Thursday, August 28, 2008

Things are looking up...

There’s something to this business of feeling good. Interesting things happen when I allow myself to see the positive aspects of my life. It’s as if I have taken off the heavy coat of negativity and have replaced it with a funky little swimsuit. Like the kind I wore as a kid, day and night, during summer vacations. I didn’t even need to be at the beach to wear the thing. It was just the positive expectation I woke up with every morning that if I wore my fancy-dancy bathing suit something cool would happen that day and I would be ready for it! This reminds me that, in my core, I am a natural at this business of feeling the cheerful expectancy of my life as it unfolds before me. I remember I could feel this “Right on-Slap me five-I’m alive-Up high-Down low-Too slow!” good stuff all the time as a kid. It was inherent within me to be so playful. It was internally programmed, the obvious thing to do. It was regular behaviour, like breathing.

I understand that sometimes I forget to breathe. It’s the one thing my gorgeous voice teacher, Anne Scrimger, kept coming back to over and over again in college: “Don’t forget to breathe. Always come back to the breath.” The breath is the connection to everything that’s real and honest. It’s a light switch. You flick it on and suddenly you just see things differently. So it’s not surprising to me that I liken this experience of just plain feeling good in my body to breathing.

When I forget to let my breath flow down to my core (and I hold it up in my chest), I feel pinched off. It causes me to look back over my shoulder at the recent history of having been in a funk, having been anxious and having carried around that awful feeling of not knowing “how” all these challenges will resolve themselves. It feels as if I’ve been trapped in some kind of bubble. The air is thin in there. It’s not the kind of bubble I can see through either. It’s more like the egg that Mork zipped around in on “Mork and Mindy”. Well today, I feel like I’ve cracked the egg, stepped outside of its confining shell and welcomed myself to Planet Earth.

I like it here!

From my perspective in this moment, I can see the buildings through downtown Vancouver and the traffic humming along the city streets. I see the beautiful architecture of this one particular hotel and marvel at how solid though it is now, it was once just an idea in someone’s head made manifest and now here it is and I have the delight of gazing upon its splendor. I can also feel the grace still with me of easily waking before the alarm goes off and collecting 10 minutes of snuggle time with my slumbering husband lying next to me. We fit so well together. He lifts his arm to draw me close. I nuzzle into his chest, slide my leg between his and like two pieces at the centre of a magnificent puzzle, we just click.

I love the sound of my baby stirring in his crib as he wakes up just as I have finished getting ready for work. It’s as if he’s timed it out perfectly. He rubs his little eyes, and snuggles his cheek into the nape of my neck. We saunter down the hall and rest together in stillness as I nurse him in bed next to Daddy. We three are in sync. Then later before we dash out to drive me to work, we all play a game of catch in the kitchen with a foam ball of which Zachary has thoroughly mastered the throwing. (He is a glorious, genius baby who is absolutely astounding in his supreme awesomeness and I am not biased in any way, shape or form.)

Yes, I like this business of feeling good. I have no attachment to the outcome of things I once feverishly clung to for salvation. Yesterday, Bryce had an impromptu phone interview with the CEO of a company he’s been courting for a few months. I marvelled at the support and excitement I felt for him as a result of simply trusting in the process of life. Of knowing that this moment (and his interview) is just a fun part of the game, not to be taken seriously but rather to be savoured and celebrated. It was so invigorating for me to cheer him on and to be able to look at his interview not as a desperate, pressure-cooking means to an end but as an opportunity for him to state his intentions and his truth to the Universe and it just so happened to occur in that moment in the form of a job interview.

This must be what it feels like when I allow myself to go for the ride!

I wake up and see things differently. Today, I allowed the idea of a fabulous meeting between my favorite director/producer and myself to dance through my mind’s eye. I blew it up on my internal projector screen and watched as we exchanged ideas about the excitement of our latest projects. (And I actually felt the thrill of it while I pictured it unfolding!) Then we easily transitioned into a read for the lead in the series I’ve been desiring.

No big whoop. Just another day of relishing this wonderful new practise I’ve adopted called, I’ll see it when I believe it.

Believe it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A river runs through it...

Today did not start off well. My focus upon waking was placed squarely on my husband being unemployed. It was like, and has been like, a thick slog that feels so mighty and heavy on my limbs as I attempt to dig and claw my way through it. I can't see. Sometimes it seems I find a speck of light that catches my eye and I hope with earnestness that the sun is shining somewhere above me trying so magnificently to show me the way out.

And yet somehow I know it is not the sun. It is my inner being reflecting its own magnificence outward. She is calling out from within me to say, yet again: "Put down your armour and accept what is. You don't need to fight it anymore. Lay down your shield. All is well. You are loved. You are loved."

But I'm stubborn and I go back and forth - arguing against my inner Source, my inner Goddess, my true self. I find reasons to continue the battle. "It would be better if only he had a job. If only he would do this. If only we had that. If only. If only. If only..."

These if only's are pipe dreams from which I dangle precariously in this weird struggle to find balance between what is right for my husband and what is right for me. Right now my desires haven't manifested and I am having a morning of firmly planting both feet on the shore; refusing to get into the boat in front of me. I am steadfast in my obstinance that if I fight it, this well-being of mine, will somehow come to me faster.

But the boat is calling me. It wants me to get in and paddle along. It cannot promise me when the waves will stop rocking or when the current will lighten up but it asks me nevertheless to get in for the ride.

So in this moment, I am thinking about progressing. Of maybe allowing myself to have only one foot on the shore, one foot in the boat. Then my ego tells me, "Ah... but you've been in this boat before remember? You've held on to the sides with white knuckles desperate to steer yourself in a better direction. Remember how terrible it felt to try and fail?"

Yes, I remember.

I'm spooked. I couldn't seem to make it through this rocky part of the river I've been on (for what feels like so long now) so I grabbed onto a weed and pulled myself to shore, discontent to stand on the sidelines, glowering at the malevolence of the water spinning past me. For it seems I will have to face this river over and over if I want to get where I want to go. My ego tells me that it will always be this hard. That there is no point in hoping for a smooth ride to the outcome of my dreams. And so I sit on the riverbank watching. Waiting. Every now and then, I throw rocks at the water to get back at it. But it keeps going, oblivious to my attempts at retribution.

There has to be a better way. Better than depending on someone else's actions for my happiness. Yes, I recognize all my old shit coming up about feeling the need to be taken care of. Hell, at this point, I would be happy to do the taking care of myself, as long as I am able to do it without working two jobs to support my family while auditioning and, oh yeah, finding time to mother my child.

And therein lies the crux; The rub; The fucking down and out; The issue that keeps coming up for me again and again and again: I don't believe I can have it. And so I am too scared to try.
I am too scared to believe because I cannot seem to believe long enough for the thing I want to manifest. (IE. A successful career, wealth, a smooth ride down the river...) (And maybe a nice B cup.)

I am too scared to get in that damn boat. I am scared that if I do, I will come up short. Can't I wait until I feel a calmer stream before I put myself back in? Can't I make it just a little bit easier on myself before I try again?

My ego is hopping up and down taunting me, "No! No! Get back in while it's rough!!! Then you'll remember never to do it again."

I turn to my ego and give it a good stare. And it stops hopping up and down and just looks at me daringly. I stand quietly. Then the mischievous glint disappears from its eye. Then its eye disappears. I rub it right off its face, along with its head, body, feet and toes. The shoes my ego wore have disintegrated from my mind's eye and I have erased my ego altogether. Well, maybe not altogether but I have erased my identification with it in this moment. And all I had to do in order to accomplish this was to stand in stillness. To rest in the rejuvenation that its serenity provides me.

Now it's quiet where I am and I'm considering another ride down the river. My boat is bobbing a little, riding the waves that lap up against it from the current of my previous thoughts. But this little boat seems to be made of sturdy stuff. So I'm thinking of giving it another shot. If all that stands between me and the manifestation of my dreams is that I get in this boat and trust in the ride then I will get in and go with the flow of things.

OK, I'm in now. I look at the riverbank and kick off from the mossy landing where I have been huddled away lately. The boat, with purpose, turns its nose toward the depths of the stream, steadfast in its ability to get me to the mouth of the river and into the larger body of water where I long to be. That's where my dreams are. That's where my wealth is. That's where I direct my films. My lead role in a great series is there also. And yet, perplexingly, if I will only let myself understand this: All of these experiences - every last scrap of them - are within me also. This whole time they have been waiting inside me for their opportunity to emerge, gracefully.

"Beyond the beauty of external forms, there is more here: something that cannot be named, something ineffable, some deep, inner, holy essence. Whenever and wherever there is beauty, this inner essence shines through somehow. It only reveals itself to you when you are present."
- Eckhart Tolle

I am present. Let this new ERA be revealed...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Feeling Good...

Here is a delicious quote from a book I am currently reading. I highly recommend "Money, And The Law Of Attraction" by Jerry and Esther Hicks (who appeared in "The Secret"):

"Today, no matter where I am going, no matter what I am doing, no matter who I'm doing it with, it is my dominant intent to look for things that feel good. When I feel good, I am vibrating with my higher power. When I feel good, I am in harmony with that which I consider to be good. When I feel good, I am in the mode of attracting that which will please me once it gets here. And when I feel good - I feel good!"

Further on the topic of this feeling, the authors offer a simple instruction for going about your day:

"As you move through your day, look for more reasons to laugh and more reasons to have fun. When you want to feel good, you do not take things so seriously; and when you are not taking things so seriously, you are not as likely to notice the lack of things wanted; and when you are not focusing upon the lack of what you desire, you feel better -- and when you feel better, you attract more of what you do want... and your life just gets better and better."

That's all from the "Focus on what you want files".

I hope you feel good today...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A walk in the park...

Today I experienced complete and total relaxation. I was utterly at peace with myself. In fact, I’m still blissed out. I might even drool a little on my keyboard in my present state of tranquility.

Though, getting here was a bit of a slog.
Before the bliss, there was the piss. I was in a shit mood. Tired from getting up early for my new temp job and from all the stress over the last few months. I was walking to the park with the Zachinator and chatting on my cell phone with my sister, Joey, who was reading to me from Eckhart Tolle's “A New Earth”. I was lamenting to her about how exhausted I was. How everything I desire seems to exist so very far away from me. Even the playground seemed like an eternity ahead. I desperately needed to be cradled; I needed to be taken care of; I was tired, weary, beat…

She listened, then continued to read about what Tolle calls the primary focus. The primary focus is simply focusing on whatever is happening in the moment you are in. That’s it.

That’s irritating.

Naturally, being the stubborn git that I am, I belabored my point and argued against accepting my present moment because I was too damn tired to do so and also, I didn’t really care for what was happening in this moment. To which my sister replied that I was only tired because I was focusing on being tired, thus creating more fatigue. Then it went on like this for a while: She told me to focus on what I want; I told her I was too deep into thinking about what I don’t want to focus on what I do want. (Insert circus music here.)

The whole time, I was pushing Zachary in the stroller on an exceptionally beautiful day but was so deeply attached to what I felt was missing in my life (aka – the experience of being and feeling taken care of) that I could barely push the buggy. The bug that was pushing me was somewhere up my ass and frankly, it was getting to be a real drag. My sister continued to read and I found myself getting annoyed, which always happens when she is right about such things, especially when I know she is right about such things, and usually because I am holding on so tightly to whatever shit thought I am having - almost as if I'm trying to prove some kind of point: "I'm right! Life sucks. Can't you see?!!"
Finally, as our conversation ended (and knowing me so well), she said: “Enie, you just need to let go.”

And then, I found myself at the park. Toddler Town, as it is called. I also found before me, a choice: I could continue to bitch and moan about how tired I was and about how I really wanted someone to take care of me or I could roll up my pant legs and go swimming in the wading pool with my little boy who was absolutely gleeful at the sight of the water before him. I chose to take a dip and I began to feel the layers of fatigue melting away. At my sister’s urging, I had stopped the negative stream of whining in my head and replaced it with a better mantra: “I am taken care of”. I said it over and over again. And after a minute, as I frolicked in the water with my son, I began to believe it.

What followed was an afternoon of bliss. I got to play in the sunshine with my baby. I shouted “One, two three JUMP!” and held Zach's hands as he leaped into the pool from the short ledge above. The sploosh of his tiny feet slicing the water was punctuated with his deliriously happy shriek and this made me giggle. The grin on his face would have melted the heart of anyone in sight.

Afterwards, we found a shady spot for our blanket underneath a lazy tree. He stood belly to belly with me as I sat in front of him, his little arms wrapped around my neck. He wore only his diaper to keep cool in the heat and his soft breath fell on my cheek as he checked out all the other kids at the park. I lingered over the smell of his hair, all blond and curly and totally disheveled with bits of kamut puffs sprinkled through its sun-kissed strands. And my mind was nowhere but where it was – right there in the moment. Its primary focus was simply the enjoyment of a day at the park.

(I hate it when my sister’s right… And I friggon love it too. What can I say? I’m a Gemini.)

As it turns out, I was taken care of after all - by my son, who has yet to reach his first birthday, but has somehow managed to bring incredible presence and innocent wisdom to my life, regardless of his brief time with us thus far.

After a lovely play date with some freshly-made friends on the next blanket over, we packed up our gear and headed for home. The walk back from Toddler Town was a slow and lovely one. I even stopped at one point and took my slumbering baby out of his stroller and held him in my arms the rest of the way. He fell asleep on my shoulder and we sauntered merrily along, mellow and thoroughly content.

Life may not always feel like a walk in the park but it’s amazing how quickly it can change for the better when I set my mind to it.

That’s all from the blissed-out files.

(Insert drool on chin here…)

Friday, August 8, 2008


“Satori is a moment of Presence, a brief stepping out of the voice in your head, the thought processes, and their reflection in the body as emotion. It is the arising of inner spaciousness where before there was the clutter of thought and the turmoil of emotion."
Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth

My sister, Joey, is here visiting and, as always, brings peace to my troubled waters. I don’t mean to suggest that I am always unhappy but if I am honest with myself, despite my abundance of great fortune (relatively speaking), I have found in my life a reason to be unhappy under many given circumstances.

On the melancholy menu this week:
- My husband has been unemployed for six months;
- We have no financial security;
- My career is in the shitter;
- I am 20 lbs overweight;
- I have taken on a part time job in customer service at the age of 35 because my husband is unemployed, we need the money and there are no big gigs on my plate because I am 20lbs overweight thus making it even more difficult to get cast on camera than it normally is, hence the reason my career is in the shitter… And by the by, my breasts are too small.

See how that works? Once I find one reason to be unhappy then so many others pop up and tend to fortify the preceding ones until I have concocted a meal made up of so many sad morsels. I become a Debbie Downer. But there is a part of me that feels that not getting what I REALLY want is so inherently unfair that I become furious at everything that hasn’t gone my way: Why do we always have money troubles? Why can’t I have a lead role in a series already? Why can’t I get my short film made? Why can’t I be thin with a gorgeous B cup? I’m not asking to break the bank here. I would just like a small handful. Is that too much to ask? I am angry and bitchy and generally unpleasant. Fuck, fuck, fuckitty fuck.

Then just as I rage into an inner hurricane of wrath which threatens to rip through any peaceful, happy moment that might surface in my day, a Satori arrives from an unexpected source and it stops me alive in my tracks. It’s a Mack truck of enlightenment that thrusts itself so mightily up through my despair and self-destruction that it allows me to see things differently, peacefully - the way they are meant to be seen. It is a merciful gift from the heavens offering a little perspective and if it had a sense of humor it might say, “Try not giving a fuck”.

My Satori came yesterday in the form of a beautiful letter from someone I love, written to someone else I love, which was shared with me and it literally left me in tears. In the letter, and in the face of everything my friend is struggling with these days, he described his willingness to surrender control – to let go of madly trying to control everything he perceived as being troublesome in his life. In the spirit of serenity, he lovingly announced that he was simply going to allow things to unfold as they may and “lay down his shield”. His words caught the lump in my throat and softened me from out of nowhere.

And in that moment, I took a look at the positive people in my life and I realized the difference between them and me (or the me when I am negative). When circumstances pop up for them that are less than desirable, they find a way to accept them, dance along to the new tune being played and trust that the music will change and move them forward to a new, more pleasing melody. When this happens for me, and a song comes along that I HATE, I raise my sword and do battle with life. I attack and rail with this heavy armour of mine and fight against the Universe, God and Fate for making such a mess of things for me. I let the monkey I’ve been carrying on my weary shoulders scratch away at the back of my neck as it spits and lashes out at anyone who will listen about just how bad my life is now, how bad it has been before and surely, based on everything that is wrong in my life, how bad it will continue to be.

But when I read my friend’s words yesterday, a pocket of peace opened up in my head and it sailed so gracefully to my heart in a clear rhythm that had eluded me until then that I was able to finally feel a connection to my true self. Not the ugly me or the pathetic me, as I have tried to label myself so many times, but the me that is pure and beautiful and worthy of joy.

There is something so powerful about surrendering control. I truly believe that my soul just gets that. My soul knows that whenever I let go and let God, I slide into the flow of life and revel in the simple, yet beautiful joys that are awaiting my footsteps. But for some reason, even though I’ve surrendered before, I forget that it’s ok to surrender again. I’m like a woman who has forgotten the agony of childbirth and chooses to deliver another time not realizing the pain that is in store in order to birth a baby. But in this case, all I can think about is the pain. I agonize about it. Obsess over it. This always happens before I fully let go and attempt to deliver myself into some quiet moments, in which I get to walk hand in hand with life, trusting that what It has in store for me is just right and in perfect alignment with every dream and desire I have for myself. I forget that I don’t actually need to struggle but that rather to let go means to truly hold the hand of God and walk along this path I am on. I will be ok. I will be taken care of. It’s safe to trust. To fully let go and trust is a lesson I have to keep re-learning over and over again.

I know I am on the cusp of understanding it when the weeping comes in the presence of a Satori. The tears are ones of release and they wash away my foggy lens so that I can see, even if for a brief moment, that life is actually on my side. My weary self has had enough of all the turmoil I have created and I am ready to create something else, something better. I am ready to “lay down the shield”, or in my case the sword I have been using against myself to procreate so much misery in the place of the utter delight that is naturally wanting to manifest itself for me.

“One day, I’ll find relief. I’ll be arrived and I’ll be a friend to my friends who know how to be friends.
One day, I’ll be at peace. I’ll be enlightened and I’ll be married with children and maybe adopt.
One day, I WILL BE HEALED. I will gather my wounds forge the end of tragic comedy.
I have been running so sweaty my whole life. Urgent for a finish line.
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time.
Or being forever incomplete...”

These are the lyrics to an Alanis Morissette song called “Incomplete” and it has been another revelation for me. It is such a lovely piece of peace and when I watched her perform it live on TV one day, I felt calmed. It was so beautiful to see her share her art with the world as she gently set her armour down and opened her heart to let us see inside, past some of the experiences that have caused her pain recently, and into the music that tells us it’s all going to be ok - that there is still hope that one day all will truly be well.

Yet, I am beginning to wonder why I think that that day always has to be at some point in the future? And this is what the song asks me to consider also.

I began to crack open to this query this morning as I sat on my husband’s lap and buried my face into his shoulder – so strong and supportive and so completely there for me even though he is experiencing some pretty stressful stuff himself these days. I admitted to him that I am suddenly so very tired of missing out on my life. There is so much good that is happening right in front of me. Yes, there is crap. Yes, there are some unwanted circumstances upon us. But I have decided that because I have a tendency to find fault with myself no matter how good or bad things may be that I cannot waste another moment missing out on my own much deserved happiness. It is my birthright to revel in delight for crying out loud, right?! So why must I deny myself what is rightfully mine to enjoy?

I am reminded of the words of Randy Pausch, the university professor who, prior to his death of pancreatic cancer, delivered “The Last Lecture” and in so doing captured the world’s attention. His quest was to leave a living manual of sorts for his children knowing full well that he would not live to see them grow up and that they would be left without a father to look to for instructions in life.

I bought his book recently and look to the gems within for instructions in my own life. I devoured it quickly after I picked it up and every night before bed, I close my eyes and flip to a page that wants to show me what I need to know before falling asleep for the night. The other day, I opened to a page where the following words jumped out at me: “No matter how bad things are, you can always make them worse. At the same time, it is often within your power to make them better.” It was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. And I am still absorbing the full meaning of this passage days later as I take a look at some of the unhelpful habits I have turned to over and over again in trying times. I have spent a good deal of my life making things that do not go my way worse for myself and for everyone around me in an attempt to scratch and claw my way to a phantom outcome, which always seems to be just out of my grasp until it flies so far out of reach and then finally disappears off the horizon.

“I have been running so sweaty my whole life - Urgent for a finish line. And I have been missing the rapture this whole time...”

How much of my life will I allow myself to miss? Randy Pausch soaked up every last ounce of the time he had left and let the world soak it up with him. I have been presented with so many reminders that our days on Earth are numbered and precious. Painful reminders, which came to me most notably after my Mom’s sudden death. But isn’t it possible to enjoy all this fleeting time without the shock of losing a loved one to jolt us back to the present moment?

I am learning that it’s only possible if I choose it to be so.

“One day, my mind will retreat, and I’ll know God and I’ll be constantly one with Her night dusk and day.
One day I’ll be secure, like the women I see on their 30th anniversaries.
One day I will be faith-filled;
I’ll be trusting and spacious authentic and grounded and whole.”

One day…

I think that day is today.

My mind’s eye has opened up a new lens for me and I am choosing to see things a little differently now. I am eager to shed the layers of self defeat. I am willing to let go of my wrath and be gentler with myself. I don’t know where the finish line is but right now, I’m just too tired of the race. I’m going to spend some time in stillness for a while. I like it there. I like it here.

My sister, with all her wisdom, insight, laughter and tranquility has given me a brief holiday. She is my great Satori. And I don’t want to miss a minute of it.

(If you’d like to watch Alanis Morissette sing the song, check out the link below. The lyrics are there as well and they are lovely as can be. Click Here )