So next time you've had your ass handed to you and you’re crawling out of the mud in which you have been wallowing, cursing God and waiting to die, take a good long look at your heart. Not only will its muscles be bulgier but its pockets just might be overflowing with riches beyond your imagining.


Remember, you are Bigger, Better and Brighter 
than anything that has ever happened to you. 

Go make your world a better place. xo

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Nail



I absolutely LOVE this video! It's such a great commentary on the crazy-ass way so many of us women need men to just listen to us bitch without trying to fix the problem. Totally makes me giggle.

And it also makes me think of the nail in the context of letting go of our shit. Sometimes the thing that's tormenting us, causing us so much damn pain and keeping us stuck in our own personal spin cycle really is as simple as a freaking nail in our foreheads that we could easily pull out if we could let go of our attachment to, and need for, the payoff of being the victim with the nail in their forehead.

What's your nail and why aren't you yanking that bitch out?

Just something to think about.


Remember, you are Bigger, Better and Brighter 
Than anything that has ever happened to you. 

Go make the world a better place. xo

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Three Stories

Okay, so in this conversation about getting unstuck and out of our big fat stories, I want to clarify what I mean by “Story.” There are three types of stories that we tell: The Story of What Happened; The Story of The Meaning We Made out of What Happened; and The Story of Who We Have Chosen to Become as a Result of Getting Out of That Story.

The first story is the actual “Just the facts, Ma’am” story that we can’t change and have no control over. It happened. There was an accident. We got divorced. Someone died. We lost our job. He cheated. She lied. We were attacked. We got sick. This story simply happened. It caused pain, most likely altered the course of our lives and then was it over.

The second story is the one we need to face, understand, take responsibility for and get the hell out of. It’s the “So and so happened and this is what I made it mean.” Our parents got divorced and we made it mean that marriage doesn't work or we weren't worth our fathers or mothers sticking around for. Mom had bad days and yelled at us and we made it mean that we we're bad and not lovable. Dad drank too much and we made it mean that we were responsible for fixing him and worthless because we failed and everything we did was wrong. We got thrown in the dumpster by bullies at school and from that day on have believed that we’re garbage and are alone and that human beings just suck. Someone told us that we shouldn't have been born and we believed them and have been telling ourselves the same thing ever since. We were sexually abused and we made it mean that we are bad and worthless, that men (or women) are untrustworthy, that life is an unsafe place to be, that sex is evil and not to be enjoyed, or that we are here to be sexually consumed by everyone that takes a number and lines up to do so.  Someone we love dies and we decide that that life is cruel and maybe we are going to die the same way they did and we live in daily fear of that, or that they didn't love us enough to stick around for, and that it’s not safe to love anyone ever again. We get lied to and cheated on and suddenly no one is ever trustworthy again.

Painful things happen just because that is the nature of the world we live in. And I am not saying that the pain isn't valid - it is! It needs to be acknowledged and honored and reverenced. The problem is that once we have done that we continue to wear the second story like a badge of honor. Or shame. We let it alter who we believe we are and how we show up in the world. We carry it around like a million pound knapsack that keeps us from being who we truly are and from doing what we are truly on this planet to do.

We are not here to suffer and to struggle and to ever-play the role of victim. We are here to kick ass, to celebrate, to learn and grow and become. We are here to have a party, to dance in parades, to pick one another up, to laugh, to sing, to rejoice to spread our wings and soar into the fucking stratosphere. That, my Lovies, is what happens when we pull ourselves out of the muck and mire of our Victim Stories and start telling story number three.

Story number three is where our power lies. Story number three is where we inspire and bless. Story number three is where we finally exhale, reap the rewards, enjoy the benefits, feast on the fruits, and understand the Why’s and the How Come’s. Story number three is where we finally get it.


The floats are in line. The band is tuned up. What are you waiting for?


Remember, you are Bigger, Better and Brighter 
Than anything that has ever happened to you. 

Go make the world a better place. xo

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bigger, Brighter, Better

Many of you have read my book Dancing With Crazy. When that project took a hold of me it wouldn't let go. It drove me relentlessly for nearly ten years while I processed, wrote and completed it – all the while dreaming about how amazing it would be to have it done and out there. I expected a lot of things. I expected it to feel amazing – it did. I expected some people to love it – they did. I expected some people to hate it – good Lord, did they ever. What I didn't expect was that the moment I had the book in hand, I would be completely done with the conversation that the book was instigating. It was time to get out there and market the hell out of it so it could be the wild success I wanted it to be but, literally, every time I opened my mouth to talk about the Mormon Church, or the gays, or the Mormon gays or every horrifying and painful thing that had ever happened to me – my throat closed off, my brain shut down, my chest became unbearably heavy and I could not speak. It felt like it was a language that I no longer knew how to communicate with.

I was equally thrilled and devastated. I had worked so hard and needed to support my family but had to accept that Dancing With Crazy had done for me what it was meant to do. It continues to do well on its own – all things considered. And I have spent the past two years sitting and asking and listening and getting clear about what’s next for me – both personally and professionally.

I am so humbled to look back and see how clearly I have been led, protected and supported by Life and the exquisite spirituality I have finally re-embraced – ten years after dragging my lifeless body out of religion. The fact that I not only survived all that I survived but that I have emerged with my sense of self, humor, and purpose intact is pretty damn cool. The fact that roughly three months ago I finally, after nearly four decades, learned how to get the hell out of my “story” is proof to me that wonders and miracles do happen after all. I look around me and see people everywhere that have had the shit kicked out of them and have no idea how to get back up again. I see people stuck on the same nauseating merry-go-round that I was on for most of my life. I see people that can’t find the strength and/or don’t even know how to re-assemble themselves after their personal tsunamis and obliterations.

Now I am driven by the same love, passion and energy that once drove me to write my big-fat-story to take the hand of whoever stumbles upon me and wants to get out of their own big-fat-story and to get them to realize in their bones that they are Bigger, Brighter and Better than anything that has ever happened to them in the same way that I have finally realized that I am Bigger, Brighter and Better than anything that has ever happened to me. No one can tell me that there is something from which they simply cannot heal. I know they can. I know you can. And I know that, no matter what my future holds, I will too.

In the name of You and Me and All Humans That Kick Ass…

Amen, Namaste, ShazBot, and Rama-Lama-Lama-da-Dinky-da-Dinky-Dong. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

48 Hour Film Festival

Heading this weekend into another 48 hour film blitz. Friday night we are given a theme and character, line and object that must be incorporated - then we have until Sunday to write, prep, cast, shoot, edit, post and deliver an 8 minute film. It is both crazy fun and just plain crazy. I'm not manning the helm this year - most likely doing sound and misc grunt work. I'll letcha know how it goes...

Just for shits-n-giggles, here is a peek at last year's goofy film I directed.


 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NOW AVAILABLE!!!

We've had many requests for the continued availability of the t-shirts from our "Facing East" Kickstarter campaign. Here they are... Go nuts!



$25.00 Each

Proceeds from all sales go towards continued development or our film "Facing East." 

"GOD LOVES ME AND I AM GAY" T-Shirt

Sizes



"I LOVE SOMEONE WHO IS GAY" T-Shirt

Sizes

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shine


Choose now. Love or hate. Courage or fear. When bombs go off don't hide away cursing the ugly darkness of life. Acknowledge, breathe, process then stand bravely in your own beauty, step outside and SHINE.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Response to an Email from Someone in Pain

Listen.

Turn off the TV and get off the Internet. Sit quietly and listen. The answers are there. Your heart and soul know exactly what you need to heal. Don’t fight what you’re feeling – you are feeling it for a reason. Are you angry? Are you afraid? Are you feeling crazy? Why? Ask and then listen – YOU will tell you. Stop listening to everyone else. Others may have good advice and guidance but they will never, ever, ever know you better than you do.

Listen through the anger and the fear and the turmoil. Listen until you hear it – the sound of your own heartbeat, the sound of your own rhythm, the sound of your own life. Listen until you hear the sound of your own voice speaking to you – and believe what it says. If there’s a person, place or thing that causes you pain, anger, fear or just plain old feels shitty then that’s your soul telling you to get away from that person, place or thing. Walk away. The time may or may not come for that person, place or thing to re-enter your life – but only when it brings you joy, peace and alignment. It really is that simple. If your soul tells you something, LISTEN.

If it tells you that you've been abused, then you have. If it then tells you to walk away from that abuse and forgive – then do it. If it tells you some hard work and digging is required first then dig and put in the work. If it tells you that you have done enough work and it’s time to let go, then it’s time to let go. If it tells you to get professional help then do it. If it tells you that you are not getting the right help then keep looking until it tells you that you have found the correct method of healing.

You are always feeling what you’re feeling for a reason – even though it oftentimes may not be the reason you thought. Listen and you will know. You are your own healer. Your soul knows exactly what it needs to heal the same way that your body does.

When you break a bone you don’t sit there lamenting that it will never get better – you don’t throw yourself on the train tracks because you no longer have a whole bone. You curse and cry because it hurts like hell and then you do what needs to be done. You get to a doctor, you set the bone, you give it the support in needs and trust that in time and with proper care, your body will do exactly what it needs to do to heal the bone and life will go on. You don’t need to know how the bone is healed, you just need to trust in your body’s innate ability to heal it.

It is the same with your soul. When your soul gets cracked, fractured, broken in two or shattered in a million pieces it really does know what it needs to heal. Listen to it! Set your soul-bone – get it back in its proper place (yes, it will tell you where and what that is too), give it all the support it needs, take pressure off of it, take time to breathe and sleep and nourish yourself and YOU WILL HEAL. You will need big things and you will need small things and your soul will guide you and tell you what those things are.

You know the voice of your best friend, you know the voice of your spouse and your children. You know the voice of your favorite singer or movie star but do you know the voice of your own soul? If not, be quiet and listen. You will hear it – and it will be the most sublime sound you've ever heard. I promise. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Soul On Deck

"One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires ...causes proper matters to catch fire...Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. Do not lose heart. We were made for these times." 

~Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Loved


YOU ARE LOVED.

Millions of people scattered across this planet, and floating around out there in Internetland, will go through the whole day, week, month, year… not being told that they are loved. But, you are not one of them. I’m telling you.

YOU ARE LOVED.

And it’s not because it’s my opinion, or religious responsibility, civic duty, a dare I was given or a woo-woo dream I had.

YOU ARE LOVED.

You are loved because you have worth that has nothing to do with the size of your car, house or bank account and you are loved because you have beauty that radiates far beyond the size of your butt or your gut. You are loved because you breathe. You are loved because you get up every morning – or not. You are loved because you exist.

You don’t have to earn it or fight for it or even believe it. It’s just a fact, plain and simple, you are loved. And it’s not because you obey and please and stay silent, or because you stick to the program or don’t ruffle feathers. It’s not because you think you so cleverly hide who you really are or because you bend over backwards in the ever-exhausting pursuit of perfection. You are loved because you are flawed and imperfect. You are loved no matter how many times you fall down and screw up. You are loved because you are human. You are loved simply because you are.

You are loved when you’re happy and courageous and generous and you are loved when you’re sad, scared and selfish. You are loved when you lift others up and when you let them down – when you make the world better and when you make it worse. You are loved when you’re an angel and you are loved when you’re an asshole. You are loved both despite and because of your issues, addictions, flaws and defects – whether real or imagined. And you are loved because those things that are real and those things that are imagined are one and the same. You are loved when you’re lost and you are loved when you’re found.

No matter what you have been told by yourself, your parents, children, family, friends, lovers, teachers, clergy, politicians and pool boys – you are loved. No matter what you think, feel and believe, no matter how you show up and how you behave and despite all evidence to the contrary, you are loved.

You are loved even when you are your own worst enemy, your greatest saboteur, your meanest bully and your darkest demon. You are loved because, underneath all that rubble and behind the greatest of illusions, you are your own best friend, greatest love, most loyal companion and fiercest protector. You are loved because you are the Teacher you’ve been seeking and the Hero you have been waiting for. You are loved because you are the Savior you’ve been in need of and the Gift you have wished for.

So, eat it up, drink it down, take it in, swallow it whole, absorb it, bathe in it, breathe it, sing it, dance it, celebrate it, get drunk with it, light the sky with it, wrap yourself in it, curl up with it, sleep it, laugh it, believe it and live it.

YOU ARE LOVED.