Monday, August 21, 2017
Everything is possible.
In the early morning hours I spend my time in mediation––clearing my head (and heart) of the past––preparing for the present.
Mindfully, I work to release the energy of things that no longer serve me;
Faithfully, I breathe in the sliver of light that cracks on the horizon.
A fresh start.
A chance to reawaken my dream.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Friday, August 18, 2017
Thursday, August 17, 2017
My adrenaline spikes giving me the extra push I need.
Creativity and excitement surround my body carrying toward the goal.
With every race I grow stronger; mentally, emotionally, physically––and most important (to me)––creatively.
The journey; climbing hills, pacing myself around corners, releasing the obstacles––it’s all been worth it.
It’s not about finishing, it’s about evolving.
But the end looks very appetizing.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
The rain punishes the earth as we glide across the road.
Then, without warning, the sky opens to a bright-blue-Hemsworth;
The sunshine radiates the green fields; all is well.
Reminding me again, that no storm lasts forever.
Monday, August 14, 2017
I woke up to birds chirping and remembered that––although I’m not at home––I get to spend my week doing something I love.
I’m dancing and choreographing alongside one of my closest and oldest friends;
We’ve grown together as artists and people and we still find new opportunities to push ourselves and our relationship.
So while I’m suffering from exhaustion––thanks to six weeks on the road––I’m so grateful that the end of my summer touring schedule ends with a solid creative endeavor... and a lot of laughs!
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Friday, August 11, 2017
As a young dancer my body was always ready to jump, pirouette, and jazz walk across the floor;
Now that I'm old, I need to do a few stretches, just to get out of bed!
I find that the most effective warmup—for me—is black coffee.
I'm joking of course, but not really.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Monday, August 7, 2017
The bass kicks in and leads my soul, while the lyrics simultaneously instruct my body to turn, leap, and transition across the floor.
In the studio, everything makes sense.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Yesterday was a life changing moment for me and my family;
We spend so much time obsessing about “how” and “when”, we forget to trust in the present.
Over the past six months I’ve been slowly releasing my hold on one specific life-long dream, and the second I moved beyond the fear, the dream manifested in a direction I never saw coming.
God, The Universe, the present––always provides.
I’ve noticed that once I accept what is, I find a trail to what can be;
I’m ready for the next chapter in my life; literally and figuratively.
Let’s do this!
Friday, August 4, 2017
Naturally, I took it home and popped it into the refrigerator, where it sat waiting for me to consume it until today!
How lucky to have a Starbucks crafted drink ready to greet my day at home.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
I’m sad I had to wake up, I was accepting an Emmy for my stellar work as a choreographer.
It was hard to accept that it was just a dream, but I’m happy to know that my dream is still alive––even if it’s while I’m sleeping––and more importantly, that I continue to follow my passion.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
She spends her day walking from the couch, to my lap, to her bed, to our bed, and back to my lap––taking very few steps in between.
The only time she’ll get excited is when the word “cookie” is mentioned;
She jumps four feet off the ground, gobbles the delightful dog treat, and jumps back into my lap––snoring within two minutes.
Why can’t I have that life?
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Until the green leafy branches are trimmed back––revealing an even more gorgeous view of the Hollywood Hills––then I am reminded that everything looks better when we cut back...
Monday, July 31, 2017
My grandma used to tell me, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."
I've used her words throughout my life and career; a benchmark in the way I conduct myself professionally.
I stand up for myself—even when it's unpopular and inconvenient—because I refuse to enable a person in a powerful position to take advantage of another person just because they think they can.
No job or relationship is worth being treated without the same respect that you would treat your grandmother with; period.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
But I gave my best effort today.
I just woke up from an 12 hour coma.
Feeling rested and ready to go take a nap on the couch with my puppies.
It’s a lazy Sunday––I might feel guilty––if I hadn't just spent the past three weeks waking up at 6 a.m. and working until 11 p.m.
Finding balance on the road is challenging, now that I’m home for a few days, I’m going to celebrate my inner bum.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Past the self-doubt, fear, and anxiety;
I found peace (again) in the light.
The present is here, ready to welcome me and free my soul from the commotion of yesterday and the uncertainty of tomorrow.
Today I am awake;
Grateful for the adventure and ready for unexpected opportunities.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Monday, July 24, 2017
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Saturday, July 22, 2017
As the Uber coasted around the mountain bend, I could feel the calming energy of the lake penetrating my skin;
Further into Lake Tahoe, the endless chatter in my mind subsided and I felt my inner peace return; it has been missing for a few weeks.
Like anyone, I face momentary setbacks.
I spend so much time hustling, creating, pushing for my artistic ambitions to meet their destiny;
Often, I forget that I have no control over the journey.
Only how I react to my circumstances is within my grasp; and without Faith, light, hope—I lose my step.
Now, emerging back into the present, I feel the weight lift, the sky above Heavenly Village is just that, a gift from God.
I am here.
My past cannot be changed and tomorrow will bring the demands of tomorrow.
Today, I found my Zen; again.
Friday, July 21, 2017
Thursday, July 20, 2017
I fell asleep last night with the joyful anticipation of a sunrise walk to the Starbucks Coffee shop, which is located four blocks from the hotel.
I’m not sure my need for caffeine supersedes my desire to stay dry.
It’s the day of the show and if I don’t get my Venti Soy Latte, I might cry.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
I have the tools, faith, and ability to find my way to light;
The power is in the choice:
Release the past and find your way into the light,
Or, live with negativity, and fall deeper into the depression.
Deep breath; let it go.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
The creative process is often a delicate balancing act of pushing past our limitations and accepting the present for what it has to offer.
Like my grandpa used to say, “if you want to do it, do it––if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it.”
There is no stopping the power of creativity; it is a force that––once in motion––cannot be stalled.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
I smiled a simple, unforced smile at myself in the mirror while I was shaving and I remembered how positive and full of light I can be.
It’s a choice to be present and positive;
Darkness, doubt, fear, and anger are all readily accessible; seeking a target who is willing to spend more living in the past––I refuse to give in without a vicious fight––and find my way to the present.
I have no concern for how many times I will re-learn this lesson (as often as it takes to find balance and a brighter outlook), it’s my mission to live in the present with unconditional love, fearlessness, and Faith.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Deposit my paycheck,
Choreograph my next piece,
Edit a short film,
Eat a healthy meal,
Consume two Starbucks beverage (at different locations,
Change my wardrobe,
Return business calls,
Respond to an overloaded email inbox,
And finish my morning meditation while working a short yoga phrase—which I record and post—for social media!
Friday, July 14, 2017
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Today, I’m challenge with a lack of sleep and a line too long at Starbucks;
I wil have to face The Force of an entire crew dressed up as their favorite Star Wars character––on a cup of weak hotel coffee.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
But it does the trick when you cannot get to a room that has been adequately heated and saturated with the perfect blend of humidity and hot bodies (literally and figuratively).
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Still in a Netflix haze––binge watching Glow––had me body slamming pillows all night long.
My roommate finishes getting ready in the bathroom, while I check my Instagram account, trying to commit to getting up.
If I want to avoid another ten minute Starbucks line, I’ve got to get my ass in the shower...
Sleeping in is not an option on tour.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Sunday, July 9, 2017
The truth on tour is that I dearly miss my family and every second I'm away from them feels like an open wound.
Today I board a red-eye into the storm of a three week tour;
The glamorous life begins, and so I mask my sadness behind a facade of white teeth—which I paid top dollar for—and I celebrate the fact that I get paid to live my dream.
The present sometimes requires a delusional bliss; the paycheck helps, too!
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Life is too short to give a shit about other people’s judgments of you (no matter how important they think they are), trust yourself and plan an exit strategy accordingly.
Friday, July 7, 2017
Endless hours of time invested on my yoga mat;
Meditation and prayer are a constant in my mind and soul;
Still, I struggle to be present.
The work of the ego is as mighty as the Devil at weeklong Bible retreat in the south; and more destructive, too.
When I give in to the unrealistic demands of my ego, I seek more; more money, more jobs, more opportunities, more, more, more!
A catastrophic path that leads to a miserable life.
The annihilation can be avoided by getting out of my head and back to the present.
When I use the tools: breathe, release, trust, and find light––I return to the finest version of myself––present and ready for anything.
Thursday, July 6, 2017
I think when I get over something I never look back;
But if I let something go, I always wonder if I’ve released it too soon...
I can get over my reaction to a circumstance, but I can never seem to let go of the person or path that lead me to react in the first place.
My goal this year is to learn how to really let go of the energy that no longer serves me; it’s a simple practice in getting over my need to control everything.
And I’ve already established that I’m good at getting over things...
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
You never realize how overgrown and ugly your property is, until you have a specialist open your eyes to the weeds, overgrowth, and dead weight.
It was a metaphor for the internal emotional and mental struggles I’m dealing with.
I accepted that it was time to give my heart, mind, and soul and good pruning today; which will be my focus in yoga––clearing back the overgrown fears, doubts, and weeds.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Monday, July 3, 2017
Feeling off center; I ground myself through coffee beans and self-help books.
Reading, journaling, and a quick scan of my mental and emotion health reveal that I may be spending more time in my head than I'd like to admit.
With a deep breath and a heavy sigh, I release the darkness;
Saturated poison and fear that I absorbed like a sponge in a room full of people who hide behind a judgmental smile.
I am who I am; letting go of everything else—life is short—I've got work to do.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
The grumbling in my stomach from eating inconsistently;
The subtle traces leftover sleep in my eyes;
The mild aches and pains in my neck from sleeping in a bed that's unfamiliar;
(I miss my bed.)
This is the life that I dreamed of living, for better or worse, so I'm turning my frown into a forced smile—it will eventually manifest into a genuine feeling of gratitude—I'm living the dream.
Saturday, July 1, 2017
The employees at Starbucks dawn their best game faces;
As a former service industry professional myself, I see past there plastered smile and pleasant facade.
My expertise in dealing with customers at 6 a.m. detects a hint of snark in their tone as they welcome crabby customers.
I smile inside and count my blessings; I get spend my day in a theater—I might not be performing—but I'm not appeasing un-caffeinated assholes.
Friday, June 30, 2017
Thursday, June 29, 2017
I didn't book the job;
Which saved me from backing out of two—already contracted—gigs.
I was struggling with the decision and asked God to intervene.
I told myself that I'd be happy with whichever outcome I was faced with; to my delight, I feel confident in the answer the Universe sent me.
Sometimes booking a role on TV is not as important and maintaining an existing agreement.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
which means my creative energy is so powerful that people are attracted to me more when other people are exploiting it.
...or, that life.
I’m going with the later.
Of course, I’m 2000 miles away from LA when I receive offers to work on a new television series––ever the professional––I turn down the spot on the small screen to honor my first commitment, only to return to my hotel room to another email from my agent with a second offer on an already established TV show.
...when it rains, it pours––was the response I received from both my husband and my manager.
My motto has always been, “If it’s meant to be, it will be.”
So I said yes to the second part and now I have to wait and see if I can break a contract (which, in 20 years in the industry, I’ve only done one other time) and work coordinate a costume fitting around a national holiday and an overbooked flight.
Today I’m going to let go, and let God.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
You are here.
The present moment;
A powerful force against fear, doubt, and uncertainty.
I don’t need to know where I’ll be next year at this time;
Nor do I need to focus on what I’ll be doing next week, tomorrow, or even tonight.
Over, and over, and over, and over, and over, again––I bring myself back to the simple truth:
this moment (literally this very second that I am typing) is the only thing that is real.
I can’t change the past or predict the future; when I’m present I don’t need to––because I remember––the past cannot be changed and the future will never be here.
Monday, June 26, 2017
I Googled “upper stomach pain” to discover that––thanks to years of an ibuprofen addiction––I most likely have a peptic ulcer.
So...I get to deal with that, while on tour.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Faith––in its very definition requires that you trust especially when things aren’t going your way.
How do I find that light––that positive energy––in total darkness?
Accepting that God, the Universe, a powerful being greater than I, has a plan.
In the midst of doubting, I remind myself of the countless moments when that force intervened in my life; that has to be enough.
Returning to the breath and letting go of the fear––absolute surrender––in times of massive negative energy is the only way through; like a flashlight illuminating the trail through the overgrown forest, faith is the only light I need.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
I often write about saying goodbye––a universal salutation––that never gets easier for me.
Today’s farewell was more challenging than usual, primarily because I’m flying out of town, too.
Instead of going back to Colorado with mom, or to Hawaii with Jeff, I’m going to work––while most people in LA rage about their 60 minute commute on the 405––I flair my nostrils and lose my shit going through the TSA PreCheck line.
I’ve willingly paid money and submitted a complete background check (both hands fingerprinted), and still I stand and wait.
But I digress, I’m feeling sorrowful. Even after five days of fabulous, undivided quality time with my mom––I feel like I need more!
Add on the layer of leaving my husband and two puppies for nine days and I drop into full panic mode.
It’s moments like these that I’m grateful for the nerds of the world––like Steve Jobs––for using their mighty brainpower to create devices and software like iChat... Now if someone would just figure out how to teleport humans across thousands of miles in a nanosecond...
Friday, June 23, 2017
Thursday, June 22, 2017
writing my blog entry for the day at 12:14 a.m.;
cleaning the kitchen;
obsessing over what to wear tomorrow;
choreographing projects in my living room, while binge watching Bloodline on Netflix;
eating almond M&M’s that my mom left out the coffee table;
sharing cat videos from YouTube to Twitter.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Free flowing breath;
Mindful mediation calms the chatter and useless ambience in my mind;
My soul awakens with the joyfully focused energy in the room;
Passion, creativity, peace, balance, and presence; a harmonious practice of evolution and light.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Per mom’s request, we headed down to the South Bay (where I grew up) to eat at one of our favorite restaurants. The hole-in-the-wall greasy family operated Mexican café was every bit as delicious as it was twenty years ago... the only difference is the reaction my body has to it.
Apparently overly-salted foods with too much dairy and lard don’t sit well in my yoga body; I think my stomach literally said, “Gurgle, gurgle...YOgattaBeKiddingMe!”
We decided to watch a movie when we got home and without missing a beat, my mom pulled out a bag full of candy and chocolate; some things do not change...and I LOVE it.
I’m in heaven when my family is in town; my waistline is in hell...
Monday, June 19, 2017
Sunday, June 18, 2017
I step into a blisteringly hot shower hoping that the heat will help peel my eyes open.
Still not awake I get dressed in a zombie-sleep-like rote.
My viens are begging for caffeine;
Starbucks won’t open for another 20 minutes.
I remind myself: you are living the dream! The life you chose for yourself; so get excited and be grateful
Saturday, June 17, 2017
While at dinner, I reached out to him, and within 30 minutes I was meeting him at his stage door for a final dress tech rehearsal!
It might be one of my favorite aspects of the artist’s life;
No matter where you are in the world––if you’ve worked in show business––there’s bound to be someone you know...putting on a show.
It was such a pleasure catching up with my friend and watching him take the stage in the title role; he’s a star, on stage and off!
Friday, June 16, 2017
Watching people pass, some are off to a fabulous vacation, many are headed to a 3 star hotel, and some don’t even change out of their pajamas;
Traveling is so un-glamorous.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Getting trapped in my head about circumstances that cannot be resolved with logic.
I close my eyes and practice my meditation;
what good are tools if we don’t use them, right?
Breathing in slowly and releasing the doubt.
Every day invites a new opportunity to find awareness:
I can’t solve tomorrows problems––but I can be present today.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
I needed that reminder today.
Time and again, I forget just how powerful a smile and a positive attitude is;
my life has been a series of opportunities that were born out of my relentless, passionate, steadfast approach to my dreams.
It may not be the path that I mapped out when I embarked on my adventure twenty-one years ago, but just like a trip to Disneyland––the best rides are the ones you have to go out of your way for.
And the most rewarding experiences thus far have been those where I engaged with a likeminded group of people and created something unique and unexpected.
Monday, June 12, 2017
I was singing and dancing along with the talented actor-singer-dancer (triple threats) that the theater community––unlike many in LA––praise.
How fortunate I was to find a home in the theater community so early in my life; deep in the closet (at a performing arts high school––no less), or once I finally came out (on the stage at Radio City Music Hall––of course), I found joy, love, laughter, education, inspiration, and art among the men and women who pour their soul (and soles) into the work that they do.
Is it a coincidence that the community that accepts everyone; encourages everyone to find their voice; inspires the world to dream; celebrates their heroes by honoring them during Pride month?
I’m sure the Gay mafia has something to do with it... I joke, but seriously, thank God for theater––it is more than entertainment; it’s history, art, education, inspiration, love, laughter, and acceptance––and it just might help a kid living in darkness, step into the light!
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Saturday, June 10, 2017
We all have them, though some will deny their existence—out of fear, shame, or being labeled crazy—but lurking in chaos or even in the stillness, a voice judges every circumstance.
Our ego is powerful and ready to crush everything in its path; even if it means self-destruction.
With a deep breath and faith, I silence the useless chatter and proceed with my day.
I'll listen when my voice instinctually guides me away from danger; cautiously aware that danger may exist in my mind.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Thursday, June 8, 2017
I constantly seek to be here, awake, now.
On my best day––when I’ve floated through yoga, nailed an audition, typed out ten pages of quality writing, spent hours laughing with friends, and receive an unexpected residual payment; when a river walk with my puppies feels like a momentous event or a trip to Starbucks with my husband is the most important thing in the world––I have no doubt that I’m presicily where I’m supposed to be.
It is on those days––when I wake up and feel an unexplainable lump in my throat, that what I’m doing is not important or I feel compelled to throw in the towel and stop creating––that I remember that I’m human.
That superhuman high of being present is only accessible to me when I release the hate speech in my head; that self-doubt that does nothing but stop me from living the most inspired life I can.
I imagine these thoughts are similar to many of the people my age. In fact, I’m positive it’s what many refer to as a midlife crisis.
However, I feel no crisis, I truly know exactly what my purpose is––and I’ve pursued it my entire life––it’s just getting much more challenging to maintain the determination, tenacity, and faith as I watch my friends and peers advancing in their careers.
Again, this is not unique to me, I know, but it feels real today.
So I honor my feelings, take a deep breath, and release the energy into the universe; the day is still young (even if I’m not) and all I have is this moment, it’s time to smile and take positive action to be present.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
The birds chirp loud as they prance for crumbs on the patio at Starbucks;
You can almost ignore the car alarm that blares on at the two-decades-past-its-prime car dealership across Ventura Boulevard;
Not even the windy rush hour traffic can muffle the pointless security feature on a tired used car.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Reminding me that no amount of yoga, Zen, meditation, Presence, or spiritual enlightenment can make me perfect.
I’m an imperfect soul––seeking to be a more evolved, aware, and gentle;
Through my setbacks I gain perspective and discover that I still have work to do.
A constant work in progress––with an emphasis on release.
Be. Here. Now.
Monday, June 5, 2017
Watching people fighting each other to be the first to shove their overpacked bags in an overhead bin, is a reminder of how much shit we—collectively—try to force in other people's space.
Your baggage should not be someone else's issue; yet here I sit watching grown men argue about who has more status—it's always the one with an ego the size of his waists.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Twenty-year-old me is rolling his eyes, but truthfully, booze on the road are brutal.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
When does a creating a habit create despair?
I’m entirely in favor of forming patterns and staying focused, but I’m ready for balance and I accept that I hold all the power.
Like Dorthy waking up in Kansas; I can leave OZ whenever I decide to (REALLY) trust the process and stay present. I know that it is in the NOW that I will find the answers to the most important question: what can I do today?
Friday, June 2, 2017
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Even after years of yoga, Zen meditation, and plenty of career and colleague validation, I fight the instinct to drowned myself in extra salty eggs, buttery breakfast potatoes, and an overdose of sweet rolls.
Just when I think I’ve reached my bursting point, I like to cram down a toxic level of citric acid in the form of fresh cut pineapple, hand-squeezed grapefruit juice, and four cups of executive-level coffee loaded with heavy cream (did I mention I’m lactose intolerant?)
What can I say, I’m a sucker for the word “free”, and when on vacation (or work) I allow myself to be free with my feelings...even if it means eating them.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
My sister, Shiree, reached out to me with a challenge to write a six-word story from a pre-selected list of themes.
I enjoyed finding a creative way to squeeze my story into six words, but I realized that I prefer to write without limitations.
I grew from the exercise, no doubt, and I discovered that I can insert my “voice” and style into almost any topic.
...this comes as less of a surprise to my close family and friends.
Apparently, I like to talk a lot; and share my opinions, a lot; and I guess I realized that I have a lot of space to free-up for new thoughts and ideas.
The most rewarding aspect of the month long challenge was that I remembered how much I crave writing.
Not just when I have a deadline or a specific goal that I’m working towards, but simply out of habit.
I appreciate releasing the thoughts in my head onto a blank screen.
There––at least for a moment––the constant dialogue has vanished from my mind and awaits judgment from someone else; a far less judgmental critic than I.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Monday, May 29, 2017
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Friday, May 26, 2017
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
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.