abundance · aspiration · community · fear · fun · synchronicity · truth · trying

In case you weren’t sure, I was the one dancing.




Last night, I got an email reply to my inquiry about volunteering for a day-long community social action project in the Fall. The
call was for artists of all types, and if I’m anything, I am an artist of all
The email came back: YES! We’d love to have you; here are
some painting projects: Create a mural; touch-up-paint a building; paint a wall; help kids decorate bags for food that will be donated.
If you read my blog, Men at Work, about circumstances that have come to
fruition since being put in my “G-d box,” you may remember (as I do, since it’s
now tacked to my fridge) that in that box was a list of things I wanted to do,
accomplish, or participate in. The second on the list, just after “being in a band,” is painting a mural.
At the time I was writing my blog about it, the mural didn’t
seem so important anymore. In fact, I reflected, “Sure that’d still be totally
but that doing a mural doesn’t feel as
prioritized as some of the other items on the list, like finding a creative job
I enjoy, or being in a musical.
And yet. Here’s an opportunity I would never have thought
would come to be an opportunity!
The email said the mural would be in collaboration, and
there’s more info that I’d gather from the committee members, so I wouldn’t be
doing this in isolation at all.
However, I notice, too, that my typical/habitual reaction is to say, “I’m not an artist on that scale or level, so I’ll take the job of helping the
kids decorate lunch bags.”
I know that’s my automatic response. I know that’s my fear
response. But, I also know that there’s validity in saying, I’ve never done
this before, and I would love to help, but I’d also need help.
And, so, that’s likely what I’ll say. I’ll be honest with
where my talents are, but also where my aspiration is. I mean, if I never, ever
step out of what my comfort zone is, how will I ever know what I am capable of,
That doesn’t mean taking risks at the detriment of a
community project just to say, “Of course I can do it.” It’s detrimental to me (and to them) if I take steps that are developmentally inappropriate out of fear or pride. That doesn’t mean not to stretch out of my comfort zone (which, FYI participating a mural at all is!!), but it does mean that I start with a 5 mile hike, not 10.

This all feels very parallel to the job of the lead role in the play I was offered. I know it’s a stretch of my talents. I know I’ve never done it before, but unlike the play, the mural is something I’d really love to do. I appreciate the organization, their mission, and think it would be a lot of fun.

More will be revealed. I will let them know my truth, and be willing to say, “I
don’t know if I can take the lead on this project, but I would love to be ‘second in command’ or co-chair of it — truly involved in its creation and completion.”
Instead of playing it safe with the colored bags (something I know I can land easily, have fun with but not be learning much), I think the way to “dare greatly” here is
to offer to help out on the mural however I can, and learn a whole lot on the
way. Then maybe next time, I can confidently say Yes to taking the lead.
Here’s to being willing to cross more items off that list! (And here’s to my “daring greatly” in the first place by writing to them that I wanted to be involved at all.) 

avoidance · community · connection · disconnection · equanimity · fear · isolation · love · relationships · synchronicity





I was driving down to San Jose for the Queen concert the
other night by myself. I was meeting my friends who were coming from the city,
and we decided it was more time efficient if I drove from the East Bay myself.
I drove in traffic, behind, in front of, and next to other
people driving by themselves. No carpool lane for us. And I reflected on how in
this age of disconnection, where people seem to be lamenting the loss of
connection, community, and interdependence, we certainly do like to be alone a
Or, perhaps “like” is a strong word. We’re enabled in being alone a lot.
I live in a studio apartment alone with my cat. I drive
alone to work because public transportation to my job is not feasible. I can
spend entire days not connecting with another human being. Without hugging
another human being.
And then, like yesterday, I run into one of these human
beings at the farmer’s market, that I went to alone, and get a surprise hug and
get to share a moment of catch-up and a smile. A farmer’s market where I
finally know the bread vendor by name and he knows mine, so we can say hello
properly after a year of my buying the same whole wheat. Where I ran into one of
the families from my work and spoke with her and her son, who was running circles around a
tree again and again, asking me between breaths what I was doing there.
I was invited to go to dinner and the movies last night with two
girlfriends. I could have said, No, I have to pack for my camping trip, which
is so totally true, and imminent right now. And I literally asked myself which
was more important: going to the grocery store before it closed to get organic meat,
or spending time with a woman who’s moving to Nashville in two weeks.
I chose the friends. And I’ll be going to the store once it
opens before we hit the road.
Which is another one of these connection moves I made
recently. An awareness that I had recently: I miss hanging out with groups of
folks. I am great one-on-one with
people. I can talk and gab and get deep. But there’s something for me about
being with a few people that ignites a different side of my personality. I come
alive in a different way. A) it’s usually less intense and deep conversation
when it’s more than one person. But not always. I just like groups of folks.
I’m excellent at big and small talk, and I like people. –Well, some of them,
So, I’m at the part in my healing work where I’m to make
amends in relationships that need mending. And this is one of them: recognizing
that I have a deficiency in my social life that affects my joy. And then doing
something about it.
Because of this awareness, I organized this camping trip.
Because of this desire to be with folks,
I am joining some of them to see
The Goonies for $5 movie night at the Paramount next week, and I
asked if we wanted to have dinner beforehand, and I made that reservation for us.
Because, independence is appropriate, as far as it goes. Not
needing people to do for me that which I can do for myself is independence. Not
needing someone to constantly bail me out financially is independence. Not depending on a substance to
make me feel normal or different or a version of “better” that is unattainable,
is independence.
But when it comes to human relationships, I like to strive
(these days, at least) for interdependence.
Not co-dependence, which is
the opposite of independence, by the way. But equanimity – a word I only
learned a few years ago, but has been a soft murmur in the back of my head
since then. To me, equanimity means not being emotionally tossed around by
others, and not tossing them around either. It means having boundaries for
myself and allowing others to have theirs. It means
creating, actively trying to build relationships with people
on a basis of trust, mutuality, empathy and shared values.
This is not always easy. In fact, it can get right messy,
and it has, for me in many of them, as we crawl our way out of strict
independence or co-dependence into interdependence. Relationships have
suffered; some have been lost, and others have been strengthened exponentially.
It takes work to give up independence, or, as I’m using it,
For right now, I can claim independence from my need to
isolate. Because I am learning how to show up honestly, with boundaries and
without iron walls or punishing.
If I can do that, then there’s no reason not to be in community.
Happy Freedom from Bondage Day, Kids!! – Whatever that looks
like to you. 

ambition · band · choice · commitment · community · fulfillment · fun · gratitude · happiness · joy · music · opportunity · synchronicity · theater

Band Aid.




You know, it was right around a year ago last June that I
stood up with a group of 4 other people and played bass with a band in front of
actual people in an actual venue. – I’d started playing in May.
This month, I’m being invited to do so again.
I’ve picked up my bass literally once in the last 6 months,
since our final show on New Year’s Eve, or the final show I played with them
before I left the band to pursue theater.
This switch, this focus of my energies in one creative
direction (one that I’ve always wanted to pursue, but never let myself try or
admit or commit to) has turned out pretty darn well in these last few months: I
got real headshots, auditioned about a dozen times, performed in one play, one
staged reading, and am preparing as the lead in a play at the end of the
These are all great things.
But I miss the band.
I miss the immediate gratification of playing with people. I
miss the noise, the movement, the sound, the collaboration. I miss the
Theater is performance; being a musician is a performance;
but there’s a difference. The former is literally more staged. It’s not like I
have acres of experience in either, and maybe I simply fell in with a great
group of people for my first band – which I did. But whatever the formula is
for happiness, I felt that when I played.
A friend once asked me what it was like to play with the
band. What it felt like. And I took her question with me to band practice that
week, and noticed how I felt as we fiddled and fixed and went over and over and
moved into a rhythm, and went totally off the reservation with funny lyrics and
made-up progressions: I was smiling. I was bouncing on the balls of my bare
feet – the only way I could practice – and I noticed that I felt content, engaged,
in the moment, fun, funny, “on.” That’s what “happy” felt like.
Next Sunday, I’ll get to practice with a new group of folks,
a friend and his friend, to prepare for a potential show in July, before my
theater rehearsal gets going. I’m feeling nervous and jittery – wanting to get
the music charts NOW so I can practice, be perfect, be better – because if you haven’t followed along,
I’ve only been playing a year, and not that consistently at that!
I want to build my calluses back up. I want to remember
where C is on the fret board. I want to bounce on the carpet in my bare feet.
I love this theater stuff, … but I love the band better.
(P.S. I’m just reminded to reflect that it was only a little
while ago that I wrote here that I wanted to “band” again … and here it is. Word.)

connection · healing · love · recovery · synchronicity · trauma

How I met my best friend from Long Island in South Korea




It’s 10 years this Fall since we met. I’d come
off a 14-hour flight from JFK into Seoul. I seem to recall I was actually
picked up by the Assistant Principal of the pre-school where I’d be teaching who drove me the 45 minutes back to the Samsung Apartments. The LG Apartments
were over the hill. 
I arrived to a large 4-bedroom apartment with heated floors,
one Texan, and a Canadian, the two other “native English speakers” who taught
at the school just up the road – or over a fence if you were late and feeling
adventurous. I tore my favorite pants that way.
Further up that road was a mountain spring, where my
Canadian roommate, the one who showed me the short-cut, would refill his water,
in line with agimas, old hunched Korean women with no front teeth who would
cut in front of you no matter how long you, young white person, had been
standing there waiting to fill up at the fresh, cool water tap.
The Texan insisted that I come “into town” that very
first night, before jetlag and culture shock set in. Beer. The great equalizer.
It was halfway through the school year, so the Texan had met some of the other
ESL teachers in the area, one from South Africa, one from Ireland, all in our early to
mid-twenties, all young enough to be stupid and adventurous, but old enough to
have consequences. We celebrated on the first of many nights to come over uncountable
pitchers of piss-water beer, bad games of darts, and laughter
that always got too loud, and if you were me, too sloppy.
About a month into my new life there, culture shock,
homesickness, alcoholism running like a hotshot through my veins, I found
myself hailing a cab in a dark corner of Seoul. Well, I was attempting to hail
a cab. But wherever we’d ended up wasn’t the typical wei-gook (white person)
hang-out, and fading, wasted, and tired, there weren’t any cabs.
This is where we flash forward through the two Indian men
offering to give me a ride home, me saying no thanks; long minutes passing without a cab,
and them coming back; me agreeing to the ride. This is where we flash forward
through them pulling the car over on a lonely stretch of highway, and taking
turns raping me, too drunk and immobilized to fight.
This is where we flash to them actually driving me home, and where I collapse inside my apartment’s front door and begin to wail.
And, by the grace of something I will never quite call
coincidence, this is where Jess walks out of her boyfriend, the Texan’s room,
and comforts me.
She picks me up, I tell her what happened; she offers to
stay in my bed with me, I tell her it’s alright. But the darkness of my bed
is too large, and I pad across the heated wooden floor to their room, knock on
the door and ask her to stay with me after all.
Jess insisted the next day that I go to the hospital. I
wouldn’t have. Never would have even crossed my mind. She came with me to all 4 of
them, because at each we were turned away, because “rape is not an emergency.”
To flash forward over the harrowing and humiliating events
of that day that only compounded the isolation and violation I’d suffered, I’ll
tell you it’s over. And the rest will have to remain the content of therapy
sessions and the slow course of healing, which over the years since I’ve
considered turning toward volunteering at a crisis hotline. But honestly, it’s not over. I’m not over it enough to help others. 10 years later.
Two years later, I lived in San Francisco. Jess lived in upstate New York in a
partially-converted garage next to a washing machine while earning her
Teaching Certificate. 5 years later, she met an old high school-mate at a New
Year’s Eve party. 9 years later, I watched them get married. And three weeks ago,
she had a baby girl. Who I’ll get to meet, and hold, and smell next week on Long Island.
My friendship with Jess is inextricably linked to one of the
hardest events in my life. I’d barely known her before that night, met her
sure, another East Coaster, great. But friends? As dramatic as it is to say,
but real enough anyway, it was while holding the hand they’d botched the IV into
that Jess and I became friends.
It’s accrued and built and become many more colors and
tenors and experiences over the decade, mainly on the basis of a shit-talking,
wise-cracking, overly honest relationship. (Yes, the nurse stuck her hand up
Jess’s vag to pull out the rest of the placenta.) And although it started as it
did, and though I would eagerly and instantly give that experience back–despite how it might
“benefit others”–our friendship is easily one of the great and unexpected treasures of my life. 

abundance · adulthood · integrity · maturity · progress · reality · recovery · responsibility · San Francisco · synchronicity · work

Breathing Room.

Sort of makes me wonder if there’s a room somewhere where
all people do is breathe? Maybe that’s called a meditation center. Or a
In any case… yesterday, the interior design company I’ve
been temping with these last few weeks (and on and off during the last year)
asked me if I’d like to come on with them for a temp gig for a full, firm 6
weeks (possibly 2 months, but 6 weeks firm)?
Of course, I said yes. !
This gives me 6 weeks to really have the mental space to
look for permanent work, while not freaking out about bills being paid or not.
I know, now, that I not only will have July rent paid (HUZZAH!), but I will
have August rent paid. I haven’t known if I’d have two months’ rent in a row in
a long time. I can’t tell you what a relief this is.
I noticed how much more I was breathing after I was asked
and after I accepted. I have a tendency to hold my breath, or breathe
shallowly, when I’m stressed out. Most people do, I think. I realize it’s not
only then though. Sometimes the muscles of my stomach are in contraction even
when I’m sitting by myself at this computer writing this – or at my breakfast
nook, writing my morning pages. Why on earth would I hold my breath, or be all
tied up when there’s nothing to stress about? I dunno.
But, I recall what was said at a meditation I went to a few
weeks ago, where the facilitator suggested we allow ourselves to have “abs of
jello.” People snickered, because really, we all probably are holding (well,
not maybe ALL) some sort of tension
around with us.
The way that I walked into work yesterday, and the way I walked out of
it were two vastly different ways of
being. I was angry – as you might have learned from yesterday’s blog – and all
bolted up in worry and fear. I did also leave the building at noon to head downtown to meet up with a group of folks for an hour, which was unbelievably helpful – and I
began to notice, then, the whole tightness of my belly thing – the not properly
breathing thing. I hadn’t been asked to stay on yet, but I began to notice that
I didn’t have to hold my body in freak-out mode.
When I was asked to stay on, if you could visualize that
metal bib they put on you at the dentist as a cape, and watch it fall to the
floor with a thud, then you’d know how I
felt. I felt acres lighter. It’s huge. It’s a big thing.
And… it means even more that I have to show up for this
position for what I’m being paid to do. It means getting to work on time,
basically, and not hanging out online that much. That’s cool. I mean, I set my
alarm for 6am yesterday in an attempt to get to work earlier (aka “on time”),
but didn’t make that. I snoozed til 6:30. So, this morning, I tried again. And
up at 6am as I was this morning, I might have to wake up earlier still to
ensure that I have the…breathing room… to do everything that I do in the
morning with more ease and less stress – a constant look at the clock – even in my
meditation feeling crushed by my awareness that it’s ten minutes I “don’t
Although I cringe at the thought of anything earlier than
6am, it’s really not that big a deal. I’ll gripe about it some – but the
benefits will be way worth it. I won’t hold my gut in as I write this in the
morning, or as I’m cooking my ubiquitous eggs.
It’s hard to not imagine that some of the work that I’m
doing around money isn’t related to this sudden
“windfall.” I’ve been in a limbo of not knowing whether I have work from week
to week and day to day for the last few months. And now, “suddenly,” I’m asked
to stay on for 6 weeks – 6 STABLE weeks?
I sent out those letters last week to former employers (see:
Bollocks) letting them know that I was a lousy employee and that I was trying
to do better. And in the intervening week, I have been trying to do better –
and think I’m progressing along those lines.
Also, it’s hard to imagine that my work of freeing myself
from “wrong” sources of power and validation (see: yesterday, and the entire
history of my life…) aren’t in some way influencing the curvature of this road.
Sure, it could all be “coincidence.” Nothing to do with
anything, but I don’t believe that, personally. But. Nor do I believe that I am
“rewarded” for “good” behavior (and thusly, punished for bad). I rather believe that as I let go of behaviors
which aren’t serving me, I’m more available for the good things the world has
to offer. Usually those things were available all along, but I’ve been too busy
peering down the dry well, begging it to be water, that I miss the river.
Whatever the cause and effect, or lack thereof, I’m
grateful. Hugely. I bought a (cute, but) cheapy new notebook for my morning
pages yesterday. I intend to take another look at how I planned to distribute
my funds this month. Because the truth is, even though I hadn’t planned or had
money in the item lines of entertainment, or notebooks, or toiletries – the
reality is that I spent money in them anyway.
Last night, I found a note from February when I was meeting with some
money folk, and there’s a huge note-to-self that says to be honest about my needs, so
that I don’t overspend.
This month, instead of having been honest about what I
really need, I wrote up a meager, scarce, and skeletal spending plan, and of
course I haven’t stuck to it. Be honest about my needs. They’re not
overwhelming, they’re not indulgent, they just are what they are.
And I can allow myself to own and take care of them, while I breathe into my abs of jello. 
finances · generosity · spirituality · synchronicity · work

Creativity and Spirituality

I got two emails yesterday. On suggestion from a friend who knows the woman who runs it, I’d submitted my resume to a tutoring company in SF. She said that she just hired an
English mentor, but would love to keep me on file. And that she loved seeing the “mixture of spirituality and creativity that seems to be the hallmark of your professional life.” (She also asked
if perhaps that also echoed in my poetry, to which my answer is, not yet. But
reminds me I want to read more David Whyte.)
I was surprised by her summation of my resume, which to me
reads as: secretary, secretary, secretary. – And not in the sexy Maggie
Gyllenhaal way. But, as I look at it from the outside, she’s not far off, and
that makes me happy to see that despite my self-identified squabbling for a
place in this professional world, I’ve been apparently creating a space for
myself at the cross-road of topics that not only interest me, but which
continue to be places where I do more seeking and reading and learning. Perhaps
what I like to do does intersect with my
professional life.
The second email I received was a reply to my resume
submission for a job with Kitka, the non-profit organization of vocalists who
travel world-wide. This was the job earlier this week I’d received from my
friend out of the blue, and which I’d immediately dismissed as underpaying,
overworking, and non-profit = non-stable/sustainable financial flow.
But, I applied anyway, despite my protests and whining. And
I got a call back.
So, we’ll see. I would like to continue to apply to jobs, as
it felt like an exercise in willingness and letting go of my ideas of where I’m
supposed to be or what I’m supposed to do in this world. Besides, as I’ve heard
quite recently, which I love to death
is: “Sometimes you shake a tree looking for apples, and oranges fall out.” Aka
– who knows? The Universe is pretty creative and wise, and likely has my best
interest in mind.
Plus, it was actually nice to update my resume and take a
look at what I’ve done since arriving on this here coast. The second half of my
resume is “extracurricular work” and lists the volunteer or creative work I’ve
done over the past few years. This includes my position as facilitator of the
creativity and spirituality workshop I did last year… and will do again this year.
So, want to hear some cool shit? So, this Dr. Palm
Reader/chiropractor I’m going to now (as a result of woo-woo coincidence), well
he has a space in the basement of his office building (it’s an old Victorian
house) that I’ve noticed gets used for yoga classes and the like. It occurred
to me as I consider marketing this workshop to a wider audience than my college
(where it’s been held) to ask what the deal was with that space – is it
available for rent, etc?
Guess what? It is. And for relatively cheap, and the space
is gorgeous, and perfect for my needs, and I’d get a key, and a lease for 6
months on the space. WHAT?? You want to trust me with a key to this wonderful place? Well, yes, they do.
I haven’t pulled the trigger yet – but it’s totally looking
like a viable option for me – and I really wanted an accessible place in SF for
people to come to. It’s in Hayes Valley; super public tranport accessible; and
just super cute space with hot water and tea provided by them!
I’m humbled just thinking about how amazing and grateful I
am for the a) idea; b) opportunity.
Lastly in this vein. I met with my professor who has been
helping me to organize the version of the workshop that will be held at school next month. A workshop which
I’ve been planning with and through her for several months. And it looks like
it’s coming to fruition. I love the idea of having the opportunity to do the
workshop for free as a “test run” and to help me get a clearer idea of what
works and what doesn’t. Surely, there’s a lot I’ll learn as I go along.
But here’s the thing: this is a workshop I’d want to take. These are topics I’m passionate about. I’ve realized that sort of without
my knowing or planning it, I’ve been preparing to do something like this for a
few years. And my professor reflected back to me that
people want
. Many people are looking for ways to
tap into their creativity, for a way to get still, or for a roadmap to try.
Ways to access what their intuition is trying to tell them, to access their
internal nudges.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you
will know that’s precisely what I do and have been doing – however haltingly. Trying to get closer and
more attuned to what I want in my life, who I want to be, and how to do that.
Here’s my last story: I have a friend who was a very well paid CPA (Accountant). She was financially
rich, but felt spiritually bankrupt. She hated her feelings of
single-minded material acquisition. So, she gave it all up. She threw her hands
up, sold most of her
and went to India for 6 months to live as an ascetic Buddhist. There, she found
herself to be spiritually abundant, but materially bankrupt.
And then she returned to the U.S. This is not the land where
materially bankrupt works. So, she knew she had to find a balance. How to be
able to hold financial and spiritual
health. She began to do a lot of work, research, reading, healing. Finally, she
realized that the work that she was doing, the research she was doing for herself, and the
knowledge she was finding would be of value to others as well. Her own life’s
path could be of service to someone else.
So, she started her own business, and now coaches others on
finding their balance in holding the material and spiritual. She loves it; she is fed emotionally and financially by
it; and others find help through her.
This is a model of what I’m realizing is happening for me. I
know I can discount it and say, Oh I’m just rehashing what I’ve learned from
xyz books and workshops myself, but as my professor said yesterday – people
will pay for that summarization. They may not have the time – so I can offer to
them what I am and have taken the time to find out.
So, we’ll see. I’m feeling more optimistic and confident in
what’s happening and what’s next. And that feels pretty good. 
health · recovery · synchronicity

Dr Palm Reader

I am currently trying to convince my body that decaf coffee
is just as wonderful as regular coffee.
For anyone who knows me, or shares this wonderful love
affair with the warm caffeinated beverage, you know this a difficult task. In
fact, liquid tranquility was once how I put it – despite it’s technical
opposite affect on our bodies.
Why, then, you may ask? Is this a further foray into
asceticism or self-denial or militant straight-edgyness?
It’s because of my feet.
Well, it’s more because of my pelvis. Well, it’s more
because of my jaw. Oh wait, it’s a global
problem with my body.
True to the magnificent nature of coincidence in this
Universe, I walked into a conversation between two girl friends of mine
about two weeks ago. I forget what brought it about, but one of the women
mentioned her chiropractor. When I added in that I’ve been clenching my jaw at
night pretty severely, she handed me his card. Apparently, he’s not the pop and
crack kind, and is very holistic to all the body’s needs – which is good,
because I have never seen a chiropractor because I thought it was a racket: to
pop and crack, come back in a month, pop and crack, ad nauseum.
So, I googled, I yelped, I read all the info on the website – including his own “journey” to this angle of the profession – and then I called. Turns out, Yes, jaw problems are something that they deal
with, and I could come in in a few days.
The yelp reviews are like the gospel praise for Jesus
himself. You’d think this guy performed miracles or something.
… and, he does.
I went for my initial interview last Tuesday, and he spent an
hour telling me to stand up, sit down, raise one arm, now open your mouth raise the
other, lift this leg, turn your head and lift it again, … and then he asked a
strange question. Was your childhood stressful? HA! Yes, yes it was, Dr. Palm
Reader. and on with his gentle poking and prodding.
See, the problem is that because I clench my jaw at night,
my dentist told me about 6 months ago that I was getting micro-fractures in my
molars, and if I didn’t take care of this my teeth would fall apart in my head. That it was likely caused by stress, and that I would have to wear a
night guard… forever. So, luckily, I have a retainer thing from the
interminable period of my adult braces, and I’ve been wearing it
semi-regularly, and then more regularly, waking up in the night or morning
feeling like opening my jaw is like open the jaws of life – it’s so stiff and
tight and ouch.
So, Dr Palm Reader… actually, I’ve really come to call him
Dr. Eyeballs. … because he has the most incredible blue eyes. I’m a sucker for
them blue eyes.  – So, he says
okay, I’ll see you in two days for the “download” appointment, the one were
basically he tells me what’s wrong with me, and what we’re going to do about
it. … “and,” he says as I’m walking out, “which organs aren’t functioning properly.” Oh hell, you say
this as I’m leaving!? Which organs of
mine aren’t functioning properly? Chew, or clench, on that one!
In any case, I do come back. And on Thursday, he tells me all kinds
of stuff. Firstly, he says my adrenal gland is shot. The childhood question was
because often if there is a lot of stress in childhood, the adrenal gland is
over-active and overly called upon then, and so, in later life, it crashes.
Have I been extremely fatigued lately? Why, yes, Dr. Palm Reader, I’ve been
going to bed at 8:30 or 9pm when I can, but I thought it was just “winter,” or,
you know, what my body needs… 10 or so hours of sleep a night.
Nope. My adrenal gland is shot. Okay. What else you got?
Well, flat feet – get this – are a symptom of early stress. Perhaps it’s not “genetic,” although my mom has them too
(“Did she have a stressful childhood?,” Yes, Doc, yes she did.).
The bottom line was this, all kinds of things are out of
whack, ligaments are falling apart in my pelvis, over stressed and twisted. My
hip pain another dr. said was tendonitis and I’d just have to NOT USE IT … uh,
yeah, no, it’s these loose ligaments. The jaw? Well, (cue “the knee bone’s
connected to the thigh bone”), pretty much, it all ascends from my pelvic
problem, into my diaphragm, and into my neck, and then, into my jaw. All the
muscles are doing work they shouldn’t be doing, and are overstressed from doing
… Now that you have gotten my medical history, what on earth
does this have to do with anything? Well, firstly, after he did a few pressure
pointy things, and one crack, guess what? I didn’t clench my jaw for two
nights. I never thought that would happen. Or would have guessed the relief I
felt without it. But, this is a long-term issue, and so, over the course of the
next 6 weeks, I’ll be seeing him 3 times a week, to train my body into its proper form and function. Which
also means that YAY!! I won’t have to see him forever, I
won’t have to wear a night guard forever, and all different kinds of
systems in my body are going to be starting up again… and mostly, I won’t be so
fucking tired all the time.
Down side? I feel like an 80 year old woman at the moment.
I’ve been told that for the duration of the treatment, I can’t bend in x y and
z ways, …. and although he hasn’t said it… the pamphlet he gave me on what’s
“wrong” with me (which btw, has an illustration of a completely fucocked
spinal cord…), well, it states that caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and sugar
aggravate the system and inhibit healing.
Well, Balls. Caffeine and sugar are the only ones I still
use/abuse, but hell. Really?
So, this is not my swan song to coffee. I’ve had one cup of
regular and one of decaf this morning, … and I guess that tub of “no sugar
added” ice cream is gonna have to go…
But, indeed, it’s true. This is some sort of miracle. And
if there were ever a time in my life when I had the time, health insurance,
availability, and Universe conspiring for me to bring my physical, emotional, and
spiritual health into, … alignment, it’s now. 

acting · friendship · love · persistence · self-care · synchronicity

In All Its Forms

Yesterday, I got to cross a few more “Serenity Moths” off my
list, including letting my apartment get messy (kitchen, another story); no
fuzzy socks (my clothing allowance this month will now be worn on my very
toasty happy feet); and not using my art and craftyness.
Today is the birthday of the woman who I have known longest
in my life, second only to my family. We met when we were both three-years old
in a story both our mothers love to tell.
Soon after my brother was born, my family moved from Brooklyn to northern New Jersey. Maybe that same or maybe next day, our new door bell rang.
The story goes, that the little blond girl who lived just next-door stood on the door-step, looked up at
my mom, and asked, “Does a little girl live here?” I peeked my head out
from behind my mom’s legs and we have been friends for nearly 30 years. (wow, I’d initially wrote 20!, but no, it’s 30!!)
Like most friendships, it’s seen its fair share of trials,
but through a fair share of miracles, we have found ourselves to be strong friends again,
across the sands of time and Minnesota.
So, yesterday, I made a crafty little gift for her. I took
out my tools I laid down since my Christmas card puttering-out, and infused as
much love as I could into it.
I also put up a handwritten sign in my apartment, just below
the very tall almost 12 foot ceiling: “Love, as much as you can.” And put little
hearts around it. ;P This was the edict, the command, and the hope, from the
workshop I did a month or more ago when we meditated to ourselves as really old people, and asked ourselves what lessons we needed to learn. Today is the final of the 4 in the
series of workshops on relationships. Spiritual Contracts and Inner Archetypes.
On the note of that type of work, I did get an email back
from the Sacred Stream meditation school, and they do have a scholarship, but
it’s itty bitty, and I can’t afford the course right now – particularly after I
pay the security deposit to the Bay Area Modeling Guild, which I found out last
night that I got in to 🙂  But,
that’s alright, I feel like I’ve got enough spiritual shenanigans happening
around and in me at the moment, that I’m not quite sure
now is the right time to blow the top off myself anyway. Sometimes, I just need
to regroup. Ground myself again.
So, doing these sort of “of the earth” type activities has
been nice, cleaning my apartment, making art, finally in-putting my numbers on
what I spent in December. (which, I was probably right to fear! oh holiday
spirit…) 😉
On another note completely, so, I’d been praying for an
acting coach. That was the suggestion I got from my acting friend in SF, and
although I’d been half-heartedly looking, I’d also been dragging my feet
feeling that I didn’t have the money to really afford a coach.
Then, I went to my Thursday afternoon class. Acting
Fundamentals. I had completely forgotten that I’d signed up for this course.
But I had. So, maybe I don’t have an individual acting coach, but I now have an
acting teacher. Included in the price of all that I’m already paying for school.
She’s the casting director for Berkeley Rep, and has been teaching acting
forever, and has acted forever, and although at the moment she seemed a little sharp at the
edges, I think this is just what I’ve been asking for.
After class, she said that it seemed I had more experience
than the other girls, and I said, I’m open to any help she can give, and she
said she tries to challenge and meet people where they’re at. I also found it
rather hilarious that I’m more experienced than anyone in my theater experience, as I feel like such a
novice I can’t even tie my shoes straight!
But, it’s not about comparison. It’s about what I can learn,
and how I can inhabit my body and my emotions more fully. It’s about WAAAAYYY
tuning down the cacophony of my heartbeat in my eardrums when I stand in front
of a panel at an audition. I think the audition is the hardest part – for me at
least. Good thing I have two more over the next two days. 😉
So, here’s to Love, which finds it’s way back to us, over 30
years of friendship, in the form of a needed teacher, and in the self-care
which buys me these awesome fuzzy socks. 
abundance · action · home · self-care · synchronicity

Lighten up!

Yesterday, I bought a new comforter. The one that I had was given to me by a kind friend, but was
stained and dark, and it went down on my list of Serenity Moths on Tuesday.
(Something subtle that eats away at my serenity, yet doesn’t have to.) Also on
my list was my apartment being dark. Part of that is due to the fact that the
lamp I have on my desk does not have a lampshade, and so I taped a piece of
construction paper around it like a shade, but am usually too nervous of fire to keep
it on!
So, after work, I went to Ross, the discount store (i.e. Marshalls,
etc — east coasters shout out!), and found a new, white, soft, warm comforter.
And now it’s on my bed. As I live in a studio, whatever color is on my bed
really changes and is obvious in the whole apartment. So, I got to cross
“stained comforter” off my list, and am heading in the direction of crossing
off “dark apartment.”
I realize that almost all of the furniture in my apartment
came to me absolutely free. I reflect on this, as I begin to think
again/re-address/new-perspectivize myself toward abundance in my life. Every
major piece was free. A gift of the universe. The bed came first. When I moved to California,
my one friend was like, uh, is that all you brought? I had a few suitcases and a
pillow. 😉 She said she would have brought a u-haul with all her stuff. But,
truth be told, I didn’t have that much, having just recently moved back from
South Korea – all I had was in my childhood room in NJ, and no, I was not going
to bring a twin sized bed to my “new life” in San Francisco.
When I got my first craigslist apartment, yay! here’s a
room. … with nothing in it. Nothing at all. Not even a bed. Miraculously enough
– very incredibly miraculously enough – my new roommate said his girlfriend just
bought a new mattress set, and was getting
rid of her old one. As I didn’t have any money, I offered that I could give her
the $75 gift certificate to Victoria’s Secret that my dad’s fiancé gave to me
as a parting gift in NJ. Sold.
That very day, we went and picked up a Queen-sized, good
condition mattress and box spring. I have it to this day. For free. Or, as
close to free/not out of my pocket as you can get.
When I moved to my own one-bedroom in SF, the next big piece
was my couch. I wanted a pull-out for visitors, and lo and behold, on
craigslist was a free two seater pull out couch. I don’t even know how I was
able to transport it – my good friend and her boyfriend helped me, as he had a
truck, and it is so damned heavy with
all its metal internallings. Why was it absolutely free? Because the awful blue
sofa also was entirely scratched apart on the arms of it and the back of it by
a very active cat. Some of the stuffing was even coming out of the arms. No
problem. I went to Bed Bath and Beyond, and found a perfect chocolate colored faux-suede sofa
cover, and I have it to this day 😉
The rest of the pieces have come off the street, or several once from
one of the buildings managed by the property management company I worked for.
The building manager had a whole host of excess furniture in the basement. For
the price of looking, asking, being organized to get transportation, and most
importantly asking for help around it, I’ve acquired an entire mod-podge
apartment of furniture that looks pretty cohesive.
The shade-less lamp, I paid $6 for, and it may have to go, or a
lampshade will become available (believe me, I’ve been looking!), and I also
paid for the omigod this couldn’t be any
more perfect 2nd bedside table which perfectly matches the off-the-street
 one on my side. The new one was bought at a garage sale around the time I was doing the Calling in
The One
exercises on creating space for a
partner. It isn’t a replica of the first, it’s a partner. It matches,
complements, enhances t
he first. Sort of what a partner should – or can – do, eh?
To abundance. And my lightening up apartment, heart, and
outlook. 😉
abundance · action · courage · direction · faith · fear · finances · Jewish · joy · letting go · life · responsibility · synchronicity

Effective but Wordless Chant

So I did look at one SF apartment ad today. It was through
my old employer, a property management company, which is how I got my sweet
deals on my SF and Oakland apartments. Granted, it wasn’t a handout-out, I
worked well there – maybe not that hard, but it wasn’t that challenging or enticing, and
eventually I found myself overcome by the Ugly Cries (maya’s accurate term) in my car at lunch one Friday on the phone
with a friend having another job existential crisis.
That day I gave my two weeks notice, that night I threw my 1st pre-Valentine’s party, the following day, I went blonde. This was almost 3 years
ago now. My boss wasn’t pleased, but he knew I wasn’t happy –
that I wanted to do something creative, anything.
So that began several months – two, to be exact – of
job hunting. I remember I didn’t even tell my parents I’d quit my job and was
looking for work cuz I just couldn’t face their “Are you kidding me, in this economy??” spiel. It was hard then – I had notes all
over my SF apartment – “This is a world of grace and abundance and I am letting
A friend afterward told me to change to wording to “–and I
allow myself to receive” – more “open.”
Two years before that, I’d been “downsized” from a corporate
real estate firm, my first long term gig in SF, and was on unemployment for the
full 6 months. The first month? Awesome – yay paid vacation. By the end of six months? I was desperate. I began to
answer every ad. The very week my unemployment was going to run out, I had two job interviews one day, and I’m driving to one of
them, out somewhere near Bayview, and I’m in my car and I have this
mini-epiphany: I had every single thing I needed at that moment. I had eaten
breakfast, I had coffee in me, I had gas in my car – I didn’t need anything
else at that moment – no money in my hand, nothing. For that moment, I was
completely taken care of.
I forget what it was now, but I even began this little chant
while I was on my way to that interview. Something about being content and
caffeinated, or something? That afternoon, I had my other interview – at the
property management firm. And I got that job. The woman I was replacing
happened to be out sick that day (she was going on maternity leave), and so I
interviewed with the owner of the company – and we got along fabulously. (A big part of me feels that had I met the woman instead, I wouldn’t have made it through the door.) The
mug that I’m drinking out of now, he gave to me because he got tired of me
using the one that had a photo of his kids printed on it for my coffee (it was
the biggest mug!, What?). The one he bought has sort of colorful swirls on it,
and he said it reminded him of the tattoo on my wrist.
So, yeah, he wasn’t pleased when I left my job with them,
but, obviously still liked me enough to let me have parties in my SF apartment,
and to move here into the Oakland one on a slight deal.  – actually, it’s a really good deal, i
should be (and am!) really grateful – the rent isn’t that much cheaper, but I didn’t
have to pay security deposit, or pet deposit, so that’s quite generous.
Reminds me the theme of today’s CITO is generosity …
But, back to grace and abundance, and letting go – or
“receiving” rather.
I quit that job with the property management, and spent two
months looking for creative work, again. And finally what happened was I woke
up one morning and asked myself, still groggy from sleep and receptive to the universe, What else
am I interested in?
The reply came, Well, I like being Jewish.  … So I typed “Jewish San Francisco” into
Google, and applied to every position there was.
I got one of those positions. (Actually I applied to one I didn’t get, but my resume got passed along to someone else in this Jewish
education non-profit, and I got that job
– for which I was surely more well suited.) … 

Then, on a not so whimish been-looking-at-the-college’s-website-for-three-years whim, I apply to the MFA program, and get in. (Note, there: I actually intended to apply to the Master’s in Literature Program, but didn’t have a current academic paper, and am pretty sure none of my professors from college remember me … but the admissions coordinator for the English Department told me that the MFA program, I just needed 15-20 recent poems. How many did I happen to have recently? 16.) Nudgey McNudgerson, you sly Universe, you.
I dunno. I guess I’m feeling reflective about all of this –
about all of my “being taken care of” and steered into a more … “Molly” direction — because I have no clue what’s going to
happen when school is over in May. I quite imagine that it will work out well –
and I also imagine I’ll freak out a bit anyway.
But, if any of the above isn’t evidence that I’m being
gently but firmly guided, I don’t know what is.
So, Universe, Let me be receptive to the strange and unusual
nudges you have to give me. I sit here, in a heated apartment, with food in my
belly, electricity running, December rent paid, and I’m chanting the tune to
that chant whose words I no longer remember. Amen.