Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Monday, May 22, 2017
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Friday, May 19, 2017
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Monday, May 15, 2017
I had no plan, just a dream and the willingness to follow my passion wherever it lead.
I traveled the world as a performer, I studied with artists who forced me to be better. I read books; I listened to wise, interesting people who shared their ideas. I collaborated with friends and said, “yes” to everything that didn’t compromise my moral compass.
As I grew––mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and creativity––I mindfully set a plan in motion.
No longer idealistic, but still very hungry for my dream to manifest, I focused every ounce of time on doing more.
Finally, I’ve reached a point where I accept that I am enough.
I understand that my creative path is in constant bloom; and whether during the winter, while my seeds lie dormant; spring, when my creativity blooms; or fall, when my leaves are changing––I am always an artist.
And that is enough.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Friday, May 12, 2017
Feeling called to write, choreograph, perform––do something;
Not because I want to cross something off a list, but rather to stay active on my artistic journey.
Sometimes doing “nothing” is really doing something;
The stillness gives me a space to breathe, and then suddenly––out of nowhere––my soul is revived.
I spent the past two years working on my new book;
brainstorming, outlining, contemplating, writing, rewriting, and gathering with my writing group to share and rethink––finally finishing my 1st draft.
Now, I wait. The agony of releasing my work into the hands of capable colleagues, who may not have the emotional attachment I have with my “book baby.”
I’ve poured my heart onto the page, now I have to move on.
I gave myself the space to rest––two months is plenty of time, right?
The idea of staring at a blank screen is daunting, but the vast emptiness that I feel when I’m not creating is excruciating.
So, back into the sea I go, not at all prepared for the storm that’s sure to hit, for now I’ll just focus on getting past the break and pray for a lifeboat when I need it.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Monday, May 8, 2017
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Friday, May 5, 2017
Thursday, May 4, 2017
My grandpa assured my years ago that every decade comes and goes just a little bit faster.
As forecasted, my 30′s blazed by, and still I managed to experience a lifetime of adventure, evolution, loss, and triumphs.
I lost my grandpa two years into my 30′s;
Booked my first big job as a choreographer on television;
Co-produced, wrote, directed, and starred in 40 digital shorts;
Co-created and starred in 3 television pilots;
Choreographed 2 movies;
Welcomed my gorgeous niece into the world;
Lost my grandma (and best friend);
Married my soulmate;
Became a homeowner;
Published my first book, So You Want To Be A Dancer;
Nursed my sister back to health and became closer than I could ever have imagined;
Booked three roles on television;
Choreographed my first full-length concert dance piece;
Finished writing my second manuscript (which will hopefully be published during my 39th year);
And finally––through countless hours of yoga, meditation, prayer, and Faith––I managed to find the Present. I learned how to release negativity; breathe through anger; and trust.
Decidedly, I will confront the final year of my 30′s with pure joy, gratitude, and peace of mind.
I’ve accomplished so many goals––I’m ready to stop overachieving and start appreciating the blessings that surround me.
Every day of my 39th year I will cherish myself with one fabulous action, gift, or thought that celebrates my life.
Living in the present every day––so as never to look back and say, “I wish I would have enjoyed that moment more!”
What we invest in our life is directly related to what we receive; I’m ready to embrace God’s plan for me.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
So, when she reached to ask me to join her in a six-word story challenge;
I said, “Game on!”
Every day in May, I have to write a six word story with a preset theme.
Because we’re three days into the month of May, I’m going to cheat a bit and write three today!
Here goes nothing….
So today, I will enjoy being a young man.
Because, in LA, the closer you get to 40 the less people care about you.
Then again, I don’t really care about what people think of me;
I’m feisty and fabulous––and intend to remain that way at every age and stage of my life!
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Monday, May 1, 2017
Sunday, April 30, 2017
If I forgot that I was living out of a suitcase, my faux-family––traveling from the most rural areas of the United States––remind me that I have made it!
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
To remain present and positive regardless of the circumstance.
But honestly, what good comes from freaking out?
In my experience, positive energy produces twice as much opportunity than that of doubt;
So I say, live in the light and ignore anyone who questions your inner peace.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
My dogs are hiding in the closet;
Afraid of the whirling tornado of dust, dander, and debris.
My eyes are red and itchy;
I’m the real version of the actor portrayals on the RX commercials;
The ones that promise to cure your “dry, itchy eyes” but guarantee sever headaches, nausea, heart-related problems, suicidal thoughts, and potential death (in rare cases.)
This is the side of Spring that no one is talking about;
Still, I’ll suffer through the allergies whilst lounging at the pool––I’ve got to make hay(fever) while the sun shines!
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Escaping the reflection in the mirror through breath and inner peace;
Batteling the temptation to give into darkness––I seek light in the present.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
I know because I heard the rumbling sound of heavy machinery and the annoying constant back-up warning beeps––alerting the neighborhood that it’s time to get up––if only to shut your windows to block out the smell of tar.
The streets of LA are long overdue for a makeover;
I just wish the cosmetic resurfacing waited until after I’ve had my coffee.
Similar to the condition of the roads, my face is a wreck from the lack of sleep.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Friday, April 21, 2017
Thursday, April 20, 2017
I will continue to seek more;
When I appreciate what I have,
I will accept who I am;
When I trust in my Guide,
My path will be clear;
If I focus on, Now,
I am rewarded with the present.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Space from thinking tends to contribute to a more creative and productive day.
Letting go of lists;
The goals and necessary tasks are not servants to my unending need to cross something off or check a box, they are the activities and adventures that weave together to form my day.
Finding beautify, calm, peace, and joy in the daily routine––better still, breaking up the ridged plans––will produce an abundance of creativity.
Finding the present brings peace in whatever the outcome may be.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Let go of the past;
Release the mystery of the future:
Be present now––with careful attention to every step––one after the next, I will arrive where I’m supposed to be.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Durning mass this morning, I was reminded that through darkness we find light;
Easter represents the rebirth, hope, and promise that with God anything is possible.
It was a reminder that I desperately needed (and heeded), before heading off to brunch with a box of chocolates, wearing colorful clothing. ...Some things never change.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Breakfast, gossip, and laughter.
The golden rays are smiling down from the deep blue sky.
It’s the perfect people watching location;
And Los Angeles never disappoints in that department.
It’s a scene; and I love it.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Thursday, April 13, 2017
His chubby legs pound the floor causing a rumbling sound, and
our shared walls shake as if an earthquake just struck;
the epicenter is the condo next door.
I’m trying to remember how much I love children––and really it’s the parents fault, right?
I completely understand natural and sporadic occasions of screams, laughter, and excited jumping;
But when you’re two year old is warming up for a soccer match––which lasts for about thirty minutes a day––I think it’s time to take a trip to the park!
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
After only 6 minutes on the phone with AT&T my entire demeanor changed.
If only I could lose weight as fast as the rage that ensues when dealing with random fees on a phone bill.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Monday, April 10, 2017
I woke up early, despite having the opportunity to sleep in;
My body was eager to get out of the uncomfortable hotel bed.
Anxious to shed my melancholy mood, I searched for a yoga studio near the hotel.
To my good fortune there was a CorePower studio within walking distance!
I jumped into my workout clothes and headed to my mat.
Getting downward dog in Denver, Colorado—I embraced the Rocky Mountain high.
Sixty minutes later, I'm present and prepared to create.
Again, I'm reminded we always have the choice:
seek light and grow or remain in the dark.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Saturday, April 8, 2017
So does the tantrum I’m throwing right now because I have to get up so early.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Thursday, April 6, 2017
To stay focused on positive action and release negative energy.
Despite how much time I spend reading self-discovery books, journaling, meditating, praying, and getting down on my yoga mat––I haven't been able to escape the human condition––overthinking and worrying about things that are out of my control.
It is in those instances, that I’m trying to remember that the road back to inner peace is available anytime and only requires a deep breath.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
All one word questions I try to avoid asking; in my mind and aloud.
The creative path stirs so many thoughts, fears, and insecurities;
One of the traps I try to avoid is validating my work by the sale.
“If someone buys my book; green lights my TV show, or purchases tickets to my play––then I am talented.”
“When I’m a NY Times Bestseller; I win an Emmy, or Tony––then I’m successful.”
“How––is this mindset ever going to help me continue to create?”
I want to create and trust that my work is enough.
When I close my eyes and release my ego, I remember that my path is not about counting credits, adding up victories (lets be honest, for every win I’ve suffered 20 losses), or selling more...
I became an artist because of a burning desire to connect with people, share my stories, and inspire people to engage in thought and become in touch with their emotions.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
I’ve pushed for so long, and yes I’ve enjoyed the journey, but every path eventually leads to a dead end or a crossroad.
I’m ready for new adventures––I have no idea of what form they’ll take or where they will lead––but it’s time to open my mind (and heart) to new possibilities.
My quest for inner peace and presence continues to coax me toward releasing everything.
Only when I’ve let go of every idea, dream, plan, or goal can I truly accept what is waiting for me.
It’s time to make space for Shaffer 2.0
Monday, April 3, 2017
No matter how many times I’ve done it, stepping out onto a ledge never feels easy.
Then again, the best adventures have happened when I was forced to jump.
Today I’m bullying myself again––like a father coaxing his son to ride the rollercoaster at an amusement park––I’m pushing myself to risk more;
Whether I free-fall toward the ground or catch a crosswind into a smooth landing, I am proud of myself for finding the faith to walk out onto that fragile plate, again.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Friday, March 31, 2017
I should feel guilty about parking my butt on my oversized Pottery Barn sofa and gazing into the 60 inch screen currently playing The Good Wife (I’m on season 4 episode 18), but here are the facts:
Last week I finished my second manuscript––a creative nonfiction work that is approximately 80,000 words. It’s only the first draft, but I believe that a few weeks away from my writing will help me reapprouch the stories with new inspiration.
Second, I have just been commissioned to set my second piece of choreography on the dancers at Slippery Rock.
Third, (yesterday between binging) I sent 15 emails, responded to 30 emails, orchestrated a video shoot which I am directing and producing in May, and finalized job opportunities for the fall."
Oh, and I managed to get down in my yoga class every day, too!
I’ve overachieved for the past five years straight, and I’m ready to join the land of the lazy without bullying myself into doing more.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
I need ten Advil, ASAP!
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
My mind is still, calm, present.
Through an open window in my living room I hear the sounds of nature in the suburbs;
An airplane cuts through the sky and I think how fortunate that I’m down here––at home with my family rather than traveling for work.
Life is a balancing act;
Finding gratitude for the creative opportunities that arrive unexpectedly, while navigating through thankless (but necessary) jobs; still nourishing my family and friends.
Like clockwork my brain attempts to redirect my focus to something out of my control;
I take a deep breath and return to my Zen.
Peace through the present and Faith toward the future.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Writing, reading, journaling, yoga––and finally more coffee.
While running errands I decide to stop at Starbucks for a grande iced latte.
Now, at home and comfortably seated on my sofa, I sip a sweet cappuccino and binge watch episodes of The Good Wife on Amazon prime.
I’m perfectly caffeinated.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Waking up from my ego infested mood;
It plagued me all day yesterday, but with a new day comes a new opportunity.
My head creates drama and my soul seeks peace;
Faith and a deep breath are working against the wheels in my head; I have the choice to move past this moment.
Saturday, March 25, 2017
A Manhattan in the lounge to keep the party going;
A Manhattan with our entrée to elevate the party;
A Manhattan as a nightcap to wrap up a solid reunion with my closest friends.
The perfect Manhattan Quartet!
Friday, March 24, 2017
The memo (in triplicate) is loud and clear.
All of the yoga and self-discovery books have inspired me to spend my energy investing in this moment.
Finding space to loosen my grip on goal setting and planning; accepting what I have now and releasing what I think I need.
I continue to find comfort in the unexplainable magic that happens when I stay positive and trust in God.
The law of attraction is no Secret; it’s truth. Peace is ours when we decide that we want peace and actively seek it.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
A space for creative growth and a cushion for rest;
An opportunity to seek new horizons and the gratitude of accepting where you are;
A moment to silence the chaos and be still, eventually welcoming the joyous music of the birds networking in the rustling trees.
Balance is available everywhere at anytime––when we remember to breathe.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Friday, March 17, 2017
Thursday, March 16, 2017
But in this moment, my pounding skull and the pressure in my sinuses feels like a bigger disaster than the Presidential Election of 2016! ...Too soon?
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
And most of my early thirties exploiting those experiences.
Now, I’m ready to begin enjoying the hustle.
As I confront the next decade I’m asking myself: what will bring me joy?
The answers are less about creative goals and more about quality of life.
Finding gratitude in the present and trusting that each day will bring me closer to the most evolved, enlightened, well-rounded man I can be.
My role model, my grandma, was inspirational beyond belief; not because of what she accomplished in life––but in who she was and how she lived her life.
That’s my new aim––not to be remember by what I accomplished, but rather in how I served humanity.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
The show was a first of its kind. Incorporating six twenty-something “strangers” picked (cast) to live in a house together in a popular US city.
The first season launched in New York City, followed by Los Angeles, but it was the the third season, in San Fransisco, where the show found its voice.
I was fixated on the Puck vs. Pedro conflict; not out yet myself––I was mesmerized by the courage and conviction that Pedro Zamora embodied.
Pedro was the voice of a new generation and network executives realized that they could make just as much money with a fraction of the budget.
The landscape of reality television evolved over the years and continued to exploit willing fame-seekers to whore themselves out on television (I’m still willing to be one of them).
Alas, I’ve finally reached my limit.
The turning point for me was when a New Jersey housewife turned inmate allowed cameras to document her downfall and hopeful rise back to fame.
The reality is that nobody really lives that reality––unless they’re a reality star.
I’m ready for a little truth in my life, in the form of Big Little Secrets.
Bye bye Bravolebrities.
Monday, March 13, 2017
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Yesterday I finished my second book, which forced me to spend a lot of time recalling events from my past, so it became very hard for me to return to the present while working.
Fortunately, I finished the first draft of my new manuscript, Is It Safe To Come Out? and I’m ready to return to the present.
Decidedly, I’m going to refocus my creative path––and seek a project that requires a focused awareness in the Now.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Friday, March 10, 2017
Thursday, March 9, 2017
I sit annoyed, waiting for a human.
While waiting for contact with life,
My computer reminds me that it’s time to check in for my flight.
It’s a friendly reminder alert that reminds me: technological advancements can be frustrating... but sometimes they can save you from a middle seat on Southwest.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Not the outcome of the project.
It’s impossible to force a dream into reality.
That doesn’t mean to stop dreaming;
It means to keep dreaming, creating, evolving––eventually that energy will guide me to a new opportunity.
The only path I need be concerned with,
Is the path I’m on now.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
How can I be more present?
Following the instructions (which I’ve combined from several self-discovery books I’ve picked along my journey), I take a deep breathe and remind myself that just acknowledging the fact that I wasn’t present––returns me to the present.
Feeling a sense of relief, I smile––I am present.
Then, I return to the thought that had me staring off into space.
Being present is a work in progress...
Monday, March 6, 2017
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Friday, March 3, 2017
Yet there among the texting, traffic, and road rage I felt His Presence.
As I was driving north in the middle lane just right of the “fast lane” with Jeff in the passenger seat––after a long day of errands––a women in the lane to my right wasn’t paying attention and began to change lanes.
She was an inch away from the right side of our car when I swerved slightly to my left to avoid getting hit; there wasn’t even enough time to honk my horn to warn her.
Before I knew it, our car was spinning out of control.
In that moment, I was completely calm. I continued to turn my steering wheel into each turn (thanks dad for the overbearing and relentless driving lessons over the summer I turned 15) and I maintained visual contact with the road.
I scanned the road––which to our blessed fortune was suddenly completely clear––and I managed to correct our vehicle back into the lane I was previously driving in.
I was aware and focused the entire time. Although I was prepared to hear a monstrous crashing sound and expected to wake up in the hospital, Jeff and I escaped the incident without hurting ourselves or anyone else.
I credit the self-discovery books, prayer, and meditation for my ability to stay mindful and present in that moment.
I thank God for guiding us to safety.
It was the perfect reminder that my path is not controlled by me; but how I react to the journey is.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
As I child I gave up chocolate, toys, and (tried to give up) homework for Lent.
Unaware of the purpose and starving for junk food until Easter, this time was nothing more than something I did because I was told I had to.
As an adult, I observe through letting go by choice.
Not because a church or religion tells me to, but because it’s the perfect opportunity to deepen my connection with God; Enlightenment.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
No fears, doubts, or judgements.
Pure bliss in the moment.
Grateful for what I have, had, and will have––but present.
Connected to God and The Universe;
Breathing in light and exhaling love and joy.
A fleeting glimpse of enlightenment;
It’s enough to carry me through the week.
Monday, February 27, 2017
I was forced to push myself beyond my negative energy and (thankfully) rare unhappy emotions.
Even while I was leading a creative exercise or teaching a room full of dancers a piece of choreography, I found myself fighting the voices in my head.
I was constantly questioning my path. Trying to decide if I still desired to pursue my own career as a performer. I’ve been traveling on this road for almost twenty years––and I’ve arrived at many brilliant destinations along the way––but I still have so many sights I’d like to see.
Do I still have the drive in me?
I was thankful that I was aware of my thoughts––and did my best to acknowledge them and return to the present.
Ultimately, I found my way back most of the time.
After a short flight from Seattle to Los Angeles, I got home and turned on the Oscars® telecast that I had set on my DVR.
Within the first three minutes of the recording, I had my answer.
Yes; I still very much want to work in this industry.
And how lucky am I that I have a job that allows me to grow as an artist, while working with future artists?
I was overcome with a sense of calm, joy, and tears of encouragement;
The only place where my dream is alive is in the present––nothing else matters.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Similarly, not all bonds last forever.
I’m grateful that this is not the case with my friend Tracie.
Tracie is a fellow choreographer whom I met in my early twenties in New York City.
An instant connection was formed and has blossomed into a deep meaningful relationship.
Motivated by laughter, creativity, respect, support, admiration, inspiration, honesty, and much, much more.
I realized very quickly––especially in the entertainment industry––that very few people will continue to be excited for you as your career develops. Even more challenging to find, is a friend who champions for you in every endeavor you embark on.
One of the best aspects of our friendship happens when we’re not speaking;
No matter how much time has passed or how long it’s been since the last time we saw one another––with one look we are instantly on the same page.
After nearly twenty years, Tracie has long departed the “friend” category––I consider her family.
My grandma always used to say, “Make new friends, but keep the old. New ones are silver, the gold ones are gold.”
I completely understand that now.
I feel so fortunate to have a friend who I can work with, laugh with, create with, and yes, cry with––we’ve cried over many lost jobs and boys––and through all of life’s ups and downs we have always been there for each other.
The fact that I still get to work with her, that is #Extra.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
I turn the light on and let the bright energy filter through my eyelids.
Knowing that my alarm will go off again in fifteen minutes;
I feel it’s safe to rise like one of those lizards sitting on a rock in the Galapagos Islands that I’ve seen on Planet Earth.
This is the unglamorous part of living life on the road;
Still, I’m so grateful I make a living doing what I love––I just wish what I love started a little later in the day.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Thursday, February 23, 2017
As an artist I’m always aware that every job while eventually come to an end––and thus, I’m constantly on the look out for another opportunity.
This year I’m giving myself the permission to sit in the unknown and focus only on the task in front of me; which has been terrifying.
Learning to be present requires absolute trust;
However, if I can master living in the moment––focusing only on what’s in front of me NOW––I imagine I will find peace, grow creatively, and experience more brilliant opportunities on the journey ahead; wherever the path leads.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
For the past year I’ve poured 90% of my creative energy into this book;
And with only one chapter left I find myself stuck.
It’s the most challenging story to share––which is why I continued to put it off––but now it’s time to dig deep and get it done.
A collection of nonfiction essays that explore my artistic journey and coming to terms with my identity on my quest for the “perfect” career.
This journey has lead me to discover new depths to my personality, creativity, and ability to communicate as a storyteller and human.
I’m excited to share my work... but first I have to finish it!
With that.. it’s time to face the blank page.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
The most useful tool for achieving my goals has been letting go of expectation and accepting the opportunity that exists in front of me.
Sometimes all we have is hope; and that is enough for me to get through today.
Monday, February 20, 2017
When boarding an airplane it's important to remember these simple rules:
Never board with your boarding group;
Make sure to have more than 2 carry on's;
Use as many overhead compartments as possible;
Block the aisles,
Talk really loud on your cell phone;
And no matter what, never listen to the flight attendant.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
A lot of frequent flyer miles... Yes.
The opportunity to connect and immerse yourself in different cultures and traditions... Yes.
Ten pounds heavier from eating too much junk food and not enough gym time...Yes.
But the worst... the constant dripping nose that can only come from spending your life in hotel rooms where people share their nasty germs.
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Soft in the firm areas;
Firm where I crave softness—you were not my friend last night.
My lack of sleep thanks you for the challenge you set forth for me;
Today I have to be perky and professional, even though you failed at your job:
To send me to Dreamville.
Tonight, I will fall asleep on the couch, and stare at you with dissatisfaction.
Friday, February 17, 2017
I don’t want to get out of my warm bed.
I faux excitent and remind myself how much I love my job;
Perhaps not every aspect of it––but this is part of the territory.
When I was twenty, traveling around the world for work seemed glamorous;
Now, it’s just a really long commute.
No one likes sitting in traffic but I sure love that I make a living doing what I love.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Birds chirping, an airplane flying high above, construction on the house next door, a gardener’s leaf blower, and a baby crying.
I went deeper into my meditation; quieted my thoughts and heard peace. I didn’t know you could actually hear peace––yet in the silence––there it was.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
An average of five hours of sleep each night;
A tickle in the back of my throat which suggests my immune system is weak.
I’m prescribing a day of couch cuddling and movie watching.
A system recharge is in order!
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The day women (and some men) everywhere set themselves up for disappointment.
Expectations of lavish gifts, expensive dinners, and unconditional love.
I never grew up thinking much of this holiday.
Yes, I enjoyed elementary school Valentine’s Day card exchanges and of course the candy, but should you feel loved, appreciated, valued, and spoiled every day?
There is one exception. My grandma––who passed away three years ago––would always go out of her way to send my sister and me a Valentine’s Day care package from Colorado.
The box would arrive a few days before February 14th and we’d eagerly wait to tear in to the box where we would find stuffed animals, school supplies, and candy. As we got older the boxes turned into cards with cash inside!
When I returned home from work last night, there was a package from my sister waiting for me in the mailbox.
Keeping tradition, I opened the package this morning and burst into tears.
My sister found a Valentine’s Day card that my grandma must have missed place at some point during my childhood. The card was clearly meant for me––it had a picture of a young man dancing––(my gram went out of her way to support my passion for dance) and it said, “For You Grandson.”
Even from heaven my grandma is sending me love.
I realized today how much I miss her and though I think about her every day, it was nice to receive some Valentine’s love from someone so special in my life.
That’s when I realized my single friends aren't crazy––they’re just longing to find someone who cares about them enough to shower them with extra love on a day that we all agree was made up to sell products.
Besides, who doesn’t love overpriced chocolate and flowers once in awhile?
Monday, February 13, 2017
A fast and furious collaboration that will produce another year of artistic growth.
I’m grateful know and work with so many talented creatures;
Now back to LA, where creativity is often overshadowed by fame.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Still, the dancers remain focused and energetic.
Their positive energy and creativity will sustain me today.
I am so blessed that I have the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented artists; using my passion to inspire.
I have followed my dreams since I was nine-years-old;
I continue to earn a living doing what I love.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Coffee line: 6:30AM
Hours of sleep last night: 4
Hours of time in the theater today: 12
...and people think that dancers have a glamorous life;
Following your passion requires: work, discipline, and a lot of caffeine.
Friday, February 10, 2017
I gabfest of epic proportions takes place.
Last night––after a five hour travel day, two master classes, and three hours of solo rehearsals––I laughed my ass off with two colleagues.
It’s refreshing to be in a room with likeminded, über talented artists who have heart and soul where an ego might be...
Just another reminder to constantly seek and surround yourself with positive creative energy!
Thursday, February 9, 2017
I made it through TSA in under two minutes;
The Burbank airport is a gem!
I stood in line for twenty minutes for coffee,
It's a small price to pay to avoid the drama at LAX.
I love my job, but like most people, I resent my commute; 3,200 miles is a long way to travel to choreograph.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
All in the realm of self-discovery and Faith, and each of them is pointing to the same thing: becoming present.
Everywhere I look I see signs reminding me of the same objective.
The universe, God, and my intuition are all in agreement that I need to concentrate on the present.
I’ve spent the past twenty years of my life seeking to work as much as possible;
Do more! Has always been my motto.
I believe we each have a path and my faith tells me that I will be where I need to be, when I’m meant to be there. Yet, I continue to question and challenge if I’m doing enough.
Worse, I see myself getting trapped in the addictive cycle of wanting more––instead of enjoying what I have in the moment.
I set out for surrender this year and I found it very quickly;
Sadly, it scared me.
Today, I realized that I need this calm, peaceful, mindful time to grow.
If I can understand and accept how to find the same gratitude and joy from stillness––imagine how brilliant and balanced my life will be.
I told myself that surrendering would be a challenge and it certainly has been.
The beauty is that I’m learning that I can thrive creatively and accomplish things in the calm, too.
Learning I don’t always have to go, go, go; it’s okay to breathe––and grow, grow, grow.
Monday, February 6, 2017
In a town full of smoke and mirrors, where movie studio backlots create rain from a water hose attached to a sprinkler, where fortunate for the moisture.
We’ve been in a drought longer than Oprah has been on a diet.
So, I think the rain is a good thing?
But I miss the blue skies and sunshine;
I guess I’ll have to watch a movie for that today, which makes sense, because it will no doubt have been produced on the same backlot that we normal make it rain.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Where a bunch of sweaty jocks fight for pigskin.
...and they call me gay.
Still, I gather around the screen––mainly because a bunch of sweaty jocks pile on top one another;
But also for the commercials.
And this year the star of the show was Lady Gaga,
Who managed to unite the country through a spectacular performance, subtly planting seeds of education, acceptance, and equality––without coming across like she had an agenda.
God Bless America, and Lady Gaga;
Inspiring through art instead of fear!
Saturday, February 4, 2017
If the creative energy is focused and invested;
The return will follow.
Dedicated to the present moment;
Manifesting inspiration rather than waiting for it.
Creativity requires nothing more than the discipline to take action.
Harnessed energy seeking the opportunity to share a story;
Whether written, filmed, choreographed, performed, or painted––
The cultivation of art, expression, and emotion will always lead to a new adventure.
Friday, February 3, 2017
A delightful memory from middle school, the heart healthy (or so the bag claims) snack that gave me the courage to face fourth period.
Don’t get me wrong, Doritos will always have a special place in my soul;
But SunChips have no artificial flavors or preservatives, so my gut can be happy without the guilty feelings...
Thursday, February 2, 2017
You thought I was talking about my ego, didn’t you?
My body is in pain––after three weeks of choreography––I remember why I take a break in the fall.
I’m back in action working with dancers across the country, which I love, but my muscles need to be rubbed.
I’m off to the day spa, I know it sounds glamorous––and it is––but I also consider it an “on the job” necessity.
Hot tub, sauna, steam, and massage. Repeat every two weeks.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Monday, January 30, 2017
Especially for those who believe that we need to “make America great again”, perhaps we should start by respecting one another regardless of our differences and begin looking for common ground.
Sunday, January 29, 2017
True, we’re not as young as we used to be––and we don’t drink as much as we used to––but we can still inspire, challenge, and laugh with one another.
My grandma always used to say, “Make new friends, but keep the old. New friends are silver and old are gold.”
Her friendship is more valuable to me than all of the gold in the world.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
I did not get enough sleep last night and I’m in no way ready to start my day.
The button on my iPhone insists on my fingerprint in order to snooze myself back into a slumber.
Ten more minutes is all I need.
I padded my morning with an extra thirty minutes––originally to have time to read and do my creative writing––but today it will serve as a wake-up-call delay.
Today is going to be a four shot Starbucks day!
#TheGlamorousLife on tour...
Friday, January 27, 2017
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Worried that I might miss an opportunity, I was constantly seeking to do more.
Always aware that I had a problem staying present, and often concerned that I would end up like those people...
The kind who are never happy with where they’re at or what they’ve accomplished.
They experience only fleeting moments of (what they perceive as) joy.
Until one day I woke up and realized I was, one of those people.
That was the instant I decided to surrender.
Now, I constantly seek balance through living in the present.
It’s not always easy––more often it’s difficult––but I’m aware of my patterns and ready to live the life that is waiting for me.
My creativity, passion, and tenacity are fueled by Faith instead of fear.
I am awake.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017
I smiled at The Universe and asked for clarity.
The thoughts dissolved and I heard the rain falling outside,
Beautiful melodies of water droplets hitting tree leaves.
Acknowledging the chaos brings attention back to the calm.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Begging me to prolong my day.
Meanwhile, the snooze alarm is screaming at me:
“You’re going to be late.”
Reality sinks in as I roll myself out of bed and into the hot shower.
I’m going to need two pots of coffee today.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Creatively, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually speaking, I want to reach beyond the limitations I’ve put upon myself and stir up a new point of view.
It’s time for expectations that no longer serve me to be released; not an easy task for a stubborn, over-achiever––but how can I reach new heights without the proper gear?
I have the opportunity to embrace new ideas about who I am and what I’m capable of.
Anyone who’s every been to the top of a mountain can attest that the view from above offers a completely different story than that of the valley they climbed out of.
I seek perspective from every angle.
I challenge myself to set up camp and appreciate the view during every segment of my journey; reaching the top is magnificent, but once you’ve peaked, you have to climb back down and learn something new.
Friday, January 20, 2017
I believe in signs;
Yesterday, I received the message loud and clear.
Following my morning meditation I read this, "On days when your plans are thwarted, be on the lookout for Me! I know the plans I have for you, and they are good.”
In that instant I felt connected and confident. I was ready to face the beautiful day that I had planned with Jeff.
An hour later, our plans were redirected; we had to give up our "day of fun" for work.
At once, I was frustrated that I had to give up my plans...
As I was getting ready, it dawned on me, "This is the message that you just read! This is the practical application."
Once I accepted the message from God, The Universe—however you want to label it—I was able to smile and soar through my day.
I had the choice to accept the change and see where the journey leads, or resist and miss out on an opportunity to grow.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
This statement––uttered my countless inspirational mentors and leaders––has been a reoccurring sentiment in my life.
I have dedicated my entire adult (and most of my teenage years) planning, training, preparing, studying, working, fighting––waiting for the opportunity.
I have been blessed with a bountiful amount adventures as a performer, choreographer, teacher, and now author; yet I continue to fall victim to the need to push for more.
Is it the human condition? I don’t know.
I am certain that I have sufficiently laid the foundation for my future––whatever it may bring––and I could stand to trust, a great deal more.
What good is Faith, if you can’t count on in unconditionally?
What I’ve remembered (again) today: when I focus on the creativity, and nothing else, the opportunity will eventually come... and I will be ready.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” ––John Lennon
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
But please remember the three days of bloating, heartburn, and weight gain you experience in the aftermath.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
I sleep when I’m tired,
I eat when I’m hungry,
I whine when I'm sad,
I hide when I don't want to be bothered,
I seek friends when I need attention,
I relieve myself when my bladder is full,
I exercise when someone else forces me to, and
I beg whenever I really want something.
Monday, January 16, 2017
Addicted to my evolution spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, and artistically.
Never one to accept where I’m at, as a child I was always questioning, thinking, and worrying about things that I had very little control of––now, I recognize that my obsessive-compulsive behavior and type A personality didn't help my circumstances.
As an adult, I’ve refocused my obsession to find peace in the present moment.
It’s a daily challenge––more often than not––I fall short, but I haven’t stopped seeking enlightenment.
On good days, I find the simple release and acceptance of “what is” remarkably effortless;
But the “bad” days are tough.
I’ve had a taste of enlightenment, and now I want to overdose on it.
Unfortunately, the prescription is hard to fill––it requires me to let go of the bullshit and stay present.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Slightly different than I had imagined way back when;
Perhaps a more attainable version of themselves.
Forever grateful that my evolved point of view allowed for a modification from the plan––in order to appreciate the opportunities as they were presented.
Otherwise, I may have given up a long time ago.
Nothing can be as wild as we dream in our minds––but if we allow it––the outcome can be a brilliant realization of something that felt, at times, unattainable.
So, I will continue dreaming, because who know? I might make it to my version of the moon, yet.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
All of the self-discovery books affirm––in their own way––that release is the key to achieving a more evolved me.
But I think Alanis Morissette said it best,
“The moment I let go of it,
Was the moment I got more than I could handle.”
I have to face the facts, I’m a product of the 90′s.
Friday, January 13, 2017
Cuddled up on the sofa while dreaming of burying bones and squeaking toys all day long.
It would be delightful to have someone feed me when I was hungry, bathe me when I needed cleaned, and walk me when I needed to go to the bathroom.
My dogs have the life.
Of course if I were a dog, I’d probably be the unfortunate one;
like the puppies who end up in the commercials with the Sarah McLachlan commercials.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
I found light and presence.
It’s easy to live in the shadow of negativity,
giving into the fear that the sun might night shine again.
Then, and without warning, a sliver of gold peeks out.
Suddenly the sky is blue and the air is clear––all thanks to the rain.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
When I walk in the light––fear, doubt, and negativity are lost in the shadows;
All that remains is a bright path.
In that radiance, the specifics become clear and the present is all that matters.
Monday, January 9, 2017
Seeking to learn more, serve more, and experience new opportunities and adventures that will elevate my purpose on earth.
Over time, I have discovered practical ways to stay present and achieve balance.
Last year was a time of abundant growth creativity and personally.
Hoping to continue to the momentum, I added another layer to my daily practice of seeking light, releasing negativity, and taking action; I decided to incorporate the action of “surrender.”
To my surprise, the first week of this year was extraordinarily more complicated.
In adding surrender, I somehow lost sight of the fact that I could still, seek light, take action, and be present.
Today, I woke up ready to refocus and remove the “new addition”, and go back to what worked in 2016.
As I turned to my morning reading––currently “The Power Of Now”––I opened my bookmark, and the chapter I turned to was: The Meaning Of Surrender.
Wow; okay, I get it.
God, The Universe, my instinct all said, “You need to learn how to surrender the correct way.”
I reread the chapter and remembered that Action and Surrender can coexist.
In fact, they are both necessary for growth.
Surrender does not mean that I should stop trying and accept that where I’m at is as good as it gets; it simply means trusting that through acceptance of what is, I can further work to seek positive action toward what I want.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Seriously, as I grow––so does my hair; everywhere.
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Even the weather in LA wants a job in show business––at least the rhythms are interesting; unlike half of the “talent” in this town.
Friday, January 6, 2017
When you’ve arrived at your destination with all of your bags fully prepared and it still isn’t enough;
There is a calm beauty in surrendering.
That is enlightenment.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
I followed the tools I’ve implemented and received small doses of inner peace; breath by breath; by the end of the day I was once again aligned with the present.
This morning I woke up with a mild hangover of emotions––not wanting a repeat of yesterday––I quickly turned to my morning check in (which involves reading a personal growth book and journaling), I turned to the chapter that I was reading in “The Power of Now” and the heading read:
Using and Relinquishing Negativity.
If that isn’t an incredible message from God and The Universe.
I laughed out loud––literally, not like an LOL response to something we don’t find funny on social media but feel the need to support our friends anyway; I read the chapter and once again received the message.
Negativity equals resistance.
My ego needed a boost and I caved to my inner manipulation.
But not today!
Nothing good comes from darkness; it is in the light that we shine.
No. NO. Negativity.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
I pour a giant cup of coffee,
I sit down with whichever personal growth, spiritual, or inspirational book that I’m reading at the time, and I allow myself the opportunity to learn––in the hopes of seeking insight and enlightenment.
Afterwards, I spend several minutes journaling––to review what I’ve read and release my emotions and thoughts.
Knowing that my primary theme for 2017 is, surrender––I thought these passages were a clear sign that I chose the ideal path for this year:
“All that arises passes away. This I know” ––Buddhist Monk
“To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. ...things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for happiness now come with no struggle or effort on your part...” ––Eckhart Tolle
“’I trust in you Jesus.’ In response to whatever happens to you.” ––Psalm 63:2
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
There is a time to water and nurture the seedling;
There is a time to sit back and watch the stalks grow tall;
There is a time to harvest the crop;
Everything has a season––I’m finally grasping the importance of step three; I plant and plant and plant and plan––yet I fail to watch my work grow.
It’s okay––it’s necessary––to step back, breathe, and appreciate the work.
It used to feel like I wasn’t accomplishing enough in those moments, that I should be doing more, but I understand how valuable rest is now.
From every valley and new mountain appears––I must give myself a fighting chance to make the climb.
Monday, January 2, 2017
Letting go of the need to do it all.
Last year, I adopted the mindset to trust in the now––which worked very well for me.
This year, I will take it a step further, allowing room for surrender, too.
My brain is wired to over-achieve, and when I don’t receive the outcome I expect, I often push too hard.
So as I set out for new journeys this year, I’m going to fight like hell to suspend my relentless nature.
Tanacity is a valuable asset as an artist, but it can often come across as desperation, too.
I’ll continue to ask for what I want, but (I think) I’m more willing to hear “no” and move on!
Only time will tell.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
Not on life, or my creative path, or my family, or anything wild like that;
I’m using this year to surrender.
Letting go of the need to do––well, anything.
I know what you’re thinking, “You say you’re giving up, yet you sit in front of your computer typing away on a blog post.”
Okay, to be fair––it’s true––I have a hard time with inactivity.
But that’s not why I keep a blog.
This daily experiment started in 2010, after the passing of my grandfather.
I set a goal to write every day for a year––and in doing so––I discovered that my outlook on life changed for the better.
My ability to write about almost anything evolved, too, (which is good if you’re trying to be a writer and “find your voice”) and here I sit 7 years later, a published author.
I have no idea what’s around the corner for me in 2017, and I’m completely comfortable with that.
I learned how to be present last year––truly present in every moment––which lead to soaring victories for me personally and professionally; and the strangest thing is that the more that I let go and accepted the path that was in front of me, the more brilliant the opportunities that followed.
So here I am looking a fresh new year directly in the eyes, and I see hope, joy, creativity, and even more growth as a person and artist.
A very wise man (my husband) said that he wanted to greet the first day of the new year with the same tone and intentions that he plans on proceeding with for the rest of the year, and that’s precisely what we did.
I had no agenda today; I spent my time with loved ones, doing what we love––without expectation.
I’m ready for you 2017, and I promise to do my best to be present in every moment, live fully, take action––and yes––surrender when that is the clear choice.
Saturday, December 31, 2016
The blessings, growth, and adventures have been abundant.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I look back on the opportunities and evolution that I have experienced in the past 364 days.
My life is a constant work in progress––I’ve never been shy about admitting that––and still somehow I manage to flourish in the midst of finding myself.
What were once flashes of light in my otherwise dark outlook––have manifested into a literal moving frame of pictures from day to day.
More than ever before, I was able to stay present, accept each moment for what it brought, and breathe through even the most challenging setbacks.
As a writer, I finished my second manuscript. I learned more about myself through the process of sharing stories from my past, with the awareness of my present.
As an actor, I worked on two television shows––and remembered how magnificent it is to perform; I’m nowhere near the end of this journey.
As a choreographer, I had the opportunity to set my first full-length concert dance piece; watching my story come to life through the dancers eyes was magical.
As a person, I re-discovered that a positive attitude and the fearless pursuit of my passion will always lead me to an opportunity.
I have no clue what’s next for me––but I know that wherever I am, I will do my very best to stay present, seek light, and savor the journey.
Friday, December 30, 2016
I give myself permission to blow off work, and curl up with my puppies next to the fireplace. I dive into a great book until my eyes start to blur and then I relocate to the sofa and channel surf until I find the perfect movie to fall asleep to.
Today is the perfect way to ease myself into 2017 and my new resolution: surrender.
I’ve spent the larger part of my life overachieving, hustling, fighting, and engulfed with busy work––I’m really looking forward to a new approach.
The rain delay is here to stay, at least for a season.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
That simple, yet powerful switch in my focus allows me the space to evolve into the most enlightened person I can be, as long as I walk (or wheel) the earth.
“I’m not aging––I’m living.”
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
bundling up to go sledding or sipping hot coco by the fire...
But the swaying palm trees backlit by the gorgeous California rays reminds me that I'm an LA baby, all the way!
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Monday, December 26, 2016
My sister and I under one roof––along with my niece, three dogs, my husband, mom, and step-dad––it was a circus for sure.
It was also a wonderful reminder of how special the holidays are.
We played board games, watched movies, but my favorite was a round of karaoke; my niece loves to sing!
Today, we’re going sledding at San Isabel.
Tubing down snow hills, we’ll surely freeze our butts;
But what Colorado Christmas would be complete without snow and hot coco?
...and my niece screaming in my ear as we fly downhill!
Sunday, December 25, 2016
I feel blessed to be with my family this year;
Faith, food, laughter, and cheer.
We opened packages this morning––as people do on Christmas––but the best gift I received this year was the present; truly learning how to live in the now.
Learning how to enjoy or accept each and every moment, regardless of the circumstance, has enabled me to appreciate my life on a deeper level.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Candy, cookies, and Hallmark movies are abundant.
The cooking is finished,
The presents are wrapped,
And I’m just waking up from a long winters nap.
My family will gather tomorrow with cheer;
And after the festivities we’ll all run with fear––of cleaning the dishes!
Friday, December 23, 2016
Laughter, love, and a lot of dough.
We made delicious Italian cookies called pizzales.
Nothing says, “Merry Christmas” better than a dozen of these sweet, light, crisp cookies.
They remind me of my childhood, my grandma, and my gut––because I always eat too many!
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Their warmth was a nice contrast to the cold winter night.
The puppies woke up early this morning to go play in the snow;
They leap through the air like Santa’s reindeer.
Today we’re baking traditional Italian Christmas cookies;
Just looking at the ingredients I’m gaining weight!
It’s good to be with family during this time of year.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
A time of gratitude, reflection, resolution, and faith.
I always start each year off with a theme or word to visualize and meditate on.
As I gather my thoughts for 2017 the word “surrender” continues to present itself; in conversation, while I’m reading, and during yoga.
Why is it so much easier to absorb ideas while lying in shavasana?
When the mind is still and the heart is content––when all that remains is breath,
I find my surrender.
Now, if only I could figure out how to incorporate the energy into my daily life––without obsessing over checklists, resolutions, and overachieving.
I need to surrender to my OCD, and just be.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Four former neighbors––a la Melrose Place––gathered to celebrate the Christmas spirit and share our resolutions for the new year.
While enjoying tantalizing food, festive (and fabulous) cocktails, and enough laughter to avoid sit-ups for at least two days, it was evident that we share a formidable bond.
Our relationship has endured more than a decade in Los Angeles––and through all of the transitions, job promotions, setbacks, and scene changes––we continue to seek creative and personal growth together. As true friends tend to do.
These bonds are rare in LA, more precious than Oscar gold; and I’m not letting go!
Sunday, December 18, 2016
She’s trying to decide if she should attack her reflection––or play chase.
We make eye contact and she tilts her head sideways;
My heart melts and she gets bashful.
I can't comprehend people who don’t understand dogs––they are such honest, loyal creatures.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Christmas is just around the corner and if I keep overeating at every holiday party––I’m going to be large enough to replace Santa Claus.
Tis the season to be merry; and uncomfortable in clothing that doesn’t have an elastic draw string.
So, unless I’m ready to start buying my clothes at Walmart––I need to trim the holiday cheer.
Friday, December 16, 2016
The warmth of the flames inspire happy childhood memories.
Raindrops tap lightly on the window;
The soothing rhythm provides background orchestration;
Perfect for writing.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Creating the perfect playlist,
Seating arrangment––it’s important to consider who’s NOT talking to who.
Stocking the bar,
Small talk, greetings, meeting new friends;
Drinks are served––now the fun begins.
Laughter, gossip, food, and more booze;
Tis the season to be jolly.
...tonight marks dinner party number FIVE... four more to go!
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Opinions, ideas, and reactions––even when the come from the right place––often confuse the conversation.
Sometimes a friend just need you to say, “I understand; I’m here for you.”
Silence speaks volumes.
Monday, December 12, 2016
The other one rests by my thigh;
I pound at my computer:
Checking emails, connecting socially––and occasionally I get some creative writing done, too.
It’s good to be on the road working;
But it’s great to be at home with my family.
Business as usual this morning.
It’s important to honor the little things in life;
Every detail further enhances the moment.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Friday, December 9, 2016
Releasing the emotional reaction to a situation helps alleviate the fear.
The unknown can be overwhelming;
Light will always conquer darkness––it just takes faith.
Past and future can only hurt you if you allow the feelings to stop you from living in the present.
Be here NOW.
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
A phone call, email––even a text message just to say, “Hello. I’m thinking about you.”
We’re so consumed with acquiring money, fame, accolades, and material objects––but what we need is friendship, a shoulder to cry on, validation of our feelings, fears, and desires.
Contact; with a human, not a machine.
Warmth from another feeling being.
Take time to share your energy with someone today; it may change their entire outlook.
Monday, December 5, 2016
Starbucks is like Wheaties to me,
In fact, I think the dedication page in my next book will read like this:
Starbucks your loyalty (reward program) has kept me addicted since 1994;